Category Archives: Dessert

{grain-free / sugar-free} Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

Like any normal human being, I occasionally get an inkling for baked goods.  Living in Denmark, I’m basically surrounded by cakes and pastries 24/7, and I use a lot of will power to avoid stuffing my face with the stuff at any available opportunity.

FORTUNATELY, all hope is not lost thanks to almond flour, which, with some manipulation, can be magically transformed into things resembling the best pastries and cakes on earth.

One thing I try to keep in mind when I get the urge to bake like a madwomen with my illegally imported almond flour (thanks, Bob’s Red Mill, for keeping your prices so reasonable, and to my expat American friends who bring me back a bulk supply) is Phytic Acid.

I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed the same thing as me when overdosing on nuts, but I get a “heavy” sensation in my stomach that doesn’t particularly feel amazing.  Until recently, I had no idea what this was.  Turns out it’s the effects of an overdose of Phytic Acid, and this article does a pretty good job of explaining why it all happens, and which things have more Phytic Acid than others.

Keeping that in mind, I try to limit my grain-free baking to about once every couple weeks or so, as a special treat.  And these Cinnamon Swirl Muffins (adapted from Comfy Belly) are JUST the ticket for those occasions.  🙂

CINNAMON SWIRL MUFFINS

Warning: this 10-muffin batch could mysteriously disappear in less than 24 hours.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk natural yogurt
  • 4-5 tbsp raw honey, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp unsalted organic butter, melted

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 160C (325F).

Mix the yogurt, eggs, and 2 tbsp of raw honey together in a large bowl.  Add in almond flour, salt, and baking soda, and mix until well blended.

Mix butter, cinnamon, and remaining 2-3 tbsp (more if you prefer sweeter, we used 2 in our recipe and it was perfect for us) in a bowl.

Fill muffin tins/cups halfway with muffin batter.  Then add one tbsp of cinnamon mixture to each tin, and cover with remaining batter.  Using a toothpick, make swirls in the batter starting on the outside of the muffin and working your way toward the middle to bring the cinnamon mixture to the top of the muffins.  If you have leftover cinnamon mixture, feel free to add to the top of a delicious crusty muffin top.

Pop it in the oven for 25 minutes, or until tops just start to darken.

Makes 10 muffins

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Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

I bet that title got you all sorts of excited, didn’t it?  Because who DOESN’T love chocolate chip cookie dough?

Certainly not me.  Especially when it’s in ice cream, but anyway…

In fact, as embarrassing as this is to admit, back in college when I paid almost zero attention to my health, I used to get those plastic wrapped rolls of chocolate chip cookie dough at the store (the yellow Nestlé one was my fave), and before even baking any, I’d make my way through half of it with a spoon, one bite at a time.

So I have good news, and I also have bad news.

The bad news is that you can’t really replace chocolate chip cookie dough with something that is grain free or sugar free or healthy in any way, shape, or form and have it taste the same.  The reason why it’s so good is because it’s SO SO bad.  So remember that.

The GOOD news though, is that I have something PRETTY close, and it’s wayyyyy better for you.

AND it’s been tried and tested by a circle of friends who, I should admit, don’t take much persuasion to eat anything I’ve cooked, but, THEN they came back for seconds.  🙂

These are a perfect snack, and today they were a guilt-free dessert at the first picnic of the year here in CPH.

RAW CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH BITES

I promise you won't feel guilty eating more than one of these.


Ingredients:
(check the resources page for tips on where to find them)

  • 1/2 cup creamy raw peanut butter (I chose the Green Choice brand found at Irma)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup, plus 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 3 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (these can also be found at Irma)

Directions:

Mix together the peanut butter, honey and vanilla until creamy and well blended in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut flour, ground flax seed and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well to combine.  Use your hands to knead the dough to thoroughly combine.  If it’s too wet, add a little more coconut flour.  If it’s too dry and doesn’t hold together well, knead in one teaspoon of water.

Fold in the dark chocolate chips.  Then, scoop out tablespoon-size portions and roll into one-inch balls with your hands to create a bite-sized treat. 🙂

Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Makes about 10-12 one inch bites.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Compote with Crème Anglaise

I have this thing about strawberries and rhubarb.  I strongly believe that if the word “foodgasm” was in the dictionary, there’s a possibility that the definition would involve a picture of someone having a mouth explosion of strawberry rhubarb amazingness.  Right now, I might even be willing to go so far as to say they are the most perfect springtime food combination.  Ever.  (Feel free to trump me on that one via comments…but I still have the aftertaste of strawberry rhubarb compote in my mouth, so it’s hard to focus on other possibilities at the moment.)

The best part about strawberries and rhubarb is that they are such an unlikely pair.  Rhubarb, a bitter, celery lookalike plant, comes into season mid-April, and promptly goes back out of season mid-June.  Strawberries come into season at the end of May and keep the sweet, fruity, juicy berry party going for pretty much the rest of summer.  There are precisely 14 days out of the ENTIRE YEAR where both of these magical fruits are in their prime at the same time.

And guess what?

My birthday happens to fall during those two weeks.

🙂

Can you guess what I have on my birthday every year?

I’ll be perfectly honest with you guys.  Despite my grain-free, sugar-free life, blog, evangelical preaching, I’m probably going to make an exception for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie come June.  I’m human, and once a year, it’s okay to eat pie.  Maybe twice, if you count Thanksgiving.  Certain traditions are just not worth messing with.  And maybe to be a good sport, I’ll make the pie with an almond and coconut flour crust and I’ll share it with you guys.  Or maybe it’ll be a rich buttery flour crust that I’ll regret eating afterward.  I’ll let you guys know how that turns out, of course.

In the meantime, because I keep seeing rhubarb everywhere, and I found some delicious strawberries at Torvehallerne yesterday (I think they were from Spain, where they’re clearly already in season), I decided to make dessert last night without all the grains.  I adapted my recipe from my favorite food website, Nourished Kitchen.  While I would like to advertise it as sugar-free, it does have raw honey in it, which can, of course, be replaced with Stevia if you’re sensitive to even honey.

Pro-Tip: if you are like me and are not used to eating much fruit, don’t overdo it on the compote, as large quantities of stewed fruit can have a laxative effect.

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB COMPOTE with CRÈME ANGLAISE

Nature's Perfect Spring Duo

Ingredients:

  • one vanilla bean
  • 1 cup heavy cream (piskefløde), ideally from grass-fed cows
  • 3 tbsp raw honey, divided
  • 6 egg yolks from free-range, organic hens
  • 1 tbsp butter, ideally from grass-fed cows
  • 500 grams rhubarb, trimmed and diced
  • 500 grams strawberries, hulled and diced
  • zest and juice of one orange

Directions:

To make the crème anglaise, bring water to simmer in a double boiler or saucepan fitted with a bowl.

Scrape the contents of the vanilla bean into the cream and then pour the cream into the top of the double boiler.  Cook until hot.

Whisk in 1 tbsp of the raw honey, then transfer a tablespoon or two of the hot cream to your beaten eggs, whisking vigorously to temper them.

Transfer the tempered egg yolks into the cream and continue stirring slowly until the crème anglaise is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Transfer to a dish and allow it to rest while you prepare the compote.

To make the compote, melt butter in a saucepan over a moderate flame, then toss in rhubarb and sautee in butter until softened, about five to six minutes.

Stir in strawberries, remaining honey, and the juice and zest of one orange; reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook another three to four minutes until the berries are softened, but not mushy.

Transfer to ramekins and serve topped with the crème anglaise.

Makes 6 servings

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