Spring green apple muffins

I feel awful when I waste food…good, organic, good-for-me food.  And so I do whatever I can to NOT let goodness go bad.

I had a bunch of pasture raised eggs and 6 imperfect granny smith apples that needed to get gone, so they mixed together to make a yummy treat for me and my pups Rocky the Rescue and Contessa Bear Smith!  Yes… win-win for all!

I wasn’t sure how it would turn out because sweeter, not tart, apples are typically used for baked breads and cakes, but I figured if the green goodies can go into pie, then why not a muffin?!  Besides, it sounded fresh for Spring! Experiment challenge taken!

INGREDIENTS:

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Simple ingredients; easy recipe to try!

1 cup coconut flour

1 tablespoon Ceylon cinnamon

2 teaspoons of each baking powder and baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

2 cups applesauce (or 5 average size apples pureed with juice squeezed from 1/2 lemon and 6 dates–fresh, homemade is always better!)

8 pasture-raised eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil melted

2 teaspoons each local or favorite honey and vanilla paste

WHAT TO DO:

 

=Heat oven to 350 degrees.

=Add all wet ingredients (applesauce, coconut oil, eggs, honey, and vanilla paste) and mix by hand or mixer machine.

=Sift together dry ingredients and combine with wet and mix thoroughly.

=Scoop into silicone muffin molds or paper-lined muffin tins.  These do not rise too much, so filling almost to top is fine.

=Bake for 20-25 minutes… I ended up going close to 25 minutes.

wp-1491358673612.jpg=Optional: save a scoop of batter, add date paste of 5 Medjool dates, and 1/4 up of GF oats and mash together.  Take a little bit and mix this mash onto the top of each muffin batter in the tins or mold.  This will bake for at least 25 minutes.  It’s just a little bit sweeter and has a nice touch of texture that delights.

=BONUS!  This was baked with our best pup pals in mind!  My two rescues licked their plates clean… If your pup likes apples, this will be a great treat to enjoy together!

=FOOD TRIVIA: Did you know that various sources say it takes anywhere from 55 to 120 gallons to produce one egg?  I imagine the wide range is for the allowances from conventional to biodynamic farming… and everything in between.

Nevertheless, it’s best to eat up what you get and avoid wasting food and resources it takes to produce that food…for the love of people and our planet!  

AND LOOK WHAT YUMMY GOODNESS THAT FIGHTING FOOD WASTE INSPIRED! 🙂

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 🙂

PALEO PECAN DATE PIE

wp-1479998514796.jpgSo, full disclosure.  This is a recipe that came from a mistake I knew I was making in the moment, but it is still beautiful to serve and tasty!!! So I’m humbly offer you my learn-from-my-goof goodie and the adjusted recipe.

Basically, I used too many dates (1.5 cups) because I was excited I got so many from the farmers market. Thus, it became a date (fruit and nut) cake instead of the pie I intended. All this to say, that’s why I am adjusting the ingredients to only have no more than 1/2 cup of date paste involved and more maple syrup. Sometimes, I get overzealous about cutting out the sweeteners and subbing whole foods instead, but it doesn’t always work as well as I want!  Note to self: less dates (in this case)!

wp-1479998514756.jpgINGREDIENTS:

for crust:

2 cups fine almond flour

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

2 tablespoons ghee of coconut oil melted

1 egg-organic, pastured-raised  please

8 tablespoons monkfruit granules (or muscavado sugar or coconut crystals)

3 tablespoons raw cacao (or skip if you want straight forward pecan pie)

for filling:

1/2 cup maple syrup -unrefined, grade B

1/2 cup moistened date paste (do not use more unless you want a date cake!)

1/4 cup fair-trade molasses (of if the rich flavor of molasses is not your thing, just use 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar, especially, if you want to skip the cacao twist altogether.) Here’s why I like molasses .

3 eggs

3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil

1/2 tablespoon arrowroot starch

1 teaspoon vanilla paste

2 cups pecans, chopped and whole

dollop of vanilla paste

handful of unbroken pecan to decorate top

dashes of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves

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- Combine all of the ingredients for the crust and press into bottom of pan.  Bake 10 minutes.

3- In a stovetop bowl, mix all the filling ingredients (molasses, maple syrup, date paste,) bring to boil and let sit for minutes.

wp-1479998515908.jpg4- Whisk in eggs, ghee or coconut oil, arrowroot starch, vanilla paste, and dashes of spices. Mix in pecans.

wp-1479998515598.jpg5- Pour into crust and bake for 45 minutes.  Depending on how much date you used (1/3-1/2 up), you may need more baking time. Check check with toothpick on how set it is while not over baking so that it’s too dry.

6- After popping out of oven, place stevia sweetened chocolate chips in pattern you want your unbroken dates to make.  The chips will melt enough to be like glue to hold the pecans.  Decorate as you wish!  I like using soaked and dehydrated pecans for this so up the nutritional value as much as possible.

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Looks like a cake because I originally  used too much date paste!

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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!

 

Pumpkin muffins for pups and peeps

I call one of my rescue pups named Tessa “my roley-poley pumpkin muffin.” As silly as that sounds, she inspired me to make a pumpkin muffin my pups can enjoy along with me… and so here’s what love for my furbabies yielded.

wp-1477961094601.jpgThis is the base recipe for the pumpkin muffins… It starts out Paleo for those who want that, but can become what you need and crave with the optional swaps.  One version is a pup-friendly option that is super easy!  This makes this a must-have and must-do recipe for any health-conscious dog lover!

wp-1477961094719.jpgINGREDIENTS:

2 cups blanched almond flour (sub buckwheat flour or spelt flour for puppy version)

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon each of Ceylon cinnamon and Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/2 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt (leave out for puppy version)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1/4 cup date paste

1/4 cup unrefined maple syrup ( leave out for puppy version)

3 eggs

1 cup pumpkin mash (from can or fresh if you have the time)

1 teaspoon vanilla paste

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

options: date crystals, nuts, raisins, chocolate chips.

wp-1477961095232.jpgWHAT TO DO:

1- preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2-sift together dry ingredients (flours of choice, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin piece spice, and salt)

3- mix together with wet ingredients (pumpkin, eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla…and add apple cider last.)

4- fill mini muffin cups or larger… this recipe will make about 24 mini muffins

5- FYI: Almond flour versions take about 21 minutes…test and be sure because they are very moist and may need more time. The buckwheat flour versions will also be about 21+ minutes to bake.  These will rise more like standard muffins and brown easily.

optional: add cup of soaked raisins and chocolate chips.  Leave enough raisins to add garnish atop each muffin or use nuts instead for added texture and decor.

other option: sprinkle date crystals atop each muffin for plain versions like the puppy version to add a bit more natural sweetness.

PUPPY VERSION POINTERS:

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Rocky the Rescue and Contessa Bear Smith wait so sweetly.  www.ROCKYTHERESCUE.com

It’s important to substitute the almond flour which makes the base recipe a paleo version for people because dogs don’t do well with high fat in their diets.  The coconut oil is a healthy fat and plenty for them.  Plus, just using date paste is sweet enough for some people and definitely enough for pups…and leaving out the salt is very important since less is best for pups.  The puppy version is actually quite delicious and I found myself wanting the doggie version more than the sweeter human-designed version!  Seriously!

Lastly, I love the puppy version using buckwheat flour instead of almond flour… just enough of everything–heartiness, flavor, and health value! It’s a fruit’s seed, not any kind of wheat, so it is gluten free! Here are some other compelling reasons to try it: buckwheat flour benefits .

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Puppy version taste good and is worth the wait!

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Version for peeps with chocolate chips and raisins for extra sweetness 🙂