Carrot Cupcakes

Cute carrot muffins ready to eat!

Cute carrot cupcakes ready to eat!

I have tried out several carrot cake and carrot muffin recipes and I think I’ve finally come up with the perfect combination the natural sweetness of the carrots and coconut make for a moist cupcake you can eat for breakfast, snack time or yes, desert!  If you have a Cuisinart, shredding the carrots will take no time at all.

Ingredients:

Dry-

1 cup almond flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

dash of allspice

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Wet-

3 large eggs

1 Tablespoon mayo

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-4 dropperfuls liquid stevia, to taste

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup milk- almond, coconut, soy or cow’s milk

Mix in last-

2 cups grated carrots

1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

 

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 and grease a  muffin tin for 12 with coconut oil or butter.

Grate 2 cups of carrots and set aside.

Combine all the dry ingredients, work out any lumps and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and mayo together on high speed for about 3 minutes til nice and frothy.

Add the stevia, vanilla (or use vanilla stevia!), cooled, melted coconut oil and the milk and whip together to combine.

Add the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.

Taste test for sweetness, add more stevia if needed.

Fold in the carrot and coconut.  Add up to 1/4 cup more milk if need, the batter should be thick but moist.

Scoop into the prepared muffin tin.  I like to use a small ice cream scoop to get evenly sized muffins with round tops!

Bake at 350 for 22-26 minutes, til cooked though and lightly browned.

Store muffins an air tight container in the fridge.

Makes 12 muffins each one is about 190 calories, 15 grams of healthy, filling fats, 4 grams fiber, 4 grams net carbs and 5.5 grams of protein.  These are an excellent snack, breakfast or dessert and a great way to get your kids to eat an extra serving of veggies while making them think they are eating a cupcake!

 

 

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Crunchy Kale Salad

I found this salad at The Biscuit in Somerville last weekend while my family and I were in town for my sisters college graduation.  I had this for brunch and it was so simply delightful.  Kale salad is great traveling food since the greens and onions get softer and the flavors meld together the longer they sit before serving.  So I got one to go for the car ride back to the Berkshires.  And when we got home I used the list of ingredients on the container to make my own version.

A big healthy serving of greens, no cooking required!

Ingredients for two large portions:

1 ½ bunch of kale, ribs removed, ripped into bit size pieces

2 T olive oil

1 carrot, grated

Handful of thinly sliced purple onion

2-3 ounces chevre, soft goat cheese

For the dressing:

2 T olive oil

2 T spicy brown mustard

1 T lemon juice

1 garlic clove, mashed or pressed

Salt to taste

First, using your hands, massage 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and some salt into the ripped kale pieces.  The more you work the oil into the kale, the better.  The oil makes the kale soft, flavorful and easier to digest.  Add the onion and carrot and goat cheese and toss to combine.  Set aside and make the dressing.

For the dressing put all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the dressing to the kale salad and toss to coat evenly.  Eat now or set some aside for later, this salad gets better with time and is great to make ahead for lunch or travel food!

Sprouts and Sandwiches

Flax bread with avocado, home-grown sprouts and hot sauce, of course.

This post is a serving suggestion for my flax bread recipe.  We just made our fist batch of sprouts and I was super excited to try them on a sandwich, which is something I have not eaten in years!

Two pieces of flax bread + slices of ripe avocado + lots of sprouts + mayo + hot sauce = one awesome sandwich!

Another sandwich idea?  Ok!  How about…

Grated carrot + soft goat cheese + sprouts + thin sliced onion?  Yup, that is also delicious.

Carrots add a little sweetness and crunch to balance out the tangy goat cheese.

You can take your favorite salad combination and pile it up on flax bread and, hey, look at you, eating a sandwich like regular folks.  Also, sprouts are super easy to make at home and they are packed with vital nutrients, here’s a great how to for growing your own!

Gringa’s Mole Verde y Pepitas

A quick and easy version of mole with greens, onion, raw carrot and toasted pepitas

Dana came up with this recipe (I came up with the name!) when I was craving Mole sauce but the traditional recipes we had were all too far off my diet.  I made this for lunch yesterday, the most time-consuming part was stripping the kale leaves from the ribs, which can be done in advance.  The toasted pepitas and grated raw carrot add crunchy sweetness to this dish.  If you don’t remember how easy toasted pepitas are, here’s a reminder!

Ingredients and procedure for 2 servings:

Collards or kale, one big bunch, ribs removed, leaves chopped

A big bunch of lacinato kale chopped and ready for the skillet.

In a cast iron skillet over medium heat saute about 1/3 cup chopped onion

and 2 cloves crushed garlic

in 2-4 Tablespoons of olive oil with salt.  After a couple of minutes….

Add 1/2 teaspoon each: chile or chipolte powder, sweet smoky paprika, (smoked) black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon each cumin and coriander.  Mix to combine.

Ground smoked black peppercorns, chipolte pepper, coriander, cumin and smoky sweet paprika

Then add a heaping tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, a tablespoon tomato paste, juice from half a lemon and a little water, about  3-4 Tablespoons.

Mix well again to make the chocolatly sauce, if it’s too thick, add a little more water or oil and then…

Combining the spices, onion and garlic with cocoa powder and a tablespoon of tomato paste to make the sauce.

Add the chopped greens, salt and a bit of stevia to taste.  Cook, continuing to stir so that the greens get completely covered in mole sauce.  Cook until the greens are wilted.  Taste and adjust any seasonings.

Top individual servings with toasted pepitas and grated raw carrot.

If you want to add cooked chicken, tempeh or pulled pork you can easily make this side dish into a filling meal.  This recipe is easily doubled and wicked delicious.

What to do with all those leeks….

Make leek soup of course!

When my husband, brother and I were making cider on one of the last above freezing days of the season my Dad made us this soup to help keep us going.  We drank it straight out of big mugs outside.  It certainly warmed me up, my frozen fingers included!  I asked him what else he put in the ‘butter soup’, it really did taste much too rich to be made out of leeks and carrots as the smell suggested.  Turns out this super flavorful and rich recipe is really very easy and only requires a few ingredients. Here’s my Dad’s Leek and Carrot Soup Recipe, with a few variations!

Ingredients:

5 -7 cups of Leeks, tops trimmed down to pale green, roots removed, sliced into thin half moons

1-6 Carrots, peeled if necessary, and chopped

Fat, about ¼ cup of your choice, I love coconut oil but extra virgin olive oil and of course butter, are also delicious.

2-4 cups of Broth, I use mushroom but you can use chicken (bonus points for making your own, it’s super healthy) or veggie stock.  If you cook your leeks with coconut oil you could use coconut milk and water in place of the broth.

Salt, pepper, a little nutmeg and cinnamon if you are so inclined.

This soup has great color that will vary depending on how many carrots you use!

The Procedure:

Since there are so few ingredients it’s easy to use ratio rather than cups and tablespoons to make as much or as little soup as you want.  The first time I made this soup I sliced enough leeks to cover the bottom of the pan with about 2 inches of leeks and went from there.

First, sweat the leeks.   Using a ¼ cup of fat, a generous sprinkling of salt and a heavy bottomed sauce pan cook your sliced leeks over medium-low heat until they are soft, wilted and starting to brown a bit.

Add the broth, start with 2 cups, if it looks too thick, add more!  Then the chopped carrots, you can use a handful or you can use an equal amount of carrots to leeks (this is why the amount of broth varies so much).  You’ve just got to ask yourself, how much do I like carrots?  How sweet do I want my soup to be?  Carrots are a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth!

Cook the soup until the carrots are soft.  Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender.  Or in a regular blender, just be careful to vent the top of your blender!

Taste, adjust for salt, pepper and any other seasonings you may have added, then serve and eat!