Tag Archives: Dessert

Cinnabon Bites (Gluten Free)

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Intrigued by the health benefits of coconut flour (high protein, high fiber, gluten-free…), I decided months ago to order a bag of coconut flour as a change from my usual baking flour of choice, almond flour. Being that all my go-to recipes are made with nut bases, the coconut flour had been sitting unopened for a little while. As I was recently preparing a meal for a family that I invited who have children with nut allergies, I finally remembered the forgotten coconut flour. For inspiration on how to use it, I flipped thru one of my favorite cookbooks, Cooking for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, by Erica Kerwien, and found an easy recipe for Cinnamon Bun Muffins to put my coconut flour to the test. The results were amazing, and within minutes the muffins were gone! Who can resist a hot cinnamon bun muffin fresh from the oven? Apparently not my husband… The good news was that the whole recipe takes about ten minutes to prepare, so I was able to make a new batch in no time!

IMG_4352My family and friends have become hooked to this dessert which I have modified slightly to make a little less sweet and a little more moist than the original, found at Kerwien’s website: comfybelly.com. I also changed the size to mini muffins to make sure that every bite is filled with the delicious cinnamon glaze topping–and also so that when my husband eats ten at a time, I don’t have to worry because I know there are at least 40 more….

Cinnabon Bites

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 eggs

2/3 cup coconut milk

2/3 cup honey

Cinnamon Glaze Topping:
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4 tablespoons ground cinnamon

5 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Line mini muffin trays with parchment paper liners. In a medium sized bowl, combine coconut flour, baking soda and salt until evenly blended. Add wet ingredients to the bowl — vanilla, eggs, coconut milk (if using coconut milk from a can, make sure to shake well before opening because the milk separates and will be thicker on top if not shaken) and honey, and mix well with electric mixer. In a separate small bowl, mix topping ingredients together–cinnamon, honey and coconut oil. Use a tablespoon to measure the muffin batter and fill each muffin liner. Then, using 1/2 a teaspoon of topping, swirl over each muffin.

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Bake 10 minutes and enjoy!

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yield: 50 Cinnabon Bites

Tip: I buy coconut flour, canned coconut milk without any additives, and refined coconut oil from: digestivewellness.com

Perfect Pears with Crumble Topping

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After the tragic news of this past week, it is so hard to resume normal life. I find myself completely hooked to my Facebook newsfeed for the continuous stream of news reports and individual responses to the sorrow that is felt around the world. During the past few weeks, I have gained so much strength from watching the amazing families of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad and from the unity of the Jewish people at this time. My thoughts are with the families of Eyal, Naftali, and Gilad and my hope is that they should be able to find strength and comfort from the knowledge that so many of us will try and move forward by creating more meaningful and more worthwhile lives in the memory of their beloved sons.

Perfect Pears with Crumble Topping

IMG_3945Last I checked, pears were considered a “fall” fruit, yet, lately every time I’m at the grocery store, it seems as though beautifully displayed pears are front and center. Not wanting to pass up these gorgeous fruits, I decided to abandon my original plan for a more summery strawberry rhubarb crisp (I will try and get to that another one of these days) and instead made a pear crisp.

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I mixed the pears with lemon juice, a touch of lemon zest, apple sauce and a drop of honey to moisten and enhance the flavour of the fruit. For the crisp topping, I combined all the nuts I had on hand, almonds, pecans and walnuts, with a bit of honey and coconut oil to hold it together.

At first, as I pulled out my new creation from the oven, I was disappointed for the lack of sizzling, bubbling juices that typically accompany a mouth watering crisp. After I tried this new dessert though, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted at how fresh and crispy the pears tasted, despite baking for so long, and how well the lightly sweetened nuts balanced the delicate fruit. Hot out of the oven, served with ice cream, or chilled from the fridge, this light tasting healthy dessert is a great gluten free option any time of year!

Perfect Pears with Crumble Topping

Ingredients:

7 (green) D’anjou pears

1/2 lemon juiced (2 tablespoons)

1/4 cup applesauce

3 tablespoon honey, divided

1 cup almond flourIMG_3959

1cup pecan meal

3/4 cup walnut nibs

1/3 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

5 tablespoon melted coconut oil

1 tablespoon canola oil

Tip: I order almond flour/pecan meal from www.digestivewellness.com, if these items are not available, this recipe would work by placing whole nuts into food processor. Coconut oil is available at most grocery stores in the health food section.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325. Cut pears into 1 inch chunks and mix well with lemon juice, zest (optional), applesauce and 1 tablespoon honey. In another bowl, combine almond flour, pecan meal and walnut nibs (any combination of nuts would be good) with remaining honey, baking soda, cinnamon and melted coconut oil.

IMG_3963Crumble with fingers to get a sand-like consistency. Dip a paper towel in canola oil to grease the bottom of 12-14 ramekins (I like baking in ramekins to make desserts individual size when possible, if you don’t have ramekins, any regular baking dish would work). Place approximately 2 tablespoons of fruit mixture in each ramekin and cover with crumble topping. Bake uncovered for one hour or until crisp looks brown and toasty.

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Tip: the topping recipe yields a lot of extra. This topping freezes well and can be used for later crisps.

Birthday Cake

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Although I have baked many grain-free goodies over the years, I have actually never attempted a grain-free birthday cake.  Yes, we keep a gluten-free home, but to buy a birthday cake for my kids from a bakery a couple times a year has been something I was always willing (ok and happy) to do.

This morning I woke up feeling ambitious and energetic. For my daughter Daria’s first birthday, I was determined to make her a home-made, healthy, birthday cake that would satisfy every sweet craving that we all long for in a birthday cake.

I turned to the “Nut Torte With Creamy Frosting” from the cookbook “A Taste of Wellness” by Rochel Weiss (available on amazon.com), the cover picture on the book. Considering all of the steps involved, not just for baking the cake but for the frosting too, I would not consider this cake “easy” and therefore did not plan on including the recipe here, which is why I don’t have pictures of the steps involved… After serving the cake tonight to family, my most honest reviewers, I was told that it was too good not to share.  I will say though, that like most recipes I read, I did adapt the original grain-free “torte” and changed some steps to make my birthday cake easier and even healthier .  My version is a one layer cake, compared to two layers with frosting in between. This reduced the work, time and calories involved in the original.  I also reduced the amount of honey in the cake, by 1/3 and I replaced some of the almond flour that the original recipe calls for with pecan flour to add moistness and a rich but subtle almost chocolaty taste.

I will admit this cake does require more time and patience than most recipes I feature, but if you have an occasion to celebrate, or are just trying to impress your guests with a delicious dessert that is homemade and healthy, this recipe is worth the work.

 

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Tip: this recipe calls for almond flour and pecan meal.  I have tried different types of nut flours and I think the quality of the flour will really affect the consistency and taste of grain-free baked goods.  The absolute BEST BEST BEST nut flours are available on-line at www.digestivewellness.com.  If baking grain-free or gluten-free is something you are really committed to, it is definitely worth it to buy in bulk from this site, you cannot compare the taste (and cost) to any local grocery store variety.

Grain-Free Birthday Cake

recipes adapted from A Taste of Wellness: “Nut Torte With Creamy Frosting” (page 42 and 45)

Ingredients:

12 large eggs, whites and yolks separated

pinch of salt

1 cup of honey

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup apple sauce

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoon baking soda

5 cups almond flour

2.5 cups pecan flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300.  Using the largest bowl of a standing mixer, beat egg whites on low for about a minute and add pinch of salt.  turn mixer to high and beat until soft peaks form.  Watch that the peaks do not become too stiff.  Reduce mixer speed to low and add yolks one at a time, allowing them to become mixed in before adding the next.  Slowly add in oil, applesauce, honey and vanilla.  Make sure all ingredients are completely blended.  Use a wooden or rubber spatula to gently and evenly fold in the nut flours and baking soda.  Lightly grease the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch cake pan and line (bottom only) with parchment paper.  Pour batter into pan, filled to about half the height of the pan, leaving room for the cake to rise.  Smooth batter gently with spatula. I used extra batter for cupcakes.  Bake cake approximately 40 minutes or until light brown on top and toothpick inserted in middle comes out dry (cupcakes take about 18-20 minutes).  After cake cools completely, use a knife along the sides to remove cake.  It should slide upside down onto a baking sheet easily, because of the parchment paper on the bottom.  Place in freezer to harden before frosting about an hour/ hour and a half.

Honey Cream Frosting

Ingredients:

6 egg yolks

2 cups coconut oil (solid form)

1 cup honey

2 Tablespoon vanilla extract.

Directions:

Blend egg yolks and coconut oil in food processor about 5 minutes. Add honey and vanilla and mix until smooth.  The original recipe tells you to refrigerate for 2 hours for frosting to thicken.  After one hour, I noticed that the top layer of mine was completely hard, but the inside was extremely runny.  I threw the frosting pack in the food processor for a few minutes and it reached the perfect creamy thick consistency.

Keep cake in fridge after icing because the frosting will melt if out for too long.

Tip: cake tastes really delicious with fresh fruit garnishings.

Warning: frosting does contain raw eggs and honey so do not serve to anyone that may have issues with these foods