Pina Colada Ice Cream

4 Comments

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I’m still on that ice cream kick.

It’s hard not to be when it is so easy to make!

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You only need a few ingredients, and the options are endless.

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Have you tried the Dang Toasted Coconut Chips?

They are delicious! Just coconut, coconut sugar, and sea salt. Gluten free, non GMO, and vegan. They are a perfect little sweet snack or you can put them on top of ice cream, brownies, cake…anything you like really.

(photo courtesy of Dang.com)

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They went perfectly with the pineapple and rum flavor in the ice cream.

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Pina Colada Ice Cream

3 Cups of Organic Non-BPA Full Fat Coconut Milk

2/3 Cups of Organic Coconut Sugar

1Vanilla Bean, Split down the length and scraped

8 Organic Egg Yolks

2 Cups of Fresh Organic Pineapple, peeled and cored

1/4 Cup of Small Pineapple Chunks

Juice of 2 Key Limes (Or about 2 Tablespoons of Lime Juice)

5 Tablespoons of Dark Rum (Or Rum Extract but you would only need probably 1/2 teaspoon)

Dang Toasted Coconut Chips (Or, toasted coconut flakes)

In a blender, add the 2 Cups of fresh pineapple, the key lime juice, and the rum. Blend until smooth, set aside.

In a medium saucepan add the coconut milk, sugar, vanilla bean and scrapings, and the egg yolks. Heat on medium stirring constantly until it comes to a tiny bit of a simmer and the liquid coats the back of a spoon. About 20 minutes or so. You should be able to run your finger down the back of the spoon and it will leave a line. Fish out the vanilla beans with a slotted spoon or large fork and discard. Add the pineapple puree and stir. Stir in the 1/4 Cup of pineapple chunks.

Pour the liquid into a heat proof container and allow to cool on the counter for 30 minutes. Then, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled, 4-8 hours. It can also be left over night.

Pour the chilled liquid into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers directions. Serve as soft serve or scoop into a freezer proof container and allow to set in the freezer at least 3 hours before serving. When ready to serve, allow it to sit out on the counter with the lid off for 15-20 minutes before serving with an ice cream scoop. This helps it to defrost, allowing for a creamy consistency, avoiding the ice crystal texture that coconut milk ice cream sometimes has.

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Vanilla Bean Nectarine Ice Cream

5 Comments

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I’m on an ice cream making kick.

A couple of years ago I bought the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid Mixer. It makes ice cream making an absolute breeze.

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The ice cream making bowl goes in the freezer for several hours. I usually put mine in a day ahead. Then, you make your ice cream base, chill it, and attach the bowl and paddle to your mixer.

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Pour the chilled ice cream base into the frozen bowl and let it churn on low for about 20 minutes.

It’s as easy as that.

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Vanilla Bean Nectarine Ice Cream

3 Cups of Organic Non-BPA Full Fat Coconut Milk

2/3 Cups of Organic Coconut Sugar

3 Vanilla Beans, Split down the length and scraped

6 Organic Egg Yolks

1/4 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

5 VERY Ripe Organic Nectarines, 3 sliced with peels, 2 pureed with peels

In a medium saucepan add the coconut milk, sugar, vanilla beans and scrapings, cinnamon, sliced nectarines, and the egg yolks. Heat on medium stirring constantly until it comes to a tiny bit of a simmer and the liquid coats the back of a spoon. About 20 minutes or so. You should be able to run your finger down the back of the spoon and it will leave a line. Fish out the vanilla beans with a slotted spoon or large fork and discard. Add the pureed nectarines and stir.

Pour the liquid into a heat proof container and allow to cool on the counter for 30 minutes. Then, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled, 4-8 hours. It can also be left over night.

Pour the chilled liquid into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers directions. Serve as soft serve or scoop into a freezer proof container and allow to set in the freezer at least 3 hours before serving. When ready to serve, allow it to sit out on the counter with the lid off for 15-20 minutes before serving with an ice cream scoop. This helps it to defrost, allowing for a creamy consistency, avoiding the ice crystal texture that coconut milk ice cream sometimes has.

Chocolate Cherry Chunk Ice Cream

11 Comments

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What is normal?

“I just want to eat like a normal person.”

I hear it in the allergen free isle at the grocery store, I hear it from people with chronic illness in the numerous health groups I belong to, and I read it on social media all-the-time. And although those words haven’t really slipped from my lips in years and years, sometimes I do fantasize about what I would eat if I had one 24 hour allergen free day and a promise that I wouldn’t feel terrible.

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So, I do understand the mindset of wanting to eat like a “normal” person. Having to eliminate things from your diet in a such a major way because it’s harming your health can be overwhelming. It takes research, extra time, and usually involves a lot of whiny grumpy family members, and friends who think you’ve lost your mind who try to sabotage your diet.

I have to continually be diligent and try new ways to help my body feel well. I started dairy free living many years ago, then went gluten-free, and as of about 6 months ago, I’m grain free the majority of the time as well. Believe me, I feel your struggle. That’s why I try to come up with tasty things for you and I to eat so we don’t feel like we’re missing out.

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Now, let’s think about how these so called “normal” people really eat. If we base a normal person’s diet just on what people in the U.S. are consuming, the majority of their diet is fast food and prepackaged food, which is loaded with chemicals, pesticides, and hormones. They drink gallons of refined sugar laden, caffeine boosted, carbonated drinks every year. They eat meat that is fed GMO corn and wheat, and meat that is saturated with growth hormones. They eat chickens that have never seen the light of day and are fed only grains and chemicals.

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“Normal” eaters consume vast amounts of soy in all of the packaged and fast foods they eat. Which is not only highly estrogenic, but also the most genetically altered food on the planet. The majority of their diet is white. They fill their bodies all day, every day, with things that their systems no longer even recognize as food. Enter leaky gut, candida overgrowth, and auto immune disorders. Our guts are damaged, and what we know now is that our gut is the epicenter of our immune system. A damaged gut puts your immune system and histamine into overdrive which means that your body is working against you and the inflammation in your body sky rockets. This leaves you vulnerable to a whole host of auto immune issues, viruses, bacterial infections, and parasites which leads to big trouble.

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These people with a “normal” diet who some people think are so lucky to be able to eat whatever they want, are suffering dearly. They can’t really eat whatever they want without any issues. Let’s be logical. Our nation, along with many others are having major health issues. Human beings are on TONS of pharmaceuticals because they are treating only the symptoms of what really ails them. And sadly, many of these “normal” people, along with their under educated physicians, often have their heads in the sand when it comes to learning and implementing new ideas about diet and health.

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 A “normal” person’s school lunch program considers a chemical laden ketchup packet a vegetable serving. Cancer is rising, chronic illness is rising, psychiatric issues are rising, pain levels are rising, heart disease is rising, obesity is rising, children’s behavioral issues are rising, auto immune diseases are rampant. There are all kinds of studies now that link what we eat and how those eating habits wreak havoc on our bodies inside and out.

In fact, they are learning more and more now about how the damage we’ve done to our bodies changes our cells and affects future generations. Leading an unhealthy lifestyle can determine which DNA is switched off and on for your descendants. Diseases, mental illness, deformities, behavioral issues… Scary stuff.

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The good news is that by taking care of yourself and eating well, you can actually reverse damage. It’s a pretty amazing thing to know that the way you live can determine how your future generations will fare, health wise. If you’ve been negative and acting like a Debbie Downer about the dietary changes you’re required to make, work at changing your perspective.

Taking control of your health and educating yourself IS normal. Getting rid of allergen foods that are setting you up for chronic illness and slowly killing you, IS normal. Trying to focus on eating real food, and loving your body for your own sake and those you love, IS NORMAL.

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Jump for joy that YOU are NOT society’s definition of “normal”!

You have been empowered to make a positive change in your life and the lives around you. When you are healthy and feeling good, you are happy. You are energetic, you sleep well, love well, and enjoy life. Life is meant to be so much better than settling for “normal”.

Be well.

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Chocolate Cherry Chunk Ice Cream

3 Cups of Organic Non-BPA Full Fat Coconut Milk

2/3 Cups of Organic Coconut Sugar

1/4 teaspoon of Instant Coffee Granules

1/2 Cup of Organic Unsweetened Baking Cocoa

Pinch of Sea Salt

1/4 teaspoon of Organic Ground Cinnamon

1 Can (drained) of Dark Sweet Cherries (15 oz)

6 Organic Egg Yolks

3 Ounces of Organic 70% Dark Chocolate, chopped/chunks

In a medium saucepan add the coconut milk, sugar, instant coffee granules, cocoa powder, sea salt, cinnamon, cherries, and egg yolks. Heat on medium stirring constantly until it comes to a tiny bit of a simmer and the liquid coats the back of a spoon. About 20 minutes or so. You should be able to run your finger down the back of the spoon and it will leave a line.

Pour the liquid into a heat proof container and allow to cool on the counter for 30 minutes. Then, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 4 hours.

Pour the chilled liquid into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers directions. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Serve as soft serve or scoop into a freezer proof container and allow to set in the freezer at least 3 hours before serving. When ready to serve, allow it to sit out on the counter with the lid off for 20 minutes. This helps it to defrost, allowing for a creamy consistency, avoiding the ice crystal texture that coconut milk ice cream sometimes has.

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Angel Food Baby Bundt Cakes

6 Comments

2015-06-05 09.35.51

I set out on an angel food cake adventure yesterday.

This one had so much hope. I used sweet potato flour and arrowroot.

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But then…..this happened. It crumpled up like one of those kitchen apple grandma’s as it cooled. It was dense and rubbery, and ended up in the trash. Basically, 12 organic, free range egg whites…wasted. Not an inexpensive adventure.

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I already had the fruit all sugared and marinating in the fridge, so I got on the computer and researched as many Paleo (grain free, nut free, dairy free) angel food cake recipes as I could.

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There aren’t many that actually look like a traditional angel food cake.

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Then I ran across Cassidy’s Craveable Creations version. Although hers didn’t have the traditional color of an angel food cake because of the use of coconut sugar, from the photos on her blog, it looked like it had a pretty reasonable texture.

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So, I just threw my recipe testing out the window and went full steam ahead using her recipe.

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I put the batter in mini bundt pans because I was fearful that it would collapse again. I hoped that with a smaller amount of batter there was less chance of collapse. Thankfully, I was right. Once they cooled just a little. I set them upside down to cool the rest of the way on top of drinking glasses on each edge.

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The only downside, is that typically, you don’t ever grease or oil an angel food cake pan. The same doesn’t hold true for bundt pans evidently…even if they’re non-stick. So if you choose to make these, make sure you at least spray your pans lightly so you aren’t digging them out with a fork like I had to.

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Had I sprayed the pans they would have come out easily and would have been much prettier to look at. But oh well. they were going to be bathed in berries and whipped cream anyway….

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Luckily, they tasted fabulous. They had that same bouncy, sticky, kind of texture that a “real” angel food cake has. They were just sweet enough and the coconut sugar gives them a caramel color as well as a bit of a caramel taste.

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I’d already cleaned the kitchen three times and didn’t want to drag my heavy duty mixer out of the pantry again for whipped cream after dinner. I used some full fat coconut milk (the solid part with a bit of milk) with vanilla and coconut sugar in the Nutribullet and it worked out great!

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24 eggs later, we had a very pretty and delicious dessert last night. And if you think I just couldn’t find room to eat two more for breakfast…you’re wrong.

You can go here for Cassidy’s Recipe. It’s grain, nut, dairy, and refined sugar free.

2015-06-05 10.07.40

Peanut Butter Bars

2 Comments

2015-05-27 15.48.48

Sometimes in life, peanut butter and chocolate are called for.

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There is no substitute, in my opinion.

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I don’t crave a lot of sugar luckily, but when I do, I think the perfect little snack is an organic dark chocolate square with a dollop of salty, crunchy, peanut butter. It’s quick, satisfying, easy, and doesn’t break the sugar bank.

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I’ve been trying to bake and cook and roast things here and there in order to have some back up items in the freezer.

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If you’re on an allergen free diet, specifically grain free and dairy free, you know what I mean. If you’re not prepared with quick and easy foods to eat, the kitchen can be a dismal place.

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There are days I stand in front of the fridge and the pantry several times and think, there’s just nothing to eat. 

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But, you know as well as I do that isn’t true because most of us with food allergies have a plethora of vegetables in our fridges and healthy items in our pantry.

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That,” there’s nothing to eat thing ” just actually means that, #1 The fridge is full of things I don’t feel like preparing, or #2 That feeling that I would rather starve than eat yet another vegetable.

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I had a day like that yesterday. So, I made these peanut butter bars.

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I ate 2 and they hit the spot. And now I have several in the fridge for those days I need a little something special.

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Grain Free & Dairy Free Peanut Butter Bars

*Makes about 24 bars

*Bottom Layer*

1 Cup of Coconut Flour

1/4 Cup of Arrowroot Flour

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Sugar

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt

2/3 Cup Dairy Free Butter, measured then melted

1/3 Cup Coconut oil, measured then melted

About 8 Tablespoons of water added one at a time

*Topping*

1 Cup of Dairy Free Chocolate

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil

1 Cup of Crunchy Peanut Butter

1/4 Cup of Coconut Sugar

Line and 8×8 baking pan with parchment and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk all of the bottom layer dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the butter and coconut oil and stir well. Begin adding the water one Tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition. You want the dough to be of the consistency of cookie dough or slightly softer. (See picture above) Press dough into pan lined with parchment. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the dough is golden and no longer soft in the middle. Cool completely.

In a small bowl stir the peanut butter and 1/4 cup of the coconut sugar together. Spread over the cooled crust. Place the bars in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Remove the bars from the freezer, spread the chocolate and return to the freezer for another 30 minutes.

Remove the peanut butter bars from the freezer and pull them out of the pan with the parchment overhang. Slice into squares with a sharp knife and store in the fridge or freezer.

Strawberry Yogurt Pops

1 Comment

2015-05-19 14.10.35

These Strawberry Yogurt Pops are an easy and healthy sweet treat.

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The only ingredients are fresh strawberries, and coconut yogurt.

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I used home made coconut yogurt, but you don’t have to. You can use any yogurt you like. For future reference, it’s simple to make your own though! I make mine with 5 1/2 Cups of organic full fat coconut milk, 2 Tablespoons of pure maple syrup, 1 1/2 Tablespoons of gelatin, 1 probiotic capsule, and then whatever additives I feel like putting in there that week. This time it was pure vanilla and pure almond extract.

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 I put everything but the gelatin in the Vitamix and whiz it up on high, then I turn it to medium and slowly sprinkle the gelatin and then allow it to blend for 1-2 minutes. I pour it into the yogurt jars, put the lids on, and let it warm for 8 hours. When time is up, I swirl each yogurt because the coconut milk has a tendency to separate, and place it in the fridge over night.

I use this yogurt maker.

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Once you have your yogurt on hand, you simply wash and slice up your favorite fruit. Add the yogurt, whiz it up until smooth (or not smooth, whatever your preference) and fill your popsicle molds. Easy.

Amounts will depend on how many you’d like to make. Keep in mind that you need very ripe fruit if you don’t want to add extra sweeteners.

2015-05-19 14.10.55

Tick #7~Give A Girl A Cookie!

8 Comments

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Yesterday afternoon, I found tick #7 while I was trying to relax and read a book in the tub. It was crawling up the tile right by the faucet. Right by my foot. Tick #1 was on my son’s knee, under his jeans a couple of weeks ago after he had come in from playing outside with the dogs. Tick #2 was crawling up the wall in the living room. Tick #3 was crawling up the sheers next to the front door, tick #4 was found crawling up the backyard slider screen door. Tick #5 was spotted crawling around on the blinds behind the kitchen sink, and tick #6 was found by our son, crawling up the wall in the same vicinity as tick #2.

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Not all in one day, of course. It’s been about 1-2 every week. The Good Lord knows me all too well and obviously that if I were to find 7 ticks in one day in my house….well, let’s just say, He never gives us more than we can handle.

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Instead of running out the front door screaming, I calmly crawled out of the tub possibly uttering a few (many) toothless trucker swear words, and Googled if it was possible to have an infestation of ticks inside your house. Oh, and I discussed it with my friends because that’s where all the real life information and support is anyway. Except one friend I have in New Hampshire who informed me they have professionals spray because one year, the entire side of their house was crawling with ticks.

O.M.G. That……..maybe I didn’t need to hear that.

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The internet or “innerweb” as my husband likes to call it, had a lot of really alarming things to say which did start to really FREAK ME OUT. I won’t share them with you, because both of us don’t need to be freaked out. I’m pretty convinced that they are coming in on the animals and we’re just missing them. Or, coming in by themselves because we are backed up to that huge infested 500 acres of tick field behind us. I’m trying very hard to remain calm and not think about larvae, and infestations, Lyme re-infection, and other words that make my hair stand on end and make me want to have a nervous breakdown.

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I had to eat an entire personal sized watermelon and balanced it out with a chicken leg because I was so stressed and there wasn’t one thing in this house that was sweet that fits into my damn diet. Whoever named it a personal sized watermelon, wasn’t joking.

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So.

Like any freaked out woman on a mission with watermelon juice running down her chin and a chicken bone in her mouth, I put my planning cap on and took the bull by the horns. I promptly grabbed our less than friendly cat by the scruff of her neck, and gave her a brushing like I’m sure she’s never seen the likes of. She only bit me twice.

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Then, I went upstairs and made sure there were no ticks in my bed. Then the dog beds. Every piece of dust and fuzz on our dark floors and every little nick on the wall screamed, “TICK!!!!!” and made me want to run for my life. But, somehow, I held it together. I scrubbed both dogs from head to toe and made sure nothing creepy was living on them. They crawled right into the tub for me with no hassles. They’re my sweet babies of course, unlike the cat who reminds me of a nasty teenager.  After watching me brush the cat with wide eyes and puzzled looks, I’m guessing they knew better

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After they were dried, I wiped down everything in the house. I loaded my Dyson with Eucalyptus Globulus oil because it’s supposed to kill ticks and they hate the smell of it, and then vacuumed every single square inch of my house that I could reach. I made a pact with myself that I would order white sheets with no pattern for our bed tomorrow and I would make the time to vacuum every single day, for the rest of the summer.  Then I went to bed with pulled muscles, armed with ibuprofen, Calm tea, Stress Away essential oil, and one eye open.

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Today is a new day, thankfully. So far, no ticks.

I’ve dubbed today, Cookie Day.

Because no one should ever have to self medicate with watermelon and a chicken leg. Oh yeah, and feel free to stop by unannounced any time this summer because my house is going to be freaking spotless. 

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Coconut Raisin Haystacks

*Makes 24 cookies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

1 8oz Bag of Organic Unsweetened Shredded Coconut 

1/3 Cup of Organic Coconut Sugar

3 Tablespoons of Cassava Flour

1/8 teaspoon of Sea Salt

3 Organic Egg Whites plus 1 Whole Egg

1 Tablespoon of Filtered Water

1/2 teaspoon of Pure Almond Extract

1/2 teaspoon of Organic Ground Cinnamon

1/3 Cup of Organic Raisins

2/3 Cups of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

1 teaspoon of Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

Add the shredded coconut to a medium bowl. Add the coconut sugar, cassava flour, salt, egg whites, whole egg, water, cinnamon, almond extract and raisins. Stir thoroughly until the mixture is completely combined and thoroughly moist. 

Using a spoon, form mounds of dough and place on a parchment covered baking sheet. 

Place on the middle rack of your oven and bake for 20 minutes. 

While cookies are baking, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil to drizzling consistency. 

Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Drizzle with chocolate and enjoy!