Gluten + Dairy Free Zucchini Bread

I remember the first time I had zucchini bread. Clearly, it was love at first taste because why else would it be such a moment? I guess that was the first sign that I would grow to love food as much as I do. My initial impression of zucchini bread though was wondering why anyone would ruin bread by putting a watery vegetable in the batter.

These days, I often ask myself “what weird vegetable can I sneak in this recipe?”. Nothing is sacred anymore, I guess, not even bread. Zucchini bread just works though and this recipe is now a staple in my house.

The base of this recipe tastes similar to a moist, yellow cake with rich vanilla. When you add in the sweet zucchini and decadent dark chocolate, it’s one of the best bread/cake/absolute heaven you’ll ever have. When I first shared this recipe on Instagram, I got numerous texts and messages that this bread is one of the best ever. It’s kind of a big deal.

- this zucchini bread, probably

Even better, it’s gluten, dairy, and soy free so you can enjoy your old favorite in a new way or even make a new favorite. Welcome to the world of putting vegetables in bread; you’ll wonder why you never did it before.


Gluten + Dairy Free Zucchini Bread

1/3 c ghee or coconut oil, softened
1/3 c pure maple syrup
2 whole eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 medium zucchini, shredded with excess water squeezed out
1/2 c unsweetened almond or coconut milk
2 c blanched almond flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp mineral salt
1/3 c of dairy free chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line loaf pan with parchment paper. In stand up mixer, mix liquid ingredients and zucchini until frothy. Gently mix in almond flour, baking soda, and salt until fully incorporatedthen fold in chocolate chips. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to fully cool before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

If you want to switch things up, omit the chocolate chips and add in shredded apple, coconut, and cinnamon. You could also swirl in a dollop of peanut butter before baking. The options are limitless so be creative and try new things!



Grain Free Cinnamon "Nachos"

One of my favorite things to do is take an old favorite and create it in a new healthy(ier) way! These "nachos" were a staple in my college years and I loved serving them at parties (because they're SO easy!), so I was so excited when I recreated them and they tasted even better than before!

I almost feel silly sharing this recipe because it's so simple, but if you're looking for a quick treat for your kiddos or the next party you host, this is it. It's guaranteed to be a fan favorite and can be topped with a million different combinations to be the perfect dessert!

These chips take a sweet flavor, but you can use the cooking method to make heavy duty guacamole dipping chips that won't crumble like most gluten/grain free chips. Seriously, this is a win all around!


Grain Free Cinnamon Nachos

1 pack of Siete Almond Flour Tortillas
1/2 c coconut oil
1/4 c coconut sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c Enjoy Life chocolate chips
1 tsp ghee or grass-fed butter
1 c diced strawberries

In a large cast iron skillet, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Stack the tortillas and cut sections of 8 (like you would a pie!). When the oil is hot, place tortilla slices in a single layer and allow them to crisp for about 30 seconds. Use tongs to let oil drip off then place in a large gallon size bag. Repeat this step until all tortilla slices are cooked. Add coconut sugar and cinnamon to bag, seal, and gently shake until all chips are covered in the coconut sugar. 

In a small bowl, add chocolate chips and ghee and melt in the microwave using increments of 15 seconds until fully melted.

To serve, top chips with strawberries and drizzle with melted chocolate. Serve warm. 

If you make these, tag me on Facebook or Instagram! Enjoy!





Paleo Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Growing up, my dad's favorite cake was always carrot cake. We would have it for every birthday celebration with him. It would always be dense, sweet, and full of buttercream frosting layers with bright orange frosting-made carrots on top. When I think of carrot cake, I think of my dad and how special he is to me. That's why I was so excited to get in the kitchen and create this perfect carrot cake that is gluten, grain, dairy, soy, nut, and refined-sugar free. It turned out SO darn well that I literally almost cried when I took that first bite, thinking how sweet it was to have my childhood favorite in a new way.


Cassava flour is the key ingredient in the cake making it nut free which is a huge bonus! Cassava flour is made from the whole food form of yuca root (minus the peel!), which is a staple for many countries. It has a really neutral taste and the texture is virtually identical to wheat flour meaning you can often use it one-for-one in your old favorite recipes! You can buy it online, on Amazon, or at most health food stores.

It's my latest kitchen obsession so pick some up for future recipes you might see around here!

I also use Kite Hill cream "cheese" which is almond-based and even better than the real thing. You can find it almost anywhere too! I love using the plain cream cheese as a frosting base or using the chive cream cheese for savory spreads. You won't even know the difference! If you can't tolerate nuts, you can use Simple Mills vanilla frosting.

That's the beauty of this cake. The flavor and texture of the entire thing are so amazing that it's nearly identical to a traditional carrot cake; paleo or not, this cake is incredible and maybe the best I've ever had!


Paleo Carrot Cake
(Gluten, Grain, Dairy, Soy,
Refined Sugar Free,
+ Nut Free Option)

For the cake
2 1/4 c cassava flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 pastured eggs
1/2 c ghee, softened
1/2 c pure maple syrup
2 c unsweetened almond milk, or other dairy free milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c shredded carrots (I used a food processor)

For the frosting (Optional)
8 oz Kite Hill cream "cheese"
1 T pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two nine inch round cake pans with ghee or coconut oil and sprinkle lightly with cassava flour. In a medium-size bowl, whisk dry cake ingredients until well incorporated. In a stand-up mixer or large bowl with hand-mixer, mix eggs, ghee, syrup, almond milk, and vanilla extract until fully incorporated then gently mix in shredded carrots. With mixer off, gently add in dry ingredients then mix until well combined. Pour evenly into the two round pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. As soon as they come out of the oven, gently run a knife along the edges then set aside to cool.

In the cleaned stand-up mixer, use the whisk attachment to mix the cream cheese, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until soft and smooth.

To assemble, gently invert one of the round cakes onto your serving plate so the smooth side faces up. Spread half of the cream cheese frosting evenly. Place the second layer of the cake on, smooth side facing up, then spread the remainder of the frosting over the top. Use a small spatula to spread the excess down the sides until the cake is evenly covered. Serve immediately or store in the refridgerator. 

As always, share pictures if you make this cake! I love to see! You can find me on Facebook and Instagram!



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Carrot Cake Pin

Breckenridge Bars

There's a small eatery in Arizona that has the most amazing dessert ever, Salt River Bars, named after the summer river destination in AZ. I've only ever tried a Salt River Bar one time but easily remember the thick caramel cookie base and the salty and sweet chocolate layer. This cookie I tried one time nearly six years ago popped into my mind the other day and I instantly hit the kitchen to make something similar, but with cleaner, more health-friendly ingredients.


These bars have a similar thick cookie base with a chewy texture, a thick layer of creamy chocolate, and all topped with sea salt that perfectly ties it all together and nails that salty-and-sweet flavor. 

I call them Breckenridge Bars as an ode to my home here in Colorado just like Salt River Bars were a nod to my home state. I hope that wherever you are in the world, you can try these delicious bars and think of the magnificent mountains of Colorado.


Breckenridge Bars

For the crust
1.5 c blanched almond flour
1/4 c raw shredded coconut
2 T coconut flour
2 T coconut sugar
1 T ground flax
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c ghee or grass-fed butter, room temperature
2 pastured eggs

For the topping
1.5 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use allergen-friendly Enjoy Life)

1/4 c unsweetened almond butter
1 T ghee or grass-fed butter
Course sea salt for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease 9x9 pan with coconut oil, ghee, or grass-fed butter. In a stand-up mixer or medium bowl with hand mixer, whisk dry ingredients for the crust. Add ghee or grass-fed butter and mix until crumbly, then add eggs one at a time until the dough is cohesive. Place in the greased baking dish and flatten until even, and use a fork to poke holes throughout the crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Set aside to cool. In a double boiler or microwave-safe dish, melt the ghee, almond butter, and chocolate chips until smooth. Pour over the slightly cooled crust, top with sea salt, and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set. Slice and serve! You can store leftovers (as if!) in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

I hope you love Breckenridge Bars as much as I do! If you want to get really adventurous, swirl in some peanut butter to the top chocolate layer and indulge! If you make them, send me a picture or tag me on Instagram or Facebook!



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Raw Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Happy February! It is the month of love and what better way to #treatyoself and your honey than with a little bowl of chocolate pudding? This is the perfect decadent treat to whip up and have with your Valentine's Day dinner or really, any time (no judgement here!). This little treat is rich with quality fats like chia seeds and coconut, as well as well-sourced protein from collagen peptides. It's lightly sweetened so you can indulge without the sugar of most puddings. Win, win, win (The Office reference, anyone?).


Raw Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Serves 2-3

3 T chia seeds
1/2 one can of coconut milk, shaken so well-incorporated
1/3 c unsweetened almond milk
1 medium banana
1 T cocoa powder
2 scoops collagenoptional

In small bowl, add chia seeds and coconut milk and stir until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. When the base is ready, place the pudding in a blender and add almond milk, banana, cocoa, and collagen. Blend on medium-high until smooth. Serve cold with raspberries, cocoa nibs, raw coconut, or strawberries or store leftovers in the fridge for 1-2 days. 

If you make this, show me on Instagram or Facebook! I love to see photos of your creations! 



P.S. If you're wondering if this is Whole30 compliant, it is most definitely not. It's a great treat for after though!