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Gluten-free, Sugar-free Raspberry Muffins

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on November 29, 2012
5 comments

RASPBERRY GLUTEN-FREE SUGAR-FREE MUFFINS:

 

We’ve been experimenting with quite a few sugar free, gluten-free, yeast-free breads and desserts. We have had some victories and a few disappointments, but I wanted to share them with you. This is an adaptation to our Blueberry Muffin recipe posted last week – see here. For anyone with yeast overgrowth or even just some yeast issues, these will help starve that yeast and get it eliminated from your body. Often times we don’t even realize we have yeast and the possibility that they might have taken control of our intestinal flora. Do you have lots of bloating after eating? Probably yeast. Can’t lose weight even though you’re starving yourself? Probably yeast. We have to starve it by eliminating ALL sugar and yeast from our diets. Other things need to be eliminated too, but these are the main culprits. To say it's difficult to find a sugar-free, gluten-free, and YEAST-free bread is an understatement. Let me know if you do. We've experimented with a few recipes and found some we really liked. I will be posting those recipes very soon.

Now, just a short note about these recipes. They are adapted from a book called "The Joy of Gluten-free, Sugar-free Baking" and I highly recommend the book. However, I suddenly realized with my last two recipe attempts, the authors are WEIGHING their dry ingredients. For instance, one recipe says 1 cup (4 oz/113 grams)! Well, I've been baking since I was a kid and one cup to me is 8 ounces in a dry measuring cup - so totally NOT 4 oz! So I decided to actually weigh the flour this time at 85 grams and I think they turned out better than the last batch. Which, really if you think about it, each "flour" has a different weight - it's a bit different than using all purpose flour which stays the same. The almond flour I purchased and is available in most grocery stores, but for the pecan flour, I simply ground up raw organic pecans in the spice grinder. And seriously? If you don't have yeast issues or aren't worried about the glycemic load, you could use sugar in these recipes. Hmmm - and did you notice? There are NO oils or fats added? The fats are naturally derived from the nuts - and they are the healthy fats!

Ingredients:

¾ cups (3 oz/85 grams) pecan flour
¾ cup (3 oz/85 grams almond flour
½ cup Stevia in the Raw Extract (we were able to find this at Russ's! One of our least health-oriented grocery stores.)
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1/3 cup organic dried coconut
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs (approximately 3.5 oz/99 grams)
½ cup (4 oz/113 grams) unsweetened coconut milk
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 packet NuStevia
½ to 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (I put them in still frozen)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 9 to 10 muffin cups with paper liners. I like to spray them with olive oil spray (optional). Mix the pecan flour, almond flour, Stevia in the Raw, hemp seeds, coconut, baking powder and salt until well blended. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon juice, and NuStevia until well blended.  Add the egg mixture to the bowl with the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon for 1 to 2 minutes. I’ve found that this is an important step to get the correct consistency of the batter. I even set my timer for 2 minutes after I pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture but I’m a little OCD-ish. Fold the raspberries into the batter – gently of course. Again, no need to thaw them out first - easy and fast.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and the cups should be just about full. They don’t rise much if at all.  Place the muffin pan on a cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Test them with a toothpick and if it comes out clean, they’re ready. I like to then set them out on a wire rack for cooling. Well, truthfully, I like to pull a really hot one out and slather it with butter and eat it right then - my reward.

We liked these a lot and Warren took a few to work with him today.  I will do a nutritional analysis, but just knowing that I’m using nut “flour” (and we use organic raw nuts), NO sugar, and coconut milk – the amount of fiber and protein has to be high. The raspberries of course were not sweetened – so more goodness for you.

Let me know if you try these and how they turned out. If you have any questions, let me know!

Thanks for listening!

Ann McIntire Wooledge, RN, CCAP

Pumpkin Hummus?

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on October 06, 2012
2 comments

Pumpkin Hummus?

 

Now – I’m sort of doing this backwards. I just made some regular old hummus and found this old recipe in my stack of OLD recipes, so I don’t know where I got it from or I’d give credit where credit belongs. I am posting this because I thought it looked really good and let’s face it – we’re all wanting to do something with pumpkin now at the beginning of fall.

So – my questions would be – has anyone tried anything like this? Did you like it and/or would you make it again. I’d also like to hear if anyone else thinks this looks really good or not so good. Obviously, I am a little undecided or I would have just gone ahead and made it. Now - this has to be one of the healthiest snacks I can possibly think of what with the raw garlic and the garbanzo beans - than add pumpkin puree to that!

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp Tahini
2 Tbsp water or olive oil to thin to the consistency you like
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp coriander
¼ tsp cumin

Place everything in your food processor blend until you have the consistency you like best.

I posted a blog a year or two ago about how to make raw hummus and why that's a good idea, but to be honest, I've been so busy (or translate that as lazy) that I've been using canned garbanzo's. I really am going to go back to soaking and cooking dried beans - really!


Thanks for listening!

 


No-Bake Fudge, Vegan and Raw

By Recipes for a Healthier You Healthy Desserts
on September 01, 2011

I have to admit I'm always trying to find ways to incorporate and accommodate Warren's addiction for chocolate. By "trying" I mean finding healthier ways to make chocolate desserts that aren't full of saturated fat and high sugar content. This is a great one I think. I am going to surprise him with it this evening. You can leave out the dried fruit or top with chopped nuts. Sure it still has fat, but it's the good fats that are inherent in pecans. Not crazy about the sugar content of the pitted dates, but you have to make compromises at some point. This one is quick and easy. How many you can make from this recipe depends, of course, on the size you decide to make your bites. I like to make them large enough to satisfy that chocolate urge, but not so large that it's too much of a sugar rush, which means an insulin spike, which means it all gets stored as fat. This dark chocolate cocoa powder is just that - cocoa without added fats or sugars and it contains natural antioxidants. Okay - I have to tell myself all that so I can get rid of the guilt trip if I eat one - or two... 

 

No-Bake Raw Fudge Bites

1 cup raw organic pecans (soaked for an hour or two and drained helps bind it all together)

1/3 cup dates (pitted and chopped up a little)

½ cup Hershey's Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder (no, not raw, but tastes better and easier to find)

1 tsp vanilla extract (use the pure extract)

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup chopped dried fruit of choice (I really like Trader Joe's "Super Cranberry & Pomegranate Blend) - optional 

  1. Chop up pecans in a food processor - you want them pretty finely ground. Add dates, cocoa, vanilla and salt. 
  2. Continue to pulse until you have a thick dough-like consistency. Taste and see if it's sweet enough for you, if not add a little stevia.
  3. Using an 8 inch lightly oiled (use the spray type) square pan, press the dough down evenly.
  4. If you use the dried fruit, just chop it up some and sprinkle it on top, pressing the pieces in to adhere to the fudge 
  5. They are really best if allowed to chill or even put in freezer for at least 2 hours in order to get them to firm up and easier to cut into squares. 
  6. Enjoy! No guilt allowed.

Let me know if you try this and if you liked it. This recipe makes a thin layer which I think is good in order to try out first to see how you like it. The next time, I will double the recipe to make it thicker and look more like fudge. Do you have a recipe that you'd like to share?

Thanks for listening!


Foods That Fight Cancer!

By Healthy Planet Blog Cancer Counsel
on June 07, 2011

Do you know which foods fight cancer? 

 

I know most of us have heard that turmeric is a very good choice to include in your diet to fight cancer, but actually getting enough into your diet is fairly difficult unless you eat a lot of Indian curry-type dishes and/or take supplements. I'm always looking for ways to easily fit foods into my diet that have been proven to increase my body's ability to fight off cancer. I came across this article just after admiring my swiss chard and kale growing in flower boxes on the deck. I have plans to grow larger amounts in the garden but never quite got the chance. The farmers' market, of course, is a great place to find foods that fight cancer. I will put out my seeds soon for my fall crop.

According to recent research funded by the American Institute for Cancer Research, dark green leafy vegetables are a great way to incorporate cancer-fighting components into your diet. Included are spinach, kale, romaine lettuce (not so dark, but full of the properties you're looking for), leaf lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens (love this coming from a Southern girl), chicory and swiss chard. They didn't mention bok choy, parsley, cilantro or basil, but I'm thinking those would be included but will check.

These particular foods are excellent sources of fiber, folate and lots of carotenoids including lutein, zeaxanthin, saponins and flavonoids. According to AICR's report, "Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective", these foods can protect us against cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx. I know we've all read that research has shown that carotenoids in particular are very good antioxidants that fight the free radicals we are bombarded with every day. Additional research has shown that these dark green leafy vegetables can also help stop the growth of some breast, skin, lung and stomach cancer. Folate was identified as decreasing the risk of pancreatic cancer. Most nutrition experts will also tell you to "shop the rainbow" - meaning the darker the color, the more antioxidants are included. An easy example is that red peppers are a better choice than green peppers; however, both are very good choices. In our green leafy choices, the dark purple kale would be better than green kale - although, again, both are very good choices. We prefer red cabbage over green cabbage for that reason as well.

AICR is our chosen choice for donations and if you take a look at their website and what they offer, I think you can see why. They, like us, believe that health begins and ends with good nutrition. Finding the correct and reliable information about that is not always easy. We believe that AICR provides a very good balance and evidence for all that they report. They have funded additional research on the subject of dark green leafy vegetables and why they fight cancer. Also read the full list of their recommendations for cancer prevention. You will see as you click the subjects we've mentioned such as fiber, folate, carotenoids and flavonoids, you will be taken to a page full of research showing why they are making these recommendations. And for those of you who think you can't or won't eat collards or mustard greens, you'd be pleasantly surprised at some recipes. AICR has provided one in particular for this subject and it can be found here. We will also post this recipe on our blog section under healthy recipes - and I'm going to try it out this week. I personally love them just raw, steamed or lightly sauteed - add a little balsamic vinegar.

So - let me know what you think about dark green leafy vegetables. Take a stroll down the tables at your local farmer's markets and see the vast array of vegetables that are available.

Thanks for listening!








Organic, Gluten-Free Granola

By Recipes for a Healthier You Appetite Control Snacks
on May 25, 2011
2 comments

Looking for a healthy breakfast or snack?

 

I am SO not good about eating breakfast! I usually don't want to eat anything until I've been up for about two hours. Now, I know this isn't a good practice because I then get hungry mid morning and it's too close to lunchtime - what to do? I just attended a 4-day class on a healthy eating program especially attuned to heart health. One of the main things they emphasized was a fairly big breakfast without animal protein, but full of protein-laden grains. Hot 7-grain cereal was one of the choices and although Warren loves this, it's just not my thing and especially not in the summertime. I also have gluten intolerance, not yet a full-fledged allergy, but I don't do well with most grains, which is why breakfast is a problem for me. 

Not any more! I came across this recipe from our friends at Organic Soul. They are Facebook Friends and we receive their very informative newsletter. This was their featured recipe today and I can't wait to try it. I may try to make it more "raw" by dehydrating instead of baking the granola, but either way, this looks like a winner to me. 

To quote from their website: "Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and I feel it is the most important meal to get your day started right. It is essential to provide your body with the necessary nutrients to get you energized and motivated for everything that comes your way. Here is a simple and fun, gluten-free organic granola recipe you can enjoy as a breakfast cereal or as a healthy snack during your lunch time break."

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old fashioned, organic, and gluten- free oats (yes, all oats are naturally gluten free, but read here why you need to check)
  • 1 cup of raw, soaked organic almonds, coarsely chopped *Note: Soaking requires 8-12 hours prep!
  • ½ cup of shredded organic coconut
  • 3 tablespoons of packed organic brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of raw organic cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon of ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup raw organic honey
  • 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil
  • 1 cup organic raisins (or dried organic blueberries!) (I'm going to try Trader Joe's dried cherries or their blend of dried fruits!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine oats, almonds, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, raw cocoa, ginger and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Stir together honey and oil in a small pan over low heat until combined. Pour honey and oil mixture into the large bowl with oat mixture and stir well.
  5. Spread granola mixture into an even layer onto lined baking sheet. Bake granola mixture for about 40 minutes. Be sure to check every 10 minutes to stir and rotate pan. When granola turns golden brown, remove from over and let cool.
  6. Pour granola back into large bowl and stir in raisins until combined.
  7. Now your organic gluten-free granola is ready to be eaten as a healthy breakfast or delicious afternoon snack!

This recipe was contributed by Jake Webster, chef and food aficionado.

Thanks to our friends at Organic Soul for allowing me to share this recipe. Check in with them and sign up for their newsletter and "Like"  them on Facebook.

Thanks for listening! Let me know if you try this and how it turns out.

 


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