Monday, March 02, 2015

Happy Birthday! Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing (Gluten, Grain and Refined Sugar Free)

My youngest is now 5!  Happy Birthday to our cuddly little bear. 

Today we celebrated with a few of her friends.  It was a busy, bug themed day.  Our youngest is is our little creature collector she is always out looking for lady bugs, frogs, snails, worms and even grubs. Thanks to Pinterest, I did get a few ideas for the theme.  Lady bugs became the idea for the cupcakes. Since we try to limit the wheat in our home as well as sugar and food colouring.  It can make birthdays a little more challenging, but I am usually up for a little "trial and error."

I revised my original cupcake recipe and am much happier with the results.  For the icing I used Chocolate Date Icing and they turned out really well.  The icing was great coverage and for the details on the strawberries.
For the Cupcakes

Ingredients (makes 20 mini muffins and 14-15 large muffins)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/4 cup palm sugar (add more if you want a sweeter cupcake)
  • 1/4 cup tapioca or arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon psyllium husk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup non dairy milk milk 
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups cook quinoa (approximately 3/4 cup dry)* 
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Prepare muffin cups/tray.
  2. In a large bowl combine cocoa, palm sugar, starch, baking soda, psyllium and salt.
  3. In a blender combine eggs, milk, oils, vanilla and quinoa in that order and puree until very smooth. 
  4. Pour liquid into dry bowl.  Using a wooden spoon, stir just until combined.
  5. Fill cups until 3/4 way full.  
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes for large cupcakes and 12-15 minutes for mini cupcakes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy!
* to cook quinoa soak it for 1-2 minutes to remove the saponin residue which causes the bitter taste and then cook with double the amount of water to quinoa.   Cook for approximately 20 minutes on a medium to low heat.

For the Icing
Again, this is not my recipe my slight adaptation  from Kelly Brozyna at The Spunky Coconut.  

Ingredients (makes enough for single layer cake or 12 cupcakes)

  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1 1/2 cup dates
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cocao or cocoa
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup ground palm sugar (optional-if you prefer it sweeter)

Directions
  1. Soak cashews in 1 1/2 cup water for 2-4 hours to soften.  Drain and then rinse with clean water.  Set aside.
  2. Soak dates in hot water for 1-2 hours to soften.  Drain water and set aside.
  3. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.
  4. Set in refrigerator to harden for 1-2 hours.
  5. Pipe or spread over cake.  
A Few Pictures of the Day



Happy Birthday!  I Love You!






Monday, February 23, 2015

Wild Rice and Mushrooms

I am a huge fan of wild rice and so are the girls.  I love the texture and heartiness, if that is even a word.  Wild rice is high in protein, B vitamins and fiber.  It is actually not even a rice but rather a grass, or the seed of a grass.  I find this recipe to be rather versatile.  We like to mix in a variety or vegetables, but keep in the mushrooms.  The girls like it with a little bit of shredded on cheese on top but it isn't necessary to make this a delicious entree or side dish.
Ingredients

  • 4 cups water (or combination of broth and water)
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup diced green beans, okra, spinach, kale or broccoli (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms
  • 1 cup diced green beans, okra or broccoli (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
  • shredded Swiss cheese (optional)

Directions
  1. In a medium pot add rice, broth/water and salt.  Bring to a boil and simmer at a low boil for 15 minutes.
  2. Add green vegetable (beans/okra, spinach, kale or broccoli) to the rice pot and continue to simmer another 15 minutes or until rice is cooked.
  3. In a small frying pan heat oil.  Add onions and fry until clear about 3-5 minutes.  Add garlic and mushrooms.  Fry for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add mushrooms cooked mushrooms etc. to the rice pot.  
  5. Stir together to combine.  Continue to cook until vegetables are tender and rice is cooked.
  6. Stir in cilantro and serve with cheese on top if preferred.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Blueberry, Cranberry, Red Fife Muffins (Dairy, Egg, Refined Sugar Free)

My oldest daughter wanted to create her own recipe.  She decided she wanted to make muffins.  One of her favourite muffins is blueberry and she wanted to add in cranberries as well.  Since she has a low tolerance to eggs, these muffins are also egg free.  I am so proud of her for creating this recipe, primarily on her own and for even typing it up for me ;)

We used an organic red fife flour.  Red fife flour Canada's heritage wheat flour, which was introduced to in the 1840s.  Although this is a gluten grain it has not been altered by synthetic compounds, chemicals or GMOs.   Red Fife is much lower in gliadin (a protein present in wheat gluten) which makes this flour much easier to digest for those with gluten sensitivities.  I have been told this the only wheat some people can eat.  We enjoy its flavour and find it be a great flour for breads and hearty muffins.  We hope you give it a try!

Ingredients
  • 1 chia egg (1 tablespoon ground chia + 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups of red fife flour
  • ½ a cup of maple syrup
  • ⅓ of a cup of grape seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup cranberries
My Little Baker


Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare muffin tray.
  2. In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients including the blueberries and the cranberries
  3. A medium size bowl add all the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to fully combine.
  5. Scoop into muffin tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.



Monday, February 16, 2015

Chocolate Date Icing or Frosting (Dairy and Refined Sugar Free)

This weekend was my niece's second birthday, I was in charge of the birthday cake.  I went with my Grain Free Chocolate Cupcakes recipe and then piped this Chocolate Date Frosting from The Spunky Coconut.  This frosting turned out so well.  It piped very easily and tasted great, thanks Kelly Brozyna for this delicious icing.

Ingredients (makes enough for single layer cake or 12 cupcakes)

  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1 1/2 cup dates
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cocao or cocoa
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup ground palm sugar (optional-if you prefer it sweeter)

Directions
  1. Soak cashews in 1 1/2 cup water for 2-4 hours to soften.  Drain and then rinse with clean water.  Set aside.
  2. Soak dates in hot water for 1-2 hours to soften.  Drain water and set aside.
  3. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.
  4. Set in refrigerator to harden for 1-2 hours.
  5. Pipe or spread over cake.  


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Salt Dough Valentine Magnets

We are not huge Valentine celebrators over here.  I think Dan and I celebrated it once, on our first year of marriage and have since left it alone.  We are constantly striving to love more each day and not just on February 14th.  Nevertheless, the girls are celebrating Valentine's Day with their school so we will participate.
 


As I am sure you figured out, I am not big on sweets etc. but we love a good craft.  Even though I would not consider myself creative, I am very thankful for Pinterest and this idea of creating some magnets about love.  These were really quite simple, the longest part was just the drying in the oven so do plan ahead.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • food colouring (optional)
  • small cookie cutters (I found mine at Michaels)
  • magnets
  • glue gun
  • paint, stamps etc,
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
  2. Combine all ingredients and roll out into 1/4 inch thickness.
  3. Cut out shapes and place on a baking tray.
  4. Bake for 2-3 hours or until completely dry.  I flipped mine after the first hour.