Sunday, August 7, 2011

Almond Milk

In our house cows milk is a bad word J can not tolerate it so we drink a lot of Almond and Rice milk (recipe to come) this recipe is for plain Jane Almond milk but you can always add vanilla and agave or maple syrup.  Almond milk takes a little time but it is rather simple.

Things you will need:
Small bowl
Large bowl
1-1/4 cups of Almonds
3 cups of water
a blender
a strainer/sieve
cheese cloth
Air tight container 

Place 1 and 1/4 cups of almonds in a small bowl
Cover almonds with water, just enough so that none of the almonds are sticking out of the water.
Place a lid on then and let it sit for 3 hours at room temperature then move them to your fridge for at least 4 hours to over night.

The almonds should resemble this and should be sticking out of the water

Pour your almonds and almond water in to blender some people dump this water out and use fresh but why waist all those nutrients

blend until it makes a chunky paste it took my blender about 6 minutes on medium speed to get to this point.
Add your water 1 cup at a time and blend for 2 minutes after each addition

Place cheese cloth over sieve I folded 2 pieces in half so that there were 4 layers.
After all your water has been added your almond milk should look similar to this
Pour your almond milk slurry in to the cheese cloth use a spatula to help push the liquid through
After you have finished pouring your slurry in to the cheese cloth gather sides and squeeze all the liquid you can from the almonds
And Keep Squeezing
Once done squeezing and straining place in an air tight container and will last in the fridge for 3 to 5 days mine never makes it past 2 days. If you are using it for baking there is no need to add any thing to the milk I also like to drink it plain, However warming it up with a little agave some cinnamon and nutmeg and its a tasty treat :)
More to come

Friday, August 5, 2011

Oatmeal Pancakes

Oatmeal Pancakes are a family favorite around here.

Things you will need
1 larger bowl
an Immersion blender
A skillet, or griddle
2 Cups Old Fashion Oats
1+ cups of Almond or Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons of Coconut oil
1 tablespoon of Baking Powder
4 eggs or Flax seed & water 1tablespoon of flax to 3 tablespoons of water(per egg sub) let set for 3 to 5 min
2 tablespoons of Maple Sugar
2 teaspoons of Vanilla
a pinch of salt

I like a metal bowl less to brake with the emersion blender

Add Oatmeal, Almond milk, coconut oil, eggs ( i used eggs this time but I usually use flax), baking powder, maple sugar, vanilla, and salt

use your immersion blender  and mix all together you may need to add a little more than 1 cup of milk but it depends on the eggs or flax. I have made this in a regular blender also

let your mix rest for 15 to 20 minutes, it will thicken up as the oatmeal absorbs the liquid

since oatmeal pancake mix is thicker it wont bubble like normal pancakes once the edges start drying out its time to flip

once they have been flip and continue until all mix is gone, plate them up and enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Coriander Chicken & Spinach salad

To nights dinner was a Coriander Chicken on a bed of Spinach with a sweet vinaigrette dressing, J and the man of the house really enjoy this.

Things you will need
Aluminum Foil
2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, if you can get them from your butcher where they are fresh its better because, pre-packaged chicken is usually soaked in a chicken broth solution prior to packaging and you don't know if they have added sugar to that broth.
1 Small Onion save 1 table spoon back
3 Garlic Cloves
Black Pepper
Ground Coriander
2 Lemon Slices
Garlic Powder
3Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Agave
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Cut up your onion I like red onions but any onion will work, be sure to save a tablespoon back.

divide your onion up on 2 pieces of Aluminum Foil, this will become the base for your chicken. 
Make sure you rinse your chicken breasts and remove any fat that may be still along for the ride

                                                      butterfly the chicken breast open.
time to add your flavor to the chicken, go a head and sprinkle n Black Pepper, Ground Coriander, and Rosemary, you can also add salt if you like.

With a Garlic press add one clove of minced garlic to each breast, spread evenly over the surface

Take the 2 Lemon slices and remove the rind and place it on one side of the chicken breast

Roll the chicken breast up and place on the bed of onions sprinkle with Black Pepper and Garlic Powder

Fold the Aluminum foil around chicken in a way that it wont leak all over your oven and place in a 400 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes.
Once chicken is done remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes do not open the Foil this will let the chicken retain some of its juices and make sure its not dry.

Wile your chicken is resting you can make your dressing for the Spinach, in a food processor or blender,place the 1 tablespoon of onion, 3 table spoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar, a small garlic clove with husk removed, 1 tablespoon of Agave, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, Black pepper, Salt, and Ground Coriander to taste.. then blend

Once blended it should look similar to this, add half to your spinach and mix well  (I cheat and use the bag it came in so its one less dish I have to clean). the other half of the dressing you can put away for use latter on or if people would like just a little more dressing..

After your chickens 10 minute rest its ready to cut up and place on top of your spinach

TADA nummys on a plate as J would say! Hope you enjoy

Always More to Come

Friday, July 29, 2011

Steel Cut Oatmeal

Steel Cut Oatmeal is one of my family's favorites this makes enough for 4 however it feeds 3 of us very nicely

Things you will need:
a Large Sauce pan
a Large Spoon
1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil
1 Cup of Steel Cut Oats (also known as Irish Oats)
3 Cups BOILING Water
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
1/2 Cup Almond Milk with 1/2 a teaspoon of lemon juice added
1 to 2 tablespoons of Maple Sugar depending on how sweet
1 teaspoon of Vanilla
a pinch of Sea Salt
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and cloves to taste.

In your Large Sauce pan melt the one tablespoon of coconut oil on Medium High heat.
Add your 1 Cup of Oats to the melted coconut oil and toast the oats for 2 minutes stirring constantly

After toasting the Oats add your 3 cups of boiling water but stand back because when you add the first cup of water it tends to boil and spit out of the pan.

After adding your water cover your oats and let them simmer for 25 minutes.

After the 25 minutes uncover and add both your 1/2 cup of regular Almond milk and 1/2 cup of Almond milk with lemon juice mix the Almond milks in very well and cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes are up remove from heat stir in your Vanilla and Maple Sugar, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, and Sea Salt let stand for 10 minutes then serve

I like mine with Greek Yogurt and raspberries, but its rather tasty as is enjoy!

More to come

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Start

I had always dreamed of having kids and after a few years of trying god blessed us with a beautiful baby boy. After getting him home he was throwing up constantly and for hours after eating. I kept getting the same response out of the Doctors that it was acid reflux, we had stopped breast feeding and had to start formula trying to get him to keep food in his body for him to grow. Finally at 6 months they sent us to a specialist that diagnosed him with a Processed Sugar Intolerance. So began the great formula search of 2010, most formulas and even the ones that are for reducing spit up, have corn syrup solids in them; Enfamil AR was the only one we could use with minimal spit up. When J started eating solids I made all his baby food because of the risk of some form of processed sugar that the manufacturer may have added. Now J is a happy extremely healthy 21 month old, we also have a 5 month old that has been diagnosed also but since we know the cause I have cut almost all my processed sugar ( I gots to have my coffee) out of my diet and he is doing great!

It's amazing what we will eat and not even think about having sugar in it, Mac and Cheese, chicken strips, Peanut butter,and pasta sauce, there is even a national food chain that puts dextrose on their french fries. My intent is not to step on any ones toes and I am in no way a nutritionist but to give you the opportunity for great recipes that you can use if your child has the same condition as my boys, you just want to be healthier, or another reason.

Studies have also been done on children with ADHD and Autism showing that a diets free of processed sugars has helped behavior, and in some cases, has completely taken children off the medications they were on to control their disorders. It should be noted that some of these cases are in conjunction with the Celiac Diet (gluten free), but certainly not all. I have noticed that when I'm looking for a quick snack for J these days I can look for gluten free crackers and usually the nuts or rice they use are sweet enough not to have any added sugars.

Now when I say processed sugars I'm talking about but not limited to glucose, fructose, high fructose, dextrose, galactose, sucrose, lactose, maltose, trisaccharides,oligosaccharides, corn syrup, crystalline fructose, cane sugar regular or organic, cane juice regular or organic, and maltose. There are many others and they are listed in the long list of other ingredients in pre packaged products that you can't read.

After that long list of no-nos there are a few ways I have found to make food sweet. Now around here we love our cakes, cookies, pies and any other sweet treats we can think up. Instead of processed sugar we use Agave nectar, either the syrup or the powder, Agave is what they make tequila out of but is an awesome sweetener and there are several different types for what ever you are looking for and has no horrible after taste like the artificial sweeteners. We also use real Maple syrup (not the Mrs. Butterworths) which you can make into maple sugar by boiling it down to the crystal form or you can cheat and buy it already done, like I do :) And last but not least the original sugar fruit puree. There are days that I wish it was just as simple as using maple sugar in place of brown sugar, and using the agave instead of white sugar; but its not. The natural sugars tend to be sweeter than the processed and that's why the trial and error that I have gone through will take out the guessing so you don't have to.

More to come