Monday, September 26, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like...Fall!

Since it seems everyone is extra excited for fall this year, I baked up some gf df PUMPKIN BREAD this weekend...
The recipe comes from Pamela's Gluten Free Products. My lovely sister got me a giant bag of Pamela's baking and pancake mix so I've been inspired to up the baking in my house. On the back of the bag there are a ton of recipes and you can also find them on their website

Here we go: 

4 tablespoons butter, melted (I used earth balance, dairy free)
1/2 cup sugar (substitute agave nectar)
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1-1/3 Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamom
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 cloves

topping (optional):
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup nuts (I used almonds, you could do pecans or walnuts too)


Beat together butter, sugar, egg, and pumpkin. Add remaining bread ingredients and mix together. Pour into a greased loaf pan (8x4). Mix nut topping ingredients and smooth evenly over batter to the edges. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or when toothpick inserted comes out almost clean.

So the reason mine does not look like beautiful sliced bread is because no matter how long I cooked it, the bread still had a very doughy texture. I assumed it was because of the agave nectar, but as I retype this recipe I realize you are only supposed to use one cup of pumpkin, not the entire can! genius over here...anyways I sliced it up and toasted it in the oven for a little while, then cubed it and served it with sea salt carmel gelato. No this stuff is not dairy or sugar free, but it's amazing and I had dinner guests! 
btw, they give this recipe a 10 out of 10!

...seriously this stuff is AMAZING.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Healthy Halloween?

All year long I manage to walk right past all the candy screaming at me in the check out aisle, so why is it so hard to ignore it come Halloween time. Maybe it's that cute "fun size" packaging (btw I've always been perplexed why they think less candy is "fun"), or maybe its the childhood memories of trick or treating when I used to neatly organize all my candy by type and then proceed to eat all of it and pass out. A win/win for my mother; I'm asleep and won't be annoyingly asking for candy from my stash for the next month, unlike my brother who probably still has his hidden somewhere...

But enough about me, really what do we do about the Halloween candy epidemic. As usual, I've done a little research and found that a lot of candy only has "corn syrup" and not "high fructose corn syrup" in it. I know corn syrup is more natural than the latter, but I'm not entirely sure of how good it is for you to eat. (wonder what my next post will be...) In addition to corn syrup, most major candy brands are loaded with artificial flavors and dyes, especially the fruity ones, my fave. Chocolate is generally pretty safe especially when buying it from a health food store, but again READ THE LABELS! 

So what are the alternatives? You could be the boring person that hands out pretzels or tooth brushes? Honestly it's a tough call because the only options I've found are a bit on the pricey side. It's about $25 for a bag of 120 pieces of candy. (I know I'm not willing to buy it because my roommate have that candy bowl cleared out in 36 hours.) But, I'm sure the majority of my friends would agree that it's not in their budget to buy expensive treats for all the neighbor kids trick or treating extravaganzas. In the end, I guess it's all a personal choice. For me, I guess I'll just have keep staring at this empty bowl...

Sad. I might have to cave in...ugh, It's the holidays right?!

For those of you who would like to check out natural Halloween candy, click the link below:
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

what's in your scramble?

After a few "food chats" I had with people about breakfast, I decided something had to be done. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day right?! Like almost everything I do, I needed to research first and provide the background information. 

Originally, I wanted to do another top 5 list, this time with breakfast options. I wanted to start with eggs as #1. But I realized that most people probably don't even understand the labeling of eggs and what words like "cage free" "organic" or "grade AA" mean. I have always been really freaked out by eggs until I took gluten out of my diet and began eating more protein (more on that later). I decided to buy the organic, cage free, omega 3 eggs thinking that if they had all the above they must be the best. Wrong. 

Here is another blog I'm passing along that describes what the labels mean and what kind of eggs you should be looking for. Guess I'm taking a trip to the farmer's market...

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Goo, Please Do

To follow up on my informative post about corn syrup I decided to create a variation of "eat this, not that"
 called "goo, please do."
Items labeled "goo" contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). 
Items labeled "please do" are items that do not contain HFCS. 
Got it? Here we go...

Sadly this familiar face is full of high fructose corn syrup. And if you think you're being smart by buying the "low sugar" variation, think again. All they are doing is lowering the sugar content by watering it down, in fact, they water it down so much they have to add Red 40, artificial dyes. 

please do
I'm all kinds of fancy so I use St. Dalfour fruit conserves. It is all natural and it sweetened using fruit juice, no other sugars added. I don't know why it is but jams and jellies sweetened with fruit juice generally contain more sugar overall than items sweetened with cane sugar. My guess is that the cane sugar is sweeter so they use less. This has 13 grams of sugar. I try to stick to 10 grams and under but I'll let this little beauty slide...

Another familiar face filled with high fructose corn syrup. This is most likely in your home and in restaurants everywhere. On the bright side...

please do 
Thank you Heinz for wising up and making an organic ketchup that still tastes good. Have you tried other natural brands? barf. They're dark, runny, look funny, just plain nasty. This is one of the simple changes you can make in your kitchen because it's sold at major groceries stores (costco!) and it's a brand people have known and trusted for year. Seriously I know some picky ketchup eaters.

Kellogg's doesn't stop here with the high fructose corn syrup. Almost every cereal they make, even the healthy ones like "Special K" contain high fructose corn syrup. Other products made by this brand also contain artificial flavors and dyes. Seriously stop buying it, I don't care how many coupons you have.

please do
Not only are these bars low fat and made with organic grains, they're funny! And if you're a regular Trader Joe's shopper you know that their prices are very reasonable. I think these bars sell around $2, same with Whole Foods brand breakfast bars. 

This honestly breaks my heart. My mom swore by this growing up and yes in does in fact work very well, but unfortunately its filled with high fructose corn syrup, dyes, and artificial flavors. Many different types of medications are loaded with artificial ingredients. Some brands are taking a step in the right direction and offering "dye free" syrups.

please do
So I can't whole heartedly support this product because I haven't tried it, but I came across it in other mommy blogs and thought I'd pass it along. It's made with all natural flavors and also contains antioxidants and honey to soothe sore throats and boost immune system. Now I hate to get all serious on you, but I personally am not a medication person, especially when it comes to children. Kids are tough and most of the time can hopefully ride out a sickness without medication. I am not recommending this product so that the next time your kid coughs you run out and buy this. This is just to inform you that if god forbid your child gets to the point of needing medication, you will consider the ingredients of what medication you choose. I am not a doctor. Not even close. 

Whew, sorry to end on a serious note. 

Remember to always always read the labels of what you are buying. Most items that are labeled "organic" are free of high fructose corn syrup because I don't believe there is such a thing as organic high fructose corn syrup. However, be careful of products labeled "all natural" because the FDA found some crazy corn syrup loop hole that makes it ok. Most natural food stores will not carry foods containing HFCS, so you're pretty safe shopping at stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joes. 
But again please, read read read. 

Food items to watch out for: sodas, ice cream, processed foods, fruit drinks, baked goods, cereals, salad dressing, tomato based sauces and condiments, yogurt. 
Click on the link below to see a blog that listed items by brand:

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Reunited and it feels so good...

If you know me, you know that I was beyond obsessed with those bright orange noodles in the blue box. Shapes, spirals, shells, whatever. I ate mac n cheese three times a week, maybe twice a day; my entire life. (my insides are probably stained orange) Growing up I always insisted on making it myself because only I can do it right, my mother will admit she is terrible at making Kraft mac n cheese. And yes, that was all I would eat as a picky child, absolutely no store brands (along with only eating circle Eggo waffles put back in a circle after being cut, I don't know why my mother put up with me...). Over the years I've branched out and tried the more natural brands like Annie's or Trader Joe's. Love it. Gourmet mac n cheese? Love it. Add truffle oil and chicken? Love it.
I love it all.

So when I decided to give up gluten and dairy I thought my love affair with mac n cheese was over. If you go to the pasta section of a health foods store they have a variety of gluten free mac n cheese options as well as a few dairy free. There is only one type that is gluten free and diary free. I have two boxes sitting in the cupboard and I just can't bring myself to eat it. It scares me. It's penne pasta and its a white-ish cheese. I've just convinced myself it can't be good, macaroni is a gluten product and cheese is dairy, you take out those things and it's just not right. So it sits there collecting dust and I'm sitting here with a piece of my soul missing...

Until my lovely sister and healthy eating partner in crime came across Wayfare dairy free foods and texted me the photo of their cheese spread they claim you can make mac n cheese with. I went on a mission to find it and was instantly attracted to that lovely orange color (no dyes or artificial stuff though). I picked up a bag of gluten free elbow macaroni and set off on my quest.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Baked Mac n Cheese:

  • one bag of gluten free macaroni (I used Bionature elbows, not my favorite after the fact)
  • Wayfare dairy free cheddar spread
While macaroni is cooking, toast two slices of gluten free bread. I used Udi's multigrain and toasted them twice since they were frozen and I wanted them extra crunchy. After toasted, cut into small pieces to make a chunky bread crumb topping. Toss with garlic, Italian seasoning, and olive oil. (this is a great bread crumb to use with other recipes as well)

After macaroni is cooked to desired texture, strain, and stir in Wayfare cheddar spread. I didn't add anything other than that, but I would suggest adding olive oil, water, or dairy free milk product because it gets dry after baking if you don't eat it right away. Last, put cheesey macaroni in a dish and cover with bread crumbs. 
Bake together at 375 until golden brown. 

My boyfriend came home and grabbed a plate and loved it, he had no idea it was gf df. I am really excited about this product and want to continue to try new recipes with it. 
Maybe bacon mac n cheese???

Find it at a store near you:

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