These muffins are kinda magical. They have the power and capability to turn a beautiful mossy green on their own, which is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. The green is not mold or anything bad, and does not affect the flavor or nutrient profile either. It’s purely a natural chemical reaction.
So, here’s the deal: sunflower seeds contain chlorophyll — also known as chlorogenic acid. This acid reacts with baking soda (or baking powder) once heated and cooled, and turns green. It’s a natural phenomenon, but can be startling if you don’t know it’s coming!
If you want to make these muffins during other times of year and don’t want the green color, feel free to swap the sunflower seed butter for almond or cashew butter instead. Alternatively, if you still want to use sunflower seed butter, you can reduce the amount of baking soda to 1/2 tsp and up the apple cider vinegar to 1 tsp (lemon juice works as an alternative too). This will negate the green color.
Meanwhile, catch me making this recipe on Friday, March 16 between 3-4 p.m. PST on KATU Afternoon Live! Watch the replay of my segment HERE.
Cheers and enjoy!
Inspired by this recipe.
- 3/4 cup unsweetened sunflower seed butter (I used this brand)
- 2 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
- 3 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, plus extra for greasing muffin tin
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2-3 Tbsp raw honey or maple syrup, or more if you want it sweeter
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup raisins (make sure there’s no sugar added)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tins with a little melted butter or other fat of choice and set aside. Alternatively, you can line with parchment paper liners, if preferred.
- In a small dish, mix together the baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup of melted butter, ghee or coconut oil, sunflower seed butter, honey, vanilla, eggs, apple cider vinegar, and coconut milk until smooth.
- Next, whisk the dry ingredients into the wet. Once mixed, fold in the raisins.
- Fill each muffin compartment with about 2-3 Tbsp of batter. Be sure not to fill any more than 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.
- Carefully remove muffins from tin and cool on a wire rack. Muffins will turn green once cooled and will deepen in color after a couple hours.
Yields: 9-10 muffins
We had a snow day yesterday and it gave me the opportunity to experiment with the green banana flour I bought a few weeks ago. I’ve known about green banana flour for a while, but kept forgetting to order some. Then, I conveniently stumbled upon it at the grocery store. Score!
So far, I am pretty impressed with the flour. It worked well in this recipe and did not yield a strong or sweet banana flavor. It’s actually rather subtle. All in all, the bites turned out intensely chocolatey, subtly sweet, and slightly crunchy. In addition to the wonderful flavor, you get a dose of antioxidants, healthy fats, and resistant starch in these decadent bites. Perfect little treat.
Also, if you’re wondering, resistant starch actually, “resists digestion” and feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut. This can lead to improved blood fats, better insulin sensitivity, increased satiety, improved digestion, and more. Cold cooked white potatoes, fresh green bananas, and green plantains are other great sources. If you want to learn more about resistant starch, visit HERE.
Cheers and enjoy!
- 1/2 cup green banana flour (find HERE)
- 1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder
- 3-4 Tbsp cacao nibs
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts, preferably sprouted
- 4 large medjool dates, pitted
*Note: if you want these sweeter, you can add a little maple syrup, raw honey, or another 1-2 pitted medjool dates
- Combine all the ingredients except the cacao nibs in the food processor. Process until mixture is well blended and clumps together.
- Add the cacao nibs and pulse a few times to incorporate.
- With hands, roll mixture into tablespoon-size balls and place in the refrigerator to set for 10-20 minutes.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Yields: ~15 bites
It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without something chocolatey, right? To be honest, I don’t even really celebrate Valentine’s Day, but still like to have a little chocolate or sweet treat. So, I guess I celebrate a tiny bit. But, if you ask me, any reason is a good reason to eat chocolate. Valentine’s Day is the chocolate holiday though.
Meanwhile, melted dark chocolate, coconut butter, and freeze-dried strawberries come together in this combo to create a decadent, satisfying, and pretty sweet treat. Can’t beat the touch of pink for Valentine’s Day either! Use your favorite dark chocolate bar and adjust accordingly if you want the cups more or less sweet. Personally, I like really dark chocolate, but know that the darker stuff can be too bitter for some people.
Cheers and enjoy!
- 4-4.5 oz good-quality dark chocolate (I used a mix of 100% and 85%)
- 1/4 cup coconut butter, melted (I used this brand)
- 2 Tbsp ground freeze-dried strawberries (grind in a small blender, coffee grinder, or food processor)
- Extra ground freeze-dried strawberries for garnish, optional
- Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat, being careful not to get any moisture in the chocolate.
- Remove from heat and spoon about 1 tsp of the melted chocolate into each liner. Place muffin tin in the refrigerator for chocolate to set. Meanwhile, place chocolate bowl back over pot of hot water to stay warm over low heat.
- While chocolate is setting, prepare the filling. In a small bowl, mix together the melted coconut butter and 2 Tbsp of ground freeze-dried strawberries. It will look crumbly, but keep mixing and smushing mixture down with a fork to work in the strawberry powder. Eventually, it smooths out some and is no longer crumbly. Know that it will not be drizzly and melty though.
- Remove muffin tin from fridge and scoop about 1 tsp worth of coconut mixture into each liner. Flatten mixture slightly with hands or back of spoon. Lastly, remove melted chocolate from heat and top with about 1 tsp more of melted chocolate. Place in fridge to set. After a few minutes or so, while chocolate is still tacky, garnish with extra freeze-dried strawberries, if desired. Place back in fridge to finish setting.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Yields: 12 strawberry coconut butter cups
My Norwegian grandma would be so proud. I recreated a classic Norwegian Christmas cookie and one that she used to make every holiday season: the Berlinerkranser. This wasn’t the only Norwegian cookie she made during the holidays — there were several, but most of them require special Scandinavian tools to make — tools that I don’t have. Fortunately, nothing fancy is needed to make Berlinerkranser cookies, but they are a little tedious and fussy. It’s so worth it though. When I took that first bite, it was an instant stroll down memory lane.
These delicate cookies are rich and buttery, but not too sweet. They literally melt in your mouth and are fantastic alongside a cup of coffee or tea. In this recipe, they take on a little bit darker color due to the coconut sugar, but I assure you, the lovely flavor is all there. Traditionally, pearl sugar or coarse white sugar is used to adorn the cookies, but I opted for crushed almond slices instead. It still offers texture and a bit of crunch. I did actually try some with coconut sugar sprinkled on top too, but liked the almond slices better.
Oh, and you’ll notice a very interesting thing about these cookies — they contain both cooked and raw egg yolks. This was a piece of trivia for me and as many times as I’ve eaten them, I never knew. The yolks are a highlight and normally give the cookie a light yellow hue, but again, because I used coconut sugar, the yellow color isn’t apparent. Well, I guess it’s there…it’s just hidden!
Meanwhile, I wish you all very happy holidays and much joy!
Adapted from this recipe
- 2 hard cooked egg yolks, preferably pasture-raised
- 2 raw egg yolks, preferably pasture-raised
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 cup salted grass-fed butter, softened
- 2-1/2 cups Paleo Baking Flour blend (I used and recommend this brand)
- Egg whites, lightly beaten (saved from the raw eggs)
- 1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
- In a large bowl, mash the hard cooked egg yolks with a fork. Once mashed, whisk in the raw egg yolks until smooth. Then, add the coconut sugar and whisk again until smooth. Mixture will resemble nut butter.
- Next, add the flour and the butter, alternating between the two a little bit at a time until it’s all mixed in. It will look crumbly, but will come together when pressed. Split the dough into two thick logs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
- When ready to bake, remove dough from fridge and allow to warm up about 30 minutes before handling it. Then, preheat oven to 375 degrees F, line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (find HERE).
- Divide each log of dough into about 14-15 “snakes” about 1/3″ thick and 4-5″ long. Put half the dough back in the fridge to stay cool while shaping the first half. Carefully shape into overlapped wreaths. Place on the baking sheets and press together to flatten.
- Gently brush with egg whites and sprinkle with almonds.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for a little bit and then gently place cookies a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
Yields: ~30 cookies
I grew up eating homemade Chex Mix every year during the holiday season from the time I was a little kid on. It was something I ate copious amounts of (along with all the Christmas cookies mom made) and thoroughly enjoyed. I even adored its salty aroma when it was baking in the oven and it lured me into the kitchen every time.
Naturally, like any person, I picked out the stuff I liked best. For me, it was the cashews and wheat Chex, especially the pieces that were extra coated in seasoning and stuck together in a chewy sorta way. Anyone else know what I’m talking about here?
Anyway, after discovering I was allergic to gluten several years ago and then later going completely grain-free, I thought my Chex Mix days were over. It would have been doable when I was just gluten-free, but no grains at all is a different story. And, honestly, for a long time, I didn’t miss or think about this salty snack mix much, but something struck me this year and I really wanted to create my own version. I also assumed there were many others that wanted a grain-free party mix as well. So, I figured it out and let me just stay that it’s amazing, salty, and still addictive.
I recommend using the best quality nuts/seeds you can find, meaning raw and sprouted whenever possible. Feel free to swap out any of the nuts for other varieties as well. For instance, hazelnuts and pecans would be amazing in this recipe. Macadamia nuts too. The plantain chips add some extra crunch and variety, and the big flakes of coconut take on the flavor of the seasoning while adding another layer of texture. Speaking of the seasoning, it is spot on and meets all the requirements. Also, I opted for coconut aminos and fish sauce to create a Worcestershire-like flavor because I don’t like the Worcestershire sauce options out there. It proved to be a winning combo.
If you give this recipe a try, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Cheers and happy holidays!
- 1/4 cup melted grass-fed butter, ghee, or avocado oil
- 1.5 cups raw almonds, preferably sprouted
- 1 cup raw cashews, preferably sprouted
- 1 cup raw walnuts, preferably sprouted
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, preferably sprouted
- 4 oz package roasted plantain chips (I like this brand)
- 1 heaping cup unsweetened coconut flakes (not shredded)
- 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (find here)
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce (I like this brand, which is gluten-free and unsweetened)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic granules or powder
- 1/2 tsp onion granules or powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- Pinch of cayenne
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- In a large roasting pan, mix together the almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, and plantain chips. In a small bowl, whisk the melted butter or ghee (obviously you don’t have to melt avocado oil, if using) with the coconut aminos, fish sauce, and all the seasonings.
- Pour the seasoning mixture over the nut mix and stir to coat. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Once cooled, store in airtight container.
This time of year is full of indulgences and honestly, there is nothing wrong with indulging, especially when it’s done consciously, with joy, and in the company of those we love. I think whatever we choose to consume shouldn’t leave us feeling crummy though, unless those consequences are worth it and you know what you’re getting into (if you stew over your choice or feel guilty about it after the fact, it’s not worth it). Personally, I want a treat that doesn’t wreck me or send me into a tailspin and make me want all the sweet things. In my opinion, those consequences are not worth it.
Fortunately, there are ways that I can have my cake and eat it too. This holiday brownie recipe fits the bill. It’s made of high-quality ingredients, isn’t too sweet, and doesn’t leave negative after effects. It is, however, decadent, rich in chocolate flavor, and offers a festive dash of peppermint. After all, chocolate and mint are a classic holiday combo. These would be great without the mint though too, so if peppermint is not your thing, go ahead and omit it. Either way, it’s likely these brownies will not last long. We went through two batches quite quickly — just the two of us. It took me a couple batches to get it right, so we ended up with double and both were worth eating!
Meanwhile, catch me making this recipe on KATU Afternoon Live later this afternoon, between 3-4pm PST. Watch the replay of my segment HERE.
Cheers and enjoy!
- 1/4 cup grass-fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil, melted
- 3 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 drops dietary-safe peppermint essential oil OR 1 tsp peppermint extract (where to get high-quality essential oils)
- 2 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup almond meal/flour (I like this brand)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3 oz good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used 88%)
For the ganache:
- 3 oz good-quality dark chocolate, broken into squares (I used 88%)
- 3 Tbsp grass-fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp melted coconut butter, or to taste (I like this brand)
- Line a 8×8 baking pan with parchment and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. In a separate medium-size bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, except for the chopped chocolate.
- Slowly whisk dry ingredients into wet. Whisk until smooth. Then, fold in the chopped dark chocolate with a spatula.
- Pour batter into lined baking pan and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow brownies to cool in pan.
- For the ganache, melt 3 oz dark chocolate and 3 Tbsp butter in a double boiler on the stove, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, you can melt in the microwave, but be sure to do it on a lower power setting and keep a close eye. If your microwave has a melt feature, you can go that route as well.
- Once brownies are cool to the touch, pour the ganache on top and spread with a spatula in an even layer or gently shake pan to spread. Chill in the refrigerator until ganache is set. Then, drizzle with melted coconut butter and slice into desired-size squares.
This recipe meets all the criteria (and more) of a great nut butter. It’s creamy, salty, nutty, and a little crunchy. It’s also subtly sweet with added elements of cinnamon, coffee, and vanilla. The coarsely ground coffee is what adds the slight grainy texture and crunch, and it’s magnificent. All in all, it’s a match made in heaven. I think it might be the best nut butter I’ve ever tasted — not even exaggerating. It’s out-of-this-world good! Enjoy it straight off the spoon or spread on apples, pears, bananas, or in my sunny cinnamon sammie recipe (instead of the sunflower seed butter). It’s also delicious drizzled into plain yogurt.
Also, note that I used decaf beans in this recipe, but you can use regular as well. I don’t like to consume caffeine after 12-ish p.m. and don’t tend to eat nut butter in the morning, so opted for decaf beans. Use whatever you like.
On another note, I’m off to NYC early this morning with my close friend, Heather. We have been looking forward to this trip for months and it’s finally here! We’ve got some fun things in the works, but are leaving plenty of room for trekking and exploring. We’re kicking off our trip this evening with, Sleep No More and I’m super excited…a little scared too! Be sure to follow me on Instagram if you want to see what I’m up to (and eating) in NYC!
- Heaping 2 cups raw hazelnuts
- 1 Tbsp coarsely ground high-quality coffee beans (I used decaf beans from a local roaster)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (use 1/4 tsp if you want it less salty)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 tsp coconut sugar, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast hazelnuts in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until fragrant and light golden brown. Give pan a shake halfway through roasting time.
- Once hazelnuts are cool enough to handle, remove some of the skins (doesn’t have to be perfect!). It’s up to you how much you want to remove, but less skin will result in a creamier consistency (the skins can also be bitter). You can also place the hazelnuts on a damp kitchen towel, fold it over, and rub the skins off inside the towel.
- Next, add hazelnuts (minus the skins) to the food processor. Blend for about 5-6 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Once creamy, add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust flavors as you like.
- Store in a glass jar at room temperature and use within a week. Will last a week or so longer if you store it in the refrigerator.