Monday, September 14, 2015

Gluten Free Peach Crisp

Gluten Free Peach Crisp

Wait!  Summer, Hold On!  Don’t go yet!  There’s still time.  Peaches are still available and you need to make this Gluten Free Peach Crisp.  It’s so good.  I’ve made it twice in the last couple weeks.  Do you realize how simple it is to turn a regular crisp into a gluten free one? 

I used this apricot crisp recipe and just made a few simple changes using gluten free oats and flour and some adjustments on the sweeteners.  Please don’t let summer fade away without making a fruit crisp.  The peaches are perfect right now!

Gluten Free Peach Crisp

Gluten Free Peach Crisp, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

For the peaches:

6-7 cups peaches (6-10 peaches depending on size), peeled, pitted and sliced**

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

2-3 tablespoons raw honey (to taste)

1 tablespoon gluten free flour blend

For the crisp topping:

1 cup gluten free old fashioned oats

1/4 cup gluten free flour blend

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup organic brown sugar (or 1/2 cup coconut sugar or organic brown sugar, you decide)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch or two of freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 cup butter, cold, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

**Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cut a criss cross slit (about an inch each way) in the bottom of each peach, not too deep, just enough to cut through the skin of the peach.  Set 3-4-5 (however many fit in your pot) peaches in the boiling water for 1 minute.  Remove them to a dry cloth using a slotted spoon.  While the rest are boiling quickly, start peeling the peaches.  Using the cut end the skin peels off with ease with the four slit corners.  Every now and then a peach will be stubborn, but you can still get it done.  If you have never tried the slit, try it.  You’ll never peel a peach another way again.  Best tip ever from my friend, Paige at For Love of the Table.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly grease a glass dish (mine is a 2.8 liters Pyrex dish) with coconut oil.  Peel, pit and slice the peaches.  Put them in a large bowl.  Add the honey, almond extract and gluten free flour and stir carefully to coat all with the flour.  Spread the peaches in the prepared pan and set aside.  In a medium sized bowl, add the oats, gluten free flour, coconut sugar, brown sugar, spices and salt.  Whisk to combine.  Add the pieces of butter and mix together with your hands, pressing the butter throughout the dry ingredients until well mixed and all the mixture is moist.  Stir in the almonds.  Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over the peaches.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until peaches are bubbly and topping is golden and crispy.  Let dish set on a wire rack until mostly cooled.  This is great served still slightly warm topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Peeling peaches

 The skin on the peaches just peels off so easily after making a slit in the bottom and boiling them for a minute.  These peaches pictured here were HUGE.  I got almost 2 cups of sliced peaches for each one!

Sliced peaches

You can leave the peaches in just sliced wedges, but I like cutting them wedges into cubed pieces. 

I made a simple dairy free vanilla ice cream with coconut milk, eggs, vanilla paste, raw honey and a pinch of salt, heated and cooked until thickened, then chilled, then churned and frozen.  Perfect for topping a crisp!

Gluten Free Peach Crisp 3

Don’t let summer slip away without making a peach crisp!  It’s so easy to make gluten free and cut the refined sugars.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake—Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake

I have some zucchini (who doesn’t?!).  I decided to make something, and after making my “famous” Grandma Tiny's Zucchini Cookies so I could give them to some friends, I felt that I needed to make something I could eat, too.  Taking notes from the recipe for Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Brownies I made two years ago, I changed up a few things figuring these would be a little less brownie-like and have more of a cakey texture—and they do.  They are good.  I challenge anyone to test them out and see if they’d have a clue these are gluten free, have no refined sugar and are made with coconut oil instead of butter.  I even think they wouldn’t know they have zucchini, too.  I’m happy with my new snack! 

Part of the reason you can’t even tell they have zucchini is because when I make baked goods with zucchini, I prefer to use the finer side of the grater.

grated zucchini

See the difference?  If you set the grated zucchini on paper towel while getting the rest of the ingredients ready, a lot of the liquid is drained from the shreds which helps you not end up with a wet mess when you’re baking with them.  When I made the cookies earlier, I forgot to use the smaller grate, so I put the zucchini (along with the brown sugar and oil I’d already mixed in with it) in the food processor and chopped it a little finer by just pulsing it a few times.  I think it worked perfectly!

Grandma Tiny's Zucchini Cookies

I think it’s okay and necessary for the zucchini to be visible in zucchini cookies, same with zucchini bread, but for some reason not in chocolate things like brownies and cake.  Just don’t tell people who don’t want a vegetable in their baked goods and they wouldn’t even know.  ; )

Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake—Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup raw honey

1/4 cup organic coconut oil

1/2 cup raw cacao (or cocoa powder)

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup almond flour

3/4 cup gluten free flour blend (with xanthan gum)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup finely shredded, drained on paper towel for 20 minutes, packed zucchini

1/2 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (or chips of your choice)

1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped, lightly toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with nonstick foil with edges creased down over the sides and grease lightly with coconut oil.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut sugar, honey, and coconut oil.  Add the cocoa powder and stir together until well combined.  Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.  Add the almond flour, gluten free flour blend, baking powder and salt.  Stir with a spatula until just combined.  Stir in the zucchini.  Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.  Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.  Bake for 23-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just moist crumbs.  Let sit on wire rack until cool.  Remove from pan using the foil edges.  Set on a cutting board and cut into desired sized pieces.  Snack away.

Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake

Mmmm!  Do you see the zucchini in there?  No.  You can’t tell it’s there, but veggies in cake equals healthy! ; )

Thursday, August 20, 2015

PB2 Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free, Make with Coconut Oil)

PB2 Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)

Yay for cookies!  Sometimes I really miss cookies.  I’ve made some in the past (that follow my new requirements of gluten free, refined sugar free, healthier, etc.), but I don’t get to make and enjoy them as often as I used to and that was sure a fun part of my life.  Yes, I still make cookies for others and I love doing that, but it’s not the same as trying a new recipe, or coming up with something that I can actually eat, too.  So when that happens, it’s a big YAY for me. 

I like that I am eating healthier (for my health’s sake) these days, but I just miss grabbing something, trying things I haven’t had before and not worrying about it.  We all have things like that in our lives that come up and we just have to deal with it.  But blah, blah, this is getting boring—I made cookies!  And they are so good!  They are still a bit of a splurge for me, but I don’t feel guilty about having 1 or 2 now and then and it’s nice to know I have a little treat when I need one, okay—WANT one. ; )

PB2 Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)

I cannot and will not take all credit for these.  Jane at The Heritage Cook, a great gluten free pal of mine, whose blog I love visiting and finding great recipes, recently posted some cookies she made using PB2, which is a powdered peanut butter (healthier with all the oil removed, less fat, but still pretty darn tasty).  I had just bought some for the first time last week for our trip to Chicago as I wanted to be able to put peanut butter in my chocolate Shakeology shakes I make for breakfast every morning while we were there.  Normally at home, I just put in a tablespoon of peanut butter, but the PB2 seemed like a great thing to try while travelling.  It was perfect with my shakes and making them in the handheld blender I bought just for the trip with a little added banana I’d get from the hotel continental breakfast.  The link to Jane’s blog above has her recipe!

PB2 Chocolate Chip Cookies 2These cookies are perfectly chewy and have a great salty peanutty taste with just a few bites of chocolate here and there.  

We got back from our trip and a few days later Jane posted cookies she’d made with PB2.  Well, I took that as a big sign that I needed to make cookies with it, too.  I totally followed her recipe, but did make some changes.  Besides using a gluten free flour blend (which Jane did also), I used coconut oil instead of butter and some honey instead of some of the sugar.  I also added more PB2 than her recipe.  Definitely credit and props to her and I can’t wait to make these again.  “Oh, Honey, I’ll need some MORE PB2 soon!”  Maybe I’ll try the chocolate version of PB2 next.  It does have a little added sugar in it, but for two tablespoons of the powder (1 serving) it only has 1 gram of sugar, so it isn’t much and I’m calling it good enough for me.

PB2 Chocolate Chip Cookies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Jane at The Heritage Cook

1 cup gluten free flour blend

3 tablespoons PB2 powdered peanut butter

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup organic coconut oil

1/2 cup organic brown cane sugar (not tightly packed)

1/4 cup raw honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large backyard fresh egg

1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

1/3-1/2 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (or any chocolate of your choice)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the gluten free flour, PB2, salt, baking soda and baking powder.  Whisk together.  Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil, brown sugar, and honey and stir together until well combined.  It takes a little stirring by hand until the coconut oil is all combined, but don’t give up, it happens.  Add the vanilla and egg and whisk until well combined.  Stir in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Stir in the peanuts and chocolate chips.  Using a cookie scoop, cookie dough into cookies spaced about 2 inches apart on baking sheet.  Bake for 9-10 minutes.  Remove from oven let sit on baking sheet for a few minutes.  Move the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.  I used a medium sized (regular sized) cookie/ice cream scoop and got 15 cookies.

PB2 Chocolate Chip Cookie You know you want a bite!  Or your own cookie! ; )


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta—Tuesdays With Dorie—Baking Chez Moi

Mango Panna Cotta

I missed the last TWD, which was an apricot raspberry tart.  I bought a big container of organic apricots at Costco that I was planning on using, but my kids all like apricots so much (so do I) in their perfect, fresh form, that they all got eaten super fast before I was able to make the tart.  The tart sounds like something I’d love, so it was probably a good thing that I wasn’t tempted to eat it.

Today’s recipe for the Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta was super simple so I decided there was no excuse to get it made.  I used organic cane sugar so I could taste it.  I normally don’t eat things with milk and cream much anymore but decided this was an okay excuse because I really wanted to try it.

Mango Panna Cotta 

Panna Cotta, as I described it to my kids, it just a gelatin (Jell-o) made with milk and cream. It’s pretty low in sugar, too.  With this one, a mango puree is put in the bottom of each cup.  I would not be against just going with more puree (half the cup!) and half panna cotta.  It would even be good with the mango mixed in with the milk/cream mixture. 

This is how I served it here after nice photos--

Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta 2

You can never have too much fresh fruit!  I followed Dorie’s recipe exactly, even using lime juice and a teaspoon of honey in the puree.  I used vanilla extract as I didn’t have a vailla bean.  I’m tell you, super easy for a nice dessert.  This recipe made four servings but would also be a cinch to double or triple it for a crowd.  You want the recipe, don’t you?  I’ve told you before—get Dorie’s book, Baking Chez Moi.  Loving it!  A lot more panna cotta to behold with the group, check it out here

This would be good with any fruit and surprise, surprise, I’m thinking there’s got to be a way it would be really good with chocolate, too.  Ooh, raspberry puree, raspberries on top and chocolate shavings or a drizzle of melted chocolate.  That would be my ideal panna cotta.  What would be your favorite?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

White Popcorn Lime Kettle Corn

Lime Kettle Corn with White Popcorn and coconut oil

Looks like regular ol’ popcorn, I know.  But it’s different and better and……yummy!  Sometimes I want/need a little treat.  I’m over the wish for decadent desserts, cakes, cookies, brownies, ice cream, etc., well, mostly over it.  Every now and then I want something like that.  But I just get over it.  Healthy treats, like the ones I occasionally make with dates and such do the trick.  Every now and then, I want something crunchy and salty. 

One of my favorite things is making popcorn.  NEVER, and I’m serious, never eat microwave popcorn—all that butter “flavoring” stuff in it is NOT good for you.  Bad, bad.  But before I knew that a few years ago, I found Orville Redenbacher’s Lime and Salt microwave popcorn and I loved it.  Nowadays, I make my own with my Orville Redenbacher Presto Stirring Popper (no affiliate link, just love it).  Photo courtesy of 


I have come to love white popcorn.  It’s just better.  Try it if you haven’t.  You can find it in most stores now.  Even better, but harder to find is organic white popcorn.  The kernels are smaller and it just has a more tender crunch.  You can use any popping corn you like.  The popper is great, you add a little oil to it and I ALWAYS use organic coconut oil.  I’ll never go back to anything else.  I love the slight coconut flavor and that it is a healthier option.  Plug in the popper after adding some oil, let it heat for just a minute.  Then add the popping corn and put the big, ventilated, plastic lid over it.  You can watch the corn start browning a bit, hear the sizzle and then you see the corn start popping.  Listen for the pops to almost stop, then unplug it and turn the whole thing upside down and the lid becomes the bowl (until you move it to a bowl that isn’t ventilated with holes to add all the yumminess to it).

I most often make the popcorn with just the coconut oil and some salt.  It doesn’t need butter!  Sometimes I add lime zest.  That lime and salt really is a great combination on popcorn.  Try it!  Just zest a little lime right onto the freshly popped and salted corn and stir it together.  Mmmm!

Today though, I felt like a little sweet and salty, so while the corn was popping (it’s fast), I mixed together a little salt, organic cane sugar and lime zest so that as soon as the popcorn was done, I could sprinkle it on the fresh, hot corn and stir it all together.  You can drizzle it with a little more coconut oil as soon as it is done popping, but it isn’t necessary. 

White Popcorn Lime Kettle Corn, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/4 cup organic coconut oil, 1 tablespoon or more to drizzle over popcorn if desired

1/2 cup white popping corn kernels

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons organic cane sugar

zest of 1 lime

Put the 1/4 cup of coconut oil in the popper (*I use the Orville Redenbacher Presto Stirring Popper).  Plug it in and let the wire arm start moving around and the oil heat up for a minute.  Add the popping corn and put the lid on the popper.  Combine the salt, sugar and lime zest in a small bowl and stir it together.  Within minutes the popcorn will pop the corn.  Unplug it and carefully (with hot pads) turn it upside down so all the popped corn is in the lid.  Put the popcorn in a large bowl, drizzle with extra coconut oil if desired. Sprinkle the salt/sugar/lime mixture evenly over the popcorn a little at a time and stir it to combine.  Serve.  When you get to the bottom of the bowl, you’ll see lots of the lime mixture left, but you can still taste it throughout.  (I tried a little coconut oil drizzle on some and stirred the lime mixture around and it stuck to the popcorn more, but I was fine with the taste when it had less, so do it to taste.) *You can pop popping corn with any popper you’d like, including an air popper, this is just my preferred method.) 

White Popcorn Lime Kettle Corn 2

There is a big bag of popcorn at Costco called Skinny Pop because it just has popcorn, oil and salt.  My friend, Paige, at For Love of the Table mentioned how hard it is to eat just a little bit once you open the bag.  I’ve seen it and resisted the temptation to buy it because I know I can just make my own popcorn at home.  I thought it was funny that Paige posted a photo of the empty bag of popcorn with Skinny crossed off the label and she wrote in Piggy.  She thinks it should be called Piggy Pop because it’s hard to stop eating it once you get started.  I’ll just say that this combination of lime and salt (and a little sweetness from the sugar) as well as just my version of plain popcorn with coconut oil and salt is pretty hard to stop eating when I make a big bowl of it.  It’s my version of Piggy Pop. Winking smile

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Grain Free Blueberry Muffins (Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free, too)

Grain Free Blueberry Muffin

Sometimes I miss a good muffin.  You try to make a perfect one gluten and refined sugar free.  I realized I had some organic blueberries and that muffins should and could be made.  I checked out a number of different recipes online and went with a grain free one made with almond flour.  I am super happy with how these turned out.

My favorite part (besides the blueberries) is the coconut almond topping.  These were so easy to make.

Grain Free Blueberry Muffins 2 Grain Free Blueberry Muffins (Refined Sugar Free), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1/4 cup (56 grams) coconut oil (the oil I used was already melted, it’s summertime)

1/4 cup (84 grams) raw honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 tablespoons full fat coconut milk

2 large farm fresh eggs, room temperature

2 cups (224 grams) almond flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and set out in an even layer to dry

2 tablespoons chopped almonds (or pre-sliced)

2 tablespoons unsweetened flaked coconut

*Optional, 1 teaspoon lemon zest would be great added to the batter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a muffin tin (only 9) with coconut oil, just put a couple drops of coconut oil in each one and rub it around evenly with your fingers.  Set aside.  In a medium sized bowl, add the coconut oil, raw honey, almond extract, vanilla extract and coconut milk.  Whisk together until well combined.  Whisk in the eggs.  Add the almond flour, baking powder and salt and stir with a wooden spoon just until combined.  Fold in the blueberries.  Fill each of the 9 muffins cups using a medium sized cookie scoop if you have one.  Combine the almonds and coconut together and sprinkle some on the top of each muffin.  Bake for 14-16 minutes.  Let sit for a few minutes in the tin, then carefully remove each just using your fingers.  None of them broke when I removed them from the pan.  If you tip them upside down out of the tin, you’ll lose a lot of the topping.  Let cool on a wire rack until you can’t stand it any longer and have to eat one…..or two.

Grain Free Blueberry Muffins

These have a perfect slightly crisp outside and are tender and muffin-y on the inside.

Grain Free Blueberry Muffins 3

The raw almonds and coconut toast perfectly on top of the muffins.  Sliced almonds would be great, but I didn’t have any.  Chopping whole almonds worked just fine!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Coconut Almond Raw Brownies

Coconut Almond Raw Chewy Fudge

I need a treat—stat!  I made lots of goodies for our recent family reunion, cookies and cakes galore.  None of which I took a single bite of.  Go me, whatever.  I’m kind of over the whole thing of wishing I could eat certain things and for the most part seeing them and baking them doesn’t even  tempt me.  BUT, I do still need my own sweet treats now and then and these are perfect…and healthy!

I’ve posted similar things like these before, but looking back I didn’t see this exact thing with coconut and almonds (and chocolate!) being the star.  I did keep thinking of these Healthy Almond Joy or Mounds Coconut Candy that are dunked in a healthy melted chocolate, I suppose these are similar, but easier and a bit healthier since they aren’t dunked in more chocolate.  Never fear, there is a little Enjoy Life chocolate chips added.  You can make all kinds of flavors using different nuts and mix-ins.  I suppose they are similar to Lara Bars and other protein/energy bars, but I’ve tried some of those and I definitely think the homemade kind taste much better!

Coconut Almond Raw Brownies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1 cup pitted dates, soaked in hot water about 10-15 minutes

¾ cup raw cashews

¼ cup raw cacao (or cocoa powder)

3 T. raw honey

¼ teaspoon almond extract

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup toasted almonds

2 T. Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

After soaking the dates, drain the water and chop the dates on a cutting board.  This is to make sure there are no pits, sometimes they are still there ready to tear up your food processor. ; )  Put the chopped dates and cashews in a food processor and pulse until they are starting to be pretty finely ground.  Add the cacao and honey and continue letting the food processor blend them until they start forming a thick paste that clumps together.  Add the almond extract and pulse a few times.  Add the shredded coconut and toasted almonds and pulse until well combined.  The mixture may need to be scraped from the sides of the bowl and off the blade, then mixed again a few times.  Leave the nuts and coconut a little bigger for added texture.  Add the chocolate chips and pulse a few times to combine.  Spread the mixture into a 9x5 inch bread pan that is lined with nonstick foil (or spread coconut oil evenly in the pan).  Let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before cutting into squares.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Coconut Almond Raw Chewy Fudge

These are good!  A while back, I bought 10 pounds of pitted dates (from a nut company that ships products) and keep them in the freezer.  After a short soaking in some water, they are ready to be made in to all kinds of treats.  I’ve also recently made some of these “raw brownies” with some dried bananas, peanut butter and peanuts as the star (and chocolate!).  I need to tweak that recipe just a bit but I will share it soon. I like using cashews as the base nut, then using other nuts for the different flavors.  Cashews don’t seem to have a major distinct flavor so they work well.  I buy them in bulk as well.