Coffee Almond Stracciatella (Dairy-Free)

Dairy free coffee ice cream loaded with toasted almonds and Italian style chocolate chips

I know it’s the middle of winter but I’m one of those crazy people who thinks Ice Cream is a food group and should be enjoyed regularly in any season!  My fondest memories of traveling to Paris to visit my son in college are the ridiculous amount of trips we made all over town seeking out the best gelato…I tried the Stracciatella, Amorena and Pistache at each shop we visited, those are my three favorites.  This is my best attempt thus far at recreating Stracciatella.  You can easily add the Stracciatella to any flavor of ice cream you choose to make, it also goes beautifully in a cherry almond ice cream!

Coffee Almond Stracciatella

Ice cream base:

2 cans full fat coconut milk

1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or equivalent sweetener of choice)

2 Tbsp. instant coffee (I used 2 packets of Starbucks Via)

4 egg yolks

1/4 tsp liquid stevia

2 Tbsp. dark rum (optional)

Mix-Ins:

3/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

4 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped and melted

Heat the coconut milk, sugar and instant coffee in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until the sugar and coffee are dissolved and the mixture reaches 170 degrees.  In a separate bowl whisk together egg yolks, stevia and rum until smooth.  Temper the egg yolks by slowly adding 1 cup of the hot coconut milk mixture to the bowl while whisking continuously.  Slowly add the tempered yolks back into the remaining coconut milk mixture, stirring or whisking constantly.  Continue to heat the coconut milk mixture until it reaches 180 degrees, it will be steaming but not quite boiling.  Pour the mixture though a mesh strainer into a bowl set over ice water and cool for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from ice bath, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.  Pour chilled mixture into ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturers directions.

During the last few minutes of churning add the sliced almonds and then the dark chocolate (stracciatella).

Stracciatella – melt dark chocolate over low heat or in the microwave until smooth.  Drizzle a very thin stream of the warm chocolate into the ice cream during the last few minutes of churning.  If the chocolate is clinging too much to the dasher you can drizzle the chocolate over the ice cream as you layer it into the storage container, stirring it slightly while you are pouring.

When the ice cream is finished churning and mix-ins have been added transfer to a chilled air tight container and place in the freezer until firm (about 2 hours), recipe makes about 1 quart.

Scooped right from the freezer…

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Almond Butter Brownie Bites

I love chocolate.  My dad loves chocolate.  We both admittedly have a little problem with chocolate portion control…so we love any recipe for a treat that is small and bite-sized (and therefore “naturally” portion controlled) but still packs a satisfying punch!

This year for Father’s Day I made a variation of this recipe from All Day I Dream About Food and it was a huge hit.  It’s rich and chocolatey and one (ok, maybe two) will satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth.  We have had an unusual few weeks here in Colorado Springs with the Waldo Canyon Fire and my parents have been staying with me due to the evacuations…we decided we needed a sweet treat and these babies fit the bill perfectly…we could enjoy without over-indulging!

Now, when I say “naturally” portion-controlled…that statement can only be true if you don’t eat all of them in one sitting…I’m proud to say that I made these on June 30th and we still have four in the fridge!

Almond Butter Brownie Bites (makes 16)

Brownies:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup almond butter

3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1/4 tsp. liquid stevia

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut flour

2 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar

2 Tbsp. cacao powder

2 eggs

1/2 cup coconut milk

Frosting:

1 oz cream cheese, softened

3 Tbsp. almond butter

2 Tbsp. heavy cream

2 packets stevia (or 2 Tbsp. maple syrup or coconut sugar)

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

For the cakes, preheat the oven to 280F and grease 16 cups of a mini-muffin pan.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter, almond butter and chocolate together over low heat and stir until smooth. Add stevia and vanilla extracts and stir until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together coconut flour, coconut palm sugar and cocoa, breaking up clumps with the back of a fork. Add the chocolate mixture and stir to combine (will be very thick). Stir in eggs, one at a time, and then coconut milk until mixture thins out somewhat and becomes a smooth batter.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins. Because the batter is quite thick, you will need to press the batter into the cups using the back of a spoon. Smooth the tops.

Bake for 20 minutes, until the cakes are just set and the middle is firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the tins.

For the frosting, beat cream cheese, almond butter and cream together until smooth. Stir in vanilla and stevia. Pipe or spread onto brownie bites.

Bet you can’t eat just one…

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fight Back Friday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays

Banana Walnut Pancakes

Banana Walnut Pancakes with Maple Syrup

Sometimes you just gotta have pancakes.

Well, I do anyways.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day…no matter what time I eat it!  I don’t make pancakes all that often, usually only for a special occasion breakfast (think…birthday or holiday) but tonight I just felt like having a comforting meal.  Shannon at Nourishing Days has created the absolute best recipe for Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes I’ve ever tried…I’ve made this recipe dozens of times using both coconut milk and heavy cream and they always turn out great!  Below I’ve posted the recipe I use regularly, which is her original recipe halved with a touch of cinnamon added.  If you do have leftovers they freeze well.  My favorite topping for pancakes or waffles will always be maple syrup, bananas and walnuts, I rarely stray from that combo but you could top your pancakes with anything you like…or they are even great with just a dollop of butter or drizzle of coconut butter!

 Coconut Flour Pancakes (makes 6-8 pancakes)

2 eggs

1/2 cup coconut milk or heavy cream

1/2 Tbsp. coconut nectar or honey (optional)

1/2 Tbsp. vanilla

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. sea salt

coconut oil or butter for the pan

  1. Preheat griddle over medium-low heat. In a small bowl beat eggs until frothy, about two minutes. Mix in milk, vanilla, and sweetener.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt and whisk together. Stir wet mixture into dry until coconut flour is incorporated.
  3. Grease pan with butter or coconut oil. Ladle a few tablespoons of batter into pan for each pancake. Spread out slightly with the back of a spoon. The pancakes should be 2-3 inches in diameter and fairly thick. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until the tops dry out slightly and the bottoms start to brown. Flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Serve hot with butter, coconut oil, honey, syrup, or fruit.

This recipe is shared at:

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

Magic Coconut Bars

 Everyone remembers the old-fashioned Magic Cookie Bars made with a graham cracker crust, butter, chocolate chips, pecans, flaked coconut and sweetened condensed milk…heavenly, caramelly, chocolatey yummi-ness…with a nice side of gluten gut bomb, a sugar rush and then the inevitable crash!

I occasionally make treats that are fruit-sweetened or completely unsweetened that I can enjoy as part of my grain-free “paleo-primal” lifestyle but every once in a while I like to make a full-on DESSERT.  Make no mistake here…this is a special occasion treat, great to make for a party or a crowd, definitely not one to make on a Saturday night when you are alone at home!  All in all as far as desserts go it’s really not too terrible, the entire thing only has 3 tablespoons of sweetener for sixteen servings (just about 1/2 teaspoon per serving)…again not bad if you are feeding a crowd, disastrous if you eat the entire thing by yourself.  It’s a bit labor intensive but SO worth it!

Magic Coconut Bars

Crust:

3/4 cup blanched almond flour

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon coconut nectar, honey or maple syrup (optional)

1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 metal or glass dish with parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides for easy removal.  Combine all ingredients for the crust in a large bowl and press firmly into the prepared pan.  Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool on wire rack while preparing the filling.

Magic Filling:

1 can full fat coconut milk (I use Native Forest)

2 Tablespoons coconut nectar, honey or maple syrup

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

In a saucepan over medium heat bring coconut milk, sweetener and vanilla to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 45 minutes, stirring frequently until it’s reduced by half.  The coconut milk mixture should be very thick, you should have about 3/4 cup once reduced, remove from heat and cool slightly.  Pour 1/2 of the condensed coconut milk over the crust and spread to the edges. Layer half of the shredded coconut, half of the chocolate chips and half of the pecans on top of the coconut milk and lightly press down on the toppings.  Add a second layer with the remaining shredded coconut, chocolate chips and pecans.  Pour remaining 1/2 of condensed coconut milk over the top of the layers.  Top with flaked coconut.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for one hour (I KNOW!) on a cooling rack.  Next, place the pan in the refrigerator and cool for 2 hours (I KNOW, I KNOW!) or in a pinch cool in the freezer for 1 hour.  Gently lift the parchment out of the pan and place bars on a cutting board or other flat surface.  Using a large knife cut into 16 squares.

Magic...

This is a lovely treat to make for Valentine’s Day!

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back FridayFresh Bites Friday, Wellness Weekend, Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love, Make Ahead Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday

Pumpkin Cake or Pumpkin Pie? Yes, Please!

 Merry Christmas and Happy National Pumpkin Pie Day!

Everyone who knows me well generally understands that when I say “I made dessert” what I really mean is “I have made something yummy with chocolate”.  Now, my dad, who shares my chocolate addiction love, would never object but my mother and husband are a different story…they constantly request desserts without *gasp* chocolate. Although I think you can never go wrong with a decadent chocolate dessert I have been branching out a bit in order to satisfy the non-chocoholics in the family.

Thankfully, the last several years I have developed a taste for all things pumpkin (I know, I feel so grown-up!).  Last month I posted a recipe for my favorite go-to muffin, Pumpkin Pecan Pie Muffins, and promised a posting for my favorite Thanksgiving dessert (Pumpkin Pecan Pie) once I was able to rework the recipe to better fit into the paleo/primal lifestyle.  My first attempt failed miserably…I had just come off of my Whole 30 and the pie was so sweet I couldn’t even eat it!!!  I was determined to get it right for our Christmas dessert but in the meantime I came across another recipe in the December issue of Paleo Magazine that I knew I had to fit into our Christmas menu…Pumpkin Cakes with Pecan Praline Sauce.  So, Pumpkin Cakes for Christmas Eve and Pumpkin Pie for Christmas Day…it just doesn’t get much better than that…well, unless you add chocolate!

Although this recipe is over-due I’m really happy with the outcome.  It is sweet enough to be considered a treat but not so sweet it makes your teeth hurt.  The recipe can be made as a simple Pumpkin Pie or amped up into a Pumpkin Pecan Pie by adding the pecan topping…you really can’t go wrong either way.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Crust:

1 1/4 cup blanched almond flour

1/4 cup pecan meal (or omit and add an additional 1/4 cup almond flour)

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 Tbsp. ground ginger

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted

2 Tbsp. maple syrup, honey or coconut palm sugar (optional)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl combine the almond flour, pecan meal, salt, baking soda and spices.  In a separate bowl whisk together the coconut oil (or butter), maple syrup (or other sweetener, if using) and vanilla.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Press the dough into a 9″ pie pan.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before filling.

Filling:

1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)

2 eggs

2/3 cup maple syrup (or 1/2 cup honey)

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.  Add the filling evenly into the slightly cooled crust and return to the 350 degrees F oven and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the filling is set.  A knife inserted into the middle should come out clean.  Remove from oven to a cooling rack.  If you are just making the Pumpkin Pie, cool for 30 minutes before serving or cover and refrigerate.  For Pumpkin Pecan Pie, proceed to Topping directions…

Topping:

3 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup

1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil

3/4 cup pecan halves

Preheat broiler.  Combine honey or maple syrup and butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches a low boil. Remove from heat and stir in pecans to coat.  Arrange coated pecans on top of pie and drizzle remaining topping over the pecans.  Place under the broiler until bubbly and golden brown, watching carefully, about 2 minutes.  Remove from oven to a cooling rack.  Cool for 30 minutes before serving or cover and refrigerate.

Serve both the Pumpkin or Pumpkin Pecan pies topped with freshly made whipped cream.  If you refrigerated the pies bring them to room temperature before serving (or not…some people like their Pumpkin Pie cold!)…about 4 hours on the counter-top.

Pie…it’s a beautiful thing.

 Now…what about those Pumpkin Cakes?

The recipe in Paleo Magazine for Pumpkin Cakes with Pecan Praline caught my eye immediately…I knew this was definitely making the Christmas menu this year!  It was delightfully light and ridiculously easy to make.  I decided to add a nice small scoop of Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream (dairy-free) to the top of the cake before drizzling the Pecan Praline topping over the whole thing…oh my, it did not disappoint!  Here is a picture of our Christmas Eve dessert, check out Paleo Magazine online to download the latest issue, it’s chocked full of great recipes including this one for Pumpkin Cakes.

Pumpkin Cake with Maple-Vanilla Ice Cream and Pecan Praline Sauce

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Hearth and Soul Hop, All Gluten Free Desserts

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

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

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Muffins

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Muffins

Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love the bright colors outside when the leaves begin to change, the warm smells in the kitchen of seasonal vegetables roasting and the crisp feeling of the chilly air when taking the dog for a walk in the afternoon sunshine…oh and November is my birthday month (only child syndrome!).  Growing up everyone in my family loved Pumpkin Pie with Cool Whip at Thanksgiving…not me, I was a Pecan Pie and vanilla ice cream girl.  My taste for all things pumpkin didn’t develop until later in life but now I simply cannot get enough of it…pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie…the list is practically endless.  Several years ago I found a recipe for the ultimate Thanksgiving dessert, Pumpkin Pecan Pie…it’s my new favorite but since following a paleo/primal diet I haven’t tried to adapt the recipe yet (don’t worry, the recipe WILL be adapted and posted before Thanksgiving this year!).  I started my fall baking this season with these wonderful Pumpkin Pecan Pie Muffins…they are fruit sweetened, dairy free and great for breakfast, snack and even dessert!

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Muffins

Makes about 24 muffins

2 large ripe bananas

1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted and soaked (about 6-8 dates)

5 eggs

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh roasted)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 /2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or more/less according to your taste)

1/2 cup of pecans, chopped

24 pecan halves (optional, for topping)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease well with coconut oil.
  2. Place pitted dates in a bowl, cover with very hot water and soak for about 10 minutes, drain well after soaking.
  3. To a blender add bananas, pumpkin, dates, vanilla, eggs, and melted coconut oil.  Puree until smooth.
  4. Sift all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  5. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until there are no lumps.
  6. Stir in chopped pecans.
  7. Divide evenly between the muffin cups (I use an ice cream scoop which is about 1/4 cup of batter).
  8. Place one pecan half on top of each muffin.
  9.  Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Let cool completely on rack before serving.

Recipe Tips…

  • If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice add: 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cloves instead
  • You could omit the coconut oil and add and extra 1/4 cup of pumpkin
  • Make these an even more decadent dessert by adding 1/2 cup 70% (or greater) dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs for a completely sugar-free recipe
  • Top with a dollop of whipped coconut cream or if you tolerate dairy a dollop of fresh whipped cream

Enjoy the taste of pumpkin pecan pie everyday, guilt-free!

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday

Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday

Gluten-Free Wednesdays, This Chick Cooks

Homemade Vanilla Coconut Milk

I’m always amazed at how simple some things are to make at home…so often I think it’s just easier or quicker to buy them in the grocery store or better yet order on-line for front porch delivery (no driving or crowd fighting necessary!).  Since beginning my Whole 30 Challenge on October 3 I’ve been dairy-free (which has been surprisingly easy!) and have started using coconut milk in my morning coffee.  At first I tried the canned coconut milk which I think would be great in hot coffee but I’m an iced coffee girl and well, it just wouldn’t mix in…it was hard and clumpy, yuck!  Next, I tried the So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk in the carton, this was better and worked great while I was traveling…

I returned home yesterday from two weeks of traveling.  Needless to say, I was a bit tired and had absolutely no desire to stop at the grocery store on my way home from the airport!  I was lucky enough to do a bit of “grocery shopping” in my mom’s fridge when I picked up the dog before heading home and thought I’d be set for a couple of days…I knew I had coffee in the freezer and was just sure I had a fresh carton of coconut milk…I was so tired when I got home I didn’t even think to check before unpacking and getting into my pajamas!  Well, I’m sure you can guess what happened next…yep, no coconut milk.  No way was I going to get dressed to go back out…

I have been making homemade almond milk for a while now and was sure I had seen recipes for homemade coconut milk…I did a quick search on the Tropical Traditions website and found a ridiculously easy recipe for homemade coconut milk using shredded coconut…problem solved.  I whipped this up in the Vitamix this morning and can’t believe I ever bought the stuff in a carton!!!!  I made two batches, one plain and one with vanilla, totally yummy!

Homemade Vanilla Coconut Milk

2 cups hot (not boiling) filtered water

1 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 Tbsp. organic vanilla (optional)

In a medium-size kettle, heat the water, but do not bring it to a boil.  Pour hot water into a high-speed blender, add coconut on top of the water and then the vanilla.  Let sit for 1-2 minutes before blending. Blend on high for 5-7 minutes.  Line a colander with cheesecloth and place over a bowl or use a nut milk bag directly inside a glass mason jar.  Pour the blended coconut mixture into the cheesecloth or nut milk bag and twist to extract the milk, letting the milk go into the bowl.   Be careful, the milk will be hot so you may want to wear rubber gloves or let it sit to cool a bit.  Pour milk into a glass mason jar and refrigerate for up to 4 days.  Coconut milk will separate during storage so be sure to shake it up each time you use it…enjoy!

Makes about 2 cups.

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday & Fat Tuesday

Gluten Free Wednesdays

Wellness Weekend & Fight Back Friday

Almond Joy Freezer Pie

Almond Joy Freezer Pie (shown using mini cheesecake pan)

This Almond Joy Freezer Pie has been my go to dessert this summer!  It’s cool, refreshing and decadent…not to mention SO easy to make!  I have literally had some form of this dessert in my freezer all summer long…I’ve made it in a pie plate, mini-cheesecake pans, a springform pan and a 9×9 brownie pan…they are all great but the individual tarts are my favorite.  It is so nice to always have a pretty dessert on hand for when you have company drop by or for that late night chocolate craving too!   This dessert is fruit sweetened, that’s right…no extra sweetener has been added to the recipe other than fruit…that makes this a superstar dessert in my book!  I chose to make this an Almond Joy Pie, you could easily turn it into a scrumptious Peanut Butter Cup Pie by substituting chopped peanuts for the almonds in the topping and adding 1/4 cup peanut butter and omitting the almond extract in the filling


For the crust:

3/4 cup almond flour

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted

1/4 tsp. celtic sea salt

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted over low heat

1 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar (optional for a slightly sweeter crust)

2 tsp. organic vanilla

In a large bowl combine almond flour, toasted coconut and salt.  Whisk together coconut oil, palm sugar (if using) and vanilla.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and thoroughly combine.  Press mixture into desired dessert dish (9″ pie plate, mini cheesecake pans, springform pan or square 9×9 dish).  Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the filling:

5 small ripe bananas, peeled and broken into small pieces (about 14-16 ounces peeled)

1 cup organic coconut milk, canned

1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder (or your favorite unsweetened cocoa powder)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until very smooth, about 3 minutes on high-speed.  Check to make sure all the banana is pureed before filling the crust.  Pour filling into your cooled crust and sprinkle toppings (listed below) across the top of the filling.  Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

For the topping:

1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1-2 oz. finely chopped or shaved dark chocolate (I use 70% or higher)

Set the dessert at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving, cut with a sharp knife, ENJOY!

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday , Tasty Tuesday & Traditional Tuesdays

Gluten-Free WednesdaysThis Chick Cooks & Foodie Wednesday

Pennywise Platter Thursday, Fresh Bites Friday

Wellness Weekend & Fight Back Friday


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