Paleo Coconut Flour Pancakes.

This healthier take on pancakes using coconut flour, applesauce, coconut oil, and eggs will get your day started on the right track!

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Good morning! Grab a seat and settle in for some pancake stories.

Growing up, pancakes were my favorite breakfast treat. My mom would make them on Saturday mornings occasionally and I promise nothing got me out of bed faster than the smell of fresh pancakes!

Unfortunately, there’s not much going on nutrition-wise in traditional pancakes, so I’ve been on the hunt for a healthier pancake for a while. I also needed to find a substitute for flour to keep them gluten free.
That’s where these Coconut Flour Pancakes come in!

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The first time I had these were with some friends on a ski trip. One of my good friends made these for us one snowy morning and I was so impressed with how delicious (and filling!) they were! Unlike old-school pancakes, these will actually fill you up and keep you full for hours thanks to fiber-filled coconut flour and a good protein-fat ratio from eggs. Yup, there are 5 eggs in these pancakes!

Let’s talk texture. These pancakes are soft and somewhat spongy, but in a good way. They’ll soak up whatever oil (coconut oil or butter) you use to cook them in, and whatever topping you choose to add. I’m somewhat of a pancake purist when it comes to toppings: just real maple syrup, please!
But honestly? Can I tell you a secret??
I think they’re pretty good plain.
When we were skiing, I ate some leftover for lunch on the slope and thought they were just fine the way they were!

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One last little trick: coconut flour requires a few minutes of rest so it can soak in some of the moisture of the batter. 5 minutes is all you’ll need. I whipped these up in my Vitamix in no time. The time-consuming part is cooking all the pancakes! Don’t forget, if you need to keep them warm while you finish cooking all the pancakes, put the ones that are ready in the oven on low, covered with a damp towel. The damp towel will help keep them from drying out in the oven!

I hope you make these Coconut Flour Pancakes for your family soon! One batch makes abouttttt 12-14 pancakes depending on what size you make them. Enjoy!

Coconut Flour Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup all-natural applesauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • add-ins like bananas, blueberries, chocolate chips (optional)

1). In a blender, combine all of the ingredients except for the optional add-ins. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes to thicken.

2). Heat a large skillet (or pancake griddle) to medium heat. Add a small amount of coconut oil or butter to the skillet or griddle. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to drop the batter. Do not overfill. Let the pancakes cook for 2-3 minutes per side. These pancakes take a little bit longer than traditional pancakes, so be patient and keep an eye on them. You probably won’t see a lot of bubbles on the surface like you would with regular pancakes. Don’t rush them too much!

3). Top with whatever toppings you’d like and enjoy!

Yield: 12-14 pancakes. (I got 13) Approximate Nutritional per Pancake: Calories: 110 Carbs: 7g Fat: 7g Protein: 3g Fiber: 2g P+:3 Recipe adapted from here.

Gluten-Free Oat Waffles.

Easy, light and fluffy waffles made with oat flour that the whole family will love!

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Happy Saturday!

Tell me: waffles or pancakes?

It seems like everyone has a preference.

Personally? A few years ago I would have said pancakes > waffles. I’m really not sure why, other than the fact we didn’t have a waffle maker growing up and my mom would make pancakes for a special breakfast. In fact, the only thing I wanted when I got home from months of studying abroad in college was pancakes!

Then I got married. My husband LOVES waffles. A very good friend of ours generously gave us a waffle maker over the summer, and waffles have been requested occasionally ever since. Usually I make him traditional waffles, but I was curious to try this gluten-free version a few months ago and it has never let me down! Now? Pancakes = waffles.

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I love that this recipe is so simple. No crazy combination of flours here, just one: oat flour. You can make your own, which is what I did since I already had oats in the pantry, or you can purchase some. If you have oats and a food processor/blender, it’s super easy to make your own–just blend away!

An important note: make sure to account for the 10 minute of batter-resting time. I almost forgot this step once, but thankfully I realized it before I started pouring the batter in the waffle maker! It’s absolutely crucial to let the batter rest so the oat flour absorbs excess moisture.

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Have fun with the toppings! You can’t go wrong with classic maple syrup (just be sure to get a high quality syrup if you go that route!), but I also love waffles with a small dollop of raspberry or strawberry preserves. My husband’s favorite is a spoonful of my crock pot apple butter, which adds a nice punch of warm spices. Then there’s always the savory route…chicken and waffles, anyone?

So, what are you waiting for? Go make a special breakfast for your family this weekend!

Gluten-Free Oat Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour (if making your own, you’ll need about 2 cups of oats blended together to yield 1 1/2 cups of oat flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup room-temperature milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 5 tablespoons of melted coconut oil or butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons room-temperature maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1). In a medium bowl, mix together the oat flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

2). In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, melted coconut oil/butter, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.

3). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes to allow the oat flour to absorb excess moisture. Start preheating the waffle iron at this point.

4). Mix the batter once more then add it to the hot waffle iron. Once golden and cooked through, remove from the waffle iron then repeat with more batter. You can keep them in a 200F oven to keep them warm, if you’d wish, and they should also freeze beautifully. Enjoy!

Recipe yields about 5 square waffles (as pictured above). Serving size: 1 waffle. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 210 Carbs: 15g Fat: 15g Protein: 6g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 6g Points+: 6. Recipe originally from Cookie and Kate.

Vanilla Almond Granola.

Slightly sweet, crunchy granola with hints of vanilla, almond, and cinnamon flavor!  Surprisingly easy and much more affordable than the store-bought variety.

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School is back in session and this teacher has been going 100 miles a minute! But seriously. The beginning of the school year is always so hectic. Awesome and exciting, too, but also very hectic.

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Know what’s great on hectic mornings?

Vanilla Almond Granola. Homemade, of course! I can’t believe I’ve never made this stuff before. It’s so much cheaper than buying it pre-made and it’s absolutely delicious! The addition of a tiiiny bit of almond extract is brilliant–it brings out the almond flavor just the right amount without being overpowering.

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I love sprinkling this it on plain Greek yogurt. It makes for a quick, healthy breakfast with virtually no prep-time required.

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The granola adds a necessary crunch, texture, and touch of sweetness to the otherwise tart yogurt. Something about the contrast between the creamy yogurt and slightly crunchy granola just works, ya know? Sprinkle some ripe berries on top and you’ve got yourself a filling meal loaded with all kinds of yummyness.

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I know you don’t need another reason to make this super easy recipe, but here’s one more anyway: your house will smell AMAZING for hours after you make this. Cinnamon and vanilla always seem to exude the most awesomely sweet, warm aroma when baked.

Plus, all you need are two mixing bowls to make it!

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One small note about this recipe: yes, it calls for coconut oil, but you won’t taste it. I promise. My husband hates coconut and he had no idea I used coconut oil in the granola. If you’re allergic or still don’t believe me, feel free to substitute some vegetable oil.

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Do you like granola? What’s your favorite variety? Let me know in the comment section!

Vanilla Almond Granola

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil (or vegetable/canola oil)
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1). Preheat the oven to 300F. Line a large baking sheet with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2). In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, cinnamon, and salt.

3). In a medium bowl, whisk the syrup, oil, almond extract and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour over the oats and toss well.

4). Spread the granola on the pan in one even layer. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes (<–very important!!). Let the granola cool before consuming.

Servings: about 13 servings of 1/4 cup each. Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 171 Carbs: 20g Fat: 9g Protein: 4g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 9g
Recipe: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/06/17/vanilla-almond-granola/

Blueberry Muffins with Raspberry Swirls.

Soft and fluffy muffins bursting with juicy blueberries and a sweet raspberry jam swirl!

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It’s July and blueberries are in season! What better way to use them up than in some homemade muffins? You can actually use frozen blueberries, too, so don’t worry–this is  a recipe you will want to keep handy year-round.

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These muffins are incredibly soft, mostly due to using actual butter. This sweet treat is not the healthiest, but it is a great recipe to use if you want to impress your friends at a brunch! If you’re watching your waistline, I do have many lighter and healthier muffin recipes on the blog, such as these skinny blueberry banana muffins, banana chocolate fudge muffins, and peanut butter banana chocolate chip muffins.

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Don’t you just love that little bit of raspberry jam peaking through the tops of the muffins? Let’s talk about how to achieve this. There are 2 methods, and you’ll have to decide which one to use based on what you want your final muffin to look like.

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Option #1: Mix the batter and gently fold in the jam into all the batter at one time. This will give you a very subtle swirl because the jam gets distributed evenly into the batter. See my pictures? That’s the method I used this time. It’s very subtle.

Option #2: Mix the batter together except for the jam. Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups. Add about a teaspoon of jam right on top of each muffin cup, then gently swirl it into the batter using a toothpick or a knife. Next time, I’ll be using this method so the swirls (and raspberry flavor) are more pronounced.

Either method will work, it just depends on what you want your final muffin to be like!

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Want to know what’s awesome about these muffins? You can whip these up quickly, and you’ll only dirty one bowl. That’s always a win in my book. One bowl baking = less dishes to wash!

Blueberry Muffins with Raspberry Swirls

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar + 1 tbsp sugar for dusting (optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (white whole wheat could be substituted)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen (if frozen do not thaw)
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam (bonne maman is my favorite!)

1). Preheat the oven to 350F and line a regular sized muffin pan with paper liners.

2). Cream the butter and 1 cup sugar together in a large bowl (or stand mixer) on medium-high to high until light, fluffy, and well-blended, about 5 minutes. Use a spatula to scrape the bowl occasionally. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl again.

3). Gently add the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing just until combined. Using a spatula, gently fold in the blueberries by hand.

3). Now, either: add all the raspberry jam at once and gently fold into the batter, or evenly distribute the batter into the muffin cups and add 1 teaspoon of jam on top, then swirl. See my in-depth explanation in the post for more information.

4). Sprinkle a little bit of sugar on top of the muffins (optional–this just gives it a crunchy top) and bake for about 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean. All ovens are different so it is possible yours may need more/less time.

5). Allow the muffins to cool about 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container.

Servings: about 14 muffins. Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 222 Carbs: 35g Fat: 8g Protein: 3g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 20g Points+: 6

Recipe adapted from: http://www.averiecooks.com/2012/08/blueberry-muffins-with-raspberry-jam-swirls.html 

Easy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

IMG_0810 Good-for-you banana muffins studded with semi-sweet chocolate chips! These muffins are perfect for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or even dessert. These are my usual go-to muffins when I have an abundance of ripe bananas on my counter or in my freezer. IMG_0806 Besides the delicious, sweet flavor and fluffy texture of these muffins, my favorite part about this recipe is that it only requires one bowl! I am always a fan of easy clean up. I LOVE cooking but hate to do a ton of dishes as a result. Many muffin recipes require a separate bowl for wet/dry ingredients, but not this one! IMG_0808 These are muffins you can feel good about. I always use white whole wheat to make these and it does not compromise the texture or flavor at all. There is NO oil or butter in these muffins; the addition of unsweetened applesauce adds moisture with no fat. The chocolate chips are optional…sortof. The muffins are still great without them, but the chocolate adds another dimension of flavor. Last year, I made these muffins before we went skiing with my husband’s parents. I opted to make half with chocolate chips and half without, thinking that since we had to wake up at 4:30am to get to the airport, it might be too early for chocolate. I was w.r.o.n.g.! We all went for the chocolate ones, because, let’s face it, they’re hard to resist. I should have known there is no such thing as “too early for chocolate”! IMG_0812 Easy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins Makes about 15 muffins. Ingredients:

  • 3 large, ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups AP Flour (or white whole wheat!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1). Preheat oven to 350F. Place muffin liners in muffin tin. 2). In a large bowl, mash bananas, then add sugar and slightly beaten egg.  Stir in applesauce and vanilla. 3). Stir in all the dry ingredients until combined, being careful not to overmix. 4). Divide the batter evenly until each muffin cup is at least 3/4 full. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Nutritional information per muffin: Calories: 141 Carbs: 26g Fat: 3g Protein: 2g Sugar: 14g Fiber: 1g Points+:4 Recipe adapted from: http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-banana-muffins-8603 Just for comparison’s sake, here’s what these muffins looked like when I took a picture with my cell phone’s camera. Yikes!! Image

Kitchen Tips and Tricks: How To Hard Boil Eggs In The Oven.

This post is not really a recipe, but more of a “how-to.” I know this time of year many of you are looking for healthier alternatives after the holidays, and eggs are a great source of protein (particularly if you ditch the yoke). Recently, I noticed a lot of Pinterest posts on hard boiling eggs in the oven. You simply place the eggs in muffin tins, preheat the oven to 325F, and let them cook for about 25 minutes before moving them to an ice bath. The ice bath stops the cooking process, leaving each egg perfectly hard boiled, unlike many experiences I’ve had trying to hard boil them on the stove. Am I the only one that struggles with that? I just can’t seem to get consistent results, but that’s exactly what I do get from the oven method. I just had to share with you in case you too have a hard time achieving perfectly hard boiled eggs on the stove!

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Another great thing about this method? I can easily cook anywhere from 12-24 eggs at a time, which I can then use for breakfast throughout the week, a snack, chopped up in salads, etc. I’m not a big deviled eggs person, but if you are this would be an easy way to cook a large quantity for that purpose as well.

How to Hard Boil Eggs in the Oven

What you need:

Eggs

A muffin tin

A large bowl with ice water

1). Preheat the oven to 325F. Place eggs in muffin tins. Bake for 25-27 minutes, depending on your oven.

2). Immediately move the eggs to the bowl with ice water to stop cooking. Let them cool for several minutes before draining the water and drying the eggs.

3). Refrigerate eggs until needed!

Eggnog Muffins.

The Christmas baking posts continue! If you like the flavors of eggnog, you will love these muffins. Even if you do not like eggnog (I don’t!), you too will love these muffins!

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These festive muffins are a great way to get you in the Christmas spirit and make for a lovely Christmas breakfast. It’s also a great way to use up extra eggnog you have after the holidays. All the eggnog does is add moisture and flavor to the muffins. They’re not overly sweet and have a nice hint of nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon. They’re not exactly health food, but certainly are a better choice than some other muffins! They do have oats in them, after all!

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These muffins are easy to make; all you need are two bowls, a whisk, and a spatula! I love that I don’t even need to get out my electric mixer for to make these.

After the muffin batter is spooned into the pan, the muffins get an extra sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. This little addition makes the tops beautiful and just a tad sweet. Christmas is in 2 days…it’s not too late to add these to your holiday baking list!

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Eggnog Muffins

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking (not instant) oats
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups light eggnog
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Cinnamon-sugar for sprinkling (or make your own…mix 1/4 cup sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners.
  2. Place flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggnog, oil, egg, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix or your muffins won’t rise properly. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over each. Bake in preheated over at 400F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Servings: 12-14 (I got 14). Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 171 Carbs: 24g Fat: 7g Protien: 4g Sugar: 12g Fiber: 2g WW PointsPlus: 5 

I found the original recipe on Atthebakersbench.com a few years ago, however they have since removed the link. Adapted recipe courtesy of Audreysparon.wordpress.com.