Good morning! I have a super special treat to share with you guys. Today I am introducing you to these most amazing muffins. These babies are packed full of good-for-you ingredients to start your day off just right or to give you an energy packed treat as an afternoon pick-me-up. But there is more as to why these guys are so special… If you live in Seattle and haven’t attended a class taught by The Joyful Kitchens, you need to. The Joyful Kitchens is made up of three lovely Seattle ladies who are like the quadruple threat in the kitchen, if such a thing exists. They teach, they cook from scratch, they cater, they photograph – and most importantly they are wonderful, sweet, hospitable, and beautiful women. I have taken three of their classes in the past year and have learned so many fun new recipes and tricks that range from cocktail parties and holiday treats, to most recently fun brunch food. These muffins came from that class. I asked Rachel if she would let me share this recipe with you guys, because I know that you will love them just as much as we have. They will be a staple in our home for sure. They are great as a quick breakfast and perfect for a snack. I’ve been sticking them in Jonah’s lunchbox everyday too, to get him through the rest of his afternoon at school.
So run out to your favorite bulk bin location and stock up! We love to hear from you, so let us know how you liked them and I will be sure to pass all compliments along to Rachel!
1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour
1/4 cup natural raw wheat germ (this was the only item I forgot when I went bulk bin shopping for these muffins so I used an additional 1/4 cup almond flour)
1/4 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups shredded carrots (would be great with shredded zucchini, too)
1 tart apple peeled, cored, and shredded
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped and pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 teaspoon toasted flax seeds
1/2 cup chopped super dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 tablespoon molasses
3 large eggs
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon course sea salt
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. Add in the shredded apple and carrots, the raisins, dates, walnuts, seeds, chocolate, and coconut.
Using your hands, mix all of the ingredients together to ensure everything gets coated with the flour.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the applesauce, maple syrup, molasses, melted coconut oil, almond and vanilla extracts.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated and moist. If your mixture is too dry, add just a touch more applesauce.
Scoop batter into greased muffin tins.
Bake for 20-35 minutes at 350 or until the middle is set if using regular muffin tins. If using mini muffin tins, bake for 15 minutes.
Eat warm out of the oven with butter! Enjoy!
Makes 12-18 regular size muffins or about 26 mini muffins
NOTE: We are working on a gluten-free / paleo conversion for this recipe as well.
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.
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
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
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.
Oh man. Been on the hunt for a white frosting that doesn’t use powdered sugar. Finally found the best one. Tried so many. Failed at so many. This one wins. It is creamy, the texture is perfect, and the taste is incredible. This will for sure be my go-to frosting recipe. Most recently I made it to put on carrot cake muffins, but it would be good on pretty much anything you wanted to frost. I may have even consumed a few spoonfuls straight out of the fridge. Don’t judge. You would have too if there was a tub of this in your fridge. Let us know what you think of this when you make it! This frosting would also be real good on pumpkin muffins, chocolate cupcakes, blackberry bars, or spread on grahams!
1 cup full fat coconut milk (canned)
1 cup maple syrup
Pinch sea salt
5 teaspoons arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1. Combine coconut milk, syrup, and sea salt in a saucepan over medium heat on the stove and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. While the mixture is simmering, combine arrowroot and water in a small bowl to make a paste.
3. After 10 minutes, pour arrowroot mixture into saucepan and whisk enthusiastically to combine.
4. Quickly bring to a boil, until bubbly and shiny. Then remove from heat.
5. Very gradually add coconut oil to mixture, blending either with hand blender, or in stand mixer with whisk attachment in place.
6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours (I left mine in overnight).
7. Remove from refrigerator, and blend again until light and fluffy. Serve immediately.
NOTE: Due to the coconut oil in this recipe, this frosting does not hold up well in high temperatures. If you are making this ahead of time, I would spread it on cupcakes or cake immediately after whipping, store in refrigerator, and remove cupcakes or cake about and hour before serving. This will allow frosting to soften up a bit, but not become overly warm and melt.
Just in time for all that holiday hot cocoa you are going to be drinking…. homemade marshmallows! I have tried to make mallows multiple times, but have failed miserably. One time husband put one in his mouth and literally gagged and spit it out with so much anger that I made him try such a terrible thing. No more. These babies are amazing. They are sweetened with maple, have a nice, light vanilla flavor, and the texture is perfect. I’ve tested them in hot cocoa (they melt and get perfectly gooey), I’ve tested how they roast (just like you’d expect…. golden on the outside, melted on the inside), and soon I intend on testing how they stand up in a rice-krispy-like recipe. What I am saying is, this is the real deal – and only 4 ingredients. 4 good ingredients. The last time I picked up a bag of marshmallows at the store, I saw corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring (why they need coloring in a product that should be white to begin with, I have no idea), cornstarch, and processed sugar as the ingredients. Those are not things I am willing to eat, or feed my babies, so I set out to make my own. I love that they get to enjoy the fun treats of the season, and I feel great about giving it to them. These marshmallows have to set overnight, so plan ahead. Trust me, the wait is worth it. Also, don’t forget to use our chocolate sauce recipe for your hot cocoa. Just heat up your milk over the stove, and add desired amount of chocolate goodness, whisk until combined, and top with marshmallows.
1 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin (I like either this gelatin or this gelatin because they are both 100% pure gelatin from grass-fed cows, and not as highly processed as other gelatin).
1 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1 vanilla bean, split in half with seeds scraped out
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup water
Coconut oil, to grease the pan
1. Pour water into bowl of stand mixer, and sprinkle gelatin on top of water. Let sit for 5 minutes. This allows gelatin to soften and activate.
2. Using your hands, grease the bottom and sides of a 9X9 baking dish with coconut oil.
3. In a sauce pan, combine syrup, sea salt, and vanilla beans and heat, while constantly stirring, until it reaches a temperature of 240 degrees F. This took longer than I expected, 5+ minutes…. but be patient, it will happen. Syrup will be thick and bubbly. I think that this somehow functions the way corn syrup would in a traditional marshmallow recipe.
4. Turn mixer on to medium speed, with whisk attachment in place. Slowly, and I mean slowly, add hot syrup mixture to gelatin. Should take about a minute to a minute and a half to pour syrup in.
5. Once all syrup is added, turn mixer up to high, and let go for 7-10 minutes, or until white and fluffy and doubled in size. The texture when finished will be similar to that of melted marshmallows. Gooey, sticky and not solid.
6. Pour mixture into greased dish, and allow to rest uncovered at room temperature overnight.
7. Gently pull out now set marshmallow from pan, and cut into 1″ cubes using a hot, greased knife. I greased my knife with coconut oil (carefully, of course), and also coated my hands as well.
8. Toss marshmallows in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of arrowroot powder to keep them from sticking to each other. Shake off excess arrowroot. Arrowroot is a basically a cleaner, more nutritious thickening starch to be used in place of cornstarch… it is also gluten-free and GMO-free, where as most cornstarch is not, unless you take care to get 100% organic cornstarch.
9. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. Makes about 30 1″ cube mallows.
This recipe comes from my daughter’s preschool. I love, love, love this preschool. Jonah went there last year for Pre-K and that is when I fell in love with it. Such a wonderful community of such loving people. We had no intention of sending Dorothy there until Pre-K, but I couldn’t bear being away from there a whole year. And I knew she would absolutely love preschool. Every year they have the sweetest Thanksgiving performance followed by their Thanksgiving feast. They ask parents to bring one of three designated dishes and this crisp is one of those. Last year when my son was there, I made this crisp with the brown sugar, margarine, and canned cranberries that was on the original recipe and then I made it again for our family because I loved it so much. This year I tweaked it. Instead of brown sugar, I used maple syrup and not as much. Instead of margarine, I used extra virgin coconut oil. And instead of canned cranberries, I used fresh, whole cranberries from the farmer’s market. I also added cinnamon and nutmeg. Because in my opinion, everything could use cinnamon and nutmeg, right? It was delicious. Cranberries are super tart, which I like, but if you don’t you could heat them on the stove and add a little bit of water and honey or maple syrup. Then you could mash the cranberries once they have softened. This would give the dish a gooey element that mine was missing by using whole, non-mashed cranberries. Super yummy for breakfast alongside a hot cup of coffee! Let me know how you like it!
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup pure maple syrup, about 2 tablespoons extra for drizzling over cranberries
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup fresh cranberries, or enough to cover the bottom layer of the crisp
1. Mix all of the ingredients together except for the cranberries.
2. Press half of the mixture in a 9 x 13 pan.
3. Bake for 20 minutes, in 350 oven.
4. Spread cranberries on top of the crust, drizzle with maple syrup and press the rest of the oat mixture on top.
5. Bake again for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
I did a lot of things in college. I moved from Colorado to Seattle. I met (and married) my man. I worked a million jobs. I made amazing friends. And I ate pad Thai. No, really. I’m not kidding. I bet I got it at least once a week, and saved the left-overs for the next day, meaning I probably ate it 2 times a week, every week, for the better part of 4 years. I’d never had it before moving here, and it is one of my all-time favorites. Which is why I knew I had, like HAD, to attempt to make it at home. My husband constantly makes fun of me (in a playful, I-totally-can’t-argue-because-he-is-sooooooo-right type of way), about my constant on-a-whim decision making. Cooking, for me, is no different. I get an idea in my head about what I want to make, and there is no stopping me until it is done. Even if there are other things I should be doing. Even if I have to run out to get ingredients I don’t have. Even if the kids are freaking their #*$%. I saw this recipe today. I went to get the ingredients today. I made it today. And I freaked out it was so good today.
I would have NEVER thought, in a million years, that it was possible to make pad Thai this delicious in my own kitchen. But, I swear it tasted like it came from a restaurant. No joke. I wouldn’t lie to you. And even though it uses rice noodles – and therefore technically not a whole grain, I also used organic chicken, pastured eggs, organic veggies from the farmer’s market, and coconut oil – so it is a million times better than anything I could order for take-out. Have you ever asked to see the ingredients in the pad Thai at your favorite restaurant? Yikes. There are like maybe 100. And a lot of them are no bueno. The ingredients here are clean, the sauce doesn’t have anything weird in it, and it was quite possibly the most delicious thing I’ve ever made. If it seems like I’m freaking out about it, it is because I am. Still. Tastiest food of life. Make it. Tonight. For reals. Is that picture blurry? I don’t even care. Could barely even hold off stuffing my face long enough to take one pic.
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste. Original recipe called for Sriracha. Don’t use that. It has 8 ingredients, 2 of which will most definitely be genetically engineered, and 2 of which are preservatives, which you don’t need to consume when you can just use red pepper flakes instead.
5 green onions, chopped (separate chopped whites from chopped greens)
1 cup shredded carrots (I used cheese grater)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
4 lime wedges, for garnish
UPDATED: Go ahead and toss in a handful of bean sprouts, too. I forgot all about em when I made this, but Evan’s husband Justin has informed me they are a necessary component to Pad Thai.
1. Boil rice noodles according to package instructions. I brought water to a boil in large pan, turned heat off, added noodles, and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain water, and set noodles aside.
2. While noodles are soaking, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to non-stick pan and add chicken. I chopped up the chicken into pretty small little bites before cooking. I think you should do the same.
3. Once chicken is cooked, drain off any liquid and add peanut butter. Stir until chicken is coated, set aside.
4. In your skillet, add the other tablespoon of coconut oil along with the white part of the chopped onions and the garlic. Sautee until golden brown, and fragrant.
5. Add the eggs and scramble over medium heat until almost cooked. Almost. Not all the way. Take off the heat and set on a plate for a few minutes.
6. Mix together syrup (or organic brown sugar), soy sauce, lime juice, and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl and set aside.
7. Back to the skillet. Add noodles, the sauce you just mixed, the chopped green part of the onions, carrots, and chicken. Stir until combined, over medium heat, until noodles are soft.
8. Grab your plate with the almost scrambled eggs. Dump into the noodles, and stir to combine.
9. Cook for another minute or so, until eggs are fully cooked.
10. Plate. Add cilantro, peanuts, and a lime wedge to each serving. This recipe was enough for me and my man to consume heaping amounts, the kids each took a few bites, and there is a little bit leftover for lunch. So I guess I would say it serves 4. Or maybe 3 if you are crazy hungry.
11. See?! Easy! And might I suggest chopping, mixing, and cooking before dinner time? That is what I did and it made the actual cooking part crazy fast and easy. I chopped veggies, mixed sauce, beat eggs, and cooked chicken while my children were napping – so come dinner time, I just had to soak noodles and throw stuff in skillet.
12. Also, if you get the right soy sauce, this dish is gluten-free (Sarah D, Abbey K). And if you omit chicken it is vegetarian (Evan). Add shrimp instead and it is pescatarian (Noelle K). Omit eggs and chicken and it is vegan (Nicole H). You catch my drift? Modify to fit your needs.
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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.
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).
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.
Our baby girl, Eloise, turns one today, October 29th. That first birthday is so bittersweet for me. This year has been the most challenging for our little family of five. Just learning how to take care of three really little kids on very little sleep and basically just trying to keep our heads above water as the busyness of life throws you for all sorts of loops. But it has also been the most amazing year. Eloise is such a gift from God. Her joy, her smiles and her sweetness are simply contagious. She has taught us so much. We have gotten the joy of watching her older brother and sister just become smitten with her. They love their baby sister so much. So as she turns one, I celebrate with her that we made it through this year and all that God has ahead for her – but I am, selfishly, so sad to watch her grow out of being such a tiny baby at the same time.
We celebrated her birthday with a small group of friends at a pumpkin patch nearby. What a fun month to have a birthday! I decided to make the pumpkin muffins from earlier this month as her cupcakes, and found this recipe for an easy coconut oil frosting that Erin has used before with carrot cake. I decided to throw in some cinnamon (because cinnamon is one of my most favorite things in the world) and some bourbon vanilla extract (yes! thank you trader joe’s!). This was my first attempt at making a frosting that didn’t use an entire bag of powdered sugar, and I was amazed at how silky the texture was. This frosting would be great on banana bread muffins, carrot cake, or pretty much anything now that I think about it…
1 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup of pure maple syrup (feel free to add more or less depending on how sweet you want your frosting)
1 tablespoon of Trader Joe’s Bourbon Vanilla extract
Several shakes of cinnamon
1. Mix the coconut oil and maple syrup together in the mixer until creamed together. I didn’t melt my coconut oil beforehand, but it was pretty soft. I used the medium setting on my mixer and let it go for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the vanilla and cinnamon and mix until just blended.
3. Frost your cupcakes or muffins and enjoy. Mine kept fine in the fridge, too. This recipe frosts 24 cupcakes, with a little bit left over.
This treat is perfect for those amazing summer months when the strawberries are ripe and sweet. I can’t tell you how many times we picked out extra strawberries at the farmer’s market this summer to make this ice cream. And I LOVE that my kids won’t touch
store-bought strawberry ice cream… recently, my 3-year-old daughter refused to eat store-bought strawberry ice cream that was offered to her at a friend’s house because it was “too pink”… I couldn’t agree with her more. Skip the artificially flavored, artificially colored strawberry ice creams and make your own! Even if you only have it during the summer months when strawberries are in season, it will be well worth the wait. Or, do what we did and freeze those strawberries so you have some to use during the winter months. So happy we don’t have to go an entire year before we make this ice cream again!
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1 cup fresh strawberries, mashed
1. Pour cream into a large bowl and set a strainer on top of it. Set aside.
2. Combine milk and syrup in a saucepan and warm over medium heat for 2 minutes.
3. SLOWLY pour warm milk mixture into separate bowl containing egg yolks, stirring constantly. Continue until all the milk mixture is added to the eggs. This is called tempering your eggs.
4. Scrape egg/milk mixture back into saucepan and cook over medium heat until custard begins to form, again stirring constantly. It’s fairly obvious to tell when the mixture is thick enough…. the back of your spatula will be coated with the mixture when it’s ready. Don’t over cook this, or you’ll end up scrambling your eggs.
5. Pour egg/milk mixture through the strainer and into the cream. The strainer should catch any egg that cooked…. I usually end up with a tablespoon or so of egg in my strainer.
6. Add the strawberries, and stir to combine.
7. Stir, cover, and chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Then, make the ice cream according to your machines’ instruction.
Ok, so. These cookies are good, but not super sweet. My husband and kids really like them, but we haven’t had a sugar-filled cookie in almost a year. I’m pretty sure that our taste has changed, and thankfully, things that aren’t very sweet taste amazing. That being said, if you are looking for a treat full of good, healthy stuff, this is a great option. They are SUPER easy to make, and you could easily spice them up with various ingredients. Chocolate, more syrup, etc. I feel like I keep saying this, but for me, treats I feel good about giving my kids are the best. Hope you enjoy!
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter (make sure the only ingredients are peanuts and salt…)
1/4 cup flaxseed meal (ground flax)
1 1/2 cups oat flour (ground oats)
1. Mix syrup, peanut butter, and milk until combined.
2. Add flaxseed meal and mix. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes.
3. Stir in oat flour.
4. Roll into balls, and press with a fork to flatten.
5. Bake on parchment lined cookie sheet in 350 oven for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes 10-14 cookies depending on size.