Gluten-Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Perfect for a healthy breakfast on the run…

Who doesn’t love a healthy grab-n-go breakfast?
This is a super easy make ahead recipe that is perfect for those mornings when you are racing out the door but don’t want to skip a healthy breakfast. One or two of these muffins heated in the microwave and you’ve got a tummy-warming oatmeal breakfast without the mess! Feel free to customize these to your liking, sub out the chocolate chips for raisins or dried cranberries, add a dash of cinnamon or use pumpkin in place of the banana…the options are endless.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients (for 24 muffins):

5 cups gluten-free rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1 tsp. salt

2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

2 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas

5 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup

2 1/3 cup water

5 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375º F. Line 24 muffin cups with silicone liners.

In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, salt and mini chocolate chips. In a separate bowl whisk together mashed banana, sweetener, water, oil and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients, combine thoroughly. Divide evenly into muffin cups. These don’t rise so a heaping 1/4 cup of batter is enough to fill the muffin cup without running over.

Bake for 20 minutes, rotating pans 180º after 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. Freeze in airtight container or plastic freezer bags.

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Grain-Free, Vegan PB&J Bars

Happy National Peanut Butter Day!

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In honor of National Peanut Butter Day I modified one of my favorite dessert bar recipes from Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.  The Raspberry Bar recipe is simply scrumptious as is but today I thought I’d add a little oomph to it…and nothing goes better with jelly (for me, anyways!) than peanut butter!  The original recipe of course calls for Raspberry fruit spread but my favorite is Black Currant so that’s what I used, you can substitute your favorite flavor and any nut butter would work in place of the peanut butter. I replaced the egg in the recipe with a flax egg to make this a vegan-friendly treat as well.  These are great for an on-the-go snack too…I cut them up, wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them, EASY!

PB&J Bars

Crust:

3 cups almond flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Blend the almond flour, salt, coconut oil and vanilla in a food processor or high-speed blender until a smooth dough forms.  Press the dough into a greased 9×13 baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden.  Prepare the topping and measure out the filling while the crust is baking.

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Filling:

1/2 cup peanut butter, room temperature or slightly warmed

1 cup fruit spread

Spread the peanut butter in a thin layer over the hot crust.  Top the peanut butter layer with your favorite fruit spread flavor, spreading evenly.

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Topping:

1 3/4 cups almond flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 Tbsp. coconut nectar

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp. flax meal mixed with 2 Tbsp. warm water…allow to thicken)

1 cup sliced almonds

Combine the almond flour, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Stir in the coconut oil, coconut nectar and flax egg.  Gently fold in the almond slices.  Distribute the topping evenly over the fruit spread layer, pressing it down slightly with the back of a spoon.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until the topping its lightly golden brown.  Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour and then refrigerate.  Cut into bars and serve.  Makes 18-24 servings.

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This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Fridays, Gluten-Free Fridays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays ,Wheat Free Wednesdays

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

I love sweet potato fries.  I don’t eat out much, well hardly at all really, and only at a handful of local restaurants.  One of my favorite places to eat used to be California Cafe in Denver because they had a lovely gluten-free menu, used local and seasonal ingredients and had the best fresh, hand cut sweet potato fries, ever.  It was a sad day for me when they closed!  I’ve tried many different methods of cooking, frying and baking sweet potatoes to recreate the light crispy texture of those wonderful fries at California Cafe but never could get it just right…until now.  Double frying is definitely the secret to getting a crispy fry that is still light and fluffy on the inside.  This is really a process but totally worth it.  If you don’t have the time or the patience for frying I also have perfected the oven-baking method too and I have included the instructions for that as well!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
  • coconut oil, for frying or baking
  • sea salt, for sprinkling
  • Ketchup and sour cream, for serving

Directions

Peel and rinse the sweet potatoes. Cut each potato lengthwise into 4 or 5 pieces, then cut each piece into sticks. The thinner these are, the crispier they will be. Place the fries in a large bowl. Cover with cold water, then allow them to soak 2 or 3 hours (or you can stick them in the fridge and let them soak overnight).

When you’re ready to make the fries, drain the water and lay the potatoes on 2 baking sheets lined with paper towels. Blot with paper towels to dry.  Place the patted dry sweet potatoes into a dry bowl and sprinkle with the arrowroot powder and toss the potatoes to coat evenly.

For Frying:

Heat a few inches of coconut oil to 300° F in a heavy pot. In 3 or 4 batches, fry the potatoes about 4 to 5 minutes per batch, or until soft. They should not be brown at all at this point-you just want to start the cooking process. Remove each batch and drain them on new, dry paper towels or a brown paper bag.

Once all the potatoes have been fried at 300 degrees F, turn up the heat until the oil temperature reaches 400 degrees F. When the oil is hot, start frying the potatoes in batches again, cooking until golden and crisp. Remove from the oil and drain on fresh paper towels or a fresh brown paper bag. Sprinkle the fries with sea salt and serve with the ketchup and sour cream for dipping.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

For Baking:

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the patted dry sweet potatoes into a dry bowl and sprinkle with the arrowroot powder and toss the potatoes to coat evenly.  Once the potatoes are coated with the arrowroot, drizzle with 2 Tbsp. of melted coconut oil again tossing to coat evenly, sprinkle with sea salt.  Spread the sweet potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer making sure not to overcrowd, use two baking sheets if necessary.  Bake for 45-50 minutes, turning occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are crispy and browned.  Let cool on the pan for a few minutes before serving.

This recipe is shared at:

Made From Scratch Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, Gluten-Free Fridays, Foodie Friends Friday

Crispy Delicata Squash Fries

Crispy Delicata Squash Fries…so tasty.

Winter squash seem to be EVERYWHERE these days and I couldn’t be happier!  This is a super easy and quick recipe that makes a comforting side dish for any meal…I love to roast pretty much any squash but I especially like the Delicata since the skin is edible, no peeling necessary!!!

Delicata Squash Fries

2 Delicata Squash

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  With a sharp knife cut squash in half and remove the seeds.  Slice the squash into 1/4″ pieces.

Seeded and sliced delicata squash

Place squash in a large mixing bowl and toss with coconut oil and salt and pepper to coat.

Place coated squash on the parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes, turning all the squash halfway through baking.  Once the squash is browned and crispy, remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt.  Serve immediately.

Hot out of the oven.

This recipe is shared at:

Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Fill Those Jars Fridays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, Gluten-Free MondayGluten-Free Wednesdays , Gluten Free Fridays

Mini Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

My very first job ever was at The Chocolate Chip Cookie Factory in Collin Creek Mall when I was 14 years old.  One of my favorite things to bake (and eat) when I worked there were the mini varieties of our most popular cookies.  We sold them by the half and bakers dozens and served them in a fun parchment paper cone to eat on the go!  What a treat to recreate this fond memory with much healthier ingredients…I loved cookies then and I love cookies now, especially ones that are gluten, grain and refined sugar-free.

Mini cookies in a paper cone…just like I remember them!

Mini Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

1 1/4 cup blanched almond flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted

1/4 cup coconut nectar, maple syrup or honey

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a large mixing bowl sift together almond flour, sea salt and baking soda.  In a smaller bowl whisk together coconut oil, coconut nectar and vanilla.  Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir in chocolate chips and pecans.  Drop by 1/2 Tbsp measure onto parchment and slightly flatten.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.  Enjoy!

Makes 24 bite-sized cookies.

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday

Made From Scratch Monday

Grain-Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Maple Drizzle

Grain-Free Coffee Cake with Maple Drizzle

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for me…no matter what time of day I eat it.  I generally like to have bacon and eggs, omelets, frittatas or sometimes even coconut pancakes but every once in a while on the weekends or for holidays a nice sweet treat served with homemade spicy sausage is where it is at!  This recipe is adapted from one in Elana Amsterdam’s Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook and is truly the best gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free coffee cake I’ve ever eaten…as a matter of fact it is better than any coffee cake I’ve ever had that was full of sugar, gluten and grain!!!

This past Friday was my mom’s birthday followed by Mother’s Day on Sunday so I thought I’d treat my mom, dad and husband (and let’s be honest…ME, too) to a fun, decadent breakfast dessert…and it really hit the spot!

Out of the oven…resting.

Grain-Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake (makes 9-12 servings):

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Topping:
3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil, melted
6 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 cup sliced almonds or chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish or pan with butter or coconut oil and lightly dust with almond flour.

To make the cake:

Combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda, pecans and raisins in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter or coconut oil, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla.  Make a well inside the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined, the batter will be very thick.  Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish. Using a spatula, gently push the batter into place making it as level as possible.

To make the topping:

Combine cinnamon, butter or coconut oil, maple syrup and pecans or almonds in a bowl.  Spread the topping over the cake batter. 

Bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 1 hour on a wire rack.  Slice cake into squares and drizzle with Maple Frosting before serving.

This cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.  Once you drizzle it, store it in the fridge.

Maple Drizzle:

3/4 cup coconut butter

1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or more to taste)

1/4-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, almond milk, or coconut milk

pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, heat all ingredients over medium-low heat, stir until well combined.  Consistency should be thin enough to drizzle over the coffee cake.

***If you eat dairy and prefer a maple cream cheese drizzle…substitute 4 ounces softened cream cheese for the coconut butter and reduce the heavy cream to 2 Tbsp.-1/4 cup and blend in a small bowl with a hand mixer until smooth.  Again the consistency should be thin enough to drizzle***

This coffee cake is delightful with or without the drizzle.

This recipe is shared at: Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays, Fight Back Friday, Beyond the Peel

No drizzle necessary for complete yummi-ness!

But then again…why not just go for it!

Banana Walnut Pancakes

Banana Walnut Pancakes with Maple Syrup

Sometimes you just gotta have pancakes.

Well, I do anyways.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day…no matter what time I eat it!  I don’t make pancakes all that often, usually only for a special occasion breakfast (think…birthday or holiday) but tonight I just felt like having a comforting meal.  Shannon at Nourishing Days has created the absolute best recipe for Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes I’ve ever tried…I’ve made this recipe dozens of times using both coconut milk and heavy cream and they always turn out great!  Below I’ve posted the recipe I use regularly, which is her original recipe halved with a touch of cinnamon added.  If you do have leftovers they freeze well.  My favorite topping for pancakes or waffles will always be maple syrup, bananas and walnuts, I rarely stray from that combo but you could top your pancakes with anything you like…or they are even great with just a dollop of butter or drizzle of coconut butter!

 Coconut Flour Pancakes (makes 6-8 pancakes)

2 eggs

1/2 cup coconut milk or heavy cream

1/2 Tbsp. coconut nectar or honey (optional)

1/2 Tbsp. vanilla

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. sea salt

coconut oil or butter for the pan

  1. Preheat griddle over medium-low heat. In a small bowl beat eggs until frothy, about two minutes. Mix in milk, vanilla, and sweetener.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt and whisk together. Stir wet mixture into dry until coconut flour is incorporated.
  3. Grease pan with butter or coconut oil. Ladle a few tablespoons of batter into pan for each pancake. Spread out slightly with the back of a spoon. The pancakes should be 2-3 inches in diameter and fairly thick. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until the tops dry out slightly and the bottoms start to brown. Flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Serve hot with butter, coconut oil, honey, syrup, or fruit.

This recipe is shared at:

Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fight Back Friday

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

Who doesn't love a big pile of cookies?

Dark Chocolate Macadamia Cookies (makes 24 cookies)

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

6 Tbsp. coconut nectar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups almond flour

1 cup shredded coconut

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  In a large bowl combine almond flour, coconut, sea salt and baking soda.  In a separate bowl whisk together coconut oil, coconut nectar and vanilla.  Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until thoroughly combined, stir in chopped macadamia nuts and dark chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheets about 2″ apart.  The dough may seem slightly crumbly, just press it together and flatten it once on the cookie sheet, they will hold together once baked.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are slightly brown on top.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  Although these cookies are excellent warm they really are best after they are completely cooled and in my opinion even better on day two!  Store in an air tight container.

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love, Wellness Weekend, Make Ahead Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

The Perfect Paleo Biscuit…

Light and Fluffy

I don’t know about you but I’ve always been terrified of making biscuits.  There is always so many steps and requirements no matter what recipe you choose…cold butter, floured board, fold the dough but don’t handle it too much, rolling, patting, cutting, resting…yikes, too much room for error for me.  So, when we were a wheat (and processed food) eating family I would just pop open one of those cans of ready-to-cook flaky buttermilk biscuits…hard to mess them up unless you forgot to set the oven timer!  I’ve seen many gluten or grain-free biscuit recipes over the years but that fear of the whole “biscuit making process” has kept me from trying any of them out…until this week.  To my surprise, they are so easy!  This recipe uses just 6 ingredients and you literally only have a few steps to follow.  These biscuits make a great addition to any meal and they are wonderful for making quick and easy breakfast sandwiches.  I’ve made them several times now and they have turned out perfectly each time!

Ham, Avocado and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

The Perfect Paleo Biscuit

Makes 9 biscuits

6 egg whites

3/4 cup blanched almond flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, chilled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Mix almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder and salt together in a large mixing bowl.  Cut in cold coconut oil with a fork until the mixture is crumbly.  Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.  In a medium bowl whisk egg whites until they are very frothy.  Fold the egg whites into the chilled flour mixture until well combined.  Scoop about 1/4 cup of dough onto the baking sheet and smooth the top to form each biscuits, an ice cream scoop works well in this step.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.  Serve warm or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Ready for the oven...

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Muffins

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Muffins

Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love the bright colors outside when the leaves begin to change, the warm smells in the kitchen of seasonal vegetables roasting and the crisp feeling of the chilly air when taking the dog for a walk in the afternoon sunshine…oh and November is my birthday month (only child syndrome!).  Growing up everyone in my family loved Pumpkin Pie with Cool Whip at Thanksgiving…not me, I was a Pecan Pie and vanilla ice cream girl.  My taste for all things pumpkin didn’t develop until later in life but now I simply cannot get enough of it…pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie…the list is practically endless.  Several years ago I found a recipe for the ultimate Thanksgiving dessert, Pumpkin Pecan Pie…it’s my new favorite but since following a paleo/primal diet I haven’t tried to adapt the recipe yet (don’t worry, the recipe WILL be adapted and posted before Thanksgiving this year!).  I started my fall baking this season with these wonderful Pumpkin Pecan Pie Muffins…they are fruit sweetened, dairy free and great for breakfast, snack and even dessert!

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Muffins

Makes about 24 muffins

2 large ripe bananas

1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted and soaked (about 6-8 dates)

5 eggs

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh roasted)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 /2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or more/less according to your taste)

1/2 cup of pecans, chopped

24 pecan halves (optional, for topping)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease well with coconut oil.
  2. Place pitted dates in a bowl, cover with very hot water and soak for about 10 minutes, drain well after soaking.
  3. To a blender add bananas, pumpkin, dates, vanilla, eggs, and melted coconut oil.  Puree until smooth.
  4. Sift all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  5. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until there are no lumps.
  6. Stir in chopped pecans.
  7. Divide evenly between the muffin cups (I use an ice cream scoop which is about 1/4 cup of batter).
  8. Place one pecan half on top of each muffin.
  9.  Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Let cool completely on rack before serving.

Recipe Tips…

  • If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice add: 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cloves instead
  • You could omit the coconut oil and add and extra 1/4 cup of pumpkin
  • Make these an even more decadent dessert by adding 1/2 cup 70% (or greater) dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs for a completely sugar-free recipe
  • Top with a dollop of whipped coconut cream or if you tolerate dairy a dollop of fresh whipped cream

Enjoy the taste of pumpkin pecan pie everyday, guilt-free!

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday

Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday

Gluten-Free Wednesdays, This Chick Cooks

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