Berry Delicious Summer Treats: Ps – They’re Gluten Free!

With temperatures reaching closer and closer to the triple digits, it is finally, truly, feeling like summer. And what goes better with summer than perfectly sun-ripened berries? Answer: nothing.

If you have Celiac Disease, or are gluten intolerant, baked goods can seem like a far-off dream, and gluten-free desserts can often leave something to be desired, but it doesn’t have to be that way! So grab a fork, put on a pot of coffee, and prepare to dig in to these berry delicious, gluten-free, summer treats!

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Mixed Berry Cobbler

This recipe is originally from Bake or Break, but it wasn’t originally gluten-free. However, it was delicious! I had picked a bunch of fresh blackberries from my garden and wanted to make a cobbler, but couldn’t find a gluten-free one to suit me. I modified this recipe by using gluten-free all purpose King Arthur flour, and a little bit of extra butter, because gluten-free flour tends to be crumbly and drier than regular varieties. It turned out wonderfully!

I used a combination of blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries, but you can make it with any combination that suits your fancy! (Next time I’m adding raspberries!)


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups assorted berries
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose, gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9”x 6” rectangular or 8” round baking dish.
  2. Place the berries in prepared pan. Drizzle with the lemon juice.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until well-blended. Mix in the dry ingredients until mixture resembles crumbs. Drop the dough evenly on top of berries.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and fruit is bubbly.

Notes:

If you use any larger berries, such as strawberries, I recommend chopping them to blueberry-sized pieces.

For feeding a crowd, this recipe is easily doubled to be made in a 9”x 13” dish.

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Strawberry Shortcake

For some reason, I always feel like having strawberry shortcake on the 4th of July. The two are just inextricably linked to my mind. I guess it helps that strawberries are my absolute favorite fruit.

This recipe from King Arthur Flour was an easy way to satisfy my craving, and was already gluten-free, but unfortunately when I made it I didn’t happen to have any King Arthur Flour on hand! I couldn’t wait the 30 minutes it would have required to run to the store and back, so I substituted with Better Body gluten-free organic coconut flour! I have an obsession with all things coconut (any guesses what my next post is about?) so naturally I loved how this turned out; it complimented the strawberries perfectly! And coconut just seems summery, doesn’t it?

If you do use coconut flour, just remember to add a little coconut milk to balance the dryness I mentioned above.


Prep Time: 5 mins.

Bake Time: 10 mins. to 12 mins.

Yield: 8 to 10 shortcakes

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour, OR Coconut Flour 
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 large egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the cream and egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to form a cohesive dough.
  4. Scoop the dough in 1 1/2-ounce balls onto the baking sheet. Use the palm of your hand to gently flatten each to about 2″ to 2 1/2″ diameter.
  5. Brush the tops of the shortcakes with cream, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar.
  6. Bake the shortcakes for 10 to 12 minutes, until they’re risen and baked all the way through; break one open to make sure.
  7. Remove the shortcakes from the oven, split, and top with berries and whipped cream. Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Notes:

This took me quite a bit longer than expected; approximately 30-45 minutes.

Don’t forget to add extra liquid, such as coconut milk, to balance with the coconut flour.


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Yum! Homemade whipped cream is the best!


What are some of your favorite summer treats? We want to hear about them, as well as what you guys have been up to this summer.  We would love for you to be apart of this Oak & Earth community.

Join us on our social media for more of our adventures in the kitchen, in the community, abroad, and everywhere in between. For some great accessories for outfitting your kitchen, try Sweet Water Decor! (This is an affiliate link – meaning if you purchase through it, we get some ca$h money! Thanks!)

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Fresh from the garden…

As always, live healthy, and love hard.

-Shelby

 

Ode to Oatmeal: Scottish Porridge

As I sit here writing this, I can’t believe its been four years since I lived in my beloved Scotland. Studying abroad in the beautiful city of Edinburgh was one of the best experiences of my life and I would highly recommend it to anyone with a taste for adventure. One thing I discovered while living in the windy city, was the joy of Scottish oatmeal, aka, porridge.

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Porridge is quite different from what we in the U.S. typically think of when we picture a bowl of oatmeal. Its thicker, creamier, and has been a staple in the Scots’ diets for centuries. Unlike rolled oats or steel cut oats, Scottish oats are ground via stone mills, giving it a very fine texture. If you’d like more information on the different types of oats available, check out this blog post.

Stateside, the best Scottish oatmeal I’ve found is from Bob’s Red Mill. I pick it up at my local co-op, Ozark Natural Foods for $3.39 (20 oz.), but here you will find monthly coupon offers from Bob’s Red Mill that are good at any retailer. These coupons cover a variety of products, and just FYI, they are a great source for gluten-free options!

So how do you make porridge? You can prepare it via stovetop or microwave and its very simple!

Stovetop:

Bring 3 cups water and 1/4 tsp. salt to a boil. Slowly stir in 1 cup Scottish Oatmeal, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let stand for 2 minutes. Makes 4 hearty servings.

Microwave:

Combine 1/4 cup Scottish Oatmeal, 3/4 cup water and a pinch of salt. Stir well. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes. Makes 1 serving.

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I love porridge because its fast, filling, and delicious. There are also lots of ways to top it off! Personally, I like to go with the traditional pat of butter, spoonful of brown sugar, and dash of cream. For the health nut, I would suggest Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and honey. Other tasty options include (but are not limited to) granola, chia seeds, flaxseed, cardamom, agave nectar, milk, pistachios, cinnamon, and chopped dates!

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I hope you’ll try it, but if porridge just doesn’t do it for you, don’t rule Scottish oats out for your baking needs! For another authentic Scottish experience, try these Scottish Oatcakes.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading! Please feel free to comment below and share your own porridge/Scottish experiences with us, or even tell us what you’d like us to write about. We love hearing your feedback and interacting with our readers!

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Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland, taken by the lovely Becca Cahan

As always, live healthy and love hard!

-Shelby

 

15 Healthy Snack Food Alternatives

Greetings! It’s Bethany here on the blog today.

With New Years resolutions in full swing, I am sure many people are already struggling to keep one of the most common resolutions: eating healthy. I have decided to discuss the Achilles heel of any of my attempts to healthy eating —snacks. If I am exercising and eating healthy meals, why does a little snack matter? Snacks can  account for many of our calories throughout the day, and some days snack calories can surpass calories from our meals! In the past, I have tried cutting out snacks entirely. Not only is this not necessarily a healthy choice, but I failed miserably.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had decided to cut out anything that wasn’t extremely healthy. On day five, I could feel my will power fading. I went to bed pretty hungry, but I decided to “sleep it off”. The next morning, I woke up feeling full! What a miracle. Sleeping it off had worked! Except it totally hadn’t.

When I went to turn off my alarm, I had some peculiar observations – my hands were sticky with a powdery orange resin. Then I saw it. The empty family sized Cheeto bag I had purchased before my health plans. When I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I noticed a single shameful Cheeto stuck to my back. Not only is this not a sanitary way to sleep, but I had no idea how this even happened!

After this incident, I officially believe three things:

1. Sleep eating is a real thing.

2. You need to listen to your body. Don’t completely deny yourself of enjoying your food.

3. There has to be a way to be healthy and not compromise taste.

Whether you’re a working individual or a stay-at-home parent, unhealthy options are all around us! In my office, there is a full candy dish within arm’s reach, a snack machine right outside my door, and a free birthday cake for [insert coworker name here]. Since the Cheeto incident of 2014, I realized that I don’t have the will power to cut out every wonderfully tasting snack food available to me.

What’s the good news?

I have compiled a list of snack foods that have helped alleviate my cravings without completely compromising my health goals. In other words, the snacks can stay! In fact, I have found that these snacks in particular energize me throughout the day.  If you find yourself overthinking what you’re eating all the time, step back and make sure enjoying your food!

This list is not to completely cut out food you enjoy, but to equip you with some healthier options if you so choose! Eating some healthier options throughout the week also leaves some room for special treats (ice cream or lattes with friends etc.)  You can always try substituting out one or two snacks for the healthier version and go from there.

I made sure to try all of these snacks myself to ensure that they are easy to access, obtainable for busy individuals like myself, and tasty.

We are starting off this list with three healthy snack recipes that I recently made for the first time. I am really excited to add these three recipes to my collection. Let’s take a look!

1. Chilled Greek Yogurt Dipped Fruit

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This snack is great for your sweet tooth cravings. I’m surprised I have never made this sweet treat before now, but I was in love as soon as I tasted it. I am excited about all of the options with this snack. You can choose your desired fruit as well as your desired Greek yogurt. I used what I had on hand this day: a granny smith green apple and light berry Greek yogurt. I would suggest apples with plain Greek yogurt and local honey!

For this recipe, I simply sliced my apples, dipped them in Greek yogurt, and I chilled them in the freezer for 15 minutes. Chilling the yogurt onto the fruit is optional, but I suggest this for added dimension in texture. It’s also a lot less messy this way, and makes them easier to eat on the go!

Why Greek Yogurt? Find out HERE.

2. Baked Zucchini Chips

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As a person who is constantly craving chips, zucchini chips are a great alternative to the ones I would normally turn to. I was really excited to try this recipe, and for good reason. They turned out to be DELICIOUS. Since the baking time for these chips is two hours, I prep these at night and store them in an air tight container for next day use. The recipe was really simple to follow, and I’m incredibly happy to have found a chip alternative that I really enjoy!

You can find this recipe HERE. (Check out her awesome food blog while you’re at it.)

I like zucchini cooked many ways. It’s a side item to my meals several times a week. My next zucchini venture is try zucchini fries! You also might enjoy hearing about what nutritional value zucchini provides HERE.

3. Poached Egg on Wheat Toast (with optional avocado spread)

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While this recipe is not as travel friendly as my other options, I couldn’t resist adding a snack that contains eggs. Poached eggs are a great addition to your health plan. I pair mine with wheat toast so that I can have the complementary textures of crispy and soft. I would also suggest smearing on some slices of fresh avocado!

Poaching eggs can be a little fickle without a poacher. I learned how to poach eggs on the internet, and they turn out pretty great! To learn how to poach an egg, check out these simple instructions by one of my favorite chefs HERE. If you’re a visual learner, I have  found that the method in this video works as well: HERE.

Sometimes eating healthier is easier when you understand why you should eat certain foods. To hear some of the benefits of poached eggs, check out this article HERE.

List Continued:

The rest of this list is a compilation of my favorite snacks that I have made in the past or keep on hand. There is a mix of sweet, savory, soft, and crunchy. This allows some variation and a full pallet experience:

4. Hummus with Celery or Carrots

5. Air Popped Popcorn

6. Whole Grain Cereal

7. Dark Chocolate (in moderation)

8. Whole Grain Crackers with Laughing Cow Cheese

9. Almonds

10. Dried Fruit

11. Sliced Cucumber  in Vinaigrette (soak overnight)

12. Edamame with Sea Salt

13. Kale Chips

14. Wheat Toast with Blueberries, and Light Cream Cheese (or Greek Yogurt)

15. Air Popped Popcorn with Dark Chocolate ChipI hope you enjoyed my list of healthy snack foods!

Please let us know if you try any of these recipes! I would love to see how you put your own personal preferences into these snack options. What are some of your favorites that didn’t make this list? I’m always looking to expand my repertoire. While I love these healthy options, I believe that food should be a great experience. So have fun with it, and don’t forget to treat yourself every once in a while. Please feel free to follow me on Instagram @BethanyMPoteet, and hashtag your blog experiences with #OakAndEarthBlog. We would love to hear from you!

Have an incredible week!

-Bethany

 

 

Dessert Apple Cider: A Crock-pot Recipe

Hello, readers! It’s Bethany here for this autumn drink recipe!

Autumn is here in all its glory. With bonfires, hayrides, camping, snuggling, pumpkin spice, boots and scarves, it is time for Hot Apple Cider to make its way to our blog! Not only does this amazing cider have a 5 minute prep time, but  it is made in the kitchen appliance that was brought down from the heavens–the crock-pot *enter hallelujah chorus*.

I love this recipe because it can be made for several different occasions. You can add the dessert toppings and serve this for a fall party, OR  you can choose to keep it as a simple and rustic cider in a mug. The dessert version makes for a fun party favorite, and the simplified version is great to curl up with after a long day. This recipe is based off of a recipe I found on a site that I visit quite often for slow cooker meals: Taste of Home. I highly recommend checking it out! I have tweaked it to my taste, style, and convenience Let’s get started!

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WHAT DO I NEED: 

  • 8 cups apple cider (I buy a gallon jug.)
  • 1/4 cup caramel syrup. **Note: The original recipe calls for 1 cup of caramel, and this was too sweet to me and a few of my taste testers . I prefer a spicier cider, so 1/4 cup is more than enough for me; however, I would suggest 1/2 cup if you like a sweet cider. 
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches) **Note: I found a small and inexpensive package of cinnamon sticks in the baking isle. 
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • Cheesecloth or non-bleached coffee filter
  • **Dessert Version: Garnish with  whipped cream, hot caramel ice cream topping and cinnamon sticks (3 inches)

DIRECTIONS (5 min prep time, 2-3 hour cook time) 

  1. In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine the apple cider, caramel syrup and lemon juice.  
  2. Place the cinnamon sticks and allspice on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Bring up the corners of the bag and tie with string to form a bag. I did not have a cheesecloth, but I have found that a non-bleached coffee filter does essentially the same thing for this recipe! If you find yourself without a cheesecloth, you can follow my lead. After putting these ingredients into my coffee filter, I tied it off like a bag, and left it to steep in my cider mixture for the rest of the cooking time (as seen below). 

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3. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until heated through. Discard spice bag. Pour cider into mugs; garnish with whipped cream, caramel topping and additional cinnamon sticks if desired. Yield: 12 servings (3/4 cup each).

MAKE YOUR DESSERT

It’s time to decide how you would like to serve it up! This cider can hold its own in a mug or it can be elevated to be a stunning fall dessert drink. If you are going to make it into a dessert drink, be sure to remember that if you put your whipped cream onto your piping hot drink, it might turn loose pretty quickly. I waited a few minutes for it to cool a bit.

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This cider has been a great hit and I can’t wait to share it at my next fall get together! Maybe I’ll have to whip up some  Pumpkin Spice Cakes that Tera blogged about last week to go with it! Be sure the keep up with all of our Oak & Earth adventures through social media, and tell us about your experience! You can follow my adventures on Instagram @BethanyMPoteet.

Happy fall y’all!

-Bethizzle Potizzle with the Apple Cizzle.

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