Cherry Smoothie and Cookbook Review

I had plans. You know how that goes? I got a fabulous cookbook in the mail. Skimmed most of it. Made a few muffins. The kids loved them. And I planned a review. Time keeps ticking by and the review is just not getting done. So I give up. Here is a very short and sweet post about a great book.

First a photo of my “everyday” smoothie (recipe below).

smoothiecherry

Then the cover of the great cookbook I read. You can click on it for a link to Amazon.

Now a photo of the smoothie I was inspired to make after glancing through the smoothie recipes in the book. Peach and ginger. Follow the basic smoothie recipe that I wrote and substitute the cherries for the variation ingredients. Very yummy. (Thick and creamy too!)

smoothiepeach

A photo of some very tasty oatmeal muffins in the cookbook. They were my kid’s favorites.

muffinsAnd… Sweet potato frosting from the book. I will definately be making that again. And I will make it with purple yams so I can have purple frosting of course! Next time I will make it cute too. The muffins in the photo were the vegan muffins from the book. They were less popular with the kids but still delicious. Who can blame them for loving the fluffiness that comes from eggs?

frosting

 

Smoothie Recipe
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1 cup coconut water
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup coconut milk
~10 frozen cherries
heaping scoop goat’s whey protein powder (vanilla flavor)- sub your favorite powder

(I do not sweeten the cherry version but you might find it “not sweet enough”, in that case add honey or something sweet)

Variation Inspired by the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook:

Frozen Peach Slices (instead of cherries)
Small slice fresh ginger
Honey to taste

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Combine everything in a high speed blender, then enjoy!

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Grain-Free Crepes

crepe peach

Of all the posts on this blog, I think this recipe is the one I make most day to day. I love these crepes. I have made many variations and many fillings. I like them best sweet, but that is only because I like dessert better than dinner! I won’t go into detail on how to cook the crepes, because you might already know how to do it or you can learn elsewhere online (or in my cookbook).

crepe savory

For fillings I have used: a thin layer of cashew butter and fresh fruit, yogurt and fruit, whipped coconut cream and fruit, sauteed vegetables and cilantro sauce, peach flavored whipped coconut cream and fresh peaches…

Crepes choc

And I make it cute by cutting it like a maki roll:

crepe bento

Grain-Free Crepes Recipe
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3 eggs
3 tablespoons egg white protein powder
6 tablespoons pear juice (other liquids are OK- this is my favorite for sweet crepes)
2 teaspoons melted butter (buttery spread or coconut oil)
1 tablespoon tapioca starch (coconut flour works too but I don’t like it as well)
pinch salt

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Mix together all of the ingredients. I usually give up on the whisk and use the blender. Be sure to use a well seasoned caste iron pan or non-stick pan. Keep the crepes very thin as you swirl the batter into the preheated and oiled pan. (Like I said you can look up more detailed crepe instructions.)

Fill them up and enjoy!

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Grain-Free (Nut-Free) Waffles

grainfreewaffle

I love these. My younger daughter loves them too. But I want to be honest with you; the texture is not the same as a flour based waffle. These are more dense and soft. We like them topped with maple syrup or fruit compote. We made a cherry/cranberry/blueberry compote that paired really well with these. You can also skip the vanilla and cinnamon and use them in a savory way. What you can’t skip is the egg white protein powder. If you try to replace that, the waffles get very “floppy”. If you insist on trying despite my words of caution, then I would increase the coconut flour by about 1-2 teaspoons.

A little bit cute as a burger bun…

grainfreewafflecute

Serves 2-4 depending on what else you are eating.

Grain-Free Waffles Recipe
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3/4 cup mashed sweet potato (or pumpkin)- I prefer Hannah Yams
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vinegar or lemon (to activate baking soda)
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or other oil)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut flour
cinnamon (to preference, I use about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 cup egg white protein powder

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Mix all of the ingredients together, one at a time, in the order they are listed. Cook in your waffle maker.

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Grain-Free Mini Buns

bunturkeysandwich

OK, these buns are not for everyone. They taste great- no one has said they aren’t delicious- but… they turn green inside. I mean super bright green. If you think that is fun; well then you are in luck! If you can’t stand the thought of eating green bread, you can replace the Sunbutter with cashew butter or another nut butter. The thing is, they really taste the best with the Sunbutter. If you make them and eat them all within an hour, then you will most likely avoid the green issue altogether.

bunoscar

I embraced the green and made an Oscar the Grouch sandwich by turning the bun “inside-out”. This is the true color of the buns after a few hours. His face is made with radishes and nori paper. The other side is a trash “salad” including; broken homemade gummy legos, a homemade gummy fish bone, already bitten cheese, and so forth.

Buns

(Before turning green.)

Also you can bake this in a mini loaf if you want some tiny bread. (Just add a bit of baking time.)

Grain-Free Mini Buns Recipe
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1 cup mashed Hannah Yam (other sweet potatoes may work but I like the Hannah Yams best, also potatoes will most likely be good for this)
2 tablespoons Sunbutter (unsweetened)
1 egg
1/4 cup egg white protein powder (I do not recommend substituting with other protein powders)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Seeds (optional; I like poppy seeds the best)

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Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix all of the ingredients together (adding one at a time). Spoon the mixture onto the baking sheet into 8-10 even “piles” that will form the buns.

Sprinkle the tops with poppy seed, sesame seeds, salt, or whatever else you like on top of your buns.

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until they are golden on the bottom and feel springy to the touch. If you feel uncertain about the doneness, ere on the side of overcooked. (Avoid opening the oven for the first 20 minutes while the buns are rising.)

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Chocolate Cherry Thumprint Cookies

choccherrycookies

I took my inspiration for these cookies from the combination of two traditional cookies- thumbprint cookies and peanut blossoms. My favorite chocolates when I was a child were chocolate covered cherries. I remember trying to decide whether or not to eat them in one bite to avoid the mess or eat them in several small bites but end up a bit sticky!

Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookie Recipe
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1 1/2 cup almond meal/flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons buttery spread or butter
1/3 cup raw agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
20-24 sweet black cherries, pitted and frozen
1/2 cup semi-sweet melted chocolate

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In a medium mixing bowl combine the almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Then mix in the buttery spread and agave. Set in the refrigerator to chill.

Set a baking dish or tray with parchment paper in the freezer until cold. Dip the frozen cherries in the melted chocolate and set them out on the chilled baking dish. Place them back into the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two baking trays with parchment paper. Roll about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough into a ball, set on the tray and flatten slightly. Repeat until all of the dough is used. Bake the cookies for 6-10 minutes until they start to get a bit of color on the edge near the pan. (Don’t overcook these- they will continue to cook after they are out of the oven.)

Set the hot cookies (still on the baking tray) on a cooling rack. Quickly press a chocolate covered frozen cherry into each cookie while they are still hot.

Wait until the cherries have thawed and enjoy!

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Lemon Cake (Grain-Free)

Well, it’s my Birthday today! For my Birthday this year I am giving you all 40% off of my cookbook, Culinary Creativity: Let your restrictions set you free. Head over to Amazon and purchase the book for $14.95 (off from $24.95). November 18-20, 2013. This is a super great deal and I know you are going to love the hard cover and photos of every item in the book.

Plus what’s a Birthday without cake, so here is a yummy lemon cake for you.

But first, one more thing, if you are inclined to give me something for my Birthday, here is my wish: more reviews of my book on Amazon. Now read on and enjoy some cute cakes.lemoncake

Usually I am opposed to any recipe requiring too much effort. I consider separating eggs to be too much effort usually. However, it is difficult to make coconut flour cakes feel light and fluffy, and separating the eggs really makes a difference in this situation.

This cake is barely sweet. It only has a 1/4 cup of honey in the whole cake. I am enjoying minimally sweetened desserts lately, but if you are used to full sugar this might seem a bit “light”. Each time I make it, I have also made a sauce to go with it. I highly recommend that you do the same.

The first cake I made was lemon with blackberry sauce (from my cookbook) and whipped coconut cream (also from my cookbook).

lemoncaketable

Next I made it cute. It is really cute isn’t it?

Then I made the cake with orange zest. And I made an orange caramel sauce to go with it. I didn’t measure the ingredients for that caramel so I don’t have a recipe to give you. Here is the gist of what I did: cooked down about 1 cup of orange juice, 1/4 cup of honey, orange zest, and 1/4 cup of coconut milk until it thickened into a caramel. (Sauce pan, medium-low heat). NOT sure on the specific quantities… but I make sauces like this by eye frequently and they always turn out fine.
orangecake

Lemon Cake Recipe
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WET
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup apple sauce
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons of honey
1/3 cup coconut water (apple juice would most likely work too)
zest of 1 lemon

DRY
2/3 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

WHITES
6 egg whites
1 tablespoon honey

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Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Prepare a 6-8 inch round cake pan with parchment paper and oil the sides.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the wet ingredients.

In a small mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir.

Beat the egg whites and honey together until it forms a stiff peak (I suggest using a stand mixer for this). Add half of the egg whites to the other ingredients and stir together. Add the second half of the egg whites and gently fold them in.

Spread the batter evenly into the cake pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes until it is cooked through and slightly spongy. It will be darker gold on the edges and just turning color in the center.

Set out on a cooling rack and cool completely before removing from the pan and frosting.

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Grain-Free Chocolate Cake

spunkycakeKelly, from The Spunky Coconut, has a great white chocolate pie recipe. I have made it too many times (you know- as in eating too many treats). I came up with some fun modifications and ways to make it cute that I want to share with you. Plus I created a new cake base and I now call Kelly’s recipe “white chocolate frosting” instead of “pie”.

Above I cooked my cake base as a three tiered cake. Then I took Kelly’s recipe and split it into three parts: white chocolate (standard), pink chocolate (standard plus beet juice- can’t taste a difference), and dark chocolate.

spunkycake2Another time I split Kelly’s recipe and added peanut butter to part, and chocolate to another part and made a swirl by pouring all the white in first, then drizzling the dark over the top.

spunkycake3

And another time… I made mini cakes in tart pans and let three lucky girls decorate three cakes with homemade gummies, chocolates, homemade pink frosting, and cereal.

ladybug5

So here is what my cake looks like up close.

Frosting Recipes
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Notes on Kelly’s recipe:
1) It works perfectly as written.
2) I prefer the white without vanilla extract.
3) I find it works a bit better to “bloom” the gelatin before adding it to the mixture. Just soak the gelatin in a couple of tablespoons of cold water. (I learned this watching Master Chef).
4) I don’t bother melting the cacao butter separately- I just toss it in after the heat is off, then blend it all together.

Peanut Butter White Chocolate: The Spunky Coconut Recipe plus… 1/4 cup of peanut butter or more to taste (I like it with salted peanut butter).

Dark Chocolate: The Spunky Coconut Recipe minus 2-3 ounces cacao butter… plus… 2 ounces baker’s chocolate (I use Ghirardelli) This can be a bit “un-sweet” so you may want to add a bit of honey (but I don’t).

Pink: The Spunky Coconut Recipe plus… a few tablespoons of beet juice. (I put beet peels in a pot with about a 1/4+ cup of water, boil it, then strain it.)

Grain-Free Chocolate Cake Recipe
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1 1/2 cups mashed Hannah Yams (sweet potatoes are not the same but they can work)
1/4 cup sunbutter
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup egg white (protein powder)
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons cacao nibs

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a cake pan or pans with parchment paper and oil the sides. You can use an 8 or 9-inch cake pan. Use smaller or bigger pans depending on the design plan. Remember to leave room for the frosting (a pan with tall sides).

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Smooth the batter in the pan.

Bake for 20-35 minutes. The time will depend on the size of the pan. The cake is done when it is spongy to the touch in the center of the cake and the sides are looking done.

Allow the cake to cool. Loosen it from the pan, then put it back into the pan. Pour the frosting on top and allow the frosting to fully set in the refrigerator. Run a knife around the edges and carefully tip the cake out of the pan.

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Fruit Sundaes

 bananasundae
The idea: to create a delicious dessert without any sweetening other than whole fruits. No concentrated fruit juice, no stevia;  just whole food ingredients.
The Banana Ice Cream was the launching point. This recipe has already made its rounds on other blogs, certainly not my original creation. But I am re-sharing it because everyone deserves to know exactly how to make this sundae.
The other stuff… Coconut Whipped Cream- use the recipe in my book but omit the sweetener. Deydrated strawberries are from Trader Joes. Unsweetened coconut flakes- I toasted them in the oven. Pecans. A cherry. And homemade fruit juice gummies. There are recipes online but I hope to post a good recipe for that soon.
bananasundae5
This sundae got rave reviews and everyone (including people who eat typical ice cream) said it was sweet enough and very creamy.

Banana Ice Cream Recipe
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1 banana per person
cacao powder (for chocolate)
Frozen cherries (for cherry ice cream)

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Chop up the bananas and set them out on a tray in the freezer. Once the bananas are frozen you can make your ice cream. You need a food processor- a blender will not work.

Put the bananas in the food processor with cherries or cacao (or both- my favorite!). Use a ratio of about 3 cups to 1 cup (bananas to cherries). As for the cacao, add to taste but I do about 1 tablespoon per 2 bananas.

Process until the whole thing comes together as an ice cream- soft serve almost. It takes a bit of shoving around so don’t be discouraged if it feels like it isn’t working. Also don’t over process or it will get slimy. You can put it in the freezer for a bit before serving but I don’t like it to be fully refrozen.

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Chocolate Rootbeer Frosting

rootbeerfrosting
I was in the midst of trying to think of an original recipe. Let me tell you, that is nearly impossible. For example, try to think of a pie flavor. Something that would be edible but you think no one has done it before. Now Google it. It was there right? If not, go write that recipe quick before someone beats you to it! In any event, most “original” recipes are variations on existing recipes. So back to my project; I wanted to write a new recipe for an avocado contest. I came up with lots of ideas- but found most had already been done. Then I thought of Chocolate Root Beer Frosting on Chocolate Brownies. I made it without checking the search engines. It tasted fantastic! Just now I popped it into Google and there was one recipe there… but it was not made at all like mine. Anyways, if you have my cookbook you can easily whip up this recipe.

Hints on Making Chocolate Root Beer Frosting
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BROWNIES- your recipe or from my book on page 127 (omit the walnuts)
CHOCOLATE FROSTING – page 155 (omit the vanilla extract) ADD 3/4 – 1 1/4 teaspoon Root Beer Extract

Serve with:
VANILLA ICE CREAM- page 136

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For the frosting, you need will need to taste as you go, to get the right balance of root beer flavoring. (I use Baldwin’s Extracts for the root beer extract.)

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Most of you know by now that my posts usually contain free recipes. Every now and then, I mention my book instead of giving out new recipes because- it is a great book, I put a lot of work into it, and I hope to sell a few books here and there. Thank you for your support.

Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies

Sandwich Cookies

I was playing with a recipe from Gluten-Free Easily, and she (Shirley of course) referred to their “Samoa” taste (as in Girl Scout Cookies). One thing lead to another in my mind and I started thinking of the sandwich cookies that the Girl Scouts sell. Thus these Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookies came to be. You might read this recipe and feel tempted to add chocolate. (Believe me, I always think of adding chocolate.) I personally encourage you to try them as they are… these are very tasty, not too sweet, cookies.

Cookies

Making them cute… Did I phone it in? I just didn’t have a brilliant idea, so I hand shaped them into … shapes!

Coconut Cashew Sandwich Cookie Recipe
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3/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
2/3 cup almond meal/flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour (*if you omit this the cookies will not have a lovely soft texture)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut sugar (brown sugar for substitution)
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil, liquid
Cashew butter, for filling – stirred and refrigerated a day in advance so that it is not too soft

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Preheat the oven to 350 F. Toast your coconut shreds until light gold. This goes very fast, I stir them every 1.5 minutes. Set aside.

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift the almond meal, coconut flour, salt, and coconut sugar, into a mixing bowl. Add honey, oil, and shredded coconut. Combine.

Using your hands, create small balls of dough, set them on the baking sheet and press them flat. Repair any cracks or loose crumbs with your fingers. The cookies will not spread and will stay in the shape you make them.

Bake for 5-9 minutes. You are looking for a slight gold color starting at the edges. Set out on a cooling rack. The cookies will be fragile and should not be moved until they are completely cooled.

Spread cashew butter in between the cookies to make sandwiches.

Note: I really like this best with cashew butter. If you try to use almond butter I think you might want to mixing in a touch of honey.

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