Friday, January 31, 2014

Chia Berry Vinaigrette (Vegan, Oil Free, Gluten Free)

I have commitment issues...with salad dressings that is.  I buy a bottle, use it 2-3 times and then I'm board with it and ready to try another.  But, since bottled dressings last for what seems to be forever, I keep it around for when I might want to have a rendezvous with it again.  And before I know it, I have bottles of dressings taking over my fridge.

This is just one reason that I stopped buying bottled salad dressings a while ago. I also discovered how easy it is to make your own (in MOST cases) and how much fresher they taste.  Not to mention, you know exactly what's in it, which is great when you have diet restrictions/allergies like gluten, soy & dairy. 

Sometimes I find recipes online & sometimes I create my own on a whim.  Which is exactly what I did today.   I planned to toss in some soon-to-be-not-fresh berries into my salad but, I was racking my brain for a good dressing recipe to compliment it.  That's when it hit me to use the berries IN the dressing.  It's super quick & easy to make.  It goes great with dark leafy greens & pecans. 

 Chia Berry Vinaigrette (Vegan, Oil Free, Gluten Free)


1.5 C Mixed fresh berries (I used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries & raspberries)

1/3 C Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 C unsweetened coconut milk (or unsweetened vanilla coconut)

Juice from 1/4 of a large lemon

2 generous pinches of salt

1 TbSp Raw Honey

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds


Blend on high for 10 seconds & enjoy for up to 7 days. (Keep refrigerated) 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Blueberry Banana Coffee Cake (Vegan & Gluten Free)

I am really excited about this post you guys!  We spent Christmas morning with my Mother-in-law, who loves to spoil us with tasty homemade confections.  However, since I'm, no longer eating gluten or dairy I knew I would feel completely left out if I didn't make some treats for myself.  Anyways, I knew I really wanted some sort of blueberry coffee cake but, since we were staying with my MIL from out of state, I really didn't want to get into buying a bunch of specialty products that she would never use.  After modifying my favorite Banana Oat Muffin recipe into Dark Chocolate Cherry Cupcake Muffins the light bulb went off.  I created my Banana Oat muffin batter as usual and decided to layer it with a blueberry filling and a streusel topping inside of a bundt pan.  

I nervously paced the kitchen waiting for it to bake.  I REALLY wanted it to turn out perfect because it was Christmas morning and I wouldn't have time to try again and just the thought of how potentially good it might be was making my mouth water.  Well, that and the amazing aroma wafting from the oven.  But, I have been baking long enough to know that just because it smells amazing does not mean the end result will be.  Well, needless to say, it turned out AMAZING!  There wasn't one crumb left at the end of the day (and I only had 2 slices myself).  It's not your average dry coffee cake, it's incredibly moist.  

So that you won't have to flip back and forth between 2 recipes, I am just pasting the Banana Oat recipe here as well.

Blueberry Banana Coffee Cake

Preheat your oven to 400

Blueberry Filling Ingredients:

1 package frozen blueberries (20 oz.) thawed & drained
1 TbSp coconut sugar
2 tsp molasses
2 TbSp corn or tapioca starch

Streusel Topping Ingredients:

1/4 Earth Balance (soy free), cold, NOT softened
1/3 C GF oat flour (process GF oats in processor for 1 min)
1/2 C coconut sugar
1 TbSp molasses
2 TbSp corn or tapioca starch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Banana Oat Batter Ingredients:

2.5 cups Gluten Free Rolled Oats
1 cup full fat coconut milk (mixed well).  The canned version or homemade.

1/2 cup honey
(or maple syrup to keep it truly vegan
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

4 TbSp ground flax seed
1 tsp vanilla
2 ripe bananas


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. mix the blueberry filling and set aside at room temperature
  3. using a hand mixer, mix streusel topping ingredients until it resembles course crumbs (if earth balance is soft it may be more paste-like...that's okay too).
  4. grease a bundt pan (or 8x8 square pan) (I use Spectrum Organic's's soy free!)
  5. With your chopping blade in place, process the oats in a food processor for 30-60 seconds
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients (in no particular order) to the food processor.
  7. Process for about  30-45 seconds to ensure everything is well mixed.
  8. Remove blade, scraping batter off into work bowl.
  9. pour 1/2 of the batter into the pan
  10. spoon the blueberry filling (juices & all) along the center of the batter, keep from edges as much as will ooze out on it's own (it's okay of some touches the need form perfection here)
  11. pour the remaining batter on top and gently spread out
  12. drop the streusel topping all along the top as evenly as possible 
  13. Bake for 30-35 min or until the top is golden & a toothpick comes out clean.

 Just look at that moist deliciousness... 

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