Wholesome R.D. Mom

Making Nutrition a Way of Life


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Chocolate Lovers Donut (grain-free, nut-free and dairy-free)

Last week, our area of North Carolina had a cold spell, leaving us with an inch and a half of sleet. This may not mean anything to you, but to North Carolina, it means we need to shut down the state. No school, no mail delivery, bare grocery store shelves…..and ultimately, no sanity for many parents. I’m being a little facetious, as I actually had a great time being cooped up in the house with my wonderful and crazy family. Because we didn’t have the usual morning hustle and bustle of having to get ready for school, packing lunches or grabbing a quick breakfast, we hung around in our pajamas all day (until we wanted to play outside on the ice), made some special treats and drank lots and LOTS of hot cocoa.

One of the mornings we decided to revisit a recipe I had left behind months ago…..a recipe for chocolate donuts. The recipe was yummy the first time, but needed a few tweaks to make it become an easy, go-to recipe that I’d be willing to share. This recipe ais grain-free, nut-free, and dairy free (depending on the type of chocolate used). However, I can assure you that even the pickiest of eaters with no dietary restrictions (eh, eh, em……my husband) enjoyed them! I am definitely a chocolate gal and often crave chocolate donuts. Therefore, I’m a happy lady to have a recipe to satisfy those times…..oh, and to share a little treat with my kiddos who would demolish the whole batch if they could. We hope you enjoy these delectable chocolate donuts as much as our family does.

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For the donuts:

Ingredients: makes 6 large donuts or 24 mini muffins (“donut holes”)

  • 1 large greenish-yellow plantain
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional, but it helps to hide the mild plantain taste)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3.5 oz semi-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate (often times 1 bar = 3.5 oz) OR you can use a heaping 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (my favorite brand is Enjoy Life which are allergen free)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F
  • Peel the plantain and place it in a high speed blender along with the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
  • Blend until the mixture is smooth.
  • Melt the chocolate and the coconut oil (or butter) together on the stove or in a microwave. Note: I have even skipped this step when using mini chocolate chips by just placing them whole in my Vitamix (just make sure you don’t forget the coconut oil).
  • Add the baking soda to the plantain mixture then spoon the melted chocolate and coconut oil into the blender while on low until the mixture is uniform.
  • Pour the donut batter into a mini muffin tin (for donut holes) or a donut pan.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (the time will be slightly longer for the donut pan).

For the chocolate coating:

Ingredients:

  • 1.75 oz semi-sweet chocolate (1/2 of a 3.5oz chocolate bar) or 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Directions: 

  • Melt the chocolate and the coconut oil on the stovetop or in a shallow microwave safe bowl in the microwave.
  • Dip the top of the donut into the melted chocolate (the warmer the chocolate the thinner the coating, the cooler the chocolate the thicker the coating)
  • Place frosted donuts on a baking sheet or large plate and place in the refrigerator for the chocolate coating to harden.
  • Store the donuts in a airtight container in the fridge and let sit at room temperature before serving.
  • Lick your fingers and the bowl but make sure you get rid of the evidence!

 

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Orange Creamsicle Mini Muffins

What happens when I ask my daughter what she want to make with me in the kitchen? She looks around the room, finds something that inspires her, then decides to work that into her world of what she knows she likes. In this case, she found some organic oranges sitting on the counter and she immediately blurted out, “orange muffins!” This was so strange to me, because although my daughter loves muffins, she is not fond of oranges. So I thought about it for a few minutes and decided that this may be a good way to re-introduce her to oranges.

I try to make muffins that contain some kind of whole grain (or other high fiber grain-free flour) with a good protein content as my kids tend to crash and remain hungry after downing a refined carbohydrate muffin that is full of sugar. So I experimented with some ricotta in this recipe and kept the sugar down to a minimal amount while still hoping for a semi-sweet muffin. Additionally, when making baked items or pastries I often use whole wheat pastry flour as it is 100% whole grain and allows for a much lighter texture than whole wheat flour (even white whole wheat flour). I typically find organic whole wheat pastry flour at Whole Foods  (365 brand) and sometime purchase it online through Vitacost (Bob’s Red Mill brand). I would definitely consider it my go-to flour aside from coconut flour.

For our initial trial of this recipe my daughter decided to add mini chocolate chips to the batter. Both my kids felt like they were eating cupcakes and loved that variation. However, the next time we made them we added dried cherries which were also delicious. I can imagine these would be awesome with mini white chocolate chips and dried cranberries or fresh blueberries, yum. The possibilities are endless, so let your kids decide 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar (organic)
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter or coconut oil (you can also sub your favorite oil as I like to bake with Walnut oil), melted
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 c. ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (equals about 1 medium-sized orange)
  • Zest of 1 organic orange
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Your choice of: 1/4 c unsweetened and unsulphered dried cherries (I buy mine at Trader Joes). Or you can substitute any other dried or fresh fruit of your choice or add a little surprise with 2-3 Tbsp of mini chocolate chips.

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F
  • Sift together the dry ingredients:  flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl mix together the sugar, butter, eggs, ricotta, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Gently fold in the dried cherries (or other add-ins that you have chosen. My kids love the mini chocolate chip version of course).
  • Spoon batter into a mini muffin pan lined with mini baking cups (I use the following liners as it helps to avoid losing half the mini muffin to the pan or the liners and it also helps tremendously with clean up: http://www.ifyoucare.com/product/fsc-certified-baking-cups-fsc-c005046). Fill each liner about 3/4 full. (makes 24 mini muffins)
  • Bake for ~15 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted in the center and come out clean.
  • Wait for the muffins to cool a bit and dig in.

We’ve also tried these with a dollop of cream cheese “frosting” (organic cream cheese, a small drizzle of pure maple syrup, a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice and some orange zest) which was absolutely delicious! Make sure you taste along the way and make it the way you like it!

YUM!

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My general rule of 5 ingredients or less (that are pronounceable and have a known origin)

We had a science birthday for my son where we conducted experiments, made organic munchable molecules (various cut up fruits, whole wheat pretzel sticks and cheese cubes), created milk art and ended with a grand finale of diet Coke and Mentos “explosions” which, by the way, are pretty awesome!

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After everything was done and over I had 2 rolls of Mentos left. I was thinking that the kids might enjoy having a Mento on occasion (as we never buy them) and that it certainly wouldn’t hurt them……..after all, I used to eat these things nonstop as a kid (and they are in fact the “Fresh maker” which just might get rid of hummus breath and my run on sentences). However, after taking a look at the ingredients, I decided that the best place for the Mentos was the trash or in another 2 liter of diet coke solely for the sake of science!

Ingredients: sugar, wheat glucose syrup, hydrogenated coconut oil, rice starch, natural flavors, gum arabic, sucrose esters of fatty acids, gellan gum and Carnauba wax, Beeswax

I’ll stick to my general rule of: Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce (or have no clue where they are derived). Also, why oh why do companies still use trans fats (which come from hydrogenated oils) after all of the evidence pointing to their health dangers?

Have you ever looked at a Nutrition Facts label or Ingredient list on a food product that you used to eat or had at home and made up your mind that you would NEVER buy it again? What was it and why?