Big & Soft Paleo Ginger Molasses Cookies

Oh goodness… I can’t believe it’s December! What happened to November?! In less than 2 weeks AJ and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, and then in 2 1/2 weeks it will be Christmas. It’s all coming so fast – time needs to slow down so I can get done what I want to! And actually, as far as shopping is concerned, I’m just about done; I just want more time time to fit in all of the craft and baking projects. ;)

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I have a weakness for cookies… especially ones of the ginger molasses variety (they taste SO good dunked in a cup of black coffee!). The distinct molasses and spicy ginger flavors blend so well together, and while I do like the harder ginger snaps, there’s something equally amazing about the big and soft ginger molasses cookies. These Big & Soft Paleo Ginger Molasses Cookies certainly live up to their name. They are big, and so soft they nearly melt in your mouth. Bet you can’t eat just one! ;)

OH! And speaking of cookies… my sweet and talented friend, Jeanine, of The Baking Beauties, is offering a FREE Gluten Free Cookie E-book as a Christmas present to her readers (how awesome is that??!). You can download the E-book and find out more information about it by clicking HERE

Enjoy!
xoxo,
Megan

Big & Soft Paleo Ginger Molasses Cookies

Big & Soft Paleo Ginger Molasses Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (I use either Honeyville or Anthony's)
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, just melted
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, arrowroot starch, coconut flour, ground ginger, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and sea salt.
  3. Mix in the coconut oil, unsulphured molasses, honey or pure maple syrup, and the egg and mix until combined.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.
  5. Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into balls and place them on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. Gently flatten the balls of dough with your fingers until they are about 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Bake for 9-12 minutes. Leave the cookies on the baking sheet to cool.
http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2013/12/09/big-soft-paleo-ginger-molasses-cookies/

This post may contain affiliate links which I may receive a small commission from (without any additional costs to you). The money earned from these commissions helps me maintain this website. Thank you for your support in this way!  

This recipe is linked to Make Your Own Monday, Teach Me TuesdayFat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent TuesdayAllergy Free Wednesday, Frugal Day Sustainable Ways, Thank Your Body Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday and Pennywise Platter, Gluten Free Fridays andWellness Weekend. 

Gluten & Dairy Free Maple Pumpkin Pie

The first Thanksgiving that I was gluten, dairy, and refined sugar free was interesting. It wasn’t bad by any means, just different. I was going through a time of transition, an adjustment period in my diet, and I had to learn how to make my favorite recipes differently. It was actually my sister in law who made me a gluten and dairy free pumpkin pie that first Thanksgiving (it was awesome… and crust-less). Since then I have tweaked her substitutions to come up with this Gluten & Dairy Free Maple Pumpkin Pie. And let me tell you what, you won’t miss the refined sugars or dairy – at all. The maple syrup is such a wonderful addition to the pumpkin and spices. It really is delicious! 

DSC_0962 (Large)The whipped topping you see in the picture is simply chilled coconut cream (the thick cream that separates from the liquid in certain brands of canned coconut milk, like the Thai Kitchen Brand) whipped with a few drops of liquid vanilla stevia (course, you could use maple syrup, honey, or another sweetener instead). If you prefer to use another brand of coconut milk (that’s maybe guar gum free), simply place the entire can of coconut milk in the blender, sweeten to taste, and blend. Place in an airtight container in the fridge overnight. The coconut milk will thicken, and then you can use it as whipped topping (it just might not be quite as thick as what’s pictured above, but still delicious). 

Wishing you all an early, but very Happy Thanksgiving! 
xoxo,
Megan

*If this recipe doesn’t accommodate your dietary needs, please check out my gal pal, Shirley’s, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe Roundup with Over 30 Recipes! There is certainly a recipe to accommodate nearly all types of dietary needs: egg free, Paleo, nut free, etc…

Gluten & Dairy Free Maple Pumpkin Pie

Yield: one 9-inch pie

Gluten & Dairy Free Maple Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 unbaked Best Gluten-Free Flaky Pie Crust Recipe
  • 15 ounces unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or rice milk, hemp milk, coconut milk beverage, etc...)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Whisk all of the ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl until well blended.
  2. Pour filling into the prepared unbaked pie shell and bake in a preheated 400 degree (F) oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees (F) and bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes. The pie is completely cooked through when a toothpick inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.
  3. Allow to cool completely before serving.
http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2013/11/05/maple-pumpkin-pie-dairy-free/

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This post may contain affiliate links which I may receive a small commission from (without any additional costs to you). The money earned from these commissions helps me maintain this website. Thank you for your support in this way!  

This recipe is linked to Make Your Own Monday, Teach Me Tuesday, Fat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent TuesdayAllergy Free WednesdayFrugal Day Sustainable WaysThank Your Body ThursdayTasty TraditionsFull Plate ThursdaySimple Lives ThursdayPennywise Platter, and Gluten Free Friday.

Paleo Animal Crackers

I loved animal crackers as a child. My mom would frequently buy them for me as a treat. I would play with them, bite a head off, play with them some more, dismember a bear… It sounds much more gruesome than it is, BUT admit it – you did it too!

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I wanted my children to experience the same joy of eating animal crackers as I did, which is why I developed this gluten free recipe. These Paleo Animal Crackers are so much healthier than the ones I used to eat as a kid. The almond and coconut flours are packed with protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Really, for a snacking cookie (err… cracker), you can’t get much healthier than this. 

I love watching my girls eat these animal crackers. Snack time regularly becomes an all out giggle-fest! Course, you don’t have to be a kid to appreciate them. Animal crackers were meant to satisfy the kid in all of us, regardless of age. 

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This dough is really easy to work with. It rolls out like a dream and holds its shape really well, even when cut into smaller shapes. I like to use this small frosting spatula to assist in maneuvering the cutouts onto the baking sheet. 

Regarding Substitutions:
This recipe is strictly written as a grain free recipe using almond and coconut flours. Substituting sunflower seed flour for the almond flour may possibly work for a nut-free dough; however, I have not tried it. I do not recommend substituting any other flours.

Flax eggs or “gel” may work as a substitution for the eggs, but again, I have not tried it. If you do try it, please come back and share your results!

Lots of love from my kitchen to yours! 
xoxo, 
Megan (with a long E)

 

Paleo Animal Crackers

Paleo Animal Crackers

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and nutmeg.
  3. Cut in coconut oil until mixture resembles fine coarse crumbs. Add in the eggs, runny honey, and vanilla extract; mix well and then let the dough rest for about a minute (this gives the coconut flour time to soak up moisture). Mix again for 30 seconds.
  4. Divide the dough into two balls. Wrap one of the balls securely with plastic wrap (so it doesn't dry out) and place the other ball of dough onto a large piece of parchment paper. Flatten the dough into a round disk with your hands, and then cover it with another large piece of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to evenly roll the dough until it is 1/8 inch thick.
  5. Gently peel back the top sheet of parchment paper and cut the dough into desired shapes using cookie cutters (I have this set, but I think these or these look awesome too), or a pizza cutter. If you are cutting the dough into large cracker shapes, score each cracker with a fork 2-3 times.
  6. Carefully transfer the crackers onto a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.
  7. Repeat with the second half of cracker dough.
  8. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the crackers are golden brown on the bottom. Allow the crackers to fully cool.

Recipe Notes from Megan

These crackers do not get really crunchy; however, the longer they bake the crunchier they become (just be very careful not to burn them). I store my crackers open to the air (it helps them keep what crispiness they have) instead of in an airtight container.

The dough can be refrigerated (just make sure the balls of dough are securely wrapped in plastic wrap), but must be at room temperature prior to rolling.

To avoid the dough sticking to the cookie cutters, simply dip the tips of the cookie cutters into tapioca starch before cutting your shapes. Repeat as needed.

http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2013/10/27/paleo-animal-crackers/

 This recipe is linked to Teach Me Tuesday, Fat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent TuesdayAllergy Free WednesdayFrugal Day Sustainable Ways, Thank Your Body Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday and Pennywise Platter

 

Whole Food Fridays 10-18-13

Welcome to Whole Food Fridays! Come link up your own GLUTEN FREE & WHOLE FOOD recipes and find new ones to try!

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Thank you for participating week after week!

Highlighted Recipe:

Chocolate Almond Butter from My Sister’s Pantry

Want to participate? Here are the guidelines:

  • Please link to your individual post, NOT your home page or a static blog party page.
  • You must provide a link back to Whole Food Fridays somewhere in the body of your post. Recipes not linked back to Whole Food Fridays will not be eligible to be highlighted the following week and may be deleted.
  • All recipes MUST BE GLUTEN FREE and made from REAL WHOLE FOOD ingredients.
  • Your blog does not have to be a gluten free blog in order to link up a recipe, but please make sure your recipe is gluten free.
  • Recipes for natural homemade soaps, lotions, etc. are also welcome.
  • Please leave me a comment! I love it when I hear from you. Often times comments make my day!

What your recipe CAN contain:

  • Any real whole food ingredients (gluten free whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, vegetables, herbs, healthy oils, etc).
  • Natural Sweeteners (honey, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, yacon, coconut nectar, coconut sugar/palm sugar, sucant, stevia)
  • Meats, eggs and dairy are all okay (although dairy free options are always an added bonus).
  • Bacon. Yes, anyone who makes anything with bacon gets extra brownie points (just make sure your bacon is gluten & nitrate free)!

What your recipe CANNOT contain:

  • Anything artificial, including anything refined or highly processed.
  • Any sort of boxed mix or prepackaged anything (with the exception of packaged GF noodles, chocolate chips, nut butters, etc…). Just remember fresh real whole foods are best!
  • Refined sugars (like plain white sugar or brown sugar – organic is okay).
  • Liver and/or chicken feet. Okay, I’m joking. You can link up a recipe that contains either, I just probably won’t highlight it the following week.

If your post does not comply to the above guidelines it will be deleted (and I will probably delete it without leaving you a note telling you I did (sorry), because that could be very time consuming). If you have any questions just leave me a comment below and I will try my best to get back to you.

Please be descriptive and tell us a bit about what you’re sharing. Is it vegan? What about dairy free? Is it grain free? Etc… I think you understand; you’re a smart bunch!

Thanks again for stopping by Whole Food Fridays! I look forward to seeing you every week!
xoxo
Megan



Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer (Vegan/No Sugar Added)

I normally don’t take creamer in my coffee. Well, at least not anymore. I used to. Up until I changed my diet and couldn’t find the right sort of dairy free creamer substitute. I tried everything from dairy free coffee creamers to canned coconut milk to any and every dairy free milk under the sun. Nothing satisfied me, so I decided to start drinking my coffee black. It took some adjusting, but eventually just black coffee became my norm. There’s something about fall and chilly weather though. It makes me crave an occasional Dairy Free Caramel Macchiato or a big Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks  (I think all of our dairy-consuming friends on Facebook seem to be drinking pumpkin spice lattes right now). I know, I know… wishful thinking. Starbucks can’t quite accommodate our dietary needs. It’s okay though, because my new recipe for Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer (Vegan/No Sugar Added) is much healthier, more delicious, and easier on the wallet.

When I set out to make this coffee creamer I wanted to use as little sugar or sweetener as possible. My body doesn’t handle sugar well, including palm sugar, maple syrup or honey (although my children and husband tolerate both, so I still bake/cook with them from time to time). Dates are a wonderful natural sweetener, but they aren’t something I’d normally consider using in a coffee creamer. In this recipe they work really well though, especially because I heat them up, which makes them very soft and they are easily broken down in the blender. I asked a few friends of mine to sample this coffee creamer and neither one of them missed the sugar, nor could they detect the stevia. The spices, pumpkin, and dates hide the stevia really well. Course, if you’re not  interested in using stevia, feel free to substitute pure maple syrup. It will turn out just as yummy.

Back to my friends though – they both confessed to eating this Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer straight from the jar. It’s that good. It tastes like dessert and is a very versatile recipe. One that you could easily turn into pudding, smoothies, ice cream, etc. I’m looking forward to hearing of all the wonderful things you do with it! Speaking of dessert and this being a versatile recipe… I have a killer dessert recipe coming up for you soon that uses this creamer as the star ingredient. It’s so decadent and you are going to LOVE it! And you’re especially going to love how healthy it is. ;)

This coffee creamer has become my new addiction. I still drink my morning cup of coffee black, but by the afternoon I enjoy another pick me up with a bit of this Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer. The pumpkin and spices are the perfect blend of fall (and it smells amazing, too!). I’m convinced it will quickly become your new favorite addiction. Enjoy it – cheers!

All my love,
Megan (with a long E)

Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer (Vegan/No Sugar Added)

Yield: about 3 1/2 cups

Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer (Vegan/No Sugar Added)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 14 ounces canned coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 20 drops NuNatural’s Liquid Stevia or 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (or more, depending on how sweet you like your coffee creamer)

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the almond milk and chopped dates. Bring to a boil over medium and remove heat. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Very carefully (it’s very hot!) pour the saucepan contents into a high speed blender and add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is very smooth.
  3. Add the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and stevia and blend for another minute until smooth and well mixed. Refrigerate and use within 5-7 days.

Recipe Notes from Megan

You can use this coffee creamer immediately after making it, but if you can stand it, give it a full overnight in the refrigerator to let the flavors merry. Trust me, it will taste even better!

I use about a 1/4 cup of this creamer per cup of coffee, but you can certainly use as little or as much of it as you'd like.

http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2013/09/20/dairy-free-pumpkin-spice-coffee-creamer-veganno-sugar-added/

 This post is linked to Allergy Free Wednesday, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Wellness Weekend and Fight Back Friday.

Raw Beet, Carrot & Apple Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing

Beets are not something I would normally purchase, so working with them was a new experience (but a good one!).  After a quick search online, I found that beets are highly nutritious (especially when eaten raw) and contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification properties.  They’ve even been thought to have anti-cancer benefits.

All the more reason to eat your beets, kids!!

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This Raw Beet, Carrot & Apple Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing is by far, one of my favorite salad. It is very refreshing, and the ginger and lime balance out the sweetness of the carrots and apple perfectly. Everyone who has tried it (even those who openly don’t like beets) have liked this salad and asked for the recipe!

Raw Beet, Carrot & Apple Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 3 – 4 tablespoons lime juice, fresh squeezed (or lemon)
  2. 1 tablespoons honey (or coconut nectar if you are vegan)
  3. 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, finely grated
  4. 1-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 3/4 cup beet roots, grated
  6. 1 3/4 cup carrots, peeled and grated
  7. 1 3/4 cup Braeburn apple, peeled and grated
Instructions
  1. To make the ginger lime dressing, combine the lime juice, honey, and ginger in a small mixing bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the grated beets, carrots, and apple.
  3. Toss in the dressing and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Allergy Free Alaska http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/
Enjoy!

Megan

This recipe is also linked to Raw Food Thursday, the Virtual Whole Food Potluck, Allergy Free Wednesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Simple Lives Thursday, and the Gluten Free Homemaker.

Hearty Curried Carrot Soup (vegan)

I do most of my blogging from my laptop at the dining room table, which is just off the kitchen near the glass doors leading to our backyard. I love sitting here with a nice big cup of hot coffee. I’m able to look out and watch the girls playing (either inside the house or outside in the yard), I can keep tabs on the puppy, and I also love the view.

We don’t live right in town, but we don’t live out in the country either, so my backyard is surrounded by Birch trees and Alder bushes (not the ocean or the mountains). It’s not a spectacular view, but it makes me happy. It’s very peaceful here. The leaves are starting to turn and scatter across my yard, and the crispness of fall is in the air. Soon the snow will fall, and the cold Alaskan weather will leave us craving warm temperatures and hearty hot meals.

This Curried Carrot soup is one of my favorite (meatless) hearty hot meals. I use adzuki beans to make it extra filling and creamy. Adzuki beans are small red beans that can be substituted for pinto or larger red beans in recipes. You can purchase adzuki beans online through Vitacost or Amazon, or if you’re shopping locally in the Anchorage area they can be found at Natural Pantry.

This recipe is actually not a new one, it’s been on my website for quite a while. Unfortunately it was getting overlooked because the food photography was so bad (I’m not kidding… the old picture of this soup was really bad, and didn’t leave you wanting to have a bowl of it!). I don’t know about you, but when I look at the bowl of soup below (it’s a new picture), I’d really like to eat it! Especially with a nice hearty bread roll!

Carrot Curry Soup (Medium)

This recipe has been shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, EOA Link Up, Allergy Free Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Wellness Weekend and Allergy Friendly Friday.

Curried Carrot Soup Recipe:
Yields 6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
32 ounces chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegan)
2 cups water
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (see recipe note below)
1 tablespoon honey (or coconut nectar for vegan)
1 1/2 pounds organic carrots, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup cooked adzuki beans (if they are canned, no salt/low sodium would be best)
1/4 – 1/3 cup canned coconut milk

  1. In a large dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until golden brown.
  2. Add the garlic, broth, water, curry powder, ginger, cinnamon, salt, sweetener of choice, carrots and adzuki beans. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 20 – 25 minutes.
  3. Puree using an immersion blender until the soup is smooth.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk and taste.  Season with more sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Megan’s Recipe Notes:

  • I use Penzey Sweet Yellow Curry Powder. It isn’t very hot, and it has excellent flavor.
  • Pacific Natural Foods is the brand of the broth I use. If you use another brand, you might want to cut back on the amount of sea salt used in the recipe until after you puree the soup. Then taste and decide how much sea salt you’d like. Remember you can always add salt, but you can’t remove it once it’s been added.

Enjoy!
xoxo
Megan

 

Blueberry Coconut Butter

Blueberries grow wild in Alaska. We had tons of blueberry bushes in Kodiak where I grew up and {much to my mother’s delight} I loved to pick them! My friends and I would go blueberry picking and come home with our little buckets full of blueberries. We would fill the kitchen sink up with water, let the blueberries soak, and then play with the insects that crawled out of them {I know… eww!}. My mom would freeze the {insect free} berries and we would use them in baked goods throughout the year.


Someone recently asked me if I was from Alaska, and the answer is yes. =)  I was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but my parents moved to Kodiak, Alaska, when I was 9 months old. I spent my entire childhood on Kodiak Island and didn’t move to the Anchorage, Alaska, area until after I graduated high school. I still do live in Alaska, in the Matanuska Valley area, which is about an hours drive north of Anchorage. I sure do miss Kodiak at times, though; it was a wonderful place to grow up.

A pair of Stellar Sea Lions hanging out on the docks of the Kodiak boat harbor.

Surrounded by ocean and wilderness, I was able to see and taste some of the finest wild game and seafood. Halibut, salmon, and venison dishes were a regular at our family dinner table. I’ve had halibut and salmon cooked, baked, and fried just about any way you could possibly imagine. Out of all the fresh seafood I’ve had over the years, Kodiak scallops and crab are my ultimate favorites.

Me and my brother standing by a pile of Kodiak King Crab.

This next picture {below} requires a little bit more than a caption. I think I was 2 years old, and I’m being held by a family friend who was an Alaskan Native. He was feeding me raw muktuk, which is the skin and blubber layer of whales (I believe the muktuk he was feeding me was from a Bowhead Whale, but I’m not sure). I don’t remember eating muktuk, but my parents told me I loved it (I can’t say I would feel the same about it if I tried it again now)!

This next recipe is a fairly newer one I’ve been making. The girls and I like to eat it on toast made from my favorite gluten and rice free multigrain bread. It would also make a wonderful fruit dip straight out of the blender or as a waffle or pancake topping. However you choose to enjoy it, I am positive you will love it!

This recipe is linked to AIP Round TableSlightly Indulgent Tuesday, Kids in the Kitchen, Thriving on Thursdays, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Wellness Weekend, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, Food on Fridays, Fresh Bites Friday, Foodie Friday, GAPS Friendly Friday, Healthy Vegan Fridays, and Whole Food Fridays.

Blueberry Coconut Butter Recipe:
Yields about 5 cups

2 packages of Let’s Do Organic unsweetened shredded coconut (about 5 1/3 cups, packed)
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed*
2 – 3 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, coconut nectar, stevia, etc.
3 cups fresh blueberries

  1. Using a high speed blender (like a Vitamix), process the shredded coconut on high until it turns into “butter.” Use the tamper to carefully push the coconut down into the blades of the blender while you are processing it; this step should take less than a minute.
  2. Blend in the coconut oil, lemon juice, and sweetener of choice.
  3. Add the blueberries to the blender and blend on high, using the tamper to push the blueberries down into the blades. Process until smooth.
  4. Divide the Blueberry Coconut Butter into 5 glass storage jars (I use canning jars), leaving a inch of room at the top of each jar. Refrigerate what will be consumed within a week; freeze the remaining to retain freshness.

Megan’s Notes:
This butter does firm up in the refrigerator once it is cold, so if you are using it as a fruit dip, plan to use it as one straight out of the blender.

*If you are using tart blueberries, you may not need to use the full 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Leave the lemon juice out of the recipe until after you have the blueberries blended, and then taste and decide if you would like to add lemon juice (add tablespoon by tablespoon until the desired taste is achieved). The blueberries I used were very sweet.

I’ve also used this recipe to make strawberry coconut butter, although I did not use the full 1/4 cup of lemon juice in the strawberry butter.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask me? What my favorite hobby is, or about my life in Alaska, etc? Ask me a question and I just might answer it in my next blog post!

Enjoy,
Megan
xoxo

Kimchi Me Crazy (dairy free/Paleo & GAPS friendly)

My best friend is half Korean. When I was 8 or 9 years old I remember sitting at her kitchen table while her mom served us lunch. I was mortified when I discovered there was seaweed in my won ton soup. My friend recognized the look of horror on my face and said, “Eat it. It’s good!” I ate it, but it took a few times for me to really develop a taste for it.

Same goes for kimchi… it took me a while to develop a taste for it, enjoy it, and to want to eat it (I only started making it a few weeks ago). My brother bought some homemade kimchi from a local Asian store, and it was phenomenal. I couldn’t stop eating it. It was a perfect balance of spicy, sweet, tangy, salty, and then you have the back note flavors of ginger and garlic. I loved it so much I had to figure out how to make it myself, just a bit healthier than some of the other recipes I’ve come across (that contain cane sugar and plenty of sweet rice flour).

My best friend recently returned from a trip to Korea and sent me some authentic Korean red pepper. You know you’re a crazy foodie when something as simple as fresh ground red pepper makes your day (but it came all the way from Korea!).  :)

I’ve made at least 3 batches of this kimchi, and people keep stealing it, so I think that’s a good sign. This stuff is addictive. Pretty soon your friends are going to steal your kimchi!

Kimchi (Medium)

There are a lot of different ways to eat kimchi. Some people enjoy eating it by itself and others with rice and meat. I’ve even heard of people making sandwiches using kimchi as the filling (which is definitely NOT my choice way of eating it). Bottom line is there is no right or wrong way to eat kimchi. Discover what you like best and enjoy it that way. :)

This recipe is linked to the GFE Gluten Free Virtual Support Group, EOA Link Up, Allergy Free Wednesdays, the Gluten Free Homemaker, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Simple Lives Thursday, and Fat Tuesday.

Megan’s Kimchi Recipe:
Note: There are several types of ground red pepper, but make sure you use Korean red pepper in this recipe. You can buy Korean red pepper from your local Asian market.

2 heads of Napa cabbage (medium sized cabbages are best)
2 tablespoons sea salt
6 – 8 tablespoons Korean red pepper
1 3/4 tablespoons fish sauce (omit if vegan)
4 teaspoons runny honey (or coconut nectar for vegan)
1 tablespoon ginger, fresh grated
2 -3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 to 1 1/2 bunches of scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces
3 to 4 carrots, peeled and shredded

  1. Remove outer leaves from the cabbages.
  2. Cut each cabbage in half lengthwise, trim the ends, and then roughly chop it into 2 to 3 inch pieces.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, layer the chopped cabbage with the sea salt. Allow the cabbage to sit with the sea salt for about an hour; stirring occasionally (This is a good time to get your hands dirty. Stir the cabbage using your hands and don’t be afraid to squeeze it. This will help the salt draw out the moisture from the cabbage, which is a very good thing. Do not discard this liquid).
  4. Sprinkle in the Korean red pepper, fish sauce, honey, ginger, and garlic. Mix well.
  5. Stir in the scallions and carrots.
  6. Divide the kimchi into two 4-quart glass jars. Using the back of a spoon, pack the kimchi into the jars, leaving about an inch of room at the top of each jar. Make sure your kimchi has just enough liquid to be submerged. (I generally have a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of liquid left over after I pack my jars that I end up discarding. This is an incredibly messy process for me. I make a complete mess of the jars when I’m packing my kimchi, and if you do the same, it’s okay as long as you rinse the outside of the jars and wipe the inside and outside of the rim. When fermenting vegetables, you want your jar to be as clean as possible, otherwise it may mold.)
  7. Place the lids loosely on the jars and put the jars in a shallow baking dish (in case they overflow while fermenting). Place in a cool dark area and allow the kimchi to ferment for 2 to 5 days before storing in the refrigerator. (I found it helpful to take the back of a spoon and push down on the kimchi a few times during the day while it was fermenting. It prevented my kimchi from overflowing releasef the air that built up in the jar.)

This is my cabbage after I layered it with the sea salt in my mixing bowl:

The salt eventually broke down the cabbage and drew out the moisture. Now you are ready to add the rest of your ingredients and pack the kimchi into glass jars!

Enjoy!
Megan