Monday, August 27, 2012

Coconut & Prune Muffins

I was testing in the kitchen today and came up with this recipe. I find almond extract does a very good job masking the taste of stevia, for those who like a little sweetness but not a stevia after taste, and the prunes add flavour and sweetness as well. I didn’t weigh anything as I had my measuring cups out. So here goes…

1 cup greek yogourt
6 pitted dry prunes
¼ cup coconut oil
4 eggs
½ cup oat flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
1 dropper stevia
Pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients except the coconut flour and shredded coconut in a blender until smooth. Remove mix from blender and pour in a bowl. Fold in half the shredded coconut and the coconut flour.

Divide into paper lined muffin tins and sprinkle with remaining shredded coconut. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350F for about 40 minutes. Makes 8 muffins and the house smells like a vacation from the toasted coconut on top!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Spicy Cheese & Speck Muffins

As a chef, I get inspired by some recipes I see but always start working in my head how I can change it to make it even better, for my taste buds at least :) It seems coconut flour breads allow me to maintain my weight, while wheat bloats me right up to a blimp form. Here is my take from a simple cheese and ham muffin recipe to a spicy muffin with speck and Swiss cheese. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

3 eggs
30g speck, chopped
60g Swiss cheese, grated
30g coconut flour
2tbsp coconut oil
¼ tsp dry thyme
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt and pepper

Beat eggs with oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until there are no lumps. Fold in the cheese, jalapeno and speck. Bake for 20 minutes in pre-heated oven at 200C (400F). This recipe makes 6 muffins.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffin Tops

Sometimes I make mistakes in the kitchen, but when those mistakes turn out, I couldn’t be happier. I just attempted to make “diet” cookies, but it turns out I made something even better! The cookies came out a little too soft to be a "cookie" so it's more like a muffin top. Who doesn't like muffin tops? They are the best part of a muffin, don't you agree? These are chocolate peanut butter zucchini muffin tops, and boy are they ever good!

3 eggs
½ cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
30-40 drops liquid stevia
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
2 tbsp unsweetened peanut butter
4 tbsp coconut flour
1 cup zucchini, grated
1 tbsp almond chocolate spread
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup milk
¼ cayenne pepper
pinch of salt

Beat the eggs along with the butter, greek yogurt, vanilla, stevia, peanut butter and milk. Add the cocoa followed by all of the dry ingredients except the coconut flour. Once it is all mixed well add the flour. Stir it in just until there are no lumps. Pour spoons full of dough on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 12 minutes in preheated oven at 175C (350F). Remove from oven and allow to cool. Makes 20 muffin tops.

Guiltless Coconut Pancake

Sunday breakfast never tasted this healthy! Try this filling recipe for a gluten free breakfast treat you will want to repeat even on Monday!

2 eggs
50 ml milk
½ tsp baking powder
2 tbsp coconut flour
a few drops liquid stevia
pinch of salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Beat all ingredients together except the flour. Once it is all well beaten, mix in the coconut flour. Cook on heated crepe pan greased with a little coconut oil. Cook 2-3 minutes per side. Serve topped with Greek yogurt and berries.

Coconut Kefir Bread

Being on a diet most of my life, (and failed many times) I have finally learned what is good for weight maintenance and what is not. I can’t teach you what to eat or not, but I can tell you what works for me. Wheat makes me gain weight like a blimp, but having the “carb” cravings all the time doesn’t help. So I turn to an alternative bread made with coconut flour, coconut oil and other good stuff. It doesn’t mean you can eat the whole loaf, but you may eat a slice and maintain your weight. This is also great for those who have gluten intolerance. It’s tasty and easy to make.

150g milk kefir
60g coconut flour
60g flax flour
30g hemp seeds
4 eggs
3 tbsp coconut oil
6g baking powder
3g baking soda
pinch of salt

Use 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil to grease a loaf pan and half of the hemp seeds to coat the inside of the pan. Beat the eggs and kefir together. Add the remaining coconut oil, flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Wisk just until incorporated. Pour batter into loaf pan and sprinkle the remaining hemp seeds over the batter. Bake in pre-heated oven at 175C for 40 minutes. Serve with Chocolate Almond Spread.

*If you are interested and starting to make your own kefir, please let me know. I will gladly send you some dehydrated grains by mail.

Cod loins with Leeks, Zucchini & Mushrooms

The days of plain old lettuce with cucumber to lose weight are over! Diet food doesn’t have to be rabbit food. It can be tasty, nutritious and you can lose weight! White fish is a great option while trying to lose weight. It is low in calories, low in fat and high on protein, which is essential to maintain muscle health.

3 cod loins (about 150g each)
1 zucchini, sliced
1 leek, sliced
250g mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp chicken broth
1tbsp coconut oil
1 lime, juiced
salt & pepper to taste

Sautée the vegetables in coconut oil until soft, season with salt and pepper and add the juice of one lime. Place vegetable mixture in oven proof dish, making a bed for the fish. Lay 3 frozen cod loins on the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Add two tablespoons of chicken broth to the baking dish, cover with aluminium foil and bake @400F for 40 minutes. (if the loins are thawed, it only takes 20 minutes)Makes 3 servings of 1 protein & 1 vegetable

Chocolate Almond Spread

Chocolate Almond Spread

Who doesn’t like nuts and chocolate? Well, I know I do and so I was looking for a healthier way to make a combination of the two which can be spread just like the Nutella we all love! I made this spreadable heavenly goodness with almonds, but you can use any other nuts such as hazelnuts or cashews, just omit the almond extract. You can enjoy this recipe without feeling too guilty for licking it right off the spoon.

225g dark unsweetened chocolate
200g almonds
2 tbsp unflavoured coconut oil
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
¼ tsp salt
30-40 drops liquid stevia

Roast almonds in oven at 175C for about 10 minutes until fragrant. In a food processor grind the almond until powdered. Melt chocolate over a double boiler and add to the almonds along with all the other ingredients and pulse until incorporated.