Grain Free Peanut Butter Cookies

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I love peanut butter. On an apple, in a cookie, by the spoonful.. it’s just SO delectable. It’s one of those things I will not give up, paleo or not. Well the other day my mom brought home peanut butter cookies from Sunterra. They were laiden with gluten and refined sugar, but smelt like heaven. As a result, I was inspired to try and create a grain free, refined sugar free peanut butter cookie that mimicked the “real thing.” Now let me tell you, this is not the first time I’ve taken on this task, oh no! I’ve had several peanut butter cookie fails. I’ve tried peanut butter and honey combos, sweetening with dates, flourless.. all to no avail, as they hailed sub par cookies that just didn’t cut it! But this time… I think I nailed it! The ratio of almond flour to butter to peanut butter creates a perfectly soft, crumb texture, and just the right amount of peanutty flavour. But I think the real trick was the sweetener.. I have been experimenting with Truvia Baking Blend lately, a combo of stevia and erythritol (both non-glycemic sweeteners), and although using it solely creates a slight aftertaste, mixing it with another sugar has proven to be a success! When the molasses-like flavour of coconut palm sugar is combined with the vanilla scented, ultra-sweet truvia, magic happens! The kind of magic you typically find in a cookie containing refined white and brown sugars. So when you join this sweet epiphany with gooey, creamy, peanut butter, and let it get all fluffy in the oven? Deliciousness. Even my mom (my go-to taste tester), who prefers “Dad’s” cookies to my healthier variety, admitted these babies taste legit!

And so, my gift to you: awesome, guilt free, peanut butter love. ❤

Grain Free Peanut Butter Cookies
Gluten free, grain free, refined sugar free, with modifications for dairy free

Ingredients:
1 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup butter (for dairy free try refined coconut oil)
1/2 cup peanut butter  
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1 1/2 tbsp Truvia baking blend
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.
1. Cream butter and peanut butter together with sugars.
2. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
3. Add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
4. Add dark chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed.
5. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 8 minutes. Keep an eye on them, as they may need a minute or two in either direction.  
6. Store cookies in a sealed container.

*Note: If you don’t have Truvia, you can use an additional 1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar, however the flavour will be slightly different. Still delicious though!

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Paleo Coconut Butter Granola

ImageCostco carries this granola that embodies exactly what I love about granola.. sweet, nutty flavour, a hearty texture, and that perfect crunch with every bite. Sounds great right?… Wrong! Because sadly, it’s laden with sugar, wheat flour, and canola oil. Sigh, and to think I used to eat that stuff by the container full!! Well luckily, I have an amazing recipe to replace it that’s full of healthy oils, natural sweeteners, and none of that gluten stuff. Purely nuts and seeds, this granola is super versatile, and extra delicious!! I make it for my dad (who is not paleo) all the time, and as he would say, he “eats it like a wild banchee!” I think that means he likes it!! =)

Paleo Coconut Butter Granola – Adapted from How Sweet It Is
Grain Free, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free

Ingredients:

Nuts and seeds – You can use any you want, but I usually use around 5 cups total. The following is an example of what I might use:
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds
1 cup coconut
3/4 cup pecan pieces
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
Optional: 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Wet:
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut butter
4 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.
1. Heat wet ingredients in a small pot, on low, until melted.
2. Pour over nut/seed mixture and stir.
3. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, bake 10 minutes more, stir, then bake for approximately 10 more minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes until golden.
4. Cool until hardened. If you want more clumps, you can use your hands to clump it together a bit while it’s still warm.
5. Store in an airtight container.

*Note: This recipe is so easily adaptable! Change up the nuts! Add dried fruit! Add cinnamon, or other spices, or chocolate! Sometimes I use part coconut butter, and part almond butter, depending on if I want a sweeter, or nuttier flavour. Play!

Paleo Waffles

ImageI freaking LOVE Belgian waffles. Thick and fluffy, with a crisp exterior, smothered in pure maple syrup, and a big blob of fresh whipped cream. Just thinking about them is making me drool!! But after going gluten free, waffles have never been the same. The gluten free pancake mixes on the market just don’t do it for me. In my experience, they tend to bear weird flavours and textures that turn me right off. Hopeless I was. But then!! I started following a girl by the name of Brittany Angell on instagram. This girl.. she’s a GENIUS when it comes to paleo/ gluten free / grain free food. Which is right up my alley! Just to my luck, she posted a paleo waffle recipe on her blog that had rave reviews, so I decided to give it try.. and EEK! They were amazing!! Pillowy soft, slightly sweet, and all around scrumptious waffles, that are grain free and sugar free too! This waffle recipe use almond and tapioca flour, which creates a fluffy texture reminiscent of their glutenous counterpart, while also lending a natural sweetness to their flavour.  The recipe below is slightly adapted from Brittany’s, and creates the perfect base for whatever-you’re-feeling waffles. Chocolate chip? Do it. Blueberries? Mmhmm. Straight up with maple syrup? You bet.

Breakfast anyone?!

Paleo Waffles – Adapted from Brittany Angell’s Recipe
Grain Free, Gluten Free, Sugar Free

Ingredients:
Yields 4 – 8 waffles
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (not canned)
1 tsp. lemon juice

Directions
Preheat waffle iron, and grease it well.
1. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
2. Make waffles!!
3. Serve with maple syrup and whipped cream! Or fruit! Or anything delicious!

Paleo Banana Bread Truffles

ImageRemember yesterday’s Paleo Banana Bread? Well you’re going to need to make another loaf. Because you’re going to want to make these Banana Bread Truffles.

I have an obsession with making truffle-like desserts. My absolute favourite, pre-paleo days, were cake balls. Delicious little balls of Betty Crocker cake (no one does it better than Betty!), mixed with sickly sweet frosting, and coated in chocolate. I used to make these little balls of sin and bring them to dance class..  Now before I continue, I would like to clear up the misconception that dancers don’t eat. Oh, we EAT. A whole heck of a lot. So these cake ball truffles? They were gone in mere seconds. But healthy? Yeah, I wouldn’t bank on that. My obsession had already developed, however, so when I went grain and sugar free, I started experimenting with making healthier treats in truffle form. Cookie dough truffles! Brownie batter truffles! Protein ball truffles! And now.. Banana bread truffles! I have yet to replicate the cake ball truffle… but these babies are SO delectable that I don’t even feel to…. Yet. =) I mean, let’s take a loaf of sweet and scrumptious banana bread, paleo-fy it, make it into cute little truffles, and coat it in dark chocolate.

I think I just died and went to heaven, and you’ve been invited.

Paleo Banana Bread Truffles
Grain Free, Gluten Free

Ingredients:

Paleo Banana Bread
1/2 cup coconut cream (scooped off the top of a refrigerated can of coconut milk)
1/2 large overripe banana
Dark chocolate chips, or your own homemade chocolate

Directions
1. Bake and cool banana bread.
2. Mash the banana, and mix it into the coconut cream.
3. Break up the banana bread and crumble into a bowl. Add the banana cream mixture, stirring until well blended. You should be able to form the “dough” into balls.. You may need a little more or less of the banana cream!
4. Form into balls and place on a parchment or wax paper lined pan, and freeze for at least half an hour, or until cold and firm.
Try not to be impatient!
5. Melt dark chocolate chips in a double boiler, or however you prefer, and coat the frozen banana bread balls in chocolate.
6. Place the balls back onto the lined pans, and back into the freezer until chocolate is set.
7. Best when stored in an airtight container in the freezer.

Paleo Banana Bread

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It’s a bread. It’s a cake. It’s a snack. It’s dessert. It’s breakfast…

It’s banana bread!

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There’s something so comforting about this versatile treat. For me, it’s the deliciously overwhelming aroma that swells the house as it bakes. A sure sign that something tasty is soon to fill my tummy!

Oh and this banana bread? It’s gluten and refined sugar free. Almonds, coconut, and tapioca flour create that superbly moist, crumb texture we have familiarized with this classic loaf. The sweetness comes almost entirely from the bananas, with just a touch of honey, making this version much healthier than it’s sugary, gluten-filled counter part! So eat up, and enjoy! =)

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Paleo Banana Bread
Grain Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour (I ground my own.. if you use store bought you will probably need half this amount)
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 large, or 3 small overripe bananas
2 tbsp. honey **
1/4 cup butter
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.
1. Cream butter, eggs, honey, and vanilla.
2. Mash, and stir in bananas.
3. Add dry ingredients, and mix well.
4. Optional: add in nuts, or chocolate!
5. Bake in a greased loaf pan for 50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

*Note: This tastes best the next day!! The natural sweetness really comes through after sitting for a bit.
**Note: I have always used honey for this recipe, but I also think that replacing it with 1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar would add a bit more body to the flavour! If doing so, reduce the almond flour to 1 1/4 cup, coconut flour to 1/4 cup, and tapioca flour to 1/4 cup.

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It’s really yummy with homemade chocolate on top too! =)

“Believe It Or Not” Healthy Double Chocolate Cookies

ImageOh you better believe it.

So I’ve had this mad craving for a Betty Crocker chocolate brownie. You know, those ones that you make from the boxed mix, and are untouchable, even by the homemade variety?! Yeah, those. Well I refused to succumb to those sinful sugar bombs.. so instead I made these babies.. then ate 3.

Sometimes I think I should just eat the damn brownie.

But then! I remember that these particular cookies are made with healthy ingredients! With actual nutritional value! Instead of corn syrup, these are sweetened with pureed raisins or dates, which boast an impressive nutritional profile in comparison to other sweeteners. Instead of wheat flour, these are made with ground almonds, which contain healthy fats, fibre, and protein. Instead of partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil (eek!), these are made with avocado, which is another amazing source of healthy fats, fibre, and potassium! Combine these nutrient dense ingredients with organic cacao powder, and high quality dark chocolate (we’ve gotta give a little!), and you have some INSANELY delicious, and HEALTHY cookies! Yes, these are considered straight up health food in my eyes. It helps me justify eating several at once. =)

ImageOh, and did I mention that they taste amazing too? The cookie by itself is not overwhelmingly sweet, but has a rich, decadent flavour, and unbelievably fudgy texture. The addition of the dark chocolate chips lends just the right amount of sweetness, and adds ooey gooey, melty goodness to every bite. Basically, these are a delectable, fudgy brownie, in a convenient cookie form. Craving crushed.

Make them now. Thank me later.

“Believe it or Not” Healthy Double Chocolate Cookies
Gluten free, grain free, sugar free, and dairy free (if made with dairy free chocolate chips)

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups almond meal (I grind my own in my Magic bullet)
1 cup cacao or cocoa powder
1½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ripe avocado
1 cup dates or raisins, pureed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
As many dark chocolate chips as you can possibly cram in there!

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.
1. In a large bowl, mix together almond meal, cocoa powder, and baking soda.
2. Using a food processor or good quality blender, puree raisins or dates first, then blend in avocado, vanilla, and egg until smooth.
3. Combine wet ingredients into dry mixture. Mix until incorporated.
4. Add dark chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed.
5. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 9 minutes.
6. Eat one fresh out of the oven. Store remaining cookies in sealed container in the fridge or freezer.

*Note: These taste awesome both warm, or frozen. Yum!!

Recipe credit to my beautiful baby sister Kelynn!!

Paleo Double Chocolate Cupcakes

ImageLet’s talk about cake. I’ve never been a fan of chocolate cake. I know, who am I?! It just doesn’t do it for me. Chocolate? Yes please. Brownies? Heck yes. Chocolate cake? Meh. But these cupcakes have converted me! The best part? They’re grain free, naturally sweetened, and full of good, healthy fats! Plus chocolate! Winning combo in my opinion!

Paleo Double Chocolate Cupcakes
(Adapted from Living Healthy With Chocolate’s Coconut Cupcakes)
Grain Free, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour (I ground my own.. if you use store bought, you will need closer to 1/4 cup)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
6 tbsp. cacao powder or cocoa powder
1 cup full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
Chocolate chips (optional)

Ganache:
Dark chocolate chips
2 tsp. full fat coconut milk

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.
1. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
2. Combine wet ingredients, then add the dry mixture, and mix until incorporated.
3. Add chocolate chips if desired! (I know you do!)
4. Spoon batter into lined muffin tins, to about 2/3 full.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
6. For ganache, melt dark chocolate and slowly add coconut milk, being careful not to seize the chocolate.
7. Spread ganache over cooled cupcakes, and enjoy!