Rosemary Bread

It has been said that rosemary is one of the best herbs for improving cognition/memory, relieving stress, boosting the immune system, relieving pain, and more.

I just love it because it tastes good! Especially in this flat bread. It goes great as a side dish to pasta. Or maybe even as a “deep” crust for pizza.

1 cup warm water

1 tbsp coconut palm sugar

1 packet active yeast

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cups gluten free all purpose flour

  1. In a large bowl, combine warm water, sugar and yeast. Let that sit for about 10 minutes to let it proof. It’ll get foamy. If it doesn’t, you likely have bad yeast, so you’ll want to start over.
  2. Stir in the salt, rosemary, olive oil, and flour.
  3. Cover bowl and let dough rise for 1 hour.
  4. Turn your dough out onto cornmeal dusted parchment paper on top of pizza stone (it will be sticky) and let sit for another 30-40 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Cherry Pie

Whatever you do, do NOT make cherry pie using canned cherry pie filling. It’s mostly NOT cherries, anyway, including food coloring!

I have a super simple filling recipe for you so you can make cherry pie from scratch and really impress your friends and family. 😉

Crust

1 1/2 cups almond flour

3/4 cup sorghum flour

3/4 tapioca starch

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

1/2 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt

2 tsp xanthan gum

3/4 cup melted coconut oil

8 tbsp cold almond milk

  1. Combine everything except the coconut oil and milk. Mix well.
  2. Add in the coconut oil, then the milk.
  3. Shape dough into 2 balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. It will make the dough easier to work with.
  4. When ready to use: put one ball of dough into your pie plate (coated with a little coconut oil) and press down and out and up the sides of the pie plate to completely cover it.
  5. Add cherry pie filling (below).
  6. Using other ball of dough, on the counter-top, press down and out to flatten to about a 1/2 inch thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut strips and place the strips over the top of the cherries to form a lattice design OR you can completely cover it and slice tiny vents in the center of the pie to let the air escape (no one wants a giant crust bubble on top of their pie!)

Cherry Pie Filling

4 cups frozen cherries

1/4 cup raw honey

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup tapioca starch (dissolved in a bit of water to make a slurry)

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the cherries, honey and vanilla to a bubble then let it cook on low for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tapioca starch and mix well, bring to a bubble once more then take it off the heat.
  4. Pour into prepared bottom crust. Top with top crust and bake for 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Chocolate Pie

I like pie, but it isn’t my weakness. I can usually resist indulging in a slice when there are leftovers. (Cookies….now THAT’S my weakness!).

This pie…chocolate pie….I think I now have a pie weakness!

It’s SO creamy and delicious, good luck having just one slice.

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1/4 cup almond milk

1 1/2 tbsp tapioca starch

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1 can if using canned)

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3 oz 72% dark chocolate

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use enjoy life brand)

2 tsp vanilla extract

Prepared pie crust

  1. Bake your pie crust first. Once that is done you can prepare the filling.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat add the milk and starch and mix well. Add pumpkin, sugar and spices and mix. Bring to a bubble.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in dark chocolate and semi sweet chocolate. Keep stirring until melted and mix it well until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Pour into pie crust and place in fridge to chill/set for 2-3 hours.

Gluten Free Dinner Rolls

You can make these rolls either in a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer.

3 1/2 cups gluten free flour

1 packet instant yeast

2 tbsp coconut palm sugar

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1 cup warm water

6 tbsp vegan butter, room temperature

1 egg

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In your bowl, place the flour, yeast, salt and sugar and whisk with a fork.
  3. Add the water, butter, and egg. Mix on low speed until combined, then increase to medium speed (if using a stand mixer, use the dough hook) and knead for 5 minutes.
  4. Using a silicone spatula, scrap down the sides of the bowl and shape it into a ball. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge to chill for about 10 minutes. This makes the dough much easier to work with when rolling out.
  5. After 10 minutes, remove the dough from the fridge. Grab about 1/3 cup of dough at a time, and using damp hands (to keep dough from sticking), roll into balls and place on baking sheet. Continue until all dough is used.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Green Bean Casserole

1 pound green beans, rinsed, trimmed and cut in half

Himalayan sea salt and black pepper

2 tbsp vegan butter

2 cloves minced garlic

1 cup finely chopped cremini mushrooms (you could also use baby bella or button)

2 tbsp gluten free flour

3/4 cup vegetable broth

3/4 cup almond milk

1 1/2 cups gluten free fried onions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Grease a casserole dish.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it well (to help season the green beans). Add green beans and cook for 5 minutes, then drain and place in a bowl of ice cold water. Drain, then set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add vegan butter and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 more minutes until lightly browned.
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to coat the veggies. Slowly add in the vegetable broth and whisk to incorporate.
  5. Add in almond milk and whisk again. Cook for 5-7 more minutes, or until thick and bubbly. If need be, you can add more flour to thicken, about 2 tsp at a time.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the fried onions. Transfer to casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining fried onions on top, and bake for 15 minutes,

Gluten Free Stuffing

I love stuffing! No holiday meal is complete without it!

It’s extremely easy to make it on your own, so you can leave that bagged and boxed stuffing sitting on the store shelf and make this instead.

3 tbsp vegan butter

2 cups finely chopped onion

2 cups finely chopped celery

1/4 cup minced garlic

1 loaf gluten free bread, cubed

1 2/3 cup vegetable broth

1 tsp nutritional yeast bouillon **

4 tsp fresh minced parsley

1/2 tsp sage powder

Pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a casserole pan (you can use vegan butter or coconut oil to do this).
  2. Heat the vegan butter in large skillet over medium-high heat and add the chopped onion, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Place the cubed bread into a large mixing bowl and add the cooked veggies. Toss to evenly coat the bread.
  4. Pour in the broth and mix to coat bread/veggie mixture.
  5. Add in the bouillon, sage, parsley, and pepper and mix well. Transfer to prepared casserole dish.
  6. Bake until top is lightly golden brown – about 50-55 minutes.

**

Bouillon Powder

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

2 tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp onion powder

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

3/4 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried sage

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp coconut palm sugar

Curbing Sugar Cravings with Essential Oils

Essential oils have so many uses and each individual oil can be used for numerous things. If one doesn’t work for you as you were hoping it would, you can just try another one. Everyone has a different biochemistry so we all respond differently to the oils.

When trying to keep your hands out of the sugar jar, there are several oils that can help curb that craving:

Bergamot

Sometimes people eat when they are angry, sad, or are feeling stressed out. Bergamot can help reduce those feelings by lifting your spirits so that you can avoid eating when you really aren’t hungry.  This sweet smelling essential oil is known to be a natural mood lifter, as well as being packed with polyphenols. These polyphenols help your body burn more sugar and stored fat.

Peppermint

Inhaling this uplifting scent can curb hunger pangs. Studies have shown that peppermint essential oil stimulates the brain’s satiety center, which will prevent overeating. It can also aide indigestion.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another essential oil that will not only suppress your appetite, but it can increase metabolism as well. Cinnamon will help your body break down sugar and use them for energy, rather than store it as fat. Like peppermint, cinnamon essential oil also improves digestion.

Lemon

This is a powerful essential oil that will definitely increase your energy levels, shrink fat cells, and help remove toxins. Lemon also contains the potent antioxidant d-limonene, which helps support the liver in detoxing the body.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit essential oil is similar to lemon essential oil in that it also helps to remove toxins, dissolve fat, lessen appearance of lumpy bumpy skin, prevent bloating, and curb the appetite as well as increase energy levels. There is something about the scent of grapefruit that is uplifting and improves the mood.

How to use the oils

Any of these oils can be added to a glass of water (always a glass, never plastic, as the oils, especially citrus oils, will leech chemicals from the plastic into your water). Cinnamon and lemon are great in a warm mug of tea. I’ve applied them, with coconut oil as a carrier oil, across my abdomen with great results. Diffusing, or inhaling directly from the bottle is another great way to use them. You could apply to your wrists to inhale, as well.

I personally only trust using Young Living Essential oils. You can read why here. They are the only company that I know of that has complete ownership and control of the ENTIRE process of making oils, from the seeds to slapping on the seal. No middle man. No leaving someone else in charge of the fields, or the distillation, or the packaging. That’s how you know you are getting a top notch product.

Click here to get started with your own kit, if you don’t already have one!

You can always send me a message if you have any questions about any oils or how to use them! I love talking oils!! 🙂

Gluten Free/Vegan Pumpkin Donuts

These pumpkin donuts are gluten free, vegan and refined sugar free but you would NEVER know it. They are sweet, thanks to the bit of maple syrup, light and “cakey.”

1 cup + 2 tbsp Gluten Free all-purpose flour

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp all spice

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

A pinch of Himalayan sea salt

1/4 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/3 cup almond or cashew milk

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a donut pan.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Mix all the wet ingredients in another bowl.
  4. Stir the wet and dry together until no lumps remain.
  5. Pipe or spoon the batter evenly into the donut pan and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Damaging Effects of Sugar

Sugar

Giving up sugar is one of the greatest things you can do for your health, but it is also one of the hardest. Sugar is addictive and most people have been hooked since childhood.

But it tastes so good, right? And it is SO hard to stop eating it. Why is that? Because when consuming overly processed sugar, it creates a hormone cascade that starts a “positive feedback” loop in the body which only encourages more consumption. Brain scans have shown how sugar lights up the “pleasure centers” in our brain.

If sugar is found naturally in plants, then why is it so bad for us? It’s all in how it is processed. Highly processed sugar, coupled with excess consumption, leads to many detrimental effects on the body. When your sugar is white/refined, it has been put through a complicated process of being heated, stripped, heated some more, chemically altered, heated, stripped, etc. What is left over is something not even closely resembling anything found in nature.

So what is the difference between natural (glucose and fructose) sugar and processed (sucrose, and other types such as high fructose corn syrup, agave, etc.) sugar? You can’t really pit the two groups against each other as it would be like comparing apples to apple juice. The main difference between natural and processed sugars is how each one delivers glucose and fructose. Fructose contains a pile of nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. Where as your typical table sugar doesn’t. This full spectrum of nutrients allows the body to slow down the absorption of fructose.

Let’s explore high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is a highly processed form of sugar and 20 times sweeter than table sugar. It is found in almost all types of processed foods and drinks. The bad news is that the human body is not made to consume excessive amounts of sugar. Especially when it is devoid of nutrients.

According to Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, your body can safely metabolize at least 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Unfortunately, most Americans are consuming at least over three times that amount, usually in form of HFCS. This overload of sugar is metabolized as fat which leads to the debilitating chronic diseases that people are struggling with today.

Damaging Effects of Excess Sugar

Liver Disease – When we eat fructose, it goes to the liver. If liver glycogen is low (such as after a workout) the fructose will be used to replenish it. However, consuming fructose when glycogen levels are not depleted, the liver turns the fructose into fat. This fat build up, over time, can ultimately lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Weight gain – Sugar will trick your body into gaining weight, as it affects your insulin and leptin signaling. Fructose fools your metabolism, by turning off your appetite control, causing you to eat more.

Increased uric acid levels – Having high uric acid levels is a risk factor for kidney and heart disease.

A sugar-rich diet stresses the heart in other ways, too. With each swallow of a high sugar food/drink your blood sugar rises. To bring levels back to normal, the pancreas releases insulin which lowers blood-sugar levels by sending the sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells. If energy needs are high at the time the sugar hits the bloodstream then that sugar is put to good use. But too frequent or too heavy of a supply of sugar causes the pancreas to work in overdrive and release too much insulin. Excess release of insulin leads to inflammatory trouble. When that inflammation is deep inside the body (such as your arteries and heart) heart disease becomes a real possibility. See the correlation here? Weight gain is a symptom of a poor diet. It should be viewed as a signal, a loud and clear message, from your body that it is struggling. That weight gain could mean, amongst other things, that your heart is in trouble.

Cancer – Even more frightening is the link between sugar and cancer. Studies have found that fructose is readily used by cancer cells to increase proliferation – it “feeds” the cancer cells, promoting cell division and speeds their growth, allowing cancer to spread faster.

A list of other dangers of consuming too much sugar:

  1. Feeds candida
  2. Promotes aging
  3. Leads to osteoporosis
  4. Depletes the body of minerals
  5. Contributes to gallstones
  6. Suppresses the immune system
  7. Can weaken eye-sight
  8. Can contribute to eczema
  9. Can cause arthritis
  10. Rots teeth

Ok, but what about fruit and the natural sugars found in plants? Many people believe that because added sugars are bad, the same must apply to fruits, which also contain fructose. However… this is wrong, because fructose is only harmful in large amounts and it is almost impossible to overeat fructose by eating fruit, certainly not enough to do harm. That’s because fruits are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and water and have significant chewing resistance (pre-digestion). For this reason, most fruits take a while to eat and digest, meaning that the fructose hits the liver slowly.

Bottom line, stick closer to natural sugars found in plant foods and detox your body’s addiction to added sugars in the form of processed foods and drinks and your health will improve greatly!