Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Some 'Sweet' Recipes

I promised some recipes for some of our GAPS treats around here (and with bloggy-block, why not now - lol!).  These are considered super special since I don't often have time to make them.  They are oh-so-yummy and not that hard to make.

Almond Brittle (Can be peanut brittle if you aren't allergic)
From Grain-Free Gourmet by Jodi Badger & Jenny Lass

1 C honey
1/4 C unsalted, nothing added almond butter
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or butter)
2 C almonds (we soak & dry them first - they are crispier this way) chopped to your liking
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda (we don't use this on GAPS)

1) Boil honey on low to medium heat in a medium-sized pot for 16-18 minutes, or until it reaches 315 degrees F on a candy thermometer [Having messed this up the first time, I highly recommend using the thermometer].  The honey should boil as vigoraously as it can without boiling over.  Stir the honey as it boils.

2) Turn off the stove, but keep the pot on the burner.  Add the almond butter, coconut oil, almonds, and vanilla, and mix well.

3) Add the baking soda - the candy will bubble and froth.

4) While the candy if bubbling, spread it evenly onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

5) Refridgerate for 1 hour.

6) Once the candy has hardened, break it into large pieces and store in the refridgerator to keep it crisp.

Coconut Macaroons
From Cara @ Health, Home and Happiness (

6 egg whites
Pinch of sea salt
2/3 C liquid honey
2 1/2 C unsweetened, unsulphered shredded coconut

1) Preheat oven to 250 degrees F

2) Grease a large cookie sheet with coconut oil (parchment paper didn't work for me)

3) Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

4) Add the pinch of seas salt while the mixer is on.

5) Slowly pour in honey as the mixer is still on.
6) Fold in the shredded coconut with a spatula until it's thoroughly mixed. Be gentle, you don't want to deflate the eggs!

7) Use a cookie scoop or spoon to scoop about a 1 Tbsp mound at about 1 inch between cookies on the sheet.

8) Bake for about 50 minutes (not too brown) and allow to cool briefly on the cookie sheet.

9) Remove with a thin spatula - they will continue to harde and dry as they cool.

These are the next best thing to heaven so be sure to make them when the kids and hubby and pets are ALL away so that you can eat them ALL!!  Thx so much to Cara for this simple and GAPS friendly recipe! She has some lovely photos since my didn't turn out as 'pretty' as they tasted.

Sage Sausage Patties (or Meatballs)
From my very own brain!  :-)

1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1 lb free-range ground turkey (or pork)
4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp dried ground sage
4 tsp dried ground coriander
pepper to taste

1) Mix all ingredients together (I use my KitchenAid blender)

2) Form into 3-nch patties and freeze for use anytime (they seem to cook flatter if frozen first)

3) Fry with a bit of coconut oil.

For meatballs:
1) Finely chop 2 carrots and 1/2 onion (or any other veggie you like such as spinach or zuchinni) in a food processor and add to meat before forming meatballs.

2) Freeze meatballs for later adding to stock for soup or cooking in a bit of tomato sauce for eating with noodles.

I also use this combo for stuffed peppers (shown below, ready to go into the oven) and just use a thermometer to tell me when they're cooked in the middle. I add plain broth around the peppers for a steaming affect but you could add rice or quinoa to the broth too.  Truthfully, you could add any combo of spices that your family loves for this meat mixture!  Freezing them makes them quick and easy for when you're short on time.

Apple Crisp
From Grain-Free Gourmet by Jodi Bage and Jenny Lass

10 large sweet apples, such as Gala, Fuji, or Ida Red
1/2 C water
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch sea salt
1/2 C nothing-added raisins
1 C almond flour
1 1/2 C almonds, chopped (we soak & dry these first)
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or butter), melted
1 Tbsp liquid honey (we used around 5 Tbsp cuz the kids wanted it sweet!)
1/2 tsp ground cinnimon
pinch sea salt

1) Preheat oven to 310 degrees F.

2) Peel the apples and chop into chunks or slices.

3) Place apples in a large po with water, cinnimon, nutmeg, and salt.  Cook until they are soft but not mushy.

4) Remove apples from heat and drain, reserving 1/4 C of the apple liquid for the topping.

5) Add the raisins and toss unil evenly distributed.  Pour into a 9x13 dish.

6) Prepare the topping by combing the remaining ingredients using your hands to create a crumbly mixture, not a paste. Add more honey if you like it sweeter as this recipe is 'low' sweetness.

7)Crumble the topping evenly over the apple mixture.

8) Bake for 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.

9) Serve warm.  The crisp can also be baked ahead of time and reheated in a 200 degree F oven for 30 minutes.

In our house this seems like a very sweet recipe, but we realize that our tastebuds are used to less sweet than most.  Just up the honey to taste for your family. The kids fight over this one but usually their daddy wins out - lol!

Pumpkin Pie Squash
From Me (an everyday favorite around here)!

2-3 butternut squash (acorn squash works too, just not as 'pumpkiny' flavored)
2-5 Tbsp honey (to taste)
2-5 Tbsp coconut oil (or none if you like)
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 - 1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
smidge of ground cloves if you like

1) Cute squash in halves, scoop out seeds, and lay face down in baking dishes. Fill dishes with 1 inch of water.

2) Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes or until a knife easily pierces the skin.

3) Let cool (face up) a bit before scooping into a large bowl.

4) Add remaining ingredients.

5) Blend VERY well.  I use a KitchenAide stick blender - it turns the squash into a heavenly pudding-like texture.

6) Add to a pie crust if you wish to enjoy it that way, but we just stuff our faces as soons as the blender comes out of the bowl!

This one is all about approximating the amounts that you like most.  I've easily put too much clove and nutmeg in before so I add just enough to taste it.  And again, we don't like it as sweet as some people do so we keep the honey low but you should add as much as you like!  As soon as the kids are eating eggs again, we will add 1 or 2 to this to bake it as a crisp or pie (with almond flour crust - haven't tried that yet but sure gonna!).  When I have time I can add an egg and some almond flour and fry this stuff up in coconut oil for what the kids call "pancakes" (this photo was from our last attempt to re-introduce eggs).  They love these but they irritate the daylights outta me since I can't seem to get the ratio right so that they are indeed flippable pancakes and not just a crumbly mess of fried and smooshed squash! 

GAPS can seem quite 'restrictive' but certainly not tasteless for us.  We are finding all kinds of delicious options as we go!  So for anyone willing to try, go ahead and enjoy! We sure do!


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Here's the deal....

I've got blogger's block (if there really is such a thing!).  And I'm not too worried about it.

Yes - there are a ton of things running around my head for posting (usually crystal clear at 7am when I'm driving Jefferson to school and nowhere near my laptop).

Yes - I have hundreds of cute and fuzzy photos from the stuff going on around here as the weather warms up (too many to actually sit down and choose from).

Yes - I love leaving posts for my kids to read later and remember their young lives (and how they almost made me crazy).

But I've just not got the time or clarity to get any of it down.  Got the end lessons to push through with Reagan, and a school trip to Plymouth with Jefferson.  A twice-the-size-as-last-year garden which is only now finally sown.  I'm in a brand new place spiritually right now and I just don't want anything to distract me or drag me away from the amazing things the Lord is doing in me.  So computer time has been cut drastically, sleep has been added, and the tube has been all kinds of lonely as I continue to work at getting my prioities straight in this little homeschool/family.

But I feel great and am hoping to be given a smidge of time soon to journal a few things for my kiddos.  With that said - now to bed early.  Good night!

Oh!  And also, JEFFERSON IS COMING BACK TO HERITAGE ACADEMY again next year for 4th grade!!  How awesome is that?? (insert delighted squeal and beaming smile HERE) Details later - I promise.....