Tag Archives: spices

  1. How-To Make Grain-free Granola {Paleo-friendly}

    How-to Make Grain-free Granola

    How-to Make Grain-free Granola

    For my granola loving friends, I am super excited about this how-to and recipe. Most commercial granolas, even when gluten-free, are loaded with gut-upsetting grains, and worse yet – vegetable oils and loads of sugar. After lots of experimenting and playing around, I created the perfect base recipe for this grain-free granola, with two variations. Sweet and Savory.

    Using the formula for the base, you can get creative there with your favorite nuts and seeds and then when it comes to flavor combinations, the sky is the limit – so get creative and make it your own.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  2. Chicken Ruby Murray (Chicken Curry from Dishoom)

    Chicken Ruby Murray (Chicken Curry from Dishoom)

    Chicken Ruby Murray (Chicken Curry from Dishoom)

    Our trip to London in October was one I certainly will never forget. Traveling halfway around the world with my love, without any major plans beyond knowing where to stay, a list of restaurants as dishes I had to have and a few sights that were “musts” and not much more. Such a wonderful way to travel.

    Chicken Ruby Murray (Chicken Curry from Dishoom)
    Staying in the Shoreditch neighborhood in London was the perfect place for us. The grit of a big city matched with the deeply rooted history of London, it was the perfect edgy urban vibe that we love! The streets of “The Ditch”, as locals call it, are lined with charming cafes, coffee shops and restaurants, beautiful street art tucked into the most unsuspecting corners – it’s got that cutting edge vibe that juxtaposes the proper bits of London, just so perfectly.

    Being in London I was able to safely eat gluten-free easier than probably any other city I have ever visited and the food was incredible – I was stunned, not at all what I had expected nor remembered from my trip to the UK over 15 years ago. I plan to write up a post sharing some of my personal favorites from the Trip, but in the meantime I wanted to share my single most-favorite dish from all of my UK travels, shoot maybe all of my European travels, even.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  3. Winter Spiced Dark Chocolate Bark with Smoked Sea Salt

    Winter Spiced Dark Chocolate Bark with Smoked Sea Salt

    Winter Spiced Dark Chocolate Bark with Smoked Sea Salt

    For those of you that follow me on social media, you likely see that I spend a fair amount of time at the Terranea Resort here in the LA area. (Full disclosure, I was selected as one of 5 influencers to be a 2016 Terranea Resort Social Media Ambassador, but my love for this place runs deep and far beyond that title.) I truly feel that Terranea is one of Southern California’s best kept secrets, yet it really shouldn’t be. Terranea sits on the coast in Rancho Palos Verdes, about 15 miles from our front door in Long Beach. The 102-acre private peninsula paradise, is like stepping into a whole new world – minutes from the bustle of Los Angeles. Surrounded by the tranquil waves of the Pacific, the coastal setting of Terranea embraces the California lifestyle and it’s Mediterranean heritage. Regardless if you are a guest at the resort the sprawling land is all open to the public, so you are free to walk the ocean-side trails, dine at the many restaurants, plan a spa day or just enjoy the views.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  4. Slow Cooker Ginger Apple Cranberry Sauce

    Disclosure: Post sponsored by Crock-Pot® brand slow cooker & Mirum Shopper, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

    Slow Cooker Ginger Apple Cranberry Sauce

    Slow Cooker Ginger Apple Cranberry Sauce

    I always feel very divided when planning the Thanksgiving menu. Mostly I want a classic, traditional menu (obviously with some changes made to accommodate my diet and the diet of any of my guests, if I am hosting) but every year I like to mix it up a little with at least one dish, bringing in unexpected flavors or a new method of preparation. As part of my continued partnership with Crock-Pot® brand slow cooker, and in conceptualizing a holiday recipe using it, I knew it was the perfect tool for creating the best cranberry sauce this holiday season has ever seen. This here cranberry sauce was born to be the star of the show, rather than the unloved side that so many know it to be.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  5. Slow Cooker Fall Carnitas Tacos {Grain-free}

    Disclosure: Post sponsored by Crock-Pot® brand slow cooker & Mirum Shopper, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

    Slow Cooker Fall Carnitas Tacos {Grain-free}

    Slow Cooker Fall Carnitas Tacos {Grain-free}

    Besides the usual fall foods we all get excited about, pumpkin-spiced everything, apples everywhere and of course, squash, I personally find most exciting, that fall once again opens the door to comfort food! Those soul-warming, hot, hearty meals that feel like a hug from your favorite family member.

    Fall always brings me back to aromatic, warming meals that celebrate the slowing down that comes with the cooler weather. I have always loved and admired that Mexican cuisine not only celebrates creative and powerful flavors, but also it’s the kind of food that brings family together with “oohs and ahhhs”. Meals featuring meats typically cooked all day, tended to with care in anticipation of the entire family coming together and celebrating. These Slow Cooker Fall Carnitas Tacos bring together classic flavors with an unexpected twist from traditional fall ingredients.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  6. Spiced Persimmon Bellini

    Spiced Persimmon Bellini

    As we usher in the New Year, like so many others I find myself reflecting on the year we are leaving behind. While I love the practice of looking ahead and setting goals for the new year that awaits me, I have never been one for resolutions or other conventional traditions.

    Instead, I prefer to reflect on the year passed, honoring the various accomplishments and acknowledging the many challenges that shaped me, preparing me for an even better new year ahead. For me, 2015 was a year focused on gratitude, I learned to honor myself and not get lost in other people, I rose and accepted my constant draw towards balance and I finished the year with a new practice focused on non-attachment, learning to let go of attachment, aversions, fears, and false identities that are clouding my true Self.

    Spiced Persimmon Bellini

    I think rather than setting unattainable goals or planning huge resolutions for major change, that at times can actually set us up for failure, it is so much more meaningful to honor the new paths, celebrate the beautiful transitions and the growth that awaits us, by constantly practicing gratitude for what we already have. Every single day!

    Ultimately, whatever you manifest for the new year, whether you set intentions or prefer to cultivate gratitude, none of it has to make sense to anyone but you. Entering this new year with mindfulness, cultivation of gratitude and compassion for yourself and everyone around you – there is absolutely NO WAY 2016 could be anything other than amazing!

    Read the rest of this entry »

  7. Chai Spiced Coconut Fig Popsicles {Vegan}

    Chai Spiced Coconut Fig Popsicles

    Though the end of summer is just around the corner, I would say it is hard to know that at times here in Southern California. We had some pretty hot days last week and since we don’t have any air conditioning at home and we both work out of the house, I found myself with a serious craving for some tasty, creamy homemade popsicles. And the beach.

    I had been craving some of my homemade chai recently, but the idea of hot chai tea was very quickly dismissed, while I found myself sweating in the summer heat. Naturally, the next logical thought was a popsicle version of the tasty hot coconut chai lattes, that I make during the winter months. With the abundance of figs we have coming from our tree, I was dying to find a way to incorporate them into whatever popsicle I made, so the idea was born for these delicious, creamy Chai Spiced Coconut Fig Popsicles.

    For lack of sounding like I am bragging, these are THE BEST homemade popsicles I have ever made. They are full of amazing chai flavor and they are so perfectly creamy and rich. The only bad part of all of this amazingness was the day I decided to photograph these, it was well over 90 degrees in our house and the popsicles were melting so fast I couldn’t keep up. I was scrambling, running, yelling and snapping. I was able to snap these two photos and before you know it I had a puddle of creamy goodness on my hands. I tried to pull the few remaining popsicles out and they had melted so quickly in the molds they were disfigured and wonky, the sticks came out of a couple, it was just a hot mess. Literally. The remaining few were more than good enough to eat, but not really pretty enough for photos. A shame really.

    I thought about remaking these and photographing them again, but that would just delay me getting this amazing recipe to you, and I couldn’t bear that thought of that. These are far too delicious not to share. So, please excuse the photos, but trust me when I tell you that you need to make these ASAP.

    Chai Spiced Coconut Fig Popsicles

    Read the rest of this entry »

  8. Spiced Maple Roasted Baby Carrots with Toasted Coconut – Gluten-free + Vegan

    *The following post is sponsored by Grimmway Farms. All content and opinions are my own.*

    Spiced Maple Roasted Baby Carrots with Toasted Coconut - Gluten-free + Vegan

    It is a rare thing that I serve carrots as a side dish with meals around here. My hubby Mark tends to be quite vocal about his disdain for carrots, if they are served any other way than raw. However, I have been on a mission to get him to enjoy carrots other than just being dipped in ranch, blue cheese or hummus. So, when Grimmway Farms contacted me to create a simple holiday side dish with their amazing baby carrots, I was very excited for another opportunity to win my hubby over with this nutrition-packed veggie!

    Spiced Maple Roasted Baby Carrots with Toasted Coconut - Gluten-free + Vegan

    Carrots are a nutrition powerhouse and they are just so darn good for you, which is why I am always trying to get Mark to eat them. Carrots provide over 15 essential vitamins and minerals along with phytonutrients and fiber that are important for good health. One serving of baby carrots (85 grams; about 9 medium baby carrots) provides just 35 calories and is a source of over 15 vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and niacin. Read the rest of this entry »

  9. Holiday Gift Guide: Food & Drink

    Hey all! I am super excited to be partnering with some really great brands this season to bring you the first-ever Tasty Yummies Holiday Gift Guide. This 5-part series will go live on Tuesdays from now until Christmas. Each week, I will be featuring a different theme with products from some of my very favorite companies. I have been working very hard to bring you some really great stuff! So please, click over to their sites and show these wonderful, mindful companies some love this holiday season and if you buy, please tell them that Tasty Yummies sent you. Also, stay tuned for some amazing features and giveaways with a few of these great brands throughout this holiday season.

    2013 Holiday Gift Guide - Food & Drink Read the rest of this entry »

  10. Indian-Spiced Butternut Squash Mash with Toasted Coconut (Gluten-free + Vegan)

    Indian-Spiced Butternut Squash Mash with Toasted Coconut (Gluten-free + Vegan)

    This month as part of my ongoing series with Free People, I am sharing a series of healthy gluten-free and vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes.  I absolutely love Thanksgiving, the entire holiday season really, and I get excited to start planning my Thanksgiving menu as soon as the fall season hits.

    For this series, I will be sharing both classic recipes re-imagined and some unique and totally non-traditional recipes that you aren’t used to seeing amongst your traditional Thanksgiving spreads.

    Indian-Spiced Butternut Squash Mash with Toasted Coconut (Gluten-free + Vegan)

    A blend of classic traditional Thanksgiving ingredients with a little non-traditional Indian inspiration, this butternut squash mash is sure to please everyone at your feast, but especially those who are gluten-free and/or vegan, who may likely have limited options. It is creamy, rustic and full of so many amazing flavors.

    Indian-Spiced Butternut Squash Mash with Toasted Coconut (Gluten-free + Vegan)

    Head to the Free People blog BLDG 25, to get the full recipe and stay tuned throughout the entire month of November as I share a new gluten-free vegetarian Thanksgiving creation each week! Plus, make sure to check in here on Tasty Yummies starting later this week, where I have a really fun Thanksgiving series planned for you guys. More on that soon.

    5 from 1 reviews
    Indian-Spiced Butternut Squash Mash with Toasted Coconut (Gluten-free + Vegan)
    Serves: 4-6
    • 2-3 lb butternut squash, halved and seeded, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
    • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, finely minced or grated
    • 1 tablespoon garam masala powder (you can add more if you want the flavor to be even more powerful)
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt
    • ¼ cup coconut milk, full-fat canned kind
    • ⅓ cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
    • fresh cilantro for serving, optional
    1. Preheat the oven 400º F.
    2. Toss the squash with oil, salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer on a rimmed baking pan. Roast, tossing occasionally, until just tender and golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. While the squash is roasting, arrange the raw coconut in a single layer on another baking sheet. Once the squash comes out, place the coconut in, bake for about 3 to 5 minutes, toss around and then bake another 3 to 5 minutes. Watch it carefully, as it can burn quickly.
    3. Once the squash and coconut are both ready and out of the oven, heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add in the mustard and cumin seeds, heat for a few minutes until the spices begin dancing around the pan, popping and jumping. Add in the garlic, ginger, garam masala powder and salt. Stir around for a minute or two, reduce the heat to low or off, add in the roasted squash cubes and coconut milk and mash by hand with a potato masher, until as smooth and creamy as you’d like it to be. Salt to taste, serve immediately topped with toasted shredded coconut and a little fresh cilantro, if you’d like.

  11. Grain-free Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts (Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free)

    Grain-free Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts (Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free)

    Here it is, the first of, I am sure, many, many pumpkin recipes for the season. If you haven’t noticed in years past, or if I haven’t made it clear enough, I am an absolute autumn junkie! I love just everything about it. Well everything except the part about summer being over. Living on the East Coast the fall is by far the most beautiful season of them all, the colors are incredible, the air has a crisp, cool breeze that feels like a dream, I get excited to pull out the fall boots, scarfs and other various layers and I plan lots of fun autumn activities for us. Fall is definitely the reminder that we are all getting ready to hunker down and get all cozy for the long winter ahead and somehow no one around here really minds, in fact in some ways it is welcomed with open arms and even celebrated. We haven’t even sold our house yet but I am sure of the fact that I am going to miss Autumn almost as much as my family, once we officially make the move to California.

    Grain-free Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts (Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free)

    For me, nothing celebrates all of the lovely things about Autumn better than a spiced pumpkin treat, so when Danielle of Against All Grain contacted me to share a recipe with her readers, and she gave me the list of dates, I had to choose today, September 22, the Autumnal Equinox. The perfect day to celebrate all things pumpkin!

    I am sure most of you are, but if you aren’t familiar with Danielle’s incredible blog, Against All Grain, you MUST get yourself acquainted. Against All Grain celebrates and shares wonderful recipes that are entirely grain-free (and therefore consequently gluten-free), free of refined sugars, and low to minimal dairy. Danielle’s site is great for those that follow the Paleo, Primal, SCD, GAPS, and Gluten-Free lifestyles. Danielle wrote to ask me to share a post with her readers while she is off working on her Against All Grain cookbook that will be on shelves in Fall 2013 and I am so excited for her, I definitely plan to have that book in my collection!

    These pumpkin pie tarts are quite simple to make (although it may seem like a lot of steps when you read the recipe) and they will knock the socks off any pumpkin lover. The crust is entirely grain-free made with almond flour and it has a hint of spices that make the house smell so lovely when they are baking. The pie filling is creamy and rich but without any dairy, which is amazingly unbelievable. Of course, I had to top these treats off with a little whipped coconut cream to round out the flavors perfectly.
    Grain-free Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts (Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free)
    This post was originally shared on Against All Grain. If you are looking for my quick and easy recipe for making your own pumpkin puree at home see my post here.

    [print_this]Grain-free Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts (Gluten-free, Vegan + Refined Sugar-free)
    (Makes 12 mini-tarts) 


    Tart Shells:

    • 2 cups almond flour
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup*
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • dash of ground nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt


    • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup*
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 cup fresh pumpkin puree (see my post on how to make your own, canned will also do)
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • a pinch of ground cloves
    • a dash of sea salt

    Whipped Coconut Cream:

    • 1 can organic full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
    • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (use more or less or none at all, or whatever your favorite sweetener is)*
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla

    *Maple can be substituted 1:1 for honey if you follow SCD




    Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 12 cups in a muffin tin with paper liners (you could also use greased mini tart pans).
    In a large bowl, add all of the crust ingredients and mix very well. Really get your hands in there to get it all together and work it into a nice dough.
    Add the crust mixture to the muffin cups and press down firmly into the cup using your knuckles, going up the sides a tad bit.
    Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
    Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then place the pan in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the tarts and serve. (Many times I make the tart shells the night before and keep them in the fridge until I am ready to serve)



    Drain the cashews and add them to your food processor and give them a whirl by themselves for a bit, to break them up and start turning them into a paste of sorts.
    Once the cashews are broken up add in the maple syrup, vanilla and coconut oil, process that a bit more until it is a smooth and creamy paste.
    Add in the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.


    Whipped Coconut Cream:

    Make sure that your can of coconut milk is well chilled. I recommend leaving it in the fridge overnight. Open the can of coconut milk carefully, keeping it level. There will be a firm, waxy layer of coconut cream that solidified on top. Carefully scoop this off into a chilled glass bowl. Keep the leftover coconut water, it is great for smoothies.

    Using a mixer, whip the coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy, with soft peaks. Mix in your maple syrup and vanilla, if you are using. Place the whipped coconut cream back into the fridge until you are ready to use. This may be more than what you need for all 12 tarts, depending on how much you put on top, but that’s ok, it keeps for several days, covered in the fridge.



    Remove the paper liner off of the tart shells. Top each of the tart shells with a spoonful of the pumpkin filling and a dollop of whipped coconut cream, sprinkle with a little ground cinnamon. Serve immediately.



  12. Homemade Chai Concentrate

    Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate


    I have seen quite a few recipes floating around on blogs and on Pinterest for homemade chai concentrate. Why hadn’t I thought of this before? It’s so easy and you can customize your own recipe to exactly what you are looking for in your chai. I like mine spicy, with a strong tea flavor and with a subtle sweetness. I find the packaged concentrates from the grocery store to really lack flavor and many times they are just too sweet for me.

    Ingredients for Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate

    I looked around at tons of different recipes and ultimately settled on creating this customized recipe based on my own personal favorite tastes, when it comes to chai. I have made it three times now to get it exactly how I wanted it. The first time I added my coconut sugar and honey in at the end, which resulted in a cloudy concentrate. It tasted perfectly delicious but it bothered me that it was cloudy. I made it a second time using date sugar and honey at the start, the sweetness was so nice but the date sugar I had was a bit clumpy, which annoyed me. The final time I used coconut sugar again but added it at the start, this time I skipped the honey. I saw a few recipes without pepper at all and some with just a tad bit of ground pepper. I really love the spiciness from the pepper so I added in whole peppercorns. I also really love the addition of orange zest and nutmeg in my chai. I love that there are no rules when making your own chai concentrate. Use this or any other recipes as a guide, but tweak the recipe and ingredients to your preference. Have fun with it.

    You can serve your chai warm as a hot latte or cold as an iced latte. Either way, I go with a 1 to 1 mixture on the chai concentrate to a non-dairy milk. I prefer almond milk personally, but you could use regular milk or any other non-dairy milk. If you like it less strong, use less tea bags, or mix 1 part concentrate to 3 parts milk instead of 1 or 2. Play around. If you are like me, after you make this once and take the first sip, you will be sure to always have a batch in the fridge.

    Spices for Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate

    This Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate would make a lovely holiday gift in a mason jar with a cute tag, some ribbon or twine, etc. Another great gift idea would be to pre-mix all of the spices and place them with the tea bags into a cute little cheesecloth pouch for an adorable chai concentrate mix packet, so your recipient can make their concentrate whenever they wish, adding or taking away any spices of their choosing. You would just want to substitute dried ginger for fresh and skip the orange zest. And of course provide the recipient with the following instructions ::: To make your chai concentrate, place 4 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup coconut, date or raw cane sugar in a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the cheesecloth pouch in. Simmer for 20 minutes, remove the pouch, then stir in 1 tablespoon of honey (optional). Allow to cool before pouring it in an air tight container or jar and placing in the fridge to cool. Keeps up to 7 days. For a latte, hot or cold, mix one part concentrate to one part milk of your choice, warm up or serve over ice. :::

    PS – I am loving the comments about using the concentrate in other things like baked goods or making a syrup from it. SO brilliant, I didn’t even think of that. Great ideas!

    Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate

    [print_this]Homemade Chai Concentrate
    Yields: 1 batch of concentrate, approximately 4 cups
    adapted to suit my personal taste from many different recipes – this one and this one mostly.

    4 1/2 cups water
    8 bags black tea – I used orange pekoe
    2 cinnamon sticks
    1 vanilla bean, split in half (or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract added at the very end)
    1/2 cup coconut sugar, date sugar or raw cane sugar (you can add more or less depending on how sweet you like your chai)
    1 – 3-inch section of fresh ginger, cut into pieces
    10 whole cloves
    8 cardamom pods
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
    2 whole star anise pods
    1/2 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
    1 teaspoon orange zest
    1 tablespoon raw honey (optional, leave off to make vegan, if you want it to be sweeter without the honey, add a bit more sugar in at the beginning)

    1 small square section of cheesecloth, approximately 6″ square (if you don’t want to mess with cheesecloth, make sure you have a good strainer you can use at the end)
    kitchen twine

    Prepare the teabags by removing any tags if there are any and tying them all together. Prepare the spices, vanilla bean and orange zest by laying them in your cheesecloth, I leave my cinnamon sticks out to make the little pouch of spices a bit more compact. Tie the cheesecloth pouch shut with a small piece of kitchen twine. If you leave the cinnamon sticks out, just tie them together with kitchen twine.

    *If you don’t wish to use cheesecloth, you will just add all of your spices directly to the pan when the time comes and strain them out after.

    Add the water and sugar to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and put in the tea bags, cheesecloth pouch and cinnamon sticks. Simmer for 20 minutes.

    Remove the pan from the heat strain the concentrate through a sieve or just remove the tea bags, cheesecloth pouch and cinnamon sticks. At this point if you want a bit more sweetness you can add a tablespoon of honey, stir to dissolve. I don’t always do this, but it is a really nice touch. Additionally, if you didn’t use a whole vanilla bean, add your vanilla extract now. Stir to combine.

    Allow the mixture to cool before pouring it into an airtight jar or container. This amount fits perfectly into a 1-quart mason jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

    ** To serve, mix 1 part concentrate with 1 part milk of your choice. I personally love unsweeteened almond milk (you can even make your own). Heat for a warm beverage or serve over ice for a cold drink. [/print_this]

    Ice Chai Latte made from Homemade Chai Tea Concentrate

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