Blackberry Bars (grain / gluten / dairy free, paleo)

5 days in to our no grain challenge and we are going strong.  Happy to have dabbled in grain-free cooking and baking over the past year, or this would have been really hard. However, it has been fun and easy.  I’ve had ingredients stocked in my pantry (well, sad excuse for a pantry… more like shoved into my cupboard), and have been easily able to serve up 3 meals a day (plus a lunch to send with husband to work) and have literally avoided all grains.  Too early to report any changes, but so far we feel great.  These bars can be easily made Paleo if you sub the milk for coconut milk or almond milk.  On to the berry bars.

I froze a bunch or organic berries from the farmer’s market this summer.  And boy, am I glad I did.  Those blackberries were perfect in these bars.  Although, you could use another berry, fresh or frozen.  Or a combo of berries.  Easy, super yummy, and grain-free. Even if you eat grains, give this one a try.  Coconut flour is really healthy for you, and you might be surprised how you feel after a protein filled breakfast instead of a carb filled one. Give em a try!

grain free black berry bars

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 cup Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 bananas, smashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup blackberries (or other berry of your choice)
METHOD:
1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease 8×8 baking pan with coconut oil, set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine dry ingredients (coconut flour, shredded coconut, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt).  Stir (or mix on low speed) to combine.
3.  Add in wet ingredients (honey, smashed bananas, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, milk).  Stir (or mix on medium speed) until thoroughly combined.
4.  Fold in berries, and scoop into greased baking pan.  This batter is similar in texture to cookie dough, so it won’t pour.  And once you scoop or spoon it in, press down a bit with your spatula so that it is evenly distributed.
5.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until crust is golden.  Wait until completely cool to cut.  Serve with pastured butter, honey, or jam.  Enjoy!
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from What Runs Lori.
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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.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes, with chocolate frosting, with chocolate chips.  Chocolate x3.  You can thank me later for sharing this recipe with you.  Once again, it is brought to you by the lovely Juli over at PaleOMG… This lady knows how to cook.  I didn’t change a thing – and I’ve made these 5+ times now, and they are soooooo tasty.  They are grain-free and dairy-free… and now that I think about it, sugar-free (they are sweetened with dates)… technically Paleo cupcakes.  Even if you aren’t a Paleo enthusiast, try these!  The texture is that of a “real cupcake” and the taste is incredible.  We brought these to some friend’s house for dessert the other night, and saw on Instagram the next morning that they ate them again for breakfast – just sayin.  Alright, with no further ado…. you have some chocolate to consume.

INGREDIENTS:
(for cupcakes)
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup canned, full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
INGREDIENTS:
(for frosting)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (or a cut up chocolate bar)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
METHOD:
1.  Preheat oven to 350, and line muffin pan with silicone liners or paper liners.
2.  Add dates to food processor, and process until no longer chunky.  It will be a sticky mess, but what is baking without a bit of a mess?
3.  Add other wet ingredients (coconut oil, coconut milk,vanilla, eggs, egg whites) to the dates, and process until smooth.
4.  Mix dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cocoa) together in a bowl; add wet to dry and mix until fully incorporated.
5.  Scoop into muffin pan.  Mine usually yields about 9 cupcakes.
6.  Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
7.  While cupcakes are baking, make frosting by melting coconut oil and chocolate chips on the stove over low heat, until fully combined.  Stir in a pinch of salt.  Until cooled, this mixture will be VERY runny.  It helps to put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes until it has thickened up a bit and is spreadable.
8.  Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
9.  Frost, top with chocolate chips, and eat em all up.  Or share with your friends.  That would be better.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Recipe taken from PaleOMG.