Carob & Sprouted Pumpkin Seed Bites

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I’ve been doing a little experimenting with carob powder.

I find it to have such a unique taste! Sweet but not too sweet, similar to chocolate but with other interesting layers of flavor.

IMG_4504It’s very enjoyable and it works perfect in these little bites. They work great as little energy bites for a hike or just the right size snack when you’re craving something sweet. They also taste equally delicious straight out of the freezer!

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Carob is high in fiber and minerals, a good source of antioxidants, doesn’t contain caffeine, low in sodium, naturally low fat, and can also work in many recipes as a chocolate substitution.

Carob & Sprouted Pumpkin Seed Bites

*Makes 24

1/2 Cup of Otto’s Cassava Flour

5 Tablespoons of Rice Bran Oil

1 Cup of Coconut Sugar

3/4 Cup of Carob Powder

1/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt

1 1/2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

2 Eggs

Organic Raw Salted & Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and lightly oil a mini muffin pan. Whisk the oil, sugar, carob, and salt in a small saucepan and heat on low stirring consistently until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla to a mixing bowl and slowly add the warmed mixture as you beat the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the flour and spoon into the mini muffin pan. Sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on each bite and  bake for about 15 minutes or until they bounce back and a center test comes out clean.

Fermented Walnut & Raisin Bread

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I’m having some impressive luck with bread experimentation this week. That almost never happens! This loaf is organic, grain free, vegan, and sugar free with the exception of the natural sugars in the raisins. And like yesterday’s bread post, nutrient dense as well. What I really LOVE about it is that it’s made in a regular size loaf pan that didn’t fall after baking. So while it’s a heavier bread, it still has a light texture on the inside and the lightly crunchy, more dense texture on the outside. The crispy nuts, groats, and chia seeds on the top add great flavor and texture and the raisin to walnut ratio inside is perfect.

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Our bed and breakfast host last year in the San Juan’s talked to me about trying fermented breads. His theory (and he’s gluten intolerant but able to eat his own gluten fermented breads!) is that with the commercial process we use now, the super fast fermentation process (sometimes only 5 minutes) is actually what’s causing the allergen problems for many people. So he allows his gluten and yeast breads to rise for several days before baking.

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Yeast came up as my #1 allergen that my body doesn’t like so I’m avoiding that for a while and I’m nowhere near being brave enough to try anything with gluten in it at this point. So I did some research and you can ferment other non yeast ingredients as well – so I started with buckwheat groats. Contrary to popular belief, buckwheat is not a grain but some bodies treat it the same. So you’ll have to test out how it works for you if you prefer to be grain free. So far, it works for me but I am careful to not eat any “grain type” foods on a regular basis. Every now and then as a nice treat, seems to agree with me. I use this theory for many foods, actually. Too many repetitive daily meals can cause gut issues.

This bread takes time, it is a labor of love and patience. That patience will come with a wonderful reward! And of course as with many of my recipes, the recipe is versatile and the addition or subtraction options are almost endless – add your own flair!

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Fermented Walnut & Raisin Bread

2 1/2 Cups of Organic Hulled Buckwheat Groats

3 Cup of Filtered Water

3 Tablespoons of Fresh Lemon Juice

3/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of Organic Psyllium Husk Powder

2 teaspoons of Double Acting Baking Powder

2 Cups of Organic Walnuts

1 1/4 Cups of Organic Raisins

1 1/2 teaspoons of Organic Chia Seeds

1 Tablespoon of Organic Hulled Buckwheat Groats

Step 1

Pour the groats into a large bowl, add the water, stir in the lemon juice, cover lightly and let sit for 8 hours. Drain and rinse once during the resting process. No need to add more lemon, but do replenish the water.

Step 2

After 8 hours, drain the groats, rinse well, add them to a blender and add 1 1/3 Cups of filtered water. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, set the bowl away from cold air or drafts and ferment for 36 hours. I didn’t notice bubbles or a ferment-ish smell, but when I went to fold in the other ingredients, it was fluffier than it started. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t see any major changes. I also check the top carefully to make sure it hadn’t formed any mold! If it does that, you’ll have to toss it.

Step 3

8-12 hours before the batter will be ready, soak the walnuts. Put them in a medium bowl, cover them with filtered water and add 1/2 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt. Soak for 8-12 hours. Then rinse, pat dry, and chop, reserving 1/2 Cup for the top of the bread. (Go HERE if you’d like to learn more about activating nuts for easier digestion.)

Step 4

Prepare a regular sized bread pan with oil or spray and line the pan with parchment so that there’s a bit of overhang to remove the loaf. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (I use convection – if you don’t, you may have to increase the time)

Fold the remaining walnuts, the raisins, the psyllium, the baking powder, and the sea salt into the batter. Scoop into the pan, do not flatten out or smooth the top. Sprinkle with the remaining walnuts, the chia seeds, and the whole groats.

Step 5

Bake for 1 hour and 35 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.

 

 

 

Buckwheat Chia Bread

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Is there ever a day where I’m not trying to dream up a delicious bread recipe that agrees with my body? The answer to that would be, NO. There’s always a solution, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to create it!  I’m not the person that has to have bread every day, but I definitely enjoy it and would like to have something on hand that I can grab when I get the craving. It also has to be healthy, full of nutrients, and without any adverse side effects.

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Much of the breads people consume aren’t made from organic ingredients and are just empty calories packed with chemicals. Modern yeast and the way it’s being commercially used isn’t doing our guts any favors either.  It is now super fast acting and grows in minutes thanks to the addition of additives instead of being slowly risen for hours and even days like it used to be when our great grandparents made bread. It may taste good, but by the time it begins digesting, it’s causing gut issues and inflammation that last long after that initial indulgence.

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This  Buckwheat Chia bread is yeast free, egg free, gluten free, grain free (buckwheat is not a grain!), dairy free, organic, packed with fiber, protein, manganese, calcium, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, niacin, folate, B6, zinc, omega-3, beta carotene, and is fantastic for the gut. You can even make it completely vegan by exchanging the raw honey for maple syrup. It has a lovely little crunch from the pumpkin and chia seeds and the flavor is fantastic! I ate it plain as a snack yesterday and this morning I made an open faced sandwich for breakfast by toasting it, spreading it with a homemade thick coconut kefir, and layered it with english cucumber, poached chicken, fresh parsley, oregano, and a pinch of sea salt. Delicious! (You can go to my Instagram to see the photo.)

Buckwheat Chia Bread

1 1/4 Cups of Organic Raw Hulled Buckwheat Groats

1/4 Cup of Organic Chia Seeds

3 Tablespoons of Organic Coconut Flour

1 teaspoon of Double Acting Baking Powder

3/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt

2 Tablespoons of Organic Psyllium Husk Powder

1 1/2 Cups of Filtered Water

1/4 Cup of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons of Local Raw Honey

1/2 Cup of Filtered Water

1/4 Cup of Organic Raw Pumpkin Seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons of Organic Chia Seeds

Pinch of Celtic Sea Salt

*Preheat oven to 325 degrees (See note at bottom of instructions) and prepare an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 (inside measurement) pan with non stick spray or oil and line with a piece of parchment that covers the bottom and goes up the two longest sides with an overlap to lift out the bread.

  1.  Process the groats and chia in a food processor until you get a flour consistency, about 5-10 minutes. There will be visible chia seeds and it will feel a bit grainy.
  2. Add the coconut flour, baking powder, 3/4 tsp of sea salt, and process for 1 minute.
  3. Using the 1 1/2 Cups of water, whisk in the psyllium husk powder and let it sit for a minute or so until gelatinous. Pour into a medium bowl.
  4. Add the extra virgin olive oil and the raw honey and whisk to combine. Add the remaining 1/2 Cup of water and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the flour mixture and whisk to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and spread out very lightly if necessary.
  6. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds, the 1 1/ 2 teaspoons of chia seeds, and the pinch of salt.
  7. Bake for 48-50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan onto a cooling rack. Cool Completely before slicing.

NOTE** I use convection for all of my baking and cooking. If you have a conventional oven you can either raise the temperature to 350 degrees and keep an eye on the baking time, or you can keep it at 325 degrees and it may take as much as 10-15 minutes more baking time. Keep an eye on it!

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Pear & Oat Cookies

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Every now and then I must have an oatmeal cookie. This recipe with the pear was purely experimental because (a) I was craving oatmeal and (b) I had a pear that was perfectly ripe and ready to be eaten. Sometimes it’s just as easy as that to come up with a recipe. Lucky for me, these turned out on the first try (by the way, that doesn’t happen often).

Since I’m the only taste tester home today and my husband doesn’t care for pears anyway, you’ll just have to trust me that these are absolutely fabulous as a snack or a breakfast cookie with a lovely cup of tea or coffee.

Pears and oats were meant to be together!

Pear & Oat Cookies

*Makes 14 Cookies

1 Cup of Cassava Flour

3 Tablespoons of Coconut Flour

1 1/2 Cups of Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1 teaspoon of Double Acting Baking Powder

1/2 Cup of Coconut Sugar

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 Cup of Dairy Free Soy Free Butter

2 Egg Whites

1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon of Pure Almond Extract 

1 Pear Cubed (1 1/4 Cup)

1/2 Cup of Full Fat Coconut Milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (I use convection). Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

Whisk dry ingredients. Work butter in lightly with fingers or cut in with knives (like you would for a crumble).

Add the egg whites, vanilla extract, almond extract, pears , and coconut milk. Fold in and continue folding until the dough comes together and the wet ingredients are distributed evenly.

Place 7 dollops of dough evenly on each sheet and bake for 15 minutes (may take a little longer if not using convection) until edges are crispy and lightly browned. Don’t overcook or the cookies will dry out. 

Apple & Cinnamon Puff Pancake

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This is an incredibly easy, super fast, delicious breakfast! From start to finish we were sitting down and eating within 30 minutes. It’s also very versatile. You could add berries to the top of the batter before cooking, or peaches to the bottom like I did with the apples, add different spices, serve it plain with butter and syrup, add chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, whatever your heart desires.

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Apple Cinnamon Puff Pancake

*Gluten Free *Dairy Free

Makes 6 Servings & Can Easily Be Doubled & Baked in Two Pie Dishes

3/4 Cup of  Dairy Free Milk (I used Malk Almond Milk)

3 Eggs

3/4 Cup of Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour Blend

1/4 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Sugar

1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

2 teaspoons of Ceylon Cinnamon

1 Medium Honey Crisp Apple

3 Tablespoons of Dairy Free Butter

Powder Sugar & Fresh Lemon Wedges to serve

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (for convection) or 400 degrees (for standard). Place the 3 Tablespoons of butter in a 9 inch pie plate and melt in the oven until sizzling and bubbly. While the butter is melting, core and cut the apple into thin slices.

Remove the pie plate from the oven and arrange the apples in a circle in a single layer around the bottom of the pan. (Overlapping won’t hurt.) Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of the coconut sugar over the apples and follow with 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon.

Return the pie plate to the oven and bake the apple mixture for 8-10 minutes. While the apple mixture is baking – In your blender, blend the milk, eggs, flour, xanthan gum, remaining cinnamon and coconut sugar, and vanilla until completely combined and smooth.

Remove the apples from the oven and pour the batter over the apples. Return to the oven and bake for 22 minutes.

Slice and serve with powdered sugar and fresh lemon wedges for squeezing.

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Maple & Clementine Doughnuts

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Raise your hand if you like doughnuts. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t. The only problem is that for those of us trying to avoid additives, allergens, and just try to keep the abuse to our gut to a minimum…doughnuts in the outside world, aren’t always a good fit.

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If I’m going to indulge a little, I like to have control over my own ingredients. They aren’t perfectly healthy (someone figure out how to make a perfectly healthy doughnut with an avocado, and I’m there) but they are healthi-ER and are made with whole ingredients that everyone can recognize and pronounce.

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I’d been staring at a few clementines in the fridge for a week. They needed to be eaten but why eat them plain when you can try to marry them with something amazing (like maple sugar) and eat them in the form of a doughnut?

I mean, live a little, will you?

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If you haven’t tried maple sugar…oh my goodness, you are missing out. It’s purely made from maple syrup and it has an intense maple flavor. I’ve used it in several cookie recipes as well as candied nuts and it never disappoints. I wasn’t sure if clementine and maple were a good match but they turned out to be the perfect match. 

Someday when I can eat oatmeal again, I’m going to put maple sugar all over it and I’m convinced trumpets will sound and angels will sing.

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I think this recipe could end up being very versatile. We’ll see if I can come up with some other interesting flavors in the future…and of course the staple – chocolate with chocolate frosting.

See you soon! xo

Maple & Clementine Doughnuts

*Grain Free *Dairy Free

*Makes 14 doughnuts

For The Doughnuts:

1 Cup of Full Fat Coconut Milk

1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Cup of Maple Sugar

1/4 Cup of Coconut Sugar

1/2 Cup of Dairy Free Butter

2 Eggs, separated

2 teaspoons of Clementine Juice

2 teaspoons of Clementine Zest

1/2 teaspoon of Pure Orange Extract

1 Cup of Cassava Flour

1/2 Cup of Chestnut Flour

1 teaspoon of Double Acting Baking Powder

3/4 teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray two non stick doughnut pans with oil.

Measure the coconut milk and add the apple cider vinegar. Stir and set aside. Cream the sugars and butter in a mixer until fluffy. Add the clementine juice, zest, and extract and mix to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Separate the eggs (I put the yolks in the coconut milk mixture and beat with a fork), and beat the egg whites to stiff peak. Set aside.

Add the coconut milk mixture to the sugar and butter mixture and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix on slow until combined, scraping down sides once or twice. Remove the bowl and fold in the egg whites.

With a small spoon, carefully fill the doughnut pan holes. Bake for 13 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then flip the doughnuts (carefully) out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.

For the Maple Orange Frosting:

2/3 Cup of Maple Sugar, blended to make powdered maple sugar (you could also just use regular powdered sugar but you will not have the maple flavor)

1/3 Cup of Dairy Free Butter

2 teaspoons of Pure Orange Extract

Pinch of Sea Salt

About 2 teaspoons of Coconut Milk

Whiz up the sugar in your blender and pour into a bowl. Add the butter and salt and mash with a fork until the mixture is smooth, add the extract, and continue mixing. Slowly add in a little bit of coconut milk at a time until you have a medium thick dipping/spreading consistency. You can either dip each doughnut (carefully, they are a bit fragile), or spoon frosting on each doughnut and spread it. **Next time, I think I would go for a bit thicker of a frosting and just spread it on each doughnut. That way it will set up faster and be easier to handle when eating with your hands.

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Beef & Veggie Burritos

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I really like to have a few easy meals in my fridge and freezer for lunches and those nights I don’t feel like cooking a meal with a lot of steps and ingredients. I have found that homemade soups, sauces, tortillas, and now burritos are really helpful to have on hand.

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I made these burritos with beef and veggies but the options are endless! You could go a completely traditional Mexican route, you could make breakfast burritos, make them vegan, use chicken or pork, shredded or diced, you could go completely veggie, Asian, Caribbean, you name it – as far as your imagination and skills will take you.

If you’re short on time, you can also make the tortillas a day ahead or a few days ahead so you can split up the prep time although – these come together really quickly!

 

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Speaking of the tortillas, that recipe also has endless options. You can add all kinds of herbs for flavor. You can also replace the spinach puree with pureed sweet potato, carrots, kale, collards… or beets or sun dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, a combination of different herbs and veggies, or anything your creative mind comes up with.

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*Dairy Free   *Grain Free   *Egg Free

Beef & Veggie Burritos 

*Makes 10 small/medium burritos

Double Batch of My Grain Free Spinach Tortillas

1 lb of Ground Beef

1 Cup of Chopped Red Onion

3 Cloves of Minced Garlic

1 Tablespoon of Oregano

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt

Few Grinds of Pepper

…………………………

2 Cups of Chopped Red Cabbage

3/4 Cup of Chopped Broccoli Florets

1/4 Cup of Diced Celery

1/2 Cup of Diced Carrot

3/4 Cup of Diced Red Bell Pepper

1 3/4 Cups of Diced Cremini Mushrooms

2 Cups of Chopped (small) Baby Kale

3 Cloves of Minced Garlic

1 Tablespoon of Minced Fresh Rosemary

1 Tablespoon of Minced Fresh Thyme

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt

Few Grinds of Pepper

1 Tablespoon of Avocado Oil

1/4 Cup of Beef Broth

2 Cups of Daiya Cheddar Style Cheese (I like to buy the block and grate it, I think it tastes better and melts better)

…………………………………………………………………………………..

Make tortillas and cool.

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Saute the first block of ingredients and set aside. Then, saute the cabbage, broccoli, celery, carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms, kale, garlic, and herbs in the 1 Tablespoon of avocado oil. Season with salt and pepper, add the first block of sauteed ingredients and stir together. Add the 1/4 cup of beef broth and stir. (I use grass fed lower fat ground beef…if you are using a high fat ground beef, you may not need to add the beef broth for moisture).

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**If you are making these to eat immediately, then you’ll want to quick heat your tortillas in a frying pan as you assemble the burritos. I just heat a frying pan on medium high and heat the tortillas for a minute or so on each side. Then, add the filling and top with cheese, fold it up and serve. You can use any type of pan to heat and crisp the tortilla and do not need oil.

**If you’re meal prepping these for the freezer, then you’ll want to cool the ingredients completely before assembling. Then, assemble one by one and wrap each in a piece of parchment, layering the burritos in a freezer bag.

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To reheat you can either wrap them in foil for a softer burrito or leave them naked for a bit of a crunch on the outside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake for about 30-35 minutes turning once.

You will have a few plain tortillas left over. They store well in the fridge for a few days or for a month in the freezer. If freezing, place a piece of parchment between each tortilla and stack. Double bag and freeze.