Beet and Parsnip Latkes

Latkes are one of my favorite fall/winter foods. They’re very versatile and the traditional potato and onion can be exchanged for pretty much any firm vegetable. I like sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, and purple potatoes in any combination, with or without onion. I even made summer latkes with shredded apples, onion, and fennel bulb this year. I picked up parsnips at the store recently & made baked latkes with them and beets from my garden. I baked them because it’s easier for me than frying them. I like to serve them with seasoned Greek yogurt. My current favorite is garlic cumin yogurt. I add minced garlic, salt, black pepper and cumin to plain, full fat Greek yogurt to taste. One day I’ll measure ingredients and type up a recipe.

2 medium beets, peeled & shredded (about 2 cups)
1 large parsnip, peeled & shredded (about 2 cups)
1 egg
2 Tbs flour of your choice (I use quinoa)
1 Tbs coconut oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet with a silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Squeeze all the moisture out of the shredded beets and parsnips with a flour sack towel or paper towels. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until the vegetables are evenly coated with the other ingredients. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop up latka mixture and form into tight balls with your hands. Place on the baking sheet and flatten with your palm. Bake for 15 minutes, flip the latkes over and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven & serve.

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Chickpea & Seed Bread

I had 4 egg whites I needed to use so I decided to make bread. Whipped egg whites folded into the dough gives yeast free breads a lighter texture. I hoped combining chickpea flour and almond flour would give the bread a less cake-like texture. For extra nutrition, I added a bunch of raw seeds. I used what I had on hand. I recommend pulsing the hempseeds in a food processor a couple of times to crush them. I didn’t do that and they were very crunchy in the bread. Other than that, I’m very happy with how this recipe turned out. It tastes good, has a good texture, and doesn’t crumble as easily as most grain free breads.

1 1/2 chickpea flour

1 cup blanched extra fine almond flour

1 1/4 cup water

4 egg whites

2 whole eggs

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1/4 cup psyllium husk powder or chia seed meal

1/4 cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup hempseeds, crushed

1/4 cup raw sesame seeds

1 Tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare a loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper in the bottom and coconut oil or olive on the sides. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients: chickpea flour, almond flour, flaxseed meal, psyllium husk powder, pepitas, sunflower seeds, hempseeds, sesame seeds, baking powder, and salt. Stir until well mixed. Whip the egg whites into stiff peaks and set aside. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the whole eggs, olive oil, vinegar, and water. Whisk wet ingredients together with a fork to break up the eggs. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon until well combined. Gently fold the egg whites into the bread dough. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60-75 minutes, until the top is light brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool at least 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Keep refrigerated or freeze.

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Sugar Free Almond Coconut Cupcakes

For my birthday last week I adapted a recipe I found online for almond coconut cake. It’s the most successful grain free, sugar free cake I’ve ever made. The texture is light and fluffy, the flavor is buttery and sweet with a hint of almond. I had it with previously frozen blueberries for breakfast and with fresh raspberries and real whipped cream for dessert after dinner.

Almond coconut cake

I again used Pyure brand pre-blended stevia extract and erythritol and am still very happy with it’s performance. A word of caution, though, don’t buy the baking blend which has added maltodextrin and measures 1:1  with sugar rather than 2:1. With stevia and erythritol blends, less is more. Truvia also is a stevia extract/erythritol blend. Making your own is also easy if you buy granulated erythritol and powdered stevia extract. Until I found the Pyure stevia blend, I made my own.  1/2 cup erythritol + 1/2 tsp stevia extract = 1 cup sugar = 1/2 cup stevia/erythritol blend.

I used giant muffin tins to bake these cupcakes in and greased them with a liberal coat of coconut oil so I didn’t need paper cupcake wrappers. The thick batter filled the cups about 3/4 of the way full. I used the back of a spoon even out the top of the batter and push the batter down into the cups. It made 6 perfect large cupcakes. If baking in a 8″ or 9″ round or square cake pan, bake for 45-60 minutes and allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.

I use the scoop and press method for measuring my almond flour. It yields more flour than the fluff and spoon method but I find it works best for my recipes.

1 1/2 cups extra fine milled almond flour
3/4 cups cold butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into thick slices
1/2 cup stevia/erythritol blend
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup almond milk
4 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease the cups of a muffin tin with softened coconut oil or butter. In a large mixing bowl, cream cold butter and stevia/erythritol blend. Add one egg at a time, blending well before adding the next egg. Add the rest of the ingredients, leaving the mixer running the entire time, if possible. Mix until batter is well combined, scrapping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin, level the batter with the back of a spoon, and bake for 25-30 minutes until the tops are lightly brown and slightly cracked and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Let cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes before attempting to remove them from the tin.

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Coconut Mango Popsicles

It’s supposed to be over 90°F here the next few days so in preparation I made dairy free, sugar free popsicles. I used Pyure brand Organic Stevia, a stevia/erythritol blend, I found at my local Walmart as the sweetener. It’s nearly same ratio of stevia extract to erythritol I use in my baking but I only need to buy one product instead of two. Decrease the stevia blend by half if you leave out the lime juice. I used the “glass method” for peeling the mangos and it worked pretty well but was a little messy. It involves using the edge of a drinking glass to separate the flesh of a mango from the skin. You can find videos online if you’re interested.

This recipe made 12 1/3 cup sized popsicles. It’ll make more or less depending on the size of your molds, the mangos, and the coconut milk (cans variety in size between 13.5-14oz).

1 can full fat coconut milk

2 mangos, peeled and diced

1/4 cup stevia/erythritol blend

Juice of one lime

Add all ingredients into the large cup of a blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and place in the freezer. Freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight before eating. Run hot water on the outside of the molds to make removal of the popsicles easier.

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Green Banana Mango Smoothie

Last fall I made huge changes to my eating style: fruit smoothies for breakfast, 2 tablespoons of light olive oil in a few ounces of water for lunch, and roasted vegetables with 3-4 ounces of protein for dinner. I lost weight, had more energy than I’d had in years, and felt great until three months into it when my neuropathy returned in part because I wasn’t eating quite enough protein or nutrients. My blood glucose levels were also elevated. I’m now trying to return to that diet but with a few major changes: less carbohydrates and more protein.

Bananas were the base of my fruit smoothies but they’re very high is carbohydrates and sugar. A little research showed that unripe (green) bananas are high is resistant starch but not sugar. Resistant starch doesn’t affect blood glucose levels like other carbohydrates. Green bananas aren’t the tastiest fruit, though. They are used much like their cousin the plantain in many parts of the world. They’re fried, boiled, and sometimes used in curries. That gave me the idea for this smoothie. I choose the other ingredients for their flavor or nutrient values. It’s a little more savory than most smoothies but it tastes good and is nutritious. The turmeric in yellow curry powder is supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties and cinnamon improves blood glucose levels. I also add my liquid iron supplement to the smoothie.

Chia seed meal could be used instead of flaxseed meal, both are high in fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. Pumpkin seed protein powder can be used instead of hempseed protein powder, both are complete proteins. And coconut milk can be used instead of almond milk, I just keep almond milk on hand.

1 unripe banana, sliced
1 cup frozen mango, diced
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbs flaxseed meal
1 Tbs hempseed protein powder
1 tsp mild yellow curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
dash of ground cloves

Add all ingredients in the cup of a blender. Blend until smooth and serve.

Posted in Dairy Free, Drinks, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Specialized Diets, Sugar Free, Vegan | Leave a comment

Sugar Free Almond Teff Banana Muffins

Teff is the newest flour I’m experimenting with for baking. It has a slight flavor of toasted almonds and pairs beautifully with the almond flour and almond extract in this recipe. I added a teaspoon of molasses to give the erythritol and stevia blend the deeper flavor of brown sugar. These muffins have a great texture and freeze well.

1 cup almond flour
1 cup teff flour
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup erythritol
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
2 Tbs flaxseed meal
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp stevia extract
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350*F. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake papers. Mash bananas with a fork and put in a medium bowl along with the coconut oil, erythritol, molasses, and stevia extract. Cream ingredients together with an electric or stand mixer until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and whisk them together. Add a third of the dry ingredients and one egg to the banana, oil, and sweetener mixture. Blend together until well combined. Slowly add the rest of the dry ingredients, the other egg, almond extract, and almond milk until the batter is smooth. Ladle the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow muffins to cool 15-20 minutes before serving.

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Pumpkin Stuffed with Turkey, Pears, and Cranberries

I picked up some gorgeous sugar pumpkins and winter squash from my mom’s garden last month. The first thing I made was this stuffed pumpkin. It was perfect. It has all the flavors and smells of a harvest meal. It’d make an impressive looking dinner party or potluck dish. To serve it, I sliced it in wedges and once plated, removed the peeling and cut the pumpkin into bite-sized pieces. The only thing really missing was a sauce so I recommend making turkey gravy to serve with it.

I used pears because that’s what I had on hand but apples would work just as well. I had a sunflower and pumpkin seed mix but one or the other would work. To remove the seeds and other innards of the pumpkin, I use a serrated grapefruit spoon. It cleans all the strings off the sides of the pumpkin better than anything else I’ve used.

As usual I forgot to weigh or measure the pumpkin. It fit snugly in my 9″ across round baking dish if that helps.

1 sugar pumpkin (about 9″ across), washed, stem end cut off, and seeds removed
1 lb ground turkey
2 pears, cored and diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup toasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1 Tbs grapeseed oil
2 Tbs fresh sage leaves, minced (2 tsp dried)
1 Tbs fresh rosemary, minced (1 tsp dried)
3 sprigs fresh thyme, destemmed (1 tsp dried)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350*F. Prepare a deep sided baking dish with a roasting rack and half an inch of water. Saute onion, garlic, and grapeseed oil until the onion is translucent. Add the ground turkey, cranberries, pears, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook until the turkey is cooked through. Stir in the sunflower seeds and pepitas. Stuff the turkey mixture into the pumpkin, leaving room to put the top back on the pumpkin. Put the pumpkin on the roasting rack and tent it with foil. Bake for 60-75 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft when stuck with a fork. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before moving the pumpkin to a plate or serving platter, removing the top, and cutting into wedges.

Posted in Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Main Course, Specialized Diets | 2 Comments