Low Sugar, Non-Dairy Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb season means rhubarb crisp. Man of Steel means making a low sugar version of this delicious dessert.Rhubarb season is here and the crop is bountiful. After picking and freezing three bags full, just enough remained to make a small rhubarb crisp. With the Man of Steel watching his sugar intake, I decided to see how much sugar could be cut from the recipe in my 1977 Betty Crocker Cookbook.

Below is the adjusted recipe, which the Man of Steel and I agreed was still a bit on the too sweet side. However, when I took a small helping down to Mom, she made a face and said it was too sour. So adjust the sugar to your taste buds and enjoy rhubarb season.

Low Sugar, Non-Dairy Rhubarb Crisp

4 cups diced rhubarb
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1/2 cup unbleached flour1/2 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°. Place rhubarb in an ungreased baking dish (10x6x1 1/2″ baking dish). Measure brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix well. Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over rhubarb. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until topping golden brown and rhubarb is bubbly. Serve warm.

 

Buttermilk Brownies

These buttermilk brownies can be mixed, baked, and frosted in 40 minutes flat. The butter doesn't even need to be softened!A couple weeks ago, our Connection Group prepared the meal for a church fundraiser. I was in charge of dessert–buttermilk brownies with ice cream, as well as non-dairy buttermilk brownies without ice cream for those who needed that option, and Rice Krispie treats for the gluten-free, dairy-free contingent.

The brownies were a hit, and I was assigned brownie duty for all upcoming fundraisers. In case you’re looking for an easy recipe that will please a crowd, here’s the dairy version as the non-dairy recipe has appeared on Gravel Road before.

Dairy Free Buttermilk Brownies

Bars:
1 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup water
2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon soda
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375°. In saucepan, combine butter, cocoa, and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, soda, and salt. Stir in eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add cocoa mixture. Mix till well-blended. Pour into a greased 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 inch baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Immediately pour frosting over bars. Spread evenly. Cool and cut into squares.

Frosting:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In saucepan, mix 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup buttermilk, and 3 tablespoons cocoa. Cook and stir until boiling. Remove from heat. Beat in powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Pour over bars as soon as they come out of the oven. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.

Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Protein Bars

These protein bars are low in sugar, high in flavor, and a perfect meal on the go.My daughter and I went to a coffee shop in Madison during my last visit. We spied homemade peanut butter protein bars in the cooler. My daughter picked one up. “These look good,” she said.

“Too bad they probably have whey in them to jack up the protein,” I said.

“No dairy,” the woman behind the counter said. “But they do have flax seed.”

The daughter and I were ravenous as we’d eaten only salad for lunch, so we laid two bars on the counter, ordered our coffee, and sat down to enjoy our treats and watch my adorable grandson be adorable.

The protein bars were delicious. So good we spent every minute we weren’t laughing at the grandson’s high jinks deciding what ingredients were in the bars so we could make them at home.

Here’s the recipe I created after arriving home. That means the daughter hasn’t taste tested them. But the Man of Steel and I both think their pretty good. The recipe’s pretty forgiving, so you can add your favorite ingredients to the mix so they tickle your taste buds, too.

Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Protein Bars

1 cup natural peanut butter (the gooey kind)
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Kirkland chocolate chips
1 cup puffed rice
1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons honey

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Stir until well mixed. Press into a greased, square 9 x 9 pan. Put in refrigerator until firm. Cut into 12 bars. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

Carrot Bread with Dairy-Free Cream “Cheese” Drizzle

The non-dairy carrot cake was such a hit with the Man of Steel, I'm working on an even healthier quick bread, low sugar version.About a month ago, I posted a recipe for the Dairy Free Carrot Cake with Cream “Cheese” Frosting our family enjoyed at the Man of Steel’s 60th birthday party. The Man of Steel, who usually avoids sugar, asked if there was any way to adapt the recipe even more. So he can have it more than once a year on his birthday.

After thinking on his request, I decreased the amount of the sugar in the batter and baked it in bread pans. Next, I halved the shortening and cream “cheese” in the frosting, added a little almond milk and cut the powdered sugar even more to create more of a drizzle than frosting. The resulting carrot bread was delicious, and the recipe is below. However, the Man of Steel says it’s still too sweet, so I’ll be making it again with even less drizzle and decadence. Stay tuned for the next update.

Dairy-Free Carrot Cake

Ingredients

6 cups grated carrots
1/3 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 Instructions

  1. Combine the grated carrots and brown sugar in a medium bowl and set aside for an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF, and grease and flour three bread pans.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and briefly set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, and gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir in the pineapple. Stir the flour mix into the wet mixture, being careful not to over mix. Gently fold in the carrot mixture and nuts.
  4. Pour the batter evenly into your prepared pans. Bake for 40–45 minutes until the loaves are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Place the pans on a wire rack to cool for 10-20 minutes before removing them from the pan.
  6. Once the bread is completely cool, drizzle with icing.The non-dairy carrot cake was such a hit with the Man of Steel, I'm working on an even healthier quick bread, low sugar version.

Dairy-Free Cream “Cheese” Frosting

Ingredients

4 ounces vegan “cream cheese”
2 1/2 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, melted
2 tablespoons almond milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Using an electric mixer or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, place the “cream cheese” and melted butter vegan stick. Cream them together. Add almond milk and beat until smooth
  2. Add the sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, and continue to beat the mixture until smooth. Drizzle over cooled loaves.

Baking Up a Storm

The recipes for the carrot cake, cherry pie, and strawberry-rhubarb pie for the weekend's dessert auction are available here.Last weekend’s kitchen time was spent baking up a storm for the Wonderfully Made Family Camp dessert auction fundraiser.  From the top clockwise are the desserts I contributed: carrot cake, cherry pie, cherry pie, and strawberry-rhubarb pie.

Between baking, setting up for the fundraiser, and enjoying the evening there wasn’t time for testing new recipes. So here are recipes for the goodies that sold for ridiculous prices at Saturday night’s big event.

  1. Non-Dairy Carrot Cake with Cream “Cheese” Frostingcarrot cake
  2. Cherry Pie cherry pie
  3. Strawberry-Rhubarb PieStrawberry-Rhubarb Pie

My favorite of the three is cherry. Yours?

 

Bumbleberry Pie

Mom, who rarely makes decisions these days, decided she wanted bumbleberry pie for Easter dinner. So I made one for her. Here's the recipe.My brother and his wife hosted Easter dinner this year. The Man of Steel and I were in charge of only two things: picking up Mom and making pie for dessert. When visiting Mom the Wednesday before Easter, I asked what kind of pie to she wanted.

As a rule, Mom answers that kind of question with a deep sigh. “Oh, I don’t know, Jo. You decide.” But this time, her answer was swift and decisive. “Bumbleberry.”

Which explains why today’s recipe is for bumbleberry pie. Here’s hoping you like it as much as Mom does.

Bumbleberry Pie

12 ounce package of cherry berry mix, thawed
1 cup rhubarb
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter or Earth Balance buttery sticks

Heat oven to 425°. Put fruit in a large bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Pour them over fruit and mix well.

Pour filling into a 9 inch pie pan lined with a bottom, unbaked pie crust. Dot filling with butter or Earth Balance. Arrange top crust, crimp edges, and seal. Cut slits in top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn temperature down to 400° and bake for 30–45 minutes longer, until filling begins to bubble. If the top crust gets too brown, lightly cover pie with foil. When the pie done, place it on a wire rack to cool.

Slow Cooker Chicken Broth

Making chicken broth in a slow cooker is simple and yields several quarts of delicious, sodium-free broth.I’ve been making chicken broth for years by boiling the chicken carcass in a big stock pot. But my daughter recently showed me how to make very flavorful broth in a slow cooker overnight. What could be simpler? Not much as this recipe shows, which works equally well with turkey.

Slow Cooker Chicken Broth

Place the carcass of a roasted or slow cooked chicken carcass, including skin and bones, in the slow cooker. Add pan juices and brown bits scraped from the bottom of the roasting pan. Fill the slow cooker with water. Throw in an onion (quartered), three stalks of celery cut into 3 inch lengths (include the leaves), and 6 garlic cloves (halved). It will look a little gross.

Making chicken broth in a slow cooker is simple and yields several quarts of delicious, sodium-free broth.Put the lid on the pot, turn it on low and let it cook overnight. In the morning, run the contents of the slow cooker through a strainer into two large bowls. Allow the broth to cool. Pour into pint freezer bags. Seal and lay the bags flat on cookie sheets. Place cookie sheets in freezer until the broth is solid. Remove bags from cookie sheets, stack and keep in freezer until needed. Makes 8–10 pints of broth.

Downton Abbey Scones on This Fantastic Friday

Downton Abbey fans can whip up a batch of vintage scones and make the DA magic last a little longer.This Fantastic Friday post is an homage to last Sunday’s Downton Abbey finale. The recipe’s posting today so fans can whip up a batch of scones, make a pot of tea, put on their best English accents, and be jolly good sports all weekend long.

Downton Abbey Dairy-Free Scones

Between yesterday’s top ten list and today’s recipe, it feels like Downton Abbey Week along our gravel road. Today’s recipe comes compliments of Downton Abbey Cooks, the brainchild of food historian Pamela Foster. You can find Foster’s original recipe, along with many other Edwardian England dishes, in her post about guilt-free scones.

I spotted the recipe while sitting under the dryer and reading the paper at the hair dresser’s. It sounded so good, I came home and created my own dairy-free version. The scones were an immediate winner, receiving the coveted Hiram seal of approval. They were light, crispy, and flavorful. They will be a staple at our house, even though we don’t have a kitchen maid to sift the flour 3 times!

1 cup unnbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons frozen lard
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup dried fruit (I used dried cranberries)

Heat oven to 450°. Mix together flour, salt, and baking powder. Sift three times. (Or have Daisy the kitchen maid do that part.) Add sugar and mix in well. Grate frozen lard (another job for Daisy) and add to dry ingredients. Lightly cut in by hand until mixture has the consistency of sand. Stir in dried fruit. Add almond milk, a tablespoon at a time, mixing dough with a fork after each addition. Stop when dough holds together, but before it gets sticky.

Kneed dough gently a few times. Do not overwork! Form dough into a circle and place on a cookie sheet or heated baking stone. Press dough until it’s a circle 1/3 inch thick. With a knife, cut into 8 wedges.* Separate them slightly. Bake for 5–7 minutes.

Thai Chicken Soup

This easy Thai soup recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and full of flavor. It also yields some excellent leftovers.Soup season will soon be over. But while it lasts, this recipe is one to try before warm weather hits. Especially if you love Thai food. This recipe is my version of one from the Elana’s Pantry website.

This recipe is easy, dairy-free, gluten-free, and bursting with flavor. It makes a big batch. That’s good because The Man of Steel and I would have quibbled over the leftovers otherwise. Needless to say, this version of Thai soup received the Hiram Coveted Seal of Approval. Next time, I may add some red pepper flakes to add a bit more heat.

Thai Chicken Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped
  • 8 sprigs cilantro, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 28 ounces coconut
  • ½ pound crimini mushrooms
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 pound chicken breasts skinless-boneless, halved lengthwise, sliced on bias, cut into ⅛ inch thick pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ½ cup cilantro, minced

Cooking Instructions

  1. Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add half of the green onions and cilantro, stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes
  3. Stir in stock and coconut milk and bring to a simmer
  4. Pour broth through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids (green onions and cilantro)
  5. Return broth to saucepan
  6. Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms and broccoli and cook until tender, about 5 minutes
  7. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until no longer pink
  8. Combine lime juice, curry paste and fish sauce in a small bowl then stir into soup
  9. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro, chilies and scallions

 

Dairy-Free Carrot Cake with Cream “Cheese” Frosting

The Man of Steel wants carrot cake for his birthday. This non-dairy version tastes unbelievably good.All the kids, their spouses and the grandkids, along with my sister and her husband, are gathering this weekend to celebrate the Man of Steel’s 60th birthday. That means he gets to choose his own birthday meal (chicken tetrazzini) and birthday dessert. He chose one of his favorites: carrot cake.

The only problem with that choice was that at least 3 people attending the celebration can’t have dairy. But, as a quick internet search revealed, someone invented dairy-free carrot cake. And as a trial baking adventure proved, dairy-free carrot cake is really good. So is the dairy-free cream “cheese” frosting.

I found the recipe for the cake and the frosting at the Go Dairy Free Website. The only alterations I made in the cake batter were to leave out the raisins…not my favorite and reduce the sugar. For the trial run, I made 1 small rectangular cake for a taste test and 2 round cakes, which went to a dessert auction at church. The birthday cake will be 3 layers of round pans. Warning: this recipe makes a very big cake.

Dairy-Free Carrot Cake

Ingredients

6 cups grated carrots
2/3 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs
3/4 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 Instructions

  1. Combine the grated carrots and brown sugar in a medium bowl and set aside for an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF, and grease and flour two 10-inch cake pans, three 8-inch cake pans, or two 8-inch cake pans +8 cupcake tins.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and briefly set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, and gradually beat in the white sugar, oil and vanilla. Stir in the pineapple. Stir the flour mix into the wet mixture, being careful not to over mix. Gently fold in the carrot mixture and nuts.
  4. Pour the batter evenly into your prepared pans. Bake as follows: 10-inch pans – 40-50 minutes, 8-inch pans – 30-35 minutes, Cupcakes – 20-22 minutes, or for all, until the cakes are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Place the pans on a wire rack to cool for 10-20 minutes before removing them from the pan.
  6. Once the cake is completely cool, then you can frost it or drizzle with icing.

The Man of Steel wants carrot cake for his birthday. This non-dairy version tastes unbelievably good.Dairy-Free Cream “Cheese” Frosting

Ingredients

8 ounces vegan “cream cheese”
1/3 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Using an electric mixer or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, place the “cream cheese” and margarine, and cream them together.
  2. Add the sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, and continue to beat the mixture until light and fluffy.

The Man of Steel wants carrot cake for his birthday. This non-dairy version tastes unbelievably good.