breakfast

Blueberry Almond Coffee Cake (Gluten Free + Paleo) by emily penn

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Coffee cake was one of my absolute favorite things when I was a kid. I didn’t eat it all the time, it was more of a special occasion thing - like holidays or brunch events. But man, when I did have it, I would eat A LOT of it. Because it’s soooo good. It’s hard to stop!

Needless to say, I haven’t been hitting the Entenmann’s in quite some time. But I recently came across a recipe for a gluten-free coffee cake that looked promising. It was and I was thrilled! I made some modifications and tweaks and this Bluberry Almond Coffee Cake was born.

It’s nice and moist (sorry, but it’s an accurate descriptor!) on the inside, with a crumb topping and melted coconut butter drizzled on top instead of super sugary glaze. It’s paleo, gluten-free, and low in sugar! And it totally hits the spot.

An egg really helps lift the almond flour, but you could use a flax egg or vegan egg substitute to make this vegan. This may increase the cooking time.

And now, without further delay - the recipe. Let me know what you think in the comments!

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Blueberry Almond Coffee Cake
(Gluten Free + Paleo)

makes 1 loaf
prep time 10 minutes / cook time 1 hour

ingredients
½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract (optional)

1 ½ cups almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 cup of blueberries

crumb topping
½ cup of almond flour
1.5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp cinnamon

for serving
drizzle with melted coconut butter

instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a regular loaf pan (either grease it or line with parchment paper).

  2. Mix all wet ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients except blueberries. Slowly add the dry to the wet ingredients, stirring to make sure it’s well-combined. Then stir in blueberries, reserving a small handful for the top of the loaf.

  3. Mix up your crumb topping and distribute evenly on top, then sprinkle with reserved blueberries.

  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until edges are turning golden and loaf is firm when you press in the center.

  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes. Then carefully transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool for at least another 20 minutes.

  6. When ready to serve drizzle with melted coconut butter. Enjoy! Best enjoyed in three days, after that refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.

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Good Medicine Everyday: Leafy Greens (with TWO Green Smoothie Recipes) by emily penn

We all inherently know greens are good for us, right? It’s been drilled into our heads since we were kids, and as it turns out - for good reason. Today we’re talking specifically about dark leafy greens - kale, collard greens, arugula, spinach and chard. Romaine counts, too. Sorry - iceberg doesn’t and never will count because it’s mostly water and contains very few actual nutrients.

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Leafy greens are packed to the brim with nutrients! They’re also full of fiber, low in calories and high in phytonutrients (plant compounds that have a big impact on the health of your cells). Read on to learn more about the ridiculously amazing benefits of eating leafy greens daily (1):

  • Ever since this study came out earlier this year, I’ve been quoting it every chance I get: one, yes just ONE serving, of leafy greens per day SIGNIFICANTLY slows cognitive decline. This study showed that individuals who consumed green leafy vegetables had brains that appeared 11 years younger than their counterparts who consumed little to no green leafies. A cup of raw greens or 1/2 a cup of cooked greens daily is all it takes folks.

  • If you think bananas are the only place to get your potassium, I’ve got news for ya - leafy greens have it, too. A cup of cooked spinach contains 840 mg, plus all the other good stuff plus no impact on blood sugar. Potassium is essential for fluid regulation and getting adequate amounts will help keep you bloat-free.

  • Another surprise for you - leafy greens contain beta-carotene. Yep - that nutrient we usually associate with carrots and sweet potatoes? Greens have it too, making them great for supporting healthy skin.

  • Combat stress with leafy greens! They contain folate and magnesium - folate helps with mood regulation by participating in dopamine and serotonin production. Magnesium is one of my favorite nutrients to help with stress since it helps relax muscles and is depleted during times of stress.

  • Support your bones - dark leafies contain calcium and vitamin K, essential for strong bones.

  • Greens contain many anti-inflammatory properties thanks to their antioxidants and polyphenols. This also puts them in the cancer-fighting category.

  • The chlorophyll in greens supports the liver by helping to escort toxins out of the body. In our increasingly toxic world, this is so important.

Have I convinced you to eat your greens yet? It’s so simple, yet so many people go throughout their day without eating a single green thing. I personally make it a point to have greens at a minimum of one meal per day, though it’s usually more like two and if I make it to three I feel like a superhero. Here are some of my favorite ways to get your greens in:

  • Add frozen spinach to smoothies

  • Serve meals over a bed of raw greens - ex: burrito bowls served over greens, chicken + veggies over greens

  • Eating one big salad a day - I do this more in the summer, less in the winter

  • I often sauté onions, garlic and kale as a base for meals

  • Add greens to your eggs

  • Add greens to soups, stews and curries (they wilt into almost nothing!)

  • Use romaine leaves in place of tortillas and use collards as sandwich wraps (surprisingly delicious!)

And now, because I love you, I’m sharing not one, but my TWO favorite green smoothie recipes. One is a little sweeter and a great green smoothie for beginners and the other is less sweet and more deeply cleansing.

Basic Green Smoothie (Great for Beginners)

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1 frozen banana
Large handful frozen spinach (don’t be shy - you can’t taste it!)
1-2 tbsp almond butter (optional but yummy and makes the smoothie more filling)
1 cup non-dairy milk or water

  1. Add everything to a blender and blend on high for 30-60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.

Big Green Drank

1 apple or pear, chopped
1/2 lemon, peel removed
1/2 cucumber or zucchini (optional)
Large handful frozen spinach
1 knob ginger
2 tbsp hemp, chia or flax seeds
1/2 tsp spirulina (optional)
1-2 cups water (I usually just fill to the 32 oz line on my blender - hence BIG Green Drank)

  1. Add everything to a blender and blend on high for 30-60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.

Good Food: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl by emily penn

A totally veggie based smoothie bowl that tastes like pumpkin pie!? Yes, please!

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1

Ingredients
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup steamed then frozen cauliflower
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 heaping tsp pumpkin spice
1-2 tbsp of flax, chia or hemp seeds (optional)
1/2 - 1 cup liquid

Instructions

1.    Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
2.    Pour into your favorite bowl and adorn with your favorite toppings - I like using grain-free granola, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and bee pollen.
3.    Enjoy! I hope you feel full, happy & ready to take on your day! 

Notes
* If you don’t have / don’t want to use vanilla protein powder, add 1/2 - 1 whole banana (fresh or frozen) for sweetness, plus a splash of vanilla extract.