Gluten Free Peach Crisp

Summer time means an abundance of locally grown fresh fruit! Lately, we have been getting lots of peaches from our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share. Since I’m allergic to raw peaches (who knew that was a thing?!), I’ve been making a gluten free version of peach cobbler with oats and nuts. This is one of my favorite summer time breakfasts or desserts! Hope you enjoy!

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Gluten Free Peach Crisp Recipe

Fruit Filling (For 9×9 pan)

  • 6-8 peaches, 1 cup berries (cherries, blueberries, strawberries etc)
  • 1 TB Cornstarch
  • Cinnamon

Crust

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill One to One gluten free flour blend
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter

IMG_0918Directions for Gluten Free Peach Crisp

  1. Peel and chop peaches, and combine with berries.
  2. Toss peaches and berries with cornstarch and cinnamon.
  3. Melt butter in microwave.
  4. Combine oats through brown sugar and pour melted butter over mixture. Stir until evenly combined.
  5. Pour oat mixture over fruit mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until fruit is bubbly  and can be pierced gently with a fork.
  6. Eat as is for breakfast or serve with vanilla yogurt or whipped cream for dessert.

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I can’t wait to try this recipe in the fall with apples! Yum!

Pasta Primavera a la Zoodles

Pasta Primavera a la “Zoodles.” IMG_0345

Summer means an abundance of fresh, seasonal vegetables. Especially that iconic, multi-purpose vegetable- zucchini! I enjoy roasting zucchini, baking with zucchini, and making zucchini noodles. Zucchini noodles make a delicious gluten free, low carb and super healthy alternative to regular pasta.  Plus, this meal comes together in about 20-30 minutes! I made my zoodles with the Zoodler, but you could also try a spiralizer, or KitchenAid attachment.

Recipe for Pasta Primavera Veggie Noodles

Veggie Noodles

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium onion, sliced very thin
  • 1-2 TB minced garlic
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Olive oil

Primavera Sauce

  • 1-2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2-4 TB cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
  • Italians Seasonings, pepper, salt to taste
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Combine cornstarch with cold chicken broth and stir until dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil and garlic in 5 quart sauce pan.
  3. After 1 minute, add onions to the pan and heat them up while you are preparing the carrot and zucchini noodles.
  4. Grate carrot and zucchini using a Zoodler machine, spiralizer or Kitchen Aid attachment.
  5. When onions are translucent, add carrot to pan with onions and garlic and heat for about 5-10 minutes. Then add zucchini noodles and peas.
  6. Stir pre-made sauce into pan with cooked vegetables.
  7. Keep temperature on medium heat, stirring to prevent burning.
  8. Add white wine, Italian seasonings, pepper and salt if desired. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  9. Serve immediately! Leftovers reheat well in the microwave!

Side Note: For a more decadent option, toss noodles with some cooked, chopped bacon.

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Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

My favorite summer time dessert- Strawberry Shortcake!IMG_0474

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever since I was a little girl, my favorite summer time dessert, other than my mom’s famous “Buster Bar” ice cream cake (more on that later), has been strawberry short cake.   Since strawberries and whipped cream are already gluten free, it’s a relatively easy dessert to adapt into a gluten free version.  Hope you enjoy!

Joelle Bella’s Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1.5 cups Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free One to One Flour Blend (divided)
  • 2 TB cornstarch
  • 2 TB sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 TB butter, cold and cut into pea sized pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk or 3/4 cup milk with 2 tsp vinegar

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Combine almond flour, 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill one to one gluten free blend, cornstarch, sugar, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Cut butter into pea sized chunk and gradually cut into flour mixture with a fork or pastry blender until evenly distributed. Pour buttermilk into mixture and mix until just combined. Add the rest of Bob’s Red Mill One to One flour blend, as needed, until dough is able to be rolled out into a one inch thickness. Cut dough into circles using the edge of a glass, or biscuit cutter. Place biscuits onto pan, and arrange into two columns so that they are touching each other.  Bake for 15 minutes or until biscuits begin to brown on the bottom. While biscuits are baking, make the toppings!

Toppings

  • 1 lb Strawberries, washed and sliced
  • 3 TB granulated sugar
  • 8oz heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
  • 3 TB powdered sugar (optional)

Directions: To make toppings, toss strawberries in 2-3 TB sugar, mash slightly to release juices. Can also add blueberries for a patriotic dessert!

Chill mixing bowl and wire whisk attachment/s for whipping the cream. Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar, once cream has reached desired consistency.

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Joelle Bella’s Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

 

P.S. Can be eaten for breakfast, no just dessert!

Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake

IMG_0431Looking for a coffee cake recipe that tastes delicious, but contains no refined carbs and a fraction of the added sugars compared to traditional coffeecake? Look no further! This recipe is family tested and approved for flavor and texture (i.e., just as good as the “normal” stuff).

As a dietitian, I have three criteria for my recipes.

  1. They need to taste good.
  2. They need to be made of mostly “good for you” ingredients.
  3. They need to be easy to make and contain easily available ingredients.

This coffee cake recipe is gluten free, “good for you,” and tastes just as good as traditional coffee cake.  This recipe features whole grain oat flour, almond flour and coconut flour, a combination which is chock full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, as well as vitamin E, magnesium and iron.  Unlike a lot of gluten free replacements, this coffee cake is rich in flavor, texture and nutritional value!

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Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake 

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour (not almond meal)**
  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour (or grind oats* in a food processor until they turn into a fine powder)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour**
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 eggs (beat together with a fork in a small bowl)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk or non-dairy milk
  • 1 TB vanilla

Cinnamon Crumb Topping

  • 1 TB Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 TB butter
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds or chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup oats*

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat 8×8 pan or 9in round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2.  Combine all dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Combine all wet ingredients in mixer. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into prepared pan.
  4. Spread coffeecake with topping, bake for 25-30 minutes until set, and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Serve with butter if desired. Enjoy!

For Topping: Melt butter, cinnamon and sugar in the microwave. Stir well. Hand mix in nuts and oats and spread topping over the unbaked coffee cake.

Reheat leftovers the next day in the microwave for 15 seconds with a little butter or heart healthy margarine for the best results!

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Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake

*To make sure this coffee cake is Celiac-Safe, be sure to use Certified Gluten Free Oats, as most commercial oats are contaminated by gluten.

**  Store high fat flours, like coconut and almond flour in the freezer or refrigerator to keep them from going rancid.

The Most Important Half of Your Plate

Dietitians often use the “Healthy Plate,”  combined with portion control, to help people plan healthy meals in order to help control their blood sugar, lower cholesterol and to lose weight.  The healthy plate is similar to the USDA’s “My Plate,” except that half of the plate is just vegetables, instead of fruits and vegetables.  The other half of the plate is divided evenly between lean proteins and high carb (and hopefully high fiber!) foods. Also, corn, potatoes, and peas  count as a starch, not a vegetable.  Beans and legumes count as a protein and a starch.  There you have it- the healthy plate in a nutshell!

How does the healthy plate method help with weight loss and blood sugar control? Vegetables are high in fiber, water, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and very low in calories. As you eat more vegetables, you will naturally start eating less of the high calorie, high carb, high fat foods that contribute to chronic disease and weight gain when consumed in excess.

The main problem of the typical American diet, is that it is full of high fat proteins and highly refined carbs, with very little room for vegetables.   If you are like most Americans, as far as your diet goes, Incorporating more vegetables into your diet is the #1 most important thing you could do to improve your health and your family’s health. 

Since veggies are so important, I decided to share what eating the healthy plate way would look like throughout the day and give you some tips to get started.

Breakfast:

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Breakfast Burritos
  • Toss a handful of spinach into the pan while frying your eggs.
  • Toss in a handful of spinach or kale to your favorite Smoothie Recipe.
  • Make a Veggie Quiche with a potato crust instead of a normal crust.
  • Try Breakfast Succotash
  • Make a Breakfast Burrito: Saute onions, green and red peppers, and a diced sweet potato in olive oil. Heat until soft. Add black beans. Combine until heated through. Serve with avocado, salsa and cheese on corn tortillas.
  • Eating out? Get a veggie omelet!

Lunch: IMG_0303

  • Make a meal out of your salad. Salads are a great way to fill up on vegetables, but they don’t always fill me up. To make a salad a complete meal, add some lean proteins like baked or grilled chicken, a hard boiled egg or roasted chickpeas. Then add a high fiber carb, like cooked quinoa, corn or more beans.  For more filling power, add a sprinkling of sunflower seeds, almonds or avocado.
  • Add leftover steamed or roasted veggies from the night before to your lunch sandwich or wrap
  • Take vegetable soup or stew to work with you.

Snacks: Try Veggies and Hummus or veggies and dip

Dinner:  Veggie should be the main event at dinner time!

  • Start Dinner with a simple side salad
  • Sauté or Roast Fresh Vegetables to go with your dinner.
  • Steam frozen vegetables in the microwave, sprinkle with some cheese or your favorite dressing.
  •  Stir extra frozen veggies into pasta, rice or casseroles before cooking.
  • Scroll down for more inspiration!
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    Salmon, “fried” rice and roasted peppers, onions and zucchini

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    Salmon with steamed broccoli and carrots, and asparagus mixed with rice
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Vegetarian version of the healthy plate featuring roasted potatoes, zucchini and onions and chickpea, spinach and rice stir fry
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Baked chicken with roasted asparagus and carrots

What’s your favorite way to eat vegetables? Please post a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

You’ll Never Guess What Vegetable is in this Delicious Cake! (gluten free)

This cake is dense and rich, but not dry, and it has half the fat and sugar of regular cake. The secret ingredient? Sweet potatoes!

Sweet potatoes have been my favorite vegetable for a long time, so years ago, when I found this Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake recipe in a Reader’s Digest magazine I had to try it. I recently adapted it into a gluten free version and it tastes even better than I remembered!

For a stronger cinnamon flavor, I recommend Saigon Cinnamon instead of regular cinnamon. Saigon cinnamon has a lighter hue and a much stronger flavor profile. It’s found in the spice section at most grocery stores.

IMG_0373Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake Recipe

 Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour One to One Blend
  • 1/2 cup Oat Flour (Pulverize oats in a food processor to make flour)
  • 1/4 cup Almond Flour
  • (Can substitute 2 cups regular flour for the above flour blend if not making cake gluten free)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp Saigon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 11/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3oz Unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (substitute 1/2 cup milk mixed with 1 tsp vinegar)
  • 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes (1 lb) (peeled, chopped into 2 in chunks and boiled)

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 8oz block of 1/3 less fat cream cheese (neufchâtel) at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar (adjust for desired thickness)
  • Chopped walnuts and chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  • Pre-Heat Oven to 350. Prepare 2 8inch round cake pans by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Boil sweet potatoes until soft. Drain and set aside.
  • Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Combine oil, vanilla and sugars in a mixing bowl. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  • Puree cooked sweet potatoes with buttermilk in food processor, until smooth.
  • Melt unsweetened chocolate with butter (in microwave or in double boiler on stove.)
  • Fold in dry ingredients with wet ingredients, alternating with sweet potato puree and melted chocolate.
  • Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake for 30 min or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool 10 minutes in pans, then remove onto cooling racks.

To Frost: Let cakes cool completely before frosting. Top first layer with frosting and then sprinkle with chocolate chips and/or walnuts if desired. Layer second cake on top of first frost all sides of cake. Sprinkle with cinnamon and more chocolate chips and walnuts or decorate as desired. Store leftover cake in the refrigerator to keep fresh.

Do you have any favorite ways of hiding vegetables in baked goods? Let me know by posting a comment! And let me know if you try baking the cake!

Almond Poppyseed Muffins (gluten free)

Growing up, one of my favorite treats was my mom’s Almond Poppyseed Muffins. She would let me and my twin sister help her mix up the batter- butter, sugar, flour, sour cream, almond extract and poppyseed.  They would smell heavenly when they came out of the oven, and would be devoured as soon as they cooled.   I recently tried make a gluten free version of these muffins using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. 

When baking anything gluten free for the first time, especially when it comes to my favorite recipes, I’m always a little anxious to see if it’s going to taste as good as the original. I recently had a failed pizza crust baking experience that was pretty disappointing, so I was really hoping these muffins would turn out.

I wasn’t disappointed!  They were just as good as the originals, and according to my husband, tasted even better the second day!  These muffins are light, fluffy, slightly sweet and they have a mild nutty flavor from the poppyseed and almond extract.

IMG_0276Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
  • 2 TB poppyseeds (some spices may be contaminated with wheat so be sure to check the manufacturer’s’ website)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar (reduced from 3/4 cup sugar in the original recipe), plus sugar for sprinkling on top of muffins
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup light sour cream
  • 11/2 tsp almond extract

Directions:

  1. Combine flour, salt, poppyseed and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, then sour cream and almond flavoring to butter and sugar mixture.
  4. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture until well combined.
  5. Fill well greased muffin tins 3/4 full and let muffins sit on the counter while oven is pre-heating to 350.
  6. Sprinkle each muffin with a light dusting of sugar.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in muffins is clean.
  8. Makes 1 dozen muffins.

While these muffins aren’t “healthy” per se, since they are full of butter, sugar and refined flour, they make for a fun treat! I’m still figuring out ways to incorporate whole grains into gluten free baking, as most of the gluten free flour blends are very low in fiber. Suggestions are welcome!