Gluten-free and Dairy-free Blondies

Blondies are basically a vanilla version of brownies.  These blondies are chewy and delicious with a bit of chocolate dotted throughout.  You won’t believe your taste buds but these are completely free of dairy and gluten with the help of coconut oil and almond flour.  What better way to get some healthy almonds into your kids?  The best part is that they can be made in a few easy steps.  Yum!

Prep Time:  15 minutes        Bake Time:  20-25 minutes     Makes 12-18 blondie squares

Ingredients:

3/4 cup melted coconut oil

5 cups (16 oz) almond flour (super fine)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cups egg whites

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup gluten-free and dairy-free chocolate chips or chunks

Melt the coconut oil in a bowl and put it aside to cool.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the almond flour, salt and baking soda.  Add the sugar, egg whites and vanilla to the coconut oil and whisk to combine.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Fold the chocolate chips into the batter.  Place the batter into a 13×9 baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool and cut into squares.  Store in an air tight container in the fridge.  Serve warm with a scoop of non-dairy ice cream for a delicious dessert.

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Cinnamon Donut Muffins

These muffins are made with a dairy-free donut batter and just might be mistaken for a cinnamon and sugar donut hole.  I like to make them in tiny muffin tins so that they are a delicious small bite, but you can certainly make full-sized muffins.  I like to use hemp milk for the health benefits, but feel free to use any milk substitute you have at home.  When the vinegar and dairy-free milk are combined for 15 minutes they mimic the same properties that buttermilk has in creating an airy and tender dough.  I’m fairly certain these will be enjoyed by even the pickiest eater!

Prep Time:  15 minutes     Cook time:  13 minutes/20-25 minutes

Makes:  24 mini muffins or 9 full-sized muffins

Ingredients:

7 tbsp softened coconut oil

2/3 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup dairy-free milk (hemp, almond, coconut, soy, cashew milk, etc)

1/2 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping:

2/3 cup sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

5 tbsp melted coconut oil

Place the dairy-free milk substitute and white vinegar in a small bowl and stir.  Let sit for 15 minutes while you assemble the batter.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine and remove any lumps. In a separate bowl cream the softened coconut oil and sugar with a hand mixer until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Slowly add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients alternating with the milk mixture until completely combined.

Spray the muffin tin with a non-stick cooking spray or use a muffin liner.  Use a 1 or 1 1/12 tablespoon ice cream scoop for uniformed mini muffins.  If you are making full-sized muffins, fill the tins 3/4 of the way.  Bake mini muffins for 13 minutes and full-sized muffins for 20-25 minutes.  Muffins are done when they are golden, dry and springy to the touch.  Remove them from the oven and allow to cool.  They may be frozen at this point or placed in an air tight container.

Before serving, melt the remaining coconut oil in a small bowl and mix the cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl.  Holding the muffins from the bottom dip the top of the muffins in the oil and allow the excess to drip back into the bowl.  Then roll the top of the muffin into the cinnamon and sugar.  Serve and enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Oreo Lasagna

This no-bake dessert is dairy-free and can be assembled in under 15 minutes. This sweet lasagna can be made ahead and keeps well in the fridge for up to a week.  The rich chocolate center reminds me of a chocolate cheesecake, but it’s actually a mixture of chocolate hummus and dairy-free whipped topping.  The peanut butter compliments the oreo cookies nicely and the whipped topping cuts through some of the richness.  This dessert can easily be made gluten free by substituting gluten free cookies. It’s a great simple recipe for a hot summer day.  You will not be dissapointed!

Prep Time:  15 minutes                                                                   Serves  12

Ingredients:

1/2 cup room temperature peanut butter (almond or cashew butter can be substituted)

16 oz dairy-free chocolate hummus

3 containers of 9 oz dairy-free whipped topping

3 packages of reduced fat oreo cookies

Blend together the peanut butter and chocolate hummus until completely combined.  Fold in one container of whipped topping until incorporated.  Place a single layer of oreo cookies on the bottom of a 9X13″ pan.  Spread the chocolate mixture evenly on top of the cookies.  Place another layer of oreo cookies on the chocolate mixture.  Finally, spread 2 containers of whipped topping on the last layer of oreos.  Crumble 10 oreo cookies over the whipped topping and refrigerate overnight before serving.

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Dairy-Free Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

You won’t believe how easy this pie is to make!  No oven, mixer or prep required.  This no-bake dessert can be made the day before.  Simply keep it in your fridge or cooler until ready to serve.  This recipe is a great dairy-free alternative to an icebox cake that can be made in far less time.  Be sure to tell your guests and kids that there is hummus in this pie only after they’ve licked their plates clean.

Prep time:  10 minutes                                                  Serves: 8-10

1 Extra Large dairy-free graham cracker pie crust

1 cup dairy-free chocolate hummus

2 tubs non-dairy whipped topping (I like coco whip)

2 yellow bananas

1 square of dairy-free chocolate (optional)

Stir 1/2 container (4.5 oz) of whipped topping and 1 cup chocolate hummus dip until fully incorporated.  Place the mixture into the bottom of the pie shell in an even layer.  Slice 2 bananas and place them on top of the chocolate mixture.  Top the bananas with the remaining tub and a half of whipped topping.  Shave or grate a piece of dairy-free chocolate on top of the whipped cream as a garnish.  Refrigerate for up to a day before serving.

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Holiday Re-Mix

This quick and easy trail mix is dairy-free, requires no oven and is fairly healthy when compared to most desserts that will be calling your name this holiday season.  This trail mix combines my favorite flavor combination – oreos and peanut butter.  It will keep well in an air tight container for about a week.  If you omit the mini oreos in this recipe it can also be gluten free.  The red sprinkles add some festive color but you can change out the colors to match the occasion. This snack is prefect for a party or pack it for the long car ride to the festivities.

Prep Time:     20 minutes                          Makes one large bowl

Ingredients:

1 12 oz box rice chex cereal

3/4 cup fluff

3/4 cup natural peanut butter

3 tbsp of coconut butter or coconut oil

2 cups mini oreos

1/2 cup mini dairy free chocolate chips

1/2 cup salted cashews

1/4 cup red and green sprinkles

Place the fluff, peanut butter and coconut oil/butter into a heat proof bowl and melt the ingredients on a stovetop or in a microwave.  Stir the ingredients together until they are completely combined and smooth.

In a large bowl combine the cereal, oreos, chocolate chips, cashews and sprinkles.  Pour the melted mixture onto the cereal mixture and stir until all ingredients are coated.  Allow the mixture to cool and place in an air tight container for snacking all week.

 

Eggplant Caponata

This recipe is an adaptation of my grandmother’s Sicilian dish of chopped eggplant and vegetables in a tomato sauce.  It’s a great hearty meatless meal for a hot summer day.  It can also double as a fancy appetizer when it is piled atop toast points smeared with goat cheese.  You can also use it as a sauce served over pasta.  This recipe is not only versatile but it’s extremely easy.  If you can chop and stir you have this one in the bag!

Prep Time:  15 minutes                Cook Time:  35 minutes                 Serves 4

2 tbsp avocado oil

 

1 large carrot finely diced

2 celery stalks finely diced

1 shallot finely diced

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 large eggplant medium diced

1 cubanelle pepper medium diced

1 large zucchini medium diced

1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes or chopped tomatoes

1 8 oz container of sliced mushrooms cut into small diced squares.

5-6 fresh chopped basil leaves

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Toasted bread:

1 loaf of hearty bread sliced

2 tbsp avocado oil

2 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper

Start by heating 2 tbsp avocado oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the finely diced shallot, carrot and celery.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp each of salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the eggplant, pepper and mushrooms along with the canned tomato and stir.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes on medium heat stirring occasionally.  Add the basil and zucchini and continue to simmer covered for an additional 20 minutes.  Add apple cider vinegar, stir and serve.

Lay the slices of bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until crispy and browned.  Top the bread with the caponata and serve.

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Healthy Orange Chicken

This easy and healthy orange chicken is a great way to spice up your usual chicken meals.    The orange marmalade gives the dish a sweet and tangy bite and the sesame seeds sprinkled over the top give it amazing crunch and texture.  Be sure to buy organic and raw sesame seeds.  They have amazing health benefits, which include lowering blood pressure, cancer and diabetes prevention, increase heart health, improve digestion, reduce inflammation, strengthen both oral and respiratory health, detoxify the body and eliminate depression.  The chicken can be served over rice but if you want to reduce your carb intake serve it over riced cauliflower.  Easy, delicious and good for you!

Prep Time:  10 minutes                  Cook Time:  15 minutes                    Serves:  2-4

Ingredients:

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/3 cup orange marmalade

2 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp honey

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp sesame seeds

Whisk together the first 5 ingredients and set aside.  Place the oil in a non-stick frying/sauté pan on medium high heat and add the chicken breast.  Cook until opaque and then add the sauce over the top.  Cook and stir for another 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or riced cauliflower.

Dairy-Free Luscious Lemon Squares

These lemon squares will melt in your mouth.  They are sweet, tart and buttery with absolutely no dairy.  The glaze reminds me of the homemade lemon slush that I ate as a child growing up in East Boston.  It’s a struggle for me not to eat the glaze by the spoon full – it’s that good!  With a few simple ingredients you can make these delicious and refreshing lemon squares.

Prep Time:  15 minutes           Bake Time:  25 minutes          Makes 9 large squares

Ingredients:

Lemons Squares:

1 1/2 cups of softened or melted coconut oil

2 cups all purpose flour

2 large eggs

3 tbs lemon zest

3 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Glaze:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×9″ baking pan with cooking spray.  Zest and juice 2 lemons and set aside.  Strain the seeds out of the lemon juice.  (Be sure to only take the yellow skin off when zesting the lemons and not the white pith, which is bitter.)  In a medium bowl beat the flour, sugar, salt and coconut oil with a hand mixer.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, 3 tbsp juice and 3 tbsp zest until combined.  Pour the liquid into the flour mixture and beat until smooth (2 mins).  Pour the mixture into a baking dish and bake for 23-25 minutes until edges are browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely before glazing.  Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, 2 tbsp lemon zest and 2 tbsp lemon juice until smooth and creamy.  Spread the glaze over the top of the cooled squares with a spatula and allow the glaze to set before cutting into 9 equal squares.

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Gluten Free and Dairy Free Oatmeal Bars

These bars are a great after school snack or breakfast on the go.  The allspice combined with the cinnamon and oats makes this bar taste like a bowl of oatmeal with no spoon required!  The oats add a chewy texture and the dates and brown sugar add a subtle sweetness.  Indulge in this comfort food with zero guilt while fueling your body with wholesome ingredients.

Prep Time:  10 minutes            Cook Time:  20-25 minutes           Makes:  9 large bars

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup of old fashioned rolled oats finely ground in a food processor until it resembles flour

3/4 cup almond flour

1 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats (reserve 1/3 cup of these oats for the topping)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark will do)

3/4 cup softened coconut oil

1/2 cup egg whites

2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup of dates pitted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  In a medium bowl stir together the ground oats, almond flour, 1 cup of whole oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice.  Set aside.  In a separate medium bowl place the brown sugar and coconut oil.  Use a hand mixer to beat the two ingredients together until combined.  Add the egg whites and vanilla and beat until completely combined.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and add the cup of chopped dates.  Mix until just combined and transfer to the baking dish.  Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are browned and a toothpick inserted in the center is clean.

Allow the pan to cool completely before cutting the bars into 9 equal squares.  Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.  Enjoy!

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Dairy-Free Glazed Mexican Chocolate Bundt Cake

My girls think that this cake tastes like a chocolate donut.  Right out of the mouth of babes!  This cake is so moist and rich that you won’t believe that there are actually healthy ingredients in there.  The pumpkin puree adds a lot of fiber as well as vitamin A and iron which supports immune health.  Cinnamon is one of the healthiest spices to use in baking because it can lower blood sugar levels and reduce heart disease risk factors.  1 teaspoon of cinnamon has as many antioxidants as a cup of blueberries.  I reduced the fat by using egg whites and the carbs are reduced with the use of almond flour.  The best part is that this cake can be made without touching your cake mixer.  It’s a total win, win!

Prep Time:  15 minutes        Cook Time:   1 hour and 15 minutes         Makes: 1 bundt cake

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

3/4 cup almond flour or almond meal

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 15 oz can unsweetened pumpkin puree

3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)

5 tbsp liquid egg whites

1/4 cup avocado oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Glaze:

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 12-cup bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Get two medium sized mixing bowls.  In one bowl whisk together the flour, almond flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  In the second bowl whisk together the almond milk, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, egg, oil, syrup and extract.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the liquids until just combined.  Transfer the batter to the bundt pan and bake for one hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges with only a few moist crumbs attached.  Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a plate or wire rack.

Combine confectioner’s sugar and almond milk in a small bowl and stir to combine.  Once the cake is completely cool pour the glaze evenly onto the top of the cake and allow it to drizzle down the sides.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a week.

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