Christmas cookies (gluten & grain free)

 

Christmas Cookies 
(Gluten, Grain, Cane Sugar Free)

We all really loved this year’s version of Christmas Cut-out Cookies! You just have to try them out for yourself. They bake out wonderfully!

It just wouldn’t be the holidays without cut-out cookies, who are we kidding? And I refuse to give them up, even with our dietary restrictions. Cut out cookies are much more than cookies, they are tradition, memories, and togetherness that symbolize the entire reason of the season. That’s a pretty important cookie, so there’s  nothing worse than dough that’s too sticky to release from the cutters or cookies that crumble when you are trying to decorate them.  I absolutely  love the way this recipe turned out; the dough rolls out beautifully and holds up to the cutouts, bakes in 5 to 6 minutes, and provides the perfect canvas for edible decorations! Perfection.

The Cookie Recipe:
2 cups garfava flour (if you can’t find Garfava flour, you can sub. brown rice flour)
1 cup arrowroot powder (or potato STARCH flour)
1 cup organic shortening (Nutiva or Spectrum brand)
2 eggs (or egg replacer or 1/2 cup applesauce)
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bake on parchment lined baking sheet at 350 degrees for 5-6 minutes.
*Refrigerate dough until ready to roll & cut shapes.

For the icing this year, we mixed together equal parts Nutiva Shortening & honey with some vanilla, and for a festive green, we used liquid chlorophyll. It was the perfect minty flavor, too, for the holiday season. We will be making these again before the holiday is over, that’s a definite, and this recipe will be staying in our repertoire! Hope you enjoy! And please, let me know if you experiment with other natural colorings and decorating ingredients!

~Happiest of holidays from my family to yours.

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Gluten Free Gingerbread Muffins

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Gluten & Dairy Free Gingerbread Muffins (option for Grain Free)

1 1/3 cup Brown Rice Flour {or Garfava Flour for grain-free}
2/3 cup Arrowroot Flour
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil {liquid measure}
2 eggs
2 teaspoons organic lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon grass-fed unflavored gelatin (like this one)
1 1/2 teaspoons organic ground ginger
3/4 teaspoons organic cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground clove

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Makes 36 mini-muffins.

In a mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients and fork whisk to incorporate everything together. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl. Mix until your batter is smooth.

Line your baking tins with parchment / paper baking cups. Fill each cup 23 of the way full. Bake mini muffins for 11-13 minutes. (I haven’t baked them as regular sized muffins yet, but will check cooking times and update that when I do).

These are the prefect holiday-time muffin, and are gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and cane sugar free, & free of xantham and guar gums.  I have not tested with egg substitutes, but I am almost positive that  flax egg or applesauce would work just fine.

Grandma’s Chicken & Dumplings {grain-free}

Grandma’s Chicken & Dumplings. 
Mmmmmm. Mmmmmm. Goodness.  This grain-free version was so close to the way I remember my grandmother’s that I want to make it every day this week, I am THAT excited!   Please tell me that you will let me know when you try this recipe! I want to share in the taste party with you.

 

chicken & dumplings

 

Chicken & Dumplings
1 whole chicken
12-14 cups water
2 carrots
2 ribs of celery
Leek tips (you can use any portion of the leek, an onion, or green onion, I just keep leek tops for broths*)
2 teaspoons salt
Cracked pepper
1/2 cup arrowroot powder

Dumplings:
1 cup Garfava Flour** (you can substitute with brown rice flour, but they would no longer be grain free)
1/2 cup arrowroot (you can also use potato starch flour, but I prefer arrowroot)
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon organic all-purpose seasoning
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 egg (This recipe would work fine with an egg substitute)
1/4 cup water

**+ more garfava flour for rolling and dusting hands to handle dough.

In a large stockpot, place your whole chicken, 12-14 cups of water, your carrots, celery, and leeks or onions. Bring to a simmer. Simmer until your chicken is cooked through (1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes).  At this point, remove the chicken onto a carving board. Strain out your broth and set aside the veggies from the strainer. Broth will go back on the stove in the stock pot over a simmering heat (low/simmer). In a mug or glass Pyrex measuring cup, scoop out a cup or two of the broth and set it aside.  (You may also use a longer cook bone-broth is that is your preference, this is just how I did this from scratch).

I separated my carrots and celery out and gave them a rough chop and dropped them back into the broth. Once your chicken has cooled a little and you are able to handle it, remove the meat from the bones. Save those bones for more broth later. Roughly pull or chop your chicken meat and add it back into the broth pot.

Into your mug of broth that you set aside, whisk in 1/2 cup of arrowroot powder until there are no lumps. Pour this slurry into the broth pot and give it a stir for a minute.

Now, mix together your dumpling ingredients to make your dough. It is kind of sticky, so you can use a bit more flour if needed. The easiest way to roll these out is to place the dough between two pieces of parchment. I cut mine into rough square pieces and then pressed them together a bit with my thumbs. As you press each dumpling, drop it into the simmering pot of thickened broth. Continue until all of your dumplings are in. Cover your stock pot loosely with a lid, increase heat to medium, and cook for another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Serve and enjoy!  I served mine in one of my very favorite soup dishes of ALL time, my beautiful Le Creuset Stoneware, one of my favorite gifts from my sister-in-law. Garnish with fresh parsley or sage. I hope this recipe hits that nostalgic part of your heart like it does mine.

Orange Halloween Gummies (dye-free)

Hauntingly Orange Gummies
HAUNTINGLY ORANGE (no sugar, no artificial ingredients) GUMMIES!

I am getting started early for our Pirate themed Halloween Birthday Party for our littlest of littles next weekend. Boy, his Halloween birthday sure does make things fun.

For this bright orange gummy, I used the following:

These molds that I ordered here.
And these, as well (though they aren’t pictured here).

Recipe:
1/2 cup Organic Carrot Juice (I used this one.)
1/2 cup Organic Pear Juice (I used R.W. Knudsen brand)
1 teaspoon Organic Lemon Juice
3 Tablespoons Grass-Fed Gelatin ( purchase here – you definitely want to buy this much, these are too fun not to make again and again! If you want, you can even stock up with a 3-pack! See. I usually buy the 3 pack and it lasts me for quite a long time.)

In a sauce pan, measure out your juices, then sprinkle the 3 tablespoons of gelatin into the liquid until the lumps are dissolved. Turn on the heat until just starting to bubble, then remove from heat. Let sit for about 3-5 minutes.

Place mold on a flat baking sheet. Pour your liquid into the molds. Chill in the refrigerator until set. (About 20-30 minutes is usually all it takes).

Store in an airtight container in your fridge.

I have posted several recipes for gummies. I love this bright orange color from the carrot juice. Once you have the hang of it, experiment with adding in powdered vitamins (very good quality) or even probiotics to make your own healthful gummy treats, perfect to pop into a school lunch box!

Happy eating ~ and HEALTHY Halloween.

 

Elderberry Gummy Bears

Elderberry Gummy BearsI don’t know where you live, but here in North Texas, it went from summer to fall seemingly over night this past weekend! The winds came through, the cooler temperatures kissed our skin, and, unfortunately, the fall allergies rushed the field.

It is the best of times and the worst of times, this FALL, this AUTUMN! I absolutely love this season, but for some reason, it just does not love me back most of the time. I have definitely been feeling the effects and have some kiddos with some runny noses, too, so this morning, after I had my two school goers shuffled off to their school,  I decided to load up on artillery for the onslaught of the allergy season!

I started my morning by juicing some carrots, apples, and fresh ginger.

Then, I made some Elderberry Gummy Bears! If you haven’t read about the benefits of elderberry, they are abundant for this season. To list a few:

~ a very powerful antioxidant
~ anthocyanin levels make it anticarcinogenic
~ more vitamin C than oranges
~ antiviral
~high ORAC
~improves the coordination of the immune system

This article is worth the read and gives all the proper props to Elderberry!

Recipe:

1/2 cup Elderberry Concentrate
1/2 cup organic pomegranate juice
2 tablespoon organic lime juice
3 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin (I used Great Lakes, the orange bottle)

Simply mix all the ingredients together in a small sauce pan and then heat just to almost a boil/low boil and remove from heat. I like to let mine cool down for 5-10 minutes before transferring to my molds. Refrigerate until set.

You can use any silicone mold for these, or even a glass dish and then simply cut into squares. I found my bear molds on Amazon.com.

These are certainly the most expensive$ gummy bears I have ever made, but I know that my kiddos will be so happy to chomp these down, and I will be equally as happy knowing that they will be getting such great nutritional benefits from this healthful & protective treat.   ~Happy Fall~

Fruit Pizza {Grain Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo}

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Fruit Pizza ~ Grain & Dairy Free

 

 

This fourth of July, I was really in the mood for some cream cheesy, fruity flavor/ I LOVE the look of fruit pizzas, they are so beautiful, so I went with this:

Basic Grain-Free Cookie

1 cup almond butter (any nut butter should work)
1 egg, preferably from a pastures & happy hen
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I prefer to use my food processor for this recipe. Simply mix the ingredients together and then transfer to a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet. Make one large circle with the dough. Bake for 14-15 minutes.

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For the Cream:
{ Approximate Measurements…I wish I could give you exact measurements, but this was one of my
“keep adding til it’s right” kind of deals. I will gladly try it again!1 🙂 and post exact measurements once I get them figured out.}

1 cup cashew meal (you can use cashews, I just had cashew meal on hand, it was mealed raw cashews)
1/2 cup water* + hemp milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon extract
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Zest of 1 lemon

Place your almond meal in a high-powered blender (I have a Vitamix). Add in your water,I started with 1/2 cup of water, but I continued to add a little hemp milk at a time until I got the perfect texture, then added a little more maple until I got the sweetness I wanted. I will probably add more lemon next time.

Once the cookie was finished baking, I let it cool slightly, then simply turned it over onto a round serving platter and peeled off the silpat. I put a layer of the cream on top of that and then decorated with fresh fruit! So Yummy! Happy Fourth of July to us ~ fireworks in our mouth 😛
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Grain Free Lemon Muffins / Cake {and a cake-ball fail}

So, I happened upon this really cute cake-ball photo on pinterest or instagram, I can’t remember which now. The little cake balls were made into golf balls for Father’s Day. I happen to have a cute little silver tin that my mind was picturing filled to the brim and over flowing with these tasty golf-ball-cakes! Since the plan was to serve these to dad for Father’s Day, the obvious flavor selection here at our house was a lemon-cake. I have made a variation of this lemon cake before and we all really enjoyed it, I changed a few things up and baked these in my large muffin tins {the idea was to have more of the browned edges in my cake balls for added flavor}.

Lemon Cake

Step one turned out deliciously! One taste test, honestly, was not quite enough.

Then, I crumbled the muffins in my mixing bowl and added a mixture of 1/4 cup of honey and the juice of 1/2 of a large organic lemon (careful to not include any seeds). I rolled this delicious crumble of goodness into golf-ball-sized balls and stuck them into the freezer for a bit while I concocted my icing.

Crumble

Enter: The icing, a.k.a the beginning of the end, a.k.a the reason for this epic cake ball FAIL! 😀

I think it is just as important, on occasion, to post about the flops as it is to post about the successes. Even those of us who have been gluten free home-chefs for as long as we can remember will have a recipe that just doesn’t quite come together. Don’t ever be discouraged about the misses, because you will learn a little something from each one! Maybe that’s why I have learned SO much over the years! 😀

Today’s Grain Free Lemon Muffins / Cakes:

1 1/2 cup cashew meal
1 cup almond meal*
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
3 large pasture-raised eggs
1/2 teaspoon real salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Zest of 1 large ORGANIC lemon
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup oil (I used coconut)
2 teaspoons organic lemon extract
Juice of 1 lemon

* you could also use almond flour here, I just only had meal on hand and we are okay with the thicker crumbles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, mix first your dry ingredients until well combined. Then, add in your wet ingredients. Stir well. Transfer to oiled muffin tins. I used large tins and this made 6 large muffin sized cakes.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges and top begin to brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cool for 15 minutes in your tins.

NEXT STEP IF MAKING CAKE BALLS:

Next, I crumbled the muffins into a mixing bowl. I added a mixture of lemon juice from 1/2 a large lemon (about a tablespoon) and 1/4 cup honey. I stirred this mixture up and then rolled cake ball shaped in my hands.

THE ICING FAIL:

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So, I tried using a mixture of honey and cacao butter for an attempt at a white-chocolate dipped icing. I really wanted it to be white for the golf balls. My idea was to use the end of a stir stick to make the dimples once the chocolate started to set up. HAH!! This never really occurred. I couldn’t quite get the consistency of the white chocolate right. The recipe I was going from was from the amazing blog site The Spunky Coconut. Kelly has a recipe for strawberry white chocolates that use these ingredients along with coconut mana / coconut butter and powdered freeze-dried strawberries to sweeten instead of the honey that I used. It was a good thought, but just didn’t quite work for this application, so I may just have to go back to the drawing board on this one ~ but our Daddo still enjoyed the cake-balls, even though they never quite made it to the golf-ball stage.
Cake Ball Fail
I will say, though, the concoction worked as chocolate candies, so we used the last little bit in our mustache molds for these little cuties. All-in-all the project at hand was not exactly a success, but we all enjoyed our time in the kitchen and got some delicious eats from the venture ~ Happy Failures, canaries! ;o)
White Chocolate Mustaches

Red, White & Blue Gluten-Free Grilled “PB-J’s”

Red White & Blue holiday pails

These little pails of yumminess put HUGE smiles on my kids’ faces this Memorial Day weekend. This festive treat may have to make a second appearance for the 4th of July!!

easy-peasy: Some gluten – free bread, organic almond butter (or nutbutter of choice), coconut oil, fresh blueberries, and glutino gluten-free pretzels for the I food ingredients.

$1 bin red, white

& blue pails, picnic pattern basket liners or napkins, and 2/$1 mini flags for the presentation.
I simply grilled up some “PB-Js”, like you would any other grilled sandwich, except I used coconut on the grilling-side of the slices instead of butter, and inside, they got filled with Organic Almond Butter & a delicious organic blueberry fruit-only jelly. Once the sammies were browned to perfection, I transferred them to a cutting board and sliced them into 4 long rectangles.

Grilled "PB-J's"
The flags serve as the prefect skewers for a pattern of blueberries and gluten-free pretzels.

Blueberry & Pretzel Flags

 

Once everything was ready to be served, I simply lined each pail with the picnic-patterned basket liners, arranged the  sandwich sections sticking up out of the pail, and inserted the blueberry & pretzel-lined flag. There ya go! Easy gluten-free food fun perfect for any red, white & blue occasion!! Enjoy!

Red, White & Blue Frozen Bananners

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I love recipes that the kids get to help with, and this one was perfect to include them on. We had lots of fun, and they helped come up with the idea for what was RED and BLUE and HEALTHY to use as “sprinkles” on our Nanner-Pops, too. Smartie pantses ;)!

I still want to perfect this dip, but it was definitely a hit with the kids, and it checked all of our allergy-friendly boxes here, so that is always a bonus!

First, prepare you toppings. We used some fresh organic strawberries, some fresh organic blueberries, and even some freeze-dried organic blueberries. Any nuts WOUDL be fabulous! Get creative!

Next, prepare your bananas by peeling, cutting in half, and skewering with kabob skewers, popsicle sticks, or I used cake pop stick that you can find at almost any craft store. Set aside.

Now, in a small saucepan {you will want one deep enough to be able to dip, or at least roll, the sauce 3-4 inches deep onto the bananas. IN the saucepan over medium heat, combine:

3 tablespoons of coconut oil
&
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut butter (coconut manna)
&
3 tablespoons of honey

Once the coconut butter has melted down, add in:

6 tablespoons of coconut milk (or more if you feel like your sauce is still too thick)
&
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

Stir together until smooth and then turn off your heat.  Now, simply dip your banners and set them onto a freezer-safe dish. Take a pinch of your topping of voice and sprinkle it onto the dip. Continue with all of your banners until done. Now, simply freeze until you are ready to enjoy! (we could only wait about 2 hours!).  Enjoy!

“Sugar” Cones {Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Cane-Sugar-Free, Paleo}

Bring on the CONES!

On this Memorial Day weekend, I really wanted to make something light and fun for the family. At first, I was thinking of some sort of ice-cream sandwich. Maybe blueberry and chocolate. Next, I was mulling over a cherry tart, but for some reason, that was still falling a bit flat. Finally, my imagination stopped on an old classic: a crispy, sweet, melt-on-your-tongue, SUGAR CONE. My mind was set, now I needed a gluten free, sugar free version of THAT to surprise the kids with. So, this is what I came up with.

I wanted to use a grain-free flour and I had some cashew meal in the pantry. I knew I wanted a flat, baked round that would be elastic enough to be rolled after baking without cracking, so tapioca flour seemed like the best choice for that. For a short ingredient list and a quick bake time, these will definitely be made again! I can’t wait to come up with all sorts of delicious ways to fill these!

Gluten-Free “Sugar” Cones
Makes 4 cones.

1/2 cup cashew meal (or almond meal would also work)
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 heaping tablespoons of coconut sugar / coconut crystals
1 tablespoon coconut milk (or milk of choice)
1 large egg (preferably pasture-raised

Simply stir all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Pour out 4 equal rounds onto a greased, parchment lined, or to copy my efforts exactly, a Silpat-lined perforated baking sheet. Using the back of a spoon and/or a little tapping of the tray, thin out the batter rounds to be flat and thin (maybe 1/4 inch think).

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. The edges will be browned and the rounds still flimsy. Remove from the oven and very carefully, as they will still be hot to the touch, peel of your rounds and roll them into cones shapes. If you want, you can tie them for good measure like I did, but they do harden pretty quickly, so I would suggest having your system in place before you pull them out of the oven.

If you decide to try them, I would love to know what you decide to fill your with, too! Happy eating this Memorial Day Weekend, Canaries! Love, Kendra

Ours got filled tonight with some dairy-free black Forrest Ice Cream ~ so very delicious!!
Black Forrest Ice Cream Cone