Grain-Free Paleo Banana Cinnamon Muffins

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It’s a cold snowy morning here in Upstate NY. The kiddos and I were sitting by the fire in our feet pajamas, and I was craving something comforting and warm from the oven. I had some ripe bananas and decided to create a banana muffin. These make a great breakfast or snack. The kids loved them! These contain no grains or refined sweeteners!

 

Recipe:

Oven to 350 degrees

Wet Ingredients (combine in a mixing bowl):

(2) large or (3) small very ripe bananas mashed

(3) eggs

(1) tsp vanilla

(3) TBS maple syrup or raw honey melted (add a little more if bananas are not very ripe)

1/4 cup of melted ghee or coconut oil

 

Dry Ingredients (whisk together):

1/2 cup of coconut flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

 

1. Pour dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well.

 

Optional Fold-ins: 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips (gluten, dairy, and soy free)

 

2. Scoop mixture into greased muffin pan (greased with ghee or coconut oil). Alternatively you can line the pan with paper muffin liners.

 

3. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees

 

Cool and enjoy!

 

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Girl Scout Cookie Remakes…The Real Food Way!

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It’s Girl Scout cookies time! I was a girl scout myself for many years. I remember going from door to door with the little slip! Oh the excitement!  Now you get mass e-mails, phone calls, and even facebook pages devoted to selling them.

 

This is me circa 1983:

 

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It’s too bad these delicious tasting cookies contain so many harmful ingredients such as: GMO corn and soy products, food dyes, artificial food dyes, artificial flavors, and worst of all hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. The shortbread cookies do not even contain any butter!

The 2 most popular kinds that I myself enjoyed most were samoas and thin mints…so…

 

I wanted to share with you some links to recipes that real food bloggers did to re-make healthier versions of these classic cookies!

 

Make sure you drop by their blog-sites and show them some love!

The first ones are samoas that come from Rising Moon Nutrition!

 

“These are sweetened only with dates, and there is a super awesome secret ingredient: sweet potatoes! They add a wonderful texture and flavor to the cookies, and also contribute some sweetness.  The almond butter and dates create the caramel effect and flavor, and the chocolate drizzle is pure, unsweetened dark chocolate. The bitterness of the cocoa is a nice balance to the sweetness of the rest of the cookie..I, of course, enjoyed mine with a nice cup of black coffee…like any good dessert should be!”

 

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The next recipe is from my friend over at Life Made Full!

“If you haven’t heard, Girl Scout cookies have GMOs (genetically modified organisms). These grain-free, dairy-free  Thin Mint Copycats don’t. And they’re flippin’ awesome! Seriously, it was just like biting into one of THESE grasshopper cookies, but without any of THESE nasty ingredients!”

 

 

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The next are thin mints that come from Orleatha Smith over at Level Health and Nutrition!

“Be it for yourself or for someone else, these cookies are sure to satisfy even the most loyal thin mint fan — I threw in lemon balls (which I would likely flatten next time) and shortbread. Be careful, these are all highly addictive! Enjoy!”

 

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and Finally Raw Vegan Paleo Samoas from BettyRawker.com!

 

“I used to wear my little Brownie uniform and sash full of badges with so much pride (pictured below)! I remember slinging those not so good for you cookies with my troop in front of supermarkets too. I also remember learning how to make raw style “no-bake” cookies, but oh, looking back, they had the worst ingredients! I recall crunchy peanut butter, non fat milk powder, refined sugar…ick!”

 

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Thanks to my friend over at Just Eat Real Food for links to the recipes 🙂

 

 

 

 

Bacon, Carmelized Onion, and Chive Ranch Dip

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My kids love the taste of ranch. However, I don’t like to purchase store bought dressings because of the use of GMO soy oil and other highly processed oils that cause inflammation in the body. This ranch flavored mayo based dressing can be used as a dip, dressing, or spread on a burger. It is very flavorful! My kids enjoyed dipping veggies in it. It can also be used as a spread for steak.

Ingredients:

2 egg yolks

1/2 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp sea salt plus extra for taste at the end

1 tsp white pepper

1 cup of macadamia nut oil, light olive oil (not extra virgin), or avocado oil

1 TBS vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

3 strips of bacon diced

1/2 onion finely diced

2 cloves of garlic

1 bunch of chives diced

*water to thin to desired consistency

 

Directions:

Cook the diced bacon over med heat until crispy, remove from pan and set aside.

 

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Put the onions in the same pan with bacon dripping and cook over med low stirring occasionally for a good 1/2 hour until golden brown.

 

 

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Finely dice the garlic (I used a mini food processor) and set aside:

 

 

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Finely dice the chives and set aside as well.
Pictured below is the bacon, chives, onions, and garlic:

 

 

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The base of this dip is mayo. You can follow any paleo mayo recipe. This is how I usually make mine:

Put the egg yolks, mustard  and 1/2 tsp of sea salt in a mixing bowl. Using a wire whisk or electric beaters mix until egg yolk begins to emulsify (thicken). Slowly add the oil a drop at time while beating-be very patient, you want it to get thick. Once you are about half way through the oil doing little drops at a time, and the mayo is thick, you can pour it in a stream and finish up.

***be patient, whisk hard, and it helps to have a partner helping to drop the oil in one drop at a time. It also helps to have a good mixer because your arm does get sore if you do it by hand. ***

Add the vinegar, white pepper, lemon juice, and more sea salt to your liking. If the mayonaisse is on the thicker side, add distilled water (a few drops at a time) until desired consistency. If you are using this to put on burgers or steaks, you would want it on the thicker side. If you plan to use it as a dip or dressing, thin it out more.

 

 

Next fold in the bacon, chives, diced garlic, and carmelized onions, and transfer to a serving dish:

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Enjoy!!!

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Grain-Free Blueberry Lemon Pie with Whipped Coconut Cream

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I LOVE blueberry pie! I love it with a hint of lemon and not overly sweet. I used the same crust recipe I created back in April for the strawberry rhubarb pie. I used berries that the kids and I picked last week and froze. The kids and I had half the pie eaten within an hour. It holds together best if you are patient and let it set. Otherwise you might be eating pie soup!

 

 

Here is what my kitchen looked like in the midst of pie making:

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*Note the small purple play doh rolling pin.I somehow miss-placed and lost my full sized rolling pin…so I had to improvise!

 

Here is the recipe! Enjoy!

 

Ingredients for the crust:

2 cups of almond meal

1/3 cup of coconut flour

3/4 cup of coconut oil

6-8 TBS water

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp sea salt

 

 

Ingredients for the filling:

4 cups of frozen blueberries

3 TBS coconut oil

1/2-3/4 cup of raw honey (I used 3/4 as these were tart blueberries)

zest from one lemon finely diced (about 2 TBS)

3 TBS tapioca starch

1 TBS cinnamon

 

Directions:

1. Set oven to 375 degrees

2. make crust-I did not melt the coconut oil. I put all the ingredients in a bowl and mashed it all together with a whisk or large fork (a pastry blender would probably work better, I just didn’t have one on hand)

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3. make dough into 2 separate balls

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4. roll out dough from one of the balls on a surface dusted with almond flour-or between parchment paper that is dusted with almond flour, and place it in the bottom of the pie pan. This dough is not easy to work with and breaks easily. Try not to get frustrated. I had to do some patching and pressing. It doesn’t have to look perfect.

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5, Roll out the second ball of dough and cut it with cookie cutter to make shapes to go on top of the pie (I find this easier and more aesthetically pleasing than trying to do a full covered top)

 

6 Make the filling:

put the blueberries in a big pan with the honey, coconut oil, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Turn heat to med/low and cook stirring frequently until blue juice begins to form at the bottom of the pan, and blueberries start to break down some.

 

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 7.  Turn off the heat and pour the blueberry mixture into a bowl. Remove about 1/4 cup of the juice and put it in a small bowl. Whisk the tapioca starch into that “blueberry juice”

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8. Pour the tapioca mixture in with the blueberry mixture and stir well. Pour this mixture into the pie crust, and cover with cut out shapes.

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9. Put the pie in the oven and bake for approx 45 minutes to one hour. *tent with foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning of the outer crust.

10. Let the pie be!!! It needs to set. If you cut it too soon you will have blueberry pie soup! You can set it faster in the refrigerator.

 

Coconut Whipped Cream:

refrigerate 1 can of coconut milk (not the reduced fat kind). Open the can and take the cream off of the top and place it in a bowl. *you can save the watery part for other recipes-you could even use it in place of water in dough for the pies!  Add 1 TBS raw honey, 1/2 tsp vanilla and whip with beaters on high until stiff.

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*I put my whipped coconut cream in the freezer for a bit so it would be sort of “ice creamy” to have on top of the pie.

Enjoy!!!

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Soft Cinnamon Banana Cookies (grain-free)

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These cookies were like eating warm soft banana bread! These were warm and satisfying on this cool rainy day. I used a recipe I had developed a few years back with wheat flour and oatmeal, and converted it to a grain-free recipe. Jonah helped me make them so it was a fun project for both of us!

Oven: 350 degrees

Ingredients:

1 cup of almond meal

1/2 cup of coconut flour

1/2 tsp of baking powder

1/4 tsp of baking soda

1 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup of coconut oil or butter melted

1/4 cup of raw honey melted (use a little less if your bananas are very ripe)

2 eggs

3 very ripe bananas

cookie sheet

parchment paper

In a mixing bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients.

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Mash the bananas!

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Melt the coconut oil and raw honey together and pour it over the bananas with the eggs and vanilla, mix well.

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Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Then, using a cookie scooper or melon baller, scoop the cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Flatten them…

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Bake for approx 12 minutes. They will be soft and not very brown (maybe slightly on the bottom)

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Enjoy! (my helper…who is turning 4 this week)

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Whipped Coconut Cream: 2 Variations

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Strawberry rhubarb pie has always been a favorite of mine. When I saw that my neighbor’s rhubarb was ready (and she offered me some), I wanted to take on a grain and refined sugar free variations of this pie!

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I decided to make two different kinds (one that is dairy free, and one that has butter in it).

The first pie is dairy free, and the crust was made with almond meal, coconut flour, and unrefined coconut oil. This pie has unrefined coconut oil in the filling.

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The second pie has no coconut in it. It was made with an almond meal and grass-fed butter crust, and has grass-fed butter in the filling.

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okay so these pies are not beautiful… When working with alternative flours I find it difficult to make “pretty” pies. However, they were a hit with the family and the neighbors…I could not tell a difference.

 

I wanted to create these on my own so I did not follow any particular recipe. I did however look in  the “Good Housekeeping” cookbook for a basic pie recipes to give me an idea of measurements. I sweetened both pies with raw honey! They were topped with whipped coconut cream, and very delicious!

 

Pie #1: Grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar free Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

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Ingredients for the crust:

2 cups of almond meal

1/3 cup of coconut flour

3/4 cup of coconut oil

6-8 TBS water

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp sea salt

Ingredients for the filling:

3 cups of cut-up organic strawberries

1 cup of chopped rhubarb

3 TBS coconut oil

4 TBS raw honey

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

3 TBS tapioca flour

zest of one lemon

juice of 1/2 a lemon

Directions for pie #1

1. Set oven to 375 degrees

2. make crust-I did not melt the coconut oil. I put all the ingredients in a bowl and mashed it all together with a whisk or large fork (a pastry blender would probably work better, I just didn’t have one on hand)

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3. make dough into 2 separate balls

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4. roll out dough from one of the balls on a surface dusted with almond flour-or between parchment paper that is dusted with almond flour, and place it in the bottom of the pie pan. This dough is not easy to work with and breaks easily. Try not to get frustrated. I had to do some patching and pressing. It doesn’t have to look perfect.

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5, Roll out the second ball of dough and cut it with a pizza cutter into strips-set aside

 

6. Make the filling- chop up 3 cups of strawberries and 1 cup of rhubarb

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7. put the filling in the pie crust, and zest the lemon over it

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8. in a small pan over low heat melt the coconut oil with the raw honey, lemon juice, vanilla and cinnamon, pour the mixture over the berries and zest

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9. sprinkle the tapioca flour over this mixture

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10. arrange the strips of dough over the top-and bake for approx 45 minutes (tent foil over the top during the last 15 minutes to prevent outer crust from burning…

voila!!! Pie number one is complete…

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I let it set for about 20 minutes so it could thicken and the juices could settle. During this time I whipped up some coconut cream!

Coconut Whipped Cream:

refrigerate 1 can of coconut milk (not the reduced fat kind). Open the can and take the cream off of the top and place it in a bowl. *you can save the watery part for other recipes-you could even use it in place of water in dough for the pies!  Add 1 TBS raw honey, 1/2 tsp vanilla and whip with beaters on high until stiff

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ENJOY!!!

Pie #2: Grain-free, refined sugar free Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (with grass-fed butter crust and filling)

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Ingredients for the crust:

3 cups of almond meal

1/2 cup of butter

6 TBS water

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

Ingredients for the filling:

3 cups of cut-up organic strawberries

1 cup of chopped rhubarb

3 TBS butter (kerry gold grass-fed)

4 TBS raw honey

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

3 TBS tapioca flour

zest of one lemon

juice of 1/2 a lemon

Directions:

1. Set oven to 375 degress

2. make crust-I did not melt the butter oil. I put all the ingredients in a bowl and mashed it all together with a whisk or large fork (a pastry blender would probably work better, I just didn’t have one on hand)

3. make dough into 2 separate balls

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4. roll out dough from one of the balls on a surface dusted with almond flour-or between parchment paper that is dusted with almond flour, and place it in the bottom of the pie pan. This dough is not easy to work with and breaks easily. Try not to get frustrated. I had to do some patching and pressing. It doesn’t have to look perfect.

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5. you can either roll out the second ball of dough and cut into strips to make a weave on top, or roll it out to cover the entire top (which is what I did with this pie)

6. Make the filling- chop up 3 cups of strawberries and 1 cup of rhubarb

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7. This time I mixed the tapioca in with the strawberries and rhubarb, and then dumped the mixture into the pie crust, and zested the lemon right on top

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8. Melt the raw honey with the cinnamon, lemon juice, and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the berry/rhubarb mixture

9. Cut the butter into chunks and dot it all over the berry/rhubarb mixture

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10. Put the top pie shell on top and crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork-make a few slits in the top

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11. bake for approx 45 minutes, covering all around the edges of the pie with foil during the last 15 minutes so the edges do not get burned. Do not cover the whole pie as you want the top to crisp up

Pie #2!

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*let the pie “settle” for 20 minutes or so

Follow the directions for coconut cream to top!

Enjoy!

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