Monthly Archives: May 2013

Protein Shakes

Those who have Celiac may have trouble absorbing proteins from their food.  This makes protein a very important nutrient that we need to obtain.  How can we do this?  Here is an article from CeliAct that gives some options for getting protein.  Please comment with your thoughts on this.  I have not done much research on this yet and would be curious to know what you think.

4 Gluten Free Protein Shakes

Gluten Free Boston Baked Beans

Too many commercial baked beans have questionable ingredients, so I began growing my own dried beans and making homemade baked beans.  I found this recipe on cooks.com.  It is a recipe for canning beans, but it also works well for large gatherings.  We made this recipe for my sons graduation party and have just a small pan left over.

 

1 qt. dried navy beans (I used pinto), about 2 pounds

2 tsp salt (for soaking beans)

1/2 lb lean salt pork, cut into 1″ cubes

3 onions, sliced (optional)

2/3 cup brown sugar, packed

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. dry mustard

2/3 cup molasses

 

Cover beans  with 3 quarts cold water, add 2 tsp salt to the water, and soak for 12-18 hours in a cool place.  Rinse beans.  Cover with 3 quarts of fresh water and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer over low heat until skins begin to crack.Drain.

Put the beans into a crock pot. Add salt pork and onions.  Mix remaining ingredients together and stir into pot along with 4 cups of water.

Cover and bake on low for 3 1/2 hours.  Add water if need, as the beans cook to keep the beans “soupy”.  If serving at a party you do not need to keep it soupy and can serve when desired consistency.  If canning you want the beans to be a bit soupy.

Pack into hot canning jars leaving 1″ of head space.  Process pints for 1 hour and 20 minutes, quarts at 1 hour 35 minutes at 10#'s of pressure ( you might have to adjust for altitude).

Makes about 6 pints.

 

Gluten Free Fruit Pizza

 

 

As I promised, here is the Fruit Pizza recipe.  We use our own gluten free all purpose mix that we formulated, however there are several brands out there in grocery stores you could try.  I would recommend staying away from any with bean flours in them, as they will flavor the crust in perhaps an unfavorable way.  (The idea that a high protein flour needs to be in gluten free products seems a little misplaced in my mind. Desserts and breads should not be the main source of anyone's proteins.)

 

3/4 C. butter, softened

1/2 C. Powdered sugar

1 1/2 C.  gluten free all purpose flour

8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened

1/4 C. Cream

10 0z. white chocolate, melted

1 pint fresh strawberries

1 C. fresh blueberries

1 c. fresh raspberries

3 kiwi, peeled and sliced

1/2 C. pineapple juice

1/4 C. sugar

1 TBSP cornstarch

1/2 tsp lemon juice

 

In a mixing bowl, crane butter and powdered sugar.  Beat in flour (mixture will be crumbly).  Pat into bottom of a 9″x 13″ baking pan.  Bake at 350 for 25-28 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.

In another mixing bowl, beat melted white chocolate (directions for melting found below) and cream.  Add cream cheese and beat until smooth.  Spread over cooled crust and then chill form 30 mintues.

Arrange berries over filling.  In a sauce pan, combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Stir  constantly.  Cool, Brush over fruit and chill for 1 hour before serving.  Store in the refrigerator.

 

Melting chocolate:

We do not own a microwave and I would never recommend melting chocolate that way as it is too easy to burn.  The best way is with a double boiler.  Fill bottom pan with about 1 ” of water.  Place second pan over first.    Place the white chocolate in the top pan and cover. Heat over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until chocolate has melted. Stir until smooth.  If you don't have a double boiler, fit a smaller pan into a larger pan.  Be sure to not get water into the chocolate.

 

Gluten Free Graduation Party

With the warmer weather and the end of the school year, this time of year is when the number of parties rises.  This can be difficult if you are hosting a party, to make sure that there are options for those with food intolerance or allergies.  It is very difficult to address all of the food sensitivities, but I can tell you how we threw a gluten free graduation party for our son.

Since our house is gluten free, it was fairly easy for us; however for those who are not in that situation, one of the easiest things to do is to have fresh vegetables and fruit available.  These are always safe for most allergies as they are in their natural state.  We also smoked a turkey and a chicken.  Make sure if you do this that your birds come from a reputable source.  We served it with homemade baked beans, dried beans came from our garden, but you can find organic at health food stores; and chips.  As always, check the label on chips, because even a simple food such as this, can have gluten and MSG in them, especially notable are salt and vinegar chips.  We like Kettle salt and vinegar chips which label that it is gluten and MSG free .  We also noticed with the last bag we bought that ii is certified GMO free as well.

Instead of the typical graduation cake, we made a gluten free Fruit Pizza using our all purpose gluten free flour mix.  It was a hit and there were not even any crumbs left afterward.  Baked  Beans and Fruit Pizza recipes to come in another post.

 


The guests that attended the party never even noticed that all the foods were gluten free.

Label Reading

One of the things going gluten free has taught me is to ALWAYS check labels.  This can be extremely difficult if you don't educate yourself on what ingredients are on the foods to avoid list.  Here are several links and articles that may help you discover what to look for when shopping.  I try to eat as natural and organic as possible, so these sources talk about more than just gluten.  Here a few rules to follow to help you eat safely.

Rule #1: Never eat anything without reading the label first.

Rule #2: Consistently check labels, even of your favorite products, as product formulations can change.

Rule #3: If you are unsure of an ingredient, or the company's policy on labeling, call the phone number on the back of the product or email the company.

Hidden names of MSG

Gluten containing ingredients

Unsafe foods

100 Days of Real Food: Label Reading 101—What the Fine Print Really Means

Which produce are high in pesticide residue and which are safe

Non-GMO Shopping Guide

I hope these links help you to shop smarter and safer.

One of the things that changed in my family's lives when we decided to become gluten free is that we also cleaned up other things in our lives.  We have become more aware of the ingredients, not only in our foods, but also in all the products we use.  We have started making our own cleaning products and are amazed that society ever stepped away from the cheap and safe products our grandparents used, such as baking soda and vinegar.  These clean better than any of the commercial products on the shelves in grocery stores and is so much cheaper.

Here are several resources to help you learn more about this.

DIY Natural Household Cleaners

http://villagegreennetwork.com/

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Homemade Laundry Detergent

For those who don't have time or would rather purchase products that are all natural, here are some links to some companies I would recommend.

Branch Basics

Molly Suds

Right now The Coconut Mama has a giveaway for Molly Suds through May 25th, 12PM PST. Click here to go to that giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Again and a 60 Day Challenge

It has been awhile since I was blogging regularly, but hopefully I am back to stay.  Cheeseslave, a blog I follow, has presented a challenge to fellow bloggers to post 60 posts in 60 days, and I am going to take that challenge. (Although the webhost is giving us trouble, so this may be more challenging than I thought.)

We have updated our blog with a whole new look and since it has been so long, I thought I would start with how this all began for me.

Growing up, my family ate “fairly” healthy.  We never had white bread and ate lots of vegetables.  I always had digestive issues, but was told I just need to eat more fiber.  As I grew into my teens and our schedules became more hectic, the meals started coming out of boxes more and more, and we ate out a lot.  I tried to eat healthy while out, choosing salads most of the time, but we all know homemade is best.

In college I started noticing that even though I was eating a lot of fiber, my digestive issues were getting worse.  I started avoiding foods such as pizza and bagels, which were the worst offenders for me and would leave me bloated and in agony for a week.  I still had no inkling that I really had an issue with gluten.

I married my high school sweetheart, whose mom was very knowledgeable in nutrition, and started to eat even better, making most things from scratch.  I learned to garden and to preserve food that I grew.  I even learned to grind whole wheat berries and make bread from scratch.   Things seemed to go better for a while.

After my second child, I had 2 miscarriages.  It shook me up a lot. I had 2 very healthy pregnancies, why was this happening to me?  What is wrong?

My mother-in-law gave me a book “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause” by John R Lee M.D.  I had so many of the symptoms, but I wasn't even 30 yet.  Through reading the book, I discovered my hormones were really out of  balance. I started using Progest cream to balance my hormones and was able to get pregnant and went full term with my 3 child.

Eleven moths later I was pregnant again.  My other three pregnancies were easy, essentially no morning sickness.  With this one I was sick all the time.  I even lost weight.  At 15 weeks, I started bleeding and went into the ER.  They could not find a heart beat.  I had had a third miscarriage.  What the heck was going on?!

I had to get to the bottom of what was wrong with me.  I had a hair analysis and discovered my adrenals were stressed.  I worked on bringing my health back by focusing on healing my adrenals. I did not even try to get pregnant for a couple years.

I got pregnant about 3 years after the last miscarriage, and had yet another miscarriage.  I was like, enough already!!!  We have 3 beautiful children, God must want us to only have the three.  To My surprise and despite efforts to avoid it, I got pregnant the next month and am happy to say that pregnancy went well, and 9 month later we had our youngest child.

So why am I telling you all this.  Because shortly after my daughter was born, I started having more digestive problems even though we were making everything from scratch.  I had heard about Celiac and had been in denial saying only white flour bothers me so I must not have it.  But, I was tired of not feeling well, so I did an experiment.  I went off of gluten for 1 month, well actually after that month I have never gone  back.  Dang, I did have gluten intolerance of some sort.  After much research, I discovered that those with Celiac Disease can have issues with fertility and miscarriages.  Finally an answer to all my struggles.  I have now been gluten free for 4 1/2 years.  I have not had the biopsy, because I have been of gluten so long I would have to go back to eating it for a while to see if antibodies form.  That is not an option for me.  I did have a genetic test done and I have the gene (HDQ2) for Celiac Disease and so many thing match with Celiac Disease, I just live the lifestyle assuming I have it and that my children may have it as well.  We are a gluten free household, so they would have to eat gluten to get accurate tests as well.

My goal as a blogger is to share with my readers the information I find and the experiences I have been through, so they can feel like they are not alone in this struggle.  I am so thankful to all the various bloggers out there who are supporting people, because when I fist started this journey I felt isolated and alone, and after finding bloggers with similar issues, it is so reassuring that there are others out there walking the same path.  I want to help others to fell that way too.

Free Digital Cook Book

I hope you have a pleasant day Mother's Day, particularly for all of you moms out there.  Any special occasion  celebration can be a difficult time for those trying to eat gluten free, especially if eating away from home.  For those who are staying in for Mother's Day, Whole New Mom, a blog I follow,  has made available a free Mother's day cookbook.  Click the link below to check it out. Free Gluten-Free Allergy-Friendly Mother’s Day Cookbook Attune-Foods-Cover-e1367296501370 (1)

Summer Gluten Free Picnic Tips

This is an article from Bob's Red Mill which has some excellent advise on how to protect yourself from gluten exposure at picnics and BBQ's.  I hope you find the information helpful.

Gluten Free, Worry Free Summer TipsSummer is full of picnics and barbeques and, if you’re gluten free, that can mean anxiety at best and disaster at worst. Beyond making sure their food is gluten free, gluten free diners need to think about shared grill space, utensils, condiments and any other place where an unintentional crumb of gluten may lurk (think cutting boards). Once you add little ones into the mix, who knows where that knife was before it got back into the jar of mayo.The good news is, with a little bit of planning a barbeque or picnic need not be any more anxiety inducing than necessary. Isn’t that the truth of living gluten free in general? Gluten free eaters have to be the most organized people on the planet! Here are some quick tips for making sure your next summer gathering is smooth, gluten-free sailing. To make your summer even easier, we’ve put some of our favorite gluten free products that make good barbeque fare on special for the month of June.

•    First, contact the host ahead of time and discuss the menu. It’s possible that he or she may be able to adjust the menu to make the event even easier for you.

•    For BBQs, if you can bear it, plan to make something that doesn’t need to hit the grill to be tasty. If not, there are a couple of options to keep your food safe.

  • Use a grill basket that you know is safe or aluminum foil to keep your food from the grill.
  • If you know the grill is clean, simply cook gluten free items first or dedicate an area of the grill just for gluten free foods.
  • If it’s somewhere you go often, you may want to invest in a dedicated grilling surface. They typically come in a variety of sizes and are inexpensive.

•    Make or buy gluten free buns. Don’t count on the host to provide them.

•    Bring your own condiments and use them first.

•    Bring your own cutting board and utensils if you need to do prep work.

•    Make sure you hit all of the food lines first, that way your food will still be safe from people accidentally mixing serving spoons.

We hope these tips help and wish you the best of luck in navigating the summer gluten free!

To your good health,

Bob Moore

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