Cran-Apple & Pear Crisp (nut free)

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I made this recipe on a whim and oh brother let me tell you it’s yummy! Sometimes, our best creations come when we’re just throwing stuff together for fun. I had 3 really ripe pears that needed to be used up, and in the fall there’s no flavor combination I love better than apple, pear and cranberry. I also specifically wanted to make it nut-free and with no added sugar to keep it a.) healthy and b.) friendly for the nut allergy people in my life. I know baked goods, especially in the paleo – blogging – sphere, tend to be made with almond flour because it’s so easy to work with. That can be frustrating if you’re looking for a dessert recipe that’s gluten-free or paleo but also nut-free – so here ya go!

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A comment on the topping: because it gets browned really fast in the oven, I cook the fruit filling first on the stove (it cooks really fast) and then assemble the whole dish and only bake it until the fruit bubbles through and the topping is browned. 

 

Cran-Apple & Pear Crisp (nut free)
 
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A heathy, gluten-free, paleo version of apple crisp that is also nut-free and has no added sugars.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 5-6
Ingredients
  • FILLING:
  • 2 Apples (such as Gala or Honeycrisp)
  • 3 Pears
  • 1 cup Cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Juice of ½ Lemon
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • 1 Tbl Arrowroot or Tapioca Flour
  • CRISP TOPPING:
  • 6 each Turkish Figs
  • 6 each medjool dates (pitted)
  • ⅓ cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 Tbl Coconut Flour
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 Tbl Ghee (room temp.)
Instructions
  1. For the Filling:
  2. Chop apples and pears into 1-inch pieces and place into a medium size pot along with all the other filling ingredients EXCEPT the arrowroot/tapioca flour. Heat over medium, covered, until starts to steam, then reduce to low and stir occasionally just until apples start to get soft. Stir in the arrowroot or tapioca flour and remove from heat.
  3. While the filling cooks, preheat oven to 350 (325 for convection ovens).
  4. Quarter the figs and halve the dates, then place into a food processor with the sunflower seeds.
  5. Pulse the processor until the fruit starts to break down and combine with the seeds. Then add the coconut flour, cinnamon and salt. Pulse to combine again, then add the ghee and pulse to combine.
  6. The mixture should be a bit sticky but crumbly looking. If you over-process it will get more like a LaraBar consistency (paste-like).
  7. To Assemble:
  8. Pour apple filling into a 9-inch pie dish. Using your fingers, crumble the topping over the top of the filling - don't pack it down, just crumble it gently and let it fall wherever it falls.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes just until the fruit can be seen starting to bubble through the topping and the topping is a little browned but not burnt. If you want it to bake longer but the top looks too brown, cover with foil.
  10. Allow to cool before serving.

 

Pecan Pie With Nut Crust

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Pecan pie is something I have strong memories of making at the first bakery I worked as a pastry chef. Thanksgiving was insane there, because we made pies. In all the years since then, I haven’t made pean pie again because it’s so sweet – even “healthy” versions are pretty sweet for me. But this year, I got some requests for a “healthified” version, so I thought, why not play around!

This recipe is still sweet to me because I don’t personally put sweetener in much of anything I eat these days. I just feel better without sugars in my life. BUT IT’S THE HOLIDAYS so let’s have some fun! I would say, if you are used to really sweet, traditional pecan pie, this won’t taste too sweet to you, and if you’re like me and don’t need much sugar, maybe take out 1 Tbl of the sweetener. Your choice.

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Let’s talk about the crust quickly – as per my usual approach to cooking, I rather not use sugars, so I used dates. Dates still have a lot of natural sugar, so this is still a sweetened crust, just no added sugar. This is a simple crust and you could use it for pumpkin pie too – or any type of pie for that matter! 

 

Paleo Pecan Pie
 
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A Paleo, gluten free, grain free and low sugar version of traditional pecan pie. Enjoy the holidays without all the corn syrup!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 Pie
Ingredients
  • CRUST:
  • 1 ½ cups pecan pieces
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbl ground flax
  • 3 Tbl water
  • Ghee, for greasing pie pan
  • FILLING:
  • 5 Tbl ghee, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut nectar (or just sub maple syrup)
  • 3 Tbl coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbl coconut milk
  • 2 ¼ cups pecan halves
  • 2 tsp coconut flour
Instructions
  1. Crust:
  2. Preheat oven to 325.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flax and water, stir and set aside.
  4. Pulse the pecans and chopped dates in a food processor until resemble course meal.
  5. Add the salt, cinnamon and flax mixture, pulse again, to evenly combine.
  6. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl to make sure the mixture is getting evenly mixed. Pulse again.
  7. Grease a 9 inch pie pan with some ghee just to coat the surface.
  8. Press the mixture into the greased pie dish, using your fingers and palm to press and shape the crust. I have a video on Instagram that shows me doing this step!
  9. Bake off the crust just for 5 minutes to help it set.
  10. Filling:
  11. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk to combine the eggs, vanilla, sweeteners, salt, coconut milk. Add the ghee, whisk, then add the pecans and coconut flour, whisk to evenly combine.
  12. Pour filling into crust. Use your fingers to gently arrange the pecans so they are mostly all flat.
  13. Bake until filling is mostly set and not jiggly, but still has a slight give in the center. Like a gentle ‘bounce’ when you press lightly with you finger. About 30 minutes.
  14. If your crust starts to get brown on the edges while filling is cooking, tent the pie with some foil so it’s covered.

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Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

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I may or may not get overly excited about fall which results in pumpkin everything around my house. I can’t help it. If I still dressed up for Halloween I would be a pumpkin. Actually, I was a pumpkin when I was little and I was stuffed with newspapers to make my costume all puffy. I wish my family used cameras back then because it would be so fun to see a picture of that.

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This recipe hits all the spots for a fall baking treat, and BONUS, you can easily make these into muffins too. As muffins, they will bake a little faster but other than that you don’t need to change a thing. 

Hope you enjoy!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
 
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Fall inspired pumpkin cranberry quick bread
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbl ground flax
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbl cassava flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbl coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 2½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbl pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs plus 3 yolks, beaten
  • 5 Tbl water
  • ¼ cup plus 3 Tbl maple syrup
  • 3 Tbl ghee, melted (or sub coconut oil)
  • 1 cup cranberries (fresh or dried)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan with ghee.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl: flours, salt, baking soda and powder, spices.
  4. Combine all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl: pumpkin, eggs, water, maple syrup and ghee.
  5. In 3 parts, slowly sprinkle the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, whisking as you do so.
  6. Add cranberries, then pour into loaf pan and smooth the top.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, spin pan front to back for even baking.
  8. Bake another 15 minutes, then start checking for doneness every 5 minutes- the top should not be jiggly and a knife inserted into the center should come out with barely any crumbs.
  9. Allow to fully cool before slicing.

Morning Glory Sweet Potato Muffins

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This is one of my favorite muffin recipes – not too sweet and even sneaks in some veggies. If you’re feeding a crowd that is used to more sugar, you can add 2 -4 Tbl of coconut sugar, although I always am in favor of less sugar whenever possible. NOTE: if you don’t have Cassava flour, you an do this recipe with all coconut flour. I use Let’s Do Organic coconut flour and Otto’s cassava flour.

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Morning Glory Sweet Potato Muffins
 
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A healthy, gluten free, grain free and nut free muffin recipe.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 22 Muffins
Ingredients
  • 6 Tbl ground flax
  • 1 cup cassava flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • .5 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 3 T cinnamon
  • 16.5 oz sweet potato puree
  • 15 eggs
  • ¾ c water
  • .5 cup maple syrup
  • .5 c coconut oil, melted
  • 4 oz grated carrot
  • 6 oz raisins
  • Pumpkin seeds, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Combine sweet potato, egg, water and maple syrup in a separate mixing bowl.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry, whisking as you pour to incorporate and avoid clumps.
  5. Once it's pretty thick, switch to a spatula to mix.
  6. Slowly add the coconut oil, then the carrots and raisins.
  7. Portion into paper muffin liners in a muffin pan, top with pumpkin seeds if desired.
  8. Bake until puffed and firm, about 25 - 30 minutes.

 

Zucchini Bread

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It takes me forever to get recipes posted! But I finally have this zucchini bread I’ve been playing around with all summer. I want to change out the almond flour for a nut free version but I haven’t quite gotten that far yet. It’s easy to over consume almond flour when you’re doing gluten free or paleo style baking, so I want to caution everyone to be mindful of that. The thing is, almond flour behaves so well in baking, so it’s the easiest go-to option. But I feel like we all need to branch out and try some other flours. I used some  Otto’s cassava flour as well in this recipe, and I think I’d like to try and convert this recipe mainly over to this flour. We’ll see….

But anyway, here you go! Zucchini Bread! 

 

 

Zucchini Bread
 
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A gluten free, grain free and low sugar version of zucchini bread to make for a healthy treat.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 ¼ cup blanched almond flour
  • 2 Tbl cassava flour
  • 2 ¼ tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, beaten

  • 1 ½ Tbl honey
  • 2 Tbl coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 ¾ cup shredded, unpeeled zucchini, squeezed of excess liquid
Instructions
  1. Place the eggs (while still in shell) in a bowl of warm water so they are not cold when you mix them into batter
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl – the whisk helps evenly distribute the ingredients.
  4. Mash banana in a medium mixing bowl, then add egg and beat together well with a whisk. Add zucchini to combine.
  5. Sprinkle dry ingredients into wet ingredients a little bit at a time while whisking to avoid clumps. Once batter becomes thick, switch to a rubber spatula for mixing.
  6. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan front to back for even baking.
  8. Bake until bread is puffed and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 - 25 more minutes.

 

Raw Carrot Cakes Bites

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Need a healthy on-the-go snack? Looking for a substitute for that afternoon cookie you always crave? These Carrot Cake Bites are super easy to make and hold up great in the fridge all week. They also make a great party dessert treat. Enjoy!

 

Raw Carrot Cakes Bites
 
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Easy to make healthy snack that is gluten free, dairy free and raw!
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • 1½ Tbl shredded coconut
  • ⅓ cup diced carrots
  • 2 Tbl raisins
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbl + 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbl almond butter
  • 1 Tbl maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional: extra coconut flakes for garnish
Instructions
  1. Using a food processor, pulse the nuts and seeds until finely ground.
  2. Add the carrots and pulse until finely ground, then add raisins and pulse a few times to combine.
  3. Add coconut flakes, spices and salt, pulse to combine.
  4. With the processor running on low, add the coconut oil, then the almond butter, syrup and vanilla.
  5. Mixture will resemble wet sand.
  6. Use a spoon to scoop a small portion, then roll into a ball using the palms of your hands.
  7. Roll in extra coconut flakes to make a pretty presentation.
  8. Store in airtight container in fridge.

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Pumpkin Pudding

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I like to making simple “puddings” as occasional snacks or treats. This is the type of recipe that is really easy and also really versatile. You can play around with the liquids you use and the flavors you add. I sometimes sub some of the coconut milk with carrot juice for additional veggies. I suggest making it without any sweetener unless you really need it, especially if you make this as a snack. Anyone on a Whole 30 exercise caution in making a dish like this, and don’t use any sweetener!

I make a version of this recipe with chia seeds for several of my personal chef clients, and also offer this recipe to anyone I do meal planning for as a great on-the-go snack. PSA: this is not a Whole 30 approved recipe! 

Pumpkin Pudding with Baked Apple
 
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Healthy, easy, quick recipe for a snack or dessert. I find that children like it too if you just tell them it's pudding!
Author:
Recipe type: Snack or Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 1 ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, optional
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
 or pumpkin pie spice
  • ⅛ tsp sea salt
  • 
2 Tbl collagen protein or gelatin hydrolysate (dissolves in cold liquid) or sub 1⁄4 cup chia seeds

  • Optional Baked Apple Topping:
  • 2 apples, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 Tbl maple syrup
Instructions
  1. For Pudding:
  2. Combine all ingredients in a blender except the collagen/gelatin or chia seeds.
  3. Puree until smooth.
  4. If using collagen/gelatin, run blender on low and slowly pour the powder into the smoothie to blend.
  5. For chia seeds, pour smoothie mixture into a bowl and then stir in the chia seeds.
  6. Portion mixture into desired storage containers. I use small 1-cup glass ball jars or Weck jars.
  7. Chill for at least 1 hour before adding optional apple topping.
  8. For Baked Apple Topping:
  9. Preheat oven to 325.
  10. Toss apples, cinnamon and maple syrup together, scrape into an oven safe baking dish. Bake until apples are soft, 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Once cooled and pudding has firmed up, add apples to top off the pudding and serve.

 

Pumpkin-Gingerbread Drop Cookies

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My goal with these cookies is to continue to re-work the recipe until they are nut-free. I prefer not to rely heavily on almond flour in order to create gluten-free baked goods. I also work with many clients who can’t have nuts and I know how frustrated they get when so many baked recipes call for almond flour…. So before Christmas I definitely will have an edited version! But these will do in the mean time for holiday parties, family gatherings or just because you feel like baking while watching “Elf”.

You can order sweet potato flour online or check your local health food store.

Pumpkin-Gingerbread Drop Cookies
 
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Soft, moist cookies with a balanced pumpkin-molasses flavor. You can also make those as cut out cookies but be careful as they break very easily and the dough must be kept cold.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 1¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup sweet potato flour
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (or just cinnamon will do if that’s what you have!)
  • ¾ cup cultured pastured butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup maple syrup, or honey
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbl molasses
  • Coconut sugar or organic cane sugar, reserved for when ready to bake cookies
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, beat butter until softened and uniform in texture, about 1 minute.
  2. While butter is mixing, in a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients: flours, salt, and spices.
  3. With mixer still turned on low, slowly add maple syrup to your butter and beat until combined.
  4. Slowly add your eggs, being sure to beat well as you go. Then add pumpkin puree and molasses, mix to combine.
  5. Now slowly add your dry ingredients, mixing on low as you go.
  6. Once dough is combined, place in fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat your oven to 325º for convection ovens, 350º for regular ovens.
  8. Once dough has chilled, line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
  9. Fill a small bowl with some coconut sugar.
  10. Using a spoon or a small ice cream scoop, scoop out balls of dough, and place on parchment paper 1 inch apart. If using a spoon to scoop, you may want to then use your hands to form the dough into balls.
  11. Sprinkle top of each ball with a little bit of sugar.
  12. Using the bottom of a cup (or anything with a flat surface) push the cookies down a little so they slightly flatten (don’t squish them too much!).
  13. If dough sticks to the bottom of your cup, you need a little more sugar on top of the cookies (that’s what stops them from sticking).
  14. You can also dip the bottom of your cup into the bowl of sugar to help stop cookies from sticking to cup if dough gets on it.
  15. Bake cookies for about 10-12 minutes, until firm but still moist.
  16. I suggest after 10 minutes, pull one cookie out and test it.

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate with Protein

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Scientifically proven to eradicate frostbite! (Not really but warm and satisfying just the same).

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate with Protein
 
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A special treat for a cold day, but it also holds up well as a dessert! Low in sugar, dairy-free, and with the addition of collagen protein it sneaks in some nutrients as well. I've found that because of the protein and rich coconut milk, this drink is very satisfying and filling.
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups coconut milk or almond milk (I use half of each)
  • 2 Tbl cocoa or cacao powder, unsweetened
  • 2 Tbl maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 Tbl collagen protein (gelatin would work too)
  • ¼ cup fresh or frozen raspberries, optional
Instructions
  1. Heat milks over low heat until steaming but don't boil.
  2. Sprinkle in cocoa powder and whisk to incorporate.
  3. Add maple syrup, cinnamon and salt, whisk to blend.
  4. Gently sprinkle collagen protein into hot chocolate, whisking while you sprinkle to avoid clumps. Don't dump it all in at once.
  5. Note: if using gelatin, sprinkle gelatin onto a small amount of coconut or almond milk kept separate from the rest of the mixture- allow this to "bloom" for a 2 minutes before heating. Then incorporate into hot chocolate mixture.
  6. If you want to add raspberries for some extra fun flavor, do so at the end, whisk briskly to break up the berries. There will still be some chinks but it's yummy that way!
  7. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy.

 

Almond Flour Crust

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I usually recommend going easy on the nut flours, as they can be irritating to your digestive system. However, there is a time and a place for a a good standby crust recipe- birthdays, holidays, special get togethers….. that type of thing. I recently cooked for a client’s birthday party and made this crust recipe for a vegetable quiche. It was a hit!

This crust is versatile enough to be a sweet or savory crust.

 

Almond Flour Crust
 
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A simple tasty crust with a lovely hint of almond. You can make it unique with your own addition of spice.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner Lunch Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups almond flour (measure then place in fridge to keep cold)
  • ½ tsp herb/spice seasoning*
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 Tbl butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 egg white, whisked
  • *My herb/spice blend: 1 Tbl granulated garlic, 1 Tbl onion powder, 1 Tbl dried oregano, 1 Tbl dried basil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. To make spice blend: mix all herbs and spices together. Store in airtight container
  3. To make crust: place almond flour in bowl of stand mixer
  4. Add spice blend and salt, and mix on low to combine
  5. Add cold butter cubes and continue to mix on medium-low speed until butter starts to break apart and creates what looks like course sand, or course "cornmeal"
  6. If some butter cubes are still larger, break gently apart with fingers and crumble in with flour
  7. Don't overcombine butter
  8. Once butter is mostly combined, add egg white and mix just until it all comes together in a sticky loose 'ball'
  9. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 5 minutes while you grease your pan
  10. Grease an 8-inch tart shell pan. I suggest a non-stick design
  11. Place tart shell pan on a sheet pan
  12. Remove dough from fridge, and working in small bits at a time, gently press the crust into the shell to create a thin, even crust. It's almost like putting together a puzzle
  13. Crust shouldn't be thicker than about ½-inch
  14. As crust bakes, the egg white will bind all the crumbly crust together! Magic!
  15. Bake until edges are just light golden, about 15 minutes (depending on how hot your oven runs)
  16. If crust looks like it's puffing up in center while baking, VERY GENTLY poke a tiny hole in center with a sharp knife to deflate. Keep it tiny or any future filling will leak through (if you make a quiche)
  17. If you want to fill this crust with an unbaked filling, cook the crust until lightly golden all over to ensure it is cooked through