Gluten and dairy free carrot and zucchini muffins

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gluten and dairy free carrot and zucchini muffins recipe

As mentioned in my previous post, I seem to only cook new recipes and have time to blog on long weekends, now, so thank you very much to the Queen for having a birthday!

I’m really lucky to have a lot of friends who also like cooking (and eating) and sharing their healthy recipes, such as this one, thanks Jacqui!

I’ve been looking for a good vegetable-based snack recipe for a while that’s not uber expensive to make, and this one fits the bill!

Despite our oven being rubbish, they turned out really well. I think with a better oven they would have risen a bit more, but maybe let me know how you go…

Gluten and Dairy-free Carrot and Zucchini Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 2 whisked eggs
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • ½ cup  carrots, peeled and grated (this was about 1 smallish carrot for me)
  • ¾ cup zucchini, grated (this was about 3/4 of a regular size zucchini for me)
  • ¼ cup raw honey, melted
  • ¼ cup organic coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 cup sultanas (optional, I actually had these out on the bench but forgot to put them in! Will have to try again with them)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  2. Prepare muffin pan by placing liners in each hole (I found that my muffins stuck a bit, so maybe spray them with some olive oil spray first).
  3. Combine dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl (almond meal, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda and sea salt).
  4. Melt honey and coconut oil together, then allow to cool slightly (so you don’t cook the eggs) and combine them with the remaining wet ingredients in another bowl (eggs, raw honey, organic coconut oil and vanilla extract).
  5. Add wet ingredients to  dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  6. Add grated carrots, grated zucchini and sultanas, and stir all ingredients together.
  7. Using a tablespoon, add the mixture to each muffin liner. Each liner should be ½ to ¾ full.
  8. Place muffin pan in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes.
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Pear tea cake

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So… you may have noticed that I’m making (and eating) a lot of cakes recently. This is a little odd for me. While I do have a very sweet tooth, I seem to focus on cooking savoury (probably because I HAVE such a sweet tooth).

Given I’m not running at the moment as well due to injury it’s probably not the best thing to be doing, but it has been fun (and tasty).

Maybe it’s a winter hibernating thing…? Regardless, I recently made Pear Tea Cake, and it was yum.

I am a creature of habit. I have a coffee at about 3pm every afternoon. My fiance has also gotten into the habit of – when being asked if he’ld also like a coffee – replying with: “And tea cake…?”

Last weekend I gave in and decided to see if I could make one. My goal was to not leave the house. I would only make tea cake if it could be achieved with whatever was already to hand.

Fortunately this recipe is quite easy, and if you’re a long time glutard/lactard, you probably have all of these ingredients close to hand.

The only substitute I had to make was trading the apple (that the recipe listed), for a pear (that I had available). It still worked really well though, so if you plan ahead to make this (instead of my last minute attempt) you could use whichever you prefer.

Oh, and the cake went down a treat. My fiance and our housemate actually couldn’t believe that it was gluten and dairy free… winning!

Gluten and dairy free pear tea cake

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35-50 minutes (depending on your oven, ours is slooow)
Serves 6 (if you’re lucky, it didn’t last very long in our house)

Ingredients:

  • 100g Nuttelex, chopped
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free, self raising flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup rice, soy, almond or non-dairy milk of your choice
  • 1 Pink Lady apple, or pear, or any other apple of your choice (or availability)
  • an extra 10g Nuttelex, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Method:

  1. Preaheat oven to 180˙C.
  2. Grease and line base and sides of a 20cm round baking tin with baking paper.
  3. Beat Nuttelex, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until pale and creamy.
  4. Add eggs and beat until combined.
  5. Add flour and milk, stir well with wooden spoon (not sure what the wooden spoon does, I used a spatula and seemed to work fine).
  6. Spoon mixture into tin and smooth the top, but dont’ put it in the oven just yet.
  7. Cut apple or pear into quarters.
  8. Remove core and slice thinly.
  9. Arrange slices on top of batter, brush with the melted extra Nuttelex, and sprinkle with the combined cinnamon and sugar.
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes (or depending on your oven, as long as it takes for a skewer to come out clean).
  11. Remove from tin to cool, or serve warm.
  12. Enjoy!

And now it’s time for my afternoon coffee… 🙂

Raw cacao biscuit balls

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I mentioned before that I’m trying to cut down on sugar, and more specifically, dark chocolate. I love dark chocolate. It’s one of my weaknesses.

Thankfully, I’ve recently found a good substitute. This recipe was recommended to me by a colleague who knows I adore the various raw balls from Goodies & Grains in Adelaide’s Central Markets.

I’ve tried to make them myself before, but just haven’t gotten the specific ingredients, or proportions right. While this recipe isn’t a perfect substitue for the G&G balls, they certainly satisfy my cravings.

The original recipe is from the Running to the Kitchen blog, and it’s author, Gina, seems like a woman after my own heart, loving both running and food.

I’ve adapted the recipe slightly, and find it a good base to add your own “optional extras” to, depending on your own preferences, what you have at hand, and how you’re feeling.

Raw cacao biscuit balls

Makes approximately 10 bite-sized balls.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1 1/2 cups LSA (ground linseed, sunflower seeds and almond meal), or you can make your own by first blending your preferred nut/s
  • 6-12 prunes
  • 1/4 banana
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
  • 1 tablespoon pure cocoa powder (either to add to the mixture, or roll them in afterwards)
  • Pinch salt

Optional extras:

  • Acai powder (e.g. 1-2 teaspoons)
  • Maca powder (e.g. 1-2 tablespoons)
  • Shredded or desiccated coconut
  • Flax seeds or other seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • etc

Method:

  1. Using a food processor or similar device, combine the LSA, banana, 6 prunes (to begin with), cacao nibs, cocoa powder (or reserve to roll them in after), salt, and your choice of extras.
  2. Blend until combined and it begins to form a soft dough (albeit somewhat crumbly). You may need to add extra prunes (1-2 at a time) to get to the desired consistency.
  3. Once you’re happy with your dough, roll into bite-sized balls.
  4. Place on a tray and put in freezer for 30 minutes to become firm.
  5. After 30 minutes, remove from freezer and roll in cocoa powder if desired.
  6. You can also press them into more biscuit-like shapes with a fork, or leave as balls.
  7. Store in fridge or freezer, and consume within 3-5 days (If they last that long that is…)

“Healthy” hot chocolate

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If you can’t tell already, I have a super-sweet tooth. It’s so sweet that once I start having sugar-y food, I have trouble stopping. So I’ve been trying to cut back and tame my “sugar beast”.

I’m also an after dinner snacker. Another habit I’m trying to curb. Sometimes a cup of dandelion tea will do the trick, but sometimes I need a little bit more…

That’s why this hot chocolate recipe from my friend Tina has been a godsend! (or a Tina-send…?)

I like to think that it’s “healthy” and it’s certainly better than having dark chocolate, however I still see it as a treat.

“Healthy” hot chocolate

Ingredients:

  • A cup or mug’s worth of unsweetened almond milk or rice milk (I tend to have rice milk always on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon pure unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • Dash cinnamon power
  • 1/2 teaspoon lavender tea (optional, but recommended)

Method:

  1. Combine milk, cocoa, coconut oil and cinnamon in a small pan.
  2. Stir over medium heat, until combined and warm.
  3. If using lavender tea, place the lavender flowers in a single tea ball, place in mug, and when the cocoa mixture is warmed to your liking, pour into the mug.

If using lavender tea, you may wish to remove it after a few minutes and it’s seeped to your liking.

Gorgeous green juice

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I got pretty excited when I finally found kale at the local sustainable market, and bought two massive bunches of it… So then I had to find other things to do with it.

My housemate’s got a juicer, so I decided to try juicing it. I searches for a few recipes and eventually came across this one which I like.

If you prefer sweet juices, this probably isn’t for you. It’s very veggie, and a bit tart, but sooo good for you. I also find it a great immune system boost, particularly in this wintery weather.

Gorgeous green juice

Ingredients:

Adjust the quantity as you prefer, or to make more. This is about how much I use for one large glass.

  • 1/3 continental cucumber, cut into pieces
  • 2 smallish apples (I used red delicious), cut into quarters, with the pips removed
  • 1 lemon, peel removed and cut into quarters
  • 1 handful-ish of continental parsley, chopped
  • Approximately 8-10 kale leaves, chopped

Method:

  1. Rinse all of the chopped/prepared ingredients and juice through a juicing machine.
  2. And drink!

If you need an extra immune boost, try stirring through a heaped teaspoon of spirulina.

If you can’t be bothered making your own juice, or want to take it to the next level and treat your body to a full juice detox, check out Juice Revolution.

They’ve got a range of delicious and uber-organic juice products and detox programs. You can order them online and make your body sing!

And while the lovely Juice Revolution ladies are friends of mine, this is not a sponsored post. Just sharing a great product and service.

Peanut butter biscuits

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Where have the past few months gone!? I know I’ve been busy, but I didn’t realise it’s been over two and a half months since I’ve posted anything here… I’ve still been cooking and trying new recipes, so will try to make up for my tardiness by posting them all here now.

To kick things off, here is a new recipe I got from a colleague who was recently diagnosed as celiac. She had actually saved this recipe from the kids section of the newspaper when she was a kid, and found it again recently when trying to figure out what she could make to take to book club (and that she could eat, obviously).

I could not believe how simple this recipe is. It’s seriously sooo simple. And deceptive.

It’s peanut butter, sugar and an egg. That’s it. Nothing else. No flour. And they’re sooo delicious.

Gluten and dairy free peanut butter biscuits

Makes about 12 biscuits.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used smooth, but you could try with crunchy as well).
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˙C, and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Combine ingredients in bowl until they form a sticky batter.
  3. Roll into biscuit-sized balls, place on tray and press top down with fork.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, until firm and lightly brown.
  5. Leave to cool.
  6. Eat.

That is all. Do it.

Leek, broccoli and herb soup

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Yay! It’s soup weather!

I love soup. So much so that I started a “Soup Club” at our workplace last Winter, and we blogged the recipes on the Opensource Soup blog.

There is nothing more nourishing than eating – and preparing – a beautiful soup. And they don’t have to have a vast number of complex ingredients, or take a long time to make either.

This gorgeous soup recipe is from Miranda Kerr’s Kora Organics blog. It has lovely fresh green vegies and herbs in it, so it’s good, good, good for you!

Leek, broccoli and herb soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped (you might want to remove the stringy bits on the outside of the celery before chopping)
  • 2 broccoli heads (stems included), roughly chopped
  • 1 leek halved lengthways and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups homemade vegetable stock (or good quality gluten and dairy free bought vegetable stock)
  • handful mint, coarsely chopped
  • handful parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk (this is optional, but I added it and recommend it)
  • handful slithered almonds and additional parsley to garnish (you can lightly toast the almonds if you like) and ground black pepper if desired.

These roasted tamari pepitas and sunflower seeds also made a delicious vegan garnish. Another good option is grated brasil nut.

Method:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and add the chopped leek, onion and garlic.
  2. Fry over medium to low heat for 5-6 minutes until the onion becomes translucent.
  3. Add the chopped celery and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped broccoli, then pour the vegetable stock in.
  5. Bring to the boil, then add the chopped mind and parsley, and sea salt to taste.
  6. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a blender and add the coconut milk (or add the coconut milk and use a hand held blitzer thingy in the saucepan) and blend the soup to your desired consistency. I like to leave a bit of texture in my soups, but you can blend it smooth if you prefer.
  8. Reheat if required, then ladle into bowls, garnish with the slithered almonds, parsley and pepper.

I hope it warms the cockles of your heart as much as it did mine!

The gorgeous green veggies frying away, they smell divine… yum!

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