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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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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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Truly Healthy and Delicious Pumpkin Muffins- Grain free, dairy free, and (almost) sugar free

24 Nov

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After the gluten dairy muffins of last week, I decided to make some that I could truly eat without guilt. These muffins were inspired by a recipe on http://www.elanaspantry.com/, a health-conscious food blog I love. They are incredibly protein rich, barely sweetened (and only with stevia and coconut sugar), have no grains at all (just coconut flour), and amazingly end up being irresistible. I was a little surprised myself, but everyone in my family gobbled this batch up right away. This is a deeply nourishing recipe and they are best eaten the day of. The following recipe is only for 6 large muffins. This recipe makes a spicy muffin, cinnamon and ginger are both healing spices and will delight your taste buds in these indulgent muffins.

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Sweet potato coconut pecan casserole- Gluten free and Dairy Free

19 Nov

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This is another recipe that I made for Friendsgiving, it is the perfect mix between a dessert and a side dish and has many of my favorite foods combined in one. Unlike most recipes for sweet potato casserole that will ask you to boil the sweet potatoes and then mash them to put in the casserole, I roast them first with coconut oil, cinnamon salt, and a sprinkling of coconut sugar. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness in sweet potato and it means that you dont have to sweeten this much to have it be delicious. Boiling potatoes in my opinion automatically makes them more bland.

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Fluffy Pumpkin muffins

18 Nov

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These muffins are not GF or DF, but they are delicious. I had a friendsgiving celebration at my house and I wanted a crowd-pleasing appetizer for a room full of allergy-free people and oh my, did these turn out incredible.  I combined recipes for biscuits and muffins and the result is a super fluffy, not too sweet, and ultra moist pumpkin treat.

I also applied two recent tricks I learned about muffin baking to good results in this recipe. One, try to minimize the time that elapses between mixing the wet and dry ingredients and placing the muffins in the oven. Once the baking powder/soda gets wet it slowly begins to lose its rising ability. So pre-grease your muffin pans and get those muffins in the oven ASAP for maximum fluffiness. Second, heavily greasing the muffin tins produces a muffin that is ever so slightly crispy on the sides aka very delicious. Enjoy!

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Spicy Chicken Stew with Quinoa and Olives and Easy Homemade Chicken Broth

11 Nov

 

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I am a big fan of rotisserie chickens. They make dinner so easy and delicious and last for a couple of days with leftovers. Plus when we have eaten all the meat we just throw the bones in a big pot with salt, a bay leaf, leftover spring onion tops, or veggies like celery that are getting a little too old to put in a salad. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for at least four hours. Voila, scrumptious chicken broth.

Having just fixed up a big pot of broth I decided to put it instantly to use. This soup is nutritious, flavorful, and satisfying. The green olives and quinoa keep things interesting and are both good foods for people on the candida diet. I found the inspiration for this recipe in a stack of old Sunset magazines that someone had left on the corner.

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Amaranth Breakfast Porridge

11 Nov

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I am someone who likes hot breakfast in the morning. I am also someone who doesn’t like to get out of bed any earlier than absolutely necessary and hates to cook in the mornings. Luckily, my partner is more of a morning person and agreeable to whipping something up as long as it doesn’t take much extra time. We usually make oatmeal in the morning, but oats are not as good as other grains for people struggling with candida, and let’s be honest, for everyone they can get old real fast. This recipe is just as simple as making oatmeal, although it does require more unattended cooking time (15-20 minutes).

I have written before about amaranth, a grain I love because of its nutty taste, crunchy sticky texture, and an excellent source of protein, lysine, and dietary minerals. Amaranth lends itself well to either savory or sweet preparations. It is irresistible in this recipe with a strong serving of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, some caramelized coconut sugar, and a dash of coconut milk and pecans. Pudding for breakfast without any unnecessary blood sugar hikes and hearty enough to keep you satisfied till lunch!

For those of you interested in the candida diet, I am happy to report I have successfully completed one week of stage 1 of the candida cleanse. While I was very happy to re-introduce grains into my diet, with some advance planning and smart shopping I didn’t find the cleanse as painful as I thought it would be. In this week I was feeling many of the symptoms of candida die-off (headache, fatigue, cold fingers and toes) which is a sign that something is happening. The two main positive changes I noticed were a notable improvement in my digestion, along with a sudden absence of sugar or carb cravings! Will continue to update as I try to sustain my momentum in stage 2, wish me luck, it’s not the best timing with the holidays approaching.

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