Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin-bread
Quick breads are fabulous. They really are. They’re simple, delicious, and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, snack, or (depending on how much chocolate you add) dessert. They’re easy to make, hard to mess up, and everyone always wants a slice regardless of whether or not you decide to put in chocolate chips. What I really like is how versatile they are. You can swap out the pureed pumpkin for mashed bananas, applesauce, or grated zucchini or just about anything else that suits your fancy and can be mashed or pureed. This particular rendition stays super moist and is flavored with just enough vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar to make it especially delicious.
Pumpkin Bread
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1 cup white rice flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional
Combine pureed pumpkin and sugar in a large bowl. Use a fork and stir well. Add remaining ingredients. Stir until combined with no lumps and everything is a pretty, uniform, pale orange color.
Let batter rest for 30 minutes. Don’t skip this step. It’s important for the texture of your bread.
Once rested, pour batter into a prepared (i.e.greased and floured) loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean when bread is done. Enjoy whenever, but hide it from your kids if you want to enjoy it for more than one day!

Breakfast of Champions

avo.toast.eggBreakfast isn’t my favorite meal. I like breakfast foods well enough, but I rarely get excited about it all. I like sausage and eggs and bacon, but I’d just as soon have a bunch of melon, some juice, and be done with it. I don’t even drink coffee so there’s no morning ritual with a nice warm cup of something infused with caffeine to look forward to. But this… this is something to look forward to. Simple, delicious, ready in mere minutes. This is a breakfast I can get behind.

Avocado Toast with a Fried Egg

1/2 ripe avocado
Sprinkle of garlic powder
Squeeze fresh lemon, to taste
Salt, to taste
1 piece bread of choice
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 egg

Place the flesh of 1/2 a ripe avocado in a shallow dish. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and salt to taste. Mash well with a fork. Set aside.

Set bread to toast.

Heat a small skillet to medium-high. Add butter. Once butter is melted, crack egg into pan and fry, flipping at least once, until desired yolk-consistency is reached.

When toast is toasty, cover with avocado mash and top with your fried egg. Eat.

Seriously – isn’t that super good?! Oh man, I could eat one right now!!

PS – Use gluten-free bread for the gluten-free version of this. The rest of it is inherently gluten-free, which is awesome.

 

 

 

 

Toast: Smoked Salmon and Asparagus

toast.asperagus

I opened the fridge and a Tupperware full of cooked asparagus fell on my foot. It was obviously volunteering itself as my lunch so I accepted its sacrifice and set about figuring out what to do with it. Cooked asparagus isn’t your everyday leftover. It’s not like meatballs where you just reheat them and you’re good. Reheated asparagus is about as exciting as, well, reheated asparagus. My solution was, I freely admit, inspired. This little toast experiment was shocking in its deliciousness and has since become one of my most favorite excuses for cooking too much asparagus.

 

Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Toast

Bread of choice (mine was gluten free)
Mayonnaise
Cooked asparagus, at least 5 stalks, cut in half
Smoked salmon, at least 2 slices
Capers, 5-10 as preferred
Squeeze of lemon

Toast bread to desired toastiness. Spread with as much or as little mayonnaise as you like.

Arrange cut asparagus on bread in a single, or double, layer, as preferred. Lay sliced smoked salmon atop asparagus. Top with capers and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Enjoy. Then go cook more asparagus for dinner so you can enjoy this little treat again tomorrow.

Simple Granola Balls

granola.balls
“I’m hungry.”
“Mom, is there anything to eat?”
“I’m still hungry.”
“I need to eat.”
My children are bottomless pits. My son, in particular, seems insatiable lately. I want them to eat filling things so I don’t have to hear, “I’m hungry,” thirty times a day, but I’d like those things to be healthy and natural and tasty, too. My neighbor had these yummy granola balls in her fridge one afternoon and my kids gobbled them up like they had never before tasted food. I think they each ate three of them and I swear, I didn’t hear requests for food until dinnertime. A miracle, I tell you.
Honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do when they become teenagers and the eating gets serious. Make a ton of these awesome granola balls, I suppose…
Simple Granola Balls
(makes 15-18 golf ball-sized balls)
1 cup old fashioned oats
2/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 tablespoon flaxmeal
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup almond butter (peanut or other nut butters would work)
1/3 cup honey
2-3 tablespoons diced dates or raisins (optional)
Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Mix to combine. Cover and chill for approximately one hour.
Once chilled, roll large spoonfuls of oat mixture into balls. Refrigerate and enjoy at your leisure. These will keep for quite a while in an airtight container in the fridge, but don’t expect them to last long. They are too tasty and easy to eat!
P.S. – You can easily double or triple this recipe if you need a big batch of snacks to last you a while.