The GREAT Pumpkin Pie.

 I am about as stoked about this pie as Charlie Brown felt waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive on Halloween. 

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If you’re like me, you know that good desserts are hard to come by.
It’s a satisfying discovery! I’ve merged two recipes to create a tasty pumpkin pie. People with and without diet restrictions have really enjoyed it. It’s creamy sweet and delicate. The coconut gives it a melt-in-your-mouth texture without overpowering the pumpkin flavor or the festive spice. 


Can’t believe it’s Gaps, Grain Free, Sugar-Free (no cane sugar), Dairy-Free, Paleo, Primal

~  Pumpkin Pie Filling  ~

Thanks to Deliciously Organic @ http://deliciouslyorganic.net/pumpkin-pie-grain-free-paleo-primal-gaps/!   I’ve modified this slightly.

Serving Size: Makes two 9-inch pies or 1 full 9 inch pie. I prefer one large 9 inch pie.

* It’s important to use a pie shield or foil over the crust to ensure the crust doesn’t burn. The filling can also be made two days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar     (or honey)
  • 1 tsp of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice      (OR 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ginger.)  I love TJ’s pre-mixed spice because it also has cardamom, cloves, and lemon peel.
  • 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin    (if using fresh pumpkin then strain the pumpkin for about 5 minutes in a fine mesh sieve to remove excess moisture)
  • 1 tablespoon of potato flour   (or arrowroot for a rigid Paleo diet…it is helpful to include an alternative thickener)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups canned coconut cream (Approximately 1 can). I would highly recommend Savoy Coconut Cream, which is 100% coconut without any additives. It has the best flavor I’ve tried..fresh, slightly sweet, and creamy….better than many other brands that are “organic’ or have additives.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450°F and adjust rack to middle position. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour filling evenly into unbaked pie shell(s). Place pie dishes on a large baking sheet. Cover crust with a pie shield or foil to ensure the crust doesn’t burn. Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 350°F and bake for an additional 20 minutes until edges of pie are set. Cool to room temperature before serving. Serve alone or with whipped coconut cream.

~  Paleo Pie Crust  ~

Thank you, Elena! @ http://elanaspantry.com/paleo-pie-crust/

Paleo-Pie-Crust-08431Serves: 1 pie crust
Ingredients:
2 cups blanched almond flour
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large egg
Instructions:
Place flour and salt in food processor and pulse briefly
Add coconut oil and egg and pulse until mixture forms a ball
Press dough into a 9-inch pie dish
Bake at 350° for 8-12 minutes

* ~ * ~ *  And Enjoy! Happy Fall!!  

(Life outside of grad school and pies..besides eating pie to feel better about having homework 🙂 haha!)   12072606_10207976099304204_4475206639432544936_nIMG_20150924_191006   12068988_10207900742140322_655884765907960716_o 12119067_10207900823422354_3496920423911965873_n                    IMG_20151011_180705 IMG_20151030_170622

Apple of My Eye

Apples + cinnamon + white cheddar cheese + eggs = a unique & delicious omelet.

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It’s finally that time of year…sun hat weather! Whether the sun has lasted long enough to walk to the mailbox or visit La Conner’s famous tulip fields, I’ve savored every second.

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Mom and me

If you’re ever in La Conner looking for such fresh food & a charming atmosphere, check out Seeds! http://www.seedsbistro.com/

And La Conner’s best kept secret:

http://www.calicocupboardcafe.com/la-conner/

Later this week, my friend Stephanie and I explored Olympia’s Nisqually National Wildlife park. We followed a boardwalk through the woods and wetlands. Bunnies often darted under bushes and we even spotted a nest. Stephanie is building a portfolio for her photography, so I got to “model” for her under a huge tree. We also wandered by a rustic white barn with nesting swallows.

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But Darby’s Cafe, our dinner destination of choice, is where this blog is really going. I’ve rarely been able to eat out, so I was stoked to be ordering a unique omelet and a mimosa!              ~  darbyscafe.com

Now I’m trying their Apple of My Eye omelet in my own kitchen.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-2 tbl butter or coconut oil (I do love butter for omelets)
  • Handful of white graded cheddar cheese (amount to taste)
  • 1/4 apple in very thin slices
  • 3 eggs
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat pan on low.
  2. Slice about 1/4 of an apple into thin slivers. Cook these pieces in butter with a touch of cinnamon for about 30 seconds. They will soften quickly, but shouldn’t be mushy. Put to the side.
  3. Whip 3 eggs until well mixed. Pan should be buttery for eggs before pouring. I like at least 1 tbl, but it shouldn’t be pooling or that will be a greasy omelet! Pour on eggs.
  4. Wait until surface is bubbling slightly and with gentle prodding of spatula, underside is toasty golden. It shouldn’t be sticking before you try to flip it!
  5. Grate white cheddar cheese to taste. I like a small handful amount to sprinkle.
  6. Flip that omelet! I’ve found that tilting the right side of the pan down and nudging my spatula under the omelet’s right side gives it good momentum.
  7. Cook other side for a minute or until toasty golden. While waiting, I’d recommend sprinkling your cheese on half of the top, so it melts by the time both sides are cooked.
  8. Then add your apple slices! (In this picture I sprinkled my cheese after the omelet was off the pan, so it took longer to melt.)
  9. Fold and sprinkle salt & cinnamon on top (to taste, but don’t need much!)
  10. Enjoy!

DIRECTIONS (in photos)

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5. v12tl9k5RiCYSfJPb7BlO5u12FsprcrdoWvkvJyMcn5CUn0tBdC2kJ13b0duNevlE8hamDCwzzJ-sGdRwbHnorasvP_8s54320DilFZ1ph6Vdr0ORTsKq-vfxDqJTsp-ssr8lGpQ3q1WPNLHFjV80RL9T6nU-Mde5rbGQk0vwDWMgLAMpRUBNEh2aUcUZZo_r5nFG-AxnckixjCIMcgAXrAaXzAglSYQ

Strawberry Surprise

A pie for two!  Spring is finally here and I’ve discovered the perfect little dessert for a sunny day in the backyard.

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*Gluten-free, sugar-free

CRUST

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 cup butter, melted
  • 1-2 tbl honey or maple syrup (it will be very sweet with 2 tbl)
  • 1/2 tbl vanilla extract

based off of recipe by http://www.elanasprantry.com

*double ingredients to make a standard pie size.

FILLING

  • 8 oz strawberries
  • About 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1 tbl cocoa powder
  • honey to drizzle
  • handful of almond slices
  • cinnamon to sprinkle

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  1.  Preheat oven for 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine ingredients for dough in a bowl, mixing dry first. Then stir everything together with a spatula or spoon. Should be thick and easy to mold.
  3. Press dough inside a pre-sprayed or oiled baking dish. The one I used is 7 x 5 ” inner and oval shaped. The dough covered this very well. You could use a small, circular pie pan as well. This dough will NOT cover a 10″ diameter dish. I’d recommend doubling the ingredients for that.
  4. Slice strawberries.
  5. Pour coconut cream into pie dish about 1/2 the way up. Sprinkle cocoa powder on top.
  6. Fill up the other half with lot’s of strawberries 🙂
  7. Sprinkle cinnamon, almonds, and drizzle honey on top to taste (and a dash of salt if you prefer)

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8. Bake for 6-15 minutes. Crust should be a golden toasty color.

Enjoy!!

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Everyday Yummy Tricks!

How I substitute healthy foods for daily ingredients:

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Instead of SUGAR…

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Banana   – thickener & sweetener for baking

Honey  –  baking & hot drinks

Agave   -baking, cold & hot drinks (ex. smoothies, alcoholic drinks)

Maple Syrup  – baking, cold drinks

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Instead of CREAM & DAIRY…

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Coconut cream has the near consistency of whipped cream– super thick and just coconut! Great over desserts (such as pies) or with a bowl of fresh berries and honey. Also for flavor & thickener in tropical smoothies.

Coconut milk is wonderful in pies, quiche, smoothies & a little bit in tea. Unlike coconut water it is slightly thicker, but nearly as rich & filling as coconut cream.

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Sugar-free TRAIL MIX!

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Blend nuts & berries of your choosing for on-the-go!

I love the almond & raisin combination with some freeze dried fruit! The perfect blend of tart, nutty & sweet.

And all the ingredients are whole… you aren’t eating any preservatives or extras.

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Avocado is nature’s butter.

Bananas have a wonderful creamy texture as well, but a very dominate flavor.

Both are great for smoothies, baking & pudding. You can even make a mean Avocado Alfredo by throwing in a blender: 1 avocado, a handful of basil, 1/4-1/3 cup of water, and salt & pepper to taste. Creamy & guilt-free!

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LETTUCE THAT LASTS!

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Have you ever bought lettuce with the roots attached?

This baby lettuce is wonderful because it lasts for weeks! I don’t need to be stressed about eating it within a week or guilty if I forget about it for awhile.

Just keep it in the fridge and peel off the layers as needed.

Chickpea Banana Flour Pancakes & Crepes

Say what? Chickpea flour, as in garbanzo beans?

chickpea-flour-pancakes-over_thumb

Yes indeed! There are actually dozens of alternative flours: https://nuts.com/cookingbaking/flours/

Since almond flour is pretty expensive, I’ve started experimenting. Chickpea flour has a sharp & earthy taste, which I personally find overbearing. However mixing in some banana and maple syrup makes for a real treat. Fresh strawberries on top? Mmhmm.

Thank you Wannabe Chef and REAL for the ideas! Original recipes here: http://www.thewannabechef.net/2012/05/15/chickpea-flour-pancakes/         http://responsibleeatingandliving.com/?p=11891

I’ve combined aspects of these recipes into this SUPER EASY fast recipe. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 banana- mashed or blended
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • maple syrup to taste (I like this for extra sweet flavor, though you may also just save this to pour on afterward)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda IF you want pancake consistency and NOT crepe consistency
  • Optional tbs of cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Optional fresh berries and some coconut cream for final topping

DIRECTIONS

1. Mash a banana to the chunks or creaminess you desire.

2. Add other ingredients & mix well

3. Add baking soda if desired for pancake texture.

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4. Add oil to pan (preheat for a couple minutes so it’s warm and ready to go!) I like to use coconut oil, avocado oil, or butter. Keep the pan well oiled throughout.

5. Make those cakes! I’d recommend starting with smaller sizes until you get the hang of it. It may be crispier on the outside and very soft inside. I haven’t found a technique yet to make it more even, so that may just be the chickpea flour. I think it’s a great texture though! Reminds me a little of my favorite chocolate chip cookies as a child- crispy on the edges and just a little oozy soft in the center.

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GAPS Zucchini Muffins/Bread!

These have been my favorite snack to grab n’ go this month! And my coworkers at Amai Day Spa love eating them too! They’re moist and melt in your mouth. And might I mention guilt-free?

Thanks to Danielle Walker @ Against All Grain. Here is her original recipe: http://againstallgrain.com/2012/04/24/almond-flour-zucchini-bread/

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Below are my couple alterations. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with some alternative ingredients:

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cup blanched almond flour
    • (Although other flours may substitute, almond is essential for the moist yet light texture)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½-1 teaspoon ginger
  • 3 eggs, beaten (or 2 eggs, with 1/4 cup of warm coconut oil)
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 ripe banana or 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup shredded, unpeeled zucchini
    • 1/2 cup zucchini & 1/2 cup carrots shredded is also delicious!

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. I mix everything in one big bowl to avoid extra clean up. First, whip eggs with a fork, then add in other WET ingredients. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Add the DRY ingredients over the wet, and stir only the top layer of dry ingredients gently. I find that doing this slowly mixes in the spices, salt, etc into the flour well enough.
  4. Mix all together thoroughly. I find a large spoon or spatula works great.
  5. Spray or grease: 2 mini loaf pans, 1 big loaf pan as needed. I like to use coconut oil. 12 muffin tins work great for on the go- my favorite!
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until clean toothpick poke.

ENJOY!