8/7/19

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes | SCD, Gluten-Free

DSC_1662.jpg
DSC_1657.jpg
DSC_1660.jpg
DSC_1678.jpg
DSC_1679.jpg

I certainly never imagined my children enjoying the tart flavor of lemon curd, but this classic culinary delight has been a staple in our kitchen since we started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) over four years ago. The very first Easter my son was diagnosed I wanted to make several options for desserts, and lemon curd filled pastries happened to be one of them. The wonderful thing about lemon curd is it is very versatile. You can serve it alone, with fresh berries, in a tart or pastry, or, in this case, as a filling for cupcakes. I took my basic vanilla cupcake recipe and added a hint of lemon zest for a summery flavor. Pair this with a lemon curd filling and a strawberry icing and you have the perfect summer treat!

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
yield: about 9 cupcakes

Cake Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch of sea salt
6 Tbs butter, melted
3 large eggs, seperated
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. lemon zest (optional for a burst of lemon flavor)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F and add cupcake liners to muffin tins.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, butter, honey, vanilla and lemon juice or ACV to combine. Add to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Stir in lemon zest if using.
4. Using your standing mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks are formed. Using a spatula, fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter. Then gently fold the remaining egg whites, careful not to over mix.
5. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Lemon Curd Filling
In a medium saucepan, whisk together until light in color:
3 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
grated zest of 1 lemon
Add:
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Cook, whisking over medium high heat until the butter is melted. Then whisk constantly until the mixture is thickened and simmering gently for a few seconds. Using a spatula, scrape the filling into a medium sized mesh sieve set over a glass bowl. Stir in 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Let cool, cover and refrigerate to thicken.

Buttercream Frosting
1 cup palm shortening
1/2 cup butter
4 Tbs honey
4 Tbs freeze dried strawberries, ground to a powder

In your standing mixer, beat together the ingredients for the frosting until light and fluffy.

To assemble the cupcakes:
Use a small paring knife to cut a small cone out of the center of each cupcake, about 1 inch deep. Spoon a small amount of lemon curd into the hole and replace the cone. Gently press the cone into place and smooth away any crumbs. Frost the cupcakes as desired. For these I used a large round tip and the swirl method. Hold your piping bag perpendicular to the cupcake. Start at the outer edge of the cupcake and pipe a circle around the outer edge. As you complete a full circle, move the piping bag slightly inward to create the next circle rotation. Continue piping, moving inward for three full rotations, plus a small one on top. Release the pressure and pull the bag away. **Make sure cupcakes are completely cooled before icing**

*I originally created this post for Babiekins Magazine and you can see that post HERE. I adapted this recipe for my family so it is SCD compliant for my son's health and our lifestyle.

7/17/19

GINGER COOKIE & PEACH ICE CREAM SANDWICH | SCD, Paleo

DSC_2319.jpg
DSC_2337.jpg
DSC_2317.jpg
DSC_2333.jpg
And just like that, we are beyond midsummer.
The air is humid, and most days we linger around in our bathing suits until well past dinner. We are bare foot and skin kissed. And if you look close enough, you can see a sprinkle of freckles dance across my children's faces. We are in the heart of Ohio's summer and I am filled with joy. Our local produce stands are abundant with fresh peaches, vine-ripened tomatoes and endless ears of sweet corn. I want to savor these flavors of summer forever, I want to hold onto every moment, I want to live in an eternal bliss of summer. But for now, we embrace and appreciate each day we have. We avoid looking at the calendar and make every minute count.

These ginger cookie, peach ice cream sandwiches are a delicious summer treat! They are a blend of mild summer flavors and best enjoyed with friends and family! I also love this recipe because it's easy to make and once they are assembled you can hold them in the freezer for a couple days.

GINGER COOKIE & PEACH ICE CREAM SANDWICH
SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free
yield: about 6-8 servings, depending on size of cookies

Ingredients
For the cookies:
1.5 cups almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
2 eggs
⅓ cup raw honey
¼ cup coconut oil, melted

Directions for the Cookies:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients: eggs, honey, coconut oil, vanilla. Whisk until blended.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix.
5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop tablespoon sizes of dough spaced 2 inches apart.
6. Bake cookies for 10-14 minutes. I always check at 10 minutes and then let them go another minute or two if they need. For this recipe, I slightly undercooked the cookies for a softer texture.
7. Let cookies cool completely.
8. Take ice cream from freezer and add a scoop between two cookies. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and keep in freezer until ready to serve.
9. Enjoy!

Ingredients For the Peach Ice Cream:
1 can full fat coconut milk
2 cups fresh peaches, cut into pieces skins removed
1/3 cup of honey
pinch of salt

Make ice cream:
1. Mix the coconut milk, honey, peaches and a pinch of salt together in a blender or Vitamix until combined.
2. Transfer to your ice cream machine and mix until it reaches a thick consistency.
4. Transfer to a container and keep in freezer until the cookies are baked and cooled.

*TIPS:
I use this ice cream maker and we use it ALL the time! It's well worth the investment.
When assembling the cookies, I gently press them together to flatten the ice cream slightly.
Use parchment to separate the cookies when storing in an airtight container.
I use Native Forest Simple Organic Milk which you can find HERE.

5/7/19

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole | SCD, Gluten-Free

DSC_0701.jpg
DSC_0695.jpg
DSC_0701.jpg

I know I am not alone when I say that sometimes, and by sometimes I mean a few times a month, we resort to breakfast for dinner. I always feel like it is a mom fail when the day has slipped by and I have nothing prepared for dinner. Yet, every time I announce it's breakfast for dinner the kids are beyond excited. In fact, more excited about that meal than when I spend hours slaving away on a new dish. Go figure!

Obviously, scrambled eggs or omelets are the easiest go-to for this simple dinner option, but I prefer to make a casserole so we have leftovers for our actual breakfast the next day or school lunches. This Broccoli Cheddar Casserole is super simple to make and chances are you may already have these ingredients on hand. When organic frozen vegetables go on sale, I like to stock up because I know I can use them in soups, casseroles or kids' lunches. I used frozen broccoli for this recipe and simply unthawed it before baking. You can also use any SCD compliant bread, but we used Liberated Specialty Foods. Again, I always take advantage of sales and stock up so our freezer is loaded with healthy, clean options.

Broccoli totes a lengthy list of benefits. This vibrant, green vegetable is full of phytochemicals which contain anti-cancer properties. It is rich in fiber, which aides in digestion, and high in vitamin C to help boost the immune system. And because it is high in fiber, chromium and potassium broccoli can help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.

This casserole cuts easily into small squares and can be stored in an airtight container for several days.

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR CASSEROLE
SCD, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free
yield: about 10-12 servings

INGREDIENTS
2 cups frozen broccoli, unthawed
1/4 cup diced onion
12 eggs
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup cubed SCD compliant bread (I used Liberated Specialty Breads for this dish)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar
4 strips cooked bacon (optional)
1 tsp coconut oil
salt & pepper

DIRECTION
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Grease a casserole dish with coconut oil, I used a 9x12 baking dish.
3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs together, then whisk in the almond milk. Add the black pepper and salt, adjust to your liking, and then mix in about a third of the cheese.
4. Place the broccoli florets and bread crumbs in the casserole dish, crumble the bacon over the broccoli and sprinkle 1/3 cheese over the mixture.
5. Pour the egg mixture over the broccoli and sprinkle the casserole with the remaining cheese.
6. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
7. Allow to cool and cut into squares.

5/2/19

Crunchy Vanilla Granola | SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free

DSC_0949.jpg
DSC_0945.jpg
DSC_0922.jpg
DSC_0924.jpg
DSC_0925.jpg
DSC_0931.jpg

There was a point in time, when the kids were smaller, that we would fully embrace our mornings. We would find ourselves lulling around the kitchen and lazily cooking a large and lavish brunch. I distinctly remember the lack of rush and the ability to finish an actual cup of coffee. Fast forward to present day and it is a different scene. School mornings are rushed and chaotic and there is nothing calm about our kitchen. The counter tops are usually a site of destruction, the dog is barking to go out, someone can't find something (always) and we make our mad dash to the garage so we can get into the carline at a decent time. As for the weekends, sadly, brunch is a rare sighting these days. I am usually on the road with one of the boys for soccer, traveling out of town or out of state. And if we happen to be home, we are forced to conquer and divide our games and field locations.

With all this being said, my children are to an age where they are capable of making their own breakfasts and I encourage them to do so. However, if I don't give guidance, chances are my oldest would make a smoothie every day or oatmeal, which happens to be a very special treat. After four plus years of following the SCD diet, we have successfully introduced organic oats. While my son could eat this every single day, it's important to remember these new foods should only be consumed in moderation. To make it easier for the family, I like to have simple breakfast foods prepped in advance.

Granola is a great option for breakfast and can be served several different ways; add it to yogurt and fruit, pour almond milk over it, or layer it into a berry parfait. You can even add it to homemade ice-cream for a sweet treat! (You can find my easy vanilla ice-cream recipe HERE, but it's from a very old post so the cookies are not SCD compliant.) In the photos above, we used homemade vanilla yogurt, added thinly sliced Bosc pears, granola and a homemade date syrup drizzle.

CRUNCHY VANILLA GRANOLA
SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
yield: about 5 cups

INGREDIENTS
1 egg white
1 cup cashews
1 cup almonds
1 cup pepitas
2 cups shredded coconut
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbs coconut oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
2. In a food processor, combine all the nuts and coconut. Pulse until desired texture.
3. Transfer to a large bowl and add the spices, honey and coconut oil. Mix together and then stir in the egg white. Add the raisins and cherries and stir to combine.
4. The dough will be slightly sticky. Press evenly into a pan lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely, at least for a 1/2 hour.
6. I like to break mine apart into large chunks, but the kids like it broken into smaller pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

**When purchasing your raisins or cherries make sure they don't have added sugar. We like THESE cherries.

4/12/19

Healthy Hair | Phillip Adam Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo + Conditioner

DSC_1125.jpg
DSC_1136.jpg
DSC_1107.jpg
DSC_1155.jpg
DSC_1162.jpg
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."
Hippocrates

We've been hearing about the benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) for some time now and it turns out this trend it not new. Vinegar has been used medicinally for centuries and during biblical times, vinegar was used to flavor foods, as a preservative and for medicinal purposes, plus it is mentioned in both the old and new testaments. In ancient Greece, around 400 BC, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed apple cider vinegar mixed with honey for a variety of ailments. Throughout history, there are numerous references to ACV both for medical purposes and beauty intentions. Today, we still reap the benefits of apple cider vinegar and can easily incorporate this healthy aid into our daily routines.

Proven Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar For Skin, Hair and Health
Hair:
1. It has properties that balance your scalp and hair pH levels.
2. Its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties help combating scalp dryness, itchiness and dandruff.
3. Applying apple cider vinegar, with its acidic properties, may improve the condition or appearance of hair.

Body:
+ It can prevent premature aging with its powerful antioxidant abilities.
+ It balances the pH level of your skin and is best to use it as a daily toner.
+ It is great for treating warts, sunburn, age spots and acne.
+ Vinegar is well-known for its antibacterial properties and has been shown to be effective against many strains of harmful bacteria.
+ Soak a washcloth or cotton ball with ACV and water and apply to the face as a toner or apply to sun spots for 30 mins and rinse.
+ Add one cup apple cider vinegar to your bath.

Health:
+ Some evidence suggests that taking apple cider vinegar could help lower both total cholesterol and triglycerides.
+ ACV works to detoxify your liver for better overall health and bodily functions.
+ Drinking apple cider vinegar may help provide relief from acid reflux symptoms by introducing more acid into the digestive tract to prevent acid back flow.
+ ACV adds a healthy dose of beneficial bacteria into your diet and improves the health of your digestive system.
+ Dilute one to two tablespoons apple cider vinegar with 8 ounces of water and drink, do not exceed 16 ounces in one day.
+ Note, its high acidity can damage tooth enamel so make sure to dilute with water and use a paper straw to drink.

One thing I am striving to pass on to my children is how to take care of our bodies and I want them to understand it goes beyond what we eat. The products we use on our skin, the body's largest organ, have a direct impact on our health. We strive to use clean products that are free from parabens and phthalates and are eco-friendly and cruelty-free. We recently had the chance to partner with Phillip Adam and sample their apple cider vinegar shampoo and conditioner. Phillip Adam prides themselves in producing nature infused hair and body care products with carefully chosen plant-based ingredients. Their products contain vital nutrients derived from botanical extracts which are proven to have favorable effects on hair and skin.

Gentle and nourishing, their ACV shampoos are suitable for fine to normal hair types including colored hair, making their products the perfect fit for my hair type and my children. They add natural shine and help maintain a healthy pH balanced scalp and are family and pet friendly! They are available in several different scents such as Green Apple, Verbena Sage, Orange Vanilla or Unscented. I can't wait to try their Curly Hair Shampoo formula, I don't show my natural curls too often, but when I do wear my hair curly I like to embrace its natural state and use products designed for curly hair.

Phillip Adams hair products are the perfect fit for our eco-conscious, clean living family and I highly encourage you to check them out.

Phillip Adams | Website | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

*This post was created in partnership with Phillip Adams.
**The adorable rattan earrings pictured here were purchased in Mexico, but you can buy similar ones HERE.
***Jessica's dress is courtesy of Tea Collection".

4/9/19

Memories of Paris, Jim Morrison, and A Healthy Frappuccino | SCD, Paleo, Vegan

DSC_0756.jpg
DSC_0748.jpg
DSC_0752.jpg
DSC_0772.jpg
DSC_0751.jpg
"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons."
T.S. Eliot

I can vividly remember my very first taste of coffee; my sophomore year of high school my mom and I escaped to Paris for an experience of a lifetime. Well, at least an experience of a lifetime for a high school student. I can remember sitting in the quaint hotel eating some of the richest food I had ever indulged in for breakfast; puff pastries, thick baguettes, delicate slices of aged cheese, cured meats. And I can remember that first sip of coffee, rich and dark, thick as molasses. It was bitter to my young palette, but there was something that drew me in. A sophistication I yearned to attain, even at the young age of fifteen.

My trip to Paris with my mom will forever be embedded in my mind. Just thinking back to those days brings a smile to my face and a silent laugh to the air. I remember strolling the streets of old Paris, wearing a vintage fur coat of my mothers, my hair cut short in a bob and thick black eye liner that made me feel like Twiggy. I remember dragging my mom through Père Lachaise's cemetery, because surely my heart would break if I didn't stop to visit Jim Morrison's grave. At an age of naivety, I felt that moment was the greatest moment in my life. To visit the resting place of Jim Morrison, the iconic lead singer of the band The Doors, a self-taught poet, and legendary rock star, would be a conquest that I would never forget. It was during this time my mother introduced me to more sophisticated creatives like Colette, Molière, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, and Gertrude Stein. These iconic novelists and playwrights fed my passion for the written word and creativity and the thought of visiting their tombstones as well opened my mind to a new world.

But at the time, music was rich to my bohemian soul and fed my blossoming vision. As we made our way towards Jim Morrison’s grave, the air was filled with heaviness and an eerie perception loomed around us. The cobble stone paths that led the way were slightly uneven and covered in a trace of moss, hinting to the rich history of this Parisian park and cemetery that surrounded us. On most days, his resting site is so crowded with visitors it is difficult to truly embrace the nostalgic moment. But yet, mysteriously, our visit brought us to an empty grave filled with stillness. In the air, a spiritual feeling lingered and if I closed my eyes and listened hard enough to the silence, I could hear the subtle sounds of Jim Morrison’s raspy, raw voice whispering his poetic, dark lyrics across the cemetery.

I was surprised to see his grave was modest and sensible, tucked into a small space between several other enclosures. The bust that once adorned the site was sadly stolen in 1988 and the neighboring graves were wrapped in layers of graffiti that built up over years. At the time of our visit, there were no barricades and we were free to roam as we liked. But today, due to the consistent defacing, officials have put up metal barricades to surround the site, forever changing the feel and atmosphere.

I have so many fond memories from that trip, memories to last a lifetime, memories that perhaps one day I will share with my own children over a strong cup of coffee or cappuccino. And maybe, just maybe, The Doors will be softly playing in the background. I have yet to introduce them to the band that captivated my mind for so many years of my youth.

Some of the finest moments in life are rooted in simplicity. For me, coffee and music have always invoked a sense of emotion and remembrance. There are times when I can smell the slightest aroma of savory coffee and I am instantly whisked back to Paris, sitting in that quaint hotel with my mother, sipping cappuccino and nibbling on puff pastries all while dreaming of strolling down the cobble stone paths of Père Lachaise.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.”
Marcel Proust

VANILLA FRAPPUCCINO
SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan
yield: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS
2 shots espresso
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups ice
2 Tbs. almond butter
10 dates
1 tsp. MCT oil or coconut oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Blend all ingredients together in a blender or Vitamix.
2. Divide among two glasses and enjoy.
2. You can add an optional cacao drizzle by mixing together 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, 1 tablespoon cacao powder and 1 tablespoon honey. You can also add a dollop of chilled coconut milk, the thick cream on top.

3/15/19

Baked Green Pea Fritters with Tzatziki Sauce | SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free

SCD Paleo Green Pea Fritters Elizabeth M Jacob
SCD Paleo Green Pea Fritters Elizabeth M Jacob
SCD Paleo Green Pea Fritters Elizabeth M Jacob
SCD Paleo Green Pea Fritters Elizabeth M Jacob
SCD Paleo Green Pea Fritters Elizabeth M Jacob
SCD Paleo Green Pea Fritters Elizabeth M Jacob
"Luck is believing you're lucky."
Tennessee Williams

We decided this weekend is the perfect time to embrace the warmer weather and hints of spring so we've added a little green into our day and into our food. I have been working on a recipe for veggie bites for some time now, but I haven't been able to narrow down a taste and texture that my whole family agrees on. My youngest has a serious passion for green peas and eagerly suggested I use them in my recipe. And you know what, she is on to something! Peas are the perfect texture for these veggie fritters and they are one hundred percent kid approved. Since peas are naturally sweeter in flavor, they balance well with the other veggies and healthy herbs. Add a side of homemade tzatziki sauce and dinner is covered!

Health Benefits of Peas
1. Peas are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which plays a significant role in in the production of collagen. Collagen helps keep the skin firm and glowing. Vitamin C also protects the cells from damage caused by free radicals.
2. The insoluble fibre content present in peas helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
3. The lutein and vitamin A in peas also protects your eyes. Lutein, a natural plant pigment, is concentrated in the eye, and its antioxidant activity can protect you from both cataracts and macular degeneration by preventing oxidation. Vitamin A helps keep the surface of your eyes healthy.
4. Green peas offer a myriad of potent antioxidants. One of its powerful antioxidants includes coumestrol, a polyphenol that may lower your risk of stomach cancer.
5. Green peas contain an impressive amount of fiber, which has been shown to provide many benefits for digestive health.


Baked Green Pea Fritters with Tzatziki Sauce
SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
yield: about one dozen fritters

INGREDIENTS
2 cups frozen peas, ¼ cup reserved
1 cup almond flour
¼ cup chopped parsley and cilantro, mixed together
1 cup riced cauliflower (broccoli will work too)
2 eggs
salt & pepper
olive oil or coconut oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and grease with olive oil or coconut oil.
2. Place all ingredients, with the exception of the ¼ cup peas, in a food processer and pulse until combined. Make sure not to over mix.
3. Stir in the reserved peas.
4. Using a tablespoon, roll into balls and press into round patties that are about ¼ inch thick. Place on the parchment.
5. Bake for 10 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully flip over and bake for another 10 minutes.
6. Allow to cool and serve with tzatziki sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce
SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Yield: ½ cup

INGREDIENTS
½ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup finely chopped cucumbers
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 garlic clove (optional, I omit due to an allergy)
salt

DIRECTIONS
1. Whisk all ingredients together until combined and creamy.
2. Serve immediately.
3. Store in an airtight container for up to five days.

**This recipe was created for Babiekins Magazine and originally published HERE.

3/6/19

Chicken a la King | SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

DSC_9287.jpg
DSC_9289.jpg
DSC_9279.jpg
DSC_9286.jpg
Just when I thought spring was around the corner, a sudden surge of snow makes its way back into Ohio. I have officially reached that point in winter where I long for warmer days, I long for the sight of green grass and budding blooms and I long for the sound of birds chirping and children playing. I'm also eager to pack away the heavy coats, the bulky boots and the endless piles of miss-matched gloves and wool socks. I am ready to shed our layers, de-clutter our home and toss open the windows.

But, considering it is 15 degrees out and a flurry of snow dances across our yard, I do not see myself opening the windows in the near future. So instead, we light the fire and turn to comfort foods to warm our souls.

I've been making this Chicken a la King dish for about a year now and have made it several times. I love this recipe because it is quick and easy, yet adaptable to the ingredients you have on hand. My daughter loves green peas, and I mean LOVES, so the first time I made it I added them for her, but sometimes I omit them. We had this last night for dinner and I didn't have any mushrooms on hand so we simply left them out and it still tasted rich and creamy. And sometimes, when I am pressed for time, I use a pre-cooked chicken that I cut into half-inch pieces. Simply add the chicken at the end, simmer and serve.

Chicken a la King
SCD, Paleo, Refined Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
yield: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS:
2 lbs chicken, cubed
1 small onion, diced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery diced
1 1/2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup frozen peas (optional)
2 Tbs coconut oil
1 1/2 cans coconut milk
2 Tbs bone broth
1 tsp paprika
salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:
1. Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet over med-high heat, add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer chicken to a plate and reserve for later.
2. Add the other tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan and sauté the onion, pepper, celery and mushrooms until tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the coconut milk, bone broth, paprika and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add the frozen peas and chicken and cook another 5 minutes.
5. Serve over SCD friendly biscuits, bread or cauliflower rice.

Basic Biscuits
SCD, Paleo, Refined Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free
*This recipe is from Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook

INGREDIENTS:
6 large egg whites
¼ cup coconut flour
¾ cup blanched almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ TBSP grass-fed butter or coconut oil
dash of salt (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are very frothy.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the two flours and baking powder, and then with a pastry cutter (knife and fork work too), cut in the cold butter (or coconut oil) and add salt if using. You want to make a crumbly mixture. Let this sit in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
4. Remove flour/butter mixture from refrigerator, and gently fold in the egg whites, stirring to combine.
5. Spoon the biscuit batter onto a sheet pan lined with parchment.
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

2/13/19

Cashew Butter Cookies | SCD + Paleo

DSC_0587.jpg
DSC_0588.jpg
DSC_0596.jpg
DSC_0597.jpg
DSC_0607.jpg

Cashew butter may be by far one of my favorite foods. It makes the perfect snack for a mid-afternoon pickup, especially when it is paired with apples. I love to add a spoonful to my morning smoothie and when it comes to baking, it is a great ingredient to have on hand. And if you don't have a jar of cashew butter it is the easiest to make! Just toss your raw cashews into a food processor or blender and let it go until it is thick and creamy.

Health Benefits of Cashews
+ Cashew nuts have a lower fat content and a higher protein and carbohydrate content than most other nuts. The fat that they do contain is mostly derived from oleic acid, a monounsaturated oil with known benefits in protecting against heart disease and cancer.
+ They are a good source of protein, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc.
+ Cashews contain a class of compounds called phytosterols, compounds similar in structure to cholesterol that can reduce the absorption sites for dietary cholesterol in the gut and thus inhibit the body’s absorption of LDL.
+ The copper in cashews helps to manufacture various enzymes involved in hemoglobin and collagen formation. Collagen is the main structural protein found in hair and skin that gives it elasticity.

I was experimenting with cashew butter and wanted to bake a cookie that was similar to a peanut butter cookie because unfortunately my son is not crazy about peanut butter. The first batch I made was gone in under an hour and all the kids, including my husband, said this recipe was a keeper. For the second batch I decided to add a cacao drizzle on half of the cookies and it was the perfect combination with the cashew butter and rich honey flavor. Please note, cacao is not SCD compliant, but we have been able to tolerate it well. For more info on cacao you can read THIS post.

Cashew Butter Cookies
SCD, Paleo, Refined Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free
yield: about one dozen cookies

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 ts salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup cashew butter
1/2 cup honey
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
chopped nuts or almond slivers (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the cashew butter, honey, egg and vanilla for about 2 minutes until smooth and creamy.
4. Reduce the speed and add the flour mixture until combined.
5. Using a tablespoon, drop the dough, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking trays. Sprinkle with chopped nuts or almond slivers if desired. Bake until lightly brown, about 8-10 minutes.
6. Cool and enjoy.

2/8/19

Health Benefits of Raw Honey | SCD + Paleo Caramel Sauce

DSC_0386.jpg
DSC_0401.jpg
DSC_0390.jpg
DSC_0369.jpg
DSC_0409.jpg
DSC_0395.jpg
"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it."
Julia Child

It's no secret we are tremendously interested and passionate about living a lifestyle of clean eating. Not only do we choose this path of life to treat our son's Crohn's disease, but it is a way of living that I believe adds value to our health and enriches our lives. The food industry is constantly changing and transitioning as new trends pop up and we are all aware of the "fad" diets that have made their mark in the media and then trickled down into our daily routines.

The one thing I want to stress is that clean eating is not a fad diet, in fact, I do not look at it as a diet at all. Clean eating is a lifestyle of simply eating healthy foods; foods free from preservatives, added sugars and processed carbohydrates.

I often get asked why honey is a allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. According the Elaine Gottschall, author of Breaking the Viscous Cycle, "Honey is legal because, as the book states, it contains only single sugars (monosaccharides) which do not need microvilli enzymes in order for the two sugars of which it is composed to be absorbed into your bloodstream. The two sugars are already in the absorbable form. However, sucrose and lactose, etc. need action of the microvilli enzymes and in people with IBD and other illnesses, research shows that these enzymes are not active."

Studies have linked processed sugar to inflammation and disease, leaving honey as a great alternative sweetener. While honey is still sugar, it is healthier than refined sugar and, like all things, should be consumed moderation.

Benefits of Raw Honey Include:
1. High in antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect your body from cell damage due to free radicals, honey may even help prevent cellular damage and loss within the brain.
2. Research has shown that raw honey can kill unwanted bacteria and fungus.
3. Helps aid in digestion. Honey is also a potent prebiotic, meaning it nourishes the good bacteria that live in the intestines, which are crucial not only for digestion but overall health.
4. Fights the common cold and allergy season. Honey’s anti-inflammatory effects and ability to soothe coughs has led to the belief it can also reduce seasonal allergy symptoms.
5. It's good for your skin. Applying raw honey on the face can treat various skin problems including acne, thanks to the antibacterial properties. Because it is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, you can reduce the appearance of premature wrinkles and fine lines by using topically on a regular basis.
6. Boosts energy levels. Honey has a lower glycemic index than sugar. Consequently, the body absorbs honey slower than sugary foods, which in turn creates longer lasting energy.

This easy-to-make Caramel Sauce can be used as a flavoring in puddings and custards, as a topping for ice cream, pies and cakes, or simply to dip with apple and pear slices.

CARAMEL SAUCE
SCD, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan
yield: about 1 cup

INGREDIENTS:
1 can full fat coconut milk (FIND it here)
2/3 cup honey (best to buy local)
pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a medium sauce pan, combine all ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Turn the heat down to a low-medium heat and continue to simmer until reduced by about half, stirring occasionally. The caramel should start to turn into a rich amber color. This usually takes about 30-45 minutes.
2.Remove from heat and transfer to a glass bowl. Let the caramel cool to room temperature, then stir and serve as intended.

*DO NOT walk away while making this caramel. While you do not need to constantly stir it, you will need to occasionally stir the sauce to prevent burning.

**Donuts provided by Liberated Specialty Foods

1/31/19

Healing Cabbage Soup + Tips To Stay Healthy During Cold & Flu Season | SCD + Paleo

DSC_0486.jpg

As we head into February, we also head into the heart of the flu and cold season. I always try my best to ward off those awful germs, but we do take a few extra steps during the winter months to ensure that we stay healthy. My oldest son, who was diagnosed with Crohn's disease when he was nine years old, takes an immunosuppressant drug (Imuran) to treat his autoimmune disease. With autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks the body’s own tissue. Because immunosuppressant drugs weaken the immune system, they suppress this reaction by tricking the body, which in turn reduces the impact of the autoimmune disease on the body. Unfortunately, since immunosuppressant drugs compromise the immune system, my son is constantly at risk of contracting whatever bug is floating around the school, the soccer field, the basketball court and pretty much anywhere we go.

To help prevent sickness we take these few extra steps during the winter months to stay strong and healthy.

Wash Your Hands
I can't say this enough! I encourage the kids to wash their hands during school and the first thing we do when they get home from school, sports and activities is wash their hands. I try to avoid hand sanitizer because it's hard on the skin, but I do carry THIS natural sanitizer with me at all times. Remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds! Even though my kiddos are older, we still single Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and it does the trick.

Wipe Down Your Desk, Doorknobs, Computer, Phone & Steering Wheel
I try to wipe down the items we touch most often at least once a week. You can use disinfecting wipes like THESE or even make your own natural cleaner using essential oils. I'm sure I'm missing a couple on my list, but take a moment to think about what you touch daily. Doorknobs, steering wheels and phones are essential to clean.

Eat the Rainbow
When you incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet you reap the benefits of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds found in plants that act as powerful defenders of health, both for the plant and the person consuming the plant. Studies have shown that people who eat more plant-based foods have reduced risks of chronic disease, heart disease and cancer. And, these phytonutrients can even help rid the body of toxins, fight inflammation, boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure and help fight disease.

Exercise
Staying active and fit is key. Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways which may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. Exercise also improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases.

Get Enough Sleep
Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

Healing Cabbage Soup
Yield: 10 servings
Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-free, SCD, Paleo

INGREDIENTS:
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbs olive oil or avocado oil
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
4 Tbs ketchup (We used THIS)
5 cups bone broth or chicken stock
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
salt & pepper
10 ounces frozen peas & carrots
10 ounces frozen green beans

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat a dutch over over medium high heat. Add the oil and onions and sauté until translucent.
2. Add the cabbage and cook until soft.
3. Add the stock, ketchup and spices. Simmer 10 minutes.
4. Add the peas, carrots and green beans and simmer another 10 minutes.
5. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with avocado slices, sliced radish and parsley.