gluten-free apple pie bites

apple week

Hi friends! Apple Week continues today with a recipe for apple pie bites, adapted from one I came across at The Washington Post online. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of these babies … you’ll just have to trust me on this. They’re: 1) delicious; 2) easy to make; and 3) gluten-free! In other words, these apple pie bites are the bomb dot com.

For the crust:
– 1/2 cup gluten-free flour {I used coconut flour, which turned out very well}
– 1/2 cup almond flour or almond meal
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 2 tbsp agave syrup or maple syrup
– 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
– 1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:
– 1 cup finely diced, skin-on apple
– 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp agave syrup or maple syrup
– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a mini muffin pan and set it aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal and cinnamon. Add the maple syrup, applesauce and water; stir to form a soft dough.

3. Divide the dough evenly among the wells of the mini-muffin pan. Use your fingers to press down the dough so that it lines the bottom and sides of each well.

4. Now make the filling: stir together the apple, applesauce, vanilla extract, maple syrup and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Divide evenly among the dough-lined muffin pan wells, pressing down the filling so it is firmly packed.

5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes; the edges of the tarts will be lightly browned and the filling will have settled a bit. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then use a fork to gently dislodge and transfer each tart to a wire rack to cool.

These are the perfect light dessert or portable snack! Happy baking!

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you might also enjoy these recipes:
apple cake with crumb topping and a brown sugar glaze
baked sugar & cinnamon donut holes
melinda’s vegetable salad with apples, bacon & honey-apple vinaigrette

my favorite gluten-free baking supplies

Happy Thursday, everyone! Is it just me, or does today feel like Friday to anyone else? It’s bizarre that this week feels long because it’s actually been a short week with the holiday on Monday! Oh, well. It’s still been a good one!

As I shared a couple weeks ago, I’ve recently been trying to go gluten-free, and it actually hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I expected … I feel energized and vibrant, which could be because I’ve eliminated gluten or could simply be because I’m eating more fruit and veggies than ever! Either way, I’m loving it!

One of the things I was most concerned about in going gluten-free was that I would miss baking. You all know how I love to bake, and I was worried that eliminating regular baking flour would cause my baked goods to be … well, gross. But I needn’t have worried. Even if you aren’t gluten-free, there are some wonderful alternative flours you might want to try out just for the fun of it! Here are my current faves:

gluten free baking supplies edit

As far as baking styles go, I’m a by-the-seat-of-my-pants baker. A little bit of this, a little bit of that … I like to experiment! Typically, if a recipe calls for two cups of regular flour, I’ll add about a cup of gluten-free flour, 3/4 a cup of gluten-free oats, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of other things!

1. Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour

gluten free flour

This is my favorite gluten-free flour base. It’s a mix of rice flour and tapioca flour, and it is a perfect substitute for all-purpose flour! I’ve also tried Bob’s Red Mill brand of gluten-free all-purpose flour, and that kind was good also, but I like this Trader Joe’s version better.

2. Gluten-Free Rolled Oats

oats

I love baking with oats! They make muffins and breads heartier and healthier. Plus I think they give baked goods a great texture. Just makes sure you purchase a gluten-free version of rolled oats, if gluten-free matters to you! {Sometimes wheat sneaks into things you wouldn’t expect…}

3. Almond Meal

almond meal

This an easy way to slip more heart-healthy almonds into your diet! An added bonus: almond meal makes baked goods extra moist. Just be careful not to add too much, or your finished product might be a little too crumbly.

4. Ground Flaxseed

ground flaxseed

I started adding a few tablespoons of ground flaxseed into my muffin and bread batter even before I went gluten-free. Flaxseed is packed full of omega-3s and fiber. I usually just add 1/4 a cup at most, so I can’t really taste it, but if you like a rich nutty flavor you can add more! You can also sprinkle ground flaxseed over your cereal or hot oatmeal for a morning nutritional boost.

oatmeal

So, there you have it: my current arsenal of favorite gluten-free baking products! Are any of you gluten-free bakers? I would love to hear your recommendations!

Have a wonderful day! Eat something yummy!

my favorite quick, healthy + gluten-free breakfasts

I’ve recently began eating a gluten-free diet — my brother found out that he is allergic to gluten and feels much better on a gluten-free diet, and since we share the same genes I thought I would give it a try, too! Breakfast was the meal I felt most stumped by: my quick go-to breakfast used to be a whole-wheat english muffin or toast with peanut butter. I haven’t yet found a gluten-free bread loaf that I love, so I went back to the drawing board.

Here are four of my new favorite healthy, gluten-free breakfasts. They are delicious when enjoyed slowly over the morning newspaper, and are also perfect for busy mornings when you need to eat something quick!

1. Oatmeal with nut butter & fruit. Make sure you use gluten-free oats. I like topping mine with blueberries, walnuts, and a spoonful of almond butter.

oatmeal

2. Greek yogurt + fruit, with a handful of walnuts or almonds on the side. My favorite combo lately: plain greek yogurt + a drizzle of honey + a sliced banana.

yogurt and banana

3. A smoothie made with greek yogurt and/or a spoonful of nut butter, plus spinach & chia seeds of course! Right now I am loving a combo of strawberries + mango + a sliced peach. And here is a delicious looking recipe from Danica at It’s Progression that I am planning to try out this week.

smoothie

4. Homemade muffins topped with peanut butter. I try to make a batch of banana muffins or apple-cinnamon muffins {substituting a gluten-free flour blend for the wheat flour} every weekend, and then I get to enjoy them as breakfast and snacks throughout the week.

apple oatmeal muffins

What are your favorite quick, healthy breakfasts? Please share in the comments below!

my 3 fave ways to use chia seeds

chia seeds

In the past year, thanks to some of my favorite bloggers {I’m looking at you, Julie and Lindsay!} I’ve been introduced to a nutritional powerhouse: chia seeds! In just one tablespoon of chia seeds, you get six grams of fiber, three grams of protein, and 2.9 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Here are three of my favorite, no-fuss ways to use chia seeds in my daily life:

1. Smoothies. Just sprinkle some chia seeds on top of your fruit and ice and blend away! A smoothie combo I’ve been loving lately is strawberry + banana + mango.

smoothie

2. Salads. I love adding a tablespoon of chia seeds on top of my favorite healthy chicken salad.

chicken salad lunch

3. Baked goods. Stir a spoonful of chia seeds into your muffin or bread batter — or hey, why not even try some in brownies, cookies or cakes? I just made a batch of chocolate-chip banana muffins with some chia seeds added in!

banana muffins

When the weather cools down a little, I know I’ll be switching out my breakfast smoothies for a warm bowl of oatmeal — another great dish to sprinkle chia seeds on! I’ve yet to try overnight oats but I’ve heard chia seeds are a crucial ingredient in helping the oat mixture thicken overnight. This and this are both on my “to try” list of recipes!

Have you ever tried chia seeds? If so, what are your favorite ways to use them?

guest post: banana monkey bread muffins

Today I’m excited to share a guest post from my foodie pen-pal Becca, blogger at BeeSweetSurrender. She always features amazingly delicious recipes, and I asked her if she would mind sharing a guest post recipe with us. Here is her drool-worthy recipe for banana monkey bread muffins! {You can see the original post on her blog here.}

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banana monkey bread muffins

for the dough:
– 3 cups flour
– 3 tbsp sugar
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 package Red Star Active Dry Yeast
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/4 cup whole milk
– 2 and 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
– 1 large egg
– 2 ripe bananas

cinnamon-sugar topping:
– 1/2 cup butter, melted
– 1 cup sugar
– 1  1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon (you can also use less if you aren’t that big on cinnamon)

vanilla glaze:
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 2 tbsp milk
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl place 2 and 1/2 cups of flour, sugar, salt and yeast and mix together.

2. In the microwave melt together the water, milk and butter until the butter is melted and it is too hot to touch. Add this to the flour mixture and stir together. Add the egg and mix well. Lastly add the bananas– it will create a very wet dough. This is when you’ll need to add more flour, I needed the full 1/2 cup of flour. Your dough will be ready when it springs back from your touch and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It will be slightly wet which is ok, but you don’t want it to be too sticky!

3. Flour a clean surface and turn out the dough, kneading well for a few minutes. Add flour by tablespoons if it is still too sticky. Lightly butter (or use a non-stick spray) a bowl and place the dough in, let rest for 10-20 minutes. Place cupcake liners into your cupcake tin.

4. In a medium sized bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon. In another bowl melt the butter completely. Taking the dough, roll it into small balls, about 1/2- 1 inch in diameter. Dip the ball into your bowl of butter and then transfer it to the bowl with cinnamon sugar, and roll it around (we all like sugar right?!) so it’s well coated. Place 3-5 in each liner until the dough is all used up. I purposefully made only 12 but depending on how large you would like your muffins you could make 12-18. Set aside for 30-45 minutes to let the dough rise a bit more.

5. Preheat the oven while the muffins are rising to 400. Bake for 20-23 minutes and let cool. While they are cooling make the icing. Remove the muffins from the tins and pour the icing generously on each and… Enjoy!

banana monkey bread muffins

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us, Becca!

Check out Becca’s blog at http://beesweetsurrender.wordpress.com/

MPM-Spring

This post is also linked up to Menu-Plan Monday!

chocolate-chip banana muffins

One of the first baking recipes I ever learned to make was my mom’s banana bread. To me, banana bread just tastes like home. And it’s a great recipe for someone like me who hates to waste food. I prefer to eat bananas when they are just ripening, still a little green at the tips. When they begin to get brown spots, I really don’t care for them. But thanks to Mom, I don’t have to worry about them going to waste — I just whip up a batch of banana bread…

…or banana muffins! In the past few years I’ve gotten really into making muffins instead of bread because I just find muffins so much more portable — easy to slip into a lunchbox or grab for breakfast on the way out the door. {That said, you could easily adapt this recipe for a loaf of bread if you’d prefer!}

I added chocolate chips to Mom’s recipe for a little extra treat to start the school year off right. 🙂 Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

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chocolate-chip banana muffins

  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 & 3/4 cup flour {I used whole-wheat flour}
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup ripe mashed bananas {I used two bananas}
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper cups and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients.

4. Add a portion of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well. Then add a portion of the mashed bananas. Continue alternating dry ingredients and mashed bananas until the entire mixture is combined. {Batter will be slightly lumpy due to the bananas.}

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5. Add chocolate chips.

6. Spoon batter into paper muffin cups, about 3/4 of the way full.

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7. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Enjoy! These are great for breakfast, a mid-afternoon snack, and also make a great healthy dessert!

Hope your week is going great,
-Dallas

marvelous monday: apple-banana oatmeal muffins

You know how much I love muffins, especially healthy, hearty and delicious muffins that will get your day off to a marvelous start! Here’s another recipe that I found and tweaked slightly to make it more nutritious. I will be enjoying for breakfast all week and I hope you like it, too!

apple-banana oatmeal muffins
{recipe adapted from this one at Rock Recipes}

– 1 & 1/2 cups oatmeal
– 1 cup  whole wheat flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 2 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp nutmeg
– 2 eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2/3 cup milk {I used soy milk, but any kind will do!}
– 1/4 cup applesauce {I used no-sugar-added}
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1 ripe banana, mashed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper wrappers.

2. Peel the banana and mash it until the biggest lumps are out.

3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, applesauce, milk and vanilla. Set aside.

4. In a different bowl, mix together oatmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

5. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing well.

6. Add in the banana. If batter is too thick, add more applesauce.

7. Spoon batter into muffin tins until they are about 3/4 of the way full.

8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean.

These muffins are SO good served warm! Inspired by Julie at the blog Peanut Butter Fingers, I topped mine with some dark chocolate peanut butter for a healthy breakfast that tasted decadent. It’s the perfect way to get an ordinary day off to a special start!

You can download a printable version of this recipe here: apple banana oatmeal muffins.

Have a marvelous day! 🙂
-Dallas

saturday upsides & healthy apple oatmeal muffins

Hi everyone! Hope you had a wonderful week and are gearing up for a lovely autumn weekend. I am pretty much over my nasty head cold, but am still feeling a little low-energy. As mentioned, I was {un}kind enough to share my cold germs with Mike, who has been battling the bug as well this week. I took him to the doctor yesterday, which was a good thing because he had a build-up of fluid in his ears that easily could have turned into a bad ear infection! He is currently on a regimen of steroids & antibiotics to clear up any infection and woke up this morning feeling much better.  It will be nice for both of us to get some rest this weekend and {fingers crossed} I will be feeling all better and will have an energetic Marvelous Monday post for you in a couple of days!

In the meantime, I was inspired by my blogging friend Bonnie over at Recipes Happen who has created a series called Saturday Upsides in which she posts each Saturday about looking at the bright side of things. {Check out her post today about the upsides of a busy Saturday!}

My Saturday Upsides today are numerous: both Mike and I are feeling on the mend; we get to see his family this weekend; fun pumpkin carving and Halloween activities are planned. And one bright side of struggling through a few miserable days while your body is battling a cold or flu bug is that it makes you more aware of what a blessing it is to normally be feeling healthy!

Before I sign off for the day, I wanted to share this recipe that I made earlier this week for healthy apple oatmeal muffins. I made a big batch of these on Tuesday evening and ate them for breakfast and snacks all week long. They are full of fiber and heart-healthy oats, plus double-apple goodness thanks to the apple pieces and applesauce. A perfect autumn treat! And they are easy to whip up {which was a requirement for me this week! This cold has seriously knocked me flat!}

I adapted this recipe from one I found on Frugal Homemaking for oatmeal chocolate-chip muffins. Hope you enjoy!

healthy apple oatmeal muffins

– 3/4 cup oatmeal
– 1 and 1/3) cups whole-wheat flour
– 1/3 cup brown sugar
– 1 tsp. baking powder
– 1 tsp. baking soda
– 1/4 tsp. salt
– 2 tsps cinnamon
– 1 egg, beaten
– 3/4 cup milk {I used nonfat}
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
– 1 large apple, peeled and cut into pieces {I used a honeycrisp, my all-time favorite apple, but you could use any kind you want}

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with paper cups.

2. Blend together dry ingredients: oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: egg, milk, applesauce, and vanilla.

4. Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Mix together.

5. Stir in the apple pieces. Batter will be lumpy and thick.

6. Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 of the way to the top.

7. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

And that’s it! These muffins are like apple-cinnamon oatmeal in baked form. Warm, filling, healthy comfort food.

What are your plans for this weekend? Any autumn-inspired recipes you’re trying out?

Stay happy & healthy,
Dallas

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– Time spent: 40 minutes {including bake time}
– Cost: less than $5.00

marvelous monday & happy october! baked cinnamon-sugar donut holes

There has been a briskness in the air lately that feels just. so. autumn! It’s lovely. It makes me want to curl up under a cozy blanket with a cup of tea and a good book. {If you’re looking for a good book, I’ve been devouring Elizabeth Berg’s novels lately … I fell in love with her novels Durable Goods and Joy School back in high school, and she is an author I can always return to and feel like, YES, she gets it — this is why I want to be a writer, this is what I want my books to do for people! I nearly always have at least one good, full-hearted cry while reading her books, and I always feel sad to finish them because I don’t want to leave her characters. I’m reading Open House right now and it is wonderful!}

But, yes, back to autumn … I was thrilled when Maria at Two Peas & Their Pod put together this fantastic list of 50 pumpkin recipes! I found myself checking off every one: yes, I want to make that; ooh, that looks delicious; yes, that one, too! Like a kid in a toy store a week before Christmas: I want them all! 🙂

One of the recipes that immediately caught my attention was baked donut-holes. I’m always looking for a way to health-i-fy things. Hmmm, homemade baked donut holes? Why not give it a whirl?

I am SO glad I did! They are pretty much mini-muffins, but roll them in cinnamon-sugar and they do taste like donut holes. These are pumpkiny, cinnamon-sugary, and perfect for autumn. Make them for breakfast and eat them warm from the oven with a big glass of milk!

baked cinnamon-sugar donut holes

ingredients:

For the Donuts:
1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin {not pumpkin pie filling}
1/2 cup skim milk

For the Coating:
4 tsp unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini muffin tin with baking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. In a separate, large bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. While the muffins bake, melt butter in one bowl and combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in another bowl.

6. Remove muffins from oven and cool for 2 minutes. Dip each muffin in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat. Serve muffins warm or at room temperature.

{This recipe is adapted from The Craving Chronicles.}

YUM. And easy! And {for a donut} relatively healthy, too! Hard to beat that. 🙂

Happy autumn!
-Dallas

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Time spent: about 30 minutes
Cost: about $5

peach streusel muffins

Happy weekend everyone! Hope you are out doing something relaxing, lovely and joyful. It is a gorgeous sunny crisp fall day here in West Lafayette, and I am soaking it in! My plans for the day include lunch at Panera, doing some work there, and then going for a nice walk down by the river. I’m making orange chicken with veggies in the crock-pot for dinner tonight … I’ll let you know how it turns out!

You may remember a few weeks ago I found a recipe on the blog Stacey Snacks for peach streusel muffins … at the time I didn’t have any peaches so I adapted it to make blueberry streusel muffins. They turned out great! However, I was eager to try it with peaches as the original recipe called for, and I finally did.

The results were incredible! These just might be my favorite muffins ever. Stacey was right about the combination of the peaches and the streusel topping … heavenly!

I was a little intimidated first by the streusel topping, but believe me it is super easy to make. These muffins are also a healthy breakfast or snack {or even tasty enough for a healthy dessert!} because they are packed with peaches and use applesauce and protein-packed Greek yogurt in place of oil.

peach streusel muffins

for the topping:
– 1/3 cup uncooked oatmeal
– 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

for the muffin batter:
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup sugar {or 1/4 cup stevia/truvia}
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 3 eggs
– 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
– 1 cup Greek yogurt
– 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
– 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
– 2 ripe peaches, cut into chunks {I like mine with the skin on for extra nutrients, but you could certainly peel them if you prefer}

1. For the topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir in the butter, and mix until well blended. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin cups with paper liners or spray with nonstick spray.

3. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, from flour to salt, and set aside.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, butter, yogurt and vanilla.

5. Add the egg mixture to the dry mixture. Stir until just moist and blended, being careful not to overmix.

6. Fold in the peaches.

7. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan until the batter comes to the top of the paper liner or pan. Sprinkle with the brown sugar streusel topping, and lightly press the topping into the muffin batter.

8. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until tops are golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Have a scrumptious weekend!

❤ Dallas

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-Time spent: about 1 hour {including bake time}
-Cost: less than $5

You might also enjoy these previous posts:
blueberry/blackberry/raspberry muffins
good morning sunshine muffins
coconut zucchini muffins