grain-free, paleo and vegan carrot zucchini muffins!

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Hello my lovely veggies! Thank you all so much for all your votes in the Vegan Recipe Challenge! I came in 3rd and that was way more than I was hoping for!

It’s been a busy week around here- I'm so sorry to my fellow bloggers whose blogs I've been neglecting. I am trying the best I can to catch up and will read every one of your wonderful words. But I’m back and eager to share a ton of stuff with you! You can expect some delicious food coming up on the blog!

I'm constantly playing around with my diet, trying to come up with a combination that helps my tummy feel it’s best. For those of you who are new readers, I’ve suffered from very uncomfortable digestion for years and I’m on a quest to correct it! Read this post for a few things that I’ve found helpful recently.

So in playing around with my diet, one thing I’ve tried is cuting out grains. I know, crazy right? It’s something I never thought I would do and I always thought that “paleo inclined” eaters were insane! What do they do without quinoa? Fresh baked goods? No sushi? No BREAD?

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turns out you just need to find the right kind of baked goods!

Just goes to show you the lengths I’m willing to go to fix this problem. And it actually isn't too bad! .

You see, due to the make-up of grains, people with delicate digestive systems often find them aggravating. The carbohydrate content of the grain is primarily made up of starches as well as some sugars that require extra steps to digest. If you are unable to digest them properly due to a weak system, we are left with undigested fragments that are then used to feed the no-so-good bacteria in our system. This can lead to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and a crowding out of the good guys. The bad guys can also begin to produce toxic substances that can damage our intestinal lining, leading to something called leaky gut. And what leaky gut basically means is that the tight junctions between your intestinal cells become “loose” due to damage and now undigested proteins and particles can make their way into your bloodstream and cause inflammation, allergic responses and general havoc! All in all, not a pretty picture for proper digestion.

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So through cutting them out, healing can be brought to the digestive system. I by no means think this should be a permanent move, but can be extremely therapeutic for a time!

Now for the fun part- grain-free kitchen experiments! Grain-free baking was really daunting to me, but my recent success with my berry crisp and now these muffins is making me feel like all that fear was unwarranted. Now I can say I LOVE grain-free baking!

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I love that when you bake with nut meals and coconut flour, there is a ton of natural sweetness and healthy fats in there- meaning you can use less added oil and sweetener! Not only that, nut meals and coconut flour are so healthy! Lots of healthy fats and fibre! While they are not exactly low in calories, you’ll find that you are wonderfully satisfied after a small portion.

Like take these muffins. They certainly are not light bites. BUT they are filling, nutritious and delicious. And they surprisingly don’t feel heavy- they have a wonderful crumb that would satisfy the most traditional baker. I hope you all try them- I’m certain you’ll love them!

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Grain-Free Carrot and Zucchini Muffins (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-Free, Paleo, SCD)

Adapted from these at Amazing Paleo.

Ingredients (12 muffins)

Dry

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt

Wet

  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup melted raw honey
  • ¼ cup melted organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Add-ins

  • ½ cup of grated carrots
  • ¾ cup of grated zucchini (unpeeled)
  • 1/8 cup of raisins (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Grease with coconut oil or line a 12 muffin pan.

Mix all your dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix your applesauce, honey, coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon. In a final small bowl, whisk together the 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, water, baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Now add the applesauce mixture to your dry ingredients and combine well. Now add in the coconut oil and baking soda mixture. Finally, mix in the carrot, zucchini and raisins.

Spoon the batter evenly into your muffin pan. You want to do this fast since you want to make sure the baking soda and vinegar will still be reacting to give some lift in the oven. Bake for 35min, or until tops are browned and a knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

pineapple shortbread bars

Happy Sunday my dears!

I have exciting news! Remember my recipe for Frozen Tahini Banana Cups? It was featured in a post about tahini in the Huffington Post! Check it out here (hint: go to recipe #10)! I am not normally one to toot my own horn, but that’s just cool :)

There’s no real post over here today. Rather, I’d love to direct you all over to Uru’s blog, Go Bake Yourself. Uru is a charming, playful and down right hilarious little baker with a blog that hosts content well beyond her years. She posts the most mouth-watering desserts and tells humorous stories to accompany every one.

Why should you head over there? Well one: she’s pretty rockin’. And two: to check out a pretty fantabulous guest post with a smashing recipe for raw pineapple shortbread bars.

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The perfect end-of-summer treat to eat outside with a glass of iced tea!

Two guesses on who the guest blogger is ;) Oh, you only needed one? Well you’re all just way to smart.

See you over there!

Update September 12, 2014: This post was lost on Uru’s blog so I’m reposting it here! Enjoy :)

pineapple shortbread bars
 
These bars are full of tropical flavours from the pineapple and coconut. The coconut flour, honey and coconut oil combine together to create a shortbread like crust that requires no baking and just melts in your mouth. The dried pineapple and coconut flour are sweet on their own meaning very little sweetener is actually needed! These are best served chilled for a refreshing dessert!
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, no-bake, refined sugar-free
Ingredients
Shortbread Crust
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup homemade almond milk (or store-bought)
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
Pineapple Topping
  • 2 cups dried pineapple, soaked overnight
  • ¾ cup pineapple soaking water
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes (or more)
Instructions
  1. The night before, soak the 2 cups of dried pineapple in water.
  2. The next day, drain them and reserve the soaking water.
  3. Set aside while you make the crust.
  4. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper or simply grease it. The parchment paper will make them easier to serve though.
  5. Process the coconut flour, almond milk, honey, vanilla and salt in a food processor until combined. Then with the food processor running add the melted coconut oil. (The mixture should have a dough like consistency now. You could also just mix this by hand in a bowl if you want. Press this dough into the bottom of your prepared pan. Make sure you really pack it in there! Refrigerate while you make the filling)
  6. Rinse out your food processor if you used it and add the pineapple slices along with the soaking water. You may not need all ¾ cup so start by adding about ½ cup. Process until smooth, adding more water if needed.
  7. When smooth add the 2 tbsp coconut oil while the processor is running and process until combined. This will help the filling stay more solid!
  8. Pour the filling on top of the shortbread base and smooth the top. Sprinkle the coconut flakes on top. Chill in the fridge for a few hours until set. When ready to eat, cut into bars and serve! Store in the fridge for about a week.

 

I’m sharing these on Raw Foods Thursdays.