I never thought I’d have a food blog – I wasn’t very impressive in the kitchen and everyone who knows me knows I much prefer to have someone else create something amazing than to try to tackle it myself. But then came 2010 and my body shut down, my brain quit working and getting out of bed became a bigger task that I could have ever imagined, and along this auto-immune journey, I’ve had to change my old ways of thinking.

I had to start preparing my own meals so I could be sure to avoid allergic foods, and control the quality of what I was eating.  I gave up most of my favorites, and hated life for a while. We discovered the gluten-free, Paleo way of life. We switched from plastic to glass, from non stick to cast iron, and I was now taking more supplements in a day than I used to take in a month. I needed to find a way to love my new (food) life.

Then one day my palette changed, and I learned to love feeling healthy and looking better.  I’m more patient now, so taking the time to prepare meals doesn’t drive me nuts like it used to. And I’m actually kind of enjoying the feeling of creating something from scratch that my guys like too.  Neither one of them is very good at sugar-coating their thoughts on my dishes, so when I do get something right I love their feedback.

So here’s my attempt at recreating an old favorite – cool whip. It took  a few times, and I got the best version when I let the can sit opened in the fridge for 3 nights.  I made it on the 4th day, and since I used the same brand and method as I have in the past, I’m confident that was the key step. Oh, and as for the type of coconut milk, grab full fat, organic milk with only milk, water and a stabilizer like guar gum.

Whipped coconut milk lets me make a kick ass dessert that would rival my old fave – Cool Whip. Man, I love it when I get them right!

whipped coconut cream

Step 1: Add maple syrup and vanilla to coconut milk

whipped coconut cream

Step 2: whip the cream until fluffy (about 30 seconds)





One of my favorite desserts, and probably the only dairy-filled one I would ever cheat with, is gelato. So when I found out there’s a Gelato World Tour and it was coming to Austin I didn’t hesitate to register 🙂

The Gelato World Tour is on its way here and will be held in one of our favorite spots – Republic Square Park in downtown Austin.

Sixteen of the best gelato chefs from the US will compete to create the world’s best flavor. You get to catch all the action live while each chef produces a unique flavor right in front of you – sounds perfect to me! They’re asking guests to taste and vote for your favorite flavor, which sounds like a perfect way to spend the afternoon.


Tour details:

The tour is open to the public, free and sponsored by Carpigiani Gelato University. You can take part in free demonstrations, and learn the difference between gelato and ice cream.

Event Date: May 9th – 11th, 2014

Event Venue: Republic Square Park, Downtown Austin, TX, USA

Gelato World Tour’s mission is to spread the culture of Italian gelato, a fresh artisan food product to the general public throughout the world.

Our guest blogger, Manilyn with Bettercater has whipped up a tasty gluten-free KeyLime Pie recipe that she likes to use to satisfy her sweet tooth cravings. I can’t say that key lime is a favorite of mine, nor have I ever made it, so I’m taking her word for it on this one!

Now, I’ve always been warned that I could go back to my old, XL size if I don’t quit eating pies and cakes. Nothing to worry about – I’ve got the right recipe to savor what my toothy palate craves for, without ever, ever adding an inch to my body. A few months ago, I tried making gluten-free Key Lime pie; it was a hot summer day and the taste was so refreshing that I ate two slices of them. Not entirely guilt-free, but almost!

I have tried baking different types of pies, but this gluten-free Key Lime pie is the simplest to make without sacrificing on taste. Gluten-free Key Lime Pie got its name from the Florida Keys, the same island where it originated in the 1800s. During those days, the islands had little supply of cows, though canned milk was readily available. Originally, this was prepared using condensed milk, egg yolk and locally-grown limes, while sugar was added to preserve the sweetness.  Eventually, Key lime’s popularity spread beyond the islands, spawning many different takes on the traditional KeyLime Pie.

Here’s my basic KeyLime Pie recipe, using a gluten-free crust. You can innovate the recipe if you want to make your own unique version, but just make sure to stick with the essentials!


Gluten-free Key Lime Pie

Gluten-free Key Lime Pie


  • 1 gluten-free graham cracker pie crust
  • 400 mL of lowfat or nonfat condensed milk.
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup lime juice (But if you want a more authentic taste, try to use Key limes)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest


  1. Set the oven at 350 F.
  2. Prepare a Graham cracker crust. It should be nine inch-round and unbaked.
  3. Mix all the ingredients. Beat until they turn smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Smooth the top.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the filling solidifies.
  6. Set aside to cool then refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  7. Garnish with whip cream and lime before serving.


About the Author –  This article is contributed by Manilyn Moreno, on behalf of Better Cater, a company providing catering software that is easy to learn and use.

Got the winter blues? What better way to cheer you up then a yummy, homemade lemon tart?

Citrus usually makes us think of cool summer refreshments, but winter is actually when these vibrant fruits ripen. And I can’t think of many better ways to recall images of sunny summer days than with a refreshing lemony treat.

This light, zingy recipe uses coconut oil, coconut milk, and lots of lemon zest for a delicious gluten free, dairy free treat!  While you can use whipped cream and poppyseeds for toppings, another variation would be to whip up some cold coconut cream. Check out this recipe from Ohsheglows to see how quick and easy whipped coconut cream can be!


Gluten Free, Dairy Free Lemon Curd Tarts

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Lemon Curd Tarts


  • 4 TBSP coconut oil
  • ¾ c sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • ¾ c coconut milk
  • ¼ c gluten free flour
  • ½ c fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest
  • ½ c lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • ¼ c sugar
  • Whipped cream (or non-dairy replacement) and poppyseeds for topping, if desired


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Prepare 10 small ramekins with nonstick spray and place in a large glass pan to prepare for a water bath. Heat water in a tea kettle or pot.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  4. Beat together the oil and sugar. Beat in egg yolks one at a time. Add flour, mixing well. Add lemon juice and beat until combined. Fold in egg whites.
  5. Pour batter into prepared ramekins and place glass pan in oven.
  6. Pour hot water in the pan until it is about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  7. Bake 20 minutes until just set.
  8. Meanwhile, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and vanilla bean.
  9. Bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved, about three minutes.
  10. Cool tarts on a wire rack then transfer to fridge to chill completely before cooling.


Adapted from Food and Wine



Thanks to Ashley Blake for this tasty little treat; Ashley not only loves to whip up healthy and delish foods at home,she is also one of the owners of Bona Dea, an Austin-based Gluten-free Flour company.


This is a great gluten-free, dairy-free sweet casserole option for the holidays!

Using almonds and chia seeds rather than grains, and coconut milk and oil in place of dairy-based ingredients, this is an allergy-free friendly recipe that you can add to your holiday list with confidence that it will satisfy the pickiest (and allergy-free) palette. Since it’s rich in sugar, I don’t recommend this one on a regular basis but it’s a great option for that special menu night.

The original post can be seen here, and the author was happy to let us share it with you.



Pumpkin Crunch Casserole or Breakfast Pudding

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Pumpkin Crunch Casserole or Breakfast Pudding


  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • coconut oil
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • stevia, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup ground almonds (preferably already toasted)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons coconut cream concentrate, melted
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk*


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Soak chia seeds in water for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Use coconut oil to coat the inside of 6 8-ounce ramekins.
  4. In medium bowl mix soaked chia seeds, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, sugar, and vanilla.
  5. Take a tiny taste and add stevia if you want a little more sweetness.
  6. After everything is well incorporated, divide pumpkin mixture evenly among the 6 ramekins.
  7. In small bowl mix ground almonds, cinnamon and coconut cream concentrate.
  8. Sprinkle evenly over the pumpkin mix.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 using a water bath method.
  10. When almonds are starting to brown, remove from oven and pour coconut milk over top.
  11. Serve warm or cold.
  12. * For the freshest coconut milk make homemade coconut milk.


Recipe submitted by Joanne, Delmar, DE to Tropical Traditions Shared with permission from Tropical Traditions.



Here’s a Gluten free deal to take advantage of, and on behalf of products we love too!

Enjoy an almost 50% savings off Hail Merry’s Macaroons (these little guys are fave around here and a sure fire way to satisfy your sweet cravings without totally reversing all the good you’ve done on a healthy eating path). They’re RAW, Gluten Free and Low Glycemic – woot!

Plus they’re certified by the Non GMO Project. Just another reason to love these guys 🙂


The Fine Print

Limit 1 deal per customer.
Valid for residents in all 50 states.
Cannot be combined with any other promotions from Hail Merry.
This is an exclusive voucherless deal, so you can sit back and relax while your Hail Merry macaroons are shipped directly to your door!
All orders will be shipped 3 business days after purchased.






I’ve heard that when you cut out a food from your diet, the cravings will fade, and your taste buds will change. And while I never really thought that was true (I had tried plenty of fad diets in the past and never noticed my cravings fade) it wasn’t until I cut out the common food allergens that I think it truly hit me. Suddenly I no longer craved sweets and carbs, and that decadent salty/sweet combo that I used to adore no longer plagues me daily as it used to. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the occasional salty/sweet treat, but my idea of sweet today is far different than it was a few years ago. Gone are the days of being able to stomach a decadent fudge cake. No, today I find 65% dark chocolate a bit on the sweet side. My how things have changed!

So, when I was sent this recipe for gluten-free Persimmon Spiced scones, I had visions of the swedish spiced cake my mom made every Christmas that I adrored, and I started to think this would be right up my not-so-sweet alley. And I was right.

If you’re not familiar with Persimmons, they’re an excellent source of vitamin C.  In fact,  I’ve been told by some friends that you can help ward off winter colds with a healthy drink by blending a peeled persimmon and kiwi, which make a juice rich in vitamin C and minerals.

Or, if you prefer to indulge a bit, you can go for this fabulous scone recipe, sent to us by our friends at Bona Dea, Austin-based makers of a gluten-free flour that my son swears makes the best muffins and scones he’s had yet.  As I mentioned, this recipe is sweet, but not too sweet, with just the right touch of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves that pair perfectly with the persimmons. This is a perfect choice for the holidays, and works well as either a scone or muffin. I’ll bet if you were to ice it with a not-too-sweet coconut milk glaze it would be perfect for desert.

Check out the recipe from Bona Dea below; be sure to visit their site here if you haven’t yet and be sure to grab some of their delicious gluten-free flour in any of the many retailers here they’ve partnered with, or you can order on their site.


Gluten Free Persimmon Spiced Scones

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 12 scones or 36 mini scones

Gluten Free Persimmon Spiced Scones


  • 1 package Scrumptious Scone mix
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 5 TBSP cold diced butter (or Ghee)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c coconut cream
  • 4-5 medium persimmons, chopped
  • 1 TBSP turbinado sugar


  1. Preheat over to 375
  2. Prepare baking sheet with cooking spray or parchment paper.
  3. Combine scone mix and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter until mix resembles fine crumbs.
  4. In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs and cream.
  5. Slowly add liquid ingredients into dry, stirring just until combined.
  6. Blend in persimmons.
  7. Using a large spoon, drop dough into 12 equal rounds onto cookie sheet (or 36 for mini scones). Sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Bake 14-16 minutes or tops are lightly golden.
  9. Transfer to wire cooling racks.


Ever baked with persimmons before? I’d love to hear some of your favorite Persimmon recipes, so please share them in the comments below!

Gluten free, Dairy free & Paleo friendly Granola bars – life is good again!

As a mom of a third grader, I’m often on the hunt for quick, grab-n-go foods that I can pack in my bag or send in his lunchbox. And as someone who lives a Paleo life, coupled with a handful of other food restrictions that many of the Paleo approved convenience bars contain, I’ve had to discover recipes I can make myself.  While I love the convenience of healthy, gluten-free friendly bars such as Larabars, Thunderbird Energetica, Kind Bars, etc. I’m not able to eat most of them. The biggest culprit for me in the handy grab-n-go bars is almonds, and I have to admit that of all the foods I’m currently reacting to, my two hardest to avoid are garlic and almonds. I’ve grown used to cutting out gluten and dairy, but almonds and garlic were pretty regular staples in my diet.

So in a quest to find a yummy (and Gluten-free, Paleo approved) recipe to replace the Larabars of my past, I ran across these dark chocolate peanut butter “granola” bars created by Danielle, of Against All Grain. If you don’t know about Danielle, or her never-ending quest to bring us healthy, delicious and grain free foods, you should. She’s dedicated to the grain-free cause, and has helped thousands of families learn how to live grain-free while still enjoying themselves.

So, check out her recipe here and if you’re looking for a similar recipe that uses Coconut Oil, be sure to check out these Coconut Oil Chocolate Almond Bars or these Frozen Coconut Oil Chocolate Banana Bites which we make every week.

In Danielle’s words, ‘they’re a great energy booster when you’re hitting that wall in the middle of the day, especially for those of us that are anemic. They’re also full of calories, so be careful!’

For the full ingredients list and recipe instructions, head on over to Danielle’s site here. She not only lists the steps for us, but shows pictures along the way so you can prep these tasty little guys with confidence!


Comment below once you try these!

These little guys look perfect for Halloween!

I just saw these on Against All Grain, a fantastic blog by a woman named Danielle who is truly, incredibly talented! She has made it her mission to make living free of grains not only manageable, but delicious as well! So while these little truffles are a bit more of an undertaking than the coconut, chocolate vegan bites which we make weekly here, they are certainly worth sharing!

Here’s a picture from her site of the end product, and you can link to her site here for the recipe!














Gluten free, dairy free and packed with flavor, almond flour scones!

These amazingly delicious dark chocolate scones are a hit with our non gluten-free friends as well, so you can feel confident serving these yummy little morsels of goodness 🙂

They’re easy to prepare and aren’t overly sweet; using agave nectar and organic dark chocolate chunks, these scones are low glycemic and still pack a yummy little chocolate punch! Appropriate for breakfast or desert so go ahead and indulge; your family and friends will love you for these! Since they’re low glycemic I don’t mind giving this  to our son for dessert, though I don’t make a habit out of it – always striving for balance, right?

Gluten-free chocolate chip scones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 16 scones

Gluten-free chocolate chip scones


  • 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup coarsely divided dark chocolate chips (70% cocoa)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup agave nectar
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil


  1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda and sea salt
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine egg, grapeseed oil and agave
  3. Mix wet ingredients into dry
  4. Once blended, add chocolate chunks
  5. drop ¼ cup round dough onto greased cookie sheet
  6. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes
  7. Let cool for approximately 30 minutes
  8. Serve and enjoy!