Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blueberry Muffins (Gluten Free)

It's been a couple of weeks since I've added a new post to the blog.  Last week I was visiting family and friends and while I did whip up a cauliflower salad, I didn't think to take photos for posting it, so I'll save that for another time (it will be worth the wait).

My quest continues to morph my eating habits into healthier ones and the hardest part of that is that I like my sweet treats.  Pie, cookies, ice cream, all are things I love and giving them up just isn't an option.  Unfortunately, I'm not good with "moderation" in those areas because they are things I like!   

In my efforts to find a way to work an occasional treat in, I have been doing a lot of reading and learning (hopefully).  Along the way I discovered coconut flour.  You use a fraction as much as regular all-purpose flour and because it absorbs liquid, recipes require more liquid.  I'm not adept at the substitutions on my own yet, so there will be some experimentation going on in my "lab" (aka kitchen) as this determined wizard learns more about baking with some alternative ingredients!  It will be a while before I'm comfortable "winging it" and converting a normal recipe.  So, for now, until I get the hang of things, I'm sticking with recipes that I've found on blogs, etc. and making some adjustments that won't cause a catastrophic failure of the recipe!

Coconut flour is high fiber and high protein, so that fits right into a low carb style of eating for those of you who are doing low carb diets or are thinking about it.  This recipe is also gluten free, so my friends that are dealing with celiac or are just eliminating gluten from their diet will be happy with this recipe as well.

I must come clean on my recipe fau paux.  When I made these this morning, I used 1 cup of blueberries rather than the 1/2 cup the recipe calls for.  Surprisingly enough, the muffins still turned out amazing!

This recipe calls for blueberries, which I nearly always have on hand, but you could also get creative and substitute other fruits, such as strawberries if you aren't a blueberry fan.

Blueberry Muffins
Yield:  6 Muffins

Ingredients:

3 eggs
3 Tablespoons Stevia in the Raw
3 Tablespoons melted Coconut Oil
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup sifted coconut flour (you must sift)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup chopped roasted almonds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line six muffin cups with paper liners.
Melt the coconut oil by heating a pan until hot, removing it from the burner and add the coconut oil to melt.
Blend all ingredients except the berries using a hand mixer or blender until smooth.
Fold in the berries.
Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the chopped roasted almonds.
Pour the batter into the lined muffin cups.
Bake for 16 minutes.



...and That's What's Cooking at Cathys ~ Enjoy !




Saturday, February 11, 2012

Peanut Butter

Nuts!

After searching the shelves at my local market today, I became really frustrated that I couldn't purchase peanut butter that didn't have added sugar at a reasonable price.

I am going to go on a rant here for a bit, but seriously, why does everything you purchase have sugar in it!  I looked at some salad dressing that said no calories, no fat, no carbs, no sugar....seriously?? I didn't believe it.  The Nutritional Label didn't indicate any of those things, all looked good.  But wait!  Buried in the ingredients list was glucose.  Ah ha, I thought so!  We getting fed sugar in so many things where it isn't necessary and we aren't realizing it.   You have to read the ingredients, you sure can't trust the labeling!  Hum....maybe that explaines why most of us can "pinch more than an inch"!

I decided not to let the situation get the better of me and I would have my peanut butter!  I found the isle with the snacks and purchased a 20 ounce jar of Planters Dry Roasted Nuts.  No particular reason for choosing Planters, other than it was on sale and was less expensive than the store brand.


Once home, I pulled out the Kitchen Aid Food Processor, dumped in the peanuts and mere minutes later, I have a large jar lovely peanut butter in the fridge without any added sugar!

Here's how you to can make your own peanut butter (or other nut butters like almond or cashew).

Fit the food processor with the chopping blade and added the entire jar of nuts.


Next Turn it on and let it run.  You will see the nuts being chopped finely and start to creep up the sides of the bowl.  Stop, take off the top and scrape down the sides. 


Start up the processor again.  After a few minutes you will see clumps begin to form.  Dont worry, that's normal.  It won't be long and the magic will happen.

You will see the small clumps form into a ball.  Don't panic, this is normal, just let the machine chug along some more.


In mere minutes, you will see the ball morph into a smooth and creamy bowl full of peanut butter.


Mine was really thick so I thinned it a little with some butter flavored olive oil (which is really yummy).


I put the finished product in a Ball canning jar and tucked it away in the refrigerator. 



...and that's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Orange Sorbet


The warm 60 degree days we have been having lately sure have had me yearning for a cool and creamy treat.  Since I went crazy a few weeks ago when the local market had a great price on oranges, I decided to put them to good use and make a sorbet.    
                  
Yesterday was the day to put the squeez on the oranges! 

I pulled out my wooden reamer, my sharp knife and proceeded to juice a large quantity of oranges.  I had a few blood oranges in the fridge that I used to give the sorbet a beautiful color. 


I've also read several sorbet recipes that suggested incorporating egg whites to help improve the texture for any left over that you may store in the freezer.  My experience is that it gets icy and rock hard so you have to plan ahead and thaw it before serving.  Now I've read all the things that indicate you shouldn't eat raw eggs, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and give this a try.

You will notice Stevia in the Raw listed in the ingredients, I've listed alternate instructions for using sugar in the directions, but I've been reducing the refined sugar I eat and trying substitutions in things where it is easy, such as this sorbet.  

If you are feeling the need for a cool and creamy treat that's a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds, give this a try.


Orange Sorbet

Ingredients:

5 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup Stevia in the Raw
2 egg whites

Directions:

Thoroughly mix the orange juice and Stevia.  I found 1/4 cup yielded a sweet and tart result.  If you want a sweeter sorbet, add more to taste in small amounts.

If you want to use real sugar, use 1/2 cup of sugar to 1 cup of juice.  I would recommend that you take a couple of cups of juice and heat it to dissolve the sugar so you have a smooth sorbet.

Chill the mixture until good and cold.
Pour Mixture into your ice cream freezer and start the freezing process.
Meanwhile, beat the two egg whites to stiff peak stage.
When the sorbet reaches a slushy stage, fold in the beaten egg whites and finish the freezing process.
The egg whites will help keep it from the leftovers from freezing rock hard in your freezer.

If you are fearful of the raw egg, then you can leave it out.

...and That's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!

About Me

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My career is in IT.  Cooking and photography are among a few of my hobbies. In my spare time, which is most weekends I tie on my apron and exercise my creativity by trying new recipes and adapting them to my tastes. I also have a passion for photography that I incorporate by taking photographs to go along with the recipes I post on my blog.  
I also enjoy travel, both near and abroad. Meeting new people, new experiences and cultures and oh, not to mention the food! I hope you enjoy my blog.