This is a refrigerator cheesecake; no baking needed!  It takes only about ten minutes until the filling is set enough to serve. This one has a rhubarb topping, but use whatever you like on the top!  The cheesecake can be made gluten-free, and this version is sweetened with honey.  It can even be dairy-free if you have a nondairy substitute for cream cheese; use any milk you prefer in place of the milk called for in this recipe.
This makes one 8x8 pan or one 8" pie pan.  Pick your shape.  :)

Crust:
3/4 c. quick-cooking oats (GF if needed)
1/4 c. oat flour (whirl oats in the blender until powdered)
2 Tbsp. coconut oil (melted) or butter
1 Tbsp. honey, liquid

Stir all four ingredients together, then press into the bottom of an 8x8 pan or up the sides then along the bottom of an 8" pie plate.  Put it in the freezer to firm up while you make the filling.

Filling:
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. lemon juice (fresh is best)
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla1/2 cup evaporated milk, half-and-half, or whipping cream (or coconut cream)
2 Tbsp. Ultra Gel

Beat the cream cheese until softened, then mix in the honey, lemon juice, salt, and vanilla; beat until smooth.  Gradually add the  milk/cream and Ultra Gel; beat until thick and fluffy.  Spread evenly over the chilled crust.  Let chill for at least 5-10 minutes away if you like. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Lemon Topping:  1/4 c. lemon marmalade (use this recipe, substituting lemons for orange), thinned with just enough water to make it a sauce.

Rhubarb Topping:
1 c. chopped rhubarb (about 1 big stalk)
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp. honey, to taste

Combine in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave for two minutes; stir.  Repeat until the rhubarb is soft.  Mash and taste to see if it's sweet/tart enough for you.  
 
 
Warm, chocolatey, just sweet enough, high fiber, and with little pockets of gooey melted chocolate chips!   My sister-in-law posted a similar recipe on Facebook.  It sounded delicious and had very little added sugar.  The original recipe called for applesauce instead of oil, but I'm a fan using healthy fats alongside carbohydrates so that my kids and I aren't hungry again an hour after breakfast!  It helps you process the fiber in these, too.

Chocolate Fudge Banana Muffins - makes 12
(can be gluten-free and dairy-free)

3 medium bananas, very ripe, mashed (about 1 cup)
2 eggs
1/4 brown sugar
1/4 c. oil or melted butter (I like coconut oil in these)
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 c. oat flour (or you can use all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
chocolate chips, optional (1/4- 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.  
Whisk together eggs and brown sugar.  Mix in the oil, cocoa powder, and vanilla.  Mix the dry ingredients and add to the wet.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide between the muffin cups; bake about 17-23 minutes, or until the top of a muffin springs back lightly when gently pressed.
 
 
See the bottom of this post for photos on making the heart-swirl pattern.

A friend of mine has to avoid dairy, wheat, and oats- and we were going to be together at a potluck lunch on Thursday.  The pumpkin cheesecake last week (for a different group) was such a hit I decided to adapt it so she could enjoy it too.  But with a bit of chocolate.  Like pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies.

I wanted it to be relatively inexpensive- no quart of coconut yogurt! -that stuff's pricey. Coconut milk and coconut cream, sure.  I have that on hand.  
No recipes using those appeared to be online anywhere, though I found the chocolate-version crust here.  There were some cashew-puree based ones- but not only did I not have time to soak nuts, but wanted this to be a recipe even the nut-allergic could use. So I started with my tried-and-true 'normal' recipe, and adapted. And I was willing to buy one 6-oz cup of coconut yogurt to put in the (optional) topping. 
You won't taste the apple cider vinegar, but it adds both the tartness and savoriness you'd get from cream cheese. If you have 2 (14-oz) cans coconut milk and a 19-oz can of coconut cream, that will be exactly enough for the filling, the topping, and the ganache.

If you want to use honey in the filling instead of sugar, use just 1 cup honey plus 1 Tbsp.  Since this also adds about 1/4 cup of water, add about a tablespoon additional pumpkin powder OR a tablespoon oat or coconut flour so the cheesecake won't be too soft.

Gluten free, dairy free Pumpkin Cheesecake
Crust:
1 c. fine-shred coconut, toasted
1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 ½ Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ Tbsp. cocoa powder 

Stir together and press firmly onto the bottom of a 9” springform pan.  Set aside.  
For a fall-spice crust instead of chocolate, omit cocoa powder, and instead use                 ½ tsp. cinnamon + ¼ tsp. cloves + ½ tsp. ginger

Filling:
1 1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4  tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. (slightly heaped 1/3 c.) pumpkin powder
2 (14-oz) cans coconut milk
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 c. coconut cream

Mix all together, in order.  Don’t overmix or whip air into it, or it may crack while baking.  Bake at 350 F for  75-90 minutes in a water bath, until center jiggles like Jello and internal temperature is 145-150 F.  Cool in oven or on counter, then chill, covered, in fridge 4 hours or more.

Rum-flavor Topping:
1 cup coconut cream, well chilled
½ cup coconut yogurt
½ cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. rum extract

Whip cream until just beginning to thicken; add all else and whip.  Spread over chilled cheesecake.

Chocolate Ganache drizzle:
¼ c. (1 ½ oz) dairy-free chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. coconut cream or coconut milk

Heat gently to melt chocolate chips; whisk until smooth.  Drizzle on cheesecake.
 
 
These have fiber, protein, and much lower in sugar than almost any baked treat!  And they really are good.  My family snarfed down this batch. 
Besides all that, they're also wheat-free and dairy-free.

Healthy Peanut Butter-Chocolate-Banana Bars


1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (one can, drained and rinsed)
2 eggs
2 ripe medium bananas
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. brown sugar or honey (1/2 c sugar. if you like things on the sweeter side)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1/3 c. chocolate chips (the darker the better)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Put the beans, eggs, bananas, peanut butter, brown sugar, and vanilla in a food processor or high-powered blender.  Run until very smooth.  Stir in the baking powder, salt and oats.  Spread in a greased 8x8 pan then sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Bake 30 minutes or til test done with a toothpick.  Cool at least 15 minutes before cutting.  These are even better the next day.

For a variation on this, substitute pumpkin puree for the banana, increase sugar/honey to 1/2 c., replace almond or cashew butter for the peanut butter, then add 1-2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice.
 
 
A few years ago, I opened up the Foods section of my local newspaper and spotted a recipe called "Just-the-Best Cookies".  The version there was intended to be a healthier one, having reduced the nuts, coconut, and switching to oil instead of butter.  Well, I've reduced the sugar and changed it to use honey, then added back the bigger amount of coconut and nuts, since we know now that healthy fats are, well, healthy!  In moderation. And I love the crunch and flavor of coconut and nuts.

We have two breakfast times at my house- one for my highschoolers and husband, who have to be out the door by 6:45, and one for the rest of us, because some of them leave at 8:00 for the elementary school and Jr-High.  These cookies make a fantastic, no-work breakfast for that earlier group- I make a batch, put them in a big ziplock bag after cooling, and pop them into the freezer. Then my early group can even grab and go, when needed.

These cookies are high in fiber as well, and lower in sugar than most.  Two cookies are about the same nutritionally as one homemade, normal-sized muffin, and much better for you than commercially-made muffins!  Two made without raisins contain 16 grams of sugar, which is less than you'd get in a bowl of cereal with milk. Especially if you count the size bowl my teenagers think is a serving.  (I keep hiding the bigger bowls...)

Enjoy!

Just-the-Best Breakfast Cookies
1/2 c. coconut oil or butter
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. water
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. quick-cooking oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 c. chopped pecans or other nuts, optional
1/2 c. chopped raisins, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or spray two cookie sheets.  In a large bowl, beat together coconut oil and honey, then mix in egg, vanilla, and water.  Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt and mix well.  Stir in coconut, nuts, and raisins.
Roll into 1 1/2" balls, a little larger than a ping-pong ball.  Place on cookie sheet, flatten slightly, and bake for about 12 minutes.  Let the cookies cool 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a cooling rack. Makes about 36.

To make breakfast bars instead, spread all the dough onto one well-greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for probably 25 minutes.  I don't know for sure because the idea popped into my head just now...    Cool and cut into whatever size bars you like.                                

 


 
 
Picture
I buy rolled oats by the 25- or 50-pound bag when they're on sale; they're MUCH cheaper that way, and yes, I do actually use that many.  Eventually. 

Last week I bought 50 pounds of oats for $24, which made them $ .48/lb. 

They got divided into food-storage buckets- a 5-gallon bucket will only fit about 15 pounds of oats, labeled, put in a cool & dark place in my house (under beds and in closets can be good).  Then I will refill a container in the kitchen whenever needed. 

They're great for cooking at breakfast, of course, and homemade granola (see recipe in the free "Starter Cookbook" or in The Chameleon Cook), in apple crisp topping (also in both books)... but what else?

Start with rolled oats or quick-cooking oats.  Put about 2 cups of these in a blender.  Cover and run on high for about a minute. 

Ta-da!  Oat flour.  This is great for either the gluten-free cook who can tolerate oats*, or for the rest of us who just like moist and tender baked goods.

Now, what can you do with it?

Use it in yeast bread- about 1/4 cup of this to replace the same amount of wheat flour per each loaf in the recipe.  Oats help make bread moist.  One really delicious version is to not only use the oats, but substitute orange juice for half of the water. 

Quick breads- including pancakes, waffles, biscuits, muffins, and more.  Oats don't have any gluten, so your finished food will be more tender, less tough.  Just don't substitute more than half of the total amount of flour.  For example, in a muffin recipe calling for 2 cups flour, you could use 1 cup of oat flour and one cup of regular flour, or 1/2 cup oat flour and 1 1/2 cups regular flour.  Adding the oat flour will make your regular flour act more like pastry flour.

Mix into cakes and cookies for the same reason as for quick breads, keep the same kind of ratios in mind for best results.  If you want to get the very best results, WEIGH out your flour; the oat flour is a little fluffier or less dense than wheat flour.  You would use just over 5 ounces oat flour for each cup of regular flour you're substituting for.

Use it for 'instant oatmeal' (scroll down to bottom of page) for breakfasts: the pieces are so small, they absorb the water super-fast! in Add it to soups or stews to thicken them.  You can do the same with quick oats, but the oat flour soaks in and disappears much faster!

*Most gluten-intolerant people can handle oats just fine, and others can't.  It seems to actually depend on the variety of oat- there's an excellent article on this at http://ultimateglutenfree.com/2011/06/getting-closer-to-gluten-free-oats/  Buying "Gluten-Free" oats gives you an extra layer of protection; I've seen, myself, batches of oats that had a few wheat kernals mixed in.  The processing machines can't tell the difference, and sometimes a little wheat grows- as a weed- in oat fields!

My sister, who has to cook gluten-free all the time, has a favorite easy, hearty-wholegrain flour blend: equal parts oat flour and lentil flour.  Lentils grind fairly easily in a blender, too.  See here for her post on the flours she uses most often.