Peanut Butter Bars

3 Comments

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Sometimes in life, peanut butter and chocolate are called for.

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There is no substitute, in my opinion.

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I don’t crave a lot of sugar luckily, but when I do, I think the perfect little snack is an organic dark chocolate square with a dollop of salty, crunchy, peanut butter. It’s quick, satisfying, easy, and doesn’t break the sugar bank.

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I’ve been trying to bake and cook and roast things here and there in order to have some back up items in the freezer.

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If you’re on an allergen free diet, specifically grain free and dairy free, you know what I mean. If you’re not prepared with quick and easy foods to eat, the kitchen can be a dismal place.

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There are days I stand in front of the fridge and the pantry several times and think, there’s just nothing to eat. 

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But, you know as well as I do that isn’t true because most of us with food allergies have a plethora of vegetables in our fridges and healthy items in our pantry.

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That,” there’s nothing to eat thing ” just actually means that, #1 The fridge is full of things I don’t feel like preparing, or #2 That feeling that I would rather starve than eat yet another vegetable.

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I had a day like that yesterday. So, I made these peanut butter bars.

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I ate 2 and they hit the spot. And now I have several in the fridge for those days I need a little something special.

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Grain Free & Dairy Free Peanut Butter Bars

*Makes about 24 bars

*Bottom Layer*

1 Cup of Coconut Flour

1/4 Cup of Arrowroot Flour

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Sugar

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt

2/3 Cup Dairy Free Butter, measured then melted

1/3 Cup Coconut oil, measured then melted

About 8 Tablespoons of water added one at a time

*Topping*

1 Cup of Dairy Free Chocolate

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil

1 Cup of Crunchy Peanut Butter

1/4 Cup of Coconut Sugar

Line and 8×8 baking pan with parchment and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk all of the bottom layer dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the butter and coconut oil and stir well. Begin adding the water one Tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition. You want the dough to be of the consistency of cookie dough or slightly softer. (See picture above) Press dough into pan lined with parchment. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the dough is golden and no longer soft in the middle. Cool completely.

In a small bowl stir the peanut butter and 1/4 cup of the coconut sugar together. Spread over the cooled crust. Place the bars in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Remove the bars from the freezer, spread the chocolate and return to the freezer for another 30 minutes.

Remove the peanut butter bars from the freezer and pull them out of the pan with the parchment overhang. Slice into squares with a sharp knife and store in the fridge or freezer.

Kale Chips 2 Ways

3 Comments

2015-05-27 12.12.41

Have you ever had a kale chip? They are the most intriguing thing.

So feather light, but they pack a crispy, satisfying crunch.

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You can probably put almost anything you want on them. A variety of oils, herbs, salts, and seasonings. Whatever you like. I made two batches today out of one head of kale. Making kale chips is incredibly simple. Just make sure you remove the stems all the way up the leaf, that your kale is completely dry, and remember that a little oil goes a long way. I drizzle maybe 1/2 a Tablespoon, then season, then massage the oil around and toss the leaves, and then season again.

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The first batch is Sweet, Salty, & Spicy. A little drizzle of olive oil, a couple pinches of coconut sugar, sea salt, and a couple pinches of ground chipotle. SO good.

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The second batch is equally as simple. A little drizzle of olive oil, a few sprinkles of sea salt, and garlic powder.  I would say one head of kale makes about 2 cups. It shrinks significantly once it’s been baked.

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So simple, so delicious, and a healthy alternative to potato chips. Enjoy!

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Spicy Mango Jalapeno Sausage & Red Lentil Pasta

3 Comments

 

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Technically, legumes are on the “don’t eat very often” list for me because they are considered an inflammatory food for those of us whose inflammatory mechanism is broken.

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For me, having pasta made with lentils is not as damaging as having pasta made with brown rice. So every now and then I treat myself and because I don’t have it often, it really feels like an indulgence.

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My husband prefers them with sauce, but I can eat them any which way. I love them. I’d say they have a slightly different texture than “regular” pasta, but nothing that is off putting. I think they’re fabulous!

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I cook mine longer than the directions suggest. More like 12-14 minutes. But be careful, because they go from aldente to way too done very quickly during those last few minutes.

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When you taste them at the end of the boiling time, they will seem a tad over done, but once they are rinsed and tossed with whatever you add to them, they firm right back up. A lot of the brown rice pastas react that way as well. I don’t know why, but it’s a good cooking hint to know!

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The Spicy Mango with Jalapeno are our favorite Aidells sausages, but again, I can’t eat them very often. Pre-packaged foods are loaded with sodium, another inflammatory. Although salt in itself isn’t bad for inflammation…but that is another post for another time.

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These are a little sweet and more spicy, they go so well with sauteed veggies of any kind! I think they are best grilled.

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Both the pasta and the sausages can be used in many different ways, the options are endless really.

Get creative!

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Strawberry Yogurt Pops

1 Comment

2015-05-19 14.10.35

These Strawberry Yogurt Pops are an easy and healthy sweet treat.

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The only ingredients are fresh strawberries, and coconut yogurt.

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I used home made coconut yogurt, but you don’t have to. You can use any yogurt you like. For future reference, it’s simple to make your own though! I make mine with 5 1/2 Cups of organic full fat coconut milk, 2 Tablespoons of pure maple syrup, 1 1/2 Tablespoons of gelatin, 1 probiotic capsule, and then whatever additives I feel like putting in there that week. This time it was pure vanilla and pure almond extract.

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 I put everything but the gelatin in the Vitamix and whiz it up on high, then I turn it to medium and slowly sprinkle the gelatin and then allow it to blend for 1-2 minutes. I pour it into the yogurt jars, put the lids on, and let it warm for 8 hours. When time is up, I swirl each yogurt because the coconut milk has a tendency to separate, and place it in the fridge over night.

I use this yogurt maker.

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Once you have your yogurt on hand, you simply wash and slice up your favorite fruit. Add the yogurt, whiz it up until smooth (or not smooth, whatever your preference) and fill your popsicle molds. Easy.

Amounts will depend on how many you’d like to make. Keep in mind that you need very ripe fruit if you don’t want to add extra sweeteners.

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Spinach & Basil Pesto

6 Comments

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love pesto. It’s so versatile and easy to add to meat, vegetable, pasta, and zoodle dishes. My pesto is vegan and nut free and quite delicious, if I do say so myself. I don’t miss the cheese or the nuts. If you can tolerate goat or sheep’s milk cheese though, goat parm goes very well with this recipe.

When I make it, I make big batches of it to keep in the freezer.

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Having it ready to go in serving size baggies makes it easy to whip up a quick dinner that would normally be laborious if you waited until dinner time to make the pesto.

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I fill small zipper bags with 1/4 Cup servings, roll them up, place them in a bigger bag and pop them in the freezer.

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When I’m ready to use one, I place a baggie in a bowl of warm water while I’m preparing the other dinner ingredients. When it’s defrosted, I snip the bottom corner of the bag and squeeze out the pesto into whatever dish I’m making. Fast, no mess, and a simple way to add a lot of flavor to a wide variety of meals.

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Vegan Spinach & Basil Pesto

*Makes about 3 Cups

10 Cups of Organic Baby Spinach (don’t worry about the stems)

1/4 Cup of Fresh Organic Oregano, packed

3 Four Ounce Packages of Organic Basil (or basil from your garden)

8 Cloves of Organic Garlic, peeled

1 1/2 Cups of Organic Olive Oil

Juice of 1/2 of a Small Organic Lemon

1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt

You may have to do the pesto in two batches depending on the size of your food processor. I slowly break down all of the greens first, scraping down the sides, before I add any of the other ingredients. This way, I don’t have to worry about making two separate batches. Once all the greens are purified, add the garlic and turn the processor on high. Slowly begin to drizzle the olive oil into the greens and mix until smooth. Add the juice and salt and continue to mix until you reach the pesto texture you like.

A little goes a long way. I find it much more economical to freeze it in small batches rather than large because often, a portion of the larger batches ends up going to waste.

Grain Free & Dairy Free Chocolate Pancakes

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It is possible to indulge in your favorite things even when you are focusing on being grain and dairy free. It’s not necessary for you to suffer and think that you’ll never be able to eat anything fabulous and naughty ever again.

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I mean seriously. Does this look like I suffered at breakfast this morning?

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I certainly did not and you don’t have to either. These are easy to make and incredibly delicious. The whole family will love them and absolutely no one will even notice that they are free of grains and dairy and made with coconut sugar.

You can top them with anything you like. I’m a dairy free butter & pure maple syrup kind of girl, but powdered sugar and chocolate chips, and even peanut butter go quite well.

Bacon provides the perfect salty side.

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Grain Free & Dairy Free Chocolate Pancakes

*Makes 12 medium to large pancakes

2 Organic Eggs, Separated

3 1/2 Cups of Organic Full Fat Coconut Milk (or milk of choice)

1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Cup of Organic Buckwheat Groat Flour (Ground Groats)

1/2 Cup of Organic Coconut Flour

1/2 Cup of Organic Arrowroot Flour

3/4 Cup of Organic Cocoa Powder

1 teaspoon of Double Acting Baking Powder

1 teaspoon of Baking Soda

1 teaspoon of Organic Coconut Crystals

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt

Separate the eggs and beat egg whites to stiff peak. Set aside. Whisk the buckwheat, coconut flour, arrowroot, cocoa powder, 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.

Korobuta Ham Asparagus Scramble & A Small Thyroid Lesson

8 Comments

2015-05-15 08.13.01

I really prefer to wake up and start the day with a vegetable, protein, and fruit smoothie. I think it’s a fantastic way to pack a lot of nutrients into a really easy meal and it’s a great way to start my day off right away with a lot of anti-inflammatory foods.  However, after getting my lab test results and hearing that my thyroid antibodies are out of range, I’m having to switch it up a bit. At this point, all of my other thyroid numbers are optimal, so rather than treat with medication, we’re going to keep an eye on it.

After a bit of research I came across some interesting information. Evidently, there’s a whole list of vegetables that interfere with your thyroid when eaten raw on a regular basis.

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These are called Goitrogen foods. “Most goitrogens are naturally-occurring chemicals that are ingested in foods or drugs. These chemicals can interfere with thyroid function in different ways. Some compounds induce antibodies that cross-react with the thyroid gland; others interfere with thyroid peroxidase (TPO), the enzyme responsible for adding iodine during production of thyroid hormones. Either way, the thyroid isn’t able to produce as many of the hormones that are needed for regulating metabolism.” – Marcelle Pick OB GYN/NP

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The good news is that you can still enjoy these foods. Dr. Pick says you can steam, cook, or ferment the Goitrogen foods to decrease the compounds. Then, make sure you’re rotating these foods in your diet so you’re not eating a lot of one type daily.

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 My plan is to steam spinach and kale, puree it, and then freeze it in smoothie portions, being mindful not to add it to my smoothies every day.

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Below is a list of Goitrogenic foods from Paleohacks.com, and at the bottom I’ve listed some websites for you for further reading and research.

Top 11 Goitrogenic Foods

  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard and Mustard greens
  • Radishes
  • Rutabagas
  • Soy (anything)
  • Turnips

Foods with Smaller Amounts of Goitrogens

  • Bamboo shoots
  • Millet
  • Peaches
  • Peanuts
  • Pears
  • Pine Nuts
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Wheat and other gluten-containing grains

Thyroid issues are nothing to mess around with. And as you already know, I am a big proponent of helping heal the body naturally whenever possible. If you have thyroid issues, or your antibody numbers are out of whack like mine, it may very well make all the difference simply by changing your diet.

Thyroid Antibody Test -What is it? 

Hashimoto’s – Your body is destroying itself

Easing Out Of Hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) 

10 Foods To Heal Hypothyroidism

12 Facts On Healing Your Thyroid Every Tired Person Should Know

13 Ways To Treat Hypothyroidism Naturally

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