Crustless Pecan Tarts

I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest. It originates from shecookshecleans.net and I had to try it (with some minor alterations) to prepare for Thanksgiving, and because who doesn’t love pecan pie? Sure, I’ll miss the crust but these gluten-free babies are full of crunch since they’re packed with pecans. And you can also use walnuts or almonds or any favorite nut for this recipe, if you prefer. Crustless Pecan Tarts are just the right size for a sweet nutty snack or top it with a small scoop of coconut vanilla ice cream for a bite-sized dessert. Also perfect for potlucks!

RECIPE (makes 30 mini muffin-sized tarts):

  • 1-1/2 cups raw pecan pieces
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter (for toasting pecans)
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter (for pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Optional: 1 tbsp rum or bourbon
  1. In a large skillet, melt 1 tbsp of butter and add pecans. Toss frequently until pecans are lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from pan immediately to prevent burning the pecans, and allow to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 325˚ F.  Grease muffin pan or line a muffin pan with silicone baking cups. Distribute the chopped pecans equally into the baking cups. Set aside.
  3. Using a large heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (or a bain-marie), melt the 4 tbsp butter. Remove from the heat.
  4. Stir in sugar and salt with a wooden spoon until the butter is absorbed.
  5. Beat in the eggs, then the agave nectar.
  6. Return the bowl over the simmering water then stir until the mixture is shiny, smooth, and warm to the touch. Remove from heat.
  7. Stir in rum/bourbon and vanilla.
  8. Pour the pie filling over the pecan-filled muffin pan, distributing equally.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the pie filling is set, but still soft to the touch, and the tops are lightly browned.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, at least 4 hours.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

(If you end up storing these in the refrigerator, pop them in a toaster oven for a 3-5 minutes. Still good!)

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Pumpkin Spice Loaf with Cinnamon Frosting

I’ve been following FastPaleo.com since they posted a pumpkin recipe contest. This Pumpkin Spice Loaf with Cinnamon Frosting in particular caught my eye. I didn’t get a chance to make it right away until now (and the contest is over). This was one of the top five winners. It’s so moist and not too sweet. Even the frosting is not overly sweetened. They go perfectly well together. I made a few tweaks to make it a bit more guilt-free and added toasted pecans into the batter because I like hearty breads with “stuff” in it. I suppose you can also add roasted flax seeds too. (I’m going to add that next time! :)) So, yup… I definitely agree why this is a winner! (Even my 8-year old daughter liked it and she usually doesn’t touch “mommy’s diet foods.”) Perfect for a Thanksgiving dessert or something to bring to a Halloween potluck. Enjoy!

PUMPKIN SPICE LOAF

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • Optional: 1/2 to 1 cup of pecans or walnuts (lightly toasted in the oven)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350˚ F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients (except the nuts) with a mixer.
  3. Once batter is smooth, then add the nuts.
  4. Pour batter into a greased bread loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool. Place the pan in the fridge and make Cinnamon Frosting (see below) while the loaf cools.
  7. Gently remove loaf from baking pan. Using a butter knife or spatula, cover entire loaf with Cinnamon Frosting. Serve and enjoy! Store extras in fridge.

CINNAMON FROSTING

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine all ingredients with a mixer on high until you get the texture of fluffy frosting (approx 2-3 min).
  2. Spread frosting on cooled Pumpkin Spice Loaf.

Flourless Chocolate Banana Cake

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, it’s time to get back to business. 🙂

I was craving banana bread and chocolate the other day. So I did a search on the internet for “gluten-free banana bread” and, of course, I should’ve known… I found a Flourless Chocolate Banana Cake recipe from my gluten-free idol, Elana’s Pantry. This guilt-free cake is very moist and delicious. It’s light—kinda like eating a chocolate banana cloud. What a fantastic recipe! And the best part for me is the Chocolate Vegan Frosting. Notice how thick I slathered it over my cake? Gluten-free, low in sugar, dairy-free, and less carbs than real banana bread. Bake and bring this dessert at your next holiday event! Everyone will love it (and they’ll thank you because it’s guilt-free.)

RECIPE

  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil (or butter)
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cacao powder
  1. In a blender, whip egg yolks, agave and salt on medium for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add grapeseed oil (or butter) and mashed banana and blend for another minute or two.
  3. Blend in cacao powder.
  4. In a bowl, whip egg whites to stiff peaks.
  5. Gently fold chocolate mixture from the blender into bowl with egg whites.
  6. Grease a 8×8″ glass baking pan and pour batter into the pan.
  7. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
  8. Cool in fridge. Eat as is or top with Chocolate Vegan Frosting.
CHOCOLATE VEGAN FROSTING
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar (optional or use less because this is pretty sweet)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  1. In a bain marie or double boiler (or put a heat-safe bowl over a sauce pan of water), melt then chocolate until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a mixer, whip up melted chocolate and shortening.
  3. Stir in agave, vanilla and salt.
  4. If frosting is too runny, then place frosting in refrigerator for a few minutes until it is thick enough to spread.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! I didn’t know how easy it was to make creme brulee! I found this Pumpkin Creme Brulee recipe online (it was a video actually) and it is super simple to make. I altered the recipe to make it WAY lower in sugar. The best part—if you can afford a little sugar (raw turbinado anyone?)—is to flame the top with a blow torch so that you can get that crackly sound when you first tap your spoon into this luscious, gluten-free, low in sugar dessert. Serve this up for your family on Thanksgiving! They won’t be able to tell that it’s guilt-free.

RECIPE

  • 3 yolks
  • 1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar or agave nectar
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • Optional: Raw Turbinado or Sucanat for blow-torching
  1. Preheat oven at 325˚F. Prepare boiling water.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar/agave for about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in cream and whisk for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the pumpkin and spices and whisk until well-blended.
  5. Strain though sieve (Optional).
  6. Pour into 4 ramekins.
  7. Place ramekins in baking pan filled with boiling water halfway to sides of ramekins. Cover loosely with foil. Bake until set (30-35 min). Chill for 2-3 hours but it’s best if you chill it overnight.
  8. Lightly blanket about 1 tsp of raw turbinado or sucanat over the top of each ramekin and blow torch the sugar until melted. It will harden after a few minutes.
  9. Serve.

Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Puree

Pumpkins, sweet potatoes and cinnamon, oh my! It must be fall. Add this guilt-free Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Puree to your Thanksgiving Dinner. It’s gluten-free and full of fiber. Serve as a side dish with lunch or dinner, or even eat it as a dessert. It’s like Thanksgiving in a bowl!

I want to just stick this puree in a crust and make it into a pie or cover the top with marshmallows and heat it up in the oven. But since I can’t do that, simply sprinkle roasted pecan pieces over the top to make it nutty-licious and still guilt-free!

RECIPE

  • about 2-3 cups of fresh pumpkin, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 generous tbsp of butter
  • 2-3 generous tbsp of cream cheese
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1-2 tsp agave nectar
  • ground cinnamon (spice to your taste)
  • 1 tsp of dry sweetener (Stevia, Splenda, Coconut Palm Sugar) of your choice
  1. Roast pumpkin in oven at 350˚F until it is fork tender. (You can follow these instructions from Elana’s Pantry, or you can buy the canned stuff but it won’t be chunky. And make sure there’s no sugar.)
  2. Boil sweet potato until fork tender.
  3. Mash the pumpkin and sweet potato in a bowl, then add the banana. Mash to your desired consistency (lumpy or totally smooth…whatever you like).
  4. Mix in butter, cream cheese and agave nectar.
  5. Add cinnamon and dry sweetener to your taste.