Showing posts with label almonds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label almonds. Show all posts

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Banana Almond Butter Muffins (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free)

I like to make this healthy grain-free muffin recipe after my children go to sleep at night so they have something nourishing to eat for breakfastespecially helpful on really busy mornings! The other day my daughter wanted to know how much protein each muffin had so she worked out how many grams of protein each ingredient contained and then divided the total number by 12. She came up with 6.3 grams per muffin, not bad.

I generally use roasted almond butter in my baking recipes, including the recipes in my new Nourishing Meals cookbook. The brand I like to use for these recipes is Zinke Orchards. Although this almond butter is not certified organic it does come from spray-free almonds. For eating or raw recipes we like to use raw organic or raw sprouted almond butter.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Creamy Almond Kale Smoothie

If there was one thing you could do right now to improve your health would you do it? Eating raw cruciferous vegetables daily might be our saving grace in this increasingly toxic world. Cruciferous vegetables will upregulate or "produce" the enzymes your body needs to eliminate environmental toxins and properly metabolize estrogen. They also provide the sulfur, folic acid, and magnesium these enzymes need to function optimally. Worried about cruciferous vegetables causing thyroid problems? If you closely examine the scientific literature, you will see that people who have thyroid issues after eating cruciferous vegetables are iodine insufficient. Eating nori, cooking your beans with kombu, and eating wild caught Alaskan salmon are ways to increase your iodine intake. We (including our children) also take a kelp extract supplement daily. Researchers are now finding that environmental toxicants have a major role in the rise of thyroid related eating raw cruciferous vegetables protects your health on many levels.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Raw Berry Tart with a Coconut Pastry Cream (vegan, gluten-free)

I have something for you, just in time for 4th of July celebrations.....and no cooking required! I used to think that making tarts was a complicated process, but it is really quite simple. You will need a 9 or 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, which can be found on or your local kitchen store. For this recipe I use my standard nut-date crust which is pressed into the pan. Then the filling is added and topped with whatever berries or fresh fruit you have on hand. Raw tarts come together so quickly!

For the pastry cream, I use coconut butter, which is made from both the oil and the meat. We like the brand Artisana, but you can use others. Sometimes it is labeled with different names such as coconut mana or coconut cream concentrate, but it is all the same thing.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Accidental Chocolate Cake (grain-free, dairy-free)

A few weeks ago, the night before Valentine's Day, my daughters asked me to make cupcakes and frosting to give out to their friends at school. I had an idea to make a healthy frosting using almond butter and coconut oil. Thinking that I needed to chill the frosting for a while before spreading it onto the cupcakes, I made it first. A few hours later I took it out of the refrigerator to whip up into what I thought would be this beautiful, light, and fluffy frosting. For a second it did look like that, and then the oil began separating. My girls tried it and said it tasted good, like brownies, and that I should bake it! I was so busy that night that I didn't have time so I got to it the next morning, Valentine's Day. I decided to add 2 eggs and put it in the oven....and voila....a beautiful, moist, tender chocolate cake emerged!

I took photos of it that day, what you see here, and planned on testing it one more time before posting it. We then took a trip to visit family for nearly two weeks. I tested it there and everyone loved it. My dad said I should call it "the accidental chocolate cake!" I've been so busy finishing our new cookbook that I have not had much time to post to our blog. Over the next month I have a few guest posts scheduled. After the book is done, I'll be back. In the meantime, enjoy this yummy cake!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie (dairy-free)

Anyone remember those orange creamsicle popsicles we enjoyed as children? This frosty dairy-free smoothie captures those flavors and provides a host of nutrients and protein. I got the idea for this smoothie from one of our favorite restaurants, Thrive Cafe, in Seattle. Whenever we are in Seattle or driving through we make a stop there either to dine in or to get take-out for the road. It is a mostly raw, vegan, organic cafe with very reasonable prices. All of the to-go containers are biodegradable too!

This smoothie is made with raw almond milk. We have a recipe in our cookbook for making raw almond milk if you need one. I usually soak a big bowl of truly raw organic almonds overnight and scoop out some for almond milk and leave the rest for smoothies and snacking. Place the almonds and water into a high-powered blender. A pinch of sea salt and a dash of maple syrup is all you need to add. Blend, adding more water if needed, and then strain though cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. Tom likes to eat the leftover pulp. You can also use the pulp to make dehydrated crackers or cookies.

Raw Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

This smoothie is more like a frosty beverage rather than a thick smoothie. It is quite refreshing on a very hot day. If you don't want to use raw almond milk or have a nut allergy then use any milk of your choice, such as hemp milk or rice milk. I prefer freshly squeezed orange juice because all of the enzymes needed to help digest it are intact, but you could also use store-bought orange juice. I use valencia oranges because of their high juice content. Omit the frozen bananas if you would like and just use a few cups of ice cubes. This recipe makes a large batch (to feed our family plus some). You can easily make a half batch. Leftovers can also be poured into popsicle molds for a frosty treat later on.

4 cups raw almond milk
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
2 medium frozen bananas
1 to 2 handfuls ice cubes

Place the almond milk, orange juice, and bananas into a high-powered blender (I use a Vita-Mix) and blend for about 60 seconds or until smooth. Add ice cubes if desired and blend again. Drink immediately or pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Source:

More Smoothie Recipes:
Blueberry-Cucumber Smoothie
Super Antioxidant Smoothie
Cherry Beet Detox Smoothie

Monday, February 14, 2011

Almond Goji Berry Truffles

Happy Valentines Day! I wanted to share this luscious truffle recipe made with goji berries. The filling is a deep red color covered in dark chocolate. What could be better on a day like today? Oh, and it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare!

I shared this recipe last Monday at my gluten-free dessert cooking class. Our goji berries were very dry so we decided to soak them for about 10 minutes in warm water. The filling turned to a watery mush! It was a great learning experience for me and the whole class! We started over with a fresh batch of very dry goji berries and it worked out. I was planning on saving this recipe for the next cookbook I'm working on right now, but I just couldn't resist sharing it with you today.

Dried Goji Berries

My recipe testers have given me feedback on this recipe and one of them told me recently that she used raw almond butter which didn't hold the filling together very well and they turned into flat rounds instead of balls. I use a lightly roasted creamy almond butter when I make them. Having fresher, chewier goji berries also changed the outcome. Coconut nectar is thicker than maple syrup so this can also slightly change the outcome. I used maple syrup in the truffles pictured here, though I normally use coconut nectar, which is very thick. If you don't eat these all within a few days, feel free to freeze them and take one out at a time when a chocolate craving arises!

Almond Goji Berry Truffles

Goji berries are a truly remarkable superfood. Ounce for ounce goji berries contain more vitamin C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots, and more iron than spinach. They also contain over 20 trace minerals and 18 amino acids! These beautiful truffles contain a flavorful red filling and a rich chocolate exterior, making them a special treat for a Romantic Valentine’s Day evening.

1 cup dried goji berries
½ cup creamy almond butter
¼ cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
1 teaspoon almond flavoring

Chocolate Coating:
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla, optional

Place all ingredients for the filling in a food processor fitted with the “s” blade. Process/pulse for a few minutes until ground and sticky. Roll filling into small balls and set onto a plate. They will feel oily. For some reason the oil from the almond butter begins to separate every time I make these. Once they are covered in chocolate no one will notice it.

Place a piece of parchment paper onto a large plate, set aside for your finished truffles.

In a small saucepan add the ingredients for the chocolate coating. Use a double boiler or place the saucepan into another slightly larger pan filled with a few inches of water. If you don’t do this, the chocolate with burn and become unusable.  Melt over very low heat, stirring, until the chocolate is completely melted. Turn off heat and immediately drop the first truffle into the chocolate, gently swirl the melted chocolate over it using a spoon. Lift up and place onto the prepared plate with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining truffles.

Once you are finished, place the plate with the truffles into the freezer to set the chocolate for about 30 minutes. Once set, remove truffles from plate and place into a sealed glass container and store in your refrigerator for up to a week. Source:

More Valentine's Day Recipes:

Valentine's Day Recipes from Other Bloggers:
Gluten-Free Chocolate Dessert Waffles from Kim at Cook it Allergy-Free
Almond and Spice Bean Pie from Kelly at The Spunky Coconut
Chocolate Raspberry Bars from Nancy at The Sensitive Pantry
Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Balls from Hallie at Daily Bites

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gluten-Free Almond Spice Cookies for Martinmas!

This past evening we celebrated Martinmas, the day of St. Martin, with a lantern walk. My daughter's kindergarten class all made their own lanterns using watercolor paper and tissue paper. With their candles burning bright, we headed out into the cold, starry night to walk the wooded trails, singing our lantern songs. This time reminds us to bring light into the world at a time of year when the Earth is beginning to turn inward. We carry this light with us as we journey deeper into the colder, darker winter months. 

Typically, the end of the lantern walk is celebrated with hot cider and sugar cookies cut into the shapes of stars and moons. Our kindergarten classes opted out of this part of the festivities this year but my other daughter's 3rd grade class will be needing a gluten-free, egg-free recipe to accommodate everyone in her class. So I created this recipe for the next lantern walk coming up in a few days.

This is another xanthan gum-free recipe. It is also egg-free and can be made dairy-free as well. I used organic butter in my test batches. To make this dairy-free and vegan, I would consider using Earth Balance buttery sticks in place of the butter. Another thing to note: you can use either organic cane sugar or coconut sugar in this recipe. If you use coconut sugar, or even Sucanat, be sure to give it a whirl in your dry Vita-Mix container, food processor, or coffee grinder to create a finer, more workable texture for cookies. 

Gluten-Free Almond Spice Cookies

These cookies are speckled with currants and a hint of spice....a perfect pairing to a mug of hot apple cider on a cold starry night. I have kept the sugar to a minimum but you can add up to 1/4 cup more per batch if you feel like having a sweeter cookie is important. I grind my raw almonds in the dry container of my Vita-Mix, though a coffee grinder would work too, but you would need to grind them in batches. Make sure to grind them as finely as you can without turning them all into nut butter! 

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups finely ground raw almonds
3/4 cup superfine sorghum flour
3/4 cup superfine sweet rice flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Wet Ingredients:
2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup coconut sugar or organic cane sugar
3/4 cup softened organic butter or Earth Balance
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring

1/4 cup currants 

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk together well. You may need to use your hands to sift though and crumble any ground almond clumps. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl add the chia seeds and hot water. Immediately whisk together well. Then add applesauce, sugar, softened butter, vanilla, and almond flavoring. Beat together using an electric mixer. Add dry ingredients to wet and beat again or use a large spoon to combine ingredients. Fold in currants.

Place dough onto a long piece of wax paper. Gently form it into a 11 to 12-inch log (the dough will be soft) and roll the wax paper around it to help form the shape. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours or in the freezer for 1 hour. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove log from your fridge or freezer and place onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into 1/2-inch rounds. Place cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. You can bake half of the batch and keep the other half of the log frozen until ready to convenient! Source:

More Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes:
Peanut Butter Cookies
Oatmeal Heart Cookies
Flourless Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Soy-Free Tamari Roasted Nuts

For those of you following a soy-free diet, and who are desperately missing your tamari, I have found a fantastic alternative! The South River Miso Company makes a wonderful gluten/wheat-free and soy-free tamari! How do they do it?

Here is what they say on their website: In Japanese, tamari means "little puddle" and refers to the savory liquid that collects in a vat of miso. Our genuine tamari is similar to its cousin, soy sauce, but much sweeter and lighter in taste. Friends who buy directly from our shop come back year after year, declaring that there is no seasoning comparable to South River Miso Tamari. Gathered from the vats of AZUKI BEAN MISO -- Made from deep well water, organic brown rice, organic azuki beans, sun-dried sea salt, organic sea vegetables, and koji culture. Aged in wood for a minimum of 3 months.

I was so happy to recently find this soy-free tamari alternative on Kim's Affairs of Living Blog! Kim writes a great blog full of recipes and ideas for Elimination Diet-friendly meals. If you are doing the Elimination Diet from our cookbook, then her site will be a big help.

If you have a chance to try South River's chickpea miso or adzuki miso please do! They are simply delicious. The miso is made using rice koji instead of barley koji. If you live in Bellingham you can find this fabulous miso at Terra Organica. They don't sell the tamari least not yet!

Smokey Soy-Free Tamari Roasted Nuts

If you don't have any issues with soy you could of course use regular wheat-free tamari in place of the adzuki bean tamari. I've added a little smoked Spanish paprika to these which gives the nuts more flavor with a hint of smoke. This is totally optional. You could omit the paprika or add crushed dried rosemary for a savory flavor or try chipotle chili powder for a kick! Make sure you follow the directions and roast the nuts first, then add the tamari, and roast again for a few minutes. You'll have a burned mess if you roast them all at once, trust me, I know! These nuts make a fabulous appetizer for a holiday gathering or a great afterschool snack for your kids. Enjoy!

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw almonds
2 to 3 tablespoons tamari
1 to 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts into a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish.

Roast in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes (watch timing as oven temps vary). Remove pan from oven and quickly add the tamari and smoked paprika. Toss together with a spatula.

Return pan to oven and roast for about 3 minutes more.

The nuts become crispy when cooled. Store in an airtight jar. Source:

*Notes: You may need to alter the amount of tamari here if you use the regular wheat-free tamari. Start with less as I am not sure how the salt content differs.

Other appetizer's you might enjoy:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I am sharing with you a delectable little cookie recipe. A version of chocolate chip cookies that you've probably never seen before. One that doesn't contain any flour, sugar, eggs, or butter. No xanthan gum or starches either. Yep. A true "whole foods" cookie. One that pairs well with a glass of fresh, raw almond milk for dunking.

The base of this cookie is made from almond butter and quinoa flakes. It's a high protein, refined sugar-free, vegan cookie. Crispy on the outside and slightly gooey in the center.

The inspiration for this recipe came from a sample cookie I tried at our annual Gluten Intolerance Group Event a few weeks ago. The company that makes them is called Bonte Natural Foods and they are located right here, just north of Bellingham! I took one bite then looked at their ingredients. It read: Almond butter, eggs, GF oats, date paste, almond meal, honey, vanilla, and chocolate chips. For about a week I mulled the idea around in my mind and then finally created this recipe. It came out perfect the first time but I wanted to be sure so I sent it off to about 25 of my recipe testers.

The feedback I have received thus far has been fantastic. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as we do.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are high protein, low sugar, vegan, and naturally gluten-free. Plus with no grainy gluten-free flours, these cookies stay moist and gooey in the center for days. I use chunky roasted almond butter; I don’t think raw almond butter would work here. For the ground flax, I grind my own in my Vita-Mix from golden flax seeds. A coffee grinder also works to grind seeds. I use Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes which I buy locally. They can also be found on I use the Enjoy Life brand mini chocolate chips. The first time I made these I used cocao nibs which made the overall cookie not very sweet. When made with chocolate chips, the cookies taste sweet with a lovely chocolate flavor (the chips do have some cane sugar in them).

Yield: 18 cookies

½ cup packed pitted medjool dates (about 6 to 8 dates)
¼ cup hot water
¼ cup virgin coconut oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup almond butter
1 cup quinoa flakes
½ cup almond meal flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ to ½ cup mini chocolate chips (or cacao nibs)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet with coconut oil.

Place the pitted dates and water in a blender and let them soak for about 5 minutes. Then add the coconut oil and honey. Blend until very smooth, about a minute.

Transfer date-oil mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl (scooping out every last bit) and add ground flax seeds and vanilla; beat on high with an electric mixture until combined. Add almond butter and beat again.

Sprinkle the quinoa flakes, almond meal, baking soda, and salt over the almond butter mixture, beat again until well combined.

Drop dough by the large spoonful onto the greased cookie sheet. Lightly press each cookie down with the palm of your hand. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove gently with a thin spatula and transfer to a wire rack to cool. The cookies will be slightly fragile when hot but will hold together very well after about 5 minutes of cooling. Enjoy with a glass of fresh, raw almond milk! Source:

Notes: Quinoa Flakes are made from organic quinoa that is steam-rolled into a quick cooking quinoa flake.

Other cookie recipes you might like:

Other News:
We have a WINNER for The Spunky Coconut Book giveaway! The winner was drawn using Random Number Generator and the winning number was comment #48 ~ Jenn L. Jenn, could you please email me your mailing address? Thanks everyone for participating. Happy Baking! :)

This post is also linked to Amy's Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free!