Chocolate Tangerine Marble Cake

It’s the week leading up to Chinese New Year! Chances are, you’re already seeing markets overflowing with brightly coloured tangerines (or Mandarin oranges). These sweet, zesty fruits are a central feature in Chinese culture as they symbolize ‘Gold’, and are often given as gifts or offered to guests during the visiting that goes on in the festive season.

Today’s recipe features this bright and flavourful fruit in an unconventional way…we swirled it into a cake! Like a traditional marble cake, the end product is beautiful to look at. But unlike a traditional marble cake, this recipe uses only whole wheat flour and does not contain butter, refined sugar, or artificial flavourings!

Perfect for delighting your guests or giving as a unique gift while still honouring traditional Chinese culture.

Chocolate Tangerine Marble Cake with Chinese New Year Decorations

Chocolate Tangerine Marble Cake

Recipe by Keikei Yip

Ingredients

Chocolate Filling:
1⁄2 Cup Soy Milk
1⁄2 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1⁄2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
21⁄2 Tbsp Cacao Powder
1⁄4 Tsp Baking Soda
1⁄4 Tsp Baking Powder
1/8 Tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
1⁄4 Cup Coconut Sugar
2 Tbsp Light Olive Oil
1⁄2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Drops Liquid Chocolate Stevia (Optional)

Orange Filling:
1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Whole Wheat Flour
1⁄4 Tsp Baking Soda
1⁄4 Tsp Baking Powder
1/8 Tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
2 Tbsp Light (Golden) Coconut Sugar
2 Tbsp Stevia Sugar
2 Tbsp Light Olive Oil
1⁄2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Fresh Tangerine Juice
1⁄2 Cup Tangerine Puree
Zest of 1 large tangerine

Chocolate Tangerine Marble Cake with a slice removed with fresh tangerines

Instructions:

Chocolate Filling:
1. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line the bottom of a 6” cake tin with parchment paper, or lightly oil the sides of the cake tin with olive oil.

2. In a bowl, mix together soy milk and apple cider vinegar, set it aside to curd.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder, and Himalayan salt.

4. Add the coconut sugar, light olive oil, and vanilla extract into the soy milk mixture. Mix them together until all the sugar has dissolved.

5. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and add in the wet ingredients. Whisk until well incorporated and set aside.

Orange Filling:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder, and Himalayan salt.

2. In another bowl, mix together the orange puree, coconut sugar, stevia sugar, light olive oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until all the sugar has dissolved.

3. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and add in the wet ingredients. Whisk until well incorporated.

4. The consistency should be similar to that of the chocolate filling, if it looks too dry, add a tbsp of fresh orange juice at a time until desired consistency is reached.

5. Finally, add in the tangerine zest and mix until just incorporated.

Assembling the cake:
In the lined/oiled cake tin, add 2 Tbsp of orange filling into the middle of the tin, followed by 2 Tbsp of Chocolate filling. Keep alternating between the two fillings until they are used up.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 30-40 minutes. The cake is ready when a toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate Tangerine Marble Cake Batter assembly by layering chocolate and tangerine batters

And that’s it! Easy, delicious, and a super fun twist on traditional Chinese tangerines this Chinese New Year. Gong Xi Fa Cai to all Grazers, and have a Happy New Year!

Chocolate Tangerine Marble Cake on wooden platter with Chinese New Year Decorations

Don’t forget to order your healthy treats for Chinese New Year from our Amazin’ CNY page! They won’t be around for much longer!

Sticky
January 23, 2017

Matcha Almond Cookies (抹茶杏仁餅)

Good friendships are so often taken for granted. We all have friends who we know are always there – but they become such a comfortable presence that we forget to stop and appreciate what they truly mean to us.

Often, it takes a major event to remind us what good friends we have. But wouldn’t it be better if we chose to show them, in various little ways, how much we value their friendship?

Write a note, buy them a meal, spend some good quality one-on-one time with them…or bake them some delicious healthy cookies as a I-Treasure-You gift!

Matcha Almond Cookies in floral shapes on white doilies on wooden table

These Matcha Almond Cookies are a healthy twist on the popular Macau favourite. We’ve added antioxidant-rich Matcha powder for a pop of colour and flavour, and substituted the traditional butter for healthier coconut oil. Bonus: They’re super simple to make!

We’ve used fancy moulds to get our cookies looking flowery – but feel free to use any moulds you have lying around! Or simply press the dough into some standard muffin cups and let the cookies’ deliciousness speak for themselves!

Matcha Almond Cookies (抹茶杏仁餅)

Recipe by Keikei Yip

Ingredients:

90 g mung bean flour
70 g almond flour
10 g matcha powder
40 g coconut sugar
2 tsp water
50 g coconut oil (solid)
Few drops liquid Stevia (to taste)

Matcha Almond Cookies - Green-coloured batter in mixing bowl with electric mixer and packet of matcha in the background

Image source: Food blog

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C.

2. In a bowl, combine together mung bean flour, almond flour, and matcha powder.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together coconut sugar and water until dissolved.

4. Add the solid coconut oil into the coconut sugar mixture, and mix until no large coconut oil pieces can be seen.

5. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix together with your hands. The mixture should be crumbly.

6. Add in a few drops of liquid stevia for a sweeter cookie.

7. Press the dough into a cookie mould/mooncake mould/muffin cups and pack it in tightly.

8. Flip the mould around and gently tap on it to release the cookie onto a baking tray lined with a sheet of baking paper.

9. Repeat until all the dough is used up.

10. Bake cookies in oven for 10 mins at 140 degrees C, then lower temperature to 120 degrees C and bake another 30-40 minutes, until the cookies have dried out.

11. Pack cookies into nice bundles or jars and tie with a ribbon as a gift (and keep a few for yourself..we won’t tell)!

Matcha Almond Cookies in stacks tied with string

Image source: The Loop

And that’s it! Take the time to treasure your friends with these unique cookies, and don’t forget to read more about how we’re celebrating all of life’s treasures over on our Amazin’ CNY page!

Sticky
January 13, 2017

A How-To Guide on Guilt-Free Festive Eating!

Well, the Christmas season is officially over! We’ve survived temptations, made healthy New Year’s Resolutions, and now we have a whole year ahead until the next season of overindulgence…right?

 

Calendar showing January against wooden background

Image source: tlcjenera.org

Hah! Fat chance (pun intended). In a few short weeks, Chinese New Year will be upon us..and we all know what that means.

In the face of those tasty Chinese New Year treats, it’s so easy for our good resolutions to fall apart. We say things like “just a little bit”, or “it’s only once a year!” and before we know it, we’re left feeling so very stuffed and so very guilty.

Angled view of girl's torso with hands over stomach

Image source: Mirror

What if you chose to make this year different? To stay on track and to be proud of how you handled the festive season?

Sounds ideal but impossible? Here’s a quick how-to guide on guilt-free festive eating!

Be realistic

First, set realistic expectations. It’s a celebration – you want to (and should) enjoy it. But you know you don’t want to let all your healthy plans fall by the wayside, either.

So, avoid the all-or-nothing outlook. It’s not all health or all junk. Accept that your diet plan will not look perfect over the festive season – but that you’ll still be in control over your overall intake.

Yellow signpost saying "Reality Check Ahead" against blue sky with clouds

Image source: crisismagazine.com

Drink plenty of calorie-free beverages

A good place to start is by keeping yourself hydrated. Besides being good for your overall health, filling up on fluids can also keep you from overeating.

However, do choose to drink plain, calorie-free drinks like water, plain teas (flower teas, Chinese teas, or fruit teas), and plain soda water. If forced to take a sweetened beverage (hosts can be annoyingly persistent), dilute it with plain water or lots of ice to make it last longer. Remember, liquid calories are really easy to consume and can add up quickly.

Oriental pot with three porcelain cups of clear tea with wooden container of tea leaves on bamboo placemats

Image source: Ging Tea House

Eat before the party

It’s often tempting to skip a meal or “eat light” when you know you’re going to be eating a lot later in the day. After all, you’re saving calories now so that you can fill up later, right?

Wrong. In fact, going to a function hungry means you will eat way more than your fair share of food – and, it is likely to be food that is high in calories, fat, and sugar.

A better strategy is to have a normal, balanced meal or a well-timed snack before you head out. Without the distraction of a rumbling stomach, you’re more likely to be able to keep your intake in check.

Image source: Pinterest

Use small plates

A simple hack that will trick your mind into thinking you’re eating more than you actually are! You’ll feel fuller and more satisfied..just because your plate looks fuller!

You’ll also be limited in the amount of food you can load up on at one time, so you’ll have more opportunities to evaluate whether or not you really need another round of food.

Comparison of two white plates (one bigger and one smaller), both with fish fingers, french fries, and peas on wooden table

Image source: news.islandcrisis.net

Make smart decisions

Chances are, you’ll be visiting house-to-house this Chinese New Year. And chances are, these houses will have reasonably similar foods to offer. So, try to spread your intake out instead of loading up on anything and everything at each house. Tarts now, ba kwa later…

This will also give your body time to digest and handle the nutrients you are consuming, rather than having a sudden rush of sugar and fat into the bloodstream!

Chinese New Year Tidbits - layer cake, pineapple tarts, love letters, prawn spring rolls

Image source: Shop and Box

So let’s make this year different, shall we? Let’s choose to care for our health throughout the festivities, as health is a true treasure in life that can’t be put aside just for instant gratification.

And don’t forget to visit our Amazin’ Chinese New Year page to learn more about celebrating life’s treasures (and pick up some Limited Edition healthy treats in the process)!

Ginger Sesame Nut Mix in a bowl eith fresh ginger and chia seeds surrounding

Sticky
January 09, 2017

How to Become a Happier Person…Using Only Your Mind!

Ever catch yourself thinking “If I could only have ________, I would be happy”?

Notepad with the word "WISHLIST" written at the top of the page with a keyboard in the background

Image source: SPARK Experience

I catch myself thinking that all the time. And it takes effort to remind myself that my true happiness can never be dependent on one item, one event, or even one person.

But it can be dependent on one action: appreciation.

Man with arms raised silhouetted against sunset and water landscape

Image source: Choose Your PACE

Research has shown time and again that appreciation (or gratitude) is the one consistent path to happiness. And it doesn’t cost a thing.

The concept is simple – take the time to be thankful for the things that you have, and stop looking at the things you don’t. In reality though, this is much harder to accomplish.

After all, ‘thankfulness’ is an abstract concept. It’s a feeling. How can we make ourselves feel something we don’t?

By turning it into an action, that’s how. Practice these actions, and gratitude and happiness will naturally follow!

Little girl in white dress in field holding red, green, yellow, and blue balloons

Image source: Give Me Mora

Say “Thank you”..to yourself.

If you’re like me, you say “Thank you” all the time. To waiters, Uber drivers, the person who lends you a pen. It’s a good thing to do, and it’s basic good manners.

But few people take the time to thank themselves. It seems silly, but it’s not. We are faced with choices each day, and when we make good ones, they should be appreciated…even if it’s by our own selves.

Made a healthy food choice? “Thank you for taking steps to keep my body healthy”. Went to bed early to get enough sleep? “Thank you for re-energizing me for a busy day ahead”.

It’s simple, but effective!

Black and white photo of baby kissing his reflecting in glass of window

Image source: Pinterest

Add a silver lining

Complaining is addictive. It feels good to vent – and sometimes, it can be a good thing to let negativity out instead of bottling it up. However, constant complaining can cause you to focus on the bad side of things, and worsen feelings of dissatisfaction.

If you catch yourself complaining all the time and can’t seem to stop, try adding something positive at the end of each complaint. A ‘silver lining’, if you will. This can keep you grounded in the fact that it’s not all bad, and there are still things to appreciate and be thankful for.

Landscape of trees and water with rays of light shining from behind large cloud in the sky

Image source: Bottomlinecoaching.ca

Do a daily positive recap

This one is simple – take the time to reflect on the day you’ve had, and pick things to be grateful for. Try to pick different things daily, and if possible, pick things that are unique to the day you had.

You can also try to be as specific as possible – for example, instead of choosing to be grateful for “Health”, you could choose to be grateful for your healthy legs that allowed you to walk to work that day. Or perhaps healthy ears that allowed you to hear your favourite song on the radio.

Over time, you will have accumulated a multitude of things to be appreciative of!

Lined notepad paper with the words "I am grateful" handwritten on one line

Image source: Grace Belgravia

Make a gratitude display

Making a conscious effort to be thankful is always good. However, you can also trigger more spontaneous feelings of gratitude by creating a gratitude display! It can be anything – pictures, words, post-it notes, ticket stubs..anything that can represent the things in your life you are thankful for.

Then, put your display in a place you will be able to see it every day – on your bedroom wall, bathroom mirror, computer desktop, or office cork board. Every time you catch sight of the display, you will be reminded of the things you appreciate – and that is happiness itself!

Don’t forget to continuously update the display as well, so it doesn’t start to blend into the background.

Wall display in the shape of a tree with gold branches and flowers with framed pictures and memorabilia hung throughout

Image source: Your Home

So Grazers, it’s a new year, and it’s time for a happier you! So join us on our journey of appreciation this Chinese New Year, where we’re all about treasuring the things in life that truly matter…and becoming happier in the process!

Granola with red dates, almonds, goji berries, walnuts, and longan in a bowl with a pink flower

 

Sticky
January 03, 2017