Vegan and Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars

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One thing that many people enjoy about fall is pumpkin flavored everything. From pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin donuts and gnocchi, this rich and homey flavor defines the season.

This evening I happily tried a new pumpkin recipe, adapted from litecravings.com. These easy to prepare bars are full of pumpkin flavor and spices. They do not contain gluten, eggs, oil, grains or refined sugar.

Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars Title Meme

 

Vegan and Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars

I used organic canned pumpkin puree for this recipe. The rest of my ingredients were organic as well and non GMO. Make sure you are using pumpkin puree, rather than pumpkin pie filling, which is loaded with sugar. I found non GMO peanut butter powder at my local Natural Grocers, in the refrigerator section of the bulk foods aisle. I located the almond meal, which gives the bars a nice texture, in the same section. You can use almond flour instead, if desired.

The original recipe required two eggs. I used “flax eggs” instead. Check out this post, for four egg substitutes, including flax eggs, that work well for baking.

Vegan & Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars

These easy to prepare bars are rich with pumpkin flavor and spices and do not contain eggs, oil, refined sugar or gluten.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten Free, Pumpkin Bars, Vegan
Servings: 9

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, organic if possible
  • 1/4 cup powdered peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce, organic if possible
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, aluminum free
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup almond meal or almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for the almond meal.
  • Fold in almond meal, just until combined. Pour mixture into an 8x8 cooking pan, lightly greased with coconut oil.
  • Top with walnut pieces, if desired. Dark chocolate chips would be good too.
  • Bake 20 - 30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out with just a bit of batter clinging to it. It's okay to slightly undercook the bars. Begin testing for doneness at 20 minutes.
  • Let cool completely, at least one hour. Bars do even better chilled for several hours in the fridge so that they set. Cut into 9 bars,
Ingredients for vegan pumpkin bars
Ingredients for vegan and gluten free pumpkin bars.

Pumpkin Bars that Taste Like Fall

I admit, I rushed the cooling process so I could finish up photos and complete my blog post! However, these vegan and gluten free bars are so good! The bars are slightly sweet and loaded with spiced pumpkin goodness. Because my bars were still warm, they tasted like a delightful cross between pumpkin pie and pumpkin brownies.

The remainder of the bars will chill in the refrigerator overnight. I baked them for about 25 minutes. I think next time…and there will be a next time…I’ll leave them in two minutes longer.

I enjoyed a couple of vegan and gluten free pumpkin bars with a cup of hot peppermint tea. They were perfection…and the taste of fall….in every yummy bite.

Vegan and Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars

 

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Purple Hull Beans and Vegetables

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In a recent post, I mentioned that I looked for hull beans at the farmer’s market, without success. I have a recipe I’m eager to try and hull beans are a late summer crop.

However, on the next visit, I scored! One market vendor offered purple hull beans for sale. I purchased a large container of the beans, excited to create a hearty meal from them.

Purple hull beans and vegetables are another perfect end of the season treat, using fresh produce. For another great recipe, check out Summer Succotash.

Purple Hull Beans and Vegetables Title Meme
Background template created by my blogging friend, Lisa Mitchell.

What are Purple Hull Beans?

These staples of the south are closely related to black eyed peas. They thrive in warm, sunny environments. Other names for this bean are southern peas or cowpeas. Purple hull beans originated in Africa and came to the United States by way of Egypt, Asia and Europe.

The outer pod, or hull, turns a deep purple color as the seeds inside mature. Peel back the hull and snap out the beans, which are a pale green color when fresh. Purple hull beans are considered creamier, smoother in texture and sweeter than black eyed peas.

My cousin, Michael Lauderdale, used to grow purple hull beans in his garden. I loved visiting his farm and dining on a big bowl of freshly prepared beans. My favorite summer meals continue to be simple ones made from garden produce. I couldn’t wait to try my new recipe featuring a mix of purple hull beans and vegetables.

Purple Hull Beans and Vegetables In the Shell
Purple hull beans in the pod.
Purple Hull Beans Shelled
Shelled beans.

Purple Hull Beans and Vegetables

The recipe is adapted from the wonderful book, Vegan Under Pressure. I used garden fresh tomatoes, onions, green bell peppers and hull beans along with canned non GMO corn. The pressure cooker creates a healthy meal in minutes.

Purple Hull Beans and Vegetables
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Purple Hull Beans and Vegetables

Enjoy end of the summer produce with this savory dish.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Purple Hull Beans and Vegetables

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cups shelled hull beans
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup tomato, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups corn, fresh or canned, non GMO

Instructions

  • Heat pressure cooker (I use the meat setting). Saute onion and garlic in small amount of vegetable broth, for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and continue to stir and cook, for another minute.
  • Add hull beans, vegetable broth and cumin. Lock on lid and bring to pressure. Cook for 5 minutes. Let pressure release naturally. Carefully remove lid.
  • Taste to make sure hull beans are tender. If not, cover and return to pressure and cook for 1 - 3 minutes more. Carefully remove lid.
  • Stir in diced tomatoes and corn. Simmer in open pressure cooker for 5 minutes, until tomatoes begin to break down. Or replace lid and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
Purple Hull Beans and Vegetables Before Cooking
Purple Hull Beans and Vegetables before cooking…
After cooking purple hull beans
…and after.

Savoring an End of Summer Meal

This pot of purple hull beans and vegetables completely satisfied my craving for a hearty end of the season meal. The combination of beans and vegetables was perfect. I used my own DIY Broth from Vegetable Scraps for the stock. And the cumin lent a hint of spice to the mix.

Greg and I enjoyed a steaming bowl of this delicious meal, without adding anything else. However, purple hull beans and vegetables are excellent as well served over brown rice, quinoa or a plain baked potato.

I’ll be looking for more hull beans on my next trip to the farmer’s market. This is a meal I can enjoy well into fall, as long as the beans are available.

Purple Hull Beans and Vegetables
A bowl of summer goodness.

Pick up a copy of Vegan Under Pressure and get your own Pressure Pot. They are so handy to have in the kitchen.

 

 

 


 

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Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale

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When I have the itch to try a new recipe, on a hot and muggy day, I turn to my pressure pot. Not only is my meal ready in minutes, the kitchen stays cool. I thumbed through one of my vegan pressure cooker books for inspiration. The one that caught my interest, Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale, was easily adapted to meet my dietary needs. I also had most of the ingredients on hand.

Navy Beans Brown Rice & Kale Title Meme

Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale

I chose this recipe because I love the combination of beans and rice. Throw in some greens…kale in this case…and some onion, garlic and seasonings and it’s the perfect quick meal for me.

After an afternoon busy with real estate, it was a joy to come home and prepare a fast and nutritious meal in the pressure cooker.

Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale

This delicious recipe comes together quickly in the pressure cooker.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Navy Beans Brown Rice Kale

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried navy beans
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chopped kale, loosely packed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  • Rinse and drain navy beans
  • In uncovered pressure cooker, heat coconut oil. I set the pressure cooker to the "fish" setting to saute. Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes, until onion softens. Cancel setting,
  • Add navy beans, brown rice, kale, bay leaf, thyme and vegetable broth. Stir and cover. Cook for 25. Allow for a natural release.
  • Carefully remove lid. Discard bay leaf. Add lemon juice and sea salt. Makes four servings.
  • *Collard greens or spinach may be substituted for kale, if desired. Water may be substituted for vegetable broth.
Navy Bean Brown Rice & Kale
The start of something good. Remove stems from kale and tear leaves into bite sized pieces.
Onions in Pressure Cooker
Onions and garlic in pressure cooker.

The Start of Something Good

As I tidied up the kitchen, the tantalizing aroma of dinner cooking filled the room. If the navy beans, brown rice & kale tasted as good as it smelled, I’d count this recipe a success.

I didn’t have to wait long to find out! Twenty five minutes later, the timer went off. I allowed the steam to release naturally, which means I didn’t turn the knob on top of the pressure cooker to manually release the steam. Instead, I let it seep out, which took another 10 minutes or so.

At last I carefully lifted the lid. After removing the bay leaf, I added freshly squeezed lemon juice and a teaspoon of sea salt.

Into the pressure cooker
Into the pressure pot.

Navy Beans, Brown Rice & Kale Taste Test

After ladling up a bowl of this quick and hearty meal, and taking a photo of course, I sampled a spoonful.

This easy to prepare meal was SO GOOD! The flavors of the beans, rice and kale blended perfectly. And the thyme and bay leaf added just the right amount of seasoning.

I carried my steaming bowl into the living room and savored my meal, sitting in my favorite chair. I’ll definitely be making this recipe often. As summer gives way to the cooler temps of fall, navy beans, brown rice & kale will go into my meal rotation, to be enjoyed often.

Navy Beans Brown Rice & Kale

Check out this pressure cooker recipe as well:

Lentils & Brown Rice

Order one of these plant based pressure pot cookbooks!

 

10 DIY Seasoning Blends

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As a follow up to the post about MSG sensitivity, today’s post offers 10 DIY seasoning blends you can make at home.

There are advantages to creating your own blends. If herbs and spices are bought in bulk, making your own seasoning is cheaper. The flavor of DIY seasoning blends is usually more robust. However, the primary reason for making your own blends is the most crucial…you know exactly what’s in your seasonings. Blending your own makes it possible to eliminate unnecessary…and unhealthy…additives such as MSG, extra sodium, sugar, chemicals, fillers and preservatives.

10 DIY Seasoning Blends

10 DIY Seasoning Blends

Herbal Blend

  • 4 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 4 tablespoons dried dill
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt (optional)

Combine all ingredients and store in an air tight container. Sprinkle on roasted veggies and potato wedges, or add 1 tablespoon of seasoning to rice and lentil dishes.

This is one of my favorite seasoning blends. I love it with oven roasted potatoes.

Simple Seasoning Salt

  • 4 tablespoons onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt

Combine all ingredients in an air tight container. Use 3 – 4 teaspoons of seasoning for roasted veggies, potato and sweet potato wedges, soups, sauces and bean dishes.

The first blend I ever created, this one is great on oven roasted potato or sweet potato wedges.

Spicy Seasoning Blend

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Mix all ingredients together and store in an air tight container. Sprinkle on oven roasted veggies and potatoes or use 1 tablespoon of mix in soups and stir fries.

10 DIY Seasoning Blends Swirl

Curry Blend

  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (less for lower heat level)
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all ingredients and store in an air tight container. Use 1 – 3 teaspoons in recipes such as curried lentils, bean dishes, rice dishes, stir fries and roasted veggies.

Chili Seasoning

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and store in an air tight container. Use 2 – 3 teaspoons for chili recipes. This is especially good for veggie or bean chilis.

Italian Seasoning

  • 4 teaspoons basil
  • 4 teaspoons oregano
  • 4 teaspoons rosemary
  • 4 teaspoons thyme

Combine all ingredients in an air tight container. Use 1 – 2 teaspoons, or to taste, in homemade spaghetti sauce, soups, veggies, oven roasted  potatoes, eggplant and other Italian recipes.

10 DIY Seasoning Blends Herbs

Ranch Dressing Mix

  • 1/4 cup dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Combine all ingredients and store in an air tight container. Season roasted veggies or potatoes with 1 – 2 teaspoons seasoning. To make ranch dressing, mix 1 tablespoon of mix with 1/2 cup of vegan sugar free mayo like Sir Kensington’s Fabanaise and 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk.

Bulk Herbs and Spices

Tips for DIY Seasoning Blends

For convenience and to save money, I purchase dried herbs and spices in bulk, at Natural Grocers. Packages of herbs and spices are often available at health food shops and health conscious grocery stores.

Large containers of herbs and spices can be purchased at warehouse style retailers as well, however check those labels. Even if they say NO MSG, they can contain additives such as modified food starch, preservatives, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, soy, gluten and artificial colors and/or flavors. We don’t need those either!

The bags of spices and herbs I purchase have one ingredient…the dried herb or spice.

Store blends in glass containers, mason jars with lids, or empty spice jars that you re-use. The DIY seasoning blends will keep for up to a year, if kept in a cool, dark place or in the fridge.

Enjoy Your DIY Seasoning Blends

There’s another advantage to making your own seasonings. You can customize the blends to suit your personal tastes. Love garlic powder? Add more. Don’t like oregano? Cut down the amount or leave it out. Love other herbs and spices? Play around with these recipes or create your own DIY seasoning blends. And have the peace of mind of knowing you are creating something healthy and additive free.

10 DIY Seasoning Blends

Purchase Dried Herbs Below


 


 

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Beyond Meat Brats

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Are you familiar with Beyond Meat, the company creating a stir in the food industry? Their plant based hamburgers and sausage brats are showing up in grocery stores and restaurants.

With all the media attention, I felt curious about the claims that these products are amazing. Let me add that after three years of embracing a plant based lifestyle, I don’t crave meat at all. Greg, who has been plant based almost as long as I have, occasionally does. Or at least, a sizzling burger or brat on a commercial looks good to him.

We decided to taste test the Beyond Meat Brats, for a Try This Tuesday experience.

Beyond Meat Brats

The Beyond Meat Company

This company, founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown, began with the question, “Why do you need an animal to create meat?” Brown wondered if meat could be created directly from plants. It turns out, yes it can.

Their Mission Statement includes the belief that there is a better way to feed the planet, that’s beneficial to people, animals and the earth. Producing savory alternatives to animal based products solves the growing issues attributed to livestock production: human health, climate change, constraints on natural resources and animal welfare.

Beyond Meat uses the building blocks for meat…protein, fat, trace minerals and water…to create plant based substitutes without sacrificing taste or texture. Currently the company offers plant based hamburger patties, crumbles (resembles ground beef) and two varieties of sausage brats. Their products are available in grocery stores and health conscious stores such as Natural Grocers. Look for Beyond Meat products in the meat section.

Beyond Meat BratsGraphic from Beyond Meat website.

Beyond Meat Brats

I picked up the Beyond Meat Brats at my local Natural Grocers. I carefully read the label before purchasing.

Beyond Meat Brats contain 16 grams of protein, made from peas, fava beans and rice, per serving. Other ingredients include apple fiber, coconut and sunflower oils and fruit and vegetable juices. The casing around the brats is plant based as well. It’s made from algae. Don’t worry. You can’t taste it.

What they do NOT contain is impressive. There are no GMOs, soy, or gluten in these brats and also no hormones, antibiotics, nitrites or nitrates.

The brats come in the original flavor and a spicier Italian version.

The promise is that Beyond Meat Brats look, sizzle and satisfy, like a pork brat.

I was about to find out.

Beyond Meat Brats

Beyond Meat Brats with Green Peppers and Onions

Since I had green peppers, onions and garlic on hand, I created a simple dinner using those ingredients plus brown rice and the Beyond Meat Brats.

Brats with Green Peppers and Onions

  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, mined
  • 1 package Beyond Meat regular brats, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked

Saute pepper, onion and garlic in a water or a very small amount of coconut oil. I did this while the brown rice cooked in the pressure pot.

As onions turn translucent, about three minutes, add sliced brats. Continue to stir and cook over medium heat until brats are browned, about five more minutes.

Spoon over brown rice and serve. Makes 2 – 3 servings.

The brats did sizzle. They smelled just like pork or beef brats, as they cooked. And they browned up nicely, holding their shape and texture.

How would they taste?

Beyond Meat Brats

The Taste Test

My simple dinner looked and smelled wonderful. Would the taste hold up to the hype?

Yes. Yes it did.

The Beyond Meat Brats tasted wonderfully like regular brats, with just the right amount of seasoning. The texture was as good as the taste. Combined with the green peppers, onions and garlic, the brats delivered and dinner met all my expectations for flavor and texture.

Greg enjoyed this special treat very much.

And a special treat, savored occasionally, it will be.

Why?

I like the way I eat. And more importantly, I like the way I feel. The veggies and fruits, legumes and nuts, seeds and limited grains that I enjoy are very, VERY good for me, and I truly don’t miss meats, eggs, sugar and dairy products. I don’t ever intend to go back to my old way of eating and my old way of feeling.

Plus there’s another reason. The Beyond Meat Brats contain 43% less fat than their animal counterparts. However, they are still a bit high in fat for me to consume them on a regular basis.

I’m glad for the Beyond Meat Brats experience. The company is great, with a philosophy that I can agree with. Their future is bright, I believe. However, these healthier brats might make it onto the menu once a month or so. Like the occasional healthy dessert, these will be a special treat rather than a regular dinner item.

Have you tried Beyond Meat products yet? Let me know what you thought!

Beyond Meat Brats

Check out my Amazon Storefront, for my top recommendations.

 

 

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Steamed Apple Dessert

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Since completed the liver cleanse, as detailed in the book, Liver Rescue, one of my ongoing goals is to eat three apples a day. I’ve mostly enjoyed a sliced apple or two with afternoon tea and another one as an after dinner snack. Occasionally I combine apples with other fruits or veggies to create a freshly prepared blended juice.

This evening I came up with another way to meet my apple quota, using the pressure pot. Simple, nutritious and delicious, the steamed apple dessert was a perfect after dinner treat.

Steamed Apple Dessert

Steamed Apple Dessert

Steamed Apple Dessert
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Steamed Apple Dessert

Easy to prepared steamed apple dessert, sugar and gluten free.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Steamed Apple Dessert
Servings: 2
Author: journeywithhealthyme

Ingredients

  • 4 apples
  • 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp raisins optional
  • 2 tbsp walnuts optional

Instructions

  • Wash, core and slice apples, leaving the peeling on. Place sliced apples in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, combine organic maple syrup and cinnamon.
  • Pour maple syrup mixture over sliced apple, mixing to coat.
  • Add 1/2 water to bottom of pressure pot. Arrange apple slices on steamer rack.
  • Cover pressure pot and lock lid into place. Select steamer option. Steam for 5 minutes. Release steam manually.
  • Serve steamed apple slices with organic raisins and walnuts if desired.

Steamed Apple Dessert

Simple Goodness

The steamed apple dessert took less than 10 minutes to prepare. Warm and fragrant, the apples tasted like the filling in apple pie, but without the sugar.

I added a spoonful of organic raisins and a few walnuts. What a great after dinner treat. These steamed apples could top banana ice cream or gluten free oatmeal as well.

Apples, red skinned apples especially, provide powerful benefits. They play a crucial role in fighting inflammation of all kinds. Apples calm the systems of the body by reducing viral and bacterial loads that contribute to inflammation. In addition, the phytochemicals in apples feed the neurons of the brain and increase electrical activity. That makes them brain food! Apples also cleanse the liver and help to dissolve gallstones.

I am determined to do more than eat an apple a day, to keep the doctor away. If one is good for my health, three are even better. To that end, I’ll be enjoying steamed apple dessert frequently, as a lovely and tasty tribute to all the goodness in this amazing fruit.

Steamed Apple Dessert

You can purchase a pressure pot, also called an instant pot, by clicking on the photo below.

 

 

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Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

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Preparing a simple meal this evening, in the pressure pot, I considered ideas for an equally simple after dinner treat. I remembered a recipe for mini blueberry muffins in Liver Rescue by Anthony William.

Created without gluten, oil, refined sugar or eggs, these bite sized snacks seemed perfect! Best of all, I had time to prep the blueberry mini bites and pop them in the oven while dinner cooked without my aid.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Scanning the recipe, I saw that I had all the ingredients on hand. At least, what I had on hand would work. One of the things I love about recipes is that they can typically hold up to minor adaptations.

I had black chia seeds rather than white ones. I’m out of organic maple syrup, however my raw organic honey container is almost full. And my muffin tin is small, but not a mini size. Game on!

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

An easy to make healthy treat. Gluten, oil, refined sugar and egg free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 12 Mini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds regular or white
  • 1 cup mashed banana approx 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda aluminum free
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup may use raw organic honey
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
    Place chia seeds in blender and blend on high until finely ground.
  • Add mashed bananas, oat flour, baking soda, sea salt, maple syrup and lemon juice to blender and blend until smooth batter forms.
  • Pour batter into a bowl and add frozen wild blueberries. Mix gently.
  • Line a mini muffin pan with 16 mini parchment baking cups and fill each one with a heaping tablespoon of batter.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until muffins turn golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool completely before eating. Muffins continue to firm up as they cool.

Notes

If you don't have mini parchment baking cups, lightly grease muffin tin with coconut oil.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini BitesUse wild blueberries, if possible, as the health benefits are greater. I purchase them in the frozen foods section.

Improvise as Necessary

As you can see, in the photo above, I also lacked mini parchment baking cups. No worries! I very lightly greased the muffin tin with coconut oil.

Since I didn’t have a mini muffin tin, I filled 12 compartments with heaping tablespoons of batter, rather than 16. I’m calling the results mini bites. However, the treat was excellent in taste and texture. Slightly sweet, these blueberry mini bites pair well with a cup of hot mint tea.

I so appreciate that Anthony William continually offers new recipes along with his wisdom about health and fighting disease. It may seem like a small thing, preparing these decadent little high nutrient desserts. However, it means a great deal to me. Discovering I can create a wide variety of meals, dishes and treats completely shifted my perspective of what it meant to live a plant based lifestyle.

My food fuels my health. I eat well. And I love every bite.

Gluten & Oil Free Blueberry Mini Bites

 

 

 

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Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

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For the last Liver Rescue Book Club meeting tonight with my mom and sister, I provided our plant based meal. I served up my Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes with a couple of veggie sides. For dessert, I wanted something fresh, light and healthy, as temperatures today soared into the 80s. I also had an almost full container of strawberries in the fridge.

Remembering that Anthony William recently shared a luscious looking gluten free strawberry shortcake recipe, I checked his website. Based on what I had on hand, I made a couple of adaptations. Perfection!

Gluten Free Strawberry ShortcakeGluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

This light and refreshing treat is the perfect conclusion to spring or summer meals.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour may use almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup solid coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup may use raw honey
  • 1 pound strawberries, halved, for topping sweeten with 1 tbsp raw honey if desired

Whipped Cream

  • 1 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk chilled overnight in fridge
  • 2 - 3 tbsp raw honey

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Combine oat flour, tapioca flour and baking powder in a large bowl, mixing well.
  • Cut the coconut oil into small pieces and add to flour mixture. Using hands, combine oil with flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • In a small bowl, combine almond milk, vanilla and maple syrup or honey. Add to flour mixture. Mix until dough forms. Using hands for mixing is easier than using a spoon.
  • Turn out dough on floured surface or a square of parchment paper. Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut circles and place shortcakes on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until shortcakes are slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. While shortcakes cool, add a tablespoon of raw honey to strawberries and chill in refrigerator.

Whipped Cream

  • Chill mixing bowl in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove thick cream from top of can, leaving coconut water behind. Using an electric whisk or mixer, beat coconut cream until soft peaks form. Slowly add raw honey a little at a time, continuing to beat for two more minutes.
  • Assemble shortcakes by placing a spoonful of whipped cream on biscuit, followed by strawberries. Top with more whipped cream. Or add a second biscuit and repeat the layers, ending with berries. 

Notes

You may substitute cocowhip topping instead of making your own whipped cream.

Gluten Free Stawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

Delicious Dessert

I purchased Cocowhip topping from Natural Grocers rather than making the whipped topping myself. It’s available in the frozen foods section of the store. I’ve not yet made whipped topping from coconut milk however it’s on my list of things to try!

I also used gluten free oat flour and unsweetened almond/coconut milk. The recipe made 13 shortcakes.

This gluten free strawberry shortcake is delicious. The shortcakes are slightly sweet and pair well with the honey sweetened strawberries.

This simple yet showy dessert is wonderful for special occasions or celebrations or final book club meetings. I envision topping the shortcakes this summer with a variety of fresh fruits such as blackberries, blueberries and sliced peaches.

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake

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Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

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This week my mom, sister, Greg and I began the Liver Rescue 3:6:9 cleanse, from Anthony William. Watch for an upcoming book review and my experience with the cleanse. The meals for the first three days are very similar to my usual daily fare. I’m reducing fat intake and including an extra lemon/lime water in the evenings.

For days 1, 2 and 3 I’ve prepared easy oven roasted potatoes for lunch or dinner. They are that good! Previously I made potato wedges, seasoned them, and roasted them in the oven. Lately I’ve been cubing the potatoes instead. The result is crispy on the outside tender on the inside perfectly seasoned potatoes.

Greg swears he could eat this meal every day! As we shift into the next phase of the cleanse, potatoes are off the menu. No worries, however. These oven roasted potatoes wait for us in the near future.

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

Crispy and yet tender, these potatoes make a great side dish or meatless main meal. Eat alone or create a veggie bowl featuring the oven roasted potatoes and other cooked veggies, a salad or raw veggies such as sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

A simple recipe for a meatless meal or a flavorful side dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes
Servings: 4
Author: journeywithhealthyme

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes peeled & cubed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Melt coconut oil and set aside. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place cubed potatoes in a large bowl. Add sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Stir to coat potato cubes. 
  • Add melted coconut oil. Stir to coat. Spread potato cubes out in single layer on baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, until potatoes are browned and cooked through.

Notes

Potato skins may be left on, if desired. Substitute two sweet potatoes for two regular potatoes, for a great roasted potato mix. 
Olive oil may be used instead of coconut oil.

 

Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

Healthy Potatoes

Occasionally someone asks me, “Aren’t potatoes bad for you?”

I’ve believed that in the past. Potatoes get lumped in with other “white” foods with low nutritional value, such as white bread, white rice and sugar. However, they are high in potassium, B6 and amino acids…in particular Lysine in its bioactive form. Lysine fights against cancers, viruses such as Epstein-Barr and shingles, liver disease and inflammation.

Potatoes strengthen the kidneys and liver, soothe over excited nerves and help the digestive system to heal from Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers. They are antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial, relieving stress, supporting the brain and helping us to feel centered and grounded. Read more about the health benefits of potatoes HERE.

I eat a LOT of potatoes. They are one of the mainstays of my diet. And potatoes are so versatile.

Tonight’s simple and wholesome meal consisted of oven roasted potatoes and lightly sautéed vegetables. My dinner was delicious, healthy and extremely satisfying. I truly can, and do, eat like this every day.

Easy Oven Roasted PotatoesOven roasted potatoes and lightly sautéed onions, garlic, celery, green pepper, zucchini and carrots with slightly steamed spinach. 

 

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Vegan Stuffed Peppers

One of the things I’m enjoying, on this plant based journey, is adapting recipes. Stuffed peppers popped into my mind this week. A quick check of my fridge and cupboards revealed I had all the necessary ingredients on hand to create a new healthier version of this old favorite.

My old recipe contained ground beef. My desire to create a veggies and brown rice version seemed doable.

I’ve played around enough with cooking the past couple of years, to gain confidence in pulling together an impromptu recipe.

Here is the result, Vegan Stuffed Peppers.

Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Vegan Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Vegan Stuffed Peppers
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Vegan Stuffed Peppers

This easy to prepare stuffed pepper recipe has all the flavor and it's full of healthy ingredients. Meat, dairy, egg and sugar free.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 Servings
Author: journeywithhealthyme

Ingredients

  • 3 green bell peppers
  • 2 cups brown rice cooked
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans drained
  • 1 can corn non GMO, drained
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Wash green peppers, cut in half and remove seeds. Place in baking pan, cut side up.
    Vegan Stuffed Peppers
  • Saute onion and garlic in 1 tbsp coconut oil, until veggies are translucent.
  • Add diced tomatoes and cumin, onion powder, garlic powder and sea salt, stirring to combine. Add black beans and corn, combining well and heating through.
    Vegan Stuffed Peppers
  • Add brown rice and combine well. Pour mixture over green bell pepper halves, filling peppers. Mound remaining mixture around peppers. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove covering and bake another 5 minutes. 6 servings.
    Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Recipe Variations

This is one of those simple recipes that can be adapted according to tastes and ingredients on hand. Any color of pepper is suitable. I happened to have green bell peppers in the fridge.

Swap out the black beans for kidney beans or another vegetable. The same with the corn. I only use non GMO corn. Del Monte carries this product. Check the label to make sure it says “non GMO”. Quinoa can replace the brown rice. During the summer, when the garden is producing, fresh tomatoes would taste great, instead of canned. And fresh peppers from the garden….amazing!

Sampling my vegan stuffed peppers, I declared them excellent! I didn’t miss the ground beef at all. These were tasty and filling and something I will prepare again!

Looking for more meatless meal ideas? Check out these:

Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Meatless Dirty Rice

 

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