Pumpkin Spice Grain-Free Granola

 An addictive grain-free granola that’s chock-full of nuts, seeds, and aromatic spices. Great as a trail mix type snack or on top of yogurt.

Pumpkin Spice Grain-Free Granola - An addictive grain-free granola chock-full nuts, seeds, and aromatic spices. Great as a trail mx type snack or on top of yogurt. | QueenofMyKitchen.com | #trailmix #grainfreegranola #granola #pumpkinseeds #pepitas

WHY GO “GRAIN-FREE”

New terms describing adherence to a particular type of diet seem to come out of nowhere every few years. One dietary term I’m hearing more and more frequently these days is “grain-free”, which, as the term implies, means avoiding the consumption of all grains or products that contains grains.  (Click here for a complete list of the many types of grains.)  I’d always thought that “whole” grains in particular were desirable as part of a healthy diet, so I was surprised to learn that consuming grains can sometimes cause:

1. skin conditions,
2. digestive problems, and
3. issues with mental acuity

As you might expect, there’s a lot of skepticism around this topic, but suffice it to say that a small subset of the population simply feels better all-around when they either limit their consumption of grains, or don’t eat them at all.

If you think you might be intolerant to grains, check out this article – 9 Signs Your Body Can’t Tolerate Grains.

Oats, one of the most consumed grains here in the U.S., and the main ingredient in traditionally made granola, are off-limits on a grain-free diet, but, this healthy and wholesome Pumpkin Spice Grain-Free Granola is the perfect replacement for conventionally made granola.

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Strawberry Sugar Cookies

Taste the essence of strawberries in these beautiful gluten-free sugar cookies!

Strawberry Sugar Cookies on a plate with milk and a bowl of fresh strawberries

STRAWBERRY SEASON

It’s strawberry season here in Massachusetts, and although these soft and tender Strawberry Sugar Cookies weren’t made with fresh picked strawberries, they are bursting with strawberry flavor. The secret ingredient is freeze-dried strawberries that have been ground into a powder and then incorporated into the cookie dough, giving it not only terrific flavor, but a beautiful pink color. The decorative almonds and cranberries are optional toppings so leave them off if you wish. But, if you have the time, they add a unique touch and make the cookies look extra pretty. (more…)

Mason Jar Brownie Ice Cream

The world’s easiest homemade ice cream.  No churning or fancy equipment required!

Mason Jar Brownie Ice Cream - The world's easiest homemade ice cream. Just 5 simple ingredients and no churning or fancy equipment required! | QueenofMyKitchen.com | #icecream #masonjaricecream #dessert

HOMEMADE ICE CREAM MADE IN A MASON JAR? REALLY?

Making ice cream from scratch can be a bit of a project and typically requires some type of an ice cream maker. So, when I read about making ice cream in a mason jar, although I was intrigued, I figured it was probably a gimmicky method that wouldn’t produce good tasting ice cream. I was even more skeptical because the article about this unique ice cream making technique was, quite apparently, using a stock photo instead of a picture of ice cream that was actually made using the recipe (“Getty Images” appears at the bottom of the photo).  However, this Mason Jar Brownie Ice Cream is proof that my skepticism was unwarranted! (more…)

Healthy Curry Chicken Salad

A lightened-up curry chicken salad made with Greek yogurt and avocado mayonnaise.  Free of unhealthy, overly processed, refined oils.

Healthy Curry Chicken Salad - A lightened-up curry chicken salad free of unhealthy, overly processed, refined oils. Made with Greek yogurt and avocado mayonnaise. | QueenofMyKitchen.com | #chickensalad #currychickensalad #lunch

WHAT MAKES GREAT CHICKEN SALAD? 

In my opinion, there are 3 crucial elements to delicious chicken salad:

  1. Properly cooked chicken
  2. High quality mayonnaise free of any unhealthy, overly processed, refined oils, and
  3. An ingredient with “crunch”

This Healthy Curry Chicken Salad delivers on all three of these essential elements of great chicken salad and adds a healthy twist by using half mayonnaise and half Greek yogurt for the dressing base. This is a basic, foolproof, chicken salad recipe that you can customize to your liking by varying the herbs, spices, nuts, and dried fruit/berries. (See the last paragraph of this post for suggestions.)

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Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-free, grain-free, chocolate chip cookies made with nutrient dense chickpeas.  

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies - Gluten-free, grain-free chocolate chip cookies made with nutrient dense chickpeas. | QueenofMyKitchen.com | #chickpeachocolatecookie #chickpeachocolatecookies #healthychocolatechipcookies

HEALTHY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Looks can be deceiving!  Although these Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies look like your average, run-of-the-mill, chocolate chip cookies, they’re anything but.  They are, quite possibly, the healthiest chocolate chip cookies on the planet – made from whole beans, nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate, and sweetened primarily with maple syrup, a natural, unrefined sugar.  The magic ingredient is these cookies is chickpeas, which stands in for the flour that you’d normally find in most cookie recipes, and that miraculously turns into dough that looks, and bakes ups, exactly like cookie dough.  And because there’s no wheat flour in this recipe, these scrumptious cookies are gluten-free and grain-free too.  They have a clean taste and tender texture and are delicious dipped in milk or served alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream. (more…)

3 Ingredient Cauliflower Bread

Satisfy your bread craving with cauliflower! A keto, paleo, low-carb, gluten-free substitute for traditional wheat bread. 

JUMP TO RECIPE

3 Ingredient Cauliflower Bread - This keto, paleo, low-carb, gluten-free bread is a delicious, healthy substitute for traditional wheat bread. | QueenofMyKitchen.com | #cauliflowerbread #lowcarbbread #paleobread #glutenfreebread #keto #ketobread

BREAD MADE FROM CAULIFLOWER

Bread and cauliflower are foods at opposite ends of the nutrition spectrum so the idea that you can turn cauliflower into bread seems a little zany, but it’s possible!  What’s even more crazy is that you can do it with just 3 ingredients!  This keto friendly, 3 Ingredient Cauliflower Bread is a delicious, healthy substitute for traditional wheat bread and is perfect for anyone looking to eat healthier, or reduce their carbohydrate intake by eliminating traditional wheat bread from their diets.  It’s got an awesome taste and texture and is guaranteed to satisfy even the most intense bread craving! (more…)

Almond Hemp Heart Bars

Soft and chewy no-bake snack bars that taste like candy and are packed with nutrients. 

JUMP TO RECIPE

Almond Hemp Heart Bars – Vegan, gluten-free, no-bake snack bars taste that like candy. Packed with nutrients and utterly delicious! | QueenofMyKitchen.com | #snackbar #snackbars #hemp #hemphearts #hempseeds #vegansnack #glutenfreesnack #snack

WHY MAKE YOUR OWN SNACK BARS?

There are a dizzying array of snack/protein bars on the market. A grocery store I was in recently had almost an entire aisle filled with bars, each with a different marketing angle and in flavors so appetizing you would have thought they were candy bars, and indeed, they looked like candy bars! The colorful packages boasted the amount of protein, fiber, and sugar in each bar with, in most cases, ingredient labels a mile long.  There are some good products amidst this crowded field, but for the average person, it’s hard to decipher what’s truly healthy and what’s not. Some weird sounding ingredients are perfectly harmless while others should be avoided, despite any nutrition claims on the package. One day, several years ago, I found myself standing in one of these jam-packed grocery store aisles looking at ingredient labels and googling words like “isomalto-oligosacharides”, “dextrin”, and “carnauba wax”.  That’s when I decided I’d had enough. Since then, I’ve been making my own snack bars and have never looked back. These Almond Hemp Heart Bars are my newest creation. They contain just 5 simple ingredients – ingredients you’ll actually recognize – but the best part is, they’re soft, chewy, and utterly delicious! (more…)

Super Simple Salmon Cakes

There are only 4 simple ingredients in these delicious seafood cakes made with convenient and healthy, canned, wild caught, sockeye salmon.  JUMP TO RECIPE

Super Simple Salmon Cakes - There are only 4 ingredients in these delicious seafood cakes made with convenient and healthy, canned, wild caught, sockeye salmon. | QueenofMyKitchen.com | #salmon #sockeyesalmon #cannedsalmon #healthy #4ingredients #seafood

CANNED FOOD DURING COVID-19

Visits to the grocery store during the age of COVID-19 have become a bit of an ordeal, so anything we can do to lengthen the time between shopping trips is smart and can lessen the amount of stress we experience during these very uncertain times. Early on in this pandemic I started stocking up on non-perishables (soup, beans, pasta, marinara, and canned fish) and as the crisis has dragged on, this strategy has paid off, and, oddly enough, given me a newfound appreciation for canned foods. One of the healthiest canned foods you can buy is wild caught sockeye salmon, which is what I used to make these 4-ingredient Super Simple Salmon Cakes. (more…)

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cake

An easy-to-make gluten-free, grain-free cake made with canned chickpeas. The perfect clean eating dessert!  JUMP TO RECIPE

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cake - An easy-to make gluten-free, grain-free cake made with canned chickpeas. The perfect clean eating dessert! | QueenofMyKitchen.com | #chickpeas #garbanzobeans #glutenfree #glutenfreedessert #chocolatechip #healthydessert #grainfree

STOCKING UP ON CANNED FOODS

Stocking up on essential food items has been a popular topic lately as we all deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. We’re supposed to minimize our trips to the grocery store but still keep our families well-fed. What makes this difficult is that we need more food now than before, as we’re all eating at home – no more work/school lunches or dinners out. Sweet treats are important too because let’s face it, we need comfort during this difficult time. One thing that can help you balance these demands is to stock up on canned foods. This might not sound very logical or appealing but it’s actually an excellent strategy as long as you make healthy canned food choices. (Yes, indeed this Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cake is made with a canned food item!) Check out this article – Canned Foods Nutritionists Swear By. (more…)

Spinach Shamrock Crackers

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with these healthy, festive, gluten-free crackers. Delicious dipped in hummus.   JUMP TO RECIPE

March 17th has always been a special holiday in Boston because our city was the site of the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the 1760’s after an influx of Irish immigrants descended upon our shores. Sadly, for the first time in 260 years, there’ll be no parade tomorrow due to the coronavirus outbreak. The usual festivities will have to wait till next year, but if you’re looking for some small way to celebrate (and something to snack on while you’re hunkered down) then whip up a batch of these healthy and delicious Spinach Shamrock Crackers.  The three leaves of a shamrock are said to stand for faith, hope, and love – something we all need in abundance right now! (more…)