Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino

Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino NG

By Katie Mae Stanley of Nourishing Simplicity

This drink is sure to hit the spot on a hot day. It is creamy, slightly sweet, and bursting with vanilla.

Few things are better than drinking a cold icy drink out of a mason jar with a fun straw in the summer. This vanilla bean creme fauxccino is definitely at the top of my list right now. Hot days make me want to wander into a coffee chain and order a nice big blended iced drink. Honest moment here, I may have in the past couple months given in and ordered a few with less syrup and dairy-free milk.

As you know, I am a big fan of fauxccinos for many reasons- they are delicious, so much better for you, less expensive, and easy to whip up! You can have your own ready in less time than it takes to drive to the coffee shop!

This specific fauxccino is coffee free, it’s a milk based drink instead. I used almond milk, but you can adapt to whatever type of milk you prefer. The key to this icy drink is making frozen milk cubes. They ensure that your drink doesn’t become watery.

Other Fauxccinos to Enjoy:

Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino

1 cup milk (raw, almond, or coconut)
8 milk ice cubes (raw, almond, or coconut)
2 TBS maple syrup or raw honey
1/2 vanilla bean caviar*
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Whipped cream (optional)

1. Freeze milk of choice in an ice cube tray until solid.

2. *Cut a vanilla bean in half, slice it open. Use the sharp side of the knife to scrape out the caviar (seeds).

3. Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth.

4. Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream if desired.

Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino
 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk (raw, almond, or coconut)
  • 8 milk ice cubes (raw, almond, or coconut)
  • 2 TBS maple syrup or raw honey
  • ½ vanilla bean caviar*
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. Freeze milk of choice in an ice cube tray until solid
  2. *Cut a vanilla bean in half, slice it open. Use the sharp side of the knife to scrape out the caviar (seeds).
  3. Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth.
  4. Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream if desired.

 

White Hot Chocolate (Inspired by The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)

This frothy and creamy white hot chocolate is dairy-free and made with healthy ingredients! It's inspired by The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, but it's lovely to enjoy with any book! -- The Nourishing Gourmet

By Katie Mae Stanley of Nourishing Simplicity

Rich and creamy, this dairy-free white hot chocolate transports you to the land of Narnia.

As winter melts into spring I can’t help but to think of the magical land of Narnia as it was right before Aslan returned, in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It was a cold and bleak place, with no hope for the future, a world of never ending winter.

Edmund followed his sister Lucy through the wardrobe, unable to find her, he found himself alone and cold in the snowy woods.

To his surprise a “Queen” better known as the White Witch pulled up beside him in her sleigh. Once she realized he was a “son of Adam” she changed from harsh creature to a flattering and almost nurturing type. Despite Edmund’s trepidations he was beguiled but the promise of warmth, a hot drink, Turkish delight, and ultimately a kingdom.

Edmund felt much better as he began to sip the hot drink. It was something he has never tasted before, very sweet and foamy and creamy, and it warmed him right down to his toes

~C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe 

White Hot Chocolate Quote

I always wished that I could be Edmond just for a few minutes so I could savor the delicious, hot drink and Turkish Delight too!  It left me wondering what that very sweet and foamy and creamy could possibly be.

It couldn’t be classic hot cocoa since that was already popular in England. It occurred to me that it very well could be a white hot chocolate, which is oh so creamy, and not commonly drank at that time.

This is not your regular white hot chocolate made with the bars you see in the store, instead, it is made with cocoa butter. Cocoa butter gives the drink a smooth and creamy texture with just a hint of chocolate essence.

Curl up with your loved ones and this drink, to enjoy the story once again or for the very first time before winter melts into spring!

OTHER RECIPES INSPIRED BY BOOKS

Ingredients and Equipement: 

(Affiliate links)

White Hot Chocolate

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups almond milk (or other milk/milk substitute)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa butter, grated
  • 1 vanilla bean, caviar scraped out
  • 1/8 tsp unrefined salt

Directions:

1. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the caviar (insides) out with a sharp knife.

2. In a small sauce pot, combine the milk, maple syrup (honey), cocoa butter, vanilla, and salt. Warm over medium heat until the milk is warm and the cocoa butter is melted.

3. Pour into two mugs and froth with a milk frother if desired.

White Hot Chocolate (Inspired by The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)
 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups almond milk (or other milk/milk substitute)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or raw honey
  • 2 TBS cocoa butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, caviar scraped out
  • ⅛ tsp unrefined salt
Instructions
  1. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the caviar (insides) out with a sharp knife.
  2. In a small sauce pot, combine the milk, maple syrup (honey), cocoa butter, vanilla, and salt. Warm over medium heat until the milk is warm and the cocoa butter is melted.
  3. Pour into two mugs and froth with a milk frother if desired.

 

White Hot Chocolate Picture

Gluten Free Scottish Shortbread Cookies (Maple Syrup Sweetened)

vScottish Shortbread Cookies, gluten-free and sweetened with maple syrup: These cookies are wonderfully flakey and rich. Just like shortbread cookies should be.  --- The Nourishing Gourmet

These gluten free Scottish Shortbread Cookies are everything that I look for in a shortbread recipe. They use nourishing, real food ingredients, are flaky, gently sweet, rich, and delicious! Gluten-free shortbread cookies have an advantage over their wheat peers – they don’t have any gluten to toughen them. This means it is easy to get that perfect flaky texture!

I was looking for a recipe that fit my children’s dietary needs, but that held together well. This one fits the bill! In fact, it was so successful, I think I am going to use this same recipe for cut out Christmas gluten-free sugar cookies this year!

I love that it uses pure maple syrup as the only sweetener. And because it is free of gluten, cane sugar, eggs, and even nuts, it makes a great cookie for those with many allergies.

I feel a certain nostalgia over shortbread cookies. Not only were they a favorite for me growing up, but when I was in the hospital on bed rest with my second daughter, my body was craving healthy fats (that is, butter), and so my mother would bring me shortbread cookies whenever she came to visit me. Just one of many reasons shortbread cookies are one of my favorite cookie recipes!

Because shortbread is so rich, it only needs to be lightly sweetened – a fact I appreciate since so many special treats are very saturated with sugar.

Notes on Ingredients:

  • I used sprouted brown rice flour. If you can’t find it locally, you can (affiliate links) order it from Amazon. You can probably use brown rice flour or white rice flour as well (don’t use sweet rice flour in replacement though).
  • I made this nut-free by making my own sunflower seed flour. See how to make it here. You can also use almond flour with good results, I’m sure!
  • Tapioca Starch helps make a great texture, and keeps it really flaky too! See notes below for replacement ideas.

OTHER 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS POSTS:

Gluten Free Scottish Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 cup sprouted brown rice flour,
  • 1 cup of finely ground nut or seed flour (See notes above)
  • ¼-1/2 cup tapioca starch, plus extra for rolling (you could probably replace with arrowroot flour or sweet rice flour, if desired)
  • ½ cup of butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, gluten-free
  • ¼ teaspoon unrefined salt

1. In a medium bowl, whip the butter until smooth and fluffy with a hand mixture. Drizzle the maple syrup over the butter and add the vanilla extract. Mix in until smooth. Add the flours, tapioca starch (I started with ¼ cup), and salt, and mix until just combined.

2. Test the mixture by rolling a small portion into a ball. Is it too dry? Add a little more maple syrup. Is it too wet? Add some more flour until it becomes slightly moist, but firm, and is holding its shape when pressed into a ball. (I started with the ¼ cup of tapioca starch, and then added the second ¼ cup, and it was perfect. The moisture level of your cookies will vary by what nut or seed flour you use, so adjust the recipe as needed. It’s a very flexible recipe!)

3. Preheat the oven to 350F

4. Form the dough into two balls. If it’s too hard to handle, you can refrigerate until the dough is chilled. Take two sheets of parchment paper. Lightly dust one with tapioca starch, place one of the dough balls on the sheet, then dust the top of the dough with tapioca starch. Place the second sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough ball, and then roll out using a rolling pin until about ½ an inch thick. Remove top parchment paper, and cut out into desired shapes. (I used a 1 ½ inch biscuit cutter, and it was perfect).

5. Use a spatula to carefully remove cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet. Use a fork to artfully poke holes in the cookies.

6. Put in oven and cook for about 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are set and just barely browning on the sides. Remove from oven, and cool.

7. Repeat with second half of the dough.

Keep in an airtight container. Will keep about a week. You can also freeze the dough, if desired.

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies (Maple Syrup Sweetened)
 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sprouted brown rice flour,
  • 1 cup of finely ground nut or seed flour (See notes above)
  • ¼-1/2 cup tapioca starch, plus extra for rolling (you could probably replace with arrowroot flour or sweet rice flour, if desired)
  • ½ cup of butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, gluten-free
  • ¼ teaspoon unrefined salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whip the butter until smooth and fluffy with a hand mixture. Drizzle the maple syrup over the butter and add the vanilla extract. Mix in until smooth. Add the flours, tapioca starch (I started with ¼ cup), and salt, and mix until just combined.
  2. Test the mixture by rolling a small portion into a ball. Is it too dry? Add a little more maple syrup. Is it too wet? Add some more flour until it becomes slightly moist, but firm, and is holding its shape when pressed into a ball. (I started with the ¼ cup of tapioca starch, and then added the second ¼ cup, and it was perfect. The moisture level of your cookies will vary by what nut or seed flour you use, so adjust the recipe as needed. It’s a very flexible recipe!)
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F
  4. Form the dough into two balls. If it’s too hard to handle, you can refrigerate until the dough is chilled. Take two sheets of parchment paper. Lightly dust one with tapioca starch, place one of the dough balls on the sheet, then dust the top of the dough with tapioca starch. Place the second sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough ball, and then roll out using a rolling pin until about ½ an inch thick. Remove top parchment paper, and cut out into desired shapes. (I used a 1 ½ inch biscuit cutter, and it was perfect).
  5. Use a spatula to carefully remove cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet. Use a fork to artfully poke holes in the cookies.
  6. Put in oven and cook for about 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are set and just barely browning on the sides. Remove from oven, and cool.
  7. Repeat with second half of the dough.
  8. Keep in an airtight container. Will keep about a week. You can also freeze the dough, if desired.

 

Apple Pastila (A Honey-Sweetened Confection)

Apple Pastila - The Nourishing Gourmet

By Natalia Gill, from An Appetite For Joy

Imagine the bold, pure taste of apple presented in a wafer-like crisp. Apple pastila, the latest gift idea in this year’s 12 Days of Christmas Series, is a lightly sweet, Russian confection that is easy to make (though it takes a while to dehydrate in the oven). Its unique taste is surprisingly fresh and pleasant (and a little addicting!). It just happens to be grain free and dairy free too.

To make it, you’ll need two cups of your favorite applesauce, homemade or even store bought. Green apples, slightly underripe are best. This easy applesauce recipe yields two cups. This plum applesauce would be delicious as well.

The 200°F oven temp doesn’t officially cook the egg whites. Katie wrote a little about raw egg safety when she shared her delicious chai eggnog. Using good quality pastured eggs and giving them a wash in warm soapy water makes the risk very small, but there is always a risk. If you are uncomfortable with this risk see the notes in the recipe section below for how to make this candy at a higher temperature.

A little history

Apple pastila became popular in Kolomna, Russia (outside of Moscow), during the 18th century as a simple fruit leather to stretch the apple season. It was such a simple recipe that I’m sure it was present in other apple-growing regions as well. Later, egg white was added for a lighter texture. Now, different fruits, spices, and nuts are incorporated to make a variety of flavors. (In more recent years, pastila has been almost entirely eclipsed by a new variety of this style of dessert – the sweeter, marshmallow-like zephyr.)

Traditionally apple pastila is made in layered blocks or bars of varying denseness, but I like this easy 2-bite variation.

How to make apple pastila

Get your apple purée very smooth with a hand mixer or food processor. If it is unsweetened, add honey or sweetener of choice.

Apple Pastila (Grain & Dairy Free) - The Nouirshing Gourmet

 

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites til stiff peaks form.

Apple Pastila (Grain & Dairy Free) - The Nouirshing Gourmet

 

Fold the egg whites into the applesauce.

Apple Pastila (Grain & Dairy Free) - The Nouirshing Gourmet

 

Drop your apple mixture onto a silicone baking sheet (best option) or parchment paper. Use standard parchment, not a cutesie variety like this one, or it may stick! Learned the hard way.

Apple Pastila (Grain & Dairy Free) - The Nouirshing Gourmet

Apple Pastila (Grain & Dairy Free) - The Nouirshing Gourmet

 

Dehydrate in the oven, and you have some light and airy apple goodness, ready to be sprinkled with sugar and wrapped up for loved ones!

Apple Pastila (Grain & Dairy Free) - The Nouirshing Gourmet

Looking for more holiday ideas? How about Chai Eggnog, DIY Mint Chocolate Lip Balm, Sweet and Spicy Candied Nuts, or Garam Masala Pickled Onions?

APPLE PASTILA (GRAIN & DAIRY FREE)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unsweetened apple puree (preferably from green apples – see recipe idea here)
  • 5 tablespoons of honey (or other sweetener, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional, see notes for alternatives)
  • 2 egg whites, beaten stiff

Directions:

1) Make sure your apple purée is very smooth. I beat it with a handheld mixer for about 2-3 minutes.

2) Add honey and almond extract (or alternative flavorings in the notes). If your apple purée is cold, you may need to gently heat it to get the honey to incorporate.

3) Fold in the stiff egg whites. Drop by spoonfuls onto a pan lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper.

4) Dehydrate for 7-8 hours at 200°F. After turning it off, leave them in the oven overnight to cool. Enjoy as they are, or sprinkle on some powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. (I use unrefined powdered sugar at home and organic white powdered sugar when presenting as gifts.)

Notes:

Higher temp option: If you choose this method, please use a silicone baking sheet and not parchment paper or the pastila will stick. If you want to get your egg whites to a higher temperature, preheat the oven to 350°F. After making your apple mixture (through step 3 above), bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 200°F and continue to let them dry out for 3 hours. Leave in the oven (turned off) several hours (or overnight) to cool.

Flavoring options: In lieu of almond extract, you can use a little vanilla extract, cinnamon, or your own mix of spices and extracts that go well with apple.

 

Apple Pastila (Grain & Dairy Free)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Confection
Cuisine: Russian
Serves: 40 pieces
 
2 cups unsweetened apple puree (preferably from green apples - see recipe idea here ) 5 tablespoons of honey (or other sweetener, to taste) 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional, see notes for alternatives) 2 egg whites, beaten stiff
Ingredients
  • 2 cups unsweetened apple puree (preferably from green apples - see recipe idea here)
  • 5 tablespoons of honey (or other sweetener, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional, see notes for alternatives)
  • 2 egg whites, beaten stiff
Instructions
  1. Make sure your apple puree is very smooth. I beat it with a handheld mixer for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add honey and almond extract (or alternative flavorings in the notes). If your apple puree is cold, you may need to gently heat it to get the honey to incorporate.
  3. Fold in the stiff egg whites. Drop by spoonfuls onto a pan lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper.
  4. Dehydrate for 7-8 hours at 200°F. After turning it off, leave them in the oven overnight to cool. Enjoy as they are or sprinkle on some powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. (I use unrefined powdered sugarat home and organic white powdered sugar when presenting as gifts.)
Notes
Higher temp option: If you choose this option, please use a silicone baking sheet and not parchment paper or the pastila will stick. If you want to get your egg whites to a higher temperature, preheat the oven to 350°F. After making your apple mixture (through step 3 above), bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 200°F and continue to let them dry out for 3 hours. Leave in the oven (turned off) several hours (or overnight) to cool.

Flavoring options: In lieu of almond extract, you can use a little vanilla extract, cinnamon or your own mix of spices and extracts that go well with apple.