Two Summer Slaws

IMG_5858Asian Summer Slaw

You’ve basically already got the recipe for this one if you read my Garlic-Ginger Kale-Sweet Potato Salad post of a few days ago. It’s the same dressing, so hopefully you have some of that still in your fridge. Only difference is you use chopped (or shredded) cabbage (asian, red, green, combination of colors) and red bell peppers instead of kale and sweet potatoes (I’m telling you, this dressing will keep your kids eating raw cruciferous veggies all summer–or year, for that matter–long!). That’s it–those are your ingredients. Add chopped up almonds (we like the sprouted ones) or peanuts. You can add cilantro or basil too (did you know that cilantro is a great sugar-and-insulin-regulator? Not to mention, rich in phytonutrients, flavonoids, and phenolic acid compounds, all of which contribute to fighting inflammation and free radicals? Basil is also a great antimicrobial/antibacterial herb). Garnish with extra cilantro leaves (or mint!).

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Quick Lacto-Fermented Cole Slaw

Ingredients:

1 large head of Cabbage (red, green, combination), well chopped, or grated
approximately 1 cup of whole fat plain (preferably raw) kefir or yoghurt

1 medium to large red onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, finely diced
lots of fresh dill (or dried if you can’t get it), to taste

approximately 1 cup of whole fat (preferably raw) sour cream (or creme fraiche)
a few T of fresh squeezed lemon juice and/or raw apple cider vinegar (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
a tiny amount of stevia, to taste (optional)
Combine cabbage and yoghurt in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Mix well until cabbage is thoroughly coated. Let sit at room temperature for about an hour, then cover and place in fridge. Leave overnight, then stir until re-coated. Cover again and leave in fridge for another 24 hours or so. Then add all other ingredients, mix well and enjoy.

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flourless gluten-free sugar-free brownie-truffles

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My new favorite ingredient discovery is Creamed coconut (not to be confused with coconut cream). I found it at our local co-op, but if you can’t find it, I’m sure you can order it online.

Anyway, so, this is a very simple recipe, once you have your creamed coconut. I’ve seen a few versions out there, but all with sugar of one sort or another.

Ingredients:
1 package (7 ozs) unsweetened creamed coconut
3/4 cup unsweetened chocolate chips or pieces, or 6 ozs worth of chocolate bars (either homemade chocolate, unsweetened bars or 85% cocoa is what we use)
1 to 2 T raw cacao powder (or good quality, organic, non-alkaline cocoa powder)
2 tsp vanilla extract and/or 2 tsp almond extract or orange extract (orange oil also works wonders here!)
2 eggs, well-beaten
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 to 8 scoops of KAL organic stevia (optional) (we actually like this with or without stevia. The creamed coconut has a pretty sweet taste to it, but we also like very dark bitter barely-sweetened chocolate, so experiment according to your taste buds. If you’re someone transitioning from sugar, you may be surprised to find that after a few weeks you won’t need to add any extra sweetener). In the picture above, we made them without stevia, but sprinkled a tiny bit on top of each one, which tasted great!

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with parchment-paper muffin cups.
Melt the chocolate bars/chips and creamed coconut together in a double boiler, whisking occasionally. Once this is all melted together, remove from burner and add the rest of the ingredients, continuing to stir. As soon as you add the eggs, the mixture will thicken a lot, so you may want to add them last.
Fill each muffin cup about 1/3 full. Bake for about 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan for about 1/2 an hour, then cool on a plate for another 15 minutes or so, then cool in the fridge until cold. These will be a little crumbly until you get them fully cooled down, at which point they become completely stuck together and kind of soft-hard like a cross between brownies and truffles! Enjoy!

Link to “suger-industry-lies” article. A Must-read!

Sorry, no time lately to post anything. I’ve been trying to work on this massive amount of paperwork I have to get through to see if we can get a paraproffessional in my daughter’s classroom next year (or maybe even miraculously next semester!), so we don’t have to keep homeschooling her in the afternoons and going up to her school for lunch and recess, which is just an insane marathon for us, and causing me to have no time at all to work on my book or this blog. Please, as usual, bear with me. I know those of you who are parents of diabetic kids will understand, but for the rest of you:I’m lucky if I get 4 to 5 hours’ sleep a night, and am trying my best. I am compiling recipes for the holidays, so hopefully soon I’ll be able to get a whole bunch of them up for those of you who have been calling me and emailing me for recipes. I promise I’ll get some up before Thanksgiving…

Meanwhile, here’s a new article not to be missed:

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/10/sugar-industry-lies-campaign

Rosehibiscus “Soda”

This is an adaptation of a recipe I found years ago in a book I love called Full Moon Feast:Food and the Hunger For Connection, by Jessica Prentice. One of my daughter’s friends calls it “roller-disco soda.” It’s delicious all year ’round, and since it’s never heated (plus lacto-fermented), it’s a great source of vitamin C, yet another nutrient diabetics can use lots and lots of, especially from food and herb sources like this, rather than synthesized versions in vitamin pills. When someone’s sugar runs higher than normal, the cells that would absorb vitamin C (which through various mechanisms helps keep our immune systems functioning at their best) will absorb sugar instead, blocking the C from entering. Since type 1 diabetics’ sugar will almost always average higher than non-diabetics’, keeping a continual in-flow of vitamin C-rich foods (such as lacto-fermented vegetables and low-carb/no-sugar drinks like this) is a good idea.

Recipe:

1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
1 T dried rose hips
1/2 cup kefir grains or 1 cup yoghurt whey
1/2 an organic lemon (juice and peel)
1 T maple syrup (optional)
stevia to taste

Place all ingredients in a 2-quart jar. Add in enough filtered water to fill the jar almost to the top. If you are using whey, leave 1/2 an inch space at the top; if kefir grains, leave about an inch as it can get a little more bubbly, and you don’t want an explosion (I’ve never had this happen, but with fermentation of any kind, even this minimal, there’s always the possibility). Screw the lid on the jar, cover with a dark cloth, and leave somewhere warm-ish (70 degrees F or so) for 48 hours.
Then strain into  2 glass bottles with screw tops (old mineral water bottles are what Jessica Prentice recommends). Put an even amount in each bottle, then add a little bit more filtered water on top of each. Screw the lids on tightly and leave out to ferment a little more. She says 2 to 3 more days in the book, but I’ve found that if I’m using whey, I’ll get a slight bit of mold on top if I leave for more than another 12 hours, so I leave it out for about 8 more hours at room temperature, then refrigerate it. It’s like a very slightly bubbly juice. If using kefir grains, I’ve left out for 3 days, and it gets really bubbly. This keeps in the fridge for a long time (except it usually disappears in my house within a few days!)

Variations: sometimes I add lemon balm or mint to it. A little bit of thyme is a good one too, or tulsi, or agastache (also known as licorice hyssop). There’s an agastache that tastes like root beer too. Experiment. I’ll eventually get up a lot of info about herbs on the herb page. Bear with me…

Pumpkin Muffins and Cinnamon Orange Cardamom Swirl Pumpkin Pie (Grain/Gluten-free;Sugar-free)

Pumpkin Muffins
These are SO good! I “discovered” this recipe by accident once, when I had planned to make almond-butter-carrot muffins, at my daughter’s behest, and suddenly realized I had no carrots on hand, but did have a can of organic pumpkin puree (this time of year, when gourds abound, making your own pumpkin puree can be great too)…

Ingredients:
1/3 cup almond flour
1 cup almond butter
1 and 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 cup butter, melted over low heat
2 eggs
1 T maple syrup
1 T maple extract
Approximately 14 scoops of KAL organic stevia (or to taste)
1 heaping T cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 to 1 tsp powdered cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease muffin pans (this makes about 10 to 12 medium-sized muffins)
Mix the pumpkin puree and almond butter together until well-combined, then beat in the eggs, syrup and butter. Combine the almond flour, stevia and spices. Add to the wet ingredients, mix until combined, then scoop into greased muffin pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a fork stuck in the middle just barely comes out clean.
These keep well in the fridge for at least a week. They freeze well for months.

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Cinnamon Orange Cardamom Swirl Pumpkin Pie
I’ve never actually been a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but this one I love–I think it’s the combination of the slight hint of orange and cardamom combined that makes it so good. I came up with it when I was on a complete cardamom kick last year–just couldn’t get enough of it. It was winter, it’s a warming spice. What can I say…?

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Crust:
1 and 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 T vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients well and press into a pie pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, until just barely starting to brown. remove from oven and let cool completely.

Filling:
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted over low heat
1/4 cup butter, melted over low heat
3/4 coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk
2 eggs
1 T vanilla extract
Grated rind of one orange
12 to 14 scoops KAL organic stevia (or to taste)
1 T cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Beat the eggs well, then add pumpkin, coconut oil, butter, stevia, vanilla extract and grated orange rind. Continue to beat (or whisk) until frothy and the stevia is pretty well-dissolved. Combine all the spices in a small separate bowl. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the cooled pie crust, then sprinkle the spices into it, stirring just enough to make swirly patterns. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until firm and a fork stuck into the middle comes out clean.

Delicious End-of-Summer-Veggies Appetizer

Patty-Pan Pesto Pile-up

This one’s so easy, I’ll write it in even though I only have 2 minutes. Gotta get out to the garden and harvest the last of the tomatoes, to make ketchup. We’re supposedly getting a frost tonight! Where did the summer go?

Recipe:

Patty pan squash, sliced into rounds about 1/4-inch thick each (or zucchini, if you want smaller rounds)
Pesto (preferably home-made
Sungold or Cherry tomatoes

Steam the slices of squash for just a couple of minutes. Remove from steamer to cool. Place on a plate. Put a big dollop of pesto on top of each slice.
Top with a whole cherry tomato.
A whole bunch of these (small, made with zucchini) together on a platter make for beautiful finger-food, or if you are using a big enough patty pan and enough pesto, it’s an individual serving (and very filling) appetizer.

Low-Carb Bacon-Onion Pie

This one’s good for any meal of the day. Even good cold for school lunches.

This pie can be made without a crust at all, or with the almond-flour crust below. The first thing to do in this recipe is cooking the bacon (see quantity below). I’ve found that doing this on a baking sheet in the oven is easier than in a pan. It cooks at a lower temperature too, so it’s healthier for you. I cook it at 300 to 325 F. Just check it periodically so it doesn’t burn. It cooks pretty fast, maybe 20 minutes or so.

Preheat oven to 350 F

Crust:
1 and 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
3/4 cup butter or ghee, melted
1/2 tsp baking soda

Combine all ingredients well, and press into a deep-dish pie pan (I use glass or ceramic). Bake for about 12 minutes, until just browning slightly. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

Turn up oven’s heat to 375 F.

Filling:
10 slices of uncured organic (preferably pastured) bacon, cooked (see above), cooled, then crumbled
A few T bacon fat or butter or ghee
2 large onions, very thinly sliced
8 eggs
1 large tsp celtic sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups fresh pastured sour cream

Saute the onion in bacon fat (or butter/ghee), until soft (you could caramelize them, for a different taste). Beat the eggs well, then stir in the onions and the rest of the ingredients. Pour into the almond flour crust. Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the egg mixture is thoroughly set (stick a fork in the middle to check for done-ness).