Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free) WIAW

Gosh, I really should have saved that time meme for today.

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Good thing Pinterest supplies me with an endless stream of pictures.

I guess I just underestimated how busy I would be. Last semester I had one roommate. This semester I have FIVE. That’s five times the people to talk to. And three additional people who are always mulling around when you count some of their boyfriends. So really it’s nine times the people who I have compared to before to talk with.

On Sunday night when I should have been sleeping I instead stayed up until 11:00pm (REAL late, I know! 😉 ). And what was I doing you may ask? Living the college dream? Partying it up? Gorging myself on 5 dollar pizzas and special delivery cookies the size of my head? Um, no, no and no.

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

We played Catch Phrase for about three hours straight.

And that’s what you get when you live with all Honors students. Ha.

With all of that insane “busyness” I haven’t had any time to bake. Actually, being away from home I probably won’t do any baking at college because I’d have no one to eat my grain-free, vegan experiments!

Thankfully I did a whole lot of baking the week before I left though so I have plenty to fill the empty (?) pages of my blog 🙂

Exhibit A: A new take on my Coconut Flour Cinnamon Rolls!

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free, No Refined Sugar, GAPS/Paleo-Friendly

Makes six cinnamon rolls

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Ingredients:

Roll Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed + 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup to be vegan)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (butter/ghee works wonderful here too)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Filling ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (enough to cover the entire dough)
  • 1 large apple or 2 small apples, peeled and shredded

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Topping ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, softened

* You can use any kind of topping here. Greek yogurt + honey would be a good one. As would applesauce, nut butter, just a plain drizzle of honey or maple syrup. More cinnamon? You can never have too much cinnamon :D

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the flax seed and water together in a medium-sized bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until thick.
  3. Add the remaining liquid ingredients stirring well.
  4. Mix in the dry ingredients until well combined. Add more coconut flour if necessary so the dough is not sticky.
  5. Spread out another sheet of parchment paper and roll out the dough into a large rectangle (I just used my hands and it worked fine!).
  6. Coat the dough with the 1 tbsp coconut oil and 1 tbsp honey for the filling. Next layer with the shredded apple and sprinkle with the cinnamon.
  7. Roll up the dough and cut into six equal pieces. Place each piece on the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Meanwhile make the topping out of the honey and coconut oil.
  9. When the cinnamon rolls are done let cool slightly before topping and enjoying!

Notes: Next time I may use less apple because there may have been just a *little* too much filling. My parents immensely enjoyed the overstuffed rolls though. They just used a fork 🙂

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

Have you all ever played Catchphrase before? It’s super fun, almost like another popular game but better because you don’t have to dance around and you can play sitting down. It’s like the lazy man’s charades.

Apple Chunk Cinnamon Rolls (Grain-Free)

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Question for you:

It’s moist, full of a delicious spice, extremely easy to make, and it’s calling your name. What is it? 😉

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Thank you Jenn for another lovely weekly round-up of the best food this blog world has to offer! Check out Peas and Crayons for this week’s top WIAW posts 🙂

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Coconut Flour Cinnamon Rolls

I didn’t really feel like it was that important to mention before, but today is my last full-time day at my internship. After this week I’m going to be working remote from my dorm room at school and the hours will be part time.

I’d like to say that I’ve loved everything about the job. But that wouldn’t really be true. It IS work after all 😉 What I can say is that I do not regret for a second my decision to take the internship. It’s pushed me outside of my comfort zone daily. I’ve learned a lot about patience both with customers as well as myself. Most importantly though I feel more experienced.

Coconut Flour Cinnamon Rolls

Nothing except for experience and practice can make one feel more prepared for the real world. I walked into this job knowing next to nothing about taxes and I’m walking out (well, I’m “half” out) much more knowledgeable and confident.

I also kind of feel the same way now about baking using unusual ingredients!

Practice practice practice

If at first you don’t succeed

Don’t give up just keep on trying

Til you get up to speed

A++ if you know where I got that quote from 😉

Now, it’s time to get to the recipe that I promised on Wednesday

Okay, so the first thing that you’ll notice with these suckers is that they use a lot of coconut oil. Well, not A LOT a lot, but it ends up being about 1 tbsp per roll. I figured that’s alright since you all are huge fans of coconut oil too and it’s basically the most praised ingredient among food bloggers right now because of its amazing health benefits.

Coconut Flour Cinnamon Rolls

That said, I’m thinking that next time I’m going to experiment a bit with swapping out some of the coconut oil for perhaps some applesauce or pumpkin… or both? Um, yes please. Pumpkin + apple is only one of the most epic combinations ever! I may wait until pumpkin season is upon us for that rendition, but I can guarantee you that it is going to happen.

Coconut Flour Cinnamon Rolls

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free, No Refined Sugar, GAPS/Paleo-Friendly

Makes six cinnamon rolls

Coconut Flour Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:

Roll Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed + 1/2 cup water (or 4 eggs I want to test this out first myself to ensure that it works)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup to make this vegan)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

*For a different flavor swapping out the banana for pumpkin puree or applesauce would be absolutely delicious!

Filling ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (enough to cover the entire dough)

*I’m thinking that some apple chunks in the filling would be amazing, as would replacing the coconut oil with applesauce here.

Topping ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, softened

* You can use any kind of topping here. Greek yogurt + honey would be a good one. As would applesauce, nut butter, just a plain drizzle of honey or maple syrup. More cinnamon? You can never have too much cinnamon 😀

Coconut Flour Cinnamon Rolls

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the flax seed and water together in a medium-sized bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until thick.
  3. Mash in the ripe banana and add the remaining liquid ingredients stirring well.
  4. Mix in the dry ingredients until well combined. Add more coconut flour if necessary so the dough is not sticky.
  5. Spread out another sheet of parchment paper and roll out the dough into a large rectangle (I just used my hands and it worked fine!).
  6. Coat the dough with the 2 tbsp coconut oil and 2 tbsp honey for the filling and sprinkle with the cinnamon.
  7. Roll up the dough and cut into six equal pieces. Place each piece on the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Meanwhile make the topping out of the honey and coconut oil.
  9. When the cinnamon rolls are done let cool slightly before topping and enjoying!

Notes: These are pretty nutrient-dense cinnamon rolls. One or two is plenty for a meal or snack, but I totally understand if you can’t just stop at one! 😉 If you are wanting to make these but you need a lower calorie version, here are a few suggestions- decrease the honey/coconut oil in the dough/filling to 1 tbsp in each part and replace banana and/or applesauce to keep the moisture consistent. Adding apple pieces to the filling to make the rolls thicker will also give you more bang for you calorie buck. As for the topping, you can simply drizzle the cinnamon rolls in just coconut oil or honey, replace it with some fresh fruit, cinnamon, or even eat them plain!

Shared at Food Forager.

Coconut Flour Cinnamon Rolls

Next week I hope to get busy in the kitchen as I know when school starts I’m going to rarely be home and have zero time to bake. <Insert sad face here> Look for a lot of food (as well as school) related posts coming your way soon!

Happy Friday everyone.

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Questions for you:

When do you go back to school?

What has taken you awhile to get the hang of, but you finally nailed it?

Looking back, what have you done this summer that makes it different than previous ones?

Chili, Chips, and Cheeze

Hola mis amigas (o amigos)!

I’ve still not gotten fully adjusted to this whole working around the clock thing, so today’s post isn’t going to be very long. My eyelids are drooping again way before I should be going to bed…

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Here is a recipe that I made a few weeks ago for my mom and dad before I headed off to my internship. In the words of my dad to my mom: “She really made this?”

Yes. It’s that good. 🙂 So gather up the ingredients and make some Mexican-inspired…

Chili, Chips and Cheeze

Makes Two Servings 

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Nut/Dairy/Egg-Free Options, Vegan Options, GAPS/Paleo-Friendly 

Chips Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour (or other nut/seed flour)
  • 1 egg white (see below for vegan substitution ideas)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt plus more for sprinkling
  • garlic and onion powder

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Cheeze Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp oil (I used ghee, but coconut oil, butter or a dairy-free substitute would work as well)
  • 1 cup butternut squash, pureed (cooked using this method)
  • 3/4-1 cup homemade almond milk (any type of milk would work here)
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp each ground mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp black pepper

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Chili Ingredients:

  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef (ground turkey, chicken, pork, would also work— see below for vegan substitution ideas)
  • 1/2-1 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup tomato puree (or sauce)
  • 1 tbsp honey (maple syrup or stevia for vegans would be fine too)
  • 1 tsp each of ground mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp each black pepper, chili powder

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Chips Directions:

Based on my Grain-Free Crispy Cracker Thins

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine the flour, egg white and sea salt to form a dough.
  3. Put a piece of parchment paper down on a cookie sheet. Place the dough in the middle. Place another piece of parchment paper on top. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough very very thin. When you think it’s thin enough, roll it out some more (you want it super thin for a crispy cracker. I also had to use my hands to spread out the dough).
  4. Remove the top parchment paper carefully.
  5. Use a knife to score the chips into triangle, chip-size pieces. Sprinkle with additional sea salt and other toppings to your liking.
  6. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. You may want to check at intervals thereafter; however, to make sure that they don’t burn (oven temps differ greatly). I then flipped the chips and baked for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Let cool for a few minutes and then carefully break off the chips.

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Cheeze Directions:

Adapted from Oh She Glows

  1. In a medium-sized pan, heat the 1 tbsp ghee/oil over medium-low heat.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the coconut flour and almond milk well. Add to the heated oil.
  3. Combine well and then stir in the remaining ingredients mixing with each addition.
  4. Stir frequently until the cheeze sauce has thickened (add more almond milk if you like your cheeze thinner).
  5. Remove from heat.

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Chili Directions:

  1. Over medium-high heat cook your ground beef (or substitute). Add the onions and peppers when almost through cooking and sautee until well-cooked.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and combine. Cook until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat.

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To make the dish:

1. Take about half of the chips and place them in a bowl/on a plate.

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2. Scoop on about half of the chili mixture.

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3. Top with desired amount of cheeze sauce.

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Substitution notes:

Nut-free: To make this recipe nut-free you can use sun flour in place of the almond flour, and any type of milk you desire in place of the almond milk (homemade sunflower seed milk, rice milk, cow’s milk, etc).

Dairy-free: To make this recipe dairy-free use coconut oil instead of ghee, and make sure to use a dairy-free milk option.

Egg-free: To make this recipe egg-free, I would recommend using a cracker recipe that you know and love. I think that making a chia/flax egg and substituting it in for the egg white in this recipe might also work, but I can’t guarantee the results.

Vegan: To make this recipe vegan, use all of the vegan substitution options above for dairy and egg-free as well as a sweetener in place of the honey. In addition, you can substitute the beef in the chili recipe with a number of different ingredients. A combination of diced mushrooms, cauliflower and extra onions/peppers would be a great way to keep this recipe paleo as well as vegan. Otherwise, cooked tvp, a meat substitute, lentils, and/or a combination of mashed beans would also be delicious. My recommendation is about 2 cups cooked (1 cup mushrooms, 1 cup lentils, and 1 cup beans sauteed and cooked would be my top pick).

Nightshade-free: To make this free of nightshade vegetables for those who have food allergies, try replacing the tomato puree with butternut squash puree and the diced peppers with celery, more onions, mushrooms, or carrots.

Shared at Fat Tuesday.

Thanks to Jenn for hosting the never-ending party that is What I Ate Wednesday!

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Tomorrow is of course going to be packed full of more work, but I’m going to try my hardest to reply to all of your comments on my last two posts, as well as comment on as many wonderful WIAW as I possibly can! Thanks for being patient with me!

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What is your favorite Mexican-inspired dish?

Do you like having a lot of subsidization options with recipes? Or would you rather just come up with substitution options on your own?

What is your favorite food that you shared for today’s WIAW post?

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread and “Memory Aromas” (WIAW)

As I write this it is Thursday morning and I’m sitting on my living room love-seat  The smell of sweet, baking bread floods the house. Coupled with the aroma of my mother’s vases upon vases of freshly cut lilacs, everywhere I turn I get a whiff of something wonderful.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread (Grain-Free)

The oven says that there is still 13:36 minutes to go, but I’m not sure that I can wait that long to take a peak at what’s inside. After mixing up the batter for my experimental bread loaf I popped it in the oven, set the timer, and in an unusual self-restraint I haven’t opened the oven door even once.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread (Grain-Free)

For me it’s not how the bread is going to taste, because I am 100% confident that the taste is spot-on. It is very impossible to go wrong with such simple ingredients. No, my main concern is how it is going to look and cut. Is it going to be too soft, too dense. Will it crumble when the knife slashes through the crust? Will there even be a nice golden crust that is pertinent in calling any baked good recipe a success?

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread (Grain-Free)

Right now though, I’m satisfied to just simply sit in content smelling the amazing scents wafting from my kitchen. I’ll worry about how it actually turns out 9:56 minutes from now. While we wait together though, how about we chat a moment about smells? Obviously I have a thing or two to say about them since the introduction to this post contained such words as “aroma,” “whiff” and “scents.”

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread (Grain-Free)

Isn’t it amazing how various smells can bring up so many wide-ranging feelings? For instance, whenever I smell cinnamon rolls my mind drifts back to Christmas mornings of my childhood where we’d pull out a few rolls of Pillsbury Dough Boy cylinders and have cinnamon-filled, frosting-covered pastries ready before my parents even came downstairs to open presents. On the other side, whenever I smell baked parmesean cheese I can’t help but remember the time in a fancy restaurant where my waitress accidentally spilled my arriving entree of spaghetti all over my entire lap much to my embarrassment as well as her’s.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread (Grain-Free)

According to some scientists who did an experiment in 2009, there is actually a reason behind why smells can provoke such vivid memories. Using a variety of odors, images and an fMRI scanner (to measure brain activity using changes in blood flow), the researchers tested 60 participants to uncover the scientific basis behind what the reporting article calls “memory aromas.” What they found was one week after being exposed the first time to the aromas and images, the participants elicited the same brain activity patterns. A graduate student, Yaara Yeshurun’s concluding remarks in regards to the study was “As far as we know, this phenomenon is unique to smell. Childhood olfactory memories may be special not because childhood is special, but simply because those years may be the first time we associate something with an odor.” (Psych Central).

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread (Grain-Free)

Armed with that dose of scientific knowledge and the timer just going off, I’m going to go check on my bread and will report back soon!

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread (Grain-Free)

Grain-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Dairy/Nut-Free Option, GAPS/Paleo-Friendly

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread (Grain-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour (replace with sun flour to make this nut free)
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup ghee, butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 small mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from approximately 1 1/2 lemons)
  • 2 tsp freshly grated lemon rind (from approximately 2 lemons)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread (Grain-Free)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large loaf pan (9″x5″) with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  2. In a small bowl combine the almond flour, poppy seeds and sea salt.
  3. Then separate the eggs, dropping the egg whites into a food processor and the egg yolks into a large bowl.
  4. Turn on the food processor and let it run until the egg whites are stiff.
  5. Meanwhile, add the ghee, honey, mashed banana, lemon juice, lemon rind and vanilla extract all to the large bowl of yolks and combine well.
  6. Next, using a spatula carefully fold in the whipped egg whites to the egg yolk mixture. Add the flour mixture next, folding it in just until combined (make sure to not over-mix or the egg whites will deflate and the bread will not rise as much).
  7. Pour the bread batter into our lined loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil to prevent the top from getting too dark (I dropped the ball on this part! 😉 ) and bake for approximately 45 more minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops springs back to the touch.
  8. Let cool completely before removing and slicing. Enjoy!

Note about the recipe: On GAPS you are not allowed to have baking soda in the beginning, so none of my baked goods recipe for GAPS include this ingredient. Thus why I have to whip the egg whites (it replicates the rise that baking soda causes). If you want to make this easier to make or make it vegan (by replacing the eggs with flax eggs), skip whipping the egg whites and add a tsp of baking soda to the dry ingredients. I haven’t tried it this way, but it should probably turn out fine.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread (Grain-Free)

Well, it was obviously a success! So much so that I’ve made it twice so far as my family gobbled up the first loaf in less than a day… The bread smelled just as wonderful out of the oven as it did while it was baking. Just heavenly! I literally leaned over the slices just to smell it since I wasn’t able to actually take a bite myself 🙂 This recipe is the perfect way to kick off the warmer months ahead when lemon is all the rage… Lemon slices in your water, lemon popsicles,  lemonade. And now lemon poppy seed bread!

Thanks Jenn for letting me share my recipe with WIAW today!

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What is your favorite way to enjoy lemon?

Do you have any memories that are linked to certain smells in the kitchen?

Is there any food that you are looking forward to this Spring/Summer?