Gluten Free Swedish Cardamon Almond Rusks

My grandmother baked a lot around the holidays, filling the house with the smells of ginger, vanilla, rosettes, and cookies.  While baking gluten free versions of her recipes with my family now, I am drawn back to memories of her kitchen. The scents that are the strongest pull in my mind are almond and cardamon. My grandmother was from a Swedish family, so almond-flavored goodies kissed with cardamon were definitely a high point on the cookie tray. Grandma made the most wonderful cookie we called “Cardamon Toast.” It was a variation of Mandelskorpor, a Swedish almond rusk similar to biscotti. She always added cardamon to the traditional recipe, so I do, too.

Now that my family is gluten and dairy free, I make a different version with my kids. This grain free version is lovely with tea, eggnog, or a strong cup of Swedish coffee just like Grams would have liked. Crisp, and slightly sweet, the almond flavor really shines. I usually keep them plain, but for gifts or for Christmas, I might dress them up with a simple drizzle of vegan white chocolate or a tiny bit of powdered sugar glaze with a touch of almond flavoring.

Gluten Free Swedish Cardamon Almond Rusks are a wonderful snack to keep around during the holidays. They keep well, so they can be made ahead of time. With a stash on hand, you are ready with a treat for last-minute visits from friends and family. These lovely little crisps also travel well, making them perfect for gift giving. Continue reading

Apple Muesli Balls

These easy-to-make treats serve double duty as either a snack or a breakfast option when paired up with a smoothie or some scrambled eggs. If you’re traveling over the river and through the woods this holiday season, tuck a few of these Apple Muesli Balls in your bag for a quick snack that will kick your sweet tooth to the curb and fill you up at the same time.

When I bake, I try to pack in extra protein, fat, and fiber to make my baked goods more nutritious and satisfying. I drew inspiration for these treats from the classic concept of muesli, which is really just nothing more than oats, nuts and seeds, and dried fruit served with milk or yogurt. To add a little texture and extra sweetness, I added grated apple to the muesli balls. You could also try grated carrots (or zucchini when it’s in season).

Lord knows the last thing we need this time of year is another baked good recipe, but I think you’ll find that these treats are healthier than most. If you have company coming into town around the holidays, tuck a few muesli balls in the freezer and you’ll have a quick grab-and-go snack at the ready at all times.

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Carrot Cake Raw Bars (Gluten-Free and Vegan)

I love carrot cake! I love it in an unhealthy, you shouldn’t eat that much kind of way. Normally I will politely pass on a slice of carrot cake that is being offered to me because of my complete and total lack of self-control once I take a bite. I even made myself sick on a huge slice of gluten-free carrot cake recently at a restaurant here in Long Beach. I tell you, it is ridiculous and shameful. In my head I say ‘Meg, you shouldn’t keep eating that or you are going to feel horrible!’, but it doesn’t help. I just keep rationalizing, “One more bite!” Please, tell me other people have weaknesses like this that usually result in self scolding and total and utter frustration.

Over the course of the past few weeks, I have been putting my raw bar making skills to the test and have really focused on developing a raw bar that has all the flavors that I love in carrot cake, without the guilt that I associate with eating 3 slices in one sitting. These bars contain a whole host of ingredients that are good for my body, and I don’t have to worry if I eat more of these than I should. I have listed a  few of the ingredients I chose for these bars below and some fun nutritional facts about each one that will have you smiling when you eat them too!
Keep reading…

Peach French Toast Cups

While breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, it’s also often the most rushed and hurried. I’m fortunate enough to work from home, so I usually have time to prepare breakfast at my leisure. But honestly, most days I’m eager to get “up and at ‘em” and tackle a new list of things to do, so spending time in the kitchen first thing in the morning isn’t high on my list of delights.

No matter how you slice it, eating healthy requires at least some active cooking time in the kitchen. The trick is making that prep time work for you and squeezing it into your day when it’s most convenient, which is often not first thing in the morning. Preparing batches of granola, breakfast bread, mini egg bakes, chopped veggies for scrambles, slow cooker oatmeal, and fresh fruit salad in advance means that you’ll have an array of options at the ready to grab when you’re heading out the door or sending little ones off to school.

And I’ve got the just the recipe for you to add to your make-ahead breakfast repertoire. These Peach French Toast Cups are a twist on muffins that are equally delicious warm or cold. If you’re serving them right away, try them with a little maple syrup or applesauce on top with a green smoothie, some organic yogurt, or breakfast sausages on the side. If you’re on the run, just eat them straight from the fridge for a quick protein boost.

To make my French toast cups even higher in protein, I used this grain-free bread recipe that’s packed with fiber and healthy fats, but any gluten-free bread recipe will do. If you have old muffins, bread scraps, or dinner rolls in the freezer, simply thaw them out and repurpose them here for an innovative breakfast treat or after school snack!

More on-the-go recipes perfect for breakfast or snacks:

Peach French Toast Cups

Makes 12


  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 pound gluten-free bread (I used this grain-free recipe), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Coconut oil, for greasing the pan
  • 1 medium peach, pitted and thinly sliced


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, eggs, coconut sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt. Add the bread and stir to combine. Refrigerate, covered, for 2 hours (or overnight). Stir once or twice if possible during the chill time.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease 12 cups of a standard muffin pan with coconut oil. Divide the bread mixture among the greased muffin cups. Press the peach slices onto the tops of the French toast cups.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and set. Begin checking your French toast cups around 18 minutes, as different types of bread may absorb more liquid and therefore cook more quickly. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. (Leftover cups can be refrigerated and enjoyed cold or gently reheated.)

Hallie KleckerHallie Klecker is the author of Super Healthy Cookies and  The Pure Kitchen, both gluten- and dairy-free cookbooks focusing on fresh ingredients and whole foods. Her newest e-book, Crazy for Kale, makes use of kale in 40 creative ways. She is also the Editorial Content Manager for Simply Gluten Free Magazine. Hallie writes the recipe blog Daily Bites, where she shares her passion for cooking with whole, natural foods. Hallie is a certified Nutrition Educator and former personal chef. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Read all of Hallie’s posts here.

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