It has been blueberry season these past few weeks and we have been enjoying it to the fullest! With two farms within a couple miles from our home, we are so fortunate to get the freshest of the freshest every season! This year I made two trips to each of the farms. The kids being older now…they aren’t as excited about picking as they used to be some years ago. However, I still dragged them with me saying ‘mom cannot carry heavy stuff alone, remember?’. And that is the truth too. Although my RA has been under control now for the past few months with medications and my new diet, I still avoid carrying even moderately heavy stuff lest it stirs up a flare! And the kids know this. So that’s how I got them to go with me 🙂
We picked like about 4 quarts or 6 lbs each time and finished up all of it in a couple weeks! I had got more thinking I will freeze some but the blueberries were so delicious that between just gobbling them up and adding to my morning smoothies they were all gone. And so I was planning for a 3rd visit when my friend Monika happened to mention that she was planning to go that weekend with her kiddos. Rest you can guess …yeah I asked (em..ordered) her to get me another 4 quarts:)
OK so this time, I had to make the blueberry crostata for my children that I make every year and which they had been asking for. So I made that for my son on his birthday and then since I was craving for a pie myself, I made this Paleo version of blueberry pie for myself based on the Blackberry pie recipe by Autoimmune wellness. Since I was making this only for myself, I decided to make two mini pies using my cute tartlet pans. You might remember that I had made another blueberry dessert recently using these pans – Paleo Blueberry tartlets . Yeah what can I say? I am indeed crazy about blueberries 🙂
The pies turned out perfect. Since I was doing a small batch, I had to add a little more coconut flour than what the original recipe stated. A lot of times in baking, the same proportions of ingredients do not hold when you do a smaller batch. In any case, the crust with the coconut flour was so yummy – almost shortbread like crumbly but very scrumptious! Thank you to Autoimmune Wellness site for this wonderful Paleo crust recipe. I think next time I might make a large batch for the whole family! Healthy and delicious you can’t beat that right?
A healthy and delicious blueberry pie with an absolutely tasty, grain free coconut flour crust!
For the crust:
⅓ rd cup plus 2 tbsp coconut flour
⅓ rd cup arrowroot flour
pinch sea salt
¼ cup coconut oil (semi solid)
About 1 tsp ice cold water
For the filling:
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
¼ cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp tapioca flour mixed in 2 tbsp water
Pre-heat oven to 350 deg F.
In a medium size mixing bowl, add all the crust ingredients except the water. Mix using your hands and add the water and form a dough. (You may need to add a little more coconut flour if you feel the dough is too sticky). The dough should be smooth. Divide the dough into two equal parts.
Line two mini pie pans with parchment paper. Place the dough in each of the pans and press using your hands to cover the base and sides of the pan. Prick using a fork. Bake at 325 deg F for about 10 mins until the crust looks golden brown from top.
While the crust is baking, in a small pot add all the filling ingredients except the tapioca flour. cook for about 5 mins on medium heat. Then slowly add the tapioca flour slurry and stir continuously until you get a thickened filling.
Pour this filling onto the pie pans and bake the pies again at 350 deg F for 5 more mins. Let cool for 10 mins before serving!
OK so ever since I made those beef cutlets with a coconut crust, I have been thinking of using that technique to make other crispy coatings! I got my chance to try it again when hubby picked up squid last weekend while picking up seafood.
I usually cook squid(calamari) Kerala Style which is to sauté it with onion and red chillies and with coconut. I have posted that recipe before. Have also tried frying it using chickpea batter which is a great gluten free alternative. However now since I am on a paleo diet, chickpea batter wouldn’t do and so I thought why not give my tapioca flour batter and coconut crust technique a try? The ‘paleo version’ of the beef cutlets was very well received in my house. It tasted even better than the breaded version!
So considering that I was pretty confident that the fried calamari with coconut crust would work. And I wasn’t disappointed! The fried coconut calamari came out so nice and crispy plus the shredded coconut topping imparted such great flavor. I also ended up shallow frying it using coconut oil vs deep frying. It still came out nice and crispy on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside. Perfecto 🙂
I added a bit of cayenne pepper (Kashmiri red chili powder) but you can skip that for an AIP compliant recipe.
A Paleo version of the 'Fried Calamari' - Crispy coconut crusted Calamari fried in coconut oil!
½ lb squid, cleaned and cut into ¼ inch rounds
¼ tsp kashmiri chilli powder (skip for AIP version)
¼ tsp sea salt
For the crust
2 tbsp tapioca flour
3 tbsp water
4 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut (I used 'Let's do Organic' brand)
About 2 tbsp coconut oil
In a small bowl, add the cleaned calamari and dab dry with paper towels. Add the chills powder(if adding) and salt and mix well. Keep aside.
In a separate bowl, mix the tapioca flour with water to from a slurry. (This settles down very fast so again stir before using)
Place the shredded coconut in a separate plate.
Heat a small frying pan and add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Keep on medium heat and when hot, dip the squid pieces one by one in the tapioca slurry and then dip them in the coconut to coat completely and drop these one by one into the frying pan. Fry these in batches and serve hot!
Sometimes I wonder if there is too much hype surrounding Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong…I am very much a romantic at heart! However I dislike how commercialization of Valentine’s Day by the marketeers has somehow made people hung up with the date of Feb 14th. Couples feel that they need to do special things only on this date. Single folks might feel depressed thinking that they need to find a date for Valentine’s day or else they will lose out! As a consequence they end up spending too much money more often than not on the wrong person! Well, the simple fact is this: If you have been fortunate enough to have found the love of your life, then everyday can be Valentine’s day. And if you haven’t been lucky to have met this person yet, it’s not likely that you will magically meet your sweetheart on Valentine’s day! Anyways the point I want to make is this: I hope that people express their love outside of Valentine’s day too and that everyday can be romantic too. All you need is the right attitude and an optimism towards life and everything beautiful. All these thoughts reminded me of a quote that I had memorized in high school – don’t ask me why 🙂
“I may not say it often
But you know that it is true
That I am always wishing
Real Happiness for you
For though I may not say so
To me you are always dear
Not only on a day like this
But Every day, Every year! ”
I had pinned this special dessert recipe specifically for Valentine’s day since it was a dessert that I could actually eat! Yes being on a dairy free and sugar free diet for almost a year now, my desserts have been mostly limited to fruits, dates and raw honey. I was so excited to see this recipe of Raspberry Coconut Panna Cotta by Eileen from Phoenix Helix. Along with the recipe what excited me was her story of how she has been battling RA too just like me and that the Autoimmune Paleo diet has been helping her control her disease for the last few years. Now isn’t that exciting!
I made some slight changes to her recipe – I added a combination of strawberries and raspberries since I find raspberries alone to be too tart. Also I upped the amount of sweetener -and used maple syrup instead of honey. I find maple syrup to provide the right amount of sweetness that I crave for in desserts. And for the sauce , since I ran out of raspberries, I made it out of cherries! The end result was one special dessert! This indeed felt like a huge treat for me having not had any frozen treats for so long! Yummy yum! thank you Eileen for this great recipe and I think this is already inspiring me to come up with other ideas of similar frozen treats.