Tag Archives: healthy

Gluten Free Buckwheat and Amaranth Bread

gf-breadThis bread is hearty with a nice bite, something that is hard to achieve when baking gluten free bread varieties.  Great as a compliment to dinner, as a grilled sandwich, or toasted with grass fed butter and homemade jam, this is a recipe that I encourage you to try if you are gluten free.  Buckwheat flour makes up the majority in this bread recipe followed by amaranth flour, both of which are full of nutrition.  Buckwheat is not wheat, it is a groat or seed that is usually toasted before being ground into a flour.  Different varieties have been around since 5300 BC, but have probably been eaten by humans even longer.  It is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, and fiber.  Amaranth, as well, is nutrient dense containing a good amount of protein, fiber, calcium, and some vitamin C.  This recipe yields two short loaves, but you could put all of the dough in one loaf pan for a larger loaf and cook longer, 60-70 minutes.  The bread is thoroughly cooked when you can flick the top of the bread, it feels solid and thuds with a hollow sound remitting back.  Here is the recipe:

Dry Ingredients
1  1/2 c. buckwheat flour plus more for dusting
1 c. amaranth flour
1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. arrowroot flour
1/4 c. almond flour
1/4 c. ground psyllium husk
1  1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt

Wet Ingredients
 2  1/2 - 3 c. water
 3 T grass fed or organic butter
 1 T chia seeds
 1 T gelatin
 1 T molasses

Warm 2 1/2 c. water over medium-low heat.  Add butter, chia, molasses, turn heat to low and stir well.  Sprinkle gelatin lightly and evenly over warmed mixture and let stand to dissolve.  If all of the gelatin does not dissolve, then gelly balls will end up in the final product, so try to remove any gelatinous bits that do not dissolve well.

In a large separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk together to incorporate well.  Whisk wet ingredients until they are coherent and butter is melted.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir.  The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and stick to itself making a dough ball, but will remain slightly tacky.  Divide dough into two halves.  Use some more buckwheat flour for dusting over the top, sides, and your hands to help navigate the dough into a pan.  Press into two loaves pans that have been greased with coconut oil or butter.  Cut a shallow groove lengthwise down the center to encourage even baking.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 – 50 minutes.  The bread is cooked, when you can flick the top of the bread, it feels solid and thuds with a hollow sound remitting back.  Cool slightly before removing loaves from pan to a cooling rack.  Let the bread cool completely before slicing, or else it will be gummy.  It will keep longer stored in the fridge.  Enjoy.

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Grain Free Apple Cinnamon Granola

3 medium organic apples, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 c. coconut flakes
1/2 c. cashew pieces
1/4 c. chia seeds
2 T. flax seeds
1/4 c. coconut oil
1 T. honey
1 T. cinnamon
1 stevia packet
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sea salt

This granola gets crunchy as the apples dehydrate and then cool.  It is sweet, salty and delicious served over plain, organic, grass fed yogurt or with almond milk.

In a medium sauce pan, over low heat, melt the coconut oil and honey until just combined.  Add vanilla, cinnamon, stevia, sea salt and stir to combine.  Add in all other ingredients and stir to coat.  Place in an even layer on two dehydrator trays or on a sheet pan.  Use a dehydrator set to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, for 12 hours, rotating trays halfway through cook time.  Also, could be done in an oven set to 160 degrees Fahrenheit or lowest temperature.  If your oven does not go this low, lessen cook time and stir more often.

Plum and Pear Crisp

1 pear, cored and sliced thin
2 plums, cored and sliced thin
1/2 c. mixed nuts, some of the nuts coarsely chopped and some finely chopped 
(this nut blend includes walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, and pistachios)
1/4 c. dark brown cane sugar
1/4 c. arrowroot powder
2 T. coconut oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a casserole dish or pie plate place pear and plum.  Toss lightly with your fingers to combine them.  In a separate, small bowl combine all other ingredients.  Stir until the coconut oil is dispersed and the mixture is crumbly.  It should hold together pretty easily when pressed into your palm.  Sprinkle mixture over pears and plums pressing the mixture into palms and crumbling as you go to make some larger clumps and some smaller crumbly clumps.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool slightly before serving.  Yield 4 people.

Christmas in July Chicken Coconut Curry

aka Red Curry and Green Vegetables with Chicken and Coconut Milk

1 large zucchini, cut into 2 inch chunks
1 large onion, sliced into 1 inch chunks
4 stalks celery, sliced into 1 inch chunks
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 can coconut milk
1 T. coconut oil
1/4 c. or 2 oz of red curry paste
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 inch ginger root, grated
sea salt

Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add coconut oil and onion with a pinch of sea salt.  Cook until the onion begins to turn translucent.  Add celery and a sprinkling of sea salt.  The idea is to add a touch of salt to each ingredient that is added to the hot pan, this is a chef technique that brings out the flavor in each food.  Add red curry paste and stir to coat vegetables.  Add a splash of water if the pan is too dry.  Add chicken, ginger, garlic, and a pinch of sea salt.  Stir to coat everything.  Let cook, stirring occasionally until chicken is about half way done, about 5 minutes.  Add zucchini and a touch of salt, stir gently and put lid on to cook for another 10 minutes.  Water should release from the zucchini as it cooks, so adding water is probably not necessary, but add a splash if pan is too dry.  Turn heat to low, add a can of coconut milk, stir it in and warm through, about 1 minute.

Stacey’s Salad Dressing

Over thesalad dressing years, I have acquired certain tips from good cooks to hone my own skills in the kitchen.  From my dad, I learned that the best salad dressings, are the ones you make yourself.  He always makes his own salad dressing, one reason is: he can control the ingredients that go into it.  His salad dressing contains extra virgin olive oil and no added sugar.  Extra virgin olive oil is cold pressed, first pressed oil that comes from olives.  Mediterranean cultures have been using this oil for centuries, meaning it is a traditional food that humans have thrived on for longer than time since the industrial revolution.  Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy fat, it is full of monounsaturated oils and vitamin E.  It is best used as a finishing oil or salad dressing because it is sensitive to heat.

In following suit of my dad, who is health conscious, I started making my own salad dressing about ten years ago.  My versions have evolved over the years, but has always been delicious (at least that is what my husband says.  He drinks the dressing that collects at the bottom of his bowl after he has finished his salad).  Here is my latest version.

1/4 c. dijon mustard
1/4 c. raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 and 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. Salt, Pepper, Garlic

Reuse an old oil or vinegar bottle and add the ingredients to it using a funnel.  Shake vigorously until the dressing is smooth and emulsified.

Cucumber, Watermelon, and Mint Salad

1 mini cucumber, cut into half moons
1/2 c. of watermelon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 spring fresh mint, leaves removed, minced
1/8 tsp. jalapeno, minced (less or more depending on your heat tolerance)
1/2 tsp. sherry vinegar
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste

Combine everything and stir gently to coat.  Taste.  Add a touch more sea salt to bring out flavors if needed.  Made for one, but easy to quadruple.  Goes well with anything grilled.

 

Spicy Sauteed Snow Peas

snowpeas2 c. snow peas, de-stringed

1 garlic clove, sliced

1 T. coconut oil

pinch of red pepper flakes

sea salt to taste

My sister-in-law makes some fantastic green beans using a similar technique, but I have snow peas to cook, so snow peas it is.  Her beans and these snow peas are garlicky, spicy, smokey, salty, and perfect as a side dish to pretty much anything.

Heat pan over medium heat.  Add coconut oil and sliced garlic with a touch of salt.  Cook for 30 seconds.  Add snow peas, a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Saute for 2 minutes stirring beans to coat with oil, then put a lid on and cook covered for 5-7 minutes.  You do not need to stir the snow peas once covered, it adds a nice flavor if they develop a little char on the underside.  Snow peas will turn bright green when cooked, they will be “teeth tender” but still contain a slight give, do not over cook.