Gluten Free Sweet Potato Carrot Muffins

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Carrot Muffins

Hot muffins right out of the oven. Is there anything better? That smell that permeates your kitchen and any other room with door left ajar… simply heaven. I make sure to close all windows and open the door to my bedroom while I bake so that when my head rests on my pillow that night I am lulled to sleep with the delicious scent of baked goods dancing in my nostrils. These muffins are to die for. The sweet earthly flavors of the sweet potato and carrot are a perfect match with the cinnamon and garam masala. Throw in some eggs, coconut oil, almond milk, coconut sugar and a dash of honey and you have a winning muffin. These taste reminiscent of carrot cake. With crispy edges and a moist and fluffy inside, my husband, daughter and I quickly gobbled them up. Breakfast dessert never tasted so good. 😉

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Carrot Muffins

~Makes about 18 muffins~

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Ingredients

  • 1 baked organic Japanese yam or any variety or sweet potato
  • 1 1/2 organic shredded carrots
  • 2 farm fresh eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups All Purpose gluten free flour blend, I used this
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 oz dark chocolate chips, I used ghiradelli’s 70% and loved the slight bitterness

Process

  1. Bake sweet potato on 400 for 40 minutes, once cooled, peel skin off and discard
  2. Lower oven to 350 degrees
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, honey, sweet potato, coconut oil and almond milk until smooth
  4. Add carrots and gently mix in
  5. In a medium bow, whisk dry ingredients together
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined
  7. Fold in chocolate chips
  8. Grease muffin liners and fill 3/4 of the way full with batter
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean

I enjoyed these best in the morning with a cup of coffee or tea, they were also a delicious mid day snack, and absolutely scrumptious for dessert… I guess what I’m saying is these muffins are perfect just any old time. 😉

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Vegan Strawberry Banana Sherbet

Vegan Strawberry Banana Sherbet

It’s starting to feel like summer in Fremont. Temperatures have been hitting 90 nearly every day and the sun has been relentless. I got a burn after only 10 minutes in my backyard! It’s true I am pretty pasty but usually I can go at least 20 minutes before becoming a lobster. 😉

What do I crave on hot summer days? An ice cold beverage, maybe a dip in the ocean and always ice cream. I’ve been staying away from most dairy lately as I’ve noticed it stuffs me up and makes me a little sluggish. I do however still enjoy my butter/ghee. It is one of my favorite things on this earth and I must have it on my toast in the morning. It makes me too happy inside to give it up. Besides, I believe good quality grass fed butter is a health food… in responsible quantities of course. Butter is loaded with the vitamin K-2 and the anti-inflammatory fatty acid, Butyrate. These are very important nutrients for heart and bone health.

That was a bit of a tangent wasn’t it? … you can tell I love my butter. 😛 ANYWAY, since I’ve been avoiding most dairy I have been satisfying my hot day ice-cream craving with homemade vegan sorbet instead. It is so easy and delicious you guys, if you haven’t tried it, you MUST. All you need for homemade sorbet is any combination of frozen fruit and a blender. Seriously. It’s amazing.

Lately though I’ve been craving more of a sherbet, something with a little creaminess to it. So… I just added a little coconut cream to my frozen fruit and voila! A vegan sherbet with no refined sugar and a whole lot of hot day ice cream craving satisfaction. My ice cream maker is in storage so I needed to use a little elbow grease to get this creamy but I’ll tell you it was well worth it.

Vegan Strawberry Banana Sherbet

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IngredientsMakes about a pint

  • 1 1/2 frozen bananas
  • 15 frozen organic strawberries
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (I skim the cream off the top of a chilled can of coconut milk) 
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Process

  1. Add all ingredients to food processor and process until combined and creamy. This took me about 5 minutes because the strawberries were so hard.
  2. Pour sherbet into mixing bowl and place in freezer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Take bowl out of freezer and vigourously whisk for a minute,
  4. Place back in freezer for another 30 minutes
  5. Repeat the process another 2-3 times
  6. Let sherbet harden in the freezer for another 2 hours or so
  7. Using an Icecream scoop, doll out your deliciousness!
  8. Keep sherbet in an airtight container in the freezer

I would recommend taking your sherbet out of the freezer about 15-30 minutes before enjoying (depending on the temperature of your house) The consistency is softer and creamier when it’s a little less frozen. Just make sure you don’t let it become a smoothie. Unless of course you feel like one! ❤

XO ~ Sam

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Supermarket Musings and Beet-ganoush

Supermarket Musings and Beet-ganoush

We love Whole Foods around these parts. Yes, I mean the brick and mortar establishment. I assume the nourishing whole foods that we eat on the daily go without saying. 🙂 I can get utterly lost in Whole Foods. Their produce is absolutely gorgeous, their bulk section never ends and the layout is extremely visually captivating. The interior designer of that place needs a raise, immediately.

My love affair with Whole Foods is fairly superficial. I go inside, I look but I rarely buy. I mean who can afford those prices? Not me, not now anyway. So I longingly wander the aisles, sporting a big she boner and ultimately walk my proverbial blue balls straight on down to a place that I can afford, trusty old Berkeley Bowl.

If you don’t live in the east bay of California, it’s very likely you’ve never heard of Berkeley Bowl. Its an independent market that has only two locations. It’s nowhere near the eyegasm that Whole Foods is but dare I say, the produce selection is superior and at half the price! It’s a pretty rad supermarket and I feel lucky to have it so close, until I dump it’s ass for Whole Foods when I hit the mega jackpot that is. 😉

While I was perusing the cheese aisle of Berkeley Bowl a few days ago, I noticed an employee handing out free samples of some purple looking goop on gluten free crackers. I had my daughter with me so naturally she grabbed at it. She acts like a starved homeless child around other people’s food but at our dinner table, she often can’t be bothered. She may be single handedly responsible for my growing wrinkles. Anyway, after further inspection I realized the spread was made of beets. What an awesome idea I thought. The flavor was pretty good but I knew I could improve upon it. I was excited to get home and play.

Beet-ganoush

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Ingredients

  • 4 beets, boiled and peeled
  • 1/2 cup soaked almonds
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 tbsp miso
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin

Process

  1. Place beets in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy
  2. Add in all other ingredients and process until well combined
  3. Spread on crackers, cucumbers or use as a spread for a sandwich… this would be incredible on so many things, your imagination is the limit.

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Nom nom nom nom…

XO ~Sam

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Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Vegan Chocolate Frosting  

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Vegan Chocolate Frosting  

Today, I had a flash back of a really sweet moment in my childhood. I was 8 maybe 9, sitting at our dinner table with my brother, 6 and sister, still in diapers; chocolate smeared our faces as we chugged down ice cold milk. The milk was always ice cold in our house. My mother insisted it be so. Although I don’t drink cows milk anymore, I’d still have to agree with her; milk tastes best just before it freezes and accompanied by chocolate. Always. 

In this instance the chocolate that lined our smiling mouths was frosting from a chocolate cake. This seemingly insignificant memory danced around my head all morning. I could smell the frosting, I could feel the crumble of the cake in my mouth. It was slowly driving me mad! I knew I had to make one. 

The cake of my memories was a boxed Betty Crocker creation, no doubt. My mama was never much of a baker. I was inspired to create my own take on the delicious yet overly processed box version. It had been awhile since I used butter and sugar to create anything. In the interest of health, I’ve been going for coconut oil in lieu of butter and honey or maple syrup to substitute granulated sugar when baking. Although I believe the flavor rarely suffers with these substitutions, the texture inevitably does. Sugar and butter can create a more tender, moist baked good. For this cake, I wanted to create something as close to the original as I could get while using organic whole foods to make it happen. I think I succeeded. Here’s what I did,  

(Recipe adapted from Tasting Table)

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Vegan Chocolate Frosting 

Ingredients:         

Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate 
  • 2 cups gluten free all propose flour (I made my own using 1/2 cup potato starch, 3/4 cup white rice flour, 1/2 cup sorghum flour and 1/4 cup teff flour)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 sticks grass fed butter, kerrygold is my all time favorite. 
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar 
  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup goat milk

Vegan Chocolate Frosting



  • 8 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped 
  • The cream from one can of coconut milk, refrigerated overnight or frozen for a few hours
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 8 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 2 tsp vanilla 

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
  2. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with oil or butter of choice and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess.
  3. In a small bowl, stir the cocoa powder with the water until you form a paste.
  4. Using a double boiler or a small glass bowl atop a tea kettle, melt your 12 oz total of baking chocolate 
  5. Mix flour, baking soda and salt together well in a large bowl
  6. Using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until smooth. 
  7. While still beating, add one egg at a time to butter and sugar mixture. 
  8. Lower beater speed and add cacao powder paste and melted chocolate
  9. Add flour and milk a bit a time to ensure mixture doesn’t get too chunky and combines well 
  10. Place batter evenly into greased cake pans 
  11. Place in middle of oven for 30 minutes
  12. Meanwhile make frosting – Take can of coconut milk out of fridge/freezer and scoop out the separated coconut cream from the top.
  13. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the coconut cream and sugar, stirring often until the sugar dissolves, about 2 to 3 minutes
  14. Place the remaining 8 oz of chopped chocolate in a medium-large bowl.
  15. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes or until the chocolate begins to soften. Whisk until smooth and allow to sit for another 5 to 7 minutes to cool slightly.
  16. Whisk the coconut oil into the chocolate, adding 1 tbsp at a time and whisking until it’s blended in before adding the next.
  17. Let frosting set in the refrigerator for an hour or so before taking out and adding cacao powder, milk and vanilla. 
  18. Using an electric beater, mix cacao powder and milk into frosting until it becomes thick and creamy 
  19. To assemble the cake, place one of the cake layers bottom-side up on a cake plate or platter. Using an offset metal spatula, ice with about 1 cup of the frosting. Place the second layer, also bottom-side up, on top of the frosting. Spread the remaining frosting over the sides and top of the entire cake. 
  20. Dig in! Preferably with a cold glass of milk, I prefer the almond variety. 😉 DSC_0052