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My favorite meal of the year is my family Christmas dinner, which traditionally was held on Christmas Eve. Now that my kids have grown and have families of their own I’m happy to find a time near the holidays when everyone can be together! My old traditional meal has changed over time because of the different food intolerances. This year I completely let our traditional menu go and made it new and fun. It included a thick beef stew (made with new things including sweet potatoes) and bread sticks (gluten free, of course!). I did include our traditional Christmas Jello. For dessert I wanted something light and festive, but also something we could all enjoy.

With several different food intolerances, including gluten, dairy, soy and nuts among members of the family, I opted for an eggnog type custard dessert made from my favorite nog – So Delicious Nog Coconut Milk. It’s completely egg and dairy free. The taste is amazing – I think it tastes more delicious than real eggnog! I tried this recipe first with my husband’s regular Meadow Gold Eggnog. It turned out perfect and he loved it! Plus this is quick and easy to make!

I found the So Delicious Coconut Milk at my local health food store. I bought the agar agar on Amazon.

This recipe works well with any eggnog including Silk soy or almond and rice milk eggnog.I used cinnamon sticks as a garnish.

For the recipe go here.

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sad turkyI have been dreading Thanksgiving for years. When pie time comes, I try to ignore everyone or disappear. I have missed out on my favorite pies since going casein free. Now that I have learned more about vegan pie crust and fillings I’m very excited for my Thanksgiving dessert this year!

I am so happy with my version of gluten free, vegan pie crust. I use fresh ground almond butter along with other ingredients. It turns out looking and tasting GREAT!

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IMG_0803_optMy pumpkin and coconut cream pie fillings are especially exciting! I’m so happy I’ve learned there’s a way to make them with no casein. And I’ve learned the key to thickening/setting the fillings, including refrigerating the pies overnight.

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Thankfully I have a new attitude about Thanksgiving with my family this year!

Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Vegan Coconut Cream Pie Filling

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Lately I’ve been thinking about Thanksgiving and pie. The past couple of years I’ve felt too overwhelmed to worry about pie for myself. I’ve taken the lazy approach and watched others enjoy their pie, while trying not to show my extreme jealousy! This year I haven’t been too excited – yet. Truthfully, Thanksgiving has never been a favorite holiday or even one that I like – due to the years that I often sat and watched others enjoying their delicious meal while my tummy HURT! But now that I have married kids with families and this year, my FIFTH grandchild, I’m trying to hang in there and possibly do better. So, I’m looking for new ideas for pie. I happened upon this wonderful website during my search. PLEASE know that I don’t take any credit for the following recipe and ideas! I give ALL the credit to ohsheglows.com! Please be sure to check out more of her ideas!

The following recipe can be found at http://ohsheglows.com/recipage/?recipe_id=6006095 along with printing instructions.

for the filling:

  • 2 & 1/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup natural cane sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut cream (or almond milk)*, softened
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance, softened
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (other sweeteners may work, but the flavour will change slightly)
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves

Sweet & Salty Spiced Pecan Crust (Gluten-free)

Absolutely worth every calorie and then some! It’s a bit sweet, buttery, lightly spiced with cinnamon, and enhanced with a bit of salt to bring out the flavours. This crust goes so nicely with the pumpkin pie filling! This crust is very sensitive to changes, so I caution against changing things in the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup GF certified rolled oats, processed into a fine flour OR 1 cup GF oat flour
  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup (acts as the binder, honey may work if you prefer that)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or Earth Balance

The pecans need to be ground very finely until they release their oils and start sticking to the side of the machine (this took me 35 secs exactly in my processor, fyi). You should be able to form a ball with the pecans. If you don’t process the pecans enough the crust will be too dry. With that being said, you don’t want to make pecan butter either!

IMG 4687   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free IMG 4691   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

After mixing all the ingredients, the dough should be a bit sticky like this:

IMG 4692   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

You should be able to form a big ball with it. If it’s too dry, add a touch more melted Earth Balance, a teaspoon at a time.

Crumble it into a greased pie dish:

IMG 4693   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

Press down and outward to form the crust (press firmly!) and pre-bake for 10-12 mins at 350F. Cool for 10 mins before scooping in filling and baking. Make sure you let the pie chill for at least a few hours in the fridge before carefully slicing with a sharp knife.

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Ding, ding, ding we have a winner!

IMG 46791   Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Three Ways: Classic, Rustic, & Gluten Free

Happy pie baking and Thanksgiving!

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Since my daughter got married last July (taking two of my cute grandkids with her) and then moving with my husband to a new house in October, I admit, I’ve not beenvery enthusiastic about baking! My husband and I eat a very simple and healthy diet so desserts don’t temp me much. Unless it’s my birthday and then I NEED cake! My husband is now working to get that small layer of winter warmth off so PLEASE don’t tell him I made this!!! I hope the smell doesn’t linger when he gets home!

 

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I have these nice, BIG apples looking so delicious! I thought I should get my lazy self into the kitchen to create something.

It was surprising to see what I actually have (and don’t have) in my cupboard. I was hoping for some almond meal since I love using it in baking. No worries, I had plenty of other great things to use.

As you can see I made two apple desserts. One for me and one for, well, me! One of my large apples was enough for two ramekins. If you know me very well, you know I don’t love to measure so I usually eyeball or use “abouts.” I squeezed honey and then sprinkled cinnamon over the apples.

apple cIn a small bowl I stirred up (about) ¼ cup GF oats, 1/8 cup millet flour, 1/8 cup quinoa flour, ¼ cup raw cashews, 1/8 cup raw brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup softened butter or coconut oil.  I used a fork to smash/stir it into pieces. Then it goes on top!

The ramekins are placed in a pan with foil to avoid drips into the oven.

I baked these at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. And, I happen to have some lactose free ice cream in my freezer!

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meatball

I love cooking healthy, quick meals. This dish is about 400 calories and adds a generous amount of broccoli to pasta with meatballs and sauce. These meatballs are delicious and use quinoa instead of bread crumbs. This dish is a hit with my hungry husband, and I get very full with just one portion. This recipe serves 4. Get the recipe here.

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gift

So many of my wonderful new neighbors have brought plates, bags and cute containers of wonderful sweets to celebrate the holidays! They call this neighborhood “Mayberry.” I love it! I’m not going to spoil the fun and tell them I’m gluten free, after all my husband can enjoy sharing the wonderful treats with his co-workers. I have been making MANY batches of my gluten free Chex mix, for me and for others. I plan to give this for gifts too. I’m using cute container from Dollar Tree to put mine in. For me, a tasty, salty snack is just right!

If you need a new a new idea, instead of your regular plate of cookies and candies, give this a try! It’s SO DELICIOUS!

See post below for recipe.

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