Saturday, August 31, 2013

Delicious Nutritious Calcium-Rich Granola

One of my favorite things to do is make gifts for people. I know that sounds super pageant-y but it's true! In fact, most of my recipes (edible & skincare) started out as a birthday present, Mother's Day treat, etc. And this is no different. Whether you're looking to boost your calcium intake, or just want a nutritious, satisfying snack, this is a great recipe.

Note: It is important to soak the fruit overnight if possible, or at least for a few hours, so it doesn't turn into hard jerky when it bakes. If you're gluten intolerant make sure your oats are certified gluten-free. I like Trader Joe's brand.

2 cups rolled oats 
1/2 cup ground flax
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp salt 
2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
2 Tbsp maple syrup 
3 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
1 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp orange juice concentrate 
1/2 cup dried figs, minced
1/4 cup dried apricots, minced
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp maple syrup (cut in 1/2 if apricots are sweetened)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, and preheat to 275 degrees. Line a 9x13" metal pan with parchment paper or grease thoroughly with coconut oil.

2. Soak the fruit in a bowl with 1 Tbsp maple syrup plus enough water to just cover fruit. Let sit overnight.

3. Mix oats, nuts, seeds and salt in a large bowl. Bring molasses, syrup, oil and water to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine.

4. Spread mixture evenly over prepared pan. Using your hands, firmly press down the granola. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.

5. Remove pans from oven and gently stir granola. Continue to bake until it is a deep golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool completely. 

  • Granola can be stored in an airtight container for about two weeks. 
  • You can double the recipe, but bake the granola in two pans. You also may need to increase cooking time. The key is to bake the granola until it is an impressive deep golden brown.
  • Boost your calcium intake even more by serving granola with milk or yogurt.
Calcium Content Per Cup:
(just a reference point - not that you'd eat a cup of these items)

Blackstrap molasses 3200mg
Sesame seeds 1404mg
Flax seeds 428mg
Almonds 378mg
Maple syrup 321mg
Dried figs 241mg
Sunflower seeds 117mg
Dried apricots 72mg

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Crispy Salted Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten-Free)

A truly heavenly cookie - light, crispy, melt-in-your-mouth buttery goodness. Not too sweet, with a hint of salt and spice to kick the addictive factor way up. These have quickly become famous among my friends and family. Just try to eat only one ;-)


A family member once asked me, sheepishly: 
"Would you perhaps consider sharing your recipe with me?" Here's how I feel about that... 
I put a ton of care into creating all of my recipes and my biggest joy is sharing my creations with people I love! And if I can't make them for you, and you'd like to make them for yourself, that's awesome! If I can contribute a little extra sparkle to your life, encourage you to care for yourself, or help you in any way through my recipes and experiences, that seriously fills me with so much happiness.

Perfect Gluten-Free Pancakes

These are perfect crowd-pleasing pancakes. They're fluffy with crispy edges like traditional pancakes, but with more oomph. I love using Pamela's Baking Mix because the flavor is really spot-on. The almond meal especially adds a nice hint of nuttiness and texture. When I got the closed-eyed, mmm-ing thumbs up from extremely skeptical gluten-eating guys, I knew I had a winner on my hands.

My favorite way to eat these is with fresh mango, strawberries for tartness, and a little maple syrup.

Photo © Pamela's Products, Inc.
Makes ~12 4-inch pancakes
2 cups Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix
2 large eggs, beaten until frothy
3/4 cup coconut milk (for extra yummy flavor use TJ's coconut cream)
3/4 cup water
2 TBSP unrefined coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon (pumpkin pie spice also works well)
Butter and coconut oil for cooking (I like to use a combo)

1. Mix all ingredients together until there are no lumps. I like to use an electric beater - since they don't have gluten, beating makes them fluffier. Batter will be a little bit thicker than standard pancake batter. 

2. Coat pan or griddle with plenty of butter/oil and cook pancakes over medium low heat. When they are bubbling and ready to flip, lift each one with a spatula, add a little more butter to the pan and then flip uncooked side onto pan. This will ensure both sides get crispy. Serve immediately.

  • To reheat, put pancakes in toaster oven (or frying pan) on high for a minute, then flip and cook for one more minute until hot and crispy. 
  • The best maple syrup is Grade B - it's less refined than Grade A which means richer maple flavor and slightly lower glycemic index.
  • If you can't get fresh strawberries, just put a few frozen ones in a bowl and microwave loosely covered until the juices reduce down a little.

Gluten-Free Peach Berry Cobbler

Like warm sunshine in a bowl. Mmmm. A perfect summertime treat! Serve warm with fresh cream for breakfast, or dress it up whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for dessert! 

I like to make the topping on the side so that it doesn't get soggy over the week or two that it takes me to eat a full batch. I store the fruit in the fridge and the "biscuits" in a tupperware. When I'm ready for a bowl, I spoon some fruit into an oven-safe bowl, top with a few biscuits, and put it in the toaster oven on medium-low (~275°) until the fruit is warm and the topping is crisp. If you're planning to serve it all at once and would like to prepare the topping and fruit together like a traditional cobbler, follow the instructions labeled Variation, below the recipe.
Note: If they're in season, you can use fresh fruit instead of frozen. Baking times may need to be adjusted.


4 10-oz bags frozen sliced organic peaches 
1 cup frozen organic blueberries

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tsp frozen orange juice concentrate (or 1 Tbsp orange juice or 1/2 tsp lemon juice)
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp water

1. Preheat oven to 400
°. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
2. In a large bowl whisk together spices, juice, water and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in peaches, blueberries and sugar. Toss to coat evenly, then pour into baking dish. Make sure to scrape sides of bowl so you get all the juice and spices into the dish. 
3. Cover and bake for 30 minutes or until peaches are fork-tender.  
       (See Variation if cooking topping with fruit)
4. Stir gently and continue baking uncovered for 15 minutes or until peaches are very tender and juices have reduced and thickened. 
5. Reduce oven temperature to 325° and prepare topping.

1-1/2 cups Pamela’s Baking Mix
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
4 Tbsp butter, diced
1/3 cup milk mixed with 1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Mix dry ingredients together.  
2. Put butter and flour mixture into food processor and pulse for a minute or so until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs. If you don't have a food processor you can cut butter into the flour-sugar using a pastry cutter or two knives. Stir in vanilla-milk until just combined. 
3. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart. 
4. Cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
After peach-blueberry mixture has cooked for 30 minutes, remove from oven and uncover. Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Drop spoonfuls of topping batter onto fruit and return to oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Gluten-Free Whole Grain Pancakes

Let me start by saying, this is basically a Pamela's Products recipe with a few additions. So a big thank-you to Pamela's because these pancakes are insane! I know it may seem like they'll taste like a hippy's flipflop, but seriously: these are the BEST PANCAKES I'VE EVER TASTED. Wonderfully flavorful - nutty with a hint of sweetness.  

Makes 10-12 pancakes

6 Tbsp Pamela's Baking Mix (1/4 cup + 2 TBSP)
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 Tbsp sorghum flour
1 Tbsp flax seed
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon 
Optional: 1 tsp coconut palm sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk (see Tips for substitution)
2 Tbsp water
1 egg, extra large
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp butter, melted
Butter and coconut oil for cooking

1. Heat pan to medium high, add about 1 Tbsp oil and 1/2 Tbsp butter and spread all around the pan. Add extra butter/oil if using a larger griddle. Lower heat to medium. I set my electric griddle to 350.
2. Mix up dry ingredients. Mix up wet ingredients separately, adding butter last. Stir all ingredients together until fully incorporated. Additional water can be added if batter is too thick.
3. Use ¼ cup batter for each pancake. Flip when bubbles pop and pancakes are well-browned on the first side. Finish cooking until pancakes are cooked all the way through, one to two minutes. Serve hot with butter, maple syrup and fresh fruit. 

  • You can substitute buttermilk by mixing 3/4 cup plain milk with 3/4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 5 mins.
  • My favorite way to eat these pancakes is with fresh mango and raspberries.
  • Grade B maple syrup is the most flavorful. It is less refined than Grade A so it has more concentrated maple flavor and lower glycemic index rating.
  • To reheat, put pancakes in toaster oven or frying pan on medium-high for a minute, then flip and cook for one more minute until hot and crispy.