Almond Flour: Where Have You Been All My Life?

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I love baking. LOVE it. I love changing recipes, adding veggies and beans to cakes and brownies, tricking my family with nutrient-rich chocolate chip cookies, making the house smell a bakery, and I get giddy when I’m declared the best mom ever for feeding my tribe secretly healthy desserts.

Now, as some of you know, my son Jake has type 1 diabetes. He’s nearly 7 years old and also happens to be one of my pickiest eaters. This stinks (in a non-bakery nice smelling way) because I’ll make or bake something that has lots of healthy protein from hemp seeds or chia seeds, is low in white carbs, and will be perfect for preventing roller coaster blood sugars, and everyone will love it but him. Makes me CRAZY!!!

Until finally…. the stars aligned and I was clued into Simple Mills gluten-free, handful-of-natural-ingredient baking mixes based on almond flour. Not the crunchy, coarse almond meal that was in my fridge, but a fine, delicate, rare gem-quality flour made from blanched almonds. The Simple Mills mixes are pricey, so after I tried making one of each of their offerings, I decided that all I really needed to do was replace regular flour with almond flour in my favorite (and Jake’s favorite) recipes. This is why:

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Almost 1/4 the carbs, 6 times the fiber (so 1/7th the net carbs) and twice as much protein. I knew right away that if this simple substitution worked, I would have discovered the Holy Grail of diabetic baking.

So. I learned that Jake doesn’t care for pumpkin anything (no son of mine). But, if chocolate chips are involved, he’s all in (definitely my child!). I’ve redone my famous marriage-inducing and TJ’s-published Chocolate Things recipe, with Jake, health, and flatline blood sugars in mind. Now presenting!:

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Chocolate Things: Almond Flour Version

Makes 9 large squares

This is a lower carb, lower sugar, higher protein version of my classic “Chocolate Things.” It may look like there’s a bizarre combo of sweeteners. There is! While I tried to make these 100% sugar-free, too much erythritol or stevia gave them a not-so-funky funk. Feel free to replace the erythritol, sugar, and maple syrup with 1/2 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon maple extract (optional).

2 cups fine almond flour (like Bob’s on Amazon here)
1/2 cup white, wheat, or oat flour (blend gluten-free rolled oats to make oat flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp iodized salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal
2 Tbsp Swerve (erythritol)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp lite maple syrup (like Wholesome! brand with 33 g carbs per 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup melted Smart Balance, Earth Balance, or other non-hydrogenated margarine
3 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup unsweetened soymilk or other nondairy milk
1/2 cup (100 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour and spread into a lightly greased 9 x 9-inch baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Per square: 21 g total carbs, 4 grams fiber (17 g net carbs), 7 grams protein

And here is Jake’s blood sugar graph after eating one of these sweet little thangs at 10am. No spike! And no crash! We did it!

Let me know how almond flour works for you. It’s been a baking lifesaver for us.

xo

Jen

Homemade Dark Chocolate in 3 Minutes

So I’m sitting here with a napping toddler writing some recipe substitution tips when it hits me: I could really use a bite of dark chocolate, and I don’t have any, I don’t have any chocolate chips, and I can’t run to the store. Serious Emergency!

But I have cocoa… and coconut oil… and maple syrup… and another wackadoodle recipe is born chez Reilly:

Emergency Dark Chocolate
Serves 10

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 tbsp liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave…)
1/4 cup flax seeds, hemp seeds, or other seeds/ chopped nuts (optional)

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat oil, cocoa, and sweetener. Remove from heat and stir in seeds or chopped nuts if using. Pour into dish and spread thin. Chill in fridge for 1 hour. 

What do YOU do in this kind of emergency situation? xo

Making Raw Hemp Milk Couldn’t Be Easier – Video!

Raw Hemp Milk
Makes 4 cups

1 cup hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)
4 cups filtered water

Blend, and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Add to smoothies, pudding, desserts, soups, or cereal. High in protein, fiber, and Omega-3’s. Yum!

 

What’s in My Pantry? Video!

Hi friends! Hope all you East coast Americans survived the blizzard with enough beans and rice to keep you going. Check out what’s in our pantry in the video below, and look forward to weekly videos this year from me. Put in the comments things you’d like me to video about — I love me some new ideas! Happy nonperishable fooding!

The Brady Brunch

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School day breakfasts are speedy and a bit of a blur… 4 young kids downing cereal, instant oatmeal (yes, it happens!), raisin toast, or other freezer fare. But breakfasts on the weekends chez Reilly are an adventure, an experience, a complete kitchen tornado, and downright sticky fun. Here is our latest experiment. Chocolate chip Belgian waffles with raspberries and maple syrup, sloshed down with a tall glass of vanilla soymilk. But the best part? the foods you don’t see!: Pumpkin, ground chia seeds, and beets! I should be arrested for this!

Beet these Waffles
Makes 6 large waffles
Equipment needed: waffle maker (if you don’t have one, just make pancakes with this same recipe), blender, and an electric mixer or a really strong arm

2 cups waffle or pancake mix (I like Trader Joe’s multigrain pancake mix, but sometimes it’s Krusteaz from Costco)
1 cup unsweetened soymilk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
1/2 cup blended beets (I buy them already cooked and peeled from Trader Joe’s, and then blend them. Canned works too though!)
1/4 cup ground chia seeds (purchase these already ground here, or grind them yourself in a coffee bean grinder)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/4-1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional, but CRUCIAL in my opinion)

Spray waffle maker with nonstick spray and plug in. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with electric mixer while waffle maker heats up. Add more soymilk or water 2 tablespoons at a time if batter is too thick. Pour 1/2-3/4 cup batter into waffle maker, drop 10 or so chocolate chips on top, and close.

Keep cooked waffles warm in the oven while the kids finish up their Minecraft game and you hide the pumpkin and beet remnants. Serve with pure maple syrup or all alone. Once the kids have eaten, enroll them in kitchen clean-up.

Nutrition info per waffle: 281 calories, 11 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 43 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 7 g protein, 65% daily requirement of vitamin A, 330 mg calcium, 12% daily requirement for iron.

Secret Sprinkle Cookies

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Well I made and perfected these back on National Homemade Cookies Day (October 1st, don’t you celebrate?), and am finally out of my nutrient-rich cookie coma and getting a chance to share them. They are adorable, colorful, and protein-packed for growing kids. Sprinkles in them, on them, and around them (and on the floor them). Enjoy with a hot cup of something and a smile. Oh, and send an extra or two in your kids’ lunch boxes for their friends.

Secret Sprinkle Cookies
Makes 24

1/2 cup softened butter-type ingredient (I used Earth Balance)
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp chia seeds soaked in 3 Tbsp water for 5 minutes
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/3 cup sprinkles plus 3 Tbsp for sprinkling on top
2 Tbsp soymilk or water if batter is too dry

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine buttery spread, sugar, vanilla, and chia/water combo in a bowl until mixed through. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine, adding 2 Tbsp water or non-dairy milk if batter is crumbly.

Form dough into 1-inch size balls and place 1 inch apart on a nonstick cookie sheet, topping with a few extra sprinkles — I use a funnel for less mess. Bake 10-15 minutes until dough spreads out and very slightly golden brown on the edges.

Per cookie: 102 calories, 4.5 g fat, 14 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 7.5 g sugar, 2 g protein.

Breakfast in Dessert Clothes

Choc Chip Protein

If you’re a busy parent, busy person, or night owl, this is one of the best quick breakfasts that has ever come out of my Bitchin’ Kitchen. Make a batch on a slow morning or weekend, freeze individual portions, and booyah! when the natives (or you) get restless and hungry. I went into the kitchen with my lab coat on specifically trying to invent a lower-carb, higher-protein, cravey (crave-able?) breakfast for my type 1 diabetic 5 year-old in prep for his upcoming kindergarten year — using stevia-sweetened protein powder to both boost and sweeten it. But now, we have something that is a family staple for the whole team. Best thing is, it tastes like dessert! Why not get the chocolate river flowing first thing in the morning? You only live once!

Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars
Makes 12 large bars
325 degrees, 40 minutes

WET INGREDIENTS: Stir to combine
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup milk (I use vanilla soy)
1/4 vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

DRY INGREDIENTS: Sift together in a separate bowl
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 scoop Plantfusion protein powder or other protein powder providing ~20 grams protein per scoop

COMBINE WET & DRY, THEN STIR IN:
1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal, or ground or whole chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds, ok to use other seeds or leave out)
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9X9-inch pan.

Stir to combine wet ingredients in a large bowl, and in a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.

Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine, and then stir in flax, hemp seeds, and chocolate chips.

Bake in a 9X9-inch pan for 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

NUTRITION FACTS PER BAR: 227 calories, 8.5 g fat, 32 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 6 g protein, 9% daily iron.

Breakfast Fast Food – 3 Ideas. Video!

Too busy in the morning to make breakfast? Try my 3 favorite simple concoctions to keep you energized all morning long.

Baked Oatmeal: https://bitchindietitian.com/2012/03/0…

Tofu Eggs in a Wrap: https://bitchindietitian.com/2015/03/1…

Everyday Green Smoothie
2 large leaves kale
1 banana
1 cup frozen fruit (such as mango or berries)
1 scoop vanilla Plantfusion protein powder (http://www.amazon.com/PlantFusion-Pro…)
12 oz water

High & Mighty Brownie Cookies

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Ever thought to put veggies and beans into brownie mix and then turn them into cookies? Wait, that’s not what you think about as you lie in bed at night? Oh. Well, I’ve taken on the age-old question and attempted an answer: How do we make brownies a complete meal? Announcing the High & Mighty Brownie Cookie. High in nutrients, mighty in taste and energy. And while I still serve them for dessert, they can certainly pass for a side dish or maybe even a main squeeze…

High & Mighty Brownie Cookies
Makes 48

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained & rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups cooked beans)
Large handful kale, about 2 cups chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (the canned type)
1 box brownie mix
1/2 cup coconut flour, almond meal, or cashew meal

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Blend or food process beans, kale, and pumpkin into a smooth, olive green glop (probably not wise to taste-test this…).

Stir glop together with brownie mix and coconut flour (or almond or cashew meal).

With slightly wet hands, form into 1 1/2-inch round balls (slightly smaller than golf balls) and drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart.

Press down gently with a fork in a criss-cross fashion.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and chow down!

Nutrition Information Per Cookie: 74 calories, 1 g fat, 36 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 1 g protein, 21% vitamin A, 3% iron.

Now you (or at least I) can rest soundly. Cheers to chocolate! xo

Anytime Apple Crisp

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When the Reilly kids go apple-picking, they take it to the extreme. I kid you not, they picked 100 pounds of Fuji apples in less than 15 minutes! Of course, they had to taste-test an apple before deciding Fuji was the one they wanted, and I *have* read that an apple can energize you more than caffeine….

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So other than eating them, handing them out to everyone we see, and making a lifetime stash of addiction-worthy Pumpkin Apple Butter, what will we do with all these apples? First on the list, an apple crisp so tasty and balanced, that it qualifies as a complete meal. My oldest mini chef played a key role in the super simple prep…

Anytime Apple Crisp
Makes 8 generous servings

FILLING
8 apples, unpeeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon, or about 2 Tbsp lemon juice

TOPPING
1 cup oats (I use gluten-free rolled oats)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup chia seeds (optional)
1/4 cup almond flour, cashew flour, or coconut flour
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or agave
1/4 cup melted non-hydrogenated margarine, or coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss to combine all FILLING ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 9 X 13-inch baking dish.

In the same bowl (no need to rinse), stir together the TOPPING ingredients. Pour evenly over apple combo, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes to let the topping brown.

Nutrition Info Per Serving (including walnuts and chia seeds): 292 calories, 14 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 41 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 21 g sugar (mostly apples!!), 5 g protein, 10% iron.

How do YOU apple up? xoxo

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