Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another Muffin Recipe! Grain-Free, SF Banana Pancake Muffins

Getting tired of my muffin recipes yet?  I'm sure you are!  But I would feel awful not sharing this recipe because it's so stinking good!  Unfortunately I am abstaining, because I don't eat fruit anymore, but for those of you who can tolerate it, PLEASE try these out!  They are also 100% dairy free.

Grain/Gluten/Sugar/Dairy Free Banana Pancake Muffins

1/2 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
1/4 cup walnut oil (or coconut)
3 large overripe bananas
1/2 cup SF pancake syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple extract

I usually have brown bananas in the freezer, and I'm not sure if it's just me, but does freezing them create more juice?  Or does the freezer just pull moisture out of them faster? I'm not sure, but be sure to save the juice!  Wring out your peels as best you can!

In a large bowl, use a fork to combine your coconut flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.  Break up your lumps!  In a separate bowl, mash your bananas and add your eggs, oil, syrup, and extracts.  Add wet to dry and stir stir stir!  Bake at 350 until the tops are browned.

These would quickly become dessert with some frosting.  They are really really good.  Just remember my coconut flour baking tip, which is to be sure to completely cook these through, they cannot and should not be underdone!

The batter for these was very very wet.  If your bananas aren't that juicy, try adding a splash of nut milk.  The browner the banana, the batter!  You could easily add some flax or chia seeds for some added nutrients.

Enjoy GFGs! Xoxo

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Natural Remedies

This post isn't a recipe, since I've been out of town this week and not had time to cook.  But it did get me thinking about my arsenal of natural treatments/remedies/protocols I follow and it can be kind of a pain to travel with all said stuff.  What kind of natural treatments do you use and abide by? (Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or dietician, merely experimenting with natural remedies for my own issues.  I am not recommending or suggesting that any one adopt these, merely starting a dialogue about your own remedies!)

Here are some of mine:

Apple Cider Vinegar
I have just recently started using ACV, in two different ways.  1) Topically- for hormonal blemishes.  It's like a mini-peel.  Beware, this stuff is strong!  But it does work, it's quite potent actually.  I suffer from a host of hormone-related issues and ACV is one of the top remedies.  I have also started drinking it (ICK!!!) throughout the day, before a meal usually, as it has been proven to reduce insulin spikes.  About a teaspoon dissolved in some water.  It's pretty horrible, I won't lie, but I'll try anything!  Make sure you use organic, raw vinegar with the mother still attached.

Oil Pulling
I have been oil pulling daily since March.  You swish a tbsp or so of organic sesame oil in your mouth, like mouthwash, for about 20 minutes, on an empty stomach.  This is an ancient ayurvedic remedy for once again, a whole host of issues, but at it's core, is supposed to purify the blood and body by removing toxins and unwanted bacteria.  I have found it works wonders for your immune and digestive systems, and it also strengthens your teeth and has a whitening effect.  Many say it cures gum disease as well.

Spearmint Tea
Supposedly, two cups of spearmint tea a day (on an empty stomach) can regulate hormones.  Something about the properties of the spearmint binding to unwanted excess hormones in your body.  I have also just recently started drinking this tea and can't say if it's doing anything or not- but I can't imagine drinking all this organic herbal tea could be bad.  If nothing else, it's a great hydrator.

Daily Probiotics
I am lazy, so take pills, but of course there are some great edible probiotic foods out there.  Raw fermented vegetables, like cabbage (or kimchi) are great, or you could make your own coconut milk kefir.  I am doing my best to steer clear of dairy these days, other than the small amount of cream in my coffee, so for the moment yogurt is out.  I am reading more and more these days about the detrimental effect dairy has on insulin levels.

It has been proven that Chromium and Cinnamon have favorable effects on blood sugar levels, so those are part of my daily routine, as is Vitamin D, Biotin, Zinc, B6, B12, baby aspirin, inositol, magnesium, manganese, folic acid, royal jelly, and vitamin C.

Of course some of the most important "natural" remedies are the simplest, drinking lots of water, moving your body, and getting enough sleep.  There are days when even these most basic of healthy living approaches seem daunting.  Like when it's 105 degrees and the though of a brisk power-walk outside sounds like torture, or when you have tons of work to catch up on and not enough time in the day.  The topic of supplementing is much debated in the blogosphere.  Should you or shouldn't you?  I've even gotten comments in the past from people who prefer one or the other.  Obviously, you should aim for a varied and health diet that provides the minimum daily amounts.  But this also isn't always possible.  What if you are doing a fast?  What if you are on a very strict diet?  What if you are in the induction phase, or just beginning to heal your gut and are limited to an extremely small number of safe foods?  What if you're a vegan or vegetarian and may not always get adequate protein and/or iron and B12?  Or, like me, you may believe that mega-dosing certain vitamins and minerals can have a medicinal and/or healing effect.

I am always on the lookout for new remedies.  I have been mulling iodine for awhile, knowing that it can help an under active thyroid.  Let me know in the comments what kind of remedies you have tried, what you like and don't like, and so on!

Have a great day! XoXoGFG

Monday, July 16, 2012

No Sugar Added Blackberry Frozen Yogurt

Have I said lately how awesome the ice cream maker is?  I love the damn thing.  Here is my latest frozen yogurt slam-dunk:

Blackberry Frozen Yogurt
1 32 oz container 0% Greek Yogurt
1 pint ripe blackberries
1/2 pint ripe raspberries
2 tsp lemon juice
1/3 cup erythritol (I used Z Sweet brand from WF)
2 packets pure via, stevia etc
2 tsp vanilla extract

Process/blend your berries until there are no chunks and mix in your sugar substitute, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.  Then mix together with your yogurt in a large mixing bowl.  Refrigerate for 4 hours or so.  Then prepare according to your manufacturer's instructions.  Super simple, and packed with protein.  Enjoy GFGs!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Paleo Barbecue Sauce

I live in Kansas City, a town with arguably the best barbecue you will find anywhere.  Not being from here originally, I can't say I'm as staunch fan as others, like my husband for example, but I will admit we have some damn good bbq.  What kind of sauce do you like?  Sweet?  Thick? Runny?  Vinegary?  Spicy? Hot? Tomato-y?  Every town has a different kind.  And no, KC Masterpiece is nothing like the sauce we actually eat here.  Blah.

Most conventional bbq sauces are made with molasses and/or sugar and god knows what else.  Some people don't care for any sweetness in their sauce, but I like a little bit.  So I chose to make this sauce with some no sugar tart cherry preserves I picked up in the Door last weekend.  It did not disappoint.  I have also seen it made with apple butter, which is another great idea.  I suggest subbing the cherry preserves for apple butter if you don't have access to good tart cherry jam/preserves, just make sure it is just fruit, nothing else.

This comes together in 15 min tops.  Makes a great marinade too!  I marinated chicken thighs in a ziploc bag with the sauce yesterday for 4 hours and the chicken was amazing.  Try it!

Paleo Barbecue Sauce
1/2 onion
2 tsp minced garlic
6 oz tomato paste
1/4 cup homemade ketchup, or organic no sugar ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp tart cherry preserves
1 1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 clove
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
pinch of ground pepper

Process your onion and garlic in the food processor until you have a liquid, its ok if there are a few chunks.  Pour into a pot and heat on med-high and dump in all your other ingredients.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.  Taste and season accordingly.  You may want a little more vinegar, water or preserves.  The flavors will develop in the fridge too.

Yummy yummy!  Try it out and let me know what you think! XoXoGFG

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cinnamon Applesauce Muffins (throw all the ingredients in the blender!!)

Miss me?  We were in blissful Door County WI for a week and I thoroughly enjoyed the awesome weather, beautiful beaches, delicious local produce, and super fun July 4th parade.  I wish I could go back.  I think about it all year long.

But back to the real world we came!  And back to baking some weekly staples on Sundays.

Sometimes you have to throw together a really fast muffin batter, and sometimes you have ingredients that really need to be used up.  This recipe accomplishes both.  I had a languishing jar of applesauce about to go bad, so I thought- cinnamon applesauce muffins would be good!  Best of all, I experimented throwing everything in the blender at once, and it worked out great!

Cinnamon Applesauce Muffins (sugar, grain, gluten, dairy free!)
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
11/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp chia seed
1 heaping tbsp cinnamon (add more if you like)
4 room temp eggs
1/4 cup walnut oil
1/2 cup SF liquid sweetener
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Throw all your ingredients into your blender, turn it on, et voila- yummy applesauce muffin batter.  Bake at 350 until the tops are browned nicely.  This made 8 muffins.  Enjoy!