Cinnamon Raisin + Almond Cookies (grain / gluten / dairy / egg free, paleo, vegan)

This post is dedicated to my super amazing friend, Nicole.  Today is her 40th birthday!! She is the kindest, most thoughtful friend and I am super thankful for her in my life!  She is also a vegan, thus the dedication.  I brought her a dozen of these cookies this morning at the gym.  She thinks they are delicious, and I bet you will too!  I had a cookie like this the other day at my friend Jen made, so I tried to recreate… after quite a few test batches (too bad, we had more cookies to eat) I’m super happy with the results.  We ate them all really fast here in my house.  I usually go for chocolate, so the raisins were a welcomed break from all the chocolate!  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Raisin + Almond Cookies (grain, gluten, dairy, egg free.  vegan.  paleo)
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon almond extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
METHOD:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients (almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt) and mix until combined.  
  3. In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt coconut oil.  Add wet ingredients (syrup, almond extract, vanilla extract).  Stir to combine.  
  4. Pour wet into dry, and mix until batter thickens.  I do this step in my mixer, and I let it mix for about a minute.  The almond flour absorbs as it stirs, so give it a good stir.  
  5. Fold in raisins and sliced almonds.  
  6. Roll into balls, about ping-pong ball size.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheets, bake 8-10 minutes.  
  7. NOTE:  Makes 24 cookies.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
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Lemon Bars (grain / gluten / dairy / sugar free, paleo)

Soooooo… my awesome girl Noelle (yes, the same one who introduced me to the most amazing dessert ever), challenged me to create the best lemon bars of life.  I think the text went something like “if I know you at all, you won’t stop until you find it – I challenge you to create for me the best paleo lemon bars ever”.  And she does know me – it is crazy what you can learn about someone by the way they CrossFit. Because I texted back “challenge accepted” (duh), and immediately starting thinking, researching, preparing.  And now, behold. The best (paleo) lemon bars of life.
lemon bars (grain gluten dairy free, paleo)

INGREDIENTS: (crust)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cups unsweetened, finely shredded coconut
  • 1 egg white (save yolk for lemon filling)
  • Pinch sea salt
INGREDIENTS: (filling)
  • 3 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks (you are going to have one extra egg white – just save it, and throw it in your next batch of scrambled eggs)
  • 6 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
METHOD:
1.  Turn oven on to 350F.
2.  Melt coconut oil over low heat on the stove.  Add maple, coconut, almond flour, and sea salt.  Stir until combined.  Remove from heat.
3.  Add 1 egg white, and stir vigorously for 1 minute.  Crust dough will be very sticky.
4.  Line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper, and pour crust dough into dish.  Using hands, press dough down in dish until compact, and evenly spread throughout.
5.  Poke a few holes in the crust using a toothpick.  Maybe 10.  To prevent it from bubbling up when cooking.  This step is important.  Don’t skip it.
6.  Bake crust for 10 minutes, remove from oven.
7.  While crust is cooking, whisk the eggs plus the egg yolks in electric mixer until light and frothy.
8.  Add the rest of the filling ingredients, and whisk for 2 minutes.  Set your timer.  2 minutes, people.
9.  Pour the mixture over the crust, which you already baked for 10 minutes.
10.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are slightly brown and center is set.
11.  Let it cool.  No really, don’t eat it yet.  Let it cool.  It is important for it to set.  Give it 30 minutes.
12.  Dust with coconut flour – looks just as beautiful as powdered sugar, and nobody will be able to tell the difference.  Promise.
13.  Cut, and consume.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories.

Paleo Banana Muffins

My super awesome Crossfit coach, Megan, sent me the original recipe for this banana bread.  And, I have made (and eaten) sooooo many of these in the last few months… Speaking of Crossfit, remember when I was only posting (and drinking) whiskey recipes (like this and this) because my dislocated rib hurt so bad?  Well, it is all better.  Finally. Only took 6 weeks. Did the same lift this week that I injured myself on, and had no pain. So I added 10 lbs and did it again.  Ha.  Take that rib.

Ok sorry, back to what you really care about.  Don’t let the title of these muffins scare you away from trying them, even if you aren’t a paleo enthusiast.  It basically just means that they are dairy-free and grain-free.  BUT, these muffins could hold their own up against any “traditional” banana bread recipe – both in taste and texture.  To make them even better, there is no added sugar.  Just the natural sugar from the bananas and the handful of dates blended up in these make them plenty sweet.  Think of it as a little adventure in baking. Learn to use these alternative flours.  You might be surprised at just how delicious these are, even though they aren’t your typical banana muffins.  Oh, also – I double this recipe every time I make them because these freeze beauitfully.  And I loooooove having a good paleo muffin to go with my eggs in the morning when I don’t feel like cooking up a protein.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 5 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 5 tablespoons warm water
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes, for topping
METHOD:
1.  In your food processor, process dates and warm water until fully blended.  Can I just tell you how happy I am to have a food processor and not do this step in my magic bullet? After writing that sentence, I literally stopped to go throw the bullet out. Good riddence.
2.  Add the bananas and vanilla, and process until well combined.
3.  Add eggs and process until just combined.  Pour in coconut oil, process one last time to incorporate.
4.  In a seperate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.
5.  Pour wet into dry, and stir until full combined.  Batter should not be super runny.  I sometimes find that the longer I stir recipes with almond flour, the more it thickens.  So grab that wooden spoon and give it a good, hearty stir.
6.  Spoon batter into a paper or silicone lined muffin tin.  (You could totally make a loaf of bread too, you would just have to cook longer – 45-50 minutes). Sprinkle coconut flakes on top.  And bake in a 350 F oven for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
7.  Break one in half, slap some pastured butter on top, and consume.  Just kidding, you don’t have to do that.  You could wait for them to cool.  Or save them for later. But if I were you, I’d eat at least one right out of the oven.  Duh.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Frisky Lemon.

Ginger Snaps

I’ve got a real tasty treat for you today.  These cookies are perfect for the fall, and for the upcoming holiday season.  They have a crisp outside, and a nice chewy inside.  And, the ingredients are extremely clean.  I honestly couldn’t think of an easier way to make cookies either… you literally dump all ingredients in a bowl, stir em, and cook em.  Amazing.  Hope you enjoy!!  Oh, and I forgot to mention – they are gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free… so technically paleo and vegan.  Even better.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1½ cups almond flour
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, softened
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons organic turbinado sugar (make sure to find 100% organic raw cane sugar so that you can be sure it is GMO-free).
METHOD:
1.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix until thoroughly combined.  I usually use my mixer because it takes less effort.  And my arms are sore.  From push ups.
2.  Chill dough for about 30 minutes.
3.  While the dough is chilling, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat oven to 350.
4.  Roll the chilled dough into 15 even sized balls.  They will be about the size of a ping-pong ball.
5.  Using a fork, press down on each cookie to flatten to desired thickness.  I find it is a lot easier to do this with a wet fork.  I wet my fork, press down the cookie dough, wipe any dough that stuck on the fork with a paper towel off, and then wet the fork again and repeat. Hopefully that helps you not to have cookies sticking to your fork.  Because I did that before I figured out this method, and it was super annoying.
6.  Sprinkle with organic turbinado sugar.
7.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.  I like to keep them in for the full 10 minutes because it makes them a little crisp on the outside.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Detoxinista.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

You are in for a treat with these cookies…. not only do they only have 7 ingredients, but they are wheat free, gluten-free, dairy free, and egg free.  Technically vegan.  But, do not let that scare you away from these puppies.  They are ah-mazing.  I promise.  My mouth thanks my friend Jen for introducing me to these cookies…. my waistline, not so much.  I could eat ’em all up by myself.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (make sure to buy vegan chocolate chips if you want these to be truly vegan)
METHOD:
1.  Pre-heat oven to 350.
2.  Melt coconut oil, and combine with syrup and vanilla.  Set aside, and allow to cool a bit (but not completely or coconut oil will return to solid).
3.  In another bowl, mix dry ingredients.
4.  Add coconut oil mixture to dry ingredients and stir until the dough sets a little bit.  If it seems to wet, allow it to sit for a few minutes, and stir thoroughly.
5.  Fold in chocolate chips. I got impatient with this step and added them while my dough was still quite warm from the coconut oil, so my chips melted a lot as I stirred.  If you want the chips to remain intact, wait for dough to cool completely before adding chips and baking.
6.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.