Orange Mango Gel-O (Paleo)

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Orange Mango Gel-O (Paleo)

This gel-o is a firm one that blends citrus and tropical flavors with gelatin to make a simple and yummy healthy snack or dessert.

I find that the juice is sweet enough to not require any sweetener, but if you like a sweet gelatin dessert, then I would recommend a sweetener that is complimentary to orange and mango flavors.

Have fun with the recipe and the kids by experimenting with cookie cutter shapes or by using fun molds.

Ingredients:
2 oranges freshly squeezed or about 3/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 cup mango, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 Tbsp grass fed gelatin (Red Lakes, red bottle)
Sweetener (optional)

Method:
Heat orange juice & mango on stove until hot. Add sweetener if using followed by gelatin. Blend well so that gelatin does not clump. Pour into a loaf pan. Refrigerate 1 hour.

If using a pan, cut into squares & enjoy this healthy treat.

Cassava Flour Cacao Nib Cookies (Paleo)

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Cassava Flour Cacao Nib Cookies (Paleo)

Sometimes you execute a recipe and your taste testers give the most unexpected compliments. This recipe evoked the following from my Foodie-in-Crime: “Are these shortbread cookies?” and “These remind me of the chewy Chips Ahoy.”

The first comment was nice to hear because I’m a fan of a good shortbread cookie, but the second was the hidden compliment because Chips Ahoy cookies have mass appeal and are a “standard” go-to cookie. Those of us who must avoid gluten and / or who eat a paleo diet for health reasons, eating a “standard” cookie is out of the question and many gluten-free options are not always tasty with a nice texture. And, so with this recipe I have been able to make a corn and gluten-free cookie without nuts that even those who can have gluten can enjoy. 

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Cassava Flour Cacao Nib Cookies (Paleo)

1 cup Cassava Flour
1/2 cup chocolate nibs
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2-1 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp safe vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut oil (soft, not melted) or palm shortening
1 egg
1-2 Tbsp honey

Splash of water, if needed.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Whisk together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. Stir until dough is uniform & dry ingredients are fully incorporated.*
Make cookie balls in desired size & flatten.**

Bake 10-12 minutes, until set. Allow to cool on pan.

*If the dough needs a little help coming together, add a splash or two of water.
**Cookies do not spread. This recipe yields about 15 – 2 inch cookies.

Raw Cashew Ginger Pie Crust (Paleo, Vegan)

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Raw Cashew Ginger Pie Crust (Paleo, Vegan)

This recipe is versatile as are many I offer here. It can be used as a raw pie crust as well as energy balls or truffles, please read the notes below.

Lately I have been on a finger kick in cooking, baking and even in my beverages. I have also been experimenting with panna cotta variations. This crust wad created for my mango panna cotta and they are a delightful combination.

If your pie filling is subtle or gentle in flavor, I advise using 4 or 5 dates so they do not overpower the filling. If your pie filling is robust and / or needs a bit more sweetness, use 6 dates. The amount of ginger should reflect how much you enjoy as well as compliment your pie filling. Mini-Foodie 2 generally votes for more ginger, for example.

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Raw Cashew Ginger Pie Crust (Paleo, Vegan)

Ingredients
1 cup cashews (preferably soaked & dehydrated)
5-6 Medjool dates, pitted & soaked to soften
6-10 pieces crystallized ginger (depending on desired flavor strength)
2 Tbsp unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 Tbsp coconut oil

Method
Place all ingredients in food processor. Pulse until a dough ball forms. Place in pie plate. Smooth out with fingers. Add filling.

Notes on variations: -This recipe is also a tasty snack ad an energy ball. You may wish to add chia seeds & then remove dough & roll portions of 3/4 -1 inch balls.

-If you are looking for a whole food truffle, then make 1/2 inch balls & dip them in safe for you melted chocolate, homemade white chocolate, shredded coconut, or cacao powder.

Paleo Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake

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Sometimes I have a craving for a cinnamon roll, but get tired of trying to perfect the texture of the “gluteny” classic or I just don’t want to wait around for the yeast to do its trick. So how do I solve this culinary conundrum? I make a cake inspired by the confection and add apple pieces for extra flavor, texture and yum factor.

This recipe is for an 8×8 baking pan, but it can easily be doubled and be baked in 9×13 pan. I find that while this cake is tasty warm, the glaze becomes crispy as it dries and the cake gains an added layer of texture and is even yummier the following day…if it makes it to sunrise.

In this version, I have included apples for two reasons: (1) Mini-Foodie 2’s feedback on earlier versions was that “the bottom was not too flavorful” and (2) I felt that it could go from yum to amazing with a little fruit. So what better way to address these two needs than to pair cinnamon with its loyal fruit companion…the apple?  If you are feeling adventurous and would like a nutty addition, add 1/2 cup of chopped pecans with the diced apple. Enjoy!

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Cake

1 1/2 Paleo All-Purpose Flour

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup milk (hemp, almond or coconut)

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup melted coconut oil or palm shortening

1/2 – 1 apple, peeled and diced into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients, except coconut oil / shortening. Slowly stir in melted oil / shortening. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan.

Topping

1/2 cup coconut oil (or palm shortening)

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients well. Drop evenly over cake batter. Swirl to mix slightly into the batter. Bake 28-32 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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Glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar

5-6 Tbsp milk (enough to make a runny glaze)

1/2 – 1 tsp vanilla powder

Mix ingredients until well cimbined. While warm, drizzle glaze over cake. Enjoy!

Cacao Sunbutter Fudge

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Cacao Sunbutter Fudge (Paleo, Vegan)

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and for many it is a time for candy hearts, chocolates, roses, exchanging cards and romantic dinners. The holiday began to be associated with heart shaped boxes containing chocolate confections with a Cadbury heart box as a marketing item. It was a hit and since then the holiday and the hearts containing confections have been linked.

For this year’s Valentine’s Day, I’ve come up with a cacao version of my sunbutter fudge that is intense in cacao flavor. When making the sunbutter for this recipe, I recommend adding an extra date or two so that the cacao is balanced with sweetness without extra honey or maple syrup. The fudge will be thick as it comes together. Be careful with the heat so as to not burn the candy. If you choose to use a mold as I did in the photo here, know that the fudge’s thickness/density makes it so that it can be placed and shaped in the mold by hand versus by being poured.  Be careful not to burn your hands when handling the fudge.

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Cacao Sunbutter Fudge

Ingredients
1 cup cacao paste / chocolate liquor
1 cup date sweetened sunbutter
3-4 tbsp sweetener (maple syrup or honey)
1 tsp vanilla powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt (optional)

Place all ingredients in medium saucepan on medium-low heat. Stir until smooth & fully incorporated. Place in bread loaf pan or molds*. Refrigerate until hard. Cut & enjoy. Store in refrigerator.

Thanksgiving Pumpkin & Apple Pies

Thanksgiving is around the corner and many are thinking about pies. For those of us who are corn allergic and / or have gluten sentitivities, tasty pies can be difficult to come by, so I’ve got some ideas here that do the trick.

2 Pie Crust Options

The first option comes from Mighty Nest’s paleo pie crust at http://schools.mightynest.com/articles/perfect-grain-free-pie-crust

I enjoyed this crust, but I would have used the entire egg so that it would be more moist.

Need a vegan option? Elana’s Paleo Pie Crust is for you: elsnaspantry.com/paleo-pie-crust/

Both these crusts work well for the following pies.

Apple Pie Filling

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6+ apples, peeled & sliced

lemon juice, to taste

pumpkin pie spice, to taste

some water

Place desired amount of ingredients in slow cooker / crock pot. Cook on low until desired tenderness is reached.

When ready to serve, use above pie crust or make mini open pies by placing on a safe tortilla or flat breadimage

For a Vegan Pumpkin Pie Filling, I really like the one from Ceara’s Kitchen: http://www.cearaskitchen.com/vegan-pumpkin-pie/

And here is how the pumpkin pie filling looks in the paleo crust (option 1):
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I got a little adventurous and put a bit of the apple pie filling on the pumpkin pie and YUM! The lemon in the apple filling danced with the citrus in the pumpkin and I experienced a little slice of “citrucy, autumnal heaven”.

White Chocolate Sunbutter Fudge

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White Chocolate Sunbutter Fudge (Vegan, Paleo)

With Valentines Day just around the corner and all the sweets being advertised, the Corn Alergic often feels left out…but it doesn’t have to be that way.  I have developed this white chocolate whole food fudge that is nutritious and full of sweetness. When I make these, the Foodie-in-Crime and I enjoy them and the Mini-Foodies do too, but sometimes they are in bed and miss out. Yep, naughty corn-free mama, but sometimes a mama just needs to be able to indulge in a little safe candy time with her Main Squeeze. I think my Tia Olga, may she rest in peace, would agree.

Okay, back to the recipe. You don’t need any special equipment although chocolate/candy molds do make them look festive and pretty. These can be shaped in a loaf pan lined with parchment, in lined cupcake tins or silicone cupcake forms as well as traditional chocolate / candy molds.

Ingredients
1.5 oz or 45 grams cacao paste butter
1.5 oz or 45 grams date sweetened sunbutter
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt (optional)

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White Chocolate Sunbutter Fudge 2

Place all ingredients in medium saucepan on medium-low heat. Stir until smooth & fully incorporated. Place in bread loaf pan or chocolate molds. If using pan, refrigerate until hard. Cut & enjoy. If using molds, freeze & remove when set. Store in refrigerator. Enjoy!

Crème-Topped Chocolate Cupcakes (Vegan, Paleo)

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Crème-Topped Chocolate Cupcakes (Vegan, Paleo)

These cupcakes are simple to make, have intense flavor and are just the right combination of moist and fluffy.

When I mentioned to my Foodie-in-Crime that they are reminiscent of Hostess cupcakes, he said “these are way better”. I’ve provided different options for the crème filling / frosting, so be creative and enjoy.

Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups Paleo all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla bean powder

1 cup homemade (hemp) milk
1/2 cup avocado oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 12 cupcake pan.

Whisk dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk wet ingredients in a small bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry. Combine, do not overmix. Fill pan cavities with 2.5-3 Tbsp of batter each. Bake 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Crème Frosting / Filling
1 cup palm shortening
1 cup homemade powdered coconut sugar (blend 1 cup coconut sugar + 1 Tbsp tapioca or arrowroot)
2 Tbsp avocado (or coconut) oil
1/4 cup coconut cream

In a stand mixer, beat shortening until fluffy. Add sugar & oil. Mix. Add 1 Tbsp cream at a time until a fluffy & spreadable consistency is reached.

Ganache (optional)
1 cup chocolate
1/4 cup coconut cream
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Melt all ingredients in a double boiler.

Assembly options

1. Without ganache:  top cupcakes with crème frosting.

2. Pipe crème filling into cupcakes using a piping bag, about 2 Tbsp each (no need to remove center). Top with ganache if using. Use any remaining filling to decorate cupcakes.

Flourless Chocolate Madeleines (Paleo)

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Flourless Chocolate Madeleines

I was in the mood for a cookie and experimented with a dough. It turned out to be more of a batter, pretty wet, and I thought: “I’ll put it in my Madeleine pan so it has a pretty shape.” What came out of the oven was an spongy cake like the real deal and the recipe is so simple.

I of course had my little taste testers share their thoughts and they both agreed that they prefer the unbutter version because of the roasted flavor in addition to the cacao. While I enjoy both, I felt the cashew butter offers a more creamy flavor.

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Flourless Chocolate Madeleines with Cashew Butter

1/2 cup Cashew Butter or Date Sweetened Sunbutter
1/4 cup coconut sugar*
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease madeleine pan with coconut oil.

Mix all ingredients except egg in food processor. Adjust sweetness if desired. Add egg & process until incorporated. Place into madeleine pan. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Be careful not to burn. Allow to cool. Enjoy.

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Flourless Chocolate Madeleines with Sunbutter

*If using Sunbutter which creates a drier batter, you can use half coconut sugar & maple syrup.

Paleo Low Sugar Marshmallows

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In this recipe inspired by childhood memories and Wellness Mama, I’ve made a gooey marshmallow that has about half the sugar content of a conventional recipe.

While I haven’t yet mastered the art of beautiful marshmallows, I think this recipe is a winner in the flavor and texture categories. All 3 Mini-Foodies agree and I don’t feel bad about sharing this treat with them because I use a nutritionally dense gelatin and less sweetener than most recipes. It’s a win-win.image

1 1/4  cup water, warm
1 tbsp Marshmallow Root
4 tbsp grass fed gelatin
1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla bean powder*

Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish with coconut oil.

Combine 1 cup warm water with 1 tbsp Marshmallow Root. Allow to sit 5 minutes. Stir & strain.

Pour ½ cup marshmallow water into stand mixer. Add gelatin. Whisk slightly to incorporate & to avoid lumps. Set aside.

Pour remaining marshmallow water & honey (or maple syrup) into a small saucepan. Add vanilla (&/or cacao powder). Slowly bring mixture to a boil; allow to reach 240 degrees or boil while stirring constantly for 8 minutes.

Slowly pour sweetened marshmallow water into hardened gelatin mix. Turn mixer on at medium as liquid is added, then turn to high. Whip for 8-10 minutes or until a stiff cream consistency with some peaks form.

Pour whipped marshmallows into prepared pan.  Smooth evenly. Or use for rice or millet puff treats.

Let sit until set. (In my house, the taste testers get to them as soon as they can.)

Cut in pan using a well oiled knife or pizza cutter.

Store in an airtight container.

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SERVING IDEAS: these are lovely in hot cacao, homemade s’mores, with millet puffs (make them like the rice marshmallow treat), and on their own.image

*Experiment with safe for you flavors such as mint or raw cacao.

Recipe inspired by: http://wellnessmama.com/6423/healthy-marshmallows/