Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Before we went on vacation (which was a blast btw), my friend gave me this HUGE zucchini from her garden. I didn't have time to do anything with it before we left, so I just stuck it in the fridge. When we got home, I made some zucchini bread for the boys.

I had been wanting to do a chocolate recipe for awhile. I made crispy chocolate cookies that didn't turn out as I expected. They were good and my boy ate quite a few, but they weren't blog worthy.   While I was back home visiting my parents, I decided to make some gluten free brownies. They turned out OK but were missing something. While I was making the zucchini bread for the boys, I decided a gluten free dark chocolate zucchini bread would probably be pretty great. So of course I had to give it a try, and I was right, pretty darn tasty, if I do say so myself :D

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

(Adapted from: Skinnyms. Zucchini Bread)

Wet ingredients:
1/3 cup coconut oil or canola oil
3/4 cup agave syrup or honey
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup rice milk
1 cup grated zucchini

Dry ingredients:
3/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (these are optional, I grated a 70% cocoa bar, but dark chocolate chips would work better)
1 cup walnuts


1.  Mix together all wet ingredients until combined.
2. In a separate bowl whisk together dry ingredients.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined.
4. Poor batter into a greased loaf pan.
5. Bake in the center of a preheated 325° oven for one hour. I turned my loaf around after 30 minutes so it baked more evenly.
6. Let cool on a wire rack 10-15 minutes. Slice and serve with vegan margarine.
7. Store in fridge or freeze to eat later!

I still have half of that huge zucchini in the fridge. I'm thinking I may just have to make some more GF chocolate zucchini bread for the lovely, gluten free friend who gave me the zucchini ;)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Orange Spiced Avocado Smoothie

I love anything with cinnamon and allspice. I guess I'm just an all around spice girl!  Tell me what you want, what you really really want! I'm so sorry, I just had to get that out :D  You know what I really want? Another orange spiced avocado smoothie. I made one for breakfast this morning and it was, as my son would say, DEE-licious! 

Orange Spiced Avocado Smoothie

1 1/4 cups orange juice (I used fresh but store bought would be fine)
1 small avocado (or half of a large)
1/2 cup ice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice

orange rind


1. Throw all ingredients, except orange rind, into blender and blend until smooth.
2. Top with orange rind.

If allspice isn't your thang, stay tuned, I've got a chocolate recipe in the works!  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Strawberry Banana Muffins

I love muffins. When I first went gluten free, what I missed the most were muffins. Some of the first GF muffins I made, turned out rock hard  a little less than desirable, but I kept trying. I gotta say, I'm pretty proud of my GF muffins these days. Even hubby eats them up, which says ALOT! My boy and hubby ate quite a few of these the last couple days. I only ate ummm, 12 in one day. Yeah I kind of feel like a pig, but hey they're healthy, so whatever :P

Strawberry Banana Muffins

1/2 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
2  ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg (or egg replacer)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup strawberries


1. Whisk together all dry ingredients.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together mashed bananas, egg, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla. Then add this mixture to dry ingredients and beat. Slowly add in water and continue to beat until smooth.
3. Mix in strawberries.
4. Fill greased or lined muffin cups three quarters full. Bake in center of a preheated 375° oven for 30-35 minutes, or until browned and a knife inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.
5. Then take a bite, before your Mama can get a picture of the perfect muffin...

Most GF baking is best eaten when it's still warm from the oven. Store in freezer, defrost or reheat before eating. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Strawberry Breakfast

We went strawberry picking yesterday! The berries are super tasty. My basket was filling up pretty slowly because most of the ones I was picking were ending up in my mouth! 

I couldn't wait to juice some :D I've used my juicer every day so far and I'm amazed at how I feel already. I don't even feel like I need a coffee after I drink my juice in the morning. This is pretty shocking. If you know me, then you know that I'm the type of person that needs her coffee in the morning.  Yes, I'm one of those.  

This morning I sipped on a strawberry herb juice, and although I didn't feel like I needed a coffee afterwards, I had one anyway, because...well, I like coffee :)

Strawberry Herb Juice

1 1/2 cups strawberries
1 1/2 cups watermelon
1 cup parsley
1 cup cilantro


1. Prepare ingredients.
2. Press all ingredients through juicer.
3. Stir.
4. Drink :D 

If you haven't noticed by now, I like simple recipes. I am definitely not going to make something if it has an ingredient list that is two pages long, and fifty different things I have to do before I can actually eat it. uhhh no, not going to happen at Reb's Place! I like healthy, gluten free, dairy free recipes that are SIM-PLE. I'm all about simplicity, especially if I'm making it first thing in the morning, like this Strawberry Oatmeal.

Strawberry Oatmeal

1 1/2 cups rice milk
1/2 cup GF steel cut oats
1/2 cup strawberries

fresh strawberries
unsweetened coconut flakes


1.  Add rice milk to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Add GF steel cut oats and strawberries, reduce heat to min, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Turn heat off, and let sit covered for 5-10 minutes.
It's ready when it looks like this. 
4. Top with agave, fresh strawberries, and coconut flakes. 

mmm strawberries! 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Look what I bought!

After seeing some juice recipes on pinterest this week, I decided we needed a juicer. This one just happened to be on sale, $40 off, woohoo! 

I made orange juice right away! And it was, oh so...FRESH!  

If I had other fruits and vegetables in the fridge, I would have juiced those too, but we desperately need to do a grocery.  I can't wait to experiment with different juice combinations! :D 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Carrot Spice Balls

I just recently discovered energy balls and I am in LOVE with this snack! They are easy to make. They don't require baking and taste better cold, great for summer. They are Healthy (yup that's "Healthy" with a capital H), loaded with fiber, healthy fats, and protein, which make for a great pick me up snack in the middle of the afternoon. They make fantastic snacks for kids since they taste like a cookie BUT are actually good for you :D

Have I convinced you yet?

I wanted to make an energy ball with carrots in them since my boy LOVES raw carrots. I love anything containing cinnamon, so my boy and I whipped these carrot spice balls up this afternoon! Actually I whipped them up, while my boy whipped coconut flakes all over the kitchen floor :S 

Carrot Spice Balls

1 organic carrot
3/4 cup pecans or almonds
1/2 cup GF oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
3-4 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes


1. Process carrot and nuts in a food processor until ground.
2. Add oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice and pulse for a few seconds until it combines.
3. Add raisins, sunflower seed butter, and maple syrup. Blend until it all sticks together. If you find it's too wet, add a bit more oats. 

4. Time to roll! You can do this with your hands or what I like to do is scoop it with an ice scream scoop (around a tablespoon) and gently shape ball with my palm up against it. 
5. Roll balls in coconut flakes until covered.
6. Store in fridge or freezer.  We like to eat them right out of the freezer :D

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Simple Gluten Free Pancakes

I always had digestive problems growing up. I just thought it was the way my body worked and there was really nothing I could do about it. When I left home and started university, my digestive problems just seemed to get worse. After several years, I finally saw a specialist, who told me I was fine and all I needed was to eat more fiber. So I did just that, filled up on whole wheat, bran, metamucil, you name it, if it was high in fiber and bran, I ate it! My problems got WAY worse. I started waking up in the middle of the night bent over with horrible pains. I didn't understand. I was filling up on fiber, drinking water, doing just what the specialist told me to do. Why was it getting worse? I gave up.

Time passed and I started a co-op placement, and got along really well with one of my coworkers. We had alot in common, especially our interest in healthy eating. She came in to work one day and told me her naturopath had suggested she try a wheat free diet, and she encouraged me to give it a try as well.  I went and bought some wheat free and gluten free foods to last me a week.  Within a few days, ALL of my symptoms were gone. The cramps, the digestive issues, the fogginess, the lightheaded feelings, were GONE. I could not believe it. I remember thinking well that was simple!  Yeah, the no more bread, cookies, and muffins was sad, but I was just relieved that I had a solution!

It's been over 5 years now. I would be lying if I said I haven't touched wheat or gluten since. While I was pregnant, I noticed it didn't bother me as much, so I indulged probably more often than I should have. But now that I'm not pregnant, it doesn't take long for me to feel unwell after eating it. So I've been avoiding it as much as I can. I know for sure that I feel better when I do not eat it.

It was hard at first, but I got used to it. I can still have bread, cookies, and muffins just made with different ingredients. I find alternatives, and I have more energy to do it because I feel GREAT...well, as long as my kids sleep ;)

bet know alot of people are walking around not realizing that they can feel 100 times better just by eliminating gluten from their diets. Or some people do realize that gluten doesn't cooperate with them but they just don't know how to get started on a gluten free lifestyle.

There are SO many resources out there now. Gluten Free Goddess is my favourite.  Her recipes are fantastic and she has a very  informative page on How to Go Gluten Free.

Pancakes are a great starting point into gluten free baking. They're simple (a.k.a don't need a million different types of flours that some GF recipes call for) and if you screw them up, just add more maple syrup :D

Simple Gluten Free Pancakes

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar or xylitol
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups coconut milk or rice milk
1 egg
3 tbsp oil

Vegan margarine
Maple Syrup
Hemp seeds

1. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
2. Add in milk, egg, and oil and mix. Add in more milk if the batter is too thick.
3. Melt a spoonful of vegan margarine in a skillet over medium heat.
4. Spoon 1/3 cup of batter onto skillet, and spread batter into a round. 
5. Cook for a couple minutes until bubbles form and start to bust, then flip. 
Apparently flipping pancakes while holding a baby takes practice...
That's Better :)
6. Cook another couple minutes or until browned.
While I waited I tried to figure out what baby Dee's eyes will turn out to be. What do you think?
7. Top with vegan margarine, fruit, hemp seeds, and of course, pure maple syrup! 

I told my boy I made him a yummy pancake WITH syrup and he said "no, I want a carrot".  A veggie you want, a veggie you will get :D 
I think he was pretending to be a bunny.
As for Baby Dee, she was happy with eating her hand. Yeah that's right, she eats her hand like royalty!