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gluten free

Sneaky Vegetable Juice Granita

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Sneaky Vegetable Juice Granita

Carrot granita words

Summer has officially ended and that makes me sad :(

But I wont accept that yet so I will hold on to the season for one more day by making frozen desserts.

You can’t tell me what to do! I can eat what I want!

So what am I eating today in my rebellion of the seasonal change? 

Its a tropical granita with a vegetable hidden inside. 

So whats the sneaky ingredient….

wait for it….

Carrots!

Total shocker with that electric orange color right?

This ones pretty simple, I just mixed freshly juiced organic carrots, pineapple, ginger, lime and sweetened it with maple syrup for this light, refreshing, and super nutritious Granita/ shaved ice dessert.

Oh and here’s a sweet bonus  the pineapple and ginger aid in digestion so this is perfect after a heavy meal or if you are having a little tummy trouble.

Don’t worry if you do not have a juicer, simply buy some high quality unsweetened carrot and pineapple juice and use a blender to puree some ginger into the juices and strain after. Voila! (I have more detailed notes in the recipe below.)

So hang on to summer for one more day with me and float away with this blissful frozen sneaky vegetable granita. 

Carrot Pineapple Ginger Granita

Serves 4

 vegan - gluten free - grain free - refined sugar free 

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Peeled Organic Carrots (or 2 cups unsweetend Carrot juice)
  • 3 Cups Pineapple Chunks (or 2 cups unsweetened Pineapple Juice)
  • 1 - 3''x 1'' piece of ginger ( see notes if you don't have a juicer)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Pure Organic Maple Syrup or Yacon Syrup or sweetener of choice

Instructions

  1. Using a juicer, juice the carrots, pineapple and ginger (if using bottled juices simply combine them all in a bowl with a lid).
  2. Squeeze the lime into the juices and stir in the maple syrup and sea salt.
  3. Taste for sweetness and add more maple syrup or sweetener of your choice to taste. (You are looking for it to be very sweet with bright flavors because the flavors dull once frozen)
  4. Pour the juice into a 9 x 13 baking dish and freeze it for a good two or three hours.
  5. Remove and gently scrape the slushy juice with a fork (it will be more frozen on the sides so mix those into the center)
  6. Return it back into the freezer for another hour or two, scrape again and repeat until the entire mix is frozen and scraped into ice pieces (usually takes about three rounds).
  7. If you have an ice cream maker place the juice mixture in the fridge for one hour to chill then churn according to your manufactures instructions.
  8. Spoon into bowls and eat!

Notes

  1. If you don't have a juicer finely chop up the ginger and add to a blender with 1/2 of the juice and puree until blended completely. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to avoid and ginger chunks add to the remaining ingredients and proceed with the recipe as written.
  2. I like to top my granita with fresh lime juice and layer with coconut cream if I'm in need of something a bit more decadent.

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Natural Remedies for Bloating and Water Retention

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Natural Remedies for Bloating and Water Retention

bloat post

This may not be the most appetizing of subjects but I thought it was time for me to dive into the health and wellness portion of avoiding gluten and other allergen foods. One of the biggest complaints from people with food allergies is bloating and digestive health. Here are some of the natural remedies my family and I have come to live by for preventing and helping a stomach “situation” .

Natural Food and Supplements for Bloating and Water Retention:

  • Bitters – Teaspoon of Angostura bitters or digestive bitters can ease indigestion and acid reflux. 
  • Peppermint Oil and Caraway oil - Adding some to water can ease indigestion. 
  • Activated charcoal capsules – Take following a meal to help with bloating and gas.
  • HCL with Pepsin – These are the enzymes from papaya which helps with digestion if taken with a meal 
  • Papaya (fresh, or in chewable tablets) – Help in digestion when taken with or after a meal. 
  • Digestive Enzymes- Best if taken before a meal. Invest in a high quality enzyme with no fillers!
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Drink 1 tbl diluted in 8 oz of water to reduce bloating. Best if before a meal but can be taken anytime. High quality vinegar only please. I prefer Braggs.
  • Turmeric – Has fabulous anti-inflammatory properties. Can be taken in pill form, used as a spice in cooking, or stirred into drinks (scroll down for recipe). 
  • Pineapple – The enzyme Bromelein helps break down protein (Do you think it is any coincidence that Chinese restaurants serve pineapple at the end of meals?) Bromelein works synergisytcally with turmeric so I buy the tables that contain both.
  • Potassium Rich Foods – Bananas, cantaloupe, mangoes, tomatoes, nuts and asparagus (asparagine amino acid that acts as a diuretic) can all help with fluid retention. 
  • Fennel – Try chewing on some seeds or infusing in hot water for a tea to aid in indigestion. 
  • Tea – Ginger, Fennel, Chamomile, bitter orange all help relieve gas and bloating. Don’t have any on hand? Add 3 coins of peeled ginger or fennel seeds to a pot of water, bring to a boil and blamo….ginger or fennel tea.)
  • Parsley – Is a natural diuretic so try chewing on some or adding it to your meals to aid in digestion.

 Tips to Prevent Bloating and Water Retention:

***Make an appointment with your doctor if you have chronic bloating. I am not a doctor so do not ignore habitual health issues. 

Now lets Detox the delicious way! 

Beat the Bloat Ginger-Mint Lemonade

Serves 4

Helps with water retention, alkaline balance, and elimination of uric acid.

Raw - Vegan - Alkaline - Gluten Free - Paleo - Sugar Free

Ingredients

  1. 4 cups water divided in half
  2. 2'' knob of ginger
  3. 1 English Cucumber
  4. Juice of 3 lemons
  5. 20 Mint leaves

Instructions

  1. Blend half of the water along with all of the ingredients in a high power blend and then strain the mixture.
  2. Press the solids with the back of a spoon or spatula to pull as much juice out as possible.
  3. Add in the remaining water, taste for sweetness.
  4. Keeps for 3-5 days in the fridge covered, but best if consumed immediately.

Notes

  1. You can add more water or sweetener to your taste.

Turmeric Tummy Warmer

Serves 4

Aids to flush out the lymphatic system and reduce swelling

Raw - Vegan - Alkaline - Gluten Free - Paleo - Sugar Free

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of water divided
  • 2 in knob of ginger
  • 2 tsp tumeric powder
  • pinch of cayenne
  • juice of 4 lemons

Instructions

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a high power blend and then strain the mixture.
  2. Press the solids with the back of a spoon or spatula to pull as much juice out as possible.
  3. Keeps for 3-5 days in the fridge but best if consumed immediately.

Notes

  1. Add as much or as little heat as you like. If you don't have cayenne pepper you can blend a 1/2'' piece of your favorite pepper just make sure you are familiar with the heat of the pepper you are using so you don't blow your head off. I prefer Serrano or Fresno peppers in this blend. If you can find turmeric (use a 2'' knob) in its root form and have a juicer I would recommend juicing both the ginger and turmeric, but powdered turmeric is a perfectly acceptable substitute.

Adapted from Linda Wagner

The Green Monster Detox Drink

Serves 4

A strong diuretic that aids in Kidney cleansing and liver detoxification

Raw - Vegan - Alkaline - Gluten Free - Paleo - Sugar Free

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of filtered water divided
  • Handful of Fresh Parsley
  • Handful of Fresh Cilantro
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • Juice of 1 grapefruit

Instructions

  1. Blend 2 cups of water with all of the ingredients in a high power blend and then strain the mixture.
  2. Press the solids with the back of a spoon or spatula to pull as much juice out as possible.
  3. Taste for sweetness and dilute with more water if you like.
  4. Keeps for 3-5 days in the fridge but best if consumed immediately.

Notes

  1. Do not be alarmed if you are peeing a lot after drinking the green monster. This is a very strong diuretic so only have one small glass at a time to gauge your reaction.

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My newest obsession....Tea Pops!!!

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My newest obsession....Tea Pops!!!

Tea Pop Mise

I have a new obsession that I need to share with you….its called the Tea Pop. 

A tea pop consists of a really strong concentrate of your favorite tea, a big glass of ice, soda water, and your sweetener of choice. Crisp, refreshing, amazing!

I didn’t come up with this idea so I have to give credit to the new tea place in the Boston area called Davids Teas. They are like Teavanna except they are more like a tea bar but with the coolness turned up a notch. They have endless flavors combinations that make crazy delicious tea pops, natural sweeteners like pure stevia leaves in their teas, you can buy any of their teas by the ounce (or online) and the prices are not outrageous.  For the tea pop it would be best to use a fun flavored loose leaf tea but it can also be done with regular tea bags. 

Heres the skinny

  • For one tea pop use 4X the amount of tea you would normally use for an 8oz cup. So if its loose leaf around 4tsp and if its bags use 4 bags.
  • Steep in just enough water to cover the tea. You want it strong because you will be diluting with soda water. 
  • Allow to steep for the allotted time for the specific tea you are using. 
  • Fill a glass with ice and pour the tea concentrate over the ice. 
  • Add sweetener of choice (liquid stevia, honey, raw agave etc)
  • Top off with soda water and a cool bendy straw. 
  • Drink the deliciousness and revel in the tea pop euphoria. 

Seriously this is the best summer drink ever. Plus if you are feeling frisky you can add some booze. I mean vodka goes with everything right? ;)   Check out this fair trade vodka made from quinoa...who knew drinking could be so healthy? j/k

Check out my friends new tea line New England Tea Co for some of the rarest Chinese teas and insanely creative flavor combinations. 

Pop Pop!


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Spice up your V-Day dinner tonight with the exotic spice blend Dukkah

Happy Valentines Day you gorgeous babes!

I know I should be posting some recipe about chocolate or something pink and cute…. but I like to break with convention and do something different. If you are staying in and cooking for your sweetie (or yourself) why not bring some Egyptian spice into the mix and whip up some Dukkah.

This is an amazing aromatic and warm spice blend that is a staple in Middle Eastern cooking. There are countless ways to make this (think Garam Masala in India and how it is different in every household)

Basics of Dukkah

Nuts (macadamia, pistachios, almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pecans etc)

Sesame Seeds ( I have made one without and subbed sunflower seeds and it’s still great)

Coriander

Cumin

Some optional Add ins:

Dried herbs

Dried fruit peel

Dried hot peppers

Sugar

Spices

Here is my blend and I am addicted to sprinkling it on top medium boiled eggs right now. I also dip apples in it and sprinkle it on top of yogurt. This is the aphrodisiac of spices my friends.

Dukkah

Gluten-free, Vegan, Paleo,

Makes one heaping cup

- 30 grams (1/4 cup) hazelnuts (unsalted) – 30 grams (1/4 cup) shelled pistachios (unsalted) – 4 tablespoons sesame seeds – 3 tablespoons coriander seeds – 2 tablespoons cumin seeds – 2 teaspoons dried thyme

- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds – 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

- 2 teaspoons dried lemon peel – 1 teaspoon salt

Toast the hazelnuts and pistachios in a dry skillet, or place on a sheet pan and roast on 350F for 8 minutes or until fragrant. In a skillet over medium heat toast the seeds and berries (from sesame to black pepper) in the skillet for 2-3 minutes or  until fragrant shaking the pan frequently so they don’t burn. Let cool completely. Add the salt and the lemon peel to the mixture and set aside.

First place the hazelnuts and pistachios (or larger nuts) in a spice grinder and pulse a few times to get the mixture started. Pour the nuts out onto a plate with the other spices and mix up with your hands or a spoon. In small batches add all the ingredients, and grind to a coarse powder in an electric grinder or with a mortar and pestle.

Pour mixture into a jar and  close tightly. Keep in a cool dry place.

Serving suggestions:

Sprinkle on top of roasted veggies, chicken, cheese, eggs, even fruit would be killer!

 

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Vegan Chocolate Banana Truffles for your sweetie (or you!)

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Vegan Chocolate Banana Truffles for your sweetie (or you!)

photo-22
Happy Tuesday to all my gorgeous gluten-free readers!!! In case you live under a rock Thursday is Valentines Day. I have mixed feelings about the holiday in general, but the one part that I do approve of is the unabashed excuse to eat chocolate! Now for all you love birds out there that have a date I strongly encourage you to make something from the heart rather than buy a premade box of terrible unhealthy chocolates (especially if your valentine has a food allergy or diet requirement). And if you are riding solo, like me ;) go ahead and make a batch for yourself. Aint nothin wrong with that and you can’t tell me otherwise.

Always remember just because it’s a special occasion doesn’t mean anyone should go without so this recipe is gluten-free, vegan, paleo, and freaking delicious! Did I mention its way easy too? Ok just checking. Lets make some magic!!!!

 

Vegan/Paleo Banana Chocolate Truffles

Raw-Vegan-Gluten Free-Paleo

Makes about 12 truffles

 

  • 5 oz Dark Chocolate finely chopped
  • 3.75 oz (just short of 1/2 cup) coconut cream (If using regular coconut milk chill for a few hours and scrape the cream off the top of the can. DO NOT USE LIGHT COCONUT MILK)
  • 1 over ripe banana
  • three finger pinch of sea salt

 

Place the banana in the work bowl of your food processor (if you have the small work bowl attachment that would be even better or mash finely with the back of a fork). Puree the banana with short pulses until it is a smooth paste. Add the finely chopped chocolate on top of the banana.

 

Heat the coconut cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Allow to heat until steam starts to form on top of the milk making sure to not allow it to come to a boil.

 

Pour the hot coconut cream over the chocolate and banana mixture. Allow to sit for one minute. Then cover and pulse the food processor until a fine smooth mixture.

 

Cover with a saran wrap so that it touches the surface. Refrigerate it until it is firm enough to scoop and roll, about 1 hour. Do not wait too long because if the mixture becomes too cold it will be difficult to work with so start checking after one hour. 

 

Pour the cocoa powder into a shallow bowl or a plate with high sides. Dust your hands with cocoa powder and use a small candy scoop or a large melon baller to form small balls from the ganache. Roll them in your hands one at a time to form a round ball. Place the formed balls into the bowl with the cocoa powder 5 at a time and shimmy the bowl or plate back and forth lightly so the truffles roll around and become covered by a thin later of the cocoa powder. You could also roll them in finely ground coconut.

Keep in the fridge until ready to eat.

 

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