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!
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Paleo Apple Fritter cupcakes

Of course I was baking again…..How else it could be? And….as always…or at least almost always I get inspiration from PaleoOMG website 🙂

So…she was making doughnuts. I decided to make cupcakes….I increased a bit the amount of apples for topping, but everything else is pretty much the same and you can find original recipe here.

RECIPE:

Ingredients
For the donut
For the topping
  • 5 apples, cored and diced (I used honey crisp)
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons coconut sugar

 

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Let’s get your toppings started early. Place a tablespoon or so of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add your diced apples to the pan, mix around, then cover to help soften your apples.
  4. While your apples are cooking, make your dough for cupcakes.
  5.  Add your pecan meal, dates, honey, applesauce and coconut oil to food processor and puree.
  6. Then add your eggs and vanilla extract, and puree.
  7. Lastly add your coconut flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, and salt and puree until all incorporated.
  8. Grease your donut pan and pour in your donut mixture half way up (to keep room for your topping on top).
  9. Now finish off your toppings. To your apples that have been sauteeing up, add your coconut milk, almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and a bit of salt. Mix well.
  10. When your toppings are well combined, pour 1-2 tablespoons of your mixture onto each cupcakes, sprinkling each with a bit of coconut sugar.
  11. Place in oven for 30-35 minutes until cooked through.
  12. This made 12-15 cupcakes.

 

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!

 

Snacking around

I love always to have a possibility to have a snack of something that I feel good eating about and that I feel that would actually be fuel to my body rather than empty calories. So, whenever I go somewhere, even to work, I always have to have something as a snack, in case if I wouldn’t have the chance to find food that I could eat, I could still get around pretty well, rather than torturing myself. Plus, as I always like to go from one place to the other, I usually don’t have time to go home to have lunch, so I make sure that I will have enough energy to move forward 🙂

If I am having workout in the morning, I definitely don’t want to have too much of the breakfast, so usually I would just have light snack, something as zone muffin or nut butter or some apple, or I would make big doze of berry smoothy and get a bit of it to get me moving. I wish I would like yoghurt, as then I would solve problem with protein intake, but I really can’t stand it, even idea about it makes me a bit sick. So, normally my smoothy would consist of scoop of protein powder, lots of berries and some around 2 tsp of almond butter. I usually add water to make it more liquid or almond milk. this would be my breakfast after workout if I don’t plan to return home and I really love it. I do the same when I don’t have time in the morning to make and eat breakfast as it is super fast to make.

I always have some zone diet muffins on the go that are easy to make and each contains block of protein (7g), block of carbs (9g) and block of fat (3g). Recipes are pretty basic and yields for 16 muffins that are definitely enough for a week. My favourite would be zucchini chocolate muffins as I just love an idea of incorporating vegetables into something sweet.

Dry ingredients: 20120324-235302.jpg
1 1/3 cups oat flour (measure, then sift)
4 (1 ounce) scoops chocolate whey protein (amount providing 84 grams protein), scant 1 cup
1 tablespoon non-aluminum baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons apple or pumpkin pie spice
3 cups grated zucchini
1 tablespoon grated orange rind (optional)

Wet ingredients:
2 whole eggs + 4 egg whites
5 1/3 teaspoons unrefined canola oil
8 teaspoons fructose powder or syrup
2/3 cup apple sauce

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 16 muffin tins with non-stick spray and set aside.
2. Sift dry ingredients into a 1 1/2-quart mixing bowl, adding orange rind if desired. Top with grated zucchini and set aside.
3. Combine wet ingredients in blender. Cover and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until evenly mixed, scraping bottom of bowl to incorporate flour and remove lumps. Do not over-mix.
4. Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups, evenly distributing it.
5. Bake in preheated oven until firm to the touch, golden on top and around the edges, and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean, about for 20 to 24 minutes. Allow to cool; then run a knife around edges to release muffins. Cover and refrigerate. Use within 1 week or freeze.

So, I always have these on with me or some others, you can check this website for more different recipes.

Yesterday I also wanted to make something more sweet for me to have as a dessert and I stumbled upon couple recipes that I decided to make.

First one was Coconut bars that I found on Elanas Pantry website and they came out super delicious:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk    20120324-235314.jpg
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon stevia
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  1. Mix eggs, coconut milk, oil, honey, vanilla and stevia in a food processor
  2. Pulse in almond flour, coconut flour, shredded coconut and salt
  3. Transfer ingredients into an 8×8 inch Pyrex baking dish
  4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes
  5. Cool for ½ hour, then place in refrigerator and serve when chilled.

And while these were baking I decided to make some energy bars to have in my climbing bag to have a snack when I need energy. Before I started to change my diet, I always had some granola bars in my climbing bag, but these were packed with preservatives and other stuff that I can’t read, so as I try to eat as much natural as possible, I had to say good bye to them and make my own. So, here is a recipe for no bake energy bars that I found and adopted from Milk for the Morning Cake blog where she calls the Magic Lemon Bars:

Ingredients:
  • 2 oz each of brazil nuts and blanched hazels
  • 2 oz ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 2 heaped tsp raw honey
  • finely grated zest 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 oz coconut oil
  • I also added some chopped dried apricots to have a little bit more of carbs.
Grind brazils and hazels to a fine meal in a coffee grinder. I think I grinded them a bit too much as the end result was quite oily.
Into the bowl mix the almonds, ground nuts and lemon zest and chopped apricots. Spoon in honey and drizzle over vanilla and cocoa butter. Work until mixture looks kind of like crumbles. I put the dough onto parchment paper and worked it through pressing down and making some square shape when I had the proper square shape. In the recipe it says that it makes 8-10 bars, so that was my goal. Slap mixture with the flat part of the knife to compact it and tidy up the sides. Leave it to sit for 10 or so minutes and then slice into bars and wrap in greaseproof paper or waxed paper, twisting the ends to secure. I keep them in the fridge next to my nut butters :)))) The taste definitely reminds me of marcipans.