Gluten Free Holiday Biscotti

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Holidays always remind me of ‘Mandel Bread’ (or is it mandelbrodt?) the Jewish version of Italian Biscotti. Biscotti actually means twice baked, which gives it that amazing crunchy texture. My grandmother makes THE best mandel bread, always packed with lots of chocolate chips, nuts and of course SUGAR!!! I wanted to make a cookie that will not only look amazing on your Thanksgiving or Christmas table, but will also be a nutritious snack to have with your afternoon tea, or morning coffee.

I know how hard it can be to make food that meets the dietary needs of all your guests, especially when it comes to desserts. If you only have one guest who stays away from gluten and another that can’t eat dairy it can be a nuisance and an expense to provide cakes or pies just for them! You also won’t come off as the best hostess if you don’t provide them with anything at all! So what to do? Making gluten/dairy free desserts on your own will save you lots of money and maybe get you to even make some dietary changes of your own. These cookies are a treat both allergy sufferers and non allergy sufferers can equally enjoy!

Whats great about these biscotti, is that they aren’t SUPER sweet. At first, I thought I would change the recipe to provide more sweetness, but with the dried cranberry and dark chocolate you don’t really need much more. They are packed with slow burning carbohydrates from the oat flour and lots of vitamin e, protein and healthy fats from the almond flour. I also used coconut sugar which is mild in flavour and has a low glycemic index to keep those blood sugar levels stable. You even get some antioxidants from that dark chocolate ;) Happy Holidays everyone!

Ps. I have been nominated for a Notable Award which recognizes young professionals in Canada. Clean Eating Goddess has been nominated for best blog! If you have enjoyed reading my blog or following me on instagram, facebook or twitter please take a second to vote for me :) I am truly humbled and honoured. Thank you for your continued support, YOU are my inspiration. You can vote by clicking here! You can vote once a day! Now for the recipe…
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Ingredients:

• 1 cup almond flour (aka meal, ground almonds)
• 1 cup oat flour
• 1 tbsp arrowroot starch (corn or potato starch would work too)
• 1/2 cup coconut sugar (add 1/4 cup more if you like a sweeter biscotti)
• 3/4 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 3 large eggs
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries or tart cherries
• 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I use 70% cacao chips)
• 1/2 cup pistachios, toasted, roughly chopped pistachios

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and grease. Whisk almond flour, oat flour, arrowroot starch, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat coconut sugar and eggs until pale yellow and thick, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in melted coconut oil and vanilla.
3. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour mixture until just until blended.
4. With a spoon or spatula, mix in dark chocolate chips, cranberries and pistachios.
5.Divide dough in half and turn out onto your parchment lined baking sheet. Wet your fingers and shape each portion into a 10”-long log and flatten each into a 1”-wide strip. Bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
6.Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. While they are cooling, reduce oven heat to 325°.
7. Transfer strips to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut each strip diagonally into 1/2”-thick slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
8. Turn cookies over and bake 10 minutes longer (cookies will be slightly soft in the center but will harden as they cool). Transfer biscotti to wire racks and let cool.
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Sweet Potato Chilli

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I don’t know whether this constitutes as chilli or a stew but either way it is one of the easiest, cheapest and most satisfying meals to eat when the cold weather comes around. I have been making this dish for about four years now and can basically do it with my eyes closed. It is such a staple in my household, it practically blends in with the fridge.  What is so great about any chilli or stew is that you can add just about anything and it will still taste pretty great so long as the spice is there. If you have vegetables or meat that are reaching their expiration date, you can throw them into the pot and extend their life for at least another week or two. Whats best is that this dish actually tastes better with age. Just like a homemade sauce, the flavours are more enhanced a day or two later and it can be enjoyed throughout the week.

I do not add meat to this chilli because it is already packed with enough protein from all of the beans, which makes it a great option for #meatlessmondays or for those trying to reduce their animal protein intake. And to be honest, you don’t really miss it. I normally make Zach a huge container to take to work to eat throughout the week. This kid loves his steak more than the average, and this chilli is one of his favourites!

Beans are high in antioxidants, fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Eating beans may decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer, and can even help with weight management. Because they are rich in protein and carbohydrates you will be left feeling full and satisfied without any added fat. The sweet potato will give you lots of vitamin E and potassium. I even add a little turmeric to mine for added anti inflammatory benefits. Feel free to interchange the sweet potato with butternut squash (equally as delicious). Serve with a fresh salad for a complete meal or over some brown rice after a good cardio workout. My mom loves it over brown rice noodles or stuffed in a baked potato! Dee-lish. Bon appétit!
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Ingredients:

• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
• 1 yellow onion finely chopped
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp pepper
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 1 tsp chilli powder (you can add more if you like your chilli smokier)
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 tbsp ground cumin
• about 1 lb chopped carrots (8-10 carrots, make sure they are bite sized!)
• 2 sweet potatoes chopped (can interchange with squash)
• 2 large cans of whole tomatoes (I buy San Marzano)
• 2 cups of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
• 1 cup cooked red kidney beans
• 1 cup cooked canellini beans
• 1 heaped tbsp of tomato paste
• 1 tbsp hot sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot) *optional
• 2-3 drops stevia (optional)
• bunch of fresh cilantro (for garnish)

Directions:

1. In a huge stock pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Sautée onion until translucent about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and spices. Sautée for another minute.
2. Add carrots and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. If you find they are sticking to the pot, add more olive oil.
3. Add tomatoes and pierce using a wooden spoon. If you like tomato chunks, don’t break them down too much! Add tomato paste and hot sauce and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer uncovered and cook until you can pierce the potato and carrots easily with a fork (about 20-30 minutes).
4. Add your beans and allow to cook for another 10 minutes until the water from the tomatoes is mostly cooked down. If you are using canned beans, make sure to rinse them really well! Make sure to taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. If you like a sweet and spicy chilli, add a little bit of stevia!
5. Serve with fresh cilantro as a garnish!
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Pumpkin Blondies with Salted Maple Pecans

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Hello everyone! Sorry I have been MIA this month. As many of you know, I teach, tutor, blog and am currently doing my holistic nutrition certification. I always try and post at least once a week but these days, real life has gotten in the way! If you are one of my Instagram followers (now 10k followers wow!) you know I also visited my sister in NYC last weekend which was so much fun but SO exhausting. If you want to see some of my favourite food spots, you can check out my Instagram posts on the right side of my homepage! Just click on any picture and you can read the caption.

In all this busy-ness I have tried to make sure I get enough sleep and eat well. I still managed to get myself seriously sick this past weekend where I was left literally bed ridden. What I realized is that even if you plan out your time and do everything ‘you are supposed to do’ it is SO important to UNPLUG. What I mean is to emotionally, physically and electronically detach from all the busy-ness that makes up your day. My day consists of waking up at 7:45, making breakfast, heading to work until 4:15, tutoring until 5, 6 or even 7 pm, go to the gym, get home shower, make dinner, laundry etc.. In between I am making sure my Clean Eating Goddess social media areas are covered, thinking up recipe ideas and planning blog posts. By 10 pm I feel accomplished but truly exhausted and I basically just restart the next day. I realized that my sickness was really just pure mental exhaustion and stress! Even if you love what you do everyday, trying to juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities will eventually equal stress at some point and thats ok… It just important to take time for yourself, away from your phone, tv, thoughts, etc… and truly detach from daily life! Go for a walk, have dinner with loved ones, have a drink (or two, or three), paint a mug, just change up the scenery or just do NOTHING!

I can’t imagine adding children to this picture… scary!

In any case..even if I was sick I needed to get back on my blog game. Thank god for Zach who helped me prep everything so I could muster up energy to do some baking/cooking. I have had this recipe stored in my notepad on my phone for weeks! When I think of something that might be delicious, I jot it down anywhere and at a later date start to configure the measurements. Then I put it together, cross my fingers and hope for the best!

These pumpkin blondies are made with…beans! I have seen recipes all over the health food blogs about bean brownies, cookies etc.. The result always looks amazing, so I had to try it myself. Trust me… just like you I had the same reaction. EW. Beans in dessert. But I have to stay these are INCREDIBLE. They are so incredibly moist from the pumpkin and cannellini beans that lend a delicate fudge-like texture that melts in your mouth. The salted maple pecans add a much needed crunch, that frankly I can eat by the handful on my own.

What’s best is that these have no added oil, grain or egg! So vegans, celiacs, health fanatics and foodies alike can enjoy this sweet treat all season long. Whats best is that you can make the entire recipe in the bowl of your food processor. Just pulse, pour, bake and enjoy. Your kids will never know they are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free + packed with protein and fibre! Happy Halloween and Bon appetit!
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Having fun!

Having fun!

Blondie Ingredients:

• 1 1/2 cups canellini beans or 1 can well rinsed
• 1/2 cup smooth almond butter
• 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, pure pumpkin)
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I used an amber no 2, the darker the syrup the more flavour!)
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp pumpkin pie seasoning
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• pinch salt
• 4 heaped tbsp coconut flour

Topping Ingredients:

• 1 cup whole pecans
• 2 heaped tbsp pure maple syrup
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• good pinch sea salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 by 9-inch square baking pan. (I used a cookie sheet because that was all that was on hand, use what ya got!)
2. In a bowl of a food processor pulse beans until smooth. Add almond butter, pumpkin, vanilla, maple syrup, baking powder, pumpkin pie seasoning, cinnamon, salt. Pulse until creamy and smooth. Add coconut flour. If the batter looks really wet and runny then add more coconut flour until it is slightly thicker and holds together.
3. Pour batter into baking pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool COMPLETELY.
4. For the topping: On medium heat, toast pecans in a dry saucepan for 5-7 minutes. Once toasted, add maple syrup and toss pecans to coat. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until most of the syrup is dissolved. Add sea salt and allow to cool on parchment or cutting board. Roughly chop.
5. Sprinkle topping on blondies and dig in! The blondies can be quite delicate, fork and knife might be required for some. I went with the hands of course… Enjoy<3

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