Showing posts with label fruit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fruit. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Gluten-Free Strawberry Cake Recipe

Summer screams strawberries to me! The early summer strawberries are now available in eastern nc... and normally I have to make a pie. My great-grandma P's best strawberry pie, as a matter of fact. And really, you should make that too.

But if you're not up to making a pie, you can make this cake. This soft, light, white cake filled with fresh strawberries!

We served this cake on Sunday for my awesome mom-in-law Carol. To make things easy, and to have a less-heavy dessert after a cookout, I simply frosted the cake with Cool Whip. But I know many MANY of you are not "fake" whipped topping fans, and that's A-Ok, because you can have your frosting too! For the "real food" folks, you could easily make a light, dairy-free coconut milk frosting, like this one: Elana's Vegan Coconut Cream Frosting. Or you could simply use real whipped cream with a little sugar added. So pick your favorite way to frost it.

However, no matter what type of whipped topping you decide to use, make SURE not to frost the cake until it's completely cool, otherwise, it will melt and be a soggy mess! Then store the cake in the refrigerator for a few hours (or overnight) before serving. This is definitely a cake that improves with a little time, so feel free to make it a day ahead of time for the yummiest results!

Gluten-Free Fresh Strawberry Cake
free of gluten and soy (and easily dairy-free)
created by Carrie Forbes of
printer-friendly recipe

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
1 cup + 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or tapioca starch/flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3 tablespoons TEASPOONS baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Wet Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup - 1 cup fresh strawberries, diced
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup almond milk, or other non-dairy milk
1/2 cup light-tasting olive oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with a circle of parchment paper on the bottom of each pan. Spritz each pan with non-stick cooking spray or brush with light-tasting olive oil and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together all dry ingredients. In a large bowl mix together sugar and fresh strawberries until they are fully coated in the sugar (this will help keep the strawberries from sinking to the bottom of the cake). Add the egg whites, almond milk, olive oil, and almond extract. Whisk wet ingredients together thoroughly. Slowly stir in dry mixture a little at a time, until it's thoroughly mixed into the wet ingredients. Pour cake batter evenly between the two greased cake pans. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the cake is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. Frost with cool whip, coconut cream frosting (see recipe suggestions in above text), or your favorite vanilla or cream cheese frosting. (Pillsbury vanilla frosting and cream cheese frosting are both gluten-free and dairy-free). Top cake with additional fresh strawberries if desired.

**Cake is best when refrigerated for several hours before serving. Store cake in the refrigerator as it is quite moist and will not keep well on the counter. 

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Carrot Apple Curry Soup Recipe

For the past few weeks I've had this soup swirling through my thoughts. I've been trying to eat a lot more vegetable based meals lately. My tummy hasn't been super happy with meat proteins the past few weeks, I'm not sure why (no, no kids on the way, you don't have to ask!) I just have times when my body craves more vegetables and other times I crave more protein. Right now though, veggies are the bee's knees.

I am a comfort food junkie. I love mashed potatoes... mac and cheese... baked beans... anything creamy and warm, and I love pureed soups. Michael isn't such a huge fan of them, he thinks they resemble an adult version of baby food. And maybe he's right, who knows... but what can I say I love them.

This soup is so incredibly simple and consists of only a handful of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. It cooks in about 25 minutes and it makes enough for several meals. I kind of see this as an "orange" version of my favorite green soup.  Ha! Did you notice when I posted that soup? Last January! Apparently my body craves veggies in January! 

I added a very tiny amount of curry seasoning to this soup. I haven't always been a fan of Indian curries and I only like it in very small amounts... but in this creamy soup it really works.

Simple Carrot Apple Curry Soup
free of gluten/dairy/soy/grains/eggs/sugar
created by carrie of
printer-friendly version

1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1 teaspoon curry seasoning (I used Victoria's Gourmet)
5 medium carrots, peeled and diced
5-6 cups filtered water
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat until sizzling. Add diced onions, apples, and curry seasoning and cook on medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring constantly until onions are translucent and have softened. Add carrots and continue to cook for another 5-6 minutes until carrots begin to soften. Add 5-6 cups of water, depending on how thin or thick you prefer the soup. Cover and cook over medium low heat for about 20 additional minutes, until carrots and apples are fully cooked through and soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow soup to cool for several minutes and then puree in small batches in a high-powered blender or use an immersion blender. Serve soup with a swirl of coconut milk and a dash of cinnamon over each bowl.

Iris of The Daily Dietribe has started a Monday blogging event called "Five Ingredients" -- which this recipe 7 ingredients, I think it still fits the bill as quick and easy and really delicious and healthy! Go check out all the other amazing recipes in Iris' roundup today! 
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook -- Chunky Applesauce

My friend Sarah, author of Celiac in the City was one of my recipe testers for "The Everything Gluten-Free Cookbook." Sarah wasn't feeling too hot when she tested a few recipes and she said this chunky applesauce was very comforting to her.

It's a super easy recipe and it's in the first chapter of the book. Homemade applesauce is healthy and you get to control how much or how little sugar you would like added. It's great for young children as a snack or side dish. It goes with roast pork or chicken.

You can use any apples you like and make your own personal variation of this recipe.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

vegan banana peach "ice-cream"

The past few months I've been cutting back on my processed sugar intake. So less baked goods, more fruit! I allow myself to have 1-2 servings of fruit a day. Lately, I've been "saving" my fruit servings to use as dessert after dinner.

For years I've heard about people making one ingredient ice-cream in their vitamix or blendtec blenders by simply pulverizing frozen bananas. To be honest, I kinda laughed at the idea. For one, I've never been a HUGE banana fan. Secondly... it just sort of sounded impossible.

But then I tried it. (Here's a quick little video to show you how.) 

And it was another "foot in mouth" moment. It's seriously delicious... and strangely enough -- because it's so cold, it tastes more like ice-cream than bananas! Now generally I have to add about 1/4 cup of almond milk in with my frozen fruit to get my machine to process the "ice-cream" smooth enough -- I think it's because my vitamix is an older refurbished model (I still love him). But that's all I do!

I usually mix one frozen banana with a handful for frozen strawberries or peaches. Sometimes blueberries. Sometimes a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. Sometimes a tablespoon of vanilla. I never have to add sugar. It's completely sweet enough just as it is.

On last night's serving I drizzled a little honey on top. Honestly, it was just for the picture. It absolutely didn't need the additional sweetness.

Have you made "one-ingredient" banana ice cream? What are your favorite combinations? Let's chat! Right here on the blog. If you look over to the left you'll see a blue box just for you. Talk with me. I want to hear about how you would make your banana ice cream.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

gluten free peach crisp for one -- an almond flour recipe

The past few weeks I've been using a lot of blanched almond flour in my baking. I am doing this to cut back on sugar and carbohydrates in my overall food plan. Over the past few years I experimented with this low glycemic flour thanks to Elana Amsterdam and her cookbooks... but I've never used it as exclusively as I have the past few weeks... and you know what?

It is SO stinkin' easy!

I had forgotten how incredibly easy it is to use almond flour in baking, especially when you're gluten free. Almond flour is quite healthy as it's high in protein and fiber. To learn more about why I use this flour, check out my GF Baking 101 page.

I've been meaning to share my recipe for an almond flour peach crisp the past few weeks.  I've made it in the oven, in the slow cooker, and now even in the microwave. I meant to make another batch this week so I could take a few good photos of the crisp, but so far I haven't had the time. Yet.... I had a real hankerin' for peach crisp tonight. So I decided to make a personal peach crisp for one. To lightly sweeten the peach crisp, I used a little bit of coconut sugar... but if you'd rather, feel free to use regular sugar or leave it out completely.

I'd say I made this crisp just for you, but I didn't... it was for me. :-P All me. And I enjoyed every single bite of it! But I will be nice enough to share the recipe...

Gluten Free Peach Crisp for One
free of gluten, grains, white sugar, eggs, corn, soy, dairy/casein
created by Carrie of
printer-friendly recipe

1 ripe peach, sliced, and peeled if you prefer
3-4 tablespoons blanched almond flour
4 teaspoons coconut sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
tiny pinch salt
2 teaspoons butter, coconut oil, or canola oil

  1. Place sliced peach in a microwave safe (or glass) cereal or soup bowl. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of coconut sugar over the peaches. 
  2. Microwave peaches on high for 3 minutes until they are softened and sugar has caramelized. 
  3. In a small bowl mix together blanched almond flour, remaining coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Using a fork, cut in the butter or coconut oil into the almond flour mixture. 
  4. Sprinkle almond flour mixture on top of the peaches. Cook in microwave on high for 2 minutes. 
  5. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before eating. Don't share. Eat the whole thing and enjoy every single gluten free, grain free morsel!! :-) 

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Gluten Free Baked Pineapple Casserole Recipe

This recipe is my entry into the 2011 Rudi's Gluten Free Bakery Recipe Contest on Facebook. It would mean SO much to me if you could vote for my recipe on their website! I would TRULY love to win this contest! You can vote once a day through June 6, 2011. Thank you so much for your support!

This gluten free dessert recipe is a hybrid of sorts. One of my favorite fruit desserts of all time is Edna Lewis'  Apple Brown Betty, which strangely enough I have never posted on Gingerlemongirl (hmmm... sounds like that needs to be remedied.) I love making it for Thanksgiving dessert or Christmas...but I also love to use other fruits such as pineapple. Another favorite fruity dessert is my friend Betty's Baked Pineapple. Betty's recipe is basically a cobbler, but instead of using flour, it uses day old bread crumbs as sort of the starch/base of the recipe. Well I just happened to have about 4 slices of both Rudi's gluten free bread that I needed to use for something.

The only fault of Apple Brown Betty is that it kind of falls apart when you serve it. Which is just perfect with ice-cream... but otherwise looks well... a bit messy. So I decided that I would sort of combine the two recipes using less sugar (as always) and just one egg to barely hold together the wonderful combination of toasted gluten free sugary bread & cubed pineapple!

It's an old-fashioned leftover dessert that I just love. If you have a few slices of leftover gluten free bread, please give this pretty little casserole a try! Serve it with ice-cream or whipped cream, or maybe even a drizzle of caramel sauce!

(Oh how I wish you could smell the aroma of this right out of the oven! Heavenly!)

Gluten Free Baked Pineapple Casserole
Free of gluten, dairy/casien, and soy
Created by Carrie Forbes of
Printer-friendly recipe

3-4 slices gluten free bread, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup sugar, reserve half
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg (really makes this recipe!)
3 tablespoons melted butter, ghee, or margarine, reserve half
1 1/2 cups canned pineapple tidbits (drained of liquid), or chopped fresh pineapple
1 egg
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small casserole dish with butter, ghee, or non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl mix together the bread cubes, half of the sugar, the freshly grated nutmeg, and half the melted butter. Layer half of the bread crumb mixture in the bottom of the greased casserole dish. Spoon all of the pineapple tidbits or fresh pineapple over the bread crumbs. Top with remaining breadcrumbs. In a small bowl mix together the egg and the milk. Pour egg mixture evenly over the casserole. Lastly drizzle remaining butter & sprinkle remaining sugar over the top of the casserole. Bake for 25-30 minutes until casserole is golden brown and bubbling. Allow to cool for several minutes before serving.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gluten Free Peach Crisp Recipe

Peach crisp is such an easy gluten free dessert to make in late summer. Peaches are in season and on sale in late August and early September. I'm a big believer in eating seasonally, so this is the only time of year fresh peaches are in our kitchen. The nice thing about nearly any type of baked fruit dessert is that the actual fruit itself doesn't necessarily have to be in pristine condition. These particular peaches were incredibly ripe and probably would have been headed towards the compost bin if I hadn't planned on using them for dessert.

I love crisps because they taste pie without the work. I used almond flour in this recipe, but if almond flour isn't your thing -- use your favorite gluten free flour! This is one of the few gluten free recipes that you could switch out the almond flour with brown rice flour or sorghum flour, or maybe even quinoa flour and I think the results would still be delicious.

And if you don't have any peaches lying around... use the fruit you do have. Frozen or canned peaches would work well too if you don't have fresh!  I'll be using this recipe in the fall for apples and pears.

Gluten Free Peach Almond Crisp Recipe
free of gluten, dairy/casien, soy, and eggs
by carrie @
print-friendly recipe

1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats, pulverized in your blender
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
7-8 medium peaches, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons of orange juice concenrate
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11x7 baking dish or small casserole dish. Place peaches in baking dish. Drizzle orange juice concentrate over the peaches. In a bowl mix together almond flour and rolled oats. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and whisk thoroughly. Mix coconut oil into the dry ingredients with a fork until it resembles a very crumbly topping mixture. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over peaches. If desired sprinkle almond slices over the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until crisp is a golden brown and the peach filling are bubbling around the edges.

Let cool for about 10 minutes and serve with whipped coconut cream or coconut ice-cream. Enjoy!

Carrie's Notes:
  • For a little variety use a different type of juice concentrate mixed with the fruit. Apple, grape, or even apple cranberry would be delicious! 
  • If you don't have coconut oil simply use non-dairy margarine or even Spectrum Palm Shortening.
  • I think a tablespoon or two of shredded unsweetened coconut added to the crisp topping would be a tasty addition. Unfortunately my husband isn't a fan of coconut.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gluten Free Pear Clafouti for Two

Pear Clafouti is an incredibly easy gluten free fruit dessert to make. I decided to make this one night last week because of our trip to Seatttle and I wanted to use up ALL of the produce, fruit, and eggs in the house.

I had previously bought these beautiful Asian pears and had planned on making a simple baked pear dessert topped with raw cashew cream.

But as a friend posted on Facebook the other day, "What do they say about the best laid plans?" Well the baked pears never happened... but the clafouti did. And honestly, I think I like the pears better in this recipe!

This recipe is so simple to prepare. All you will do is simply slice up your fruit, in this case a large Asian pear, and place it decoratively in a small baking dish.

The clafouti batter is so easy. I didn't have any of that wonderful gluten free master mix on hand (although I highly recommend using it!) so I used Bob's Red Mill pancake mix instead. I love that Bob uses at least a few whole grains in nearly all of his gluten free flour mixes. Thank you Bob!

You create a basic pancake-type batter and pour it over your fruit and bake it. That's it.

And 25 minutes later the result is lovely. These pictures do this pear clafouti no justice whatsoever. I'm still waiting for the camera & good lighting fairy to visit... thanks for being patient.

Until then... make this for dessert, or breakfast, or just because. I love it. Simple, slightly sweet, and it makes a beautiful presentation. For a larger dessert double this recipe. Don't like pears? Use any fruit you like. Top it with powdered sugar if that's your thing... drizzle it with maple syrup, add a scoop of my favorite vanilla coconut ice cream... the possibilities are really endless..

Gluten Free Pear Clafouti
free of gluten, dairy/casein, and soy
created by carrie @
printer-friendly recipe

1 large Asian Pear, thinly sliced
1/2 cup gluten free master baking mix -or- pancake mix
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup almond milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon oil (I used grapeseed -- use what you have on hand)
1/4 cup sugar -or- agave nectar (I used agave)
Cinnamon, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small round baking/casserole dish. Slice pears (reserving 3-4 small slices) and place decoratively in the dish. In a medium sized bowl mix together baking mix and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add almond milk, egg, vanilla, oil, and sugar -or- agave nectar. Whisk the wet ingredients together and then mix into the dry ingredients until you have a wet, incorporated batter. Pour over the pear slices. Sprinkle the top of the clafouti with additional cinnamon if desired. Place 3-4 pear slices on top of the clafouti. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until top is golden brown. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve with whipped cream, coconut or raw cashew cream, coconut ice cream, or with powdered sugar. Excellent hot or cold!
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Betty's Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Gluten free french toast casserole! Sound good? It was!

Over the weekend we visited my wonderful friend Betty. It's always a treat to visit Betty. She's a dear long-time friend. The great thing about Betty is that no matter how long it's been since we've seen other... our conversations just pick up where they left off. Time doesn't interfere with our friendship. I value that so much!

Of all the people I know who are aware of my special dietary needs... Betty really gets it. She called us before we came to plan our meals. She asked me to bring gluten free rolls for sandwiches and a loaf of gluten free bread for a casserole she wanted to make. That simple gesture of making sure I could eat safe food alone makes her an absolute treasure.

Betty is also a really good home cook. She had a recipe for French Toast Casserole and just the sound of it made my mouth water.  I can't remember the last time I made french toast... but it was definitely time to have some again. I helped Betty change the recipe so it was both gluten free & dairy free.

To be honest, I was a little worried about the outcome of the casserole since the directions required the bread to be soaked/flavored overnight with the eggs & milk. I thought that the texture of the gluten free bread would be too porous for that much soaking and would end up being a mushy mess.

As you can see from these pictures, that turned out to be a very unnecessary worry!

The casserole looked gorgeous and was absolutely delicious!! Moist (but not by any means mushy) on the inside and crisp & crunchy on the top. It was perfect! Betty added blueberries and I think that really made this lovely breakfast a hit. You could add other berries such as raspberries or even strawberries... I even think it would be really good with chopped apples -- but then again I think apples make everything yummy!

I honestly think you could use almond any type of gluten free bread for this recipe. Savory breads such as herbed breads or rye breads probably wouldn't work well, but any other lightly flavored gluten free breads should be fantastic! For this recipe I used 3/4 of a loaf of my Honey Oat Gluten Free Bread.

Betty's Gluten Free French Toast Casserole
Free of gluten, dairy, and soy
Adapted from a recipe by Paula Deen
Print-friendly recipe

7 cups cubed gluten free bread (I used 3/4 of a loaf of Honey Oat Bread)
2 cups non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring
5 eggs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons ghee -or- coconut oil
**3 tablespoons granulated sugar -or- coconut sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, or chopped fruit of your choice -- rinsed & dried (optional)


  1. Place bread cubes into a greased 9"x13" casserole dish. 
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together: milk, vanilla flavoring, eggs, maple syrup, and salt. 
  3. Pour egg/milk mixture over the bread cubes. Cover casserole dish and place in fridge overnight. 
  4. Remove casserole from fridge 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  5. In a small bowl mix together ghee (or coconut oil), sugar, and cinnamon. Evenly sprinkle over the top of the casserole. 
  6. If desired, sprinkle fresh blueberries or other fruit over the top of the casserole. 
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top of the casserole is golden brown & crispy. 
  8. Serve immediately with maple syrup!
Carrie's Notes:
 -  I definitely recommend using some type of granulated sugar on the top of the casserole. It really helps the casserole to brown and have that delicious crispness!! :-) Enjoy!


I have submitted this recipe to Amy of Simply Gluten & Sugar Free's weekly series: "Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays! Make sure to stop by her blog today and check out the list of yummy gluten free treats for this week! 

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Simple Baked Apples - Easy Gluten Free Desserts

Photo courtesy of Andrew Crowley

*This is a guest post I shared in 2008 on $5 I am so ready for fall weather! Even though autumn is still a few months away I thought this would be a great time to share one of my favorite easy desserts! You don't even need a pie crust to enjoy baked apples. Simple, healthy, and delicious!

One of my favorite things about being gluten free is that the desserts are wonderful! Believe it or not, using gluten free flours to make brownies, cakes, or cookies can be a lot of fun and incredibly tasty!!

But as much as I love to bake, sometimes it's easier to simply make something naturally gluten free!

My favorite naturally gluten free dessert: Fruit!

Fruit is so healthy, delicious, and full of natural sugar & fiber that sometimes it simply makes the best dessert you'll ever have!

The dessert I'm sharing with you today is one of my favorites to make for company. It is elegant, sweet, and has a lovely presentation! I grew up surrounded by apple orchards in southwest Virginia. We ate a lot of apples and I still love them!

When apples are baked they caramelize and turn a beautiful golden brown. The are deliciously sweet and make a perfect light dessert! We enjoy this year round, although primarily in the fall when apples are abundant and very frugal. Even off season though, apples are a great frugal choice for desserts and snacks. This dessert will easily fall around $3 total depending on the prices you can find on pecans and apples. I think it's an extremely budget-friendly and healthy choice!

I prefer not to peel my apples, as the peel is incredibly healthy and why waste such a nutritious part of your dessert!

Photo courtesy of Goldfinch Restaurant.

Carrie's Simple Baked Apples

a simple technique for baked fruit

4-5 Gala -or- Honeycrisp apples, washed and cored, and sliced
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Spritz a medium sized casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place apple slices skin side down on the baking dish. Drizzle honey evenly over the apples. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg evenly over the apples and lastly chopped pecans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes until apples are golden and tender. Serve immediately. makes 4-6 servings.

**To make an apple crisp, in a small bowl simply mix together: 1/4 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup gluten free rolled oats, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Mix it all together and sprinkle over the apples before baking. This will crisp up and make a beautiful dessert! It's awesome served with coconut milk ice cream!


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Friday, August 13, 2010

Tropical Pineapple Date Bars for Meghan Telpner

Earlier this summer I shared this delicious recipe on Meghan Telpner's wonderful website Making Love in the Kitchen. I first learned about Meghan in 2009 with her first tutorial, the Green Smoothie Cleanse! I made 3 green smoothies a day for 3 days with Meghan and learned more about real nutrition during that week than I had in my entire life. I blogged about my experience and I can honestly say it changed my life.

Over a year later my (and my husband's) eating habits have completely changed. Many of our meals are vegetarian, and we eat superfoods every single day. My husband still uses sugar in his southern style sweet tea and occasionally you just need a good chocolate chip cookie, or a piece of chocolate cake.. but other than that white sugar doesn't play a role in our diet anymore.

I still have green smoothies and/or protein smoothies several times a week, most often for breakfast.

Because of Meghan I have learned how to prepare and eat real, nourishing, whole, living, and healing foods.

The recipe I'm sharing today uses several delicious superfoods, is seriously easy to make, and is perfect for summer! These bars are lightly sweetened with fresh pineapple, dates, and raw honey. Chock full of healthy fiber and plant-based proteins, these Tropical Pineapple Date Bars the perfect afternoon snack.

Tropical Pineapple Date Bars
created by Carrie Forbes of

Bar Ingredients:
1/2 cup ground almonds (or almond flour)
1 cup certified gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons raw honey
1/4 cup hot water mixed with 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup crushed pineapple (I use fresh pineapple, which I pulverize in the magic bullet)
3 medjool dates, pitted, and finely chopped

Optional Toppings:
2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub coconut oil on the bottom of an 8x8" glass baking dish & set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix together ground almonds, rolled oats, quinoa flakes, shredded coconut, and baking soda. Using your hands or a fork mix in coconut oil & honey into the rolled oat mixture. You will have a crumbly dough.
  • Set aside 1/3 of the crumbly dough into a small bowl for the topping of the bars.
  • With the remaining 2/3 of dough mix in the hot water & ground flax seed mixture.
  • Press the dough into the greased 8x8" glass baking dish.
  • In a small bowl mix the crushed pineapple with the chopped dates. Pour the pineapple mixture over the pressed dough.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of crumbly dough over the pineapple/date filling.
  • Sprinkle raw pumpkin seeds over the top if you would like!
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until bars are golden brown and smell amazingly delicious!
  • Cut into 9 large bars or 12 smaller bars. Let cool on the counter and then store in the fridge in an airtight container. These are BEST right out of the oven after being cooled, but they are also incredibly good from the fridge!

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Sipping - New Ebook from Meghan Telpner with a GLG recipe!

As you know I truly heart Meghan Telpner & her blog "Making Love in the Kitchen". Meghan has just released a new e-book this week called "Summer Sipping." This is a collection of special HEALTHY summer drink recipes from smoothies to iced mochas, to mojitas, to gelatos, to lemonades, etc...

I'm thrilled that Meghan is also featuring one of my recipes for an Iced Lemon Basil Cooler!

The recipe is available exclusively in Meghan's wonderful book! I hope you'll stop by and pick up a copy. I can't wait to serve these recipes to summer guests at family barbecues & picnics!

One of the best things about summer is the amount of fresh fruits & vegetables that are available to you all season! Meghan's new ebook is a wonderful resource on how to use many fresh summer fruits, vegetables, and herbs in healthy icy drinks & desserts that will keep you nourished & hydrated all summer long!

Many thanks to Meghan for featuring my Iced Lemon Basil Cooler recipe in her new ebook! Now go get your copy today!

Meanwhile, summer is also the perfect time to make LOTS of green smoothies! Check out my series from April 2009 on Meghan's Green Smoothie Cleanse program! I think it might be time for another few days of green smoothies for me!

What's your favorite summer smoothie recipe?

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Raw Apple & Banana Sauce Recipe

I used to be an applesauce fanatic. During college I constantly bought those little cups of pre-portioned apple sauce servings. It seemed like a frugal option at the time. (And hey, I always reused the cups, so I figured that justified the purchase! :-)

But especially in the last year I've become very wary of extra ingredients (either for flavor, color retention, or longer shelf life) that are added to storebought canned & jarred goods. I was reminded of this when I stopped by the grocery store today to pick up a few things for my husband who has a bad bout of the stomach flu. I looked at the jar of unsweetened applesauce and I noticed while it didn't contain added sugar, it did contain erythorbic acid, a type of ascorbic acid or in layman's terms: manufactured Vitamin C. A food additive used to preserve color in canned goods.

Vitamin C is a really good thing. Especially when you are trying to build immune health! But to get Vitamin C in the form of an extremely processed food additive isn't the best way. I worry about how this additive was manufactured. What it was made from? Where did it come from? Will it be metabolized the same way that natural Vitamin C is in our body. I don't know.

I looked at the jar of applesauce and decided I could do better than that. How hard would it be to go home and throw a regular apple in the blender and make a raw applesauce without any super processed additives? It wasn't hard at all.

From now on when I need applesauce I won't be buying it in a jar. This was so easy to prepare and so delicious!

So often we choose what we think is the faster way to make food. The easier way. The way that's most convenient. Yet, so often it can be just as easy & convenient to make at home.

If you've never made a raw applesauce (which you could also just consider an apple smoothie!) I really suggest you give it a try. I love that you don't waste any of the apple. Simply remove the seeds & core and toss in the rest, skin and all! (Note: If you have a Vitamix - you lucky duck- just toss in the whole fruit!)

Voila... instant, raw, healthy, delicious, vegan, naturally sweet & gluten free applesauce!

Raw Apple & Banana Sauce
An "unrecipe" by: Carrie Forbes @
Free of gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, sugar, and a ton of other completely unnecessary things!

Printer friendly recipe.

3 large apples, any variety, preferably organic, cored & cut in large pieces
1 banana
1 pear, cored and cut into large pieces
1/2 cup water (may not be needed if you own a Vitamix)
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In your high-powered blender (or your Vitamix and I'm seriously jealous if you have one) add cut up apples, the banana, and the cup up pear pieces. With regular high powered blender: add water & blend with fruit. Blend on highest speed until smooth and the consistency of applesauce. Pour apple & banana sauce into a jar and stir in lemon juice. (The lemon juice will help to retain the light color of the sauce.)

Serve applesauce chilled with cinnamon sprinkled on top!

**In a Vitamix you MAY be able to leave out the additional water needed to help blend the sauce. In my high-end (but not a Vitamix) blender, I needed the water to help break up the fruit and blend into a smooth consistency.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Simple Salad and Lessons on Eating...

As you know, I just finished Meghan's fantastic Green Smoothie Cleanse program. I have learned so many things in the past 6 days. For instance at one point today I thought I was really hungry, I just wanted to munch on something... instead of instantly grabbing for a snack, as I normally would... I stopped and thought about why I was hungry.

Was I truly hungry? Was I thirsty instead? Was I bored?

I realized I had not had very much to drink so I decided to have a glass of water. After the water I wasn't hungry anymore. This revelation is a huge accomplishment for me.

Meghan is truly onto something when she talks about conscious eating. This one concept alone could change my life. I've always been a conscious buyer, being very aware of needs and wants... yet for some reason up until now I have never applied this towards how I eat. I know that you shouldn't eat when you are stressed, bored, or thirsty... and as simple as this is, I never truly understood how to put this into practice.

I love food. I always will... I can't deny that fact or try to change it. But I can change my relationship with food. How I eat, what I eat, how much I eat, and when I choose to eat. And for that Meghan, I will always be in your debt. I cannot thank you enough for your wisdom and encouragement! You have helped me to get on the right steps towards positive, life long healthy weight goals.

I am gradually adding whole foods back into my diet. Today I had a salad for lunch. It was the first time I had eaten foods in their whole form in 3 days. It amazed me how quickly a simple salad of all vegetables with an olive oil and vinegar dressing could fill me up! And it was so satisfying.

For dinner, I decided to make a large salad with some of my produce from the past three days. I had a salad of mixed greens with the following on top:

- 1 shredded carrot
- 1/2 an avocado
- 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1/2 an apple
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 1/2 of a medium zucchini, julienned
- 1/4 of an orange, juice squeezed over the salad
- drizzle of olive oil
- drizzle of sesame oil
- drizzle of red wine vinegar
- sprinkling of black sesame seeds

This was a delicious, fast, and filling salad! It was beautiful presentation, and it was a dinner I felt great about eating. How often do you leave the dinner table with a true sense of healthy wellbeing? Tonight I felt that way. It made me smile!

For dessert? Yes I wanted something crunchy, or sweet... but decided on a simple fruit smoothie with a banana, homemade almond milk, and a few strawberries! It was simple and delicious and instantly curbed my sugar craving!! I can do this... I know I can!

Here's to your good health!
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Green Smoothie Cleanse -- Day 4

Day 4 of the Spring Green Smoothie Challenge!

I have to say I'm proud of myself for sticking this out! We're halfway done! Tomorrow will be last full day of the cleanse and then I will take 3 days to slowly transition back to eating healthy meals.

This has been a great challenge to me in so many ways! I'm proud of what I have learned during this process and I'm proud of myself for having the discipline to stick with this program. It is 9 days total from the first day of transition to the last. I slowly entered into the program and I will slowly transition back to whole, nourishing, gluten free, dairy free, and soy free foods!

A few things I've observed while doing this program:

- I feel really healthy and I like that feeling!!
- I am learning what it means to be a conscious eater -- a true accomplishment for this girl who will eat when stressed, bored, or ill-at-ease.
- I have learned that I do not "need" a full course meal (especially for every meal) to make my tummy happy.
- I am learning how to recognize when I want a type of food simply because I have fond memories for it, not because it is healthy or good for my body.
- I am starting to enjoy exercising just for the sake of exercising, not necessarily to accomplish a forced goal!
- I feel like smiling more often when my body feels well!
- I have more confidence in myself and what I believe I can do!


Speaking of conscious eating and comfort foods...

Tonight's smoothie is probably my absolute favorite so far in the program! On the way home I thought about the smoothie I would like to have for dinner. It's amazing the things your body will crave during programs like this ;-) ... do you know what I wanted all day today? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Heavy on the peanut butter, light on the jelly.

How could I make a smoothie that *might* taste similar? My favorite jam is strawberry, so I knew strawberries would go in. And with strawberries... a banana always makes a happy companion! For the "peanut butter" part, I settled on almond butter since we are not eating peanuts during this cleanse to avoid mold.

Here's my smoothie. Compared to other smoothies I have made so far, this one is very filling due to the high protein content of the almond butter. Feel free to adjust the amounts to suit your taste and calorie consumption!

Carrie's Strawberry Almond Protein Smoothie

2 cups collards
3-4 leaves romaine lettuce, stems removed
1 banana
1/2 cup strawberries
3 tablespoons almond butter
1 teaspoon bee pollen
1 cup almond milk
1 cup water
1 cup ice
*swirl of agave nectar -or- pinch stevia to sweeten, if necessary (I didn't need additional sweetness!)

Add all to blender and pulse until smooth. Serve immediately Makes around 1.5 pints depending on how much liquid you add. This is one smoothie I'll definitely be making on a regular basis!

Carrie's Notes:

- I was surprised at how well the collards are blended into this smoothie! The primary flavors are a mixture of strawberry, banana, and almonds, even though there are substantial greens! It was a nice break in the routine of very, very green smoothies!

- I loved added the bee pollen to this smoothie because it reminded me even more of peanut butter and jelly, or honey in this case! It's very healthy and a great source of natural sweetness!

- I bough very very ripe bananas at the grocery store today. I find that overripe bananas are wonderful in smoothies because of the serious natural sweetness! The lady in line behind me asked why in the world I would buy such ripe bananas! I told her that I peeled them, froze them, and added them to smoothies. She was genuinely delighted. She smiled and said, "Wow, I never would have thought to do that. What a smart shopper you are!" It made my day!
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Green Smoothie Cleanse -- Day 2


How are you today?

Me? I feel GREAT!

It's Day 2 of the Green Smoothie Cleanse. The Cleanse actually starts officially on Sunday, but I've already started making and drinking smoothies and getting ready for the big day!!

Today I woke up, took a 20 minute walk in the gorgeous spring sunshine, and made my morning smoothie! It was such a wonderful start to the day! I feel refreshed, energetic, and ready to go!

My smoothie this morning was based on Meghan's morning smoothie from her Green Cleanse Program. If you still want to join in the cleanse, it is not too late! You can still join in the Spring Green Cleanse here. You will NOT be disappointed!! It's going to be the best $10 you have ever spent!! Meghan has a wealth of information on healthy living and you will learn SO Much more than simply how to make smoothies! I have learned so much already!! Come join the Spring Green Smoothie Team!!

This is the wonderful smoothie I created this morning, it was so refreshing, light, and delicious! I just want to share all this great raw veggie energy with you!! I hope you'll try it this weekend and then take a nice long walk in the sunshine!!

Here's to your good health!!

Carrie's Morning Power Smoothie
(Top 8 + Gluten Free)

2 tablespoons almonds (soaked overnight)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon hemp protein powder (ground hemp seeds)
1/2 a small gala apple
1/2 cup green grapes
2 stalks celery
1-2 cups fresh spinach
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch stevia
2 cups water
2 cups ice

Add water, celery, apple, spinach, and grapes to blender. Blend until smoothie. Add remaining ingredients and blend until very smooth! Serve immediately or store in a glass jar in the very back of your fridge to keep cold and icy until serving! Enjoy!

I had no idea celery could be SO refreshing!! It was such a beautiful and healthy way to start the morning! I loved this smoothie!! Visit Meghan's site to learn about how you can make your own green smoothies!


Meghan also offered up a wonderful curried vegetable salad for dinner last night! She has done such a thorough job with this great program! I had no idea what to make for dinner last night that was all vegetable based! Meghan's homemade curry was fantastic! Even the picky husband ate his entire plate! I couldn't believe it!! Thanks Meghan!

Here's Meghan's recipe for this fantasic, simple, and veggie*full curry!! Enjoy!!
This recipe will be added to our meal rotation! We really loved it!

I'll keep you updated tomorrow on another yummy green smoothie from my kitchen!

Have a GREAT Saturday!!

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fresh Strawberry Pie Again!! (Gluten Free)

I have such amazing memories of being in the kitchen with my great-grandmother. Her best dessert is a fresh strawberry pie. I believe this is the only way you should make a strawberry pie!

Making this pie marks the beginning of spring for me. In eastern NC, spring seems to get here earlier and earlier each year. These beautiful berries were my first purchase from a local strawberry farm. Thankfully they will be selling them through May, so you can bet neighbors will be getting a strawberry pie or two this month!

Strawberry pie is actually a very simple pie to make. I try to make several gluten free pie crusts ahead of time and freeze them. That way, when it's strawberry season, you can just pull out your ready made pie crust, bake it, and you are ready to go!

Here is how to make my grandmother's strawberry pie:

Buy a quart of strawberries from a local farmer! If you are going to use them immediately rinse them off, and place them in the fridge. If you are going to use them later, DO NOT RINSE until you are ready to use them!!

Cut the strawberries into slices or quarters. I did a little of both!

Gather your ingredients for the strawberry gelatin, this is going to be the wonderful gooey stuff that holds the pie together! We'll use cornstarch, lemon juice, sugar, and plain ol' strawberry gelatin.

In a saucepan, mix together 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and 3/4 cup of sugar. Let this mixture come to a boil for 3 minutes.

Take the thick-syrupy mixture off the heat and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of strawberry gelatin. Mix together thoroughly.

Let this yummy sweet syrupy mixture cool for 5-10 minutes.

Grab your favorite pie plate!
Okay, you don't have to use this specific plate, but it sure makes it seem more authentic!

Here is my pie crust before prebaking. Make sure when you are prebaking the crust to use a fork and put holes in the bottom crust! This will keep your crust from bubbling and cracking. You can also place a sheet of foil over the unbaked crust and place pie weights or a bag of beans on top of the foil to weigh down the crust while baking.

Once your pie crust is completely cool. Spread about 4 tablespoons of cream cheese over the bottom. This will act as a shield against the pie filling and keep your crust nice and crispy!

Next, fold your strawberries into the cooled strawberry syrup/gelatin and pour this mixture into your crust. It will be a beautiful bright red! Refridgerate the pie for 2-3 hours before serving. This will allow the syrup/gelatin mixture to completely firm up and set.

Here is my second pie. I ran out of strawberries, so I added some frozen wild blueberries that I defrosted and rinsed.

Serve up this pie with a big dollop of whipped cream! Enjoy!!

My Great-Grandma P.'s Strawberry Pie
free of gluten and soy

1 quart strawberries, rinsed, patted dry, and quartered or sliced
1 gluten free pie shell, baked and cooled
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons strawberry gelatin (Jello)
4 tablespoons reduced fat cream cheese

In a medium sized saucepan whisk together water, cornstarch, and sugar. Bring to a rolling boil. Continue to boil for three minutes. Mixture should be think and gel-like. Take off heat and stir in lemon juice and strawberry gelatin. Set mixture aside and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Warm cream cheese in a small bowl in microwave for 20 seconds. Spread cream cheese over the bottom of your cooled gluten free pie crust. This will act as a barrier between your pie crust and your pie filling to keep your crust crispy. Fold cut strawberries into the strawberry gel mixture and pour into pie shell. Refridgerate 2-3 hours before serving so pie will set. Calories do not count when serving strawberry pie! Serve with fresh whipped cream.
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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Apple Berry Fruit Leather (Gluten Free)

So what do you do with 4 apples that have seen better days and a small pint of strawberries showing their age? Make fruit leather! That's what's you do!

Inspired by a recent post on Simply Recipes, I knew just what to do with my withering fruit.

I didn't exactly follow Elise's instructions, but I was able to figure out how to create these yummy fruit strips with no problems! Make sure to visit her site for a great step-by-step post!

Here is how I made the fruit leather! I've found another great use for my rice cooker! Have fun!!

How To Make Fruit Leather

1. Peel, core, and dice the fruit you wish to use. I used 4 old apples and about 1 pint of very ripe strawberries. Next time I will try to use more fruit since my strips were thinner than I really wanted them to be!

2. I placed all the fruit in my rice cooker with about 1/4 cup of water and set it on the COOK setting for about 1 hour, or until the fruit is REALLY mushy and well done.

3. Next I mashed the fruit together with a potato masher. Once the fruit was all completely combined and mashed, I set it aside to cool for about 30 minutes.

4. Pour the cooled fruit into your blender and puree until the fruit is very, very fine like a smoothie.

5. Line a jelly-pan with plastic wrap. I sprayed the plastic wrap with non-stick spray, but I don't think this is actually necessary. Pour the pureed fruit onto the plastic wrap and spread out until about 1/8th inch thickness.

6. Turn your oven onto 150 degrees and place the pan of fruit in the oven, and leave it there forever. Really. Forever. ;-P

7. Okay, not forever, but you'll leave it there for about 8 hours, or until the fruit leather feels like those fruit-rollups that you used to love as a kid. (Except without all that terrible high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and food coloring!!! Yay!!)

8. Cut the fruit leather up into strips and serve! Enjoy!!

Have fun and let your kids help out with this!


- Elise felt the need to add spices and some sugar to the mashed fruit. I found this completely unnecessary. The fruit was sweet enough on it's own and the combination of strawberries and apples was delicious!

- Next time I will definitely use more fruit for a thicker fruit leather. You can find better measurements for fruits on
Elise's post.

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