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Gluten-free Vegan Marshmallow Topped Guilt-free Brownie Cups


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Summer just isn’t complete until you have some toasted marshmallows… stuck to a brownie… topped with melted chocolate and cacao nibs! Right?

This is one more treat you have to make before summer days come to an end. This is the perfect Smores-inspired Marshmallow Topped Brownie Cups ~ made guilt free with no gluten, dairy, eggs or refined sugar!

Oh and you have to make them as individual serving cups – they’re just way more fun!!

 



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Gluten-free Vegan Marshmallow Topped Guilt-free Brownie Cups

Healthy gluten-free, vegan and sugar-free brownie recipe.

prep time : 20 minutes
bake time : 25 minutes
makes 18 cupcake-sized brownies

INGREDIENTS :

1 cup sweet potato puree (1-2 large potatoes)
20 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup potato starch
1/2 cup So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 cup dark chocolate squares or chocolate chips 
1/2 cup gluten-free vegan all-natural large or mini marshmallows
2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs

DIRECTIONS : 

1. First, wash, peel, chop and boil a large sweet potato (or two or four – might as well make dinner ;)) until fully cooked. Strain and set aside to cool.

2. Preheat oven to 350F.

3. In a small bowl, mix the flour ingredients and set aside.

4. In a food processor, mix all the other ingredients to make a smooth paste. Slowly add in the flour mix, a few tablespoons at a time. You may need to turn off the food processor and scrape down the sides of the food processor to get all the ingredients combined well. Fill silicone cupcake moulds about 3/4 and bake for 20-25 minutes. 

5. While the brownies are baking, melt the chocolate. Simply, place the chocolate squares or chocolate chips in a bowl over a small pot with water, bring to a simmer and stir the chocolate to fully melt. Turn off the stove and leave the bowl on top of the pot to keep the chocolate melted.

6. Cut the marshmallows up into small cubes (if they are not mini).

7. Once the brownies are baked, remove them from the oven. Turn the oven to broil.

8. Spoon a little chocolate on top of each brownie (kind of like glue) then top with pieces of marshmallows and put back into the oven for only 1-2 minutes to broil the tops slightly. Keep looking at them so the tops don’t burn. (mine browned nicely only at 1 minute).

9. Remove from the oven, allow to cool still in the cupcake moulds for about 15 minutes before serving. Serve still warm or refrigerated.

THE best way to make them is to bake the brownies one day before (or even 2-3 hours before serving), then topping them with the marshmallows and broiling just before serving so the marshmallows are still warm!! Oh yes!! ;)

10. For the final touch, sprinkle with raw cacao nibs ;) Yummmm!!!



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Ahh.. sometimes you just want to bite into something amazing without the guilt!

That’s what I love about baking gluten-free and vegan and even squeezing in some nutritious ingredients in there… like hello sweet potatoes!! 
(they are so great in a brownie recipe ~ they add that perfect fudgyness and really taste great as a brownie ;)
If you’re excited, you have to try my Guilt-Free Sweet Potato Chocolate Brownies also! ;)



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I like to enjoy these beautiful moist, rich and fudgy brownies with that fluffy marshmallow top while I day dream of beautiful things on the horizon… ;)

New exciting things await, I just know it! I think it could be the summer sunshine just shining a little brighter this year… with a new baby girl, new adventures ahead, my health continuing well and all the tiny little puzzle pieces fitting in… it’s all just so good ;) My heart is filled with gratitude and happiness ;)

That’s what summer days are really for… fluffy fudgy brownie cups and day dreams and just feeling good ;)

Because Marshmallow Topped Brownie Cups and Day Dreams just go together…

‘Day Dreaming’ is a fun theme this week over at So Delicious Dairy Free for their #SaveMySummer contests that run all summer long! To get more info, visit their facebookwebsite, or simply hashtag your photos #SaveMySummer to join the fun and be in weekly draws for prizes ;)

What are you Day Dreaming of right now?

Pure Ella 

If you’re new to Pure Ella, please sign up for email updates and join me elsewhere: 
 
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Amaretto Peach Tarts



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The only good thing about the summer coming to an end is the beautiful bounty of seasonal produce that is at its peak. 

Peaches are my favourite thing about August. Sure they’re available year round, when imported from Chile or California, but when they’re local, they’re just the best.

Even looking at a basketful of these beauties makes my mouth water. We usually pick up two baskets right at the start of the season from the farmer’s market. One to eat straight as-is, and one for baking… like these Amaretto Peach Tarts ~ I’ve been seeing this recipe come to fruition the moment I laid eyes on this beautiful bounty of fresh peaches. 

Pure ingredients is what it’s all about. And although it may seem like I’m creating a ‘specialty recipe’, with no gluten, dairy and eggs… this is just making dessert better and healthier. No cholesterol, refined sugar free ~ it’s all good things. Tastes not altered but enhanced naturally with beautiful pure ingredients. Yum!

 



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Amaretto Peach Tarts

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, cholesterol-free, refined sugar-free

PASTRY INGREDIENTS :

1/2 cup vegan buttery spread like Earth Balance, or cold coconut oil + extra for greasing
1/2 cup white rice flour*
1/4 cup potato starch*
1/4 cup tapioca*
1/4 almond flour
1 tsp xanthan gum*
1/4 organic raw cane sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup ice water

* this is a gluten-free flour mix that has been created for this recipe, but feel free to substitute with 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose gluten-free flour mix of choice.

Tip : This dough freezes well! I like to make a double batch separating into two balls and wrapping one of them into a plastic wrap so it’s air-tight and freezing for up to 3 months. When I want to bake these tarts again, I simply allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and quickly make delicious tarts for a yummy dessert craving ;)

FILLING INGREDIENTS :

5-6 peaches, pitted and sliced
2 tablespoons organic peach or apricot jam
2 teaspoons amaretto liqueur or almond extract 

To make the dough, sift and mix all the flours together. Mix in the sugar and salt and add in the cold vegan buttery spread or coconut oil and cut through the flour with a pastry cutter. (You can also pulse these ingredients in a food processor for a faster method.) Once crumbles form, create a well and slowly pour in ice-cold water, just a little at a time. Continue folding and cutting and adding more water a few tablespoons at a time until a dough texture forms. Keep dusting the work surface as well as your hands with some extra rice flour so the dough doesn’t stick. Do not over mix as little areas of fat from the ‘fat’ are necessary to achieve a lightness in the pastry. Overworking it may result in a tougher dough. If dough starts to get warm and soft, place in the fridge or freezer for just a few minutes to harden. For best results, keep the dough as cold as possible.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Grease and flour some tart forms (this is a very important step), and press some of the pastry dough into them. And return to the fridge or even freezer for just a few minutes (as you prepare the filling).

For the filling, slice the peaches and place into a medium-sized bowl and mix with the jam and amaretto liqueur. Fill the tart shells around in a circle and place in the oven to bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until edges are golden. Let cool for about 5 minutes in the tart forms, then remove gently and leave on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!



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I hope you enjoy lots and lots of fresh juicy local peaches also…. while you’re picking up a basket or two, don’t forget to make these scrumptious little gluten-free and vegan Amaretto Peach Tarts…. :)

Speaking of peaches… I just love this quote : “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” ~ Dita Von Teese Moral of this… you can’t satisfy everyone… but you can satisfy yourself with these yummy healthy peach tarts!! ;)

Pure Ella 

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Blueberry & Blackberry Crumb Squares



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I owe it all to my mom… as a child I remember simple gatherings around the table for tea and a baked dessert. I remember how I anticipated her taking out the ingredients and yearned for those first scents of a home baked dessert still in the oven.
I remember how quickly she threw it together and in no time a delicious dessert appeared on our kitchen table. Then that first bite… and time stood still as I enjoyed it to the last crumb. It was plate licking good ;)

It was a Sunday ritual to have a home baked dessert, and quite often it was fruit-filled crumb squares. For years I knew Sunday’s were special. It was a time for family and simple moments you are meant to treasure…


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Now, I’m a mom and am realizing how these traditions grow on you. It’s unintentional, often unplanned, but once the weekend comes I get a baking itch and get excited about what to make… and then this happened. A simple, easy, throw-it-together-in-one-bowl kind of a cake. Blueberry & Blackberry Crumb Squares ~ made healthier without gluten, dairy, eggs, cholesterol and white sugar. Simple pure ingredients at their best danced into this recipe.

 



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BLUEBERRY & BLACKBERRY CRUMB SQUARES

Ingredients :

1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup Certified Gluten-Free rolled oats or quick oats (not instant)
1/2 cup organic raw cane sugar
1/4 coconut sugar
3/4 cup coconut oil, cold & hardened
1 1/2 cups organic blueberries
1 1/2 cups organic blackberries
+ 3 tablespoons of water

DIRECTIONS :

Preheat oven to 350F and prep a square 8″x 8″ baking dish with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine all the dried ingredients (first 4). Add in cold coconut oil and using a dough cutter or a knife keep slicing through the margarine to combine with the dry ingredients. The texture should start to look very crumbly. Remove about 1 1/4 cup of the mixture onto a small bowl and place in the fridge.

Add 3 tablespoons of water into the large bowl with the crumbs and gently mix to form a dough. Do not overmix. Once the ingredients form into one piece, simply scoop out the dough onto the baking dish. Start pressing down the dough with your fingers to cover the full base. If the dough is too crumbly, wet the tips of your fingers with extra water and press down. If the mixture is too wet, simply dust the top with a little extra all-purpose flour and continue pressing to cover the bottom of the pan evenly.

Rinse and pat dry the fruit with a paper towel. Spread out on top of the crust and even out the top. 

Sprinkle the crumble that’s set aside on top of the pie evenly.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes. Top should be nice and golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

These Crumb Squares are lovely still warm from the oven, just as they’re great the next day straight from the fridge – you decide! ;)
Cutting them however when they are still warm will make them fall apart slightly.

Cut into squares and enjoy making your own weekend baking traditions ;)
ps. they freeze well  (see note at the very bottom)



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I hope you also have special traditions that you savour… if not, it’s never too late to start them ;)

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I remember making these near the end of my pregnancy in the Spring and thinking how wonderful it would be to devour once my baby is born… so I froze a few squares. When the time came, I grabbed them from the freezer and away we went to welcome our new baby :) I completely forgot about them (of course) until the next morning after an unfancy hospital breakfast. Oh wow! I remember the perfect moment of pure bliss savouring a bite and glancing at my tiny new baby…. my lips curled into a smile. Life is good, oh so very good :)

Pure Ella 

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza



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I have always loved pizza! Of course, as a kid… there’s nothing better! But one thing I don’t miss is that doughy, oily, fat-dripping slice of junk.

Thank goodness that times have changed for me and I have embraced a healthier way of living. Now I love to recreate those foods I always loved but with healthier ingredients that are still delicious and good-for-you.

I made these Cauliflower Crust Pizzas over the weekend and they were a big hit!



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CAULIFLOWER CRUST PIZZA
gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, vegan

Cauliflower Crust Ingredients :

2 cups packed shredded cauliflower (about 3/4 medium-sized cauliflower)
3 T ground flax seeds
2 T whole flax seeds
2 T nutritional yeast (optional)
1 T olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or oregano
1 t sea salt
1/4 t freshly cracked black pepper

toppings :

1/2 can tomato paste mixed with a drizzle of olive oil and dried oregano and salt and pepper to make a pizza sauce
1 cup of spinach, chopped up
1 large ripe avocado, cut into thin strips
6-8 garlic-stuffed green olives
2 T sundried tomatoes, cut into small pieces

Directions :

First, in a small bowl, mix the flax with water and set aside until a jelly-like mixture forms to make a flax ‘egg’.

Wash the cauliflower and pull apart into chunks. Process in a food processor for about 3 minutes until fine ‘crumbs’ form. Set a pan on the stove with 1/4 cup of water and steam the cauliflower crumbs until softened, about 3-5 minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl (or back in the food processor) place the softened cauliflower along with the flax ‘egg’ and all other ingredients and mix to incorporate well.

On parchment-covered baking sheet, scoop out the mixture into 4 equal parts and press down with the back of a spoon to flatten to about 1/3 of an inch. Bake at 400 F for 20-30 minutes.

This bakes a softer crust which is harder to lift off with your hands. So it’s best to use utensils to enjoy them.

For a crispier crust that holds up better together, you will need to flip the pizza crusts halfway through the baking time. But they are very crumbly at this point so the best technique to do so is to place another parchment paper on top, then another baking sheet, pressing down to ‘sandwich’ the pizza crusts flip over the whole thing. Be sure to wear your oven mitts as one of the pans is still extremely hot. 

Once you have the crusts baked, top with your favourite toppings and enjoy!



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I made these over the weekend and they were a big hit! My sister came and she is happily joining my ‘diet’ of no wheat and eating only healthy, plant-based and pescoterian food. So she really loved these! I thought you did need an acquired taste for indulging in Cauliflower-Crust Pizzas but apparently not – my husband who eats with no rules, really enjoyed these too and loved the crust! He is looking forward to more different toppings on his in the near future ;)



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My ‘little’ sister came over from Quebec and stayed with us for the whole week. We had the best time cooking some great food (like these Cauliflower Crust Pizzas), making smoothies, experimenting with new fun ingredients and of course – hanging out with the kids! She is a wonderful aunt to my kids. And does not fear a dirty diaper or a red-flushed screaming 7 week-old! She is getting good practice with my kids for sure;) And on her last day I clearly admitted 10 days of her with us it wasn’t long enough! 

Looking at my girls I am overwhelmed with so much happiness that they too will say this to each other one day…. and make pizzas and just hang out ;)

Pure Ella 

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Radiant Radish Pasta Salad



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Once summer rolls into town I love big bowls of pasta salads! Of course, the sky is the limit when it comes to ingredients and flavours and I can’t even tell you my favourite because I love them all! And I can’t even shoot and share each one because, well… sometimes I’m just too hungry to grab my camera, or it looks too good not to eat right away, or my family is gathered around the table ready to dig in and I could not ruin that moment with a photoshoot – I am sneaky but not that sneaky. 

This Radiant Radish Pasta Salad I do have to share though, because it’s just so good and hearty and healthy!



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Radiant Radish Pasta Salad 

Ingredients :

1/2 package gluten-free penne (cooked as per instructions)
handful of string beans, steamed or cooked al dente
8-10 radishes, sliced
1 stalk of celery
1 carrot, diced small
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
dash of mustard powder or 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
2-3 tablespoons of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 tablespoon flax oil (optional)
juice of freshly squeezed 1/2 lemon

Directions :

Cook the pasta as per packaging directions. Near the end of cooking time, add the string beans to the pasta and cook for about 2 minutes (this saves time and another pot to wash). Strain.

Combine all the ingredients in a big salad bowl, season and toss. Enjoy!

 

 



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Radishes are just awesome! Do you agree?
Ok, so not everyone loves them, but here’s 11 reasons to enjoy them more often. Learn about the Health Benefits of Radishes here:



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Do you like radishes? What’s your favourite way to eat them?

Pure Ella 

If you’re new to Pure Ella, please sign up for email updates and join me elsewhere: 
 
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