Bars & Squares, Brownies, Wheat Free

Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies

January 27, 2016

almond butter chocolate chunk blondies //

almond butter chocolate chunk blondies //

almond butter chocolate chunk blondies //

Almond butter chocolate chunk blondies – a mouthful to say, and eat. These bars are chewy, crunchy and stick-to-your-mouth almond butter-y. You could switch the almond butter for peanut butter, but I find that almond butter has a deeper, more nutty flavour to it.  

And bonus, they’re wheat-free. Instead, make your own oat-flour in the blender. Adam and I recently bought a Vitamix. We put it on our registry, but we understood it would probably not be purchased since it is quite expensive. The Vitamix was definitely high on the ‘want’ list – so we waited until it was on sale and used some gift cards towards it. I use my blender on a very regular basis. Aside from smoothies, I used my blender for soups, purees, pancake and waffle batter, nut butter, ice-cream, sauces etc. So I was so thrilled when we finally got one. It came with two blender jugs, one specifically for dry grinding, such as making your own oat flour from oats. The oat flour comes out so smooth and fine. It’s amazing. I can’t wait to make some more flours for baking.

almond butter chocolate chunk blondies //

I’ve been trying to get some more recipes developed and made for the site to keep up on a more regular basis. Over the past year with wedding planning i’ll admit I was absent from the blog quite a lot. Now that the weather has been keeping us indoors, and I’ve got more free time on the weekends I’ve been trying to create some more recipes to post. The problem with working is that by the time I get home, the sun is just getting ready to set, and the light is terrible for taking photos. I only use natural light to take pictures for the blog, so beginning to bake at 4:00 and having the finished product ready after 5, means there’s little to no light left. 

So, on the weekends I’ve been trying to get in at least two recipes to make and photograph for the week ahead. These Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies were definitely one of them. I made these last week and they were so good. Definitely a welcome little snack each day. 

almond butter chocolate chunk blondies //

Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies
Yields 16
Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Bars are chewy, crunchy and stick-to-your-mouth almond-buttery.
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  1. 1 1/4 cups almond butter
  2. 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  3. 2 eggs, room temperature
  4. 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  5. 3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  6. 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  7. 2 tsp baking powder
  8. 1/2 cup almond milk
  9. 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
  10. 1/4 cup almonds, chopped (optional)
  11. 1/4 cup toasted coconut (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. To make the oat flour, blend 2 cups oats on high speed until fine flour, then measure out 1 and 3/4 cups.
  3. Line an 9x9-inch square pan with parchment paper.
  4. In large mixing bowl or stand mixer with whisk attachment, cream together the coconut sugar, almond butter, coconut oil and vanilla. Add in the eggs and mix to combine.
  5. In separate bowl, whisk together oat flour, rolled oats and baking powder.
  6. With mixer on low, alternate adding dry ingredients and milk. Mix to combine on medium-low speed.
  7. Remove bowl from mixer, and add the chocolate chunks using a spatula or spoon to combine.
  8. Scoop batter evenly into prepared 9x9 baking pan.
  9. Sprinkle top of batter with chopped almonds, coconut and chocolate chunks if desired.
  10. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until edges are golden and toothpick inserted in centre comes out mostly clean.
  11. Let cool completely on countertop, remove from baking dish an cut into bars.
  1. Store in container or ziplock on countertop, or freeze. They are deliciously dense when frozen - and have a lovely crisp crust on top. When the chocolate sets, it adds a satisfying bite.
Adapted from blissful basil
Adapted from blissful basil
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Bread, Breakfast, Muffins

Peach Streusel Muffins

January 23, 2016

Peach Muffin

Peach Muffin

When I first thought about going into teaching, I had wanted to be a home economics teacher. However, the university I was at didn’t offer this degree, as well, you need a strong science background for it (apparently). I guess an english major and history minor aren’t exactly the skills needed – though I wholly disagree. Of course you need to know how to bake, so that when you’re reading Jane Austen you can enjoy a homemade cookie, or peach muffin, with a nice cup of tea – obviously.

I still think I would love to be in home economics, sharing recipes with students and teaching others how to bake and cook. If I remember anything from my home economics teacher, it’s that you never want to over-mix muffins because you don’t want tunnels. In baking, the term “tunneling” refers to tunnels and very large air pockets that form inside of muffins and quick breads, as a result of over-mixing the batter. Over-mixing causes tunneling because it causes more gluten to develop than you really need. So, remember to not over-mix, and your muffins will turn out perfectly baked with that lovely domed top. 

Peach Muffin

As an attempt to brighten up the dreary January skies, and dark early mornings, these muffins are a welcome beginning to the day. Great for breakfast on the go, or toss one in your lunch kit for a midday snack. 

Peach Muffin

Cal Cling Peach 2

No need to wait for summer to make these muffins thanks to canned California cling peaches. Did you know, the canning process of peaches has been proven to increase key nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin B and folate. Another reason to enjoy this delicious summer fruit year-round. 

The muffins are perfectly studded with ripe chunks of peaches and lightly flavoured with ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.

peach muffins

Peach Muffin
Peach Muffin

Peach Streusel Muffins
Yields 9
Thanks to canned peaches, these muffins capture the juicy summer fruit at its peak. Studded with peaches, lightly spiced and topped with an oat streusel topping.
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  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 1/4 cup white sugar
  3. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  4. 2 eggs, room temperature
  5. 1/2 cup non-dairy milk, room temperature
  6. 2 cups all-purpose flour, or gluten-free flour blend
  7. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  11. 1 can California cling peaches, drained and diced
  1. 3/4 cup rolled oats
  2. 1 Tbs. light brown sugar
  3. 2 Tbs. butter, chilled
  4. dash of cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Grease muffin tin with coconut oil spray, or other cooking spray.
  3. In medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with blender until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs and milk and mix together until fully incorporated.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  6. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the creamed butter and sugar mixture, stir gently to combine - do not over-mix- use a spatula or wooden spoon here. Mix until almost all the flour is incorporated.
  7. Stir in the peaches gently, folding them with a spatula until just mixed.
  8. In a small bowl, mix all the streusel topping ingredients together with pastry blender, or fork. Spoon batter into the muffin pan. Fill to the top.
  9. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the batter and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden.
  1. Makes 9 large muffins, or 12 slightly smaller muffins.
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peach muffins

3Peach-Can-150x150 post sponsored by California cling peaches.

Breakfast, Clean Eats, Healthy

Peachy Overnight Oats

January 18, 2016

peachy overnight oats

As the work routine and school routine falls back in place after the holidays and break, one thing i’ve been sure to have ready for each day is breakfast. I’m terrible at leaving enough time in the morning to eat or make something healthy, so i need to plan in advance. 

One go-to breakfast idea I always fall back on is overnight oats. You can prepare them the night before, or at the start of the week, and simply grab one to go in the morning. I like to make a big batch then divide it up into jars so I know I have a healthy, filling breakfast in the morning. The combination is simple – oats, milk and fruit. I particularly love juicy fruit, because it adds to the texture, and of course flavour.

peachy overnight oats

peachy oats

I had never thought about using canned fruit in overnight oats, but now I can’t believe I didn’t use them sooner. Canned fruit is bursting with flavour, juicy, and the liquid adds to the creamy texture of the oatmeal. Canned California cling peaches are perfect to use for these overnight oats. The peaches are full of flavour, they’re soft, and drenched with juices. 

Cal Cling Peach 3

Did you know, most of the canned peaches in Canada actually come from California? It just makes sense, when you think of California, you think of sunny, warm, bright colours – just like their peaches! Canned peaches are just as nutritious, if not more nutritious, with high amounts of Vitamin C, Antioxidants and Vitamin E. California cling peaches have no preservatives and are often packed in their own juice – which is why you should add it to the overnight oats! A naturally sweet syrup.

peach oats

Peachy Overnight Oats
Yields 2
A quick breakfast for busy weekday mornings - loaded with nutrition and flavour.
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  1. 1 can California cling peaches, diced, juice reserved
  2. 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (not quick oats)
  3. 1 1/2 cups dairy-free milk (or regular, or even yogurt!)
  4. chia seeds (optional)
  5. seeds (optional)
  1. In small mason jars, or small bowls, add 1 cup oats per serving.
  2. Top oats each with half of the diced peaches along with 2-3 Tbs. of their juices.
  3. Pour 3/4 cup dairy-free milk overtop each serving, stir in chia seeds if using.
  4. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight.
  5. In the morning you can add seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower, and stir slightly.
  6. Enjoy
  1. Can be made a few days in advance. I like to make a big batch on Sunday, and eat it for a few days afterwards. The longer the oats sit with the peaches and their juices, along with the milk, the creamier and more flavour infused they get. Not a fan of cold oats? Go ahead and heat 'em up! Like a healthy peach cobbler for breakfast, ready in about a minute.
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This post is sponsored by California cling peaches