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Here is a recipe for Irish Soda Bread.  My dad’s side is Irish and, well, St. Paddy’s is coming up soon…

My daughter made this bread a little while ago. It was delish! She used spelt instead of wheat flour. And she used the last of the rice milk (3/4 c) topped up with melted butter (3/4 c) for the liquid. Apparently you can just add lemon juice to alternative milk instead of buttermilk. She took it more literally and it tasted great!

The original recipe has caraway seeds in it.  I guess you can add them if you want it to be gross.  Apparently I don’t like caraway seeds. You can, however, add sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, raisins, currents, or dried apple bits.  Those are yummy.

INGREDIENTS

    • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (spelt or kamut flour)
    • 1 teaspoon baking-soda
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cups (about) buttermilk (3/4 c rice milk + 3/4 c melted butter)

PREPARATION

    1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly flour baking sheet. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Mix in enough buttermilk to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball. Turn out onto lightly flour surfaced and knead just until dough holds together, about 1 minute. Shape dough into 6-inch-diameter by 2-inch-high round. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cut 1-inch-deep X across top of bread, extending almost to edges. Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.

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It’s Thanksgiving!  My kids and I made this last year so I’m reposting the recipe.  We’ll see if I get it done for dinner tonight!  This recipe is adapted from one taken from, The Perfect Pie, by Susan G. Purdy, which is one of my favourite recipe books of all time.

Here you go…

Pie crust:

2 cups flour (we used whole grain spelt flour which makes the crust a little heavy.  You can use white spelt or all-purpose spelt if you like for 1 cup and 1 cup of whole grain spelt.  Our next attempt I’ll use kamut.)

3/4 tsp salt

Optional sweetener: 2 Tbsp granulated sugar (I think the kids threw some sugar in when I wasn’t looking!)

8 Tbsp (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter (with our next attempt I might use coconut oil instead

3 Tbsp cold vegetable shortening

1 large egg yolk (save the white part to glaze the semi baked crust)

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (the kids loved squeezing the lemon)

4-5 Tbsp ice water, as needed

(Egg glaze: 1 large egg white beaten with 1 Tbsp water)

Mix the flour, salt, sugar, into a bowl.

Cut up the butter and shortening and work them into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly, with bits the size of rice.

Add the yolk and lemon juice.  Toss lightly.  Add ice water, 1 Tbsp at a time, just until the dough begins to cling together in clumps.

Turn the dough out onto wax paper and form it into a ball, then flatten into a 6 inch disk, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Roll out the pastry to about 1/8th of an inch and grease the 10 inch pan.  Be sure the fluted edge is high so it will contain the filling.  Partially blind bake for 12 minutes with weighted liner (You can buy fancy liners at specialty stores – we used a smaller pie plate.  The liner keeps the pastry from rising and turning into a big puff ball.) Remove the liner and bake for another 5 minutes until starting to look golden.  Brush the warm crust with egg white glaze.  (In the olden days I used my fingers to “brush” on the egg white.  My husband bought me a pastry brush and, well, it’s much better.  Go figure.)  Cool on a wire rack.  Reduce the oven heat to 400 degrees F.  Place a flat baking sheet in the oven to get hot.

The filling:

2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk

2 cups cooked and mashed fresh organic sugar pumpkin

1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar to taste

1 1/2 cups coconut milk (that’s right! the full fat kind from a can (organic is better to avoid the BPA in the liner but it’s pretty hard to find) (I know, I know, genius, right?!))

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (maybe you could use coconut oil if you’re going totally dairy-free?  I haven’t tried it yet since we’re okay with butter in our household)

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

1/8 tsp cloves

In an electric mixer or in a bowl with a whisk, beat the eggs and yolk, then add the pumpkin and beat well.  Beat in the sugar, coconut milk, melted butter, salt, and spices.  Set the pan containing the pastry shell on a flat baking sheet for ease in handling.  Pour the filling mixture into the prepared pastry shell, and set it on the preheated flat baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven for 40 – 50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted into the custard 1 inch from the edge comes out clean.  Do not over bake.  When the knife comes clean at the custard’s edge, the pie is done even thought the center may not be set; the internal heat of the pie will complete the baking out of the oven.  Cool the pie on a wire rack.  Serve at room temperature.  (You can use whipped cream as a topping if you like and you’re not dairy-free.  We ate it on it’s own.)  Refrigerate leftovers.

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You may already know that I’m a fan of treats. I think it’s important to make good choices for ourselves in what we eat and drink, but I also think that enjoying life and the flavour and texture of food is important. And for kids, sticking to a super strict diet day in and day out often backfires when they’re on their own, making their own food choices. This is my first post about alternative treats and this one is about…

Ice Cream!

So delicious and so difficult for those of us who can’t tolerate dairy. We don’t eat cow dairy in our household but my kids (and my husband and I) love to go out for an icy treat.

Gelato can be a great dairy-free delight – some flavours are made with cream and many flavours are not. We usually go to Dolce on College street, here in Toronto. The Good Neighbour on Annette also has fabulous, diary-free gelato. Some gelato is coloured artificially, but the old fashioned gelaterias are usually pure and natural.

If you know of any other places serving non-dairy ice cream, please let me know. I’m particularly on the look out for soy-free.

If you’re having ice cream at home or at a party or BBQ or whatever, there are several alternatives to dairy. Here is what I think of them:

Coconut ice cream – soooooooooo yummy. The rich flavour and smooth texture of coconut milk make these treats delightful. There are 2 companies I’m currently enjoying… So Delicious and Coconut Bliss. These are their links:

http://www.sodeliciousdairyfree.com/products/coconut-milk-ice-creams

http://coconutbliss.com/coconut-bliss-products/chocolate-hazelnut-fudge

Soy ice creams – now that there are other options, I’ve stepped back from the soy ice creams. Tofutti and So Good are the brands most readily available and both contain heaping amounts of processed corn products which are difficult to digest and can cause all kinds of health trouble. So Good also contains artificial flavour. Sadly, I have bid adieu to the Toffuti ice cream bars I enjoyed in the past. I’ve included these companies’ links too, in case you want to look at them:

http://www.tofutti.ca/Products/Ingredients.aspx#Novelties

http://www.sogoodbeverage.com/desserts_vanilla.cfm

Rice ice cream – Rice Dream brand is the one that’s easiest to find. It’s been around a long time. I still enjoy this type of ice cream although there is a weird aftertaste to some of the flavours. The chocolate and peanut coated ice cream stick is still my favourite. It does contain malted corn. Also, it is manufactured in a plant with dairy so there may be traces of cow products (a scandal back in the early 2000’s!) Here is the link:

http://www.tastethedream.com/products/product/1496/205.php

Hemp ice cream – I certainly applaud their all natural product and since I haven’t eaten it in quite some time, I’ll have to give it another try. Please let me know what you and your family think about this one:

http://www.coolhemp.com/en_nutrition.htm

There are also almond based ice creams available these days. I haven’t tried them yet, so something to look forward to!

Now, when I say treat, I really do mean, a once in a while treat. Say, maybe, 1 time a week? Or even once every couple of weeks? Maybe once a month?
And of course, when the weather changes again, perhaps around mid-Sept, come on in to the clinic and we can organize a cleanse to, well, clean you and your family up to prepare for the colder months. In the meantime, enjoy!

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