One of my favorite childhood memories was making chocolate chip cookies with my mom. We used to make the traditional Toll House recipe off the back of a bag of Nestle chocolate chips. While things have changed dramatically in our house from those day (no flour, no white sugar and I use organic, fair trade dark chocolate chips) I still cherish those memories, and l love sharing that tradition with my three little boys.
I have both of Danielle Walker’s Paleo Cookbooks: Against All Grain & Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple and to this day, they are two of my favorite cookbooks that I own (I have a slight cookbook addiction). I originally started making her real-deal chocolate chip cookies, but over time, just adapted it to better suit our families taste and to simplify – in my world, less steps and less dishes are always better. If you have never checked out her cookbooks, you should. She has lots of fun recipes and they are great inspiration.
A few of the changes I made was that I use coconut oil instead of palm shortening (which I don’t typically have on hand). I cut out the honey (you can add it back in if you want sweeter cookies, but if you do, omit the extra tablespoon of coconut oil – it was only added to add in a little extra moisture). I have made them adding in an extra egg, and no honey or extra tablespoon of coconut oil, and that variation works well also. I like this version best with just the coconut sugar, because it is just lightly sweetened. I also just mix the cookies by hand, my food processor is dying, and I found that I didn’t need to pull out an extra appliance.
Another thing to note is that these cookies don’t have a great self life, so if you plan to keep them a few days, throw them in the fridge. They do freeze well though.
Chocolate is the weakness in our house. The other night we were craving a quick dessert and I am always trying to find new ways to incorporate grass-fed gelatin into our diets. So I whipped up a quick pudding and it was loved by everyone in our house, especially my two year old! The ingredients are pretty simple and can be easily found at any grocery store (with the exception of the grass-fed gelatin) Our favorite is Vital Proteins. If you need a quick chocolate fix, try this one out!
As summer came to close, so did our fabulous season of zucchini. I decided I needed to create one last baked item with our remaining supply. Chocolate is always a favorite in our house and a cake sounded just perfect. This is a pretty quick and easy recipe, the steps can look like a lot, but they are easy to follow. This cake is pretty similar to a traditional Texas sheet cake, but it is altered to work with a gluten-free flour blend. I prefer King Arthur’s Gluten-free flour blend (I buy mine from our local Earth Fare), but most gluten-free blends will work. What I love about the combination of zucchini in this recipe, is that it helps keeps the cake moist, which can be a common problem with gluten free baked goods. This recipe also freezes really well.
I am one of those people who loves spring. I barely survive winters in Indiana and can not wait for green grass, blossoms on trees and signs of life spouting out of the ground. Along with spring and early summer comes an over abundance of two of my favorite foods – strawberries and rhubarb.
We grow strawberries along the side of our house (below are some pictures from last years harvest). They are obviously not ready yet for this year, but there has been a lot of really tasty strawberries on sale recently at our local Earth Fare. So I picked up some fresh strawberries and rhubarb to satisfy my early spring cravings.
If you have read previous posts on my blog, you know I create a lot of crisps, because they are so easy to make and you don’t have to be exact. Typically in gluten free baking, being exact really matters and honestly, I don’t really like to measure things. This recipe is a simple combination of pecan pieces, gluten free rolled oats, tapioca starch and coconut oil. Many celiacs can not tolerate oats, but I can in small amounts as long as they are not cross-contaminated. I use Bob Red Mills certified gluten free oats in my baking. This recipe is also pretty tart as I like to highlight the rhubarb and keep my sugar content lower.
⅛ - ¼ cup evaporated cane sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
1¼ cups gluten free rolled oats (I grind to coarse in my Vita Mix)
1 cup chopped pecan pieces (finely chopped)
½ cup tapioca starch
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup melted coconut oil or butter
1 tsp vanilla
later chopped strawberries and rhubarb in a 13 x 9 pan
sprinkle with an ⅛ of cup of evaporated cane sugar
in a different bowl, mix together coarsely ground rolled oats, pecans, tapioca, coconut sugar stir.
slowly pour in coconut oil and vanilla and incorporate until topping starts to clump.
sprinkle topping evenly across the strawberry rhubarb layer.
bake for 10-15 minutes at 400 (watching to make sure it doesn't burn topping) and then reduce the heat to 300 and bake for about 45 minutes, until topping is lightly brown and strawberry rhubarb layer is bubbling.
**you can increase sugar amounts if you do not like the tartness of rhubarb.
**you can also add in additional add ins, like chia seeds, ground flax seed or even coconut. if you do you may need to increase the coconut oil slightly so everything is fully incorporated
**you can increase sugar amounts if you do not like the tartness of rhubarb.
**you can also add in additional add ins, if you do you may need to increase the coconut oil slightly so everything is fully incorporated
I change up our crisp recipes all the time, sometimes I toss in some chai and flax seed, especially if I am going to give it to my kids as breakfast, (I want the higher fiber content) or add coconut, or almond flour etc. You can be pretty flexible.
I can’t wait to see what this year’s garden harvest of strawberries brings!
I get asked a lot how we handle the holidays being gluten-free. Let’s face it, most holiday memories include big fat crescent rolls, sugar cookies, casseroles, pies and many more gluten filled items.
My new motto: simplicity.
I simply do not try to recreate all those items…I find that all that does is stress me out, leaves me in carb and sugar shock and a lot of the items will never compare to their gluten- filled counter parts. So instead, my husband and I came up with a simple holiday menu that included items that we could prep the night before.
I thought I would share what our Christmas day menu looked like. It was fresh and not over-loaded with carbs, but yet included items like a paleo date-pecan cinnamon roll that my three boys absolutely loved. We ate a late breakfast and an early dinner, cutting our meals down to two instead of three. And I ran out Christmas Eve afternoon to our local Earth Fare to get any remaining fresh ingredient. We has ordered their holiday deal that featured a beautiful cut of fresh standing rib roast, so we had to run in already to pick that up.
Breakfast was fully prepped on Christmas Eve and included a breakfast casserole and paleo cinnamon rolls.
Potato-Egg Breakfast Casserole:
The breakfast casserole was made with shredded potatoes, instead of bread. I first boiled the potatoes, chilled them and ran them through my food processor with the shredder blade. I layered the potatoes on the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan and topped with 12 whisked eggs, 1 cup of almond milk, 2 cups of shredded cheese, bacon pieces and chopped green onions. All I had to do Christmas morning was pop it into the oven at 350 for about 45-50 minutes.
this is what my youngest son, thought of the cinnamon rolls!
Paleo Date-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls:
We also made these the night before and had them on a baking sheet in the fridge ready to pop into the oven.
Standing Rib Roast
Grilled Zucchini and Asparagus
Roasted potato wedges with Italian herbs
Sparkling cider just for fun
We have made it a tradition to buy a nice cut of meat; either steaks or prime rib and either grill veggies or roast them (depending on Indiana weather). It makes dinner, simple, yet full of flavor.
One of my favorite things about fall baking/cooking is fresh pumpkin. I roast quite a few pumpkins each year and use some right away for baking and then freeze the rest to use throughout the winter. Yesterday, I roasted 3 sugar pumpkins and have yummy mason jars full of pumpkin puree just begging to be used. Our local Earthfare had sugar pumpkins on sale + I got three from one of our local apple orchards/pumpkin patches (tuttles). So tonight I set out to create a pumpkin scone (which quickly turned into drop scones because the batter was way to soft). One of the things I was attempting, was to create a grain free scone that wasn’t full of cups and cups of almond flour. Recipes I have used in the past have used 3-4 cups of almond flour and I have been trying to balance my families consumption of nuts. I also wanted to include more pumpkin then most recipes called for. While, I really liked the extra pumpkin, it definitely made the batter only scoopable.
The batter is combination of eggs, coconut flour, almond flour, tapioca starch, pumpkin and spices. I used a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and fresh ground ginger for my pumpkin spice flavor. Ginger is actually a spice that I tend to overlook. but I happened to have a big, fresh container sitting out on my counter. I had just stocked up on some bulk spices & herbs at Earthfare, the night before when I made my first batch of herbal cough syrup for my husband (I will share my experiences with those recipes later). I am glad I added the ginger because it gave a nice kick to the spice combination.
For the glaze on the pumpkin drop scones … I don’t really have a recipe to share. I honestly just started adding ingredients to a bowl and kept adjusting along the way. I used approximately 2 Tbsp of almond butter, 2 Tbsp of almond milk, 1 Tbsp of brown sugar, a little cinnamon and a little vanilla all mixed and just spooned on top while the pumpkin scones were warm.
This will definitely be a recipe that I will add into our fall rotation!