Recently I received a package of Nutiva Products to try. The object was to create a recipe with the some of the products inside. I made a Hempseed Kale Pesto, a new Granola recipe and finally, my favorite thing – DESSERT. I love Nutiva products. They offer so many alternative baking solutions for people with allergies and intolerances.
My favorite product is Nutiva’s Organic Hempseed. Sadly, I have a tree nut allergy that has gotten bad enough I cannot eat any nuts. This includes pine nuts. Pesto is just not the same without the nutty taste and texture for me. Neither is my milk-free oatmeal. Nutiva’s Hempseed is the perfect alternative solution. With that nutty taste and texture it is the perfect substitute for me. I admit I almost cried the first time I used it. It was exactly what I was craving. It also has protein so I can add a liberal amount to my oatmeal and get some protein without adding meat to my meal.
I used the Chia seed and Hempseed in my homemade granola. They add flavor, texture and a nice punch of nutrients – fiber and protein – to a yummy crunchy breakfast. Chia seeds can also be used as an alternative baking solution for traditional egg and dairy pudding from what I understand, since they turn gelatinous when added to liquid. I think a new version of chocolate pudding is in our near future. The nice thing is you can make a pudding without eggs and could use a dairy free milk, making a yummy and at least partially nutritious dessert with the health benefits of chia seed.
Since my box was also packed with Nutiva Coconut Products – Coconut Flour, Coconut Oil, Coconut Sugar and Coconut Manna – I decided to try a gluten free recipe for dessert. One thing I found with the coconut flour is that it has a distinct texture. It is a little coarser and almost fiber like. I found that it was much easier to work with than super fine rice flour which doesn’t incorporate well on it’s own. It also had a very distinct flavor so it will stand out in any recipe you make. I didn’t want to go “coconuty” crazy so I decided to utilize the Coconut flour and oil in my Gluten Free, Dairy Free Pina Colada Bars. Then if I wanted a coconut garnish I would use the coconut manna, after melting it down to a “milk”.
By the way, I cannot forget the coconut oil. I do love coconut oil. Such a versatile product – from moisturizing dry skin to cooking, baking and eating it straight from a spoon, you cannot go wrong with coconut oil. However, make sure you buy a good quality coconut oil. The organic coconut oil tends to have a quality and flavor that stands hands above non-organic. I love using coconut oil in place of butter and shortening. It gives a great alternative for people who cannot have butter due to dairy allergies.
Overall I have been very happy with the Nutiva products I have gotten. I am not sure I could go completely gluten or dairy free but for any one who needs to find alternative baking solutions they have a wide variety of products. I know I will be going back for more hempseed and coconut products to change up my meals and desserts. It can’t hurt to cut a little gluten out of my everyday diet.