Cilantro Pineapple Smoothie

Colin’s visit to Michigan last week resulted in more than just some much needed family time. His mother made this unusual and simple smoothie and Colin came back excited for us to blend up a few glasses ourselves. This frothy vegan cooler has such a unique flavor, unlike any other smoothie recipe I’ve tried.

two-ingredient green smoothie

Cilantro Pineapple Smoothie

Makes about 3 12-oz servings

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 whole pineapple
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro

Directions

  1. Cut up the pineapple into chunks, discarding the tough core. (If you’ve never worked with this spiky fruit before, here’s how to cut up a pineapple.)
  2. Add the pineapple chunks and cilantro (stems and all) into a blender.
  3. Blend until frothy. (You may need to add some water to get the mix going properly.)
  4. Serve in a tall glass.

That’s it! This smoothie is both sweet and tart, and I found it a little spicy as well. I sucked it down so fast my tongue got a bit rough and irritated from the acidic pineapple, so beware—this healthy smoothie is best sipped casually.

Recipe Review: Elana’s Pantry’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay, now I know what you’re going to say. “Chocolate isn’t allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet! What can I do with a chocolate chip cookie recipe?” The answer? Pretty much anything you want.

This vegan cookie recipe from Elana’s Pantry (which also happens to be on the back of 5-lb bags of Honeyville Almond Flour) is so easily adaptable that you can omit the chocolate chips and throw in practically any ingredients you have on hand. At least, that’s what I did. I subbed walnut pieces and chopped up Medjool dates for the chocolate chips (as well as a 1/2 cup of honey in place of the non-SCD-legal agave nectar). The batch turned out better than I’d even dreamed—crisp yet moist, salty and sweet, and more cookies than you can shake a stick at. The recipe easily makes two dozen, and in my case it was closer to three dozen since I made them a tad small (about 2 inches in diameter).

Cookies with walnuts, dates, honey, almond flour

What I like most about these cookies is how closely they resemble a traditional Toll House cookie. All the almond flour cookie recipes I’ve tried so far have resulted in cookies that, however tasty, are a far cry from the cookies Mom used to make. These ones come surprisingly close. I’m looking forward to adapting this recipe using other SCD-legal ingredients: raisins? coconut flakes? macadamia nuts? Whatever my little chocolate-free heart so desires.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls

Much as I love baking, some days the outside temperature soars to such thermometer-topping heights that I don’t want to touch my oven or really even glance at it. On these occasions, when the world itself is too hot to look at and I need an alternate means of sating my craving for sweet things, I roll up some No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls. These are quick to make, satisfying, and addictively poppable.

You can roll them in a variety of toppings—chopped nuts, shredded coconut, cinnamon. I had a jar of Trader Joe’s Dukkah on hand, so I rolled mine in that.

trader joe's dukkah

Originating in Egypt, dukkah (or duqqa or dakka) is a mixture of ground up nuts, spices, and seeds that is typically served with bread and olive oil. It’s a lot more exciting than the usual olive oil-salt-and-pepper mix that most places serve up, and the ingredients vary widely. The mix I used has almonds, sesame seeds, anise seeds, fennel seeds, coriander, and salt, creating a truly unique peanut butter ball.

no-bake peanut butter balls

No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls

Adapted from SCDRecipe.com.

Makes about 15 balls

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup creamed honey (not liquid—I used TJ’s creamed honey)
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • optional toppings: shredded, unsweetened coconut; dukkah; spices of your choice (cinnamon, nutmeg)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, creamed honey, and almond flour with a spoon.
  2. Roll into 1-inch balls.
  3. Roll each ball in the toppings of your choice, if desired. (I used dukkah and coconut.)
  4. Refrigerate to keep shape (up to one week).

You can probably refrigerate them for longer, but at my house they tend to get eaten up before the week is through. It’s easy enough to make more whenever you crave them; I made these while plunked in front of the TV. They’re just sweet enough without being overwhelming, and small enough that you can eat as few or as many as you want. I have also made these with pecan flour instead of almond flour—feel free to use whatever you have on hand.

Battlestar Knitting

Colin is out in Michigan visiting family and friends, so I’m holding down the fort here and finding some new (and old) obsessions to keep me busy.

First of all, Battlestar Galactica has me completely enraptured.

Battlestar Galactica DVD

What took me so long to start watching this show? Everything but the first two episodes has been on Netflix for months now, and since Colin has watched it all already, I didn’t want to waste a rental on something he’d already seen. His vacation was the perfect time to get the first disc, and after watching it I was hooked. However, minutes after finishing the disc, I realized that sometime in between adding the disc to my queue and getting it in the mail, Netflix had decided to put those first two episodes on instant streaming. Oops. Looks like I wasted a rental anyway, but the good news is that with all the episodes now on instant streaming, anybody with a streaming account can watch BSG and fall completely in love with this show. So far, it is well deserving of its 8.7-out-of-10 rating on IMDb.

Since I can’t sit still for hours without multitasking, I have rediscovered knitting to keep me company as I plow through Battlestar.

lace headband and neckwarmerThis project is gradually becoming the convertible Center Row Lace Headband/Neck Warmer from Rewind Knits (free downloadable pattern). An accessory I can wear multiple ways? Yes, please.

I’m using Red Heart Eco-Ways bamboo wool in gold. Yellow isn’t typically a great shade for me (I look best in cool colors), but I love this goldenrod hue and since it’s somewhere in the middle of the warm-cool color spectrum I can get away with it better than most warm shades. It’s a discontinued colorway, and when I bought it last fall it was on sale for about a quarter of the usual price. I scooped up three skeins and this project is only going to take about one of them, so I’ll have to cook up another project to use up the rest. Maybe some coordinating mitts?

Even if this color is “so last year,” I’m still going to rock it alongside this season’s colors. I say the golden age is here to stay.

Summer? Fall? Fruit Compote

Already the days are starting to cool and back-to-school shopping has begun. I’m almost ready for fall, but I’m still enjoying the summer garden bounty, and none of the traditional harvest flavors—pumpkin, apple, cranberry—are quite in season.

This warm, buttery dish hit all the right autumnal notes while still making use of the superb summer fruit that’s available. There’s a brief overlap in the growing seasons of peaches and pears, and it’s the perfect opportunity to nibble on a taste of fall while still eating seasonally.

This seemingly gourmet dish takes under 10 minutes to prep and cook. You can peel the fruit if you like, or leave it on if you don’t want to fuss with it. I wanted these flavors in my mouth right away, so I left the skin on.

SCD fruit medley

Peach-Pear Compote with Cinnamon Honey-Butter

Serves: 1

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 small peach
  • 1 medium pear (Bartlett works well.)
  • 1 tbsp butter—I use Kate’s sea salted.
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Slice the peach and pear into bite-size pieces. Discard the pit and the core.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan over low heat, coating the butter evenly on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the peach and pear slices to the buttered pan. Stir to coat all sides of the fruit with the melted butter.
  4. Sprinkle the cinnamon on the fruit slices. Stir to coat evenly.
  5. Saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Fruit should stay moist; if it starts drying up, add a little more butter to the pan.
  6. Add the honey, stirring to coat the fruit evenly. (This is a great way to use crystallized honey—it melts beautifully.)
  7. Continue to saute another minute or two. The fruit should be soft, and the honey-butter mixture liquid—be careful not to scorch the honey or burn the fruit.
  8. Pour the pan contents into a bowl and serve.

This simple dessert would be great on top of SCD frozen yogurt, ice cream, or waffles. I think I know what my next batch of almond flour pancakes will be sporting on top for extra flair.