My organic farm box gets delivered each week to my front door. For the last three weeks I have been getting beets each time. I have used them in salads, roasted them, juiced them and have yet to make a dessert with them. Here are two delicious dessert recipes using beet juice, Red Velvet Cake and, coming up next….. Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.
Gluten-free Red Velvet Cake
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 ounce red beet juice*
1 cup vegetable oil or half vegetable oil, half coconut oil (melted)
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar
3 eggs or equivalent egg replacer
1 cup buttermilk or milk substitute such as almond milk or rice milk, with 1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups gluten-free All Purpose Baking Mix from The Pure Pantry
Preheat oven to 350 degree. Grease and flour two 9 inch round pans.
Mix together the cocoa and beet juice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the oil, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Beat in the buttermilk, salt, vanilla. Add All Purpose Baking Mix, mixing just until incorporated. Scrap down the bowl and mix on medium for 3 minutes.
Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from pans and then cool completely before frosting and assembling. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The best frosting with this recipe is Heavenly Cream Cheese frosting, recipe here.
*I have a fruit/vegetable juicer and push 2 red beets through it to get 1 ounce or more of beet juice.
Strawberry season is just about coming to an end. Enjoy this delicious vegan treat using fresh strawberries, or when not available, frozen can be substituted.
Strawberry and Cream Muffins with an Almond Streusel Topping
Yields 1 dozen muffins
Recipe from Spork Foods
2 cups gluten-free All-Purpose Baking Mix from The Pure Pantry brand
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup organic evaporated cane sugar
2 teaspoons egg replacer, dry (Ener-g brand)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coconut creamer (So Delicious brand)
¾ cup un-sweetened almond milk
¼ cup neutral tasting oil (safflower)
¾ cup fresh strawberries, finely chopped
Almond Streusel Topping:
2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated buttery spread (Melt brand butter alternative)
½ cup toasted almonds
3 tablespoons organic powdered sugar (Wholesome Sweeteners brand)
1 teaspoon maple syrup
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons gluten-free All-Purpose Baking Mix from The Pure Pantry
Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, whisk gluten-free flour, cinnamon, baking powder, sea salt, sugar and egg replacer until uniform. Add in vanilla extract, coconut creamer, almond milk, and oil. Whisk until uniform. Fold in strawberries. Grease a muffin pan with cooking spray and pour about 1/3 cup batter into each section. To make streusel, add buttery spread, almonds, powdered sugar, maple, sea salt, cinnamon and flour to a food processor and pulse until uniform. Sprinkle each muffin with about 1 tablespoon streusel topping. Bake for 28-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm. © Spork Foods, 2012
As seen in iVillage: See full article here.
Need some tips for gluten and allergen free lunches? Here are some “out of the lunchbox” ideas.
Parents with children that have severe food allergies can especially feel challenged by the morning lunch prep routine– easy options for lunch seem limited. Without advance planning, the morning rush can make your head spin. Here are some easy ideas to help overcome those mental blocks that we can face during the hectic, rush around mornings. The tips below are all geared towards the gluten-free and allergy-friendly lunchbox but really anyone can add these ideas to their lunch prep repertoire.
1. Plan and prepare in advance
As much as possible, prepare at least part of lunch the night before, while you are preparing dinner. If you are making a salad for dinner, make an extra salad for your child’s lunch. If you are preparing pasta, make an extra serving and re-warm in the morning. Soups, pastas, risottos all make great lunch box options.
-Wash and chop a plethora of fresh veggies and place in air-tight container in the refrigerator. Use what you need as you go.
-Make and freeze larger batches of items such as gluten-free granola bars and home-made gluten-free cookies.
-Purchase handy lunch containers, a thermos and a large enough lunch box to fit everything.
2. Think outside of the regular sandwich
The challenge with gluten-free sandwiches is, of course, the bread. It often crumbles, doesn’t taste good, has holes in it, is expensive, etc. A great way to prepare sandwiches on gluten-free bread is by using a panini maker or sandwich press. The flavor and texture of purchased gluten-free bread is enhanced by toasting or grilling.
Turkey Pesto Panini:
2 slices whole grain gluten-free bread such as Rudi’s
2-3 turkey slices, nitrate free, try organic brand like Applegate Farm
1 slice cheddar, Monterey Jack or Provolone Cheese, or Daiya dairy free cheese
Sliced tomato or avocado
Pesto sauce for the adventurous kids
Spray a little cooking spray on the Panini maker, place your first bread piece, then add nitrate free turkey, a cheese slice or Daiya Cheese Shreds (our favorite!) add optional sliced tomato or avocado, then another cheese slice, and top with second slice of bread, for the adventurous kids, pesto sauce can be spread on the top piece of bread. Cook as instructed. Wrap in reusable sandwich wrapper. While the Panini will not stay hot until lunchtime, it still tastes great.
Almond Butter, Jam and Fruit Panini: Spray a little cooking spray on the Panini maker, spread one piece of bread with almond butter, the other with low sugar, organic jam, place first bread piece, thinly sliced apples or bananas, place other piece of bread on top. Cook as instructed. Wrap in reusable sandwich wrapper.
Waffle sandwiches: Try The Pure Pantry Buckwheat Flax Pancake and Baking mix to make waffles on the weekend. Make extra a freeze. In the morning, lightly toast two waffles, spread with nut butter and organic jam or cream cheese and jam. Try turkey slices or ham with swiss cheese or Daiya Mozzarella to create a “Montecristo” type of sandwich.
Cookie Cutter Sandwiches: appearance is everything to some kids. Create cute cut-out finger sandwiches with large shaped cookie cutters.
3.Make a Hot Lunch
Not a lover of the gluten-free bread choices out there? Think outside the sandwich, and get into thermoses!
This Bento box type thermos provides great versitility: www.ebagsetc.com
Again, planning ahead pays off in the morning. Left overs make great lunches the next day. Soups, stews, pastas, risottos, are all easily reheated and packed into a thermos.
Soups: What can be more satisfying that a nice homemade cup of soup? Here are a few ideas:
White Bean Oregano Chili: A family favorite in our home. A large pot can be made on the weekend and doled out during the week. Accompany with organic corn chips or gluten-free corn muffins.
Asian Noodle Soups: gluten-free rice noodle packaged soups with added veggies are a perfect, quick hot meal to take to school.
Pasta Salad: gluten-free fusilli pasta tossed with chopped celery, cooked broccoli, shredded carrots, diced black olives, and 1 tablespoon Balsamic salad dressing.
Gluten-Free Spaghetti and Meatballs – make a big batch for dinner, then warm and serve it up for lunch the next day.
Mac and Cheese – Dairy based or Dairy-Free with peas or broccoli.
Left over BBQ’d chicken: My son’s favorite. Barbeque extra chicken legs or thighs, pair them up with coleslaw or a side salad.
4. Get in the greens with salads
I am proud to say my 3 year old eats salads. If your children are salad eaters, a whole world opens up for lunch box choices. It is easy to prepare a chef salad or garden salad with a protein. For dinner the night before, prepare an extra portion and place in a lunch container. Put salad dressing in a smaller container. There are endless options. Here are a couple of ideas:
Chef Salad: top lettuce mixture with slices or turkey,cheese, add hardboiled egg slices, cherry tomatoes, avocado slices. Place salad dressing in a separate small container.
Greek salad: top lettuce mixture with cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, Greek olives and feta cheese crumbles or Daiya Mozzarella shreds, add sliced grilled chicken if desired. Place salad dressing in separate small container.
Garden salad with tuna: top lettuce mixture with sliced carrots, sliced cucumbers and any other veggies your child likes. Combine one can tuna with 1 tablespoon Vegenaise (egg free,dairy free mayo) ½ cup diced celery, ½ cup diced pickle, a squeeze of ½ lemon, dash of dill. Place one scoop of tuna salad on top of greens. Place salad dressing in a separate small container.
5. Add Some Easy Snacks and Sides:
Trail mix: make your own or purchase.
Yogurt Parfait: Your child’s favorite yogurt or coconut yogurt flavor with a small container of sliced fruit and a container of gluten-free granola to top it off. Our favorite gluten-free granola is from Healthy Creations.
Home-made Gluten-Free Granola Bars: try this recipe for Cherry-Almond Oat Bars. Make double batches, cut into bars, wrap each bar individually and freeze. Pull out a ar when needed – it will defrost by snack time.
Home-made allergy-friendly cookies: Try some fun fall recipes like Pumpkin Pie Bars, or Molasses Ginger Cookies, or an old time favorite, Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip cookies.
Gluten-free Chex Mix: try my Agave-Almond Chex Mix recipe for a great snack to pack for lunch or to bring to a class party.
Pre-packed healthy snacks: Organic Fruit leathers, organic squeezable fruit purees, organic apple sauce are all easy to throw in options. Gluten-free crackers and cheese, and organic gluten-free corn chips with salsa are also easy to pull together.
Fresh fruit is a staple in every lunch we make. We always keep apples, oranges, bananas and grapes on hand as a grab and go lunch item or snack. More fragile fresh fruit such as blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, we place in small containers.
Fresh veggies and dips: Carrots, celery, red pepper strips are all great with hummus, organic ranch dip, or Edamame Pesto Dip (recipe in “Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen”).
There are so many options for gluten-free, allergen friendly lunches. With a little advance planning you can provide healthy, tasty lunch options that will keep your kids well-fed and make your mornings flow smoothly.
What do you do with all those over ripe, brown bananas? Banana bread, banana smoothies, banana pancakes? Here is our favorite, easy recipe for banana pancakes.
1 cup almond, rice or coconut milk
1 cup gluten-free Old Fashioned Pancake Mix from The Pure Pantry
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil or other cooking oil
1. To make the pancake mix: whisk eggs in medium size bowl. Add half the milk and half the pancake mix and blend together. Add remaining milk and pancake mix and mix until combined.
Blend in mashed bananas and oil.
2. Heat griddle to medium heat. I use the Skinny Griddle as it has a non-stick surface and I don’t have to use extra oil. They are available at Sur La Table online: Skinny Griddle.
It is always a good idea to have a dedicated “gluten-free” griddle. I write more about gluten-free kitchen supplies here: Gluten-free Cooking Tips.
3. Ladle 1/4 cup mix onto griddle forming a circle. Continue making pancakes leaving at least 1 inch in between each pancake.
4. Watch for bubbles forming at edges of pancakes — when they begin to pop, you will know its time to flip them over.
5. Cook on second side until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove pancake from griddle and serve with sliced bananas and agave nectar or pure maple syrup.