October Unprocessed: Super Stock Concentrate

This isn’t a recipe so much as a technique – a really simple technique at that. But, if you’re trying to avoid processed foods, stocks and bouillon can be a sticking point. Even the organic ones tend to contain sugar or “natural” flavors. And, really, who needs sugar in stock?

But, having stock on hand in the freezer takes up a lot of space. And, often, all I want is  that jolt of flavor that you get from tossing a bouillon cube in with your sauteed veggies.

The answer? Concentrate your stock.

First, you need stock. Use your favorite recipe, or simply throw all your veggie scraps in a big pot with a lot of water and simmer, then strain. (I don’t recommend using salt in your stock. Concentrated salty stock is really salty.) You want about 10 cups of stock.

Great, now you’ve got stock. Now what?

Put it in a crockpot. Turn it on. Prop the lid open just a crack. (I use a popsicle stick under the edge of the lid.) And walk away. Come back a day (yes, 24 hours) later. Your stock should have reduced. A lot. Mine was about 2 cups. Exact time will vary depending on how hot your crockpot runs. Check it after 12 and 18 hours (or there-abouts).

Chill your concentrated stock, and then freeze it in ice cube trays. I used small, heart-shaped ice cubes.

Super Concentrated Stock (frozen bouillon "cubes")

Super Concentrated Stock (frozen bouillon “cubes”)

(What? They’re cute and it’s heart-healthy. And, they’re just the right size.)

There, now you have frozen bouillon. Completely unprocessed, and taking up a fraction of the freezer space that stock would have.

Want more healthy recipes? Check out Wellness Weekends.

Posted in soup | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Super C Porridge

In case you’ve been living under a blog-world rock, let me just mention that it’s October Unprocessed.  (Don’t worry, I was living under a blog-world rock until about, oh, September 29th.)

I won’t reiterate all the rules of October Unprocessed here, but the gist is, for this one month, don’t eat crap. If you can’t make it in your own kitchen, don’t eat it.

I can get down with that.

Of course, it also coincides with the start of my crazy elimination diet again. Ever since I quit, I’ve had pain in my hands and fingers. I’ve seen the doctor & the hand specialist, and things have gotten better (yay for inflammation-reducing finger exercises!) but, I’m still not 100%. And, while I don’t know if it is diet-related, it all seems rather coincidental.

So, back on the elimination diet I go, this time with the friend that I was supporting, supporting me. To recap, here’s what I’m currently eating (note there’s not a bit o’ processed food in the bunch:

  • non-nightshade veggies
  • non-“sweet” fruits (berries, apples, etc – no tropicals or dried fruits)
  • chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • turkey, chicken or eggs
  • “super foods” – lucuma, carob, mesquite, etc
  • non-nightshade herbs and spices

What’s a girl to do for breakfast with that tiny list of approved foods? Well, I can do a berry smoothie, but as the weather is turning colder, I’m not enjoying that as much. I want something hearty, that fills me up and sticks around for a while. And, so I came up with this Super C Porridge.  The “C” in the name refers both to the fact that it contains a multitude of ingredients that start with C, as well as the fact that it’s high in Vitamin C – super important as we go into the cold and flu season. (A single serving of cauliflower has 46% of your daily RDA for Vitamin C. Who knew?)

Super C Porridge - a vegan, grain-free hot start to your day

Super C Porridge – a vegan, grain-free hot start to your day

I know, I know, when you read the ingredients you’re going to say, “ick.” But, don’t knock it ’till you try it, okay? (Also, I vary these amounts all the time. I doubt I’ve made it exactly the same way twice. Don’t sweat it. I’ve also thrown in a zucchini when I had one that needed to be eaten. Super flexible recipe. You’re going for oatmeal consistency – just adjust your water accordingly.)

Super C Porridge

4-6 small or 2-3 big carrots, chopped
4 cups (1/2 a head) chopped cauliflower
water to cover (about 3-4 cups)
1 T. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. allspice
1/4 t. cloves
1/4 cup chia seeds

Optional stir-ins (note: I always use at least one of these, but which combo varies)
unsweetened carob powder
stevia (Note: stevia, unless you’re using the plant or powdered dry leaves, doesn’t qualify as “unprocessed.”)
unsweetened coconut flakes or coconut butter
sunflower seed butter (Make your own to avoid sugar.)

Put the carrots in a 2 quart saucepan and fill the sauce pan 2/3 with water. Boil on high for 10-15 minutes, until carrots are nearly soft. Add the cauliflower and the spices. Boil until cauliflower is soft, but not mushy. (You want to avoid that sulfur smell over-cooked cauliflower gets. Err on the side of underdone. As long as you can purée it, you’re good.) Remove from heat and purée. (I use a stick blender for this. I like to leave some texture. I don’t recommend a high-powered blender or you’ll end up with total soup.) Stir in chia seeds and allow to sit for 30 minutes while chia seeds plump. Reheat if desired. I usually stir in a spoonful of carob powder and a sprinkling of unsweetened coconut flakes. This makes multiple servings. It stores well in the fridge and is a quick heat and eat (or don’t heat – just eat).

For more super healthy vegan recipes, check out Wellness Weekends.

Posted in breakfast, carrots, cauliflower, cinnamon, coconut, grain-free, nightshade-free, nut-free, sunflower seeds, vegan | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

SRC: Fruit Nachos

It’s time once again for the Secret Recipe Club.

Secret Recipe Club

This month, I switched to Group D, and now I get to explore a whole new group of blogs. And, as luck would have it, I was actually assigned the Group D hostess’ blog, Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. Lucky me!

Fantastical Sharing of Recipes is written by Sarah, a young mom that is chronicling the recipes she tries and loves.  She has a wide variety of recipes, and there’s probably something in there to suit just about everyone’s tastes.

This month I let the kiddo choose the recipe. And, I’m sure you’re all shocked, but he chose a sweet recipe. He is currently sitting in the dining room making nom nom nom sounds while noshing on Fruit Nachos. For breakfast. It’s a sleepover morning. That’s how we roll.

I, of course, had to modify the recipe just a bit, to suit our food restrictions. But, the spirit of the recipe is the same.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Fruit Nachos for Breakfast

Vegan, Gluten-Free Fruit Nachos for Breakfast

Fruit Nachos

5 gluten-free “flour” tortillas. (I used brown rice tortillas.)
1/2 cup sugar
2 t. cinnamon
spray oil (I use the hand-pump sprayer – just oil pumped with air.)
1 container non-dairy yogurt (I used So Delicious Vanilla Coconut yogurt.)
Sauteed Apples (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375°. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Spray each tortilla with oil (or brush with oil). Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on tortillas. Cut into 8 pieces. Bake until crispy. (Gluten-free tortillas take a bit longer – mine took about 11 minutes.)

Top tortilla chips with sautéed apples (or other fruit of choice) and dollops of yogurt. Nosh.

Sautéed Apples

1 T. coconut oil
2 apples, cored and diced
2 T. maple syrup

In a skillet, melt the coconut oil. Add apples and maple syrup. Sauté until edges are brown – about 10 minutes.

View all of Group D’s Secret Recipe Club submissions.

Posted in apples, Blogger Community, breakfast, desserts | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (vegan & grain-free)

The kiddo said to me this weekend, “Mom, we need more treats in the house.” I guess he meant besides the Coco-Nutty Truffles he’s been scarfing down whilst making Homer Simpson-esque drool noises.

He’s in another growth spurt. That means he’s eating non-stop. Non. Stop.

So, treat-baking shall commence.

I first saw a non-vegan version of this recipe posted on Facebook by Shirley of Gluten-Free Easily. It’s from Allergy Free Alaska, but it’s a guest post by Laura of Laura’s Gluten-Free Pantry. Did you follow all that? This gluten-free blogger community – it’s intertwined.

Anyway, I had ripe bananas screaming to baked, and I’ve been trying forever and a day to come up with a decent grain-free & vegan muffin recipe. With only 1 egg and some honey to swap out of Laura’s recipe, I thought – this is it!

And yep, it IS it. A grain-free, vegan muffin that didn’t collapse in the middle? Oh yes, please. The kiddo (with mouth full) proclaimed them blog-worthy, so blog them I shall.

Grain-Free, Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Grain-Free, Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Grain-Free, Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Adapted from Laura’s Gluten-Free Pantry.

Wet Ingredients
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup (56 g) melted coconut oil
1 t. apple cider vinegar
1 t. vanilla
1 T. psyllium husks (not powder) mixed with 3 T. hot water

Dry Ingredients
1/2 cup (60 g) flaxseed meal
1/2 cup (70 g) arrowroot starch
1 1/2 cups (160 g) blanched almond flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease 12 muffin cups.

In a large bowl, beat the wet ingredients together until completely blended. In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat with electric beaters for about 1 minute. Stir in the chocolate chips. Portion batter into 12 muffin cups evenly. (Cups will be about 3/4 full.)

Bake for 25 minutes, rotating once during baking. Cool for 10 minutes in tins. Remove and allow to cool on wire racks.

Laura also happens to be one of the hostesses for Allergy Free Wednesdays – a great link up to find all sorts of allergy-friendly recipes.

For more slightly indulgent recipes, check out Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

For more healthy vegan recipes, check out Wellness Weekends.


Coco-Nutty Truffles

Easy, quick, just a handful of whole-food ingredients. That sums up my cooking these days. But that’s okay, because when the kiddo comes home from school ravenous and needs a snack NOW, these coco-nutty truffles are just the thing. You can use any nut butter. His favorite is, of course, peanut butter.

I have not tried these with the finely shredded coconut – only with the flaked variety. If you use finely shredded, you may have to adjust proportions.

The raw cacao is optional, and a more grown-up taste. If you’re not using it, be sure to chill the “dough” before rolling it. It will be a little less sticky that way.

Vegan Coco-Nutty Truffles

Vegan Coco-Nutty Truffles

Coco-Nutty Truffles

1/4 cup nut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup (64 g) blanched almond flour
1 cup (65 g) flaked unsweetened coconut
3-4 T. raw cacao powder (optional)
Pinch salt (if your nut butter is unsalted – optional)


Mix nut butter and maple syrup until well combined. Stir in the almond flour, coconut and salt (if using). Chill dough. Scoop out tablespoon-size chunks and roll into balls. Optionally roll the balls in raw cacao. Keep in fridge.

Want to find more good for you treats? Check out Wellness Weekends. For quick and easy gluten-free recipes, check out 5 Ingredient Mondays.

Posted in coconut, desserts, grain-free, nightshade-free, nuts, snacks | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Vanilla Coconut Ice

It’s been hot. I haven’t been baking. Except those darn coco-meal cookies that I can’t get quite right even after 5 batches.

My food has been boring. Some might even say vanilla.

Except sometimes vanilla is good.

Like this.

Vanilla Coconut Ice - A Quick, Vegan Frosty Treat

Vanilla Coconut Ice – A Quick, Vegan Frosty Treat

Vanilla Coconut Ice

1 can (14 ounces) full fat coconut milk
2 T. date paste
1 t. vanilla extract
10 drops (or to taste) NuNaturals vanilla liquid stevia
3 ice cubes
1/2 cup cold water

Blend all ingredients in a blender until well-mixed and frothy. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Top with your favorite toppings (that’s nut butter and chocolate chips in my house.)

Want more slightly indulgent treats? Try Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

Posted in coconut, dates, desserts, grain-free, nightshade-free, nut-free, vegan | 4 Comments

SRC: Smoky Caramel Brussels Sprouts

Wait just a gol’ darn minute. How is it possibly Secret Recipe Club time again? Where the heck did my summer go? Didn’t I just post my last SRC post yesterday?



Well, anyway, this month’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club features none other than Rhonda, the Kitchen Witch. Her about page is fascinating, and I’m totally jealous of all her travels. And, I love that she is unapologetic about being exactly who she is.

The world needs more people like that.

Since I happen to be on a bit of a veggie kick, I headed straight to her vegetable recipes. She has loads of other categories for all you meats and sweets people. But, she gives a nice nod to us veggie lovers, too.

So, what caught my eye? This did.

Smoky Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Smoky Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

That’s her brown sugar and smoked sea salt brussels sprouts, modified Mommy Bowl style – which means that I made them dairy-free and refined sugar-free.

Brussels sprouts are a favorite veggie of mine, but the kiddo is less enthused. I’ve convinced him that they’re very good tolerable when shredded and flavored with lots of sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. But, I was hoping that the sweet + salty combo would have him begging for more of these.

Apparently, though, I’ve taught him too well.

You know what he said?

“Why would anyone put sugar on a vegetable?!?”

He choked down two bites. The boy has no taste. (Unless he’s tasting anything mixed with peanut butter. Hm…. brussels sprouts and peanut butter…. There are possibilities….)

I ate the rest. Myself. All at once. Yum.

Smoky Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

1/2 pound brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and cut in half (or quarters if they’re big)
1 T. coconut oil
1 T. palm sugar
pinch of smoked sea salt (I used Maldon flakes, which are big, so a pinch is really all I needed.)

Place brussels sprouts in a microwave-safe dish and add 1 T. water. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Melt coconut oil in a frying pan. Add microwaved sprouts and cook for 4 minutes on medium high heat. They will begin to brown. Be careful not to burn them. Sprinkle on sugar and salt and toss to melt sugar and caramelize it. (This happens quickly with palm sugar – maybe 30 seconds.) Serve. Top with some pecans for a protein kick if eating as a main dish.

Check out the rest of the Secret Recipe Club offerings.

Looking for more gluten-free recipes? Check out Gluten-Free Fridays.