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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Butternut Squash Chips {SCD, PALEO, GFCF, GRAIN-FREE}

 

 

Butternut Squash ChipsBUTTERNUT SQUASH CHIPS :
These are a great for anyone! But, when it has been weeks since you have tasted a potato and you are really craving the crunch of a carb – These little chips of wonder hit ALL the right spots!! I swoon.

Oh, and fried in duck fat, I mean … let us take a moment to hang on that thought…

SCD-compliant. Butternut Squash. Duck Fat. Party. My mouth.

 

Oh, life is good.

 

Gluten Free Cornbread (Egg-Free Version)

The EGG-FREE version:

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Cornbread

1 cup organic stone ground corn meal
3/4 cup garfava flour
1/4 cup arrowroot
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon real salt
1 cup non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons oil + 2 for the pan
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey

Preheat over to 400 degrees.

While the oven is preheating, pour 2 tablespoons of oil into your iron skillet and place it in the oven. Now mix your batter.

Start with the dry ingredients, mixing them all together in a medium size bowl. Next, add your wet ingredients and stir until you have a lump-free batter. It will be gritty, but should not have lumps. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and add your batter to the oiled skillet. Return the skillet to the 400 degree oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

When done, turn the pan out onto a cutting board or plate. Cut and serve.

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!

Paleo “Ice-Cream” Sandwiches {grain-free, dairy-free, vegan}

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As I promised, I have been making some delicious concoctions with the basic grain-free cookies recipe we used for the Valentine’s baskets. In case you missed it and don’t want to skip around too much, here it is again exactly the way I did it for today’s treats:

The cookies:
1 cup Almond Butter
1 pastured chicken egg
1/3 cup raw organic honey
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons enjoy life chocolate chips (optional)
About 15 organic, unsulphered dried cherries

I made the cookies last night, so they were already ready to go today and speaking to me from the counter. My 5 year old had a very long doctor’s appointment today, so add up the 3 hour round-trip drive to this doctor, and an hour and a half appointment, and the sum of all parts equaled the PERFECT excuse for a healthy treat to say “thanks, my sweet boy, for your very good behavior today”.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
So, for the cookies, the simplest way {and the way I do them} is to simply blend everything together in a food processor until mixed & combined.

Spoon batter in 1 tablespoon mounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet {leaving 2 inches between each}. Bake for 9 minutes. You want them to be cooked, but still chewy in the center, and in my oven, 9 minutes is that magic number.  Cool on wire rack. Store in air-tight container.

The “Ice-Cream”
Today, I took 2 frozen bananas out of our freezer {As long as bananas are well liked and tolerated, frozen bananas should ALWAYS be in the freezer of a dairy-free household, In my lowly and humble opinion ;o)}  ,added 4 drops of vanilla Stevia{this is optional. I usually use homemade vanilla extract, but I am out right now.} ,and enough unsweetened coconut milk to get a texture a bit thicker than soft-serve. I eye-ball it, but I would guess that I added somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 cup of liquid to the frozen bananas. Blend until smooth.

Spoon your “ice-cream” onto the back side of one cookie and top the sandwich with another. These get everyone in my house excited! And they taste like such an indulgence. Hope you enjoy them like we do!

~Kendra

Strawberry Frosting {Grain-Free, Paleo, and SCD legal}

Simple Strawberry Frosting {Grain-Free, Fruit Sweetened, Palo, SCD-legal}:

1 cup Spectrum organic Palm Shortening
1/2 cup freeze dried bananas, ground up in a spice grinders, mixer, or blender until it makes a powder
3 Tablespoons freeze dried organic strawberries, crushed {I like to have some larger chunks to see and taste}

First, I mixed the shortening with my hand mixer just to get a creamy consistency. Next, I added in the powdered banana and blended until well combined. I added the strawberries in last and mixed just until incorporated.

I transferred the icing to a piping bag. This was the perfect filling for the “Chocolate Covered Strawberry Macaroons” that were in the Palo Valentine’s boxes we did this year

.Chocolate Covered Strawberry Filled

This was  also the perfect topping for the Paleo Mini Lemon Muffins I made last week. :9 Oh the deliciousness!

Gluten Free, Sugar-Free Chocolate-Glazed Donuts (Baked, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Option, Sugar-Free)

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Yes!! A donut made gluten-free and with NO cane sugar, even down to the delicious chocolaty goodness that is dripping from each heavenly little round of joy.

I can’t begin to post this recipe before, first, apologizing for the delay in posting. Life seems to happen, at least for me, in waves. Sometimes I feel ultimately inspired and the time seems to be so friendly, like we are working together, me and the hours of the day, so beautifully. Then there was November of 2013!  Haha! It really seems like amay have accidentally sneezed off the entire page of November from the calendar or something. But here I am, back in the saddle again and glad to be posting this delicious gluten-free treat!

When I need an idea for a recipe, I always hit the ol’ search engine for some inspiration. My five year old’s pre-school today was serving up a store-bought chocolate donut with pretzel antlers and a gum-drop nose. Well, yes, that sounds very cute and very creative, but I was just sure I could come up with an alternative for him that would be gluten free, sugar free, soy free, (high-fructose-corn-syrup-free). We do mostly a dairy-free diet, but for these, I did use one tub of yogurt that was from a quality source, grass-fed and organic. Because we are far less sensitive than we once were, this shouldn’t pose any real threat as a one-time treat.

I started with a recipe from The Gluten Free Goddess for baked donuts. Her pictures looked very promising and yummy! I made a few tweaks here and there; used an all-purpose flour blend instead of individual flours for simplicity {and because I found a large bag of Namaste Perfect Flour Blend for a thrifty price at our Costco}, I opted for piping my batter out into donut shapes, since I don’t have donut pans and my batter was a bit stickier (probably due to more liquid ingredients, since I used coconut oil instead of palm shortening, and maple syrup instead of brown sugar. I also used real eggs, since we rotate those into our diets now, too. I chose to dip ours in a cane-sugar-free chocolate syrup.  Um, yum. Yes, that’s it, just three letters to sum that up. Yum.

Hope you enjoy :o)

The DONUT.
Dry Ingredients:
2 cups Namaste Perfect Flour Blend GF Flour
3 tablespoons blanched almond flour (I keep this on hand in my freezer)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon real salt

Wet ingredients:
1/3 cup coconut oil, liquid measure
1/3 cup organic grade b maple syrup
2  eggs (or 1 tablespoon Ener-G egg replacer powder mixed with 1/4 cup water for egg-free option)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used organic unsweetened rice milk)
1 small container of grass-fed, organic, plain yogurt (I used Maple Hill Creamery)
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large mixing bowl, I whisked together all of my dry ingredients (I just really hate sifting because I always make such a mess, so this is my compromise – using a wire whisk for my dry ingredients.)

In another container, I combined all of my wet ingredients, poured the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, and carefully stirred everything together.

I used a large zip-top bag and cut about a half an inch corner off to pipe out my rings. I eye-balled the piped out rings into about the size of a mini-donut you would find in a hostess package. They do rise a bit in the baking process, so if you want  a hole in the center, which I DID for my cherry “Rudolph nose”, be sure to make your ring large enough for the expansion during baking.

I used my fingertip dipped in a little coconut oil to smooth down the seems and help give a little better crisp during the baking process.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack to room temperature before dipping.  {You could also sprinkle with some cinnamon & coconut sugar at this point and not dip in the chocolate at all}

The CHOCOLATE DIP:
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup grade b organic maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

Heat the first three ingredients in a small sauce pan just until melted and dippable {oh, sure, that’s a word!))
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

Now, simply dip those donuts, one at a time, into the chocolate mixture and return to the wire rack to dry.

For our Reindeer, we used Tillen Farms Dye-Free Bing Cherries for the Rudolph nose, and two halves of a gluten free pretzel on each for the antlers. Picture of those to come, they are lost for now on my cell phone, which took a plunge in the bath tub just this morning. I will make a new batch of donuts tonight and hopefully recapture the delight, for now, at least I have one!

~Happy donut-making, Canaries.

Quinoa Sweet Potato & Pecan Tamales (TaMOLLYs)

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Quinoa Sweet Potato & Pecan Tamales

When it comes to the title of a recipe, I have been known to get QUITE CHEESY (especially for a dairy-free cook). What can I say? Being that I am a momma bear, sometimes I have to sell my kids on the healthy foods I want them to love, and what makes selling easier than a catchy name! I’m just marketing :)! My sweet Molly Rose got quite a kick out of dinner being named after her last night.

We live in Texas, and in Texas, everyone knows what a tamale is. Traditionally, they are done with masa harina (corn flour).   I have been thinking about the execution of a corn free TaMolly for a while now, and yesterday, I had some sweet potatoes that were staring at me from the potato basket and some corn husks that were wanting to be used, and so began the makings of a ‘Meatless Monday’ masterpiece ~ a QUINOA TA”MOLLY”! They were so yummy and have oodles of potential for flavor and filling combinations. I can’t wait to post more as I make these again and again.

What you will need:

1 bag of Corn husks (found at most grocers)
1 cup Organic white quinoa
1-2 teaspoon Salt of choice (I like “Real Salt”)
2 Sweet potatoes
1/3-1/2 cup pecans, chopped (if you don’t soak and dry your nuts already, just soak them while you prepare the rest of the meal and drain them when ready to use)
1/2 teaspoon organic chile powder
1 3/4 cups vegetable stock or water (homemade stock is best, if buying, try to avoid yeast extracts in the ingredients)
1/4 cup coconut oil (straight from the jar, no need to liquefy)
A Steamer or way to steam the TaMollys (I use a stacking bamboo steamer basket like this one)

First, submerge your corn husks in water for at least 30 minutes to soften them. I like to do about half the bag so that I can choose the best of the bunch and have enough to cover my ingredients. (You can also do these in double batches or more and freeze for later)

Peel and dice your sweet potatoes. Cover with water in a sauce pot, add a nice pinch of salt to the water, and boil for 10-15 minutes to soften your potatoes. They don’t have to quite be fork tender because they will continue to cook in the tamale. Strain the water out of the pan and fork-mash a bit, stirring in 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

In a spice grinder, food processor, or blender, grate 1 cup of quinoa until you have a fine to medium-grained meal (similar to a corn meal texture).

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring together the quinoa meal, 1 3/4 cups of vegetable stock or water, 1/4 cup of coconut oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper to taste. Stir slowly and frequently just until the mixture comes together to a thick consistency similar to a breakfast porridge and stir for about 5 minutes to soften the quinoa. Remove from heat and set aside.
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Bring your 1/3 -1/2 cup of chopped pecans to the assembly party, along with your quinoa mixture, your sweet potatoes, and the soaked corn husks.

To assemble your TaMollys, simply spoon some of the quinoa mixture onto a soaked corn husk. I like to fold the husk over and use a pulling motion to spread the meal across. You will want about 1/4 inch thickness. Top with some sweet potato and a pinch of pecans. {You can see my photo of a layered husk before it is bundled up}. Now, Fold in the sides and place the bundle seems down onto a steamer tray. Try not to stack them directly on top of one another if you can help it. This bamboo steamer basket that I use was perfect!)   Continue with more tamales until your fillings are gone. I was able to get 11 tamales last night.

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Steam for 1 hour. Make sure you check our steaming water frequently and add more when needed.  Pull them out and get ready to open a little gift of food love.

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They may not look like much as you stack the corn-husk-bundles onto a serving tray…
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But when you unravel the contents inside, you find a delicious texture, very similar to that traditional corn-cake layer; and, inside, you have the deliciously mushy sweet potato and the perfect texture and nuttiness of the pecans. SO YUMMY!

For the vegan option, these were delicious served with a tiny drizzle of cashew sour cream*.  If you prefer the real deal dairy, then a regular or raw sour cream would be equally as yummy.

The best part of recipes like these are the endless possibilities for variety! I am already dreaming up some flavor combinations to try again very soon:
Chicken and Green Chile, Chicken Tomatillo, Braised Beef and Sweet Peppers, Chicken & Apple, Pumpkin and Black Bean ….. Okay, now I’m hungry again. I might have to make more of these today!

~Happy Eating, Everyone! Ole’~

* Cashew Sour Cream: Process or Blend 1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup pure water
1/4 cup organic lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
optional, garlic powder and/or onion powder to taste