Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Banana Bread Tea Cake

When it's February in Michigan, the snow isn't as magical as it once was. It tends to feel very cold and possibly an inconvenience with the unending shovelling and driving slow and careful. And, you start to hear more and more complaining ;) and more and more cases of seasonal sadness taking over lives, begging for sunshine and warm to come just a bit early this year. I think maybe our dreams were dashed when that silly groundhog saw his shadow... I guess saying we have 6 more weeks of winter??  I could have told you that ;) Or at least here in Michigan we have [at least] another 6-10 weeks of winter conditions!

Or is it because we are trying to rush through to the next thing...ALWAYS! It is hard to sit and be in the place where you are. Just being means you have to slow down and pay attention. Being. Mindful. Take it all in. The smells, tastes, feelings, and sounds... And it doesn't hurt to have a few winter activities to find cozy comfort and stay grounded in the present.

Like, have you gone out on a winter hike? Yes you have to get bundled up, but I swear to you that it will change your whole heart when it comes to winter. It is quiet...sacred...simple.. and magical. It will remind you of the present beauty that is all around you and begging you to see and be.

Or the winter sunrises and sunsets. They are what get me up each day and keep me going. The pinks, reds and orangey-peach that fills the sky is breathtaking! Like witnessing a miracle each day!
Baking bread is another one of those activities that brings me warmth and joy in the winter months. I don't care as much about getting warm next to the oven in the summer months. In fact I would likely LOVE to not put the oven on and stay outside in the sun at the beach! But in the winter months you can truly enjoy and savor the space to enjoy baking. And that's why this bread came into creation. One of those days sitting and taking in all the winter-goodness and sacred space. If you are looking to bring a little more warmth and joy to your life these last few weeks [months!] of winter I suggest finding a few activities that bring you life, hope, joy and soaking in them. Happy baking, friends xoxo
 Banana Bread Tea Cake Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, seed, nut and refined-sugar-free}

3/4 cup of fresh ground buckwheat flour
3/4 cup of fresh ground GF oat flour
3/4 cup of rice flour
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of potato starch
1/4 cup of coconut flour
2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt

1/2 cup of oil [avocado, light olive, or softened coconut]
3 mashed bananas [1 cup]
2/3 cup of coconut milk beverage or other plant-milk
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 cup of applesauce
3/4 cup of date puree paste

In a large mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together first. Then add in the wet and oil and mix together well.  Then oil a baking 9x13 pan or a cake pan or a bundt. Pour in the batter and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes for the bundt, or 30ish for the 9x13 sheet cake pan. Check with toothpick to see if middle is set and not gooey. Let cool and serve up with warm butter or jams of choice. 

I hope you find the sacred in the every day, everything is connected and spiritual and as it should be. Soak it in, enjoy it's season and the parts that are painful or challenging- hold onto them and move through them- they can be your teacher and make you who you need to be!

Sending much love and hope for you today, xoxo

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

LOVE Brownies

I had the joy and honor to cook for another Women's Wellness Retreat this past weekend. It was another group of fabulous women with such bravery to dig deeper into the inner self for healing, rest, nourishment and self-love. After these experiences, I again remember how I truly believe that women are the force of change and love in the world. They are the ones that are willing to go through the wounds, the pain, and the joys that make us who we are... and then somehow turn that power into superpowers to share with those around them. It's pure magic and amazement to see this beauty unfold!

I make many of my most favorite Sweet Potato Lentil Chili, homemade bread, covered in honey butter and berry chia seed jam. And I had to share some of my newest favorite ways to start the day with the warm smoothie or immunity shots. And then there is cookies, and muffins, and so much more...(hot cocoa and marshmallows...) It is so fun...and exhausting in a good way. This time by the end of the retreat I wanted to use up some of the leftover ingredients and I whipped up a pan of brownies to send our guests home with. These brownies were born out of LOVE and leftovers :) And of course they were magic in a pan :)
Love 'Leftover' Brownie Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy and nut-free}

1/2 cup of GF oat flour
or a mix of a GF flour blend (millet, buckwheat, quinoa, rice)
1/3 cup of cocoa powder (or hot cocoa mix)
1 TB of coconut flour
1 TB of potato starch
1 TB of tapioca flour
1 ts. of baking soda
1/4 ts. of baking powder
1/2 ts. of sea salt

1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
1/4 cup of date puree
2 whipped-up fresh eggs
(you can omit eggs and add in more pumpkin puree or use chia 'eggs')
3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup of maple syrup
drizzle of pure vanilla

In a saucepan, melt the following together to add to the batter...
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil

optional: sprinkle more chocolate chips in and on top before baking (another 1/3-1/2 cup)
OR if you are nut/seed person you could add some walnut or pecans to the batter here too

In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients and then the wet, finally folding in the melted oil and chocolate chips. Fold all together and then you can add more chocolate chips to the batter or to the top before baking. Spread in a parchment papered  9x9 tin or glass pan to make it easier to pull the brownies out to cut. Spread evenly in the pan and then you can bake in a 350 degree oven for 22-25 minutes. Pull out and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting squares to help with less crumbles. 

This recipe will fit into a 9x9 baking pan, or double the recipe up and pour into a 12x15 baking sheet pan. I originally made this recipe doubled and then made it again halved for my own family.

After cutting out squares you can ENJOY just as they are with so much gratitude and LOVE for good deep rich brownies made with wholesome ingredients and ones that you can share :)

Much love as always xoxo

Monday, January 22, 2018

Warm Blueberry Ginger Smoothie A.K.A Divine Immunity Boost Shots

It's been a dark, cold, wet and gloomy day here. It seems like the sun didn't come up at all! I've also been feeling like my body has been struggling to resist the germs going around and it's fighting to stand it's ground from the sickness. Or maybe it's just because the sun has been missing too. Don't they call this seasonal sadness or something?!? If you live in an almost sub-Arctic climate in the winter months like I do then I think you probably understand :) So I brought a little TLC to my body [and my whole life!] with some fresh ginger as my little sunshine friend in the kitchen.

You cannot simmer, blend and drink this smoothie with a frown on your face. It just brings so much happiness and love. [Anther favorite warm smoothie from last fall...Cranberry Pear Ginger.... and a summer version of this smoothie...well a tonic really :)]

I know I'm a crazy lady that likes to think as foods as my friends and blueberries and ginger are some of my besties. We do not go through life alone people! :) But seriously- if you follow my recipes at all you know all about me and blueberries. I still have [I'm hoping!] about 40 pounds left so maybe it will get me to spring/summer to pick some more. I'm going to start having to ration them- especially after this divine goodness!
Warm Blueberry Ginger Smoothie Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, seed, and sugar-free}

2 cups of frozen blueberries
2 cups of 100% fruit juice or tea of choice [I used a combo of orange, pear and elderberry tea]
1/4-1/3 cup of grated or pealed and chopped fresh ginger chunks
1-2 slices of fresh organic lemon or orange and it's juices

optional: add 1 TB of pure honey after you simmer/before you blend so as to keep as many beneficial enzymes for your immunity- but also adds some extra sweetness if the ginger is too much!
Put all of the above in a saucepan and simmer until blueberries are bursting and the smells and colors are divine. Then let cool for a minute and slowly pour into your blender or Vitamix and blend slow and then on high for a minute and then pour into your shot glasses or mason jars and drink up!

This recipes makes about 2 pint- sized ball jars or 4 half-pint jars, so you may want to double it if you are making for a crowd or want to have extras to warm up and enjoy for a few days.

I hope you are finding ways to stay warm, full of light and love, and even add in an immunity boost to keep those germs at bay. Much love, friends xoxo

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Rolls

Saturday morning sweetness. This time with cinnamon rolls incredibly without any sweetness except from fruit. I know! The cinnamon filling is made with a raisin paste and cinnamon and the dough is my easy no-yeast- no-rise bread recipe that I morph into dough for these sweet swirl rolls. I promise you that if you have been deprived from sweets, sugar, or anything decadent for a while because of health and digestive issues that you will have a shouted "hallelujah" with these sweeties :) They are such a gift of love and sweetness for any weary soul. And then I topped one with some only-fruit berry chia jam and that's when I heard the magic glitter sparkles snap.
I was recently told by a friend of another friend making something like these rolls from my recipe because of her own journey with leaving regular table sugar behind and even all of the other typical sweet alternatives. So of course I had to try it myself! Fruit is nature's best way to share sweetness in our lives. If you are one of my recipe followers, then you already know I only use sugar alternatives like honey, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar...but even still it is incredible how our bodies get addicted to even these sugars. It has been kinda of a reset for me over the past few weeks to try and eat only fruit for sweetness in my life. This is definitely a challenge for me.
I will be honest with you. I hate restrictions and rules. I basically see a rule and think how on earth can I avoid that one. I used to think that I don't intentionally try to break rules, but really I see myself now as being one of those people that just HATES having restricted boundaries...mostly because I feel trapped. Trapped by feelings that make me feel like I am stuck in a certain way of living or thinking or fill-in-the-blank... This is why I started this blog and baking GF and sharing my recipes. Because I wanted to say that if you have to eat a certain way that sometimes feels small, deprived and trapped that there are people like me out there trying to make things that can give you life, nourish you inside and out, AND will break through the boundaries of what it looks like to have to eat a certain way. Thinking bigger and outside-of-the-lines inspires me and keeps me going. So that was a little of a rant, but basically these little rolls remind me that having restrictions for the diet [for a small or forever time] doesn't have to be a sentence of misery. It can actually bring hope, joy and so much love. Happy baking friends and may you find doses of sweetness in your life that don't involve addicting qualities ;)

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Rolls Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, yeast, soy, nut, seed and SUGAR-free}

3 TB of psyllium husk powder
1 cup of coconut milk beverage (I use So Delicious unsweetened)
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
2 TB of olive oil

Whisk all the above ingredients together very well in a large mixing bowl. It will turn into a pudding-like substance. Then you can add the dry ingredients...

1 1/2 cups of certified GF oat flour *I grind my own from GF rolled oats*
1 1/4 cup of rice flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of potato starch
1 TB of corn-free baking powder
1 ts of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt

*1/2 cup of extra flour (oat or rice/tapioca or a mix) for rolling out and kneading if need be

After you add in all the dry ingredients you will roll together, knead together and start to form a log or bad and you may need to extra flour (oat, rice, tapioca) in the kneading or rolling out process if your dough is extra sticky. So form a lump or log and start to roll out a flat dough piece on parchment paper. You want to roll out a 12-15 x 15x18 inch dough rectangle. Let it sit while you mix up the filling...
Raisin Cinnamon Paste Filling
1 cup of soft organic raisins
2 TB of ground cinnamon
1-2 TB of coconut oil
1-2 TB of hot water

In a food processor or blender put all of the above ingredients in and blend until a creamy cinnamon paste. Then spread all over the 12x18 inch rolled out piece of dough. You can leave 1-2 inches without the filling at the end closest to your body. Then, at the end farthest from your body start to pinch the first few inches of the dough pieces into a roll. You want to evenly roll the whole 18 inches of dough into a roll towards you. There is a lot of technique here, but basically you want to stretch-then roll-stretch-then roll, and you will eventually get a TIGHT roll of dough swirled with cinnamon filling. Pinch the endings of dough on each side and at the end of the dough roll. This will help the dough stick together. Then take a bread knife and cut 1 inch cuts along the roll and separate each inched roll and place it on a parchment papered baking sheet. A 15x18 baking sheet works best, or 2 12x9 baking sheets would work too. Spread out 1/2 inch apart so they bake together but they will expand a little. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. Let the rolls sit and cool for 15 minutes and they are ready to eat!

This recipe can make 24 mini rolls or about 18 larger rolls. It just depends on how long you roll out your cinnamon log and how large you slice off the rolls from the log. If you have ever made homemade cinnamon rolls before you can use all the same techniques here with this recipe, but this dough is free of  sugar, yeast, so no rising time, and free of the pesky allergens. They turn out fabulous though!
These could be wonderfully topped with the jam I mentioned, or you could top with ghee, nut/seed apple or any other "butters", bananas, seeds, nuts, or whatever to add more flavor. You could toast them or dunk them, or even un-swirl them and eat them like a spaghetti noodle (that is done by one of my littles LOL). The options are endless ;) Or at least it is fun to think that way and imagine all the possibilites out there in the world to ENJOY food and life that you CAN enjoy!

Hope you find hope and peace today, friends! Much love xoxo