Friday, July 22, 2016

Delicious eats that are all taste and zero grain.

Whether you’re celiac, sensitive, or simply focusing on your health, more and more of us are saying goodbye to grains. Gluten and grain intolerance have been on the rise for the last two decades and seem to match the rise in brain-related health issues like anxiety, depression, dementia, ADHD and more.
In the last decade alone, gluten intolerance levels have increased from 1 in 2,500 worldwide to 1 in 133.
William Davies, the cardiologist who wrote the New York Times bestseller Wheat Belly, believes that wheat is the culprit behind many unpleasant digestive and metabolic issues. He’s based his belief off of his own clinical research and his findings that after advising his cardiac patients to fully nix wheat and wheat products from their diets, not one of them experienced a heart attack.
Quite remarkable!
To elaborate on his theory, he also notes that centuries of selectively producing wheat crops has rendered them essentially toxic to humans today—and he seems to be correct in his notion.
In fact, researchers published a study in the British Journal of Nutrition that tested Dr. Davis’ theory of modern vs. ancient grains with twenty IBS patients. The results were clear—testers consuming a modern day wheat diet saw no improvement in their condition, but those on the ancient-wheat diet experienced drastic improvement in their daily symptoms.

Delicious Grain-Free Treats

Sometimes—despite knowing all of the reasons why we should ditch the modern grains and the toll they take on our bodies—we find ourselves craving our favorite sandwiches, wraps, and crunchy snacks. Fortunately, there are many fantastic swaps you can keep on hand in your kitchen to prevent falling victim to a guilty grain indulgence.
Raw Wraps. These yummy wraps were created with the goal to produce a product that makes you change the way you think about gluten-free substitutes. While many can taste bland and have little to boast about nutritionally-speaking, these are made from simple, real ingredients. Flavor choices include spinach wraps and kale wraps in a variety of size selections.
Wrawp. The Veggie Life wraps from Wrawp are fruit-free and made with organic lettuce, organic spinach, organic flax, organic coconut, organic turmeric, and black salt. You can use them to make a tasty wrap for any meal, or snack on them by themselves—plus, they’re a great way to sneak veggies into the diets of your pickier eaters.
Julian Bakery. Paleo bread from Julian Bakery is available in Almond, Coconut, Honey, and Cinnamon Raisin—and a vegan version is to come! While I would suggest limiting this to 1-2 times per week, it’s quite the suitable substitute when you just can’t quit your daydream of a savory sandwich.
They also offer Paleo Wraps made from three simple, but tasty ingredients—coconut meat, coconut water, and unrefined virgin coconut oil.
ChocolaTree. This brand will satisfy any grain pain. Their large product line boasts chia crackers, kale chips (in cheddar, rosemary, and chipotle), vegan cheese crumbles, pizza bread, onion bread, and two very fun flavors of wraps—tomato and curry. So you don’t have to choose just one, they also offer samplers that contain multiple products at a discounted price.
Ditching the grain is your gain, and with these delectable substitutes, it’s also easy.
- Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Zucchini Tater Tots

 Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side, Gluten Free, Vegan
Serves: 40
  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 zucchinis, about 2-3 cups shredded
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • Olive oil
  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and cook potatoes for 20-30 minutes, until fork tender but still have some give in the middle. Drain water and let potatoes cool until they are comfortable to handle. You want them to still be warm.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grate potatoes on the large side of a box grater and put into a large bowl. Grate each zucchini and squeeze out the liquid using a clean dishtowel. Place grated zucchini into the bowl with the potatoes and add 1½ teaspoons salt. Use your hands to mix everything together.
  3. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Use your hands to form small cylinders with the mixture. Use about 1 tablespoon per tater tot. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 10 minutes to allow them to firm up.
  4. Brush the top of each tater tot with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle each one with salt. Bake tater tots until browned a crispy, about 30 minutes flipping halfway though. Serve with ketchup if desired.
Recipe makes approximately 40 tater tots.
- GIG of Portland

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Is Vanilla Gluten-free?

Both vanilla extract and natural vanilla flavor are safe for those on the gluten-free diet. Even though to make each product, vanilla beans are soaked in water and alcohol, it is considered gluten-free. However, this was not known until just a few short years ago. That is why you’ll often see in gluten-free cookbooks and on gluten-free recipes sites, the term vanilla with “gluten-free” before or after it. The truth is that no vanilla – extracts or otherwise – contain gluten. Imitation and artificial vanilla extract are also gluten-free, though niether is nearly as good as the real thing.
McCormick recently began labeling their pure vanilla extract gluten-free, even though it always was gluten-free. There is no gluten-free product list on the company’s website which is annoying since they have started labeling at least the vanilla extract gluten-free. McCormick, like so many other companies, realized that some people will choose an item that is marked gluten-free over others that are not, when given the opportunity. However, there are less expensive vanilla extracts than the McCormick brand.
In Shelley Case’s book “Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide”, vanilla, vanilla extract, vanilla flavoring and vanillin are all listed in the gluten-free additive and ingredients list. It’s again confusing for someone new to the diet who might pick up a gluten-free cookbook at the library where every reference to vanilla calls for a gluten-free version. That would indicate there might be a gluten containing version of vanilla out there somewhere.
While it’s frustrating that for so long, very little was known about what was and was not gluten-free – at least in terms of many processed foods – the safest thing to do is rely on factual information from nutrition experts like Shelley Case. She has devoted much of her dietitian career to  helping those in our community safely follow the gluten-free diet. Vanilla is gluten-free so buy whatever brand of it you want to. It matters not if  ‘gluten-free’ stamped on the box or not.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Cold Summer Breakfasts

by Michelle Spano
Start your day off on the right foot while keeping your cool. The best part? Most of these can and should be made the night before, so you can hit snooze once more…
Overnight oats: Combine gluten-free oats with your favorite milk (the same amount of liquid you’d use if making it hot) and any additional toppings like peanut butter, bananas, cinnamon, or dried fruit. Mix and pop in the fridge overnight for a healthy and satisfying breakfast that will keep you full all morning long.
Chia pudding: For a truly unique breakfast treat, mix 2 cups of your favorite milk with ¼ cup of chia seeds. Add honey or maple syrup, chopped nuts, and dates or your favorite dried fruit. It will look thin at first, but when you wake up, it will be double in size, and will be the consistency of tapioca pudding! For a smoother, classic pudding texture, blend ingredients in a blender prior to chilling. The fiber and protein will keep you going long after you start your day with this cool breakfast.
Deconstructed Smoothie Bowl: Make your favorite smoothie and pour it in a bowl instead of a glass. Top with nuts, seeds, and fruit. Somehow, eating a smoothie with a spoon just makes it more exciting!
Greek Yogurt Overnight Power Bowl: Mix one cup of Greek yogurt with gluten-free oats, peanut butter, banana, flax seeds, raisins, cinnamon and your favorite sweetener (optional). Add in pumpkin puree for an added nutritional boost! You will look forward to waking up when you know this breakfast is waiting for you!
Smoothie Popsicles: Because nothing sounds more fun than having a popsicle for breakfast! Make your favorite smoothie the night before and pour it into popsicle molds. Pop one out before you head out for your morning commute. Bonus: These are great for kids, too (and are a super sneaky way to get them to eat healthy)!
Protein Muffins: Bake up a batch of muffins for the week using Greek yogurt or protein powder. A quick Internet search will show you that there are countless recipes all over the Internet (yes, even gluten-free!) so you can get really creative. This one may not be cold per se, but a room temperature breakfast is better than hot eggs on a 95 degree morning.
Protein Shakes: The trick is finding your favorite gluten-free protein powder as your base. From there, add in bananas (keep frozen bananas on hand for the best texture), peanut butter, and any other fun additions you prefer. Throwing in blueberries and/or a handful of greens is a also great way to add some plant-based nutrition to the mix. This breakfast ensures you’ll stay cool and stave off hunger throughout most of your day.
- GIG of NA

Gluten-Free Lemon Pound Cake

    Dry Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • Wet Ingredients
  • 2 lemons, squeezed – about 1/3 cup of lemon juice
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients, including lemon zest
  3. In a separate medium bowl, combine all wet ingredients
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients bowl and stir to combine
  5. Allow batter to set for a few minutes, and then stir again
  6. Lightly grease bread pan with coconut oil
  7. Line bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper to prevent sticking, cut paper to fit
  8. Bake about 35-40 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean (Note: cooking times and oven temperatures may vary – don't skip the toothpick test!)
  9. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before removing from pan
  10. Slice and serve – top with fresh fruit and coconut whipped cream if desired
  11. Keep refrigerated and covered between servings.
- Paleo Newbie

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Zucchini Noodles with Kale Pesto

Divide between two plates and top with more pesto and Parmesan.

Zucchini Noodles with Kale Pesto

Makes 2 servings (plus 1½ cups leftover pesto)
For the kale pesto:

3 cups chopped kale leaves
¾ cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts (toasted or raw)
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about ⅔ cup)

For the zucchini noodles:

4 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
⅓ cup kale pesto (above), plus more for serving
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving
Grated Parmesan, for serving

For the pesto:

1. Place the kale leaves, basil, and salt in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until the kale mixture is thoroughly chopped and almost paste-like. While the food processor is still running, drizzle in the olive oil very slowly. When all of the oil is incorporated, turn off the food processor. Add the pine nuts and garlic and pulse until the mixture is combined but still very grainy, 10 to 15 pulses. Add the grated cheese and pulse just to combine, 3 to 5 pulses. You’ll need ⅓ cup of pesto for this recipe. Store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.
For the zucchini noodles:
1. Use a spiralizer to spiralize the zucchini into spaghetti-shaped noodles. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can still make this recipe! Just use a vegetable peeler to peel the zucchini into thin ribbons.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pesto and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the pesto is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add halved tomatoes and zucchini noodles and cook, stirring, until the noodles are coated with the pesto and slightly softened, about a minute. Add the Parmesan and cook, stirring, just until the parmesan is melted.
3. Divide between two serving bowls and top with more pesto and parmesan, if you want!
recipe by Christine Byrne

Friday, July 1, 2016

Dark Chocolate Truffles

These Chocolate Truffles are a crowd-pleasing treat and make excellent gifts (especially for those who don’t believe eating healthy can be delicious and satisfy your sweet tooth every once in a while). This version is vegan, gluten-free and has the benefits of coconut oil (including medium-chain triglycerides and lauric acid). 
Serves: 24 truffles
Total time: 2 1/2 hours


  • 12 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup Nutiva Virgin Coconut Oil
  • ¾ cup coconut milk (full fat) or coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Stevia, honey or maple syrup to taste

For the coating:

  • ½ cup cocoa powder OR coconut flakes OR slivered almonds (optional)


  1. Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together, stirring continuously. Add the coconut milk and whisk until smooth.
  2. Remove from heat, then add the vanilla, salt, and a little bit of the recommended sweetener.
  3. Chill mixture for 2 hours or until set.
  4. Using a tablespoon, scoop a spoonful of the mixture, roll into a ball and then roll in coating of your choice.
  5. Return finished truffles to the refrigerator and chill truffles for at least 10 minutes, then serve.
  6. Store in a cool place.
- Healthy Holistic Living