Gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, vegan. Chances are there will be someone at your holiday table with a dietary restriction. I know there will be at mine. Rather than feeling bothered about changing the menu to suit these folks, why not embrace the opportunity to try something new? I promise you and your guests won’t feel the least bit slighted with these gluten-free beet brownies and almond milk ice cream. I know what your thinking — beet brownies instead of pumpkin pie??? I know it’s a bit of a stretch but hear me out.
I first tried this recipe during the summer so they started out as zucchini brownies but since summer squash is no longer in season, I thought I’d substitute grated beets and carrots. The result was just as delicious, if not more. The recipe is a little mind-boggling because it doesn’t contain any flour but still has this wonderful dense cake-like texture, just like the real thing — just no gluten, no dairy, sweetened with honey instead of sugar and has one egg (sorry, vegans).
Gluten-Free Brownie Recipe
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cup shredded raw zucchini, beets (peeled) or carrots – I used a combo of beets and carrots/ 1 cup almond butter/ 1/3 cup raw honey/ 1 cup chopped dark chocolate, about 6 oz. – I’ve tried dark chocolate chips but didn’t like them nearly as much as bar chocolate/1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)/ 1 egg, beaten/ 1 t vanilla extract/ 1/4 t cinnamon/ 1 t baking soda.
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees/ Mix all ingredients and pour into a 9×9 pan – I didn’t butter or oil the pan/ Bake for 35 minutes.
They’re most delicious warm, right out of the oven. Thanks to my hair stylist, Amber for this recipe.
I made brownie cupcakes using this recipe for Charlie’s birthday last month and wished I had known about almond milk ice cream then. It makes the perfect dairy-free accompaniment for a party.
Almond Milk Ice Cream Recipe
Ingredients: 2 cups unsweetened almond milk/ 1/2 cup superfine sugar/ 1 T honey/ 1/8 t almond extract/ 1/2 cup shredded coconut (not in the original recipe but a delicious addition).
Directions: Combine all ingredients except coconut in a large mixing bowl, stirring until the sugar dissolves/ Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well-chilled, 4 hours or overnight/ Churn mixture in an ice-cream maker following the manufacturer’s directions/ I added the coconut toward the end of the churning process, not because that’s what you’re supposed to do, but because it was an afterthought/ Scoop ice cream into a quart container with a lid and store in the freezer.
This recipe comes from the latest cookbook from the fabulous Canal House. If you haven’t seen their series of cookbooks, you’re missing out. This is from Volume 8: Pronto. It’s filled with easy weeknight meals with an Italian flair, stunning photographs and entertaining writing. Many of the recipes use fresh seasonal, summer ingredients but it’ll be a great guide to cooking from the pantry later in the winter and that’s my plan. Until then, I’ll definitely enlist Charlie to try some of their cocktails made with Italian bitters. I think the Dark & Stormy season has already begun here in the Northwest.
Here’s a dessert almost everyone can eat. It’s so darn good for you, it’s hard to stop.