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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Sunday, May 1, 2011

GF Dehydrating : Buckwheat Crispies



You have likely run across the benefits of a living and raw vegan diet for anyone who is gluten-sensitive or has celiac disease.  The major benefit is that raw fruits and veggies are chock-full of enzymes that help with the digestion of food, and generally, grains like wheat are totally missing from the diet because, well, they are highly acid-producing, have nasty-tasting 'inhibitors' in their bran, and just don't add anything to the deliciousness of the raw vegan experience.  As well, many writers of raw and living food recipes discovered their own sensitivity to gluten.  So, a good food dehydrator like the Excalibur is a great boon to broadening your gluten-free recipe repertoire.

The amazing thing about raw recipes is that many of them can be made up to similulate the flavor, texture, and other elements of "mouth appeal" that we look for in traditional heated recipes.  I'm just starting to use buckwheat crispies in various recipes.  You can too!  Below are a couple of ideas for using them... so go get some at your healthfood store and enjoy the following:

How To Make Buckwheat Crispies
  • Soak 1 pound of Buckwheat Groats overnight in 3X as much water (as groats).  
  • Rinse well in the morning and drain.
  • Spread out on mesh trays of the dehydrator and dry at 105 degrees for 3-5 hours, or until completely dry (in moister climates, it will take longer)
  • After dried and cooled completely, store in glass mason jars* (with lids on securely to keep air out). When properly dried and stored, dehydrated foods will have a shelf-life of several months.
BUCKWHEAT BATTER RECIPE (for 'battered veggies')
  • Grind Buckwheat Crispies into a powder/flour
  • Add 1 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
  • Add Cayenne, Nutritional Yeast, fresh ground Pepper, Garlic Powder, or whatever your choice of seasoning, to taste
  • Dip your favourite raw veggies (cut-up into spears, slices, etc.) into Olive Oil and then into the buckwheat powder.  
  • Dehydrate at 105 degrees for a couple of hours, until a crunchy outer layer forms.
With this basic 'batter' recipe you can also make "fried" onions (toss 4 C. of thinly-sliced onion rings in 3 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil & 2 T. Water, then dredge in batter to coat well.  Gently place on the dehydrator trays and dry at 105 degrees for 4-6 hours until crispiness desired.)
     *I get my mason jars for 25 cents each at the Sally Anne.
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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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