Posts Tagged ‘gluten-free’

cranbread2 cranbread1cranbread5


I can’t seem to get enough of this bread, and I have to confess, I’ve been making it at least once a week. The kids ask to have a slice the second they’re home from school, so we blaze through a regular-size loaf in just a couple days!

Loaded with tons of goodness, just one slice feels like a meal. This bread gives you natural sweetness (just 3 tbsp of coconut sugar in the whole loaf!), an addictive mix of flavors from the cherry and chocolate, and the best part is… You can prepare it in about 10 minutes if you have a high-powered blender like my Vitamix!!

(Recipe adapted from the Zenbelly Cookbook–one of my favorites for simple to prepare, grain-free and dairy-free, tasty dishes.)


1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3)

3 large eggs

1/4 cup palm shortening or unsalted butter, room temperature

3 tbsp almond or coconut milk

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup almond flour

1 cup gluten-free flour (I like a blend of arrowroot and cassava)

2 tbsp coconut flour

3 tbsp coconut sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt

1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup raw pecans, finely chopped

1/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips (I like this brand)

1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries



Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 7-inch loaf pan.

Place the bananas, shortening, vanilla extract, eggs and milk in the blender. Blend until completely mixed and creamy.

In a medium-size bowl, toss together the coconut, chopped pecans, chocolate chips and dried fruit. Set aside.

In another medium-size bowl, whisk together the flours, salt and baking soda. Pour the contents of the blender into the the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in the coconut, pecans, chips and fruit. Spoon into the prepared loaf pan, and even out using the back of a spoon on spatula.



Bake in the center of the oven for 50-55 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the bread has a nice, light brown crust. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edges before inverted onto a cutting board. Best served warm with a little butter or fruit spread, although it really needs nothing.

Store wrapped in foil or airtight container for 3-4 days.




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These gluten-free, grain-free scones have become a favorite in my home. They boast enough flavor on their own that you don’t need to add jams or spreads (although I think a light spread of whipped coconut cream would make them taste even better). I also like that they don’t come out too dense like so many recipes that rely primarily on almond flour. The three to one ratio of almond to potato starch ensure these baked treats come out light with a beautiful crumb and a slightly crunchy top.

This recipe is just slightly altered from the one in Brittany Angel’s wonderful Paleo cookbook, “every last crumb.” I use slightly less sugar, chocolate chips and fruit. You can use dried cranberries, currants or other dried fruit in place of the cherries. They all work well!



1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 cup potato starch, plus a little extra for the work surface

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup or 1 stick chilled unsalted butter or butter substitute

1/3 cup coconut or evaporated cane sugar

2 large eggs

3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

1/4 cup chocolate chips*

3/4 cup cherries, fresh, frozen or dried, halved and pitted*

2 tbsp tapioca starch for dusting the cherries

*Brittany’s recipe calls for 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup chocolate chip and 1 cup fruit. I think the scones can handle as much as you want. For me, it’s more a question of whether you’re wanting a breakfast bread replacement or dessert.



Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, whisk the almond flour, potato starch, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture consists of pea-sized lumps.


In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the sugar and vinegar. Pour into the flour mixture and mix briefly–just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

In a small bowl, toss the cherries in the tapioca starch. Fold into the dough.

Dust a sheet of parchment paper with a couple tablespoons potato starch. Place the dough on the dusted paper and pat into a circle about 6-7 inches in diameter. Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Note: I like to slice my scones before baking, but Brittany’s recipe calls for popping the scones in the oven now and slicing later.


Bake for 35-40 minutes or until firm and golden. (You can cover with foil halfway through baking if you find your scones are at risk of becoming too dark, but this hasn’t happened to me yet.)

Note: Brittany suggests melting an extra 1/2 cup chocolate chips for 1 minute in the microwave, and drizzling it over the scones when they’re out of the oven.

Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serves 6.





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chili side

chili abovechili simmer

Happiest of New Years!

I hope 2016 brings you great health, much love and joy, and a little adventure. I feel we should never stop seeing and experiencing new things, nor should we ever cease to be amazed by all the wonderment in this world, don’t you agree?

In case you noticed, I took a little hiatus… a little time to focus on my other work, and most importantly, focus on my family. I find that additional attention and caring always pays back in tens if not hundreds. Sometimes I need to remind myself that my children will not stay little and young, and that what I say to them and do with them now is what matters most. And just like people constantly tell other parents who have babies or toddlers, children do grow unbelievably quickly, and every day is a treasure, a chance to build a memory that will last a lifetime.

I hope your holiday was cheerful and warm. We spent ours close to home, making two short trips to the snow just before and after Christmas. Last year we skied in T-shirts, but this year mandated we buy extra protection so that not one millimeter of skin was exposed to the freezing temperatures, fierce winds and blowing snow. I will share some great winter skin savers in the next couple weeks along with some recipes for nourishing, warming food, which is what I crave most during these cold–in our case, wet, months.

These are two of my favorite chili and cornbread recipes, both of which I’ve made vegan as well as with animal products. I’ve included notes about how to alter each so you can easily adapt the recipe to your dietary preferences.

The addition of cocoa powder and chipotle peppers makes the chili recipe extra delicious. And I love that I can cook a big pot made mild enough for all ages, and easily add in the chipotle peppers at the very end for those that like the extra kick. The turkey chili recipe (with very small adaptations) is from Cookin’Canuck.



Ingredients (serves 8)

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 1/2 lb ground turkey meat*

1/4 cup chili powder

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp coconut sugar

2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 14 oz can whole tomatoes (with juices)

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped

2 tsp adobo sauce (from chipotle pepper can)

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth*

1 15oz can black beans, drained and well-rinsed

1 15oz can small white beans, drained and well-rinsed

sour cream, grated cheese and chopped fresh cilantro, optional as garnish

*You can easily make this recipe vegan by substituting Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble for the turkey and by using vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.



Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender and slightly translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 minutes.

Add cumin and oregano. Stir for an additional 30 seconds.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add ground turkey, breaking it up into small pieces using a wooden spoon. Make sure the turkey is cooked through.

Add chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Add whole tomatoes, including juices. Break up the tomatoes using a wooden spoon.

Mix in tomato paste and chicken broth. Note: if you want to serve the chili to children or anyone who might be sensitive to too much spice, wait until the end to add in the chipotle peppers and adobe sauce, or split your chili into two pans at this time so you can add the “heat” to one pot while keeping the other mild.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Add beans and simmer an additional 10-20 minutes.

Serve hot, and garnish if you like.

chili bread

Now for the cornbread! I love this recipe because it’s rich, moist and full of texture. It’s heavily adapted from a recipe a friend gave me a year ago, and I like that it can be made vegetarian or vegan and is gluten-free.




3/4 cup butter, softened or 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled

1/2 cup evaporated cane juice

4 eggs or equivalent of Ener-G Egg Replacer

2 tbsp milk or milk substitute

1 tbsp honey

1/2 cup mild green chilies

1 1/2 cup cream-style corn

1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal, medium grind

2 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt



Preheat oven to 325F.

Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.

Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, cream butter or oil and sugar using an electric mixer or large whisk. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each or if using, beat in egg substitute. Beat in milk and honey. Beat in cream-style corn and chilies. Fold in dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Serve warm with butter and a drizzle of honey if you like.

Stay warm!!


chili 4


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oat aboveoat close


I apologize that I haven’t posted anything in nearly two weeks… Sometimes life just gets in the way, as I’m sure you’ve experienced. I also go through periods of what I think of as “food homeostasis”–where I’m not trying many new dishes or experimenting with recipes, and I want, and hence cook, the same 5-7 dishes for a week or two. This typically occurs when I’m trying to stick to a restrictive diet (e.g., no gluten, Paleo, no sugar) or when I have loads of work to do and want the comfort and consistency of my standby meals.

But all that aside, over the past few weeks, cravings for butterscotch and caramel flavors keep sneaking into my head. Of course, there’s nothing healthy about butter and brown sugar, so I’ve been pushing the cravings down as best I can. But at some point, I determined that the cravings were a good excuse to make a healthier-than-normal version of British flapjacks.

During the years I spent living in London, flapjacks were one of my on-the-go treats. I suppose the high content of oats made me feel as though I wasn’t being too naughty, but really, it was just the terribly naughty butter and brown sugar combination that lured me.

So here is a somewhat healthier version of the traditional flapjack. It still relies on butter and brown sugar to make the butterscotch flavor, but this recipe doesn’t use a ton of sugar, and it contains nuts and ground flaxseed to boost it’s nutritional content.



1 stick (1/2 cup) butter*

1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed)

1/4 cup coconut nectar

2 cups quick cooking gluten-free oats

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cardamon

1/3 cup ground flaxseed

*I haven’t yet tried making these with coconut oil, but plan to shortly. I don’t think a straight substitution would work; it would probably require slightly less than 1/2 cup.



Heat the oven to 350F.

Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

In a medium-size saucepan, melt the butter on medium-low heat. Once the butter has melted, stir in the brown sugar, coconut nectar, salt and vanilla. Stir until everything has melted and blended. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.

oat mixoat press


Spoon out into the baking dish, and spread evenly. Pat down with the back of a large, fairly flat spoon. (I use one of my large serving spoons.) Place in the oven and bake for 23-25 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.

Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting in quarters, then cut each quarter diagonally for the traditional triangle-shaped flapjack.



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orange above2orange sideWith fruit trees blossoming everywhere, I set my mind on the idea of a simple orange almond cake that holds the promise of summer and tastes as delicious as it smells.

It’s been easier said than done. I have been playing around with it the past few weeks, but my first attempts just didn’t turn out as I envisioned.

Making an orange-flavored cake is ridiculously easy. For the most part, you just add lots of orange zest and use orange juice in place of whatever liquid your recipe calls for. However, making a orange flavored cake using almond flour turned out to be a tad tricky.

If you Google “orange almond cake,” the majority of recipes instruct you to use two whole oranges, boiled then pureed, and a ton of sugar to offset the bitterness of all that pith you now have from using two unpeeled oranges. Seeing as I’m fairly averse to sugar, I set out to create a recipe that still uses a whole orange, and almond flour as its base, without requiring 1+ cups of sugar.

Try this cake. It received rave reviews from friends at our dinner party last weekend, and it’s so simple to make a child can do it–or at least help you make it!

If you’re celebrating Easter this Sunday, this cake would work for brunch, tea or dessert.

I use a little sorghum flour in my recipe, but you can easily make this cake Paleo by using all almond flour or a little coconut flour in place of the sorghum. Serve slices of cake with vanilla ice cream or a fat dollop of plain Greek yogurt. My preference is the later, because Greek-style yogurt is so wonderfully thick, rich and creamy that it balances nicely with the dense, moist orangeness of the cake.


orange slice


2 organic oranges, washed and dried

2 cups almond flour (I like Honeyville)

1/2 cup rice or sorghum flour

1 (generous) tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 eggs

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup coconut, olive or macadamia nut oil*

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 tbsp cane sugar

*Olive oil makes this cake feel like more of a tea cake, while macadamia nut and coconut oil sweeten it slightly.



Place one orange in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Allow to cool. Remove the orange, slice and remove any seeds and puree the orange, skin and all. Set aside and reserve the cooking liquid.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease a 9-inch springform cake pan or regular 9-inch cake pan if you don’t have a spring-form. I also like to cut out a disk of parchment paper to lay on the bottom, but it’s not essential. It just makes it easier to remove your slices when you’re ready to serve.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until they’re pale yellow. (I use a large metal whisk for this part.) Whisk in the honey, oil, vanilla and orange puree. Remove the zest from the non-cooked orange and whisk into the egg mixture. Juice the now “zestless” orange. You should get about 1/3-1/2 cup juice depending on the size and ripeness of your orange. Set the juice aside.

Work in progress with orange zest getting everywhere.

Work in progress with orange zest getting everywhere.

Cake batter in pan ready for the oven.

Cake batter in pan ready for the oven.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry mixture into the egg mixture until combined. Note: Since this cake is gluten-free, you theoretically shouldn’t have to worry about over-mixing, but since I think over-mixing is the number 1 killer of any cake, please mix until just combined. Pour out into the prepared pan, place in the center of your oven and cook for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cleanly.

While the cake is cooking, put the 2 tbsp of sugar and orange juice, along with a 1/4-1/2 cup of the liquid the orange was cooked in, in a small saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce the heat to simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by at about half. Remove from heat and let it cool until the cake is finished baking. It should become thick and syrupy as it cools.

When the cake is done baking, remove it from the oven. Use a toothpick to poke a few holes in the top middle section, and carefully spoon the thickened orange juice mixture over the top. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for two hours.

Cake fresh from the oven unglazed.

Cake fresh from the oven unglazed.

Cake glazed and ready to cool for a few hours.

Cake glazed and ready to cool for a few hours.

Serve at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a big dollop of plain Greek yogurt.




orange above 


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These muffins are moist, low in sugar and make a great afternoon snack or breakfast addition. I’ve been making them gluten-free as well as dairy-free, but you can make them either way with great results. While they may not be as healthy as carrot sticks and spinach dip, they’ll likely be more popular with your friends or family, and they pack a good amount of fiber, protein and Vitamin A.

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 eggs

3/4 cup pumpkin puree (use 100% pure pumpkin puree–unsweetened)

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 1/2 cup flour (use whole-grain barley flour or a mix of barley and oat to maximize nutrition, or make gluten-free using 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour and 1/2 cup almond flour)

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly oil a standard muffin pan (12) or mini muffin pan (24) or fill pan with muffin cups. Whisk together the first five ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Blend together the flour, baking powder, soda and spices in a medium bowl. Add the wet mixture and stir until just blended. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon into pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes (less for mini muffins) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Enjoy!

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