This blog is all about Food. Real Food. Food that Nourishes, Heart and Soul.

Real Ingredients, Organic and Locally sourced whenever and where ever possible, shared with love.

No packages, no ingredients that are impossible to pronounce.

Real, honest food, from my kitchen to yours. Enjoy!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Grain Free Rhubarb Pecan-Coconut Streusel Muffins

My rhubarb is doing really well this year. While it is a reasonably easy plant to grow, you need patience for the first few years after planting your initial crowns. The plants need the first year to establish a good strong root system, and it is recommended not to pull any stalks during this initial growth time. The second year, you can harvest a small amount, but only at the beginning of the season. Herein lies the issue with my rhubarb. When I planted my first plant, in what I thought would be its forever home, I vastly underestimated the size of it in comparison to the space it would take up in the end of my herb garden. Season two saw it move to a second home, which, in hindsight was no better than the first. Two years ago, I found the perfect spot for it in my yard, and finally gave it a(nother) forever home (I say that now, lol!) Last year, the second year in its happy home, it came up sparsely, and did not have a great season overall. I was afraid, by the end of the year, that I was going to be buying a new plant and starting all over this spring. 
This tenacious plant proved me wrong though, and came up beautifully this spring, and has graced me with a beautiful crop of nice tart rhubarb. I am thinking I need to work on a grain free pie crust and attempt a strawberry rhubarb pie in the near future, just to celebrate the bountiful harvest!

When you chop your rhubarb, make sure the pieces are fairly small, so they don’t overwhelm the muffin. I cut my stalks in half lengthwise and then diced. If your stalks are very thick you may need to cut into thirds or quarters. My test kitchen at work gave these muffins 2 thumbs up, I hope you enjoy them too!

Grain Free Rhubarb Pecan-Coconut Streusel Muffins

Muffin Batter:
½ cup coconut flour
¼ cup arrowroot flour
2 Tbsp Chickpea flour
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup honey
4 eggs
1 Tsp vanilla
½ c kefir or yogurt, (plain, not sweetened, preferably full fat!)
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 cups diced rhubarb (make pieces fairly small)
Streusel topping :
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
2 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375F

Line muffin tin with 12 papers, or grease really well. Set aside.

Measure batter ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and mix well with an immersion blender. Scrape sides of bowl if necessary to ensure everything is well incorporated and there are no lumps.

Mix in chopped rhubarb and mix well to combine.

Fill muffin liners ¾ full and set aside.

Quickly rinse your mixing bowl (or get a clean one, but hey…who wants more dishes??) and measure in the streusel ingredients. Mix well to combine.

Sprinkle evenly over the muffin batter and place in preheated oven.

Bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven to a heat safe surface.

Let stand for 5 minutes, remove from pan and let cool on wire rack. Store leftovers in fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for longer storage.

 I love my handy chopper from Epicure for chopping nuts!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Strawberry Brownie Kabob's (Grain Free!)

I whipped up these adorable little desserts for our Fathers Day Picnic in the Park today, and they were delicious! Perfect picnic food on a stick! The recipe makes a lot of mini brownies, but they do freeze beautifully.  I used one clam-shell package of organic strawberries, and made a dozen kabobs with two berries each. The rest of the brownies are in the freezer for the next time!

Grain Free Brownies

1 1/2 cups almond flour (I like JK Gourmet!)
½ cup coconut flour
2 tbsp chick pea flour 
½ cup cocoa powder
½  cup coconut sugar
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking soda
6 eggs
½ cup coconut oil
1 tbsp Apple Cider vinegar
¼ cup yogurt, kefir or milk of choice
Fresh organic strawberries (I used two per kabob, so buy according!)
1/2 cup enjoy life Chocolate chips, melted together with 1 tsp coconut oil.

Line 2 mini muffin tins or grease well. (this recipe will make 40-48 mini brownies, I cooked them in two batches!) Set aside. 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well with an immersion blender or hand blender until well incorporated and there are no lumps. Scoop into prepared mini muffin tins, filling about 2/3 full. 

Bake at 350 for 8 min or until just firm. Don't overbake or they will dry out!

Let cool, peel from wrappers, thread on skewers with strawberries and set on a waxed paper lined tray. Drizzle with melted chocolate.  Chill to set the chocolate drizzle and enjoy!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Grain Free Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

Days by myself don't happen often, and I try to take full advantage of them. "Me" time today included kitchen time interspersed with laundry and housecleaning...not sure where the "me" part came in there, but the clutter and dust bunnies were getting to had to be done!! In between loads of laundry, these cookies were born, and I am very happy with the results. I used a combo of coconut and hempseed flours, which is a bit different than my regular grain free flour mix. Generally I use coconut, arrowroot and chickpea flours as my go-to mix. But, being as many folks don't tolerate arrowroot or bean flours, I wanted to find a substitute that offered some nutritional value, and still tasted good. Hemp brings many things to the table, the biggest two being protein and fibre, which are great additions to a cookie! These would be great to pack in your lunch bag or to throw in your backpack for a mid-hike snack. I would recommend freezing any leftovers after the first day, as with most grain free cookies, their shelf life is shorter than most cookies. The recipe made about 28 cookies, if you want bigger cookies, adjust the cooking time accordingly, as they will take longer to bake. 

Grain Free Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

1 ripe banana
2 eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup coconut flour
¼ cup hempseed flour
½ cup coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 cookie pans with parchment paper and set aside.

With an immersion blender mix together the banana, eggs, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix well until all is well incorporated. Let stand 5 minutes to let the coconut flour absorb the liquid.

Using a tbsp measure, scoop onto prepared pans, leaving a bit of room between cookies for expansion.

Using the flat bottom of a glass or jar, flatten cookies a wee bit. You will probably need to grease the bottom of whatever you use to flatten, as the batter is sticky.

Bake in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes. Carefully remove cookies to a wire rack and cool. Enjoy!