Caramelized Banana ‘Ice Cream’ Pie

Photo 2014-09-09, 4 58 38 AMI often find myself having the urge to cook or bake and I love when I get to share my creations with friends and family. My man and I were invited to a friends for dinner, and instead of bringing the expected bottle of wine, I wanted to bring something homemade. I find it really nice to bring something you have taken the time to make when invited to a friends or family for a meal. Whether you bring your infamous, jam, granola or even salad dressing, I think it shows you have made the extra effort. Even making a cake from a box counts as homemade in my books! Bringing a homemade gift is personal and can be shared by all your guests!

With that said, I normally contribute to a dinner with a sweet ending. It was cold and rainy outside the day of the dinner and I had zero interest in going to the grocery store. So as always, I looked at what I had in the pantry and got to work. I had tons of super ripe bananas (as per usual) and I wanted to make something other than my Cinnamon Bun Banana Bread. I thought it would be a good idea to make a delicious banana cream pie. So, I began mixing my coconut cream, ripe bananas, vanilla etc.. and I put the finished product into the freezer to get it to solidify quicker. After bringing it to guests, everyone said they preferred it frozen then in its creamy state, so… the banana ‘ice cream’ pie was born!

Not only is this pie insanely delicious, it is also gluten, dairy and refined sugar free… oh and vegan! It is the perfect dessert to close our summer before we start all craving hot apple pies and rice puddings.The caramelized banana pieces in the centre are too die for! And even those who weren’t crazy about coconut couldn’t get enough of the coconut crust. What is best about this pie is that it is super easy to put together and only involves around 15 minutes of baking time. All you need is a good blender or food processor and the work is done for you! I served mine with some delicious coconut milk ice cream and raspberries but in truth, it really doesn’t need it. Bon appetit!
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Crust Ingredients:

• 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
• 1/4 cup egg whites
• juice of half a lemon
• 1/2 cup coconut sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 pinch salt

Filling Ingredients:

• 4-5 very ripe bananas
• about 1/2 cup coconut cream (preferably organic)
• 1 cup coconut yogurt (you can find this in most grocery stores in the health section)
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• pinch of salt
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1 tsp coconut sugar
• 2 tsp cinnamon (divided)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mix all crust ingredients in a medium sized bowl and pour into a well greased pie dish. I greased mine with coconut oil. Press down evenly and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool.

3. While the crust is baking start preparing your filling. In a blender or food processor, put all but one banana, coconut cream, maple syrup, coconut yogurt, 1 tsp cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Pulse or blend until well combined and creamy. Put mixture in the fridge.

4. In a pa on medium high heat, allow coconut oil to melt. Slice one banana and carefully place into the oil. Sprinkle the bananas with coconut sugar and cinnamon while in the pan. Allow to cook on each side for at least 5 minutes or until golden and caramelized. You can use an offset spatula to flip each one. Set aside.

5. Pour half of the filling into pie crust. Spread caramelized bananas all around. Pour the remaining batter over the bananas. It is ok if you find the caramelized bananas have floated to the top. Simply push them down. Place pie in freezer and allow to set for at least 2-3 hours. It is best to make this the day before you need it or in the morning to ensure it freezes in time.

6. To serve, allow to sit at room temperature for five minutes. Dip a sharp knife in hot water to cut through. Enjoy!

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Spicy Asian Zucchini Cucumber Noodle Salad

Photo 2014-06-02, 7 46 16 AMLot’s of requests for this one on instagram! I had such a delicious raw pad thai at a fantastic vegan, gluten free raw restaurant here in Montreal and I knew I had to get my hands on a spiralizer. I chose the Gefu spiralizer (off Amazon) and I found it simple to use and gave great ‘zoodles’ aka zucchini noodles. I know there are some more hardcore spiralizers, but as a starter I highly recommend this one! It also takes up very little space in the cupboard which is a HUGE plus.

I really had no planned recipe for this device. I was so anxious to get that spiralizer out of the box that I put very little thought into what I wanted to make with it! So, I just went with flow of things and went for a light spicy asian salad which complimented the fish perfectly. My next time using it will probably involve some sweet potato and carrots. Some tahini or peanut based sauce would be delicious! Served warm or cold, veggie noodles are a perfect accompaniment to meat and fish or alone as a light vegetarian lunch.

For this meal in particular, I ate these zucchini and cucumber noodles with simply grilled salmon cooked in a bit of coconut oil, salt, pepper and lemon. Really my favourite way to eat fish. Simple is best. This is a perfect meal to enjoy this summer or as a side dish for BBQ. It is light and refreshing and as always gluten, dairy and refined sugar free! For those watching their carb intake these are a great alternative to italian pasta dishes. Hope you enjoy!

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Noodle Ingredients:

• 3 zucchini
• 3 mini cucumber
• 1 red pepper thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup buckwheat sprouted groats (optional)
• 1 tsp rice vinegar
• 1 tsp gluten free tamari
• 2-3 drops stevia or 1/2 tsp honey
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 1/2 tsp pepper
• 1/2 tsp sriracha
• few dashes fish sauce

Fish Ingredients:

• Wild caught salmon
• 1 tsp coconut oil
• good pinch salt
• good pinch pepper
• lemon wedges for serving

Directions:

1. Spiralize cucumber and zucchini and place in a bowl. Add finely chopped red pepper.

2. Whisk all dressing ingredients in a bowl. Taste (add some more oil if its too spicy, or add more sriracha for heat) and toss in noodles. Top with buckwheat or seeds for crunch!

3.For the salmon, coat in melted coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat on the pan or off the fire on BBQ.
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Sweet Potato Pie Cookies

Photo 5-17-2014, 1 04 20 AMI was really craving something sweet and comforting and had nothing but some sweet potato in my pantry. I wondered, how can I get these into a cookie? I know lots of people have been doing the sweet potato brownie thing, but I wanted to highlight the flavour of the sweet potato instead of masking it. They have the best texture and the sweetest earthy flavour that truly satisfies both the sweet and savoury tooth. What better highlights sweet potato in a dessert than sweet potato pie?

I know sweet potato pie is a classic Thanksgiving dish, so these cookies give you a chance to get those flavours year round without the butter, flour and oil. These nutrient packed potatoes give you good source of dietary fiber, vitamin b6 and potassium, vitamin a, vitamin c and manganese. Sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates so these cookies are good easy pre or post workout snack with a little extra maple cinnamon almond butter on top… YUM! These cookies are extremely soft and not to sweet, plus they are super simple to make. If you like cookies on the sweeter side I reccomend doubling the syrup or honey. As always these cookies are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. They also don’t have any added oil, or grain. So they are also perfect for those following the paleo diet. Hope you enjoy! Have a wonderful weekend.
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Ingredients:

• 1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes
• 2/3 cup almond flour
• 1/2 cup almond butter
• 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey (add another 1/4 cup if you like a sweeter cookie)
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp ground ginger
• 1/2 tsp all spice
• 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Steam or boil sweet potatoes until easily pierced with a fork, then mash.

2. To the mashed sweet potato add maple syrup and almond butter and stir until combined. Then add spices, almond flour baking soda and salt.

3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Form dough into balls, place on parchment and press with a fork.

4. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until slightly browned.

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