Gluten-Free Maple Gingerbread

The nights are getting cooler here in Vermont, and I am thinking about the kinds of warming, blood-building foods that will strengthen our immune systems in preparation for the colder months.

Molasses is an excellent source of iron, supports blood and heart health, and is packed with minerals. Try to find sorghum molasses, which is derived from a low-glycemic, gluten-free grain: sorghum. A relative of millet, sorghum is native to North Africa. It is a warming and tonic food that helps build fluids in the body and regulates digestion. When boiled, it creates a delicious and rich syrup that takes this recipe to another level.

If you cannot find sorghum, unsulphured cane sugar molasses will do just fine.

This recipe is rich in medicinal spices to balance blood sugar (cinnamon), support digestion and endocrine health (nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon), and ward off the cold and flu (ginger and cloves).

Maple Gingerbread

You will need:

  • 1 cup sorghum or millet flour

  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon each: cloves and nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon each: cinnamon and ginger

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • 1 egg or 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal dissolved into 2 tablespoons hot water (vegan)

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/4 cup hot water

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a baking dish with coconut oil. I use either an 8x8 dish or a loaf pan.

Mix all ingredients together in the order listed. Spread evenly into baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Check for done-ness by inserting a knife blade into the center of the bread. Bake for 5 more minutes if necessary.

Cool 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

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Gluten-Free Homemade Breads

Are you trying to eat food without gluten?

This practice can help heal gut imbalances such as dysbiosis, SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), leaky gut syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating and a whole host of other conditions. Eliminating gluten also reduces inflammation, thereby improving mood, providing energy, and rerong, reducing the symptoms of auto-immune disorders. 

Avoiding gluten is also a great way to simplify your diet and head into the winter with strong immunity. However, one caveat: packaged gluten-free breads and baked goods are just as toxic to the system as those containing gluten. Please stay away from them. 

When you are craving bread or a baked good, try your hand at these simple recipes.

Sweet Potato Bread

You will need:

  • 1 cup roasted sweet potato flesh

  • 1 cup coconut flour

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut yoghurt

  • 6 eggs

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400.

Chop sweet potato into chunks, place on a cookie sheet and toss with olive oil and salt.

Roast sweet potato in large chunks for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

If you would like, roast a larger quantity of sweet potato and set some aside to have as a snack with nuts or nut butter.

Place the sweet potato, coconut flour, yoghurt, and eggs into your processor and blend until the mixture resembles a smooth, runny batter. Add the soda and mix to combine.

Chop pecans and fold them into the mixture if using.

Grease a loaf pan.

Reduce oven heat to 350.

Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 10 minutes before gently transferring to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 30 minutes prior to cutting.

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Cornbread

You will need:

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

  • ½ cup brown rice flour or millet flour

  • 1 ½ cups cornmeal

  • 1 teaspoon each: baking powder, baking soda, and salt

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil

  • ½ cup almond milk

Preheat oven to 350.

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend well.

Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil. These also make great muffins! The recipe makes about 9.

Scrape in the cornbread dough; it will be thick like cookie dough, not a pourable batter. Press down on the top to form an even layer. It is easiest to do this with a rubber spatula.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

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Make your own flour blends

The corporate food industry has taken wheat, which is highly nutritious and rich in protein, B vitamins, and complex carbohydrates, and de-natured it into a high yield grain. It is largely indigestible, not only because it comes from grain that has been genetically engineered, but also because the resultant flour is stripped of its bran and germ.

The bran and germ are home to vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Our bodies need these compounds to metabolize the grain effectively.

Due to an over-consumption of this hybridized wheat, which the body doesn't actually recognize as food, many of us have become gluten-sensitive.

Here are some tips to create your own gluten-free flour blends without the strange additives.

Gluten-Free Flour Mixes

Just use this rule of thumb: 70% whole grain or nut flour blend to 30% starches – no xantham gum needed!

Some whole grain flours are more dry and light. Others are more moist and dense. Make sure that you use a balance of these two in your 70% mixture.

Think about the outcome: if you want a rich, dense baked good, use more of the heavy flours. For a light, fluffy crust, use the lighter, drier flours. Consider that some flours taste better in savory or sweet batters, too.

For example, a cauliflower pizza crust will do well with cornmeal. A brownie batter will thrive on brown rice or oat flour.

Whole grain flours include:

  • Buckwheat (dry & dense; savory)

  • Sorghum (moist and dense; either sweet or savory)

  • Oat (moist and dense; sweet)

  • Brown Rice (moist and dense; sweet)

  • Millet (medium; either sweet or savory)

  • Quinoa (dry and light; savory)

  • Teff (dry and light; savory)

  • Corn (dry and light; mildly sweet)

  • Almond (dry and dense; mildly sweet)

Starches include:

  • White sweet rice flour

  • Tapioca flour

  • Coconut flour

  • Arrowroot powder

Maple Cinnamon Scones

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix well:

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Pinch salt

  • ½ cup cooked oatmeal

  • ½ cup sorghum flour

  • 1 cup millet flour

  • ¼ cup applesauce

  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup

  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 Tablespoons nut or seed butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Grease a cookie sheet with olive oil and drop dough in spoonfuls. Flatten each cookie with the back of the spoon. Slide cookie sheet into oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Get creative! For variety, add one of the following: 2 spoonfuls raspberry jam; 1 inch fresh chopped ginger root & ½ teaspoon clove powder; ¼ cup raisins (first soak for 5 minutes in hot water and drain).

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Eggs: Incredible, Edible ... Allergens?

Happy Egg Moon, Sap Moon, Passover, Easter, Hanuman Jayanti, and more!

In many cultures, the first signs of spring are cause for celebration of life's renewal.

The full moon tomorrow morning will be marked by a lunar eclipse visible in the Northeast around 5:45 am. If you do not want to set the alarm and rise before dawn, take a moment when you do get up to honor this transformative time

.As spring comes on, chickens start laying more eggs. This perfect protein is nourishing, balanced and vital for many. However, with the advent of large-scale agriculture and grain-fed chickens raised in contained settings, the nutritional value of eggs has declined.

All pastured animals can eat grass, which is high in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. The animals kindly convert the fatty acids in the grass into a bio-available form that humans can digest. However, when these animals, from chickens and turkeys to cows and lambs, do not graze on grass, no one receives the omega fatty acid benefit.

What does this mean?

Without the crucial presence of these fatty acids, the body doesn't recognize the egg as food. Eventually, our systems begin to treat eggs as allergens.

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In short, know your food sources! Meet the chickens that lay your eggs. It will help your body to digest and assimilate this potent protein.

Try making eggs poached in beet greens to celebrate the full moon of spring.

They make a great brunch dish alongside shredded carrot and zucchini bread

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