GREEN APPLE PIE

This is one of my husband’s favorite new recipe. His Mom was a home baker and he grew up loving apple pie. This is my version of a much healthier pie, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free. The best of all worlds and one you can easily adapt with seasonal fruit.

A classic revisited. And a dream come true. Most ingredients can be found in your local Whole Foods store, HEB, Central Market. So simple.

GREEN APPLE PIE
 
Author:
Serves: 9" pie
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Gf all purpose flour such as: Pillsbury All Purpose flour which has pea protein (you can find this flour at HEB)
  • 1 cup gf oatmeal flour such as Bobs Red Mill
  • 1 teaspoon Swerve Sweetener
  • ⅛ teaspoon Maldon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla such as Nielsen Massey
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil Organic Coconut Oil extra virgin unmelted
  • ½ cup white wine (I suggest a fruity white wine) or Vodka
PIE FILLING
  • 4 medium small granny smith apples peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons Noble brown sugar* (see recipe bellow)
  • 30 gr/ 2 tablespoons Ghee melted / you can use coconut oil or vegan butter for a dairy free option
  • 1 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon/ I love Penzeys Spices
  • ⅓ cup gluten free flour such as Pillsbury All Purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon Maldon Salt or fine sea salt
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened dried cherries from Trader Joes
CRUMBLE:
  • 60 gr coconut oil extra virgin/ not melted
  • 60 gr almond flour (I love HEB brand)
  • 60 gr gf oat flour such as Bobs Red Mill
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Maldon Salt
Method
MAKE THE DOUGH:
  1. Combine dry ingredients, whisk.
  2. Add coconut oil in solid form mix using your fingers until the flour resembles coarse sand. Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix.
  3. Add white wine little by little and mix with your hands until well incorporated and you form a ball.
  4. Mix the dough by hand lightly until smooth. Don’t over mix.
  5. Flatten the dough and wrap dough in plastic wrap for 10 mins.
  6. Grease a pie pan with coconut oil spray (look at my beautiful new pie pan which is custom made by Designs by Kace).
  7. Roll out the dough to fill the pie pan. Put an industrial plastic wrap or parchment paper over  the pie dough and put ceramic pie weights on top.
  8. Pre bake the pie crust at 350 F until lightly golden and dough feels dry. Remember it will be baked again with the filling and crumble.
MAKE THE FILLING
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.
MAKE THE CRUMBLE
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl by hand or with a spatula until a crumbly dough is formed.
ASSEMBLE PIE
  1. Remove from pre baked pie crust from the oven and let cool for about 5 mins.
  2. Add the pie filling and crumble on top and bake for another 20 mins or until apples feel soft when you cut through them with a pairing knife.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool. Un mold over a plate and cut with a serrated knife and serve immediately with raspberries or coconut cream.
Notes
Noble brown sugar
Mix 2 cups Swerve granular sweetener + 4 tablespoons of molasses (molasses have a large amount of iron, calcium and magnesium) by hand until a brown sugar is formed.

This is my favorite healthy low glycemic brown sugar!!
 

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CARROT ORANGE OLIVE CAKE

Lately I have been on a carrot cake obsession, this happens to me in “batches” along my pastry career I have been slightly infatuated by the perfection of a master recipe that works always and that is my go to recipe, the one that rises above all others. It’s like the song that became a historic hit, the book that became a classic and became the world’s favorite. It’s hard to create this because: 1. we have to test so many recipes 2. throw away a lot of bad batters 3. I have become an incredibly picky foodie and baker 4. I only want to share the best so my standards are higher every time, no pressure right? I went off sugar with the “I quit sugar” by my role model Sarah Wilson – an 8 week challenge that removes all sugar from your diet including fruit the first few weeks, I also added NO gluten (I have had psoriasis, an auto inmune disorder for 30 years). So challenged by this project and sticking religiously to this commitment and in congruence to my Dad’s diabetes I decided to explore new baking ideas with no grains and very little sugar and using  the lowest impact sweeteners. I found A Clean Bake on Instagram and was very inspired by Nora’s creative grain free recipes. I adapted her amazing recipe here because I love olive oil and wanted to add some more complex notes.

My husband Erin is not only also a very picky foodie (thanks to me), a lover and carrot cake expert, and eats like a bird (very small portions) and also went off gluten due to stomach issues. So he inspired me to go on this carrot cake quest.

I was also blessed to have an amazing sponsorship by Swerve Sweetener (they saw my work on Twitter which I was just exploring and testing out) and they googled me and stalked me on social media and sent me an email to say they would love to sponsor my baking with a 22  pound bag of their sweetener which OMG what a great gift. So this has led to a lot of baking.

Last week I took the samples I made to my gym and gave them to my favorite teacher Courtney, who gives the best Pound class you can imagine. If you haven’t experienced this new fitness trend, I encourage you to do so.. google it you will find amazing videos. When I went back to class a week later Courtney said that this was her favorite one of several I gave her to sample.

So in honor of Courtney here is the recipe for you all. Enjoy a new carrot cake experience and let me know in the comments what you think.

Happy Mother’s Day to you all amazing women, I honor and bow to you all.. this is the hardest job in the world and all my admiration to each and every one of you. My Mom has been my biggest role model and she has given me such amazing gifts like: art, creativity, passion for living, high standards, authenticity, resourcefulness, living from my passion and contributing with my purpose, integrity, transparency, discipline, risk taking abilities, courage, and unconditional love. Thank you Mums.. the world gave me the best Mother I could have dreamed of.

CARROT ORANGE OLIVE CAKE
 
Author:
Serves: 1 small loaf or 8 small cakes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups/ 230 gr  blanched almond flour (I love HEB Brand)
  • 5 tablespoons/39 gr coconut flour such as HEB or Bobs Red Mill
  • ⅓/ cup/ 66 gr Swerve Sweetener (buy this @HEB, Amazon, Central Market
  • ⅛ cup/ 14 gr coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons/ 6 gr  baking soda/ at high altitude use half
  • ¼/ 1 gr  teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon/ 5 gr vanilla
  • ¾ cup orange juice fresh is best/ I used blood orange when it is in season usually in the late winter months, but any orange works great
  • ¼ cup olive oil good quality every day/ I use California Olive oil every day
  • 2 Tablespoons (lightly packed) orange zest
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 340 F. Lightly grease an 8.5" loaf pan and line with parchment paper or use a silicone pan with small individual cakes (which makes a softer crust).
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, sweetener, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, then whisk in the orange juice, olive oil and zest.
  4. Add the dry mixture (flours, salt, etc) and whisk until thoroughly combined and no clumps remain. Don't forget to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure you have everything well incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and even out the surface with an angular spatula.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, then tent with tinfoil and bake for another 20 + minutes until a tester comes out mostly clean (a few small crumbs are ok).  Note: for the small individual cakes in silicon pans: bake on a perforated tray and these will be ready in about 20 mins. I like to grease my silicone pans for this recipe. Remember coconut flour baking makes a darker color.
 

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LEMON LAVENDER SPELT CAKE

This lovely paring of Lemon and Lavender was created in a healthy pastry class I had the pleasure to teach at Natural Epicurean in Austin a few years ago. It was a hands on class, and I had very creative students who were risk takers and were ready to explore and give new projects a go. It is an adaptation from my orange cake and matcha cake also. When you find a recipe that really works you can do so much with it. I call them my master recipes.

Lavender has so many healing properties: it is a natural way to reduce stress and anxiety, improves sleep,heals burns and cuts, improves eczema and acne, antioxidant, alleviates headaches, and most importantly: balances blood sugar. 

I have had many spiritual teachers along my path of healing and all have chosen “alternative” methods that have challenged the status quo: from my iridiologist, to my angel card guide, to my therapist who have told me many times in different ways: do something with food that heals. At that time it seemed so abstract but now connecting the dots back in my life timeline it has made sense and like a puzzle it has fit in beautifully, as it is when one finds their life purpose and body of work: it never seems like it is a linear path.

LEMON LAVENDER SPELT CAKE
 
Author:
Serves: 1 pound of cake
Ingredients
  • 150 gr Swerve Sweetener or any low glycemic sweetener
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 gr vanilla
  • 150 grams whole spelt flour or 100 gr whole spelt and 50 gr almond flour (Gluten Free version: 100 gr gluten free flour such as Bobs Red Mill 1:1 all purpose flour + 50 gr of almond flour or 85 gr gluten free oat flour + 15 gr arrowroot)
  • 8 gr aluminum free + gluten free baking powder (in high altitude use 4 gr)
  • 2 gr fine sea salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil melted
  • ¼  cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
LEMON SAUCE (serve on the side):
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup Swerve sweetener or low glycemic sweetener of choice
  • Lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • Pinch of Turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon or more Arrowroot
TO DECORATE:
  • Healthy sugar free confectioner’s sugar such as Swerve
  • Lavender flowers or edible flowers to decorate
  • Fresh raspberries to serve on the side
Method
  1. Grease a pound cake/medium size pan with coconut spray. Preheat convection oven to 330 F, a regular oven to 340 F. You can use silicon cake loaf pan which make a beautiful soft crust or use individual flexipan or silicon pans also.
  2. Sift flours and baking powder and salt.
  3. In a kitchen aid mixer with a whisk, beat eggs, vanilla and sweetener, add lemon zest and lavender flowers beat until airy and lemon color. Add the water and oil and mix until combined. Add the sifted flour. Mix to combine.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean approx. 25-30 mins depending on your oven.
  5. Remove from oven, let cool on rack.
  6. Remove cake from pan.
  7. Decorate with confectioner’s, fresh lavender flowers or  fresh rosemary and candied oranges or crystallized lemons.
LEMON SAUCE:
  1. Mix all ingredients in a small stainless steel casserole and cook over medium heat until thickened.
  2. Check sweetening and adjust to taste.
Notes
You can also make Lemon Lavender cupcakes or cake!  Another combination I love is lemon rosemary.  To make this cake vegan also: use 3 energy egg replacer eggs: mix 4½ teaspoons of energy egg replacer with 6 tablespoons of warm water with a small whisk until foamy. Add this to the sweetener when you are mixing the cake in the Kitchen Aid mixer with a whisk.
 

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ROSE BAKERY NOBLE CARROT CAKE

Rose Bakery was on my list of bakeries to visit when Erin, my husband and I went on our honey moon to Paris in 2014. A few foodies mentioned the bakery as a must see and of course we immediately had it on our bucket list. I must mention that we also visited 9 bakeries in total and even did a search for the best croissant adventure (which sadly ended up in concluding that the best croissant is from Tartine Bakery in SFO!). However Rose Bakery really inspired and satisfied our foodie cravings. And of course I came back ready to make my version of this divine cake and who does not love a very good carrot cake? This as a pound cake reminds me of the French Gateaux de Voyage/ travel cakes I really love! I have made so many carrot cakes I probably can’t recall how many, but I do know that when you find a recipe you love these standards are hard to beat. Enjoy and explore this new cake. It’s all about proportions and balance.

ROSE BAKERY NOBLE CARROT CAKE
 
Author:
Serves: 1 small to medium pound cake
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 gr vanilla
  • 112 gr  low glycemic sweetener of choice such as Lakanto Monk fruit or Zen Sweet (for a deeper flavor and color you can use half coconut sugar and half )
  • 150 ml organic coconut oil, melted
  • 3 medium carrots finely grated
  • 150 gr gluten free flour of choice (or you can use spelt flour if you don’t want or need it to be gf) for the gluten free flour I used Bobs Red Mill all purpose 1:1 flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I prefer Ceylon cinnamon)
  • 0.5 gr/ ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg or tonka bean
  • 4 gr/ 1 teaspoon aluminium free and gluten free baking powder such as Rumford or Bobs Red Mill/ at high altitude use 2 gr/ ½ teaspoon
  • 1 gr/ ¼ teaspoon baking soda/ at high altitude use half
  • 4 gr/ 1 teaspoon  fine sea salt
  • 75 gr chopped pecans or walnuts toasted and chopped
To decorate:
  • Healthy confectioner’s sugar such as Swerve
  • Matcha tea/ culinary grade
FROSTING:
  • 60 gr butter american style unsalted butter is better here for frostings such as Land O Lakes (room temperature) you can also use a vegan butter or grass fed butter
  • 125 gr cream cheese (room temperature) you can also use vegan cream cheese
  • 5 gr vanilla (you can use vanilla bean powder or vanilla paste)
  • 35 gr healthy confectioner’s sugar such as Swerve
  • Pinch of salt
Method
  1. Preheat convection oven to 165 c.
  2. Grease and line the bottom of a pound cake pan with parchment paper. Or use a silicone pan.
  3. Sift flour, leavening and spices.
  4. In a large bowl by hand, mix with a whisk: eggs, vainilla, sweetener.
  5. Add oil and mix to combine.
  6. Add carrots and pecans.
  7. Add flour and mix until integrated.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean approx. 20 mins. depending on the pan and oven.
  9. Remove from oven, let cool for about 10 -15 mins, unmold onto a perforated tray or cooling rack. Let cool completely.
  10. Decorate with either the healthy confectioner’s sugar or the frosting.
MAKE FROSTING:
  1. In a Kitchen Aid mixer with a paddle: mix butter, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, salt and cream cheese until creamy.
  2. Don’t over mix.
Notes
I made this cake with zucchini and it was very good, it pairs very well with ground ginger and ground coriander! Or you can combine carrot and zucchini or zucchini and grated sweet potato go very well.
 

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UNAMI PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

I developed this recipe because I became OBSESSED with recipe development when I worked with Maricu and then when I was an assistant to the Technical Advisors in Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Chicago. Creating a cookie that was the best of all worlds: vegan, gluten free, sugar free and also could become a breakfast item for my trips was a fantasy that emerged because of my major frustration of not finding anything sweet + healthy + amazing I could eat and enjoy. To this day when I travel, I constantly seek a healthy goodie. When I started my quest to do a world tour of Noble Baking in 2015 I have travelled to 13 cities and taught over 1,200 people in my classes. So you can imagine how many airports, coffee shops, pastry stores and gourmet venues I have explored madly seeking that one cookie that would fulfill my needs. So I decided to create it, amongst other pastries I crave too.

This recipe is adapted from a very cool baking book called: Whole Grain Vegan Baking by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes. I love it because you can do so much with it and it has the perfect element of umami, that surprising savoriness that is a flavor enhancer and makes life so memorable. I will tell you this: from a picky foodie and a hypoglycemic pastry chef with such a mixed culinary background (Mom is English, my Dad has a Lebanese family), all this made me incorporate umami into my pastry world. When you have low blood sugar: I have realized after 21 years that acid, salty and spicy is very important to fulfill the void of getting divorced from sugar and also because they are such satisfying elements to our palate.

Make this recipe with the surprise element or without it but give it a chance it is spectacular.

Note: I love peanuts like you have no idea/ I was actually once addicted to them. Now I know that peanut (and peanut butter of course) is not the best nut (they are allergen friendly, they can harm gut health and also tend to grow mold or fungus called aflatoxin, they are one of the 7 foods to avoid if you want to loose weight and boost your metabolism according to expert nutritionist JJ Virgin), so what to do? Well here is my opinion on these matters: make an exception and make them only when you are craving peanut butter cookies or substitute with almond butter or tahini which is the new kid on the block (note texture might change as tahini is fattier and more liquid so you might need to adjust flours).

UNAMI PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
 
Author:
Serves: 8 with a scoop #24
Ingredients
  • 85 gr natural peanut butter can be chunky/ I love mine with salt/ for food allergies sub for almond butter which is a healthier option
  • 48 gr coconut palm sugar  (you can use half coconut sugar and half Swerve)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil organic and unrefined not melted
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons almond milk
  • 5 gr vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons of Siracha (this is the umami!!)
  • ½ cup 70 % chocolate such as Valhrona or Cacao Barry or Callebaut or Luker you can also sub for pecans or peanuts chopped
  • ½ cup Bobs Red Mill gluten free flour 1:1 blue label  (I don’t recommend the red label Bobs Red Mill flour as it is too gummy and has a beany flavor)
  • ¼ cup oat flour must be GF certified such as Bobs Red Mill
  • 1 tablespoon amaranth flour
  • 1 teaspoon aluminium and gluten free baking powder (at high altitude use half)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda  (at high altitude use half)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ⅛ cup chopped peanuts or sub for hemp seeds
  • ½ cup 70 -85 % chocolate chopped into chunks, use the best
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 340 F.
  2. Line a baking tray with Silpat. (I love perforated baking trays as they work as a cooling rack also). Prepare a #24 scoop.
  3. In a bowl: sift dry ingredients. On a separate bowl, mix by hand with a spatula: peanut butter, sugars, vanilla, oil, Siracha, and maple syrup. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add peanuts the chocolate chunks.
  4. Scoop onto the prepared tray leaving room between cookies.
  5. Bake at 340 F for approx. 8-10 mins. depending on your oven. Preferably a convection oven.
  6. Cookies must be crunchy on the outside and soft inside. Remember that they continue to bake as they cool on the tray.
  7. Let cool on a tray and then remove from the tray. Cool on a rack or perforated tray.
Notes
You can add dried cherries instead of chocolate for a PB and J flavor combination! Store cookies in a recycled salad container from the supermarket, this keeps them fresh for about 4 days.
 

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