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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Perfect moist and light banana bread

Perfect moist and light banana bread

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Bananas are very abundant in Brazil, all shapes, many different types, found everywhere, a fruit that is commonly taken for granted, as so there is an expression to describe it: “as cheap as bananas”. You would think that banana bread would be a favorite there too but it is not.

There are plenty of banana cakes, banana pies, breads filled with banana and cream, tons of different types of banana desserts but nothing like the North America’s favorite, banana bread. I tried it for the first time still in Brazil, many years ago, in a friend’s house, who used to be a baker in Montreal and I fell in love since.
I never miss an opportunity to try a different one at any coffee shop and I am always experimenting with new recipes, like my Ultimate and fluffy banana bread, still looking for the perfect banana bread, that would remind me of that first one.
So it happened! I was flipping the pages of the last issue of Canadian Living magazine and found it! I had to try it right away and so far, this will be the one I will be baking, for ever!!
The original recipe is here.

The secret that makes it so special ? Let the mashed ripe bananas soak for 5 minutes with buttermilk and baking soda and the magic of fluffiness gets started!

Moist and light, no surprise that baking with brown sugar and real butter would bring the banana flavor very alive, but it was worth it! I substituted half of the flour with whole wheat flour and half of the brown sugar with sweetener to make it diabetes friendly.
If you like walnuts, chocolate chips or raisins, go ahead and add 1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite thing.

Perfect moist and light banana bread

1 loaf – 12 pieces

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour)
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Stir together bananas, buttermilk and baking soda. Let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter with brown sugar until combined; beat in egg, vanilla and banana mixture. Stir in flour mixture until combined; scrape into greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.

Bake in 350 F oven until cake tester inserted into centre comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes. Turn out onto rack; let cool completely.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

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Sweet potato gnocchi with mushroom sauce

Sweet potato gnocchi with mushroom sauce

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Gnocchi may seem difficult to make if it is your first time. But believe me, it is not! Specially if you are not feeding a big crowd, around 45 min for this recipe for 6 – 8 portions.
If you are a vegetarian that’s the entrée for any occasion, if you are not, add some grilled chicken or fish and make the gnocchi as your good and healthy carb side, as I did.

For better results with the texture, bake the sweet potatoes and then mash it, instead of boiling them.

Pure comfort, this gnocchi has a firm but light texture, with a very subtle sweetness from the sweet potato. Best part is to know that is healthy, or healthier than the gnocchi made with regular potatoes.

Sweet potato gnocchi with mushroom sauce

1/4 cup butter
1 onion thinly sliced
8 oz (225 g) care mini mushrooms thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme or basil
3 tbs fresh chopped parsley
1/2 tsp salt
pinch nutmeg

For the gnocchi

2 cups puréed cooked peeled sweet potato (about 2)
1 egg
1 tsp salt
pinch nutmeg
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

Start with the gnocchi: in large bowl combine together sweet potato, egg, salt and nutmeg. Using wooden spoon, stir 2 cups of flour and slowly work your way on adding the remaining flour. The dough will be soft and sticky, pulling away from the sides of the bowl but still sticking to spoon and fingers. Resist to the temptation of adding extra flour.
On well floured surface and floured hands, roll dough into log, divide into quarters. Gently roll and shape each quarter into 3/4″ (2cm) diameter rope. Cut each rope with a sharp knife, into 1/4″ pieces. The dough is soft and the pieces will not have the same shape, but do the best you can. I really think I could have done a better job.
In a large pot boil lots of salted water. Start cooking the gnocchi ( in 2 batches or more if necessary) : gently get them in the water (do not throw them all at the same time like we do when cooking pasta), give it a stir and wait until they float. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to your pasta drainer. Wait for the water to be boiling again to cook the next batch.

In large skillet melt 2 tbs of the butter over medium heat, add onion, stirring and cooking until softened. Add the mushrooms, garlic and thyme and cook until mushrooms are tender, about 2 min. Set aside in large bowl.
In the same pan melt remaining butter over medium heat, stirring until nutty brown. Add gnocchi, cook, tossing, around 5 min and finally add the mushroom and onion mixture, combining well.
Serve with fresh chopped parsley and a few curls of Parmesan cheese.

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Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Healthy banana muffins

Healthy banana muffins

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Finally I got some very ripe bananas to try out Martha Stewart’s muffin recipes.

Once again, Ms Stewart was so on top of things for this recipe, always properly tested, the muffins turned out perfect and delicious, as everything that comes out of her empire.

Anyway, ripe bananas, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, that can be substituted by any other sweetened you want, make up for a great combination of both, flavor and texture.

Healthy banana muffins

12 large muffins

4 (1 1/2 to 2 pounds) ripe bananas, plus 1 for garnish
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
Peel 4 bananas and mashed them well. Add brown sugar, oil, and egg; beat until smooth. Add flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; beat until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla; beat until combined. You can use a portable electric beater at this point to make sure the bananas were well mixed but don’t over beat.
Fill muffin liners three-quarters full. Slice remaining banana into 1/8-inch-thick rounds; place a slice on each muffin. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes for regular muffins and 20 for mini, rotating pan halfway through. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

You might also like:

Triple chocolate, diabetes friendly,carb conscious muffins

Sweet potato muffin with a crunchy topping

All bran apple, cranberry muffins

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

Brown rice with bacon and green onions

Brown rice with bacon and green onions

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It has been a while already that there is no more white rice for my family, which is a shame since as Brazilian, I am crazy for a fluffy, simple white rice. There are some exceptions but brown rice is the norm at our home now, with our diabetes friendly diet. It gets boring though… And I am always looking for new ways to boost the grain up.

Then I stumbled upon this Michael’s Smith recipe that brought some much needed variation on the brown rice theme. Easy and super tasty, I love the way the bacon is cooked, which I had never done before. Allow a good 50 min. to prepare it, be patient cooking the bacon and you will be very pleased with the end result. Fluffy, tasty and well cooked brown rice that goes well with any kind of meat or veggies.

It is from Michael Smith’s book, the same one I have mentioned a few times already.

Brown rice with bacon and green onions

4 to 6 slices of bacon, sliced or chopped
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups of brown rice ( I used a mix of brown and wild rice)
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
lots of freshly ground pepper
4 or 5 green onions thinly sliced

Set a saucepan over medium high heat. Toss in the bacon, then pour just enough water to barely cover it. Bring o a simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. As the water simmers, the bacon will begin to cook. Then as the water evaporates, the bacon will render, releasing fat. Lastly, it will crisp as the fat left behind heats past the boiling point of water into the flavor zone. Keep stirring until ever piece is evenly crisped, about 5 or 6 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and rice and continue cooking until fragrant.Pour in the water and add the bay leaf. Bring it to a steady simmer and then lower the heat to a very low, slow simmer. Cover and cook until the rice is almost tender, about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, keep the lid on, let it rest for full 10 min. and the rice will be cooked just to perfection. Resist to the temptation to skip this step, believe me, it is time well spent. Season with freshly ground pepper and sprinkled with the green onions.

Enjoy and share!

My 2012 in pictures – Food I could eat every day

My 2012 in pictures – Food I could eat every day

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2012 was a special year for me, when I started venturing in the blog world with my food. Feeding those I love and sharing it! Learning and exploring, creating in daring new ways, making new friends and eating the food!
For me the one who cooks in the house works a chemistry that has the ability to bring the family together. By being generous in the kitchen we teach our kids precious lessons about feasting in an abundance together, sharing our loaf, humble or scrumptious.
We teach the balance about planning life and then living in the moment, chopping and keeping it whole, kneading hard and tossing gently, squeezing, but then letting it go.

I put together 12 recipes of foods that I could eat every day. Literally, some of them are not healthy, some of them are very much so, but all of them are a true nourishment of senses for me and I had lots of fun preparing them and posting it.

Starting from the top left:

Chicken pot pie with a puffy crust

Parmesan oven baked tilapia

Tabbouleh crunchy salad

Festive quinoa salad with cranberry and apricot salad

Chocolate crackle cookies

Zuccini and orange loaf – healthy and carb conscious

Avocado healthy dessert

Cream of papaya dessert

Tomato soup my grandpa style

Pastel – deep fry pastry with beef filling – a Brazilian treat

Healthy blueberry muffins

Delicate escarole and fruit salad

Thanks for stopping by and a happy and healthy 2013!