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Easy Apple Porridge

I just got back from two weeks in warm, sunny Los Angeles and realized that Autumn is REALLY here (in Philadelphia) now!  If you’re like me, I enjoy the bounty of seasonal goodies that this time of year has to offer.  And yet when it comes to the morning, I love to stay snuggled under the warmth of the blankets for as long as possible before starting my day.  This translates to laziness in making breakfast.

Easy Slow Cooker Gluten-Free Apple Breakfast

I figured out how to easily get around this problem.  Enter into this equation my lovely slow cooker!  It’s totally nothing fancy, but incredibly effective for getting breakfast OR dinner DONE while you’re busy. What’s even cooler?  Congee.  Bet you don’t know what congee is…but that’s okay because I’m going to let you in on exactly what this neat Chinese dish is and how it’s going to revolutionize your breakfast.

Congee basically mean “rice water” because you cook rice with a much larger amount of water than normal preparation requires.  After slow cooking your brown rice, you end up with this incredible rice porridge that’s totally soft and wonderful in addition to all the yumminess that’s added through the flavors of the Autumn season (the recipe is below).

The best part?  It takes 5 minutes to prepare and you’ll have breakfast ALL week long. 

A couple of things to note: It is VERY important that you get SHORT-grain brown rice.  I’m not exactly sure why, but people who have opted for long grain have not had as much success.  And if you’re sensitive to coconut, you can certainly leave it out.  However, no one will notice that it’s in there.  It adds some healthy fat to keep you full longer in the morning.

 

Super Cool Ice Pops

Who doesn’t like ice pops in the summer heat?  This summer especially!  Between the heat and cost of food, everyone is looking for convenient ways to get the most out of what they’ve got and stay cool while doing it.  Nick, my husband, and I are determined to use any and all fruit that we’ve invested in during this growing season.  In years past, we’ve had a bit of a habit of forgetting things in the fridge cavern.

So this summer, armed with a decent stock of coconut water, I started out making smoothies.  Then one day I decided to forgo the protein powder and various other ‘superfoods’ that turn any simple smoothie into a taste experiment for something to sip on during dinner.  Mmm mmm mmm.  Wow!  A nice change from water when it’s still 90 degrees at dinner time and we live without AC.  Yet, there was leftover smoothie that I wasn’t about to throw down the drain and suddenly I recalled my old plastic freezer pop molds hidden away.

Oh yeah, you know where I’m going with this!  I filled up each pop and left it in the freezer until it was ready.  With one taste…well…it was to-die-for-chillness.  I taught a client this simple trick when I was at her house teaching her to cook a healthy Italian Feast.  Her two kids loved them.  So, here goes this simple recipe that you can mix and match however you’d like with whatever fruit you’ve got, frozen or fresh.

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Apple Cinnamon Donut Bread

As the holidays near, I would like to share a few of my favorite recipes that I’ve made for friends and family.  Though I do my

best to eat healthfully most of the time (say 80%), there’s nothing like a delicious dessert that everyone at the party can indulge in regardless of food sensitivities, right?

My friend Stephanie Laidlaw has a wonderful gluten-free recipe blog over at Hope for Healing that I would highly recommend bookmarking along with her lovely Facebook page.  She’s a brilliant gal who walks the same walk as you and I since she found out that she was celiac.  I’ve made many of her recipes and have loved each and every one.  She kindly let me re-publish this favorite of mine here to share with all of you.

Hope you enjoy this perfectly seasonal, fun and easy dessert that could even be a lovely addition to Sunday AM brunch!

 

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Vanilla Coconut Chip ‘Ice Cream’

I have two confessions…

1) I eat ice cream.  In fact, on a hot summer day is when I love it the most.

2) I rarely buy ice cream anymore.  I make my own.  It’s healthier, has very few ingredients and is ready in minutes.

Wha?!?!  Minutes?

Yes. Minutes. It’s not impossible, nor a warp in the time continuum.  Instead I employ my trust Vitamix to do the ‘hard work’ for me.

On Friday I received a box from One Lucky Duck (in NYC) that sells various raw foodie-type stuff.  I’m really not their ‘type’ of customer, however I had a gift card and wanted to make good use of it.  So after perusing all of their food products for sale, I made my selections and thus, here we are!

Two of the things I purchased that I highly suggest you consider getting are Coconut Butter (also known as Coconut Manna) and a supply of vanilla bean seeds (already removed from the pod for you).  As soon as I tried the coconut butter (which is a similar consistency to nut butter for those of you who think this sounds strange), I was in heaven.  It’s actually quite sweet (there’s no added sugar and a serving size of 2 tbsp comes in at 1.9 grams of sugar), and creamy as could be.  And the vanilla bean seeds?  Well, they just smell divine.

Ok, back to the ice cream!  Look a girl’s got to have a treat now and then.  When I have a treat, I want to make sure it’s as healthy as possible instead of overstuffed with crap.

Being that ice cream generally ranges from 20 grams (or 5 tsp) and up of sugar depending on the brand and flavor, my homemade options like this one offer a lower sugar count.  This particular recipe that I’m going to share with you is closer to 7.5 grams per serving, however keep in mind that they also contain fiber which most other ice creams do not.

I’m not going to say that my occasional indulgence is sugar-free because it’s not, however if you’re looking for a better option, then here goes nothing!

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Quick Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

I love a good apple pie or apple crisp, but so rarely find one that’s gluten-free and doesn’t take forever to make.  That’s the ultimate complaint with gluten-free food… too many ingredients and too much time.

I’ve got a solution for you!  Check this out… a quick apple crisp recipe that’s gluten-free, low in sugar and takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish.

Gluten-Free No-Bake Apple Crisp

Whether I’m looking to change up my breakfast, bring a dessert to a last-minute invitation or just to have something on hand for those moments I get a sweet craving, this recipe hits the spot.  You’re going to LOVE it!

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Healthy Gluten Free Chia Seed Pudding

Healthy pudding?  It seems almost wrong to place those two words together, but alas my friends… it’s true and it’s even dairy-free! How about some healthy gluten free chia seed pudding that requires no cooking that even your kids will love?

If you’re wondering what “chia” is, let me gently remind you of the chia pet you may have had as a kid.  Well, what we didn’t know all those years ago was that the seeds for the chia pet are pretty darn healthy source of nutrients. (No, you won’t sprout a chia pet in your belly when you eat them!)

They also happen to have this very unique property of turning into a jelly-like consistency when placed in water.  Put enough chia seeds in liquid and voilá, you’ve got gluten free chia seed pudding!

Unlike flax seeds which many eat to increase their fiber and Omega-3 content, chia seeds can be eaten whole.  Flax seeds must be ground up in order for your body to digest them, otherwise they’re an expensive addition to your poop (sorry, but it’s true!) from which you’ll gain nothing nutritionally. On the other hand, chia seeds can be broken down in their whole form and that makes them a bit easier to handle.

They also have a great Omega-3 profile and have become a huge “food trend” because of how easy they are to incorporate into normal foods.  A great source of fiber and key nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, chia seeds are truly a win-win.  I have even used ground chia as a replacement for eggs in the past when baking as it does a decent job.

How to Make Gluten Free chia Seed Pudding

gluten free chia seed puddingWhat I’ve found is that I really enjoy gluten free chia seed pudding as a snack, part of my breakfast or even dessert with some cut up berries and crushed nuts.  It’s so good and easy!  I make a batch the night before which takes a few minutes and then refrigerate.  By morning, my pudding is ready to go and will last easily for 4 days.

This particular recipe comes from the manual of the Gluten-Free Sugar Cleanse (yes, it’s ideal for someone who is trying to kick their sugar habit) formulated by my partner-in-crime Heather K. Terry who is a wiz in the kitchen.

You know you want some… mmm…

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Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Coconut Almond Bark

Even though the holidays literally SCREAM dessert and overly decadent foods, you can still indulge in sweets without it undoing your entire diet.  It’s all about making a healthy gluten free paleo vegan dessert… and there is such a thing.

I’d like to introduce you toLeanne Vogel, Holistic Nutritionist and culinary genius behind the Christmas Dessert Freedom Cookbook.

Leanne has convinced me that it is possible to have your metaphorical gluten-free, paleo, vegan cake and eat it too when it comes to healthier sweets and treats.  Her incredible collection of recipes are sure to make your holidays brighter and feel more normal.

The key that Leanne has shared with me is to focus on using the most nutritious flours and sweeteners out there without sacrificing taste.  I’m not a baker, but her recipes have made me re-think my upcoming holiday because they’re so simple.

Here’s the perks… the recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan and paleo-friendly.  Recipes include: Tiramisu, Peppermint Patties, Shortbread, No bake Pecan Pie Bars, Peppermint Bark, Rum Balls and Gingersnaps.

Click HERE to get more details on the book and how you can grab a copy of your own!

(FYI: I am an affiliate for the book and will get a small commission if you buy it which will go toward site maintenance.)

Gluten Free Paleo Vegan Sugar Free Coconut Almond Dessert

Alright already!  Here’s the plus to this post… Leanne graciously allowed me to share this delish and super easy gluten-free, paleo, vegan and sugar-free dessert with you in the meantime.  She’s on a mission to spread the word about dessert being guilt-less and she’s definitely got me convinced with this yummy dessert.

If you love coconut and are looking to make some incredibly festive bark for family and friends… look no further.  This recipe is easy, requires no baking and is very tempting (as you can see from these incredible pictures.

Leanne assures me that aside from my own tastebuds, this recipe has been a huge crowd pleaser time and time again.  Without further adieú…

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Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie Pudding

How about some Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie Pudding?  Of course you’ll have some!  Like you, I love ANYTHING pumpkin!

My partner-in-crime & co-host for the Gluten-Free Sugar Cleanse(Heather K. Terry) made thisincredible gluten free dairy free pumpkin pie pudding for me while I was visiting her in NYC while taping an episode of the Doctor Oz show (on gluten sensitivity — CLICK HERE if you want to watch the clip).

Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie Pudding

I love pumpkin and couldn’t believe that this gluten free dairy free pumpkin pie pudding could actually be… healthy!  But it totally is and will delight anyone who’s looking for a yummy dessert without all the gluten-free junk.

gluten-free sugar cleanse holiday recipe guideThis recipe is really easy to make and can be made in advance of a party!  You can easily make single-serving ramekins or cups so that everyone sticks to a reasonable amount (though I’m willing to bet you’ll get requests for seconds and the recipe!).

Heather created this recipe as part of our new eCookbook“Gluten-Free Sugar Cleanse Holiday Recipe Guide”!  Whether you’ve previously joined us for the cleanse, or you’ve always wanted to, now you can indulge this holiday season without all the guilt.

Heather developed 15 recipes for holiday favorites for entrees, veggie side dishes and desserts that are all gluten-free and sugar-conscious.  That way you can keep your gluten-free sweet tooth from getting the best of you this year!

 

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Paleo Mousse: 4 Easy Whipped Fruit Recipes

Desserts don’t always have to be bad for you. I’d argue that there are very intelligent ways to make a small combination of fresh foods taste incredibly special and suited to the category of dessert. That’s where my recipe forwhipped fruit paleo moussecomes in!

Honestly, this recipe came about partly by accident (as some of the best seem to!). I had read thatcoconut butter (also known as coconut manna) could be used as an icing for pastries as an alternative to over-the-top sweet frosting. One lazy summer day, I decided to purée it with some fresh strawberries.

The result was, well, magically delicious!

The journey from this starting point to now was quite tasty, I’ll admit. I would scour the farmer’s market for all different types of the best and sweetest berries. Then I’d rush home to see how inventive I could get with an end product. What I learned is that whipped paleo mousse is easy-to-make, satisfying (especially for someone who needs dessert after their meals to feel complete), and a total crowd-pleaser.

What You Need to Know to Make the Most Delicious Paleo Mousse

All you need is a food processor… and not even a super powerful, fancy one. Everything is added to the food processor and whipped. That’s it!

This recipe is paleo, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, egg free, and vegan.

AND there’s no any added sugar! Thus this recipe is allowed on the Gluten-Free Sugar Cleanse.

paleo mousseIf you want a sweeter mousse,look for or allow your fruit of choice to get slightly over-ripe. For example, I’ve found that when I used strawberries that were a bit overly ripe, the result was even more delicious, however using what’s ripe at the store works fine too in making paleo mousse.

Regarding ingredients, you have a couple of options to use for vanilla. I typically use a powdered vanilla from Ojio called Ultimate Superfoods Vanilla Ground Beans (which is actually really expensive), but you can also use alcohol-free vanilla extract in the same proportion.  Just make sure that your vanilla extract is marked gluten free as the alcohol could otherwise add gluten to your recipe.

Coconut butter is NOT coconut oil. You cannot substitute the coconut butter with coconut oil if that’s all you have.  The creaminess is important for the recipe. Coconut butter is a combo of the oil and flesh creamed with a slightly sweet taste even though there’s no added sugar to it. It’s a great alternative to nut or seed butters. The only “thing” is that it will harden and separate in cooler temperatures. If that happens to yours, just put it in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes to soften and then stir it up to reincorporate the oil and solid.

Paleo Mousse: 4 Easy Whipped Fruit Recipes

paleo mousseThe whipped fruit paleo mousse recipe below is the general guidelines of how to make this. I’d like to give you four different options that are incredibly tasty and are just a matter of swapping out what fruit or berries you use.

Strawberry – use 1 cup of strawberries

Strawberry & Cherry – use 1/2 cup of strawberries and 1/2 cup of pitted cherries

Mixed Berry – use 1/3 cup blueberries, 1/3 cup raspberries and 1/3 cup blackberries

Peach – 1 one cup or 1 large peach sliced (it’s okay to leave the skin on)

And of course you could also do a combo of whatever fruit listed here you want! If you come up with a different fruit option, I’d love for you to share it in the comments below so that others can also try it out!

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Blueberry Nut-Free Yogurt

Want to make homemade yogurt without having to wait for it to culture? What if I shared with you my easy, 3-minute blueberry vegan yogurt recipe that’s alsopaleo, gluten-free, no added sugar and nut-free? I know… it’s exciting, right?

This recipe is easily crafted in a food processor and literally takes a few seconds after you add your ingredients to the bowl to whip it. It’s really delicious and can be used in place of most other dairy-free yogurts out there that you might eat for breakfast or a snack.

Vegan Yogurt Recipe in 3-Minutes or Less

I want to clarify that when I use the term “yogurt”, I’m really referring to this recipe’s consistency. It’s very yogurt-like, especially if you let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. However, it’s not a cultured food. You could certainly add in the contents of a probiotic pill, but that would be the only way to make it technically more yogurt.

If you recently checked out my amazing Paleo Moussé recipes, you’ll see that this recipe is similar. However the consistency is incredibly different and requires some an additional acid (in the form of lemon juice) to counter the very basic pH of the entire mixture that will otherwise turn the blueberries slightly green.  If you are making this for yourself and you don’t care about the color, then you can omit the lemon juice as it’s not important to the flavor… just the look.

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A quick word about the coconut butter and vanilla mentioned in this recipe. The coconut butter is non-negotiable. It’s not coconut oil and it can’t be substituted. The vanilla should be without alcohol and can be a powdered variety. Just make sure whatever you get is clearly labeled gluten-free. I talk about my personal preferences for both of these ingredients HERE.

Blueberries are incredibly good for you as they are a great source of antioxidants. I love them and am so glad that I accidentally stumbled upon this yummy accident!