Banana, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins | Gluten Free

Soft and sweet miniature banana, peanut butter, and chocolate chip muffins make the perfect afternoon snack. These tiny sweet treats are super simple to make, and healthy too!

Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMy afternoon pre-gym snacks have been a little lacklustre lately: carrot sticks, celery sticks, plain rice thins – not exactly the sort of power snack that inspires a powerful workout after riding a desk all day. The key to a successful afternoon snack I feel is a combination of a few elements: something slightly sweet (to get over that 3pm slump); something healthy (to support my health goals); and something light but still filling (to stop the tummy rumbles but not weigh me down).

Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThese adorable little bites contain all of my favourite pre-run nibbles: crunchy creamy peanut butter, sweet ripe bananas, and oh-so-nice milk chocolate chips. Yes, chocolate chips are a perfectly acceptable pre-run nibble on occasion. And when paired with protein and healthy fat packed peanut butter and complex carbohydrate containing banana in my mini muffins they are just the cherry on-top of a healthy little nibble. You can leave them out of course, at your own risk….

Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMy Banana, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins are super quick to make too. I whipped these up on a busy Tuesday night so that I would have running fuel for the rest of the week. They also make a great quick and easy breakfast. Simpy grab a few mini muffins and some yoghurt or fruit and you have a great on-the-go breakfast. If you are making these for kids who go to a no-nut policy school you can simply substitute the peanut butter for sunflower seed butter, or use two extra tablespoons of yoghurt instead.

Get out that mixing bowl and spoon tonight – you are only twenty minutes away from a sweet healthy treat for your lunchbox tomorrow!

Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Banana, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Gluten Free | Makes about 24 mini muffins | Best eaten within two days | Freeze leftovers tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to two months

Ingredients

  • 1 large banana, well mashed
  • 1/3 cup Greek yoghurt (or plain, natural yoghurt)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran oil (or other flavourless vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and spray a 24-hole mini muffin baking tin with baking oil.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl beat together mashed banana, yoghurt, egg, oil, vanilla extract, peanut butter, and brown sugar until smooth.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together sorghum flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Add chocolate chips (reserve a few for dotting onto the top if you’d like) and stir until distributed through batter.
  6. Divide batter between holes of mini muffin tin. Fill only to 2/3 of the way to avoid the muffins spilling over the top.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then tip out to cool completely.

Banana, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Zucchini, Carrot and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free

Zucchini bread and carrot cake united in pancake form! Puffy, fluffy, thick pancakes with chunks of toasted walnuts inspired by a cafe favourite, but easy enough for everyday.

Zucchini, Carrot, and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI ate a two tall stack of these while reading the newspaper on Sunday morning. Does anyone read the newspaper anymore? I like to grab a copy on the weekend after a long walk and settle in at the kitchen table with a late breakfast and read about what’s happening in the wide world that’s fit to print and, of course, do the crossword. The sun streams in the window and a light bay breeze tickles the leaves of the bougainvillea vine that grows over half of the house. It’s a moment of bliss to be grateful for. On a normal day the internet and the radio are my source of information about the world, but on a Sunday, with a stack of pancakes, the smell and smudge of newspaper print fits perfectly.

Zucchini, Carrot, and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThese pancakes are packed with cafe-favourite inspired flavours. Carrot cake and zucchini bread combined and smashed into pancakes! Which lends you totally legitimate reason to smother them in maple syrup, or your choice of pancake topper (almond butter, jam, honey, butter – whatever your pleasure), I like to think of it as frosting for your pancakes. Sweet carrot, mixed with cinnamon and crunchy toasted walnuts, all wrapped up in the warm cloud of maple syrup kissed pancake batter: Sunday morning bliss.

Now, I like my pancakes fluffy but substantial and these puffy, flavoursome delights deliver on both fronts. The batter features one egg and two egg whites for extra fluff, and a mix of milk and plain Greek yoghurt for added thickness and a tender crumb. True zucchini bread/carrot cake flavour is represented by a respectful dose of cinnamon, vanilla, and toasted walnuts.

Zucchini, Carrot, and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeTo tell you a secret though: there is only a small amount of brown sugar in the mix, and no added fat at all. This is a cafe brunch that won’t have you weighed down for the rest of your weekend, and is perfect for weekdays too. The leftovers from this batch are tightly wrapped in my freezer and are steadily making their way to work in my lunch box as a morning tea treat. Unfortunately no-one has invented a desk-sized bottle of maple syrup. Now that would be newsworthy.

These are a great idea to make with little nourished lifers too! Get them to help with mixing and stirring the batter, and show them how the bubbles on the pancake mean its time to flip it over. I have great memories of making pancakes with my parents, which is probably why they are my Sunday newspaper breakfast of choice. Enjoy!

Zucchini, Carrot, and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeZucchini, Carrot and Walnut Pancakes

Gluten Free | Makes about 12 (10cm/4-inch) pancakes | Recipe easily halved
Leftovers will keep, well-wrapped, in the freezer for up to two months

Ingredients

  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 80 grams almond meal
  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 80 grams buckwheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg + 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Method

  1. Use the large holes of a box grater to coarsely grate the zucchini and carrot. Wrap grated vegetables in a few layers of paper towel and squeeze to remove some of the moisture. Set aside until required.
  2. Place walnuts under broiler and turn broiler on medium-high. Cook for 6-7 minutes, shaking tray occasionally to turn walnuts over. Once toasted, remove from the broiler and allow to cool before roughly chopping to use in pancakes.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together almond meal, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl vigorously whisk together yoghurt, milk, egg and egg whites, vanilla essence, and brown sugar until well incorporated.
  5. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  6. Using a wooden spoon mix in grated zucchini and carrot and toasted, chopped walnuts.
  7. Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Spray with cooking spray.
  8. Using a large ice cream scoop portion out pancake batter onto pan. Use the back of the scoop to encourage the batter to spread into a circle. Remember to leave plenty of room between pancakes for spreading and flipping. I cooked one pancake at a time on a small pan but to speed up the process use a larger frying pan.
  9. Cook pancake for three minutes on one side. Small bubbles will begin rising to the uncooked surface. Once most of these have popped, flip the pancake and cook for another two minutes on the second side. Transfer to a plate and cover with a tea towel to keep warm while you cook the rest of the batter.
  10. Once all pancakes are cooked serve with your favourite toppings.

Zucchini, Carrot, and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

 

Mocha Banana Muffins

I believe that if you can eat chocolate for breakfast you should, and if that chocolate happens to be healthy, paired with coffee, and baked into soft muffin-y form then all the better. If you have bananas languishing in your fruit bowl at the end of the week, some cocoa powder, and a few eggs, then you are well on your way to a healthy weekend breakfast treat.

Mocha Banana Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

This weekend I am going to the Good Food and Wine Show with my friend Casey, but beforehand we are meeting with my Mum, sister, and friend Bree at the Farmer’s Markets for breakfast and coffee – you know, to pre-fuel for our day of eating samples of myriad delicious things. So, healthy, gluten free, chocolate and banana muffins were my pick for a breakfast treat. Paired with a cappuccino from my favourite coffee shop we will be ready for a day of touring the halls of the convention centre in search of nibbles of cheese, and new gluten free products.

Mocha Banana Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

You are going to love these muffins. Quick to assemble and put in the oven, you can make them in the morning and serve them fresh to your family for breakfast, or you can mix them up while dinner is cooking and have fresh treats for the whole family’s lunch boxes. This recipe would make a great baking project to make with little ones who are just learning to bake. A few simple steps, some measuring (a great way to learn maths – it certainly helped me), and a delicious result! All you need to do is mash bananas (a great job for little kids too), mix in yoghurt and eggs, and add to some gluten free flour with a handful of chocolate chips (because, sometimes you need chocolate chips in your breakfast). Bake them for 20 minutes and voila! Mocha Banana Muffins for the whole family to enjoy.

Mocha Banana Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

 

Mocha Banana Muffins

Makes 12 muffins | Gluten Free | Leftovers will keep 3 days at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped tightly frozen for up to 2 months

Note: if you don’t need these to be gluten free, use 210 grams (1 1/2 cups) plain flour in place of the hazelnut meal, sorghum flour, and white rice flour.

Ingredients

  • 2 large bananas, well mashed
  • 2/3 cup non-fat Greek yoghurt (or plain natural yoghurt)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoon rice bran oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup hazelnut meal
  • 1/3 cup white rice flour
  • 2/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin papers.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together mashed bananas, yoghurt, eggs, oil, and vanilla essence until thick and smooth.
  3. Dissolve coffee powder in water and add to banana mixture along with brown sugar. Whisk until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together hazelnut meal, white rice flour, sorghum flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
  6. Add chocolate chips and stir gently until well distributed.
  7. Divide batter evenly between muffin papers.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops bounce back when gently touched.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and cool to room temperature.

Mocha Banana Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Banana and Coconut Baked Doughnuts (gluten free)

I had to get these doughnuts out of the house. After eating two on Sunday and another two on Monday, when I was reaching for my third (all before dinner mind you) I knew that I had a good recipe on my hands, but a problem where my health goals and skinny jeans were concerned. So, I packaged them up, called Dad, and told him that there would be a delivery for him tomorrow from me, care of Chris. (I love that he doesn’t mind playing delivery man during his lunch hour). My Dad sent me home with a car-washing care package on Saturday so it was only fair that I repaid him with doughnuts. That’s the way the payment system works in our house!

Banana and Coconut Baked Doughnuts | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

The reason I couldn’t stop myself after one doughnut? Firstly, these ones are kinda healthy (shh – don’t tell Dad): there isn’t too much sugar because the ripe bananas provide natural sweetness to the batter, and there are only two tablespoons of olive oil instead of butter. Secondly, banana and coconut is one of my favourite flavour combinations (see here for evidence): the banana and bold coconut partner perfectly in these soft little cakey rounds and the coconut glaze on top really seals the deal. Also, toasted coconut should be sprinkled on everything.

Banana and Coconut Baked Doughnuts | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I love baked doughnuts. I love that they don’t require scary deep-frying instruments and all that oil that I would probably burn myself with, and I love that they can go from a wish to reality in about 30 minutes. These would make a wonderful lunch box treat, and you could probably get the kids to help you with the measuring, mashing, stirring, mixing and dunking. You should probably let them help with the eating too, I suppose.

Banana and Coconut Baked Doughnuts | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Banana Coconut Baked Doughnuts

Gluten Free | Makes 15-16 mini doughnuts | Will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days

Note: If you do not require these to be gluten free you can use 250 grams of plain flour in place of the first five ingredients. If you do this reduce the milk to ¼ cup.

Because coconut flour soaks up a lot of liquid you may need to use up to ¾ cup of milk in the recipe. You want a loose, muffin type mixture for your baked doughnuts. Add the smaller amount of milk first and if required add the extra ¼ cup.

Ingredients

For the doughnuts

  • 50 grams sorghum flour
  • 50 grams almond meal
  • 50 grams brown rice flour
  • 50 grams white rice flour
  • 50 grams coconut flour
  • 50 grams brown sugar
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup Greek/natural yoghurt
  • ½ – ¾ cup milk
  • ¾ cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 large bananas)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon coconut essence
  • ½ cup shredded coconut

For the glaze

  • 1 1/2- 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut essence
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes

Method

  1.  Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and oil 16 holes in two 12 hole mini doughnut pans. You could also use muffin tins if you do not have doughnut pans.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together sorghum flour, almond meal, brown rice flour, white rice flour, coconut flour, brown sugar, caster sugar, salt, and baking soda. Whisk well to ensure there are no lumps of sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together yoghurt, 1/2 cup milk, mashed banana, eggs, oil, vanilla extract and coconut essence.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk together. The mixture should be similar to a muffin batter. If the batter is too thick add the extra 1/4 cup of milk. Stir in shredded coconut.
  5. Spoon batter into a large piping bag fitted with a wide-mouthed round tip and pipe into doughnut holes. This is much easier than spooning it in!
  6. Place pans in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Swap position of the trays halfway through baking time.
  7. Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a rack before glazing and decorating.
  8. To make the glaze: In a medium-sized bowl  whisk together 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, and coconut essence. The consistency should be runny, but not watery, you want it similar to a custard consistency. Add extra icing sugar or milk as required to reach the right consistency. Place coconut flakes into a small bowl. Dip doughnuts into glaze first and then into toasted coconut. Place on a lined baking tray or cooling rack to dry.

Banana and Coconut Baked Doughnuts | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Blueberry and Oat Smoothies

Mondays are like a blank slate. When my alarm clock goes off on Monday morning I feel like the starting gun has fired and I am off and racing through the week. Monday means everything starts again in a way. You have the chance to make the coming week whatever you want. You can wake up with a whole new approach and start taking steps for the positive. Monday also means my calendar is loaded up again. Just like most people I imagine! There is work, uni, running, family and friends to catch up with, and then the dreaded housework…It’s more like an obstacle course than a race some days I think!

Blueberry and Oat Smoothies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Like any race you need to make sure you have some healthy snacks to keep you fuelled along the way. I snack a lot. I am what my Mum calls a ‘grazer’. I just can’t go longer than 2 hours without something delicious to eat. I keep crackers and peanut butter, apples, almonds, mandarins, and cranberries in my drawer at work so that I always have something healthy to reach for when the need to munch arises. When I’m at home I snack on fruit, crackers, and sometimes cookies or cake…or leftover ice cream cake from my boyfriend’s birthday party….ahem.

On Sunday I had a delightfully big breakfast to celebrate my Mum: two slices of seeded gluten free bread with smashed avocado and feta and slow-roasted tomatoes. Delicious. Needless to say by lunch time I wasn’t feeling like too much lunch. I was feeling the need for a substantial snack that would leave some room for a cookie or three for afternoon tea after I scrubbed the oven. Don’t ask. A smoothie was the answer to my needs, and I was inspired by my cousin Grace’s tall glass of mixed berry smoothie at breakfast.

Blueberry and Oat Smoothies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

This smoothie is refreshing, cool, flavoured with blueberries, and vanilla, thickened with oats and chia seeds. It filled me up until Chris and I slurped up bowls of black bean chilli for dinner. It makes a great snack for two, or a filling but light breakfast for one. This smoothie is perfect as an after school snack for kids. Sweet, but not so much that it will have them bouncing off the walls, and filling without ruining their dinner.

Blueberry and Oat Smoothies

Makes 2 small or 1 large smoothie | Gluten Free |

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries, not defrosted
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or dairy if preferred)
  • 1/4 cup Greek style fat free yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free quick oats (or rolled oats)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seed
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon raw almonds

Method

  1. Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into glass/es and serve immediately.

Blueberry and Oat Smoothies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Sprinkled Coconut Ice

I know a sweet recipe is good when my little sister, who is usually collected, healthy and wholesome about her diet, loses her control and eats two or three pieces in one fell swoop. When I was thinking about an Easter gift for Jess I knew that chocolate eggs wouldn’t be her style, and then I remembered her delight over the presence of coconut ice at a wedding we attended recently – I knew what I needed to make immediately.

Sprinkle Coconut Ice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Gluten Free

Coconut Ice has been a tradition in our family for a long time. Every Christmas as part of our huge Christmas dessert spread there is a crystal plate filled with little pastel squares. The same at Easter, and most other family gatherings. I must admit that we usually purchase our coconut ice, but after making this batch for Jessica’s Easter present I don’t think we will be buying it any more. Coconut ice is easy to make, no pots, pans or oven required. Perfect for making with little kids, especially since they can get their hands dirty while kneading the mixture together (this appeals to big kids too). This colourful offering is an old-fashioned sort of treat, but whenever you bring a dish people can’t help but smile.

Sprinkle Coconut Ice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Gluten Free

The hardest part about making coconut ice is waiting for it to set, and I am not ashamed to admit that I did nibble at a few stray crumbs after I had pressed the majority into the baking tin. (I did go for a run beforehand, balance people). The addition of sprinkles here is entirely extraneous to the flavour, but it certainly adds a festive element. You can leave them out, but when given the opportunity to use sprinkles I think one should always seize upon it. Also, I just happen to be in a sprinkle mood: Exhibit A, my cookies from last week. Jess’s eyes lit up with delight and the jar was soon opened and shared. The sprinkles weren’t extraneous at all, not when I saw Jess’s smile.

Sprinkle Coconut Ice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Gluten Free

 

Sprinkled Coconut Ice

Gluten Free – Check that your icing sugar and sprinkles are gluten free. I use Dollar Sweets Bright Sprinkles because they are certified gluten free. 

Makes about 64 pieces (2.5cm square)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
  • 1 x 390 gram can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut essence
  • 2 tablespoons milk (may be required)
  • 1/3 cup multicoloured sprinkles (see head note)
  • Pink food colouring

Method

  1. Line an 8-inch square cake tin or baking dish with baking paper.
  2. Sift icing sugar into a large bowl. Gently whisk in dessicated coconut.
  3. Add condensed milk, vanilla and coconut essence. Mix well until all dry ingredients are included. If your mixture is too dry and you can’t get everything to incorporate you may need milk. You may need to wet your hands and knead the coconut ice by hand.
  4. Divide coconut mixture in half. Knead sprinkles into one half. Colour the other half with pink food colouring to desired tint.
  5. Press sprinkled half into prepared tin/dish. I roll a flat sided glass across the top to banish my finger dents. Then press pink portion on top and roll glass across to flatten.
  6. Cover dish with cling wrap and place in refrigerator for three hours, or until set.
  7. When set remove from fridge and cut into small slices to serve. I cut mine into 2.5cm x 2.5cm.
  8. Coconut Ice will keep in fridge for up to three weeks.

This would make a lovely gift for Mother’s Day! Simply place in a jar and wrap with a big pink ribbon. This would definitely be welcomed by my Mum and Mormor.

Sprinkle Coconut Ice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Gluten Free

Sprinkle and White Chocolate Cookies

Some of my earliest memories are of making cookies. Four year old Amy standing on a stool watching Mum make her famous chocolate chip cookies after she had put Jessica down for a nap; seven year old Amy and four year old Jess getting their hands dirty rolling dough into balls while making melting moments with Dad from his old Navy cookbook. Staying overnight at our Mormor’s house the scents of a faraway Denmark would be conjured as we made biscuits whose recipes were only carried in Mormor’s memory. As we got older we took over the kitchen in the afternoons and made the classic cookies and biscuits that had become a tradition in our biscuit tin. Perhaps that is why cookies are the first thing I want to cook when I step into the kitchen. When I am sad a batch of chocolate chip cookies is the cure. When I am happy whipping up delicate sandwiched creations are a celebratory experience.

Sprinkle and White Chocolate Cookie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

These cookies are a celebration: of Easter, of time with family, and of chocolate and sprinkles and the fact that it’s okay to be frivolous sometimes. These are chewy cookies studded with sweet white chocolate chips and showered with a confetti of coloured sprinkles. The dough is rich with vanilla and almond extracts. One request: remember to chill the dough because this stops the butter from melting as soon as it comes into contact with the heat from the oven and therefore prevents the cookies from spreading too much. It seems like a pain, but really it gives you time to clean the kitchen so that you can enjoy your cookies without having to worry about the dishes. These are also great to make with the little ones. Soon enough they’ll be grown and making them for you!

Sprinkle and White Chocolate Cookie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Sprinkle and White Chocolate Cookies

Gluten free. Makes at least 24 cookies. I used ‘Dollar Sweets’ Sprinkles because they are gluten free!

If you do not require these to be gluten free you can use a total of 2 cups of plain flour in place of the almond meal, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, and sorghum flour.

Ingredients

  • 125 grams butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 70 grams almond meal
  • 70 grams brown rice flour
  • 75 grams buckwheat flour
  • 75 grams sorghum flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup multi-coloured sprinkles
  • 200 grams white chocolate chips

Method

  1. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper and set aside until needed.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together almond meal, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl beat butter, sugars, vanilla and almond extracts until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs and beat until smooth.
  5. Add flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Stir in sprinkles and chocolate chips until completely distributed.
  6. Cover bowl and chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Place heaped tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave at least 6cm between the balls of dough as these cookies will spread during cooking.
  8. Once you have used up all the dough return the trays to the refrigerator for another 20 minutes. This is the time to preheat the oven to 160C (320F).
  9. When the oven has heated to the right temperature bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes. Rotate trays halfway through baking time.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  11. The cookies will keep for four days in an airtight container.

Sprinkle and White Chocolate Cookie | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Cookies always feature at our family celebrations. Do you have a family cookie recipe that is handed down through the generations?

Chocolate Chip Pebble Cookies

I made these cookies before I went to a wedding. Because naturally, when one is going to an event where there is going to be amazing food, amazing wine, and then amazing cake, one really needs to eat cookies before one goes. Possibly not. However, Jessica did point out that they are small, therefore they could be considered a snack food, and everyone knows that you should have a small snack before you head out to an event so that you aren’t hungry and therefore angry, and don’t overeat the appetisers and/or bread basket.

Chocolate Chip Pebble Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I know that you should really snack on something healthy like an apple and some nut butter, or some low-fat Greek yoghurt. That’s what sensible Amy does on normal days, but there are some days, like a Saturday where your awesome and unintended sleep in gets interrupted by your alarm for an appointment, and then you show up at said appointment to find out that they meant to call you and cancel. Three weeks ago.

Chocolate Chip Pebble Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Still, no big fuss. Just go home via the supermarket, pick up some buckwheat flour and chocolate chips, remember that you have some egg dregs leftover from your sensible Friday night dinner of egg white omelette and make yourself some cookies. Three cookies disappeared while I was getting dressed and glammed for said wedding. Mental health snack: sensible. Then you really should proceed to eat the bread roll (because for goodness sake they actually found you a gluten free one) with butter (of course); lick the plate clean when they bring you an amazingly tasty dinner; and then dance with your significant other like a crazy person (Pulp Fiction has nothing on us). Then, definitely remember to have a cookie before breakfast on Sunday while you are trying to make bacon for your slightly hungover significant other in a mildly hungover state yourself. Couch time for most of the day: sensible. Note: I did also go for a cookie-fuelled run in the afternoon. Perhaps not sensible, but definitely required.

Chocolate Chip Pebble Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

These cookies are chocolate in the best way. The dough isn’t overly sweet so the cocoa shines through. The milk chocolate chips are little bursts of sweetness among the darker dough. The reason these are called pebble cookies is because they are soft and slightly crumbly and fit in the palm of your hand, smooth and full of chocolaty promise before you gobble them down. I dare you to stop at just one.

 Chocolate Chip Pebble Cookies

Note: If you do not require these to be gluten free, simply replace the buckwheat flour and rice flour with the equivalent weight of plain flour.

Gluten Free. Makes 18 cookies.

Ingredients

  • 100 grams butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 50 grams cocoa powder
  • 75 grams buckwheat flour
  • 75 grams brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C (320F) and line two cookie sheets with baking paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl use a wooden spoon to cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg, yolks, and vanilla essence and beat until smooth.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, buckwheat flour and rice flour.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until combined.
  6. Mix in chocolate chips until well distributed.
  7. Roll heaped tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on baking trays, allow room for a small amount of spreading.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until edges are firm. The middle may still be soft. This is good otherwise your cookies will be overly hard.
  9. Remove and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Chocolate Chip Pebble Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

New Old Fashioned Banana Smoothie

My sister and I have a tradition that we like to call ‘Fat Saturday’. It’s kind of like Fat Tuesday, but it happens every week rather than once a year. The premise is this: after eating nearly completely cleanly all week (hey, a girl needs ice cream after an interval run session, ok?), Saturdays are for relaxing a little and eating a greater quantity of ‘treat foods’ than we normally would through the week.

Banana Smoothie | Thoroughly Nourished Life

The trick to relaxing here, and not completely blowing out my balanced nourished life, is to getting back on track on Sunday morning with a delicious but healthy breakfast. It’s not about deprivation, or punishment, just a lighter form of nourishment. This week I was craving a banana smoothie. Something that tasted like the ice cream based ones that my Dad makes on a Sunday afternoon when the mood strikes, but in line with a skinnier start to a Sunday (oh that sounds catchy ‘Skinny Sunday’ after ‘Fat Saturday’ – what do you think Jess?).

This smoothie is thickened with a frozen banana, just like my other smoothies, only here the banana really is the star. After a quick blend with almond milk, honey, chia seeds and oats this New Old Fashioned Banana Smoothie is a power breakfast that won’t weigh you down, but gives you enough energy to power through a hard morning at work, or a hard Sunday morning shopping session. Precede the smoothie with a walk and follow it up with a fresh salad for lunch and a healthy dinner and your week will be off to a healthy start. Bonus: this smoothie is easy enough to make before you leave for work in the morning: simply dump, blend, pour into a container, and go! I have made mine the night before and it lasts well too.

Banana Smoothie | Thoroughly Nourished Life

New Old Fashioned Banana Smoothie

Wheat free. Makes One. 

I used Freedom Foods Quick Oats in this recipe. They are guaranteed wheat free, which works for my belly. If you are a coeliac, please consult your doctor for advice on whether oats are appropriate for you, or simply leave the oats out. If you do not require this smoothie to be gluten free, you can use traditional rolled oats in this recipe for the same flavour.

I keep a store of overripe bananas that have been sliced and frozen in my freezer so that I can make a smoothie whenever the mood strikes.

Ingredients

  • 1 large sliced frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon oats (see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon local honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 heaped tablespoon non-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup ice

Method

  1. Place all ingredients into blender.
  2. Pulse until smooth.
  3. Pour into a large chilled glass and enjoy your healthy breakfast.

Okay dear reader confess: do you have a ‘cheat day’? How do you get back on track after an indulgence? Any favourite treat foods? I’m addicted to peanut m&ms and freckle chocolates – once I open the packet I just can’t stop!

Melt and Mix Chocolate Brownies

What would you say if I told you these brownies are so easy you could put them together while dinner was cooking and they would be ready for you when dessert time came around?

You might call me all sorts of names for leading you astray on a Monday morning.

What would you say if I told you that you only need a saucepan, a spoon, and a baking tin to make this fudgy chocolate treat?

You might tell me that I am an enabler, and that I am making it far too easy for you to break the promises that you made to yourself about eating well this week.

Melt and Mix Chocolate Brownies

What would you say if I told you that a balanced diet is all about balancing your indulgences with healthy eating and exercise?

You wouldn’t say anything, you would realise my wisdom (or..er…rationalising), and race into the kitchen to make some brownies!

Melt and Mix Chocolate Brownies

Melt and Mix Chocolate Brownies

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies. Makes 16 2×2 inch brownies.

Ingredients

  • 120 grams dark (60-70%) chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 100 grams butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, divided

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160C (320F) and line an 8-inch square baking tin with baking paper.
  2. In a large saucepan melt butter and chocolate together over a low heat. Stir until smooth.
  3. Remove pan from heat and stir in all remaining ingredients.
  4. Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the top.
  5. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it. This should take about 30-35 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool completely before slicing into pieces. Brownies can be kept in an airtight container for up to four days – if they last that long!

Brownies3

 

Tell me, dear reader, what are your biggest temptations on a Monday?