Monday, October 24, 2016

Pleasantly Pumpkin - Applesauce Muffins - no sugar added

Pumpkin bread was always a favorite of mine growing up.  These muffins have a very nice, mild pumpkin flavor. You could always add about 1/8 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon, but I found the flavor perfect without.

The muffins are low-fat and sweetened only with the unsweetened applesauce and optional raisins.
The pumpkin does not add more sweetness to the muffins. 

Weight watchers count 4 points for each muffin with raisins, 3 points without raisins.

Pleasantly Pumpkin - Applesauce Muffins - no sugar added           Makes 12-13
1 egg or egg replacer
2 Tbls oil
1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour (or other gluten free flour such as oat)
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins, optional  (leave out for yeast free diets)
*optional add in spices:
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare muffin tin with a non-stick spray or liners.
In a medium size bowl add the egg or egg replacer, oil, applesauce and pumpkin. Mix well using a wire whisk.

In a small bowl add flours, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum or guar gum and optional spices.
Mix together.  Add dry mixture to applesauce mixture, mix well with a large spoon. Stir in raisins.

Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and let muffins sit a couple minutes before removing from pan. Cool on a wire rack.

Store muffins in the refrigerator for several days or freeze for longer storage.


Friday, October 21, 2016

GF Chocolate Chip & Raisin Pumpkin Cookies

 I love raisins in muffins and cookies. This seemed like the perfect cookie for raisins, but I also liked the chocolate with the pumpkin....solution was to add both.

I probably will make them like this from now on.  

GF Chocolate Chip & Raisin Pumpkin Cookies
1/2 cup butter softened (or any butter substitute)
1 cup sugar, or any dry sweetener.  (I use coconut sugar or beet sugar)
2 cups gluten free flour mix (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free baking mix)  see * below
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 eggs (or egg replacer) I used Enger-G Egg Replacer.
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375.  Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or a non-stick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl:
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs or egg replacer, vanilla, and pumpkin. Mix well.

Stir in dry ingredients.  Fold in chocolate chips and raisins.
Drop by small cookie scoops (about 2 Tbls) onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until set.

Cool on wire racks.

Store in an airtight container or in freezer bags, my favorite way.
I hope you love them!

* One of my favorite cookie flour combinations is equal parts brown rice flour and garbanzo bean flour.
   I use it quite often in my cookie recipes. 


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes On The Lighter Side With A Gluten Free Option

More zucchini recipes? You bet. I like to find as many ways as I can to use the fresh produce my husband grows for our family. Zucchini is easy to grow and super versatile.

 This recipe is taken from, Mom's Chocolate Zucchini Cake, which of course can also be made gluten free easily by switching out the flours. But I wanted to take it one step further and decrease the fat and sugar.
This is what I ended up with....

I decided to try a new sugar substitute, at least new to me, called Stevia In The Raw. From what I have read it is suppose to bake well and measure cup for cup equal to sugar in recipes, very similar to Splenda, which I have also had great success with in baking.

 Those that count weight watcher points can add just 5 points per cupcake.

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes On The Lighter Side          Makes 19-20 cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350

1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Stevia In The Raw or Splenda
1 whole egg and 2 whites, or egg replacer of your choice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour milk or milk substitute (I used Almond Milk with 1 tbsp vinegar)
2 1/2 cups flour, or gluten free flour blend. (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour)
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups grated zucchini, I prefer unpeeled as it adds color to the final product.
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips ( I used Enjoy Life semi-sweet mini chips; dairy, nut and soy free)

Prepare muffin tins by placing paper or foil liners in cups.

In a large mixing bowl add oil, applesauce, sugar and Stevia or Splenda. Mix well.
Add eggs or egg substitute, vanilla and milk or milk substitute. Mix well.

In a small bowl mix together flour or gluten free flour blend, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Add to creamed mixture, stirring just enough to blend. Stir in grated zucchini.
Spoon into paper lined muffin tins 3/4 full. Sprinkle nuts and chocolate chips on top.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Times may vary depending on oven.
Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Store in an airtight container or freeze for whenever a craving hits.

I like to serve them on bright colored plates to bring out the color of the zucchini.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Fuel Your Body With This Super Loaded Ground Turkey & Vegetable Soup

It's funny how you end up with a great recipe. This one was the result of needing to use up the bok choy that was in my refrigerator. I like to use bok choy chopped up in my fresh salads and stir-fries, but I still had too much left over and didn't want it to be wasted.  So, I just started putting some things together and came up with a soup that has become a favorite at our house.

This is very thick and hearty, if you prefer a thinner soup then 2 lbs of ground turkey would probably be my suggestion. If you add more liquid then the seasonings will have to be adjusted as well.

Weight watchers can serve up a heaping cup for 4 points.

This is a yeast diet friendly soup and gluten free as well.

Ground Turkey & Vegetable Soup             Makes 14-16  cups (varies upon measurements)
3 lbs ground lean turkey (2 lbs is optional)
1 Tbsp. minced onion
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. oregano leaves
4 stalks celery, chopped or sliced
4 large carrots, sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks bok choy, chopped or sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 (14.5oz) can green beans, drained - cut in bite size pieces
2 (28oz) cans of tomatoes, pureed
1 (28oz) can of water
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. basil leaves
2 tsp. oregano leaves

Brown ground turkey in a large skillet. Drain meat in a strainer. Put cooked meat in a large kettle. Add the next 5 seasonings and cook about 2 minutes. Add chopped celery, sliced carrots, chopped onion and bok choy and cook about 3minutes. Add all the other ingredients. Mix well.
Bring to a boil and let simmer 40 minutes or until all vegetables are cooked.

That's it. Simple, healthy and delicious all in one big pot.  Delicious served with cornbread or Soft Pretzels.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Gluten Free Banana Bread Bites

I love these!! I can just pop a mouthful of banana bread in my mouth whenever I feel like it! 
One of my nephews happened to be staying with us when I made these and ate about 7 of them in a row.  I decided not to tell him they were gluten, dairy, and egg free…

A gluten free cereal called, puffed millet, gives the speckled look to the banana bread bites without adding any crunch. They are soft and yummy.  Chocolate blends nicely with banana, but feel free to substitute  these mini chips with raisins.

The original recipe is, Best Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies, found in, The Super Allergy Girl -Allergy & Celiac Cookbook.  I thought they tasted so much like banana bread, I changed the name for my post and just a couple things in the recipe.

Weight watcher points are just 2 for each ball.

Gluten Free Banana Bread Bites     Makes 58-60
1 cup butter, butter substitute, or shortening.
1 cup white sugar, brown sugar, coconut, or beet sugar or 1/2 of any 2 combinations.
4 Tbsp hot water
5 tsp Egg Replacer
3 mashed bananas
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups gluten-free flour mix (if using Pamela's Baking Mixes leave out xanthan gum from recipe)
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 cups puffed millet
1 cup allergy friendly semi-sweet mini chocolate chips or 1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl add butter, butter substitute, or shortening, and sugar. Mix well.
Mix hot water and egg replacer in a small custard type dish. Add to creamed mixture along with vanilla and bananas and mix well. Add all remaining ingredients except chocolate chips. Mix well.
Stir in chocolate chips. Drop small scoop sized balls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 7-10 minutes.
Cool on wire racks.

Enjoy soft little bites of banana bread.

Freeze leftovers if not planning on eating them in a couple days.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Chewy Chocolate-Cranberry/Cherry Cookies... a gluten free treat

I'm really excited to share this recipe! It's another one of my favorite gluten free cookies.

Call me crazy…but the dough is fabulous too.

 I say call me crazy because if you have read about my food allergies you know I can't have gluten, dairy or eggs...which means my cookie dough doesn't always taste like that wonderful chocolate chip dough we know and love!!   But indulge a little...this dough is good!!

I used a small size scoop to make my cookies.

Look at all the yummy treats in this cookie dough!

If you count weight watcher points, each small cookie has 3 points. Each larger cookie has about 5.5 points.

Chewy Chocolate-Cranberry/Cherry Cookies               Makes 48-50 small cookies or 25-27            
                                                                                             or larger cookies. 
1 cup butter, softened - or dairy free substitute.
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar.
1/2 cup granulated sugar, I used beet sugar.
2 eggs, or egg replacer. I used an egg replacer.
2 tsp pure vanilla extract.
1 Tbsp milk or non-dairy substitute. I used rice milk.
1 1/4 cups flour, I used a gluten free blend. Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour.
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats, I used gluten free.
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries.   Cut cherries in half if pieces are too large.
1 cup semi-sweet regular or mini chocolate chips. I used an allergy friendly brand.
3-4 Tbsp cacao nibs, optional. (I toss these in just about all my cookies with chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 325
I like to line my baking sheets with parchment paper, but it is optional.

In a large mixing bowl add butter or dairy free substitute, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Mix together until creamy and smooth. Add eggs or egg substitute, vanilla and milk or dairy free substitute.  Mix well.

In a smaller mixing bowl, combine next 6 ingredients. Stir to blend.
Add flour mixture to creamed mixture. Mix well.

Add dried fruit and chocolate chips…cacao nibs too if you decide to give them a try. Stir well.
Drop large or small scoops of dough onto baking sheets. Bake 12 minutes for smaller cookies, add a few more minutes for larger cookies.

Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes before removing from pan. (I actually eat one right away)
Then cool completely on wire racks.

I like to make a big batch of these cookies and freeze them.

 I hope you enjoy these cookies…and the dough!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

GF Magic Fudge Brownies

Gluten free, egg free, dairy free, in fact…you might be surprised at exactly what is in them.

They are sweetened with dates, xylitol and stevia.  Mine have some dairy free, allergy friendly chocolate chips on top because I haven't found any without sugar cane that are also gluten free. These are really delicious even if you skipped those mini chocolate chips on top.

I like to keep mine refrigerated or even better, frozen. That way I don't feel like I have to eat them all at once…besides, they are amazing frozen!  I'm having some tonight with Allergy Friendly Vanilla Soft Serve!

I actually got this recipe at my doctors office from a lady I was visiting with in the waiting room. She was also celiac and dairy free. She reached in her purse and pulled out this recipe. She insisted I try this recipe, and promised that I would love it…she was right!!

So naturally it is only right to continue sharing! I wasn't given a name for these brownies, so I decided to call them, GF Magic Fudge Brownies.

GF Magic Fudge Brownies                      Makes a 8"x 8" pan.
1/4 cup pureed dates. Soak about 8 dates in 3/4 cup water and let sit for an hour or so. Drain excess water and puree the dates.
1/4 cup frozen mashed banana. Pre-freeze one banana, then slightly defrost in microwave and mash.
1 cup sunflower butter  *see note below on how I prepare my sunflower butter with less sweeteners.
2 Tbsp ground chia seeds, mixed with 3 Tbsp water and allowed to thicken.
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil.
2 Tbsp honey, brown rice syrup, or agave syrup. (vegans use brown rice syrup or agave)
1/4 cup xylitol
10 drops liquid stevia concentrate
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup allergy friendly semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray or additional coconut oil.
Everything is mixed in a food processor. First add mashed banana, sunflower butter and chia seed gel mixture. Process well, mixture should be smooth. Then add coconut oil, honey or syrup, pureed dates, xylitol, stevia and vanilla. Process again until smooth. Add cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Process one last time until smooth. Transfer to prepared pan and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.

If you are like me you won't be able to wait... and will try some while they are cooling!!
Cut into serving sizes of your choice and enjoy this chocolatey treat!!

And don't forget to try some frozen too.  Please continue to share this recipe with family and friends!

Weight watcher points plus followers may want to enjoy these with those extra weekly points, at 4.5 points each. Without chocolate chips 4.2 each. Worth every bite!!

* I purchase two sunflower seed butters at a time. One that is sweetened and one that is unsweetened. I open them both and combined them in a mixing bowl. Then I return this new mixture to the original sunflower seed containers. Now my sunflower butter has half the sweetener.