Beyond Zucchini: Spiralize Your Apples!

 

Like most people I know, the stories and accompanying photos of the wonders of low-carb spiralized zucchini sold me on the Paderno spiralizer. I bought one and for the longest time used it only for zucchini pasta. Then I graduated to sweet and russet potatoes for curly fries.  Even with this change, however, I was caught in a spiralized vegetable rut. One day, however, I decided to see how the spiralizer worked with fruit. I had a large apple with which I experimented, using all three blades of my spiralizer (incidentally, I hear that the new, improved Paderno spiralizer has four blades). What happened next was a revelation: the spiralizer churns out apple spaghetti as easily and prettily as it cranks out zucchini spaghetti! Moreover, the flat blade turns out a beautiful, thin apple ribbon! Continue reading

Gluten-Free Pear Almond Tart (With Pumpkin Pie Spice)

pear tart 11Before everyone becomes burned out on everything pumpkin pie spice flavored and scented near the end of this year’s pumpkin pie spice season, I have to post one more pumpkin pie spice recipe! This recipe is very delicious, and makes an elegant dessert: perfect for holiday gatherings! Full disclosure: I took this recipe from Epicurious.com, modified it a bit, as well as deglutenized it. It’s turned out perfectly every time I’ve made it. My friends and family LOVE this dessert! Continue reading

Christmas Blessings In July, Part 2: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free Peppermint Bark Cakes

grain-free peppermint bard cakes 2A couple of days ago, I posted a recipe for the gluten-free peppermint bark cakes I made for my mother-in-law’s surprise Christmas-in-July 75th birthday celebration. I used grain flours in that recipe, so that the texture would be more familiar to those attending the party who are not used to the sometimes different texture of gluten-free foods. Personally, however, I use gluten-free nut and seed flours much more often than I do gluten-free grain flours these days. I believe grain-free flours are more dense with vitamins, good fats, and other nutrients. Even though dessert is, well, dessert, I see no reason why it shouldn’t be as healthy as dessert as can be while still being delicious (which means loaded with whole fat butter, raw sugar, and cocoa!). I remade the cakes yesterday, using almond, cashew, and coconut flours. It tasted every bit as delicious as the cakes I made with the rice, sorghum, and tapioca flours. I did make a little adjustment to the recipe, to accommodate the extra fat in the almond / cashew flours. I reduced the amount of coconut oil by 2 oz. Other than that, I used the same recipe I developed for the original cakes I made for my mother-in-law’s birthday party. Continue reading

Serving Up Breakfast: Gluten-Free Almond Coconut Granola Quick Bread

I’m becoming obsessed with Costco. I find grass fed beef there, as well as extra virgin coconut oil, avocado oil, Himalayan pink salt, granola quick bread 3Manchego cheese, and all sorts of inexpensive but high quality food items. Costco now sells Honeyville blanched, super fine grind almond flour, in 3lb bags, for about $18. For about $6 a pound, one can get some pretty nice quality almond flour. I honestly, truly love Costco. I love almond flour, too. It’s so nice to use for baking. Blanched almond flour is made from almonds, the skins of which have been removed by quick immersion in boiling water. The skins of almonds taste bitter; almond flour made with blanched almonds has a milder, sweeter flavor than flour made from almonds with the skins intact. Finely ground blanched almonds make the best quality almond flour one can find. Baked items made with finely ground, blanched almond flour are tender and rich in texture. What’s more is that almond flour is a healthy flour, high in protein. I use almond flour as the main flour in just about everything I bake these days – which brings me to the point of this blog post. I have a new bag of Honeyville blanched, finely ground almond flour (purchased from Costco, naturally) just begging to be opened and used. This past week I tasted some Gaia’s Light S A original flavor gluten-free granola for the first time. The granola packaging doesn’t mention what specific spices are in the granola, but whatever they are, they taste like Christmas. As I was eating the granola, I thought that mixed into almond flour, it would make a delicious, warmly spiced flavored breakfast quickbread. Continue reading

Now In Season: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars

“A son is a son till he takes a wife; a daughter’s a daughter all of her life.”pumpkin bars 1

“I am more modest now, but I still think that one of the pleasantest of all emotions is to know that I, I with my brain and my hands, have nourished my beloved few, that I have concocted a stew or a story, a rarity or a plain dish, to sustain them truly against the hungers of the world.” (M.F.K Fisher, The Gastronomical Me (1943), 18)

I am now working my way through yet another volume of M.F.K. Fisher’s works. So powerfully written is Fisher’s work that it actually drew tears from me as I read about the sad fate of the oyster in Consider the Oyster . I gained a deeper knowledge of culinary history when I read Fisher’s Serve It Forth, I laughed my way through Fisher’s How To Cook A Wolf, despite its being an instruction manual for people who want to cook healthy, delicious meals during times of dire economic hardship and scarcity. Her off-handed, witty observations about the eating habits of certain types of people and her [Fisher’s] own attitude toward certain foods keep the serious subject of eating on a tight budget from weighing down the reader with despair. No matter the topic of Fisher’s writing, her appreciation of the transcendent role food plays in meeting the spiritual and social needs of human beings is implicit in her descriptions of food, the stories she tells as she discusses food, and even her historical account of food. Continue reading