Strawberries, strawberries,

strawberry pie!!!!   Fresh strawberry pie!!!

So, way back in May, we celebrated 3 birthdays together, the big grandson (an April b’d) the mama (a May b’d) and the twins (a June b’d).  Why all together in May, you ask?  With the big one away at university, and finally getting a chance to visit, it was just a win win situation.  Of course, the big one, along with Grandma (that’s me) and Big Grandma (that’s my mom – yeah, we’re 4 generations)…. well, we’re not gluten free or grain free or much of anything free, for that matter, although big one can’t do dairy.

Anyway, so how to get us all together for one celebratory meal and dessert?  Our favorite, of course.  Chicken wings!!!!  Happy happy – chicken wings coated with Italian dressing and baked in the oven.  Oh yeah, it’s amazing how something so simple can make us all so happy.  And then for dessert?  Well, twins and I experimented on making an apple pie for the mama’s b’d a week earlier and made an even better one for this celebration.  And for the gluten gluttons, devil’s food cupcakes.  For the record, I’ve never made a pie before, unless you can count a cream cheese/Cool Whip ready made graham cracker crust pie.  I was strictly a cake/cupcake/muffin maker now turned bread maker.

Skip to the June b’d.  Here’s the clincher.  Fresh strawberry pie!!  Oh so good, made the apple pie look sick.   This time we made a ‘real’ crust, the kind you roll out with a rolling pin and then carefully place in the pie dish.  With two helpers (they love to bake and cook – maybe I’ll have some master chefs in the family some day) the task went pretty quickly.  Found an awesome coconut crust recipe (the apple pie one was just ok in my book, not awesome), and we went at it like we should be on a cooking channel or something.  I think we’re just watching a little too much Food channel ‘Chopped’ and ‘Sweet Genius’.  It does make us think, though, about what we could make with whatever we have on hand.  I also made some coconut apple muffins using the zucchini muffin recipe, except used shredded apple instead of the veggie.  Sorry about the not-so-great photos.  A photographer I’m not. 😉

Apple Coconut Muffin

Apple Coconut Muffin

Anyway, I can’t remember where I got the coconut crust recipe, but I’ll share it anyway.  If anyone recognizes it, please tell so I can give credit where it’s due.

Fresh Strawberry Pie with Coconut Flour Crust

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Fresh Strawberry Pie with Amazing Coconut Crust

Crust Ingredients (single crust):

  • 1/2 C organic coconut flour
  • 1/2 C shredded coconut
  • 2  eggs  at room temp(I use jumbo or extra large)
  • 1/4 C coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 drops Stevia to taste (if using honey or agave, you may not need any other liquid as below. )
  • 1/4 C water or coconut milk (+ or – to make knead-able dough)

Preheat oven to 400°.

Sift the coconut flour and set aside.  Whisk together remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Add coconut flour and mix well to form dough.  Knead the dough with your hands for about a minute.  If the dough feels too soft to roll, knead in a little more coconut flour.  If too stiff to roll, add in some of the liquid.  Form the dough into a ball and roll out between 2 pieces of waxed paper to about 1/8″ thickness.  Remove top sheet and carefully flip the crust into the pie pan.  You may want to slip a thin flat object underneath the bottom piece of waxed paper to support the dough and minimize breakage.  Remove the 2nd sheet of waxed paper and shape the crust into the pan.  Remove the excess from the edges and use to fill in the spots that tore when placing the dough in the pan.  Flute edges if desired.  Prick bottom and sides of crust several times with a fork.   Bake for about 10-15 minutes.

Filling:

  • 1 pkg. unflavored Knox gelatin
  • 2 pints strawberries
  • add stevia to taste (or other sweetener)

Clean and prepare strawberries – cut berries in halves or quarters. Prepare gelatin as package directs.  Take about one cup of the  strawberries and puree.  Add to gelatin.   Put remaining strawberries into the precooked pie crust.  Pour the gelatin puree over the strawberries and mix gently.  Let cool in fridge until firmly set.

For a variation you can use almond flour/meal in place of the shredded coconut.

NOTE:  When making other fruit pies that require a long baking time (such as fresh apples), precook the filling first.  The coconut flour crust cooks much quicker than wheat flour crust.

Final phase – remove from fridge, cut, enjoy!!!!

Happy pie baking.

Angela

Going Loco with Coco(nut)

So…..  going grain free probably isn’t that big  a deal for some, since there are other alternatives.  But when you don’t have those alternative options – nuts, legumes, seeds, beans – you really need to get those creative juices flowing.  My dear daughter (DD) is probably one of the most creative people I know.  (No, she didn’t get it from me, alas!)  Having to feed two growing almost-teens requires lots of digging into the imagination.   What I’m sharing with you today is one version of her very yummy and popular (with the boys) coconut banana pancakes.  She has several variations, but this is the basic.  My DD will post some more recent ones when she gets a chance to get away from the stove.  Feel free to tweak to your heart’s content.

Coconut Banana Pancakes

  • 1 mashed unripe (yellow/green) banana (they cannot have the sugar content of a ripe one)
  • 1/4 C coconut flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 jumbo eggs
  • 3/8 C unsweetened coconut milk (we use SO brand) (revised)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 20 drops liquid stevia (or sweetener of your choice to taste)

Using a stick mixer (or other mixer on high speed) whip together the wet ingredients until light and frothy.  Whip in the banana, then add the dry ingredients.  Continue to mix until well blended.  Let set for about 5 minutes.  Batter will be thick.  Add more liquid if you prefer a thinner pancake.  (These will fluff up beautifully when cooked.)

Grease pan with butter or coconut oil (we use a large enamel fry pan and a bit of coconut oil).

Silver-dollar sized cinnamon coconut pancakes in enamel frypan

This photo shows 3 silver-dollar sized pancakes – tweaked with some cinnamon

 

 

 

 

On medium or low heat, drop in one heaping tablespoon of batter for silver-dollar sized pancakes.  Makes about 18 pancakes.  These are often eaten straight from the pan, but the other day we chopped up some fresh strawberries for a fruit topping.  Feel free to use the topping of your choice.  Being dairy and sugar free, they’re used to not using butter, honey or syrups.

***We are at high altitude, almost 5000 ft., so you will have to tweak accordingly.  I’ve revised the amount of liquid, for us, from 1/4C to 3/8C.

Chocolate Coconut silver-dollar sized pancakes

Chocolate Coconut Pancakes

 

These photos are the latest variation – Chocolate Coconut Pancakes.  Just add 2tsp unsweetened cocoa powder to the batter for an extra treat.

Thick, fluffly silver-dollar sized pancake

Chocolate Coconut Pancake

Grain free

for now!!!  Yeah, part of the healing process my family is going through.  Healing the body from the inside out, repairing the gut so the system functions well and absorbs the nutrients that will help it heal.  Then more detoxing, but with less trauma once the gut is taken care of.  All along with regular bodywork and spinal manipulation.  MCS is not fun, but there is so much learning that has been going on for all of us.  Especially in eating healthier.  So, they’ve gone gluten free, along with the corn, soy, dairy, etc etc etc.  Now the diet (at least temporarily until the gut is better) is grain free and nut free and bean free, plus a lot of other things that are not allowed.  A lot of meat and veggies and figuring out a different type of bread for them.

Enter the mighty coconut!!!  Coconut oil has been a staple since the MCS started.  Such a healing oil and can be used for almost everything.  Now we are playing with coconut flour.  Of course, dear daughter now is sensitive to coconut….  as a young child living in Florida she was allergic to palm trees and especially coconut palms.  Went through the whole allergy shot business (this was before I knew about alternative methods of doing things), and that plus time pretty much took care of that.  Since the constant use of all things coconut recently, she’s become a bit sensitive to it again.  But it’s do-able as long as it’s not overkill.

So, anyway, with the elimination of grains and nuts, dear coconut will make do.  My first foray into coconut bread was a total disaster, although the pup likes when that happens.  She loves my disasters and waits for the yummy biscuits that they become.  After several tries and a very happy four-legged, I found something that worked, that tasted good and got the A-OK from all of us.  Adapted from the original at http://www.joyfulabode.com/2010/06/03/grain-free-coconut-flour-zucchini-bread-recipe/, I tweaked quite a bit to make a batch that they could eat without any problems.  I halved the original, wanting to be sure it worked, and I decided to make mini-muffins instead of a bread.   The original recipe calls for regular coconut flour, but I used a mixture of ground dried coconut and coconut flour (two very different ingredients).  I put some unsweetened dried coconut into my food processor to make what is more or less a coarse powder instead of flour.  It works.  The recipe below will make 20 mini-muffins or about 9 regular muffins.

Grandmas Coco-Zucchini Muffins/Bread

  • 1/2 large zucchini, shredded
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 6 drops Stevia (or to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 C coconut flour
  • 1/8 C coconut powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (starch free)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
  3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir well until there are no lumps.
  4. Pour into an oiled muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes (for mini muffins).
  5. Let cool, and enjoy.

This is one to play with.  Because of the new diet, sweeteners are out except for stevia.  I used applesauce in place of agave, which I would normally use.  I also used the liquid form of stevia instead of the dry packets, which are mixed with other ingredients that won’t work for them right now.  I’ll probably add a bit of vanilla next time (vanilla bean is off limits but not sure about the extract.  I have to check on that).  It’s a pretty tough diet but it’s a temporary one.  I’ll also try this with apples and again with pumpkin.

So that’s my story for now.  Thanks for reading.

Angela