berry bread

fresh berry bread with chocolate chunks

This delicious sweet bread is vegan and gluten-free, as well as low in {coconut} sugar.

A slice of this loaf makes a great guilt-free post-meal treat, or even a nice breakfast with a cup of good coffee 🙂

 

The recipe yields two loaves.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • mashed ripe bananas, 2 cups
  • strained unsweetened applesauce, 1 cup
  • sorghum flour, 3 cups + 2 tablespoons {reserve for berries}
  • tapioca flour, 1 cup
  • baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoon
  • fine sea salt, 1 teaspoon
  • coconut sugar, 2 cups
  • coconut oil, 1/2 cup
  • ground flax seed meal, 1/4 cup
  • hot water, 3/4 cup
  • plain coconut yogurt, 2/3 cup
  • vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons
  • fresh blueberries, 1 cup
  • halved fresh raspberries, 1 cup
  • Enjoy Life {soy & dairy free} chocolate chunks, 10 ounces {1 package}

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl, mix bananas and applesauce. Add the sugar, coconut oil, vanilla and yogurt, mixing well until creamy.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the flours {minus the 2 additional tablespoons of sorghum}, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the hot water and flax seed meal, then set aside for a few minutes before slowly adding to the banana mixture.
  4. Add in the dry mixture and stir gently until moist. Do not over mix.
  5. Toss the berries with the reserved 2 tablespoons of sorghum until coated, then gently stir them into the batter.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chunks.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between two greased 5×9 inch loaf pans.
  8. Bake the loaves for 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool completely before slicing.

 

 

nut butter coconut raisin cookies

nut butter coconut raisin cookies

These cookies are a huge favorite around my house, and everyone I share them with seems to love them too. I think they’re a good “breakfast cookie”, since they really are quite healthy, made with whole grain and fruit. They do have a bit of sugar, but coconut sugar is unrefined and low-glycemic. I have made them two ways – the traditional way with peanut and almond butters and butter, and the allergen-free/vegan way, which really IS just as good. Most people don’t even notice the difference. Both versions are gluten-free.

Here is the recipe, with allergen-free substitutions noted. You’ll love these! xo

INGREDIENTS

  • organic unsalted butter, 4 T {vegan substitute: warmed coconut oil or coconut spread}
  • coconut sugar, 3/4 cup
  • peanut butter, almond butter or combination of the two, 1 cup {nut-free substitute: sesame seed butter}
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk {vegan substitute: 1 1/2 tablespoon ground flax seed meal + 4 tablespoons warm water}
  • vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon
  • gluten-free rolled oats, 2 1/4 cups
  • aluminum-free baking soda, 1 teaspoon
  • fine sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon
  • raisins, 1 1/2 cups
  • shredded coconut, 1/2 cup

METHOD

  1. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Slowly mix in the nut butter, egg and vanilla until creamy.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the oats, baking soda, salt and coconut, then stir into the butter mixture until well combined.
  4. Gently stir in the raisins.
  5. Drop spoonfulls of batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. You’ll want to form the cookies a bit with your hands by pressing down and shaping them.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for about 12-14 minutes. The bottoms of the cookies will be golden brown, and the center of the cookies may seem a little less than done, which is okay.
  7. Allow the cookies to set on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to cooling racks.

gluten-free buckwheat sandwich bread

After my grandma passed away, I inherited her bread machine, among many other small lovely treasures. After bringing it home, I used it a few times, making recipes from the accompanying manual, and a few mixes I picked up at the co-op. They were all okay – I remember that a spelt mix I used was actually quite good, but I never attempted to create my own recipe.

Four years or so later, I decided to pull it out, dust it off, and give it another go – this time I would try my hand at coming up with a gluten-free recipe. As I did research on bread makers and gluten-free breads, I learned that I may not have the best machine for what I wanted to do, but really wanted to try anyway. I have been buying gluten-free breads for the kids at the store, which they like, but they contain a lot of ingredients that I didn’t feel comfortable serving. Also, a tiny loaf of bread is about $6, so my pocketbook wasn’t too stoked either.

After three miserable failures, I finally did it. This recipe is SO yummy. It doesn’t taste yeasty, or too “white”. It’s not gummy in the center, and it rose pretty well. It’s also nice to look at, smells delightful, and the texture is just right.

What finally helped me get it right in my bread machine, which doesn’t have a gluten-free setting, was a stellar review on Amazon – the woman who wrote the review explained how she had learned to manipulate the settings to achieve good results. I am so thankful to have found it, though next time I am going to bake this in a regular glass bread pan in the oven, and see how that goes.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • warm water (about 110 degrees), 1 1/2 cups
  • organic local honey, 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • dry active yeast, 1 tablespoon
  • tapioca flour, 1 cup + 4 teaspoons
  • sorghum flour, 1 cup + 4 teaspoons
  • oat flour, 1/4 cup
  • buckwheat flour, 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
  • fine sea salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • xanthan gum, 2 teaspoons
  • organic free range eggs, 2 large
  • extra virgin olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon
  • golden flax seed meal, 1 tablespoon
  • gluten free rolled oats, 2 tablespoons
  • raw brown sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon

METHOD

  1. In a small bowl, pour the water over the yeast and stir gently. Add the honey, and continue to stir for a minute, then set the mixture aside to let it foam up and rise for a while.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the flours, salt and xanthan gum.
  3. In a small bowl beat the eggs together with the olive oil and vinegar. Pour into the flour mixture and mix for a minute, then add the yeast mixture, mixing all ingredients together well.
  4. Pour batter into your bread machine pan.
  5. Mix the flax seed meal, oats and sesame seeds together in a small bowl, then pour over the raw batter. This is optional, of course, but gives the breas a nice nutty topping. If you’re going to use a bread machine, you’ll want to wait to do this until your kneading cycles are complete.
  6. Follow the instructions for your particular machine to bake your bread. If you have a Sunbeam 5891, be sure to read that great review!
  7. Wait until the loaf has cooled completely, then slice it. If you want to save it, wrap each slice in paper, place in plastic bags and freeze.

gluten-free buckwheat bread

brown sesame banana bread

This perfectly moist, yummy banana bread is vegan, gluten-free, and is sweetened with raw agave. I love the sesame seeds – they give it just that little bit of crunch and “nuttiness”, while still being nut-free.

This recipe makes two mini loaves. If you want to make a regular sized bread loaf, just double it.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • sorghum flour, 1/4 + 1/8 cup
  • oat flour, 1/4 + 1/8 cup
  • tapioca flour, 1/4 cup
  • baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon
  • fine sea salt, rounded 1/4 teaspoon
  • ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon
  • raw brown sesame seeds, 1/4 cup
  • very ripe bananas, 2
  • coconut oil, 3 tablespoons
  • flax seed meal, 1 tablespoon
  • warm water, 3 tablespoons
  • raw agave nectar, 1/4 cup
  • vanilla, 1 tablespoon
  • plain coconut yogurt, 1/8 cup

METHOD

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sesame seeds.
  2. In another medium bowl, mash the bananas, leaving them a little chunky.
  3. Add the coconut oil, agave, vanilla and yogurt to the bananas and stir gently until well combined.
  4. Whisk together the flax seed meal and warm water until creamy, then stir into the banana mixture.
  5. Gently fold the dry mixture into the wet ingredients until all the flour is moistened.
  6. Grease and flour two mini loaf pans, then divide the batter evenly between the two.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Allow the loaves to cool in the pans for about 5 minutes before transferring them to racks to cool completely.

 

good, good gluten free pizza crust (finally)

God, I love pizza. Or should I say, I loved pizza. Everyone who has had to give up dairy and gluten feels my pain – it’s hard enough to begin your life again without cheese (it does get easier, rest assured), but saying goodbye to pizza is a sad, sad thing. And while I have actually come to enjoy cheese-less pizza, the crust is a different story. There are many places that offer gluten free pizza dough, and while it may be good (or at least passable), it contains other ingredients that aren’t so great. I have corn and soy allergies – try finding gluten free almost anything without at least one of those two things in it. And potato starch is another common ingredient, which is also not okay for me.

Here is a recipe I adapted from Gluten Free Girl that is REALLY good. It comes out just a bit fluffy and crispy at the same time, which is just how we like it. It’s super quick to prepare, too.

This recipe makes two crusts, and if you roll them out pretty thin like I do, they’re each about 12 inches in diameter.

Topped with homemade tomato sauce (just organic diced canned tomatoes, salt, pepper and whatever fresh herbs I have on hand), fresh vegetables and basil, it really is a delicious treat.

I hope you enjoy it!

INGREDIENTS

  • ground flax seed meal, 1 tablespoon
  • hot water, 2 tablespoons
  • tapioca flour, 125 grams
  • brown rice flour, 187.5 grams
  • sorghum flour, 187.5 grams
  • kosher salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • active dry yeast, 4 tablespoons
  • extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup
  • hot water, 1 cup

top: raw pizza dough; bottom: pre-baked dough

METHOD

  1. In a small bowl add the 2 tablespoons of hot water to the flax seed meal, and whisk with a fork until thick. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flours and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In another small bowl combine the yeast, olive oil and 1/2 cup of hot water. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes.
  4. Pour the flax seed mixture into the flours and mix, then add the yeast mixture and mix everything together well. Slowly add the warm water until the dough is soft ant pliable. You may not need all the water, or you may need more. Set the dough aside and let it rise for at least an hour. I let mine rise for 1 hour, turn it over, and then rise for another hour.
  5. Heat the oven to 450 degrees, and if you have a pizza stone, heat it inside the oven.
  6. Separate the dough into two equal balls and roll them out to your desired thickness then turn the outer edge over.
  7. Bake each crust for about 10 minutes, just until the edges are turning golden brown.
  8. Remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool before adding the pizza toppings. You can also freeze or refrigerate the crusts to use later.
  9. Bake the pizza at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until your toppings have sufficiently cooked and the crust is a little more golden brown.

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banana blueberry muffins

I have been craving muffins for quite some time – I can’t remember the last time I actually had one. Luckily I had just enough fresh blueberries and all these other ingredients in the kitchen the other morning to make them. They came out just right – moist and delicious. The kids loved having them for breakfast (um, so did I), and they kept well for about 2 days afterward.  These muffins are gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan.

This recipe makes 12 muffins.

INGREDIENTS

  • ripe bananas, 2
  • ground flax seed meal, 6 tablespoons
  • hot water, 2 tablespoons
  • coconut oil, 1/2 cup
  • vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon
  • lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
  • raw, organic, local honey, 1/4 cup
  • sorghum flour, 1 & 3/4 cup
  • tapioca flour, 1/4 cup
  • fine sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon
  • cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
  • baking powder, 2 teaspoons
  • fresh blueberries, about 1 & 1/2 cups
raw batter, ready for baking

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Combine the hot water and the flax seed meal in a small bowl, and whisk until thick. Set aside.
  4. Add the coconut oil, vanilla, lemon juice, honey and flax mixture to the bananas, and mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl combine the flours, salt, cinnamon and baking powder, then add to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy.
  6. Carefully add the blueberries to the mixture.
  7. Grease your muffin pan lightly with a little coconut oil, then place the liners.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the cups in the pan.
  9. As an option, you can sprinkle a little coconut sugar on top of the muffins before baking them. This will give them a bit of a crunchy topping. I did this with half my batch.
  10. Bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Allow the muffins to fully cool on a wire rack.
just out of the oven

eat up

delicious (no, really) gluten-free, sugar-free vegan brownies

It’s hard to believe, I know. But trust me, these brownies are REALLY good. It’s all I can do not to make them every day for breakfast. The hints of coconut flavor are quite complimentary to the cacao.

They are totally free of gluten, dairy, eggs, and sugar. I’m no expert on the diet’s rules, but I believe they are Paleo friendly, too.

INGREDIENTS

  • ground flax seed meal, 3 tablespoons
  • filtered water, 9 tablespoons
  • coconut milk {unsweetened}, 1/2 cup
  • coconut oil, 1/2 cup
  • local raw organic honey, 2/3 cup
  • vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon
  • coconut flour, 3/4 cup + 1/8 cup
  • tapioca flour, 1/8 cup
  • unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup
  • baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon
  • fine sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon
  • 100% cacao bar, about 1.5 ounces, chopped
chopped cacao bar

chopped cacao bar

brownie batter, ready to bake

brownie batter, ready to bake

METHOD

  1. As a replacement to eggs, combine the flax seed meal and water in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until very well combined. Set aside and allow the mixture to thicken for a few minutes. Stir with the fork again before adding to the batter.
  2. In a large bowl beat together the coconut milk, coconut oil (warmed), honey, vanilla and flax egg replacement.
  3. In a separate bowl sift together the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and stir until well combined and creamy, then stir in the cacao bits.
  5. Grease an 8″ x  8″ square baking dish and spread the batter evenly into it.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool in the dish set on a cooling rack. Once the brownies have cooled you can cut them into pieces and remove from them from the dish.

chewy gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookies

These cookies are just the tiniest bit crispy at the edges, and still soft and chewy throughout. They are gluten free and are made with coconut sugar, so as afar as cookies go, I think you could consider these pretty healthy.

I made part of the batch without raisins, per the request of a sweet little girl in my house. Delicious either way.

INGREDIENTS

  • organic butter, softened, 1/2 cup {1 stick}
  • coconut sugar, 2/3 cup
  • vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon
  • 1 free-range egg
  • sorghum flour, 1/2 + 1/8 cup
  • tapioca flour, 1/8 cup
  • baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon
  • salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon
  • gluten free rolled oats, 1 1/2 cup
  • raisins, 3/4 cup

METHOD

  • Beat together the butter, coconut sugar, vanilla and egg until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, add to the wet mixture and stir until well combined.
  • Mix in the oats and raisins.
  • Move the prepared batter to the refrigerator to chill for about a half hour. This will prevent the cookies from coming out too thin.
  • Scoop the batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the edges are golden brown. The cookies will look undercooked in the middle, but that’s okay.
  • Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes after you have removed them from the oven, then transfer them to a cooling rack.

coconut carob cookies with apples and cinnamon

These two-bite sized cookies are a great gluten, sugar and dairy free treat. They are super quick and easy to make, too. My kids love these, and they are the perfect alternative to a sugary or otherwise unhealthy snack.

INGREDIENTS

  • applesauce {unsweetened, no additives}, 1 3/4 cup
  • shredded coconut {unsweetened}, 1/3 cup
  • rolled oats {gluten-free certified}, 2 cups
  • coconut flour, 1/3 cup
  • baking powder, 1 teaspoon
  • vegan carob chips, about 6 ounces
  • cinnamon, generous 1/2 teaspoon
  • coconut oil, 1/4 cup
  • salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the applesauce, vanilla and coconut oil. The coconut oil needs to be warmed just a bit so that it is liquid and will mix well. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl combine the oats, coconut, coconut flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir until well combined.
  5. Fold in the carob chips.
  6. Drop dollops of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. I use a one-inch scooper, and pack the dough into it a bit before placing on the sheet, so that the dough holds together well. You could use your hands for this, too.
  7. Bake until the tops of the cookies just start to turn golden in places, making sure not to burn the bottoms, about 15-20 minutes.
  8. Let these cool on the baking sheet for about a minute before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
coconut carob cookie

coconut carob cookie

 

 

c

creamy lemon cake with raspberries

Bella chose the recipe for her birthday cake from a book called 500 Cakes. Almost everything in it is off-limits for me, but it was fun to make, and seemed to be a hit with everyone at the party.

Weird, she didn’t want me to make her a dairy/gluten/sugar-free cake for her birthday…

The recipe in the book is called “spring flower cake”, because it calls for sugared flower petals to be placed on top, but B wanted raspberries instead. The recipe also specifies that two 8 inch pans be used, but I only had a 10 inch, so instead of making a two layer cake, I made 1.5x the recipe and made three layers (I reduced the baking time to 15 minutes, and the cakes came out perfect). It turned out really well this way, and made room for more filling and frosting. Yum!

INGREDIENTS

for the cake:

  • butter, 1 1/2 sticks
  • extra fine sugar, 3/4 cup
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • self-rising flour, 1 1/4 cups

for the frosting:

  • cream cheese, 9 1/2 ounces
  • confectioners’ sugar, 1/3 cup (I used a little more here)
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • lemon curd, 3 tablespoons (I probably used a lot more here, since I had three layers. Also, lemon curd is delicious, so more is better!)
  • lemon juice, 2 tablespoons (I used a little more of this, too)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease your cake pans and line with waxed paper.
  2. Beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale and creamy, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Sift flour over the bowl and then fold in.
  4. Divide the batter between the pans and bake until risen and golden, about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted.
  5. Turn cakes onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  6. For the frosting, beat together the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and juice until smooth and creamy.
  7. Spread lemon curd over the top of one cake, and frosting over the bottom of another, then place the two together so that both are between the cake layers.
  8. Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake.
  9. Top with sugared flowers, or raspberries.