Almond Flour Gingerbread Muffins

Paleo Gingerbread Muffins

Curry, exotic spice blends, whiskey, and ginger. These are just a few of the things that warm my soul. What they have in common is a pungent flavor that is spicy, but warm. Flavored with ground ginger, but also cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, Gingerbread has always been one of my holiday favorites because of it's warming effect. 

When we got back from the Red River Gorge, it took me over a week to acclimate from the time change. With frost out my window and extra time to kill, it was the perfect recipe for holiday baking! First I made a french press, and then I pulled out all the spices, attempting to muffle any sounds as I open and closed cupboards.

How does the poem go? Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. At that wee hour of the morning, I worked quietly so as not to disturb a anyone. Just me, my whisk, and the preheating oven, working together while the rest of the neighborhood lay silent. 

Paleo Gingerbread Muffins
Paleo Gingerbread Muffins

Whiffs of molasses and ginger rose in steam from the oven, waking everyone up before the muffins were even finished. While they were still hot, we smeared the muffins with butter and sipped our coffee, as if it were Saturday, before hurrying off to work to meet the real world. 

These muffins, delicate and soft, but full of warmth, made it feel like Christmas morning, even in early November. You'll know the feeling when you make these muffins, or these crispy cookies, raw bites, or even this off-beat pumpkin pie: gingerbread brings a smile to your face. 

What are you baking this season? What treats make your day feel just a little bit more special? Let me know in the comments! 

Paleo Gingerbread Muffins
Paleo Gingerbread Muffins

Paleo Gingerbread Muffins

Published November 28, 2017 by
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Serves: 12   |    Total Time: 60 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 12 whole pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a muffin pan with muffin liners.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients: almond flour, arrowroot powder, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg. Whisk to remove any clumps.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients: molasses, maple syrup, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, melted butter, eggs, and orange zest if using. Whisk until few clumps remain.
  4. Add half of the dry mixture to the wet, and stir. Then add remaining dry mixture, and continue to stir until a loose batter forms and few to no clumps remain. Divide batter among muffin liners, filling each about 5/6 of the way full. Top each muffin with a whole pecan.
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick, when inserted into the middle of a muffin, comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving. Store in air tight container in fridge for up to 1 week.

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Cranberry Pear Tart

Cranberry Pear Tart

Traditional Thanksgiving isn't in the cards for us this year, which is fine because we're not much for celebrating holidays "the traditional way". Traditional is a funny word isn't it? Opting outside is more of a holiday tradition for us--it's what we normally choose to do when we have plenty of time off from work.

Since actual Turkey Day is typically reserved for adventuring, we eat more Thanksgiving fare before and after the holiday, at potlucks and work parties and Friendsgiving celebrations.

Preparing for Friendsgiving is a whole different beast than preparing for a family holiday: the family usually has at least a semi-planned menu, so you know what you’re supposed to bring.  But Friendsgiving (at least the way we do it) is a lot more casual. Everyone brings what they want, a little slice of what Thanksgiving means to them (or whatever they had time to pick up at the store). Both events usually have plenty (err, too much) food, but at Friendsgiving I find there are always a lot more repeats, like four pumpkin pies and three salads and then only one pot of mash potatoes. You've been to one of those potlucks right? You know what I'm talking about.

Cranberry Pear Tart
Cranberry Pear Tart

I was thinking about this very predicament when I started making this tart. You see, I really wanted pumpkin pie (hello, it's pumpkin pie, who doesn't want a slice?!). But I knew there would already be at least one other pumpkin pie. So I decided to go in a whole new direction: something without pumpkin, or pecans, but still perfect for fall. 

This Cranberry Pear Tart? Ding!

Pears don't get the attention that pumpkin gets this time of year, but they deserve a little time in the limelight. This tart, laced with just a hint of cinnamon, maple syrup, and fresh orange zest, is the perfect offbeat dessert for any Thanksgiving potluck, Friendsgiving or other fall get-together.

Something else to love about this Cranberry Pear Tart: it’s pretty much just fruit in a pie crust (whatever pie crust you like, though I use this crust recipe to make it paleo-friendly) which means that it doesn’t have the same super heavy feeling that pecan or pumpkin pies do. Which means.... you can have a slice of each and the Cranberry Pear Tart will round out the trio! 😉

(Ehem. While we are talking about pecan pie, let's talk about pecan pie! My love.)

Cranberry Pear Tart
Cranberry Pear Tart

The other great thing about the fruit-in-crust situation is that it is reallllllly easy to make this tart. Slice up those pears, pop 'em in your crust, and arrange the cranberries with the maple sauce. Cook. Top with whipped cream. Eat. Lick plate. Done. 

Wishing you all safe travels and a happy Thanksgiving, whatever that means for you! 🤗

Cranberry Pear Tart

Published November 16, 2017 by
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Serves: 6   |    Total Time: 60 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of pie crust dough ( Try this Paleo pie crust)
  • 2 large Red Crimson pears - about 1/2 pound (D'Anjou or Bosc would also work)
  • Heaping 1/2 cup cranberries, fresh
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch (for Paleo, sub 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder)
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • Whipped cream, coconut cream, or ice cream for serving.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 8-inch pie pan. Rough pie crust to 1/8 inch thickness using a rolling pin, and fit to pie pan. Trim edges as necessary, and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cold water and the corn starch until full combined. Then, whisk in the maple syrup, orange zest, and cinnamon. Add the cranberries and stir so they are coated.
  3. Slice pears in half, and remove core. Then, slice thin (1/8 inch thick) and arrange in prepared pie crust.
  4. Once all pear slices are arranged in crust, arrange cranberries over top, pouring the maple syrup mixture over pears as you go. Use a brush to spread the maple syrup mixture over pears so they are all coated.
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until tart is bubbling, crust is golden, and pears are tender. Serve with whipped cream, coconut cream, or ice cream.

Toasted Almond Green Bean Casserole

Toasted Almond Green Bean Casserole (Gluten-Free)

My favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Green Bean Casserole. 🤤  (Depending on my mood I might say stuffing, but for now, I'm going with the green beans).

Fill a table with this casserole, which has a crunchy toasted almond topping, my favorite cranberry sauce, warm stuffing, and some sort of mash potato. I'll be in Thanksgiving heaven. I don't even need the turkey...let's skip straight to the pumpkin pie. 

Once we got back home from our trip, it felt like Thanksgiving was already upon us. Nine days away! NINE! So it's about time I start figuring out what to take to various Friendsgiving dinners, and what we'll be doing on actual turkey day. Anyone else scrambling just the same? 

Toasted Almond Green Bean Casserole (Gluten-Free)
Toasted Almond Green Bean Casserole (Gluten-Free)

In my frenzy, I started thinking about all of my favorite Thanksgiving meals and memories. And then I started feeling giddy: it is, after all, a foodie's favorite holiday! So I got to work in the kitchen, testing recipes and serving Thanksgiving for dinner even though it was two weeks away. The star of the show? Green bean casserole. Made with homemade cream of mushroom soup

I love those crispy onions that are used on traditional green bean casserole (seriously, I can eat them straight out of the can), but in search of something a bit more wholesome, I tried out toasted sliced almonds. The flavor of almond pairs well with the casserole, and adds a satisfying crunch to the dish. That said, if you love love love those crispy onions as much as I do, you could definitely put them on the top of this casserole instead of onions and it would also be delicious. 

What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish? What do you love about it?

Toasted Almond Green Bean Casserole (Gluten-Free)

Toasted Almond Green Bean Casserole

Published November 14, 2017 by
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Serves: 6   |    Total Time: 60 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped green beans (stems removed)
  • 2 cups cream of mushroom soup (this can be made few days ahead)
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Then, chop the green beans into bite sized pieces and fill a 9-inch baking dish. Pour mushroom soup over green beans and stir until green beans are coated. Spread beans into even layer, and cover pan with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, until green beans are tender and sauce is bubbling.
  3. After 20 minutes, remove from oven. Remove foil, and sprinkle almonds on top. Return to oven, uncovered. Turn heat to 400°F and bake for 5-10 more minutes, or until almonds are golden and toasted. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

Toasted Almond Green Bean Casserole (Gluten-Free)