Chocolate Zucchini Cake

zucchini cupcakesIt’s that time of year again…zucchini time!  Our vines are just bursting with these versatile veggies.  Already we’ve had them on the grill and baked in cupcakes.  To keep ahead of their production, we’ll have to shred or slice and freeze them, and share with all the neighbors.  Please holler if you you want any!  If you happen to have an abundance at your house, you will certainly want to try this recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake (gluten-free and dairy-free).  It’s one of our favorites.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup applesauce
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3-4 cups zucchini, coarsely shredded (1 medium zucchini)

Putting it together:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line muffin pans with paper, or grease and flour 3 round cake pans.

Mix together dry ingredients:  Gluten-free flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, combine coconut oil, apple sauce and sugar.
Add eggs and vanilla to stand mixer, mixing well.
Add the dry ingredients and shredded zucchini to the stand mixer.  Mix 1 minute or until combined.

Portion batter into prepared pans.  Bake 35 minutes for cupcakes or 1 hour for cakes.  Baking time depends on moistness of zucchini.  Cool on wire racks and frost with your favorite chocolate frosting (we like ganache made with melted dairy-free chocolate chips and a bit of coconut milk).  Enjoy your zucchini season!

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Cereal Bars (GF & DF)

cereal barsIt was a day of celebration last year when I learned that Cheerios are now gluten-free!  One of my favorite breakfast cereals, baby snacks, GORP ingredient, etc. is now part of my life again! Thank you, Cheerios, for making your product gluten-free!

To celebrate, here is a recipe for your sweet tooth, using Cheerios and my favorite dairy-free Enjoy Life chocolate chips.  You might have to guard these delicious bars. They are disappearing quickly at my house!

cheerios

Lightly grease a 9×13″ pan with coconut oil.

In a large sauce pan combine:
1 cup agave nectar
1 cup sugar
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.  When mixture boils, remove from heat. Add,
1 cup peanut butter and mix well.
Quickly stir in
6 cups Cheerios, coating them evenly.
Spread the Cheerios mixture into the prepared pan and let rest for 30 minutes.

While that is cooling, melt
1 package (about 1 1/2 cups) Enjoy Life chocolate chipsenjoy lifeSpread this over the Cheerios pan.  Place the pan in the frig, allowing the chocolate to firm up a bit.  Remove from frig and slice into bite-size bars.  Your Valentines will love these!

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14 (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

Coconut Cake, Gluten-free and Dairy-free

coconut cake

When birthdays come around, it’s always tricky to find a cake for those with allergies. Here is a delicious version of a Gluten-Free Mama cake, that I’ve modified to be dairy-free. Your family will love this birthday cake!

Oil a Bundt cake pan with coconut oil and dust with coconut flour. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine and set aside:
1-1/2 cups Gluten-Free Mama Coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

In a stand mixer, combine:
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

While mixer is running, add:
4 egg whites, one at a time

Now alternate adding flour mixture and:
3/4 cup coconut or soy milk
until all are mixed together.

Slowly blend in
1 cup shredded coconut

Spoon batter into prepared Bundt cake pan and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove cake from oven and let cool in pan on cooling rack. When cool, carefully remove from the pan, using a plastic knife to loosen, if needed.

Now for the yummy frosting:
In a sauce pan, combine:
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
Then add:
3/4 cup coconut or soy milk
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until boiling.
Remove pan from heat and add:
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
3-4 ounces dark chocolate (1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips, or 1 Endangered Species dark chocolate bar)
1 cup shredded coconut
Mix frosting well and spread it evenly on the cake. Enjoy!

This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Hot Cocoa Cookies (GF & DF)

Hot Cocoa CookiesMy boys picked out these Chips Ahoy Hot Cocoa cookies from the grocery store the other day. Oh, the torture of having these delicious-looking cookies on my counter and not being able to eat them!

So, I set about making my own version of gluten-free, dairy-free Hot Cocoa Cookies.  Gluten Free Mama Flour is my favorite for cookie recipes.  Coconut oil and applesauce replace the butter, making these soft and dairy-free.  Instant pudding and baking cocoa add the hot cocoa goodness.

As soon as these were out of the oven, my family was eating them instead of the store bought ones!  A day later, only half the batch is left.  Next we will have to find a padlock for the cookie tin!  I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we do.

God’s blessings,
Jennifer Grace

Ingredients:
2 cups Gluten Free Mama Flour
(Almond blend or coconut blend, or your favorite GF flour mix)
3 T. dry instant chocolate pudding (half a 3.9 oz. box)
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs

1 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
Mini marshmallows

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients:  Flour, dry pudding, baking cocoa, xanthan gum, salt, and baking soda.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat together the apple sauce and coconut oil.  Add the brown sugar and white sugar and continue to mix well.  Next, pour in the vanilla and eggs, beat until creamy.

Add half the dry ingredients to the stand mixer, blending 15 seconds. Repeat with the remainder of the dry ingredients, blending until all is incorporated.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips into the mixer and blend for just a few seconds.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Using a small scoop, scoop the batter onto the parchment paper, 12 to a pan.  Poke one or more mini marshmallows into the center of the cookies.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes.

Let cookies cool on pan for 2 minutes and then place on cooling racks.  Makes 36-40 cookies. Cookies will be moist and chewy, may be re-warmed in the microwave for 5 seconds to experience that authentic “hot cocoa” flavor.Hot Cocoa Joel

Our little baker was quite eager to clean the mixing bowl for me.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

 

 

Amazing Banana Coconut Bars

banana coconut barsThis is the recipe you’ve been waiting for!  Gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, vegan, delicious, amazing banana coconut bars! I had to take this picture right away as they were disappearing.  The goodness of a muffin, the simplicity of bars, no extra sweeteners, and 100% yummy!

Ingredients:

1-3/4 cup Gluten-Free Mama coconut blend flour (or your favorite gluten-free flour mix)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup unsweetened coconut

3 bananas, mashed (just over 1 cup)
1/3 cup coconut oil or apple sauce
2 Tablespoons flax seed, mixed with 6 Tablespoons water
1/2 cup coconut milk (or soy or almond milk)

1 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, moistened with 2 t. coconut oil and 2 t. water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Use a dab of coconut oil to grease a 13×9 inch pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, and coconut.  In a 4 cup measuring cup, mash the bananas.  Then, add the other wet ingredients to the bananas: coconut oil (softened in microwave) or apple sauce, flax seed and water, and coconut milk.  Mix well.  Pour the wet banana mixture over the dry ingredients bowl and stir together.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Top with moistened coconut.  Bake 23 minutes or until it seems just right.  Place pan on cooling rack.  Cut and enjoy!

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!  Psalm 34:8 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

Healthier Choc-Oat Chip Cookies

Healthy cookiesThe little baker is at it again, whipping up healthy cookies for his athletic brothers.  Here Joel re-invents the Choc-Oat Chip cookie.  It is now gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar-free, packed with goodness of oats and pecans for his active brothers.

We want you to know, YOU can make any recipe healthier!  Substitute gluten-free flour for flour, apple sauce for part of the shortening, flax seed for eggs, agave nectar or apple juice concentrate for sugar, and so on.  Try a few modifications each time, and you will invent your own new favorite cookies.

Healthier Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a stand mixer or big bowl combine:

1 cup coconut oil
1 cup date sugar
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 eggs (next time we’re going to try a flax seed and water replacement)
1/4 cup coconut milk (soy, almond, rice or cashew milk will work, too)
2 teaspoons vanilla
Mix the butter, date sugar, agave nectar, eggs, coconut milk and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, blend together the following dry ingredients:
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup arrowroot or tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups gluten-free oats
1/2 cup coconut (optional)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix well. Then add:
2 cups Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop cookie dough by rounded teaspoons onto the cookie sheet.  Flatten each dough ball with a fork, as you might with peanut butter cookies. Bake for 9 minutes at 375 degrees.  Makes about 5 dozen delicious cookies.  Store in the freezer.

How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal PB Choc. chip

 THE BEST COOKIES!

These might be the BEST of my cookie recipes! So healthy and so yummy! Gluten-free, dairy-free, low fat, low sugar — perfect for tea time or any time!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 t. xanthan gum
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3 cups gluten-free oats (I prefer quick-cooking)
1 1/2 cups Enjoy Life chocolate chips (dairy-free)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients:  brown rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, cream together, coconut oil, apple sauce, peanut butter, and sugar.  Then beat in the eggs and vanilla.  Add the flour mixture to the large bowl and cream together.  Stir in the oatmeal and chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded teaspoons onto the prepared cookie sheets, 12 to a pan.  With a fork dipped in water, press the cookies to flatten.  Bake for 9-10 minutes.  Cool on cooling racks.  Makes about 4 dozen, but they won’t last long!

 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.  Proverbs 18:10 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

 

Chocolate Avocado Cake

img_6310

Thank you to my daughter Kallie for sending me this recipe!  I tweaked it a bit to be more chocolatey and use the ingredients I have on hand.  So far, our family has devoured three batches!  The avocado replaces the butter, egg and dairy in this cake recipe, making it dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan.  With another avocado in the frosting, you are really getting extra nutrients with your dessert.  Why not enjoy this with your Easter celebration?

Ingredients:
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 medium avocado, remove pit and skin
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 T. white vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with 18 cupcake liners, or oil a cake pan and sprinkle with a bit of extra cocoa.  In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the cocoa and stir to dissolve. Set aside. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients:  rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, mash the avocado until smooth and creamy.  Add the coconut oil and sugar, mixing well. Add the cocoa mixture to the avocado and blend well.  In the measuring cup with the water, add the vinegar and vanilla.  Add a bit of the water to the avocado bowl and stir.  Now add some of the flour mixture to the avocado bowl and stir.  Repeat until everything is mixed into the large bowl.  Scoop the batter into your cupcake pan, or pour into prepared cake pans.  Bake cupcakes 25 minutes, or cakes for 30-40 minutes.  Allow cakes to cool before frosting.

Chocolate Avocado Frosting Ingredients
1 medium avocado, remove skin and pit
2 T. orange juice
1 cup powder sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 t. vanilla

Mashed the avocado in a medium mixing bowl.  Blend in the orange juice until smooth.  Use a strainer to sift the powder sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl, so there are no lumps.  Mix well.  Add the vanilla and taste.  Add more orange juice or powder sugar if needed to make the frosting thinner or thicker.  This recipe makes 1 cup frosting, enough for a batch of cupcakes or a 13×9″ cake.  Double the frosting recipe if you are frosting a layer cake.  Enjoy your avocado treat!

img_6306Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Valentine Cookies – GF

img_6224  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  John 15:13 (NKJV)

We love Valentine’s Day and we love cookies!  So, we had to make some gluten-free heart cookies this year.  My taste-tester Joel says they are delicious.  Big brother Kevin took the photos.  If only we didn’t have colds at our house, we could share them with our friends.  There is always next year.  Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut oil, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream coconut oil and sugar together.  Add egg and vanilla, mixing well.  In another bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, xanthan gum, and salt  (I used 2 cups Gluten-Free Mama flour and 1/2 cup sorghum flour this year).   Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, stirring until it is well combined.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll out dough on your kitchen counter until it is 1/4 inch thickness.  Use cookie cutters to cut out hearts or your favorite shapes.  Place cookies on parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes, then cool on cooling racks.  Top with your favorite icing (I use a mixture of 2 T. coconut oil, powder sugar, almond milk, a dash of vanilla and food coloring, adding sugar and milk until it is just the amount and consistency I need).

Now you get to eat your heart cookies and share them with your family and friends!  Spread around some love today :-)!

p.s. This recipe makes great Christmas cookies, too!

img_6225

New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Oatmeal Scotchies – GF

Oatmeal Scotchie TeaEvery once in awhile we take a break from chocolate (though not too often) for a different flavor of cookies.  These old favorites combine butterscotch chips, orange zest and cinnamon to make a delicious tea-time cookie.

Ingredients:
1-1/4 cups gluten-free flour*
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
grated peel of 1 orange
3 cups gluten-free oats
1-11 ounce bag butterscotch chips (check label for allergies)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients:  Gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the coconut oil and sugars together.  Mix in the two eggs and orange peel.  Gradually add the flour bowl to the butter bowl, mixing gently. Fold in the oats and butterscotch chips.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto pans, 12 to a pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Cool cookies on racks and enjoy!

*I used 1 cup Gluten-Free Mama flour and 1/4 cup sorghum flour the day I made these cookies. I think they would also work well with 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup tapioca or arrowroot flour, and 1/4 cup sorghum flour.  Use the combination you like best!Oatmeal Scotchies

My little cookie monster was taking a nap the afternoon I made these, so we only get photos of the cookies today :-).

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.  Psalm 148:23 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.