Playing catch up: "Splurge" Saturday

This is my first “splurge” post for Vegan MoFo. Let me warn you now that I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if every one revolved around some kind of frozen dessert. I’m crazy over “ice cream.” When you’re a soy free vegan, there aren’t a ton of options, but thankfully some of the ones that are available here in the US are REALLY good. One such option, as mentioned in an earlier post, is Coconut Bliss and I used it to its full potential in this splurge.
First of all let me apologize for the less than stellar picture. It was dark outside when I got this little gem out of the freezer. And I wasn’t about to wait to eat it until tomorrow. Now moving on to the good stuff…

Ginger-coconut Cookiewich:
1/4 cup naked coconut variety of Coconut Bliss

Put the Coconut Bliss between the two cookies and wrap tightly (I used press and seal, but regular plastic wrap would probably work just fine). Freeze for at least one hour. Take it out, unwrap it and try to make it last for as many bites as possible. The last bite will make you a little sad.

Point value: 8

Playing Catchup: "This Not That" Thursday

“This Not That” Thursday is about making lower point choices. It doesn’t mean not to ever have the higher point treat. That’s what those weekly points are for! It also doesnt mean that the lower point choice is more nutritious, because often times lower point choices are more processed and lacking in nutrients that the higher point choice offers. Always use your head and make choices based on what’s important to you and your body!

I’m a huge fan of Coconut Bliss frozen non-dairy dessert. It’s one of the most delicious, creamy frozen desserts I have ever had. I don’t mean since I’ve become vegan. I mean EVER! I’m not ready to (nor do I suggest that you) sign off on never having Coconut Bliss again. It’s natural: made from real organic coconut milk and organic agave syrup. And did I mention it’s fabulous? However just a 1/2 cup serving packs a walloping 5 point value!

A lower point (though less natural, not organic) choice is Double Rainbow Chocolate Sorbet. Less creamy, but absolutely delicious, it satisfies that desire for a cold, rich, creamy dessert at only 2 points per 1/2 cup serving. It’s also less than half the price.

Whichever choice you make, it should be the occasional treat, not a replacement for nutrient rich fruits and vegetables. But when you make the choice to splurge on one of them, make sure you take the time to really enjoy it!

I did it! I did it! Vegan, GF Pastry Crust!!! And Beautiful Individual Apple Galettes

Note added October 15, 2010. This pie crust is good, but I have made a new and improved one!

Just take a few seconds and look at that galette! I finally made a vegan, gluten free pasty crust that is neither oily nor taste like sand. It tastes like pie crust :-) I asked my dad the all important question…is it good considering it’s gluten free, or is it good? The response was that it’s just good!

I basically followed the recipe for the Individual Heart Shaped Apple Galettes from Veganomicon, but obviously I didn’t make them heart shaped. I was having issues drawing just one heart with a knife. I didn’t have the patience to do 6. So I got out a saucer and traced around it with the knife. I only got 5 of them instead of 6, but with a slightly smaller circle, I could easily make 6. I also used closer to 2-3 tsp of apricot preserves per galette so that I would have a thin layer over the whole crust. Mine was a reduced sugar preserve from Trader Joes. I also replaced the regular brown sugar with turbinado sugar just because it’s what I have in the cupboard.

As lovely as the galettes are, and they are indeed lovely, for me the most important thing here is the crust.

Here goes…

  • 1 cup of this gf all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup garfava flour
  • 3/4 sorghum flour
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (2011 update: spectrum shortening works even better)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup very cold water (you may end up needing more, but I did not)

Before beginning to mix the crust, refrigerate the coconut oil for about 15 minutes to get it more the consistency of shortening. Don’t leave it in the fridge too long or it will be hard. Trust me on this, I did it once – I could hardly cut through it with a knife.

In a medium bowl, using a whisk or a fork, mix the “all-purpose”, garfava, and sorghum flours with the xanthan gum. Add and mix the salt and sugar. Divide the coconut oil into thirds. Add 1/3 coconut oil in small chunks to the flour mixture and cut in. Repeat with each of the other two thirds. (You will cut in 3 times).

In a separate small bowl or measuring cup, mix the vinegar with the 1/2 cup of water. Again working in 3 batches, mix the water/vinegar mixture into the dry ingredients with a fork. The dough should hold together. If you need to add a little more water to achieve a good dough consistency, you can add up to 1/4 cup more.

Gather the dough into a ball and knead it until it all holds together. Form into a ball and flatten out a bit. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes it is ready to roll for the galettes or for a pie. Keep some of the gf all-purpose flour on hand for rolling. Flour the surface (my surface was wax paper taped to the counter) and the rolling pin and lightly flour the dough surface.

I haven’t baked a 2 crust pie in many years, but I would expect this crust would be plenty. It was even easy enough to work with that I think it might make a nice lattice crust. It didn’t stick, it rarely cracked and I could pick up the rounds of it and carry it over to the pan that was waiting to bake these beauties.


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