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Try, Try Again

Well, I’ve done it again. I made a clean (which also happen to be gluten free) treat for myself last night, and it did NOT turn out.

I’ve done this countless times. I really want something yummy AND healthy. Is that too much to ask for?

I don’t think so.

Most recipes I try aren’t sweet enough or are too sweet, but in a weird way. Not a sugary sweet, since I don’t use granulated sugar. It’s hard to explain, but it’s weird. And I don’t like it.

So I’m trying it again. Vanilla Coconut Flour Cookies. Found here.

Not only are these clean, but they are also gluten free 🙂

I whipped them up quickly after dinner and was so excited to have a yummy healthy treat!!! And right before Halloween. Maybe I won’t splurge on candy this year…well, let be real.

They were…okay. Don’t get me wrong, they tasted good. The texture is something to get used to, especially for someone that’s never baked with coconut flour. But if you are someone like me that is used to sugar filled goodness, these will wake up your taste buds!

The texture is definitely different  from any baked thing I’ve ever made, but don’t let this discourage you, try, try again.

Vanilla Coconut Flour Cookies (adapted from The Prudent Wife)

3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil (you can also use butter)
1 cup coconut milk
6 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp honey (more if you want the cookies sweeter)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, beat the eggs thoroughly. Add coconut milk and honey. Pulse a few times until combined.
Add coconut oil and pulse until combined.
Add dry ingredients and pulse gently until combined.

Taste your ‘dough’ to see if you like it. If it’s not sweet enough, add some more honey.

Bake for 20 minutes

All ingredients mixed together!

The finished product!

Add-ins:

When adding the dry ingredient, mix in:
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
Dashes of ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves, to taste.
Top with a few chocolate chips before baking.

Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Granola

I know I have mentioned this multiple times, but I love finding delicious and healthy snacks! And if you are a peanut butter lover like I am, you will like this one.
It’s super easy to slap together and you can enjoy it almost right away.
I also think this recipe would be pretty versatile. You could make this into a trail mix, adding some dried fruit or nuts. You could also use almond butter instead of PB.
Not only is this a clean recipe, but it could also be a gluten free recipe. Throw some gluten free oats in there and you’ve got a cheap and easy gluten free granola!

Peanut Butter Granola (adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers)

4 Tbsp natural peanut butter
4 Tbsp raw honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I make my own)
2 cups old fashioned oats

Spread out and ready to go in the oven!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Either spray a cookies sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter and honey. Microwave for about 30 seconds, or until peanut butter melts.
Add cinnamon and vanilla; mix well.
Stir in the oats until they are completely covered in peanut butter mixture.
Spread oat mixture out on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake about 12-15 minutes, or until granola is slightly browned.
Let cool.
Granola will become crunchy as it cools.

I put this in some Coconut Milk Chocolate yogurt and it was so yummy! I think it will taste good in all my flavored yogurt!

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispy Bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I tried to get this recipe out at the end of last week, but clearly just ran out of time. So, I will continues with my Pumpkin week today… I hope you don’t mind 🙂

On Friday, I made a meal for some friends that just had their fourth baby. A girl…they actually have four girls now! But, really, they are just trying to hold up the girl end of all these new babies. Seriously, there are lots and lots of boys going on here.

I knew what meal I wanted to make them. I grabbed some salad and dressing from the store and was well on my way. Except for dessert. I really wanted to practice more cakes, but ran out of time. Last week was so busy, I could even imagine baking and frosting another cake. But I also didn’t want to make it look like I just threw this meal together in a day. (maybe a day and a half…lol)

I knew I had lots of bags of marshmallows on my pantry shelf in the basement, since I went on an accidental marshmallow shopping spree a few weeks back. I also had a new box of rice krispies from a good sale at the local grocery store. So obviously, rice krispy bars were on my mind, but again, it sounded too boring to me at the time. (when I male something for someone, I can’t make it easy…its the OCD coming out in me)

Lucky for me, I remembered a recipe that I pinned on Pinterest for pumpkin spice rice krispy bars. It was the perfect dessert. Not too messy for the little girls that I knew would eating these, but also a little more sophisticated for the grown ups.
The original recipe, found here, has you ‘brown’ the butter before adding the marshmallows. I say forget that…do it the easy way and just melt it all together like you normally do. Add the rice krispies and ‘tada’! You have a masterpiece fit for a king..or at least an adult.

This a great recipe to get the kind involved in too. If you have small children, using the stove would be a not so good idea, they could definitely help press the rice krispy mixture into the pan.

So without further ado…here’s the recipe and some lovely pictures to go with it 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispy Bars (adapted from Cookies and Cups)

6 cups rice krispies
10.5 bag marshmallows
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Melting butter, marshmallows and pumpkin spice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pour rice krispies into a large bowl; set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, melt butter, marshmallows and pumpkin pie spice.
Once it’s melted, pour the marshmallow mixture into the bowl with rice krispies. Mix well.
Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Pat down with greased hands.
Let sit until completely cooled; cut and enjoy!

Can you see the pumpkin pie spice mixed in there?

Living Gluten Free…or at least close to it

In case my life couldn’t get any more interesting, I have been having issues eating bread/wheat products. Whether I buy whole wheat bread or make my own pizza crust, I just odn’t feel good after I eat bread-y stuff. Do I think I”m gluten intolerant? No. Why, you may ask? Because I only have a problem here and there, but overall, (and I’ve noticed it more since eating clean and not eating bread carbs a whole lot) I get really bloated and feel sick for quite a while after eating whatever it is I ate that was made with flour. Mostly it’s bread, muffins, pizza crust, etc. I have not had an issue with say cookies or treats like that, but I also don’t eat as much of sweets in one sitting as I would bread.

So, not I’ve been on a search to find healthy alternatives for bread products. (burger buns, noodles,..you get the idea

A while ago, (on Pinterest, of course) I found a recipe for cloud ‘buns’, made with cottage cheese and eggs. ….Really? How could cottage cheese and eggs replace buns?  It’s protein. Not carbs. It didn’t add up in my head. But not long ago, I tried it.

I was making some Crockpot Ceascar Shredded Chicken,  (note to self: crockpots work better when turned on) and only had four burger buns to use for my hubby and two kids, and not enough time to make my own rolls. So I was off to make these for myself.  The recipe said to make them and store them overnight, but I didn’t do this and they were still yummy. I’ve made them twice now and the second time they seemed to turn out a little better. So, if you’re not sure at first, try them again, you may be surprised!

I managed to fit 10 on one pan!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloud ‘Buns’ (adapted from Food.com)
Yield: 10 rolls (5 sandwiches)

3 eggs, separated
3 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese
1 packet sweetener
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (you might need two cookie sheets, depending on how big they are)

Separate eggs. Put egg whites in bowl of stand mixer and egg yolks in a blender.
To the egg yolks, add the cottage cheese and sweetener; blend until smooth.

To the egg whites add cream of tartar and blend until they form stiff peaks

Carefully fold egg whites with the yolk mixture.

Spoon the mixture onto the lined cookie sheet. They should be about the size of a McDonald burger bun.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden. This may take more or less time, depending on your oven.

Let cool completely before storing in an air tight container or ziploc bag.

Note: I used these as burger buns and they worked great!

This has nothing to do with the buns..he’s just cute!

 

Perfect golden color!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

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The weather lately has been playing with my emotions. It was so unbearably hot for what seemed like forever that I thought fall would never come. Don’t worry, I am mot wishing away summer! We had some cool days with rain which put me in the mood for scarves, boots, and anything pumpkin related. Food, drinks, the color, you name it, I like it. So, now its hot again. The a/c is on and the windows are shut (which is fine with me since my allergies are terrible this time of year), but I’m still craving fall. The apples, pumpkins, scarves, and boots. Well, this afternoon I couldn’t take it anymore! I had to make something pumpkin! And thank you Pinterest for helping me find that something. You see, I had a plain chocolate protein shake on the menu for this afternoon, but got hungry too early for it. So I decoded to hunt my Pinterest boards to find a shake or smoothie that would be more filling. And here it is folks! It’s tasty. Satisfying. And reeks of fall! (okay, maybe reek isn’t the right word, jut you get my drift)

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1/2 banana
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (no sugar added)
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (would be yummy with vanilla too)
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 packet stevia (or sweetener of choice)
A few shakes of pumpkin pie spice
4-5 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Frozen Yogurt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been wanting to make some frozen yogurt for a whole, and normally vanilla is not the first flavor I run to. Give me chocolate, peanut butter, or fruity flavors first. I always put vanilla at the end of my list. But, since I had some vanilla beans to use from a bottle of my DIY vanilla that I had just used up, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make something with them. And, I’m still eating clean (and will be for pretty much ever), so I wanted to make a recipe I wouldn’t feel guilty about eating.
So I started Pinterest-ing and couldn’t find one recipe that I actually wanted to use. I either didn’t have all the ingredients, or it used a cup of sugar, which is a big no-no in the clean eating world. (and I’m totally okay with that!)
So, here’s where creating my own recipe comes in again. The biggest trick is to find a sweetener that will work in place of sugar and still sweeten it enough so everyone else likes it too.
There are many different sweeteners you can use in place of sugar. Honey, agave nectar, stevia, coconut sugar, etc. If you head to a grocery store, you will likely find something that will work. I’m not a huge fan of using ‘fake’ sugar like Splenda, since we’ve found out its not quite as good for you as they first made it out to be.
For this recipe, I used agave nectar. Why, you may ask? Well, most of the time, I use honey in place of sugar, but that’s mostly in baking, and if its not baked, I feel that whatever you make ends up tasting like honey, and that’s it. So agave nectar has a more mild taste and seems to mix in a little better to cold things. Many thanks to my friend Janelle for letting me borrow her food processor for extended periods of time. It just makes everything easier! (I really need to invest in one of my own soon)

Vanilla Bean Frozen Yogurt

1 cup milk (I used 1%, but I’m sure you could use almond, coconut, etc)
1/2 cup evaporated milk
18 oz plain Greek yogurt, nonfat
2 vanilla beans, split and seeded
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup agave nectar (more if you want it sweeter)

In a food processor, blender, or mixing bowl, blend all ingredients together. (how easy is that!)
Pour ingredients into the frozen canister of your I’ve cream maker and follow your I’ve cream makers directions.
Then put in freezable container and freezer for about 4 hours or until ready to serve.
Note: Once fully frozen, it is hard to scoop, since it is not like normal ice cream from the store. If using later, I suggest letting it sit out for a bit before scooping. Trust me, it will be less frustrating.

Disclaimer: This frozen yogurt is NOT as sweet as the stuff you buy from the store and it does have a slight Greek yogurt taste to it. You could use half regular yogurt if you wanted or use a flavored Greek yogurt like vanilla to give it a different flavor.

I paired this with my Black Bean Brownies and it was an amazing treat!

Taco Corn Chili

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It may only be August, but today in Wisconsin, the high temperature was 68 degrees, it was cloudy, windy, rainy and quite, might I say, cold. At least compared to the rest of our summer, that is. We have had highs in the 80’s since March! While it has been wonderful to have all the warm temps, today was a nice change. It made me crave fall and all that comes with is. Pumpkin, apple cider, scarves, boots…well, you get the idea. And in case the cool day couldn’t have got any better, it was the first preseason NFL Packer Game. In fact, it’s on TV as I write this. Ahhh, I love football and I love my Pack.
But, I’m not here to talk football, and frankly, you should be glad, because I don’t know that much about it. I know the ‘downs’, the scrimmage, huddles, and yes, I know when they get a touch down.
So what goes better with football season and fall, except chili? Let’s face it, it’s easy to make for a crowd (particularly men watching football), it’s delicious, you can make it however you want to. You could add noodles (which I happen to love, but since I’m eating clean, I like to add brown to mine), cheese, sour cream (or plain Greek Yogurt, in my case. Yes, it taste surprisingly like sour cream), hot sauce. Really, whatever you feel like goes.
Another awesome thing about this recipe, you can make it all in one pot. One dish and you’re done. Yay! That’s my kind of meal.
P.S. It’s also gluten free and a ‘clean’ recipe

Taco Corn Chili (adapted from Gluten Freely)

1 lb lean ground turkey (I use Jennie-O Ground Turkey 93/7)
1 (15 or 16 oz) can black bean, drained and rinsed
1 (10oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (9oz) package frozen corn (I’m sure you could use fresh too, just use a scale to weigh it)
2 cups water
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp honey
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt

In a large pot sprayed with cooking spray, cook turkey over medium-high heat. Cook turkey until until no long pink; Drain, if necessary.
Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil; then reduce the heat. Simmer uncovered for about 18 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Top with desired topping and enjoy!