Banana Pecan Muffins

Banana Pecan MuffinsI had been wanting a Vitamix for what feels like years. I see it mentioned over and over on so many blogs. At first I thought it was just a pricey blender. Then I found this page showing 52 video demonstrations of everything it can do. After seeing all that I really wanted one. So I went to work trying to convince my husband that I needed yet another appliance. This was a tough sell since I have so many appliances. My Kitchenaid blender was working just fine and it was a rare event that I even pulled it out. The Vitamix is not cheap… as in >$600 however Costco carries them and does demos once a year or so and they sell them for $394 I think. The trick of course was finding out when Costco was carrying them and then waiting. Delayed gratification is so not my thing. Imagine my excitement when I find out that the Costco nearest to me had them for that entire week. It was the final day. I talked my hubby and kids into grocery shopping. I was so excited. We got there and Ron seemed receptive to me getting one. And then…. there was no demo to be found. I was crushed. It would be months until I might have an opportunity again. Then a couple of weeks later we were at Costco and low and behold the Mighty Vitamix was there. It was hard to contain my excitement. I stood there watching the demo and asking countless questions and of course sampling many different treats. I was so sold. Ron… not so much but he did however agree!! I love this thing! I use it several times a day – everyday. These muffins are made using it. I’ve made them a couple times now. They are fun to make and always disappear in a day or two. These muffins are grain, gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, corn, and brewers yeast free. They are low to moderate carb and are GAPS legal. They make a great snack or a quick on the go breakfast. They are just sweet enough, dense and moist. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.

Banana Pecan Muffins

3 over ripe bananas

4 pitted dates

3 eggs

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 cups lightly packed almond flour

1 cup roughly chopped pecans

Add bananas, eggs, dates and salt to Vitamix. Blend until smooth and there are no date pieces visible. (The Vitamix is so impressive – the dates I used were very dry and hard and it was still able to puree it into invisible bits.) Next, add coconut oil and mix briefly. Add almond flour and mix until well blended. Pour/scoop muffin mix into a large bowl. Fold in chopped pecans.Line 12 regular sized muffin tins. Divide batter equally for 12 muffins. Using an ice cream scoop is easiest. Bake for approximately 50 minutes at 325. Store in airtight container in the fridge. I actually enjoy these best cold.

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Almond Flax Crackers

Almond Flax CrackersI miss crackers. Sometimes you just need something crunchy and something to dip that is still grain free. I have made almond flour crackers before but I used my own homemade almond flour. They tasted great but they broke easily and were very tender, almost soft. I think that had something to do with the fat content in it. This time around they were perfect as I used store bought almond flour. They were super quick and easy to make and were crunchy, not soft or crumbly. I ate them with my homemade chicken liver pate and they were exactly what I was craving. Here is what I did.

Almond Flax Crackers

2 cups blanched almond flour (I used Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour)

1/4 cup ground flax meal

1-2 T finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 egg white

sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325. Mix everything together with your hands. If the dough is a bit dry and won’t quite hold together you can add 1 tsp of water at a time until it just holds together. When everything is well mixed and the dough sticks together transfer it in a ball onto a piece of parchment paper. Press the dough down to flatten it a bit then cover with a second piece of parchment paper and roll the dough out until it is uniformly to the desired thickness. If the sides crack apart just push them back together a bit. Carefully transfer the rolled cracker onto a large cookie sheet. The flattened dough should take up most of the sheet. Score with pizza cutter into small squares. Sprinkle the tops of the crackers with a coarse sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes. Check for light browning the crackers. If they are not browning yet bake in 5 minute increments until they are. If they are not baked enough they turn out a bit soft. If they are too brown they don’t taste as good. When they are done leave them on the cookie sheet to cool completely. They firm up and become crispy once they are cool. When cool break them apart and store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Chip Scones (Almond Flour)

Chocolate Chip Scones, GFDFIt has been freakishly cold here today as it has in the rest of the country. When it is miserable outside I get this need to bake. It’s the only thing I want to be doing. Last week I ordered, for the first time, from Honeyville. I ordered blanched almond flour. I really needed to see if it was a whole lot better than the almond flour that I make. I thought it was going to be more expensive than it was. There is very little convenience in my kitchen so it is nice to be able to have the almond flour ready. Is it better than mine? It depends on what I’m making. If I were making chocolate chip cookies or my Almond Coconut Cookies I would certainly use my own almond flour. I like the slightly coarser texture. The Honeyville Blanched Almond flour is really fine and powdery as well as lighter in color. I made these Cinnamon Bun Muffins yesterday and they were fabulous. I, of course, used coconut oil in place of the grapeseed oil and used coconut sugar and less of it in place of agave. The muffins were very light in texture. The recipe made 8 muffins and they were all gone in a matter of 2 hours. I now need to figure out a bread recipe that uses almond flour. Anyway, back to the chocolate chip scones. I wanted something today that was only slightly sweet. I think the next time I make these I will use only 1 T of coconut sugar. The sweetness of the chocolate chips should be enough. This recipe made 8 scones and they were absolutely perfect with a cup of green tea on this “cold” Arizona day. These are gluten free, grain free and dairy free. If you could save a couple of these for the following morning they would make a great breakfast. See mom, here is another breakfast without toast! 😉

Chocolate Chip Scones

1 1/4 cup blanched almond flour

2 T granulated coconut sugar

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp (I used slightly more) sea salt

1 egg

3 T melted coconut oil

1/4 cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In medium bowl combine first 4 ingredients. Add melted coconut oil and lightly beaten egg. Mix well with a fork. Fold in chocolate chips. Transfer dough to parchment lined baking sheet and form a ball. Press ball down until it is about 1 1/2 thick or about 8 inches in diameter. Cut into 6wedges. Separate the slices evenly on the sheet. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the edges are starting to brown slightly and the centers are firm to touch. Let cool to room temperature and serve.