Spiced Apple Pecan Muffins

Spiced Apple Pecan Muffin

I realize it’s been quite some time since my last post. It took me awhile to recover from December. Change, stress and dealing with other people’s insanity and drama took quite a toll on me mentally and physically. Once things started to settle down in January I stumbled upon a treatment that is most often used in terminal cancer cases, but has been shown to cure any type of physical ailment. It is called the Gerson Therapy. It is a very serious and difficult dietary undertaking and is usually first done with the help of medical professionals. The reason this struck such a chord with me was not only because my father passed away from a terminal cancer, but because the basis of the treatment is fresh pressed vegetable and fruit juices, complete elimination of salt, and very little to no consumption of meats. There are many other facets to this diet therapy and it is not something to be taken lightly. I am just taking aspects from it to try to get myself to the most optimal health I can.

So, why I am I going on and on about this… well because my diet, cooking and recipes have changed because of this new knowledge. I won’t be posting many recipes that include meat anymore, since I just don’t want to eat it. I am going for a mostly vegan diet. ๐Ÿ™‚

People have been asking where the posts/recipes have been these last few months and it’s been a struggle to come up with something I felt was good enough to share. Not everyone is into vegan, egg free, dairy free, gluten free food.ย  Although I did make a great minestrone soup with kale and sprouted mung beans that may need to be shared.ย  The pressure is there to come up with some great baked item to sell or market somehow.. and that seems so daunting, so I’ve just been concentrating on muffins lately. After a few duds I am really excited about this flour combination. Not too gooey, not too crumbly, perfectly moist and just the right amount of crumb.

Spiced Apple Pecan Muffins

Makes 12 medium muffins.

1 c. very fine White or brown rice flour

1/2 c. Gluten free oats, ground (can use a coffee grinder)

1/4 c. Tapioca flour

1/4 c. Millet flour

2 tsp. Baking powder

1 tsp. Egg replacer

1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1/4 tsp. Sea salt

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 tsp. Ginger powder

1/4 tsp. Allspice

2/3 c. Cane sugar or honey

1/2 c. Coconut oil

1 c. Hot water

1ย  1/2 tsp. Flax meal

3/4 c. Apple, peeled and diced

3/4 c. Pecans, chopped

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place 12 muffins liners in muffin pan and sprinkle each with flour.

Add flax meal to a bowl and mix with hot water.

Add coconut oil to hot water mixture.

In a separate large bowl, combine rice flour, oat flour, millet flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, egg re placer, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and sugar. (if using honey instead of sugar, add to water mix.)

Add wet ingredients to dry and mix gently. Add in apples and pecans and mix until combined.

Spoon mix into muffin liners, evenly dividing into 12 muffins.

Bake at 375 for 18 – 20 minutes.

 

Spiced Apple Pecan Muffins

Chocolate Caramels

Chocolate Caramel

Christmas is going to be here before you know it. This year, instead of trying to scrape together extra money to buy everyone presents, I’m making homemade candies to give as gifts. This is the first in my caramel candy research.

These caramels are not only gluten free, but dairy and corn free as well. Coconut milk from the box is a great substitute for heavy cream.ย  Our house is almost 100% corn syrup free. We only use non-gmo organic corn when we do have it. So, for my caramels I used brown rice syrup as a substitute. As it cooks it smells like brown rice cereal, and the flavor is great. These caramels have just a little bit of chocolate added to make them taste like a tootsie roll.

I was also able to get organic 74% dark chocolate from a local factory, literally down the road from my house. ๐Ÿ™‚ Dagoba chocolate is gluten free, but does contain trace amounts of soy. They make some of the best chocolate I’ve ever had.

Make some of these caramels for your holiday party or to give as gifts, either way they’ll never know it’s gluten, dairy and corn free.

YUM ๐Ÿ™‚

Chocolate Caramel

Chocolate Caramels

1 c. Evaporated cane sugar

(FYI – If your looking for evaporated cane sugar, it is in granulated form. It is the sugar left when the the water evaporates from the crushed cane.)

1/2 c. Brown rice syrup (can substitute corn syrup or honey)

1 c. Coconut milk, plain or vanilla (or regular heavy cream)

(use the kind in the carton or box, it has the proper consistency)

2 oz. Bittersweet chocolate, chopped

(I used Dagoba organic 74% Dark Chocolate)

1 + Tb. Coconut oil (or butter)

 

Line a 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment or foil. Grease with coconut oil. Set aside

In a large, heavy bottom saucepan combine sugar and brown rice syrup thoroughly.

Bring sugar to a low boil over medium heat without stirring. Sugar will start to turn a light caramel color and bubble slightly after about 5 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in coconut milk. Be careful, it may bubble up.

Return to medium heat and let simmer.

Just after adding coconut milk and returning to simmer.

Stir occasionally and bring up to 240 – 244 F on a candy thermometer.

About 15 – 25 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate and coconut oil.

Pour in to prepared pan.

Let cool for at least 2 hours. If your in a hurry, pop in the fridge.

Cut into 1 inch squares and wrap in 3 inch square parchment papers.

Cut caramels into squares and roll up in parchment.

I got a little impatient and wanted to firm up my caramels to wrap them. The white you see in the creases is just a little excess coconut oil.

Caramels rolled into balls, before being wrapped in parchment.

Chocolate Caramel

Butternut Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

Butternut Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

I’ve recently found myself with a plethora of butternut squash from my Uncle’s garden. Most often, I cook my squash very simply by roasting them in the oven with a little salt and pepper and olive oil or butter. I almost always have a little bit left over, so I decided to concoct this recipe. It’s very similar to using pumpkin in your baked goods, but with a slight difference in taste.

These bars won’t last long before they are gobbled up. So, if your feeding a larger crowd, this recipe easily doubles to fit a 9 in. x 13 in. pan.

Butternut Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

Butternut Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

2 Tb. Coconut oil + extra for greasing pan

1/2 c. Butternut squash, cooked & mashed

1/4 c. Evaporated cane sugar

1/4 c. Brown sugar

1/2 tsp. Vanilla or Anise Extract

1 Egg

1 1/4 c. Brown rice flour

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1/2 tsp. Xanthan gum

1/4 tsp. Sea salt

1/2 c. Chocolate chips

1/4 c. Walnuts, toasted

 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Lightly coat 8 inch x 8 inch baking pan with coconut oil.

In medium mixing bowl, cream coconut oil, squash, sugars, vanilla, and egg.

Sift in flour, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Combine well.

Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Pour batter into pan and bake 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown and passes the toothpick test.

 

Butternut Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins

Mini Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins

Fall pumpkins are finally making their way out of the garden and onto your porch. Why not turn some into muffins too! These mini pumpkin pecan chocolate chip muffins are a perfect fall treat. Great for a quick breakfast, an after dinner snack or a treat for your friends.

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins

2/3 c. Brown rice flour

2/3 c. Tapioca flour

1/3 c. Millet flour

3/4 c. Evaporated cane sugar

3/4 tsp. Xanthan gum

1 tsp. Baking powder

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1/2 tsp. Sea salt

1 Tb. Pumpkin pie spice

1 c. Pumpkin puree

1/4 c. Coconut oil

1/4 c. Coconut yogurt or applesauce

2 Eggs

3/4 c. Chocolate chips

1/2 c. Pecans, chopped

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In medium bowl, sift together flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

In another medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, yogurt and eggs.

Add pumpkin mixture to dry mix and combine well.

Add chocolate chips and pecans.

Grease muffins pans with coconut oil.

Bake 15 – 25 minutes, depending onย  size.

I made mini muffins and large heart muffins. (minis 18-20 min./ hearts 25 min.)

Check with a toothpick if you’re unsure.

Let cool, at least 5 minutes.

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins

Vanilla Coconut Birthday Cake with Double Chocolate Fudge Glaze

 

Vanilla Coconut Birthday Cake with Chocolate Fudge Glaze

 

 

Vanilla Coconut Birthday Cake with Chocolate Fudge Glaze

 

Happy Birthday Uncle D! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, today is my uncle’s birthday and my aunt and uncle are coming out to the boonies to have a small birthday celebration. I didn’t think we could celebrate properly without some cake!! I wanted to do a very basic cake but super delicious. This cake has a healthier edge because it uses only coconut oil, even in the glaze. Also, if you want a vegan cake, just use egg re placer for the eggs.

Top this cake with some sugared strawberries and you’ll have a party in your mouth, guaranteed! ๐Ÿ™‚

Vanilla Coconut Birthday Cake

1 c. Coconut oil

2 c. Powdered sugar

4 Eggs

1 1/2 c. White rice flour

1 c. Brown rice flour

1/2 c.ย  Tapioca flour

1 1/2 tsp. Baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. Xanthan gun

1 tsp. Baking soda

1 tsp. Sea salt

1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. Anise extract (optional, substitute with more vanilla)

1/2 c. Coconut milk

3/4 c. Rice milk (depending on how thick batter is)

 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Use the bottom of your cake pan and a knife to cut out 2 parchment circles for your pans.

Oil bottom of cake pans and line with parchment, oil parchment as well.

In large mixing bowl, cream oil and sugar.ย  With electric mixer slowly blend in one egg at a time.

In medium bowl, sift flours, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt.

Add coconut milk, 1/2 c. rice milk. vanilla and anise extract to egg batter.

Slowly begin beating in 1 cup of flour mix at a time.

Pour batter evening between two 9 -inch cake pans.

Bake about 35 – 45 minutes. Should be golden brown and pass tooth pick test.

Let cool in pans for about 20 minutes before removing.

Let cool completely, trim cakes for layering, then frost.

 

 

Vanilla Coconut Birthday Cake with Double Chocolate Fudge Glaze

 

Double Chocolate Fudge Glaze

3 oz. Baking chocolate, melted

1 c. Coconut oil

1/2 – 1 c. Cocoa powder

1 1/2 c. Powdered sugar

2 Tb. Lemon juice

1/4 c. Rice milk

 

Beat chocolate, milk, lemon juice and oil.

Slowly add in sifted powdered sugar and cocoa.

Continue beating until smooth.

Let cool and thicken before frosting cake.

 

Sliced Cake

 

Cinnamon Sweet Zucchini Bread

Cinnamon Sweet Zucchini Bread

You won’t even be able to tell this zucchini bread is gluten free. It tastes so good. It’s full of cinnamon sweet zucchini flavor. I used less sugar than most recipes call for but this zucchini bread is plenty sweet. I also used coconut oil for a healthier twist than butter. If you use egg re-placer, this recipe can also be made vegan. ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. Didn’t even last 24 hours between the 2 of us. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t remember the last time I had zucchini bread so good!

Cinnamon Sweet Zucchini Bread

1 c. Brown rice flour

1/2 c. Tapioca flour

2 tsp. Baking powder

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

3/4 tsp. Xanthan gum

1/2 tsp. Sea salt

1 tsp. Cinnamon

 

2/3 c. Evaporated cane sugar

1/3 c. Coconut or Olive oil

1 tsp. Lemon or lime juice

1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract

2 Eggs

1/4 c. Almond, coconut or rice milk

1 1/4 c. Zucchini, shredded

1/3 c. Walnuts, toasted and chopped

 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Lay shredded zucchini out on paper towelsย  and blot excess moisture.

In mixing bowl, whisk both flours, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and cinnamon.

In another bowl, combine sugar, oil, lemon juice, vanilla, eggs and milk.

Add egg mixture to dry mixture and mix well.

Add zucchini and walnuts.

Oil bread pan and line with parchment. Pour mixture into pan.

Bake 50 – 60 minutes. Test with tooth pick.

Enjoy!