Sunday, December 25, 2011

Game hens, ahoy!

Here they go...if they work I'll post the recipe.

Coconut, GAPS-legal Eggnog!

The presents were wrapped, the tree sprayed and watered against the incredibly dryness we've been having, music was playing...and I couldn't settle down. So I came up with this recipe for eggnog.

Why, do you ask, did I not make it with the lovely raw egg yolks and raw milk, as the WAP'ers prefer? The reason for that is that in this part of California at this time of year we don't get pastured eggs. I could, if I wasn't thinking about the incredible number of food miles on them, buy pastured eggs from Texas. Every other week we get pastured eggs from Montana, and even that makes me feel guilty (and honestly, I see the color on them and kind of wonder what those chickens are eating since they look  and taste just about like our local organic eggs). We happen to be out of them just now.

We can have raw goat milk, but that also appears to be on hiatus for winter, not to mention that the goatiness would be wrong for nog.

Not to mention that coconut milk is SOOO good for you, and when you can't get pastured eggs, that organic egg yolks do suffice. I don't feel quite right eating non-pastured eggs raw, so...

So this recipe does call for gentle heating, coconut cream and milk. (I recommend Wilderness Family Naturals, but any kind that doesn't add stuff and is BPA-free is good.) I thought I'd made a huge amount, but it appears to be half gone and we haven't even started the day yet!

I can't have honey, and I won't use sugar, hence...dates, and a blender. You could, though, substitute raw honey to taste added at the very end. You could, if you have raw cream and milk that you digest well, raw honey and beautiful pastured eggs, simply warm the spices in a bit of the milk gently for a while, then toss it all in a blender and whip it up. Seriously, it's the best of all worlds. Meanwhile, here's what we had this morning...

Coconut Milk/Cream Eggnog

2 cups coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg plus more for garnish
5 or 6 whole cloves
1/2 vanilla bean
1 cup coconut cream
5 egg yolks
3 dates
4 drops stevia

In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and stevia. Carefully split the vanilla bean, scrape out the caviar and add both caviar and bean to the mixture. Gently warm the mixture until warmed through. While stirring, heat to medium, so that it steams and bubbles a tiny bit. Avoid a rolling boil. Heat for 3-5 minutes.

In a blender put the dates, yolks and coconut cream. Blend well, until the dates are liquified.

To temper the eggs, add the hot coconut milk to it by the spoonful, stirring or whisking well so as not to cook the eggs. When it's yellow and warmed, slowly add the egg/cream mixture to the milk/spice mixture on the stove and stir or whisk until slightly thickened and warm. Remove from heat. Strain out the spices. Transfer to a mason jar. Seal well and chill, or drink warm. Warm or cold, it can be garnished with a bit of nutmeg.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chez Moo has become The House Of Apples.

Last weekend we had our first annual wassailing party. On a lark I went and bought a ton of organic apples, which were on sale because although they tasted pretty good, they had a kind of mealy consistency that didn't lend itself well to raw snacking. Then I got a bunch of bulk spices, including star anise, which is just gorgeous. I had no idea how many apples I needed, so I got too many. Just a bit. (Understatement. )

I went crazy with the juicer and made two big jars of apple cider, then I heated it up, wrapped a bunch of spices in cheesecloth, and tied it will twine. It simmered for roughly 30 minutes and was just amazing. It was a bit spicy, but even the kids were enjoying it.

This is my recipe for the mulling spices. A few things are estimated. I didn't use ginger because of allergies, but if you can tolerate it, I'd add about 1 tablespoon or so of dried ginger or a about an inch or so of a fresh root.

Cider Mulling Blend

For a large pot (spaghetti-sized) of cider:

4 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
1 tablespoon of whole allspice seeds
3 or 4 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods.
The skins of one orange and one lemon, cut up into manageable pieces

Put into a big tea ball, or wrap everything into two or three layers of cheesecloth and tie securely.

Heat up the pot and add the spice blend. Simmer 15-30 minutes or to taste.

It's possible to make this for storage or gifting if you cut off and dry the rinds three days in advance.

It's been four days. The cider has been packed away into the freezer and small brown spots started to show up on the gazillion apples that were still left. Then came the Winter Solstice and suddenly it was Hanukkah, too, so Little Moo and I decided to get down to work and get on the baking.

I came up with an apple cake, and we made another cobbler.

The cake was covered with raisins, which wasn't the best idea, but Little Moo wanted to use them, so we did. I wasn't sure which side would be prettier, so it's kind of a right-side-up-upside-down cake that can't seem to make heads or tails of itself.

I have to say that it's delicious, light, a bit eggy and I believe that it will be nicely dense once it's chilled. We enjoyed it topped with kefired coconut cream. Also, it's a blender cake, but only because, as usual, I cream dates into the eggs for sweetness. You could totally substitute 3/4 cup or so of another sweetener (some kind of sugar - honey would be too much liquid) and make it in a food processor or even by hand. Also, this is not a very sweet cake. If you decide to indulge your sweet tooth, add about two or three more dates.

Solstice Apple Cake


12 eggs
1/2 cup melted ghee
1/2 cup coconut cream (or milk)
6 dates
4 drops liquid stevia
2 pinches salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sifted coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped apples
1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
(Optional: 1/2-1 cup raisins)

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a blender, blend the eggs, coconut cream, dates, stevia, salt and vanilla until smooth. While spinning, add the ghee. Add the baking powder to the coconut flour. Add the dry mixture into the moist and blend well.

Pour into a large bowl and mix down any lumps that are left. Toss the apples (and raisins) with the cinnamon and swirl them into the batter.

Grease the sides of a 9" round pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the pan. Decorate the top if you like with apples. We also used about 1/8 teaspoon of sugar to sprinkle on the top.

Bake for 50 minutes-1 hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Here are pics of the cake in progress:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Great article on how ghee doesn't cause coronary diseases

I ran into this today, written by an Indian-American doctor. It's about ghee. She also discusses what could be causing health problems that are rampant in the Indian-American community.

India Rediscovers The Health Benefits Of Ghee by Niraj Patel, M.D.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


If you hit it just right with the peeler it'll do a triple lutz into the sink.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

(More) Sauce!

Since we've been eating cooked tomatoes, general-use sauce has been very popular around here. It's very basic - slow-sauteed onions, garlic, oregano, basil, tomatoes, ghee and broth.
Here's what I found today at the farmer's market for a very reasonable price...

The plan is to make a huge pot of it, distribute it among all of our recycled yogurt containers and freeze it all for winter. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tonight's menu and cooking plan

As my work schedule speeds up I need to do more cooking at once, but only twice a week...Sundays and Thursdays.

The ghee is almost finished.

Tonight is "pizza night" which is actually a fun, easy meal. I'm making the crust first. The pizza actually takes about 10 minutes once the crust is done. I suppose I could actually make and freeze a few of those crusts...hmm.

There will be steamed cauliflower and roasted fennel with our pizza. (The fennel just showed up in our box and I was at a loss until I found this:

Simple. Nice. Looks tasty.

Then I have to make two entrees for the next four days. Once chicken and one beef.

I am hoping to put together either a fun ice cream type thing or an apple/pear pie.

It's going to be a late night here...better get back to work.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pie Crust Revealed!

Coconut flour has a few qualities to it that make it more difficult to work with and one or two that make it easier. It doesn't bind well to itself like wheat flours do. It's also not starchy. For those reasons, it tends to crack and requires a lot of eggs to hold it together. It's dehydrated. It's also a fat-based material, which means that melted fats moisten it much better than water-based liquids. It tends to have the consistency of a rich pound cake when thick, or when thin, like a crispy, very delicate cracker.  Dryer breads work well as crusts for pizza or pie. Moister versions work well as pancakes or pan breads. 

I've usually found that coconut bread texture actually improves with refrigeration.

Because of many of these factors, it's also a crust that does well with patching, which is good, considering how easy it cracks.

This was actually the bottom crust to our pumpkin pie, which was not deep-dish. On a deep-dish pie pan the crust needs to be a little thinner than in this case. Either way, this is the technique I've found works. 

The top to the apple pie was my first attempt at it. It went surprisingly well, but I still don't have quite enough to document that process yet. 

Apple Pear Raisin Pie (GAPS-friendly with one alteration)

The pie was fantastic. There's only about 1/5th of it left. I love that our daughter goes to a school where a festival spread has a gluten-free table. Then I love it that someone asks me what's in my pie and when she finds out says "That's perfect," takes a big piece, then enjoys it!

One note on the type of apples: They should have a bit of bite to them. Granny Smiths are a classic choice. On the other hand, our pie was made with Macintoshes (Little Moo's choice) and it was delicious.

Here's the recipe.

Deep Dish Apple Pear Raisin Pie

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Double Pie Crust
3/4 cup sifted coconut flour
3/4 cup flaked coconut
3 eggs
1/3 cup melted ghee
generous pinch salt

Blend dry ingredients. Beat eggs. Slowly add the ghee to the eggs while enthusiastically beating the mixture so as not to cook the eggs (but not so much that you decorate the walls!). Add the wet to the dry ingredients and blend well.

Divide so that one piece is slightly larger than the other. The larger one will be for the bottom. Roll out the bottom dough between layers of waxed paper on a large cutting board to fit the pan. Carefully peel off the top piece of paper. Lay the pan on top of the dough. Flip the whole cutting board over and with the last piece of paper still on the dough, carefully squash the crust into the pan. Peel the top paper off and form the edges of the dough to the pan. Don't let too much crust stick out or be too thin since coconut flour will dry and burn very easily. (See next post for a detailed description of how to make a coconut crust with pictures.) Roll out the top portion and set aside. Don't do this too far in advance or it may dry out too much.

4-5 large apples, pared, cored, thinly sliced
4-5 large pears, pared, cored, thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup raisins
2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional)
1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch allspice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sugar - palm, date, or other granulated/crystalline form (optional)

In a large saucepan or dutch oven simmer apples and pears in water, covered, stirring occasionally until slightly soft, but still with some body. This could be between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the consistency of the fruit. Add raisins, stevia, (maple syrup,) cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and vanilla. Continue cooking until the fruit becomes tender. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

Fill piecrust with the mixture. Cover with the top pie crust and seal the edge. Carefully cut several slits in the top crust to let out steam. If you are using sugar, sprinkle it over the top of the crust.

Bake for 12 minutes or long enough for the edges to start to brown. Open the oven and cover the edges with long folded strips of foil wrapped around the top and bottom of outer edge of the pie. Continue to bake for another 5-6 minutes. If your oven tends to be hot, reduce the heat after 12-14 minutes to 350 degrees F.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ah...coconut crust tip for a single-crusted pie

When you've got that thing nice and thin, peel off one layer of waxed paper. Flip your cutting board and keep that last sheet of paper on the other side of the pastry. Using the solidity of that last sheet of paper, push it down into the pie pan. Pieces will fall off the sides. It's okay.

Then gently peel that last sheet of waxed paper off and patch with the fallen bits of crust.

And there it is...

More on Apple Pie

After wondering how I should post this recipe, I thought that I should, first, discuss the recipes I used to make this pie...both are questionable, in my opinion, although each has some good points, too. Then after tomorrow's event when the pies are cut and eaten, I'll get responses and will then post the recipe if the responses are good. Otherwise, it's back to the drawing board!

The first apple pie recipe is the one I learned from a friend as a teenager. It's a classic apple pie that's full of sugar, corn starch and spiced well with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. We'd spend the first half of a day peeling, coring and slicing apples to make two or three pies. It was a recipe that made the best of the sudden bounty of apples in the fall on the East Coast. It was my friend who taught me that a few pears give the pie a lot of depth, and also that the number of apples used in most recipes is never enough. Unfortunately, if I removed all the sugar and the corn starch, there's not much left to it.

The second recipe is Bruce Fife's from his Cooking With Coconut Flour, which you might have noticed has been my go-to cookbook for a while. I made a double basic crust. I added pears. I used more raisins than he called for and substituted a smaller amount of maple syrup with his called-for 1/4 teaspoon of liquid stevia for sweetness. This is a pie that will be shared, and will be eaten by a group that has some kids and adults with gluten intolerance and Celiac's Disease. There are some who are vegetarians and a few who are dairy-free because of ideology, not medical necessity. A very few of the families also cook with Weston A. Price in mind. For those reasons, I chose to use ghee. I could have tried some gelatin in the apples, but I decided that it was both more work than necessary and also would have meant that an awful lot of the people at this event tomorrow would refuse to eat it.

The crust is very challenging. Coconut flour does not hold together well, so, as you can see from the picture, it's pretty rocky near the edges. It also browns very quickly, so I'm a bit concerned about the state of the crust inside. On the other hand, it bakes up so fast that it's probably fine. I nearly prebaked it, but the recipe called for it to be raw going in. So that's what I did.

Fife only calls for four apples. I'm wondering what size pie shell he has. Twice that barely filled this deep-dish version. Also, I left off all thickeners - I discovered that while stirring the filling that it thickened just fine on it's own. I also added a few teaspoonfuls of ghee which will make it thicken a bit when chilled. Then, as a compromise towards aesthetics (coconut flour crusts are not that pretty) and for a bit more sweet, I did sprinkle a bit of unprocessed sugar on the top - barely 1/4 teaspoon.

So that's the story of this pie. Please send both it and me some good thoughts for tomorrow!

And now...pumpkin pie.

Almost done!

Thursday is Pie Day!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Random Thought

Practicing harmonizing while slicing mushrooms is a bad idea.

A few facts about coconut custards

Thanks to my flirtations with culinary disaster, you get the benefits of hindsight.

One...coconut milk does curdle when overheated with egg yolks.

Two...good eggs don't need to be cooked at all. They just have to be warm enough to harden when cool.

Three...don't try to make a custard with a time limit or when under stress. They're best the next morning anyway.

Four...don't experiment with the last box of coconut milk.

Needless to say, no photos are a available. *deep sigh*

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Elephant In The Kitchen

It's been three years since I started the GAPS Diet and somewhat longer than that since I became acquainted with the work of Weston A. Price. It was soon after that I began to notice something that very rarely gets mentioned and seems to stick out like a two-ton pachyderm hiding behind the refrigerator door.

Food is one of those things in our lives that is way more than the sum of its parts. The relationships that we have with food, the way we get it or raise it, cook and eat it speak loudly to how we live on the earth, relate to each other, and to what are our most deeply held opinions and values. Our eating habits, rules and taboos make us part of a tribe, or not.

People like me who cook and eat along the lines of Weston A. Price/Nourishing Traditions tend to be on the right of the political/cultural spectrum. Those who are more on the left seem to be more likely to be vegetarians and appear to be in a different reality when it comes to food and nutrition. This isn't always the case, I'm sure, but so far I have, as yet, to be proven wrong. 

There. I've said it. Throw your tomatoes now, if you like. It's true. It's weird. It puts me in company that ordinarily would never share any kind of mental space with me and my ilk and visa versa. Or at least, that's what I thought before I started researching how to improve my family's health through diet. 

It's a lonely road being a political and cultural liberal with this kind of nutritional philosophy. Occasionally I hear other progressives speaking out who have discovered that current science points human beings towards pastured animal-based foods rather than a solely plant-based diet, like Lierre Keith and my original mentor, Julie Matthews. It's a relief when I do hear a voice that speaks of eating compassionately for the environment and for our bodies, that the cycle of life includes death, and a world of intensive agriculture without animal husbandry is a scary one to contemplate. It's rare, though, that I meet a liberal in person who is either on GAPS or following WAP's philosophies. Our family fills our plates with rich stews, fermented condiments and vegetables, raw milk yogurt and cheeses while just about everyone we know is avoids too much fat and feels that they should apologize if they choose to eat chicken instead of soy products. It's not fun to eat alone, even when the food is delicious. I keep hoping to find liberals who are on a similar journey, but so far that's not been the case. 

On the other hand, I've recently come into contact with a cousin that I never knew that I had. Like many folks on that side of my family (most of whom I have never met and am only now learning exist) she is a conservative and a Libertarian. She also packs her freezer with local, grass-fed beef. She cooks locally and from scratch, believes in giving her beautiful and healthy children whole fats and good food, at least as our family would know it. When I post a sharp comment on Facebook about genetically modified organisms or the undeclared toxins in commonly available toiletries she often posts supportively with all my liberal friends. We are careful not to talk politics since we're both pretty opinionated. We've made many a connection through how we feed our families and it's a blessing. 

There aren't too many situations these days in which rightwards- and leftwards-leaning people can connect like this. I am thankful for this one. 

Sauerkraut Making Night!

We took advantage of a quiet holiday evening to fill our crock again.
Adding peppercorns.
A little extra height is nice for leverage.

Nearly ready!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Curried Drop Biscuits With Beef

Last night we thoroughly enjoyed our savory stew after all that birthday food. After days of making stuff for our daughter's big day, it was time to make stuff for me. I was in the mood for something like bread, so I made some therapeutic biscuits. These are based on one of Bruce Fife's recipes.

Curried Drop Biscuits With Beef

4 eggs
1/4 cup ghee, melted
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 2" turmeric root, peeled and grated (Or 1 teaspoon dried turmeric)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coriander powder
3/8 teaspoon (1/4+1/8, that is) sea salt (if you don't like salty food, go down to 1/4 teaspoon)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup precooked ground beef
1/3 cup sifted coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Melt ghee in small frying pan. Pour out all but enough to fry the spices. Under low to medium heat fry the mustard with the cumin seeds until they just start to pop. Add grated turmeric and garlic, turn down heat, blend well. Add coriander, pepper and salt. Blend and take off heat. 

Blend together the eggs and the unspiced ghee. Slowly add the spice mix, very slowly if it's hot, whisking as you go. Add the baking powder to the coconut flour and add together, mixing well. Fold in the beef. Drop by spoonfuls onto a pan covered with parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. 

These turned out especially well because the beef had all kinds of lovely vegetables in it, as well...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Deviled eggs...

And here they are, the true edible stars of the afternoon. These were my first deviled eggs since I do not come from "the Mayonnaise People," or what my husband calls his tribe. To be honest, they're too mayonnaise-y for me, but the flavor is nice. We had two loaded plates and the kids made them disappear in about 5 minutes. They were made with homemade mayonnaise a la Sally Fallon, more or less. I added pickle brine to the final mixture with mustard powder, paprika, lemon juice, tarragon, salt and pepper.

I've rethought mayonnaise over the last few years. Of course in my old low-fat vegetarian days I'd have thought these scandalous, but really, it's just olive oil and whole eggs. I've never liked mayonnaise much, although I do like this better than storebought. Nourishing Traditions uses creme fraiche or something similar. Now that would be more to my liking, and with raw cream it would be truly spectacular, but until we can go back to cow's milk that's not a possibility. Some day!

Little Moo, of course, discarded all that lovely nutrient density in the center - she only eats yolks when they're scrambled with the whites or cooked slightly in poached or fried eggs. Oh well. At least the other kids enjoyed them.

Vanilla layer cake

Bleh. Babycakes NYC frosting, er, sauce.

It doesn't seem to matter how I make it, or what I substitute. It just NEVER turns out to be more than some kind of sauce. Which is what it is...and like many foods made for vegan eaters it's waaaaay too sweet, not to mention it has rice milk and rice milk powder (yuck and more yuck!) in it. So the cake was au naturel, double decker with banana slices between, but with the sauce on each piece and fancy birthday candles, it went fine. As usual, I don't get to taste it, but I had reports that it was good.

So, a good, nutrient-dense, not too sugary frosting anyone? I used to make an amazing frosting from blended dates and coconut oil, but this year Little Moo wanted pink. So pink, she got.

I have a feeling that I'll have to figure out a real buttercream thing for next year, assuming that she can eat it by then...I wonder if you can make buttercream icing out of ghee...?

Sorry - the party was completely crazy and I didn't get any pictures. :(

I'll post the images I took of them cooling last night...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

This year's birthday cake!

Wish me luck. I've been charged with the creation of pink icing.

Pictures to come.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Actual Pizza!

Okay, so the pictures aren't so perfect. They're a bit blurry, but I just had to post them to show how happy we all were with the pizza crust I baked tonight! In order to make it completely GAPS-friendly, just leave off the leavening, or try baking soda.

Here's a link to the recipe I tried.

One minor thing is that the batter needs to have a consistency like toothpaste and it took nearly 3/4 cup of coconut flour to make it so, instead of 1/2. I'd make it according to the recipe, though, then add until it's the right consistency. I used goat monterey jack cheese and fermented "ketchup" as sauce. It would be super-tasty with some sauteed onions, or greens, or mushrooms and olives. Tonight we trapped pieces of one of my veggie/beef burgers under the cheese.

In the oven, before flipping.

I tried to get a shot of the whole pie, and failed! 

Enjoying their pizza and cream of rutabaga soup.

We ate it all...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Turmeric and black pepper

I have been taking turmeric, in the form of curcumin, since my awful experience coming home from a long trip with a terrible allergic reaction. Initially, it didn't do all that much, although I do think it kept the worst reactions at bay. Then I came home and made Therapeutic Vegetable Curry Soup, and my symptoms improved in about 3 days. I mention in that post about how turmeric works hand in hand with cumin, coriander and other spices. I did not mention pepper. I also did not use pepper in the recipe on that page because a doctor had told me that it had inflammatory qualities.

Then the other day I was at Other Avenues, and noticed that Gaia includes black pepper with its curcumin supplements, so it got me thinking. I began to add small amounts of pepper to my breakfast after taking my curcumin, and lo and behold, it did seem to magnify the effect of the turmeric. I don't know anything, yet, about proportions or amounts, although it does seem like not much pepper is required to "turn on" the turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties.

Interesting, isn't it, that a food which, on its own, is inflammatory, has what appears to be the opposite effect in the right combination with other foods?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's like salad, only warm!

We got our first box of vegetables today from Guerrilla Organics today. It was just lovely, with a big bunch of chard, 4 large pat-a-pan squash, celery, grapes, onions, beets, rutabaga, pluots, radishes and a big, beautiful head of romaine lettuce.

I took one look at that lettuce and just sighed. I love salad, but ever since I had a hernia repaired about six weeks ago, I've taken a few steps back and seem to relapse each time I eat too many raw vegetables. I seem to be able to handle a few carrot sticks or slices of cucumber. Each time I eat a salad I get sick for about a week. No fun.

Then I remembered an amazing salad I had years ago which was made of warm, wilted greens, and decided to give it a try.

So I took apart the head of lettuce, popped it in a pot with ghee and a bit of broth where I cooked it gently until it was wilted, but the ribs in the middle were a bit crunchy. I topped it with our favorite dressing, which is a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, mustard powder and tarragon. It was really good and so far I'm doing fine.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to basics: Fermented Cod Liver Oil/High Vitamin Butter Oil

All you smarties probably already know this, but it's been a while since I did any reading about why the heck we take this stuff.

I've been on plain high-vitamin CLO for about 3 years now. When we can afford it I splurge and get a bottle of HV Butter Oil, as well and we always seem to benefit from it. One of the first things I noticed was that my body becomes more elastic and less dry, both in the joints and the skin. Little Moo has been taking that stuff since she has taken food and she is a hardy, sturdy, slim but densely built kid.

After some recent experiences with family members who suffer from painful and debilitating arthritis, I've become very aware that it runs in our family, so I'm thinking deeply these days about how to prevent it. A few weeks ago I ordered the Blue Ice brand of fermented CLO, which has natural instead of synthesized vitamins added back into it. The dosage is somewhat different, as well. I can take one or two teaspoons instead of one or two tablespoons to get the same effect.

Here's a page from The Weston A Price Foundation's site on the manufacture and benefits of CLO. If you scroll down there's a letter from an osteopathic doctor named Rosann Volmert in Pasadena, which outlines the benefits of fermented cod liver oil. The first part is very interesting - David Wetzel has been researching the creation of his own brand of fermented CLO. I'd be interested to hear from folks out there if it's available now and if they've taken it, what they think.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Multiberry Custard Pie...a preview

It's summer and I was determined to put our farmers' market berries to some use. I came up with a GAPS-friendly pie, assuming that a person can eat fruit comfortably. There's no added sugar. There are eggs in the custard and the crust, but no dairy. It is not sugar-free, though, since the fruits, although low-sugar, are still sweet and I added dates to the berries to give it a more dessert-like quality.

I can outline the recipe here, but I'd like to do it again before I put it out there officially, since it didn't quite become what I intended.

As you can probably see, it didn't quite make it to the table long enough to get a photo of it whole. :)

Honestly, if you're a die-hard low sugar eater and you're looking for a dessert to really enjoy, this is the one. If you're used to high sugar desserts, then this is one to modify. It was very, very fruity, (Snackboy said that it smelled like a Pop Tart) and had a nice coconut flour crust. The custard was made extra special because Little Moo and I had a great time slicing and scraping out a vanilla bean into the heating coconut milk. I also added our last box of coconut cream to the mix. 

It was a three-stage pie. Little Moo was my very excited assistant. First we made a coconut flour crust, based on Bruce Fife's recipe. (See Cooking With Coconut Flour) We lined the crust with three sliced bananas because it tends to be a bit dry. Then we made a gently stewed mixture of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries with a spoonful of ghee and a goodly amount of gelatin mixed in. I added chopped dates to the mixture for some extra sweetness. That was allowed to cool for about 10 minutes or so and added to the cooled crust. We put two boxes of coconut milk and one of coconut cream into a pot, added the seeds of one vanilla bean (I wish I had some pictures of that! We had so much fun that we didn't bother to shoot any!) and a few drops of stevia to the coconut milk. It took about 5 egg yolks, more ghee and a tablespoon of gelatin to turn that into a lovely custard that was unlike anything I've ever made before. I think it was the vanilla bean, which had been sitting on a shelf for months awaiting the right day to be used. And so it was.

I let the custard cool for a few minutes, then added it to the top of the fruit. We decorated it with sliced strawberries. It was covered with waxed paper and put in the refrigerator to chill. 

My sense was that the fruit did need to be a bit gooier and the custard could have used a bit more gelatin or egg (although the bit that didn't fit in and wound up in a ramekin was perfect!). I suppose I could have given in and added some maple syrup or something. Maybe date sugar. On the other hand, I pride myself in fully sticking to the GAPs protocol, at least as my family eats it. (That's no sugars or syrups, although added fruit is okay. Stevia's bending the rules, actually. Honey is okay, but not for my allergies. Maybe someday.) 

This pie, though, could also be eaten with some egg-laden coconut bread or after an entree of scrambled eggs for breakfast, since it is a bit more like fruit and cream than a super-sweet dessert. It's all good, I guess.

I'll keep thinking and will try this again soon. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Chicken a la Bedelia

Sorry - no recipe today. I just wanted to share this funny picture.

I ran out of cheesecloth so the chicken is wearing a dress.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kale Chips, part 2

It took about 45 minutes all told. I used too much salt, I think, (I adjusted it for the recipe below) but it's still delicious, even salty. You may prefer to use less oil than I did.

Kale Chips


1 head of kale, de-ribbed, well washed and dried
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Salt and thoroughly oil the kale leaves. Spread on a big cookie sheet or pan with enough of a rim that the oil won't drip off. Bake until done, or about 45 minutes, stirring and turning after each 10 or so.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kale Chips!

I don't know why it never occurred to me - Little Moo loves those little snack packs of nori, which are my only concession to packaged snacks. I love the idea that she's eating seaweed, getting all those trace minerals and a good dose of iodine to combat the radiation from Japan that our government has refused to admit has been hitting our shores.

On her second day of camp, Little Moo's camp teacher made kale chips, then told me how. I was surprised at how amazingly easy it sounds. It's not seaweed, but good detox all the same, and has that same salty tastiness. She used a 325 degree oven for 5 minutes, but with olive oil, I'm going down to 250. It will take more time, but I think it will retain more nutrients that way. Evidently, Little Moo just kept munching the kale all afternoon. The teacher was very impressed. That's our Little Moo. She's a good eater. She's got a mother on GAPS and she's had nutritionally dense food since she started on solids. What can I say? The kid knows what's good. Here's what it looked like when it started. More pics to come...

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Yes. It's called "cardoon." It looks like a giant piece of celery, or a stalk of rhubarb that has just seen a ghost. It tastes a bit like a cross between celery and artichoke and I found one single piece of it at one of my favorite vendors at the Fort Mason Farmers' Market today.

Little Moo was fascinated. She thought it was called "cartoon," which was fine by her.

I cooked it up tonight just to see what it did.

Peel the top, not the bottom. 

It seemed very hard, so I pulled out the leeks that we got today, as well and sauteed them in ghee for 12 minutes. I threw the slices in, and discovered that they required about 25 minutes plus a dousing with hot broth to get them to soften up decently. Not the prettiest vegetable I've seen, but nice-smelling. Little Moo wasn't having any of it, but Snackboy and I decided that it was very nice paired with leeks. I think next time I'll use it in a slow cooker recipe. Interesting taste.

Was jam, now...?

So, the jam had too much gelatin in it, so it's pretty solid. If you'd like to make this jam, I'd cut the gelatin amount at least in half.

Meanwhile, it's still tasty, so here's what was for dessert tonight.

Burger with ketchup

Here it is...the final result! So far, so good. No rashes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blueberry Jam...?

I had no intention of actually making real jam, but we did, and in almost no time, too. It's technically GAPS-legal, since it has honey in it instead of sugar, and I'm not sure about pectin, so I used gelatin. I say "technically" since it's so sweet that, at least for this GAPS person, it should be saved for a tiny treat and not eaten all the time. On the other hand, Little Moo has been clamoring for jelly for ages because her best friend lives on PB&J and she wanted her own. I just couldn't stomach getting jars of whatever for her, especially the jams, since they're such mystery foods, and so full of sugar. Organic mindfully sourced almond butter is evidently something like $20 a jar, so I got good organic almonds, soaked, roasted and blended it into butter.

This jam has about 1/2 cup of honey in it to 4 cups of blueberries (about 3 cups from the farmers' market, 1 from our freezer), 1/2 a lemon's worth of juice and 1/4 cup of Bernard Jensen's gelatin. That's it. I simmered it down until it went all thick, then added the gelatin melted in a bit of boiling water at the end. 4 cups of berries plus other ingredients fit nicely into a pint jar in the end, that had been sterilized by boiling 10 minutes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tomato velvet, day 3!

Who knew that it would take quite this long. I think it's nearly there...