Buckwheat Wraps

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I’ve made many changes to my diet over the past 12 years.  I have no regrets. I’m convinced that a proper diet that keeps inflammation down and your gut happy, is the way to go for whatever ails you.

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Many people won’t even consider dietary changes, even when they face terrible health consequences. We like our food, especially if we don’t realize we’ve been using it to comfort us when there’s things we don’t want to tackle. Food when used for all of the wrong medicinal reasons, can be very dangerous.

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When used for all of the right medicinal reasons, food does bring comfort and healing. If you take a tour through my recipes (I think there’s well over 300 now), you will also see that diet changes don’t have to be boring or limited. You learn a few new things, make some tweaks that fit your own diet, and you begin to realize letting go of all the junk and processed, “easy” things, is worth it.

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If you’re like me, you’re a fighter and you don’t give up until you figure out things that work. You figure out how to enjoy life, just differently. I love bread-ish foods in every form. Loaves, biscuits, pancakes, buns, rolls, and wraps. They simply just make life more tasty. With the right ingredients and a little patience, you can find alternatives for just about anything and everything.

If you enjoy these wraps, I also have a recipe for Grain Free Spinach Tortillas  and if you follow me on Instagram and scroll through my timeline, I have another recipe for plain grain free wraps. I post recipes there more often than I do on the blog.

On this day, I used the tortillas for breakfast wraps. Just a simple breakfast of scrambled eggs and fresh zucchini. All of my tortillas/wraps are extremely versatile! You can add all kinds of flavors and fill them with whatever you love.

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Buckwheat Wraps

*egg free *dairy free *gluten free *grain free (buckwheat is not a grain) *sugar free

1 Cup of Ground Organic Raw Hulled Buckwheat Groats (I grind mine in the blender)

1/4 Cup of Otto’s Cassava Flour

3/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt

3/4 teaspoon of Organic Garlic Powder

1/4 Cup of Chopped Organic Parsley

2 Tablespoons of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

About 1/2 Cup of Water (more or less depending on texture)

Grind the groats in a blender until they resemble flour, it will still be a bit grainy. Whisk the flours, sea salt, garlic powder, chopped parsley. Add the olive oil, and 1/4 cup of the water. Mix with a fork until it starts to come together, add more water as needed until it comes together enough to knead. Knead until completely smooth. Cover with a damp paper towel and set aside.

Heat a medium cast iron skillet (or any skillet you have) on medium high (no oil). Cut two pieces of parchment paper (for rolling the tortillas). Split the dough into 8 somewhat equal pieces, form into balls, and place one at a time in the middle of a sheet of parchment. Press down the dough ball with your palm to form a flattened circle then cover the top with another piece of parchment and roll out into a thin circle. Continue with the remaining dough. If they begin to stick, sprinkle the paper with a little groat flour or cassava flour. I also cover the waiting dough balls with a damp paper towel. 

When the pan is hot, loosen the paper from the top of the tortilla and flip the tortilla off of the bottom sheet into the pan. When it begins to bubble, lift the edge and check to see if it is slightly browned on the underside. It should also slide pretty easily in the hot pan when it is ready to flip. **DO NOT use a plastic spatula to flip the tortillas because it will melt and leave streaks of plastic in your pan. Use a flat wooden spatula or you can also slide a butter knife under the tortilla and hold the top with your other hand to flip it. Remove the cooked tortillas to a cooling rack to cool or tortilla holder if you’re serving them immediately and repeat the process with the remaining tortillas.

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Raw Berry Bars

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 These bars get rave reviews from my husband and neighbors. They are so tasty! The base is chewy and sweet and the filling is cool, tangy, and such a lovely velvety texture. If you’re looking for more of a holiday bar, I think homemade cranberry sauce would work really well too in place of the berries I’ve used, although you may have to add a bit more sweetener.

After a series of unfortunate events, I am finally feeling like I’m getting back on track. My goal was to try to start posting several recipes a month again like I used to, but I swear, the minute I say that – 12,000 things get in the way! I won’t bore you with everything but I will tell you about the accident I had (enter eye roll here).

I had a freak fall in our kitchen that put a stop to all things fun for me a little while. If you know me, you are sadly, probably not surprised by this. I am not known for my graceful moves. In the last three years I have torn my shoulder starting our snow blower, the dog ran into my knee at full speed and tore my MCL (horrific pain that took 6 months to heal), I broke my toe in half on my Pilates tower (ouch and ugh gross), I have slipped down the stairs twice (no injuries thank goodness), stepped off the stool into a basket and tumbled while decorating our tree (only my pride was hurt but I was sore the next day)…and now this mishap.

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My latest injury happened while were eating breakfast at our kitchen bar. I was wearing socks…stood on the bar across the bottom of the stool with one foot to reach over the bar (which is high and I am short – 5’4″) to the counter to grab a magazine. My foot slipped off the bar stool about 18 inches or so off the floor. The slip sent me crashing down and my chest and my underwire bra smacked onto the edge of our granite counter (this may be a good excuse to never wear a bra again, because I am quite sure that it was the underwire that did the damage).

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I knew immediately that something was wrong, it was very painful and as the day wore on, I couldn’t take a breath without a lot of pain. I couldn’t bend over, couldn’t laugh, couldn’t cough, couldn’t push or pull or lift anything with the arm on that side, and could barely pull up or down my pants.

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I went for x rays that evening and luckily nothing was broken (that they could see anyway – evidently xrays only show a small percentage of breaks), but I do have an intercostal muscle tear. Which let me tell you, is quite painful.

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I had a couple of weeks with terrible sleep. It hurt to lay down and the limited mobility really put a cramp in my otherwise very active schedule. No vacuuming or cleaning at the level I like, no walking the dogs by myself, no morning stretching like I do religiously, and I had to hold my breath to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer and teach myself to squat (great for the thighs!) instead of bending over. Not to mention, I haven’t been able to attend yoga in several weeks (enter crying here). So, here I am 25 days later, and just now starting to feel like I have about 90% of my movement back – still sore and I have to be careful, but SO much better.

Hallelujah!

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I have a few more recipes I’ll be posting over the next couple of weeks, hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with loved ones!

Raw Berry Bars

For The Crust:

2 Cups of Extra Thick Organic Gluten Free Rolled Oats

1/4 Cup of Raw Organic Pumpkin Seeds

1/4 Heaping Cup of Organic Walnuts Halves

16 Pitted Organic Medjool Dates

3 Tablespoons of Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil, melted

1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon of Pure Maple Syrup

1/2 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt

For The Filling:

1 1/2 Cups of Soaked Organic Cashews (rinse and soak in filtered water with a pinch of sea salt for a minimum of 4 hours or over night)

1/2 Cup of Organic Frozen Berry Mix (I used Simple Truth Organic Cherry Berry), thawed & drained

1 5.3 oz Container of Kite Hill Vanilla Almond Milk Yogurt

2 teaspoons of Fresh Organic Lemon Zest

2 Tablespoons of Fresh Organic Lemon Juice

1/2 Cup of Full Fat Coconut Milk (my favorite brand is ArroyD)

1/3 Cup of Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil, melted and cooled to the touch

1 Tablespoon of Raw Honey (Vegans can use pure maple syrup)

Directions For The Crust:

Add the oats, seeds, nuts, to food processor. Pulse for about 20 seconds to finely chop, but not enough that it turns into flour. Add the dates and pulse a few times. Add the coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, and sea salt and pulse until it forms a paste and comes together. Line an 11 x 16.5 baking sheet with parchment, and spray lightly with nonstick spray (I use organic avocado oil spray). Scoop the crust mixture onto the tray and press out with fingers until flattened. Then, using an 8 oz drinking glass, press and roll the crust until it is uniform and has a nice edge up the sides of the pan. Smooth the edges with your fingers and place the pan in the freezer to set.

Directions For The Filling:

Rinse the cashews that have been soaking and add them to a high powered blender. Add the thawed berries, the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, coconut milk, coconut oil, and raw honey. Blend until completely smooth. Be mindful if you’re using a Vitamix or a Blendtec because if you blend them on high for too long, it will begin to heat the filling. You don’t want that! Remove the crust from the freezer, pour filling over the crust and smooth. Tap the tray on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles and return to the freezer. Freeze completely, remove from the freezer and cut into squares. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days (do not stack them on top of each other), or in the freezer and they will last two weeks (if you can stay away from them that long). They are delicious frozen too!

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Banana & Raisin Granola

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Banana & Raisin Granola

3 Cups of Gluten Free Organic Extra Thick Rolled Oats

1 1/4 Cups of Organic No Stir Crunchy Peanut Butter

3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil, melted

1/4 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup

3/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt

1 Cup of Organic Dried Banana Chips, broken up a bit

1 1/4 Cups of Organic Raisins

1/2 teaspoon of Ceylon Cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons of Organic Coconut Sugar

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat

Stir the oats, peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and sea salt with a spatula until combined. Some chunky peanut butter bits stuck together are OK and preferable. Spread the oat mixture onto the baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes turning the pan halfway in between until the oats are lightly golden. ***Cooking time will vary depending on your oven. Don’t over bake, the granola will firm up and crisp upon cooling.

While the granola is baking, measure the banana chips, raisins, cinnamon, and coconut sugar into a medium bowl and toss with a spoon until the banana chips and raisins are lightly dusted with the cinnamon and sugar.

Remove the granola from the oven and cool for 10 minutes on the pan. Then, slide the granola off of the pan with the parchment onto the counter to cool completely. Toss the granola carefully with the raisin mixture and store in an airtight container.

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Date Pecan Bread

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This may be my favorite sweet bread yet!

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It’s grain free (buckwheat is not a grain), organic, egg free, dairy free, and yeast free.

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It’s sweet but not too sweet, has a bit of great texture and crunch, freezes well, and is delicious with or without toasting.

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It’s easy to whip up and goes great with that coffee or tea date with a friend. I’ve also eaten it several times for dessert and it’s the perfect companion next to a fall salad of rich greens, red onions, apples, and a cider vinaigrette.

Date Pecan Bread

1 1/4 Cups of Ground Organic Raw Hulled Buckwheat Groats

1/8 Cup of Organic Chia Seeds

3 Tablespoons of Organic Coconut Flour

2 teaspoons of Double Acting Baking Powder

3/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon of Organic Psyllium Husk Powder

1 Cup of Filtered Water

1/2 Cup of Filtered Water 

1/4 Cup of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons of Raw Organic Honey

3/4 Cup of Roughly Chopped Organic Pecans

1 Cup (packed) Chopped Organic Medjool Dates (seeds removed)

For The Topping:

3 Organic Medjool Dates (seeds removed, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut again lengthwise)

8 Organic Pecan Halves

1 Tablespoon of Organic Raw Hulled Buckwheat Groats

Pinch of Celtic Sea Salt

2 1/2 Tablespoons of Melted Raw Honey

  1. Grind the groats into flour in a high speed blender (Vitamix or Blendtec work well). Then add the chia seeds and coconut flour and blend for about 1 minute. You will still see chia seeds.
  2. In the 1 cup of water, whisk the psyllium husk powder, it will thicken quickly. Pour into blender. Add the baking powder, sea salt, the remaining 1/2 cup of water, olive oil, and the 2 Tablespoons of honey. Blend until fully incorporated. Scoop into a medium bowl.
  3. Fold in the 3/4 Cup of chopped pecans and the 1 cup of chopped dates.
  4. Prepare an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 bread pan by using non stick spray and a parchment liner that folds over each side so you can easily remove the bread. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (I use convection which cooks a big hotter, it may take more time for you bread to cook if you use conventional).
  5. Scoop the dough into the prepared pan, being careful not to pack it down too much. Smooth the top a bit.
  6. Arrange the sliced medjool dates and pecans over the top. Sprinkle with the groats and the pinch of sea salt.
  7. Melt the honey and drizzle over the top.
  8. Bake for 60 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Using a sharp knife, carefully loosen the edges of the bread, then use the overhanging parchment to lift the bread out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before cutting with a sharp bread knife. (This bread freezes VERY well! I sliced it and stored it in a double ziplock. When I want a piece, I take one out and pop it in the toaster on the frozen setting.)

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Chocolate Crumb Muffins

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After cleaning out my photo albums on my phone and computer, somehow I forgot that I would need all the pictures of these muffins. I even pulled my good camera out of storage and blew the dust off…but I’m very rusty in the photography department after lazily relying on my iPhone for two years – so those photos were a no go as well. So this is it. One crumby photo (get it?) of these delicious muffins.

I haven’t been using my good cameras because my eyesight changed and my eye wouldn’t focus when I looked through the viewfinder. In fact, last week I brought them out to sell them. I figured I’d Google “eyesight and photography” to see if there was a way around my old lady eyesight. There had to be, right? There’s photographers of all ages! After scrolling through a few articles, low and behold – evidently there’s a tiny little wheel right above the viewfinder that adjusts to your eyesight that I’d overlooked. (For TWO YEARS??) So that problem is solved, now I need to remember how to take a decent food photo. The next few posts may be interesting…

So back to the muffins. Not only do they satisfy that occasional sweet tooth, but the topping tastes remarkably like Oreo cookies. They also freeze and reheat or thaw well, which is a must for me. I can’t have 12 muffins just lying around waiting to be eaten. If you like to freeze things to buffer your self control like I do, when you’re ready to pop one out of the freezer for dessert (or breakfast…) you can let it sit on the counter to thaw for an average but delicious experience or… pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds which will leave you  with a warm and delightfully decadent treat.

Chocolate Crumb Muffins

For The Muffins:

1 1/2 Cups of Otto’s Cassava Flour

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Flour

1/4 Cup of Cacao Powder

1/2 Cup of Coconut Sugar

1/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt

1 teaspoon of Double Acting Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda

2 Eggs

1/3 Cup of Dairy Free Butter, melted

1 Cup of Full Fat Coconut Milk

1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract

For the Chocolate Crumb Topping

1 Cup of Coconut Sugar

1/2 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt

1 Cup of Otto’s Cassava Flour

1/2 Cup of Cacao Powder

3/4 Cup Plus 3 Tablespoons of Dairy Free Butter, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Makes 12 muffins.

  1. For the muffins, measure and whisk the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, melted butter (cooled), coconut milk, and vanilla. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until the liquid is absorbed (lumps are a good thing). Set aside.
  2. For the crumb topping, whisk the dry ingredients. Stir the melted butter in with a spoon. You have two options here. I stirred mine in “lightly” then when through it with my fingers to make a smaller crumb. If you want larger crumbs, stir the mixture together completely and then break it up into small chunks instead of crumbs with your fingers.
  3. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Fill each liner 3/4 of the way full. Top each muffin with the crumb mix and pat down very lightly into the batter.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. (I use convection, it may take a bit longer in a conventional oven). Cool for 10 minutes, remove from tins onto a cooling rack and cool completely before serving.

Carob & Sprouted Pumpkin Seed Bites

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I’ve been doing a little experimenting with carob powder.

I find it to have such a unique taste! Sweet but not too sweet, similar to chocolate but with other interesting layers of flavor.

IMG_4504It’s very enjoyable and it works perfect in these little bites. They work great as little energy bites for a hike or just the right size snack when you’re craving something sweet. They also taste equally delicious straight out of the freezer!

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Carob is high in fiber and minerals, a good source of antioxidants, doesn’t contain caffeine, low in sodium, naturally low fat, and can also work in many recipes as a chocolate substitution.

Carob & Sprouted Pumpkin Seed Bites

*Makes 24

1/2 Cup of Otto’s Cassava Flour

5 Tablespoons of Rice Bran Oil

1 Cup of Coconut Sugar

3/4 Cup of Carob Powder

1/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt

1 1/2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

2 Eggs

Organic Raw Salted & Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and lightly oil a mini muffin pan. Whisk the oil, sugar, carob, and salt in a small saucepan and heat on low stirring consistently until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla to a mixing bowl and slowly add the warmed mixture as you beat the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the flour and spoon into the mini muffin pan. Sprinkle a few pumpkin seeds on each bite and  bake for about 15 minutes or until they bounce back and a center test comes out clean.

Fermented Walnut & Raisin Bread

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I’m having some impressive luck with bread experimentation this week. That almost never happens! This loaf is organic, grain free, vegan, and sugar free with the exception of the natural sugars in the raisins. And like yesterday’s bread post, nutrient dense as well. What I really LOVE about it is that it’s made in a regular size loaf pan that didn’t fall after baking. So while it’s a heavier bread, it still has a light texture on the inside and the lightly crunchy, more dense texture on the outside. The crispy nuts, groats, and chia seeds on the top add great flavor and texture and the raisin to walnut ratio inside is perfect.

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Our bed and breakfast host last year in the San Juan’s talked to me about trying fermented breads. His theory (and he’s gluten intolerant but able to eat his own gluten fermented breads!) is that with the commercial process we use now, the super fast fermentation process (sometimes only 5 minutes) is actually what’s causing the allergen problems for many people. So he allows his gluten and yeast breads to rise for several days before baking.

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Yeast came up as my #1 allergen that my body doesn’t like so I’m avoiding that for a while and I’m nowhere near being brave enough to try anything with gluten in it at this point. So I did some research and you can ferment other non yeast ingredients as well – so I started with buckwheat groats. Contrary to popular belief, buckwheat is not a grain but some bodies treat it the same. So you’ll have to test out how it works for you if you prefer to be grain free. So far, it works for me but I am careful to not eat any “grain type” foods on a regular basis. Every now and then as a nice treat, seems to agree with me. I use this theory for many foods, actually. Too many repetitive daily meals can cause gut issues.

This bread takes time, it is a labor of love and patience. That patience will come with a wonderful reward! And of course as with many of my recipes, the recipe is versatile and the addition or subtraction options are almost endless – add your own flair!

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Fermented Walnut & Raisin Bread

2 1/2 Cups of Organic Hulled Buckwheat Groats

3 Cup of Filtered Water

3 Tablespoons of Fresh Lemon Juice

3/4 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of Organic Psyllium Husk Powder

2 teaspoons of Double Acting Baking Powder

2 Cups of Organic Walnuts

1 1/4 Cups of Organic Raisins

1 1/2 teaspoons of Organic Chia Seeds

1 Tablespoon of Organic Hulled Buckwheat Groats

Step 1

Pour the groats into a large bowl, add the water, stir in the lemon juice, cover lightly and let sit for 8 hours. Drain and rinse once during the resting process. No need to add more lemon, but do replenish the water.

Step 2

After 8 hours, drain the groats, rinse well, add them to a blender and add 1 1/3 Cups of filtered water. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, set the bowl away from cold air or drafts and ferment for 36 hours. I didn’t notice bubbles or a ferment-ish smell, but when I went to fold in the other ingredients, it was fluffier than it started. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t see any major changes. I also check the top carefully to make sure it hadn’t formed any mold! If it does that, you’ll have to toss it.

Step 3

8-12 hours before the batter will be ready, soak the walnuts. Put them in a medium bowl, cover them with filtered water and add 1/2 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt. Soak for 8-12 hours. Then rinse, pat dry, and chop, reserving 1/2 Cup for the top of the bread. (Go HERE if you’d like to learn more about activating nuts for easier digestion.)

Step 4

Prepare a regular sized bread pan with oil or spray and line the pan with parchment so that there’s a bit of overhang to remove the loaf. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (I use convection – if you don’t, you may have to increase the time)

Fold the remaining walnuts, the raisins, the psyllium, the baking powder, and the sea salt into the batter. Scoop into the pan, do not flatten out or smooth the top. Sprinkle with the remaining walnuts, the chia seeds, and the whole groats.

Step 5

Bake for 1 hour and 35 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.