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

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


  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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Frosted Chocolate Peppermint Truffles by emily penn

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Raise your hand if you LOVE the combination of chocolate + peppermint! I’m finding out lots of people in my life aren’t a fan, but I can’t get enough so I keep creating pepperminty chocolatey things anyway.

These truffles are super quick to make, a little bit fancy because of the “frosting” and taste totally decadent. As always, I keep them refined sugar free - they’re only sweetened with dates!

I tried making these THREE different ways because this year seems to be a year of lots of different dietary restrictions/preferences. And no matter how you choose to eat, everyone should be able to enjoy some healthyish festive treats!

My preferred texture is the almond flour - it’s super silky and smooth when you bite into it, so it feels like a real truffle. But the oat and coconut totally works too - just keep in mind it won’t be quite as smooth.

Frosted Chocolate Peppermint Truffles

makes about 10 truffles

1 cup almond flour or oat flour or shredded coconut
8 dates, soaked in warm water
2 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp coconut butter, melted
2 drops peppermint essential oil (or 1 tsp extract)
dash of salt

Frosting Glaze
3 tbsp coconut butter
scant 1 tbsp coconut oil

1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until everything is smooth, incorporated and starting to ball up. If using the oat flour or coconut, you may need to add an extra tablespoon of coconut oil.

2. Roll into balls and place on a parchment-lined tray (I used my 1 1/2 tbsp scoop). Put into freezer to chill for about an hour.

3. When ready to glaze, set up a double boiler (I just put a glass bowl over a small saucepan of water) and mix coconut butter and oil until melted and smooth.

4. Remove truffles from the freezer. Roll each in the glaze quickly and return to the tray (I use either a fork or my hands). The glaze should harden up pretty quickly, but return to the freezer if needed.

5. Store in the fridge for up to a week or the freezer for up to a month. When ready to serve, pull out 5-10 minutes ahead of time. ENJOY!

Mood Boosting Holiday Hot Chocolate by emily penn

I don’t know about you, but pretty much everything feels better when I have a big old mug of hot chocolate in my hands. And what makes me feel even better is when that hot chocolate is actually going to be supporting my body with real food, unprocessed sweeteners and maybe even some adaptogens (herbs that support our body’s stress response and help bring systems into balance).

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This time of year has me jonesin’ for a warm drink in my hand at all times. It also tends to increase stress levels by way of lots of social engagements, busy shopping everywhere, crowded parking lots, heightened emotions, rampant germs, etc.

I’m all about food as medicine (in case that wasn’t abundantly clear by now) so I really like my foods and beverages to be functional. And I also want them to taste damn good. And so I present you with this Mood Boosting Hot Chocolate, specifically crafted for the holiday season (because honestly, when else do you drink hot chocolate?).

Cacao has huge mood-boosting benefits - it stimulates the release of endorphins, it contains tyrosine which is a precursor to dopamine, and is actually incredibly good for your brain. Dates contain magnesium, which is a mineral known to be relaxing and which is easily depleted during times of stress (and which 80% of Americans don’t get enough of). I’d recommend using milk with a little bit of fat in it (or add a teaspoon of coconut oil) since fat is essential for brain health.

This basic recipe is all you need to kick back with a relaxing hot bevvie, but you could further boost the de-stressing properties with any of the optional add-ins I’ve listed. Beside each I let you know what the main affect on mood or stress is.

Mood Boosting Holiday Hot Chocolate

serves 1

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12-16 oz your favorite non-dairy milk
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 medjool date
pinch of salt

optional (mood-boosting) add ins
ashwagandha - supports stress response, immune booster
rhodiola - supports stress response, immune booster
reishi - supports stress response, immune booster
chaga - supports stress response
vitamin D - promotes positive mood
tocos - vitamin e, antioxidants, supports skin, plus adds creaminess
collagen - supports gut health, will make your drink extra foamy!
lavender - supports relaxation
peppermint extract - supports relaxation
Rasa Koffee - blend your hot chocolate with some of this in place of milk to get extra EXTRA support from stress-busting adaptogens


  1. Add non-dairy milk, cacao powder, date, salt and any other add-ins you desire to small saucepan over medium heat. Gently warm until it’s to your preferred drinking temperature.

  2. Transfer to a blender and blend 30-60 seconds, until date is totally incorporated.

  3. Pour into your favorite mug, get cozy doing something that relaxes you and enjoy!


  • If I don’t have non-dairy milk around (which is more often than not) I use either 2-4 tbsp full fat coconut milk or 1 tbsp coconut butter + water.

  • Mountain Rose Herbs is where I get most of my herbs and superfoods.

  • These are the vitamin D drops I recommend. They’re flavorless and I love adding them to these sorts of drinks since fat helps our bodies absorb the vitamin D.