Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Almond Butter Bars

Thursday, February 27, 2014 Alanna Figueira 1 Comments


Okay the recipe I am about to share is just straight up dangerous.  Let's get one thing straight before I even get started- this is not health food! Yes, it's paleo and grain free and uses coconut sugar in place of refined sugar free but it's still sugar.  It is lower on the glycemic index and not just empty calories; there are minerals and vitamins found in coconut sugar, but its still not "health food".   Feel free to substitute maple sugar or sucanat.  You can also sub out any nut butter, even peanut butter if you're into that.  My favorite nut butter is cashew butter and I use that all the time in recipes.  I don't want to get all Debbie downer on you then share the most amazingly delicious paleo treat ever buttttttt I don't eat much almond flour or almond butter.  They are very concentrated and inflammatory when over eaten. My 5 month old nursling even reacts with a rash when I eat too much almond flour or almond butter.  That being said, I feel much more comfortable serving this to my kids as a once in a blue treat than some store bought wheat/sugar/soy/preservative laden crap.  So, this is a "very special treat", as my 3 year old would say.  I make stuff like this once or twice a month.  It's lasts 5 minutes.  This will solve all of your cravings and allow you stay on track in this lifestyle. One thing I say often is that I don't miss anything. If miss it I make it- my way.  

If  you've been eating grain free for awhile, you probably have most of the ingredients in this recipe already in your pantry.  It's all really easy to put together, so do not be intimidated by the layers!  You can totally make this dairy free by substituting the butter for coconut oil. I've mentioned my dairy sensitive nursling before, so I have made this entirely dairy free with coconut oil and enjoy life chocolate.  It's still delicious.  Your Reese's and Duncan Hines loving ' friends will have no clue that this is grain free and has about 1/4 the sugar a "normal" treat like this would have.  I honestly don't think I would change a thing even if I could.  Would they be better with more sugar or actual sugar? I really doubt it!  Let me know what you think!  

There are 3 layers of awesomeness in these bars but if you don't feel like making the whole bar, just whip up a batch of raw cookie dough balls.  They are AMAZING.  C The recipe makes 14 balls.  Keep them in the fridge and they are hard little balls of raw cookie dough amazingness.  




                                                                                           








Ingredients:

Bottom layer (cookie dough)
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chocolate chips 
1/4 cup coconut sugar 
1/4 tsp sea salt

Center layer (almond butter)
1 cup almond butter
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp salt

Top layer (chocolate)
1 cup chocolate chips
2 Tbsp almond butter

Directions:

1.  Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.

2.  Prepare your cookie dough.  In a small pan melt your butter.  In a small bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut sugar, sea salt and melted butter.  Put this mixture in the fridge for about 10 mins to cool off.  After those 10 min, add chocolate chips.  Pour mixture in the pan and spread it out to evenly coat the bottom.  Put pan in the refrigerator to fully harden. 

3.  Prepare your center.  In a small bowl combine all ingredients listed for center.  

4.  Melt your chocolate and 2 Tbsp almond butter.  You can do this with a double boiler or just hold a cast iron pan above low heat.  

5.  Once cookie dough layer is hard, layer the center almond butter layer on top of the bottom cookie dough layer. Use your fingers to spread it all out. 

6.  Pour the melted chocolate over the almond butter and use a spoon to evenly distribute it.  

7.  Put the whole pan in the fridge to set.  Leave it alone for at least 3 hours, best if left overnight for almond center to harden.  

8.  Cut it up and enjoy!x


1 comments :

Grain Free Crepes

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 Alanna Figueira 2 Comments

This is one of my favorite recipes.  It is so easy, so whole, and so versatile.  I make these a lot for my son.  They easily roll up, so you can stuff them with whatever.  You can adjust the seasoning and omit sweetener to make a savory crepe or make a sweet breakfast or dessert crepe.  They are so delicious just on their own.  Light, buttery, and very easy to manipulate. The flavor is perfect and no one will know they're grain free.  And they will fill you up as they are high in protein and fat.  I am going to give you some ideas but my favorite are sweet breakfast crepes and fajita wraps, so I will provide recipes for those varieties.  If you eat cheese you an make a quesadilla or a grilled cheese and the cheese will seal them into little pockets of yumminess.  The possibilities are endless.  I prefer real butter in the batter, but coconut oil or ghee will also work.  



Try filling them with something sweet like:
Berries and coconut cream
Bananas and almond butter
Fruit and coconut butter
Chocolate chips, nut butter and sliced banana
Cinnamon apples and walnuts


Or something savory like:
Fajitas
lunch meats
Omlet
Scrambled eggs
Chicken salad
Tacos
Layer as lasagna noodles

Ingredients:
*for sweet variety

3 eggs
1/4 cup full fat, unsweetened coconut milk (canned)
2 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tbsp almond flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
2 tbsp melted butter, ghee, or coconut oil , plus 2 tbsp more fat of choice for frying crepes
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt



Ingredients:
*for savory fajita variety

3 eggs
1/4 cup full fat, unsweetened coconut milk (canned)
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp almond flour
2 tbsp melted butter, ghee, or coconut oil , plus 2 tbsp more fat of choice for frying crepes
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp sea salt



Directions:

1. Preheat medium skillet to low (2-3 setting).

2.  Blend all ingredients into a batter.

3.  Butter your pan and drop 4 tbsp into pan per crepe.  Swirl the pan so the batter is in a thin even layer. 



4.  Once the edges start to brown, flip your crepe and brown a min or 2 on the other side.

5.  Transfer to a plate to cool. Makes 5 crepes.

Enjoy!x


2 comments :

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Alanna Figueira 0 Comments


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

1 medium-large butternut squash (6-8 cups raw chopped, 5 cups cooked chopped)
3 cups bone broth (or chicken or veg)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup coconut cream (from the top of the can of unsweetened coconut milk)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter or ghee
2 Tbsp Grade B maple syrup (omit for whole30)
2 tsp dried sage or thyme 
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
*Optional toppings- bacon, sausage, crushed pecans

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350F and spray a roasting pan or line with parchment paper.

2.  Peel and cut up squash.

3.  Transfer raw cup up squash onto roasting pan.

4.  Drizzle squash with olive oil and season with 1 tsp sage, salt and pepper.  Toss it all to coat the squash.

5.  Roast the squash at 350F for about 45 mins or until fork tender.

6.  Take squash out and set aside to cool.

7.  While squash is cooling, sauté onions in butter or ghee until translucent.

8.  Add squash, onions, and everything else to the blender.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Taste, adjust salt to taste.

9.  Add sliced or crumbled sausage, crispy bacon, crushed pecans, or nothing at all!

Enjoy! x













0 comments :

Grain free cashew butter and strawberry muffins

Sunday, February 23, 2014 Alanna Figueira 1 Comments

I wrote this recipe over the summer when it was strawberry season and my farmer's market always had fresh local strawberries that were out of this world. My son was 2 years old and theoretically loved strawberries; he would request strawberry smoothies and pancakes.... But he wouldn't eat them whole! So, this recipe started out as a paleo strawberry pancake fail, they wouldn't stay together but the flavor was there so I knew I could bake something with this ingredient combo. I should add they weren't an entire fail because my son ate the entire batch, they were just not perfect or recipe worthy. 
This muffin recipe is a keeper and we make them a lot.  Real simple ingredients, sweetened with just a little raw honey and easy to make.  I make them whenever my strawberries are looking like they're ready to spoil.  
I decided to add the filling and crumble on top later on, and you can skip both for a real easy strawberry muffin.  But all together, this is like a PB&J muffin and the flavors all work really well together.  Any nut butter will do,  The recipe makes 10 muffins.  They last 1 day in this house.  




Ingredients:

1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
3 eggs
1 heaping cup fresh chopped strawberries
2 Tbsp raw honey
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt 

Filling:
3 Tbsp cashew butter

Crumb topping:
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp almond flour
2 Tbsp coconut sugar, sucanat or maple sugar crystals 
--->Mix all in a small bowl

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.

2.  Line 10 muffin tins with muffin papers, or spray tins. 

3.  In a large mixing bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder and sea salt.  

4.  In a food processor or blender (I use a magic bullet), blend the eggs, strawberries, honey and vanilla. 


5.  Add the wet blended ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix to combine. 

6.  Pour about 1 Tbsp batter in each muffin paper.  

7.  Fill in the center of each muffin with about 1 tsp cashew butter.



8.  Top another 1 Tbsp batter on top of each muffin.

9.  Mix the crumb ingredients in a small bowl and top each muffin with equal amounts of topping.  

10.  Bake for 20-25 mins, until toothpick comes out dry and the top is a little golden. Enjoy! Makes 10 muffins.




1 comments :

Grain Free Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 Alanna Figueira 0 Comments

This chocolate cake is crack.  It's decadent, moist, and easy to make.  It will be your go-to birthday cake, cupcake, pms cake recipe.  No one will ever know its completely grain free.  It's actually cake-like; not dense, not eggy. Perfection. My 2 year old literally goes crazy over this cake. It's an awesome smash cake recipe for a first birthday party, without the gluten/grain and refined sugar. I've made it over and over again and it's perfect every time.

This recipe makes a 2 layer cake in 2- 8x8 pans or about 16 cupcakes. I've used this recipe for smaller multi-layer cakes, cupcakes, and 2 layer cakes.  Coconut oil substitutes perfectly in place of butter.  I just like butter.   I'm going to include cake pop directions, directions for filling cupcakes, and directions for a coconut cream filling.  At the bottom, you can find a dairy free chocolate frosting.  








Ingredients:

4 eggs
2/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup almond flour
1 cup chocolate chips (use enjoylife brand for dairy/soy free)
1 cup butter (can sub ghee or coconut oil)
1/2 cup sucanat, coconut sugar, or maple sugar 
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp raw unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup full fat unsweetened coconut milk, use the top of the can fat 
2 tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla 
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 325F.  Spray a glass pie pan or line a muffin tin with 16 muffin papers. 

2.  In a large mixing bowl, add the coconut flour, almond flour, cocoa, baking soda and sea salt. 

3.  Combine coconut sugar, butter and water in medium saucepan. Cook over medium-heat, stirring occasionally, just until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Immediately add chocolate chips; stir until melted. Immediately after add the coconut milk.

4.  Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add the vanilla to the eggs.  Add the eggs to the dry ingredient bowl. 

5.  Add the sugar/butter/water/chocolate chip/coconut milk mixture to the dry ingredient bowl.  

6.  Use a hand mixer on low to mix batter.  You can't over mix it, just mix until smooth and all combined.  If you don't have a hand mixer or stand mixer, use your hand. 

7.  Pour the batter into the cake pan or muffin papers.

8.  Bake at 325F for about 30 mins for cupcakes and also for 2-8x8 cakes, or until cooked through.  Baking time will vary for smaller cake pans.  Enjoy!

























Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup Enjoylife mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut sugar
3 tbsp coconut cream
1/2 tsp vanilla 

Warm the butter and chocolate chips on low on the stove until just barely melted.  Do not let the chips over heat!  Add the melty mixture to the food processor.  Add the coconut cream (the solid fat at the top if the can only), coconut sugar and vanilla.  Process until smooth.  



Whipped Coconut Cream Filling/Topping

This filling can be used to fill cupcakes, as the filling of a layered cake or as a light whipped topping for cupcakes or cake. It doesn't melt off like you'd think, it sort of hardens over time.  Refrigerate the coconut milk over night or for a few hours at least before you use it to ensure that the fat is solid.  Do NOT use on warm cake!  It has to be completely cooled.  I not, it will melt.  Spread it in the center or a cake, or on top as a light whipped frosting, or use a piping bag to pipe into cupcake.  Take the tip of the piping bag, insert int the center of the top of the cupcake, and pipe about 1 Tbsp into the center of the cupcake.  




Ingredients:
1 can full fat unsweetened coconut milk- ONLY the solid fat on the top of the can
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp arrowroot starch

Directions:
Put your solid coconut milk fat, honey and arrowroot in a large mixing bowl.  Whip on high speed for 2-3 minutes.  Keep refrigerated before you use it.  








Cake Pops

Making these into cake pops is super easy.  Just bake your cake in one large pan (baking time will be longer), or 2 small pans, then crumble the cake into a large bowl.  Add the frosting to the bowl.  Use your hands to mix it up.  


Cake pop covered in TWIX
Roll Tablepsoon sized balls and place on parchment paper.  Put balls in the fridge to harden for about an hour.  Once they've hardened, melt some chocolate, dip the stick in the chocolate to act as glue and then stick it in each pop.  Now you can cover them in chocolate.  The balls are really moist, so sprinkles will stick to them without frosting if you choose not to frost.  You can also try almond butter or shredded coconut as a coating.  Another way to serve them is as cake balls or brownie bites.  You can even serve them in mini muffin papers to look ridiculously cute.  



























Dairy Free Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:
*Makes 1 cup of chocolate frosting

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup honey 
2 tbsp full fat coconut milk (just the solid fat at the top of the can)
1 tsp vanilla 
1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

Place all ingredients into food processor and pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides when needed.  Will harden in the fridge, so put sprinkles on when it is freshly frosted.  

0 comments :

Cocoa Truffles 3 ways

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Alanna Figueira 1 Comments

I'm constantly messing around in my kitchen concocting any healthy little morsel I can possibly get into my 3 year old.  We all know coconut oil is pretty much the best stuff on earth.  Endless health benefits.  I buy the huge containers in bulk at this point because we go through so much of it.  I've had many people ask me how to get their daily dose in.  Kids love it but, at least my kid, doesn't love it straight like he does butter.  Butter, he will eat a stick of no problem. Here is a delicious way to get your daily dose.  These won't leave you finishing the whole box like real Valentine's Day chocolate because they are so rich and chock full of healthy fat and protein.  You will be satisfied after one.  Okay maybe two.  
I bring you these just in time for Valentines Day, of course.  I love chocolate like anyone else, but no one in my house can eat it.  My 3 year old responds with days of diarrhea, I know, how romantic.  My 4 month old nursling will scream her face off if I look at something that touched dairy. I do use Enjoylife occasionally, but having that stuff in the house is dangerous business. Feel free to add some chips to any of these.  These are all delicious and don't bother my baby or my son. They are also packed with nutrients.  I will be boxing some of these up for my little guy for his Valentine's Day gift, because I'm lame like that.  The dark chocolate truffles are my absolute favorite.  They are creamy with a nice crunch from the chia.  
These can all be prepared the same way.  Use a food processor to process all ingredients until smooth.  Roll them up into little balls and coat with coconut flakes.  Each recipe makes about 12 small truffles.  Refrigerate to set and enjoy! 
Chocolate Covered Strawberry

Dark Chocolate 
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp vanilla
Dash sea salt

Chocolate Covered Strawberry
*Pulse the hazelnuts a few times to chop before adding the rest.  Cut up a few strawberries into small pieces and cover the pieces of strawberry with truffle.  Then roll into a ball, coat with coconut and refrigerate.
1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup hazelnuts
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 tbsp raw honey

1 tsp vanilla
Dash of sea salt
Chopped strawberries to cover with truffle
Reese's Shmeeses
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp unsweetened cocao
2 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp coconut oil
Dash of salt 






1 comments :

Paleo Chicken Fingers

Sunday, February 09, 2014 Alanna Figueira 3 Comments

I'm currently on day 9 of my third whole30.  I did my first back in August while I was pregnant with my daughter and my second in January, when she was just 3 months old.  As a nursing mother, the effects this way of eating has had on my milk supply and overall mood of my baby and myself is what has kept me going on past the 30 days.  I hope to soon write a post comparing my two pregnancies- one was vegetarian and one was paleo! Can you believe that? I will tell you this- I had medical complications with my first and I gained a whopping 60lbs.  With my paleo pregnancy I had none of the issues from the first, gained 25lbs and birthed (both naturally) a bigger baby! And lost it almost immediatley. But this is a whole'nother story.

 















These are so easy to make and my son loves them.  I like to use the stir fry cut pieces because it's so easy and they are perfect for little hands. 

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless skinless chicken
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1 1arge egg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Oil the parchment paper.

2.  Mix the almond flour, arrowroot, and all of the spices together in a shallow pan.

3.  Beat the egg.

4.  Dredge the chicken through the egg, then batter with almond flour breading.

5.  Transfer breaded chicken to cookie sheet.  Spray the top of the chicken with cooking oil. 

6.  Bake for 20-25 mins, flipping half way through.  Cooking time will vary based on thickness of chicken.

Enjoy!

Alanna x








3 comments :

Brazilian Craving Bombs (Fat Bombs)

Friday, February 07, 2014 Alanna Figueira 4 Comments





I wrote a paper in college on satiety.  What satisfies us, leaving us no longer hungry?  What should we snack on before dinner?  What really resonated with me was that two of the most satiating nutrients are fat and protein.  In fact, fat in foods has generally been considered to be the most satiating of all the macronutrients.  This is why celery sticks are a terrible snack.  However, celery sticks with some almond butter (fat and protein) can be a great snack.  Always pair your carbs (even fruits and veggies) with a healthy fat or protein.  In most cases, when you are craving sweets or carbs, what your body is really asking for is protein.

My family and I eat a ton of healthy saturated fats to keep full from meal to meal.  In effect, my little guy (3 year old) rarely snacks, because he stays full from meal to meal.  When he does; its nuts, fruit and almond or coconut butter, hard boiled eggs, sweet potato chips cooked in fat.... these awesome little bombs I'm about to talk about.  Children especially crave and NEED fat.  The absolute worst snack is simple carbohydrates- crackers, gold fish, crisps, and worse yet adding sugar to that is just asking for hunger in a hour.  Plus it's addictive;  eat carbs and you want more carbs- always. It becomes a vicious cycle.  I am a nursing mother, and I have found that increasing my fat intake not only boosts my breast milk supply, but also makes my milk more fatty.

I have been making these "Cinnamon Kisses" from "Internal Bliss", the recipe book from GAPS (Gut and Psycology Syndrome) by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride for awhile now.  They are delicious and my son goes crazy for them.  Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup Ghee
1/2 cup Coconut oil
2-3 Tbsp Honey
1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon
Dash of Vanilla

You basically just food process it all, drop onto a plate and pop in the fridge.  They harden up and are like candy.
I've made these without the cinnamon, with maple syrup in place of honey, with an added 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa, and with peppermint essential oil- all are amazing.  Peppermint is an appetite suppressant so if you are craving candy or sweets often, try the above plus 10 drops peppermint oil. Not my idea  http://empoweredsustenance.com/stop-sugar-cravings/ - check out those butter mints. Use a good quality essential oil if possible.

This recipe is not only great for a quick treat.  It makes an awesome frosting or icing.  I used this (minus the cinnamon) this year to ice our Christmas cookies.  I spread this on grain free bread as a quick snack, and I drop them in my coffee- my favorite.  I also will add one to a sweet potato, or to the pan when heating up veggies.  The possibilities are endless.

I decided to create something with a little protein also.  Inspired by Cinnamon Kisses.  We all eat 1 brazil nut a day in my house.  It's like this weird habit I got us into.  Like we are taking a vitamin.  I read something awhile back about taking 1 brazil nut a day- I think it was Dr. Mercola.  Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium- a powerful antioxidant that may help in cancer prevention.  Try them and next time you are craving sweets or carbs- pop one of these instead.  They have a little crunch to them and they positively leave me feeling satisfied after.

Brazilian craving bombs

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Brazil nuts
1/4 cup Ghee or grassed butter, softened at room temp
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened at room temp
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp raw honey
Dash of vanilla

Instructions:

1.  Pulse the brazil nuts in the food processor until pulverized.

2.  Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until combined.

3.  Drop, pipe, or mold in silicone molds to desired shape.  Drop or pipe on to wax paper or parchment paper.  

4.  Refrigerate for at least 20 mins to set and harden.

5.  Enjoy!

My next post will be a meal plan for the entire week.  All whole30 compliant.  I will also include some secrets and a kick ass grain free chicken finger recipe.

Alanna x





4 comments :

Strawberry Guacamole

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 Alanna Figueira 2 Comments


I love guacamole! I literally put that shit on everything- eggs, meat, fish, veggies... So I thought it would be appropriate to share my guac recipe to kick off this blog.  My recipes will be pretty to the point. I usually don't like to talk about a recipe for 3 pages. But, there's nothing like real, fresh homemade guac. The slop in containers will never compare. I must make this once a week. This recipe is awesome and the best guac ever. For me, the most important ingredient is fresh cilantro. Never get cilantro dried. Ever. I always have fresh cilantro on hand, it's great in marinades and tossed in salads.  
Serve this with some sweet potato chips or on anything at all! The secret to perfect sweet potato chips? A mandolin slicer. Slice those babies up real thin, toss in olive oil and sea salt, line on parchment and bake at 400 til the edges start to crisp, flipping halfway. I digress. Guac.... Secret ingredient? Strawberries! Phenom. Perfection. I love you. The perfect accompaniment to a perfect guac. But, if you're not into strawberry, just use chopped tomatoes for a more traditional guac. I like chunky guac, so I just use a fork to roughly mash it. If you like a smoother guac, use the food processor.  Here's another secret- leave one avocado pit in the guac to keep it from turning brown.



Strawberry guacamole

Ingredients:
3 ripe avocados
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup loosely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sea salt
Dash of cayenne 
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries 

Directions:
Mash your avocados and add everything else, mixing until combined. Enjoy!








2 comments :