Monday, July 30, 2012

Chocolate-Dipped Dried Peaches, Gluten-free


Here is something so sweet and yummy that I doubt that anyone could turn away from it!

We have been enjoying fresh, ripe, juicy, organic Red Haven Peaches, grown in the Okanagan.  I have been on Pinterest a little too much and saw some "inspiring" pins about such things as chocolate-covered apricots and such, and of course, you know, one thing led to another, and there I was, dehydrating these amazing peach slices (took almost a day-- well-washed, skin still intact, sliced, rinsed in lemon juice, and sprinkled with Cinnamon) and thinking about what Bill from OK Fruit had said when he delivered them "Just dehydrate them halfway and then they are like those little candies that are crispy on the outside and then have this delicious flow of liquid in the middle"... and I thought of the image of the chocolate-covered apricots, and the two images came together like, apparently, the famous teaming of chocolate and peanut butter for Reese's Pieces.  

I love chocolate-dipped strawberries-- but nothing beats these luscious dried peaches dipped in yummy melted chocolate (I used "Enjoy Life" Mini Chips, certified Gluten-free).  I just put a small bowl of the Mini Chips (maybe 1/2 a cup) into a larger bowl of hot water and then stirred them when they began to melt.   Then I stuck the pan of dipped peaches into the freezer for a few minutes to harden. Easy Peasey.

If you want to check out my other dehydrated vegan treats on Pinterest, go to http://www.pinterest.com/healthiacynthia/dehydrated-vegan-recipes/  Feel free to follow me and I'll follow you back! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Health Benefits of Peaches and 15 Luscious GF Recipes



Image from http://www.groworganic.com/peach-redhaven-semi-dwarf.html
Red Haven Peaches
Back to the Peaches-- we live on beautiful Vancouver Island, the mid->North area, but our soil (mountainside gravel) and an abundance of rain make it more likely that we grow remarkable wild blackberries, blueberries, rosemary, figs even-- but not so much peaches or apricots or even cherries (although there are some wonderful older Bing cherry trees about).  Ah well, we do have them coming into our stores and we have the blessings of Okanagan Fruit.ca which trucks the fruit and veggies in here from the sunnier, drier Okanagan (BC's interior) on a weekly basis during the growing season.  The organic peaches they sell are so yummy and perfect-looking and competitively-priced with the stores (i.e., cheaper). They come off the trees one or two days before they arrive here, so they are practically "local". We love their drippy lusciousness!


Health Benefits of Organic Peaches
Now, please note that I use the word "organic" and not just "peaches".  As it happens, peaches that are not organically grown are on what is called The Dirty Dozen List -- produce that has been heavily sprayed and is therefore not recommended for healthy consumption.  When deciding what to buy organic and what to save some money buying from the conventionally-grown bins, buy organic from the Dirty Dozen List and have greater assurance of health for you and your family.

  1. Peaches are an excellent source of the mineral Potassium.  With a  shortage of potassium you will be tired all the time, anxious, exhibit skin eruptions, and possibly develop an irregular heartbeat.  Problems remembering, congestive heart failure and high blood pressure are all tags for possible potassium deficiency.  People who are on diuretics, or who experience chronic bowel issues (including frequent diarrhea) or who sweat profusely are most apt to have a potassium shortage and experience the above medical signals.
  2. Peaches are high in Beta-Carotene, changed to Vitamin A by the body.  Individuals with a diet high in whole food sources of Vitamin A are less likely to develop cataracts.
  3. Lycopene and Lupein in Peaches are the object of several studies showing that these antioxidant carotenoid compounds can reduce the risk of macular degeneration, some cancers, and heart disease.
  4. Peaches are high in Fibre, keeping the colon clean and able to absorb other nutrients-- and preventing colon cancer.
  5. Peaches are high in Vitamin C-- the super antioxidant immunity builder and cancer-fighter.
  6. Peaches are a good source of Iron which is necessary to metabolism, the building of neurotransmitters, building and maintaining the oxygen-carrying red blood cells, and creating antibodies.
  7. Peaches just taste dreamy!  Have you ever met anyone who didn't love peaches?  A fresh ripe juicy peach is sweet enough to ward off any cravings for processed sugars.  It makes a lovely addition to any meal, or a meal in itself.
And now...ta dah!  the 15 LUSCIOUS PEACH RECIPES- Gluten-Free and Vegan
#1~

The first star recipe-- Gluten-free, Vegan and uncooked-- is the Kid-Friendly Peach Cobbler you will find at http://www.lilsugar.com/Gluten-Free-Peach-Cobbler-Recipe-Vegans-19943033

Many kids today are gluten intolerant or have coeliac disease.  This recipe is bound to be a big hit with everyone!

GF Peach and Mulberry Cake

#2~

Yummmy- yum yum.. baked GF Peach and Mulberry Cake-- it is dairy-free but not vegan (2 eggs). You could use egg-replacement if you want it to be vegan.  For 1 egg, blend 1 Tablespoon of flax meal with 3 Tablespoons of warm water.  OR try for every egg, use 3 tablespoons of all natural applesauce. And if you have no mulberries, you can use other berries instead.
Find this recipe at http://www.mydarlinglemonthyme.com/2012/02/gluten-free-peach-mulberry-cake-recipe.html 


#3~

Peaches and Cream is a classic, and this is a tasty GF Vegan version of that-- a delectable smoothie made with real coconut milk (with instructions on how to do that) and celery (it's a Green Smoothie-- but I promise there is no "off" taste because of the celery-- au contraire, you will find it peachy and fresh!

Find the recipe at http://www.smoothiemoves.com/2010/08/smoothie-recipe-of-week-coconut-peach.html


#4~
There are quite a few recipes for Salsa out there that use peaches-- but this recipe takes it a step upward and uses a refinement over the usual white vinegar (which, by the way, can be quite a noxious acidic substance you can buy at the Dollar Store) with balsamic... this is also used as a "bruschetta" or a savoury spread for a crisp bread or cracker. Very elegant and delicious.  Find the recipe here: http://www.foodiecrush.com/2011/09/craving-peach-tomato-bruschetta-and-a-little-pea-baby-shower/

#5~
When you begin to add flowers-- in this case, Lavender-- to salads, you often discover the line between 'adventurous' foodies and the 'more conservative' eaters.  Gluten-free Quinoa is always tasty in salads and this Lavender-Peach-Quinoa Salad looks fabulous.  There is goat cheese in this salad, so you may want to leave it out to make it a 'vegan' dish.  Find the recipe at http://thehealthyfoodie.com/2011/07/28/lavender-peach-quinoa-salad/ 


#6~

mmm... this Gluten Free Peach Coffee Cake looks just decadent-- sweet and yummy!  I don't drink coffee but I would, for a piece of this!  To make it vegan,  for 1 egg, blend 1 Tablespoon of flax meal with 3 Tablespoons of warm water OR try for every egg, use 3 tablespoons of all natural applesauce. You can also use some of the commercial preparations.  Enjoy!  You will find the recipe at http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.ca/2011/08/gluten-free-peach-coffee-cake-with.html



#7~
Suzie's Pickled Peaches recipe for people who want to try everything they can with their peaches.  If you are a peach grower, just collect together all the little guys that aren't much of a mouthful and prepare the syrup... looks like a quick and easy process.  Find the recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/suzies-peach-pickles-recipe/index.html


#8~

This tasty Peach Jam has vanilla pods as an ingredient.  For the recipe go to http://www.thecnj.com/review/2009/082009/
Foodanddrink/foodanddrink190809_72.html



#9~
Lovely Gluten-Free Peach Pancakes...

These look lovely and sweet-- special for Breakfast In Bed I think!
http://www.greenplaterule.com/recipes/gluten-free-peach-pancakes/#


#10~
The Glutenfree Goddess calls her lovely peach ice (left) Vegan Peach Ice Scream  She uses Coconut Milk and lots of cut-up Peach pieces... yum!
http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.ca/2008/08/vegan-peach-ice-scream.html

#11~
Gluten-Free Vegan Peach Upside Down Cake with vegan whipped cream!  Drooling here!  http://misskitchenwitch.blogspot.ca/2011/09/vegan-soy-gluten-free-peach-upsidedown.html

#12~

Pretty Peach Soup!

How refreshing this must be!  I wonder what it would taste like with a few scrapes of ginger?  Find the recipe at
http://www.foodily.com/r/wCitYFRrz-pretty-peach-soup



#13~

This luscious photography is killing me!
Here we have Freezer-Friendly Ginger Biscuits with Peaches and Cream (Gluten-Free and Vegan)
http://moneysavingmom.com/category/from-my-kitchen/recipes/desserts



#14~

Peaches 'n' Oatmeal.  Of course.  Simply delicious! Part of a strategy to get kids to eat breakfast-- and it works I'm sure!
http://blog.superhealthykids.com/2011/12/top-strategies-kids-eat-oatmeal/


#15~

Peach and Berries Flambe!  Ending with a bang! Substitute Coconut Oil for the Butter and it will be Vegan.
http://www.theravenouscouple.com/2009/08/peach-and-berries-flambe.html


Pinterest is the fastest growing social network site, watch it zoom!
Click and follow me on my Pinterest GF Board, and I will follow you back... Pinterest will guide you through the easy set-up (free) process... see you on there (and you'll find more Healthy Gluten-Free recipes than you thought possible!)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Molasses Cookies- Gluten-free, Flour-free, Low Fat Vegan

Molasses Cookies - Gluten-free, Flour-free, Egg-free, Low Fat Vegan
After making the tasty Black Bean Brownies, that healthy low fat vegan gluten- free paragon of the highly- fatty and-sugar laced popular and gluten-filled treat, I got adventuresome and decided to make some low fat vegan, gluten-free molasses cookies with some of the ingredients I have about the house. Again, I found myself at the Happy Herbivore site looking for a base recipe (or some indication that it could be done). And then I veered off on my own. I have included eliments from her recipe as an alternative to what I used in mine in case you are not fortunate enough to have something like the chai-spiced dried apples that my son made for me last fall, bless his heart!

 I find that these spicy little cookies are a little more mellow than some of the traditional molasses cookies (that, frankly, can cause reflux if they are too spicy and acidic with wheat flour and sugar and egg).

  Ingredients:

  •  1 C. Carob Powder (or 1 C. oatmeal spun into flour and T. Tapioca flour) 
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. Baking Soda* small handful Chai-spiced Dry Apples (or ½ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground ginger, and ⅛ tsp allspice, nutmeg or ground cloves) 
  • 1/4 C. mashed Pinto Beans (or other canned beans such as Navy Beans) 
  • 12 small Parnoosh Pitted Honey Dates (or 2 T. Sugar) 
  • 2 T. Apple Sauce 
  •  1/4 C. Blackstrap Molasses 
 Grease up a cookie sheet, lay down parchment paper or a silicone sheet (what I use).


 I started by throwing 2 chopped up apples (minus the cores but skin still on) into the vitamix and making some delicious raw apple sauce, but you can use regular unsweetened apple sauce. I only need 2 tablespoons of apple sauce for the cookie recipe, but I like it on my porridge, etc. etc. etc., so no problem. 


Mix together in a bowl the Carob powder, the Baking Powder (and Spices if using them vs. the chai-spiced apples.) Mix in the sugar if you are using it in lieu of the dates. In a food processor bowl combine all of the ingredients (including the dry apples and dates if using) and pulse or process until smooth. Let the 'dough' rest while the oven is pre-heated to 350F/180C. Cool on racks and enjoy! Scoop 1 T. of 'dough' into 14 cookies onto the pan and bake for 10-15 minutes. *less baking soda makes the cookies denser, more makes them puffier.

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