Ambrosia Salad (Dairy-free!)

Ambrosia belongs in the Cool Whip concoctions category. Along with lime green jello salad, cherry fluff and watergate salad.

You know the type. A combination of fruit, cool whip and mini marshmallows, served as a side dish. To me these all scream old-school Southern cuisine. The ooey-gooey salad was a fixture at my Memphis family gatherings and I anticipated the moment I could steal the first marshmallow from the bowl. Although I’ve come to find that creamy fruit salads are actually popular all over the country.

With such wide popularity I had to create a dairy-free version of the traditional ambrosia salad. Coconut cream and coconut yogurt replace the dairy ingredients and I’ve omitted the marshmallows to cut out all added sugar. The pretty pastel colors in this dish make it a lovely addition to an Easter brunch or any spring table.

Enjoy!

Ambrosia Salad (Dairy-free!)Ambrosia Salad (Dairy-free!)Ambrosia Salad (Dairy-free!)

Ambrosia Salad (Dairy-free!)
Serves 6
A dairy free version of Ambrosia Salad with fresh pineapple, oranges and coconut.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup coconut cream
  2. ½ cup coconut yogurt - use my homemade yogurt recipe to make your own
  3. 1 tsp vanilla
  4. 1 cup coconut flakes
  5. 1 cup pineapple - chopped
  6. 1 oranges - separated into segments and chopped
  7. ½ cup cherries - fresh or frozen
  8. ¼ tsp salt
  9. ¼ cup pecans - finely chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Defrost the cherries if you’re using frozen ones.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whip the coconut cream, yogurt and vanilla together with a hand mixer.
  3. Stir in the coconut flakes, pineapple, clementines, cherries and salt. 
Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Top with pecans before serving.
Sparkle Kitchen http://sparklekitchen.com/
Ambrosia Salad (Dairy-free!)Ambrosia Salad (Dairy-free!)

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookie Cutouts

Life is tough for a gingerbread man.

They get a brief moment of admiration before they begin losing limbs and heads to hungry sugar monsters.  Although, I don’t think they mind it. Each cookie brings too much pleasure to the world.

In our family the gingerbread house tradition continues each year. Last year we brought it to a new level…with cardboard and super glue. Don’t worry, no one ate it.

My husband and I are too tempted by sweets to make such a ginormous sugar castle. Our solution was to make it inedible. The structure was cardboard held together with duck tape, super glue, ribbon and white royal icing too. The two of us poured hours of love into that house. It had fruit roll-up stained glass windows, hand-carved chocolate doors, an outdoor s’mores roasting station, and a glitter-infused frosting swimming pool with a Kitkat diving board. We wanted to move in! It was a home fit for a gingerbread king.

Many of the decorations fell under the edible category, but I wouldn’t necessarily label them safe-for-human-consumption. Candy is sugar; and sugar does not do a body good. The number one ingredient is typically high fructose corn syrup. Candies are now synonymous with decorations.

If you want to read up on how the body reacts to sugar, read this article, Sugar Woes and Avoiding Added Sugar.

Too bad we didn’t have these gingerbread cookies to enjoy with the house last year. This recipe was just developed and I’ll say it’s darn near perfect. The spice is just right and they have that ideal chewy crunch. I even used unsulfured blackstrap molasses, which I learned is the healthiest sugar option.

Enjoy!

Paleo Gingerbread Cookie Cutouts

Paleo Gingerbread Cookie CutoutsPaleo Gingerbread Cookie Cutouts

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookie Cutouts
Yields 6
Gluten-free gingerbread cookies made with tigernut flour. The spice is just right and they have that ideal chewy crunch!
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
8 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
8 min
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup tigernut flour
  2. 6 tbsp arrowroot starch
  3. ½ tsp baking soda
  4. ⅛ tsp salt
  5. 1 tsp ginger
  6. 1 tsp cinnamon
  7. ¼ tsp nutmeg
  8. ¼ tsp cloves
  9. ¼ cup + 1 tbsp palm shortening
  10. 1 tbsp maple syrup
  11. 1 ½ tablespoon unsulfured blackstrap molasses
  12. ½ tbsp gelatin powder
  13. Extra arrowroot or tapioca starch, for rolling & cutting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Mix together tigernut flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda, salt and all spices in a large bowl.
  3. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, melt the palm shortening in the microwave for 45 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir in the maple syrup and molasses. Then carefully sprinkle in the gelatin while stirring. By keeping the liquid moving, you’ll prevent any lumps from forming.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Combine well.
  6. Form the dough into a firm ball. Wrap in parchment paper and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
  7. Once properly chilled, remove from fridge.
  8. Prepare a dough cutting station by sprinkling starch over a flat, clean surface. Roll out the dough to ¼” thickness and cut into desired shapes.
  9. Place onto parchment paper and bake for 6-8 minutes.
Notes
  1. NOTE: Make slice and bake cookies by rolling the dough into a log and slicing to ½” thickness.
Sparkle Kitchen http://sparklekitchen.com/
Royal Icing
Yields 1
Dairy-free, royal icing for cookies and cakes.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup palm oil shortening
  2. ¼ cup + 8 tbsp powdered sugar
  3. 1 tbsp coconut cream
  4. ½ tsp vanilla
  5. ¼ tsp gaur gaur
  6. pinch of salt
  7. ½ tsp lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Cream together by hand or with an electric mixer. Chill for 1 hour before frosting.
Sparkle Kitchen http://sparklekitchen.com/
Paleo Gingerbread Cookie CutoutsPaleo Gingerbread Cookie Cutouts

Dairy-Free Eggnog

Well hello there eggnog season. Get out the punch bowl and make up a batch of this yummy and somewhat nutritious beverage. I give credit to the nutrient-rich, pastured egg yolks in this recipe, full of vitamins A, D, E and K.

Eggnog hails from England back in the 17th century and was quite popular among the early American colonies. Rum was the spirit of choice back then and has evolved to cognac, brandy, bourbon or whiskey. My version of eggnog is sans alcohol so go with whatever suits your tastebuds.

Dairy-Free Eggnog
I must mention, please consume raw eggs at your own risk. I stress the importance of choosing pasture-raised eggs for many reasons and salmonella is the big one. Pasture-raised eggs from a trusted farmer have a lesser chance of salmonella contamination.

Salmonella most often lives on the exterior of egg shells. Wash the eggs well with warm water and pat them dry before using and the bacteria will wash off. But salmonella is also found in the ovaries of hens and can be passed to the inside of eggs. This is far less common, although still cause for concern. It is up to the farmer to regularly test each hen for the bacteria. When you buy eggs from a trusted farmer you can ask the right questions to ensure none are contaminated.

You can also slowly heat the egg nog over low heat for 20 minutes to kill off any harmful bacteria. Just stir continuously to prevent any clumping.

I like to top off my eggnog with a dash of nutmeg, a cinnamon stick and good holiday cheer.

Enjoy!

Dairy-Free Eggnog
Serves 4
Dairy-Free Eggnog made with creamy coconut milk and nourishing egg yolks.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
6 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
6 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 pastured egg yolks
  2. 3 cups canned full-fat coconut milk
  3. 1 cup canned light coconut milk
  4. ½ cup maple syrup
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 1 tsp nutmeg
  7. ½ tsp cinnamon
  8. ⅛ tsp allspice
  9. pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a large jar or mixing bowl. Then using an immersion blender, blend everything together well until frothy.
  2. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  3. Top with a dash of nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.
Sparkle Kitchen http://sparklekitchen.com/
Dairy-Free Eggnog 

RESOURCES
How Does Salmonella Get Inside Eggs?
http://www.livescience.com/10016-salmonella-eggs.html

Alton Brown on the History of Eggnog
http://mentalfloss.com/article/31813/alton-brown-history-eggnog