April Unprocessed: Banana Walnut Bites

So, it’s April, and it still doesn’t really feel like spring outside. But, I’ve got the urge to do spring cleaning. And what better way to do spring cleaning than to clean up my diet.

Now, this isn’t some crazy cleanse. I’m done with those. This is just a mild adjustment to the slacker snacking I’ve been doing this winter. One too many bowls of chips has passed my lips.

So, for April, I’m doing a month of unprocessed food. I can eat as much as I want of good, wholesome food, including baked goods (as long as they’re not full of white sugar and refined starches and such).

We all know I have a sweet tooth. So, I’d better start things off with something sweet, yes? These grain-free, lightly sweetened, protein powerhouse cookies are just what spring cleaning is all about.

Banana, Walnuts and Maple make these cookies sing.

Banana, Walnuts and Maple make these cookies sing.

Banana Walnut Bites

1 very ripe banana
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 cup (scoop and sweep method) walnut meal
1 cup (scoop and sweep method) almond flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350º. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

In a medium bowl, beat the banana until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until you have a soft dough. Drop dough by scoops onto the parchment paper. Wet your hand, and gently press each cookie down to about 1/2 inch thick.

Bake for about 17 minutes, or until edges are browning. Cookies will be soft.

Posted in cinnamon, cookies, grain-free, nuts, vegan | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

March Muffin Madness!

March Muffin Madness!

You’ve heard of March Madness right? It’s something to do with balls and hoops and colleges and brackets. Or something. I don’t really give a hoot about that kind of madness. But, muffins? Now, that I give a hoot about!

The wonderful Shirley over at Gluten Free Easily is hosting a March Muffin Madness event. Every day a new muffin recipe by a gluten-free blogger is posted, all month long. And, guess what? Mine just went up!

And not only are there recipes, there are giveaways, too! Just comment on the posts for a chance to enter for wonderful prizes like a mini 24-cupsteel 12-cup, or cast iron 6-cup), an immersion blendera spiral vegetable sliceran electric pressure cooker, and a 12-cup food processor. Wow!

So, if the idea of sweet and soft corn muffins tickles your fancy, hop on over to check it out, and be sure to check out all the other muffin recipes, too!

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The kiddo has a huge fascination with waffles. Me? Not so much, mostly because I’d never found a recipe that was reliably stick-free. And, seriously, cleaning a stuck waffle off a waffle-iron is one of the least fun kitchen chores.

But, I finally found a stick-proof recipe that is crisp and crunchy (just the way he likes them).

Crispy, Crunchy, Never-Fail Waffles

Crispy, Crunchy, Never-Fail Waffles

Fail-Free Waffles

2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup (48 g) palm shortening, melted
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
80 g (1/2 cup, packed) almond flour
60 g (1/2 cup, approximately) tapioca starch
60 g (6 T., approximately) white rice flour

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside. Beat the rest of the ingredients together. Fold in the egg whites. Bake on greased waffle iron according to manufacturers instructions.


Posted in breakfast, cinnamon | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Banana Peanut Butter Bites

“Mom! These melt in your mouth!” cried the swooning kiddo.

I’ll take that as a sign.

If you want a vegan version, check out my Almost Elvis cookies.

Combine banana, peanut butter, and chocolate and what do you get? Yum.

Combine banana, peanut butter, and chocolate and what do you get? Yum.

Banana Peanut Butter Bites

1 very ripe banana
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 packed cup almond flour
1/2 cup (spooned and leveled) tapioca starch
1/2 cup (spooned and leveled) white rice flour
1/2 cup (or so) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, beat the banana until smooth. Add the peanut butter and sugar. Beat until smooth. Add the egg. Beat until fluffy. Add everything else except the chocolate chips and beat until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for about 14 minutes, until just beginning to brown.

Posted in bananas, chocolate, cookies, peanut butter | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Tropical Tart

It’s the dead of winter, and it’s cold. Wouldn’t we all like just a little bit of the tropics right about now?

You know you would.

Unless you’re my kiddo, who absolutely turned his nose up at this one.

Silly boy.

Banana, Pineapple and Coconut make this tart truly tropical

Banana, Pineapple and Coconut make this tart truly tropical

Tropical Tart

Coconut Crust

3 cups flaked, unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup coconut or white sugar
1 egg or 1 flax egg (1 T. flax + 3 T hot water)
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
1 packed cup almond flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, process the coconut until liquid. (You’re making coconut butter. Yum!)
When it’s liquid, add the rest of the ingredients and pulse to combine. Press mixture into a 9 inch spring form pan. Press some of the dough up the sides to form a shell. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until edges are browned. Cool.

Banana Pineapple Filling

3 bananas, sliced
1 cup pineapple juice, reduced to 1/2 cup (simmer over low heat)
1 T. coconut oil
1 T. cold pineapple juice + 2 t. arrowroot starch

In a saute pan, melt the coconut oil. Add the bananas. Saute for a few minutes until bananas begin to soften, but aren’t mush. Add the reduced pineapple juice. When the juice is warm, drizzle in the slurry of cold juice and arrowroot starch, stirring constantly to coat the bananas. Cook for a minute until thickened. Pour mixture in cooled shell. Chill.

Coconut Topping

Just before serving, toast 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut until nicely brown. Sprinkle on top and serve.

Posted in bananas, coconut, desserts, grain-free, vegan | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Pasta Veggie Soup

As the kiddo would say, “Mom, this is more pasta than soup.”

So be it.

Pasta? Soup? Soupy Pasta?

Pasta? Soup? Soupy Pasta?

2 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 ribs celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 T. minced fresh herbs (I used rosemary and thyme) (You could swap in a teaspoon or so of dried herbs de Provence, too.)
6 cups veggie broth
1 /4 cup nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
1 8 oz box GF pasta of your choice. (I used Ancient Grains elbows. I’ve used shells before, and I prefer those.)
salt and pepper to taste
2 large handfuls spinach, chopped

In a stock pot, saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add everything except the pasta and spinach. Boil until carrots are beginning to soften (10-15 minutes). Add the pasta and boil for 10 minutes until pasta is al dente. Toss in spinach and stir until wilted. Serve immediately.

Warning – the pasta will continue to soak up the stock. So, after a little while you’ll definitely have pasta with veggie bits, not soup. We like it that way, too, though.

Posted in main dish, vegan | 5 Comments

Spaetzle Mac

Well, I’m still in a cast. And, generally, that means I’m still avoiding the kitchen.

But, I can only feed my kid hummus and carrot sticks for just so long before he revolts and says, “would you please cook something?”

[Side note: he can now cook his own scrambled eggs, pancakes, and grilled cheese with tomato soup. And, there's been a lot of raw spinach-eating. Hey, it's a vegetable.]

So, tonight he asked for spaetzle mac, and I obliged.

What, you might ask, is spaetzle mac? Well, it’s a weird combination of spaetzle and mac and cheese. Only it’s grain-free and dairy-free. And, yes, yes, I know that the spaetzle actually replaces the mac part of mac and cheese. So, it should rightfully be called “spaetzle cheeze” or something.

But, the kiddo called it “spaetzle mac” and that’s what it henceforth shall be.

I’ve only made this with an actual spaetzle maker. One of these things:

Loaded Spaetzle Maker

Loaded Spaetzle Maker

But, I hear tell you can use a large-hole colander, too.

Spaetzle Mac

2 eggs
1 t. salt
1.5 packed cups almond flour
1/2 packed cup tapioca starch
1-3 T. water

2 large handfuls broccoli (optional)
1 batch of sauce (see below)

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Mix everything together except the water. Gradually add in the water until you have a thick dough. You may only need 1 tablespoon, depending on how humid it is and how moist your almond flour is. 

When the water is at a full rolling boil, load your spaetzle maker and “grate” the dough into the water. (If using a colander, you push the dough through and then slide a knife on the outside of the colander to cut off bits of dough.)

Boil until all the pieces are fluffy and floating – about 5 minutes.

Optional: I usually throw a couple of handfuls of cut up broccoli florets right in the boiling water with the dough. When the broccoli is tender, the spaetzle is done.

Drain. If using right away, you don’t have to rinse. If storing, rinse with cold water.

When ready to eat, toss spaetzle and broccoli with cheezy sauce and gently heat.

Cheezy Sauce

2 T. lemon juice
2 T. tahini
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 T. olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground yellow mustard (powder)

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. (Note, I usually have this ready to go so that as soon as the spaetzle is drained, I can mix it with the spaetzle and broccoli in the same pot I cooked the spaetzle in and serve right away.)

The end result is not gorgeous.

Grain-free Spaetzle with Vegan Cheeze Sauce

Grain-free Spaetzle with Vegan Cheeze Sauce

But, it’s the kiddo’s new favorite comfort food.

The recipe is really forgiving. I usually eyeball all the sauce ingredients. And, sometimes I add other spices or flavorings. And, I’ve used various proportions of almond flour to tapioca starch, too. So, no stress on this recipe, okay? Give it a whirl!

Posted in broccoli, grain-free, main dish, nightshade-free | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments