Fermented Corn Bread (Gluten Free and Cow Milk-Free)

21 Jan

One of the best holiday presents I received was a book called the Art of Fermentation. I have been loving reading about the crazy health benefits of fermentation in creating digestive and immune health. As someone who has struggled with candida, I am particularly interested in the medicinal properties of foods that introduce probiotics and healthy bacteria into your gut and enhance the healthy balance of your system. I have been experimenting with all sorts of fermentation recently and this was a project that turned out so so delicious. As part of this process I have been re-introducing homemade goat yogurt into my usually lactose-free diet and to good results. Goat milk is easier to digest than cows milk and the culturing process adds digesting enzymes. Goat’s yogurt adds a very faint bite to this recipe this is really nice.

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I served it with chili and it got gobbled up at a dinner party. I was surprised to taste that it produced the classic cornbread taste except so much richer and better than I had ever tasted before. It had a spongey, ridiculously moist, and vibrant taste to it. There is something about food that is really good for you and alive, that just tastes better.

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I was inspired by a recipe posted on Poppies and Papayas and this is what she says about the fermenting process:

The fermentation process in this cornbread recipe helps reduce the phytic acid content, which can bind to essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and zinc. Soaking grains in an acidic medium, such as the lime and yogurt, activate the production of phytase, an enzyme produced by good bacteria. Phytase helps neutralize the phytic acid allowing the magnesium, calcium, and zinc available in the grains to be absorbed instead of excreted.

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Homemade Nut Butter

21 Jan

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Homemade nut butter has numerous advantages. It is much cheaper than forking over lots of money for jars of speciality nut butters and most importantly you can control the quality and freshness of what you are eating. Plus, you can create fun combinations and spice things up. If you still need convincing at this point, it is much more delicious, I promise!

I made sunflower seed butter for this post. Some of my favorite other combinations are hazelnut butter, cashews and dates, and almonds and pecan. Some people use fancy food processors for this, I use a cuisinart and it works just fine, though it does take about 15 minutes of blending.

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Vegan Chili with Squash and Peppers

21 Jan

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This vegetarian chili was a huge hit at a dinner party for friends. It has a nice spice to it, the textures balance each other nicely and it is hearty without being too overwhelming. As with all soups the broth is very important, so use homemade if you can. This is great for leftovers as the flavor seems to intensify by the next day. As you can see from the picture this chili has more broth than traditional chilis, I like it that way, because it is delicious without being overwhelming and you can eat more of it. If you want it to be heartier, then use less broth.

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Yellow Split Pea Soup (Vegan and Gluten Free)

21 Jan

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I am all about soup these days. I make a huge batch on Sunday and eat it for breakfast for the first half of the week. I was truly shocked by how richly delicious and satisfyingly earthy and spicy this simple split pea soup turned out. Split peas are a nice addition to soups because they are protein and nutrient rich and they take less time to cook/do not need to be soaked compared to more traditional beans. This soup came out very thick and was incredibly filling. Add more broth if you want to thin it out.

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Black Rice Quinoa Holiday Dressing (Gluten Free and Vegan)

27 Dec

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I can not tell you what a hit this recipe was. I made it with several other stellar dishes and this was hands-down everyone’s favorite dish. The combination of the quinoa, black rice, pecans, cranberries, and butternut squash creates a complex flavor and a captivating texture. No one at the table could believe that this dressing was truly gluten free and vegan. Plus, quinoa and black rice are incredibly nutrient-rich grains. To make day of preparation easier, I roasted the butternut squash the day before, cooked the grains in the morning and put everything together in the afternoon. It will keep well in the fridge and only takes about 20 mins to heat up once company has arrived.

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Cardamom Infused Ginger Fizzy

27 Dec

This drink is irresistible. I love the combination of gingery spice with the earthy taste of cardamom. This is a perfect drink to serve to company as it provides a truly unexpected and intriguing taste. Plus, it is a great sweet soda replacement for people trying to stay away from sugar but still enjoy a sparkling festive drink. Not only is this a refreshing beverage to finish off heavy holiday meals, but both the cardamom and the ginger are traditional digestive aids.

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Anise Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce (Sugar free and thickened with Kudzu)

27 Dec

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I have been home for the holidays and cooking up a storm. This post is featuring one of my mom’s delicious holiday classics. My mom uses a lot of alternative ingredients to make this cranberry sauce healthy, but it tastes just as decadent as the normal sugar laden varieties. She uses Kudzu powder, which is totally tasteless, to thicken the cranberry sauce, and it works really well giving the sauce a nice bouncy texture. Plus Kudzu is a macrobiotic medicinal food, delivering a solid nutritional punch. She sweetens it with xylitol and stevia, which are both low-glycemic candida-friendly sweeteners.

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