Saturday, April 28, 2012

Weekend Project- Raised Garden Bed!

 Phase 1- assemble kit from Home Depot (4'x8')
Remove grass
Till soil
Cover with grass clippings for a weakfish
Phase 2- Cover with layer of organic garden soil
Compost layer
More soil
Organic fertilizer
Phase 3- Plant!  We planted 2 kinds of lettuce, kale, chard, and cabbage.  Plus tomatoes and peppers and herbs in separate pots.
 Phase 4- Watch them grow and eat 'em up!  (hopefully.  I half expect them all to either magically have disappeared, be dead, trampled by the dog, or eaten by rabbits before the weekend's up.   eek!  good luck little guys! )

Do you garden?  I am not ashamed to admit we are boneheaded novices.  Tips and suggestions much appreciated!  FX'd these little dudes take root and get nice and comfy out there.  I'll update you all on my progress, and maybe in a couple months you'll be seeing a zillion more recipes for chard and kale.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spinach Tomato and Chickpea Curry

I know the real name for this dish is out there, it's kind of chana masala kind of not.  Who cares what its called- it's easy, fast, and only dirties one pan.  Can't complain about that!  It's also happens to be vegan, really filling, and has a huge dose of greens.  It started out looking like a creamy pink soup, then turned orange, and then finally burnt orange, until adding the spinach.  My little toddler slurped it up so I totally think this is kid appropriate- but she happens to like spicy ethnic stuff.

The only negative about this dish (or any curry) to me is that the smell hangs around maybe a bit longer than I'd like.  Might help if I opened windows.

Spinach Tomato and Chickpea Curry
1 can coconut milk (mine was TJ's light)
1 can chickpeas, washed and drained
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 lb bag frozen spinach
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp curry powder
S&P to taste
sprinkle of garam masala to finish

Cook your onions over medium heat until they start to brown, then add your garlic and cook for another minute.  Add your chickpeas and coat well, cooking for about 2-3 minutes more.  Then add your coconut milk and tomato and stir stir stir!  Let the mixture cook for another 2 minutes and season with salt and pepper.  Then add your curry powder.  The mixture should be bubbling.  Taste it at this point and see how you like it, and adjust accordingly.  Maybe add some red pepper flakes?  Cumin?  Cinnamon?  Whatever you want.  Let the mixture reduce and thicken, then add your thawed spinach.  Continue cooking until spinach is hot, then season with a bit of garam masala and serve.  This makes probably 5-6 servings depending on who's eating it- how hungry, if it's main vs. side etc.

We are big spinach eaters in this house- and I'm always looking for new ways to prepare it.  Tell me- what's your favorite way to eat spinach?  Do you ever "hide" it in foods?  This sounds odd but I want to try a savory spinach bread sometime.

Let me know what you think! XoXoGFG

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

No Sugar Added Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

I've mentioned before that I absolutely love frozen yogurt, tart especially.  It is the perfect treat on a hot day, and has the added bonus of not being too terrible for you.  But you know what?  In scrutinizing the ingredients (a habit I don't think I'll ever be able to get rid of, sigh) it turns out even the brands touted as "healthy," "organic," "non-fat," "sugar-free" etc, are still full of lots of junk.  Lots of artificial flavorings, preservatives, fillers, and sweeteners.  I think we can do better people.

I made Peach frozen yogurt not too long ago.   It was pretty darn good.  Eager to try my hand at a new version- I thought- hey, why not try using strawberry preserves?  The fruit only kind?

Duh, it is awesome.  And easy.  And the prettiest pink color as you can see in between pineapple pieces above.  Don't have an ice cream maker?  Get one.  They are not that expensive.  Do you realize how much you are probably spending on frozen yogurt?  I can make 32 ounces of frozen yogurt for the same amount you spend on one serving.

The reason I am calling this No Sugar Added, is simple.  First- I can't rightly say it's sugar free.  Yogurt contains lactose- which is sugar.  So right off the bat frozen yogurt cannot be sugar free.  Then I added fructose in the form of fruit preserves.  It adds sugar and carbs to this recipe.  However, you'll be pleased to know that one serving of this also contains a whopping 22 grams of protein.  That is the magic of Greek Yogurt.

No Sugar Added Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
1 jar strawberry preserves, the kind that is JUST FRUIT (not the one with splenda instead of sugar)
1 32 ounces container 0% fat Greek Yogurt- I used TJ's greek-style 0% but check the ingredients to make sure there isn't any added junk to make up for the 0% fat
2 tsp vanilla extract
juice of half a lemon
2 packets of pure via (totally optional)

Mix all your ingredients together and refrigerate for a few hours.  Then prepare according to ice cream maker's directions.  Ready in about 15 minutes for soft-serve, or stick in the freezer for two more hours if you want it a bit more ice-creamy.


PS- do you follow me on Twitter?  @GrainFreeG

Monday, April 23, 2012

Grain-Free, Sugar-Free, Maple Flax Cake/Bread

It's a good thing I didn't wait any longer to snap a pic of this delish bread/treat- as of this morning there is only a tiny slice left and I just made it! 

Although this came out great and is definitely a maj success- you could also call it a ginormous failure if you wanted to.  I set out to make maple scones people- yeah- totally the opposite of this.  Once I combined the ingredients I realized it was wayyyyyyyyy to wet and soupy, and unless I wanted to add a sh*t ton more flour and risk ruining the whole thing, I may as well just make a cake instead.  Glad I did- because this is ridiculously good.  Even better with some fruit spread or (soy free) earth balance.  This could either be a great dessert (with some SF icing) or even a fun breakfast- it's pretty healthy!  Or use it to make french toast or bread pudding.

Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Maple Flax Bread/Cake
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup ground flax meal
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 room temp eggs, preferably pastured
1 cup maple syrup, or SF maple syrup if you can tolerate it, or SF Torani/DaVinci maple flavored syrup***
2 tbsp oil (I used walnut but go ahead and used liquified coconut, grapeseed, etc)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix your dry ingredients really well with a fork or whisk, taking care to get those pesky coconut flour lumps out.  Then mix your wet ingredients and combine.  You'll have to mix for a bit as it takes a minute for the batter to pull together.  Pour into greased loaf pan (or even a cake pan) and bake at 325 until a knife comes out clean and the top is golden.  In my oven that took an hour- but we've talked about my crazy oven before!

***So, SF syrup.  I know, this will probably be problematic to some of you.  Main two ingredients are sorbitol and water, followed by natural and artificial flavors.  Sorbitol is naturally occurring in many fruits, like apples, albeit in smaller doses.  It is very slowly metabolized by the body and does not cause blood sugar spikes, and contains a fraction of the calories.  Eating it in excess may upset some sensitive tummies.  I used it and we had no issues.  That said, of course if sugar is not an issue then go for the real stuff, you'll get the added benefit of the nutrients in pure maple syrup.  But use maple syrup! The real thing!  Not that HCFS pancake syrup that costs a buck!  Otherwise, you're much better off using the SF kind. 

And that's it folks.  The addition of the flax gave the cake a bit more structure and also a nice dose of omegas.  You can't taste the flax, it just makes pretty little flecks in the cake.  This will rise considerably from the eggs and baking powder.  Would be awesome with chopped pecans or walnuts too!

Enjoy!  Let me know what you think in the comments :) XoXoGFG

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ground Turkey Taco Cups and Homemade Guacamole

Even if I weren't a GFG, I think I'd still prefer these super cute little taco cups to actual tacos.  They are so much fresher and more fun to eat, and look how pretty and green!

I pretty much made this recipe exactly-except with ground turkey instead.  It came out great and I highly recommend not only the recipe, but the blog.  Check it out!  Served this with refried beans and homemade guacamole.  If you are going to try out this recipe- definitely don't scimp on the spice mixture- and maybe even double it to save some for next time!  It's that good.

Want some easy, delish guac to go with it?

Here is my foolproof guac recipe:

1 avocado
1 cup of grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 red onion, chopped finely
juice of one ripe lime
2 tsp kosher salt

Masy your avocado and throw in your tomatoes and onions, and then add your (fresh) lime juice.  Add your salt and combine.  Let this sit in the fridge for a bit and cover the guac with plastic wrap- not the bowl, but the guac itself.  The lime juice will keep it from oxidizing.

Happy eating! XoXoGFG

Friday, April 20, 2012

Use What You Have- Salmon, Green Bean, and Cannellini Salad

Sometimes I hesitate to post a recipe because I feel it's too ordinary, elementary, run-of-the-mill, boring, etc etc.  But then I'll stumble on a recipe on another site that is equally ordinary, but either the ingredients or flavor profile will give me inspiration and/or a jumping off point for a new recipe of my own.  So what the heck- maybe this will inspire you too.  And if not- it is an easy, filling, and nutritious salad for any lunch or dinner.

Salmon, Green Bean, and Cannellini Salad
1 bag of your preferred salad mix, or one head of your fave lettuce, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 can cannellini beans
2 green onions, chopped finely
2 cups green beans, cooked, (mine were those frozen steamer bag kind) and chopped
1 can of pink salmon (I get the large can that has skin and bones in it- the whole thing is edible and there are tons of extra nutrients in it)
juice of one lemon
3 tbsp Meyer Lemon EVOO, or plain EVOO
S&P to taste

Throw your lettuce, tomatoes, onion, rinsed and drained beans, and chopped cooked green beans in a large bowl.  Then add in chunks of salmon.  Salmon is a great alternative to tuna as it does not have high levels of mercury- look for wild salmon.  Do you have kitchen shears?  If not- get some! They make chopping veg way faster and easier.  I use mine daily.  They are especially useful for cutting things up into manageable toddler bite-sized morsels.  I didn't even bother cutting up the grape tomatoes.  Throw in some salt and pepper and squeeze your lemon over the top, then drizzle some EVOO on top and toss.  This will be better after an hour or two in the fridge.  This salad is definitely a meal.  Super hearty from the beans and a nice serving of protein.

What is your "go-to" salad?  I have to admit, many times "salad" is really just greens with some vinaigrette.

I'm also starting to think seriously about formulating my own, customized, grain-free all purpose flour.  I love almond flour- but it's just too dense.  I love coconut flour too, but I find I much prefer coconut flour baked goods when they are combined with another flour.  It's tough because a lot of grain free flours are too starchy for me- so it will probably entail a lot of experimenting and trial and error.  Any tips, suggestions, or ideas?  Anyone bake with chestnut, hazelnut, or quinoa flour?  What about using a small amount of chickpea flour?  I want to stay away from arrowroot, and tapioca.  Any ideas are much appreciated!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Chicken is just such a bore.  UGH sometimes just thinking about it annoys me.  We don't even eat it that much but still it feels omnipresent doesn't it?  There just has to be a better way to prepare it that won't dirty five million dishes or take hours to prepare.

Well- if this recipe isn't the answer to my problems, I don't know what is.  And no, I don't have a pic (do you care really? My pics are shit.) because 1) it's not much to look at and 2) it was gone in a flash.

Couple of thoughts first.  I've made chicken probably every possible way, and used every possible part.  Wings, legs, drumsticks, breast, whole chicken, half chicken, smoked chicken, poached, marinated, brined, tenderized, bacon-wrapped, grilled, seared, boiled, slow-cooked, baked, fried, ground… you get the picture.  I have to say, if you have the time, a whole chicken butterflied on the grill is tops.  But what if you don't want to buy a whole chicken, or don't have the time, or patience to cut it up etc.  Here is my secret to the best chicken ever- stop buying boneless skinless chicken breast.  For reals.  Just stop.  Buy the best chicken you can, grass-fed/pastured/organic whatever, and get boneless, skinless thighs.  No messy skin and bones to deal with, no muss no fuss.  Freezes great, retains flavor and moisture a zillion times better.  Just try it.

However- if you aren't in to dark meat, have a bunch of white meat on hand still, or have a few different parts, this will still work GREAT!

EYB Chicken
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cups buttermilk**
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 - 2 tsp kosher salt

Marinate your chicken in buttermilk for at least four hours, can leave overnight even.  Preheat your oven to 425 (and use the convection feature if you have it!) and mix all your seasonings together.  Spread your chicken out onto a foil lined baking sheet/pan so they have a little space in between.  Very liberally distribute your seasoning mixture over the chicken.  Don't worry about coating both sides.  Bake until the juices run clear- probably 25-35 minutes.

**This chicken is so freaking easy.  Buttermilk is the ultimate chicken marinade/tenderizer people.  I know I know, what the hell do you with the leftover buttermilk?  Two suggestions- 1) it is already "spoiled" shall we say, so you can leave it in the fridge for quite awhile, even after it's been opened.  Like, weeks and weeks.  Just make sure it's properly sealed and towards the back of the fridge.  2) freeze the rest!  Pour it in a freezer bag and be done with it!  Thaw it next time you need it.  Dunzo.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Crazy Good Banana Cake, No Sugar Added, Grain-Free

This is kind of an old-school type recipe.  I felt like my nana throwing together an "ice-box" cake or something.  I don't know why.  Well, I do know why.  It's because my recipe uses a box of instant pudding.  Kinda weird.  And a major Paleo fail.  Will I ever be paleo?  Who the heck knows.  That would mean no more cheese.  Or hummus.  Or peanut butter.  hmmmm…..

anyways, I have had a box of instant no sugar pudding in my pantry forever.  Why I decided to use it today I can't be sure.  All I know is that it's Friday, we are having our usual shabbat dinner, and I wanted to try something new.  Absolutely nothing on Pinterest looked fun in the dessert department (although I've recently found a bunch of yummy looking entree recipes) and even when I searched dessertstalker for Paleo recipes, still, blah.  But I had this god-damn box of pudding and two sad brown bananas, or ninas as S calls them, so that was that.

Crazy Good Banana Cake, No Sugar Added, Grain-Free
3/4 cup almond flour (I've just recently started using the cheapo kind from TJ's that is not as finely ground, it's fine)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 package SF vanilla instant pudding mix
2 overripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, preferably pastured
1/4 cup oil (currently I am using walnut for it's favorable omega 3:6 ratio, but grapeseed, coconut, or canola will surely work)
1/2 cup milk, coconut milk, almond milk, etc, or maybe even water (if your bananas are really watery, you may need less)

In a large mixing bowl combine your pudding mix, almond and coconut flours, baking powder, and salt, and stir well to get out any lumps.  In a separate bowl, mix your eggs, vanilla, oil, and mashed bananas.  Add your milk.  Then pour wet into dry and incorporate.  Pour into 8" square cake pan lined with parchment.  Bake at 350.  You know the drill- my oven is from crazy town so check it after 20 min. or so and watch for the top to brown.

The batter for this cake is insane.  And I don't even care much for bananas anymore ever since I stopped eating them.  But holy sh*t it is good.  It's b.a.n.a.n.a.s. people.

In other news, Friday's are my day off- so S and I normally go to playgroup in the morning.  No playgroup today because of Passover.  So we went to the library instead.  Someone take my crack pipe AWAY from me next time I think it's a good idea to take my loud tornado baby to the quiet library.  That girl is louder than the entire pre-school class at our synagogue.  And she could probably eat more than all of them combined too, but that's another story entirely.  But we had lots of fun.  And checked out lots of books.  I wish there were more indoor playground type places around here for little mini-tornados like S.  Like this place in Chicago.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cashew Curry Chicken Salad

You know those times when you have a bunch of somewhat bland, and getting close to spoiling chicken in the fridge, leftover from who knows what, and if you don't use it up soon it will either go in the trash or the dog bowl?  Here is an awesome recipe to use said chicken.  Or even canned chicken I bet.

Cashew Curry Chicken Salad
2 cups shredded, torn, or chopped up chicken
1/4 cup mayo (or more if you like mayo)
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 green onions, sliced finely
1/4 to 1/3 cup raw unsalted cashews, chopped or in pieces
1/3 cup raisins, I used golden as that's what I had on hand
2 tbsp curry powder
S&P to taste

This takes all of 10 minutes start to finish.  Let it sit in the fridge for a bit for optimal yumminess.  I love curry powder and wanted this to have a ton of flavor, but try adding 1 tbsp first and go from there.  This made about 3 or 4 servings.  Shown with some sliced avocado.  Even better if you have some baby spinach or greens.

Not that it makes any difference for me, but this is a great recipe for passover as it can easily be eaten by itself, or with some GF matzah.  Could also sub out the chicken for eggs and make it a curried egg salad, also super yum!  I'm sure everyone has tons of boiled eggs laying around from easter/seder plates.  Have fun experimenting!

XoXoGFG @GrainFreeG

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

GFG is on Twitter!

Yup, about a decade too late.  Finally made the plunge into the twittersphere.  Follow all my gfg-exploits on Twitter @GrainFreeG.  Why you ask?  Well, mostly it's because my cousin is getting married and my whole family lives in Chicago so now I'll be able to twitterstalk everyone as all the wedding plans are made and we approach the big day!  That, and MKG has a twitter addiction and I'm curious about his drug of choice.

How was everyone's holiday weekend?  Hopefully full of sunshine and food and family.  Lots of love, XoXoGFG

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sugar-Free Macaroons

Another shiteous pic of something really super yum.  Sorry, I have not reached that level in food bloggingdom where I start to care about pics and do photo shoots and all that.  But rest assured, these are really freaking good.

There are a zillion macaroon recipes on the interwebs right now, some use honey, some use agave, maple syrup even, but none that I could find using SF sweeteners.  Until now!

This recipe worked awesome using a combo of xylitol and erythritol.  I did melt some SF choc chips for a few of them just for kicks.  SF chocolate chips are easy to find, hershey's makes them, but they are made with sugar alcohols which bother some people.

Really easy guys.  I made these using Let's Do Organic Coconut Flakes rather than shredded, which is great and they turned out really good, but take a bit longer to cook through I think.  I have also finally come to the realization that my oven is wayyyyyyyyyyy cooler (temp wise) than most.  I am almost scared to test it out and find out for myself.  But I really should, because my baked goods tend to take a lot longer to cook than they should.  Which is why I am always saying- bake until the knife comes out clean or until browned or whatever.  I don't even pay attention to the time anymore when I'm baking- something that should take 20 min takes 45.

So- back to the macaroonies.  Do you like them?  They seem to be quite divisive.  You love 'em or you hate 'em.  Coconut is the culprit.  How do you not love coconut.  I could eat it all day.

If you like them, try this recipe.  Don't be afraid of erythritol either.  I use it all the time.  It is not like splenda or equal or some god awful chemical

Sugar-Free Macaroons
10 ounces unsweetened coconut flakes
6 egg whites (i was using large eggs, not extra large)
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3/4 cup granular sweetener (in my case, 1/2 cup erythritol and 1/4 cup xylitol)

Combine ingredients in a large sauce pan and cook until coconut loses that raw bite to it, stirring regularly, then refrigerate for an hour or so.  I have this awesome 2 ounce coffee scoop that works great as a cookie scoop, so thats how mine were shaped into these perfect little mounds.  Bake at 325 until golden and cooked through- probably 20 min.  Have a convection oven?  Even better.  This made I think 24 cookies.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mediterranean Salad- great for Passover side dish!

Once again, please excuse the photo- MKG actually took this for me as we were running out the door- typical that he left the plastic wrap on to take the pic!

Normally at passover you get a lot of verrrrrrrrrrrrrry cooked veggies that sometimes are not even discernible as veggies.  Which is all fine and good but you still need something fresh and alive to liven things up.  Well, I do anyways.  This is a dope side dish any time of year but I particularly liked it because it has mediterranean vibe which is fitting for the holiday.  This would be an awesome veggie dish for a barbecue though, or a potluck of any kind.  Yum!

Mediterranean Chopped Salad
1 green pepper, small dice
1 red pepper, small dice
1 orange pepper, small dice
1 yellow pepper, small dice
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 english cucumber, small dice
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 block of feta- I used TJ's herb crumbled feta which saved a bit of time
1 cup of kalamata olives, chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
S&P to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp EVOO
***would also be great with chickpeas, which would render it NOT kosher for passover

This recipe is delicious, colorful, and full of vitamins and anti-oxidants.  The chopping takes awhile, I'll admit.  But it's worth it, and once everything is chopped all you do is throw it in a large bowl and combine.  I'd suggest refrigerating it for at least an hour to let the flavors mingle.  This will probably be my new summer barbecue stand-by!  XoXoGFG

Friday, April 6, 2012

Grain-Free, Sugar-Free Blueberry Coffee Cake

This recipe is almost the exact same as my previous recipe for Caramel Date Cake, with just a few small adjustments.

After considering it for a few days, I thought maybe the dates would be bothersome to FIL and Bro-in-law so decided to go with something a bit more mainstream.  The recipe is such a great base recipe so have fun experimenting!

Rather than dates, I used two cups of blueberries.  After thawing them, I made sure they were thoroughly dry.  Rather than the caramel sauce, I prepared a crumble topping, and also did a swirl of cinnamon throughout.

Blueberry Coffee Cake
for the cake:
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
6 eggs
1/2 cup liquid sweetener
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups blueberries

cinnamon swirl:
2 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp granular sweetener

for the crumble topping:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp granular sweetener

Combine your dry ingredients and use a fork to mix it, ensuring there are no lumps.  Combine all your wet ingredients and then add wet to dry.  It'll take a minute to incorporate, and it will seem too wet at first.  Then add your blueberries and transfer to a greased 9 inch cake pan.  Then, put your butter for the swirl in a microwave safe bowl and melt- and mix in your cinnamon and granular sweetener.  Pour this over the cake batter and use a fork to swirl it through the cake, it looks pretty!  Finally, add the crumble topping.  This is super easy- just pulse your chopped pecans for a moment until the pieces are quite small, add your cinnamon and sweetener and butter and pulse until the butter is about pea size.  Crumble over the top of the cake and bake at 325 until a knife comes out just barely clean.

This is a decadent dessert and if under baked is kind of like a bread pudding.  Feel free to experiment with some yogurt instead of eggs, or even a flax egg!  I'd love to hear about any changes and/or substitutions you make!

This is an awesome unleavened, kosher for passover dessert, but is totally suitable for easter, or any family get together.  I will definitely keep playing with this base recipe and up next I am for sure going to try subbing out some of the eggs with yogurt, and maybe increasing the coconut flour just a bit and decreasing some of the almond flour.  I'm sure some orange zest would have been great in the batter too.

What is on everyone's menu for the holidays?  How will you stay grain/sugar/gluten free?


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Caramel Date Cake

For those not in the know, during Pesach, or Passover, it is customary to abstain from eating certain foods, most commonly, anything leavened.  So for the traditional Passover Seder, or meal, you'll usually have an assortment of oddly flavored and textured desserts made of matzah meal, or flourless cakes and cookies.  But you know what?  Most of the GFG desserts I make are pretty much kosh for passover already!

This cake is easy enough to make just to have around the house but also special enough for a big dinner.  I was really eager to try this cake and I just knew it would turn out well- but I made a half batch this time just in case I encountered some hiccups. 

The caramel sauce topping is totally not necessary, but after my success with date caramels, I knew a yummy sugar free caramel sauce was possible.

This came out really moist from all the dates, and it is a bit sweeter than my usual desserts, since I knew that non GFG's would be eating it.  Try it out and see if you like it!

Caramel Date Cake 
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 room temp eggs
1/4 cup oil or melted butter (I used grapeseed but melted coconut oil, walnut, or canola would surely work)
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp liquid sweetener (like SF vanilla syrup for sugar free, honey, agave, brown rice syrup, coconut nectar, etc)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 to 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup of chopped dates

for the sauce:
1 cup of water
3 large medjool dates, or 4 or 5 medium ones
2 tbsp butter

In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, and salt.  In a separate bowl, beat your eggs, then add your liquid sweetener, extracts, and oil.  Stir well.  Pour wet into dry and mix.  It will look really really wet at first, but the coconut flour starts to suck up moisture pretty quick.  Then add in your chopped dates and combine.  Pour the batter into a parchment lined, or well greased cake pan.  Bake at 325 and start checking at 20 minutes.  This should rise a good amount.  Bake until the top turns golden brown and a knife comes out just barely clean.

For the sauce, bring a cup of water to a boil and drop in your medjool dates, make sure they have been pitted and smushed up first.  Let the dates boil about 10 minutes.  The sauce will have turned dark brown at this point- use a fork to pick out all the fibrous bits and continue reducing. Once it's thickened up, drop in your butter and stir like crazy.  In fact, you should really stir like crazy the whole time so it doesn't burn.  Remove from heat and spoon over your cooled cake.  Another option would be to use a toothpick to poke lots of holes in the cake and pour the sauce over it, so the cake absorbs it.

I hope you try this cake, it would make a wonderful easter dessert too!  I really feel like the almond extract adds a really important extra layer of flavor, so don't leave it out.  If you wanted to lighten this up a bit, I have a feeling that greek yogurt could stand in for much or even all of the oil.  Or try half flax/chia egg and half real eggs.  Let me know if you do make substitutions and how they turn out!

Don't have any suitable sugar free sweetener?  You can make your own syrup pretty easily by mixing your preferred sweetener, stevia, xylitol, erythritol, etc, with nut milk or water.  Not into dates?  Try canned pineapple, strawberries, cherries, or blueberries!  Happy eating! XoXoGFG