low carb

Recipe: No-Bake Sweet Potato Pie (gluten-free, vegan, low-sugar, grain-free, nut-free)

No-Bake Sweet Potato Pie

The original recipe for this pie was published in my 2011 recipe calendar A Year to Eat Freely. It was a really fun recipe project that I had for sale through Etsy. While I won't be publishing another calendar for 2012, I really enjoyed the learning process and experience of creating the first calendar. 

I made a few tweaks to the original recipe and wanted to share it with you. It is different than a traditonal sweet potato pie that is baked, but has its own distinctive flavor and texture that is very good. It would be perfect for your holiday table. 

No-Bake Sweet Potato Pie

yield 1 8- or 9-inch pie

Filling

  • 3 cups cooked sweet potato puree (from about 2 1/2 pounds sweet potato, or 3 large)
  • 1 1/4 milk full fat coconut milk or other non-dairy milk (a fattier milk like nut milk or hemp milk is better)
  • 1 teaspoon agar agar powder or 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, ghee, or other neutral-tasting oil
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 30-40 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Crust

  • 3 tablespoon finely ground chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar, or more to taste
  • 25-30 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3-4 tablespoons apple cider or apple juice

Bake the Potatoes

Heat oven to 400° F. Pierce each sweet potato several times with a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.

Prepare Crust

While sweet potatoes cool, prepare crust. Lightly toast seeds and coconut in batches in a large dry sauté pan over medium heat, stirring often until lightly golden then remove from heat and let cool. Place cooled seeds and coconut in food processor, along with ground chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt, and grind until fine. Whisk together apple cider, maple syrup/honey/agave nectar, stevia, and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour into food processor with machine running, until it forms a sticky dough, stopping to scrape sides as needed. Add more apple cider/juice by the tablespoon if mixture is too dry. Let sit for 5 minutes. 

Lightly oil a glass pie plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the seed mixture, then press remaining mixture firmly on the bottom and sides of the pie plate, smoothing with wet fingers or a silicon spatula, forming a thick, even crust. Set aside as you prepare filing. 

Prepare Filling

Scoop out sweet potato flesh and place in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. If too thick or dry, add a small amount of apple juice, apple cider, or water by the tablespoon until mixture moves smoothly. Scoop out 3 cups to use for filling, and save any extra for other recipes. 

Sprinkle agar agar or gelatin over 1/4 cup of coconut milk and sit for 5 minutes, then whisk vigorously. While it sits, bring remaining 1 cup of milk to a boil in a saucepan. Add whisked gelatin/agar agar liquid and stir while simmering, whisking until fully dissolved, about 3-4 minutes. Add hot milk mixture to a food processor blender along with sweet potato and remaining filling ingredients. Process until totally smooth, adjusting sweetener to taste.

Assemble the Pie

Spread filling evenly into prepared crust, smoothing with a spatula, then sprinkling top of pie with reserved seed mixture. Place in the refrigerator and cool for at least 4 hours, until filling is firm. Remove from refrigerator and let sit out for 15-20 minutes before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

*The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

*Heads up! This post may contain some affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links you won't pay a single cent more, but I'll get a small commission that helps keep the content flowing. P.S. I only recommend products I use in my own daily life!

Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Salt, Two Ways

Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Salt, Two Ways

Vanilla Salt

There are all kinds of fancy salts out there for you to blow your paycheck on. Confession: I own many of them

Thankfully, one of my favorite salts is one that I make at home. Vanilla salt couldn't be easier to prepare, and the end result is lovely. I have two methods for creating vanilla salt, yielding different yet equally delightful results. I am sharing both methods with you; try each one and see which fits you best. I use my vanilla salt in baked goods, with fruit, over roasted sweet potatoes or squash, sprinkled over chocolaty desserts, or with roasted or grilled meats (helloooooo pork and chicken). I think you'll like it too. If you decorate the jar with a cute label and a bit of ribbon, you have a wonderful homemade gift. 

Vanilla beans are über-expensive if you buy them one-by-one or in small quantities. The trick is to buy a big bag and split the cost with a friend. A fellow foodie and I split the cost of this 1/2 pound bag of vanilla beans. We each ended up with about 30 beans for only about $13 per person. Sweet deal, right? 

Recipe: Cabbage Apple Slaw (gluten-free, vegan, grain-free, ACD)

Recipe: Cabbage Apple Slaw (gluten-free, vegan, grain-free, ACD)

Cabbage-Apple Slaw

Simple slaws are ideal for every season of the year. They are crunchy and light, yet satisfying and filling, and endlessly adaptable to a variety of seasonal produce. Despite this, my favorite time of year for slaws is late summer and fall, when farmers markets are bursting with fresh, crisp cabbages. The sweet, glistening, unblemished leaves tempt me from every vendor table, and inevitably, I go home with a weighty cabbage in my market basket.

I was inspired to combine my beloved green cabbage with another locally grown favorite, the spectacular Honeycrisp apple. The Honeycrisp was developed by the University of Minnesota's Horicultural Research Center in the 1970s, and has won a devoted following of fans. There are a number of wonderful orchards in the Minnesota and Western Wisconsin that grow this apple, and every year I anticipate the arrival of locally grown Honeycrisps at my farmers market and co-op. The flavor is sweet like honey and slightly tart, and it has a marvelously crisp, juicy texture that is, in my opinion, the sign of a perfect apple. Equally good for eating raw or baking, Honeycrisp is one of my favorite apples, hands down. 

The combination of sweet, fresh cabbage, sweet and tart apple, plump golden raisins, toasted caraway, and a hint of nutmeg in this slaw is magic. It only takes minutes to prepare, and it holds up in the fridge for 2 days without becoming soggy. 

Oh me oh my, autumn tastes so good. 

Recipe: Marble Layer Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting and Strawberry Jam (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

Recipe: Marble Layer Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting and Strawberry Jam (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

 

Do you the blog The Spunky Coconut? If you haven't visited yet, I suggest you do. Kelly creates wonderful recipes that are flavorful, unique, and easy to prepare, and I am consistently inspired by her positive attitude and creative vision. It was she that inspired this beautiful cake!

A few weeks ago I was in search of a recipe for a gluten-free cake for my cousin's birthday. When I landed upon Kelly's recipe for Marble Cake, I did a happy dance inside. Not only was the cake gluten-free, it was totally grain-free. A cake made of beans?! I had to try it. I found a chocolate frosting recipe in another post. Hoping for something a little more extravagant than a sheet cake, I decided to make a chocolate frosted marble layer cake, with my homemade strawberry-chocolate mint jam sandwiched between each layer.

Working with this cake and frosting was an absolute pleasure. Her cake recipes were easy to follow and simple to prepare. The cake was firm and moist, and came out of the pan easily. The frosting was also very simple to prepare, and the result was thick, sweet, and easy to spread. I was amazed; it actually behaved better than some conventional frostings I made in years past! As I sampled bits of cake scraps smeared with frosting and my strawberry jam, I knew this cake would be a winner, and smiled. I haven't made many layer cakes in the last few years, and I was having a blast.

Recipe: Tuna & Chickpea Salad with Olives and Basil (gluten-free, ACD)

I like to mix tuna with beans for simple salads. The tuna provides pure protein while the beans provide a mix of protein and complex carbohydrates. Add olive oil for healthy fat, and hooray, you have a versatile framework for a satisfying and nutrient dense meal. Build upon this basic framework by adding any variety of herbs, spices, or other ingredients. 

This time around, I combined tuna and chickpeas with green olives, basil, lime juice, olive oil, and pinch of cayenne pepper.  If you can eat cheese, a bit of crumbled feta in this salad would be really fab. I served it over mixed baby greens for light and nourishing meal, but it would be great served in a brown rice tortilla or a collard leaf for an easy wrap, or served as an open-face sandwich on a slice of your favorite gluten-free bread. 

IMG_2381

Tuna & Chickpea Salad with Olives and Basil

Yield: 2-4 servings

This simple salad is a breeze to prepare and very delicious. Serve as a salad on its own, or scoop over greens or use in a wrap. The high protein content balanced with complex carbohydrates and healthy fat makes this a satisfying and nourishing addition to any meal. And it's affordable to boot!

If you have soy allergies, be sure to check the ingredients on your tuna. Many varieties of tuna contain vegetable broth that contains soy. I often buy soy-free water-packed tuna from  the brands Genova, American Tuna (BPA-free can), Wild Planet (BPA-free can), or Natural Value (will be BPA-free soon), or from Trader Joe's (BPA-free can). All of these tunas are packed in water and are dolphin safe. 

  • 1 5-oz. can water-packed tuna (salted or unsalted)
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas (approx. 1 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 10 large fresh sweet Italian basil leaves
  • 8 large green olives (pimiento-stuffed or not, your choice)
  • two glugs of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from 1 lime
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 pinches of cayenne pepper, to taste

Drain tuna and chickpeas, and rinse chickpeas thoroughly. Place in a medium bowl.

To prepare herb and vegetables, peel the onion and garlic then mince, and add to bowl with chickpeas and tuna. Slice basil in a chiffonade, then thinly slice the green olives cross-wise to create rounds. Add basil and olives to bowl and toss ingredients together lightly with a fork. Add olive oil, lime juice, and seasonings, stir to combine with a fork, and adjust seasoning to taste.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes for flavors to meld, then serve. 

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days. 

HINT: if you want to use this as a sandwich filling or wrap filling, I would recommend lightly mashing the chickpeas before adding the tuna and other ingredients. That way, your chickpeas won't roll right out of your sandwich! A potato masher or a pastry cutter works great for mashing chickpeas, as does a fork. 


*The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

*Heads up! This post may contain some affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links you won't pay a single cent more, but I'll get a small commission that helps keep the content flowing. P.S. I only recommend products I use in my own daily life!