February 13, 2018

Vegan Coconut Flour Brownies (vegan, gluten free, sugar free)

11:23 AM 0 Comments

I have been obsessed with pink lately! Not sure if it's because Valentine's Day is coming up or what but I used to not like pink at all! But I have to say, the new obsession is quite welcome.
These brownies are so healthy you won't believe it! I have been looking hard for a vegan recipe that uses coconut flour but they are so hard to find as coconut flour generally needs a lot of eggs to bind.
This recipe uses lots of flax seeds instead of eggs which works well. You may taste some grittiness from the flax if you make your own like I do but the frosting will mask this.
I adapted this recipe from Has Fit (which by the way has amazing workout videos!) and made my own frosting. The brownies are refined sugar free but the frosting is not. If you want to make these sugar free you can omit the frosting.
I like to make my own coconut butter by blending shredded coconut with a little bit of salt in a food processor until it's creamy! This goes great for recipes or drizzling on to pancakes, oatmeal etc.
If you don't have lingonberry jam, you can substitute this for raspberry or strawberry jam. I think cranberry juice would also work well but you may have to omit the almond milk.

You can make the frosting ahead and refrigerate it if needed. You will however, need to wait a few minutes for it to soften as the coconut butter will harden in the fridge.
If you don't have a heart shaped muffin tin, you can use a regular muffin tin. You could also bake these in a 8X8" pan (adjust baking time. It will probably be 20-25 minutes). Allow it to cool before removing the brownies from the pan and then cut out hearts with a heart shaped cookie cutter.

Vegan Coconut Flour Brownies
Makes 12-15

For Brownies
5 tbsp ground flax seeds 
3/4 cup plus 3 tbsp of water
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp almond milk (plus more if needed)

For Frosting
1/4 cup coconut butter
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp lingonberry jam*
2 tbsp almond milk

Directions
1. Whisk together flax seeds with your water and let sit for 10 minutes until sticky. Preheat your oven to 350F and oil a muffin tin
2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together your flax seed mixture, coconut oil, maple syrup, and almond milk.
4. Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix until combined
5. Spoon batter into muffin tin until they are a little less than half way full 
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until brownies are set and lightly brown on the edges
7. As your brownies are cooling, get started on the frosting!
8. With a hand mixer, cream together coconut butter and coconut oil until combined 
9. Add in powdered sugar a little at a time and blend until fluffy
10. Beat in lingonberry jam and almond milk until light and fluffy. You should be able to spread it quite easily. Add in more almond milk if needed

*You can use raspberry or strawberry jam or even cranberry juice instead! If using juice omit the almond milk unless it ends up being necessary to reach the right consistency. 

February 5, 2018

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

8:49 PM 0 Comments

I'm going to let you all in on a little secret, well it's not really a secret. But I loooove peanut butter! I also adore white chocolate. I mean, I like all chocolate and especially dark chocolate but there's just something about the buttery sweetness of white chocolate that I love in sweets and desserts.
The almond flour in these really makes a difference. I don't usually use almond flour in my recipes. Mostly because it costs an arm and a leg. But I was so pleasantly surprised by how almond flour really made the difference in this recipe. It made them moist but crumbly and buttery! I hope to use almond flour more often so if you have any hacks for it, please let me know!

These bars are the perfect treat for breakfast, an energy boosting snack, or an after dinner treat! They are just subtly sweet and I think they were perfect this way. However, if you have an extra sweet tooth or serving it to those not used to healthy desserts, you may want to up the coconut sugar by an extra quarter cup.


White Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

Ingredients
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup almond flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup chopped white chocolate

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Oil and/or line a 8x8" pan
2. With an electric mixture, blend together the peanut butter, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
3. Stir in almond flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, and cinnamon.
4. Fold in white chocolate
5. Spread into prepared baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until the center is sent and the edges are golden brown
6. Cool before cutting into squares. These taste great straight out of the fridge as well


January 30, 2018

Eat Straight Out of the Pan Vegan Blueberry Coffee Cake

8:27 AM 0 Comments

This blueberry coffee cake is moist and full of cinnamon flavor which is perfectly accompanied by juicy blueberries! It has a crumbly and buttery topping. This is the best coffee cake I've ever made!
I adapted this coffee cake from Cara Reed's book Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking. You can check out her blog here. There were so many delicious things in this cookbook I couldn't decide what to make first but this was definitely a good choice!
Usually coffee cake isn't the healthiest thing out there and something you probably don't want to have for breakfast everyday. But this coffee cake is different! It's made healthier with the addition of coconut sugar, spelt flour, and coconut oil! No butter here and only a little sugar to keep things sweet and delicious! You could get away with having some of this coffee cake for breakfast and not feel too bad about it.
But really I could eat this anytime of day. Eat it straight out of the oven or let it cool and eat it the next day! I guarantee you it will taste great either way! You'll be eating it straight out of the pan!
Vegan Blueberry Coffee Cake
Makes one 8x8" pan

Ingredients

For cake:
1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 vegetable oil
1 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For topping:
3 tbsp spelt flour
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Directions 
1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease an 8x8" square pan
2. Whisk together almond milk and vinegar and let this sit for a few minutes
3. For the sugar topping, combine all ingredients with a fork until everything is covered by the coconut oil. Set aside
4. In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. 
5. Pour in soured milk and oil. Then stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries
6. Pour mixture into your prepared pan. If you like you can put in half the mixture, sprinkle some of the topping in the middle and then cover with the rest of your batter. Alternatively, you can just sprinkle all of the topping on top but I like having a sugary center
7. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
8. Allow to cool and serve warm or wait the next day.

January 23, 2018

Banana Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (vegan and gluten free options)

7:47 PM 0 Comments

I'm always on the lookout for new healthy baking ingredients so when I first heard about banana flour I knew that I had to get my hands on it! It was just my luck that I one day came across it at Home Sense!
Banana flour is made from grinding dried green bananas into a flour. It's gluten free, low in calories (100 calories per 1/4 cup!), and is packed with potassium. You can use about 2/3 cup of banana flour for every cup of flour called for in a recipe but it's best when mixed with another flour so that your product won't come out too dry. 



So what does banana flour taste like? Contrary to it's components and that it even smells a little like bananas when you open the flour packet up, it doesn't taste like bananas at all! I would even say that it tastes a little more like spelt flour (or compliments it) but with a chewier texture. I for one definitely liked it and will be using it again!

Banana Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 24

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups banana flour
1/2 cup spelt flour* 
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 egg, room temperature*
7 tbsp coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup honey*
1/4 cup coconut sugar
A couple handfuls of chocolate chips

Directions

1. In a large bowl combine the banana flour, spelt flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg
2. In another bowl whisk together the egg, coconut oil, and honey until well combined. Add in the coconut sugar and then stir again until its dissolved. 
3. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir until combined
4. Fold in chocolate chips
5. The mixture will be very sticky so stick the bowl covered in some plastic wrap in the fridge for at least 15 minutes (more is better if you can). While you wait, preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. Scoop heaping spoonfuls of the batter on to your prepared pan. If the dough isn't too sticky you can also roll them into balls
7. Bake for 10 minutes until lightly golden brown, allow to cool on baking sheet before serving


*If you want to make this recipe vegan and/or gluten free you can substitute the spelt flour for oat flour. The egg for a flax egg and the honey for maple syrup.



January 14, 2018

Mapple Upside-Down Cake

3:29 PM 4 Comments




What do you get when you put maple and apple together... Mapple Cake!


This cake recipe is adapted from one of my favorite bloggers! Her name is Joy and she runs Joy the Baker. I recently got her cookbook Homemade Decadence and decided that this apple cake recipe would be the perfect Christmas Eve Dinner dessert!
I made a few changes to heathify the recipe but you could probably do even more if you wanted to make it more healthy or less if you don't!
The cake, by the way, was to die for!
It is dense yet fluffy and has the best apple taste throughout.
Mapple Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients

Apples:
2 gala, fuji, or granny smith apples (you may need just one large), cored, peeled, and sliced into wedges
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 tbsp butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Cake:
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 apple, peeled, cored, and grated

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease and line a 9x2" round baking dish
2. Arrange apple slices in the bottom of the pan, fanning the apples out into a circle
3. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Combine maple syrup, 4 tbsp of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Heat butter until it melts and the mixture begins to simmer. Remove pan from heat and pour half of syrup over apples. Save the other half of this mixture to serve with the finished cake. If you do not wish to serve the cake with a syrup then you can make just half of this mixture.
4. For the cake, in a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
5. In another bowl, combine melted coconut oil, Greek yogurt, eggs, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and grated apple. Add this mixture into the flour mixture and stir well. 
6. Dollop the batter on top of the apples and smooth out 
7. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes then invert cake and turn it on to a serving dish. Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife if needed. Remove wax paper and drizzle with reserved syrup.
8. Serve with whipped cream if desired


January 2, 2018

Strawberry Matcha Blondies

10:26 AM 0 Comments

Raise your hand if you like matcha! *I fist pump both hands into the air*


Matcha has got to be one of my favorite things in the world! I love the strong green tea taste and how creamy and delicious it gets in drinks. So I wonder why I haven't baked more with matcha.
Matcha is a fine ground green tea. It adds the green tea taste and it's own creaminess making it the perfect ingredient for baked goods.
Many places have begun selling flavored matcha which tends to be cheaper than the real stuff as it is full of stuff other than matcha. However, it still tastes great and in my opinion sometimes even better because you get to have a yummy flavor accompanied with your matcha. It makes matcha just mixed with water delicious as well by the way.

You can find flavored matcha at David's Tea, HomeSense, and Bed Bath and Beyond to name a few.
I used a strawberry flavored matcha powder to get the strawberry taste in this, if you don't have access to strawberry matcha you can use any other desired flavor or plain matcha. 
You can also add a couple drops of food coloring to make it extra green but this is completely optional.

Strawberry Matcha Blondies

Ingredients

1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 eggs
1 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp matcha powder (I used strawberry matcha powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chunks
couple drops of green food coloring

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare an 8x8" baking dish by greasing the bottom and sides or lining it with parchment paper. Melt coconut oil in a microwave and set aside.
2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the coconut sugar, coconut oil, and eggs until well combined. Add a couple drops of food coloring if desired.
3. In a separate bowl combine flours, matcha powder, matcha powder, baking powder, and salt.
4. Mix dry ingredients into wet. Fold in white chocolate chunks.
5. Spread mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes until or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
6. Let blondies cool before serving

December 28, 2017

Cranberry Date Squares (gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free)

9:30 AM 0 Comments

I hope everyone had an amazing Winter Holiday! I sure enjoyed mine by baking up a storm in the kitchen! 
For Christmas dinner I served these date squares and a couple other desserts. The date squares were for sure the big winner! 
And I mean come on with that delightful red color in the filling, how can you not love them for Christmas?

These date squares have a gooey filling and crisp base. The cranberries mixed with the dates is a wonderful combination giving it a sweet and tart flavor.
They also make the perfect after dinner treat as they are light, gluten free, vegan, and free of refined sugars! But I'm sure you can enjoy them any time of year!


Cranberry Date Squares

Ingredients


Base

1 cup oat flour (blend 1 cup of oats in a food processor until it reaches a flour consistency) 
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/3-1/2 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp guar gum
pinch of salt
1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped

Date Filling

1 cup dates pitted, soaked in a cup of warm water
1 cup dried cranberries
zest of meyer lemon
juice of half a meyer lemon
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp honey/maple syrup (optional)
couple tbsp of water if needed


Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8x8" baking dish with wax paper
2. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the oat flour and coconut flour. 
3. With a pastry cutter, cut in coconut oil until it has coated all of the flour and the oil had formed small pea sized balls with the flour. Add as much coconut oil as necessary to achieve this.
4. Add rolled oats, shredded coconut, coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, guar gum, and salt. Mix until everything is combined. If your mixture is too dry to clump together with your hands you can add more coconut oil.
5. Pour about 2/3 of the base into your prepared dish and press down firmly until the dish is evenly coated and sicking to the dish.
6.  For filling, drain dates and place in them into your food processor. Process until dates have broken down then add in dried cranberries and process again until smooth. You can add in a little water if your mixture is too thick. Alternatively you can reserve some of the water the dates have been soaking in for this purpose.
7. Add in zest of a meyer lemon, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Process until combined. Give mixture a taste and if it's too sour, add in some honey, maple syrup, or more dates until sweet enough.
8. In big spoonfuls drop date mixture on top of oat base layer and smooth out with a spatula until it has covered the base.
9. Top the rest of the oat base on top of date filling and press down so that it sticks to the filling. Sprinkle hazelnuts on top.
10. Bake for 30-35 minutes until top is golden brown.
11. Allow to cool before cutting

December 20, 2017

Paleo Pumpkin Squares (gluten free, paleo)

2:02 PM 0 Comments

We finally got some snow here just in time for Christmas! 

I am not always too fond of the snow (I mean in Canada we get quite a lot and I say this now because we suddenly got more than 40cm or something) but I do like how beautiful it makes the world look!

Possibly my favorite thing about the Holidays though is the amount of baked goods that suddenly come available! Fortunately I am here with a healthy baked good fit for the Holidays.

These pumpkin squares are low carb and refined sugar free. The pumpkin spice flavor is absolutely perfect for this time of year.

Paleo Pumpkin Squares

Ingredients

Squares
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup almond milk
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp baking soda mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Topping
1/2 cup chopped up almonds
3 tbsp shredded coconut
3 tbsp seed mix (mix of pumpkin and sunflower seeds)
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp melted coconut oil 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8x8" pan
2. In a large bowl combine coconut flour through salt. Mix together and set aside
3. In another bowl combine eggs through baking sod and mix thoroughly 
4. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until combined
5. Pour batter into your prepared pan
6. For topping, combine all ingredients in a small bowl with a fork until a paste forms
7. Sprinkle topping mixture on top of batter
8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until top is brown and a toothpick comes out clean
9. Cool and cover with plastic wrap and then place in fridge to allow the squares to set

Adapted from here

December 16, 2017

Peanut Butter Shortbread

3:25 PM 0 Comments

Nothing screams the Holidays like shortbread! But let's bump it up a notch and add some peanut butter in!
These bars may sound difficult but trust me, they're easier than they look and quick to make too!
First you have the shortbread layer which is light and buttery. This is then covered by a wonderful creamy peanut butter filling and topped all off with chocolate!

Tip: make sure everything is at room temperature when you mix it together so the coconut oil doesn't harden and give the squares a few minutes when they come out of the fridge so they'll be easier to cut.

Peanut Butter Shortbread Squares

Ingredients

Crust
1 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Layer
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp salt

Chocolate Layer
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp maple syrup

Directions

1. For the crust, preheat the 350F and line 8 inch circle pan with parchment paper
2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the spelt flour, coconut flour, and salt. Add coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla and stir everything until combined. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to absorb everything and stir until spongy.
3. Scoop dough into your pan and press it down evenly. Pierce dough with a fork to stop it from bubbling.
4. Bake for 12-14 minutes until edges are just barely turning golden brown and crust feels soft to touch still. Let set for 10 minutes.
5. As your crust is baking, make the peanut butter layer.
6. Heat together your peanut butter and coconut oil in a microwave and whisk together until smooth
7. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt and whisk some more until everything is combined
8. Pour peanut butter over your cooled shortbread and evenly coat
9. Place in the freezer for a few minutes until set
10. As your peanut butter sets, make the chocolate layer
11. Heat coconut oil in a microwave until melted.
12. Stir in cocoa powder and maple syrup until well combined
13. Take shortbread out of the freezer and pour chocolate layer evenly on top of peanut butter layer
14. Place shortbread back into freezer until chocolate is set
15. Cut into wedges and serve!
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