Category Archives: Breakfast

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins (gluten, dairy, refined sugar free)

I didn’t put icing on them, so technically they’re muffins, right? These are gluten, dairy, and refined sugar free, too! They’re basically a salad, so go ahead and indulge. These are definitely a new go-to recipe for me, and if you’re looking for just a Banana Chocolate Chip recipe, check out my family’s “secret” recipe here. The below recipe was, quite honestly, found in a Pinterest-inducing rush to get to a potluck with no time to bake the planned Peach & Raspberry Tart (it’s quite delicious…you’ll find out soon). I saw these were chocolate, and banana, and I had both, so I took a chance and just subbed gluten free flours in. It worked. I’m beyond lucky that these were delicious right off the bat. Then again, I was using good quality gluten free flour blends (a mix of my leftover Smart Flour and LivingNow brand all purpose flours…I had exactly enough…whew!), not some nasty bean-y junk. Seriously, people…what is in your flour alters the flavor. Go ahead, be picky. Obviously, if you’re hardcore about taking out sugars, leave out the Enjoy Life chips. These will still be delicious.


Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a big bowl, mix:

1 1/2 c. good quality gluten free all purpose flour (nothing bean based)

1/4 c. cocoa (dark cocoa tastes best)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

In a separate bowl, mash overripe bananas (4 small, 2 large) until you get 1 1/2 c. mashed banana

Then add:

1 c cane sugar (it allows the larger crystal size to break down somewhat so you don’t get crunchy muffins)

1 egg

1/3 c. coconut or vegetable oil

Once well mixed, add to the dry mix and gently fold in until it resembles cake batter with a few little lumps.

Take 3/4 c Enjoy Life chunks and chop them up a bit

Fold in to mixture and scoop into lined muffin cups until they’re about 3/4 of the way full.

Sprinkle Enjoy Life mini chips on top of each muffin

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes

Makes a little over a dozen muffins.

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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Breakfast, Dessert


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Coconut-Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

I’m on vacation up in Big Bear, California right now and I’m the designated chef since I love cooking (obvi) and I’m the only one with “food issues”. While making the menu, I had one breakfast that was blank so I threw in an idea, and then researched recipes. Baked Oatmeal. It’s a challenge, because my FIL doesn’t like oatmeal, but after trying this one, he decided this was going into their regular breakfast rotation. Blueberries for the win! To be honest, I have the app on my phone, and I simply did a search and looked through a bunch of recipes until I found one that looked good, and altered it to be dairy free and a little less in calories.


Coconut-Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Grease an 8 inch square or round casserole dish.

In a small mixing bowl, combine:

2 c. gluten free old fashioned oats

1 c. unsweetened finely shredded coconut

1/4 c. light brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

In another small mixing bowl, whisk together:

1 large egg, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 c. unsweetened (plain or vanilla) almond or coconut milk

3 Tbsp coconut oil, softened

In the baking dish, spread 3/4 c.- 1 c. fresh blueberries over the bottom.

Evenly distribute the dry oatmeal mixture on top of the blueberries.

Pour the milk mixture over the oatmeal.

If desired, sprinkle a small amount of brown sugar and cinnamon over the top, and/or more blueberries.

Bake for 40 minutes, let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Yields about 6 servings.

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Posted by on June 28, 2014 in Breakfast


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Homemade Larabars

My food processor got a workout the other day! This weekend I’m participating in a craft fair to get out the word about this blog, and selling some gluten and dairy free goodies so people can get a taste of what I make! One product I used to buy and never will again? Larabars. They’re wonderful, but I love being able to make them whatever flavor I’m craving and not having to wonder where all the ingredients came from. This is one of the easiest things you’ll ever try; trust me. There are a million different combinations out there, but these are a few of my favorite. The nuts can be raw or roasted, but definitely unsalted. You can even substitute seeds if you’ve got nut allergies. If there’s a bar that you particularly enjoy, look at the ingredients! Chances are, you can make it at home.

The basic formula is 1 cup pitted dates, figs, raisins, or prunes, 1 cup nuts, and 1 cup “filling” of choice, such as dried fruits (cherries, blueberries, apricots, coconut, chocolate chips, coffee beans, flax seeds, hemp hearts, etc). You can also up the flavor with things like citrus zest and juice, vanilla extract, mint, ginger, cocoa, coconut oil, etc. Be creative! I mix the nuts and figs first until it’s a gooey “dough”. If it’s a little dry, mix in 1-2 Tbsp water a little at a time until it balls up a bit, unless you’re using flavorings; then add those first and then water if it needs more. Then add the fillings. Scrape out onto plastic wrap and flatten into a long, 1/2-3/4 inch thick plank, then cut into 6 or 7 bars.



**Ginger Apricot**

1 c. dates

1 c. cashews

3/4 c. unsulphured dried, diced apricots

1/4 c. candied ginger

**Chocolate Covered Cranberries**

1 c. dates

1 c. cashews

2/3 c. cacao nibs

1/3 c. dried, apple juice sweetened cranberries

1/8 c. dried goji berries

**Almond Joy (new favorite!)**

1 c. dates

1 c. almonds

1 c. finely shredded, unsweetened coconut

1/4 c. cocoa

1/4 c. raw honey

1 Tbsp vanilla

Chocolate Berry Chip

1 c. dates or figs

1 c. mixed almonds and cashews

1 c. mixed chocolate chips and dried berries

(eliminate berries for a “chocolate chip cookie dough” flavor)

Coconut Cream Pie

1 c. dates

1 c. mixed almonds and cashews

1 c. shredded unsweetened coconut

2 Tbsp coconut oil

Key Lime Pie

1 c. dates

1 c. mixed almonds and cashews

1 c. shredded unsweetened coconut

1 lime: zest and juice


1 c. peanuts

1 c. dates or figs

1 c. dried strawberries or mixed berries

You could add a bit of actual peanut butter to up the ante as well.


1 c. dates

1 c. mixed pecans and almonds

2 Tbsp fresh ginger (or less powdered ginger)

1 Tbsp mixed cinnamon and cloves

You could even drizzle in just a touch of molasses, but be careful, because it can be bitter.

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Posted by on March 31, 2014 in Breakfast, Dessert, How To


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Kale Blood Orange Green Smoothie

As a preemptive trial for the green smoothie challenge I’m taking part in starting April 1, I’ve been experimenting with various green smoothies, but it’s largely been for breakfast, when my husband is already at work, and he was a little jealous. So tonight he got a green smoothie as part of dinner, and I got a little creative with various fruits that were laying around. Luckily, you can’t taste the kale in this one! Previous attempts tasted like blended salad, which was just awful.


Kale Blood Orange Green Smoothie

First, blend:

1 handful baby kale

1 c. cold filtered water

1/4 c. aloe juice

3/4 c. Trader Joe’s Green Plant juice

Then, add:

1 frozen banana

1 blood orange, peeled and sectioned

1 lime, peeled and cut in quarters

1 apple, cored, and cut into sections

Lots of fiber in this one! If you’re not a fan of “chewing” your smoothie (although you should make the motions with your mouth, I’m told, to aid in digestion), you can easily filter out the pulp.

Makes enough for 2

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Posted by on March 20, 2014 in Beverage, Breakfast


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The Best of Breakfast


I recently came across a list of the best healthy breakfast foods and thought: wow, I’ve got a lot of those covered already! The only ones on the list I stay far away from are cottage cheese and whole wheat bread for obvious reasons, and eggs, because unless they’re 100% vegetarian fed and free-range, they make me sick for days. Not worth it!

Those that know me well know that I’m a *bit* of a tea snob. Naturally, seeing green tea on the list made me happy. It’s rich in antioxidants and has 2/3 the caffeine that coffee has, so you get a pick-me-up without the jitters! Brew it for 1-2 minutes with your water at 175 degrees F or you’ll burn it and have that famous bitterness that turns so many off of green tea. Buy loose leaf tea from a quality vendor; organic if possible.

Berries are next and they’re my favorite! I grow raspberries and everyone knows to keep their grubby paws off or face my wrath. They’re low in calories and rich in all kinds of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries are all fabulous eaten plain, sprinkled on cereal, or in our next item…

Smoothies! I’m a bit of a smoothie fanatic. I’m actually taking part in a 30 day smoothie challenge through Simple Green Smoothies starting April 1st. Check out the link for 5 great tips, and explore their site for amazing recipes and join me in the challenge!

Yogurt. Those of us who can’t have dairy, like me, now have great options through Silk (not my favorite), So Delicious (regular and Greek-style!) and through the homemade vegan recipe on this blog! I like to eat it especially with berries or my super healthy granola recipe, which brings us to the next one on our list…

Cold Cereal; while gluten free Chex is great, I really prefer something a little more wholesome, like the aforementioned granola. It was our secret family recipe until I outed my version a little while ago. It’s a great way to get fiber, flax (omega-3!), protein, and a great energy boost for your day!

While cold cereal is great, I’m a big fan of oatmeal and oats in general. I have a TON of recipes including oats that don’t involve forcing down any goopy, grey mess but still keep you full. Try these recipes to get your day started right!

Cranberry Almond Breakfast Cookies

Granola Fruit Bar

Oatmeal Blueberry Applesauce Streusel Muffins

Peanut butter is the last item on the list, and I have the greatest breakfast EVER for you right here. A peanut butter banana “milkshake”! It seriously tastes like ice cream. It’s base is frozen bananas, peanut butter, and yogurt, so you’re getting lots of potassium and protein, and it’d even be good with a scoop of flax meal, spirulina or maca powder for extra health benefits.

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Posted by on March 15, 2014 in Breakfast, Reference, Reviews


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Granola (Secret Family Recipe)

So sorry for the delay in posts…I’ve been having some health issues recently. Fibromyalgia + winter in Wisconsin = Pain, anger, and pining for California. Speaking of California, one of my favorite memories is the spring break I spent there in order to audition for a vocal performance scholarship at my dream college (which I got!). Every morning that week was spent on the front porch, smelling the orange blossoms, toasting in the sun, drinking coffee, and eating yogurt and granola before going for a run on the beach. There has been a granola recipe in my family for years, and we’ve all tweaked it to our personal tastes. Here’s my version! (It’s probably the healthiest of all of them…just sayin’.) Guess it’s not a secret anymore!

You can switch out the nuts to whatever you’d like, including seeds, if you’re tree nut allergic. Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and sunflower seeds would be delightful in here. Check out the chart in the bottom for seed benefits from The Body Unburdened‘s post. She’s got a lot of great info on a chart and the post elaborates even more. The yogurt I’m eating here is the Greek Style Raspberry So Delicious Coconut Milk yogurt. Very tasty!



Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

In a big bowl, mix:

4 c. old fashioned oats

1 c. unsweetened coconut

1 c. chopped pecans

1 c. slivered almonds

1/2 c. quinoa flakes

In a small bowl, melt

3/4 c. coconut oil, trans-fat free margarine (for a buttery taste), or butter, if you can eat it

Then add:

3/4 c. light brown sugar or 1/2 c. raw honey or agave nectar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. coconut extract (Unless you’re using unrefined [virgin or extra virgin] coconut oil, which lends a coconut flavor already. You can also switch it out for rum extract, almond extract…get creative!)

1/2 tsp salt (omit if preferred)

1/4 c. flax seeds

Mix it all together and then pour over oat mixture. Stir it all up and scoop onto jellyroll pans (cookie sheets with edges), as thinly as possible. You should be able to see the pan a little bit through it. Make sure it’s evenly distributed.

Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. I usually end up with 2-3 pans with one recipe. 



Posted by on March 6, 2014 in Breakfast


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Chocolate Chip Banana “Yuck” Muffins

As you may have surmised, there’s a story behind that name. This is a family recipe from before I was born, and the first time my mother made them, my dad heard they were banana muffins and said “yuck” as he grabbed one and headed out. He came back in and grabbed another. Apparently they were rather “musty”, as Dad likes to say, as in “I must have another.” I’ve taken the recipe and made it gluten and dairy free, and gave one, fresh out of the oven, to my mom. Her opinion? They don’t even taste gluten free. Success!

I baked some in my conventional oven and some in my toaster oven, both on 350 degrees. The conventional oven was 25-30 minutes, the toaster oven (with the convection turned off) took 20 minutes. While both sets turned out delicious, the ones in the toaster oven rose a little higher and the top caramelized (turned a little more golden) and the crusty golden top really enhanced the flavor, so if you have a nice toaster oven, try a batch in both it and your conventional oven and see which you prefer.


Chocolate Chip Banana “Yuck” Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Cream together using hand mixer:

1/2 c. butter, margarine (earth balance buttery sticks, etc), or coconut oil (in solid state)

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 c. sugar (either organic or coconut palm sugar, or xylitol)


2 eggs

1 c. banana, mashed (I use 1 1/2 bananas)

Mix together in a separate bowl:

2 c. Special Sweets Blend (this time I replaced the coconut flour with almond flour…either works)

1 t. salt

1 t. baking soda

Add all at once to wet mixture and fold in gently until just combined, then gently stir in

3/4 c. dark chocolate chips (Lily’s brand, for Candida friendly!)

Add 1/4 c. to muffin liners in a muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees until golden on top…25-30 minutes in conventional oven, 20 minutes in toaster oven with convection off.

Feel free to switch up the chocolate chips with nuts, dried cranberries, etc.

I have not tried it with an egg replacer, but give it a shot and let me know how it goes!

Special Sweets Blend (OR substitute as you see fit using this guide from the Gluten Free Girl!)

1 C. Brown Rice Flour

1 C. Oat Flour (Don’t buy it, really. Just throw some oats in the food processor and grind them down)

1 C. Coconut Flour

1 C. Tapioca Flour/Starch (same thing)

1/4 C. Cornstarch

3 1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum (or Guar Gum, but Xanthan tastes better)

Mix well. Store in an airtight container. Blah blah blah. You know the drill.


Posted by on February 24, 2014 in Breakfast, Dessert


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