Posts Tagged ‘gluten’

Recipes and Tips for Kid-Friendly, Allergy-free Lunches

Monday, August 18th, 2014

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:

Thermos Meals

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 Meatballsmake 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. 

BBQ Chicken:

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.

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Book Review From!

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

By Becky Berowski

Founder and CEO, Elizabeth Kaplan, Dishin’ with doB

5 23 12 mindbodybeauty thepurepantry image 1 310x442 The Pure PantryFounder of  The Pure Pantry, Elizabeth Kaplan became gluten free when she learned that not only was she diagnosed with celiac disease, but her two children were also sensitive to gluten as well as various other foods.  She began taking family recipes and converting them to gluten-free versions. This soon lead her to develop her own products and recipes to put in the market place making it easier for the rest of us to make the change.

Who: Elizabeth Kaplan of The Pure Pantry

Where:, with stores across the country.

What do you believe is the most important reason to go gluten free?

The most important reason would be severe allergies or gluten intolerance issues. Those with celiac disease, such as me, must adhere to a 100% gluten-free diet.

Should people who don’t have celiac disease go gluten free?

Certainly, there are other reasons to go gluten-free.  Many nutritionists and doctors maintain that a gluten-free diet lowers inflammation in the body. There are also other auto-immune related disorders that improve with a gluten-free diet such as arthritis, diabetes, and psoriasis.

What is your favorite gluten free product?

Besides my own products, I can’t live without Udi’s multigrain gluten-free bread and bagels.

How do you balance being a mom and a business woman?

I am very fortunate to have wonderful and supportive business partners, my mom and husband! I am also fortunate that my children admire what I do and that they look at me as role model. I feel that by balancing work and motherhood I am teaching my children how to have a full and rewarding life.

5 23 12 mingboydbeauty thepurepantry image 2 310x464 The Pure PantryCan people who are gluten free still eat out at restaurants easily?

There is always the risk of cross contamination for those with celiac disease.  It takes a lot of diligence for me to explain exactly what I can and can’t eat, and there are often problems. In general, I stick to grilled veggies, grilled fish or a salad but still have to be careful that the salad dressing or sauce served with my meal is gluten-free, and that my food is prepared in a separate pan with separate utensils. I limit my meals out – thank goodness I like to cook!

What is one beauty product you always keep with you?

Gluten-free lipstick by Ecco Bella.  I also have to use gluten-free shampoo and conditioner and am always trying new products to find the best one.  So far it has been easy!

Any advice for someone just starting a gluten free diet?

At first it seems very daunting to start a new lifestyle, but once you are committed, you will love how you feel!

Elizabeth Kaplan’s cookbook, Fresh From Elizabeth’s Kitchen, that she was gracious enough to send me, has kept me healthy and happy this past week. Also, her chocolate chip cookie mix and whole grain dark chocolate mix have helped me have a quick dessert for all the May babies I’m celebrating this month.

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Gluten-free Product Reviews |Food Review 101 Gives The Pure Pantry Products a Thumbs-Up!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012


Product Review from Food Review 101

A while back, we reviewed The Pure Pantry company and their line of gluten-free baking mixes that you actually couldn’t even tell were gluten-free in the first place, which is why we decided to take a look at the other products in their line of gluten-free goodies. “Elizabeth Kaplan, founder and CEO of The Pure Pantry, is a trained teacher and chef. Her appreciation and passion for fine organic foods began at a young age…when Elizabeth was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2002, she was disappointed in the lack of healthy, good tasting, gluten-free products on the market”, which is why she decided to create her own line of gluten-free products that would not only satisfy her, but the masses as well. For this review, we’ll be looking at The Pure Pantry’s line of gluten-free baking mixes–Buckwheat Flax Pancake and Baking Mix, Old Fashioned Pancake and Baking Mix, Whole Grain Dark Chocolate Cake Mix, and their Organic All-Purpose Baking Mix–that we weren’t able to touch on in our first review of The Pure Pantry. For more information on The Pure Pantry, be sure to head to their very informative and aesthetically pleasing web-site. Also, don’t forget to check out the Food Review 101 Facebook page.

If you’ve read our previous reviews of The Pure Pantry, then you know that they have some pretty high standards to live up to, which is why we were really excited to write up our second review on their line of gluten-free baking mixes. The first mix we tried out was the Buckwheat Flax Pancake and Baking Mix, and we actually used the recipe on the back of the package to help guide us to making some really great pancakes. After we combined our mix, egg, milk, and some cooking oil, we headed for the hot stove to make up some gluten-free pancakes. Our pancakes actually turned out quite fluffy and very tasty, and if anyone would be hard-pressed to actually pick these gluten-free pancakes out of a pancake line-up. The best thing about these mixes though, is that you can actually use it for other recipes as well. The package offers up other recipes for waffles, crepes, and muffins, but if those aren’t enough for you, then head to the Pure Pantry web-site for additional ideas. Next, we tried using the Whole Grain Dark Chocolate Cake Mix, but instead of making a daunting chocolate cake, we used the cupcake recipe instead. After we combined our cake mix, eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and hot water, we stuck it in the oven for 350F for 18 minutes. What came out of the oven was a very chocolaty and moist cupcake that would surely please anyone looking to get their chocolate fix. The texture was really great, oddly enough, but the cool thing about these cupcakes is that they’re made from a bunch of really cool flours– quinoa, brown rice, sorghum, and potato starch–that are a lot more beneficial than the standard flour found in other baking mixes. After we tried the first two mixes out, we headed for their Organic All Purpose Baking Mix, and followed their directions for making a gluten-free banana bread. After mixing and baking our bread, we were pleasantly surprised with the flavor and texture of this gluten-free bread. The flavor of this bread was nothing but pure banana, while the texture was soft and chewy like the banana bread we used to eat growing up. Lastly, we tried out the Organic Old Fashioned Pancake & Baking Mix, and this mix differed just a bit from the buckwheat and flax mix that we talked about first. This mix gave us a much more traditional pancake that a lot of people are more accustomed to, simply because it looked and tasted like a regular pancake that’s packed with gluten. For anyone searching to lower the amount of gluten in their diet, or anyone looking for a healthier pancake mix that will save them time in the morning, we highly recommend you give The Pure Pantry a try. Overall (4 out of 5).   Read More …

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Thanksgiving Menu — Gluten and Dairy Free!

Thursday, November 10th, 2011



Thanksgiving Menu — Gluten and Dairy Free

Preparing an allergy free Thanksgiving Menu can be a challenge if you are not sure about what substitutes to use.

Here is a menu plan and recipes that will make your holiday effortless and, most importantly, delicious!



Soup Course-

  • Carrot orange ginger soup with toasted pumpkin seeds  Recipe>>
  • Cheddar-Chive Biscuits with Daiya Cheese  Recipe>>

Salad Course-

  • Pear, persimmon and walnut baby green salad with balsamic vinaigrette  Recipe>>


  • Sweet potato casserole with pecan cinnamon crunch topping  Recipe>>
  • Green beans with sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts Recipe>>
  • Southern cornbread stuffing with chicken apple sausage Recipe >>
  • Roasted Turkey
  • Bourbon Spiked Gravy  Recipe>>


  • Apple cranberry crisp with coconut vanilla “ice cream” Recipe >>
  • Pumpkin Agave Pie  Recipe >>


More Recipes coming soon!

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Cookbook Reviews | “Gluten Free Living” Magazine Reviews “Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen”

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Cookbook Review from “Gluten Free Living” Magazine

Family Friendly Products
and Recipes

Whether you are looking for a gluten-free mix or gluten-free recipes, Elizabeth Kaplan can oblige.  Kaplan is the founder of The Pure Pantry, a line of gluten-free baking mixes, as well as a recently published cookbook author with her book, Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen.

Kaplan’s inspiration comes from her own kitchen.  She has celiac disease and all three of her children are gluten-free.  In addition to gluten, various members of her family have allergies or intolerances to dairy, peanuts, soy, eggs, and some beans.  Wanting to provide them with options, Kaplan got to work and created The Pure Pantry.  Her line of mixes includes four organic mixes: Old Fashioned Pancake & Baking Mix, Buckwheat Flax Pancake & Baking Mix, Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, and Organic Sugar Cookie Mix.  She also offers two wholegrain mixes:  Oatmeal Cookie Mix and Dark Chocolate Cake Mix.

Fresh from Elizabeth’s Kitchen continues Kaplan’s mission to create family friendly recipes and dishes that everyone can enjoy. The book, published in January 2011, includes recipes such as Peach Cobbler Muffins, Mojito Chicken with Cilantro Rice, and Blueberry Cheesecake with a Gluten-
Free Graham Cracker Crust. In addition to the recipes, there is a chapter titled “Stocking Your Gluten-Free Pantry,” which includes Kaplan’s recommendations for gluten-free grains and dairy-free ingredients.

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The Pure Pantry Company Review

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

The Pure Pantry offers mixes that are not only delicious, but good for you, serving as proof that gluten-free, dairy-free, casein-free, soy-free, and even sugar-free don’t equal taste-free—quite the contrary!

The Pure Pantry offers a variety of mixes for gluten-free cookies, cakes, and pancakes, and even an all-purpose mix for creating other baked goods such as biscuits, muffins, and breads. The mixes are also versatile. We added tons of nuts to the Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, and we loved them. They were not only delicious, but so healthy tasting.

Other mixes include Wholegrain Chocolate Chip Coconut Organic Cookie Mix, Buckwheat Flax Pancake and Baking Mix, Organic Sugar Cookie Mix, and the decadent Wholegrain Dark Chocolate Cake Mix, oh so chocolately and full of good-for-you nutrients including protein, antioxidants, and protein from ingredients such as quinoa. The Organic All-Purpose Baking Mix is vegan and free of gluten, sugar, dairy, and casein and remarkable for its versatility. It’s even kosher!

Elizabeth Kaplan, Founder of The Pure Pantry, was diagnosed with celiac disease several years ago. Discontent with the poor nutritional value of gluten-free products, Elizabeth put her skills as a trained chef to work to develop great-tasting as well as healthy gluten-free substitutes. The Pure Pantry’s website,, features recipes, an online store, and resources for the gluten-free community. I highly recommend checking out their mixes for your gluten-free baking.

Tina Turbin

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Gluten Free Apricot Almond Tart with Sugar Cookie Crust

Sunday, August 21st, 2011
Apricot Almond Tart with Sugar Cookie Crust
Gluten-free Crust:
1 package Organic Sugar Cookie Mix from The Pure Pantry*
1/2 cup butter or butter alternative, such as Earth Balance, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup organic, non-hydrogenated shortening, such as Spectrum
1 egg
1 teaspoon cold water (or more if needed)
1 teaspoon almond extract
Dairy-free Pastry Cream Filling:
1/3 cup organic raw agave nectar, preferably Nature’s Agave brand
1 cup coconut milk (canned, not light)
6 large egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons arrowroot
1 teaspoon almond extract
8-10 ripe apricots
tablespoons slivered almonds, lightly toasted , optional
Powdered sugar for dusting
*Available at Whole Foods, Sprout’s, and many other fine natural food stores. For store locations:
Prepare pie crust:
Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Place sugar cookie mix, butter and shortening in large mixing bowl.  Blend with pastry blender or fork until mixture is in pea sized bits.  Add egg water and almond extract and blend with pastry blender until dough comes together.  Using your hands, pat dough into a flat disk.  Cover with waxed paper and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Remove pastry dough from refrigerator.  Prepare a work surface by placing a large sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper down and lightly dust it with rice flour or corn starch.  Dust rolling pin with rice flour or cornstarch as well.  Roll out dough  to 1/4 inch thickness.
Place pie plate or tart pan upside down on top of pastry dough.  Lift parchment paper cup on sides and flip over so pie dough lands in pie place.  Peel away parchment paper.
Trim edges of pie dough and reserve scraps for decorating pie or for making an extra little treat for the chef!
Poke holes in each pastry with a fork so surface has tiny holes throughout.
Decorate edges of pie crust, if desired, using small cookie cutters.
Bake pie crust for 13-15 minutes until golden brown.
Prepare pastry cream:
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan or double boiler, combine agave nectar, coconut milk, beaten egg yolks, melted coconut oil and salt.  Whisk together over medium heat until bubbles begin to rise.  Lower heat and continue whisking for about 1 minute.
In a small bowl whisk together two tablespoons of the hot egg/coconut milk mixture with arrowroot.  Add almond extract and stir.  Whisk arrowroot mixture into egg mixture over low heat and cook an additional 1-2 minutes until mixture begins to thicken.  Set aside for 2-3 minutes. Place a piece of plastic wrap touching the top of pastry cream to prevent a film from forming.  Place in refrigerator to cool.
Remove pie crust from oven and let cool completely.  Fill with pastry cream.
Cut apricots into quarters, removing pits.  Arrange apricot quarters on top of pastry cream in concentric circles.  Top with toasted almond slivers and dust with powdered sugar.
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Fresh From Elizabeth’s Kitchen Cookbook Review

Saturday, August 20th, 2011


Where to start, where to start…

I received this beautiful cookbook Friday.  Excitedly, I stayed up until midnight marking off all the recipes I wanted to try.  I got up bright and early Saturday morning, stopped by the farmers market and local grocer to buy all my supplies. By 10 a.m. I had donned my apron and started cooking.

I started with the Gingerbread Waffles with Cinnamon Poached Pears.  My kids flocked to the kitchen and wouldn’t stop commenting on how great it smelled, and the “When can we eat?” questopms began.  ( That was the most frequently asked question all day.)  By the time they were ready, and plated, they were gone. I couldn’t bake these up fast enough.  They were scrumptious! Truly a gingerbread lover’s delight!  My kids have now put it on the menu to have at least one night a week.

Next was Grilled Chicken with Pomegranate Chipotle BBQ Sauce.   Because we have so many little hands reaching for food, bite size portions are the way around here.   I made this using chicken wings. This BBQ sauce is tangy with just a hint of smokey heat.  It is was good! (Just don’t forget to salt and pepper the chicken before saucing it, like I did.  I spiced mine up afterwards and it was all good!)

Asian Veggies in Tamari-Seasme-Ginger Stir-Fry Sauce was next on the list.  I cheated a bit here.  The recipe called for freshly chopped veggies.   I used a bag of our favorite frozen veggies with fresh bean sprouts and napa cabbage added at the end.   I loved this recipe because it tasted good and was quick to hit the table.   Ten thumbs up!

Cheddar Drop Biscuits were next to be made.  Now, it has been a long time for me, but I swear these little tender nuggets reminded me of Red Lobsters Cheddar Biscuits without all the greasiness, but all the wonderful taste.  These are fantastic biscuits!  I have made them everyday since I received the book. The kids can’t stop asking for them.  I made these dairy free with the Daiya cheese alternative and you wouldn’t know the difference.  The other great thing about this recipe is that it is quick to make, about 15 minutes to whip up.  This recipe is a now a permanent addition to our dinner time meals.

After all that cooking the sweet craving hit.  I made the Cranberry Ginger Pound Cake and the Lemon Tea Bread.  The pound cake was a pleasant change of pace from the norm. It wasn’t overly sweet and I enjoyed the taste of the ginger and cranberry together.  I have only one kid who will eat cranberries in family, and we both agreed that it was really yummy.  It was tender and delicious.

The Lemon Tea Bread was a taste of heaven.  It was so good I ran two pieces over to a friend.  This gluten friend could not believe that it was gluten free. This bread reminded me more of a cake than a bread.  What makes this bread extra special is the glaze.  The glaze reminds me of lemonade.  When you pour it on top of that hot bread it just soaks it up. Oooooh my…the whole bread just melts in your mouth.  Confession – I am addicted to thisLemon Tea Bread.

That was the end of cooking on day one.  I was tired, and happily full.  The next day……

…..was Mojito Chicken.
I have never had a Mojito anything in my life, but the photo of this chicken made me wanna try.  It was a real palate pleaser.  My kids tasted it and talked about how much they loved it, while they reached for seconds.  Next time I am going to throw it on the grill.  I have just two left over pieces that I plan on making into a grilled panini tomorrow!  Yum!!

The Quinoa Tabouli was a real treat.   My kids have never had anything like it.  It got mixed reviews.  Maybe it is more of an adult dish, I am not sure.  Most of my kids thought it was a little too tangy.  I loved the recipe but for everyone else’s taste buds, next time I will cut the lemon juice in half.  That said, I really liked this dish, and plan on making it again.   I loved all the fresh veggies in it.   This one is a keeper.  I would take this to any picnic or potluck.

Lastly, the Sweet Potato Gratin reminded me of my mother’s sweet potato pon (without the marshmallows on top).  This was a winner all the way around in my house.  It can be made egg free, which I did.  Being a Southerner, I like my pon a little sweeter so I added a little more sugar, and it was perfect.  I thoroughly enjoyed every bite.  The Pecan Cinnamon Topping added a nice crunch to the fluffy sweet potatoes.

The Final Decision:
  • I am thrilled to have this cookbook on my shelf. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy two copies, one for me and one to give as a gift. There wasn’t anything I cooked that I didn’t like. That is a rarity.
  • I like the arrangement of chapters. For instance, Chapter Three is soup and salads. A perfect pairing if you are making a light dinner for yourself. Chapter Four is Family Dinners, again this chapter offers you a complete meal. The chapter has a mix and match of options. If you don’t want to think about planning dinner at all, she has that covered too with several suggestions in the back of her book. Meal planned!
  • I used The Pure Pantry Pancake and Baking Mix to make the Gingerbread Waffles but if you are allergic to corn products, the flour blends in her book have no corn.
  • If the recipes can use substitutes, it is noted. She has included some recipes that have egg free, or dairy free options.
  • I am still looking forward to making the Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Biscotti and Carrot Ginger Soup and Carrot Cake and……so many more.
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Berry Tartlets

Friday, August 19th, 2011

These Berry Tarlets are made with a sugar cookie crust and creamy filling, topped with our favorite berries.  A delicious summer dessert that everyone will enjoy.

Sugar Cookie Crust:
1 package Organic Sugar Cookie Mix from The Pure Pantry
1/2 cup butter or butter alternative, such as Earth Balance, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup organic, non-hydrogenated shortening, such as Spectrum
1 egg
1 teaspoon cold water (or more if needed)

1 8 ounce package cream cheese or substitute such as Tofutti Cream Cheese
1/2 cup raw agave nectar, preferably Nature’s Agave Raw variety
1 egg or egg substitute, such as 1 teaspoon Ener-G foods Egg Replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pints fresh raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Prepare pastry crust by placing sugar cookie mix, butter and shortening in large mixing bowl.  Blend with pastry blender or fork until mixture is in pea sized bits.  Add egg and water and blend with pastry blender until dough comes together.   Using your hands,  pat dough into a flat disk.  Cover with waxed paper and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer until soft.  Add agave nectar, egg (or egg substitute) and vanilla and beat on low until combined.

Remove pastry dough from refrigerator.  Prepare a work surface by placing a large sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper down and lightly dust it with rice flour or corn starch.  Dust rolling pin with rice flour or cornstarch as well.  Roll out dough  to 1/4 inch thickness.

Place individual tartlet pans upside down on top of dough and push down.  Create 12 tartlets cuts outs.  If you have just a few little tartlet pans, you can prepare a few at a time.   With a metal spatula, lift cut out dough up and place in tartlet pan.  Press dough down firmly and evenly throughout pan with your fingers.

Poke holes in each pastry with a fork so surface has tiny holes throughout.

Place pans on cookie sheet.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool 5-7 minutes.  Meanwhile wash berries and drain in colander.

Fill tarlets with 1/4 cup cream cheese filling.  Return to oven on middle rack and back for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely.   Place berries on top of tartlet and dust with powdered sugar.

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The Thrill of Blueberries – Blueberry Coffee Cake

Monday, August 8th, 2011

When Fats Domino wrote the song “I found my thrill, on Blueberry Hill”, I don’t think he was talking about the health benefits of eating blueberries, but perhaps he just didn’t know the facts.  Blueberries are a super food.  A healing fruit that is high in antioxidants, blueberries provide vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper selenium, zinc, and iron.  An Ohio State University study published in 2009 found that blueberries shrunk the size of tumors and significantly improved survival rates in an animal research project.  A compound in blueberries has also been found to prevent colon cancer, according to a 2007 study jointly conducted by scientists at Rutgers University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The study’s lead researcher, Bandaru Reddy, PhD., said, “This study underscores the need to include more berries in the diet, especially blueberries.”  Maybe Fats Domino would have had a different name had he actually eaten blueberries?  Anyways, for those of us who want the thrill of nourishing our bodies with the top super foods, blueberries should be added to the list.

Gluten-free/Dairy-free alternatives

2 cups The Pure Pantry Organic All Purpose Baking Mix
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup coconut oil or butter
1/2 c. brown sugar or coconut sugar
3 large eggs, beaten, or egg replacer
1/2 cup sour cream or sour cream substitute
3 tablespoons milk of choice (rice, almond or regular)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups organic blueberries, preferably fresh but frozen can be substituted if defrosted and drained

Crumb Topping:
3/4 cup The Pure Pantry Organic All Purpose Baking Mix
1/3 cup coconut oil or butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar or coconut sugar

Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Combine baking mix, salt, and nutmeg in large mixing bowl.
In a medium mixing bowl beat coconut oil (or butter).  Add brown sugar (or coconut sugar) and cream together.  Add eggs one at a time, blending after each addition.  With mixer on low, add sour cream (or non-dairy substitute), milk, vanilla and lemon zest.
Gently fold in blueberries with spoon.  Pour into greased bundt pan or 9 x 11 inch baking dish.
Prepare crumb topping by blending coconut oil (or butter) with baking mix and sugar until mixture resembles pea sized crumbs.  Sprinkle crumb mixture on top of cake.
Bake for 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean.  Cool before serving.

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