Friday, April 29, 2011

Sugar Free Strawberry Syrup and Easy Breakfast Parfait

Sugar was one of the first foods we eliminated before we realized we had underlying food sensitivities.  Eating gluten or dairy was sort of like a smoldering ember of inflammation, and adding sugar was the gasoline leading to an out of control fire.

When a friend recently asked me what I use in place of sugar, I realized there is really no one answer.  Bananas are great for frozen desserts, smoothies, breakfast crepes and other baked goods.  Dates are amazingly sweet without too strong of a taste, and a good binder making them incredible for raw desserts like these power bars.  Raw honey is my favorite natural sweetener, containing beneficial enzymes and immunity boosting compounds.

This recipe is as simple as they get and can turn breakfast into a real treat.  For the parfait, I have layered cooked cream of buckwheat, chopped raw walnuts, homemade raw goat milk yogurt, and fresh strawberries and bananas, with this delicious syrup layered throughout.  You can swap in other nuts or seeds, or even homemade granola, depending on your preferences.  The syrup also goes well with coconut ice cream, waffles and pancakes.

Raw goat milk is tolerated by some who have food sensitivity to cow's milk.  Fermenting it into yogurt or kefir adds natural probiotics that can aid in intestinal healing and digestion.  Raw goat milk can be found in some natural health food stores or through local farms.  To find one in your area go to Eat Wild or Real Milk.  I make the yogurt myself in my Euro Cuisine yogurt maker using non-dairy starter from Custom Probiotics.

The syrup tastes best cold, losing some of its sweetness the more it is heated through.  If you bring it to a boil, be sure to taste it before you serve it and adjust the sweetness by adding more apple juice concentrate or sweetener of your choice.

(Note:  the ingredients need to be partially thawed in order to process)

2 cups frozen strawberries
1/3 cup apple juice concentrate (Organic Cascadian Farms is my favorite)


Place ingredients in a blender or food processor and let thaw partially.  Blend until smooth.  Source:

More gluten and sugar free recipes
Some of my favorite sources of gluten and refined sugar free cooking:
Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
Living Free of Gluten, Dairy and Sugar
Elana's Pantry (sugar free except the chocolate chips!)
Lexie's Kitchen

30 Days to Easy Gluten-Free Living
My friend Diane Eblin over at the Whole Gang is on a mission.  With the help of 29 other bloggers, she's going to show how easy it is to cook gluten free.  Beginning May 2nd, she will launch "30 Days to Easy Gluten-Free Living." Each day will feature a new blogger with recipes and tips on how to live gluten free.  I'll be sharing my no bake sugar free chocolate peanut butter pie on Mother's Day.  I hope you'll join us for this fun and informative month of gluten free goodness!

This post has been shared with Monday Mania, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Fight Back Friday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Vitamin K Packed Collard Greens with Garlic and Pine Nuts

Children with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease are at higher risk for low bone density due to their malabsorption of vitamins and minerals.  The University of Alberta studied a group of children newly diagnosed with celiac disease and found they were getting less than 50 percent of their RDA of vitamin K.  This combined with low levels of vitamin D is problematic during the teen years when peak bone development occurs.  Vitamin D levels can be checked through your doctor.  Supplementation of vitamin K and vitamin D may be necessary.

Did you know that 1 cup of collard greens contains 880% of the RDA of vitamin K?  If you're looking for a way to increase your intake, this recipe is for you.  It is always a huge hit at my house among young and old alike.


1 bunch collard greens
2 tbsp olive oil
5 to 10 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste


Lightly toast pine nuts in frying pan over medium heat until lightly browned.  Set aside.  Wash collard greens and cut out the stem of each leaf.  Roll leaves up and slice into thin strips.  Heat up heavy frying pan to medium - high heat and add olive oil.  Add garlic and let sizzle for a minute until fragrant.  Add collard greens and stir occasionally until slightly wilted.  Transfer to serving bowl and add pine nuts.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Slice lemon into wedges and serve alongside for people to drizzle over their greens.  Serves 3.  Source:

This post has been shared with Food on FridaysFight Back Friday and Monday Mania.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Guest Post: One Person's Health Food is Another Person's Poison

Kellie Hill,
Nutrition Therapy Practitioner
I’m so excited to have received my updated Standard Food Panel yesterday!  For the past year I’ve been working on reducing my inflammation.  If you’ve read my blog then you know I messed myself up pretty bad by eating a low fat/no fat diet in my early 20-30s.  Due to this, my inflammation was through the roof.  So, every six months I retest to see how I’m doing.
Now, the funny here is Dr. Jeff Taylor brought me my results yesterday and said, “I don’t know what you eat – those graphs are high”.  Yes, there is still much room for improvement – which I will accomplish.  But, these are WAY down from where I started.
February 25, 2010 was my first test.  There is a reaction class of 0 (no reaction) to 6 (extremely high).  At that time I had one item in the extremely high category, 13 items in very high, 14 items in high, and 16 items in moderate – that’s 44 foods that are reactive to my system, out of 92!  This was not a good sign for me. 
But, here is the real kicker . . . my one extremely highly reactive food, carrot.  Yes, you read that right, carrot.  The lovable, nutritious, chocked full of great nutrients, everyone should eat their veggies, carrot.  That little orange devil is my nemesis.  OK, maybe that’s a bit strong, but this is why there is no one-size-fits-all food program.  Most nutritionists, registered dietitians, health food fanatics, doctors, you name it, would say eat carrots – they’re healthy.  And that advice would be the worse possible solution for me.  One person’s health food really can be another person’s poison.
Here’s the exciting news though.  The new test is dated March 21, 2011.  Not only do I have zero items in the extremely high category, I have zero items in the very high category. I do have seven items in high and 20 items in moderate.  But, that’s 27 items instead of 44 and all are lower!   
Understand though that these aren’t fried foods or trans fats . . . these are foods considered healthy by most people.  But health is relative to each person’s individual system and the path toward optimal health must be accessed for each person individually.  With proper planning I’ve been able to decrease the inflammation within my body substantially.  This is so exciting, I feel like celebrating.  Let’s see . . . looks like my no reaction items indicate a nice fruit salad of apple, banana, blueberries, pineapple and strawberries is in my future. 

Kellie Hill is the owner of The Right Plan Nutrition Counseling in Medford, Oregon.  Her philosophy is that there is no one-size fits all diet. Because of bio-individuality (each one of us is different), most diets will work for some people and not for others. We need to eat nutrient dense, whole foods that have been properly prepared – real food, as close to the form it was originally grown/raised in, prepared in a way that preserves or even enhances the nutritional value of the food.  Kellie consults with long-distance clients by phone and internet.  She can be reached at 1.541.772.7526 or

This post has been shared with Fight Back FridayFood on Friday and Monday Mania.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spicy Chickpea Dip and Spread

I'm always looking for ways to boost my vegetable intake.  This dip is the perfect vehicle and is full of everything good:  healthy fats, yeast and bacteria fighters, anti-inflammatory compounds, and B-vitamins.

Use this as a dip for crudites, spread it on a sandwich in place of mayo, or add it to a wrap.  The predominant taste is garlic, and lots of it!


1 1/2 Tbsp garlic
1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (no salt added)
3/4 cup good quality olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp brewer's yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sea or mineral salt


Place garlic cloves in a food processor with blade attachment and run until chopped into small pieces.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.  Place in glass container and refrigerate.  Source:

Jamie Oliver is Back!

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution is back for season II beginning tonight on ABC.  This time his focus will be on reforming the LA school lunch system.  Last year he convinced my son to give up processed chicken nuggets.  Can't wait to see what he has in store for us!

This post has been shared with Real Food Wednesday and Pennywise Platter Thursday.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Gluten Free Hamburger Buns, Egg Substitutes and Tics and Tourette's

Quail Eggs
My blog is based on the premise that eliminating certain foods promotes good health for some people.  For many, this includes gluten, dairy and refined sugar.  But what about eggs?  If you've been diagnosed with a sensitivity to eggs, the standard advice is to eliminate them from your diet for a period of three to six months, and then try again.  In my family, elimination of chicken eggs was a disaster.  It led to a severe drop in mood and an increase in severity of tics.  You know, those involuntary movements that afflict 5 to 20 percent of school age children?

Supplementing with soy lecithin helped remove the tics, but nothing was as good as eggs.   Our doctor suggested eating duck or quail eggs in lieu of chicken eggs.  Harder to find, yes, but baking was all of a sudden a lot easier.  You can find duck and quail eggs in some natural food stores or farmers markets.  Other web resources to aid in your search include Eat Wild and Local Harvest, or try a google search in your geographical area.

Eventually, our doctor prescribed sublingual immunotherapy to take a couple of times a day and before every meal that contains chicken eggs.   Since we've started the drops, we've had very few problems with chicken eggs.  If you are interested in finding a doctor to help you with this, medical training is provided from organizations such as the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.  You can search for doctors through their website by state.

Eating eggs or supplementing with lecithin may not be the answer for everyone with tics or Tourette's.  The picture is often more complicated, necessitating changes in diet, and restoring gastrointestinal health.  An excellent resource on this topic is the book  Breakthrough Discoveries in Natural Treatments:  Tics and Tourette's.

Chicken, duck and quail eggs come in varying sizes, and lend slightly different consistencies to baked goods.  The best way to learn about them is to try them in familiar recipes.  Here are some of my latest experiments.

Whole Grain Hamburger Buns

This also makes an excellent dinner roll.


1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup potato flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup teff flour
1/4 cup chia seeds plus 2 tbsp (for soaking), divided
2 tsp xanthan gum (or guar gum for corn free)
1 tbsp baking powder (use Hain featherweight for corn free)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp hemp milk (sweetened, plain)
2 duck eggs
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp brown rice syrup, honey or agave (or add 2 tbsp sweetener and reduce hemp milk by 1 tbsp)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix 1/2 cup water with 2 tbsp chia seeds in a small bowl and set aside.  Mix remaining 9 dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add hemp milk, eggs, olive oil, brown rice syrup, cider vinegar and chia mixture to a mixer and blend well.  Add about a third of the dry ingredients at a time, and mix well.  Divide into 12 balls and form into bun shapes.  They will rise slightly in the oven.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and cook for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Makes one dozen.  Freeze leftovers.  Source:

White Hamburger Buns


1 package Chebe all purpose mix
2 chicken eggs or 9 to 10 quail eggs
1/2 cup rice milk (plain, sweetened)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp tapioca flour


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix eggs, rice milk and vegetable oil in a large bowl.  Add package of Chebe mix, and mix with a fork until blended well.  Add 1 tbsp tapioca flour and mix.  Flour your hand (to prevent sticking) with the remaining tapioca flour and knead dough until smooth.  Divide into four balls and form into flat bun shapes.  They will rise quite a bit in the oven.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 38 minutes.  Makes four buns.  Freeze leftovers.  Source:

This post has been shared with Food on Fridays, Fight Back Friday, Monday Mania, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

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