Saturday, 15 February 2014

Paleo Orange Bread

Wooo!!  I'm on a roll this morning!  LOL.  This means, my mom is in town and my husband is home, so I can bake and blog and get caught up.  I think I am a little behind on my posts for the year.  Ok I just checked, I am not behind.  7th week of 2014 and I have 8/54 blog posts written (this one included).

I had bought some oranges, and I couldn't remember for what recipe, so this one looked like a great one to start with.  I was hopeful with this recipe since the banana bread turned out so well.  I was not totally disappointed!!

The flavor is nice (although I think I would add more orange zest next time - I like the orange flavor).  It doesnt taste super eggy, and it is nice and moist.  My only complaint is the texture.  Coconut flour is kind of grainy, and you get that texture in the bread.  I think that is something I just need to get used to.

Anyways... another 3 stars!  Everyone likes it, Avery kept asking for more!

Typical me.  Only when I was writing my comments on the recipe did I realize that I did not follow the recipe.  I added the orange juice into my batter (not supposed to do that).  I think you will need to see how thick your batter is (this will depend on the size of your eggs).  Mine was super thick so the next logical step (when you don't read the recipe) is to add liquid... so I added orange juice :-0 LOL.  My bread turned out nicely, quite moist.  Please let me know if you follow the original instructions, and let me know how it turns out!!

6 eggs
¼ cup coconut oil (melted)
¼ cup coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons raw honey (add more if you like it sweeter) - I only used 2
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
orange zest from 1 orange - I had quite a large orange, and would still use more zest - this will depend on your tastebuds of course
½ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free)
½ teaspoon sea salt
juice of ½ medium orange - I juiced my entire orange and added it in

Preheat the oven to 350°F
Grease an 8″x8″ pan with butter or coconut oil. You can also line it with parchment paper
Mix the eggs, coconut milk, honey, vanilla, orange zest and coconut oil together
In a separate bowl combine the coconut flour, baking powder and sea salt and slowly add it to the wet mixture
This is where my inability to follow directions kicked in - I added the orange juice into the batter - it looked really thick, so it seemed like the logical next step.
Pour the batter into your greased pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until browned on top and a toothpick comes out clean- mine was done in 35 minutes
After the cake has cooled a bit, but is still warm, poke holes all over the top with a fork
Juice the orange half right over the whole cake, making sure to evenly distribute the juice I did not read this part - i put my orange juice in the cake mix
Sprinkle some orange zest on top - i used all my zest in the cake, because once again i cannot follow instructions.

Recipe from Living Healthy with Chocolate

Happy Baking Friends!!

Banana Bread (Gluten, Grain Dairy & Nut Free)

We have successsfully transitioned Avery to dairy and gluten free.  She has done really well with the change, its mom and dad that struggle.  Having her dairy free means that she can't have butter, which poses a struggle for some baking recipes. For the most part we can substitute coconut oil and things work out.  I also look more for recipes that list coconut oil as a possible substitute in the recipe.

Avery is now also in a full time daycare (and I cook and provide the majority of her food).  I'm ok with this.  When I look at the menu for the kids, I am quite happy that she is not eating the same as the other kids.  It does create a lot of extra work for me, but at least I know what she is eating.  The problem with daycare.... it is a nut free facility.  Yet another obstacle in our baking.  Most baked goods use almond flour.  So now the mission is making baked goods without nut flour!!

Avery loves banana bread, so I was delighted when I stumbled accross this recipe.  I was nervous too.  I have not had a good experience so far baking with coconut flour.  I find that since you use a high number of eggs in the recipes, the baked goods tend to taste like eggs.  Not that I have anything against eggs, but the only thing I want to taste like eggs, is my eggs.

To my surprise, this recipe is great!  I have made it twice!  Avery had two for breakfast this morning. My husband tasted it, and he liked it, although he has not eaten any.  I still give this recipe 3 stars.  All 3 of us liked them :-)

Super simple recipe too:

4 very ripe bananas, mashed - I used 3 frozen and one under ripe, and it was fine
⅓ cup coconut oil, or butter, melted - I used coconut oil
4 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract - of course i just guessed ;-)
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup coconut flour - I buy giant bags at Costco
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
optional add-ins: ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips (I like THESE because they are dairy and soy free), walnuts, pecans, slivered almonds, raisins, etc. I added Enjoy Life Chocolate chips (you can buy them at Superstore and Save-on... not really any more expensive than regular chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Throw everything together in a medium bowl and mix until combined.
Pour into a lightly greased (use coconut oil or butter for greasing) bread pan.- I make them as muffins.  easier all around
Bake for about 45 – 60 minutes (muffins around 45 minutes)or until center is set and top is golden. Enjoy!

*Your bananas should be extremely brown, almost to the point when you would throw them away or freeze them. If they are not overly ripe, your bread will not be as sweet and probably not taste as good. If you are using non-ripe bananas, you should add about a ⅓ cup of maple syrup to the batter.

Stay tuned for more "daycare friendly" gluten, grain and dairy free recipes!!

Happy Baking Friends!!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Pumpkin Pie Spice Coconut Macaroons

I love pumpkin pie.  I love the smell of pumpkin pie.  I love everything pumpkin pie.  Sadly the Paleo pumpkin pie I attempted was an epic flop.  I came accross this recipe and I thought... I have all of the ingredients, I may as well give it a try.  I mean, it can't be any worse than my pumpkin pie was. LOL.

It is a super super easy recipe.  I always have pumpkin on hand because we (Avery and I) love to make pumpkin pancakes together.  Avery will not eat the macaroons, but I am ok with that... because I love them.  I made them over the weekend for my Pampered Chef party, and they were a hit (or so I am assuming because there was none left at the end of the party.

I have to confess I do not make these very often, because when I do.... I feel the urge to eat them all. Every single last one.  There is just something wonderful about coconut that I cannot resist... and combine with pumpkin pie.... mmmmmmmm

So here is the recipe... and my additions/alterations in red :-)

2 cups unsweetened fine-shredded coconut - I buy giant bags of it at Costco
3 teaspoons (or more if you like*) pumpkin pie spice mix or make your own mix - Of course I added a little bit  more ;-)
1 tablespoon coconut flour - I buy giant bags of organic coconut flour at Costco
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin - I use the pureed stuff
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened or liquid - I use melted coconut oil (mixes better)
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup, agave or coconut nectar) - I have used both maple syrup and honey - I think I prefer the maple syrup version
1 teaspoon vanilla is optional - I never measure the vanilla!!!
1/4 cup optional Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips - I used the Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks (Superstore and Save-on sell them) and I used way more than 1/4 cup

Note: If the pumpkin is very dry once roasted, it is possible that you may need to add another tablespoon of coconut oil to the recipe. This is only needed if you find the cookies don't hold together once baked AND cooled. Cookies will be breakable till they have cooled though.

*If you use more than 1 tablespoon of spice, your cookies will be darker looking and less "pumpkiny looking".

**A coarser or thicker shredded coconut such as Bobs Redmill may cause the cookie to  be more breakable. I like the above brand or look for "macaroon coconut"...YEP, there's a special 'shred' for that! My coconut is just the regular old coconut and it works fine :-)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.Place another cookie sheet under the first one. This will help to keep the bottoms of the cookies burning. I didn't do this - my macaroons didn't burn on the bottom either.  Use the middle or top shelf

In a large bowl, combine together the first five dry ingredients.

Add the rest of the wet ingredients (and optional chocolate chips) directly to the dry ingredients. Using your hands (my favorite, as I get to lick my fingers later), a rubber spatula or standing mixer on low, mix the cookie dough until all ingredients are well combined.  I just dump all the ingredients in my kitchenaid stand mixer.

Using a rounded tablespoon (measuring spoon), scoop up some dough, filling the spoon. Drag the spoon on the side of the bowl packing the dough down some and making the bottom of the cookies smooth and flat. I use my Pampered Chef large round scoop.  Makes a nice neat macaroon, and you can skip the next step :-)

Tap the spoon on the bowl, letting the cookie fall into your hand, then place it on the cookie sheet.It should be a nicely formed mound that holds together. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Note: You may need to clean the spoon a few times as you work if you notice the dough starting to stick to the spoon. You can also grease the spoon with a little coconut oil if needed.

If desired sprinkle the tops of the cookies with more pumpkin spice or nutmeg. I have yet to try this.  I think they are pretty amazing as they are.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 18-20 minutes, or until lightly golden and crispy around the edges and a little at the top too.. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before moving from the pan, or they will break apart.

Makes 18-20 cookies my macaroons are pretty big, so I typically only get 12

I hope that you enjoy these delicious little treats as much as I do!!

Happy Baking!!