Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blueberry-beet ice cream, ACD-Phase 1 and 2

"The humans get to sit on the floor. We've taken over the furniture."
Happy Easter from the contented trio (Misha, Nika and Bailey) and myself! Last week, I was ranting and raving about spring never really arriving. Well, that has definitely changed. It feels like spring now with temps in the 70s. It's time to dig out my shorts and flip flops. Oh, and how about some ice cream, ACD-style?

Blueberry-beet ice cream, ACD-Phase 1 and 2

Even with my current dietary restrictions, I can enjoy a bit of "ice cream" now and then. Blueberry-beet ice cream is super easy to make. It takes only three ingredients (four if you use sweetener). Actually, this ice cream tastes delish without any added sweetener.

Here's what you need for six servings:

1 medium beet, peeled, diced and steamed until tender
1 cup blueberries, microwaved for about 1 1/2 minutes
1 can full-fat coconut milk or homemade coconut milk, chilled
Optional: stevia or other sweetener of  your choice

Here's what you do:

Peel, dice and steam one medium beet until tender. Put one cup frozen blueberries in a microwaveable container. Microwave for about 1-1/2 minutes to release their juices. Cool both beets and blueberries in the fridge.

Add cooled blueberries and beets to a food processor and blend into a puree. Pour in one can, chilled coconut milk. Continue blending. Pour the mixture into your ice cream freezer and follow instructions to make ice cream. Eat immediately and store leftovers in the freezer.

What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Right now, mine is blueberry-beet!

Recipe contributed to:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

PBJ breakfast flatbread

Can you believe this motley, but loveable, crew?
I want to sue Punxsutawney Phil. Where's the early spring he forecasted? I am so sick of cold weather!

I am giving my full support to an Ohio prosecutor who is seeking the death penalty for Phil because of his flawed forecast. Okay, maybe he shouldn't get the death penalty but he should at least have to live on bread and water for a few days. What do you think? Here's the link to the story:

"PBJ" breakfast flatbread

I needed a quick pick-me-up from the endless winter weather (even though the snow hounds love it). I wanted to reach for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but that wouldn't work on the candida diet. Jelly and peanut butter are both taboo.

No PBJ but still delicious!
Instead, I came up with an ACD-Phase 1 version that works for me.

Here's what you need for one large flatbread:
(Note: You also can make two smaller flatbreads out of this recipe.)

2 T. ground sunflower seeds
1/4 cup spaghetti squash puree
1 T. coconut flour
1 T. unsweetened sunbutter
1 T. ground flax
1 T. chia seed
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Here's what you do:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet.

Blend the spaghetti squash, sunbutter and coconut milk in your food processor. Then add the rest of the ingredients and continue blending. The dough will be thick.

Spread the dough with your hands into a large circle on the baking sheet. Pop into your preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes until the flatbread is dry and crispy.

While the flatbread is baking, whip up your toppings.

Here's what you need or improvise if you like:

1/4 cup frozen blackberries, thawed
1/4 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
1 T. unsweetened sunbutter, thinned with some coconut milk to a frosting-like consistency
1/4 cup pre-baked squash pieces (I used delicata squash)
1 T. Artisana coconut butter for drizzle

To assemble, spread the sunbutter topping on the flatbread. Then, add fruit and squash pieces. Finally, drizzle on the softened coconut butter. Heat slightly in the microwave, if desired.

What do you think about Punxsutawney Phil's bad forecasting?

Recipe contributed to:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Shamrock shake pancakes with minty avocado drizzle

"We like St. Patrick's Day too because we're sure Mom will cook up some treats for us."
Happy St. Patrick's Day! I've been dreaming about shamrock shakes ever since March arrived. Then, I saw a vibrant green shake advertised on television. It was kind of a leap and a jump but I ended up making shamrock shake pancakes, ACD-friendly, vegan and without artificial additives and sugar.

Shamrock shake pancakes with minty avocado drizzle
These pancakes are ACD-friendly, vegan and free of artificial additives and sugar. My stomach would never tolerate anything else, thanks to candida and leaky gut syndrome (LGS). (For those of you who are squeamish, skip this part and jump down to the recipe for the shamrock shake pancakes.) LGS is a layman's term for increased intestinal permeability. Chances are, if you have candida, you have it.

LGS can be attributed to years of eating foods that are inflammatory for your body, as well as candida. Your intestines have a mucosal barrier that keeps bacteria, antigens and undigested food from leaking through.

Normally, this barrier is pretty tight but when you are eating reactive foods, ingesting irritating substances or have candida, it can start to loosen its tightness. If this goes unchecked, the permeability increases and microscopic amounts of undigested food can go directly into the bloodstream. Your body now recognizes these foods as invaders and starts to prepare an inflammatory response.

Eventually, even the friendliest foods can trigger gas, bloating and constipation. I can speak from experience on this since my list of friendly foods has dwindled with my latest candida and LGS bout.

L-glutamine can help heal your gut but sometimes, as in my case, you need to bring in something more powerful. I am taking Glutagenics which allows you to take a higher dose of l-glutamine than you can obtain from capsules. After taking it for about 2 1/2 weeks, I am beginning to see some improvement.

Shamrock shake pancakes with added avocado chunks
Okay, enough of the health talk. Let's get down to cooking and eating.

Here's what you need for the pancakes:

2 T. sunflower seeds
1 T. ground flax
1 T. chia seed
2 T. coconut flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash of salt
1 medium zucchini, steamed until tender
1/4 avocado
1 T. unsweetened sunbutter
1/4 cup light coconut milk (or other non-dairy beverage)

Here's what you do for the pancakes:

Get your coffee grinder out. Put in the sunflower, chia and flax seeds. Grind these ingredients until they form a flour. In a food processor, puree the steamed zucchini and avocado. Pulse in the sunbutter and coconut milk. Add in the "flour" from your coffee grinder, coconut flour, spices, salt and baking soda. Continue to mix. Your batter will be thick. Resist the temptation to thin it out with more coconut milk.

Heat up your skillet on low medium to medium setting. Spray with pan spray and add a bit of olive oil. Divide the batter into four medium pancakes. Flatten slightly with a spoon or spatula. Cook 5-6 minutes per side. Resist the temptation to flip too soon. Test by lifting each pancake to see if it holds together before turning.
Shamrock shake pancakes with yummy minty topping
Here's what you need for the shamrock shake topping:

1 ripe avocado
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/4-1/2 teaspoon mint extract (alcohol free)
Stevia, to taste

Here's what you do:

Pulse everything until smooth and creamy in your food processor. (Note: You will have lots of extra but that's a good thing. Turn the extra into popsicles or ice cream, made in your ice cream-maker.)
Serve the pancakes with the minty shamrock topping and extra avocado chunks, if desired.

"Wow, we love anything that's green and minty!"
Recipe contributed to:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Grain-free blueberry cupcakes, ACD-Phase 1

Where's Bailey? Find the cat, obscured by the big dog, in this picture.

In my recent round of candida, I realized I was relying on stevia way too much. It had become my addiction in place of sugar. I was putting it in everything, including my water. I even read that it can impede weight loss.

I decided to try eliminating it for a day, which has grown into three weeks now. Everything tasted rather blah at first. Then, it dawned on me that I hadn't really been tasting my food but rather the stevia. After a few days, I began to appreciate the taste of all my food, including my tea, without stevia.

But I still wanted to enjoy sweet-tasting things. What was there for someone who can't eat but one serving of fruit a day? I felt so sorry for myself until I rediscovered coconut butter. It's so delicious, just the way it is! Mother Nature created this perfect food.
Baked cinnamon-tossed acorn squash, drizzled with coconut butter

I've been using it in many different ways. One of the simplest is drizzling it on baked squash pieces, tossed in cinnamon, shown above. It makes a delicious and wholesome dessert. Note: it's recommended that individuals with candida consume no more than two servings of squash per week.

Grain-free blueberry cupcakes with coconut butter frosting

Now, for the piece de resistance: grain-free blueberry cupcakes, topped with blueberry coconut butter frosting. Note: these would be great for St. Patrick's Day as the coconut flour in them turns greenish when baked.

Grain-free blueberry cupcakes with blueberry coconut butter frosting (sweetener-free)
Makes 6-8
Here's what you need for the sweetener-free cupcakes:

1 T. apple cider vinegar mixed with 2/3 cup dairy-free beverage, such as coconut milk
1/2 cup baked spaghetti squash puree
juice and zest of one lemon
1/2 cup freeze-dried blueberries
2 T. ground flax seeds
2 T. ground chia seeds
3 T. unsweetened sunbutter
2 T. melted coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 T. baking soda
dash of sea salt

Here's what you need for the frosting:

1/2 cup blueberries (I used defrosted frozen ones)
1/4 cup unsweetened sunbutter
1 T. melted coconut butter
3 T. softened coconut butter
Sweetener-free cupcakes

Here's what you do for the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin cups with pan spray. Add all ingredients for the cupcakes, except freeze-dried blueberries, to a food processor and blend. Remove the dough to a bowl and stir in the blueberries. Spoon the dough into muffin pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes until they are well browned. Remove and allow to cool.

Here's what you do for the frosting:

Add all frosting ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cupcakes. Transfer to the fridge to chill and firm up the frosting.

Blueberry balls with coconut butter

Here's another use for the delicious frosting. Make blueberry balls, drizzed with coconut butter. Yummy! I don't even miss stevia (okay, maybe just a little).

"I get the first blueberry cupcake, Bailey."

Recipes contributed to:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Snowshoeing food: carrot hemp seed crackers

Snowshoeing with gear for an overnight stay at a yurt
No winter for me is complete without an overnight stay in a yurt. Here we are trekking into a yurt, operated by the Idaho Parks and Recreation Department. Mother Nature provided us with fresh snow that fell the entire way in and continued until daybreak.
Once we reached the yurt, it was time to relax!

Trees flocked with fresh snow
In the morning, we were greeted with a picture-perfect mountain scene.

Imagine the happiness of the chocolate lovers in our group when we found this awaiting us at the yurt.

What was left of the carrot hemp seed crackers after I started munching
Alas, for me, it was carrot hemp seed crackers smeared with sunbutter instead of chocolate. These crackers are ACD-phase 1-friendly while chocolate is not.
Here's what you need:
3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
2 T. ground golden flax mixed with 4 T. water
2 T. unsweetened sunbutter
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, regular or reduced fat
1 cup raw hemp seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon
Here's what you do:
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
To a food processor, add the carrots and grate.
Add the flax and sunbutter. Continue mixing.
Then, mix in the coconut, hemp seeds and cinnamon.
Spread the dough on a large baking sheet, sprayed with pan spray.
Score the dough with a knife into cracker rectangles.
Bake the crackers for 60+ minutes or until dry and crispy.
Allow to cool before storing in baggies.
Single-serve carrot cake bites
After all that trekking, I was ready for a snack when I got home.
Single-serve Carrot Cake Bites (ACD-Phase 1)
Here's what you need:
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
1 tsp. sunbutter, unsweetened
1 tsp. coconut oil, melted
2 T. + 1 tsp. shredded coconut, reduced flat
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash of nutmeg and/or cloves
Optional: 1 tsp. hemp seed or nuts, if tolerated
Optional: stevia, to taste
Here's what you do:
To a food processor, add all the ingredients (reserving 1 tsp. of shredded coconut). Pulse until mixed. Shape the dough into three carrot cake bites. Roll the dough balls in the reserved coconut.