Updated Easy Gluten-Free Peasant Bread

It’s the time of year to start baking bread to go with autumn soups.

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The most visited post on my site is the Easiest Gluten-Free Peasant Bread Ever post which is understandable, because it truly is easy and it’s different than anything you can buy. I’ve worked with this recipe so many times now that I finally feel I can update the recipe which is not only gluten-free, but also dairy and egg-free, and now, xanthan gum free too. Of course, feel free to use butter instead of olive oil, and if xanthan gum doesn’t bother you, go ahead and add it if you wish. I’m using ground psyllium husks instead which helps with the smoothness because I’m just not convinced xanthan gum is a good choice for our family with multiple food intolerances. Also, I make up a big batch of the flour and store it in my pantry for ease of use, and I make up extra once-risen dough to store in…

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Cold and Flu Season

What to do when you feel a cold or flu coming on or it has already knocked you down. Adding thieve’s oil daily to your essential oil diffuser also helps keep you healthy, and essential oils in general are health promoting so if you don’t have thieve’s oil, use whatever you do have.

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School is in session, the weather is changing from warm and sunny to chilly and cloudy, and the local drug stores are advertising flu shots. It’s that time of year, and it sure hit fast and hard this time around, at least in my little corner of the Pacific Northwest. This is week two of a nasty cold that lodged itself somewhere between my sinuses and chest, and it’s thrown me because I don’t get sick often. Usually at the first sign that some stealthy little virus has invaded my body I can knock it out with extra vitamin C, preferably in the form of Emergenc-C, sucking on Zand zinc and elderberry lozenges, and if those don’t work alone, I’ll take Oscillococcinum. This time around I was lazy. It was late at night when I first realized I was getting sick so I just went to bed…

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Gluten-Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Vegan Pumpkin Scones

‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin, and the gluten/dairy/nut/egg intolerant of the world should not live without. I’ve been wanting to make these lately to join in the pumpkin fever around, but somehow didn’t get to it this weekend. I’m hoping by pulling it up here I’ll be motivated to get baking this week. In other words, this is a reblog reminder. While looking for the recipe through my archives I also found this post which has the link to pumpkin spice granola. This weekend is going to smell fabulous.

For years I’ve been making these scones with slight variations, trying to find the best recipe. I think I’ve found it. They are not too sweet and therefore would be lovely with a cream cheese icing or a sugary glaze, plus that would make them a little prettier, because honestly, they are not that attractive. If you add xanthan gum I’m sure you can get a smoother finish, but it’s just not that important to me and I like the not-so-sweetness of them. As any gluten-free eater knows, it’s fairly easy to make sweet gluten-free items taste good, but it’s harder to find things that aren’t loaded with extra sugar. Of course, you can use all white sugar instead of the brown sugar that I use below, but the depth that the brown sugar adds is lovely and suits the pumpkin well. Here’s the recipe:

Gluten-free, Vegan, Nut free Cinnamon Pumpkin Scones

2 C oat flour (make sure it’s gluten-free)

1 C brown rice flour

3/4 C + 1 T sorghum flour

1/2 C garbanzo bean flour

1 T cinnamon

1 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

3/4 t salt

1 C pumpkin puree (I use canned pumpkin)

1/2 C brown sugar

1/2 C cane sugar

1 T flax meal

1 C vanilla coconut milk (or whatever milk you like)

1/2 C sunflower oil (or whatever oil you like)

Add the flax meal to the milk and set aside. Add the dry ingredients up through the salt together and mix. Blend the sugar and oil in a separate bowl, then add the pumpkin. Slowly add the dry ingredients and the flax/milk combo to the wet ingredients and blend until just mixed, adding more milk if need be. Refrigerate the mixture for 3-8 hours (or overnight), then bake at 360 for 30 minutes on baking pans lined with parchment paper.

I hate to add a picture because the really are much tastier than they look, but here goes~

cinnamon pumpkin scones Oy. I better make some more so I can get some good pics of these little beauts. My boys certainly won’t mind another batch and the house smells divine for hours after they bake so it’ll be more than worth it.

 

Posted in baking, celiac disease, dairy free, food, Food allergies, food allergy blogs, food sensitivities, gf foods, gluten free, Gluten free eating, gluten free food, gluten free foods, gluten free lifestyle, gluten intolerance, gluten intolerant, recipe, vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

All Natural Perfumes

You can make your own natural perfumes at home and avoid the chemicals found in other perfumes which can be hazardous to your health. Essential oils are not only good for your health and well-being, they are also good for the environment too. You can use other ingredients besides essential oils, such as olive oil infused with rose petals or lavender, a hydrosol such as rosemary or orange, or even vanilla extract. This video shows how to make a perfume with just essential oils and it’s so easy, you’ll never want to buy a bottle of perfume again. (But you can reuse the perfume bottles you do have!)

The biggest thing is, don’t get hung up on proportions. There are no hard and fast rules, just start with a high proof alcohol like vodka or a base oil like jojoba or sweet almond oil, then add 10 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of base (the vodka or oil.) Add more essential oils if it isn’t strong enough. It’s really that easy!

If you don’t know where to begin, I have gathered some essential oil combinations from different sources on my pinterest board called Essential Oils. Really though, you can just start with one essential oil that you know you love, and if you want, combine it, one drop at a time with another essential oil you like. Combining scents can be surprising in that the results are often far different than you imagined, and even oils that you may not have considered alike in any way can end up complementing each other beautifully.

You can read more about DIY perfumes and body oils here. To make your own body and room sprays, check out this post. Have a creative and lovely time!

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Success in Curing Gluten Intolerance

It’s been a long road.15A51E7D-F2D4-49F4-B277-5F2B7DCFBAC8[1]

I’ve wanted to write this up for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve been too nervous. I keep waiting for the old gluten symptoms to spring up, but so far…nothing. It’s been three weeks that I’ve added spelt back into my diet and so far I haven’t had any issues. Spelt is the last thing I gave up way back at the beginning of this blog’s existence actually, and now it’s the first thing I’ve put back in my diet after years of actively trying to heal my gut. My personal symptoms include bloating, headaches, fatigue, general malaise, and acne. I realize these sound like odd things to string all together, but the fact is that when I used to eat wheat, those issues plagued my life, then when I’d stop they’d stop, then when I’d eat wheat either as an experiment or by accident, sure enough, those symptoms would immediately be back. So far though, these last three weeks have been symptom-free despite eating spelt once about every other day. It isn’t much but I was so nervous to do it that it took about a month of thinking about it before actually eating a bite of spelt. (By the way, spelt is a variety of wheat with a lower than average gluten content which is why it is more tolerable than regular wheat flour.) My protocol started two years ago which I detailed here, but I also ended up adding adaptogens to my daily life which balance all the bodily systems, digestive herbs every day, and I’ve used Renew Life’s IntestiNew powder for a few months to really rebuild the intestinal lining. I also did a candida cleanse about a year ago b/c it’s important to your digestive health to make sure you don’t have an overabundance of candida in your system which many many people do because of antibiotic use and sugar-filled diets. If you are working to overcome food intolerances, here are some things to consider:

  1. Stop eating the trigger foods (of course)
  2. Take probiotics~ the highest potency ones you can find, and take different brands each time you need a new bottle. Talk with your doctor or naturopath about the dosing because most likely they will recommend higher dosages than on the bottle. This is especially true if you’ve been on antibiotics (ever) and never taken probiotics before.
  3. Heal intestinal lining by taking glutamine and herbs targeted towards such, and also by eating foods that are not overly taxing on the digestive system. These can vary by people, but you know what sits in your gut or causes you to bloat and have digestive distress and what feels good to your body when you eat it. By taking digestive enzymes before you eat and incorporating digestive herbs into your diet, you are also aiding the healing process.
  4. Give it time. Depending on how long it’s been an issue in your life, it could mean 3 months to 2 years of work. Trust your body, your intuition, and your medical professionals, but especially your body. Food intolerances can arise at any time in a person’s life but they don’t have to last for the rest of that person’s life. You can beat it, you can heal, and you can have optimal health.

Herbarium signCuring food intolerance is not something to undertake alone. I’ve worked with my physician, naturopath, and a GI specialist, plus I am an certified herbalist who’s worked in the natural foods and products industry so I know about what supplements are out there. Please work with health professionals of your own before trying to heal yourself, but hopefully this post will encourage others to heal and not just live with food intolerances indefinitely.

Posted in alternative medicine, food, Food allergies, food allergy blogs, food sensitivities, gluten free, Gluten free eating, gluten free food, gluten free foods, gluten free lifestyle, gluten free symptoms, gluten intolerance, gluten intolerance diagnosis, gluten intolerance symptoms, gluten intolerant, health, Herbs, supplements | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Natural Products that Help You Manage Stress and Boost Weight Loss

Recently I got some samples in the #NewHopeBloggerbox that included all kinds of foods, drink mixes, and supplements, and I noticed that quite a few things were helpful in keeping appetites at bay and improving satiety, as well as managing stress. Normally weight loss is not something I write about because it is such a complex and personal journey, but for those looking for just some natural ways that might help push those numbers to a more favorable weight for you, meaning your optimal weight, not anyone else’s idea of an optimal weight, then you might enjoy trying some of these products.

This one from Spice Pharm is delicious:280F9A5A-A3EE-4CF2-9387-2AEACC88EBEE[1]The Turmeric Chai Elixir has coconut in it so that when you add the hot water to the powder, that’s all you need to do. No milk required. It already has all the creaminess right there in it, plus adapotgenic herbs too, and it tastes incredible. The weight-loss part comes from using this drink in-between meals to increase your feelings of satiety (and it really does, without many calories either) or using it as a dessert. The chocolate one was best for the dessert style option but the chai elixir is so darn tasty that it suits that sweet tooth craving too. Adaptogens in general help support optimal weight by being over-all balancing to all body systems. Herbs act to balance, because when our bodies are out of balance then they are not optimal~ not in performance, not in detoxing, not in craving control, and not in energy levels nor stress levels nor sleep abilities. Adaptogens are the class of herbs that target all of that, and more.

Speaking of detox:

WP_20170901_12_23_22_Pro_(2)[1]This is a detoxifying drink for between meals that can also curb cravings, increase circulation and energy, and also make your body more alkaline. We really can’t get too many greens in our body, and Kyo-Green’s powder mix focused on energy is a great afternoon pick-me-up. Add to water the juice of half a lemon, 1/2 t. or less of cayenne powder, and 1 – 2 t. of the greens, and mix it all up. I use a big water bottle so I can continue to shake it up while I drink it since settling occurs. Of course you can also use these greens in just water, juice, or a smoothie.

Another way to get extra greens into your body which not only have so many nutrients and antioxidants, but also act to make your body more alkaline, is to add Kale to your smoothies, juice, or just plain water.  WP_20170905_07_54_37_Pro_(2)[1]I usually add fresh kale to my morning protein smoothie, but this vegetable powder from The Synergy Company is an excellent alternative when I am out of the fresh stuff or it just isn’t in season. The taste in one heaping teaspoon is just as potent as a couple of handful of leaves so it’s obviously very concentrated and packed with all the good stuff.

Another way to manage overzealous appetites is to manage stress and anxiety. It’s no secret that people often eat to soothe themselves instead of eating when truly hungry, plus there is a link between the stress hormone cortisol and holding on to extra weight. If your anxiety is causing you issues, there is help:

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There are actually quite a few herbal tinctures and supplements to help with anxiety, but this one from Herb Pharm is unique for its use of lavender essential oil which you really taste when you drop it into your mouth. If you are used to taking tinctures that taste like roots, bark, and alcohol, you are in for a surprise with this anxiety remedy, which also boasts great calming herbs like passionflower, kava and others, without being too calming. Sometimes herbal anxiety remedies can actually make me tired, but this one does the anti-anxiety work without the yawns.

Of course when it is bedtime and we actually do want those yawns to kick in is often exactly when stress and anxiety like to wake us right back up. Some natural alternatives out there help you fall asleep, but if you have a problem staying asleep all night, then Tranquil Sleep by Natural Factors is for you:

CFD9E622-39EE-4335-810A-F604CD97FFF2[1]This has a combination of ingredients to help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up refreshed which is far different than unnatural sleeping pills which often leave people feeling groggy. No one wants waking up to be any harder than it has to be! Sleeping well is so essential to our health and well-being that taking good care of it is just as important as the healthy choices we make in our awake hours.

Best of luck in all your health endeavors, and always check with your personal health experts when trying something new. Adap

 

Posted in alternative medicine, essential oils, food, health, Herbs, modern life, organic, supplements | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Herbs in the Most Unexpected Places

Herbs are known for their rebellious nature, growing in the sidewalk cracks and the depleted soil abandoned alleyways of the world, but that’s not where I’m going with this post. I’m actually going to a far more suburban place….Trader’s Joe’s in fact. Look at what I found at my local (Redmond, WA) Trader Joe’s:

CB6CCC84-20DF-410E-BACD-2901B2C07225[1]AND, notice that they are organic too. Are these herbs becoming mainstream? Or is Trader Joe’s branching out into herbal waters? I mean the cacao powder makes sense, people do cook with it. But Maca is little more esoteric, unless people are using it in some way that has alluded me. If so, do tell! I put cacao powder into my chai-style digestive and antioxidant blend that I add daily to smoothies and coffee. It is full of antioxidants and tastes darkly, deeply, right with the chai spices. As for the Maca, I haven’t ever used it before but I couldn’t pass it up when it was right there in the aisle next to my favorite corn chips and chia seeds. Maca is an adaptogen that is known to support energy and  hormone levels, and can be used in place of (or along with) other adaptogens like Ashwagandha. I’m going to mix it into my current adaptogen powder blend which includes Ashwagandha, Eleuthero, and Rhodiola. I add that mix to my morning protein smoothie too, then I add other powdered herbs to my teas and coffees that I drink the rest of the day. Powdered herbs are a really great way to just add extra nutrition to any food or drink that you are going to put into your body anyway, so why not? What do you do with herbal powders?

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