Gluten Free Banana Bread

I am so excited to share this recipe!

I’ve been working on a gluten free bread recipe book with Yuri and I’m going to give you a little teaser/gift here.  Shhh don’t tell him, ok?  This was my first priority when we ventured into creating these recipes. 1) because I love banana bread and 2) we had a surplus of overripe bananas.

So, here is another recipe from my childhood.  It’s been changed up quite a bit from the original version, but surprisingly “tastes like memories,” which is what I say any time I hit the nail on the head with respect to recipe creation!

If you don’t have any coconut palm sugar you can substitute brown sugar.

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Gluten Free Banana Bread

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 well beaten eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare a silicone or glass bread dish by greasing it with coconut oil.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas and mix in the eggs and melted coconut oil.

In a separate bowl, mix the almond flour, coconut flour, sugar, sea salt, and baking soda.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.

Pour into prepared baking dish and bake at 350F for one hour.

Let cool in pan before cutting or just when you simply cannot wait any longer!

Banana Chocolate Walnut Muffins

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I have finally found the perfect recipe base for muffins!  I am so excited for where my Saturdays are going.  This recipe was first on my list to tackle and I am proud to say that the recipe is finally finished!

If you love walnuts you can add a few handfuls to base of the recipe as well.  I was scared the kids wouldn’t eat them if I loaded the recipe with them but several test batches later and apparently they love walnuts as much as we do.  Though I do measure chocolate chips/chunks generously so maybe that’s why they don’t have a problem with it!

Banana Chocolate Walnut Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder (vanilla extract works also)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup chocolate chunks
  • walnuts for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a muffin pan with silicon muffin cups.

Mash bananas, and mix in eggs and maple syrup.

Add almond flour, vanilla powder, chia seeds, baking soda, and sea salt.  Mix well.

Warm coconut oil until just melted and mix in.

Lastly, mix in chocolate chunks.

Full muffin cups 3/4 full, and top muffins with walnuts.

Bake for 20-25 minutes (I usually do 23) and let cool in the pan for best results.

Once cooled, gently pull the muffins away from the silicon cups and they will pop out perfectly!

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Cinnamon Cookie Cereal

These little cookie bites are the perfect accompaniment to our fresh Ontario strawberries!  We keep a stock pile of berries in the fridge, so this cereal is loaded with organic blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries and topped with cookie bites.

I’m already planning on topping my vanilla coconut ice cream with them later 🙂  Good thing I went to the gym this morning!  I’m pretty sure the kids are going to ask for this cereal every single day from here on in.  It’s delicious, and will destroy your favourite boxed cereal in both the quality and flavour departments.  We top this cereal with unsweetened almond milk and it is perfect.  There’s enough sugar in the berries and cereal that sugar in the milk would have been overkill.

Although it may look like these took forever to make, I had half of the little balls formed before the oven had even heated up, so it’s not too bad.  Totally worth it.

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Cinnamon Cookie Cereal

  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a bowl, mix almond flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.

Add melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and mix well.

Pull apart with your hands into little rustic balls.  Hint: make a little dough snake and you can easily pull small cookie balls off the end.  You can either grease the sheet with coconut oil, or use a silpat sheet – my personal favourite.

Cook at 350° for 8 minutes.  Let cookies cool on the pan and they will harden.

Fill a bowl with your favourite berries, and top with cookie cereal and your favourite milk for a nutritious and energy sustaining breakfast.

Enjoy!

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Healthy Chocolate Mousse

This was inspired by the not-so healthy chocolate mousse debauchery that went on at the cottage this summer.  In an attempt to lessen withdrawal symptoms, this healthy version was born.  I’ve always loved avocado in chocolate mousse form, but it’s not for everyone so I toned it down in hopes of appeasing you avocado/chocolate haters (namely the hubby).  The results were A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

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Healthy Chocolate Mousse

  • 1 cup coconut milk (canned)(coconut water works well too!)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (or more…delicious)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted (or 1/4 cup honey)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend well, using the tamper as needed to move the ingredients around.  Eat immediately (and why wouldn’t you?) or refrigerate for later!  Just be sure to place cling wrap right on top of the pudding to avoid as much oxidation as possible due to the avocado content.

You can also add a tsp of maca if you love it.  It will make your pudding taste like maca, but it’s a nice change if you’re a maca lover!

Mini Paleo Frittatas

I have attempted frittatas many times in the past and none of them have been delicious as this!  There is so much goodness packed into these little gems and the kiddos ate them up despite all of the green!  I’ll admit it was difficult to get them to take that first bite, but once I got big brother to partake, little brother happily complied!

These are also good reheated the next day, so feel free to make a big batch!

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Mini Paleo Fritattas

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, plus more for greasing pan
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, diced
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream (solid top in a can of coconut milk)
  • 5 strips bacon, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease a muffin pan well, or use silicon muffin cups.

Place coconut oil, broccoli, bacon, and red pepper into a skillet over medium heat and cook until broccoli is bright green and bacon is cooked.  Cool 10 minutes.

In separate bowl, whisk eggs and coconut cream.  It will be chunky. Add spinach and stir.

Empty the broccoli mixture into the egg mixture and stir immediately.

Drop 1/4 cup of egg batter into each prepared muffin cup.  Bake 20 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes in pan, run a knife along the edge and carefully remove.

Makes 7 mini fritattas.

* You may also use frozen broccoli and/or previously cooked bacon. You can substitute another protein if you don’t do bacon!

Blueberry Almond Bars

IMG_7401Breakfast is always a struggle in our house.  This morning I was inspired to play around with breakfast bars, and this was the delicious conclusion my 3 year old and I came up with.  Enjoy!

Blueberry Almond Bars

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 1 cup dried blueberries
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dried coconut
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Place almond flour, coconut, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl and mix.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  Oil an 8 x 8 pan with coconut oil and press the mixture firmly into the base.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.  Cool in the fridge for at least an hour before cutting to give them time to set.

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Allergen Free Baking: The Best Pancakes Ever.

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Banana Coconut Gluten-Free Vegan Pancakes

I have had many reasons to go allergen free in the past, but none were as motivating as my current living breathing reason: my newborn son Oscar.  I have many food sensitivities that I notice daily unless I eat 100% clean.  Even then, I will notice a reaction if I eat too much of something that I am mildly sensitive to such as certain vegetables!  I have been eating moderately clean my entire pregnancy, gaining less than 25 lbs, and my eczema disappearing for most of it.  However, upon delivery, my hormones are out of whack and so is my body.  My eczema is flaring up once again.

Oscar is also developing a rash.  I don’t know if it’s eczema yet.  I think it’s newborn acne at this point, but in a bid to avoid the occurrence of eczema and allergies I am trying to keep him away from the common culprits: dairy, soy, corn, wheat, excess sugar, etc. as well as giving him a daily probiotic. Unfortunately, when both parents have allergies or asthma, the offspring is nearly 100% likely to have them as well.

And it is because of all of this that these pancakes were born.  I swear they are the best pancakes ever, and Yuri agrees!  I am not saying that you can eat pancakes every day because they are allergen free, but they are there when you want something special.  There is no need to feel guilty about indulging in these, and the best part of it is that these pancakes cause me NO digestive distress!

BEST PANCAKES EVER

Gluten-Free Banana Coconut Pancakes. They’re vegan AND healthy.

Serves 2

1 1/4 cup gluten free flour (see below)
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups almond milk
2 eggs, or use this egg substitute:

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 4 tbsp hot/boiling water

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 banana, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut
maple syrup, for serving
banana and coconut for garnish

If using the egg substitute, mix the egg substitute ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.

Separately, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Add the almond milk, egg substitute, and coconut oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.

Add the coconut, cinnamon, and banana.

Cook over medium heat until done, flipping once.  Makes 6 pancakes.

*if the batter is too thick, add more almond milk

*Lately we’ve been really loving chocolate chunks in our pancakes – the best ones are by Enjoy Life!

Gluten Free Flour

Gluten free flour making is an intimate thing.  There are so many variations out there.  This is what I came up through trial and error and it is my favourite gluten free flour yet.  I doubt I’ll even try any others.  You can use this in any recipe that calls for all purpose flour. Just make up a batch and you’ll have it to use whenever you need it!

Mix together:

250g millet flour (1.5 cups)
150g almond flour (1.5 cups)
150g quinoa flour (1 cup)
150g buckwheat flour (1 cup)
300g tapioca flour (2 cups)

I buy millet, almonds, buckwheat, and quinoa whole and mill them in the coffee grinder. This way they are as fresh as possible. Tapioca and almond flours I buy already milled.  Though you can grind almonds in a coffee grinder – they are super fresh!  In Canada you can get almond flour from jkgourmet.com which is what I do now that I’ve found them!

Eggs Florentine with Potato Latkes

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Today I think I really outdid myself.  I made the best eggs Florentine I have ever produced.   There has been a lot of trial and error over the years and this is the best hands down which is why I have to share it!

I love to make gourmet meals, especially homemade gourmet versions of meals that scare me in restaurants, because you never really know what’s in them!  Take Hollandaise sauce for example.  In the restaurant I work at, ingredients include MSG and some other pretty nasty stuff.

For example, Knorr brand Hollandaise sauce mix that you can buy at your local grocer lists the following as ingredients:

Modified Food Starch (Corn, Potato), Maltodextrin, Wheat Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Whey Protein Concentrate (from Milk), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Lactose (from Milk), Fructose, Salt, Citric Acid, Onion Powder, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Guar Gum, Spices (Including Paprika), Turmeric (for Color), Caramel Color, Natural Flavor, Garlic Powder.

I mean, SERIOUSLY?  What the hell is that stuff?  Is it even “food?”  Guess what the ingredients are in a classic Hollandaise sauce? Water, egg yolks, butter, and lemon juice.  Four ingredients, none of them artificial.  FOUR natural foods – not EIGHTEEN chemicals!

Eggs Florentine with Potato Latkes (serves 2)

Classic Hollandaise Sauce

  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Place a mixing bowl on top of pot of barely simmering water.  Make sure the bowl is not submersed in water. The idea is to “steam cook” the Hollandaise.  Place 2 tbsp of water and 2 egg yolks in the bowl.  Mix with whisk until mixture becomes thick.  Then slowly add the melted butter while stirring constantly.  When mixture is combined and thick, slowly add the lemon juice while stirring.  Set aside.

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 handful of feta (optional)
  • Green onion for garnish, diced

You can use a steamer to cook the spinach. Alternatively, put a bit of water in a non-stick frying pan and place a lid over top and steam it that way.  Once spinach is cooked, place it on a plate covered with paper towel until ready to use.

Set feta and diced green onion aside until ready to assemble Eggs Florentine.

Potato Latkes

  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp gluten free all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil for frying

Dice the onion and grate the potatoes, placing them into a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients (except oil) and mix well.  You may have to add more flour depending on how wet the mixture is.

Separate the mixture into 4 equal portions and heat oil to medium-high.  As you get ready to place the potato pancakes in the oil, squeeze out any extra moisture.  Make a pancake shape and carefully place them in the pan.  Fry until golden brown on both sides, turning as little as possible.  Once done, place them on paper towels to drain.

Poached Eggs

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • Pot with roughly 2 inches of barely boiling water

Poaching eggs is an art.  It has taken me a long time to learn to poach the perfect egg, so be patient and don’t worry about perfection at first!  I break my eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl and slowly pour them into the boiling water.  I find this way easier than breaking an egg so close to boiling water because this way I don’t burn myself!  And, the fresher your eggs, the better they poach.

Place your pot on the heat source and add the white vinegar.  When the water is just boiling, turn the heat down to medium (or whatever your barely boiling temperature is).  Add the eggs, one at a time to the water.  Once in, take a wooden spoon and carefully move the egg white over the yolk.  Hold for about 10 seconds.

By the time I have my 4 eggs in the water, it is usually time to take the first one out because I like my eggs runny.  I think they’re in the water for 3-4 minutes at this point.  Using 2 wooden spoons, I take each egg out and place them in one small bowl.  This way, they stay warm while you are putting together the rest of the ingredients.

Putting It All Together

Place 2 potato latkes on each plate.  Cover with spinach and optional feta.  Place one egg on each mound and spoon over Hollandaise sauce.  Garnish with green onion.  Serve!

Final Notes

This recipe takes some time management skills at first.  I generally make the Hollandaise first, and set it aside.  I then steam the spinach and make the potato latkes.  While the Latkes are frying, I start the poached eggs (using the water used in making the Hollandaise sauce) and set the eggs aside while the potatoes are finishing.

“Eggs Benedict” recipes traditionally use English muffins as a base, but my objective is always to use as many whole food ingredients as I can. Enter the potato.  Once you have tried these potato pancakes you will be addicted! Obviously, frying them in oil is a nutritional “no-no” but sometimes you’ve got to take one for the team, right?