Grain Free Sweet Potato Pie Goodness

I have been grain free since April 2014. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I suddenly realized that I must find pie. So I set out to create a grain free pie that was worth sharing on Thanksgiving. I know there are tons of awesome recipes on the internet already; however, sometimes I enjoy creating my own recipe. Here is what I came up with:

Grain Free Sweet Potato Pie

Crust Ingredients

  • 1 cup Almond Meal or Flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 tbsp lard*
  • 1 tbsp real maple syrup grade B
  • 4 tbsp ice cold water
  • large pinch of sea salt

Pie Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (approximately 2 1/4 cups) baked and peeled
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • large pinch of salt

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Instructions 

  1. First make the crust. In a large mixing bowl mix together the almond meal or flour, coconut flour, arrowroot starch and salt, then add the egg, lard, ice water and maple syrup. You can roll with a rolling pin, but this has never worked out for me with grain free crust, so I just scooped it into my glass pie pan and use a spoon to smooth it as evenly as possible. Make sure you put it up the sides also, and use your fingers to pinch the top. Let it sit in the refrigerator for one hour.  If the sides keep falling, add a little more coconut flour.10711019_10154885667615089_367251562230110373_n
  2. Next, mix together all of the pie ingredients in a food processor. (Yes I tasted it! lol)1505288_10204840432627248_723312374104629049_n  10407245_10204840436387342_6517968877076640411_n
  3. Add the filling to the crust and smooth the filling, after the crust had chilled. before pie
  4. Bake for 30-40 mins or until the crust is brown & a toothpick comes out clean. 10353047_10204840437907380_6960240185752649987_n
  5. Enjoy!                                                                        10406650_10204840444987557_3996751603230733503_n

 

*Please Note: The lard should come from a high quality source. If you are in or around the Columbia, MO area then I recommend either Sullivan Farms out of Fayette or Crocker Farms out of Centralia. Both can be found at the farmers market on most Saturdays. They are hit and miss this time of year though.

 

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Mini Chef Cooking Classes

Back in June of 2014, I started Back 2 Basics Cooking. One of the services that I offer is cooking classes for children between the ages of 18 months and 12 years old (13 years and up attend the adult classes). For this mini chef class, we made the Flourless Zucchini Brownies from Lindsey over at Delighted Momma and we had children from 4-8 years old. I know that some people in the Paleo community are not fans of Paleo Desserts, but I think this is one of the amazing examples of a great use for them! Anytime you can get children to cook with (and eat) more whole foods is a win in my book. Even if that food happens to be a brownie.

We had such a blast! One of the little girl’s actually said, “This is the BEST time I’ve ever had in my life!” And while I suspect that to a 7 year old, a lot of things are probably “the best”, this completely melted my heart and reaffirmed my decision to start my business in the first place. Since we had so much fun, I thought I would briefly go over the class for anyone who might be wondering what a mini chef cooking class at Back 2 Basics Cooking looks like.

Set-Up & Zucchini Prep

After we all put on our nametags and aprons, we washed our hands. I explained how I had already preheated the oven. Then each mini chef got their own zucchini. They then washed, peeled and cut their zucchini into large chunks. And don’t worry, they used a knife I purchased from Pampered Chef that will cut, but will not cut them. The kids all did such a great job and really enjoyed this task!

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Zucchini Shredding

After this we all took turns pushing the button on the food processor (because we, of course, ALL had to push it!) and then scraping the zucchini into the bowl. The kids were very excited to see how we were going to make a brownie out of zucchini. They did not think this was possible.

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Remaining Ingredients

We then took turns again, adding in the remaining ingredients. We talked about how we were doubling the recipe, and took the time to figure out what the doubles of each ingredient were.

Fresh Farm Eggs

Fresh Farm Eggs

Pure Vanilla Extract

Pure Vanilla Extract

Ground Cinnamon

Ground Cinnamon

Almond Butter

Almond Butter

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Raw Honey

Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips

Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips

Baking Soda

Baking Soda

Mixing

And then we stirred, stirred, stirred it all up!

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Greasing the Pan

And while some where mixing, others were taking turns greasing the pan with extra virgin coconut oil:

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Pouring

Then came the pouring:

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Fun Activities While Waiting for Brownies to Bake

While the brownies were in the oven, each mini chef got to decorate their very own cookbook. We talked about how this was their own very special cookbook, and that if they did not like a recipe then they did not have to leave it in their book. They each gave their cookbook a personal touch with some stickers and a few markers.

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The kids were each proud of their personally designed cookbooks!

The kids were each proud of their personally designed cookbooks!

We also played simon says, red light-green light and talked about our favorite foods! Then these amazing kids all lined up at the sink and worked together, as a team, to wash all of the dishes (except the sharp food processor blade off course). All I did was get them set up and then they did the rest!

Teamwork

dishes

The teamwork that these children displayed was nothing short of impressive and better than many adults I have seen!

Are they done yet?!?

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Before we opened the oven, we talked about how hot it was and how careful we all needed to be so no one would get burned.

After much suspense, the brownies were finally finished!

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Since we doubled the batch, we should have stirred once about 10 minutes into baking and the middle wouldn’t have been lighter than the outside. Lesson learned. However, the taste wasn’t affected in the least. These kids make some super yummy brownies!  The two “eye” holes are from me making sure the brownies were done with the knife and the “mouth” baked into the brownies itself. Some of the kids thought the brownies looked like a face and found a lot of humor in this!

We did not get any pictures of eating the brownies, because everyone was busy filling their tummies! All of the children and parents said the brownies were very tasty.

What Did The Parents Think?

So, by now you can probably tell that the children had lots of fun and enjoyed themselves. But you may be wondering what the parents (grandparents,etc) thoughts were. Let’s take a quick look:

“We did our first kid’s class today and it was GREAT. Ashley was engaging, friendly, and knowledgable. The recipe was delicious, and the kids had fun! We’re looking forward to next month’s class!” -Rebecca Johanning QA/Control Technician

“It was lots of fun and very well organized. Fun for kids.” -Leanne Lake, Administrative Associate

I love how hands on it is. The entertainment during the cook time was great. I love the personalized cookbooks. This is a hands on event, full of family value. It is a great way to spend some one on one time with your child, and you get a healthy tasty treat at the end!” -Jenifer Smith, Mother of 3

Other Mini Chef Classes

I hope that this post has helped answer any questions you might have about the mini chef classes. If not, please do not hesitate to ask me! Also, some classes won’t require such a long baking time so the extra activities will be less.

Please Note:At the time of this class, I have all the mini chef’s (ages 18 months to 12 years) in one class; however, as enrollment continues to pick up, I will be added an junior chef classes. At that point the mini chef classes will be for children ages 18 months to 6 years and the junior chef classes will be for children 7 years to 12 years old. If your child is 13 or above they will attend the adult classes (unless they wish to come to a junior chef class).

leanne

Conclusion

Getting your child (or grandchild/niece/nephew) excited about eating whole foods is only one of the many benefits of the mini chef cooking classes at Back 2 Basics Cooking. In this class alone, in addition to the actual cooking, the children worked on teamwork, sharing, fractions, fine motor skills, and patience! So if you want your child to learn a skill that will last a lifetime, along with practice of many other skills, sign up for a mini chef class today! Seating is very limited.

BIG THANK YOU to Jenifer Smith for taking all of these awesome pictures while her daughter was attending this class.

Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice

I thought a video would help some people who are visual learners better than a recipe, so I put together this video to demonstrate how to prepare Chicken Fried Rice-Paleo Style (meaning without actually containing any rice). You will also see how to make cauliflower rice. Feel free to substitute the meat or omit it altogether.

My apologizes for the poor video quality, but I believe can still help guide others in making this yummy dish! This is my first video, so hopefully the next one will be better. This has definitely been a learning experience (as are most things in life it seems).

I hope you enjoy! Check out my website for the full written recipe.

Please feel free to leave me feedback on this post or the video itself. I appreciate feedback and use it to serve you better.

Let’s Talk About Lard

I went to a health fair today to discuss my business, which offers whole food cooking classes and workshops for children and adults. One of the people I spoke with was very shocked (as many many people are) when I said that cooking with lard from well taken care of, pastured pigs is actually healthy. Not to mention it is cheap compared to most healthy cooking fats, so it is great for people like me on a budget!

It was hard for me to wrap my head around this concept at first as well, considering that the thought of lard previously made me instantly think clogged arteries. Not to mention eating pig fat? What?! Ugh. But that was then and this is now. And now I feel empty inside when I am out of lard. haha But really, it has truly become a staple in our home these days. My son ate all of his vegetables at dinner tonight! At 2, this is not an everyday occurrence. But really, who can resist anything roasted with lard?

I enjoy learning the science behind how food affects us;however, I believe it is best to leave it to the experts when it comes to explaining it. Below are a few links to check out regarding what fats are “healthy”, including our good friend lard:

http://www.thepaleomom.com/2011/11/what-about-fat.html

http://nomnompaleo.com/post/2143915389/roast-your-veggies-doused-in-lard

http://culinaryarts.about.com/b/2008/09/21/lard-the-other-good-fat.htm

Check back next week for my Grain Free Sweet Potato Pie recipe, just in time for the holidays, made with, you guess it, lard!

I get my lard from my local farmer’s market. Either Sullivan Farms out of Fayette or Crocker Farms out of Centralia. Remember all lard is not created equally. 

In the end, as always, it is your decision on what you put into your mouth, so don’t take my word for it (or anyone else’s). Do your homework and decide for yourself; but, please just don’t throw lard out without a fair trial as I previously did.

If you use lard like me, what is your favorite thing to prepare with it?