Monthly Archives: October 2014

Fun-Sized Candy is No Fun

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Just a little picture to make you feel guilty about eating that Halloween candy!

That’s not really my intention, though.  This is more of a reminder to me how damaging sugar and candy can be.  Just one is no big deal, but who actually eats just one fun-sized candy bar?  I don’t know that I ever have.  I’m pretty sure every time fun-sized candy is available to me, I end up eating way more than I should.  I think because they are small then they are okay.  But they do add up.  Almost always I would have been better off just eating a normal-sized bar–or maybe even a king-sized bar.

One fun-sized Kit-Kat is only 70 calories and is a good option if you want something sweet but don’t want to splurge.  If only I stopped at one.  But I don’t.  So I’ll just avoid it all together this Halloween.

How about you?  Do you find these fun-sized treats to be your friend or your foe?

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Pumpkin Pie is Delish, even a dairy & gluten free one!

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I’m a fan of food. I love to eat it. I love to look at it. I love to cook it. I love to read cookbooks and could scroll through Pinterest for hours dreaming about what delicious recipes I will try next.

My love for food is obviously probably why I’ve had weight problems my entire life—that and my lack of control. The control part I’m working on and getting better at. But I’m never going to try to not love food. I’m just working on loving the right kinds of food!

I’m always trying to figure out ways to make high fat/high sugar dishes with less fat and less sugar but still taste just as good. Another thing I’m always trying to figure out is how to tweak “normal” foods so they are more allergy-friendly. That’s what I did this weekend!

I’ve developed sensitivities to dairy and wheat unfortunately, and Ben has allergies to those as well as to soy, xanthan gum, and nuts among other things. Having food allergies sucks, but it sucks even more when you love food so much. Ben’s favorite dessert is pumpkin pie, but he hasn’t eaten it with a crust for years now. He would just eat it as a custard—until a few days ago, that is.

I’ve been planning a gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free menu for Thanksgiving and wanted to make sure I could make a delicious pumpkin pie with a crust for him for the holidays, and with my birthday this week, what better time to practice the pie and celebrate at the same time!

This was my first time making a pie of any sort, and I was so pleased how it turned out. Seriously, it was delicious, and you would never guess it was free of gluten, dairy, soy, and nuts.

It was just under 300 calories per slice, so it’s not something to eat every day but certainly worth making and eating on special occasions. I’m thinking about figuring out a way to make it healthier, but Ben specifically told me not to change a thing. Maybe some day.

I’m so excited it worked, and I’m even more excited that he gets to have a crust for his pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving! It’s the little things in life!

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Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie with a Gluten-Free Crust

Ingredients for Pie Filling:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup canned light coconut milk

Ingredients for Crust:
1 cup Vanilla Chex cereal
1 cup Cinnamon Chex cereal
10 Shaar shortbread cookies
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons coconut butter, melted

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425° F.

To make the filling: Combine brown and white sugars with the spices and salt in a small bowl. Beat the eggs in a large bowl; beat in sugar and spice mixture, pumpkin, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the coconut milk. (I used light, but you could certainly use the full-fat version.)

To make the crust: In a gallon zip-lock bag, add ¼ cup sugar, 10 Schar Shortbread Cookies and a cup each of Vanilla Chex and Cinnamon Chex Cereals. Crush the mixture, using a rolling pin or like me, a heavy kettle. It’s okay if you there are a few bigger pieces of cereal and cookies. Also, feel free to substitute the cereals for a different kind, or you could even use ginger snap cookies only, for example. You just need 1 ½ cups crushed of whatever you want. Dump mixture into a bowl and add the 3 tablespoons of Earth Balance Coconut Spread (or real butter or another substitute). Mix together with a fork until the cereal mixture is evenly coated. Transfer to a pie dish and mold the crust using your fingers.

Pour the pie filling into the unbaked pie crust and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 45 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. (Mine only took 45 minutes.)

Set the pie on a wire rack for 2 hours to cool and firm up. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.

*The crust is slightly chewy and sticky, which was my favorite part!
*I topped the pumpkin pie with a dairy-free canned whipped cream. Next time I will make my own using full-fat coconut milk!

Let me know if you try it or if you have any favorite allergy-friendly pie recipe!!