Carrot Bread

Hi friends! We are almost done with the longest, least favorite, month of the year…MARCH! I always dread this month because its the pit of the winter when all we want to do is pull out our spring clothes and dance in the sun. This year, I really can’t complain about this month. We were hit with a monumental winter storm that gave us two consecutive snow days. We’ve been putting more work into the baby’s nursery and preparing for his arrival. I’m going to be blessed by the presence of dear friends this week that I haven’t seen in a while and surrounded by family for my baby shower. All-in-all, this month has been pretty great. Finding the bright side in this cold, winter month hasn’t been too difficult since I’ve had some pretty amazing blessings this month!

I’ve stumbled across many recipes for carrot cake but I’ve never actually made one. I don’t really have a good excuse, it just got lost in the recipes-to-make world. I decided to give this carrot bread a whirl. I’ve been C R A V I N G sweets like nobody’s business so I’m trying to combat that and still eat healthy. This recipe is sweetened with raw honey . I found an amazing raw honey at my local grocery store that I’m so in love with I’ve been tempted to eat it right from the jar. I told you—such a sweet tooth these days…it’s awful! Since carrots offer a natural sweetness, I’m totally satisfied with the taste, texture, and desire for something sweet.

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Ingredients:
2 cups almond flour (meal)
3 tsp coconut flour
1/2 grated carrots
3 eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
3 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients: eggs, raw honey, vanilla extract, and coconut oil.
4. Slowly incorporate the wet and dry ingredients. Gently fold in the carrots and walnuts.
5. In a greased loaf pan, place the batter in and cook for 25-20 minutes.

Enjoy:)

Crepes

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Having a week off of grad school, work, and everything else I put on hold for Christmas vacation means more time for breakfast! These crepes were incredible and I cannot wait to make them again! If you are as big of a crepe fan as I am, you know that these basic crepes can be filled with anything your heart desires. I sometimes go online and browse menus to see what creative crepes are out there. Since I wanted something sweet, I went for mixed berries and topped with pecans and a dusting of confectionery sugar.
I’ve had quite the sweet tooth these days *cough* blaming it on the babe *cough* and am trying to control it slightly, but being on vacation makes it ever so difficult as I often give myself a break to indulge a bit.

Yields 5 crepes

Ingredients:
1/2 cup water
4 eggs
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 tablespoon coconut oil (room temperature NOT melted)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Cook crepes in a thin layer in a non-stick skillet. Flip once when sides begin to lift from pan.

Tips…
The thinner the crepes, the better! Swirl your skillet around to thin out batter. If your skillet has ANY chance of batter sticking, add a coconut oil to each round of crepes. Don’t over cook them! You want them soft. Depending on your stove top and how hot you keep the temperature at, they should only take 3-4 minutes to cook. These crepes keep well in the refrigerator so make a double batch and enjoy all week!

Fill with your favorites!
*Mixed berries
*Orange slices
*Top with nuts and syrup
*Warm almond butter
*Sauteed veggies and scrambled eggs

Granola

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Nothing quite makes my house smell as wonderful as granola baking in the oven. I dare you to challenge me to something else that smells THIS amazing! It cannot be done.  Our unseasonably warm winter has become more itself these past few days bringing us cold, snow, rain, and gray skies. I get a sense of home and comfort when I’m cooped up inside while the plow comes driving by. I’ve been enjoying this winter break that has inspired me in so many ways. I’ve got many recipes I cannot wait to share that I’ve really enjoyed photographing. I feel like I’m finally starting to get what I’m doing with my camera as I drool over my photos. This granola recipe is so simple, I think I typed it out in record time. I’ve done so much research on bloggers food blogs, cookbooks, and such and discovered that I’m not terribly specific when it comes to ingredients. I’ve got strong beliefs as to what I serve in my household. I’ve thought about doing a food haul on the foods and products that I love and the reason why they get a spot on my shelf. My blanket response for what I buy is wholesome and affordable. My oats are organic and gluten free and my nuts are not. I pick and choose what works for us and I suggest you do the following. Before I leave you to go and make the granola for yourself, I wanted to tell you how I enjoy this. I love it with almond or coconut milk as a mid-morning snack, sprinkle over coconut ice cream or yogurt, or just with fresh fruit. I love the big batch this recipe makes and it will stay good for a while, although I don’t usually have it for longer than a week! Enjoy and stay warm.


Ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined.
3. In a single layer, spread the granola on the baking sheet (you may need to use two baking sheets if you don’t have one large enough-it’s important to spread out the granola to bake properly).
4. Roast in the oven for 70 minutes, turning after 30 minutes. Roast for longer if you like your granola crispy.

Notes:
You can be creative with this recipe! I’ve added dried fruit or other nuts. Once the granola has cooked, add mini chocolate chips for a burst of sweetness.

Lemon Blueberry Scones

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In the world of teaching, we get a wonderful little gift called winter break where all the teachers and students get a much needed break from the demands, pressure, routine, and stress of school. For me, this comes in just a few short days, this time to take a deep breath and recharge. I look forward to long mornings filled with special baked treats and extra time to snuggle on the couch. In preparation for this much needed break, I have tested out a few morning recipes that are just too good to keep to myself. I’ve already passed this recipe along to others so I thought it was time to blog about it. I have fussed about keeping almond flour in the house because of the expense. It is not the most economical flour but when looking into the health benefits, I could most definitely justify the cost. Still need convincing? When buying a scone from a bakery, you will spend at the bare minimum a few dollars out of your pocket and have to deal with the unsettling feeling of not knowing just what you are eating. Ignorance is only bliss until you are faced with reality and then ignorance becomes a slap in the face. Almond flour is full of protein, and it is completely made from ground almonds. There is no sweetener in these scones which makes them guilt-free but still so delicious. I highly recommend using fresh blueberries because they taste so much better than frozen, and people CAN tell a difference when you use fresh! Lemon and blueberries are the perfect marriage giving you bursts of flavor without being too sweet or too heavy of a treat. If you don’t have the pleasure of being a teacher with a winter break, promise me you’ll give these scones a try and take a little extra time this weekend to count your blessings and enjoy a healthy treat.

Yield: 4 scones

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups almond flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons honey
Juice of ½ lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
Zest of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
3. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the egg, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and honey. Slowly incorporate the dry and wet ingredients.
4. Gently fold in the blueberries.
5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and drop batter, smoothing out slightly with the back of a spoon, to make 5-6 scones.
6. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to cool on a cooling rack.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

 

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I have been incredibly blessed with wonderful friends who introduced to me those little beauties. I have changed them slightly by making them more spiced, and less banana-y. I’ve been in search of a muffin that wasn’t too egg-y. So many gf/df muffins are way too dense. The flavor and consistency is spot on! I hope you enjoy these little bits of heaven at your next brunch or if you are looking for a quick breakfast treat. Now for the wholesome factor, you will discover that these Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins have no sugar except the honey and the chocolate chip. I’ve expressed my love for Enjoy Life products in the past because the have a great, rich sweetness that is so similar to real dairy chocolate. I’ve linked their website below for your educational viewing pleasure. My hubby also suggested making these with blueberries instead of the chocolate chips for a more fruity, healthier muffin. I also want to stress the importance of using VERY ripe bananas. A trick I use; once your bananas are starting to really brown, like not to sure if you should eat them brown, stick them in the freezer. Just pop them right in and save them for this glorious occasion. The bananas can thaw out on the counter for a few hours or you can pop them in the microwave for a few seconds. The sugars in bananas increase and they tell you by their brown spots. Thus-more brown, more sugar (more sweet). What a great way to sweeten up your treats without added processed sugar.

Ingredients:
Muffins
2 very ripe bananas (the more brown, the sweeter)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup almond meal/flour
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I used EnjoyLife)

Streusel topping
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
chocolate chips for sprinkling on top

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream together the melted coconut oil, honey, milk and bananas. Once combined, slowly add in the vanilla extract.
3. Add the eggs one at a time. Be sure to incorporate the eggs completely. Add apple cider vinegar and mix well.
4. Combine the dry ingredients into a separate bowl; coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Make the streusel topping by combining the chopped pecans, honey and cinnamon in a separate bowl until it resembles course-ish crumbles.
7. Line muffin tin with liners and spoon batter (2-3 tablespoons). Top with streusel and chocolate chips.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when placed in the center.
9. Store in the refrigerator for one week.

http://enjoylifefoods.com/

Fluffy Banana Pancakes

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I feel like I’m constantly telling of a food that I didn’t like but now it’s my fave. This is another one of those recipes. I totally love bananas even though I despised them for…well…ever. Until now! I absolutely love this natural sweetness that can be used in so many ways. These banana pancakes are like eating banana bread and pancakes all in one. I failed with many paleo pancake recipes or didn’t bother because it called for 36 eggs. Just kidding…but it was a lot of eggs and I wasn’t looking for an eggy pancake. This recipe combines almond and coconut flour that creates a fantastic fluffy consistency and I’m a huge fan of it. I also think the banana is subtle and not too overpowering. Top with your favorite fruit or maple syrup and enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup almond flour (meal)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup coconut milk
1 ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
coconut oil for frying
maple syrup and/or fruit for topping

Directions:
1. Combine the dry ingredients, almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt into a bowl and whisk together.
2. In a medium bowl or a stand mixer combine mashed banana, eggs, and vanilla extract.
3. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
4. Using a ¼ measuring cup, pour the batter onto a preheated, greased skillet or griddle. Cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat then flip, cooking for an additional 3 minutes.

Notes:
Add chocolate chips,sliced almonds, fresh blueberries, or strawberries to add a little sweetness or crunch to the pancakes.

Almond Flour Waffles

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It’s a rare occurrence in our household to make a “big” breakfast. Our breakfast usually consist of something quick and easy since both of us are out the door before 7 am. Weekends or special occasions, like my husband’s 25th birthday, called for more than the norm. This recipe is great because it makes two perfectly fluffy waffles. I have to admit, they are not very sweet, but I prefer it that way since it gives the toppings the spot light for flavor. Below I’ve included the orange glaze I made to compliment these little beauties. Feel free to add your own toppings, fresh fruit, almond butter, coconut whip cream, you name it! Enjoy:)

Ingredients:
1 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (I recommend maple syrup or honey)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat waffle iron.
2. Place the dry ingredients, the first four ingredients listed, into a bowl and whisk until combined.
3. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, sweetener, and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined.
4. Add the liquid mixture to the dry and mix with a wooden spoon until all incorporated (be sure not to over mix).
5. Grease your waffle iron with coconut oil or other oil spray you desire. Depending on your waffle iron, add about half of the batter and cook until done.

Orange Glaze
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon almond milk
2 teaspoons confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together in a small bowl. Glaze makes enough for both waffles.

Good Morning Smoothies

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It’s difficult to write a recipe for this since I usually just throw in whatever fresh or frozen fruit. I’ve also included reasoning to why I include these ingredients to help you get a better understanding. So here are some ideas for delicious and refreshing smoothies!

Ingredients 
1 cup fruit (frozen will give more of a slushy-consistency, fresh will give more of a juicy consistency)
½ banana for rich and creaminess
1 cup almond or coconut milk, almond will give more of a nutty taste, coconut tends to be more neutral
½ tsp vanilla extract for added flavor without adding sugar
Fresh mint (this is especially delicious with strawberry/banana smoothies)
Ice cubes are a good addition if you’re looking for more of an icy consistency (I often add ice when using fresh fruit to obtain that slushy consistency)

Italian-style Omelet and Sweet Potato Home Fries

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Seasoned Sweet Potato Home Fries
Ingredients
1 lb sweet potatoes
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
coconut oil

Directions
1. Heat a large skillet with two – three tablespoons of coconut oil for 1-2 minutes. (you want the skillet super hot)
2. Cut potatoes into round wedges, about 1/2 inch thick and 1 inch round. Toss potatoes into the skillet and cook on high for 2 minutes.
3. Add all seasoning to the skillet and reduce heat to to medium. Make sure to coat the potatoes fully in oil so the seasoning will stick.  Cook until tender, stirring every 2 minutes.

Italian-style Omelets
Ingredients
3 eggs
1/2 fresh tomato
handful of spinach
1/4 cup onion
fresh parsley
fresh basil

Directions
1. Scramble eggs into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside
2.  Finely dice the tomato and onion and saute in a skillet until onions are tender (if you want the tomato to be fresher in the omelet, only saute the onion). Add spinach and cook for 1 minute.
3. Remove onion and tomato and spinach from the skillet and add eggs.
4. In a non-stick skillet, add eggs, covering the entire bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on low for 3 minutes or until the eggs are nearly cooked.
5. Add tomato, onion, spinach to half of the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes longer.
6. Using a spatula, gently fold over the empty part of the omelet to cover the side with the fillings.
7. Garnish with fresh parsley and basil.