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!

December 10, 2017

Secret Ingredient Nanaimo Bars (gluten free, vegan)

3:23 PM 0 Comments

I'm giving you ten seconds to guess what the filling is made of. I bet you'll never believe what the filling is made out of!

... it's lentils! 

These bars are so good and taste exactly as a Nanaimo bar should. You can barely make out the lentil taste and you would never be able to taste how healthy they are.

To test these out I gave it to a few a people and they couldn't even tell that the filling was made of lentils. If you have a sweeter tooth I would suggest adding 1/2 cup of maple syrup rather than just 1/3.

Secret Ingredient Nanaimo Bars
Ingredients

Base:
  • 6 Medjool dates
  • ¾ cups whole raw almonds
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Filling:
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup dry red lentils
  • 1/3-1/2 cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour

Topping: 
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil
Directions
  1. Place your  lentils and one cup of water into a small pot. Bring to a boil and turn down heat to then simmer. Stir occasionally for about 12 minutes until the lentils have become mushy and the water is almost completely absorbed. 
  2. As the lentils are cooking you can prepare your base. Add the almonds to a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add the dates, coconut, cocoa powder, coconut oil, salt, and cinnamon and process until the mixture comes together. The dough should stay together when pressed.
  3. Line a 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper (you could also use a larger square pan if you want thinner bars). Put the base into the pan and press it down on the bottom evenly.
  4. Wipe out the bowl of your food processor with a paper towel. Add the shredded coconut to the bowl and blend until it breaks down even more finely. Pour your cooked lentils, maple syrup, coconut oil, and coconut flour into the processor and blend for a few minutes, until the filling is smooth and creamy.
  5. Pour the filling over the base and spread evenly. 
  6. Put the pan into the fridge or freezer to harden.
  7. For the topping, melt the coconut oil in a bowl and then stir in maple syrup and cocoa powder and everything is glossy and combined. Take your pan out of the fridge and pour the chocolate layer on top.
  8. Place back in fridge to harden. 
  9. Before serving, take out of the fridge for a few minutes so you can cut it easier

adapted from here

December 2, 2017

Vegan Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

4:33 PM 1 Comments


Hello friends! I hope you are having a wonderful day. I can't believe that it's already December so I hope that it's not too late for this pumpkin doughnut recipe! (is it ever too late for doughnuts though?)

These baked doughnuts have the best texture! Just like a cake doughnut you would buy at the store. The streusel topping is wonderfully sweet while being the perfect melty addition.

You won't believe that these doughnuts are much better for you and personally I have really been enjoying them a lot.

My friends loved these doughnuts! So if you don't believe me believe them!

Vegan Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

Ingredients

For Doughnuts
1 1/4 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (room temperature)
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 cup almond milk (room temperature)

For Topping
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 tbsp spelt flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a doughnut pan and set aside
2. For the doughnuts, combine spelt flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg until any clumps are gone.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, melted coconut oil, and almond milk. Gently fold wet into dry ingredients.
4. Spoon batter into doughnut pan.
5. For crumb topping, mix all ingredients in a small bowl until small clumps formed
6. Sprinkle crumb topping on top of doughnut batter
7. Bake 10 to 12 minutes
8. Allow doughnuts to cool before removing and enjoy!

November 19, 2017

Healthy Cinnamon Roll Squares

2:28 PM 2 Comments

Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite things to bake but I usually don't because they are very time consuming. So what do I do when I want cinnamon rolls without the wait? I make these squares!

They have all the goodness of cinnamon rolls without all the time or the calories.

and Holy moly these are so good! I urge you to try them right now! 

The squares are slightly dense and chewy. You can really bite into them and taste the delicious cinnamon.

The cream cheese frosting is the best I've ever tasted. And it's a little healthier than your average frosting.  

Cinnamon Roll Squares
Makes 12

Ingredients

For squares:

1 cup spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
5 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For frosting:*
1/2 cup cream cheese (softened)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp Greek yogurt

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line or grease a 8 x 8in baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3. In another large bowl, whisk together melted coconut oil and all of the sugars. Add the egg and vanilla and then whisk until well combined. 
4. Slowly add your dry ingredients to the wet. Stirring until combined. Be careful not to over mix, the batter should be quite thick.
5. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until light golden brown on top. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
6. For the cream cheese frosting, blend all ingredients with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. 
7. Remove squares from the dish and frosting before cutting.

*This frosting recipes makes more than enough for the squares if you just want to lightly frost them like I did. Feel free to halve the recipe if desired or use the leftovers for something else. You can also frost your squares more if you like.

November 12, 2017

Scrumptious Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

9:45 AM 1 Comments

Ahh fall. Beautiful leaves, crisp air, and 
pumpkin spice everything!



These pumpkin muffins are delightfully spicy and fluffy. They are definitely scrumptious! The chocolate chips are the perfect sweet addition to the lovely fall treat.

I made a mini version of these for a potluck and the large version for a bake sale. They were a hit at both! Bake for about 10 minutes if you do the mini version

Be sure not to over bake and eat within a couple days so that they don't get too dry. If it does happen simply heat them up in a microwave for a few seconds.


Scrumptious Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour (all purpose or spelt)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon cinnmon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

  • Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line or grease 12-cup muffin pan 
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. 
  3. In another bowl. Whisk the oil, eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together until combined. 
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a whisk to stir until completely combined. Batter will be thick. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon the batter into your prepared muffin tin. Fill about 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

November 5, 2017

Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream Bars

3:01 PM 1 Comments

I recently read a graphic novel called Bake Sale by Sara Varon. I saw this book on the sale rack at my university book store and I had to buy it! This book was so cute and some really nice themes in it about friendship and perseverance. It also included some recipes that are made in the story.



One thing the main character of the book does everyday in their bakery is try out new recipes so I was inspired to try something new out as well!




A few weeks ago I picked up a can of coconut cream from the store with the intention of making something with it. It didn't know what at first but after seeing many coconut ice cream recipes I decided to try out an ice cream bar!



These bars are gluten free and vegan! The filling is so good and creamy. You can tastes the coconut as well as the peanut butter and they complement each other decadently. The topping is simple yet puts everything together. 

My favorite thing has to be the base though. There's something about dates and oats that just can never go wrong.

Make sure to allow these bars to warm up a bit at room temperature before serving otherwise it may be too icy to eat.

Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream Bars

Base
1 cup oats
1/3 cup shredded coconut
12 dates, softened
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Filling
1 can of coconut cream, chilled
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)

Topping
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp maple syrup
3 tbsp coconut oil


Directions

1. Prepare a 9x5 inch baking dish with wax paper on the bottom, set aside
2. Put all of the base ingredients into a food processor and blend until a dough forms
3. Press dough into the baking dish and then leave this to set in the fridge
4. Beat together all of the filling ingredients until fluffy and combined. Pour this mixture over the base and then put it into the freezer to set or about 15 minutes
5. Meanwhile, make the topping. Place coconut oil in a microwavable dish and microwave for about 30 seconds until it has melted. Add in the cocoa powder and maple syrup and mix until smooth
6. Drizzle the topping all over the filling and then place it back into the freezer for a few hours until everything has hardened
7. Take pan out of the fridge and carefully remove it from the dish while frozen than cut into squares
8. Leave the bars out for a few minutes to softened then serve
9. Bars can be stored in a container in the freezer

October 15, 2017

The Best Healthy Banana Bread

8:25 PM 2 Comments



I know you are probably skeptical of the title. You're probably thinking "THE Best? Really Kat? Is this really the best banana bread?". But I assure you, I rarely make the same recipe more than a couple times but I have made this banana bread every single time I had over-ripe bananas too use.




Yes that is correct, I didn't even think about finding or using a different recipes to use my bananas!



This banana bread is so simple. I think the real secret is it being sweetened by honey. This way the banana bread is not only naturally sweetened but you also get a wonder dense yet fluffy texture from the honey. It is so good.




Best Healthy Banana Bread

Adapted from here

Ingredients

⅓ cup melted coconut oil
½ cup honey
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
¼ cup almond milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top

1/4 tsp nutmeg
1¾ cups spelt flour
1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup walnuts


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with wax paper
  2. In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and almond milk. It's a good idea to bring your eggs and milk to room temperature so that the coconut oil doesn't soldify
  3. Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt cinnamon, and nutmeg. Blend together
  4. Stir in the flour, just until combined. Some lumps are ok.
  5. Gently fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  6. Pour the batter into your  loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. If you want the swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
  7. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes then serve!

Let me know if you try this out!
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