Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Almond Butter Banana Blueberry Muffins.

My mother introduced me to the idea of making muffins with almond butter after she had made some yummy muffins from one of our favorite bloggers, Megan, The Detoxinista. My sister in law is currently on a special diet and she was able to have these muffins; and she loved them! Both ladies spoke so highly of them that I knew I wanted to try making them myself. So the night before our family Christmas Eve celebration, I whipped some of these up, while making a few of my own changes ;)

I really like this recipe because it's so flavorful and so easy! It takes about 5 minutes to whip up, and about 20-25 minutes to bake, so within the hour you can have warm, cooled, ready to eat muffins for your friends and family! I highly suggest you wait for these muffins to cool. When they first come out of the oven the bottoms will feel a little "soggy" but they firm up as they cool. The texture of these muffins is fabulous!

Almond Butter Banana Blueberry Muffins.
     makes one dozen muffins
     inspired by this recipe

    1 cup  almond butter (mine was raw, but you can also use roasted, store-bought, or made at home)
    1/2 cup  mashed ripe banana (mine took 1 whole banana)
    1/4 cup (or even 2 Tbsp)  maple syrup (or runny honey)
    2  happy eggs
    1/2 tsp  baking soda
    1/4 tsp  unrefined sea salt
    1 Tbsp  cinnamon
    1 cup  frozen blueberries

To make your muffins:
  1)  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, convection; line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2)  In a large bowl, combine almond butter, banana, maple syrup, and eggs. Mix well. Add soda, salt, cinnamon, and mix again. Lastly, fold in the frozen blueberries. Do not overmix.
  3)  Using a 1/4 cup measuring scoop, transfer batter to muffin tin. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven, and remove muffins when tops are slightly springy to the touch. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool more. Store in the fridge to keep for longer, or outside the fridge if eaten in 2-3 days.

These will freeze well also, and are a great "make ahead" option. They are also very portable, and will no doubt please a crowd. Kids and adults alike loved these muffins when I brought them to our Christmas Eve gathering. You can feel good about giving these muffins to your loved ones, as they are low in sugar, and high in fat and protein, which makes for a great snack, or side dish to eggs for breakfast.

Enjoy! I know I will be making these way more often from now on.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Yummies for 2013.

Christmas is right around the corner, so I thought I would gather my thoughts and let you know what I am going to make / or would like to make / will never get to but wish I would this season. There's so many good recipes out there, it's honestly so hard to chose these days!

Photo credit - GI365

  1. Ginger peach smoothie
  2. Peanut butter smoothie
  3. Grain-free Granola
  4. Grain-free Waffles
  5. Grain-free Sweet Potato French Toast
  6. Roasted veggies
  7. Fried eggs
  8. Breakfast bowls 

  1. Homemade Egg-Nog
  2. Almond Milk
Photo credit - Paleoaholic

  1. Oven roasted carrots
  2. Classic Pot Roast
  3. Roasted butternut squash and apples
  4. Cauliflower Garlic Mashed "Potatoes" 
  5. Parmesan Garlic Mashed Potatoes 

  1. Thea's Spiced Nuts
  2. Cranberry Orange Muffins
  3. Sweet Potato Steaks
  4. Guacamole and veggies
  5. Cranberry Sauce with oranges

  1. Gluten-free Gingerbread men
  2. Peanut Butter cookies
  3. Grain-free Lemon Biscuit cookies
  4. Grain-free Sugar cookies

  1. Triple Vanilla Ice Cream
  2. Grain-free Buche De Noel
  3. Grain-free Carrot Cake
  4. Paleo Peanut Butter Cups
  5. Grain-free Ginger Bread
  6. Santa-Hat Brownies

I hope these recipes will be helpful for you and your special day with friends and family!

Merry Christmas :)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Grain-free Granola 2.0.

About a year ago I made some delicious grain-free cinnamon raisin granola for the first time. It was seriously delicious. So recently I went to go make some, and the search bar in my blog wasn't working... anyone else having this problem?!  So I ended up wingining it, trying to remember just what I did, and it came out great!  Even better than the first version if I do say so myself.

This grain-free granola is crunchy, toasty, and packed full of flavor!  Everyone in your family will love it, and they will all have a hard time believing that yeah, there are no oats in here!  You could even make a batch of this granola, put it in cute little jars, and give it away as Christmas gifts!  But everyone just might hound you for the recipe ;)  No worries, feel free to share!

PS - If cinnamon and raisins aren't your thing, try another spice combo, like cranberries and cardamom, or nutmeg and dried blueberries, or apricots and cloves! Feel free to switch it up to your liking.

These were filled to the tippy tippy top, BUT I ate some ;)

Grain-free Granola 2.0.
    makes 2 gallon sized mason jars full (even with extensive recipe sampling ;)
    * these ratios are generalized, really just throw all your favorite nuts combination in a large bowl; for instance, I didn't use cashews or peanuts, but feel free to use these if you wish

1/2 cup each:
    sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, whole macadamia nuts*, whole pecans, whole walnuts
1 cup each:
    pumpkin seeds, whole pecans, sliced almonds, raisins
1 cup each:
    ground macadamia nuts*, ground pistachios, ground walnuts
1-2 cups  organic coconut "chips" (largely flaked coconut)
1 cup  organic shredded coconut (small little shreds of coconut, not traditional sized flakes)
2  large eggs
1 - 2 Tbsp  cinnamon
1/3-1/2 cup  brown rice syrup
~1/4 cup  runny honey

To make your yummy granola:
  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees; mine was non-convection.
  2.  Combine nuts, coconuts, cinnamon, brown rice syrup, and honey.  Mix together. Add in both eggs and stir well with a wooden spoon.
  4.  On two parchment paper lined baking sheets, spread the mixture evenly between two pans.
  5.  Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. Watch it, uneven ovens may burn.  Stir well.  Bake another 10 minutes or so.  Stir.  Depending on your oven, you may need another a longer or shorter time. For me, it varies a little on every batch.
  6.  When done, remove from oven and let cool on pans. The granola will crisp up considerably as it cools and even more after you put it in jars and taste it the next day.

*My macadamia nuts were roasted and salted, so I did not add salt to the recipe. If you don't have any pre-salted nuts in your mixture and they are all raw, I suggest adding a teaspoon or two of salt, to your taste.

I cannot be held responsible for any granola-lovers who ingest too much granola during the making of this recipe. WARNING - This granola is dangerously good. Serve it straight out of the jar as a snack, with some cold raw milk or coconut milk in the morning like "cereal" or even on top of your favorite greek yogurt or ice cream. Or even a fruit parfait!  Use as you would any "regular" granola, but be aware that this granola is substantially more calorie dense, so you can eat way less and still feel just as satisfied ;)

Yum! Enjoy :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Grain-free "Recovery" Banana Bread.

One of my lovely family members just recently had surgery and an overnight hospital stay [everything is going well, thanks :)], and so I thought I would share this recipe, as it has been great for her recovery.

Let me explain...

My loved one recently had to have surgery. Post-operation she was having trouble swallowing because she felt so sore. She only wanted cold, soft things, and was also barely able to eat due to the nausea caused by pain meds. Turns out that I had just made some grain-free banana bread that week, in an endeavor to start recipe development for my own grain-free banana bread recipe that I would love just as much my grain-free pumpkin bread recipe. Well, the recipe was not perfect, and was very soft and moist (ie, the texture isn't quite there yet, and therefore not bloggable), but it was still had great flavor and tasted delicious, so I had kept it and was planning on nibbling on it throughout the week.

This "recipe" failure ended up being a blessing, as it's smooth and soft texture was very easy to swollow for my patient, but also gave her the feeling that she was "eating something solid." Win win!

For this recipe I used a smaller loaf pan, not the standard size. It was a medium sized Pyrex glass loaf pan which probably measures 4" x 8" and is tall, not wide, like standard loaf pans. It's very easy to whip up, and is a great idea to bring to the hospital to help your loved one recover! It sets up best in the fridge. So after the bread cools, turn it out, and place it in the fridge.

Grain-free "Recovery" Banana Bread.
    makes one loaf pan, size above

    2  very ripe bananas (or 3 small)
    1 cup  almond flour 
    1/3 cup  coconut flour
    2  medium/large eggs
    1/4 cup runny honey
    1/3 cup  coconut oil - mine was not melted
    3/4 cup  coconut milk - mine is always unsweetened
    1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
    1 tsp  baking soda
    1-2 tsp  cinnamon or more if desired
    1.5 tsp vanilla

To make your recovery bread:
  1)  Preheat oven to 375 degrees; mine is non-convection.
  2)  Put ingredients in order listed into Vitamix or blender. Blend. Pour into coconut oil greased loaf pan (mine is a glass loaf pan).
  3)  Bake for over 1 hour. LET COOL. Store in fridge. Bread will be moist but will firm up in the fridge.
  4)  Eat with a spoon, or slice it thick. Spread with your favorite nut or coconut butter, for even more nutrition!

Enjoy this bread! I hope it will help your recovering family members, as it did mine, whether they are sick at home or are recovering from major surgery! In fact, we ate up this banana bread so fast because it was so tasty, and I am baking another one right now!

xoxo :)

P.S. I am home for Christmas break. This in the medical school world are going very well. I am tired, but loving my classes and assignments. Stay tuned for some delicious recipes that I can hopefully share with you during the time I am home. As always, thanks for continue to read my blog even though things are slow now-a-days!