Posts tagged ‘coconut oil’
Chocolate turtle candies take me back to my childhood, and they remind me of my parents and most definitely my Papa. These chocolate caramel goodies are packed with buttery pecans and they transport me to family memories and holidays. They are our family go-to for Christmas stockings and are often included in gifts…and when turtles are in a variety chocolate box, they are the first to be picked.
This version of our family favorite is not only free of refined sugars, it’s dairy-free, vegan, paleo-friendly and dare I say even better than the classic? Gasp! My grandpa would roll over in his grave if he heard me say that. Maybe it’s due to the fact that these candies are packed with healthy ingredients (and a short list at that!), but these homemade treats are the perfect ending to a meal or a fabulous afternoon pick-me-up, and they will make my tummy happy as well!
I found this recipe at Anne’s delightful blog, Simple and Savory while browsing her site for this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment. Anne is “my type of people”, she’s a holistic health coach, and is a huge advocate for making your own food as a key to health. You can find vegan, dairy free, gluten-free, and Paleo and all sorts of recipes on her site! I had a blast searching through her recipes and though I ultimately chose her Chocolate Turtle Candy, I have tagged many for future experimentation including Anne’s Roasted Vegetables with Cashew Cheese Dip, Hasselback Pork Tenderloin and her Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread.
For the turtles, I swapped out Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) for the peanut butter since that’s what I had on hand, and opted for pecans as my nut choice. I prefer a contrast of bitter and sweet when it comes to chocolate so I used a 90% chocolate bar chopped up and it contrasted beautifully with the sweet dates. Lastly, I sprinkled a little sea salt flakes over the chocolate coating for that extra pow, and goodness these are scrumptious! No doubt that this recipe is a keeper, thanks Anne for the inspiration!
Salted Chocolate Turtle Candy (lightly adapted from Simple and Savory)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Peanut-free, Paleo-friendly, Egg-free, Refined sugar-free, Soy-free, No-bake
3/4 cup walnut or pecan halves
12 medjool dates
1/2 Tbsp nut or seed butter (I used sunflower seed butter)
8 oz dark chocolate, chopped (homemade, or your favorite chocolate bar, or can use unsweetened if you really like the contrast of bitter and sweet with dates)
1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
sea salt flakes
- Place dates in the food processor and process for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes; until they form a ball (you may have to stop and scrap the sides down).
- Add the nut/seed butter to dates and process for 30 seconds until combined.
- Remove date mixture from food processor and refrigerate atleast 30 minutes.
- Place pecan of walnut halves in a circle (about 3 pieces) on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Remove date mixture from the fridge and roll into balls about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in diameter and slightly flatten (see photo above). Flatten on top of the nut halves and refrigerate while chocolate is melting.
- In a double broiler, heat chocolate and coconut oil over low, stirring until melted.
- Remove chocolate from heat and spoon over the date and nut clusters. Sprinkle with sea salt and place back in fridge to harden. Enjoy and devour!!
Have you ever eaten duck eggs? Wow, they have quickly become my new food love. I stumbled across some at our farmer’s markets as well as a local health food store and it’s been a game changer for me. After some allergy testing and an elimination diet, I discovered that I react to chicken egg whites and despite being briefly bummed, I sought out alternatives and experimented with egg-free versions of my favorite recipes. After duck eggs were discovered, my foodie world expanded once again.
Here are a few highlights of the beloved duck egg and why you might want to get your hands (and forks) on some if possible:
2. Duck egg shells are harder to get a clean crack and are much tougher than chicken eggs, creating a longer shelf life.
4. Just take care not to overcook the whites of duck eggs, they contain more protein and therefore can become more rubbery if cooked too long.
5. The yolks have a richer, almost buttery flavor, most likely attributed to the higher fat content.
6. Duck eggs contain more albumen, which gives them more structure, thus creating a very light, fluffy, and rich baked good with a higher lift than those made with chicken eggs.
I’ve been searching for more breakfast options and was itching to try out my new duck eggs in a recipe…so when I spotted Amy’s recipe for Baked Eggs in Portobello Mushroom Caps, I was sold. This recipe was lightly adapted from Amy’s Savory Moments blog that I was assigned to this month for the Secret Recipe Club reveal! I swapped out the chicken eggs for ducks eggs, used green bell pepper instead of the grilled piquillo and served the dish with sliced avocado and fresh basil for a bit of freshness. I left out the cheese for allergy purposes but but I sure that would a lovely addition if you can eat it. In short, I loved this recipe! Not only does it provide a hearty serving of veggies to start the day, it’s flavorful, simple ingredient and adaptable!
Baked Eggs in Portobello Caps (adapted from Savory Moments recipe)
2 large portobello mushroom caps
2 duck eggs or 2 large chicken eggs
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp small diced onion
large handful of mixed greens or baby spinach (roughly 1 cup)
1/2 green bell pepper, small diced
about 1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese or favorite non-dairy cheese (optional, I omitted)
pink Himalayan sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
paprika for garnishing
fresh avocado slices or guacamole for serving, optional
chopped fresh basil (or cilantro or parsley) for serving, optional
favorite fat or oil for cooking (coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil)
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and drizzle a bit of olive oil/fat in small baking dish. Wipe the dirt off your mushroom caps with a damp towel. Gently scrape the gills out from the underside of the mushrooms with a spoon. Place in the baking pan and drizzle a small amount of fat/oil on the mushrooms and a bit of black pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the begin to get soft and shrink up a little.
- While mushrooms are baking, heat some fat/oil in a small pan and saute the garlic, green pepper and onions for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the spinach and cook until it’s wilted. Add some salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Remove mushrooms from the oven and lower oven temp to 325F.
- Discard all juice inside mushroom caps and wipe out all juice out of the baking dish. Take a towel and gently press the inside of the mushrooms to get out any excess juice. Place the mushrooms (bottom/cup facing up) back into the baking dish. Put half of the spinach mixture into each mushroom, and sprinkle with cheese if using. Try to leave a “hole” in the center so there is room for the egg yolk.
- Carefully crack an egg on top of each mushroom. Sprinkle with some salt, pepper, paprika, and some extra cheese. Carefully place the baking dish back into the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are cooked and the yolk is set. Garnish with paprika and serve with avocado slices and fresh basil or favorite herbs (optional).
No matter what style of eating I’d adhere to, some form of bread will be made. I have a soft spot in my heart for all sorts of bread – from a soft, fluffy loaf or a nice crusty dinner roll to a pliable flatbread or pizza crust. Now that my allergy testing revealed that 99% of grains are an issue, it was time to try a grain-free bread recipe that was yeast-free and easy. This grain-free “faux-caccia” hits the spot. It has a tender but chewy crumb with a bread-like middle, and I love how you can taste the infusion of coconut oil…so pick the fat/oil that you enjoy the taste of and go with that.
Instead of almond flour, coconut flour or another nut flour, I opted for this sunflower seed meal that I found online so it’s nut-free AND free of flax if that’s something you like to avoid. This sunflower seed meal isn’t overly fine yet I find that added a nice texture; I’m sure you could grind this meal even finer to a “flour” if that’s something you’d like to experiment with. If you don’t have sunflower meal, don’t fret – substitute your favorite nut flour and it’s should work perfectly.
This bread works with a savory flair but I think the addition of your favorite sweetener or dried fruits and sweet spices would complement the nutty flavor of the sunflower seed and chia as well. This bread is keto, paleo and candida-friendly, and it’s packed with healthy fats and fiber making it both satiating and flavorful. You can slice it in half, toast it and add your favorite sandwich fillings, slather it with your favorite spread, or use it to mop-up your favorite sauce in a main-dish. I’ve enjoyed this bread smothered with cashew cheese (recipe to come), fresh basil and smoky slow roasted tomatoes for a spin on a caprese appetizer, mmm. Enjoy! :)
Sunflower Seed and Chia Focaccia Bread (inspired by this recipe)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Keto and Paleo Friendly, Nut-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Vegetarian, Candida-friendly, Sugar-free, Low-carb
3 cage-free, organic eggs*
1 tbsp unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (can use avocado oil or melted butter if you can tolerate dairy)
2 cups sunflower seed meal/flour (your favorite nut or seed meal can be substituted)
1/4 cup ground chia seed meal (can substitute flaxseed meal or more seed/nut flour)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Optional Add-ins/Topping Ideas
fresh or dried rosemary, chopped
sprinkle of coarse sea salt
chopped dried fruits (cranberries, apricots, etc)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat eggs well with vinegar. Add butter or coconut oil and whisk together until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine sunflower seed meal/ flour, chia seed meal, salt and baking soda. whisk until well combined.
- Add flour mixture to egg mixture and mix until smooth (the batter will be really thick).
- Spread/press into a prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes. Cut into 9 squares.
*You could add another egg if you want a lighter, more springy result but I enjoyed this as a hearty square
Note: This bread might have a green hue after baking but don’t worry it has not gone bad! Sunflower seeds contain chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that gives the seeds the ability of turning green under certain conditions. When chlorogenic acid mixes with alkaline baking ingredients such as baking soda, it turns green. Chlorogenic acid may also slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream after a meal. This baked focaccia had a slight green hue since I didn’t use cream of tartar to neutralise the effect of the baking soda. To avoid the green effect in recipes that use baking soda and sunflower seeds or butter, add and ingredient to counteract the alkalinity of the dough. For this recipe, add a teaspoon of cream of tartar if you want to avoid the green color.
Allergy-friendly Waffles with eggs
AIP version of Allergy-friendly Waffles without eggs
I opted to make two batches of waffles: I wanted to test each of Traci’s options – trying both the vegan/AIP (auto-immune protocol recipe) version without eggs and the paleo-friendly version with eggs to see what the difference was in the final product. When struggling with my own health and food allergies, I’ve experimented with AIP recipes so I wanted to give them both a shot. I’m so glad I came across this recipe, it’s a winner! I used coconut milk for the non-dairy milk, coconut oil for the fat and I substituted a sprinkle of stevia (to taste) instead of sugar in both recipes but stuck to the original recipe.
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Seed-free, Sugar-free, Paleo-friendly, Nightshade-free, Vegetarian, Egg-free option, AIP-option, Yeast-free, Vegan Option
- 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice (cow’s milk can be used if you tolerate but won’t be dairy-free)
- 3 eggs (AIP use two bananas in place of the eggs)
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar or sugar or a pinch of stevia*
- 1 tsp alcohol-free pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or neutral oil (can use melted ghee or butter but will not be dairy-free or AIP)
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
For serving (optional, ideas)
- Sliced bananas or fresh berries
- Carob chips or chocolate chips or cacao nibs (not AIP-friendly unless homemade)
- Maple syrup, drizzle of honey or your favorite jam or jelly
- Your favorite nut or seed butter (not AIP-friendly)
- Shredded coconut or coconut flakes
- Nitrate-free bacon (not vegetarian) or coconut “bacon”
- Coconut whipped “cream”
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and butter or oil until smooth. Add in the coconut flour, tapioca or arrowroot flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir just until smooth.
- Heat waffle iron according to manufacturers instructions. Brush waffle iron with oil or butter. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of batter onto each waffle iron. (You may need to adjust the amount of batter depending on the size of your waffles). Close and cook according to manufacturers instructions.
- Remove waffles from iron (if AIP batter is used, you may need a fork to carefully peel the waffles off the iron), serve immediately or allow waffles to cool to room temperature before placing in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
- To make waffle rollups: While waffle is warm, roll with a rolling pin until flat. Fill with bacon, scrambled eggs, veggies, fresh fruit or any other combination you like. Place toppings in a thin strip along the waffle. Roll up and serve.
Yield: 8 waffles
For AIP-friendly version notes: If your bananas are sweet and speckled with brown, you might consider eliminating the sweetener altogether if you prefer more savory waffles. As I mentioned above, when I made the AIP-version of the waffles, they took MUCH longer to cook in the waffle iron than the batter made with eggs. My bananas has light brown specks on them so a more green banana might be better since it’s more starchy or increase the amount of coconut flour by 1-2 Tbsp.
Allergy-friendly Waffles with eggs