The Laaracino

I don’t come from a family of coffee drinkers or even tea drinkers for that matter.  Just water and milk when I was growing up.  But that would change when my Dad spent some time in France studying French, it was there that he got accustomed to drinking coffee.  Not too long after that Dad took my brother and I on our first European trip.  It was in Paris where Dad encouraged me to have my first cappuccino.  As a teenager obsessed with Vogue magazine, it seemed like this cup of creamy, foamy coffee was the perfect entry point into the world of Catherine Deneuve, Chanel, the Concorde.

Since then, I will have the occasional latte when going out for coffee.  My husband has learned that drinking coffee has all sorts of benefits such as reducing the risk of diabetes, staving off Alzheimer’s disease, it may also be helpful to those suffering from depression.  So now we make coffee at home a few times a week.

My Dad is Mr. Health, and his knowledge and lifestyle has influenced how I eat and take care of myself.  So when I found a whole stack of McCafe coffee cups on his kitchen counter I knew I was on the right track.  One night after family dinner we ended up at Dairy Queen, and my Dad was the first one to order and I was wondering what he could be getting, because he doesn’t eat ice cream, or anything sugary.  Then we saw him picking up 3 cups of coffee, and I thought, “Strange, why three?”  None of us drink coffee after dinner.  So when I asked about it, he said, he paid for one and got 2 refills, to drink in the next day or two.  Is my Dad smart or what?

I have inherited my frugalness from my Dad.  Every year I will allow myself one Frappacino for the whole summer.  But very rarely do I ever take myself up on that offer.  First of all, it’s an expensive drink that is mostly crushed ice.  And, if I want it to taste good, there’s going to be tons of sugary syrup.  So I have come up with my own version, thus naming it after myself.  My version is dairy free, gluten free, sugar free and has superfoods. One thing about coffee is that it can inhibit absorption of vitamins and minerals, so for those who have a morning coffee, take your supplements an hour away from it. Because of this my Laaracino actually does not have coffee in it.  I do not miss the coffee taste because the maca, malt and the cocoa satisfies my coffee loving taste buds.  But by all means add coffee to my Laaracino, if that is what pleases you.


Laaricino 3 Kake2kale

The superfoods in my Laaracino:
Cocoa – High in vitamin B’s and magnesium, both of which supports the nervous system. It also has phenylethylamine, which stirs up happy feelings, and releases stress. Cacao has an even higher amount of antioxidants than blueberries.
Maca – This root from Peru has lots of nutrients, but it is mainly known for increasing cognitive function, libido, energy levels. It is also an adaptogen which means it helps the bring the body into balance.  For instance, when the body in under stress, maca helps support the adrenal glands to deal with the stress.
Coconut oil –Has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic properties and contains lauric acid which is found in mother’s milk. Breast-fed babies are better able to fend off infections than babies not given mother’s milk.
Vanilla powder – This is simply the seeds that are inside the vanilla pods. They contain a phytochemical called vanilloid that reduces inflammation and improves brain function.
Cinnamon – Can be beneficial for reducing risk from diabetes and heart disease.
Laaricino Kake2Kale

Laaracino serves 2

  • 2 cups almond milk (or any type of milk)
  • 2 t. maca powder
  • 2 T. malt powder, gluten free if made from rice (optional)
  • 4 T. cocoa powder
  • 2 T. coconut oil
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1  t. vanilla powder
  • 5 drops stevia (or other type of sweetener)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 cups of ice


  • Put all the ingredients in a good blender, whiz until the ice has been blended and serve in two frosty glasses.
  • Feel free to experiment with this recipe and make it your own, ie. add a banana, frozen yogurt, liquer, coffee if you must, you get the idea.

*You may wonder if it is possible to substitute vanilla extract for the vanilla powder, I haven’t simply because extract wouldn’t be as nutritious as the powder.  If any of you do make this with the extract let me know how it goes.

Eat healthy, live great! – {Kake}

Laaricino 2 Kake2Kale

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

I will be forever grateful to whoever was the first person to combine chocolate and peanut butter.   The classic pairing that found its way into my mouth by way of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups when I was a child, still has a special place in my heart.  When our family first immigrated to Canada I remember tasting peanut butter and almost gagged.  I wasn’t used to the texture, and taste, because it wasn’t popular in Hong Kong at all. Over time Mom got me to eat it in PBJ sandwiches, but the combo of chocolate and peanut butter made it much more palatable.

Having a Peanut Butter (PB) cup always brings me back to my happy place; savouring one and listening to my Elton John’s Yellow Brick Road cassette tape and not caring that other kids were playing with their friends, while my friend was my piano.  Our family moved a lot so making friends was always a challenge for me since I was usually the only non-white kid in the class.  Are you playing a tiny violin now for me?  No need, because now I have friends, and not just my piano, and I get to eat home-made-good-for-you PB cups, YAY for me!!

It seems that peanut butter has fallen out of favour, since so many people have developed allergies to it.  So, for those of you who are allergic or are partial to almond butter, by all means, replace peanut butter with almond butter, or any other nut butter that you have on hand. How can I indulge in this treat but do away with the sugar and up the health quotient?  Make it with superfoods of course, and in my recipe they are:

Coconut oil – Gives healthy fat burning benefits.
Dark Chocolate – Contains antioxidants and magnesium which can help with lowering blood pressure.
Maca – Increases energy, helps the body handle stress and contains antioxidants.
Peanuts – Contains protein, vitamin E and resveratrol (also in red wine).

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Kake2Kale

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups makes 10 mini cups

  •     2/3 c. dark chocolate chips
  •     ¼ c. peanut butter (or almond butter)
  •     1 T. coconut oil
  •     2/3 t. maca
  •     *Maldon sea salt


  • Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler.
  • While chocolate chips are melting, stir the rest of the ingredients together, except for the sea salt.  Set the filling aside.
  • Coat silicone 10 mini muffin cups with a layer of melted chocolate, make sure the chocolate goes up the sides about 2/3 of the way. You should only be using half of the chocolate. Then put in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Then fill each cup with the filling.  Freeze for 10 minutes.
  • Then with a small spoon, put a dollop of chocolate over the filling and smooth it out.  Then sprinkle a little Maldon sea salt on top.
  • Put back in the freezer to set.  These should be stored in there until they are ready to be eaten.

*If you don’t have Maldon sea salt, then put a pinch of regular sea salt in the filling, or you can leave it out altogether.
For more benefits of the superfoods in this recipe look them up in our superfoods list.

Eat healthy, live great! -{Kake}

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup 2 Kake2Kale