Buckwheat & Coconut Flour Pancakes

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I’ve been doing a lot of reading on this whole Paleo thing. The concept behind Paleo in a nutshell, is eating only things that our early ancestors ate. Basically, if a caveman couldn’t hunt it or find it, you can’t eat it.

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I very quickly came to the realization that the majority of Paleo recipes “out there” are not technically Paleo at all. Coconut sugar? Coconut milk? Coconut flour? Maple syrup? Blanched almond flour? Sweeteners made with plants like xylitol and stevia?

Paleo? I think not.

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A truly Paleo diet of course would only consist of local wild animals, insects, berries, tree fruits, maybe some seeds, and root vegetables and I suppose maybe bird eggs when they could find them. Possibly honey. So modern Paleo is really nothing like a true Paleo diet.

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Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about that fact. As a foodie, living on just the basics above would be very difficult and extremely boring and there’s no way I’m introducing insects into my diet. I think figuring out what irritates your body and finding a healthy balance is the key. Balance doesn’t mean I’m promoting eating things you’re sensitive to or allergic to of course, but if you’re just tweaking your diet to see how it goes, then I recommend a happy, non-obsessive, balance. If you don’t strive for balance, you’ll find yourself standing in front of the fridge and cupboards freaked out and overwhelmed because you feel like there’s nothing you can eat.

Balance is the key.

On top of my usual abstinence from gluten and dairy, grain has not touched my lips in 23 days and neither has refined sugar. Some may think that’s obsessive, however, I take this very seriously as Lyme Disease and its ugly side effects are nothing to mess around with.

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I will give you a good example of what I mean by balance. When we are eating at home we eat all organic meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, any condiments we can find that are organic, and my husband drinks organic cow’s milk, and we drink filtered water. Not everything in our cupboard or fridge is organic, but that’s what we strive for whenever possible. When we go out to eat (a rarer and rarer occasion), I don’t even think about the organic aspect. I still have to keep allergies in mind but other than that we find that balance and enjoy ourselves. The other day we went to a movie. Typically if we go to a move my husband and I will share a large popcorn “buttered”, salted, and a soda.  But, because I’m trying to get rid of refined sugar, I settled on a water bottle but still shared the popcorn that I’m sure is totally GMO and god only knows what they butter it with. And I don’t want to know. That in my mind, is balance. Mental balance. Because life is much TOO short not to have movie theater popcorn every now and then or enjoy a delicious steak at a wonderful restaurant even though the chances of it being organic are close to zero.

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 I have noticed a dramatic difference in my hands and ankles and overall body/joint pain and swelling since kicking grains and refined sugars out of my diet. My knuckles are almost back to normal, partly due in fact to the prescription anti inflammatory I’m sure, but even that hasn’t been able to quench the fire completely. Once I stopped the gluten free grains and refined sugar, I noticed a marked difference. I could tell my body was working with the anti inflammatory, rather than against it. I’ve never been one to eat a ton of sugar anyway, so I’m going to attribute the vast improvement in my body to the lack of gluten free grains and an increase in raw vegetables and other anti inflammatory items such as turmeric, cinnamon, raw honey, and ginger . Going gluten and dairy free isn’t always the heal all unfortunately. Another bonus: I’ve lost 9 pounds in the short time I’ve been off all grains. Obviously, I was inflamed and swollen and puffy, even more than I could see.

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I think there’s a common human trait involved in changing your diet. Even if there are several things on your “Do Not Eat”  list that you don’t eat often anyway, there is, after about a week or ten days, an intense desire to eat them. The stubborn gene that you inherited from one of your crazy relatives comes out in full swing. Luckily, I love to cook and bake and on a good week have the time to be prepared for such instances. I’m also fearful of what I will feel like if I add those things back into my diet. If you don’t like to cook or you are strapped for time, or your willpower is lacking, you’re going to have to get creative. Or somehow find the time to focus on your diet and your health. You’re worth it you know. So many of us, the majority probably, have forgotten how good we’re supposed to feel.

Don’t live like that.

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The sugar thing is easy to get around if you’re willing to do a little research. I have been using coconut crystals, maple syrup, and honey when I make something sweet. I’m fine with that. Some people will argue about the honey and maple syrup. If you are being more strict, then look into xylitol and stevia. I haven’t tried either one just yet but will eventually try baking with both.  If you’re really serious about completely eliminating all sugar from your diet, I would recommend “I Quit Sugar 108 Sugar Free Recipes” by Sarah Wilson. It’s a beautiful cookbook and she will walk you through the entire 8 week detox path and then supply you with wonderful recipes to try. I’ll admit her detox plan was a little overwhelming for me. It’s extreme. But some people love and need extreme. If that’s you, you’ll enjoy it.

 I tried a recipe for pancakes last week I found on Pinterest with just coconut flour and they were awful. Gooey in the middle, heavy like a brick, and way too much coconut texture. They had to all be tossed in the garbage; an expensive experiment.

These Buckwheat & Coconut Flour pancakes are delicious and were the perfect meal to curb that “grain” craving. Fluffy and hearty with the perfect balance of sweet and savory, and not too much coconut going on. I’ve made buckwheat pancakes in the past so am familiar with the texture and how it works. This experiment turned out fantastic and even Tony who is a pancake and all things sugar expert, loved them.

 They are gluten free, dairy free, grain free, and refined sugar free. They can also be made with any type of milk, making them nut free.

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Buckwheat & Coconut Flour Pancakes

*Makes 12 medium to large pancakes

2 Organic Eggs, Separated

2 1/2 Cups of Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk (or milk of choice)

1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Cup of Organic Buckwheat Flour

1/2 Cup of Organic Coconut Flour

1/2 Cup of Tapioca Starch

1 teaspoon of Baking Powder

1 teaspoon of Baking Soda

1 teaspoon of Organic Coconut Crystals

1/4 teaspoon of Iodized Sea Salt

Separate the eggs and beat egg whites to stiff peak. Set aside. Sift the buckwheat, coconut flour, tapioca starch, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda into a medium sized bowl. Add the milk, egg yolks, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Carefully fold in egg whites.

Heat a griddle on medium and oil. I used bacon fat but you can use avocado oil or coconut oil also. Spoon batter onto hot griddle and cook for 4 minutes or until bubbly on top. Flip and cook for about 3 minutes.

Organic Breakfast Salad

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Good Morning!

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We are up to our ear lobes in boxes around the house and looking forward to the moving company’s arrival next week. We’re leaving a month before our house sale closes and praying that everything goes smoothly. 

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I’ve been trying to adhere to an anti-inflammatory diet at least 5 days a week. Breakfast is a tough one. I’m lowering my intake of eggs, grains, and heavy animal protein as much as possible.  Easter threw me for a loop with turkey, stuffing with bacon, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, and berry crisp with coconut ice cream (all of my favorites!). Then of course, we had to have leftovers last night for dinner because it was just so delicious on Easter. Lots of salt, sugar, and other foods that inflame.

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So this morning I’m back to healthier eating. Since the whole Lyme Disease thing started in October I’ve been having increasing issues with major joint pain and arthritis. The doctor prescribed the anti inflammatories Diclofenac and Celebrex for me to try. Although I hate taking any type of medication and prefer to go with natural remedies, the pain from this arthritis and the swelling of joints doesn’t always make that possible. I prefer the Diclofenac. The Celebrex made me feel weird and didn’t work at all for the pain. I try to only take the Diclofenac for 3-4 days and then go off for a week or as long as I can stand it because it can be very hard on your stomach. But the key is to not allow the arthritis pain to get too bad because then it takes more medication to get it under control.

Along with trying to stay away from foods that cause inflammation and lessening my intake of animal protein, I’m also doing other natural remedies that are known to be helpful for arthritis. In the mornings I drink Organic Lemon Verbena Tea with medicinal honey to boost my immune system and fight bad bacteria. I made a fresh batch of turkey bone broth yesterday, and I also take high quality supplements daily. A multi vitamin/mineral, 8,000 IU’s of Vitamin D3, a probiotic, and a supplement for adrenal support.

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 I try my hardest to drink 90 ounces of filtered water every day, and every night I take two Tablespoons of Organic Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate before bed. Tart cherries also have the added benefit of natural melatonin which aids in sleep. And it tastes delicious, which is a nice change from most supplements.

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That’s what’s going on in my neck of the woods. More packing to be done today. Hope you all have a wonderful day and if you have any arthritis remedies that work well for you, please share!

Organic Breakfast Salad

Organic Spinach

Organic Apple

Organic Strawberries

Organic Blueberries

Small Portion of Organic Turkey Breast

Organic Walnuts

Organic Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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41 Fabulous Gluten Free & Dairy Free Breakfast Ideas For The Holidays

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Have you decided what you’ll be making for breakfast on Christmas morning?

Just in case you haven’t, I thought it would be nice to gather all of my breakfast recipes into one place. There’s bound to be something here that will light up your taste buds and be perfect for your Christmas morning. Just click on the links!

Mixed Berry Crepes with Clementine Goat Cheese

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Salmon & Spinach Scramble

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Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

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Berry Scones & Bacon

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Cherry Braids with Almond Frosting

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Power Packed Breakfast Granola

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Fried Eggs Over Potatoes & A Side Of Berries

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Frosted Banana Love Bites

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Veggie & Cheese Omelette

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Berry Clementine Snack Cake

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What’s In The Fridge Smoothie

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Blueberry & Walnut Banana Bread

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Peanut Butter Swirl Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chunks

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Lemon Coconut Pots De Creme

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Easy Granola Bars

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Blueberry Cornbread

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Going Green Smoothie

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Anything Goes Granola

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Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

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Because Sometimes, You Just Need To Start Your Day Off With Chocolate

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Banana Plum Tart

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Blogger’s Breakfast

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Apple Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

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Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal with Pumpkin Spiced Almond Milk

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Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Maple Compote

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Immune Boosting Smoothie

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Savory Potato Pancakes with Fried Egg and Bacon

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Breakfast Parfait

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Blueberry Raspberry Corn Muffins

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Start Your Day Off On The Right Foot

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Banana Apple Muffins

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Pineapple Pick Me Up Smoothie

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Peanut Butter & Shaved Chocolate Pancakes

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Cinnamon Blueberry Belgian Waffles

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Apple Blueberry Crumbcake

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Crumb Cake

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Scandinavian Kringler

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Pumpkin Coffee Cake

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Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

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Pumpkin Coffee Cake

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My husband likes to have sweet things for breakfast when he’s home. When he’s on the road he doesn’t have time to seek out allergen friendly diners for breakfast. Evidently daily breakfasts of hotel powdered eggs and unknown origin sausage during his work week arent very fulfilling. Probably in fact, gross. I think I would settle for an apple.

I’m a fan of simple these days. Coffee cake is an easy and filling breakfast (I also served it with a side of organic bacon), and can be made a gazillion different ways. This time I chose pumpkin because it’s that time of year. I also chose to make it really easy, but if you want a more complicated, Martha Stewart type of coffee cake that is also delicious, you can go here.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 inch pie plate with nonstick spray and set aside.

Wet Ingredients:

1 Cup Pumpkin Puree

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Egg

1/2 Cup Almond Milk (or any DF milk)

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, melted

Whisk all wet ingredients together with whisk until thoroughly combined and set aside.

Dry Ingredients

2 Cups Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour (or your GF flour of choice)

1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Whisk all dry ingredients together and fold into the wet ingredients until combined. Pour into pie plate and set aside.

Topping:

1 Cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats

3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

4 Tablespoons Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour

5 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted

Measure all ingredients into a bowl and stir with fork until incorporated. Sprinkle over the cake. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until center tests done with a toothpick.

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Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

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After a very long week my husband finally arrived home last night at midnight. And that was after sitting in a meeting all day (all week) and a 7 1/2 hour drive home.

So I took pity on him and made him one of his favorites this morning. Blueberry muffins loaded with blueberries and a delicious side of local, organic, bacon.

Who wouldn’t want to wake up to the smell of warm blueberry muffins and bacon?

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Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

2 Cups of Mama’s All Purpose Almond Flour

2 teaspoons of Baking Powder

1 1/4 teaspoon of Xanthan Gum

1/4 (rounded) teaspoon of Kosher Salt

1/2 Cup of Dairy Free Butter

1 Cup of Granulated Sugar

1 Individual Sized Container of Dairy Free Vanilla Yogurt

1 Egg

1/2 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup of Almond Milk

2 Cups of Frozen Blueberries (or a little more)

Raw Sugar For Sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins, set aside. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, xanthum gum and salt. Whisk and set aside.

In a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scrape down. Add sugar, yogurt, egg, vanilla, and milk. Beat for about 30 seconds or so until thoroughly combined. It will look curdled. Add the dry mixture to the wet and fold in with a spatula just until thoroughly combined. Fold in blueberries.

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Fill muffin liners and bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Am I Ready For Fall?

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As I type this blog post, I’m wearing flannel pajama bottoms, a nightgown, and a sweatshirt. It was 54 degrees when we rolled out of bed at 6:00 this morning. It’s already turning into tea and fireplace mornings!

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Two small red potatoes, olive oil, 1/2 of a small sweet onion, kosher salt, pepper.

Rewind to two weeks ago when it was 94 degrees and 98% humidity for several days in a row, my answer would have been a resounding, “YES! I AM ready for Fall!”.  It was the type of weather that no matter how little clothing you were wearing, you felt like you were standing in a steam room…with a campfire. Even the central air conditioner couldn’t get a handle on the humidity. Have you ever tried vacuuming carpet when it’s extremely humid? It’s a major workout. The tile and wood floors are also sticky and damp and if you plan on keeping anything you cook or bake crisp…forget it.

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Fast forward to today.

 The dogs are completely covered in blankets.

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Romeo

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Abigail

I’m warming my hands with a hot cup of tea so I can type.

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 And it’s only the beginning of August.

It’s true that you should be very careful what you wish for.

Soon, Mount Monadnock will be covered in color. New England in Fall…Now THAT, I’m looking forward to!

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How is your weekend going? I hope you’ve had a chance to get a bit of relaxation in. My husband is off to Massachusetts for a motorcycle ride this morning, so it’s breakfast for one.

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Organic breakfast for one. New potatoes, sweet onion, egg over easy, sliced strawberries, & Maine wild blueberries.

We tried a new restaurant last night and I went to bed with a horribly sick stomach and woke up with stiff joints, cement neck, and a lovely headache. They had a very nice menu filled with pasta and seafood but everything was swimming in dairy and piled on gluten. I had to settle on a bunless hamburger of all things! I’m always upfront with the wait staff right from the beginning that I’m allergic to gluten and dairy and they are usually very helpful. But, even in the best circumstances, which this was not, things “happen”. The waitress brought the burger with potato chips and then went into a huge panic saying, “WAIT! You can’t have potato chips……can you?” I told her that was fine but I had actually ordered the fries. So she brought me the fries and after taking one look at them I could clearly see they had been dredged in flour.  At this point I was thinking that we were probably by far her most annoying customers of the day.

Tony said, “Who cares if they’re annoyed? They’ve already delivered our food, they can’t spit in it now.” Way to set the bar high, honey. Ha! The fact that he even thought that was the type of restaurant we were in, made me wonder even more about my measly burger laying on a piece of wilted lettuce.

So she returned, eventually.  I asked her kindly if she wouldn’t mind asking the chef if the fries had been dredged in flour before frying. She came whipping back into the room (which was luckily empty except for Tony and I) saying in a loud voice,  “Don’t eat them! You didn’t eat any did you? Do we need to call for EMS?!” Which I’m assuming was her way of asking if I needed an ambulance.

Just shoot me. Gawd, the drama of it all. 

Remember in one of my earlier posts when I told you I absolutely dread bringing attention to myself at restaurants and having to tell people who invite us to dinner that I have food allergies? The only thing that saved me from walking out was the second glass of wine I was sipping. Which probably also gave me just enough wine fog to ignore the warnings going off in my head about the supposedly “safe” hamburger I was about to eat.

There’s still a bright side to my evening though.  We met and visited with some neighbors down the street who were very nice and our own age. They also have a very sweet and well-mannered 13 year old daughter, Hannah. We think Hannah will make a very kind dog babysitter. AND Hannah and I saved a baby bird from certain death and were able to return it to its nest.

Now, I’m off to enjoy the remainder of the weekend and I hope you do too! ~ April

Cinnamon Blueberry Belgian Waffles

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I love waffles.

More specifically, I love waffles with my butter.

The only problem I have with waffles, is the waffle iron itself.

We used to have a relatively expensive waffle iron (about $100) that I absolutely hated. It cooked the waffles just fine, but if I didn’t spray it with non-stick spray the waffles were difficult to remove. The problem with the spray or any oil you put on a waffle iron is that it builds up and it’s very difficult to remove completely if you can’t take the plates out and wash them.

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So the last time we had waffles, I was at my limit with trying to clean it out with a skewer and a wet paper towel. Out to the garbage the waffle iron went because I was quite certain even Goodwill wouldn’t want it, and I began a search for a waffle iron that had removable, washable, plates.

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It’s not as easy as one might think to locate a waffle iron with removable plates.

I searched online and in stores for several weeks. Then finally, while I was wandering around Target one day, I ran across this:

The Breakfast Master

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It’s perfect. 

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And even better, it was only $39.99! Evidently you can do all kinds of things with it, but I have only used it for waffles. The cooking plates pop right out for easy cleaning…problem solved. The only thing I can think of that might be a negative is its size for larger families. It only cooks one waffle at a time. But heck, at that price, you could buy a couple and your pocket-book will still be happy.

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Cinnamon Blueberry Belgian Waffles

**1 3/4 Cups Artisan Flour Blend

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

2 Eggs, separated (whites whipped to stiff peak)

1 3/4 Cups Almond Milk

1 1/2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla

1/2 Cup Dairy Free Butter, melted

1 1/2 Cups Frozen Blueberries

**I substitute the cornstarch with arrowroot flour, make sure you read the substitution directions

Preheat Waffle Iron.  Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl. Add the egg yolks, almond milk, and vanilla and stir until combined.  Add the melted butter, stir to combine. Whip the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form, carefully fold the whites into the batter.  Fold in frozen blueberries.

Cook according to your waffle maker’s instructions. I cook mine until there is no longer steam coming from the waffle iron. I like them lightly crispy on the outside.

Top with dairy free butter, pure maple syrup, and blueberries.

This little neighbor joined me for breakfast this morning.

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