Friday, June 28, 2013

Melt-in-your-mouth lemon butter cups

Misha cuddles on a sleeping bag while he waits for the late June snow to end.
It's hard to believe that just a week ago I was shivering in my backpacking tent while it rained, hailed and snowed outside. Now, there's a heat wave with temps forecast to reach record 100+ degrees. It is almost July 4th but does anyone understand our weather anymore?

Misha and Nika enjoy the cooler temps in the upper elevations.

Well, I for one will be seeking shade and air conditioning for the next five days. I also will be munching on melt-in-your-mouth lemon butter cups for the Fourth of July and the first of July, second of July and the third of July. You get the picture. Lemon butter cups are addictive.
Melt-in-your-mouth lemon butter cups
Lemon butter cups  (ACD-Phase 1 and up) are like chocolate for those of us who cannot eat chocolate. They should be considered dangerous because they are super simple to make.

Here are the five ingredients you need:

1/2 cup unsweetened sunbutter
3 T. fresh lemon juice
3 T. softened coconut oil or coconut butter
dash of sea salt
2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
Optional: drop of sweetener of choice

 Here's what you do:

Mix your ingredients in a small bowl. You can keep this recipe raw or soften the ingredients in the microwave for easy blending. Spoon the mixture into a silicone mini-muffin pan or individual silicone cupcake containers. Place in the fridge to harden the lemon butter cups. Note: these also can be kept in the freezer for a super cool lemon treat!

"I prefer cool weather and sleeping bags!"


Monday, June 24, 2013

Papaya-avocado pudding and backpacking tales

Nika was the only one enjoying the late June snowfall.
I was sure my latest backpacking trip was going to be perfect. I had spent hours preparing meals and snacks that were ACD-friendly. After all, based on my preparation for the trip, it had to go well.

Temperatures were perfect when we set off down the trail. It was sunny and in the mid 80s. Admittedly, we were heading out late in the day. Yes, we had five miles of steep terrain to over. Yes, there were thunderstorms forecast. Okay, it sounds more like a recipe for disaster and that's exactly what happened.

We couldn't reach our lake destination because snow covered the trail. We ended up camping near the summit when we lost the trail because of snow. That night and the next day we had some of the worst thunderstorms we've ever encountered. Snow, rain and hail pelted our tent where we hovered all night and much of the next day.  The picture above shows the snowy scene that greeted us after we were finally able to emerge from our tents after the thunderstorms passed over.
Sad and soaked we head back down the trail
With fog-shrouded skies, there wasn't much chance our wet gear was going to dry out. The weather wasn't forecast to improve. We decided to cut our losses and head homeward a day early.

Water levels rose with all the new precipitation.
We didn't realize how challenging getting back to our car was going to be. The trails had turned into creeks because of all the precipitation. The new precip made water crossings more difficult. Our malamute, Nika, was too scared to cross in several places. She had to be carried across which resulted in husband, Tyler, ending up in the water and soaked.
Raw carrot-granny apple-sunbutter bites
It was definitely one of those trips that will be memorable, mostly because of the trials and tribulations. But I had some great food!

The Lemon Blueberry Energy Bites were a big hit and easy to eat even when I was too tired and frozen to prepare a meal.  I also had along some yummy Raw Carrot-Granny Apple  Sunbutter Bites, ACD-Phase 2.

Here's what you need:

1 carrot, peeled
1 granny smith apple, cored
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 T. sunbutter
2 T. coconut oil, softened
1 T. coconut butter

 Here's what you do:

Grate the carrot and apple in a food processor. Add in the other ingredients and blend into a soft dough. Shape into balls and store in the fridge.

I finished up most of my energy bites on the trail. The carrot ones didn't hold their shape as well as the lemon blueberry energy bites but they were all delicious. My personal favorite were the lemon blueberry bites.
Papaya-avocado pudding

For my post backpacking breakfast, I made papaya-avocado pudding with a coconut base.

Here's what you need for a single-serving of the pudding, ACD-Phase 2:

1/2 cup fresh papaya chunks
1/2 avocado
1 cup plain yogurt, vegan or other
2 T. fresh or frozen blueberries for topping
Sprinkle of coconut flakes for topping

Here's what you need for the coconut base (makes 2-4 servings):

1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/3 cup ground sunflower seeds
1 T. coconut flour
1-2 T. coconut oil

Here's what you do:

For the base, grind the sunflower seeds in your Magic Bullet or Nutri Bullet-like device. Toss the rest of the base ingredients in and mix into a course dough. Scoop 1-2 T. of the mixture into a small bowl or ramekin. Store the rest in the fridge or freezer.

Prepare the pudding by blending all the ingredients in your Magic or Nutri Bullet (no need to wash it out prior to making the pudding). Layer the pudding over the coconut crust and finish off the pudding with a sprinkling of blueberries, coconut flakes or maybe more of the coconut base mixture.

It was delicious. I wonder how I could make a version of it for backpacking.

Recipe contributed to:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Backpacking food, ACD friendly

Spring hike to Jenny Lake
Backpacking involves hiking to a mountainous destination, such as a lake, with all your gear loaded into a backpack. It’s an activity that can be challenging for anyone but add in multiple food sensitivities, fibromyalgia, candida and stomach issues.

Despite these health problems, my interest in backpacking was rekindled two summers ago, after giving it up for more than a decade. Read about my first outing here: and
 I guess it proves that you don’t have to let food allergies keep you from doing the things you enjoy.

Two weeks ago, my son, Brian, and I did a nine-mile day hike into Jenny Lake near Idaho City. There still was snow to traverse to get to the lake but it was worth the effort.
Brian hikes through the snow to Jenny Lake

I packed in some fresh food, Orange Julius Kale Salad,, and sat by the lake enjoying this breathtaking view while I enjoyed my lunch.

Orange Julius Kale Salad,

 Fur pups, Misha and Nika, loved the snow and the hike with their human pals.

Misha by Jenny Lake

Do you think Nika, a furry malamute, was enjoying her patch of June snow?
Nika reclines on a patch of snow
Now, the fun begins to get ready for a three-day backpacking adventure (sixth in the last three summers). My first backpacking trip with food allergies took a lot of planning. Yes, planning is the key to doing something with food allergies or any health problem.
Raw lemon blueberry bites

I still do a little fuming that I have to do much preparation while my backpacking partners (husband and son) simply pick up a few pre-packaged meals, ready to rehydrate by adding hot water. Their backpacking menu will include freeze-dried eggs and bacon, beef stroganoff and chicken enchiladas.

I'll see how packable these are.

Items, such as these, are loaded with many of the foods, starches and additives that I need to avoid. This year my preparation is complicated by the fact that I have developed a few new food sensitivities, a complication of fibromyalgia.
If they don't hold up, they'll still be yummy!

I began my search to find suitable foods several months prior to our planned trip. I looked on the internet for the freeze-dried foods I can tolerate. The second step involved assembling these foods into safe meals and placing them in heavy-duty storage bags for packing. I also bake my own packable energy bars, muffins, crackers with safe ingredients.

I ended up ordering items from the same companies I have dealt with in the past. They include:  and I purchased carrots, broccoli, chicken, strawberries, blueberries, apples, peaches, butternut squash, zucchini and spinach. I can make a variety of meals and snacks from these ingredients plus a few items from the pantry.

Freeze-dried veggie soup in storage bags for packing

I am packing along lots of veggie soup made from freeze-dried zucchini, onion, carrot, butternut squash, spinach and broccoli. I will stir in some sunbutter for extra protein and freeze-dried chicken can be added.

Freeze-dried butternut squash/carrot/apple pudding with blueberries
For breakfast, I will be trying out butternut squash/carrot pudding with blueberries. I took freeze-dried butternut squash and carrots and pulverized them into a nice powder to rehydrate with water. Again, sunbutter will be stirred in. I also prepared some yummy lemon-blueberry muffins, made with coconut flour for breakfast.

If you're going camping, hiking, backpacking, check out these other energy foods I packed along on previous trips:
 Chocolate fix backpacking bars and 
Backpacking hot cereal
Carrot hemp seed crackers
Cacao spinach chia pudding
Backpacking seed bars

Here’s a recipe for delicious Raw Lemon Blueberry Energy Bites that can be eaten at home or taken along backpacking or camping. Note: I'm hoping they are packable. If not, they can be eaten with a spoon and they'll still be tasty!

Here's what you need:

3/4 cup sunflower seed flour made from ground raw sunflower seeds
3 T. coconut flakes
2 T. coconut oil
1 T. raw coconut flour
1 T. coconut milk or water
Juice of one lemon
2 tsp. of lemon zest
2 T. freeze-dried blueberries (or fresh if eating these closer to home)
1 T. sunbutter
1 T. raw coconut butter

Here's what you do:

Grind your sunflower seeds into flour in a coffee grinder or NutriBullet. Place all ingredients (except freeze-dried blueberries) in a food processor and blend into dough forms. Toss in blueberries and pulse a few more times to mix in. Shape the dough into balls and store in fridge or pack in containers to hit the trail!

Recipe submitted to:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Italian grain-free pancakes with ratatouille topping for you and dad


Italian grain-free pancakes with ratatouille topping
Are men or women more likely to suffer from food allergies? Who gets candida overgrowth more often? Answer: Women are more likely than men to get food allergies and/or candida.
Your dad may be one of those men who didn't escape food allergies and/or candida. For Dad's Day, you can still cook him up something special that will wow his taste buds.
My husband and father of two (RB- Ritalin Boy) doesn't have any food allergies but he still is the inspiration for my Father's Day recipe: Italian Grain-free Pancakes with Ratatouille Topping. RB loves pancakes and tomatoes. I think he could smother everything in ketchup, tomato sauce or salsa.
Italian Grain-free Pancakes with Ratatouille Topping  got a thumbs up from RB when on tested them on him. He's looking forward to another batch on Father's Day.
I've included two versions of my recipe. One is for vegans and the other is for folks like RB who can eat eggs.

Start by preparing the topping.

Ratatouille Topping
Makes 2-3 servings

Here's what you need:

1 small eggplant, diced
2 zucchinis, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
salt and pepper
2 T. olive oil
1 T. dried basil

Here's what you do:

Prepare your veggies. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper. Spread the veggies on a sprayed baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast veggies for about 20 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a bowl and toss with dried basil. Set aside while you prepare the pancakes.

Vegan Italian Grain-free Pancakes

Here's what you need for the pancakes:
(Makes two small servings or one large)

2 T. sunflower seeds

1 T. ground flax

1 T. chia seed

2 T. coconut flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

dash of salt

½ cup pureed squash, such as butternut

1 T. unsweetened sunbutter

1/4 cup light coconut milk (or other non-dairy beverage)

2-4 T. diced, mixed zucchini, red pepper and red onions


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 butternut squash or opt for applesauce. 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. Stir in the mixed, diced veggies.

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.


Grain-free Coconut Flour Pancakes with Eggs


Here’s what you need for the pancakes:

2 eggs

¼ cup coconut flour

½ cup coconut milk or other non-dairy beverage

½ cup pureed butternut squash

1 tsp. baking soda

Dash of salt

1/8 tsp. Italian seasoning

2-4 T. diced zucchini, red pepper and red onion


Here’s what you do:


Mix all ingredients except diced veggies in your food processor. Add the diced veggies to the batter. Heat a greased skillet over medium heat for a minute or two. Pour batter into the skillet two tablespoons at a time to make medium-sized pancakes, and cook until golden, a 3-5 minutes per side. Again, resist the temptation to flip too soon as coconut flour behaves differently than regular flour when cooked.

Recipe submitted to:
Shop kitty, Bailey, helps RB with bike repair



Saturday, June 8, 2013

Raw red velvet cupcakes with coconut butter frosting

Malamute Nika and her cat pal, Bailey
My guilty food pleasure is coconut butter. (See Actually, I don't really feel guilty about eating it. After all, what's not good and healthy about it as long as you don't overdo it?

Coconut butter boosts immunity because it contains lauric acid which is an antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral agent. Coconut butter makes a great snack. You can eat it straight from the jar; blend it with seed or nut butter for an easy-to-make candy-like treat: mix it in smoothies; or drizzle it over berries.

Now, which coconut butter should you buy? I have been a devoted consumer of Artisana Raw Coconut Butter for many years but recently I picked up a jar of MaraNatha All Natural Coconut Butter, a new product.

Okay, I admit I can't stop eating both of these coconut butters. They're delicious but there are some differences.
  • The Artisana is raw and made from 100 percent organic coconut flesh. MaraNatha's product is a blend of "natural" coconut pulp and coconut oil.
  • Artisana is priced at about $12 while MaraNatha is $8.50-9.00.
  • Artisana has about 186 calories per 2 T. serving compared to 220 calories for MaraNatha.
  • Artisana donates a portion of the profits to protect rainforests while MaraNatha makes claim to no such lofty goal.
For a more pourable coconut butter, I prefer MaraNatha but you could achieve the same effect by adding a bit of coconut oil to the Artisana. Which one you buy comes down to how much you want to spend, whether you prefer organic and raw, or like the idea of part of profits going to preserve rainforests. You can make your own but it also can be spendy by the time you add up the cost of your coconut.

Raw red velvet cupcake, topped with coconut butter frosting

Just writing this blog about coconut butter is making me hungry for some! It's a good thing I have some Raw Red Velvet Cupcakes topped with Coconut Butter Frosting in the fridge. I got the idea for these cupcakes from Heather at Heather made a red velvet cake but it contained nuts which I cannot eat. With a little adapting, my cupcakes were born.

Here's what you need:
(Recipe makes about 6 cupcakes)
Recipe suitable for ACD-Stage 2 and up
  • 1 cored and grated red apple such as Gala or Pink Lady (no need to remove the peel)
  • 1 medium raw beet, peeled and grated
  • 2 T. coconut oil, softened
  • 1 T. sunbutter (homemade or store bought)
  • Optional: sweetener such as stevia
  • For the frosting, 2-4 T. coconut butter
Here's what you do:
  • Grate the apple and beet in a food processor. Add the sunbutter and coconut oil and blend. Add the optional sweetener. (Honestly, it needs none!) Resist the urge to start snacking
  • Spoon the mixture into a silicone cupcake pan. Place in the fridge to firm up the cupcakes.

To frost, soften your coconut butter and spoon some on top of each cupcake. Don't forget to lick the spoon!

I'll stand on my head for some coconut butter!
Recipe contributed to:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Liebster Award and Silly Things About Me

The Liebster Award and Silly Things About Me

I’ve recently gotten to know Heather of She hosts Raw Foods Thursdays which is a great source of delicious, raw recipes. Not only are the Raw Foods Thursdays recipes delicious but look at this one from Heather.

I want to thank Heather for nominating me for the Liebster Award. The Liebster Award was created to get to know and acknowledge some of the blogs with smaller numbers of followers. Once nominated, the award is passed on to other blogs. This is a great opportunity to get to know more about all the wonderful blogs out there!

Here’s how it works… After receiving the nomination, the blogger must:
  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you
  • List 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers (as best as you can tell based on the info provided!). They should be bloggers that you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers that you nominated to answer (you cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you)
  • Let all of the bloggers know that they have been nomimated



11 Random Things About Me
1. I love riding my bike all year round even in 30-degree weather.
2. I have been married for 40+ years.
3. I am the admiral on the tandem my husband and I ride. That means even though I'm in the rear, I'm still in charge. Ha! Ha!
4. I am the proud fur parent of Misha (my husky), Nika (my malamute) and Bailey (an orange tabby).
5. I love all kinds of veggies but some don't like me.
6. I raise many of my own veggies in an organic garden.
7. I walk my fur kids, probably 4-5 miles each day.
8. I taught second and fourth grades for 20+ years.
9. My favorite color is blue. I have three blue bikes.
10. My dream vacation would be to go bike touring in northern Italy.
11. I enjoy winter sports, including snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

11 Questions Asked:
  1. When and why did you start blogging? I began blogging about six years ago.. I wanted to share what I have learned in my journey to find solutions to health challenges.
  2. What is one goal that you’ve always wanted to reach but you still haven’t? I want to write a children's book.
  3. What’s one restaurant where you will eat some day? I seldom eat out because of health issues. When I do, I pick unique dining places where they will whip up something good to eat even for those like me who have food challenges.
  4. Who is your most memorable pet and why? All of my fur kids have been memorable. I am enjoying my current fur kids (Misha, Nika and Bailey) because they do everything with me.
  5. If you had a choice between a gift of money or an experience what would you choose? I would pick a gift of experience. The memory stays with you forever but you just spend and forget the money.
  6. Beach or mountain vacation? Mountain. I love backpacking and hiking with my pups.
  7. What snack is your guilty pleasure? Coconut butter. I could eat it every day.
  8. If left alone for 2 hours, all chores and work done, what would we find you doing? I'd be out riding my bike.
  9. Which couple has the most inspiring love story? I admire couples who also work together. So, I'd choose Jan and Stan Berenstain, author and illustrator of the Berenstain books, a series of children's stories.
  10. If you could visit any place where would you go? I'd be touring by bike in northern Italy.
  11. What is the most unexpected event of your life so far? My husband and children ordered a custom-made mountain bike for me for my birthday. They kept it secret for weeks. I was totally surprised!

11 Questions for My Blogger Friends:

1. When and why did you start blogging?
2. If you could choose to be any age, what age would you pick and why?
3. What is your worst bad habit?
4. If I visited your home, what would I be most surprised to see?
5. If you could be any action hero, which one would you pick?
6. What is your favorite, Kleenex-needed movie?
7. What is something you eat all the time?
8. What activity would I find you doing all the time if you didn't have to work?
9. What is your favorite dessert?
10. Describe your dream vacation.
11. What famous person would you love to cook for?

I have nominated some blogs I think are awesome. Here are some new friends that I’ve made through Raw Food Thursdays (, Five Ingredient Mondays (, Weekend Wellness ( and Lunchbox Love at I apologize if I picked a blog that doesn't have smaller numbers.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Orange julius kale salad

Orange Julius Kale Salad

I confess. I am a confirmed beet addict! I have discovered the beet's amazing benefits for one's health, as well as their delicious taste and versatility for cooking. Here are some reasons you should be eating beets too.

  • Beets are rich in fiber, potassium and magnesium.
  • Beet tops are an excellent source of beta-carotene, iron and calcium.
  • Beets help maintain the digestive track lining and keep your digestive muscles strong.
  • If you have a problem with constipation, red beets and their green tops may provide relief. Drinking the water left over after steaming beets will aid digestion too. 
  • Beets can help you determine whether you have low stomach acid. If your stomach acid is low, the urine will turn red or pink after eating beets.
Beets are delicious many ways, including steamed, roasted or raw. I even get a bit of beet in my digestive enzymes. My stomach's ability to digest vastly improved after switching to Beta Plus from Biotics Research Corporation. Beta Plus contains organic beet concentrate.

Perfect for the beet, kale and avocado lover

I eat beets everyday and credit them with my improved digestion. Here's my latest beet creation. It contains kale and avocado, also superfoods.

Orange Julius Kale Salad
(Makes 4 servings or 2 Hungry Girl-sized servings)
Note: Modify for ACD-Phase 1 by omitting the orange.

Here's what you need:
1 small-medium beet, peeled and grated (Hint: get the kind with the tops still on. They are much fresher.)
4-5 kale stems, leaves removed and finely chopped
2 small oranges
1 carrot, peeled and grated
mixed greens

Here's what you do:

To make the orange-avocado dressing, squeeze the juice from one orange. Blend the fresh orange juice with the meat of one avocado and bit of water and dash of salt. Set aside.

Peel the other orange and separate into sections. Slice these sections in half.

Toss the other veggies together in a large bowl. Add the orange pieces. Pour on the orange-avocado dressing and toss. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Spoon the salad over a bed of mixed greens and season with sea salt, if desired.

I love Mom's salad too!
Recipe contributed to: