Baking, Uncategorized

Dairy-Free Pie Crust

Pie crust is a versatile ingredient in so many recipes- pot pie, pumpkin pie, quiche, and the list goes on! Who doesn’t enjoy a good pie crust? I particularly love this recipe because of the addition of vinegar. I dislike sweet pie crusts, especially paired with a sweet filling. The slight zing of the vinegar makes everything I put in the pie crust delicious!

My family has used this pie crust for my whole life- and I know why! It’s flakey, delicious, and cheap to make. Best of all, it is dairy-free!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of flour
  • 2 cups and 2 tablespoons of shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Whisk the flour and salt together.
  3. Add the shortening and cut it into the flour mixture with a fork until the shortening is about pea size. Be sure to not work it too much, otherwise it will turn into a strange clump of dough and won’t be flakey.
  4. Crack the egg into a liquid measuring cup and add the vinegar. Beat it slightly, then fill up to the 1 cup line with water.
  5. Pour the liquid slowly into the flour and shortening mixture and stir until it becomes a dough. It might be slightly crumbly, but that is normal. You might be tempted to add more liquid, but I promise it’s enough! Try not to stir it too much or the pie crust will become tough.
  6. Dump the dough out onto the floured counter (Or some parchment paper) and roll it out to the size and shape of your pie tin. It should make three or four 8-9 inch pie crusts. The more times you roll it out, the tougher it becomes.
  7. Place the pie crusts into greased pie tins and poke holes with a fork all over the crust. If you have dry beans or baking weights add them on top of parchment paper and place them in the pie crust for the first 10 minutes of baking. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Let the pie crusts cool and fill with your favorite filling. In these pictures, I chose to use banana cream filling! Yum!

Side notes:

  • As I said, the more you mess with the dough, the tougher it will become. I try to roll out each individual pie crust only once and fold the extra dough down into the pie crust to make pretty edges.
  • One of my family’s favorite ways to use the last bits and pieces of pie dough is to place them on cookie sheets and liberally sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar and then bake them for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. A delicious way to use up leftover dough! (And it pairs wonderfully with warm homemade pudding!)
Uncategorized

Dairy-Free Hot Fudge Sauce

Hot fudge is that lovely chocolatey, silky, rich sauce to top ice cream- but sometimes I just don’t want to deal with the dairy in it. On good days, taking a lactase pill works just fine. Other days, my stomach vetoes dairy.

If you came here for a healthy dairy-free hot fudge recipe… sorry to tell you, but this is the wrong blog! I love having delicious desserts. Dairy-free doesn’t have to mean healthy.

When I found out I was lactose-intolerant, I was devastated! Before then, I had never had dairy-free food, and frankly, I was scared. The trick is finding the right recipes that work with the flavors of the dairy-free ingredients. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is one of those recipes! Chocolate and coconut work so well together, so why not make a hot fudge sauce with coconut cream?

I took to Pinterest to gather details on what other people have done before me. I found a lovely recipe by SimplyWhisked.com and tweaked it to fit my tastebuds. The hot fudge sauce I created is a darker version made with coconut cream instead of coconut milk. I hope you find this recipe as decadent as I did!

This is easy to mix into a recipe of Nice cream (ice cream made with frozen bananas)- I chose to make a peanut butter Nice cream and mixed the fudge in. I LOVE Tillamook’s peanut butter chocolate ice cream, so I wanted to attempt to replicate it. The recipe is in the works, so it will be on here soon!

Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup canned coconut cream
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbs of cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of your choice of dairy-free chocolate chips (I used a blend of semi-sweet and dark)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp of salt

Directions

  1. In preparation, you can either let your can of coconut cream stand upright in the fridge or let it sit upright in your cupboard. If you leave it in the fridge, it is easier to scoop out the top layer of cream. Of course, the whole can is coconut cream, but the creamiest part floats to the top. Scoop the top off until you have the 2/3 cup of coconut cream needed.
  2. Place the coconut cream, brown sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, vanilla, and salt into a small saucepan- I would sift the cocoa powder into the mixture to avoid any lumps- and heat it on medium heat, stirring often to break up the clumps of chocolate (or cocoa powder- I see ya’ll who don’t have time to sift the cocoa powder.)
  3. Heat it until the mixture is smooth and all the chocolate is melted.
  4. Take it off the heat and let it cool, like a patient person. (I totally snuck a taste test with hopes that my tongue wouldn’t be burned off. Luckily, it wasn’t. If you can’t tell, adrenaline junkie is my middle name.)
  5. You can use it now on some dairy-free ice cream, or you can stick it in the fridge until you want to use it. After a night in the fridge, it turns into a thick, creamy fudge! So you can enjoy it by the spoonful hot OR cold. You can store it in the fridge for four or five days, but you be the judge of it by the smell.

Side Notes:

  • I used a blend of 45% to 60% dark chocolate, so my hot fudge turned out pretty dark- just how I like it! If you prefer milk chocolate, find a dairy-free chocolate brand and experiment with amounts of white, milk, and dark chocolate. Enjoy Life has a couple good options. My favorite kind of chocolate to use is Guittard for the quality and varying percentages of chocolate. From my experience, they have dairy-free chocolate from 45% and on, but read the label before you buy it! From my knowledge, it isn’t dairy allergy friendly, so maybe Enjoy Life or another allergy conscious brand would be a better choice for those with dairy-allergies.
  • This coconut fudge is VERY chocolatey! I wanted it to taste like chocolate with only a hint of coconut on the back of your palate. If you prefer a stronger coconut flavor, I would remove the 2 Tbs of cocoa powder in the recipe.

Uncategorized

Homemade Dairy-free Granola

Granola is a versatile breakfast item. You can add it to a smoothie bowl, a bowl of yogurt, or have it with milk. I really enjoy Green Valley’s lactose-free vanilla yogurt or some chocolate almond milk to go with a bowl of granola to add some protein.

I like to have granola on hand because it makes breakfast quick and easy. My husband likes quick breakfasts that he doesn’t have to cook, so this works perfect! I also like knowing exactly what we are eating for breakfast. A tad healthier than [Your Favorite Brand-Name Cereal], right?

My mother-in-law was kind enough to share the original recipe with me when my husband started asking for me to make it. I have tweaked it over time to fit what we like- and that’s the beauty of this recipe! It is easy to customize to fit your taste and diet.

When I made this granola I decided to go with larger pieces of coconut, a couple teaspoons of cinnamon, and sliced almonds to customize it. However you choose to customize it, I hope you enjoy it!

Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 7 cups of quick or rolled oats (I like a mix)
  • 1-2 cups of shredded coconut
  • 1-2 cups of ground flax seed, wheat flour, chia seeds, quinoa, and anything else you want to add! I generally add 1 cup of flax seed and make up the other cup with the other seeds and grains I happen to have in my pantry.
  • 1-2 cups of your preferred nuts (optional)- I like pecans, walnuts, and almonds.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup honey- I suggest using local honey because local beekeepers are more likely to treat their bees well and the honey tastes better too!
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup oil of your choice
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • Raisins or other dried fruit (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix the oats, shredded coconut, seeds and optional nuts into a large bowl.

3. Add honey, brown sugar, oil, water, and vanilla into a saucepan.

4. Set the stove to medium heat and let the mixture simmer until the sugar and honey are dissolved, stirring occasionally.

5. Pour the hot mixture into the large bowl with the oat mixture. Stir it until everything is coated evenly.

6. Scoop the mixture onto two large jelly-roll size baking pans and spread it out thinly. Don’t press it into the pan or it will turn into weird granola bars.

7. Place your two pans into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes take the pans out and give them a good stir. Move the top pan to the bottom rack and vice versa to make sure they are cooking equally.

8. Repeat the last step another three to five times or until the granola takes on a golden color and everything starts separating and being less clumpy. It won’t get very crispy until it has cooled, so don’t bake it for too long or it might burn!

9. After the granola has cooled, add dried fruit. I personally don’t like the flavor of baked dried fruit as it tends to get harder and slightly burnt, so I omit it until this step.

Side Notes

  • I generally use vegetable oil because I usually have it on hand, but coconut oil, ghee, or avocado oil all should work as well. I don’t know the exchange between vegetable oil and the others, but I am sure it is a quick Google search away.
  • I haven’t tried maple syrup or coconut sugar in this recipe yet, but I am sure it would be delicious! It would be easy to make a maple almond granola with real maple syrup. Mmmm!
  • It can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour for the granola to bake. It depends on what you added, the moisture in the air, and if you are wearing your lucky socks. But seriously, granola is hard to mess up. The only way I have messed it up before was by burning it because I was trying to get it extra crispy. Oops!
  • Have you tentatively taken your granola out of the oven for fear it will burn only to find that it isn’t quite crispy enough? Never fear! You can put it back in a 350 degree oven for another 5-10 minutes to crisp it up. It’s okay to do this even if the granola has cooled.
Uncategorized

How to Make Homemade Lactose-Free Butter

When I figured out that all of my stomach distress was from lactose, I was pretty devastated. Dairy, especially butter, is one of the main flavors in many recipes. And I looove butter- buttered toast, brown butter blondies. and the list goes on.
 Taking lactase pills is always an option, and I do use them often, but it makes eating far more expensive than I would like it to be. It’s frustrating having to worry about what is in each and every meal I eat. I kept my meals dairy-free for a while, but it is hard to get the right texture and flavor when baking with dairy substitutes. 
 I have looked into buying lactose-free butter, but I don’t have any local options, and shipping it to my house is far too expensive.
 My husband encouraged me to find a way to be able to use actual butter instead of substitutes. I happened to stumble upon a video of how to make butter, and the gears started to turn. I had been adding two pills of lactase to a gallon of milk for a couple of weeks at this point. It was cheaper to have a whole gallon of DIY lactose-free milk and share it with my husband than to have a half-gallon of store-bought lactose-free milk for myself and a gallon of regular milk for my husband. (Do all husbands like milk that much?)

So I started to experiment. I added one or two lactase pills to a half-gallon of cream and let it sit for at least 24 hours in the fridge.  

Then I churned it into butter and I didn’t have any… ahem… issues. It was wonderful to have real, creamy, delicious butter without the unwanted side effects. 

The hard part about this recipe is knowing how much lactase to add. I am generally okay if I put one lactase pill into the half-gallon of cream, but other people who struggle more with lactose may need to add a couple more pills or a couple extra days in the fridge.

Side Notes:
The buttermilk will thicken as it sits in the fridge, but I wouldn’t use it if it has clumps in it. I generally use the buttermilk the week that I make the butter to be safe. I really like making buttermilk biscuits to use it up.  
Making lactose-free butter at home is wonderful and I recommend it- however- please, please take time to understand your body and how lactose-intolerant you are. Even though I would love to be able to tell you the exact amount of lactase to use in this recipe, it is truly up to you and your body. Please be safe!
I have been able to leave the cream in the fridge for up to a week before churning it into butter without any issues. I don’t know that I would let it sit for longer than that.
Smell something kind of sour while churning the cream? Don’t worry, that’s normal. My husband doesn’t like to be in the kitchen when I am making butter because of the smell.
The butter can last up to a month in the fridge and longer in the freezer. I wouldn’t leave the butter out on the counter. Making it at home makes it go bad sooner if you leave it out at room temperature. 


Recipe 

Ingredients:
Half-gallon of heavy whipping cream
1-4 lactase pills 
Tools needed:
Hand-Mixer, Stand-Mixer, or Whisk and Large Bowl
Sieve
Spatula
Jars
Measuring cups
Silicone molds (Optional) 


Directions:
Place one to four lactase pills into the half-gallon of cream and shake it. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours and up to a week.

Whenever you are ready to churn the cream, put it in your mixer and let it churn for 20-45 minutes. It’s easy for me to let it do its own thing in my bosch, but you will want to keep an eye on it if you are using a kitchen aid or a hand mixer. Wipe down the sides of the bowl occassionaly to incorporate all of the cream together. 

It will look like regular whipped cream after a couple of minutes. It will start to thicken and condense as you continue to whip it.

It will gradually take on a lovely light yellow color when it gets closer to being butter. But don’t stop there! Keep going until it completely separates into clumps of smooth yellow butter and watery buttermilk. The buttermilk you get from the store is different from the buttermilk you get from this process. It starts out watery and slowly thickens up in the fridge.

Once it is separated, set out your jar, seive, and funnel. 

Slowly pour the buttermilk through the sieve, trying to keep too much butter from clogging up the sieve.

Once you have the majority of the buttermilk separated out, start taking clumps of the butter and putting them into a smaller separate bowl. Press the butter against the side of the bowl to press the remaining buttermilk out. As you press out the buttermilk, add it to the jar of buttermilk. Then rinse the butter with cold milk. The less buttermilk in the butter, the longer the butter will stay fresh. I generally split my batch of butter into 1/3 of salted butter and 2/3 of unsalted butter. 

I just so happened to have these silicon pumpkin molds that perfectly hold 1/4 cups of butter! I like to measure the unsalted butter into 1/4 cup amounts because it’s easy to take it out of the freezer for recipes when I need it. I have also simply pressed the butter into a 1/4 measuring cup and scooped it out on to a baking tray. I generally let the butter on the tray sit in the freezer for fifteen minutes or until they are firm enough to play into a bag or container without mushing together. I had to wait a bit longer on the butter in the silicone molds so they would come out of the mold nicely.

And voila! You have your own lactose-free butter. Enjoy!

Uncategorized

Lactose-Free vs. Dairy-Free

Some people don’t think there is a difference between dairy-free and lactose-free, but there is! Lactose-free products are still the dairy we know and love, just without the pesky lactose. Dairy-free alternatives (almond milk, coconut yogurt, nut cheese) are obviously dairy and lactose-free.

Dairy adds flavor, texture, and color to many recipes that just isn’t the same without it. That’s why certain recipes don’t work without the dairy-free counterparts. If I have the option, I use lactose-free products in baking because I prefer it.

Don’t despair if you have a milk allergy! There are still many wonderful ways to use dairy-free alternatives. I like to find recipes that are specifically dairy-free that work with the alternatives rather than using them to replace dairy.

On this blog, you will find a variety of recipes that are either lactose-free or dairy-free. I hope you enjoy learning about the ways to make tasty food and have a happy stomach!