Grain-Free Granola

grain free granola

grain free granola

I asked Superman what to call this, and he said “good.” Hmmm…

As with any granola or trail mix recipe, you can add or remove any of the ingredients and make it your own! But this was wayyyy yummy just the way it is!

Recipe: Grain-Free Granola/Trail Mix (Makes about 4 cups)

1 cup unsweetened coconut chips

1/4 cup roasted cocoa nibs (see pic below)

1 cup chopped cashews

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup  pure maple syrup or honey

1/2 cup chopped dried cherries (I buy Trader Joe’s unsweetened ones)

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients except the cherries and apricots. These are the cocoa nibs I have:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread mixture evenly over it. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, until beginning to turn golden. Remove from oven, and pour back into large bowl. Add cherries and apricots and stir to combine. Place a new piece of parchment on the baking sheet and pour the mixture back on, spreading evenly. Let cool about 10 minutes, then store in an airtight container.

Balsamic Kale Chips

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Here’s a twist on the traditional kale chip that gives a little *pow* when you bite into them!

Recipe: Balsamic Kale Chips

Balsamic Kale Chips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 bunch kale, stems removed

2 TBSP balsamic vinegar

2 TBSP olive oil

salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear kale into “chip size” pieces and lay onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, in a single layer. Add oil and balsamic vinegar to a spray bottle (I use THIS one from Pampered Chef that I absolutely LOVE!). Spray the kale lightly with the oil/vinegar mixture, sprinkle with salt and bake in oven for about 10-13 minutes, until crisped. Keep an eye on it, though–it will burn fast!

Maple Pecan Butternut Squash

maple pecan butternut squash

Recipe: Maple Pecan Butternut Squash

maple pecan butternut squash

2 lbs cubed butternut squash (I buy the precut stuff from Costco)

4 TBSP butter, ghee or coconut oil, melted

3 TBSP pure maple syrup

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch cayenne

salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan with coconut oil. Mix all ingredients except salt and pour into dish. Sprinkle with salt and bake about 20 minutes, then switch to broil and broil for another 10 minutes, or until outside is crisped and inside is tender!

Paleo Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Coconut Cream Glaze

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Recipe: Paleo Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Coconut Cream Glaze

This recipe is basically the same as my Grain-Free Pumpkin Spice Cake, with a few minor changes. A key to success with this is to make sure the cake is completely done before you take it out of the oven, and allow it to cool for a full 30 minutes before removing from pan. I know this is yummy because, well, I loved it and every one of my kids had seconds!

 

For the cake:

4 cups almond flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 TBSP cinnamon

3/4 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp ground ginger

3 eggs

3/4 cup unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk

1 (15 oz) can pureed pumpkin

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 340 degrees and grease a bundt pan with coconut oil (very important!) In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, pumpkin, maple syrup and vanilla, then stir into dry ingredients. Pour into greased pan and bake in oven for 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack before turning upside-down onto a serving platter. While it cools for another 15-20 minutes, prepare the glaze:

For the glaze:

1/2 cup coconut cream concentrate, melted

1 TBSP full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk

3 TBSP pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

water

Combine the coconut cream, coconut milk, syrup and vanilla in a bowl. It will thicken, so add water slowly until it gets to a “glaze” consistency. After cake has cooled, drizzle glaze over it and store in fridge for best results.

 

Crock Pot Cinnamon Apple Bread Pudding

crock pot cinnamon apple bread pudding

Recipe: Crock Pot Cinnamon Apple Bread Pudding

3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into cubes (I used Fuji)

2 cups almond flour

1 TBSP cinnamon

2 tsp aluminum-free, gluten-free baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey

coconut oil to grease crockpot

Grease crockpot with coconut oil. Stir flour, cinnamon baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl, then pour over apples and stir to coat. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and syrup or honey. Stir into apple mixture (it will be lumpy and the dough will be kind of crumbly), then pour into crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Scoop out and enjoy some warm fall goodness!

Grain-Free Pumpkin Bread

grain free pumpkin bread

This recipe is based on my Grain-Free Bread, and was inspired by a reader! This would be great to give away during the holidays!

Recipe: Grain-Free Pumpkin Bread

3 cups almond flour

1 cup tapioca flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 eggs

1/2 cup pumpkin

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted + a teaspoon or so for greasing

1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 mini loaf pans with coconut oil. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, water, honey and oil. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until combined (it will be the consistency of cookie dough). Press evenly into the loaf pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.

Can you tell a kid took this pic?? =)

Caramelized Butternut Squash

caramelized butternut squash

Recipe: Caramelized Butternut Squash

1 lb butternut squash, cubed (I bought it pre-cut from Costco)

2 TBSP olive or coconut oil

pinch red pepper flakes

salt/pepper to taste

Heat oil in skillet over high heat, add remaining ingredients and stir. Cook 10-12 minutes, stirring only a couple times, until squash is tender and crisp-brown on the outside. Enjoy!

Fall Traditions and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds to Die For

roasted-pumpkin-seeds

I love fall. The morning crispness, changing leaves, the soft warm sun or grey-covered sky. The smell of dampness in the air. Cinnamon, baking, scented candles. Cute boots and soft scarves. The anticipation of trick-or-treating and the warmth of Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the bend. Days and nights smothered in traditions, laced with children’s laughter and giggles and wide-eyed wonderment.

It’s a season before the cold of winter, before the leaves fall and dampness turns into wetness. It makes me want to snuggle up, read a book, watch a movie, play a game. The other night we played hide-and-seek in the dark while the clouds covered the early-evening sun for us. As I write, stew bubbles in the crock pot and warm brownies (grain-free, of course!) sit on the stove, cooling and waiting for little mouths to gobble them down.

For us, fall means a visit to the pumpkin patch, fresh apples from Apple Hill, watching the turkeys return to our property, shorter days, baking treats, carving pumpkins, roasting pumpkin seeds (see my amazingly delicious, accidentally-discovered recipe below), and just more of a relaxed, slow pace.

Not long ago, I made a pumpkin pie from scratch. I put all the gunk from the pumpkin into a bowl of water and added a bunch of salt. I figured I would get to separating the gunk from the seeds later that evening. Well, that night, the bowl full of orange gooey-ness stared back at me, and I didn’t want to touch it. So, there it sat…for two days. Finally, a brilliant idea came to mind: what else would a young boy like to do, but put his hands in a sticky mess and separate seeds from stringy pumpkin? So two of my boys did the dirty work for me. After they got them all nice and clean, I made the best batch of pumpkin seeds I’ve ever had:

Shanti’s Accidentally-Delicious Pumpkin Seeds

Image from Google

Seeds from 1 pumpkin
1/4 cup salt
Few tablespoons olive oil
Garlic salt to taste

Dig gunk out of pumpkin. Place into bowl of cold water and stir in 1/4 cup salt. Let sit for 2 days.

After 2 days, have a child separate out the seeds and get rid of the gunk. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse seeds in colander and toss in bowl with olive oil and garlic salt. Lay out on parchment paper-covered cookie sheet and roast in oven for 15-20 minutes. Take out and enjoy! They WILL go fast!

So, what are some of your favorite fall traditions?

 
 
 

Garlic-Infused Roasted Carrots

garlic infused roasted carrots

Recipe: Garlic-Infused Roasted Carrots

8 large carrots

1/2 cup olive oil

3 large cloves garlic, smashed (I just lay the knife on a clove and give it one good smash)

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with foil. Heat olive oil and garlic over low heat for about 10 minutes, until fragrant. Remove cloves from oil, cut ends from carrots and slice into finger-size pieces. Put in bowl and toss with garlic olive oil. Lay in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until beginning to brown and can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Broiled Tomato Coins

broiled tomato coins

This was an awesome Whole30 snack!

Recipe: Broiled Tomato Coins (makes 2-3 servings)

4-5 Roma Tomatoes

olive oil

salt

pepper

Preheat broiler in oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice tomatoes in thin “coins” and lay in a single layer on the baking sheet. Broil for 7-9 minutes, about 5-6 inches from heat, until crisping. Let cool for a few minutes before chowing down!

 

Protein-Packed Power Balls

protein packed power balls

protein packed power balls

I wanted to come up with a snack that I could grab that was high-fat, high-protein and would give me a kick in the pants (energy-wise). These did the trick! As far as I know, these are Whole30 compliant, but I suppose if you were using them to satisfy some craving, they wouldn’t be. Please note: these are not a sweet treat. They are delicious, but functional, especially for after a workout!

Recipe: Protein-Packed Power Balls

1 cup unsweetened almond butter

1/3 cup coconut cream concentrate, melted

3/4 to 1 cup raisins

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, then scoop onto parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Pop one in your mouth for a great protein snack! Store in fridge for best results.

No-Cook Cashew Fudge

no cook cashew fudge

What was that? You want something chocolatey, chewy, and sweet, that will fill you up and satisfy that sweet tooth, all while keeping you from that post-sugary indulgence crash? Oh, ok! Here it is!

Recipe: No-Cook Cashew Fudge

2 cups cashews

1 cup almond flour

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp vanilla

3 TBSP coconut oil, melted

In a food processor, process the cashews, almond flour, maple syrup, cocoa powder and vanilla until smooth. Add melted coconut oil and continue to process until well-incorporated. Spread into an 8×8 or 9×9 square pan and refrigerate until ready to serve!

 

 

Shredded Asparagus

shredded asparagus

This would be excellent served under a nice steak, or pretty much any type of meat!

Recipe: Shredded Asparagus

1.5 lbs asparagus, ends cut

1 small onion, quartered

2-3 TBSP olive oil

1 tsp garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

slivered almonds to garnish (optional)

Using the shredding blade of a bood processor, feed the asparagus and onion into the food processor and shred. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, until just starting to become tender. Remove from skillet and eat promptly.

Toasted Coconut Pecan Snackies

toasted coconut pecan snackies

This is so easy it’s almost embarrassing. You could, of course, add more ingredients if you desire. You could throw in raisins, different nuts, dried fruit, or pretty much anything! I just wanted something quick and simple for the kids, and these ingredients are what I had on hand. It was the perfect balance of a bit of chewy and a bit of crunch, and was a HUGE hit with all the kids!

Recipe: Toasted Coconut Pecan Snackies

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir all ingredients together in a bowl until coconut is coated with honey. Pour onto baking sheet (it will still be pretty flaky). Bake in oven for about 6-10 minutes, watching carefully–they burn quickly!  Remove and cool for 10 minutes. Break into pieces and enjoy!

Cheesy Potato Towers (with a non-dairy version as well)

This recipe doesn’t really have exact measurements. The reason is that it depends on how much cheese you want, how many spices you want, and how much butter you like. Just have fun with it, and stack those potato slices however high you like (except maybe not too high since it won’t cook as well)!

Recipe: Cheesy Potato Towers (with a non-dairy version as well)

Couple large sweet potatoes or 6-7 red potatoes

About a cup or more of the cheese of choice (I used raw sharp cheddar cheese) (optional)

Some butter (optional)

Salt and pepper

Herbes de Provence

Using a mandolin or food processor, slice potatoes very thin. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay a slice of potato down, sprinkle with a TINY bit of salt, layer another potato, sprinkle with pepper, layer another potato and sprinkle with Herbes de Provence, then layer another potato and sprinkle with cheese. Then, repeat process 3 or 4 times. Top with a very small dab of butter and some more cheese. Repeat to make as many potato stacks as you like, then bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and browning (but not burned). Let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!

Note: If you choose to make this dairy-free, just stack them as noted above, and eliminate the butter and cheese. I will say these are much better with cheese, though, as it gets nice and crusty on top. You could change this up by chopping up some fresh spinach and layering that very thin in place of the cheese, or finding another vegetable that you would like to use.