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 Soft-Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies.

These Soft-Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies are so soft they taste like they just came out of the oven, and they’re so good no one will know they’re Gluten-Free!

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Today’s National Donut Day, but I much prefer chocolate chip cookies over donuts, so I’m popping in with an awesome cookie recipe for you today. I think these are the best gluten-free chocolate chip cookies I’ve had yet! Now, let me go ahead and say this is one of those cases where gluten-free does NOT equal healthier. There’s plenty of real sugar, butter, etc. If you’re looking for a “healthified” gluten-free chocolate chip cookie, you might want to try these.

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know chocolate chip cookies are my favorite dessert.
And you also know I am super picky about my chocolate chip cookies.
I want them SOFT. Not crispy, not crunchy, and definitely not super crumbly.
I found the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, but then last year I found out I had a wheat allergy, and I’ve been looking for a replacement ever since.
Ladies and gents, this is it!

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They hold up together really well, but aren’t hard at all. The edges are just sliiiight crispy, but the rest of the cookie is perfectly soft. Sticking the cookie dough balls in the freezer before baking was key in this recipe. Also, as with any cookie, you want to take them out of the oven when they still seem slightly underbaked because they continue baking while cooling on the pan.

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These cookies will stay fresh for up to 2 days in an airtight container.  I mean, obviously, they were best fresh out of the oven, so you’ll definitely want to have one then. I don’t even need to tell you that though because honestly…does anyone actually bake cookies and not taste one fresh from the oven? I didn’t think so.

Gluten-Free Soft-Batch Chocolate Chip Cookie

Ingredients:

  • 1 7/8 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur’s All-Purpose GF mix)
  • 1 teaspoon xantham gum (check your flour mix–if it’s already listed as an ingredient omit it)
  • 6 1/3 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable shortening, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk both at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, mixed with 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1). Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a baking pan or cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.

2). In a large bowl whisk together the GF flour, xantham gum, corn starch, salt, baking soda, and sugar. Once that’s all blended, add the light brown sugar. Make sure there are no clumps.

3). Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients by pushing them up towards the sides of the bowl. Add the following ingredients, stopping to mix well after each one: butter, shortening, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk. The dough should be thick and soft. Add the cornstarch-coated chocolate chips and mix well. (Bonus: there’s no risk of overworking the dough with gluten-free flour!)

4). Roll about 2 1/2 Tablespoons of dough into balls and place on the lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. DO NOT flatten the balls–leave them rounded. Place the baking sheets in the fridge for 1 hour or in the freezer for 10 minutes.

5). Remove from fridge/freezer and bake for 12 minutes. Again, the center of the cookie will appear underbaked. Let them cool for at least 10 minutes on the cookie sheet–they will continue baking as they cool. Remove from the cookie sheet and let them finish cooling on wire racks. Store in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days. Enjoy!

Servings: about 20. Approximate Nutritional information per Serving: Calories: 216 Carbs: 30g Fat: 10g Protein: 2g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 18g Points+: 6 Recipe from here.

5 Ingredient Easy Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms.

Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms are a perfect appetizer or side dish–and they’re so easy to make!

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Mmmm. Mushrooms.
They’re so polarizing.
It seems like people either fanatically love them or absolutely loathe them.
Me?
I’m on Team Mushrooms all the way.
I’m the person who actively seeks out the dish with mushrooms on the menu.
And I’m guilty of taking the mushrooms off my husband’s plate because he won’t eat them.

So, I assume if you’re still reading that you’re on Team Mushrooms as well.
In which case, YOU NEED TO MAKE THESE GARLIC BUTTER MUSHROOMS.
They’re sooooo garlick-y and butter-y and mushroom-y. Yep. I’m making up words over here.
That’s how good they are.

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There are five (count ’em!), FIVE simple ingredients to make this dish.
Two of them are salt and pepper.
Do those even count? No? So really just 3 ingredients, then.
Garlic + butter + mushrooms = magic.

The big trick with the mushrooms comes to cleaning them.
You probably already know this, but you can’t rinse them under water.
Instead, you need to use a wet paper towel and gently wipe down each one.
It’s a little time consuming, but it’s worth it in the end!

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Two more things to note about the recipe:
#1: Trim the ends of the mushrooms so they’re flat and even with the rest of the mushroom. This will help the garlic stay on top of them instead of falling in between them.
#2: You will want to mince up your garlic as tiny as you possibly can so it’ll stay on the mushrooms.

5 Ingredient Easy Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz white or baby bella mushrooms, cleaned with a wet paper towel
  • 1/4 cup butter (I used KerryGold grass-fed butter, but you can even make them vegan by using Earth Balance!)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced as finely as you can
  • salt
  • pepper

1). Place a large cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat it to 400F. If you do not have a cast iron skillet, you can use a pie pan or a casserole dish, but you will not preheat the oven with either of those inside.
2). Using a small knife, trim the ends of the mushrooms so they’re flat and even with the rest of the mushroom. Remove the cast iron skillet from the oven and carefully arrange the mushrooms in it.
3). Place the butter and garlic in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds or until melted. Spoon the garlic butter over each mushroom cap. Make sure to try to keep the garlic on top of the mushroom instead of letting it fall in between. Season the tops with salt and pepper.
4). Roast for about 25-30 minutes until tender, basting them about halfway through the cooking time. Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 4. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 131 Carbs:5g Fat: 12g Fiber: 1g Protein: 4g Points+:4 Recipe originally from here

Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad with 3-Minute Strawberry Balsamic Dressing.

 Up your salad game with this restaurant-style Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad! A quick but impressive 3-minute Strawberry Balsamic Dressing ties it all together.

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May = Strawberries!
And, also the end of the school year. Womp womp. It’s always bittersweet!
I have been creating lots of delicious recipes for you the past month, so get ready for lots of cooking and baking inspiration to come your way this summer!

Today I’m sharing TWO summer ideas with you. One is a salad, and the other is a 5-ingredient dressing that will be ready in 3-minutes or less AND will compliment the salad perfectly! I even have a bonus mini-recipe for candied almonds at the bottom of the post!

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So, this salad. Just look at it! Swoon. I love adding fruit to my salad for a little natural sweetness, and ripe strawberries are the perfect way to achieve that. This Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad is perfect for serving company or just enjoying on a weeknight. It’s simple. Ready?

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Spring mix.
Ripe strawberries.
Sliced/slivered almonds for some fun crunchy texture.
My 3-minute strawberry balsamic dressing (recipe below).
Crumbled goat cheese aka chèvre.
The goat cheese is slightly tangy but suuuuuuuuper creamy and compliments the strawberries perfectly. SO. GOOD.

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And then there’s this strawberry balsamic dressing. I’ve been making it for about 6 years now and it never disappoints. My husband isn’t the biggest fan of strawberries but he LOVES this dressing.

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This dressing is sooo quick and easy to make (3 minutes max!). There’s absolutely no reason to buy dressing when this is so easy to make. And, unlike some pre-packaged fruit dressings, there are no food dyes here; that beautiful pink color comes straight from 5 whole strawberries! I love how naturally colorful food can be.

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You’ll have to use some sort of blender to blend the strawberries together with the other ingredients. I used to use my immersion blender, but now that we have a Vitamix, I use it instead. It cleans itself so it’s just a little more convenient! But seriously, use whatever blending appliance you’ve got. Even a food processor should work nicely here.

Along with the strawberries, you’ll add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, a little honey and a touch of salt. Blend it up and BOOM. Done! I like to store my homemade dressings in mason jars so I can give it a quick shake before serving, but you can store it however you want in the fridge.

3-Minute Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 5 large strawberries, ends cut off
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1 1/2 Tablespoons honey (use 1 Tablespoon unless your berries aren’t very sweet, in which case add a little more)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1). Combine all ingredients in a food processor, immersion blender, regular blender, etc. Blend until smooth.

2). Serve immediately or store in the fridge. Enjoy!

Servings: about 8. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 46 Carbs: 4g Fat: 4g Protein: 0g Fiber: 0g Points+: 1
Recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

  • Spring mix
  • Ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • Sliced or slivered almonds*
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • Strawberry Balsamic dressing from above

1). Add all ingredients to a bowl (I eyeball the measurements depending on what size crowd I’m feeding) and toss together. Serve immediately!

*Note: If you want to get really fancy, make your own candied almonds by sprinkling 3 T brown sugar in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 T water as it heats up to help it dissolve. Watch carefully as the sugar and water come to a boil, then, when the water burns off, you will notice a change in the bubbles. Instead of being wet, they will start to thicken and turn darker. That’s when you add 1/4 cup slivered almonds. Toss them around, let them cool, then add them to the salad!

Recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

French Dijon & Basil Potato Salad. (GF/DF)

 A simple French-inspired potato salad perfect for taking to a cookout or picnic this summer! 

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Sooooo I have a little-known fact about myself I’m going to share with you on this beautiful spring day.
Are you ready?
I really don’t care for mayonnaise-based salads.
Especially potato salads, but this also applies to pasta salads, tuna salads, etc.
I know, I know. It’s not a popular opinion. But hear me out.
One reason I don’t care for them is because they’re so heavy, but also because they aren’t conducive to al-fresco dining. You have to keep them cold and refrigerated otherwise you run the risk of making yourself or someone else sick.
Having to worry about that adds stress to what is supposed to be a stress-reducing experience!

That’s where this dijon and basil potato salad comes in. I swapped the mayo for a simple vinaigrette, and topped it off with fresh basil. You’re going to love it! I took it to a function recently and everyone went craaaazy over this simple salad.

Bonus: it happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegetarian and vegan, so hopefully everyone can enjoy it!

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Instead of mayonnaise, you’re going to make a simple vinaigrette with all the usual characters (olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper). I add all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake it up, but you can whisk it together in a small bowl.

Quick trick I learned from my mom and grandma: pour the vinaigrette over the potatoes while they’re still warm so they absorb all the flavors. Then, you can finish it off with freshly chopped basil and it’s ready to go!

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I used baby red potatoes, but you can use yukon gold or whatever you have on hand! I hope you try this dish for your next picnic or cook out!

French Dijon and Basil Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3lbs baby red potatoes, washed and quartered
  • 1 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1). Place the quartered potatoes in a large pot with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and drain the water.

2). While the potatoes are boiling, place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar and shake until well combined. (You can also whisk them together in a bowl).

3). Let the potatoes cool. You want them warm, but not hot. Place them in a large bowl and season them with salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over them. Add the basil and toss to combine. Taste and re-season with more salt or pepper. Enjoy!
*Note: This dish is best served warm or at room-temperature, but you will need to refrigerate any leftovers.

Servings: about 8. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 201 Carbs: 27g Fat: 9g Fiber: 3g Protein: 3g Points+: 5 Recipe adapted from here. Adapted recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. (GF, DF)

Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies that are gluten-free and are sweetened naturally instead of with refined sugar! All the ooey-gooey goodness of traditional chocolate chip cookies, but a little bit healthier.

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Valentine’s day is Saturday! Got any plans to make a sweet treat for your loved ones?

My all-time favorite dessert is chocolate chip cookies. So, you can imagine my frustration when I found out about my wheat allergy over the summer and realized I would no longer be able to enjoy my beloved chocolate chip cookie recipe. I had to find a replacement. Stat.

This recipe is an excellent alternative to my aforementioned traditional wheat-filled chocolate chip cookie recipe. The first time I made it, I was seriously skeptical. I mean, look at the ingredients! Can almond flour really work here? Can honey bind it all without even using an egg?

The answer: yes.

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These cookies are super chewy, which is exactly the way I love them.
And they’re soft.
Really soft. In fact, don’t even think about attempting to eat one as soon as you take the pan out of the oven because they will appear underbaked. This worried me at first, but sure enough, after they cooled for a while they firmed up and could be held just fine. (By the way, underbaking is one of the tricks for making my original chocolate chip cookies amazing, and it works here too!)

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Obviously if you’re making cookies you realize there’s going to be some serious sugar-intake happening, but I do appreciate that these cookies use honey instead of refined sugar. Honey is still a form of sugar, but if you buy good quality, raw, local honey, you are at least also getting some nutrients from the sweetener. The flavor of the honey does come through a little bit, but I love honey so that did not bother me at all. If you don’t like honey (is that possible?), then these might not be the cookies for you!

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A note on the almond flour–I used Trader Joe’s almond meal/flour. I am not sure how well any other brand would work. Almond flour can vary greatly depending on what brand you purchase, so just be aware!

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (use enjoy life for dairy free)
  • 1/4 cup softened butter (coconut oil for dairy free)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

1). Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with silpat liner or parchment paper.

2). In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except chocolate chips together until well-incorporated. Add in the chocolate chips.

3). Scoop about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and place on the prepared baking sheet. Keep 2-3 inches of space between cookies. Gently press down on the cookie dough to flatten each cookie slightly.

4). Bake for 6-10 minutes, depending on your oven. The cookie should be slightly golden on the bottom and will appear underbaked, but they will finish baking as they cool.

5). Important: cool for 10-15 minutes on the cookie sheet before enjoying! You absolutely must let them cool or else they will be too soft to handle. Enjoy!

Yield: about 19 cookies. Approximate Nutritional Information per cookie: Calories: 135 Carbs: 11g Fat: 10g Fiber: 1g Protein: 2g Sugar: 9g Points+: 4. Recipe originally 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.