Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Banana Bread v2.0

Here is yet another delicious banana bread recipe (the recipe that inspired mine is found here). The first one banana bread recipe I posted a few years back is made with coconut flour. This one is equally as good and healthy, and gluten free of course. My kids go bananas for it (no pun intended!) and would eat all four mini loaves in one sitting if I let them (which I don't, to their utter dismay).

This recipe will make two standard 8x4 inch loaves or 4 mini loaves, which is how I make it. You can sub shredded zucchini for the bananas if you wish (I've made it both ways).

Banana Bread v2.0

Wet ingredients:

3 ripe bananas (or 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini)
4 eggs
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
20-30 drops liquid stevia

Dry ingredients:
1 cup sprouted brown rice flour
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup sucanat or coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans or 4 mini loaf pans with coconut oil.

In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork until almost smooth. Add eggs and whisk. Add remaining wet ingredients and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Once mixed, add to wet ingredients and stir to combine. Add chocolate chips is using and stir once more to incorporate.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let rest in the pans for about 15 minutes before removing and slicing.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Raspberry Kombucha

We are loving our kombucha around here. My kids ask for their "juice" day and night. I love that they're getting a good dose of probiotics when they drink this, and I usually serve it up at mealtimes. I've been brewing now for about a year and am truly amazed at how easy it is to make and how cost effective! (If you've ever bought kombucha at the health food store, you know it is not cheap!) I've given several scobies out to friends and family and by now there is a hand written instruction sheet floating around somewhere... so it's high time this recipe made it to my blog.

If you are brewing for the first time, ask around for someone to share a scoby with you. If you can't find one locally, you can order one online here. Once you start brewing, you'll notice that your scoby will grow a pancake (an extra layer) with each 2-3 batches. You can simply peel this extra pancake off and then do your own sharing, also known as spreading the kombucha love.

Raspberry Kombucha

1 kombucha scoby + 1/2 cup reserved kombucha tea from previous batch (ask around and see if a friend or someone in your area will share with you if this is your first time brewing kombucha)

1 gallon water
1 cup organic sugar
6 organic tea bags (I use 3 green tea bags and 3 black tea bags)
1/2 cup frozen raspberries

Bring 4-6 cups of water to boil. Once boiling, add the tea bags, turn off the heat, and cover the pot. Set timer for 10-15 minutes. Once the timer goes off, remove tea bags, squeeze any remaining tea out of the bags, and discard tea bags.

Pour sugar into brewed tea and stir to completely dissolve.

Leave sweetened tea out at room temperature until the temperature drops to 80 degrees or lower. (This will take several hours if you leave the sweetened tea in the pot. I brew my tea up at night, then let it cool while I sleep and finish the process in the morning.)

Once the sweetened tea has cooled, pour into a gallon size, wide mouth glass jar. Add the kombucha scoby and 1/2 cup reserved kombucha tea. Fill the rest of the jar with water.

Cover jar with cheescloth or light towel and secure with a rubber band to keep it tight around the top. Let set undisturbed at room temperature for 7-10 days.

On day 7, check kombucha to see if it's ready to bottle. Stick a straw below the scoby and suck a little bit of kombucha out. If it's too sweet, let it hang out at room temperature for 1-3 more days (checking each day). If too vinegary, bottle right away and lessen the time the kombucha ferments on your next batch. If just right, the kombucha should be slightly fizzy- not too sweet- not too vinegary.

Now your kombucha is ready to drink as is or bottle. I like to bottle and get a second fermentation; this is where the kombucha will get nice and carbonated (and even a tad sweeter) from the raspberries.

If you decide not to second fermentation, simply remove the scoby and 1/2 cup of liquid and set aside for your next batch. Then pour into bottles or jars of choice and place in the refrigerator.

If you are going to do the second fermentation, remove the scoby and 1/2 cup of liquid and set aside for your next batch. Then pour the remaining kombucha into bottles or jars of choice, leaving about 1/2 inch at the top of each bottle or jar. For 16 ounce jars, add about 4 raspberries. Use this ratio of ounce liquid to raspberries for whatever size your bottling jars happen to be. Screw bottles or jars tightly with caps and let kombucha ferment for an additional 2-3 days (or up to a whole week).

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Soaked Oats Waffles

I have a hard time getting my children to eat oatmeal from a bowl, but they will eat their oats in waffle form any time. We've been making these waffles for a while now as they have become my family's favorite waffle recipe. They are ridiculously easy, which is why I love them. You just soak the oats overnight (which helps to reduce the phytic acid thereby making them much easier to digest), then add the rest of the ingredients in the morning, puree, and cook in the waffle maker. It's also all made in the blender so clean up is a cinch.

These come out of the waffle maker fairly firm, but once exposed to air, they will become slightly soft and a little soggy-like. My family doesn't mind this at all, but if you like a crispier waffle, you can put them in the oven for a few minutes on 350 degrees or pop in the toaster to firm them up. In fact, I usually make a double batch and toast the leftovers in the toaster for a super quick, easy, and nutritious breakfast the following day. (Or freeze leftovers and they'll last up to a month.)

Soaked Oats Waffles

1 3/4 cups gluten free rolled oats
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup kefir (water or milk)

1 egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt

Soak oats in water and kefir in a high powered blender overnight.

In the morning, add egg through salt. Puree.

Pour into a preheated Belgium waffle maker and cook according to manufacturer's instructions.

Enjoy immediately with butter and pure maple syrup.

Makes about 5-6 waffles.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Egg Free, Gluten Free Pancakes

Well hello there, friends. It's been quite a while since I've posted something here. This past winter and spring (which was really just winter that lasted through the end of April... ugh!), I found myself completely immersed in the task of settling into life at home with my three young boys. Homeschooling, cleaning, preparing nutritious meals, reading, and staying sane (thank you God, Kay Arthur, and have been consuming most of my time.

BUT now the sticky notes of recipes are piling up in my kitchen! It's time to do something about them... get some of those recipes on this blog... finally.

A while back, I ran out of eggs, and wasn't picking up another dozen from my farmer for a few days... and we desperately wanted pancakes. So I created this egg free recipe and I'm so happy with it that it's become my go-to pancake recipe ever since. My boys love them. In fact, last night we ate them along with some organic chicken sausages for dinner (what kid doesn't love breakfast for dinner?). I like to smear mine with freshly ground peanut butter and my boys love drizzling them (or dousing them) with pure maple syrup.

The ingredient list seems long, but really they are easy to prepare. I find the buckwheat flour to be essential as it helps to hold the pancakes together nicely, which is especially important when you're cooking gluten free.

Egg Free, Gluten Free Pancakes

Egg replacer:
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
6 tablespoons water

Dry ingredients:
1 cup sprouted brown rice flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar or sucanat
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt

Wet ingredients:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup + water

Preheat a pancake griddle over med-low heat.

Mix flaxseed and water in a small bowl. Set aside.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add flaxseed mixture, coconut oil (melted), honey, and vanilla. Stir.

Begin adding water slowly, up to 1 cup, and stir. The batter will thicken upon standing, so you may want to add an additional 1/2 cup water if the batter sits a while before you pour onto the griddle.

Pour about 1/4 cup batter into round circles onto the griddle. Wait until bubbles form on the top of the pancakes (about 3-5 minutes) and flip. Cook another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve with 100% pure Grade B maple syrup.

Makes about a dozen pancakes.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cinnamon Kettle Corn

We love kettle corn at my house. My kids go bananas for this stuff whenever I make it. It's so easy and I love that it has some added protein from the nut/seed butter, making this a great, balanced snack.

A great time saving tip for this recipe is to use day old popped popcorn. I will pop a big stockpot full of popcorn in coconut oil and my family enjoys it plain the first night, then I'll use the leftover popcorn to make this yummy cinnamon kettle corn the next day.

I should warn you though; this recipe has the potential to become an addiction, so it probably won't last very long! (At least it doesn't in my house!)

Cinnamon Kettle Corn

10-12 cups popped popcorn
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup nut or seed butter (peanut, almond, and sunflower seed butter all work well)
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cinnamon
15 drops liquid stevia
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Place popped popcorn in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan, heat oil, nut butter, and honey over low heat and stir until combined. Remove from heat and add cinnamon, stevia, and salt. Stir again.

Pour mixture over popcorn and stir with a large spoon until evenly distributed on popped corn.

Spread popcorn evenly on two prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.

Store covered or in a plastic bag for up to two days.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cranberry Orange Smoothie

Ahh... the flavors of winter. Tart, warming, citrus... I created this smoothie recipe to embody all of these  wonderful flavor sensations. I've been making smoothies like crazy these days. I love them so much because they make a great gluten-and-grain-free snack, satisfy the sweet tooth, and nourish the body with whole foods all at the same time. If you're wondering what to do with those lingering cranberries from the holidays, this recipe is for you.

Cranberry and Orange Smoothie

2 cups fresh cranberries
1 orange, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup pumpkin or squash puree, or applesauce
1/2 cup plain kefir
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons liquified coconut oil
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon powdered stevia
20 drops liquid stevia

Place all ingredients in the order listed in a Vitamix or other high powered blender. Process on high for about 30 seconds until completely pureed. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monster Cookies (gluten free)

These are hands down my favorite Christmas cookies. Every year, my best friend's mom would make these and save some just for me, as she knew I liked them so much.

Well, the last few years since I've gone gluten free, I have really missed these cookies making their appearance during the Christmas season. This year I decided to change that and create a gluten free, refined sugar free version (except for the M&M's of course) that tasted just like the ones I remember from my childhood.

I am so happy to report success in this venture. My kids love them, my friends love them, my hubby loves them, and I love them! The only complaint my eldest son had was that they didn't look like monsters (after all, isn't that what a monster cookie is anyway?)!

I took my cue from Lori's recipe (aren't her photographs wonderful?), changing several things to fit my dietary profile, and here are the results for your Christmas (or anytime) enjoyment.

Monster Cookies (gluten free)

3/4 cup almond butter
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
3/4 cup xylitol
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon powdered stevia
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch cinnamon and salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 M&M's*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three large cookie sheets** with parchment paper.

Mix almond butter through stevia in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Once creamed, add eggs and vanilla and mix again to combine. Add oats, soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix with a large spoon to combine. Lastly add the chocolate chips and M&M's and stir once more to combine.

Drop in large rounds onto cookie sheet and press lightly with the palm of your hand to flatten. Bake for about 12 minutes, until the bottoms are just golden. Cool on wire racks for about 10-15 minutes** to "set" the cookies a bit before enjoying.

Makes approximately 3 dozen.

*If you are super sensitive to sugar, swap the M&M's for dark chocolate chips or chopped walnuts.

**If you'd rather make these into bars, you can press the batter into two 8x8 inch square baking pans or one 9x13 inch pan and bake for about 35 minutes until the sides start to get golden.