Italian Baked Beans

Italian Baked Beans
(serves 4)

What you will need:
2 cups cooked navy beans
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1 yellow onion chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
3 Tbsp butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup black olives
1/2 cup relish
1 -1,1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
1 heaping tsp dill
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese grated
fresh parsley

How to do it:

Step 1: Saute garlic and onions in butter in a large saucepan until onions are caramelized (as in sweet and browned).

Step 2: Add remaining ingredients (except cheese and parsley) while stirring often until all ingredients are soft.

Step 3: Spread ingredients evenly into a pie plate.

Step 4: Grate cheese and spread on top.

Step 5: Bake @ 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with fresh salad on the side.

Coconut Muffins 2.0

These muffins are fantastic. They are fluffy and taste like a wheat or spelt muffin, not coconutty texture at all. They are super moist, nutrient dense calling for lots of butter, whipping cream and eggs (although they don’t taste “eggy”).

Coconut Muffins 2.0
(makes 9 large or 12 med muffins)

6 eggs (less 1 if your eggs are large)
1/3 cup butter
1 cup whole milk, whipping cream or creme fraiche
1/4 cup honey (optional)
1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Optional: Fruit

Blend in a blender until smooth. It will seem like the batter is too wet, but it isn’t. As you can see from the picture, the muffins will cave a bit in the middle, but I think it only adds to their charm!

Bake at 400 F for 23-25 min. Let cool for 10-20 before removing from muffin tray.

Natural gummy candy

You kids will go ga ga over these delicious and nutrient dense candies that can double as a Vitamin C supplement! The gelatin will slow down the absorption of the natural sugar in the juice, while being a wonderful protein sparer and super good for digestion.

Natural gummies are the perfect treat for what ails the whole family, and wonderful addition to your child’s lunch box too!


 

 

 

 

 

Natural Gummy Candy

(makes 2 silicone ice cube trays worth of gummies)

What you will need:
4 Tbsp unflavoured gelatin (or 4, 1 ounce packets) from animals raised on pasture such as Great Lakes Gelatin
1 cup unsweetened, unflavoured juice

Optional ingredients:
honey
green powder stevia or the natural liquid extract of the green leaf to taste
Natural source Vit. C for a sour candy taste

How to do it:
Step 1:Dissolve gelatin in the juice and let stand for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Stir on medium heat for 3-4 minutes until dissolved.
Step 3: While it is still liquid, pour into silicone mould (ice cube tray or candy mould). Let stand for 3-5 minutes.
Step 4: Put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Jasmine and Hannah in candy bliss heaven!

Gently push out of trays and enjoy!

Creamy nut butter chocolate probiotic pudding

 

In the mood for a sweet treat, but not in the mood for a sugar crash? Try this probiotic rich and creamy pudding. The protein and cinnamon will keep your blood sugar smooth and steady, while the delicious creamy fat will give you sustainable energy and full on satiation.

Creamy nut butter chocolate probiotic pudding
(serves 2)

What you will need:

3 heaping Tbsp of creme fraiche (naturally fermented sour cream)
2-3 heaping Tbsp nut butter
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large pinches cinnamon

How to do it:

Combine all ingredients and adjust to your taste! Mmm yummy!

Spelt bread recipe

Have I ever mentioned that I learned how to hand-make spelt bread from an ancient grain and wood-fired stove guru?

Dora Friesen, of Integrity Foods lives a hop skip and a jump away from my mom and dad’s farm-just off #8 Highway in Manitoba, Canada.

Dora and her husband Cornie have dedicated their business to bread. And oh boy, do they know what they are doing!

Their ingredients are about as pure as it gets and they stick to organic spelt for the most part. Several stores here regularly stock their wholesome loaves, cookies and buns. They make a beautiful desem sourdough that has been hailed as possibly the best in the country!

Each batch, if you can believe it, comes out of a woodfired stove just metres from the door of their home/bakery. Year-round, even in the dead of the Manitoba winter that’s how they bake.

Spelt is a distant ‘cousin’ of wheat. It has not been cross-bred or hybridized and is classified as an ancient grain (it’s been around for about 5,000 years!). Proponents of spelt say it offers a broader spectrum of nutrients than wheat and, while it’s not appropriate for people with Celiac disease because it does contain gluten, many people with sensitivities to wheat report that they can eat spelt.

Although this isn’t a sourdough recipe, I have often used it because it turns out beautifully every single time. Maybe some day, I will get a pinch of the Integrity Foods desem starter and share that recipe with you too!

For now, here’s is the foolproof:

Integrity Foods Spelt bread (hand kneading method)

Makes 3 loaves, buns, pizza crusts, cinammon rolls or whatever you wish!

*Proof yeast in a small bowl while *milling the grain.

  • 1 Tbsp traditional yeast (there’s a difference between quick-rising and traditional)
  • 1/2 c lukewarm water

*Proofing means just set it to the side and give it time to activate while you are getting some other things ready. It will start to bubble on top (although ours didn’t that day). Many people use a sprinkle of sugar to ‘feed’ the yeast, but Dora says that’s not necessary (and trust me, our recipe turned out fine).

*These days most people do not mill their own grain. Either way, spelt flour should be stored in the freezer. For best results, try to get it out the night before you bake so it is room temperature.

Get 9-10 cups of flour ready. In a large mixing bowl, prepare the liquids. Stir the first four ingredients below to dissolve.

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp salt (preferably sea salt)
  • 1Tbsp honey or sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ascorbic acid (see pic, but you can get this at any Vita Health – just make sure it is the one pictured and not calcium ascorbate. The calcium basically neutralizes the effects of the ascorbic acid and your bread won’t turn out).
  • 3 1/2 cups of warm-ish water

Add: 1/3 cup of olive oil or oil of your choice
*Optional: seeds of your choice (flax, sunflower etc). To get the maximum nutritional benefit from your seeds, soak them overnight.

Add 4 cups of spelt flour and stir with a wooden whisk or wooden spoon. How much? The key here is 100 strokes. This develops the gluten and gives the bread a nicer texture. Dora says to be sure to watch how the mixture changes as it’s stirred. At the end there will be stretchy strands That’s the gluten at work and it’s very important for good bread.

Add more flour – 2 cups at a time and work it by hand. This was always the part that freaked me out because I thought you had to do it a certain way or you would wreck your bread. Not so. At least not with spelt, which Dora says is a very ‘forgiving’ grain. Continue working the flour until it’s all in the dough.

Knead until your dough is smooth and ‘elastic-like’. If necessary, Dora says to add more flour.

Ok. Now that you are finished kneading, cover your dough with a tea towel and/or plastic to keep it moist. let it rise for 2 hours or until it is double in size. This might depend a bit on the temperature outside and in your house. Punch your dough down (ahhh, therapy!) and let it rise again for an hour or so.

At this point you can shape the dough into whatever you want. Let’s assume though, you are making bread for your family. The neat thing that Dora showed me, is not to cut the dough or twist it in order to separate it into loaves. This destroys the cell structure, she said. Instead, squeeze it apart in your fist.

Once you have your bread in pans, let it proof (rise) for 45 minutes or so. Then bake at 375 (350 convection) for 35 minutes.

Although we are pretty much grain-free these days, when I first made the recipe more than a year ago, everyone was clamouring at the table for a slice of fresh bread. The smell was unbelievable. A very tough food critic, my (then) 6 year old, proclaimed it the best bread ever.

So try it for yourself. Maybe not every week. But at least once. If I can do it and enjoy it (in the car with a 3 and 6 year old), you can too!

p.s. What’s the difference between spring and winter-grown spelt varieties? Consistency. That means better results and performance and less heartbreak for you.

Tip: You can substitute spelt in just about any recipe that calls for wheat although you may have to use a bit more. For example, 1/4c more for every cup called for in the recipe.

50 things I meant to Tweet from the WAPF conference

Here’s a round-up of 50 awesome things I meant to Tweet from the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Wise Traditions 2011 conference in Dallas, TX.

But hey, we just joined Twitter (our handle is DomesticDivaCa btw), roaming charges are extraordinarily expensive and there was no WiFi in the conference centre! (oh well!). We were also pretty busy taking notes :)

These ‘soundbytes’ are just a small sample of what I heard in the sessions and events I attended featuring the likes of Sally Fallon Morell, Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, Dr. Mercola, April Renee and Dr. Thomas Cowan (*swoon*).

 

Sally Fallon Morell, Nourishing Traditions author, Weston A Price Foundation co-founder

  1. Speaking about diets like South Beach, Atkins, macrobotic, raw etc: “I think all of these diet schemes were design by men who never had to put a meal on the table day after day for a family…”
  2. Food was recognized as essential to conception, childbearing and proper growth of young children.
  3. I think all of us realize that what we are fighting for goes way beyond the glass of milk.
  4. Primitive people got 80 per cent of calories from fat. They had one rule of food combining- they never ate lean meat.
  5. On the nation’s poor eyesight: “If we were a tribe dependent on hunting and only 10 per cent of us had good eyesight, I don’t think we’d make it.”

Dr Natasha Campbell McBride (GAPS author)

Dr Natasha and Adrienne catch some fresh air outside the conference centre.

  1. All disease begins in the gut (Hippocrates)
  2. A tree can’t thrive with sick roots.The gut flora inside our digestive system is our soil.
  3. The overall health of people who eat fish is better than people who don’t (despite mercury) because good gut flora can chelate mercury.
  4. There’s a complex and fascinating conversation between gut flora and the rest of the body.
  5. 80 per cent of immunity is located in the gut wall. The most important immune organ is our gut flora.
  6. The only way to deal with allergies is to restore proper balance of the gut flora.
  7. Breastfed babies develop completely different gut flora than bottle-fed babies.
  8. Chronic disease is always associated with abnormal got flora.
  9. Eat fermented food and take a good quality probiotic before and after going to the dentist to protect yourself from toxins and heavy metal such as mercury amalgam fillings.
  10. Colic is the first alarm bell to say baby has abnormal gut flora.
  11. Gas is ALWAYS a sign of yeast overgrowth.
  12. Alot of children look like the have epilepsy but actually have acid reflux and when acid comes up, they have such bad spasms that it looks like epilepsy and they are put on anti-seizure medication.
  13. Ear infections are the most common infection among GAPS kids, the chest infections are next.
  14. Autoimmunity issues begin in the gut. There is no doubt about it.
  15. We need to focus not on food, but on healing a sealing the gut lining.
  16. Alot of chronic back pain actually comes from the bowel.
  17. Panic attacks and anxiety are related to compromised gut flora.
  18. Every GAPS patient is an autoimmune patient. It’s a given. If you haven’t been diagnosed, it’s because diagnosis is immature, undeveloped and/or expensive.
  19. Mainstream medicine attacks immunity. Of course it helps because it slaps down the immune system and a person keeps eating the same diet and never addresses the root cause.
  20. Most GAPS patients are fussy eaters. More than 90 per cent of children with learning disabilities limit diet to sweet and starchy foods.
  21. Kids with GAPS can act like drug addicts when it comes to getting access to sweet, starchy foods.
  22. The body is designed to get nutrition from food not pills.
  23. Your body is infinitely more clever than than any scientist, any lab or any doctor.
  24. On body care products: We are all dosing ourselves with potent poisons, willingly. We’ve been seduced.
  25. Sunbathing is essential. We evolved for millennia in the fresh air and sun. Sunscreens are a commercial hoax. Throw away your sunscreens and sunbathe.

Dr. Mercola @ the Saturday night award’s banquet

Dr Joe Mercola speaks at a fundraiser dinner Thursday evening.

  1. Don’t buy supplements that contain magnesium stearate or Titanium Dioxide.
  2. Don’t take iron. It increases your cancer risk. Beware of Ferritin
  3. Don’t ever hold a cell phone to your head. Use a headset.
  4. There is going to be an epidemic of brain tumors- that is an indisputable fact.
  5. Mercola’s recipe for a great workout: 3 min warm-up, 30 sec peak, rest for 90 secs (repeat 8xs) 2 min cooldown. Do this 3xs a week.
  6. You’re more likely to die from a prescription drug than a motor vehicle accident.

 

 

April Renee, Vaccine Information Coalition

  1. Mercury was taken out of animal vaccines in the 80s in the U.S. but not in the vaccines they are giving children.
  2. The vaccine manufacturers, CDC, FDA and the various medical associations have failed miserably in their duty to protect our children. (Mark Greier, MD)
  3. “The best way to raise a healthy child is to keep him/her away from the doctors  except emergency care. Most doctors ignore the fact the human body is a wondrous  machine with the astonishing capacity to repair itself.” (Robert Mendelsohn, MD.)
  4. Vaccine ingredients include: MSG, antifreeze, formaldehyde, lead, cadmium, aluminum, glycerin.
  5. “There are huge conflicts where regulators receive money from big pharma and CDC safety meeting chaired by the president of Merck.
  6. Reported childhood illness goes up after vaccines.
  7. “Nearly all cases of polio since 1980 was caused by the polio vaccine.” USA Today.

Thomas Cowan, MD., Author of The Fourfold Path to Healing

Dr. Thomas Cowan fields questions about fever.

  1. Give me a medicine to produce fever and I can cure anything. Hippocrates.
  2. The goal is not to suppress fever but to assimilate it.
  3. There is not a shred of evidence to show that fever is what is damaging- it’s the infection that can cause damage.
  4. Fever is the effective therapeutic response- more so than any natural remedy or medication ever devised.
  5. Respect, encourage and know how to guide fever in your child.
  6. Lemon socks can help a child assimilate fever.
  7. We live on a cancerous planet. And it’s one species that’s causing the overgrowth.

 

 

Kombucha and kids, is it safe?

You might be wondering, can I feed my children Kombucha?

There are varying opinions about this, but generally be cautious in children 4 & under. This not to dissuade you from sharing Kombucha with your children, but to ask you to exercise care in how much and how often you give it to them.

Reasons that it might be wise to impose some limitations for younger children, pregnant and breastfeeding women:

1) Contains caffeine (however fermentation reduces the caffeine context to 1/3rd or ½ the original amount).

2) The average and natural weaning time for babies varies from 2-4 yrs or as high as 7 years in traditional societies. It is the way of nature to give babies probiotic bacteria through breast milk. It would be better to give young children milk or water kefir on a regular basis which is nutritional, not just probiotic.

3) Small amounts of pathogenic bacteria or wild yeasts that would not pose a threat to healthy adults, may compromise children whose young immune systems are still developing. Nor do we want the child to rely on the Kombucha cultures for protection, we want them to build their own immunity. However, Kombucha could be used medicinally if your child is having trouble overcoming something on his/her own.

4) Kombucha tea may cause calcium depletion because it binds to minerals making it an alkaline drink, nevertheless more minerals should be consumed to compensate (another reason why Kefir milk is better for children as it is naturally mineral rich).

5) Kombucha is a cleansing and stagnancy breaking meaning that it breaks down and eliminates toxicity. In times like pregnancy, breastfeeding and growth (babies and children are always growing) the intent is to build, not cleanse or break down. However, you can use it at times when your children have been exposed to toxicity, sugar and junk food to swiftly detoxify these elements from your child’s body after birthday parties or holiday celebrations.

6) According to Ed Kasper LAc. Acupuncturist, Herbalist, & Homeotoxicologist (Kombucha Brewer since 1995) “Kombucha is Qi. Energy and Yang. It is Yang within Yang. A catalyst. Kombucha makes things happen. For most people, who are Yang Deficient and clogged with toxins, Kombucha is perfect. For children who are Yang Excess and predominately Yin Deficient, Kombucha poses a risk of upsetting a delicate newly developing balance. Kombucha will tend to make a child more hyper-active. The child will get more colds and flu (average child ha 4-10 colds per year) with higher fevers and will tend towards more skin disorders and asthma. (TCM Lung disorder). Many people believe Kombucha is an immune-booster, and where it does benefit a otherwise healthy adult, in a child with a Wind Heat (TCM condition, Cold with chills, fever and sore throat) Kombucha will exhaust the Qi (energy of the body) resulting in higher fevers, fevers that linger, and fevers that come and go. Kombucha is a diuretic (makes one pee) which furthers depletes the Yin and dehydrates the body. The child’s dehydration (Yin Deficient in TCM) is accepted by western medicine as one of the leading causes of childhood diseases.”

7) Some children have a hard time drinking adequate water as it is. Given that Kombucha has a dehydrating tendency, it must be used sparingly with children, especially when they do not drink enough water.

Kombucha is not just a probiotic drink, it is medicinal, so use it wisely!

Want to learn more about Kombucha and sharing the joy (and health benefits) of other naturally bubbly beverages with your kids? Click here.

Reference:
http://www.happyherbalist.com/cautions.htm

* This post is part of the Probiotic Food Challenge Linky at Real Food Forager.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avo-Kraut salad

This recipe is by far my absolute favourite way to eat raw cultured veggies! It is simple and delicious, but the best part is that it is a fast food and uses only 4 ingredients!

Avo- Kraut is my `go to’ recipe when I need something satiating, healthy and fast!

It works great as a snack, side dish or meal in itself!

What you will need:

How to do it:

Step 1: Cut Avocado into bite sized pieces and place into a bowl.

Step 2: Add cultured vegetables and mix in with the avocado.

Step 3: Add salt and pepper to taste!


Mmmmm….once you try this, I know you are gonna love it!!

Having cultured foods on hand is such a great way to make healthy fast food possible!!!

By the way my kids love this recipe too!!

 

* This post is part of the Probiotic Food Challenge Linky at Real Food Forager.

Leftover meatloaf magic

Got leftover meatloaf or ground beef and don’t know what to do with it?

This is the perfect recipe when you want to eat leftovers, but you don’t want it to taste anything like last night’s dinner.

I am right there with you, I don’t really enjoy leftovers. In order to attract me, leftovers have to be totally transformed!

This recipe is so good that it took a meal I couldn’t even stomach, and transformed it into a delicious meal (I tried to make meatloaf again and FAILED-grrr). Being an ex-vegetarian of almost 15 years, I still have trouble enjoying many meat recipes, but every once in a while, something will be cooked to perfection and I will be pleasantly surprised.

And by the way, this recipe is kid-tested and approved!

You will need:

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 Tbsp ghee, butter or coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp marjoram
  • 3 cups leftover meatloaf or ground beef
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 cup red wine (or stock if you don’t have)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp prepared mustard
  • 1 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche

How to make it:

Step 1: Saute chopped onions in butter and marjoram until soft, sweet and fragrant in a large stock pot on med-high heat.

Step 2: Add leftover meat, corn and red wine, stir together and saute at medium heat.

Step 3: Add remaining ingredients (except creme fraiche and chives) and simmer for 40 min.

Step 4: Take off the stove and stir in creme fraiche.

Step 5: Pour into serving dish and sprinkle fresh chives on for garnish.

Serve with mashed potatoes and cultured vegetables on the side.

 

Savoury coconut flour ‘dipping’ muffins

This is a basic grain-free muffin that is simple and delicious (not to mention kid-tested!) muffin to serve with soup.

Savoury coconut flour ‘dipping’ muffins (makes 12)

What you will need:
6 eggs
1/4 cup parmesan
1 tsp dried dill (or other spice of your choice)
1/2 tsp unrefined salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup coconut flour

How to do it:
Step 1: Melt butter gently on the stovetop.
Step 2:  Whip eggs with a fork.
Step 3: Stir in all remaining ingredients one at a time in the order listed.

It will become a texture that you will think is too thick, but it is just right. Preheat oven to 400F.

Step 4: Generously butter the muffin cups.
Step 5: Place 2 Tbsp in each muffin cup spreading it evenly with a fork (it will look like not nearly enough, but don’t worry, it will rise!)

Bake for 15 mins. Let stand for about 10-15 minutes before cutting and generously “buttering”.

Dip in your soup and enjoy!