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!

 

 

Buttermilk Biscuits

Comfort foods can be healthy foods: These grain free buttermilk biscuits will leave you feeling full without the sugar crash or carbohydrate cravings from traditional wheat biscuits.   Wheat is a common allergen, we all know that but did you know that  some people report dramatically lowered seasonal allergy symptoms from eliminating wheat?  Tell your friends!

High quality eggs, buttermilk and butter or coconut oil make these a great source of brain food and lasting energy-perfect for an afternoon snack!  The flours, flax and buttermilk are available locally at Berkshire Organics, Guido’s and the Berkshire Coop Market.  These are perfect for brunch: as a base for eggs benedict.  Or  a dessert topped with creme fraiche and a few blueberries or how about biscuits and gravy?  Yum! Set your oven to 425 and get baking!

First, mix together your dry ingredients, making sure to break up any lumps.

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 2 Tablespoons almond flour- Bob’s Red Mill makes a superior almond flour.
  • 2 Tablespoons finely ground flax
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour

Once your dry mix is thoroughly combined:

  • add 6 Tablespoons (a heaping 1/3 cup) of cold coconut oil or cold, unsalted pasture butter, broken up into small chunks.

Cut the fat into the dry mix using a pastry cutter until you get a pea sized meal.  Stop combining before it starts to clump together into a ball.

Crumbly flour and butter mixture.

Crumbly flour and butter mixture.

Combine in a separate bowl:

Whip the egg into the buttermilk.

Evan's Cultured Buttermilk is great to bake with.

Evan’s Cultured Buttermilk is great to bake with.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and fold to combine.

Finished batter resting for a few minutes. The batter will be very wet, but as it sits for a few minutes the coconut flour will fully absorb the excess liquid. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop out biscuits, I have used 1/4 cup measure as well as an ice cream scoop.  Make them as big – 8 biscuits- or as small – 16 biscuits- as you like.  Use your hands to flatten them a bit into shape. Bake for 18-20 minutes- til browned and set. Eat immediately or let cool completely and keep in an air tight container in the fridge.

Snack time: creme fraiche and warm biscuits!

Snack time: creme fraiche and warm biscuits!

Very Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Frosting

My friend Bobbie found this recipe on the world wide web, if it’s yours, please send me a link so I can give credit!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Bobbie and I made this as a birthday cake for her boyfriend and I made it again for my Dad’s birthday last month.  This recipe is for a moist, springy, not too sweet cake and it was a big hit with everyone.  No one seemed to notice it was mostly sugar and carbohydrate free, perfect if your dad has diabetes and you want to make him a birthday cake he can healthfully enjoy!  Yes there is some apple sauce in the cake, and, no apples are not on the Candida diet but they also do not contribute a lot of sugars to the over all cake. The apple sauce adds a lot of moisture and contributes to the texture of the cake. I would recommend having a slice and sharing (or freezing) the rest.  The chocolate frosting is just melted chocolate with heavy cream aka ganache.  I have been trying out stevia sweetened chocolate with erythritol (sugar alcohols fermented from non gmo corn) and so far Coco Polo is the winner in the dark chocolate category.  It’s nice to know when I get a chocolate craving I can satisfy it without creating more sugar cravings.

Ingredients for One 9 in Round Cake:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil (or butter)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut milk or other milk
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • Stevia to taste

Method

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and then line the bottom of a 9 inch round pan with parchment paper.  I used a spring form pan.

Sift the coconut flour into a bowl and then combine with the rest of the dry ingredients.

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In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until frothy.  Add the room temperature (soft or liquid) coconut oil, beat well, then add the rest of the wet ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.  Add the stevia, a dropperful at a time until the batter tastes sweet to your liking.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean- about 30 minutes.

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Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Ganache

If you are looking for a more in depth how to, try this!

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup of heavy cream

4 oz of dark chocolate

a pinch of salt

Method:

Coarsely chop the chocolate and place in a bowl.

Warm the cream just barely to a boil over medium high heat.

Pour the heated cream over the chocolate and salt.  Let sit for 10 minutes, do not stir!

After 10 minutes, stir with a whisk to emulsify.  Be sure to scrape the bowl with a spatula to incorporate everything.

Spread slightly cooled ganache on a cooled cake and then refrigerate til serving.

OR

Let the ganache cool for an hour, stirring several times in between to keep it smooth.  Then beat on high with a mixer til it’s fluffy.  Frost with a knife or use in a pastry bag.

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Served with whipped cream, of course!

Served with whipped cream, of course!

Coconut Bread

This recipe belongs to Kelly and came from her amazing blog:  The Spunky Coconut, lots of other great recipes to check out there but first: bread.  It is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and, if you leave out the touch of molasses, it’s as near as you can get to carb free bread, thank you Kelly!!

A quick note: make sure that your ingredients are room temperature so that the bread cooks evenly.
Made with coconut flour and almond meal, I can't wait for my sprouts to be ready so I can make one of my favorite sandwiches: avocado, sprouts, onion and mayo.

Made with coconut flour and almond meal, I can’t wait for my sprouts to be ready so I can make one of my favorite sandwiches: avocado, sprouts, onion and mayo.

Here’s The Spunky Coconut’s recipe, I made only a few changes:
Wet Ingredients:
1 cup coconut milk, room temperature – use the canned, organic kind.
4 whisked eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp organic black strap molasses (original recipe calls for 1 tbsp Honey.  The molasses adds 7 grams of carbohydrates along with some nutrition! Omit sweetener entirely for lower total carbohydrate count.)
Dry Ingredients:
2 cups almond flour (I have used both Bob’s and Honeyville in this recipe)
1/2 cup  coconut flour, sifted to remove any lumps
2 tbsp psyllium husk POWDER
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1) Lay a piece of unbleached parchment paper across the bread loaf pan so that it goes down one of the long sides, across the bottom and back up the other long side.  I used a metal bread loaf pan 4′ x 8′ and it worked perfectly.
2) Grease the two exposed ends of the pan. Set aside.
3) Add dry ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
4) Add wet ingredients to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer.
5) Add whisked dry ingredients to wet mixed ingredients. Mix with an electric mixer.
6) Using a flexible silicone spatula, scoop half of the batter into the prepared pan, and press it down firmly.
7) Add the rest of the batter to the dish using the flexible silicone spatula, and press down firmly again. (The top should
be smooth and level when you’re finished.)
8) Bake for up to 1 hour. In the metal bread pan I baked my bread for 50 minutes, a knife inserted in the middle came out clean, the top had risen, felt a bit springy to the touch and was nicely browned.
9) Let the bread rest in the pan until cool.
Say cheese- small and very filling, goes great with  soup : - )

Say cheese! A small and very filling little sandwich that goes great with soup.

Broccoli Fritters and A Garden Update

Ok, how about the garden update first and then the recipe for Broccoli Fritters that John found for me on Smitten Kitchen (love the name and the recipes, thank you thank you!).

Our garden at Green Meads Farm in Richmond is growing like crazy; veggies, weeds and that invasive comfrey too.  Last night Dana and I harvested carrots, lots and lots of lettuce: baby romaine, red sails and black seeded simpson as well as spinach, it doesn’t like the heat but it’s hangin’ in there.  Here’s a shot of the garden, the back third is still pretty much all weeds but we’re doing what we can with our hand tools.

There are a couple of hops plants in the foreground and off to the right with our 5 veggie and herb beds in the middle.

Dana harvested a bunch of Holy Basil and is drying it inside on some old print screens Crispina donated to us a few years back, can’t wait to make tea with it!

Holy Basil!

We have been eating salad non stop since the weather turned and I think in about a week or so we’ll be picking chard and kale.  Can’t wait to make these broccoli fritters with our home grown broccoli in another few weeks!  Here’s the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, I only changed one thing: the flour.  Her recipe calls for a half cup of regular wheat flour which easily swaps out for 1/2 cup of chick pea flour or about 2 tablespoons of coconut flour.  Enjoy!

Smitten Kitchen’s Broccoli Fritters

“There’s a lot of broccoli and very little pancake in this fritter. The broccoli is not grated or pureed, but left in small, recognizable bits that are bound lightly, faintly, to their batter of egg, parmesan and flour. And when you cook them right — that is, to a crisp, in a preheated, heavy, oil-slicked skillet — they get a fantastic crisp edge to them.

To serve: I like these with a dollop of the garlicky lemon yogurt I share here, roughly 1 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tiny minced clove of garlic, a bit of zest and salt. It would also be good with this homemade ricotta, with or without additional lemon juice. They’re also good simply, with just a squeeze of lemon juice. I think I’d also enjoy them with a little crumbled feta on top. Oh, and of course, you can put a runny fried egg on top of it. But I don’t need to tell you that.

Yield: nine 2 to 2 1/2-inch fritters

8 ounces (1 small-to-medium bundle, 225 grams) fresh broccoli (3 cups chopped)
1 large egg
1/2 cup (65 grams) chick pea flour or for almost no carbs at all, 1-2 Tablespoons coconut flour
1/3 cup (30 grams) finely grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
A pinch of red pepper flakes or several grinds of black pepper
Olive, coconut or vegetable oil for frying

Prepare your broccoli: Separate the florets from the biggest stem(s). Cut the florets into 1-inch chunks. To prepare the stems, I like to peel them, as the skin can be thick and doesn’t cook quickly, then slice them into 1/2-inch lengths. You should have about 3 cups of chopped broccoli total.

Steam your broccoli until tender but not mushy: Use whatever method you prefer. My quickie, lazy method is to bring a 1/2-inch or so of water to a boil in a small saucepan, then add the broccoli, place a lid on it and simmer it for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the broccoli, then set it aside to cool slightly.

In the bottom of a large bowl, lightly beat your egg. Add the chick pea or coconut flour, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Then, add the somewhat cooled broccoli and, using a potato masher, mash the broccoli just a bit. You’re looking to keep the bits recognizable, but small enough (1/4- to 1/2-inch chunks) that you can press a mound of the batter into a fritter in the pan. Once mashed a bit, stir or fold the ingredients together the rest of the way with a spoon. Adjust seasonings to taste.  If it seems like there is not enough batter simply whip up another egg, add some more grated cheese, it’s a pretty flexible recipe!

Heat a large, heavy skillet over moderate heat. Once hot, add a good slick of oil (I usually use a mix of olive and vegetable oil), about 2 to 3 tablespoons. Once the oil is hot (you can test it by flicking a droplet of water into it; it should hiss and sputter), scoop a two tablespoon-size mound of the batter and drop it into the pan, then flatten it slightly with your spoon or spatula. Repeat with additional batter, leaving a couple inches between each. Once brown underneath, about 2 to 3 minutes, flip each fritter and cook on the other side until equally golden, about another 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer briefly to paper towels to drain, then to a serving plate if you’ll be eating them shortly or a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven if you’d like to keep them warm for a while until needed. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil as needed. Serve with some of the suggestions listed in the head notes, above.”  Freezes and reheats well so make a big batch and save some for later!

Chocolate Cake

This recipe will make 20 cup cakes or one decadent birthday cake.

This Father’s day I wanted to make my dad a dessert that would be both decadent and diabetic friendly.   I was aiming for brownies by combining some ideas from a bunch of recipes I found on line and instead I accidentally made this moist and springy chocolate cake.  I love when that happens!  To sweeten the cake I used a few tablespoons of raw honey (we usually have some left over from making Fire Cider) and then rounded out the sweetness with a small amount of stevia.  I find that using a little bit of a flavorful sweetener like wildflower honey or molasses in combination with stevia takes the bitter edge off  the plant based sweetener without adding loads of sugar to the recipe.  We ate our cake, yes, it’s also gluten free, with whipped cream from the Jersey cows at Highlawn Farm in Lee.

The last piece of cake, great even without the whipped cream!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the following dry ingredients in a separate bowl and work out any lumps of coconut flour:

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

In another large bowl combine the wet ingredients, using a whisk, adding in order:

2/3 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

2 Tablespoons almond milk (or soy/dairy milk)

2 Tablespoons strong coffee and/or coffee liquor

3 Tablespoons honey plus stevia to taste- add a little at a time and taste test in between.  If you added the liquor, which is quite sweet, use only 1 Tablespoon of honey.

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

6 eggs- I get huge farm eggs that are over 1/4 cup each so make sure your eggs measure at least 1 and a 1/2 cups all together.

Whisk all the wet ingredients into a smooth batter.

Add the dry ingredients to the batter in several stages, stirring well to combine in between.  The batter will be like thick brownie batter.  Bake at 350 for 22 minutes (or until just set in the center)  in a well greased 8×8 pan.  Be careful not to over bake, a knife inserted into the center should come out clean so check the cake after 20 minutes.  It should be springy, moist and really rather decadent with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and maybe some sliced ripe strawberries!

A half recipe will make 10 cupcakes, bake them at 350 for 16 minutes, until just done.

Sweet or Savory Coconut Flour Pancakes

Pancake breakfast made possible with coconut flour and happy, local eggs!

This recipe was recommend to me by my friend Alexx who is also eating for Candida balance.  At the time I was experimenting with a batter recipe I have, turning it into savory dinner pancakes.  That recipe is a bit more complicated so lets start with this basic recipe for light and fluffy pancakes! You can make it sweet with stevia, vanilla (or another extract you like) or maybe some orange zest and cinnamon.  Or savory with the addition of dried herbs, fresh chives and pepper.  Savory pancakes would go well with a bit of fresh goat cheese or fried eggs and the sweet version could be topped with yogurt or eaten plain.

This recipe makes a lot of pancakes, I cut it in half and got about 9-10 pancakes.  If you want to experiment with flavors and additions, make up the whole recipe, divide it into two bowls and then add different flavorings to each batch.  The batter will keep for a few days in the fridge or on the counter top.  I made my breakfast batter up the night before and left it out on the counter, covered with a cloth, to let the fermentation process start.  This is a great short video on fermenting foods and their health benefits!

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk (raw cow’s, almond milk, coconut)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • coconut oil or butter for frying
Optional, for sweet pancakes:
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • a pinch of stevia
  • cinnamon & nutmeg
Optional for savory pancakes:
  • dried herbs
  • ground pepper like chipotle
  • your favorite Indian spice or curry blend

Directions

  1. Pre-heat griddle over medium-low heat. In a small bowl beat eggs until frothy, about two minutes. Mix in milk, vanilla, and stevia OR herbs and spices.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt and whisk together. Stir wet mixture into dry until coconut flour is incorporated.  The batter will be thicker than regular pancake batter.  You can cook the pancakes now or leave the batter out, covered with a cloth, overnight to begin the fermentation process which will aid digestion.
  3. Grease pan with butter or coconut oil. Ladle a few tablespoons of batter into pan for each pancake. Spread out slightly with the back of a spoon. The pancakes should be 2-3 inches in diameter and fairly thick. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until the tops dry out slightly, bubbles form and pop on the surface and the bottoms start to brown. Flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.

Monday morning pancake breakfast!

Original recipe is here.

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