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Posts Tagged ‘Gum-Free’

My post from April 9,  Fabulously Frugal, Sprouted Lentils, reminded me that I have been wanting to share another fabulous way to save money on natural, gluten-free, and organic foods. A few months back I began actively seeking coupons, weekly sales, and special discounts for items that we regularly purchase from stores. At first I was skeptical – I though that there wouldn’t be coupons and sales for natural and organic foods – yet over the last few months I have found several ways to make these types of small savings add up – all without compromising on buying mostly local, fairly traded, and organic food! This week I’ll share my strategies for gluten-free, organic, and natural foods couponing.

Initially, I was inspired to investigate the possibilities of natural foods coupons by the Chinook Book. The book costs $20, but can be found on sale for $15 (we bought one at the Better Living Show for $10). It is filled with coupons for discounts on natural foods and at natural foods stores (and for many other green-ish businesses). In my household the Chinook Book quickly pays for itself. For example, for each of Portland’s Co-Op’s (People’s, Food Front, and Alberta Street) there are coupons for 5 dollars off a purchase of 25 dollars. That’s 25% off our groceries!

Click here to view a list of the natural grocery coupons in the Chinook Book.

Click here to view a list of the local grocery store coupons in the Chinook Book.

Keep an eye out for coupon books in your favorite grocery stores. New Season’s and Whole Foods each have in-store coupon books. (Whole Foods coupons are also available online.) People’s, Food Front, and Alberta Street Co-Ops (and other co-ops) share the bi-monthly Co-Op Advantage coupon book, though not all of the products are available at every store. Free, bi-monthly publications like Remedies for Life, Taste for Life, and Delicous Living frequently contain coupons, I pick them up at Food Front in Hillsdale. Other print publications frequently contain coupons, I like to scan neighborhood and weekly newspapers, as well as my favorite print magazines devoted to healthy lifestlyes. (Living Without and Whole Living frequently contain natural foods coupons.)

I’ve found a few coupon websites devoted to natural foods. Mambo Sprouts Coupons is affiliated with the coupon giant Coupons.com and is regularly updated with new coupons. Coupons.com, like the Sunday paper coupon inserts, is mostly for conventional foods, however, there are occasionally natural products coupons to be found on/in both. HealthESavers.com is also dedicated to natural foods, but it is updated only occasionally Whole Foods coupons are updated bi-monthly, but (of course) they are only good at Whole Foods.

Click here to view Mambo Sprouts coupons

Click here to view Coupons.com coupons.

Click here to view HealthESavers coupons.

Click here to view Whole Foods coupons.

Some natural foods companies offer coupons to people who sign up for their mailing lists or become their Facebook fans. Look for mailing lists and facebook pages that offer specific coupons when you sign-up or ‘like’ the company. I’ve had repeated success with directly contacting companies and requesting coupons. I send quick e-mail note telling the company what at I appreciate about them, which products I buy, and I request coupons. (Some even send samples!) I encourage you to contact some of these exciting companies.

Columbia Gorge Organics

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap (they make coconut oil too),

Food For Life (sprouted and gluten-free breads)

Nancy’s Cultured Dairy & Soy

(These links provide you with the contact page, but you must make the request.)

All of this may seem exciting and overwhelming, so here are three things that I do to keep couponing helpful and under-control.

#1. My own rule has become that coupons must be for something I would normally purchase (even without the coupon) or for special treats on special occasions. (They’re for saving money not spending more!)

#2. Organization is key. I keep a small 3-ring binder with clear pockets to organize all of my coupons. It’s cute, tidy, and fits easily into my purse or shopping basket. I’m sure to keep it with me and I’ve seen other shoppers eyeing it enviously!

#3. Combining coupons and sales is always best, so next week I’ll share how I keep track of sales.

Do you have any tips for gluten-free, organic, or natural-foods couponing? I’d love to hear any suggestions in the comments below.

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Grain-Free Raisin Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

Makes one 9-inch square cake

To celebrate the good news of Easter I’m baking this gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and gum-free raisin carrot cake. Like my Black Bean Chocolate Cake, this cake is made from cooked beans rather than from flours. The naturally sweet pinto bean is actually undetectable in this light, moist cake!

sunflower oil

1 cup raisins

1 ½ cups cooked, drained pinto beans

1 cup whole cane, date, or coconut palm sugar

¾ cup extra-virgin coconut oil, at room temperature (about 72 degrees F)

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt, finely ground

1 ½ cups grated carrots, about 2 large

2/3 cup cinnamon glaze

Center the oven rack. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9–inch square baking pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper. Generously oil the sides of the cake pan. Place the raisins in a small bowl. Add enough warm (about 100 degrees F) water to cover them by one inch.

Assemble the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade. Add the cooked beans, sugar, coconut oil, and eggs. Process until a smooth batter forms, about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Process until the powders become fully incorporated into the batter, about 1 more minute. Drain the water from the raisins. Add the drained raisins and the grated carrots to the batter. Pulse just until the raisins and carrots are distributed evenly throughout the batter, about 2-3 times. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Use a knife to loosen the cake from the edges of the pan. Invert a serving platter on top of the cake pan. Quickly flip the cake and pan over onto the serving platter. Lift off the pan. Discard the parchment paper on top of the cake. Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake just before serving

Cinnamon Glaze  

Makes 2/3 cup

1 cup confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4-5 tablespoon coconut milk

In a medium bowl combine confectioners sugar and cinnamon. Use a whisk to mix until the cinnamon is evenly distributed. Add 4 tablespoons of the coconut milk. Whisk until combined. The glaze should be thin enough to spoon over the cake. If necessary, thin the gaze with one additional tablespoon of coconut milk.

This post was shared at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday , at Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday, at Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday, and at The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday blog carnivals.

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Gluten-Free Blueberry & Banana Muffins

Nutty and moist, simple and quick – these coconut flour, banana, and blueberry muffins are already a favorite around my house! I like to peel, mash, and freeze ripe bananas in a half-pint mason jar – then they’re always ripe and ready to make bread. Defrost frozen mashed bananas overnight in the refrigerator or on the countertop at room temperature for 1-2 hours before making bread.

Makes 12

¾ cup Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix

¾ cup coconut flour

½ cup whole cane, palm, or date sugar

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon unrefined sea salt, finely ground

1 large egg,lightly beaten, at room temperature

1 cup whole coconut milk, at room temperature

1 cup mashed bananas, about 2 large

½ cup extra-virgin coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted, or a mixture of the two

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Center the rack in the oven. Pre-heat  the oven to 375 degrees F. Line twelve muffin tins with muffin cups (see cooks note). (Conversely, line 4 mini (3-inch x 5-inch x 2 1/4 -inch) bread pans). In a large mixing bowl combine coconut flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, chia seeds, baking soda, and salt. Use a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment to mix until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Add the egg, coconut milk, bananas, and coconut oil or butter. Mix until a smooth batter forms, about 2 minutes. Slowly fold the blueberries into the batter. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full; use about 1/3 cup of batter in each cup (or fill bread pans 3/4 full by using about 1 cup of batter in each pan).

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes for muffins and 25-30 muffins for mini bread pans.  Cool in the pan or pans on a rack.

Cooks note:

Twelve muffin cups can be made from a piece of parchment paper measuring 12 inches by 16 inches. Fold the 12-inch side of the paper lengthwise into thirds, then fold the 16-inch length of paper into quarters. Unfold the paper. There should be 12, 4-inch squares on the paper. Cut along the fold lines. Use the bottom of a glass or ramekin that has an outside diameter slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the muffin pan. Invert the glass. Center the parchment paper over the bottom of the glass. Use your hands to fold the parchment paper down over the glass, creating a large muffin cup.  Repeat with the remaining papers.

This post was shared at the Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday blog carnival, at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday blog carnival, and at Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday .

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Dark Chocolate and Cognac Ganache Bars with Fleur de Sel (gluten-free)

Makes 16

An amazing-looking recipe for Dark Chocolate Cherry Ganache Bars appeared with the article “Plain-Jane Cookie Dresses up for Valentine’s Day” in the February 3, 2012 New York Times Dining & Wine section. I determined to make a gluten-free version using whole cane sugar (in place of powdered sugar), coconut cream (for cream), and cognac (my sweetheart’s favorite). The bars were so perfectly decadent that I had to share the recipe – happy Valentine’s day!

1 ½ cups Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour

¾ cup whole cane sugar

¼ cup non-alkalized cocoa powder

1 tablespoon chia seeds

½ teaspoon finely ground, unrefined sea salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 ounces dark chocolate (at least 62% cacao)

2/3 cup coconut cream (skimmed from the top of whole coconut milk see (cooks note))

3 tablespoons cognac or brandy

3 tablespoons cherry jam or your favorite fruit jam

½ teaspoon fleur de sel or flake salt, for finishing

To make the shortbread:

Adjust the rack to the center of the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking dish. Assemble the bowl of a food processor and fit it with the metal blade. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, chia seeds, and unrefined sea salt. Pulse until the mixture becomes uniform, about one minute. Cut the butter into one-inch squares. Add it to the flour mixture. Add the vanilla extract. Pulse until a sticky dough forms, about two minutes. Press the dough into an even layer in the bottom of the buttered pan. Bake until browned at the edges and bubbling throughout, about 35-40 minutes. Allow the shortbread to cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Move to the refrigerator until cool throughout, about one hour.

To make the ganache:

Use a chef’s knife or the food processor fitted with the metal blade to chop the chocolate until it is mostly fine crumbles. Place it in a medium mixing bowl. In a small saucepan bring the coconut cream to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Wait until the chocolate begins to soften, about 30 seconds. Whisk until the mixture becomes smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the cognac. Whisk until the liquor is fully incorporated, less than one minute.(If the ganache separates, whisk in one additional tablespoon of coconut cream.)

To assemble the bars:

Use a rubber spatula to spread a thin layer of jam over the top of the cold shortbread. Then spread with the ganache. Sprinkle with fleur de sel. Chill until set, about one hour. Slice into sixteen equal portions. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Cooks note:

To separate coconut cream from coconut milk let the milk sit undisturbed for several hours. Skim the thick liquid that collects in the top of the can of coconut milk.

This was shared on Fat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, and at the Favorite Desserts Blog Hop.


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Gluten-Free Lemon & Poppy Seed Muffins

Makes 12

The classic combination of lemon with poppy seed has been updated in this allergen-friendly recipe. During the height of citrus season (late fall and early winter in the northern hemisphere) look for bergamots, a hybrid of lemon with bitter orange, to use in this recipe. The outer peel of bergamots (the zest) is valued for its high essential oil content. It brings a bright citrus flavor, the flavor of earl grey tea, to the muffins. Jennifer Katzinger’s Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin recipe from The Flying Apron’s Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book inspires this gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and gum-free recipe.

1 ½ cups brown rice flour

1 cup Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix

¾ cup date, palm, or whole cane sugar

¼ cup poppy seeds

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon unrefined salt, finely ground

½ cup warm (about 100 degrees F) water

½ cup extra-virgin coconut oil, melted

4 tablespoons lemon juice (the juice of about 2 medium lemons)

1 ½ teaspoons (firmly packed) finely grated lemon zest (the zest of about 2 medium lemons)

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Adjust the rack to the center of the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a muffin pan with 12 paper liners (see cooks note).

In a large mixing bowl combine the brown rice flour, Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour, sugar, poppy seeds, chia seeds, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until the mixture is evenly combined, about 1 minute. In a medium bowl combine the water, coconut oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Add the mixture of liquids to flour mixture. Whisk until a smooth batter forms, about 1 minute.

Fill the muffin cups ¾ full (about ¼ cup of batter per muffin). Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use a heat-safe spatula to loosen the edges of the muffins from the pan. Remove from the pan and place on a rack to cool completely. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator.

The large, rounded fruit on the left is a bergamot, the others are lemons

Cooks note:

Twelve muffin cups can be made from a piece of parchment paper measuring 12 inches by 16 inches. Fold the 12-inch side of the paper lengthwise into thirds, then fold the 16-inch length of paper into quarters. Unfold the paper. There should be 12, 4-inch squares on the paper. Cut along the fold lines. Use the bottom of a glass or ramekin that has an outside diameter slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the muffin pan. Invert the glass. Center the parchment paper over the bottom of the glass. Use your hands to fold the parchment paper down over the glass, creating a large muffin cup.  Repeat with the remaining papers.

What is a Bergamot? A fascinating explanation, collection of recipes, and interesting links from David Lebowitz.

This was shared on Fat TuesdaySlightly Indulgent Tuesday, and Real Food Wednesday.

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Gluten-Free Sourdough Sticky Buns

Makes 8

These extravagantly sweet cinnamon sticky buns are topped with a mixture of butter, whole cane sugar, maple syrup, and pecans. They’re so indulgent that I only serve them on the most special occasions!

1 ½ cups whole cane, palm, or date sugar

1/3 cup, plus 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or ghee, plus more for greasing the pan

½ cup maple syrup

1 cup raw or crispy pecans

1 tablespoon cinnamon

½ cup raisins or currants

1 recipe Gluten-Free Sourdough Coffee Cake dough

Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour for rolling out the dough

Generously grease a 9-inch x12-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with butter or ghee. In a small saucepan combine 1 cup of the whole sugar, 1/3 cup of the melted butter, and the maple syrup.  Stir constantly over medium heat until the sugar melts, about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into the baking pan. Scatter the pecans evenly over the surface of the sugar mixture. (This forms the topping when the sticky buns are inverted after baking.)

In a small bowl combine ½-cup of the whole cane, date, or palm sugar with the cinnamon.

Cover your work surface with a pastry cloth or flour-sack towel. Dust generously with flour. Scoop the dough onto the cloth. Dust it with flour as needed to keep from sticking. Use your hands to form the dough into a rectangle roughly twice as long as wide. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a rectangle about 10 inches x 16 inches x ½-inch thick. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the entire surface of the dough. Scatter the raisins evenly.

Rotate the pastry cloth or towel such that one short side of the pastry is facing you. Start with this short side and roll away from you. Use the cloth and both hands lift to the edge and tightly roll-up the pastry. Transfer the roll – seam side down – from the cloth to a large cutting board. Use a chef’s knife to slice the roll into 8 equal slices. Arrange the buns close together on the topping.

Sticky buns are ready to bake

Cover loosely and set in a warm (about 75 degrees F) place to rise until the buns expand to fill the pan, about 3-4 hours.  (Alternately, this recipe can be made a day in advance, tightly covered, and refrigerated for 12-24 hours. The buns will rise slowly in the refrigerator and be ready to bake the next day.)

Fully baked and ready to invert

Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake until the topping (on the bottom) bubbles throughout the buns and the top is evenly browned, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven. Immediately, place an inverted serving platter over the buns. Quickly and without hesitation, flip the sticky buns onto the serving platter. Serve while still warm (or if baked in advance, reheat in a warm (about 250 degree F) oven for 15-20 minutes prior to serving). Store any left-over buns tightly wrapped in the refrigerator.

This post was shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Real Food Wednesday.

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Gluten-Free, Grain Free Strawberry Shortcakes

Makes 9

These slightly sweet, biscuit-style shortcakes are made gluten-free with coconut and arrowroot flours. Simplify this desert by omitting the strawberry sauce and whipped cream and topping the warm shortcakes with butter and strawberry jam. This recipe calls for mixing the dough by hand – but if you prefer, combine the recipe in the bowl of food processor instead of using a pastry cutter. Pulse the food processor and avoid over-mixing the dough.

1 cup coconut flour

1 cup arrowroot flour, plus more for rolling out the dough

½ cup whole cane sugar or palm sugar

½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt, finely ground

1 large egg, lightly beaten

8 tablespoons coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for buttering the pan

4 cups Strawberry Sauce

2 ½ cups Honey Whipped Cream

Adjust the rack to the center of the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine the coconut flour, arrowroot flour, sugar, and salt. Mix until coarsely combined. Add the egg, coconut milk, and vanilla extract. Use a pastry cutter or two butter knives to work the liquids into the flours. The mixture should resemble a coarse pea sized meal. Add the butter. Using the pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour mixture until the dough sticks together when pressed, about 2-3 minutes.

Lightly butter a sheet pan. Dust a work surface and rolling pin with arrowroot flour. Turn out the dough and dust it lightly with the flour. Roll out the dough into a ½-inch thick slab. Use a 2-inch diameter round cookie cutter. Press straight down when cutting – don’t twist. Gently lift the shortcakes from your work surface and place them evenly spaced on the cookie sheet.

Bake until browned on top, about 30-35 minutes. Serve while still warm, or reheat just before serving in a toaster oven set on low. Store shortcakes tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (or for up to two weeks in the freezer).

To serve pour 1/3 cup Strawberry Sauce over each shortcake and top with a dollop of Honey Whipped Cream.

This was shared on Real Food Wednesday, the Grain-Free Real Food Link Carnival,  Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, and the Favorite Fruit Recipes Blog Hop.

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