Cinnamon Spice Crepes with Coconut Sugared Peaches

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About 10 years ago I figured out I could no longer tolerate cow’s milk dairy. I was feeling so awful. My stomach felt like someone was holding it in their hand, I was getting migraines all the time, my sinuses were constantly stuffy…I just didn’t feel right.

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Once I stopped the dairy I had major improvement. Then over a few month’s time, I could tell that gluten was also an issue. It caused what I call “cement neck”, joint issues, and often after I ate it, I was so tired and lethargic, I felt like I’d been drugged. I started to have hormonal issues and adrenal issues. I tested positive for Candida overgrowth in my gut. I kept a food diary for a year and a half, and sure enough, every single time I had gluten foods, they made me sick.

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I began to strictly change my diet, focus on my gut and my adrenals, address the hormone issues, and wouldn’t you know it…when you begin to help all of your body’s major “parts” to work together, your health improves.

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A few years later when I got very ill while we were living in New Hampshire, I tested positive and was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease. I’d been having Lyme flares off and on for at least 7 years but didn’t know what they were and neither did anyone else at the time. I’m a research warrior when something is going on with my body or in my life. I like to educate myself on the why’s and how’s and how other people are dealing with things. So, I researched for months and months about Lyme, food sensitivities, gut issues, systemic inflammation, auto immune disease, and every combination of symptom and chronic illness you could think of. I joined private groups so I could also learn more from other people with similar issues.

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One of the many helpful things I learned was that there are other grains that have similar DNA to wheat, so your body treats them as wheat, even though they are technically “gluten free”. Lyme Disease causes a lot of inflammation and joint issues, so the pain and other symptoms I was having made a lot of sense…but still, I just felt that there was more I could be doing to help my body deal with it naturally. I did not want a future full of pharmaceuticals.

I learned a lot about inflammatory foods and how systemic inflammation is linked to the foods we eat, the health of our gut, life stress, and stress on the body from illness. I learned about how food allergies and sensitivities, along with gut issues, lower your immune system. When you are consistently putting things into your body that tax your immune system, every part of your body suffers inside and out. Add a bacterial infection like Lyme Disease or any chronic illness or auto immune disease to a gut and body damaged by food sensitivities and stress, and it makes for a perfect storm of horrible illness.

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I pretty strictly eliminated all grains from my diet for about a year, along with many inflammatory foods like potatoes and legumes. I’ve had major improvement in all of the Lyme symptoms. Fatigue, pain, joint swelling, flu symptoms, sleep issues, vertigo, ringing in my ears, hormonal issues, nervous system complications like anxiety, numbness and tingling in my extremities and face, and shingles outbreaks. Diet has been paramount in allowing me to live an active life while battling a chronic illness. In fact, I have shared with people many times that I feel that without the changes in my diet and the battle against inflammation, I would surely be bed bound, if not dead.

Now I am able to eat rice, quinoa, and buckwheat on occasion, but I try not to push it. I can also eat potatoes and legumes now and then. However, if I get into a mode where I am indulging often and ignoring what my body is telling me, problems arise and it can take weeks to remedy. About a year ago I also added high quality curcumin supplement to my diet along with my other supplements. Absolute miracle worker, I would highly recommend curcumin supplements for everyone, but that’s a post for another time.

Long story short, in order to keep on top of your health, you must pay attention to your diet and gut health. Your gut is the epicenter of your immune system and the immune system and nervous system absolutely cannot work the way it was created to work, if you’re losing a battle with systemic inflammation.

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I have made it my mission to help people to understand that they are their best health advocates. I love to help you and show you that living with food allergies, sensitivities, and even chronic illness, doesn’t have to be the worst thing that’s ever happened to you. You can embrace all the good parts, and if you’re conscious about how you treat yourself, there are many good parts to be embraced.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to educate yourself. Being knowledgeable and being in tune with your own body and how it works and what it doesn’t like, will give you great freedom and improve your health dramatically. Educating yourself provides you with tools to take care of your body without sacrificing many of the things you love to eat and do.

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Now, go make yourself some crepes and seize the day!

Cinnamon Spice Crepes with Coconut Sugared Peaches

The recipe below looks wordy and complicated, but this is not a complicated recipe I promise, it is absolutely simple! I make them often with all kinds of different toppings and they come together very quickly. They’re also an easy, but impressive, breakfast or even dessert for when you have guests.

*Makes about 7 crepes and serves two people. Can easily be doubled.

For the peaches:

1 1/2 Cups of Frozen or Fresh Peeled Peaches

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Sugar (Maybe more if your peaches aren’t sweet enough)

About 1 Tablespoon of Water and 1 teaspoon of Arrowroot

Place the peaches in a small saucepan and if they are frozen, heat them on medium low until thawed and juicy. Add the coconut sugar and heat on medium until the sugar is completely melted and incorporated with the peach juice. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of the arrowroot mixture at a time, waiting a minute or so in between to get to the desired sauce thickness.You will need very little, don’t allow it to get too thick! Remove from heat, transfer to a small bowl and chill in the fridge or quickly in the freezer. (Your whipped cream will melt on top if the fruit isn’t chilled or at least cool.)

For the crepes:

1/2 Cup of Sweet Potato Flour

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Flour

Dash of Sea Salt

1 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1 Small Pinch of Nutmeg

1 Small Pinch of Cloves

3 Eggs

1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

3/4 Cup of Full Fat 100% Coconut Milk

2 Tablespoons of Water

Dairy Free Butter For Pan

Extra Cinnamon For Sprinkling

Measure all the ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine. Heat a small to medium ceramic skillet or non-stick pan to medium. Place 1/2 teaspoon of butter and spread around until melted. (You will only need to do this once.) When the butter starts to bubble, scoop just shy of 1/4 cup of batter into pan, lift the pan and swirl to the edges. Cook for about 1 minute until the crepe moves freely and flip. Cook for 5 seconds longer and transfer to a plate with parchment. I use a paper plate on top to cover them and keep them warm. They won’t stick together.

For the whipped coconut cream:

1 Cup of chilled 100% Fat Coconut Milk (There are two ways you can do this. With canned coconut milk that has been chilled over night, where you just use the solids, which then you would need probably 2 cans. Or, you can use one box of Arroy-D 100% Coconut Milk that has also been chilled over night. I used the Arroy-D this time.)

About 2 Tablespoons of Powdered Sugar or Very Finely Powdered Coconut Sugar

About 1 1/2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

Pour the coconut milk into a stand mixer and whisk for a few minutes until milk is thickened. Add the powdered sugar and whisk for another couple of minutes scraping down the sides, then the vanilla extract. Continue whipping for another minute or so until thickened.

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Baked Potato, Spinach, & Egg Scramble

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I am an early riser. Usually around 4:30 but no later than 5:30.

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This morning I wasn’t hungry when it was time for breakfast so instead, I waited until about 10:30 to have breakfast when I would normally be craving a mid morning snack.

So I was starving.

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Something weird is still going on with my stomach. I think I told you about all of the oysters and other seafood I ate while we were in Seattle a few weeks ago. I really miss all the fresh seafood we had living on the east coast. So…while in Seattle, I went a little overboard.

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I came home very sick and it lasted about a week. Now, a few times a day I’m still getting some strange stomach twinges. It’s messing with my love of food. I’ll have to increase the curcumin I’m taking I guess and the kefir to kill off any unwanted creatures hiding out in my gut. My husband is experiencing something similar.

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Needless to say, it hasn’t completely hampered my overall appetite for all foodie lover type things. Like big breakfasts. And this one has potato in it which is a special treat for me. I try not to eat them too often as they are high on the inflammatory scale.

The next time you make baked potatoes, bake a couple extra and put them in the fridge. They keep for several days. I used one in this scramble and it was delicious. I also like to use them for potato pancakes. When I bake my potatoes I lay it on a square of foil and drizzle avocado oil, sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, and any other seasonings I like. I do this because I love the skins. Baking them this way makes for a very tasty baked potato with dinner or a very tasty baked potato breakfast!

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Baked Potato, Spinach, & Egg Scramble

*The majority of our diet is organic so while I don’t always list the food in my recipes as organic, it almost always is. It’s a good idea and a healthy way to live to strive to eat organic as much as possible. Potatoes are very high on the pesticide list, and don’t even get em started on the health issues concerning conventional eggs.

*This would probably feed two people a light breakfast.

1 Leftover Seasoned Baked Potato, cubed

About 2 Tablespoons of Diced Red Onion

1 Clove of Garlic, diced

About Two Handfuls of Baby Spinach

2 Eggs

Avocado Oil

Drizzle a little avocado oil in a medium skillet. Saute the potatoes until they begin to brown and add the onion and garlic and continue cooking. Add the spinach and toss until the spinach is wilted. Scoot the potato and spinach mixture to one side of the pan. Drizzle a little more avocado oil and add eggs. Scramble the eggs and toss with the potato and spinach.

Apple & Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

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How was your weekend?

Ours was fabulous! Spring has sprung in the best of ways. Warmer than normal temperatures and lots and lots of sun.

You know I love the sun.

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I’m sitting here in my office in front of a big window as I get this blog post situated. The sun is just coming up. Outside up to the left, there’s a mama Robin building a nest between an eve and the crook of a downspout. It’s amazing how hard and how quickly they work.

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She was here last spring and summer too. Unfortunately, another mama kept destroying her nest. Good mama kept rebuilding it and fighting her off.

Perseverance or instinct?

per·se·ver·anceˌpərsəˈvirəns/ noun
 Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

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Mean mama even tossed out all of her eggs. So there were no baby Robins to be heard last year. It tugs on my heart strings.

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This year she’s back with new energy and hopefully a new plan to fend off bad mama.

And believe it or not, I recognize her.

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I choose to believe that she’s back and building another home because of perseverance, not so much the result of instinct.

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She and I have that in common. We like to stay positive and keep trying, despite difficult conditions or “bad mamas” (anything or anyone)  who try to interfere with life. I  love seeing that perseverance in animals and people.

There’s a huge payoff in persevering.

Hopefully for her, the payoff will be peace in her new nest and new babies we can watch grow in a few weeks. Maybe she’ll continue to make our home her home and we’ll be able to keep track of how many babies she’ll have over the years.

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For me, the payoff for striving to stay positive and persevere despite “difficult conditions”, is always that I become stronger. Perseverance also makes us wiser, more joyful, able to count all kinds of blessings regardless of any situation, and then we can share that attitude in the form of positive support and love for others.

Apple & Cinnamon French Toast Casserole
1 Apple (I used Gala), Cubed (1 1/2 Cups)
8 teaspoons of Dairy Free Butter
6 Eggs
2 3/4 Cups of Full Fat Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup of Coconut Sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons of Pure Almond Extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray an 8×11 baking dish with coconut oil. Add the bread cubes, apple, and dot with the 8 teaspoons of dairy free butter. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, coconut sugar, sea salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and almond extract.
Pour egg mixture over the bread mixture. Using a wooden spoon, press down lightly on the bread and apples to make sure all of the cubes have been coated. Let sit for 15 minutes, pressing down with the spoon now and then.
Bake for 60 minutes or until the top is browned. It should still have a bit of jiggle but not be runny in the middle. Keep in mind it will also set up a bit more upon standing so don’t overcook!
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Grain Free & Dairy Free Crepes

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I can see these crepes becoming my new favorite thing.

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Crepes are so incredibly easy to make.

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Seriously.

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And versatile. I’m big into versatile foods.

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Crepe batter is made with few and simple ingredients and they are kind to whatever you top them or fill them with.

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Crepes can be dressed up with anything you like.

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Sweet or savory.

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Layered, rolled, flat…topped with mounds of coconut whipped cream, syrup, powdered sugar and lemon, filled with fruit, filled with chocolate, filled with vegetables, filled with meats…you name it, your options are only limited to your imagination.

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Monday, I topped mine with ripe bananas sauteed in dairy free butter and coconut sugar. Amazing.

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Tuesday, I topped them with coconut sugar powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon. Delicious and refreshing. 

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They keep well in the fridge if you don’t use them all, but I doubt you’ll have a problem with that.

Grain Free & Dairy Free Crepes

*Makes 8 Crepes

1/2 Cup of Sweet Potato Flour

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Flour

3 Eggs

2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

Dash of Sea Salt

3/4 Cup of 100% Coconut Milk 

2 Tablespoons of Water

Dairy Free Butter for Frying

Whisk the flours, eggs, vanilla, salt, coconut milk, and water together well. I also whisked it every time I scooped batter to make a crepe.

Heat a non-stick skillet or crepe pan on medium heat. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of dairy free butter to the pan and allow it to melt. With a 1/4 measuring cup, pour crepe batter into the pan and swirl lightly to coat bottom of pan. After a minute or so when you can see tiny bubbles begin to form, flip crepe. They fry very quickly.

For the Banana Topping:

2 Ripe Bananas, sliced

2 Tablespoons of Dairy Free Butter

1/4 Cup of Coconut Sugar

Heat the butter and sugar in a small pan until melted and lightly caramelized. Add the bananas and toss gently.

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Simple Homemade Yogurt & Granola

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It’s interesting how we don’t crave things until we figure out we can’t have them. There’s nothing like being told that your body doesn’t deal well with dairy, gluten, and grains, to make you crave all things dairy, gluten, and grains. All the things you realize now, you took for granted when you were able to eat them supposedly without issue.

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It’s like the reverse psychology we use on our kids when they’re little to get them to do something they don’t want to do…except in reverse…reverse… if that makes any sense.

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I’ve said in previous posts how I thought going dairy free and gluten free was a walk in the park compared to going grain free, potato free, legume free, and nightshade free, like many Paleo people do. I’ve never managed a complete Paleo diet, but I have been very Paleo-ish for almost two years.

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It wasn’t until recently that I began adding non gluten grains, legumes, nuts & seeds, and white potatoes back into my diet in very small amounts on a semi-regular basis. I was curious to see how my body would react after abstaining for so long. I also have been working on my gut health which is the key to healing and getting rid of food sensitivities.

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So far, I’m only doing small amounts, and as long as I don’t overdo it, it seems to be working out OK. If I have a reaction to something I eat, I can usually tell within a couple of hours with the onset of a headache or stiffness in my joints. Sometimes, it doesn’t hit until the next morning when I wake up with stiff fingers, puffy eyes, and feeling like I have a hangover. This is why I tell people who are having health issues to keep a food journal. We have busy lives, it’s difficult to remember what we eat every day, what we’re dealing with stress wise, and how it’s affecting us. With a daily food journal, you can find patterns in your diet that are causing issues. Keep in mind, food issues don’t just cause physical problems. They contribute to PMS, anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, mood swings, anger, ADD and ADHD…the list goes on.

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I’ve held off on oatmeal for a long time. Every time my husband has it for breakfast, I think it smells and looks amazing. Which is strange, because I wasn’t much of an oatmeal eater at all before I gave up grains. I do believe that our bodies crave what they need though. It’s important to pay attention to that, as long as what you’re craving isn’t junk.

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So I took the leap yesterday and decided to make gluten free granola that we can eat on coconut milk yogurt or just as a snack now and then. It’s nice to be able to switch up your breakfast routine with something exciting. I either eat dinner leftovers, smoothies, eggs, and on Sundays we usually have buckwheat pancakes (buckwheat is a seed). Sometimes though, I wake up and think I’d rather not eat anything than face the same old thing every day! Being able to eat yogurt with a bit of granola on the top of it yesterday was a real treat. I may even have it again this morning.

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I do a lot of reading and research, and the bottom line is that your gut is the center of your health. Commit that to memory. It’s imperative to know what foods you’re sensitive to and to take care of your gut. You can even change your DNA history and the DNA history of your future family generations with your diet! Research suggests that autoimmune diseases are all linked to the gut microbiome. In fact, many prominent scientists and doctors believe that all illness is related to our gut health. If our gut isn’t healthy, neither is the rest of our body, and as a result of that, we aren’t able to fight off infections, viruses, and cancers.

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Your main focus with food allergies, sensitivities, and illness, should be your gut. Once that begins to heal, your entire body will begin to heal. Eventually, you’ll be able to start testing the foods that bothered you previously. But remember, healing the gut from years of abuse and damage takes time, and it’s possible that there will be some foods you’ll never be able to tolerate. Sometimes it’s two steps forward and one step back. But eventually, you’ll reap the benefits of a healthy diet and it will change your life.

Coconut Milk Yogurt

The recipe below is the “quick” method for making yogurt. If you would like to make yogurt the traditional way with kefir grains, you can go HERE for more information.

**I use this yogurt maker. It’s only $20 on Amazon Prime and works great.

4 1/2 Cups of 100% Coconut Milk

2 Tablespoons of Pure Maple Syrup (You can use 2 organic dates instead, or organic raw honey)

Powder from 1 Probiotic Capsule (I use one with different strains than what is in my daily probiotic capsule)

2 1/2 teaspoons of Grass Fed Gelatin

In a blender, add the coconut milk, maple syrup, and probiotic powder. Blend on medium low until fully combined. Turn the blender to low and while it’s running, slowly sprinkle in the gelatin. Turn blender on medium and blend for 30 seconds. Pour into the yogurt cups, turn the yogurt maker on, tighten the lids, put the cover on, and allow to sit for 8-10 hours. I also cover mine with a towel to keep the heat in, as we keep our house cool. Halfway into warming time, you’ll notice the milk has separated. Pick up each yogurt container and swirl to combine and allow to warm for the remaining time.

When done warming, swirl the cups again to combine the liquids and refrigerate overnight before eating. It will thicken as it cools.

 Blueberry Almond Granola

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 Cups of Gluten Free Rolled Oats

1/4 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup

1/8 Cup of Avocado Oil

Pinch of Sea Salt

1 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of Ground Ginger

1/4 Cup of Activated Raw Almonds, roughly chopped

1/2 Cup of Organic Dried Blueberries

Cover a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Toss all ingredients together in a medium bowl until oil is evenly distributed. Spread out onto the parchment paper and bake 20-25 minutes stirring halfway through. I like my granola darker and crunchy, so I went the full 25 minutes. Make sure you watch it though, at a certain point, it darkens very quickly and burns easily. It will crisp more as it cools too. Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.

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Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola with Caramelized Pecans & Walnuts

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You are not going to want to miss out on this granola.

It is full of dried cherries, mini chocolate chips, and caramelized pecans and walnuts. 

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This is my third and final granola recipe for the holiday season and it is FABULOUS!

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 The previous two recipes, Maple Almond Raisin Granola and Pumpkin Spice Granola with Medjool Dates are delicious as well, but this one…

…this one is the crown jewel. 

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Enjoy!

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Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola with Caramelized Pecans & Walnuts

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For The Nuts:

1 Cup of Walnut Halves

1 Cup of Pecan Halves

1 1/2 Cups of Coconut Sugar

2 Tablespoons of Dairy Free Butter

2 teaspoons of Pure Maple Syrup

1 Tablespoon of Ground Cinnamon

Generous Pinch of Sea Salt

Measure all ingredients into a medium frying pan (non stick!). Cook on medium stirring regularly until sugar is melted (but thick), and nuts are coated, about 7 minutes. Pour out onto a couple of sheets of parchment and immediately separate with two spoons. Allow to cool completely and then break apart the larger pieces. You will also have caramel that isn’t stuck to nuts. I broke that up as well and put it in the granola.

(**My nuts were still a little buttery after cooling so I moved them to a paper towel to soak up any excess that would otherwise take away from the crunch of the granola.)

For The Granola:

6 Cups of Gluten Free Oats

3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil, melted

3/4 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1 Cup of Dairy Free Mini Chocolate Chips

1 Cup of Dried Cherries

Caramelized Nuts

Measure the oats, coconut oil, maple syrup, and sea salt into a large roasting pan and stir until thoroughly combined. Bake in 10 minute increments until a small amount removed and cooled is golden and crisp. Mine took about 40 minutes. Pour out onto the counter onto to parchment to cool completely. Then pour into a bowl and stir in the chocolate chips, cherries, and caramelized nuts.

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Pumpkin Spice Granola with Medjool Dates

3 Comments

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Here’s a another fantastic granola to make for your family or share with friends for the holidays!

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Beautiful and golden and made the house smell so spicy and wonderful!

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Tomorrow I’ll post my third and last granola recipe for this holiday season. You can find the first one here.

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The dates add the perfect sweetness to the pumpkin and spice.

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Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Granola with Medjool Dates

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees

6 Cups of Gluten Free Rolled Oats

3/4 Cup of Coconut Sugar

1/8 Cup of Unsulphured Molasses

2 Tablespoons of Avocado Oil

2 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt

3/4 Cup Canned Plain Pumpkin

2 Tablespoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

20 Medjool Dates, seeded & chopped

Place all ingredients except the dates into a large roasting pan and stir thoroughly to combine. Bake in 10 minute increments until a small amount removed when cooled is golden and crispy. Mine took about 50 minutes. Pour out onto parchment paper and once it is cooled completely, poor into a bowl and stir in the dates.

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