Nourishing Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer

Nourishing Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer- www.thenourishinggourmet.com

Written by Katie Mae Stanley of Nourishing Simplicity

There is something lovely about wrapping your hands around a cup of hot coffee – it is soothing for the soul. Hot drinks always make me feel a sense of calm, whether it is in the quite hours of the early morning, with a friend or on a hectic day when kids can’t seem to get along. Just that brief moment of lifting the mug to my lips and taking a sip makes everything right, even if only for the moment.

I am by no means a black coffee kind of gal but I also can’t bring myself to use overly processed creamers as appealing as they might be. I tend to stick to a bit of raw cream, vanilla and maple syrup. In fact, I mixed them together to make my own vanilla creamer. With autumn here I couldn’t resist adding a bit of “fall” to my cup.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes are all the rage at the moment. When I have the time I like to make my own pumpkin pie latte but sometimes I want that bit of fall flavor without taking the time to whipped up a latte. I put my thinking cap on and decided to make my own pumpkin spice creamer.

Homemade creamers only take minutes to make. Once they are made you just store them in your fridge until you are ready to add them to your coffee. How easy is that?

(You can make your own pumpkin puree using this easy crockpot method here.)

Nourishing Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole milk (I use pastured raw milk)*
  • 1 cup pastured cream (I use raw cream)*
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Liquid stevia drops to taste (optional)
  • *If you do not want to use raw milk, you can use organic milk or two cups of a dairy free milk of your choice. If you are using canned coconut milk, use one cup of the milk and one cup of water.
Instructions
  1. Pour all the ingredients into a blender. Blend on high for about 1 minutes. Or, you can pour the ingredients into a 1-quart jar and blend with an immersion blender.
  2. Store in a glass jar or bottle.
  3. Shake before use.
  4. Lasts for at least one week in the fridge.

 

How to Throw a ‘Frozen’ Party (without gluten, dye, or eggs)

Frozen party ideas! Food, games, and crafts

Whether you are looking for “Frozen” theme party ideas, or ideas for a winter/snowflake themed party, this is for you! Those who are gluten, egg, and dye-free may find it especially helpful.

My sweet Elena just turned eight, and we threw, per her request, a “Frozen” themed party. It was so much fun, and I found a lot of great ideas online. Unfortunately, many of the ideas were simply decorated junk food or well dyed blue food, which isn’t really our style. Throw in a gluten-, egg-, and most dairy food intolerances, and many of the ideas were also not an option.

Thankfully we got creative, made up some new recipes, and had a wonderful, and beautiful party! I thought that it would be fun, and perhaps helpful to parents in a similar party planning mode to see what we did (and I’ll be sharing all of the recipes I used too!). While ours was a Disney Frozen themed party, it would easily work for any winter themed party as well.

I will be sharing each recipe in a separate post in the coming week and a half (and I will keep adding links to this post as I publish them), but meanwhile, here is the outline of our party.

Décor for Frozen Party:

When people heard our theme, a bunch of friends donated their Christmas lights, snowflakes, and more to use. We also got blue and white streamers and blue balloons. A poster provided by a great grandparent certainly helped the Frozen theme along as well.

Menu for Frozen Party:

  • Grain-free Snowball Cookies (i.e. Mexican wedding cookies)
  • Snowmen Cupcakes (chocolate gluten, dairy, egg-free cupcakes, with a vanilla buttercream)
  • Popcorn
  • Snowmen noses (carrot sticks).

Frozen themed crafts and games!

Crafts & Games for Frozen Party:

  • Epsom salt painting of snowflakes – This is so fun! It dries into crystals on paper (use black so you can see them). To give them time to dry, we did this first thing in the party.
  • Coffee filter snowflakes
  • Pin the nose on Olaf the snowmen (my husband drew the poster for me!)
  • Pinata (full of small toys from the dollar tree)
  • Snow pick up (with one hand behind the back, a blindfolded child tries to scoop as much “snow” – that is cotton balls – into a bowl with a spoon for 30 seconds. Whoever gets the most wins!).

Favors for Frozen Party:

  • We made Frozen themed playdough to give out as favors (more on that soon)
  • Frozen pencils
  • I made simple snowflake bags for their pinata toys, homemade snowflakes, and favors. I took plain brown paper bags and traced clear Elmer’s glue in the shape of snowflakes. I then sprinkled glitter on the glue, put the bag on the side and gave a simple tap on the table to remove excess glitter, and then lay flat to completely dry. We especially liked the results when made with a (affiliate link) light blue glitter.

While truthfully this was the most we ever did for a birthday party before, it was a lot of fun, and fairly simple as well. Keep watching for the yummy recipes of desserts we served! 

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.

 

Creamy Raspberry Vanilla Smoothie (Dairy-free, Lower-carb)

Recipe: This creamy raspberry vanilla smoothie is rich, gently sweet, and delicious! It also happens to be dairy-free, and lower-carb. We love it!
We started the school year out with this as part of our breakfast. Our raspberry smoothie is rich and creamy, flavorful, surprisingly sweet, and plump full of good for you ingredients! It rounded out our breakfast well and helped make day one of back to school start out right.

I react some to bananas, so I avoid eating them on a regular basis. Unfortunately, they were my favorite way to add natural sweetness and creaminess to smoothies. Thankfully I’ve found that there are other great ways to make a full-bodied smoothie without a banana (that incidentally turns our smoothies into much lower carb drinks).

This is by far one of my favorite smoothies! It’s so rich we often split it into four small servings for our whole family (to serve with other breakfast items). But you can also enjoy it in bigger servings for two.

Notes on ingredients:

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Coconut Cream: You can use whatever your favorite full-fat unsweetened coconut milk or coconut cream brand is. I have been using (and loving) Aroy-D coconut cream. It’s guar gum free, and ultra thick.

Kombucha: This was the happy surprise I found when making smoothies. Kombucha is absolutely delicious in smoothies! Make sure, if you want to keep it lower-carb, that you use a well-fermented kombucha. I’ve used store-bought fruit flavored kombucha from Synergy – both the strawberry and the guava flavors. It adds about 7 grams of natural sugar to the smoothie. You could use water instead, but the smoothie won’t be half as flavorful (or contain those good for your probiotics!).

Raspberries: Raspberries are full of antioxidants, are a low in natural sugar fruit, and are deliciously bright. I love them in smoothies! When you combine them with coconut cream, it creates a berry and cream flavor that is delightful.

Gelatin: To add protein and added nutritional value, I also love to add gelatin to my smoothies. I’ve tried working with regular gelatin, but it just doesn’t work. I use this quality brand of hydrolysate gelatin that won’t gel up in a smoothie. I consider it a superfood!

Vanilla: Adding vanilla to smoothies was another smoothie revolution for me. I found that it adds a sweet flavor that complements the bright raspberries perfectly.

Other possible additions: Depending on how sweet your raspberries are, you may want to sweeten the smoothie a little more (we usually don’t). For the kids, a little raw honey works. I prefer a few drops of vanilla stevia.

Superfoods: This is also a great place to add a whole food vitamin C powder, mineral drops, probiotics, or whatever other mild tasting supplements you are also taking.

 

Creamy Raspberry Vanilla Smoothie + Superfoods (Dairy-free, Lower-carb)
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of coconut milk or cream (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup of kombucha
  • 2 cups of frozen raspberries
  • 1-2 teaspoons real vanilla extract (use gluten-free, if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons hydrolysate gelatin, optional
  • Sweetener of choice, if needed (Recommended: raw honey, liquid stevia, or liquid vanilla stevia).
Instructions
  1. Blend in a blender until smooth.
  2. Serve right away.
  3. Makes 2 to 4 servings