Tag Archives: Low Glycemic

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.



Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cranberries and Dark Chocolate– Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free (Vegan)

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cranberries and Dark Chocolate– Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free (Vegan)

20101215-cookie-swap-oatmeal-610A lovely fellow health foodie and friend gave me some organic pumpkin from her father’s garden this week, so, I made my Pumpkin Scones (which worked egg free by the way) and these tasty little gems.  I used coconut sugar which I have been experimenting with with great results and food processor made oat flour and ground flax.  The flax acts like an egg replacer and stabilizer for this quite healthy cookie.  The recipe is vegan up until the chocolate chips, if you wish the recipe to be vegan just omit the chocolate or use a vegan chocolate chip of some sort.  These cookies are good with or without nuts, cranberries and chocolate chips.

350 degrees
Hand mixer
Large Bowl
3              cups Oat Flour
1               cup Rolled Oats
¾            teaspoon Baking Soda
¾            teaspoon Sea Salt
4              teaspoons Cinnamon
1               teaspoon ground Ginger
½            teaspoon ground Nutmeg
¼            cup Pumpkin Seeds
½            cup Apple Juice Sweetened Dried Cranberries
½            cup Dark Chocolate Chips (Vegan if you like)
Medium bowl
1              cup softened Virgin Coconut Oil (or unsalted butter)
1 ½        cups Coconut Sugar
¼            cup ground Flax Seeds
1              cup Pumpkin Puree
1              tablespoon Vanilla Extract

Combine dry in a large bowl.  Combine wet in a medium bowl and blend using a hand mixer.  Combine wet and dry and let sit for 15 minutes.

Drop by the spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges.  Allow to cool before serving.  Makes two dozen.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Scones with Goat Cheese Frosting

Whipped these up tonight and nailed it on the first try, LOVE it when this happens! I was inspired by some scone like pumpkin cookies served at a party this weekend that were made with wheat flour (man were they good). Here I just used my basic gluten free scone recipe and added the pumpkin and some pumpkin pie spice.    I used the guts of the pumpkin I carved today to make my own pumpkin purée, all you need to do is roast it for 20 minutes then puree in a food processor but feel free to use canned pumpkin too.   Also, make your own pumpkin pie spice, it’s easy: 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.  I’ve included a goat cheese frosting for these scones that adds a nice sweet touch as they aren’t very sweet on their own but they are good either way. I used my food processor to make the dough as its just so simple and very little mess but you can also do it the old fashion way. =)

Oven 425 degrees
Parchment paper lined baking sheet dusted with flour
1 ½         cups Sorghum Flour
1/4         cup Tapioca Starch
4              teaspoons Xanthan Gum
2              teaspoon Baking Powder
1              teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2         teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4         cup Organic Granulated Sugar (your choice but I use cane sugar)
1 ½         teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
7              tablespoons cold Unsalted Organic Butter, cut into chunks (I use goat butter)
1              cup Pumpkin Puree
2              tablespoons Goat Yogurt (or Greek Style)
1              large Egg

Optional: Brush the tops of the scones with the goat yogurt, cream or egg white then sprinkle with a little raw sugar

Add all dry ingredients to your food processor then pulse a few times to combine.

Add the cold chopped up butter, and pulse again until butter is cut into pieces. Then, add the pumpkin puree, yogurt and egg and process just until dough comes together.

Dump the dough out onto the baking sheet and use the parchment paper or dusted hands to roll in into a log then cut into 8-10 discs and arrange on the baking sheet (still lined with parchment paper).

Brush the tops of the scones with yogurt, cream or egg white, and sprinkle with course raw sugar.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until just golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Drizzle with Spice Glaze:

Spice Cream Cheese Glaze

1/2         cup Organic Icing Sugar
1/2         teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1              tablespoon Goat Cheese or Cream Cheese
1              tablespoon of Almond Milk

Whisk together until smooth, maybe adding more icing sugar to thicken then spoon into a small ziplock.  Simply cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle onto of the cooled scones.

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 =)

Kyla’s Basic Bison Stew

My diet is largely vegetarian by preference, although, I do east some chicken and fish and every once in a while, I feel like red meat.  When I get this craving I reach for Bison.  Bison is a highly nutrient dense food because of the proportion of protein, fat, mineral, and fatty acids to its caloric value. Comparisons to other meat sources have shown that Bison has a greater concentration of iron as well as some of the essential fatty acids necessary for human well being.

Here is my simple healthy hearty stew which is a great one to test out Bison if you’ve never had it before. I’m sure you’ll love it!

Plastic bag or container with a lid.
Large heavy bottomed pot.

3          tablespoons Rice Flour (or all purpose is you prefer)
1-2      lbs Bison, cubed round or your preferred cut
2-3      tablespoons Olive Oil
3 1/2  cups Broth (or 3 cups Broth plus 1/2 cup Dry Red Wine)
1           medium Onion, sliced
2           medium Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2      teaspoon dried Basil, crushed
1/2      teaspoon dried Thyme, crushed
2 1/4  cups Potatoes, peeled and cubed (Sweet, Yam, Yukon, mix it up!)
2          cups Carrots, sliced thickly
1          cup Celery, sliced
2         cups Green Beans, sliced OR 1 1/2 cups Peas (Peas go well with Yam and Sweet Potato)
Sea Salt and Pepper

Place flour in a plastic bag, add a few pieces of meat at a time shaking well to coat.

Heat oil in your large pot.

Add meat and onions, brown meat well.

Add broth (and wine if using), garlic, basil and thyme.

Bring all to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours (or until meat is tender).

Add potatoes, carrots and celery, cover pot, and simmer for about 20-30 minutes (or until potatoes are almost done).

Add green beans (or peas) and simmer 10-15 minutes more.

Sea salt and pepper to taste.

Thai Sweet Potato and Lemongrass Soup

This very simple but flavour packed soup that is one of my favourites. I LOVE the exotic taste of lemongrass and lime leaves, this soup isn’t very spicy but if you’re feeling like an extra kick try adding a touch more red curry paste to your bowl.  Limes leaves are usually found with the packaged fresh herbs, Whole Foods always carries them.  You can freeze lime leaves for later use.

Blender or hand mixer
Large heavy bottomed soup pot
1              large Onion, chopped
1              teaspoon Garlic, crushed
2+           fresh, Lime Leaves
2              tablespoon Red Thai Curry Paste
4              medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
7              cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
2              sticks Lemon Grass, outer layer peeled off, ends trimmed
1              tablespoon Crunchy Peanut Butter*
1              can Coconut Milk
Sea Salt to taste

Sauté onion with garlic and lime leaves for 10 minutes, watch carefully not to burn.

Add curry paste and sauté for another minute.

Bruise by pounding the lemongrass stalks, cut in half and add to pot with sweet potatoes, stalk and peanut butter. *Can be omitted

Bring to boil, reduce and cover for 35 minute until the sweet potatoes are soft.

Turn off burner. Remove lime leaves and lemon grass stalks then puree soup (it’s ok if you don’t get it all out).

Return soup to pot and add coconut milk.

Gently reheat and serve with thinly sliced lime leaves or even cilantro.

Green Broccoli Soup

You’ll love the very bright green colour of this soup and the flavour, equally as uplifting!  The extra health kick and green goodness in this recipe comes from a pound of fresh spinach quietly blended in.   If you prefer a creamy soup* simply add 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk.  Personally, I really love this one just as is!

Large heavy bottomed soup pot.
Small pot and vegetable steamer.
2              tablespoon Olive Oil
1             medium Yellow Onion, diced
6              Garlic Cloves, diced
6              medium New Potatoes, diced
1              tablespoon fresh Thyme, minced
1/4         teaspoon Red Chile Flakes
Pinch Sea Salt
4              Broccoli Stalks, peeled and sliced
6              cups Vegetable Stock
1/2         pound fresh Spinach
2              cups Broccoli Florets, chopped (reserve for later)
1/2         teaspoon fresh Ground Pepper
Garnish with grated Manchego

Heat oil on medium/high heat and sauté onions with garlic until tender.  Add potatoes and cook for another few minutes.

Add thyme, sea salt, red chili flakes, broccoli stalks and broth and bring to boil.  Reduce and simmer until broccoli stems are soft.

Add spinach to pot, no need to stir just cover for a couple of minutes till its lightly cooked.

Steam broccoli florets in small pot or steamer until crisp but slightly tender, only a minute or so.   Rinse under cold water to end cooking and set aside.

Blend soup in a full sized blender until smooth.  Soup should just all fit!  Transfer back to Pot and season with sea salt and ground pepper to taste.

Add lightly steamed broccoli florets right before serving.

Garnish with grated manchego.

*If you are making a creamy version add the milk before blending.