It is very bitter sweet to be approaching the end of this challenge. I now have only 8 recipes left before I finish the beloved Oh She Glows cookbook! While I am excited and proud looking back at all the recipes I’ve made over the past few months, I am also sad that in two weeks I won’t have this challenge to enjoy anymore. This cookbook has honestly become like a friend; a dog-eared, food-splattered, checklist-filled friend that I could turn to any time I needed inspiration for new flavors, ingredients and cooking adventures. Of course, I will find a new source of inspiration, which is exciting too! Still, I’m going to miss the pleasure of working through an entire cookbook as lovely as this one, and will definitely be very eager to get my hands on the next cookbook from Angela Liddon this Fall!
I had to get creative with a few of this week’s recipes due to some food allergies I have. This may sound awfully strange to some, but I know to others it will conjure up a “ME TOO!” reaction; there are certain fruits and nuts that when eaten raw, give me a very itchy throat and palate. If they are cooked, I’m fine! I know, weird right? Turns out it’s a real deal allergy though, and after years of thinking I was the only strange person who’s mouth got itchy after eating an apple, I met others who complained of the same problem. It’s called an ‘oral allergy’ and it is a reaction to certain proteins in the fruit/nuts. For some people, the allergy-causing proteins break down when the fruit or nut is cooked, while others are allergic to a different protein that will not break down with cooking. I’m lucky enough to be one of the ones who can handle cooked nuts, apples, etc. Please note though, I am NOT a doctor and in no way suggest you start experimenting with foods you are allergic to. Talk to doctor if you have these problems; that’s what I did. Oh, and even if you don’t have an allergy to raw apples or almonds like me, the changes I made to these recipes are awfully yummy and are totally worth a try!
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites
My very sweet and wonderful former neighbor (and great friend!) Stephanie once treated me to some of these cookies, but unfortunately they triggered an allergic reaction due to the raw almond meal that goes in them, so I never made them myself. By the way, that was happy news for my husband who then got to single-handedly devour all the cookies Stephanie gave us! As the #osgcookbook challenge started to come down to the final few recipes however, I was faced with the dilemma of how to go about making these cookies. Of course, you could simply omit the almond meal and use extra oats as Angela suggested, but I thought, why not just roast the almonds before blending them? Worked like a charm! Roasting nuts also makes them more flavorful, so that was an added bonus! After many long months, we were reunited with these tasty treats and I have a feeling they will become a regular in our house now that I solved the nut problem 🙂
Metabolism-Boosting Green Citrus Tea
In addition to the nut and fruit allergies, I also have issues with caffeine. I’m a sensitive being, what can I say? I used to LOVE coffee but it just did not love me back, so I gave it up years ago. I discovered David’s Tea, a wonderful Canadian tea company that is slowly making it’s way into parts of the U.S. They have tons of different flavors of tea, in caffeine and non-caffeine varieties. In the beginning of my coffee-withdrawal days, I gravitated toward the green and black teas, but started to realize that even these had enough caffeine to get my heart racing and give me that icky feeling in my tummy. Not worth it. So I switched to caffiene-free rooibos as well as herbal teas, which is what I used to make this recipe. I swapped the green tea for an herbal by David’s called “Buchu Superfruit.” It worked really nicely with the citrus fruits! One word of advice – if you keep your fruit in the fridge as I do, they are going to seriously cool down your drink. Either serve this iced, or just reheat it a little in the microwave after you stir in the freshly squeezed juices!
Spa Day Bircher Muesli
One last modified recipe for the allergy-prone redhead that I am. Since apple sauce is cooked, I subbed 1/2 cup of it for the grated raw apple. Then I used one diced pear instead of the one diced apple. Voila, an allergy free bircher muesli! I had high hopes for this cereal, as all the ingredients going into it made it seem like a really elevated version of my favorite overnight oats. Surprisingly though, I prefer the plain old overnight oats! That’s okay, they are a whole lot easier to make than this muesli, so all the better that I like them more. Not to say this muesli isn’t good, and it’s not really all that difficult to make either. I just am so tired by the end of the day, I’d rather not have to chop and grate fruit to make the next morning’s breakfast. If you’ve been in an overnight oat rut though, this is a nice change in routine.
Fresh Fruits, Nuts and Coconut Cream
I made this for my mother-in-law for our Mother’s Day dinner, as she is not a fan of chocolate or very sweet desserts. It was very refreshing and pretty to look at! I purposely picked fruits of different colors, as that always makes the most stunning presentation. If you are making this ahead, it is also wise to choose fruits that: a) don’t brown, and b) don’t get too soggy over time. Avoid apples, pears, and bananas. Be gentle when mixing in delicate stuff like kiwis or raspberries. I learned an interesting lesson making the coconut whipped cream. Cream of coconut, aka the canned stuff used to make pina coladas, is not the same as the coconut cream you get in a can of coconut milk! Lol. I have never had luck doing the whole thing where you refrigerate the coconut milk and then use the solids that settle at the top. I opt for cans of coconut cream that I have only ever found sold at Trader Joe’s. This week however, I was out of the stuff and had no access to a TJ’s, so I tried Cream of Coconut. It was Okay but very sweet and thick. Would’t do it again.