Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups


Full disclaimer: this recipe is a gluten-free adaptation of a recipe I found on Justin's website. However, I upped the ante and added a few more peanut butter cups because why the heck not?

I made these for my cousin's baby shower last weekend and they were the first dessert to disappear. If you like peanut butter and dark chocolate, these are definitely for you.

Also, because this recipe has quite a bit of sugar (as most cookie recipes do), I swapped out some of the brown sugar for coconut sugar. To read more about this sweetener, click here.

These cookies are decadent and de-li-cious.

Enjoy!

- The Gluten-Free Yogi

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies with Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

(Makes approximately 18 medium cookies)

INGREDIENTS

1 full jar of Justin's Classic Peanut Butter
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar, unpacked
3/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
1/2 Cup King Arthur's Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
1.5 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Large Organic Eggs
5 packages of Justin's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (10 cups total)


COOKING INSTRUCTIONS


Preheat the oven to 350℉. Put the peanut butter cups in your freezer until ready to use.

Beat (with a hand mixer or stand-in mixer) together the peanut butter & sugars in a large bowl. Add in the flour, baking soda, salt, and vanilla, and beat until combined. Then, beat in the eggs one at a time until it forms a crumbly dough, set aside.

Roughly chop then fold in the peanut butter cups into the dough. (You can also break them apart with your hands if you want larger chunks).
Using your hands (which should be clean!), form small cookies and place them on parchment paper on a baking sheets with at least 3-4 inches between each cookie. Flatten the balls slightly with your palm.
Bake for 16-18 minutes or until edges are golden brown. The cookies may seem underdone but they will continue to cook when cooling.

Let cool on the baking sheet for a minute or two then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack to continue cooling. Enjoy!





Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Pecan Pie


Every year, I make my husband and my father (who both have mid-October birthdays) a homemade dessert. Usually I get super funky requests like "oatmeal chocolate peanut butter pie" or "mocha rice pudding" and I take it on as a new culinary endeavor with the added challenge of making them gluten-free, dairy-free, and as refined sugar-free as possible.

This year, the request was shockingly simple:

Pecan Pie. 

And yet... I'd never made pecan pie before, and I haven't had it since going gluten-free because I always assumed it was laden with butter.

Turns out, virgin coconut oil is an amazing substitute for butter in this recipe. And the filling is amazingly flavorful with maple syrup instead of plain ole sugar. 

I liked to use Breads from Anna Pie Crust Mix for this recipe because it has a fabulous flavor and texture. I seriously don't know how they do it but their gluten-free products are some of the best I've tried. (Note: you have to order them online). 

This pecan pie is seriously out of this world. It was described by everyone at my dinner table as "the best pecan pie they've ever had." Quite the declaration but, I have to say, it was pretty damn delicious. 

I highly recommend adding this to your Thanksgiving menu this year—or making it for that special someone in your life the next time they request a homemade dessert. ;-)

Be well,

The Gluten-Free Yogi

Pie Crust
1 package Pie Crust Mix (from Breads from Anna)
1/4 cup organic almond or coconut milk
3/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 375ยบ F. Place the Pie Crust Mix in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients, blend until well combined. Dough will be slightly oily. Press the dough into a 10 in. baking dish then place in the freezer for approximately 10–20 minutes. Remove from freezer and bake for 10–12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside on a cooling rack.

Pie Filling
2 cups pure organic maple syrup, preferably Grade B
3 large local farm fresh eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup coconut sugar or firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups organic raw pecan halves or pieces

Instructions:
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the maple syrup to a boil and boil for 8–10 minutes to reduce. Remove from the heat and pour into a heatproof measuring pitcher. The syrup should be reduced to 1 1/2 cups. If necessary, return the syrup to the saucepan and continue to boil until sufficiently reduced. Let cool to room temperature before proceeding.

In a bowl, stir together the eggs, coconut sugar, reduced maple syrup, sea salt, coconut oil and vanilla extract until well mixed. Add the pecans and stir well. Pour into the partially baked pie crust, making sure the pecans are evenly distributed.

Bake the pie until the center is set and firm to the touch, approximately 35–40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 1 hour; remove pan sides. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with a dollop of your favorite dairy-free ice cream. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Back in Action!

It's been a while. An embarrassingly long while. Three whole months to be exact. July and August were a blur of weddings and vacations (check out my instagram account to see some of my adventures). When September 1st rolled around, it occurred to me that I hadn't been home in 8 weekends! Since Sundays at home are when I usually craft my recipes, things have been rather slow in the culinary department.

However, in the yoga department, things have been anything but slow!

I kicked off my summer by attending Wanderlust Stratton in June and the following week, began my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. I've been a busy bee, studying, practicing, and preparing to become an instructor. Next month, I start teaching kids yoga at the soon-to-be-open, Studio 143. I can't wait! I will also be teaching a few free community classes at the Cohasset Yoga Center in December.

Stay tuned for some delicious fall recipes, some advice on how to prepare for an endurance race, health tips, and some fun yogi news.

Namaste for now,

- The Gluten-Free Yogi

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Simple, Healthy, Balanced Breakfast

Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It also happens to be my favorite. In the summer, I tend to alternate between smoothies and eggs for breakfast. The beauty of both is that they are versatile (so it's pretty hard to get sick of them) and they are packed with protein (so they keep you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal).

Below are two of my favorite summer breakfasts—one egg recipe and one smoothie recipe. Both are simple, healthy, satisfying, and mmm mmm good. Enjoy!

Be well,

-The Gluten-Free Yogi




Scrambled Eggs with Pesto, Avocado, and Cherry Tomatoes
Serves 1

Ingredients
2 eggs, scrambled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a pinch of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 half of a fresh avocado, diced
1–2 tablespoons of pesto (Seggiano Basil Pesto or homemade)
3–6 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

Instructions
Scramble your eggs and serve with a dollop of pesto and the diced avocado and tomatoes.

Note: I mostly enjoy this dish in the summer because it's pesto season and I can use fresh arugula or basil pesto from my garden. But really, this dish is good all year long.


When I'm in a bind and I don't have homemade pesto already made, I use Seggiano Basil Pesto because it's delicious, raw, gluten-free, and dairy-free. 


Strawberry Protein Smoothie
Serves 1

Ingredients
1 cup unsweetened organic hemp milk or coconut milk
1 ripe banana
4-6 organic strawberries
2 tablespoons raw organic cashew butter
OPTIONAL:
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Instructions
Combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve and enjoy!