Coffee, Tea or Chocolate?

teaThere’s definitely a nip in the air lately.

With the weather getting cooler, and Halloween just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot these days about things like chocolate – and hot drinks, in general.

Depending on my mood, I might opt for a mug of hot chocolate – dairy-free, of course – or a steaming cup of tea.

And while I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker, I do like a good, bracing cup of tea first thing in the morning, preferably a robust variety of green tea such as Hojicha or Gunpowder.

The names alone are part of the experience!

Regardless of whether you’re a tea or coffee drinker, chances are you’ve visited a local Starbuck’s on at least one occasion.

Perhaps it’s a regular part of your daily routine?

Of course, you could just as easily get your tea or coffee fix in the aisles of your local grocery store, which usually offer such a wide assortment of brands and flavors, it can be really hard to decide.

And – if you’re not careful – this is where being gluten-free presents just one more challenge, since any of these flavored brews just might be suspect.

Yes, you read that correctly – tea and coffee may not be gluten-free.

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A Totally Awesome, Dairy-Free “Yogurt”

Breakfast ParfaitSome recipes are a happy accident.

And today’s awesome Yogurt is one of them!

I call it yogurt because that’s exactly what it tastes like – even though it contains no dairy, or starter and doesn’t require any fancy equipment like one of those yogurt makers.

So, how did this recipe come about?

Well, what I refer to as a happy accident was a simple case of a smoothie recipe that was a bit too thick – it wasn’t something I couldn’t even drink.

In fact, it was so rich, thick and creamy, that eating it with a spoon was the only option. Yum.

With the first bite, I knew right away that I was onto something.

The two secret ingredients are coconut milk and creamy avocado. (Trust me, this is a wicked combination!)

And the wonderful, yogurt-like tang comes from frozen mango and honey.

It’s really that simple!

My imagination went a step further as a leafed through the luscious-sounding recipes in Kris Carr’s “Crazy, Sexy Kitchen”.

(Note:  Even though she caters to a mostly vegan crowd, that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from these amazing recipes created by Chef Chad Sarno and others.

At least, I don’t let minor details like that keep me from trying new things).

After drooling over some of the photos – things like French Toast (which I love & haven’t had in years) or a Breakfast Scramble – what really caught my attention was the Breakfast Parfait.

There was just one small problem.

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Celebrating Easter -Gluten-Free!

Rough stroked easter eggsEaster Sunday is just around the corner.

Are you gearing up for a day of celebration, and the arrival of Spring weather?

Whether your Easter celebration is religious in nature, or a reason to gather with family and friends – this is one more occasion where the gluten-free among us might be wondering:

What is there to eat?

A perfect Spring feast might revolve around a roast lamb or chicken, with fresh asparagus and baby potatoes on the side.

So, the bigger issue, is really about dessert.


For the kiddies, there are Easter egg hunts and baskets full of chocolate goodies.

But what about us bigger kids?

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Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mini Fudge (2)The other night, I dreamed I was baking cookies.

Except these weren’t your typical cookies.

They were actually teeny tiny – as in miniature versions of the real thing.

And I was baking them in a teeny tiny, miniature oven, in a teeny tiny kitchen.

Because of the limited space, I kept knocking things over and making quite a mess, as you can imagine.

(Regular size people don’t fit real well in dollhouses).

Dreams are funny, this way, aren’t they?

And it’s not like I normally dream about cookies – or food.

I don’t!

However, I do collect miniatures, like what you see pictured here.

They look like the real thing, don’t they?

Since we’re on the subject of cookies, I decided it was time to share another cookie recipe.

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The Amazing Benefits of Coconut Milk

Are you Dairy free?

Many of us who are Celiac or gluten intolerant are also allergic to Dairy.

Lucky for us, there are a number of dairy-free alternatives on the market for our morning cereal, including almond or rice milk, soy or even hemp milk.

But when I want something rich and creamy to replace the cream in a recipe, nothing satisfies quite like coconut milk.

I’ve been craving some of this amazing Avocado Pudding recently.

The other day, as I grabbed an avocado from the fridge, I spotted a jar of leftover Coconut Cream – and suddenly had an epiphany.

What if I added some coconut cream to the original recipe?

I imagined something even more decadent, rich and creamy, a sort of chocolate mousse with a twist.

Coconut cream, by the way, refers to the thick layer of solids you find at the top of a can of coconut milk.

For this particular recipe, the full fat variety is best – especially since it yields a generous amount of coconut cream.

In other words, when you open a can of Lite Coconut Milk, there will be some cream on top, but not nearly as much.

Of course, once you’ve scooped out the cream, the remaining liquid in the can will be thinned out and less flavorful – but still perfect for smoothies.

Coconut milk is also ideal for cream-based soups.

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Coffee, Tea & Chocolate!

This trio of warming drinks has been on my mind lately.

And while I’ve never been a coffee drinker myself, I do like a good, bracing cup of tea.

In fact, my morning meal doesn’t seem complete without a big mug of this steaming brew, preferably a robust variety of green tea such as Hojicha or Gunpowder.

The names alone are part of the experience!

Whether a tea or coffee drinker, who among us hasn’t visited their local Starbuck’s on occasion, or made this a regular part of their daily routine?

Not only are there coffee shops on just about every corner, but the coffee and tea aisles in the local grocery store are nearly filled to overflowing with a wide assortment of brands and flavors.

And here is where the gluten-free among us can definitely run into some challenges, since these flavored brews may not be gluten-free.

As always, you need to be diligent about reading labels, and look for words like “natural flavors” listed in the ingredients – which indicates that particular beverage may or may not be suitable.

It isn’t always clear.

If anything sounds the least bit suspect – and the words gluten-free do not appear on the label – my advice to you is to keep looking!

As for chocolate – whether hot chocolate or chocolate candy – the same advice applies, especially if you are looking for suitable Easter candy.

In honor of the Easter holiday – and this trio of beverages – I’m sharing 3 recipes that feature chocolate in one form or another.

This way, you can indulge both your sweet tooth and your chocolate cravings while knowing these treats are absolutely safe for your special diet.

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