Rachel's blog, rachlmansfield.com, had me drooling at the mouth - double chocolate chunk banana bread bars, vegan peanut butter scones with dark chocolate drizzle and baked strawberry french toast all greeted me on the homepage looking dreamy and irresistible. All of Rachel's recipes are not only healthy but gluten free and dairy free too, meaning they will make you feel fantastic too! Double win!
A dessert lover living in Manhattan, Rachel has gained a massive following on social media sharing her home-made recipes which will satisfy even the sweetest tooth. She prides herself on using minimal ingredients and insists only basic cooking skills are necessary.
Read on to learn more about the Queen of desserts...
AM: What inspired you to get into clean, healthy eating?
RM: When I was a junior in college I started paying more attention to what I was eating and putting into my body. Once I graduated from school (and the dining hall, ha!) I learned how to cook. At the time I was living with my boyfriend/now husband and his mom also was interested in clean eating. She taught me how to cook and it just continued to spiralize from there.
|Rachel's Paleo chocolate chip banana bread... OMG|
AM: Favorite breakfast recipe?
RM: Eek. Tough question! It definitely depends on my mood/how much time I have in the morning. I love having a bowl of paleo granola with almond milk and bananas for something simple. I also love making some of my flourless pancakes if time allows, the peanut butter ones are my favorite.
|Flourless peanut butter pancakes... we know what we're having for breakfast tomorrow!|
AM: Go-to dessert for friends coming over
RM: Lately anything s’mores focused. I love making Dark Chocolate S’mores Pizza.
|Dark chocolate s'mores pizza|
AM: Biggest cooking disaster
RM: Oh my gosh any coconut flour pancakes. I once wasted a dozen eggs trying to nail the perfect recipe! Eventually I tested one that worked but the struggle was real.
AM: Most of your recipes are refined sugar free, gluten free and and dairy free, why does cutting these foods out make us feel so good?
RM: As someone who has to eat dessert every single day, eating foods that were heavy with refined sugars, flours, heavy butters just didn’t make me feel good. Once I started making recipes that had coconut sugar or almond flour, oat flour etc. I truly felt a difference. You don’t have that food coma feeling after and you digest it so much better. You also just don’t feel guilty! I personally love gluten and digest it well but I like to make sure my recipes can be gluten-free friendly so anyone can enjoy! I do some dairy but try to do goat’s or sheep’s milk when I do as I personally digest it better and so does my husband.
|Rachel's strawberry rhubarb cupcakes are the perfect sweet treat|
AM: You pride yourself on making delicious recipes with minimal ingredients what one ingredient could you not live without?
RM: Coconut oil!
AM: Health foods tend to be a little bit pricey, do you have any tips to stick to a budget when using your recipes?
RM: I wish! I spend way too much money at Whole Foods but it doesn’t bother me. At first I was paranoid but thought about it and I would rather spend $4 a day on Kombucha than coffee. Plus there is no better place to invest than in your health.
AM: We all have our guilty pleasures, what’s yours when all healthy eating goes out the window?
RM: All comes back to dessert. I am a sucker for my Mom’s chocolate chip mandel bread recipe. Made with all purpose flour, real sugar, etc. I house about 3 of them at a time, then I feel sick after but it’s worth it once in a while :) I dip them in almond milk and it’s my comfort food.
AM: I read you lived in Italy for 4 months when you were in College which is every foodies dream! What is your favorite Italian dish to recreate?
RM: PIZZA! I’m not a pasta lover (weird, I know) but pizza is a favorite of mine and my husband.
AM: Who inspires you?
RM: My family.
AM: What dish is next on your list to create a healthy version of?
RM: Carmelitas. One of my best friends is obsessed and I want to make one that is lighter and cleaner. It will be my first time making one in general.
AM: Top health food spots in New York?
|The Butcher's Daughter in Nolita. Photograph by grandlifehotels.com|
AM: If you could cook for anyone, past or present, who would it be?
RM: My grandmother who passed away a few years ago. She made the best cookies ever and loved cooking for everyone! She would have loved what I am doing.
AM: Favorite way to spend your Sunday
RM: Wake up with J and go to a workout class (Flywheel Sports or Barre3). Walk endlessly around the city and go out for dinner just us two and maybe have a martini or two. Then watch The Affair or Billions if they are in season. Sunday’s are meant for lovers. Cliche but I always joke with Jord that we have to spend every Sunday night together, it sets a tone for the week ahead.