A few days ago, I saw a recipe for a quinoa pie crust. I immediately decided I wanted to try it. Then, while shopping the farmer’s market today, I saw the most beautiful fresh black berries. I knew I had a few blueberries at home that needed using and I knew I had my pie filling. When I got home, I was sadly not in the mood for pie. But, berries make fantastic cobbler and that is exactly what I wanted. Not an normal cobbler though, something a little healthier. I scoured Pinterest and got some ideas, but nothing just right. A little of this and a little of that later, this cobbler was born and boy am I glad I did. You will be too.
Start by placing your berries in a small baking dish. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of tapioca starch and stir in a tablespoon of honey.
Then mix up your topping. The combination of coconut flour, tapioca starch, quinoa, flax meal and sunflower seeds gives this topping a light texture and a delightful nutty flavor. Using coconut sugar helps keep the glycemic index down.
Spread the topping gently over the berries. Bake the whole thing at 350* for 30-35 minutes. The top will get wonderfully brown and sightly cracked and the filling will bubble up around the edges.
And, if that’s not enough guilt-free indulgence for you, top it with a scoop of ‘ice cream’ made from frozen bananas. I promise you won’t regret it (unless, of course, you’re allergic to bananas, then go ahead and skip it).
3 cups fresh or frozen berries
1 Tablespoon tapioca starch
1 Tablespoon honey (if desired)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup quinoa
2 Tablespoons flax meal
2 Tablespoons sunflower seed kernals (I used salted, if yours aren’t, add a pinch of salt)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut sugar (can reduce this if you choose)
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 Tablespoons melted butter (or coconut oil for dairy free)
Preheat oven to 350*.
Stir together berries, 1 Tablespoon tapioca starch and honey. Place in baking dish.
Stir together coconut flour, 1/4 cup tapioca starch, quinoa, flax meal, sunflower seeds, baking powder, cinnamon and coconut sugar. Beat together almond milk and egg. Stir into dry ingredients. Stir in melted butter.
Gently spread topping evenly over the top of the berries. Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes.
What I’m about to say to you will come as no surprise to my friends and family. I LOVE pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin bread, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin spice latte (ok, so that last one isn’t really pumpkin, but I like it all the same). I’m always excited when fall comes around because suddenly it is ok to over-indulge in my pumpkin love. No one thinks I’m crazy for putting pumpkin in almost anything. My big weakness is a certain pumpkin pie ice cream confection from a nationally recognized member of dairy royalty. And the fact that it only comes out once a year just kills me. Plus, the calorie and sugar counts kill my waistline. That is why I developed these pumpkin pops. They satisfy that pumpkin dessert craving without destroying the health benefits of pumpkin by adding a bunch of cream and sugar.
I didn’t take pictures of the process, but it isn’t that hard. I throw all the ingredients in a blender and whiz it up until it is completely smooth. Since all of the ingredients are smooth to start with, this doesn’t take long. Then, I pour it into my popsicle molds. If you don’t have a popsicle mold (you really should get one) you can always use paper cups and popsicle sticks or and ice cube tray and toothpicks or just freeze it in a bowl and eat it with a spoon (though you’ll have to let this last one stand at room temperature for a bit to soften some). These take a while to freeze, so I’d make them early in the day or even the night before. Run a little warm water over the outside of your mold to help the pops release and enjoy all the flavor with almost none of the guilt. (Oh, and those missing pops, those are the ones I gave to my boys. If they see these, they won’t leave me alone until they have one).
1 can pumpkin puree
1 5.3 ounce container vanilla Greek yogurt
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons real maple syrup.
Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until mixed well and completely smooth. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze at least 4 hours.
Sometimes you just need something simple. And, adding a simple home-made element can transform even the most mundane dessert. My husband loves chocolate pudding pie. For me, it’s kinda eh. If I’m going to spend all that time cooking and cooling a custard, I’d much rather have banana pudding or coconut cream pie. So, a compromise. I par-bake a store bought graham cracker crust and whip up some instant chocolate pudding. Then, I top it with home-made whipped cream. The result is a simple dessert that is far superior than the ones topped with frozen whipped topping and almost as simple. We took this pie to a church potluck a couple of weeks ago and it was gone before I even made it to the dessert table (and there was plenty of competition). This whipped cream subs nicely into any dessert calling for frozen whipped topping, just remember that it isn’t as stable. After 3 or 4 days in the fridge it will start to loose it’s whip. You can extend that a little by using powdered sugar as opposed to granulated, but I don’t like the mouth feel quite as much when I make that substitution.
First, chill your mixing bowl and whisk. Everything comes together faster if the cream and tools are super cold. I just toss mine in the freezer for about 5 minutes or so. Then, pour the cold cream into the cold bowl and set your mixer on medium to medium high speed. You don’t want it too high just yet or you’ll cover your kitchen in liquid cream. Not fun, trust me. When the cream starts to thicken and little bubbles show up, add the sugar and vanilla and kick up the speed. It took about 2 minutes for my mixer to get it to this point.
Continue whipping on high speed until stiff peaks form. I like my cream nice and stiff. Some people will stop at soft peaks and that’s fine, just realize your whipped cream will fall flat even more quickly. However, be careful to not whip too long. If you do, the solids and liquids will separate and you’ll have some delicious sweetened butter. I stop just when the cream starts to lose its shine.
Use anywhere you’d normally use whipped topping. This is only mildly sweet. If you like your whipped cream sweeter, by all means, add some more sugar.
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chill a mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Pour cream into chilled bowl and whip at medium speed until frothy but not set (about 2 minutes).
Sprinkle in granulated sugar and vanilla. Increase mixer speed to high and whip until cream is set and just starts to lose its gloss. Cream should hold its shape when you lift the whisk.
I like the idea of cheesecake. Sweet, creamy, indulgent. Then I order it and it’s dense, thick and coats the inside of my mouth in a way that is very unpleasant to me. I pay $6 for the slice and I’m done by the third or fourth bite. A few years ago, I found the solution in Giada de Laurentiis’ cheesecake recipe. Mascarpone cheese and a little lemon lightened the flavor and texture and I was in heaven. That is, until the local grocery stores stopped carrying mascarpone cheese. And thus, this recipe was born. It’s light and fluffy but still rich and decadent. And, it is oh so forgiving. If you’re afraid of ruining a cheesecake by over baking, this is the recipe for you! I over baked my sample so badly it was cracked all the way across and almost all the way to the bottom of the filling. After cooling and refrigerating, it was just as soft, moist and delicious as ever. And, whatever you top it with will cover up any cracks you might have anyway.
Start by crushing up some graham crackers (or take some help from the store and just by the box of crumbs). Stir in some sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a springform pan. I press my crumbs slightly up the sides, but that is completely my preference. I also use a glass to pack the crust in tight. Then bake until crust is set and lightly brown.
Mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and mix until smooth. Make sure you scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl and mix it in.
If you haven’t already, be sure to wrap the outside of your springform pan with several layers of aluminum foil. This will keep water from seeping into your springform pan while the cheesecake bakes. Pour your cheese mixture over the pre-baked and cooled crust. Place pan into a roasting pan half-full of hot water and bake until almost set. Cake should jiggle just a bit when you shake the pan. Remove and cool for an hour before refrigerating.
Once the cake is chilled, top with fresh raspberries and brush with melted jelly – just to make it look pretty.
1 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
6 Tablespoons melted butter
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup sour cream (room temperature)
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs (room temperature)
1 ½ cups fresh raspberries
2 Tablespoons raspberry or blackberry jelly, seedless
For the crust:
Preheat oven to 350*
Tightly wrap the outside of a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2-3 layers of aluminum foil. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter and stir until all crumbs are moist. Press into the bottom and about 1/4-1/2” up the sides of springform pan. Use the bottom of a glass to lightly pack the crust into shape. Bake crust until set and lightly browned, about 12 minutes.
Remove crust from oven and lower oven temperature to 325* Place a large roasting pan ½ full of water into the oven.
For the filling:
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sour cream until well combined. Add sugar and beat until smooth, scraping sides occasionally. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended and scraping down sides after each addition.
Pour the cheese mixture over the prepared crust. Carefully place springform pan into the hot roasting pan and water. Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken. Start checking at 1 hour (cake may take up to 1 ½ hours).
Remove from oven and cool on counter for 1 hour. Refrigerate until cold (at least 2 hours).
Arrange raspberries in concentric circles on top of cold cheesecake. Microwave jam for 30 seconds, or until melted. Use a pastry brush to carefully brush raspberries with melted jam.
Store in refrigerator and serve cold.
Just a heads up to all my readers. This is a busy weekend for me, so I won’t be posting any new recipes until Monday. In addition to the usual football game and church, my husband’s birthday is tomorrow and I’ve got to clean the house up for company and cook for him.
Just as exciting as that, is the spaghetti dinner, silent auction and dessert auction I’m helping with on Saturday. I’m making two desserts and helping before, during and after the dinner. I am so thankful to be part of helping a loving family bring home two special-needs children, a girl and a boy. International adoption is expensive, but watching God provide a way has been such a blessing. If you’d like to read about the Bowling family’s adoption journey, you can do so here. You can also find a link to their donation page on that blog. If you live near me, come out for the spaghetti dinner Saturday night. If you don’t, you can still participate by bidding on silent auction items online. They can be found here. Online bidding ends on Saturday at noon MST. Enter your email address and message in the box on the right side of the page to place your bid on one of these fabulous auction items. All monies raised goes directly to bringing these beautiful children to their loving family.