Grain-Free (Nut-Free) Waffles

grainfreewaffle

I love these. My younger daughter loves them too. But I want to be honest with you; the texture is not the same as a flour based waffle. These are more dense and soft. We like them topped with maple syrup or fruit compote. We made a cherry/cranberry/blueberry compote that paired really well with these. You can also skip the vanilla and cinnamon and use them in a savory way. What you can’t skip is the egg white protein powder. If you try to replace that, the waffles get very “floppy”. If you insist on trying despite my words of caution, then I would increase the coconut flour by about 1-2 teaspoons.

A little bit cute as a burger bun…

grainfreewafflecute

Serves 2-4 depending on what else you are eating.

Grain-Free Waffles Recipe
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3/4 cup mashed sweet potato (or pumpkin)- I prefer Hannah Yams
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vinegar or lemon (to activate baking soda)
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or other oil)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut flour
cinnamon (to preference, I use about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 cup egg white protein powder

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Mix all of the ingredients together, one at a time, in the order they are listed. Cook in your waffle maker.

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Grain-Free Mini Buns

bunturkeysandwich

OK, these buns are not for everyone. They taste great- no one has said they aren’t delicious- but… they turn green inside. I mean super bright green. If you think that is fun; well then you are in luck! If you can’t stand the thought of eating green bread, you can replace the Sunbutter with cashew butter or another nut butter. The thing is, they really taste the best with the Sunbutter. If you make them and eat them all within an hour, then you will most likely avoid the green issue altogether.

bunoscar

I embraced the green and made an Oscar the Grouch sandwich by turning the bun “inside-out”. This is the true color of the buns after a few hours. His face is made with radishes and nori paper. The other side is a trash “salad” including; broken homemade gummy legos, a homemade gummy fish bone, already bitten cheese, and so forth.

Buns

(Before turning green.)

Also you can bake this in a mini loaf if you want some tiny bread. (Just add a bit of baking time.)

Grain-Free Mini Buns Recipe
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1 cup mashed Hannah Yam (other sweet potatoes may work but I like the Hannah Yams best, also potatoes will most likely be good for this)
2 tablespoons Sunbutter (unsweetened)
1 egg
1/4 cup egg white protein powder (I do not recommend substituting with other protein powders)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Seeds (optional; I like poppy seeds the best)

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Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix all of the ingredients together (adding one at a time). Spoon the mixture onto the baking sheet into 8-10 even “piles” that will form the buns.

Sprinkle the tops with poppy seed, sesame seeds, salt, or whatever else you like on top of your buns.

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until they are golden on the bottom and feel springy to the touch. If you feel uncertain about the doneness, ere on the side of overcooked. (Avoid opening the oven for the first 20 minutes while the buns are rising.)

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Chocolate Cherry Thumprint Cookies

choccherrycookies

I took my inspiration for these cookies from the combination of two traditional cookies- thumbprint cookies and peanut blossoms. My favorite chocolates when I was a child were chocolate covered cherries. I remember trying to decide whether or not to eat them in one bite to avoid the mess or eat them in several small bites but end up a bit sticky!

Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookie Recipe
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1 1/2 cup almond meal/flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons buttery spread or butter
1/3 cup raw agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
20-24 sweet black cherries, pitted and frozen
1/2 cup semi-sweet melted chocolate

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In a medium mixing bowl combine the almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Then mix in the buttery spread and agave. Set in the refrigerator to chill.

Set a baking dish or tray with parchment paper in the freezer until cold. Dip the frozen cherries in the melted chocolate and set them out on the chilled baking dish. Place them back into the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two baking trays with parchment paper. Roll about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough into a ball, set on the tray and flatten slightly. Repeat until all of the dough is used. Bake the cookies for 6-10 minutes until they start to get a bit of color on the edge near the pan. (Don’t overcook these- they will continue to cook after they are out of the oven.)

Set the hot cookies (still on the baking tray) on a cooling rack. Quickly press a chocolate covered frozen cherry into each cookie while they are still hot.

Wait until the cherries have thawed and enjoy!

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Lemon Cake (Grain-Free)

Well, it’s my Birthday today! For my Birthday this year I am giving you all 40% off of my cookbook, Culinary Creativity: Let your restrictions set you free. Head over to Amazon and purchase the book for $14.95 (off from $24.95). November 18-20, 2013. This is a super great deal and I know you are going to love the hard cover and photos of every item in the book.

Plus what’s a Birthday without cake, so here is a yummy lemon cake for you.

But first, one more thing, if you are inclined to give me something for my Birthday, here is my wish: more reviews of my book on Amazon. Now read on and enjoy some cute cakes.lemoncake

Usually I am opposed to any recipe requiring too much effort. I consider separating eggs to be too much effort usually. However, it is difficult to make coconut flour cakes feel light and fluffy, and separating the eggs really makes a difference in this situation.

This cake is barely sweet. It only has a 1/4 cup of honey in the whole cake. I am enjoying minimally sweetened desserts lately, but if you are used to full sugar this might seem a bit “light”. Each time I make it, I have also made a sauce to go with it. I highly recommend that you do the same.

The first cake I made was lemon with blackberry sauce (from my cookbook) and whipped coconut cream (also from my cookbook).

lemoncaketable

Next I made it cute. It is really cute isn’t it?

Then I made the cake with orange zest. And I made an orange caramel sauce to go with it. I didn’t measure the ingredients for that caramel so I don’t have a recipe to give you. Here is the gist of what I did: cooked down about 1 cup of orange juice, 1/4 cup of honey, orange zest, and 1/4 cup of coconut milk until it thickened into a caramel. (Sauce pan, medium-low heat). NOT sure on the specific quantities… but I make sauces like this by eye frequently and they always turn out fine.
orangecake

Lemon Cake Recipe
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WET
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup apple sauce
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons of honey
1/3 cup coconut water (apple juice would most likely work too)
zest of 1 lemon

DRY
2/3 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

WHITES
6 egg whites
1 tablespoon honey

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Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Prepare a 6-8 inch round cake pan with parchment paper and oil the sides.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the wet ingredients.

In a small mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir.

Beat the egg whites and honey together until it forms a stiff peak (I suggest using a stand mixer for this). Add half of the egg whites to the other ingredients and stir together. Add the second half of the egg whites and gently fold them in.

Spread the batter evenly into the cake pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes until it is cooked through and slightly spongy. It will be darker gold on the edges and just turning color in the center.

Set out on a cooling rack and cool completely before removing from the pan and frosting.

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Grain-Free Chocolate Cake

spunkycakeKelly, from The Spunky Coconut, has a great white chocolate pie recipe. I have made it too many times (you know- as in eating too many treats). I came up with some fun modifications and ways to make it cute that I want to share with you. Plus I created a new cake base and I now call Kelly’s recipe “white chocolate frosting” instead of “pie”.

Above I cooked my cake base as a three tiered cake. Then I took Kelly’s recipe and split it into three parts: white chocolate (standard), pink chocolate (standard plus beet juice- can’t taste a difference), and dark chocolate.

spunkycake2Another time I split Kelly’s recipe and added peanut butter to part, and chocolate to another part and made a swirl by pouring all the white in first, then drizzling the dark over the top.

spunkycake3

And another time… I made mini cakes in tart pans and let three lucky girls decorate three cakes with homemade gummies, chocolates, homemade pink frosting, and cereal.

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So here is what my cake looks like up close.

Frosting Recipes
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Notes on Kelly’s recipe:
1) It works perfectly as written.
2) I prefer the white without vanilla extract.
3) I find it works a bit better to “bloom” the gelatin before adding it to the mixture. Just soak the gelatin in a couple of tablespoons of cold water. (I learned this watching Master Chef).
4) I don’t bother melting the cacao butter separately- I just toss it in after the heat is off, then blend it all together.

Peanut Butter White Chocolate: The Spunky Coconut Recipe plus… 1/4 cup of peanut butter or more to taste (I like it with salted peanut butter).

Dark Chocolate: The Spunky Coconut Recipe minus 2-3 ounces cacao butter… plus… 2 ounces baker’s chocolate (I use Ghirardelli) This can be a bit “un-sweet” so you may want to add a bit of honey (but I don’t).

Pink: The Spunky Coconut Recipe plus… a few tablespoons of beet juice. (I put beet peels in a pot with about a 1/4+ cup of water, boil it, then strain it.)

Grain-Free Chocolate Cake Recipe
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1 1/2 cups mashed Hannah Yams (sweet potatoes are not the same but they can work)
1/4 cup sunbutter
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup egg white (protein powder)
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons cacao nibs

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a cake pan or pans with parchment paper and oil the sides. You can use an 8 or 9-inch cake pan. Use smaller or bigger pans depending on the design plan. Remember to leave room for the frosting (a pan with tall sides).

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Smooth the batter in the pan.

Bake for 20-35 minutes. The time will depend on the size of the pan. The cake is done when it is spongy to the touch in the center of the cake and the sides are looking done.

Allow the cake to cool. Loosen it from the pan, then put it back into the pan. Pour the frosting on top and allow the frosting to fully set in the refrigerator. Run a knife around the edges and carefully tip the cake out of the pan.

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I am sharing this recipe on Allergy Free Wednesdays,

Fruit Sundaes

 bananasundae
The idea: to create a delicious dessert without any sweetening other than whole fruits. No concentrated fruit juice, no stevia;  just whole food ingredients.
The Banana Ice Cream was the launching point. This recipe has already made its rounds on other blogs, certainly not my original creation. But I am re-sharing it because everyone deserves to know exactly how to make this sundae.
The other stuff… Coconut Whipped Cream- use the recipe in my book but omit the sweetener. Deydrated strawberries are from Trader Joes. Unsweetened coconut flakes- I toasted them in the oven. Pecans. A cherry. And homemade fruit juice gummies. There are recipes online but I hope to post a good recipe for that soon.
bananasundae5
This sundae got rave reviews and everyone (including people who eat typical ice cream) said it was sweet enough and very creamy.

Banana Ice Cream Recipe
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1 banana per person
cacao powder (for chocolate)
Frozen cherries (for cherry ice cream)

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Chop up the bananas and set them out on a tray in the freezer. Once the bananas are frozen you can make your ice cream. You need a food processor- a blender will not work.

Put the bananas in the food processor with cherries or cacao (or both- my favorite!). Use a ratio of about 3 cups to 1 cup (bananas to cherries). As for the cacao, add to taste but I do about 1 tablespoon per 2 bananas.

Process until the whole thing comes together as an ice cream- soft serve almost. It takes a bit of shoving around so don’t be discouraged if it feels like it isn’t working. Also don’t over process or it will get slimy. You can put it in the freezer for a bit before serving but I don’t like it to be fully refrozen.

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Chocolate Rootbeer Frosting

rootbeerfrosting
I was in the midst of trying to think of an original recipe. Let me tell you, that is nearly impossible. For example, try to think of a pie flavor. Something that would be edible but you think no one has done it before. Now Google it. It was there right? If not, go write that recipe quick before someone beats you to it! In any event, most “original” recipes are variations on existing recipes. So back to my project; I wanted to write a new recipe for an avocado contest. I came up with lots of ideas- but found most had already been done. Then I thought of Chocolate Root Beer Frosting on Chocolate Brownies. I made it without checking the search engines. It tasted fantastic! Just now I popped it into Google and there was one recipe there… but it was not made at all like mine. Anyways, if you have my cookbook you can easily whip up this recipe.

Hints on Making Chocolate Root Beer Frosting
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BROWNIES- your recipe or from my book on page 127 (omit the walnuts)
CHOCOLATE FROSTING – page 155 (omit the vanilla extract) ADD 3/4 – 1 1/4 teaspoon Root Beer Extract

Serve with:
VANILLA ICE CREAM- page 136

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For the frosting, you need will need to taste as you go, to get the right balance of root beer flavoring. (I use Baldwin’s Extracts for the root beer extract.)

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Most of you know by now that my posts usually contain free recipes. Every now and then, I mention my book instead of giving out new recipes because- it is a great book, I put a lot of work into it, and I hope to sell a few books here and there. Thank you for your support.

Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies

Sandwich Cookies

I was playing with a recipe from Gluten-Free Easily, and she (Shirley of course) referred to their “Samoa” taste (as in Girl Scout Cookies). One thing lead to another in my mind and I started thinking of the sandwich cookies that the Girl Scouts sell. Thus these Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies came to be. You might read this recipe and feel tempted to add chocolate. (Believe me, I always think of adding chocolate.) I personally encourage you to try them as they are… these are very tasty, not too sweet, cookies.

Cookies

Making them cute… Did I phone it in? I just didn’t have a brilliant idea, so I hand shaped them into … shapes!

Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookie Recipe
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3/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
2/3 cup almond meal/flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour (*if you omit this the cookies will not have a lovely soft texture)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut sugar (brown sugar for substitution)
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil, liquid
Cashew butter, for filling – stirred and refrigerated a day in advance so that it is not too soft

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Preheat the oven to 350 F. Toast your coconut shreds until light gold. This goes very fast, I stir them every 1.5 minutes. Set aside.

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift the almond meal, coconut flour, salt, and coconut sugar, into a mixing bowl. Add honey, oil, and shredded coconut. Combine.

Using your hands, create small balls of dough, set them on the baking sheet and press them flat. Repair any cracks or loose crumbs with your fingers. The cookies will not spread and will stay in the shape you make them.

Bake for 5-9 minutes. You are looking for a slight gold color starting at the edges. Set out on a cooling rack. The cookies will be fragile and should not be moved until they are completely cooled.

Spread cashew butter in between the cookies to make sandwiches.

Note: I really like this best with cashew butter. If you try to use almond butter I think you might want to mixing in a touch of honey.

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Grain-Free Travel Cakes

travelcakes

I really want to participate in a monthly blog sharing called, “Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free“, and the due date for the recipe is tomorrow. I have already write the recipe, tested it, and photographed it. That’s not the problem. The problem is this write-up. I need to crop the photo, type in the recipe and publish it. The issue being, I have a concussion! And I feel… not so great. I bonked my head on my husband’s roof rack when borrowing his car. Not fun. The doctor said I would get better when I got better- today is day 4. I already went to the chiropractor and tomorrow I have craniosacral. A few minutes ago I decided chocolate and sugar would make me feel better so I had some Food for Life chocolate chips. FYI: chocolate chips do not mitigate the symptoms of a concussion (I think we all saw that coming).

Back to the bars… They can be cut with cookie cutters…

travelshape

And baked as cupcakes too…

travelcute

So what do they taste like?

Soft and nice like a cake, a bit dense and moist- so they don’t fall apart. Sweet but not really a dessert. I consider them in the snack category rather than a treat, but they aren’t savory.

I realize you might not have egg white protein powder and I really don’t know how to sub for that. I use it a lot in recipes, so if you buy some you will have more opportunities coming up to use it. Rice protein or whey protein may work… or some coconut flour- but none of those ideas have been tested.

So, in my opinion these cakes are delicious and they travel nicely. Here are two variations:

Grain-Free Travel Cakes Recipe
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3/4 cup mashed banana (about 2)- ripe but not too soft
1/2 cup cooked mashed Hannah Yam (white sweet potato, I don’t know how the orange ones would be but most likely fine)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sunflower butter (unsweetened)
3 tablespoons egg white protein powder- plain, packed (NOW brand is gluten-free)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt

Variation 1: 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs (and/or other nuts and dried fruit)- add to batter at end
Variation 2: zest of 1 lemon and 1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries – ground into dust- stirred into the batter

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan- round or square with parchment paper and grease.

Mix everything together- you know, start at the top of the list and work your way down.

Smooth the batter into the baking pan and bake for about 35 minutes. The top will be gold and still have some give when you touch it. I have found some pans – thin metal- bake faster than ceramic or glass. Just check it at 30 minutes and go from there.

Cool the cake completely before cutting and keep refrigerated after that.

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I am sharing this recipe on Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten-Free,

Happy Anniversary- Cuter Than Gluten

mothersday

Hey, it’s been a year of gluten-free blogging! Let me know you’re reading and what you would like to see on this blog going forward.

Here’s a little sneak peek at three recipes coming up… a lemon cake, a sundae, and chicken and waffles. I actually have about 13 recipes waiting to be posted, with more in mind to try out!

orangecake   bananasundae   chickenandwaffles

I have enjoyed this year of blogging and I am really looking forward to another year. When I started blogging it was with the purpose of promoting my cookbook. I wasn’t sure whether or not I would enjoy blogging, but it turns out I really do!

I had a ton of fun making food cute.  Sometimes I made bento lunches with the food and sometimes I created an art piece like the “Mango Lassie” below. Making art out of food is so fun for me, I often get really carried away when it comes time for a photo shoot.

Missed some good posts? Click on the photos below to take you to the post.

Rescue Bento   Pumpernickel Bagels   Cherry Ice Cream Pie

Mango Lassie   chili Taco Cone

So where do I go from here?

1) I will let inspiration and the excitement of any given project lead the way.

2) After the posts already waiting in the wings, my blog will most likely be grain-free (there are already many grain-free recipes here, but the transition will take some time, so by fall new posts should be grain-free). I have been eating grain-free since January and will continue with that. What I eat changes as my body and health change. I can’t say for sure what I will eat in the future, but whatever I am eating will be what is on the blog (because why blog about food I don’t eat?)

3) I will continue to blog about fun projects with my kids. Coming up: Strawberry Fest. We will blog about our cultural studies occasionally too.

4) I am considering sharing more personal stories of diet, fitness, parenting, and life. It would just be a sentence here and there, but I haven’t done much of that this past year. Interested?

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!

Love, Dawn