Orange bars: like a creamsicle only WAY better

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Hello!! I have citrusy goodness for you today, because this time of year is all about the citrus and scurvy is bad news.

Besides that, I used to LOVE 50/50 bars when I was a kid (you know, those popsicle-looking things that were orange on the outside and vanilla on the inside? also known as a creamsicle?) and I wanted something that tasted sort of like that, only WAY better and not filled with all the junk. So I made these!

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Orange bars with a vanilla almond crust… pair them with vanilla ice cream and they are pretty much the perfect citrus dessert.

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Let’s see, what else is new… more drawing, of course — still on the SF series, naturally.

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I think that’s about it, otherwise I’m business as usual over here — didn’t really bake diddly for Thanksgiving so I’ll have to make up for it at Christmas, which is (gasp) rapidly approaching.

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Citrus was requested and I was thinking of doing something along those lines anyway, but I really wanted to do something besides lemon. I LOVE lemon, but… it’s always the favored child when it comes to citrus desserts. Let’s let oranges have their time in the limelight, ya know? …. Limelight? Really?? That just happened. Let’s see how many citrus references can fit in one sentence…

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Anywayyyy. Make these! Eat them! Your neglected oranges will love you, and you’ll get a nice blast of creamsicle nostalgia.

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Orange Bars with Vanilla Almond Crust

(Otherwise known as Creamsicle bars but that’s probably trademarked…)

Gluten & grain free, refined sugar free, easy dairy free option, probs paleo depending on your definition… all around delicious. I was going for the creamsicle flavor profile here and I haven’t eaten a 50/50 bar in years, but I’m pretty sure this really close (and, frankly, better tasting… let’s be real). These bars are light and citrusy, easy, delicious, and free of all the junk!

Sorry for some of the strange measurements — I prefer this in an 8 by 8 pan and I like my layers a little thicker, which is why the measurements are a little weird. Don’t forget to zest your oranges and then juice them! Nothing like attempting to zest pre-juiced oranges, it might be one of the more annoying kitchen things I’ve inadvertently done.

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For the crust:

  • 1.5 c almond flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • heaping 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 + 1/8 c unsalted almond butter
  • 1.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp salted butter, softened (or coconut oil for non dairy)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 4.5 eggs*
  • scant 3/4 c pure maple syrup
  • zest of 3 oranges, roughly chopped
  • 1/4c + 1/8c fresh orange juice
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4.75 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

* to achieve half an egg: crack an egg into a small bowl and whisk it; then either measure or eyeball half and use that. or just use a whole one as long as it’s small, I doubt it would affect the consistency of the bars all that much…

Preheat the oven to 350, and grease an 8 by 8 pan.

In a large bowl, stir together almond flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Add in almond butter, maple syrup, softened butter, and vanilla, and stir until combined and crumbly. Press the crust dough evenly into the prepared pan, and poke with a fork a few times. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside when done.

While the crust is baking, make the filling! In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, maple, orange zest and juice, seal salt, coconut flour (sifted if lumpy) and vanilla until smooth. Pour into the parbaked crust, and bake for 30-35 minutes. The top should be mostly firm and the filling set, with just a small amount of wiggle (it’ll firm up as it cools). Let cool completely and eat immediately or chill in the fridge for later (I like them cold!) — serve with vanilla ice cream for maximum creamsicle flavor :) Store any leftovers in the fridge.

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Brownies, a fuzzy duckling butt, and a dead fridge

IMG_2240 I’m back I’m back I’m back! Whew. Finally. Except I feel like I said that in my last post… I just have NO TIME to cook or bake interesting things. But… it’s not forever, so I’ll just deal for now. But I miss my invisible internet friends! So today, I have brownies and some random things from life lately. That are sometimes food but mostly not… Because I’ve gotten back into my doodle habit! It took a looooong hiatus all though college but it’s back, and all I want to do is draw. Like this: IMG_2234 And this! IMG_2224 And this. IMG_2235 I also ate this weird tuna-beet-hybird the other day and it was actually delicious: Steamed beets sautéed in a little bit of olive oil with mushrooms, topped with tuna and avo and mustard all mashed up together. I know, I know, I describe it so deliciously… But seriously. Who knew beets and tuna could be friends?! IMG_2219 And then it was Easter! IMG_2226 IMG_2216 Which meant bacon and chocolate and more bacon and more chocolate and also a quesadilla that was PERFECTLY GOLDEN which I admired and promptly spastically threw on the floor. Inadvertently, natch. It was actually kind of comic and hilarious and I a little bit wish I had a picture…. but not really. There was also an incident that particular weekend involving a cake that stuck horribly and ended up gracing the compost…. but let’s not talk about that. Obviously not exactly a banner weekend for cooking shenanigans. IMG_2244 So now I have these brownies to share, because brownies are awesome! These aren’t overly sweet (they’re sweetened with dates and maple) and are gluten free. They’re on the fudgier end of the spectrum rather than cakey, so if you’re seeking the latter, you might want to toddle off to another recipe. IMG_2239 They’re also not as wickedly dark as I usually make my brownies, mostly because there was this solid chocolate bunny lying around and he said that he wanted to be in brownies… So now he is. Don’t worry, no bunnies were harmed in the making of dessert… IMG_2243 IMG_2242 Also…. SO FUN! Our fridge died on Wednesday morning. NO, fridge, that is NOT ACCEPTABLE. You do not just die with no warning. I have nut butters in you!!! So now I am sort of living out of a cooler? Until the part that died is ordered… it is really not spectacular fun. I don’t exactly recommend it… especially when you love love love produce, and all those fancy nut flours that need to live in the fridge. These brownies were an excuse to use up some of the perishable biz (as was the banana bread that happened right after these)… and also, an excuse to use some of the awesome organic-fed eggs from my neighbor! Wheee! Local at it’s best. IMG_2238 IMG_2246

Almond Flour Brownies 

Lightly sweet and appropriately chocolatey, these brownies are gluten free, grain free, and refined sugar free. The recipe is lightly adapted from Culinary Couture, here! Recipe yields a 8 by 8 pan (and it’s up to your discretion how large you want to cut them, I definitely won’t be judging). IMG_2247 IMG_2241

  • 1 c almond flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 oz dark chocolate
  • 1/4 c coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 10 small deglet noor dates* (actually, I think medjool would be way better but I was using what I had)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 almond butter (mine was roasted + unsalted)
  • 1/4 c extra dark chocolate chips

*Soaked in boiling water for 10-15 minutes if they’re all craggy and hard, or if you just have a wimpy food processor Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease an 8 by 8 pan with coconut oil. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, sea salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder. In a smaller bowl, melt chocolate and coconut oil together, either using a double boiler or the lazy microwave method (I may or may not have done that, ahem). In a food processor, whizz your maple syrup, soaked dates, vanilla, eggs, and almond butter. Process until mostly smooth (less than a minute is fine), then add chocolate-coconut oil and process until incorporated. Dump this very thick, goopy goodness into your dry ingredients, add chocolate chips, and use those biceps to stir it all together. The batter will be very thick, so enjoy the arm workout. Spread the batter into the prepared pan (I found that a spoon followed by damp hands did the trick nicely), and bake for 20-22 minutes. I took mine out at 22 but probably could have gone a little less. Let cool before slicing, and store in an airtight container. IMG_2242 IMG_2212

Like I really needed an excuse for more nut butter

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So. Pancakes!

It’s been awhile since there have been any pancakes on this blog, which is a mild travesty considering they’re one my fave things. Okay okay, breakfast and all associated breakfast things are my fave but you get the idea. Besides, I used to have such epic once-a-week-designated pancake days with friends back in college that it is just lame that I hardly eat them anymore.

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Realistically, I probably love them so much because it gives me an excuse (as if I needed one) to eat more nut butter. Because… I really don’t feel like I need to justify this?! Actually because flat food surface= naked= needs nut butter or seed butter or coconut butter or all three (or just regular butter. I mean, obviously). And then a ton of other toppings because apparently I like decorating my food. And then playing with it. And then taking pictures. Let’s just pretend I grew up, okay?

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That would be three kinds of butters in one meal. I think I have a problem.

Also cat selfies. Ha.

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And pretty things! Mother Nature is so beautiful she doesn’t need a filter.

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But back to pancakes.

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These have actually become my favorite lunch of leisure lately, especially after some morning jazzercise general sweatiness. This particular recipe is so beyond easy to whip up, it’s stupid. And it contains less than five unprocessed ingredients, good fats, protein, and good carbs…exactly what I want after a workout. AND I can eat them with nut butter, which means I see absolutely nothing wrong with this picture. They are super light and fluffy, not overly sweet, and leave you feeling satisfied and not stuffed or comatose (hello traditional wheat-sugar-gluten-bad fat-undeniably delicious brunch, I’m looking at you).

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Indulge yourself! It’s almost Friday, you know you want breakfast for dinner…

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Banana Pancakes

Grain free, gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free, paleo. Serves 1, yields about 4 good sized pancakes.

  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • scant 1/4 c zucchini, finely grated
  • 1 tsp coconut flour*
  • optional: a sprinkle each of cinnamon and nutmeg

*I vary this amount according to how much zucchini I use; the batter is runny so a little thickener doesn’t come amiss. However, if you hate coconut or don’t have coconut flour, you can leave it out no problem.

In a bowl, mash the banana like a boss, then whisk in eggs until mostly smooth (lumps are totes fine, these are your pancakes after all so no one can judge your lumps). Stir in grated zucchini, coconut flour and spices if using. Let sit while your prep your griddle or pan: grease pan of choice (I like a flat griddle, a sauté pan is fine) with some organic butter and heat over medium. Once hot, spoon batter out into roughly four pancakes (or go crazy and make silver dollar little bitty ones)… blah blah blah, y’all know how to make pancakes… let the edges solidify and the tops get that bubbly-sheen to them before attempting to flip… let cook until cooked through… plate prettily and serve, preferably with a truckload of various nut/seed butters and some fresh coconut aaannnnd plain yogurt. Mmmm.

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Cookies up the yin yang

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So guess what?

… No really. Guess!

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I got into graduate school for a masters in public health, wheeee! Which means I will be starting UC Davis in the summer session of 2015… UCD are you ready for this? I’m pretty rad and very sassy and generally crunchy. And after 18 months of that, I will go on to be rad but also have initials after my name, which makes me kind of a big deal. Ha. Kidding! Actually I’m really excited… and Davis has a legit co-op that I can spend hours in if not properly supervised.

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But enough of that. I went to LA last weekend and hung out with a bunch of super awesome relatives who also happen to follow very similar food philosophies that I do, so I ate extremely well (lots of nitrate-free bacon, plantain pancakes and pure maple syrup. And bacon. Did I mention bacon? Also beets. Mmmm beets), and swiped a few recipes because natch, that’s what I do. And this is one of them! I like calling them YinYang cookies! Light side, dark side… call them whatever you want but by all means make them because they’re fabulous and grain free/refined sugar free! Everyone just wins all around.

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Also, I just feel the need to leave you with this little gem. Obviously I got started early on my yoga squat… sassily, of course. Because no lady squats without a hat on. Obviously.

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Yin Yang Cookies

Almond butter dough and chocolate dough swirled together for chewy-edged, doughy-centered cookies. Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free and paleo. The recipe is only tweaked slightly from the awesome book Make Ahead Paleoby Tammy Credicott.

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  • 1 c almond flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/3 c arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c roasted, unsalted almond butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 c extra dark chocolate (I used 75%), roughly chopped into smallish pieces
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp water

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot, baking soda, and sea salt. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk (or use a hand mixer; I whisked and they came out fine) maple, coconut sugar, egg, almond butter, vanilla, and coconut oil until the coconut sugar has mostly dissolved. Stir the dry into wet, until combined, and toss in chocolate chips. Divide the dough in half, and put half in another bowl so you can stir in cocoa powder and water. Roll chocolate dough into a 1″ ball and smoosh it together with a 1″ ball of almond dough, then roll it between your palms to swirl it together. Flatten them slightly before you put it on the baking sheet, since they won’t spread. Bake for 10-12 minutes (I took them out at 10 minutes), when the top is smooth and starting to crack slightly. Leave on the cookie sheet until cool, since they are a little soft. Store in an airtight container for a few days if you don’t eat them immediately (good luck).

IMG_1966Also, apparently can’t sit in a car for a long period like a normal person…

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BlondieHenge

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HOmg these are good.

They’re like giant dense, chewy hunks of almondy goodness… almond butter and almond flour and… well actually that’s really all I need, isn’t it?? I swear, nuts are a food group for me. Probably because I AM nuts. Or something.

How is it already pretty much Thanksgiving?! Where did the last two months go?? This is absurd. I would like October back, please.

But actually… I like Christmas music. And coniferous trees in my living room. So I guess we can keep this moment of now where it currently is…

And in the meantime, I’ll eat these, thank you very much.

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Whoever told you playing with you food wasn’t socially acceptable is lame because it’s FUN! Who doesn’t want to make Stonehenge out of tiny bits of almond butter blondie!? I speak from experience. You should really try it sometime. Extra points for squatting on the floor because the light is better down there, and that way your cat can investigate and decide that what you’re doing is acceptable. They do that, you know. But look!!! There are trilithons and uprights and lintels in my blondie henge. Which, by the way, is lots more fun than Stonehenge because you can play deity for a bit and then EAT YOUR HENGE!! What a revolutionary concept.

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Also this kind of reminds me a lot of fifth grade when we studied colonial America and made shops out of shoeboxes. Not sure really why making an henge out of blondie bits as a 24 year old reminds me of fifth grade, but whatever. It’s fun walk down memory lane. Anyway… I chose the apothecary, since they fascinated me with all the little jars of interesting things. And being the architect’s daughter that I am, I cut up bits of clear plastic tubing (no doubt obtained on an educational trip with said architect to Ace hardware to learn about practical things) into ‘jars’ and filled them all up with spices and mysterious things, and hot glued them all to the back shelves of the box-shop. It smelled… AMAZING. Maybe that is where my early love of spices came from?? Anyway. This has nothing to do with blondies or henges but there you go. Welcome to my brain box, it’s weird in here.

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Make blondie henges. Just trust me. Your inner child (or maybe your outer child because really, who wants to grow up?! It’s overrated) will thank you.

Also blondie henges are delicious. They also do double duty by satisfying my eternally curious and historically inclined nature.

Happy Almost Thanksgiving!

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Ps. Furry friends are the absolute best snuggle buddies, especially when you’re wrapped in their favorite blanket.

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Almond Butter Blondie Bars

Grain free, gluten free, vegan, and refined sugar free! Those are my current four favorite things about treats these days (especially the refined sugar free bit). They’re super easy to whip up and don’t bake for very long, both plusses for me. I’m definitely not against spending quality time in the kitchen, but there also time when you need a treat like yesterday and a quick baking time is essential. This recipe makes very tall bars in an 8 by 8 pan—anywhere from 9 to a zillion bitty bits of Blondie Henge depending on how you slice em. Recipe adapted from A Clean Bake, here!

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  • 3.5 c almond flour
  • scant 1/2 c coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c roasted unsalted almond butter
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseed+6 tbsp water)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c pure maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 c extra dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease an 8 by 8 pan. Make your flax egg by combining flax and water, and set it aside to gel for about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour (sift it if it’s lumpy, nothing ruder than lumps of coconut flour in baked goods), sea salt, and baking soda. In a smaller bowl, stir together almond butter, gelled flax egg, vanilla, maple, and almond milk. Add wet into dry, add chocolate chips, and stir until everything is combined. The dough is thick—I added an extra splash of almond milk when I stirred everything together, which is totally fine but don’t go overboard (I used only about a tbsp extra). Spread the batter into the prepared pan (I found a silicone spatula to work well for this). Sling the pan into the oven, and bake for 13-14 minutes (mine was perfect at 14). There might be some moist crumbs on the tester, but they should be a little densey-fudgy. Let cool before slicing, or else they’ll get crumbly. These are my favorite right out of the fridge, since the cold kind of solidifies their chewy denseness. Store any leftovers in the fridge (I usually just leave them in the pan and cover it with foil).

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Welcome to the inside of my brain box: Part 1. Useless math facts

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Mo’ cookies! Because cookies.

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Also because imminent GRE equals some amount of stress-baking. Or maybe a lot of stress-cooking. Or maybe both… not that I’m admitting to anything here. Definitely not.

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Basically I just want to take this stupid thing and be done. Like, now. Not in five days but NOW so it can get out of my head and I can have my brain space back. Ommm. Five more days. Ommm….

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I’m to that lovely point where your brain simply cannot take in any more information, no matter how hard you study and try to cram it in there. So I did what I do best and made soup and cookies and vegan lentil enchiladas and went to yoga and jazzercise and and took a study break. And now I’m blogging. Because there is no more information that wants to go into my brain. I will be SUCH a happy camper this coming Monday at five pm when I land on College Ave. and face plant into a Zachary’s pizza [all my East Bay peeps, you know why this is such a fantastic idea]. Ahhhh. Post GRE pizza nirvana.

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But anyway. Until then I am trapped in my head with useless math facts. So cookies. Because the math involved in making 3/4 of a recipe of cookies is WAY more fun than weighted averages. And “real life” (ha) word problems. Also lovely, that this batch makes roughly 19 cookies, which is the exact number that I’m really good at cramming onto a cookie sheet. Why, you ask? I did this because a) I’m lazy and b) I had to study so I could only procrastinate by cookie baking for so long. Also I apparently developed an aversion to using more than one cookie sheet when I was living in Salem with Kira and we only had one, and rotating batches was too annoying. So maybe that’s where this comes from?! Ingrained behavior. And laziness. And studying. Let’s not forget that…

The wise mistress of the otherworldly cat realm who hangs around me says… ‘Sit in your favorite blanket and eat cookies and I will sit on you. Because it’s actually my blanket and you are actually my human’. And then she smiles at me, like the darling cute thing that she is:

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And I probably take her advice and eat cookies with her on my lap. Because life and studying are more more appealing when there are cookies and smiling cats.

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 Almond Butter Gingerbread Cookies

Gluten free, grain free, refined sugar free [date sweetened!], and vegan! These cookies are sweetened with dates and molasses—both nutrient-dense natural sweeteners. They’re full of healthy fats from the almond butter, and good fiber from coconut flour. Go ahead and indulge with glee! Yield: 19.

  • 1 c roasted, unsalted almond butter
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed+6 tbsp water [2 flax eggs]
  • 3/4 c pitted dates, packed [soaked if needed]
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 c coconut flour [sifted if lumpy]
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • scant 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • a twist or two of fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 c extra dark chocolate chips

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In the bowl of a food processor, process soaked dates with a bit of their soaking water (only about a tbsp or two) until a mostly smooth, slightly chunky paste forms. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir together 2 tbsp flax eggs and 6 tbsp water; let sit aside to gel.

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet (or two if you’re not like me) with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together almond butter, molasses, gelled flax egg, date paste, vanilla, and grated ginger until smooth and incorporated. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together coconut flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, sea salt, and pepper. Add dry into wet, toss in chocolate chips with reckless abandon, and stir until the dough is combined and all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the prepared cookie sheet (it’s sticky, so prepare to eat leftover sticky on your person). Cram all 19 cookies onto a sheet if you’re feeling adventurous. Pop them into the oven for at least 12 minutes—they will start to form a chewy crust on the outside, but we need the inside to be NOT mushy. I checked mine at 12, then baked them for another 4 minutes, checking at the two minute mark. They should be not too squishy on the top, with just a little give and a chewy crust on the outside.

Let them cool on the cookie sheet before removing them to a cooling rack—they’re soft when they’re warm! Let cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge for chewy-fudgy cookies, or on the counter in an airtight container for soft cookies.

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Ready, set… PUMPKIN

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Pumpkin!! And stuff. But actually… mostly just pumpkin.

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Because the air finally smells different, the wind is cooler, scarves are necessary, and the leaves are starting to change and fall. This is my FAVORITE time of year, especially since it gives me an excuse to wear an excessive amount of scarves and boots and eat mass amounts of pumpkin. Also fall = flannels, hot tea, holidays, and eatingcookingeatingbakingeating.

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The other day/night it was really fallish weather here, so I was cooking with the windows open so I could smell the air at every opportunity. It didn’t hurt that the neighbors had a wood fire going somewhere, and obviously that smelled delicious.

And the best part of all this means I can use pumpkin for baking with reckless abandon. Which I’ve already started doing. Two pumpkin breads in less than a week? Oh yeah. Easy money. Bring on endless cans of squash puree, and I will speedily dispatch them. Ooooh I love this season!

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Also. Food is more fun when it’s colorful, don’t you think?

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Apparently everything I eat from now on is going to be orange. A spanish tortilla happened last night and this is partly what went in it. Ooooorange!!! Ha.

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This bread is delicious—light, but densely moist (let’s stick to hydrated, mmk?) and spiced. It’s grain free, gluten free, vegan, and refined sugar free [they’re sweetened only with dates!], so there are no excuses not to enjoy. It’s also full of healthy fats and good squash-carbs, as well as enormous amounts of Vitamin A and beta carotene. Wheeee!

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Pumpkin-Almond Butter Bread

Grain free, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free. It might also be paleo, but I’m not the authority on that business. Makes 1 loaf or an 8 by 8 pan (I used the latter, so the cook time below reflects that. Add at least 10 minutes for a loaf pan and check as needed). Recipe inspired and heavily adapted from the Roasted Root, here!

  • 1 c pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 c unsalted almond butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed meal+3 tbsp water; let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 c pitted dates, soaked if needed
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tbsp coconut flour
  • 3 tbsp extra dark chocolate chips

Lightly grease an 8 by 8 inch pan and preheat the oven to 350.

If your dates are super hard, soak them in near-boiling water for about 10 minutes. Drain nearly all the water out, but reserve about a tablespoon or two. Puree the dates and reserved water in a food processor until mostly smooth, then set aside. Make flax egg, and set it aside as well to gel.

In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, almond butter, vanilla extract, and flax egg, then stir in the date paste. In a smaller bowl, whisk together cinnamon, allspice, ginger, sea salt, baking powder, and coconut flour. Toss dry into wet, add chocolate chips, and stir until everything is just combined. Scoop all that goodness out into your prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 35-37 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. The top should spring back just slightly when touched.

Let cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes, then run a knife around the pan, top the pan with a cooling rack, and CAREFULLY (it’s delicate!) invert the bread onto the cooling rack to cool completely (you don’t have to flip it back over unless you want to…). Once it’s completely cool, I store it back in the pan I baked it in. Leftovers only lasted a day in my house, and I recommend storing this one in the fridge.

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Green cookies. Because, obviously.

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Guess WHAT?!

I made cookies. And they’re GREEN!! Muahahah. Like you’re even a tiny bit surprised by this? Nope, I didn’t think so.

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But really. I’m studying for the GRE because I have to and it’s SUPER lame (because let’s be honest, who actually uses the math garbage that they put on there after high school?! That’s right, NO ONE. Remind me again why I have to re-learn quadratics and functions and wait, these are of no use in my everyday life, moving on). So to make my studying that much less icky I made myself green cookies!! Green things always make me feel better.

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I know this is horribly overexposed but I think it’s funny because the cookie looks like it’s levitating…. ooOOOooooOOOOoOooOo

Besides, these are really aggressively green. Artificial food coloring crap can take a backseat because this is soooo much more fun. Wouldn’t you rather the color in your food come from natural fun reactions?! This is what happens when baking soda/powder and the chlorophyll from sunflower seeds have a party in your cookies. When they cool, they turn green!! I like to refrigerate them to speed this along (besides I’m weird and I also like cold cookies)… and if you can refrain from eating them all at once (good luck), they get even greener the next day [the photos in this blog show them in varying states of green-ness… the ones on the blue plate are the next day after spending all night in the fridge].

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In addition to making green cookies, I did a number of other fun and delicious things…

bread at the beach with the boy… what more do you want?

bread at the beach with the boy… what more do you want?

Tea sandwiches. Because HIGH TEA!!! Crumpets!! And scones!! And no crusts!!

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And also creamy coconut buckwheat with turmeric-curry-cinnamon roasted chickpeas. Crappy photos but soooo delicious. I accidentally permanently stained a cookie sheet yellow, thanks turmeric.

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And also this. Frozen pb-banana ‘ice cream’ with a ridiculously good walnut-date-cinnamon-oat crumble [1/2 c raw walnuts, 1/2 c pitted dates, 2 tbsp almond butter+ pinch of sea salt+1/2 c rolled oats+1/2 tsp cinnamon+1 tsp vanilla spun through a food processor]. I couldn’t stop eating it, mildly problematic except not because delicious.

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Oh. One more thing. Are variables delicious? Last I checked, no. These cookies on the other hand? Absolutely yes.

See? Real food fun. Imminently more useful than bothersome little equations and silly variables.

I would much rather have green cookies than remember how to correctly diagram a factor tree, thanks.

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Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies

Grain free, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free. Paleo? Maybs? GREEN! Full of healthy fats and good fiber. I made a half batch and ended up with seven cookies because I mistakenly thought the 1/3 c was a 1/4 c measuring cup…oops. I wasn’t sorry, it meant I got an extra cookie out of the bunch. I’ll include the full recipe here, for a yield of an even dozen. Recipe lightly adapted from Against All Grain, here!

  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1/2 c unsweetened sunbutter (mine is roasted, unsalted)
  •  6 dates, pitted
  • 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 c dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine flax and water and set aside to gel. If your dates aren’t super squishy and soft, soak them in hot/near boiling water for a few minutes—I usually do this anyway so my food processor doesn’t complain as much. In your food processor, combine sun butter, dates, and applesauce and pulse until smooth. Add in vanilla, vinegar, and flax egg, and process until combined (I left a few chunks of date in mine, but it’s up to you). Add in coconut, coconut flour, cinnamon, and baking soda, processing until everything is fully combined. Take out the blade and stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheet, smoothing the edges with your fingers if you want (though I kind of like the craggy rustic look). Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool on the sheet for a few, then remove to a rack to cool further. They’ll start turning green once they start cooling, but they get to be a deeper green after about 2 hours. The next day they’re even better! Store in an airtight container in the fridge (I like plastic for these, glass makes them soft).

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Just because. Happy Friday!

 

“Adult” decisions and more cookies.

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You know what’s fun about being an “adult” [I use this term loosely..] and spending all day at the beach and it being summer+hot?

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Ice cream becomes a perfectly acceptable dinner.

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Trust me. Try it. Go to the beach first though, that makes all the difference.

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Barring that, once your kitchen isn’t a thousand degrees, make cookies! I mean really though… why on earth would I ever want to turn my oven on when it’s already stupid hot at 9 am. Good thing I put on dirtyish clothes to go to Jazzercise this morning because um HELLO SWEATING. So baking is clearly not an option today because I did enough sweating this morning and I really don’t feel the need to subject myself to inferno blasts from the open oven. No thanks. I mean, I suppose I could make some dashboard cookies but I don’t really relish the idea of walking outside and dealing with my oven hot car.

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Also ps. Being an adult is totally relative. I might look like one on the outside… but ha. Don’t be fooled. Sprinkles are the bomb. I will never ever in eleventh billion lifetimes grow out of rainbow sprinks. Or jumping for silly photos. I like to have competitions with myself to see how airborne I can get.

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I also apparently eat everything out of jars.

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But anyway. Enough whining about how hot it is and how I’m really a five year old inside my adultish skin suit. Let’s talk cookies, mmk?

These little guys come together ridiculously fast, which is how cookies should be in my book. They’re super fudgy and chocolatey, with just a little hint of banana flavor. I actually made them awhile ago, but I want them again. NOW. It is really unfortunate that there are no bananas to be had around here… how did THAT happen??

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Grain Free Chocolate Banana Cookies

These are straight up delicious. Fudgy and only a little banana-y, and lightish on account of the coconut flour. Don’t skimp on good dark chocolate for the chippies, that makes all the difference. Paleo, gluten free, grain free, and refined sugar free! Recipe only slightly adapted from Home to Heather, here! Yield: 10 good sized cookies.

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  • 1/3 c coconut flour (sifted if it’s super lumpy)
  • 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 c raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt. In a smaller bowl, mash banana, then toss in eggs, honey, and vanilla. Whisk vigorously to combine. Pour wet into dry, add in chocolate chips, and stir until just combined. Drop batter by roundish balls onto the prepared cookie sheet, flattening them slightly. Bake for 12-14 minutes (mine were perfect at 13). Let  cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Store any leftovers (ha) in the fridge.

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There are green flecks in my cookies. I mean, obviously.

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Cookies.

Shocked? No. Me neither.

You’re not weirded out by the green flecks at all though, riiiight?! It’s me. Of COURSE there are green flecks in  my cookies. They’re delicious. Promise. Just stick with me…

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You see what happens?? I am forced into resting (I don’t really do this willingly, which is undoubtedly why I’m sick in the first place) by a stupid case of tonsillitis that is making me feel like I got hit by a truck. And when I am forced to rest, what do I do? I bake. Because baking is pretty much resting as long as I sit down after things go into the oven.

Also, my parentals just embarked on a mini trip, involving travel in one of those steel cylinders filled with recycled air that fly at high altitudes and have NO good things to eat. Furthermore, they were embarking on a trip to the midwest. Let me just put it this way: I have absolutely nothing against the middle of America (indeed, Gram hailed from Iowa and took me on a fab trip there when I was 9ish) but… hippie food is not exactly to be found in the parental’s destination.

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Therefore, cookies to be consumed during the flying bit and for emergency rations later on were OBVIOUSLY necessary. And then I could eat a few and send the rest with them and by doing so prevent myself from inadvertently eating the whole batch. Which with these is kind of necessary. They are delicioussss.

And apparently they make my throat and tonsils feel better so clearly I should just eat more of them. AND they’re made with good-for-me ingredients so I don’t have to worry that I’ve eaten all that I didn’t send off with the parentals. Ooops.

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I’ve made avocado cookies before and I definitely liked them, so these were intriguing in their chocolateyness. In both cookies, the avocado goes unnoticed flavor-wise, and really only contributes fudgyness (stop trying to turn that into pudginess, autocorrect! That is a LIE) and healthy fats. These are dense and fudgy—in fact, I like them straight out of the fridge when they’re cold. They’re not too sweet, but with the dark chocolate chips just sweet enough (For me and my fam—if you like sweeter cookies, feel free to up the sweetener as per your preference).

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Chocolate Avocado Cookies

Refined sugar free, low in sugar, and full of healthy fats. I doubled the recipe for a total of 26 (not hugely sized) cookies, so I’ll list those measurements below. I adapted the recipe from The Almond Eater, here!

  • 1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 c coconut flour
  • 1/3 c coconut sugar
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 eggs
  • 2.5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4-6 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (divided)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c extra dark chocolate chips

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Preheat the oven to 350, and line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder. In a smaller bowl, thoroughly mash the avocados, then whisk in eggs, maple, 4 tbsp almond milk, and vanilla extract. Pour wet into dry, add chocolate chips, and stir until combined. I found that my dough was a little dry as I was mixing it, so I added almond milk a tablespoon at a time until all of the dry ingredients were incorporated.

 

Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls, flatten slightly, and place on the cookie sheet. They won’t spread, so feel free to cram them all together like I did. Bake for 8 minutes, let cool for a few on the cookie sheet, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Points for trying:

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