Tuesday, October 28, 2014

An Effective Plan to Treat Candida

My kids and me before we started the Candida diet.


First of all, before I get into this post, I must point out the disclaimer at the bottom of this page and remind you that I am not licensed as a physician or a nutritionist.  But that being said, I have done hundreds of hours of research on this topic for my own personal understanding.  And, from that research and lots of God-directed paths, I have successfully led myself, my children, and numerous other people and families through the Candida healing process.  Furthermore, considering that most licensed physicians and nutritionists have absolutely zero hours of training in how to deal with Candida and remove an overpopulation, I will liken my credentials to that which I had when I was hired on as one of the first Quality Assurance Analysts for testing manufacturing equipment for FDA regulated medical devices...a little experience trumps no experience at all and what I have to say, I believe, is worth taking the time to read.
OK, now for all of you who have been asking me for years to put this advise down in writing, I am finally at a place where I have come to grasp the essentials behind how God worked to heal my children and me from our Candida issues and also how that same method has proven effective in treating like conditions in other families and which have been documented by various studies and noted authorities.  And, although I could just give you a "diet" to follow, I would rather take the time to describe the science behind what Candida is and why the basis of what I recommend really works. (Do you really think you would get any less from a physicist?)

First, what is Candida and why is it bad?

Candida is a yeast type of bacteria that occurs naturally and happens to be a part of every human bacterial system.  (Fact:  The human body is composed of 10 percent cells and 90 percent bacteria, where bacteria functions, for the most part, in ways that improve our health and help each and every one of our bodies function in a "normal" capacity.)  And although Candida is present in every body, that does not necessarily mean everybody deals with a Candida infection.  


In a normal human bacterial system, the Candida bacteria is kept under control by a plethora of beneficial bacteria, or "good" bacteria.  The more "good" bacteria within the human body the easier it is for that body to fight off "bad" bacteria.  (Fact:  Even the "bad" bacteria Salmonella can be found in every person's bacterial system, but the reason you don't get Salmonella poisoning, unless you eat tainted food which is filled with lots and lots of Salmonella, is because normally you overpopulate it in your gut with an array of "good" bacteria.)  So as you can see, a gut bacterial problem crops up when something happens to throw off the balance of the "good" bacteria, and thus the "bad" bacteria is allowed to take control.  For Candida that imbalance usually happens when antibiotics come into play. That being said, there are other environmental and dietary conditions which can throw this balance off too, but since the majority of people who seek my advice realize the antibiotic connection I will explain that relationship just a bit further.  

The role of an antibiotic is to kill off bacteria, and it does a great job of that, but unfortunately antibiotics are unable to target just the "bad" bacteria within the body and so they also kill off large amounts of "good" bacteria along with large amounts of "bad" bacteria.  And although that may not sound like such an awful thing right away, once you consider that there is one bacteria that is immune to being killed off by antibiotics, and that it is a yeast type of bad bacteria called Candida, you may begin to think twice.

In surviving the "killing off" process of the antibiotics, Candida is left to flourish and grow at enormous rates if it is not kept under control with the addition of extra “good” bacteria to the gut/digestive system.   (This is the reason that many physicians now recommend that patients eat yogurt or take an over-the-counter probiotic during and after a regimen of antibiotics.)  What Candida does within the system, if not kept under control, is the genesis of many of the dietary and behavioral issues that we as a society deal with more and more each year.  But don't just take my word on that, you can do the research yourself and see that the author of TheGAPS Diet, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, & the author of TheBiology of Learning and Behavior, Dianne Craft are just a few experts that say the same thing in their published materials.

Candida, once it starts to take over the human bacterial system, flourishes in the gut region.  And when in the gut, it feeds on simple sugars and starches...yes, all the things that our American processed food diet is full of...and each time fed, rewards the body in a manner similar to the way an addictive drug rewards a drug addict.  Thus, the more you feed the Candida what it likes, the worse the bacterial infection grows, and the more you desire to feed it instead of feeding your body a healthy balanced diet.  Some researcher have gone as far as to label this Candida infection effect to be equivalent in intensity to that of a cocaine addiction.  But what is worse than just the addictive nature of the Candida infection is the damage the infection does to the sensory and digestive systems of the person it infects. 

Now consider a Candida infection and how the overpopulation of this yeast can grow so large that the gut becomes increasingly dysfunctional, so not only does movement of digestive waste become inhibited, but similarly so does every other process designed to happen within that region of the body (nutrient absorption, cell regeneration of the gut lining which keeps larger food particles from absorbing into the blood system, disposal of heavy metals from the system, and Serotonin production and absorption to name a few).  Thus constipation, leaky gut syndrome, toxic heavy metal levels, and sensory issues start to present themselves within the individuals who have this overgrowth.


Now, you can probably make sense of the reasoning behind why constipation would be caused by a Candida infection, and maybe the connection with the leaky gut (that will have to be an entirely different post) and toxic heavy metal levels, but as far as the sensory issues, that one is usually not as easily connected...so I will explain.  The region of the human body where serotonin, the body's natural calming drug, is produced and absorbed is within the gut.  And, equally interesting is the fact that a manufactured equivalent of natural Serotonin is the main ingredient in Ritalin, and all SSRI anti-depressants (which are the majority of the anti-depressants on the market).  

In an individual with a healthy bacterial system, serotonin is easily absorbed through the gut walls and thus these people find it reasonably easy to navigate normal sensory loads.  But, those who have Candida infections do not have access to this natural serotonin and therefore struggle with staying on an even keel when they are bombarded with lots of sensory input.  Examples from my own life, and those of my children, of mismanaged sensory bombardment ranged from constant scratching and being bothered by tags and tight fitting clothes, to extreme and harmful outbursts of anger and serious thoughts of suicide.  

Furthermore, what is even more disconcerting, is the fact that a Candida infection can be passed along from parent to child, as it did in our family's case.  In looking at my own history, I realized that my traumatic birth, formula feeding, and multiple years of on-going antibiotic use in trying to cure my severe acne, were the main culprits for the many years I struggled with suicidal thoughts, brain fog, and difficulty navigating social situations.  And, now through research done by people like Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, the evidence exists to confirm that I did pass my poor gut bacteria onto my two boys when they were born. 



Getting rid of the Candida:
So, the big question that I am sure most of you are now asking is, “How do I get rid of the Candida?” Well, you will never fully get all the Candida out of your system, as alluded to previously in this article, but the goal would be to get rid of the rapid over-growth and at the same time over-populate the bacteria with “good” bacteria. This method is sometimes called the Starve & Feed Method and it focuses on starving the Candida while feeding and supplying the body with loads of “good” bacteria.
So, to starve off the Candida you need to stop giving it what it wants – sugar and carbohydrates. And then, to feed the body with “good” bacteria, you want to acquire a pharmaceutical grade probiotic and take it in large quantities while you are killing off the Candida while at the same time feeding it with healthy foods. If done properly you can cut down the time you need to stay on a severely strict diet and thus increase rate, something which most of the traditional methods that do not use probiotics, but rely on diet alone, have a harder time claiming without strict supervision of a specially trained doctor or dietician.
Also, since Candida over-growth is often shared between many, if not all immediate family members, I suggest that this diet be taken on as a family diet and not just a diet for one individual in the family. Plus, the success rate is much greater when all family members are on-board with the change, especially dad and mom, because temptations run high to go back to your same diet, especially the first month, and if those familiar carb-loaded, tempting foods happen to be in the house, I can guarantee that it will be almost impossible to avoid the foods necessary to bring about rapid healing. And, in the end when your whole family changes to a less restricted diet, but still more healthy way of eating, everyone will be happy to be free of the limited diet you were on and be ready to continue eating the much more healthy alternatives you offer them.

Here is the schedule that I recommend be followed strictly:

Month 1:
Diet: (Please note these lists are not all-inclusive, but are meant to give you a good base to start with).
  • Not allowed: Sweeteners (see below for 1 exception); carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, crackers, tortillas, and any starch-based flat bread); higher sugar/starch fruits & vegetables (see allowed list below); dairy (unless specifically listed on “allowed” list); dried fruits; treated meats (sausages, luncheon meats, jerky, covered in any sauce or treated with nitrates, etc.); spice mixes that could contain sugars or other adverse additives; fruit/vegetable juices; alcohol.
  • Allowed: Stevie (only sweetener allowed this month); nuts (plain or salted); eggs; cheese – as long as it is aged over 1 year; yogurt/kefir – as long as it is cultured over 24 hours; non-treated meats; low sugar fruits & vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, bell peppers, artichokes, leeks, onions, garlic, celery, cucumber, okra, eggplant, asparagus, beans, mushrooms, radishes, grapefruit, lemons, limes, raspberries, and blueberries; oils (coconut, olive, animal lard, gee); bone broth; raw apple cider vinegar; unsweetened coconut chips; seeds (chia, sunflower, flax, pumpkin, hemp, and sesame); plain spices; seltzer water; unsweetened cocoa; salt & pepper; coffee; and tea. If you would like a good guide for recipes that are mostly acceptable (make sure to check ingredients from these “not allowed” and “allowed” lists) try finding Paleo-friendly websites and books which promote non-grain diets and they will provide you with a lot of very tasty options.  Another resource that may be helpful is this Candida Meal Planning for a Week from Dr. McComb
  • Highly Desired Foods to be Eating: Bone broth (see this recipe for the how and why of homemade bone broth), cinnamon, cayenne pepper, turmeric, garlic, aloe vera juice (¼ cup maximum/day) AND any of the above “allowed” foods in a fermented state. (These foods will help accelerate the healing process.)
Probiotics: 3 tablets at every meal, therefore 9 tablets spread out over the day. I recommend using Suprema Dophilus from HoustonEnzymes since theses are patented to deliver the live probiotics past stomach acid and into the intestines as well as keep them viable in shelf storage.

Additional daily supplements: Krill oil (500mg), magnesium citrate (500mg) (optional), cleated zinc (30mg)(optional), and TriEnza Enzymes from Houston Enzymes (following manufacture's directions on how to work up to prescribed dosage).

Hints and Tips: His month is going to be the most difficult, I won't lie, but the diet gets much easier to maintain once your body goes through the withdrawal process from the sugars and starches. One thing that I did every day for my boys to get them through their 3pm low-period each day was to mix seltzer water with 7 drops of flavored stevia (root beer was their favorite). After a couple of weeks the sugar urges weren't as bad, and by the time we added honey into the diet in month two they were very well adjusted to handling a lot less sugar in their diets each day.

Also, when buying supplements you need to be very careful about not buying ones with ingredients that would further harm your body as well as your treatment regimen. Therefore avoid all supplements that contain any sweeteners, except for stevia, GMO sourced ingredients (the biggie in this area is soy, which is sometimes even labeled without the word “soy” and just called lecithin), and of course artificial flavors and dyes. And, since you will be eating such a clean diet with a large amount of enzymes you will also experience some level of chemical detox Candida die-off and that will manifest itself in different ways depending upon where your body has deposited those chemicals and releases them. Some people experience rashes (like hives), itching, flu-like symptoms, and/or mood swings during this phase, but these are short-lived episodes that subside quickly as long as you follow the instructions for easing into taking the suggested enzyme supplements.



Month 2: (Please note these lists are not all-inclusive, but are meant to give you an idea of what types of things you can add into your diet this final month before transitioning into a “clean” diet.)
Diet:
  • Not allowed: Sweeteners (see below for 2 exceptions); carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, crackers, tortillas, and any starch-based flat bread); higher sugar/starch fruits & vegetables (see allowed list below); dairy (unless specifically listed on “allowed” list); dried fruits; treated meats (sausages, luncheon meats, jerky, covered in any sauce or treated with nitrates, etc.); spice mixes that could contain sugars or other adverse additives; fruit/vegetable juices; alcohol.
  • Allowed: Stevia; raw honey (maximum of 3 tablespoons per day); nuts (plain or salted); eggs; cheese – as long as it is aged over 1 year; yogurt/kefir – as long as it is cultured over 24 hours; non-treated meats; low sugar fruits & vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, bell peppers, artichokes, leeks, onions, garlic, celery, cucumber, okra, eggplant, asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, radishes, grapefruit, lemons, limes, raspberries, and blueberries, plus you can start adding in the following fruits & vegetables at a rate of only 1 serving per meal of one of the following: cantaloupe, strawberries, tomatoes, avocados, guavas, beets, apples, peaches, asparagus, olives, cauliflower, green peas, and rutabaga; oils (coconut, olive, animal lard, gee); bone broth; raw apple cider vinegar; unsweetened coconut chips; seeds (chia, sunflower, flax, pumpkin, hemp, and sesame); plain spices; seltzer water; unsweetened cocoa; salt & pepper; coffee; and tea. As well as you can start adding in (in moderation, therefore one serving per meal) the following carbohydrates: pealed barley, steel cut oats, dried beans, popcorn, quinoa, wild rice, or bulgar wheat.
  • Highly Desired Foods to be Eating: Bone broth (see this recipe for the how and why of homemade bone broth), cinnamon, garlic, cayenne pepper, turmeric, aloe vera juice (¼ cup maximum per day) AND any of the above “allowed” foods in a fermented state. (These foods will help accelerate the healing process.)
Probiotics: 2 tablets at every meal, therefore 6 tablets spread out over the day. I recommend using Suprema Dophilus from Houston Enzymes since theses are patented to deliver the live probiotics past stomach acid and into the intestines as well as keep them viable in shelf storage.
Additional daily supplements: Grapefruit seed extract (125 mg), krill oil (500mg), magnesium citrate (500mg) (optional), cleated zinc (30mg) (optional), and TriEnzaEnzymes from HoustonEnzymes (By this time you should be worked up to a full dose of the enzymes.)


Month 3: (Please note these lists are not all-inclusive, but are meant to give you an idea of what types of things you can start adding into your diet.)

Diet:
  • Not allowed: Sweeteners (see below for 2 exceptions); carbohydrates (bread, pasta, white rice, potatoes, crackers, tortillas, and any starch-based flat bread); grapes, bananas, plums, pineapple, and watermelon ; dried fruits; treated meats (sausages, luncheon meats, jerky, covered in any sauce or treated with nitrates, etc.); spice mixes that could contain sugars or other adverse additives; fruit/vegetable juices; alcohol.
  • Allowed: Stevia; raw honey (maximum of 6 tablespoons per day); nuts (plain or salted); eggs; any dairy as long as it is full-fat; non-treated meats; low sugar fruits & vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, bell peppers, artichokes, leeks, onions, garlic, celery, cucumber, okra, eggplant, asparagus, beans, mushrooms, radishes, grapefruit, lemons, limes, raspberries, and blueberries, cantaloupe, strawberries, tomatoes, avocados, guavas, beets, apples, peaches, olives, cauliflower, green peas, rutabaga, plus you can start adding in the following fruits & vegetables at a rate of only 1 serving per meal of one of the following: any other fruit or vegetable that is not on the “not allowed” list above; oils (coconut, olive, animal lard, gee); bone broth; raw apple cider vinegar; unsweetened coconut chips; seeds (chia, sunflower, flax, pumpkin, hemp, and sesame); plain spices; seltzer water; unsweetened cocoa; salt & pepper; coffee; and tea. As well as you can start adding in (in moderation, therefore one serving of) the following carbohydrates per meal: pearled barley, steel cut oats, dried beans, popcorn, quinoa, wild rice, bulgar wheat, brown rice, steel cut oats, buckwheat, and rye berries.
  • Highly Desired Foods to be Eating: Bone broth (see this recipe for the how and why of homemade bone broth), cinnamon, garlic, cayenne pepper, turmeric, aloe vera juice (¼ cup maximum per day) AND any of the above “allowed” foods in a fermented state. (These foods will help accelerate the healing process.)
Probiotics: 1 tablet at every meal, therefore 3 tablets spread out over the day. I recommend using SupremaDophilus from HoustonEnzymes since theses are patented to deliver the live probiotics past stomach acid and into the intestines as well as keep them viable in shelf storage.
Additional supplements: Krill oil (500mg), magnesium citrate (500mg) (optional), cleated zinc (30mg) (optional), and TriEnzaEnzymes from HoustonEnzymes (By this time you should be worked up to a full dose.)


Our family now...healed and so very thankful!

Healing the damage and how to maintain a “clean” diet:
First of all, I want to let you know that if you have a diet that is right now loaded with sugars and carbohydrates, YOU WILL go through withdrawal, and it will not be pleasant. But, if you can just stay strong through the earlier stages of this diet, the payoff will be well worth it and you will have cleared up your Candida over-growth very quickly and effectively.
Secondly, you need to understand that the Candida diet is just the beginning of a dietary change that can be taken forward after the three month time period to not just clear up an overgrowth of Candida yeast and detoxify your body, but it is also the preliminary step needed to actually healing the damage done to your intestinal wall and repairing what is known as “leaky gut syndrome” (again, this is something I will need to make an entirely different post about to fully explain – so watch for it in the future or do some research yourself if you can't wait).



Moving forward: 
At this point (the end of the three month diet) you can discontinue taking the probiotics, but do make sure to always eat one serving or more of a fermented food a meal to keep a healthy “good” bacterial balance. Also, the enzyme supplements should be continued for a total of 6 months for children and 1 year for adults and then weaned off per the manufacture's directions. One product I do recommend to take as a way to continue receiving enzymes in a more natural product is chlorella, specially Clean Chlorella which you can read more about at the link provided as to why it is superior to other chlorella products.
What you do from this point forward is of course your choice, but families I have seen walk away from this diet, with very good initial results, but choose to go back to a very similar diet which they had maintained before the cleanse and detox, find they need to revisit a similar diet almost yearly, not because of the need to clear up a Candida infection again, but rather because unresolved gut damage continues to manifest in observed food intolerance and behavioral & toxicity issues. Therefore, I recommend to start with your clean slate and take advantage of the success you have already achieved, thus proceeding forward in a manner that treats your body as you should be treated– with healthy and nutritious foods that actually feed, repair, and restore your body, meal by meal. Eating this way means consuming foods as God intended – whole, minimally processed, heirloom/natural seed foods, organically grown, grass-fed, pastured animals, raw (if possible), natural fats, clean of chemical additives, and seasonal as much as your climate provides you the ability to do so.
My hope and prayer is that this information will bring help and healing to those who are open to these truths which I am so thankful were brought to light for our family – ones that have provided freedom and peace to us in ways that we never imagined, but definitely prayed for believing God could heal if He desired. Every day brings new and more exiting revelations to me on how God can bring good things out of all that happens in my life, and thus looking back at all the heartache and pain our family suffered in relation to our Candida infections, I am thankful to be of His use in bringing hope to others by sharing our struggles and the things we have learned about Candida and how to live free of its' grip.
Disclaimer:  This post is not meant to replace the advice of any physician. Do not rely upon any information that you read here to replace consultations or advice received by qualified health professionals regarding your own specific situation. The information provided here is intended to help educate people on how to battle Candida and exhibit methods that have proven effective in multiple cases and should never be construed as medical advice.
 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rice Noodle, Pear, and Turkey Salad with Raspberry Dressing



While trying to figure out how I could make a salad without lettuce, that my husband would enjoy (he isn't too big on the sprouts that I tend to like), I came up with the following salad that made him exclaim, "How did you come up with this recipe?  I really like it."

So, here is what you will need to make this very "liked" new recipe of mine:

Raspberry Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons Braggs "Live-culture"Cider Vinegar OR strong kumbucha
2 Tablespoons honey
1/4 cup coconut oil (warmed if you live in a climate where it solidifies)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon chia seeds

Salad Ingredients:
1 package rice noodles
2 pears (sliced)
1 cup smoked turkey (cubed)
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup crumbled cheese (the more tart the cheese the better it will pair with the sweetness of the pear)


To start off, put all the ingredients for the dressing into a blender and pulse until it reaches a smooth consistency.  Put into a glass jar and then leave on the counter for at least 15 minutes.






Next, cook the noodles according to the direction on the box, rinse in cold water, and then coat with a little coconut oil and chill until you are ready to assemble the salad.




Finally, layer the cold noodles, pears, cheese, and sunflower seeds on 4 plates and top with the raspberry dressing.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I do so apologize that it has been so long since I have posted anything on my blog, but life has its way of taking over...and in our case it took over our entire household and moved us(literally) in the most dramatic way - from a hobby farm in Minnesota to a travel trailer that is now parked in The Woodlands, Texas.

So, now that the boxes are packed and we are living on the minimals...it seems I have a little more time to get to some of those things that got put to the side while our moving was going on, like blogging.  Of course, you will notice that my kitchen is not what it used to be (actually not even a fraction and some of that is even outside) but good food is plentiful here in Texas and I plan to make the most of all the ingredients I have close by from the many sources I have already discovered in this area.

Onto the recipe at hand:  Whole What Chocolate Chip Pancakes


Here is what you will need:
3 cups Soft White Whole Wheat (Pastry flour), freshly milled
1 3/4 cups Milk
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Vinegar
1/4 cup Honey
1 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Coconut oil
Organic Chocolate Chips

Mix all of the ingredients (minus the chocolate chips) into a large bowl...









...and stir.

Now, on a hot griddle, ladle out the batter, top with a desired amount of chocolate chips, and cook until completely baked inside and out.

My outdoor kitchen



Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hamburger Country Fried Steaks


What kid doesn't love a good hamburger?  But, add a little breading and fry it in some oil and you have a burger that my kids would tell you is the best burger they have ever tasted, while I would tell you that it is the one that you rarely can find as a leftover in my refrigerator! 

Here is what you need to make this recipe:
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • Grape seed oil for frying in
First,  make patties out of the ground beef.


Next, mix together the eggs and milk in a shallow bowl.

Finally, mix the rest of the ingredients in another shallow bowl (flour, crumbs, & spices).


Now, in a frying pan, add enough oil to cover the bottom and heat over medium heat.  


Then add a few patties at a time that have been dipped in the egg mixture and then dipped in the flour mixture.



Fry until the patties are browned on each side, then into a pan in a 300 degree oven.  


Repeat the above steps until you have cooked all of your patties.

Allow the patties to all sit in the oven for at least 15 minutes, and then serve.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Soaked Chocolate Muffins


You would not believe the amount of chocolate I cook with each month for our family of 5...and it is not because I really love chocolate all that much, it is my husband and children that absolutely crave it.  I do admit that I have a weakness for butter cream frosting, and would take it any day over chocolate, but then again I can't see needing to have it on my breakfast items as much as those listed above like to have chocolate in theirs.  

So, to satisfy this "need for chocolate" and my desire to keep my family fed in a healthy manner, I came up with this recipe...which is now a weekly staple in our home.

Ingredients:
List #1
  • 4 cups soft whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup organic cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup organic carob powder
  • 1 cup SUCANAT
  • 2 1/2 cups of a mixture of any of the following:  milk, whey, yogurt, and/or milk kefir
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2/3 cup grape seed oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup organic chocolate chips

List #2
  • 2 Tablespoons non-GMO baking powder

Mix all of the ingredients in List #1 together and then set aside, covered, for at least 8 hours.


When you are ready to bake the muffins, add in the baking powder from List #2, mix...


...and scoop into muffin cups or small cake pans.


Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 25 minutes (will depend on which size pans/cups you use) or as soon as a knife can cleanly be removed from the center of a cake.

Soaked Coconut Scones




I may be the only one who LOVES coconut in our house, but I am not the only one who loves these scones...they seem to cross the "liking" barrier even for those who don't mind coconut in baked goods, and thus my husband and daughter have been known to chose this delicious option over some of their other favorite breakfast choices.  

Plus, I managed to pull off adding into this recipe an ingredient that I was challenged to make "something good to eat" from: Einkorn flour.  The friend who gave me the bag of this flour said that she thought it tasted awful in all the recipes she tried with it...and you know me and challenges.  What I found is, this flour has a bit of a tart/bitter taste to it, so pairing it with coconut flour, which is naturally sweet, was a perfect blend.  But, don't take my word for it...try it yourself.

Here are the ingredients you will need:
List #1
1 cup soft white whole wheat flour
1 cup Einkorn flour
1/4 cup cane juice crystals
1/4 cup SUCANAT
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup softened butter
1 egg
1 can coconut milk (not lowfat)
1 teaspoon vanilla

List #2
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

List #3
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup shredded coconut, chopped into tiny pieces in a food processor
2 Tablespoons cane juice crystals

At least 8 hours before you are going to make the scones (usually I put this together before I go to bed, when making the scones in the morning), mix up all the ingredients in List #1.



Then cover and let sit out at room temperature until you are ready to make the scones.

Right before making the scones, mix in the ingredients in List #2.


Then press the mixture out onto a floured sheet of parchment, making the dough into a big circle.





Brush the top or the circle with the milk and sprinkle with chopped coconut and cane sugar.



Then cut the circle into 8 slices.

Bake at 375 degree Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes, or until the coconut starts to brown.


Homemade Taquitos

 
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting three friends for three days of cooking classes.  And, with their help, we took a lot of pictures so we could share these recipes I have been wanting to post up here on my site...but just haven't had the chance, or in this case, the recipe was a little too messy to make while at the same time take pictures of the process. I hope you enjoy this family favorite of ours!

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups leftover meat
  • 1 cup mashed beans (see easy instructions below on how to make these from bean flour)
  • 1 cup cheese, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 30 corn tortillas
  • Oil for coating pan and tortillas.  I use grape seed oil

First, make the mashed beans...either mashed already cooked beans OR to make 1 cup of mashed beans from bean flour, just add 1 cup of water to 1/2 cup of bean flour, put into a pot and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes...or until the mixture is thickened.

Then, coat a large baking pan (with a lip) with some oil.


Next, in a food processor, combine the meat, mashed beans, cheese, and spices and pulse until the mixture comes together.



Finally, with a warmed tortilla, brush both sides with oil...


...fill with about a teaspoon of the meat/bean/cheese mixture...


...roll and place in coated pan.


One last time coat the rolled tortillas with another brushing of oil.


Then bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, or until brown.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sprouting as I Wait for Spring

If you live anywhere in the northern part of the United States, like I do, I don't have to tell you how long and cold this winter has been.  Truly, this weather has been trying on even the hardiest northerner.  And, although spring looks like it will never come,...

View out my front window BEFORE the winter storm that started tonight!

...in time, the snow will surely leave, the green grass will appear, and once more it will be gardening time, and I also will be able to feel my appendages!

But, if you have been as impatient as I have been about eating some fresh, home grown produce, then here is an idea...sprout some!  I find that sprouting through the longest winter months is not only a good thing to do to add fresh greens to my diet, but also it helps me keep my sanity (OK, maybe not all of it) when I start thinking that the gardening season will never come.

Here is how simple sprouting is:

Start with seeds, beans, and/or a mix of both that are specifically sold for sprouting. 

In a mason jar put the following, depending upon what you will be sprouting:
  • If using seeds or a mix with mostly seeds, put in 2 Tablespoons of the seeds or mix in the jar
  • If using bean or a mix with mostly beans, put a 1/2 cup of the beans or mix in the jar

 Next add a cup or two of water to the seeds/beans.  Cover and let sit on the counter for 6 to 8 hours.



After soaking, rinse the seeds/beans and then put them in a warm dark place to grow, making sure that about every 12 hours you rinse them and pour off all extra water...you just want to remove any residue on the seeds/beans and re-hydrate them, but make sure to get as much water off of them or your sprouts are more likely to have an unwelcomed slime on them.

My usual way of keeping them in a warm dark place is to cover them with a towel and place them on top of my coffee maker.  That way I remember to rinse them when I go to get a cup of coffee.

Note:  If you do not have a sprouting lid like I do don't worry about having to run out and get one.  You can make your own using a cheese cloth and the rim cover for the mason jar.  The only important thing that the lid must do is hold in the sprouts while allowing water in and out as well as air. 

After a couple of days you will have a jar full of sprouts...


...then you just need to give them a final rinse, and then tip them upside-down in a bowl in your refrigerator.  They will keep up to a week.


 And, for an easy salad, just top a heap of sprouts with some balsamic vinegar and freshly ground salt...YUM!