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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

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Recipes

Strawberry Crumble

  • 4 cups strawberries, halved
  • 2 Tablespoons arrowroot (or cornstarch or tapioca starch)     
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup

FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING

  • 1 cup almond meal/flour (or all-purpose flour or oat flour)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil (melted) or avocado oil
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, toss together the strawberries, arrowroot, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Transfer to an 8” x 8” baking pan. Mix together the ingredients for the topping in a mixing bowl. Spread it over the strawberries as evenly as possible. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the strawberries are juicy and bubbly, and the topping is golden-brown.

You could substitute other fruits for the strawberries, depending on what’s in season.

Almond Butter Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe makes a delicious substitute for peanut butter cookies that avoids many of the common food allergens. And they’re vegan and gluten free.

Almond Butter Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups gluten free old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks, softened
  • ½ cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Organic cane sugar (optional for pressing cookies before baking)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Earth Balance, almond butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Add oats, almond flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

Drop by teaspoonful or small cookie scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently press the dough flat. You may use the bottom of a glass dipped in cane sugar, if desired.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cookies barely start to crack at the top. Be careful not to overbake. Allow them to cool on the pan for at least 5 minutes before moving them so they don’t crumble and break. Store in an airtight container. I freeze them so they last longer. Makes about 3 dozen.

You could toss in some raisins and/or chocolate chips if you like more goodies in your cookies.

Crock Pot Trail Mix

This slightly sweet recipe will give you energy on and off the trail. The nuts offer protein, fiber, and fat, along with some vitamins and minerals. A handful, about ¼ cup, makes a great snack any time of day.

  • 2 cups raw walnuts (halves or coarsely chopped)
  • 1 cup raw whole almonds (or cashew halves)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons coconut oil (or 1 to 1 ½ Tablespoons butter, cut in slices)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Place nuts, sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla in a crock pot and mix. Place on High for 45 to 60 minutes and stir occasionally to prevent burning. Turn to Low and continue cooking for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, stirring a time or two. Place the nut mixture on paper towel to absorb excess oil, and let cool at least 15 minutes before mixing in the chocolate chips. Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened, smooth almond butter
  • 1/2 cup canned 100% pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, almond butter, pumpkin, sugar, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly mix the dry ingredient mixture into the wet ingredients. Combine until cookie dough forms, then stir in the chocolate chips. If dough is too sticky and difficult to work with, chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Once dough is chilled, roll into balls, or use a small cookie scoop. Place scoops on cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper, for easy cleanup. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they are set. Be careful not to overbake. Remove from oven and let set for about 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer. I store my cookies in the freezer, as they are always soft enough to eat immediately.

*Homemade pumpkin pie spice: 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp allspice, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Chocolate Protein Bars

  • 2 Cups (or 16oz. jar) Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 Cups Organic Honey
  • 2 Cups Chocolate Vegan Protein Powder (I like Arbonne)
  • 3 Cups Rice Krispies

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter and honey. Heat for about 90 seconds until it stirs easily. Add protein powder and Rice Krispies and mix thoroughly (The mixture will be thick). Press into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until solid enough to cut into bars. Store in refrigerator or freezer. These keep well for weeks in the freezer.

Recipe Alternatives:

  • Almond Butter in place of Peanut Butter
  • Vanilla Protein in place of Chocolate Protein
  • Oats (gluten-free) or puffed rice or cocoa rice krispies in place of Rice Krispies
  • 100% Pure Maple Syrup in place of honey or use some of each
  • When using Vanilla Protein, add a teaspoonful or so of cinnamon

Note: You can obviously be as creative as you like with these. Have fun experimenting, as the options are numerous as to what you could add or substitute. I like Arbonne protein because it tastes great, is easily digestible, is gluten and dairy free (if either of those are an issue for you), and contains no artificial sweeteners, colors, or sweeteners. For more information on, or to acquire Arbonne products, send me an email.

Lemon Lovelies

These delightful lemon lovelies are dairy free and a childhood favorite of my boys.

  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • ½ cup (1 stick) softened Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together the flour, Earth Balance, and powdered sugar in a bowl. Press the dough into an ungreased 8-inch square pan. Press the dough onto the sides of the pan as well. (Flour your hands if the dough is sticky.) Bake for about 20 minutes. Mix the remaining ingredients together until frothy. Pour over the hot crust. Bake an additional 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

3-Ingredient Brownies

3-INGREDIENT BROWNIES (Paleo, vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free)

3 medium, overripe bananas (approximately 1 cup or so)
1/2 cup smooth almond butter (or any smooth nut butter)
2 T – 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder (more = richer taste)
You may like to add a small amount of coconut oil to make these a bit moister.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small cake pan or loaf pan and set aside.

In a small glass bowl (for microwave) or in a pan (for stovetop) melt your nut butter. In a large mixing bowl, add the banana, nut butter and cocoa powder and mix very well. If you prefer a smoother texture to your brownies, use a mixer or blender.

Pour the mixture into the greased pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing into pieces.

These are best refrigerated–or frozen, my favorite–and they keep longer too. They may spoil rather quickly if kept at room temperature.

Banana Oat Muffins (Gluten and Sugar Free)

Banana Oat Muffins (Gluten and sugar free)

  • ½ cup pitted dates
  • 2 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil (or butter)                                               
  • 2 ripe, medium-size bananas, broken into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups rolled oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, if you are making   without gluten)
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the dates in a small bowl and pour ½ cup boiling water on them. Let dates soak for 5 to 10 minutes to soften.

While the dates are soaking, prepare the dry ingredients. Place the oats in a blender or food processor and pulse until you have a coarse powder. Pour into a bowl and add the almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.

Once the dates are soft, drain the water, and leave them very wet. You need to smash them, and the easiest way I found is to put them in your blender or food processor with the 2 eggs and pulse until you no longer have large date pieces. Pour this mixture into a bowl and add the coconut oil, bananas and vanilla. Mix on medium high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.

Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture, a little at a time, mixing after each addition.

Drop by tablespoonful or small scoop into muffin tins lined with baking cups. Bake until a toothpick or tester comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.

*Variations: Add ½-1 teaspoon cinnamon, and/or some chopped nuts. I may even add chocolate chips at some point. I’m sure those would be tasty, although then you would have “added sugar” and they are not as healthy.

Quick and Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour*                                                        Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ cup virgin coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine almond flour, salt and baking soda in a large bowl, using a pastry blender to break up any clumps of flour. Stir in melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla with a large spoon until dough forms. Stir in the chocolate chips. If the dough seems dry and crumbly, add more honey, a little at a time, until it is moist enough to stick together. (You may need an additional 1-2 Tbsp. depending on the humidity.)

Drop by teaspoonful or small cookie scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently press the dough flat if you like. (I left them round and they were delicious!)

Bake at 350 degrees F for 6 to 8 minutes, until slightly brown. Be careful not to overbake. Leave them alone to set and cool for about 15 minutes so they don’t crumble and break. Makes about 24 cookie bites.

These are gluten-free, dairy free (if you use non-dairy chocolate chips) and vegan. I store them in the freezer to keep them fresh, and the texture resembles raw cookie dough! (They may even last a bit longer since they are “hiding” in the cold.) 🙂

*Benefits of using almond flour: lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein, fiber and healthy fat than some other flour options. With the combination of almond, coconut oil and chocolate, it reminds me of an Almond Joy– only healthier!

Another version of this recipe appeared in the February 2018 issue of Get Healthy

Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Strawberry Mousse Parfait1 can full-fat coconut milk (Thai Kitchen is my favorite)
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
Stevia or honey to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or some other flavor, peppermint perhaps?)
Optional:  shredded coconut, almond butter, cinnamon

Chill the unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Scoop out the solidified cream into a mixing bowl and beat vigorously with a whisk or electric mixer until softened (it shouldn’t liquefy). Add the cocoa powder, stevia or honey, and vanilla. Continue to beat until light and fluffy. You may top the mousse with coconut, almond butter or cinnamon.

Leftovers keep well in the fridge and the concoction becomes a bit thicker and fluffier. This is great a dip for strawberries, bananas, apples.