Blueberry “On the Go” Breakfast Muffins

It finally happened, I caught the plague. The frustrating part about being sick is that you think you’re getting better one day, and the next it comes back in full force with the worst nasal drip, cough, and congestion. Thankfully, I am on the mend and had enough energy to retest a recipe I’ve been dying to perfect: blueberry muffins.

I’m always trying to make recipes easier and easier, and not over complicate with a bunch of different ingredients, and the beauty of these muffins is that while there are at least 8 different ingredients that go into it, the amount of blueberries is not compromised, leaving the end result as perfectly moist with a texture similar to a store-bought muffin, except they’re relatively bite size, hence “on the go.” I’ll be making these in a rotation for sure now that I figured out the ratio of baking soda to baking powder.

Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
    • My dairy products are always Organic Valley products, and to learn a bit more about Organic Valley, head here.
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 cup gluten free flour – I swear by Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour, which can be found on the amazing Thrive Market
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Salt
  • 1 cup blueberries

In a large bowl add in all of the wet ingredients and whisk/mix with a hand mixer until just combined. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined again. Fold in the blueberries and let the batter sit for a good 20-25 minutes. This will allow the baking soda and powder to marry and build a solid base for the muffin (this will also help the muffins rise instead of fall when they come out of the oven).

Preheat the oven to 375*. Spray your muffin tin or liners with non-stick spray. Use a cookie scoop or a large spoon to ladle the batter into the muffin tin and bake for 20-23 minutes. Cut one open, spread some almond butter or grass fed butter on them and you’ve got an amazingly delicious, gluten free and low sugar breakfast treat for the week! Plus, they freeze nicely too! NOMaste.

Gluten Free/Dairy Free Cacao Cake Brownies

It’s snowing. We are halfway through the first month of the new decade and it’s snowing here in New York. It’s actually quite peaceful to watch the snow fall, sitting inside, enjoying the quiet with my husband and my dog, sipping some coffee and developing new recipes.

I’ve been obsessed with trying to bake more, and play in the kitchen on the weekends, although my back is pretty tense today, and I desperately need to clean the bathrooms. I’m also 31 weeks pregnant and currently this babe is the size of a head of romaine lettuce, which is not small. Nevertheless, I baked (and cooked) on and off since 10am this morning. I saw one of the amazing bakers I follow on Instagram make these delectable brownies, and decided I wanted to try making brownies myself. This particular recipe is on the cakier side than fudge, even though I do plan to try a “fudgie” (fudge brownie) in the near future. Personally, I prefer a cake-like brownie as they’re a little less sweet, dense, and I can cube leftovers up and make a brownie trifle.. *wipes drool from side of mouth* This recipe is gluten free and dairy free, employing the help of Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free baking flour and Chosen Foods avocado oil instead of butter.

Here’s what you’ll need for these brownies:

  • 1 cup Gluten Free Flour – I use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 GF Flour found on Thrive Market
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder (or unsweetened chocolate powder)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup organic granulated sugar, or coconut sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 375*. Spray or pre-grease an 8×8 baking pan and set aside. Take a medium sized bowl and crack three eggs in, and add in the sugar, vanilla extract, and avocado oil. Whisk together until combined.

Add in the flour, cacao powder, baking powder, salt, and whisk again. The batter should be fairly thick as these brownies will be cake-like. Pour into the greased pan and bake for 20m.

I had three of them today, and two of those I added a *large* dollop of whipped cream on top and OMG it was heaven. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner… forget dessert 🙂 NOMaste.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my colleagues and I were chatting about baking, and how I am not the world’s best baker, we got to talking about me developing a chocolate chip cookie recipe – because every home cook and baker deserves to have their version of a chocolate chip recipe – for her three daughters. I immediately regretted offering to do this because let’s face it, I’m way more of a cook than a baker, and even though I continue to persist and try baking regardless of my failures, I still hesitate that whatever the baked good is will be super dry, tasteless, or taste way too “healthy.” Well, today was the day, and I got rave reviews on this one. I must say, even my husband thought they were delicious too.

I’ll admit that I added a bit too much coconut oil in this recipe, and not enough flour which caused them to drastically spread on the baking tins, so to get the perfectly round shape I used a biscuit cutter (oh well, sue me). I was told by my husband, my colleague, my mother in law, and a friend who I showed the picture too that these cookies remind them of Tate’s cookies, which I happen to really enjoy. I mean, I don’t think a compliment gets better than that. These cookies are not only gluten free, but made with coconut oil, coconut sugar, grass fed butter, and Lily’s stevia sweetened chocolate chips. They’re basically breakfast cookies, you’re welcome!

Here’s what you’ll need for these bad ass cookies: (note: I adjusted the flour and coconut oil to scale back the coconut taste, and to keep the cookies a little more intact and less spread)

  • 2 and 1/4 cups gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour, I prefer Bob’s Red Mill (or you can use Cassava flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 stick grass fed butter, unsalted and softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups chocolate chips, I used Lily’s (this brand is a very “clean” brand which means the ingredients to make the chocolate chips is reliable and has no hidden chemicals or ingredients)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

To start, preheat your oven to 375*. You don’t necessarily have to grease the pans, but if you feel you want to, go ahead. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Whisk together using a hand mixer the butter and sugars until creamy and fully blended. It is SUPER important to use softened butter in cookie recipes to maintain the structure of the cookie. It’s also important to be specific (as I am currently learning) with measurements: too much butter or oil will cause the cookies to spread too far (ehem, my mistake).

Add in the coconut oil, vanilla extract, and eggs, and blend on medium speed. Continue to blend until the mixture combines, approximately 3-4 minutes. For this specific cookie recipe, I poured the dry into the wet mixture a little at a time (basically separating my pours into thirds). I blended after each time I added in some dry ingredients. Once all the flour was combined I added in the chocolate chips and blended some more.

Using a spoon or an ice cream scoop, scoop some of the cookie batter onto your baking sheets. You should be able to comfortably fit 12 cookie dough balls on each tray. You’ll have to reuse the sheets as you bake because this recipe yields approximately 40 cookies. OHHH YEAAAA! Bake each back for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown on the sides. Transfer to a cooling rack, let the pan sit to cool down, and repeat.

I am sincerely loving experimenting in my kitchen, with a baby in tow, and a dog sitting at my feet waiting for me to drop dollops of cookie batter on the floor. These cookies will become a staple in any household, and certainly a tradition in mine! NOMaste ~

Easy Baked MAC (Mac-n-Cheese)

It’s the holiday season, and there’s nothing better than seeing family, friends, and eating a ton of different foods. It’s the third night of Hanukkah, and while I didn’t make latke’s this year (which you can find my recipe from last year here), I did toy around with something anyone celebrating any holiday would love, MAC AND CHEESE.

There are a ton of different ways to make mac and cheese (or as I simply call it MAC), and I usually start by making a roux. A roux is a base for sauces such as a cheese sauce: you take chopped onions and butter, sauté until fragrant and translucent, then add flour and it makes a paste. Then, you pour in some cream/milk/alternative to milk and stock, and bring to a boil. This will thicken; turn the heat off and layer in the shredded cheese until fully blended and combined. Yeah, this recipe is labeled EASY MAC for a reason, because we skip the roux step. We use four ingredients and it’s done in one pot. You heard me, ONE POT.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb or box of pasta – I used Banza’s wheel shaped pasta (this is a chickpea flour pasta and it is delicious – find it here)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp grass fed butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mixed shredded cheese – I used Organic valley cheddar, sharp cheddar, and mozzarella.
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Breadcrumbs – to top off prior to broil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Cook your preferred pasta to the desired doneness, since Banza is gluten free I cooked two minutes below the recommended time on the box as I prefer to have pasta more al dente. Strain and rinse.

Add back into the same pot and turn the heat onto medium. Pour in the milk and butter, stirring the pasta in and coating. Have patience here, the butter will take some time to melt. Sprinkle in the cheese a little at a time, stirring to combine frequently. Keep the heat between medium and low, so the cheese melts and coats all the pasta.

Set the oven to broil. Pour the MAC from the pot into an oven friendly casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, plus a pinch more shredded cheese bc #yolo. Broil for three minutes, check after three because it can go from nicely brown to “OMG I BURNT IT” in a matter of minutes. Serve immediately and scarf down because this baby will go fast at your dinner table! NOMaste and Happy Holidays! <3

Almond Butter Cookies with Collagen and Browned Butter Chocolate Chunks

I have a very interesting relationship with cookies. Granted, they can be super delicious, satisfying, and a perfect treat around this time of year with the holidays. On the other hand, they can be very sugary and over-powering. I tried to play with the ingredients that I had in my pantry, and referred back to my first cookie recipe for “chocolate chip health cookies,” which essentially was the base of this one, except I added collagen powder and almond butter.

The holiday season always makes me want to bake, and I just recently found my grandmother’s recipe box which is FILLED with seasonal cookies. She was an incredible baker. These cookies remind me of standing in her kitchen with my mom and aunt (who’s probably reading this… hi grantie!), rolling up cream cheese rugelach, and making scotch cookies while listening to stories and running through the list of who’s receiving cookie packages this year. I’ll have to dabble in her recipe box sooner than later.

What I love about the way these cookies turned out is that they have a very short crumble and texture to them, which is resemblant of a biscotti, so clearly they are the PERFECT accompaniment for a hot cup of coffee on a lazy sunday morning. Adding a small chunk of Alter Eco browned butter chocolate (you can find this product on Thrive Market – linked here) adds a bitter sweet (haha, I made a funny..) bite that balances out the crispness of the crust on the cookie. I also used some of my favorite dairy products from Organic Valley, which is unsalted pastured butter and eggs, two staples in my house.

Here’s the rundown of what you’ll need, and a quick breakdown of the steps:

  • 1 stick Organic Valley unsalted butter
  • 2 large Organic Valley eggs
  • 1/2 cup organic Cane Sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Barney Butter almond butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 cups Thrive Market Non-GMO Cassava Flour
  • 2 tbsp collagen powder – I use Vital Proteins
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bar Alter Eco Browned Butter chocolate, broken into small chunks.

Preheat the oven to 375*. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, collagen powder). In a separate bowl, combine the butter with both brown sugar and cane sugar until creamy (may take a few minutes – around 4-5m). Add in eggs and almond butter. Whisk until combined.

Pour the wet batter into the dry ingredients and mix (whether with a spatula, whisk, or electric hand mixer) until fully combined and it forms a sticky batter. Roll into small cookie balls and place onto a pre-greased sheet pan. Batter should yield approximately 20 cookies. Place a small chunk in the center of the cookie and press down lightly. Bake for 20 minutes and let sit to cool, don’t worry if the cookies are a little soft, they will firm up as they cool.

These are a perfect addition to breakfast, a dessert for lunch, or simply by its own. NOMaste 🙂

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