Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

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This recipe comes from a site, The Healthy Chef, that I recently discovered via Facebook. Where various options were listed, I used avocado oil, 1% milk, and raw honey. The recipe makes 12 cupcakes, but I used a mini muffin pan (baked for only 20 minutes) and almost got 24.

Once the cupcakes were cool, I sampled one. I liked it. I think my kids might like them, although one is not a big chocolate fan and one is super picky. My daughter will like them, I’m sure. Mostly.

These cupcakes are not overly sweet on their own, but I can live with that. Even with the mini size, I found eating one to be quite satisfying. If the kids don’t like them, I can always throw them in the freezer and pull one out to enjoy from time to time.

Cranberry Almond Loaf

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Here is another recipe from Elana’s Pantry. I did not have any dried apricots on hand, so I omitted them from my version. My sesame seeds were a mixture of white and black, but I don’t think that made a difference. The recipe was simple to make, and I am pleased with the overall texture and durability of the bread. I thought I had pressed the almonds into the top of the loaf, but most of them fell off in the process of removing the loaf from the pan.

The first slice was good, though a bit bland. I can imagine it being quite delicious with a bit of jam. The bread is dense and satisfying despite its small size.

Wheat-free Pizza

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After Christmas I picked up the new Wheat Belly Cookbook by William Davis. Several of the recipes looked intriguing, and today I made individual wheat-free pizza crusts.

In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup warm water and 1-1/4 tsp yeast. Let stand 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup almond flour, 1 cup chickpea flour, 1/2 cup ground golden flaxseeds (I used brown ground flaxseeds), and 1 tsp sea salt. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and the yeast mixture, stir 5 minutes until a loose ball of dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1 hour.

You can now make one large crust or divide it into individual crusts. The recipe says it makes 6, but I made 4.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F. Flatten the dough between parchment paper using your hands or a rolling pin. Remove top layer of parchment paper. Bake for 20 miniutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and top as desired. Bake for 10 minutes or until heated through.

This crust is high in protein and fibre.

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My kids, predictably, did not eat this crust, but that’s okay. Kane and I both enjoyed our pizzas and found them quite filling. One individual pizza was more than enough! This is definitely something I will be making again.

Wheat-free Brownies

 

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So, my attempt at making a wheat-free shortbread did not go as hoped for. Live and learn!

On the other hand, these brownies are amazing! The recipe comes from Elana’s Pantry, which tends to be reliable when it comes to producing tasty, healthy wheat-free baking. The recipe is simple and easy to make, although it could be a little pricey because you need a lot of almond butter, like almost an entire small jar, which runs around $7-10 around here.

The good news is that this recipe fills a 9×13 pan. Also, you could play with the flavours by using different chocolate chips. I used a combination of white chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (not exactly the healthy choice but they work well enough for me). I used honey instead of the agave syrup.

I was surprised by how high the batter rose up while baking, and I also found that the brownies required the full 40 minutes of bake time. Even then, I think I could have baked them a bit longer, but the toothpick came out clean, so I pulled them out. They sank quite a bit as they cooled, but they still taste delicious. They are chewy, gooey, and you really don’t miss the flour at all!

Cranberry Chocolate Biscotti

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I have been wanting to bake for weeks, but because of surgery I was not able to do so until now. Yesterday I made this recipe from a site I frequent often. The author follows a Paleo diet, which I do not follow; however, I like the wheat-free aspect of her recipes. This biscotti is quite tasty and easy to make. I do need to find a better way to get a hold of blanched almond flour though, because it is expensive. This recipe uses 3 cups of almond flour. The one pound box of almond flour I bought last week was on sale for $17! But, the biscotti turned out well, although a little dark, so I would probably decrease the second and third baking times.

Next I want to make shortbread, but I want to try a wheat-free flour. This might have to wait until tomorrow though, because I still need to take it easy and today has enough happening as it is.

Apple Tart

I came across this recipe on my Facebook feed this morning, and it looked like a perfect thing to bake on this grey, late October day. This is a paleo recipe for those that follow a paleo diet, which I do not, but it is also wheat-free and I am trying to follow that!

This is a photo of the crust before adding the filling. You can find the crust recipe here. It was super quick and easy to make. The filling was also simple and quick. The recipes both come from Elana’s Pantry.

And here is a photo of the finished product fresh from the oven! It looks delicious, although an official taste test will have to wait until a bit later.

Edited to add this:

It was delicious! Casey wasn’t too sure about the crust, but then he has never really been a nut-lover. The rest of us did not mind at all.

Wheat-free Baking?

I was in a baking mood today, but I am trying to avoid wheat once again. Thankfully, I have some options open to me, since my cupboards now include alternative flours.

One of my creations today was white chocolate macadamia cookies. Sam loves that type of cookie, but I seldom ever make them. I don’t know that he has tried this version yet, and he may not actually like it since they don’t taste or look exactly like the ones he might find at Subway or Tim Hortons or anywhere else! For one thing, I took a regular white chocolate macadamia cookie recipe and made substitutions based on what I had available and what I was willing to use.

I no longer have white sugar, white flour, or shortening in my house. The recipe required all three. While I do still have whole-wheat flour on hand, I can’t use it if I want to be able to eat the cookies. So, I used a combination of quinoa flour and buckwheat flour, which is actually not a grain or wheat. I used organic, natural brown sugar and organic evaporated cane juice for the sugars. For the shortening and butter, I used coconut oil.

The cookies aren’t bad; they will definitely be eaten, although Sam may be a tough sell. However, they did not spread and flatten, but maybe that is my fault. The cookies are good enough for Kane and I to eat. The ultimate taste tester will be Sam.

The other recipe I tried today was for banana bread. I found the recipe at Elana’s Pantry. I will admit to being highly skeptical about this recipe, because I have a banana bread recipe which I absolutely love, full of regular flour, sugar, and oil. My old recipe is the best banana bread I have ever tasted. How could a wheat-free recipe ever compare?

Again, I fiddled with the recipe to suit the ingredients I had on hand. Instead of vegan palm oil shortening, I used coconut oil. I ran out of almond flour, so I used half almond flour and half buckwheat flour.

I have to admit that for a recipe made without wheat, with a healthy fat, and with only 1 tablespoon of honey as a sweetener, I was definitely impressed! I was blown away. I did not expect to actually like this banana bread, but I can now say that it is a keeper and will be made again and again. It isn’t quite the same as my original recipe, but it is pretty darn close!