I wanted to do a stevia-sweetened dessert for Pesach. The Bean was being a whiner and the Sprout was all about adding to the vocal cacophony – so I whipped together this delicious bit of chocolate and coconut products and it turned out great. I used three squares of unsweetened baking chocolate. No, it wasn’t organic or free trade (it was a madhouse and I was reduced to using what was on hand in my cupboards). Add one tablespoon organic liquid Stevia and two tablespoons of coconut oil. Melt together on low heat in a sauce pan, stirring frequently. Once you have fully melted the ingredients, dump one cup of shredded unsweetened organic coconut in the pan. Fully incorporate. I spread the mixture out on a sheet of wax paper and refrigerated till cold.
After being refrigerated it was easy to break into small pieces. This treat is SO easy and an incredibly decadent treat….
So this weekend we celebrated my sister’s birthday. I was asked to bring a cake to serve 40+. Normally I would have totally made the whole thing myself, but between a 3 year old wild-child and an attention-gobbling 5 week old I opted for a store-bought cake. A Costco cake, to be exact. However, I didn’t want to be completely generic as I knowingly poisoned people with toxic processed butter cream and commercial food dyes…. So I made a gum paste cake topper to individualize the cake….
Gum paste lady
My sister is an aires, and she’s considered somewhat of a goddess in her circles, so…..how about a nekkid gum paste Aries goddess. Yes! That’s it! I used pieces of lollypop sticks cut to size to support the arms and head onto the body. I used a paint brush and food dye to paint the color on the hair, horns and nipples.
We’ve all done it. Planted two or three tomato plants and then suddenly, mid-summer, we have tomatoes coming out of our ears! Here’s another method of preserving your herculean grow efforts – Tomato Powder!
At the height of ripeness dehydrate thinly sliced tomatoes in large batches. The pictured tomato products were made from Amish Paste tomatoes; a super-tasty heirloom variety. The tomato slices need to be particularly dried. On their own they can later be reconstituted in water or oil for various applications.
Dehydrated slices of Amish Paste tomatoes
With a blender, food-processor or (in this case) a Magic Bullet process the dried slices into powder. Reconstitute small amounts of the power for sauces, pastes or just to add rich tomato flavors to other dishes.
The variegated shades of powder in the jar pictured below is caused from the variety of dried tomato batches used in the powdering process.
Tomato Powder made from multiple batches of dried tomatoes
A jar of home-grown tomato powder makes a nice gift as well…
My oldest and I were in the mood for a ‘zert tonight (That’s Bean-speak for dessert) and I, of course, want to avoid refined sugar….what to do? What to do? Enter Coconut-corn!
3 Heaping Tbls Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Organic Popcorn Kernels
1/4 Cup Xyla
1/4 Organic Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
2 tsp Sea Salt
In A large pot with a lid heat the oil on medium. Add popcorn kernels – cook till popped, shaking the pot regularly as to not burn the popcorn. Once the corn is popped remove pot from stove and add remaining ingredients. Stir well.
This is a lightly sweet kettle-corn-like dessert with tropical notes from the shredded coconut and the oil. Super yummy!
The Bean has a sweet tooth and I love to indulge him in sneaky-sneaky-good-for-you-ways. The afore-pictured “ice cream” is one of his favorites and is healthy enough to serve as a meal. Technically, this is an ice milk but no need to explain the difference to the little ones…
4 C raw goat milk
5 egg yolks
1 tsp liquid stevia
1 tsp pure almond extract
Whisk 1 cup milk with the egg yolks and bring to just boiling. Be sure to rapidly whisk as to keep the egg from “cooking”. Immediately mix in the rest of the milk and remove from stove.
At this point, I add the stevia & extract and then put the mixture back in the fridge. When the mixture is chilled simply pour into ice cream maker (I use an attachment on my Kitchen Aid mixer). When the ice cream is finished serve with sliced strawberries. Delicious and something you can feel good about serving to the kiddos!
So the boys and I plan on making some ‘kraut this week a la lacto-fermentation. Well, rather Beans and I are gonna make it and the little Sprout will watch…enraptured by our skills, I am sure….. I don’t have enough milk right now to shake it down for its whey so I chose a cheap and easy alternative.
Taking a carton of organic plain yogurt (I use Nancy’s), I plopped the contents in some fine cheesecloth and suspended it over a stainless steel bowl for the afternoon. It’s important to use a yogurt with live probiotic cultures.
Separating the whey from the yogurt
Once all the whey (or most) has dripped off the yogurt just pour the whey in a container and, likewise, scoop the resulting greek-style yogurt into a dish of its own.
Now, while Beans isn’t a huge fan of plain yogurt I can sweeten this stuff with stevia and fruit; super-duper thick and yummy.
And we now have some way-easy whey with which to make our sauerkraut!