Sunday, August 13, 2017

Blackberry Basil Coconut Ice Cream

Yessss, it's another vegan ice cream experiment!  Over the weekend, I was inspired by the plump gorgeous blackberries at the farmer's market and the strong aroma of fresh basil. My husband has been loving basil this season almost as much as me :) so it's also motivating to use it in just about every dish ;) 
Yes even in ice cream. Somehow that flavor of basil, almost liquorice-like, that adds just the right match to the sweet-tart of berries. I have added it to berry crisps before but to the coconut cream ice cream it is just about the perfect subtle touch. I didn't even add the leaves into the blend... just let them soak and simmer into the coconut milk before it's blended. Sooooo good!!! Be inspired by fresh colorful amazing food and let yourself be nourished and ENJOY!
Blackberry Basil Coconut Ice Cream Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, and seed-free}

2 cans of coconut cream (14 ounce cans, just scrap out the cream and discard/reuse water)
1 TB of tapioca starch
1 lemon squeezed
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
pinch of sea salt
1 handful of fresh basil tied with twine

1 pint of fresh blackberries

In a saucepan, put the coconut milk cream on low heat and let it get soft and liquid. Then sprinkle in the tapioca flour and put in the rest of the ingredients. Keep the basil in the twine because it is just soaking in the cream and not being blended in. In a seperate saucepan, cook and mash blackberries until soft and juicy. Then pour over a micro-sieve and use all of the flesh and juices but omit the blackberries seeds to have a creamier ice cream finish. If you liek the texture of seeds then just add the berries right into the milk mixture. 

Take out the basil and cool down the coconut milk mixture and then add to the high powered blender with the berry mix and blend on high until creamy and smooth. Then pour into a container to cool down more if it is still warm, and if you need to refrigerate for a while that's fine. When room temp or cooled down, add to a ice cream maker and let it do it's job for 20 minutes or so and then spread into a container to sit in the freezer for 1 hour or more. Then you can pull out and use a regular ice cream scoop to serve up perfectly. Serve with fresh fruit or with or however you like ice cream best!


If you have not invested in the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker- then you might want to in time for this summer. I got this as a birthday gift last year and have enjoyed using it. The instructions before you make the ice cream is to deep freeze the mixture container. It must be super cold! Then once you do that you can hook up the container and follow the instructions- which for this ice cream includes just pouring in the mixture while it has already started spinning. This will take anywhere from 20-30 minutes to thicken up the ice cream. It is like soft serve and ready to top or eat, but if you want a more scoop-able ice cream then let the machine run for the allotted time and then pour into a container and put in the freezer and within 30 minutes it will be a perfect scoop!

ENJOY and much love as always xoxo

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

This is a little nugget of a recipe I have been making for a few years now. It isn't rocket science, and there are many easy peasy recipes for this out there in world wide web land and Pinterest... buuuutttt, I thought I would share my version anyways because I use a few substituted ingredients to help with yeast overgrowth in the gut.
This is the recipe I was inspired by years ago...
Shannon Martin's Recipe

I switch out white sugar and white vinegar for coconut palm sugar and apple cider vinegar. It's minor but for me and how I am conscience of the over use of vinegar in dressings and such. I always choose apple cider vinegar over any edible vinegar because I have found it to be not as aggravating to candida and high histamine issues I have had over the years. But I guess this is no surprise I use these ingredients in all my baking and they are staples in my pantry.
A wonderful gift in August in the large amounts of fresh fruit, veggies and herbs you can find at your local farmer's market, backyard or road side stands. I bought the above produce at my local farmer's market for a whopping total of TWO dollars. I am sure you could even find it cheaper or maybe you have a garden or access to a friends or family member's garden too. These are so easy and cheap to find right now. So basically you can make this whole quart of pickles for around 2 dollars- what a fun fresh bargain to enjoy this season!
Steph's Version of Refrigerator Dill Pickle Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, seed and refined-sugars-free}

2 TB of coconut palm sugar
1 TB of sea salt
1 ts. of whole black peppercorns
1/2 ts. of dry mustard powder (or whole seeds)
4 fresh garlic cloves chopped
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
3 cups of pure water
1 handful of fresh dill roughly chopped
1 quart small cucumbers

In a quart sized Ball jar put in the coconut palm sugar, salt, pepper, mustard, chopped garlic and vinegar and fresh dill. Stir if need be so that the sugar and salt dissolve into the vinegar. Then wash and slice up the cucs and layer them in the jar. When up to the top, stop and fill with pure water to cover all of the cucs. I usually give a little shake to let the fluids evenly cover all through the jar. Screw on a top and put in the fridge. I think they taste best after 24 hours and then you can keep them in the fridge for up to two weeks for best tastes in my opinion.

Hope you are enjoying the fresh summer produce from your garden and markets. Much love to you as always and let's enjoy these last few weeks of summer shall we?!? xoxo

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Every year when zucchini is fresh and coming up abundantly I seem to remember again how much I love chocolate and zucchini together. It always turns out so moist and rich and chewy and wonderful.  So today when I woke up early ready to bake up a treat for my kiddos and some friends- it was this combo on my mind (and stomach!)
These minis could be a dessert, a treat, a snack...OR...breakfast ;) I am calling these little babies MUFFINS instead of CAKES because that is just what they are of course.  Topped with a little sprinkle of mini chocolate chips :) So call them what you will, I decided to call them muffins because they are hearty and wonderful and full of goodness. The chocolate is just the disguise...and it sure is a trickster to mask a vegetable-filled muffin.
Zucchini Chococolate Chip Muffin Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, nut, seed, soy and refined-sugar-free}

1 1/3 cup of fresh ground certified GF oat flour
2/3 cup of white rice flour
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1/2 cup of cocoa/cacao powder
2 ts. of baking powder (corn-free Hain brand)
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar

2/3 cup of coconut milk beverage (or other plant milk)
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1-2 TB of molasses
1/2 cup of date puree paste
1/2 cup of soft melted coconut oil (or avocado oil)
1 1/2 cup of freshly shredded/grated zucchini

1 cup of mini-dairy-free chocolate chips (ENJOY LIFE brand)

In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together first, then add in all the wet and whisk together well. I grate 1 large or 2 small zucchini right before I add it to the bowl so it is super fresh and if it is super wet you can squeeze out some of the excess water. I lastly fold in the chocolate chips and then even save a little sprinkle of chips to top the unbaked muffins for the added touch of chocolate goodness. I made these as mini muffins so the recipe made a ton...36 minis. But you can make about 18 large mufins too. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 22 minutes until stiff and baked all the way through for the mini muffins and you may need to bake closer to 30 minutes for the larger regular sized muffins. Pull from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before you eat just so to don't burn your taste buds. You're gunna want to keep those safe ;)

I hope you give these sweet muffins a try. A special treat this time of year with zucchini coming up in droves and you're struggling to come up with ways to use it all. Seriously friend- this is a muffin to make... so stop now and make these and your day will be complete. Share with friends and bring joy- you won't regret it.

Much love to you as always xoxo

Monday, July 31, 2017

Ginger-Lemon-Blueberry Shots

It's summer. And it's hot. And you may not be thinking about warming ginger root as much. I know I wasn't until this week I came down with a little sniffle in the nose and immediately I drove myself to my local health food store and bought myself a giant ginger claw. It is my fall back immunity booster. It's a root, a super food, and if you make and drink this shot you will know exactly the energy and awakening it can bring. 
You may not have a cold sniffle in the middle of summer like me, but you may deal with allergies and    heartburn or other heat producing health issues. Then this is a tonic for you too. It is a bite to swallow this tonic, but what shot of whatever isn't... amiright?!? It will make you feel fabulous though and if you own a high powered blender you need to start making this a part of your daily/weekly routine. It's pretty simple, but I wanted to share it anyways because it is a super easy and fun way to bring a shot of health and wellness and love to your body.  CHEERS!

Ginger-Lemon-Blueberry Shot Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, sugar, nut and seed-free}

1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 large claw of ginger pealed and roughly chopped
1 large organic lemon sliced to remove seeds but keep the peel on 
2 cups of pure water

Put all the above ingredients in a high powered blender (I have a Vitamix ;)  and start on lower power to get it all blended and then put it on full-force-power and blend it for another 20-30 seconds. Then it's done, pour it into 4 8ounce glasses and serve it up to your family and friends. Drink up! It may be a bite or you may need to plug your nose to get it down.... and it may be an aquired taste...but if you get it down, you will start to feel amazing within minutes as it surges through your bloodstream.

SIDENOTE: I think this would make a base for an amazing summer lemonade just would need to add some simple syrup sweeteneer or even stevia and a ton of water and ice and place ina pitcher for serving with maying some lemon slices or fresh blueberries.... doesn't that sound lovely!

Hope you give it a try :) Hope you are finding hope and healing :) and hope you know you are loved and worth all the effort and time you spend on yourself and your whlole body-mind-soul.

Much love as always  xoxo

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Cherry Blueberry Crumble

People ask me all the time what I do with all the fresh fruit I pick. When you eat gluten-free and have a handful of other allergies in the house, a crisp or crumble, is an easy and crowd-pleasing dessert. So much of our frozen berries and cherries end up in smoothies and muffins over the winter months, but making a crisp with the berries is one of the best ways to enjoy all those berries and cherries! 
The oozing juices and crispy crumble topping...it's best from the oven warm with a little vegan ice cream but also a great cooled off or leftover breakfast too. I make these fruit crumbles in my sleep. This crumble specifically has the fruit made into a jelled juicy filling and the crumble is like a cookie batter...
Ohhhh the smells I wish you could get through the screen...but I guess the colors are gorgeous too. So hopefully you are inspired to make a dessert for yourself and all your people :) 
This specific crumble my husband announced was his favorite. And that is a compliment to me since he alone knows how many versions of fruit crumbles I have made over the years. The additions of coconut flour add a crunchy component and the shortening also makes it more crumbly in my opinion. I love trying a few new ingredients to my usual to find out it's fabulous. I guess practicing and experience do pay off- so get started today and start baking and making a celebration of the fresh fruit season. This is a dessert you can say YES too and share with ALL!
Cherry Blueberry Crumble Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, seed, nut, and corn-free}

In a saucepan, stir the following on low to medium heat for about 5 minutes...

5 cups of fresh or frozen fruit
(I used 3 cups of pitted cherries with 2 cups blueberries)
1 fresh lemon squeezed for about 2 TB of juice
2 TB of honey
2 TB of maple syrup
test your sweetness level and if you want more add in 2 TB of coconut palm sugar
sprinkle of sea salt
1 ts of ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg 

In a small cup or pyrex, whisk the following and then pour into the fruit pan and let heat for another few minutes for it to get thickened....

2 TB of tapioca starch in 1/3 cup of water whisked until creamy and no clumps

After the sauce has thickened turn off the heat and pour into a 9x9 Pyrex pan and let cool off a bit more.
Then in a separate bowl, mix together the following...

Crumble Topping
1 1/2 cup of quick cooking GF oats
1/2 cup of white rice flour
1 TB of potato starch
1 TB of tapioca starch
1 TB of coconut flour
1/3-1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar
pinch of sea salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cinnamon
1/4-1/3  cup of maple syrup
2 TB of palm oil shortening
2 TB of coconut oil
Mix all the above ingredients together with a spatula or your hands. It should feel like a cookie batter in your hands. A bit sticky and clumpy. I made estimates for the sweetener because I estimate every time depending on what tastes good and what I want... the point is that you can add more or less depending on your preferences. Then sprinkle the crumble batter over the fruit in the Pyrex. Then put into a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes when the fruit will be bubbling and smell fabulous!
Let cool for at least 20 minutes before you serve so that you don't burn your tongue. But this is served wonderfully warm but also is a great cooled off treat too. I think because the fruit is jelled a bit it is a bit easier to serve and take along with to gatherings because it is less soupy. 

SIDENOTE: If I am making for a crowd besides just my family, I will make this recipe in a 9x13 Pyrex pan and add 2 more cups of fruit, and 1 TB more of each of the sweeteners in the fruit gel and in the crumble you can eaither leave the recipe the same and spread more thin over the fruit, or add 1/2 more of oats and flour and 1 TB more of oils to make enough crumble to spread over all the fruit. This recipe is VERY flexible with the sweeteners and with making a 9x9 or a 9x13 pan.

I hope you have found ways to connect to this berry season enjoy its bounty and find gratitude and thankfulness for it's gifts. If you are feeling discouraged and sad because of a limited diet I encourage you to try a recipe like this very soon. This will fill you with so much nourishment and happiness for all the foods you CAN enjoy. Much love and light to you xoxo

Monday, July 24, 2017

Avocado Fudge Pops

It has been super warm and muggy here and maybe it is just the point of summer that me and my family start to get super tuckered out and needs a few days of no sitting in the sun and trying to pull back from crazy activities. Have you experienced this at all? It seems crazy to want to stay inside and rest when you wait so long for summer to get here in Michigan, but about this late July every summer I find myself being so exhausted and tired that all I want to do is stay in a dark cool basement and do a winter activity of crafts and movies LOL Well, maybe for a day or two and then I see the sunshine and think of the beach again and there we go...
But these little fudgesicles came into creation a few days ago when I was using up some fruits and veggies and the kids were asking for a treat. It is similar to my freezer fudge or avocado pudding recipes...

But just a bit more fun for the kids (and me too !) I love that you can disguise some nutrient dense foods into a sweet little treat for the littles. They love it and want them again and again and you can only say "yes!" So here's a little fist-pumping-mom recipe for you saying YES we can do this summer-mommy-warrior thing and we are strong and mighty!!!! Hope you give these a try even if you don't have littles ;) They are a super great treat for all!
Avocado Fudge Pops Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, egg, nut, seed and corn-free}

1 ripened avocado
1-2 frozen bananas
1 cup of date puree paste
1 cup of coconut milk or other plant based milk of choice
pinch of sea salt
2 TB of cocoa powder (or carob powder works too!)
2-3 TB of maple syrup
1/3 cup boiling water poured over 1/3 cup ENJOY LIFE chocolate chips
(other optional additions could include pure vanilla, lime juice or other citrus flavoring)

Put all the above ingredients in the blender and blend on high until rich smooth and creamy milkshake. Then pour the mixture into BPA-free popsicle holders. I have a variety of these small and large to fill up that the kids love and we usually even choose and make these together to make it fun!
 Hope you give these a try and ENJOY! Much summer love and light to you this week friends!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Zucchini Oatmeal Bread

Who has zucchini coming up like crazy this year?! I didn't plant any myself sadly, but I love to grab some at road side stands and the farmer's market 4/ $1 ! It has to be one of the best cost efficient veggies this time of year. I love it sauteed and added over rice or quinoa with a side of protein. Of course there is the 'zoodle' recipes which are all fabulous and so fresh and wonderful too! I also try and freeze some already sliced to add to soups and stews over the winter months, and.... OF COURSE I love to bake with it as well...
This year I experimented with another zucchini bread recipe. My last one I made was years ago, and I love it, but it has eggs in it, and I wanted to give a try at a vegan one for my allergy sensitive daughter. So this one is made with alot of GF oat flour and date paste, both of which have been staples in my GF/DF/egg-free baking as of late.
You can easily put in the eggs in this recipe too, I would just add 2 of them right in. They will bake in just fine.  This recipe will make 3 mini/smaller loaves, or 2 larger loaves. I guess you could make a cake of it too and spread it out in a 9x13 pan if you wanted. I was going for a cute little loaf with this recipe and even brought out some mini pans I had in the pantry ready to use.
This bread is super moist and heavy. Those zucchini baked right in make is one-of-a-kind! I might find myself doing more zucchini bread experimenting before the summer is up because it is always so easy to whip up and enjoy. So do yourself a favor and make some zucchini bread this week- it's just one of those you can't pass by this time of year- ENJOY!
Zucchini Oatmeal Bread Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, seed, nut and refined sugar-free, plus VEGAN}

2 1/2-3 cups of freshly ground certified gluten free oat flour (depends on how wet your zucchini is...) I start with 2 1/2 cups and then add another 1/2 cup of flour if the batter is a little loose after adding in the grated zucchini

1/2 cup of white rice flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of potato starch
1 1/2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
1 ts. of ground nutmeg
1 ts. of pure vanilla
1-2 TB of molasses
3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/3 cup of date paste (or applesauce works too)
1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
1/2 cup of coconut milk beverage with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar add in separately
3/4 cup of avocado oil (or melted coconut oil) Or a mix of each
2 packed cups of freshly grated zucchini squash (1 large squash or 2 small)


In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, then add in the wet, and the zucchini and stir all together well so there is no clumps. Pour into parchment and oiled bread pans. This recipe will make 2 medium larger loaves or 3 smaller mini loaves. I sprinkle a little nutmeg and cinnamon over top with maybe even a few more zucchini strands to dress up the top of the bread. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes depending on your oven. This bread bakes longer because it doesn't have the eggs in them and so it just is a slower bake. When you pull from the oven let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into for best results. Let store on the counter covered for 3 days for best bread too. 

Hope you give this recipe a try and dress it up however you see fit. Maybe even some dried fruit, fresh blueberries, chocolate chips :) I personally love it just as it is. I love the simple but unique flavor of a moist and heavy zucchini bread. Much love and ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cinnamon Crunch Granola Cereal

This has got to be one of my most favorite ways to enjoy fresh blueberry season here in Michigan. Waking up to fresh plump berries over some cinnamon cereal granola and add in some coconut milk or yogurt. It is good both ways! It is so simple and fresh and perfect for breakfast this time of year. Yes you could arrange your bowl with color and flash... maybe some special slices of cherries or peaches or banana too :) You could add in nuts, seeds, chia, hemp, and whatever you like and got. You just go crazy with it. But this. This simple and plain good ol' way to start your day has me saying extra thanks for this season.
I've had a few other favorite granola and cereal recipes over the years. But this one has me all love-struck because of it's simplicity and ability to just be as it is and if you want or can add in the seeds and nuts and such then by all means. But for me and my allergy sensitive house this one is just about perfect! Plus you can add in all the fresh or dried fruit you love along side or however you like. Easy to pack up and easy to enjoy... I hope you give it a try!
Cinnamon Crunch Granola Cereal Recipe
{gluten, dairy, nut, seed, egg, and soy-free and VEGAN}

2 cups of rolled certified gluten free oats
2 cups of rice puff cereal
1/3 cup of date paste puree
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/3 cup of melted coconut oil
2 TB of molasses 
pinch of sea salt
and a sprinkle of cinnamon 

Mix all of the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl with your hands and then spread thin on a parchment covered 11x15 baking sheet and bake at 350 for 25 minutes until crispy golden brown. Pull from the oven and let cool and dry for another 30 minutes and then your cereal is ready for crunchy, tasting, and packing up in a jar for the pantry and ready to pull out for breakfast. 

It is so easy to half the recipe or double the recipe. It is just super basic, but I love it dearly for that. It is just about perfect for your summer fruit breakfast routine and why not add it on a smoothie bowl or chia breakfast pudding too :) It is my favorite!
I hope you have these pantry items by now after reading my recipes. The date paste and GF oats are major pantry items for my family and my recipes. This one should be easy to give a try too and match with all those gorgeous berries. Happy breakfast and much love as always...xoxo

Monday, July 17, 2017

Blueberry Cake Donuts

Last week we celebrated the start of blueberry picking season here in my neck of the woods, and now we are enjoying the pounds and pounds of fresh blueberries in and on everything. It may seem I'm a bit obsessed about fruit picking here in Michigan (and yes, I probably am :), but it also has become a part of our summer rhythm because we truly enjoy the fresh goodness. I love the connection of the mind-body-soul while out in the bushes of blueberries and the work it takes to accumulate these berries in your bucket. It does take time. It isn't an easy task, but when you connect the movements of your body and the focus of your mind to being among the trees that supply this gift of these berries. You will find your heart filling with abundant gratitude for this gift of food and for the Divine maker of it all. It is one of those moments that you can nourish your whole self though these beautiful berries.
We also love to enjoy these sweet blueberries all winter long. And they are the easiest berry to freeze in my opinion. I pick, come home and rinse under cool water, dry and lay out on a towel on the counter, and then when dried, I bag up in BPA-free quart or gallon sized zipper lock bags and stack them in the deep corners of my chest freezer. They freeze so nicely and easy to pull out for a winter crisp or you can easily make a sauce or jam throughout the winter too. But the week of our first pick of blueberries, I make a crisp or pie or even some fresh muffins to celebrate the season.
This year, the kids (and me too ;) were excited to try making donuts. So I tried my magic at making some traditional Blueberry Cake Donuts without eggs and dairy and of course the gluten.
They turned out super moist- but because of the bits of coconut flour still have structure and hold together. Blueberries are a fragile and delicate addition to the donut, but with a little care it makes them feel like jewels in a crown. They sparkle and melt all over these sweet treats. I hope you find some space to connect your body/mind/spirit to the earth and the food you nourish it with.
Much love and ENJOY!
Blueberry Cake Donut Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, seed-free}

1 cup of finely ground GF certified oat flour
1/2 cup of white rice flour
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1 TB of potato starch
1 TB of tapioca flour/starch
1/3 coconut palm sugar
1 ts. of baking powder
1/2 ts. of baking soda
1/2 ts. of sea salt

1/3 cup of maple syrup
2/3 cup of date puree paste*
1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar mixed with---
2/3 cup of coconut milk beverage (or other plant milk)
1/3 cup of oil (avocado or melted coconut)
1 ts. of pure vanilla
1 ts. of fresh lemon zest

1 heaping cup of fresh (or frozen) blueberries

*First make a batch of date puree by letting 1 cup of dates saok in 1 cup of boiling water and then blending in a high powered blender to make a puree paste. You can do this in any amounts of equal dates to equal parts water. I usuaally make a 4 cup to 8 cup batch and have it in jars in the fridge ready to use in recipes or in smoothies :)

In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients and then pour in the wet. Mix well together and then lastly fold in the blueberries. Use a spoon to pour in the batter into the donut pan. I usually grease my donut pan with a little coconut oil first to help the sticking. You can also decide to do muffins with this batter if you 'do not' have a donut pan :) 

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-23 minutes until golden brown. Then let sit in the pan from the oven for at leats 10-15 minutes before popping donuts from pan to help decrease the amount of donut breakage and keep them all together. Then I continue to let them cool on a baking rack. If you want to add a drizzle of glaze (1/2 cup organic powdered sugar to 1 TB of water or milk or lemon juice) whisk together and drizzle with a spoon over cooled donuts. They are great without the added sugar too- but if you want to dress em up- thats a simple way to make it :)
Donuts make you feel like you are having an extra special bakery treat when you are gluten-free. These are the goodies that you can create for yourself and not feel like you are missing out on the donuts of the gluten world. Such a fun way to use some fresh berries too- Hope you give this recipe a try and ENJOY!

Much love as always :)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Coconut Ice Cream

Remember all those cherries I picked a few weeks ago- well they are showing up once again with their partner in crime....chocolate. This time in a cool melty treat, but now that I htink about it, could be a nice topping to my latest brownies too ;) 
Cherries are such a treat by themselves. You can make them a meal and dessert just by washing them off and making them the centerpiece to the kitchen table. But this creation was just a fun treat we had this last week. My kids and I decided that we can never have too much cherry ice cream. It's been our dessert of choice lately and I'm not sad about it one bit!
One bite at a time. You don't need much to feel satisfied with such a delacacy. A little bit goes a LONG way and once you start making your own dairy-free ice cream- it's hard to go back and it's easy to imagine and want to create a 100 new combinations.  
This is a pretty standard combo and since we have all those fresh cherries to use up this was a no brainer. I would usea bit more maple syrup that my vanilla version since it helps sweeten the cherries just the right amount. I also think if almonds or amaretto don't bother you that they would be an ammazing addition as well. Here's my simple combo and hope you give it a try xo

Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, egg, nut, seed, and refined sugar-free, VEGAN}

2 cans of full fat coconut milk cream - should amount to 2 cups of cream
(scoop out the cream and save/discard the water in the can)
1/2 vanilla bean pod scraped
1/2 lemon squeezed (1 large TB of juice)
1/3 cup of pure maple syrup or a mixture of honey/maple syrup if you are not vegan
hearty pinch of sea salt
1 TB of tapioca starch (this ingredient helps the ice cream to be so much easier to scoop from the freezer and even I think allows it to be creamier and melt just the right way instead of it being too hard or icy- you can omit it too, but from my experiments I like it better added!)

1 1/2 cup of finely chopped cherries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup of dark chcolate chunks or use mini chips by ENJOY LIFE

In a small saucepan, warm up the coconut cream with the rest of the ingredients, make sure to whisk in the tapioca starch well and as the milk warms under the flame it will slowly thicken the cream. DO NOT warm too much to a boil. Just warm enough for the starch to thicken and turn off the heat and let it cool off. 

Then use an immersion or regular blender and blend the mixture to get a bit frothy and bubbly. 

You can stir cherries into already mixed cream mixture or blend together with cream when you blend it all together. I usually add in half of the cherries before blending and then have half of the mixture just stirred in last. 

Pour into a container and let full cool off in the fridge for 2 hours- overnight, or in the freezer for 30 minutes. After the cream has cooled down a bit you can add the chocolate chunks or chips right before you process together in the ice cream maker. 

Then if you have not invested in the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker- then you might want to in time for this summer. I got this as a birthday gift last year and have enjoyed using it. The instructions before you make the ice cream is to deep freeze the mixture container. It must be super cold! Then once you do that you can hook up the container and follow the instructions- which for this ice cream includes just pouring in the mixture while it has already started spinning. This will take anywhere from 20-30 minutes to thicken up the ice cream. It is like soft serve and ready to top or eat, but if you want a more scoop-able ice cream then let the machine run for the allotted time and then pour into a container and put in the fridge and within 30 minutes it will be a perfect scoop!

Hope you are enjoying summer for all it's fresh and warm gifts! Much love as always xoxo

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

One-Bowl Vegan Cherry Brownies



Chocolate and cherries...is there a better combo?!? These two were made for each other. The sweet and tart flavor with the bitter cocoa and together somehow they turn into an aromatic... decadant....delite! 
The past two weeks were the height of cherry season here in Michigan and me and my kids decided to head out one day to a favorite local picking spot and somehow managed to get 30 pounds in about 30 minutes. The picking was easy and they were just falling off the branches. The kids loved the experience and it has become a annual summer tradition now. 
It's also a great experience for your mind-body-soul connection to seeing where your food grows, smelling and taking in the beauty of cherries and then enjoying them while nourishing your body with their antioxidants and vitamins. We put half of the picking in the freezer to enjoy over the winter months and the rest we all devoured by just eating fresh and then these brownies also made an appearance. It's cherries for days when they are fresh and wonderful...
One Bowl Vegan Cherry Brownie Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, egg, nut, seed-free, VEGAN}

1 cup of date puree paste*
1/2 cup of coconut sugar
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/3 cup of coconut milk beverage
2 TB of apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup of avocado oil (or melted coconut oil)
1 cup of chocolate chips (ENJOY LIFE)
1/2 cup of cacao powder
1 cup of GF oat flour
1/3 cup of white rice flour
1/3 cup of tapioca flour
1/3 cup of potato starch
1 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of pure vanilla (or sub in amaretto or almond flavor too)

1 - 1 1/2 cups of fresh chopped and pitted cherries (you can use frozen too)

*First make a batch of date puree by letting 1 cup of dates saok in 1 cup of boiling water and then blending in a high powered blender to make a puree paste. You can do this in any amounts of equal dates to equal parts water. I usuaally make a 4 cup to 8 cup batch and have it in jars in the fridge ready to use in recipes or in smoothies :)


Then in a large mixing bowl add all of the above ingredients and whisk up together. 



No need to mess up another pan or bowl or dish! It's a quick and easy whip and pour kind of recipe!



Pour in the fresh chopped cherries last and save 1/2 cup of the cherries to sprinkle on the top after you spread in the pan right before you bake. 


Then in a parchment covered 9 x13 pan pour in the batter and spread evenly. Sprinkle a few more chopped cherries and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes depending on your oven. 
Pull from the oven and let cool completely before dusting with some organic powdered sugar. 


Cut squares and it's easy to serve and share these sweet treats!

These brownies can be made without the cherries, or you can add in other fruit if you decide. But truly do not underestimate the power of the choclate cherry combo. It is perfect in every way. 

Hope you are enjoying summer and all it's gifts and treasures. Much love and light xoxo