Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes (Dairy Free Tested!)

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes (the dairy free version tastes wonderful as well!). One less dish on the stove is a win!

These creamy mashed potatoes are so easy to make, and take one thing off of your stovetop! Plus, dairy free friends, be glad, they worked so well when made without cream of milk. This Thanksgiving, I am trying to make as much as I can beforehand so that I am not running around like crazy finishing five dishes all at once. For example, my Grain Free Caramel Apple Tart is going to be made the day before Thanksgiving.

One of the dishes often made at the last minute are the mashed potatoes, so I was so excited when I saw this method of making slow cooker mashed potatoes. I knew I had to make a test run of it to see how it went (I especially wanted to do a test run as I was adapting the recipe to be dairy-free!).

The technique is simple: You cook cubed potatoes in broth, garlic and seasonings for 3-4 hours, and then you mash them with melted butter and milk of choice (I used coconut milk, and no one even noticed the coconut flavor, even my coconut hater of the family). Then it can keep warm for even hours in the slow cooker. Because I used my roasted “Hearth” broth (so good!), and then these potatoes are slow roasted  (since they aren’t boiled) the mashed potatoes had a lovely roast-y flavor.

One thing that I noted was that the color was perfect when first mashed, but after being kept warm for 3-4 hours after mashing it, it started to turn slightly brownish, so for Thanksgiving, I am planning on not leaving it for hours on warm, but mashing it closer to when we serve it. I cooked mine on hot at first, so it cooked fairly quickly (at 3 hours they were well cooked), but if you wanted to cook them more slowly, you could certainly try it on low for longer.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes (the dairy free version is delicious as well!). One less dish on the stove is a win!

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Note on Ingredients

If you’d like to use coconut milk, make sure you use full fat. If you’d like to use another dairy-free option, I’d recommend homemade almond “cream” (a thicker almond milk).

Simple Almond Cream Recipe

Let 1 cup of almonds soak for 1-8 hours in warm water with a couple pinches of salt. Rinse, and then blend in a high power blender with 2 cups of filtered water. Pour through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag, and squeeze gently to remove all of the liquid. This makes a very rich almond milk, perfect for savory and sweet dishes

We tolerate butter just fine, so I use butter. Those only a little sensitive can often tolerate ghee fine. But for truly dairy free mashed potatoes, I have been surprised at how lovely a very mild olive oil tastes in mashed potatoes. I mention that in this stove top dairy free mashed potato recipe.

What potatoes to use? There is a lot of debate on this issue. I tested this recipe with russet, but some love Yukon for mashed potatoes as well.

Tools

I definitely recommend using a potato masher (such as this one) to get the right texture. This is the large and inexpensive slow cooker I use.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes (Dairy free tested!)
 
Author:
 
Makes enough for 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 5 pounds russet potatoes, or potatoes of choice, peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced (optional)
  • 1½ cups broth of choice (such as Hearth broth, or chicken broth)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ½ cup melted butter or ⅓ cup mild olive oil (plus extra for oiling slow cooker)
  • ½ cup canned full fat coconut milk, homemade almond milk (see above), or whole milk, cream
  • Extra milk or broth for thinning down as needed.
Instructions
  1. Oil the sides of the slow cooker. Cube the potatoes into ½- 1 inch pieces (uniformly). Place in slow cooker, and add the garlic cloves, if using, and the broth of choice. Salt with about 1 teaspoon unrefined salt, and a generous sprinkle of pepper.
  2. Cover, and put slow cooker on low, and cook for 3-4 hours, or until the potatoes are soft.
  3. If there are any potatoes on the side that browned at all, you can remove with a spoon, if desired, for a very smooth texture. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes to desired texture (smooth or slightly chunky).
  4. Heat the butter and liquid of choice, and mix thoroughly into the mashed potatoes. If you want them thinned out at all, simply add more to taste/texture desired.
  5. Now keep the potatoes on "keep warm". I tested this for about 3½ hours on "keep warm". The texture near the end of that time started to get a little dry, so I would recommend adding a little more hot liquid before serving if you do. It also will start to turn a little less white as time goes on, so personally, I plan on keeping on "warm" just until serving, but not keeping it on warm for hours.

 

Grain Free Caramel Apple Tart

Grain Free Caramel Tart (egg free and dairy free too!)
This tart has a lovely shortbread crust, and a sweet apple filling made all the better with dairy free caramel sauce. Sweetened lightly with coconut sugar, this healthier treat was a real win in this household! You don’t have to have any food allergies to enjoy this, but it is to grain free and gluten free, dairy free, and egg free!

I have a sweet daughter who can’t have gluten, dairy or eggs, and sometimes that is a challenge. We had been doing gluten and dairy free for a while, but when we found out about eggs, some of our favorite recipes were no longer useable. Thankfully, I have slowly been adding back in recipes that we love that are delicious and fit her needs. This year, I really wanted to figure out an apple pie or tart recipe that wasn’t stressful to make. I’ve made apple pies in the past for her, and they were wonderful, but also a lot of work. (Apple is her favorite pie/tart!).

Why you should own a tart pan

This year I went for the tart, and it was SO easy to make, and incredibly delicious too! That’s a great combination in my mind. We are looking forward to enjoying this at holiday meals. And if you don’t have a tart pan, get one! While I have been weeding out items from my kitchen I don’t use often, I actually added in an item, a tart pan, because I realized how much I was missing out by not having one (easy delicious desserts that make allergy friendly desserts stress-free!).

I ended up buying (Amazon links are affiliate) this tart pan after looking at what was available at local stores and am really happy with it. It’s a stainless steel 9 inch pan. I also love the rectangular versions such as this this rectangular pan, and will probably add that into my collection as well.

For this recipe, you need only three components. The crust (if you can make cookies, you can make this crust, plus no rolling needed), my uber easy dairy-free caramel sauce (or caramel sauce of your choice), and then the apple filling.

I would recommend serving it with whipped cream or ice cream, and the leftover caramel sauce. Yum!

Recipes:

Maple Sweetened Whipped Cream
How to make coconut whipped cream with an ISI dispenser
Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Chai Coconut Milk Ice Cream

A word on ingredients:

I’ve tried this crust in a variety of recipes recently. The combination of almond flour and tapioca starch works amazingly well in many recipes (like these Grain Free Mexican Wedding Cookies). I do use a finely ground almond flour (I used this brand). I’m not positive that a more coarsely ground flour would work the same. I also tried out a combination of using non-hydrogenated palm shorting, a combination of butter and non-hydrogenated palm shortening and butter, and all butter, and found that our favorite was the all butter version. If you need this recipe to be completely dairy-free, use the palm shortening option. I recommend this one or this one. Firm coconut oil is another great option; it’s just a little more finicky to work with in a recipe like this one.

I love the use of coconut sugar in this recipe as it lends itself naturally to a caramel flavor, so it enhances the caramel sauce. Yum!

While deceptively simple to make, this easy tart has so much flavor! I used Honeycrisp apples, which were perfect in this recipe. But you can use other excellent cookies apples as well, such as green apples, pink ladies, etc. I used a nine inch pan tart.

This amazing Grain Free Caramel Apple Tart is also egg free and dairy free! A delicious, elegant dessert from The Nourishing Gourmet.

Grain Free Caramel Apple Tart
 
Author:
 
While deceptively simple to make, this easy tart has so much flavor! I used Honeycrisp apples, which were perfect in this recipe. But you can use other excellent cookies apples as well, such as green apples, pink ladies, etc. I used a nine inch pan tart. Serves 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of finely ground almond flour
  • ⅓ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice, such as unrefined cane sugar, organic evaporated cane sugar, maple sugar)
  • ¼ teaspoon unrefined salt
  • ½ cup cold butter, or non-hydrogenated palm shortening (for a dairy-free version, use one of the palm shortenings listed above – firm coconut oil could also work, but is a little more finicky)
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 large Honeycrisp apples
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar ((or sweetener of choice, such as unrefined cane sugar, organic evaporated cane sugar, maple sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch/flour, arrowroot flour, or organic cornstarch
  • 2-3 tablespoons of caramel sauce
Instructions
  1. Make caramel sauce, and set aside to cool (can make a week ahead, if desired)
  2. In a food processor, combine the almond flour and tapioca flour with the salt and sugar. If using butter, cut into cubes and add, or measure the palm shortening out and place in the food processor. Pulse until the shortening or butter is blended into the flour in small pieces (biggest pieces should be the size of a small pea). Pulse after each addition of tablespoon of cold water. (You want the dough just to be moist enough that it sticks together when you pinch the dough into a small ball. I found that two tablespoons was just enough.)
  3. Press into the tart pan, making sure that there is a good ¼ inch or so of dough pressed along the side all around the tart pan. This will help make the tart more stable once cooked. Place in fridge. (you can prepare this hours ahead of time, if desired, just cover).
  4. Preheat oven to 375F.
  5. Peel the apples, core them, and then thinly slice. Toss them in a medium sized bowl with the lemon juice, sugar, and tapioca starch. Take the tart pan out and artfully fan out the apple slices in the pan in a circular pattern (if using a circular pan). You want the apple slices to be angled, but not flat (as you wouldn’t be able to fit many slices in that way). We only had a couple slices of apple leftover. Don’t pour the juice from the bottom of the bowl over the apples.
  6. Take the previously prepared caramel sauce, and brush on caramel sauce over all of the apples.
  7. Place in oven and cook for 40-70 minutes, or until the apples are fork tender, and the crust is cooked. I covered with foil at 40 minutes to keep the crust from over browning.
  8. Take out of the oven and cool thoroughly before removing the sides of the tart pan. Slice, and enjoy plain, or with whipped cream or ice cream, served with extra caramel sauce. Enjoy!

 

Grain Free Pumpkin Recipes Fit for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

grain free, gluten free, pumpkin

There are so many delicious ways to enjoy pumpkin! These grain free, gluten free pumpkin desserts are lovely.

Pumpkin is one of the flavors of fall for good reason – There are so many delicious ways to enjoy it! Whether you are looking for a grain-free pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bars or a dairy free pumpkin spice latte, there are some lovely, favorite recipes shared below. They are making me ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

    
Am I the only one that can’t believe that the holiday season is upon us? Where has this year gone? We are looking forward to the holidays, and our recent cold weather has helped get us into the spirit of the season.
    
As I was looking through the many recipes shared by myself and others here on The Nourishing Gourmet, I realized that there are a lot of beautiful, grain free pumpkin recipes, and that it would be fun to share them in a post altogether as a resource for you all.
    

(Related: 25 Nourishing Real Food Thanksgiving Dishes and 7 Delicious ways to use Thanksgiving Leftovers)     

 Meanwhile, I have some pumpkin puree to use, and it’s hard to decide what to make first!

    
Easy Peasy Pumpkin Puree (using a slow cooker): Speaking of which, if you are looking to make homemade pumpkin puree, I recommend this recipe as a really easy method!

 Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (Grain Free with Dairy Free Options) - The Nourishing Gourmet
Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples: This is one of the newest recipes on the blog, shared by Natalie, and I love how creative and clever it is! No crust needed as the apples themselves create an edible dish to serve pumpkin pie in. How fun is that?
 Pumpkin Spice Cranberry No-Bake Cookies - GI 365 1 (1) (1)
Pumpkin Spice Cranberry No Bake Cookies: Pumpkin Spice cookies are studded with cranberries for a very allergy-friendly, yummy cookie that doesn’t even need an oven.
grain free pumpkin pie
 Streusel Pumpkin Pie (grain free, dairy free): This is a popular grain free pumpkin pie recipe that you will glad to see is easy to make as well!
Another option for pumpkin pie filling is this recipe for Maple and Honey Sweetened Pumpkin Pie. It makes an amazing filling, just use a grain free crust, like the above recipe, for a delicious pumpkin pie. Maple Honey Pumpkin Pie (with coconut milk)
Vegan and Paleo Ginger Snap and Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits on thenourishinggourmet.com
Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits: But why limit yourself to pie? These beautiful dairy free, grain free Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits are as beautiful as they are delicious! Thinking outside the box this holiday season is fun too.
Grain free pumpkin bars
Pumpkin Bars: What I love about making bars is that they are a more portable, easy dessert to make and serve. These grain free pumpkin bars would make a great kid-friendly addition.
Nourishing Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer- www.thenourishinggourmet.com
 Nourishing Pumpkin Spice Creamer: No need to buy coffee creamer (often full of so much junk!) when you can make your own using simple recipes like this one! You can use whole milk or coconut milk in this recipe.
Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte (vegan too!)
 Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte: Speaking of coffee, this is a really yummy (and popular!) recipe for a dairy free pumpkin spice latte that is so delicious! I find it much more satisfying than those I’ve gotten out.
 Pumpkin Chai Latte made with coconut milk and paleo-friendly!
Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte: Don’t enjoy coffee? You can still enjoy a “latte” by using chai tea! I find that the spices of chai go perfectly with pumpkin, and so they marry well in this creamy dairy free drink.
Of course, many of these recipes are made even better when topped with whipped cream!
Maple whipped cream is incredibly delicious and easy to make. Plus, it's entirely sweetened with pure maple syrup!
Maple Whipped Cream: If you can handle dairy, I recommend trying out this Maple Whipped Cream. It is SO good, and it’s lightly and naturally sweetened too.
A dairy-free dream! Delicious coconut milk whipped cream
Coconut Whipped Cream: If you can’t have dairy, coconut whipped cream is an amazing alternative! We love it. You can see my regular Vanilla Whipped Cream recipe here and my Stevia Sweetened Coconut Whipped Cream recipe here.

Spiced Currant Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free w/ Egg-Free Option)

Spiced Currant-Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (GF & DF) -- egg-free option too
by Alison Diven, Contributing Writer

This baked oatmeal in mini muffin form is quintessential Autumn–and so fun for little snacks or little hands! With their hearty texture, warm spices, subtle orange notes, and mild sweetness, they cozy up perfectly to a cup of tea and your favorite sweater . . . or cuddly story-time with your little ones. They’re also chock full of healthy ingredients, so I feel good about doling them out any time of day or taking them along on outings for easy nourishment.

Spiced Currant-Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (GF & DF) -- egg free option too

This is great news because as my baby’s due date draws near (just 2 weeks now), it seems like there’s always another errand to run or midwife appointment to attend. Mama’s tired! I’ve baked several variations of these muffins and squirreled them away in our freezer for postpartum life, but truly, I’m already breaking into my stash. I can’t keep up with our daily food needs at the moment, so I’m extra grateful for foods like this that I can make in big batches when I have a burst of energy.

For the record, these freeze and reheat beautifully. I like them plain, slathered with butter, or broken up into a bowl with raw milk. My dairy-free son enjoys his solo or with a smear of almond butter and raw honey.

3 Variations to Try

  • Pumpkin Spice — One of my favorites! Just use pumpkin puree instead of mashed banana, omit currants and orange zest, and increase sweetener to taste.
  • Banana-Coconut-Chocolate Chip — My toddler’s favorite. Omit nutmeg, clove, orange zest, and currants. Add shredded unsweetened coconut and mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life has a soy-free, allergy-friendly product).
  • Cranberry Orange — Use chopped dried cranberries instead of currants and omit nutmeg and clove. Increase orange zest by up to double, depending on your taste.

Let your taste buds guide you! So long as you don’t overdo the wet ingredients, which will make your muffins forever gummy no matter how much you bake them (voice of experience here!), it’s hard to go wrong.

Spiced Currant-Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (GF & DF) -- egg free option too

Related recipes you may enjoy from The Nourishing Gourmet:

Buckwheat Crepes (as Gluten-Free Sandwich Wraps)
Mini Zucchini Millet Muffins
Pumpkin Maple Baked Oatmeal
Apple Oatmeal Mini Loaves (Soaked Whole Grain and Naturally Sweetened)

Spiced Currant Orange Mini Baked Oatmeals
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24 mini muffins
 
Perfectly spiced and gently sweet, these flourless oatmeal mini muffins nourish any time of day and are especially nice for little hands. You can, of course, make them as regular-size muffins by increasing the cooking time to 30 minutes. I chose currants because their size suits mini muffins, but feel free to use raisins instead, either whole or chopped up. Now that my son can eat eggs, I use them for the protein and vitamins, but the recipe works great without them, between the holding power of oats and banana. Just add enough additional liquid to make a batter.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats if needed)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup mashed overripe banana (about 2 large bananas)
  • 2 eggs OR additional ¼ to ½ cup coconut milk for egg-free version
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut sugar or other natural granulated sweetener (liquid sweeteners add too much moisture)
  • zest of one orange
  • 6 tablespoons chopped pecans (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons currants (or raisins)
Instructions
  1. The night before baking, mix together the oats, coconut milk, and lemon juice in bowl and leave out, loosely covered, overnight.
  2. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 and grease a mini muffin pan.
  3. Break up the thick, gummy soaked oats with a fork, then add remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine.
  4. Scoop heaping tablespoons into the greased mini muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then invert onto a cooling rack.