soy free

Grain-free Bagels

Let's celebrate today with a healthier version of a NYer's favorite…BAGELS!

Being gluten-free is a lifestyle I've gotten pretty used to over the past 2 years, but bagels are just one of those things that seemed to be missing.  

We've purchased some gluten-free bagels, but they're never as healthy as I wish they were and ALWAYS more expensive than I'd like.

So, I've been on a secret mission to make my own version!  This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and doesn't even contain any grains!  That makes these low on the glycemic index and higher in protein & fiber.  They freeze nicely, too - so you can double or triple the recipe and save lots of time.  They are delicious as is, and even better when you toast them up and add your favorite spreads.

Grain-Free Bagels
(Makes 6 bagels)


Ingredients:

1.5 cups almond flour
5 eggs, large
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
2T apple cider vinegar (trust me)
1 T coconut flour
1 T topping of choice (poppy or sesame seeds, caraway seeds, etc.)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt (plus extra for additional topping, if desired)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients
3. Mix in vinegar and eggs until well-combined
4. Place batter in a large ziplock and cut one corner off the bottom (this helps to make the bagel shape)
5. Pipe batter into bagel shape onto greased baking sheet.  For best results, place a round, oven-proof THING inside the middle to maintain the hole.  Small ramekin bowls work well.  Be sure to grease those as well.
6. Top bagels with any toppings you'd like to use.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the top is golden-brown.
8. Allow bagels to cool completely before removing from pan.  

***I now use a silicone doughnut mold and it makes this recipe so much easier!

Enjoy!

In good health,

Tara
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P.S. Would you like MORE from me?  MORE healthy recipes, MORE workouts, MORE videos, free challenges, raffles, etc.?  Come hang out with us in my private (free) Facebook group - Lean In with Tara Allen Health - where I share daily posts to help you lead your healthiest life!  Can't wait to see you there.  :-)

Almond Coconut Bliss Balls

Hellooooooooooooooo!

It's December 3rd.  Yup.  Go check, I'll wait.

:-)

Well, sometimes you need a break from the fancy-schmancy cookies and pies that turn your kitchen upside down and your floors into a flour skating rink.

I feel ya.

Try these Almond Coconut Bliss Balls!

These are a delicious snack or dessert and require NO BAKING!  They come together quickly, so they work wonders when you're in a pinch and need to bring something sweet to your office potluck, your next holiday party, or just to have something on hand for out-of-towners.

<<<These are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, grain-free, no refined sugar, vegan>>>

Enjoy!

In good health,

Tara

AlmondCoconutBliss.jpg

Almond Coconut Bliss Balls

 

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)

½ cup almond flour

2 T honey

2T coconut oil

1 tsp pure almond extract

½ tsp cinnamon

 

Directions:

1.    Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

2.    Refrigerate for 30 minutes to harden.

3.    Roll into balls (approximately 1 T each).

4.    Place in freezer on a wax paper covered plate for at least 1 hour.

5.    Keep in container in freezer or refrigerator and serve cold (will melt if left out too long).

Banana Bread ---> grain-free, dairy-free

It's Spring break, Easter, and Passover all this week!  You may need a good dessert that doubles as breakfast and snacks for the kids this week.  It should hold up well in the freezer, be delicious, taste like a treat, and be nourishing to you, your kids, and your guests.  Am-I-right?!?!  

This Banana Bread was born out of the need to use up my mushy bananas.  I already have a freezer stash to use for smoothies and to make 'nice cream', so I wanted to make bread.  For us, it needed to be gluten-free, dairy-free, no refined sugars, full of healthy fat, protein, and fiber.  I'm fueling my busy & active body along with my family's.  And, with the things my toddler says on the regular, let me tell you, her brain is very happy with the kinds of fuel it's been getting!  ;-)  

Example from today:

Magnolia to Jagger:  "Jagger, please stop jumping in your crib.  We worked very hard for that bed and I wouldn't want to have to buy a new one and put it together again."

So, I'm sure your kiddos are just as hilarious - especially when they're getting in that good nutrition!  Leave me a comment and tell me what funny things they've said recently.  

And, make this bread immediately (if there are no egg or nut allergies in the house).  It's a good one to have on hand for a busy & special week like this one.

Banana Bread

(gluten-free, dairy-free)

 

Ingredients:

 

4 large eggs

4 bananas (ripe or overripe)

½ cup almond butter (sub: peanut butter)

4 T coconut oil, melted (plus extra to grease pan)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3/5 cup hazelnut flour (sub: almond flour)

1 T cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp sea salt

 

 

Directions:

 

1.    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2.    Combine all wet ingredients in a blender.

3.    Add dry ingredients to blender and mix well.

4.    Grease an 8X8 cake pan (ok to use loaf pan, but cooking times will vary).

5.    Pour batter into pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).  Top of bread should be golden-brown and center should be set.

6.    Allow to cool before slicing and serving. 

Red Velvet LOVE Brownies

February is in full swing as we are approaching the middle of the month already.  How?!?  With the famous groundhog forecasting 6 more weeks of Winter, I suppose we should've been expecting the blizzard we were met with today on Long Island.

Snow and all, February is a time for love, heart-shaped everything, shades of pink and red, heart health, and lots and lots of…chocolate!!

So, what if you're on a roll with upgrading your health so far in 2017, but still looking for something that looks and tastes like an indulgence?  What if you or a family member have some food allergies / sensitivities that prevent you from being able to eat most of the store-bought or homemade recipes out there?  I hope this Red Velvet Love Brownie recipe fills that void for you!

These bad boys are gluten-free, dairy-free, high in protein and fiber, and contain healthy fats plus a full serving of veggies.  They're chocolate-y, yet low glycemic…how's that for showing your heart some love this month?!

Black beans in brownies?!?! &nbsp;Yup! &nbsp;They work great for texture, color, and add lots of nutrition! &nbsp;

Black beans in brownies?!?!  Yup!  They work great for texture, color, and add lots of nutrition!  

Beets bring the "red velvet" hint of color while adding a bit of subtle sweetness.

Beets bring the "red velvet" hint of color while adding a bit of subtle sweetness.

Brownie batter all mixed up.

Brownie batter all mixed up.

Red Velvet Love Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-oz) can of black beans, rinsed (BPA-free can)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup beets (sliced and cooked - either roast in oven or buy a jar)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 T coconut oil, melted
  • 1 T water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened / dairy-free / gluten-free chocolate chips
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Mix wet ingredients in food processor, high-speed blender (keep scraping sides down), or with a mixer.
  4. Combine wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pour into well-greased muffin tin or line with paper liners.  This makes adorable, round brownies with slightly crispy edges that are like getting the highly sought-after corner piece each time.  ;-)
  6. For the look pictured up top (with the heart in the middle), cut a beet slice into the heart shape and press onto top.  Other ideas for toppings include: chocolate chips, hemp seeds, walnuts, or anything else your creative mind comes up with.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes - until edges start to pull away from muffin tin and become slightly crispy.
  8. Share with your favorite people!
Little hands couldn't wait for me to finish the photo shoot. &nbsp;;-)

Little hands couldn't wait for me to finish the photo shoot.  ;-)

Red Velvet Love Brownies with various toppings.&nbsp;Pictured (starting top left and going clock-wise): Walnuts, chocolate chip and hemp seeds, heart-shaped beet, chocolate chip.

Red Velvet Love Brownies with various toppings. Pictured (starting top left and going clock-wise): Walnuts, chocolate chip and hemp seeds, heart-shaped beet, chocolate chip.

Alright guys…will you dare to try these?  It is definitely "different" to bake with black beans, but they taste so chocolate-y and are healthycome on now!  Brownies for lunch, anyone?

In good health,

Tara

Raising Healthy Eaters: What about parties?

As a result of several conversations I've had with other mamas over the past week or so all about this topic, I decided it warranted a little 'air time' here.

Are you trying to raise healthy eaters?  Wanting to teach your children about the connection between what they put in their bodies and how they feel, think, and behave?  Or, maybe your kiddos have food allergies or sensitivities.  Regardless of your individual journey, it seems we all share a similar contemplative tug-of-war between our health values and the desire for our children to "fit in" at birthday parties and social events.

As a mama to a 3-year old little girl and 1-year old little boy, I'm well-aware of the fact that we've juuuuuust scratched the surface with our experiences.  We haven't had to deal with buying and sharing school lunches, parties every weekend, or trips to friends' houses without us.  We have, however, had some sticky situations: unexpected snack times at toddler classes, lunch (and dessert) served at 9 AM birthday parties, and daily snack-time at nursery school that often comes served-up with significant doses of food dye, sugar, and hydrogenated oils.

This video was shot on a whim.  It came after yet another conversation with a mama-friend of mine who was fed up with a recent and frustrating experience at birthday party which ended with her kids eating more candy in one sitting than they ever had before.

If you have 5 minutes, please watch this video and weigh in.  I want to hear from all you mamas (and dads, caregivers) out there.  What do you do?  How do you FEEL?  Is this frustrating to you?  If so, how do you manage to bridge the gap between your kiddos' health and your childrens' requests and need to feel included?  Do you BYOF (bring your own food)?

Leave your comments below…I'd love to hear from you!

In health,

Tara

Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies

Baby it's cold outside!  And, with the holiday parties, cookie exchanges, and uber-sweet festivities practically upon us, we need a new cookie recipe!!!  

For me, baking Christmas cookies with my mom is an annual tradition and one we haven't missed for even one year.  We follow my Grandmother's recipe and I feel bittersweet knowing although I never had the chance to meet her, that we are now 4 generations of girls/women (plus Jagger and sometimes my husband) being connected every year while we follow the instructions on this well-loved piece of paper that is stained, falling apart, and very hard to read.  But, it was hers!  There are just some things that don't need upgrading.

However, with shortening, loads of butter, mounds of sugar, bleached / refined flour, and artificial food dye, I just can't let that go over with my very young toddler.  We'll reevaluate as she gets older (this motherhood thing is a constant moving target), but as for now, she eats only foods that *cause* health.  As for baby Jagger, well, he won't be eating (or missing out) on any of these cookies this year.

So, what's a sensitive-daughter-and-granddaughter slash health-conscious-mama slash Christmas-tradition-lover to do?  Come up with a new recipe that's just as fun to make, tastes like a treat, and adds some extra fuel to our day!  It's almost-Winter and absolutely cold & flu season - let's stack the deck….ok?  ;-)

These cookies are easy to make and work well with your favorite cookie cutters.  Feel free to decorate them as you choose.  

What they have: protein & fiber.

What they don't have: refined sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, flour/grains, artificial anything, trans fats.

The dough is chilled and ready to be rolled out and made into festive shapes!

The dough is chilled and ready to be rolled out and made into festive shapes!

Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies….ready for the oven! &nbsp;

Holiday Spiced Sugar Cookies….ready for the oven!  

HOLIDAY SPICED SUGAR COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1.5 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • coconut flour (for dusting cookie cutters and rolling out)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a food processor, mixer, or with (clean!) hands.
  3. Flatten dough to about 1/3 - 1/2 inch thickness.  Cover and allow to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Place dough between wax paper, sprinkle with coconut flour, and roll out with rolling pin. 
  5. Dust again with coconut flour before using cookie cutters.
  6. Collect "scraps" and repeat steps 4 & 5 until all dough is used.
  7. Place cookies on a baking sheet greased with coconut oil.
  8. Decorate as desired or leave cookies plain.
  9. Bake 7-10 minutes (until edges start to turn golden-brown).  Thin cookies will cook faster - keep your eye on them.

They were a big hit and I didn't get any pictures on the finished product.  I'll take that as a good sign instead of an oversight.  ;-)

Please leave me a comment or an email if you make these cookies.  I'd love to hear about your holiday celebrations!

Peace, Joy, and Health,

Tara

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

It's the day before Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and most folks are either traveling to be closer with friends and family or hunkering down to get their meal prep on.  It's also day 3 of my GREAT and GRATEFUL week here at Tara Allen Health.  I'm grateful to have spent previous years helping patients in the hospital on Thanksgiving Day.  There's nothing quite like seeing how important you are in someone's day than when you are caring for them on a holiday while they're missing out on their own traditions back home.  Therefore, as I enjoy a day off with my family tomorrow (well, limited work - I am an entrepreneur!), I am grateful for the nurses, doctors, police officers, firefighters, and ALL service professionals that will be working hard tomorrow to keep this country running as safely and healthfully as possible.  I'm grateful for all experiences that have lead me to where I'm at currently - as a wife and mama to an infant and toddler, and a business owner that gets to CHANGE lives in the best way on a daily basis with a schedule flexible enough to allow me to "mom" when i need to "mom".  GRATEFUL!

Now to share something GREAT in celebration...

A little birdie told me you may be in a pinch for a last-minute Thanksgiving dessert recipe.  This pumpkin pie comes together quickly and is something you can feed your guests, young and old, and feel good about!  It takes about 5 minutes to prep, so throw it in the oven while you relax, chase your kiddos, or figure out how the heck to carve that turkey.  ;-)

Cheers to a peaceful, smiley, laughter-filled Thanksgiving to you all!

In health and gratitude,

Tara

CRUSTLESS PUMPKIN PIE

 

 

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

 

 

Ingredients:

 

15 ounces pumpkin puree (1 can)

1 cup coconut milk (full fat)

3 eggs

¼ cup honey or pure maple syrup (ok to sub with 1 T stevia for an even lower glycemic index)

¼ cup crushed walnuts or pecans

2 T chia seeds

1.5 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

coconut oil (to grease pan)

 

 

Directions:

 

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.    Grease baking pan with coconut oil.

3.    Mix all ingredients in blender, except crushed nuts.

4.    Pour mixture into pan and bake for 45 – 50 minutes.

5.    Top with crushed pecans / walnuts and allow to cool.

6.    Serve yourself a slice before it gets eaten all up.  ;-)

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Ladies and gents, it's November 11th / Veterans' Day... and the end of an interesting week here in America.  Thanksgiving is 13 days away and the temperatures are starting to fall here in NY.  What I'm trying to say is, bring on the soup.  All . the . SOUP!

This Cream of Mushroom Soup is a gluten-free, dairy-free version of the Thanksgiving Day classic.  Not only is it a great side dish to bring or serve for those with special dietary needs, it comes packed with protein and fiber to help you fill you up on the good stuff.  Make extra - you can freeze some to enjoy for a quick dinner when you come home late from holiday shopping. ;-)

This recipe calls for the soup to be pureed into a smooth, creamy consistency, but feel free to keep it "chunky" if you and your guests prefer it that way.  For comfort and toddler purposes, I went with the puree option this time and it worked out well.  

Toddler tip: Magnolia (3 years old now), taste-tested this recipe and helped me "adjust" the spices to her liking.  She also watched me chop the onions and garlic and put her two cents in about when the soup was done blending.  I let her lick the spoon after mixing and once I got the final chef's stamp of approval, I served her the soup over green beans.  All of this involvement requires front-loading of time - more time getting the kiddos involved in the prepping and cooking process will save you time, money, and stress of untouched meals.

Enjoy!

 

In health,

Tara

Cream Of Mushroom Soup to soothe the soul and enjoy this Thanksgiving!   

Cream Of Mushroom Soup to soothe the soul and enjoy this Thanksgiving!

 

Cream of Mushroom Soup

 

(Dairy-free, gluten-free)

 

 

Ingredients:

 

5 cloves garlic, minced

½ medium onion, chopped

2 cups mushrooms, chopped

2 cups chickpeas, cooked

2 cups cashew milk

1 cup coconut flour

2 T coconut oil

1 tsp Thyme

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp pepper

 

Directions:

 

1.    In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil, garlic, and onion.  Cook about 3-5 minutes (until onions become translucent).

2.    Add mushrooms and cook another 2-3 minutes.

3.    Add chickpeas, cashew milk, and coconut flour and bring to a boil.

4.    Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

5.    Add thyme, salt, and pepper.

6.    Use immersion blender to puree (or transfer into regular blender in batches with towel firmly pressed over top of blender to prevent leakage).

7.    Enjoy as is or pour over cooked green beans or other veggies.

 

*This recipe is high in protein, high in fiber, and low glycemic.

Pumpkin Protein Cookies

Have you ever just thought to yourself, 'Gee, I really need a cookie that's':

  • Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free
  • High in protein
  • Has a low glycemic index
  • Lots of healthy fats / omega 3s
  • Is quick, easy, and has just a few ingredients
  • Is a serving of fruit AND veggies
  • Smells as delicious as it tastes
  • Can be prepared ahead of time for the whole week / whole family
  • Is tasty enough for dessert, but healthy enough for breakfast or lunch boxes

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Yes?!?!  Well, today is your lucky day then!  Ok, I'm a bit of a nerd (you knew that, right?).  :-)  But, if this even piques your interest a little bit, check out my new recipe:

 

Pumpkin Protein Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 large, ripe banana (mashed)
  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup flaxseeds, ground
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I suggest pure hemp or pea protein)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Optional mix-ins: 1/4 cup crushed walnuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, or any combination.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together (add optional mix-ins last).
  3. Scoop cookie-sized amount of batter spaced-out onto greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 - 14 minutes - until edges are golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool and remove with a spatula.
  6. Gobble them up!
The cookies are cooling off and making the kitchen smell like Autumn! &nbsp;

The cookies are cooling off and making the kitchen smell like Autumn!  

Would you like to learn about nutrition once and for all?  How to: lose weight, lose fat, clear the brain fog, increase energy and productivity, decrease fatigue, clear those pesky skin conditions, and just feel AMAZING in your body once and for all?  Check out my nutrition email course!  We go over all of this and more in a very compact (read: easy and not time-consuming) way.  Here's how it works… for 4 weeks, you will receive a weekly email from me with everything in one spot.  This includes:

  • The lesson for the week
  • Goals and action steps for the week
  • Recipes that relate to that week's content
  • Bonus resources that can be printed out to help further (meal prep guides, ingredients to avoid at the food store, etc.)

And…. you get email support from me throughout the 4 weeks together as well!  Need me to help you understand one of the lessons better?  I will do that!  Want me to make suggestions on tweaking a recipe to your needs/tastes?  Just ask!

P.S. No official homework!  Nothing to turn in - it's not that kinda class.  This is to educate you on the biggest asset you have for yourself, your family, and your livelihood - HEALTH!  You will get through the reading in just 20 minutes a week that can be done whenever it's convenient for you.  The recipes are yours to keep and play with whenever you are ready.  The information is priceless and will transform your life.  I know that's a bold statement, but it's the truth.  ;-)  Once you feel energetic and fabulous, think about how that changes your day-to-day!

Read what some former students said about the course...

Tara is a miracle worker! I’m not even done with the course yet and I find myself sleeping better and making healthier choices.
— A.N.
My migraines are gone. I didn’t take the course thinking that would be an area I see an improvement in. I will never go back to my old ways now.
— L.R.
I have a long ways to go, but I lost 7 pounds just by following Tara’s special formula for balancing meals and snacks. I’m never hungry with all this healthy food. It’s the first time in my life I am losing weight and not feeling deprived. No products or gimmicks.
— O.B.

These testimonials make what I do feel so, SO amazing!  Thanks for sharing, guys!

Are you ready for a transformation (or at least a leg-up on this whole nutrition/health thing)?  The investment is $47.  Check out this program and my one-on-one coaching programs under "Online Booking".

Have a wonderful day!

In health,

Tara