Lavender & Apricot Energy Balls

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To kickstart the Spring we SHOULD BE having, I made lavender & apricot energy balls. When things head on down to glooms-ville I just pop one of these dainty little bad boys into my mouth and suddenly Spring happens. It’s magical.

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1/2 cup whole, raw almonds
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
10 – 15 dried apricots
1 tbsp dried lavender
2 tbsp dried coconut + more for coating

1. In a food processor, put all ingredients and pulse until mixture comes together. Using 1 tablespoon scoops, roll mixture into balls and coat in desiccated coconut. Freeze, or keep in the fridge if you will be eating them faster. I like them extra cold. :)

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Brownies

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Ahhhhhh holiday baking. It overwhelms me. Just like finals…

Naturally, come stress and exams… sickness falls upon me. What better cure than brownies… especially if they are gluten free? But you would never know…

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Perfect crackly top, ooey-gooey center. Trust. On the real.

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It IS heaven.

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8oz semisweet chocolate
2oz unsweetened chocolate
1 cup butter
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1/4 tsp salt

1. In a double boiler, melt both chocolates and butter until smooth and no longer lumpy. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″x9″ brownie pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang.
3. Once chocolate/butter mixture is cool, mix in the sugar and vanilla.
4. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating fully after each addition.
5. Stir in flour and salt.
6. Pour into prepared brownie pan, level the top and bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost dry, with a few wet crumbs still attached. Allow to cool completely in the pan before removing. Cut however large you’d like!
I cut it into four squares, then diagonally across into triangles. I then cut those triangles in half. :)

Green Detox Smoothie

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Before the holidays start this year I’ve decided it is SUPER important to come up with at least 800 (too many??) detox smoothie recipes so that I don’t feel completely disgusting with myself with the amount of sugar I am soon to consume (on top of the stress-eating of final assignments and exams).

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This smoothie is an unlikely combo of amazing ingredients that work PERFECTLY. I was pleasantly surprised.

I also felt amazing after I drank it.

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3/4 cup frozen mango
3/4 cup chopped, packed kale
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1 celery stalk, washed and chopped
8 fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 cup coconut water

1. Place all in blender and combine.

Blackberry Molasses Baked Oats

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Okay, so I know I’ve been going crazy with all the oat-y recipes lately but it’s all I’ve been wanting. The weather is getting real chilly (my fave), and I can’t help but want a hearty, nutty, warm, oat-y breakfast. There should seriously be a slogan for oats because I would go around advertising their amazing-ness to the world of non-oat eaters. “An oat-y way to start your day” ? Who knows. I’ll work on it.

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There is also something so cute about little individual portions of things. Having your baked oats out of a tiny, single serve ramekin makes it taste that much better. I dunno, ramekins make food taste better. Is that a real thing? Can anyone else vouch for this?

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This breakfast was honestly one of the best oat recipes I’ve made to date. Baking oats has always been a little iffy (it always gets all gelatinous and gross) so I was happily surprised when this came out perfectly. It takes next to no time to whip up and you’ll be ever-so-thankful you did.

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1/2 cup LARGE FLAKE oats
1 tbsp + 1tsp coconut sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp molasses
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup fresh blackberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 4″ ramekin.
2. In a small bowl, combine oats, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder.
3. Add in molasses, almond milk, water, vanilla and blackberries.
4. Pour into prepared ramekin, place on baking tray and bake for approx. 20 mins until most liquid is absorbed and the top is lightly browned and crispy.

Gluten Free Everything Cookies

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I must have eaten like, half the bowl of batter on this one. It was THAT good. Not to mention it has pretty much all of my favourite snacks. Dried cranberries, nuts, chocolate chips. Pretty awesome. You won’t eat just one, that is a guarantee.

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I won’t waste too much of your time. Let’s get straight to the good stuff.

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MAKES ABOUT 35 COOKIES

1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour (to make my flour mix I do 1 bag Bob’s red mill all purpose gluten free flour + 1 bag of sweet sorghum flour + 1 bag brown rice flour – use in a 1:1 ratio with regular flour)
1 cup large flake oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
pinch salt
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds

1. In a large bowl, beat together butter and both sugars until combined and fluffy.
2. Beat in egg until combined. Add vanilla and milk.
3. In a separate, medium sized bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and salt. In a separate small bowl, combine coconut, almonds, cranberries, chocolate chips, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
4. In small additions, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Fold in nut mixture.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking trays with parchment or SILPATs. Drop 1 tbsp balls, offsetting in rows of 2 and 3, leaving 2 inches in between each cookie (they spread). Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to cooling rack to cool completely.

Gluten Free Brandy & Apple Spice Hand Pies

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Holy pies! I really just wanted to say that. I don’t think it really has anything to do with anything or is a real phrase…

But…. HOLY PIES! Sweet, holy pies. Especially the kind made with alcohol. Like, seriously. These hand pies have brandy in them. AND the only brandy I had on hand was some super strange, Mexican brandy that was pretty much ancient. I think it had been sitting in our liquor basket (yes, BASKET) for like, ever. It did what it was supposed to but I was skeptical… I seem to be pretty skeptical about a lot of things until I try them. I’m going to start labelling myself as a skeptic.

DSC_0015**Makes about 6 hand pies**

Gluten Free Pie Crust:
3/4 – 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 stick butter, COLD **VERY IMPORTANT IT IS COLD**
1 egg
2 – 3 tbsp ice water

1. In a food processor, pulse flour and salt until combined.
2. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles fine meal, with no large pieces of butter remaining.
3. Add egg and 1 tablespoons ice water, then pulse until well combined and dough holds together when squeezed. If necessary, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
4. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into a disc. Refrigerate while prepping the apples.

Brandy & Apple Spice Filling:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1lb Granny Smith Apples (peeled, cored, cut into 1/4″ slices)
1 tbsp lemon juice
5 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp + 1 tsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 tbsp Gluten Free all purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp dried currants

Egg Wash:
1 egg
1/2 tbsp whole milk

1. Prep the apples. Once prepped, remove the chilled pie dough from the fridge, lightly flour your work surface and roll out into a 12″ circle. Be careful, the dough might crack at the edges. Cut out 4″ circles (I used a cup turned upside down). Continue to roll out dough scraps until 12 circles are cut out. Place circles on a parchment lined baking tray.
2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, add apples and sauté for about 8 minutes.
3. Add the lemon juice, brandy, sugar, salt and spices. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes until the apples are very soft.
4. Stir in the flour and currants. Continue to cook until the liquid is completely cooked off, about 2 – 3 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 2 tbsp of apple filling into half the cut out dough circles, leaving space around the edges. Place remaining half of dough circles on top and close the edges with a fork. Don’t worry if the tops crack while you are doing this, it won’t matter. The filling does not really seep out.
6. Prepare egg wash and generously brush each hand pie. Sprinkle with granulated sugar if desired. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Place on a cooling rack to cool down completely before serving (or at least 30 minutes if you can’t wait)!

Layered Chocolate Bark with Candied Orange Peel, Pistachios & Cranberries

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This stuff is like crack. No – I’m not talking about the kind of crack our mayor (Rob Ford) is smoking. This is the good stuff.

To start the process first off – we need to make some awesome-tastic candied orange peel. I was skeptical – but upon tasting – it really is candy so just make it, okay?

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1 large orange (I used 3 clementines because I didn’t have an orange on hand – works just the same)
2 cups sugar (divided into 1 1/2 cups, and 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups water

1. Cut peel on each orange into vertical segments. Try to remove the peel in one piece on the way down (including white pith). Cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Cook in large pot of boiling water 15 minutes. Drain, rinse, and drain again.
2. Bring 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups water to boil in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add orange peels. Return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the peel is very soft, about 45 minutes. Drain.
3. On a baking tray lined with parchment, toss the orange peels with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. On a piece of aluminum foil, remove each piece from the sugar and lay to dry out a little bit. **YOU WILL NOT BE USING ALL THE CANDIED ORANGE PEEL FOR THE BARK – IT FREEZES VERY WELL!**
4. Once dried out and hardened, take as much as desired for the bark and chop approximately the size of dried cranberries. No one like a giant bite of candied orange peel. (Well some of us don’t…)
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And now on to the chocolate.
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I went all out for this one. For 5 bucks at the Bulk Barn… why not take it that extra step? We all know and love regular chocolate bark (if you don’t, just get out), so adding in that layer of white chocolate really just takes bark to a whole new level of chocolatey joy. Not to mention it looks way prettier and people WILL flock to you asking for it. Like birds. I know so.
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6 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped
6 oz white chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup shelled, raw pistachios, roughly chopped
1/8 – 1/4 cup chopped candied orange peel

1. Line a 8″ x 8″ brownie pan with parchment (I like to spray the pan a little with cooking spray to help the parchment stick).
2. Using a double boiler, melt the semi sweet chocolate. Pour into the bottom of the brownie pan. Place in the freezer.
3. Using the same bowl (or a different one, I used the same one – **NOTE: MAKE SURE YOU WASH AND DRY THE BOWL EXTREMELY WELL BEFORE REUSING IT**, melt the white chocolate. Remove the pan from the freezer and spread the white chocolate over top of the semi sweet chocolate. Sprinkle all toppings over top and gently press them into the chocolate. Place into the freezer to set (doesn’t take long, 20 minutes maybe to be certain).
4. Once set, remove from the pan, and cut into whatever sized pieces you like! I trimmed the edges first, it looks nicer.