Recipe Review: Cashew “Cheese” from The Spunky Coconut

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I tried this recipe from The Spunky Coconut a few weeks ago and I have been snacking happily ever since this wonderful little treat was finished.  Cashews add a wonderful flavor to just about anything and when I came across this video on how to make “Cashew Cheese” I just had to do it.  The flavor goes from nutty to surprisingly cheesy after the fermenting process done and after 24 hours in the refrigerator with some seasonings it is phenomenal!  This recipe called for probiotics to assist the fermenting process.  Here is how I made mine and a link to the video.  Enjoy! ~ Carmen

Vegan Cashew Cheese

Equipment needed:  Food Processor

Ingredients:

2 cups Cashew nuts – soak in water overnight

1 tbsp. grade B maple syrup

½ c. coconut cream (the “cream” at the top of the can, not the milky water at the bottom)

2 capsules of probiotics (depending on your brand)

2 tbsp. dried chives

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp.  fresh garlic

Paprika – for a bit of color

 Prep:

Strain the cashew nuts

Grind your cashews in the food processor for about 5 minutes, and then scrape it down.  Grind some more for another 10 minutes or until smooth.  This process time varies depending on your processor.  Add in the probiotics, coconut cream and mix well. 

Transfer the cashew mixture to a class pan and wrap in a towel.  At this point you can put it in the oven with just the light on or on a seedling mat.  I used the seedling mat as my oven light does not create an adequate amount of warmth.  Spunky Coconut uses a heating pad however; you need to double check that it does not shut of automatically.

Leave it in the heat for 12 to 24 hours; I left mine for 24 hours. 

Once your “cheese” is ready, add in your other ingredients and transfer the mixture to the fridge. 

24 hours later: Cashew Cheese!

 

                                                                        

Banana Blueberry Bread (Gluten, Egg, Dairy & Nut Free)

Weather in the Seattle area has been very typical lately: wet and chilly.  I wanted to make something that would be hearty and delicious with a cup of tea.  This bread is quick to throw together, easy and hits the spot. The bread is slightly chewy on the outside, dense and spongy on the inside.  If you are an egg eater, this would also make fantastic French toast.  Try adding raspberries instead of blueberries, or maybe even some raisins and apples.  I made this in my Breadman and the cook time was 60 minutes.  This is something that I have noticed about my bread machine, it takes longer than the over but is more consistent cooking.  The possibilities are endless! ~Carmen

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Banana Blueberry Bread (Gluten, Egg,  Dairy & Nut Free)

Equipment needed: Food Processor, hand mixer or bowl & spoon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:

1/3  cup maple syrup

2 tbsp honey

½ cup coconut oil

4 bananas – smashed

¼ tsp baking soda

1 ¾ c gluten-free flour

2 cups blueberries

Zest and juice of 1 small lemon

¼ tsp sea salt

Prep:

Combine syrup, banana, oil and blend until smooth.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients the add to wet mixture.  Last, add your blueberries and lemon zest.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.

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Basic “White” Cake Recipe (Gluten, Egg, Dairy & Nut Free)

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My son loves cake, he asks for it almost every day.  For the sake of variety (and the fact that I didn’t have kidney beans on hand for my chocolate cake) I decided that I would attempt a vanilla cake.  After hunting for a few recipes on the internet I could not come up with something that didn’t have at least one allergen or an unacceptable amount of sugar.  I decided to get out my food processor and do some experimenting. What I came up with was a sturdy cake suitable for layering or cupcakes.

The maple syrup creates a dense and creamy flavor that blends into the background.  The cake itself is not overly sweet and is wonderful with coconut cream topping and berries.  Add some cocoa and have a wonderful chocolate cake, a cup of orange juice instead of water would make a great orange pound cake, add lemon juice and zest for a lemon cake.  I served mine up with some coconut cream topping and blueberries, and it would be fantastic with a big scoop of ice cream if you can do dairy. Yum! The possibilities are truly endless. Let me know if you come up with some creative ways to use this recipe!  This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday at HolisticSquid.com!~ Carmen

Basic “White” Cake Recipe (Gluten, Egg, Dairy & Nut Free)

Equipment needed: Food processor/blender, hand mixer or just a simple bowl and spoon

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill GF Flour

1 cup grade B maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup water

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon vinegar

Prep:

Preheat oven to 355 degrees

Line a 9×9 square pan with parchment paper

Sift together all dry ingredients and set aside.

Blend water, coconut oil, vanilla, vinegar and maple syrup.  Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

Bake on 355 for 45 minutes.

Allow to cool on a wire rack, can be served hot right out of the oven!

Perfect Pancakes (Dairy, Nut, Gluten & Egg Free)

There is nothing like Sunday morning pancakes at the table with family.  When I found out that my kiddo had not only an allergy to all nuts but also to eggs, gluten and dairy I thought that we would never have a proper breakfast again.  Not so!  These pancakes are super tasty, just sweet enough and free of all the taboo ingredients.  They were such a hit I didn’t even have time to snap a photo! This recipe could be modified so many ways to make Irish Potato Cakes, savory dinner pancakes and more.  This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday at HolisticSquid.com  Let me know how you like them! ~ Carmen

Pancakes (Gluten, Dairy, Egg & Nut Free)

Equipment needed: Food processor/mixer or just a whisk and bowl, griddle or frying pan

1 cup gf all purpose flour

2 tbsp coconut flour

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp water

1 c coconut milk

Mix all ingredients together and fry in coconut oil or ghee.  If you do not have sensitivity to dairy, you could certainly use whole milk instead of coconut milk or even almond milk if you can consume nuts.  Serve hot off the griddle and enjoy!

SAM_1707

Gluten Free Cheddar Crackers

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Dealing with dietary changes is really tough.  It’s even tougher for a child especially if they go to school. My preschooler came home from school a few days ago near tears telling me that he was left out of a game on purpose.  I asked him what the game was and he said it was Pass The Fishies.  I instantly knew where he was going with this.  It was a snack time game, centered around food in a classroom of children that include tubies and gluten free kiddos.  Now, I have all sorts of comments about the bad judgment of the teacher however I was more concerned about how I could get my little guy some crackers.  Off I went to Google and I found a fantastic recipe by Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom.  I didn’t have a fishy cookie cutter but I had a star for starfish crackers.  They were an instant hit and I am happy to share a slightly adapted recipe with you!

Cheddar Crackers

Equipment you need: Food Processor, a toothpick

Ingredients:

6 oz shredded cheddar

2 oz parmesan cheese

5 tbsp melted butter

¾ cup cornstarch

¼ tsp xanthan gum

2 – 3 tbsp milk

Directions:

1)      Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2)      Lay out a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet

3)      Combine all ingredients minus the milk in a food processor and blend until the dough is a fine, soft crumb

4)      Sprinkle cornstarch on your work surface and roll the dough out very thin

5)      Cut into tiny shapes or just cut into strips horizontal and diagonal for a funky rectangular shape

6)      Poke holes in the tops of the crackers, you can make smiley faces if you like

7)      Bake for 10 minutes, the edges will be slightly brown

8)      Remove the whole sheet of parchment paper and slide the crackers right off to cool.

9)      Watch your kid squeal with delight that he now has super awesome cheddar crackers, much cooler than those little bags of goldfish

The flavor of these things is spot-on, the majority were gone within an hour.  I managed to save a few to test them for getting soggy or becoming too dry.  So far, 3 days later, they are still great!  I am going to try this same recipe sans cheese and add herbs and garlicLet me know how this works for you and if you are successful with modifications! ~Carmen

The Coconut Diaries – Coconut for Healthy Teeth

This week I’m discussing oil-pulling and its many benefits.  I have been using the oil pulling method with coconut oil for about 6 weeks now and here are some of the benefits:

Whiter teeth

Less sensitivity to hot/cold

Fresher breath

Healing gums

Eliminated plaque build-up

I have included some links on the oil-pulling method, and I have recently had the pleasure of reading Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel.  Here is a simple and concise summary on how I oil pull using Nagel’s protocol.

1)      First thing in the morning I brush my teeth with an alkalizing tooth powder.  I use Uncle Harry’s and love it.

2)      Scoop out a tablespoon or so of coconut oil and work it around your mouth using a sucking motion, back and forth between your teeth.  The best way I can describe it is this : Remember when you were a kid and played with your soft foods?  We all did it, squishing pudding around in our mouths and between our teeth.  This is how you oil pull.

3)      Recommended time is 20 minutes but you will likely need to work up to it.  Minimum time should be 10, but again, start slow.  If you can only go 2 minutes that’s just fine.

4)      After your time is up simply spit and rise with warm water.

Voila!  Clean teeth.  I encourage you to give it a try it’s such a fantastic alternative to those hard mouth rinses that only break down your tooth enamel.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

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I came across this recipe while searching the inter-webs for delicious cake recipes that don’t contain flour or eggs.  This one has eggs, and plenty of them however I have successfully used an egg-replacer to make a cake version and it turned out FANTASTIC!  This recipe was modified from LovelyGreens

Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes a dozen cupcakes or an 8” square pan cake

1 can of Kidney beans in water
5 large Eggs  ~OR~ egg replacer of your choice
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup  softened butter
1/8 cup Grade B maple syrup

1/8 cup Honey
6 tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
3/4 tsp Aluminum-free baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda ¼ cup organic powdered sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F

2. Line your pan with unbleached parchment paper OR 12 cupcake papers

3. Drain and rinse the can of kidney beans and shake off the excess water. Place the beans with three of the eggs (or egg-replacer) and the vanilla into a food processor until completely liquefied.

4. In a separate bowl, beat the honey with the remaining eggs then add the butter.

5. Mix your dry ingredients thoroughly and sift them to make a nice fine mixture.

6. Add the dry ingredients to your food processor then blend lightly.   Then, add the butter and honey mixture and continue beating until the batter is smooth.

7. For a glass pan, cook for 20 minutes, for cupcakes cook 25 minutes.  The cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean.

8.  Once the cake is cool you can sift powdered sugar on the top and enjoy.

A few notes:

This cake is FANTASTIC, you cannot taste the beans at all. Even my father who is very picky about his cake loved this and it didn’t last the evening.  It passed the picky preschooler test and we made a second cake the next day.

If you use an egg replacer: the middle is going to fall, there is nothing wrong with the cake it just won’t hold its weight without the eggs.

If you use duck eggs: use only 3 as they add much more volume and are larger.  This cake would be fantastic with duck eggs!

I hope you enjoy this delicious cake as much as we have and please feel free to comment with any modifications and pictures!