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My Favorite Real Food Kitchen Tools

My Favorite Real Food Kitchen Gadgets

Kitchen gadgets, tools, contraptions, dust collectors, etc.  Whatever you call them, they are (or should be) things that help you get real food preparation done quickly and efficiently.  As you may know, cooking traditional, real foods takes a bit of work.  Let’s just be real.  It be more time consuming than pulling a box out of the pantry or thawing out a frozen dinner.  But of course, the resulting food (both in taste and health) is vastly different.  Real food wins all around!

My Favorite Real Food Kitchen Gadgets

Today is the first part of a series in which I’ll be sharing my favorite and most used kitchen tools to help make your life in the kitchen easier and less time consuming.  Here are a few criteria that I go by to help me choose the tools I’ll be sharing with you.

  • Inexpensive but not cheap.  It’s not necessary to spend a ton of money on kitchen tools, but I also try to purchase only quality pieces that will stand the test of time.
  • Simple to use.  I like simple.  If I have to read the instruction manual to figure it out, I probably won’t use it more than once.  If you’re into techie type gadgets, you may find my “favorite kitchen tools” posts a bit bland but I always find myself coming back to the simple stuff.
  • More than one use.  This may not always be the case, but I am a sucker for a kitchen multi-tasker.  Not only does this save space in your kitchen but it helps save money by not having to purchase multiple tools to do separate jobs.
  • Something that gets a lot of use in my own kitchen.  This sounds silly, but think about your kitchen.  Do you use every utensil that you have or do you find yourself always reaching for a few favorites?  I’ve recently donated a big box of kitchen gear that I just didn’t use.  This has allowed me to save a lot of time because I’m not digging through drawers looking for my tools and I’m using the ones that I have a lot more often.

My favorite real food kitchen tools. Inexpensive, simple multi tasking kitchen tools that are essential to getting real food on the table fast!

1.  Peeler.  I’ve used several different styles of vegetable peelers but this is by far my most favorite!  I didn’t know what I was missing until I tried this one.  My favorite feature is the rotating head so that you can peel with it vertically or horizontally.  I find myself constantly switching it depending on what I’m peeling and would be perfect for someone who is right or left handed.  Also, the blade is super sharp and cuts really smoothly.  It’s made of ceramic which will stay sharp for a very long time and never rust.  I love using this to make wide vegetable nooodles out of carrots, squash or zucchini.  The only peeler you’ll need in your arsenal.

2.  Trigger Scoop (Cookie Scoop).  This is a wonderful multi-tasker for any real foods kitchen.  I use this scooper to easily make everything from paleo cookies to Italian meatballs.  It makes the process much faster and more consistent than doing by hand.  The trigger helps release the food material easily and helps keep your hands less messy.  This is a perfect tool to let your kiddos use as well!

3.  Crinkle Cutter.  This is actually not a totally necessary tool but it’s one that I’ve really grown to love!  There’s just something super fun about eating crinkle cut foods.  I use this to cut cucumber slices for dipping in hummus and cutting up sweet potatoes into fry shapes for baking.  This is a really sturdy and easy to handle cutter so it makes cutting simple and for less than $6 it’s hard to beat.  And what kid doesn’t love a crinkly cut veggie!?

4.  Microplane.  This is probably my hardest working kitchen tool aside from my chef’s knife (hint for the next installment of this series).  Instead of a drawer full of zesters and graters, simplify with one tool.  I use this to grate ginger into hot tea, soups, curries (tip:  keep your peeled ginger in the freezer to make it really easy to grate), mince garlic, finely grate hard cheeses, and zest citrus fruit.  I love using this to zest lemons as it doesn’t get much of the white pith like a traditional zester.  It’s really easy to clean and comes in a few fun colors.

I hope you enjoyed the first installment of my favorite real food kitchen tools.  I am confident that these will help make your food preparation easier, faster and maybe even fun!  Have you used any of these tools?  What is your favorite real food kitchen tool?

What are YOUR favorite things to use in your kitchen? Share with us in the comments below!

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How to Make Paleo Mayonnaise – Recipe

How to Make Paleo Mayonnaise

Delicious mayonnaise! It’s one of my all-time favorite foods. Here’s how to make the real food, healthy version, that also happens to be Paleo! The best thing about homemade mayonnaise is the incredible flavor.

How to Make Paleo Mayonnaise

What’s Up with Faux Food Mayo?

In my pre-paleo, real food days, I was a big fan of Miracle Whip. I would put that stuff on everything.  The white stuff that looks like mayonnaise, sort of tastes like mayonnaise, but is full of ingredients that hardly resemble real food.  It’s what I like to call a “food-like product.”  There are numerous brands of mayonnaise available, most of which are full of questionable ingredients.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients in Kraft Miracle Whip:  Water, Soybean Oil, Vinegar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Modified Cornstarch, Sugar, Eggs, Salt, Natural Flavor, Mustard Flour, Potassium Sorbate as a Preservative, Paprika, Spice, Dried Garlic.  Doesn’t look very real to me.

I used to be on a chronic low-fat diet and thought that consuming the light version was better for me.  Wrong.  The ingredients are even worse with added artificial sweeteners like Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium.  Yikes!

These “food-like products” were not helping me get healthier or lose weight.  I was riding a roller-coaster of weight loss/gain, depression, brain fog, and overall poor health.  Something had to change.  I stopped buying foods with ingredients that are overly processed (how do they get syrup out of corn!?).  I slowly switched out my favorite “food-like products” for real food.  I found renewed health, improved digestion and weight stabilization.  One real food at a time.  What is one switch you can make today with minimal time, money and ingredients?  You guessed it, mayonnaise!  I will walk you through how I make my paleo mayonnaise and hope that you will give it a try.

Gather your ingredients and let’s get started!

Mayonnaise is an emulsion.  An emulsion is the combining of two liquids that typically don’t mix (i.e. lemon juice & oil) with the use of an emulsifier (egg yolk).  Read more about the science behind emulsions here.  Emulsions can be a bit intimidating.  If you “break” the emulsion then you’ll end up with runny, watery mayonnaise.  I’ve tested a dozen different methods, trying to find one that is tasty, quick and reliable.  Other methods I’ve tried called for a painfully slow drizzle of the oil while blending in a blender or food processor.  That was time consuming and made more dirty dishes than I wanted to deal with.  The method I share here is simple and you’ll only end up with one item to wash.  This method is 99% fail-proof.  If it fails, meaning the emulsion broke, then I can usually chalk it up to impatience and/or forgetting an ingredient.  It’s called Mom Brain and it’s real y’all.

For the oil, I love using avocado oil.  This brand is wonderful and has a mild taste that works perfectly in mayonnaise.  Most any oil will do.  I’ve used macadamia oil, light olive oil and even walnut oil.  I have used extra virgin olive oil in a pinch, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  It ends up with a slightly bitter taste.  Stick to mild, healthy oils that you already use and love.

The other ingredients are simple.  Dijon mustard, half a lemon, a tablespoon of water and a fresh farm egg yolk.

How to make paleo mayo. This recipe is easy, gluten free and soy free.

How to Make Paleo Mayonnaise

Crack your egg yolk into a glass jar.  Add one tablespoon of water, juice of half a lemon and a squirt of Dijon mustard.  I don’t measure the mustard but it is about a teaspoon give or take.

Mustard in the Mayo

Add one cup of oil and let the jar hang out on your counter for an hour or so.  The goal is to allow all of the ingredients to reach room temperature.  Do NOT rush this part.  You’ll end up with a broken emulsion.  This is a good time to do a load of laundry, wash dishes or watch the latest episode of Shark Tank.  Then, if you’re anything like me, you’ll completely forget you were in the process of making mayonnaise until hours later.  Perfect!

The only piece of equipment you need is an immersion blender.  If you don’t have one, I highly recommend adding this versatile tool to your kitchen arsenal.  It makes whipping up mayonnaise a breeze.  It’s super easy to clean and inexpensive!  I also use it for blending soups, gravies, sauces and fruit (think applesauce) right in the pot.

How to make paleo mayo. This recipe is gluten free, soy free and easy.

Stick the immersion blender into the bottom of the jar and turn it on.  Slowly pull the blender up to the top of the mixture, allowing the oil to blend into the other ingredients that have settled to the bottom.  You’ll see the oil suction down turn a creamy white.  This is the emulsion happening right before your eyes!

Blending Mayo

As you draw the blender to the top of the mixture, you may need to tilt it slightly to get all the oil combined into the mixture.  Don’t over blend, as this could break the emulsion.

Voila!  Tasty, creamy, thick, spreadable mayonnaise.  Made with simple, real ingredients.

Mayo Close Up

I go through two batches of this a week as I use it as a base for nearly all of the dressings and sauces that I make.  I’ll be sharing a few variations to this recipe as well as my favorite mayo based dressings in an upcoming post.  It is perfect as is for deviled eggs and tuna salad.

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How to Make Mayonnaise

Who knew that mayonnaise was so simple? Make your own with just a few ingredients.

  • Author: Julie Quates
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Sauce
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 egg yolk from a healthy pastured chicken
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (regular mustard works too)
  • Juice of half a lemon (lemon juice will work in a pinch but I have the best luck with fresh lemons)
  • 1 cup of healthy oil (Avocado, Macadamia, Walnut, etc.)

Instructions

  1. Add ingredients to glass jar.
  2. Allow the ingredients to come to room temperature (1 hour +/-)
  3. Using your immersion blender draw the blender up from the bottom of the jar allowing all of the oil to emulsify into the mixture.
  4. Spread on everything and enjoy!

Notes

Get the kids involved! They will have fun watching the oil magically turn to mayonnaise.

Lasts 2 weeks or more in the refrigerator.

Please give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

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Easy Mexican Nachos Recipe with the Kids – Post at Inner Child Food

My Merry Messy Life: Easy Mexican Nachos - Kids in the Kitchen

Today I’m writing over at Inner Child Food sharing a very easy recipe for Mexican Nachos! They are so tasty and fun to make with kids, plus I made them healthier by using real cheese and fresh veggies.

Easy Mexican Nachos - Kids in the Kitchen

I’m also sharing tips for how to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the kids, like teaching them where we live in relation to Mexico, and how to say basic Spanish words. We had a lot of fun making and eating these together, and it took about 15 minutes from start to finish!

Click through to see the recipe and cute pictures of my kids!

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Veggie, Healthy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – Post at Inner Child Food

My Merry Messy Life: Veggie Healthy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Today I’m writing over at Inner Child Food, sharing a healthy veggie grilled cheese sandwich recipe that I made with my kids! Psst…the kids won’t know there are veggies inside!

My Merry Messy Life: Veggie Healthy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I share tons of pictures of my kids hard at work making these, from start to finish. I took an old, classic recipe and made it healthier and more nutritious by adding veggies and flavor from spices. To see the full post, click here!

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Crispy Rice and Oats Treats – Healthier and Delicious!

Today I’m writing over at Inner Child Food to share a new favorite treat in our household. It’s a twist on the good ole’ Rice Krispie Treats, but instead of marshmallows, it has natural peanut butter, raw honey and oats – all of which add some protein, fiber and nutrition that’s completely missing with processed marshmallows.

Healthier Rice and Oats Treats

Not only that, but they are gluten-free and can be made with almond butter instead of peanut butter! Gabe and I made them together, of course, and I share all about how you can have your child involved in the baking of them, step-by-step. They also make the perfect Valentine’s treat to share with friends, a classroom and teachers.

Hop on over to grab your recipe and enjoy the post!

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Chicken Pot Pie Recipe – Guest Post at the Grain Mill Wagon

Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Recipe with Real Ingredients

I’m excited to be sharing one of my favorite comfort foods over at the Grain Mill Wagon today – good ole’ chicken pot pie, southern style! It’s hearty and very tasty, with added spices and a homemade multigrain baking mix that’s sure to please the whole family.

Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Recipe with Real Ingredients

I cut out the canned cream of condensed chicken soup (Ever taken a second to read the ingredients? It’s like reading a chemistry report – YIKES!) and used my own homemade multigrain baking mix to make this healthy and real, good for the whole family. 

Making Baking Mix Using WonderMill Grain Mill

Of course, my sous-chef helped me prepare the baking mix, using my [amazon_link id=”B000CPJKWC” target=”_blank” ]WonderMill Grain Mill[/amazon_link] to grind the [amazon_link id=”B0036YYPQM” target=”_blank” ]whole wheat[/amazon_link]. This baking mix makes the most delicious treats because the [amazon_link id=”B0019GVYKO” target=”_blank” ]multi-grain cereal[/amazon_link] adds a kick of flavor and fiber.

To get the full recipe, please visit the Grain Mill Wagon website where I posted as part of a challenge to bloggers to use whole grains. See more of my Grain Mill Challenge recipes.

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Multigrain Whole Wheat Blueberry Waffles Recipe (Guest Post at the Grain Mill Wagon)

My Merry Messy LIfe: Whole Wheat, Multigrain, Blueberry Waffle Recipe

Today I’m writing over at the Grain Mill Wagon where I’m sharing the most delicious, hearty and nutritious waffle recipe my family has been using, made with my homemade multigrain whole wheat baking mix. All you have to do is add an egg, milk and berries to make the perfect breakfast treat!

My Merry Messy LIfe: Whole Wheat, Multigrain, Blueberry Waffle Recipe

Here’s an excerpt from the post: “The boys love to help us make them by dumping in the ingredients and stirring, then watching the waffle iron turn green when they’re ready to eat. It has always bothered me that the mix we were using had basically no nutrition in it, especially since breakfast is the most important meal of the day when we need a kick of fiber and protein. To solve the problem, we now use our handy homemade multigrain whole wheat baking mix and just have to add a few ingredients! The combination of the whole wheat and multigrain cereal create a hearty waffle that’s full of protein and fiber and is also delicious. I was shocked by how much better it tasted than a waffle made with white flour and will never go back!”

Here are some pictures of the boys enjoying making the waffles with me. They are such adorable sous-chefs!

My Merry Messy Life: Whole Wheat Multigrain Blueberry Waffles - Kids in the Kitchen
Little G loves loves loves to stir, and do some quality assurance checks by eating the batter.

 

My Merry Messy Life: Whole Wheat Multigrain Blueberry Waffles - Baking with Kids
Big G is my original sous-chef and is a pro at cracking eggs. He’s been cooking with me since he was 18 months old and is now 3.5.

My Merry Messy Life: WonderMill Grain Mill

Of course, I use my [amazon_link id=”B000CPJKWC” target=”_blank” ]WonderMill Grain Mill[/amazon_link] to grind up my own wheat from scratch, which makes for waffles with no chemicals, preservatives or questions about what’s in the mix. Plus, it makes me feel like a modern-day pioneer woman to grind my own wheat! Like “Little House on the Prairie” or something.

To get the full recipe, please visit the Grain Mill Wagon website where I posted as part of a challenge to bloggers to use whole grains. See more of my Grain Mill Challenge recipes.

 

This post is linking up to these parties.

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Easy Pumpkin Pie Recipe with Real Pumpkins – GAPS Legal, Grain Free

Easy and Real Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Oh wow, pumpkin pie cooking in the oven is a delight for the olfactory senses. Makes my stomach rumble and my mouth water and makes the whole house smell like the holidays! Surprisingly, it is quite easy to make a pumpkin pie from scratch using real pumpkins and your own evaporated milk. Not only that, it can be gluten-free by just not using a crust!

Easy and Real Pumpkin Pie Recipe

I was able to make this with the help of this very detailed and thorough article from Pick Your Own. I will not go into quite the details that they did, so if you want more, head on over there. Otherwise, stick around for my version!

How To Cook A Pumpkin

How to Cook a Pumpkin for Pumpkin Pie

#1 – Pick your favorite PIE pumpkins from the pumpkin patch or grocery store (these are not the same as jack-o-lantern pumpkins and are sometimes found in the produce section), and you might find a little cutie along the way to bring home! You’ll need 3 pie pumpkins for this recipe, which makes 2 pies.

#2 – Whack open that little sucker straight down the middle with a large serrated knife (a smooth knife will slip off)

#3 – #4 – Then, get your little cutie to help you scoop out the goo with a large ice cream scoop (he used a melon scooper and I used the ice cream scoop) like you’re going to make a jack-o-lantern.

#5 – Chop it up into smaller pieces and throw it into baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until are able to stick a fork into the meat.. I baked it until the meat was really soft, because then it’s easy to scoop out with a spoon and you don’t have to blend it (can I get a YAY! for less dirty dishes!). I used to cook this in the microwave, but am trying to use my microwave way less after learning about how it changes the molecules of what it cooks.

#6 – Take a spoon and scoop out the meat. A few pieces of skin did make its way into our pie, but they were so soft my tongue didn’t notice it at all!

 

The Ingredients

Pumpkin Pie Ingredients

Gather your ingredients: not pictured – 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 cups of cooked pumpkin, and 2 cups of evaporated milk. Then dump all the ingredients into a bowl and beat on low with a hand mixer. Then, pour into a pie pan, I think glass is best. I did do one little cheat, here, I used a store-bought graham-cracker crust because I knew these pregnant feet could take another 30 minutes of standing to make it! Bake at 450 F for the first 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 F for 45 to 60 minutes. For me, 45 minutes was almost too much with two pies in the oven at the same time, so I would watch it carefully.

Essential Oils Make Amazing Spices for Pumpkin Pie!

Make Your Own Evaporated Milk, or Use A Dairy-Free or Lactose-Free Alternative

Alternatives to the milk include: coconut milk and almond milk.

To make your own evaporated milk, all you need to do is boil off some of the water from your milk. So, to make 1 cup of your own evaporated milk, simmer 2 1/4 cups of milk until it becomes 1 cup. For this recipe, you’ll need 2 cups, so double that to 4 1/2 cups of regular milk.

Make it gluten-free

Just pour the pie right into a greased pie dish (I used glass) with no crust. I did that for my dad, since he’s gluten-intolerant, and he loved it! Another option is to make an almond or coconut flour crust.

Almond Flour Crust – Grain and Gluten Free

  • 1 cup almond flour (I love this one from Amazon)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of either grass-fed butter or coconut oil

Combine all in a bowl. Grease the pie pan with coconut oil and mash the crust into the pan. It’s amazingly tasty!

Share it with your favorite people (once they wake up from their naps!)
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Easy Pumpkin Pie Recipe with Real Pumpkins

An easy, delicious, light and fluffy real pumpkin pie with no canned ingredients! This recipe makes 2 pies.

  • Author: Sara, adapted from pickyourown.com
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Dessert
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw, organic honey (I get mine from Tropical Traditions) or raw, organic cane sugar
  • 12 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • OR instead of spices do 2 drops of each of the following essential oils: clove, cinnamon bark, orange and nutmeg – amazing flavor!
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs or egg substitute
  • 3 cups cooked pumpkin meat
  • 2 cups of evaporated milk

Instructions

  1. After cooking the pumpkins and scraping out the meat, dump all the ingredients into a bowl and beat on low with a mixer until very well blended.
  2. Bake at 450 F for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350 for 45 to 60 minutes or until the edges begin to brown and a knife inserted comes out clean.

How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

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Chocolate Banana Muffins with Coconut Flour – Grain and Gluten-Free!

Coconut Flour Banana Chocolate Muffins - Gluten-Free!

Coconut Flour Banana Chocolate Muffins - Gluten-Free!

Who doesn’t love the combination of fruit and chocolate? I sure can’t resist it and when I bought coconut flour from Tropical Traditions a while ago, I started looking up ways to use it in baking. Coconut flour is an excellent alternative to wheat flour because it is gluten-free and FULL of protein – 19.3 grams per serving, to be exact! Read all about coconut flour here. It can be used as a wheat flour replacement in baking, but not in a 1:1 ratio. To read more about how to use it in baking, visit Nourished Kitchen.

So, onto the recipe! I got it from Tropical Traditions blog, Free Coconut Recipes and they were a huge, tasty success. I think the secret is the sour cream – I find it always lightens and fluffs up baked goods.

Of course, no baking adventure in my house is complete without some help from my two sous-chefs! Gabe was still napping, so Grayson started the recipe and Gabe helped finish it once he woke up. Grayson had a BLAST getting to play with the mixer! He tasted it for quality assurances purposes, of course.

Coconut Flour Banana Chocolate Muffins

We took all the dry ingredients and stirred them, then set them aside – coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Then, in my mixer, we combined the butter and sugar. The recipe calls for 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar, but I didn’t have any brown sugar so I used all raw organic sugar instead. I’m not sure if it affected the texture or consistency – the texture and consistency were fluffy and moist, just like the in recipe. UPDATE – I now only use raw organic honey to sweeten my treats and replace it almost 1:1 in recipes. I buy my honey from Tropical Traditions and it is to DIE for! So good!

Then, we added the eggs, one at a time, beating in between. Next, we added half of the dry ingredients, then the sour cream and mashed bananas. Finally, we added the rest of the dry ingredients and beat until it was all combined. Gabe woke up and he happily spooned the muffins into the pan, toddler style (eat a little, spoon a little, drop A LOT all over the pan, floor, step stool, hair, face, hands…make a mess!). It took me a good thirty minutes to clean it up, like always!

Coconut Flour Banana Chocolate Muffins

Then, the muffins baked for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. The kids were very eager to eat them when they came out since it was close to dinner time! They ate them until they had chocolate all over their pudgy little hands and squishy cheeks. Lots of mess for me to clean again, but it’s always worth the quality time we spend together, the memories we make, the lessons we learn, and the nutritional real food we make!

Coconut Flour Banana Chocolate Muffins

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Chocolate Banana Muffins with Coconut Flour – Grain and Gluten-Free!

Adapted from freecoconutrecipes.com – https://www.freecoconutrecipes.com/index.cfm/2009/10/21/coconut-flour-cocoa-banana-muffins-gluten-free

  • Author: Sara at My Merry Messy LIfe
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Dessert/Snack
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, omit if using salted butter
  • 12 tablespoons butter or margarine (1 1/2 sticks), softened
  • 1 1/4 cup raw organic sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sour cream

Instructions

  1. First, combine the cocoa powder, coconut flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. Sift if desired, but it’s not necessary.
  2. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the raw sugar and softened butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time to the mixture and beat while adding (scrape down the bowl as necessary throughout the process).
  4. Then, add half of the dry mixture and beat to combine.
  5. Add the sour cream and bananas and beat.
  6. Add the rest of the dry mixture and beat until combined. Batter will be thick and will have small chunks.
  7. Spoon into greased or lined muffin pan 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when stuck in the middle of a muffin. Enjoy with your favorite people!

 

Disclosure: If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

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Pumpkin Cookies with Rice Flour Recipe {Gluten-Free}

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies with Rice Flour

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies with Rice Flour

Wanna know how to get boys interested in cooking and baking? Bring out the gadgets. We have a new favorite gadget in the house to add to the fun of our West Bend bread machine, the blender, food processor, and hand mixer – our WonderMill Electric Grain Mill and the boys have given it their stamp of approval. We used it to make our own rice flour, and it was a huge success!

My dad eats a gluten-free diet and it has cured his lifelong problem with eczema. I also struggle with eczema and suspect I am also allergic to gluten, so I have been trying more and more gluten-free recipes to make the hurdle to a totally new diet a little bit easier. And what better way to do that with a delicious dessert?!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies with Rice Flour and WonderMill Grain Mill

I adapted this recipe from one at allrecipes.com, and with my audience, I ground 1 cup of rice to make rice flour. I found that 1 cup of rice makes exactly one cup of flour. Easy! Big Bro was fascinated watching the rice go down the mill, and both boys love the sound it made! It was also a great teaching tool to learn about how grains are processed.

Then, I pulled out another gadget – the hand mixer. This one I let Big Bro take for a little test drive, because he’s old enough to understand (and have some fear) to keep his hands out of the spinning beaters. But Little Bro? He had to be kept happy while Big Bro had a little fun, and that was NOT easy!

I used the mixer to cream the butter and sugar and then came the fun of adding the pumpkin to it. Big Bro carefully spooned it out, then both boys enjoyed tasting it. Little Bro had fun decorating his hands, shirt, face, hair, the countertop, bowl, spoon, floor and step stool with some pumpkin, then tasting it, only to make quite a disgusted face! (As fun as this looks, and it was while we were doing it, I did spend a good 30 minutes cleaning up the mess! Then, had to rest my pregnant self with my feet up just to recover!).

(This picture doesn’t even BEGIN to show the mess Little Bro made!)

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies with Rice Flour and WonderMill Grain Mill

Then I got Big Bro’s help in stirring all the dry ingredients together (while Little Bro was “stirring” in his can of pumpkin leftovers and happily smearing it all over the white countertop). He stirred the rice flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and corn starch. He does this with the utmost diligence, then starts to make “sand piles” out of it where his pretend excavators will dig, and there’s a whole soundtrack to go along with that!

Then, we spooned the dough onto a cookie sheet and baked for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, but not without a thorough job of cleaning the beaters, however. That is an important step in the baking process, especially when the recipe doesn’t call for any eggs.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies with Rice Flour and the WonderMill Grain Mill

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies with Rice Flour and the WonderMill Grain Mill

And here’s the recipe!

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Pumpkin Cookies with Rice Flour Recipe – Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies with Rice Flour

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon all-spice or pumpkin spices
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • ¾ cup corn starch
  • ½ cup butter or shortening, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar or raw sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup of walnuts or pecans if desired

Instructions

  1. Stir or sift all the dry ingredients together – baking powder and soda, rice flour, corn starch, spices, and nuts (which I didn’t use).
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add to it the pumpkin and beat again.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring as you go. I did not use the hand mixer, just a spoon.
  4. Spoon by the spoonful onto a greased or non-stick cookie sheet (or even on parchment paper), and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

This post is part of the Grain Mill Challenge to challenge bloggers to use whole grains. This post is also published on the Grain Mill website.

This post is linking up at:
Tiny Tip Tuesday at Nature’s Nurture

Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable