Tag Archives: gluten free

pizza, please.

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let’s be honest – there aren’t too many things in this world that are much better than pizza. Warm, cold, deep dish, thin crust, in whatever form you may choose, there’s really no disputing that pizza is an all-time favorite. So, what if pizza somehow magically became healthy? Or, at the very least, mostly healthy? Boom. Done. 

A combination of a couple different recipes that were floating around the world wide web, plus the contents of a very weirdly-stocked refrigerator, led me to this wonderful, somewhat Mediterranean, pizza. Gluten free, extremely light and pure on the ingredients list, and also, you know, absolutely delicious. The ideal meal for these beautiful end-of-summer evenings.

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ingredients

for the crust:

 a head of cauliflower

1 cup of almond flour 

2 eggs

1 tbsp thyme

a sprinkling of freshly ground salt and pepper

for the toppings: 

1/2 of a large eggplant

1 can of chickpeas

2 fresh tomatoes (or canned tomato paste)

a large handful of kale

2 cloves of garlic

 

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directions

in a food processor, mix together the cauliflower, eggs, and almond flour. When fully processed, spread the mixture evenly over a pizza pan lightly coated in olive oil. Top with a tiny bit of salt, pepper, and a smattering of thyme. Heat the oven to 400 degrees, and let the crust bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. While the crust is baking, wash the tomatoes thoroughly and blend them in a blender or food processor with a pinch of sea salt and olive oil, and then prepare the rest of the toppings (chop the eggplant, grate the garlic, and wash the chickpeas). Once the crust is finished, take it out of the oven, spread the sauce out evenly with a spoon, and start tossin’ on toppings, sprinkling the garlic on last. Put it back in the oven, and let it bake for 5-10 more minutes, or until your kitchen smells like absolute heaven. Let cool, and then devour. In the rare event that a small bit remains, it stores really well in the fridge for at least a day (it hasn’t lasted in mine any longer than that, but I assume it would be okay for a couple!)

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sweet tooth adventures: black bean brownies

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warm vanilla, sweet cherries, and fudgy chocolate… how badly is your sweet tooth aching right now? Good news – this fantastic combination of tastes doesn’t belong exclusively to decadent, sugary desserts, and these incredible black bean brownies are proof of that. All of the taste of traditional, flour and butter brownies, but minus everything that would spike your blood sugar and damage your gut. Awesome. These little guys are the best of all worlds.

One of the things that make these brownies so fantastic is that they require no flour, not even a gluten-free substitute or almond blend, using regular black beans instead as the substantial element. Why is this such a good thing? Well, first of all, flour is nothing more than a filler in most recipes, something to give substance to the flavors involved in the rest of the recipe, and yet it tends to be responsible for a lot of health problems and weight gain, partially because we eat so freaking much of it, in all things and at all times. You definitely don’t have to give up flour completely in order to live a healthy lifestyle, but it is helpful to be mindful of swapping it out for something else when the option is there. In this case, these brownies remove the necessity of something that is not very nutritionally beneficial, and instead replace it with an incredibly nutrient dense ingredient: black beans. In addition to the amazing rich, fudgy feel that the black beans bring to these brownies, they also bring along a wonderful amount of fiber, folate, copper, and a whole host of other valuable nutrients. Thanks to the black beans, these brownies will actually be working to help regulate your blood sugar levels, instead of spiking them like a traditional sugar-filled recipe would. Finally, they’ll be bringing to the table some really wonderful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and who wouldn’t choose to take their dessert with an extra helping of antioxidants?

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So, now that you love them, here’s how to make them!

Ingredients:

– 1 can of organic black beans

– 2 chia eggs (see below for instructions)

– 3 tbsp coconut oil

– 1 cup cacao powder

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 3 soaked dates

– 1/2 tsp baking powder

– 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

– 2 cups of strawberries, fresh or frozen

– 2 tbsp peanut butter

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Instructions

to make the chia eggs: soak 2 tbsp of chia seeds in 6 tbsp of water for two hours or overnight.

for the brownies: pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. As it heats, combine everything except for the strawberries and peanut butter in a food processor, and process until smooth. Once the batter is finished processing, pull out a muffin tin, and place one or two strawberries into each little muffin space. Stir the peanut butter into the batter, and pour it over the strawberries, filling each space until 3/4 full. Option to top with walnut pieces or some dried, unsweetened coconut flakes. Bake for 25 minutes, and then let cool for 30. I topped mine with a chilled blend of full-fat coconut cream and strawberries, but they’re just as amazing without. Enjoy!

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sweet tooth adventures: coconut almond chocolate chip cookies

in my opinion, cookies are the ultimate sweet-tooth solution – they’re small, so you can get your sweet fix without accidentally eating a whole jar of ice cream, they’re portable, so you can grab and go when you need a sugar fix on the fly, and they’re also really, really easy to make (semi)healthy!

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I used to never have much success with gluten free baking. And by not much success, I mean I would spend hours in the kitchen pumping out things that were absolutely, without dispute, flat out disgusting. I’m not quite sure where the shift happened, but after one too many batches of flaky-yet-burned tragic cookies and cakes and pancakes that wouldn’t leave the frying pan, something finally clicked, and now I can say with confidence that I’ve learned to bake gluten free. And thank goodness, too, because in the winter time, few things are more therapeutic than a little bit of baking.

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These cookies are my current sweet obsession – they’re light and flakey, but still surprisingly filling, they’re sweet without being disgustingly sugary, and I swear sometimes when I bite into them, I get the faintest buttery taste, which, I won’t lie, is quite welcome. To top it all off, these little beauties are actually kind of good for you (as cookies go)! They’ve got almond and coconut and raisins, all of which are sweet enough to make for a fabulous cookie, but not so sweet as to spike up your blood sugar in scary ways, or send you on a toddler-eque sugar high. All in all, the perfect semi-healthy basic winter cookie. So, recipe, please?  It’s a bit of an adaptation of this, which is a bit of an adaptation of a recipe from these lovely people, which I’m sure was inspired by some other fantastic baker somewhere in the world, so thank you to everyone ever for this fantastic recipe.

coconut almond chocolate chip cookies 

1 and 1/4 cups of almond meal

3/4 of a cup of shredded, unsweeted coconut flakes

1/4 cup of dark chocolate

1/4 cup of organic raisins

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup of honey

3 tbsp melted coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

a pinch of sea salt

a pinch of cinnamon

1 chicken egg OR 1 flax egg (if you’re vegan)

To bake: simply mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet in another. Whisk the wet ingredients thoroughly if you’re using a traditional egg, and then stir everything together until it is well mixed and a pleasant cookie dough consistency. Then, grease a cooking pan with coconut oil, form the dough into little balls, and bake at 375 from between 7-10 minutes, or until it smells so good that you have to take them out to sample. Just maybe let them cool a little bit first…

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