Morning Glory muffins (Paleo)

Paleo Morning Glory Muffins

I was willing to bake something and Keven pointed out today that our apples are going bad, so I decided to seize the moment and do something with apples. Of course, I have my favourite apple fritters muffins recipe that I love and could eat all the time, but also wanted to try sometihing new.

I went to check on PaleoOMG website to see if there are some ideas that I could use. I took her Morning Glory Nut free muffin recipe, twisted a lot and got my own version of Paleo Morning Glory Muffins. They came out very nice, feel a lot sunflower taste and misses a bit sweetness, so if you have sweet tooth, I would advice to put at least 3 TBSP of honey, but if you are trying to limit sugar then keep initial 1 TBSP.

Here comes the glorious recipe for 12 muffins:

Ingredients
  • 2 apples, peeled and cored, grated
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled ir grated
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • ½ cup Walnut Oil or Coconut Oil(melted)
  • ¼ cup dried apricots or any toher dried fruits of your choice
  • ¼ cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Chocolate chips (Enjoy life) -optional
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toast sunflower seeds over medium heat with 1TBSP fat. I used regular olive oil, but you can go with coconut oil. Make sure that you don’t burn seeds, so keep mixing very frequently.
  3. Grate apples and carrot to a bowl and add  almond butter.
  4. Then add your roasted sunflower seeds to the food processor and puree until you get a flour/meal.
  5. Then add your sunflower seeds flour, eggs, walnut oil, honey, apricots, chocolate chips, pecans, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix well.
  6. Pour your batter into muffins tins. I lined my muffins tin with silicone muffin liners but paper would do just fine.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.
  8. Let cool slightly, but but best to eat them warm. ENJOY!

Chocolate love – weekend desserts

I LOVE chocolate. I used to love milk chocolate. Not anymore….I still remember days when I was teenager and I could eat 200-300g of chocolate in one sit. Seriously…I liked it that much…But, since I went paleo, I find it difficult to find chocolate that would not have soya lecithin in it and it is impossible to find chocolate without sugar. Well, in best case scenario you get chocolate with cane sugar and no soya lecithin and it might be pricey 🙂 But I prefer not to have sugar at all, so I prefer to make desserts by myself and explore different ways to enjoy it while making desserts with 100% cocoa.  I love richness of chocolate and I think I couldn’t live without it, but the sweetness was replaced by bitterness. That’s where the problem lies is making desserts, because Keven is sugar fan. So, this weekend for me was chocolate dessert weekend…I almost always make desserts on weekends to have what to enjoy during the week 🙂

This weekend I made paleo candies, sun butter chocolate fudge and sweet potato chocolate brownies. Actually, brownies are still in the oven, so pictures for all desserts will follow. My favourite easy to make dessert that I must have in freezer is pale candies. So easy to make and I started to separate now in a half. First half I make almost unsweetened (for me) and second half triple  sweetened (for Keven). The good thing about these candies is that you can mix in whatever I want. Sometimes I make them only with coconut flakes, sometimes make half nuts and half coconut flakes, sometimes I add a little bit of nuts. The one that is in recipe has maybe 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts and rest is coconut flakes, so experiment to find the best combination for you. I like this recipe because it doesn’t have as much of coconut oil and/or almond butter. I love both, but I also love to have something not that expensive to make, so these candies are good budget solution 🙂

Paleo Chocolate Bars

  • 2-3 Tbs coconut oil (depends on how crunchy you can you bars to be)    
  • 1/4 cup 100% cocoa
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (if not just replace them by shredded coconut)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbs raw honey (add more if you want it sweeter)
  • parchment paper or pyrex

Then comes the easiest part. Over medium heat in small saucepan heat oil and honey until melted. Add cocoa, nuts    and coconut and mix everything. Pour the mixture on a parchment paper or in a pyrex and form a square. Put in a freezer until set. Cut into desired sizes. Enjoy! I keep them in a freezer not to eat all at once. It is easier if you don’t see it, because it would be gone much faster 🙂

Sunflower Fudge

I found this recipe through Dessert Stalker and I chose to make it, because it did not relied heavily on either butter or coconut oil. Plus it offered to make your own sun butter (which I did, but I think I toasted seeds a bit too much, so my fudge has some little taste of burn….oh well…next time it will be perfect). Whether you choose to make your own sun butter or not, it is up to you, I think you will be satisfied with result. It is really nice and filling dessert (adopted from Erin).

Ingredients:

  • 2oz  100% cacao unsweetened chocolate (if you don’t have, just replace by 1/3 cup of cacao)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup organic sun butter (or make your own sunflower butter)
  • 3 Tbsp Maple syrup (or any other your preferred natural sweetener)
  • 6 drops stevia (I think next time I will not put stevia and maybe just add 1 tbsp of honey)

Over medium heat mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan until well combined. Pour into bread pan and freeze until set. Cut into desirable sizes and enjoy. What is good about this recipe that you can replace sun butter by any other nut or seed butter and have a great result, because the taste is really rich and I love the idea of using coconut milk instead of oil.

Last recipe came from my favourite dessert maker Juli 🙂 Needless to say it is really yummy, though less yummy than sweet potato pie 🙂 Anyways, when you have sweet potatoes around, very well worth to make.

Sweet Potato Brownies

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 eggs, whisked (I used 1 whole egg and 1/2 cup of egg whites)
  • 1/4 cup melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 cup unpasteurized honey
  • 1/4 cup Semi  Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 3 tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 2 tbsp 100% cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Bake potato on 425F for around 30mins. or until soft. Then reduce heat to 350F for brownies. Peel and mash sweet potato. Add coconut oil, eggs, honey and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry ingredients: cocoa, baking soda, coconut flour, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips. Mix all well. Pour into 8×8 or similar size pyrex and bake for 30-40mins. Cut into squares.

I served it with coconut ice cream and blueberries. Super nice 🙂

So, these are my treats for a week 🙂 I know that it might seem a lot, but brownies will be gone tomorrow and fudge will last a bit longer as it has burned sunflower seed taste :)))

Double Layer Fudge

Ok. Now, we come to serious business. I have tried this recipe last week and it was so good that I think that I won’t make it very soon. It is just so good that is hard to stop eating and it is really fat. Though fats are good for us, right? When it comes to desserts, one of my favourite websites is Juli from PaleOMG, this girl goes hardcore and she does it really well. So, I saw this picture on website and just left page open in my iPod browser not to forget that I want to make this dessert (sorry for not having my own picture to upload). I hope Juli will forgive me for using her picture for this post, but I just did not have time to take my own picture and when I had, the fudge was gone 😦

Double Layer Fudge

    • 1 cup coconut oil
    • 1 cup almond butter
    • 1/4-1/3 cup raw honey (Juli offers to add 1/2 cup of honey, but I was scarred that for me it would be too sweet. And it was sweet enough) 
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 4-5 heaping tbsp of pure cacao (the more cacao you will add, the more bitterness it will bring)
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • pick of salt
    • a handful of semi sweet chocolate chips (though not necessary)
    • extra of shredded coconut for sprinkling

Add coconut oil, honey, shredded coconut, vanilla extract, almond butter and pinch of salt to a food processor and mix until fully combined. Pour half of the mixture to a bread pan or some other pan and use spoon to make the surface even (I used pyrex, but then it was a bit hard to cut first part as it sticked to the bottom). Place it into the freezer to harden. Meanwhile, add cocoa step by step to the rest of mixture and mix throughly until you get the desired taste and not too bitter. Once cacao is all mixed in add a pinch of salt and mix it well, pour chocolate mixture over hardened light fudge. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, shredded coconut and some salt. I was really surprised about the salt, but it was actually working really nice once the fudge was done and brought up some unexpected nice addition to the sweetness. Place in freezer for 10-15mins. Cut in chunks and try not to eat all the chunks at once. I was keeping them in freezer and it was all gone in couple days. It is amazingly good with coffee. So far, my favorite dessert!

 

Zucchini Berry Muffins and Morning Power Smoothie

As my challenge is over, of course I allow myself to indulge in little sweet pleasures, but my taste and attitude changed a lot. Even if I want to have a dessert, I also want to be it as nutritious as possible and better with no sugar added, except from fruits. So, I was searching for some recipe and I could not be more happy when I found Zucchini muffin recipe. I am fascinated about idea of hiding vegetables in foods where you don’t expect to find them(muffins, pizza crust, pies, etc.)  I took this recipe from http://www.paleoplan.com and slightly changed (in the original recipe they were having tapioca flour, but I did not have it, so just did not put it):

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (check the consistence if you will need to add more. I put 1 cup, but the dough was too dry, then I had to increase eggs)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs allspice
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 10-oz bag frozen berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) OR 1 1/4 cup fresh berries
  • ¾ cup zucchini, grated
  • ¾ cup almonds, finely chopped
  • muffin paper liners

Instructions

  1. Take berries out of freezer to thaw, if applicable.
  2. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  3. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice.
  4. In a food processor, combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar and oil.
  5. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and blend until completely combined.
  6. Finely grate zucchini (or food process it).
  7. Fold in berries, zucchini and almonds.
  8. Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins.
  9. Bake at 350° for 25 – 35 minutes.

Image

It reminds me a bit of my traditional morning smoothie:

  • Mixed Berries (raspberries, blackberries and blueberries)
  • 1/3 banana
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • water (depending on how thick you want your smoothie to be)
  • few stalks of kale (love the idea of putting nutrition dense greens in smoothies, plus you would not make a difference)
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 1 tsp of almond butter

Creating Traditions

I like traditions…probably in every family you have some kind of traditions. As we recently moved to new city, I also try to create some small traditions….Like, every Sunday we have “Sunday Breakfast” with friend at our home. Usually we would have pancakes, but each time we would try something different….I learned how to make dulce de lecce, because my friend mentioned it and it brought me memories from my travelling in Brazil, so I though it would be nice to include that into our breakfast. I did not buy it, because I like learning how to make things and I used the traditional method, rather than condensed milk method :)))) Today we were having blueberry and apple pancakes with blueberry sauce. It is more about meeting at least once a week and spending time together. After that usually we go for some rock climbing :))))

Me and Keven also have Friday pizza tradition. We would either have a pre made one or we would make our own and accompany it with some nice movie or TV show.

Back in my country, Lithuania, I also had some traditions with my friends, for instance, me and my flatmate would go every sunday afternoon to read in a coffee shop in the old town of Vilnius. We would either take our own books or browse in the shelves there to find something to read. I believe it is nice tradition as a way to spend time together and also spend it doing something for what you maybe would not have time during the week. It is so relaxing to sip coffee with a good book in your hands 🙂

With other group of my friend I was establishing tradition to meet once a month to learn something. Someone would prepare a little bit before and would introduce a skill to others. So, we were learning how to make sushi, how to play poker, how to juggle, how to make public speaking….So, my idea with this project was that in a year we would learn 12 new things that maybe we would not learn otherwise. I just love learning, for me as long as I am learning and can apply it one day, I am happy. It is the same with my jobs, as long I am learning and moving forward, I really enjoy it and put a lot of effort, but if it become too automatized and my brains do not get enough challenge, I start feeling trapped and dull.

Anyways, I think that traditions bring stability and let us create some valuable memories and experiences in our lives. I don’t think that it is easy to start tradition, it is even harder to continue doing that, but I think that reward is definitely worth putting an effort.

I wonder what are the traditions that other people have and that they find significant and important to follow.