Thursday, May 29, 2014

Smoothie Pops!

I have been making lots of smoothie pops for quick, easy, healthy snacks for my 3 year old and myself.

I figured out a long time ago my son will eat anything frozen, and I was making these with just fruit and cream (or yogurt) when I thought, hey- I could be sneaking anything into these!  So I made a few of these concoctions and .. they are really good.  You canNOT taste the raw egg (shudder).  These are great for pregnant ladies too.

All those half uneaten bananas my child leaves around? They go into a freezer bag and I use them here.

I love frozen mango or peaches for this, and that will make it like ice cream even before you freeze it.  But anything works.  I usually mix a few things. The one shown consists of banana, mango, and raspberry.  All frozen organic from the store, except the banana half.

Since we are using RAW eggs, let's please consider the source. How to tell if your egg is bad.

You may use fresh fruit too, if you are just freezing it all until later.  I use frozen fruit because I like to eat some when I make it, too.  Using frozen fruit will result in ice cream texture, and fresh will result in smoothie texture.

Smoothie Pops

frozen or fresh fruit, chopped - example: home frozen banana half + half a bag of frozen organic peaches + a few frozen berries
grass-fed cream, full fat yogurt, or coconut cream
1 pastured/organic egg, or more if you are making a lot
Great Lakes Gelatin or other grass-fed gelatin- example: one tablespoon
Virgin Coconut Oil, carefully melted on low heat- example: 2 Tablespoons
push up pops or silicone ice pop molds
Vitamix or strong blender

Pour in a good amount of fruit into your Vitamix. Pour in cream (yogurt/coconut cream) until it covers it by about an inch. Crack your egg in. Pour in gelatin.  Mix until all mixed well.  While it is still running, pour the VCO in the top, so that it mixes well and doesn't glob.  Turn off, pour into molds and freeze. (And eat some if you like).

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lower Carb Gluten Free Cornbread / Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

This is not a grain free recipe but sometimes, you just have to have cornbread.  On a rare occasion, I also eat Louisiana Red beans & Rice!  I'm a Louisiana girl! So, I made a lower carb version and had only one piece. This recipe is adapted from Bruce Fife's book, Cooking with Coconut Flour, which is a low carb gluten free girl's bible. I did change it slightly. You can replace the honey and erythritol with anything that equals 1/2 cup of sweetener but I like this this way because it makes it more moist.

TIP: separating the egg and beating the egg whites makes the recipe fluffier.  In this picture of Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread, I didn't beat the eggs so it is not as fluffy.  But, it was still delicious!

Level of sweetness of this cornbread is high, you can reduce the sweetener to lessen it.

Jalapeno cheddar cornbread with soaked red beans and andouille sausage

Lower Carb Gluten Free Cornbread

6 eggs
1/3 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
3 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons erythritol
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup sifted coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup organic cornmeal

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 C). Grease a 8x8x2 inch baking dish or 8" - 9" pie pan. Separate 4 of the eggs and beat the whites in a clean dry bowl until they form a soft peak. Refrigerate until ready to add to recipe. Blend together the 4 egg yolks, erythritol, honey, vanilla, and salt. Add butter. Then add the other two eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Combine sifted coconut flour, baking powder, and cornmeal and whisk into batter until there are no lumps. Fold in the egg whites. Pour into greased baking dish and bake for 15 - 20 minutes.

variation (pictured):

Jalapeno Cheddar Gluten Free Cornbread

Same as above, omitting vanilla.  Once poured into pan, lay slices of (jarred) jalapeno all over the top of cornbread,  pushing them in slightly with a spoon.  Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese all over the top, then bake.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Easy & Natural Watermelon Pops for Kids & Parties

I made these for my little boy's 3 year old birthday party and they were a big hit! So easy, and since it's the whole fruit, not juice or anything added, it's a pretty healthy treat for a kid. Just make sure you have room to stand these all up in the freezer if you make a lot.  I made 25 for the party!

TIP: warm the bottom of the dixie cup with your hand before peeling it off.

Natural Watermelon Pops
makes as many as you want

organic seedless watermelon, or regular with black seeds removed
3 ounce dixie cups and popsicle sticks
or popsicle molds (two kinds I like, here and here)
food processor

Put squares of watermelon flesh in food processor, and process on medium speed until it is liquified. It's ok if there are a few black seeds (looks good in the pop) but not too many.  White seeds are fine, too. Pour into molds or dixie cups.  Add a popsicle stick to dixie cup.  It is ok if it falls to the side, as long as it stays in the cup. Or you can try some aluminum foil shenanigans to keep it standing up but I found it wasn't worth the trouble, and worked just as well if it fell to the side. Place in freezer carefully for a few hours until frozen.
To serve, put in a bowl and provide a bowl for the dixie cup, once you peel it off to eat the pop!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Blackberry Cobbler

We have so many HUGE blackberries ripening in our yard! It's so fun!  I have been making this cobbler a LOT lately... originally from Everyday Paleo. I've probably made this recipe over 20 times the last year! It works with every kind of fruit.  I love it with peaches, with a little added ginger.  Or plums, with a little added anise... mmmm.

Blackberry Cobbler

A bowl full of blackberries
honey, to taste, optional (can sub coconut sugar or stevia and a little water)
1 1/2 cups almond flour
2 Tablespoons organic grass-fed butter or expeller pressed coconut oil, melted
1 farm or pastured egg- any size egg will work. I usually use a small one.
1/2 cup chopped nuts, I used pecans
1/3 cup coconut sugar, or sub 1/3 cup sugar sub
NuNaturals Stevia, to taste, optional
1/3 cup gluten free oatsoptional- You can sub more nuts
1/2 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract, optional
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Pour blackberries in baking dish, drizzle with honey, stevia, and cinnamon to taste, and stir together.  Last time, I used about 1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals stevia, 1 Tablespoon cinnamon, 1-1/2 tablespoons honey for a sweeter cobbler. If your honey is more solid than liquid, you can melt it in a small saucepan.  Today, I melted my honey with some butter, because my backyard blackberries are very tart and not very juicy.

In a medium sized bowl, mix almond flour, melted butter or coconut oil, egg, nuts, coconut sugar, oats, sea salt, and vanilla. Add cinnamon to taste.  Mix well, then use your hands to combine it all together in a dough. Now, if using a small deep dish, you can cover it with the dough as if it were a big cookie.  If it is a wider dish, crumble the topping with your fingers over the berries so it will stretch.  It is okay if there is a little space between crumbles. Bake in pre-heated 350˚F oven for about 35 minutes or until blackberries are bubbly and soft and topping is browned on edges.  if your blackberries are large and not very juicy, and you opted for just stevia- they might not bubble but you want them to be soft.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Low Carb Gluten Free Chocolate Nut Muffins

I have improved upon this old recipe of mine, and I love it.  You can use ANY nuts... you just need 2 Tablespoons of nut butter and nuts. I was thinking about making these with hazelnuts, but I didn't have enough to turn into hazelnut butter first so I did peanuts... yum.  I may try pecans next time!  I am back to using some erythritol for sugar sub on occasion, but you can sub coconut sugar if you'd like.  My son and husband loved these, even though they are low sweet.  They ate them with whole milk.

If you like a sweeter taste, increase erythritol/coconut sugar to a 1/2 cup or stevia to 1/2 teaspoon.

Low Carb Gluten Free Chocolate Nut Muffins
makes 6

3 pastured eggs
2 Tablespoons grass-fed butter or expeller pressed coconut oil, melted but not hot
2 Tablespoons grass-fed cream or coconut milk
2 Tablespoons nut butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup erythritol or coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon NuNaturals stevia or 1/4-1/2 cup more erythritol or coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup nuts
flour sifter
muffin tin, I like this silicone one that doesn't stink

Preheat oven 375F˚. In a medium sized bowl, blend oil/butter, cream/coconut milk, and nut butter.  Use sifter to add cocoa powder and blend.  Add, vanilla, salt, stevia and erythritol and blend.  Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each one. Sift in coconut flour and baking soda and stir until well mixed.  Add nuts, and stir again, until well mixed.  Batter will be thick. Spoon into greased muffin tins or cups.  Bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until peaked, maybe cracked.. you can take them out when it still looks a little wet in the cracks in the center, so they will be more moist.  Coconut flour products can get drier or more moist in your kitchen.  If you live in a humid climate, refrigerate them after a day to prevent mildew.  They are better the second day.. if you can wait that long!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Spinach & Cheese Quiche

Spinach & Cheese Quiche

This is my favorite quiche.  The crust is amazing... I pulled a twist on Elana's wonderful savory crust recipe from her first cookbook... using bacon grease... mmm.

Alternate version: I have also made this quiche with leftovers from a whole chicken baked with vegetables (ex: onions, garlic, green beans, and mushrooms).  Since it was about 3/4 cup, I just added 1/2 cup cream, 6 eggs, s&p, and topped with monterrey jack or swiss cheese. Picture at bottom.

Almond Flour Savory Crust
adapted from the Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam (buy it!!)

1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (any kind)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon minced onions, shallots, or scallions
4 Tablespoons bacon grease (from organic pastured animals), butter, or coconut oil
+ a little extra for greasing a 9 inch tart pan.
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt in a small saucepan on very low heat your bacon grease, butter, or coconut oil (if needed) until just melted, then remove from stove top.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, onions, and baking soda. Add the grease and water and mix together. Press the dough into a greased 9-inch or 10-inch tart pan.
Bake for 7 - 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let cool.

Spinach Filling:

1-2 Tablespoons organic grass fed butter
small onion, chopped
2-3 large garlic cloves, minced or diced
1/2 bag of frozen organic spinach, cooked to instructions OR fresh, cooked equalling about 5-6 oz.
7 eggs
1/2 cup cream
about 6 ounces sliced or shredded swiss cheese

Saute the onions and garlic into the butter until translucent. Add to a bowl with eggs, spinach, and cream and mix well.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.  Pour into baked crust and top with cheese.  Bake at 350˚F until browned slightly and just set in the middle, around 25 - 35 minutes.  Be careful not to over-cook it and dry it out. Let sit 5 minutes, then serve or refrigerate until later and heat up to serve.  Slice like a pie.. but loosen the crust from the sides with a knife before using a spatula to remove slice.

Leftover Quiche (alternate version in notes)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Chicken in Mushroom and Cream Sauce & My Blog's 5th Anniversary!

It was this blog's 5th Anniversary on the 4th, and I promised you all (following on Facebook) my very favorite recipe.  Thanks for hanging out with me this long, and I hope you enjoy this recipe.  I like it best with chicken thighs, bone in- tasty and much cheaper, too. The seasonings in this are just right, I love the mix of oregano, rosemary, and thyme in this- and when I can find lemon thyme, even better!

Make sure you read this recipe all the way through before cooking, so you don't accidentally throw your pan in the sink halfway through!  Notice that this serves two, so you will need to increase it if you are a larger family.

Optional: low carb zucchini noodles are great with this!
Optional: substitute vegetables for mushrooms

Chicken in Mushroom and Cream Sauce
Serves two.

1 lb [pastured/organic] chicken breasts or thigh, bone in or out- your choice
8 ounces mushrooms, wiped with a damp paper towel to clean, and sliced
1/2 medium sweet/yellow onion or a few shallots, diced
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
3-4 Tablespoons butter, grass-fed best
1 Tablespoon white wine, or chicken broth
1 cup cream, grass-fed best
pinch rosemary
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 fresh twig of thyme (de-twigged) or lemon thyme (preferred), or 1/2 teaspoon dried
salt and pepper
Large saucepan with lid
wooden spoon

 Salt and pepper your chicken, and keep handy.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan, then add onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms, stirring constantly. Add wine or broth, and if it looks dry, add more butter (try 1 tablespoon). Stir. Remove mix from pan.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in pan.  Keep it on medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, scrape bottom cooked bits in pan into the butter.  Add chicken and brown 1-2 minutes, flip and brown the other side 1-2 minutes.  Lower the heat to medium and add mushroom mixture back in. Stir together then cover and cook until cooked-> 5 minutes or so for boneless breasts, longer for bone-in or thicker thigh meat. Cook until just cooked through (no pink) to avoid getting tough.

When cooked, remove the chicken onto a clean plate (not the one you used when it was raw).  Add cream into pan, and increase heat a little to bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Cook a little longer to reduce the cream.  When it's thickened to your liking, add the seasonings and salt and pepper.  Taste to adjust seasonings and serve!