Lisa Clark's Guide to Eating Gluten-, Soy-, and Dairy-free Sweets in Portland
Lisa Clark, owner of Petunia's Pies and Pastries in downtown Portland, has already made metaphorical lemonade, turning her multiple food allergies (gluten, soy, and dairy) into a successful business where others who face similar dietary restrictions can freely enjoy everything from freshly fried doughnuts to over-the-top cake by the slice.
Since we last checked in with the her, Lisa has started stocking her wares at New Seasons Cedar Hills Crossing and has added a few items to the menu: make-at-home mixes (salted double chocolate chunk cookies and banana almond bread, muffin or cake mix), and a new ice cream menu featuring Coconut Bliss ice creams, which have a special place in her heart, especially the chocolate walnut brownie flavor. "I usually inhale my food, but when I eat this, I go into zen mode, devour it slowly, and always lick the bowl clean," she says.
Though somewhat hampered by her food allergies, Lisa had plenty of suggestions for others who refuse to let pesky dietary restrictions get in the way of indulging their cravings for sweets, including salty sweet truffles, rich and creamy smoothies, and raw cheesecake. Scroll down for all of Lisa's top picks for sweets in Portland.
Lil' Puddin' Vanilla Kreme with Karmal at Pixie Retreat: The ladies at Pixie Retreat make amazing vegan, raw treats. They use ingredients like coconut cream, mesquite, and maca powder to make this incredibly decadent little cup of bliss. It's like a a creamy thick vanilla pudding with ribbons of golden caramel hidden inside. The texture is out of this world. I could eat this by the gallon! Who knew ingredients like this could make something so amazing?
Vanilla Salted Caramel Truffle at Missionary Chocolates: Melissa at Missionary Chocolates has perfected the art of vegan truffle making. Again, the miracles of coconut cream are upon us here! You bite into this truffle's thin chocolate wall to discover its super rich, dark, and smooth interior laced with caramel and sea salt, and you've hit pure chocolate nirvana.
Raspberry Lemon Basil Sorbet at Salt & Straw: Salt & Straw is known around the country these days as having some of the best handmade ice cream, made right here in Portland. Being lactose intolerant, I sadly miss out on the ice cream. BUT, they do make the best sorbet ever. I love the Raspberry Lemon Basil. It's light, refreshing, fruity, with a bright pop of fresh lemon and basil, and, it's pink! It is such a nice, round, complete flavor. You can really taste the thought and execution of the recipe. Beware, on a warm summer day, you will eat the whole pint...or two.
The Belmont Smoothie at Sip Juice Cart: I usually go here for fresh juices, when I'm trying to be a good healthy citizen. Once in a while, I can't help but fall into the arms of this smoothie. More like a sweet treat to me, it's filled with banana, peanut butter, cacao powder, almond milk, agave and vanilla. Who can resist anything chocolate banana peanut butter? On a hot day, this rich and creamy treat is a must!
Busta' Coconut Smoothie at Kure Juice Bar: I love Kure juice bar for their healthy fresh green juices. Their menu is huge, and they have so many other great things, like the Busta' Coconut Smoothie. Okay, so it's kind of a health treat, but it tastes exactly like a coconut cream milkshake, and I don't know how they do it! It has coconut water, coconut meat, coconut manna, coconut yogurt, agave and ice. I love the texture, and the pieces of coconut in each sip. It tastes like a Caribbean vacation, and really takes my mind there. It's a great escape from the Portland weather!
Cashew Butter from Nut-Tricious Foods: Okay, this may sound weird, but honestly, one of my favorite treats ever is a giant spoonful of this raw cashew butter from Ken at Nut-Trious Foods in Vancouver, Washington, right across the river. He makes the best nut butters you will ever have. He lightly sweetens the cashew butter with agave syrup, and gives it the perfect pinch of salt to make the best and most simple bite of nutty heaven you will ever try. It may be random, but let's be honest, how many of us eat nut butter by the spoonful for a treat? A lot of us. There's no shame. Pick up a tub at local retailers like Front Food Coop, New Seasons, and Lamb's Marketplace (full list here).
Passionfruit Cheesecake from Divine Pie: Divine Pie makes all gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, raw pies in Portland. They use wholesome ingredients like nuts, coconut oil, agave syrup and coconut meat to make the silkiest, creamiest pies, that just pop with flavor. You feel great eating them, too. I love the Passionfruit Cheesecake. It's tangy, sweet, bright and almost buttery, a unique flavor that leaves you wanting more. You can grab one at retailers like Zupan's, Whole Foods, and New Seasons (full list here).
About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax