Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kitchen Sink Blender Cookies/Autumn Root and Greens Soup

It finally got cool here tonight. Autumn has begun.

I'm sitting here looking at the table after dinner has been eaten by myself, Snackboy, Little Moo and Mother of Snackboy. There were several things to eat, all portioned out onto plates in smallish amounts. It was colorful...everything from rich red soup with greens to raw carrots and late tomatoes, to pastured chicken stirfried with leftover rice pasta and mushrooms. There were green beans, wine for Snackboy and his mother, and sauerkraut. Finally there were the most amazing cookies. As usual, they were a complete accident. They are, I think, late-week GAPS-friendly, although I have to check on all the ingredients.

Kitchen Sink Blender Cookies

1 cup cooked squash (I used butternut)
1 cup pitted dates
about 1" piece of ripe banana
1 hachiya persimmon, removed from skin, very ripe and gooey!
1 cup coconut oil (butter would also be fine here.)
1 egg and 1 yolk
2 ts guar gum
1 cup-2 tb coconut flour
1 ts baking powder
1/2 ts baking soda
1/2 ts cinnamon
1 ts vanilla
1/2 c raisins and/or nuts (optional)

In a strong blender, thoroughly blend the squash, dates, banana and persimmon and coconut oil until creamy. It was so tasty and appetizing at this point that I thought it might be nice to simply stop there and call it fruit pudding, but I had my heart set on autumnal cookies...if you'd like it as a pudding, then go for it. If you'd like to make cookies, keep reading.

At this point, I took the batter from the blender, but you could continue in the blender if it's more convenient.

Partially beat the egg and yolk. Mix into batter.
Add vanilla and cinnamon. Blend baking powder, soda and guar gum. Mix into wet ingredients.
Add coconut flour a little at a time until nicely creamy and somewhat stiff.
Add raisins and mix.

Grease a cookie pan well and drop by spoonfuls. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes or a bit more. Tops should be brown. Insides spongy and moist.

Autumn Root and Greens Soup

1 red beet, chopped coarsely
1 carrot, chopped coarsely
about 1/3 skinned, cubed squash
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 ts butter, beef tallow or coconut oil
3 leaves kale or other greens, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
4 ts homemade coconut milk kefir
lime slices

In saucepan saute the onions in fat until half-cooked and sweet-smelling. Add beet, carrot, squash and broth. Bring to boil. Lower heat to simmer covered. Add greens. Simmer 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly in order to keep the kefir's probiotic organisms alive. Add kefir and squeezes of lime juice to taste. Serve with lime slices floating on top.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fried Bananas and Coconut Custard

Did you ever get one of those bunches of bananas that was so green that they just never ripened? We've had one of those for a few weeks now. It was threatening to simply go bad. That was the point at which I peeled them, fried them in coconut oil and discovered that they turned sweet in the pan!

Fried Bananas

1 bunch of questionably green bananas or a good bunch of not-too-soft ripe bananas. (This would also be superb with plantains)

2 tbs coconut oil

Peel and slice the bananas. Fry them until gooey in the middle and slightly crisp on the outsides. Serve with chilled coconut custard. It would also be nice to put that custard into an ice cream maker. Hmm. Yep. If you were wondering, San Francisco is about 80 degrees. Our apartment, with the malfunctioning radiators and timed steam heat system is probably about 90 degrees by dinner time. Yuck.

We're eating it chilled now. Even with the solidified coconut oil on it, it's delicious.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back to normal...Chicken soup

It happened fast. The grapefruit seed extract does wonders for sudden yeast attacks. I used 10 drops in cool filtered water, twice a day the first day and once a day the second. Aside from some problems on my hands, everything is normal and I'm back to my normal diet, whatever that may be.

I always forget to post my grandmother's (and possibly her grandmother's) chicken soup recipe. I've made a few adjustments to it.

Variation #1: for purists

1 whole soup chicken with gizzard, heart and neck, preferably organic, preferably pastured. I don't trust kosher chickens these days. Only 2 companies appear to have a chokehold on this business and that's not good for business or chicken-raising practices.

Back in the day the hens used to come with an occasional unlaid egg which would also get thrown into the pot. My mother told me that she and her sister used to fight over the boiled, soft-shelled egg when it was done. I believe that feet may have shown up in the broth as well occasionally. The only thing that wasn't there was the liver, head and beak. The liver makes the soup taste "gamey" according to my grandmother, which I've also found true. I can't speak for the other verboten parts. :)

1 whole onion
1 whole parsnip (not GAPS friendly, but super-tasty and traditional)
1 whole carrot
1 or 2 sprigs of fresh dill or a pinch or two of dried dill (I can't eat it, but perhaps you can!)

Wash the chicken with cold filtered water, inside and out. place it in a large soup pot or slow-cooker. Wash the organ meat and put it in the pot, too. Fill the pot 2/3 of the way with filtered water and place on the stove. Turn the burner onto high.

Wash and peel the onion. Leave it whole. Wash and scrape the parsnip. Cut into 3 or 4" long pieces. Wash and scrape the carrot. Cut into 3" or 4" long pieces. Put all the veggies in the water. Cover and wait for the water to boil. (Or cover slow cooker and go do something else for a day. Now isn't that much easier?)

On a stove: Turn it down immediately to simmer. Go do something else for a few hours, checking it occasionally. After 3-4 hours, it's soup.

When it's cool enough to handle, scoop out the chicken, organ meat and veggies. Eat the soup chicken with the soup or in the soup. The organ meat is good, too.

Version #2: for non-purists

2 chicken backs/necks
Organ meat if you can get it (not liver)
1 onion
1 carrot
1 parsnip (unless you're on GAPS)

Put it all into a pot, fill 2/3 with filtered water, and follow all the instructions above.

Pour the soup into jars or containers for storage. If in the fridge, after 3 days, reboil for 3 minutes before eating. This can be done for two or three sets of three days. Freeze before this deadline.

To make a nice veggie soup, cut up whatever veggies are in season. If you're on GAPS, peel and seed the veggies. Saute in tallow, lamb fat, coconut oil, butter or similar fat until slightly browned. Add broth. Add cut up chicken/organ meat if you like. Bring to boil. Simmer 20-25 minutes.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Variation on Loztnausten's Rice Sourdough Bread

So the new stove is in. It's minimal but works quite well. The refrigerator is great. Also minimal, but works. That's all we needed. Since I last posted (it was a while ago...sorry!) I've had a terrible reaction to a batch of pecans that had been dried for a while...then Snackboy went and turned off the light in the oven, which is what keeps it at 115 degrees...yeasty nuts! I had no idea until I tried them and a try was all it took. HUGE allergy attack, including allergic conjunctivitis. I was high on Benedryl all of yesterday when nothing else worked. I even went to get my eyes checked for infection, but it was just a reaction. My hands are a mess, as is my face, still. The hives are back...every night.

Okay, so there needs to be a bit of background on this.

The company that makes the rice sourdough bread, Food For Life, mysteriously stopped making it. I'm guessing that the wild-yeasted thing hit home and they had to reconsider their label. Anyway, that bread went down incredibly well with me and the yeast made very little impact. I found a lonely two loaves left at the co-op the other day and bought them.

So I continued to cut out rice, although I was less careful, since shaking by 5 is not my speed, especially since Little Moo is still nursing (and nonstop for these last molars...ack). I started cooking with coconut flour, which agrees with me.

I also tested crispy pecans, which appeared to be FINE...just so long as the light stays on all night!

So I had an enormous setback. I'm also finding that the BioKult doesn't kick the little yeasties like my old Klaire Labs Complete Powder. So I'm going back and forth between the two. Not what the doctor ordered, but triage must occur. I've put the old grapefruit seed extract into water again. I'll do that for a few days. Started on the butter oil...who knew that a supplement oil could taste wonderful on food? Waiting for the non-steroid herbal cream to come. Meanwhile I'm using the cortisones again at night so I can sleep.

I always get like this right after an attack, though. I think, well, now it's back and it won't go away, then a few weeks later, I'm clear and clean and feel better and wonder how I could have doubted the body's healing powers.

Okay, so I've been meaning to post this amazing recipe for ages. I have no idea if it's giving me problems, especially because I'm back to reacting constantly without knowing if anything is a trigger, but I think it is perhaps somewhat okay when I'm baseline.

Loztnausten is a blogger who is also a homeschooling mom of three. I've never met her, but her kids, me and Little Moo have a lot in common as far as our allergies go and she's done some amazing research on foods and cooking. Here's a variation on her sourdough bread recipe that has turned out an amazing loaf:

Sourdough Rice Bread


Mix 2 cups of brown rice flour with 2 cups of coconut milk kefir
Let stand 24 hours. If you don't make the bread immediately, feed it daily with 1 or 2 tbs each kefir and flour.

1/2 c tapioca starch
1/2 c coconut flour
1 t celtic sea salt
4 t guar gum

whip 6 egg whites until frothy (but not peaked)

into the meringue pour:
1/3 c olive oil
3 egg yolks
1 tb maple syrup
2 c starter

Mix in dry ingredients

Pour into loaf pan. It should be spreadable, but not hard like wheat bread dough. Loztnausten describes it as like "toothpaste." Refrigerate 8 hours. Loztnausten suggests "or overnight," but it clearly didn't rise as well for me then.

Rise in warm oven 1-2 hours until the top is cracked and the bottom is slightly liquid. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until done.

Well, I have a grumpy 2-year old demanding "a boobie," pulling on my leg and there's dinner that needs to be put on the table...