Archive for the ‘Muffins and breads’ Category

Red Lentil Flatbread 3

This chickpea flatbread is one of my favourite recipes. I could eat a whole pan of it in less than 24 hours.

Scratch that. Full disclosure: I have eaten the entire thing in less than 24 hours.

But this flatbread? Well, it may be a new contender for being stuffed in my face the quickest.

It definitely has a similar flavour to the chickpea version, but with a pretty pinkish-orange hue and added cumin goodness. I swear, cumin just makes everything taste better.

Red lentils are a good source of fibre, protein, iron and folate, too, so this bread is a great choice if you want to keep your energy levels up and your blood sugar balanced.

And who wouldn’t want that?

(Looking for healthy dessert recipes, or tips for how to eat deliciously on a budget? Then check out my e-books here.)

Red Lentil and Carrot Flatbread
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free, five ingredients or less

1 cup red lentils
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch round or square pan with parchment paper, or grease the pan really well.

In a high-speed blender or spice grinder, pulverize the red lentils until they become a fine meal.

Put the lentil flour into a medium-sized bowl and add the salt, cumin, water and olive oil. Whisk until everything is mixed well, then fold in the shredded carrots.

Pour the batter into the pan spread evenly. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the top is firm to the touch and slightly cracked.


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Lemon Poppy Muffins 4

The original intention here was to create fluffy lemon poppy seed muffins.

But the batter didn’t rise in the oven, so I decided to alter the name to lemon poppy seed biscuits instead. Hey, if The Artist Formerly Known as Prince and Puff Daddy/P. Diddy can make name changes, then so can I.

After my initial disappointment that I didn’t end up with muffins, I realized how delicious these biscuits are. The outside is crisp and crunchy, while the inside is lovely and chewy. And you can’t go wrong with the blend of bright lemon flavour with the crunch of poppy seeds.

I didn’t grow up eating biscuits, though. So what is the best way to eat them? Slathered with jam or nut butter? Dipped in tea?

(Looking for healthy dessert recipes, or tips for how to eat deliciously on a budget? Then check out my e-books here.)

Lemon Poppy Seed Biscuits
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free

1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
juice and zest of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix the brown rice flour, sorghum, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt. In a small pot over low heat, gently melt the coconut oil with the vanilla, maple syrup, coconut milk, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Combine the dry ingredients with the wet, then add the water. Stir until everything is combined.

Pour the batter into a prepared muffin tin, filling each muffin cup to about 2/3 full.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, until tops are dry and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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It’s that time of year again.

There is plenty to love about the Fall food season – squashes, carrots, potatoes, leeks, plums, pears, apples. Oh, the apples! The farmers market in my neighbourhood has about a zillion varieties. No exaggeration.

So it may seem odd that I’ve created a recipe using canned pumpkin pie mix, but I had a late afternoon hankering for muffins and no fresh pumpkin in my pantry. I open my palms to you and ask for leniency.

I’m sure you’ll forgive me anyway once you taste these muffins. They’re very tender, with an understated sweetness and spice.

The pumpkin flavour is subtle, but it’s there. That means these muffins work perfectly as a treat, but you could also slice one in half and spread it with your favourite nut butter for a more hearty snack or breakfast.

What is your favourite thing about autumn?

(Love desserts? Me too! That’s why I wrote an e-book about how to make them healthy. Take a peek here.)

Pumpkin Muffins
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, egg-free, soy-free

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup organic pumpkin pie puree (you could also use regular pumpkin, and add spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, coconut sugar, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients.

Add the wet to the dry and mix well.

Pour the batter into a prepared 12-cup muffin tin. Use the back of a wet spoon to smooth the tops of the muffins.

Bake for 32-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, and the tops are slightly springy to the touch.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then put the muffins on a wire rack to cool completely.

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I use the term ‘bread’ very loosely here, as this cinnamon raisin swirly bread definitely has all the trappings of a very decadent cake.

There are plenty of tastes and textures here. The first thing you’ll notice is the buttery-like tenderness, followed by the delicate cinnamon flavour, and then you’ll reach the crunch of the swirl topping.

Finally, you’ll discover the fruity pop of the raisins – and while raisins are typically very sweet, compared to everything else in here they seem downright tangy.

This bread was so alluring I asked my husband to take it to work so I wouldn’t eat it all. He refused, saying it was too good to share (sorry, guys).

What kind of treats are you unable to resist?

(Love desserts? Me too! That’s why I wrote an e-book about how to make them healthy. Take a peek here.)

Cinnamon Raisin Swirly Bread
gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian

2 cups gluten-free flour (I used one cup brown rice, one cup sorghum)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raisins

Topping: 1/4 cup coconut sugar mixed with 1 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and coconut sugar.

In a small pot, gently melt the applesauce, coconut milk and coconut oil together. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the raisins.

Grease a loaf pan or line it with parchment paper. Pour half of the batter into the pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle most of the topping over the batter – leave a tablespoon for the top.

Pour the rest of the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the remaining topping over it, then take a knife and swirl it through the batter in any design you like.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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(Looking for ways to eat healthy without spending a ton of cash? Check out my latest e-book about healthy eating on a budget.)

Homemade bread is the ultimate five-ingredient recipe. All you need is flour, yeast, water and salt, along with a bit of sugar or honey to activate the yeast.

Gluten-free breads are not as simple to formulate. There are lots of great recipes (a few of my faves can be found here), but they use far more ingredients to achieve the same delicious effects.

My attempt to create a five-ingredient gluten-free loaf of bread failed miserably. Happily, the experience triggered culinary inspiration and after a few tweaks to the recipe, a very tasty flatbread was born.

This high-protein recipe takes 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to bake. That means in only half an hour you’ll have a nutty, savory bread you can spread thickly with dips or nut butters or mashed avocado. As with my chickpea flatbread, this would make an amazing pizza crust or sandwich bread, too.

I absolutely adore dill for its fragrant flavour, and it works well in here along with the rosemary. Dill also has antibacterial properties, fights carcinogens and free radicals, and is a good source of bone-building calcium. Of course, you can always substitute your favourite herbs and spices to make this your own.

What are your favourite herbs to use?

Herbed Quinoa Flatbread
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, soy-free, five ingredients or less

3/4 cup dry quinoa
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a coffee grinder or spice grinder, grind the quinoa into a fine flour. You should end up with about a cup or so.

Place the quinoa flour into a large bowl and add the water, olive oil, herbs and salt. Whisk well. You can add an extra tablespoon or so of water if the mixture seems to dry.

Pour the batter into a prepared 9-inch baking pan or dish. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the top of the bread is golden.

Cool on a wire rack, then cut into wedges and serve.

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Don’t you love it when you find a yummy-looking recipe and you already have all the ingredients to make it in your kitchen?

That’s what happened to me with this bread.

I can’t quite explain it, but I was entirely delighted with this little loaf. It just made me happy. Packed with high fibre flours, protein-rich seeds and sweet dried fruits, this bread was hearty and satisfying.

It’s perfect for snacking and travelling, plus it’s super simple to make. A teensy bit of mixing and stirring and you’re done.

The only thing I’d add next time would be some chocolate chunks, because let’s face it, everything is better with some chocolate.

How often do you have all the ingredients on hand to create a recipe you find online or in a cookbook?

Fruity, Nutty, Seedy Bread
From Healthful Pursuit
gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, vegan, vegetarian, soy-free

3/4 cup garfava flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted
1 cup of dried fruit (I used dates, raisins, goji berries and mulberries)
1/2 cup mixture of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp dried coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Add wet. The consistency should be similar to a muffin.

Add dried fruit, seeds and coconut. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until sides begin to brown and the top will be cracked and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from the oven, lift from the pan and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes before cutting with a sharp knife.

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Are you a grocery store tourist?

I definitely am. I love checking out local markets, health food stores and shops to drool over their products, especially when I’m in a new city. Though Toronto isn’t exactly ‘new’ to me, I have been away for a long time and plenty has changed in my absence.

I’ve been traipsing my way around to discover the great foodie spots. A few weeks ago, I was at The Big Carrot and some large, shaved coconut flakes caught my eye. They weren’t something I’d seen before – the flakes were much bigger than your traditional shredded coconut.

I’ve been tossing them in granola and trail mixes, but they also work perfectly in baking. They gave these sweet, comforting muffins a lovely, coconutty crunch.

Do you enjoy exploring grocery stores for fun? Or is it just me?

Cocoa Coconut Muffins

3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup sunflower seed meal
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp Irish Moss, or egg replacer equal to one egg
1/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup coconut flakes, or shredded coconut

Mix the dry ingredients together and whisk well.

In a small pot, gently melt the honey, maple syrup, applesauce, coconut oil, water, Irish Moss, and vanilla. Stir mixture into dry ingredients and gently mix. Toss in the coconut flakes.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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