Carrot Cake Muffins (dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, paleo, processed sugar-free)

So two nights ago husband asked me to make 24 muffins for him to bring to work the next day. Which normally is no problem. But this time, he asked at 9pm, just after I got the kitchen all cleaned up and was headed toward bed. I wasn’t about to go to the store, so I had to think quick and whip up something with ingredients on hand. As I was scrolling through my muffin recipes, I remembered these gems. And miraculously had all the ingredients.  I’ve probably made these 15 times in the past, and am not sure why I haven’t posted them yet. They are one of my very favorite, if not my absolute favorite grain-free baked item. Actually, that’s a lie.  This chocolate lava cake surpasses all, but these carrot guys are a distant close second.  They are slightly time-consuming. Not difficult, but just lots of steps. I think it will be worth your efforts however – they are delicious. Allegedly, husband’s coworkers scarfed those muffins down and had no idea they didn’t contain flour, sugar, or vegetable oil.  Gross.   PS, if you are wondering why we use the ingredients we do, read here. And lastly, I think I’ve finally found the best white frosting recipe on the earth without using powdered sugar or dairy. So while you are at it, make this (dairy-free, processed sugar-free, vegan) frosting too and spread it on your muffins!  Enjoy!

Carrot Cake Muffins (dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, paleo, processed sugar-free)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup pureed dates (if your dates are too dry to puree on their own, let them soak in hot water for 10 minutes, drain off water, and then puree in food processor)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
METHOD:
1.  Preheat oven to 325F.
2.  Get all your ingredients ready – shred carrots (in food processor or with a cheese grater), puree dates, and chop pecans.
3.  Combine dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut sugar, salt, baking soda and spices) in a large bowl and set aside.
4.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs and melted coconut oil.
5.  Add wet ingredients to dry, and stir to combine.
6.  Mix in pureed dates and carrots.
7.  Fold in pecans.
8.  Divide evenly among 12 muffin liners, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into middle of muffin comes out clean.
9.  Allow to cool completely, then top with this frosting!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from The Cupcake Project.
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Fried Brown Rice with Chicken, Bacon, + Veggies

Who doesn’t love fried rice?  I was craving the stuff, and texted my lovely friend, Sarah for some inspiration.  She suggested adding chicken into the rice, and it was so yummy.  I’d never done that before, always had chicken on the side, but I will definitely do it again. And the leftovers were soooo yummy the next day.

fried brown rice, with chicken, bacon, and veggies

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 – 1 1/2 lb organic, dark chicken meat
  • 6 slices pastured bacon, diced
  • 2 cups whole grain brown rice
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, about 4 cloves
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or 100% organic tamari sauce), divided
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
METHOD:
1.  Dice chicken into 1″ cubes.  Marinate chicken in 2 tablespoons garlic and 2 tablespoons coconut aminos for an hour or so.
2.  While chicken is marinating, cook your brown rice according to package instructions.  Mine was 2 cups rice, 4 cups water, simmering for 40 minutes or until cooked and all liquid was absorbed.
3.  Cook chicken in large skillet (I used my cast iron) over medium to high heat for 10 minutes, or until there is no pink in chicken.  Place chicken on a clean plate, and set aside.
4.  In the same skillet, add bacon and cook over medium to high heat for about 7 minutes, or until bacon is cooked and crispy.  Do not discard grease.
5.  Add cooked rice, chicken, and all veggies (green onion, peas, carrots), back into the same skillet with the bacon and bacon grease.  Stir to combine and continue stirring over medium heat until veggies are hot, and softened a bit.
6.  Stir in the rest of the coconut aminos, or tamari sauce… 1/4 cup.  Feel free to add more,  to taste.  Add crushed red pepper flakes, stir to combine.
7.  Using a wooden spoon, push aside rice mixture to create 3 “wells” or holes, exposing the skillet at the bottom.  Crack one egg into each hole and lightly scramble the eggs with a fork.  You want the eggs to scramble in their little holes until they are about 90% cooked, then stir them into the rest of the rice.  If you simply combine them without cooking them individually a bit, you’ll just end up with a sticky egg coating over everything, and not chunks of eggs throughout, which you want.
8.  That’s it.  DInner is ready, and you only used one pan.  Amazing.  This made PLENTY of fried rice for us for dinner, and two sizeable adult lunches later in the week.  We re-heated ours back in the skillet, over the stove top.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.