BLISS BALLS

Bliss Balls, Energy Balls, the NEW trend in health and wellness that has taken me a while to love.

I made a few (around 5 different recipes: the ones you Google: “the best energy balls”) made some with protein powder, some with oats, some with a lot of dates and honestly didn’t love them. Until a friend asked me to do some for a community event at Athleta Austin (a friends and family sale which was pretty awesome, except that I ended up shopping also!). So since I had to do a demo at Athleta and my experience at making energy balls was pretty limited (I have made many more energy and granola bars), I had to make many batches until I came up with this killer  Bliss Ball recipe.

Then I got my new Vitamix Ascent A3500 (I was invited by Vitamix Mexico to launch the new Ascent model and I was thrilled because I love Vitamix so much and I really wanted this new model, and most of all I love foodie gadgets and appliances more than anything.. thanks Vitamix for sponsoring me with this blender! #Vitamix #foodforlife

 

Bliss Balls
 
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These Bliss Balls are your go to recipe for an energy pick me up treat, perfect for an afternoon, post workout, coffee snack. Meet your new fitness snack or treat. A master recipe you can adapt so many ways! I made mine with Matcha (which I love, but also know that some people don't so feel free to adapt the flavors to your own. Maca would be amazing, cinnamon, golden berries, baobab (my favorite new superfood). The options are endless. These are paleo, gluten free, grain free, dairy free (you can sub the collagen for freshly ground organic golden flax or for a vegan protein powder to make a vegan version.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 20 balls
Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw organic cashews (you could sub for almonds, but I prefer cashews
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt or Maldon Salt to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1½ teaspoons matcha (culinary grade) or sub for cinnamon or maca to taste
  • 4 dates (I used The Date Lady), pitted
  • ¼ cup cashew or almond butter, organic preferably
  • Xylitol or pure Monk fruit extract to taste (I used about 1 tablespoon Xylitol, this depends on your taste preferences, I like mine not too sweet
  • 2 tablespoons MCT or high octane brain oil (I love and use Bulletproof)
  • 3 tablespoons collagen protein (I love Bulletproof or Vital proteins)
  • ¼ cup chopped and melted raw cacao butter (I only use Bulletproof: please note: most raw cacao butters do NOT taste good and have a very strong flavor ..
  • Decorate with:
  • Organic coconut flakes (grind them lightly in a food processor so that they are finer)
  • Cacao nibs
  • Freeze dried raspberries chopped or crushed or flakes
Method
  1. Blend cashews in your Vitamix or food processor until finely ground (it will look like almond flour) make sure they are finely ground.
  2. Add dates and blend, add the rest of the ingredients and blend to incorporate: don't over blend or they will be very greasy and the taste and texture will be off. Remove the mixture from the blender (I use a blender spatula) and shape into balls (you can fill with a golden berry!) and decorate with the desired ingredients: coconut, cacao nibs or freeze dried raspberries. (They will seem a bit moist but they will set because when cacao butter sets it firms up).
  3. Bliss Balls keep stored in a glass container in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Or freeze for longer shelf life in a Ziplock bag.
Notes
If you want to lower the glycemic index: remove dates and use Xylitol or Monk Fruit from Lakanto to taste.

 

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BEST PALEO BROWNIES

These BROWNIES!! OMG..

Yes I know all bakers have a claim to fame brownie recipe and honestly these have gotten raving reviews so much so that I almost didn’t want to share it. But I am a pastry chef instructor and sharing has always been my core value.

These new brownies are a killer recipe. Really. It’s not an understatement. They are chewy, perfectly balanced, not too sweet, so easy to make. And these are made with coconut sugar. AND you can get all the ingredients in most super markets! They are my husband’s favorites and when he wants a special treat, I make them for him.

So what is GREAT about this recipe (which took a LOT of recipe development): 1. They are CHEWY a must in brownies 2. They have a crackly top 3. They are super versatile: you can add any topping and they are fantastic 4. They are #grainfree #paleo and MEMORABLE!

Toppings I love: Jacobsen sea salt flakes, chopped almonds, hazelnuts, chopped pecans, walnuts, chocolate chunks, halva, tahini, almond butter. Add after baking: chocolate date spread from The Date Lady Eating evolved liquid chocolate, hazelnut superfood spread from Saraispreads 

I am loving Cemoi chocolate (which is one of the only soy free chocolates in the chocolate industry).

I hope you make them and love them as much as I do! Please share your creations with me and tag me on Instagram 

Please note: some ingredients have been sponsored, some might be affiliate links.

Best Paleo Brownies
 
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These are the best paleo brownies hands down! Chewy, crackly top! Make sure you follow the recipe to the t.. Don't over bake or they will be dry and cakey 🙁 and loose their chewyness
Author:
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 9 medium
Ingredients
  • 140 gr chocolate such as Cemoi 70 %, chopped and melted
  • 75 gr coconut oil (organic), melted (use refined coconut oil for a flavorless oil option)
  • 2 organic pasture raised Vital Farms eggs
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 55 gr fine blanched almond flour
  • 40 gr cassava flour (I used Otto's Cassava flour)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda (at high altitude use ⅛ teaspoon)
  • ¼ cup chocolate 71 % chopped to add in batter (I used Cemoi)
Method
  1. Prepare an ⅛ baking pan (find these on Amazon): grease pan with coconut spray, line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 345 F (170 C)
  2. In a large bowl by hand with a whisk or in your KitchenAid Mini Mixer: with a whisk attachment: mix eggs, vanilla, coconut sugar until combined. No need to mix a lot.
  3. Add melted coconut oil and mix. Add melted warm chocolate and mix.
  4. Add flours, salt and baking soda. Mix additional chopped chocolate and put into prepared pan. Level surface with a spatula. Bake for about 26 mins until toothpick comes out with a very moist crumb (it must not be wet or dry). Baking time depends on your oven and pan. Cool for several hours, carefully remove from pan and cut into 9 pieces.

 

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BEST PALEO LOW CARB SCONES

After weeks of not baking or being very active on my creative content because:

  1. My Dad has been frail (his diabetes has been so difficult and has taken a toll on his life and on our family), as I write this today is #Americandiabetesalertday, Diabetes is a matter near and dear to my heart because I have dealt with my Dad’s illness and seen first hand how devastating and how life consuming it is.
  2. I was feeling stuck trying to be a jack of all trades and being a rockstar at it all whilst looking madly for a house for my Baking School here in Austin and at the same time trying to set up my healthy baking classes through Airbnb experiences which just launched in Austin! Whoohooo.. Still figuring that part out. But hey imperfect action is what entrepreneurship is all about right? And consistency is key.

Anyway back to these scones! When Bulletproof reached out to me a few months ago and asked me to develop 4 Bulletproof friendly pastries for them I was beyond honored, challenged and grateful! One of my wellness heroes is Dave Asprey and I listen to his podcast every week. I am a raving fan of his Bulletproof lifestyle, bars, ingredients and supplements. When I made these scones I remember the feeling of complete bliss and utter satisfaction of having created a recipe that not only was Bulletproof friendly (gluten free, dairy free, low glycemic, grain free and compliant with the Bulletproof road map (something you need to look into). When you read about it you’ll see that there are literally very few flours and sweeteners to bake with and the ones that are BP friendly have a scientific reason why: all ingredients are the healthiest to give you the most energy and what I call high performance foods.

I am thrilled to be a consultant for Thermomix and have been using and loving my cooking food processor for 13 years! I highly recommend it for everything: from making these scones to making pizza sauce.

Best Paleo Low Carb Scones
 
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Paleo low carb scones, crispy on the outside, moist inside. I developed this recipe for Bulletproof (not a sponsored post, thanks Bulletproof for the ingredients for this recipe!). The perfect balance of paleo flours makes these scones just like traditional ones, you will love the texture! I love baking with Lakanto Sweetener to create low carb pastries.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 large
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups blanched almond flour (165 gr)
  • ½ cup coconut flour (47 gr)
  • ½ cup arrowroot flour (60 gr)
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup Lakanto Classic sweetener (depends on how sweet you want them, I used ¼ cup)
  • ½ cup Bulletproof ghee, cold, in pieces (sub for ¼ cup refined coconut oil + ¼ cup palm shortening for a vegan option)
  • ½ - ⅔ cup coconut yogurt such as Coyo brand as needed (or sub for cold coconut cream from a can/ thick part only)
  • 2 tablespoons organic flax seeds freshly ground (grind these in a coffee grinder) we don’t recommend you buy flax meal it’s not Bulletproof friendly, you can substitute for the same amount of Bulletproof Collagen!
  • 1 tablespoon aluminum and gluten free baking powder such as Rumford (at high altitude use ½ tablespoon)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup currants or Bulletproof chocolate chopped into chunks or blueberries or cranberries
  • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F/ 170 C.
  2. In your food processor (I used my Thermomix) incorporate the flours, sweetener, lemon zest, and dry ingredients. Then add cold ghee and process until crumbly (check that your butter looks like lentils) remove mixture from food processor and put into a large bowl: add currants and add the coconut yogurt (small amount first) combine just until integrated. Don’t over mix.
  3. Line a baking tray with Silpat or Silpain or parchment paper. Put the dough onto the baking tray and form into a round ball, press down to form a 2″ high round loaf. Cut into 8 slices and shape nicely formed triangles: freeze for 30 mins, brush with extra coconut cream, then bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for 5 minutes until golden brown. Lower temperature to 340 F until baked through (they must be crunchy on the surface and moist inside) total temperature takes about 20 min.
  4. Notes: you can make ½ recipe just use half all the ingredients.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8

 

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PALEO BISCUITS

Biscuits! One of my all time favorite pastries to make and eat. If I could have these for breakfast, brunch or coffee everyday I honestly would.
When Bulletproof (my favorite high performance company) reached out to me and asked me to create 4 specific pastries for them I pinched my arm for a few hours until I had to get down to work (I only had a few days and a deadline) to bake and come up with: 1. A savory empanada 2. A biscuit 3. A scone (my fav also!) 4. something seasonal (like pumpkin). It is truly amazing that when you have a deadline and a VERY specific list of ingredients that you can use (and a HUGE list of what you can’t use) magic happens. I remember feeling terrified and ecstatic at the same time and thankfully I have been in way too many stressful situations in my life to know that when I have a challenge I don’t get paralyzed and over deliver. So I ended up really enjoying the process and came up with 6 of my ultimate favorite healthy (functional) pastries I have ever made. I remember going to bed feeling completely satisfied and fulfilled (which doesn’t happen that often). So here is my biscuit recipe I shared with Bulletproof (stay tuned for all the 6 recipes, I am just updating my website and photos), I hope you love them as much as Erin my husband and me. Please make them and share your photos on Instagram and tag me at @chefvanessamusi I would love to share your photos!

And also.. I used my Thermomix (a cooking food processor) to make these, which makes it so fast and easy. You will need a food processor.

 

PALEO BISCUITS
 
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Flaky, buttery, soft and just the right texture. Bulletproof scones are: #glutenfree #dairyfree #lowcarb #lowglycemic see notes for a savory version of the recipe.
Author:
Recipe type: PASTRY
Cuisine: BREAKFAST, DESSERT
Serves: 4-5 medium
Ingredients
  • 1 cup fine blanched almond flour (110 gr) (preferably organic)
  • ¼ cup cassava flour (38 gr)
  • ½ cup of arrowroot or potato starch
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt (3 gr) I love Maldon salt
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum and gluten free baking powder such as Rumford (at high altitude use half)
  • 1 organic, pasture raised egg
  • 60 gr cold Bulletproof ghee cut into pieces (4 tablespoons)
  • ¼ -⅓ cup coconut cream (from a can) mix well so that it is homogeneous (I use Thai Kitchen coconut cream)
  • ⅛ cup Xylitol or Monk Fruit or half of each
  • 1 teaspoon Bulletproof Collagelatin
  • Egg wash:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • Mix everything with a whisk by hand
  • Hemp seeds, flax, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds to decorate
  • Serve with coconut yogurt such as Coyo, and/ or serve with more Bulletproof ghee or Kite Kill almond cheese
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare a perforated tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Put all ingredients in the Thermomix or food processor and process at low speed until combined. Do not over mix. Remove the dough and put onto a silicon mat such as a Rollpat. Roll out the dough with a with a rolling pin until the pastry is 2.3 -3 cm thick or so. Cut with curly round biscuit cutter preferably (I used ).
  2. Put the biscuits on the baking tray, varnish with the egg wash and sprinkle with: flax seed, hemp seed or leave natural. Bake 10 minutes (it is important NOT to over bake) they must be tender and these tend to cook quickly. Remove and chill, slice, accompany with ghee (clarified butter) and jam or date or nutella candy.
  3. Enjoy !!
  4. Note: you can add chopped fresh herbs such as: chives to the dough before baking aprox 2 tablespoons.

 

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PALEO PUMPKIN CAKE

Ever since I lived in Chicago when I was in Pastry School: Pumpkin became one of my absolute favorite foods, any time of the year.

Lately I have had many requests to develop gluten free, coconut flour recipes. My goal is to make paleo lower glycemic. Paleo recipes as you probably know are: gluten free, dairy free, low carb, grain free and full of protein, and can rarely be vegan something many bakers still don’t realize. Coconut flour is ideal for people with a leaky gut, gastrointestinal problems, gluten sensitivities and it is a great source of fiber. However in baking it is like a sponge: so used alone it is not great. Coconut flour requieres a lot of eggs as binders and for volume and texture and this can create very chewy and spongy cakes which have a very odd texture. So recipes combining almond flour and coconut flour are the best in terms of texture and flavor. Paleo recipes also use liquid sweeteners most of the time as coconut flour and almond flour need either honey or maple syrup or agave syrup (which I don’t use or recommend), I have made many attempts at baking cakes with almond flour + coconut flour and a low glycemic sweetener such as Swerve and adding oil or liquids to balance out the dryness, few have worked successfully.

This recipe is adapted from Dr Axe whose work as a functional doctor in nutrition is amazing. He is one of those rare doctors who: 1. Knows everything about nutrition. 2. Explains everything really well in very simple terms.

PALEO PUMPKIN CAKE
 
Author:
Serves: 6 small cakes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup/ 115 gr almond flour (I love HEB brand the best)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon/ 2 gr baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ⅛ cup Swerve sweetener
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Put a silicon mold (loaf pan or individual loaf pans) on a perforated tray. Spray with a gluten free spray such as coconut oil.
  3. Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.
  4. Combine all dry ingredients in another bowl.
  5. Mix the wet into the dry together until well incorporated with a whisk.
  6. Pour into greased silicon loaf pans and bake on the perforated tray for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.
  7. Remove from the oven, let cool and unmold. Store in a plastic container such as a recycled salad acrylic container. These keep for 2 days in perfect conditions.

 

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MY SIGNATURE NOBLE SPICY DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

This recipe is adapted from Elana’s Pantry first cook book, which I love. 

These cookies may sweep you off your feet, literally. As you can see I am a fan of chocolate and chile too. Strong and bold flavors are my cup of tea. Part of my Lebanese and Mexican heritage.

This is when I discovered that umami needs to be present in my pastries. I don’t like anything plain or what I call very simple flavors that are sugar coated which is a huge problem in most bakeries. Sugar can kill flavors and does not let the real ingredients shine through. On our last visit to Huckleberry in LA I realized that as much as I wanted to love the bakery (in essence I do) everything had a sugar crust that killed the individual elements of their baked goods. Sad story.

Luckily I grew up with chile, spice, bold Lebanese flavors, acid notes from labne and sumac and eating chamoy so it is in my blood and veins to create a savory sweet experience that satisfies every inch of your palate.

These cookies also became viral with my online classes that started my Noble Baking concept. Thousands of people have made them and sell them all over the world.

MY SIGNATURE NOBLE SPICY DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES
 
Author:
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • 2 ¾ cups (344 grams) blanched almond flour such as Honeyville  or HEB (note: to measure almond flour: please spoon and compact the almond flour lightly)
  • ½ cup (42 gr) raw cacao such as Terrasoul or cocoa (cacao is healthier)
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda (at high altitude use ¼ teaspoon or 1 gr)
  • ½ teaspoon (2 teaspoons) Himalayan or fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon (12 gr) vanilla extract or paste such as Nielsen Massey
  • ½ cup coconut oil melted
  • ½ cup grade A maple syrup
  • ½ cup chocolate chunks or callets 70 % - 85 % such as Valhrona, Guittard, Cacao Barry
  • 1 tablespoon or more to taste: dried jalapeño (not ground) such as Penzeys Spices
  • Maldon salt to sprinkle on top before baking
Method
  1. Preheat convection oven to 330 F regular oven 340 F. Prepare 2 baking trays with Silpat. I love perforated trays as they also work as cooling racks and they fit into a rack perfectly.
  2. In a large bowl, mix almond flour, baking soda, sea, salt. Add vanilla, oil and maple syrup.
  3. Add chocolate and jalapeño, mix well.
  4. Shape cookies with a medium scoop #24, put onto the prepared trays with enough room as they do expand. Flatten cookies lightly with your hands. Bake in pre heated oven until crisp on the sides and soft in the middle.
  5. Cookies will continue to bake as they cool on the tray. Let cool completely on baking tray before removing with a spatula.
  6. Cool on perforated baking trays or cooling racks.
  7. Store in individual cellophane bags or in plastic domes, they don’t keep well in Tupperware or plastic containers (they become soft and moist).
  8. Cookies keep for 3 days in optimal conditions.
Notes
You can of course eliminate the jalapeño and perhaps just add Jamaica (hibiscus) salt on top. Or feel free to experiment. These cookies became the inspiration behind a great vegan brownie one of my students made. I will add the recipe soon.

 

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