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!

T2T Low Carb Crabcakes

IMG_0580I adapted this recipe from one online that used flour.  I’ve substituted the flour with a combo of brown rice flour and almond flour.  You can also use a wheat free flour mix that is premade.  I thought they turned out better than ones made with flour!

The most important thing is that you have good crabmeat. If you like spicy, you’ll have to add some cayenne or sriracha.  These are tasty with a lot of flavor, but not spicy.

My adult kids voted this for our Thanksgiving night dinner.  They were fabulous!  At 8 gm net carbs and 19 of protein, these are a nutrition packed, guilt free entree.

See bottom of page for a PRINTABLE recipe.

Ingredients:

1 large egg
2½ T olive oil based mayo or your favorite mayo
1½ teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stalk celery finely diced
2 T finely chopped fresh parsley
1 lb. lump crabmeat, drained well if you use canned
¼ cup blanched almond flour*
¼ cup brown rice flour*

*OR an option to the almond/brown rice is using ½ cup gluten free flour mix like Wheat Free Market has

2 T coconut oil for cooking, may have to add more if you have two batches.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and using your fingers, blend well.  Shape into patties. Makes 6-8 small to medium crab cakes.

Heat a non-stick skillet (I use Cuisinart Green Gourmet) on medium, add coconut oil, and carefully place cakes in once oil is hot.  Cook 5 min/side or until lightly browned.  You want them to cook slowly because you want the egg to cook and the crabmeat to warm thoroughly.

Make a remoulade sauce or tartar sauce to go with.  We had these with green beans and zucchini slices sauteed with shallots and parsley and a “remoulade” of sriracha mixed with mayo and relish.  Add sriracha to your batter or on top of the cooked crab cake if you want a kick.

We usually try and have a dinner with an entree, a salad and a “hot” vegetable.  That is usually enough food and fills us up without bread or starches like rice or potatoes.  (If you are having rice, you can DRAMATICALLY lower the glycemic load of it by cooling it first, which converts the starch to resistant — undigestable — starch. Just keep it below 130º, which is the point that the starch converts to “bad starch”, meaning digestible.)

IMG_0581crabcakes-nutritionIMG_0580

 

 

 

printable recipe click here for PDF

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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)

Wheat Free Snickerdoodles

IMG_0192It’s raining here today, as it usually does on Memorial Day weekend.  I decided to play around with a recipe that I had for wheat free snickerdoodles, one of my husband’s favorite cookies.  Success!  Here it is.  (These are higher in protein and lower in carbs, but they still have some carbs due to the maple syrup — those of you who want no carbs, you may know how to replace the maple syrup with sugar alternatives, but I haven’t tried that yet.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners.

Makes approx. 2 dozen small cookies.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup arrowroot powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
2½ cups ground blanched almond flour (it should be beige, blanched means no almond skin, I use Honeyville)
6 T shortening (I use Nutiva, a combination of palm, red palm and coconut, Spectrum is another brand)
½ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (I use Penzey’s double strength)

cinnamon sugar for garnish (optional)

I have made these with a mixer and by hand.  The mixer cookies turned out much better.

Instructions:

Mix dry ingredients baking soda, arrowroot, cinnamon and salt together.  Set aside almond flour.  Next, beat in maple syrup, shortening,  and vanilla, beating until combined.  Add the almond flour slowly, and beat until well mixed.

Using a teaspoon, shape into small balls, coat in cinnamon sugar if you like more cinnamon, (I didn’t add any extra, I like them less coated.)

Then press the circles with your finger(s) to flatten a bit.

Bake approx 7-9 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Cool before removing.

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The Better Pasta

2014-04-26 13.59.16Recently I had an appointment with my Nutritionist, who is responsible for millions of people getting healthy.  Kathie Swift, MS, RD, LDN is the practitioner who introduced Mark Hyman, M.D. to both functional medicine and food as an avenue to health.  She was the person who taught half of my week long workshop in 2008 when I began my wellness odyssey and I am eternally grateful to her for her wisdom and guidance. She is the person I turn to when I get stuck in my weight loss journey, and she is brilliant and up to date on all things regarding food and medicine.  We were recently talking about the “holes” in eating gluten free (things we miss) and I mentioned that my husband and I occasionally ate Einkhorn pasta (a wheat pasta using the original wheat from Italy that hasn’t been hybridized and modified the way our wheat has, thereby making it much less reactive).  She suggested we try some of the low carb pastas made from alternative beans (black bean and mung bean).

I’ll be honest, much of these foods usually fall a bit short, but this one is AMAZING!  If you love pasta, but want to eat healthier, eat less carbs, lose weight or any of the above, you must try this pasta!  It is made by Explore Asian, and is Organic Mung Bean Fettucine.  Tastes fabulous, cooks in 8 minutes, and actually has a great flavor!
Today for lunch we cooked some chicken breast tenders on the grill (marinated in fresh garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil for about 2 hrs), then grill until cooked.  Set aside.

Cook mung bean fettuccine per package.  Rinse in strainer.  Put 2 tbs. olive oil in the pan, I added red pepper, fresh garlic, onion, sauteed, and put the pasta back in, toss and sprinkle a bit of parmesan on (optional).  Add the chicken, and we had a fabulous lunch, leave off the chicken and you STILL have a high protein vegetarian entrée!

Compare the nutritional content of this pasta to “regular old wheat fettucine”.

pasta.mungbean

Unbelievable, right?  Just look at the carb content.  This mung bean pasta will not only taste good, but it will provide fiber, protein and it won’t cause your insulin to shoot sky high because you just injested 42 grams of carbs!  (And if you had a double portion, that’s 84 grams of carbs!)

So, the next time you want pasta, re-think it.  And yes, this is more expensive, but how do you put a price on staying healthy?  What’s your insurance deductible?  What is the cost of having to start taking diabetes meds, insulin, or having the inflammation wheat causes?  (read about WHEAT here).

I’d really like to know if any of you try this pasta, and what you think, so please report back! (Of the 69 reviews on Amazon, 56 gave it 5 stars!)

I also purchased their black bean spaghetti, I’ll be letting you know about that one soon.

Links:

Explore Asian on Amazon (note the price is for 6 packages!)

More about Kathie Swift and SwiftNutrition

 

Other recipe ideas:

olive oil, clams, oregano, mushrooms and garlic for Linguine with clam sauce

or:

Two weeks ago, I made my husband dinner and used a carton of POMA chopped tomato, fresh garlic, pesto (2 TBS) and cooked up and drained some Italian sausage, and a few peppers.  Tossed the entire thing, Parmesan on top, and it was fabulous. (At least he said it was, I got home from a meeting to have some and it was GONE!)

Dad is great, he gave us chocolate cake!

Have you heard the infamous 1982 Bill Cosby bit where he let’s his small children have chocolate cake for breakfast? (Yes, I wrote this before Cosby was a bad word, but stay with me here…)  It went something like this:

“The child wanted chocolate cake for breakfast! How ridiculous! … And something in my brain thought about the ingredients: eggs! Eggs are in chocolate cake! And milk! Oh goody! And wheat! That’s nutrition! … And their father said, ‘Chocolate cake coming up!!’ … And five children sat at breakfast and the morning music was playing and they were eating chocolate cake and singing songs to me:  ‘Dad is great! He gave us chocolate cake!'”

IMG_0710-2Mrs. Cosby, upon arising, did not find this scenario remotely amusing.  And we know why.  The average chocolate cake is not the healthiest thing for anyone any age.  But, there are ways to tweak the recipe, and not only make it better, but make it healthier.  Now, this is NOT a recipe I condone for everyday eating.  I made this for Easter dinner.  It was a huge hit.  And I thank my friend Mariefrance for sending it to me!  This is a wheat-free cake.

I served this with Vanilla Rice Dream (as we don’t do dairy), and I ate it plain.  Warm out of the oven, this is similar to a freshly baked brownie!  People have no clue there is flour missing.

Remember, everything in moderation.  And you should enjoy these simple pleasures in life.  Life is NOT about total denial, rather 90%/10%.  This is my 10% for this week!!!  That means you stay on task 90% of the time.

 Wheat Free Chocolate Tarte

• 1 cup lightly toasted walnuts
• 3 TB plus 1/2 cup sugar (I use raw or turbinado sugar, which has a lower glycemic load.)
• 5 eggs
• 2 TB dark rum
• 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
• pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350.  Butter and flour 8-inch springform pan; if your pan is not absolutely tight, wrap the outside in aluminum foil.  Finely grind walnuts with 3 TB sugar in food processor.  Add the chopped chocolate, and pulse a few times, so there are no large chunks of chocolate left.  Beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar for a few minutes, until mixture looks like mayonnaise.  Beat in rum.  Stir in walnuts and chocolate.
Beat egg whites with salt until stiff but not dry; fold into chocolate mixture.  (I didn’t do this very well, and it still turned out, so don’t sweat it).
Bake about 35-40 minutes and cool in pan on rack.  Remove sides of pan.  Decorate with cocoa powder and/or chopped chocolate/walnuts.  Serve warm or room temp.