Triple Carob Glazed Donuts (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free, vegan)

Sometimes you just want something “good” for breakfast instead of the usual smoothie.  This is one of my go-to recipes when that happens to me.  This is not a very sweet donut so if you like your donuts sweeter, just increase the amount of monk fruit powder in the recipe.  But I find that the glaze gives it all the sweetness it needs. This recipe makes six donuts.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a donut pan (be sure to grease the center as well so your donuts don’t stick in the middle.

In a medium bowl combine:

  • 1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca (or arrowroot) flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet sorghum flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup carob (or cocoa) powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon monk fruit powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup unsweetened carob (or chocolate) chips

In a second small bowl combine:

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup club soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix by hand until combined (be sure to scrap the bottom of the bowl so that you get all the dry ingredients mixed in; I only say this because I frequently find when I scoop out the dough into the gallon zip bag that there’s dry on the bottom of the bowl).  Scoop the dough into a gallon ziplock bag.  Cut off a bottom corner and pipe into the prepared donut pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Try to make all the donuts the same size so that they all cook at the same rate.

Remove the donuts from the oven and let sit on the counter for a couple of minutes while you prepare the ganache (see recipe under Sauces…).  Loosen the donuts from the pan and turn onto a cooling rack.  Dip each donut into the ganache to coat the tops.  

TIP:  You’ll probably have some ganache left over — make some truffles letting the ganache firm up in the refrigerator and then roll (about a tablespoon or two) into a ball and then roll in ground nuts, flax and chia seeds, hemp hulls, coconut, or carob powder.  

Quinoa and Rice Cereal with Fruit (dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan)

I grew up in New Hampshire and my mother was always very frustrated with me in the winter because I absolutely refused to eat any type of hot cereal.  I remember distinctly back in the 1950s and 1960s that Maypo was the go to hot cereal along, of course, with oatmeal.  Not for me!  I hated hot cereal, it was always so slimy in my mouth.  Probably the way my mother cooked it.  My mother would be so upset with me now to see how much hot cereal I eat during the winter.  This is one of my favorites.  I used to buy expensive quinoa and rice cereal already premade, just add the liquid and cook it.  Now I make my own; so easy and it can be done with the new overnight refrigerator technique.  I give you the stovetop version here.  Makes two servings.

In a medium saucepot:

  • 1/2 cup white quinoa
  • 1 small pear diced
  • 8-10 blackberries or raspberries (blackberries don’t break up as much as raspberries so I usually use those and its fine to take them out of the freezer and add them into the pot frozen)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash or two of salt

In a blender, blend until mainly smooth:

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cold water

Add this to the pot, cover and cook over low heat, stirring frequently.  This will thicken   quickly because of the fruit so be sure to stir often.  Keeping it covered insures that the quinoa cooks.  When the quinoa looses its white sheen, its cooked.  If its too wet, cook uncovered for a few more minutes.

Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup if the fruit hasn’t gotten it sweet enough.  You can also feel free to add a tablespoon of ground flax, some chia seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, etc.  Or substitute an apple for the pear.

To use the overnight refrigerator technique, put all the ingredients into a large mason jar, shake to mix (or stir), and refrigerate overnight.  Heat up in the morning and enjoy.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, sugar-free, soy-free, vegan)

This is a very moist muffin, almost decadent in flavor with all the spices added.  Yet with the garbanzo beans ground into the wet ingredients, it has some protein along with the carbohydrates.  Its sweetened with dates so there’s no added refined sugar.  Because its gluten-free, it needs to cook a little longer than a regular muffin and it also needs to be made in regular muffin/cupcake pans rather than the jumbo (or the teeny ones would work but you’ll get more than the dozen).  And its versatile, you can make it with pumpkin, sweet potato, or butternut squash (or a mixture of squashes).

Prepare 12 muffin/cupcakes by grease and flouring them.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a blender or food processor, combine until smooth:

  • 1 cup drained garbanzo beans
  • 2 cups (or 15 ounces if you’re using canned) pumpkin, sweet potato or squash
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates (using the ones mixed with flour will help dry the batter)
  • 1/2 cup dried prunes (or you could use dried figs)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Meanwhile in a large bowl combine:

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates

When the wet ingredients are well mixed and all solid bits are broken down, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and hand mix until all the flour is combined.  Divide as evenly as possible between the muffin cups and bake for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your muffins.  If you’re using the teeny muffin pans, baking time will probably be only 10-12 minutes.  These are so tasty that they don’t need cream cheese or butter but can be eaten just as baked.  Be sure to let them sit 10-15 minutes after removing them from the oven so that they dry out a little more in the baking pan.

Gluten-free Pancakes (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, sugar-free)

I do love pancakes, one of my favorite breakfasts on Sundays, the only day I allow myself something other than a smoothie.  Its been hard to find a recipe for gluten-free pancakes that doesn’t result in a gummy pancake.  This one fits the bill.

In a small bowl mix:

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk, preferably unsweetened
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

In a medium size bowl combine:

  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax (I use the golden and it doesn’t change the color of my baked goods)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

In a small (4-cup) bowl, whip:

  • 2 tablespoons aquafaba
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon monk fruit powder

Whip on medium until stiff peaks form and then increase speed to maximum and whip another 4-5 minutes.

Add to the flour mixture:

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil OR 1/4 cup fruit puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Add the milk mixture and stir until combined.  Gently fold in the aquafaba mixture.  Drop by 1/4 cups onto greased, heated skillet and cook until bubbling and then turn over and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add some maple syrup and enjoy.

 

Gluten-free Waffles (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, sugar-free)

One of the most difficult recipes to adapt, in my opinion, has been waffles and pancakes.  If they taste great, they’re gummy.  Not these — light and fluffy and at the same time very crispy and oh so good.  And I learned a great tip for cleaning my waffle iron (that doesn’t come apart to wash) — after you’re done cooking your waffles and the iron is still hot, place a flat paper towel inside the iron and close the lid and it will steam clean your waffle iron.  In my 4-waffle iron, this batter made 8 waffles.

In a small bowl combine:

  • 1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

In a medium size bowl place:

  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Stir dry ingredients to mix.  In another bowl (4-cup capacity), beat on medium:

  • 3 tablespoons aquafaba
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon monk fruit powder

Beat until stiff peaks form and then increase speed and continue to beat for another 2 minutes until they become marshmallow like.  Increase to highest speed and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add:

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup applesauce or other fruit puree
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil

Add the milk mixture and combine until well mixed.  Gently fold in the aquafaba mixture.  Grease your waffle iron and make sure it is hot.  Pour 1/4 cup of batter (per waffle) into your waffle iron and cook.  You may need a little more than a 1/4 cup — as you can see from the picture, mine could have taken a little more batter to completely fill the waffle iron.  Add syrup and enjoy!

Apple Blueberry Muffins (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free, vegan)

Blueberry muffins are a summer family tradition in my family that I’ve had to forgo for many years now.   I can remember in my youth, the whole family going to the Meader farm to pick blueberries after supper and then we’d go to the lake for a swim to cool off.  The next day, along with freezing most of the berries, my mother would make blueberry muffins to go with a cold salad (like the salmon salad on this blog) for supper that night.  It would probably also be accompanied by some sliced tomatoes.  This is a simple, quick recipe that makes light and moist muffins.  The tapioca flour gives the outside a nice crunch.

Preheat oven to 375 degree and grease  6 large or 12 small muffin tins.

In a large bowl combine:

  • 1 3/4 cups brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon stevia
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice, unflavored
  • 1 cup of chunky applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries dredged in 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Mix until all the ingredients are well combined; gluten-free baked goods often need a little more mixing than their gluten counterparts.  The mixture should bubble up while you’re mixing it when the vinegar hits the baking soda.  If its too thick (should be the consistency of mashed potatoes), add a little more milk by tablespoons.

Spoon into the greased muffin tins making sure all the muffins have equal amounts of batter.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Best enjoyed warm.

Smoothies

I am a creature of habit and one habit I’ve had for a number of years now is my breakfast smoothie.  Rarely do I eat anything other than my smoothie for breakfast.  I like to make them thick and creamy — almost like a soft-serve ice cream.  I never imagined that this would be a satisfying breakfast but it sure fills me up and gets my day going.  Here are some of my favorites.

TIP:  When making the fruit purees, they don’t have to be perfectly smooth because you’ll be adding them into a blender to make your smoothie and that will complete the puree process.  Also, if making the purees with the skin included, be sure you use only organic fruit since you won’t be peeling them and the pesticides are usually found in the skin.

Another TIP:  Be sure to mark your containers so you don’t get one out expecting a certain fruit and then find you’ve made an entirely different flavor!  Been there done that.

TIP:  Change up the flavor of your smoothies by alternating cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves, etc., depending on your taste.  Use one or several spices.  You can also alternate the flavor of your protein powders for entirely different tasting smoothies.  I usually use the vanilla flavors but chocolate goes very well with the strawberry.

TIP:  I usually find these are sweet enough for my taste but add a little stevia, agave or coconut nectar, date syrup or honey if you want them sweeter.

TIP:  I also add a scoop of marine collagen for my skin and nails.  It doesn’t change the taste however it does affect the texture making it slightly smoother or creamier.

Put in a blender:

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice
  • 1-2 scoops of protein powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed (the golden work best since you don’t get the discoloration)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of frozen fruit (see suggestions below)
  1. Strawberry
  • Add 6 ounces of frozen strawberries

Start blending on the lowest setting and as the smoothie starts to come together, increase speed.  If you find you’ve added too many strawberries (often happens to me!), add milk until you get the correct consistency.

I sometimes like to add some frozen acai, 1/2 a frozen banana or 3-5 pieces of frozen mango.  Be sure to adjust the strawberries to account for the other fruit so that you still have 6 ounces of fruit.

2.  Fig

This is one of the creamiest smoothies I’ve found and is also my favorite.  It involves some planning since you have to prepare the figs ahead of time but its well worth the trouble.

First, in a saucepan:

  • 10-12 fresh ripe figs (1 pound), washed and stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons of water

OR

  • 24 ounces of dried figs
  • 1/2 cup of water

Cover the saucepan and cook over a low heat until the figs are soft. Be sure to stir if you’re using the dried figs to be sure all of them become rehydrated.  Cool and then using a potato masher, mash the figs (or you can put them in your food processor and pulse for a few seconds).  Place in 1 cup containers (don’t fill completely but leave a little room for expansion), freeze and use as above.  Will make 2-3 cups of puree depending on the size of your figs.

3.  Pear and Blackberry

Depending on how much you hate seeds, you can either use whole frozen blackberries or cook 2 cups of blackberries in a saucepan with a little water and then put the mixture through a sieve to get rid of the seeds (TIP: I freeze this, when cooled, in an ice cube tray and after it freezes, I put the cubes into a freezer bag).

The pears are much easier.  Just quarter and core your pears (my favorites are the Asian or Korean pears but any pear will work), and then pulse in your food processor.  Place in 1 cup containers and freeze.  Usually, I’ve found that 1 pear will make roughly 1 cup of puree, depending on the size of the pear.  Also, I don’t worry about peeling them since the processing will take care of the peel.

This is case, I like to add the 1 cup of pureed pear and then 4-6 whole blackberries or 2-4 of the frozen blackberry ice cubes.

4. Plum, Peach or Apricot

One of the easiest to prepare, just wash and make sure you remove any stems from the fruit, half to remove the pit and pulse in your food processor.  Put into 1 cup containers and freeze.  Depending on the size, 2 plums will make roughly 1 cup of plum puree, same for apricots, but 1 1/2 peach will make you roughly 1 cup of peach puree.  I like to add some raspberry coulis to the peach smoothie.

If you prefer, you can cook the diced plums, peaches or apricots in a little water; this will make the skins more palatable while keeping the fiber contained in the skins.  It only takes 5-10 minutes to cook them and you can spice them up at the same time.

5.  Pumpkin or Sweet Potato

  • 1 cup of canned or prepared pumpkin or sweet potato
  • 6-8 ice cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of stevia, 1 tablespoon of agave or coconut nectar, or honey

6.  Carob and Cherry

Use a 1/2-3/4 cup of frozen pitted cherries.  I add 1 tablespoon of carob powder (you could use cocoa) along with 1 tablespoon of date syrup and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Yummy!

Strawberry Jam (sugar free)

 

 

This is one of my favorite times of the year — strawberry season.  What a wonderful treat fresh picked strawberries are; they make so many great things, so much more than just strawberry shortcake.  Here’s a delicious and easy recipe for sugar-free strawberry jam.

Wash and hull:

  • 9 cups fresh strawberries

You can either mash them with a potato masher or puree them in your food processor; it all depends on how smooth you want your jam.  If you like pieces of strawberry in your jam, use the masher.

Follow the instructions on Pomona’s Universal Pectin to make calcium water.

Put in a 3 quart or larger pot:

  • 8 cups strawberries, pureed or mashed
  • 4 teaspoons calcium water

Bring to a boil.

While you’re waiting for the strawberries to heat, combine:

  • 3/4 cup agave nectar with
  • 4 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin

I find the pectin mixes best into the nectar if you add the pectin to the agave rather than adding the agave to the pectin.  Use a small whisk to blend.

When the strawberries are bubbling, stir in the pectin-nectar mixture.  Continue heating for several minutes (2-3) to dissolve the pectin.  Remove from heat.  Pour into water bathed jars.  This should make 4 pint jars and a 1/2 pint jar.

You can either put these filled jars into a water bath for 10 minutes or, I prefer the easier method of just letting them cool completely and then placing them in the freezer.

Rice Milk

Yes, you can make your own rice milk and its actually very easy to do, and much less expensive then buying quarts of it at the store.  You also control the amount of fat and sugar in the rice milk.  Here’s the basic recipe.

Add to a blender

  • 6 cups of cool water
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice (you can use white rice if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons of agave nectar*

Blend until smooth, it takes quite awhile, I usually blend it for approximately 8-10 minutes.  Pour through a small sieve to get out residue of the rice that did not blend.  Store in the refrigerator; this will last approximately 6-7 days.

*Optional; you can also increase or decrease the agave depending on how sweet you want the milk; for savory recipes, use less agave and for dessert recipes, use a little more if you want.

To make vanilla rice milk, add 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy (dairy-free, gluten-free)

 

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Grease 8×10 pan.  To make biscuits blend:

  • 1/4 cup all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup sweet sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum

Add and blend using a pastry cutter or fork

  • 1/4 cup softened margarine

Mix in

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup rice milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk), should be thick and a little sticky but not too dry
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

Spoon into pan; makes 6 medium sized biscuits.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.

 

To make sausage gravy, fry in a non-stick skillet

  • 1 pound lean turkey sausage (if you use pork sausage, drain off fat before proceeding)

When cooked, add

  • 2 cups of your favorite non-dairy milk (DO NOT USE SOY MILK)

Whisk until smooth

  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free all purpose flour (depending on the milk you use, you might need to use more than 1 tablespoon but no more than 2 TBS should work)
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk, except soy

Add to pan; whisk until smooth and thickened; this should only take about 2-3 minutes over medium heat.