4 Gluten Free Treats & Exotic Fruit Trees From A Week In Review

Aaaaand were off!

It’s the last family gathering of the summer, but first, we’re playing a little catchup from open houses to family parties to filming, as last week was stuffed with tasty treats and inspiration.

 

filming

This post serves up 3 simple purposes:

  1. To introduce you to a “sweet” cookbook that you can check out at home or your local library with healthier entertaining recipes for oatmeal cookies, marshmallow squares and chocolate cupcakes.
  2. To  plant the idea of ordering exotic trees that can survive in most Canadian climates such as gogi berry trees, asian pears and chums (a cross between an apple and a plum!).
  3. To fill you up on loads of tempting food pictures along the way (But of course!).

 

apple a day

Sunday’s Apple A Day

  • Business cards tied to 60 apples, 80 recipe cards designed and printed, 80 Raw Chocolate Cranberry Macaroons later and we were packed and ready for the road trip to Cambridge. My aunt, a naturopathic doctor whom I collaborate with, was transferring her Kitchener office to her home in Cambridge, commencing with an open house. It was a chance to meet and greet with many of my clients one on one for the first time and to share refreshing watermelon popsicles, unsweetened iced brewed tea and lots of tasty treats!

open house

Our inevitable first stop upon our arrival? The kitchen! Armed with the excuse to help prepare the food I nibbled on the outer edges of the freshly baked banana loaf. As Anna Olsen always said: “the outer edges are zero calories”, but you didn’t hear that from me 😉
  • Through all of the sweetness, these apples were a light and juicy treat. Naturally sweet and loaded with pectin and antioxidants, apples are a superfood and the perfect pairing for a refreshing snack in the mid afternoon’s heat.

 The Tempting Treats

 

Raw Cranberry Chocolate Macaroons

  • No books needed, you can find my recipe for these right here:

https://lifeofeden.com/2014/07/11/raw-cranberry-chocolate-macaroons/

raw macaroons

 

The rest of these recipes were baked by my aunt from the cookbook series: Nourishing Meals and The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook . I have both of these books and love them. Filled with desserts to main courses and helpful nutritional guides, some recipes I rework for proper food combing etc. but I have found them to be wonderfully handy books to have in the kitchen. Here’s what was made from them:

oatmeal cookies

Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies

  • The shape says it all. We loved them!  And so did the other guests. Golden, crunchy and tasted just like an oatmeal cookie should. They were the favourite of the three cookies shared.
 rice squares
Marshmallow Squares
  • These were my personal treat of choice. What’s used instead of marshmallows? Nutbutter! The crisp comes from an all natural puffed brown rice.

chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • One cousin’s favourite and the other cousin’s least favourite. My personal opinion; the frosting was delicious but the cupcakes were on the drier side. For me the frosting was a keeper.
  • Tip: Making them bite sized in miniature pans to create a good proportion of cupcake to frosting which will help to moisten it up.

 

rice bars

Birthdays & Exotic Fruit Trees

 

Every week I teach yoga classes in my backyard and every week gives way to talk of the vegetation that surrounds our mats. It’s a small property but plentiful with apple and cherry trees, vegetable gardens overrun with ripe tomatoes, Echinacea flowers and grape vines that scale the neighbouring fence. With our family birthday party celebrations came talk of my uncle’s Asian pear tree ripe with fruit and the flavour of pear and the crisp, juicy texture of an apple (one of my favourites come Christmas time).

asian pears

We are ordering in these exotic trees NOW to come in for the spring and I highly suggest you do as well. This means that you are on the distributor’s radar come spring so you are more likely to get first pickings and avoid the trees selling out.

 

Here’s where to look: http://www.greenbarnnursery.ca/

baking

Behind The Lens

 

Last week concluded behind the lens with a project that will be released in the next couple of weeks! Can you guess? We filmed one of my favourite go-to recipes in there too and hint? It may or may not be featured above) . . .

 

Until then, give these cookbooks a try and consider planting an exotic fruit tree, sure to attract the attention of your friends and family.  Just be prepared to share 🙂

Off to savour more holistic family gatherings,

Suzanne Eden

 

 

 

 

Superfood Cranberry Chocolate Macaroons

Ever wonder what to make to delight the taste buds of the shamelessly picky eaters and health nuts alike? This, right here, is your fix!  I have made this treat for just about every occasion this year from house parties to Christmas gatherings and they are always an instant hit. The best part? They take about 15minutes to make, have minimal ingredients, require zero baking, and have some superfood benefits! What originally began as Kimberly Snyder’s recipe from her book became a smash hit with my friends and family alike and lead me to create my own spin and thus: the delectable cranberry chocolate macaroon was born!

raw macaroons
Just yesterday I demoed these treats for a class of fellow holistic-practitioners-in-the-making and for Joy McCarthy from http://www.joyoushealth.ca/. Today I brought another batch to share with the rest of campus which were gone in a chocolatey flash and received requests for more. So I will once again be getting chocolate covered in my kitchen with more macaroon making to share this upcoming week!
These are:
  • Dairy free
  • Soy free
  • Refined sugar free
  • Flour free
  • Gluten and wheat free
  • Nut free
  • Egg free
  • Pretty much anything but sheer goodness free!
Your quick guide to super packing these bites with nutrition:
  • Raw cacao is less processed than cocoa, high in antioxidants for anti-aging, and has energizing and mood enhancing effects.
  • Cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory, stabilizes blood sugar and boosts brain function! This is my secret ingredient for anything chocolate to enhance and add depth to the rich flavours.
  • Maple syrup – may I take a moment to redirect you to my article on the 8 facts about maple syrup that make it just plain sweet, here: https://lifeofeden.com/2014/07/02/8-facts-about-maple-syrup-that-make-it-just-plain-sweet/
    But as wonderful as it is, please remember that this is also a treat and not an everyday staple and that  buying real, high quality syrup is the only way to go to reap its beneficial properties.
  • Vanilla – If opting for the vanilla extract, look for one that is organic and alcohol free.
  • Himalayan salt can be replaced with a high quality sea salt. I like Himalayan because it adds depth to the rich flavours of the macaroon.
  • Dried cranberries and coconut – for both of these you want to be aware of what is in them. Sneaky things such as sulfites and unwanted oils or soy may find their way in, so be sure to check the labels.

 

Warning: Though a raw macaroon may make a room full of nutritionists swoon, those not so nutrition savvy may be high tailing it in the opposite direction. I am constantly reminded of this by the look on my families face when I say that I’ve made something “healthy”! They are not quite so enthusiastic, sporting an expression that says they think I’ve made a macaroon from kale and sauerkraut rather than chocolatey goodness. The trick ? Think as though you’re mischievously sneaking brussels sprouts into your child’s dinner and omit the fact that they are relatively healthy until after your guests are gushing for more. They would never know 😉
Ingredients:
Dry:

  • 2 Cups coconut flakes
  • ½ Cup Raw cacao powder
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan salt
  • ½ tsp Powdered stevia
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon

Wet:

  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • ½ Cup Maple syrup
  • 1/3 Cup Dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  2. Add in wet ingredients and stir until fully combined. Add the dried cranberries in last.
  3. Scoop into small, macaroon sized balls and place on parchment, putting them in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours before serving or in the fridge overnight.
  • Best served the next day but can be stored in the fridge after that.

So there you have it! I am so excited for you to give these a try and, if you’re anything like me in the kitchen; become a sweet, gooey, chocolate covered macaroon making machine from here on out!

Suzanne Eden