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. ;)

DSC_0473 (Small)

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 Tuesday, Gluten Free WednesdayAllergy 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. 

Traditional Stuffing with Parsley, Sage & Thyme

Whenever I think of Thanksgiving meal, my mind immediately goes straight to dessert (like to Dairy Free Eggnog, Guilt-Free Pecan Pie Cookies or Maple Pumpkin Pie).  But coming in at a close second is always stuffing. I love stuffing, especially slathered in gravy and mingled with small bits of turkey or whatever else is floating around my plate. And while more exotic or non-traditional stuffing sounds and looks lovely (most of them anyways), I’m a traditionalist snob when it comes to my stuffing. Which is precisely why I prefer this yummy Traditional Stuffing with Parsley, Sage & Thyme.  

DSC_0275 (Large)

When I made this a few days ago, the thyme and sage sauteed with the ghee, onions, and celery filled our house with a wonderful aroma. It left my girls salivating and begging for a spoonful of the stuffing as soon as I pulled it out of the oven (of course I caved and both girls loved it). ;) And I especially like that the top of this dish remains nice and crunchy, while the bottom stays moist and soft. 

I use my Gluten & Rice Free Multigrain Bread in this recipe, although as stated below, you certainly could use my Oatmeal Millet Bread or the Gluten Free “White Bread” loaf. My bread loaves are significantly larger than store bought ones (like Udi’s or Rudi’s). So if you want to substitute a gluten-free store bought loaf, you might need to use 2 loaves to equal my one. 

May your Thanksgiving be filled with love and laughter – and exceptionally great food! 
Blessings,
Megan
 

Traditional Stuffing with Parsley, Sage & Thyme

Yield: 8-12 servings

Traditional Stuffing with Parsley, Sage & Thyme

Adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 Gluten & Rice Free Multigrain Bread Loaf, sliced and then cubed in 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup ghee or olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped onions (about 1 large)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups chicken or broth

Instructions

  1. Divide the bread cubes between two large parchment lined baking sheets and leave them out on the counter (uncovered) overnight.
  2. Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).
  3. Bake the bread cubes for 10 minutes and then stir, and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  5. In a large sauté pan, warm the ghee or olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and sauté for 6 minutes. Add the ground sage and thyme and sauté for another 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread cubes, sautéed vegetables, parsley, sea salt, and black pepper.
  7. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and chicken broth, and then pour it into the bread cube mixture and gently mix.
  8. Place in a lightly greased 9”x13” baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 30 minutes, and then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the top is nice and crunchy. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes from Megan

http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2013/11/22/traditional-stuffing-with-parsley-sage-thyme/

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 Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent TuesdayAllergy Free Wednesday, Frugal Day Sustainable Ways, Thank Your Body Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, and Gluten Free Friday.

Mom’s Amazing Gluten Free & Vegan Apple Pie

Pie… it’s one of the best three letter words ever (especially when it’s homemade, slightly warm, and served with your favorite dairy free vanilla ice cream and a cup of coffee!). My mom’s homemade apple pie is the best, which is why her recipe inspired me to create my own gluten free version. This Mom’s Amazing Gluten Free & Vegan Apple Pie would be a wonderful addition to your holiday dessert line up, but please don’t limit this deliciousness to just a holiday recipe. Pie should be served year round- for birthdays, holidays, celebrations, or simply just because. 

With this pie, it’s hard to say which is the star of the show: the apple filling perfectly smothered in a sweet layer of cinnamon and nutmeg, or the buttery-like gluten free flaky pie crust. I’ll let you decide and you’ll have to let me know. I’m partial to both, although my opinion may be somewhat biased. ;) 

Mom's Apple Pie 2 Allergy Free AlaskaI confess, since perfecting my Best Gluten-Free Flaky Pie Crust Recipe I’ve gone a little overboard with my pie making (like with my Gluten & Dairy Free Maple Pumpkin Pie), but it’s just been sooooo long since I’ve had yummy pie with a flaky crust. And my family isn’t complaining- I suspect yours won’t either! 

Peace, Love & Pie… xo
Megan

 

Mom's Amazing Gluten Free & Vegan Apple Pie

Yield: one 9-inch pie

Mom's Amazing Gluten Free & Vegan Apple Pie

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Follow the directions for the Best Gluten-Free Flaky Pie Crust Recipe (make sure to double the recipe), and roll out one of the crusts and fit it into a 9-inch pie plate. Do not trim down the excess dough from the edges of the pie crust.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the apples and lemon juice.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the palm sugar, sorghum flour, arrowroot starch, cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples and toss to coat.
  4. Place the apple mixture in the pie shell, including any of the juices that may have accumulated.
  5. Roll out the second pie crust and gently place it on top.
  6. Trim the overhanging pie crust dough edge about 1 inch from the rim of the pie plate. Fold and roll the top pie crust under the lower pie crust and flute as desired.
  7. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut a series of slits, at least 4-8, in the top of the pie crust so the steam can escape.
  8. Brush the crust with almond milk (you may not need to use the entire teaspoon), and sprinkle it with the cane sugar.
  9. Place the pie on a baking sheet (to catch drips), and baking in a preheated 425 degree (F) oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees (F) and continue baking for another 45-50 minutes. The pie will be done when the crust is golden brown and the apples are soft (carefully insert a knife in one of the steam slits to test the softness).
  10. Cool for at least 2 hours before serving.

Recipe Notes from Megan

I use organic cane sugar on the outside of the crust because it caramelizes beautifully. If you don't want to use organic cane sugar, I recommend omitting it altogether. I do not recommend substituting palm sugar because it could burn instead of caramelize.

http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2013/11/10/moms-amazing-gluten-free-vegan-apple-pie/

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 Fat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten Free WednesdaysAllergy Free WednesdayFrugal Day Sustainable WaysThank Your Body ThursdayTasty TraditionsFull Plate ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday and Pennywise Platter, Gluten Free Fridays and Wellness 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/

DSC_0970 (Large)

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.

Best Gluten-Free Flaky Pie Crust Recipe

When my parents were married, my dad gave my mom a jewelry box with “A pie a week keeps the husband sweet” inscribed on the inside of it. Needless to say, after 40+ years of marriage, mom became an expert pie maker. Her banana cream pie is my absolute favorite (or was my favorite; I plan on making over that recipe one of these days), but if you asked my dad what his favorite pie is, he’d probably vote pecan. 

DSC_0864 (Small)

I think making pie crust is a bit of an art. Mixing the dough just enough not to overwork it, handling and feeling the dough to know the correct texture and consistency, rolling the dough, and being able to roll it out evenly. It’s taken me years of watching and helping my mom to somewhat feel like I have a handle on it, and even still I have off days. The great thing about pie crust though, it doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned pie crust maker or not. Pie crust doesn’t necessarily have to look good – it just has to taste good. And I can assure you this pie crust lives up to its name. It really is the Best Gluten-Free Flaky Pie Crust Recipe I’ve ever had. So if your crust doesn’t end up looking as “perfect” as you think it should, don’t fret. Just remember that you’ll never find any two homemade pie crusts that look the same. Differences add character and uniqueness to your pies! 

I’ve been working on this recipe for years. Previously I’ve made several gluten free pie crusts that have worked, and worked well, but they still weren’t good enough to meet my standards. I wanted a flaky pie crust recipe that could hold its own if ever compared to mom’s. Finally, after years of experimenting and making 3 different pies this week… by George, I did it!

But before we get to the recipe, I wanted to share a few pictures with you. This (below) is my chilled and lightly floured disk of dough, sitting on a piece of lightly floured parchment paper. You can either roll the dough out as is (using more flour as you go along so the dough doesn’t stick to your rolling pin), or you can place another piece of parchment paper on top of the disk of dough and roll it out between the sheets of parchment. It just depends on what’s easier for you and what you prefer. 

DSC_0879 (Small)Once the dough is rolled out, you can either invert the pie crust over the top of the pie plate (say a little prayer) and gently peel off the back of the parchment paper, or you can use your rolling pin to help move the crust. These next few pictures will show you how I start to move the pie crust with the rolling pin: 

DSC_0918 (Small)DSC_0919 (Small)DSC_0920 (Small)DSC_0923 (Small)

A Note Regarding Substitutions:
As stated earlier, I’ve worked very hard over the last few years to develop a truly perfect gluten-free pie crust recipe. That said, the ingredients I’ve used in this recipe were chosen for specific reasons. If you substitute another flour or ingredient than that as listed, I can’t guarantee the end result of your pie crust. Testing recipes is incredibly time consuming, and unfortunately I can’t fine tune a recipe to fit everyone’s individual dietary needs. If the ingredients in this specific recipe won’t work for you, please let it be your guide, or a launching point for you to do your own experimentation. ;) I’m more than willing to aid in suggestions or give you my opinion. Just please know I can’t guarantee the end results!

Best Gluten-Free Flaky Pie Crust Recipe

Yield: one single pie crust pastry

Best Gluten-Free Flaky Pie Crust Recipe

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sorghum flour, millet flour, arrowroot starch, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, and sea salt.
  2. Cut in the palm shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add the apple cider vinegar and water, and stir gently until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Place the ball of dough inside of a large zip lock bag and use your hands to flatten it into a disk. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. To roll the dough, lay a piece of parchment paper on a work surface and lightly sprinkle with flour. Place the disk of dough in the middle of the parchment paper, sprinkle the disk with flour, and roll the dough into an 11-12 inch round starting from the middle and working out towards the edges. Keep sprinkling the dough with flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.
  5. Using your rolling pin (as pictured above) to aid in moving the dough, carefully ease the crust into a 9 inch pie plate. Or use the bottom layer of parchment paper to invert the entire pie crust over the top of the pie plate (say a little prayer) and gently peel off the parchment paper. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie pan (if there are any tears in the crust, simply wet your fingers and try to smooth them out as best as you can).
  6. Trim down the edges of the pie crust leaving about 1/2 an inch of excess dough. Fold the excess dough underneath and crimp the edges.
  7. Fill and bake as desired.
  8. To Pre-Bake the Crust without Filling:
  9. Preheat oven to 375 and prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Line the crust bottom with coffee filters or parchment paper and fill with a single layer of dried beans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pie crust begins to change color around the edges. Remove the coffee filter or parchment paper and the beans. Bake for an additional 5-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and dried out. Cool completely before filling.

Recipe Notes from Megan

This 14” Pie Crust Bag is ideal for rolling out perfectly round pie crusts. I have one that a friend gifted me and absolutely love it!

This crust performs better if rolled out immediately following the dough’s 15 minute chill time. If it is refrigerated for a longer period of time it tends to dry out and can be difficult to work with. If you have to refrigerate the dough for longer (like overnight), make it just a tad wetter than normal (But not too wet! Just remember, you can always add more liquid, but you can’t take it back out once it’s mixed in). Dough that is refrigerated for a longer period of time must rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to rolling.

Temperature, altitude and humidity will affect pie crust dough. If you find the crust difficult to roll out and you think it’s too dry, simply throw it in a food processor, add 1 tablespoon of cold water, and pulse 3-5 times. Check the dough. If you think it will hold together and roll out properly – great! If not, continue to add more cold water, tablespoon by tablespoon until the dough comes back together.

http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2013/11/04/perfect-gluten-free-pie-crust-pastry-vegan/

Now, how ’bout a slice of Gluten & Dairy Free Maple Pumpkin Pie?! 

DSC_0950 (Small)

Or maybe Mom’s Amazing Gluten Free & Vegan Apple Pie?

Mom's Apple Pie Allergy Free Alaska

All my love,
Megan (with a long E)

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 MondayTeach Me TuesdayFat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten Free WednesdaysAllergy Free WednesdayFrugal Day Sustainable WaysThank Your Body ThursdayTasty TraditionsFull Plate ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday and Pennywise PlatterGluten Free Fridays and Wellness Weekend

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!

DSC_0775 (Small)

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. 

DSC_0757 (Small)

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

 

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.

White Cioppino with Kale (Seafood Stew)

It might not be officially fall, but it feels somewhat fall-ish here in Alaska. The temps have dropped, the leaves are falling, and I have the sudden urge to make Dairy Free Peppermint Hot Cocoa (a stevia sweetened version of it anyways) and wear my goose down vest. I’m sad to have to say goodbye to summer, and especially the lack of daylight, but I do love fall. It’s my favorite season, and you have to admit, there is something extra special about enjoying a piping hot bowl of soup when the weather is chilly.

DSC_0542 (Large)I’ve been holding on to this recipe for while. I’m not quite sure what I was waiting for, but since sharing my Slammin’ Alaska Salmon Burgers a few weeks ago I wanted to continue to share with you my love of the ocean and fresh seafood. I’m going home to Kodiak, Alaska within a few weeks for a visit, and I can’t wait. It’s been 9 years since I’ve been back to the island I consider my home. The ocean is unavoidable there, and so is its smell. I think that when you are raised on an island in the middle of an ocean saltwater and seaweed run in your blood. It’s almost like a drug or an addiction you can’t ever get over, that’s constantly calling your name and beckoning you back. This White Cioppino with Kale (Seafood Stew), reminds me of home. Its broth is rich and full of flavor from the sea – with halibut, shrimp and clams. 

Cioppino is traditionally a tomato based seafood stew, but I guess I’m a nonconformist when it comes to my food. And the fresh kale from our local farm is not only aesthetically pleasing (it reminds me of seaweed floating in the ocean), but is delicious and hardy – not to mention good for you.

White Seafood Cioppino

I’m headed to Kodiak by myself, for a girl’s trip with one of my best friends that’s flying up from Idaho. I’m a little hesitant to leave my kiddos and hubby, but I’m really looking forward to getting away. I still have plenty of really good friends in Kodiak, so my time will be full of catching up and visiting the shoreline. I hope to get some good pictures of the sites and wildlife while I’m there. The sea lions generally hang out on the harbor docks, so they should at least be easy to find. ;) Make sure you follow me on Instagram – I’ll be sharing photos from the island there! 

White Cioppino with Kale (Seafood Stew)

Yield: 6 servings

White Cioppino with Kale (Seafood Stew)

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon ghee, coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup good tasting chardonnay wine (I prefer Kendall Jackson)
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 14 ounces canned coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1-2 jalapenos, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1 pound halibut, cod, or other firm white fish, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  • 1 pound manila clams, rinsed well
  • 1 bunch kale, removed from stem and chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large Dutch oven, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add in the chopped onion, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and cook until soft. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let the onions cook for another 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  2. Increase the heat to high and add the wine, chicken broth, coconut milk, dried parsley and jalapenos (if desired). When the broth starts to boil, add the fish and cook for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp, clams, and kale and cook for another 5 minutes or until the clams fully open and the shrimp are bright pink.
  3. Taste and add additional sea salt & fresh ground pepper if necessary. Serve immediately.
http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2013/08/12/white-cioppino-with-kale-seafood-stew/

Parents, be warned – if your children are anything like ours, they will try their hardest to talk you into keeping all of the clam shells!

All my love,
Megan

This recipe is linked to Fat Tuesdays and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, and Allergy Free Wednesdays.

Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic & Chives

Several weeks ago I was checking out at the grocery store when the man behind me was inspecting the goods in my cart and says, “Wow, you eat really healthy; you’ve got a lot of produce there.” The man went on to tell me he owned a farm, which to my surprise was located within 5 miles of my house. We’ve lived in this house for 4 years, and I never even knew there was a farm close to us that sold fresh produce. I was a little mind-blown. Since that meeting at the grocery store, my family frequents the farm every week to buy fresh Alaska produce. It’s been so wonderful, and the quality (and price) of the produce is amazing!

One of my favorite veggies to buy from our local farmer is cauliflower; I love it, especially when it’s paired with copious amounts of garlic. Like in this recipe:

Click here for the recipe: Garlic Lover’s Roasted Cauliflower

Garlic Lover's Roasted Cauliflower (Small)

It is because of this ongoing love affair that I also created Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic & Chives. I eat this creamy side dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and all times in between). I’m that obsessed, and I always double the recipe. Mashed cauliflower on its own is creamy, but when you combine it with ingredients like ghee and roasted garlic, you end up with a richness and a buttery texture that melts in your mouth. Plain and simple, try this recipe and you’ll be just as addicted as I am.

Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic & Chives

Yield: 3-4 servings

Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic & Chives

Ingredients

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried chives (or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped)
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Fresh black ground pepper to taste

Instructions

    To roast the garlic:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).
  2. Use a sharp kitchen knife to cut 1/4-1/2 of an inch from the top of the garlic cloves.
  3. Place the head of garlic, cut side up, onto a piece of aluminum foil and sprinkle with olive oil. Wrap the garlic in the aluminum foil and place it on a small baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the garlic is soft. Cool until the garlic is warm to the touch and easily handled.
  4. To make the mashed cauliflower:
  5. Cut the head of cauliflower into small, bite sized pieces and steam until it is very soft and tender. Place the steamed cauliflower, ghee, chicken broth, chives, sea salt and black pepper into a mixing bowl.
  6. Use your hands to squeeze the roasted garlic out of its peel into the mixing bowl and discard the peel.
  7. Mash until the mixture is somewhat smooth and resembles mashed potatoes.

Recipe Notes from Megan

I like to use my KitchenAid mixer to whisk or “mash” the cauliflower. You can also use a food processor, or just a simple wire potato masher (like this one).

http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2013/08/06/mashed-cauliflower-with-roasted-garlic-chives/

Do you purchase fresh grown produce where you live? What veggies are your farm favorites?

Enjoy!

All my love,
Megan

This recipe is linked to Paleo AIP Recipe RoundupAllergy Free Wednesdays and Wellness Weekend.

Slammin’ Alaska Salmon Burgers with Garlic Dill Aioli

I live in Alaska and eat fresh salmon from my freezer regularly, but do you think I have a salmon recipe posted on my website? Nope, not a single one. You see, I’ve had salmon prepared just about every way imaginable. Like most Alaskan kids, I’ve been eating it my entire life. My family has caught them, gutted and cleaned them, smoked them, canned them, fried and baked them, and even fed them to our cats (Halibut and cod included, and no – I’m not joking. Although my mom would only give the cats the freezer-burnt fish). We probably ate salmon and halibut more frequently than chicken or beef growing up.

Out of all of the ways I’ve had salmon, smoked is still my favorite. Nothing beats the taste of fresh caught and smoked salmon. It’s the best (although these burgers are really high on my list too)!

Scan_Pic0154

This is my Dad in the late 80′s to early 90′s, with a boat full of wild caught Alaska salmon.

I’m so accustomed to eating salmon that posting a recipe for baked or grilled salmon for all of you just wasn’t going to cut it. Nope. In order for this Alaska chick to finally post a recipe for salmon it had to be something extra special (the baked and grilled recipes will come later). I promise you these Slammin’ Alaska Salmon Burgers with Garlic Dill Aioli were well worth the wait. These burgers are moist, flavorful, and even better yet – gluten free, grain free, and packed with heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. And these are particularly popular with children. My girls gobble them up and it is rare that we actually have any leftovers whenever I make them.

DSC_0228 (Small)

The Garlic Dill Aioli is a wonderful addition to these salmon burgers; however, the sauce is optional. The burgers are perfectly flavored and seasoned, making them excellent on their own. But, don’t let me dissuade you. If you are a garlic lover, the Garlic Dill Aioli packs a powerful punch of flavor. It’s delicious – and not just for pairing with salmon burgers. Try using it as a dipping sauce for Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries. You can thank me later.  ;) 

DSC_0288 (Small)

 

Slammin’ Alaska Salmon Burgers with Garlic Dill Aioli

Yield: 6 four-inch burgers

Slammin’ Alaska Salmon Burgers with Garlic Dill Aioli

Ingredients

    For the Slammin’ Alaska Salmon Burgers
  • 1.75 pounds Alaska wild caught salmon fillet, skinned & deboned (I use sockeye)
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup almond flour, gently packed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • coconut oil, for frying
  • For the Garlic Dill Aioli
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. To make the Slammin’ Alaska Salmon Burgers, cut the salmon into 2 inch chunks, and combine 1/3 of the pieces with the mayonnaise, lemon juice, egg, and garlic in a food processor and process until the mixture turns into a paste.
  2. Add the remaining salmon pieces and pulse until the larger salmon pieces are partially combined with the paste mixture. Do not over process; 1/4 inch pieces of salmon should remain.
  3. Place the mixture into a bowl and stir in the dried dill, sea salt, black pepper, almond flour, cilantro, and green onion. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, form into 6 patties, packing firmly.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat (I use this pan). When the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and let it melt. Transfer the patties using a sturdy spatula to the hot pan. Cook the burgers, 3-4 minutes per side, or until they are just cooked through and crisp and golden. Be careful not to overcook. Add more coconut oil to the pan as needed.
  5. To make the Garlic Dill Aioli, mash the minced garlic with the sea salt until it’s a paste. Combine the garlic paste, egg yolks, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and dried dill in a medium sized mixing bowl. Whisk until the yolk mixture is frothy and bright in color. Slowly drizzle in a few drops of olive oil at a time into the yolks and continue to whisk constantly until all of the oil is incorporated and the mixture emulsifies. Chill in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes from Megan

You don't have to have a food processor in order to make these burgers, but it does make the process much easier. In lieu of the food processor, simply follow the instructions above and use a good sharp kitchen knife!

In regards to deboning salmon, sometimes I'll use my fingers to pull the bones out and sometimes I'll use a pair of tweezers. Either way you choose, the bones come out easier if you pull them out going against the grain of the salmon.

http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2013/07/28/slammin-salmon-burgers-with-garlic-dill-aioli/

Just a few shout-outs:

If you need website hosting, dedicated server service, etc. I highly, HIGHLY recommend checking out HostDango. They host my website, and are awesome! Their customer service beats the pants off of other host companies. I made the switch to HostDango a few months ago, and I am so happy I did. They rock! Click here to like HostDango on Facebook.

Blue Bear Allergy Aware, a Canadian company, heard about my daughter, Abbi’s, high-sensitivity to gluten (one small bite or lick and our house become a living nightmare for 4-6 weeks, no kidding). They were so sweet to send Abbi a package of super cute t-shirts and allergy alert labels. Abbi loved her package, and this momma is thrilled to have a few allergy alert shirts to put on Abbi when I feel a teacher or another adult needs a reminder of Abbi’s allergies. And Abbi truly loves her new shirts – aren’t they cute?!

One more note about the t-shirts, I think the sizes run a little small, so order a larger size than you would normally for your child. Abbi is very petite for her age. The long-sleeved shirt she’s wearing is a size 6, and the short-sleeved shirt is a size 8 (and normally she would wear a size 5, just to give you an idea).

Oh, and don’t forget to like Blue Bear Allergy Aware on Facebook!

All my love!
xo,
Megan

This recipe is linked to Pennywise PlatterNatural Living Monday and Make Your Own Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Fat Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday and Tasty Traditions.