Dairy Free Pumpkin Ice Cream

f27135f65da3b8e4ec8f43df3f65bea5With Thanksgiving approaching I always like to post a new recipe to add to your pumpkin feast – oh did I say pumpkin? I mean Thanksgiving feast. If you have been a reader of mine for the past couple years you will know how much I like, no love, pumpkin, and that I am always on the lookout for pumpkin recipes of all kinds. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin lattes are all ones that I have found, tried and enjoyed so far. But I also love pumpkin muffins and last fall found a fabulous recipe for a pumpkin martini! (oh yes I will post that one soon)

My other love is ice cream, and going dairy free was not easy in that respect (peppermint ice cream is my absolute favorite!). But in my transition I have found some great recipes for ice cream that I can make at home and are very yummy. From orange avocado sorbet to good old fashioned chocolate, I have been very satisfied with these discoveries and now no longer feel denied at having to eliminate dairy from my diet (because honestly if I fall off the wagon, I may enjoy my delectable delight in the moment, but I feel so sick after, seriously just not worth it).

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

So imagine my delight when I discovered this recipe for Pumpkin Ice Cream! Two of my absolute favorite things in one combination. And super super easy to make. It’s easy to do with the kids too as you literally put all the ingredients in the blender, mix it and freeze, that’s it. The hardest part is waiting for it to freeze so that you can enjoy it.

Of course, it was a huge success with the kids and D’Wayne, and D’Wayne’s Mom. Luke and Chloe were asking for some daily until it was gone, which was really only about 3 or 4 days tops. Chloe was even asking for it after breakfast for mid morning snack! which honestly with what’s in it would have been fine, but I delayed her to afternoon snack and felt a little better about that.


It’s also great if you’re in a pinch for a quick dessert you can whip this up and it’ll be ready in no time! Quick, easy and yummy, no one will complain about only having ice cream for dessert on Thanksgiving. Mind you, you could serve pumpkin pie with pumpkin ice cream on top….now we’re talking!!

However and whenever you decide to enjoy your pumpkin ice cream this fall, whether it be a part of your Thanksgiving dinner or simply a snack for another time, you’ll enjoy this quick and easy recipe, full of good nutritious foods and taste galore.


Pumpkin Ice Cream

4 bananas

1 c. pumpkin

1 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

4 tbsp. pure maple syrup

Blend together. Freeze.

halloween-pumpkinWhat are your favorite pumpkin recipes? Cause you know…I am always on the lookout for more delicious ways to use pumpkin 🙂

Camping Desserts – Cinnamon Apple

sugar free cinnamon apple

I love the variety of neat camping recipes there are. Especially ones that you can do over the fire that are yummy, sweet and delicious. Usually done over hot coals and in tin foil it makes for even less dishes and a delicious treat or meal.

Our family camping trips always involved TFD’s, or Tin Foil Dinners, which my father usually requested that we have at least twice. But I often enjoyed the dessert options, like s’mores, banana boats and cinnamon apples. Cinnamon apples have always been my favorite, as the brown sugar would melt and make a nice sticky syrup over the apples and raisins, so much that I would often lick the tin foil to make sure I did not miss one drop! Until recently, these camping desserts were something that I had to forgo – until I figured out how to do it sugar and dairy free.

Matthew enjoying his Cinnamon Apple

Matthew enjoying his Cinnamon Apple

As with any recipe I am ‘transforming’, my goal is to figure out how to make so that it is the same as the original, or only a slight difference in taste. My Mum was actually the one who figured this one out. A couple of summers ago she bought coconut sugar and tried it out with the cinnamon apple. It worked perfectly! (Coconut sugar is an excellent natural substitute for brown sugar. It melts just like brown sugar and gives you the syrupy juice.)

I have also figured out how to do banana boats sugar free, also very good, but have yet to try it out on the campfire. (Will post it once I do! )I believe though that it will turn out just as yummy.

Cinnamon apples are easy to make sugar free without compromising the taste! Worth a try on your next camping trip this summer.

Sugar Free Cinnamon Apple

1 apple


coconut sugar


spoon of Earth Balance vegan buttery spread

heavy duty tin foil

Tear off a large square of heavy duty tin foil. With the shiny side up do the following:

Using Earth Balance, butter middle of tin foil, spreading evenly around. A spoonful is good but if you like you can use more. Slice and core apple, put apple on top of buttered area spreading out slices so they are not on top of each other. Best to slice apples thinly as opposed to in chunks as they soften and cook more quickly. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste, add raisins. Sprinkle a couple of spoonfuls of coconut sugar over apple mixture. The more coconut sugar you use the more juice you will create. You may add a few dollops of Earth Balance on top also to create more juices.IMG_3357

Close foil by matching the edges and folding it down until it is tight.IMG_3361

Then fold over and close each side.IMG_3362

Place foil packet on top of hot coals. Important – ensure that there is no flame amongst your coals otherwise it will burn. Let cook for 5 minutes, then flip over using tongs. You’ll hear the apple sizzling. Check after a few more minutes. Apple should be soft and coconut sugar and butter melted. If it’s not ready wrap it back up and put it back onto the coals and cook for a few more minutes.Bed-Of-Hot-Coals

Once ready unwrap and enjoy! Caution Cinnamon Apple will be very hot. If giving it to small children unwrap and let it cool some before they enjoy.

Homemade Jam Sugar Free and Just as Delicious!

For years now I have been making my own jam, a tradition that I have learned and carried on from my mother. In the summer, we would go strawberry picking, bringing home flats of strawberries and Mum would make fresh jam.

Our kitchen would become a production center with flats of strawberries, jam jars, and other ingredients all laid out to make the jam making process easy and smooth. Mum would make jars and jars of it; because as a family of 5 we ate a lot of jam.

Many times we would have enough left over to make some great desserts too, like strawberry shortcake or strawberry rhubarb pie. Often too, Mum would simply freeze the berries for later.

Jam is very easy to make and with a few simple ingredients, a pot and your stove you can whip up a batch quite quickly and have fresh homemade jam. There are sugar free, reduced sugar and regular jam recipes, but regardless of your preference they are all delicious! The first time I made jam my husband looked at me weird and asked me why was I making jam when we could buy go some at the store. I smiled and said, “Just wait.” He did, and when he tasted it, his eyes got big and he promptly started eating it with a spoon!

When we were first eliminating sugar at our house, I wondered what I would do about making jam, as the recipe I usually used had tons of sugar in it and there were no jams in the store without sugar. The regular Certo recipes use up to 8 cups of sugar per batch, so I had to find an alternative. Last year I discovered Pomona’s Universal Pectin, which is 100% pure citrus pectin and you can use honey or other sweeteners for your jam.

I was so pleased to have discovered this I made a batch of jam right away. It turned out beautifully and my family continues to gobble it up! We tend to go through a jar of jam a week. The favorite is peach jam, but I like variety, so I also make apricot, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry and cherry.

The thing that I really like about this pectin is that I can double or triple my batch. I found that with the Certo recipes doubling or tripling did not work well and therefore was having to do one batch at a time. Ugh! Though I enjoyed making it, the process was slow and as I am sure all parents can relate, we are happy when we can do things faster and still maintain quality!

With all the fresh summer fruit I tend to make a lot of jam; as I said we go through a lot. I usually buy cherries in the Okanagan when I am there visiting my parents, I also get fresh peaches as they have a peach tree. We have our own raspberry bush, and when the children have not picked it clean and eaten them all, I will make a batch.

There’s nothing like the taste of fresh homemade jam, it is so delicious that even I would eat it with a spoon!

Making jam is very easy. Below is a recipe for Peach Jam (the favorite at our house) using Pomona’s Universal Pectin. Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

Other jam recipes are included inside both Certo and Pomona’s pectin boxes, and vary slightly depending on the kind of jam you are making. They also offer cooked and no cook jam freezer recipes.

Peach Jam

4 c. mashed peaches, peeled

1/4 c. lemon or lime juice

1 c. honey (you may use as little as 1/2 c. honey depending on how sweet you like it)

3 tsp. Pomona’s Universal Pectin

4 tsp. calcium water *

Jam jars with seals/lids and rings

Large pot to make jam in

Small pot to boil lids

Wash and rinse jars. Heat jars in 225 F oven for 10 minutes, keep warm until ready to use. Boil lids and rings in small pot. Turn down heat and let stand in hot water.

Prepare peaches by peeling, slicing and mashing to make 4 cups. Put fruit with lemon or lime juice in large pot. Add calcium water and stir.

Measure honey into a separate bowl. Add pectin powder; stir thoroughly.

Bring fruit to boil. Add pectin-honey mixture, stir vigorously about 1-2 minutes to dissolve pectin. Return pot to a boil and remove from heat.

Peach Jam on toast

Fill jars to 1/4″ from top. Wipe rims clean, place lid/seal and screw ring on top. Screw on tightly. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover and boil for 10 min. Remove from water, let jars cool. Lids will ‘pop’ as they cool to seal and should be sucked down. Store in a cool place until ready to eat.

Makes 5 -250 ml jars.

*calcium water is 1/2 tsp. white calcium powder (provided in Pomona’s Universal Pectin box) and 1/2 c. water

Note: if you do not have time to complete your jam but have the fruit; you can measure and prepare your fruit and freeze it for later use. I have done this and it works well.

Happy Jamming!

Matthew enjoying a piece of toast with freshly made peach jam