Gluten-Free Orange Cherry Muffins

One of my FAVORITE things about my online streaming workouts is the Fixate cooking show.  The 21 Day Fix creator Autumn Calabrese and her brother Bobby (who is a chef) share healthy, clean eating recipes that are so good!  I love looking every week at what new recipes they’ve come up with–they are always adventurous and something that I wouldn’t think of on my own, which makes it fun for me.  I’m actually working on a “Fixate Week” where I only eat Fixate recipes because I love it so much!

Last week I tried the Fixate Vegan Orange Cherry Muffins–I had some Cara Cara oranges I needed to use, and my son LOVES cherries, so I thought this would be a perfect experiment!  I ended up adjusting the recipe a little bit because I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand, and I didn’t want to buy special ingredients I don’t normally use just to keep the muffins vegan (especially when I don’t really care that much about eating vegan).

Instead of using fresh cherries, I bought dried cherries (which are a little more tart than fresh, so if you go that route you might want to add a little more syrup for more sweetness).  I also swapped the flaxseed for a whole egg because I didn’t have flaxseed on hand and don’t normally use it (flaxseed is used as a binding ingredient to substitute eggs and is a great source of omega-3s).

These were really good! Next time I’ll use 100% orange juice because the fresh juice I had wasn’t quite enough.  I would love to try these with fresh cherries, so I’m keeping an eye out for cherries at my grocery as we get closer to summer!

For my Fix followers, each serving (1 muffin) is 1 yellow, 1/2 purple, 1/2 blue, and 1 1/2 tsp.

Fixate Orange Cherry Muffins (adapted from Fixate on Beachbody On Demand)

Makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour

1/2 cup almond flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 tsp sea salt or Himalayan salt

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 tbsp all natural creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 tbsp orange zest

3/4 cup orange juice

1 egg

1 large banana, thickly cut (about 1 cup of banana)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped cherries (fresh, frozen, or dried)


Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with baking spray.

Combine flours, baking powder, salt, and walnuts in a large bowl.  Mix well and set aside.

Put oil, peanut butter, maple syrup, orange zest, orange juice, egg, banana, and vanilla in a blender.  Mix for 30 seconds.

Add peanut butter mixture to flour mixture.  Mix just until moistened–do not overmix.

Fold in cherries to batter mixture until just mixed.

Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, spoon batter into lined muffin tin (1/4 cup for each muffin).

Bake muffins for 18 minutes, until tops are lightly browned and toothpick comes out clean from the center of muffin.

Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes in pan.  Remove muffins from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

These kept well in an airtight container on the counter.  They only lasted a few days before we ate them all, but would probably be fine for about 5-7 days. You could also put baked muffins in the freezer and reheat them in the microwave.




Gluten-Free Blueberry Waffles

Before I was even halfway done with my Whole30, I had already decided to be gluten free in my post-Whole30 life. This is not something that I took lightly, especially considering that my husband is a bread salesman!  I love bread, and I love that bread supports my family, so it feels a little messed up to not eat gluten, but I am feeling so much better without it that it just doesn’t make sense to me to go back to what I was eating before.  That kind of negates the whole process of going through Whole30 in the first place!

Since I made the decision to be g-free, I’ve been looking for different GF recipes that I can try once I’m done with my 30 days of no grains at all (check out my Pinterest board here).  This waffle recipe looked amazing, and it’s been tested and approved by my gluten-loving husband AND toddler!  That’s a definite win in my book.

These were easy to throw together, and cooked up nicely—thick and crisp like a waffle should be.  You could bump up the blueberries and forgo any syrup if you wanted to lower your sugar, or you could be normal and bring on the maple syrup!  My guys had these both ways and loved it either way.


Gluten-Free Blueberry Waffles (slightly adapted from Gluten-Free Homemaker)

1.5 cups gluten-free all purpose baking mix

1 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew or almond milk

2 eggs

2 tablespoons butter, melted (I used ghee, and you can also use coconut oil)

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup blueberries

Preheat waffle iron. 

Mix all ingredients except blueberries until fully incorporated.  Gently fold in blueberries.  Pour 1/4-1/3 cup batter into waffle iron for each waffle and cook to desired crispness/until fully cooked throughout.  If desired, top with more blueberries, sliced bananas, diced pecans, and/or pure maple syrup.

Cooked waffles keep well in the freezer, so feel free to make a double batch to have some on hand for a quick breakfast!

Fixate Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

I love desserts.  I love to bake them, look at pictures of them, and certainly eat them.  I’m always on the lookout for cleaner treats or healthier versions of desserts that I love, so when I saw that the healthy cooking show on Beachbody On Demand–Fixate–had Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls on their menu, I wanted to immediately try them!

I’ve made these several times for multiple occasions, and they are always a huge hit!  These are actually on our Advent activity list to take to my son’s school teachers.  Yum!

One important note with this recipe is to make sure that you use PURE maple syrup, not the cheap pancake syrup.  It will not taste the same, and it changes the nutrition.  Pure maple syrup is a sugar that is easier to digest and is used by the body as energy, not stored as fat like the added sugar in the cheap stuff.

These are great for a holiday potluck, simple gifts for neighbors, or when you want a nice dessert for a get-together.  Or when you want chocolate.

2 of these count as 1 yellow snack container for the Portion Fix.

Fixate Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

1 cup natural creamy peanut butter

1 tbsp cornstarch

3/4 cup coconut flour

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

8 oz dark chocolate, chopped or chips

2 tsp coconut oil

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Combine peanut butter, corn starch, coconut flour and maple syrup in a large bowl, food processor or stand mixer.  Blend well until it becomes a uniform dough.  Add hot water as necessary to moisten it.
  3. Using clean hands, shape dough until 1 inch balls; place a toothpick into the center of each ball. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes. ***I actually just use a 1/2 tbsp measuring spoon because they have a nicer shape and don’t melt this way.
  4. While you wait for the balls to chill, put the chocolate and coconut oil in a small, microwavable bowl.
  5. Melt the chocolate and oil 30 seconds at a time in the microwave, stirring after each 30 second interval, until completely melted and smooth (this usually takes me three rounds).  Let cool slightly.
  6. Remove balls from refrigerator.  Hold a ball by the toothpick and dip it into the chocolate, swirl it to completely coat or use a spoon to pour chocolate over the top of it.  Repeat with each of the balls, returning them to the baking sheet.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until chocolate has hardened.
  8. Store in an air tight container in the fridge or freezer.



Paleo Chicken Tenders

A delicious meal on a tacky dollar store plate.

A delicious meal on a tacky dollar store plate.

My kid loves chicken tenders.  We try to only give him grilled chicken, but sometimes we get the horribly unhealthy fried tenders for him. He loves to dip them in ketchup and BBQ sauce, and even dips them into his applesauce.  I am always looking for healthier versions of foods he loves, and this has been saved on my Pinterest clean eating board for a while.  I am so glad I finally tried it!

I have had almond flour and coconut flour on hand for quite some time now specifically for this purpose–using as a breading on meat to make a flourless version of our favorite foods (baked, not fried, of course).  I find that the almond/coconut flours have a better flavor (the sweetness of the coconut flour is really good with chicken especially), and it doesn’t bloat me the way that regular wheat flours do.  Plus, I know that almonds and coconuts have some good vitamins and nutrients that my son needs, which makes it even better!

This recipe was quick and easy, and it tasted great!  It only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. It is easy to customize with different spices as well, depending on your spice preference.  And it would taste great with any kind of dip your family likes–a healthy ranch, ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard–whatever you prefer!  The original recipe was doubled and is linked below.

I would love to say that my kiddo ate this up and declared his love immediately, but unfortunately for me the night I made this he decided to be 2-going-on-16, threw an epic tantrum, and refused to eat anything. Yay me! However, when we had the leftovers for lunch he was a huge fan! 

Paleo Chicken Tenders (from Jay’s Baking Me Crazy original recipe)

1 package chicken tenders (3/4 lb)

2 tbsp + 2 tsp coconut flour

2 eggs

1 tbsp unsweetened cashew milk (or any milk)

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp black pepper


Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Prepare 3 shallow bowls or dishes for the breading process.  Put the coconut flour in one dish.  Mix the egg and milk together in another dish.  mix the almond flour and spices in the last dish.

Place the dishes in order, left to right: coconut flour, egg mixture, almond mixture, and cookie sheet.  One at a time, dip each chicken tender into the coconut flour, then the egg mixture, and then the almond flour mixture, completely coating each time.  Place on the cookie sheet.  Repeat with each chicken tender.

Once all of the chicken is breaded and on the cookie sheet, spray lightly with olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray.

Bake chicken tenders for 10 minutes, then flip and bake 5 more minutes.  Make sure chicken is completely cooked through!

Let cool slightly and serve plain or with your dip of choice.  I served mine with broccoli and hummus.

This recipe made 6 tenders, which was enough for me to have dinner and have leftovers for lunch for 2.


Blueberry Lemon Muffins

My son loves blueberries, so I’m always looking for different ways to use them.  He is so happy just eating them fresh out of a bowl, but I love to make new things that all of us can enjoy.  I found this old recipe from my favorite blogger, and I’m so glad I brought it back!

These muffins are light, moist, and have a great blueberry flavor.  The original recipe calls for a sugar topping, but since I forgot to add that and they were still great, I left that part out of the recipe I’m sharing below.

If you love blueberries or have a little one who loves them, put these on your to-make list!  ***I count one muffin as a yellow treat in the 21 Day Fix eating plan.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins (slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats)

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

4 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cinnamon applesauce

2 large eggs

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk (I used heavy cream and it was fine!)

2 tsp vanilla extract

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 pint fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with cooking spray to grease.  In one bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring to mix.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk the coconut oil and sugar together until well mixed.  Whisk in the applesauce.  Add the eggs, one at a time. Stir in lemon zest.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon juice.  Stir to combine and set aside.

Add half of the flour mixture to the sugar/applesauce mixture and mix well.  Add all of the liquid and mix well.  Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix well.

Fold in the blueberries gently with a rubber spatula.

Using a 1/4-1/3 cup measuring cup, fill muffin tins about 2/3 full with batter.

Bake for about 24 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until toothpick comes out clean from the muffins.

***I usually put half of the baked muffins in the freezer after they have completely cooled.  They keep really well frozen and are still yummy microwaved!


Banana Double Chocolate Secret Muffins

I loved these muffins!!!  I tweaked the original recipe to have less added sugar, and I thought they turned out great.  Full disclosure: I was the only one in my house that loved them.  Lol.  I’ve added a little more sugar to the recipe here to make it sweeter.  I love chocolate, so it had plenty of sweetness to me.  They would be great for breakfast, snacks, or dessert.

Now, if you’re wondering about what the “secret” of the muffins are–it’s veggies.  1 cup shredded zucchini!  That gives these muffins fruit and veggies, plus healthy sources of sugar instead of adding the processed granulated sugars.

You could certainly omit the maple syrup and banana and add the granulated and brown sugars from the original recipe. You can also use semisweet chocolate instead of dark chocolate to add a little more sweetness.

Banana Double Chocolate Secret Muffins (adapted from Carlsbad’s Cravings)

Wet ingredients

1 large ripe banana, mashed

1 cup shredded zucchini

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk (can use whatever milk you like!)

1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Dry ingredients

1.5 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup walnuts

4 oz dark chocolate

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare a muffin tin with paper liners and grease liners.

Mix all wet ingredients in a small bowl.  Combine walnuts and chocolate in a food processor until finely ground.  Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl, including the walnut/chocolate mixture.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until incorporated but still lumpy.  Do not overmix!

Use a 1/4 cup measuring spoon or ice cream scoop to fill muffin tin with batter–fill each tin about 2/3 full.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until a toothpick comes out batter-free from the center of the muffin.  (The toothpick won’t be clean because of the melty chocolate).

Let cool and enjoy!


Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins

You guys.  These muffins are seriously good.  If you’re looking for a treat food that doesn’t have any weird ingredients but also isn’t terrible for you, this is a great option!  I made this last night for our church group and they are so good!  I had to share right away.  I didn’t even take a picture!

I kind of accidentally messed up the recipe, but it ended up being really great.  The original calls for plain Greek yogurt, but smart self got vanilla Greek yogurt, thinking the vanilla flavor would add some yumminess.  I didn’t even think about the fact that the vanilla flavor comes with a bunch of added sugar!  Oops.  To balance it out, I just didn’t add the brown sugar the recipe calls for.  To make this an even cleaner treat, you should use the plain yogurt and brown sugar–it’s less processed that way.  According to the mighty mind of Google, there are actually fewer grams of sugar in the vanilla yogurt I used, so if you would rather just have less sugar, that is an option.

At first I thought that half a cup of chocolate chips wouldn’t be enough for a whole batch, but they distributed pretty evenly throughout the muffins, and the melting chocolate chips makes me feel like it’s more chocolate than it actually is.  I used dark chocolate because I just prefer it (and it’s a little better for you!), but you could use any type of chocolate you wanted.

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins (slightly adapted from Running with Spoons)

2 medium bananas, ripe and mashed

2 cups oats (quick cook or old fashioned)

1 cup vanilla greek yogurt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 large eggs

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with coconut oil spray to prevent sticking.

Add all ingredients except for chocolate chips in a blender or food processor.  Mix on high until the oats are chopped up and all ingredients are incorporated, making a smooth batter.  You may have to scrape the sides of the processor to make sure all the oats get broken down.

Remove the blade from the processor/blender and carefully stir in chocolate chips.

Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, evenly distribute batter in lined muffin tin, filling them up about 3/4 of the way.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and muffins are cooked through.  Turn muffin tins halfway through baking.

Yields about 15 muffins.