Tag Archives: dairy free

Turning Frozen Fruit Into Healthy Desserts with Yonanas

1 Sep

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Disclosure: I was given a Yonanas machine to try out and I thought it was pretty cool, so I thought I would tell you all about it. All opinions are my own.

I’m more than a little obsessed with kitchen appliances. If it does something new and different, I must have it, much to the dismay of my hubby who is trying to declutter our home while I clutter it up. One of the machines I’ve had my eyes on for some time is Yonanas, a frozen fruit dessert machine that lets you take any frozen fruit you have and turn it into a creamy, non-dairy soft serve dessert. I was already having high hopes for this machine…

The box arrived and I couldn’t wait to tear into it. The instructions were great and it was very easy to assemble, I had the machine up and running within minutes. I had some frozen banana and frozen blueberries that I wanted to try mixing first as this is one of my favourite fruit smoothie combinations. Per the instructions, I allowed the fruit to thaw for a few minutes before starting up the machine. I started with two frozen bananas and one cup of frozen blueberries. I read that banana needs to be placed into the machine first before adding any other fruit and sure enough, it was a good tip as the banana kicked things off and acted as a base. It was pretty amazing to see how quickly it turned my boring old fruit into a creamy looking frozen dessert. After tasting it, I was really happy….there was no added sugar and no additives, just the pure flavor of my own frozen fruit.

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Since that first trial run, I mostly throw in whatever frozen fruit I have on hand along with frozen bananas, which we always have in the house. This machine is the perfect place to use up spotty bananas that are a bit past their prime to eat fresh. I find that I get the best texture when I use a mix of old and new bananas (ones that have been frozen recently) along with a few handfuls of my favourite fruits. If you’re not a fan of bananas, you can use any other frozen fruits that you have on hand, just remember to let them sit out and thaw for about 5 minutes for best results.

To me this is a great machine for families to have as it can please everyone…ice cream lovers, people who are lactose intolerant, vegans and anyone who wants to make their own healthy, frozen desserts. I’ve used it to introduce my son to different fruits and as an added bonus, the cold helps to relieve his teething discomfort. His favourite combo…mangoes and strawberries…yum! The possibilities are endless, I have only tried a handful of the recipes on the Yonanas site…there are still so many others I have to check out.

To learn more, visit http://yonanas.com/ for info about their products and tips and recipes for frozen fruit desserts made both with bananas and without them.

Here are a few of my favourite “no bananas” Yonanas recipes, taken from their website. Enjoy!

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Strawberry Pineapple Sorbet

Ingredients: 1/2 cup frozen strawberries and 1/2 cup frozen pineapple

Directions: 1. Slightly thaw your frozen fruit prior to putting through your yonanas maker. 2. Insert 1/4 cup frozen strawberries. 3. Insert 1/4 cup frozen pineapple. 4. Alternate remaining ingredients

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Peach and Cherry Sorbet

Ingredients: 1/2 cup frozen peach slices and 1/2 cup frozen pitted cherries

Directions: 1. Slightly thaw your frozen fruit prior to putting through your yonanas maker. 2. Insert 1/4 cup frozen peach slices. 3. Insert 1/4 cup frozen pitted cherries. 4. Alternate remaining ingredients

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Zucchini Soup and enter to win Shirley Plant’s cookbook Finally…Food I Can Eat!

25 Feb

Shirley Plant's Finally...Food I Can Eat!

Fifteen years ago, author Shirley Plant found that she had to make changes to her diet after being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and multiple food and environmental allergies. She understands firsthand the difficulties of trying to plan creative, nutritious, and affordable menus while having to avoid such common foods as wheat, dairy, eggs, corn, gluten, and sugar, just to name a few. Through understanding, education, and a keen interest to help people find food alternatives to fit into their life schedules, she has developed an expertise and reputation in dietary design and customized recipes, as well as being a personal chef for clients with dietary sensitivities. Her recipe book, Finally…Food I Can Eat! provides those with multiple food allergies and sensitivities with a ton of great recipes. She’s also included advice on food combining, rotation diets, substitutions and more.

I’ve been experimenting with my diet since last year, to find out what I am sensitive to. Although my symptoms cannot be compared with those who have severe allergies, I know how difficult it was to enjoy food when I was constantly analyzing every ingredient. It was exhausting to figure out what I could and couldn’t eat and I certainly made mistakes along the way, as “forbidden” ingredients are everywhere.

Shirley’s book simplifies things by providing recipes that cover off most of the major allergies and intolerances, but the key is, the recipes actually sound tasty! There are so many recipes and options in this cookbook that the possibilities really are endless. What made me most proud was to find out that she’s Canadian!  Many thanks to Vicky @momwhoruns for connecting us : )

I had some zucchini in the house, so I immediately thought of Shirley’s recipe for Zucchini Soup. It was simple, satisfying and allowed the ingredients to shine. Don’t forget to scroll down after you check out the recipe, I’m giving away a copy of Finally…Food I Can Eat! You can purchase her book from Chapters/Indigo online here: http://bit.ly/13hGn9L

Zucchini Soup from Shirley Plant’s cookbook Finally…Food I Can Eat!

Zucchini Soup

Taken from Pg 112 of Finally…Food I Can Eat! by Shirley Plant

Note: This recipe is free of dairy products, wheat, yeast, corn, sugar, eggs, soy, nuts, nightshades, and gluten.

Ingredients:

Olive oil

6 cups zucchini, diced (approx. 3 large zucchini) (1.5 L)

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3-4 cups water or vegetable soup stock (750 ml-1 L)

1 tsp basil (5 mL)

1 tsp oregano (5 mL)

1 tsp sea salt (5 mL)

½ tsp pepper

1 can beans – navy, lima, or northern beans (14 fl oz. -398 ml) (Sandy’s notes: I drained, rinsed and drained the beans again).

Handful parsley or watercress to garnish (optional)

Directions:

Cut zucchini info small chunks. In a soup pot, heat oil and add onions and cook until soft, approximately 2 minutes. Add soup stock or water, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and simmer for 15 minutes until zucchini is soft.

Add canned beans and parsley and purée with hand-held blender.

You can serve this soup hot or cold.

Yields: 8 cups (2 L).

Sandy’s Notes:

  • I added 1/2 a teaspoon of chili flakes for a bit of a kick
  • I had a ¼ cup of canned corn on hand, so I added it to the soup for colour (Note: the original recipe is corn free, but (thankfully) I’m not allergic to corn!)
  • Before pureeing the soup, I removed 1 cup of the vegetables and set them aside. My hand blender wasn’t working very well, so I put the soup in the blender in small batches to puree it. I then stirred in the vegetables I had set aside, to add some texture to the soup.
  • I found that my soup was a bit thick, so I thinned it out with some water

CONTEST: Win a copy of Shirley Plant’s cookbook “Finally…Food I Can Eat!”

I’m giving away a copy of “Finally…Food I Can Eat!” by Shirley Plant! You must be a resident of Canada to win. If you win, the cookbook will be shipped directly to your home.

TO ENTER:

Option 1: Leave a comment on this blog post and tell me why you should win a copy of “Finally…Food I Can Eat!” P.S. Don’t forget to include your Twitter, Facebook or blog site address so I know how to reach you!

Option 2: Follow me on Twitter @savvari and tweet the following:

I want to win a copy of @sherrecipes cookbook “Finally…Food I Can Eat!” from @savvari #cookbook #contest

You can enter once a day using each option!

Hurry! Contest closes on Sunday March 3 at 5 pm EST. Good luck!

Food Finds from the 2012 Vegetarian Food Festival

14 Oct

The Vegetarian Food Festival is an event I look forward to every year. It’s one of the best places to learn about vegetarianism and try tons of amazing products. Meat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free…you name it, this show has it! This year, the festival took place from September 7th to 9th and once again it didn’t disappoint. I tried so many products and ate so much delicious food in my short visit to the show that I pretty much had to be rolled back to my car (seriously!).

For me, the most exciting part about going to food shows is learning about new products and having the opportunity to try products I’ve seen on shelves, but haven’t purchased yet. Here are some of my favourites from the show:

Soy Whip and Rice Whip from Soyatoo!

Whipped cream. Mmmmm. Without it, cakes, pies, ice cream sundaes and so many other desserts wouldn’t be the same. Since I found out about my intolerance to cow dairy (see my earlier series of posts about the YorkTest FoodScan program), I’ve cut back big time on cow dairy that I can easily avoid, such as whipped cream. At the show, I was thrilled to try Soy Whip and Rice Whip from Soyatoo!, who recognized that there was a need for dairy free whipped topping options that were (fairly) affordable (approx. $6.99 per canister).

After trying both, I have to say that my vote goes to the Soy Whip, as the flavour and texture was truer to real whipped cream. However for those who are allergic to soy AND dairy, the Rice Whip version is pretty good too.

For more info, visit their website at: http://www.soyatoo.de/us/?home

Earth Balance Original and Coconut Spreads

I’ve heard a lot of great things about Earth Balance products and I finally had the opportunity to try two of their products at the show, their Original Buttery Spread and their new Organic Coconut Spread. Their products are vegan and are free of gluten, lactose and eggs.

While I enjoyed both products, I liked the Original Buttery Spread a little more. It tasted just like butter and to know that it was vegan was amazing. The Organic Coconut Spread was also tasty, but it tasted like coconut oil which I’m not that used too. If you’re a big fan of coconut, you would certainly love this spread.

This company also sells a whole range of other vegan products, which I’ll have to try sometime soon.

For more info, visit their website at: http://www.earthbalancenatural.com/

New Moon Kitchen

I was attracted to this booth because of their cool packaging (I’m a print geek after all) and their glorious display of tons and tons of cookies in old fashioned jars. It also helped that a woman I met pointed frantically to their booth and said, “You HAVE TO go to the New Moon Kitchen booth, like right now! The cookies are divine!” and since I was pushed towards the booth, I knew I had to check it out!

This Toronto-based company bakes up eight different flavours of cookies, including ones with cute names like Bite Me, Momints and Love Bites. The best part is that they are all vegan, egg, dairy, peanut and nut free!

My faves were the Momints (Chocolate Mint) and Love Bites (Spicy Chocolate) but to be fair, I would eat them all again as  every flavour was delicious.

For more info, visit their website at: http://www.newmoonkitchen.com/

Peanut Butter & Co

I was attracted to this booth because of their beautiful packaging (yes, the print geek in me strikes again!). When I asked them what they were showcasing, they said, “Our spicy peanut butter called The Heat Is On”….huh? I asked to try a sample and I was rewarded with a tasty peanut butter with a very spicy kick to it! It would be perfect in an Asian noodle recipe or I could see myself adding a few spoons of it to my mom’s coconut chutney…mmmm. This company produces a range of products including peanut butters, jams, nuts, baking mixes and oats. They also have a sandwich shop in New York (one of my favourite cities in the world!) so I’ll have to add Peanut Butter & Co to my “go to” list for my next visit.

For more info, visit their website at: http://ilovepeanutbutter.com/

Field Roast Veggie Sausage Links

This was my favourite find at the food festival! As a vegetarian married to a meat-eater, I’m always looking for products that both of us can enjoy and I was so thrilled to learn about Field Roast’s new line of veggie sausage links. The veggie sausages come in three flavours: Italian, Mexican Chipotle and Smoked Apple Sage. My favourite was the Smoked Apple Sage, as it had the perfect combination of sweet, salty and spicy tones and the flavours just danced in my mouth.

For more info, visit their website at: http://www.fieldroast.com/ 


Coconut Bliss

This is another product that I’ve seen in grocery stores many times but never had the need or opportunity to buy it. After trying their products, I certainly regretted the fact that I hadn’t tried them earlier! Coconut Bliss vegan ice creams are made from coconut milk and are free of soy, dairy and gluten. I tried every flavour they had on hand and I honestly loved each and every one.  Once again, I’m amazed at how delicious non-dairy products can be!

For more info, visit their website at: http://coconutbliss.com/

Vegenaise

The last product I wanted to mention is another one that I’ve heard about a lot over the years, Vegenaise. It’s a mayonnaise-style product that’s perfect for those who are allergic to eggs as it is, you guessed it, egg-free! I was given a sample of it and it tasted just like mayonnaise, possibly even better. I heard that even Ellen DeGeneres loves it. If the adorable and fabulous Ellen loves it, then by all means, how could you go wrong?!?!

For more info, visit their website at: http://www.followyourheart.com/

I don’t believe they’ve announced the dates for the 2013 Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival yet but if you get a chance to go next year, you definitely should! If you try any of the products I’ve mentioned or if you have any others to recommend, I’d love to hear from you!

Learn more about the Vegetarian Food Festival here: http://festival.veg.ca/

 

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