Grain-Free Pizza “Pockets”

Grain free pizza pockets - These freeze well and are so fun!With a crunchy crust and a flavorful filling, no one complained about eating a grain-free meal last night! These flavorful pockets were very satisfying and filling, and make a very fun lunch or dinner (I’d recommend serving it with a homemade salad with a yummy homemade salad dressing!). We aren’t a grain-free family, but since we are gluten-free, our meals often end up being grain-free. And with beautiful foods like these homemade pockets, everyone is happy (even those in the family who CAN eat gluten!).

Proving that advertisement to children really does work, I still remember when “Hot Pockets” were a new and very cool product. I’m quite certain that I begged and begged my mother to buy me some. I think she did finally once, and I was pretty happy. But I’m not sure I was actually that pleased with the actual product. Regardless, I don’t remember much about my experience eating them, though I still remember exactly where they were placed in the freezer that day.

I think I will remember these ones for the flavor, not where I put them in my freezer ten years from now. ;-)

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My Inspiration

As I talked about yesterday, I have been really inspired to freeze more foods lately. I talked about being inspired by two of the books in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle (only on sale for a couple more days, by the way). What I didn’t mention was that this project was already on the schedule for my first experiment! They were inspired by the Grain-free Grab and Go eBook by Hayley from Health Starts in the Kitchen. This book is also part of the bundle (hey, when you have 73 eBooks, you end up with a lot of good stuff in there!). She has some a-m-a-z-i-n-g recipes in there. She has pockets for breakfast, pockets for lunch, pockets for dinner. Some are very American, some are Ethnic. They all sound great. I knew I had to try them.

Here’s Hayley’s book, among the other books in one of the categories of the bundle.

Following my own advice, I wasn’t so much trying to make huge amounts to freeze, but try out a few recipes to see what we liked best. These were such a hit, I’m definitely adding them to my list of recipes that are “good to freeze.”

Here’s what I tried out

I made three crusts. I made a slight adaption of Hayley crust from her book (I didn’t have the same seasoning, so I substituted), which was a tapioca and almond flour based crust. Technically, almonds are a food I am not supposed to have a lot of, so I wanted to also try out a very interesting alternative – yuca root crust. The third crust was completely accidental! When attempting to make Hayley’s crust the first time, I accidently poured in potato starch instead of tapioca starch! Turns out, it works just as well! I figured that was a good substitution tip to share with you all.

The almond flour/starch based crust firms up nicely, and is quite crunchy and delicious when cooked. The taro root crust is quite soft, yet still manages to be “bread-like” when cooked. We also lightly pan-fried these pockets for a crunchy outside, and then they were perfect.

I don’t have permission to share’s Hayley’s beautiful crust recipe with you all, since it’s part of her lovely eBook. However, if you aren’t able to purchase her book or the bundle right now, you could try this similar recipe here (just be aware that the ratios are different and I haven’t actually tried this recipe yet). For the amount of filling below, I’d double it.  I DO want to share my own tips with on making them however, and my own filling recipe.

You can also buy the bundle by clicking on the button below.

Grain-free Pizza pockets - These freeze well and are so fun!

For an almond flour/starch batter:

  • Don’t expect your first few to look perfect. Like most things it takes a little practice. At first I wasn’t spreading out the batter in the pan thin enough, so my pockets were too small for the amount of filling I should have been using. My first few were not beautiful, but they were still delicious!
  • Don’t overcook the batter when pan cooking your pocket dough. If it gets too crunchy, it’s harder to press together (if that happens moisten your fork with a little water).
  • Instead of pressing the edges together in the hot pan, I removed it to a plate, poured in batter for the next pocket dough, and while the first side cooked, moved to the plate, and pressed the edges together.
  • Put some music on and relax while you are making them! It does take a little time, but once you get a rhythm going, it goes much faster.

Grain Free Pizza Pockets - made with a yuca dough!

For the yuca crust

I got my recipe from Predominately Paleo, who I believe first created the “yuca dough.” Kudos to her for developing them!

A few notes:

    • The yuca has to be peeled, boiled, blended, and then cooled before you can work with it. This takes some time, but each step is very simple, and most of the time is not hands-on time, but waiting time.
    • The dough is very soft, and a fairly easy to break, so you have to make much smaller pockets.
    • Pan-frying them after cooking is the way to go. We also found that they could be cold in the refrigerator (as leftovers), and panfrying them warms them up perfectly. Win-win!
    • You absolutely should watch this video to see what you are going to be doing. It should take away any fears about the recipe.

  • Don’t overheat your blender when blending.
  • I loved the dough, but definitely think salt should be added to it. I’d recommend 1 teaspoon during the blending process.

To get the recipe for the dough (and another delicious filling) go here.

I also wanted to note that this method of freezing breakfast burritos would probably work great for these pizza pockets too!

Grain-Free Pizza "Pockets"
 
 
Next time, I am thinking of adding a red pepper, cubed mushrooms, and olives to the mix! This is enough to fill one recipe of the almond/starch crust, or the yuca crust recipe. Our favorite was the pork. Follow the instruction for filling the crusts per recipe you’ve chosen to use.
Ingredients
  • ¾ pound ground beef or pork, grassfed preferred for the beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • A generous pinch of thyme and oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (we used goat), optional
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, brown the meat with the dried herbs and garlic. When cooked through, if needed, remove any grease with a spoon (tip the pan slightly to allow the grease to run to one side).
  2. Stir in the tomato paste and then salt generously to taste.
  3. If using the cheese, place a couple tablespoons on top of the meat filling before closing.

 

Blueberry Lemon Clafoutis with Einkorn Flour (refined sugar free)

Blueberry Lemon Clafoutis with Einkorn Flour (refined sugar free)

By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

Plump blueberries burst in your mouth as the creamy custard-like batter hints of fresh lemon zest and the subtle zing of ginger. This adapted version of the traditional French dessert is absolutely brimming over with summertime flavor! The classic version is made with cherries, covered with a batter of eggs, milk, flour, and sugar, and served as a dessert sprinkled with powdered sugar. I love the idea of substituting nourishing ingredients and serving this rustic looking treat as a breakfast or brunch option as well.

This recipe is free from refined sugar, and uses beautiful raw honey to lightly sweeten the batter. I love the flavor that orange blossom honey brings, but any honey will do. For those who don’t need to avoid dairy and gluten, this recipe contains both, along with eggs. The great news is that dietary substitutions can easily be made and I find the recipe is very flexible!

It’s also one of the most simple recipes I’ve made. A layer of fruit, mix up the batter, pour it on top, and bake. Easy as pie clafoutis :)

Kimi has posted a number of clafoutis recipes including a dairy and gluten free version made with cherries, as well as an apple version that is grain free. Both look delicious and would be worth your time to try!

Blueberry Lemon Clafoutis with Einkorn Flour (refined sugar free)

Why I chose to use einkorn flour

I recently began experimenting with einkorn flour and I’m loving it. Einkorn flour is an ancient grain and the first variety of wheat. It has never been hybridized and actually contains less gluten than more modern varieties of wheat, making it easier to digest for some (information from Jovial Foods).

For me, when I eat food made with modern varieties of wheat I notice some bloating and uncomfortableness afterwards. This has caused me to bake less (bummer!), and not consume many wheat products. Einkorn has been a game changer for me as it has proved to be much easier on my belly. Along with that, its lovely white color and fluffy texture make it a beautiful ingredient to work with.

Blueberry Lemon Clafoutis with Einkorn Flour (refined sugar free)

I buy einkorn flour at my local natural food store, or you can purchase it from Jovial Foods or Amazon. (affiliatelink) Jovial’s einkorn wheat is grown in the beautiful hills of Tuscany, and I love supporting this small family operation. Here is some nutrition information about einkorn flour from the Jovial Foods website.

* High in Thiamin, essential dietary and trace minerals

* Good source of protein, iron, dietary fiber and a number of B Vitamins.

* Contains a significant amount of the powerful antioxidant Lutein

* Higher Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) than durum and bread wheat

* Higher content of proteins, tocols and carotenoids than other species of wheat.

* Lower percentage of nutrient loss during processing

I have a feeling this recipe is going to become a staple in my home. With the changing seasons you can substitute a variety of fruits as the base, keeping it exciting year round. Pastured eggs make this dessert extra hearty and full of the nutrients our bodies need, making it a great option for breakfast or brunch as well. It’s best eaten plain at a lukewarm temperature, or topped with some homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Blueberry Lemon Clafoutis with Einkorn Flour (refined sugar free)3

Clafoutis would pair well with:

Other fruit based desserts you may enjoy:

Blueberry Lemon Clafoutis with Einkorn Flour (refined sugar free)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert or breakfast/Brunch
 
This dessert is beautifully simple, using nourishing ingredients, and can be adapted in various ways. It's a cinch to put together, even on a busy weeknight!
Ingredients
  • Butter for greasing the pie dish
  • 1½ cups of fresh blueberries
  • Zest of 1 lemon and a splash of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated (optional)
  • ⅓ cup raw honey (Any will do, but I used orange blossom wildflower)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup einkorn flour (regular wheat flour, soaked or sprouted, should work fine too)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F and grease an 8 or 9 inch pie pan, liberally, with butter.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the blueberries with grated lemon zest, fresh ginger, and a few squirts of lemon juice. Evenly spread this mixture on the bottom of your pie pan.
  3. In that same large mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Whisk it well, or use a hand blender to remove all the little flour lumps. Pour the batter over your blueberries and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until it’s set and a knife comes out clean.
  4. Top with powdered sugar if desired (this is the traditional method of serving, but if you’re avoiding refined sugar like I am, homemade whipped cream sweetened with honey or maple syrup, or a homemade vanilla ice cream would be a perfect addition!).
Notes
Kimi Notes: To make this into a "soaked" version, substitute buttermilk or kefir for the milk and cream, and combine with the flour. Cover and leave overnight in a warm place for 12-24 hours. After that point, you can combine the rest of the batter ingredients with the soaked flour.

 

Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Mini Donuts (Gluten & Egg-free)

Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Donuts that are #glutenfree, #eggfree, and wonderful!

The title of this post alone makes me happy, as does biting into one of these tender, double chocolate donuts. They are so fun to serve, and my little girls love them. And since half of our family is gluten, dairy, and egg-free, we are all happy that we can enjoy these together.

If you haven’t noticed from my dessert category, chocolate is a favorite, so chocolate donuts are a given. It’s National Donut Day, and this is a great way to celebrate. I’ve also made them for birthday parties, and special holiday breakfasts. My daughters have their ballet recital tonight, so we are bringing them to share. They were pleased to help make these, and to have a fun thing to bring. They were the ones who insisted on using sprinkles on the donuts! I love my girlies, who love adding a fun dash to everything in life, including donuts! If you also want to use sprinkles, just lightly sprinkle after you have dipped the donuts, before the chocolate sets.

These remind me of the boxed chocolate covered mini donuts that my dad would sometimes buy for us on trips at gas stations. Thankfully these ones aren’t full of preservatives and made a year earlier. ;-)

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A couple of notes:

  • I used coconut sugar to make these, though you could use whatever dry sweetener you like (rapadura, sucanat, evaporated cane sugar, etc).
  • I used these chocolate chips as they are free of the 8 most common allergens. I love their dark chocolate chips as well.
  • Instead of dipping in chocolate, you can also simply dust with organic powdered sugar. This is a lot simpler, but not quite as sweet. I think they are really pretty too.
  • This recipe works with, or without the soaking period (I’ve tried it both ways). If you don’t want to soak, simply stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then mix the wet ingredients in a small bowl, and then stir the two together (do this quickly before the coconut oil solidifies)
  • You do need a mini donut pan for this recipe. I own this one . This silicone one looks promising as well.
  • I’ve also made them with the large donut pan – just cook for 20-25 minutes. Will make nine large donuts.
  • This is basically a muffin recipe, so you can also use this recipe to make about nine or ten chocolate muffins!

Enjoy!
Chocolate-Mini-Donuts - #glutenfree #eggfree #donuts

Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Mini Donuts (Guten & Egg-free)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Breakfast
Cook time:
Total time:
 
A super fun breakfast treat, that is celebration worthy. This recipe works with, or without the soaking period (I’ve tried it both ways). If you don’t want to soak, simply stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then mix the wet ingredients in a small bowl, and then stir the two together (do this quickly before the coconut oil solidifies)
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of sorgum flour
  • ½ cup teff flour
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar (or kombucha, kefir, etc)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup of natural dry sweetener of choice (I used coconut sugar)
  • ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon unrefined salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup gently melted coconut oil
  • 10 ounces of chocolate chips, allergy-friendly (This is enough to completely cover ¾ of the donuts, use 5 ounces more if you want to cover all of them)
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
Instructions
  1. If soaking, the night before, combine the flour with the water and apple cider vinegar. Cover and leave in a warm place for 12-24 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease the donut tins well. Combine the chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of hot water in a mug and set aside for about 15 minutes. .
  3. Add to the flour and water mixture the cocoa powder, sweetener, chia seed mixture, baking powder, salt, vanilla, apple sauce and coconut oil. As soon as you start adding the coconut oil, start mixing. You want the coconut oil to mix in before it has time to solidify again.
  4. Put a scant tablespoon in each donut form, pressing down on the batter gently to make sure there aren’t any gaps. You want to fill each form about ¾ full.
  5. Put in the middle of the oven for about 7 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let sit on the counter for 5 minutes, and then use a toothpick to gently remove the donuts to a cooling rack. They are fragile when hot, but are pretty sturdy when cool.
  7. Since I have only one small donut pan, I then brush the donut pan with more melted coconut oil, and cook another batch. I got 4 dozen mini donuts out of this recipe.
  8. When all of the donuts are done cooking, and are cooled, put the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler along with 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (I stir the coconut oil a bit to the chocolate chips). Gently melt together over low heat until smooth, stirring. If you use the two tablespoons of coconut oil, it will spread your chocolate chips further and make for easy dipping, but the chocolate will be a lot more sensitive to heat, including hand heat. When the chocolate is melted, drop in a donut, cover with chocolate, and then use a fork to gently pick it up, shake of the excess chocolate, and then place on a parchment covered baking sheet. Repeat. I got 36 of my 48 mini donuts covered with chocolate this way. You can also just dip the top half of each donut with chocolate, or simply drizzle a little melted chocolate over all of the donuts.
  9. Put in the refrigerator or freezer to solidify the chocolate again, and enjoy. These donuts are best served the day they are made.

 

Buckwheat Crepes (as Gluten Free Sandwich Wraps)

Buckwheat Crepes as Sandwich Wraps

Delicate and gourmet, satisfying and rustic, buckwheat crepes can play a versatile role in any real food kitchen. Top them with a heap of blueberries, a drizzle of maple syrup for breakfast, and with some coconut whipped cream, if you want to make it extra special. Stuff them with chicken and mushrooms for dinner. Wrap your favorite sandwich toppings in a crepe for an easy & substantial lunch!

This recipe is a gluten free version of my mom’s beloved crepes. They can easily be made dairy free as well! Staple ingredients (buckwheat flour, milk, eggs) are combined in a blender, making for easy mixing and clean up. An overnight soak results in a crepe with a light flavor and texture that is more easily digested. (Read about the benefits of soaking grains here).

Although I have been making crepes for years, we have just started enjoying them as sandwich wraps. This is one of the simple ways my family is reducing the gluten in our diets.

Crepe sandwiches make a great light dinner or a lunch that is easy and appealing enough for children to make themselves. Here, I wrapped one around some Parmesan cheese, roasted red pepper and arugula. Ham and cheese is also a favorite!

Buckwheat Crepes as Gluten Free Sandwich Wraps

“THE WEEK OF CREPES”

Coincidentally, this recipe comes to you in perfect timing as we approach “the week of crepes”. For the Russian Orthodox, Cheesefare (“Maslinitsa”) begins this Monday, February 24. 

Cheesefare, which lasts a week, is a last hoorah before Orthodox lent begins. During this time, meat is not allowed, but fish, dairy and eggs are still permitted, so Russians eat loads of crepes before they have to give them up for 40 days. Giving up crepes (“blinchiki”) for any length of time is a big deal to a Russian!

LENTEN FAST GUIDELINES

The Lenten fast (see the 2014 dates here) is more or less vegan. Here are the parameters:

  • Meat is not allowed, with the exception of shellfish, which is included because it was not traditionally considered a luxury food.
  • There are a couple of specified dates that fish is allowed. But for the most part, it is not permitted.
  •  Some people omit all oils during this time while others interpret the “no oil rule” to refer specifically to olive oil.
  • Olive oil and wine are permitted on certain days, signified by a picture of a cluster of grapes on the calendar.

There is a measure of grace thrown into the rules. If someone has a medical condition that makes it a challenge to participate, they are not expected to. If someone who is fasting goes to eat at someone’s house where off-limits foods are served, they may eat them. Being a grateful guest trumps sticking to the rules.

MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE LENTEN FAST

My father is Orthodox and I participated in the fast with him once, about ten years ago. At the time I was eating a highly processed diet and it was a wonderful cleanse for me, both spiritually and physically. My mind was clear, I required less sleep and I felt very light and energized overall. Not to say that it wasn’t a challenge, but I did reap a lot of benefits.

I’ve considered participating in it again, but now that my diet is much more nourishing than it was ten years ago, I’m concerned that I won’t experience the same energy boost that I did before. As a mother of young children I need all the energy I can get!

It’s hard to imagine six weeks without broth and eggs in my diet. I’m so used to fueling myself with these traditionally nourishing foods. On the other hand, I remind myself that fasting is a very traditional practice and perhaps our bodies were designed to work best in a feast/famine, celebration/fasting routine.

I will continue to ponder and pray, but for now I don’t know if I will commit to this year’s Lenten fast. But one thing I do know for certain is that I will gladly partake in crepes next week!

Do you make fasting part of your routine? Why or why not? I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this!

Related Gluten-Free Recipes on The Nourishing Gourmet:

Recommended Kitchen Items for recipe:

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Buckwheat Crepes
 
Author:
Serves: 4
 
Buckwheat crepes are a versatile gluten free food and work great as an every day sandwich wrap. The batter for these is made right in the blender for easy clean up. This recipe makes about 13 7-inch crepes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk (I used canned 9% fat coconut milk)
  • 2 tablespoons milk kefir (or water kefir, kombucha, lemon juice)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
  • 1.25 cups buckwheat flour (if grinding your own, use hulled groats)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 6 eggs
  • a little ghee or coconut oil to prepare the pan for the first pancake
Instructions
  1. Blend together the milk, 2 tablespoons ghee, flour, kefir, salt and honey in a blender (put in the wet ingredients first). Leave on the counter to soak for 12-24 hours (overnight).
  2. When they are done soaking, add the eggs to the batter and blend again to combine.
  3. Heat a 7-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. I sometimes bump it up to high heat to speed up the process, then reduce it back to medium when I start cooking the crepes. You want the skillet nice and hot.
  4. Add a small amount (1 teaspoon or so) of ghee or coconut oil to the pan to prepare it for your first pancake. Ladle ⅓ cup of the batter (a scant ladle full) into the skillet and swirl it around confidently until it covers the bottom of the pan and starts to set. Allow it to cook for about a minute, maybe less. Keep an eye on it.
  5. Once it seems done (you'll quickly get the hang of it) use a spatula to loosen it off the pan a bit and (again, with confidence) flip it over. Let it cook for 15-30 seconds, until golden. Repeat until your batter is done. Swirl the batter in the blender from time to time to keep the flour from settling.
  6. You will likely not need any more ghee or coconut oil for the remaining pancakes since there is some in the batter. From time to time the heat might need to be adjusted as the pan will get increasingly hot throughout the cooking.
Notes
I have found that a 7-inch cast iron skillet works best. Even an inch larger can make them a challenge to flip.

I once made the mistake of grinding up chia seeds into the batter and it got very smoky! So I definitely don't recommend incorporating ground chia or flax.