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… Want Something Sexy and Vibrant? I Think So!!

This is such a simple recipe to prepare, yet extremely satisfying in flavors and nutrition. The asparagus and mushrooms are cooked together in one pan so clean up is easy. You’ll use a high heat on the stove to quick-sear and obtain a beautiful golden color, then finish the cooking process off in a flash-steam with a splash of white wine. This step is optional but highly recommended. I love how it adds a flavor complexity without much work or cooking time. Likewise, the hemp seeds aren’t required in this dish, they simply add a mild nuttiness and some protein, keeping it meatless and making this ideal for vegans and vegetarians. I only added the hemp seeds as a dusting in the photos, but added more before serving. Don’t be afraid to adjust the quantity to your preference. It has no bearing on the outcome of the cooking process.

This is a perfect lunch bowl or light dinner for individuals who don’t like to cook or who don’t like to fuss much in the kitchen. Only 2 main ingredients and a little oil, all other condiments and seasonings are optional. One pan, fast cleanup. It’s naturally free of the top eight allergens: gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, shellfish, and fish. If you don’t use corn oil to prepare this, then we’re in the clear there too.

This little (or big, depending on how you serve it) Asparagus Mushroom Lunch Bowl is packed with an ample amount of nutritional benefits. Asparagus provides a multitude of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, lots of the B vitamins, Vitamin C and K, and calcium, magnesium, and potassium (among others). Mushrooms bring their own good health support team to the table by way of antioxidants, Vitamin D, selenium, and folate, just for starters. For more details on the benefits here, be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post.

This dish is vibrant and colorful. I think it’s kind of a sexy dish. Whether you’re in it for the ease, or you’re in it for the nutritional benefits, to me this dish is a win. Frankly, I like the healthiest bang for the buck (energy and wallet alike), and sometimes I simply don’t want to spend a lot of time planning and cooking a big meal.  I even kept the post short and sweet savory! What are your thoughts?
 

Gluten-free, Vegan Asparagus Mushroom Lunch Bowl
Servings: 1 main dish serving or 2 side servings
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes
No
Gluten No
Dairy No
Egg No
Soy No
Corn No
Peanut No
Tree
Nut No
Shell
Fish No
Fish Vegan
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1/2-3/4 lb. fresh asparagus, rinsed/tough ends removed, sliced in 1-inch lengths
  • 8 ounces sliced Baby Portabella mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup white wine, optional
  • 1 Tablespoon hemp seeds, optional
Directions
  • Heat oil over medium-high heat just until hot, then add asparagus and mushrooms. Stir. Add onion powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Stir frequently until asparagus and mushrooms have a golden, slightly seared color. Test with fork. When asparagus is firm and can be pierced with a fork (not raw/not soft), turn heat off under pan. Gently pour wine into pan and stir veggies. Turn stove back on and cook until asparagus reaches desired tenderness.
  • Transfer mixture to one or two serving dishes. Sprinkle with hemp seeds, if desired. Serve hot.

Resources:

Asparagus Nutrition, Health Benefits, and Recipes by Dr. Axe

What is the Nutritional Value of Mushrooms

Mushroom Nutrition Benefits: Cancer Fighters and Cell Renewers

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Prosciutto, Red Potato, Pine Nut Salad

Prosciutto and Asparagus Risotto

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… Love Your Coffee? Me Too! Let’s Get it in Donut Form!

These gluten-free, dairy-free baked doughnuts have an exact doughnut texture, appearance, and flavor of the best cake donuts you’ll find, allergen-free or from any bakery. The coconut cream is an excellent substitution for coconut milk, and there’s no need for cream of tarter (which you’ll find in my original Devil’s Food Chocolate Doughnuts recipe). See the little, dark niblets in the picture above? Those are flavor bursts! I love ’em! Feel free to adjust the flavors all you want to suit your coffee or chocolate desires, but you’ll not want to change the other ingredients. These doughnuts have it going on. They’re definitely my new favorite!

Are these breakfast rings available to those of you with other/additional food allergies such as soy, peanuts, and tree nuts? Yes! These scrumptious mocha-laden treats are free from all of those. Please note that the recipe does contain coconut (in the oil and the cream), so if you need to avoid this ingredient, this may not be the recipe for you. I’ll be sure to get you on the flip side with another doughnut recipe using avocado oil and an alternate to the coconut cream. Be sure to stay posted.

While you won’t see any frosting in the photos of these doughnuts, because honestly they just didn’t need it, I’ve included a gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate glaze recipe for your convenience … just in case you gotta have it!

I’ve learned a few tips along the donut-baking road:

Tip 1: This espresso doughnut batter took 10 minutes of baking time in St. George, UT where the elevation is about 2800 feet and the humidity is at about 10% … very dry). In MN, where the elevation is lower and the humidity often sits at about 55 percent, the doughnuts were perfectly baked at 12 minutes.

Tip 2: You’ll notice that I’ve used psyllium husk as my binder, as a substitute for xanthan gum or guar gum. I LOVE using psyllium husk these days and I’ll soon share with you why I’ve omitted gums from my gluten-free baking. Should you wish to use a gum, use an equivalent measurement as a substitution for the psyllium husk.

Tip 3: Want to go completely over the top with flavors? Use the icing recipe included below, glaze the donuts once cooled, and sprinkle with shredded coconut while the icing is still wet. Oh, Oh, Oh … too good for words!

Let’s get our coffee on, shall we?

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Chocolate Espresso Mocha Doughnuts
Servings: 12 standard-size cake doughnuts
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Baking Time: 10-12 minutes
Cool Time: 5 minutes or longer
Oven Temp: 350 °F
No
Gluten No
Dairy No
Soy No
Corn No
Peanut No
Tree
Nut
Ingredients Ingredients for Doughnuts:
  • 1 teaspoon solid/semi-solid coconut oil
  • 1 3/4 cups (210g) gluten-free superfine brown rice flour - I use Authentic Foods
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder – I use Clabber Girl
  • 8 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder - I use Hershey’s
  • 3/4 teaspoon psyllium husk - I use Organic India
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons instant coffee (or adjust to taste), divided – I use Folger’s Instant Decaffeinated
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 8 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted - I use Dr. Bronner’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (no coconut flavor)
  • 2 Tablespoons casein-free margarine, melted - I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread - soy free2
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup canned coconut cream, well stirred - I use Thai Kitchen, not low fat
Ingredients to Glaze:
  • 1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons non-dairy milk - I use Blue Diamond Almond Milk - original flavor
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spread 1 teaspoon solid coconut oil in doughnut pans. Set aside.
  • Add flour to a medium-size bowl. Sift baking powder into flour. Stir cocoa powder, psyllium husk, and salt. Break up any lumps with your fingers. Whisk together until well combined. Set aside.
  • Add brown and white sugars to mixing bowl (I use a KitchenAid Stand Mixer). Add coconut oil and dairy-free buttery spread. Mix on medium-low speed until sugars begin to dissolve. Add eggs and coconut cream and continue to blend until well combined and slightly increased in volume.
  • Add (gradually) the flour mixture into the liquid mixture and blend until fully incorporated. The batter will be just slightly thicker than cake batter.
  • Scoop batter into prepared pans, filling each section about 3/4 full. (I use one level scoopful of a #20 scoop or an ice cream scooper for each full-size doughnut.
  • Bake at 350ºF for approximately10 minutes (depending on your oven and location), or until a toothpick inserted into a doughnut comes out with just a few crumbs on it.
  • Transfer pans to cooling rack and let rest 5 minutes. Remove doughnuts from pans and continue cooling.
  • If you glaze your doughnuts:
  • Place a sheet of wax paper under each cooling rack before glazing doughnuts, for easy clean up.
  • Mix all glaze ingredients together while doughnuts are cooling. Mixture should be slightly thick but still pourable.
  • Drizzle glaze over the doughnuts until well coated. If you wish to decorate the doughnuts, note that the glaze firms up quickly so embellish while the glaze is still slightly moist so the decorations will adhere. Otherwise they fall right off.
  • Serve and Enjoy!
  • Store doughnuts in an airtight container, if desired. The glaze helps seal in the moisture, but I like to store the full-size doughnuts back in their tins when completely cooled. This way the unglazed surfaces stay protected. Works perfectly! And clean-up is easy ... and not necessary until the doughnuts are gone:) It’s a very easy way to transport them too, if you’re bringing them to a party or outing. LOVE that!

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

 

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

Pumpkin Spice Donuts

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… All My Favorites in One Salad!

I like to eat salad … but it has to be interesting salad. You know what I mean? I don’t like spending my time munching on rabbit food. It has to taste good, hold my interest, and even cause intrigue into the next bite’s flavor bursts.

This salad has enough of those delicious components to deliver on all requirements above, while additionally providing plenty of healthy food choices and sustenance to serve as a main dish or complete meal. And it won’t weigh anyone down.

With all the buzz circulating on balancing healthy carbs and proteins, minimizing refined sugar, and getting plenty of greens and healthy oils – oh the buzz keeps me awake at night just trying to sort it all out – this salad won’t keep me, or you, awake with concerns over its goodness.

I’ve included a salad dressing recipe with just enough tang to complement the savory prosciutto, red potatoes, and dairy-free, parmesan-style cheese (this is not sponsored, I just like this parmesan cheese substitute). The occasional hint of sweet Medjool dates counterbalance the raspberries as well.

I’m keeping this entire salad free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, and peanuts.

Someone said, “Always let your conscience be your guide”, (perhaps Jiminy Cricket?) – and this salad will jump right in to fulfill.

Gluten and Dairy Free Prosciutto, Red Potato, and Pine Nut Salad
Servings: 2 Main Dish servings
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes
No
Gluten No
Dairy No
Egg No
Soy No
Corn No
Peanut No
Shell
Fish No
Fish
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons rice vinegar or citrus-flavored vinegar
  • pinch of onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey or a pinch of sugar
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • Half head of Red Leaf Lettuce, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil or another healthy oil suitable for high heat cooking
  • 12-15 small to medium-size Red or New Potatoes, cut into quarters or small slices
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper, to taste
  • 4-6 slices of prosciutto, chopped or diced
  • 6-8 fresh Medjool dates, pitted and diced – (don’t use dried dates)
  • 3-4 ounces fresh, red raspberries, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/3 cup raw pine nuts
  • 2 Tablespoons dairy-free Parmesan-style shredded cheese, optional - I use Follow Your Heart
Directions
  • Make the salad dressing:
  • Whisk together all dressing ingredients (olive oil, vinegar, onion powder, honey or sugar, salt and pepper). Set aside in fridge until ready to garnish salad. Whisk well before using.
  • Place cut, rinsed, dried lettuce in large bowl and chill while preparing remaining salad ingredients. This allows the lettuce to become nicely crisp to give a good crunch contrast to the cooked ingredients.
  • Cook the potatoes, Prosciutto, and pine nuts:
  • In a large skillet, warm 2 teaspoons avocado oil over medium heat. Add prepared potato pieces. Stir to coat. Cook over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring and tossing periodically, about 6-7 minutes or until slightly tender but not soft. Sprinkle onion powder, salt, and pepper over potatoes and remove pan from heat. Transfer potatoes to a plate to cool slightly.
  • Return pan to stove. Heat pan on medium heat. Add chopped prosciutto to pan (no oil needed) and cook, breaking pieces apart as they crisp, until all prosciutto is browned and crisp-tender. Remove from heat and transfer prosciutto to a paper-towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon. Let cool slightly. (This step can also be done in a second pan while the potatoes are cooking). Drain and discard any excess oil/fat from the pan.
  • Add pine nuts to a small pan (or one used in previous steps). Heat on medium-low for 3-5 minutes. Be sure to stir or toss every minute or so to prevent too much browning. Remove from heat.
  • Assemble the salad:
  • Remove bowl of lettuce from refrigerator and add salad dressing, to taste. Toss well to distribute dressing. Divide lettuce into two serving dishes. Over each salad portion, add potatoes, prosciutto, raspberries, and pine nuts. Garnish with dairy-free parmesan-style cheese, if desired. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
  • Serve immediately.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

 

 Other recipes you might enjoy:

Beef, Black Rice, and Apple Medley

Black Rice, Lemon, Kale Salad

Creamy Potato Salad

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… Death of the Gums!

Have you ever used psyllium husk instead of xanthan gum or guar gum in your gluten-free baking?  I’ve been living/working/thriving in my gluten-free, dairy-free lifestyle for nearly 8 years now and for 5+ of them I relied on xanthan gum and/or guar gum as a binding agent to assist my gluten-absent flours. Then I learned about the magic of psyllium husk.

Ispaghula, more commonly known as psyllium, is most commonly used as a dietary fiber, though this is not my purpose for incorporating psyllium husk into my baking.

While gums have their rightful place in some gluten-free kitchens, and perform favorably when used in proper proportions, they easily can cause gummy textures in baked goods or pudding-like recipes. Additionally, xanthan and guar gums can cause intestinal and gut upset. This is the reason I continued looking for an alternative. Personal experience told me to move on.

For the past few years I have been testing all of my favorite baking recipes, substituting xanthan and guar with psyllium husk. It’s a game changer! I’m seriously NEVER going back to using gums again. All of my recipes have better flavor, better texture, and I never hear the words, “This has a funny taste”.

Is there a lot to learn before understanding how to incorporate psyllium husk into your baking? Simply put, no. Merely substitute an equal quantity of psyllium husk for your gum binder.

This Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin recipe is one of our favorites. And I’ve shared it with countless friends, colleagues, and family (99% of whom are not gluten-free foragers). It receives rave reviews.

If you’re interested in learning more about psyllium husk, I encourage you to research it online.

Will you be incorporating psyllium husk into your gluten-free baking? Have questions? Chat with me in the comments or send an email to me directly. I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Baking … with psyllium husk!

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins with Psyllium Husk
Servings: Makes 12 muffins
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Baking Time: 17-19 minutes
Cool Time: 5-10 minutes
Oven Temp: 350 °F
No
Gluten No
Dairy No
Soy No
Peanut
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil - firm is best but not required
  • 2 cups gluten-free superfine brown rice flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons psyllium husk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed or coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 375ºF, with rack in center position of oven.
  • Oil the muffin tin cavities.
  • Add flour, psyllium husk, and salt to a bowl. Sift in the baking powder. Whisk together. Stir chocolate chips in to the flour. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, blend the sugars and oil together until mixture looks like wet sand. Mix one minute longer.
  • Add eggs and beat about 45 seconds, until you reach a creamy consistency. Add mashed banana and mix until just stirred in well.
  • With mixer on low, gradually add in the flour mixture. Blend until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl a few times.
  • Scoop batter in to pan, keeping muffins equal.
  • Bake at 375ºF for about 17-19 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs.
  • Cool muffins in pan on rack 10 minutes, then remove & continue cooling.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Muffins

Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Topping

Chocolate Devil’s Food Doughnuts

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… Tis the Season for the Great Pumpkin … Cake, that is!

With “all things pumpkin” season, I simply couldn’t resist making a pumpkin-shaped cake for a festive seasonal dessert. I acquired this pumpkin-shaped pan years ago and have been remiss to use it almost every autumn since. This year, as I was searching for a completely different item in my stash of “all things baking”, I uncovered it, and as luck would have it, we’re still in the right season to put it to use.

You certainly do not need a pumpkin-shaped pan to make this delicious cake. Sheet cake, Bundt cake, layer cake will all work. I’ve included notes with baking directions and frosting options in the recipe below, depending on which cake shape you choose to create.

Regardless of the shape, this gluten-free, dairy-free recipe yields a cake with a pound or Bundt style texture. It holds up to being manipulated when layered but is tender and has a crumb that is distinctly of a moist cake. The warm spices of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves bring the Fall flavor without being overbearing.

I have always loved pairing a butter cream cheese style frosting with pumpkin desserts (and carrot cake!), but many have not turned out to my liking when creating them in the non-dairy variety. Kite Hill Cream Cheese Style Spread has solved this dilemma. This is not a sponsored post, I just love finding ingredients that ultimately bridge the gap between dairy and dairy-free with delicious results. And then I love sharing these findings with you. This dairy-free cream cheese style frosting is just that bridge. If you prefer cake with no frosting, this cake won’t disappoint if enjoyed “undressed”.

Though there is never a justification needed in my mind to create a delicious dessert, I’m thinking this would be a tasty “conversation” piece for my Thanksgiving table.

Delicious for all – free of gluten, dairy, soy, and peanuts for the foragers in your life.

Happy Pumpkin Cake Baking!

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: 1 Bundt cake or 1 8-inch Layer cake or 2 loaf cakes or 9x13 sheet cake
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
Baking Time: 20-80 minutes
Cool Time: 15 minutes, plus more before frosting
Oven Temp: 350 °F
No
Gluten No
Dairy No
Soy No
Peanut
Ingredients Ingredients for cake:
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil or stick dairy-free butter substitute or cooking spray*
  • 3 1/4 cups (390g) gluten-free superfine brown rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder – I use Clabber Girl
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 10 Tablespoons (155g) stick dairy-free butter substitute, room temperature – I use Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks
  • 1 1/4 cups (280g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (315g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup Egg Beaters, room temperature – equal to 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (300g) pure pumpkin puree
Ingredients for filling and frosting:
  • 8 ounces (250g) dairy-free cream cheese, room temperature – I use Kite Hill Cream Cheese Style Spread (made from Artisan Almond Milk)
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) dairy-free butter substitute, room temperature – Earth Balance soy free sticks
  • 1 cup (125g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste
  • 1 Tablespoon pure pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste
Directions
  • Place rack on center position of oven. Preheat oven to 350ºF (176ºC). *Generously grease baking pan with coconut oil, stick Earth Balance, or spray with cooking spray without flour (cooking spray will lend to a crustier exterior – which is delicious but slightly more difficult to cut if using a pumpkin-shape pan). Set prepared pan aside.
  • In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the flat paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and blend until incorporated, then beat until light and fluffy, pausing to scrape down the side of the bowl a few times.
  • Add the Egg Beaters or eggs, a bit at a time, beating well after each addition. Again, beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Reduce speed to lowest setting. Begin incorporating flour mixture and milk, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Blend until each addition is just combined. Scrape the bowl after each addition.
  • On medium speed, blend in the pumpkin puree, scrape down the bowl, and beat until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan(s), dividing evenly if using multiple pans. Spread the top evenly. Bake on center rack of preheated oven, checking for doneness at about 20 minutes for 8-inch or 9x13-inch cakes, at about 50 minutes for loaf cakes, and at about 60 minutes for a shaped cake or Bundt cake. Continue baking until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with just a few crumbs.
  • Remove pan(s) from oven and cool on a wire cooling rack for 15 minutes. Sides of cake will start to naturally pull away from pan as it cools.
  • Place wire rack on top of cake pan and invert, giving the pan and rack a gentle vertical shake to release the cake from the pan. Lift the pan off of the cake(s). Place a second wire rack on the cakes and invert again to return cake to original position if using a loaf pan or sheet pan. If using a pumpkin-shaped pan or a Bundt pan, allow cake to cool on flat side of cake so not to mar the pattern/shape. Continue completely cooling to room temperature before decorating with frosting.
  • To prepare the frosting, place the stick butter substitute in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high until a smooth consistency is reached. Add dairy-free cream cheese and blend until smooth. With mixer on lowest speed, gradually incorporate 1 cup of powdered confectioners’ sugar. Blend until fully incorporated. Blend in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste and pumpkin puree. Mix on low speed until well combined.
  • If making a pumpkin-shaped cake, divide frosting into two equal portions. Place bottom of pumpkin on a plate with flat side up, and spread the flat side with half of the frosting. Place the top of the pumpkin cake on top, gently nestling the top to settle its position firmly in place. To the remaining half of the frosting, add remaining 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, almond milk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste. Mix well with a whisk or mixer on low speed to blend completely. Add yellow and red food coloring (just a few drops at a time) to reach desired orange color, blending completely between additions so no streaking occurs. Drizzle frosting over top of pumpkin until it trickles down the sides. Place a cinnamon stick in the top for a stem. Place in refrigerator until serving time. Allow to come to come to room temperature for about 10 minutes before slicing. Store remaining frosted cake in refrigerator.
  • If making a Bundt cake, make the frosting as directed in the “To prepare the frosting” paragraph, then add remaining 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, almond milk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste. Mix well with a whisk or mixer on low speed to blend completely. Add yellow and red food coloring (just a few drops at a time) to reach desired orange color, blending completely between additions so no streaking occurs. Drizzle frosting over top of Bundt cake until it trickles down the sides. Place cake in refrigerator until serving time. Allow to come to come to room temperature for about 10 minutes before slicing. Store remaining frosted cake in refrigerator.
  • If making layer cake, loaf cake or sheet cake, spread the frosting smoothly over the top of the cake(s), or frost as typical for a layer cake. You’ll not need to use the extra 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, almond milk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste. This will make the frosting a bit softer than necessary for frosting a flat cake (but you can certainly make this softer frosting if desired). Add yellow and red food coloring, a few drops at a time, to make a desired orange frosting. Spread evenly over the cake(s). Place cake in fridge until serving. Allow 5-10 minutes to warm slightly before serving, if desired.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Pumpkin Pecan Seven Layer Bars

Pumpkin Pie … with a bit of tipsy!

Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

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Daily Forage - Gluten Free by Connie Veilleux - 6M ago
… Delicious Shaved Ice for the Win!

On hot summer days all we can think about is trying to stay cool, right? This naturally gluten-free, dairy-free granita recipe made with fresh fruit, a hint of honey (which can certainly be omitted if you choose), and a merely subliminal essence of basil will have you refreshed with the first sampling.

The process is easy – the waiting is definitely the most difficult part.

I chose to combine white flesh and yellow flesh peaches. You can go with all one type if you prefer. The key is that you’re choosing ripe pieces of fruit. They’ll provide the most flavor and will yield more juice. They’ll also make the peeling process easier. My peaches were just the right ripeness so I was able to accomplish the peeling process with ease simply by using a sharp knife to start a section of the skin to peel back, then it pulled off with my fingers. If you have peaches that are a bit more resistant to peeling, you can use the blanching method to release the skins without cooking the peach flesh.

To blanch peaches, score the bottom of each peach with an X. Add the peaches to a pot of boiling water, however many will fit into the pot at one time. Let sit in boiling water for 1-3 minutes. Immediately transfer the peaches to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Use a knife to peel back a corner of the scored X. The skin should pull away from the flesh easily. No need to peel the cherries. Just be sure to remove all the pitts (the juicer really complains if a pitt makes its way into the machine).

Make your juice, if using fresh fruit. Strain

Pour the peach juice into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Drizzle the cherry juice over the peach juice.

Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours. Remove from freezer. The juice will only be frozen around the edges. Using a fork, scrape the frozen sections into the unfrozen areas. Cover and return to the freezer for another 2 hours. Repeat until all the juice has frozen and been scraped into a fluffy, shaved ice texture.

If necessary, the juice can be frozen overnight or for about 8 hours without scraping. It will still scrape and fluff just fine, it just is a more tedious process. Either way works with perfect results.

This recipe will make about 12 servings of naturally sweet, delightfully summer fresh, shaved ice. Once fully frozen and scraped, the granita lasts in the freezer for up to a month. Should it clump or create pockets of solid areas, simply use a fork to scrape and fluff before serving. The flavor will be just as pronounced and delicious as at the initial serving. These qualities make this the perfect dessert for a party, since the make-ahead time required is so versatile.

Should you get a hankering for a fresh summer fruit treat in mid-winter and peach and cherry “off season”, you can certainly use frozen, then refrigerator-defrosted, fruit. You can also use bottled juice with no sugar or other added ingredients, but I prefer to rely on fresh whenever possible.

This is such a light and refreshing dessert that I love to pair a light cookie with it to embellish the offering to the next level. A perfect pairing choice is Basil Lemon Shortbread Cookies. They pair well while still keeping with the not-too-heavy dessert theme so appreciated in the hot summer months. This has been a successful combination many times with my friends, family, and even restaurant guests (who never detected that this dessert does not contain any gluten, dairy, or soy). That’s a major win! No need to make two different dessert choices just to ensure everyone can be served. Yes!

Granita? Shaved Ice? Either way … Enjoy!

Peach Cherry Granita
Servings: about 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Chill Time: 8 hours
No
Gluten No
Dairy No
Egg No
Meat No
Soy No
Corn No
Peanut Vegan
Ingredients
  • 8 cups (1.330 Kg) fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, chunked – I used 1/2 white & 1/2 yellow peaches
  • 1 cup (190 g) cherries, pitted – I used Bing cherries
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 6 medium basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • OR YOU CAN USE:
  • 4 cups fresh peach juice, strained through a sieve - (no sugar or other ingredients added)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cherry juice (no sugar or other ingredients added)
Directions
  • Directions if starting with fresh fruit: Juice peaches into a 4 or 8-cup measuring cup. Juice cherries into a 1-cup measuring cup. Discard all pulp (or reserve it for a smoothie); keep only juice to equal the juice quantities needed (reserve any remaining juice for a smoothie or another use).
  • Once you have your juices: To your clear, sieved peach juice, add 3 Tablespoons honey and whisk to blend. Gently bruise basil leaves between your fingers and add them to the sieve. Rest the sieve in the peach juice so the basil essence can infuse into the juice without letting any leaves infiltrate the juice. Allow basil to infuse for 5 minutes. Discard leaves and stir juice.
  • To the cherry juice, add 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Stir well.
  • Pour peach juice into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Drizzle the cherry juice randomly through the peach juice. Cover and freeze for 2-3 hours. Remove dish from freezer and scrape/shave the frozen parts with a fork to mix into the still liquid areas. Freeze and repeat scraping/shaving every couple of hours until the mixture is fully scraped. Keep frozen until ready to serve. Fluff the granita by scraping with a fork just before serving.
  • Granita will stay good in the freezer for a few weeks. Simply scrape to fluff and break up any chunks that may have formed. The granita doesn’t lose its flavor.
  • Should you get a hankering for a fresh summer fruit treat in mid-winter and peach and cherry "off season", you can certainly use frozen, then refrigerator defrosted, fruit. You can also use bottled juice with no sugar or other added ingredients, but I prefer to rely on fresh whenever possible.
  • I also like to serve Lemon Basil Shortbread Cookies with granita. They pair well while still keeping with the not-too-heavy dessert theme so appreciated in the hot summer months.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Rustic Apple Peach Pie

No-Bake Lemon Coconut Balls

GF DF Tropical Whipped Cream Salad

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… Answering “The Call” of Friends and Family!

I’m very excited to be sharing a sponsored post with you in partnership with Onesto Artisan Crackers. Some names have been excluded to protect the innocent. Some have been changed, we’ll just call them “X” to keep them incognito. But the words, stories, and opinions are all mine and I’m sticking to them.

Onesto Gluten-Free Artisan Crackers have solved “problems” for me, and those close to me. Really … it’s true! They’ve lessened the gray hairs (actually, hair dye is taking care of that, but I have less stress to cause gray hair), they’ve shortened my gluten-free product-hunting errands, and I can mingle with greater ease at parties now when these crackers are served.

“How can this be,” you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. And when I do, it will solve all of your problems too. Well, probably not all of your problems, just the munching, snacking, appetizer-serving, and even “crumbing” dilemmas. But that’s a heck of a start in the gluten-free world, right?

This is how the situation started for me …

“I’m so excited you’re coming over. I want to make sure there’s something you can enjoy. I’m looking for gluten-free crackers. How do I know which ones to choose?”

I get this question regularly, especially from my non-gluten-free friends and family members. They want something that will be flavorful, not cardboard-ish. They want to offer a variety of choices to their guests, oftentimes being me. Yes, I have such thoughtful friends and family! They go out of their way to make sure I’m just like everyone else. They don’t want me stand out in a crowd or to get sick! I truly love that! And so the question is presented often.

To this, I reply, “What does the cracker need to “do”?

I have a few crackers that are my go-tos, depending on what the cracker needs to “do” or how it will be served. If the crackers will be paired with “cheese” (dairy-free for me, of course), I pick “X”. If they’ll be for munching without a specific pairing, I have a different favorite “X” cracker. Recently, Mr. DF and I were invited to a friend’s house for appetizers and drinks, and they wanted to make sure we had a cracker that was a good platform for smoked salmon. This required a cracker with a very neutral flavor profile and one that didn’t need to hold up to dipping, as into cream cheese, guacamole, or hummus. So I recommended yet a third cracker choice from my repertoire of “reliables”. All of these crackers are good. I’m fine with them and enjoy them regularly.

BUT … have you seen the “regular” cracker selection in the cracker aisle lately? OMG, there are choices upon choices, upon choices. Many of which the gluten-free cracker flavor profiles hush to in comparison. I want those choices! And by “I”, I mean “you and me” … I want those choices for all of us “Daily Foragers” of gluten-free, dairy-free delicious options. We want, and need, it to be easier for us, and for those who are trying so kindly to feed us.

Enter Onesto Gluten-Free Artisan Crackers

Talk about choices! Onesto has a lineup of four choices, each playing a different role in the cracker need. The entire line of these crackers has a very crunchy texture. They stand up to a smear of thick-textured spreads without breaking apart or crumbling, keeping your bite-size treat in one flavor-filled nibble. And perhaps the best part, these are delicious to any taster, not just those who have to live in a gluten-free world. These can easily become a cracker of choice for parties because there’s no need to buy “gluten-free” and “regular” crackers.

As I detail below, each variety of Onesto Artisan Crackers fits itself into a niche to satisfy various munching, snacking, appetizer-serving, and crumbing needs. Here’s how I’ve broken down my reviews and serving suggestions for you:

Four Onesto varieties:

Sea Salt

  • Though the name implies a strong presence of salt is to be expected, these were surprisingly not too salty.
  • Few, if any, coarse crystals were present on the surface of the cracker. Still these have a seasoned flavor and are definitely not “flat” tasting.
  • Sea Salt Crackers pair well with a smear of cream cheese. I like pairing these with homemade dairy-free cream cheese, a little drop of pear jelly, and a shred of prosciutto. Oh, my, this is divine!

Rosemary

  • No doubt that these are infused with rosemary. The flavor is forward but not overpowering. A nice, savory platform for, again, pairing with dairy-free cream cheese. Goat cheese would partner well here if dairy is not taboo.
  • Rosemary Crackers would pair well with a glass of white wine. I’d choose a Chardonnay or Riesling.
  • I love the idea of turning these rosemary crackers into a course crumbs and using them to make “breaded” baked chicken strips.

Everything

  • This taste-tester has always been leary of “everything” bagels, so this cracker variety caused some trepidation, expecting the flavors to be muddled together. Not to worry here. The flavors are delicious, with a sense of onion, black pepper, and poppy seed as the main players. The flavor profile is complex but not muddled together.
  • Everything Crackers were determined the flavor of choice and favorite cracker of the four. (Always stay open to a new mindset, right?)

Ancho Chile

  • The appearance of the Ancho Chile crackers is a lovely, muted brick red color, and darker in appearance than the others. It’s a perfect replication of the Red Rock here in the South of Utah desert, just FYI.
  • This variety was saved for last to taste test so the chile flavor wouldn’t skew the flavor profiles of the other crackers. Some chili-flavored crackers can be so robust that you want to make sure there’s a beer in one hand while the cracker-nibbling occurs with the other. These have a very mild chili flavor profile and are actually less prominent than the Everything crackers. Though I know many people don’t prefer spicy or bold chili flavors, the “chile” profile here could be boosted a fair amount, to be truer to the descriptive name. Chile Crackers are flavorful, just did not deliver as much “punch” as expected.
  • These could deliciously be used for dipping into a bold salsa or guacamole for a complimentary palate-pleaser.

Need more reasons to add Onesto Artisan Crackers to your pantry or party table? Onesto Crackers are non-GMO and made without preservatives – always and all varieties. They are vegan and certified gluten-free by The Gluten Intolerance Group of America and processed in a certified gluten-free facility.

Onesto Crackers have been awarded the Martha Stewart American Made 2015 Finalist recognition and Yankee Magazine Editor’s Choice Food Awards Winner for 2015 (in case you wanted more than just my opinion).

I truly love it when I can snack and feel good that I’m still making a healthy and safe choice. I wonder if Onesto can make a brownie for us?! (I had to put this out there. Come on, I know you were thinking it too!)

Where can you get Onesto Artisan Crackers? Since the company’s reach is always growing, the best way to find out if the crackers are available near you is to send them an for the most current availability in your area. Additionally, you can order online.

And be sure to check my Ingredients Listing to know if Onesto Artisan Crackers fit into your lifestyle.

What flavor of Onesto Artisan Gluten-Free Crackers will you be trying first?

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

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Read our review at “Onesto Artisan Gluten-Free Crackers”.

Ingredients – Sea Salt: Potato Starch, Water, Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Flour, Sea Salt, Raw Sugar, Pink Himalayan Salt, Xanthan Gum (a natural, plant-based thickening agent).

Ingredients – Rosemary: Potato Starch, Water, Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Flour, Dried Rosemary, Sea Salt, Raw Sugar, Pink Himalayan Salt, Xanthan Gum (a natural, plant-based thickening agent).

Ingredients – Everything: Potato Starch, Water, Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Flour, Sesame Seeds, Poppy Seeds, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Black Pepper, Sea Salt, Raw Sugar, Pink Himalayan Salt, Xanthan Gum (a natural, plant-based thickening agent).

Ingredients – Ancho Chile: Potato Starch, Water, Sorghum Flour, Tapioca Starch, Brown Rice Flour, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Flour, Ground Ancho Chile, Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, Raw Sugar, Pink Himalayan Salt, Xanthan Gum (a natural, plant-based thickening agent).

Allergen Statement: Contain Almond Flour.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

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Daily Forage - Gluten Free by Connie Veilleux - 6M ago
… To Cure What Ails You!

Don’t let the image fool you … this soup is picture perfect!

Starve a cold, feed a fever. Or is it, feed a cold, starve a fever? It doesn’t really matter which way it goes, this soup is sure to cure the cold or the fever. Well, that’s an exaggeration, and we can’t really claim it has healing powers, but this Asian vegetable soup recipe is packed full of vitamins and nutrition and definitely belongs in the “comfort food” category!

With the cold and flu season still causing havoc for many, and running rampant through Daily Forage, I decided to re-post one of our favorite soups to help ease through the healing process. The “stock” can be made in large batches, and kept on hand in the freezer, making the soup-making process quick and easy when you’re in a hurry, or just don’t feel up to cooking something involved. Prepare the simple stock, add the veggies (you can follow our recipe or use whatever veggies you have on hand), let simmer a few minutes, and your soup is ready to provide soothing warmth and comfort. And if that even seems too much effort at the moment, the stock by itself brings warmth and comfort. If you’re looking for something just a bit more filling, this recipe adapts well by scooping a cup of pre-cooked white or brown rice in the bottom of the bowl, then adding the soup. Yum!

With a kick from the chile oil, a bit of sweetness from the sweet chili sauce, and garlic and ginger for the asian twist, this soup has all the ingredients to help clear a stuffy head, warm a congested chest cold, and soothe a sore throat. Packed with an abundance of vitamin A in the kale, vitamin C and beta-carotene in the carrots, and antioxidants in the cabbage, getting your vitamins and nutrients to help heal what ails you won’t be difficult. Of course, this soup is delicious, and good for you, even if you’re feeling just fine.

This gluten-free asian vegetable soup recipe is easy to make, and can be easily adapted, enabling you to use whatever extra vegetables you have on hand, or particularly like. The recipe has two basic parts: the stock (which can be made ahead and frozen for later use), and the soup’s feature ingredients, which include vegetables, rice, and meat (or omit the meat or substitute it with vegan meat to create a vegan asian soup). With the basic stock recipe, and using your creativity when adding the other ingredients, the delicious possibilities are endless. We’ve even had fun creating an Asian Soup Bar and let our guests design their own soup creations. Here’s one of my family’s favorite versions. Be sure to share your favorite version with me.

Gluten-free Asian Vegetable Soup
Servings: 3-4 servings
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 40 Minutes
No
Gluten No
Dairy No
Egg No
Peanut
Ingredients Stock Ingredients
  • 4 cups gluten-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 9 green onions, sliced into 1 inch lengths, include white end and part of green stem
  • 3 tablespoons diced sweet baby bell peppers
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons gluten-free sweet chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce (I like San-J brand)
  • 1 tablespoon rice cooking wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
Feature Ingredients
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup shredded purple or white cabbage
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 3/4-inch lengths sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 cup cooked shredded pork
  • 1/2 cup cooked white or brown rice
  • 1 cup thinly sliced kale leaves
  • peeled and grated fresh ginger, to taste
Directions
  • Combine all Stock ingredients in a large soup pot. Heat over medium-high until broth just comes to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer over low for fifteen minutes. At this point, you can proceed with adding the feature ingredients to the entire pot, or you can cool the stock and save for future use. This stock recipe doubles easily and freezes well. With stock always on hand, it is easy to put together a quick and delicious meal at any time.
  • Adding Feature Ingredients:
  • Once the stock has simmered for fifteen minutes, add the carrots, cabbage, and asparagus. Simmer until asparagus is crisp-tender, or to your liking. Be careful ...overcooking the asparagus will cause it to become mushy. Add the pork (if not a vegetarian version) and rice. Cook another one to two minutes, or until the rice and pork are hot. To keep the kale bright green and crisp-tender, add it to the soup just prior to serving. Garnish with freshly grated ginger, to taste. Let the comfort begin.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Mexican Chicken Soup

Cruciferous Broccoli Cauliflower Soup

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