Sunday, May 18, 2014

Gluten-Free Berry Crumble

Hey everybody! Since springtime is upon us, I figured I would share a recipe using my favorite spring fruit: berries! While local (from Washington) berries aren't quite in season, lots of berries from California are in season, and I've been eating lots of them lately. I had been toying with the idea of making something with berries for awhile, but I couldn't decide what to make. Then, Colleen Ballinger, one of my favorite YouTubers, released a video teaching you how to make her favorite berry crumble. I decided that I could make a healthy version of this recipe to share with you guys, and it turned out super well! I hope you guys enjoy this easy recipe as much as I did! It's gluten-free and vegan, too! 

Gluten-Free Berry Crumble
Serves 8 - 10 

1½ cups fresh strawberries 
1½ cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup fresh raspberries
3/4 cup fresh blackberries
2 tbsp agave nectar
½ tsp cinnamon

For crumble topping: 
2 cups almond flour 
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats 
½ tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup coconut oil, at room temperature
½ cup agave nectar
1 cup coconut sugar

*You can use any amount of berries as you like as long as it adds up to 4½ cups total! You could use 4½ cups of strawberries, switch the amounts for raspberries and blueberries, etc. Do whatever you like best!
**Frozen fruit will work too, but fresh fruit is preferable.
***If you're allergic to nuts, you can substitute the type of flour you use. Just make sure it's about the same consistency as almond flour, which is ever so slightly coarser than all-purpose flour. A gluten-free flour mix would be great. 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the berries, agave nectar and cinnamon in a medium-large bowl. Set aside.

2. Put the ingredients for the topping in a large standing mixer. Using the dough paddle, mix on a medium-low speed (2 or 4 worked well for me). Mix until the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated and make a crumbly topping. 

3. Lay 2/3 of the crumble mixture on the bottom of a 8x13 pan. Distribute evenly across the bottom of the pan and press down into a firm base layer. Top with all of the fruit and lay in an even layer. Finally, sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the crumble mixture on top of the berries. Keep this loose - it's just a crunchy topping! 

4. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. The topping should be barely golden brown, and the berries should have released some of their juices. Remove from the oven and let cool on the stove top for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy! 

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please give it a try - it's so easy and it's perfect for this season! I made this crumble while making dinner and preparing both dishes only took me half an hour (not including baking time). You can always do homework while it's in the oven, too! Please give it a try and share your recreations with me using #teenscancooktoo on Instagram and Twitter. Don't forget to follow Teens Can Cook, Too on all the social media handles below: 


Stay healthy!
- Madeline 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chocolate Banana Nice Cream

Hey everybody! Spring is in full bloom, and it's been getting really hot around here in Seattle. I thought you'd all like a healthy, cool, sweet treat to brighten your spring days. This treat is vegan and can be made paleo depending on the ingredients you choose! 

Have you ever had a Peanut Butter Moo'd or a Chocolate Moo'd at Jamba Juice? Or any sort of ice cream with chocolate, peanut butter and banana? Combine the ice cream with the Peanut Butter/Chocolate Moo'd and you get this, but without the saturated fat and refined sugars. This delicious vegan ice cream is so good that carnivores and vegans alike will love it. My 9-year-old brother, who is the pickiest kid I've ever met, loved it, so trust me on this one! This Chocolate Banana "Nice Cream" has only 7 ingredients, and you can choose whichever nut butter and non-dairy milk you want in order to personalize it. I personally like using peanut butter and almond milk, but if you're paleo and can't eat peanuts, you can always use almond butter. If you're allergic to nuts, you can use sunflower seed butter and coconut milk! Personalize it however you like. 

Chocolate Banana Nice Cream
Serves 3 - 4

2 ripe bananas
½ cup nut/seed butter of choice (peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.) 
½ tsp vanilla extract 
2 tsp unsweetened cacao powder 
2 tbsp honey or agave nectar 
1/4 - 1/3 cup non-dairy milk of choice (almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, etc.) 
2 cups ice 

1. Place parchment on a large plate. Peel the bananas and place them on the plate. Freeze for at least 2 hours, until the bananas are completely frozen.

2. Add the frozen bananas, 1/4 cup of the non-dairy milk (to start), and the remaining ingredients in a blender or Vita-Mix. Cover and blend on a high speed. If you need more liquid, add a couple more tablespoons of milk at a time, but be very careful - adding too much will ruin the consistency. If it's too thin, you will need more ice. The consistency should be thick, like ice cream, but it's alright if it's slightly thinner. 

3. Scoop into bowls and enjoy in the sun! 

There you go! How easy is that? Putting this together took me a total of 10 minutes, and clean up was really easy too. This would be perfect to enjoy in the sun after school, to make when you have friends over, or to make just because you feel like it. Please give this amazing recipe a try. Take a photo of what you made and send it to me using #teenscancooktoo on Instagram. Make sure you're following Teens Can Cook, Too at all the social media handles below: 

Stay healthy!
- Madeline 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Chunky Monkey Cookies

Hi, everyone! I'm so sorry that this post is so late - I've been really busy with school and AP tests, but I promise that I'm going to be updating on a regular basis from now on! The theme this month is... healthy desserts! People have been very responsive to my healthy dessert recipes, so I figured I would dedicate this whole month to them. 

First of all, healthy baking is really different from normal baking. There are a few things you'll need to stock up on if you want to bake healthy treats. Lots of my friends from school have wanted to make my recipes, but they didn't have any of the ingredients, so they couldn't. If you know what to stock up on, you can find a recipe online and make it five minutes later because you already have everything you need. Here are my suggestions for healthy baking essentials:

  • A few gluten-free flours, such as coconut flour and almond flour
  • A few gluten-free flour blends that taste and act more like all-purpose flour. My favorite is Namaste brand. I don't use these in my desserts because they're really tricky to work with if you don't have a recipe, but if you stumble across any recipes that use these, you should have them on hand!
  • Nuts! Hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, and everything else you can think of! 
  • Rolled oats (preferably gluten-free) 
  • Non-dairy milks, such as almond milk, soy milk and coconut milk
  • COCONUT OIL! Coconut oil replaces butter and other fats in so many recipes. You basically can't make any of my dessert recipes if you don't have this. 
  • Nut butters, such as peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, and more
  • A variety of seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and more
If this list seems long and scary, don't worry! Just start accumulating these ingredients as you see them pop up in recipes. Remember, these aren't just for desserts. The flours can be used to bread chicken, make pasta and thicken sauces, too. Almost all these ingredients work in breakfast foods, too! You can throw oats and nuts into a fruit smoothie, into a big bowl of oatmeal, drink almond milk straight in the mornings, spread almond butter on your toast and more. 

Now onto the recipe! These cookies were inspired by one of my favorite flavors of Ben and Jerry's ice cream: Chunky Monkey. While I love this ice cream, I don't like the fact that it has huge chunks of walnuts in it. I'm just not really a walnut fan, if I'm being honest with you. I figured I should make a cookie out of these flavors so I can indulge without feeling guilty, but I replaced the walnuts with peanut butter and chopped peanuts. Who doesn't love peanut butter, right? These cookies are super easy; I was able to make them in 30 minutes including the cooking time for both batches. They're perfect for beginners because you literally stir ingredients together and stick them in the oven. No fancy techniques are required! 

Chunky Monkey Cookies
Makes 18 - 24 cookies

3 large ripe bananas
½ cup all-natural peanut butter (check the label to make sure there aren't any hydrogenated oils!)
1 tbsp coconut oil
5 tbsp honey
3/4 tsp vanilla extract 
2½ cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt 
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 
3/4 cup organic chocolate chips 
(optional) ½ cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, finely chopped 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Put a silicon pad or parchment paper on two baking sheets. Set aside. 

2. Mash the bananas in a large bowl with a potato masher or a fork. I find a potato masher to be much more effective. Mash until there aren't many lumps left. Microwave the coconut oil for 10 - 15 seconds, so that it is warm and soft, but not completely melted. Stir the peanut butter, coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract into the bananas until completely smooth. 

3. Combine the oats, shredded coconut, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Pour these dry ingredients into the large bowl for wet ingredients. Stir using a large spoon until completely incorporated. Stir in the chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. 

4. Drop large spoonfuls of the batter onto the cookie sheet. Each cookie should contain approximately 2 - 3 tbsp of batter. You should fit 10 - 12 per sheet. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. The cookies should be golden brown and fairly firm. Remove from the oven and let cool for two minutes. Then, transfer the cookies on a cooling rack. Cool completely and enjoy!

I hope you like this recipe! I like it so much that I had 3 cookies tonight. Please give it a try so you too can have three cookies without feeling guilty. Share your recreations with me on Instagram using #teenscancooktoo! Make sure you're following me at all the social media sites below:

Stay healthy!
- Madeline