Delicious, Fun & Healthy Food


Homemade "Raw" Nutella Spread

Spreads, SnacksLina Liwag3 Comments

I don't know about you but I love Nutella!  There is one brand  that really stands out there  but it's not available in Toronto... so this has become one of my DIY projects.  The first time I made this, I brought it to work so it's been tested by the ladies at my team and a few managers on the floor.  They all gave it a thumbs up so I am excited to now share it.


Some fun facts about hazelnutsthey are also called filberts and are a good source of Vitamin E, rich in dietary fiber, B Vitamins and folate  They also contain minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, potassium,  calcium, zinc, copper, iron, manganese and selenium. Great item to try unless you are allergic to it. 

Most nutella recipes call for the hazelnuts to be roasted.  However, the raw version is just as good or even better.  The prep time is also short...perfect for working people like you and me.   


Homemade  "Raw" Nutella Spread
Ingredients (Preferably Organic) 
1 cup hazelnuts
3  1/2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
3 dates, pitted and chopped 
3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted  (I used this brand)
1/2 tsp. vanilla powder
1/8 tsp. Himalayan crystal salt or Celtic sea salt
1/4 c. filtered water (or more if you desire a thinner consistency)

1.   Measure the coconut oil needed and place it in a small bowl.   Boil water in a pan then place the bowl into the boiled water and wait for it to melt. 
2. In a high speed blender, food processor or personal blender (I used my Nutribullet), grind the hazelnuts until they turn into a powder.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until the mixture turns into a spread-like consistency which may take 5 minutes or so.  Add a bit more water if you prefer the mixture thinner.

You may also substitute the dates with coconut nectar...start with 3 Tbsp. and increase it according to your taste.


Nutella is so great with bananas, apples and of course with a gluten-free bread!  This can be stored at the fridge for a week.  Although it will harden there, it can be softened by placing some in a small bowl and follow the steps of melting coconut oil (see method above).  


We made it through the first week of daylight savings time.  The days have been brighter lately and although it's still quite cold in Toronto, the signs of Spring are all around us.  This weekend, I was able to enjoy some peace and quiet in our home which was a good break.   My son was at his Lola's place spending time with her.  Have yourself a wonderful week!




"Raspberry" Mousse and "Chocolate" Mousse - Valentine's Day Desserts

DessertLina Liwag2 Comments

It was just Christmas then all of a sudden we are almost celebrating Valentine’s Day!  I thought time flew so awesome if you were like me who can’t wait for Spring to come anytime now.  I’m still a tropical girl by heart...I dream of warm weather all the time despite being in Canada for almost 25 years.  

After that major snow storm called ‘SNOWMAGEDDON” we had yesterday, I decided to make some treats...I felt like it’s my reward as well as for the rest of Tdot... all that stressful driving, commuting, frozen extremities  and shoveling snow between Thursday night  and Saturday morning.   While the rest of Canada may look upon us as "amateurs",  it’s all a matter of perspective, right?

Here's wishing all of us a great weekend and a better week for Torontonians.  However you want to be comforted, enjoy yourselves!  Here’s two mousse recipes from "FreshnCrunchy’s kitchen"...two choices for weekend desserts or for Valentine’s Day .  These are my versions of Raspberry Mousse and Chocolate Mousse. You may notice that I'm not big on the colour red but I love lilac and all the other shades of pink.   

By the way, the pink card you see is from Angel and Austin.  The dried roses used to be very bright orange when they were first given to me on my birthday  by our friends Ricky and Becki.


Chocolate Mousse
Ingredients: (Preferably Organic)
1 cup raw hazelnuts
1/2 of a medium avocado
5 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut nectar or pure maple syrup 
1 tsp. vanilla powder
1 Tbsp. chia
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 c. filtered water
1/4 cup chopped pistachios for toppings

Grind the hazelnuts and the chia in a Nutribullet (I used this),  Magicbullet or a food processor until it turns into powder.  Transfer into a high speed blender or you can just keep using the Nutribullet if you have one as it does the job very well.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process until very smooth.  Adjust the taste if necessary then transfer the mixture into a glass container and chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two.  Top with pistachios and  enjoy!  This can also be used as an "icing" to your gluten-free muffins or pancakes.


Raspberry Mousse
Ingredients: (Preferably Organic)
2 cups raw cashews soaked for a minimum of 4 hours to overnight
1 cup raspberry
1 cup fresh Cara-cara orange juice ( or regular orange)
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 Tbsp. coconut nectar or pure maple syrup
1/3 cup melted coconut butter (or coconut oil)
1/2 tsp. organic vanilla powder
1/4 cup Goji berries (can be soaked with a bit of water if you prefer it soft and not crunchy)
Place all the ingredients in a high speed blender and process until very smooth.  Adjust the taste if necessary.  Transfer the mixture into a glass container and chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two. Top with Goji berries and enjoy!


Have a Happy Valentine's Day!                                 

Much Wishes,