Berry Pie, ‘Nuff Said. (gf, vegan, and processed sugar free)

IMG_9353Pie, my friends. Sweet, sweet pie. As the berry season cometh, so cometh delicious pie. I wanna be straight with you folks though, and this may sound like blasphemy to the pie purists of the world, but I don’t historically love traditional pie crust. So I made a different crust. Also, let’s be honest because we’re friends, regular crust from scratch is a huge pain in the ass and gluten-free and vegan crust is even more of one. Thankfully, the crust in this recipe is easy as, well, pie. 🙂IMG_9348Berry season (i.e. summer) in the northwest is the best. The berries are giant, sweet, and abundant. I literally spent 20 minutes just picking blackberries one block from my office yesterday and came home with 3 pints of juicy blackberries. One of my favorite memories is picking blackberries with my little brother and my folks at the beach. To this day, just taking a couple of minutes to slow down and pick a few blackberries brings the biggest smile to my face (pause for reverie about berries). Okay, resuming pie talk.IMG_9332So, crust. What you need:

2 cups of gluten-free oats

1.5 cups of almonds

2 heaping Tbsp coconut oil

1/4 -1/3 cup maple syrup

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Will the preheating is happening, grind your oats and almonds. I did it in my Vitamix. If you don’t have a power blender (or a magic bullet is awesome here!) just buy oat flour and almond meal.IMG_9333Here’s my oat and almond flour all ground up and mixed. Don’t grind your almonds too long or you’ll have almond butter, which is delicious, but not our goal here. 🙂

Add your coconut oil and maple syrup. Mix well and press into a pie tin.IMG_9338Bake for about 15 minutes.

While your crust is baking, prepare the filling (this part is shockingly unchallenging). What you need:

1 pint strawberries, rinsed and sliced

1 pint blueberries, rinsed

1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Mix them berries! After your 15 minutes of crust baking, fill that thar pie crust!IMG_9351Bake for another 45 minutes-ish until the crust is golden brown and berries are cooked, but not mushy. The outside of the strawberries ends up almost roasted and was so tasty that it led to a future recipe about roasted strawberry ice cream. Prepare yourselves.IMG_9354Now eat a slice of pie! Or the whole pie! (brief pause for pie reverie).IMG_9361Yum. 🙂

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Vegan and Gluten-free!) Say what?!

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Oatmeal, raisins, dark chocolate. There, that’s my post. It’s all you really need to know, and maybe all anybody really needs to know when it comes to cookies AND life.

Okay, that’s probably not true. Except the cookie part.

Anyway, today’s been one of those exceptionally grey Seattle days, a little bit drizzly, and absolutely no discernable patches of clear sky anywhere. I’ve been holed up working on school, and cookies suddenly seemed absolutely necessary. In times of such necessity, it’s best to just make the cookies.

These little delights are super easy, and through a combination of gluten-free all purpose flour, almond meal, and oatmeal, have the best texture; a little chewy on the inside, a little crispy on the outside, with lots of raisins and big dark chocolate chunks. I won’t lie, it’s taking most of my willpower not to eat about 10.

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Let’s make cookies! What you need:

1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1.5 cups gluten-free oatmeal

1/2 cup almond meal

4 Tbsp chia seeds (2 combined into 6 Tbsp of rice or almond milk to form a gel, and 2 folded into batter)

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup coconut sugar

3/4 of a broken dark chocolate bar

1/2 cup raisins

3 Tbsp maple syrup

9 Tbsp rice, almond, or other non-dairy milk (6 for chia gel, the rest added to wet ingredients)

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch each of salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While chocolate bar is still wrapped, smash it to pieces with the bottom of jar. Very satisfying and keeping it wrapped prevents chocolate from flying everywhere. You can also use chocolate chips, I just didn’t have any.

In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. A note here about almond meal…you can buy pre-mealed almonds at Trader Joe’s or, if you have whole almonds, pulse them in a food processor or magic bullet until a crumbly flour is formed. Don’t go too far or you’ll make almond butter, which isn’t a bad thing, but not what you’re going for here. The conversion is 1:1 almonds:almond meal (or flour). Whisk together 2 Tbsp chia seeds and 6 Tbsp rice milk, let sit a few minutes until a gel is formed.

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In a separate bowl, combine sugar, oil, chia gel, maple syrup, and vanilla. Whisk together and add wet to dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate and raisins. Spoon onto parchment paper lined baking sheets, and bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Eat and be happy!

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