Tag Archives: Grain Free

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Pumpkin Seed Pesto - Rich in Zinc and Nutrients

Pumpkin Seeds are rich in zinc, magnesium and plant based omega-3s. But, did you know they make a pretty amazing tasting pesto? Well they do! They almost taste cheesy, and they make a very creamy pesto dip!

This recipe is currently my new favorite dip/spread! It’s quick and easy to make!

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Ingredients:

1 Cup Fresh Basil, lightly packed

3/4 of Olive Oil

1/2 Cup of Raw Pumpkin Seeds (the kind that are shelled, I use these)

1 Clove of Fresh Garlic (or you can use garlic infused olive oil)

1 Teaspoon of Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 Teaspoon of Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Directions: Blend the ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy. Store in the refrigerator.

Perfect for serving with an appetizer tray. It also makes a delicious sauce to drizzle on chicken and seafood as well as salad!

Enjoy!

Sandra Shields, Certified Health Coach

 

 

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Grain Free Peach Cobbler on a Spoon

The peaches are fresh, juicy, ripe, and begging to be baked into something with cinnamon and nutmeg. There is nothing like peach season for eating peaches! They are at their most excellent and not to be missed! Peaches are sweet juicy pleasures, but they also are packed with health benefits and a broad range of nutrients!

The fiber in peaches helps keep you regular, they are rich in ascorbic acid and zinc (which also has anti-aging properties) to aid your immune system, rich in vitamin C and flavonoids for healthy skin, and contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health.

The batter for the cobbler features coconut flour, pastured eggs and natural maple syrup as the sweetener.

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Preheat your oven to 350° degrees. Grease a 8″ x 8″ square pan with coconut oil.

Ingredients for Filling:

4 cups of peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (about 4 peaches)

1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup (I used local)

2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed)

1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Toss the peaches and filling ingredients together in a bowl, and set aside to let them start releasing some of their juices.

Ingredients for Cobbler Topping:

1/3 Cup of Coconut Flour (I use this brand) scooped and leveled, it makes a big difference with coconut flour how it is measured!

1/3 Cup of Coconut Milk

2 Tablespoons of Melted Coconut Oil

3 Pastured Eggs

1/4 Cup of Applesauce (no sugar added)

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (gluten free here)

1/2 Teaspoon of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling the top before baking

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl, add the eggs and beat with an electric hand mixer until frothy. Add your coconut milk and beat. Slowly pour in the melted coconut oil while beating. Add the applesauce, vanilla extract and lemon juice and blend. Sift together the coconut flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Add it to the egg mixture, and mix with the electric mixer for one minute. It will thicken.

After mixing up the cobbler topping, pour your peach filling into the prepared 8″ x 8″ square pan. Dollop the cobbler batter on top as desired and sprinkle with some additional cinnamon, about 1/4 teaspoon, no need to be perfect with this, just a pinch or so though.

Bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes. The peaches should be bubbling and the cobbler topping golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool slightly before serving warm. You can also reheat any leftover cobbler quickly in the microwave if you want to eat it warm.

Sliced Peaches in Pan for Grain Free Cobbler

Peach Cobbler Filling

Batter on Peaches for Baking a Grain Free Cobbler

Ready to Bake above.

Serves Six

Enjoy!

Sandra

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Mango Cashew Chicken Salad

Mango Cashew Chicken Dinner Salad

This salad is inspired by one of my favorite salads from Red Mesa Grill in Northern Michigan. I order it every year from their gluten free menu and it is so good, I decided to recreate it at home adding my own spin on it.

Mango Cashew Chicken Summer Salad

The salad has a delicious combination of sweet juicy mango, crunchy cashews, tart cranberries, onion and roasted chicken. The mango dressing is bursting with vitamin C. It is a perfect Summer main dish salad!

Mango Cashew Chicken Salad

Mango Cashew Chicken Salad

Begin with making a marinade for the chicken breasts:

Marinade:

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

Zest and Juice of 1 Lime

2 Cloves of Smashed Garlic

2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Whisk the marinade together well. Add 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts to a gallon zip bag, and pour the marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag, and place it flat in the refrigerator for 3 hours, flipping once halfway through to ensure the chicken is evenly seasoned. You can refrigerate the chicken for up to 24 hours in the marinade.

Now prepare your salad dressing.

Mango Salad Dressing

Mango Salad Dressing:

Ingredients;

1 1/4 Cup of Ripe Mango, diced

1/4 Cup of Good Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons of Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

2 Tablespoons of Fresh Cilantro

2 Tablespoons of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (I use this kind)

1 Green Onion, sliced

1 Teaspoon of fine Sea Salt (I like this brand)

Blend the mango and olive oil in a blender until completely smooth and creamy. Add the lime juice, salt and cider vinegar and blend to incorporate. Now, add the fresh scallion and cilantro, and pulse the blender just until you can see tiny bits of scallion and cilantro. You want to be able to see it and not completely incorporate it into the dressing.

Refrigerate the dressing. This will keep 3 days in the refrigerator.

Now to make the salad! 🙂

Mango Cashew Chicken Salad Prep

Mango Cashew Chicken Salad Ingredients:

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 – 5 oz. Container of Organic Baby Romaine, washed and spun dry

1/2 Head of Organic Iceberg Lettuce, washed, spun dry and torn into bite-sized pieces

1 Ripe Mango, Diced in to 1 inch pieces

1/2 Cup of Salted or Raw Cashews

1/4 Cup of Apple Juice Sweetened Dried Cranberries (I use this brand)

1/4 Cup of Green Onion, Sliced

1/4 Cup of Red Onion, Finely Diced

Additional Sea Salt for Sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375° degrees. In a cast iron skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat on medium-high. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, and sprinkle them with additional sea salt, and add them to the pan. Brown the breasts two minutes per side, until golden brown, but not cooked through. Place the chicken on a baking sheet, and place them in the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes or just until the chicken reaches 165° at the center. Remove the chicken from the oven, and set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Mound the salad greens in a large bowl. Drizzle with a generous amount of Mango Salad Dressing. Sprinkle the mango, cashews, cranberries, green onion and red onion on top. Slice your cooked chicken breasts on a diagonal (they can still be warm) and arrange the breasts on the top of the salad. Sprinkle with some additional sea salt to taste.

Serve!

4 Large Dinner Sized Servings (1 Chicken Breast per person)

 

 

 

 

Double Chocolate Bakery Style Cookies

Double Chocolate Cookies - Coconut Flour Baking

We talked about getting in your vegetables, which is so important to our overall health! Community and celebrations are equally important and a key factor that Octogenarians living in the Blue Zones of the world all have in common. Celebrations invariably have food, including sweet choices. Balance is key and not diving in face first into a whole batch. Believe me, I’ve been there! Think college years! I myself love a delicious treat that is full of healthier ingredients! So, here is one we enjoy here at my home that I am proud to bring to any gathering!

Double Chocolate Cookies Date Sweetened Coconut Flour

This Double Chocolate Jumbo cookie recipe is a healthier version of a coffee shop cookie, but just as delicious, with less guilt, and more benefits! I used a date paste I made myself with just pureed dates. You can easily make a batch and keep it on hand in the refrigerator, or make just enough for this recipe. It takes very little time! There are local pastured eggs in these beauties, Enjoy Life chocolate chips (here) which are dairy and soy free, raw cacao and heart healthy olive oil. Let’s bake!

Jumbo Double Chocolate Grain Free Cookies

These are perfect for a picnic or while sitting in the park waiting for the Fireworks!

Double Chocolate Jumbo Cookies with Coconut Flour

Double Chocolate Bakery Style Cookies

Preheat your oven to 350º degrees.

Date Paste Directions:

Soak 1 1/2 cups of Medjool Dates in hot water for five to ten minutes until soft. Drain and remove the pits. Blend in a blender with 1/2 cup of hot water. That’s it! Date Paste. You will use 1/2 cup in this recipe. The rest lasts a long time in the refrigerator, or you can freeze it or make just enough for these cookies.

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup of Date Paste

1/2 Cup of Olive Oil

1/3 Cup of Coconut Flour

1/4 Cup of Raw Cacao Powder (here)

2 Pastured Eggs

1 Tablespoon of Grass Fed Collagen (optional here)

1 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 Cup of Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips (here)

Directions:

With a handheld electric mixer, cream the olive oil and date paste. Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. In a separate bowl, sift together with a wire whisk the coconut flour, raw cacao powder, salt, baking soda and gelatin. Add it to the date and egg mixture, and blend thoroughly. Fold in the mini chocolate chips, then let sit for five minutes. The coconut flour will thicken up the batter. Scoop the dough onto a large parchment lined cookie sheet with a muffin sized scoop, spacing the cookies evenly into 8. Flatten slightly with a fork so the tops are even. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool on the cookie sheet for ten minutes. Mmmmmm!

Enjoy your day!

Double Chocolate Cookies Grain Free and Yummy

Lemon Fig Cake

Lemon Fig Cake on a Plate

Lemon Fig Cake

Lemon Fig Cake (Coconut Flour)

Date Sweetened Lemon Fig Cake Using Coconut Flour

Yes, I love cake, and I am a healthy eater and consider myself vegetable forward. I don’t eat refined sugar anymore. I ditched it several years ago in favor of natural sweeteners like dates, honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar. After some practice and experimentation in the kitchen, and reading a lot of cookbooks on baking with alternative sweeteners, (You should see my library, seriously. Does anyone else read cookbooks like novels?) I find I prefer the natural sweetener’s flavors over the white stuff. I like options! Dates give substance to baking, are a whole food, and have a rich flavor similar to brown sugar. Honey is distinct, light, and good for neutral baking. It does have a tendency to over brown at too high of a heat. Maple syrup is very distinctive. I think everyone can picture that flavor on their tongue. It is delicious in chocolate breads and with pecans for example, and coconut sugar has an earthy flavor and is closest in texture and application to refined white sugar.

Lemon Fig Cake Grain Free

Lemon Fig Cake

So, tada………introducing Lemon Fig Cake! Don’t worry if you think you don’t like dates, they are not predominant in the cake. They just add moistness and structure to the cake and contain a ton of trace minerals, calcium and fiber. Dates are a fruit and a whole food sweetener.

Lemon Fig Cake

Ingredients:

6 Eggs (I used local)

1 Cup of Medjool Dates (Soaked and Pitted)

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour (here)

1/2 Cup of Apple Sauce

1/2 Cup of Dried Figs, halved

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

Zest of 1 Lemon (organic)

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda (Gluten Free here)

1/2 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract (I use this kind)

1/4 Teaspoon of Fine Sea Salt

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350º degrees F. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Place the dates in a bowl, and cover with very hot filtered tap water, and soak for five minutes. Halve your dried figs from stem to base and set aside. If they are extremely dry, you should soak them as well. In a food processor with a blade attachment, crack six eggs. Pit the dates after soaking and add them to the eggs. Then, process the eggs and dates until you have just little flecks of date in your batter. Add the remaining ingredients, except the figs, and process for about one minute until the batter is a smooth creamy yellow and a thick cake batter. Scrape the batter into your prepared parchment lined pan. Now, add your figs decoratively on the top, cut side up and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched with your finger. Cool on a wire rack, then remove the cake from the pan using the parchment paper as handles.

Lemon Fig Cake Batter (Grain Free)

Batter ready to bake shown above.

Servings 9

 

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

I am crazy about coconut flour baking! Coconut Flour is low carb, gluten free, contains protein, iron, fiber, and healthy fats, and scores low on the glycemic index. Of course all these attributes are fine, but who cares if the finished product isn’t very palatable. But coconut flour makes a fantastic muffin! Scroll down to see the photos of the one I have split open. I wish you could smell them, but you can see the texture! This particular recipe is bursting with blueberries! So, if you are a true blue classic blueberry muffin fan, this is for you!

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

Are you a ship that is staying safe in your harbor? Branch out! Take a plunge and follow a dream. Try something new you have been dying to try but aren’t sure about. Step out of your comfort zone and blossom into the greatness you deserve and are capable of!

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

Preheat your oven to 350º degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with non-stick muffin papers and set aside.

Ingredients:

6 Pastured Eggs

1/2 Cup of Coconut Flour (here)

2 Black Spotted Bananas

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons of Honey

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon of fresh squeezed Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1 Pint of Fresh Blueberries

Directions: In a food processor with a blade attachment, blend the eggs and banana until the banana is smooth. Add in the rest of the ingredients except the blueberries, and blend for two minutes. Fold in the blueberries, reserving 1/4 cup for the tops. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, and sprinkle with the reserved blueberries. Let sit for 5 minutes on the counter to allow the coconut flour to soak up the liquid in your batter. Then, bake for 20 to 25 minutes in your preheated oven until the tops spring back. Remove from the oven, and cool for five minutes before removing from the pan and cooling on a wire rack. I give you permission to eat one hot! :-)))

Makes a dozen muffins

Blueberry Muffin.JPG

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins Hot From the Oven

Chocolate Fudge Grain Free Brownies

Brownies that are very chocolatey, fudgy and grain free is possible! I kept coming back and experimenting with this recipe over the past several months. Initially they were more cakey than fudgy, and my favorite kind of brownie is fudgy. It is finally blog worthy! Maple syrup is the perfect addition for a chocolate dessert. It compliments the chocolate and is a natural sweetener. There is also some cooled coffee in the recipe to amp it up even further. If you are a baker, you will probably know that coffee makes chocolate taste more chocolatey. Finally, for the ultimate moist fudge flavor, I added 2 ounces of an organic 85% Dark Chocolate Bar. I would very happily make these brownies for my grain loving friends and family with confidence! Aren’t they pretty?

Chocolate Fudge Grain Free Brownies

To make this batch of brownies you will use an 8″ x 8″ square pan. It makes twelve generous brownies or nine jumbo ones.

 

Chocolate Fudge Grain Free Brownies

Chocolate Fudge Grain Free Brownies

Preheat your oven to 350º degrees. Line a 8″ x 8″ square baking pan with parchment paper.

Ingredients:

3 Eggs

1/2 Cup of Medjool Dates (soaked in warm water for 5 minutes then pitted)

1/3 Cup of Unsweetened Applesauce

1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup

1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

1/4 Cup of Raw Cacao Powder

1/4 Cup of Brewed Coffee (cold)

3 Tablespoons of Coconut Flour

2 ounces of Dark Chocolate, finely chopped (I used organic 85% Alter Eco Dark Blackout Bar here)

2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

Directions: Pulse the dates and eggs in a food processor, then blend until creamy, about one minute.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the 2 oz. of chocolate bar. Blend thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the processor twice. Add the 2 ounces of chopped chocolate and pulse a few times until evenly distributed. You want little pockets of chocolate! Scrape the batter into the prepared square pan. Let sit for ten minutes. Then pop the pan into your preheated oven, and bake for 17 to 20 minutes, until just baked. When you insert a toothpick into the center of the brownies you should have moist crumbs on the toothpick. Don’t over bake.

Cool completely, then slice. Viola! Moist and Fudgy Brownies!

Chocolate Fudge Grain Free Brownies

 

Chocolate Fudge Grain Free Brownies

 

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