Healthy Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Tips n’ Recipes

Tired of the heavy sides and mundane main dishes at your Thanksgiving table? Well, I’ve got some fun, fresh n’ healthy tips to keep your dining experience as pleasureful and worry-free as possible…

What scares you most about enjoying Thanksgiving gluten-free? Is it the contamination? The stuffing? The lack of taste?

We’ve all got our ‘scaredy pants’ on during the holidays…worries there may be a trace of gluten or soy or dairy in a beverage, dessert, main dish, side or condiment…

No matter what worries you the most, be sure to always check the ingredients on the labels and stick to ‘fresh, clean’ foods made from Mother Earth…

Here are a few tips n’ swaps for you to test out on your Turkey table…

Enjoy!

Steer Clear of Canned Gravy

  • Instead use the drippings from your freshly roasted turkey.  I don’t like to take a chance on ‘processed’ foods, when you can simply get creative and combine your fresh drippings with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of oregano and black pepper.

Swap Out the Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • Who doesn’t love pure, organic canned pumpkin? I know I sure do…use pure pumpkin instead of the pie filling to nix the added sugars.. the real stuff is best when you use it with a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and all-spice.  You won’t be sacrificing the flavor and you’ll reap the healthy vitamins from the pure pumpkin, too!

Jarred Cranberry Sauce

  • Create your very own chutney using fresh cranberries, apples, pears, stevia and ginger.  The taste will surely beat that of anything inside a jar…so, go ahead turn on that stove top and whip up your very own cranberry sauce or chutney to serve atop your turkey and roasted veggies.  You can even use this chutney to top your desserts, as well.

Heavy Whipped Topping

  • Instead, try whipping a mixture of Greek yogurt with gluten-free vanilla extract, stevia on medium-high speed with a mixer until stiff peeks form.  This will create a beautiful whipped topping without the additives or preservatives in bottles whipped toppings and processed heavy creams.

Boxed Mashed Potatoes

  • Break out the creativity at your farmer’s market or produce stand.  Try mashed beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, turnips…I could go on forever…these natural root veggies add the perfect touch of sweetness without the starchy additives, sugars and preservatives.  Serve these mashed veggies with the above chutney and whipped topping for a special decadent treat.

And here is an amazing offer to receive an iPad from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, where I received my Nutrition Certification.

Prospective students who enroll in IIN this Friday are eligible to receive an iPad, so tell your friends and family to call IIN at (877) 730-5444 from 10am – 4pm ET on Friday, November 26.  All you have to do is mention my name, Amie Valpone to ensure you receive referral credit when you enroll.  It’s a win-win situation!

Also, I’m offering all of you Free Shipping for any order in my Shop over $50 with code: FREESHIP50

Here are a few Gluten-Free dishes you can easily serve up for your Turkey Table…

Chilled Cranberry Macadamia Crunch

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 3 large pears, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 12 dates, chopped
  • 3 large Honey crisp apples, cored and chopped
  • 3/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. stevia
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp. freshly graded lime zest
  • Pinch of all-spice
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • Topping: Greek plain yogurt
  • Topping: Ground flax seeds

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine cranberries, pears, dried cherries, dried apricots, basil, dates, apples and macadamia nuts; pulse until minced.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Gently toss to combine.
  3. Place into the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.
  4. Serve chilled with a dollop of Greek plain yogurt and a sprinkle of ground flax seeds.
  5. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Golden Stuffin’ Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado, very finely mashed
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 12 pieces gluten-free bread, roughly chopped into 1/2 inch cube-like pieces
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup baby portabello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare a muffin tin with non-stick baking spray.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized pot over medium heat, cook avocado, sweet potatoes and vegetable broth; approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine gluten-free bread, raisins, mushrooms, rosemary, egg, vinegar, cinnamon, sea salt and pepper; gently toss to combine.  Add warm avocado mixture and mix well.
  5. Transfer mixture to prepared muffin tins.  Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven; set aside to cool before removing.
  7. Serve warm.
  8. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Cherry Chia Cornbread Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado, finely mashed
  • 2 cups grilled corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cups rice milk
  • 1 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • 1 tsp. lemon peel
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • Optional Topping: Greek plain yogurt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
  3. In a food processor, pulse avocado and grilled corn for 15-20 seconds.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix well to combine.
  4. Transfer mixture into prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Serve with fresh cranberry sauce and a dollop of Greek plain yogurt.
  7. Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Grilled Corn n’ Pumpkin Guacamole and Stonyfield Yogurt Giveaway

Well, yet another spin on my classic guac…this time the Thanksgiving spirit got me yearnin’ for some pumpkin’ and a lil’ grilled corn, so why not toss it into your guac this season for a tasty sweet n’ savory dish that can be enjoyed as a dip with roasted root vegetables such as eggplant, sweet potato fries, carrot fries, butternut squash fries, zucchini fries or apple and parsnip fries.  I enjoyed this guac spread onto my lunchtime sandwich in lieu of mayo and also used it to top my evening grilled fish dish.  So, go ahead…I’m giving you permission to get creative…whip up this baby and have fun using it as a condiment for dips, a spread on a sandwich, dressing on a salad or topped onto a bowl of vegetables…any way you choose, it’s delish…

Dip in…and enjoy!

Grilled Corn n’ Pumpkin Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 3 earns corn
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 avocados, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup natural pumpkin puree
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Stonyfield Oikos Greek plain yogurt

Directions

  • Preheat grill to medium heat.
  • Brush corn with oil and place onto grill; cook for approximately 15 minutes or until desired doneness.  Set aside to cool.
  • Remove kernels from cob using a knife.
  • In a separate bowl, combine avocado, pumpkin, onion, cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, flax seeds, nutritional yeast and red peppers; mix well to combine.
  • Add corn and mix.  Top with a dollop of Oikos Greek plain yogurt.
  • Enjoy with sliced vegetables, whole grain chips or as a spread on a sandwich.

And now for my Stonyfield Yogurt Giveaway:

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I’m giving away $60 worth of Stonyfield Yogurt Coupons, 2 Stonyfield Recipe Books and a Stonyfield Spatula.

To Enter:

1). View the Stonyfield Yogurt website and tell me what yogurt you’d like to try.
2). Post this giveaway on your blog. Leave a comment telling me you did.
3). Tweet this Giveaway post! Leave me a third comment telling me you did.

 

Each comment counts as an entry.

Good Luck; I will be picking a winner on Monday, November the 15th at 5PM EST.

 

 

VEGA Vegan Protein Patties and Marx Foods GIVEAWAY

As you all know, I’m a proud VEGA Ambassador and I recently created a tasty recipe and video demo for the VEGA website sharing my vegan protein patties.

Be sure to take a look at my Vega Ambassador Interview, Recipe and Video.



Ingredients

  • 1 packet VEGA Sport
  • ¼ cup steel-cut oats, cooked
  • 1 cup black beans, cooked
  • 2 Tbsp. nut butter
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp. raisins
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium ripe banana, sliced
  • Pinch of each sea salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 10 walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine all ingredients; process until smooth.
  3. Using a tablespoon, drop the batter into your hands; mold into patties and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown and crispy.
  5. Enjoy!

And Now…I am happy to announce my Marx Foods Palm Leaf Plate Giveaway.

I recently had the opportunity to test out these Palm Leaf Plates, which are incredible and great for entertaining. I was quite impressed at how well these plates held up as I was a bit skeptical since they’re disposable, but to my surprise they held up like a charm.  These beautiful pates are an eco-friendly and biodegradable plates are a unique alternative to conventional plates.  The plates and the disposable cutlery are even compostable!

To Enter:

1). View the Marx foods website and tell me what Palm Leaf plate shape you’d like to try.
2). Post this giveaway on your blog. Leave a comment telling me you did.
3). Tweet this Giveaway post! Leave me a third comment telling me you did.

Each comment counts as an entry.

Good Luck; I will be picking a winner on Friday, September the 10th at 5PM EST.


NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway and Springtime Lavender Lime Muffins

I recently was sent a ‘sweet’ package from NuNaturals Stevia filled with stevia baking powder, stevia liquid and stevia packets.  Needless to say, I’ve been quite a busy bee in my tiny Manhattan apartment whipping up delicious and decadent goodies.  Here is one of my newest creations…

Springtime Lavender Lime Muffins


This is a fabulous muffin recipe just in time for spring and the upcoming Easter holiday.  I created these delicious muffins last week and I cannot wait to make them again for my family over Easter vacation.  These muffins have the perfect hint of sweetness from the dried lavender and lime…they’ll surely be hard to pass up for a tasty and healthy treat…Enjoy!

Ingredients

Muffins

  • 2/3 cup NuNaturals Stevia Baking Blend
  • 1 tsp. dried lavender buds
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup rice milk
  • 4 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 3 tsp. lime zest
  • Egg substitute for 1 large egg
  • 5 Tbsp. canned pumpkin

Topping

  • 1/2 cup stevia
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 1/3 cup Greek plain yogurt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Spray muffin cups with baking spray.
  • In a food processor, combine stevia and dried lavender; pulse for 1 minute.  Sift through a strainer into a large bowl to remove large pieces of lavender.  Whisk in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; blend well.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk rice milk, lime juice and 3 tsp. lime peel.
  • In a separate medium bowl, beat egg substitute with pumpkin puree and rice milk mixture.
  • Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in egg mixture; mix to blend.
  • Divide among muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • For topping, combine stevia and lime peel in a small bowl.  Dip the top of each cooled muffin in Greek plain yogurt, then sprinkle with stevia mixture.
  • Enjoy!

And now for the Giveaway!

NuNaturals Stevia has offered to send 4 of my readers one box of our NuStevia packets, plus one bottle of our new Alcohol Free Vanilla Stevia liquid.


Here are 3 ways you can enter to win:

  • Leave me a comment on this post telling me your favorite way to use NuNaturals Stevia.
  • Link back to this contest on your blog.
  • Tweet: @Thehealthyapple is hosting a NuNaturals Stevia giveaway.

All entrants must reside in the U.S.

I will pick 4 random winners on Friday, March the 26th at 5:00 PM EST.

Good Luck!

Raw Cacao Tofu Brownies

Even though Valentine’s Day is over, I’ve been busy in my kitchn’ testing raw cacao recipes…this weekend I created gluten-free and dairy-free tofu-rific brownies…they were fabulous to say the least.  I loved the combination of buckwheat flour and pumpkin puree…these special treats have the perfect touch of sweetness complimented by flax n’ chia seeds as well as a pistachio crunch.

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
  • 3/4 cup stevia or raw sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. flax and chia seeds

Wet Ingredients

Optional Garnish

  • 2 Tbsp. raw pistachios, shelled

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray an 8 x 8 inch pan with nonstick baking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients by hand; set aside.
  • Using a food processor, combine all wet ingredients; process until it forms a smooth consistency.  Slowly add dry ingredients and pulse until well moistened.
  • Transfer mixture into baking pan; sprinkle with optional garnished pistachios.
  • Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Set aside for 20 minutes to cool.  Remove from pan, serve and enjoy!

Musselman’s Apple Sauce Holiday Side Dish and Giveaway Gift Basket

Recently I was contacted by Musselman’s Apple Sauce to create a holiday side dish using their apple sauce.  To say the least, I pretty much inhaled the complimentary 2 jars they sent to me Delicious is an understatement and I had a fabulous time in my new kitchen devising a holiday recipe side dish.


And the best news is that the kind folks over at Musselman’s are offering a Musselman’s Gift Basket to one of my readers. Simply leave a comment on this post with your favorite ways to eat apple sauce and I will be choosing a winner tomorrow!  Good Luck!


Basil Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Musselman’s Apple Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup Libby’s canned pumpkin
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 4 Tbsp. ghee or butter alternative
  • Stevia for topping

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Combine ghee, agave nectar and sugar in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer.
  • Add eggs, vanilla, chopped basil, applesauce, and pumpkin to sugar mixture; mix on low speed.
  • Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  • Slowly add to the wet ingredients while continuing to mix on low speed.
  • Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Fill muffin pan with batter 3/4 way full.
  • Sprinkle each muffin with stevia.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Harvest Pumpkin Tofu Frittata

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I was bit by the frittata bug last week and made this for a quick and easy breakfast dish, which then turned into a few meals throughout the week.  Aside from this tasty breakfast, I created an afternoon frittata lunch over arugula, pistacios and fresh figs and  a hearty supper earlier this week atop  al dente buckwheat noodles, tomato sauce and vegan Parmesan cheese.

Over the years my clients have asked me, “What’s the difference between a frittata and an omelet?” Good Question, isn’t it?  Well, in case you are unsure of the answer…the main difference between these two is simply that omelets traditionally have the eggs cooked and folded around the filling, while a frittata gets everything mumbled, jumbled and mixed together.  I serve my frittatas at room temperature, which makes them a convenient option for ‘Cooking Once, Eating Twice’ through creating lunch and dinner plates.  The thought of frittatas reminds me of getting together with friends over brunch and gives me a cozy feeling inside…suddenly it’s not about the frattata anymore, yet the overall enjoyment of a versatile dish that can be enjoyed by one (me) or a large group.  For me, there’s nothing like a light egg dish combined with your favorite veggies and herbs, topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt, tomato sauce and vegan Parmesan cheese.  Now, doesn’t that sound delicious?

Frittatas are a wonderful way to add a variety of veggies (and leftovers) to your meal; the flavor combinations are unlimited…simply let your imagination guide you when choosing what’s available in your fridge.  It’s quite easy to experiment and hard to go wrong when creating your frittata masterpiece…it’s a fun, effortless way to whip up a quick meal anytime of the day. My  flavorful pumpkin tofu frittata is packed with health benefits, which come from its rich source of vitamins A, C and K.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups kale, finely chopped (stems removed)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 5 oz. firm tofu, drained
  • 2 eggs (or egg substitute)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped for garnish
  • Optional Toppings: Greek yogurt, tomato sauce, vegan Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Prepare and chop all vegetables.
  • Puree tofu with eggs and egg whites, canned pumpkin, dried oregano and turmeric in a blender.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable broth with 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large pan over medium heat; let sit for 1 minute, or until it starts to steam.
  • Add onion, garlic, zucchini, bell pepper, kale and sun dried tomatoes; saute for 1 minute over medium heat.  Stir often.
  • Add 1/4 cup vegetable broth and balsamic vinegar.  Pour tofu mixture over veggies, cover and cook over low heat until mixture is completely firm and cooked, about 12 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Enjoy!

Here are some recent articles ‘In The News’ that I  thought I’d pass along:

5 Superfoods About To Make It Big

Diets That Promote Health and Always Have

How Your Toddler Can Get The Nutrients He Needs

Moms Spend Wisely