Paleo Cinnamon Cookies

Let’s talk snickerdoodles. They’re soft, they’re chewy, they’re sweet, they have cinnamon all over them, and like all other cookies, they taste great with a cold glass of milk to wash them down with. When you’re on a gluten-free or strictly Paleo diet, more often than not you crave a good cookie. When I came across this pin on Pinterest for Paleo Cinnamon Cookies and saw that the cookies not only looked easy to make but needed minimal ingredients (all of which I had in my pantry), I was thrilled. The only alteration I made was using almond flour, instead of almond meal. Using almond meal gave the cookies a more grainy, undesirable texture and taste for me.

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I love that the recipe calls for coconut oil, instead of butter, as I found using coconut oil gave these cookies a richer and moister taste. Be prepared to make a few batches of these babies because I assure you, they will be gone fast.  Like most other Paleo treats I make, these don’t last very long in our home. I highly recommend doubling or even tripling the recipe to have extra batches on hand.

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Cinnamon Bun Muffins

The aroma of gooey cinnamon rolls baking in the oven is probably one of the most heavenly scents ever. During my teenage years, I worked at a department store and remember the sweet, overpowering smell of them baking at the Cinnabon that was all the way on the other side of the mall. Back then, I didn’t have a metabolism to worry about, so, I indulged in them whenever the craving hit me. Now that I’m older, though, and don’t have quite as quick of a metabolism, I’ve realized that while cinnamon rolls are, in fact, still amazing, that their accompanying calories are not.

Needless to say, when I came arose Elana Amsterdam’s recipe for Cinnamon Bun Muffins, I was ecstatic, especially since she used basic ingredients that I had laying around in my pantry.

Here are how mine turned out. Aren’t they lovely?!

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One batch of these was gone in just a day, which didn’t stop the inner fat kid in me from making subsequent batches. I love that they’re in muffin form, too, which makes them portable and easy to grab in the mornings when you’re on the go.

Head on over to her page for the recipe (in case you resisted the urge earlier and haven’t already)! And, don’t say I didn’t warn you about how incredible these taste. They will be sure to become a favorite in your home and win your tastebuds over.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay, I’m seriously in love with Danielle Walker’s cookbook! Since buying it, I’ve made a dozen of her recipes and each one keeps getting better!  When I saw her, “Real-Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies,” well, I knew I had to put it to the test.  Any recipe that has, “real-deal,” as part of it is just daring to be challenged!

You can find the recipe for the cookies here.  The verdict?  These are truly the real deal!  They turned out moist, incredibly soft, and fluffy!  My husband took a bite and asked,

“Are you sure these are gluten-free?  They taste like they have gluten in them!”

Needless to say, I made a batch of these last night and they are all gone today.  Next time I will need to double up the ingredients because these babies go fast!

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Tell me these cookies don’t look absolutely amazing!

On a side note: eating healthy has really changed my life for the better.  Before, I used to eat healthy because I knew it was the right thing to do but I didn’t really do it because I enjoyed it.  Now, though, I do it because I know I am putting only the best ingredients in my body and that realization alone makes me feel good.  Now, I truly enjoy making healthy dishes.  I really credit Paleo, the SCD, and eating gluten-free to me being able to drop all but 3 pounds of the weight I gained during my pregnancy, in less than 5 months (with very little exercise)!  Anyone that has a baby knows that trying to squeeze in gym time is hard but luckily, 80% of weight loss, in my opinion, has to do with your diet.  You can go to the gym all you want but if you’re not putting clean, healthy food into your body, it will be challenging to lose weight in the long run.

So, next time you’re at the office and you see donuts and cookies (not the real-deal chocolate chip ones), think twice before picking up those sugar-laden junk food items.  Instead, know that pretty much any “bad” food you see can be recreated into something healthy and delicious.  That’s why I’m so grateful for Danielle’s book — she’s recreated so many of my favorite dishes that I really don’t miss the junk food I used to eat.

Eat healthy and feel good about yourself!  It’s as simple as that.

Now, go bake some chocolate chip cookies.

Enjoy!

Paleo/Gluten-Free Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chips

What’s the best thing to do with bananas that are getting overripe? Make banana bread! That’s why I absolutely love banana bread — it gives me a way to get rid of my bananas while also enjoying an amazing and easy to make treat! This is another one of Danielle Walker’s recipes (yes, I’m on a roll here!) and once again, it did not disappoint! Words can’t even describe how incredible this turned out: super moist and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. You can find the recipe here. In the past two days, I’ve made two batches because it’s just that good. One thing I should mention: I didn’t have any apple cider vinegar, so I left it out, and it was still amazing. So, if you don’t have any, I wouldn’t worry about it, as it didn’t ruin the recipe.

Enjoy!

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Baked Sweet Potato Chips

When you go the gluten-free route, you will probably miss a lot of your favorite foods, but if you’re creative enough or know someone creative, you can relive all your favorite foods, again! This is another recipe out of Danielle Walker’s book that I tried, except I didn’t make her cilantro-serrano dipping sauce that the recipe called for because I was too lazy. Nevertheless, the baked sweet potato chips on their own are amazing, even without the sauce. Your house will be swirling with all sorts of delicious scents when you put these in the oven. Other things I did differently with this recipe: I left out the chili powder that the recipe called for, since I can’t stomach very spicy foods, and added crushed black pepper to it, instead. I sprinkled the chips with salt and pepper before putting them in the oven. I baked them on one baking sheet, instead of two, and broiled the last few minutes to make them crispy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean, with skins on
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (I substituted this for freshly crushed black pepper)

Preparation:

Use a mandolin or a very sharp knife to cut the potatoes into even 1/8 inch thick slices. Place the potatoes in a bowl, cover with ice water, and soak for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Rinse the chips and pat them dry. Toss them in the oil, then spread them in an even layer on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping once. Sprinkle with salt and chili powder.

Enjoy this delicious and healthy treat!

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Paleo/Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Thank you, all, for your patience, as I know I’ve been on a hiatus. My pregnancy ended and I now have a beautiful baby boy to show for it. We’ve gotten into somewhat of a routine now, so I can finally squeeze in some time to post recipes on here more often. Also, since I am no longer pregnant, I  can finally stomach gluten-free foods, again, and have been back on a gluten-free diet. I’m not longer strictly on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet anymore but have now broadened my diet to include anything gluten-free. I feel the gluten-free route is just healthier and overall, makes me feel at my best.

A few weeks ago I came across Danielle Walker’s gem of a book, Against All Grain. I knew that if I wanted to truly dedicate my lifestyle to a gluten-free one, that I had to make it as easy as possible on myself, and that meant having a book I could visit for recipes, instead of having to tap into my own creative mind to invent my own or do random Google searches to find recipes. Let me tell you, her book is worth every penny! This week I’ve made half a dozen of her recipes and each one keeps impressing me.

We’ve had some zucchini in our fridge for weeks now and for fear of it not going bad, I decided to make zucchini bread. I opened Danielle’s book and sure enough, she had a recipe in there for zucchini bread. Let me tell you, it’s seriously the most delicious, moistest zucchini bread I have EVER tried. I was completely floored at how heavenly it turned out! Anyone eating it would never in a million years guess it was gluten-free! My mom made it, as well, but used unsweetened applesauce, instead of the banana the recipe called for, and it definitely did not turn out well (she found it was undercooked after she sliced it, so she put it back in the oven, only for the slices to come out slightly charred.) So, if you’re going to make this recipe, I would suggest not substituting anything.

I’ve linked her recipe above for you all. The recipe in her book differs slightly because the book recipe says to pour the batter into a single 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan, which is what I did. If you’re going to use a single loaf pan, you’ll want to put it in the oven for 40 minutes. Also, I added 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips to my batter, as well as sprinkled a generous amount on top. Danielle’s recipe didn’t call for chocolate chips but how can you go wrong with chocolate? For those on the SCD, just leave the chocolate chips out.

Seriously, go try this bread, and if you’ve dedicated your lifestyle to gluten-free, like me, I highly recommend you buy Danielle’s book. You won’t regret it.

Enjoy!

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Banana Ice Cream

Have you ever craved ice cream but wanted to spare the calories (and the guilt?) Well, then, I have a treat for you! You can make healthy ice cream (I know, sounds like an oxymoron) with just one simple ingredient: bananas!

All you need are bananas, which you’ve frozen ahead of time. For the picture below, I used two frozen bananas and pulsed them in my food processor until they turned creamy. If your bananas are super frozen, it will take a few minutes until they turn smooth. You’ll just want to keep taking off the lid to your food processor, scraping the sides, and pulsing the bananas until they turn into an ice cream consistency.

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If you want it to have the true ice cream look, you can freeze your ice cream after you food process it; then, after a few hours, scoop it with an ice cream scooper. It will then look like this:

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And, if you want to get really fancy (like I was in the picture above), you can add 1 tablespoon of all-natural, no sugar added peanut butter after pulsing your bananas.

It doesn’t get much tastier and healthier than that!

Enjoy!