Oh boy. This Panna Cotta has got me all sorts of giddy. I love, love, love lemon. Lemon is life in my little piece of the world. My only contention with lemon-flavored desserts is when they’re too sugary. It overpowers the tartness of the lemon & I don’t want anything overpowering my lemon love.
Making a dairy-free panna cotta is quite simple! I replaced the traditional heavy cream with a light coconut milk (you can use full-fat too) pureed with a bit of white sweet potato. I tend to use white sweet potato in the vast majority of my desserts. I’m very sorry if you can’t find it. I wouldn’t recommend orange sweet potato here – the taste is too distinct. White-fleshed sweet potatoes provide a touch of sweetness, thickness and binding power to AIP and egg-free desserts.
These creamy little custards make for the perfect springtime or year-round treat! They are relatively low in sugar (especially if you choose to make them without the caramel sauce), silky smooth & super satisfying. The Lemon Caramel sauce is really easy to make too. Making caramel is a lot of fun and can be made relatively quick with my method below. The tartness and sweetness of the caramel is absolutely gorgeous with the custard. You may also top your mini treats with some lemon zest for presentation.
Here are some other AIP dessert recipes that use white sweet potatoes:
These panna cottas are silky smooth, perfectly tart & paired with a dreamy lemon-flavored homemade caramel sauce!
Dairy-Free Lemon Panna Cotta with Lemon Caramel
For panna cotta
ounce can full-fat or light coconut milk
cup Santa Cruz Organic Lemon Juice (or fresh-pressed)
tsp sea salt
tablespoon hot water
cup cooked and cubed white sweet potato, warm
For Lemon Caramel
For panna cotta:
- Reserve 1 tablespoon coconut milk in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Combine remaining coconut milk, lemon juice, honey and sea salt in a food processor until smooth.
- Whisk gelatin into reserved coconut milk until frothy. Whisk in hot water until combined. Immediately spoon gelatin mixture into food processor and blend until smooth.
- Finally, add warm sweet potato the food processor and blend until very smooth ensuring no chunks remain.
- Spoon panna cotta mixture evenly into 4 small glass dishes or ramekins. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight until fully set. Spoon cooled caramel on top when ready to serve.
For Lemon Caramel:
- Combine all ingredients for caramel in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to medium-low.
- Maintain simmer for 20 minutes as you periodically stir the caramel and scrape any browned bits off the bottom and sides of the pan. Remove caramel from heat once it has reduced to a thick brown syrup that sticks to the back of a spoon.
- Transfer caramel to a small glass dish and let cool and thicken.
I’m baaaaaaack. [titillating pause, I know]
I took the last month off to do some thinking about … well a lot of things. Big things. Like continuing my maternity leave from occupational therapy. What to do about the blog. How to get into a routine with Grace that was respectful of both of us individuals. Where to set boundaries in parenthood + beyond. Whether or not I should take the leap with some business ideas. I needed clarity.And clarity is what I got.
I decided on a few things:
- I’m going to set limits on how often I post + always post with purpose. I will be posting 2 to 3 times a week. Likely one recipe + one to two articles. This ensures high quality content for you guys and less burn-out for me.
- I’m going to shift the focus of the blog slightly from simply an AIP recipe blog to a real food [mostly AIP] + lifestyle + motherhood blog that incorporates my passion for non-toxic beauty, outdoor living, & baby-everything.
- I’ve started working as a Consultant for Beautycounter. After using their skincare + makeup every day for the last 6 months, I’m in love. My skin has never looked better + I’ve finally found the beauty solution for lowering my toxin load while still getting the benefits of anti-aging formulas, skin-brightening creams + gorgeous make up that fulfills the hole in my heart that Sephora left. I’ll be sharing product reviews, make-up tutorials + the skin care routine that has this new mom looking bright-eyed + bushy-tailed every morning! Hint: It’s the Rejuvenating Night Cream!
- I’ll be starting a segment on Nourishing Littles, including how/when to introduce foods + the best foods for optimal cognitive and neurodevelopment.As a WELCOME BACK offer, I’m partnering with Power Balls … my #1 AIP Purse Snack of Choice. Each pack contains two balls and 12 grams each of protein, fat and carbs… making it a perfectly balanced snack or treat. My favorite flavors? Vanilla (tastes like cake), Orange Cranberry (tastes like a Starbucks scone) + Snickerdoodle (tastes like a snickerdoodle, duh)
Chocolate-Covered Power Balls
Pack Power Balls, any flavor
tablespoon coconut oil
tsp cocoa or carob powder
tsp raw honey
flaked sea salt
- Freeze Power Balls for 20 minutes until solid.
- Mix coconut oil, cocoa and honey in small bowl til smooth. Dip and roll Power Balls in chocolate until well coated. Place on parchment lined plate and return to freezer until solid. Repeat this step until all chocolate is used up (2 to 3 coatings), sprinkling with flaked sea salt after the last dipping!
- Store in refrigerator and enjoy.
I prefer using the Snickerdoodle, Carob, Chocolate or Vanilla Power Balls for this recipe!
This was one of my favorite recipes to develop for The Healing Kitchen because all of the outtakes were so delicious! Toasted coconut ice cream was a favorite of mine growing up, and my best friend in high school and I would go to our local ice cream shop after school and grab a cup of their toasted coconut all the time! Ice cream has always been a big part of my life, as weird as it sounds to say that! It’s consistently remained in my top 5 favorite foods since the age of 2 (joined by steak, ribs, hummus, and pizza) no matter what dietary protocol I happen to be following.
For awhile I thought I tolerated grass-fed dairy ice cream, but really it was a vain attempt to convince my stomach via my brain that I did. It failed. So now I stick wholly to coconut milk ice cream and enjoy to my hearts content, especially in the warmer months!
When making ice cream at home, I stick to simple flavors and use coconut milk, pureed white sweet potato, fresh fruit, and possibly some honey as the base. I may add something fun for texture such as freeze-dried fruit or even toasted shredded coconut or chocolate chips.
My favorite SUPER simple AIP ice cream combination is frozen mango pureed with coconut milk. You can eat it like soft serve straight from the blender or throw it in your ice cream maker (this is the one I use and recommend) for a harder sorbetto. The ice cream mixture for these cream pops can definitely be made into ice cream rather than pops, so feel free to do that as well!
These are such a refreshing treat – something the whole family will love – that’s decadent but not full of sweeteners!
TOASTED COCONUT CREAM POPS from my cookbook The Healing Kitchen
My latest guest post for Autoimmune-Paleo is for this truly delicious Sweet Potato Pie Cheesecake that will be an addition you certainly want for your holiday dessert table. My husband who is a sugar-fiend and only likes the most decadent treats said this is his favorite treat recipe I have ever made! It really does taste and feel like cheesecake (magic) and the crust is nice, deep, and nutty (without the nuts) flavor that holds together well (see photo for proof). Be sure to add this simple recipe to your menu today!
GET THE RECIPE FOR GLUTEN-FREE AIP
SWEET POTATO PIE CHEESECAKE!
I was a-hankerin’ for some orange-chocolate flavored something last week while I was working on my cookbook The Healing Kitchen with Sarah. For someone who is creating several recipes a day, you would think I’d have a fridge chock full of delicious food at all times, but for whatever reason I am usually scrounging but those scrounge-hunts usually turn into the yummiest meals and snacks! I like to pretend I’m on an episode of Chopped (have I said this before? I feel like I’ve said this before.) and have 3 random ingredients I HAVE to use to produce some elegant dish. Well dates, coconut, chocolate, and orange go really, really well together, so I got lucky on this round. You can really play with the orange flavor in this recipe by upping or decreasing the amount of orange zest. The amount in the recipe as written will give you a nice zing of orange while staying in balance with the carob powder. You can also press the mixture into a parchment lined loaf pan and slice once set to make bars.
I have a couple other “bliss ball” recipes on G&E because they check off the box for snack, treat, and extra hit of carbs if your body is asking for them – Mint “Chocolate” Truffles & Sticky Antioxidant Energy Bites. Some of us bloggers recently had a discussion on the prevalence of AIP & Paleo treats. It was a house divided. Half said they self-regulated the amount they put on their blog because they didn’t want readers to perceive them as an allowance to eat treats on a weekly basis. The other half said they felt like they were contributing to the community by doing the hard work being able to provide people following AIP some special recipes to share with friends & family on special occasions.
I was in the latter half. I don’t feel comfortable telling people what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. I’m a firm believer that we should use the Paleo diet as a vehicle to learn what makes us feel good and what does not. Most of the people that follow AIP are adults able to make discriminating and honest decisions each day. I had a full year of being very restrictive with my treat intake and frankly it ignited my perfectionism and fed some disordered eating habits. I will say I am a very different person than who I was a year ago. I think this Hashi’s flare humanized me and forced me to lose control and release my obsession with diet perfection.
I am much more easy going around food these days and overall keep my diet balanced and healthy but by no means perfect. I made coconut milk ice cream in my new INCREDIBLE ice cream maker this weekend. One was the Sweet Potato Ice Cream that will be in The Healing Kitchen (seriously one of my favorite recipes in the book) and “peanut” butter & chocolate using sunflower seed butter and cocoa powder. Both were so creamy and perfect for a late summer treat! I fully enjoyed them both with my husband and friends, and they did add a little special something to our weekend. Even as a blogger, I get a little overwhelmed by the perceived perfection of social media, and I am here to tell you there is no such thing! Enjoy life, enjoy your food, don’t feel guilty about it, but always keep your eye on the prize (healing & longevity)!
If you like the combination of orange & chocolate, you’ll love these little energy bites that keep in the fridge!
Orange Carob Bliss Balls
3/4 cup packed pitted soft medjool dates
cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
1/4 cup solid coconut oil
tbsp carob powder
tbsp + 1 tsp orange zest
tbsp orange juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
- Place dates, 2/3 cup shredded coconut, coconut oil, carob, orange zest and juice, and sea salt in a food processor.
- Process until dates are broken down and the mixture is sticky. Stir in the remaining 1/3 cup coconut until combined.
- Roll mixture into tablespoon-size balls (or larger) and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set. Enjoy straight from the fridge.