Monday, February 8, 2016

Dr. Wahls overcoming MS through Diet

This seems to come up quite a bit, recently, so I wanted to post a few helpful links. If you are in Iowa, and you have a chance to go see Dr Wahls speak, I highly recommend it!

Here is a nice review of her diet protocols.

Here is a nice review of the veggie portion

And her book -

More on this when I have more time.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Gluten free Thumbprint Cookies Dairy free Egg free

These are free of many top allergens such as soy, gluten, dairy, and eggs. They are also sweetened with natural organic apricots and stevia. The end result is a delightful little cookie treat that serves as a vehicle for protein without the normal sugar load of a traditional cookie.

  • Apricot puree - boil 1 cup of dried, organic, natural apricots with water until soft. Drain remaining water and puree in blender or food processor. 
  • 2 Cups almond flour (or mix of walnut flour and almond flour)
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp stevia 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp organic palm shortening or coconut oil
Blend shortening/oil with 2 Tablespoons of apricot puree. Add nut flour, stevia, soda, and salt. Blend. Scoop cookies onto stone baking pans and press thumbprint into each. Fill each thumbprint with a small amount of apricot puree. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-15 minutes. Cookies will turn golden around edges when done. Let cool before removing from pan.

*Note, this is a good option for SCD (specific carbohydrate diet), GAPS, or Paleo dietary plan

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Grandma's Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies gluten free & dairy free

 Once a year, I bake cookies that are loaded with sugar and I don't look back. It's Christmas time and while we strive for healthy food choices throughout the year, it's nice to share a trip of nostalgia during December family gatherings. My Grandma made the best chocolate cookies, and she had a never ending supply. I can't imagine how many hours she must have spent baking cookies in her lifetime. For years, I tried to duplicate those cookies, but they never came close. Of course, I bake with gluten free flour, which is a big difference, but even still, the flavor was always off.

While visiting my in laws one day, my father in law shared a cookie he baked for us. I took a bite and froze. That was it! It was gluten free, and it was RIGHT!  What on earth was different? It was the shortening! I have never baked with shortening. I used oils, coconut oil, earth balance, but not shortening! So, off to the store I went. I purchased the Spectrum Organic Palm shortening, and put it together. Now, I bake these for Christmas, and maybe for a special birthday gathering here or there. They are a hit with everyone, and no one even knows they are gluten free. Enjoy.


  • 1/2 Cup Palm Shortening - organic
  • 1/2 Cup Earth Balance butter stick (I used soy free)
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar (not packed)
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Cup all purpose gluten free flour (this is Pamela's Artisan Blend)
  • 1/2 Cup almond flour (or replace with more of the gluten free all purpose)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Cup dairy free gluten free chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix liquid ingredients well. Add sugars, blend. Add remaining ingredients, mix. Bake rounded teaspoons of dough, packed well and placed 2 inches apart. I prefer baking on stonewear pans (like a pizza stone) but you can choose whatever you have in the kitchen.  Bake 10-12 minutes (may vary depending on pan). Cookies will begin to golden all around, and they will be ready. Let set for a few minutes before removing from pan.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Classic Waffles. No frills gluten free dairy free and just right.

Sure, I love to play with whole grains, spices, shortcuts, nut flours. BUT sometimes I just want a good old fashioned waffle like my mom and grandma used to make. The best recipe for this is the one that calls for the egg whites to be whipped to stiff peaks and folded in. Here's mine, though I have found that many variations work great. Enjoy!


  • 3 Cups all purpose gluten free flour (I used Artisan Gluten Free blend)
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder (gluten free)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 large egg whites, whipped until stiff peaks form
  • 4 egg yolks, separated
  • 3 Cups dairy free liquid (I used 2 cups cashew milk and 1 cup sparkling water. You can use dairy free milk of choice)
  • 1 Cup Avocado Oil (or melted coconut, palm, walnut)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Method: mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. In second bowl, mix egg whites until stiff peaks form (the photo shows the egg whites about 3 minutes before they were ready). In third bowl, mix yolks and remaining liquid ingredients. Combine the yolk mixture into the flour mixture and blend together, gently. Next, fold in the egg whites and cook in your favorite waffle maker. Leave fluffy chunks of egg whites! Do not over mix.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Cookies Gluten Free and Dairy Free

I am doing some recycling this year...recycling recipes! Here are my cookies from last years gift giving tins. I haven't shared the last recipe yet (need to tweak it slightly) but it is on my list of things to do in December. In the mean time, if you are like me then you are ready to start baking and freezing for holiday gift giving!
Here are some of our favorite cookies to share.

Merry Christmas Cookie Tins - Gluten free and dairy free

I have been baking up a storm the past few weeks, getting ready for the holiday gift giving. The results are in, and it's a sweet success!

My freezer is loaded with plenty of sweets to share with friends and loved ones in the days to come. What better way to share in the season then to pass the recipes along to all of you!

1) Peanut Butter (Nut Butter) Chocolate Chip Cookies - gluten and dairy free. Can be peanut free
This is the easiest recipe! Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
1 cup nut butter/seed butter (natural - no added sugars)
1 cup lakanto, sugar, or sugar substitute of choice
1 egg (can be omitted for egg allergies)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Mix in Enjoy Life Food mini chocolate chips to taste.
Mix with fork, spoon onto stoneware baking pan, and flatten slightly with fork.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, check for doneness. Cookies should just begin to brown, lightly, around the edges. Let cool before removing from pan.

2) Mexican Wedding Cookies - gluten free and dairy free - adapted from Living Without Magazine
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
1 cup earth balance butter sticks, melted (they make soy free, now, in the tubs!) or coconut oil or palm shortening
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 tsp flax seed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnut flour or coarsely ground walnut meal
1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
First mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar with melted 1 cup butter and vanilla. Then add all ingredients and mix well. Let it chill for 30 minutes - 1 hour.
Scoop into 1 inch balls and leave them rounded up, not flat.
Cook for 20 minutes at 325. They should not really turn brown, but they should be set. I let mine just start to get a tad golden on the edges.
Then, scoop them into a bowl of powdered sugar and coat them, once, while warm. Layer them for freezing and enjoy!

3) Mini Chocolate Cupcakes: head on over to my mix review page if you're not sure which cake mix you want to buy. The ones in this photograph are the new mix by Betty Crocker for chocolate cake, gluten free. Follow package directions.
To frost these cupcakes, I melted Enjoy Life Food chocolate chips in a double boiler with just enough coconut milk to soften and smooth. I drizzled the chocolate ganache onto the muffins, and put them in the freezer to set. Easy and delicious. No one will know it's a gluten free dairy free mini cupcake treat!

4) Choclate Coconut Candies rolled in Cocoa Almond Crumbles - gluten free dairy free candy
In a double boiler, heat water over low-medium heat, and let Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips begin to melt. Stir constantly. For aproximately 1 cup of chocolate chips, add 1 tablespoon of coconut milk (or more as needed to make chocolate smooth). Remove from heat, and continue to stir. Drop into balls onto a sheet lined with crushed cocoa almonds (I used the Blue Diamond brand and crushed them in a mini food processor). Place in freezer to set.
Alternate candy treat - roll pitted dates in melted chocolate mixture, and cool.

5) Ginger and Spice - Here are two recipes we've used for the holidays and both are gluten free, dairy free, and soy free.

a) Lebkuchen
These rolled out well and made great looking dark brown crisp cookies with a strong spice flavor! Good for turning into ornaments, decorating, or possibly using as gingerbread house material (though I haven't tried it).
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup earth balance butter (soy free) or palm shortening or coconut oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup vanilla pancake mix - gluten free (I used the Maple Grove variety for the batch in the photo, though I think the kinnikinnick would be yum! Try an all purpose flour mix here, if you prefer.
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
pinch of clove powder
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix ingredients together in bowl. Chill dough. Roll out 1/4" thick (use extra flour for your counter top if needed (or pancake mix gluten free). Cut out shapes and transfer to baking pan.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 7-8 minutes, or until golden. I strongly prefer using a stoneware pan for cookies. They can cook evenly without burning on the bottom! Highly recommend getting a stoneware pan and seasoning it, then enjoying it for years to come.

1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix and top when cookies have cooled completely.

The review: Now, this is a strange flavor combination, but I liked it! If you like bold flavors, lemon, and spice then I recommend this cookie for your roll our efforts. The batch is small enough that it makes a good first run effort, too.

b) Gingerbread Cookie that is really a Spiced Sugar Cookie
This recipe was an adaptation of the Disney posted gingerbread recipe, and it is not a gingerbread cookie at all! It's a sugar cookie with spices. But it does roll out and it will work for making a gingerbread house. It will just be lighter colored that what you're used to. Works well for a spicier version of a sugar cookie (which I prefer!)

1 cup softened earth balance butter (soy free) or palm shortening or coconut oil
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 regular eggs
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 2/3 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I used the Stashu's mixture, which is not vegan as it contains gelatin, but you could use any all purpose gluten free flour mix)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
Blend the butter sub and sugar. Add ingredients bit by bit until well blended. Let dough cool in fridge for 1-2 hours before rolling out aprox 1/8 inch thick. Cut out shapes and bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. I had to cook mine longer than that, as I was using the Stoneware pan and it took closer to 22 minutes! If you are using a glass or tin pan, check for doneness early on.

The Review: Remember those cookie stores that sell giant sugar cookies arranged on sticks in a basket? Well, this tasted like one of those...the spice version. But gluten free. So that is a good thing, but it wasn't the gingerbread flavor.

6) Truffles - Let's not forget these delightful dessert gifts!

  • 1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2/3 cup of coconut milk
  • additional 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 6 ounces of gluten free dairy free chocolate chips
  • 12 additional ounces gluten free dairy free chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Mix the coconut, 2/3 C coconut milk and let sit, covered, for an hour at room temperature for the mixture to blend.
Melt the 6 ounces of chocolate in a double boiler, uncovered. Stir constantly and remove from heat when chocolate begins to melt. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut milk and mix in well. Add the coconut mixture and stir thoroughly. Chill for an hour, or until firm enough to scoop and retain shape. Scoop the truffles with a small cookie dough scooper and place on a glass pan in fridge.

In a double boiler, melt remaining chocolate, holding back 1 ounce of chocolate chips, and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. As the chocolate begins to melt and soften, remove from heat and add remaining chocolate. Remove from heat element, yet leave over the double boiler or warm towel. Mix in with the heat of the melted chocolate, and stir constantly until smooth.

Scoop out the truffles, drop into melted chocolate, roll quickly and remove with fork. Place back on glass pan and move onto next truffle, quickly. Continue until all truffles are coated. Let chocolate cool to room temperature and harden, and enjoy!

Easier method: make the truffle inner, but instead of doing the chocolate dipped outer, roll the truffle in crushed pecans, cocoa powder, or finely shredded coconut flakes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Gluten Free Pie Crust - the BEST mix out there

I have tried many gluten free pie crusts, and I like most of them. Gluten Free Pantry, for example, has a very nice old fashioned pie crust. You won't be disappointed, however my FAVORITE is the Breads From Anna pie crust mix. It's that time of year when I stock up and start baking pies and tarts, and that requires a stock up on Anna's mixes. This year, you can find her mixes on Amazon and Vitacost, which makes my life easier.
What is so great about this mix? Let me break it down:
1) It's super easy! You just add two liquids, mix with hands and PRESS into pie dish or mini muffin pans. EASY
2) High quality ingredients - I love that Anna's mixes use a variety of great ingredients, and that they don't rely on the simple rice/corn/tapioca trifecta.
3) Flaky and delicious. The end result is always the right texture and taste.

Above, you can see that I used a 9" pie dish and pressed half of the dough into the pie pan. Now, you CAN make beautiful lattice topping with this mix. It's pretty simple. Just roll out the dough between two sheets of wax paper, and place in the freezer for 15-30 minutes. At that point, you can cut it and lay it. I was in a hurry to serve this with our supper, so I didn't take the time for that step, which is why my topping is messy, but it didn't stop this pie from being devoured.

If you haven't tried Anna's mixes, I highly recommend her pumpkin bread mix, and her pie crust.  For Thanksgiving, her herb bread would be a delightful base for stuffing, too! Enjoy.

PS - Anna's pie crust makes a great jam tart. This mix works perfectly for 18 mini muffin tin sized tarts. Here's how it's done: Click here.

Need something to fill that pie crust? How about a Chicken Pot Pie recipe?

Want to try that pumpkin pie, shown above? Click here.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Turkey, Gluten Free Stuffing, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes and Gluten Free Gravy

Because let's face it...I'm thankful in September, too. The weather has finally dipped down into fall temperatures and suddenly, I'm craving turkey. Well, to be completely honest, I was craving the STUFFING and GRAVY, but usually those accompany the turkey meal.
So, I wake up and toss together a feast for our Saturday (and plenty of left overs to feed us all week!)

The turkey: I don't do anything fancy. I just follow directions, keep it covered for most of the cooking time, and so far I haven't had any bad turkeys. I do tend to pick 20lb + birds, and then I invite as many people as I can to help us eat that much food!

The stuffing: This time, I whipped up a batch of Breads From Anna dairy free, gluten free, soy free bread mix. I truly love Anna's mixes. Now that I am feeling the fall, I will begin baking again! So, the can add all your stuffing spices to your bread (Or buy Anna's herb mix), but I wanted some plain slices, so I didn't do that. Instead, I chopped up the loaf (all but four slices) into large cubes.
In a pan on the stove, I sauteed some earth balance butter with
  • 1 chopped small onion
  • 5 chopped stalks of celery
  • 1 tsp sage (ground)
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock - gluten free
I cooked these on low heat, covered, until tender. Add this to the
  • cubed gluten free bread and mix around with hands.
  • Add more chicken stock to moisten. (aprox 1/2 - 3/4 cup)
This time I stuffed the bird, which added at least an hour to the cook time. If you have time, go for it, but if you find yourself impatient (as I typically am) cook the stuffing on the stovetop or bake it side by side with the bird (keep the stuffing covered).

If you like your turkey golden, take the lid off for the last 30-45 minutes of cooking.

The green beans: in a pan on the stove sautee at low heat
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4-5 cups green beans
You can start these early, while the turkey is cooking, and just cook them low and slow. Turn heat off when they are finished, and let them sit, covered, on the stove. Warm a bit just before serving if needed.

The mashed potatoes: Not too much to say about this. Cook potatoes in boiling water, peel them if you like, or leave the cleaned skins on if you like. Mash them up well and add rice milk, salt, and earth balance butter to taste.

The gravy: As SOON as your turkey is done, carefully remove it form the pan and get started on gravy. In a small dish mix together
  • 1/4 cup corn starch or rice flour (white)
  • 1/4 cup water
Put your turkey roaster pan over the stove burners on medium heat (this is assuming your pan is meant to be put over open flame!). Add some of the cornstarch mixture and whisk your turkey juices until they begin to thicken. Add more cornstarch/water mixture as needed. You want to bring this to a boil in order to thicken quickly and easily. As soon as it is to your liking, pour it into your gravy boat and go eat!

Carving the turkey: I highly recommend you watch this short video on how to carve the turkey. It's very effective and easy, plus it makes clean up a breeze!

And it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without the pumpkin pie!
Just Click Here for the recipe to make a traditional pumpkin pie that is gluten free and dairy free, too!

Now, enjoy and look forward to many wonderful foods you can create with the leftovers!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pistachio Chiffon Cake gluten free, dairy free

 This variation on an old classic is a luxurious cake to serve when you have guests. By utilizing an instant pudding mix, you can change the flavor dramatically. The tall stature and light fluffy texture of this cake is a winner. I even prefer this to angel food cake, as it has a depth in flavor and texture that makes angel food seem almost one dimensional by comparison. My sister in law just returned from France, and as she bit into her second piece of the day, she commented that she forgot she was eating a gluten free cake. The texture will fool anyone.
So, if you have a couple hours to spend in the kitchen, and someone to share with, this is worth the effort.

Ingredients for cake:

  • 9 eggs (separate whites from yolks, discard 3 yolks)
  • 2 cups Pamela's Artisan blend gluten free flour 
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 lightly rounded tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tsp pistachio instant pudding mix (or other instant pudding mix of choice)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Begin by separating the yolks from the whites into 2 bowls. Discard 3 yolks. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl (the glass bowl pictured) and make a well in the center. In a measuring cup, mix the 5 tsp of instant pudding mix with 3/4 cup of water. Add to the flour mix. Also add in the egg yolks, vanilla and mix well until smooth (3-4 minutes).

With clean beaters, bring the egg whites and cream of tartar to stiff peaks in a separate clean bowl. Beat on medium high until stiff peaks form. Fold the fluffy whites into the batter mixture. Folding does not need to be perfect (see photo of nearly finished folded batter to the right)

Pour into a fluted tube pan or angel food cake pan. I opted for a fluted tube pan, and I had a bit extra that I cooked in a separate glass dish. You can cut through the batter in a figure eight motion to eliminate air bubbles (this is done with a knife).

Fill LESS full than I did. You can see I filled mine to the brim, and the result was that it spilled over just a bit in baking. Fill 1/2 -1 inch under that line so there is room to grow. Bake at 325 degrees F for aprox 70 minutes. (check at 60). Cake is done when it springs back to touch and turns golden across the top. Flip upside down to cool (I used a bottle to hold the pan upside down). Cool completely before removing from pan. To remove, take a butter knife and loosen the cake around the sides, then tap from the upside down position until cake falls out onto your platter.

 Once the cake has cooled, I trim the fluffy over growth from the pan (the bottom, so to speak) and put that in a separate container to snack on later. The cake remains to be frosted. You can use a simple sugar icing, a whipped cream, or other. I opted for a basic shortening and powdered sugar frosting, but I added 5 tsp of instant pistachio pudding mix to 4 Tablespoons of almond milk and mixed that into the frosting blend. This enhances the mild pistachio flavor.

While this is more time consuming and less healthy than my average dessert, it is a wonderful cake for special occasions and for specialty flavor requests.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Pamela's Artisan Flour used in Cake - a wonderful gluten free dairy free review

My youngest decided to bake her first cake, completely on her own.  She jumped in with a tricky recipe, deciding to make an espresso chocolate chiffon cake. I didn't have high hopes for this beast turning out, but a wonderful friend and her daughter suggested the use of Pamela's Artisan blend flour for cake. We sampled a cake our friend made with this flour blend, and it was among the best gluten free cakes I had tried.

So, my daughter followed the standard Chiffon Cake recipe, only changing the flour 1:1 with Pamela's Artisan blend. The result? Perfection.  This particular recipe utilizes folded in egg whites, similar to an angel food cake, the the texture was spot on. Spongy, moist, and delightful.
Now that I am sold on this flour mix for the perfect gluten free dairy free cake, I will look froward to testing out some other recipes and comparing them with the new mix.

Thanks to Shannon and Ariadne for pointing us in the right direction!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Udi's Bread bring protein and fiber to the game Gluten free dairy free

In the world of gluten free eating, many people find themselves transitioning from refined wheat products to refined white rice and starch based gluten free products. The result is high sugar, low fiber, low protein. This combination is not ideal for a healing gut, or for long term health. In the past, I have praised breads for bringing a bit of fiber to the game, but Udi's is coming out with options that surpass previous companies, and I am very glad to see it.

First, the Millet Chia bread serving (2 small slices) contains :

  • 5g fiber, 
  • 2g sugar, 
  • 6g protein
This is a great balance and when you compare the vast majority of breakfast cereals or prepared gluten free breads, you'll find they typically contain far more sugar and far less fiber. Served with eggs, greens, and salsa, this would be a fantastic breakfast rotation item.

The other bread I have to sample is the Udi's Omega Flax & Fiber (serving is 2 small slices). This powerhouse carries with it

  • 6g of fiber, 
  • 3 g sugar, and 
  • 6g of protein per serving.  
This is so much better than many alternatives have been in the gluten free market over the past 10 years. I'm excited to see this. Udi's bread has a nice textures, and it toasts up great. It's convenient as you can pick it up at many locations (Target, Whole Foods, many more). While it doesn't taste as good as a homemade bread, the convenience and health components are hard to resist. The package boasts the 530mg of Omega 3, which sounds wonderful, but the Nutrition Educator in me has to question if your body receives that Omega 3, or if it has already broken down in the making and baking process? I don't know the answer to that, off hand, but I would be interested in researching that further.

The only other downside that I have to address is that some Udi's loaves come with large air bubbles in the bread, making it somewhat unusable. It doesn't happen with every loaf, but it happens sometimes.  Udi's is aware of this problem and they are working on fixing it.  In the meantime, if you have a loaf like that, save your plastic tag and information and just let them know via their comment section of their website for a replacement loaf. Hopefully their fixes will be made soon. In the meantime, enjoy your bread again! Just don't forget to balance it with fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins.  Not all Udi's products are dairy free, but these two are both gluten free and dairy free. Keep checking Udi's options for new and improved delights.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Cherry Almond Coconut Cookies SCD safe gluten free dairy free

The use of coconut flour instead of coconut flakes makes this batch crispier than the other SCD cookies on my site. If you're looking for a crispier grain free option that packs a flavorful punch, give this a try. This is a nice protein packed sweet snack option that travels well. It's specific carbohydrate compliant as well as grain free. Gluten free and dairy free, as always. Enjoy!

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (or omit - chocolate chips added, sparingly, for my kids in the photo, though these cookies do not need it)
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil 
  • 1/2 cup honey or 1/4 Cup honey + 1/4 tsp stevia liquid
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together and bake, on stoneware pans, at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until cookies begin to golden around edges and bottom. Let cool. I like to use a small cookie scoop to quickly pop these onto the pan, and then lightly press them down with a fork. They will cook fine without being flattened, but they do not flatten and spread out in baking so you may prefer to press them down a bit.