Monday, December 12, 2011

Gluten-free German Pfeffernusse Cookies (for Christmas)



As I mentioned previously (maybe in another blog lol), I recall making delightful pfeffernusse cookies with my late mother-in-law.  I was young and pregnant.  She was compassionate.  Together we covered the entire top of her kitchen table with cookies in various stages of glazed-ness.  Then, as I remember, they disappeared for a while so they could mellow out.  Initially they are very hard, could crack your dental ware... I am not in the mood for another expensive trip to get my porcelain crowns replaced.

Here is my version of Pfeffernusse--vegan and Gluten-free-- it involves raw cacao powder so in truth they taste a little like a cross between the pfeffernusse and a scone (or in my humble opinion).   The spicy, peppery-ness fills the air with love when they bake.  You might want to listen to this music as you bake them.

  • 1/3 C. Molasses
  • 1/2 C. Honey
  • 3 T. Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 2 "Flax Eggs" (Mix 2 T. Flax Meal in 6-8 T. Hot Water and let sit)
  • 2 T. freshly grated lemon peel
  • 1 1/2 C. Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Biscuit Baking Mix**
  • 1 C. Almond Pulp (from making Almond Mylk)***
  • 1/2 C. Cocoa or Raw Cacao Powder
  • 3/4 tsp. ground Cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground Cloves
  • 3/4 tsp. ground Cardamom
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. gluten-free Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt OR 1/4 C. Nutritional Yeast****
  • 1 cup gluten-free powdered sugar to dust cookies after baking (optional)
  • Jam or Jelly of choice for thumbprints ( I used homemade Blackberry)
1. You can add all the wet ingredients (including lemon peel and flax egg) to a mix bowl and mix up, and then add dry ingredients (except for dusting sugar), or you can do what I do in a rather non-traditional way and just dump everything into your food processor and process until creamy smooth.
2. Then put a sheet of plastic wrap tightly over the canister or bowl and refrigerate the batter for 8 or more hours (I did it overnight).
3. To bake: Preheat the oven to 350F or 176C.  I use a silicone sheet/liner on a cookie sheet, but you can also either use parchment paper or lightly oil your pans directly with coconut oil.  
4. Shape 1T. of batter into a ball (a SMALL tablespoon quantity works well) and space out on sheets so that there is about 1 1/2" between balls.  You should have enough batter for 36 balls.  If you find the batter is too sticky to handle, powder your hands with the dusting sugar.
5. If you wish to eliminate the dredging (dusting) sugar, just make a thumbprint in each cookie and add in about 1/4 tsp. of jam or jelly.
6. Bake for 13 - 15 minutes so the cookies are firm but not hard.  
7. Transfer the cookies to the cooling racks for about 10 minutes.  If you plan to dredge with dusting sugar, go ahead and do that after 10 minutes.  (I throw 1 C. of Coconut Palm Sugar into my Vitamix and get a low-glycemic but sweet dusting sugar.  I add in about 1/4 C. of shredded coconut).
8. I would like to describe them more as pfefferneuse "scones" since they are not hard little crunchers like the true pfeffernusse (chewier with a sort of biscuity texture, perhaps because I used the mix I did?  In any case, they are yummy.... perfect with a hot seasonal drink-- nog, spicy tea, coffee, etc.)   I would definitely go for the thumbprints over the sugar-dusted cookies, but that might just be a personal preference.  I made some of both.  
9. After completely cool, store in airtight container.  Merry Christmas! 

** Please feel free to use another brand of GF baking mix-- or put together your own.
***Click on the link to find out how to make Almond Mylk and harvest the great pulp.  Conversely, use Almond Flour or Almond Meal or maybe mix together and add about 1/2 C. of Tapioca Flour with 1/2 C. Almond Butter
****Nutritional Yeast is not baking or brewer's yeast-- it has a mild saltiness without the sodium level

If you are really in a Christmas-y mood and want to have a little tour of the Karlesruhe Christmas Market (in German) go here.
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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Mexican Polenta Pie Recipe (vegan, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free)

This delicious polenta pie recipe is my attempt to replicate the yummy polenta pie we sampled on my birthday at Delicado's in Downtown Nanaimo. It's my way of feeding and thanking our son for building a shed today.

CRUST:

Preheat the oven to 400F

"Eggy" mix: 1 T. Ground Flax in 3 T. Water (let sit while you mix the other ingredients together first)

Cut the following together until small pea-sized:
1 1/2 C. Bob's Red Mills GF Biscuit Mix (or 1 1/2 C. Brown Rice Flour)
1/2 C. Shortening (I use solid Organic Virgin Coconut Oil)
2 T. Cold Water

Mix up the "Eggy" and add it to the Biscuit Mix. Make into a ball and press into a pie plate.

Poke fork tracks into the crust so it doesn't buckle while cooking.

Pop into the oven and bake until golden (12-17 minutes)

Cool on a rack.

"Mexican" Stir Fry Veggies:


Next fry up some "Mexican" type veggies in 1 T. Coconut Oil. Just check out your fridge and crack open a can of kidney or black beans. This is what I used (what was in MY fridge lol):
*1 C. of Crimini Mushroom pieces
*1 small yellow Onion, chopped
*4 scallions (green onions) chopped
*2 cloves Garlic, chopped
(Chopped Peppers, Olives, Tomatoes, Artichoke, Asparagus, Kale, Spinach would all work!)
*Mix in Chili Powder and Salt, to taste. Mix in Beans until heated through.
(Optional: to "cheez it" up a bit, as a vegan, you could add some Nutritional Yeast and a little water during your final mix up of the vegs.)
*Remove from the pan to a bowl to cool

The "Polenta" (Corn Mush)

The Simplest Recipe:

*3 C. Water
*1 C. Cornmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill brand, stone-ground, yellow)
*Pinch of Salt

Boil the water. Add the Cornmeal in a slow stream, while stirring it in. Lower heat to about Medium and continue to stir (and I sort of mash and use my wooden spoon on the pan bottom as if I were making an omelet). Keep stirring and smoothing the mush until it is quite thick (past soupy stage). For sure stir out all lumps. You can do this anywhere from 15 minutes up to an hour, depending on how fast your stove thickens it (lol) to how thick you want it to be. It's a learning curve, Baby (but not too hard, I promise).

Remove polenta from the heat and go check your email and maybe play a game or two on Facebook.

If the pie crust is cool, and the polenta is pretty cool and thickened up, then spoon it into the pie crust and smooth it. Put the veggies on top. Garnish with some chopped Cilantro.

Hope you love it as much as we do! Serve with a green salad and maybe some guacamole. We like ours cold.

_________________________________________________ Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Love those Sourdough Gluten-Free Baked Goods!

This morning I decided that-- once again-- I've had enough of the usual expensive, not usually all that fresh (often in the store freezer)gluten-free baking (bread, buns, muffins, etc.) Some of the store-bought bread is quite tasty (eg., Udi's) but some is quite disgusting (to remain nameless)unless you fancy heavy white slices that vaguely resemble white bread (which I did not eat)but which taste like hardened library paste. And most of the GF convenience breads contain allergins like eggs and dairy and refined sugar.

Sharon A. Kane has come to our rescue with delicious Gluten-Free recipes that are also HEALTHY, digestible, and allergy-free. I ordered one of her original ebooks and have been enjoying gluten-free sourdough bread, muffins, and pancakes for a couple of years. But every so often I get lazy and start buying those ready-made rice flour bricks. So, this morning I have my sourdough (kefir) starter working away on my kitchen counter for the next couple of days and then will start the fascinating process of bubbling up a gluten-free bread recipe in my kitchen. Sharon has honed her recipes over the past years so that what you end up with is a soft, fresh, yummy product that doesn't taste exactly the way a wheat product does, but lovely in its own way. Click on the picture of her Kindle book above and get it delivered within minutes so you can start cooking right away!
_________________________________________________ Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Recipe for Fruity-Walnut Muffins, Gluten-free, Egg-free, Dairy-free

When you decided to go "gluten-free", what did you miss most?  French bread? Croissants? How about muffins?  I've gotten over the bread thing for the most part, but I must admit that I still have a muffin-fixation.  But when I take a look at those yummy-looking store-sold GF muffins, well, I just know that I would feel guilty for weeks if I spent $8-$10 for six muffins.  So, today I decided to try my hand at some with the fresh bag of Bob's Red Mill Biscuit & Baking Mix I have in my fridge... and lo and behold, I had all the other ingredients as well (I have much-adapted another online muffin recipe).

I have learned that to measure out all the ingredients in advance really does prevent over-doing some sprinkle or shake and probably speeds up the process as well (although I was in no big hurry today).  I use silicon muffin pans and find that I just have to trace around the perimeter of the muffin with my knife and voila! they fall effortlessly from the pan onto the cooling racks.

I ate these yummy puppies with raw honey.   Is it because I am muffin-deprived, or are they actually about the most scrumptious muffins I have ever eaten in my life?  The recipe follows: 


Combine 1 1/2 T. Flaxseed Meal (I grind mine in coffee bean grinder) and 4 1/2 T. Water. Stir until smooth and set aside. This is the "egg binder".

Measure out the following in advance:
1 C. Bob's Red Mill Biscuit and Baking Mix
1/2 C. GF/Wheat-free Oats
1/2 C. Coconut Palm Sugar or other sweetener of Choice
1 T. Cinnamon
1 C. Carrot, grated (about 2 Carrots)
1 C. tart Apple, diced (about 1+ large apple)
1/2 C. seedless Grapes
1/8 C. Walnut pieces
1/8 C. Flaxseed Meal (additional to the "binder" mix)
1/6 C. Apple Juice
1/2 C. Soy Milk
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1/4 C. Apple Sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine Biscuit & Baking Mix, GF/Wheat-free Oats, coconut palm sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Stir well. Stir in carrots, apples, walnuts, flax meal and grapes. Put this mix aside. Combine soy milk, applesauce, vanilla, flaxseed ("egg") binder and apple juice in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add to baking mix and stir until moist. Grease or spray muffin cups. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove muffins from pans immediately and place on cooling rack. Makes 6 large or 9 small Muffins.

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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Something You'll Want to See If You Are Worried About Gluten Issues and Cancer...



"Chaos Control" by Lars Sundstrom
It's no revelation that cancer is seen as the Great Plague of our Age. Who (over the age of 5?)hasn't had someone close to them test positive for the dreaded "C"? In my family both of my grandmothers died with "masses" in different body locales. My late mother also had a "mass", but it went unidentified. It almost seems like "that's life"... but is it?

As you have likely read or heard, people with gluten sensitivities, allergies, and celiac disease also are prone to getting various cancers. For example, it seems that celiac disease is associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma that measures out at about 5X the risk of persons without celiac disease, and even more gruesome, it seems that the risk has increased by 50% over the past years. (read more about the Swedish research in this area). And when you think that over three million Americans (a proportionately similar rate occurs in Canada I'm sure) have the most extreme form of gluten intolerance--celiac disease-- and that probably a third of the population is gluten-sensitive or allergic, well, I would say that this is a pretty extreme situation, wouldn't you? So, what can you do about it?

I guess you could go the conventional medical route and opt for the various tests, continue eating the Standard American Diet (remember that Gluten-Free doesn't necessarily mean "healthy") and strive for the Standard American Dream lifestyle and go through the Standard "procedures", take the "cutting edge pharmaceutical drugs", etc. OR, as it turns out, there are quite a few other things you can do to prevent and to treat and to heal from cancer.   And to start, I want to invite you to see a newly-made video that tells the personal story of cancer that I think will ring a chord for you as it did for me...

As you know, cancer can wreak havoc on families and lives.

By the end of 2011, cancer will have affected 1.5 million people in the United States alone.

500,000 people will die in that same time period.

What's even more evident is that with all the money and efforts put into finding a cure for cancer, it still seems there's been little motion forward. People are still suffering.

What's not evident to most - though you surely know - is that there is a small group of doctors, professionals, nutritionists and activists working behind the scenes on protocols that they say can prevent or even treat certain cancers effectively.

Some of them even practice in fear of losing their licenses and careers, but they push on because what they see in their practices is success.

Recently, health author Kevin Gianni decided to do something to bring these experts to the forefront. His own family has been affected by cancer twice - his father died and mother went through chemotherapy and surgery for breast cancer.

You can see his story here in this video I've been talking about...

Starting October 25th, 2011, he's asked 9 of the top natural cancer doctors and researchers to share what they're doing in their clinics throughout the world. We're thrilled that his asked us to share as well.

This special, free online event is called the "Healing Cancer World Summit" and you can read more about it, watch the video and register here (it's free)..
This group of experts includes doctors, nutritionists, advocates and survivors - all in the same online forum - that will share their science, research and stories to share the options that are available that you may never have heard about.

Some of the 9 experts include Dr. Nicolas Gonzalez, Dr. Francisco Contreras, Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy, Dr. Thomas Lodi, Charlotte Gerson, Mike Adams, Burton Goldberg, and more. Combined, this group has had decades of experience working with cancer patients in their clinics.

During the program, you'll...

- Find out what therapies these doctors and experts are using that they say can prevent and even treat cancers naturally.

- Discover herbs and supplements that are scientifically known to prevent cancer.

- Discover scientific and documented proof that natural cancer treatments work.

- Learn how to detoxify and cleanse the body naturally... and safely.

- And much more.

To listen in to this online event is completely free. You can read more or sign up here

Again, the event starts in just a few short weeks, so be sure to sign up now. Also, the event is free, but if you'd like to have the recordings of this event in your own library there is a special option for you to purchase the downloads once you sign up.

When you register now, you'll also get 3 special bonuses delivered to you right away.

The event registration is open until October 25th, but be sure to register early and you'll get three special bonus gifts that you can access right away while you're waiting for the kickoff.
Click here to register now.
This event also launches at the end of Cancer Awareness Month in the U.S., so Kevin felt it was necessary to allow all sides of the spectrum to speak during this important month.
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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Do I Have Celiac Disease?



The right pickles can
actually help if you
are healing from
Celiac Disease....
Did you know that 5X more North Americans are diagnosed with Celiac Disease now than in 1950?*  With that jump in the increase of diagnosis -- and given that this usually doesn't occur for most people with Celiac disease(or coeliac disease, celiac sprue, non-tropical sprue, or gluten-sensitive enteropathy) until their gut lining is pretty much destroyed by the disease-- it is critical to know what some of the outstanding symptoms of celiac disease are so you can (1)eliminate the culprit destroyers and (2)begin the healing process with or without an actual medical diagnosis.
Here are the 6 Top Symptoms Associated with Celiac Disease:
  1. Ongoing Migraine or Headaches
  2. Tired all the time with Body Weakness
  3. Skin conditions such as Rashes or Allergy Reactions
  4. One-way Ticket on the Emotional Roller Coaster (moody, depressed)
  5. Infections that seem to go away, but then come back
  6. Digestive Pain and Discomfort
For Best Results, Intervene Early
Bloating, gas pains, and digestive issues like alternating between constipation and diarrhea might seem like minor items to bring up with your physician.   The fact is that these "minor issues"are often major signals that not all is well with your intestinal microvilli, the tiny gut hairs that help in the process of trapping and absorbing nutrients from food.  In fact, at the time of most diagnoses, the microvilli are totally worn out.  So, the best time to start healing of your digestive system is when you are experiencing pesky symptoms like "common indigestion".

The jury is still out on the actual "causes" for developing this degenerative disease, but most research points to an attack on the digestive system's essential microbes and resulting inflammation and immunity compromise.  A major theory about why the disease has increased so greatly over the recent past is that modern food processing has 'mutated' grains and flours and the products made from them making their acid-producing proteins a digestive nightmare for most people.  Genetics and the fact that we are a super-sanitizing society also have an impact.  The cleaner we are, and the more often we use antibiotics, the more mutations the "bugs" go through to form stronger, smarter bugs.   And, of course, in general, we eat far too many inflammation-producing foods.

How To Heal
  • Nurture your gut in ways that will make you feel good and will re-build the healthy bacteria that has been displaced by the "bugs."  Look for a good "probiotic" to take (talk to your health care provider about this.  I actually find that the certain staff in my local health food store know a good deal about probiotics).  While the gut is being repopulated with 'healthy bacteria', it will begin to protect the gut lining as it rebuilds an immune response.  Inflammation-- think of heat and 'flame'-- will be turned down as the gut is nurtured with the correct microflora.  These lovely cultured recipes will help.   Remember to cut out ALL the inflammation-producing foods while you're at it.  
  • Learn to relax.  Find ways to manage the stress in your life.  Good nutrition, exercise, drinking pure water, getting out and getting fresh air and sunlight, getting the rest you need, and a healthy spiritual discipline are ways that all help in healing and thriving beyond the healing process.  If you are looking for a way to get relief from pain, the Pain Relief Summit with its experts in the area will be available starting in October, online, and free.  Click here to learn more and register for six days in October that will give you opportunities to kick chronic, debilitating pain right out of your life.

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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review of UDI's Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bread




If you have a gluten sensitivity, or worse, Coeliac disease, you know what it is like to be missing the taste and texture of "real" (i.e., wheat flour) bread. It inevitably means trying a lot of substitute product out there that claims to be healthful and gluten-free, but that generally tastes pretty awful (like reconstituted library paste)and/or has the texture of styrofoam (come to think of it, tastes like styrofoam too).

I first found Udi's Whole Grain Bread in a Safeway in Vancouver in May. My husband and I were delighted with the way it toasted up, its soft, chewiness, and its genuinely delicious flavour. Now I actually believe that it tastes better than "real" bread.

In our smaller community on Vancouver Island we are only able to find it at our well-stocked health food store. It is kept in the freezer there so we generally eat it toasted when we get it home, or until the rest of the loaf has thawed. When I take the Uti's bread to the check-out counter in the store there are usually a number of other shoppers in line who have positive comments to make about how much better Udi's products are than the other gluten-free breads on the shelves, how their children are finally able to have something palatable again.

I haven't tried Udi's muffins, but after watching the video review above, I think they will be on my next grocery list.
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  Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Carrot-Coconut-Choc Chip Health Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)



This is a quick clean-out-your-fridge sort of cookie. Experienced cooks will likely make substitutions. If you are not so experienced, it might be a good idea to try to have the following ingredients as they are (example: 1 1/2 C. of cooked porridge) the first time you try this. You could substitute regular buckwheat flour, but I find the ground crispies especially tasty and with the health benefits of their having been soaked and "sprouted" before being dried.
Add all of the following together into food processor and process:
2 Eggs
1 C. Coconut Palm Sugar (or other sweetener of choice)
1/3 C. Almond Milk
1/3 C. Virgin Coconut Oil
1 C. Buckwheat Crispie "Flour" (grind Crispies in coffee bean grinder)
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp.Celtic Sea Salt
1/2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. ground Nutmeg
1 1/2 cup cooked Porridge
1 C. shredded Coconut
1 C. grated Carrots
Dump into a large bowl.
Stir in 1 C. Raisins
Stir in 1 C. GF Chocolate (or Carob) Chips
Stir in 1 C. Hempnuts (or perhaps Walnuts)
Stir in about 1 C. more Coconut Shreds

I use a silicone baking sheet-- you can use a sprayed cookie sheet.
Drop by heaping teaspoonsful onto sheet, and flatten slightly.
Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes
Remove to racks and cool. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen smallish, plump, soft, delicious cookies

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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Quick Gluten-Free Oatmeal-Buckwheat Cookies Recipe



If you follow this blog, you know that I have come to rely on Buckwheat Crispies as a major all-purpose GF ingredient. In this recipe I have ground it up in a coffee bean grinder into a fine flour (you can actually grind the groats in your high speed mixer into a flour as well if you don't want to soak and dehydrate your buckwheat).  These are a fine, sweet, substantial, fairly soft cookie.  If I'd had any GF chocolate chips around, I would have added them!

Preheat oven to 350F.

Put the following into a Food Processor:

*1/2 C. Virgin Coconut Oil (doesn't have to be melted)
*1 C. Granulated Sweetener (I used a combination of Palm Sugar & Stevia)
*1 Egg
*1 tsp. Vanilla
*1 C. Buckwheat Crispie "Flour" (Crispies ground in Coffee Bean Grinder or Blender)
*1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
*1/2 tsp. Double-acting Baking Powder
*Pinch of Celtic Sea Salt (or to taste)
*1 C. Gluten-Free Quick Rolled Oats

Mix until a nice, fragrant batter.  Hand-mix in any of the following if you desire:
*3/4 C. GF Chocolate Chips
*1 tsp. Grated Orange Rind
*1/2 C. Raisins
*1 C. Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)

Drop the cookies 2" apart on a silicone sheet or well-greased cookie sheet.  Bake about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  I cool on racks.  Try not to eat them all before you remove from the racks. : ) ________________________________________________
Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Recipe for Cookie-Crumb Brownies (Gluten-free) (Yummy) (Unbaked) (Dairy-free) (Vegan)



Well, here I am at home alone while my hubby is off in the Honduras helping on a school-building project with Maranatha Volunteers International.  I have been dutifully and even gleefully walking Zoe up and down a long hill to the ocean twice a day, and taking her for another long walk in the evening, plus rebounding 30 minutes a day, and other active things.  I have been eating lots of dopamine-producing foods and honestly haven't had any cravings for sweets.  And suddenly... well, I invented the most delicious unbaked (not all the ingredients are "raw") brownies that smelled like oreo cookies when I took the top off the food processor.  I will try not to eat the whole pan myself, although that will be hard.  Here is the recipe, but I suggest that you jiggle around with the ingredients to get the exact taste that you want... it's not hard, just put in a little extra of what you like, and take out what you don't like, or substitute something you like for something you don't like/don't have.  You could, for example, try a little oatmeal for the dehydrated buckwheat crispies (although I think that would be a shame, really, because they give it the 'cookie crumb' texture-- maybe you could try rice crispies?)

Melt about 1 T. of extra virgin coconut oil in a dish over hot water.

Grind up about 1/2 C. of Buckwheat Crispies into a flour using a coffee bean grinder or a vitamix.

Add the above to a food processor along with:

  • 1/2 C. organic Cocoa powder
  • 1/4 C. Walnut Pieces
  • 1/2 C. Shredded Coconut
  • 8-12 soft Dates without pits
  • 1/4 C. organic Peanut Butter
  • Shot of Vanilla extract (your call)
Pulse until all combined... batter will be a little sticky but still fairly much of a cookie crumb texture. If it is too dry in your opinion, just add a little bit more peanut butter or a little almond milk... but not much.  Press it into a small pan (8x8 or smaller) and put into the freezer until it sets (very quickly).  I actually cut mine with a pizza cutter before putting it into the freezer for convenience's sake.  Tastes very yummy with banana "ice cream" (actually just frozen bananas whirred up in the vitamix with a little vanilla and a couple of ice cubes).

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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

How does Gluten in the Diet Affect Children?



I am no longer a parent to dependent children, but now I am a grandparent to two of the most adorable and delicate and bright little girls you will ever meet ("Grandma Licence to Brag" here)and it seems that I stress as much over them as I did over our two boys, maybe more. And they just happen to have highly intelligent, highly responsible parents who lovingly look after them.

Nowadays I hear about all the ADHD, autism, and even depression that affect children and I shudder. I double up on my prayers.

Does Gluten have an affect on children's brains?  Does it result in ADHD and Autism?

Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo, MS, DC, CCN, DACBN, is certain that it does! Some time ago she carefully poured over the mountains of research on the subject and published a journal article about some of the neurodevelopmental (read: brain development) effects that result because of gluten in the diets of gluten-sensitive and -intolerant young children.

Dr. Ritamarie has passionately continued with her research on the effects of gluten on children's brain development, and has assisted thousands of parents in helping their children make necessary eating changes so as to improve their children's behaviours, their school performance, and many other aspects of life.

Now you can listen to an excellent BlogRadio program with Dr. Ritamarie discussing her research and successful experiences with children who have been sidelined by Gluten. This program on BlogRadio launches June as "Kids' Health Month".

Click HERE to listen to Dr. Ritamarie's BlogRadio program (approximately 1 hour in length).

Click HERE to get her free GOING GLUTEN-FREE SURVIVAL KIT.
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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Recipe for Onion-Olive-Oregano (Raw) Bread (Gluten-free)(Vegan)(Living)




Today I put together some "Fried Onions" to pop into the dehydrator and found that I had both a lot of onion bits and buckwheat crispies flour left over from dredging the onions.  I am not one to "waste" (Food Safe's "when in doubt, throw it out" rule really doesn't work for me).  So, using a couple of recipes for raw onion breads that I found on the internet, I put together this one (and it was delicious baby!):
  • 4 C. Sweet Onions, peeled, quartered
  • 1 can sliced Black Olives (pitted)
  • 1 C. Buckwheat Crispies Flour
  • 1 C. Flax seeds
  • 1 T. organic Oregano flakes
  • Celtic Sea Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method:

  • Put onions and Olives in food processor with 'S' blade and process until well processed, but not mushy.
  • Grind up 1 C. of Buckwheat Crispies, either in the blender or in a coffee bean grinder and put into a large mixing bowl
  • Grind of the Flax seeds next into meal and put into the bowl
  • Shake on the Oregano and add the Celtic Sea Salt (be light-handed)
  • Add in the Olive Oil and the Onions and Olives. Mix well. The Flaxseed will absorb any of the liquids from the onions and olives.
  • Smooth with a spatula, about 1/4 inch thick, onto a teflex sheet, and place in your dehydrator for 5 hours at 105 degrees.
  • Flip and dehydrate without the teflex sheet for another 3-5 hours, or until you are satisfied with the state of "done-ness".
  • When dried, cut with a good pizza cutter into bread or cracker-size pieces.
  • Store in the fridge in bags or other airtight containers.
  • Try not to eat it all in one sitting.
  • Try not to make it more than three times a week. (just kidding)

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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How to Make Your Own Gluten-Free Flour Blends



Today I think I may have persuaded a friend with mysterious symptoms (sounding like gluten-sensitivity to me) to try going off gluten for a while to see how she feels.  She bemoaned the fact that she has a bread maker** (and I know she is a star bread baker herself).  I suggested that she do some research to see how/if gluten-free bread works in bread machines (there seem to be quite a few articles indicating it does).

We also talked about the various gluten-free breads that are commercially available.  My favourites are Udi's and the Chia Bread (by Silver Hills).  But there are both pretty pricey and I believe that you could make your own, maybe with a few tweaks, just by doing some research for good recipes on line.  (There are also some very baaaaaad-tasting gluten-free breads available commercially-- hopefully their number will diminish).

I told you a while ago that I purchased The Gluten-Free Bible and am enjoying not just the recipes, but also the other invaluable GF information.  After talking to my friend I looked up the page on Gluten-free flour blends.  It is interesting that bread and other baked products that are gluten-free need to be made up of a 'blend' of several flours to replicate the many functions that wheat flour performs... wheat flour contains both starch and protein.  No one GF flour provides both starch AND protein.  However,  by combining both starchy and protein-y GF flours, you can achieve a pretty credible alternative to wheat flour (and without the nasty gluten!).  Following is a great GF blend for Breads and another All-Purpose GF blend that you can use for other baked goods (the ones without yeast in them):

GF Flour Mix for Bread Recipes (for yeast breads and buns, etc.)    

  • 1 C. Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 C. Sorghum Flour
  • 3/4 C. Millet Flour
  • 1 C. Tapioca Flour
  • 1 C. Cornstarch
  • 1/3 C. Instant Mashed Potatoes (unflavoured)
As mentioned previously, you can make your own flours with a high-speed blender like VitaMix, or an electric flour mill, or you can purchase flours ready-made.  Combine all the above in a large bowl and evenly-distribute with a whisk.  Double or triple the recipe if desired.  Put in the refrigerator in an air-tight container and use as called for with any yeast bread recipes.
All-Purpose GF Flour Blend for all non-Yeast Pastries

  • 1 C. White Rice Flour
  • 1 C. Sorghum Flour
  • 1 C. Tapioca Flour
  • 1 C. Cornstarch
  • 1 C. Almond OR Coconut Flour
If making your own Almond Flour, I suggest soaking the almonds and then drying them until very dry in a dehydrator before making the flour.  This is a very satisfying process.   Combine all the above ingredients together in a large bowl and make sure they are evenly distributed.  Double or triple the recipe.  Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.

**Many of today's electric breadmakers have an actual "Gluten-free" baking selection that can be made.  Gluten-free batter is generally scooped or poured into the breadmaker following many excellent recipes for breadmaker gluten-free bread.
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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Recipe for Gluten-Free Teff-Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies





These tasty cookies are not exactly "I'll-whip-em-up" variety unless you happen to have teff flour and chia seeds in your pantry.  But I would suggest if you don't, please consider trying this recipe (adapted from Amy Green's recipe at her "Simply Sugar& Gluten-free" Blog)... it's a nice change from rice flour, et al.  Teff is a teeny-tiny seed that is grown in Northern Africa-- I am familiar with it as the main constituent in injera, the delicious flatbread from Eritrea.  Teff is high in protein.  I didn't look around for the teff flour but actually had some of the seed in my pantry (don't ask why) and ground it up in my high speed blender (Vitamix) a couple of times.  I ground the chia seed into a meal in my coffee bean grinder and actually made my own unsweetened applesauce from a couple of apples (also in my Vitamix).  I didn't have almonds, but did have sunflower seeds, and just used an online recipe from E-How  to make the sunflower seed butter in my food processor.  If this sounds like a lot of work, it probably is and you might just want to buy the ingredients ready-prepared.  But the cookies might not taste as fresh and delightful!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (127 grams) unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 tsp. Chia seed meal
1 1/2 C. (240 grams) Teff flour
1 tsp. (4 grams) Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. (1 gram) Celtic Sea Salt
1/2 generous C. (179 grams) gluten-free Brown Rice Syrup
1 tsp. (4 grams) pure Vanilla extract
1 C. (322 grams) Sunflower Seed Butter
(Optional Filler: up to a C. of unsweetened coconut shreds, raisins, other dried fruits, GF vegan chocolate chips or carob chips: your choice)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. You can line two baking sheets with parchment paper or I used a silcon sheet (I know that the whole health-conscious jury is still out on this one, but they work so well-- no sticking!). Mix together the applesauce and chia seed meal. Set aside.

Combine the teff flour, sea salt, and baking powder and set aside.  Nuke the sunflower seed butter for about 20 seconds and mix the delectable (tastes like butterscotch) brown rice syrup, vanilla, and applesauce into the warm sunflower seed butter. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir until combined. (Optional: Integrate the other bits and pieces of your choice).  Let the dough 'rest' for a few minutes while you check Facebook or the sleeping baby...

Roll up small balls of cookie dough on the prepared cookie tray about 1 1/2 inches apart from each other. Use the tines of a fork to press down the center of the cookie. Bake for 10 – 13 minutes until the cookies are set. Be certain not to overbake. They are best when stored in air-tight containers at room temperature, as most soft cookies are.  Crunchy outsides and would be tasty served up with strawberry jam with tea.
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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

GF Parenting: The Challenge Around Puberty



Here's an email I received from Dr. Ritamarie today... there are links to her blog and exciting new classes (online and in-person) that I thought I would share in their fullness for parents of teens everywhere:

Wow is all I can say.

I spend my days teaching people how to achieve vibrant health, reverse disease, balance their hormones, sharpen their minds and raise healthy kids on a nutrient dense, whole, unprocessed fresh organic food…preferably gluten-free diet.  I’ve raised my kids on whole foods since birth and as a result they have experienced amazing health and strength. 

You can imagine my shock and horror at the news I heard yesterday about my younger son, soon to be 13 years old. 

Read all about it HERE. 

Love, Health and Joy,

Dr. Ritamarie

P.S. Tune in to Blog Talk Radio:  www.drritamarieradio.com at  1:00 PM central time for: Cleanse Your Way to Your Summer Body: Simple Energizing and Strengthening Strategies to Stretch Your Summertime Fun 

P.P.S.  Sunday is a Food Preparation Class unlike any you’ve ever seen.  Learn to make Gluten Free Living Foods Versions of your favorite summer picnic foods – burgers, coleslaw, potato salad, onion rings and even…HOT DOGS.  While hot dogs don’t make me jump up and down for joy – I never was a fan…I am excited to learn how to make them for my son (guess which one) and my nieces and nephews.  This is a brand new recipe that Karen has been perfecting for months.  I can’t wait to share it with you! 

Go HERE to learn more and signup for the class…online or in person.  The in person attendees get to actually enjoy sampling the food as we make it!   Yummy!!!! 

P.P.S.  I forgot to mention we’ll be making Strawberry Shortcake for Dessert!  Gluten Free, Raw and delicious of course…without sugar or oil! 

P.P.P.S. I am so horrified about what I learned about my son yesterday, I had to blog about it!
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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recipe for Biscuits and Gravy



Here is another delicious recipe using the buckwheat crispies (dehydrated, soaked buckwheat groats), this time the crispies have been ground up into a mild-tasting, lovely flour to make light biscuits, crunchy and crispy on the outside and soft and chewy inside. If you don't have a dehydrator (I use an Excalibur dehydrator) you can set your oven to 125F, leave the door open a bit, and dehydrate that way for several hours until dry (not the most eco-friendly way to do it, but it gives you pretty good results and will help you decide whether a dehydrator is a good investment for you :)  This is an adaptation of Ani Phyo's Biscuits and Gravy in her book Ani's Raw Food Essentials.

INGREDIENTS FOR BISCUITS:

  • 2 C. Buckwheat Crispies
  • 1/4 C. Flaxseed
  • 1/4 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 C. filtered Water
    • Grind up the Crispies and the Flaxseed in a coffee bean grinder or a high speed blender until a light powder (the crispies) and a fine meal (the flaxseed).
    • Place 4 first ingredients in a food processor and mix well adding water last, and processing until you have a robust thick batter.
    • With a 1/3 C.measuring cup, scoop the dough and put onto a 14" Excalibur tray/sheet.  Touch up slightly with fingers to make a biscuit shape (they shape up pretty darn good-- my Grade Nine Home Ec. teacher would be proud)
    • You should get 8-10 biscuits.  Make a double batch if you like, just doubling all ingredients above.  
    • Dehydrate at 105F for about 8-10 hours and then flip and dehydrate another 2-4 hours (you want them crisp on the outside and NOT mushy on the inside)
    • You could add raisins, currents, dry cranberries, nuts, blueberries before making the batter if you don't want to go the savoury route.
MISO-ALMOND GRAVY INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 C. soaked, rinsed, hulled Almonds (I pop off the skins after a soaking)
  • 1/2 C. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 T. Yellow Miso (I live on this stuff)
  • 2 tsp. fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 C. filtered Water
Blend everything together until smooth.  This is the best-tasting gravy I've ever made.  Ani Phyo uses cashews, and you can use any raw nut or seeds you want... I would soak (and rinse 3X) whatever nut you use for about 3-6 hours before-hand to remove the inhibitors which are a toxin of sorts).  The gravy will keep in your fridge for up to 5 days.  If nuts are an allergy issue, just use the other ingredients for a very passable substitution (with a little more olive oil).

I can imagine that these are delicious with strawberries and a "whipped kreme" (perhaps coconut?).  Enjoy!

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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Recipe for Strawberry-Buckwheat Crispies



One adaptation of an excellent recipe from Ani Phyo
Here's another recipe prepared the "raw vegan" way using the recipe for Buckwheat Crispies (May 1st).  This is particularly soothing for kids who miss having their traditional gluten-laden breakfast cereals... Buckwheat crispies are a good source of fibre, manganese, tryptophan, and magnesium.

Ingredients:
2 Cups of Buckwheat Crispies
3 C. Sliced Strawberries
1 1/2 C. your favourite gluten-free Mylk (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk-- yum!)
1 Sliced Ripe Banana
  • Put 2 C. of strawberries in the food processor or blender, and add the Milk.  Blend until pink and creamy (and soooooo fragrant, like summer!)
  • Divide the buckwheat crispies into 4 bowls (1/2 C. each)
  • Pour the Strawberry Mylk over each bowl
  • Top with sliced strawberries and bananas (and anything else wanted: dried fruit, hempnuts, other fresh fruit)
  • Enjoy!

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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Easing the Journey for GF Kids



Rainbow in Hand
If you speak to ten strangers today (in the bookstore, in the park, at a meeting, etc.), and you bring up the topic of gluten-sensitivity, I am confident that you will meet at least one who will say: "I've got celiac disease" or "my son was just diagnosed with a gluten-sensitivity".  Being a celiac or gluten-sensitive child is difficult both from the health perspective and from the social angle where it is important to fit, to not be 'different'.  Here are 8 tips that may help your child to feel more comfortable about the transition to a gluten-free lifestyle. (These are adapted from The Gluten Free Bible):
  1. Give your child control.  Information is power and if you can give your child good reasons for eating gluten-free, he/she will make good choices when called upon to do that.
  2. Get the word out!  Tell teachers, childminder, relatives, friend's parents so that there can be safe provisions made for your child with a GF alternative to regular treats and meals away from home.  Make sure they know how important it is for your child to stick to their GF diet.
  3. Review with your child how to explain they are GF.  He might want to start out with "I'm allergic to gluten".  She will be safer the more she is comfortable talking about being gluten-free.
  4. Come up with Alternatives.  Don't expect to trade off brownies with broccoli!  This site and others online will give you GF recipes that taste similar to the foods they love.
  5. Send their GF Faves with Them  Send gluten-free replacement foods along with your child when they are invited to sleepovers or birthday parties.  Let the parent-in-charge know in advance.
  6. The GF School Stash.  Give your child's teacher a variety of GF treats to put away and bring out when the other kids are having the usual treats in celebration, etc. so your child won't feel left out.
  7. Working with Natural Consequences VS Guilt and Shame: We all make mistakes.  If your child accidentally or purposely eats some gluten-containing food, don't make a big deal of it.  If he feels lousy as a result, you might want to point that out.
  8. Stay in the "Normal" Zone: This is probably a bigger deal for you than it is for your child, so keep some perspective.  Your child has a "normal" life happening with friends, pets, computer games, and recess.  Children frequently just use food as fuel (remember?) while we adults tend to be a little too food-fixated. 
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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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