Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Grain Free T2T Buns

2017-01-08-12-17-38No Grain Time2Thrive Buns:

First, these are so easy to make, but getting consistent results can be tricky.  I tried to make these at my son’s house over Christmas, and used a substitution for the apple cider vinegar. They were like hockey pucks. But, I made them again today and I think I’ve got the recipe down, so I’m going to tell you EXACTLY what I use so if you decide to try them, you have a chance of them working!  I would not alter ingredients (or possibly even the brands) at all.

If they work, your family will not know that they are not eating bread, they are that good! The baseline recipe for these is from Leanne Vogel, and Keto Diet Blog.  Leanne is a nutritionist who writes a food blog, and this is my adaptation of their recipe (see her sloppy joe recipe at the bottom).

When I do these, it makes 14.

Mix together in a bowl the following dry ingredients:

1 ½ cup almond flour (Honeyville almond flour is brand I use)*
⅓ cup psyllium powder (find in bulk section, I use Bob’s Red Mill)*
½ cup coconut flour
½ cup ground golden flaxseed meal (Bob’s Red Mill)*
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried parsley (optional)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (pink Himalayan or sea salt)
Optional: 2 tbsp sugar substitute, I use Virtue Sweetner from wheatfreemarket.com – you don’t need sugar, it just makes them a tiny bit sweeter.

Wet ingredients, use whisk to combine:

6 large egg whites
2 tsp. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar*
2 large eggs
2 cups water, warm but not hot

Before placing in oven, sprinkle with sesame seed, poppy seed, or rye seed.  Yum.

img_2415Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the whisked wet ingredients and stir minimally until just mixed.  Then wait a few minutes, as the psyllium powder needs to absorb the liquid.  Then, taking bits with your hand, form a ball shape (that fits easily in the palm of your hand, maybe ¼ cup) and put on a baking sheet.  You can use coconut oil to grease a baking sheet, I use a silicone mat called Silpat that keeps things from sticking.

Realize that these have a ton of fiber.  If you’re eating them for the first time, don’t have four!  Especially if you’re introducing high fiber foods as a new thing.  Your body needs to adjust and a bit of distention is common, hence go slow. But what’s amazing is how light these are.

Ideas?  Make tiny lunch sandwiches, sloppy joes (see below), make an egg/bacon/breakfast sandwich or an egg/sausage sandwich.  Or, just have them with cheese, or almond butter, jam or pasture butter.

Here’s shots of what I use.  And the finished buns look great!  They also freeze well.  Make a bunch and freeze half.

Here’s Leanne’s sloppy joe recipe, for a Indian twist on sloppy joes!

10 Days, 10 Ways to Lower Carbs, Day 9

Today is simple.  The next time you want to reach for potato chips, try one of these low carb snack alternatives!  In general, I’ve avoided cheese because I don’t eat dairy.  You can add cheese in small amounts if you can tolerate dairy.

The key for a snack is this:  you MUST have some protein, some fat and some flavor!  Then, you won’t feel deprived!

Protein  +  Good Fat = Good Snack!

  1. Olives – high in healthy fats, they’ll keep you feeling full.
  2. Celery with Nut Butter
  3. Cucumber chips with guacamole
  4. Hard Boiled Egg!  A little salt and pepper and you’re set
  5. A handful of almonds, cashews, pecans or walnuts. High fiber, low carbs, good fats
  6. ½ cup berries, and if you can do dairy, ½ cup greek plain yogurt
  7. One or two of my strawberry cookies!
  8. Half an avocado with tuna or chicken salad (home made if possible)
  9. Half an avocado with ½ tomato with salt and pepper
  10. Organic lunch meat without fillers (read your label) with asparagus or dill pickles
  11. Egg salad in lettuce wraps

Although opinions vary about dairy, you can use it in moderation to snack wisely!

And now that I’ve worked on this post before my dinner, I’m starving, so see you all after I eat!  I’d love to know your favorite snacks!

Strawberry Cookies GF, DF, Low Carb

strawberry.cookiesI had a bunch of organic strawberries last weekend, and I didn’t want them to go bad, so I made this recipe based on a paleo recipe I saw.  You can also substitute blueberries, blackberries or raspberries.  And, because of their nutritional value, they make a great breakfast! This makes 36 small cookies.  You can freeze them too.

The one thing our family has learned is once you stop eating processed food, most of it taastes too sweet once you try it again.  So, these cookies have only ½ cup of raw honey for 36 cookies.  I like using natural sweetners vs. others, but you may want your carbs even lower.  There are websites you can look up substituting Stevia for the honey, I just haven’t done it.  Each cookie has about 5-6 carbs and they are full of protein from the almonds, and net carbs are probably lower due to the fiber.

preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)

Ingredients

3 cups blanched almond flour (Honeyville is my fav)
½ cup raw honey
1 tsp sea salt
¾ tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 Tbs. chia seeds
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup raw almond or cashew butter at room temp or slightly warmed
¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk (or almond milk or hemp milk)
1 cup berries, I quartered the strawberries, which were tiny to begin with

parchment paper or baking sheet or grease cookie sheet with coconut oil

Directions

In mixer, “cream” the honey, eggs, salt, cinnamon, soda, vanilla and chia seeds.  Add the milk.  With the mixer running on low, slowly add the first cup of almond flour.  Then, add the almond or cashew butter. Mix well.  Continue with the last two cups of almond flour slowly.  When the batter is ready, stir in the strawberries carefully.

Scoop small tablespoons onto a prepped cookie sheet.  They cook more evenly if you flatten the tops a bit.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, they will brown nicely.  Cool on rack.  I don’t put these in a covered tin, they get kind of “wet”, so we leave them on a plate and lightly cover them with a clean cloth.  For some reason, they disappear! 😉

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10 Days, 10 Ways to lower carbs: Day 1

The secret to staying healthy is lowering your carbohydrate intake.

And I don’t just mean losing weight, I’m talking about lowering your cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation.  The stuff that makes us chronically sick.

I’m going to post 10 days/10 ways you can lower your carbohydrate intake.

day1DAY ONE: Ditch Dairy, specifically Milk

MILK is nutritious, but it’s also fairly high in carbs because it contains a type of sugar called lactose. (Remember, its purpose in life was to GROW baby cows!). An 8-ounce (240 ml) glass of full-fat or low-fat milk contains 12–13 grams of carbs. This is especially important if you drink milk by the glassful or in lattes or shakes.
SWITCH TO: coconut, almond milk, hemp milk. (Again, this isn’t about dairy, it’s about CARBS:  case in point?  Rice milk is a dairy alternative, but is FULL of carbs, and isn’t any better than milk, in fact it is the highest in carbs.). Look for unsweetened varieties that have less than 2 carbs per serving (carbs minus fiber = total carbs).  Look at this comparison I’ve done of the various milk/milk substitutes.  If you can’t change, start weaning yourself by adding one of the alternatives to your milk.  I promise you, it is doable, and will save you calories and weight.
milksubstitutes

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Almond Flour Pancakes (WF/GF/DF/Low Carb)

If you are sugar free, wheat free and dairy free, and want to eat low carb, breakfast options are limited, just because our American culture is SO heavy on carbohydrates as the way to start our day.  I remember my Mom, who always seemed to be dieting my entire childhood, say “If I eat breakfast, I’m hungry the rest of the day”.  And she was right!  She would have a bowl of cereal (mostly CHO/Sugar) and milk (again, mostly CHO/Sugar), and toast (CHO), and NO PROTEIN.  Without protein and fat to slow down the digestion into your system, the typical American breakfast shoots a giant sugar load into your bloodstream, which in turn, causes a huge insulin spike, and overcompensates, and with many of us, we are STARVING 2 hours later.  Why?  Because although we’ve digested our breakfast, we still have too much insulin floating around screaming “feed me”!!  Again, it isn’t your fault.  You just have to know how to eat carbs wisely.  Here is a very low carb, low sugar, high protein breakfast alternative to protein smoothies or eggs:

Almond Flour Pancakes:

elana.cookbookWThis recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks “The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook” by Elana Amsterdam.  Elana’s website is also an awesome source for going gluten/wheat free.  You don’t have to be celiac to go gluten free.  More on that under links.

Ingredients:

This makes 8-12 small pancakes, enough for two.  You can easily double the recipe.  These are best made very small, as flipping them is a bit trickier than the standard pancake!  They are so good my 25 year old son ate all the ones in our freezer!

INGREDIENTS:

2 large eggs
2 T raw organic honey (or reg honey) or stevia if you want to get really low carb
1 T vanilla extract
½ cup water
1½ cups blanched almond flour (see sources below)
½ teaspoon salt (I use sea salt)
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 T arrowroot powder (this helps the pancakes hold together better)* (there are some carbs in arrowroot, about 12 in total recipe)
2 T coconut oil, use 1 T with each “batch” (don’t put in batter!)

*  Unlike cornstarch or flour, arrowroot powder has a completely neutral taste.

almondpancakes

In a blender, combine the eggs, honey, vanilla, and water, process on high for a minute until smooth. Then, add the almond flour, salt, baking soda, and arrowroot powder, blend until thoroughly combined.  You will need a small ladle to place the batter on the pan and a scraper to get the batter out off the sides. You may want the batter to sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken up.  It will be thick, and you’ll need a scraper to get it out of the blender.

pancakes.almondHeat a griddle and melt 1T of coconut oil and cover the pan.  Ladle pancakes about 4- 6 at a time, depending on the size of  your pan.  REMEMBER, YOU ARE COOKING NUTS, they will burn easily.  Do NOT have your flame as high as you would for pancakes, probably only half as high.  I suggest medium low and watch it carefully.  They will take longer to crisp up, but when they do, turn them.  I found these make less “bubbles” than the regular ones, and you almost have to peek under to know when to turn them.  They seem fragile, but they do flip if you are careful.  That’s why smaller is better! I would advise cooking these on a well seasoned griddle or a ceramic non-stick pan.  (see which pans I recommend here)

I served these with bacon for a pretty filling and low carb breakfast on weekends.  You can, if carbs aren’t an issue, serve with raspberries (2 pints with ½ cup orange juice cooked down to a sauce) and fresh blueberries, or you can use maple syrup, (100% ONLY) but realize that adds sugar.  Enjoy!

 

Links:

http://elanaspantry.com/

The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam (Amazon link)

Related posts on my blog:

The Reverse of Super-Size me and it’s lessons for us.

Why to avoid Wheat

My favorite Almond Flour:  Honeyville BLANCHED almond flour  (you can also order on amazon, and Bob’s Red Mill also makes one)

(Almost) Dairy Free Lasagna

IMG_1358I wanted to make some lasagna last week, but I just can’t eat ricotta, mozarella or any dairy to speak of.  I decided to set out and try to adapt a recipe using cashew cream as my “ricotta” replacement.  I used pasta that was fresh (no, I didn’t make it, I got it in the refrigerated section at my local organic store), made my own sauce, and added veggies to make it really healthy.  Yes, this is not carb free, but for when you want something with pasta, this is pretty awesome!  You can get really strict and leave out the parmesan, and then it would be totally dairy free.

My husband, Doubting Thomas that he is (he should trust me by now, we rarely throw anything I concoct out!) said (insert skeptical and unhappy tone of voice here) “Cashew cream in lasagna?  ewwwww, uck”.  Needless to say, he was not only amazed, but gobbled this up.  And pronounced me a genius.  So, I guess that is praise enough to post it on this blog!

Almost Dairy Free Lasagna

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 large onion (Maui, Vidalia are nicest, but any will do)
3 cloves garlic minced
3 carrots, chopped small
3 T olive oil
1 lb. grass fed ground beef (read about why to eat Grass Fed Beef only here…)
1 bag frozen chopped organic spinach
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce, or tomato sauce plain (do NOT use the ones with a lot of added sugar!  beware the label)
1 small can diced organic tomatoes
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces or cut into slices
¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
salt and pepper to taste — I used very little
1 pkg. refrigerated lasagna noodles (do not use dry ones unless you cook first, also, if you need to be Gluten Free, use brown rice lasagna noodles and parboil them first)

1 cup cashew cream (click to see recipe — reminder:  takes an 8-12 hrs. to make cashew cream due to soaking nuts)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese  * optional

Directions:

Put olive oil in skillet and cook onions and carrots until onions are soft and just beginning to turn golden.  Add ground beef (if you use grass fed, there is almost no grease) and minced garlic and cook until ground beef is done, I use a pastry blender to “chop” up everything into fine pieces, you can also use a spatula.  Drain the beef mixture.  Add spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, basil and oregano, and spinach:  mix and heat thoroughly.  The mixture should be fairly thick, but not like a paste, add a bit of the water from the tomatoes or just some water if it gets too thick.  Taste it to see if you need salt or pepper.  This will depend on your base sauce.  If you used just tomato sauce it may need some. Finally, add the cashew cream and stir it in really well.  Now you’re ready to assemble it!

Next, spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with olive oil (or brush it on).  Put a layer of meat sauce in the bottom.  Place two noodles, going lengthwise next, top it with about 1/3 the remaining meat sauce, sprinkle a bit of parmesan, add another 2 layers, finishing with meat sauce on top.  Sprinkle parmesan on top if you’re using.  Cover the pan tightly with tinfoil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  Let sit for 10 minutes, cut and serve!

If you make this, let me know how you liked it!

Options:  add olives, green pepper, red peppers, go meatless and add more spinach.