Friday, 9 October 2015

Banana Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

These are legitimate healthy cookies! No sugar or oil added (although there is some in the peanut butter). My toddler loves these and so do I! I usually add chocolate chips to mine so they aren't too healthy, but he eats them plain or with raisins now that he's old enough. 

I like to keep a batch of these in the freezer. When the kiddo asks for a cookie, I can give him something that I feel is still healthy enough for a snack (or even breakfast on the go). I just pop them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and they are ready to eat! He hasn't quite figured out that mine have chocolate chips and his have raisins... and I hope it stays that way for awhile! He is in love with raisins anyway, so I think I'm good for now ;)

Everyone who's tried these cookies likes them and I hope you do too! 

makes about 2 dozen small cookies

1 cup Quick Oats
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 Banana, Mashed
3 Tbsp Peanut Butter
Dash Vanilla
1/3 cup Applesauce

optional: 1/4 cup chocolate chips or raisins 


Mix wet ingredients and then add in dry and stir to combine.
Add raisins or chocolate chips if using.
Drop by spoonfuls on to parchment paper and flatten a bit (cookies won't change much in shape)
Bake at 350 for 15 mins or until they are starting to firm up a bit.
wet ingredients

mix and add dry

drop by spoonfuls and flatten with a spoon

bake at 350 (some with chocolate chips and some plain)

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Inside Out Bakery in Saskatoon

I'm excited to do my first post on a local business! Lucille from Inside Out Bakery here in Saskatoon contacted me and told me about some of the things she has going on with her bakery. I had never heard of it, so was glad she reached out. I got to drop by the bakery on Avenue C and taste some of the goodies!

Inside Out Bakery is a facility free from gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, refined sugars, yeast, xanthan gum and MSG. They also carry a range of products that are--or can be altered to be--paleo, vegan or diabetic friendly. Many ingredients used are organic, so there's an option for everyone! 

In the bakery on Ave C

They use whole foods and healthy ingredients, swapping white sugar for date paste and other natural sweeteners. Lucille told me they like to use a lot of coconut flour and bean flour for fiber and nutrition. Instead of white rice flour they use brown, and when starches are necessary, arrowroot and tapioca are used instead of more refined corn or potato starch. They even make their own chick pea paste from scratch by roasting and grinding the peas right on site.

in the bakery on Ave C

Products are baked fresh to order or can be bought off the shelf at the bakery or at Herb N Health on Broadway and 9th. They have an amazing selection of products including cookies, cakes, cinnamon buns, breads, muffins, and even soups. Orders can be picked up at various locations around the city (see their website for more details) and they will also deliver for a fee. Lucille told me she is working on getting her products in another location downtown as well. 

Muffins (banana chocolate chip, pumpkin, carrot cake), cinnamon buns, chocolate chip shortbread, lemon shortbread, lemon and chocolate cupcakes and biscuits

pumpkin, banana and carrot cake muffins

I had the chance to taste a few of their products and was impressed. My husband said their carrot cake is comperable to any carrot cake he's had and I have to agree. All mine needed was a little cream cheese icing! (I believe they offer their carrot cake with a coconut cream frosting). My favourite would have to be the cinnamon buns. They are chewy and goey and sweet, even though they're made with date paste and whole grain flours! I froze a few and am eating the last one right now. Microwaved from frozen, these cinnamon buns are just as good as they were fresh. Mmmm... I also really enjoyed the chocolate icing that was on the chocolate cupcake. The cupcake was good, but the icing was to die for: rich, dark, and delicious! The biscuits were soft and mild in flavour but were yummy with butter and jam and are designed to go alongside a soup or stew.

goey cinnamon buns

They really infuse a lot of flavour into their baking. There are lot of spices (cinnamon, ginger, etc.) in their muffins and the flavour comes through very strong. I really like spices so this was a plus for me. The lemon flavour in the lemon shortbread and cupcakes was strong too. They use the whole lemon, including the zest, so the flavour is very bright, tart, and citrusy. To see all the products they offer, check out their website.

mini cupcakes 

Because they use fiber rich, nutrient packed whole grains and foods, their products tend to be more dense than their wheat flour counterparts, but I think (and my gluten-eating husband agrees) the texture is still great and the flavour is definitely there. You can really taste the coconut flour flavour in the muffins. 

some natural products they have for sale at the bakery

Support a local business! You can order a cake for a birthday party, cinnamon buns and muffins for a morning business meeting, go sit down in their Broadway location for soup and dessert, or Ave C bakery for a cold drink and warm scone. I think it would be great for restaurants, coffee shops or hotels to have some treats from Inside out Bakery on hand for guests with dietary restrictions. Most products can be kept frozen and microwave beautifully. Lucille also mentioned they are hoping to open up a location in Lloydminster in the near future!

a nice place to sit and taste some goodies or just wait for your order to be ready

Have you tried anything from the Inside Out Bakery? What did you think?

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Enjoy Life Pizza Crust Mix Review

My family really enjoyed this pizza crust. I felt like I could have cooked it a few minutes longer before adding the toppings, but it was still fine. My husband actually said that this was the best gluten free pizza he's tasted! I think I still like my pizza crust recipe a little better, but this one was a close second, and wayyyy easier to make!

The mix is enough to make 2 pizzas but I cut it in half to make one. I think it was about 1 2/3 cup of the mix. I spread my mix pretty thin so the pizza crust was dense and a little chewy in the middle with crispy edges. We added peppers, onions, italian sausage and mozzarella and served with a caesar salad. Yum!

The cost for the mix is $8.49. A little bit expensive, but like their other mixes, this mix contains lots of whole grain and high fiber ingredients, so you get what you pay for. This was probably our favourite mix out of the bunch!

Taste                         5 stars
Texture                      4 stars
Quality Ingredients     4.5 stars
Cost                         3 stars

Overall Rating            4 stars

dough for 1 pizza 

pressed thinly

after baking 9 mins 

toppings on and back in the oven for 10 mins or so

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Enjoy Life All Purpose Flour Review

I used this flour in my recipe for chocolate zucchini muffins and they turned out great! I've made these muffins many times using my own flour blend, and while they were a little different in texture this time, they were still really good.

My favourite part of this flour is the multiple healthy grains used. They make the mix higher in fiber and nutrients than a lot of gluten free flour blends you will find. The flour blend costs $8.49 per box, which seems a bit more expensive than most gluten free flours on the market. 

Texture                       4.5 stars
Taste                          4.5 stars
Quality Ingredients      5 stars
Cost                           2.5 stars

Overall Rating             4  stars

Enjoy Life Pancake and Waffle Mix Review

I tried this mix as pancakes first and found them a little too thin and the batter too runny. On my second attempt with pancakes I added a little less water than was recommended and they turned out much better. They were great with blueberries mixed in and topped with greek yogurt and maple syrup. I found the texture to be a little more moist in the centre than I would have liked, but overall the taste was good and they were super easy to make. 

Although the mix worked great as pancakes, it didn't work at all as waffles for me. They just fell apart; I couldn't get them to come out of my waffle iron without crumbling, no matter how much I oiled it. Sad day. 

The instructions for the box say to use 2 cups of mix at a time, but I just did 1 or 1/2 cup at a time and adjusted all the other ingredients accordingly. I've made 3 meals out of the mix and still have some left. This mix costs $8.49, which is an okay price for how much you get.

I also love that they've included ancient grains for more fiber and protein, making these pancakes much healthier than most that come from a mix, gluten free or not. 

Texture                       2 stars
Taste                          4 stars
Quality Ingredients      5 stars
Cost                           4 stars

Overall rating              3.75 stars 

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Enjoy Life Brownies Mix Review

I decided to share this mix with my dad (who is also Celiac), mom and sister. It was great how quick and easy it was to go from box to oven. The only ingredients you need to add are water and oil. We threw a quick batch in the oven and started a movie. Halfway through we stopped for a warm brownie... Mmm. It was pretty great to have a freshly baked brownie with such little effort. 

Everyone enjoyed the brownies (including the gluten eaters). The texture was a little chewy and fudgey with crispy edges. It was sweet and chocolatey, thanks to the tiny chocolate chips that were scattered throughout the batter. You could top the brownie with icing or ganache, but it's great on its own too. We had it with ice cream for an especially decadent dessert. 

Even though this is a dessert, it contains fiber, ancient grains and added protein, which is a nice touch. It's not common to see sprouted brown rice protein and algal protein in a boxed mix. One box makes an 8x8 pan of brownies.  At $8.49 per box it's a little more than I would want to pay on a regular basis, but would be a nice treat, especially for someone who doesn't do much baking. 

Overall, it's a pretty yummy mix! 

Cost                         3 stars 
Quality Ingredients    5 stars
Texture                      4 stars
Taste                        5 stars 

Overall Rating:   4.25 stars 

Enjoy Life Muffin Mix Review

I make muffins from scratch probably once every 2 weeks, so I've had a lot of good and a lot of bad gluten free muffins over the years. There were positive and negative things about this mix. I loved how easy and convenient it was to use a mix compared to baking muffins from scratch. All you need to add is oil and water, so it's affordable and easy to make even if you're not into baking. The muffins taste great and contain good quality ingredients such as millet, quinoa, teff and sprouted brown rice protein. There are 2 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein in each serving. 

The negatives for me were texture and wetness. It seemed like it would've been better to add less water to the mix. It was soupy in consistency and hard to get into the muffin tins without making a big mess. I added blueberries to the mix and they all sunk, making it extra wet at the bottom of the muffin. Because the muffins were so moist, the texture seemed a little pasty to me. 

Overall I really liked the flavour and convenience of this mix, but I didn't love the texture. At $8.49 per box its a little pricy, but it does make about 14 muffins and would be great for someone that doesn't have time to bake from scratch. 

Cost                        3 stars
Quality Ingredients   5 stars
Texture                     2 stars
Taste                        4.5 stars 

Overall Rating: 3.5 stars 

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Enjoy Life Foods Mixes Review

I was super excited when Enjoy Life asked me to review their new line of dry mixes! Not only are they free of the top 8 allergens, but they also contain probiotics, ancient grains (like teff, buckwheat, millet and quinoa)  and 5 grams of plant based protein per serving. Here is a photo of the print out they sent to me with some more info on the products.

My favourite thing about this review is the effort Enjoy Life put in to the blogger packages. They are pretty amazing! Complete with a branded spatula, oven mitt, stirring spoon and pizza cutter; they really went above and beyond with their blogger love! I had to show off the box to my friends and family and everyone was totally jealous. I am actually pumped about the oven mitt because my old ones are starting to wear out :) 

Isn't it adorable? I think they should make this available to purchase on their website as a gift box. It would be a great care package for a student or as a Christmas gift. I'm sure anyone would love to recieve this beauty in the mail. 

I will be reviewing the 5 Enjoy Life mixes: muffins, brownies, pancakes/waffles, pizza crust and all purpose flour blend. Click on each link for a full review. 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Black Bean Cookies

Most of my attempts at gluten free cookies end up dry, crumbly or gritty. It doesn't seem to matter how much xanthan gum I use. I guess the problem is with the flour, because these cookies are soft, smooth, dense and fudgey! Just a little bit of almond meal and a bunch of black beans make for one delicious cookie. 

I think I've made these cookies about 4 times in the last month and a half. They pair perfectly with my afternoon coffee! They are jam packed with protein and fiber, making them a fairly healthy treat (that is if you can keep yourself from eating the whole batch)

You need to store these in the fridge or freezer. They are great to eat straight from the fridge, but I like to microwave them a bit when taking them out of the freezer. That makes the texture gooey and the chocolate chips melty. mmmm...

makes 24 cookies

1 can rinsed black beans
2 Tbsp milk (any kind)
2 Tbsp olive oil (or canola)
1.5 Tbsp natural peanut butter (can use regular or another nut/seed butter)
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp ground almonds (you may substitute oat flour or gf flour blend)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar (use 1/3 cup if you want them less sweet)
1 tsp baking powder
dash salt
1/3 cup chocolate chips


In a food processor, blend beans, milk, oil, peanut butter and vanilla.
Add remaining ingredients 1 at a time  (excluding chocolate chips), blending after each addition.
Batter should be mouse-like in texture.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop spoonfulls on to parchment lined baking sheets.
bake at 375 for 10 mins (do not over-bake or your cookies can dry out. They will feel quite soft when done baking).
Let cool on the pan for 10 mins or so, then move to a cooling rack if you want them to cool faster
Store in fridge or freezer. (they will go bad really quickly at room temperature)

beans, milk, oil, pb and vanilla in a food processor

blend until smooth

add remaining ingredients 1 at a time, blending after each addition

fold in chocolate chips

drop spoonfulls on to a parchment lined baking sheet

bake at 375 for 10 mins