Friday, July 31, 2015

Coconut Almond Roons (Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, Raw)

Some time back, Iherb ran a special on Coco-Roons, around $3 for a pack of 8.  We tried the lemon, chocolate chip and the brownie.  They were awesome but way out of our price range, the regular price being $8 or $1 a piece!  I got a hankering for some the other day and settled into the kitchen to make up my version.  I looked at the ingredients and started with their basic ingredients and went from there.  I did add a couple things here and there to increase nutrition.   The results?  I haven't had the others in a while and my memory could be a little foggy but I'd say pretty close if not better!  The price was definitely better.  Depending on where you get your ingredients,  these will cost between 20 to 40 cents per roon, so I'd say way better!  My coconut,  although organic, did not say raw, and I have not been able to find any raw coconut.   Even so, I still dehydrated at 105 degrees because my coconut oil, cacao nibs, lemon juice and greens powder were raw. 

Here's the recipes for the 3 we tried...

Coconut Almond Roons Basic Recipe

2 C shredded coconut
2 C almonds
1/2 C maple syrup
2 T extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 t pink Himalayan salt (or to taste)

#1  With Cacao Nibs

1 scoop (1/4 cup) protein powder 
1/2 C raw cacao nibs
2 t vanilla

#2 Lemon

1/2 C protein powder
2 t organic lemon flavor
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1/2 lemon

#3 Brownie

1/2 C cocoa OR
1/4 C cocoa, 2 T cococeps and 2 T chocolate flavored raw protein powder
2 t vanilla
(Depending on how bitter your cocoa, you may need to increase sweetener)

Place coconut in food processor and process to a very fine consistency.  Add almonds and process until almonds are also very fine.   Add other dry ingredients (except cacao nibs.  Add them last as you would chocolate chips in a cookie recipe).  Process until combined.   Add wet ingredients and process until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

 Using a rounded tablespoon, scoop out 1 T sized balls, scraping bottom so they are flat on bottom.

Place on the tray of a dehydrator. 

Do this until all of the mixture is used then dehydrate for about 8 hours at 105-115 degrees.  Allow to completely cool then store in refrigerator for maximum freshness.

I like them cold but you can allow them to return to room temperature before eating.

And there you go!  I've made something similar in the past with my almond protein balls but I think the dehydrating is the key to a more cookie-like snack ball.

If you don't have a dehydrator and aren't overly concerned about the raw factor, I saw on another site where they heated the oven to 200 degrees, placed balls in oven then turned oven off and left them in there for 8 hours.  Not sure how well that would work, but there it is.  I got my dehydrator at Walmart for $30 over 10 years ago and it has been well worth the money.  My kids love dehydrated bananas and apples and we've done beef jerky and dehydrated veggies so it's definitely worth having.

For a printable recipe, click here:  Coconut Almond Roons with 3 Variations

Gluten Free Oatmeal Walnut Cookies with Black Currants (Blood Type Diet-Type A Compliant)

So, I recently started the Eat Right 4 Your Type Diet, aka Blood Type Diet, in an effort to improve my health.  This comes after an epic fail with the Paleo diet.  Basically everything I was eating on Paleo are avoids on the BTD; meat (especially beef & pork), coconut, sweet potatoes, yuca, cashews, plantains, bananas.  Wow!  I've never given much credence to the BTD but after experiencing declining health on Paleo, while everyone else is boasting about all the diseases they've cured, I decided maybe there was something to it after all.  So, I am giving it a trial run and we'll see where I go from there.  It is really hard adjusting to eating some grains again, though.  I was off grains even before doing the Whole 30 in February and my Paleo brainwashed brain is fighting me every step of the way.  But a sweet tooth is a sweet tooth and I've been craving oats. Here's a cookie recipe based on one by Bakerita that I have modified to comply with Type A diet.  Of course, if you don't have black currants on hand, you can omit them or substitute raisins but I'm really loving the flavor of these little berries!

Oatmeal Walnut Cookies with Black Currants

2/3 C ghee, olive oil (or combination of both)
1/2 C applesauce
1/2 C maple syrup
1-2 T blackstrap molasses (to taste)
3 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 C gf oat flour (just blend oats until fine)
1/4 C tapioca, arrowroot or rice flour (or combination)
1/4 C walnut flour (gently blend until fine, overblend and you'll have butter)
1 t baking soda
1/2 t pink salt (or other sea salt)
3 C gf rolled oats
1 C coarsely chopped walnuts (or up to 1/4 cup more if you like)
1 C black currants or raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix together the first 4 ingredients until well blended (room temperature works best but my syrup was cold and it blended fine).  Add eggs and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda and salt.  Mix, then stir into wet ingredients.  Fold in oats, walnuts and currants.  Use a small scoop to place on cookie sheet and slightly flatten.  These don't spread.  Bake for 12 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute or 2, then transfer to cooling rack.  I store mine in the freezer.  They can be eaten straight out of the freezer or allow to warm to room temperature.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Doing the Master Cleanse

Last month, I began consulting with an Iridologist down in Miami, Florida.  Iridology is based on the same principles as reflexology, homeopathy and chiropractic.  I have used all three of those with great success so I decided to give Iridology a try.  After looking at my eyes, she determined that my body was very acidic, filled with phlegm and that in order to correct that quickly, I needed to do the Master Cleanse, also known as the lemonade diet.  If you are not familiar with the Master Cleanse, click here to learn more.  So, I ordered my Grade B Maple Syrup and organic cayenne and started it 2 days later.  Below is my daily log and after I will state my feelings about the Master Cleanse.

Master Cleanse Diary

Day 1: It's 11:30am and I have had 2 glasses of lemonade thus far.  I don't feel hungry but the kids are eating watermelon and that was hard to resist.  I just went and drank another glass of lemonade and went to work on laundry.  Kids had nachos for lunch.  I don't even like nachos but they smelled good!  2:00 pm I fell asleep in the middle of a movie.  After waking, I got up and drank 2 more glasses of lemonade, bringing me up to 6, and then ended up falling asleep again.  Woke up at 6pm, still feeling exhausted and went and had another glass.  Had one more glass around 8pm, bringing me up to 8 for the day.  Drank my cup of Smooth Move before bed.  All in all, not terrible like I imagined and I was never hungry. 

Day 2:  Its been 2 days and nary a bite to eat.  Had a rough night as my restless leg syndrome woke me in the middle of the night.  Woke up to the lower half of my face irritated and red.  Often things get worse before they get better, so not unexpected.  Had my first glass of lemonade at 8am.  Not hungry at all.  I am not doing the salt water flush today, which is optional.  Just not up to drinking 32oz of salt water!!! It's now 11:30am and I've had 3 10oz glasses so far.  I was originally doing 8oz per the instructions, but it was a bit too sweet for me.  10oz is perfect.  My tongue is on fire and I've a got a headache.  4:15 and I've had 2 more glasses and am currently sipping on some hibiscus tea.  I'm having some abdominal pains.  Trying to stay away from the kitchen since I'll see something and think, Ooh, I'll have some of that!  Right before my brain goes, Oh no you won't!  I can't say I've been hungry at all but that doesn't mean I don't want to eat! 9:30, I've had 2 more glasses bringing me to 8 and am now going to make my cup of tea.  I have been very crampy all evening and my mouth is still on fire.  I think it is the lemon juice as I have had that reaction before.  I really want something to EAT though I can't say I'm hungry.  I'm really wanting meat, which makes me think it's protein I'm craving.  I read that wheatgrass juice or powder can be taken to help with protein cravings without jeopardizing the diet but I don't have any on hand nor am I that desperate. 

Day 3:  Woke up to HORRIBLE cramping this morning.  My tongue feels like a foreign being in my body.  It was explained that as the acid leaves my body, I would notice it on my tongue.  I just didn't realize how that was going to feel.  I am oil pulling with coconut oil this morning to see if that helps.  I also woke up with a sore throat and I am losing my voice.  My lips are a bit dry so I will endeavor to drink more today.  I also read that physillium husk can be taken in place of salt water so I may try that this morning. 10am, 1 glass down and going for another.  I took 6 physillium husk and drank some more hibiscus tea.  I'm feeling a bit peaked (peek-ed, not well) today, a little dizzy and weak.  I'm also experiencing sensitivity in my teeth so I'm chugging my lemonade then swishing with baking soda and water.  5pm, I've consumed 5 glasses so far and a half cup of peppermint tea.  I had to go into the kitchen to put some chickens on to roast for family's dinner and I almost succumbed to an overwhelming desire to eat a banana.  I'm noticing burning in the corners of my eyes, my mouth and my esophagus.  Not sure if it's the acid or cayenne but my tongue is pure white. Apparently it will be pink by the end.  My teeth hurt, as in pain coming down out of my jaw.  Tomorrow is supposed to be better.  Didn't drink my 8th glass until after 9pm so I skipped the tea and just took a Christopher's Colon pill instead.  3 days down!!!

Day 4: Didn't wake up with horrible cramping so I may skip the tea.  I just can't go through that every day!  My tongue didn't feel quite so horrible this morning either, though my mouth and skin are still burning. I drank my first glass along with 6 physillium husk pills then went and did a w.k.e. since the Christopher's doesn't seem to be working as powerfully as the tea, and I wanted to restore the good bacteria to my gut.   I'm still flushing out parasites, a month and a half after starting the parasite cleanse! 3pm and I've only gotten down 4 glasses so far.  Got behind schedule somehow.  Feeling much better today.  9:30, I'm not sure I got my 8 glasses in today.  I think I only did 7.  I'll know for sure in the morning when I see exactly how much lemon mixture I have left.  I squeeze my lemon juice all at one time, enough for the day plus one so I can have my first glass first thing if I need it, then mix it with the maple syrup in a mason jar and leave it out on the counter with my 1/8 measuring cup in the jar.  Quickest and least messy!!!  Took 2 Christopher's tonight, no tea again. I've never experienced any actual hunger but I still very much want to eat! Hubby fixed some delicious smelling bulgogi (Korean BBQ) tonight and I was about to lose my mind! 4 days down!!!

Day 5:  No cramping again and my tongue, though not normal, in no way resembles the hairy beast that had taken up residence in my mouth the first 3 days.  9:30 and I'm going to have my first glass along with some physillium husk.  I felt up to doing laundry for about an hour but then got very tired.  Nodded off around 7pm.  Only got 7 glasses down again but I also had a cup of ginger tea and my water.  I think I need to focus more on my lemonade but sometimes I just need a change of pace.  Haven't lost my desire for food, like many experience.  I could really go for a steak and salad right about now! Going to try very hard for 8 glasses tomorrow. 

Day 6: No major cramping again!  Yay!!!  I'm going to stick with the Christopher's Colon pills for the duration.  I could probably just drink half a cup of tea but after the labor-like pains of the other day I just don't want to risk it.  Plus I think between the pills and the physillium, I'm accomplishing what needs to be accomplished.  Drank my first glass of lemonade warm today, around 7:30am. I'm going to endeavor to drink a glass every 2 hours, maybe doubling up once to be sure I get 8.  Busy day, out of lemons, so Costco and company coming, so cleaning.  Actually did much better than I imagined I would and got my 8 glasses down!  No tea again, took 2 Christopher's around 7pm.

Day 7: Another busy day cleaning and laundry in prep for upcoming company.  Went pretty much non stop all day and felt pretty good.  Even cooked chicken for dinner, which smelled awesome!  I'd have been happy with just a salad though.  Got all 8 glasses down but didn't take Christopher's tonight because we are going out tomorrow and I don't want any situations!

Day 8: Took my physillium this morning, did c.e. and got 3 glasses down before we left and brought one for the road.  Did our shopping and while we were out, I had a total brain space out moment.  I thought I took one exit but had taken the next one and I had a moments panic because I had no clue where I was, in a city that I have lived in for 35 years, on a road I have been driving for 25 years. It was scary and stressful.  Thankfully my dear daughter put me to rights.  I'm sure it's some effect of the cleansing, because I've also been having weird dreams and things from my childhood pop into my head.  Shopping, and I think it was the fragrances more than anything else, wiped me out, and I had to lay down when we got home.  I also ended up with a bad headache which is hormonal.  Only got 7 glasses down today.  For the record, probably want to avoid having company while on M.C.  It is hard enough watching your family eat without you but when you have company you feel even worse!  But only 2 more days!!!  And if I feel better in the end, what was 10 days???

Day 9: I think yesterday wore me out a bit.  Should I ever do this again, I think I'll refrain from going to the thrift store while cleansing, as it wears me out at my best.  Got all 8 glasses down and made an early night of it.

Day 10:  Yay!!!! I made it to Day 10.  It's not as exciting as it may seem because it'll still be 2 days before I eat but I'm glad to have made it.  At this point I am hating the Master Cleanse and swear I'll never do it again!  If I was single, piece if cake.  Being a mom of 4 kids who are always home, it's hard!!! My husband and oldest daughter have been great though, helping with dinners and clean up.  I only cooked once and that was when I had company.  Had lots of energy today, spent most the day outside detailing the car so I had to remind myself to go in and drink lemonade.  Drink my 8 glasses though. 

Day 11: OJ day.  Today is fresh squeezed oj all day.  Wore myself out yesterday and spent most of today in bed.  Drank all my oj and am looking forward to broth tomorrow!!!

Day 12: Got up and made a fresh batch of broth this morning.  Yum!!!  By late afternoon I was able to add in a few veggies.  Vegetable soup never tasted so good.  You'd think after 11 days of liquid, my body would have a hard time readjusting but it's done great, everything is working just like it should.  It'll be veggies for the next few days, no meat or dairy for 5 days and I plan to limit my meat intake anyway.

I talked with the iridologist on Monday (Day 13) and told her I hated it and I will never do it again!!!  I never felt hungry and my body did not feel deprived or undernourished but I did lose 8 pounds and I don't think cayenne works well in my body.  I don't think someone underweight should do it (I personally wouldn't have minded losing 20 pounds!).   My primary reason for hating it was that I felt isolated from my family.   She requested we talk Wednesday, at which time I would send her a new picture of my eyes and we would compare and go from there.  She was impressed by the progress, as was I, as it was plain to see that my eyes were much bluer, much of the white, indicating acidity, and yellow, phlegm, being gone.  She said I am going to have to do another Master Cleanse in 4 months.  So, we'll see in 4 months how I am feeling about it. If I do it again, I will nix the cayenne and use ginger, which is also supposed to help dry up phlegm.  For now, I will do a liver flush at the end of the month and she has suggested 4 different supplements (which she does not sell or benefit from me buying in any way) for various issues, such as my high strung nervous system, cholesterol and hormones.  I have taken it upon myself to change my diet and am now trying the Blood Type Diet after the Paleo diet has proven to be a complete failure for me.  So, we shall see what the next 3 months hold and I'll continue to update on my Instagram Food & Health account.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Yuca Paleo Pizza Crust with Vegan Pesto (Gluten, Grain, Yeast, Dairy Free, Vegan) With BTD Type A Variation

Going Paleo, easy.  Giving up pizza, HARD!  How I loved that ooey, gooey stretchy mozzarella on that crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside crust.  Well, folks, this is not that pizza.  This crust, however, is nutritious since it's made from a vegetable and satisfies my family's pizza cravings, even without cheese!  And in my opinion, anything has got to be better than cauliflower crust!   If you're desperate for cheese, try this vegan moxarella recipe.  I've also included the pesto recipe I used.

1 C fresh basil
4 C fresh spinach
1/2 C walnuts
2 fresh garlic cloves
1/4 C dried basil
1/2 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 T nutritional yeast (optional)
Salt to taste

This is my poor man's pesto.  I didn't have a lot of fresh basil or any pine nuts so I used what I had on hand.  If you have an abundance of fresh basil, skip the dried and add more fresh.  Add all ingredients, except oil, to your food processor and pulse 4 or 5 times.  Turn processor on low and drizzle in oil.  Continue to process to desired consistency.  Adjust oil as needed.  If this is too oily for you, add more spinach.

3 C yuca** (cut and boiled until fork tender, about 20 minutes)
1/4 C EVOO
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t garlic powder (or 1 clove fresh)
1 T Italian seasoning
1 C tapioca starch (for flouring your cutting board)
2 T coconut flour (or cornmeal) for flouring pizza peel

For BTD: Use this recipe for crust: Thin Crispy Paleo Pizza Crust 

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Place boiled and drained yuca into your food processor along with the olive oil and spices.  Process until it forms a dough ball.  This doesn't take long.  Remove dough from the food processor and allow to cool.  Lightly flour your cutting board and flop your cooled dough down onto the cutting board.  I divide my dough into however many pizzas I'm making.  Smaller, personal size pizzas are easier to work work.  Sprinkle your pizza peel with a little coconut flour.  Roll your dough ball out, using tapioca as needed to prevent sticking.
I slide my dough scraper under each side then gently lift and place on the peel.  I have a pizza stone and I slide my crust right onto my stone and cook for about 5 minutes.  If you don't have a stone, lightly oil a cookie sheet and bake your dough on that.  You can also precook these in a cast iron skillet on the stove top, then top and bake in the oven.  If you are making several, as in you have 6 people in your family, I would suggest stove top as it is quicker. 

Now that your crust has precooked, top it and quickly get it back into the oven.  If you let it sit too long, it will be difficult to move.  I top mine with either a vegan pesto or Whole 30 compliant pasta sauce and your choice of meat (if you desire) and veggies.  The pizza pictured was topped with vegan pesto, fresh, sliced tomatoes, calamata olives, onions and artichokes.  If you eat it, a little fresh goat cheese would not be remiss here.  Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 5+ minutes.  Watch it and don't let it burn.  Slice and enjoy!
**You can find yuca in most grocery store produce sections but a friend recently told me about the frozen ethnic section where you can find frozen yuca and plantains!  I never knew.  If you buy it fresh, it goes bad pretty quickly, characterized by black streaks running through the white flesh and a terrible odor.  So, either plan to use within a day or 2, or buy frozen.

I have to give credit to my friend, Chef Gina, over at food highs for introducing me to yuca.  The egg rolls were fantastic but my entire family looked at me and said, "I wonder how this would taste as pizza dough???"

This also makes an awesome flat bread.  Cook as instructed above in a cast iron skillet, until golden on each side.  The sandwich below was made with leftover dough from the pizza pictured on the top.

Click here for printable version: Paleo Pizza Crust with Vegan Pesto

Yuca Crust with Tomato Sauce, Moxarella Cheese, Meat & Veggies

Yuca Flat Bread with Pesto, Spinach and Avocado