Monday, November 20, 2017

Chai Spice Shortbread Cookies (GF,V)




Warning, if you don't want your house to smell like warm, cozy, spiced happiness then you should probably avoid these cookies at all cost.  Every now and then I come up with an idea for a recipe and I just get so excited about it.  I have seriously been thinking about these cookies for three weeks.  For me chai is one of those cozy flavors that is especially welcome all fall and winter long.  I knew I wanted to make something with it but pairing those flavors with this nutty shortbread turned out even better than I thought.  

I don't know about you but cardamom was a spice I had always been weary of.  Which is strange because, well, it's a spice, why should it freak me out so much.  It seemed exotic and expensive.  But this fear was keeping me from making chai spice treats and it had to be conquered.  And as fate would have it cardamom is only about $5 for a normal spice jar and you only need to use it sparingly.  So yeah, I had built up this story of cardamom in my head for nothing.  And now I'm that weirdo girl who has a backstory in her head about a spice.  

Annnnnnyway, the point is...go buy some cardamom, get out your baking sheet, and preheat your oven because I have a feeling these cookies will be your go to all season long!  







Recipe:
Makes 11 servings, one serving is one cookie

  • 1 ¾ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp salt


  • 2 tbs coconut sugar
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 6 tbs coconut oil (room temp)
  • ¾ tsp vanilla


Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper set aside.  Cover part of work surface with parchment paper to roll dough later.

Whisk dry ingredients together and set aside.

In a stand mixer or using an electric mixer beat coconut oil until smooth and “fluffy.”  Having your coconut oil at room temperature will make this easier.  My kitchen tends to be freezing this time of year so I will heat the oil in the microwave in 3 second intervals until it is soft to the touch.  Add the coconut sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla to the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

Add in half of the dry mixture and beat until just combined.  Add in the other half and beat on low speed for 2-3 minutes.  The dough will seem sandy at first but you will see it come together as it blends.

Gather the dough into a ball and flatten on your prepared work space.  Using a rolling pin (or wine bottle, it’s happened) roll the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick.  Using a biscuit cutter or water glass cut the dough and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.  If you want the shortbread cookie marks simply stamp the cookies a few times with a fork.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Allow the cookies to cool on the tray for at least 10 minutes.  If you move them too soon they will crumble.  Transfer when cooled and enjoy!

Calories: 208g  Fat: 17g  Protein: 5g  Fiber: 3g  Carbohydrates: 9g  Sugar: 5g


Monday, November 13, 2017

Pomegranate Avocado Brownies

What's even better than having a brownie for dessert?  Having a protein filled brownie for an afternoon snack!  I know we all get those 3:00pm snack attacks and mine is almost always for something sweet.  Instead of going for those treats in the break room reach for one of these made with clean ingredients and healthy fats.  I love working on new recipes and I have to say this was a fun challenge.  Three ingredients were assigned; avocado, pomegranate, and protein powder.   I worked with those to create these gluten free, vegan "brownies".  And I'm sure you may be thinking that avocado does not belong with chocolate.  I was part of the same camp.  But two years ago in a desperate sugar craving I gave it a try and was surprised by how well the combination works.  The recipe, more pictures, and nutrition details are below.   








Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x9 inch baking pan.  Set aside.

Recipe:
Makes 12 brownies, serving is one brownie.

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tbs almond milk 
Whisk all dry ingredients together and set aside.

Rinse garbanzo beans and place in food processor, add avocado and blend until smooth.  Add all other wet ingredients.  Fold in dry ingredients and then fold in pomegranate seeds until well incorporated.  

Transfer to the prepared baking dish and smooth with spatula.  Sprinkle extra pomegranate seeds and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.  Allow to cool then cut into 12 pieces.  Feel free to drizzle with melted dark chocolate, because who doesn't need more chocolate in their life? 

Calories: 99g  Fat: 3g  Protein: 4g  Fiber: 4g  Carbohydrates: 15g  Sugar: 6g

Monday, November 6, 2017

Easy Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread




One of my favorite things about this time of year is embracing all things cozy.  Growing up my mom had three things that she would bake - oatmeal cookies, zucchini bread, and pumpkin bread.  Now that the days are finally getting chilly I was thinking about those times with her in the kitchen, wearing an over sized apron and standing on a stool as I helped to whisk and measure, then waiting patiently looking through the oven door for everything to be ready.  I just had to get in the kitchen to create my own version of this seasonal classic.  With oat flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and of course pumpkin this recipe captures all of the nostalgic flavors of fall with none of the guilt.  I hope that you'll try it and share it with your loved ones.  The recipe and more pictures are below!







Recipe:
Makes 10 servings, one serving is one slice

  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup +2 tbs gluten free oat flour*
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg


  • 2 eggs (at room temperature) or flax eggs
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ maple syrup
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree 
  • 2 tbs coconut oil melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

Whisk all dry ingredients together and set aside.

Whisk eggs until fluffy and pale yellow.  Whisk in coconut sugar and maple syrup until any clumps are dissolved.  Whisk in all other wet ingredients.

Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients mixing well.  The batter will thicken as the coconut flour absorbs the liquid.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread into an even layer.  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Toothpick test to check. The toothpick will come out clean or with just a few crumbs when the loaf is done.

Allow to cool on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes.  Lift out, slice, and enjoy!

*I like to make my own oat flour and it is so simple.  For this recipe place a ½ cup of gluten free oats in your food processor or blender and blend until it resembles flour (about 5-10 minutes).  You will have a few small flakes but I love the texture that it adds to this recipe.  

Calories: 172g  Fat: 8g  Protein: 5g  Fiber: 4g  Carbohydrates: 20g  Sugar: 11g

Monday, October 23, 2017

Mini Spiced Pumpkin Protein Donuts


"Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuum!"  My thought when I bit into one of these spiced pumpkin protein donuts.  There are times when I sit down to create a new recipe, put a lot of love and work into it, and then hope against hope that it will turn out...most of the time it works.  About a 1/5 of the time I need to rework it.  This time I was flabbergasted.  I could not believe that these little donuts were made from the same ingredients I had just put together.  These taste SO good.  My boyfriend even said "wait, that's healthy?"  And coming from Mr. Chipotle-Snickers-Anti-Quinoa that's a huge testament.  I promise you can make these for anyone and they wont put up a fight.  Also, they're pretty frickin adorable right?  The recipe for these is below and can easily be adapted to vegan.  You are also welcome to skip the chocolate glaze, but why would you do that to yourself?  Scroll down for more pictures and the easy directions.  






Recipe:
Makes 5 servings, one serving is 4 mini donuts!

Donuts:
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • 2 tbs coconut flour
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder of your choice** 
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree + 1 tbs
  • 1 tbs coconut sugar
  • 5 tbs almond milk
  • 3 tbs liquid egg whites (or one flax egg)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbs coconut oil (melted)

Glaze:
  • 1¼ tsp coconut oil
  •  3 tbs chocolate chips

For donuts:­

Preheat oven to 350 and grease mini donut pan.*

Combine all dry ingredients and whisk to eliminate any clumps, set aside.  In another bowl whisk wet ingredients together.  Fold dry ingredients into wet. 

Transfer the batter to a piping bag and pipe into donut pan.  This is the easiest way to evenly fill the pan.  If you don’t have a piping bag just cut the tip of one corner off of a plastic sandwich bag. 

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.  Cool slightly then dip in chocolate glaze, top with sprinkles, lick your fingers, and enjoy!

For glaze:

While the donuts are baking put the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave save bowl.  Heat for 10 seconds and stir to combine.  Repeat heating and stirring in 10 second intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth. 


*If you are using a standard, larger donut pan you may need to increase the baking time by 2-5 minutes.  

**I like Perfect Fit Protein, it's naturally sweetened, vegan, organic, and non-GMO.


Without Glaze
Calories: 129g  Fat: 6g  Protein: 9g  Fiber: 2g  Carbohydrates: 6g  Sugar: 4g

With Glaze
Calories: 163g  Fat: 8g  Protein: 9g  Fiber: 2g  Carbohydrates: 10g  Sugar: 7g


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Monday, October 16, 2017

Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies


We're solidly in the middle of pumpkin season and I, for one, have never been the kind of person to deny my pumpkin obsession.  In fact you might as well just hunker down and prepare for series of autumn goodies to follow.

These pumpkin blondies are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth in a healthy way.  I came up with the recipe last year as we were heading into a weekend filled with visiting family and a lot of treats.  These allowed me to stay on track and still enjoy the flavors of fall.  They are gluten free, refined sugar free, and vegan.  A warning though, even pick eaters will want to sneak a few of these off your plate.  

The recipe below is quick and easy.  Leave a comment if you give it a try!


Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9"x9" baking pan.  
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained (16 oz)
  • ¾ cup almond butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate chips chopped 

Place the chickpeas and almond butter in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Add in all other ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) and blend until thoroughly combined. Transfer batter to a bowl and add in chocolate chips to the batter and mix with a spatula. Pour into 9” x 9” baking pan and distribute evenly.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until slightly browned.  Allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes, then cut into 16 squares.  Blondies will have a gooey texture when cooled.  Enjoy!


Calories: 197g  Fat: 10g  Protein: 5g  Fiber: 3g  Carbohydrates: 21g  Sugar: 15g