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Category Archives: Bread and Baked Goods

Coconut Flour Double-Chocolate Brownies, Gluten Free

Coconut Flour Double-Chocolate Brownies, Gluten Free

 

Coconut Flour Double Chocolate Brownies. Gluten Free, Low Carb Decadence!

Coconut Flour Double Chocolate Brownies. Gluten Free, Low Carb Decadence!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted… and there are several reasons for that.. but instead of going into details with this initial return post, I figured I’d just give you all some chocolate first!

Photo May 02, 7 09 01 AMIsn’t that the best way to kiss and make up??
A little chocolate brownie action to ease re-entry to the blogosphere πŸ™‚

The reason for this recipe, is that after a long while following Wheat Belly, I realized that my system doesn’t do all that well with the straight almond flour recipes. I can have a little here and there, but with digestive issues, I’ve been working on alternatives. Coconut flour is great for this, as its density works well with the texture of a brownie. Instead of going for light like I do in my muffin recipes, this is a more dense texture, and depending how long you choose to bake it, even a bit on the gooey side!

I realize that 6TB doesn’t seem like much flour, but remember that coconut flour is much more absorbent than other grain and nut flours. It cannot be substituted, recipes need to be crafted specifically for coconut flour. If you wish to make this recipe dairy free, substitute coconut oil for the butter, perhaps adding a pinch of salt.

Coconut Flour Double-Chocolate Brownies
(about 72g net carbs for entire recipe; 16 servings 4.5g each,
32 servings 2.25 each. Add more for additional ingredients)

  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

    Ready to bake!

    Ready to bake!

  • 6 TB butter
  • 1/4 C cashew butter
  • 1 TB vanilla
  • 1/2-3/4C sweetener such as Swerve or Truvia
    if you prefer more or less sweet, adjust to your taste
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 TB maple syrup or sugar free syrup if you prefer
  • 6 TB coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder, sifted
  • 2 TB cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts, pecans, or nut of choice
  • 1/2 xanthan gum (optional!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a loaf pan by lining with buttered baking parchment, or use a non-stick pan such as the silicone loaf pan I show here.

Combine first 3 ingredients and either melt together in the microwave, or heat over low in a pan on the stovetop, stirring until all ingredients are softened and combined. Remove from heat, transfer to medium mixing bowl and cool slightly. Stir in vanilla, sweetener, eggs and syrup.

Sift together coconut flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and xanthan gum (if using.) Stir dry ingredients into wet mixture. Add chopped nuts. (I sometimes add dark chocolate chips or dried berries, but realize this will raise carb count.)

Spoon mixture into loaf pan, patting top to even it out. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes depending on your oven and level of doneness you prefer. I use a convection oven, and 18 minutes gives me a gooey center, 20 is firm, 22 is a bit stiff and crumbly. Allow to cool slightly and eat, or refrigerate. If desired, frost with cream cheese frosting.

Photo May 04, 1 36 12 PM

 

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St. Patty’s Day Trifle with Dark Chocolate Cake, Mint Avocado Cream and Whipped Cream {Gluten-free and Low-carb}

 Gluten-free and Low-carb

Chocolate Mint Trifle… Gluten-free and Low-carb

 

How pretty is this?! Simple too πŸ™‚ I used my Dark Chocolate Cake as a base, added some yummy mint avocado cream filling and whipped cream…. Layered in a simple glass container, it was perfect for a festive gathering with friends!

Chocolate Mint Trifle {GF and LC}

  • 1 recipe of Dark Chocolate Cake
  • 1 C whipping cream, whipped and sweetened to taste (I used Truvia)
  • 2 avocados, ripe and soft
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3Tb coconut oil (I used Nutiva)
  • 1/3C whipping cream
  • 1/4C Truvia (or sweetener to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint oil (or to taste)

Directions: Prepare chocolate cake recipe per directions. (I added the nuts and chocolate chips to the top instead of mixing inside, hoping for a better presentation.) Let cool. Make whipped cream in the bowl of a stand blender (or with hand mixer), sweeten to taste and chill. Combine avocados, cream cheese, coconut oil, 1/3C whipping cream, 1/4C Truvia and peppermint oil in a blender or food processor until very smooth. (I used my Ninja.) Chill.
When all elements are cooled completely, layer into a clear glass dish as desired. I started with cake on the bottom (just break it into pieces to fill the space), topped with avocado mint cream, whipped cream, cake, avocado, whipped cream and topped with cake.

Avocado Mint Cream Filling

Avocado Mint Cream Filling

Low-carb Dark Chocolate Cake with Nut and Chocolate Chips

Low-carb Dark Chocolate Cake with Nut and Chocolate Chips

Layers of chocolate cake, avocado cream and whipped cream

Layers of chocolate cake, avocado cream and whipped cream

 

 

 

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Low-carb Dark Chocolate Nut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting {Grain-free, Gluten-free, Low-carb}

Low-carb Dark Chocolate Nut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting {Grain-free, Gluten-free, Low-carb}
Low-carb chocolate nut cake with cream cheese frosting

Low-carb chocolate nut cake with cream cheese frosting

Β 

This recipe has been awhile in the tweaking stage, but I think I’ve got a winner now πŸ™‚

I do love dark chocolate. I always have, but perhaps even more so since ditching the wheat and going low-carb… as dark chocolate is one of the few sweet indulgences I still make in my healthy lifestyle. This cake is moist, rich, tasty, low in carbs and delicious enough to have for special occasions, while being simple enough to prepare for no reason at all!

 

Grain-free, low-carbers, Rejoice! 16 pieces will give you:

  • About 3g net carbs per slice without chocolate chips
    (4.25g with cream cheese frosting )
  • About 6g net carbs with chocolate chips
    (7.25 with cream cheese frosting)

The recipe is one that I evolved from my Pumpkin Maple Spice Muffins (which are truly awesome by the way, if you haven’t tried them yet!) The nut butter and pumpkin puree in the batter seem to really add to the moistness. I threw in some walnuts and a few chocolate chips, which made it even yummier, but those are optional of course. These would also work great as cupcakes or muffins, but I rarely make cake, so am happy having a slice with my coffee this morning πŸ˜€ While this was yummy when fresh, I find it’s much better when it’s been refrigerated overnight, as the frosting firms up and the cake takes on a fudge-y richness. It reminds me of the zucchini fudge cake my mom used to make back in the wheating days πŸ˜‰

Low-carb Chocolate Nut Cake

Adding wet ingredients into dry

Adding wet ingredients into dry

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 C almond flour
  • 2 Tb coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C dark cocoa powder
  • 6 Tb Truvia or other sweetener to taste
Prepared pan

Prepared pan

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 C nut butter (I have used both cashew and almond butters)
  • 1/4 C mayonnaise
  • 1/4 C sour cream
  • 2/3 C pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 C half-n-half, coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1/4 C melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract
Smooth batter on top

Smooth batter on top

Add-Ins:

  • 1/2 C dark chocolate chips (I used 60% cocoa Ghirardelli)
  • 1 C chopped walnuts, pecans or nuts of your choice

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake pan or cupcake pan with liners. (Note: I used a 10″ springform pan, greased with butter, the bottom lined with a parchment round, and dusted with gluten-free flour to prevent sticking.) In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients; set aside. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, and add other wet ingredients one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add wet ingredients into dry, and combine completely.

Cooling before frosting

Cooling before frosting

Stir in nuts and chocolate chips if using them. Fill cake pan with batter, taking care to smooth out the top a bit, as this batter is not self-leveling. Bake for a total of 35-45 minutes, rotating pan halfway through bake time to ensure even cooking. Remove to rack to cool. If splitting one cake into 2 layers as I have done, cool completely before attempting to cut cake. Frost with Cream Cheese frosting or serve plain.

 

 

Rich, thick cream cheese frosting

Rich, thick cream cheese frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 3/4 C butter, softened
  • 1/4 C Truvia or other sweetener to taste
  • 2 blocks cream cheese, softened (16 oz total)
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tb half-n-half or cream if needed

Directions: In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat butter until lightened. Add sweetener and beat until well mixed and light. Add cream cheese, one block at a time, beating completely to ensure a fluffy frosting. Mix in 1Tb vanilla if desired. Add liquid if needed for desired consistency, and mix well. Be sure cake is cooled completely before frosting.

Very moist, rich and filling!

Very moist, rich and filling!

 

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COCONUT FLOUR TORTILLA! {Grain-free, Gluten-free}

Coconut flour tortilla with cheeseburger filling for lunch, YES!

Coconut flour tortilla with cheeseburger filling for lunch, YES!

 

I don’t do a lot of bread replacements, but I will definitely be using this one again. In fact, after I cooked it, and it was a success, I looked at it –blankly– for a bit, trying to figure out what to put in it, because my mind doesn’t even *think* in terms of sandwiches anymore!!

This is a recipe from www.freecoconutrecipes.com which is part of the Tropical Traditions coconut product website. I will probably tweak this a little after I have made it a few times, but as a basic recipe to work from, it ROCKS! I want to share this now because there are some who rely a lot on tortillas and wraps, and this might make your day a little easier and the switch to grain-free eating a little less scary.

 

Click for COCONUT FLOUR TORTILLA RECIPE.

It’s somewhere between a tortilla and a crepe, and was even sturdy enough for burger fillings! There’s no question it would be good with sweet dessert-type fillings as well, like sweetened cream cheese and berries, mmmm. I’ve been wanting to focus more on using coconut flour because almond flour can be a little harsh for my digestion, so this is perfect. KEEPER, thank you to my Facebook friend for posting this on her page, made my day!
 

 

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{Easy!} Banana Walnut Bread… Gluten-free, Grain-free and Dairy-free!

{Easy!} Banana Walnut Bread… Gluten-free, Grain-free and Dairy-free!
Grain-free Banana Walnut Bread, Warm from the oven!

Grain-free Banana Walnut Bread, Warm from the oven!

 

Banana bread is one of those traditional flour-based foods that offers a lot of homemade comfort; from the amazing smell of it baking to the wonderful banana nut flavor, it’s a favorite of many. Unfortunately, when it’s made with wheat flour, it has all the appetite stimulating and inflammatory effects of grains that we work to avoid. Lucky for us grain-free peeps, using a combination of almond flour and coconut flour, this was a pretty easy recipe to tweak πŸ˜‰ (If you are avoiding dairy, make this with the coconut oil, and obviously don’t spread with butter.) My son couldn’t get enough of this, and I’ve made it twice this past week! Everyone who’s tried it here thus far has given it a thumbs up, so it’s definitely a new staple in our house.

Bananas are one of those borderline forbidden fruits that are relatively high in carbs, and yet have a texture, flavor, aroma and nutrient profile that makes it appealing in small quantities. If you are watching your carb count, this banana bread can still fit into most diets… 16 slices in a loaf ends up being about 5g net carbs per slice. Not too shabby, as it’s pretty filling! We follow Wheat Belly, and though fruit is eaten in moderation, we find that this works for our personal limits. Note: in the pictures you may notice that I added a few chopped dried cranberries (1/4C). This raises the carb content by about 1-2g per piece, but since it was mainly my son eating this loaf, I wasn’t concerned about it.

I usually use dry sweeteners such as Swerve or Truvia, but in this case, I used Torani sugar-free caramel flavored syrup. I found it in the aisle with the coffee πŸ™‚ Caramel was a great flavor addition, but I’m sure that maple or hazelnut would be wonderful as well… I just used what I already had on hand. I will be honest, in that I don’t really care for the flavor of this syrup on its own or as a topping due to the sweetener, but mixed into the batter, it was wonderful! If you don’t have the syrup, you could use a dry sweetener and increase the water in the recipe.

Mashing bananas with my vintage dough blade. Love this tool!

Mashing bananas with my vintage dough blade. Love this tool!

Grain-free Banana Walnut Bread

  • 1 C almond flour
  • 1/3 C coconut flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 TB coconut oil, melted (or butter)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 C sugar-free syrup (I used Torani caramel flavored)
  • 1 TB vanilla
  • 2 TB water
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bread pan with butter or coconut oil. (I used a silicone bread pan, and rubbed it with butter.) Combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine completely. In a separate bowl, combine mashed bananas, eggs, coconut oil, syrup, vanilla, and water. Add to dry ingredients and mix until combined, mix in walnuts.

Batter, mixed and ready to go in the pan

Batter, mixed and ready to go in the pan

 

Pour into prepared pan and smooth out on top. Bake at 350 for a total of 40-45 minutes (or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out cleanly), rotating once halfway through baketime. Remove to wire rack to cool, removing from pan after cooling slightly. Serve with butter, whipped cream or cream cheese. (Total carbs about 80 for the loaf, 5g net carbs each for 16 slices.)

 

Grain-free Banana Walnut Bread, fresh from the oven, Mmmmm!

Grain-free Banana Walnut Bread, fresh from the oven, Mmmmm!

 

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Grain-free Belgian Waffles {with dairy-free option}

Grain-free Belgian Waffles {with dairy-free option}
Grain-free Belgian waffles

Grain-free Belgian waffles with a little butter and frozen raspberries!

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, it’s a wonderful switch from eggs for breakfast, especially if you need to feed children or teens. Also great as a base for desserts, Belgian waffles are classic! But they are also usually full of wheat and high carb… We purchased a Belgian waffle maker for Christmas this year, and I have been experimenting with all sorts of alternative grain-free batters that will cook up into those wonderful waffley shapes!

I have used the MIM batters with mixed results, they tend to be a little softer overall and slightly dry, so need a little more tweaking before I can give you a very low-carb recipe that I am truly pleased with. That being said, this recipe is more moderate carb, and is a definite winner for taste and texture.

Freezing Belgian Waffles to reheat later!

Freezing Belgian Waffles to reheat later!

Many of us, as adults, are very conscious about eating grain-free and not eating sugar, but we still have children or teens who can tolerate a higher carbohydrate exposure without any ill effects. This recipe still has 40% fewer carbs than Eggo waffles, (27g in two Eggo waffles vs. 16g in 2 sections of this recipe), so I believe it does have a place in the healthy kitchen. My son isn’t crazy about the texture of flaxmeal, which makes some of the other lower carb waffle recipes unappealing to him, and we weren’t thrilled with the texture of the coconut flour waffles either, so in the meantime, this is a good solution! If you are abiding by Wheat Belly, and prefer to keep your carb exposure to 15g or less per meal, you may want to give this one a pass.

I have hesitated to post this recipe, not because it isn’t easy and delicious (it is!) but because it’s not quite as low carb as what we normally eat. It also uses some potato starch, which is an ingredient I generally steer away from because it’s more or less a junk carbohydrate…. If you are offended by using starches, don’t make it πŸ˜‰ I just happen to have a teenage son who is also a very picky eater, and this recipe strikes a balance for him as far as I am concerned. The convenience of making these ahead of time and being able to pop them in the microwave or toaster is a nice change too!

Grain-free Belgian Waffles

Combining Ingredients

Combining Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 C almond flour
  • 1/2 C potato starch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 TB sweetener (I used Truvia)
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 C sour cream (or canned coconut milk for non-dairy)
  • 1/4-1/3 C milk (or almond milk for non-dairy)
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
Into the pre-heated waffle maker

Into the pre-heated waffle maker

Directions:

Preheat waffle maker. Combine dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix completely. Spoon batter into waffle maker and cook to desired doneness. (How much batter you use will depend on the size and shape of your waffle maker. Mine is a round shape with 4 sections, and this recipe fills the waffle maker 3 times, giving me 12 waffle sections total.) Top as desired with sugar-free syrup, fruit, whipped cream, or whatever you prefer!

One full waffle has 4 sections, 8 carbs per piece.

One full waffle has 4 sections, 8g carbs per section.

 

 

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All-In-One Buns! {Grain-free, Nut-free}

Burger Bun, Pizza Crust & Breakfast Muffin?

All-In-One Buns

All-In-One Buns

This is a savory bun-style base recipe that is grain-free and also nut-free, which is a benefit for those who have a difficult time tolerating the nut flours. It started out as a recipe for pizza crust, but has evolved into one of the most versatile recipes I’ve been using as of late. Top as mini pizzas… ham and cheese melt… use as small sandwich buns, open-faced or sliced in half… burger buns… top with bruscetta mixture…Β  breakfast muffins with either ham or bacon added in… what about a little onion and broccoli? feta cheese? chili peppers? sausage?

I’ve had an ongoing health evolution since I changed to a grain-free, lower-carb diet in March of 2012, and I am still tweaking and figuring out which foods make my body feel the best, and which are causing some discomfort. I find that I can have nut flours in small amounts, but that I feel best when exposure is limited, so I love that this is based on eggs and cheese instead. Low-carb, Wheat Belly friendly.

All-In-One buns!

All-In-One buns… Cooling on a wire rack, these will be baby pizzas pretty soon!

These are sturdy, delicious and filling. This recipe makes 24 at a time (to keep on hand for a hungry teen),Β  but it can easily be halved or even cut to 1/3 if you don’t need as many. I will apologize in advance for not having pictures of everything we’ve made with this recipe so far, but they disappeared too quickly! I’ll try to add some in the future πŸ˜‰

All-In-One Buns

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 6 eggs
  • 3C mozzarella cheese, grated (I process it in my ninja to get a small crumble texture)
  • 3/4 C Parmesan cheese, also grated
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or preferred seasonings)
  • 1 TB oregano

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350′.
  • Blend cream cheese until smooth, either by hand or in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  • Blend in eggs, one at a time and mix until fairly smooth.
  • Mix in cheeses and seasonings, combine well.
  • If using add-ins such as ham, bacon, veggies etc, stir in last.
  • Spoon mixture into 2 muffin-top of bun pans (or bake one pan at a time, as I did!) making sure that the pans are oiled/sprayed well.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through bake time.
  • Cool slightly and remove from pans.
  • Store in bags or containers in fridge for up to a week, if they last that long!

IMG-20121226-03305

 

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Chocolate Cake for Breakfast?! Low-carb, Easy Variations on the MIM (muffin in a minute/microwave)

Chocolate Cake for Breakfast?! Low-carb, Easy Variations on the MIM (muffin in a minute/microwave)

 

Hot Chocolate MIM!

Hot Chocolate MIM!

It’s been FAR too long (again) since I’ve written, I KNOW! Life is busy, which is a huge part of it… and I’m sure that’s not surprising to anyone πŸ˜‰ What might be more surprising is that I just haven’t been cooking or baking very much at all! I have been off wheat since March, which is 9 months now, and I have to say that never in my life has my interest in food and appetite been lower! I still enjoy and focus on HEALTHY foods, but the urgency of meals has just sort of faded away… if it wasn’t for feeding a teenager, I doubt I would be in the kitchen at all these days. We eat plenty of salads, grab quick snacks of cheese, nuts or veggies and call it good quite often.

(Now you are wondering, WHO IS THIS WOMAN??)

I want to reassure you though, that I am still as enthusiastic as EVER about being free from wheat and its terrible inflammatory effects, weight issues and health consequences. My husband and I meet new people all the time who are interested in this way of eating (maybe some of our new friends are reading right NOW!), and we are more than happy to fill them in on our transformation! I kind of look at this blog as my pet charity, because it’s not something I do to create an income (unfortunately), but I do it because I am passionate about educating people and providing them with the resources to try this lifestyle on for size and see if it helps them with those stubborn weight issues as well as other chronic long term problems.

Today I am posting a favorite recipe for a MIM… muffin in a minute, or muffin in a microwave. If you google the term, you will likely find all sorts of variations on this theme. I didn’t invent this by any means, and it’s been around for awhile… it is one of the staples around here for hot breakfast, especially for my son, he LOVES these.

The great thing is that this breakfast sticks with him and fills him up because he is getting a whole egg, a handful of almonds and some healthy fat, all in one DELICIOUS piece of cake! WIN/WIN baby!!! Oh, and I have no problem whipping it up at 6:30 am when my eyes are still half-closed, before I’ve even had coffee πŸ˜‰ Pretty key for a staple weekday breakfast recipe!!Β 

You can fool around with the recipe and get all sorts of wonderful variety, it really is a very forgiving concoction. This particular version is a result of going back and forth with a friend of mine to tweak a chocolate MIM. I used some flax in mine, and she omitted it… and my son preferred it like this, all almond flour. She wins!

This one happens to be chocolate (oh believe me, it’s YUMMY!) I will give you the recipe that I am using right now, but after I will also give you some suggestions for tweaking this to your liking and mood!

 

HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE (MIM)

  • 1 large egg
  • 1-2 TB mayonnaise
  • 4 TB almond flour
  • 2 tsp sweetener (or to taste, I used Truvia)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 TB dark cocoa
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • optional add-ins: 1TB dark choc chips, 1TB chopped walnuts or pecans

Mix all ingredients together in a flat-bottomed cereal-sized bowl until well combined. (The ones I use are about 5-5.5″ in diameter) Microwave for 2-2.5 minutes (depending on your microwave.) Remove, loosen the edges with a knife, and flip out onto a plate. (Be sure to scroll down to the bottom, past the pictures, for some alternative ingredients!)

I usually top with a pat of butter and a little Truvia, and presto! You have warm, delicious (low carb) chocolate cake. If we are having this as a desert, I top with a little whipped heavy cream. For us, one is enough to split as a desert serving, but for breakfast my son easily polishes off a whole one.

MIM batter, ready for the microwave.

MIM batter, ready for the microwave.

After nuking for 2.5 minutes.

After nuking for 2.5 minutes.

Flipped onto a plate, with a pat of butter and a little sweetener... YUMMY!

Flipped onto a plate, with a pat of butter and a little sweetener… YUMMY!

NOW, if you want to change things up, here are some suggestions:

  • Use coconut oil in place of mayonnaise. I usually do this for mine.
  • Use half almond flour and half ground flax. It will be a bit softer, more like a baked pudding. I prefer golden flax over the brown flax, but you can experiment and use whichever you have or like.
  • Add a TB of heavy cream and/or softened cream cheese for a different consistency.
  • Omit cocoa and add a few blueberries and a dash of cinnamon, or sliced strawberries.
  • Add 1-2TB of pumpkin puree and a tsp of pumpkin pie spice! This is delicious. I’ve done it by omitting the cocoa, and with keeping the cocoa. Both are great. When adding pumpkin, I sometimes have to increase the cook time.
  • Add 1/4 mashed banana, a little vanilla and walnuts, omit cocoa or not.
  • Omit sweetener and cocoa, sub 1TB of the almond flour for flax or buckwheat flour, add any seasonings of your choice (such as a little garlic powder, salt, pepper, herbs) and once cooled, slice in half and use as sandwich bread.

You can see by now that this is an extremely versatile recipe, and I am sure than you can think of all sorts of ways to make this recipe your own by adding, omitting and tweaking! I hope you enjoy and that this addition to your recipe arsenal makes this way of eating a little easier for you, and gives you some more ideas for breakfast and dessert!

 

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Guilt-free Chocolate! Brownie Nut Energy Bars {Grain-free, Low-carb}

Grain-free Brownie Nut Bars

Grain-free Brownie Nut Bars layered between parchment

These bars are a happy combination of deep chocolate flavor, a touch of saltiness and a blend of nuts and seeds. Perfect for a small, filling snack or to sate your craving for chocolate on a low-carb diet! They are mildly sweet, so if you prefer a stronger dose of sweetness, you can adjust the recipe accordingly. The nuts, eggs and flax help by providing natural dietary fat and protein, while the chocolate, coconut and seeds make it a satisfying treat. If you are missing one of the seeds or nuts, feel free to substitute or omit as desired.

Grain-free Brownie Nut Bars

Grain-free Brownie Nut Bars

 

Brownie Nut Bars {Grain-free, Low-carb}

  • 1C raw cashews blended with 1Tb coconut oil to make smooth cashew butter
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4Tb Truvia (or preferred sweetener)
  • 1/4tsp kosher salt
  • 4Tb Coconut oil (I used Nutiva virgin)
  • 1Tb vanilla

    Chopped chocolate chips

    Chopped chocolate chips

  • 2C almond flour
  • 1/2C golden flax meal
  • 1C flaked coconut, processed slightly
  • 1/2C walnuts, chopped
  • 2Tb chia seeds
  • 2Tb sesame seeds (I used white and black seeds)
  • 2Tb cocao nibs
  • 4Tb dark cocoa powder
  • 2/3C chocolate chips, coarsely ground
  • 1/3C Swerve (or preferred sweetener)

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking dish (9″ by 13″) with parchment and butter lightly. Combine first 6 ingredients in a food processor until smooth. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix completely. Add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly until a sticky dough/batter is formed. Press into lined baking dish and distribute evenly. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips over top and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for a total of 20 minutes, turning once halfway through baking. Makes 32 brownie nut bars. Store in sealed container in refrigerator or wrap tightly and freeze.

Egg mixture and almond flour mixture

Egg mixture and almond flour mixture. The dry ingredients look a lot like DIRT! πŸ™‚Β 

 

Combining wet and dry ingredients

Combining wet and dry ingredients

 

Pressing batter into parchment-lined pan

Pressing batter into parchment-lined pan. You can see the great texture from the seeds, nuts and coconut.

 

Brownie Nut Bars pulled from the pan whole, to cool.

Brownie Nut Bars pulled from the pan whole, to cool. Cashew Sandies in the upper left!Β 

Brownie Nut Bars, cut and ready to be stored.

Brownie Nut Bars, cut and ready to be stored.

 

 

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Cashew Sandies {Grain-free, Sugar-free, Egg and Dairy-free}

Grain-free Cashew Sandies

Grain-free Cashew Sandies

 

These Cashew Sandies are my take on a traditional Pecan Sandie that I often baked at the holidays. The cashews do a wonderful job of standing in for the sweetness of pecans in this recipe, and it’s a good thing I made them small, as they are quite rich! It’s a lightly sweet cookie, much like a shortbread.

There are times when recipes take lots of tweaking and fussing, and other times where they are the result of happy experimentation… this is the latterΒ  πŸ˜‰Β  I was using lovely raw cashews to make cashew butter for a brownie recipe (that I will be posting soon), and after processing about a cup of raw cashews to the point of being finely ground, I added 1Tb of Nutiva coconut oil and continued to process until the mixture came together as a “nut butter”. One thing that I noticed right away, was that the texture of the cashew butter was smooth and very similar to the finished dough for pecan sandies… so I added a few more ingredients to add bulk, lift and flavor, and the following recipe is the result. I’ll be adding them to my holiday baking this year, and I hope you do too!

Note: I would normally sift powdered sugar over the top of a pecan sandie, but I didn’t have any powdered Swerve or erythritol on hand, so I just sprinkled a little granulated Swerve on top. Next time I make them, they will definitely look more festive!

Cashew Sandies

  • 1C raw cashews finely ground into nut butter
    with 1Tb coconut oil added for smoothness
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3Tb Swerve sweetener (or your choice to taste) plus more for sprinkling
  • 4Tb almond flour
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1Tb Nutiva virgin coconut oil (can use refined or butter in its place)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a food processor, combine all ingredients until a soft dough forms. (I made the cashew butter in the food processor and then added the remaining ingredients.) Form into 1” balls, and flatten slightly on baking parchment. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to brown delicately at the edges (I turn pan once during baking.) Remove to a rack to cool. Sprinkle sweetener over the top or sift with powdered sweetener. Do not try to lift cookies from parchment until they have cooled and become more sturdy. Makes about 24 cookies.

Cashew butter made from raw cashews and coconut oil

Cashew butter made from raw cashews and coconut oil.

Slightly flattened 1" balls on baking parchment

Slightly flattened 1″ balls on baking parchment

Cooled and delicious Cashew Sandies

Cooled and delicious Cashew Sandies

Cashew Sandies: Perfect after-school treat for my hungry teen!

Cashew Sandies: Perfect after-school treat for my hungry teen!

 

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