Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Zucchini Oatmeal Bread

Who has zucchini coming up like crazy this year?! I didn't plant any myself sadly, but I love to grab some at road side stands and the farmer's market 4/ $1 ! It has to be one of the best cost efficient veggies this time of year. I love it sauteed and added over rice or quinoa with a side of protein. Of course there is the 'zoodle' recipes which are all fabulous and so fresh and wonderful too! I also try and freeze some already sliced to add to soups and stews over the winter months, and.... OF COURSE I love to bake with it as well...
This year I experimented with another zucchini bread recipe. My last one I made was years ago, and I love it, but it has eggs in it, and I wanted to give a try at a vegan one for my allergy sensitive daughter. So this one is made with alot of GF oat flour and date paste, both of which have been staples in my GF/DF/egg-free baking as of late.
You can easily put in the eggs in this recipe too, I would just add 2 of them right in. They will bake in just fine.  This recipe will make 3 mini/smaller loaves, or 2 larger loaves. I guess you could make a cake of it too and spread it out in a 9x13 pan if you wanted. I was going for a cute little loaf with this recipe and even brought out some mini pans I had in the pantry ready to use.
This bread is super moist and heavy. Those zucchini baked right in make is one-of-a-kind! I might find myself doing more zucchini bread experimenting before the summer is up because it is always so easy to whip up and enjoy. So do yourself a favor and make some zucchini bread this week- it's just one of those you can't pass by this time of year- ENJOY!
Zucchini Oatmeal Bread Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, seed, nut and refined sugar-free, plus VEGAN}

2 1/2-3 cups of freshly ground certified gluten free oat flour (depends on how wet your zucchini is...) I start with 2 1/2 cups and then add another 1/2 cup of flour if the batter is a little loose after adding in the grated zucchini

1/2 cup of white rice flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of potato starch
1 1/2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
1 ts. of ground nutmeg
1 ts. of pure vanilla
1-2 TB of molasses
3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/3 cup of date paste (or applesauce works too)
1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
1/2 cup of coconut milk beverage with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar add in separately
3/4 cup of avocado oil (or melted coconut oil) Or a mix of each
2 packed cups of freshly grated zucchini squash (1 large squash or 2 small)


In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, then add in the wet, and the zucchini and stir all together well so there is no clumps. Pour into parchment and oiled bread pans. This recipe will make 2 medium larger loaves or 3 smaller mini loaves. I sprinkle a little nutmeg and cinnamon over top with maybe even a few more zucchini strands to dress up the top of the bread. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes depending on your oven. This bread bakes longer because it doesn't have the eggs in them and so it just is a slower bake. When you pull from the oven let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into for best results. Let store on the counter covered for 3 days for best bread too. 

Hope you give this recipe a try and dress it up however you see fit. Maybe even some dried fruit, fresh blueberries, chocolate chips :) I personally love it just as it is. I love the simple but unique flavor of a moist and heavy zucchini bread. Much love and ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cinnamon Crunch Granola Cereal

This has got to be one of my most favorite ways to enjoy fresh blueberry season here in Michigan. Waking up to fresh plump berries over some cinnamon cereal granola and add in some coconut milk or yogurt. It is good both ways! It is so simple and fresh and perfect for breakfast this time of year. Yes you could arrange your bowl with color and flash... maybe some special slices of cherries or peaches or banana too :) You could add in nuts, seeds, chia, hemp, and whatever you like and got. You just go crazy with it. But this. This simple and plain good ol' way to start your day has me saying extra thanks for this season.
I've had a few other favorite granola and cereal recipes over the years. But this one has me all love-struck because of it's simplicity and ability to just be as it is and if you want or can add in the seeds and nuts and such then by all means. But for me and my allergy sensitive house this one is just about perfect! Plus you can add in all the fresh or dried fruit you love along side or however you like. Easy to pack up and easy to enjoy... I hope you give it a try!
Cinnamon Crunch Granola Cereal Recipe
{gluten, dairy, nut, seed, egg, and soy-free and VEGAN}

2 cups of rolled certified gluten free oats
2 cups of rice puff cereal
1/3 cup of date paste puree
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/3 cup of melted coconut oil
2 TB of molasses 
pinch of sea salt
and a sprinkle of cinnamon 

Mix all of the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl with your hands and then spread thin on a parchment covered 11x15 baking sheet and bake at 350 for 25 minutes until crispy golden brown. Pull from the oven and let cool and dry for another 30 minutes and then your cereal is ready for crunchy, tasting, and packing up in a jar for the pantry and ready to pull out for breakfast. 

It is so easy to half the recipe or double the recipe. It is just super basic, but I love it dearly for that. It is just about perfect for your summer fruit breakfast routine and why not add it on a smoothie bowl or chia breakfast pudding too :) It is my favorite!
I hope you have these pantry items by now after reading my recipes. The date paste and GF oats are major pantry items for my family and my recipes. This one should be easy to give a try too and match with all those gorgeous berries. Happy breakfast and much love as always...xoxo

Monday, July 17, 2017

Blueberry Cake Donuts

Last week we celebrated the start of blueberry picking season here in my neck of the woods, and now we are enjoying the pounds and pounds of fresh blueberries in and on everything. It may seem I'm a bit obsessed about fruit picking here in Michigan (and yes, I probably am :), but it also has become a part of our summer rhythm because we truly enjoy the fresh goodness. I love the connection of the mind-body-soul while out in the bushes of blueberries and the work it takes to accumulate these berries in your bucket. It does take time. It isn't an easy task, but when you connect the movements of your body and the focus of your mind to being among the trees that supply this gift of these berries. You will find your heart filling with abundant gratitude for this gift of food and for the Divine maker of it all. It is one of those moments that you can nourish your whole self though these beautiful berries.
We also love to enjoy these sweet blueberries all winter long. And they are the easiest berry to freeze in my opinion. I pick, come home and rinse under cool water, dry and lay out on a towel on the counter, and then when dried, I bag up in BPA-free quart or gallon sized zipper lock bags and stack them in the deep corners of my chest freezer. They freeze so nicely and easy to pull out for a winter crisp or you can easily make a sauce or jam throughout the winter too. But the week of our first pick of blueberries, I make a crisp or pie or even some fresh muffins to celebrate the season.
This year, the kids (and me too ;) were excited to try making donuts. So I tried my magic at making some traditional Blueberry Cake Donuts without eggs and dairy and of course the gluten.
They turned out super moist- but because of the bits of coconut flour still have structure and hold together. Blueberries are a fragile and delicate addition to the donut, but with a little care it makes them feel like jewels in a crown. They sparkle and melt all over these sweet treats. I hope you find some space to connect your body/mind/spirit to the earth and the food you nourish it with.
Much love and ENJOY!
Blueberry Cake Donut Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, seed-free}

1 cup of finely ground GF certified oat flour
1/2 cup of white rice flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1 TB of potato starch
1 TB of tapioca flour/starch
1/3 coconut palm sugar
1 ts. of baking powder
1/2 ts. of baking soda
1/2 ts. of sea salt

1/3 cup of maple syrup
2/3 cup of date puree paste*
1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar mixed with---
2/3 cup of coconut milk beverage (or other plant milk)
1/3 cup of oil (avocado or melted coconut)
1 ts. of pure vanilla
1 ts. of fresh lemon zest

1 heaping cup of fresh (or frozen) blueberries

*First make a batch of date puree by letting 1 cup of dates saok in 1 cup of boiling water and then blending in a high powered blender to make a puree paste. You can do this in any amounts of equal dates to equal parts water. I usuaally make a 4 cup to 8 cup batch and have it in jars in the fridge ready to use in recipes or in smoothies :)

In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients and then pour in the wet. Mix well together and then lastly fold in the blueberries. Use a spoon to pour in the batter into the donut pan. I usually grease my donut pan with a little coconut oil first to help the sticking. You can also decide to do muffins with this batter if you 'do not' have a donut pan :) 

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-23 minutes until golden brown. Then let sit in the pan from the oven for at leats 10-15 minutes before popping donuts from pan to help decrease the amount of donut breakage and keep them all together. Then I continue to let them cool on a baking rack. If you want to add a drizzle of glaze (1/2 cup organic powdered sugar to 1 TB of water or milk or lemon juice) whisk together and drizzle with a spoon over cooled donuts. They are great without the added sugar too- but if you want to dress em up- thats a simple way to make it :)
Donuts make you feel like you are having an extra special bakery treat when you are gluten-free. These are the goodies that you can create for yourself and not feel like you are missing out on the donuts of the gluten world. Such a fun way to use some fresh berries too- Hope you give this recipe a try and ENJOY!

Much love as always :)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Coconut Ice Cream

Remember all those cherries I picked a few weeks ago- well they are showing up once again with their partner in crime....chocolate. This time in a cool melty treat, but now that I htink about it, could be a nice topping to my latest brownies too ;) 
Cherries are such a treat by themselves. You can make them a meal and dessert just by washing them off and making them the centerpiece to the kitchen table. But this creation was just a fun treat we had this last week. My kids and I decided that we can never have too much cherry ice cream. It's been our dessert of choice lately and I'm not sad about it one bit!
One bite at a time. You don't need much to feel satisfied with such a delacacy. A little bit goes a LONG way and once you start making your own dairy-free ice cream- it's hard to go back and it's easy to imagine and want to create a 100 new combinations.  
This is a pretty standard combo and since we have all those fresh cherries to use up this was a no brainer. I would usea bit more maple syrup that my vanilla version since it helps sweeten the cherries just the right amount. I also think if almonds or amaretto don't bother you that they would be an ammazing addition as well. Here's my simple combo and hope you give it a try xo

Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, egg, nut, seed, and refined sugar-free, VEGAN}

2 cans of full fat coconut milk cream - should amount to 2 cups of cream
(scoop out the cream and save/discard the water in the can)
1/2 vanilla bean pod scraped
1/2 lemon squeezed (1 large TB of juice)
1/3 cup of pure maple syrup or a mixture of honey/maple syrup if you are not vegan
hearty pinch of sea salt
1 TB of tapioca starch (this ingredient helps the ice cream to be so much easier to scoop from the freezer and even I think allows it to be creamier and melt just the right way instead of it being too hard or icy- you can omit it too, but from my experiments I like it better added!)

1 1/2 cup of finely chopped cherries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup of dark chcolate chunks or use mini chips by ENJOY LIFE

In a small saucepan, warm up the coconut cream with the rest of the ingredients, make sure to whisk in the tapioca starch well and as the milk warms under the flame it will slowly thicken the cream. DO NOT warm too much to a boil. Just warm enough for the starch to thicken and turn off the heat and let it cool off. 

Then use an immersion or regular blender and blend the mixture to get a bit frothy and bubbly. 

You can stir cherries into already mixed cream mixture or blend together with cream when you blend it all together. I usually add in half of the cherries before blending and then have half of the mixture just stirred in last. 

Pour into a container and let full cool off in the fridge for 2 hours- overnight, or in the freezer for 30 minutes. After the cream has cooled down a bit you can add the chocolate chunks or chips right before you process together in the ice cream maker. 

Then if you have not invested in the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker- then you might want to in time for this summer. I got this as a birthday gift last year and have enjoyed using it. The instructions before you make the ice cream is to deep freeze the mixture container. It must be super cold! Then once you do that you can hook up the container and follow the instructions- which for this ice cream includes just pouring in the mixture while it has already started spinning. This will take anywhere from 20-30 minutes to thicken up the ice cream. It is like soft serve and ready to top or eat, but if you want a more scoop-able ice cream then let the machine run for the allotted time and then pour into a container and put in the fridge and within 30 minutes it will be a perfect scoop!

Hope you are enjoying summer for all it's fresh and warm gifts! Much love as always xoxo