Grain-Free Strawberry Upside-Down Cake

strawberry cake

Mother’s Day is upon us and this strawberry upside-down cake is perfect for a celebratory brunch or dinner. It’s not too sweet, incredibly moist, and full of flavor. It’s got that rustic, yet pretty thing going on too.

Traditional upside-down cakes have a lot of sugar, especially in the “top” glaze layer, but I scaled it way back (no refined sugar either) without sacrificing any of the flavor. The strawberries are a nice change-of-pace and pair so well with the cardamom too. This cake can be served warm, room temperature, or cold (keep leftovers in the fridge). I recommend serving it with a generous dollop of  homemade coconut milk whipped cream or if tolerated, dairy-based whipped cream.

Hope you enjoy it. Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 8 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp melted grass-fed butter, separated
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • About 1 cup strawberries, hulled (if need be) and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand, which has no gums)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Pour 2 Tbsp of melted butter into a 9-inch cake pan, coating the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the coconut sugar on top of the butter. Then, arrange the strawberry slices on top of the coconut sugar in an even layer.
  3. With a stand or hand mixer, mix the remaining 8 Tbsp melted butter with the raw honey, vanilla, eggs, coconut milk, and lemon juice. Mix until fully blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cardamom.
  5. Carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix again, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  6. Spread batter evenly over the strawberry layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edge of the pan and place a serving dish on top. Invert the cake onto the serving dish and let sit for a few minutes before fully removing the cake pan.
  8. If desired, serve with homemade coconut milk whipped cream or if tolerated, dairy-based whipped cream. Store any leftover cake in the refrigerator.

Yields: 6-8 servings

 

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Dairy-Free Tropical Turmeric Ice Cream

tropical ice cream 4

We finally had a break in the crummy weather here in Portland, and were blessed with not one, but two 80-degree days in a row! It’s been a rough spring (and winter) here with record amounts of precipitation and we’ve all been starving for the sun. Kinda weird to feel 80-degrees though when we haven’t even hit 70 yet this year, and have been consistently experiencing weather in the 40s and 50s. But man, it feels good and I’m actually sitting outside as I work on this post!

Anyway, I think the sun inspired me to whip up this tropical treat (that, and fresh champagne mangos were on special at New Seasons). It even seems like you’re eating sunshine with this one, and that makes me feel happy. I added turmeric for a dose of antioxidants and grass-fed collagen for some gut-boosting nutrients. This recipe would also be lovely with frozen pineapple (as an addition or instead of the mango).

Cheers and enjoy!

tropical ice cream bite

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh mangos, peeled, chopped and frozen for at least 24 hours (or buy already frozen)
  • 1 medium just-ripe banana, peeled, sliced and frozen for at least 24 hours
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (I like this brand, which has no gums)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed collagen powder (I used this brand, but like this one too)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp ground turmeric (I liked it with 3/4 tsp, but use 1/2 if you’re not sure)
  • 3-4 Tbsp sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Add frozen fruit to the food processor with the coconut milk and vanilla. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides and re-blending, as needed.
  2. Next, add the sea salt, collagen, and turmeric. Blend until well mixed.
  3. Scoop mixture into a large bowl and mix in the sliced almonds. Freeze for a couple hours if you want it to firm up a bit more or enjoy right away

Yields: 2-3 servings

Banana Cream Pie with Cocoa Crust

banana cream pieI had a random inclination to create a banana cream pie, so I followed my instincts and made one. I’m not sure where the desire came from, as I’ve never made banana cream pie before and have hardly ever eaten it in my life, but I figured it’d be a fun (and tasty) experiment. Plus, it gives all of you a dessert idea for Easter, if you’re celebrating. All around, I think it’s a great dessert for both spring and summer though.

There are a few steps in this recipe, but nothing is too complicated and the end result is delicious. If you want, you can even just make the filling and eat it as a pudding. If you do so, I recommend lining the bottom of the dish with banana slices, as you do for the pie.

Cheers and enjoy!

Cocoa almond crust ingredients:

  • 1-3/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp organic palm shortening (I used this one)
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey

Crust directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Add almond flour, cocoa powder and sea salt to food processor. Briefly pulse to combine. Then, add the shortening, egg, vanilla and honey. Pulse again until mixture is well combined and starts sticking together.
  3. Press mixture evenly into a 9.5-inch pie pan, using your hands. Then, poke several holes in crust with a fork.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

Filling ingredients:

  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I like this one, which has no gums)
  • 2-1/2 medium just-ripe bananas
  • 1-1/4 tsp gelatin powder, preferably grass-fed (I recommend this one or this one)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey or more to taste if you want it sweeter
  • Homemade coconut milk whipped cream, for topping, if desired (highly recommended)
  • Cacao nibs, for garnish, if desired
  • Extra just-ripe banana slices for garnish, if desired

Filling directions:

  1. Slice one of the bananas into about 1/4″ thin pieces and arrange on top of the crust.
  2. Add about 1/4 cup or so of the coconut milk to a small saucepan and warm over medium-low heat. Once warm, whisk in the gelatin powder until completely dissolved.
  3. To a blender container, add the remaining coconut milk and 1-1/2 banana, along with the vanilla extract, pinch of sea salt, raw honey and gelatin mixture. Blend on high until smooth.
  4. Pour filling on top of cooled crust (it’s okay if it’s still a little warm) and place in fridge to set for a few hours.
  5. Once set, top with coconut milk whipped cream (or homemade dairy-based whipped cream if heavy cream is tolerated), cacao nibs and extra banana slices, if desired.

Dairy-Free Pistachio Pudding

 

pistachio pudding 3

It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s day without something green and I’ve got just the green thing for you. No green dye either. Fresh spinach is what gives this pudding its beautiful green color and no, you cannot taste it. The pistachios add a little bit of green too.

This pudding is not to be confused with the extremely processed, boxed pistachio pudding you may have grown up eating, so don’t expect that flavor. I will admit that I did enjoy said pudding as a kid though and even remember buying boxes of the instant stuff for myself as a teenager. Ick. Meanwhile, the banana acts as the sweetener in this pudding and it was enough for me, but if you want it sweeter, feel free to add a little raw honey, maple syrup or even a couple dates. Also, this is a thicker pudding and more mousse-like in texture, but if you want it thinner, experiment with less gelatin.

Oh, and I am back from Iceland as of late Monday night. It was an incredible trip and we loved it there! I will share more about that soon. In the meantime, follow me on Instagram if you want to check out some of the photos and videos from our Icelandic vacation.

Cheers and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

P.S. Anyone else excited about eating corned beef and cabbage today?!

vertical 3 pistachio pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand)
  • 1 small just-ripe banana (yellow with no spots)
  • 4 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachios, shelled
  • *Scant 1 Tbsp gelatin, preferably grass-fed (I recommend this one or this one)
  • Extra pistachios, chopped, for garnish

*Experiment with less gelatin if you want a thinner texture. I personally like the hybrid pudding-mousse texture, but make it how you want it.

Directions:

  1. Pour about 3/4 of the coconut milk into a high-speed blender container. Then, add the vanilla, banana and spinach. Blend until totally smooth.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the remaining coconut milk over low heat. Once warm, whisk in the gelatin and continue whisking until dissolved.
  3. Pour the gelatin mixture and pistachios into the blender and mix about 20 seconds or until mostly smooth (I like to keep some coarse pieces of pistachio).
  4. Pour into desired-size ramekins and place in fridge to set for 1-2 hours. Before serving, add chopped pistachios for garnish, if desired.

 

Raspberry Cacao Nib Fudge

raspberry-nib-fudge

Normally, I wouldn’t post two treat recipes back-to-back, but I blame it on Valentine’s Day…it inspired me. I actually rarely post dessert recipes as it is, but alas…Valentine’s Day. But, truthfully, I’ve been wanting to experiment with something like this for a while, so that’s reason enough.

This recipe is super easy and very customizable too. The freeze-dried raspberries are a splurge, in my opinion, but really make this fudge extra special. And, the pop of color is quite pretty too. Kinda romantic, eh?

Cheers and enjoy! Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day too!

raspberry-nib-bite

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Freeze-dried raspberries, to taste (I used this brand)
  • Cacao nibs, to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in the honey and stir until dissolved. Then, add the cocoa or cacao powder, sea salt and vanilla. Whisk until cocoa powder is completely mixed in. Let mixture sit a few minutes to thicken a little.
  2. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. Pour mixture into pan and while still wet, sprinkle the desired amount of freeze-dried raspberries and cacao nibs on top. Place in fridge to set for 20 minutes or so.
  3. Cut into desired-size pieces and store in the refrigerator.

“Peanut Butter” Chocolate Mousse

choc-mousse-3

Traditionally, chocolate mousse is made with whipping cream, sugar, some form of chocolate (chocolate chips or cocoa powder), and egg yolks or egg whites — I’ve seen both. Not totally sure which came first. The mixture is also heated on the stove.

However, my variation is dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and couldn’t be any easier. No stovetop needed and everything mixes together in the blender. I added sunflower seed butter too, so the final product tastes a bit like a peanut butter cup. It is so decadent and heavenly! Of course, there are no peanuts, but sunflower seed butter mimics a peanutty flavor, in my opinion. If you want a quick, easy and painless Valentine’s Day dessert, make this recipe!

mousse-bite2

Also, if you really want to go all out, make homemade coconut milk whipped cream (or dairy-based whipped cream, if tolerated) and top each serving with a dollop or two. Add fresh berries, fresh grated chocolate or a sprinkling of cacao nibs, if desired.

And, one last thing…I will be making this recipe LIVE on KATU Afternoon Live today, so tune in if you like (show is from 3-4 PST). I will share the replay clip afterward though, so you can catch it that way too. UPDATE: watch the replay of my segment HERE!

Enjoy!

pb-choc-mousseIngredients: 

  • 1 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk (I like and used this brand)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Heaping 1/4 cup unsweetened sunflower seed butter (I like and used this brand)
  • 3-4 Tbsp raw honey or more if you want it sweeter
  • *Scant 1 Tbsp gelatin, preferably grass-fed (I recommend this one OR this one)

*Note: experiment with a little less gelatin if you want your mousse to be a bit thinner. Also, this recipe sets up fine without “blooming” or dissolving the gelatin first, but I know I am doing it differently than the standard. If you prefer to let it “bloom” in a small amount of chilled coconut milk first and then add it to some warmed coconut milk on the stove, go for it (you’d then of course mix it with the remaining ingredients & pour into dishes). I just know it works for me without doing this step and the directions on my gelatin container even instruct it can be used this way.

Directions:

  1. *To a blender container, add the coconut milk, cocoa powder, sea salt, vanilla, sunflower seed butter and honey. Blend for several seconds or so on low or medium-low. Scrape down the sides with a spatula, if needed and briefly blend again. Then, add the gelatin and blend on low or medium-low to incorporate it into the mixture. Make sure the gelatin is thoroughly mixed in and the mixture is smooth, but don’t over-blend!
  2. Immediately pour into small dishes or ramekins and place in the fridge to set. Allow to firm up for at least a few hours or longer, if needed.

*Note: this can be whisked in a large bowl by hand, but it’s harder to get a totally smooth texture. You have to whisk somewhat vigorously, but it works pretty well. I have done it this way too and still liked it. The texture was a little thinner too. Blending yields a smoother, thicker texture. Both are good, in my opinion! If you choose to blend the mixture, but want your mousse a littler thinner, see my note above about the gelatin.

Nut-Free Seedy Bites

seedy-bites-portrait

Making tasty little bites out of dates, coconut oil, nuts and/or seeds isn’t foreign to me, but this specific combo is a new one. I can’t totally take credit for this combo, but I can take credit for putting this together, the ingredient ratios, and the addition of sea salt. Still, props to my friend and personal transformation coach, Joe Shoemaker for this creation and turning me onto seed cycling. Speaking of Joe, I’ve been working with him for about 1-1/2 years now and the work has been deep, eye-opening, profound, amazing and valuable in all aspects of my life. I can’t say enough wonderful things about him and the many gifts he has to share. He is based here in Portland, but can work with anyone worldwide via Skype as well.

Anyway, a few months back, I went to Joe for a foot reflexology treatment and at some point during our session, he asked me about my cycle. Actually, based on the reflexology point on my foot (the spot specific to the reproductive organs), he was able to determine what my cycles were like and asked me if what he said was accurate. It was spot on. If you want to know (if you don’t, give yourself permission to stop reading), my cycles are pretty decent, overall and I really don’t have many complaints. I don’t really get PMS, cycles are moderate-light, but I do get some mild-to-moderate cramping on day one and occasionally a little on day two. That’s it…and that’s exactly what he repeated to me.

On that note, he suggested seed cycling, which I was not familiar with. He said it can help with cramping and any other PMS symptoms, and is something that has helped his wife immensely. His recommendation was to mix all the seeds together using dates and coconut oil as the “glue” and get a dose of the seeds that way versus the traditional approach. It’s easier, less fuss and a tasty little treat. Yes, men and children can eat them too!

seedy-bites-landscape

I will say, since adding these seed bites into my daily routine (I usually eat 1-2 per day), I have definitely noticed a change on the first couple days of my cycle. The cramping that I would generally experience is incredibly subdued and the seed bites are the only thing I’m doing differently. It still blows me away. It was noticeable on my first cycle after introducing these into my diet too! So, whether you believe the theory behind it or not, it doesn’t hurt to give ’em a go. If these don’t serve you in that way, you’re still getting a delightful treat. In my opinion, that’s a win-win.

I know my ratios don’t match up exactly with the recommendations of the traditional approach, but I’ve found that it’s enough to make a difference for me. Feel free to play with the ratios though or try the traditional process if that’s of interest to you. Also, know that to get the full benefits of flaxseed, you need to grind it up. You can do this on your own in a grinder (coffee/spice grinder works great) or you can purchase ground flaxseed meal, which is what I did. If you don’t grind the flaxseed, it basically passes right through your system and it doesn’t break down in the food processor either. Those suckers are tough! You can grind the sesame seeds if you want as well, but I find they break down pretty well in the food processor.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 medjool dates, pitted (I recommend buying these with the pits in, as they’re more plump and flavorful)
  • Heaping 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • Heaping 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal (I like this brand or grind your own)
  • Heaping 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • Heaping 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

*Note: I recommend using high-quality, organic seeds and sprouted, if possible.

Directions:

  1. Add dates to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times or until dates are chopped up, but still chunky.
  2. Next, add the sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and ground flaxseed meal, along with the sea salt and coconut oil. Pulse until well combined, scraping sides with a spatula as needed.
  3. Roll into tablespoon-sized balls or so and store in the refrigerator.

Yields: 12-15 balls