Tag Archives: coconut sugar

Gluten-Free Snacks

Holiday Spiced Pecans

I first tried these Spiced Pecans when my mom made them a few years ago. She got the recipe from our favorite cookbook: America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. My family swears by the America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks and recipes — they’re foolproof! In fact, if you’re looking for a good holiday gift for the foodie or cook in your life, I highly recommend their Family Cookbook or New Best Recipe Cookbook. I’ve used both extensively over the last six years and honestly love every recipe!

These Holiday Spiced Pecans are a delicious snack for guests to munch on before dinner! Or put some in a baggie and tie it up with ribbon to give as a gift. They're vegetarian, gluten-free and refined sugar free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

For these Spiced Pecans, I used the original ATK recipe as inspiration and made a few tweaks to make them a bit healthier. Most importantly, I used unrefined coconut sugar in place of refined white sugar. As a reminder, refined sugar has no nutritional value and is very processed (think regular old white sugar you put in coffee), while unrefined sugar retains much more of sugar’s natural nutrients such as calcium and iron. I love baking with coconut sugar because it’s unrefined and it tastes just like regular ol’ sugar. You can find coconut sugar in most grocery stores, and usually you can get it inexpensively from places like Costco or Amazon. These pecans work best with superfine sugar, so I’d recommend pulsing the coconut sugar in the food processor for 10-15 seconds until it becomes fine.

These Holiday Spiced Pecans are a delicious snack for guests to munch on before dinner! Or put some in a baggie and tie it up with ribbon to give as a gift. They're vegetarian, gluten-free and refined sugar free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

These Spiced Pecans scream holiday season to me! They’re an easy snack to munch on at a holiday event with a festive drink in your other hand. I also think they’d be a fun holiday gift to give to neighbors or coworkers. Just place about one heaping cup of spiced pecan halves in a clear treat bag (like these) and tie it up with a colorful ribbon.

These Holiday Spiced Pecans are a delicious snack for guests to munch on before dinner! Or put some in a baggie and tie it up with ribbon to give as a gift. They're vegetarian, gluten-free and refined sugar free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

But honestly, I won’t blame you if you save them all for yourself. One pound of pecans may seem like a lot, but you’ll be shocked by how quickly they go! In case you’re a bargain hunter like I am, I recommend buying a two pound bag of pecan halves from Costco for this recipe. Nuts can be expensive, but Costco always has them for reasonable prices (and FYI — they’re less expensive in store than they are online.)

These Holiday Spiced Pecans are a delicious snack for guests to munch on before dinner! Or put some in a baggie and tie it up with ribbon to give as a gift. They're vegetarian, gluten-free and refined sugar free. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Happy holiday season to you and your family!

 

Holiday Spiced Pecans
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1 lb. nuts
Ingredients
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound pecan halves, raw and unsalted
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (regular, not smoked)
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white, water, and salt. Add the pecans and toss in the egg white mixture to coat. Drain the nuts in a colander for five minutes and wipe out the bowl with a paper towel. Return the nuts to the large bowl.
  3. Place the coconut sugar in a mini blender and blend for 10-15 seconds, until the sugar is very fine. Mix the blended coconut sugar in a small bowl with the cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Add the spice mixture to the large bowl with the nuts and toss to coat thoroughly. Spread the nuts onto the parchment-lined baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 50 minutes, stirring the nuts and rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the nuts to cool completely on the baking sheet, 20-25 minutes. Break apart and store in an airtight container.
Notes
*Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen.
 

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Bread and Muffins

Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Hey guys! Happy belated 4th of July! Hopefully you had Monday off and enjoyed an extra long weekend with family and friends. July is going to be a jam-packed, SUPER fun month for me. I am heading to Boston on Friday for some wedding-related appointments, and the following weekend is my bachelorette party in Nashville! I am SO excited!

Recently, I’ve been working on updating the photos for some of my old recipes. A couple of weeks ago I was remaking my healthy whole wheat banana bread, and I decided to not just update the photos, but also make a few tweaks to the recipe.

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I couldn’t wait to share this updated recipe with you all because I think this one is even better (and healthier!) than before.

My previous recipe contained butter and milk, but since I try to avoid dairy these days, I decided to make this new banana bread dairy-free. For a vegan version, you can use an egg substitute (like a flax egg) and maple syrup instead of honey. It’s important to use really ripe bananas for this recipe because they provide a lot of natural sweetness to the bread, and that way you don’t have to add as much sugar.

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travis and I (okay, mostly me) gobbled up the whole loaf in only three days. So for a larger family, you may want to double the batter and make two loaves because this whole wheat banana bread is bound to go quickly!

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I love it slathered with crunchy peanut butter, and it’s also delicious with a little drizzle of honey. Yum!

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I hope you guys love this healthy banana bread as much as we do!

 

Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup canola or avocado oil
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 VERY RIPE mashed bananas (about 1.5 cups)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Lightly grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl beat the oil and coconut sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, baking soda, salt, bananas and almond milk. Beat until well combined. Next, beat in the honey and eggs. Then add the flour. Stir until smooth.
  3. Spoon the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes and then lay a piece of aluminum foil across the top to prevent it from further browning. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove it and place directly on a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
* can substitute brown sugar, but recipe will not be refined sugar free.
 

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Breakfast

Healthier Challah French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

I am a self-proclaimed carboholic, mainly due to my love of bread. As you guys should know by now, my healthy outlook is all about balance, and so even though I eat bread on a regular basis, I only eat healthy, whole-grain varieties.  Challah is my favorite bread of all time. When made correctly, challah is fluffy, light, and slightly sweet. In recent years, I’ve seen some grocery stores and bakeries start to sell whole wheat challah, and that’s exactly what I used in this Challah French Toast recipe.

Day-old bread is always best for challah french toast because it does a better job of soaking up the egg and milk mixture that you dip the slices in before cooking. Whole wheat challah and unrefined coconut sugar make this typically indulgent breakfast treat a little bit healthier than the traditional version.

The caramelized bananas add a key element of natural sweetness, so don’t skip this step!

Challah French Toast with Caramelized Bananas! Such a delicious weekend brunch recipe! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I’m sharing the full recipe for this Challah French Toast over on The Nosher today, so head over to their site to see it!

Challah French Toast with Caramelized Bananas! Such a delicious weekend brunch recipe! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Happy brunching!

 

Bread and Muffins Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins…and some EXCITING news!

Hey guys! Sorry, I know I was completely M.I.A. last week, but I have a REALLY good excuse!

Travis and I got engaged last weekend in Philadelphia! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! (—> That’s really the best way to capture all of my emotions.)

Rachel and Travis Got Engaged!

I am so excited and happy and aaah, #somanyfeelings! I promise I will share our engagement story with you later this week. I’ve been trying to put all of my thoughts concisely together into one post, but at this point I have a novel written and I don’t think you want to read that…

 

But for now, I think we should dive into these Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.

What do you think?

These Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are SO delicious! Plus, they contain NO refined sugars! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Gluten-Free Muffins, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Muffins, Banana Chocolate Chip, Refined Sugar Free Muffins

If you or anyone you know is gluten-free, then you MUST get this Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour! Neither Travis or I follows a G-F diet, but we definitely try to be conscious about the amount of gluten we eat. If we’re out at a restaurant and we see a G-F option available (like pasta or pizza crust), we usually opt for that.

Of course, I want to make it clear that “Gluten-Free” doesn’t necessarily mean “healthier”, but removing some gluten from our diets has definitely had positive effects on both of our skin and stomachs.

These Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are SO delicious! Plus, they contain NO refined sugars! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Gluten-Free Muffins, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Muffins, Banana Chocolate Chip, Refined Sugar Free Muffins

I made two versions of these gluten-free banana muffins before perfecting the recipe. The first version was really good, but I felt it needed more banana. The key to making the best banana bread or banana muffins is making sure your bananas are really ripe — the browner, the better!

As bananas ripen, the sugars begin to caramelize, which results in a sweeter, more flavorful muffin or bread.

These Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are SO delicious! Plus, they contain NO refined sugars! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Gluten-Free Muffins, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Muffins, Banana Chocolate Chip, Refined Sugar Free Muffins

I know you guys are going to LOVE these Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. If you make them, definitely let me know in the comments below!

 

Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 3 large extra-ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 cups Bob's Red Mill 1 for 1 Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips (low sugar if available)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners and spray the insides of each liner lightly with cooking spray to prevent as much sticking as possible.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Whisk in the eggs, canola oil and vanilla. Stir in the coconut sugar and mix well.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until there are no dry lumps. Stir in the dark chocolate chips and mix.
  4. Pour the batter into the lined muffin cups, only filling each cup about ¾ of the way. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes. Then remove each muffin from the tray and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
 

Disclaimer: I was provided product for this post from Bob’s Red Mill, but the recipe and all opinions are my own. 

 

 

These Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are SO delicious! Plus, they contain NO refined sugars! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Gluten-Free Muffins, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Muffins, Banana Chocolate Chip, Refined Sugar Free Muffins