Feed the Body, Feed the Soul
I am constantly being asked for recipes for the treats that I provide for guests/clients in my studio. If I am not providing healing, I am in my kitchen experimenting to create healthy nibbles. I consider myself more of a quasi-food scientist, a little of this, a little of that, oops!, too much of that and most times I even forget to write it all down. In response to your requests, I will be posting some of my tried and true recipes here periodically. My focus is always on healthy, and satisfying, treats for those with food sensitivities since most of us knowingly or unknowingly have them.
The feedback I've gotten suggests they appeal, also, to those who do not have sensitivities. My biggest gripe with retail gluten/grain free treats is the sugar. So way over the top! I try to keep the (natural) sugar to a minimum, allowing for the other nutritious flavors to have center stage. I do use alternative flours, that the average household might not have on hand, but I feel it is so worth it to invest in these because they offer nutritional value and really nice result.
Grape Almond Cake (gf)
1/3 cup avocado oil
1/2 cup palm sugar or agave
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp almond extract
3 large eggs (room temperature)
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 3/4 cups grapes (or alternate)
2 tbsn palm sugar
3/4 cup gluten free oat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cornmeal (or millet flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Oven set to 350F
Spray or grease 9 inch springform pan and sprinkle with cornmeal.
Whisk together dry ingredients (Flour mixture).
Whisk together, separately, oil, sugar and extracts, then eggs until thoroughly combined.
Whisk in yogurt, then add and whisk in flour mixture.
Pour batter in pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove cake from oven and gently place grapes in even layer on top.
Sprinkle sugar and almonds over the grapes.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until pick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan. It is always best to test for doneness a bit sooner as ovens vary.
Add-ins or Alternatives:
Substitute chopped apples and/or pears (image 1), blueberries -fresh or frozen (image 2), even cherries.
This cake is just a template for whatever you want to add on top.
Sometimes I lightly press in small pieces of almond paste when adding the fruit.
Try adding other spices to the sugar when sprinkling over the grapes, like nutmeg or cinnamon.
My "go-to" Gluten Free Protein Bars
3/4 cup nut butter
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup quinoa flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 eggs (large or ex-large work) room temp
mix-ins; chocolate chips, or any flavor chips.
nuts, dried fruit, etc.
Oven set at 350 degrees. Spray and parchment a 9" x 9" square baking pan.
Combine the dry ingredients (not the sugar) in a small bowl with a whisk (I use an electric hand mixer).
In a separate mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar until well mixed, add eggs and the vanilla, incorporate well and then add the dry ingredients, then the mix-ins until thoroughly mixed.
Spread in the pan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean-ish.
Depending on different flours used these could get done sooner, so be sure to check at 15 minutes or so not to overbake.
This recipe is one of my favorite go-to's because it is so fast and simple and since it is really a formula instead of a recipe. If you don't have one of the ingredients, you can just use something else to replace it. It is very hard to mess up, in fact, I have tried so many variations and they all work fine, only the texture might change a bit. Here are some examples of ingredient variety:
Nut Butters: I've pretty much tried them all or a combination of several; Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Cashew Butter and even some of the specialty combination butters you can buy. Play with it.
Butter: I've replaced with solid coconut oil, palm shortening, or even half avocado oil.
Flour: I've used half almond/ half quinoa, all almond, half almond/ half cashew, even a triple play of a quarter cup each nut flour, oat flour, quinoa flour, ready-made gluten free flour blend, etc.
Even grain free works. If you use all nut flour they will come out a bit flatter and denser, but delicious all the same. As you experiment you will find the sweet spot, pun intended!
Spice: I list cinnamon but I've used all kinds like half cinnamon and half nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, etc. See what feels good for you in combination with the nut butter you choose.
Salt: I always have infused salts in the house so I use those here too for variety.
Sugar: Pretty much any granulated works here (I have even tried agave with a good result) so use what you have/like and if you like a sweeter bar, (because these are not very sweet) you can use up to a half cup of sugar. I, personally, let the chocolate chips and the dried fruit do the job for me.