Friday, August 22, 2014

30 Healthier Ways to Pimp Your Popcorn


There is a new movie treat in town and it's called Pimped Popcorn.  You know what that means right?  Nope, not marshmallows and caramel.

Nope, not 'fake' butter or artificial sugars.

Nope, no artificial food dyes.

This type of popcorn won't rot your teeth, or cause cavities or leave you with a crazy imbalanced sugar high and crash.  That kind of treat is so last year!

These top 30 ways use only natural sugars and power superfoods that will give you healthy energy and satisfy your cravings!!

Pimped popcorn is popcorn filled with decadently healthy Superfoods to give your popcorn insane pizazz and a serious nutritional boost without realizing your eating healthy.

BAM!

Whenever I mention healthy to anyone in my circle, they begin with a sign and a "ugh".

I'm not sure why healthy has such a bad rap.  There is so much you can do with healthy!!

You do realize you can eat healthy and decadently at the same time right?

Yup.  It can be done. 

30 Ways To Pimp Your Popcorn
                   ...and be healthy at the same time!

1.  Seed Surprise MIX-Add Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Raw Cacao Nibs, Goji Berries, Hemp Seeds, Golden Berries, Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Sesame Seeds.
Healthy Fat Blast: Use a drizzle of Flax oil or melted Ghee.

2.  I'm Nutty For You MIX-Add raw Cashews, raw Almonds, raw Brazil Nuts, raw Hazelnuts, raw Walnuts, raw Pistachios, raw Pecans and raw cacao nibs along with some shredded Coconut. 

3.  Aphrodisiac MIX-Add in raw cacao nibs, raw cacao beans, a sprinkle of Maca Root powder, Acai berries and some Goji berries.  It will taste like chocolate covered berries!  Yum!  (This mix enhances sexual energy-FYI).
Sweet Blast: Add melted 100 percent raw or dark chocolate.  Cha-ching!

4.  Chocolate Covered Coconut MIX-Add coconut shreds, raw cacao nibs, raw cacao beans, carob and sprinkle melted Coconut butter or even Coconut oil!  

5.  Pumpkin Spice Latte MIX-Add raw Pumpkin seeds, raw flax seeds, raw cacao nibs, carob, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom.  Serious sweet spice!
Easy Blast: use pumpkin pie spice from your local market in replace of the above spices.

6.  Chocolate Eclair MIX-Infuse your popcorn in an air tight ziplock bag with 2 vanilla beans cut lengthwise for a minimum of 24 hours, shaking occasionally.  Then remove vanilla beans and add dry vanilla powder, raw cacao nibs, raw cacao beans.
Sweet Blast: Add melted raw chocolate and/or a drizzle of Agave syrup.
**Caution: if using Agave, note this is not a low glycemic snack.  

7.  Tartufo MIX-Add raw cacao nibs, raw cacao beans, Greek Yogurt covered Goji berries, Acai berries, dry vanilla powder,  and melt 100 percent dark raw chocolate on top.
**To make Goji Berry Yogurt Bark-simply take a handful of goji berries and spread them on a candy mold tray, fill the mold with Greek Yogurt or melted raw chocolate and freeze for a few hours.  When ready, break up the bark and add to your popcorn.  
Serious Cha-Ching!

8. Pancake MIX-Add raw cacao nibs, a dash of Cinnamon or Nutmeg, Cardamom, dried blueberries, melted Ghee and a drizzle pure maple syrup on top.

9.  Banana Split MIX-Add in dried bananas, dried strawberries, dried pineapple, walnuts, Hemp seeds, melted 100 percent dark raw chocolate along with some raw cacao or carob nibs.  Sweet Get Your Hands Dirty Blast: Add in natural sugar free melted strawberry jam.

10.  Corn on the Cob MIX-Add dried dill, melted Ghee, Nutritional Yeast and a dab of Sea Salt.  Healthy Fat Blast: Add a drizzle of flax oil.

11.  Salted Caramel MIX-Add Himalayan Sea Salt, regular Sea Salt, raw cacao nibs, raw cacao beans and a drizzle of brown rice syrup.
Naughty Sweet Blast: Replace brown rice syrup with Agave syrup.  (Note: if using Agave, this will not be a low glycemic treat).

12.  Parisian MIX-Add figs, dates, Nutritional Yeast (for that cheesy taste) and Golden raisins.
Naughty Blast: Drizzle some warmed melted brie on top.  Serious Swoon!

13.  Sweet MIX-Add Watermelon Seeds (these come in a package and are found at health food stores), Golden,  raw sunflower seeds, raw almonds, raw pistachios.
Sweet Blast: Add raw honey

14. Almond Joy MIX-Add raw shredded coconut, raw cacao nibs, raw almonds.
Sweet Blast: Add melted raw chocolate

15.  Mounds MIX-Add raw cacao nibs, shredded coconut.
Sweet Blast: Add melted raw chocolate

16.  Anti-Inflamatory MIX-Add Turmeric, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cayenne pepper, vanilla powder, gluten-free double thick raw oats and Tigernuts.

17.  Chocoholic MIX-Cut 2 vanilla beans lengthwise and put in a closed ziplock bag with the popcorn for a minimum of 24 hours, shaking occasionally so that all popcorn gets mixed with the vanilla.  Then discard the vanilla beans and add raw chocolate covered raw almonds, raw chocolate covered Tigernuts, raw chocolate covered raw hazelnuts,  raw chocolate covered popcorn.
**To make chocolate covered anything, simply melt chocolate in a custard cup in the microwave for 30 second intervals and dip away.  Or use a double boiler on the stove and heat the chocolate till it melts and dip away.  After dipping process freeze on wax paper for a few hours.
Easy Directions: Pour melted chocolate into a chocolate mold and add nuts and tigernuts and freeze for a few hours creating a chocolate bark.  Once chocolate has set, simply break it up and add it to your popcorn mix.
Sweet Blast: Melted dark chocolate 70percent or higher
Double Sweet Blast: Add a drizzle of Maple Syrup

18.  Peppermint Patty MIX-Add a few fresh peppermint leaves into a ziplock bag with the popcorn and keep closed for a minimum of 24 hours.  Infuse the peppermint with the popcorn.  Then remove the peppermint leaves, and add raw dark 100 percent cacao nibs.
Sweet Minty Blast: Melt chocolate along with peppermint leaves in a bowl.  And pour minty mixture on top of popcorn.  Fresh chocolaty breath!

19. Spicy Corn on the Cob MIX-Add dried dill, melted Ghee, a dab of Sea Salt, Nutritional Yeast and Cayenne Pepper.
Healthy Fat Blast: Add a sprinkle of Flax oil

20. Healthy High Weedy MIX-Add chocolate covered Hemp seeds, regular Hemp seeds, melted Ghee and raw cacao nibs.
Adults Only THC Blast: Cook actual weed into your ghee in a saucepan and saute as directed in a weed cookbook and sprinkle on the popcorn.

21.  Bacon Lovers MIX-Add crispy bacon pieces and Nutritional Yeast.

22.  Chocolate Chip Pancakes n Bacon MIX-Add crispy bacon pieces, raw cacao nibs and melted dark raw chocolate.  Sweet Blast: Add a drizzle of maple syrup.

23.  Sesame Chocolate MIX-Add sesame seeds, raw cacao nibs and melted tahini butter on top.

24.  Peanut Butter Cup MIX-Add raw peanuts, chocolate peanut bark, raw cacao nibs and peanut butter to your mix.  It will be gooey delicious!
**To make peanut butter bark simply melt raw chocolate into a cup in the microwave or double boiler on the stove.  Once melted pour into a chocolate mold and add peanuts.  Freeze for a few hours.  Once set, break up the bark and add it to the popcorn mix.  You can also dip the bark in peanut butter and then add that into the popcorn mix.  *Any nut butter or seed butter can be used here.

25.  The Classic, The Original Coney Island MIX-Add Sea Salt and melted Ghee.

26.  Apple Pie MIX-Add Green Apple shavings, Gluten-free double thick Oats, Hemp Seeds, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom or Pumpkin Pie Spice and sprinkle with Agave Syrup.

27.  Pie Crust MIX-Add gluten-free Oats, Hemp Seeds and drizzle Pure Maple Syrup on top.

28.  Cinnamon Bun MIX-Add raisins, dates, Cinnamon, Coconut Sugar sprinkles and drizzle Maple Syrup on top.
Naughty Blast-Replace the Maple Syrup with Agave drizzle.

29.  Guacamole MIX-Add dried cilantro, dill, Sea Salt, Avocado oil, Cayenne pepper, a sprinkle of lemon or lime juice and shavings of Mango, Pear, Peach or Nectarine.
Spicy Blast-Add sliced JalapeƱos

30. Chocolate Garlic MIX-Put popcorn on a foiled greased baking tray at 400 degrees with both roasted garlic and peeled garlic for about 10 minutes or more depending on how toasty you want your popcorn.  Keep an eye on it.  Then remove from oven, let cool and transfer mixture to a ziplock bag.  Shake vigorously, transfer to bowl.  Then add raw cacao nibs and melted dark chocolate.  Optional to take the garlic out of the mix, or keep it in.


Stay tuned for my post on why Superfoods are called Superfoods, and what the difference is between Raw Chocolate and regular chocolate!

**Hemp seeds to not contain THC.

**Carob can be subbed in for Raw Chocolate.

**Chocolate can be omitted if desired.

**Ghee is made up of Clarified Butter which is purified and organic.  It is better for you then regular butter and can be found at your local supermarket in the dairy section.  Ask your grocer where to spot it.

Enjoy!! xx Julie

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

PIMP Your Green Smoothie



Ever wonder how to add magic into your smoothie?  

Ever wonder why your smoothie just doesn't come out the way they make them at the store?

It's easy to fall into the same ole recipe every day.

Why not spice it up?

Here are some of my favorite add-in's that enhance my smoothies to ultimate delicious status!

Try adding 1 or two new things to your smoothies each time.  Don't add in the whole lot! 

HERBS: (small and large handfuls)
Fresh Basil
Fresh Mint
Fresh Chocolate Mint
Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Parsley
Fresh Dill
Fresh Cilantro

SPICES: (a dash or two)
Dried Nutmeg
Dried Cinnamon
Dried Cloves
Dried Cardamom
Dried Vanilla Powder
Dried Tumeric

NON DAIRY MILKS and BASE LIQUIDS: (1/2 cup - 1 cup)
**Unsweetened for less sugar
**Regular for extra flavor

Almond Milk
Cashew Nut Milk
Quinoa Milk
Hemp Milk
Coconut Milk
Coconut Water
Decaf or Regular Green Tea (from a Teabag)
Camomile Tea
English Breakfast Tea
TigerNut Horchata (all flavors)
Rice Milk
Gluten-free Oat Milk
Flaxseed Milk

EXTRACTS: (1/2 tsp. - 1 tsp.)
Vanilla Extract
Cinnamon Extract
Banana Extract
Hazelnut Extract
Walnut Extract
Strawberry Extract
Orange Extract
Rose Water
Lavender Extract
Coconut Extract
Almond Extract

DO TERRA ESSENTIAL OILS (less then 1 drop)
Citrus
Lemon
Peppermint (2 drops of Peppermint Doterra Oil is equivalent to 46 cups of Peppermint Tea)
Use these sparingly!!! less then 1 drop!
(for easy use, dip a toothpick into the oil and then dip it into your smoothie-that's it)!

NUT AND SEED BUTTERS: (1 Tbsp. - 1/3 cup)
Almond butter
Cashew butter
Coconut butter
Sunflower seed butter
Tahini butter
Pumpkin seed butter
Peanut butter

COOKING OILS: (1 Tbsp.)
Coconut Oil

SEEDS: (1 - 2 Tbsp.)
Hemp seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds
Flax seeds
Chia seeds

**You can add in the whole seeds, or you can pulse them ahead of time into your very own protein powder!!

TO MAKE THE SMOOTHIE THICK AND CREAMY:
Steamed Cauliflower
Avocado
Bananas

TO MAKE THE SMOOTHIE NATURALLY SWEET:
Liquid Stevia
Dates
Raw Honey
Maple Syrup
Pineapple
Mango
Lemon
Lime
Bananas

COOKED GRAINS: (1/8 cup - 1/4 cup)
Cooked Quinoa
Cooked Buckwheat Porridge
Gluten-free Oatmeal

RAW GRAINS (1-2 TBSP)
Raw Steel Cut Oats (Pulse into a powder if desired)
Raw Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (Pulse into a powder if desired)
Raw Buckwheat (Pulse into a powder if desired)

SUPERFOODS:
Goji Berries
Raw Cacao nibs (chocolate at it's finest)
Raw Cacao Powder (chocolate powder at it's finest)
Carob nibs
Coconut shreds
Aloe Vera
Maca Root Powder
Ginger
Avocado
Camu Camu powder (a huge vitamin C boost-use sparingly 1/2 tsp. is all you need).
Garlic (good for those days when you are sick or have the flu, huge immune booster!)

GUT HEALERS:
Cod Liver Oil-(1 Tsp.)
Powder Super Probiotics (as directed)

SECRET AMAZING VEGGIE ADDS:
Avocado
Kale
Spinach
Romaine
Iceberg
Mache Rosettes
Butter Lettuce
Green and Red Leaf Lettuce
Mustard Greens
Watercress
Collard Greens
Sweet Potato (cooked)
Cucumbers
Carrots
Pumpkin

AWESOME FROZEN ADD INS:
Frozen Bananas
Frozen Blueberries
Frozen Raspberries
Frozen Cherries
Frozen Strawberries
Frozen Blackberries
Frozen Broccoli (awesome with bananas, and you don't even taste it)!!
Frozen Cucumbers
Frozen Celery
Frozen Peaches

DELICIOUS FRUIT ADDS:
Canary Melon
Honey Dew Melon
Cantaloupe Melon
Papaya
Lemons
Limes
Kiwis
Apples (green, red, colored)
Pears
Peaches
Plums
Sugar Plums
All Berries: Strawberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Blueberries
Cherries
Grapes
Dates
Figs
Dragonfruit
Lychee
Bananas
Grapefruits
Oranges
Nectarines
Tangerines
Pineapple
Mango

LOW GLYCEMIC FRUIT ADD-INS:
Blueberries
Raspberries
Strawberries
Blackberries
Green Apple
Honeydew Melon
Grapefruit
Cantaloupe Melon
Canary Melon
Papaya
Avocado
Lemons
Limes
Kiwi Fruit

And if you have kids and you need to add in those greens without the kids tasting them?  Frozen Broccoli goes really well with Bananas.  Your kids will never taste a thing!  You can even power it up with spinach and cucumber all in one smoothie along with your base liquid.  Your kids will never know the difference!

TIP:  AGAVE IS HIGHLY PROCESSED AND LOADED WITH FRUCTOSE SUGAR.  IT IS NOT IDEAL TO USE THIS IN YOUR SMOOTHIE.  THIS IS NOT LOW GLYCEMIC.

TIP: ALWAYS ADD IN MORE VEGGIES THEN FRUIT.

xx Julie 

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Cantaloupe Mint Gelato Smoothie



Hey guys!

Some super exciting news!  I entered another food contest! Shape Magazine, Silk Soy Milk & Go Sweet and Skinny partnered together and offered a contest on Instagram!  The idea was to use Soy Milk in a recipe or picture and post it on Instagram.  Since I am a creative chef over here, I decided to enter.  Naturally.

These days I am feeling so positive about my path that I figure why the heck not, right?  Why not try.  Why not create?  Why not!  What have I got to loose?  This positive attitude of mine is spreading amongst my friends, so I'm hoping maybe I will inspire you!

I enjoy being out there, trying new things and sharing my light.  Even if I don't win, at least I created something new!  And guess what?!  You guys get my recipe!!

Since I consider myself the Smoothie Queen and I also love to make pancakes, I figured I would either create the ultimate soy pancake or the ultimate soy smoothie.

I ended up choosing the idea of a dessert in a smoothie!  And I chose a smoothie because lately I have been able to add back a few ingredients into my smoothies like Avocado, and a few lettuces without crazy facial numbing and allergies.  I am so super grateful that I decided to go with my ultimate love-green smoothies.

I woke up Sunday morning after my Saturday trip to the Farmers Market and got to work.  I had the idea of a Cherry Pie Smoothie or something with Cantaloupe and avocado.

Both Cherries and Cantaloupe are madly in season!  Which means they will taste even better then they ever have.

First I made a cherry pie smoothie, and I have to say…TOTAL BUST.  So gross!  It just wasn't sweet enough and didn't do the trick I was hoping it would.  I'm not using a lot of sugar right now, so I couldn't add any dates, which really would have made it delicious.  So I tossed that and went with Cantaloupe and avocado.

I should just add in here that Cantaloupe and Avocado go together like peanut butter n jelly in a smoothie.  They just belong together.  Total soul mates.  You may be thinking Cantaloupe and Avocado? Yuck!  But Yum, my friends!! YUM!!  Pair those two with fresh Mint and prepare to be transported to a foodie heaven with a minty twist!

Oh it was so good!!  It tasted like Cantaloupe Sorbet.  When I added the Avocado and Mint leaves it tasted like Gelato.  Serious creamy goodness.

Gelato-a creamy frozen dessert-known as the BEST in Paris, so I decided with my smoothie you wouldn't and shouldn't have to travel the distance to get that taste!  And why not have dessert for breakfast?  It starts the day off with sweetness and smiles.  And that is just rad!  Who doesn't want to start their day off with sweetness and smiles?!

The smoothie was delicious!! And it tasted even more like a dessert when I experimented with a Crust (around the rim of the glass).  Ugh, heaven!!

Details below!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

1/2 Cantaloupe Melon (take the seeds out)
2/3 Medium Avocado
1 Cup Silk Soy Milk (any nut, seed, grain milk can be used)
3 large fresh mint leaves
1 large handful Mache Rosettes & Open Head Iceberg Lettuce
1 Tbsp. Hemp seeds (**optional) + additional hemp seeds for Crust
3-4 Ice cubes
Crust/Rim: 1/4 total hemp seeds & Double thick rolled gluten-free oats

DIRECTIONS:

In a high speed blender or Nutribullet combine all ingredients except ice and crust ingredients.
Blend until smooth.
Then add Ice and blend again.
For the Crust/Rim: 
In a high speed blender or Nutribullet plus the GF oats and hemp seeds together for a few seconds.
*If using a Nutribullet use the milling blade*
Use any sticky natural sweetener like Agave or Maple Syrup to cover the rim.
Add crushed GF oats and hemp seeds to rim till it is covered.

TIPS:

-Open Head Iceberg Lettuce is very different then regular Iceberg lettuce.  It is softer, greener and has a different taste and texture.  This lettuce can be found at Wholefoods.
-If you cannot find Open Head Iceberg Lettuce then sub in Butter Lettuce, Green Leaf Lettuce or Tropical Green Lettuce.
-Hemp Milk and Quinoa Milk also rock in this recipe.
-If buying fresh mint is a pain in the A**, I have an idea for ya!  Get your tush over to the Farmers Market and buy yourself a Mint Plant.  They are small.  Require sunlight, and need to be watered every other day.  What's fun about this?  Well, your TLC gets you fresh mint herbs daily.  Shedding positive light by caring for a plant is a gorgeous thing!
-Don't have double thick rolled GF oats?  That's ok, use Old fashioned oats instead!

P.S.
Don't forget to lick the crust once you have finished the smoothie!  It's delicious!!

Enjoy! Julie

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

PIMP Your Sunflower Seed Butter {Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo, Vegan, Nut-free)

Did you know that Sugar is everywhere?  And most sugars are not healthy for our thriving bodies.  When I went Paleo, Whole 30 for six months-the beginning was so tough.  No added sugar whatsoever.

It was scary to not have my artificial sugar crutch.  How was I going to survive without it?  

It was time to put my creative thinking cap on and get serious about the snacks I was going to put in my body.  Especially since I was learning so much at my kick-ass Nutrition school on sugar and it's effects.

How could I enjoy snacks that were sugar free, and what would they be?  How could they be tasty and healthy at the same time?  How could I end my sugar craving and heal my body but at the same time nourish my body?

In walks Organic, Natural, Sugar-free, Sodium-free Sunflower Seed Butter by Once Again Organic. 

Well, actually, the seed butter didn't just walk in, it was more like I learned a lot at school, I was following a Paleo Diet and had some serious restrictions so I went to the supermarket to the organic seed butter section and picked up a jar.  So technically, it was me that walked in.  Hahahaha.

Once Again is my favorite Organic brand that is naturally gluten/dairy/soy-free, vegan and Paleo approved and this seed butter has only 1 gram of natural sugar.  Artificial Sugar is added into almost everything we eat including the foods we wouldn't think have any (like toothpaste), and it was my job to kick it to the curb.  So I did.

Newsflash!  Artificial Sugar isn't so even so great.  Sure she/he lures you in looking all sparkly and good.  Artificial Sugar has some serious hype, but its all a front.  Because when push comes to shove and you are having medical issues?  Artificial Sugar is NOT there to support you.  Artificial Sugar brings you down and keeps you there.  

But, Natural sugars in moderation have your back.  Those are the kind in fruit, natural nut and seed butters, healthy grains…stuff like that. And once you change the way you eat, OMG your body, your brain, you psyche, your skin will shine!  My only advice is that you stick with organic brands where you can actually read the 3 ingredients listed, over the processed brands where there are 14 plus wacky spelled ingredients that you never heard of.

P.S. If the last ingredient is the actual nut or seed, you can bet minimal amounts are used.  Be your own ingredient detective.  This is your health.

Does it taste different?  Yes, of course it does but in a "does a body good" way!  Those processed brands do a great job in filling theirs with chemicals, additives and sugar-all the things our bodies cannot digest properly causing illness, allergies, fatigue, poor energy, leaky gut and other health problems!! By going natural you are using pure forms of natural foods that can aid in you feeling your happiest and healthiest you! Doesn't that sound freaking amazing?


10 HEALTHY WAYS TO USE SUNFLOWER SEED BUTTER

Spoonfuls are great for those moments where you crave a sweet pick me up or a very low sugar dessert treat but it actually tastes like a high sugar treat.  My Sunflower Seed Butter has only 1 gram of natural sugars, and my Coconut butter only has 1.9 grams of natural sugar, and same with my unsweetened apple butter-with zero refined sugars.  But they taste sooo good!



1. Spoonfuls: Unsweetened Sunflower Seed Butter paired with a dollop of Organic Coconut Butter and Chia Seeds.

2.  Spoonfuls: Unsweetened Sunflower Seed Butter paired with a dollop of Organic Raw Cacao Nibs and Organic Coconut Butter.

3.  Spoonfuls: Unsweetened Sunflower Seed Butter paired with a small dollop of Organic Coconut Butter and Hemp or Pumpkin Seeds.

5.  Spoonfuls: Unsweetened Sunflower Seed Butter paired with Unsweetened Apple Butter and Organic Coconut Butter.



4.  Unsweetened Sunflower Seed Butter paired with celery.

5.  Unsweetened Sunflower Seed Butter Cucumbers.

6.  Unsweetened Sunflower Seed Butter paired with 1 Medjool Date and Organic Coconut Butter.  (This is the bomb!! Totally amazing).  Keep in mind dates are higher in natural sugars.



7.  Unsweetened Sunflower Seed Butter in your GREEN SMOOTHIE!! It's a great way to get that protein and healthy fat in the a.m.  I use 1-2 Tablespoons, but you can add up to 1/3 of a cup depending on your recipe.

8.  Sweet Balls Of Fire, I call them, or Energy Balls.  In the Nutribullet blend Unsweetened Sunflower Seed Butter with Medjool Dates and a tad Unsweetened Coconut Milk or Water to get the Nutribullet going.  On wax paper, divide into small balls and roll into Raw Cacao Nibs, Unsweetened Shredded Coconut and Raw Cacao Powder.  And then Freeze.  Keep frozen, and take out one at a time to enjoy. If they are too sticky for balls, then simply push them into candy molds and freeze as well.



9.  Unsweetened Sunflower Seed Butter paired with Green Apple slices and topped with Shredded Unsweetened Coconut flakes and Pumpkin Seeds.

10.  A dollop of Unsweetened Sunflower Seed Butter sandwiched by 2 slices of banana dipped into 70 percent-100 percent dark or raw chocolate and frozen.

Enjoy!! Julie
www.goodiegoodiegluten-free.blogspot.com

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How To Enjoy A Trip To The Dentist

Let's face it.  Everybody hates going to the Dentist.  There is always a fear of cavities, or that the teeth cleaning may hurt your sensitive teeth.  Or that the Dentist will lecture you on lack of flossing and read you the riot act on your mouth care-even if you think you are the mouth health care superstar.

But most of the time our fear gets in the way and it makes everything hurt so much more.  Have you ever noticed that?

I'll start out by saying I have lovely teeth.  And I really take care of my mouth, but I can't tell you how nervous I get when I have to go to the Dentist.  I already know when I wake up that morning that it's going to hurt.  That I will most likely have cavities because that would happen to me.  I psych myself up to think that the experience is going to be horrific.  I usually convince myself of this.  And my fears usually get the best of me.  

I cringe when I think of those sharp instruments scraping my teeth.  -insert thought of nails on a chalk board.  eek.

So…

Naturally, I procrastinate making the call.  I procrastinate making the appointment despite the few postcards I get in the mail, saying that it's "my time".  Yikes.

I of course don't want cavities.  I of course want my gums to be healthy.  I of course want healthy mouth health.  Of course.

But I don't want to go to the dentist.

You see what I just did?  I created horror in my mind with my very creative imagination.  I created fear that doesn't really belong there.  And then I let it stay there.  My fears usually stress me out, and my whole day starts off the wrong way.  And it's not the Dentist's fault.  It's mine.  Because I brought in negativity and fear.  And I let them both hang out in my house for a really long time before kicking them out.

It's just a dentist appointment.

Do any of you feel that way with an appointment that you have?

A few months ago I had my appointment.  I go every six months (I will NEVER skip a Dentist appointment).  But I was really dragging the 6 month marker.  Now I will admit, as most of you know I have been having this weird allergy issue where half my face and throat goes numb, so me pushing back the dentist was mainly because of that reason alone, but had I not had this numbing issue, I still would have procrastinated the F out of making this appointment.  The numbing gave me the perfect excuse to hold back.

Me:  "I can't go to the Dentist, my face is still numb", "What if something bad happens?".

So I pushed through my fear of the Dentist and made the appointment anyways.  I made the appointment knowing that I would not be able to have him use that topical numbing stuff that makes the Dentist pain free because of the current numbing problem I was experiencing.  I made the appointment even though I couldn't use my usual dose of Advil prevention that helps make the Dentist pain free, because Advil is a leading cause of Leaky Gut.

I had to face the Dentist alone, in my present, drug free.  

Crap.

But guess what I learned after 1 year of practicing YOGA?

That the Dentist chair is totally AWESOME!  It seriously feels like a Yoga pose I do in yoga for just a longer and more awesome period of time.  

Imagine me whispering this in a soft voice to you:
"Lean back, let your body relax, take a few deep breaths and let your body fall into form.  Continue your deep breathing, concentrate on where your breath is going deep inhale from your lungs into your stomach, into your core.  Listen to your breath and forget what is around you.  Continue with your deep breathing and let your anxieties and fears exit your body.  You are safe.  Drop your shoulders.  Unclench your fists".

I took my tools that I learned in yoga and practiced those at the dentist.  I was calm as a cucumber.  It was ethereal.

Yoga Tools that work at the Dentist's Office:

1.  Deep breathing
2.  Meditation

And what is so great-is that you are in that chair leaned back for a full hour! Which means your body, if you let it will totally relax itself.  And if you allow your body to relax, and trust the Dentist, and trust yourself that it's not going to hurt, and if it does it will only hurt for a second, and if it hurts longer than that small second you will raise your left arm like they tell you to do, and the Dentist will stop.

When you allow Trust to be in your hood, you-your brain and your body can let Trust take care of everything so that YOU can relax and enjoy the lovely laid back chair and let your body feel mellow.

Whether this appointment is before work or during, this is your chance for a little relaxation.  A massage if you will.  A place where you can forget about all your troubles and just zone out.  

It's so rare in our busy lives to allow ourselves to just zone out.  

Especially in NYC.  We have to be in "The Zone" at all times.  Be on guard, wide awake, on more caffeine then life itself to stay on top, or stay sharp or stay in competition with everyone else around us.  

The Dentist's chair is the perfect place to unwind.  We don't get opportunities like this,  so let's take advantage of the peace that is offered to us and remember that our time is precious.  

I don't think in my wildest dreams I ever thought for a second that I would write an article about enjoying the Dentist.  No way, not me.  But here I am, writing this post telling you it's an enjoyable experience if you let fear take a back seat.  

Scouts honor!  Pinky Swear!  Cross my heart.

And guess what again?  It didn't even hurt!  No Advil.  No topical numbing.  Just me.  Totally relaxed.

When he pulled up the chair I actually felt like I had just completed an hour at the yoga studio.  

I have never felt so relaxed.  I felt like I was walking on clouds.

And I had just left the Dentist, not the spa.

This may seem like a silly story and irrelevant to my gluten-free blog, but, having Celiac can actually affect your gum and mouth health.  Consistent cavities can be a symptom as well as poor gum health.  I was undiagnosed for so long, and cavities were something I dealt with since childhood.  Because I wasn't absorbing my nutrients my teeth weren't getting the proper nutrients they needed either.  Since going gluten-free for the past almost decade, my issues at the dentist have minimized drastically, but all those years of cavity fillings and dental work scared the crap out of me, and left me with a fear of the past that I had been holding on to for far too long.   Besides personal growth and development on my end that I felt through this experience…I have to say I believe you can apply this to your daily lives too.

I spent 37 years fearing the dentist like the plague, and all that wasted energy on fear of dental cleaning was wasting my positive goodness and creating unwanted stress which leads to inflammation.  And if you have Celiac Disease like me or any other Auto-Immune Disease, you certainly do not need more inflammation.  Am I right? Or am I right?

So, if you are feeling this way about an appointment, an interview, a meeting with whomever at whenever time, I urge you to try and trust the process. The Universe has your back.  So try and relax.  Shake it out.  Deep breathe it out.  Because once you do, your body will thank you for it.  And if not-If my advice got your nowhere, at least you tried something new.  At least you went on an adventure!

Life is full of little adventures.

High five!

xx Julie

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20 Unique Ways to PIMP Your Tigernut Horchata (Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Paleo, Vegan)



Hi guys!

Have I told you about this new drink that I'm totally addicted to?

So lately I'm loving Tigernut Horchata!  What is that?  Well it's a drink that tastes really good!  It's made from Tigernuts which may sound like nuts, but are actually a Mediterranean vegetable tuber root that is made into a drink.  Sounds gross right?  Actually, It's so freaking delicious!  It reminds me of a light and beautiful iced coffee.  This vegetable and drink is allergen free: gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, Paleo, grain-free and nut-free.  The actual dried veggie is sugar-free.  Free of almost everything and still tastes delish.  This drink is also considered a Pre-biotic which is great for gut flora.  And as a plus this drink is also Organic, so you know nothing but the best is getting into these drinks.  They come in a few flavors.  My favorite is the unsweetened version because it is very low in natural sugars.  Just 3grams.  Their other flavors are Bee Pollen, Chai, Coffee and Original which all range around 13grams of natural sugars, sweetened with the delicious fruity Dates.  This drink is not really mainstream quite yet!  I totally wish it was, because I'm so addicted to them.  You can snag them at Whole Foods and Amazon.com.  It's a raw drink which means it's perishable, similar to a green juice.  Translation: Don't leave it sitting out in the hot sun and then drink it.

So who is the brains behind this amazing, delicious, mouthwatering drink?  Organic Gemini and Our True Roots.  

Here's a crazy mind blast for ya!  First, I had never heard of this drink until I saw a ton of my fellow health bloggers posting about it.  Obviously curious, I decided to do some research.  Not only is it totally allergen free, but you can do so much with this drink and root veggie!  You can make it into a flour, a milk, a snack, an extract-how cool is that?

So why am I drinking the kool-aid?  Well, I entered a content on my fellow friend The Blonde Vegan, aka The Balanced Blonde's blog to win a case of this.  Let me tell you something about me, I never enter contests, and I never think I'll win!  But I decided to give it a go, and I totally won!  It was soooo exciting!!

Getting the case in the mail was like winning the jackpot!  I was ecstatic, and guess what!?  The veggie tuber didn't make my face numb!  Double score, no allergies!!  Woo hoo!  I'm flying over here…

So here's where you guys come in.  A. You so need to snag this drink!  And B.  I'm going to tell you a whopping 20 totally unique ways to use this drink in your daily life besides just drinking it.

Are you ready to have your mind blown?  Are you running right now to get this drink at Whole Food?


20 UNIQUE WAYS TO PIMP YOUR TIGERNUT HORCHATA DRINK 
besides drinking it straight from the bottle:


1. Add it to your coffee as your non dairy milk and sweetener.

2. Use it as a base in your smoothies instead of non-dairy milk or water.  Or combine it with your base of choice.

3.  Make Quinoa Porridge and use the Horchata drink as your base.

4.  Use it in your cookie dough recipe instead of your liquid base or in addition to.

5.  Make Popsicles with it!  Get some Popsicle molds and fill molds with the Horchata either plain, or add fruit, grains, GF oats, pumpkin seeds and other various toppings and freeze.

6.  Use it in your Pie Crust recipe.

7.  Use it in your Pancakes and Waffles recipe.

8.  Make ice cubes with it and use it for your coffee.

9.  Use it in your marinade recipes for chicken, pork, fish or red meat.  

10.  Use it in your marinade for veggies.

11.  Dip your cookies, pancakes, waffles, brownies and other sweet treats into the Horchata drink as a dipping alternative to milk!

12.  Drink it as is, because it's just that good!

13.  Add it to your frosting recipe in replace of milk/water or use it along with your base liquid.

14.  Use it in your oatmeal as a liquid base.

15.  Use it in your rice pudding recipe.

16. Use it in your Buckwheat porridge recipe.

17.  Blend it with fresh mint leaves and make a minty cooling hydrating beverage!

18.  Blend it in with cucumbers and mint and have a Summer beverage.

19.  Add some raw cacao or carb and mint into the coffee flavor version and have yourself a chocolate mocha mint iced coffee.

20.  Make a mean soup! Make a cauliflower or sweet potato, or potato soup and use the Tigernut drink as part of your liquid base.  

xx Julie


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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How To Make Easy Hemp Milk {Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Nut-free, Vegan)


All I can say is-

This is the easiest recipe I have ever made!

I think this is the easiest recipe that anyone will ever make besides making eggs and toast.

It's effortless, nutritious, healthy and creamy.

Why Hemp Milk?  Well…

It's a great alternative to dairy milk.  It's tree nut and nut free and it's delicious!

There are no additives or thickeners in the homemade version.

It is lactose free and Casein free! 

It is low glycemic!  Only 1 gram of natural sugar.

This is a great alternative for those that are Lactose Intolerant.

It's cheaper then buying the store bought!

Did you know that this tiny seed is a Superfood?  Did you know it's packed with crazy nutrients and vitamins like Iron, Vitamin A, Potassium, Magnesium?

There is 86mg of Magnesium!  That is amazing.  Magnesium helps with muscle spasms, regulates sleep and well…keeps you "regular".

Did you know that Hemp Seeds are a huge source of Omega-3's?  And Omega-6.  This seed contains all the essential amino acids to make up a complete protein.  Translation?  Super good for your body!

Hemp seeds are one of the best Vegetarian sources of Protein!

These little nuggets rock in my book!  They taste great, and can be used in so many ways!!

And no.  For all you guys out there pondering curiosity…You cannot get "high" from Hemp Seeds as there is no THC.  So eating hemp seeds will not affect a drug test.  I put this here, because I get so many questions about this.


All you need is hemp seeds, filtered water, a nut bag and a high speed blender!

That's it!

If you want to make it flavored the way I did, then you will need some vanilla extract, nutmeg or Cinnamon, Cardamom and optional: Liquid Stevia.  You don't even have to use the spices I used.  You can use whatever spices you want!


WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
1 cup hemp seeds
3 cups filtered water
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2-3 dashes Nutmeg or Cinnamon
2-3 pinches Cardamom
Optional: 2-3 Liquid Stevia

KITCHEN ESSENTIALS NEEDED:
High speed blender
Nutbag
big cooking bowl

TIPS:
-Use organic whenever possible
-a cheesecloth will not work as well with this seed.  I recommend the nut bag for this milk
-Liquid Stevia is an option for those who like a low glycemic sweetener.  Make sure the ingredients on the package say Pure Stevia, and make sure it's not cut with additives.
-All spices and extracts are options.  This can be enjoyed plain as well.
-Homemade Hemp Milk can be stored in the fridge for up to a week

DIRECTIONS:
1. Pour 1 cup of Hemp Seeds (un-rinsed) into your blender along with 3 cups of filtered water. (I made mine in the Nutribullet).

2. Close lid of Blender.


3.  Blend on high speed till color turns creamy white.


4. Open lid of blender and add in 1 tsp. Vanilla extract, a few shakes of Nutmeg or Cinnamon, a few pinches of Cardamom, 2-3 drops Liquid Stevia and blend again.


5. Blend again and then prepare to drain.  In a separate bowl, place the Nut Bag in the middle, opened.


6.  Pour a portion of the mixture into the nut bag.  Grip tightly and squeeze milk into the bowl.  (It looks like a little comes out, but that's because I had to take the picture.   A lot squeezes through the nut bag all at once.  Prepare to get your hands dirty.




7.  Repeat this step until you have poured all of the hemp mixture into the bag, and squeezed out all the milk you possibly can.  This may take 2-3 steps.  When you are done, the waste will be left inside the bag.  Simply rinse it out when finished.  

8. What's left in the bowl is your creamy, delicious Homemade Hemp Milk.  This recipe gives 3 1/2 cups and should be refrigerated.  It lasts up to 1 week.





Enjoy! xx Julie

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How Quinoa Milk Gave Me My Confidence Back



The other day, I had a friend over for dinner that I hadn't seen in two weeks.  She said I was different this week, that I had seemed so positive in comparison to the last time we hung out.  She said she could hear it in my voice.  I looked at her and whispered, "It was the Quinoa Milk".  

My very own kitchen skills scored me homemade Quinoa milk-But I wasn't always so experimental in the homemade non dairy milk department...

My Yoga teacher from last Summer used to to tell me how much she loved making almond milk and how easy it was.  She got the "alien with five heads look from me".  I thought yeah right…what is she smoking.

Flash forward to now-9 years into the life of a recovering Celiac, with some serious Leaky Gut issues that started about two years ago and haven't stopped that have lead to hair loss, Anemia, malabsorption, Acne, the need for a Liver Detox, on and off the Paleo Diet for 6 months, 100 percent clean, refined sugar free and on a new detox diet by my new Integrative Functional Doctor with a new list of new limitations…oh and did i mention 30+ food sensitivities. Yeah, it's fun cooking my fruit because I can't eat it raw.  It's awesome.  I have been on some sort of detox diet since January 2014 to help heal and restore my gut.

So when I went to my first appointment with New Doc,  I also met with the Nutritionist.  We went over what is allowed which really is so much if I didn't have these darn food sensitivities (the left side of my face and throat go completely numb, and it really is a Russian roulette, we never know what is going to trigger it), and we went over the idea of making nut and seed milks homemade forever and ever instead of buying them store bought.  

Forever?  Forever is a really long time.

So in other words, there will be more difficulty added into my life.  I should just make the kitchen my bedroom and bring my clock radio with me because that's where I'll be 24/7.  And maybe instead of my answering machine saying "I'm not home right now", it should probably say "I'm cooking in the kitchen and I can't come to the phone right now".  My initial thoughts? A big fat UGH and then a huge SIGH.  She mentioned making my own hemp and flaxseed milk to start with.  I looked at her like she had five heads.

Me: How am i supposed to do that????!!!!!
Nutritionist: You make it yourself.  It's really easy.
Me: But that's so much work and prep time!  I am already in the kitchen 24/7.  I don't want to live there!
Nutritionist: It's easy.  You take 1 cup of seeds to 3 cups of water.  You don't even need a nut bag if you like it grainy.
Me: ew, grainy?  No thanks.

Picture me slouched over in my chair just ready to surrender and throw in the white flag.

I left that appointment so happy to find a doctor that could help me, but so annoyed that I'd literally have to bring my bed into my kitchen and sleep there, because at the rate of my 100 percent clean cooking plan, the idea of also making my milks homemade was to say the least really, really, really annoying.

"I could tell, it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day" 
From the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day 
by Judith Viorst.

I didn't believe her that it would be easy.  It didn't sound easy.

BUT, I actually need to send that Nutritionist a huge hug in an email and thank her because if it wasn't for her, I never would have tried to make this on my own.  And if it wasn't for her my world would never have opened the way it did, and if it wasn't for her pushing this easy fete, I wouldn't have gotten my confidence back!  

Making these homemade milks gave me control over something that I am putting into my body that makes my body feel good, and I could have used some feel good-the last few months have been really rough.  What I love about this new adventure, is that even as a newbie with fears I took the leap and made it from scratch which gave me knowledge and education.  The first time was a total bust.  The second was great, and the third and so on.  And it gave me the ability to share it with all of you.  Through this experience I learned SO MUCH.  And the learning part of this process, made me realize that I need to trust "the process" more often in every aspect of my life.  I will heal.  But it will take time.  Rome was not built in a day.  And our gut health takes time to rebuild if there was or is damage.  If a hurricane or a tornado comes into town, you can bet it's going to wreck havoc and take time to rebuild.  Our gut health is like that especially with Celiac Disease and Leaky Gut Syndrome.

My first trial of making Gluten-free Oat milk and Flaxseed Milk was a total bust!  Hahahaha!!
It started out well of course.  I soaked both in water in separate bowls for two hours each.  Then I added that mixture plus some more water into a high speed blender.  All was good.  I didn't own a nut bag or a cheese cloth and the Nutritionist said it was fine to drink as is…and hey I was desperate to have a seed or grain milk for my protein shakes…it came out thick.  Like really thick.  Like the wrong kind of thick.  So I thought it needed more water.  So I just kept adding more and more water until it was thin.  And then it was too thin, so I decided to cook it on the stove.  And I thought, Oh, Yes!  I am so clever, look at me now…yeah look at me now, I curdled both milk batches.  Hahahahah.  Like I said, total bust.

The flaxseed milk custard made my face numb.  So that went to the trash.  Flax was out.

The gluten-free Oat Milk was doable.  And it didn't make me numb, so I used it grainy in my coffee.  It wasn't ideal, but it was workable.  The fact that I could have an iced coffee with non dairy milk was the highlight of that day!

And that is when I got super confident.  I realized that something positive was happening and it made me so happy and hopeful.

So that day I bought a cheese cloth. ( I couldn't find a nut bag)
"Make it Work as Tim Gun would say" Tim Gunn

So the next day I made Quinoa milk.  I figured why not.  And what's so great about Quinoa is that it is a complete protein meaning its going to give you all the nutrients and vitamins your body could wish for and it's going to give your body energy.  Try drinking that in your decaf coffee in the a.m.-there will be no need for actual caffeine.  I followed the same idea of 3 parts water, 1 part raw quinoa.  I did not soak it.  And it came out glorious!  I even taught myself how to use a Cheese cloth for the first time!  Granted, it splattered all over my kitchen because I didn't think to do it in the sink, but it was amazing!!  I was so excited to have made a homemade non dairy milk that was not only really tasty but was something my body didn't have a problem with.  Another great day!  You would have thought I had won the lottery.

Quinoa milk made me excited again.  Excited to create.  Excited to cook.  Excited to bake.  Excited for energy my body hadn't had in a while.  Excited that I had control over something!  Excited that I could provide for my body in a very healthy way.  Excited that I had something safe, a "go to".  Excited that my body would eventually heal.  Because before this I just wasn't sure if I would heal.  Would I be the same as before?  Would I be able to eat all my awesome favorite healthy foods again?  Could I have smoothies, green juices or even a GF cupcake? These were doubts in my mind during my chicken/asparagus/cooked blueberry/chickpeas/scrambled egg months.  And knowing that a grain filled with protein could be turned into a homemade milk that I made, and made well, that my body would love gave me my confidence back!  

Are you reading this and thinking I'm nuts?  How could making Quinoa milk give me my mojo back?  It's really simple.  You see and I'm sure any of you with Celiac or lifestyle changes due to medical issues can understand…I lost all of my confidence.  I lost control of what I could eat.  I lost control of how I could nourish my own body.  It was no longer easy to eat.  It became scary.  It became hard.  And it became sad.  Because I couldn't even enjoy the gluten-free foods I was used too!  For God's sake I have to cook the blueberries before I eat them.  I can't eat kale, zucchini, bananas, cauliflower, pears, apples, green juices, certain smoothies, lemon, dairy, tree nuts, coconut anything, chia seeds, flax seeds, spinach, lentils, watermelon and so, so, so much more without having this facial numbing reaction that has been going on since April 2014.  I can eat cooked carrots but raw carrots make my throat numb for hours and hours.  I thought I was allergic to everything!  I was living on Benadryl.  Do you know what it's like to think you are allergic to all foods?  It is so hard to live day by day like this and not know if what you put in your mouth is going to harm you or make you thrive.

I never ever thought of food this way.  I never thought in my wildest dreams that I could develop so many food sensitivities all at once and suddenly not be able to eat any of them for months on end.  I have just added back Avocado and that I am so grateful for.  When you realize that your body cannot always digest food effortlessly it really makes you think about Gratitude.  Being grateful for what you have, can do, can eat, can be, who you are with, your family, your life is HUGE.  Food is a luxury.  Nourishment is key, but isn't always easy, we have to learn to listen to our bodies-even if it sucks.  My motto these days is to strive to nourish my body.  If my body doesn't want apples, lentils, coconut, chocolate (haven't had any since April), Kale, Chard, Green Juices, Very Green Smoothies, bananas, zucchini, cauliflower then I will have to let my body heal and nourish myself with the foods my body will accept and trust the freaking process.

As for making non-dairy milks homemade? I have to say, I cannot believe I held out this long!  I am a baker who makes intricate cakes, yet seed, nut and grain milks were daunting.

They say it's the small things in life that make us happy.  

My last words to you … GRATITUDE makes all the difference.  GRATITUDE changes all perspectives and changes your position in this crazy, amazing world we live in.  GRATITUDE creates positivity even during our darkest hours.

xx Julie


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Monday, August 11, 2014

The Secret To Perfect Sugar-free Pancakes {Sugar-f, Dairy-f, Gluten-f, Nut-f, Soy FREE}

Sounds crazy right?  Like it can't be done?  Like there must be hidden sugar in here somewhere?  Like there is a catch?

The way I see it-When there's a will, there's a way.



Detox diets can be restricting, but…

It can be done.  And it can be done and taste delicious!  Isn't that what life is all about?

Why should you deprive yourself right?  

Why can't you enjoy whatever lifestyle you choose, right?  Or whatever lifestyle chooses you...

Why can't your food taste good gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free yada, yada, lots of free's-why the heck not?

In this recipe I used sugar-free vanilla extract, Liquid Stevia (the real kind you get at health food stores, not the kind that is cut with additives-don't be fooled by marketing!  Read ingredient labels).

I also used dessert spices like Nutmeg and Cardamom.

And I also used fruit, because fruit sweetens up everything, naturally!  I played with two versions, one was with low-glycemic fruit like berries and the other with Cherries which is higher in natural sugars.

And I played with two recipe versions as well.  Both blew my mind, but I wanted to give you guys the recipe options.  The first few times I made this, I used 2 jumbo organic eggs.  And that made these taste like fried dough!  I was in heaven.  Then a few times later when I had only large organic eggs in the house, I used 3 eggs, and that made them taste like Pancake Cake!  Also totally divine.  If I had to choose between the two I wouldn't be able to.  They are both equally delicious.  So the decision falls on you guys, whatever you are in the mood to have the day you make these is the way it will go…However, I do recommend you trying both recipes on separate occasions, because I wouldn't want you guys to miss out.  The only difference in these two recipes is the amount and size of eggs used.

Optional usage of maple syrup, which yes, although a sweetener that has sugar, it is at least a natural sweetener which is considered a healthier sugar source.  (Yes, there are good sources and not so good sources.  Ex. maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup which are considered healthy sources vs. highly processed white cane sugar, agave (yup! Agave is super processed), brown sugar-get it?)  And you don't need the maple syrup at the end if you don't want it.

Just the other day I ate them cold out of the fridge with nothing on them whatsoever.  Man, they were damn good!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
1/2 cup Sweet Rice Flour + 2-3 additional Tbsp.
1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 cup Quinoa Milk or favorite non-dairy Milk (Recipe HERE)
1/2 cup water
2 jumbo eggs or 3 large eggs (see tips below)
1/2 tsp. Xanthan gum
3 generous shakes Nutmeg
2 generous dabs Cardamom
10-15 drops of Liquid Stevia (see tips)
2 tsp. Vanilla extract (sugar free if you can find it)
1 package blueberries or a 2-3 cups cherries
2 Tbsp. Ghee (see tips)
optional toppings: gluten-free rolled oats

DIRECTIONS:
1. Mix eggs with hand mixer in a separate bowl and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl mix Sweet Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Xanthan Gum, Nutmeg, Cardamom.


3. Add eggs to dry flour mix and mix at medium speed till gooey.



4. Add non dairy milk and water and mix at a low speed (because it will splatter).  Eventually get it to a higher speed and mix till smooth.  Your batter at first will be somewhat lumpy, and that is ok.  Continue mixing till smooth.


5. Add vanilla extract and liquid stevia till well blended.  Then add fruit of choice.



6. Heat pan with gluten free cooking spray and Ghee-don't use all at once, just lightly coat the pan-and keep re-coating the pan as you continue to make your pancakes.



7. Create dollops of batter in pan and spread with spoon to flatten.
8. Add gluten-free oat toppings if desired (raw gf oats).
9. Cook pancakes on each side till lightly browned-watch these like a hawk because they burn quickly. You can pat them down with your spatula if needed.
10.  Remove from heat, let cool and enjoy!

I made these so many times, I snagged a few shots...

TIPS:
-2 jumbo eggs will make your pancake fluffier
-3 large eggs will make your pancake cake-like
-Fruit choices can be raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, green apples
-Ghee is another word for clarified butter.  It's a healthier source of butter and can be found in specialty supermarkets and health food stores in the dairy section
-I use Flours and Xanthan gum by Bob's Red Mill because I just like his brand
-You can use any non dairy milk you want like Quinoa, Hemp, Oat, Coconut, Almond, Cashew, Flaxseed milk…
-About those non dairy milks, if you can help it, make it homemade!!  There is a radical difference in taste, consistency and there are no additives added, and that is huge.
-How do you make homemade non-dairy milks?  Pretty easy…Usually it's just 1 cup of seeds or nuts with 3 cups of water-blend the crap out of it and then drain it with a nut bag.  Buy a nut bag here, you will have it for life!  Best thing I ever bought!  You can use a Cheesecloth as well, but it doesn't work as well with hemp seeds because too much passes through.
-When you can strive for organic!  I always use organic eggs that are fed a vegetarian diet, without hormones and antibiotics.  I also use organic blueberries and cherries.

Enjoy Lovelies! xx Julie
www.goodiegoodiegluten-free.blogspot.com

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How To Make Killer Oozy Blueberry Pancakes {Gluten-free, Sugar-free,Dairy-free, Nut-free, Soy-free}


Hi, my name is Julie, I am 37 years old and I have an addiction to Pancakes.

Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Nut-free Pancakes.


I love Pancakes.  Let me count the ways.

They say the first thing to do is to admit the problem.

This is your brain.  


This is your brain on Pancakes.  Any questions?


I don't know where I lost control, but I did.  It started out so innocent.  I was building a recipe for my blog that would fit into my detox diet from my doctor.  It needed to be sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and nut-free and Soy-free. To be honest, I never thought a pancake could defeat me, for heavens sake it's not chocolate! Chocolate always defeats me…It's always 10 bars later and I'm like WTF happened?!-But that's chocolate-And chocolate is like that bad boyfriend that keeps you coming back for more, luring you in with it's sweet addiction and then leaving you by the side of the road to pick up the pieces of your caffeinated hyper-sensitive body and broken-out acne riddled face-totally understandable-as I said, It's chocolate.  But a pancake?  More like stacks of pancakes filled with melted oozy blueberries for 4 days straight! (It could be 5, I lost count).

I thought, It's sugar-free!  It's dairy-free!  It's gluten-free!  It's nut-free!  It's soy-free! How GOOD could they be?  I knew Pancakes wouldn't knock me off track.  And as a kid I never even liked pancakes!  I was strong.  I was convinced nothing could defeat me.  I was a warrior!

I was also wrong.  Things got out of hand.  I didn't think it would turn into this.  I feel like I'm cheating on breakfast eggs n veggies and having a love affair with Pancakes.  The detox diet didn't say anything about how many pancakes were considered "too many" or "overkill".  And they are healthy pancakes.  The diet just said to reduce eggs.  What was I going to have for breakfast if it wasn't eggs?  So I innocently included pancakes.  Reduce eggs, eat pancakes should be my next t-shirt.  Move over "Health Is The New Black", there is a new sheriff in town and it's called admitting your addicted to pancakes on a t-shirt.  Ha ha…I'm only half kidding.

You see my original thought process and the start to a beautiful relationship with dear ole pancakes was to put on some weight.  After detoxing for many, many months with Leaky Gut, I seem to be loosing rather then gaining.  I know, I know…most would kill to say they eat like pigs and don't gain a pound.  But me?  I just want to gain a few pounds!  So after round one of amazing pancakes, I decided to keep the trend going in hopes of gaining some weight.  I also decided to add blueberries to the pancakes too.  That was the best decision I ever made (in the realm of baking pancakes, that is).

Needless to say, I haven't gained weight, but I have eaten a lot of pancakes.  And I also fit into my skinny jeans!  I'm wearing them right now, as I type this very post!

Yup that's me…a gluten-free warrior eating stacks of pancakes daily.  DAILY!!

After the second batch, I felt the pancakes overall needed tweaking but I thoroughly enjoyed sitting down in front of the TV watching The Goldbergs eating my blueberrylicious pancakes one blissful weekend morning.  I felt like a kid again, but I wasn't watching cartoons.  With each bite, I decided what needed to be tweaked all the while getting hooked on the spongy pancake madness.  At the end of my 6th pancake I decided I would have to make them again the following day just to be sure my feelings of ecstasy were accurate.  Because after all, two rounds of pancakes were not enough.


And so the next day I made them again, along with my tweaks.  I had to play around with the amount of flours I used and the Liquid Stevia.  Liquid Stevia can be tricky sometimes.  Either it's not sweet at all, or it's so over the top, it's disgusting.  I had to find the right balance.  And I added in Nutmeg and Cardamom.  I do love dessert spices-they are fun to play with.  But that didn't stop me from eating the third stack in front of the TV watching a repeat of last Sunday's episode of True Blood.  I savored each piece, so happy I was able to eat something that didn't cause a food sensitivity.  I was high!  High as a kite on Pancakes!  Look what the pancakes did to me!  A 37 year old getting high on a work day?  OMG.  And so I marked my tweaks on a piece of paper to save for the next day's batch.  Yup, there was a next day, and another stack.  Strangely I did not gain a single pound!

Mind you, I saw nothing wrong with this.  I didn't see this as a problem.  They are healthy pancakes!  Oh. So. Good.  But I'll give you some back story here-I was on the Paleo diet (Whole 30) for about 5 months.  It was so strict because Paleo is big on nuts and I have sensitivities to nuts.  Since no grains are allowed it was impossible for me to make anything carby or treat-like unless it was made from coconut.  So I went gung-ho on coconut everything and developed a freaking sensitivity to that!  Do you see a trend here?  Moderation is not my strong suit.  Now anything with coconut makes my face and throat completely numb, and it's been like this since April!  In addition, I haven't had a touch of sugar since the beginning of March, the end of May and before that was January.  I haven't had a taste of wine or alcohol since January!!  And this is not a poor me story.  This is a story of strength!  But a girl has GOT to have some kind of goodie!  So if it's gotta be sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free pancakes so be it!

Side note to self and all others reading this-If you overindulge on anything, you can create a sensitivity or even an allergy within your body!  Healthy or not, your body needs rotation.  

So when I made them again, because there is always an "again", I reduced the amount of Nutmeg, Liquid Stevia and increased the amount of Cardamom and switched up the flour blend by adding more Sweet Rice Flour then All-Puprose.  By golly I found the diamond in the rubble!  The golden ticket!  The treasure.  The pot of gold!  I was all ready to blog this recipe as the final end all be all!  After 4 breakfasts of blueberrylicious pancakes and total turnaround tweaks I was sick to death of pancakes.  Thank heavens!  I would have turned into a pancake!

But…and there is always a "but".  I took a day off from pancakes, made my homemade Quinoa milk yesterday, which kept me busy in the kitchen and not on the blog.  And today, I found myself strangely unsick of pancakes and longing for them!  My naughty healthy habit was creeping back in!  And this time it was for dinner.  And this time I used vanilla seeds from a vanilla pod on top of the vanilla extract and it was bombdigity!  And this time was the jackpot.  And this time, I used some of the Quinoa Milk and this was IT!  Lucky number 5.  Let's see some jazz hands!  (Will and Grace reference)

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
1/3 cup Quinoa Milk or any non-dairy milk of choice (My homemade recipe here)
2/3 cup water
3 Tbsp. Sweet Rice Flour
3/4 cup (and then a little extra) Gluten-free All Purpose Flour (Bob's Red Mill)
(The Sweet Rice Flour and the All Purpose Gluten-free flour blend should equal 1 cup in total)
1-2 dashes of Nutmeg
2-3 dashes Cardamom
1/2 tsp. Xanthan gum
2 jumbo eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract (sugar free if you can find it)
1 fresh vanilla bean (cut lengthwise, with seeds scooped out)
Liquid Stevia
Ghee (just enough for the pan)

**Ghee is another name for clarified butter which can be found in the dairy section of your supermarket.  Ghee is a great source of good fat.  Yes, there is such a thing called good fat.

**Liquid Stevia is very different then packaged powder stevia.  In order to make this recipe sugar-free, you will need the liquid Stevia that does not have any additives in it.  This you can find at your local health store.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Beat all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

2.  Beat eggs along with vanilla extract in a separate bowl (not stevia yet).


3. Add eggs and vanilla to dry mixture and beat well.


4.  Add in 1/3 cup Quinoa or non-dairy milk along with 2/3 cup water to mixture and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth.


5.  Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and add to batter.


6.  Add 30 drops of Liquid Stevia to batter and beat well.


7.  Heat skillet to medium-high heat with cooking spray and Ghee (amount of Ghee is whatever you desire).  (butter can also be used as a substitute) (aprox 1 - 1 1/2 Tbsp.)

8.  Create medium size pancakes in the pan and then add desired amount of fresh blueberries to each pancake.



9.  Flip when each side is slightly browned.

10.  Serve cool, warm or hot and don't forget to top it with natural sweetener such as Maple Syrup.

ADDITIONAL TIPS:

***Remember, not all natural sweeteners are created equal!  Agave is super high in Fructose!  80 percent high!  Much higher then Maple Syrup.  

*You can also try Brown Rice Syrup, honey or coconut butter as they are all on the lower end of the glycemic index and are from a natural source.

*The best part about these pancakes, is that you can use whatever fruit you want like cherries, raspberries, strawberries, figs and even peaches and apples!

Song of the moment: Come on Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners

Enjoy!

Peace and Love,

Julie

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