Grain-Free Foodies

Following our trials and tribulations as we attempt to remove all grains, many starchy vegetables and most sugars from our diet while maintaining our love of good food! We strive to make all of our recipes GAPS and/or SCD compliant. Note: We didn't know about "Grain-Free Gourmet" when we chose our name. We are not affiliated with those good folks.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Chocolate Paleo Pots de Creme

These are quite delicious, with a creamy texture and a deep chocolate flavor. My guests described a note of brandy, which must have been a result of the melding of flavors from the maple, coconut and chocolate.

I have transitioned away from strict GAPS, but I am still striving for a grain-free lifestyle, as it helps me to feel better in general. My approach these days is Primal/Paleo, with the addition or subtraction of fermented dairy, as my body and the seasons allow. (When my seasonal allergies get worse, I have a harder time with dairy in general.) I use maple syrup more often than honey right now, but I think this recipe would work and taste delicious with blackberry honey, if that's your preferred sugar.

My guests also suggested that this would make an excellent frosting or filling for a cake.

I created this recipe with inspiration from The Food Network. 

Ingredients

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I used Dagoba)
1 3/4 cups full fat coconut milk (I used a 13.5 fl. oz. can)
1 cup maple syrup
6 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt (I used a few grinds of Himalayan pink salt)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (I just used a dash from the bottle)

Method

Place the chopped chocolate in a blender. Whisk the coconut milk, egg yolks, maple syrup and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spatula and almost boiling, 5 to 10 minutes. (I started on a lower temperature to avoid sticking.)

Immediately pour the coconut milk/egg mixture over the chocolate in the blender. Add vanilla. Cover and hold the lid with a thick kitchen towel (to avoid getting burned by steam or escaping liquid) blend until combined and smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Divide the chocolate mixture among ramekins or small cups and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours. I made these two days ahead of time, and they were still divine.

Note: The photo above is before refrigeration. The dessert, when served, will not be so glossy.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

An Easy Way to Eat pomegranate

This is not a recipe, but a trick that I recently came across, and wanted to share.  We love pomegranates in our family but don't eat them often because it is so messy and time consuming to pick the seeds out.  This trick is simple and allows you to get the seeds out really quickly.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tzatziki





This is a simple Greek condiment that is cool and crisp and goes well with meat in the summer.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup yogurt or sour cream (or combination)
1 small cucumber
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
1 bunch of fresh mint or dill
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

METHOD:

Prepare the cucumber by seeding and either grating or chopping the rest into small pieces.

Let the cucumber sit in a bowl with the salt on it for 10 minutes.  Squeeze out the excess liquid and pour it off.

Combine the cucumber with the rest of the ingredients, chopping the herbs and crushing the garlic.  Mix well.  Add more salt and garlic if needed. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Does Junk Food Make People Morally Lax?

You know I don't usually write about political stuff, but this article really irritated me! I hate the way the whole slant was to try to pit consumers against each other. I personally do not give two (organic and locally-grown) figs as to what people choose to eat, but I felt the need to write the following parody in order to illustrate just how bad this reporting is. I used the same data from the study* to come to this alternate (and equally ridiculous) conclusion.

Does Junk Food Make People Morally Lax?

Jane Doe has encountered her fair share of comfort food slobs, but a recent trip to a Des Moines diner left her feeling like she’d stumbled onto the set of “My Name is Earl”.

“I stopped in at the diner, hoping to get a nourishing meal to sustain me for the next leg of a cross-country road trip. When I had to visit the ladies’ room, I couldn’t help but notice the couple in the next stall loudly copulating. Imagine my shock when I heard them laughing about their being cousins! When I reported the incident to the manager, he said, as he munched on a brownie, ‘Lady, you need to take a chill pill and get over yourself!’ Seriously I could not believe that he had no problem with this behavior, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was in an episode of ‘My Name is Earl’ where junk food and morally suspect attitudes were weekly staples.”


“There's a line of research showing that when people transgress their own ethical codes, they feel the need to grant others a degree of moral license that they might otherwise find reprehensible,” says author Jack Smith, assistant professor of the department of psychological sciences at Something University in Sometown, USA. “I've noticed a lot of junk foods are marketed with morally indulgent terminology, like Chocolate Decadence, and wondered if you exposed people to junk food, if it would make them go easier on other folks for their moral and environmental choices. I [also] wondered if they’d be more eager-to-please.”

To find out, Smith and his team divided 60 people into three groups. One group was shown pictures of clearly labeled organic food, like apples and spinach. Another group was shown comfort foods such as brownies and cookies. And a third group--the controls--were shown non-organic, non-comfort foods like rice, mustard and oatmeal. After viewing the pictures, each person was then asked to read a series of vignettes describing moral transgressions.

“One vignette was about second cousins having sex,” says Smith. “Another was about a lawyer on the prowl in an ER trying to get people to sue for their injuries. Then the groups made moral judgments on a scale from one to seven.”

In another phase of the study, the three groups were asked to volunteer for a (fictitious) study, with each person writing down the amount of time--from zero to 30 minutes--that they would be willing to volunteer. The results did not bode well for the “comfort [junk] food” folks.

“We found that the comfort food people were much more likely to give the moral transgressors a pass compared to the control or organic food groups,” says Smith. “On a scale of 1 to 7, the organic people were like 5.5 while the controls were about a 5 and the comfort food people were like a 4.89.”
When it came to gratifying a fictitious researcher, the junk food people also proved to be more eager-to-please, volunteering 24 minutes as compared to 19 minutes (for controls) and 13 minutes (for organic food folks). Perhaps the organic food folks had gotten a short-term boost in their intelligence, realizing that volunteering for a fictitious study was nonsensical. Perhaps the junk food folks jumped at the chance to assuage their guilt in such a non-binding way.

“There’s something about being exposed to junk food that made them feel worse about themselves,” says Smith, “And that made them kind of morally lax, and eager to do some kind of [easy] penance I guess.”

Why does eating worse make us act worse? Smith says it probably has to do with what he calls, “moral mitigation”.

“People may feel like they’ve done something wrong,” he says. “They seek to mitigate their own guilty feelings by judging other people’s transgressions more leniently, so that they themselves seem less bad in comparison. It’s like when someone is eating a cookie and they offer you one, but you politely decline, and they become more and more aggressive with you, insisting that you eat the cookie, so they aren’t alone in cheating on their diet.”


*A link to the abstract of the study can be found here. I did not wish to pay the money to read the entire study, so I used the figures as reported on MSNBC.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Please vote for Roo's Clues

Hi, Sierra here.  As many of you know I have another blog called Roo's Clues that covers how I recovered my son from autism, including the GAPS diet of course :)  This blog has been nominated for Babble's Top 30 Autism Blogs for Parents in 2012.  The competition is based on votes, so if you would like to support my blog please go to it and vote by clicking on the banner:
http://roosclues.blogspot.com/



You can also go directly to the competition page, scroll down the alphabetical list, and click "like":
http://www.babble.com/baby/baby-development/top-autism-blog-nominate/index.aspx#

Thanks for your support!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Almond Flour Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I have thought about trying to make a GAPS chocolate chip since the very early days, but since chocolate wasn't strictly legal back then, and since I hate to waste a lot of food on experimenting, I never did get around to it. Thankfully, the folks over at Our Nourishing Roots did the job instead. I tried their recipe (linked below), but I used unsweetened chocolate in lieu of the cocoa butter/cocoa mixture. I'm not sure if that is why my chocolate came out sort of chewy, like a stiff caramel, or whether it's because I kept adding honey until the chocolate tasted bittersweet to me. Either way, it turned into a delicious and functional chocolaty substance. I left it to cool overnight at (Pacific Northwest, winter, unheated) room temperature. The next day, I cut it into strips and kept it refrigerated. I really needed to work quickly with this stuff to prevent its melting, but it held together beautifully in the cookies.

Do try the coriander. It is a secret little trick that I used to use with my old white flour recipe.

Did I mention they're delicious? They are only very lightly sweet, but my recently off-the-wagon kids gobbled them up as happily as they had done with premium conventional ice cream merely days before.

Ingredients


1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
3 cups almond flour
1 tsp. ground coriander (optional)
1/4 tsp. baking soda (optional)
2/3 cup GAPS chocolate chunks, cut into small pieces

Method

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut up butter and place it in an oven-proof bowl, and melt butter in oven while it heats. When butter is melted, remove bowl and add honey. Carefully mix in honey. At this point your bowl will probably be cool enough to touch. Blend in egg and vanilla. Add in salt and mix. Add in almond flour and optional coriander and baking soda. Stir well. Dough will be slightly stiff. Add in chocolate chunks and stir through. Place heaping tablespoons of batter onto a cookie sheet and press to flatten* (and round if necessary). Bake for about 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet. Using a very thin offset spatula, carefully transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Once they are cool enough to touch, eat them and enjoy. They hold up well, at this point. When they are thoroughly cooled, I recommend storing, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator.

*This dough does not spread, so you can place them close together, but you need to make each round as flat as you want the finished cookies to be, keeping in mind that if they're too thick, they won't cook through. I go for about 1/2 an inch high.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kale Chips

Do you think your kids won't eat vegetables? Try these. I am generally against recipes that require me to stand around doing repetitive work, especially when the fruits of my labor are then gobbled up in less than 10 minutes. But I have to make an exception for a recipe that gets my kids chanting, "Kale! Kale! Kale! We want kaaaaaale!" I think we all know that kale is a "super food" and these delicious chips have the added benefit of being crispier than potato chips!

Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 bunches kale (the flatter varieties are easier to work with, but any type will do)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil* (or other oil/fat, if desired)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

Heat your oven to 250 degrees F. Wash kale and remove tough central rib (you can skip this step, if your kids will eat up to the rib, and you don't mind having chewed on stems around). Pat kale dry. Place in a bowl and coat with olive oil (I use my hands to rub the oil on all surfaces). Place kale in one layer on two baking sheets. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper (you can leave out the pepper. I sometimes do). Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until leaves are very crispy (they will easily break apart). Allow to cool until they are easy to handle, then watch the feeding frenzy begin.


*NB, Dr. Campbell-McBride advises against heating olive oil. Personally I do not have a problem cooking with extra virgin olive oil at low temperatures (below its smoke point). I have not read any scientific studies that corroborate the claim that heating olive oil causes it to take on unhealthful properties. I would be happy to peruse any such studies that my readers might know about. (I'm not interested in links to claims, only to actual studies or reports of actual studies, where the journal of publication is cited). If you wish not to use olive oil, any fat would work, but the flavor would be different (though almost surely very tasty). Obviously hard fats would need to be melted first.


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