Classic Grain Free Carrot Cake

Classic grain free carrot cake that is bursting with flavor and grain-, gluten-, refined sugar-free too!Sometimes, it feels like it’s all been done. Like every creative opportunity has been seized and every novel idea has been conceived and executed upon. It seems like food blogging is all of a sudden characterized by a rejection of the “boring” classics, and has turned into a race for bigger and better examples of, I don’t know, “innovation!”, “mashups!” and that horrid phrase (and activity) “trashing up!”, but to be honest, that’s just not me. Though cooking and baking is mostly about the opportunity to flex my creative muscles, when it feels like everything left to discover (everything palatable, anyway) has been discovered, maybe that’s ok. Maybe it just means it is time to go back to the classics.

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Simple Dairy-Free Whipped Cream

Paleo and Vegan Whipped CreamFew desserts cannot be improved by a dollop of whipped cream. Though your definition of dollop might change once you taste this whipped cream. It’s kind of perfect – it’s dairy-free, vegan, paleo, sugar-free (depending how you sweeten it) and gluten-free – and definitely hard to stop eating once you’ve started.

The base of this whipped cream is coconut cream, which is that thick, luxurious layer that floats to the top of a can of coconut milk. Luckily you can buy an entire can of it instead, so you don’t have to waste a ton of coconut milk to get enough cream. Whip this amazing stuff together with sweetener of choice, vanilla extract and a tiny pinch of salt and you’re good to go. 

Dairy-free whipped cream is wonderful on everything. Here are a few suggestions:

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Better-Than-Scout Cookies

Scout Cookies are like a grown up version of the beloved Samoa, plus they're gluten-free, paleo and refined sugar-free!

 It’s probably hard to grasp the importance of a cookie that is better than a Scout cookie if you’ve never had, let alone heard of, a Scout cookie. So, let me take a step back.

One of my best friends lives in Denver, and in addition to the pleasure of getting to spend time with her, my second-favorite reason to visit Denver is Watercourse, an unassuming restaurant that serves, by far, the best vegan food you’ve ever had in your life. It’s not crunchy-granola vegan; it’s more like amazingly delicious and creative food that just so happens to be vegan too. They also have an extensive menu of gluten-free options. Bottom line: it’s a spectacular restaurant that I have been known to eat at twice in 24 hours. With all of the wonderful food in Denver, a place that merits two meals almost in a row is really saying something. 

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Grain-Free Gnocchi

Grain-Free Gnocchi (Gluten-Free and Paleo)

I’m partnering with Simple Mills again today to bring you this recipe for grain-free gnocchi. Remember Simple Mills? They’re that great grain-free, wholesome baking mix company that I’ve talked about before. In Troy McClure terms, you might remember them from such doughnuts as these. I’ve been working with them since those doughnuts to develop such recipes as this decadent pumpkin swirl pound cake and this seriously satisfying Irish soda bread. But I digress. We’re talking savory today. The kind of savory that is warm, doughy and slips off your fork when you try to scoop them up, forcing you to chase them all over the bowl to make sure you don’t miss even a single one. The kind of savory that, if you’ve given up gluten, let alone grains, you may have thought you had to kiss goodbye.

Ok, there’s a tiny catch: the base of these gnocchi is from a mix. You may have already deduced that from the fact that I mentioned Simple Mills above, but just in case, I want to be clear so that no one feels like this is some bait-and-switch advertising post. You know I don’t use mixes often but no matter how hard I try, I haven’t been able to get the texture right when I try to make grain-free gnocchi from scratch. And it came out perfectly when I used this grain-free pizza dough mix (one of the products in Simple Mills’s new line, which also includes cake and pancakes/waffles!) as a base. So many of you went wild for these on Instagram and asked for the recipe, so here they are. Your wish is my command.

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