Autumnal Pumpkin Pie (dairy free, sugar free, gluten free)

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My husband loves pumpkin pie. And so do I. In fact, it is one of my favorite breakfasts when we have it–easy and ready to go! Sweet and a bit savory at the same time, with protein from the eggs, it fill me up in more ways than one; it is truly a comfort food. I even like to add a scoop of plain, whole milk yogurt over the top or on the side for a truly filling and decadent meal.

It is Halloween today, and I feel like making a pumpkin pie! It is chilly out, the leaves are falling from the trees in crunchy hues of brown, gold and orange, and pumpkins from our garden (self-seeded and delightfully surprising!) are lined up in a row on our front porch railing. It is most definitely Fall! And I love Fall time, full of pumpkins and harvests, rich, earthy colors painting the landscapes, warm sweaters that button up to my chin, breezes and rains, costumes, and of course, pumpkin pie…

My husband is in luck today. With my little Hummingbird and Spider off at school, I will make a pie and enjoy the warm coziness and delicious smells it inspires!

Autumnal Pumpkin Pie

1 can organic pumpkin purée (or about 1 1/2 cups of fresh pumpkin purée) *

(*Note: amended from original version) 3/4 cup organic coconut milk (or, for dairy version, use 3/4 cup whole milk)

3 eggs

1/4 cup xylitol, honey, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar or sweetener of choice (can omit & use only stevia for a completely sugar-free version, or use xylitol with stevia)

1 tsp liquid stevia

2 tsps cinnamon (*amended)

1/2 tsp ground ginger (*amended)

1/4 tsp cardamom (*amended)

Optional: 1/2 tsp allspice

Optional: 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Optional: 1/4 tsp ground cloves

*Don’t have pumpkin? Use sweet potato or winter squash instead!

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Pour into your favorite prepared pie crust (I love this one) and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until the center is firm though still jiggly. Let cool before serving. Enjoy this taste of Autumn.

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P.S. Somehow my crust recipe did not make enough to fit this pie! That is why you do not see a crust edge–but it’s in there, just hiding!

Snickerdoodle Molasses Cookies (grain free, egg free, sugar free, dairy free)

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I was inspired to try my hand at some snickerdoodle-type cookies after reading the recipe on Elana’s Pantry. Her recipes are so wonderful because they are all gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, and very simple! I love simple recipes. I have a tendency to turn away from overly complicated ones, especially when there are more than something like ten ingredients on the list (I know, it’s my short-attention span-driven mind!). Plus, I’m always altering recipes, so I really just like a blueprint: give me the basic formula structure-wise, and I will free-form the rest! So that’s what I did with Elana’s Pantry’s recipe here–I took her basic recipe and added some spices, some molasses, exchanged oils, etc. I’m sure I will come up with new variations as I go along! And I was surprised that these did not need eggs–they held together just fine and tasted delicious. In fact, both of my children loved them–so I’m making them again tonight!

Snickerdoodle Molasses Cookies

• 2 cups almond flour

• 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil

• 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

• 1/4 tsp liquid stevia or 1 tbsp honey or 2 tbsp zylitol (optional)

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 1 tsp cinnamon

• 1/4 tsp ginger

• 1/4 tsp sea salt

• 1/4 tsp baking soda

For dipping, in a bowl mix together:

• 1 tbsp cinnamon

• 1 tbsp zylitol or coconut palm sugar

Cream butter or coconut oil with molasses in a stand mixer or food processor.

Add in everything but the almond flour and mix well.

Add the almond flour until well-combined. The dough should come together in a ball. (If not, that’s ok, too!).

Take by the tablespoon and roll into balls.

Roll balls around in a bowl of dipping mixture (cinnamon + sugar/zylitol) until thoroughly coated.

Place balls on a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper, and press flat with your open palm or the bottom of a flat glass to desired thickness.

Bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes, or until golden and done.

Let cool and enjoy!

Easy Blender Pancakes (grain free, dairy free, sugar free)

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These are my go-to breakfast pancakes for my kids. They’re super easy to whip up with just a few simple ingredients, and I love that everything gets put together in a blender and they’re ready to go! The ingredients are also flexible, so use what you’ve got on hand in terms of seeds/nuts, veggies and fruit.

Here is the basic recipe that was inspired long ago by the pancake recipes on the Pecanbread website. This is a wonderful resource for information on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, autism, digestive issues, and helping to heal the gut through diet.

Easy Blender Pancakes

Ingredients:

2/3 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds, preferably soaked in water for up to 6 hours, then dehydrated if not using right away (can also use any nuts of choice here)

3 eggs, organic or pasture-raised preferably

1 small zucchini or about 1/2 of a large one

1 banana

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

Optional spices: 1/2 tsp cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, ground fennel or anise seeds; 1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt or similar high-mineral, unrefined sea salt

1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

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Directions:

Add everything to a blender (I use my Magic Bullet for convenience, but any blender will do) and blend until smooth. If the batter seems too watery, add some more seeds or nuts until it has a consistency you like. If it is too thick, you may add some melted coconut oil or other oil of choice, or a little bit of water.

Heat up an iron skillet or griddle pan, melting a pat of ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil to coat the surface. Pour on the batter to make small, peach-sized pancakes (about 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter). Any bigger and you may have trouble flipping them, though I sometimes can get away with larger pancakes just fine!

These are fun, kid-size pancakes that can be eaten with or without a fork, picked up by little hands for breakfast and/or snacks. My children like them with organic coconut oil (I buy mine here ) and our own cinnamon-honey mixture made with local, raw honey.

*Some options:

In place of zucchini, use about 1/2 cup of any veggie of choice.

In place of banana, use 1/2 cup cooked winter squash or pumpkin, and add in some sweetener of choice (stevia, honey, agave, etc, to taste).

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Carob Ginger Coconut Milk Ice Cream (dairy free, sugar free)

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It was hot here today! I mean, 105-degrees-as-monitored-by-my-car-in-the-sun kind of hot! In actuality it only reached about 93°, but when I picked up my kids from school my youngest asked if we could make ice cream when we got home. I happily said yes, as I’d had the ice cream bowl chilling in the freezer for weeks and it was more than ready for some ice cream action, and I had two cans of coconut milk left in the pantry. After a forty-five minute delay in which I cleaned the dirty dishes in the kitchen and searched high and low for the mysteriously missing components of the ice cream maker, I finally found them and my daughter helped me measure the ingredients into the blender. She and her brother wanted chocolate, but they agreed to carob since I thought it might be too near to bedtime for the caffeine in chocolate. Plus, chocolate tends to make my daughter and I rather grumpy, and I wasn’t in the mood for grumpiness. It came out delicious! Better than imagined… And both kids agreed it was my best ice cream ever.

So here it is.

Carob Ginger Coconut Milk Ice Cream

2 cans full-fat coconut milk

1/2 cup carob powder or chocolate

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup raw (unheated) honey (or maple syrup)

1 tsp stevia sweetener (I used liquid)

1 tsp powdered ginger

2 tbsps Great Lakes Kosher Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate (optional)*

Optional: about 1/2 cup of small chopped candied ginger pieces

* I use this gelatin mixed into drinks for the benefits of collagen and an extra protein boost. I use it here for these benefits as well, plus to help keep the ice cream slightly softer after freezing. Regular gelatin can be used as well. For more on the benefits of gelatin, see here and here.

Directions:

Add the ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Put the mixture into your ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions or, alternately, put it into a wide freezable container with a lid and freeze for at least several hours. Then scoop out and enjoy!

I actually couldn’t taste the ginger in this, but knowing it was in there gave me a gingery comfort (ginger is such a wonderful, good-for-us spice!). I would love to try out other spice combinations as well, and think that cardamom would be heavenly! I love the richness of carob/chocolate with intense spices… I wonder how a bit of cayenne would taste added in, maybe 1/8 of a teaspoon, or some chipotle pepper powder…? The spice possibilities are endless. If you make this with other spice combinations, let me know how it turns out!

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No-Bake Coconut Cream Cheesecake (sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free)

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It’s already feeling like the end of summer, and this is definitely a summer dessert! The kids are now back in school, which marks the beginning of Fall for me (plus, the leaves are changing colors and have begun to fall from the trees), so obviously I have been lagging big-time on my blog… I made this twice over the summer, the first time without gelatin so it came out softer and less firm than a regular cheesecake, but it was still delicious! Sort of like a cream pie of sorts, but very rich and dense. I actually made this in a pie dish, so you could call it a pie if you’d like :).

My version uses dairy in the form of cream cheese, but I give some options to make this entirely dairy-free. My kids don’t do well with dairy so this wasn’t a dessert for them (my son wouldn’t have touched it anyway, but my daughter might have shown some interest if it hadn’t been covered in berries). So I indulged myself and used the real stuff! In doing that, I also must add that this is not a low-calorie dessert and as I couldn’t stop eating it, I felt it in my waistline… But it was sooo worth it! Yum…

No-Bake Coconut Cream Cheesecake

Ingredients:

2 cans of chilled full-fat coconut milk, cream only

2 packages of cultured cream cheese (for dairy-free version, use equal amount cultured coconut cream; see recipe here)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I’ve been using my homemade vanilla extract and it’s wonderful!)

2 teaspoons liquid stevia extract, or sweetener to taste (some other options: 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup or agave syrup if not dealing with yeast overgrowth/candida issues, adding in some stevia if a sweeter taste is desired; or 1/2 cup of xylitol or erythritol.)

1 1/2 tablespoons pastured gelatin (Bernard Jensen or Great Lakes brands)

Directions:

Put two cans of full-fat coconut milk, preferably organic, in the refrigerator the night before you are to make this. If you forget, you may chill them in the freezer for maybe half an hour to forty five minutes or so. Take them out and open the cans, gathering only the cream which should be firm and chilled, and empty this into a stand mixer or a large bowl, or even a food processor. I’m easy! Use what you’ve got I say :). (I find the best coconut milk to use for this recipe is from Native Forest or Thai Kitchen.)

Add in the two packages of cream cheese, vanilla extract, and stevia or other sweetener(s).

Put aside about 1/4 cup or less of the coconut water leftover from the cans of coconut milk and add in the gelatin. Stir to thoroughly mix. Then gently heat over a double boiler or by any other means but microwaving–please don’t do this!–until the gelatin in completely dissolved. Then add this into you mixing bowl. Blend well, either with your stand mixer, a hand mixer, a whisk or your food processor until totally smooth and creamy.

Pour into your prepared crust–I used this Grain-Free Honey Graham Cracker Pie Crust–and let chill in the refrigerator for at least six hours or preferably overnight. When you’re ready to eat it, gently top with about two cups of fresh berries–I used blackberries and blueberries–so yummy! The berries can also be added before it has been chilled, just after pouring into the pie or cake dish.

Some other variations and flavor ideas:

• Use thin slices of fresh peaches or nectarines in place of the berries.

• Add in 1 teaspoon ground cardamom or ground anise seeds for a different kind of spiced cheesecake.

• Top with alternating circular rows of sliced bananas and strawberries for a sweet, colorful desert.

•Make up your own toppings or added spices/natural flavorings! Let us know what you try in the comments so we all can benefit! 🙂

Oatmeal Spice Cookies

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I’ve fallen off the bandwagon again folks and left off posting for awhile… I didn’t know if anyone was paying attention anyway, but that’s not really the point now is it? When I started this blog I told myself I needed a way to compile and organize the recipes I create and use all of the time–because I have a tendency to make everything from scratch and have no idea how to replicate the good ones! I still do this as my default and on instinct; following a recipe exactly is not in my nature. It’s a creative act for me: cooking is creating anew.

But….sometimes I do wish I had that one recipe written down! In fact, I wish there was a recipe. So I am venturing into somewhat unknown territory as I attempt to pin myself down to exact measurements and particular ingredients. And my hope is that by doing this, you will have some useful recipes to try out as well!

So this is one that I came up with about a month ago and meant to share sooner. I don’t usually cook with oatmeal as I find it to be a blood-sugar challenge (it is high on the glycemic index and makes me tired), but I had a craving for oatmeal cookies and happened to have some gluten-free oats in my cupboard, so this is what I came up with. *Note: I highly recommend soaking all grains, seeds and nuts for usually at least six hours to reduce the enzyme-inhibiting properties of these plant “seeds.” In this recipe, however I used the oats dry and without first soaking as a “special” treat that was closer to oatmeal cookies made with wheat.

Oatmeal Spice Cookies
(sugar free, gluten free, dairy free)

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour
2 cups gluten-free oats
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil (room temp or melted)
1 tbs honey
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 teaspoon clear liquid stevia
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp ground ginger

In a mixing bowl add coconut oil, vanilla extract, applesauce, stevia and honey and blend well. Next add the eggs and blend. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until well blended and smooth.

Drop by the tablespoonful onto a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Bake
at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

These also make great larger scone-type cookies. Add in about a cup of sliced peaches, a big handful of blueberries or blackberries, two sliced pears, or some raisins or juice-sweetened dried cranberries for delicious scones!

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Molasses Spice Cookie Bites (grain free, sugar free, dairy free)

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I’ve been sitting on these since June 8th, when I emailed myself the recipe! My apologies for my instinctual procrastination kicking in… I will work on lighting a wee-bitty fire under my bottom to get myself moving!

I made these to share at a potluck birthday party, hence the bite-size. They’re great little high-protein snacks, and grain-free “paleo” to boot! Wonderful to keep in a bowl on the counter for hungry people looking for a quick and filling snack (like children).

Molasses Spice Cookie Bites (grain free, sugar free, dairy free)

4 cups nut/seed flour combo (coffee grinders are wonderful for grinding nuts and seeds into flours!)

I used:
2 cups ground sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup ground sesame seeds

1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 tbsp ground anise seeds
1 tbsp ground ginger root
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
Stevia extract to taste, about 1 tsp liquid
1/4 cup Molasses
1 egg

Mix everything together in a stand mixer. Take spoonfuls and roll into small balls, then flatten slightly and put on a non-stick or lined baking sheet (with parchment paper or a silicone mat). Bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until they are ever so golden and just slightly crunchyish.

Let cool and store in the fridge in a covered container, or on the counter is fine for a few hours. Pop in your mouth and enjoy!

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