Caramelized Banana Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Caramelized Banana Ice Cream with chopped pecans

In anticipation of the upcoming holiday season Mark’s Daily Apple blogged about  Gateway Foods: The Slippery Slope of “Just a Bite”.  Many people have “gateway” or “trigger” foods that even one bite can send them sailing off the rails into a carb or sugar laden binge-fest.  Ice cream is that food for me.  While I know I can’t run to the grocery store and grab a pint of Cherry Garcia (and truthfully don’t even want to anymore) I DO like to enjoy an occasional bowl of ice cream.  When I was still eating dairy I worked my way through David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop making the necessary substitutions for using natural sugar sources…now I’m modifying them for a dairy-free lifestyle!  I’d like to say I can make up a few batches of ice cream and keep them in the freezer for an occasional treat but I can’t…nowadays I will make a small batch for a special occasion, enjoy a bowl (or two) and then send it on its way to my parents house for them to enjoy!  This recipe is delightfully simply and very tasty…we topped it with Oven Roasted Cherries (recipe coming soon…) and toasted almonds and coconut flakes.

Caramelized Banana Ice Cream

4 medium ripe bananas, broken into small pieces

2 pitted dates, chopped

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon vanilla

1- 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (I like Native Forest)

2 pastured egg yolks** (optional, make sure they are from a farmer you trust since they will be raw)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place bananas and dates in a glass baking dish and drizzle with coconut oil and vanilla.  Roast in the oven until the bananas and dates begin to caramelize, stirring 1 to 2 times, about 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.  In a high-speed blender combine the coconut milk and pastured egg yolks (if using) and blend until smooth.  Add the caramelized banana mixture to the blender and puree on high until well combined and texture is creamy.  Pour into a container, cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 4 hours if you just can’t wait!).  Once chilled, place in an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.  Enjoy scooped right out of the ice cream maker for a soft serve style ice cream or transfer to an airtight container and freeze for a couple of hours for a firmer ice cream consistency.  Sprinkle with nuts, berries or dark chocolate chips and serve.  Makes 1 quart.

**The egg yolks will give the ice cream a creamier texture but the recipe will work just fine without them.

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Fridays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

The Perfect Paleo Biscuit…

Light and Fluffy

I don’t know about you but I’ve always been terrified of making biscuits.  There is always so many steps and requirements no matter what recipe you choose…cold butter, floured board, fold the dough but don’t handle it too much, rolling, patting, cutting, resting…yikes, too much room for error for me.  So, when we were a wheat (and processed food) eating family I would just pop open one of those cans of ready-to-cook flaky buttermilk biscuits…hard to mess them up unless you forgot to set the oven timer!  I’ve seen many gluten or grain-free biscuit recipes over the years but that fear of the whole “biscuit making process” has kept me from trying any of them out…until this week.  To my surprise, they are so easy!  This recipe uses just 6 ingredients and you literally only have a few steps to follow.  These biscuits make a great addition to any meal and they are wonderful for making quick and easy breakfast sandwiches.  I’ve made them several times now and they have turned out perfectly each time!

Ham, Avocado and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

The Perfect Paleo Biscuit

Makes 9 biscuits

6 egg whites

3/4 cup blanched almond flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, chilled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Mix almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder and salt together in a large mixing bowl.  Cut in cold coconut oil with a fork until the mixture is crumbly.  Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.  In a medium bowl whisk egg whites until they are very frothy.  Fold the egg whites into the chilled flour mixture until well combined.  Scoop about 1/4 cup of dough onto the baking sheet and smooth the top to form each biscuits, an ice cream scoop works well in this step.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.  Serve warm or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Ready for the oven...

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday

Jicama and Sausage Breakfast Pie

Check out that jicama crust!

Everyone says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day…I don’t know whether or not that’s true but I DO know it’s my favorite meal of the day…even if I’m eating it at 6 o’clock in the evening!  Since starting the Whole 30 Program I’ve been dairy-free which really made it difficult to navigate most of my previous breakfast go-to recipes which usually contained some sort of dairy (cream, butter, raw milk cheese, Parmesan…).  Oh sure, I was able to adapt my omelets and frittatas easy enough but some of my favorite breakfast casseroles just don’t work without the dairy!   This recipe is an adaptation of Jan’s Sushi Bar’s Sausage Mushroom Breakfast Casserole, her recipe calls for sweet potatoes as the crust, which is absolutely wonderful, I just prefer a lower carb/glycemic breakfast (and one that I can eat everyday).  I have often used jicama as a substitution for potatoes in latkes or hash browns and it worked beautifully in this recipe as well.  This is a really hearty, filling dish that would be great for any meal of the day and it keeps well for leftovers, too.  Now, I will say that this recipe is a bit labor intensive, nothing difficult, just a lot of steps…you won’t be disappointed though, it’s totally worth it!  I know that in these pictures it looks like I’ve loaded the casserole up with lots of gooey cheddar cheese but the bright yellow color is actually from my pastured eggs from Larga Vista Ranch, the yolks are always SO yellow!

Layers of yummy goodness!

Jicama and Sausage Breakfast Pie

serves 4

12-14 ounce jicama (weight is before peeling and shredding)
8 ounces ground pork, seasoned** (or your favorite breakfast sausage)
4 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1  tablespoon coconut oil, divided
1/2 medium roasted red bell pepper, peeled, seeded and chopped (I used Mediterranean Organic jarred peppers)
1/4 large onion, diced
6 eggs
3 ounces coconut milk (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a glass pie pan or an 8×8 Pyrex dish with 1/2 tablespoon of the coconut oil.

Peel the jicama and run it through the shredder disc of your food processor, or shred it using the large holes of a box grater. Place the shredded jicama in a large bowl and generously sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, stir and then set aside.

Crumble the sausage into a large, heavy skillet and cook over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Remove with a slotted spoon to a medium bowl and set aside.

Without draining the fat, reduce the heat slightly and add the mushrooms in a single layer to the skillet. Don’t crowd them – you want them nicely browned and almost crisp.  Too many in the pan at once will cause them to steam, rather than brown, once they begin to give off moisture. Cook them in batches if necessary. Once they are nicely browned, remove with a slotted spoon and add them to the sausage.  (I know you may want to just throw them all in the pan and be done with it but this step is important…the crispy mushrooms add a lovely texture to the casserole…don’t skip it!)

Add 1/2 tablespoon of the coconut oil to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the onions until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and add to the bowl with the sausage and mushrooms.

Lightly toss the roasted, chopped bell pepper with the sausage, mushrooms and onions. Set aside.

Pour the shredded jicama into a colander lined with a kitchen towel and squeeze as much liquid out as possible.  Return them to a dry bowl and toss them with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, then spread them over the bottom and sides of the greased baking dish (just the bottom if using an 8×8 dish). Sprinkle the sausage/mushroom mixture evenly over the jicama, covering it as completely as possible.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and coconut milk together with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until well-blended. Pour the egg mixture over the sausage and jicama in the baking dish, making sure the eggs are distributed evenly.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the eggs are set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the foil and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes to brown the top. Allow to rest for 10 minutes; cut into 4 equal portions and serve.

**I use fresh ground pork and season it to my liking for breakfast sausage rather than buying pre-made breakfast sausage because most of them contain some sort of sweetener…

Here is what I use for 8 ounces of ground pork:

1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon ground sage

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Voila! Dairy-Free Breakfast Pie!

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday & Monday Mania

Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday & Tasty Tuesday

Gluten-Free Wednesdays & This Chick Cooks

Whole 30 Program…DONE!

Yesterday marked Day 30 of my Whole 30 Program…30 days, no sugar, no dairy!

Results:

Lost 4 pounds and 1% body fat.

Improved digestion.

Kicked my sugar cravings to the curb, for good!

Realized I can live without dairy.

Was able to adapt my favorite recipes easily, never felt deprived.

Would I do this program again?  Absolutely.  Do I recommend it?  Wholeheartedly.

What’s next for me? I plan on keeping things status quo.  I’m going to stay off dairy for a while…I may consider adding grass-fed butter or ghee and possibly at some point heavy cream but right now I just don’t feel the need for it, I’m completely happy with coconut milk and coconut oil as substitutions.  I’ve struggled for most of my life with a crazy sugar addiction (even to natural sweeteners and stevia)  which I finally feel free from so no plans to even dabble with that demon.  All in all, I feel like this last 30 days was a complete success and that I accomplished exactly what I set out to do.

Thanks Whole 30!

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