Monday 29 September 2014

World's Healthiest Apple Pie {Gluten & Sugar Free with a No Butter Crust!}

Pie has always been something that has intimidated me. Especially because most of my desserts feature healthier ingredients.

What healthy ingredient is in pie?! Usually just the fruit. And at the point where the pie becomes, well,  pie then even the fruit retains few of it's health benefits.



Sorry. I usually have your back. But this pie is: Gluten Free? CHECK. Sugar Free? CHECK! Absolutely incredible, fragrant, delicious and warm? CHECK CHECK CHECK!

And with a simple modification, it's Vegan, too!

My house was abuzz with excitement when I proposed Saturday the day that pie shall be made. I had been talking about it for quite some time and knew I had to just jump in.

I was frightened to pieces. I did research and thought long and hard about how I would write the recipe and what I would do and I was incredibly nervous.

People complain that ordinary pie is an arduous task and I was making my first ever pie with a recipe I made up!

But I prayed and I wished and I paced and I think that extra bit of pacing really did the trick!

This is apple pie.

The house smelled like APPLE PIE. I couldn't believe it worked.

But taste is the ultimate test. I gathered around my family after my mom sent my brother to the store for vanilla ice cream. We can't have it without ice cream!

And I served the first slice.

Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious. Oh. Oh. MY.

The crisp crust of the pie is the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. The inside was slightly warm with apples sliding out ever so gently coated in a thick and delicious sweet sauce balanced by the natural and wholesome tartness of the apples.

I have not had pie since I was a little girl. And I really did feel like I could cry while I was eating this. Seeing everyone so happy and so shocked that they were eating a pie made with natural ingredients was really an amazing feeling.

I genuinely hope that you can share this with someone else who has maybe been missing pie for a long time! Or if their pie of choice is pumpkin -- I got you covered right here.

Oh! And I almost forgot! See that beautiful top? I made it by cutting out maple leafs! It is Fall after all and as a true Canadian -- the maple leaf is just as iconic and necessary now as ever! Layer them however you like over your apples and that's it! You can use any shapes you like or stick to a traditional pie top or lattice pattern!

Now I know you are wondering how this mystical healthy pie is made -- so be patient, grab some tea and read ALL INSTRUCTIONS before proceeding. It is super important with pies to know what to expect before hand so you can troubleshoot if problems arise. Never be discouraged and make sure to set aside plenty of time for your pie-making adventure! I promise it's worth it!

Friday 26 September 2014

Ghoreyeba {Arabic Butter Cookies}

Oh how quickly time has flown by!

When I initially wrote this I thought Eid was on Sunday,...but in North America I think it is supposed to be October 4th?

Shows how much I know! is coming up!

Today I am sharing a treat I baked for Eid called Ghoreyeba (whar-ay-ibb-ah) cookies that are traditional in the Middle East especially for Eid!

There is nothing I have in my mental database of cookies that compares to these. Ghoreyeba are a very delicate cookie that melt in your mouth. They are so incredible smooth and soft with a lingering aftertaste that soothes the soul.

They are not hard or crunchy, they are firm enough to move around without breaking but that centre? Oh lawd, you better prepare yourself for the velvet smooth buttery texture!

These are made without eggs and only need a few simple ingredients. Traditionally you would use pistachios or almonds on top but I had neither of those on hand...(are you shocked? I am shocked, too!) so I used pecans.

Nothing reminds me more of my family than these cookies. I was beyond thrilled to be able to make these for Eid. And if you have the ingredients handy, which if you are a human person, why wouldn't you? Then there is no logical reason for you not to make these...right now.

No. Logical. Reason. GO! I even have the recipe for you!

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Tuxedo Truffle Cake

I usually poo-poo on anniversaries.

That's a great way to start a blog post -- right?!

But really there is something really special about them isn't there! Looking back on the year gives up perspective, insight, clarity, appreciation....

And cake.

A super chocolaty, two kinds of filling, mousse-like luxurious cake.

Tuxedo cake is a fan favourite across the board. It's super dark chocolate cake traditionally filled with truffle layers of chocolate (both white and dark are possible!).

I did have two mousse layers. Chocolate and white chocolate. But 4 fails later I ran out of whipped cream and chocolate....OOPS.

So I opted for a twist on the classic cake and made it my own way, like I so often do! The white mousse would be great -- although this cream cheese mousse really takes the cake.

HA. I have been waiting a while for that one.

This cake has really solidified my role as resident baker in my household. 4 layers of cake topped with ganache, chocolate shavings, chocoate drizzle, chocolate bits AND a chocolate topper with 'Happy Anniversary' on it?

I win cake. I WIN.

But really this 'labour of love' cake was undeniably worth it. The cake turned out so moist, chocolaty and fluffy I wanted to cry. And the white chocolate fail? Turned out perfectly fine in the end because the cream cheese really works here. It is the smoothest, creamiest icing I have ever had. Oh and the chocolate. Let's not forget the chocolate!

So if you are celebrating a...well an ANYTHING...This cake will really win them over and show them you care.

Because nothing says I love you like chocolate. Really. If chocolate could talk that would be all it would say "HI I AM CHOCOLATE....AND I LOVE YOU"

I love you too, chocolate.

This recipe does have a lot of different parts. But once you figure out what you are's a piece of cake. Really!

(Yes I have been waiting a while to do that one, too).

Monday 22 September 2014

Maple Pumpkin Pie Muffin Top Cookies

These cookies make the whole entire house smell like a gigantic warm delicious piece of pie!

I absolutely adore pumpkin (as I am sure is evident) and I made these cookies on a whim after a really long/not so fun day.

I am very much a person who is influenced by the weather and I just felt sooo....blah. So cookies were the natural cure to this ailment. Not only that but a warm, sweet, fragrant cakey pumpkin pie cookie.

You feel me, sista?

And boy oh boy do these warm the soul. Especially right out of the oven! These are so sweet and delicious and they are so soft and fluffy on the inside I could cry. They are exactly like muffin tops! And we all know those are the BEST part of the muffin (I always think of that Seinfeld episode when I think of muffin tops!).

When my younger brothers say something is REALLY good...then I know I have done something right. And everyone really loved these. They are soft and delicious but sturdy enough to hold up if you throw them in a lunch pal for a special treat for your little ones!

Okay well...don't THROW them.... I don't know that they would stand up so well
 in that case. But, you know, toss them gently in a baggie or container!

The recipe is very simple -- and you probably already have most of the ingredients! So if you are having a good day, a bad day, an okay day or I just really like pumpkin day...then these are for you!

Friday 19 September 2014

Pirate Cookies

Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!!!!!

Arrrrren't you excited?! What better way to celebrate than with these cookies?!

Pirates are not often associate with the word adorable.

But I would have to disagree in this case! This will be a quick mostly picture post of some cookies I did for the cutest little baby in the whole world for his baptism.

Although....he could not EAT the cookies. So I guess it was more for his family!

I did slight variations in expression for the pirates...

Skull and crossbones, of course.

And of course, 'X' marks the spot treasure maps!

And you cannot have pirates without having the treasure! 

Cutest pirates ever!

Little 'X' coins and other gold treasures. MMM....Treasure.....

I love the skull and cross bones! And making them all-black was a good choice, methinks. 

That's it! I know pirate parties are a popular theme for little ones these days and these cookies were all very simple and not requiring many specialized cutters except for the skull and cross bones! You could easily substitute that for something else like a treasure chest or something else!

Happy Plank Walking!


Wednesday 17 September 2014

Healthy Cinnamon Bun Squares

So before I talk about these AMAZING treats (and trust family and I ate 3 batches in a row...they were unbelievable) I have some even more fantastic news!

Remember in this post when I was so incredibly excited that Sorted Food featured a recipe of mine? Well imagine my shock and happiness at them writing a FULL FEATURE about me which you can (and should) read over here.  It is so flattering and made my heart grow at least three sizes Grinch style. It also is written very similar to how I write and speak which made it even better!

I have said it before and said it again -- I absolutely adore the Sorted Food crew (find their facebook page here) and I find them so hilarious, charming and inspiring. I promise you will learn SO much from them it will blow your mind. So thank you, thank you, thank YOU Sorted. I love you long time.


Pumpkin is comforting. But for for those suffering from pumpkin fatigue this Fall...don`t worry boo, I got you.

Cinnamon is the ultimate comfort for me. But hours of slaving for a home made cinnamon roll? Ehh....No thanks.

Maybe I will healthify a legitimate cinnamon roll recipe one day -- but for today I just want you to relax and brew a pot of tea and know that you can create this recipe without baking, elbow grease or long waiting periods.

Oh and it's like gluten free and healthy and STUFF.

Healthy is great. But if it doesn't taste good then there's just no point, right?! Thankfully these are moist, soft, warming and delicious. The crunch from the pecans and creamy frosting make your brain say "CINNABON" but your tummy say "THANK YOU FOR NOT ACTUALLY EATING A CINNABON".

I think this recipe is perfect for the Fall -- and if you are a cinnamon roll fan then you can check our my Cinnamon Roll Protein Cake with Healthy Frosting!

If you are short on time. Or if you just want something DELICIOUS. Then YOU BETTER BE ON THESE SQUARES, YOU SQUARES.

Because it's hip to be square.

And bringing delicious treats to share with other people is also hip.

Wait, actually maybe it's not. I don't get out much. But regardless -- you will want to make these, I assure you!

Monday 15 September 2014

Easy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I don't consider myself a boastful person.

In fact I can be hard on myself sometimes. But the great thing about being in the kitchen is complete unadulterated FREEDOM!

You do what you want. You have the ability to create and imagine and EAT. Which is my personal favourite part.

One fateful Sunday while a fruit fly buzzed around my nose ever so annoyingly I came to the realization that the source of these wonderful little friends were some very ripe bananas.

And when life gives you bananas you make...?


Wait...that's not right is it. Oh yes...BANANA BREAD! The wheels were turning -- I wanted it to be healthy and simply. Something everyone can do with basic ingredients and not a lot of time or preparation.


This was one of those magical recipe experimentation where things just work out and this magical sort of warm bubbly feeling brews in my chest and I want to run out into the streets shaking people (happily, not angrily) yelling "WE MAAAADE IT GURRRRRL!"

I wrote the recipe -- headed to the kitchen -- made it --- waited...AND THEN. Fell in love so hard my heels swept up from underneath me and in moments my cheeks were smeared with warm melty chocolate chip goodness.

This beautiful and healthy banana bread is most definitely a recipe I am very excited and proud to share. I did made a Vegan Banana Bread recipe long ago, and that recipe worked out well enough....But this recipe is just absolute perfection. A beautiful high banana-bread-esque peak with a beautiful scent that fills the house with joy.

I could wax poetic about how warm, fluffy and moist this banana bread is. I could go on and on about how there is no refined sugars and it is gluten free made with whole grain oats and natural nut butter. And then I could how the warm moist exterior and slight crunch from the toppings make it textural heaven. I could. Blah blah blah.

Instead, just look at it:

Look upon it's beautiful banana bread lady lumps and know that this recipe is EASY (one bowl recipe, woop, woop!) and AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS. When photographing I was actually hoping a piece would fall off so I could eat it. That never happened so I ended up intentionally slicing up some pieces because I COULD NOT WAIT. This is everything banana bread has ever been and ever should be. Oh lawd.

The perfect banana bread for the health conscious (or unconscious?)  and food lovers everywhere!

If pumpkin fatigue has you down this fall -- this banana bread will save the day. Perfect for breakfast, a snack or anytime!

Speaking of banana (which we are) the lovely Editor-in-Chief over at Well-Being Secrets has written the most comprehensive article on bananas and all of their benefits and uses over here. Honestly, the whole website is insanely informative if you are looking for anything regarding health and when she sent me the link my mind was blown! She goes into all the vitamins and nutritionals (bananas have copper, B6, potassium, manganese and more)! Amazing work, Helen! As if we needed any more excuses to eat this banana bread ;)

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Guilt-Free Protein Thin Mints (with a Protein-less Version!)


I first want to share with you, lovely lovely person and or peoples, some exciting news!

My little bloggy was featured on the Huffington Post yesterday in a foodie post about breakfast cookies (and this post is about cookies know, it all works out)!

Find the article here.  and find the Cranberry Breakfast Cookie here

AND in second super fun news -- Sorted Food (my favourite YouTube guys) posted a recipe of mine on their Facebook page. If you don't follow them and have their app you are seriously missing out. They really inspired my food journey and I am a loyal fan of theirs (I am sure bordering on the side of creepy). But really. Check them out -- they are quirky, hilarious and do what they do SO WELL! Also you can find those pumpkin squares here!

And now back to our scheduled posting! 

I think I have mentioned on the blog before that I cry a lot over baked good tragedies. So far, every attempt at protein oreos I have attempted has resulted in tears, cookie disasters and...more tears.

As I am sure you have noticed...this post is NOT for protein oreos. SOOO I don't have to tell you that I failed again this time.

But not all hope is lost. No, not at all.

Because bad things fall apart so better things can fall together.

You see, it was very hot this weekend. Too hot. And my protein oreos would have been healthy, OBVIOUSLY. So I used coconut oil in the filling....

It melted absolutely EVERYWHERE. Cookies were a disaster and they were running everywhere. Remember when this happened? Well with those cookies they were I mushed them up into cake pops. But these cookies were crunchy, chocolatey PERFECT....

Wait...The COOKIES... were PERFECT!?

THEY WERE! And that means I went back to the drawing board to create this chocolate mint girl guide cookie classic!

And these are spot ON. No more tears.

A crunchy mint cookie? Check. Chocolatey exterior? CHECK!!!!!!!

These cookies are a perfect copy cat of the classic cookie. But only for the girl-guide off-season! know. Support them and such! cannot have the gluten and sugar and other stuff...THEN BACK TO MAKING THESE!

Let's make cookies!

Monday 8 September 2014

Healthy Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares

I love pumpkin pie. And cheesecake. But neither of these things currently agree with my old angry fickle tummy.

I discovered canned pumpkin a few years ago (yes, only a few!) and I put it in EVERYTHING.

In my oatmeal, in pancakes, in yogurt, in shakes and smoothies in my protein shake in EVERY. THING.

In my final year of undergrad on the thanksgiving long weekend I went to open a can of pumpkin in the way I usually do -- with our old decrepit electric can opener that could seldom open a whole can at a time.

When it crapped out, as it usually does, I decided... Hmmm... I can just tear that last bit off, yah? No problem!

And tear I did.

And then I saw blood. Everywhere blood. Dripping everywhere.


My mom ran downstairs. She screamed and called my grandma who screamed. That woke up my grandpa who yelled. That woke up my uncle who screamed and ran to my house.

Moral of the story is going to the emergency room on a holiday majorly sucks but they treat you really nice even if you are ...lucky...enough to need 8 stitches on your thumb for trying to be a hero.

Needless to say I have been on a pumpkin hiatus since.

It has been a couple of years and I feel much more at ease with my new can opener (thanks Mom!) that is MANUAL.

What as I talking about before....OH YAH!

Pumpkin and cheesecake.

These bars are UNREAL.

Sweet, creamy, delicious with a hint of warm spice that screams -- YIPPEE IT'S FALL IT'S FALL...

Unless of course you are Canadian because -- what is summer anyway, am I right?

I developed this recipe with a hope of capturing a powerful pumpkin flavour balanced with a wholesome base and creamy topping.

Healthy -- without sugar or gluten! And it's low in carbohydrates as well! Plus fiber from the pumpkin! MMM.. FIBER!

Let's see this simple but delicious recipe, shall we?