Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lime Basil Blueberry Cobbler

It's been two weeks since I posted a recipe. I know, 2 whole weeks! Goodness gracious! So much is going on lately...sunny beach days...the summer Olympics...blueberries! And personally, I have been super busy traveling with my husband for work, family reunions, and did I mention...picking pounds upon pounds of blueberries. And anyone who knows me, knows that blueberry picking and freezing is more of a full-time job than a summer pastime.
But, there comes a time when you realize that you are tired. Yes, tired. Tired of the run-around and ready for a nap. So, I have been focusing on that as well. I know as long as I have been on this healing journey I have been more aware how good rest makes a big difference to every area your life. Especially your digestion and your nerves. So I may be preaching to myself here, but "You must be intentional about resting!" Some may call it a day-off, some may call it a sabbath, but whatever you call it, it is a must for a healthy happy life.
And that's where this cobbler becomes involved...

Needless to say, actually enjoying some of the picked blueberries is a must as well. So this cobbler made for a simple summer dessert has brought much resting and enjoyment to some long summer days. That and watching Downton Abbey episodes like mad. Such a great production if you ask me. I have heard others go on about it, but haven't started watching myself till this last week. Maybe I shouldn't share that little time-sucking obsession as of late. But too late, it's true, I'm obsessed.

But, enough of that obsession...:)

And, enough of the small talk, let me share with you this lovely simple summer-time favorite.
Lime Basil Blueberry Cobbler Recipe
(gluten, dairy, soy and nut-free)

Blueberry Filling:
4 cups of fresh picked, rinsed and dried blueberries
1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ts. of fresh lime zest
1/2 cup of local raw honey (or other favorite liquid sweetener)
6 large fresh sweet basil leaves, finely chopped and minced
1/3 cup of tapioca flour (or starch works too)

In a medium saucepan, put all of the above ingredients except the tapioca flour in on a low to medium heat. Let the blueberries simmer and become a hot liquidy sauce, then after 5-10 minutes slowly stir in the tapioca flour and whisk and fold together until the blueberries and sauce become a tad thicker. Take off heat and pour the blueberry and sauce mixture into a 9x13 Pyrex baking glass pan. Then mix up the following cobbler mix to put on top.

Cobbler Topping:
1 1/4 cup of gluten-free oat flour (I use 1 cup of gluten-free rolled oats and grind in high powdered blender to make homemade flour)
1/2 cup of gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup of sweet sorghum flour or other gluten-free flour mix (I use Bob Red Mill's)
3 TB of coconut palm sugar or local maple syrup
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
1 ts. of baking powder
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1/2 cup of melted organic coconut oil (or vegan butter sub)
1/2 cup of coconut milk beverage (I use So Delicious)

In a mixing bowl, mix all of the above ingredients together well and then crumble or spread it over the blueberry filling in the pyrex dish. You don't have to make it perfectly spread and it can have gaps in between the topping and the blueberries. When it bakes it will all come together. Then bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes until the blueberries are bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Then pull from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before spooning into serving bowls. The reason for this is because the blueberry filling is super HOT and liquidy and needs to cool down to thicken and make easier to enjoy. Serve warm with some coconut whipped cream or some of your favorite vegan ice cream.
This flavor permeated cobbler celebrates life, creativity and fresh summer flavors that will have you smiling and sinking deeper into that porch swing. There's nothing like the feeling of a full summer day filled with lots of warm sunshine and activity than with a late summer evening treat. This cobbler infuses lime and fresh basil paired alongside sweet and tart berries and you come up with a pretty amazing collaboration. Plus, no refined sugars, no gluten, dairy, nuts or soy...just a few simple fresh favorites and viola.

I must say as well, this dessert is yes, great on it's own, but what makes it even more than great is a dollop of some So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream {pictured above and below}. It is not too sweet (or sweetened with fakes), has no artificials or GMO's ingredients and is creamy and perfect in every way.
July also celebrates ice cream (no surprise here) and So Delicious was generous enough to send me some of their best picks to celebrate and enjoy. My personal favorite this week is the Passionate Mango. They are my go-to Vegan Ice Cream people. They offer so may varieties and flavors and I love what the people of So Delicious stand for. Good real ingredients and true to making better options for health and our world. So thank you So Delicious for making this cobbler great. I couldn't have done it without you.

If you haven't heard of So Delicious, check out their facebook page here, and then go here and get a coupon to try one of their great treats. This month and next they are also donating some of the profits from all their ice cream products to the Brees Foundation. Which is just another great reason to eat more cobbler and ice cream these summer days.
So my friends, I hope you enjoy and relax. Work hard, play hard and then rest. Really. This summer treat is a reminder of that to me and I am so thankful to be able to share it with you!

Much love, as always!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Crunchy Honey Buckwheat Oat Cereal

I have been on a breakfast kick lately. Really enjoying cooler and simpler options than the norm. The "norm" for me is hot gluten-free oatmeal or whole grain porridge. It is a hearty bowl of goodness, that starts the digestive fire out right in the morning. That is usually how I roll, but in the summer, and with as hot as this summer has been, you couldn't really want to eat super hot anything in the morning. I've been more into blueberry smoothies and just plain fruit. But this cereal is the best of both for me. It has a nice whole-grain crunch along with some cold non-dairy milk plus fresh, sweet blueberries galore! Yum!
This recipe is super simple, easy to store, and can be very versatile with other additions. I love eating my bowl with hemp milk and fresh blueberries, but you could also add any homemade or store bought non-dairy milk favorite, and could add almost any additional fruit you love. It is full of protein, fiber, and lots of nutritional vitamins like iron and magnesium. Essentials for your health and a guaranteed good start to the day!
Plus, did I mention how wonderfully easy this is. Well, it is. And, also easy to pack along and bring on weekend getaways, camping trips and even longer summer vacations. I love when simple and nutritious work together like that. It just makes eating from scratch and with whole grain healthy ingredients, that much more enjoyable!
Crunchy Honey Buckwheat Oat Cereal Recipe
(gluten, dairy, egg, nut-free, plus vegan option)

2 cups of raw whole buckwheat groats
4 cups of certified gluten-free rolled oats
1/3 cup of sunflower seed butter
1/3 cup of raw local honey (or use local maple syrup to keep it vegan)
3 TB of soft or liquid extra virgin coconut oil
dash of sea salt
dash of ground cinnamon

In a very large mixing bowl, mix all of the above ingredients together with a spatula or your bare hands, Then pour out the wet cereal mix on a parchment papered cookie sheet and spread 1 inch thin along the whole pan. I use a 11.5x17 inch sized cookie baking sheet and that seems to work almost perfect, but you could use 2 smaller sheets, or even one larger if you got it. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Then let sit out and cool on the counter for a few hours until completely cooled and dried. Then pack up the leftovers in 2 quart mason jars, or however you would want to keep and store your new favorite cereal. 
If you haven't tried buckwheat groats yet then you may be up for a new discovery with this recipe. And the short is, that buckwheat is a very nutrient dense grain that is naturally gluten-free and full of many essential minerals and vitamins for your body. And then the oats are a favorite grain that just make you feel like you are more normal when it comes to your food choices :) 
If you are like me, you will want to make a batch and then store it in mason jars on the counter because it is so happy and healthy looking. It is a perfect kitchen decoration, plus very edible. So much more earthy than displaying a nice card board cereal box (recycled of course :)

I hope you are enjoying your weekend thus far. And you are planning to go on a brand new adventure that includes the summer sun, getting wet, and staying cool this weekend. Don't forget to pack along some gluten-free goodies and don't let the stress of eating gluten-free turn you into a grouch. Nobody likes to be around a grumpy gluten-free grouch. Your positivity toward your food and what and how you eat is just as much a part of the healing process as what kind of food you are eating as well.

Don't swallow anger and bitterness, swallow hope, healing and a new day!

Much love as always!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Blueberry Zucchini Oat Muffins

I love how blueberries and zucchini are perfect for the picking about the same time every summer. And that is how this muffin recently came into existence. I just harvested my first zucchinis from the garden this week and with pounds of fresh and delicious blueberries just waiting to be eaten.... I couldn't resist.  
It also doesn't hurt that these muffins are as hearty as a bowl of oatmeal and full of enough fruits and veggies to make a snack or your breakfast worth the eating. They are moist and fresh and wonderful for the many busy days in the garden, at the beach or whatever summer fun you find yourself enjoying.
If you haven't guessed already, I am all about baking whole grain gluten-free goodies. And this muffin easily fits the bill. It is simple, uses only certified gluten free oats as the flour base and it is moist, chewy and everything a whole grain muffin should be. I even sneaked one with a little decaf coffee. I know, so scandalous for this reverent tea drinker. But, what's a girl to do with a hearty healthy muffin?
Blueberry Zucchini Oat Muffin Recipe
(gluten, dairy, soy, nut and egg-free)
1 cup of certified gluten-free rolled oats
2 cups of certified gluten-free oat flour
(I grind rolled 2 cups of GF oats in high powdered blender to make my own fresh flour)
2 TB of chia seed meal
1 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cup of freshly grated zucchini
1 cup of coconut milk beverage (I used So Delicious Dairy Free) (or other non-dairy milk) mixed with
         +2 TB of fresh lemon juice to make a "buttermilk mixture"
1/3 cup of liquefied extra virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup of local honey or maple syrup

1 heaping cup of fresh (or frozen) blueberries

In a large mixing bowl, add the rolled oats and freshly ground oat flour. Then add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well together. Mix the coconut milk and lemon separately in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes, and then add the milk mixture along with all the other wet ingredients. Lastly fold in the fresh blueberries and try and avoid blueberry bleeding. Mix well and let sit for a few minutes for the mixture to soak up the moisture and set well. Then use a 1/3 cup measuring cup and ladle in the batter into a muffin tins. Use muffin papers if you prefer. This recipe will make 12 large muffins or 15 small muffins. Then bake the muffins in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown and no gooey middles.
I have made this recipe a few times and have found that the muffins taste best when you eat them after letting them cool for at least 30 minutes. That gives them time to sit, completely bake and cool a little before eating. You could also bake them at night and let them cool overnight for a quick and easy breakfast in the morning.
That is what I did a few days ago and my son woke me up early the next morning and surprised me by eating 2 muffins all by himself. I guess he knows what's good around here, huh.
I am pretty sure those chubby toddler fingers are being used for much more good than trouble here. I couldn't resist letting him go all out and stuff his cute little face!

I hope you are staying cool and finding joy and fun wherever it may be lurking this summer!

Much love, as always!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fresh Blueberry Pie

Here is a promised blueberry pie recipe. Pretty dang simple and based mostly off of this fresh strawberry pie, yet made with blueberries instead. I have been indulging in blueberries for the past few weeks and have been filling the freezer in a frenzy. The freezer's empty room is filling up quite quickly (ehem, husband, I think we need another freezer ;)

Making smoothies with frozen blueberries is one of my most favorite things. Just a simple coconut milk, blueberries, strawberries, maybe some greens with extra additions like chia, kelp powder and maca root powder. I will have to post a recipe and picture soon to show off a fresh and energizing breakfast. But..... in the meantime, how about another great summer pie recipe?
Please and thank you! I guess I have been on a fresh pie making kick. Truly inspired by the simplicity and beauty of the fresh berry though. I mean, it doesn't get much prettier than this folks! There is hope for the gluten-free pie makers out there. Seriously, get your bum out of the corner and make this yummy pie for your next summer gathering. You can do it, it's simple and fresh, and what more do you need?
Fresh Blueberry Pie Recipe
(gluten, dairy and nut-free)

Pie Crust:
1/2 cup certified gluten-free oats
1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
1 1/4 cup of certified gluten-free oat flour ground (1 cup of oats in ground in high power blender to make 1 1/4 cup of flour)
2 TB of honey or maple syrup
dash of sea salt
1/3 cup of organic extra virgin coconut oil (or vegan butter substitute)

In a mixing bowl, mix the oats, coconut, salt and flour all together well and then add the honey and coconut oil and mix with a fork. You should get a sticking pie crust batter that you will use your hands to press into a 9 inch glass pie pan. You will have to pressed firmly up to the tops of the pan and press firmly along the bottom. It doesn't have to be perfect looking, but do try and make the crust spread evenly over the pan. Then bake the crust in a preheated 350 degree oven for 16-18 minutes until golden brown. You may need to press a fork up to the sides again after you pull from the oven while it is still hot if the crust slide down a touch while baking. Then, let the crust cool on the counter until it is cold.
Blueberry Filling:
2 heaping cups of fresh berries
2 limes freshly squeezed (1/3 cup of juice)
1/3 cup of water
1/3-1/2 cup of local raw honey
10 drops of stevia extract (optional in place of half of the honey)
1 1/2 ts. of agar powder
2 heaping cups of fresh blueberries poured into the bottom of pie crust

In a saucepan, put the above ingredients in and let cook on low heat for 7-10 minutes until it becomes a gooey blueberry mix. The berries should be broken up and the sauce will be extra hot. So let cool for 5-10 minutes until you pour it over the fresh berries on the bottom of the pie crust. Then, just basically pour the hot mixture over the fresh berries in the pie crust, spread over evenly and then let cool for 10 minutes and then put in the fridge for 1-2 hours until chilled. Then serve chilled with a topping of coconut milk ice cream, or coconut milk whipping cream.

Serve chilled and keep in the fridge up to 2-3 days. The pie is with the fresh berries so it will start to loose it's freshness after about 2 days. Make sure to keep covered as well.
Plus, the best part is that you don't have to cook this pie in the oven. Yes, the crust is baked for a few minutes, but no other baking required! Which is just about perfect for these super hot summer days we have been experiencing seemingly without end. 
I hope you are finding recipes and ways to stay cool this week. Don't give up on eating fresh and nourishing foods to help your body cool (watermelon, cucumbers, any greens, fresh berries and veggies). Limit the greasy foods and help your body detox while it is naturally sweating in the heat. But most of all, make sure you drink lots of pure water and then replenish your electrolytes and minerals by eating lots of veggies!

Much love as always!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rice & Bean Garden Burger

It's July already and it's been a hot one. The last week has been around 100 degrees with the heat index and the grass has been declared dead. It's quite sad really. I know many of you live in a dry and arid climate most of the year and so you are used to the summer being hot and dry. But for a Michigander like me, it seems we are more used to mild tempts and not such a severe dry spell. Yet, I can't really complain with all of the other disasters currently happening across the US. My heart and prayers go out to all those who are being personally affected by the wildfires and extreme temperatures all over the country. What a strange year for weather! Maybe the Mayans were on to something...
Thankfully because of the invention of the garden hose and sprinkler, we have been able to keep our little "garden babies" wet and growing quite nicely. This past week we harvested our first zucchinis, a batch of green beans and lots of greens. The lettuce was done a few weeks ago and I am not saying that I don't mind. There were a few weeks there where we ate lettuce all hours of the day (I'm exaggerating, but still, we had a lot). This burger was inspired by just that. A simple fresh garden meal that does a twist on your plain ol' rice and beans meal with lots of fresh dill and basil to make it bright and beautiful. Dill is my current favorite herb. I just can't get enough this summer. And my little plant is tired of me picking it, so I am going to give it a little break.
I have been picking lots of these sweet things though. Here is a sneak peak of the gorgeous blueberries I have been picking the last week as well. I have almost 50 pounds in the freezer, and I am hoping to get another 50 before the season is done. I know crazy, but we use up about 2-3 pounds a week on smoothies throughout the year, so I thought I might as well try and have enough for most of the year. Besides, I love picking. It is fun and you can usually eat as you pick, so a very fun "game" for my almost 2 year old. I made 2 pies this week with the berries, and hope to share one or both of those recipes very soon. But for the moment, here is a simple summer garden burger to enjoy warm, cold or however you fancy. Top it with some fresh garden tomatoes, lettuce, and avocado and you've got yourself a meal. 
Rice & Bean Garden Burger Recipe 
(gluten-free, nut-free and vegan)
3 cups of pre-cooked brown rice (I used long-grain organic)
3 cups of pre-cooked or canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup of freshly grated (or shredded) zucchini
1 cup of freshly grated carrot
1 ts. of ground garlic powder
1-2 ts. of chili powder spice blend
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1/2 ts. of black pepper
2-3 TB of freshly squeezed lime juice
1 TB of olive oil
2-3 TB of chopped fresh dill
2-3 Tb of chopped fresh basil

In a large mixing bowl, dump in your cooked black beans and mash them roughly with a fork. When you get a nice looking mush then you can add the brown rice and the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything together with a rubber spatula and then let sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to soak in the flavors and get chilled. 
Then, pull from the fridge and form 8 to 12 hand-sized patties with the mixture and place them very close to each other on a parchment-papered baking sheet. Then bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, then flip the burger patties and then put back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. This will help each side get toasted and crispy. 
Depending how large you want your patties, this recipe could make 8 large ones or 12 smaller ones. Then you can eat them however you want. Here are a few of my favorite ways...

Plate: Just put a burger on a plate and eat with a fork warm from the oven!

Wrap: Fill a GF wrap or large piece of lettuce or chard with lettuce, avocado, tomato and ketchup and mustard, then roll it up and eat it.

With a special sauce of : 1/3 cup vegan mayo, 1 Tb of ketchup 1 Tb of mustard, and a sprinkle of chili powder and lime to flavor it. It makes kinda an aoli to help flavor the burger and give it more somethin' somethin'.
However you decide to eat this scrumptious burger, you will do it with lots of flavor! This simple burger is a perfect way to mash up some rice and beans, and the zucchini and fresh herbs just make it great! I hope you try this one out while the ingredients are fresh and while the summer is sizzling!

Much love and light (and cool breeze and some quiet rain) to you!