Hummus

 

So, I spend a lot of time at our local Family YMCA.  Between Yoga, Body Pump and Zumba, I put in about 6 hours a week–and I work out at home a couple of days.  Anyway, sometimes our Y staff will provide copies of healthy, easy recipes for the patrons to take home.  I have tried a few and they usually turn out pretty tasty.  This hummus is no exception.  I think it took about 5 minutes or so to put together.  It took longer for me to do the “photo shoot” than it did to prepare the recipe.

This is an easy dish to customize, so if you DO like hummus–it’s an acquired taste–and you want a little something extra, try these:

  • Roasted Garlic–for a more mellow flavor, roast the garlic in the oven or on the stove top before adding to the chickpeas.
  • Roasted Red Pepper–use a small jar of red pepper strips (pimientos) and mix most of the peppers in with the hummus in the blender. For more flavor you can use the liquid in the jar in place of some of the oil.  Garnish with a few pepper strips.
  • Southwestern–Decrease the salt and pepper.  Add about 1/8 t. of cumin and a dash of cayenne pepper.

 

Hummus
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, drained
  2. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  3. a few drops of sesame oil
  4. 1 t. fresh minced garlic
  5. 1 T. lemon juice
  6. 1/2 t. salt & 1/4 t. black pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Combine the chickpeas, oils, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender.
  2. Process to desired consistency, scraping down the sides of the food processor a couple of times during the blending.
  3. If texture is too thick, drizzle in a little more olive oil or a small amount of water.
  4. Scoop into a bowl, stirring in salt and pepper to taste.
Notes
  1. Serve with pita chips, pretzels, or vegetables for dipping.
Adapted from unknown source
Adapted from unknown source
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Banana Bread Muffins (Paleo)

banana-bread-muffins-paleo

 

No, I have not exactly jumped on the Paleo band wagon, but I am kind of running along beside it.  We are trying to eat healthier around here and so I have been checking out recipes from friends, Facebook, Google, Leanne Ely and Jeff Reagan.  So if you have any tried, true and tasty recipes, feel free to share on our Facebook Page .  I will be grateful.

I found this recipe in a packet given to me by a friend who ordered one of those Paleo programs from an infomercial and she never used it–thought she would sell it on eBay, but ended up giving it to me because she was tired of having it around the house.  So I have sifted through each of those cards and found a few that I think are doable.  I thought these muffins were pretty tasty on their own!  And then I found another recipe  I had been wanting to try for a flavored butter spread and made that at the same time.  They were great together, let me tell you.  But you will have to wait until next week for that one.

Banana Bread Muffins (Paleo)
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 c. almond flour
  2. 2 T. ground flaxseed
  3. 1 t. ground cinnamon
  4. 1/2 t. baking soda
  5. 1/2 t. baking powder
  6. pinch of nutmeg
  7. pinch of salt
  8. 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  9. 2 eggs, beaten
  10. 1 T. honey
  11. 1 T. olive oil
  12. 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  13. 1/3 c. chopped walnuts, plus extra for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place muffin cups in muffin tin and set aside.
  3. In large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients, except the nuts.
  4. In a small bowl, combine all the wet ingredients, including the bananas--mix well. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients. Add in chopped walnuts, stirring until combined.
  5. Fill the baking cups about 3/4 full--I used a cookie scoop.
  6. Sprinkle a few more chopped walnuts on each muffin before baking.
  7. Bake muffins for 21-23 minutes.
  8. Serve warm with your favorite spread (original recipe suggests coconut oil).
Adapted from PaleoBurn Fat Burning Cookbook
Adapted from PaleoBurn Fat Burning Cookbook
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Chocolate & Coconut Cashew Bars

cashew-bars-2

If you haven’t met me before, allow me to introduce myself.   I’m the girl who wants dessert after every meal.  Every meal.

And also after snacks.

And also after watching TV commercials about meals and snacks.

And that’s a problem.

But luckily I’ve found a way to combat this.  

And I have to be honest.  I really had no faith in this recipe because I am a dessert snob.  If it’s described as a healthy dessert my mind immediately puts it into the “Yeah, right!” category.  And so I wasn’t expecting much.  

I distinctly remember my first bite.  I think I said something like, “Well, it’s okay, I guess.  But I doubt I would make it again.”  Which was followed by multiple bites that impressed me more and more.

A month later and I’m still making them!  

And you know what I love most about this recipe?  The bars taste so rich to me that it only takes one to satisfy!  So they last a long time!  And this has been so helpful for me in my quest to eat healthier and lose weight.  Vegan if you don’t use the honey.

I did tweak the recipe a bit.  It can be gluten free if you make sure that your oats are as well! 

cashew-bars-1

 

 

Chocolate & Coconut Cashew Bars
Yields 25
A healthy bar treat that is rich and satisfying! Great combo of a little sweetness and a little salt and a little chocolate and a little nut!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups lightly roasted cashews (I used Planter's)
  2. 1 cup old fashioned oats
  3. 1/4 cup almond butter
  4. 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  5. 1/4 cup + 2-3 tsp. liquid sweetener*
Topping
  1. 1/4 cup liquid sweetener
  2. 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  3. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 2-3 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
  5. sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, process the cashews for a couple of minutes. Scrape down the sides if you need to. They will start to clump together a little, and that's good.
  2. Add the oats, almond butter, and sweetener and blend for another couple of minutes, scraping the sides down if necessary. This should form a sort of dough.
  3. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and lightly coat it with some non-stick cooking spray. Make sure the edges of the parchment come out over the edge so you can lift out the bars later.
  4. Spread out the dough and press it evenly to the edges.
  5. Make the chocolate topping by whisking together the liquid sweetener, coconut oil, and cocoa powder until smooth. Pour this over the top of the bars.
  6. Sprinkle with coconut and sea salt.
  7. Freeze for an hour or refrigerate for several. Then lift out the bars and cut them carefully into squares. I did 5 slices in each direction which gave me 25 bars.
  8. Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge.
Notes
  1. *You can use agave nectar (although not actually healthy), honey, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup. I had some agave to use up and that was tasty, but like I said, not really healthy the way it's made today. I was worried that the maple syrup would be too strong, but it was perfect. Gotta be REAL maple syrup though!
Adapted from Dishing Out Health
Adapted from Dishing Out Health
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Fudgy Banana Skillet Cake

fudgy banana skillet cake 2

I gotta put a disclaimer on this one.

You may not like this.

No, don’t run away!  Just hear me out for a little bit.

It’s Vegan.  

It’s Paleo.

Okay, if you are a die-hard, flour-filled cake lover you can run now.  (Honestly, my kids did, but they don’t have the evolved taste buds that I do.)

Here’s my situation:  I have Leaky Gut.  And while I do make stuff for the family that has wheat and dairy (two foods I’m not supposed to have anymore) I do try an occasional alternative recipe in an attempt to find treats that might be “legal” for me.  And I’ve found that you have to make a taste adjustment most of the time–that’s something I’ve started to get used to.  

So I actually like this recipe!

What does it have going for it–besides being wheat and dairy free?

It mixes up IN the skillet.  Less dishes.

It’s ready pretty quickly.  Cravings kept at bay while it bakes.

It uses ingredients I already have on hand.  Yes!

It’s rich and fudgy.  Oh, yesssssss!

Is it my favorite cake in the world?  No.  That’d be one o’ them there flour-filled cakes of my yesteryear.  <sigh>

But I think it does fit the bill if you are someone who has to or wants to eat treats without grains or animal products and want something rich and chocolate-y.

I would recommend adding some dairy-free ice cream or whipped topping when serving, though.  It just needs a little creamy loveliness to balance out the fudgy!

fudgy banana skillet cake 1

Fudgy Banana Skillet Cake
A fudgy flourless, vegan "cake".
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup coconut oil
  2. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 1 cup mashed banana (I used 3 small bananas)
  4. 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  5. 1 cup almond butter
  6. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  7. 1/4 tsp. salt
  8. 1 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet set over low heat, melt the coconut oil completely.
  3. Turn off burner and add remaining ingredients, whisking well to combine.
  4. Run a rubber spatula around the edge of the skillet to get the batter down with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the center is mostly set.
Notes
  1. It should be pretty moist still so don't bake it until a knife comes out clean--that's too done. It took 20 minutes in my oven. Cast iron retains heat well, so this will continue to cook a little when you take it out of the oven.
  2. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping (dairy or not--you decide).
Adapted from Happy Healthy Mama
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

 

Chocolate Bombs

It’s the afternoon.  You’re dragging.  And you’re hungry.  “Is there still ice cream in the freezer?” you think to yourself.  “Wait, no, there’s a bag of chips in the pantry!”  Or maybe you’re at the office and there’s leftover birthday cake in the break room.  Or donuts.  Or both!

Let me introduce you to my secret weapon against those junk food temptations.  I wage war on those moments with this recipe in my arsenal.  I call them….(pause for dramatic effect)…..Chocolate Bombs!

Ever since I found this recipe from The Gabriel Method E-Cookbook, it’s been my go-to for fighting hunger and snack attacks with a healthy and filling alternative.  One of my most vulnerable times for hunger is Sundays.  I try to eat something right before I leave, but by the time I get home after church (which is three hours long) I am ready to eat the front door!  Armed with a few of these tucked away in my purse or waiting for me in the car, I soothe the hunger beast during the twenty minute drive home.

You could make a breakfast of these if you like; or just snack on them when you need a pick me up or have an afternoon snack attack.  I always have a big glass of water (or water bottle) on hand with these as they are quite the mouthful!

It’s the afternoon.  You’re dragging.  And you’re hungry.  “Chocolate bombs to the rescue!” you shout triumphantly.

chocolate bombs 2

Chocolate Bombs
Yields 10
Tasty, filling, healthy snack treats
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup almonds
  2. 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  3. 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
  4. unsweetened coconut (to taste)
  5. 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  6. 4 tsp raw cacao
  7. 3 Tbsp almond butter
  8. 2 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
  9. 1 Tbsp raw cashew butter
  10. 5-10 drops liquid stevia
  11. 1 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until the almonds are in very small pieces.
  2. Check the consistency by taking a small amount of the mixture and forming it into a ball. If it's too crumbly, add more almond or cashew butter in small amounts and process again. Once it will form a ball, you've gotten it right!
  3. Using your hand or a small cookie scoop, take out tablespoonfuls of the mixture, squeeze if necessary, and roll into a ball in your hands.
  4. Eat immediately or store in the fridge in an airtight container.
Notes
  1. The original recipe calls for Tahini in place of cashew butter. Not a Tahini fan, so I subbed. The original also called for a teaspoon of stevia but I only had liquid. For the cacao I increased the amount from 3 teaspoons in the original, to 4.
  2. How much coconut you say? I'm a coconut lover, so I would guess I add 1/4 cup. This will affect how much extra nut butter you need to add at the end (if any).
  3. I love these. So when I make them, I triple the batch. Tripling just fits the mixture in my Ninja food processor
Adapted from The Gabriel Method E-Cookbook
Adapted from The Gabriel Method E-Cookbook
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

Gluten-free and Dairy-Free Blueberry Muffins

Are you gluten-free?  Do you find that you are sometimes less than thrilled to try new gluten-free recipes because they often don’t satisfy?  Maybe it’s just me.  I guess I’m jaded now.  Nevertheless, I decided to try this one for breakfast today because, well, I suppose I haven’t lost all hope.

I wasn’t expecting much.  Actually, I was expecting a slightly sweet blob of cardboard.  But I was really happy with the result.  Happy, as in, I will make these again.  And that’s saying a lot….for me, anyway.


Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Blueberry Muffins

2 large eggs, at room temp
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup palm shortening, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup warm water
1 3/4 cup Pancake Mix (see recipe below)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup fresh blueberries (or reconstituted freeze-dried blueberries–what I used)

Topping
1/3 cup pecan halves
1 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
1 Tbsp. solid coconut oil
1 Tbsp. blanched almond flour
1 Tbsp. honey
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 large date, pit removed
pinch of sea salt

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place an oven-safe dish filled with 2 cups of water on the bottom oven rack.  Place a rack in the middle–this is where the muffins will bake.
2.  Place all the muffin ingredients, except the blueberries, in a blender.  Process for half a minute, scrape down, and process again until smooth.  Pour mixture into a bowl and stir in the blueberries.
3.  In a muffin tin, place 10 paper liners.  Fill each liner 2/3 full.
4.  In a food processor, combine all the topping ingredients.  Pulse them together until like coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle atop each muffin.
5.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Test with a toothpick by inserting into the middle of a muffin; if it comes out clean, it should be ready.  Remove the baked muffins to a wire rack to cool for a bit.

Pancake Mix
3 cups blanched almond flour
1 cup coconut flour
1 Tbsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 tsp. sea salt
Whisk together and store in airtight container in fridge (will last for 6 months).

Source:  Against All Grain by Danielle Walker

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

One of the things I have a hard time resisting is pizza.  Even when I’m not trying to eat wheat- and dairy-free, pizza is a huge temptation.  I just love it.  But it doesn’t love me.  I didn’t think there would be an alternative that I would enjoy.

I’ve seen pics for this crust all over Pinterest but never really had the gumption to try it until now.  While it doesn’t rival Domino’s or Pizza Hut or Whatever-Your-Favorite-Pizza-Place-Is, it’s good enough that I will be making it again.  And that’s sayin’ somethin’.

Ingredients:
2 cups shredded cauliflower
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup mozzarella Veggie Shreds
1 tsp. dry oregano
1/2 tsp. finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp. onion salt

1.  Remove leaves from cauliflower and cut head into pieces.  In a food processor with a grater blade, process the cauliflower.
2.  Place 2 cups of cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on full power for 5 minutes.
3.  Cool to room temp.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
4.  Grease a cookie sheet or pizza pan.  Form pizza crust into desired shape.
5.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with desired toppings.  Return pizza to oven for a few minutes, or broil to melt additional cheese.

Notes:

  • The head of cauliflower I used yielded about 3 1/3 cups of shredded.  
  • You can use regular cheese, but I’m trying to go dairy-free so I used a cheese substitute.  If you want to give it a try, you can find it in the produce section at the grocery store.
  • I didn’t add extra cheese since there is some in the crust already.  I just topped with a bit of pizza sauce and some pepperoni.  If you are adding veggies, you may want to saute them a bit first since they won’t spend long in the oven.
Makes 6 pieces of pizza crust

Whole Grain Buckwheat Pancakes

I love breakfast.  Love it!  But when you’re trying to go dairy- and gluten-free, breakfast can be hard.  Well, hard if you’re like me and love carbs for breakfast.  Pancakes weren’t something I ate every morning but when they were gone, they were missed.  In the few months that I’ve been eating this way I’ve tried a few pancake recipes;  and they were okay.  When I found this recipe I really didn’t have high expectations.  And when I saw the batter, my expectations dropped even lower.  (Seriously, it looks like mud.  And don’t the pancakes look more like hamburger patties from a distance?)  But I was pleasantly surprised when I took my first bite.  So happy I decided to try these!

Ingredients:
1 cup whole grain buckwheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 egg, separated
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. melted ghee
coconut oil for cooking

1.  In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon).  Whisk and set aside.
2.  In a smaller bowl, combine the milk, egg yolk, maple syrup, vanilla, and ghee.  Whisk well to combine.  Add this to the dry ingredients and stir well until just combined.
3.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until soft peaks form.  Fold this into the batter gently.
4.  Coat griddle at medium heat with coconut oil.  Pour batter onto griddle, forming 4″ cakes.  Cook until bubbles form on top and the edges are no longer shiny.  Then flip and cook on the other side until done.

Serve with maple syrup.  Like, the real stuff!

Makes 8 four-inch pancakes

Source:  mountainmamacooks.com (very slighly adapted)

Peach Cider Sorbet

My husband picked up some Peach Cider at South of the Border a couple of weeks ago, probably because we once had a Peach Cider Slushie at an Amish country store that I still think/talk/drool about.  I decided to try making sorbet out of it but couldn’t find a recipe specifically for peach.  So I looked over a few recipes I found on the internet and combined/tweaked/added to come up with this one.  It was a big hit with the family!  It tastes like fall, but since peaches are a summer fruit it’s best in summer.  Of course, you could always try frozen peaches.  Or you can try it with apple cider and apples, maybe add some whole cloves in with the cinnamon stick.  I’m sure that would be great!

Ingredients:
2 cups peach cider
2 large, ripe peaches (peeled, pitted, and cut into bite sized chunks)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp. salt.

1.  Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Peaches should be soft.  Remove from heat and let the mixture cool for a bit.
2.  Remove the cinnamon stick and discard.  Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.  Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl.  Allow to cool to room temp, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3.  Pour chilled mixture into ice cream machine and process until frozen and thick.  Transfer sorbet to a freezer container and freeze for at least 2 hours.

Serve and enjoy!

Chocolate Sorbetto

Earlier this year we took a trip to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia.  I was in the midst of a 3-month elimination diet to help cure some GI problems and was off of all sorts of foods including dairy, wheat, and–of all things–vanilla.  As we were passing through “Italy” my husband spotted a little gelato stand and pointed it out.  I thought this was really cruel at first because I happen to ADORE gelato and obviously couldn’t have any.  However, it turned out to be fortuitous because they also had sorbetto.  Now, I’d never heard of it but it sounded like something worth investigating.  We asked and to my delight we were told that it had no dairy and no vanilla!  SCORE!!!  We shared a chocolate sorbetto and later returned for a combo of strawberry and chocolate because it was so good.  I vowed to find some sorbetto recipes and make some for myself.  This recipe comes VERY close to the Busch Gardens one.  All my kids loved it!  We served it with homemade strawberry jam to cut the richness a little.

Chocolate Sorbetto
Ingredients:
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract*

1.  Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring often to make sure all the sugar dissolves.  Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 4 minutes.
2.  Take the saucepan off the heat and add in the chopped chocolate, whisking until the mixture is completely smooth.  Add the cocoa and whisk till smooth.  Add vanilla and whisk.
3.  Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl to cool to room temperature.  Stir often while it cools.
4.  Cover and chill at least 4 hours.
5.  Pour into ice cream machine and process by manufacturer’s directions.  Transfer to freezer container and freeze at least 2 hours.

To serve, remove container from freezer and allow to stand at room temp for 15 minutes.

FYI–Sorbet and sorbetto are sometimes used interchangeably.  From what I can tell, sorbet is French in origin while sorbetto is Italian.  From what I have experienced, sorbetto seems to be creamier in texture than sorbet.

Source:  bittersweetblog.com (slightly adapted)