Tag Archive: Gluten-Free

Raw Brownies With Avocado Frosting

Raw Brownies With Avocado Frosting

As much as I don’t like the cold, Winter and Fall are some of the best baking months because there’s sometimes nothing to do but stay in and sit next to the heater. Now that Spring’s here and the heat waves, too, no-bake recipes are suddenly ten times more appealing. 

I made these “brownies” over the weekend for a sweets fix that wouldn’t involve sifting flours and melting chocolate. It’s pretty much the same recipe I made 3 years ago with an extra avocado frosting on top. Avocados and dates definitely don’t sound like dessert ingredients, but you’d be surprised how rich and chocolaty these come out. 

Raw Brownies With Avocado Frosting

These are easier to stash and store without the frosting, which does go bad about as quickly as guacamole, so if you’re planning on waiting a while to eat these wait until the last minute to make the frosting. It’ll taste better if you do.   

Raw Brownies With Avocado Frosting

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 8-12 brownies):

  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut butter(optional but recommended)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 a ripe avocado
  • 2 Tablespoons agave or honey

Method:

  1. Blend the dates in a food processor until they are pulverized and start to stick together. The dates don’t have to be fresh but make sure you’re not using dry and stale ones or they won’t stick.
  2. Add the walnuts and coconut butter and continue blending until the dough starts to stick to itself. Add the water as necessary if your ingredients are too dry to clump.
  3. Lastly add 3 Tablespoons of cocoa powder and continue blending until it’s mixed in.
  4. Dump the processed ingredients onto a piece of parchment paper. With your hands, clump them together into a square or rectangle.
  5. Freeze the dough for 5-10 minutes until it’s firm and cut it into even sized squares. Store in the refrigerator for freshness.
  6. To make the “frosting”, mash the avocado into a smooth puree. Add the agave and remaining cocoa powder and mix thoroughly.
  7. Spread an even amount on top of each brownie square. Garnish with any extra walnuts.

5 Gluten-Free Easter Desserts

Easter’s not a holiday that’s know for its desserts. That’s probably because after too many Peeps and lackluster chocolate eggs, more chocolate doesn’t seem all that appealing. I promise you these desserts are better than any Peep you’ve ever had(although unless you’re a hardcore Peep fan that’s probably not saying much).

Once you’re done serving ham and asparagus, try slicing out some of these Spring dessert recipes. Some might require special gluten-free flours, but others do not or could even be made with regular all-purpose flour. All of these can be made in advance and set aside so you can sit back and enjoy the day.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies aren’t necessarily an Easter dessert, but you can never go wrong serving some. Add in some ice cream and hot fudge and you might want to consider skipping Easter dinner to save space.

Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Lemon Cornmeal Cake is definitely a dessert to welcome Spring. The slightly-coarse cornmeal gives a rustic and homemade touch to a simple dessert, and you can even save a slice for a sweet breakfast the next day.

Homemade Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs

Homemade Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs are the DIY solution to possibly the best drug store candy ever. The peanut butter to chocolate ratio beat out all the other variations hands down. Since these are fresh and homemade though, they might melt in your hand so best to keep these wrapped until dessert time.

Grain-Free Carrot Cake

Grain-Free Carrot Cake isn’t quite your traditional carrot cake, but it’s equally as spiced and delicious. This cake uses almond flour instead of regular, and has all my favorite fixings for carrot cake: Carrots, raisins, spices, pecans, and–of course–cream cheese frosting. It’s long overdue to be remade on this blog.

Gluten-Free Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Nothing says Easter dessert more like lemon and powdered sugar. If you don’t feel like cake or something time intensive, Gluten-Free Lemon Crinkle Cookies are a perfect light dessert with coffee or goodie bag gift. You can make a big batch and keep the extras for yourself, too.

Healthy Vegetable Chickpea Salad

Healthy Vegetable Chickpea Salad

As quick as the weather changes, so do taste buds. After weeks of snow and cold, the weather here has skyrocketed to the 50s and the streets are full of melting snowbanks. Instead of being just another barrier to speed-walk past in the cold, the open air vegetable stalls are suddenly more inviting to stop and pick up new ingredients.

While none of the ingredients in this dish are exactly “new”, they’re definitely a fresh take on heavier tuna or hard boiled egg salads. I’m not usually a fan of bright and loud flavors like black pepper and thyme but they work well with the creamy mayo and balanced chickpeas. Whether you’re serving this on top of a freshly chopped salad or if it’s the only vegetable on your plate it’s sure to be a healthy meal.

Healthy Vegetable Chickpea Salad

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 1 14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 2 (heaping) Tablespoons mayo
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped thyme

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the chickpeas, cucumber, and tomato. If there’s any liquid at the bottom of the bowl carefully drain it out.
  2. Add in the mayo, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly until it’s evenly creamy. Add in the thyme and mix again.
  3. Serve at room temperature. Keep refrigerated if not eating right away.

Strawberry Hazelnut Creme Parfaits

Strawberry Hazelnut Creme Parfaits

Valentine’s Day usually marks the last good dessert you can eat and not feel guilty about during the holiday season before you have to wait another 8 months for Thanksgiving to roll around. You might as well make it a really good one.

Last year I got to go to Stonyfield‘s launch party for Petite Creme and sample all the flavors served along champagne, puff pastries, and fine wine. There’s definitely something special about Petite Creme. It’s creamy and elegant in a way most yogurts aren’t. Making a faux “mousse” for this parfait with it is definitely a kitchen cheat no one will mind. 

Strawberry Hazelnut Creme Parfaits

Using the vanilla bean flavor here (my personal favorite) makes the strawberry and Nutella a little more complex in my opinion. Make sure to use a flavorful strawberry jam for the best results. I made this into two servings and it was almost too rich to finish. It’s definitely a hefty dessert, so if you’re looking for something lighter try splitting this between 4 shot glasses and having taster desserts.

Strawberry Hazelnut Creme Parfaits

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 large servings or 4 tasters):

  • 2 5.2oz vanilla bean Petite Creme
  • 1/4 cup Nutella 
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped hazelnuts

Method:

  1. In one bowl, mix together 1 container of vanilla petite creme and 2 Tablespoons Nutella.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together 1 container of vanilla petite creme and 2 Tablespoons strawberry jam.
  3. Divide the Nutella mousse between 2 to 4 small parfait glasses. Shake gently so that the top is level.
  4. Gently melt the remaining Nutella in a microwave until it’s liquid. Pour the liquid Nutella over the Nutella mousse and spread out gently with a spoon in an even layer.
  5. Mix the remaining strawberry jam with enough water (about 2 teaspoons) to make it fluid. Pour gently over the Nutella in the parfaits and spread out lightly with a spoon.
  6. Add 1/2 Tablespoon of chopped hazelnuts on top of each parfait.
  7. Scoop the strawberry mousse gently into the parfait glasses and shake lightly to make level.
  8. Refrigerate the parfaits for 10-15 minutes to cool slightly.
  9. Remove from the refrigerator and garnish with any remaining chopped hazelnuts.

Cumin-Spiced Red Beans

Taco Flavored Beans

Homemade breakfast on the weekend is a usually my reward for 5 days of quick, processed breakfasts eaten at a desk or sometimes standing up. Melted cheese, runny yolks, and lots of flavor are a must.

One of my favorite things to make is lightly-fried corn tortillas filled with this spicy bean mixture. It’s just the right balance of salt, spice, and richness to start off the day topped with some pepper jack or parmesan cheese. You can serve it next to rice or scrambled eggs for a more protein-filled plate. Use either mild, medium, or hot salsa to adjust the heat.

Cumin-Spiced Red Beans

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 1 cup black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup salsa 
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin

Method:

  1. Heat up the beans and salsa in a pan over a burner set to medium.
  2. Stir the beans and salsa along with the cumin as it comes to a boil. Keep stirring until most of the liquid boils off and the mixture is thick.
  3. Add in the butter and continue stirring until it melts. Once the butter’s melted completely, turn off the heat and mix for a minute over the stove as it cools.
  4. Serve hot with shredded or shaved cheese on top.

Strawberry Jam Brownies

Strawberry Jam Brownies

When you’re gluten-free, picking through Ben & Jerry’s flavors just isn’t as exciting. I’m sure that they make amazing cookie dough-infused moose tracks with fudge-covered red velvet cake chunks, but I’ll never know what that’s like. Just when I was ready to stop rifling through their section they came out with their Core flavors and reeled me back in.

I can’t get enough of their That’s My Jam chocolate ice cream with a core of pure jam. I’ve always liked the pairing of chocolate and jam before but now chocolate just tastes boring without some preserves spread on top. I tried to make a brownie as close as you can get without visiting the freezer. 

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam Brownies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 8 x 8 pan):

  • 1 cup all-purpose or gluten-free flour
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4oz baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips(optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts(optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
  3. Beat in the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until mixed.
  4. In a separate bowl, melt together 4 ounces of chocolate along with the butter.
  5. Slowly pour the melted chocolate and butter into the batter while whisking until fully incorporated. Add in 1/4 cup of jam and the chips and hazelnuts if using and stir until mixed. 
  6. Pour the batter in a greased 8 x 8 pan.
  7. Add the rest of the jam on top of the batter and spread out in a thin layer on top, reaching to all the edges.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Let these cool completely before cutting in.

No Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

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At a holiday party, I brought just a jar of peanut butter to make cookies with. Since everyone knows I’m gluten-free, they asked me what kind of flour I needed. Why didn’t I bring any? Apparently not everyone knows this peanut butter cookie recipe, which is a shame because everyone should.

Unlike most gluten-free recipes that have you mixing chickpea flour with potato starch and xantham gum, these cookies just use peanut butter, eggs, and sugar as their base. I grew up having these long before I was gluten-free.

As far as peanut butter cookies go they’re probably the best you’ll have, too. They’re sweet and nutty and melt in your mouth without any flours to make them tough. I’ve made this recipe plenty of times and you should, too.

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No Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 24 Servings):

  • 3/4 cup non-stir peanut butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup chopped Reese’s cups

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, egg, sugar, vanilla, and baking soda until well mixed.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips and Reese’s until evenly distributed. If the dough is too wet still, sugar by the Tablespoon until the dough doesn’t stick to your hands.
  4. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and flatten slightly. Place on a non-stick baking tray.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges turn golden. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before moving.

Maple Vanilla Oatmeal

Maple Vanilla Oatmeal

Some meals are too simple to ever justify paying for them; oats should be at the top of that category. In the corner restaurant near my apartment, cinnamon is considered a premium topping right next to blueberries and strawberries. Would you really pay extra for a finger-tip worth of cinnamon? Put that wallet away.

If you don’t have a go-to oatmeal recipe, Winter’s a good time to pick one up. It’s warm, hearty, and filling but quick and easy to put together for 1 or a crowd. You can dress this recipe up with walnuts, raisins, sliced apples, or any number of different mix-ins, but on its own it’s good, too. 

The vanilla in this recipe adds a slightly savory and complex flavor to cut the sweetness of the maple, but if you’re making this for a picky palate you might want to leave it out.

Maple Vanilla Oatmeal

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 Servings):

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Method:

  1. Combine the oats, salt, and 2 3/4 cup water in a medium pot on the stove.
  2. Bring the pot up to a boil over medium-high heat stirring occasionally. Leave uncovered.
  3. As the water boils stir more constantly with a wooden spoon.
  4. When the oats have cooked and stick together, turn off the heat. Add in the vanilla, syrup, salt, and cinnamon and continue stirring for 20 seconds.
  5. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly before scooping into 2 bowls.
  6. Serve warm with brown sugar and cinnamon on top. 

Fennel Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Fennel Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are one of my–like so many others’–favorite vegetables. Fennel? Not so much. It’s a vegetable I’m slowly growing to like that’s better sweet than savory.

These sprouts are a little sweet and a little salty; its a tasty balance that’s also healthy. This time of year you could probably also find fresh cranberries and make this recipe a little more natural, but I love eating the extra craisins while I’m cooking for something to chew on.

You can serve this hot or cold but I prefer it hot. It really depends what you’re eating it with.

Fennel Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 6 Servings):

  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts, washed and halved
  • 1 fennel bulb sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup craisins
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons honey

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Toss the sprouts, fennel, oil, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Lay the sprouts out in a pan or cast iron skillet.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes, then mix the sprouts with a utensil and roast for 15 minutes more.
  5. Once done, remove the sprouts from the oven. Sprinkle on the craisins and drizzle the whole pan with honey.

Homemade Honey Walnut Cream Cheese

Homemade Honey Walnut Cream Cheese

People tend to think that when you’re gluten-free you spend your life missing all carbs. That’s certainly not true, but I definitely miss certain carbs like cinnamon crunch Panera bagels smothered in sweet hazelnut cream cheese.

Some things are hard to make at home(like bagels, unless you’re looking to give away an afternoon for amorphous doughballs). Other things are super easy; you can make this cream cheese in 5 minutes and actually be excited about a weekend breakfast at home.

Adding salt and vanilla might seem a little strange, but it helps round out the flavors of the honey to be salty-sweet and a little savory. Toasting the walnuts is well worth the effort for the overall flavor. This recipe works perfectly with full-fat cream cheese, low-fat cream cheese, or non-dairy alternatives. 

Homemade Honey Walnut Cream Cheese

If you’re not a fan of honey you can also use an equal amount of maple syrup. Try using peanuts instead of walnuts for a different flavor or just leave them out completely for a nut-free recipe and you’ll still have a delicious spread.  

Homemade Honey Walnut Cream Cheese

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 squares):

  • 1 block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the honey and cream cheese until well-mixed.
  2. Heat up a small pan over a low burner. Add in the walnuts and toss until they’re toasted.
  3. Add the walnuts, salt, and vanilla to the honey cream cheese and fold the ingredients in.
  4. Serve immediately or store refrigerated in an air-tight container.