(because Granny doesn’t make ’em gluten free, no added sugar and low in cholesterol, but still yummy!)
These cookies were entered into the San Diego County Fair’s baking competition. Since there is no category for “gluten free”, I had to enter these into the “Healthy Baking” category. To make them “healthy” (rules were they had to be low sugar), I simply took my original GF Oatmeal Cookie recipe, substituted dates and bananas for the sugar and modified the wet/dry ingredients to make the right consistency.
These cookies aren’t very pretty compared to the competition so I’m not sure if they will win a prize, but everyone in the office seemed to think they were delicious and that is better than any ribbon!
Yield 24 cookies
Ingredients (in order of use)
3 tablespoons unsalted organic butter (or use coconut oil and make them dairy free)
1 cup chopped medjool dates (pits removed)
1 tablespoon molasses
1 whole organic egg
1 ½ tablespoons vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
2 medium mashed ripe bananas
1 cup all-natural crunchy peanut butter
3 cups gluten free quick oats
1 cup unsweetened raisins
⅓ cup raw cacao nibs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
With a fork, mash together dates, molasses and butter. Once this buttery sweet mixture is mashed together, use an electric mixer to whip together. Add egg, while mixer is on low, add vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and bananas. Slowly mix in peanut butter. Turn off mixer. Slowly hand stir in oats, taking care not to over mix. Add raisins and cacao nibs and stir to combine. Spoon one large tablespoon of dough per cookie onto cookie sheet, placing one inch apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned. Allow to cool on a rack.
Turkey Stuffed Pumpkin, Salt and Vinegar Pumpkin Seeds, and Pumpkin Smoothies, oh my! These recipes are all easy to follow, gluten free, casein free, and both AIP and Paleo friendly.
This fine orange squash has my creativity chakra spinning! If you are in North America you are seeing everything pumpkin right now. Trader Joe’s, one of my favorite grocery stores here in Southern California, is carrying everything from pumpkin butter and pumpkin cheese, to pumpkin coffee and even pumpkin ravioli! Ok, so the ravioli isn’t gluten free, but it still has me inspired with the tastes of the season. In my last post I talked about the amazing GI reparative cleanse I was on. I created this stuffed pumpkin recipe so I could have something amazing to eat while on the cleanse. I adapted the recipe from my favorite cookbook, The Joy of Cooking.
My turkey stuffed pumpkin is AIP and Paleo friendly, casein free and just plain mouth watering. I gave a bite to my office mate, and she was so enchanted she wanted the recipe right away.
I am so excited about pumpkin, I have also created a healthy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie and Roasted Pumpkin Seed recipe to give you some additional ideas on how you can incorporate pumpkin this fall. By the way, I am pretty famous among my family and friends for my pumpkin pie. I plan to post that recipe closer to Thanksgiving, so be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss it!
The Dharma of Pumpkin:
If you are a yogi or yogini you know that Dharma is a sanskrit word meaning purpose in life. In my yoga and meditation classes I ask students to contemplate their own dharma, by asking themselves, “How can I help, how can I serve using my own unique talents and gifts?”. The gifts of pumpkin are too numerous to count. They can be served in both savory and sweet dishes with grace and ease. One serving of pumpkin contains 7 grams of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, lower your risk of heart disease, and helps keep things moving through your digestive tract. Pumpkin is also high in vitamin A to strengthen vision and immune system, beta carotene for an antioxidant boost, and iron for healthy blood. Often folks who suffer from Celiac Disease can become iron deficient, so getting enough iron is crucial. Even the seeds are helping you with a healthy dose of magnesium. There is not much these orange beauties cannot do!
Turkey Stuffed Pumpkin
1 sugar pumpkin (about 2 pounds)
1 cup fresh bulk turkey sausage*
1 large green apple, cored, and cut into ¼ in cubes
¼ cup fresh sage, chopped
⅛ teaspoon stevia (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
*Use lean ground turkey meat if you are on the GI reparative cleanse
Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the pumpkin.
Cut the top off of the pumpkin and remove the seeds and strings. Save the seeds for roasting!
Brush the pumpkin lightly with coconut oil. This puts a pretty sheen on the finished product and aids in baking. Place the pumpkin and pumpkin top on the baking dish and cover with foil. Bake until almost tender, about 30-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, crumble the turkey in a skillet and cook over medium heat. Without draining off the fat, add the cubed apple. If you are using very lean turkey and don’t have any fat in the skillet, add some coconut oil here. Add the sage,salt and pepper and cook, stirring for a few minutes, until the apple is crisp-tender. Set aside.
When the pumpkin is cooked, let it cool a bit and scoop out most of the flesh. Set the pumpkin top aside, you won’t need to bake it again. Gently mix the pumpkin flesh with the turkey mixture. Mix in 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and stevia (stevia is optional if you like a sweet touch). Salt and pepper to taste. Pile the stuffing into your beautiful pumpkin and lightly drizzle with a little more coconut oil. Bake, uncovered, until piping hot, 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving. I like to put the pumpkin lid back on when serving for a little added drama!
Salt and Vinegar Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
1-2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds (leftover from your stuffed pumpkin or jack-o-lantern carving project)
¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove any pumpkin pulp from the seeds, rinse and pat dry. In a bowl, drizzle the seeds with the vinegar until lightly coated. Add salt to taste and toss. Arrange the seeds on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven until they just start to turn golden brown, 15 minutes. Allow to cool and store in an air-tight container. I left my seeds in the oven too long and they burned, then I got burned pulling them out of the oven. Casualties of a gluten free yoga chick! Sorry, no pics for this recipe as I was too busy nursing my wound.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:
1 cup cooled herbal chai tea. I like Trader Joe’s Rooibos Chai or Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
1 frozen banana
teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 scoop of your favorite vanilla nutritional shake powder such as Vega One or Shakeology
1 tablespoon chopped walnut or granola(optional)
In the order above, place all ingredients EXCEPT walnuts into your blender. blend until smooth. Enjoy with a sprinkle of walnut or granola on top for a delectable pumpkin pie “crust”. I won’t tell if you add a dollop of whip cream, too!
What are your favorite foods and recipes of the season? Tell me what you think, and be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss a thing. lv-GFYC
This Paleo friendly cauliflower rice dish is a delectable way to get more veggies into your diet!
Recently I started reparative cleanse to heal my body after accidentally ingesting gluten, and to re-ignite my digestive fire to get it humming harmoniously again. I believe we are all an advocate for our own health. It is very frustrating to go to a restaurant and be very diligent about letting the server know you are allergic to a particular food or on a particular diet brave enough to ask about ingredients and menu options, and still come home with a terrible stomach ache, headache, or low energy that lasts for days and sometimes weeks. The result of insensitive or perhaps unknowledgeable restaurant staff can be devastating to someone with food allergies. For those with Celiac Disease, the damage done to the small intestine after ingesting gluten is permanent and debilitating. In my case, getting slipped the big G left me with all of the symptoms of the stomach flu, anemia, and skin issues and in need of major gut repair.
The cleanse I am on is great because you can eat as much of the approved foods as you want. That means no need to be hungry, or drink strange juice concoctions. What you eliminate is any inflammatory food or known allergen. That means no grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol, nuts, etc. The hardest part is eliminating my beloved coffee! Along with this clean diet, I am taking some high-quality digestive enzymes and digestion supporting herbs prescribed by a health coach and fellow Gluten Free Goddess, Kelly Ann Greene. Be on the look out for a guest blog with Kelly if you are interested in learning more about the cleanse!
Recipe for the Mind, Body and Spirit:
It is so important to love your food, even on a restrictive diet. This Mediterranean bowl is cleanse friendly, filling, and a feast for the eyes. The main attraction of this dish is the cauliflower rice. Cooking the cauliflower quickly, as in this recipe, will eliminate the sulfur smell and taste. Add your own herbs and spices to the rice recipe and it can be a great compliment to any main course. You may not mistake this for real rice, but the texture, flavor, and color satisfies the mind, body and soul. Cauliflower is high in potassium which regulates body functions, and one serving has almost as much vitamin C as a whole orange!
Ingredients: (Serves 4 people)
1 head of cauliflower
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste
2 cups Spinach
½ head of Romaine lettuce
½ cup pitted green olives
30-40 small or medium size pre-cooked shrimp
1 cucumber: peeled, deseeded, and chopped
1 cup purple cabbage, chopped
½ cup olive oil
½ cup apple cider vinegar
salt to taste
Method: Cauliflower Rice
Cut off any green leaves or brown spots from the head of cauliflower. Chop the cauliflower head in half and remove the core, then cut the florets into uniform size florets. In small batches, place the raw florets in a Vitamix on low speed, using the plunger to chop the cauliflower into rice-sized pieces. Be careful not to over chop. I use #3 on my Vitamix dial. If you are using a food processor, use the pulse feature to finely chop your cauliflower.
In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium heat and add garlic. Lightly saute the garlic, being careful not to let it turn brown. Add the rice to the skillet with the salt and saute until slightly toasted, adding the cilantro at the end to wilt into the rice. Do not overcrowd the pan or you will end up with soggy rice! Remove from heat and set aside.
Method: Mediterranean Bowl
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar and salt to make the dressing.
Divide the lettuce and spinach in four separate serving bowls. Layer the rice, cucumber, shrimp, olives and purple cabbage onto your beds of lettuce. drizzle your oil and vinegar dressing over the top and enjoy!
This recipe serves 4, but it is easy to make more or less if needed. If you don’t plan on eating all of the cauliflower rice, freeze the uncooked chopped cauliflower in serving size freezer bags. It makes a great go-to side with any dish.
I am on day 9 of this cleanse and with meals like this I feel like I could keep going! I feel great and lost ½ inch off my belly already. If you have been feeling low energy, have had stomach issues, or just want to do a reasonable but effective fall cleanse, I recommend you try this one. Please leave a message or a comment and let me know if you want to learn more about this cleanse, or have your own experience with a cleanse you would like to share. Let’s help ourselves and each other love our food, love our bodies, and transform our lives!
A friend and I went on a hike on the beach bluffs in So Cal and we needed a healthy treat to take along. I threw together these delish energy bites and they were a big hit! I even had leftovers and took them to my team at work to give them a little fuel while facilitating the Chopra Center’s Perfect Health Teacher Training course.
No added sugar! Balanced mix of healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates plus the added benefits of Shakeology’s superfood blend to give you tons of sustained energy.
1 ½ Cup raw almonds
1 ½ cup raisins, dates, or unsweetened dried cherries
1 scoop chocolate superfood nutrition or protein powder. (I use Shakeology)
1 tablespoon 100% unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon coarse ground kosher salt
1 to 2 tablespoons coconut oil
½ cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut (optional)
Add ingredients to your Vitamix in this order: almonds, dried fruit, Shakeology, cocoa powder, salt and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Use a food processor if you don’t have a Vitamix.Start the machine on low speed, don’t be shy about using the plunger tool to mash the mix into the blade (don’t worry, a Vitamix will turn off before it overheats). If the mix is too dry, add the remaining coconut oil. When the mix is ready the fruit and chocolate will be completely integrated and the almonds will be in ground into small, pebble size pieces. Empty the container on a clean surface. Using your palms, roll spoonfuls of the mix into bite size balls and roll into the shredded coconut. Serve in mini muffin papers to make them a little more special. Presentation counts, we eat with our eyes, too!
If you substitute your own chocolate protein powder for Shakeology, just be sure that the scoop isn’t too big or the mix will be too dry. If it does turn out dry, just add more coconut oil.
Winning a baking contest at the County Fair has always been on my bucket list, and this year it was my mission to enter a gluten free, healthy dish into a county fair cooking competition. As a kid, I remember most of the fun in going to the county fair is walking by the food vendors and getting a whiff of some salty-sweet heavenly aroma, and feasting my eyes on treats I had never heard of but just HAD to have. Just because I live a healthy gluten free life now, doesn’t mean I have to miss out on this great American summer food tradition. I know my diabetic, vegan and vegetarian friends agree.
In a world where bacon is it’s own food group, I knew a recipe that is gluten free, dairy free and low in sugar would be an oddity at a County Fair cooking competition. I believe a healthy diet can be just as satisfying to the taste buds as it is nourishing to the body, and I wasn’t going to compromise my passion for healthy food for a blue ribbon. I would much rather enter the contest and risk losing, than sell out on myself.
In the end, I did not win the blue ribbon, but I had a blast talking to people about my healthy and delicious style of food. I shared my Salted Peanut Love Spread to the other participants and spectators, and everyone loved it and wanted the recipe!
Salted Peanut Chocolate Spread Recipe
(Inspired by the #LoveYouSticker campaign)
1 cup lite coconut milk
1 cup Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chips
2 tablespoons honey
1 ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground kosher salt + a pinch to dust the finished product (optional)
¾ cup all natural unsalted peanut butter (I used Adams All-Natural)
dash of love
Gently warm the coconut milk in a saucepan on low to medium heat. Watch the milk closely to avoid scalding. Meanwhile, add the chocolate chips to a food processor or high powered blender (I use a Vitamix). Once the milk is hot, not boiling, stir in the honey until completely combined. Add the hot milk mixture to the Vitamix and let sit for 30-60 seconds to start melting the chocolate. Start the Vitamix on low and slowly turn up the speed to 5-6 and let blend for 1-2 minutes. Add the salt and blend an additional 30 seconds. Spoon in the peanut butter and continue to blend for about one minute, or until silky smooth. Using a rubber spatula, scrape out the mixture in a serving bowl or jar and allow the sauce to cool. Sprinkle the remaining salt and a little dash of love on top before serving. Spread the Love onto fruit, breads, friends, and wherever a little love is needed.