Archive for Gluten Free

Banana Cream Pie {Vegan}

You can have your Christmas and your Easter and your Independence Days. For me, the best food day of the year is March 14.

Because Pie.

Pi? Right? Got it? 3.14? The 14th day of the 3rd month. All the excuse I need to eat pie. Actually, I don’t really need an excuse, I’ll eat pie any time, but it’s nice to have a day to back me up.

This recipe is inspired by a recent episode of Good Eats I just watched. In it, Alton Brown explores the world of Banana Pudding. Now, if you, like me, are not from down south, you may not be familiar with the dish that is Banana Pudding. It’s basically a cooked vanilla pudding, and in between are layers of fresh bananas and vanilla wafers. It’s all topped off with either whipped cream or a toasted meringue.

vegan banana cream pie

It sounds freaking amazing.

Inspired by this concept, I decided my 2018 Pi Day Pie would be a Banana Cream Pie. Yass Kween!

I also had this bag of vegan graham cracker crumbs in my cupboard I’d acquired a ways back, and had yet to test out and put to use, so it became the base of my pie.

The filling is coconut-based, and while I don’t always love coconut in every sweet dessert (not that I don’t love coconut, I do, but it sometimes takes over as a flavour), in this one it works because bananas and coconut are sisters from other misters. Both are tropically-grown and remind me of pina coladas and warm days at the beach.

So, no matter what pie you are consuming this March 14 (homemade or store-bought, I won’t judge), I wish you the happiest of Pi Days.

Banana Cream Pie Vegan

Banana Cream Pie {Vegan}

(makes 1 7″ pie)


  • 1 cup vegan, gluten free graham cracker crumbs (I used PaneRiso)
  • 1/4 cup melted vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup non dairy milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 ripe bananas
  • 1 recipe coconut whip (or store-bought)


  1. First make the crust. Place the graham crackers in a small bowl and add the sugar. Mix, then add in the melted vegan butter and mix until everything is combined. Press into a buttered 7″ pie pan, then bake in a 350 degree oven for about 9-10 minutes.
  2. Remove crust from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. While the crust is baking and cooling, prepare the filling. In a medium saucepan, combine the cornstarch and sugar, and whisk well to combine. Top with the coconut milk and the non-dairy milk, and whisk well. Turn the heat on to medium-low, and slowly bring to a boil. Continue whisking until the pudding thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and the vanilla.
  4. Pour the pudding into a heat-proof bowl, and cover with plastic wrap (make sure the plastic wrap is touching the top of the pudding to prevent it from creating a “skin”). Place in the fridge and allow to cool several hours or overnight.
  5. To build the pie: slice the bananas into 1/2″ slices. Place a layer of sliced bananas on the bottom of the crust and top with a generous dollop of the pudding. Smooth it down, add another layer of bananas and the rest of the pudding. Finish the pie with a dollop of coconut whip.

Blueberry Coffee Cake {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

I get asked all the time if cooking and baking vegan is hard. And truthfully? Once you figure out eggs, it’s not really.

There are great substitutes for butter like coconut oil or even any of the commercially available butter subs out there. There are a million different milk substitutes.

You know what’s really hard? Gluten-free. I’ll take a vegan challenge over a gluten-free one any day of the week.

Blueberry Coffee Cake Vegan Gluten Free

Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about it too much in our house, but I do have several very good friends who are celiac, so I keep things like brown rice flour, chickpea flour, buckwheat flour and sorghum flour in my pantry. You could also use a cup-for-cup flour replacement blend if you like.

The challenge with doing gluten-free flours is that in order to get the consistency and binding right, you need to use flours with different properties in the right proportions. And that can take lot of time and experimentation to get right.

black forest brownie

Black Forest Brownies are just one example of Pikanik’s gluten-free decadence.

I recently interviewed Joanna Schultz, owner of Pikanik, which is an allergen-free bakery in Surrey. None of Joanna’s products include gluten, nuts, soy or dairy (which are the top food allergens). Joanna obviously knows a thing or two about gluten-free baking.

RC: What’s the deal with the rise in the gluten-free trend over the last few years? Are people more allergic in today’s world? Or are they just discovering these allergies, whereas in the past they would have just suffered through? 
JS: Great question! I am not sure what’s happening out there. I can remember as a kid not knowing any other kid with a food allergy – it was so uncommon. Now in every classroom there will no doubt be at least a  handful of kids with food allergies. My best guess is that’s a combination of factors – how food today is grown and processed, overloaded immune systems coping with all matter of environmental issues and yes, definitely diagnostic tools are more advanced.

RC: I do a ton of vegan baking and cooking, and I find vegan much easier than gluten-free. What’s the key to making gluten-free baked goods that don’t taste chalky?
 JC: I agree! But here’s the secret to your best GF baking — let your batters or doughs rest for 20 minutes before baking. This allows the wet ingredients to properly hydrate the flour(s). Hydrating the mix means that the gritty texture often found in GF baking virtually disappears.
Gluten-free Coconut Cream Pie

Gluten-free Coconut Cream Pie

RC: What’s your personal favorite recipe?
JS: Oh, so many to choose from! I love making homemade pizza at home. I use our dough from Pikanik and then have a variety of toppings and let the kids take the lead. It’s a fun activity and gets dinner on the table.
Thanks, Joanna! That tip about letting your batter rest is life-changing!
And now here’s a recipe from Joanna (or you could just order from them, they deliver).
egan, Gluten-Free Blueberry Coffee Cake

Blueberry Coffee Cake

{Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Ingredients for the strusel:

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, cold, cut into small pieces

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 2 Cups brown rice flour
  • 1/2 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Potato Starch
  • 1/4Cup plus 2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Tapioca Starch
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Apple Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (divided) Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup melted vegan butter
  • 1 cup non dairy milk
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon non dairy yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. First make the streusel: mix the dry streusel ingredients. Using a fork or a pastry blender, work in the vegan butter until it’s in pea-sized pieces. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the apple sauce and 1 teaspoon of the baking powder. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, remaining baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and sugar. Add the apple sauce-baking powder mixture, margarine, yogurt, milk, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Allow to rest 20 minutes.
  5. Spread one-third of the batter into a greased, parchment-lined pan. Sprinkle half the streusel mixture on top. Spread the remaining two-thirds of the batter over the streusel mixture. Sprinkle the frozen blueberries and remaining streusel over the top. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool further. Slice and serve.



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