PALEO CARROT CAKE & MUFFINS!

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Carrot Cake… swoon.  *sigh.

Yes, it’s one of my favorite treats, but I don’t enjoy it as much when there’s Gluten and especially when sugar is the first or 2nd ingredient on a long list of too many not-so-goods!  But, it takes a bit more of an effort than other nice cakes, so I don’t make it often. However, my mom’s recent birthday prompted me to try re-making a version I loved because my parents both love carrot cake…they passed that preference to me! LOL

This is a good number of ingredients, but they are all wholesome and you can cut down even further on the fruit and the maple syrup if you want less sweetness.

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INGREDIENTS:wp-1488935949741.jpg

1.5 cups shredded carrots (about 7 medium to large sized)

1/4 pure maple syrup (grade B for least processed variety- use up to 1/3 cup)

 

2/3 cup coconut flour sifted with 1/2 cup arrowroot flour

3/4 cup melted coconut oil

1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste

1 Tbsp Ceylon Cinnamon

1 heaping tsp each of allspice, ground ginger, and baking soda and baking powder

8 pasture raised eggs

1/2 cup crushed pineapple (measured after squeezing out juice) (omit for strict paleo)

1/2 cup each of raisins and white mulberries (omit for strict paleo)

1 cup or so activated walnuts (I save this for the frosting for distinct texture from cake)

Coconut Rum Frosting-recipe at the endwp-1488871720258.jpg

WHAT TO DO:

1- Prep your fruit.  If you have fresh chunks of pineapple, put them in a food processor, then squeeze as much as possible out and allow the raisins and mulberries to sit in the juice. Set the pineapple fiber aside for mixing in to batter.  If you don’t already  have the date paste ready and softened, put your seeded dates into the food processor and make a nice paste 🙂

2- Peel and then shred carrots in food processor and let sit in maple syrup overnight, preferably, or an hour or so. Again, do what you can to squeeze as much of the carrot juice and syrup from the fiber by hand.  I usually press it between two stainless steel bowls.

3- Sift all your dry ingredients together (coconut flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, baking soda and powder.)

4- Mix up wet ingredients (eggs, date paste, vanilla paste, melted coconut oil)

5- Add the dry ingredients and continue mixing.

6- Wring out your wet ingredients another time and add pineapple pulp, carrot shreds, mulberries, and raisins and stir everything together.

7- Grease cake pans of your size preference or muffin pans and fill!

8- Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (smaller pans)-60 minutes (9-inch pans).  Because this is sooo moist, you may need to bake longer depending on how well you squeezed out the juices.

9- Test cakes/muffins at 45 minute with a toothpick and remove if/when done.

10- Let cool… Frost and garnish with activated walnuts. (Frosting recipe below.)

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NOTES: Adding pineapple and the dried fruit makes it not so Paleo, so omit if that’s a major matter for you.  I added them because I love the taste.  Also, if you prefer a denser cake and not the lightness of the flour mixture in this version, then sub arrowroot with more coconut flour or buckwheat flour.

FROSTING –INGREDIENTS:

1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)

1 tsp Himalayan pink salt

5 teaspoons arrowroot flour

1 Tbsp rum extract

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 cup coconut manna or 1 cup soaked cashews to blend together

WHAT TO DO

1- Put all in your food processor or high-powered blender.  If you need some liquid to help move along the processing (if the manna or cashews are too thick,) then use some of the pineapple juice from above.

2- Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and when it’s solid enough, yet spreadable enough, decorate your cake/muffins!  I love sprinkling light coconut shreds on top along with the walnuts for a pretty touch.

 

PALEO CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

wp-1485758475807.jpgI THINK COOKIES ARE FOR ANY DAY…EVERYDAY, BUT ONLY IF THEY’RE NOT YOUR STANDARD JUNK FOOD VARIETY! SO, HERE’S A HEALTHY OPTION!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups almond butter (1 16 ounce jar)

1/2 cup date puree or 1/3 cup honey

1 pasture raised egg (skip and sub with chia/flax egg if you want to go vegan!)

1 teaspoon each baking soda, Himalayan pink salt,  and vanilla bean paste

1 cup chocolate chip cookies of your choice

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WHAT TO DO

1-heat oven to 350 degrees

2-mix all ingredients together folding in chocolate chips last

3-use scoop to drop cookie dough balls on parchment or silicone liners

4-flatten with spatula if you want classic cookie shape or leave puffy and round if you like!

5-bake 10 minutes (longer for crispier)

6-let cool and devour… or put a scoop of coconut ice cream on it while hot! YUM!

Note: these end up being chewy and slightly crumbly in texture by the next day… they are not a very doughy-heavy textured cookie.  Perfect for a snack!

Idea: skip the chocolate chips and substitute with dried fruit for a nut butter-fruit snack to take on the go! 😉

wp-1485758475809.jpgENJOY!

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True Ginger-no-bread cookies

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The cookie in the foreground is the focus in this post… the other one is an experimental vegan salted caramel cookie 🙂

This would be considered paleo without the white chocolate chips.  It’s certainly a Gluten Free cookie 🙂

Ingredients

-1 and 1/2 cup fine almond flour; 1 cup cashew flour (just use almond if you don’t have cashew)

-1 teaspoon baking powder

-1/2 teaspoon baking soda

-3 teaspoons Ceylon cinnamon

-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

-3 tablespoons fresh finely grated ginger (more if you want spicier!)

-6 tablespoons unrefined, fair-trade molasses

-6 tablespoons coconut oil gently melted (can do a little less…5 tablespoons)

-dashes of Himalayan pink salt

What to do:

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

-Mix all dry ingredients together.

-Add in ginger and thoroughly mix in molasses and oil.

-Use a scooper to make cookie dough rounds. Hand roll them into a ball and then flatten them a bit once on your lined baking sheet. You can leave then as balls if that is what you want…but flatten to give a cookie-shape if you want them more classic cookie-shapes. These cookies won’t melt down and flatten on their own.

-Bake 12-14 minutes or until browned around the edges…depending on the size of your scoop.

-Cool at least 10 minutes.

-These are crispy once cooled on the first day. After storing a few hours or longer, they become chewier and lose the crisp due to the moisture and fat content of the cookie. They are tasty either way! This is just to let you know what your options are.

Happy note: My father in law said these were his most favorite cookies and asked for the recipe which is why this got typed up at all!!! Thanks, dad J

Option:

-For the holidays, I added 1 cup of small white chocolate chips for a festive touch. These would be delicious without the chocolate chips and healthier, too!

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You can see how these cookies add a different color and texture to this homemade dessert buffet 🙂

MINTY BROWNIE HEAVEN (Vegan. GF.)

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Base fudgey brownie layer
-2 cups soft pitted dates(I like caramelly kinds.. but go for Medjool if it’s easiest!
-4 tsp coconut oil
-1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
-2 cup sprouted and dehydrated walnuts
-3/4 cup rolled oats
-6 tablespoon raw cacao powder
-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I used the kind sweetened with stevia)
-2 peppermint candy cane, crushed (for holidays)
(or crumble up 1/4 cup organic mint candy patties for non-holiday times)
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Mint Ganache Top
-3/4 cup full fat coconut milk (only use the solidified portion of canned milk)
-1 tablespoon peppermint extract & a splash of mint extract
-1 cup dark chocolate chips (I like stevia ones unless you want to make your own!)
Decoration
1 cup of crumbled mint candies of your choice or 6 peppermint candy canes for thewp-1482547192949.jpg holidays, crushed and sprinkled on top
WHAT TO DO:
Base
  1. Use food processor to pulse walnuts and oats until finely chopped–like coarse sand. Set aside in larger bowl.
  2. Add dates, melted coconut oil, sea salt and process on high until a smooth paste forms. Let it get super sticky and dense.
  3. Add the raw cacao, walnuts/oats mixture, chocolate chips, and mint candy of choice. Process until thoroughly mixed.  It’s hard to over-process them, so keep going until you’re darn sure 🙂
  4. Line an 8×8 or smaller springform with parchment paper. (The smaller the pan, the thicker the brownie!) Press the brownie layer firmly into the loaf pan..use gloved hands. Chill while you make the ganache.
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Ganache Top
  1. Bust out your double boiler 🙂
  2. Add the coconut creamed part of your millk and mint extracts to the bowl. Heat until the mixture is steamy hot…not rolling at a boil.  Add the chocolate chips and whisk to mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture over the brownie layer and chill in the freezer.
  3. Chill for 30 minutes and top with crushed candy canes-press into the top ganache with your gloved hands gently.  Chill for another 45 minutes minutes and then cut into mini squares. Store in freezer. Allow 3o minutes in fridge before serving…and at room temperature, the nice chilled minty flavor will last about 2 hours before your should put in fridge again.
wp-1482547192996.jpgThis fantastic recipe is adapted from ilovevegan.com … Thank you!

Vegan UBE pie

 

wp-1479998514465.jpgThis, may I say, is for the sensitized palate as the flavors are subtle and complex…and come together as you slowly savor and enjoy.  There is no smack of sweet right away that you might be accustomed to with a pretty pie.  I made this for my parents–my mom’s favorite color is purple and my dad is big on health boosting foods. See link below for nutritional information on UBE –the powerful purple yam.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup melted coconut oil (1/2 cup if you going to double the crust thickness, than double the rest of the ingredients, below.)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup almond flour ; 1/2 cup powdered peanut flower

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (thinner the better)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt of Himalayan pink salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

FOR THE FILLING:

4 medium sized ube (purple sweet potatoes) peeled and largely chopped

all the cream from 1 can of full fat coconut milk (please use BPA-free

1/2 cup monkfruit granules; 1/4 cup maple syrup (double if you need a sweet pie.)

1 1/2 tablespoon of tapioca starch

freshly squeezed lime juice from 1/2 of a lime

dashes of cinnamon, ginger, all spice, cloves and 1/8 (no more than 1/4) teaspoon of cayenne (I like 2:1 ratio of cinnamon to ginger, all spice, and cloves.)

PEANUT BUTTER “Frosting” (not true frosting, but does the decorative job with added flavor boosting! Just throw in food processor and spread around edges of cooled off pie.)

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup cream from canned coconut milk

1/2 cup monkfruit granules, 1/2 cup maple

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

drizzle of vanilla extract

WHAT TO DO:

1- Heat oven to 350 degrees and spread coconut oil on sides of your 8-9″ springform pan after placing parchment paper on bottom.

2- Mix up crust ingredients and press into bottom of pan and bake for 10 minutes.  If you have doubled the crust for more thickness, leave in for 15 minutes.

3- Don’t worry if iwp-1479998516500.jpgt’s poofy, the filling ingredients will flatten the poof, no problem!

4- Skin potatoes and boil for 10 minutes or put in oven for 20 minutes after peeling.

 

5- Put potatoes and all the filling ingredients in high-powered blender until creamy and lusciously smooooooooth…

wp-1479998515269.jpg6- Bake for 50 minutes–there will be some jiggle, but it should set as it cools.

7-After cooling, spread your peanut butter “frosting” on edges and decorate with powdered peanut.  This spread is meant to be a bit rustic, but you can look up lots of true frosting recipes to a more flourishing frosting topping.  Most call for too many ingredients or palm oil and I like to avoid fuss and items that prick my conscience.

wp-1479998514981.jpgRemember…this is a pie for folks who enjoy subtleties, but for true sweet tooths, just double the sweet stuff (a bit more maple syrup and monkfruit granules won’t be too bad!)

I love this as a way to help folks “taste the season” in the fall and winter.  I nice tea or black coffee would offset this nicely.

As promised, here’s a quick link listing this powerful antioxidant packed purple potato…

pow!

While Ube is often a staple in Phillipino cuisine, it is treasure all over the world. So, if you can find the Okinawan Purple Yam, use those!

Here’s why: Longevity  and delicious health benefits!

 

TREAT for PUPS and PEEPS for WORLD ANIMAL DAY!

wp-1474013566328.jpgAs part of #WORLDANIMALDAY (October 4th,) let’s give our furriest friends some extra love!  To be honest, though, I give my beloved pups healthy treats very often… sometimes earned, but sometimes just because I love them immeasurably.

If you’re an animal-lover, one of the recent buzz phrases is “human-grade” food for dogs. Well, with our world full of commercialized pseudo-foods, it’s hard to make heads or tails (couldn’t help it) out of that.  That’s why homemade meals and snacks with sustainably sourced ingredients are so key to our health and that of our loved ones!

wp-1474013571828.jpgSuper quick and super easy… try this simple recipe for FROYO FOR PUPS!

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They are so well behaved, I can’t help but love them more!

INGREDIENTS:

1.5 cups or goat yogurt (I like humane certified brand Redwood Hill Farm.)

1 cup berries of your choice or skip and sub soaked dates

1 cup unsalted peanut butter

1.5 bananas (defrosted from frozen make it easier to mash up)

3 Tablespoons of ground flax seed

DIRECTIONS:

Mash up the fruit in a bowl, add yogurt and mix together.  Add peanut butter and mix again.  Pour into bowls ready to freeze. Sprinkle each with flax seed.  Freeze and pull out anytime for you and your pups!  You can add these frozen gems to your own smoothies.  I LOVE THAT MY FURBABIES AND I CAN SHARE A HEALTHY TREAT!!  If your pup is extra finicky, increase the amount of peanut butter by 1/2 cup and decrease the fruit.

wp-1474013580635.jpgI let Rocky and Tessa lick up the bowls and they couldn’t get enough!

I like to offer extra special treats like this for the times I need to leave the house…it makes them happy and occupies them for a bit.

ENJOY THE LOVE AND SHARED SWEETNESS WITH YOUR PUP!

Follow Rocky the Rescue and his sister Contessa Bear Smith on IG : http://www.instagram.com/rockytherescuedog and FB: http://www.facebook.com/rockytherescue for their ongoing sibling adventures!  Or http://www.ROCKYTHERESCUE.com . 🙂

You can see how much these pups love this treat on a video to be released on World Animal Day http://www.instagram.com/eatscommunity.org !

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Happy-making Homemade HUMMUS

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Add more olive oil and/or water toward the end of food processing to make yours more runny and light.  I love mine rather thick to scoop and eat by the spoonful!

It’s a handy to have healthy food ready because you know you’ll have a hankering for something when there’s no time to make anything good for you!  One of my go-to goodies is homemade hummus. Why?  It does not require a lot of time or ingredients and there are so many short cuts to make it even quicker, as long as you are not purist about Middle Eastern cuisine sticklers! lol

That being said, this version is for a traditional version, but I like adding various things to it or on top for fun and variety.  It’s your call…and per your craving.  I just want to help you make it a craving you will feel great about feeding.

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What you need other than tahini and chickpeas…skip tahini if you don’t have sesame seeds and try subbing another seed or nut butter.  Different, but doable and delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

1 BPA-free can of organic chickpeas (rinsed & drained) (save a few for decoration)

1/4 cup of organic tahini

2 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 cup juice of 2 small lemons

3-6 Tablespoons of high quality cold-pressed olive oil (The more you use, the runnier it will be.)

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt according to taste

dashes of paprika for granish

1/2 cup of purified water on hand for mixing needs

optional: nutritional yeast, coconut aminos, harissa, parsley

YOU MUST HAVE A FOOD PROCESSOR OR BLENDER YOU ARE PATIENT WITH.

WHAT TO DO:

1- Pour your tahini (found at most stores in ethnic aisle) in your food processor and process until smooth and then pour in lemon juice with olive oil and continue.

2- Add spices (salt, cumin, and minced garlic cloves) and process more

3- Skin the chickpeas if you have the time. If not, just add into food processor and allow at least 5 minutes to make extra fiber from the skin incorporate smoothly.  The mouth-feel removing the skin is minimally smoother and may not be worth your time to take to do this.  You decide!

4- Drizzle water to thin out hummus and make into creamy smooth goodness.

5- optional… ad a few drops of coconut aminos (if you are not purist) and want a smidge of savory, sweet in the flavor

6- Spoon into serving bowl, drizzle olive oil atop, dash with paprika, and dot with whole chickpeas…and serve!

SO EASY, QUICK, and all things are adjustable per your tastebuds.  Add or subtract salt or garnish with parsley and harissa (red pepper salsa of sorts) instead… This is so much fun!

If you are using this in lieu of cheese for a healthy pizza, for example, make sure you add nutritional yeast for a cheesier flavor.

Stop buying from the store and make your own, YOUR way! Yummy #DIY is a goodie any day!

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Took another 10 minutes to peel.

 

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