World’s Best Crock Pot Refried Beans

I don’t know about you, but if I can make a big batch of a particular food item and freeze it in portions for later use, I will. This is one of those classic recipes where I do just that, because it makes a whole lotta delicious beans that the entire family loves (and double bonus - beans are cheap!). 

I freeze my World’s Best Crock Pot Refried Beans in these Tempered Glasslock Storage Containers. If you plan on also freezing your beans in portions, just make sure you only fill your container 3/4 full – that way the beans have room to expand when they freeze and won’t shatter the glass container.  

And whatever you do, don’t skip sorting through your beans. I’ve found several small rocks in my various bags of different beans over the years. Now just imagine biting down on a rock as you’re chewing…  I know, not good, right? It would probably result in an expensive trip to the dentist. So sort your beans! 

What’s your favorite way to eat refried beans? I prefer mine in a Grain-Free & Vegan Soft Tortilla quesadilla, with an all sheep-milk cheese (like a Manchego). I also like to eat them with rice, pulled pork, and homemade pico de gallo {wipes drool off of keyboard}.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

All my love,
Megan (with a long E)

Crockpot Refried Beans by Allergy Free Alaska

 

World’s Best Crock Pot Refried Beans

Yield: a whole lotta beans

World’s Best Crock Pot Refried Beans

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds dried pinto beans, sorted & rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Water for soaking
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 8-10 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 jalapenos, seeded and diced (*optional - see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth for non-vegan)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2-2 1/4 teaspoons sea salt

Instructions

  1. To the bowl of a 6-7 quart crock pot (this is the crock pot I own), add the rinsed and sorted dried pinto beans and the apple cider vinegar.
  2. Fill the bowl up, an inch from the top, with water and soak for a full 24 hours.
  3. Use a colander to strain the beans and discard the soaking liquid. Rinse with fresh water.
  4. Rinse and dry the crock pot bowl and add to it the soaked pinto beans, onions, garlic, jalapenos, dried oregano, ground cumin, ground black pepper, vegetable broth, and water (do NOT add the sea salt at this point, otherwise the beans will never soften).
  5. Place the bowl in the crock pot, cover, and cook on high for 6-10 hours or on low for 8-12 hours.
  6. When the beans are soft, turn off the crock pot and add the sea salt. Use an immersion blender to blend the beans to the desired consistency.

Recipe Notes from Megan

*Just a heads up to parents making this recipe for small children: Two jalapenos makes these beans slightly too spicy for my 5 year old, but perfect for my 9 year old. So please adjust the heat according to your family’s needs.

Q: Why do you soak your beans with apple cider vinegar? A: When you use an acid medium, like apple cider vinegar, during the soaking period it can help neutralize the enzyme inhibitors (phytates), which makes the pinto beans more digestible and nutrient-dense. Some might say ACV isn’t needed when soaking pinto beans, because they are relatively low in phylates, but I still prefer to use it.

Never salt beans prior to cooking, otherwise they will never soften; only salt beans once they are soft and cooked through.

http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2014/04/23/worlds-best-crock-pot-refried-beans/

 This recipe is linked to, Marvelous Mondays, Fat Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays,Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays, Frugal Day Sustainable Ways, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, and Gluten Free Fridays. 

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!  

Grain-Free & Vegan Tortillas (and a giveaway!)

There is something special about tortillas. I wouldn’t call them a comfort food, but there’s nothing better than being able to eat a soft taco stuffed to the brim with all the fixin’s. You know what I mean?!

These Grain-Free & Vegan Tortillas are totally legit. They look like the real thing (a gluten-filled white flour tortilla), bend like the real thing, and nearly taste like the real thing, too. I think you will be very pleasantly surprised how “normal” these are. 

I use a tortilla press to make my tortillas. I press the dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper and then I use a rolling pin to roll the dough out thinner (to about the thickness of a nickel). That’s my secret to making my tortillas look so round and uniform. ;) 

All my love,
xoxo, 
Megan

Grain-Free Tortillas Allergy Free Alaska

This giveaway is now closed. So because you guys are so awesome, I’m giving away 2 IMUSA Cast Iron 8-inch Tortilla Presses. That means there will be TWO lucky winners! You can enter using the form below:

Grain-Free & Vegan Tortillas

Yield: eight 6-7 inch tortillas

Grain-Free & Vegan Tortillas

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the blanched almond flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, psyllium husk powder, coconut flour, baking powder, and sea salt.
  2. Stir in the olive oil and then slowly pour 1/2 cup of warm water into the flour mixture and stir until combined.
  3. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to allow the psyllium husk powder and coconut flour time to expand and absorb the liquid.
  4. If the dough is still dry and crumbly, continue to add additional warm water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough easily comes together to form a workable dough.
  5. Form the dough into 8 even balls and place them back in the mixing bowl; cover with a damp paper towel to prevent the dough from drying out.
  6. Preheat a lightly oiled 10-12 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Roll a dough ball between 2 pieces of parchment paper into a round tortilla, as thin as you can get it (about the thickness of a nickel), about 6-7 inches in diameter.
  8. Peel off the top layer of parchment paper and place the tortilla, dough side down, into the hot skillet. Within a few seconds, you should be able to gently peel off the remaining piece of parchment paper. Cook until bubbly and golden. Flip and continue to cook until bubbly and golden on the other side (Be careful not to overcook. If the tortillas start to burn, beyond normal charring like you see in the picture, reduce heat to medium.).
  9. Place the cooked tortillas on a plate between layers of paper towels (or a clean kitchen towel). Some of the tortillas might come out of the skillet somewhat crispy, but as they sit on top of each other, between the layers of paper towels, the warm moist heat makes them pliable and soft.
  10. Continue rolling and cooking the remaining dough.

Recipe Notes from Megan

There is a difference between whole psyllium husk and psyllium husk powder. Please make sure you use psyllium husk powder in this recipe.

The key to these tortillas remaining pliable is moist warm heat. After refrigerating, simply warm in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to "revive" its pliability.

Q: How do these freeze? A: I don't know. I haven't tried it yet, so if you do, please come back and leave a comment so we'll all know the results!

Substitutions: For those of you who are nut free, you might be able to substitute sunflower seed flour for the blanched almond flour, but I haven't tried it yet, so I can't guarantee it will work. There are no substitutions for the coconut flour, or the psyllium husk powder.

http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/2014/04/09/grain-free-vegan-tortillas/
 

 This recipe is linked to, Marvelous Mondays, Fat TuesdayAllergy Free WednesdayGluten Free Wednesdays, Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays, Frugal Day Sustainable Ways, Thank Your Body Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, and Gluten Free Fridays. 

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!  

Whole Food Fridays 2-14-2014

Welcome to Whole Food Fridays! 

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Reader Favorites from Last Week:

Sugar Free Hot Chocolate Mousse from Grassfed Mama
Hot Chocolate Mousse

Super Food Breakfast Bars from Counting All Joy
Superfood Breakfast Bars

Grain Free Pancakes from A Mindful Mantra
Grain Free Pancakes (Small)

Want to participate? Here’s how to join:

  • Please link to your individual post, NOT your home page or a static blog party page.
  • Please provide a link back to Whole Food Fridays somewhere in the body of your post. 
  • Recipes that are gluten free and made with whole food ingredients are preferred, but not required. 
  • Your recipe or post does NOT have to be gluten free. 
  • Other posts for DIY, homemade, crafts, etc. are also welcome.
  • Please leave me a comment. I love hearing from you!
  • By linking to Whole Food Fridays, you acknowledge and allow Allergy Free Alaska, LLC to use your post photos in future Whole Food Fridays if your recipe or post is selected to be highlighted the following week. 

 ~Megan


Whole Food Fridays 2-7-2014

Welcome to Whole Food Fridays! 

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Reader Favorites from Last Week:

Overnight Gluten-Free Waffles from Fox in the Kitchen
Overnight Waffles

Gluten-Free Pizza Party: Part 2 (over 30 recipes!) from Gluten Free Easily
Gluten-Free-Pizza-Party-Alternative-Pizza-Crusts

Gluten-Free Veggie Stir Fry Noodles from Petite Allergy Treats
Chap Chae

Want to participate? Here’s how to join:

  • Please link to your individual post, NOT your home page or a static blog party page.
  • Please provide a link back to Whole Food Fridays somewhere in the body of your post. 
  • Recipes that are gluten free and made with whole food ingredients are preferred, but not required. 
  • Your recipe or post does NOT have to be gluten free. 
  • Other posts for DIY, homemade, crafts, etc. are also welcome.
  • Please leave me a comment. I love hearing from you!
  • By linking to Whole Food Fridays, you acknowledge and allow Allergy Free Alaska, LLC to use your post photos in future Whole Food Fridays if your recipe or post is selected to be highlighted the following week. 

 ~Megan


 

Whole Food Fridays 1-31-2014

Welcome to Whole Food Fridays! 

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Reader Favorites from Last Week:

Banana Bread Doughnuts from Raia’s Recipes
Raias Recipes

Neuropathy Essential Oil Blend from Laura Beghein
doTerra essential oils neuropathy oil blend

Healthy Dairy Free Vegan Nacho Cheese Dip from Waldorf Inspired Moms
dairy-free-vegan-nacho-cheese-dip-4th-waldorf-inspired-moms1

Want to participate? Here’s how to join:

  • Please link to your individual post, NOT your home page or a static blog party page.
  • Please provide a link back to Whole Food Fridays somewhere in the body of your post. 
  • Recipes that are gluten free and made with whole food ingredients are preferred, but not required. 
  • Your recipe or post does NOT have to be gluten free. 
  • Other posts for DIY, homemade, crafts, etc. are also welcome.
  • Please leave me a comment. I love hearing from you!
  • By linking to Whole Food Fridays, you acknowledge and allow Allergy Free Alaska, LLC to use your post photos in future Whole Food Fridays if your recipe or post is selected to be highlighted the following week. 

 ~Megan


Whole Food Fridays 1-24-2014

Welcome to Whole Food Fridays! 

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What a great week last week!! There were 33 entries total and hopefully that number will build over time. Here are last week’s highlights:

Reader Favorites:

Cinnamon Raisin Bread (GF, vegan) from Fairy Wings & Pixie Dust
Fairy Wings & Pixie Dust

Classic Chocolate Cake (Paleo, Nut-Free, Refined Sugar Free from Cassidy’s Craveable Creations
Cassidy's
Top 10 Recipe Posts on GFE for 2013 from gfe-gluten free easily
Gluten-Free-Girl-Scout-Cookies-Collage

Want to participate? Here’s how to join:

  • Please link to your individual post, NOT your home page or a static blog party page.
  • Please provide a link back to Whole Food Fridays somewhere in the body of your post. 
  • Recipes that are gluten free and made with whole food ingredients are preferred, but not required. 
  • Your recipe or post does NOT have to be gluten free. 
  • Other posts for DIY, homemade, crafts, etc. are also welcome.
  • Please leave me a comment. I love hearing from you!
  • By linking to Whole Food Fridays, you acknowledge and allow Allergy Free Alaska, LLC to use your post photos in future Whole Food Fridays if your recipe or post is selected to be highlighted the following week. 

 ~Megan



Top 10 Gluten-Free Recipes & Posts of 2013

Top Recipes of 2013 Collage 629pxThank you! Yes… YOU! For making 2013 a great one for Allergy Free Alaska! And without further ado, I bring you the Top 10 Gluten-Free Recipes & Posts of 2013. May this new year be filled with love, laughter, happiness, and amazing food! 
xoxo,
Megan

10. Gluten Free Hamburger Buns (gluten free, dairy free)
Hamburger Buns (Small)

9. Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Goat Cheese (gluten free, cow’s milk dairy free, Paleo)
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8. Delicious Paleo Carrot Cake Muffins (gluten free, Paleo)
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7. Raw Beet, Carrot & Apple Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing (gluten free, vegan, Paleo)
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6. Protein Packed Monster Breakfast Cookies (gluten free, vegan, Paleo, nut-free)
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5. The Everything Guide to Making Gluten Free Bread – Including Troubleshooting Tips
Gluten Free White Bread (Small)

4. Best Gluten-Free Flaky Pie Crust Recipe (gluten free, vegan)
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3. “Liquid Gold” a.k.a. Dairy Free Caramel Sauce (gluten free, vegan, Paleo)
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2. Gluten & Rice Free Multigrain Bread (gluten free, dairy free)
Gluten and Rice Free Multigrain Bread

1. Easy Baked Paleo Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce (gluten free, Paleo)
easy baked paleo chicken tenders

Whole Food Fridays 12-13-2013

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 contributing week after week! I appreciate you sharing your recipes with us! 

Highlighted Recipes:

Flourless Cranberry Orange Almond Cake from Fox in the Kitchen

Creamy Dairy Free White Hot Chocolate from Live Free Gluten Free

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.
  • 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




Cookbook Review & Giveaway: Bare Root Sweets

I’m totally guilty of stalking pictures of food online. I was on Foodgawker one night doing just that – drooling over the beautiful recipes and food photography when I kept stumbling upon one gluten free & Paleo website in particular: Bare Root, authored by the incredibly sweet and talented Angela Gallardo. I was instantly blown away by Angela’s breathtaking photography and creativity. Angela’s recipes truly are unique, and her latest cookbook, Bare Root Sweets is a reflection of that uniqueness.

Bare Root Sweets

Bare Root Sweets is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to improve the quality and nutrition of their desserts. The recipes are grain-free, low-carb, sugar-free, and gluten free. They are nutrient dense, but BIG on flavor, not to mention they look amazing too. My girls got a hold of this cookbook when it first arrived and you should have heard the “oooohhhs” and “aahhhhhs” that proceeded, along with the, “Mommy, can we make this?! Wait, no… this one! Well, okay… maybe this one too!” When recipes from a “healthy” cookbook like this one can excite children, you know you’ve hit the jackpot.

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Lemony Angel Food Cake with Lemon Cream & Hibiscus Cherries pg. 10 of Bare Root Sweets

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Coconut Caramel Cookies pg. 48 of Bare Root Sweets

I was really blown away by this little recipe book; it is very well done. There are a few comfort food favorites, like Coconut Caramel Cookies (think mock Girl Scout Samoas), Creamy Lemon Bars, Banana Cream Pies, and a gorgeous Blueberry Gallette. But then there are other unique recipes that you almost won’t believe are grain free, like  Chai-Spiced Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Frosting, Maple Bacon Caramel Apples, Lavender Dark Drinking Chocolate, and Apple & Sage Hand Pies.

Bottom line:
I highly recommend this cookbook. There are recipes in it that you won’t find in any other Paleo cookbook. It is a must have for the health conscious cook or for those of us with special dietary needs. Not to mention, one could really WOW their holiday guests with a dessert recipe (or recipes) made from this book! The paperback edition sells for under $12 (you can’t beat that!) or you can purchase the Kindle edition for around $2.99. The paperback version would be an excellent Christmas present!

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S’Mores Pie pg. 23 of Bare Root Sweets

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Apple & Sage Hand Pies pg. 24 of Bare Root Sweets

Now for that giveaway I mentioned. Angela has generously supplied 2 copies of Bare Root Sweets to giveaway to 2 lucky winners! Winners will randomly be selected after the giveaway closes on December 18, 2013. Good luck!

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! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 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.