Thursday, June 15, 2017

GF Pumpkin Delight Muffins

Here is a great way to get into the "pumpkin" season. Try these little tasty, yet heathy muffins. I used the Forks Over Knives Cookbook again...making changes to fit my gluten free needs.

I love them!! Great pumpkin flavor, just what I was hoping for. The recipe was for a pumpkin bread, but I prefer muffins so the baking time was changed as well.

I also made them with whole wheat pastry flour as the original recipe suggested for my husband. He liked them too. So whether you make the gluten free or regular muffins I think these are going to be gobbled right up!

If you count weight watcher points... count each muffin at 2.6 points whether you make them gluten free or with whole wheat pastry flour. Points with nuts added 3.3 for each muffin.

GF Pumpkin Delight Muffins            Makes 14 muffins (15 if nuts are added)
2 cups gluten free flour mix or any favorite GF flour combination you have will work.   * *See below
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (only for gluten free, do not need in whole wheat version)
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup apple butter (see below my super quick & easy method)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins (original recipe uses golden)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional) I used nuts in my husbands but not in mine.
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, (optional) I use Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips.

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare muffin tins with paper liners or a non-stick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves. Mix well.
In a smaller mixing bowl add pumpkin, maple syrup, apple butter, and vanilla. Mix well.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and mix. Stir in raisins (and nuts if choose) be careful not to over mix if using regular flour.
Spoon into prepared muffin tins.
Bake for 23-25 minutes.
Remove from muffin tins and let cool on wire racks.

Serve some up and enjoy your Fall.

Freeze in good quality freezer bags or containers - perfect for a quick breakfast or snack!

**Special Tips
If you don't have apple butter on hand use this quick and easy method:
In a microwavable dish add 2 cups unsweetened applesauce, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp cloves, mix well.  Microwave until bubbly - about 3-5 minutes. Instant apple butter. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

An easy homemade gluten free flour mix that is nice for this recipe is:
2 cups brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Gluten Free Chocolate - Zucchini Pan Muffins

Have you heard of a pan muffin?   Well, I certainly hadn't...

My daughter was sampling my new brownies and said, "this is a muffin." I told her that since they were in a pan, I would have to call them "pan muffins." So the name pan muffins was created.
This is a super moist, low-fat treat that is really nice to bite into. The nuts are optional.
*Use regular all-purpose flour if gluten free isn't needed.

Gluten Free Chocolate - Zucchini Pan Muffins         Serves 24
2 medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cups sugar, I used beet sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 tsp xanthan gum 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, I used allergy friendly mini chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9"x13" pan with a non-stick spray. 
In a large bowl add bananas, applesauce, and sugar. Mix well.
Add vanilla and cocoa. Mix well.
Add baking soda, salt, and zucchini. Mix well.
Stir in flour and xanthan gum. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips.
Spread evenly in prepared pan and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Pan muffins should spring back when lightly touched.

Let cool slightly before tasting…cool to room temperature before serving. 
These are a little sticky when cutting into squares so I just wiped off the knife as I cut.

Weight watcher points are 3.4 for each square with nuts.  Without nuts 3 points each.

Store in an air-tight container for several days or freeze extras for later.

To freeze, separate squares with pieces of wax paper to prevent sticking. They will be just as delicious as the day you made them. You might even like them frozen…we do.

These are also delicious with,  Allergy Friendly Vanilla Soft-Serve, it's like having cake and ice cream without all the fat, eggs, and dairy!


Sunday, June 4, 2017

GF Pumpkin, Quinoa Pancakes

Here is a quick and simple way to add a little variety to a pancake mix or any homemade recipe.

Simply add 1/4 - 1/3 cup canned pumpkin to your favorite pancake batter. Then add about 1/4 - 1/3 cup quinoa flakes. Mix well. Add more water if needed until desired consistency is reached. Cook pancakes as you normally would, on a hot griddle allowing bubbles to form on top before flipping.  This is an easy way to add some extra nutrients to your pancakes too.

Sometimes I just like the convenience of a readymade mix...but it has to be good!
My favorite pancake mix is The Cravings Place, Gluten Free, All-Purpose Pancake & Waffle Mix. There is no added sugar or fat and requires no eggs and dairy. Allergy friendly and delicious.

You can make them thinner as shown here...using more water.

                     or maybe you prefer a thicker pancake as shown here...using less water.

These pancakes freeze well and can be quickly reheated in the microwave or toaster. I've even packed them in my lunch as a substitute for bread with peanut butter and jam.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Gluten Free Oat & Hemp Frozen Cookie Sandwich

For my ice cream sandwich I used GF Vanilla Soft Serve I wanted to keep it low fat and healthy. Any flavor would be delicious, chocolate soft serve or peanut butter.   

Freeze cookies and add your favorite ice cream or use one of my healthy soft serves. Here I used GF Vanilla Soft Serve.   Make some ahead and keep them in the freezer for a refreshing treat!

Here is the recipe I used for my frozen cookie sandwich.

Gluten Free Coconut, Oat & Nut - Hemp Cookies        Makes 21 Cookies

1/3 cup butter, or any dairy free option.
3/4 cup sugar, I use beet sugar. Coconut sugar is another option.
1 egg, or egg replacer equal to one egg.
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup gluten free flour of your choice. I suggest  purchasing a gluten free pre-made mix, or use one of your own favorite gluten free flour mixes. See my suggestions on the link that follows,  Gluten Free Flour Combinations For Baking.
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
3/4 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)
3 Tbsp finely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Using a non-stick spray is ok too.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter or butter substitute and sugar. Add vanilla and egg or egg substitute. Mix well.

In a small bowl stir together flour, oats, hemp seeds, baking soda, xanthan gum, nuts, and coconut.  Add this to butter and sugar mixture. Mix until well combined. 

Form dough into about 1 inch balls and bake for 12 minutes. Cookies will flatten. Let sit a couple minutes after removing cookies from the oven. Then cool cookies completely on wire racks.

Weight watcher points plus followers count 3 points for each cookie.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Heart Healthy Apple Crisp - gluten free, With a New Banana - Grape Sorbet Recipe

I'm always on the look-out for healthier desserts. My husband loves apple crisp…any fruit crisp for that matter. But right now since we have an excess of apples, I am focusing on apples.  I found this recipe in a new cook book called, Forks Over Knives, The Cookbook. It's great, I love the lower fat options. I have made it twice now, and my version has a few changes as far as spices, a thicker crumb topping,  and gluten free oats vs regular oats.

My household likes lots of topping, so I doubled the recipe, and I used sun flower butter instead of cashew butter. As I mention below, any nut butter is fine. I also added 1/2 cup chopped walnuts to the topping.

Heart Healthy Apple Crisp                        Serves 6-8
8 apples, peeled and sliced (I have also made this with 1/2 pears)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 cloves
2 - 2 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400.  Prepare  9"x 9 " baking pan with a non-stick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl add sliced apples. Sprinkle vanilla extract over sliced apples. In a small dish mix dry ingredients. Add dry mixture to sliced apples mixing well to coat. Pour pure maple syrup over apples and mix well. Pour into pan. Push down a little if it looks like there won't be room for the topping, not to will cook down.

*Note: Optional tip. I like to precook my filling for about 3-5 minutes in the large mixing bowl before placing into the baking pan. This always ensures the apples fully cook.

4 1/2  tbsp nut butter, I used sun flower seed butter. Almond, cashew, hazelnut are ideas too.
6 Tbls pure maple syrup
3 Tbls applesauce, I use unsweetened
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups gluten free old fashioned oats, regular if gluten free is not needed
*optional 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a small mixing bowl add nut butter, pure maple syrup, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix well. Add oats, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well. Spread the topping over the apples. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Set oven temperature at 350 and continue to bake another 30 minutes. If necessary cover with foil the last 10 minutes to prevent over browning.

Let cool a bit and serve with a fat free Vanilla Soft Serve variation or a whipped topping of your choice.

We served ours with a delicious banana and grape sugar free sorbet that took about 5 minutes to prepare.

Banana - Grape Sorbet
3-4 frozen bananas, cut in chunks
2 1/2 - 3 cups of frozen grapes, we used mixed varieties from our garden
1/4 -1/2 cup non dairy type milk, we used rice milk

Mix in a heavy duty processor stirring often to move the frozen pieces around. Once it is swirling in the processor…it's done.

Maybe pack some apple crisp in a picnic lunch. A delicious treat on a warm fall day.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

My daughter is home for the summer and full of great treat ideas. These can be made gluten free or regular.

Simply choose a cookie dough and a cake mix flavor. (Both gluten free if needed)
We are going to bake a frozen ball of cookie dough right in the middle of our cupcakes. Mmmmmmmm!

No one will ever know until they bite into a cupcake!

Make cookie dough (any flavor) and form into small balls. Freeze. I used chocolate chip.
Mix up a cake, any flavor. I used german chocolate. (gluten free if needed). Here is a wonderful gluten free/vegan recipe, Best Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes. Spoon cake batter into muffin tins about 1/2 full. Place one frozen dough ball in the middle of each cupcake.
Cover with more cake batter until about 3/4 full.

Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 20-22 minutes.  Cupcake will bounce back when lightly touched.
Let cool completely before frosting.

Have fun decorating your cupcakes. 

When you take a bite of cupcake you will be happily surprised to get a taste of a chewy, nougat like treat inside.

I added extra chocolate chips to my cookie dough so the insides are very rich and chocolatey.
Have fun experimenting with different cookie and cake combinations!!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Grandma's Zucchini Bread & Muffins...A Great Reason To Plant A Garden!

I guess when something is great, don't change it. Right? And my grandma had a great love for making people her zucchini bread... especially for my dad.

The only thing I did different, was not peel the zucchini. I like the color the peeling adds to the bread.  Okay, I did add one more thing to my grandma's recipe....added chopped apples. Delicious addition for sure, but it's optional. Maybe try it in half the recipe and see what you like. We decided to make our bread into muffins, because they are easy to freeze or pack as a snack. Either way I am happy to share this wonderful recipe, and hope you find it to be a tasty treat.

If you count weight watcher points, each muffin has 7 points.

This recipe can be made gluten free by simply replacing the all-purpose flour with a gluten free baking blend. Remember you may need to add Xanthan Gum to the recipe, 2 1/4 tsp.

Grandma's Zucchini Bread & Muffins        Makes 2 loaves or 24 muffins
Preheat oven to 350
Prepare loaf pans with cooking spray and line bottom of pans with wax paper,  prepare muffin tins with cooking spray.
3 eggs (egg substitute if necessary)
1 cup oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups zucchini, grated
1 apple (optional, but delicious) peeled and chopped
3 cups flour (gluten free mix if necessary plus 2 1/4 tsp Xanthan gum, if not Pamela's brand)
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a small bowl add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and walnuts. Mix
In a large mixing bowl add eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Mix well.
Add zucchini and apples(optional).  Mix.
Add flour mixture and stir until mixed. Don't over mix.
Pour into prepared loaf pans or muffin tins.
Bake loaves for 55 minutes and muffins 25 minutes. Check 5 minutes early in case of oven variations.
Cool loaves on rack 10 minutes before removing from pans, and I let muffins sit a minute or so before removing from tins, as this helps them hold their shape.
Let cool completely on wire racks.
Then enjoy and share this recipe with many, it would make my grandma happy.