Grain-Free Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

peanut butter and jelly muffins

So, I know I said we stick to a Primal/Paleo diet most of the time… and I know.  Peanuts aren’t Paleo.  But here’s the thing.  I used to not be able to eat peanut butter.  Now that I’ve healed from my intolerance and none of the rest of the family has a problem with peanuts, we eat them.  We totally eat peanut butter.  Peanut butter is delicious and fatty and high in protein, and right now, I need quick protein throughout my day.  I mix it with coconut oil and a little raw honey for a quick snack, and if I’m really wanting a treat, I throw a few Enjoy Life chocolate chips in the mix.  Yum.

Anyways, I’ve been making these peanut butter muffins for a while now and we all love them!  Today, I tried a new twist and added jelly.  My kids (who get the rare treat of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, oh, twice a year maybe) loved these!  They really taste just like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted if clumpy

6 eggs (pastured, organic)

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup organic or natural peanut butter

1/4 cup melted coconut oil (or palm shortening or butter)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup homemade or organic jam

Instructions:

1.     Preheat oven to 350*.

2.    Line muffin tin with parchment baking cups (I use these baking cups from If You Care and

I LOVE them- they NEVER stick!)

3.     In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut flour, baking soda and salt.

4.     Add honey and eggs and mix well.

5.     Slowly stir in melted coconut oil.

6.     Add peanut butter and stir batter until smooth.

7.     Drop 1/3 cup scoops of batter in baking cups.

8.     Drop approximately 1/2 tbsp of jam into the center of each muffin.

9.     Bake for 25-30 minutes.

These muffins are delicious without the jelly as well, slathered with butter!

What’s your favorite way to eat peanut butter?

This post may contain affiliate links.  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission, which helps to support my blogging activities. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be beneficial for my readers.

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Guide to a Healthy 2014- with FREE Printable!

guide to healthy 2014
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If you’re like me, you have goals to be healthier in 2014.  Whether you are suffering from an autoimmune condition, experience digestive distress, want to lose weight, or have simply overdone it through the holiday season (like me!), you may be able to benefit from a reset for the new year!  Below, I will detail my suggestions for how to get on track and live your healthiest year yet!

Paleo Diet

I suggest adhering to a strict paleo diet for 30 days to start 2014 off.  What does a paleo diet include?  Lots of grassfed and pastured eggs and meat, tons of veggies, some nuts and fruit, and plenty of good fats like ghee and coconut oil.  What should you avoid on a paleo diet?  Grains of ALL kinds: wheat, barley, rye, corn, rice, oats, etc.  Also, dairy should be avoided, although butter and some raw or cultured dairy may be ok for some (it’s best to eliminate these foods to begin with, then try them later to see if any intolerance is present), as well as sugar.  If you are struggling with an addiction to sweet, sugary, carb-y foods, you would do yourself a huge favor by eliminating all sweeteners during this time, including honey and maple syrup, in order to work on your habits and give your body a chance to reset.  Legumes should also be avoided and include peanuts, beans and lentils, although green beans and peas are okay.  If you have candida overgrowth or serious carb cravings, white potatoes are best avoided during this time as well.  A paleo diet is not truly a “diet”, but a lifestyle change.  I suggest trying it for 30 days, but you will probably want to stick with it beyond that once you find how much better you feel!

Change Your Habits

All alcohol, tobacco and other substances should be eliminated completely as you start 2014 off.  These things are bad for your body for obvious reasons, but let’s just say that an occasional glass of wine wouldn’t be the end of the world after your 30 days! 😉

Drink more water.  You can use this handy little quiz to determine how much water you should be drinking, based on your weight and other factors.

Supplements

When making major diet changes, you can get more bang for your buck if you include some essential supplements.  My top three are probiotics (good brands are Biokult or Gutpro), Fermented Cod Liver Oil (this is the kind my family takes; we like the cinnamon flavor), and {food grade} Diatomaceous Earth.  With both the probiotic and DE, you may want to start out slowly with dosages, working your way up to the full dosage of probiotic as described on the bottle, and a TBS of DE daily.  Coconut oil can and should be consumed along with foods throughout the day, but can also be added in as part of your supplement regimen at 1 TBS per day.  We take our DE first thing in the morning, mixed in a small amount of water, followed by a full glass of plain water, and take the rest of our supplements at night, so as to avoid any interactions.

Additional Food and Drink

Nettle tea, which is rich in vitamin K, as well as minerals, should be consumed as an infusion (tea) daily.  You can find plain nettle tea bags or loose dried nettle to use in a tea infuser.

Cultured foods and beverages (pickles, sauerkraut, kombucha, beet kvass) are best homemade, but reputable brands can be found at health food stores, including Bubbies (which makes delicious pickles and sauerkraut!), and several brands of kombucha, which have no other added ingredients.

Homemade bone broth is an essential part of healing and nourishing your body.  It is one of the single most important foods you can add while you are healing during this time.  Recipes can easily be found online, but a basic bone broth consists of using bones from a pastured animal, a couple of crushed garlic cloves, some chopped celery and carrot sticks and a diced onion, as well as salt and pepper.  Fill a stock pot with the ingredients and filtered water, bring to a boil and then let simmer on low for 3-24 hours (some people leave a stock pot of broth on their stove top at all times, supplementing it as they go, and at three cups a day, this isn’t a bad idea!).  A good bone broth will gel up when refrigerated.

Lots and lots of vegetables are a key part of getting nutrients into your diet, and green, leafy vegetables tend to get overlooked in most people’s diets.  You can easily add kale or spinach to a morning smoothie, as well as get creative with salads to boost your intake.  The key is trying to ensure you eat vegetables with every meal, and snacking on them is a bonus!

Organ meats are another essential food that most modern diets do not include.  It is fairly easy to find liver from pastured beef at bigger health food stores, but reasonably priced organs can also be purchased from local farmers or online.  Because my family does not care for the taste of liver, I’ve made capsules out of dehydrated liver following this recipe, which we take along with our other supplements in the evenings.  I give one capsule to each of my boys, two to my husband (am I the only one shoveling supplements into my willing participant spouse?), and six throughout the day for myself since I’m pregnant.  This takes the guesswork out of preparing a food we don’t really care for while still getting the nutrients into our bodies.  Plus, the b vitamins in organ meats are very useful when detoxing.

Take Time for YOU!

Taking time daily to spend in prayer or meditation (even if it’s just five minutes!) is crucial to mental health and staying de-stressed.  Spending your time in reflection and communication with God helps to refocus your attentions and keep you calm throughout your day.

Take a walk!  Try to get out for a quick walk daily to get some fresh air, sunshine and exercise.

Exercise a few times a week.  Additionally, if you can find the extra time to exercise a few times a week, whether you’re a weight lifter, runner, or simply enjoy stretching, take some time to be active.

While you are undergoing these changes, especially if you are dramatically changing your diet and adding in good things like probiotics, your body will detox and begin to get rid of stored up toxins.  This is good for you!  It can also make you feel awful.  Detox baths are an excellent way to relieve detox symptoms (which can be as gentle as slight fatigue, or as extreme as flu symptoms, headaches and digestive distress as your body adjusts) and help your body eliminate toxins.  Ingredients you can use in your detox bath include Epsom salts, baking soda, bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar.  A cup of any one ingredient can be beneficial in a very hot bath, in which you should soak for a minimum of 20 minutes, but preferably until water has cooled.  You can find some good information and recipes from the Healthy Home Economist here.

Finally, goal to read some books that might help you along in your journey.  Some I suggest include Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride (details and information on healing severe health problems), It All Starts with Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig (details a paleo-style diet and why our modern diets are making us so sick) and Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo (part paleo diet informational book, part cookbook, this book also has 30 day meal plans which are customized towards whatever your goal may be: weight loss, autoimmune conditions or even blood sugar regulation).

I know this is a lot of info to take in, and you may not get it all at once for the first 30 days, so I’ve created  little printable for you to download and print in order to hang on your refrigerator as a reminder.  You can even put it in a picture frame and use a dry erase marker to mark off what you’ve done for the day or week and keep track of all of the wonderful things you’re doing for your body!

Healthy 2014 Printable copy

Image Credit

Click below for a printer-friendly version!

Healthy 2014 Printable

Here’s to your healthiest year yet!

What are you doing to improve your health this year?

 

This post may contain affiliate links.  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be beneficial for my readers.

Best Dairy-Free Recipes of 2013

Best of 2013 Collage

Members of a wonderful network that I participate in, the Alternative Living Network, have teamed up to present some of our best and most popular posts from this past year.

Since my family and I have spent parts of 2013 dairy-free, I thought it would be nice to do a round-up post of some of the best dairy-free recipes from the past year!

We currently drink raw milk and eat cultured yogurt, but I use coconut milk for cooking and baking sometimes too!  Because I feel strongly that dairy should not be consumed unless raw or cultured, and because it can be difficult to acquire raw milk in many place, I love that there are dairy-free options for many conventional recipes.  Not to mention, many of us or our children suffer from dairy allergy or intolerance!  Click on the links below to learn how to make everything from alternative milks to yummy dairy-free treats!

Milk Alternatives

Homemade-Almond-Milk

Almond Milk

Hemp Milk

Cashew Milk

Coconut Milk

Rice Milk

Coco-Almond Milk

Sweets and Treats

Watermelon Fruit Cake Alternatives to Birthday Cake

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Real Food Mississippi Mud Cake

Fresh Young Coconut Yogurt

Chocolate Dipped Cone Sauce

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Sneaky Chocolate Pudding

Fruits and Veggies

Cranberry-Sauce

Spoon Lickin’ Cranberry Sauce

Body and Brain Boost Pumpkin Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Creamer

A New Kind of Fruit Cake

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

For more Best of 2013 posts from the Alternative Living Network, check out the following blogs:

Whole Intentions

Feed Me Mama

It Takes Time

The Entwife’s Journal

The Ezer Wife

Your Thriving Family

Nourishing Simplicity

Richly Rooted

Joyful Thrifty Home

Day 2 Day Joys

Wisdom Seeking Mommy

Accidentally Green

Georgetown, MN

Growing Slower

Imperfect Homemaker

Simple Life Abundant Life

Natural Living Mamma

Whole New Momma

Nourishing Faith and Family

I hope you enjoy these recipes!  Feel free to leave some of your favorite dairy-free recipes in the comments!

Raw Hot Chocolate Recipe with Peppermint Marshmallow Cream Topping

hot chocolate copy

I am loving that the weather is finally cooling off in Texas (ya know, except that it’s 60 degrees today, but in general…)!  I’ve been treating the fam to delicious mugs of hot cocoa and we are absolutely loving curling up by the fire to enjoy them!

Here’s what you need to enjoy your own mug of raw hot cocoa:

1 cup raw milk

1 TBS raw cacao powder

1/8 cup raw honey

1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Warm the milk in a saucepan over low heat.  It’s very important to keep the heat low and check the temperature of the milk frequently- you don’t want to destroy the raw properties of the milk!  I warm it just enough to feel like “hot” cocoa, but never any more than I have to.

Add the raw honey as the milk is warming so it can get warm and incorporate into the milk.

Whisk the cacao powder and vanilla into the warmed milk until there are no lumps present (you could also give it all a spin in the blender if you have any trouble mixing.  Some raw honeys can be really thick!).

My favorite local farmer gave me a good tip this weekend to warm my mug up before putting the hot cocoa in to keep the milk warmer longer since you don’t heat it a whole lot.  Placing the mug in a pan of warm water or running under hot tap water for a minute should do the trick!

To make the peppermint marshmallow cream topping:

1 egg white

Splash vanilla

1 TBS raw honey

2-4 drops peppermint extract

Directions:

Whip the egg white in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.  As it begins to thicken, add the other ingredients so that they are well incorporated by the time the egg white is very firm.

Top your mug of hot cocoa with a dollop of peppermint marshmallow cream and enjoy!

Substitutions:

If you don’t have access to raw milk, you can use canned, full-fat coconut milk.

If you prefer, you can leave the peppermint extract out of the marshmallow cream.  The kids and I liked it, the hubby did not!

Why My Marriage Was Doomed to Fail from the Beginning

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This was not an easy post to write, therapeutic perhaps, but not easy.  In fact, it’s downright scary to be so honest and vulnerable.  But, I know the Lord was urging me to share my testimony, and I believe there are many who have similar stories and situations that might benefit from this story of redemption.
 

I met David on my 16th birthday.  I’m pretty sure I was drunk and we definitely made out.  That’s the kind of girl I was.  That’s the kind of guy he was.  Turned out he also had a girlfriend.  We were intimate almost right away and we continued to see each other for quite a while until I found out about the girlfriend and he had some decisions to make.  He chose her… for a while.  Then late one night he showed up on a friend’s doorstep and we talked and started seeing each other again.  After a while, I wanted a more meaningful relationship and we made it official (you know, after he asked my daddy!).  I had what I wanted and he was my boyfriend, but we had started out on such rocky terms that our relationship was tarnished.  Through the course of the next two years, we broke up, made up and lied to and cheated on each other.  Then we got married.  Our marriage was doomed to fail from the beginning.

001Our Wedding Day

Turns out if you don’t start your relationship off right, it’s hard to start a marriage off right.  Add to the tumultuous-ness of our relationship the fact that we got married at 18 and 19 years old and were both very selfish and spiritually immature, and you’ve got the makings of a pretty volatile union.  I packed my bags many times and threatened to leave, but somehow through it all, we were both determined to make it work and I never did leave.  The first three years were the hardest.  I felt many times I had made a mistake and David was not the right man for me.  Around our third anniversary, we moved to a new town and soon got pregnant with our first child.  Things were good, but the relationship still struggled and I still struggled with self-doubt and guilt for the life I once lived.

You see, I was molested when I was a very young child.  From then on, I was broken, and struggled to see value in myself beyond my body.  I was obsessed with my appearance and strived to make sure boys noticed.  I spent much of my teenage years partying and being promiscuous.  I was already broken and being good would not fix me.  It was more fun to do what I wanted and I wanted to have fun. I got married without ever telling David about the molestation in my past and without ever receiving any sort of counseling to help me come to terms with it.

Finally telling David about my childhood abuse was just a very early beginning to dealing with it, and it would be many more years before I felt ok about it.  Our relationship only got marginally better as we grew older and a bit more mature, but I still had trouble seeing myself as valuable and wanted.  Because David was never an especially affectionate person, he failed to make me feel valued and wanted.  This dynamic caused me to look elsewhere for affection twice in our marriage, in the form of online chatting and texting, and while I never really said or did anything inappropriate during these conversations, the fact that I used the attention from other men to make me feel better about myself, rather than talking to my husband and working on my marriage was inappropriate in and of itself.

Six months ago, after several conversations with good and dear friends who were helping me work through the molestation in my past, I had a breakthrough.  I chose to forgive, once and for all, those who had hurt me.  I spoke it and it was.  And the Lord granted me forgiveness for my past all at once, and, in turn, I forgave myself.  And I have never been the same since.  I knew it was time to fix my marriage.  The next day I told David how much I was struggling with feeling loved and valued in our relationship and that I wanted to seek counseling.  This was hard for him to hear and he was, admittedly, a bit angry.

I prayed and continued to speak with David about this need, and within two days, we were sitting in the office of the family pastor of our church.  He encouraged us to attend a class at the church called Re Engage.  I thought there was no way some class was going to help us and that our marriage was so broken we needed intensive counseling, but David and I agreed to go to the class.  We went to the class the next night and decided to give it a try.  The following week, we went to the “big group” where the couples in waiting for a “private group” meet together and talk, and in about a month’s time, we were placed in a small group with five other couples, one of which led the group.  We were given curriculum and made the commitment to attend for the next five months, give or take.

Through the course of the next few lessons, we learned areas of our marriage that were weak and places we both needed to improve.  It was week four that I will never forget, however, when David and I finally came clean about everything in our past that we had never before shared with one another: I had felt guilty for 12 years about hook-ups I’d had before David and I were even a couple; I told him about the texting and admitted that I had at times entertained the idea of affection outside of our marriage.  He told me about things that had happened when we weren’t together as well, and a couple of strip club trips since we’d been married.  It hurt terribly to tell each other these things, but somehow, in the quiet dark of our bedroom, we had healing and forgiveness. Because we finally knew each other and became fully known ourselves, we can never go back to the time when we were keeping secrets and hiding parts of ourselves from one another.  David knows me and I know him.  And we’re not ashamed and we’ve forgiven.

We celebrated our tenth anniversary a couple of months into Re Engage.  We chose to commemorate our revived union and the milestone by renewing our wedding vows.  Our ceremony took place three days after that heart-wrenching, soul-cleansing, forgiveness-inducing conversation.  I was so glad and relieved to be moving forward with such peace in my heart and to be starting a new chapter in our marriage in more ways than one.  We didn’t know it at the time, but AT our ceremony, I was pregnant with our fourth child!

photo66Our Vow Renewals!

Last week, we completed Re Engage!  We still have arguments and we still have to remind each other to give grace, to act selflessly and to be quicker to forgive, but we now have the tools and communication skills to maneuver sticky situations and conversations.  Because we chose to go through the hard and yucky stuff, we have a healthy relationship to move forward with.  We have so much more to look forward to together as we continue to grow closer to the Lord and each other all at once.

What I’ve learned from this experience:

Our relationship really wasn’t that bad, we just needed to heal from things that we had never dealt with before.

We needed to learn to communicate and be honest with each other about our feelings, rather than worrying about “rocking the boat” or causing strife by bringing difficult topics to light.

You can not start a healthy relationship out with lies.  If you do, it will cause nothing but heartache throughout the relationship.

It’s never too late to turn over a new leaf in your marriage, and the Lord will be waiting to meet you there when you’re ready, even if you wait til ten years into the marriage!  If there are secrets in your marriage, they must COME OUT!

It’s worth it.  I was terrified to go through all of this when I brought it up to David.  I didn’t want to tell him about things he didn’t know about, and I knew that would be a necessary step to healing our marriage.  I am so glad I did.  I can’t say that any more clearly or emphasize it enough.

So, yes, our marriage was doomed for failure from day one.  From that first night I gave my body to David with little emotion and he took it with the same.  From the first lie to the last infidelity, we set ourselves up to fail.  We made poor choices and we had to live with them for a long time. But praise God that what we screw up, He can use for good!

He makes all things new, and today I can say that our marriage has been redeemed.  My eyes are welling up with tears as I type this, because I can feel the depth of the Lord’s love for us in every part of our testimony, every good and bad memory and in the hope I have moving forward.  I can feel His love for us in the love He allows me to feel from David.  We have fallen completely in love with each other in a whole new way, because the Lord is the backdrop of our love.  When we first got together, we lusted after one another.  This later manifested in an immature and selfish love that we built a marriage on.  We now love each other with a mature and deep love that grows every day and we will continue to strive to love one another the way Christ loves us!

Whether you’ve been divorced, previously engaged, or just dated other people, your heart has attached itself to someone else before your spouse at some point.  Only the Lord can make it whole again.  How I wish I had been whole when I married David!  But we both agree that we have no regrets, because truth be told if we had been on different paths, we probably would have never met.  Every part of our pasts made us who we are today.  And you know what?  I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5

Why a Primal Pregnancy ROCKS!

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I am 16 weeks into my fourth pregnancy and I can officially say that I feel fantastic!  I have never felt so wonderful during pregnancy and I want to shout from the rooftops why I’m feeling better this time around!

Previous Diet Changes

When my youngest was a few months old, we started making some serious diet changes.  Although I ate much, much better during my pregnancy with him than my previous two pregnancies, I still experienced extreme fatigue and mild nausea, as well as other common pregnancy discomforts like bloating and heartburn.  After I had him, I experienced difficulty even functioning day-to-day with the demands of waking up with him through the night weighing heavy on me.  I often became very dizzy from lack of sleep, struggled with feeling fuzzy-headed and still had a lot of stomach discomforts that I had dealt with before our switch to a real-food lifestyle.  I wanted to feel better and I wanted to be a better wife and mom but just couldn’t seem to function properly.  I really began to pray and ask the Lord how it could be His plan for us mommas to feel so miserable after having a baby and yet keep having them.  I was discouraged and frustrated.  I decided it was time for a change.

When Everett was about three months old, I went 30 days without eating sugar.  It was much easier than I had anticipated and because of that trial, we have never gone back to eating and using sugar other than the *very* occasional treat or for kombucha brewing.  A couple of months after that, I decided to undertake something that was a much greater challenge than eliminating sugar: removing grains from our diet!  Again, I planned to try it for 30 days, but after only a few days I felt so wonderful, I knew I would never go back to using grains as a staple in our diet.  No more burritos, no more nachos, no more sandwiches… I had to get creative!

After one week of a grain-free diet, I was much more clear-headed and well-rested upon waking.  Gone were the days of waking up tired, groggy and with a headache.  I felt like the curtains had been pulled back for the first time.  Symptoms of gastrointestinal distress were greatly relived and eventually disappeared.  No more constant gluten-bloat!

How a Primal Diet Applies to Pregnancy

Without grains and sugar (and pasteurized milk!) assaulting my insides, my body has been able to focus on pregnancy and nourishing my baby!  Because those things tend to cause gut and intestinal problems, the absence of them, for me, has equaled the absence of nausea!  How amazing to have a pregnancy free of nausea!  Although pregnancy and being a mom to three other children is demanding, I wake up refreshed because grains are not causing “grain-brain” symptoms.  (Learn more about that here. –This is not an affiliate link, I just feel this information is that important!)  Waking up rested equals so much more energy than I’ve ever experienced before during pregnancy.  I’m homeschooling my three boys, keeping up with a house, a small home bakery business and various other activities when during my other pregnancies, I could barely get off the couch!  This alone is the biggest difference I have felt this pregnancy -the energy!

Primal vs Paleo

While a Paleo diet has worked for us at times and is a great plan to follow, we choose to consume raw and cultured dairy.  For a pregnant woman, raw dairy (if no intolerance is present) is a necessary part of a nourishing diet.  I didn’t start getting raw milk until the end of my pregnancy with Everett and have no doubt that pasteurized dairy played a part in making me feel unwell during my first three pregnancies.  This pregnancy, I drink raw milk everyday and include plain and full-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, raw cheeses and homemade raw kefir in my diet as well.  All of these contribute to my staying nourished as well as regulating my digestion.

Supplements

Because I’m not a big believer in vitamins, I am taking whole, real food supplements during this pregnancy to ensure proper absorption and maximum benefit.  I use fermented cod liver oil, homemade liver capsules (which, by the way, have also contributed greatly to my energy levels thanks to the high amount of iron and B vitamins found in liver!) and a powdered magnesium supplement which also contributes to regularity.  I like to try to regularly drink “pregnancy tea” which can be found from different brands containing different herbs to support a healthy pregnancy and delivery.  When I get towards the end up my pregnancy, I will begin including things like evening primrose oil, gentle birth tincture and red raspberry leaf tea to my repertoire.  Until then, I’m happy and feeling great meeting my nutritional needs through food!

If you struggle with feeling tired, sick or just plain not good during pregnancy, I encourage you to closely examine your diet and evaluate whether everything you’re eating is nourishing to your body and growing baby or if there are some things that you may need to consider doing away with!

What have you found has made you feel your best during pregnancy?

Easy Cauliflower Wraps- Grain Free for Paleo, GAPS and Low-Carb Diets!

cauliflower wraps

 

I’ve tried several different cauliflower recipes, some of which worked ok, and some of which were a complete flop.  The best one I had found required steaming and then straining the cauliflower.  I didn’t like the extra steps!  I set out to recreate a cauliflower wrap recipe that was simple and fast.  Since I make them at least once a week for soft taco and fajita meals, I’ve had lots of opportunities to tweak the recipe.  I think I’ve found the perfect combination of ingredients this time!  You will need:

1 head of cauliflower (small-medium)

2 eggs

1/8 cup palm shortening

1/2- 1 tsp ea chili powder and real salt

Parchment paper- don’t skip this; it’s important!

*Preheat oven to 325*.

1. “Rice” the cauliflower in a blender.  You can accomplish this by chopping all the heads off and placing them in the blender, all together if you have a high-powered one, and lesser amounts at a time if not.  I use the tamper to smash it down in my Vitamix as I blend so that it gets “riced” evenly.  When you are done, it will resemble white rice.

2. Place the riced cauliflower in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients, mixing together well until a batter forms.

3. Using a large spoon, scoop the batter, one scoop at a time, onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  As you scoop, smooth the batter into a round shape, spreading it evenly so that there are no holes in the wrap.  You don’t want to spread it too thin or it will burn and then fall apart when you eat it, and if you leave it too thick, it won’t bake well.  Somewhere between the thickness of a corn tortilla and a flour tortilla is just right.

4. Once you have all of your wraps spread out on the parchment-lined baking sheets (it will take two sheets, as the recipe makes about 8 small wraps), place in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes.  The edges will start to crisp a bit, as well as any thin spots in the wraps.  That’s ok, as long as those parts aren’t too thin, otherwise they will burn while you’re waiting on the thicker parts to finish baking.

5. Once the centers of the wraps are done, they should peel off the parchment paper easily.  If they begin to fall apart when you try to remove them, they aren’t quite done yet and need to go back in for a few more minutes.

My family loves these and no one has complained once about missing tortillas!  I load them up with some sort of meat- (I’ve used ground taco meat, as well as seasoned brisket, chicken and pork), guacamole, diced tomatoes and other veggies, sour cream, sauerkraut… with all that flavor, you hardly notice that you’re not eating a real tortilla!

An Update on Our GAPS Diet Journey

GAPS Diet Journey

 

Last time I blogged about our GAPS diet journey, things were not going so great.  We were sick and miserable.  We were tired of eating the same foods over and over.  I was exhausted of trying to force the kids to drink their broth, drink their broth, drink their broth!

We carried on, and by the end of week four, something amazing was happening.  Camden (5, ADHD symptoms) was transforming.  I went so far as to tell people he was a new kid.  And he was!  He was calm and polite and rarely made his brother (4) scream, a far cry from a month prior.  Then we started introducing full GAPS food (GAPS-legal treats sweetened with dates or honey, fruit, more raw vegetables) and he immediately began to regress.  I knew we were going to have to back track.  But there was one problem.  I didn’t want to.  Guess what?  I still don’t.

It’s been a few weeks since we came off of GAPS intro and we have cheated more than I’d like to admit, eating potatoes a couple of times, too much peanut butter (me), fruit (though not much), and way too many treats (pretty much a daily thing, and I’ve made them with both cocoa powder and maple syrup some of the time, neither of which are GAPS-legal).  Brace yourself- I even had my hubby grab some organic frozen pizzas a few nights ago because I was so burned out on cooking.  The pizza, though organic and really pretty stinkin healthy by frozen pizza standards, had a whole wheat and wheat germ crust.  I will say that I think our reactions are maybe not quite as bad as they used to be.  I got one little blister on my tongue and one tiny one on one of my fingers, and Camden’s bowel movements have not been as healthy as they were, but have not returned to loose stool status either.

Today, however, was one of the worst days we’ve had in a while.  The kids just seemed to wake up with a mission to make me crazy today.  Camden and I prayed last night that the Lord would help him to not pester Maddox and make him scream (which he’s been doing worse again since going off intro), and that seemed to be all he could do today.  I know when we pray specifically like that, sometimes we draw spiritual attack, and I feel we have been under spiritual attack in our home, really, since starting GAPS.  However, I know we have got to clean our diet back up.  I remember saying over and over again “I just want to do this right the first time, get through it, and never have to do it again” while we were on intro and realizing just how tough it was.  Now I know why people go through several rounds of intro in some cases!

Camden also has had one of his tics come back- he constantly clears his throat and occasionally coughs a little.  I think he actually may have a tickle or scratchy feeling in his throat which causes his to do this excessively, and I suspect it may be from eating cheese.  I have been tired and grouchy and have been dreaming a lot, which is weird because when I sleep well, I don’t dream at all and I wake up more rested.  My digestion has also really slowed and I’m feeling sluggish and heavy in the midsection.

At this point, I want to go back and do intro again.  I know it WAS working, we just stopped too soon.  I could see such amazing changes, and then such distinct regression as soon as we stopped intro.  I KNOW it works.  However, I do want to take it a little slower this time.  My hopes are that detoxing won’t be nearly as bad since we’ve just done it and that it will be a little smoother sailing since I know what to expect now.  I also didn’t actually get the GAPS diet book before doing the diet, because I had another book that details the intro and diet and I felt that was sufficient to follow it.  Now, I think it is necessary to READ THE BOOK!

So, like the first time, I plan to set a date for us to “restart” intro.  I’m ordering the GAPS diet book and probably an accompanying cookbook, which I expect will make my job much easier this time around.  I am going to try to menu plan every week and have a better plan for snacks, and make as much food ahead of time as I can, as the most difficult part about the first round of intro was being constantly hungry and not having simple grab and go snacks.  I am frustrated, confused and disappointed, but after getting a glimpse of such an improvement in Camden’s behavior, I’m willing to do it all over again in order to (hopefully) achieve such a change permanently.

Have you ever been through an intense diet and have to repeat it later on?

Real Food Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe (Gluten/Grain and Sugar Free!)

Real Food Mississippi Mud Cake

Dark Chocolate Cake recipe from Make It Paleo:

 

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

10 eggs

1 TBS vanilla

1 cup real maple syrup (or honey)

1 cup melted coconut oil (I used palm oil.  You could also use butter.)

 

Preheat oven to 325*.

Combine sifted coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.

Blend eggs, vanilla, maple syrup and melted coconut oil.

Add dry ingredients to wet and blend.

 

My additional steps to make Mississippi Mud Cake:

Add 1/2 cup each of chopped pecans and plain, shredded coconut to batter and mix well.

Original recipe calls for two 9″ cake pans, but for Mississippi Mud Cake, I used a standard rectangular cake pan, greased with palm oil.  Pour batter in cake pan and bake for 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.

 

For marshmallow cream layer:

I tweaked a recipe from Cheeseslave:  2 egg whites, 5 oz honey, 1 tsp vanilla and a pinch a real salt.  Whip all together in stand mixer or with hand mixer until thick and fluffy (7-10 minutes).  Spread over cooled chocolate cake.

 

For chocolate frosting:

Ok, so I didn’t measure, so I’ll give you approximate measurements and you’ll have to taste-test as you go like I do ;).

Butter (I used cultured, pastured butter!)

Organic Palm Shortening

Raw Honey

Vanilla

Cocoa Powder

 

The butter and palm shortening should be slightly softened but not melted.  Start with about 1/2 cup butter and whip it in the stand mixer.  Add about 1/4 cup palm shortening and whip them together.  Add 1/4- 1/2 cup raw honey and 1 tsp vanilla and blend.  Add cocoa powder, 1/8 cup at a time until frosting reaches desired texture and chocolatey-ness 🙂  If the level of desired chocolatey-ness isn’t sweet enough, add a little more raw honey.  When it reaches a flavor and texture to your liking, add just under 1/2 cup each chopped pecans and shredded coconut.  Frost over the marshmallow layer.

 

Try not to eat the entire cake all in one day like we did.  (There was lots of family around, so it’s ok, right?)

 

My five-year-old said “This tastes like unhealthy cake!”  Best compliment ever in my book!

Our GAPS Diet Journey… Weeks 2 & 3 Journal

GAPS Diet Journey

 

Week 2

Day 1

We started back on Stage One.  We ate lots of broth-boiled veggies and oxtail with vegetables for dinner.  We continued Camden on two Biokults per day and his behavior was about the same: slightly improved but lots of typical ADHD behavior.

Day 2

We had a kefir smoothie with gelatin, honey and coconut oil for breakfast, a whole (local, free-range) chicken with vegetables for lunch, and a roast with vegetables for dinner.  Camden’s behavior was pretty much the same, plus he had a bought of diarrhea, so I think the two Biokults per day may be causing too much die-off.  This day, we skipped the night-time Biokult.  After the kids went to bed, I gorged on raw honey and felt sick after.  Must figure out how to get these cravings under control!

Day 3

Rough day.  We felt crummy and cranky.  The kids were rather disobedient, and my digestion was very slow (i.e. nothing moving), which did not help my disposition.  The older boys developed coughs and all of us had runny noses.  I started a big batch of yogurt, so we looked forward to enjoying that the next day.  On this day, I felt frustrated and like giving up.  I was tired and weak, but I made a filling dinner and felt a little better after that.

Day 4

Camden was sick all day- he had a fever and slept pretty much all day.  He complained about an earache, so I did everything I could to try to help relieve it.  I moved us to stage two and started adding raw egg yolks to our bowls of stew, which I fed Camden myself when I could get him to sit up long enough to have some.  I also did not feel well.

Day 5

I woke up in the middle of the night with a splitting migraine thanks to head congestion.  I felt terrible all day and may have run a little fever.  We started eating boiled egg yolks and ate a ton of them this day.  I think we had roast for dinner.

Day 6

Camden had a baseball game and had no energy to play 😦  He just walked off the field to our pickup before the game was over, so we decided we would take him out of baseball until he feels better.  I took him to run errands with me later and he fell asleep in the pickup.  When I had to wake him up to go in the grocery store, he could barely stay awake in the cart and was just miserable.  We introduce avocados this day.  Camden had a ton of head congestion and a bad earache.  He was so miserable and in pain.  David and I used a neti pot and it helped us to feel better, but we couldn’t get Camden to give it a try.

Day 7

David brought me breakfast in bed after letting me sleep in- steak and eggs!  We had a “Customer Appreciation Day” at the local farm we purchase food from, which consisted of a visit to the farm and a big meal they prepared for us.  I didn’t want to miss out, so I packed us some food.  While we were there, Camden snuck some dessert that had (I believe) sugar and wheat.  His behavior worsened over the next few days.

 

Week 3

Day 1

Maddox (4) seemed to be the only one feeling well, but the rest of us were still miserable, so we went to the chiropractor.  Camden appeared to feel better as soon as he got adjusted!  We all felt better after the adjustment.  We all even used the bathroom after our adjustments, which was barely happening at this point (we had each only used the bathroom a couple of times in the couple of weeks we’d been on intro).  I also read that you should lay off high protein dairy like yogurt and kefir in favor of high fat dairy like buttermilk and sour cream if you are constipated.  So, we ate lots of homemade, raw sour cream this day.  Overall, this was a better day, but Camden’s behavior was poor and I suspected it was from the dessert he had snuck the day before.  He also had diarrhea twice in the night and once the next morning.  (I think he may have even passed some gall stones… but that’s a whole other can of worms :/ ).  Can’t be sure whether it was reaction to the food or die off, but I’m leaning towards die off since we were back to two Biokults a day.  We also introduced GAPS pancakes- crispy nut butter mixed with peeled, de-seeded squash, topped with raw honey and homemade sour cream.  This was a very exciting new food!

Day 2

Everett (1) woke up with a fever.  We all felt tired and lethargic and I had a very hard time getting the kids to drink their broth.  I did get them to drink some sour cream smoothies which I hid some broth in.  Camden’s energy improved a lot this day.  We had fajitas with cauliflower wraps for dinner and they were really yummy!  Still, it was another rough day and I felt really discouraged.

Day 3

We had a playdate scheduled with a neighbor this day, and I debated whether or not we should go because I still wasn’t feeling great and I feared Camden would somehow get some food he shouldn’t have.  But I was also curious how he would behave, so we went ahead.  I was right to be afraid about what he might eat… but first things first.  For the first time EVER, we went to a playdate and I got to chat with the other mom.  This has never happened before.  I usually don’t get to chat because I’m too busy chasing Camden around and pulling him off his brother and other kids.  He played with toys and games quietly and peacefully.  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  …And then he found a piece of candy in their kitchen, and, of course, ate it.  His change in behavior was almost instantaneous.  I was so mad at myself for letting my guard down.  It is incredibly frustrating to make such great progress and then have him ruin it like that.  I wanted to cry.

Day 4

His behavior was reflective of the candy he’d had and he pestered his brother all day long, making him cry and scream.  I still wasn’t feeling well and things just felt overall chaotic and stressful.  I feared he was looking too skinny and again, I was almost ready to give up.  We were going through more food than I felt like I could prepare.  I think one of the hardest parts of the intro diet is that we can’t have our typical snacks like bananas or raisins to tide us over between meals.  I have to prepare something like boiled vegetables or try to get the kids to drink a mug of broth.

Day 5

This day was about like the others.  The kids were having some diarrhea and I was back to being constipated, though things were moving better than before.  Camden’s behavior was still poor, and it was clear the candy he’d had two days prior was sticking with him.  We all got adjusted at the chiropractor again and she could tell we were in much better shape than we’d been Monday.  Still, we were all pretty tired, as that has become the norm for us for now.

Day 6

Camden seemed to be feeling pretty well and was much more energetic, so David took him to his baseball game.  He reported that Camden’s behavior was great and he played well 🙂  We grilled out that night and had some yummy skewers with beef and veggies.  I had decided we weren’t going to have honey any more for a long time, and this was the first day we were totally out so we didn’t have any.  I also decided we were not going to have any more nuts indefinitely because I know we’ve eaten too many and I know they were giving me a stomach ache.

Day 7

I woke up early with a horrible migraine.  I used some essential oils and it improved only a little.  I went back to sleep for a bit, and when I woke up again, my entire body hurt all over.  We had some scrambled eggs for breakfast which had a little raw milk in them, plus Camden snuck a little raw milk before I had a chance to turn it into yogurt.  We snacked on boiled eggs, veggies and sauerkraut (which is becoming a staple as a snack around here) while David smoked a roast.  The roast made a delicious dinner.  I made some crispy (soaked and dehydrated) nuts and seeds into a grain-free granola and some roasted, salted crispy peanuts for David to take to work.  The kids ate almost all of them through the day, and I had some too.  So frustrating that if something is IN the house, we cannot stay out of it.  Tomorrow I think we will backtrack just a little and try to get all the nuts out of our systems.  Camden had been back down to only one Biokult per day for most of last week, but after he seems to be feeling well and having healthy BMs, I went ahead and added the second dose back in tonight.

 

I’ve started just giving the kids a tiny bit of broth in a small glass to make it manageable for them and they are drinking it ok.  I add sauerkraut to nearly every meal as well, and often both sour cream and sauerkraut.  Truth be told, I am miserable and grouchy.  This diet is taking a toll on my emotions and my body, but I’m determined to push through, because otherwise, what will this have all been for?  Hoping and praying this week is better.