Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pistachio Chiffon Cake gluten free, dairy free

 This variation on an old classic is a luxurious cake to serve when you have guests. By utilizing an instant pudding mix, you can change the flavor dramatically. The tall stature and light fluffy texture of this cake is a winner. I even prefer this to angel food cake, as it has a depth in flavor and texture that makes angel food seem almost one dimensional by comparison. My sister in law just returned from France, and as she bit into her second piece of the day, she commented that she forgot she was eating a gluten free cake. The texture will fool anyone.
So, if you have a couple hours to spend in the kitchen, and someone to share with, this is worth the effort.

Ingredients for cake:

  • 9 eggs (separate whites from yolks, discard 3 yolks)
  • 2 cups Pamela's Artisan blend gluten free flour 
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 lightly rounded tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tsp pistachio instant pudding mix (or other instant pudding mix of choice)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar



Begin by separating the yolks from the whites into 2 bowls. Discard 3 yolks. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl (the glass bowl pictured) and make a well in the center. In a measuring cup, mix the 5 tsp of instant pudding mix with 3/4 cup of water. Add to the flour mix. Also add in the egg yolks, vanilla and mix well until smooth (3-4 minutes).

With clean beaters, bring the egg whites and cream of tartar to stiff peaks in a separate clean bowl. Beat on medium high until stiff peaks form. Fold the fluffy whites into the batter mixture. Folding does not need to be perfect (see photo of nearly finished folded batter to the right)

Pour into a fluted tube pan or angel food cake pan. I opted for a fluted tube pan, and I had a bit extra that I cooked in a separate glass dish. You can cut through the batter in a figure eight motion to eliminate air bubbles (this is done with a knife).

Fill LESS full than I did. You can see I filled mine to the brim, and the result was that it spilled over just a bit in baking. Fill 1/2 -1 inch under that line so there is room to grow. Bake at 325 degrees F for aprox 70 minutes. (check at 60). Cake is done when it springs back to touch and turns golden across the top. Flip upside down to cool (I used a bottle to hold the pan upside down). Cool completely before removing from pan. To remove, take a butter knife and loosen the cake around the sides, then tap from the upside down position until cake falls out onto your platter.

 Once the cake has cooled, I trim the fluffy over growth from the pan (the bottom, so to speak) and put that in a separate container to snack on later. The cake remains to be frosted. You can use a simple sugar icing, a whipped cream, or other. I opted for a basic shortening and powdered sugar frosting, but I added 5 tsp of instant pistachio pudding mix to 4 Tablespoons of almond milk and mixed that into the frosting blend. This enhances the mild pistachio flavor.

While this is more time consuming and less healthy than my average dessert, it is a wonderful cake for special occasions and for specialty flavor requests.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Pamela's Artisan Flour used in Cake - a wonderful gluten free dairy free review

My youngest decided to bake her first cake, completely on her own.  She jumped in with a tricky recipe, deciding to make an espresso chocolate chiffon cake. I didn't have high hopes for this beast turning out, but a wonderful friend and her daughter suggested the use of Pamela's Artisan blend flour for cake. We sampled a cake our friend made with this flour blend, and it was among the best gluten free cakes I had tried.

So, my daughter followed the standard Chiffon Cake recipe, only changing the flour 1:1 with Pamela's Artisan blend. The result? Perfection.  This particular recipe utilizes folded in egg whites, similar to an angel food cake, the the texture was spot on. Spongy, moist, and delightful.
Now that I am sold on this flour mix for the perfect gluten free dairy free cake, I will look froward to testing out some other recipes and comparing them with the new mix.

Thanks to Shannon and Ariadne for pointing us in the right direction!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Udi's Bread bring protein and fiber to the game Gluten free dairy free

In the world of gluten free eating, many people find themselves transitioning from refined wheat products to refined white rice and starch based gluten free products. The result is high sugar, low fiber, low protein. This combination is not ideal for a healing gut, or for long term health. In the past, I have praised breads for bringing a bit of fiber to the game, but Udi's is coming out with options that surpass previous companies, and I am very glad to see it.


First, the Millet Chia bread serving (2 small slices) contains :

  • 5g fiber, 
  • 2g sugar, 
  • 6g protein
This is a great balance and when you compare the vast majority of breakfast cereals or prepared gluten free breads, you'll find they typically contain far more sugar and far less fiber. Served with eggs, greens, and salsa, this would be a fantastic breakfast rotation item.

The other bread I have to sample is the Udi's Omega Flax & Fiber (serving is 2 small slices). This powerhouse carries with it

  • 6g of fiber, 
  • 3 g sugar, and 
  • 6g of protein per serving.  
This is so much better than many alternatives have been in the gluten free market over the past 10 years. I'm excited to see this. Udi's bread has a nice textures, and it toasts up great. It's convenient as you can pick it up at many locations (Target, Whole Foods, many more). While it doesn't taste as good as a homemade bread, the convenience and health components are hard to resist. The package boasts the 530mg of Omega 3, which sounds wonderful, but the Nutrition Educator in me has to question if your body receives that Omega 3, or if it has already broken down in the making and baking process? I don't know the answer to that, off hand, but I would be interested in researching that further.

The only other downside that I have to address is that some Udi's loaves come with large air bubbles in the bread, making it somewhat unusable. It doesn't happen with every loaf, but it happens sometimes.  Udi's is aware of this problem and they are working on fixing it.  In the meantime, if you have a loaf like that, save your plastic tag and information and just let them know via their comment section of their website for a replacement loaf. Hopefully their fixes will be made soon. In the meantime, enjoy your bread again! Just don't forget to balance it with fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins.  Not all Udi's products are dairy free, but these two are both gluten free and dairy free. Keep checking Udi's options for new and improved delights.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Cherry Almond Coconut Cookies SCD safe gluten free dairy free

The use of coconut flour instead of coconut flakes makes this batch crispier than the other SCD cookies on my site. If you're looking for a crispier grain free option that packs a flavorful punch, give this a try. This is a nice protein packed sweet snack option that travels well. It's specific carbohydrate compliant as well as grain free. Gluten free and dairy free, as always. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (or omit - chocolate chips added, sparingly, for my kids in the photo, though these cookies do not need it)
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil 
  • 1/2 cup honey or 1/4 Cup honey + 1/4 tsp stevia liquid
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together and bake, on stoneware pans, at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until cookies begin to golden around edges and bottom. Let cool. I like to use a small cookie scoop to quickly pop these onto the pan, and then lightly press them down with a fork. They will cook fine without being flattened, but they do not flatten and spread out in baking so you may prefer to press them down a bit. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Peanut Butter Grain Free Muffins SCD option gluten free dairy free

A friend of mine (thanks Maggie in Florida!) introduced me to a site (click here) she uses for recipes that are safe for her diabetic family needs. The site had some great ideas that can be incorporated into any healthy gluten free dairy free diet. In addition, many options can be easily made SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) safe as well as safe for an endometreosis diet. I started with this recipe, and tweaked it enough that I am going to post my own version below. I hope you enjoy checking out Maria's site as well as trying this muffin recipe for a low inflammation diet protein packed breakfast option or on the go snack.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cream together the following ingredients:


  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 Cup erythritol crystals (fine)
  • 1/2 tsp stevia liquid
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 Cup natural organic peanut butter (For SCD safe version, use almond butter)
  • 2 eggs (M-L)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 Cup So Delicious Coconut Yogurt - Plain
Next, add in the following ingredients and mix together
  • 1 Cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 Cup carob chips (Follow your own diet protocol for this portion, or omit. For SCD version, omit or use dried fruit.)
This makes 9 muffins and bakes for 17-20 minutes in a non convection oven. Let cool before eating, and enjoy! My daughter loved them and claimed the batch for breakfast food. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Endometreosis and Diet

I am going to be doing some major research into the area of diet and endometreosis as well as diet to support the liver. This post is just a placeholder for blogs that I am marking to read. Feel free to add your favorite resources in the comment section!
  • Specialist https://www.vitalhealth.com/
  • Book to review by above specialist http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Endometriosis-Pelvic-Pain-Doctor/dp/0984953574
  • Blogger sharing her story and supplement regime http://poemsandnovels.blogspot.com/2009/07/little-chances-endometriosis-and.html
  • Product recommended to me by naturopathic doctor http://www.yourhormones.com/progestomend/index.html
  • Another recommended product from naturopath http://www.douglaslabs.com/wobenzym-reg-plus.html
  • Dr Wahls book on low inflammation protocol http://terrywahls.com/
  • Site that recommends diet for endo http://www.endo-resolved.com/diet.html
  • General info on anti cancer site re endo http://www.anticancer.net/en/endometriosis/
  • Book on recipes for endo diet http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/recipes-for-the-endometriosis-diet-carolyn-levett/1009113567?ean=9780955678509
  • Book on healing through diet with endo - more in depth explanations http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/endometriosis-michael-vernon/1113633720?ean=9780007133109
  • Center for Endo care http://www.centerforendo.com/
As a nutrition educator, I know many of the "good for you" choices and low inflammation protocols already, but I am seeking to find out what is specifically advised to ward off years of ongoing endometreosis growth and pain.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Power Bar gluten free dairy free

Here is a bite of a delightful power bar that tastes like dessert to everyone in this house. I call that a win, considering the protein, fiber, to sugar ratio these bars pack inside.  What started as a recipe from Elana's fantastic site has since evolved. I recommend you check out Elana's site, try her version, and see how you like it in addition to trying this version. This is our new house favorite. The catch...make sure you have a VitaMix or high powered food processor/blender, or this will not be a fun project. So, if you're still with me, here's the scoop:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup ground raw pecans - grind these into a pecan meal first, in the VitaMix. Leave in the blender container. 
  • Add all the following ingredients to the VitaMix canister with the ground pecans
  • 1 Cup Almond Flour or Almond Meal
  • 1 Cup organic unsweetened unsalted peanut butter
  • 1/2 Cup milled flaxseed (I mill mine in the VitaMix, then store in fridge)
  • 1/2 Cup unsweetened organic coconut flake shreds (Let's Do Organic is my go to)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
In a pan on the stove, heat the following over low heat:
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (cold process)
  • then add 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablesspon honey
  • 4 drops stevia
Mix and pour into blender. Use the tamper to pulse the ingredients in the VitaMix at low power aprox speed 7. This should not take long, but you will need to move the tamper continuously to get all the product moved around. I anticipate less than 1 minute.

Scoop into a an 8" square pan, or similar, and smooth with spatula.

In the same stovetop pan as earlier, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (gluten free dairy free variety). Mix together over low heat until melted (should take short time, less than 3 minutes). Spread onto the nut mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat. This can also be made with almond butter and only almonds, if you prefer. I like the overall flavor and texture better with this blend, but you can play with what you have on hand.
Enjoy!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Lighter Grandma's Granola gluten free dairy free

Have you tried my recipe for Grandma's Choice granola? If you haven't made it yet, please drop everything and whip up a batch. You'll be so glad you went to the trouble. It is, hands down, the best granola. Ever. This verdict has been reached by numerous class attendees, past clients, and current friends as well as family members.

Now, sometimes I want all of that, but a little more fiber, a little less sweetener, and a little less oil. Here is another recipe that is almost JUST as good as the original, but delivers a slightly healthier version. To make things simple, I call it "Lighter Grandma's Granola". Enjoy!


  • 3 ¼ Cups gluten free oats
  • 1/2 Cup milled flax seed
  • 2 Cups chopped whole raw pecans (unsalted)
  • 1 Cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 Cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp liquid stevia
  • 1/4 Tablespoon salt (or less, this is pretty salty, but that is how I like it!)
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 Cup flattened rice (optional) or flattened quinoa flakes (optional)*
Mix dry ingredients together. Add liquid ingredients and mix by hand.

Spread onto a large baking dish. (I use a 12x12 glass baking dish and it is the perfect size!)

Bake at 300 degrees for 30-45 minutes. (You CAN bake it at 325 for 25-35 minutes, but it is easy to burn, so you have to watch closely and pull it out before it browns). You don't want this to looked browned when it comes out of the oven. Just a touch darker than when it went in. By the time everything has browned, it is burnt. Also, let it cool completely before transferring to storage. It will set up as it cools.

Where to buy flattened rice? It used to be that EnjoyLifeFoods sold flattened rice as a great alternative to oats for gluten free baking. I buy mine from Indian food stores, and it is labeled at Poha. You can omit this ingredient if you do not have it, and the granola will still be a delight.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Cookies Gluten Free and Dairy Free

I am doing some recycling this year...recycling recipes! Here are my cookies from last years gift giving tins. I haven't shared the last recipe yet (need to tweak it slightly) but it is on my list of things to do in December. In the mean time, if you are like me then you are ready to start baking and freezing for holiday gift giving!
Here are some of our favorite cookies to share.

Merry Christmas Cookie Tins - Gluten free and dairy free


I have been baking up a storm the past few weeks, getting ready for the holiday gift giving. The results are in, and it's a sweet success!

My freezer is loaded with plenty of sweets to share with friends and loved ones in the days to come. What better way to share in the season then to pass the recipes along to all of you!

1) Peanut Butter (Nut Butter) Chocolate Chip Cookies - gluten and dairy free. Can be peanut free
This is the easiest recipe! Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
1 cup nut butter/seed butter (natural - no added sugars)
1 cup lakanto, sugar, or sugar substitute of choice
1 egg (can be omitted for egg allergies)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Mix in Enjoy Life Food mini chocolate chips to taste.
Mix with fork, spoon onto stoneware baking pan, and flatten slightly with fork.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, check for doneness. Cookies should just begin to brown, lightly, around the edges. Let cool before removing from pan.

2) Mexican Wedding Cookies - gluten free and dairy free - adapted from Living Without Magazine
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
1 cup earth balance butter sticks, melted (they make soy free, now, in the tubs!) or coconut oil or palm shortening
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 tsp flax seed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnut flour or coarsely ground walnut meal
1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
Method:
First mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar with melted 1 cup butter and vanilla. Then add all ingredients and mix well. Let it chill for 30 minutes - 1 hour.
Scoop into 1 inch balls and leave them rounded up, not flat.
Cook for 20 minutes at 325. They should not really turn brown, but they should be set. I let mine just start to get a tad golden on the edges.
Then, scoop them into a bowl of powdered sugar and coat them, once, while warm. Layer them for freezing and enjoy!

3) Mini Chocolate Cupcakes: head on over to my mix review page if you're not sure which cake mix you want to buy. The ones in this photograph are the new mix by Betty Crocker for chocolate cake, gluten free. Follow package directions.
To frost these cupcakes, I melted Enjoy Life Food chocolate chips in a double boiler with just enough coconut milk to soften and smooth. I drizzled the chocolate ganache onto the muffins, and put them in the freezer to set. Easy and delicious. No one will know it's a gluten free dairy free mini cupcake treat!


4) Choclate Coconut Candies rolled in Cocoa Almond Crumbles - gluten free dairy free candy
In a double boiler, heat water over low-medium heat, and let Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips begin to melt. Stir constantly. For aproximately 1 cup of chocolate chips, add 1 tablespoon of coconut milk (or more as needed to make chocolate smooth). Remove from heat, and continue to stir. Drop into balls onto a sheet lined with crushed cocoa almonds (I used the Blue Diamond brand and crushed them in a mini food processor). Place in freezer to set.
Alternate candy treat - roll pitted dates in melted chocolate mixture, and cool.


5) Ginger and Spice - Here are two recipes we've used for the holidays and both are gluten free, dairy free, and soy free.

a) Lebkuchen
http://lh3.ggpht.com/__R-N2HoHns0/SxwcWhcosRI/AAAAAAAAqh8/xS3-3IGiJmI/s400/IMG_1571.JPG
These rolled out well and made great looking dark brown crisp cookies with a strong spice flavor! Good for turning into ornaments, decorating, or possibly using as gingerbread house material (though I haven't tried it).
Recipe:
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup earth balance butter (soy free) or palm shortening or coconut oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup vanilla pancake mix - gluten free (I used the Maple Grove variety for the batch in the photo, though I think the kinnikinnick would be yum! Try an all purpose flour mix here, if you prefer.
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
pinch of clove powder
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix ingredients together in bowl. Chill dough. Roll out 1/4" thick (use extra flour for your counter top if needed (or pancake mix gluten free). Cut out shapes and transfer to baking pan.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 7-8 minutes, or until golden. I strongly prefer using a stoneware pan for cookies. They can cook evenly without burning on the bottom! Highly recommend getting a stoneware pan and seasoning it, then enjoying it for years to come.

Icing:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix and top when cookies have cooled completely.

The review: Now, this is a strange flavor combination, but I liked it! If you like bold flavors, lemon, and spice then I recommend this cookie for your roll our efforts. The batch is small enough that it makes a good first run effort, too.


b) Gingerbread Cookie that is really a Spiced Sugar Cookie
This recipe was an adaptation of the Disney posted gingerbread recipe, and it is not a gingerbread cookie at all! It's a sugar cookie with spices. But it does roll out and it will work for making a gingerbread house. It will just be lighter colored that what you're used to. Works well for a spicier version of a sugar cookie (which I prefer!)


Recipe
1 cup softened earth balance butter (soy free) or palm shortening or coconut oil
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 regular eggs
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 2/3 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I used the Stashu's mixture, which is not vegan as it contains gelatin, but you could use any all purpose gluten free flour mix)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
Blend the butter sub and sugar. Add ingredients bit by bit until well blended. Let dough cool in fridge for 1-2 hours before rolling out aprox 1/8 inch thick. Cut out shapes and bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. I had to cook mine longer than that, as I was using the Stoneware pan and it took closer to 22 minutes! If you are using a glass or tin pan, check for doneness early on.

The Review: Remember those cookie stores that sell giant sugar cookies arranged on sticks in a basket? Well, this tasted like one of those...the spice version. But gluten free. So that is a good thing, but it wasn't the gingerbread flavor.


6) Truffles - Let's not forget these delightful dessert gifts!


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2/3 cup of coconut milk
  • additional 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 6 ounces of gluten free dairy free chocolate chips
  • 12 additional ounces gluten free dairy free chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Procedure:
Mix the coconut, 2/3 C coconut milk and let sit, covered, for an hour at room temperature for the mixture to blend.
Melt the 6 ounces of chocolate in a double boiler, uncovered. Stir constantly and remove from heat when chocolate begins to melt. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut milk and mix in well. Add the coconut mixture and stir thoroughly. Chill for an hour, or until firm enough to scoop and retain shape. Scoop the truffles with a small cookie dough scooper and place on a glass pan in fridge.

In a double boiler, melt remaining chocolate, holding back 1 ounce of chocolate chips, and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. As the chocolate begins to melt and soften, remove from heat and add remaining chocolate. Remove from heat element, yet leave over the double boiler or warm towel. Mix in with the heat of the melted chocolate, and stir constantly until smooth.

Scoop out the truffles, drop into melted chocolate, roll quickly and remove with fork. Place back on glass pan and move onto next truffle, quickly. Continue until all truffles are coated. Let chocolate cool to room temperature and harden, and enjoy!

Easier method: make the truffle inner, but instead of doing the chocolate dipped outer, roll the truffle in crushed pecans, cocoa powder, or finely shredded coconut flakes.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie - Easy traditional method

Ok, so if you've been following my favorites, you know I LOVE Rachel's recipe for crustless squash pie.(scroll down that link to Squash Pudding Pie recipe - you won't regret it!)
For a quick, easy, and totally normal "Pumpkin Pie", here is a recipe that will make it too easy to refuse.
Start with your favorite gluten free pie crust mix.  The one I used (pictured) is Breads From Anna (Now just "from Anna") found here.
Other gluten free pie crust mixes work well, such as gluten free pantry or a graham cracker crumble made from gluten free gingersnaps. I love Anna's mixes because she utilizes healthy ingredients that incorporate whole grains and a variety of beans, millet, chia and natural sweeteners.
I mixed the pie crust with oil and water and 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar, then pressed it into a 9" pie pan. I pre baked it at 425 for aprox 10 minutes, or until it began to look a bit cooked (not browning at all).
While that was pre baking, I mixed a 30oz can of Libby's Pumpkin Pie mix with the recommended egg called for on the can. Instead of 2/3 cup of evaporated milk, I used 2/3 a cup of coconut milk. I added 2 teaspoons of tapioca starch and mixed the ingredients, then poured them into the pie dish and baked.  Following the directions on the can, I baked 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, then lowered it to 350 where I baked it for one hour.
The result? Delightful.
I love pumpkin pie, and this is as simple as it comes. While I still prefer the crustless squash pudding pie recipe made with roasted butternut squash, this quick recipe comes in handy for holiday visiting on short notice.
Need more recipes to help create a fantastic Thanksgiving meal? Follow this link for my gluten free stuffing recipe as well as instructions for the turkey and gravy. 
Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Creamy potato soup dairy free gluten free

So good! Cook 4 pieces of bacon over medium heat 5 minutes. 
Add 1/4 cup chopped leeks and 1/4 cup chopped onion and cook 5 minutes more.
Add 2 tablespoons gluten free flour (Namaste all purpose or other) and stir well.
Add 6 cups chicken stock, stir well.
Add 3 large chopped peeled potatoes.
Bring to boil then simmer 45 minutes.
Add 1 tub of Toffuti Sour cream, stir and serve.
Optional- garnish with bacon, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.