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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Good Food: The Good Medicine Smoothie Bowl by emily penn

A better breakfast bowl tastes amazing, keeps you full & gives you the energy you need to get through your day. It’s full of satiating healthy fats, fiber & complex carbohydrates. Best of all, it’s fast to make. While better breakfast bowls are ideally enjoyed sitting down before getting into your day, they’re also portable for those days when that’s just not possible. 


the good

You probably already know this by now, but I LOVE smoothie bowls. They’re delicious, feel really indulgent and give me tons of energy. When I first heard that people were pouring their smoothies in bowls, I was not about it. But then I tried it and I was like Oh. I get it. That’s damn good. Plus this allows you to add a plethora of toppings, and I love a complex symphony of textures and flavors. Which leads me to my next point – a lot of people chug smoothies or sip them through a straw, meaning they’re not chewing. Even though a smoothie is basically pre-chewed food, the act of chewing release important digestive enzymes. By encouraging you to chew, smoothie bowls are ultimately more satisfying and filling.

This is my all time favorite smoothie bowl recipe, which is just sweet enough and totally satisfying from the almond or sunflower seed butter. I usually reserve it for after hard workouts, so it's like a treat - something to look forward to and WERK for. Ya feel me?

Feel free to change up ingredients and toppings to keep it interesting!

the medicine

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and are one of the top anti-inflammatory foods. They’re also lower in sugar than other fruits.


Zucchini is actually a nutrient powerhouse. In this case it adds fiber plus helps bulk the smoothie up without adding excess sugar. Same goes for the cauliflower, but the cauliflower has the additional benefit of being from the cruciferous vegetable family, making it great for liver support and full of anti-cancer properties.

Greens! We know by now that greens are good for you, yes? I love sneaking greens into smoothies because you can’t taste them and they give you a nice nutrient boost. Spinach is my go-to because frozen organic spinach is inexpensive and I’ve literally never been able to taste it.

Almond or sunflower butter add healthy fats, protein, fiber and vitamin E – a potent antioxidant. Before I started adding fat to smoothies, I would be hungry an hour or two after eating them. Fat gives the smoothie staying power.

Toppings like hemp or chia seeds add additional fiber and omega 3 fatty acids, cacao nibs are a wonderful source of magnesium and trace minerals, and nondairy yogurt gives you gut-boosting probiotics.


If smoothies tend to be too cold for you, use more room temperature ingredients or blend for a longer amount of time. I usually add warm water to my smoothie as the liquid because it makes blending easier and takes the chill off.

I always have smoothies with a warm beverage. In Ayruveda, our digestion is thought of like a fire - too many cold and raw foods can dampen the fire. By having a cup of tea with my smoothie, I'm helping mitigate the cold of the smoothie.

My favorite, non-negotiable toppings are: grain-free granola + cacao nibs. Sometimes hemp seeds or pumpkin seeds.

You could use frozen sweet potato in place of zucchini or cauliflower. To prepare these veggies, simply chop, lightly steam them, lay them out on a baking sheet, freeze overnight and then store in bags in the freezer.

If I’ve just worked out or will be working out later I add the protein powder, but I skip it if not. In the case of not using protein powder, I add 1/2 a frozen banana for sweetness. 

Favorite plant-based proteins include: Aloha and Genuine Health

The amount of liquid you use will depend on how thick you like your smoothies! Feel free to experiment to see what works best for you!

If you have to eat on the go, just make sure you're still "chewing" the smoothie after taking sips. It  might feel weird at first, but I promise it will be better for digestion and you'll feel fuller longer.



 The Good Medicine Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup steamed then frozen zucchini or cauliflower
2 handfuls fresh or frozen spinach
2 tbsp almond or sunflower seed butter
1 scoop plant-based vanilla protein powder (optional)
1-2 cups nondairy milk or water
1/2 tsp spirulina (optional)

hemp seeds
chia seeds
cacao nibs
shredded coconut
nondairy yogurt
extra fresh fruit
extra drizzle of almond or sunflower seed butter


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.
3.    Enjoy! I hope you feel full, happy & ready to take on your day! 


Good Food: No-Bake Strawberry Shortcakes by emily penn


I came up with this recipe last summer when we were experiencing a string of hot days, but we also had a surplus of fresh strawberries that were begging to be enjoyed. It's perfect for when you want that shortcake experience, but without turning on your oven.

the good

Obviously these aren't a match for baked biscuits, but they do a pretty darn good job at standing in for the real thing. And you don't have to get your kitchen all heated up on an already hot day, which means you aren't sweating by the time you get to enjoy these.

the medicine

Strawberries themselves are low in sugar and high in a number of antioxidants, especially polyphenols. They support heart health, brain health and skin health.

Oats are rich in fiber and some trace minerals. Coconut flour is also rich in fiber and adds a nice dose of healthy fats (it also gives these shortcakes more of a "fluffy" feeling).

Dates are a wonderful natural sweetener, providing a good amount of magnesium and fiber. They're actually rich in quite a few B-vitamins and trace minerals.


My favorite way to enjoy these is by cutting them in half and putting a dollop of thick coconut yogurt on each side in place of whipped cream. Boost your dessert with some probiotics - why not? Plus the slight tang works well with the sweetness of everything else. You can buy coconut yogurt or make your own at home (this is my super simple go-to method). Then I smother the biscuits with the juicy strawberry mixture and garnish with some mint or edible flowers. You can also sift powdered coconut milk on top as a substitute for powdered sugar.

I imagine you could sub almond flour for the oats to make these paleo and grain-free, but I haven't tried it yet. Let me know if you do!


No-Bake Strawberry Shortcakes


prep time 15 minutes / total time 45 minutes
makes 6 shortcakes

2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced
1-2 tsp coconut sugar

1 cup oats
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 heaping cup dates (soaked in warm water for 10 min if not already soft)
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1-2 tbsp warm water

coconut yogurt
fresh mint
edible flowers
coconut whipped cream


1.    In a bowl, toss strawberries with coconut sugar and set aside.
2.   Add oats, coconut flour and salt to a food processor or blender. Process until oats are broken up into small pieces.
3.  Add the dates, coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of water. Process until the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture starts to ball up. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times. You want the dough to be on the dryer side, but if it’s not sticking together, add another tablespoon of water.
4.  Divide the dough into 6 portions and form biscuit-like shapes. Put them in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve. 
5. When ready to serve, I like to slice the biscuits in half, put a dollop of coconut yogurt on each side and then smother with the strawberry mixture. Feel free to add your favorite garnishes and ENJOY!