chocolate · Goodies · vegan · vegetarian

Holiday Nut Butters, Dips, Spreads, and Sauces: Twelve Days of Allergy-Free Christmas Recipes


Hi My Shimmering Shining Starlights!

Having food intolerances or food allergies can sometimes make holidays more “stressful” than “holly” or “jolly.” I’ve come across this dilemma multiple times. It can be frustrating, but thankfully, with a little creativity, I’ve made these times a little easier. Here are some allergy free recipes that are great alternatives and inclusions for meals this Christmas season.

As a part of Madison’s “12 Days of Allergy-Free Christmas Recipes,” I’m sharing some of my favorite allergy-free Nut Butters, Spreads, Dips, and Sauces!

When I tagged each recipe, I noted the common allergens of dairy, eggs, fish, and shellfish free (which I’m combined under the common name vegan); wheat and gluten-free (which I’ve combined under the title gluten-free), soy free; corn free; coconut free; peanut free; and tree nut free. If there is an asterisk (*) next to an allergen listed next to the recipe, then the recipe has an ingredient that can easily be switched to make it free of that allergen. I tried to make sure I marked each recipe correctly, but let me know if I’ve missed anything.

Initiate spoons and commence deliciousness!

Nut Butters:


Healthy Nutella

vegan; gluten, corn, soy, coconut, and peanut free


Banana Nut Butter

vegan; gluten, corn, soy, coconut, and peanut free


Cake Batter Almond Butter

vegan; gluten, soy, coconut, and peanut free


Almond Joy Almond Butter

vegan; corn, gluten, and peanut free


Reese’s PB Cup Nut Butter

vegan; gluten, corn, soy, and coconut free

Nut-free Butters/Spreads:


Homemade Sun Butter

vegan; gluten, soy, corn, coconut, peanut, and nut free


Homemade Chocolate SoyNut Butter

vegan; gluten, corn, coconut, peanut, and nut free


Dairy/Casein-Free, Soy-Free and Corn-Free Butter

vegan; gluten, corn, peanut, and nut free


Healthy Strawberry Jam

vegan; gluten, soy, coconut, peanut, and nut free


Slow Cooker Naked Apple Butter

vegan; gluten, corn, soy, coconut, peanut, and nut free

Hummus:


Snickerdoodle Dessert Hummus

vegan; gluten, soy, corn, coconut, and peanut free


Healthy Cookie Dough Dip

vegan; gluten, corn, soy, coconut, and peanut free


Pizza Hummus

 vegan; gluten, corn, soy, coconut, and peanut free


Sneaky Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

vegan; gluten, soy, coconut, corn, and peanut free

Dips:


Lightened-up Chocolate Fondue

vegan; gluten, coconut, soy*, corn*, peanut, and nut free


Caramel Dip

vegan; gluten, corn, soy, peanut, and nut free


Alton Brown’s Guacamole

vegan; gluten, soy, coconut, corn, peanut, and nut free


Mexican 7 Layer Bean Dip

vegan; gluten, soy, coconut, peanut, and nut free


Creamy Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

 vegan; gluten, corn, soy, coconut, and peanut free

Sauces:


Allergy-Friendly, Gluten-Free “Creamy” Gravy

 vegan*; gluten, corn, soy, coconut, peanut, and nut free


Homemade Vegan Ginger Cranberry Sauce

 vegan; gluten, soy, corn, coconut, peanut, and nut free


Nut Free Vegan Cheese Sauce

vegan; gluten, soy, corn, coconut, peanut, and nut free


Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

vegan*; gluten, corn, soy, coconut, peanut, and nut free*

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Which food(s) above do you want to try?

I think the dairy-free butter is ingenious!!!! ❤

With lots of joyful Christmas carols,

Kathleen

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college · Goodies · vegan · vegetarian

{Panera Inspired} Black Bean Soup

I love black bean soup. 

Ever since I visited Panera for the first time with my dear friend, I fell in love with their black bean soup. However, my college-sized budget can’t bend to eat out every weekend. Therefore, these past few weeks I decided to create my own recipe inspired by Panera’s black bean soup.

After weeks of trial and error, trial and win, and trial and almost, I finally nailed it.

My family agrees – this is amazing.

If you’ve made my Split Pea Soup before, you know it’s deadly. Now, my black bean soup is her fraternal twin, a sister who is just as amazing in her own way.


Not only was it important to me that it tasted like Panera’s soup, but I also wanted it to look a lot like it. Check.

Super simple ingredients. Delightfully deadly results. All around deliciousness.


Kathleen’s {Panera Inspired} Black Bean Soup!

Here’s how I make it!


Chop up onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and red bell pepper.


Heat a skillet to medium-low heat. Add a spoonful of coconut oil, followed by the chopped vegetables.

Top with lid, and sauté over medium heat (stirring vegetables every 5 minutes) for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.


Carefully scoop the vegetables into a powerful blender or food processor.


Add the broth and tomato paste,


And blend on high until smooth.


Pour veggie purée into crock-pot; add black beans, salt, cumin, and chili powder.


Stir all together, and let simmer on low heat in the crock pot for 2-4 hours.


Serves 8 bowls. It tastes even better as leftovers! One night in the fridge escalates the yumminess!!!


Kathleen’s {Panera Inspired} Black Bean Soup

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced in coin medallions
  • ½ large red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • Spoonful of coconut oil
  • 1 (15 oz.) can low sodium vegetable broth (1¾ cup total )
  • 1 tbsp all natural tomato paste
  • 4 (15 oz.) cans no-salt added black beans, liquid reserved* (see note)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste* (see note)

Directions:

  1. Chop up onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and red bell pepper. Heat a skillet to medium-low heat. Add a spoonful of coconut oil, followed by the chopped vegetables. Top with lid, and sauté over medium heat (stirring vegetables every 5 minutes) for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Carefully scoop the vegetables into a powerful blender or food processor, add the broth and tomato paste, and blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour veggie purée into crock-pot; add black beans, salt, cumin, and chili powder. Stir all together, and let simmer on low heat in the crock pot for 2-4 hours. Serves 8. It tastes even better as leftovers! One night in the fridge escalates the yumminess!!!

Notes: If using home cooked beans, use 7 cups black beans and add 2 cups of liquid (broth or water) in place of the reserved liquid from the four cans. I like using the water in the cans for the dark color. Since the broth, tomato paste, and beans could have varying levels of salt in them, add the salt to taste. I used unsalted tomato paste and unsalted beans, with the broth at 50% less salt; therefore, I use about 2 tbsp of salt total. Nevertheless, start with less salt and add more as needed.

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(Cooking the black beans yourself instead of using the cans would lower the overall cost of this soup even more. Cook them the day before, and then follow the note and steps as described above and cook soup as usual.) 

A perfect way to sneak more vegetables into your lifestyle. 🙂

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Are you a Panera fan?

I’ve only had their black bean soup, but next time I’ll try another soup (if they have another that is dairy-free).

Are you a twin? Do you know a twin?

I’ve always wondered what it’s like to be a twin… My family is grateful there aren’t two of me though. Apparently I’m enough to handle on my own. 😉

EDITED to add: What are you favorite Nut Butter Recipes?! I’m going to do a roundup post on some holiday favorites in a few days and I’d love your input!

With lots of joyful Christmas wishes to you and your family,

 Kathleen

Balance With Self · Goodies · My Life · vegan · vegetarian

Exciting News + Healthy Strawberry Jam

Hi My Dancing Raindrops!

It’s so nice to see the rain outside. We don’t get a lot of rain where I live in Texas, so I always get excited when I hear the raindrops dashing across my window is music to my ears. ❤

I have some exciting news this week!

* GIRL TALK ALERT! If you’re a guy or are uncomfortable with that kind of stuff, skip down below the dotted line to taste some strawberry deliciousness. 🙂 *

Over the past few years, I’ve had some imbalances in my T.O.M. cycle. (If you want to know more about my story with this, you can check out some of my pasts posts – they can fill in the details of my journey.) In short, after numerous doctor visits and no answers, my endocrinologist decided for me simply to wait for my T.O.M. to come on its own, since I didn’t have any other health effects as a result. I know having a regular cycle is important to many health systems in my body, so I wanted to have it back. During these past two semesters up at college, it was nonexistent as well, and even though I wasn’t out of the ordinary, it was still distressing. Since I’ve been home, I’ve tried to relax. My life has been too full of stress for as long as I can remember, and I wanted to take a rest for a little while. This week, something miraculous happened. My T.O.M. (time of month) came and stayed with me these past five days! I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve had a full cycle that long all on my own (without B.C. pills).

Even though going through this has been hard, it’s also been a blessing in my life. Through my semesters up at college, my life was non-stop, and not having it gave me one less thing to worry about throughout my day. Thinking about my experience these past years, I think my stress levels have had a large impact on my cycle. When I think about the body and why it would do this in response to stress, it amazes me with how the body senses things and reacts accordingly. It knew I was under a lot of pressure, so it tried to lighten the burden. This has given me time to experience just a fraction of the feelings a women who can’t bear children might feel. I’m excited to go back to college in January and take Anatomy and Physiology II, Nutrient Metabolism, and perhaps Women’s Health (I really hope I can get in!). I might not have my T.O.M. on a regular basis again when I go back up to college in January, but I’m comforted to know that when I’m home it comes back.

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It was Strawberry Week at my house today, so I made some Strawberry Jam!

I didn’t want to use any artificial sugars, but I also wanted this to be something my mom (who’s diabetic) could enjoy too. So, while having fun in the kitchen and throwing things together I came up with this simple recipe that results in only 10 calories per tablespoon! I had my family members try a spoonful of it to let me know if I needed to add more sugar or not, but they said it was delicious! My sister begged for the bowl and spatula after I was done to lick them clean! If I get that kind of reaction, I KNOW it’s good.

Here’s how I made it!


*Note: When I took these pictures I was two batches of my strawberry jam, so it will show an amount double of what the directions will make.*


Wash, remove the stems, and slice up the strawberries, adding them to a food blender or food processor.


Process on high just until the strawberries are broken down, leaving crushed pieces throughout.


(I like my jams thicker – more like preserves.)


Pour the crushed strawberries into a large bowl.


Add the no-cook fruit pectin. (I use the Simply Creations Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin.)


Add the sugar and stir it together, making sure the pectin is evenly distributed.


Pour into glass jars and let sit for 30 minutes until thickened. (If the jam isn’t as thick as you like, try adding another packet of fruit pectin. Then let it sit for another 30 minutes before freezing.) Secure lids, keep a couple of jars out for the fridge, and store the rest in the freezer until ready for more.


My family’s favorite way to eat this strawberry jam is to spread it on top of a couple toasted slices of my homemade bread with a little smart balance light buttery spread. Or, on occasion, I’ll catch them sticking their spoon in for the twentieth time. 😛

Healthy Strawberry Jam

Ingredients

  • 4 pints strawberries, washed and stems removed
  • 1 packet* no-cook fruit pectin
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions

Wash, remove the stems, and slice up the strawberries, adding them to a food blender or food processor. Process on high just until the strawberries are broken down, leaving crushed pieces throughout. (I like my jams thicker – more like preserves.) Pour the crushed strawberries into a large bowl.

Add the no-cook fruit pectin. (I use the Simply Creations Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin.) Add the sugar and stir it together, making sure the pectin is evenly distributed. Pour into glass jars and let sit for 30 minutes until thickened. Secure lids, keep a couple of jars out for the fridge, and store the rest in the freezer until ready for more. Makes approximately 2 quarts, or about 8 cups worth of jam.

My family’s favorite way to eat this strawberry jam is to spread it on top of a couple toasted slices of my homemade bread with a little smart balance light buttery spread. Or, on occasion I’ll catch them sticking their spoon in for the twentieth time. 😛

*Note: If the jam isn’t as thick as you like, you may want to add another packet of fruit pectin. If so, let it sit for another 30 minutes before freezing. Also, add only enough sugar to sweeten it to your tastes. Some batches of strawberries are riper and sweeter than others, so you may or may not need as much depending on the season. With the amount listed above, each tablespoon of jam has only about 10 calories. If you use frozen strawberries, use about 3 12-oz bags of defrosted strawberries. Make the same way as illustrated above.

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I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does! ❤

with lot of hugs,

Kathleen