Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Best Blueberry Crisp

My reasons for why this blueberry crisp is the best is simple. It is easy and always delicious! In general, crisps and crumbles are pretty simple once you get the hang of it, but sometimes it hard to know just the right amount of what in what. I have made hundreds of crisps over the years and this recipe is the one I always come back to. Well if I am honest, I never really use a recipe to a T, but this is the "recipe" I follow most :) and the one I would like to share.
If you have fresh or frozen summer fruit around the kitchen then this can be one of the easiest crowd-pleaser desserts. It's an easy first-step GF dessert if you are new to this gluten-free or allergy-free life. Most GF dessert recipes may be intimidating and maybe even feel like a risk, but this crisp recipe is a no-fail solution. So let's bake this, one step at a time :)
The Best Blueberry Crisp Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, seed and sugar free}

Step one, put 6 cups of fresh (or frozen) blueberries in a 9x13 Pyrex baking dish
Step two, drizzle 1/4 cup of maple syrup and the juice of one lime or lemon over berries
Step three, sprinkle 2 TB of tapioca flour over the berries and mix it all together well 
Step four, in a separate bowl mix 3 cups of certified GF rolled oats with 3/4 cup of GF flour- I use a combination of oat, rice and tapioca flour. Then sprinkle a pinch of good sea salt and cinnamon.
Step five, In the oat and flour bowl, mix in 1/2 cup of coconut oil, 1/4 cup maple syrup and 2/3 cup of coconut sugar. Then mix well and it turns into a crumble.
Step six, sprinkle crumble over the pan of blueberries and put in a 350 degree oven
Step seven, bake for 40 minutes or until it is bubbling and crumble is brown and crispy
Step eight, let cool for a few minutes and then serve warm for best results. You can add some coconut ice cream or even some yogurt, but its just right as it is too.

There you have it! I hope you enjoy! It is a great treat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert!

Much love and grace and peace,

Monday, July 25, 2016

Blueberry Pancakes

Friends, I know it has been forever since I was posting regular recipes. I have had a long season of no sleep, recovering, moving across town, growing babies into small children, health issues, pain, trauma, loss, and yet I still keep going, but the recipes stopped. I am hoping to re-think how this blog and recipes come from me over the rest of the year and hopefully jump start a new version of Hope for Healing by 2017. Maybe a little less bloggy and more of a recipe resource. Or who knows!
But for now, I thought I would still add in a few recipes when I can or when I am inspired. And, blueberries are bringing me out of my funk for now. So, thank you, God for blueberries :) These little babies are making their way into almost every meal and about 100 pounds of them landed into the deep freezer. So yes, we love our blueberries around here. I don't expect you to understand, but if you do, you may just have some blueberry pancakes on the brain as well.

Blueberry Pancakes Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut, seed, and refined sugars-free}
1 1/2 cup of oat flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1 cup of either rice, sorghum, or quinoa flour
1 1/2 TB of baking powder (I use Hain brand for no corn ingredients)
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
1 cup of mashed bananas (about 3 ripe bananas)
1/4 cup of maple syrup (or coconut sugar)
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of applesauce
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cup of coconut milk beverage

1 heaping cup of blueberries mixed with 1-2 TB of both lemon juice and maple syrup in a small saucepan, sauce until soft and with tons of blue juices but the berries still have form

you can sprinkle extra fresh blueberries if you want more blue ;)
On a pancake skillet or crepe pan, scoop a TB of organic coconut oil onto the pan and let it melt then use a 1/3 cup and scoop the batter onto the pan. I can fit 8 pancakes on my large electric skillet pan, but probably only 2-3 on a small crepe pan. This recipe usually makes me about 18-20 small pancakes. You have to let them cook on a 325-350 heat for about 3 minutes on one side and 2-3 on the next. Make sure to not leave the pan side to avoid burning :)
Serve with a dollop of ghee or butter and some pure maple syrup for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Paired greatly with smoothies, potatoes, or some form of sausage. That's a meal and a half for most! Also, a great recipe to keep for most all nut-free and egg-free pancakes- the applesauce, banana and apple cider vinegar combo make the difference. Omit the blueberries and add in any berry or pumpkin, squash, or beets... whatever.

Much love and grace and peace.

Blueberry Lemon Cake

Blueberries. In Michigan, we wait all winter this season and then pick berries till our freezers are full in hopes that we will have enough berries till the next year. Well, maybe not all Michiganders are as crazy as me. But it is hard not to be a little blueberry crazy when they are growing all around you in West Michigan. I also enjoy picking to connect to where my food is coming from and my Maker. There is something so simple, and so spiritual about growing, harvesting and eating the food that you worked the earth to gather. So, if it is mid-July, you can find me wandering my favorite local no-spray blueberry farms in West Michigan. Email me if you are looking for a Michigan no-spray fruit farm to get started.
I started last week and picked an average of 30 pounds a day and now have around 100 of pounds in the freezer and who knows how many fresh eaten pounds by my kiddos. Of course there were many picked for treats to enjoy the season, but the majority goes in the deep freeze to make it through the long winter.  This may seem a bit much, but between, cakes, crisps, muffins, smoothies and just eating them from the freezer, my family will eat them. I hoping we can make it to next spring with some remaining.
This cake was a little extra gift after a long picking day. You know me, I have a way of celebrating life and it's seasons with a little bit of cake. And when you have friends that ask and devour your experiments, well then, you really have no choice :)

Blueberry Lemon Cake Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nut and seeds, and refined sugar-free}

1 1/2 cup of finely ground certified gluten-free oat flour
1 cup of white rice flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1 cup of coconut sugar
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of baking soda
2 ts. of baking powder (I use the Hain brand so to avoid corn ingredients)
1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
1/2 cup of coconut milk beverage mixed with 2 TB. of apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice (juice from 2 lemons)
1/2 cup of melted organic coconut oil
zest from juice lemons, or 8-10 drops of Young Living essential Lemon oil 
or you can use 1-2 ts. of lemon flavoring which essentially contains the same oils but also mixed with another mixing oil. The zest alone does a good job of flavoring, but I think the oils add just the right amount of lemony flavor

1 1/2 cup of fresh picked blueberries (or you can use frozen here as well)

First grind your GF flours and mix well with all the other dry ingredients. Then mix in the wet ingredients, and lastly the warmed oils and lemon oils. Mix well and you will start to see the lemon juice and baking powder do it's work and make the better poof up a bit. Fold down and then mix in the fresh berries, but making sure to not over mix and break in the berries.

Pour in a coconut oiled baking pan. I baked mine in a bundt or angel food cake pan. But you could also make this in a 9x9 circle or square pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until it is no longer wet and giggling. The cake should show a clean toothpick from the middle of the cake and firm, but soft. no wetness. Pull from the oven and let it cool completely.

The frost your cake with the following:

Honey Lemon Cream Frosting Recipe
1/2 cup of room temperature soft but NOT liquid coconut oil
1/3 cup of pure local honey
2-3 TB of fresh lemon juice plus 6-8 drops of essential lemon oil or lemon oil flavoring
pinch of good sea salt

Whip up the ingredients with a fork in a bowl, DO NOT over mix because it will soften too much. Then just whisk and spread on the completely cooled cake. Then top with another cup of fresh blueberries and more lemon zest for color and flavor.

Now you are ready to make this cake happen in your life. I made it without eggs, dairy, and gluten and not to mention toxic sugar, nuts, seeds and soy so that everyone in the family (and friends) could enjoy. Some days, well lets be honest, most days are incredibly hard having to eat a special diet or have limited options because of health issues, butt this cake is here to say, "This ones for you, baby!" So get your big girl panties and apron on and make this divine cake and feel the love!

Much love and grace and peace, my friends!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sugar Cut Out Cookies

These are the cookies I made last night with my kids. I adjusted the ingredients because my daughter cannot have seeds, as well as eggs, and I wanted to just make the sugar portion from coconut sugar and maple syrup and not stevia. I like stevia occasionally, but to be honest, more recently I don't like to use it as much and if I do like to mix it with one or more sweeteners to help balance the flavors, but also because it is also more processed that raw or more natural sweeteners like pure honey, maple syrup and even coconut palm sugar. So these are just a simple ingredient sugar cookie that doesn't need any gums to help it stick and they turn out almost perfect crispy and chewy and soft and crunchy. So no need to get all crazy with these.... keep it simple and let the kids have fun!

Sugar Cut Out Cookies
{vegan and egg, seed, nut and soy-free}
1 3/4 cup of finely ground certified GF oat flour
* I grind rolled oats in a high powered blender to make my own flour*
1 cup of rice flour (I used white rice here)
1/2 tapioca flour or starch
1 cup of coconut palm sugar
1 ts. of baking powder
1/2 ts. sea salt
1/2 ts. of baking soda
1/4 cup of maple syrup
8 TB (around 2/3 cup) of soft or melted coconut oil
6 TB (around 1/2 cup) of unsweetened applesauce
1 TB of apple cider vinegar
1 TB of pure vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, mix together your dry ingredients first...then add the oil, applesauce and vanilla and maple syrup. Mix well with a fork or to be honest, your hands and fingers do the job best. Knead the lump of cookie dough in your hands for a few minutes until you get a perfectly mixed ball of cookie dough. If your dough is a touch sticky, then sprinkle some more rice flour to stiffen it right up. Then, stick the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to stiffen up and ready for rolling out.

Roll out the ball of dough on a floured parchment paper. Try and keep the thickness around 1/2 inch and roll out as evenly as possible. Then start cutting with your favorite shapes. Put the cookies in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-18 minutes. I like my cookies a bit crispier, so I stay around 18 minutes baking time, but if you want softer cookies then stay around 15 minutes.  This recipe should make about 2 dozen cookies but really depends on the size of your cutters and how big and small you want your cookies to be. Then let cookies completely cool before frosting...

Then, if you want to frost them here is a good base for a soft frosting that can be easily made into a color with cocoa powder, beet powder, spiraling, or get creative with your other food based colors. Use a powder to keep the consistency worthy of frosting. Also there are some really nice plant based food dyes out there too if you look at your health store. 

Dairy-Free Frosting
1/2 cup of Spectrum Organic Palm Oil Shortening
1/2-2/3 cup of organic corn-free powdered sugar (I like Wholesome brand)
1/4 cup of pure honey
1 ts. of pure vanilla
1/4 cup
 of very soft coconut oil

1 TB of coconut milk beverage or creamer
dash of sea salt
1-2 TB of cocoa powder, or beet powder, or spiralina green powder to make a colorful and flavorful frosting without the use of dye or fake chemicals

Use a kitchen aid mixer on high or a hand-held mixer to whip up this frosting to get out the lumps and get a creamy finished product. Then put in fridge for a few minutes to stiffen so that you can easily frost with a knife or even if you decide to use a bag to design some cute decor. The above pictures are of using beet powder as the addition and crushed up organic candy canes as the extra topping.

I hope you are finding ways to enjoy yourself in the kitchen this Christmas season. Keep it simple and let the kids have fun- thats my motto this year- and well maybe that should last longer than through just December.

Happy baking friends, and much love and light to you.

Much love,