Category Archives: Desserts

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

pie-before-bakingHere is another classic pie I made this weekend (and often). I used my basic gluten free pie shell recipe and two shells. This pie is tart and not very sweet, you can add sugar if you prefer a little more sweetness. I just noticed I haven’t posted my blackberry pie recipe either! I make a few of these from fresh picked berries here in North Vancouver in late August or September, its probably my favourite =)

Oven to 425 degrees

1-2     Pie Shells of your choice
Large bowl
3          cups Rhubarb, thinly sliced
2          cups Strawberries roughly chopped
1/2     cup Honey or sweetener of choice
1/4     cup Tapioca Powder
1           tablespoon Lemon Juice
1          teaspoon Lemon Zest

Combine all in a large mixing bowl then add to your pie shell. Cover with more dough and cut a hole in the top or crisscross or, simply leave open. Loosely cover with tin foil and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes then, reduce heat to 350 degrees, remove foil and bake another 30 minutes or until less filling is bubbling and crust golden. When using a gluten free crust I always egg wash the top in the last few minutes of baking to get a golden top. Allow pie to cool for half an hour or more before serving so it sets. You can always reheat it on a low temp covered in foil.

pieEnjoy =)

Home Made Almond Milk

*Addendum :  You can make quick nut milks (no soaking required)  with just a Nut-Milk-Bag_1024x1024nut bag and a good blender.  Creamy nuts like Cashews and Macadamias make great milk for coffee, tea, granola or smoothies.  Don’t be afraid to experiment either, I like  Cashew Almond or Macadamia and Toasted Coconut,  simply toss 1/2 – a full cup of nuts with  equal parts water (less or DIY-Coconut-Milk-All-Sorts-of-Pretty6more depending on the thickness you desire), a pinch of sea salt, flavour if you like: vanilla or cinnamon and/or sweetener like honey or stevia and blend until smooth.  Sheeze through the nut milk bag and you’re done!


I’ve been meaning to post these simple instructions on how to make your own nut milk for years, if you Google almond milk recipes you’ll find pretty much the same instructions, its super easy and much healthier and tastes fresh. You can make any sort of nut milk you like, Hazelnut is awesome, Walnut for an another example, Pecan, Brazil Nut, Macadamia, Cashew, the list goes on, or, mix more than one nut together like Almond Hazelnut! Yum! Beware this is raw, natural food so it will only keep for 3-4 days (as real food should). I used to make my nut milks with layered cheese cloth, its super cheap, you can buy it at a hardware store but eventually I bucked up and bought a re-usable nut bag, and honestly it’s well worth it. Look for future posts on using the left over nut pulp!

Makes 32 oz.
High powdered blender
Nut bag or Layers of Cheese Cloth
Pitcher or large bowl
2     cups Raw Almonds
4     cups Fresh, Spring or Filtered Water
Pinch of Sea Salt
1    teaspoon Vanilla
Healthy Sweetener of your choice: stevia, coconut sugar, honey, maple or add dates to the soaking nuts and blend too.

Soak the almond in the filtered water over night or for 8-12 hours. Rinsing and replacing the water at least once is a good idea.

Drain and rinse your soaked almonds then blend with 4 cups of fresh water and sea salt on high for 2 minutes. If using a regular blender (not heavy duty, like a VitaMix) you may need to do two batches, blending 1/2 at a time.

Strain the milk from the pulp using your nut milk bag by squeezing as much of the milk out as possible. Add vanilla and sweeten to taste if you desire.

Reserve and store the pulp in the freezer to make other delicious recipes like crackers, cookies or bread.


Chocolate Milk
32 oz    Almond Milk
1             tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4       cup Honey or Dark Agave
1            teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Chai Milk

32 oz     Almond Milk
1/4        cup Honey, Maple Syrup or Dark Agave
1             teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1             teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2       teaspoon Garam Masala
1/4       teaspoon Nutmeg

Kyla’s Healthy Holiday Baking 2012

IMG_9345Each year I like to made a little treat box or container of my baking for friends and family. This year I only added two new recipes and altered or played with a few goodies from last year.  As I mentioned before I recently discovered coconut sugar and have been experimenting with it with great results.

Coconut sugar, derived from the flowers of the coconut tree, is an organic, sustainable natural sweetener that shows promising results for people who suffer from chronic illnesses or conditions such as diabetes, gallstones, cancer, heart disease, obesity or simply want to reduce sugar intake. This sugar has a low glycemic index (approximately 35) and is also a nutrient powerhouse, filled with lots of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Coconut sugar is minimally processed, unbleached and contains no preservatives.  Sounds good to me!

IMG_9316So the recipes I altered are the Almond Butter Cookies ,  Gluten Free Short Bread and Raw Vegan Rum Balls, all worked great subbing in the Coconut Sugar.  For the short bread this year I rolled the dough out and cut small but thick rounds and with half pressed a dried cranberry on top and the other half a sprinkle of coconut sugar.  These were a definite hit!

The other two recipes I put together are below.  Also look for my two other Holiday experiments: Coconut Milk Bailey’s Irish Cream and Home-Made Healthy Clamato Juice.  Click here for Holiday Baking 2011.


Dark Chocolate, Cranberry, Pistachio and Tangerine Zest

Baking sheet, flipped over and covered with tin foil or parchment paper
1               pound Dark Chocolate, chopped
1/8          cup Raw Cacao Pieces
2/3         cup Raw or Shelled Roasted Pistachios, coarsely chopped
2/3         cup Juice Sweetened Cranberries, coarsely chopped dried
1              large firm Tangerine, zested with a citrus zester (can use an orange here too)
Coarse ground sea salt

In a double boiler melt chocolate over simmering water, stirring frequently – this is standard chocolate melting procedure, I fortunately have a “warming zone” on my glass top oven and can slowly melt chocolate in a pyrex bowl.  There are few methods to melt chocolate, I suggest Googling it. Just be careful not to burn your chocolate, melting it on the stop in a pot will likely burn it!

Once your chocolate is melted, pour onto tin foil or parchment paper -lined pan and spread with a rubber spatula until it is about ¼ inch thick.

Sprinkle with zest first, then with pistachios and cherries and finished with cracked sea salt.

Allow toppings to settle a bit before transferring to your refrigerate to harden hardened.  Once hardened, break into pieces and serve.  Can be stored in the fridge or freezer.

IMG_9319Flour-less Pistachios Sugar Cookies

Oven 325 degrees
Two parchment paper lined baking sheets
Food processor
2              cups Raw or Roasted Pistachios
1              cup Coconut Sugar
2              large Egg Whites
1              teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2              drops Green Food Coloring   *Optional
¼            cup coarse chopped Pistachios and/or Dried Juice Sweetened Cranberries

Grind pistachios in your food processor until a paste. Add coconut sugar and grind some more.  Add remaining ingredients and process until you have a thick and sticky batter.

For a small, bite sized cookie use a teaspoon and drop onto your prepared cookies sheet.

Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little sugar and chopped pistachios or a cranberry and gently press.  I like to do half and half.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden on the edges.  Allow to cool on a cooling rack before eating or storing.



Coconut Milk Bailey Irish Cream

Coconut Milk Bailey Irish Cream

Homemade-BaileysI love Bailey’s during the holidays and I always indulge a glass on ice in the evening or a generous splash in a coffee Christmas morning but boy do I pay for it, the combination of cream, sugar and alcohol really make my stomach hurt.  So, this year I made my own!  I made it a few different ways to suit different restrictions and see what works,  personally I am ok with goat’s milk and like that it lends a bit of that dairy like flavour but you can also make this recipe totally vegan using just coconut milk or half coconut milk, half unsweetened almond milk.   If you Google homemade bailey’s recipes they are all  pretty much the same although some have egg and some don’t,  I tried my recipe with and without and although I think I like it better with the eggs, it works nicely without (just not quite and thick) so, suit yourself!  Most at home recipes call for almond extract, I took this out because I found the coconut and almond together yield a less Bailey’s like taste.  I will also include a recipe to make your own chocolate sauce, it’s easy and much healthier then store-bought.

Coconut Milk Bailey’s Irish Cream

1 – 1 ½  cups Irish Whiskey
1 ½        cups Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk *recipe below
1              cup Goats Milk or Almond Milk (if you want full vegan sub in one cup of light coconut milk here)
3              Eggs (can omit)
2              tablespoons Chocolate Syrup *recipe below
2              teaspoons Instant Espresso (or brew your own double shot)
1              teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Couple pinches of sea salt

In a blender or food processor, mix eggs until frothy.  Add all other ingredients except Whiskey and blend for a few minutes or until thick and frothy. Add Whiskey to taste and pulse a few times to mix well.  Store in the fridge for up to a month!

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

2              cans Full Fat Coconut Milk
½            cup Coconut Sugar
1              teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch of sea salt

First you need to make your own Condensed Coconut Milk and Chocolate Syrup.  2 cans of coconut milk into a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce and simmer on low for approximately 10 minutes;  you want to see it reduce by about 1/3 here.  Then, add ½ a cup of coconut sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract  and a pinch of sea salt then continue simmering until total volume is reduced by almost half.  You want it thick!  Strain and set aside to cool.

Chocolate Sauce

½           cup Dark Cocoa Powder
1             cup Water
1 1/2     cup Coconut Sugar
½           teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch of sea salt

Combine cocoa and water in a small pot and bring to a boil, add sugar, vanilla and sea salt then simmer for 3-5 minutes.  Done!  I pour mine into a jar and store it in the fridge for all kinds of uses.  If you want a thicker sauce simply continue to simmer on medium/low to desired reduction.

Gingered Rhubarb and Pear Crisp with Hazelnuts

Crisps are one of my favourite go to desserts, I use gluten-free oats and switch up the brown sugar for agave or honey, dial down the sweetness to quite a bit and use organic goats butter, thus making it much healthier and yet still very satisfying.  I even love it for breakfast with a dollop of yogurt on top. Delish.   Feel free to play with the ingredients, if you like it sweeter, use organic brown sugar or agave is quite sweet (just watchful for burning). Ginger and rhubarb are an amazing combination, for dessert and the hazelnuts are a nice different touch, I serve this one with a vegan whipped topping or vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy and share!

Oven 350 degrees
Glass baking dish, square or round, medium, greased

2-3           cups fresh or frozen Rhubarb, chopped
3-5           Pears, cored and chopped
1                teaspoon fresh Ginger, grated
¼ to ½  cup Agave, Honey or brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like your dessert)
2                tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

For crisp topping:
1               cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats
½            cup Gluten-Free Flour like Sorghum, Oat or Sweet Rice
½            cup Hazelnut Meal (chop hazelnuts in a processor or blender)
½            cup Honey, Maple Syrup, Agave or Brown Sugar
2               teaspoons Ground Ginger
¼             cup cold Butter, chopped
½             teaspoon Sea Salt

Combine rhubarb, pears, ginger, honey and butter in your greased pan and set aside.

Combine oats, hazelnut meal, flour, and ground ginger in bowl and stir well. Mix in maple syrup, then add butter and rub with your hands to form a rough crumbly mixture. Spoon over rhubarb pear mixture then bake for 25 to 30 minutes until bubbling and golden. Serve while still warm with ice cream or a vanilla whipped topping.

Banana Almond Ice Cream Pie – Dairy and Gluten Free

This one just came to me during a day dream about a batch of banana ice cream I had planned to make, it’s a gluten free graham crust layered with salted almond butter then covered in banana ice cream, topped with a dollop of non-dairy whip and drizzled with Calbert Chocolate – UNREAL.  Totally patting myself on the back with this one, I served it to two dinner parties this week and it went off really well both times.  The banana ice cream is super easy to do and is also deliscious as a dairy-free, sugar-free treat any time, for this all you do is chop up a bunch of ripe bananas, freeze them solid them blend in a food processor with a little almond milk till whipped up.  Serve immediately for a banana ice cream like delight.  For this ice cream pie recipe I used a couple products I got at Whole Foods.  First being gluten free graham crackers by Kinnikinnick, called S’moreables Graham Style Crackers. Gluten, dairy and nut free – awesome.  And, the whip topping by Truwip, 100% natural, 70% organic, no GMOs, no high fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils, trans fat free, gluten free and no polysorbate 60, doesn’t get much better than that!

One round pie pan
One package of S’morables Graham Style Crackers
¼            cup Organic Goats Butter
Bunch   ripe, organic Bananas, chopped and frozen
1               tablespoon Vanilla
¼            cup Almond Milk
½             cup Almond butter
1                cup Calbert Chocolate, Milk or Dark, melted
Sea Salt
Truwhip Topping

Grind graham crackers in food processor, then, while machine is running slowly add melted butter.

Press graham mixture into pan by hand.

Spread Almond butter on top – this is challenging, I used an oiled spoon, it’s tricky but just get decent layer going.  Rough grind some sea salt on top.

Place frozen bananas and vanilla in food processor and blend, slowly add almond milk till a  whipped ice cream texture is achieved.

Fill pie to the top with frozen banana mixture.  Top the center with a generous dollop of Truwhip toping and drizzle whole dessert with melted chocolate.

Place in the freezer for 10 minutes and serve!  Can be frozen till you want to serve just simply remove from the freezer a little before serving till it softens a bit, much ice cream cake.

So delicious!  Enjoy =)

Gluten-Free Pie Crust – two ways

I went camping in Tofino this past weekend and brought a couple of my gluten-free pies to share, I’m confident they went over well even with the gluten eaters but then again, who wouldn’t love fresh raspberry and nectarine pies while camping!?  Couple people asked for this Blog address and I am aware I haven’t posted in a while so I popped in to see what’s going on and noticed, I still haven’t posted my gluten-free pie crust recipes and I actually promised to back in September – oops!  Better late than never! Pie filling recipes to follow…promise!

First is my easy, rice flour gluten-free pie crust, I use it usually with Summer fresh fruit pies like blackberry or raspberry/nectarine where it’s all about the filling.  The recipe below makes one pie shell, if you want a cover or to roll extra to crisscross cover your pie then double the batch.

Easy Rice Flour Gluten-Free Pie Crust

Medium bowl
1           cup Rice Flour
1/2      cup Tapioca Flour
1/4      cup Potato Starch
1/4      teaspoon Sea Salt
2           teaspoon Xanthan Gum
Small bowl
1/2      cup Earth Balance Vegan Shortening or
Spectrum Naturals Organic Shortening (soy-free)
1          large Egg, beaten
1          teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
3          tablespoons Ice Cold Water

Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl

Cut in cold shortening and rub mix together, but not too much, you want a chunky mixture.

Whisk together the egg, vinegar and ice water in small bowl then slowly add to dry bow, hand mixing until a ball in formed.

Knead your pastry (with a little more flour if needed) for 2-3 minutes then wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for no less than an hour.

Remove from fridge to roll out on floured surface, (I keep a flour dusted t-towel frozen in my freezer to roll out pastry, it makes it easier to pick up and flip. You could try using the parchment paper from the wrapping too). If the pastry is a little hard when removed from the fridge, knead again but the colder the better!

Roll to desired thickness and flip onto pie pan and gently press edges.   Return to fridge until ready to fill with filling or, freeze for later use.

NOTE: If a cooked crust is needed for your recipe bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Super Awesome Gluten-Free Pie Crust

Two pie dishes
Large bowl
1 1/4      cup Almond Flour (this is not the same as almond meal)
2/3         cup Gluten-free Oat Flour
2/3         cup Tapioca Flour
1/2         cup Teff Flour
1/2         cup Potato Starch
¼             cup Sweet Rice Flour
2              teaspoons Xanthan Gum
1/4         teaspoon Guar Gum
1/2         teaspoon Sea Salt
5              tablespoons Goat Butter, cold
4              tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Shortening, cold
Small bowl
1              large Egg
6 to 8     tablespoons Ice-cold Water

In a large bowl, mix the flours, potato starch using a whisk then add the xanthan gum, guar gum and the salt. Mix well with wooden spoon.

Cut in very small pieces of the ice-cold butter (or try freezing your butter first and then grating it in), gently mix then cut in very small chunks of the shortening. Use your hands to mix slowly until a gritty sandy finish.

In a small bowl combine the egg with ice water and whisk.

Now you can add the egg water mixture and hand mix or transfer flour mix to the food processor, turn on and slowly add egg/water mixture.  If your dough is to dry add a little more water, if its too sticky ass a touch more potato starch.

Now, wrap the pie dough in plastic wrap (or cover in a bowl in a bowl) and let it rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Remove from fridge and separate the dough into either two halves for top and bottom or make a thicker crust and thin cut-outs to crisscross on top – whatever you wish!  Roll dough out thin between two pieces of parchment paper.  Remove top piece of parchment paper and flip the dough onto a pie plate.  If it tears you can mend or re-roll!

Return to refrigerate or freeze until ready to fill.