Thursday, February 23, 2012

GAPS Peanut Butter Crunch

Sweet, crunchy and a quick-grab-breakfast; cereal is an excellent invention.  The food industry has really done a number on this convenience food with all it's extrusion, colors, preservatives and other chemicals and processes. I understand fully that still, it is a hard thing to give up.  There are so many varying levels of commitment in a real food journey and once "the box" is gone, you have officially turned a corner in my book.

We are three years box-free, but still enjoy the goodness of cereal now and then with homemade, make ahead recipes like this one (GAPS) or this old favorite. We try not to over do it on nuts, so this is still a special treat.  It goes great with yogurt/kefir and bananas.  It is like a tangy, extra crunchy peanut butter cookie. Thanks to The Healthy Home Economist for the inspiration, check out her Cinnamon Crunch Breakfast recipe as well.

4 cups soaked and dehydrated almonds
2 cups organic, soaked, dehydrated and roasted peanuts
3 cups kefir or yogurt
3/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup coconut flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grind two cups of almonds with one cup of kefir in blender until smooth. Pour mixture into large bowl and repeat with two cups almonds and one cup kefir, pour into bowl. Grind one final batch, this time using two cups peanuts and the final cup of kefir, add this to the large bowl as well.  Place oil, honey, salt and vanilla in blender to combine well and add to nuts.  Stir the entire batter to combine, sprinkle coconut flour on mixture and mix thoroughly.  Pour batter into a half sheet pan (9 x13) and bake for 40 minutes. Let cool and then crumble onto baking sheets or dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 150-200 degrees for 12 - 16 hours. Once cooled, store in airtight container in the refrigerator.
links; Fresh Bites Friday, Finer Things Friday

Saturday, February 11, 2012

GAPS Coconut Butter Chocolates

Have you ever had Artisana Coconut Butter?  It is excellent for making frosting's, among other things.  I can eat it straight from the jar.  It is like peanut butter only with coconut flavor, it is also dryer/more fibrous and because it is higher in saturated fat (verses peanuts polyunsaturated) it is much firmer at room temperature. Eat Nourishing had a post on making homemade coconut butter and I had to try it out!  I made it in my vita-mix and it turned out pretty well, not quite as smooth, but saves me ten bucks.

Once I had a blender full of this yumminess, I got a bright idea of formulating a chocolate treat for my kids for valentine's day. Long ago on a trip to IKEA, one of my babies sneaked a silicon heart mold into my cart and I bought it without realizing.  It has been floating around the house for over five years now, and luckily I was able to locate it and use it for the first time! Amazing.

I made this a few times to work out the kinks and this is what I found. More coconut oil creates a more smooth chocolate and also pours into the molds better for a better appearance with less air bubbles, but has to be kept in the refrigerate because they melt more readily.  Less oil will make them more firm, but not worth it to me for it sacrifices creamy texture.  Less cocoa powder makes a milk chocolate like flavor, while more is like dark chocolate.  You will want to taste the mixture for sweetness, our sweet sensors are ultra sensitive since we have been eating minimal sugars, so a little goes a long way for us.

2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons raw honey
2-4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 dash salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 drops peppermint essential oil (or other flavoring)

Place coconut and oil in vita-mix and blend on high for one minute.  Scrape down sides and blend for another minute.  Check for creaminess, you may want to blend for a third minute.  Add honey, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla and any other flavoring and blend thoroughly.  Pour into molds and set up in refrigerator for 20 minutes. If you don't have a mold, you could pour mixture into a bowl and let set up slightly, then scoop out like truffles.  Makes 24 tablespoons.
links; Menu Plan Monday, Monday Mania, Recipe Swap

Monday, February 6, 2012

GAPS Blender Pancakes

Disclaimer; I make these in my vitamix and do not own a regular blender to try them in, I am not sure how they would turn out.  If you try it, let me know in the comment section how it goes and I will update this post with your information.

I bought some really good quality almonds in bulk last year.  I use them where ever possible as an alternative to almond flour, which is three times more expensive and three times less nutritious.  I usually grind them in my vitamix to get them as fine as possible.  After doing this for months, I thought what if I could just blend the whole recipe and save the grinding flour step?  If you can do it with a whole grain berry, why not a nut? So here is my favorite pancake recipe from Elana’s Pantry, made over to a GAPS friendly blender pancake.

2 cups almonds
½ cup whole milk yogurt
6 eggs
½ cup melted butter or coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt
butter for frying

In Vitamix, combine almonds, yogurt, eggs, butter, honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt and blend on high until smooth, takes a couple minutes.  Melt 1 tablespoon butter on skillet over medium heat, ladle pancake batter onto skillet.  Cook for 1 minute on each side. Add more butter for each batch as needed. Makes 24 medium pancakes.  Serve with yogurt and berries.

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