Cocoa-nana Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins (gf)

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I just created these as a handy snack for those of us trying to really keep processed sugar out of our diets. They turned out really well. I wrap them individually and freeze – just grab and go. Enjoy. (if not freezing, keep in fridge).

Cocoa-nana Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

makes 12 regular sized muffins

Ingredients:

3 medium sized ripe bananas

1/3 cup coconut oil or butter, melted and cooled

1/4 cup real maple syrup

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup finely ground almonds (or almond meal or flour)

1/2 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use PC )

1/3 cup dutch-process cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Cream Cheese Swirl Mixture:

4 oz cream cheese, softened (1/2 of a regular sized block)

1 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin liners. Set aside.

In food processor pulse bananas until pureed.  Add coconut oil or butter, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla. Blend well.

In separate bowl, mix ground almonds, cocoa, flour,  baking powder and salt and when combined, add wet ingredient to this dry mixture and combine until well incorporated.  Fold in chocolate chips, if using.

Cream Cheese Mixture: Mix up cream cheese, maple syrup and vanilla.

In each muffin cup, place a heaping tablespoon of chocolate batter.  Using a small scoop or teaspoon, place about about a tbsp of cream cheese mixtue on top of chocolate batter.  Then place another blob of chocolate batter on top of the cream cheese and use a little spatula to spread over cream cheese mixture. (see photos for more insight).

Place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool. Serve.  Will keep for 3-4 days, covered in fridge. Wrapped individually in plastic wrap and frozen, will keep for 2 weeks.

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Healthy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies

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Here’s a ‘no refined sugar’, gluten-free healthy breakfast cookie that’s great for breakfast on the run,  bedtime snack and I love them for travelling as well.  They freeze really well and you can modify the ingredients as you see fit.

Ingredients:

makes about 20 three inch cookies

3 large ripe bananas, mashed (1.5 cups)

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2.5 cups rolled oats (I use large flake)

1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Set aside.

In medium bowl, mix together oats, coconut, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, raisins and chocolate chips. Set aside.

In food processor, puree bananas (or you can mash by hand). Add in egg, coconut oil and vanilla. Blend well. Add wet ingredients to oatmeal mixture and mix well.

Drop by 2 tablespoon sized dollops about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Bake for 13-15 minutes, until bottoms are brown. You may need to rotate your pans halfway through or leave them in a little longer, depending on your oven, and their size.

Cool. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

 

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Here’s the best recipe for chocolate chip oatmeal cookies in my opinion. I’ve been making them for years and years, and my friends Morgan and Leah begged me to post it,  so here it is.  The key here is not having your butter too soft when you start out – ‘room temperature’…and making each cookie the same size for baking consistentcy…use a ‘cookie scoop’ if you have one.

Ingredients:

makes 3 dozen

1.5 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup large flake oats

2 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup chocolate chunks (if unavailable, increase chocolate chips)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare baking sheets, lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In a bowl, mix together flour, oats, cornstarch, baking soda, salt. Set aside.

In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Add brown and granulated sugars and continue to beat, until well mixed and fluffy, scraping down sides as you go.

Beat in egg and vanilla.  With mixer on low, gradually add in flour/oat mixture, just until evenly mixed. Fold in chocolate chips and chunks with a wooden spoon.

Scoop dough in one tablespoon size globs, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes, rotating pan if necessary, until edges are golden.  Remove from oven to cool for a few minutes, then, using spatula, remove to a plate or rack to cool.  Eat! Yum!

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Banana-Beet Chocolate Cake (GF)

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rich and delish

 

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just so you see how everything isn’t perfect! Still tastes good.

I found this recipe, modified it to suit my baking tastes, and boy is it good! Deliciously moist for a gluten-free product and keeps that way for days (covered).  I made mine in a non-stick bundt pan which gives it a nice appearance, and, as with all the recipes here — if it’s not a ‘keeper’, I don’t blog it.  Easy, easy, easy.  You can eat this as is – plain, and it’s great, but dress it up for any occasion and there will be no complaints from anyone– gluten-free or not.  Just make it.  I think you’ll actually be healthier after you eat this, too. 😉

Banana-Beet Chocolate Cake

adapted from a recipe from www.greenkitchenstories.com

Serves 8

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana, grated

1 medium cooked beet, grated (if you don’t have a beet, use 2 bananas instead of one)

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (or butter)

1/2 cup (real) maple syrup

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups almond flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease a bundt pan or 8 x 8 inch baking pan. (I used non-stick as well). Dust pan with a bit of cocoa to prevent sticking.

Mix together in a medium sized bowl – banana, beet, coconut oil, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla. Blend well.  In separate bowl, mix almond flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and when combined, add to wet ingredient and mix until well incorporated.

Pour batter into greased bundt pan or an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.  Bake for 45 minutes or until tester comes out fairly clean. Remove from oven, let cool and then loosen cake and pop out onto a cake platter or plate. Cool. Serve plain or with whip cream, yogurt, chocolate sauce, berries – get creative and enjoy.  Keeps for several days, covered.  (but won’t last that long).   Cheers! Enjoy.

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easy ingredients

mix together grated beet, banana, egg, oil, vanilla and syrup

mix together grated beet, banana, egg, oil, vanilla and syrup

baked in bundt pan, tastes great plain

baked in bundt pan, tastes great plain

it's this good.

it’s this good.

everybody enjoys this cake

everybody enjoys this cake

 

 

 

Walnut-Date Chews (gluten free)

Walnut Date Chews

Walnut Date Chews

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These are the best cookies if you want to avoid too many carbs, refined sugar, gluten, egg and dairy! Even if you aren’t avoiding these things, they are the best cookies. You know how after dinner you just want a little sweet? This fits the bill with absolutely no guilt and all pleasure.  It’s based on ‘bliss ball’ recipe but I’ve refined and adapted it to be even more blissful. I sometimes even crumble one on my yogurt in the morning.  They are a snap to make,  so get going.

Walnut-Date Chews

makes 16-20 cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups walnuts

1/3 cup dates, diced (make sure they are soft – reconstitute them with boiling water if they are hard )

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.

Place walnuts in bowl of food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times until roughly chopped.  Sprinkle dates over top and pulse 5 or 6 more times.  Add vanilla, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt.  Continue to pulse until walnuts and dates are finely minced and a nutty ‘dough’ has formed.  You may have to take the top of and move the mixture around, pressing it down, then pulse a few times, then repeat until it’s evenly processed.

Using a 1 tbsp scoop,  scoop balls of nut mixture onto cookie sheet.  Shape into flat-topped circles.  If using, place 2 chocolate chips on each cookie. (just for fun and a little hit of chocolate–so good).  Cookies only need to be about an inch apart, you can fit them all on one sheet.

Place in preheated oven for 9 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Enjoy! Store in airtight container for 1 week, or freeze for up to a month.

process until fairly fine

process until fairly fine

these are the best dates

these are the best dates

1 tbsp of dough

1 tbsp of dough

bake at 350 for 9 mins

bake at 350 for 9 mins

 

YUM

YUM

 

 

 

 

Christmas Goodies

Ginny

Ginny

It’s that time of year again – it’s coming fast too! Here are  some links to some sweet and savory Christmas goodies– people always appreciate a home-baked gift.  These are some of my well-tested and favourite baking recipes. Happy Holiday to all of you and all the Best for 2014!

Healthy Nutty Balls

Savory Double Cheese Pecan Shortbreads

Cranberry Lemon Ricotta Cake

Traditional Shortbread

Ginger Cookies

Almond-Oatmeal Thumbprint Jam Cookies

Peanut Butter Buds

Big, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Glazed Mini Pumpkin Scones

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Fruity Butter Tarts

Fast Cinnamon Buns

Continue reading

Cranberry Lemon Ricotta Cake

Cranberry-Lemon Ricotta Cake

I couldn’t resist a basket of freshly harvested organic cranberries at the farmer”s market this morning.  Since I was making this ricotta cake today, I simply topped it with some of these tart little jewels. Check it out – this recipe is adapted from a traditional Italian recipe and I’ve modiified it so that it contains less sugar, spelt flour (which is a non-gmo ancient wheat grain), and  added a bit of vanilla.  So, the cake maintains it’s moist lemony goodness, but is Canadianized with cranberry and pear.   This will be really good for Thanksgiving dinner or  If you want an everyday cake to have on the counter for the weekend, or a birthday cake for a loved one or an excellent dessert for a dinner party – it’s really versatile because it’s just damn good.  The gluten-free version can be found here: GF Ricotta Cake,  You can also find a pictorial tutorial at that link if you have questions or need direction. Continue reading