GF Cranberry Pecan Bread

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Ok, this recipe is not in any way paleo.  Not even close.  That said, despite the fact that I have been mostly paleo/primal for the last 2 years this blog gets more traffic from my bread recipes (see here, and here) than anything else.  So, for those that want great gluten free bread that is better than anything you can find in a store, that is moist and tender and doesn’t have a grainy texture or fall apart if you look at it funny, here it is.  This is a slightly sweet bread and is really nice for a change.  I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Wet Ingredients

3 eggs

1/3 cup expeller pressed melted coconut oil

1/3 cup honey

1 1/3 cup very warm water

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1 T yeast

Dry Ingredients

1 cup sorghum flour

1 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup ivory teff

1/2 cup dark teff 

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 T plus 1/2 top xanthan gum

1/2 cup chopped raw pecans

Preheat oven to 200 degrees and then turn it off keeping the oven light on.  Heat water (it needs to be pretty hot because when you add it to the eggs etc it will cool down considerably.  After adding the water to your other wet ingredients you want the temperature to end up being about body temperature.)  Add cranberries to soak for a couple of minutes while you get the other wet ingredients assembled.   In the bowl of your stand mixer add the eggs, melted coconut oil and honey and mix well.  Add water and cranberries and yeast and stir until combined. Let it sit so the yeast will proof while you assemble your dry ingredients and prepare your pans.  Using mini loaf pans lightly grease with coconut oil and then line with wax paper.  This doesn’t have to be pretty or exact.  It won’t matter in the end.  Roughly trim the edges of the paper so it doesn’t hang over the sides too far.  In a large bowl sift all of your flours with the xanthan gum and salt.  When your liquid ingredients look all foamy add the dry ingredients with the mixer on medium low.  Mix well.  Scrape down the sides.  Mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until well combined.  Add pecans and mix through.  Divide the dough between the two pans.  Coat your hands in melted coconut oil and smooth the tops of the loaves.  Make sure your oven is turned off with the light on and place the pans on the middle rack to rise for 25 minutes.  When the time is up turn on the oven to 350 degrees and set the timer for 38 minutes.  No need to pull the bread out to pre-heat the oven.  When they are done remove from oven and let cool on the counter top, in the pans.  When they are cool enough to touch you can remove from the pans and slice and serve.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I hate the idea of throwing things away.  I had 3 big over ripe bananas sitting there waiting to be used.  I tweaked an old recipe of mine for Banana Nut Muffins and they turned out great.  The kids loved them.  My 7-year-old who isn’t a big eater tossed back 2 right away and then asked if I could make more for her lunch.  Sure!  No problem.  These were really quick to make despite the fact my 3-year-old was “helping”.  These muffins are not sweetened with anything but bananas.   Well, bananas and chocolate chips.  🙂  They are grain, nut, gluten, soy, dairy free and have no added sugar.  AND the kids still loved them. 

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 mashed over ripe bananas 

1/2 tsp baking soda

6 eggs

1/4 cup melted coconut oil 

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use ENJOY LIFE)

I’m not much into the mucking around with the mixing of the wet in one bowl and then mixing of the dry in another bowl and then finally mixing the two together.  Sifting?  Forget it.  Way too many dishes.  So… Preheat your oven to 350.  In a large bowl add the bananas and mash them a bit.  You can use your hands for this and save dirtying yet another piece of kitchen equipment.  Add the eggs, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and melted coconut oil.  Use a hand mixer and mix until well blended.  Add the coconut flour and mix until pretty smooth.  Then stir in your chocolate chips.  Line 11 cupcake tins with liners.  I used a level ice cream scoop to spoon the batter into the lined tins.  12 would have made a nice number but the ice cream scoop made this recipe in 11.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  These are great warm.  If there are any left after these cool store them in the fridge.

This post was shared at: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/monday-mania-1232012/, http://www.realfoodwholehealth.com/2012/01/fresh-bites-friday-january-27-2012/

Coconut Waffles with Fried Apple and Blueberry Topping

Sinless

I haven’t done a dessert/sweet breakfast for a while and I think it is about time.  I wanted to do something without nuts (coconut not included).  I have nothing against nuts of course but it is really easy to go over board with them.  Most desserts I make are nut based as are my muffins.  I made a chocolate almond muffin (not my recipe) a while back and just for curiosity sake I put the data into Nutrition Data.  I have to admit I was stunned with what I learned.  One small muffin was nearly 300 calories. Man, I hope that thing is wrong.   No, I don’t count calories nor do I even pay much attention to it but….holy crap that is a lot of calories for a SMALL muffin.  The other little detail about nuts that I try to be aware of is their omega 6 content.  It’s pretty easy to upset your Omega 6 : Omega 3 balance with nuts.  So anyway, last night I was craving something sweet – no doubt because I had had a smoothie earlier in the day.  (Anyone else like that?  If you have something sweet or higher in carbs than you are used to, then the cravings for other carby things kicks into overdrive?)  I went to my fridge and pulled out organic apples I had bought but turned out all mealy and soft (the kind that you have no choice but to cook them) and the remaining fresh organic blueberries (although I also made this with frozen and it worked out equally as good).  This is what I came up with.  I don’t really know what to call it other than a smashing success.  The kids loved it and literally licked their bowls clean.  Hubby gave it a thumbs up and helped himself to a second bowl.  We ate it right out of the bowl by itself but this morning the leftovers were used to top waffles.  Oh My!  It was incredible.  It’s a nice change from the usual bacon and eggs.  As an added bonus to it’s flavor is the fact that it is lower carb and has no refined sugars so I had one waffle with some of this sauce and didn’t feel hungry for hours and hours.  Had this been the sugary, gluten version I personally would have felt like crap right after and then felt hungry in less than 2 hours.  It also did not leave me craving carbs all day.  This topping would also be great on a minimally sweetened, dense, coconut pound cake.  I am not sure if this will qualify for GAPS legal because of the baking soda in the waffles and the iffy stevia but it is absolutely 100% paleo goodness.

Apple Blueberry Sauce

2 T coconut oil

3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup coconut milk

pinch of salt

liquid stevia to taste (I used about 1/2 a dropper full)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

unsweetened coconut flakes

Heat saute pan, add virgin coconut oil.  Add apples and salt.  Saute for 5- 10 minutes until they begin to soften.  Add cinnamon, cloves, blueberries, coconut milk.  Continue cooking until apples are soft and sauce has thickened a bit.  When apples are soft remove from heat and add stevia and fresh lemon juice.  Stir to combine.  Serve hot in a bowl alone or serve on waffles or pancakes. Top with coconut flakes for garnish.

This waffle recipe was originally from The Food Lovers Primal Palate.  I made it as they wrote it first then made some changes that suited our tastes.  Here is what worked for us.  For about half of the recipe I made these as pancakes the other half as waffles.  It makes about 8 small waffles if you are only making waffles.

Waffles/Pancakes

1/4 cup coconut flour

4 eggs

pinch of sea salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

liquid stevia to taste (I used approx one dropper full)

1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil

Combine all ingredients and mix well with electric mixer.  Tough hey?  I used a couple of tablespoons of the batter onto each of the four sections of my waffle maker so that the waffles were small.  They are done when the waffle is lightly brown and separates from the waffle maker easily.  (Or when the light comes on and the steam subsides.)  Top waffles/pancakes with Apple Blueberry sauce.

My Morning 8 Ball – Squash “Pancakes”

Paleo Pancakes

Paleo Pancakes

Several weeks ago I signed up for my first CSA (community supported agriculture). A CSA is a wonderful thing. (If you are in the Phoenix area, this is the one I use.) I have been so impressed with everything about this. Once a week I pick up a large paper bag filled with 8 different things. It is mostly veggies and occasionally some fruit. Everything is organic, local and SUPER fresh. Another reason I am loving this is that I am receiving things that I normally wouldn’t buy or even think to try. One week there were dandelion greens in the bag. I had never tried them before and for that matter have never seen them for sale anywhere either. We tried them and liked them. It’s been fun for me to figure out what to do with the variety of foods I receive each week. Last week I received a squash I had never seen of, nor heard of, before. It’s called an eight ball squash. The first time I made them I stuffed them with a meat/veggie mix and covered them with a vegan “cheese” sauce. It was pretty good but not blog worthy. I got more of those squash this week. On a whim I came up with this. It was so incredibly good! My very picky four-year old said, “they don’t look very good but they are YUMMY!” I was honestly stunned. She ate 3 of them! They are simple, low carb and very satisfying. I fried these in lots of bacon fat which added a lot of flavor to a relatively bland veggie. You save your bacon fat, right? That stuff is like gold! Since most people probably don’t have eight ball squash lying around you could use yellow squash, grey mexican or zucchini too. They taste very similar. I served them with a Vietnamese style dipping sauce. These savory pancakes are low carb, GAPS legal, grain, soy, dairy, corn, and gluten free.

See mom, here is another grain free breakfast!

Eightball Squash Savory Pancakes

2 eight ball squash (navel orange size)

6 eggs

1 tsp celtic sea salt (to taste – I like salt so beware)

freshly ground black pepper

1 T coarsely chopped fresh basil

bacon fat or fat of choice

Vietnamese Style Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup preservative free fish sauce

juice of 1 lemon

2 T water

freshly ground black pepper

Slice squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Then with a veggie peeler, peel the skin off. Cut in large chunks and place in food processor. Pulse briefly to a coarse chop, then add eggs, salt, pepper and basil to bowl and process again until well combined. In a preheated cast iron pan add 2-3 T bacon fat. Then scoop egg /squash mixture out in 2-3 T heaps. Fry on med – med/low until eggs are set and the bottoms are browned. Carefully flip. They are quite tender so you really need a lot of fat in the pan so they don’t break apart due to sticking. Cook the second side until browned. Remove from pan to a plate lined with paper towel to soak up any extra drippings.

While you are frying the rest of the pancakes mix all ingredients for the sauce in a bowl.

Serve together while pancakes are still hot.

This recipe has been shared at Monday Mania 6/6/11 @ The Healthy Home Economist.

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.

Pizza Eggs

Pizza EggsYou would think that since we raise chickens for eggs that I like eggs.  I don’t.  Not really.  I eat them because they are fast and easy in the morning.  But do I love them? No.  I have however come up with a way to eat and enjoy eggs.  Actually, I really enjoy this.  I have made it 3 times in the last week.  My six year old loves it too.  It makes me happy to hear her ask for this and to see her eat a high protein, grain free breakfast before going to school.  I make this dairy free for me by using Daiya dairy free cheese substitute.  Everyone loves pizza.  This version is a gigantic step up from the high carb, wheat filled one I grew up with (and loved).  I watched an episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.  In it he showed that kids are served pizza for breakfast in schools.  This kind of pizza for breakfast would be a much better alternative, don’t you think?  This is quick and filling as well as low carb, high protein,  grain and gluten free and can be made dairy free.  Hey mom look it is another breakfast without toast!

Pizza Eggs

1 tsp expeller pressed coconut oil

3 eggs lightly beaten

salt and pepper to taste

1 can of tomato paste (6oz)

3 T olive oil

1/2 tsp basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

toppings of your choice (I like sautéed mushrooms, sliced green olives, pepperoni and caramelized onions but realistically the onions take too long)

cheese or Daiya cheese substitute

Start with your sauce since once the eggs get started you are almost done.  Mix together tomato paste, salt and pepper, olive oil and dried herbs.  Add as much water as you like to get it to the consistency you like your sauce.  I like mine quite thick.  You will need a 8 inch nonstick pan if your trusty cast iron pan is like mine.  I can’t trust that it could do an omelette.  Heat oil over medium heat.  Lightly beat eggs together with salt and pepper.  Pour eggs into pan and cover.  Keep a close eye on it and as soon as the eggs are 75% set flip the juicy eggs out onto a flat plate.  Then slide the eggs back into the pan cooked side up.** Once the eggs are flipped turn the heat off but keep the pan on the heat source.  Top with a generous amount of sauce, toppings and cheese.  Replace lid and let sit for a few minutes while the cheese melts.  For your toppings keep in mind that they are not going to be cooked just lightly warmed.  Slide pizza out onto plate, slice and serve. 

** This is the tricky part for me – trying to not brown the eggs.  I don’t like browned eggs.

This recipe has been entered in The Healthy Home Economists Monday Mania for 2/7/11.

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.