Homemade Sugar Free Peach Pie

sugar free peach pie

Peaches are one of the wonderful fruits that are fresh and abundant in the summer months. Stock full of vitamins and minerals (like Vitamin E, K, A and lots of B’s), there’s nothing like biting into a fresh juicy peach on a summer’s day.

We often get our peaches fresh from the Okanagan fruit stands while out visiting Gran and Grandpa in BC, ok that is the only place we get our peaches. Once I’ve bitten into a fresh ripe Okanagan peach I just can’t bring myself to buy them in the store. They simply aren’t as good, not as juicy and not as flavorful. So once we’ve eaten them all I don’t get any more (unless I can go back to BC and get some).

Besides eating them fresh (my son sometimes eating 4-6 at a time!), I usually make peach jam, (which I love!), and make the odd crumble. It wasn’t until my neighbor went on one time about how much he loved peach pie that I even considered the possibility. I love making pies in the summer with all the fresh fruit, cherry pie being my favorite, but I had never made peach. So I set out to experiment.

sugar free peach pieWhen I originally found and made this peach pie recipe it was before we had eliminated refined sugars from our diet. So when I pulled up the recipe this summer (as my mother was asking that I share it with her) I had to make a few adjustments. I hadn’t realized that it still had white sugar in it.

I thought about using agave nectar, which I knew would work and is what I did originally when I transformed my cherry pie recipe, but I have heard a number of reports lately that agave is no better than refined white sugar. I had recently tried using honey in a pound cake recipe that turned out successfully so I decided to give honey a go for the peach pie.

As luck would have it, it turned out great, and everybody ate it up. With my oldest son even commenting that my pies are way better than Gran’s, as he inhaled his pie. My tip though is to make sure that you mix the honey in very well with the flour mixture so you don’t get any clumps of flour. The other option is to do the flour mixture without the honey, sprinkle it over the peaches, and then pour the honey over the peaches. It does produce a lot of juice regardless so I recommend a deep pie dish for sure.

Sugar Free Peach Pie

2 – 9″ pie crusts (store bought or homemade*)

1 egg beatensugar free peach pie

5c. sliced peaches, peeled and sliced

2 tbsp. lemon juice

½ c. flour

1 c. honey

½ tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. butter

Brush some of the beaten egg on crust to keep from getting soggy. Place peaches in a bowl and sprinkle with some lemon juice, mix gently. In a separate bowl, mix flour, honey, spices and pour over peaches, mix gently. Pour into pie crust, dot with butter. Put on top crust fold edges under. Flute or seal by pressing with a fork dipped in egg. Brush egg over the top crust.

Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat and bake for 30-35 minutes until crust is brown.

Enjoy! (And don’t forget the ice cream! We enjoy a delectable creamy non dairy vanilla ice cream by Rice Dream. It’s fantastic.)

* I make my own pie crust which turns out flaky and delicious every time simply by using Tenderflake and following their recipe on the box.

What’s your favorite kind of pie in the summer? Share in the comments below.

Rich Creamy Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream

 

dairy free chocolate ice cream

One of the most popular frozen sweet treats in the summer is most definitely ice cream. It’s great to be able to stop and enjoy an ice cream cone on a warm summer’s day. In fact I was drooling over them yesterday at the zoo, as everyone was walking around with a yummy soft serve ice cream.

When we went dairy free I was sad to miss out on all the wonderful ice cream flavors and the sweet yummy treat it provided. (I really missed ice cream and also cheese when I went dairy free, cause at the time there were not any really good dairy free alternatives). Not only was ice cream a great summer treat it used to be a staple at my house! When we were little we’d often anticipate ice cream after dinner, with my Dad being the worst contender.

I knew there were ways though that I could still indulge in my ice cream fetish that were still yummy and delicious without all the dairy. My first step was to buy a ice cream maker. Though not a necessity to make ice cream, there is just something fun about watching your liquid concoction turn into yummy ice cream. I also tried out some of the non dairy ice creams on the market, which there are some good ones, such as Rice Dream and Coconut Bliss, but they are very expensive and making my own was a much cheaper alternative. Besides I could control what I put into my ice cream and could avoid all the preservatives present in store bought brands.

dairy free chocolate ice creamAnd honestly, making your own ice cream does not take long at all. It is basically the time to mix your ingredients in your blender and churn it in the ice cream maker (usually about 30 minutes tops). So if you time it right there really is no waiting at all (and even if there is, doesn’t that create anticipation and excitement therefore enjoying even more the result?)

Making ice cream is also fun and easy to do with the kids. My kids help mix everything up and also love watching it churn. So far we have tried a few dairy free ice cream recipes, such as Simple Vanilla and Strawberry Banana, but our favorite so far is Peanut Butter Ice Cream, oh so yummy!

But what I like about this dairy free chocolate ice cream is the fact that there is no milk in it whatsoever, not even non-dairy, and uses cashews instead to create the creamy texture, which really amps up the nutrition. Cashews are a great source of fibre and are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like copper, Vitamin E and magnesium. I love it when I get to enjoy a yummy sweet treat and it is super good for me and for the kids (nothing like sneaking in the good stuff right?).

The other element that is important when I am trying out recipes is that they are sugar free, using natural sweeteners to sweeten if needed. So not only is this dairy free chocolate ice cream without dairy, it also has no refined sugars or sweeteners. And believe me taste is not compromised. This is a rich creamy chocolate ice cream that you will not believe is sugar or dairy free. You can serve it to you friends and they will be none the wiser.

My kids of course, gobbled it up and asked for seconds. Chloe got chocolate all over her face and they both got a little creative adding raspberries that they’d freshly picked from our raspberry bush, which made it even more delicious.

You could also add in other ingredients to this chocolate ice cream, like coconut or chocolate pieces.

Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream

1 3/4 c. cashewsdairy free chocolate ice cream

1 3/4 c. water

1 c. pure maple syrup

2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. cacao powder

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix well. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to instructions.

I found that our ice cream maker brought it to a nice soft serve consistency, which is what I believe most ice cream makers do. You can serve as is or if you’d like to have a firmer consistency transfer contents from ice cream maker into freezable container and put in your freezer til firm.

*If you do not have an ice cream maker don’t despair! Once ingredients are combined pour into a freezeable container with lid and place in your freezer for 6-8 hours or overnight. The advantage of an ice cream maker is simply that your ice cream is ready a little bit faster.dairy free chocolate ice cream

Do you have a favorite non-dairy ice cream recipe? Share in the comments below.

Fantastic Easter Brunch Recipes

Breakfast is definitely one of my favorite meals as there are so many yummy options! Pancakes, eggs, omelettes, waffles, crepes, fruit… I like brunch even better and often enjoy those big brunch spreads that you can find where there is everything from crepes and omelettes made to order to carved roast beef and a chocolate fountain (my mouth is salivating at the thought). The selection is fabulous and there is something for everyone.

When I was growing up we did a big Easter dinner with the ham and scallop potatoes, but when I started my own family we moved to doing an Easter Brunch. This allowed the kids to get up and hunt for baskets and then to enjoy a nice meal later in the morning, leaving dinner to be a simple affair with no one stuck in the kitchen for the day or doing the big clean up in the evening!

I have found this to be a great shift, especially because brunch incorporates many of my favorite foods! Depending on how many people we have for brunch depends on how many different dishes I make, but traditional standard fare seems to be a quiche (which I love), waffles (which I also love but the kids do as well, they are not fans of quiche) and some fruit, usually consisting of cantalope, fresh strawberries and whatever else is in season.

The best quiche recipe I have found is a recipe I got from my Mum. Many people tend to avoid making quiche because of the crust, but this recipe for Impossible Quiche, is one where the crust ‘makes itself’. It’s true, by putting all the ingredients into the blender, the Bisquik sinks to the bottom while it bakes and creates a nice light crust. Simple, easy and takes no time at all. Of course I do enjoy quiche with a nice traditional crust as well but this recipe is quite satisfying and like I said easy to make!

Impossible Quiche

1 c. grated vegan cheese (mozza or swiss)easter brunch

1/3 c. finely chopped onion

sliced mushrooms

spinach

1/2 c. Bisquik

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

4 eggs

2 c. rice or almond milk

Lightly grease 10″ pie plate or quiche dish. Sprinkle cheese, onion, mushrooms and spinach (or other desired toppings) evenly over the bottom of the plate. Place remaining ingredients in the blender and blend at high speed for 1 minute. Pour into dish.

Bake at 350 F for 50-55 minutes, or until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand.

As I said, waffles are often part of our brunch spread and I have found some great recipes for plain, chocolate and orange waffles. The chocolate ones are to die for! While the plain ones are fantastic with maple syrup or adding some fruit and a little ice cream (Rice Dream is a yummy dairy and sugar free alternative to dairy ice cream if you’re looking for dairy free).

I am already looking forward to our Easter Brunch! and all the possible choices. Whatever you choose this year whether it be Easter brunch or Easter dinner, I hope you have a wonderful feast that you can share with family and friends! Happy Easter!

 

Holiday Delights Sugar and Dairy Free Egg Nog

One of the many things I love about Christmas is the fun holiday drinks you can have. Things like hot apple cider, Christmas Jones, Angels Delight and my favorite Egg Nog. It is a rich creamy drink that you can have virgin style or add a dash of rum if you like. Either way it is delicious, especially if you sprinkle a little nutmeg or cinnamon on top.

Only available at Christmas, as soon as it came out in the stores I would buy it – sometimes as early as October – to enjoy and savour my first cup. Matthew also really likes egg nog and was asking me to buy some for him as soon as he saw it in the store. Unfortunately egg nog has the two things our family doesn’t consume anymore, dairy and sugar; therefore I was in a bit of a quandary. Some things I could live without, I did not want egg nog to be one of them! So I went on a hunt for one that would meet our needs. There had to be one out there.

There are quite a few non-dairy options out there, Vita-soy makes a Holly Nog from soy milk, as does Earth Balance, Silk and So-Delicious (coconut milk) as well as nogs with almond milk. I even discovered a rice milk egg nog made by Rice Dream. But though these are all great dairy free options they are still sweetened with evaporated cane sugar, which we can’t have; we needed one with a natural sweetener.

Since I couldn’t find one in the stores,  I came home and hopped online to see what recipes I could find on the internet. (I love the internet it has opened up a whole new world for me and I often wonder how we ever got along without it). My preference was an egg nog made with almond milk so that is what I looked for; and I found 3 really good recipes that I have made and we all tried.

The first one I found on Incredible Smoothies, a website founded by Tracy Russell who eats a high raw vegan diet. She has all kinds of great smoothie recipes on her site. The recipe for egg nog, I really liked as it does not contain eggs, (which I was concerned about for the twins as egg nog usually contains raw eggs), and it was all made in the blender, sweetened with frozen bananas! It was fast, easy, simple and delicious!

The second recipe I found on Healthful Pursuit by Leanne Vogel, who shares recipes, travel, food and life experiences on her site. This recipe for egg nog contains egg yolks as well as coconut milk, but is cooked on the stove. At first I thought that this would not turn out so well as I thought “Warm egg nog? Really?” but it turned out to also be delicious! And the fact that it was cooked on the stove eliminated my concern about the twins having raw eggs, so they could have it too. It was also really good warm. Leanne says you can let it cool and enjoy it, but I found due to the coconut milk, it congealed in little chunks when it cooled, and though not bad you had small pieces of coconut milk in your egg nog. I have leftovers in the fridge that I will be heating up for sure when I enjoy it.

The last one I recently discovered this week, is completely vegan and is the new front runner for our favorite. Courtesy of SPUD (I love these guys but that’s a whole other post), a local & organic grocery delivery service, this egg nog recipe is creamy, delicious and super easy – just add all the ingredients to your blend and mix. Check out their recipe here.

The kids enjoyed both recipes too. Matthew’s favorite was the one from Incredible Smoothies, I really liked the one from Healthful Pursuit (I found it a little bit creamer and lighter) and the twins, well they liked both and didn’t seem to favor one or the other (they are so easy to please those two 🙂

Dairy free egg nog with almond milk

The only downside with the stove top recipe is you end up with leftover egg whites and unless you have something to use them for they end up going to waste.

Either way we now have 3 delicious, dairy free, sugar free egg nog options, which even John tasted and said is “Way better than the store bought stuff.” And we can easily make them at home whenever we like, and as much as we like 🙂

So if you’re looking for a non dairy egg nog that you can make yourself or simply wish to try something new, these recipes are great (and they also happen to be gluten free as well). Once you’ve tried them come back and comment letting us know what your favorite is, or if you’ve found another egg nog recipe that you like and are willing to share!

Have fun and enjoy that glass of egg nog!

Raw Vegan Egg Nog with Almond Milk

1 1/4 c. plain almond milk (you can make your own almond milk, it’s super easy)

2 frozen bananas, peeled and sliced

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

dash of clove

dash of sea salt

1 date (soaked for 10 minutes)

1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Put all ingredients in a blender. Start on low speed and move up to high. Blend on high for 20-30 seconds until mixture is smooth. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.

Almond Nog

4 egg yolks

2 1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk

1-400 ml can of coconut milk

1/4 c. coconut palm sugar

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

pinch all spice

Separat the eggs and place the egg yolks in a bowl. Set aside.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan on medium heat bringing mixture to a simmer. Once simmering reduce heat to low.

Slowly add 1/4 c. of the hot liquid to the egg yolks in a bowl, whisking continuously. Continue adding liquid to the egg yolks until you’ve added 1 cup, then transfer new mixture to saucepan. Turn heat back up to medium and simmer for 4 minutes, whisking continuously.

Remove from heat and serve immediately or put into a mason jar and refrigerate.

Sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.

*note recipes have been reposted with permission of the original authors


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Vanilla Bean Cake- a.k.a.Guilt Free Cake

Vanilla Bean Cake

When I tell people that we have completely eliminated sugar at our house I get a variety of responses – from “Good for you!” to shock and amazement “How did you do that?” I even have some people who swear they can’t live without their sugar fix, which I think is cute actually.

We originally made this choice due to Matthew’s needs but I feel that it has benefited us all. In fact, through my sugar free journey I have slowly been able to ‘convert’ some of my other family members. Not that I am on a mission to convert anyone, it is all personal choice and it is not for me or anyone else to get preachy and tell people what to do. But I do like talking about it and sharing what I have learned with others, and if it benefits them, then I am happy to have helped.

My family became interested in what I was doing as they were watching the changes I was making and how I was doing it. They became curious, so some of them decided to try it themselves, choosing to do so for different reasons. My mother has done quite a bit without sugar, now making bread, cookies, cakes, etc. She is also very accommodating when we come to visit and makes sure that she has food and meals for us that meet the no sugar requirement. Bless her!

I also have influenced my aunt and one of my sisters, so much so that they are coming to me for recipes and tips. They are learning themselves too how to adjust a recipe that they already have to meet their needs.

Once Upon a Time

My sister Cathy, currently of Vancouver, BC and part of the costume team for Once Upon a Time (I love that show!) came to me looking for a recipe for vanilla bean cake. I had come across this when working with Nina Manolson of Healthy Yummy Kids and Smokin’ Hot Mom. Cathy had tried a vanilla bean cake before without much success so was looking for a new recipe.

She tried the recipe I gave her as is but found that for her personal tastes it was a bit dry and needed a little something to spruce it up. So she adjusted and revised the recipe and now makes this moist delicious cake! Which I can vouch is true, as I got to have a piece this summer. She usually tops it with vanilla bean ice cream, but it is very good without.

It was so good that I asked her to send me her revised recipe to post on my blog and share with you folks. So here it is, enjoy! And it is a very healthy cake, dairy free, sugar free, gluten free and full of fibre, so go ahead have 2 pieces!

Vanilla Bean Cake

2 cups cooked white beans

Coconut Oil

6 eggs

3/4 tsp. liquid stevia

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/3 c. honey

1/4 c. coconut oil, liquified

1/3 c. coconut flour, sifted

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1.5 tsp. baking powder

1 fresh lemon

In a blender or food processor add white beans, rinsed and at room temperature (this is so they don’t cook the eggs or congeal the coconut oil), eggs, stevia, vanilla and honey. Puree well.

Then add to blender coconut oil, coconut flour, sea salt, baking powder and baking soda and puree well.

Transfer mixture from blender to a bowl. Add the zest of one lemon.  Fold in by hand.

Squeeze all the juice of the lemon into a cup and add 1 pkg.  (1 g) of stevia sweetner.  Stir and set aside until after the cake is out of the oven.

Pour mixture into a spring form pan, or a well greased 9” cake pan. Sprinkle fresh or frozen blueberries on the top.

Bake at 325 F for 55 minutes.  Check if it’s done by inserting a knife in the centre, if it comes out clean, it’s done.  Otherwise bake for  5-10 additional minutes, checking often so it doesn’t over bake.

Once cake is removed from the oven, let stand for 10 minutes.  Then, while still warm, pour lemon juice mixture over top of cake.

It is delicious warm and plain, or add a scoop of frozen dessert such as Organic Rice Dream Frozen Dessert.

Vanilla Bean Cake topped with yummy ice cream

Next week I will have my first guest blogger, Nina Manolson of Healthy Yummy Kids. She is a certified holistic health coach who believes and educates women and families how to live and eat well in a world that doesn’t. She has many tips and recipes on how to eat and live sugar free as well, so if you wish to continue your sugar free learning don’t miss her post next week!

An Abundance of Apples! & Sugar Free Apple Crumble

Tis the season of apples! Fresh juicy apples right from the tree or at the local farmers market. They are sweet and delicious and in abundance at this time of year.

Apples have long been a symbol of good health and an easy grab and go snack. They are a great source of vitamin C, K and B vitamins; as well as a great source of fiber and natural sugar. They aid in the prevention of cancer, tooth decay and heart disease and are a great natural substitute for sugar in recipes as well as an enjoyable snack for the kids.

Luke and Chloe picking apples

A few years ago we planted an apple tree in our backyard. I have always liked going out into my own yard and being able to pick fresh fruit from the tree. There is just something about having grown it yourself and being able to go and help yourself that gives me a feeling of pride as well as a good feeling knowing that it is pesticide free and where it has come from.

The kids love the apple tree. Once those blooms in the spring start growing into apples it is hard to get the kids to not pick them off the tree. Matthew is now at the age where he understands that they need to grow and will get bigger, that they won’t be ready until September. But Luke and Chloe just see an apple, they are curious so they pick it. It’s pretty challenging to explain to a 2 year old that they aren’t ready yet.

Chloe placing apples in the basket

Nonetheless, we had many apples ‘make it’ to September and they are now ripe and ready for eating. They are so ripe that they were starting to fall off the tree, and I knew that in order to keep them from rotting on the ground that it was time to pick them.

So yesterday morning we went out with Luke and Chloe and picked the apples from the tree. I didn’t think there were that many, but we ended up filling a huge basket. Now the challenge with having a tree and so many apples is what to do with them. Though apples keep fairly well, they do tend to go soft eventually. And I hate to waste good apples, so I make many apple recipes. Apple pie, apple muffins, applesauce, and my favorite apple crumble. I think it is the crumble I enjoy the most, I usually double the topping so that there is more 🙂 but that’s ok.

Apple Streusel Muffins

I find crumble to be a quick and easy dessert that I can make in about 10 minutes and pop into the oven. It is great with ice cream, whip cream or all by itself. We use a non-dairy ice cream called Rice Dream or a non-dairy whip cream. I also have an apple peeler, corer, slicer, that makes making any apple dessert very easy. It peels, cores and slices the apple all at once in less than 10 seconds. I would recommend one of these for anyone who makes things with fresh apples, it saves you a lot of time and is very easy to use.

Pampered Chef® Apple Peeler Corer Slicer

My recipe, originally from my mother, I have adjusted to a dairy free, sugar free version which is just as delicious as the original. The first time I did it without sugar I used honey in place of the brown sugar which worked well. But recently I have discovered coconut sugar, which melts just like brown sugar would. We now use it on our oatmeal in the morning and for our cinnamon apples when we go camping! And when I made the crumble yesterday I used coconut sugar instead of honey and I would have to say this is now my preference. It tasted just like the one with brown sugar.

So when you make this crumble, you choose which sweetener you prefer, perhaps make 2, each with the different sweeteners and test it out for yourself. I am sure your family will have no problems eating them up!

Unfortunately for me I only used 4 apples in my crumble, which hardly put a dent in the apples I have. I am going to have to get creative over the next little while and see what else I can come up with! In the meantime, enjoy this wonderful apple crumble, whether the apples come from your own tree or the local market, it is going to be delicious!

sugar free apple crumbleSugar Free Apple Crumble 

Topping

1/3 c. coconut sugar or honey

1/3 c. flour

3/4 c. rolled oats

1/3 c. Earth Balance

Filling – 4 large apples * peeled, cored and sliced

Place prepared apples in a 1 liter/ 4 c. corningware dish. If your apples are more tart, drizzle with a little honey, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Mix topping in a separate bowl. Place topping over apples and pat firmly.

Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes in a covered corningware. Remove cover for the last 5 minutes to brown top.

*use your favorite fruit in this crumble instead of apples, such as peaches, blueberries, etc.

Serves 4

Chloe and Mum by the apple tree

sugar free apple crumble

The Easiest Birthday Cake Ever!

Darth Vader

When I was growing up my Mom would always make a shape cake for our birthday. My sisters and I loved it. We would pick the character we wanted and my Mom would turn it into a cake. We had everything from Strawberry Shortcake and Cinderella to Robin Hood and Darth Vader. It was amazing!

She would get my Dad to draw the picture for her to the size of the cake she wanted and then she would create the cake. We loved them so much that at 16 she had to ‘cut us off’; because even though they are super fun and look great when completed, they are a lot of work. My Mum was done.

Chloe’s 1st Birthday

But my sisters and I decided that we still wanted a shape cake for our birthdays, so we agreed to make each others (because we believe it is just wrong for you to have to make your own birthday cake).

This enthusiasm for shape cakes carried over when I had my kids and though my mother warned me not to start making shape cakes when they were small, I did anyway. Matthew’s first cake was a duck and Luke and Chloe’s teddy bears.

Matthew’s 5th Birthday

I’ve done everything from Spiderman and Pokemon to Raggedy Ann and Andy. I usually do the same thing my Mom did, let the kids choose what they want and then draw the pattern and make the cake. But sometimes I luck out and find a book with a pattern in it, or can get a pre-shaped cake pan – this makes it a lot easier. I enjoy making the cakes. I am so proud of myself when it is done and receive many compliments on my finished product. Even with our change to a sugar and dairy free household I am still able to do this for the kids.

This month Matthew celebrated his 9th birthday and he asked for a Grass Block cake, from the game Minecraft that he plays on the computer. This had to be the easiest cake I have ever made. I literally baked a chocolate square cake and put green icing on top. In fact, I was finishing the cake 20 minutes before his birthday party was about to start. And he was totally happy with it. Though I love doing the shape cakes for the kids, it was really nice to have something simple this year.

Grass Block from Minecraft

The cake was a hit! Yummy, moist and delicious. We had it with ice cream of course; we now buy Rice Dream for our ice cream, or make it ourselves in the ice cream maker (these are great dairy and sugar free alternatives for our ice cream fetishes).

Who says you have to feel denied all the things you are used to eating by eliminating sugar and dairy? And the kids who attended, they had no idea that it was sugar free, it was cake, it tasted good, so they ate it.

Raggedy Andy on Luke’s 2nd Birthday

It really is easy to get around having sugar and/ or dairy and still enjoy all the ‘treats’ that we our used to in our lives. Here is the recipe for the chocolate cake and the icing that I used. Though I did use green food coloring to color the icing (and they say that food coloring for kids is not good really either – that’s a whole other post 🙂 There is a brand of food coloring out there now that is made from the pigment of fruits and vegetables, so if you are looking for an alternative you can purchase it at a health food store. I have seen it here in Calgary at Community Natural Foods and Planet Organic. Whatever you choose, enjoy the cake recipe and icing too!

 

 

Chocolate Cake

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

¾ c. agave nectar

2 teaspoons vanilla

½ c. rice milk

½ c. Earth Balance, melted (vegan spread)

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 deg F (Gas mark 4 or 180 deg C). Grease a 9 inch (23 cm) cake tin. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, agave nectar and vanilla essence in a bowl. Melt Earth Balance at low heat and add to the dry ingredients. Also add milk and eggs. Mix everything together until smooth, either by hand or by using an electric mixer at slow speed.

Transfer to bake tin and bake at 350 degrees until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 35 to 45 minutes.

*recipe can easily be doubled to make a 9×13 cake or divided evenly into cupcake tins to make chocolate cupcakes

Pokemon

Coconut Buttercream Frosting

In a mixing bowl add:

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut butter (Note: Coconut butter is NOT the same thing as coconut oil).

3/4 cup coconut cream**

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp honey

1.5 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut flour, sifted

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp arrowroot powder

Optional: You can substitute Earth Balance soy-free Buttery Spread for some or all of the coconut cream. Add extra sifted coconut flour to thicken if necessary. Likewise, add extra coconut cream or Earth Balance to soften if necessary.

Mix with handheld mixer. You can easily add a drop of food coloring to this icing if you wish to create colored icing.

Makes enough icing for 12 cupcakes.

 

 

Summer Treats – Sugar Free Cherry Pie

sugar free cherry pie

One of the things I love about summer is all the fresh fruit that is available. Cherries, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, etc. It’s abundantly available, and it’s fresh, sweet and luscious, a taste sensation when you put it in your mouth.

I feel lucky that my parents live in the Okanagan where fresh fruit is rapidly abundant. Fruit stands and u-picks line the sides of the roads where it is not a matter if there is fruit but where you would like to get it from.

I always tend to get a little over zealous and buy lots of fruit to bring home. I make jam, freeze, eat it straight or make various desserts like crumbles and pies.

In fact last weekend when I was in the Okanagan I bought 20 lbs of cherries for $20. It was a steal of a deal! The only thing is when you buy that much fresh fruit you have to do something with it fairly quickly or your ‘steal of a deal’ ends up going rotten and moldy very quickly.

sugar free cherry pieSo there I was Tuesday night for 3 hours pitting and jamming cherries, trying to give some away to friends, and getting creative with what I was going to do with this fruit.

(I would highly recommend using a cherry pitter as this makes it much easier to pit cherries. It is also something the kids can do and help with – my son loves using the cherry pitter and I can easily enlist his help).

By the time I was done I was covered in cherry juice (and so was my kitchen), with a mound of cherry pits and stems in the sink and a huge mess to clean up. I never wanted to see another cherry again…

The benefit of all this was cherry pie. Cherry pie is one of my favorite pies, other than pumpkin and coconut cream, so when I was getting to the end of the cherries and still had a lot left I decided to treat myself.

sugar free cherry pieAs you may know there is lots of sugar in pie, but as sugar and dairy free household, I have become adept enough to make the appropriate substitutions and still have a delicious experience (where it tastes just as good as one with sugar, if not better). My mouth was already watering at the thought of this pie, with ice cream on top.

I used Martha Stewart’s Sweet Cherry Pie recipe that I found on the internet and adapted it accordingly using honey instead of sugar. It turned out beautifully and everyone had 2 pieces! With ice cream of course!

Vanilla Rice Dream

As for the ice cream, I have recently discovered Rice Dream, a lactose and gluten free ice cream available in stores. It is also sugar free, as it is sweetened with brown rice syrup and agave nectar. It is quite good, in fact it is so good I had way more ice cream than I actually did pie!

I make my own crust (and have been praised for how good it is) simply by following the recipe on the Tenderflake® box, which I use in my crust. It creates a beautiful light and flaky crust.

This pie recipe used a lattice top crust, which I don’t usually do but decided to try it out, and though I found it did look very pretty, I prefer a full crust on the top. A good crust is something we really enjoy at our house, so the more of it the better! Plus it’s really hard to cut once it’s baked (as in getting it out in a decent piece)!
 
 

Cherry Pie
  • 4 cups cherries
  • sugar free cherry pie1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • All-purpose flour, for rolling
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • 2-9 inch pie crusts (make your own or store bought)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out pie crust one to a 14-inch round. Fold dough in half and gently place in middle of a 9 inch pie plate. Once centered unfold dough so that it fits evenly in the plate (do not stretch dough). Using pering knife trim dough to a 1-inch overhand all around.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cherries, agave nectar, cornstarch, and lemon juice; toss until cherries are well coated. Pour into prepared bottom crust.
  3. Roll out second crust to a 14-inch round. If creating lattice, cut into eight 1 1/2-inch-wide strips; discard the shortest two. Weave strips over filling to form a lattice. Using pering knife, trim strips so they hang over rim by 1 inch. Tuck strips under rim of bottom crust; press to seal. Crimp with a fork all around the edge. If choosing not to create lattice, simply fold crust in half and place over pie. Trim, press to seal and crimp as described.
  4. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush lattice/ crust with egg wash.
  5. Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until filling is bubbling rapidly all over, 60 to 70 minutes (tent with aluminum foil when crust starts to brown, about 40 minutes). Though original recipe calls for above baking time I found that pie was done in about 50-55 minutes. Please use times as approximate and gauge it according to your oven.
  6. Transfer pie to a wire rack, and let cool to room temperature, at least 3 hours.

Like fruit pies? Check out my other sugar free pie recipes for Peach Pie & Apple Pie