Gluten free strawberry crumble

Gluten free strawberry crumble

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Although we are not on a restricted gluten free diet, I like to explore different possibilities for gluten, when I can. It also seems that going gluten free greatly improves my husband’s control of his diabetes.
Spring in the air, fruits are looking better and better every day, I found this amazing recipe here, and had to give it a go.
Huge success, the combination of oats and shredded coconut was brilliant, gluten free and very yummy. Easy to put it together, a great dessert for the warm evenings that are about to start.

Gluten free strawberry crumble

4 cups (1 L) halved hulled strawberries
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla

Crumble Topping:

1-1/2 cups pure uncontaminated large-flake oats
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
Pinch salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) cold unsalted butter, cubed

Stir together strawberries, brown sugar, cornstarch and vanilla; scrape into 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish.

Crumble Topping: In bowl, whisk together oats, coconut, brown sugar and salt. Using pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until in coarse crumbs with some larger pieces. Sprinkle over strawberry mixture.

Bake in 350 F (180 C) oven until topping is golden and filling is bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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Homemade healthy granola bars

Homemade healthy granola bars

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For the times when you’re craving something sweet and doesn’t really need that nasty chocolate bar to fulfill your desert desire, I have the healthy solution! These granola bars are sweet, nutty, crunchy and delicious. It is great as a snack, tucked in your purse for work, for kids in school and as a quick breakfast on the go. For me, it has the sweetness I normally miss in the cold nights of this never-ending winter, with my tea and I get the added benefit of being totally satisfied and craving-free.

I love all the ingredients in this recipe, specially the taste of coconut that goes so well with cranberries. Although the original recipe, from Ina Garten, calls for dates, I will replace it next time for a different dry fruit, probably raisins. I found dates were too sweet. It was my first time using wheat germ and I was very pleased with the result and the taste. Easy, fast, healthy and yummy, give it a try! You will never buy granola bars again!

Homemade healthy granola bars
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.
Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

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Spring in the air with Whole grain Morning glory muffins

Spring in the air with Whole grain Morning glory muffins

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Days are getting longer here in this side of the hemisphere and the hint of spring is everywhere. The feel good post hibernation is back and so I decided to celebrate it with serious Morning glory muffins. Believe me you’ll feel more alive after eating them! they’re loaded with so much: bananas, apples, cranberries, coconut, flex seed, nuts, carrots, it is a full breakfast or a snack that will fuel your day.

I got this recipe from The Kitchn and as always, it worked perfectly. They turned out moist and light and delicious.

Whole Grain Morning Glory Muffins

16 standard-size muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (or any sugar substitute)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large carrots, peeled and grated (about 1 cup)
1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and grated
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I used almonds)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 large eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 16-standard size muffin cups or fill with liners and lightly grease.

In a large bowl, whisk the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, ground flaxseed, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and ginger. Add the carrots, apple, coconut, pecans, and cranberries and stir until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, bananas, canola oil, olive oil, molasses, and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until blended. Divide the batter evenly among the 16 muffin cups.

Bake the muffins for about 22-24 minutes, until golden brown but still just slightly undercooked in the center (they will finish cooking while cooling). Rest the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Enjoy and share and thanks for stopping by!

You might also like:
Coconut and blueberry healthy muffin

Sweet potato muffin with a crunchy topping

White chocolate and coconut strawberries

White chocolate and coconut strawberries

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I was so successful with my chocolate strawberries for Valentine’s that I had to make them again last weekend when we had company for dinner.
Talking about a favorite that also fits my husband’s ongoing diabetes-friendly diet!
A couple of tricks will help to cut the sugar down, if you need to: dip just half of each strawberry in the melted chocolate (which I haven’t done here this time, as you can see in the pictures) and use unsweetened shredded coconut.
I saw one of my favorites chef Michael Smith making them for Valentine’s on his TV show, tried it out and wow! So easy, fast, pretty and beyond yummy!

White chocolate and coconut strawberries

1 pint strawberries
170 gr white chocolate
1 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Wash the strawberries carefully and pat them dry with a paper towel. This step is very important to make sure the chocolate sticks well to the fruits.

Line up a piece of parchment paper on your counter top.

Cut the chocolate into small pieces.

Take a medium glass bowl inside a small pan with water (no more than 2″) and bring it to a simmer. It is very important that the bowl is completely dry. Try to get a glass bowl that is larger than the pan, overlapping, to ensure no water gets in the melting chocolate while you are stirring it. If just a one single drop of water gets in the chocolate, the whole mixture will be lost. I know, it is sad.

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When 80% of the chocolate is melted, take it out of the heat and bring the bowl to your work area. The chocolate will eventually melt completely while you are dipping the strawberries.
Start dipping the strawberries, gently grabbing the stems, or use a fork to do so. After every dip wait a few seconds for the chocolate to stop running and then roll them out on the coconut. It is a delicate process but very fast you will get a grip of it and will be amazed with the result!
Lay the dipped strawberries on the parchment paper and wait for them to cool off, around 1 hour.
Serve them in the same day.

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Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Light coconut pudding with prune sauce

Light coconut pudding with prune sauce

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This is a great light dessert, or snack, similar to the ready-made puddings, but with lots of flavor, all the goodness of coconut and additives free. Aim for a good quality coconut milk and use the light version if you want to cut on calories. Easy to make, I normally use small bowls and keep them in the fridge for 2 or 3 days. Any berries sauce will go well with this pudding, I really love the combination of prunes (I know, so old fashionable) and coconut.

Light coconut cream dessert

6 to 8 portions

For the coconut cream

4 cups 1 % milk
4 tbs sugar (as always I used sugar substitute)
2 tbs corn starch
200 ml good quality coconut milk
18 gr powder gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup shredded coconut

For the prune sauce

3/4 cup prunes
2 tbs brown sugar
1 1/2 cup water

Start melting the sugar in a small pan until golden. Mix the water and the prunes, bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer, for about 10 min.

Mix the gelatin with the cold water and set it aside.

In a pan, medium heat, mix the milk, sugar and corn starch, stirring until the milk mix boils and thickens. It will not get too thick. Take out of heat and mix coconut milk, shredded coconut and the gelatin, stirring well until all the gelatin is dissolved.

Divide the cream into wet dessert bowls and keep them in the fridge. They will be ready in 1 hour.
After the cream is cold, pour the sauce and top. Enjoy and share!

You might also like:

Ice cream and papaya dessert

Light raspberry mousse dessert

Chocolate dipped strawberry and apples bites

Coconut and blueberry healthy muffin

Coconut and blueberry healthy muffin

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And here I am after a unsuccessful weekend of exploring new possibilities in the kitchen – thinking I would have a fresh and exciting posting to keep going on my quest for daily posts in November – got overwhelmed with the mess I made, frustrated, dead tired and “postless”. lol I should know it better, after a full week of 5 yoga/zumba classes, my “not so young bones” would not last for many hours of kitchen adventures. Cooking requires your body and soul all together to do the magic. It is physical and energetic, this is why it is so fascinating, but you better be in a good shape, nothing new here. And you better listen to your body – when it is not ready, just be content to sit back, relax and watch someone else cooking on TV, which is lots of fun too!

For now, I am sharing this yummy blueberry and coconut muffins recipe, the best of two worlds, healthy and super tasty: coconut and fresh blueberries can’t go wrong! I modified it from Kingarthurflour site

This time I did not use a sugar substitute, the amount of brown sugar was not significant to disrupt my husband’s readings on his sugars for his diabetes control. And the result, soooo tasty, really one of my favorite muffins!

Coconut and blueberry healthy muffin

12 muffins

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut
1 large egg
1 large egg white
3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk* (see tip)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 tsp coconut or vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries

* in case you don’t have buttermilk: mix the milk with 1/2 tbs lemon juice and let it sit for 5 min.

Coconut topping
1/4 cup coconut
2 tbs all purpose flour
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs canola oil

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

Combine all the ingredients for the coconut topping in a small bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl mix all the dry ingredients.
Whisk brown sugar, egg, egg white, buttermilk, butter and coconut (or vanilla) extract in a medium bowl until well combined.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients; stir until just combined, don’t over mix.
Add blueberries, stir just to combine.
Scoop the batter into the muffin cups. Sprinkle with the reserved coconut topping and gently press into the batter.
Bake the muffins until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Muffins and more muffins:

Apple and white chocolate chips muffins

Melt in your mouth blueberry muffins

Triple chocolate, diabetes friendly,carb conscious muffins

Strawberry and yogurt healthy muffins

Apple and pumpkin muffins

Super healthy apple muffins

All bran apple, cranberry muffins

Yummy coconut popsicles

Yummy coconut popsicles

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Coconut reminds me of summer, always.

I remember a “gelateria” in Ubatuba, Brazil, that had some amazing coconut popsicles. Going there in the evening was the highlight of our summer holidays at the beach. They had this white coconut popscicle, with lots of coconut that was my family’s favorite. In my wildest dream I would have 2 of those every day but my sister and I were never allowed. lol

I searched for a recipe and I found one in the Skinnytaste blog, which by the way has amazing and healthy recipes.

I modified it, as always using Splenda, and substituted some of the evaporated milk for 5 % cream, I wanted a more creamery taste. Because of the evaporated milk they are not white as the ones I used to enjoy but they were delicious, rich and a real filling treat. We can’t have enough of them now!

1/2 can evaporated milk

1/2 can 5% cream ( I used the same can of the evaporated milk as a measure)

1 can coconut milk (the is a low fat version if you are trying to cut down calories)

1/2 cup Splenda or sugar

2 tsp coconut extract

1/2 cup of shredded sweetened coconut

Blend all ingredients, pour into the popsicles molds and freeze. Enjoy!

yield: 6

    written by Raquel Boyes