Thursday, October 28, 2010

Banana Blueberry Coconut Flour Muffins

Divine. Simply divine.

Banana Blueberry Coconut Flour Muffins

1/2 C coconut flour *sifted*
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 C mashed banana (~1 med)
1/2 C palm shortening (or coconut oil, grass-fed butter, grapeseed oil, etc)
3 eggs
1 tbsp GF vanilla extract
1 C blueberries (frozen okay)

* Preheat oven to 350*F

* Sift your coconut flour. Do it. Don't skip this step. If you don't have a sifter or a fine mesh strainer, stop what you're doing and go get one. Borrow one if you have to. It makes that big of a difference.

* Stir in baking soda & sea salt. Set aside.

* In a stand mixer or with a hand whisk, combine eggs, bananas, oil & vanilla. Mix until well blended. I tend to mix my eggs well first and then add in the other wet ingredients, as this helps reduce the random strings of egg white you sometimes find in poorly mixed baked goods (especially grain-free goodies with high egg counts).

* Pour dry into wet ingredients and mix well until smooth.

* Fold in blueberries.

* Spoon into greased or lined muffin tins. I like silicon liners, and often just use them stand-alone on a baking sheet.

* Bake at 350*F for 25-30 minutes. They will start to brown and feel a bit firm.

* When I made these, I made a mix of mini & normal-sized muffins. The regular ones turned out much better than the mini ones. I think I may have overfilled the mini muffin pans so they were too dense. The regular ones were amazing. Either way, only fill the muffin cups half-way, no matter the size. It was late and I was being lazy and wanting to get it all baked at once and I think that wasn't the smartest choice. Learn from my mistakes!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Goat Cheese & Salsa Stuffed Poblano Peppers + Creamy Artichoke Dip

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

6 medium poblano peppers
4oz soft goat cheese
a few tablespoons salsa
handful of shredded goat's cheddar

Roast peppers over open flame (I used the flame on my gas stove), until charred.
Wipe charred skin off.
Cut peppers in half & seed.
Mix goat cheese and salsa.
Spoon cheese/salsa into peppers.
Grease a baking dish with EVOO.
Place peppers stuffing side up on pans.
Sprinkle cheddar on top.
Bake at 400*F for 10-15 minutes. (Until cheddar is bubbly).
Cool & enjoy.

These were very good. However, I was craving the breaded and deep-fried kind you get in restaurants. So, next time, I will just carve the stem out and take the seeds out that way and then stuff the cheese/salsa in, dip the stuffed peppers in eggs, then in an arrowroot/coconut flour mixture. Deep fry in rendered grass-fed beef lard.

Creamy Artichoke Dip

Artichoke whole, trimmed, steamed & finely chopped (or get a jar of artichoke hearts)
4oz soft goat cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
a few swirls of EVOO ~2Tbsp?
sea salt & black pepper

Mix chopped artichoke, cheese, EVOO and garlic.
Spoon into baking dish.
Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Bake at 400*F for 10-15 minutes, until dip is bubbly.

This dip tastes amazing straight off a spoon, as well as on tapioca or arrowroot crackers.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Poem

Leaves, leaves on the ground.
Leaves fall on the ground.
Leaves tall up in the trees.
Leaves, leaves on the ground.

by Lily

Friday, October 8, 2010


Sometimes I wonder how everything is so inexpensive. Relative to the amount of effort or raw materials that went into it, that is.

We were in the backyard, in the trail down into the forrest harvesting wild raspberry leaves. I was being choosy, only picking the green ones not laced with bug bites, and trying to only take a few from each vine. I reflected on how we had wild, organic red raspberry leaves just here for the taking. For "free"! I smiled thinking how the cost of my pregnancy tea just halved. (Minus the cost of my time. Since it was a fun activity with kids, we'll consider it an even trade, at the very least.)

I considered the cost of of organic RRL herb: $10-20/lb. In roughly half an hour, with the "help" of two lovely and eager children, I picked roughly 8oz of fresh leaves. I know it will dry down significantly, with what? 50% loss of weight? So, one person can leisurely gather $2.50 - 5 of leaves? I know I was making my way down a forest path with children, so perhaps we could double my potential efficiency. So let's say, I could gather $10-20 worth of product an hour. Subtract the cost of processing, packaging, marketing and shipping... What would I have been paid? I'm thinking it would be somewhere around $2.50-5/hr maximum.

I think about this with items such as hand-knit sweater or hats. If I were to look at my investment in time, effort & materials, a sweater for a grown man would be worth $200-300. I suppose if I had the ability to purchase luxurious yarn in bulk, and had hours and hours to devote to knitting for profit it could be negotiated reasonably down to $50-100. Compared with prices you actually see some places, that seems insane. But, I guess those items come with hidden costs.

Priorities. If you only bought one really high-quality sweater instead of 3 low to medium quality ones, it would a no-brainer. I wish I were able to adequately express the idea of quality over quantity and the value of having less "stuff". I try to keep this in mind as we enter into the "pre" holiday season. (And as I consider going into the girls' room and helping them cull their bounty. On more than one occasion, one of them has told me that they are overwhelmed and don't know what to play with since there is so much.)

It's all just a bit.. humbling. It definitely helps to have this perspective when you see the price of real items - be it food, clothing or household goods - and the price induces temporarily arrhythmia.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Enjoying it while it lasts...

How I know Fall is here:

  • Gorgeous color starting to emerge. Leaves falling everywhere.

  • Kids are already digging through the Halloween costume box and putting up decorations.

  • They beg daily to get our pumpkins and carve them right away.

  • It's chilly in the morning when we wake up, but the sun is still warming our afternoons.

  • We're finishing up our first cold of the season.

  • I am making soup several times a week.

  • Aevryn is so thrilled will her "new" fall wardrobe that she changes her clothes a minimum of three times a day.

  • I'm getting the urge to hole up inside and make lovely, fuzzy crafts. This may also be related to being pregnant.

  • Baking. So much creative, inventive baking is going on right now.

  • We're going to an apple cider pressing party this weekend!

  • I've already started planning out my holiday giving-making "schedule".
  • Friday, October 1, 2010

    Chocolate chip coconut flour zucchini bread

    In case you have any more zucchini lying around or in your freezer...

    3/4 C coconut flour (sift it first, to loosen it up and get all the chunks broken up)
    1 tsp allergy-friendly baking powder (or just sub 3/4 tsp baking soda + 1 tsp cream of tartar or vit c crystals)
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    6 eggs
    1/2 C olive oil, or coconut oil (or butter), melted
    2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
    1 tsp allergy-friendly vanilla extract
    3/4 C grated zucchini
    1/2 C allergy-friendly chocolate chips

    Mix dry ingredients and set aside.

    In a separate bowl, mix eggs, honey, vanilla & oil until well blended. Slowly add dry ingredients until fully absorbed. Add zucchini. Fold in chocolate chips.

    Line a loaf pan with parchment. Bake for ~60 minutes at 350*F. Allow to cool for a while before attempting to cut.

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