Monday, September 27, 2010

Gluten Free Birthday Dessert!

Birthdays! Who doesn't love 'em? Well, today (technically yesterday) is my birthday, and since I love baking I made my own concoction.

The trouble was I couldn't decide what to make, and threw something together last minute. But it turned out! And it's a bit different, which is good.

So what did I make?

I made Maple Walnut Buttermilk cupcakes (gluten free) with Pumpkin Custard for frosting. The key to these is I have been on the lookout for frosting alternatives to avoid the powdered sugar. I have found a few but none yet that have been ideal. This is my favorite alternative thus far! Plus is perfect with the onset of fall. It's fairly simple, not too sugary, but rich and will compliment a cake well.

I can't give you the recipe for the cupcakes because I didn't write things down as I was putting them in the bowl.  I could give estimates but that doesn't help most bakers.

However, I will give you the recipe for this awesome pumpkin custard topping. Note, you don't need cake for pumpkin custard, go ahead and eat it by itself.

Pumpkin Custard

One Pie pumpkin, baked.
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 cups heaving whipping cream
2 T whole cane sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon clove
1 T coconut oil (optional)

Blend or food process pumpkin with maple syrup, coconut oil, and spices.

Remove pumpkin and add to a large bowl.

In blender or food processor blend whip cream and whole cane sugar until thick, being careful not to over blend. This part is important! Note make sure to use good quality cream from pastured cows.

Add whip cream to bowl with pumpkin and fold in. Voila! You have a great dessert.

I also received a dessert book for my birthday, the pages are golden and it is huge and shiny. I feel overwhelmed looking at it with so many new recipes to try. Hopefully you will all see some of them soon on this blog, but modified, of course, to encompass my whole foods approach.

I hope you are all enjoying fall. It is a great time of year to start reflecting and making the journey inward as we prepare for the cold. If you haven't had the chance it's not too late to do some preserving. I am making lacto-fermented pickles as we speak. I also made some blackberry/Italian plum agar agar jam (recipe to be posted soon) to go in my freezer. I also plan on making garlic honey and infusing some oils and vinegars for later use. What do you do in your kitchen to prepare for the cold season ahead?

This post linked to Monday mania!

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This posted linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Corn Chowder

If you haven't noticed yet it's harvest season! Perfect time for vegetable dishes of all types. Here is a great chowder using fresh corn, fresh potatoes and fresh peppers! This would turn out well later in the year when peppers are from Mexico and the corn is frozen, but if you get the chance try it now. Your body will appreciate it.

The first trick to this recipe is the corn. You may already know this but I just found out from Rebecca Wood's book The Splendid Grain that corn grated on a cheese grater (large holes) works fantastic for soups and other corn baking dishes. It is messy, however, but worth the extra effort. It is also easier to do this by cutting the ears of corn in half. Use all of the milk from the corn as well and if needed run a knife over the outside of the cob afterwards to pull off excess corn (Tip: wear an apron.) I also didn't have broth on hand for this dish, so if you have it replace the water and bouillon with vegetable or meat broth.

Julie's Corn Chowder
Serves 3

Four ears of corn (prepared according to directions above)
3 medium potatoes
1 large carrot
1/2 red bell pepper
1 jalapeno
1 small onion
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups water + 1 cube bouillon
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 tea allspice
sea salt to taste

Put corn in the soup pan after it is grated.

Dice onion and bell pepper and saute for a few minutes in butter (or coconut oil) until translucent. Add onions/peppers to soup pot. Add water and bouillon. Cut potato, carrots, and jalapeno and add to the soup (make sure to cut the jalapeno small). Add sage and all-spice. Cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat. Just before soup is done add the milk and salt to taste, and you have a great late summer soup. I ate this with buttermilk gluten free biscuits and apple cobbler. Note, this soup would still be great without the milk!

Fun fact about corn: Corn cannot pollinate itself and needs us in order to survive! Good thing we grow so much of it. The growth of corn is heavily subsidized by the government which is one of the main reasons high fructose corn syrup is so cheap and abundant in our society.

Here is a few pictures of my son Leo. We went on the Whatcom County Farm tour this last weekend. One picture is at Bellwood acres (apple farm) and another is at Cloud Mountain Farm, a nursery in Everson. I'm already excited to go again next year. The weather turned out great for an end of summer outing. Plus, it is important to get to know your farmer! I am lucky that I live in an area so abundant with fresh food. We have many farms here in whatcom county growing lots of fruit and vegetables as well as dairy farmers and animal farms. In the summer months I do my best to eat as local as possible. Since this is a new concept to me within the last few years I am getting better each year. Hopefully next year will be even better. My goal for next year is to make canning a new family tradition. I've made some freezer jam but no actual canning yet.

If you make the soup please leave a comment telling me how it turned out. Enjoy!

Also, don't forget you can still sign up for the Real food for Rookies ecourse! Classes start 9/16/2010. Go here to register

Monday, September 6, 2010

Nourishing Traditions Lacto Fermented Jam and class give away!

I am giving away one class entry to Kelly The Kitchen Kop's Real Food for Rookies Class!

I am excited to give this class away. 

Click here to register!
In Kelly's class, which is 12 weeks long. You will learn about healthy meat, dairy, and eggs. You will learn why is these foods are good and how they will help you maintain great health.
Kelly says it best here:

"It’s time to take control of your health. Doctors want us to be well, but they don’t always know what’s best for us. The USDA and pharmaceutical companies certainly don’t know what our bodies need. Our food supply has completely changed in the last few decades and we’ve never been more unhealthy. It’s time we rediscover the power of Real Food to nourish our bodies so we can live full, active, pain-free lives."

The food Kelly is telling you about is not scary strange health food. But real food. Food your great grandmother probably ate. This is the diet I eat, and I am thankful I found this way of life. I grew up eating boxed foods. Maybe people don't know what to cook beyond easy boxed dinners anymore. This class will teach you how to eat different, but also some EASY meals, and CHEAP meals as well.

Here is Kelly's 12 week class schedule!

You can sign up for 120$ for the entire session, or four payments of 35 dollars. If you have health problems at ALL you are doing yourself a huge favor by taking this class. You can also win the class for you or a friend here! If you enter into the contest you also get a discount coupon off the enrollment fee.

Here is Kelly telling you about the class herself.

So here is how to enter!
1. Leave a comment below telling me you added yourself as a follower of my blog either through RSS feed or google friend connect.

2. Share this post on Facebook or twitter and leave a comment (separate from the first) letting me know you did this. (BONUS- you get two entries for doing this!)

3. Email four of your friends and let them know about the giveaway, and leave a comment telling me you did this.

If you do all of these things you can earn up to four entries! Winner will be chosen at Random. Contest ends Thursday September 9th a noon. Make sure to check back to see if you have won! If the winner doesn't contact me within 48 hours I will choose a new winner. Good luck! Prize value is $120!

Remember, by entering you also get a coupon for a discount off the class! Registration for the class ends 9/15. Classes start 9/16!

Note: I am an affiliate for this class and get a small commission that supports this blog if you sign up through me. Thank you! Click here to register for the class!

And here is the recipe for Lacto Fermented Jam you have been waiting for!

This is from Nourishing traditions. I was excited about this recipe as it's a way to make your jam much healthier. However, due to lacto fermenting things needing salt, it's salty. It's not really salty, but you can taste the salt. It's also not very sweet. It tastes much better on things. I tried some by itself and didn't like it, but I didn't give up and tried some on a thumb print cookie and thought that was pretty good. So you may or may not like this one depending on your tastes, however it's a great way to eat jam!

You need:

Four cups fresh berries. I used blackberries and blue berries. Don't use strawberries, however, they are too acidic.

1/4 cup rapadura (whole cane sugar)
1/4 cup whey
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons Pomona's universal pectin (available at health food stores)
2 teaspoons calcium water (comes with Pomona's pectin)

Add all ingredients together and mash with a wooden mallet or spoon until well mashed. You could try a food processor as well. I used a wooden spoon, but had an after thought that the food processor would have worked better.

Put into quart sized mason jar and close the lid tightly. Make sure there is at least one inch of room from the top of the jar. Leave out for 48 hours to ferment. Then it's done! Store in a cool place or your fridge for up to two months. Enjoy!

Recipe from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

This posted linked to Monday Mania!

And Tuesday blog hop!

And Real Food Wednesday!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tahini Thumb Print Cookies (Gluten Free)

These cookies are high protein and gluten free. Which means they are great for snacks! I made them for my little toddler.

Kelly The Kitchen Kop, as many of you probably already know, is having a class real food for rookies, which you can learn more about here. Kelly's class is an affiliate for my blog so if you sign up you are supporting this blog! Thank you :)

Very soon I will be giving away one free class! So stay tuned if you are interested in taking it. I will also be giving away out a discount coupon for the class as well.

Kelly's class covers the basics of the real food movement. What is that? It means eating like your grandmother, as Michael Pollen put it. Or better yet your great grandmother! We live in a time with many new health problems. We live in a time where many people lack cooking skills, and in turn lack those skills to teach to their children. There is a lot of confusion about what diet is actually the "healthy" diet and what should we actually be eating. That knowledge used to be passed generation to generation but now that system is broken. Taking Kelly's class helps restore that knowledge as it is about food people ate traditionally. What kind of food is that? Meat, dairy, butter, and fermented foods, to name a few. Foods that you probably thought were bad for you. But meat and and dairy have potential to be very good for you if used correctly! The Real food for rookies class will show you how and WHY you need these foods to be healthy. You may think it's a bit odd to hear me promoting meat on my vegetarian blog! But I do think grass fed animals can play a very healthy part in a diet. But I also don't think you HAVE to have meat to be healthy.

I've been a much healthier happier person since finding and eating real foods. My moods have stabilized, my weight has stabilized, my skin is clearer, my hair is shiner. It's a pretty good way to diet. Basically, eat good whole foods = feel awesome!

And here is that cookie recipe you have been waiting for!

High Protein Tahini Gluten Free Cookies

1 3/4 cups Rice Flour
1/2 cup hemp flour
1/2 arrowroot flour (or tapioca)
1 t xantham gum
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t sea salt

Mix Dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl mix together:

1/2 cup good quality tahini
2 T coconut oil (or palm or butter)
1/2 cup rapadura (whole cane sugar)
1 EGG (if you don't eat eggs use 2 T flax seed in 1/4 C hot water)
1 T maple syrup (optional if you don't have it)
2 T applesauce
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon

Add wet and dry ingredients together. If you think the dough is a bit dry you can add more applesauce.

Roll into little balls and press down with your thumb. Bake for 12 minutes at 350. I left my cookies black for the most part, but you can fill them with jam, or an almond, or any other cookie fillings you have laying around! I recommend apricot jam. I filled a couple with habanero raspberry jam that was amazing, but too hot for my toddler!

This post linked to Real Food Wednesdays!

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Thanks for reading!

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