Excellent Primer on Real Foods, Where to Find Them and How to Use Them!

All the ingredients for soaked and cultured pancakes--delicious and nutritious!

All the ingredients for soaked and cultured pancakes–delicious and nutritious!

If you are keen on where to begin on how to use real foods–maybe you’re even wondering where to FIND real foods–then you’ll want to invest in the fantastic education from Kelly the Kitchen Kop.  And, through the weekend of Thanksgiving here in the US, you can purchase Kelly’s trainings at HALF OFF!  Simply enter BLACKFRIDAY as you check out.

What will you receive in Kelly’s trainings?  Here’s a breakdown:

For the Real Food Ingredient Guide E-book, you’ll find:

This revised version is cram-packed with new information.  What I’m most excited about is that it’s set up in a way that gives you exactly what you want in whichever format you need it in at the moment…

  • It has a newly revised 7-page quick reference guide for when you want fast answers to questions like,
    • Will you please just tell me what I’m supposed to buy?!”
    • Or when someone puts you on the spot and you need a quick reminder of “What was so bad about that food again?
    • Or maybe when you’re at the store you might need something to flip to for guidance there on various ingredients, including “good, better, best” options.
    • It’ll also help you know what to look for at your local farm and what questions to ask.
  • It has a more detailed section with facts on the different food groups and ingredients, for when you have time to dig in a little more, and it includes information on where to go for even more in-depth reading and research.
  • If you’re more of a visual learner, you’ll find an easy top ten real foods and top ten junk foods list in pictures.
  • It also includes new bonus material:  How to bring your family from junk food to real food, and how to overcome the six main obstacles everyone faces:
    1. Motivation – You won’t be willing to make a change if you don’t understand why it’s so important!
    2. Confusion/feeling overwhelmed – You’re probably sick of trying to navigate all the information from the ‘experts’ like what’s ‘good’ vs. what’s ‘not good’, especially when that keeps changing; and you just want to figure out the age-old question of “What the heck can I eat?!”  Especially before meal planning or grocery shopping…
    3. How to afford real food – You’ll learn loads of tips all in one place.
    4. Dealing with family complaints – This can wear you down at times, so I’ve got ways for you to get past this one!
    5. How to make time for real food – There are so many ways that I’ll bet you’ve never thought of!
    6. Sticking to it for the long haul – This is often what trips people up.  Life gets in the way and you find yourself slipping backward.  You’ll learn here how to prevent that from happening or how to get back on track.

And, for Kelly’s Real Food for Rookies Online Class, you’ll receive:

  • 12 weeks of online classes with videos, downloadable audios, and written materials.
  • LIFETIME access! Read/listen/watch at your leisure: on your break at work, while the kids are sleeping, in your pajamas, whatever! If you have a busy week, no big deal, just pick it back up on your own schedule.
  • Exclusive expert interviews with Sally Fallon Morell (President of the Weston Price Foundation), Dr. Kaayla Daniel (author of The Whole Soy Story), Jane Hersey (Director of the Feingold Association), Tom Naughton (Fathead filmmaker), and now one more: Jimmy Moore from the Livin LaVida Low-Carb blog!
  • BONUS: Free copy of the Kitchen Kop Real Food Guide
  • Save time and money while serving Real Food
  • Read labels and avoid dangerous ingredients
  • Make nourishing “fast food” meals to avoid last-minute trips to the drive-thru
  • Find healthier alternatives for soda pop, refined sugars, heart-killer oils, sugar-bomb breakfast cereals, factory farmed meat and more
  • Serve nutrient-dense foods that are necessary for good health
  • Take control of your health and change your family’s future!

Both of these tools are invaluable in your journey to greater health and empowerment for yourself and your family.  It takes a village to recapture  the information that’s been lost over the years in regard to how to take care ourselves with nutrition, and Kelly’s classes and information are priceless in their role of keeping you well!  And, from Thursday, November 28th until Monday, December 2nd 2013, you can get these classes and information at half price, by entering BLACKFRIDAY as you check out.

Wishing you the best!  Here’s to your health and the health of your loved ones!

Heavenly Cake!

Almond and coconut flour raspberry chocolate chip cake--Heavenly delight!

Our family has found a new favorite treat…and the fact that it is made so easily makes it a favorite of mine, for an entirely different reason!  Unlike many coconut flour recipes, this cake is light, not too crumbly, and wonderfully moist.  Once cooled, it has enough body to hold up to application of a frosting, though I love it just the way it is.

I use chocolate and raspberry as my distinctive flavors in this version, though you could certainly try blueberry with lemon zest, amaretto with dried cherries, fig with chopped pistachios…or just plain vanilla.  The options are only limited to your cupboard’s offerings.

This is not an overly-sweet cake, which allows the flavors of the ingredients to shine through.  It is subtle and yummy!

Since you’ll be working with coconut flour, it works best to allow all ingredients to set out and come to room temperature, lest the saturated fat content in the flour makes the batter difficult to blend.

Additionally, almond flour can be store-purchased, but I prefer to make mine fresh, using organic, soaked and dehydrated almonds that I grind in my coffee grinder just before use.

Freshly ground organic almond flour

Raspberry and Chocolate Chip Cake Made with Almond and Coconut Flours

Makes an 8″x8″ cake

4 Eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup Whole-fat, Plain Yogurt, room temperature

1/3 cup Coconut Sugar

1/2 cup fresh Almond Flour

1/2 cup Coconut Flour

1/2 cup fresh or frozen Organic Raspberries

1/3 cup Organic Dark Chocolate Chips

2 tablespoons Vanilla Extract

1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/3 teaspoon Baking Soda

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Fahrenheit.

 

Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl, and all liquid ingredients in another, mixing each well.

Separation of dry and wet ingredients for good blending

 

Include the chocolate chips and raspberries to the dry ingredients and coat with flour mixture.

Coating the berries and chocolate chips in the flours

 

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, and mix to combine.

Consistency of batter before baking

 

After greasing either a square or round 8″ baking dish with ghee or coconut oil, pour in the batter and smooth the top with a spatula.

Place cake in the center of the oven and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Heavenly cake, fresh from the oven

 

Allow cake to cool in baking dish before removing to a non-plastic storage container and refrigerate.

 

Enjoy!

 

Dehydrated Sprouted Quinoa Flour

Freshly ground sprouted quinoa flour 

Dehydrated sprouted quinoa flour is very simple to make–it just takes a couple of days to complete.

So, if you think you’d like to have some on hand in need of a quick recipe, simply increase the amount of raw quinoa you’re going to sprout and dehydrate. Once dried very well, store any unused portion, unground, in an airtight, refrigerated container. I would suggest using within a couple of weeks, and be sure to check the aroma that it still smells fresh before grinding–if there was any moisture remaining in the dehydrated sprouts before refrigerating, they can mold.

If this seems like too much trouble, then you can purchase raw, sprouted quinoa flour as well. It might be smart to just keep a box or two on hand.

To make your own sprouted quinoa, rinse and then soak 1 cup of raw quinoa in a ceramic or glass bowl or jar, in enough fresh, warm water and 1-2 T fresh yogurt or kefir or raw apple cider vinegar to cover by at least one inch.  Soak for 5-6 hours, or overnight, at room temperature.

When complete, strain off and rinse the quinoa.

Next, return to the rinsed bowl or jar, cover loosely with a paper towel secured with a rubber band, and place in the refrigerator for another day.  Look for the little white tails of sprouting—if there are none the following day, rinse again and return to the refrigerator. 2 days of this should definitely yield sprouting.

Rinse one more time, then scatter the drained quinoa over a dehydrator tray and set the temperature to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, overnight.

The next morning, your quinoa sprouts should be dry and crunchy. Store them whole in a glass jar or bowl in the refrigerator.  When you’re ready for flour, simply grind them in a clean coffee grinder for fresh, nutrient-rich sprouted quinoa flour!

Sprouted quinoa before dehydration 

Dehydrated sprouted quinoa, ready for refrigeration, or grinding into flour 

Sprouted quinoa flour

Looking for healthy recipes that are always gluten-free, grain-free and organic?

Look no further!

With these recipes, discover the joy of eating nutritious, tasty foods that are always gluten-free and grain-free .

Learn to make salads that eat like a meal in themselves, protein-rich breakfast foods that will keep your energy balanced, and yummy superfood snacks for when you’re on the go.

When looking over the recipes, the following is a given:

• I use organic produce, herbs and spices to the best of my abilities

• I use locally-grown produce as it’s available

• I use organic, free-range or wild-caught eggs and animal proteins

• Salt is always some type of sea salt

• If I’m using any variety of cultured dairy, it is usually prepared at home– yogurt , kefir , soft cheeses —this is not mandatory, but it makes for a very nutritious selection that I know is full of healthy flora

• Any milk is organic and raw—if you are not inclined to use this yourself, please do use organic and full-fat. And more often than not, I use goat milk

• Raw nuts are organic as often as possible, and have been soaked and dehydrated at 100 degrees—you can use raw nuts that have just been soaked and not dehydrated, but their texture will be moist and chewy, rather than crunchy

• When using stevia as a sweetener, my preferred variety is the concentrated powder, which you can find at Trader Joe’s, or most any natural foods’ store

• When using honey , I use local and raw

I hope these ideas inspire you and give you direction on making healthier foods in your own home.

Change them as needed to fit your taste preferences, or stay true to the ingredients listed to try something new.

Whatever your choice, keep this saying in mind:“Make every fork-full as nutritious as it can be!”

To help you along, I’ve included links to some of my favorite sources to help you find farmers and stores close to you.

And if you are really interested in learning many more grain-free, GAPS-friendly foods, please click here to sign up for grain-free meal plans.

Have fun, be creative and enjoy the process! Bon appetit!

Recipes to Enjoy

Savory, Smoky Grain-Free Meatballs 

Squash and Turkey Bacon Hash 

Baked Cultured Tarragon Chicken 

Nut Mayonnaise 

Sweet Pot-Souffle 

Cousin Dee’s Sweet Potato Pancakes 

Sprouted and Dehydrated Quinoa Flour 

Hazel-Coco Bread 

Sprouted Quinoa Bread 

Chicken and Chevre Salad on Mixed Greens 

Grilled Nicoise Salad 

Cabbage and Turkey Bacon Slaw 

Coconut Fish with Braised Vegetables 

Coconut Flour Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing 

Cashew Mousse 

The Dehydrator and Its Many Wonderful Ways

Removing Grains from Our Family’s Diet…Yikes!

I decided early this summer that removing grains from our family’s diet would be a good idea.

I don’t think many husbands nor children would take this news too well, but mine live with me, and I make the food and they generally just eat what I put in front of them.

So, I told my husband my intentions, and because he’s seen me make some profound changes in our diet over the years, I don’t think he was too shocked. For the kids…well, I just did it. And after about the 14th request for rice toast, I explained what I was doing (giving them yummy, homemade foods instead–coconut cupcakes, cashew mousse, souffle, etc.), why (so they could be stronger and smarter), and that it wouldn’t be forever, just for most of the time (we still treat them to a gluten-free, organic pizza once or twice a month–and, boy, do they enjoy it!)

As with most people, my family loves starchy foods, but the press on gluten long ago swayed our ways. So, we narrowed down from sprouted wheat, kamut and spelt, to all gluten-free grains, leaning heavily on brown rice flour and the various GF blends from Arrowhead Mills and Bob’s Red Mill. And removing those gluten-rich foods did improve various issues–chronic colds, emotional ups and downs, brain fog, seasonal allergies, digestive issues. But they only improved—they didn’t go away.

So, we’ve slowly but most surely been cutting back on the grains. As I continued to use them, I tried to assuage my concerns over the use of grains by using sprouted brown rice flour, reasoning that the carbohydrates that are in regular brown rice flour are less concentrated in the sprouted variety, as the rice sprouts and uses them for the energy to begin the life process again. And we used quinoa flour, and amaranth flour—grain-like seeds are also less carb-rich, and have a fuller fat and protein profile.

However, my husband and son are definitely more sensitive to carbohydrates than most (and my daughter is along for the ride because she lives with us), and that is why I thought we should just bite the proverbial bullet and remove those grains from our diet. In the end, there was one article on Dr. Mercola’s site that I came across that summed up all the floating strings of press I had been reading on the effect of grains in the diet, and their inflammation-promoting tendencies.

Then, a week later, I found Dr. Loren Cordain’s latest Paleo-Diet cookbook at our local library…and all my fuss and hand-wringing about removing grains went away. I felt like this was something we were ready and prepared to do. So, we did.

And, it has been alright! In fact, it’s been great. My husband and our kids are all busy, physically and mentally, so having food on hand for them to grab and go has been essential.

Thankfully, a neighbor shared a bushel of apples from her mother’s trees. So, this week, I’ve been keeping them in snacks with apple chips I made in my dehydrator , dipped in raw almond butter and sprinkled with cinnamon. They love it!

They’ll also snack on sweet potatoes—I sprinkle them with sea salt, clarified butter, ground nutmeg and soaked and dehydrated walnuts, all mashed together as a snack. That one is so simple—I just steam a few pounds of sweet potatoes and store them in the fridge, with their skin on, until I’m ready to use them.

Of course, there’s also fresh produce with raw cheese or homemade yogurt , sweetened with a little raw, organic sugar and vanilla–they love both.

Certainly, feeding my family the array of nutrients found in the foods we’ve used to supplant grains–sweet potatoes, yams, coconut flour, hard squashes–are offering up large amounts of fiber and macro- and micronutrients that are not found in the usual tortillas, pasta or bread. So, that is wonderful in itself.

And the dividends I’m seeing–less frequent and certainly less severe colds, no seasonal allergies this autumn, more emotional stability, clearer thinking, better digestion–without question make my efforts worth my while. I do have to stay prepared, with the above-mentioned types of foods on hand–it’s not quite as simple as pulling a loaf of rice bread from the freezer.

But, honestly, it’s not that much harder.  And my recipes here are but an introduction.  I love them, and I’ll keep adding to the site as I create new goodies, but for an extensive meal-planning tool, visit Health, Home and Happiness–Cara’s recipes and tips are excellent!  Look under “Menu Subscriptions” and “Grain Free Cookbook” for extensive information.