Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

in honor of fall…

free from corn, dairy, gluten, yeast & grains

Cinnamon rolls and pumpkins are two of my favorite things, so it just made sense to combine them. These are the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of fall. The pumpkin flavor is subtle and so delicious.

I made these with Chebe’s cinnamon roll mix. You can swap for a dough of your choice, but I highly recommend this mix. It’s really easy to use and has minimal ingredients.

These beauties are corn, dairy, gluten, yeast and grain free. If you add an egg substitute, they will be vegan as well. They can also be nut free depending on the non-dairy milk you choose.

The following recipe makes seven cinnamon rolls:

  • Chebe Cinnamon Roll Mix
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
    • 2 eggs (or egg substitute)
    • 2 tbsp melted non-dairy butter
  • Filling
    • 1/3 cup sugar (or coconut sugar)
    • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
    • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice blend
  • Glaze
    • 1 tbsp melted non-dairy butter
    • 1 tbsp non-dairy milk
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Make dough as instructed by mix. After rolling the dough out, make your filling by mixing the sugar, pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice. Once fully mixed, evenly spread across the dough. Then roll into a log shape and cut into seven pieces. Put in a cupcake tray and bake as instructed on mix.

Meanwhile, make your glaze. Combine the melted butter, milk, vanilla and powdered sugar and whisk with a fork until thick. If it is not thick enough, add more powdered sugar.

Once cinnamon rolls are done and slightly cooled, drizzle the glaze on top. Optional: sprinkle some more pumpkin spice on top. Serve while warm, or store in the fridge for later. Enjoy!

Atomic Cake

sharing a Chicago classic

made without gluten, grains & dairy

The atomic cake is unique to Chicago – specifically the South Side. I highly recommend reading about this history of the cake.

I learned about this cake a few years ago and have always wanted to try it. My mom’s birthday is this week so I decided to test out a tummy friendly version so I could enjoy it too!

This tasty classic has multiple sections:

  1. Banana Cake
  2. Banana Slices & Pudding
  3. Chocolate Cake
  4. Chocolate Pudding & Strawberries
  5. Vanilla Cake
  6. Vanilla Pudding
  7. Whipped Cream Frosting

I used a lot of mixes which made this an easier creation. The main challenge was making whipped cream frosting dairy free WITHOUT coconut milk as that’s one of my trigger foods. The secret? See recipe below to find out!

I highly recommend making the cakes the day before and adding the frosting the day of. It will hold together much better.

look at those layers!!!!

The following recipe makes 12-16 servings depending on the size of your slices.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Make cakes as instructed on boxes (highly recommend doing this step the day before). If you use the Simple Mills brand for the banana cake, follow instructions for the bread but cook in a cake pan rather than bread pan.

Once cakes have cooled, store in the fridge. You can also make your puddings the day before–follow instructions on packaging and store in fridge.

Next, cut your bananas and strawberries into thin slices.

When you are ready to put the cake together, follow these steps:

Place the banana cake on your plate/cake stand. Add banana slices across the top then add a layer of vanilla pudding to hold the slices in place. The pudding should be a thin layer and you will likely have extra from the mixes–these taste really good on the side with the cake!

Next add the chocolate cake. On top of that layer, add strawberry slices and then some chocolate pudding.

Place the vanilla cake on top and spread vanilla pudding on the top. Now it’s time to make the frosting. This should be made shortly before eating as the fluffiness does not last for more than a couple hours.

The frosting will be made with aquafaba (liquid from can of chickpeas). Make sure this liquid is cold before beginning. Drain the liquid into a mixing bowl and add cream of tartar. Whisk on a high speed until peaks form (likely 4-6 minutes). You will not be using the actual chickpeas, so you can repurpose for another recipe like this one.

Once it is fluffy, add in vanilla and powdered sugar. Whisk until fully combined. IF you choose to make this in advance, keep the frosting in the mixing bowl in the fridge. You’ll want to quickly whisk again for maximum fluffiness.

Frost the cake with the aquafaba frosting and then cut into slices. This should be stored in the fridge and not left out in room temperature for too long. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Zucchini Cookies

like a granola bar, in cookie form

free from gluten & dairy

I recently shared my love for zucchini-based baked goods in my last recipe, Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Muffins. These cookies have been one of my favorite treats since I was little.

It took a bit for my folks to figure out how to make these tummy friendly, but they did it! These are honestly addicting, and you can change up the add-ins each time. We typically use chocolate chips and cranberries, but you could swap out for nuts, raisins, etc.

These THICK cookies are gluten and dairy free. They can be refined-sugar free by swapping in coconut sugar and brown coconut sugar, but it may slightly alter the taste. For a vegan option, you can try to swap in a flax egg but I have not tested this.

The following recipe makes two dozen cookies:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup craisins

Preheat oven to 350F. Beat egg, oil and sugars together. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.

Stir the two mixtures together. Then mix in the oatmeal and zucchini until fully combined.

Fold in the chocolate chips and craisins. Scoop onto a cookie sheet (ungreased) and keep about 2 inches in between the cookies.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, then let cool for at least 10 more minutes on cooling rack.

Store in fridge, these also freeze really well. Hot take–I like eating these straight out of the freezer! Enjoy!

Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Muffins (or Mini Loaves)

an easy treat to make with your farmer’s market haul

gluten & dairy free

Every summer growing up we had ALL the zucchini things because of my mom’s garden. No joke, we had zucchini for every meal–muffins, zucchini parmesan, cake, cookies and more. You’d think I’d be sick of zucchini recipes by now but they’re still one of my favorite parts of summer.

This is a new recipe created by my wonderful parents that I had to share with you all. These didn’t even last a week in my house!

These can be made into muffins or mini loaves (or a whole loaf–just increase baking time).

This recipe is gluten and dairy free. You can swap sugar for monkfruit or coconut sugar to be refined-sugar free. You may be able to make vegan by swapping in flax eggs, but I have not tested this.

The following makes about 18 muffins or 12 mini loaves:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 2 cup shredded zucchini
  • 3 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 pint blueberries + 1 tsp gluten free flour

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease mini loaf pan, or add liners to muffin tin.

Beat together eggs, oil, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar. Next, fold in the shredded zucchini. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking, powder and baking soda.

Gradually combine the two mixtures. Once fully blended, fold in the poppy seeds and blueberries.

Pour mixture into the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick/fork comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack for at least 10 more minutes.

Enjoy! These should be refrigerated, they also freeze really well!

How to Explain Your Illness to Others

“these conversations are never easy but if it’s with the right people, they’ll understand”

Sharing health issues with others can be very personal and intimidating. Here are some quick tips for starting the conversation:

  • decide up front how much you’re willing to share and stay firm with those boundaries
  • be clear on your limitations and what support you need
  • if it helps, you can share articles explaining your illness so you don’t have to get into the nitty gritty
  • do not feel guilty for advocating for yourself, you deserve to feel comfortable in all spaces
  • remember there is nothing to be embarrassed about, we all have bodies some just function different than others!
  • only answer questions you are comfortable with
  • you can stop the conversation at any time and revisit later (if you choose)

Ultimately, it’s your choice what you do and don’t share with others. I have found these conversations helpful so others understand why I’m not as available as before, and can’t eat certain things, and sometimes have to cancel last minute.

The most important reminder of them all: if the person you are sharing this with does not understand, or they make you feel guilty or different, then they do not deserve you.

A vital part of healing is surrounding yourself with people who support you, the last thing you need is someone who makes you feel bad about being sick (because we all know we can’t control it!)

These conversations are never easy but if it’s with the right people, they’ll understand.

Egg Free Quiche

a vegan twist on a breakfast staple

made without gluten, dairy and eggs

I have been loving quiche lately, so when I had to cut eggs from my diet I knew I needed to find an alternative.

I know what you’re thinking — how can a quiche be made without eggs?! Well, there is a beautiful product called Just Egg that makes this possible. (not sponsored, just very impressed!)

For the crust, I used a premade frozen crust from Wholly Gluten Free. You can also make your own crust for this recipe.

Start my instructions below once your crust is ready to be filled and cooked.

All ingredients are gluten, dairy and egg free. It is vegan if you substitute a meat replacement or just skip the sausage altogether!

The following recipe makes 4-5 servings:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 bottle of Just Egg
  • 6 sausage links, sliced (or any meat substitute)
  • 1/4 cup vegan cheese
  • 3/4 cup vegetables of choice, diced (I used broccoli, onion and zucchini)
  • A dash of pepper, cinnamon & nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375F. Follow pie crust prep instructions and set aside. Sauté sausage, diced vegetables and spices together until tender.

Meanwhile, layer cheese at the bottom of the crust. Add sausage and vegetables to the crust and then pour Just Egg mixture on top.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until no longer runny. The quiche should be firm, but still jiggly so it does not dry out. Let cool for a couple minutes and enjoy. This reheats very well!

Nut and Dairy Free Pesto

a sauce alternative made for sensitive tummies

free from: gluten, dairy, nuts and refined sugar. this is vegan too!

Since I’ve recently cut out tomatoes I’ve had to get more creative with my sauce options. Earlier this week, I shared a dairy free alfredo sauce and decided to take it a step further with this pesto recipe.

Traditional pesto has always hurt my stomach between the nuts and cheese, but it tastes SO good so I was determined to make an easier to digest option.

This recipe is made without gluten, dairy, nuts and refined sugar. It is also vegan depending on what you pair it with!

I had it on top of Chebe gluten free pizza crust, Canadian bacon, pineapple (don’t hate), and Vevan vegan mozzarella.

The following makes two servings:

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 cup spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder (omit and use garlic infused oil if Low FODMAP)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/8 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp parsley

Add all ingredients to a food processor or high speed blender. Put avocado oil in first as it makes blending easier. Blend on high. If having a hard time blending, add more oil as needed.

Continue to blend until spinach is fully broken down and ingredients are mixed well. Once it looks like a thick sauce, it is done.

If adding to pizza or baked pasta, add to dish and bake as needed. If putting on top of precooked item like noodles, warm sauce in saucepan for a couple minutes then add to dish. Enjoy!

Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce

a dinner classic made tummy friendly

free from dairy and gluten; vegan option available!

I recently had to cut out tomatoes and wanted to find a new way to enjoy pasta. I used to love alfredo sauce before going dairy free so this felt like the perfect swap!

My alfredo sauce is seriously so easy, it takes roughly ten minutes to make. This recipe is only for the sauce–add with 1 box of pasta (I used Jovial Gluten Free Shells) and any other add-ins (I added diced chicken but omit if vegan).

The following recipe makes 5-6 servings

  • 1/2 cup non dairy butter
  • 1 container non dairy cream cheese (I used Spero Sunflower Cream Cheese)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (swap in other spices for Low FODMAP)
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 5oz vegan parmesan (I used Good Planet)
  • 1/2 cup vegan mozzarella (I used Vevan Foods)
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Add butter to a sauce pan on medium heat. Once melted, add in cream cheese and garlic powder and stir. Slowly add milk, whisking continously. Then add in cheeses and pepper. Mix until fully combined and creamy. Once done, remove from heat and let cool for a couple minutes. Mix with cooked pasta & enjoy!

Brownie Frosting

a delicious topping for your favorite brownies

free from: gluten, dairy and refined sugar. this is vegan too!

I personally love frosting on everything–cake, cookies, brownies, a spoon… When Otto’s Naturals sent me some of their new grain free brownie mix I knew I had to make them into a childhood classic.

Introducing: COSMIC BROWNIES

Who didn’t love cosmic brownies as a kid?!

With your fave brownie mix (get Otto’s grain free one here – code “livwell” for 10% off), use this frosting recipe and some sprinkles to recreate this classic at home!

This is gluten free, dairy free, refined-sugar free and vegan!

The following makes frosting for one tray of brownies:

  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1 cup monkfruit
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Toppings: sprinkles (I used Supernatural sprinkles)

First bake your brownies. While those are cooling, place a saucepan on medium heat. Add in all ingredients and stir lightly until melted. Once mixture is fully bubbling, set timer for a minute. Then take the frosting off the heat and let cool for 1-2 minutes.

Beat the mixture until thick, you can do so with a whisk or spatula. This should look like a thick syrup and get harder to stir. Once thick, pour over cooled brownies. Add sprinkles then led settle. It will take about 3-5 minutes to harden. Then enjoy! Best stored in fridge.

Chocolate Chip Baked Oats

TikTok trend made gluten & dairy free!

free from: gluten and dairy. this is vegan and can be made refined-sugar free

I love trendy foods, but they are rarely tummy friendly. I was excited to see how simple the baked oats trend was, and knew I had to add a gluten & dairy free twist.

This is a great meal prep option for breakfast, especially if you double the recipe! Think of this as a ~healthier~ cake. You can use a smaller oven safe dish like I did if you want it thicker and fluffier, or a wider pan to create individual slices (like blondies!).

This recipe is vegan and can be refined-sugar free if you swap maple syrup for a different liquid sweetener.

I made a step-by-step video on my Instagram as well, which you can view here:

The following makes two servings:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp nut butter (can use a chocolate one for extra flavor)
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Toppings: chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Blend all ingredients (except chocolate) together until smooth, then pour into an oven safe dish. Mix in handful of chocolate chips. Bake for 35 minutes and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Enjoy right away or store in the fridge for later. This reheats really well!

Optional: add a piece of chocolate on top when it comes out of the oven so it’s extra melty and chocolatey 😍

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