Archive for August, 2011

Gluten Free & Sugar Free Macaroons

This recipe is my version of one I found in Eating Stella Style by George Stella. Every recipe I’ve tried from this book has been excellent. These cookies were great. They are a bit crunchy the first day, and once you put them in the refrigerator – if you have leftovers – they get softer and keep for days. Very filling and wonderful with a little pastured butter on top.

1/4 cup organic Almond Flour (made from grinding organic almonds – I soak and dehydrate mine first)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon Celtic salt
3 organic and pastured egg whites (see note about what I do with my yolks)
1 1/2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure orange extract (optional)
27 drops of liquid Stevia  (or 1/3 cup organic sugar/sucanat)

1 1/2 teaspoons organic/pastured butter, softened, at room temperature
1 1/3 tightly packed cups organic shredded unsweetened coconut (use fresh or unsweetened shredded)

Special Equipment

optional: 1-ounce ice cream scoop
parchment paper or silicone mat-lined cookie sheet


Place the baking rack in the center of the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking soda and salt, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites and extracts until foamy, then stir in the stevia and butter until well blended.

Add the mixed dry ingredients to the egg mixture and fold in the coconut until everything is combined. Wet your fingers and form 16 equal balls of the mix, about 4 teaspoons each, or use a 1-ounce ice cream scoop tightly packed with the mix. Place the macaroons on the lined sheet pan and bake for approximately 15 minutes, until they start to turn golden brown all over.

Remove the macaroons from the oven and let cool completely, about 15 minutes, before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers in a covered container. (Macaroons will soften greatly after being covered and refrigerated.)  One net carb per cookie.  Enjoy!  Note: I use this recipe for the yolks – 3 yolks and 1 egg and lately have been using 27 drops of Stevia instead of the sugar – same oven temp so I make the custard right after the cookies

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Easy Eggplant Parmesan

Easy Eggplant Parmesan

We recently started getting beautiful eggplants from our CSA  (community supported agriculture).  I have to admit I’m not the biggest eggplant fan, so I started looking for eggplant Parmesan recipes. I found some that you didn’t have to fry the eggplant first – just broil them for a few minutes per side.

This turned out really well. Even one of our picky teenagers went back for seconds. Makes 6 servings


2 organic eggplants, around 1 pound each

¼ cup organic olive oil (or coconut oil)

½ tsp. Celtic or sea salt

2 – 3 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced thinly

2 – 3 cups organic marinara or pasta Sauce

16 ounces organic shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


Trim the ends off the eggplants and slice lengthwise into 1/2″ slices. You should

get around 6 – 8 slices from each eggplant. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil or coconut oil to coat. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Broil about 5 minutes per side until tender and a little browned. Watch them closely because they can burn quickly. Lightly sprinkle them with celtic salt after removing from the oven.

Layer everything in a greased 9×13 baking dish in this order: 6 – 8 eggplant slices,

½ of the sauce, , ½ of the basil, ½ of the mozzarella. Repeat the layering again then sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350º about 30 minute or until the cheese is bubbly and lightly brown.  Enjoy!


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Gluten and Sugar Free Chocolate


Sugar & Gluten Free Chocolate

I’ve been playing around with different homemade chocolate ideas that are both sugar and gluten free.  This is a great recipe and you can make it with many different variations. I had a variety of chocolate molds already from a chocolate kit that one of my kids got me (he likes chocolate;) for a gift a few years ago.  You can find them on Amazon, at Michaels and at any candy making supply store. They are only a few dollars apiece and work great. This recipe uses whey protein powder. I had never used it before but found one by Dr. Mercola that is GMO free from grass fed cows, and sweetened with stevia, but you can skip it if you’d like.  I’ve made it with both cocoa butter and with coconut manna (or coconut oil) substituted for the cocoa butter. Both are really good. You can add nuts, dried fruit and if you like spicy chocolate add a little cayenne or curry power.  One batch filled two mold sheets. Whenever I have a little extra I mix it on waxed paper with nuts and make chocolate bark.



2 oz.  Organic Cocoa Butter (or Coconut Manna, or Coconut oil)

2 oz. Organic Unsweetened Chocolate

½  cup  Whipping or Heavy Cream, preferable organic and raw

2 tsp.   SweetLeaf Stevia Powder  (use less & to taste if you’re using liquid stevia)

1/8 tsp. Celtic Sea salt

1 tsp. Organic Vanilla Extract

6 Tablespoon of Whey Protein Powder



Get your chocolate molds out, or you can use a sheet pan covered with a layer of wax paper.  I don’t oil my molds, after the chocolate is frozen they pop out pretty easily.

Chop the cocoa butter and chocolate into small pieces. Place into a double boiler or a glass bowl and melt over hot — not boiling — water.  Remove from heat and stir to combine.

In a food processor or blender, combine the cream, stevia, salt and vanilla.  (You can just mix it all up with a spoon but with the whey it will dissolve better if you blend it).  Pulse to combine.  Add the whey protein and pulse to combine. Let sit for a minute or two to dissolve the protein powder, then blend briefly until smooth.

With the motor running, slowly add the chocolate mixture. Pour into your chocolate molds, or onto waxed paper – you can put it by the spoonful to make bite sized pieces.  Freeze for a few hours and then you’ll be able to unmold it. I freeze it in a plastic container.  It melts pretty fast once it’s out of the freezer, but is so good.  Enjoy!

Carb and variation notes: Net carb count for the entire batch is under 11 grams. You can make a ‘milk chocolate variation, decreasing the unsweetened chocolate to ½ oz and using a little less stevia with net carbs under 9 grams and you can make a white chocolate bar by omitting the dark chocolate and increasing the cocoa butter to 3 oz, the vanilla to 2 tsp and the whey to ½ cup.  Net carbs under 6 grams for the whole batch.

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GMOs in the News

It’s Our Right to Know

If you live in California (and forward this to those you know who do!)

There is a GMO Labeling 2012 Ballot Initiative in the works.

Go to the site, and sign up to help and/or give a donation.


Can GMOs Help End World Hunger?

By John Robbins

Can genetically engineered foods help feed the hungry? Are anti-GMO activists and over-zealous environmentalists standing in the way of the hungry being fed?

The hope that GMO foods might bring solutions to malnutrition and world hunger was never more dramatically illustrated than when Time magazine ran a cover story titled “Grains of Hope.” The article joyfully announced the development of a genetically engineered “golden rice.” This new strain of GM rice has genes from viruses and daffodils spliced into its genetic instructions. The result is a form of rice that is a golden-yellow color (much like daffodil flowers), and that produces beta-carotene, which the human body normally converts into Vitamin A.

Nearly a million children die every year because they are weakened by Vitamin A deficiencies and an additional 350,000 go blind. Golden rice, said Time, will be a godsend for the half of humanity that depends on rice for its major staple. Merely eating this rice could prevent blindness and death.

The development of golden rice was, it seemed, compelling and inspiring evidence that GM crops are the answer to malnutrition and hunger. Time quoted former U.S. President Jimmy Carter: “Responsible biotechnology is not the enemy, starvation is.”

Shortly after the Time cover story, Monsanto and other biotechnology companies launched a $50 million marketing campaign, including $32 million in TV and print advertising. The ads, complete with soft focus fields and smiling children, said that “biotech foods could help end world hunger.”

Other ad campaigns have followed. One Monsanto ad tells the public: “Biotechnology is one of tomorrow’s tools in our hands today. Slowing its acceptance is a luxury our hungry world cannot afford.”

Within a few months, the biotech industry had spent far more on these ads than it had on developing golden rice. Their purpose? “Unless I’m missing something,” wrote Michael Pollan in The New York Times Magazine, “the aim of this audacious new advertising campaign is to impale people like me — well-off first-worlders dubious about genetically engineered food — on the horns of a moral dilemma … If we don’t get over our queasiness about eating genetically modified food, kids in the third world will go blind.”

The implication of the ads is that lifesaving food is being held hostage by anti-science activists.

In the years since Time proclaimed the promises of golden rice, however, we’ve learned a few things.

For one thing, we’ve learned that golden rice will not grow in the kinds of soil that it must to be of value to the world’s hungry. To grow properly, it requires heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides — expensive inputs unaffordable to the very people that the variety is supposed to help. And we’ve also learned that golden rice requires large amounts of water — water that might not be available in precisely those areas where Vitamin A deficiency is a problem, and where farmers cannot afford costly irrigation projects.

And one more thing — it turns out that golden rice doesn’t work, even in theory. Malnourished people are not able to absorb Vitamin A in this form. And even if they could, they’d have to eat an awful lot of the stuff. An 11-year-old boy would have to eat 27 bowls of golden rice a day in order to satisfy his minimum requirement for the vitamin.

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Voluntary non-GMO verification aids consumer choice in Boulder County

To label or not to label

By Cindy Sutter Camera Food Editor

Silk Soymilk and some of its other beverages recently completed the verification process of the Non-GMO Project.

Why the careful wording? Given the ubiquity of genetically modified organisms in some U.S. commodity crops — 93 percent of soybeans grown in the United State are genetically modified according to Craig Shiesley of Silk — no product is able to call itself completely free of GMOs. However, Silk and some other companies, such as Whole Foods with its 365 products, have sought to do is to get as close as possible, using a certification process from the non-profit Non-GMO Project, which holds products to a standard of 99.1 percent GMO free.

Shiesley, general manager of the Silk business, says the verification process for the company’s soymilk, coconut milk and almond milk took 12 to 14 months, a surprise for the company, which had always sourced non-GMO ingredients.

“The reason (the verification process) elevates this to another level if that it goes from verifying the ingredient to verifying the entire process,” Shiesley says. “For example, (it verifies) that there’s no cross contamination in the dehullers.”

GMO in the food supply

Currently labeling for GMOs is not required in the United States, as it is in European Union countries and Japan. The percentage of U.S. processed foods that include at least one genetically engineered food is estimated at about 60 to 70 percent, according to a 2010 fact sheet from Colorado State University. Even foods labeled as natural, a term that has no legal meaning, may contain genetically engineered crops; however, USDA certified organic foods forbid GMOs.

Do GMOs matter?

The answer depends on whom you talk to. Companies such as Monsanto, DuPont and Bayer that supply genetically engineered seed, say the crops, often engineered to be resistant to herbicides such as Monsanto’s Roundup, are nutritionally identical to non-modified crops. The U.S Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration agree with this position. They say the engineering allows them to grow crops more efficiently and with fewer, less toxic pesticides.

Opponents say the effects on human health and the environment have not been fully tested. They fear genetic modification may be involved in an increase in food allergies and other problems, and they say weeds may become resistant to herbicides, requiring more toxic herbicides to kill them.


In addition, they argue that a U.S. decision not to require products with GMOs to be labeled has kept consumers in the dark about how deeply genetically-engineered crops reach into the food chain. Surveys have shown that many consumers don’t know that they regularly consume genetically engineered foods. For retailers with a consciousness about food and how it’s produced, the lack of labeling means they have no way to verify GMOs in products unless the items are certified organic.

Mark Retzloff, president and chairman of Alfalfa’s, says the grocery has worked hard to verify that the canola and other oils in its bulk dispensers are not from made from genetically modified seed crops. The store has verified that the dairy products it stocks are from cows not dosed with hormones. However, unless the product is certified organic or has the new Non-GMO label, the store can’t verify if cows have been fed genetically-modifed grain. He is particularly concerned about genetically modified alfalfa, which the U.S. approved for use earlier this year. While certified organic milk producers won’t use it, the possibility of contamination through the cross-pollination of organic and GMO crops, as has happened with corn and soy is concerning, he says. In addition, as the genetically engineered seed becomes available, farmers may have a hard time buying non-GMO seed.

“From my own experience at Aurora Dairy, we buy about 40,000 to 50,000 tons of alfalfa hay. It’s all organic. If we start having trouble doing that, it restricts our ability to produce organic milk,” he says, adding that milk is a gateway product into organics for many consumers.

Whole Foods is currently putting its 365 brand products through Non-GMO verification. The products don’t currently carry the label. However, customers can go to Whole Food website and click to find Non-GMO certified products.

“It’s a significant focus of the company right now to work on verification,” says Ben Friedland, regional marketing coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Region.

Asked about the company’s position on GMOs, Friedland says: “We believe in farmers’ right to farm non-GMO crops and our customers’ right to choose whether they want GMOs. We work to provide opportunities for both our stakeholders,” Friedland says.

Shiesley of Silk says the Non-GMO verification is extremely valuable to his company. For the Silk products that are not organic — the company switched some of its Silk line from organic to natural in 2009, Shiesley says because the company wanted to source soybeans domestically — the non-GMO verification offers assurances.

Shiesley says he also believes the label will raise awareness.

“I hope we’re at a tipping point with consumer understanding toward Non-GMO,” he says. “Unlike organic labeling which went through legislation and took eight-plus years, the industry can self-regulate … I don’t think we can wait five years plus with this.”

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Gluten & Sugar Free Blueberry Muffins

Gluten & Sugar Free Blueberry Muffins

My husband and I – the teens are doing their own thing – are on our second month of gluten and sugar free eating. We’re feeling really good eating this way. These muffins are great!  After the first day, I take the leftovers and freeze them. Then we can pull two out as we want and give them a quick reheat in the oven. They are wonderful warm,  split in half with pastured butter on top and they are very filling and they’re low carb as well – less then 2 grams per muffin. One is plenty! And my husband was amazed at how good they are. He liked them as well – if not better –  then the blueberry muffins we used to make:


2 cups organic almond meal – we make ours from crispy almonds

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼  teaspoon Celtic or sea salt

½  cup (1 stick) organic/ pastured butter, melted

4  organic/pastured eggs

1/3  cup water

1 cup fresh or frozen organic blueberries

½  tsp. organic lemon zest

1 tsp. organic vanilla extract

Stevia to taste = to 1/3 to ½ cup of sugar.


1) Preheat oven to 350 F.

2) Butter or put muffin cups into a 12 muffin tin.

3) Mix dry ingredients together well.

4) Add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. You don’t have to worry about overmixing with almond flour/meal

5) Put in muffin tins (about 1/2 to 2/3 full) and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.


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