There are many temptations during the holiday season. But Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen's Janine Washle says it is possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle and still enjoy sweets.
Christmas can be a challenge for those who are managing their cholesterol, sugar, fats, and gluten. Whether these restrictions are part of a lifestyle, vegetarian or vegan, or doctor-mandated due to illness or surgery, it makes it difficult to enjoy the abundance of sweets that the holidays bring. Luckily, breakthroughs in sugar substitutes, dairy free milks, and gluten free baking mixes, make it much easier to present desserts that look like the traditional favorites, and most importantly, taste good too.
It isn't difficult to convert a family recipe with the number of trustworthy websites that help with the process. Listed below are several that provide good information to aid in the process. You may find that you enjoy the modified recipe more than the original.
www.dairyfreeglutenfree.com - lots of information in the FAQs section.
www.Glutenfreegirl.com - easy to understand guide to cooking and baking gluten free.
www.Glutenfreegigi.com good gluten free list.
www.Gfoverflow.com - database of gluten free ingredients and products information. Just type product or ingredient in search bar to find out whether or not it is gluten free.
For information about diabetes: www.diabetes.org
www.noglutennoproblem.blogspot.com - this blogger compares many ingredients to determine carbohydrate content. Very informative.
All of us can benefit from some common sense advice, don't eat large servings of sweets, and pace yourself when it comes to sweets during the next few weeks. If you had a dessert buffet last night, balance it today with fresh fruit and other nutritionally sound choices. Furthermore, if you are hosting a dinner party or dessert party, don't force dessert on the guests. Another tip to help control overeating is to offer individual portions of desserts such as pre cut lemon bars, brownies, and a cookie platter. Custards, trifles, and puddings can be served in pre portioned bowls or for a more festive touch in martini or champagne glasses. Besides, when you take the time to make up servings, you are controlling portions which is much more economical.
Arm yourself with some common sense guidelines: Evaluate the treat and decide whether it is worth it to indulge, keep the portion sizes small, indulge a sweet tooth by eating fresh fruit, save the big ticket sweets like cake and pie for special occasions. With these tips under your belt, you can maintain your healthy lifestyle and still be part of the festivities. Merry Christmas!
Dairy Free Gluten free Lemon Bars
Makes: 16 squares
1 cup gluten free baking mix
½ cup almond meal
1/4 cup sugar
3 TB coconut oil
¾ cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup water
½ cup dairy free milk substitute
½ cup + 2 TB fresh lemon juice
1 TB fresh lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8" x 8" baking pan with non stick spray. Line the pan with a large piece of parchment paper crimping the edges so they extend outward not upward. Set aside.
Prepare crust by stirring together baking mix, almond meal, sugar, and coconut oil in a medium bowl. You may need to add an extra TB of coconut oil depending on how dry the baking mix is.
Press mixture on bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn brown. Remove from oven and cool.
To prepare filling: Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in water then milk substitute. Cook over medium high heat until it just begins to boil and has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and zest. Pour over baked cooled crust. Refrigerate an hour or until filling is set. Cut into 16 squares.
Dark Gingerbread Snack Cake
Makes: 16 squares
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar substitute
½ cup brown sugar substitute
3 TB cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp salt
6 TB sugar free apple butter
1 TB cider vinegar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup water
Garnish: Powdered stevia, **
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift flour, sugar substitutes, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt into an 8" x 8" inch ungreased baking dish. Make three depressions. Spoon apple butter into the first depression, cider vinegar into the second, and vanilla into the third. Pour water over top then stir with a fork until all is moistened.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
**To powder granulated stevia, process in a food processor until the consistency of powdered sugar is achieved. Store in a covered container.
To Decorate: Place doily over top of gingerbread creasing as necessary so it lays directly on top. Using a small mesh strainer, sprinkle powdered stevia over top. Carefully remove doily to reveal pattern.
Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen also has a special Slimmed down ChristmasRecipe Booklet available by email. To ask for a complimentary copy, just email Janine Washle at firstname.lastname@example.org
To find Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen on Facebook: .CLICK HERE
CloverFields Farm & Kitchen
3720 Mt. Olive Rd.
Hardin Springs Area
Big Clifty, KY 42712
Janine Washle and her family live at the Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen in Big Clifty, Kentucky in Hardin County. CloverFields Farm & Kitchen, part of a century old farmstead, is our home and business. The McGuffin house, the original farmhouse, is a registered state landmark. CloverFields Farm has a prosperous farming history. They are continuing this rural story in their own unique way by the addition of CloverFields Kitchen a place to explore the past through food and merge it with our modern lifestyles.
CloverFields Farm is dedicated to the preservation of southern, especially Kentucky, food traditions. The kitchen is commercially-outfitted compliant with Health Department standards. In this kitchen I develop new recipes based on original ideas, inspirations from my culinary research, and most often according to what is in season.
On the farm, they make many gifts and specialty items. She is currently working on her first cookbook, but she also has a long resume developing recipes for several companies. She has also won several contests and cook-offs with her original recipes.