Blueberry Pudding Cake

Guys. GUYS. We have a huge winner. A rousing success. A simple, delicious, throw together summer dessert that leaves families fighting over the cake pan as soon as it’s cool enough to touch. I knew from the minute I saw this cake on Shutterbean that I had to recreate it. It took three tries, but each one was even better than the last, and from the beginning this cake has flown out of the pan, inhaled by my family. Team Johnson could not get enough. The latest version, paired with a sumptuous vanilla ice cream recipe from Simply Bites, is the best yet. It screams summer dessert – easy, bursting with fresh berries, and perfect with a scoop of ice cream on a warm summer night.

Creamy Coconut Cacao Pudding

I swear, I was never a pudding person before this year. I remember being totally disgusted by my grandfather’s love of tapioca pudding. Sure those snack pak’s the other kids had in their lunches were kind of cool, but that was all pudding was good for – a lowly substitute for real dessert in a boring school lunch. If I was making or preparing a dessert, it had to be something better than pudding.
Maybe it was because I was eating pudding made of all the wrong kinds of things – dairy, sugar, fake caramelchemical flavoring. This year’s pudding is good for my physical and mental health – the ultimate “feel good food”. The ingredients I use are healing for my body and I feel no guilt about eating them. Guilt should never be part of the equation when it comes to food.

For some reason, I like this picture because it is out of focus and therefore seems old school. I could be way off though

Dairy, egg, refined-sugar, and chemical-free, pudding has been elevated from dessert last picked from the buffet table to healthy indulgence in my kitchen. I’m willing to dive in by the bowlful. It all started with that glorious vehicle for roasted sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and chestnuts back in January. This version is also spatula-scraping good, a cold and creamy summer treat that is the perfect start to my hot summer workday. That’s right. I ate this for breakfast (along with a little protein), and it left me energized and really looking forward to tomorrow morning.

Many thanks to Kelly of the Spunky Coconut, whose 60 Second Decadent ChocoChia “Milkshake” Inspired this new breakfast-dessert. Kelly has a new cookbook out too –The Spunky Coconut Dairy-Free Ice Cream: Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan – just in time for a healthy summer!

my favorite coconut milk brand – Native Forest

Creamy Coconut Cacao Nib Pudding

makes 1 serving
3-5 small ice cubes. I like the volume that 5 provides, but my little scrappy blender does better with just 3. If you have a Vitamix or something equally fancy, 5 shouldn’t be a problem.
½ cup full fat coconut milk, make sure it is BPA free!
1 T raw cacao nibs
1 t raw cacao powder
⅓ of a ripe avocado
10 drops vanilla stevia (you could probably substitute 1 T of honey or agave nectar here)
a blender

Combine all ingredients into your blender. Blend for 2-3 minutes until pudding is completely smooth. Enjoy immediately. I doubt you could wait any longer anyway.

Next time I am going to add some mint leaves and see how that turns out! I want to make this a little more shamrock-y.

breakfast milkshake mason jar, where have you been all my life?

Part of Diet, Dessert, and Dogs’ Wellness Weekend June 21-25

Also part of Fit & Fabulous Fridays #37 from Amee’s Savory Dish

Entered in Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at SImply-Sugar and Gluten-Free!

Submitted to Gluten-Free Easily’s Virtual GF Support Group June 2012

Simple Green Smoothie + A Stroke of Squash Genius

I wanted to write “A Stroke of Sleep Deprived Squash Genius”, but I thought that might get a little long.

International travel, my friends, is a terrifically wonderful thing. So often we can take for granted the fact that we can get in a giant metal bird and FLY. Honestly, whenever I get a little tired of a flight: dehydrated, headachey, full of airplane food – I remember that it is a miracle that I am even above the clouds at all.

However, I do believe that our bodies have not quite adapted to the wonder of zooming through dozens of time zones in a matter of hours. After a few weeks of here-and-back-again, I am craving the balance of a few goods nights sleep in a row. While I wait for that balance to come back in my sleep schedule, I’ve noticed how incredibly valuable it is to support jet lag and travel with proper nutrition.

Continue reading

U.S. Food Favorites

I’m back home in the States for a week and I’ve been cooking like a fiend. I’ll have plenty of recipes to share once I get the time to edit photos and write up the posts. I’m flying back to Japan tomorrow, though, so I’m going to save a bigger post for when I have a bit more time. But I wanted to share all the awesome products I’ve been enjoying while I’ve been home.

Almond/Coconut milk blend, Unsweetened. Toasted nut flavor, creamy coconut undercurrent – no sugar! Fabulous on it’s own or in a green smoothie. Continue reading

Homework: 5 Fabulous Things

I’m doing my homework! Assigned by Tracy & Joy from Homefries’ Joy the Baker podcast, here are 5 things I am loving at the moment.

1. My workout shoes. Japan has so many crazy colors!

2. Homemade laundry soap from Apartment Therapy.

3. Purple sweet potatoes. Sometimes stuffed with kabocha squash with coconut milk. Brekkie!

4. Cherry Blossom season

5. Random Acts of Kindness: They make you sooooo happy. They make a stranger-soon-to-be-friend happy. Or you can do it totally anonymously and shine with happiness all day knowing that you truly impacted someone’s life today.