Posts Tagged no refined sugar

Sweet Potato and Nut Butter Snack

Early morning Qigong sessions three times a week are energizing and really get my day off to a good start. It took me a while to figure out footwear – sandals, sneakers, or bare foot. I settled on some sneakers with plenty of toe room.

Did I want to eat before class or not? Just coffee, even with a goodly amount of coconut milk left me with a grumbling stomach by the end of the hour, not to mention the urge to eat the first available edible in the kitchen. Having a Breakfast Salad or a Smoothie in a Bowl produced internal gurgling sounds that I feared were amplified by the acoustics in our meeting room.

Several weeks ago a dear friend attended the annual East Texas Yamboree Festival  in Gilmer, Texas and acknowledging our shared love of all things sweet potato she brought me several freshly harvested sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a major crop in that area and if you are interested in some really decadent recipes you can find a couple at Tex Tater’s Home Page.

I love these golden gems pretty much straight up but a long time favorite mid-morning snack when I was working consisted of half of a small baked sweet potato garnished with cinnamon sugar and peanut butter. (That really helped to keep me out of the office donut box!)

You can ‘bake’ a sweet potato in the microwave – which works better if the sweet potatoes have dried out somewhat and do not contain a lot of moisture that steams up the microwave to the extent that opening the door rains moisture on your feet. Fresh sweet potatoes in the oven – oh my – the juices run out (don’t forget to pierce them like white potatoes) and caramelize on the pan!

Sweet Potato & Nut Butter Snack

Sweet Potato & Nut Butter Snack

For my early morning mini-snacks I scoop 2-3 tablespoons of roasted sweet potato on to a plate, sprinkled cinnamon and sweetener, and added about a tablespoon of nut butter. I alternate between organic peanut butter and organic almond butter. Mashed together with a salad fork it doesn’t win a beauty contest so for a decent picture I scooped the mixture into a 3-ounce ramekin and took a quick picture before devouring all of it. A recipe looks something like this:

Ingredients for 1 serving:
3 tablespoons of roasted sweet potato
1.5 tablespoons nut butter (peanut or almond)
2-3 shakes of ground cinnamon
1 packet of your favorite non-nutritive sweetener of your choice
(really – sweet potatoes have enough sugar and you may not need any)
(a monster sweet-tooth like mine needs it)

Mash the sweet potato. Then mash in the nut butter. Add the cinnamon and sweetener as the mixture is coming together.
Put in a small container with a secure lid for transport or eat it right away :-)

One large roasted sweet potato will make enough for several days so it may work better for your schedule to mix up the whole roasted sweet potato and portion it out into servings. Knowing full well that I would eat it all at once I make one serving at a time. That is my version of ‘portion control’ that works for me.

Sweet potatoes are in season. If you like them and/or your family likes them consider this as a highly nutritious budget friendly alternative to packaged options.

Gretchen @gfedge

This post is linked to:
Wellness Weekend, November 7-11, 2013
at Ricki

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Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free

Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free

Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free

Ricki Heller’s delightful publication, Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free, is a recipe book of gourmet treats that just happens to be nutritious, allergy-adaptable food. ABC News featured article in their Lifestyle section was titled Gluten-Free Desserts You Have to Taste to Believe and the recipes from this book that are shared in the article will make you a believer!

Ricki means every word when she says; ‘I have taken great care to ensure that every recipe you make from this book will taste just as good as a traditional dessert — and some, even better! Yet not one of them contains gluten, eggs, dairy, or refined sugars, and all have a lower glycemic index than “regular” desserts.’

Scanning the recipes I chose this Grain-Free Autumn Fruit Crumble for the great fruit combination plus I had all of the necessary ingredients on hand – it was fate! The apple-cranberry-pear juices bubbled up through the cinnamon spiced crumble topping and I thought ‘a small bowl for dessert tonight and a larger one for breakfast tomorrow’. Who hasn’t had (or wanted) dessert for breakfast?

Breakfast or Dessert - How About Both!

Breakfast or Dessert – How About Both!

Ricki Heller is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) who understands the effects that food choices can have on health and we reap the benefits of her knowledge in this, her latest book. All of the pantry staples have been carefully, thoughtfully chosen and described in detail as to the pros and cons of why they were chosen. Her All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Mix is described in the book but was shared long ago on her blog. If you cannot find the recommended millet flour locally you can order it on Amazon when you purchase the book – it is quite reasonable as gluten-free flours go.

The focus of these recipes is on eliminating the dreaded ‘sugar/carb craving’ by using real nutrient-dense foods, low-glycemic sugars, and further reducing the glycemic load by tweaking the sweetness with a bit of stevia. The introduction is packed with tips and techniques to ensure that each recipe performs for you. There is additional information regarding agreeable substitutions to adapt the recipes for you or your family members’ allergies.

This book is too good not-to-share and since I have family members who are gluten-free (ahh, genetics) I have ordered several more of these books.

Gretchen @gfedge

Note: If you missed out on Ricki’s first book, Sweet Freedom, it is now available on her website as an eBook. Those recipes are not gluten-free but the All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Mix can be substituted in equal measure for the original flours.

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Chocolate Almond Coconut Milk

Chocolate milk, it’s not just for kids. My milk mustache is definitely not white even though my hair is mostly white at this age. An alternative milk is definitely appreciated for those with lactose-intolerance and/or gluten-intolerance complicated by cross-reactive dairy issues.

After experimenting off and on during the  winter months I settled on making this blend a quart at a time. A glassful tastes yummy shaken and served right out of the fridge during the summer heat. It is also wonderful served hot in a mug instead of coffee or tea on a cold morning.

Re-purposed Glass Jars

Re-purposed Glass Jars

You don’t need a fancy bottle. I save and re-purpose glass bottles from the store that previously contained juices or gluten-free pasta sauces (yes, I know, I should make my own sauce but sometimes the jar makes a good meal possible when time is short).

These ingredients were all sourced at my local HEB grocery store. I keep Hershey’s original cocoa on hand, various non-nutritive sweeteners as they appear on the market, a good quality of vanilla, the HEB store brand of almond milk, and various brands of coconut milk as long as they do not contain preservatives.

Sweeteners differ considerably in perceived level of sweetness and it varies greatly by individual even within a family. I have a feeling that the quantity of nectresse™ that I used here will be too much for many. Start with the lower amount (or even less if you are a super-taster). You can always add more to reach the right level for your taste preference.

Adding the Ingredients

Adding the Ingredients

Chocolate Almond Coconut Milk – gfedge

1/4 cup warm water

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2-1 tablespoon nectresse™* (or your prefered sweetener)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup coconut milk, full-fat

3 cups almond milk

You will need a clean one quart glass bottle or mason jar with a screw-on cap that seals well. It will be used for shaking the ingredients together, initially to mix and then again just before serving.

Add the warm water and the cocoa powder to the jar. Shake and swirl to completely dissolve the cocoa powder before adding the other ingredients. Screw on the cap and shake to be sure the cocoa is completely dissolved. This should prevent it from clumping.

Add your sweetener of choice, the vanilla, and both of milks. Screw on the cap and shake well. Place in the refrigerator to chill. Shake again just before serving.

The full-fat coconut milk adds a healthy fat, tastes really good, and it helps to keep the ingredients evenly mixed!

Shaken, Not Stirred!

Shaken, Not Stirred!

Makes 1 quart.

Note*: nectresse™ is made by the company that brought us SPLENDA® brand sucralose, hardly a good recommendation but I was curious. The closest I can come to a calorie count for nectresse™ in measuring for baked goods is the evasive 1/4 teaspoon = zero calories and it is a ‘free food’ for diabetics at four ‘servings’. The most positive thing I can say about this product is that the label does not list any ingredients that I would not use if the ingredients were labeled ‘organic’ or ‘nonGMO’, which they are not.

Gretchen @gfedge

This post is linked to:
Wellness Weekend April 25-29, 2013
Ricki Heller’s Blog – Diet, Dessert, and Dogs


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Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake

This month there has been more excitement and much less blogging, but still cooking, baking and thinking about nutritious, delicious, gluten-free food. And a recipe for a dark, rich chocolate cake – I thought about that a lot :-)

Super Chocolate Fudge Cake

Super Chocolate Fudge Cake

Some of the excitement:
#1 Son came for a visit – Mom {me} was thrilled and Don and I both cooked up a storm.

Granddaughter Megan is graduating this month, I’ve been doing sewing and alterations for post-college wardrobe. The graduation celebration and Christmas gift exchange are being combined to reduce family holiday travel.

Rita is moving back to Texas mid-month and staying with us until she locates a new apartment. I had to finish the sewing, get it delivered to Megan, and put away the sewing machine and ironing board.

My sibs and I are selling some of our Grandpa’s farm property – much nostalgia involved and so far, over 100 emails. It is amazing that we will be able to complete this with two of us physically present at closing and the other two mailing and/or emailing the required documents.

Don and I spent some time cutting back shrubs in preparation for the exterior of our house to be painted. It was scratchy, itchy, tedious work. We did it ourselves because we wanted it done our way.

Freshly Painted Plant Stand

Freshly Painted Plant Stand

My tall metal plant stand for the front porch needed painting. I placed it out in the yard, away from the house, so the paint spray would be carried away by the breeze. Almost as soon as I completed spraying the stand was caught in the middle of a mass ballooning baby spider migration.  Many of the spiders and their silk strands landed on the plant stand. Fortunately they were so tiny and the paint had dried so quickly that none of them became part of the finish.

Finally I had time to think and plan and was able to put together a modification of the Pumpkin Bundt Cake  to create this Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake. This creation was intended to just be a dark, intensely chocolate cake. It came out so moist that I kept apologizing for it while everyone was saying ‘moist is good!’ Finally I stopped apologizing. It tastes like a blend of cake and fudge. I may tweak it but maybe not. Since it is so good I wanted to go ahead and share it. You will see from the ingredient list that it is not going to send you into sugar shock unless you are way more sensitive than I am. And since it is grain-free it does not trigger me to keep eating more and more – thank you to the dark lords of the chocolate underworld!

Chocolate Fudge Cake - Up Close

Chocolate Fudge Cake – Up Close

Wet Ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut oil, unrefined
1 cup pumpkin
1 square unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons chia seed
1/4 cup Truvia
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder {update 12-11-2012}
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (112g) almond flour
Optional: but highly recommended :-)
1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips

1. Set the oven at 325*F – gluten-free bakes better at lower temperatures and a little longer than gluten baked goods. Oil your pan(s) using a pastry brush and coconut oil. Alternately use a 7” Bundt pan, 12 cupcake molds, or 2 mini-loaf pans. Set aside.
2. Melt the coconut oil and the unsweetened chocolate together; allow to cool. Grind the coconut palm sugar and chia seed to powder. For sugar-free, substitute the sugar with more Truvia. You can use all Lakanto or your preferred baking sweetener. Measure chocolate chips and set aside.
3. Measure and sift together the dry ingredients, except almond flour, into a large bowl. Add the almond flour without sifting. It will not pass through a sieve.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, the cooled chocolate and oil, coconut milk, vanilla, and vinegar until blended.
5. Fold the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients. Continue folding just until the mixture comes together. Quickly stir in the chocolate chips. When using soda and vinegar for leavening it is essential to get the cake in the oven quickly.
6. Pour the batter into prepared pan(s). Smooth the top with a spatula.
7. For the small 7” Bundt bake for about 40 minutes and turn the heat off for 5 more minutes. Bake about 25 minutes total for cupcakes or muffin tops, and about 25-30 minutes for small loaf pans.
8. Cool the cake in the pan for 5-10 minutes.
9. Remove from pan and move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Choosing the ingredients:
I used canned pumpkin and have used it for years. It is one of my preferred pantry staples. I recently tried an organic brand but the consistancy is different. We will eventually become accustomed to it.

Unrefined organic coconut oil has a sweet note to enhance the sweetness of the cake without adding coconut flavor. Refined will work just as well.

You may use full-fat or light coconut milk. You may also dilute full-fat coconut milk half-&-half with unsweetened almond milk.

Coconut palm sugar tends to be very coarse. I grind it in a coffee bean grinder along with the chia seed so that both will dissolve and distribute better in the batter.

I use Bob’s Red Mill brand for the tapioca and coconut flours. Honeyville blanched (ordered online) is my choice for almond flour. Bob’s would probably work just as well but I don’t know for sure.

I hope others enjoy this just as much as we do!

Gretchen @gfedge

This post is linked to:
Wellness Weekend December 6-10, 2012
at Ricki Heller’s Blog – Diet, Dessert, and Dogs

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Pumpkin Bundt Cake – A Long Journey

I have been distracted lately – probably for the last two years. So many things are going on that I constantly lose focus. When I do snap back I usually end up starting on something else and then lose focus on that. Now that it is pumpkin season again I am picking up on a thought that started about a year-and-a-half ago ;-)

I first found Karoline’s original recipe for Pumpkin Bundt Cake  in May of 2011 and wanted to make it gluten-free. The original recipe called for barley flour. Barley gluten is said to be different from wheat gluten but it is closely related as are several other grass grains. I have made many modifications to both the recipe and my baking objectives since then.

Initially this was a vegan recipe and one that I wanted to remain vegan. Being torn between paleo and vegan makes for a split personality in my recipe box but for the moment that’s where it’s at. In the meantime there are several other objectives driving the modifications with one of my current objectives being low glycemic load.

I first eliminated all of the grass (Poaceae) family of plants plus most of the seeds of plants except for the ones I grind up and use as egg replacers: flax, chia, and psyllium seeds. Experiments with agave and other sweeteners such as xylitol have led me to my personal tolerance/preference for erythritol, stevia, and coconut palm sugar. Then I eliminated dairy and substituted coconut products for their nutritional and healing properties; coconut oil, coconut flour, and coconut milk. Occasionally I use tapioca or potato starch in small amounts for texture and browning qualities.

Half recipe - 7-inch Bundt Cake

Half recipe – 7-inch Bundt Cake

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Recipe type: Dessert, breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 14-16
A dense pumpkin cake made from nutritious, low-carb flours and filled with fruit and toasted nuts.
  • Full Recipe for a 10 inch Bundt Cake
  • 1½ cups walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup coconut oil, unrefined
  • 1½ cups pumpkin
  • ½ cup Truvia
  • 1½ cups coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • Dry Ingredients:
  • ½ cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1½ cups almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Half Recipe for a 7 inch Bundt Cake
  • ¾ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, unrefined
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • ¼ cup Truvia
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup + 2 T. golden raisins
  • Dry Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1½ teaspoons ground chia
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Set the oven at 325*F – gluten-free bakes better at lower temperatures and a little longer than gluten baked goods. Oil your pan(s) using a pastry brush and coconut oil. Then dust very lightly with tapioca flour. Alternately use 48 cupcake molds or 4 mini-loaf pans. Set aside.
  2. Sauté the nuts in a small skillet in the coconut oil. Set aside to cool.
  3. Measure and sift together the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, the cooled oil and nuts, raisins, milk, vanilla, and vinegar.
  5. Fold the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients. Continue folding just until the mixture comes together. When using soda and vinegar for leavening it is essential to get the cake in the oven quickly.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Smooth the top with a spatula.
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes for full size Bundt, rotating the cake from front to back after 20 minutes, about 25 minutes total for cupcakes or muffin tops, and about 25-30 minutes for small loaf pans.
  8. For the small Bundt bake for about 40 minutes and turn the heat off for the last 5 minutes.
  9. Cool the large cake in the pan for 15 minutes, the smaller items for less.
  10. Move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Any of your favorite tender nuts are suitable – for appearance and texture the pieces should be easy to chew. Toasting in the skillet enhances the flavor in the finished cake. Dried cranberries, currants, chopped figs, dates, cherries, or apricots would all be nice; a mixture would make for a festive holiday fruitcake. Unrefined coconut oil has a sweet note to enhance the sweetness of the cake without a coconut flavor. Refined will work just as well. Full fat coconut milk may make the cake a little heavy. I used light coconut milk because it was in the pantry. Otherwise I would dilute full-fat coconut milk half-and-half with unsweetened almond milk. Coconut palm sugar tends to be very coarse. I grind it in the coffee bean grinder along with the chia seed so that it will dissolve and distribute better in the batter. The measure of spices should be adjusted to your taste and tolerance. For instance, although I love clove I cannot tolerate as much as my taste buds prefer so I reduce the amount.

I use Bob’s Red Mill brand for the tapioca and coconut flours. Honeyville blanched (ordered online) is my choice for almond flour. Bob’s would probably work just as well but I don’t know for sure.

My neighbors, Barb and Frank, agreed to taste test this recipe for me. I have their permission to share the comments they sent me:

Last night we sliced up your pumpkin cake and Frank said, “this is not bad.” Then he took another bite and finished it. Then he said, “this is really good. Can I have another slice.” So we both give it a thumbs up and we really thought it tasted very, very good. Keep up the good work!!!

I hope others enjoy this treat just as much!

This post is linked to:
Wellness Weekend November 1-5, 2012
at Ricki Heller’s Blog – Diet, Dessert, and Dogs

Gretchen @gfedge

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Dark Savory Buckwheat Bread

This is yet a different bread that was also inspired by Ricki Heller’s recipe for Carob Buckwheat Pancakes. The first experiment just took those pancakes to the savory side to use as bread for sandwiches. This time I baked a small loaf in the oven rather than make it in a skillet like the pancakes. I had in mind a dark, grainy, pumpernickel-like loaf similar to what I used to buy to make up a tray of snack-size sandwiches.

Petite Party Sandwiches

Petite Party Sandwiches

I had been thinking about how to compose this bread flavor-wise. After browsing the internet I scratched out some notes and then slept on it. I woke up thinking about it and made some changes.
1) I bought some individual packets of decaf coffee and one packet is what I used to make the cup of coffee in the recipe.
2) I am still on the fence about baking with psyllium seed. Some people have problems with flax and I want another option. So far the information on the internet is not conclusive so I have more research to do there.
3) Celery seed was already in the spice rack. Caraway is so controversial that I decided not to even go there. If you love caraway and have it then you would probably prefer it to the celery seed.
3) The sharpness of celery seed (or caraway) needs something sweet to contrast. The initial sugar was coconut palm sugar and that was too much sweetness. Yacon syrup was just right but it is difficult to source and dreadfully expensive. It does have the quality of being low-glycemic and is a pre-biotic as well. Unsulphured molasses would probably be the closest substitution and many dark bread recipes use it. Using less of the other sweetener options might work also.

A Perfect Small (5.75 by 3.25) Loaf

A Perfect Small (5.75 by 3.25) Loaf

This batch came out very close in flavor to what I had in mind which is not pumpernickel but is still dark, grainy, and full of flavor. The first batch was a little softer in texture than I had hoped for but definitely not a show-stopper. The second one was better but still not there. I finally have a loaf that is really to my liking and the first significant experiment success in quite some time. A ‘win’ during the holidays feels like a present all wrapped up with a bow ;-)

Dry Ingredients for one small loaf:
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp (84g) buckwheat flour
2 Tbsp (14g) coconut flour
1.5 Tbsp (15g) carob powder
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) baking powder
1/4 tsp (.5 ml) baking soda

Seasonings: (grind all together)
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp (15g) chia seeds
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) fine sea salt
1 tsp (5 ml) celery seed
1/4 tsp (2.5 ml) onion powder
1/4 tsp (2.5 ml) oregano
1/4 tsp (2.5 ml) black pepper

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup warm coffee
1 Tbsp (12g) yacon syrup
1 tsp (5 ml) apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp (21g) finely ground flax seeds
1 Tbsp (30 ml) grapeseed or canola oil

Set the oven to 350*F. Spray or grease a small loaf pan (5.5” or 5.75” by 3”).

In a medium bowl, sift together the buckwheat flour, coconut flour, carob powder, baking powder, soda and salt. Grind the seasonings with a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Add the ground seasonings to the flour bowl and whisk to combine.

Dissolve the sweetener completely in the hot coffee. Add the apple cider vinegar. Dump in the pre-measured flax and stir briskly to combine. Let the mixture set for 10 minutes for the flax to hydrate and then add the tablespoon of oil.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix well. The batter will be very thick. Scoop it into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Move to the pre-heated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Be sure the bread is completely baked in the center. For my oven I turn off the heat after 30 minutes and leave the loaf in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Deep Color, Grainy Texture, Savory Flavor

Deep Color, Grainy Texture, Savory Flavor

When the loaf had cooled completely I began making very thin slices, 16 total slices with each about 1/4 inch thick. These slices held up to making small turkey sandwiches spread with gluten-free mayonnaise seasoned with a bit of ground turmeric. While nibbling a sandwich and evaluating the flavors I was suddenly aware that the distinctive flavor of our favorite ‘screaming yellow mustard’ is turmeric!

Tuna salad comes to mind for testing with another round of baking. Or perhaps the first recipe of Ricki’s that I made, ‘Mock Tuna Salad’, for a totally vegan version, that would be very good. She has several other spreads and appetizer options in her recipe summary that are also tempting.

The three kinds of sandwiches that I used to make for gatherings featured egg salad, pimento cheese, and liverwurst. Every sandwich was always gone – it seems that flavor variety (at least back then) had something for everyone. Maybe I will soon get to test that combination again.

This post is linked to:
Wellness Weekend December 22-26, 2011
at Ricki Heller’s Blog – Diet, Dessert, and Dogs.


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Vietnamese Style Coffee – Iced or Hot

Iced Vietnamese Style Coffee

Iced Vietnamese Style Coffee

The recipe for homemade condensed coconut milk was a sweet revelation. It has only two ingredients, canned coconut milk and agave syrup. The two ingredients were easy. The difficult part was watching it for hours while it cooked down to the desired consistency. But, oh, what a result!

I was going to be in the kitchen most of the day anyway converting another recipe to gluten-free and vegan so it’s not like I stood around patting my foot and waiting for the timer every 15 minutes. But it did take much longer than I expected – like maybe 5-6 hours. As it thickened the heat had to be constantly adjusted to keep it from boiling over, ‘glurping’ spatters all over the stove, or scorching.

Homemade Condensed Sweetened Coconut Milk

Homemade Condensed Sweetened Coconut Milk

Condensed Coconut Milk Recipe at -> And Love It Too

I declared it ‘done’, poured it into a glass jar, and put it in the refrigerator. It looks like ‘dulce de leche’  which is an incredibly decadent caramel sauce thought to have been invented in Argentina. This vegan version is better – it has a toasted coconut undertone which makes it even more scrumptious!

Combine this condensed sweetened coconut milk recipe with the recipes for Vietnamese Iced Coffee found on the internet and you have an awesome beverage. I don’t have the dark roast coffee beans or the fancy little press specified for the classic recipes. Just using my favorite instant coffee produced a wonderful taste experience without the expense of a coffee shop version. So give it a try with your coffee preference or whatever you have on hand.

Vietnamese Style Iced Coffee – single serving
4 ounces of double-strength coffee
2 tablespoons condensed sweetened coconut milk
4 ounces of other non-dairy milk (I used Almond Breeze)
5 drops vanilla
6 drops liquid stevia (adjust for your personal taste)
Ice cubes (preferably made with stevia sweetened coffee)

Pour the hot (or lukewarm) coffee into a 12-16 ounce glass. Heat helps to dissolve the condensed milk which is quite thick. Stir vigorously. Add the remainder of the ingredients and then the ice. Stir again.

Prepare a pitcher full of this for multiple servings to share with family and friends!

Vietnamese Style Hot Coffee – single serving
4 ounces of double-strength coffee
2 tablespoons condensed sweetened coconut milk
4 ounces of other non-dairy milk (I used Almond Breeze)
5 drops vanilla
6 drops liquid stevia (adjust for your personal taste)

Pour the hot coffee in your cup. Heat helps to dissolve the condensed milk which is quite thick. Add the remainder of the ingredients and heat in the microwave.

This could easily be prepared it in a small sauce pan on the stove. Or use a larger pan for multiple servings.

This post is linked to:
Wellness Weekend October 20-24, 2011
at Ricki Heller’s Blog – Diet, Dessert, and Dogs.

Elsie says 'Just the dulce de leche, please!'

Elsie says 'Just the dulce de leche, please!'


Notes: While the sweetened condensed milk is like candy, using stevia for the remainder of the sweetening keeps the calories per serving (SWAG) to about: 188 and the carbohydrates to about 13 net carbs. The coconut oil accounts for most of the calories. Not bad for such a special treat.

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Ricki Heller’s ‘Good Morning!’ Breakfast eBook

    Several months ago when Ricki requested volunteers to test recipes for her breakfast ebook we jumped at the chance. Rita and I have been fans of Ricki’s nutrition philosophy and her delicious, nutritious recipes for quite a while. Even now, there is a double batch of her Warm Chickpea and Artichoke Salad (we live in Texas where I serve it chilled with greens) in the refrigerator right now waiting to go to a potluck later today. The last time I brought this to a potluck I had to scrape the bowl to get a tiny amount to add to my lunch the next day!

Good Morning eBook

Good Morning eBook

Good Morning eBook
Ricki Heller, PhD, RHN
Author of Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without
Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar
Twitter: @RickiHeller
–Honorable Mention, 2010 Cuisine Canada Culinary Awards
–one of only three cookbooks recommended on Ellen DeGeneres’ website!

For a full Table of Contents and photos of many of the recipes, see this post.

Every one of these recipes is:
low glycemic
refined sugar free
egg free
dairy free
gluten free

The recipes are all great for anyone following an anti-Candida diet (ACD); for vegans; those on a gluten free, refined sugar free, egg free or kosher diet; or Type II diabetics.

Gretchen (Mom) and Rita

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Apple Sweet Potato Crumble – on a snowy day in Texas

Snowballs Are Falling!

Snowballs Are Falling!

   Watching the snow, staying indoors all day and going back and forth between the kitchen and knitting on the afghan project to keep warm. Breakfast this morning was from a batch of this wonderful crumble that Ricki posted on Diet, Dessert and Dogs recently. My first batch used Granny Smith apples and although it was good the second batch was tastier using a sweeter variety of apples. We have no coriander and I just left it out but in the second batch I substituted ground cloves – that paired nicely with the sweet potato and other spices. And since I am currently avoiding oats I filled in with some other gluten-free carbs. The resulting crumble was more volume than expected so since my choices were pre-ground maybe a little less of those carbs next time. Also I needed to use up some pecans so that went in for the walnuts.
   Occasionally I envy Ricki having a husband and those adorable dogs willing to share her experiments. But with this apple-sweet-potato-crumble I am happy to have it all to myself! It freezes well so nine servings can last as long as two weeks.

Crumble Just Out of the Oven

Crumble Just Out of the Oven

1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 tablespoon agave syrup
20 drops liquid stevia
1 tablespoon finely ground flax seeds
1/3 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup walnut/pecan pieces
1/2 cup natural almonds (with skin)
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa flakes cereal
1/2 cup gluten free corn flake crumbs
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups sweet potato purée
3 medium sweet apples, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
1 tablespoon finely ground chia seed
2 tablespoon apple juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
20-30 drops liquid stevia

Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a 9″ square pan with parchment, or coat with oil.

In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, agave syrup, liquid stevia, flax seed, and almond milk; set aside.

In the blender, process together (use a food processor if you have one) the nuts, cereals and coconut flour until the nuts are ground and mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt and blend just to mix. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in the bowl and toss with a fork (as if making pie dough) until it comes together in a very moist yet crumbly dough (it will stick together if pressed, but should readily separate into crumbles if tossed with the fork). Set aside while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling, mix together the pureed sweet potato, grated apple, apple juice, vanilla and liquid stevia.

Take about half the crumble mixture (you can just estimate) and press it firmly into the bottom of the pan. Top with the filling, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture evenly over the filling and press gently with the palms of your hands.

Bake in preheated oven until edges are browned and the top of the crumble begins to brown a bit. This took about 30 minutes in my oven. Allow it to cool to room temperature before cutting into squares; reheat if desired to serve. Makes 9 large servings. May be frozen.

   After this morning I still have six pieces in the freezer and I will, I REALLY will, save-them-for-future-breakfasts, REALLY! This is hard . . . . because I want some NOW.

   Mid-morning I heated up one of my own Lentil Patties, also from the freezer. So if I am eating goodies from the freezer then why am I in the kitchen? Baking not only makes the house smell good, it helps keep the house warm and also makes enough goodies to share. I baked an old-favorite, glutenful batch of pumpkin bread to give away and share with neighbors. Then I blended the dry ingredients for Double Coconut Muffins. And I did the same with a new recipe for cornbread from The Gluten-Free Vegan recipe book .
   The Sit ‘n Stitch ladies are coming over Thursday morning and they kindly taste test my gluten-free recipes – they are generous and helpful with their critiques and I greatly appreciate their opinions.
   There are only a few more rows to knit on this afghan that has been under construction for maybe 18 months. We refer to these projects as Unfinished Objects or UFO’s.

Unfinished Object (UFO) - Soon To Be a Finished Object (FO)

Unfinished Object (UFO) - Soon To Be a Finished Object (FO)

After Friday my calendar clears somewhat and I can begin new experiments!


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