Sunday, September 25, 2011

Buckwheat Muffins with Carrot and Pear (gluten and sugar free)

Remember me saying it's been muffin mania around here lately? It's true, and I'll prove it by providing yet another delicious muffin recipe with you. This round I chose to use buckwheat flour as my main ingredient. I was intrigued by Ali of the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen's Buckwheat Muffin recipe; she claimed that due to the properties of this particular flour, it creates an almost "stringy goo" which holds all the ingredients together, therefore no xanthan gum is needed. Since I was currently out of xanthan gum, I thought I'd give this recipe a try.

Results? Wonderful and gobbled by my kiddos and husband alike. I did tweak Ali's recipe slightly by halving it, using grated pear in place of the applesauce, adding almond milk (I found the batter too dry without it), and using chocolate chips in place of the raisins (my husband is not a fan of raisins, can you believe that?!). The proportions turned out just right and the flavor was fantastic.

I commented on Ali's post that I would be making variations of the buckwheat muffin in the weeks to come. I'm envisioning a pumpkin version with cloves and nutmeg in addition to the ginger and cinnamon... stay tuned. In the meantime, try this dazzling recipe. Let me know how you like it!

Buckwheat Muffins with Carrot and Pear

Dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cups buckwheat flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot powder
1/ 4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch salt

Wet ingredients:
1 cup finely grated pear (or applesauce)
3/4 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil, liquified
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup finely grated carrot
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips or raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with silicone liners.

In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together pear through grated carrot and stir to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir again to form the muffin batter. Add chocolate chips or raisins and stir once more to incorporate.

Evenly distribute muffin batter into prepared muffin tins, filling close to the tops. Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Banana Pecan Muffins (gluten, grain, and sugar free)

It's muffin mania around here lately. I've been cranking out the muffins a lot these days, as this seems to be the overwhelming breakfast request in my house. I love these muffins in particular because they are so high in fiber and protein, thanks to the coconut flour. Baking with coconut flour can be tricky, but once you get the hang of it (they require a lot of eggs to help them rise and not taste so "chalky"), you will love it for the sheer nutritional content.

This recipe only makes 6 muffins, so I usually double it to make sure we have a few leftover for snacks-on-the-go.

Banana Pecan Muffins

3 eggs
2 tablespoons coconut oil, liquified
2 tablespoons almond or other milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1/4 cup coconut flour
2-3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1/2 ripe banana
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 6 cup muffin tin with paper or silicone liners.

In a bowl, whisk eggs with coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla. Add baking powder, salt, coconut flour, and palm sugar. Whisk again until combined, removing as many lumps as possible. Slice banana into thin slices and add to batter, along with pecans and chocolate chips. Stir again a few times to incorporate.

Pour batter into prepared tin, filling close to the top of the liners. Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.

Makes 6 muffins.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Simple Bread (gluten, grain, and dairy free)

My inspiration for this recipe comes yet again from Elana. Gosh, I love her. Her recipes are so simple and always delicious. Since the weather has cooled, my yearning to bake has come alive. And today I just needed a really good, gluten free bread. Everyone in our house has been eating a lot of toast lately (organic, yes, but filled with gluten no less), so I've been feeling a bit left out. This morning I sought to change that by making a gluten free bread that I can indulge in just like the rest of 'em.

I used Elana's Bread 2.0 recipe as a guide, but since she bakes hers in the Magic Loaf 7.5x3.5" pan and mine is currently packed away in the storage unit, I only had access to an 8x4" pan, which means I needed to increase a few ingredient proportions to make sure this bread did not come out of the pan completely flat. I also added some extra virgin olive oil to make this bread a little more savory and moist. I am very happy with the results! My kids seemed to gobble this up too, always a sure-fire sign that a recipe is blog-worthy. I love how the top of this bread gets nice and brown, slightly crunchy to the touch, giving it a rustic, comfort food feel.

Since I've had this bread at least three different times throughout the day, I've had ample opportunities to top it off with various twists: butter and honey, jam, plain, and almond butter. Elana recommends spreading it with goat cheese, which sounds divine. You can eat it for your morning toast, make a nice sandwich out of it for lunch, or serve it alongside some soup for dinner (we ate it with our Thai Coconut Chicken Soup tonight). Very versatile, very healthy, very high in protein and fiber; simply a bread you can eat and feel really good about.

Simple Bread

Dry ingredients:
1 3/4 cups almond flour
3/4 cups arrowroot powder
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt

Wet ingredients:
5 eggs
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (ACV)
1 teaspoon agave or honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan with olive or coconut oil.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, EVOO, ACV, and agave. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine.

Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Use a small silicone spatula to remove from pan. Slice and serve.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Coconut Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

This recipe came to me from one of my girlfriends who makes a version of these that looks divine, but unfortunately for me, is not gluten free. So I've had to adapt the recipe to fit my gluten and sugar free dietary needs. And let me tell you, these granola bars take the cake! They are so delicious!

My first batch of these were devoured for breakfasts and snacks by my family, very quickly, proving their addictiveness. Although the list of ingredients seems a little long, this recipe does, in fact, come together very quickly.

So the next time you're craving one of those packaged granola bars for a quick breakfast or snack, try whipping up a batch of these instead. In this case for sure, homemade trumps store bought by a long shot.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups certified gluten free rolled oats
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup raisins, dried cherries, or dried cranberries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon cinnamon
pinch salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 egg
1/2 cup raw honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil, liquified
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch pan with coconut oil.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk egg and add remaining wet ingredients. Continue whisking until combined. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir thoroughly. Pour into prepared baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars. Let set another 30 or more minutes before indulging.

Makes 16-24 bars (depending on your size preference).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cinnamon Honey Scones (gluten, grain, and dairy free)

I've sort of been on a scone kick as of late. I've always loved the things (see here and here for some of my other scone recipes) and with the crispness of the morning air the last week or two, these divine baked goods have been calling to me (either that or it's a random baby craving from my pregnancy... I'm really not sure). I've made these a few times and they've definitely satisfied not only my craving, but also my body with the high protein and high fiber content. My kids love to eat them spread with fruit-sweetened jam, and I think they are excellent with a dab of butter and some extra honey. Sometimes we eat them alone, but they are also a wonderful compliment to some eggs and fruit for a weekend brunch.

Cinnamon Honey Scones

Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt

Wet ingredients:
1 egg
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon Xylosweet
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or lightly spray with coconut oil cooking spray).

In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until combined. Form into a dough ball and place dough ball onto prepared baking sheet. With slightly wet hands, press the dough ball into an 8 inch even circle.

Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of the scone circle. Score the scone circle into 8 even wedges.

Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cut through the scored wedges to separate. Place back in oven for 2-4 more minutes to allow the edges of the scones to crisp up a bit (I like mine a little crispy).

Enjoy with fruit-sweetened jam or grass fed butter and raw honey.

Makes 8 scones.