Friday, February 22, 2013

Sunbutter cookies and hemp seed ice cream

Couch potato husky
Misha, my husky, has taken over our couch. He is now our "couch potato husky." I am hoping I won't have to shoo him off the couch because I need a place to recline while I nurse my unhappy tummy.
My tummy has been temperamental for years but this recent bout with candida has made nearly everything its enemy. I am doing all I can to keep the tummy demons under control.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that a seemingly harmless ingredient in non-dairy milk could be contributing to my problem. Carrageenan, a food thickener used in dairy alternatives, may be the cause of digestive problems and inflammation in sensitive individuals. How does that make you feel? You switch to non-dairy beverages because of milk intolerance and end up with more of the same digestive woes. In sensitive individuals, carrageenan can produce painful cramps, bloating and diarrhea.

 Carrageenan is made from red seaweed and is used as a thickener/stabilizer/emulsifier. It adds nothing in the form of nutrition to your non-dairy beverages. It's simply there because we don't like our milk to separate.
Carrageenan also may be labeled as Irish Moss or Rock Moss as it is made from boiled down Irish Moss or Chondrus Crispus. It can be found in both organic and processed foods including many non-dairy alternatives (almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, hemp milk).

The food additive has been linked to a number of diseases, including gastrointestinal inflammation, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, lesions and cancer. Dr. Andrew Weil on lists carrageenan as a food additive to avoid by those with irritable bowel syndrome or other gastrointestinal disorders. He also cites a study, done in 2001 on animals, which linked carrageenan to ulcerations and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.

 In 1972, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had compiled enough evidence from animal studies to limit the type of carrageenan that could be used in foods. However in 1979, the FDA decided to continue to allow the use of carrageenan and since then, has taken no action on its use in products.

 As with other food sensitivities/allergies, your best control is knowing what goes into the foods you eat. Read labels, keep carrageenan-containing foods out of your shopping cart, do most of your own cooking, and you should be fine. Go to for a complete list of products containing carrageenan as well as safe foods.

Check the labels of alternative dairy beverages carefully as they often contain this additive. There are some brands that do not use carrageenan as an emulsifier or thickener. Write food manufacturers to protest the use of this ingredient.

Homemade hemp milk

Consider making your own almond, soy or hemp milk to avoid this additive. I started making my own hemp milk about two weeks ago. It isn't as pretty as carrageenan-thickened milk but it's cheaper and easy to make. Here is the recipe I am following for making hemp milk.

To make a half gallon of hemp milk, you will need:

One-half cup of shelled, raw hemp seeds

3 cups of cold water
Blender or food processor
Nut bag for straining

Half-gallon glass container


Put the hemp seeds and water in your food processor. Blend for 1-2 minutes.
Pour the milk through your nut bag to strain out hemp seeds.
Store the hemp milk in your glass container in the fridge.

Homemade hemp seed ice cream
How about making some homemade hemp ice cream with your supply of hemp seeds? Talk about a powerhouse of protein in a bowl. Warning: This has a ton of calories, so eat sparingly. I ate just a smidge smeared on some single-serve sunbutter cookies. (recipe below)

Here's what you need:

1 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup homemade hemp milk
optional: 1 T. vanilla rice protein powder
vanilla stevia drops, to taste

Here's what you do:

In a Magic Bullet or small food processor, blend the hemp seeds and water until thick and creamy. Add homemade hemp milk to thin, if desired. Mix in other ingredients or add-ins such as cacao or carob powder. I went with straight vanilla because of candida. Put the mixture in an ice-cream maker and follow the instructions. Or put in the freezer until firm.

Hemp ice cream in ice-cream freezer

I decided to make some cookies to go with my homemade hemp ice cream.

Single-serve sunbutter cookies

Single-Serve Sunbutter Cookies (makes 3)
Here's what you need:

2 T. sunflower seed flour (make my grinding raw sunflower seeds in a coffee mill)
1.5 T. unsweetened sunbutter
1/4 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
vanilla stevia drops, to taste
2 tsp. melted coconut oil
1 flax egg (make by mixing 1 T. flax with 2 T. of homemade hemp milk)

Here's what you do:

Mix everything in a small bowl. Scoop by heaping tablespoons-full onto a sprayed baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees to 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool before transferring to a serving plate.

"Hey, Bailey (the cat). I'll wrestle you for one of those cookies."

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Super seedy sunbutter bars, ACD-Phase 1, grain-free

Happy Valentine's Day, snow-hound style
I've always loved Valentine's Day, at least until this year. Why did I suddenly turn into a Valentine's Day grinch?

I couldn't eat chocolate! I couldn't even eat carob, chocolate's look-a-like. Chocolate is the treat everyone reaches for on Valentine’s Day. More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold for Valentine's Day, according to the National Confectioners Association.

But what if you are like me, unlucky enough to be either allergic or sensitive to chocolate or its alternative, carob?  Maybe you just need to tell yourself how "bad" chocolate really is. (Of course, you know I'm kidding. I'd reach for chocolate in a heartbeat).

You probably don’t want to hear this as you are finishing up some tasty Valentine's Day treats but most people who are allergic to chocolate are actually reacting to ground-up cockroach parts that contaminate every batch. The average chocolate bar contains eight insect parts. The Food and Drug Administration allows anything less than 60 insect pieces per 100 grams of chocolate.

As background, most foods contain what are termed “natural contaminants.” Cockroach parts also make their way into many other foods, including peanut butter, macaroni, fruit, cheese, popcorn and wheat.

Super seedy sunbutter bars with a cup of tea
Well, I was bummed out about the whole chocolate thing but I assume my sensitivity will pass when my candida dies away. As for carob, it has always caused me problems because I am sensitive to legumes. Carob is a legume.
But a girl has to have a treat on Valentine's Day (especially when my hubby is torturing me by eating chocolate in front of me. Look a cockroach leg is hanging out of his mouth). It was time for some Super Seedy Sunbutter Bars, ACD-Phase 1 and grain-free.
Here's what you need:
1 T. apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup alternative dairy beverage
1/2 cup pureed baked spaghetti squash (ACD-Phase 1-2) or sub unsweetened applesauce (ACD-Phase 3 or maintenance)
2 T. ground flax
2 T. chia seeds
Vanilla stevia liquid, to taste
Or powdered stevia, to taste
3 T. unsweetened sunbutter
2 T. melted coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
3 T. hemp seeds
pinch of sea salt
Here's what you do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 X 8-inch square pan with pan spray. I like keeping things simple so just mix everything (but the seeds) together in your food processor on a dough cycle. Then, add in the seeds and pulse a few more times to mix.
Pour the dough into your prepared pan. Pop the pan in the oven and bake about 30-40 minutes until browned and a fork inserted in the middle, comes out clean. Allow to cool. As an option, drizzle on some melted coconut oil and sunbutter for a glaze, as shown in the pictures.
Here's what Bailey, the cat, does when not hanging out in the kitchen.
Maybe next Valentine's Day will find me eating chocolate. In the meantime, I'll keep plugging away at defeating candida.
Recipe contributed to:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Grain-free sunbutter cookies, ACD-Phase 1

Grain-free sunbutter cookies
It's almost Valentine's Day, and I still can't eat chocolate or even carob (thanks to candida). I was almost ready to cry until I made some grain-free sunbutter cookies, vegan and suitable for ACD-Phase 1.
Sunbutter ice cream cookie

Turn these babies into an ice cream sandwich, like the one pictured above, and you have a great treat for your Valentine's Day. I mean, you won't even feel sorry for yourself!

Here's what you need for 12 small cookies:

1 cup finely ground sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened sunbutter
1/4 cup vegetable glycerine (for ACD-Phase 1-3) or agave or coconut nectar for maintenance
Stevia, to taste
Vanilla stevia drops, to taste
2 T. melted coconut oil
2 T. ground flax in 5 T. water

Here's what you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with pan spray.
  • Make it easy. Put everything in your food processor and blend on the dough cycle until well combined.
  • Scoop dough one tablespoon at a time onto the baking sheet. Leave 2-3 inches between cookies.
  • Flatten cookies slightly with a fork and make a criss-cross pattern.
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes until golden around the edges.
  • Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.
Note: I used vegetable glycerine in these cookies. As a warning, vegetable glycerine can have a laxative effect if you consume too much. One tablespoon might be okay for some but not others. For me, I probably will be avoiding this ingredient in the future because I am sensitive to it. These cookies should be perfect without it anyway. However, it is low glycemic and can be used by individuals on an anti-candida diet.

Now, what if you want the piece de resistance: the ice cream sandwich? Make a simple sunbutter ice cream and layer it between two cookies. Drizzle with a sauce, made by combining 2 T. sunbutter, 2 T. melted coconut oil and vanilla stevia drops.

Here's what you need for the ice cream:
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup sunbutter
stevia, to taste
Optional: 2 T. vegetable glycerine or other sweetener

Freeze according to instructions for your ice cream maker. That's it! Pretty simple and worth the effort for yourself or your valentine.

 Or try some carob ice cream with your sunbutter cookies.
Hey Mom, have you got some cookies for me too?

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Coco-spice sauce

Sauted kale and veggies with coco-spice sauce
I just discovered the most delicious sauce. It's so good I think I could eat sawdust if it was covered with coco-spice sauce, suitable for ACD-Phase 1.

My coco-spice sauce was inspired by a recipe in The Plan by Lyn Genet-Recitas. You're going to love this stuff--either my version or her's.

Here's what you need:

  1. 1 large red onion, chopped
  2. Ground ginger, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, black pepper (all to taste)
  3. 1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened and low-fat) Note: Her version uses 1 can of full-fat coconut milk
  4. 3-4 T. unsweetened sunbutter
  5. Sea salt to taste
Here's what you do:

  1. Saute the onion.
  2. Transfer the onion to a food processor or Magic Bullet-like device.
  3. Add the coconut milk, sunbutter and spices to your liking.
  4. Pulse until blended and thick.
Now for the best part: drizzle this sauce on veggies of your choice or blend it into a soup, like Coco-Spice Broccoli Soup, below.

Coco-spice broccoli soup

Here's what you need:

  1. 1 crown of fresh broccoli
  2. 1 zucchini, sliced
  3. 1/2 red onion, chopped
  4. 1 batch of coco-spice sauce
  5. handful of chopped cilantro
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
Here's what you do:

  1. Steam all the veggies until tender. Allow to cool, unless your food processor can handle hot foods.
  2. Add the veggies and other ingredients to your food processor and blend until smooth or slightly chunky if you prefer.
  3. Adjust seasonings to your preference.
  4. Serve hot with a sprinkle of pumpkin seed and chopped cilantro on top.
Beet flax crackers and spaghetti squash crackers

Don't forget the crackers to go along with your soup or salad.

Here's what you need for Beet Flax Crackers:

  1. 1/2 cup whole flax, soaked overnight
  2. 1/2 cup ground sunflower seeds
  3. 1 small beet, peeled and chopped
  4. 1 green onion, chopped
  5. 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  6. 1 T. cumin
  7. salt and pepper to taste
Here's what you do:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with pan spray.
  2. Add the veggies to your food processor and pulse to grind.
  3. Toss in the other ingredients and pulse to blend.
  4. Spread the mixture with your hands on the baking sheet. Make it about 1/4-inch thick.
  5. Score the dough with a knife or pizza cutter to make rectangles.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the crackers are crispy.
Get the recipe for the Spaghetti Squash Crackers here:

"If I win this tug-of-war, can I have some coco-spice broccoli soup? Yummy!"

Friday, February 1, 2013

Game Day grain-free crackers with guacamole topping, ACD-Phase 1 friendly

Football-shaped crackers with guacamole topping, ACD-Phase 1
Can you believe Americans will eat 30 million pounds of snacks on Super Bowl Sunday? Here's what they will be eating:
  • 11.2 million pounds of potato chips
  • 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips
  • 4.3 million pounds of pretzels
  • 3.8 million pounds of popcorn
  • 2.5 million pounds of nuts
Potato chip consumption alone will add up to 27 million calories and four million pounds of fat (the weight of 13,000 NFL offensive lineman). I'm thinking their waistlines would thank them if they snacked on veggies and fruit instead.

What will you be snacking on Super Bowl Sunday? How about some grain-free, football-shaped crackers with guacamole topping? They are tasty, filling and suitable for ACD-Phase 1. I made them in two different veggie flavors, beet and spaghetti squash. If you want to get fancy, you can use a cookie cutter or pattern to cut them into football shapes. Or just cut them into rectanges or triangles. They'll still be yummy.

Here's what you need for the beet-flavored crackers:
  1. 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  2. 1/2 cup coconut flour
  3. 1/2 cup raw grated beet
  4. Optional: 1/2 clove minced garlic
  5. 1/2 tsp. dry cilantro
  6. 1 T. olive oil
  7. Salt to taste

Here's what you do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grind the sunflower seeds in a food processor until they form a coarse flour. Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture forms a sticky ball.
  3. Spread the mixture onto a well-greased baking sheet. Use wet hands to spread and flatten the dough. You want it to be 1/4-inch in thickness if possible. Score the dough with a  knife into desired shapes. (Note: for the football shape, you will need to spread the dough first on a piece of wax paper. Then, cut the shapes and transfer to your baking sheet.)
  4. Place in the preheated oven and bake 25-30 minutes. Leave the crackers in longer if needed.
  5. When the crackers are done, remove from the oven and let cool.

Here's what you need for the spaghetti-squash crackers:
  1. 2 T. hemp seeds
  2. 1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  3. 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  4. 1 T. chia seed
  5. sea salt to taste
  6. 1 T. olive oil
  7. 1/4 cup water
  8. 1 T. coconut flour
  9. 1 cup spaghetti squash puree
  10. 1 tsp. cumin
  11. 1 tsp. dried cilantro
Here's what you do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a large cookie sheet with pan spray.
  3. Grind all the seeds to a coarse grind in a coffee grinder.
  4. Puree spaghetti squash in a food processor.
  5. Add the ground seeds and other ingredients to the food processor, containing the squash.
  6. Pulse to mix to somewhat wet dough.
  7. Spread the dough with wet hands to keep dough from sticking on the cookie sheet.
  8. The dough should be about 1/4-inch thick and in the shape of a large rectangle about 10 X 15 inches. Score the dough with a knife or pizza cutter to create desired shapes.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven.
  11. Spread the crackers and return to oven.
  12. Continue baking the crackers until they are hard and crisp. Turn the crackers over and turn the pan from time to time to facilitate crisping.

Broccoli-kale pesto on beet cracker

You can make a simple guacamole for topping or dipping the crackers. Simply mash one avocado with the juice of one lime. Add chopped red onion, if desired. Season with salt and pepper. For a more spreadable topping, blend the guacamole in a Magic Bullet-type device.

Another option would be Broccoli-Kale pesto, pictured above on a flax-beet cracker. Get the recipe for the crackers here:

Here's what you need:

  1. 1 broccoli crown, separated into florets and steamed until tender and bright green
  2. Leaves from two-three stems of kale
  3. 1/2 cup ground pumpkin seeds
  4. Juice of one lemon
  5. 1-2 T. olive oil
  6. Water if needed
Here's what you do:

  1. Steam the broccoli and allow to cool. Place the cooled broccoli and other ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. Add a dash of water if necessary to reach the desired consistency.
No Super Bowl Party crashing for these guys.

On Super Bowl Sunday, stay healthy and dry, not muddy like my pooch, Misha, and his husky pal, Bailey, and his owner, Michele. Melting snow and warmer temps produced perfect conditions for this pair to become mud-covered huskies. Oh, Michelle got her share of mud too.

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