Monday, December 15, 2014

Peppermint Bites



These little peppermint bites are like a filling, delicious healthy version of a peppermint patty candy.  The mint lends a refreshing zing against the rich cacao, and the best part is that they are a cinch to make!  All you need is a high-speed blender or food processor; no oven required!

Get ready for a little taste of Christmas...


Peppermint Bites

Ingredients:
1-1/4 cups gluten-free oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2-1/2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/3 cup mini nondairy chocolate chips

Directions:
1.  Food-process the oats and sunflower seeds until they resemble a coarse flour.
2.  Mix in the remaining ingredients.  Roll into tablespoon-sized balls and chill.  Store refrigerated in an airtight container.
These make great gifts!  They keep for 2 days at room temperature, or up to 10 days chilled.

Note: Add a little chilled cold-brewed coffee or espresso powder for a peppermint mocha flavor.









Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Vanilla Sunbutter Granola





This granola contains millet, which is yet another fabulous gluten-free grain. (And very crunchy). Often toted as the "new quinoa," millet is a prebiotic, an excellent source of fiber and vitamin B3, and contains calming serotonin.  Feel free to add even more millet to this recipe if desired!

Yummy parfait idea:  layer granola, plain coconut milk yogurt, fresh berries of choice, then repeat.  Great breakfast or post-sweat session snack.



Vanilla Sunbutter Granola

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups gluten-free oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup millet
2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar (optional)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
dash sea salt

Wet Ingredients:
2-1/2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
3 tablespoons unsweetened sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2.  Mix all the dry ingredient together and set aside.
3.  Heat applesauce, sunflower seed butter, and maple syrup together over the stove or in the microwave.  Stir in vanilla, mixing well and mix into the dry ingredients.
4.  Bake on cookie sheet for 22-24 minutes, stirring halfway then let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Once fully cooled, store in an airtight container for up to 6 or 7 weeks.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gingerbread Granola



very tasty with a bit of plain coconut yogurt





Gingerbread Granola
Gluten-Free, Vegan and Nut-free




Ingredients:

4 cups gluten-free oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
dash sea salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees and spritz two cookie sheets with nonstick spray or coconut oil.
2.  Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon.
3.  Bake for 30 minutes, stirring the granola every 8 to 10 minutes.  Once fragrant and lightly golden brown, let the pans cool on a wire rack.  Once fully cooled, store in an airtight container or jar.




Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fluffy Pumpkin Yogurt Donuts

 


Yet another healthy baked pumpkin doughnut recipe (hello Autumn), but a little airier and lighter than my previous version.  This one calls for unsweetened plain coconut yogurt (I like the brand So Delicious), but any coconut yogurt, soy or almond yogurt, etc will do.

For the "egg", mixing 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water is an excellent vegan egg substitute.  (Or ground flax seeds).

If you don't have access to date sugar, coconut palm sugar is great too, or sucanat.  Alternately, you can drizzle a little maple syrup into the batter and reduce the liquid.




Fluffy Pumpkin Yogurt Donuts
yields 11

Ingredients:

1 cup gluten-free flour (I used Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Flour)
1 chia "egg" ( or flax egg)
1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin
1/3 cup unsweetened plain coconut yogurt
3 tablespoons date sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

1.  Whisk wet ingredients in a bowl; set aside.  Add dry ingredients to wet, and mix until combined.
2.  Spoon into coconut oil-greased doughnut pan, and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
3.  Let cool on a wire rack for 4 minutes then invert.  Serve warm plain or with optional coconut yogurt glaze.

Please excuse the photo quality...I only had my phone nearby

Optional Coconut Glaze:
Whisk unsweetened plain coconut yogurt with a little drizzle of maple syrup for a healthy yet decadent-tasting "frosting."


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Heart-Warming Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

After a melancholy foggy afternoon, the only thing I wanted last night was something warm and comforting.  For dinner, I had several slices of this delicious bread after a bowlful of pureed garlic cauliflower (another delicious recipe I'll share another time).  When it's dark and cold, and you need a little pick-me-up, this is a great recipe.  It makes a great gift as well and I'll definitely be taking some bread with me when I see my twin sister and mother soon.

When your world gets turned upside down and you can't say, go for a run, I highly recommend baking.  It's therapeutic and yields a tasty tangible result.  I wanted to fill the house with the scent of fall: pumpkin and spice, and was not disappointed by either the aromas or the result of this fantastic bread.  Feel free to make some tweaks: suggestions are below.  For a healthier option you can omit the nondairy chocolate chips but be warned: they make the bread taste pretty great!







Heart-Warming Pumpkin Zucchini
yields 1 loaf or 4 mini loaves



Ingredients:

2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour such as Bob's
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup (heaping) pumpkin puree
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup nondairy mini chocolate chips (optional)
1/3 to 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, for garnish



Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 and spritz loaf pan(s) with coconut oil or nonstick spray.
2.  Sift or whisk dry ingredients together; set aside.
3.  Melt coconut oil and stir together all wet ingredients, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing well.  Add a little pumpkin or water if mixture is too dry, and stir in chocolate chips if using last.
4.  Pour into pan(s), sprinkle seeds on top and bake for 34 to 38 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
5.  Let cool slightly, remove from pans and let cool further on a wire rack.  Enjoy warm or store in an airtight container once fully cooled



**tips** for those with lots of allergies, choose a corn-free baking powder option such as Ener-G or Hain Featherweight baking powder.  Enjoy Life makes a great rice mini chocolate chip, and Bob's Red Mill is an easy gluten-free flour option without xanthan gum, but feel free to play around to your taste.  For a healthier option, omit the chocolate chips or reduce the maple syrup, adding more pumpkin to compensate.

                            

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Birdseed Bars






When my husband told me he had a lot of work to do and it was going to be a late night, I enthusiastically responded with "I'll make you espresso cookies!"

After I got into the kitchen though, I decided to play around with a new bar recipe, since that's what I'll be selling at several locations beginning in October (!!)
(Can you tell I'm excited??)

When he asked what smelled so good, I struggled with a name.  "They are Banana Mocha Bars...Espresso Seed Bar...no, that's not right.."  I mumbled as I pulled the pan from the oven.  He nonchalantly asked if he could have some birdseed.  Glancing at the bars, I had to admit; they look a tad bit birdseed-y.  Hence, the official name: the Birdseed Bars.

Minus the espresso, birds would probably love this bar very much.  When I was little, I remember covering pine cones with peanut butter and then rolling them in birdseed to hang outdoors.  This is not at all the same thing, even if it looks kinda like that.  The bars are rich, filling and packed full of nutrients, with absolutely no gluten or even oats.  They are a pure, clean treat and I recommend them highly.  The texture is a bit crumbly; I suggest chilling them in the fridge or letting them cool completely before cutting and serving.


Birdseed Bars
yields 6 to 9 bars

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons espresso or strong coffee
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup dried banana (or dates), diced fine
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter or almond butter
optional: 1/4 cup nondairy rice chips or cacao nibs


Directions:

1.  Mix the chia seeds with water; set aside.
2.  Preheat the oven to 325 and line a 8" square pan with parchment paper.
3.  Stir the espresso and cacao into the chia mixture.
4.  Fold in the remaining ingredients, stir well, and pour into the pan.
5.  Bake for 18 to 25 minutes or until turning golden and slightly firm.  Let cool completely on a wire rack, and wrap individually in plastic wrap for great portable bars.




Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pumpkin Cacao Brownies


 


I know, I know.  It's not quite autumn, but still, the pumpkin craving is hitting.  Since I discovered a can of organic pumpkin in my cupboard, I haven't been able to stop thinking about pumpkin...everything.  Breads, muffins, cookies, raw bars--I can't get enough.  I might go as far as to say my favorite thing about fall is pumpkin.  Yup. I would definitely say that.

This brownie had to be tinkered with a bit.  Upon first bite, my husband replied "Umm good but a little too earthy," which is his way of suggesting it could use some work.  The result is a chocolatey pumpkin dessert that is not too sweet, but the honey is still a must.  (Or maple syrup for very strict vegans).  Enjoy with the optional spicy sweet pumpkin topping, and you too will be immediately stoked for fall.

Hello, September!


Pumpkin Cacao Brownies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup + 2 TBSP raw honey or maple syrup
2 eggs (or 2 flax "eggs")
2 TBSP raw cacao powder or 3 TBSP cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
sprinkle sea salt
1 cup gluten-free flour
optional: 1/3 cup nondairy chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease or line an 8" square pan.
2.  Whisk wet ingredients, and fold the dry ingredients into wet, folding the optional chips in last.
3.  Bake for 35-38 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.




Serve plain or top with:

pureed pumpkin
cinnamon
raw honey or syrup

Stir the pumpkin, honey and spice together to form a "frosting" and spread across a brownie.  Sprinkle with additional cacao nibs.








Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Banana Seed Bites


 

This is a quick, portable bar or cookie ball that I invented late one night when I was quite famished and craving "dessert."

It's easy to make, and keeps well (4 to 5 days at room temp or 12 to 14 refrigerated).  I like to make a batch and pop them into my lunches during the week.  This is a very flavorful one; I highly suggest replacing your go-to packaged energy bar or treat with this nutritious option.






Banana Seed Bites

Ingredients:

1 cup organic sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup gluten-free oats
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bag Barnana (dried banana) (about 20 pieces)
2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter or almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
2-3 tablespoons filtered water
1/4 cup goji berries (optional)

Directions:

1.  Food process all ingredients together!  Add more water if necessary, stopping the processor or blender as needed to scrape down the sides.
2.  When mixture forms a ball or sticks together well, it's ready!  Shape into 2-tablespoon sized balls, and dehydrate in a food processor or bake at a low temperature (under 118) for 4 hours**
3.  Cool to room temp and store in a sealed container.


I can assure you this is a great pre- or post-run snack.  Or breakfast (like all my recipes, ha!)
Nothing like a protein boost to start the day mixed with a little natural sweetness.

**Alternately, store in the fridge.  Option to not dehydrate and simply enjoy as is!