Carrot Almond Muffins

Carrot Almond Muffins are the perfect bridge to Fall! They’re not overloaded with spices, so the naturally sweet carrot and almonds shine through. Gluten-free and dairy-free. These Carrot Almond Muffins are the perfect snack or breakfast! Oh, and I’d highly recommend doubling the crumble, because I think I skimped, and nobody likes a crumble skimper. 

Carrot-Almond-Muffins 3

This morning I officially started a Fall workout challenge. I utilized our new staircase (that I honestly thought I’d rarely ever see since it only leads to the “man cave” and I have zero desire to go surround myself in our college paraphernalia all that often) and ran up and down it while interspersing various exercises I haven’t done in months. What a jolting way to start the morning! Oh, not to mention an apple cider vinegar concoction I tried to drink and only choked down half of…

I took some super embarrassing “before” photos where I appear to be 6 months pregnant, when I am in fact negative months preggo, so we all know those will never see the light of day. 

Annnddd…then the day started…and my husband got a flat tire.

That’s just how the cookie crumbles. 

Anyways! I had an awesome weekend. My mom came to visit and check out our new digs. We got full, glowing approval, and I fed her muffins. The end. 

Carrot Almond Muffins (

Carrot Almond Muffins (  

[Note: my muffins in these pictures look different than the results you'll get, because these were my first batch and I changed up the recipe after that. My second batch looked like more traditional round-top muffins, and yours will too! Either way, they're killer delish!]

  Carrot Almond Muffins (

Carrot Almond Muffins (

Carrot Almond Muffins
Carrot Almond Muffins are the perfect bridge to Fall! They're not overloaded with spices, so the naturally sweet carrot and almonds shine through. Gluten-free and dairy-free. These Carrot Almond Muffins are the perfect snack or breakfast! Oh, and I'd highly recommend doubling the crumble, because I think I skimped, and nobody likes a crumble skimper. (makes 12 muffins)
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  1. 1 cup sorghum flour
  2. ½ c tapioca starch (or potato or corn starch)
  3. 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  4. 2 tsp. baking powder
  5. ¼ tsp. salt
  6. ½ cup brown sugar
  7. ½ cup coconut sugar
  8. ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  9. ¼ tsp. ginger
  10. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  11. ½ tsp. almond extract
  12. ½ cup butter, room temperature (I used Earth Balance coconut spread)
  13. 1 egg, beaten
  14. ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  15. 1 cup shredded carrots
  16. 1/3 cup chopped almonds
Crumble (I’d highly recommend doubling this)
  1. 3 Tbs. shredded carrot
  2. 3 Tbs. sorghum flour
  3. 2 Tbs. oats
  4. 2 Tbs. brown sugar
  5. 3 Tbs. sliced almonds (or chopped almonds)
  6. 2 Tbs. melted butter (or coconut spread)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray your muffin tin with nonstick spray.
  2. In your mixer, start beating the butter until it is smooth. Add the sugars and beat until well combined.
  3. Next, slow down your mixer and add all of your dry ingredients. Mix for 2 minutes, or until well combined. Then, add your applesauce, egg and extracts and beat for 30 seconds to a minute, until the batter is well combined.
  4. Scoop the batter into your muffin tin.
  5. Put together your crumble. In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Spoon it over the top of your muffins, patting it down slightly into the muffin batter.
  6. Bake your muffins for 25-28 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let them cool. Eat, enjoy!
  1. Muffins can be kept on the counter in an air-tight container for 3 days, or in the fridge for a week. Try them with a schmear of peanut butter!
Treats With a Twist

Baked Coconut Donuts

Baked Coconut Donuts - the most flavorful, moist and coconutty gluten-free donuts ever! These baked goodies will make you a morning person! 

Baked Coconut Donuts (

I realize it’s been a while since we have gorged ourselves on donuts. At least, it has been for me. So, we should definitely remedy that. And because we’re best friends, we’re going to do this together! Ok! 

That’s what friends are for.

It’s practically August (what?!) and August brings my birthday! And my birthday means coconut cake. Always. 

Baked Coconut Donuts (

Baked Coconut Donuts (

Baked Coconut Donuts (

And these Baked Coconut Donuts taste so much like my grandma’s coconut cake, that at first taste, my mind started racing in elation: “OMG coconut cake!”, “OMG Steve has to try these”, “OMG I have to hide these so I can eat them ALL”, “Did I just eat 3 of those?!”, “Wait, I have to make a latte to dunk one in”, “Why does making a latte take SO DARN LONG?!” …

You get the idea.

Anyways! This is my way of getting overly excited about my birthday coming up. And making another excuse to shove donuts down my gob. Hey, they’re gluten free! 

Baked Coconut Donuts (

Baked Coconut Donuts
Baked Coconut Donuts - the most flavorful, moist and coconutty gluten-free donuts ever! These baked goodies will make you a morning person! (makes 10 baked donuts)
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  1. ½ cup oat flour
  2. ½ cup brown rice flour
  3. 2 Tbs. coconut flour
  4. 1 Tbs. unsweetened coconut
  5. ¼ cup coconut sugar
  6. 1 tsp. baking powder
  7. ½ tsp. salt
  8. ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  9. 1 large egg + 2 large egg whites
  10. 2 Tbs. unsweetened applesauce
  11. 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  12. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  13. ½ tsp. coconut extract
For the glaze
  1. 3 cups powdered sugar
  2. 1/3 cup hot water
  3. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  4. 2 cups unsweetened coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spay your donut pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold and stir until everything is *just* combined.
  5. Use a small scoop or spoon to carefully scoop batter into the donut pan, staying below the rim of each mold (I spaced batter around in the circles, wipe off the middle, then tap the pan on the counter to level out the batter).
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. The donuts should be baked but not overbaked (and a toothpick should come out with only a tiny hint of crumble on it). Let cool on a wire rack before removing from the pan.
  7. Let the donuts cool completely before glazing.
Make the glaze
  1. Combine the powdered sugar and hot water. Stir together until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
  2. Dip the top of a donut into the glaze, then place the donut glaze-side down into a pile of coconut, packing the coconut onto the glaze. Repeat with all of your donuts.
  3. And, if you want yours to look densely covered, like I did, double dip! Dip into the glaze again and into the coconut again. You're welcome!
  1. Store the donuts in an air-tight container for 2 days on the counter or up to 5 days in the fridge.
Adapted from my Peanut Butter Chip Donuts
Treats With a Twist

Decadent Waffles with Strawberry and Mascarpone

Waffles are sexy. 

I love them. I think they’re a really sexy food. 


I don’t know why. Maybe its how they get all golden brown. How they’re crisp on the outside, yet fluffy. 

They have all these crannies that you know are supposed to be filled with butter and drippy syrup. 

Gahhhhh. So good. 


Honestly, I need to make them more. I have a knack for pancakes on the weekends, and I long for waffles…yet I don’t make them as much. But they’re seriously easier than pancakes. No flipping. Just lower the lid, wait (do dishes, try to watch TV and listen for the beep), pry open the lid, pray the nonstick spray was magical and worked, remove and enjoy. Done. 

Mine are gluten free. Crazy, right? Because I used oat flour. And you will too. Just wizzzzz some up in your food processor or blender (I always make extra and keep it in a jar). 


And then I added this Decadent Blend chia flax stuff. Um, yum. 

Decadent chia flax

Have you seen this stuff? It’s at Whole Foods and I highly recommend you go grab it, especially since I think there’s a coupon for it in the seasonal flyer right now.

Well, clearly I’d love for you to buy it and use it in this recipe. But it you’re…stubborn…(like how I didn’t just call you lazy?) and you don’t want to run out and buy it, feel free to use:

1 Tbs of groud flax instead

OR 1 tsp groud flax + 1 tsp. ground chia seeds + ½ tsp. unsweetened coconut + 1 tsp. cocoa powder

I’m sure either of those will work just fine.

Or, go buy the bag of yum and save yourself the trouble, then have fun putting it in everything! It’s seriously delish. 


Annnnnndddddd last but not least, I slathered Mascarpone cheese on mine (yes, we’re playing “cheesecake on waffle” today because I said so), then strawberry jam and white chocolate chips. Yes. I did that. You’re going to do it too. Because I told you to do it and because your life will become significantly better after you do. 

You won’t regret it. Who ever regretted a waffle? Don’t answer that. 


Seriously though, make a bunch of extra batches of these waffles when you’re done stuffing your pretty pretty face. Because you’ll want them in the freezer, ready to toast up the next time the waffle cravings come knocking (ten minutes later). 

Love you! 

Decadent Waffles with Strawberry and Mascarpone
These gluten free waffles are crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, absolutely perfect. They have a wonderful flavor all on their own, but they're taken to an amazing level of decadence and tastiness by Mascarpone and strawberry jam. And, of course, white chocolate. Perfect for a Valentine's Day brunch, or an anytime treat! (makes 1 serving, 4 waffles)
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  1. 1/3 c oats
  2. 1 Tbs. Decadent chia flax blend (Spectrum)*
  3. 1 tsp. granulated Stevia or raw sugar
  4. ½ tsp. baking powder
  5. ¼ tsp. baking soda
  6. 3 Tbs. unsweetened almond milk
  7. ¼ tsp. vinegar
  8. 1 large egg white
  9. 2 Tbs. plain Greek yogurt
  10. ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  11. Toppings – mascarpone cheese, strawberry jam, white chocolate (or dark chocolate) chips
  1. ~Grind your oats into flour using a food processor or blender.
  2. ~In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and vinegar and set aside.
  3. ~In a mixing bowl, stir together oat flour, chia flax blend and Stevia/sugar.
  4. ~To the dry ingredients, add the almond milk + vinegar, egg white, Greek yogurt and vanilla extract. Stir together with as few strokes as possible to combine (a few lumps left in the batter is just fine). Let the batter set for at least 10 minutes before using (which is why it's good to preheat your waffle iron after you've mixed your batter).
  5. ~Preheat your waffle iron per the iron's instructions. Spray with nonstick spray.
  6. ~Divide your batter between the four compartments. Close the iron and let them cook as long as the instructions say so (mine takes about 5 painfully long minutes).
  7. ~When the waffles are done to your liking carefully remove them from the iron (this is where you pray and beg that your nonstick spray was made of fairy dust). Top with a schmear of Mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese), strawberry jam, and white chocolate chips (not optional). Enjoy!
  1. *read notes in narrative for alternatives; found at Whole Foods
  2. I like to keep the momentum going and make several batches then freeze the extra waffles. Then they're in my freezer, ready to throw into the toaster oven when I'm in the mood for waffles... which is all the time.
Treats With a Twist
What if “cheesecake on waffle” was a real game?? Just sayin…


And because it’s Valentine’s Day week and it’s all about love and cheesecake and waffles and such (right?), Happy 4 month-iversary to the most adorable blue-eyed man I ever had the pleasure of marrying. Kisses and waffles! 


Any products mentioned in this post are mentioned because I found them, bought them with my own pennies, and truly recommend you do the same. This is not a sponsored post. 

Plantain Crust Pizza

I had such a hard time naming this post! Here were the options:

Two-Ingredient Pizza Crust (but it’s about the whole PIZZA!)
30 Min. Start-to-Finish Homemade Pizza (if you have quick hands)
Secret Ingredient Crust Pizza (what my husband prefers to think of it as)
The Easiest Gluten-Free Pizza Ever
I Seriously Had Pizza For the First Time in TWO Years… (but then you’d all throw stones at me because I’m clearly insane…) 
Healthy Super Bowl Pizza


Yes! So many choices! I went with an honest one. And an easy one. I didn’t want to reveal the secret, because that usually makes people (like my husband) turn and run…or hit “already read”. Same diff. 

But, this PIZZA, y’all…you’ll die. It’s amazing. Seriously, I made it two days in a row. And was dying because it was so awesome. 

And yes, the whole thing can be done in 30 min if you’re organized. I had homemade pizza sauce in the fridge already, so I was ready to tackle this one start-to-finish. 


If you’re not familiar with plantains, you should be strategic about this one, but don’t be scared! Seriously, there’s nothing to fear with plantains! They look like  giant bananas, but you won’t be eating banana bread pizza (gag). You’ll want to choose ones that aren’t super ripe for this project!

More ripe = more black spots/mottling = deeper, sweeter flavor

Less ripe = more yellow = more neutral flavor

You can alter the spices in the crust as you wish, just as you can alter the toppings of your pizza! If you like red pepper flakes and garlic in your crust, add them in. If you want rosemary and onion, go for it. Want to add brown sugar and chili flakes for a funky spicy-sweet pizza (topped with balsamic caramelized onions and goat cheese maybe?), then props to ya. 


For my pizza, I choose to go traditional (a relative term, I know). I highly recommend garlic and oregano in the crust. And then I went with cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and jalapeno slices (fresh) as toppings (I am a spinach, artichoke, black olives girl and my husband loves sausage, onions and olives, so we went with a middle ground, which was none of the above. Compromise.) 

My husband, he was practically beside himself. He was begging me to take the pictures faster. He was doing a pizza victory dance. And then…he asked me what the secret ingredient was. Since he liked it so much, I had no problem telling him the crust was plantains! He made a face, shrugged his shoulders, then ate the WHOLE pizza! I had to make another


And you’ll be making this one again and again, not just for the Super Bowl! And your families will love it. And love you for being cool enough to make your own pizzas and let them eat the whole darn thing without giving them crazy eyes. 

Plantain Crust Pizza (gluten-free)
You had no idea that gluten-free pizza could be SO simple! The crust is essentially two ingredients, and the spices are customizable based on your preference, just like the toppings! Yes, you can have pizza and be healthy! (makes one 10" pizza)
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For the crust
  1. 1 large plantain (not overly ripe, more yellow)
  2. 1 large egg
  3. 1/2 tsp. salt
  4. 1/2 tsp. dried garlic granuels
  5. 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  6. Cornmeal, for sprinkling
  7. Olive oil, optional
For the pizza
  1. 1/3-1/2 cup pizza sauce
  2. 1/2-1 cup shredded cheese
  3. toppings of your choosing (the possibilities are endless!)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, sprinkle cornmeal on the parchment paper.
  2. In a small food processor (I used a Cuisinart food prep) or a blender, blend your peeled plantain (to peel a plantain, cut off the ends, slice down the skin and peel it) until it is smooth. Add the egg and spices to the blender and blend again until fully incorporated and silky.
  3. Pour the batter onto the parchment, then use a silicone spatula to spread the batter into a circle (or rectangle if that's your jam), ensuring the batter is in an even layer and approximately 1/4" thick. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and slide the parchment and crust onto a wire rack to cool and top your pizza.
  4. Turn your oven heat up to 450 degrees.
  5. Brush the edges of the crust with olive oil. Then pour the sauce in the middle of the crust and spread it out, leaving an edge of crust bare. Sprinkle on your toppings, then your cheese in an even layer (try not to add any overly-wet ingredients).
  6. Carefully slide the pizza into the oven (keep it on the parchment but bake it on the wire racks in your oven, not on a cookie sheet. Use a pizza stone if you have one/prefer it). Bake for 8 minutes, until golden and bubbly on top.
  7. Carefully remove the pizza from the oven. Slice and serve! Enjoy!
  1. Pizza is personal. Use only toppings you love! Enjoy it and have fun with it!
Treats With a Twist
Did you see THESE Super Bowl snacks?! This is going to be the best Super Bowl EVER! And not just because MY team is playing! 

Bourbon-Spiked Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread

And…Happy Cyber Monday! 

Ok, I’m totally going to stop with all of the fake holidays now. Unless you’ve found a great deal and you were planning on sending me a gift…in which case, I’ll keep celebrating. 

Celebrations call for Treats and booze. So, I made you this!

Bourbon-Spiked Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread. Or as I like to call it… ALL THE THINGS!! Or…Breakfast


I’m not a huge fan of things that taste like you’re taking shots, so trust me when I say the Bourbon in this is subtle. If you like a little more of a *hint* then add 1 Tbs. more of the Bourbon. Otherwise, the flavors meld perfectly together.


Try to use mini chocolate chips. I know that craters of chocolate are usually better, but the mini chocolate chips are adorable and they disperse so nicely in the batter. You get some in every bite. Plus, something about mini chips looks more appropriate in breakfast food. Like, adorable little chocolate bits are perfectly acceptable, but large chunks of chocolate are going to get you dirty looks because that’s actually more dessert than breakfast.

Don’t stare at me, I’m eating chocolate for breakfast. Look, they’re mini chips so it’s ok. Pass the Bourbon. Shots! Shots! Shots! 

I love the pumpkin mixed with the banana. It makes it taste a little more like fall. And it cuts the sweetness a bit too. I think that the flavor combo is perfection. 


Hey, these would make adorable mini loaf gifts…*hint hint.*


Bourbon-Spiked Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread
This should be called the "everything you could ever want in a quickbread" bread...or "just breakfast"! Bourbon adds a hint of flavor that brings out the best in the semisweet chocolate, which ties into the pumpkin and banana perfectly. The quickbread is moist, tender, slightly sweet, and totally amazing. Your family will be begging you to make another! (makes one 8.5x4.5" loaf)
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  1. 2 cups flour (unbleached all purpose, or your favorite flour blend)
  2. 3 Tbs. baking powder
  3. ½ tsp. salt
  4. ¼ cup canola oil (or your favorite neutral oil)
  5. ½ cup raw sugar (or granulated or Stevia)
  6. 1 egg + 1 egg white
  7. 1 cup mashed over-ripe banana
  8. 1 cup canned pumpkin
  9. 2 Tbs. bourbon (or whiskey)
  10. ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray an 8.5x4.5" loaf pan (or a 9x5") with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, egg white, mashed banana, pumpkin and bourbon. Mix until completely combined.
  3. Then, add the sugar and oil and whisk for 2 minutes, until fully combined and the sugar has begun to dissolve.
  4. Next, add the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir a few times, and then add the chocolate chips (when there is still flour visible in the batter) and fold them in. Do not over-mix the batter. Stop mixing when there are still lumps.
  5. Pour the batter into your loaf pan and smooth out the top with a silicone spatula. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a test stick comes out clean. If the bread is browning too quickly, tent it with foil until it is done baking.
  6. Let the loaf cool slightly on a wire rack before turning it out of the pan. Let it cool completely before cutting and serving. Wrap the remaining loaf with plastic wrap (or place in a zip-top bag) and store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Enjoy!
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Treats With a Twist