Tag Archives: gluten-free

Peach Almond Breakfast Cookies (GF)

peach almond breakfast cookies titleI goofed this week with my menu planning and grocery shopping – I never got anything for breakfast and now the kids have been foraging every morning for something to eat, never thrilled with my suggestions to just eat the leftovers from dinner the night before.  My son will make himself eggs, but my daughter doesn’t like them, she’s more of a sausage or muffin kid. On top of all that I ended up having to empty and defrost the refrigerator trying to find a mystery water leak. So this morning as I was tossing unidentifiable baggies of this and that I uncovered some almond flour and some frozen peach slices. It’s the little discoveries that get my creativity going. These breakfast cookies are what we ended up eating. I fed some to the contractor who is here working on the guest bathroom (did I mention that mom, dad and two teenagers – including a teenage girl – are all sharing one bathroom right now?) I had intended for them to be scones, but they ended up more like batter than dough so soft cookies it is.

Peach Almond Breakfast Cookies

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour

2 eggs (preferably from pasture raised hens)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup melted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 peach, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease or parchment line a baking sheet.  I like to use a food processor to whirl everything up, but you can certainly do this by hand in a bowl. Place the almond flour, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and melted butter in a food processor and process until mixed. Add the soda, salt and ginger and mix again. Finally add the peaches and pulse just until combined. You don’t want to chop them so much that you don’t have little juicy bits of peach left in the cookie.  Spoon the batter onto the prepared baking sheet using about 2 Tblsp for each one. Leave some space between them as they will spread more during baking. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden around the edges. Remove to a cooling rack. Freeze any leftovers and you can heat them up in a toaster later.

Peach Almond Breakfast Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast
 
Soft almond flour cookies with peaches and vanilla, all real food ingredients and plenty of protein for a quick breakfast.
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 peach, pitted and diced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease or parchment line a baking sheet.
  2. Place almond flour, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla in a food processor or mixing bowl.
  3. Mix well, and then add in the baking soda, salt and ground ginger.
  4. Mix well again, and then add the peaches and pulse gently to just mix.
  5. Spoon onto prepared baking sheet using about 2 Tblsp of batter per cookie.
  6. Leave space between each one as they spread more during baking.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
  8. Remove to a cooling rack.
  9. Freeze leftovers and reheat in a toaster.

 

peach almond breakfast cookies

 

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Plantain Pancakes (GF/DF)

plantain pancakes title

So I was driving from Orlando up to Georgia to pick up my kids after a weekend with their grandparents, and I was listening to a podcast with Chris Kresser (functional and integrative practitioner and author of Your Personal Paleo Code).  His co-host was asking him what was for breakfast that morning. Chris started describing these plantain waffles he’d eaten and I just started salivating – I love plantains, green or ripe, and they also happen to be a really good carb for just about anyone – so I decided I would look for that recipe when I got home.  I bought two nicely mottled-brown plantains at the store and then checked out Bing for the recipe.  I was pretty bummed when all I could find were recipes using plantain flour instead of just ripe plantains. But that didn’t stop me for long, because after all of the GAPS cooking, gluten-free cooking and Paleo cooking I’ve been doing lately I can pretty much make a pancake out of anything; maybe not a waffle, but definitely a pancake.

plantain vs banana

plantain vs. banana

If you’ve never had a plantain, they are similar in appearance to a banana, but a good bit larger. When you cook them green they taste a lot like potato. When you wait until they are nearly black all over and kind of squishy you can bake them or slice and fry them in butter or ghee for a sweet, warm, caramelized tropical treat.

For the pancakes I peeled the riper of the two plantains and cut it into chunks and stuck it in the blender.  I added two Lake Meadow eggs, a 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk, aluminum-free baking soda, sea salt and a little coconut flour and blended it all up until it was smooth.  A little coconut oil on the hot griddle and it was time to see if it worked.

plantain pancake cooking on griddle

the bubbles will tell you when it’s time to flip it over

One thing about non-traditional pancakes is they are sometimes tricky to flip. I waited for the classic signs of pancake flipping readiness….little bubbles that form all over the batter then pop and stay popped.  After one fail (still tasty, but not really a good pancake shape) I discovered I needed to be swift and confident making the metal spatula scoop and flip in one quick movement.  A few seconds to finish the other side and then onto the plate.  I used a 1/4 cup of batter per pancake and got about 8 pancakes. Slathered with some Kerrygold butter they didn’t need anything else in my opinion.  My husband enjoyed a little raw honey on the one I saved for him. These are good hot or cold. I could see them used as a wrap for some nut butter and jam, or maybe with a little sliced ham.  I enjoyed them stacked on a plate hot off the griddle.

Plantain Pancakes (GF/DF)
 
Author:
 
Naturally sweet these pancakes are high in protein, good fats and good carbs.
Ingredients
  • 1 ripe plantain
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2 eggs, preferably from pasture raised hens
  • 1 Tblsp coconut flour
  • coconut oil or butter for the griddle
  • any toppings such as butter, fresh berries, or raw honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat a griddle on medium-high heat.
  2. Peel the plantain, cut into chunks and place in a blender.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients into the blender and blend on high speed until smooth.
  4. Grease the griddle with a little coconut oil and pour the batter onto the hot griddle using approximately ¼ cup batter or less per pancake.
  5. Cook until bubbles appear on the batter that do not disappear when they pop.
  6. Quickly turn the pancakes over to finish cooking the other side, about 1 minute or less.
  7. Serve hot or cold with desired toppings.

 

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Going Gluten-free: Fad or Necessity?

Gluten Free

I went gluten-free a little over a year ago. More than one person thought I was crazy, but since then I no longer have brain fog (that feeling of rusty steel wool scratching around my head while I’m trying to think), bloating, heart palpitations, or dizziness after eating things like pancakes, French toast, and pizza.

I’ve heard gluten-free eating called a “fad”. One recent article in a well-known traditional foods journal called it a “gluten-free craze” that lacks common sense, hurts the wheat industry, and randomly condemns an entire food group. The article also came pretty close to accusing parents who put their children on gluten-free diets of committing dietary child abuse…..(read more here)

You can read the rest of this article at my GNOWFGLINS guest post! Please leave a comment on whether you agree or disagree, or where you are in your own gluten-free journey.

Mud Cookies and Ice Cream Sandwiches (GF)

mud cookies title

So I’ve been teaching Sunday School for the past two years now. But this is Sunday School like you’ve never seen it. I have the coolest classroom – it’s a little cafe with a real kitchen area. We teach Bible stories and use hands-on cooking projects to cement the lesson in the kids’ minds and hearts (and stomachs!) This week we’ve been getting ready for a big Open House to show off all the neat classrooms and creative lessons being used to teach Jesus’ Love to these sweet kids. I’m going to do a cooking demo for the Open House – I’m making Mud Cookies. We used this recipe when we taught about the Miracles of Jesus. In chapter 9 of the New Testament book of John it tells how Jesus made mud with some dirt and saliva, and rubbed it over the eyes of a man who had been born blind. He then sent the man to wash it off in one of the city fountains. When the man washed off the mud he could see!

mud cookies

mud cookies

Our cookies start out looking like a bowl of lumpy mud. In fact they look pretty gross – you mix cocoa powder with egg whites which looks an awful lot like dirt and spit. But soon after stirring and stirring the batter gets shiny, then you drop spoonfuls onto a parchment paper and bake them. What you get are the most deep, dark chocolate cookies you can imagine!  My classroom recipe only makes 10 cookies because our little oven only holds that many, but you can easily double the recipe to make a bigger batch. And you will definitely want to do that because we discovered that these cookies make the perfect sandwich for homemade vanilla ice cream! Oh. My. Goodness. My son made the vanilla ice cream today from the Well Fed Family free ice cream ebook (have you gotten yours yet? sign up for the newsletter using the link on the right side of this website and we’ll send it to you for free!), we used these cookies to make ice cream sandwiches for dessert tonight. Perfect! They are just the right texture, just like those soft cookies that come with the eskimo pies from the ice cream truck. And oh so chocolatey!  What a perfect way to use up the egg whites leftover from making the ice cream!

Mud Cookies and Ice Cream Sandwiches

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup egg whites (about 3)

1/2 cup organic sugar or honey

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

Mix everything together in a medium bowl. Use the honey if you don’t mind having a chewier cookie, the sugar will make it a little firmer but less nutritious. However these are dessert – so don’t feel like using honey means you can eat the whole batch yourself 😉   Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes until they are dry on top to the touch but still springy. Cool on the baking sheet for a minute or two and then use a metal spatula to remove to a cooling rack. Use two cookies, flat sides together, with two tablespoonfuls of ice cream to make the sandwiches. Eat immediately or wrap in wax paper to freeze for later.

Mud Cookies and Ice Cream Sandwiches (GF)
 
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 5
 
Dark chocolate, gluten-free cookies bake up just right for using in ice cream sandwiches.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup egg whites (about 3)
  • ½ cup organic sugar or honey
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • vanilla ice cream, homemade or good quality store bought
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Stir all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  3. Use a heaping tablespoon of batter for each cookie spooned onto the parchment, leaving some space between the cookies.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the top is dry but still springy.
  5. Allow to cool on the parchment for a few minutes before using a metal spatula to remove to a cooling rack.
  6. To make sandwiches place one cookie flat side up on a plate.
  7. Spoon 2 Tablespoons of softened ice cream onto the cookie and top with the flat side of a second cookie.
  8. Press slightly to spread filling to the edges.
  9. Eat immediately, or if desired, wrap in wax paper and freeze to eat later.

 

mud cookies with homemade vanilla ice cream

mud cookies with homemade vanilla ice cream

I can definitely see these with variations. Maybe sub peppermint extract for the vanilla for mint chocolate mud cookies. Or use any of the other ice cream flavors in our free ice cream ebook, wow, how about peanut butter ice cream with these chocolate cookies! Leave a comment and let us hear your great flavor ideas! Pin for later or share on Facebook using the links above the blog.

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Blueberry Banana Grain-free Muffins

The kids and I went blueberry picking with some homeschool friends recently. It is becoming a spring time tradition for us, one that I look forward to as much for the time with friends as for the juicy berries!  I managed to get 9 quarts of big fat blueberries frozen which I hope will mean smoothies and blueberry muffins for several months.

I’ve been using almond flour and coconut flour a lot more lately. We’ve gone gluten-free at our house. No one has celiac, but I’ve found that without gluten we have less brain fog and people are less grumpy.  Before you say it’s the hybrid wheat, or it’s the phytates or some such other aspect related to wheat understand that I had been grinding my own spelt (a non-hybrid ancient form of wheat) and soaking/fermenting/souring it before making our breads from scratch and still it was causing some problems.  So we’re taking a break from it for awhile.

blueberry banana almond flour muffins

I’ve found all sorts of great muffin and scone recipes from websites, e-books and friends so we haven’t been lacking too much for breakfast breads. The Paleo community is a great resource for anyone going grain-free by the way. This recipe uses almond flour which can be expensive. I discovered my local health food store, Hoover’s, carries bulk packages of almond flour for about $2/lb less than the brand name packages. If you have a Vitamix or other very high powered blender you can even make you own from directions here.

Blueberry Banana Grain-free Muffins
 
Author:
Recipe type: muffin
Cuisine: breakfast
 
Grain-free blueberry muffins with a hint of banana, full of good fats and proteins to get your day started right.
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups almond meal/almond flour
  • ⅓ cup melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup finely shredded unsweetened dried coconut
  • 4 eggs, preferably from pastured hens
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Instructions
  1. Butter 12 muffin tins and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl or food processor, mix together the almond flour, coconut, cinnamon, baking soda and sea salt breaking up any lumps.
  3. Add the mashed banana, melted butter, eggs, honey and vanilla and mix well until mixture is lump free as much as possible.
  4. Gently stir in the blueberries.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until golden and set.
  7. Allow to cool in the pan for 2 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack.
  8. Serve warm or cold.

 

These aren’t very sweet, we have gotten to where we like things less sweet. Be sure your banana is very ripe, the riper the banana the sweeter the muffins. You could use a little more honey too, up to 1/3 cup, without changing the batter too much.

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Gluten-free Tabbouleh

I love tabbouleh.  I had to look up how to spell it; apparently it can be tabouli, tabouleh, and a few more variations.  Makes sense since the salad itself has several variations. Traditionally it is made from bulgur wheat, parsley, onion, tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil.  But bulgur wheat (which is made by taking grains of wheat, steaming or partially boiling them and then drying and cracking them up ) has gluten in it. Bad for me as gluten gives me a tummy ache so I avoid it whenever I can.  But what’s a girl to do when she still craves the lemony fresh green taste of a good tabbouleh?

Quinoa to the rescue!  Quinoa (keen-wa) is a pseudo-cereal meaning it’s not really a grain since it doesn’t come from a grass-type plant. Instead it is more closely related to beets or spinach, so it doesn’t contain gluten.  I buy quinoa from the bulk bins at my local health food store which saves a couple dollars per pound over the grocery store packages, but either way you will probably still need to rinse it before you cook it. Quinoa has a naturally bitter coating, so I just put the quinoa in a wire mesh strainer and rinse it for a few minutes in cold water before draining it and then cooking it. Sometimes you can find pre-rinsed quinoa so you can skip that step. Either way, quinoa is cooked like rice. 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water plus a little salt and butter, bring to a simmer, stir, cover and cook on low for about 30 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Cool, fluff and serve.

This tabbouleh recipe makes enough for a side dish for a family of four. It can easily be doubled or tripled to make more for a crowd. It keeps for a couple of days in the refrigerator so you can make extra and take the leftovers for lunch.quinoa tabbouleh 2

Gluten-free Tabbouleh
 
Author:
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
 
Quinoa is substituted for the gluten-containing bulgur wheat found in traditional versions. The bright green lemony minty flavor of tabbouleh is retained.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked as directed below
  • 4-6 large sprigs of fresh mint
  • ⅓ cup chopped sweet onion such as Vidalia
  • 1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice plus some of the zest as desired
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Rinse quinoa in mesh strainer until the water runs clear, drain.
  2. Bring 1 cup of water and quinoa to boil in small pot along with pinch of sea salt and 1 tsp butter or oil if desired.
  3. Stir quinoa, cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  4. While quinoa is cooking, remove the mint leaves and parsley leaves from the stems discarding stems, and chop them.
  5. Halve or quarter the tomatoes.
  6. Toss parsley, mint, chopped sweet onion, and tomatoes together in a bowl.
  7. Mix together the olive oil, fresh lemon juice and zest, sea salt and pepper and drizzle over the vegetable mixture.
  8. Toss well to coat the dressing over everything, then taste and adjust for salt and pepper if needed.

quinoa tabbouleh 1Some links may be monetized. This blog is for informational purposes only.

Grain-free Cranberry Orange Muffins

cranberry orange muffin‘Tis the season for all things cranberry! It’s also the beginning of citrus season which means fresh oranges should be available in stores or, if you’re lucky, in your backyard.  This recipe uses both the juice and the zest so you are better off choosing unsprayed oranges from a friend or buying organic.

These muffins come together quickly, especially if you use a food processor. Almond flour instead of wheat flour keeps these both gluten-free and grain-free for those of you trying to avoid that.

Grain-free Cranberry Orange Muffins

2 cups almond flour

1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut (if yours is big shreds, pulse it a few times in the food processor or blender to make it smaller)

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

zest and juice of 1/2 fresh orange

2-3 Tblsp raw honey

1 egg (preferably pastured or organic)

2 Tblsp melted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped fresh or dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter 11 muffin cups. (I can’t get this to stretch to 12, so grease 11 and put a little water in the bottom of that 12th muffin cup to keep it from scorching.)  Mix together almond flour, coconut, baking soda, salt and orange zest in a food processor or mixer.  In a separate bowl, mix together the honey, butter, egg, orange juice and vanilla.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Add in the cranberries and pulse just until mixed. Spoon the batter evenly into the 11 buttered muffin cups. Bake in 375 oven for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown and set.  Remove from oven and allow to cool still in the muffin tins for 2 minutes. Remove and cool on wire rack.  cranberry orange muffin 2

 

 

 

Fall Flavors – Butternut Custard

Outside the humidity is so high I need a swimsuit just to take out the compost. Condensation fogs the house windows as the hot air outside hits the A/C-chilled glass. And still I manage to crave the warm spices and rich flavors of fall.  This butternut custard feeds the cravings without a sugar overload – and since there’s no crust it is naturally grain/gluten-free!  Canned pumpkin can be a quick ingredient substitute, but I really like the flavor of butternut squash.

pumpkin3To get mashed butternut squash I take a large butternut squash, halve it and scoop out the seeds, and place the piece cut-side-down in a baking dish. Adding a little water to the pan I bake it at 350 for about 40 minutes or until a knife point slips in easily.  I let the halves cool until I can handle them and use a spoon to scoop the flesh into a food processor, and then whirl it all up. I freeze the squash puree in 1 and 2 cup containers ready to use for muffins, pies and custard.

 

This dish isn’t overly sweet and could just as easily be a side dish for a pork roast as it could be dessert with a little ice cream. Whipping the egg whites gives it a nice fluffy texture.

Butternut Squash Custard

2 cups mashed cooked butternut squash

3/4 cup heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

pinch of sea salt

3 large eggs, separated

1 Tblsp honey

Preheat the oven to 350 and generously butter a baking dish about 8″ square.  Combine the squash with the cream, maple syrup, spices, salt and egg yolks in a large bowl. In a mixing bowl beat the egg whites with the honey until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the squash mixture until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 40 minutes or until set.

This is delicious warm topped with a little whipped cream, or let it cool and chill it for later. butternut custard

Gluten-free Rosemary Lemon Mini Corn Muffins

rosemary bushThe rosemary out my front door is getting so big that I can’t help but reach out and brush it as I walk in and out. I love the fragrance of rosemary! I also love how rosemary tastes in so many different foods. Recently I went searching for a rosemary corn muffin but couldn’t find any recipes that didn’t also call for regular flour. I have personally been avoiding gluten for about three months. So I decided to do a little experimentation to see if I could make a gluten-free corn muffin the whole family would like.  I came up with these mini-muffins with the cornbread texture I wanted plus the bonus of fragrant rosemary and the bright notes of lemon. They were just what I needed to go with big bowls of summer vegetable soup.

I really like the sprouted cornmeal from To Your Health Sprouted Flour Company. Sprouting is one of the ways you can make grains easier to digest and more nutritious. Almond flour is made from grinding almonds. You can purchase it in most health food stores and some grocery stores, but it is also easy to make your own. I used sliced almonds from the bulk bins ground in my food processor.

Rosemary Lemon Mini Corn Muffinsrosemary lemon corn muffins

1 cup almond flour

1 cup sprouted cornmeal

1 Tblsp coconut flour

1/2 tsp  sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup melted butter

1 Tblsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 Tblsp lemon zest

juice from 1/2 of a lemon

I put everything into my food processor in the order it appears here in the recipe. Then I just rosemary lemon corn muffin with butterwhirled it up until everything was evenly mixed. I think the food processor gives these gluten-free baked goods a lighter, more tender texture. If you don’t have a food processor just mix everything well in a large bowl.  Grease your mini-muffin tin with a little butter or lard and then fill each cup with about one tablespoon of batter. This recipe made 24 mini muffins using 1 Tblsp batter for each muffin.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack. Serve warm with plenty of butter.