Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Pumpkin Pie...Crustless and Gluten-Free!

It's that time again...time for pumpkin this and that!  For some reason, cooler weather...a bit of color change in the leaves...and I'm hankering for some pumpkin pie :) 
This recipe is soooo easy!
Credit for my original crustless pumpkin pie recipe has to go to my grandmother-in-law Gladys Paszli.  I think she found it in a magazine.  It always ended up on the table at Thanksgiving :)
The pumpkin filling was always my favorite why not make that the whole pie!

I've made it my own by using organic ingredients, kicking out the margarine and using a gluten-free baking mix.  You can also use Hodgson Mills' regular baking mix if you aren't concerned about gluten.

Here is the finished...and yummy...product :)

Here are the easy directions!
Use organic ingredients whenever possible :)
*In a large mixing bowl, combine 3/4 cup of raw sugar with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
A large whisk works well :)
*Whisk in 2 beaten eggs.
*Whisk in 1/2 cup of baking mix and 1 can of evaporated milk...alternating between the two.
I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Biscuit and Baking Mix.
You could also use Hodgson Mill Multi-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Mix.
*Now whisk in a 15 or 16 ounce can of pure pumpkin.
You want just pumpkin...not a pie mix!
*Now you're ready for 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice and 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla.
*Give it a few more whisks and it's ready for a coconut oil-greased pie plate.
*Bake this beauty in a 350 degree oven for approximately 55 minutes.
I baked mine for the full time...but I suggest checking your pie frequently toward the end of the baking avoid any overcooking or burning...
Enjoy with a big 'ol dollop of homemade whipped topping!!


Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Power in Self-Care....Field Trip to Goshen!

      I usually write about nutrition and food.  I sometimes write about healthy lifestyle habits apart from food.  Today I am writing about the nourishing benefits of honoring emotional and spiritual needs in healthy and appropriate ways.  Science confirms the deep connection...and inter-relationship... between our bodies, minds and spirits.  With that in mind, I believe that nutritious food, regular body movement and stress management offer each one of us the potential of a
      So here is my personal story about taking a "field trip" to a nearby town for some much-needed
R & R.  I was feeling overwhelmed by tasks in my life...and I needed to get away and spend a few hours doing some things I love.  What I did that day may not suit you.  That's cool :)  Renewing peace of mind will take on different looks depending on who you are and what you prefer to do. 
I recharge my emotional and spiritual batteries with time alone...savoring places and activities that SPARK JOY (borrowing a phrase from Marie Kondo). 
Here's a peek at my Thursday re-charge day...

      I almost didn't go.  It seemed to take forever to get myself around that morning.  I thought about just staying put.  Why make the effort?  Why waste the gas?  But I did go.  I took a book I am currently reading and my journal.

      I arrived in Goshen around noon.  I had a light lunch at Electric Brew.  I remained there for about 30 minutes....rereading some journal entries...and adding an entry.  I left the "Brew" and leisurely walked down to Better World Books.  By the way, it was a lovely, sunny day :) 
At the bookstore, I slowly scanned the shelves for anything of interest.  I lost track of time.  There was no where I had to be...just here...NOW. 
No surprise...I purchased 3 books!!

      Now for another leisurely walk down to Twice As Nice consignment shop.  I found a cute pair of brown ankle-length jeans and 2 pairs of earrings.  Then back to the car to drop off my finds and drive up to Maple City Market.  I wanted a snack :)

      I decided on a bottle of Kevita kombucha fermented tea and Justin's chocolate & peanut butter cups.  I enjoyed a little of each right there in my car in the market's parking lot :)  While I sat in the car...relaxing...I made the decision to go home by a different route.  Instead of traveling back to South Bend on the bypass, I would drive down Bashor Rd and jog over onto County Road 28.  (I love driving down country roads...soaking in the farm fields and animals.)  That path took me over to Olive Cemetery.  That's where 3 generations of grandparents on my mom's side lay at rest.  I don't really know why...but I needed to stop and visit.

      I stood by my mom's parents gravestone and cried.  My Grandma Kindig died a month after I got married...42 years ago.  I walked down past several driveways to my Grandpa Kindig's parents' gravestone....Emery & Susannah.   No tears there...I just wanted to touch the stone and say hello.
I walked back to the car to finish my tea and treat.  Then I drove across the street and up the drive near Olive Mennonite Church to Emery's parents' gravestone...Henry & Elizabeth.  That stone is so weather-worn.  I could barely read Henry's name...and Elizabeth's was gone.  I was sad. 
Interesting Fact:  Henry M. Kindig died on December 29th.  My grandson, Henry Michael, was born on December 29th.  My daughter did not know about this relative when she named Henry :)

      Unfortunately, the mosquitoes drove me back in the car.  I popped back onto CR 28 and once again enjoyed the country road trip.  CR 28 turns into Kern Rd...and back home.

      Although I mentioned stores and brands...this post is NOT a commercial.  I could have gone off that day with a sack lunch and not spent a dime. I could have read or journaled the entire time.  Also, this post is NOT a recipe for your day of renewal. 
What brings you joy?  What recharges your energy...your spirit? 
I did not regret the time I carved that day.  I came home lighter in spirit. 
Even the cemetery visit was ultimately I felt connected to my roots. 
I came home NOURISHED!



Friday, September 2, 2016

Raw White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart!

      Eating raw foods really intrigues me!  I truly believe that it's beneficial to include raw, fresh fruits and veggies into your daily diet.  But once in a while, it's fun and tasty to try a raw dessert :)  This recipe uses raw almonds and cashews; coconut and cacao products; and sweet red raspberries.
The finished product is visually impressive...and de-licious!  I'll walk you through the three parts of this dessert construction...

The Crust
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of almond meal with 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil.  Press this mixture into the bottom of a tart pan or pie plate.  Place in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling :)
The Filling
*Soak 2 cups of raw cashews for 2-4 hours.  Drain and rinse.
*Blend the soaked cashews, 1/3 cup agave nectar OR raw honey, 1/2 cup of melted cacao (cocoa) butter, 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla in a food processor...and process until very smooth :)
*Spread a thin layer of the filling onto your chilled crust.
*Using 2 pints of rinsed raspberries...spread a tightly-packed layer of berries over the thin layer of filling.
*Pour the rest of the filling mixture over the raspberries.
*Place back into the fridge to chill while you prepare the chocolate ganache topping :)
The Chocolate Ganache Topping
*In a small bowl, blend together...1/2 cup of 100 % cacao (cocoa) powder, 1/2 cup of agave nectar OR raw honey and 1/4 cup of softened coconut butter.  This mixture will be thick!
*Drop spoonfuls of ganache onto the filling...and spread carefully with a butter knife.
*Place the finished tart back into the fridge.
*Remove the tart...and let sit at room temperature...about 30 minutes before serving.
Where to find the ingredients...
Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal from Kroger's, Whole Foods Market, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market or Garden Patch Market
Coconut Oil from any grocery or health food store
Coconut Butter from DC Meats...and most health food stores
Cacao Butter (in brick form) from DC Meats...and most health food stores
Cacao Powder from DC Meats and any health food store
Agave Nectar and Raw Honey from any grocery or health food store
**This is a vegan dessert when using agave nectar.
Recipe adapted from Rawmazing by Susan Powers