Grain Free Banana Blueberry Muffins

BlueberryMuffinsThese grain-free, gluten-free, paleo-friendly muffins are higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than their wheat-filled counterparts and just as delicious. One word…YUM!

Makes 18 muffins

  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted almond butter
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, eggs, almond butter, oil, vanilla, and honey until smooth. Add in the flours, baking soda, and sea salt and mix again. Gently fold in the blueberries. Place paper liners in muffin tin and spoon in batter so that each cup is about 3/4 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tops are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

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Grain Free Pancakes

IMG_1544Whether you are gluten-free, paleo, or just looking for a healthier alternative to your usual breakfast routine, these grain-free pancakes are a delicious way to start your morning! An added bonus: almond flour is lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein than wheat flour, contains heart healthy fats, and has an amazing buttery taste.

  • 1/2 cup milk (cow, goat, almond, hemp, or coconut)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 to 3 tsp coconut oil (for cooking)

Mix all ingredients except the oil together in a large bowl. Warm 1 tsp of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter into skillet, spreading and shaping with the back of a spoon as needed for uniform thickness. Watch the pancakes carefully as they cook, grain free pancakes tend to cook quicker and burn faster than their wheat counterparts. Flip the cakes after bubbles rise to the surface, about 1 to 2 minutes. Cook on the second side for another 1 to 2 minutes then transfer to a warm (200 degrees Fahrenheit) oven while you cook the remaining batter. Add more oil to the pan as necessary. Serve these pancakes warm with your favorite toppings. I added a drizzle of raw honey, fresh bartlett pears, and roasted hazelnuts to mine.

Walnut Stuffed Figs

These are a beautiful treat for late summer parties.

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Serves 5.

Stuffed Figs

  • 10 fresh ripe Figs (I used Mission variety, but any kind will do)
  • 1/2 cup Walnut halves or pieces
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground Cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground Nutmeg

Vanilla Cashew Creme

  • 1 1/2 cups raw Cashews
  • 6 pitted Dates
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the dates and the cashews for the vanilla cashew cream in a bowl. Add just enough water to cover the ingredients and let soak for 30 minutes. Slice the figs and arrange in a glass baking dish. Chop walnuts into small pieces and mix with salt and spices in a bowl. Make a depression in the figs with your finger or a spoon and then spoon spiced nut mixture into the fig halves. Bake figs for approximately 20 minutes or until they have slightly softened.

While the figs are baking, remove and strain the cashews and dates, making sure to reserve the soaking water. Place all ingredients for the vanilla cream in the food processor and blend, adding 1 Tbsp of the soaking water at a time until the mixture is the consistency of smooth frosting. Set aside.

Serve the figs warm and drizzled with Vanilla Cashew Cream.

Spiced Date Rolls

These delicious and healthy date rolls are perfect for sharing.

Makes about 1 dozen.

  • 1 cup Dates
  • 1 cup raw Almonds
  • zest of 1 Orange
  • 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened Coconut
  • 1/2 inch fresh Ginger root, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Tbs water

Place all ingredients except for water and coconut into a food processor. Blend while adding the water a small amount at a time until ingredients form a smooth paste. Place shredded coconut onto a plate. Scoop out a small amount of date paste and roll in your palm to form a 1 inch ball. Roll the ball in the coconut and set aside. Repeat until all the date paste has been used.IMG_0518

Chicken with Summer Tomatoes, Fennel, and Green Olives

A great way to celebrate summer produce!
Serves 4.
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup fresh basil, julienned
  • 1/3 cup green olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Heat 1 Tbs oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Sear chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side and set aside. Add 1 Tbs of oil to skillet along with sliced fennel, onions, and salt. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes or until veggies are slightly browned and softened, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and wine along with partially cooked chicken breasts. Nestle chicken amongst the veggies and cover with a lid. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Add olives and basil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes more or until chicken is cooked to 165 degrees.

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Turkey Chili

A new take on an old favorite, this recipe gets its delicious, complex flavors from the combination of chili and cocoa powders.  It is full of fiber, lean protein, and veggies, for a great one pot dinner.

Serves 4-6

10 minutes prep time, 40 minutes cooking time

  • 3/4 lb ground Turkey
  • 1 Tbs Coconut Oil
  • One small Garnet Yam
  • Two stalks Celery
  • Two small or one medium Zucchini
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1 small bunch Kale, cut into small ribbons
  • Six cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Tomatoes, diced
  • Two 14 oz cans Black Beans
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Broth or Water
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Cocoa powder

chiliHeat the coconut oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Chop the onion, celery, zucchini, and yam into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside. Add turkey to pot and cook lightly until browned, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, cocoa powder, water, and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the onion, celery, zucchini, and yam, and simmer for 10 minutes more. Then, add the garlic and kale and continue simmering for an additional 10 minutes.

Paleo Coconut Mango Sorbet

SONY DSCCraving something that’s sweet, creamy, AND healthy? My Coconut Mango Sorbet is a refreshing, tropical treat that’s also nutrient-dense and Paleo-friendly. This delicious sorbet is free of dairy and refined sugars and perfect for a hot summer day.

Makes 1 quart and requires an ice cream maker.

  • 2 cans Coconut Milk (full-fat, not light!)
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 cup Raw Honey
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 1/4 cup Mango, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch cubes

In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, salt, honey, and lime juice. Stir in the mango chunks. From here, follow the directions on your ice cream maker. The sorbet will most likely need to sit in your freezer for a few hours to firm up before serving.

Note: If you’ve never cut a mango before, here is a great step-by-step video!

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Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachios and Thyme

This recipe is simple and delicious, with a rich nutty flavor. I often serve it in place of rice or couscous when I make a tagine, curry, or stew. Serves 4-6.
  • One headof cauliflower, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil orothervegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried Thyme

Preheat oven to 375 F. Place the chopped cauliflower on a cookie sheet and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the mixture and then spread it out into one even layer. Bake for about 40 minutes total, stirring once at 20 minutes and adding the pistachios and thyme after 35 minutes of cooking. Cauliflower should be tender and lightly browned. Serve warm.

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Food for Thought?

Ever want to know what happens when your body tries to digest different types of food? Media artist, Stefani Bardin and Dr. Braden Kuo, M.D. may have the answer for you. Dr. Kuo is Assistant Physician, Gastroenterology Unit and Director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kuo and Ms. Bardin recently collaborated on a video where two patients swallow small cameras and then eat two different meals, one highly processed and one handmade. The results are quite interesting and may have you thinking about food in a new way.

Raw Chocolate Tart with Vanilla Creme and Raspberry Coulis

This is a decadent dessert perfect for special occasions. The filling is made with avocados to give it a thick, velvety smooth texture. It has a rich chocolate flavor that goes perfectly with the sweet vanilla creme and slightly tart raspberry coulis. It is also delicious on its own and can be served like chocolate mousse. This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and made without refined sugar. It takes approximately one-and-a-half to two hours to prepare.

Serves 8-12

Crust

  • 1 cup dried, shredded coconut
  • 1 cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 4 pitted dates
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp coconut oil

Filling

  • 2 avocados
  • 6 dates, soaked for one hour in a little water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup carob powder*
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

*Carob powder can be found at most health food stores in the baking or bulk sections. It has a sweet flavor somewhat similar to chocolate. It is used in this recipe to enhance the flavor of the cocoa powder, which can sometimes be bitter on its own.

Vanilla Crème

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 30 minutes in a little water
  • 6 pitted dates, soaked for 30 minutes in a little water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Raspberry Coulis

  • 1 pint raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2-3 Tbsp honey

Start by soaking the dates for the vanilla crème and filling and the cashews for the vanilla crème in separate bowls. Add just enough water to cover the ingredients. Blend the ingredients for the crust in a food processor until they are smooth and can be pressed together into a dough. Press the mixture into a 9″ x 1.125″ tart pan with a removable bottom; making sure it evenly covers the bottom and all sides of the pan. Set the crust aside in the refrigerator.

Retrieve the dates and cashews for the vanilla crème from the soaking water, making sure to reserve the date soaking water. Place all ingredients for the vanilla crème in the food processor and blend, adding 1 Tbsp of the date soaking water at a time until the mixture is the consistency of smooth frosting. Set aside.

Blend all ingredients for the raspberry coulis in a blender or food processor until smooth and then set aside.

Drain the dates for the filling and add to the food processor with the rest of the ingredients for the filling. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally to ensure that everything is well mixed. Spoon the filling into the crust. Starting at the center, push it out to the edges with a rubber spatula so that it forms one even layer. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until it is set (longer is also fine).

Serve the tart chilled, with a dollop of vanilla crème and a drizzle of the raspberry coulis.