Ezekiel Blueberry Muffins.

I will be the first to admit, Ezekiel 4:9 cereal is not the tastiest of cereals. It needs “help” in order for the kids to even bring a spoon full to their mouth. I wanted to attempt soaking the cereal and using that as a base for a muffin. Last night, after doing lots of research on gluten free baking I came up with these. Now, I am no expert on gluten free baking, I am very much a novice when it comes to this department. I am trying to make gluten free easier, cheaper and more accessible to everyone. I have always been intimidated by all the different flours and unusual ingredients, like xanthan gum, so my recipes are basic and use common ingredients you would typically have in your home.

I am not sure if you know much about sprouted grains. They are awesome. I am attempting to eat them and give them to my son to see if they bother his stomach. Since he was not officially diagnosed with Celiacs Disease we have the ability to play around with ingredients like this. Here is a good description of sprouted grains and their benefits from Food For Life’s website (they make Ezekiel 4:9).

“…More and more people are finding out that the only way to unlock the vital benefits we expect from grains is to sprout them first. Here are some benefits you’ll get from sprouted grains:

  • Increased Digestibility – Sprouting breaks down starches in grains into simple sugars so your body can digest them easily.
  • Increased Absorption of Minerals – Sprouting breaks down enzyme inhibitors, so your body can more easily adsorb calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.
  • Increased Antioxidants – Sprouting releases more antioxidants that are naturally stored in the grains and seeds.
  • Increased Vitamin C – Sprouting produces vitamin C.
  • Increased Vitamin B – Sprouting increases the vitamin B2, B5 & B6

In addition to all the vital benefits you’ll receive from sprouted foods, we at Food for Life, craft our food to promise you even more integrity.

  • We use only freshly sprouted certified organic live grains.
  • Our products are kosher.
  • We use absolutely no flour. Studies have shown that grinding grains into flour increases the surface area upon which enzymes in the body can work to more. quickly convert starch into glucose.
  • We don’t use any genetically modified organisms (GMO’s)
  • We don’t use refined sugars. When sugar is refined and processed there are many harmful ingredients that are added to the sugar as a result. Instead, we use malted barley, a natural sweetener produced from sprouted barley, which is basically a carbohydrate comprised mostly of complex carbohydrates rather than the “sugar” carbohydrates.
  • We don’t use anything artificial – no preservatives or shortenings.
  • We use a unique slow-bake process to preserve the natural fiber and bran benefits of grains.

I hope you venture out and purchase this cereal and try these unique muffins. My kids gave them 2 big thumbs up! I will warn you they are not super sweet. I enjoy the natural sweetness from the blueberries coming through without an overpowering sugary sweet. I topped the kids with raw honey.

Ezekiel Blueberry Muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 2 c. Ezekiel 4:9 cereal
  • 1 1/4 c. whole organic milk
  • 2 1/2 T. vinegar
  • 1 organic egg + 1 egg white
  • 1/4 c. packed organic brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. raw sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. orange juice
  • 1 c. + 2 T. All Purpose GF Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 T. organic baking powder
  • 1/4 t. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Soak cereal with milk and vinegar for 5 minutes or until the cereal is soft. Stir to make sure it all gets covered
  3. Add the eggs, sugar, vanilla and orange juice, mix well
  4. Slowly add the all purpose flour and blueberries and stir just until incorporated
  5. Pour into greased muffin tins all the way to the top. It will be very runny. Mine made 15 muffins
  6. Bake for 20 minutes
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Day forty five. Keeping Up With The GMO’s. {health update}

We are chugging along on our little challenge of keeping our home GMO free. While we have noticed significant changes in our health, we still struggle. I would love to say if you stop eating GMO’s all together it will be a magic “cure all” for everything. It isn’t. But it has caused improvements and I would hope to think in the long run, several years down the road, we will reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Our son, who is the whole reason this “non-GMO for 60-days” started has been cleared for not having Celiacs Disease. I am so relieved to know that we do not have that hard, life-long battle ahead of us. My heart goes out to those Mom’s who do have children who suffer with this disease. His biopsy also came back negative for a lactose allergy and negative for any enzyme deficiencies. AND he gained 1 pound, he was most excited about this! Praise God!

His GI Specialist was very intrigued by our new diet changes and asked several questions. It was nice to connect with a Doctor who did not just throw medicines and a “diagnosis” at us. He agreed that staying away from processed foods and gluten could only benefit his little body. He also was pretty sure that he has a high gluten intolerance, while not full blown Celiacs, he just cannot process gluten the way he should and reacts. Over time, if he continued to eat gluten without changing his diet, he could develop Celiacs later in life.

We have done a “test” and gave him a small bit of gluten at dinner one night- not telling him – just to see how his body would respond. I was pretty surprised (and sad that I caused this) but he wet his bed, started biting his nails, was super irritable and complained of a tummy ache over the next couple of days. Poor kid! Thankfully, we know what causes his problems and I am learning how to cook gluten-free. If you have a favorite gluten-free recipe please share!

I have a follow up with my GI Specialist on Wednesday this week. They have been pretty vague and really will not give me much information as to the results of my colonoscopy over the phone. Talk about frustrating! They just tell me to “keep taking your medicine and we will talk at the appointment”. I will have a whole post on that medicine and it’s nasty side-effects and why I stopped taking it. It should be fun talking with the Doctor about it on Wednesday 🙂

Did you get a chance to guess the secret ingredient yesterday? If not, take a look at these ingredients and see if you can guess this product from the ingredient list before reading the answer.

Know Your Product Icon

#8

CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CELLULOSE GUM, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, SODIUM BENZOATE AND SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVES), ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL FLAVORS, SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE.

The Answer:

Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 9.47.39 PMAunt Jemima Original Syrup. Full of sugars, artificial and GMO ingredients. Yum. Why not try a pure maple syrup instead or maybe some local honey? We love the 365 brand from Whole Foods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day Forty Three. Chocolate Banana Muffins {Gluten Free}

Day Forty Three.

We are a bit obsessed with baked goods in our house. It might have to do with the Italian genes both my Husband and I have in our families or it could just be because they are so stinkin’ good! I have developed a serious sweet tooth, after my second baby it seemed I couldn’t get enough. It was really weird for me, I was chip and dip kind of girl before, I still love a good dip and a bag of chips…but if you offer me a piece of pie I cannot pass it up!

So, since our son developed a gluten allergy we have seriously missed baked goods. It is almost like withdrawals, no joke you guys. Gluten free stuff is just not the same, you agree with me? I LOVE baking, but this gluten free baking has not sparked my interest much. I do not like how you have to use a crazy mixture of super expensive flours and (it seems) 2x the amount of ingredients to get a poor replica of a baked item. It stinks.

BUT I must say, I finally came up with a pretty good chocolate muffin or you can even bake it like a banana bread. It has 1 type of flour – amazing – it really helps cut down the cost of making it. Plus, it is also dairy free and it could even be sugar free if you omit the chocolate chips. I hope you enjoy this little gluten free indulgence. We are chowing down on one (or two, okay… three) of these this morning. 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 5 very ripe banana’s, mashed
  • 2/3 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 18 dates, chopped into bit sized pieces
  • 2 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c. oat flour, freshly ground old fashioned oats is what I used
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 3/4 c. chocolate chips
  • 2. T. almond milk
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin tin or loaf pan, whatever you prefer.
  2. In an electric mixer place the banana’s. Stir them until they are mushy.
  3. Add the coconut oil and stir to combine.
  4. Slowly add the eggs one at a time, mix until well combine.
  5. Add the vanilla and dates and stir.
  6. In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients.
  7. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. DO NOT OVER MIX!
  8. With a spatula stir in the almond milk to moisten the batter.
  9. For muffins: Bake for 20-25 minutes
  10. For mini loaf pan: Bake for 35 minutes.

*It is very important to not over bake these or else they will be really crumbly.

 

For more awesome gluten free recipes: www.vegetarianmamma.com

Day Thirty Three. A Welcomed Change.

Day Thirty Three.

After all the trials we have been going through in this house recently good news was a welcomed change! We got the phone call with the biopsy results for Bradley’s procedure while I was laying in the hospital bed awaiting my test. I was nervous, but the results came back negative for Celiacs Disease! Praise God! The Doctor said he most likely just has a gluten intolerance and we need to still be careful of giving him gluten. I don’t care that we still have to follow a gluten free diet, the news of no Celiacs makes this Mommy very happy. Thank you for praying and for all your concern and support.

We do need to consider Crohn’s for him and we are talking about the process of what it would take for him to get tested. Crohn’s is hereditary so it would make sense if I have it. We tested his upper GI tract and his Doctor could have missed seeing the Crohn’s if it was primarily in his lower GI (which is where mine is located).

Did you guess the Know Your Ingredients, Name This Product? 

Know Your Product Icon

#4.

STRAWBERRY FILLING (CORN SYRUP, DEXTROSE, STRAWBERRIES, CRACKER MEAL, APPLES, WHEAT STARCH, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, CITRIC ACID, XANTHAN GUM, RED #40), ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, WHEY, DEXTROSE, SALT, BAKING POWDER, BAKING SODA. VITAMINS AND MINERALS; NIACINAMIDE, IRON, VITAMIN A (PALMITATE), VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE), VITMAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN), VITAMIN B1 (THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE), AND FOLIC ACID.

The Answer is:

Kellogg’s Pop Tarts

(Strawberry with Smuckers REAL fruit; fortified with 6 vitamins and iron, complex carbohydrates 21 grams, sucrose and other sugars 16 grams).

poptart

Great job Sandra Stowe for knowing your ingredients!

I think the packaging on this product is genius. “Made with REAL fruit”…Really!? Where? “A great source of vitamins and minerals” Seriously, show me! Please pay attention to the actual ingredients and not just the clever marketing schemes on the front of the box. This little box of Pop Tarts contains (at least to my guessing) over 10 GMO ingredients.

Here is a recipe I came up with for homemade Pop Tarts. This recipe is gluten free, but you could make the crust with your own homemade pie crust to make a non-gluten free version. They were a big hit with my kids and they did not miss the boxed Pop Tarts.

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. organic gluten free pancake/ baking mix (Plus a little extra for dusting)
2 T. raw sugar
2 organic eggs
1/2 c. organic all natural shortening or butter
pinch of salt
organic strawberry jam

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix all the ingredients except the jam together in a medium bowl. Mix until just incorporated. Spread out on a floured surface and roll out to 1/2 inch. It will be very sticky! Use flour to keep it from sticking.

You want it to be thicker than a pie crust, gluten free dough does not rise like gluten dough.

Cut out your rectangles and transfer to greased cookie sheet. Spread 1 T. of jam in center.

TIP: Put jam into a plastic bag and cut the tip off. Pipe it around the edges and then do a generous glob in the center.

Once all jam is piped, place the tops on the pop tarts. Use a fork and gently press around the edges. Put a few holes on the top for venting.

Bake for 15-17 minutes until lightly browned. Let them cool completely. I stored them in the refrigerator to keep them firm. Gluten free dough is so crumbly! They are great toasted or plain.

It made 7 pop tarts.

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Day Twenty Four. Ignorance Is Bliss, Or Is It?

Twenty Four.

You have heard the popular saying “ignorance is bliss” before, right? I always thought this was true, until now. Let me explain. I am the type of person who cannot watch the news, it stresses me out! I immediately go to the worst of the worst scenarios. I cannot even watch movies that depict a dooms day type of feel. My mind just wanders to the “what ifs” and I quickly spiral downward from there. Are you like that or is it just me?

Since watching the movie Genetic Roulette my world has been turned upside-down. My perfect world of food and what I thought was “healthy” has been altered. I feel so confused. Part of me wants to say I will never eat anything with GMO’s again…take that government! But then the lazy part of me says, you are crazy! You are saying you will never eat out again, never have a caramel frap, never…you see where I can go with this. I am driving myself nuts.

I know…you are thinking, well it seems like being ignorant to what you eat would be better off for you, less stressful and you could have a little bliss in your life. True. Probably very true. But my family is sick and now I know that our food is causing this sickness and I simply cannot be ignorant to the matter. No matter how many times I have just wanted to go through a drive through and grab chick-fil-a to “make my life easier” I just can’t. I know the pain my son would be in after eating it and I won’t do it to him. Even if it means I have to make sacrifices to my perfect world of ease and comfort. I will do it for him, for us. Hopefully we won’t have to be as strict as we are right now forever, but if we do I want to be wiling to accept it.

I do feel pretty selfish at times. I have had a harder time the last few days “sticking to the rules”. I am just tired of constantly reading labels, having to plan every.single.meal.and.snack. Nothing is that quick and nothing goes without thought. I have been having a bad attitude because even though we are spending all this money on crazy expensive organic and gluten free items my son still has problems. I guess I was thinking they would magically go away after a couple of days? I need to remind myself that this is not as bad as some other situations people are going through, put my complaints into perspective.

All of us, no matter how much we have, desire something we don’t.” -Beth Moore

Here is a recipe for our “Tink Drink” and “Hulk Juice” smoothie that my kids LOVE.  It is super easy and tastes great!

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Tink Drink and Hulk Juice

2 cups kale, washed

1/2 c. lemonade

1/2 c. fresh pineapple

3-4 dates, pitted

handful of ice

Blend and serve. 🙂