Easy gluten free vegan coconut mango rice recipe with ciliantro
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It is getting hot here in South Florida and that means mango season! While I am not one of the lucky ones with a mango tree in my backyard, I do tend to somehow acquire a surplus of mangoes. Fresh mangoes are so delicious on their own, but sometimes it is fun to experiment and add them to different recipes, especially when you happen to have a large supply. My husband makes a great mango-avocado salsa that we like to put on top of mahi, and I have experimented with adding mangoes to baked goods (another mango recipe soon to come). Last year I had fun making some refreshing Coconut Mango Popsicles…I am however, super excited about this coconut mango rice recipe I am going to share with you.

 

 

Before I get to that though, I just want to take a minute to talk about the glorious mango. If you weren’t already aware, there are so many different varieties of mangoes. If you don’t like one kind, that does not mean you don’t like mangoes! When I first moved to Florida, I thought I didn’t like mangoes until I started trying all the different kinds. We even went to a mango festival and got to sample a whole bunch! I discovered that I like the ones that are firm and sweet, but not too sweet. There are some that I find too mushy, and some that I feel taste a little bit like pine trees. That’s a thing….right? Of course I can never remember the names of the different varieties though, I just have to try them and see!

 

Easy gluten free vegan coconut mango rice recipe with ciliantro

 

So other than mangoes being super delicious…. why should you eat them? Mangoes have a ton of nutrients! One of which is beta-carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A, which may help protect against certain cancers and can lower your risk of developing asthma. Fiber and potassium are also present in mangoes, and are both great for heart health. Mangoes also have Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin B-6, and antioxidants, among a host of other nutrients.

Now onto the recipe! It is seriously so easy. If you can cook a basic batch of rice, you can make this. Basically, I just cooked short grain brown rice in a coconut milk beverage to infuse some flavor, added some mango, fresh cilantro from my herb garden, and a little bit of salt. Super easy, flavorful, colorful, nutrient-full, and delicious!

 

 

Coconut Mango Rice
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
1 Cup Short Grain Brown Rice
2 Cups Coconut Milk Beverage (I used So Delicious)
1/2 Cup Diced Mango
2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro – Coarsely Chopped + Extra for garnish
1/8 Teaspoon Salt (optional)

Directions
1, Bring coconut milk beverage to a boil in a medium pot.
2. Add rice, turn down to a simmer, stir and cover with a tight fitting lid.
3. Simmer on low for 45 min.
4. Remove from heat and fluff rice with a fork.
5. Stir in mango, cilantro, and salt if desired.
6. Cover with lid and allow to steam in pot for another ten minutes to allow mango to warm.
7. Serve.

 

Easy gluten free vegan coconut mango rice recipe with ciliantro

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Gluten free healthy carrot cake muffins
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Who wants to have their cake and eat it too? Definitely me. I have a big sweet tooth and love love love cookies, brownies, cake, chocolate…basically any dessert. I will eat it. And that’s ok. I don’t say no to something if I really want it, except of course if it is something that I know will wreak havoc on my intestines. And even in that case I just find something comparable that I can eat and enjoy. So when I realized easter was coming up and I was craving carrot cake, I wanted to make my own version that was gluten free, not super sweet, and full of those carrot cake spices. So I made these healthy carrot cake muffins for myself, and I guess my husband too, but mostly myself.

 

Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a snack, these healthy carrot cake muffins are made with almond flour so they are also gluten free!

 

When I first made these healthy carrot cake muffins, I made a version that was a little higher in sugar (1/2 cup maple syrup instead of a 1/4 cup). It was good, but a little too sweet for a muffin, it reminded me more of a cupcake. And while I don’t really give my 15 month old daughter things with added sugar very often, I did put a few pieces of the muffin on her plate towards the end of dinner. I expected her to gobble it all down immediately but she didn’t. She had a few bites and then actually left some on her plate. While she did eat some of it, and enjoy it (she indicated this by making “mmmm” sounds), she listened to her body and stopped when she was full. I feel like that is a great lesson for us all!

 

Gluten free healthy carrot cake muffins

 

So how can you stop eating more than what you need? You are likely not a baby if you are reading this post (If you are, congratulations on reading so early!), so you might feel like you have lost some of your ability to self regulate. Most of us preserve this function until about 2 years old but after that, external instead of internal cues can be more influential if we are not careful. I’m sure many of you were told growing up that you needed to “clean your plate,” and that there were “starving children” somewhere, and you were being wasteful. It was a different time then, and we know so much more now how these practices undermine our ability to self regulate. One thing I like to do is to take smaller portion sizes. If I am hungry I allow myself to get more, but it gives me time to pause and ask myself “am I still hungry?” or “do I really want more?” instead of just mindlessly eating everything off my heaping plate.

 

Gluten free healthy carrot cake muffins

 

Anyways…lets get to those healthy carrot cake muffins. In order to turn a carrot cake with a limited amount of nutrients, into something healthier that is absolutely still delicious, I changed up a few ingredients and made it into muffins for easier portion control. Instead of all-purpose flour (very little nutrients) I went with an almond flour. Never tried baking with almond flour before? It’s amazing. It is basically ground up almonds so you are getting healthy fats, protein, fiber plus other vitamins and minerals. It is really light and fluffy and…I just love the almond flavor. Because the almond flour contains fat in it, I don’t usually see the need to add any extra oil. So instead, I used some applesauce to give it some natural sweetness so I can cut back on the maple syrup.

 

Oh and if you do want more of a cupcake then a muffin, just follow the recipe below but increase the maple syrup to 1/2 cup.

 

Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins

Ingredients

2 Cups Almond Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Finely Shredded Carrots (about 3 carrots)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 muffin-muffin tin with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl. In a separate medium size bowl lightly beat eggs, maple syrup, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients slowly into flour mixture until consistent throughout. Fold in carrots.  Fill muffin tin with batter evenly, about 1/2 to 3/4 way. Place in preheated oven and cook for 18-20 min or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Use a knife or fork to loosen edges of muffins and remove from tin. Serve or keep in an airtight container until ready to eat.
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Gluten free and Healthy Baked Spinach Chickpea Fritters
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A few weeks ago I made some spinach chickpea fritters and froze the leftovers. I could have just gobbled them down even though I was no longer hungry, because they were delish, but I am so glad I chose to freeze them instead. I am a huge proponent of making things ahead of time and freezing them (you kinda have to when you work full time, have over an hour long commute and a ten month old), and my frozen foods have come to the rescue several times over the past month.

 

 

Spinach Chickpea Fritters with Dip

 

 

Anyways, I am super happy I froze some of my spinach chickpea fritters because we spent last week in the hospital (baby v had bronchiolitis and pneumonia but is doing great now) and came home very tired to a house with a limited food selection. I searched through the freezer looking for something easy to feed baby v (I did not want to have to run to the grocery store) and was ecstatic when I found a tupperware full of my spinach chickpea fritters. Now I know what your thinking….is she posting a recipe for babies? Yes and no. This is a recipe for everyone. It does work great for babies because the patties are easy to pick up, and they contain iron from the chickpeas and spinach, which growing babies need a lot of. However, they also make a healthy, delicious and good looking appetizer for adults. It’s a win-win for all!

 

Blended Chickpeas

 

These spinach chickpea fritters are incredibly easy. Basically you blend and mix everything together and then plop the batter down on a parchment paper lined pan, add a little olive oil, and pop them into the oven. And the only thing I really had to clean afterwards was my blender and a few measuring instruments. These fritters are also super customizable. You can use this recipe as a template and switch out different flavors and spices. I’m thinking next time maybe adding some cumin or curry, or maybe even experiment with adding some feta.

 

 

 

Gluten free and Healthy Baked Spinach Chickpea Fritters

 

 

Spinach Chickpea Fritters

Ingredients
1-16 oz Can Reduced Sodium Garbanzo Beans
1 Cup Raw Baby Spinach
4 Tablespoons Almond Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Baking powder
1 or 2 Cloves Chopped Fresh Garlic
1 Egg
Olive Oil

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add beans and garlic to food processor or good blender and pulse until well blended. Add egg and spinach and continue to blend until you get a uniform green mixture. Remove blade from blender and stir in baking powder and flour. You should have a pasty green mixture that smells garlicky. The mixture should be too thin to roll into balls but thick enough to plop on a pan without running. Line baking pan with parchment paper and use a spoon to scoop out 12 large fritters in the baking sheet. Lightly brush or drizzle with olive oil and bake for 15-20 min. Turn on broil and broil for another minute or so until edges brown slightly.
 Gluten free and Healthy Baked Spinach Chickpea Fritters
*And if you need some dip just mix the ingredients below…
1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Parsley or Dill
Dash of Ground Black Pepper
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