paleo pumpkin bars

breakfast, holidays, snacks, treats

They started off as a weekend treat. Then a quick breakfast option and onto an after-gym snack. They are pretty much just always around these days.

This pumpkin bar recipe from the Detoxinista has been a weekly staple for us this season. Canned pumpkin is hard to come by in this city but we had some generous visitors come through Edinburgh and they brought us canned pumpkin from the States… they know me too well!

They are moist. Pumpkiny. Warm. Comforting. And the closest thing I got to pumpkin pie, that is GF, DF, and refined sugar-free this year. They have been the perfect alternative and great with a morning cup of joe.

I have successfully reintroduced a couple of key spices here after following the AIP. If you have yet to incorporate nutmeg and clove into your diet, look at the link here for a vegan and AIP-friendly recipe for pumpkin bars from Cook It Up Paleo.

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Paleo Pumpkin Bars

Makes 12 bars

Ingredients:

15 oz. pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs

Coconut oil, for greasing the pan

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F / 175C
  2. Grease a 9×9 baking tray well with coconut oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well.
  4. Transfer batter to the greased baking tray, smooth the top.
  5. Bake at for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the center is firm.
  6. Allow to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve.
  7. Share with your people, enjoy!

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Notes

  • Coconut flour is a unique GF flour to use in baking. This recipe relies on using coconut flour and a substitution is not as straight forward as you might think. If you would like to use a different flour substitute look here for an almond flour recipe from Elana’s Pantry.
  • These bars will store well in the fridge for a few days (if they last that long!)
  • Try a pumpkin pie spice blend for ease and perfect ratios.

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What healthy treats do you or your families make every year? The past few years my mom makes delicious crust-less pies for the holidays. Instead of a traditional pie crust, she makes the most delicious base of ground nuts, coconut oil and agave nectar or maple syrup. See a similar recipe here

I can attest that this recipe is a delicious addition while you are putting up your Christmas decorations. I hope you are having a lovely start to your December and Advent season.

Have a delicious week, x!

 

 

 

 

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healthy pumpkin spice latte

food & drink, snacks, treats

Hi friends, it is the first day of fall! Yay!

Leaves. The clock rolls back. Scarves. Sweaters. Boots. Scented candles. And all things pumpkin!

This week I have been experimenting with a homemade, healthy version of the classic Pumpkin Spice latte from Starbucks. There is nothing wrong with a little treat yo’self, especially if you look forward to this fall treat year-round. But I would like to drink them all fall (and winter for that matter), so I had to find a healthier way to do that without a growing waistline or dwindling checking account. I will definitely be sipping on this as the mornings are darker and the weather just a bit cooler.

Serves 1- 2

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk (or your dairy preference)
  • 2 tbs pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee or espresso
  • ground cinnamon

 

Directions 

  1. Combine all ingredients (minus the coffee) in a small pan over low heat on stovetop. Stir slowly until the milk is hot.
  2. Whisk the mixture to get a frothy texture for 30-45 seconds.
  3. Pour coffee or espresso in a mug and top with coconut milk mixture. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon
  4. Sip and savour fall in a mug!

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Notes 

  • Extra mixture will keep in glass jar up to two days
  • You can freeze any leftover mixture in ice trays for another day or to blend in a morning smoothie or cook into your oatmeal

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Let me know if you give this recipe a try, as always! What are the fall recipes that you look forward to most?

Happy autumn! x

endless summer fruit + nut crumble

breakfast, dessert, recipes, treats

Summer officially ends this week. Slow teardrop down my cheek… 

Here in Edinburgh, we have been experiencing unseasonably warm weather leading up to autumn. All of August we enjoyed the seasons best berries, peaches + plums. We had a big bowl on the table and it felt a bit more summery around here. We are topping off our oatmeals, yogurt bowls and leafy salads with delicious additions like grilled peaches and figs and we will continue to do so through the fall with some stewed apples and pears.

For this particular recipe, I was unsure whether to call it a cobbler, a crisp or a crumble because it fits the bill for all. What I love about this recipe is the versatility. You can add whatever fruit you have on hand or is in season.

You can have it for breakfast paired with coffee or topped with a protein-rich Greek yogurt. As a leftover, it can serve as a great on-the-go option as school and work schedules get a bit busier this time of year.

It also makes for a fantastic, and not-too-sweet dessert option. We consistently bring this over to friends with vanilla ice-cream and it is always a hit!

After two rounds of strict AIP since February, I have successfully re-introduced a couple of key foods like eggs, various nuts + gluten-free oats. Win! It makes baking a bit easier and enjoyable. I can have these foods in moderation without feeling crummy. And one tasty way to keep from feeling crummy, is to make this crumble… [nice segue there, eh?]

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Serves: 4-5 Servings

Ingredients

For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or dairy alternative)
  • 1 tbs maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • sliced almonds
For the filling:
  • 3 ripe peaches, cut into slices
  • 2 ripe plums, cut into slices
  • 2 ripe greengage, cut into slices (or extra peach/plum)
  • 1 cup berries of choice (blackberries and blueberries are nice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • lemon juice
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Directions

Prep Time:  10 Mins/ Cook Time:  35 Mins / Total Time:  45 Mins

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F / 170 C.
  2. To prepare the filling, toss the fruit, sweetener, vanilla, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the mixture with lemon juice.
  3. Transfer the fruit filling to a lightly oiled 8 x 8 square baking dish or a glass pie plate.
  4. To make the topping, add all ingredients to a medium sized mixing bowl and mix them together, until you have a clumpy, well-mixed topping.
  5. Dollop (I love that word) all of the topping over the fruit.
  6. If you fancy, sprinkle sliced almonds and/or extra gluten-free on top of crumble.
  7. Bake the crisp for 35 minutes, until fruit is bubbling + the crumble topping is golden.
  8. Serve with yogurt, coconut whipped cream, vanilla ice-cream, or anything you like!

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Notes

  • Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge
  • Short on time? Easy to prep ahead of time. Cover in the fridge and pop in the oven before serving

 

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This month, I am looking forward to a similar version with some apple, pears + figs. It is also my favourite time of year to get those pumpkin recipes out! Tell me, what are your fall favourites?
Have a delicious week, x!

lemon + coconut cake

dessert, recipes, treats

[This recipe has been edited since it was originally posted. I appreciate your feedback about my initial recommendation of coconut flour. I have reworked a few ingredients and hope this variation proves to be more successful for you as it requires less coconut flour! Keep the feedback coming y’all]

Grain-free and sugar-free baking can be intimidating, crumbly and expensive. But it can also be easy, delicious, affordable and make a restrictive diet fun again. Yep, I love fun that you can eat.

When it comes to basic GF/DF/SF/Paleo baking, we do not have to reinvent the wheel. Thanks to all the wonderful blogs, cookbook authors, Pinterest and friends with Celiac and Hashimoto’s, or individuals following the auto-immune protocol, it is easier than ever to modify and experiment with any recipe imaginable.

I first made a version of this cake at the beginning of the year and what a difference a few months make in learning how to make vegan, grain-free, naturally-sweetened baked goods all that you want them to be. Patience wins again!

I started my ‘cake experiment’ with a very basic vanilla pound cake recipe from Elana’s Pantry.  I have used this recipe as a base to experiment with banana bread, blueberry morning loaf, cinnamon raisin pumpkin loaf and chunky zucchini bread. I am really excited about this batch of lemon cake because it is super moist, dense yet light, not too sweet, and this case, deliciously lemony! I have to omit eggs from baking and find that banana, applesauce and arrowroot flour bind nicely. This cake is good naked and can also be topped a layer of coconut creme.

Ingredients
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup arrowroot flour (can sub tapioca or almond flour)
2 ripe bananas
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 coconut milk (or dairy alternative of your choice)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
lemon juice from 2 lemons
zest of 2 lemons

Heartbeet Kitchen’s | Ingredients for whipped coconut cream 

1/2 can very cold full fat coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)

2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (omit for AIP)

½ cup unsweetened toasted coconut flakes

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F / 175C
  2. Coat a 9″ loaf pan with light layer of coconut oil and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients: flours, salt, and baking soda.
  4. In a mixer or a small processor, combine the bananas, milk, applesauce, vanilla + lemon juice
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir to combine. Add lemon zest.  Then pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top into an even layer.
  6. Top with sliced almonds, omit for AIP. 
  7. Bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown, then tent with foil and bake for another 30-35 minutes until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
  8. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before topping with coconut cream and serving your people!

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Coconut cream:

  1. Open the refrigerated coconut milk, being careful to keep it level. Scoop out all the hard cream that has come to the surface, until you hit the liquid. Leave the liquid in the can, do not add.
  2. Put the coconut cream in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a mixer or handheld mixer on high speed – whip the coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes until it becomes fluffy and light, with soft peaks.
  3. Stir in the honey and frost cake. Best stored in refrigerator, then let it come to room temperature before serving.

 

 Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days
  • I recommend Meyer lemons if you can find them
  • I recommend using a food processor to blend the batter nice and smooth, like an eggy consistency
  • Try letting the cake sit for a bit before eating – the texture improves a bit and the middle should firm up

Enjoy! x

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citrus + pomegranate mint salad

breakfast, dessert, holidays, salads, treats

 

I don’t know about you, but when I like something I stick to it.

I can always count on my Oma to have full, juicy bowls of oranges and grapefruits around during Christmas and Easter. Maybe because she knows it is the perfect antidote to all the overindulgence of the holidays. I have fond memories of watching my Papa sit at the kitchen counter helping her to peel all of the membranes from every slice- he hated the white stuff, he was determined, and checked and re-check that every seed was out of the bowl.

This year as we celebrated Easter brunch with friends, I decided to keep the tradition going with a little twist – pomegranate and mint. Best served chilled, it is perfectly sweet and slightly tart, refreshing and very easy to put together.

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This salad is a showstopper, requires very little work and feels like a fancy salad despite it only being four ingredients. It is easy enough to make for yourself for breakfast but also to serve guests. This recipe is AIP (auto immune protocol) compliant, in season (yep, November till July) and packed with nutrients.

  • Grapefruit is extra good for you this time of year with plenty of immune-boosting Vitamin C to help fight off colds, lycopene for glowing skin, and free-radical fighting antioxidants. I eat a grapefruit every day because it is perfect for hitting the metabolism-reset button. Pow!
  • Pomegranates contain high levels of antioxidants that protect against heart disease and cancer. A glass of pure pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries.
  • Mint is a great palate cleanser and promotes digestion. It also soothes stomachs in cases of indigestion or inflammation.

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Ingredients

1 pomegranate

2 large navel oranges
2 pink grapefruits
Fresh mint 

Method

  • Place the pomegranate on a surface that won’t stain. Do not wear white. And follow this link for the easy way to remove pomegranate seeds. When finished, pick out any bits of the white membrane so all that remains in the bowl are seeds and juice.
  • For the oranges and grapefruits, cut a small slice off the top and bottom so the fruit can sit flat on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, work your way around the fruits to remove all peel. Carefully cut the segments cross-wise or cut around each segment.

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  • Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and fresh mint leaves over the sliced citrus
  • Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to share with your people
  • Slurping up the extra juice at the end is an extra treat

Enjoy! x

 

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chocolate + almond butter pudding

dessert, recipes, snacks, treats

Who doesn’t want a quick and nutritionally dense way to answer a sugar craving? This chocolate pudding removes all the guilt and satisfies my sweet tooth . This dairy and gluten-free recipe is rich, smooth, creamy and nutritiousIt is also incredible easy and quick to put together – would make a great last minute Easter dessert.

-Take care of the ticker with avocados that are rich in healthy fats, folate, and extremely heart healthy.

-The creaminess of banana provides Vitamin B6, potassium, fiber and sweetens the pudding naturally.

-Cacao or cocoa powder provides antioxidants and magnesium. Did you know that most people are deficient in magnesium? It is an important mineral for regulating blood sugar and helps fight strong sugar cravings.

-The almond butter provides an extra boost of protein and even more healthy fats to keep you satiated and adds the right about of salty to sweet.

Ingredients

makes 4 small pots 

  • 2 large avocados
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 2-3 tbs cocoa or cacao powder (to your preference)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp optional sweetener (date syrup, agave nectar, honey)

 

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Method

Place the flesh of the avocados and all remaining ingredients together in a blender or food processor and blend, scraping down the sides as you go until well combined. Yep, that easy.

a). remove to a bowl + eat now

b). cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours + eat later

Both ways are delicious. Serve it up and share with your people.

The toppings are endless or it can be served plain and simple. Top with a pinch of cocoa, sliced bananas, a handful of berries, a dollop of almond butter or some shredded coconut flakes.

 

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Notes

  • If you prefer an intense chocolate flavor, add less sweetener.
  • The pudding can easily be prepared in advance and put into serving glasses/jars to store in the fridge.
  • The consistency of the pudding will thicken when chilled. Leftovers will keep in the fridge up to a few days, though best when fresh.

 

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Enjoy! x

 

Grain Free Pumpkin Bread

dessert, recipes, snacks, treats
When the smell of cinnamony, nutmeggy pumpkin bread fills your home, it’s a special kind of nirvana in the nostrils. During these cold, dark and damp winter months in Edinburgh this easy pumpkin bread has won us over, time and time again. This perfectly moist, gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free pumpkin quick bread is made with high protein almond flour and has no processed or refined sugars.

Ingredients – serves 4

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup pureed pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 bananas (with a little green, too ripe does not work well for this)

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Method

  1. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients; flours, salt, baking soda and spices
  2. In a food processor, combine wet ingredients; pumpkin, honey, vanilla and banana, pulse for 2 minutes
  3. Scoop batter into a mini loaf pan
  4. Bake at 350°F (or 170°C)  for 35-45 minutes
  5. Cool for 20-30 minutes
  6. Take a whiff of pumpkin filling your kitchen, serve warm and share with your people

Notes

  • I have experimented with this recipe a few times. Eggs, no eggs, ‘flax eggs’, gelatin, banana… I opt for the vegan option because mashed banana makes a really nice binder. The texture is just right and it really brings out the pumpkin and spices in this recipe.
  • For another vegan friendly option, substitute the honey with date syrup or agave nectar
  • If you want an extra sweet treat, toss in some raisins and/or dark chocolate chips to the batter before baking
  • For an additional crunch, mix in or top the loaf with your favorite nuts or seeds halfway through baking
  • Coconut flour absorbs anything its mixed with. If your mixture seems a bit dry, stir in some dairy (2 tbs. at a time) of your choice to make a little wetter before putting in your loaf pan

I’m in love with pumpkin and I don’t care who knows it! I have had my share of the stuff for months now; curries, breads, pancakes, stews, breakfast hash… and I don’t plan on stopping.

If you too, are experiencing pumpkin obsession/heaven what is your favorite pumpkin recipe? How do you prefer to prepare winter squash that is in abundance this time of year?

 

x

summer peach oven cake

breakfast, recipes, treats

August and festivals, they just go together.

Here in Edinburgh we are celebrating the start of the Fringe Festival, International Festival and the  International Book Festival. The population is said to triple and it is just about impossible to find an available room in the city. It is one big party around here.

August is also one of my favorite times of year in our dear ‘ol Colorado. It has become a family tradition to pack up the car and head to the Palisade Peach Festival to celebrate all things peaches. Attendees sample peach ice cream, peach pie, peach cobbler, peach liquor, peach pancakes, peach jam, peach smoothies and Dad’s favorite, peach salsa. The festival is complete with a peach eating contest, peach cuisine demonstrations, a full parade down main street and one lucky gal is crowned Peach Queen.

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One of the highlights of the trip is to return home with crates of the fuzzy fruit. We would bring back dozens upon dozens of freshly picked peaches for friends and family. This juicy fruit was a part of my growing up and using them in this easy peach oven cake recipe brought back some sweet memories!

I got the idea to try an oven-baked pancake after a post about Swedish Fat Almond Cake from Green Kitchen Stories. This baked pancake called ugnspannkaka or tjockpannkaka, means oven baked pancake or thick pancake. It tastes like a huge pancake and is perfect for sharing. I wanted to try a version of my own, because I think we can all appreciate the simplicity of the recipe and not having to stand at the stove and flip pancakes.

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Sweet: This recipe is sweetened naturally by the warm, juicy peaches, with a hint of nuttiness from the almonds and coconut. We like to top with butter and agave nectar.

Simple: It couldn’t be easier. Whip the ingredients together and throw into the oven.

The pancake will rise during baking, it should be fluffy with a golden outer crust and a soft peachy inside- the perfect summer comfort food.

INGREDIENTS

4 servings

3 peaches, cut into thin slices

1/2 cup milk *your preference, I used coconut milk

1/2 cup gluten free all-purpose flour

3 eggs

2 tbs coconut flour

2 tbs almond meal

1 tbs butter

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 drop vanilla extract

1 pinch salt

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1 tbs optional sweetener

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METHOD

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C)

Melt butter in a cast-iron skillet in the preheating oven

Combine peach slices, sweetener, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl; gently toss to coat the peaches well. Cut the peaches into bite sized pieces. Set aside.

Beat eggs, milk, flours, almond meal, vanilla extract, salt together in a bowl until batter well-combined but a little lumpy. Pour into skillet.

Top batter with the peach mixture. Place the peaches into the top of the cake. They can be nicely arranged, but feel free to get as many peaches you can into the oven cake.

Bake in preheated oven until set in the middle, about 25 minutes.

Whatever you decide, breakfast, lunch, dessert… Enjoy!

x

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Palisade Peach Festival 2014

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