Thursday, October 31, 2013

4 Ingredient Cookies: Happy Halloween!

Whether it's a snack, dessert, or breakfast, this simple healthy cookie is made start to finish in under 20 minutes, with just 4 simple healthy ingredients.  It's a great way to use up ripe bananas and add in more of that fall season favorite combo: pumpkin and cinnamon.

4 Ingredient Cookies

In a large bowl, mash 2 overripe bananas.  Add in 1 cup gluten-free quick oats, 1/3 cup pumpkin and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Combine, and spoon into little mounds on a silpat-lined or greased cookie sheet.  

Yields 14-16 cookies.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Naturally sweet from the bananas, this little treat is bringing it back to the basics.  Quick tip if you only have rolled oats: food process them, pulsing a few times to yield quick oats.  So simple, and so good!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Garbanzo Bean Cookies

This is a variation on my beloved Chickpea Chocolate Chips Cookies, sans chocolate and added pumpkin and spices, with a bit less sunflower seed butter.  Equally good and maybe even healthier with the added nutrients from canned or fresh cooked pureed pumpkin folded into the creamy batter.  A great Halloween-time treat!

Pumpkin Spice Garbanzo Bean Cookies
Yields 1 ½ dozen


1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed (about 1-1/4 cups)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup sunflower seed butter
1/3 cup pumpkin
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons water, if needed


1.  For best results, "skin" beans--rinse them under hot water and gently rub off the translucent skin.  This will help the beans fold seamlessly into the cookies, lending a creamy texture but no discernable taste.
2.  Puree beans in the food processor, then add all the remaining ingredients.  Add water in slowly if the batter is too thick.
3.  Spoon out little mounds on a non-stick baking tray liner or wax paper atop cookie sheets.  Bake 10 minutes or until cookies are soft but cooked through.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sweet and Spiced Acorn Squash


I know, it's not a dessert...but the nutmeg makes it smell and slightly taste as such.  This fragrant and filling winter squash dish actually satisfied my sweet craving as well as provided a nutritious and light yet filling autumn meal.

Roasted Acorn Squash and Brussel Sprouts
yields two cookie sheets of roasted veggies


2 medium large acorn squash
1 large onion
1-1/2 lbs brussel sprouts
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Monday, October 14, 2013

Gluten-Free Vegan Crispy Mocha Cookies


 So I set about making gluten-free vegan crispy thin-mint-esque cookies only to find I had vanilla, chocolate, ginger, anise and maple extract, but no mint.  So I decided to use strong coffee and make a crispy mocha cookie.  It turned into quite a delicious crisp cookie and is a great pick-me-up for that afternoon lull.  I made my cookies quite tiny, though any shape/size will work well.  Hint: the thinner you roll the dough, the crispier the cookie.  Cheers!

Gluten-Free Vegan Crispy Mocha Cookies

Makes approximately 4 dozen


Cookie Base:
¾  cup buckwheat flour
¼ cup coconut flour 
3 tablespoons cacao powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
2-3  tablespoons strong brewed coffee or espresso, cooled
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Chocolate Coating:
½ cup nondairy chocolate chips, melted


1.     Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2.     Sift the ground buckwheat flour, coconut flour, cacao powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl.
3.     Mix in the maple syrup, coconut oil, and strong coffee.  Add just enough coconut milk to make a dough that is well combined: not crumbly, but not sticky.
4.     Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and place the dough on top.
5.     Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough, and press the dough out into a circle.

6.     Take a rolling pin, and roll out the dough until it is about 1/8- to 1/4-inches thick and use your desired cookie cutter shape: I chose little heart and leaf cutters.

8.     Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. They should be slightly firm to the touch and will crisp up more as they cool.

9.     Melt the nondairy chips for the chocolate coating and dip the cooled cookies into the chocolate, covering as much of the surface of the cookie as possible, then set them on a wire rack or wax paper to set.

11.   Place the coated cookies into the freezer or fridge to harden more.

I do believe if you omitted the coffee, adding a bit more coconut milk or water and added 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons mint extract, it would create a lovely thin mint type of cookie.  I'll have to let you know next time!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The ever popular and highly coveted Gluten-Free Fig Oat Bars

My Gluten-Free Vegan Fig Oat Bars are frequently requested, and I've probably made the recipe a hundred times since developing it last year.  The recipe has several steps and is a little more complicated than some of my other simple raw recipes.  It's worth it though, and one of those recipes that don't actually taste vegan or gluten-free, and is a good way to sneak someone a healthy dessert or breakfast.

The bars also freeze well, so feel free to pop half the pan in the freezer to enjoy at a later day.  Definitely delicious with tea or coffee and makes a great brunch addition!

Gluten-Free Fig Oat Bars


For Filling:

12 dried figs
6 dates
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup

For Batter:

2 cups gluten-free oats
2 cups gluten-free flour (I used garbanzo bean flour, coconut flour and buckwheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
2 tablespoons protein powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 mashed banana
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup (for a sweeter recipe, feel free to use slightly more)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk


For Filling:

1.  Heat figs in a small saucepan until tender and soft.  Food process all filling ingredients, set aside.

For Batter:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a glass baking dish (9x12") with parchment paper or coconut oil.
2.  In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients (flour, oats, protein powder if using and cinnamon).
In a small bowl, whisk nondairy milk, applesauce, oil and mashed fruit. 
3.  Fold wet ingredients into dry.
4.  Layer half the mixture in the bottom of the baking dish.  Spread the fig filling on top.  

Finish off with the rest of the batter.

5.  Bake for 22-28 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Banana Maple Soft Serve & Smoothie Recipe using So Delicious Coconut Milk

Yet more creations for the company that produces the best coconut milk: So Delicious.  Long before I realized the many recipe contests they host such as this one, I became commited to using their coconut milk for the creaminess and taste that surpasses every other brand I've tried.  Go ahead, give these two recipes a shot; you'll be amazed.

Both of these recipes are entered into the "Sweet" category of the March Recipe Madness Contest, but you might be delighted to know that both recipes are quite healthy despite their sweetness, and are suitable for almost any dietary restriction or lifestyle.

These recipe is so easy, it's ridiculous.  This banana maple soft serve recipe literally takes less than 5 minutes to make, and you get to enjoy it immediately, so it's a great quick dessert.  For even more nutrients, add in the optional maca powder.

Banana Maple Soft Serve
Serves 2


2 ripe bananas, frozen
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/3 cup So Delicious unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
optional: 2 teaspoons maca powder


In a food processor, pulse frozen bananas and then add remaining ingredients, scraping down the sides as necessary until the mixture is the texture of soft serve.  Spoon into bowls and enjoy immediately, or freeze for 15-20 minutes if the mixture is too soft.

Leftover recipe ideas:  Store leftover soft serve in the freezer, and add to your favorite smoothie for breakfast for an additional nutritional twist and a sweet creamy version of your fave morning beverage.  Blend with cooled coffee for a healthy caffeine boost instead of an unhealthy (and expensive) sugary coffee drink.  See below for my fave version!


So Delicious Mocha Morning Smoothie
serves 1 to 2


1/2 cup frozen Banana Soft Serve (see above: banana, maple, coconut milk and optional maca)
3/4 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
4 ice cubes
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder or cocoa powder


1.  In a blender, blend well, adding more So Delicious Coconut Milk as needed to reach your desired texture.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My new favorite meal: Pear Frittata


Growing up, my family enjoyed pear frittata whenever the pear tree in the lot behind our house hung heavy with the ripe pears.  I believe they were of the Barlett variety: the kind that go from green to a pale yellow, and taste incredible straight from the tree.  When we had too many to eat at once, or they began to go soft, my mom would whip up pear frittata, one of the best breakfasts or dessert I remember ever having.

Her version was pretty healthy but had a little butter and sugar, and now that I'm making my own, I've found a little variation, omitting the butter and sugar, adding a tiny bit of coconut oil to brown the pears, and adding a generous dash of cinnamon for more flavor.  This recipe below is absolutely incredible, and is a fab brunch dish, and best of all, is made in under 20 minutes.  Next time I make it, I planning on using all or half egg whites for an even lighter version.


Sorry my vegan friends--I too used to abhor the idea of consuming eggs, but they have begun to become a staple in my diet (when I refuse to eat meat and cannot eat soy, corn, gluten, dairy, flax, nuts or most processed foods that have been made in the same facilities as the aforementioned allergens, I can get a little bored with the veggie-bean-fruit-seed diet that is my daily routine).  Plus despite my love for chia "eggs", the texture that egg whites provide are hard to replicate and the lean protein of a couple egg whites is hard to beat.  So maybe skip this recipe if you do not eat eggs--I don't think a chia frittata or flaxmeal frittata could suffice.

Pear Frittata
 yields 6 wedges


1 tablespoon coconut oil
6 eggs (feel free to do 3 eggs and 5 egg whites)
3 pears, peeled and diced into thin 1/2" slices
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or several healthy dashes)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 tablespoon garbanazo bean flour
1 tablespoon brown rice flour


1.  In a bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla, nondairy milk and flour; set aside.
2.  Turn oven on to 425 and let heat up as you cook the pears. Heat coconut oil in a large oven-safe skillet.  Add peeled and diced pears and cook 7-8 minutes until browned and soft, sprinkling cinnamon directly onto the pears.

3.  Add egg mixture to skillet, pouring over the pears and put the skillet in the oven, baking for 10-12 minutes.  Let cool a few moments on a wire rack, cut a large wedge and be amazed.

*flour options: regular Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour also tastes phenomenal, or use your own blend of fave gluten-free flours.  Even partial almond meal should work fine.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Cacao Oatmeal Bites



These taste like little portions of cacao oatmeal, sweetened with banana.  They are light and healthy, and I drizzled a few with melted nondairy chocolate to serve as dessert to friends.  I was surprised everyone enjoyed them, as they are less sweet that they seem.  They are super filling though, so it's a good way to satisfy your hunger, and the healthy filling fiber will keep you from over indulging.

Cacao Oatmeal Bites


1 mashed overripe banana
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1-1/2 cups gluten-free quick oats


1.  Melt mashed banana and sunflower seed butter and applesauce in a pan and stir in vanilla, cacao powder and oats.

2.  Roll cookies into balls and flatten slightly onto a cookie sheet; chill for a few minutes to set.
3.  Optional: drizzle nondairy chocolate onto the cookies for a dessert, or leave plain for a snack or breakfast cookie.