Chocolate Coconut Quinoa Cookies

Chocolate-Coconut-Quinoa-Cookies1

Chocolate-Coconut-Quinoa-Cookies1
Hello again! I’m Felicia and I blog over at Dish by Dish.This is the second time I’m guest posting here on Cooking Quinoa and I’m absolutely honored! Thank you once again dear Wendy!
The first time I was here, I shared these quinoa, brown rice & sesame crackers. I told you about my new found love for the superfood quinoa, and how I’ve been trying so many different ways to eat it.

Now that I’m back here again, I thought that I might go a little more personal and let you in on a little secret I have.

You see, sometimes, in the most normal moments of all – like when I’m sitting at my desk checking my email for the day; or when I’m curled up on our comfortable white couch with my Kindle in my hands; or maybe even when I’m just tapping my foot waiting for the subway to arrive – I get hit by a craving for chocolate that comes unexpectedly and furiously.

Don’t you ever get that?

It’s as if life suddenly stops and everything goes into slow motion, and the only thing you can think of is chocolate. It sounds quite ridiculous if you think about it – but the truth is that it happens to me, and if I can be completely honest with you – this is something that I’ve just started to experience in the last one year.

I never used to be a fan of chocolate (don’t shoot me mean looks, please?). A gift of a box of chocolates could sit in my fridge for one whole year just because I never got about to opening them; and previously I found it hard to understand people who declared their undying love for chocolate.
But lately, I think I’m seeing eye-to-eye with them.

So on one of these occasions that I got hit by a lightning bolt of chocolate craving, I also found myself wanting a cookie and a cake at the very same time. You know, a cookie that’s also similar in texture to a cake, something more soft and chewy than crunchy.

That’s where these amazingly good cookies came in handy.

Chocolate-Coconut-Quinoa-Cookies4
Because of the cooked quinoa that’s used in the cookie dough, there’s a wonderfully moist crumb that makes you feel just like you were eating cake. But the best thing is that this cake came in cookie sizes (pretty giant cookie sizes, to be precise).

I also loved knowing that these cookies didn’t have any wheat in them, as I’ve been trying meticulously to avoid wheat since the beginning of this year. Instead, they’re made with almond meal and desiccated coconut, giving it a deliciously interesting texture that you just don’t get with wheat flour.

Best of all? These cookies are chock-full of chocolate chunks, making each bite a melted chocolate heaven.

I’m betting you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.

Till next time!

P.S. These cookies go fantastic with a tall glass of cold milk. One bite of cookie, one large sip of milk. Beautiful. Perfect. Insane.

P.P.S. Thank you Wendy for being so gracious about sharing your space!

 

Chocolate Coconut Quinoa Cookies

Rating: 51

Yield: 24

Chocolate Coconut Quinoa Cookies

Lightly adapted from: Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup of almond flour (or almond meal)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup of honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (see how to cook quinoa here)
  • ½ - ¾ cup unsweetened desiccated coconut (or more if necessary)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 deg Fahrenheit (180 deg cel) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together almond flour/meal, salt, baking powder in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together butter and honey until light and fluffy. Add eggs, pure vanilla extract and mix until pale and frothy. Gently mix in the almond meal mixture, ½ cup at a time, then stir in cooked quinoa, chocolate chunks and coconut. (If mixture is too liquid, add a bit more desiccated coconut).
  4. Scoop even amounts of the cookie batter and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, leaving an inch or so apart.
  5. Bake until golden, for around 12-15 minutes.

Notes

Note: these cookies will not be crispy, they are soft, chewy cookies thanks to the cooked quinoa, and they are so good, you won't be able to put them down. Servings 24, Calories 160, Fat 10.5g, Carbohydrates 15.6g, Protein 2.9g, Cholesterol 26mg, Sodium 132mg, Potassium 46mg, Fiber 1.3g, Sugars 11.8g

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Chocolate Hazelnut Tart with Quinoa Crust

chocolate-hazelnut-tart

chocolate-hazelnut-tart

I know, I know.

I was supposed to get all of the rich desserts out of the way by Valentine’s Day.

I truly meant for that to happen but life got in the way.

Still, it doesn’t seem fair to deprive you of this Chocolate Hazelnut Tart, which just may be my new favorite dessert.

This recipe was inspired by one in Food Network Magazine, though my crust is completely different (and gluten free) and my filling skips the heavy cream and is much healthier.  (Though sadly, this still doesn’t qualify as health food.  I promise to get back to healthy stuff with my next post.)

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart with Quinoa Crust

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart with Quinoa Crust

Ingredients

  • Crust
  • 1 1/4 cups quinoa flakes
  • 1/3 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/3 cup blanched hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vodka or water
  • Filling
  • 2 tablespoons organic cornstarch
  • 2 cups canned coconut milk
  • ¾ cup chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make the crust by placing quinoa flakes, quinoa flour, and hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor and process for 2 to 3 minutes. Add maple syrup and oil pulse until mixture comes together and becomes crumbly. Add vodka or water and pulse again. Turn mixture into tart pans and press into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, make filling by combining cornstarch and 1/2 cup of coconut milk in a small bowl. In a small saucepan combine remaining coconut milk, hazelnut spread, vanilla and salt. Heat to medium and whisk in cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil, scraping the sides of the pan with a rubber spatula. Boil the mixture for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into the crust and swirl the top. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. Top with reserved hazelnuts.
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This post was featured in Wellness Weekends

Gluten Free Quinoa Cinnamon Bites

GFCinnamonBites

GFCinnamonBites
I have talked at great lengths about how my boys can rarely agree on anything when it comes to food. It is so bad that I tell Skye nearly daily that she is not going to be a picky eater, even though I’m pretty sure she has no clue what I am saying.  (Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be working either.)

So when they do agree, and do so enthusiastically, it is cause for celebration.

I have been making them Cinnamon Bites for ages, and they love them every time.  They are great on trips and an easy treat to have on hand.

When we decided to take the family gluten free, I was worried about how they would respond.  Alex, especially, has a hard time when dishes change in any way.  He drives me crazy quizzing me about everything being the same as last time before he will take his first bite of anything.

I debated even telling them that I was making them gluten free.  But given my little detective, I decided I had to come clean.

I crossed my fingers when Christian took his first bite.  I was afraid I was going to have a whole batch of these babies that I was going to end up eating.

Whew!  He loved them.

Next up Alex.  His smile said it all.

We now enjoy these Gluten Free Quinoa Cinnamon Bites and when Skye is bigger she can too!

In other news, I am happy to be offering one of my favorite books, QuinoaFit at a special discount for a limited time.quinoa-fit

$8.99

$3.97

Coupon Code: Sweetheart

Let’s take a look at what you get:

breakfast

salads

Burgers&Patties

mains & sides

wraps&tacos

Desserts

$8.99

$3.97

Coupon Code: Sweetheart

Gluten Free Quinoa Cinnamon Bites

Rating: 51

Gluten Free Quinoa Cinnamon Bites

This is one of my favorite uses for my multi-purpose pizza dough!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb quinoa pizza dough
  • 3 tablespoons butter or Earth Balance
  • ¼ cup brown sugar OR coconut palm sugar
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place another large piece of parchment paper on your counter and sprinkle with gluten free flour. Roll crust into a rectangle, sprinkling with additional flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
  3. Using a pastry brush, spread butter evenly on the crust. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle on top.
  4. Starting at the LONG side of the dough, use your hands to gently roll the dough tightly. (You will be forming a long log.) Cut the dough with a sharp knife or kitchen shears into small bites.
  5. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Store for two days at room temperature or a week in the refrigerator.

Notes

Servings 12, Calories 117, Fat 4.2g, Carbohydrates 19.1g, Protein 2.7g, Cholesterol 8mg, Sodium 180mg, Fiber 1.5g, Sugars 2.9g

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Mint Quinoa Brownies

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mint-quinoa-brownies-2
Good news, folks!

Chocolate during Valentine’s Day doesn’t count.

It’s true….

Errr…

Well, not exactly.  But wouldn’t that be nice?

Truth be told, I do a pretty good job at staying away from the sweet stuff most of the time.  I actually have had a dark chocolate bar in my purse for two weeks I’ve been nibbling on.

One of my keys to success is that I rarely buy anything sweet and I try to only make desserts that I know the boys will love.

Alex has a thing for mint, and since he’s the picky one I decided that we would make some mint brownies this week.  (Would you believe he won’t eat regular brownies?)

Oh, my.  These Mint Quinoa Brownies tested even my resolve.

Good thing the boys are cute or I might have been tempted to do the back of the fridge trick I use to keep hubby from eating things.  Or maybe even bottom of the produce drawer where the boys would never, ever look.

Lucky for them in the spirit of love and all that jazz I didn’t.

If you have a mint-lover that you love, this is a great way to brighten up their holiday.

(And if not, I have a Nutella Tart that I’m hoping to re-test the crust for and get up soon.)

 

Mint Quinoa Brownies

Rating: 51

Mint Quinoa Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose gluten free quinoa flour blend (or 1/2 cup toasted quinoa flour and 1/2 cup all purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butter or Earth Balance, softened
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 2 eggs, beaten (see note)
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar, honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, quinoa, cocoa, baking powder and sea salt
  3. Place chocolate chips on the top of a double broiler heated to medium. Melt chocolate, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in butter, coconut oil, eggs, agave nectar, milk, mint extract and vanilla extract. Add to dry ingredients and beat until combined. Stir in almonds if using.
  4. Spread into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Notes

Vegan Option Note: I didn't have time to test this with flax eggs, but you could try it with 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds + 6 tablespoons warm water.

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Fudgy Black Bean Quinoa Brownies

fudgy-black-bean-brownies-3

fudgy-black-bean-brownies-3
Ok, raise your hand if you are done with your Christmas shopping.

No? Well I am about to make you feel better.

I haven’t started.  (Don’t you feel good about yourself now????)

Alex’s birthday is Wednesday and I’m actually quite pleased that I am done shopping for that.   I ordered everything from Amazon and it will be here Tuesday.  Nothing quite like waiting to the  last minute.

I’m looking at it as a good thing that I haven’t started, because every year the boys come up with a whole new list of things they really, really need just days before Christmas.  They sprung their sudden need for Angry Birds GO (something I’d never heard of) this morning.  Aren’t my boys lucky to have a Mom who procrastinates shopping?  Now I can get them what they really want.

Because it is the most stressful time of year to be a mom,  I’m giving you chocolate today.  Only these babies are the best kind of chocolate dessert.  The guilt free kind.

fudgy-black-bean-brownies
Brought to us by Jessica from Desserts with Benefits, these babies literally let you have your cake (err….brownie) and eat it too!
Fudgy Black Bean Quinoa Brownies

Rating: 51

Yield: 9

Calories per serving: 100

Fat per serving: 3.5g

Fudgy Black Bean Quinoa Brownies

This recipe is: eggless, sugar free, low fat, high fiber, gluten free, vegan!

Ingredients

  • Dry:
  • 144g (3/4 cup) Granulated Erythritol* (or dry sweetener of choice)
  • 60g (3/4 cup) Regular Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
  • 34g (1/4 cup) Quinoa Flour
  • 1+1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Instant Coffee (I used Starbucks VIA Columbia)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Wet:
  • 20g (3 tbs) Ground Flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbs Fresh Blueberry Puree**
  • one 15.5oz can Black Beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 14g (1 tbs) Canola Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 9" brownie pan with parchment paper both ways, set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir the flaxseed and almond milk together, set aside to thicken.
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  4. Rinse ~1 cup of fresh blueberries and puree in a blender. Pour all of the puree into a cup (no need to rinse out the blender, but try to pour at as much as possible). Measure 1/2 cup + 1 tbs and add back into the blender (drink the remaining blueberry puree ;D ) along with the black beans, oil, vanilla and thickened flaxseed mixture. Puree until all of the beans have been liquified. Pour into a clean large bowl.
  5. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the blender mixture and whisk. Add another 1/3 of the dry to the wet and whisk, then finally add the last 1/3 and whisk again (batter should be thick, feel free to fold in ~1 cup of chocolate chips, you chocolate-lovers!)
  6. Scoop the batter into the prepared brownie pan and spread to the edges. Bake for 45 minutes. To test if the center is cooked tap the surface and if it's firm and springs back, it's ready. Let cool for about 30-40 minutes in the pan, then flip onto a drying rack top-side/ugly-side down. Peel off the parchment paper and let cool completely before slicing.

Notes

*If you want super sweet brownies add 1/2 tsp of stevia extract or top with this healthy white icing

**These brownies have no blueberry taste. I couldn't even tell they were in there! No one will notice either, they will be focused alllll on the chocolate

These get even better if eaten the next day! I didn't know it was possible, but they got even more fudgy and chocolatey. I suggest wrapping half of the brownies for later and eating the remainder the day of... you know, just so you can compare the two ;)

Servings 9, Calories 100, Fat 3.5g, Carbohydrates 18g, Protein 4g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 290mg, Fiber 6g, Sugars 2g

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Jessica Stier is a university student majoring in Nutritional Sciences who also posts healthy dessert recipes over at Desserts with Benefits™! Jessica uses natural and nutritious ingredients to make dishes that you can feel good about eating because they are beneficial to your body and overall health.
Jessica now lives a healthy, active and balanced lifestyle after growing up unhealthy, sedentary and addicted to sugary, processed foods. She is determined to show people that healthy dessert does exist with every recipe she posts.
To learn more about Jessica and to see her healthy dessert recipes, check out here blog, Desserts with Benefits™!

Quinoa Cake Donuts

quinoa-cake-donuts

quinoa-cake-donuts
I watched a video the other day of my oldest son’s third birthday.  Oh, my.  I had forgotten his little guy voice and how I sometimes let his hair get a little shaggier that it should be because he’d scream the entire time he was getting his hair cut.  How did I not remember his cute little walk?  I’d forgotten that his brother, who was 22 months at the time, used to be insanely cranky right after he woke up from his nap and that he’d fussed through the entire party.

I was surprised at how tired I looked.  I mean right now, I’m exhausted.  I have a baby who wakes up for the day at 4:30am and still gets up at night.  It’s expected.  But somehow, it’s been forever since I’ve thought about the sheer intensity of those times.

It is crazy how when you are living it, it all seems so vibrant that those memories could never fade.  Let me tell you, having a one and two year old, and then two and three year old was an experience that I never thought would dull.  But you know, life goes on.

Children grow up and get easier.

These days, no one puts an entire roll of toilet paper in the commode or writes on the walls with my only lipstick.  (And those things are most definitely not happening simultaneously at the hands of two little boys in different rooms. )

Next week he will be nine.  How did that happen?  When did my “big boy” turn into such a little man?

It’s such a good lesson to appreciate what we have while we have it rather than just longing for the days when things will get easier.  I’d give anything to be able to go back and hold those wild little guys just one more time.  Mind you, I wouldn’t want to stay there in the world of potty training and chaos that is so very different that the chaos of today.  But just for a second, I’d like to appreciate the times that I’m afraid I forgot to enjoy quite as much as I should have.

Ok, enough of me being sappy.  (Sorry, birthday’s always do this to me.  Don’t even get me started on how mushy I’m going to be in April when Skye turns one…though she’ll probably be putting toilet paper in the commode and writing on walls.)

Today I’ve got a great recipe for you from Jordan and Clark at The Fitchen.  I’ll turn things over to her now.

~

 

If you’re in our kitchen, there’s a 75% chance that we have a pot of quinoa on the stove. Whether it’s a side for dinner or for munching on throughout the week, the healthy grain is a staple in this household. Usually, I’m satisfied with a simple preparation when it comes to quinoa: boil in water, add sea salt and pepper, and cook. But sometimes, I like to get creative with quinoa.
From burgers to cookies to salads, quinoa has proven its versatility time after time. One of my favorite tricks is to use quinoa in delicious recipes like this one. Low in sugar and high in protein, these donuts are a healthy alternative to frozen or fried breakfast options.



Quinoa Cake Donuts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 36

Quinoa Cake Donuts

Ingredients

  • Dry:
  • 3/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 c. quinoa flour
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 3/4 c. coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • Wet:
  • 1 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut butter + a little extra for greasing and topping
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. non-dairy milk + 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa. In a medium pot, add 1/2 c. of quinoa and 1 c. of water and bring to a boil. When the pot begins to boil, decrease the heat to a simmer. Stir every 5 minutes until all of the water has evaporated and the quinoa is fluffy.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350º and grease a mini donut pan with coconut butter or nonstick spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flours, corn starch, baking powder, salt, coconut palm sugar, and cinnamon. Use a fork to whisk everything together.
  4. In a small bowl, combine milk and lemon juice and set aside for 5 minutes.
  5. Add milk/lemon juice mixture, coconut butter, eggs, quinoa, and vanilla to a food processor and blend until well-combined.
  6. Add wet mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  7. To fill the donut forms, fill a Ziplock bag with the batter and snip the corner of the bag. Then squeeze it into the forms, filling 2/3 of the way full. 
  8. Bake the donuts for 8-10 minutes.
  9. If desired, lightly coat donuts with coconut butter and dip them into the coconut sugar for added crunch and sweetness.
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Recipe

Bio:
At The Fitchen, we are a husband-wife team that loves to create, eat, and share great food. We usually focus on recipes that are healthy and whole, and occasionally, we whip up something a little sinful. Many of our recipes are gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, or some combination thereof.
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Cranberry Crunch Bars

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cranberry-crunch-bars-211
You have heard me say more than once what picky eaters my boys are. Alex, especially, is difficult to please. To make matters worse, 90% of what Alex will eat Christian will not.

Sadly, this holds true for treats too. If one of them likes something, almost without exception, the other one is at best lukewarm. I can’t even imagine what things will be like if Skye turns out to be difficult too! (I get tired just thinking about it.)

Guys, today I have a recipe for you that both boys love! I’ve made these four times now, and just got a request to make them a fifth!

Best of all it’s packed with Supergrain cereal, almonds, dried fruit and pumpkin seeds. Nothing like sneaking a little nutrition in your holiday desserts, is there?

SupergrainDessertEbook_cover-1

I developed this recipe for Attune Foods as part of their Supergrain Dessert Recipe ebook! You can head on over to Attune and download this FREE ebook to get my recipe as well as other amazing looking Supergrain dessert recipes!

Low-Fat Cinnamon Walnut Loaf

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Low-Fat-Walnut-Cinnamon-Loaf-6666
From Naturally Sweet & Gluten Free, photo by Celine Saki

I am so excited to have Ricki Heller here with us today! Not only is she sharing an amazing Cinnamon Walnut Loaf with us, but she was also kind enough to take the time to answer some questions about her new book and allergy friendly baking.

Some of you might remember Ricki, who shared these muffins and this salad with us before. For those of you who don’t know her, you can thank me now for the introduction. Not only is she one of the most wonderful people I’ve met in many years, she is also and absolute wizard in the kitchen, especially when it comes to baked goods. Did I mention that all of her recipes are vegan, allergy friendly AND refined sugar free? (Hence the term wizard.)

I was lucky enough to get my hands on her recent book, Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free and I am absolutely blown away. First, it is utterly gorgeous. The boys came in while I was reading it and I ended up having to stop reading and flip through the book with them so that they could inform me of all the recipes I WOULD be making in the near future. :) If I didn’t love Ricki so much I might be a little upset by all the additional time I’ll be spending in the kitchen thanks to the boys infatuation with her scrumptious treats.

Good thing I found the time while Skye was napping to go back and read it carefully. I consider myself a pretty decent gluten free baker, but I learned so much from the introduction alone. It’s an amazing reference that I feel so lucky to have.

And then the recipes. So many amazing ones to choose from. The Cinnamon Buns are at the top of my list and will be making an appearance on Christmas morning. (I have a very weak spot for Cinnamon Rolls and they are one thing I really miss now that I’m Gluten Free.) I’ll also be trying the “Notella” (Chocolate Hazelnut Butter). The boys are craving the Butterschotch-Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Free Peanut Butter Cookies (YAY! Alex has a peanut allergy so this is perfect!), and the Chocolate Mystery Cupcakes. And that is just a start.

 

Needless to say, I think you should all run out and get it now.

Now, here’s what Ricki had to say when we had a chance to chat:

1) Why did you decide to create a book of recipes that are “free-from” so many ingredients? Isn’t it difficult to bake this way?

Let me answer the second part of the question first: only at the beginning. At this point, I’m so accustomed to baking this way that honestly, no, I don’t find it difficult at all. But I do understand that for people who’ve just been diagnosed with celiac disease, or have just found out that they are allergic to eggs, or nuts, or whatever, yes, it can be devastating. Like anything else, though, we humans are infinitely adaptable, and we learn things over time. So, now that I’ve been cooking and baking this way for more than a dozen years, it’s just second nature. And I can assure any of your readers in the same situation that it will feel that way for them, too, in time.

In answer to the first part of the question, I created the book, partly, because this is the way I bake nowadays; so for me, this is what’s “natural” and what I know. But as someone who had to learn the ins and outs of “free-from” baking over time, I very much wanted Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free to offer people an idea of what they can still achieve when they bake without gluten, eggs, dairy, sugars or whatever else might be missing in these recipes. As I’ve said many times before, living with food allergies or sensitivities need not feel like a culinary prison sentence. You can still enjoy all of the yummy treats you’re used to—and more. And people don’t even need to know that they’re “special” desserts!

2) For many people, the idea of gluten-free baking on its own is onerous. You’ve added vegan to the mix. Can you talk a little about how someone new to this kind of baking can accomplish this without feeling overwhelmed?

My best tip for people happens long before they start reading labels, or clearing out their kitchen, or go to the grocery store: it involves your attitude about the dietary changes, and the willingness to embrace a whole new way of cooking and eating. Think of it like visiting a new and exotic country, one that offers its own charms, and a native cuisine that is equally delicious to the one you already know, but a little different. When we go on holiday, we’re often willing to try out foods that we don’t necessarily eat at home. I think approaching a “free-from” diet that way can make all the difference for people.

In practical terms, I’d say the best thing you can do when starting out is to find one or two established experts whose work you trust, and just go with what they do for a while. So, when I first started baking with alternative ingredients, I bought a couple of cookbooks by authors I knew, and used their recipes exactly as written for the first few months. Once I was familiar with all the vegan egg substitutes, or once I was comfortable with the different kinds of gluten-free flours, their tastes and textures, and so on—then I ventured into starting to experiment with my own recipes.

Like anything else, it will take a while to acquire new skills. If I could find a reliable recipe for gluten-free, vegan brownies when I was new to the diet, why would I fiddle around on my own and make mistakes? Many of these ingredients are not exactly inexpensive, so you don’t want to have to throw away your mistakes. I think it’s better to go with recipes you know will work at first; then, slowly move to adapting your own later on.


3) What are your favorite gluten-free flours, and why?

Can I say “all of them”? Honestly, now that I’m so used to baking gluten-free, I just love all the variety and choice of flours when I’m about to bake something—I enjoy this kind of baking far more than I did the “everything-all-purpose-flour” wheat-based baking! With gluten-free flours, I can choose according to the type of recipe (whether it’s a delicate layer cake, for instance, versus a heavier, more robust pumpkin loaf); the flavor profile I want (whether something strong and rustic or light and neutral); or the dietary needs (whether grain-based or grain-free).

For everyday baking, I like to use my all-purpose flour mix, which is a good stand-in for the old all-purpose flour and can be measured one-for-one instead of wheat flour. For recipes with strong flavors or more robust textures like muffins, quickbreads, or savory flavors, I love to use quinoa or amaranth; I also love teff flour, which is tan colored and adds a slightly nutty, slightly chocolatey flavor to baked goods.

For very lightly flavored or a more tender crumb, I think sorghum or millet flours work best as the main flour in a mix (since most gluten-free baking requires at least two or three different flours combined to achieve the desired texture). Oat flour also has a lovely flavor, but it can be a bit gluey if you use too much in a recipe.

For grain-free baking, almond flour comes to mind as the main flour, but these days, coconut flour is often added to grain-free recipes, and of course there are the grain-free starches like arrowroot or potato starch (which I love). They add tenderness and binding power to baked goods. Lately, I’ve also been playing with seed flours like sunflower and pumpkinseed, and I love them both, too.


4) What’s your favorite recipe in from Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free?

Well, it’s become pretty clear to me that I’m incapable of answering this question with a single recipe—I’m like the actor whose favorite movie is always “the most recent one I did”! I love all the recipes (which is why I included them in the book!), but some of my favorites are the Allergy-Free Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, which is perfect for anyone with just about any allergy at all; it’s free from gluten, grains, nuts, soy, corn, eggs, dairy and any high glycemic sweeteners, yet it’s light and fluffy and can be piped to decorate cakes, and holds its shape at room temperature. That’s the frosting you see on the vanilla cupcakes on the cover of the book.

I also love the Fluffy Fruited Pancakes, which are very light and cake-like, yet provide a good hit of protein and fruit. Those are one of my hubby’s favorites, too. And because I’m such a chocaholic, I’m going to say that the Sweet Potato Brownies or the Ultra Fudgy Brownies are my last picks—they are great to serve to people who may be skeptical about whether “free-from” can still be decadent and delicious. Either one of these will convince them!


5) This is your second dessert book. Do you have any non-dessert books planned?

Yes! I don’t want the world to think that I’m totally dessert-obsessed (in reality I’m only 90% dessert obsessed). Seriously, I do eat real meals, savory breakfasts and other foods that aren’t dessert on a regular basis. My blog contains over 600 recipes for everything from appetizers to soup to salad to entrees to side dishes. My next book will focus on the other parts of the meal from those different categories—but of course will feature a few low glycemic desserts, too.



Low-Fat Cinnamon Walnut Loaf

Yield: Makes 1 loaf (about 8 to 10 slices)

Low-Fat Cinnamon Walnut Loaf

Despite what looks like a long ingredient list, this is really an easy bread to make. Its light, moist crumb will remind you of muffins, but it’s a bit more sturdy and a bit less sweet . . . perfect with nut butter for breakfast, or even as a means to sop up some hearty, savory soup. Don’t worry if the finished product doesn’t reach the top of the pan; this isn’t a tall bread, but it’s packed with flavor nonetheless! Recipe from Naturally Sweet & Gluten Free, used with permission. Photo by Ricki Heller.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp (25 ml) whole psyllium husks
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) natural smooth almond butter or tahini (sesame seed paste), at room temperature
  • Enough unsweetened plain or vanilla soy or almond milk to total 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) (see instructions)
  • 1/3 cup (55 g) teff flour
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) amaranth or quinoa flour
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) potato starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1?4 tsp (1 ml) pure stevia powder or 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) pure plain or vanilla stevia liquid, or to taste
  • 1?3 cup (40 g) walnut pieces or chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ?F (180 ?C). Lightly grease an 8.5- or 9-inch (20-22.5 cm) loaf pan, or line with parchment paper.
  2. Place the psyllium, vinegar, vanilla, and almond?butter in a 2-cup (500-ml) glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to reach the 11?2-cup (360-ml) mark. Using a small whisk or fork, whisk everything together until the almond butter is well dissolved in the liquid and no lumps remain. Set aside while you measure the dry ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, sift all remaining ingredients except for the walnuts. Whisk well to distribute all the ingredients evenly. Add the walnuts and stir to distribute.
  4. Whisk the liquid again to ensure that it’s smooth and everything is incorporated, then pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir just to combine (do not overmix!). Turn the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. It will only fill the pan about halfway; this is as it should be.
  5. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through baking, until the bread is well browned on the bottom and sides, and the top springs back when touched lightly (there will be a fairly thick crust by this time, but it should still spring back). A knife inserted in the center should come out moist but clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the?pan and set on a cooling rack; allow to cool completely before slicing. The bread is very moist on the first day and dries a bit by the second. Store, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. May be frozen.
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About Ricki

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Using only whole foods ingredients, a generous pinch of humor and input from her two chatty canines, Ricki shares gluten-free, allergy-friendly and sugar-free recipes on her blog, RickiHeller.com

Ricki’s second cookbook, Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free, became an instant amazon.com bestseller on its first day of sales. Her first book, Sweet Freedom, is one of only three cookbooks recommended by Ellen DeGeneres on her website. Ricki is also Associate Editor for Simply Gluten-Free Magazine and has written for Clean Eating magazine, Allergic Living, Living Without, VegNews, and many other publications.

Ricki lives near Toronto, Canada with her husband and two dogs.

Quinoa Baked Apples

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There is a lot NOT to like about getting older.

Grey hair for one.

How hard you feel it the next day when you say up way too late just because you are having fun is another.

Lately though, I’ve been thinking about some of the great things about getting older.

(Yes, I just said that.)

When I think back to what I was ten years ago, I realize how much more complete I am. How much more I have to offer. And how much better I like who I am and where I am at in life. I still have a lot of work to do but I’m surprisingly more comfortable with this that I once was.

You know another thing I really love? The simple things are so much more beautiful than they were a decade ago when I was still had a “bigger, better, faster, MORE!” mentality.

Last week, two mornings reminded me of this.

The first was such a simple celebration of life and family.

We all were awake early and the weather was surprisingly cool. Even though it is October we have been battling with the “Is Skye going to be too hot at the beach?” issue and as a result most of our visits have been in the late afternoon and evening when the humidity is lower. We took advantage of the weather and went on a walk on the beach for over an hour. The boys played in the surf along side us as we walked and Skye napped in her sling. We were back at the house before 8:30am and on a whim I decided to whip up pancakes for the boys. (All 3 of them!) It was deemed by little people and big people alike the best morning ever. Not because we did anything truly amazing, just because we were together and happy as a family, grateful for both where we were and each other.

I wouldn’t trade times like that for all the fancy dinners at 5 star restaurants that my 20′s and early 30′s were filled with.

The next morning, the boys slept in. Skye was up way too early, especially given that mom and dad may have enjoyed the prior evenings festivities a bit too much. (See point two about things that stink when you get older.) After we realized that bribing her with ponies and puppies was in fact not going to be successful in convincing her to go back to sleep, we brought her into bed with us. Our groggy, bleary-eyed, please God can I just get another half hour of sleep, to her all smiles, giggles and wiggles. Tugging my hair, giving Daddy her “I love you” eyes. Snuggled in between us, babbling endlessly as if we must know exactly what she is saying. Tired as I was, her perfection was overwhelming. Captivating.

Simple. Perfect. Moments.

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t say no to a spa vacation should the opportunity arise.

But given the choice between the two, I’d take a life filled with the perfect simplicity of now any day.

You know what else is simple and perfect? Baked Apples in the fall. This is a great one from my Gluten Free Quinoa Cookbook. Hope you enjoy.



Quinoa Baked Apples

Rating: 51

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 229

Fat per serving: 7.6g

Quinoa Baked Apples

Ahh! Nothing says fall like the smell of baked apples in the oven. Although these are special enough for dessert, I’ve been known to enjoy them for breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 6 baking apples (Like Golden Delicious or Granny Smith)
  • ¼ cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted quinoa flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance or Butter
  • 1 cup apple juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Using an apple corer or paring knife, remove cores of apples to ½ inch of the bottoms of the apples. Make the holes wide enough for stuffing.
  3. In a small bowl mix quinoa, rolled oats, walnuts, palm sugar, quinoa flour and cinnamon.
  4. Stuff cored apples with quinoa mixture. Place in a casserole dish and dot with Earth Balance or butter. Pour apple juice in the bottom of the dish. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to cool slightly before serving and top with ice cream or yogurt if desired.

Notes

Servings 6, Calories 229, Fat 7.6g, Carbohydrates 41.8g, Protein 2.4g, Cholesterol 10mg, Sodium 49mg, Giver 5.2g, Sugars 29.5g

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This post was featured in Meatless Mondays, Wellness Weekend and Traditional Tuesdays.

Quinoa Snickerdoodles

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I am so excited to have Andrew here today from The One Ingredient Chef. He’s sharing a great recipe for Quinoa Snickerdoodles with us. Don’t they look just amazing? As it would happen, Snickerdoodles are Alex’s favorite cookie so this recipe is sure to become a staple in our house.

~

I’m never making a cookie without quinoa again. It might sound totally bizarre to add quinoa to cookies, but after the first bite of a quinoa-based snickerdoodle, you’ll immediately understand why this marriage works so well. The light and fluffy quinoa enhances the softness of the sugar cookie, while its nuttiness brightens up the cinnamon sugar flavors you would expect in a snickerdoodle.

Quinoa_Snickerdoodles_Plate

Baking cookies with quinoa is not without its struggles, however. I experimented with different variations every day for a week until this recipe was just perfect. The first big hurdle with quinoa is dryness – when baked, quinoa often becomes as dry as pebbles and completely unpalatable. To get around this problem, we first coat the quinoa in applesauce to give it a barrier of moisture and a subtle layer of flavor. Additionally, we’re using whole wheat flour because, when combined with the light quinoa, it yields a solid texture with just the right amount of softness.

Quinoa_Snickerdoodles

Once the recipe was right, these cookies became a breeze to whip up. They are also completely vegan and (secretly) nutritious with plenty of quinoa, whole wheat, and flaxseeds. Though I have not tested other variations, these snickerdoodles could easily be made gluten-free with a gluten-free flour, such as sorghum.

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Quinoa Snickerdoodles

Rating: 51

Yield: 10

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Calories per serving: 104

Fat per serving: 4.8g

Quinoa Snickerdoodles

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour (or gluten free flour blend)
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar or Sucanat
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy margarine (Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • Cinnamon + sugar for coating

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 'flax egg' by mixing 2 teaspoons of ground flaxseed with 2 tablespoons warm water in a small bowl. Stir together and set aside for 5-10 minutes and the flaxseed becomes like a jelly that makes a fantastic healthy substitute for egg-free baking.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together the margarine, brown sugar, and vanilla until fully incorporated. Add the flax egg and stir to combine.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with apple sauce. As mentioned, this is hugely important for the final texture. Often when baking with quinoa, the seeds dry out and become crunchy. By first mixing with the apple sauce, it ensures the quinoa will have enough moisture to retain its delicious fluffy consistency in these cookies.
  4. Add the remaining dry ingredients – whole wheat flour, cinnamon, and baking powder –into the quinoa. Stir until well incorporated. Then, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the bowl of margarine and sugar.
  5. Cover this batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 90 minutes and up to 24 hours before baking. Chilling allows the batter to "relax" which yields softer cookies that have more developed flavors.
  6. When ready to bake, Preheat the oven to 375º F. Then, using your hands, roll the chilled batter into 8-10 balls. Dip the balls in a bowl of cinnamon and sugar to coat and place on a lightly-oiled baking sheet. Press down gently with a fork to flatten the cookies.
  7. Bake just until the edges are golden and crispy, but the centers are still soft and chewy, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool fully before removing from the tray. Enjoy!

Notes

Servings 10, Calories 104, Fat 4.8g, Carbohydrates 13.5g, Protein 1.4g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 43mg, Fiber .8g, Sugars 4.9g, WW Pts 3

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About Andrew Olson

Andrew is the founder of the One Ingredient Diet – a healthy-eating movement built around whole, unprocessed foods. To learn about the One Ingredient Diet and get Andrew’s FREE manifesto (including recipes and menu plans), click here.

You can get many more delicious whole-food recipes on Andrew’s blog, One Ingredient Chef. You can also “like” One Ingredient Chef on Facebook and follow @AndrewOlson on Twitter.

Peach Quinoa Crumble

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I’m excited to have Meg from Sweet Twist of Blogging here with us today!

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Hi Everyone, I am Meg from Sweet Twist of Blogging I am so happy to be doing a guest post on Cooking Quinoa. This site is my go to for awesome quinoa recipes. Since I am obsessed with quinoa I am on it often. I am a marketing finance professional by day (except this year as I am on mat leave), baker, blogger and fairly new mom every other second of the day. My little one is almost 10 months. To break free from a life of numbers and spreadsheets, I started blogging to explore my passion and be creative. I love baking, coming up with new creations and working on my photography, “Sweet Twist of Blogging” is where I can do all these things and more. Sweet Twist of Blogging is mostly about baking. I like to find a balance between rich desserts and healthier desserts. Too many rich ones plays hell on my waistline so it is important to not over do it. This is why I love quinoa, it is a great way to add a healthy aspect to your desserts. I have made a lot of crumbles and crisps in my lifetime and using quinoa was a great switch up and an easy sneak in.

If you are looking for some baking goodies come on by. You can find me in many places.

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Peach Quinoa Crumble

Rating: 51

Yield: 16

Calories per serving: 287

Fat per serving: 13,7g

Peach Quinoa Crumble

Ingredients

  • Peaches
  • 9-12 medium peaches
  • 1/2 cup blueberries/raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • Crumble
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 3/4 cup butter, cool but close to room temp, in chunks

Instructions

  1. 1) Peel and slice the peaches and place in a large bowl. Place a sieve over the fruit, a sugar, cinnamon, flour and cornstarch and sift over fruit. Mix together.
  2. 2) Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly spray a 9x13 pan. Place the fruit mixture into the pan.
  3. 3) In another large bowl mix together all ingredients except the butter.
  4. 4) Add the butter and mix together with your hands, pressing the butter in to the dry mixture similar to cutting butter into a pie dough. The mixture will begin to come together but still crumbly.
  5. 5) Top the fruit with this mixture, gently mixing in a little bit as well.
  6. 6) Bake for 45-55 minutes. Top will be golden, fruit will be bubbling.

Notes

Servings 16, Calories 287, Fat 13.7g, Carbohydrates 38.7g, Protein 4.8g, Cholesterol 23mg, Sodium 66mg, Fiber 3.4g, Sugars 20.5g, WW Pts 8

Wendy's Note: For an unrefined option to brown sugar try muscovado sugar!

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Chocolate Chip Quinoa Blondies

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Happy August!

This month is going to be a busy one for us, full of travel.  We are going to be visiting with family (Grandma has to get her baby snuggles in!) and taking the kids to the beach.  I’m nervous and excited all at once.

Nervous because traveling with a four month old can be a little dicey.  She was an amazing traveler when she was a newborn, but then, most newborns are. We are planning shorter days and more stops to get there than normal, and I’m hopeful that that will help things go smoothly.  (Cross your fingers for us!)

Excited because we are headed to the beach for a couple of months.  (Yes, months! )  We are planning on hitting there right when most kids are back in school so we will still get to enjoy the warm water minus the crowds and the cost.  Baby girl has a brand new beach wardrobe.  And hats…oh the hats are just so cute!

Some of my favorite memories when I was little were beach vacations.  We lived about an hour or so from St. Augustine, FL  and every year my parents would rent a condo for a week.  My mom would spend weeks planning ahead cooking and we always had the best food!  (Now I understand her planning ahead was so that she could vacation too!)

Of course, I always ate way too much junk food.  I’ve been trying to come up with some new recipes that would feel like the beach food I remember to the boys, only healthier.

These Quinoa Blondies were a huge hit, especially with my youngest son. Since they are flourless, they are more dense than normal blondies but also very moist.

 

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I stored them in the refrigerator (as I do all gluten free goodies) and they lasted just fine for several days. (At which point they were all eaten so they may have been good for longer!)

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Blondies

Yield: 16

Calories per serving: 156

Fat per serving: 7.2g

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Blondies

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cups almond meal
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, softened
  • 2 eggs (see note)
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, combine almond meal, quinoa, tapioa starch, xanthan gum, baking powder and sea salt. Blend for 2 minutes, until smooth.
  3. Add sugar, butter, eggs, applesauce, vanilla and almond extract and pulse until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow to cool and cut into squares.

Notes

Servings 16, Calories 156, Fat 7.2g, Carbohydrates 21.6g, Protein 2.4g, Cholesterol 29mg, Sodium 118mg, Fiber 1g, Sugars 12.4g Note: For a vegan alternative you could use 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds mixed with 6 tablespoons hot water as an egg replacer. I haven't tested this however.

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Quinoa Berry Mousse Tarts

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I’m so excited to have Mara here with us today from Elemental Custard.  Mara is sharing with us some amazing looking Quinoa Berry Mousse Tarts

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Hello quinoa enthusiasts! My name is Mara, and I blog over at www.elementalcustard.com. When I received the email to guest post on CookingQuinoa.net I was thrilled for the opportunity. But wait…. what could I possibly contribute that Wendy hasn’t already perfected? THE PRESSURE! Deep breaths. I didn’t let it overwhelm me… at least not for long…

 

I DO love quinoa, and I have posted before on my blog about Quinoa-Tofu burgers, and Quinoa and Kale Tabouli, but I have never attempted a dessert using quinoa!

Challenge accepted.

 

Since it’s summer time, a berry-mousse filled tart sounded like the way to go.  Now personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of tart dough, so I thought a quinoa-cookie crust would be just the ticket.  Gluten-free quinoa tarts with berry mousse it is. A match made in heaven!

 

The addition of chocolate to the mix resulted in a flavor packed tart shell bursting with quinoa goodness- ready to fill with the luscious and creamy berry mousse. AND if you are feeling lazy or think the tarts are too much work, you can bake them up as cookies and just eat those. Some of my tart shells met this fate. I found myself “accidentally” breaking some, declaring them unworthy and eating them plain.

 

Making the tart shells with a muffin tin is a great way to produce single serving tarts without the economic burden of buying a bunch of mini tart pans. Simply press the dough into the muffin wells (making sure to keep it thin enough or your crust will overwhelm the filling) and voila- tart shells.

 

The final result was a dramatic looking tart. The crunchy, chocolaty crust was a striking contrast with the vibrant creamy fruit filling mousse. A success I think. Let me know if you try them!

 

Dairy Free Tarts? No problem! You can easily skip the cream in the mousse for coconut cream (delish) – directions below.

 

For the chocolate lover: try a Chocolate mousse filling! Chocolate bomb!!

 

Quinoa Tart Shells

Rating: 51

Yield: 12

Serving Size: 1 tart

Calories per serving: 118

Fat per serving: 6.6g

Quinoa Tart Shells

Makes: ~12 tarts (using a normal sized muffin tin) – I had a little bit of dough left over so I used it to make a few “tester” cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup almond flour (finely ground almonds)
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the coconut oil and the sugar together until creamed together well. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  2. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix to form a soft dough. Grease a muffin tray with coconut oil. Spoon ~ 1-2 heaped tbsps of dough into each muffin well and using your fingers (wet them slightly if the dough is sticking)- press the dough up the sides of the muffin well. Make the thickness of the shell the thickness that you desire for your crust- I made mine quite thin since it can overpower the delicate filling if you have too much crust.
  3. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Let cool fully on a wire rack before adding your filling.

Notes

Servings 12, Calories 118, Fat 6.6g, Carbohydrates 13.6g, Protein 2.4g, Cholesterol 14mg, Sodium 20mg, Fiber 1.6g, Sugars 6.6g

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Berry Mousse

Rating: 51

Yield: 12

Calories per serving: 44

Fat per serving: 1g

Berry Mousse

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatine
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen blackberries/blueberries
  • ¾ cup fresh/frozen raspberries
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (OR ¼ cup coconut cream*)

Instructions

    Berry Puree:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the gelatine and water and let sit until softened. Meanwhile, heat/thaw the berries in a small saucepan over medium heat with the lemon juice and ¼ cup of maple syrup to let the juices release. Strain the berries well through a sieve (I use a spatula to squeeze all the juice out of the seeds so that you are left with ~ ¾- 1 cup of berry puree. Return to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the softened gelatine and stir to incorporate well. Allow the puree to cool.
  2. Meringue
  3. beat the egg whites with 1 tbsp of maple syrup until they look creamy and hold soft peaks. We aren’t cooking the whites so I used pasteurized, but feel free to do a Swiss meringue- its more finicky though.
  4. Cream:
  5. Beat the cream until it has soft peaks. Fold the meringue into the cooled berry puree followed by the cream until incorporated.
  6. NOTE: This mousse will look really liquidy. Don’t worry- it will set up- it just takes a bit of waiting!
  7. Spoon this filling evenly into the tart shells. If you have any extra, put it in a glass for a quick treat! Place the tart shells in the fridge and now you just have to play the waiting game- at LEAST 4 hours but better if it goes for 8 or overnight. Garnish with some shaved chocolate or fresh berries and enjoy!

Notes

*take a full fat can of coconut milk and place in the fridge overnight or freezer (for ~30-60min) to allow the cream to separate from the liquid- scoop this cream off and whip it just how you would cream- it will be thicker from the get-go) Servings 12, Calories 44, Fat 1g, Carbohydrates 7.9g, Protein 1.3g, Cholesterol 3mg, Sodium 16mg, Fiber .7g, Sugars 6.2g

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Mara Alexanian-Farr is a Nutritional Scientist currently studying to become a Registered Dietician. She also is an avid-food lover, photographer and regularly develops and tests health-oriented recipes for her blog- www.elementalcustard.com.

 

Follow her on:

Twitter: @ElemntalCustard

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElementalCustard

Blueberry Almond Streusel Muffins

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A while back I ran across Willow’s blog in the middle of the night while Skye was snacking and I was trying desperately to stay awake long enough to get her safely back into her bassinet.  Even in my sleep deprived stupor I was struck by her gorgeous photography and amazing recipes.  I knew at once I had to convince her to come share with us!  Lucky for me she agreed and I’m so excited to have her here today to share her Blueberry Almond Streusel Muffins.  Don’t they look amazing?!  The only thing better is if she’d made me some. :)

Please welcome her and make sure you stop by her website, Will Cook For Friends and say hi!

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Hello, everyone!

I’m so excited to be writing in for Wendy today. When she asked if I’d be willing to do a guest post for her, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. Thank you so much for having me!

I’ve always loved quinoa, but for as much as I enjoy eating it I consider myself to be a bit of a novice when it comes to cooking with it. I’ve always wanted to explore some of its less-common uses, and as I started thinking about all the options my head began to spin. Quinoa is so much more versatile than just cooking up to toss in a salad or use in place of rice… from making pudding, to pasta, or pie crust to pancakes (wow, does quinoa work for everything that starts with a P?), the possibilities are quite truly endless. Finally my spinning mind landed on something I have always wanted to try – quinoa in baking.

I’ve seen a lot of recipes for quinoa cakes and breads, but have never tried my hand at it before. I love to experiment with gluten-free baking, and today seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a go.

These muffins have been floating around in the back of my brain for ages – blueberries, almonds, oats, oh my! – and I was beginning to think I had fantasized over them so much that they would never turn out as good as I imagined. Now that they’re a reality, though, I have to say they lived up to my every expectation and then some. If you were to try one of these muffins without being told, you probably wouldn’t guess that they’re gluten-free… or better yet, vegan. (I’ve included vegan substitutions that bake up equally as good as the original.)

Gluten-Free-Blueberry-Muffins-1

My goal whenever I’m making something gluten-free or vegan is to do it without sacrificing on flavor or texture. These muffins are sweet (but not too sweet), moist (but not too moist), and tender with just a bit of chew. I find that most store-bought gluten-free flour blends can give baked goods a slightly off flavor, so I always prefer to use my own mix of flours instead, that way I have complete control over what goes into my recipe and can tweak things as necessary. The magic combination for these muffins was rolled oats, quinoa flakes, and sorghum flour. (I love sorghum for its mild flavor and smooth texture, but you could probably substitute quinoa flour or coconut flour, if you prefer). Just remember that not all oats are gluten-free, so be sure to look for the certified gluten-free label!

 

These muffins are best eaten the day they’re made, but do just fine at room temperature overnight, or can be frozen and quickly warmed in the microwave for breakfasts on-the-go. I’ve included a few recipe variations to make them vegan or nut-free, depending on what you’re going for. Feel free to play with the flavors and use this recipe as a base for your own muffin masterpiece.

 

 

Blueberry Almond Streusel Muffins (Gluten-Free, with Vegan Option)

Yield: 12 muffins

Blueberry Almond Streusel Muffins  (Gluten-Free, with Vegan Option)

gluten-free, easily made vegan* *see vegan variations at bottom of recipe

Ingredients

    For the streusel topping:
  • 3 TBSP sorghum flour
  • 3 TBSP gluten-free rolled oats
  • 3 TBSP dark brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter, chilled*
  • 4 TBSP sliced almonds (or other nuts - optional)
  • For the batter:
  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free rolled oats, separated
  • ½ cup quinoa flakes
  • ½ cup sorghum flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp. Kosher salt (or ¼ tsp. table salt)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs*
  • ¾ cup almond milk (or coconut milk, soy milk, etc.)
  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt*
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. Gluten-free vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. Almond extract (or more vanilla, or other flavoring)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F., lightly grease the top of your muffin tin (to keep the edges of the muffin tops from sticking), and line the pan with muffin liners.
  2. Make the streusel first: in a bowl, combine the sorghum flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Using a couple forks or a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until it forms small, even little pieces no bigger than peas. Add the sliced almonds and stir to combine, then set in the fridge to keep cool while making the batter.
  3. For the batter: add 1 cup of the rolled oats to your blender or food processor, and spin until finely ground. In a large bowl, combine the freshly-ground oat flour, the last ½ cup rolled oats, the quinoa flakes, sorghum flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and sugar. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, almond milk, yogurt, and extracts.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir to combine. Add the melted coconut oil, and mix well.
  5. If you're using frozen blueberries, toss them in a bowl with an extra TBSP of sorghum flour to coat – this will keep the berries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins, and help prevent them from staining the batter too much. If your berries are fresh, skip this step and add them directly to the batter. Fold the berries in gently.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tins, then sprinkle the streusel topping over each one. It may seem like a lot, but don't be afraid to use all of it.
  7. Place the muffins on the middle rack of your preheated oven and reduce the heat to 375 degrees F.. Bake for 24-26 minutes, rotating the pan half-way through to ensure even baking. Remove from oven and let cool before eating (the muffins will be very delicate when hot, and will firm up as they cool). Muffins can be kept at room temperature overnight, or wrapped in plastic and stored in the freezer for up to a couple of weeks.

Notes

Variations –

To make these muffins vegan:

Swap the butter in the streusel topping for your favorite substitute. Replace the eggs with two flax eggs (one flax egg = 1 TBSP ground flax + 3 TBSP water), or two chia seed eggs (one chia egg = ½ TBSP ground chia + 3 TBSP water) – you can find my tutorial on how to make either of these here: How To Make a Flax or Chia Egg (hyperlink: http://www.willcookforfriends.com/2013/06/how-to-make-chia-egg-flax-egg-just-met.html ) In place of the yogurt, use 4 TBSP unsweetened applesauce + 1 tsp. Lemon juice

Other variations:

To make the muffins nut-free, omit the almonds and replace the almond extract with more vanilla, or some other flavoring.

Blueberries not your thing? Swap them for other berries, chocolate chips, or nuts. Feel free to play around and make this recipe your own – don't worry, I won't mind!

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_____________________________________

 

Willow is the writer, photographer and home-chef behind scenes of the blog  Will Cook For Friends, where she creates and shares delicious from-scratch recipes made with whole, healthful ingredients. She is entirely self-taught and has recently started an educational series with a focus on culinary science, nutrition and more. When she’s not in the kitchen, you will most likely find her with her nose in a book or her head in the clouds.

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Parfait

Parfai1t

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t getting discouraged with this whole knee thing. At this point,  I’m pretty sure that Skye is going to be walking before I am.

You know the worst part about not being mobile? Not leaving the house for the last three weeks. Throw in a 2 month old (even a very good 2 month old who slept from 8pm to 5am last night – Go Skye!) and you’ve got a recipe for stir crazy.

Hubby suggested I get a scooter-roo (his word,not mine) to which I said he should most definitely sleep with one eye open.   Or possibly consider hiring a bodyguard while he slept.  (I’ve never actually seen someone under the age of 70 in one of those things.)

Lucky for him it is Father’s day weekend and I have a guilty conscious about all he has had to do for me in the last few weeks – and how hard I’ve been on him about his cooking.  Seriously, the man thinks it takes a half stick of butter to cook anything.  Can someone please tell him that my sun-dried tomato and spinach quesadilla does not need to be cooked in butter and certainly not deep fried in butter?  Because I told him but apparently we weren’t communicating.  He smiled and said he understood when what he really meant was that he heard me but he was going to keep doing things his way.  I know this because the next day the boys informed me that Dad’s hot dogs were better than mine because they tasted so buttery.  (And no, my boys don’t eat hot dogs often under normal circumstances….) My knee must heal quickly or we are all going to have high cholesterol and heart disease!

Must focus on feeling grateful that he is keeping everyone fed….must focus on…

While I’m busy driving the family crazy, how about we share a parfait?

Parfait

These little parfaits from Christi at Mom What’s for Dinner are the perfect way to start your day! They also work great as a healthy dessert alternative. They curb your sweet tooth without all the calories and fat. If you are looking for something sweet that is full of protein and actually good for you, then this is the recipe for you!

Parfait3

Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfait

Rating: 51

Ingredients

    For Oat Crumble:
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar or 1 tsp stevia
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • For Cinnamon Apples:
  • 4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 TBSP sugar or 1/2 TBSP Stevia
  • 1 cup water, or more if necessary
  • For Yogurt:
  • 2 cups non-fat vanilla, greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Start by making the apples. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients, mixing well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Partially cover and cook until apples are softened and liquid is syrupy, about 10 minutes. Add more water if needed in the cooking process. Take off heat and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. For the Oats:
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Evenly spread on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 7-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. For Quinoa:
  5. Cook 1 cup quinoa according to package directions. Once cooked, add 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, mix well. Set aside to cool.
  6. Put it together
  7. Spoon 1/4 cup yogurt in bottom of glass.
  8. Spoon 1/4 cup quinoa on top of the yogurt.
  9. Spoon 1/4 cup cinnamon apples on top of the quinoa.
  10. Repeat the layering and top with oat crumble. Repeat with remaining glasses.
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Recipe from Mom Whats for Dinner.  Connect with her here:

momwhatsfordinn

 

 

Peach Bran Muffins with Quinoa

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I’m excited to have Carol from Vegan Recipes for Health here with us today!  Be sure to check out her YouTube channel for more great recipes.

~

Muffins, Muffins. I love Muffins. For something really quick when I’m in a hurry, muffins are perfect. If I think I’m going to need a snack when I’m on the go, I remove a muffin from the freezer and take it with me. Keeps me from being ravenous and eating the wrong things.

I came up with this one the other day in an effort to get more quinoa in my diet. I just tweaked my bran muffins and added the quinoa and voila! Another muffin recipe.

I take a treat every Monday morning to a volunteer group I’m in, so I can never have too many muffin recipes. Hope you enjoy the one below with Peaches, which are wonderfully abundant in this season.

peach-quinoa-muffins-5

More muffin recipes are on my website: http://veganrecipesforhealth.com

 

Peach Bran Muffins with Quinoa

Rating: 51

Yield: 36 muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Calories per serving: 163

Fat per serving: 7.3g

Peach Bran Muffins with Quinoa

If you like bran muffins, you will like these. They are healthy, hearty, full of fiber and delicious. These Peach Bran Muffins with Quinoa are a variation of my Bran Muffins.

This recipe doubled makes enough batter to keep in the refrigerator for six weeks. Prepare the mixture. Bake as many as needed and store the batter in the refrigerator. Another thought is to bake all the muffins at the same time. Use what you will and freeze the rest.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups All-bran cereal
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup evaporated sugar cane juice or granulated sugar.
  • Note: (Evaporated sugar cane juice is a solid not a liquid and its name implies. This sugar is not as refined and granulated sugar).
  • 4 egg replacers (Ener-G)
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup Spelt (or Whole Wheat) flour or sprouted flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked Quinoa
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins, soaked to plump up
  • 2 cups walnuts, chopped
  • 4 small fresh ripe peaches, pitted and diced
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Mix almond milk and lemon juice together and set aside.
  2. Pour boiling water over 3 cups bran. Let stand for a few minutes. Mix in the applesauce. Mix together sugar, egg replacer and soured almond milk. Next, add the soda and salt, then combine the flour and rest of the ingredients to the bran just until moistened.
  3. Muffin tip: When making muffins, mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  4. Spoon into lightly greased muffin tins nearly to the top so your tops will be rounded. Otherwise, you will have a flat muffin.
  5. Bake 400 for 18 to 20 minutes, or until done.

Notes

Servings 36, Calories 163, Fat 7.3g, Carbohydrates 22.9g, Protein 4.4g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 187mg, Fiber 4.3g, Sugars 11.3g

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Carol Fitzgerald was born and reared in Rockford, Illinois. She lived in Chicago for eighteen years while dividing her time between there and her gracious home, “lady on the lake” near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

A Magna cum laude graduate of the University of Wisconsin, she is a former freelance writer and newspaper columnist. She has been a substitute school teacher and has taught etiquette/courtesy classes to children on a private basis.

Fitzgerald is certified in Plant-based nutrition through eCornell in association with the T. Colin Campbell Foundation.

In addition to her avid interest in health and all things well-being, she creates mini-books and makes her own beautiful and colorful envelopes.

Fitzgerald is married to a “great guy” and they have five grown children and five very precious grandchildren. She and her husband, Bill, live in a place where the sun shines everyday. Well, almost!

Fitzgerald’s most recent book is You Don’t Have to be Vegan to Enjoy These Meals, which is available on her website: http://www.veganrecipesforhealth.com. She also hosts a Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/user/Thecarobi5.

Fitzgerald is at work on her fifth book, another vegan cookbook.

Quinoa Brownies

quinoa-brownies

Quinoa-Brownies-2

Today, I’m really excited to have Leanne Vogel here to share an amazing recipe for quinoa brownies with you.  Leanne Vogel is a holistic nutritionist and the girl behind the healthy living blog, Healthful Pursuit.  Whether you’re sensitive to dairy, gluten, soy, eggs, grains, or sugar, or are just interested in eating healthy, Leanne’s fun and simple healthy recipes; of which she has more than 550 on her blog, are a great resource for everyone.

~~~

Hi Guys! I’m absolutely thrilled to be stopping by today and sharing a brand new recipe with you… but before we get to the chocolate action; let’s chat about dairy, shall we?

About 10 years ago, I suffered for major digestive problems, sinus infections and issues with my complexion. No matter what ointment, antibiotic or prescription I filled, the issues just stuck around. It was so frustrating. Sound familiar?

After a bunch of testing and trial and error, we discovered that all the issues I was experiencing were directly linked to my dairy consumption. Within weeks of making the dairy-free switch, I started feeling better. No cramps, no upsets, my skin was clearing up, I could breathe out of my nostrils… it was a magical thing.

I haven’t had dairy since.

Quinoa Brownies (6)

Magic aside, cutting the dairy out of your life; and out of your favorite recipes, can be a challenge. All of your favorite puddings, icings, cakes and savory dishes have to be reworked to make way for dairy-free alternatives and sometimes the alternatives suck.

Ya, I said it.
Quinoa-Brownies-(8)

After a decade of being dairy-free and learning what it takes to thrive on the diet; along with being allergic to a host of other foods, I created the Done with Dairy Toolkita (free) guide to living dairy-free with loads of dairy-free recipes and health tips from yours truly. All of the recipes are gluten-free, too!

My top 3 ways to make a dessert recipe dairy-free is:

  1. Replace cream with chilled, full-fat coconut milk at a ratio of 1 to 1 in baked desserts like cupcakes, tarts or scones.
  2. Use 1/4 cup cashews soaked for 24 hours in water, drained and blended with 1/2 cup water as a replacement for cream in no-bake desserts.
  3. Always having a batch of homemade nut or seed milk on hand as a 1 to 1 replacement for 1% milk in baked desserts like muffins, cookies or cakes.

I massively enjoy liberating the restrictive feeling that food allergies can give all of us by busting through recipes with an allergen-free fist. Basically, I like to challenge myself to take on otherwise allergen-packed recipes and make them safe for everyone. And in this recipe today, I’ve given you a glimpse into all the healthy recipe action I have over on my blog, Healthful Pursuit. So, without further adieu, let’s get to some quinoa, dairy-free, allergen-free baking action, shall we?

Quinoa-Brownies-(3)

Quinoa Brownies

Yield: 16

Quinoa Brownies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup raw uncooked white quinoa
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 batch of dairy-free frosting (optional)
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add quinoa and water to a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand with lid on for 5 minutes.
  2. Fluff with fork, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F and coat a 8×8 cake pan with a dab of coconut oil or other oil.
  4. Place all ingredients, including cooked quinoa, into the bowl of your food processor or high powered blender. Process until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake in center of oven for 38-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove brownies from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 16 squares and topping each with optional frosting and a dust of powdered sugar.

Notes

Notes

I have not tried to use black or red quinoa in this recipe, but I'm just about certain that it would work.

I have not tried to use any other sugar in this recipe, but I'm sure any granulated sugar would work.

For non-dairy milk, I used unsweetened original almond milk. Any dairy-free milk would do the trick.

I have not tried to make this recipe vegan or egg-free but I suppose flax eggs (2 tablespoons of freshly ground flax mixed with 6 tablespoons of water and left to sit for 5 minutes) could work in this recipe.

I am sure that any other type of oil work work well in this recipe.

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I’d love to know – have you tried going dairy-free? Do you have some dairy-free tips of your own? Please share!

Leanne_HealthfulPursuitAuthor bio: Leanne Vogel is a holistic nutritionist who has chosen to celebrate her allergies, overcome her food restrictions, release her negative relationship with food and live freely. You can find her living out her journey as she documents her latest adventures on her blog, www.healthfulpursuit.com.

Connect with Leanne…

Facebook: healthfulpursuit

Twitter:@be_healthful

Trail Mix Quinoa Cookies

trail-mix-quinoa-cookies-2

trail-mix-quinoa-cookies-2You’ve all heard me talk about how difficult it is to find anything that both my boys will eat. Unfortunately, that difficulty extends to desserts! Yep, one of my little princes likes chocolate…and the other tolerates it but flatly rejects anything that he deems to be “too chocolaty”. (Yet somehow his favorite Cliff Bar is Chocolate Mint…go figure.)  Sadly, I’ve yet to understand the metric by which he determines that a treat has too much chocolate in it.

These Trail Mix Quinoa Cookies are the rare exception in that they both loved them! A little bit of chocolate for the baby (I guess I’m going to have to stop calling him that soon…Sigh….).   Not t0o much for big brother who really likes the addition of dried cranberries to his cookies.

 

 

trail-mix-quinoa-cookies

This is one of those recipes I’m going to likely play with for a while and see how far I can go on the healthy side before they end up not getting eaten.   First up will be seeing if I can make it work upping the applesauce content and decreasing the palm sugar.

 

Trail Mix Quinoa Cookies Cookies

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 32 minutes

Yield: 30

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Calories per serving: 119

Fat per serving: 5.3g

Trail Mix Quinoa Cookies Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs OR flax eggs (2 tablespoons flax meal + 6 tablespoons warm water)
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/3 cup gluten free flour blend OR white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup quinoa flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your GF flour blend has xanthan or if you are using wheat flour)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup quinoa flakes
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup walnuts, slivered almonds pecans or sunflower seeds (or a blend)

Instructions

  1. Make flax eggs by combining 2 tablespoons flax meal with 6 tablespoons warm water. Stir well and set aside to thicken.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl combine (flax) egg, coconut oil, applesauce, coconut palm sugar, vanilla and almond extract, stirring well until combined. In a separate bowl combine gluten free flour blend, quinoa flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and quinoa flakes. Add to wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Add in chocolate chips, cranberries and either walnuts, pecans or sunflower seeds.
  4. Drop by the spoonful onto parchment lined pans. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to rack to cool completely.

Notes

Servings 30, Calories 119, Fat 5.3g, Carbohydrates 16.6g, Protein 2.1g, Cholesterol 11mg, Sodium 118mg, Fiber 1.1g, Sugars 6.8g, WW Pts 3

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Strawberry Quinoa Corn Cakes

StrawberryQuinoaCornCakes

StrawberryQuinoaCornCakes

In my next life, I’ll be one of those Mom’s who has a ton of patience.

You know what I’m talking about. The kind of Mom who can tackle any project on Pinterest with her kids and never lose her cool.

Or the one who actually can relax while cooking with her kids.

Despite the fact that I love cooking, I find cooking with the boys extremely stressful – especially if it is something for the website or a cookbook.

My 7 year old’s need to “fluff” the flour while he’s pouring it (and thereby sending an unknown amount on the counter meaning I have to test the recipe again to make sure it actually works) is enough to make me lose my cool.  (And that’s when I’m not a pregnant mess.)  And don’t even get me started their capacity to spill ingredients with over-zealous stirring.

Yes it makes me feel terrible.  And yes I know that as a good mom to boys I have to teach them how to cook.  I was just kind of hoping we could put it off until they were in double digits and some of their raw energy had burned off a bit.

You can imagine my stress when I asked the boys what they wanted to learn in school and my 8 year old replied that what he wanted more than anything is for me to teach him to cook and to let him help with website recipes.

Inside I’m like “Noooooo….ask for a trip to Epcot instead.  Tell me you want me to take you to Egypt to see the pyramids.  (At least I don’t feel bad saying no to that one.) Or Pennsylvania to learn about chocolate and the Amish.  Anything that doesn’t require my daily patience in the kitchen.”

StrawberryQuinoaCornCakes3

You see, he doesn’t just want me to teach him how to make kid-friendly food that’s easy.  (I can handle teaching him how to make grilled cheese or french toast.) He says he wants to be a “chef” like me (Can I get a collective laugh on that one?) when he’s older and says needs to start learning now.  And little brother wants to come along for the ride.

There is a reason Alex is nicknamed the commander – he’s darn near impossible to say no to.  He has the persistence of a 2 year old and a demeanor so sweet that when he gives you that look he’s almost impossible to resist.   The kid knows how to get what he wants.

For the last month he has (not so) gently been prodding me to let him start helping me with website recipes.  And every time I come up with a reason why not today, I feel like a heel.

Finally, I ran out of excuses.  And I’m happy to say I only lost my cool a little.  And we only had to start over once. 

The boys and I made these last week, and oh my were they yummy.  As in the whole batch was gone in 24 hours yummy.

They are the perfect not-too-sweet dessert. (That can be made sweeter for the little guys by the addition of whipped cream.)  Or they can be breakfast.  Your call!

 

 

StrawberryQuinoaCornCakes4 In other happenings, I’m happy to say that I just finished up another ebook…and I gotta say, I think its my best!  (It is also the biggest!)

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Here are just a few highlights:

  • 100% Gluten-free
  • Vegan & Vegetarian Friendly (with no weird ingredients for those who aren’t!!!)
  • Photos of EVERY Recipe (know how great your food’s going to look)
  • Nutritional Data for EVERY Recipe (feel great knowing you’re feeding your family great tasting food that’s also healthy and packed with protein and amino acids)
  • WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS for EVERY recipe
  • Every recipe has options to make it egg free and/or dairy free!
  • Absolutely DELICIOUS recipes that are over the top good (ultimately, what you really want is great tasting food that doesn’t leave you feeling deprived)
  • My BIGGEST COOKBOOK EVER jam packed with more than 85 recipes

Learn more here!

(By the way, for those of you who aren’t gluten free this ebook will most likely be released in a month or so in a separate edition once I rework the recipes and test them on friends and family.)

Strawberry Quinoa Corn Cakes

Rating: 51

Yield: 12

Strawberry Quinoa Corn Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted OR canola oil
  • 1 flax egg OR 1 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup gluten free flour blend
  • ½ cup toasted Quinoa Flour
  • ¾ cup gluten free yellow cornmeal
  • ¾ cup cooked Quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups chopped strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
  • Whipped Cream
  • ¾ cup canned coconut milk, chilled in the refrigerator overnight (OR heavy cream)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. If using a flax egg combine 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons warm water. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl combine milk and lemon juice and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to curdle. Whisk in oil, (flax) egg and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl combine flours, cornmeal, quinoa, palm sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center and whisk in milk mixture, mixing until just combined.
  5. Spoon into 12 well greased muffin cups (you may line them to avoid extra oil) and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until soft but not runny.
  6. Meanwhile, warm strawberry preserves and toss with sliced strawberries.
  7. If using coconut milk, open can and scoop out only the thick cream. (Reserve the rest for another use.) Place a medium bowl (or the bowl to your stand mixer) and add vanilla and confectioner’s sugar. Whip until the consistency of whipped cream. (Alternatively, you can beat heavy whipping cream to make whipped cream.)
  8. When the corn cakes are done, carefully use a teaspoon and press a hole in the center of each muffin, about 1/3 way down. (You can also use a cupcake corer to do this.) Spoon strawberry mixture into each indentation. (Reserve the rest of the strawberry mixture for topping.) Return to the oven and cook for 7 more minutes.
  9. Place the warm pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes and then remove from the pan and allow them to cool for another 10 minutes. Serve with remaining strawberry mixture and whipped cream.
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Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches (with Quinoa Cookies)

Chocolate-Mint-Ice-Cream-Sandwiches3

Chocolate-Mint-Ice-Cream-Sandwiches3My baby is turning seven in a week.

No, not the one in my stomach. (Though at this point it kinda feels  like she’s been there for seven years.)

I’m talking about the little guy who has been the family baby since the day he was born and who will always be his Mamma’s baby.

It’s so hard not to cry at the thought.

Maybe it’s just the crazy hormones, but every time I think about how big he’s getting I so emotional.  I want to call God and beg for a do over.  Not because I want to change all that much, just because I enjoy him being little so much I want to do it all over again.

Sadly, there are no such do-overs in life.  So instead I’m going to savor every bittersweet second as I watch the last bit of baby fade into pure boy.  A boy that makes me so proud.  And one who forever will have his mom wrapped around his little finger.

As you might have guessed by the unusual (for here) recipe, I’m distracting myself with baked goods.  All his favorites and ones that I hope will become new favorites.  You know, so 11 years from now when he’s big enough to be on his own he remembers to come back home for the food.  And the snuggles.  (Please don’t tell me how soon it will be before he’s too big for the snuggles.)

 

This dish is of course, a bit more indulgent than my average fare. It’s birthday season fare.   (And great for those of you with GF kids!)  If you want to make it with a lower calorie cookie, this one would work too!

 

We will return to our regularly scheduled super-healthy fare next time…promise.

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches (with Quinoa Cookies)

Rating: 51

Yield: 8

Calories per serving: 344

Fat per serving: 18.6g

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Sandwiches (with Quinoa Cookies)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup gluten free quinoa flour blend OR ½ cup all purpose flour + ½ cup quinoa flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup coconut palm sugar
  • ¼ cup apple sauce
  • 2 eggs or flax eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
  • Mint Chocolate Chip or Vanilla Ice Cream (I'm a huge fan of coconut ice cream)

Instructions

  1. Place chocolate and coconut oil in the top of a double boiler. (A metal bowl on top of a sauce pan works too.) Meld over medium low until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, applesauce, (flax) eggs, mint extract and vanilla. Beat for 2 ½ minutes on medium speed. Reduce speed to low and add the chocolate. Add flour mixture until just combined. Transfer mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for (at least) one hour.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Form 16 balls with the cookie dough. Divide the balls between the 2 cookie sheets and flatten slightly. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the trays half way through. Let cool for 5 minutes on the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Allow the ice cream to soften and then spread onto the flat side of one of the cookies. Top with another cookie and wrap with parchment paper, wax paper or plastic wrap. Freeze for 1 hour, or until firm.

Notes

Servings 8, Calories 344, Fat 18.6g, Carbohydrates 43.8g, Protein 3.4g, Cholesterol 41mg, Sodium 102mg, Fiber 2.6g, Sugars 25.6g Not including ice cream.

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