flourless gluten-free sugar-free brownie-truffles

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My new favorite ingredient discovery is Creamed coconut (not to be confused with coconut cream). I found it at our local co-op, but if you can’t find it, I’m sure you can order it online.

Anyway, so, this is a very simple recipe, once you have your creamed coconut. I’ve seen a few versions out there, but all with sugar of one sort or another.

Ingredients:
1 package (7 ozs) unsweetened creamed coconut
3/4 cup unsweetened chocolate chips or pieces, or 6 ozs worth of chocolate bars (either homemade chocolate, unsweetened bars or 85% cocoa is what we use)
1 to 2 T raw cacao powder (or good quality, organic, non-alkaline cocoa powder)
2 tsp vanilla extract and/or 2 tsp almond extract or orange extract (orange oil also works wonders here!)
2 eggs, well-beaten
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 to 8 scoops of KAL organic stevia (optional) (we actually like this with or without stevia. The creamed coconut has a pretty sweet taste to it, but we also like very dark bitter barely-sweetened chocolate, so experiment according to your taste buds. If you’re someone transitioning from sugar, you may be surprised to find that after a few weeks you won’t need to add any extra sweetener). In the picture above, we made them without stevia, but sprinkled a tiny bit on top of each one, which tasted great!

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with parchment-paper muffin cups.
Melt the chocolate bars/chips and creamed coconut together in a double boiler, whisking occasionally. Once this is all melted together, remove from burner and add the rest of the ingredients, continuing to stir. As soon as you add the eggs, the mixture will thicken a lot, so you may want to add them last.
Fill each muffin cup about 1/3 full. Bake for about 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan for about 1/2 an hour, then cool on a plate for another 15 minutes or so, then cool in the fridge until cold. These will be a little crumbly until you get them fully cooled down, at which point they become completely stuck together and kind of soft-hard like a cross between brownies and truffles! Enjoy!

Root Vegetable Latkes

A new (healthier, lower-carb, and still delicious) take on another old holiday favorite.
For approximately 8 latkes:

3 medium-sized rutabagas or turnips, grated
1 large carrot, grated (optional)
1 large burdock root, grated (optional)
4 eggs, beaten well
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
salt and pepper
ghee or lard or coconut oil (or olive oil, but be careful not to let the oil get to the smoking point)
sour cream for dipping or topping
parsley, minced, for garnish/topping

Once the root veggies are grated, wrap them in paper toweling (or a clean dish cloth), and squeeze out all extra liquid (turnips, especially, will need this). Then combine all ingredients and mix well.

Heat a large skillet (I use cast-iron) over medium heat. Add oil and let it heat up, then spoon batter into the hot oil in large spoonfuls. Cook about 4 minutes on each side, pressing flat once you turn them over, until golden-brown and a little crispy. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh sour cream (raw if possible) and a sprinkle of minced parsley.

Variations: #1) do these with zucchini; #2) add grated parmesan or manchego or cheddar cheese to batter.

Gluten-Free/Grain-Free Holiday Stuffing #1

A few people have been asking me for stuffing ideas(dressing for you Brits [one person asking was a british friend]!), so here’s one I just did this week that was great. I’ll get up a few more soon, as Thanksgiving approaches. Sorry these aren’t the greatest photos. I’ll try to get better ones next time.

Grain-Free, Gluten-Free Vegetable Holiday Stuffing #1

This will be enough to stuff a medium-sized turkey or chicken and have some left over to bake separately. Really the great thing about stuffing is the flavor the herbs give it. We didn’t miss the bread at all here.

2 or 3 medium-sized carrots, diced
2 large stalks celery, diced
1 large (or 2 medium) leeks, sliced thinly
1 medium to large onion, finely diced
1 T dried rosemary, ground up a bit
2 T dried sage, ground
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 pound butter, melted
1/4 to 1/2 cup bone broth
1/4 to 1/2 cup blanched almond flour

Saute all the veggies until soft in a couple T of the butter, adding the herbs toward the end. Place veggies in a baking dish (I use pyrex or ceramic) with the rest of the butter, broth, and the almond flour. Stir a bit until well-mixed. Place in a 350F oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until slightly browned on top.
Alternately, you can take as much of the stuffing as will fill your turkey or chicken, then bake the rest as above. Serve with gravy. It’s delicious!

Here’s the roasted chicken we ate stuffed with the above dressing last week, which I rubbed with butter,  fresh garlic, paprika, thyme, sage, a little cumin, salt and pepper before I put it in the oven. Kept basting the whole time, every 20 minutes or so, and it came out great. A trick my stepmother taught me for doing large birds is to start baking it in the oven upside-down for a while. Then all the fat from the underside and the dark meat, etc., runs into the breast side which can sometimes dry out a bit. I tried it last Thanksgiving and it really worked. You just have to take it out about half-way through and flip it breast-side up and rub with more herbs, so you get the crispy skin on top without too much drying.

Obviously, gearing up for the holidays already! Who says every day can’t be Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday, since it’s all about food, friends and family–certainly not about stealing the country from our Native American ancestors for my family! That’s for another day when I feel like ranting)? I think I feel pretty thankful most of the time, especially with a diabetic kid.

Our Favorite Fall Breakfast (for this week)

Slow-Cooker Paleo Chili

2 lbs 100% organic grass-fed ground beef
2 14.5-oz cans organic petite diced tomatoes (we like ones with chipotle or adobo) (or 1 and 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes, in season)
1 large onion, diced
1 or 2 large carrots, diced
1 or 2 stalks celery diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced (optional)
4 or 5 cloves garlic, minced
2 T ground cumin
2 to 3 T chili powder (preferably chipotle again, if you can find it)
2 T ghee or organic lard from pastured pigs
salt and pepper to taste

Heat ghee in a skillet, and cook the meat in it for a few minutes. It doesn’t have to be thoroughly cooked. Transfer it to the slow-cooker. Saute onions, carrots, celery, peppers in the pan for a few minutes (adding more oil if you need to), then add the cumin and saute for a couple more minutes. Add these to the slow-cooker too. Throw in the garlic, tomatoes, and spices. Stir until mixed well. Set slow-cooker to low for about 7 hours. This is a great meal to come home to on a blustery fall day, and warmed up for breakfast and/or lunch, with a green salad is terrific.

If you’re in a rush in the morning, you can forego sauteeing the veggies–just throw them all in slow-cooker raw, with the meat, and they’ll still be well-cooked when you open it up 7 or 8 hours later!

Variation:If you are not eating a paleo diet, and want to use beans in your chili, we always used to use black beans, as they are a little lower in carbohydrate than some other beans. Just remember to prepare them in a traditional way, otherwise you won’t be absorbing any of the nutrients, and will give yourself stomach problems! Also remember that contrary to mainstream advice, beans are very high in carbohydrates, and will spike sugar and/or insulin, so use wisely and sparingly.

 

 

Simple Green Salad to go with Chili

Lots of fresh organic lettuce (which there is tons of this time of year)
Avocado, sliced or diced
Red onions, diced (optional)
Grated carrot
Any other veggies you like ( we often use dried powdered seaweed of some sort. Cilantro and/or parsley are great. Sauerkraut is another one;this is a good way to get your daily intake)
Toss all ingredients together. Serve with the chili.

If you want a good dressing, here’s a simple vinaigrette:

1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice
1/4 cup organic, extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil
1/4 of a small red onion, minced
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/4 to 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup organic sour cream, preferably raw (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake well until thoroughly combined.

Pumpkin Muffins and Cinnamon Orange Cardamom Swirl Pumpkin Pie (Grain/Gluten-free;Sugar-free)

Pumpkin Muffins
These are SO good! I “discovered” this recipe by accident once, when I had planned to make almond-butter-carrot muffins, at my daughter’s behest, and suddenly realized I had no carrots on hand, but did have a can of organic pumpkin puree (this time of year, when gourds abound, making your own pumpkin puree can be great too)…

Ingredients:
1/3 cup almond flour
1 cup almond butter
1 and 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 cup butter, melted over low heat
2 eggs
1 T maple syrup
1 T maple extract
Approximately 14 scoops of KAL organic stevia (or to taste)
1 heaping T cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 to 1 tsp powdered cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease muffin pans (this makes about 10 to 12 medium-sized muffins)
Mix the pumpkin puree and almond butter together until well-combined, then beat in the eggs, syrup and butter. Combine the almond flour, stevia and spices. Add to the wet ingredients, mix until combined, then scoop into greased muffin pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a fork stuck in the middle just barely comes out clean.
These keep well in the fridge for at least a week. They freeze well for months.

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Cinnamon Orange Cardamom Swirl Pumpkin Pie
I’ve never actually been a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but this one I love–I think it’s the combination of the slight hint of orange and cardamom combined that makes it so good. I came up with it when I was on a complete cardamom kick last year–just couldn’t get enough of it. It was winter, it’s a warming spice. What can I say…?

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Crust:
1 and 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 T vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients well and press into a pie pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, until just barely starting to brown. remove from oven and let cool completely.

Filling:
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted over low heat
1/4 cup butter, melted over low heat
3/4 coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk
2 eggs
1 T vanilla extract
Grated rind of one orange
12 to 14 scoops KAL organic stevia (or to taste)
1 T cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Beat the eggs well, then add pumpkin, coconut oil, butter, stevia, vanilla extract and grated orange rind. Continue to beat (or whisk) until frothy and the stevia is pretty well-dissolved. Combine all the spices in a small separate bowl. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the cooled pie crust, then sprinkle the spices into it, stirring just enough to make swirly patterns. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until firm and a fork stuck into the middle comes out clean.

GAPS-and-Paleo-friendly Minestrone Soup

2 quarts soup stock (see Bone Broth recipe)
2 to 3 T ghee or lard
1 pound grass-fed ground beef
1/2 pound organic, uncured bacon, cooked (optional, but if you do use it, keep the fat when you’re done, otherwise have a little extra lard or ghee on hand)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium leek, finely chopped
1 cup cabbage, chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 to 2 tsp chili powder (we like chipotle)
1 tsp cumin (optional)
1/2 very large carrot, diced, plus the other 1/2, spiralized into “noodles”
1 medium zucchini, also spiralized
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas (optional)
1 large tomato, diced (optional), or 1 can tomato paste (optional)
sea salt and ground pepper to taste
Grated parmesan for garnish (optional)

In a large soup pot, saute onion and leek in lard or ghee, until softened. Add the stock, cabbage,  diced carrot, garlic and chili powder, bring to a quick boil, turn down heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes to 1/2 an hour. Meanwhile, cook the ground beef in the leftover bacon fat, with cumin if using. When done, add to the soup pot. Simmer another few minutes, then crumble in the bacon, add peas, tomato or paste, salt and pepper. Simmer a few more minutes, then add the zucchini “noodles.” Remove from heat. Ladle into soup bowls and top with the fresh spiralized carrot “noodles,” and/or grated parmesan.

Falling asleep, trying to post more recipes, and it finally worked…

Recipes on this page:

1. Mint Shrimp Fritters
2. Summer Green Gazpacho
3. Blueberry Crumble Pie

Mint Shrimp Fritters

Approx 1 lb cooked shrimp, minced
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup red onion, minced
2 T cilantro, minced
2T mint, minced
1 T + 1 t toasted sesame oil
celtic sea salt to taste
stevia to taste (optional, a very minimal amount)
Jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced, to taste (also optional)
limes for garnishing
some good high-heat fat for cooking (lard or ghee, or combination of ghee and coconut oil, duck fat, etc)

Combine all ingredients well and refrigerate for at least 1/2 an hour. Remove from fridge and form into approx. 2 and 1/2-inch patties. Heat the oil over medium-high heat, and cook fritters about 5 minutes each side, until just slightly beginning to brown.
Serve sprinkled with lime juice, or serve a tomato-basil sauce for dipping.

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Summer-Green Gazpacho

We have such an overabundance of cucumbers in our garden this year, I am constantly trying to come up with ways to eat them (other than fresh off the vine [which we do a lot of], pickling, lacto-fermenting, etc). An old childhood favorite for me is gazpacho, both red and green. The red recipe is in my book, so here’s the green!

2 or 3 large fresh cucumbers, chopped
3 medium to large cloves garlic (depending on how much you like garlic!), crushed
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 to 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup full-fat, plain yoghurt
juice of 2 limes
1/4 t cumin
a little bit of chipotle pepper, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 t or more (to taste) of apple cider vinegar

Blend all ingredients in food processor. If you like it a little chunky, don’t blend for too long, otherwise, do it to a creamy consistency.

Garnish with basil or cilantro leaves.

Variations:I also sometimes add fresh basil, or some kale from the garden to give it a little sour bite (and get more of those greens into my daughter!)

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Grain-free/Gluten-free/Sugar-free Low-carb Blueberry Crumble Pie

Free of all that, you’d think it would taste like cardboard, but it doesn’t–it’s delicious!

Filling:
1 and 1/2 to 2 pints fresh-picked blueberries (or frozen, if not available, but put them in a strainer for a while to drip out extra liquid as they thaw if you use these)
1 T grated lemon or orange rind
1 T vanilla extract
6 scoops KAL organic stevia (or to taste)
2 T arrow root

Topping:
2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup coconut oil and/or butter, melted over a low heat
1 T vanilla extract
6 scoops KAL organic stevia
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix all filling ingredients together well, and place in an 9 inch deep-dish pie pan. Then mix all dry topping ingredients together. Mix together butter and vanilla separately, then stir the wet into the dry until you have a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle this over the berries in the pan, to cover evenly. Bake covered for about 20 minutes (the berries should be bubbling), then for another 15 minutes or so, until the topping is slightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes. Serve as is, or with a dollop of fresh raw whipped cream or home-made ice cream on top.