’Tis the season for decadence, but avoid packing on the pounds by treating yourself (in moderation, of course!) to these sweet—but not too sweet—and easy-to-make treats from food blogger Elana Amsterdam, author of Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes. As a bonus, they also make the perfect homemade gift.
Recipes by Elana Amsterdam
Date Orange Bread
Thinking of your neighbors during the holidays? Give them date orange loaves wrapped in parchment and tied with festive ribbon. They’ll never guess it’s gluten-free!
(Makes 1 small loaf—about 8 slices)
1⁄3 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 large eggs
½ cup coconut oil, melted over very low heat
1 tablespoon firmly packed orange zest
½ cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 5-x-3-inch mini loaf pan with coconut oil.
2. In a food processor, pulse together the coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, coconut oil and orange zest and pulse until thoroughly combined. Remove the blade from the food processor and stir in the dates.
3. Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 25–35 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Let the bread cool in the pan for 1 hour, then serve.
Christmas Chocolate Bark
2 cups chocolate chunks
1⁄3 cup unsalted pistachios
1⁄3 cup dried cranberries
1⁄2-1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1. In a small saucepan over very low heat, melt the chocolate.
2. Pour the chocolate into a parchment paper–lined 8-x-8-inch baking dish.
3. Sprinkle the pistachios and cranberries over the chocolate. Using a metal spatula, spread the mixture evenly back and forth to around ½ inch thickness. Sprinkle the salt over the bark.
4. Allow the bark to sit out until set, 1–2 hours. Cut into 16 squares and serve.
Cinnamon Pecan Brittle
This brittle is great for a party or nice to keep around as a snack. It also makes a lovely hostess gift when placed in a little tin or box, then tied with a pretty ribbon. Feel free to experiment with other nuts instead of the pecans. (Makes 8 servings)
1 egg white
1⁄4 cup agave nectar or honey
1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups pecans
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white, agave, salt and cinnamon.
3. Toss the nuts in the egg white mixture to coat.
4. Pour the nut mixture onto a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, until the nuts are browned.
5. Allow the nuts to cool for 5 minutes, then break apart and serve.
Date Orange Bread reprinted with permission from Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes by Elana Amsterdam (Ten Speed Press, © 2013). Photo by Leigh Beisch. The bark and brittle are courtesy of www.elanaspantry.com. Photos by Elana Amsterdam.