Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Chocolate and Berry Mini-Trifle (gluten free, soy free, dairy free, egg free, grain free)

I've had this recipe in the back of my mind since we went to a party recently and someone brought a huge trifle.  I of course couldn't eat it, but I love a good layered dessert and think they look and taste amazing.  Of course they involve a little extra work, but I think it's worth it.  I don't have a trifle bowl, due to the moratorium placed on my kitchen purchases, so I used dessert cups.

I'm also entering this into Kelly's "Our Spunky Holiday" roundup in honor of Independence Day. I went with red, white, blue, and chocolate :)

I used a couple different recipes to make this, so here we go!

Summer Chocolate and Berry Mini-Trifle 
(gluten free, soy free, dairy free, egg free, grain free)

Cake layer:

I used my Mini Coconut and Almond Cake recipe for the cake.  I put it in a glass bread pan and baked for approximately 40 minutes.  It will still be a bit soft when you take it out, but it firms up when cool, so a toothpick test won't necessarily work.

Cake out of the oven
Chocolate Pudding Layer:

1 cup raw cashews (soaked and softened in hot water)
1/2 cup coconut milk (I used So delicious unsweetened)
1 tsp vanilla
dash cinnamon
pinch of sea salt

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Place in the refrigerator to chill (it will firm up).

Coconut Cream Layer:

You can use Kelly's recipe HERE but probably cut it in half.  Or, you can just take the cream off the top of a chilled coconut milk can or your favorite whipped topping.

Putting it all together:

I started with chopped strawberries, then a layer of cake broken up a bit as seen below. How much you use will depend on the dessert cup that you use - I used about a third here.

Next, a layer of the chocolate pudding, followed by the coconut cream and blueberries (and more strawberries if you wish.

You can always add more layers, especially if making it in a taller glass like this one below:

Chill in the refrigerator and then enjoy!

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Gluten Free Baby Edition Pt. 2 - Leftover Purees??

And now for part 2 of my gluten free baby post! :)

I made a wide variety of pureed fruits and veggies for my daughter and had them frozen in wonderful cubes (in these and these and these) and labeled, and had a great system... and then she started wanting more finger foods.  So I thought- how can I make this mush into something she can hold??  I also have issues with store bought snacks that are full of crap (see my first post here)

From many cubes of food I have now made little biscuits that she loves.  They're super quick and easy and you can adapt them to whatever you have around.  I now don't measure anything and just go by sight because it really doesn't make a huge difference in terms of taste and durability. I encourage you to play around with the idea and see how easy it is to make them!  The good part- they're not processed. No added anything, fresh and organic with no fillers or added sugar.

So here's the first recipe I made:
Homemade Baby Fruit/Veggie Biscuits

  ~3/4 cup organic vegetable puree (I used broccoli, string beans, and brussel sprouts)
1Tbsp mashed banana
1 Tbsp apple sauce/pureed organic apples (nothing added)
2 Tbsp coconut flour
dash of cinnamon

If frozen- put in pot and heat veggies just until warm. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and form into little biscuits (whatever shape you want) on a Silpat Baking Mat or greased baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until done.

Options- Depending on if you want a more savory or sweet biscuit, I have now started adding other ingredients/combinations:

This is the texture you're looking for- can stand on it's own but not too thick or runny

I used a piping bag for these

 -Almond Flour (great and nutritious addition to the coconut flour)
-Spices: depending on which veggies you're using
   ~Italian herbs (pre-mixed, oregano, basil, marjoram, rosemary, etc...)
   ~garlic powder
-Coconut milk/almond milk
-Baking powder

These I made with baking powder, coconut milk, almond flour, coconut flour, and brussel sprouts

*note- I still do give my daughter purees here and there. The more difficult foods to chew like greens, brussel sprouts, etc need to be pureed or they'll cause the child to choke! Pin It Now!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Gluten Free Baby Edition Pt. 1

Since I had a baby, many have been asking me what I plan to do about having her tested for celiac or if I've been feeding her gluten, etc...

This hasn't been an easy decision for me or my husband, so we're taking things slow, doing research, talking with our (experienced with CD) pediatrician, and being cautious.  I'm really not crazy about wheat anyways and all of the refined unhealthy forms that it comes in, so the urgency to introduce it is really not there.

Regardless of that, I had a tough time finding snacks for my daughter that didn't have added salt or sugar or empty fillers like rice and corn.  I know to a lot of parents these are not a big deal, but I really do think about everything I put into her body and whether or not it will provide nutritional benefit or not. I also consider the fact that nutritional excellence has a huge impact for children, and childhood is an important time for growth.  Yet so much of our food industry (like school lunches) is working against them, so the more I can do as a parent now, the better off they will be in being armed against what's out there when they go off to school and are bombarded by what is accepted as "kid food".

One big influence for me in considering these issues has been the book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman: Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right. I actually read this book long before I had my own, because I took a lot from it myself and ways to change my diet (before I went gluten free).  I am not a total fuhrmanite and don't follow his diet completely, but there is a lot of amazing advice, recipes, and guidelines for ways to help your entire family to enjoy good, healthy food without making it boring.

So- I totally digressed.  I was talking about snack food. I couldn't find anything. So I made some quick and easy snacks that I'll be sharing here and there. My daughter loves them and as a mom with very little time these days, I can throw something together for her quite easily.

My first project was a teething biscuit. I had already introduced gf oats and quinoa to my daughter, so I made biscuits out of each of those.  You can fiddle with the recipe to make different shapes, etc. These were actually kind of small, so shaping them as bars might be helpful as well. Water content will also change cooking time and softness so add more "flour" as needed.  These are mostly just recommendations for what you can do, so good luck! :)

Quinoa Baby Biscuits

1/4 cup Quinoa Flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup pureed organic pear (I used some that I had made for baby food)
1/8 cup water
**1tsp coconut oil (see note)

GF Oats Baby Biscuits

1/4 cup certified GF Rolled Oats (blended into flour) or you can use preground Oat Flour
1/8 cup pureed organic pear
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp cinnamon
**1 tsp coconut oil (see note)

Blend ingredients and put into mini muffin tray.  Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.  

*Note, the longer these stay outside the soggier they become, so don't make too many at once!

**Now that my daughter is older, I add in a bit of coconut oil to keep them from sticking to the pan

Packed up and ready to go! I love these little snack cups from Green Sprouts. You can order them here:

I also love these cups:

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