With summer upon us frozen treats are a must, but no need to wreck your body in the process. These Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches feature my popular almond butter chocolate chip cookies and a banana soft serve filling. Made without dairy or grains and they are low in sugar.
[This is an updated post from 2013.]
It’s truly been years since I have had an old school ice cream sandwich, ya know the ones, soft chocolate cookies, vanilla ice cream filling. While working an event a few years back, I came across a food truck that specialized in just ice cream sandwiches and they actually had a gluten-free and dairy-free option for someone like me. YAY! It was delicious and messy but probably loaded with sugar and lots of other stuff I prefer not to eat. It immediately got the gears turning in my head. I wanted to make a more healthful ice cream sandwich myself and I of course just needed to find the time to actually play with some recipe ideas.
I know we have all seen the one or two ingredient banana ice cream that has been making it’s rounds all over the internet for the last few years. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must. Stop what you are doing right now, put those bananas in the freezer and make some yummy dairy-free ice cream alternative. It is simple to make and sooo surprisingly creamy and delicious. I realized it would make the perfect ice cream sandwich filling since it is creamy, simple to make and literally has nothing more than bananas in it. A great compliment to some grain-free, dairy-free cookies!
This Easy Chia Seed Jam is a wonderful way to preserve the fresh fruit of the season and enjoy delicious homemade jam without artificial colors and flavors or an ungodly amount of sugar. It’s a breeze to make, ready in about 15 minutes, plus there is no canning equipment necessary and you can control the level of sweetness leaving out refined sugar and instead using natural sweeteners like honey, maple or any other alternative you choose (or leave it out altogether and go al naturale).
Best part, this simple chia seed jam formula works with nearly any fruit you’d like, so go with the best the current season has to offer and get creative. Try strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, cranberries, apples, pears, peaches, plums, etc. Experiment with blending various fruits and if you really want to have some fun, add in vanilla bean, fresh herbs or spices, rosemary, basil, fresh mint, cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger – the flavor combos are endless, really.
I realized earlier this summer that it had been years since I have had an ice cream sandwich. While working an event, I came across a food truck that specialized in just ice cream sandwiches and they actually had a gluten-free and dairy-free option for someone like me. YAY! It was delicious, messy and probably loaded with sugar and lots of other stuff I prefer not to eat. It immediately got the gears turning in my head. I wanted to make a healthy ice cream sandwich myself and I of course just needed to find the time to actually play with some recipe ideas.
I know we have all seen the one or two ingredient banana ice cream that has been making it’s rounds all over the internet for the last two years. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must. Stop what you are doing right now, put those bananas in the freezer and make some yummy healthy ice cream. It is simple to make and sooo surprisingly creamy and delicious. I realized it would make the perfect ice cream sandwich filling since it is creamy, simple to make and literally has nothing more than bananas in it. A great compliment to some grain-free dairy-free cookies!
I am sharing the cookie recipe over on Free People today as part of my ongoing Restricted Diets series with them and so I expanded on the recipe to make this a two-for-one deal; a cookie recipe and a bonus ice cream sandwich recipe! Plus, we had our friends Dan and Debbie over earlier this week to celebrate Dan’s birthday, so I wanted to make something special for him that we could all enjoy. Debbie is experimenting with a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, so I am pretty sure her mind was blown that these were OK for her to eat! They were a hit, I don’t think anyone believed me that the filling was just bananas and the cookies were totally grain-free!! I love recipes like that. Read the rest of this entry »
These truffles really will knock your socks off. They are rich and dreamy. They are luxurious and just one or two truffles will satisfy even the most hardcore of chocolate lovers’ cravings. The red wine taste is quite subtle but you really get it at the end. It is smooth and it finishes it so perfectly. I am not sure if anyone else enjoys sitting down with a nice full-bodied glass of red wine with a super high quality bite of dark chocolate. One of my most favorite flavor combinations ever.
Lots of love to you all today! In addition to making Valentine’s Day about your one true love whom you will likely shower with gifts and love, let’s look at it as a day to embrace love all around us. Including the love you should be showing yourself, your body and your health every single day of the year. This is the one and only body we will be given (at least in this lifetime), let’s do everything we can to protect it and give it the best. Every single day.
[print_this]Dark Chocolate Red Wine Truffles – Gluten-Free + Vegan
makes about 24+ truffles (depending on their size)
- 1/2 cup full-fat organic coconut milk (the canned kind, I like Native Forest)
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
- 10 ounces high-quality vegan dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) – chopped – I used 85% Dark Chocolate
- 1/4 cup full-bodied red wine (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Bordeaux, Malbec, etc)
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder, for rolling
other options for rolling: coconut, almonds
In a double boiler, heat coconut oil and coconut milk over a low/medium heat, whisking until just melted and well incorporated. Add the chocolate, stirring continuously, not allowing it to heat too quickly. Just as soon as it is melted, remove from the heat, add the wine and stir very well to make sure it is all well incorporated and smooth. You have to be very careful with dark chocolate, it can very easily seize up if heated too quickly.
Pour into a 8×8 baking dish or a pie pan and refrigerate until the mixture is mostly set, but still pliable, about 45 minutes to an hour or so (it may take longer depending on the depth of your pan). Using a 1″ melon baller or a tablespoon, scoop out the chocolate and roll into balls using your hands. Place the cocoa power onto a small plate and roll the balls in the cocoa powder to coat, you can also put the cocoa powder in your hands and roll them around that way. Set them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Once all have been rolled, place the sheet into the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes, up to overnight to fully set.
Store the finished truffles in the refrigerator.
These truffles will keep up to two weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature for about 15 minutes, just before serving. [/print_this]
What better gift to give than the gift of chocolate, right? These dark chocolate peppermint truffles are sure to leave a smile on any chocoholic’s face. Especially when they find out you made these just for them.
These truffles are simple to make and they are naturally both gluten-free and vegan. Additionally, they are low in sugar and very simple to make. A few ingredients, a few minutes at the stove and that’s about it. You can even play around with the recipe and leave out the peppermint and roll them into other goodies, like chopped nuts, coconut, melted chocolate or chocolate bits, etc. Make this recipe your own and customize it for whomever will be receiving it.
[print_this]Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles – Gluten-Free + Vegan
makes about 24+ truffles (depending on their size)
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (the canned kind)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 10 ounces high quality vegan dark chocolate (70% cocoa) – chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- dash of sea salt
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
In a double boiler, heat coconut oil and coconut milk over a low/medium heat, whisking until just melted and well incorporated. Add the chocolate, stirring continuously, not allowing it to heat too quickly. Just as soon as it is melted, remove from the heat and stir very well to make sure it is all well incorporated. Add in the vanilla and peppermint extracts and salt.
Pour into a 8″ baking dish or a pie pan and refrigerate until the mixture is mostly set , but still pliable. Using a 1″ melon baller or a tablespoon, scoop out the chocolate and roll into balls using your hands, set them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Once all have been rolled, place the sheet into the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes, up to overnight.
Place the cocoa power onto a small plate and roll the balls in the cocoa powder to coat, you can also put the cocoa powder in your hands and roll them around that way. Store the finished truffles in the refrigerator.
These truffles will keep up to two weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature for about 15 minutes, just before serving.
This recipe was originally shared on Free People blog BLDG 25
Well, the last week has been another crazy one for us. We have a ton of awesome projects happening, we had our Fab.com sale and we were in Birmingham, Alabama meeting with a client and taking reference photos of the city for some illustration work we are doing for them. It has been a fun whirlwind. Of course, this means my time in the kitchen has been limited and therefore my posts on here limited, as well. I have had some fun ideas for things I want to make, but finding the time has been difficult. Thankfully, I made a big batch of delicious pasta (inspired by a post on Pinterest) last weekend and have been living off of it all week. I made my version with gluten-free penne, butternut squash, dried cranberries, sliced fennel and a bit of parmesan. It was simple to make and I made a large enough amount, so it worked perfect for dinners and lunches on the fly all week, when I didn’t have the time or the ingredients to make anything else.
After taking some time last night to plan a few meals for the week, I finally was able to get to the farmers market and the grocery store this morning to stock up. Even though I had some work to get done, our assistant was here helping us print posters and it was generally a madhouse, I wanted to make the time this morning, regardless of all that was going on, to bake some pumpkin bread, to use up one of the pie pumpkins I have had for a few weeks.
When creating this recipe, I decided that the bread had to include the typical lovely spices that sing so beautifully with pumpkin, a nut or seed of some kind and I wanted something else. I was debating between dried cranberries or some other dried fruit or chocolate chips and then I thought of crystallized ginger bits. I thought they would compliment the pumpkin and other spices perfectly. I was right, the combination of pumpkin and the spices with the walnuts and the ginger was perfection. There is a subtle kick from the ginger that is so nice. This bread isn’t too sweet, so it would be perfect as breakfast or dessert. It would also be great with a thin layer of butter or cream cheese spread on. You could leave out the ginger and nuts or substitute whatever you’d like there, pecans, pistachios or any other nut or seed would be great, as well as raisins, dried currants, cranberries, chocolate chips, etc. Have fun with it.
I’ve really been enjoying creating my own blends of flours for baking, either individually for each recipe, or in a large batch as an all-purpose blend to use for a couple different recipes. I really love Gluten-free Girl’s ratio of 70% whole grains plus 30% starches for creating a great gluten-free whole-grain all-purpose flour that you don’t need to add xanthan gum to. It is so versatile since you can really use whatever you have on hand or can easily find at the store in any amounts or combinations, as long as the ratio remains 70% to 30%. I definitely have my favorite flours that I use all the time, but this ratio is so great for people with other food sensitivities to nuts or corn, etc.
This time around I created a 700 gram blend of almond, millet, buckwheat and teff flours and then added in a 300 gram blend of tapioca and arrowroot starches. I mixed them all together and placed them in a large storage container. I used just 250 grams of that all-purpose blend for this bread and I put the rest aside for another recipe. You could certainly use just one flour and one starch if you don’t feel like blending or buying multiples, but I have really found that a couple of different types of flours and starches really builds a much better base. See the list below that Shauna recommends and play around with what you love.
Shauna recommends the following grains for the blend:
Sweet Brown Rice
and the following starches:
White Rice Flour
Pumpkin Spice Bread with Crystallized Ginger and Walnuts
Makes one loaf
2 large farm fresh brown eggs (use an egg-replacer to make vegan)
3/4 cup coconut sugar (regular raw sugar, maple sugar, sucanat or brown sugar would also work)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh pureed pumpkin (canned will also work)
1/4 cup almond milk (cow’s milk or other non-dairy milk will also work)
250 grams of your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend – see above notes on what I used (this can be anywhere between 1 1/2 – 2 cups of flour depending on what you are using, but I really recommend weighing)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, roughly chopped into little bits (reserving approximately 1 tablespoon for the topping)
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped into little bits (reserving approximately 1 tablespoon for the topping)
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease and flour a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
Sift the dry ingredients (flour, spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder) together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
In the large bowl of your stand mixer, beat the eggs and coconut sugar together until very well combined and fluffy. Approximately 3-5 minutes. Slowly while the mixer is running, pour the oil into the sugar and egg mixture, then add in the pumpkin, almond milk and vanilla, allow the mixture to mix another a minute or two until everything is well combined.
Then add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients. A little at a time, while the mixer is running on a low-speed. Mix until well blended. Then fold the crystallized ginger and walnuts into the batter. Mix the remaining crystallized ginger and walnuts together and set aside.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the ginger and walnut mixture all over the top. Place on the center rack in the oven and back until the top is golden brown, about an hour. Make sure a cake tester or knife comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then gently turn the bread out of the pan (being careful not to knock all the nuts and ginger off) and allow it to finish cooling on a wire rack.
This afternoon when I took a break from work to have lunch, I was struggling to figure out what to make since our fridge is looking a bit bare. We are leaving Monday morning to go to Birmingham for a job we are working on, so we are nearing the end of the planned meals and the groceries I bought earlier in the week. As I sat thinking for a minute, it came to me, I made a chickpea, kale, sun-dried tomato salad with goat cheese and a homemade multi-grain mustard vinaigrette, on the side I toasted up one of those delicious gluten-free multi-grain rolls I had made earlier in the week and topped it with a tad bit of garlic butter and small sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano. As I was “whipping” this all up, Mark sat down to eat his lunch, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and he started laughing at me and my creation. First he told me how jealous he was of my lunch and that he wished he had waited to see what I came up with. Then, he asked ‘what is your first memory of really loving good food. Like, at what age do you remember thinking, THIS is really good food?’
It was such a good question, I really had to think about it. I didn’t really have one solid memory, I just always remember loving good home-cooked food. Besides the traditional and super delicious Greek foods my dad and his family always made for holidays and the like, my parents cooked dinner every single night for us. My dad did the majority of the cooking, my mom most of the baking, but my mom had some really classic and comforting dishes, that I still think very fondly of now as an adult. One of my favorite memories growing up, that I always think of, was when my mom would make her homemade tomato sauce, totally from scratch, and the whole house would fill with the amazing smell of her sauce. I love my mom’s sauce so much. I used to come into the kitchen quite often while it would simmer away and grab the spoon and take a huge taste. I would sometimes grab a bowl from the cupboard and just ladle a ton of the sauce into it, maybe a meatball or two and just spoon it into my mouth like soup. It was so good. She never bought the jarred spaghetti sauce crap. It was that way for almost everything my family made. There was a major emphasis on homemade food. I am sure that is a large part of where I got my love of food and cooking from.
I asked Mark what he remembers and he told me about him being really young and biting into a really good ham sandwich and think “woah, this ham sandwich is REALLY really good” – haha. I can totally see a young, adorable little Mark all excited about his ham sandwich, likely served with some southern style sweet tea or orange soda on the side.
Can you remember the first time you really realized your love for good, home cooked food? Were you a kid? Or did you not really realize your love of food until you were an adult?
I made this cake yesterday morning. I was going to my sister’s apartment for a party in the evening and she asked everyone to bring a snack and something to drink. Since I knew there would be tons of savory snack options and wine, I decided I wanted to bring a healthy fall inspired dessert and some spiced rum and apple cider. At first I thought about making my gluten-free apple crisp (well really it’s my Mom’s recipe), but then I thought up the idea of an apple cake made with some of that great almond flour that I am obsessed with and just a tad bit of honey and dates as the sweetener. Look at me, all confident after my cookie recipe last week. I baked a cake, guys! My own cake with my own recipe.
The cake turned out great, I honestly have to say I was a little surprised, I had visions of the entire thing sinking in, or just being totally tasteless. It was the right amount of moist, which I honestly was a bit worried about, it seemed like so many wet ingredients to me. The spices all sang in perfect harmony with the apples and the dates and the small amount of honey surprisingly made it the perfect amount of sweet. I honestly hate super sweet cake, I think that is one of the reasons I don’t care for most cakes.
I cut into the cake to take photos to post the recipe here on the blog, but I didn’t taste it before I brought it to my sister’s. It seemed kinda tacky to show up with a whole cake, with one piece missing. So I served it up and crossed my fingers! Every one that tried it, loved it and some even asked for the recipe! Yay – success! This cake is gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free, it is also easily made vegan by substituting maple syrup for the honey.
[print_this]Gluten-free Apple Spice Cake
- 2 cups blanched almond flour (meal) – I like Honeyville
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup apple cider (unsweetened) (you could also try unsweetened apple sauce)
- 1/4 cup grape seed oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (cow’s milks or other non-dairy milk should work as well)
- 1/2 cup honey (use maple syrup to make vegan)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 peeled and chopped medium-sized apples, reserve half (or more) of one peeled apple to slice thinly for the top of the cake (I used two very large Crispin apples that we picked last weekend at Blackman Homestead Farm)
- 8 or so Medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
Optional add ins:
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or other nut
- 1/2 cup raisins or craneberries
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or raw sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Grease and lightly flour (I used sweet rice flour) a 9″ springform pan.
In a large mixing bowl, add the almond flour, chickpea flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, all the spices and the salt. Whisk together well so it’s all evenly mixed.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together well the apple cider, grape seed oil, almond milk, honey, lemon juice and vanilla. Add the apple pieces and the finely chopped dates. Mix well to incorporate.
Pour the wet ingredients into dry and stir by hand to combine. Be sure it is well mixed and there are no flour lumps.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared springform pan and top with the remaining apple slices in a circular pattern . Use as many or as few slices as you’d like. (I actually wish I had used a few more apple slices, but I was afraid to overdo it.) Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle the mixture on top of the cake.
Bake the cake for about 60-70 minutes or until a tester or a very thin knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for about 15-20 minutes, or longer before removing the ring on the springform pan, you may need to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a think spatula or knife. Slice with a sharp knife and serve slightly warm or at room temperature. [/print_this]