Gluten-free Vegetarian Thanksgiving 7: Cranberry Cheesecake and Pie

November 20th, 2011 yum Posted in Blog Event, Blog News, Cranberries, Dairy Free, Dessert, Dinner Party, Party Food, Party Menu, Thanksgiving, Vegan, Vegetarian, cashew 3 Comments »

Would you believe that this is the seventh day of our Vegetarian Thanksgiving Event? Today Nicole of Special Diet Creations seems to have read my mind, because she created a vegan and nearly raw Dairy-free, processed sugar-free cranberry cheesecake for our event. As I mentioned yesterday, Toddler Yum loves mommy’s raw cheesecake recipe. Not only that but she loves sipping heavily diluted cranberry juice with grandma, so I think she would really enjoy this recipe. It makes a beautiful presentation and would be perfect for any vegan guests to your Thanksgiving Dinner. Not only that but it doesn’t require the oven so won’t compete with your other recipes.

The DH just got back from a two week trip to Israel and I want to spend time with my honey, so I’ll make this quick. I had this recipe at some of my favorite adopted “parents’” house. You know how sometime you have parents and siblings etc. that you are born with, and then people that you meet that end up filling that role for you in your life without being related by blood? Well, Vic and Hallie take the role of gluten-free “Mom and Dad” at our local gluten-free potluck events. This is one of my favorite recipes that they made for us “kids” (although their pizza is also spectacular). Hallie is vegetarian, and a wonderful mom to her own daughters and us local kids too. I hope you enjoy it!

Here’s some more gluten-free dessert recipes:
Dairy-free Soy-free Pumpkin Pie (use GF crust)
Grain-free Pumpkin Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Gluten-free Banana Blueberry Buckle
Raw Truffle Recipe
Blueberry Pie with Honey Whipped Cream
Cinnamon Apple Cake Recipe- no processed sugar, grain-free

Vic and Hallie’s Surprise Cranberry Pie Recipe
1 bag fresh cranberries
1/2 cup Sliced almonds (optional)
1/3 cup Sugar to sprinkle the fruit
3/4 cup Sugar for the crust
2 Eggs
3/4 cup {1-1/2 stick) Butter or margarine (I used 1/4 cup margarine with 1/2 cup butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan gum (or xanthan gum mixed with guar gum)
1 cup of your favorite mild GF flour blend.
This recipe makes one large pie or large cake, or two smaller pies or two smaller cakes. I used one large pie pan and one small gratin type dish.
* Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease the pie plates.
* Wash the cranberries or other fruit, leaving a little water on them.
* Place the fruit on the bottom of the pie plate. If you use nuts, put them on top of the fruit. Next sprinkle sugar over the top.
* In a mixing bowl, cream the remaining sugar with the eggs and butter. Stir in the vanilla extract and then finally fold in the flour and xanthan gum.
* Pour or spread the batter over the fruit.
* Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted near the center of the crust comes out clean.
* Important step: Cool for 10 minutes and gently loosen the edges. If you are using a springform, it is particularly important to loosen the edges at this point. Wait until the pie cools completely before taking off the springform sides.
I used 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and think I would try 1/4 tsp. next time.

For the GF flour blend, Carol Fenster’s or Bette Hagman’s work well- I used a Brown rice version of Bette Hagman’s featherlight blend, but anything will work. Make sure it has a delicate flavor that won’t overwhelm the fruit.

You can use different fruits in this recipe, and adapt the flavorings as desired.

I think the pie tastes best cool, but it’s good either way. If you want to be really crazy you can add whipped cream or ice cream on top.

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Pumpkin Week at the Book of Yum: Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe

October 24th, 2011 yum Posted in Dairy Free, Easy, Egg Free, Pumpkin, Smoothie, Soy Free, cashew 4 Comments »

Welcome to Pumpkin Week! I’ve had a fondness for pumpkins since I was a little kid picking out my pumpkin for a Jack O’lantern. Then I moved to Colorado and made friends with a pumpkin patch with a delightful assortment of pumpkins and squash, hay rides and mazes for the kids (and those who were kids at heart). I discovered the joy of bringing baby pie pumpkins home and roasting them in the oven for homemade gluten-free pumpkin pie. When we finally bought a house in California last year where we could have a garden, I knew I wanted to plant pumpkins so I could realize a childhood dream and grow my own pumpkin for a jack O’lantern. Of course I thought pies with homemade pumpkin would be a nice perk, too. Our pumpkins vined their little hearts out in the garden and produced some darling beauties. I haven’t had the heart to cut them open and bake them yet, although I did roast one of the spaghetti squash that we grew. It was very yummy.

As autumn has set into California with its fickle, spring-like nature that alternates cool days with sunny days and the nights turn crisp, I find myself craving pumpkin. This week I will be sharing two (possibly three) pumpkin recipes with you and hosting a pumpkin recipe mr. linky on Friday, so stay tuned.

I’ll start the week with a healthy drink for a dairy-free Chocolate Pumpkin Cream Smoothie that sounds naughty but isn’t really. Toddler Yum heard the word “chocolate” and slurped it down like nobody’s business, which made me happy. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did!

One note- the avocado is there for the additional healthy fats and creaminess. It does add a little flavor so the cocoa is absolutely necessary for smoothing the flavors together, in my opinion. Do be careful not to add too much banana as the flavor is quite strong. It is mostly there for the sweetness, so if you prefer another mild fruit, feel free to experiment.

As part of the Tastemaker program with Foodbuzz, I got the nifty Tervis Tumbler pictured. I thought it might be fun to participate, and we can always use another bpa free, dishwasher safe cup for Toddler Yum. Their 8 oz toddler-sized tumblers look interesting. I might have to get some cups made for Toddler Yum!

Here are some additional recipes for Pumpkin Smoothies:
Pumpkin Smoothie with Ginger and Maple Syrup
Sugar-free Pumpkin Smoothie with Coconut Whip
Pumpkin Smoothie with Homemade Hemp Milk
Silken Tofu Pumpkin Smoothie
Pumpkin Smoothie with Flaxseed and Soy
Pumpkin Smoothie with Protein Boost
Pumpkin Smoothie with chia and almond milk
Pumpkin Smoothie with Yogurt
Brown Sugar Sweetened Pumpkin Smoothie

Other Foodbuzz folks put some interesting things in their Tumblers:
Juiced tangerine limeade

Chocolate Pumpkin Smoothie
1/2 cup cooked pumpkin (canned ok)
1/2 avocado (peeled and without the pit)
1 cup homemade cashew milk* (or favorite non-dairy milk of choice)
1 tbsp agave or your favorite liquid sweetener (such as homemade simple syrup. Do NOT use honey as it has too much personality)
1 tbsp cocoa powder (NOT optional, although carob powder might be a good substitute if you are sensitive to chocolate)
1 small frozen banana

1 nutmeg for grating

Combine ingredients in your blender (a cheap-o blender will be just fine) and process until smooth and creamy. Pour in a glass or cup and grate nutmeg on top for serving. Enjoy!

I am curious about what it would taste like frozen into a popsicle- I think it might be pretty tasty.

I also considered adding 1/2 tsp of vanilla. I might do that next time. You can also add a pumpkin spice type blend of spices. I like Penzey’s Cake or Baking Spice.

*CASHEW MILK RECIPE: I made one big batch of cashew milk that I used in recipes for several days. I soaked 1 cup of cashews overnight with enough water to cover and then drained them, discarding the liquid. I blended them together with water up to the top of my blender (measuring 5 cups including the cashews), to make a milk which I did not strain. I stored it in the refrigerator in a glass pitcher to use as needed.

For drinking or to use in hot cereal, I add a drop of vanilla and a little agave to the milk.

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