Nateur Cooking with Tonya Papanikolov: Chaga Cinnamon Buns

Nateur Cooking with Tonya Papanikolov: Chaga Cinnamon Buns

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. It’s still possible to indulge in your favorite foods, while nourishing your body at the same time. Here we share clean versions of delicious recipes that will leave you feeling and looking incredible and not to mention, insanely satisfied!

Name: Tonya Papanikolov

Instagram: @tonyapapanikolove and @rainbomushrooms

Job description: Founder & CEO of Rainbo, Holistic Nutritionist, Kundalini yoga teacher (in training!)

Favorite dish to serve at a dinner party: Raw vegan tacos

Favorite skin food ingredient and why: Aloe vera used both internally in smoothies and externally as a face mask – instant and noticeable hydration, depuffing, cooling, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing when I put it on my face.

It’s also so great for healing the gut when you consume the inner leaf internally.

Top three Instagram accounts for inspiration: @cheftarathomas @sophia_roe @amandanorgaard_

Must-have cookbook: My New Roots and Ketotarian

Top three kitchen supplies you can’t live without: Lue brass flatware, Vitamix, Berkey Water Filter

Three things you always keep in your refrigerator: Kale, shiitakes, Rainbo’s Forest Juice

Favorite online shop for kitchen supplies and / or specialty food items: Tortoise General Store

Go-to quick, healthy meal: Smoothie or salad

Favorite healthy treat: A piece of dark cacao at night

Skincare mantra: I have two! 

STAY HYDRATED – 3L of water a day does wonders for keeping the skin plump, bouncy, and thriving throughout the seasons. Plus, it helps everything else function optimally. 

MORE IS MORE – I love skincare and I love the whole ritual and regime, I’m all about coming to bed with the shiniest, oiled-up, massaged, yummiest smelling skin, every night. More is more means that it’s okay to invest in my skincare regime (facials, acupuncture, clean products, etc.) and to make time for myself (exercise, dry-brushing, exfoliating, baths, moisturizer, massage etc.) and that the foods I eat have a direct correlation with my skin health (greens, chlorophyll, fruits and veggies, plant proteins) and to eat more of these things!

Eat this recipe for: Sunday morning when you’re craving a cinnamon bun in bed and your gluten free but dreaming of the scent of cinnamon buns filling the house, so you make it your way!

Recipe: Chaga Cinnamon Buns



  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil, cold
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar


  • 3/4 cup chaga tea
  • 2 tbsp forest juicemaple syrup infused with medicinal mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (Fleischmann’s active dry original)


  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup dates, soaked
  • 1 tbsp Indonesian Ceylon cinnamon (the real stuff!)

 Cashew Glaze:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked 8 hours
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • 5 droppers 11:11 tincture
  • 1 tbsp forest juicemaple syrup infused with medicinal mushrooms, or to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and oil a round baking dish. Set aside.

Heat chaga tea on the stovetop to the temperature of warm bath water - approximately 110 degrees F (43 degrees C). Be careful not to exceed that temperature or it can kill the yeast.

To the chaga tea, add the coconut oil and maple syrup and stir melt. Then add yeast and stir once more. Set aside (uncovered) for 10 minutes, or until it appears puffy on the surface (this indicates the yeast is activating. If it hasn’t activated at this point, either your yeast has expired, or the liquid was too hot or not hot enough).

Meanwhile in a medium mixing bowl whisk together gluten free flour blend (including xanthan gum), almond flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, and sea salt. Then add cold coconut oil and use a fork or pastry cutter to mix or “cut” into the dry mixture. It should resemble the texture of wet sand.

To the dry ingredients, add the chaga tea-yeast mixture a little at a time and stir. A dough that resembles moist (not crumbly) cookie dough should form. Add more of the wet mixture as needed. If it gets too wet and tacky (you should be able to form it into a ball when rolled), add more almond flour or GF flour blend. Set aside.

Get a large cutting board and place a silicon baking sheet down on it. Then dust the surface generously with gluten-free flour.

Add the dough in the center of the board and sprinkle with more gluten-free flour. Then top with a sheet of parchment paper and tuck down around the edges of the cutting board (so it stays in place). Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large, thin rectangle. The dough should be about 1/8th-inch thick.

Carefully remove the top layer of paper and brush on the coconut oil. Then spread the date and cinnamon and spread gently with fingers to evenly distribute. Then, using the bottom layer of silicon sheet from the cutting board and use it to tightly roll the dough lengthwise into a cylinder.

Use a serrated knife or floss to cut into even rolls. Then carefully transfer to the prepared pie dish or cake pan (they can be fragile to transfer). 

Cover a towel and set on top of the warm oven and let rise for about 30 minutes, or until the rolls have risen slightly and are touching (or close to touching) - they won’t get as voluminous as gluten-containing rolls, but they will puff up a bit!

Remove the towel and place the rolls on the center rack of your oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls have risen/expanded quite a bit. While the rolls bake, you can prepare a frosting / glaze (optional).

Let the rolls cool at least 20 minutes before frosting (optional), then enjoy! Store leftover rolls covered at room temperature up to 3-4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. See notes for make-ahead cinnamon rolls to store in the freezer (unbaked).