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The BEST grain free keto bread mix!

I don’t know about y’all, but I love bread! Making good bread gluten free is hard; making a really good grain free keto bread is even harder. Gluten just does certain things that makes bread do bread things. It’s extremely hard to replicate. I think I have found a great product to try that fulfills many of the desires of bread while also being gluten and grain free and keto/low carb friendly! I ran across mention of California Country Organics on Instagram and decided to check them out.

They offer 4 baking mixes along with a couple of cookbooks that are all grain and gluReal Bread Grain Free Bread Mix ten free as well as keto and low carb friendly. I ordered the rustic bread mix and the cinnamon roll mix. We have only tried the rustic bread mix so far. I got the cinnamon roll mix for my wife’s birthday and will either update this review or do another one then.

The Results

Their product pictures impressed me right off the bat. A lot can usually be judged by the pictures. Certainly, as is always true, the outward appearance does not necessarily indicate the quality of the interior. I’ve found with gluten free products, though, that how it looks is usually a decent indicator of the overall product.

The Finished Product!

Their bread turned out fantastic! My wife, whom has gotten used to GF stuff but still typically avoids it, loved it and thought it was fantastic as well. It has a nice crust to it, the texture is nice without being too spongy and it has an excellent regular bread flavor.

The Downsides

The recipe on the back is a bit confusing. It lists some of what you need at the top, but depending on the mix (cinnamon rolls for one), the rest of what you need is buried in the instructions. This is not the end of the world but it does make it a bit more confusing.

They are a little labor intensive, although it’s really not bad considering you’re making homemade bread. It is not simply, “add ingredients and stir”. You add all the wet ingredients, then add your mix, stir it together, then rest it, then you knead it for a bit, then you shape it and bake it. Compared to a typical loaf of bread this is not far off, but compared to most gluten free mixes this requires a bit more effort. It is well worth it in my opinion, but just be aware.

Is it worth it?

These bread mixes are totally worth trying!! While they do require a touch of extra work, it creates a tasty gluten and grain free and low carb bread. There is only about 2g of net carbs per slice. Each slice is nicely satisfying, too, so if you are trying to stay under 20 or 30 grams of carbs, you can have one slice and be satisfied without busting your allowance.

Head over to their website and check them out. We will let you know how the cinnamon rolls taste soon! They are available on amazon as well, but if at all possible I think it is always a good idea to support a company directly through their website. Let us know if you love these breads as much as we did!

Make it a tasty day,

Chris

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Quail Jalapeno Poppers!

Quail Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno poppers – they are always a favorite dish at any event or even at home! A bit of spice, crunchy salty bacon, and smooth creamy slightly sweet cream cheese are fantastic every time. How could we make these better though? Well, wrap them in meat and turn them into all of dinner, that’s how! Quail Jalapeno Poppers!

We recently did a bit of bartering and got our hands on some quail from a local guy who raises them. We have seen others do this, and we have recently been talking about making jalapeno poppers, so we decided to make some amazing deliciousness!

You can either stuff the breast cavity or you can do these boneless. I removed the breast meat and wrapped it in order to avoid messing with bones. We also had some Anaheim chilies ready to harvest, so I used one of those instead of jalapenos. You could easily use chicken breast (cut into slices) if you don’t have quail available.

Quail Jalapeno Poppers:
Yields: 6 Stuffed Quail

  • 6 Quail breasts, deboned
  • 1 Large Anaheim or Jalapeno Chili
  • 3 OZ Cream Cheese
  • 3 Thick cut slices of bacon, cut in half
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 6 Tooth Picks
  1. Remove the breast meat from the quail (I just pulled it off by hand) and salt and pepper both sides
  2. Deseed and core your chili pepper, slice into ¼ inch wide strips. Adjust the length as necessary for your meat.
  3. Cut off approx. 1 Tablespoon size pieces of cream cheese in strips and set to the side.
  4. Lay out your quail breast flat on your work surface. Lay 1 strip of chili and 1 piece of cream cheese in the center. Carefully wrap the quail around the filling.
  5. Wrap a half piece of bacon around the quail and have the ends meet up where the meat comes together. Use a tooth pick to hold everything together.
  6. Cook on a sheet pan in the oven at 350F for 15-25 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and the temperature of the meat comes to 165F. You can also easily cook these on the grill. I grilled them over medium high heat. Just be careful turning them to not let the cream cheese fall out.
Everything Laid Out
Ready to go!

 

Just don’t burn them! I did…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a kid friendly variation, leave out the chili pepper so even your littlest ones can enjoy a creamy crunchy high protein meal.

For a dairy free variation, try stuffing with avocado slices instead of the cream cheese.

Don’t waste those quail legs! Toss them in some buffalo sauce and cook them alongside the quail poppers – just beware – they will cook in about 2-3 minutes, so watch them closely!

The raw quail bones that are leftover from your meal prep will make the perfect snake for your doggo. You can also toss them in a pot of water with some salt and pepper for a quick cup of broth to sip after dinner. Never waste anything!

These quail poppers will make any day a tasty day! Let us know how they turn out for you!

Chris

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Pseudo Grains and Should We Eat Them?

Happy Tuesday!

Let’s get back to our discussion of eating grain free from last week. We mentioned pseudo grains as a potential option if you are trying to eat grain free. These are quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat; they have a grain like texture and flavor, but are not actually a grain. (Grains come from grass species, pseudo-grains are broadleaf plant seeds)

buckwheat flour
Buckwheat flour is a common flour for pancakes, waffles, muffins and other wheat substitutes. It has a bit of a flavor, but it is the closest in texture and flavor to a grain flour.
Quinoa
Quinoa cooks up light and fluffy like rice. It is an excellent rice substitute and packs a nutritional punch along the way

 

If you are eating grain free, should you consider eating one of the pseudo grains? Perhaps. Let’s explore below!

What are the advantages?

Pseudo grains are a great way to have a similarly performing recipe to a grain but still avoid many of the dietary issues that grains cause. Some people’s bodies do well processing pseudo grains when they cannot handle corn or rice.

All three of these pseudo grains contain much higher amounts of protein than grains, and quinoa in particular is considered one of the few plants sources of complete protein. Compared to grains, they also contain more vitamins and minerals.

Pseudo grains generally come in “whole grain” form – they are not usually processed and separated into parts like wheat or other common grains. This way, when you eat quinoa seeds or buckwheat flour, you are getting all the wonderful fiber and nutrients that God put in these foods to help keep our bodies healthy!

Pseudo grains are a really nice way to add in some extra protein and fiber while avoiding many of the pitfalls of grains. For example, buckwheat is a good flour substitute. Quinoa is frequently used as a rice or porridge substitute, and amaranth is usually more of an add-in to other flours.

What are the disadvantages?

Pseudo grains are still fairly high in carbohydrates. While they may have more things on their side outweighing those carbs, than say a bowl of white rice, they are still carb heavy. If you are eating grain free to cut down your carb intake, they may not be right for you.

Pseudo grains also contain some of the “anti-nutrients” that grains do. There is a decent amount of debate over these. Things such as lectins, saponens, and protease inhibitors are considered by some to promote leaky gut syndrome and cause other nutrient uptake and digestive issues.  There are ways to help bypass these by soaking and mildly fermenting them first, which we will cover in future blogs.

As anything alternative, they can take some getting used to. Just because they are grain-like does not mean they are going to taste the same. Amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat each have their individual strengths and weaknesses.

Should I dive in?

As anything, you need to evaluate your diet and your body. If you are just trying to get away from most grains but still want to have access to some more grain-like meals and substitutes, then pseudo grains are a great place to start. For some good recipes, check out Danielle Walker’s website here. You can search her website for quinoa or buckwheat for some great new recipes to try.

If you are looking to be much lower carb or really avoid the anti-nutrient potential issue, then they may not be best. We will be posting soon about ways to soak, ferment, and otherwise help your grains and pseudo-grains be rid of the anti-nutrients. Stay tuned for more info on this!

As with all things, try a small amount and see how your body reacts. It’s possible that your body may like quinoa but not buckwheat or vice versa. So much of our allergen free journey is trying new things and seeing what each of us thrive on in particular. Let us know in the comments if you eat pseudo grains or not, and why so!

Make it a tasty day,

Chris

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Keto Bagel?

Keto Bagels!

Can you make a good keto bagel? Bagels, a truly good bagel spread with a good cream cheese is probably one of my favorite bread products. They are just so tasty and useful! Breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, sweet, savory, the possibilities are endless. I suppose that’s true with a loaf of bread as well, but we love bagels!  Basically, a good bagel is super delicious, but hard to find normally, harder to find gluten free, and impossible to find grain free or keto. I found a keto bagel recipe that is pretty darn good for what it is, so I have brought it here to share with you,

Is it perfect? No! Will it fill that hole (hah!) in your life for a round bread product that you can smear cream cheese on? Yes! The additional advantage of this recipe is that it is also dairy free. I enjoy dairy and will definitely be experimenting with fat-head doughs, but for those of you who are dairy-free, this is a good recipe.

If you want something a bit simpler than bagels, try out our pancake recipe here. It is also super easy to make with kids!

 

Recipe

And without further ado, enjoy your keto bagels!

INGREDIENTS

Keto Bagel toppings

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Our keto bagels use the focaccia methodology (albeit different ratios), but do check out the video below for deets ‘n tricks!

  2. Add yeast and maple syrup (to feed the yeast, see notes) to a large bowl. Heat up water to 105-110°F, and if you don’t have a thermometer it should only feel lightly warm to touch. Pour water over yeast mixture, cover bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 7 minutes. The mixture should be bubbly, if it isn’t start again (too cold water won’t activate the yeast and too hot will kill it).

  3. Mix your flours while the yeast is proofing. Add almond flour, psyllium husk (or flaxseed meal), whey protein isolate (or more almond flour), xanthan gum, baking powder and salt to a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

  4. Once your yeast is proofed, add in the egg, egg whites, olive oil and vinegar. Mix with a whisk or electric mixer for a couple minutes until light and frothy. Add the flour mixture in two batches, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. You want to mix thoroughly and quickly to activate the xanthan gum, though the dough will become very thick by the end and form into a round.

  5. Line a baking tray with a baking mat or parchment paper. Wet your hands (so the dough doesn’t stick!) and divide the dough into 8 rounds. Smooth the rounds as much as possible and, using your index finger, make an indentation in the center, stretching out the dough until ‘bagel shaped’. Cover with a oiled cling film (saran wrap) and place in a warm draft-free space for 20-60 minutes. You want to do 20 minutes for a denser bagel, and 40-60 for a fluffier one (I personally go for the longer rise as the yeast taste develops much more!).

  6. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C while the dough is proofing. And if you’re baking at high altitude, you’ll want to bake it at 375°F/190°C.

  7. Brush with an egg white wash (better browning), sprinkle with toppings of choice (you can’t go wrong with Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel), and bake for about 20-25 mins until deep golden. Check in on them at minute 10-13, and cover with aluminum foil if needed.

  8. Allow the bagels to cool completely for best texture, as the bread will continue to cook while cooling resulting in a better crumb. But if you can’t hold your horses, at least give it 15 minutes before digging in (the bagels in the pics were cut just 20 minutes after baking).

  9. Keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple days, giving it a light toast before serving again. These guys also freeze great.

Can a keto bagel be good, really?

The taste is good. It has some ACV to add a bit of tang, and the flavors mingle nicely to replicate a whole wheat bagel.

The texture is fairly nice as well, though it falls a bit short on chewiness. The recipe recommends waiting until fully cooled before consuming, as that gives the best texture. That is certainly true. However, as I can attest when they are right out of the oven, the texture is still decent. We found that out since they came right out of the oven as we needed to leave for church… My timing is not always the best when baking…

These keto bagels hold up quite well for a keto product. While you can certainly tell they are grain free, they still have a nice chew and fairly nice crumb.

Some Changes

I did not use the whey protein in it, as I do not have any and I’m not sure how my girls would do with it. The original recipe says you can substitute additional almond flour, which is what I did, with no ill results that I can tell.

Due to timing (see above) I was not able to let it rise the whole hour, only about 40 minutes. I do think if I had been able to let them rise another 20-30 minutes that they would have been even better. They were still enjoyable, though, and are worth the time to make and enjoy 🙂

Recipe from:
https://www.gnom-gnom.com/gluten-free-paleo-keto-bagels/

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Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookie

You know when you get a craving for a chocolate chip cookie? Not a “healthy” cookie, but that one that you grew up eating? Well it happens to us quite a bit! I grew up eating the iconic Toll House chocolate chip cookie – that recipe right off the bag of the semi-sweet chocolate chips – full of brown sugar, butter, and lots of gooey chocolateyness. Well I have good news! Did you know there is a completely equal version that is grain free?! Danielle Walker, the mastermind of Against All Grain, has this grain free chocolate chip  cookie recipe on her blog, and if you haven’t found it yet, it is high time you tried it in all its magnificence!

These grain free chocolate chip cookies are great to make with kids, as the recipe is completely simple enough that even a toddler can make it with a little parental guidance!

Ingredients 

Almond Flour – we always use Costco. They have become the go-to for finely ground almond flour that best substitutes for white flour in recipes where you don’t want to feel like you’re eating ground up almonds. We use this in our blondies, and we recommend it for just about every almond flour application. Did you know that you can order Kirkland products on Amazon? I didn’t until recently, but what a great discovery!

Chocolate Chips – we use Guittard for the entire 1/2 cup of chocolate that this recipe calls for. You can use Enjoy Life, which is a great brand that doesn’t have any allergens/additives/etc, also, or whatever else your favorite brand may be. We like the dark decadent flavor of the higher quality dark chocolate Guittard chips, and we feel ever-so-slightly healthier because we’re using a darker chocolate (and we all know that dark chocolate is basically a vegetable, right?!).

Salt – as always, we recommend Real Salt. It has all the good trace minerals left in it, it tastes great, and it even looks beautiful on the table! Plus, if you use lots of good salt, you can order in bulk in these perfect little 10lb buckets with sealing lids that are the most useful size EVER!!!! Especially if you have little kiddos trying to help move animal feed, water, minerals, dirt, etc around the homestead! Or even if you just need resealable storage for dry goods, craft supplies, or anything else your heart desires 😉

Process 

I won’t try to pretend that I can write a better grain free cookie recipe blog than Danielle Walker, so head on over to her page right now and make yourself some delicious, amazing, take-you-back-to-your-childhood chocolate chip cookies!

Danielle Walker’s “Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies”

One more little tidbit – don’t miss that you can make this dough, roll it into balls, and freeze it for those cold winter nights coming up where you just need one gooey hot chocolate chip cookie to eat on the couch with your tea or coffee.

We’d love to hear about your childhood memories with chocolate chip cookies, or any other cookie for that matter! Share your story below!

The Wife 😉

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Grain Free Breakfast – Pineapple Upside Down Cake

A Grain Free Breakfast Recipe For Your Weekend

It’s Friday! I don’t know about you folks but for me that means I still have more work tomorrow. It’s fun work, though! I get to go to the Farmer’s Market and spread the joy of brownies! Today we have a tasty recipe that you can make for breakfast tomorrow.  Grain Free Coconut flour pineapple upside down cake! This recipe makes a wonderful, healthy, make-ahead grain free breakfast and it comes from Wellness Mama, the original article can be found here.

Pineapple upside down cake seems like a recipe from the past. People do still make pineapple upside down cake, but it feels like a recipe from another era. Arranging the pineapple on the bottom of the pan and flipping does take a bit more work but it is visually appealing and fun for kids! Get your kids involved in making this recipe, our girls had a great time even at 3 & 4 years old.

egg breakfasts, protein breakfast, paleo breakfast, grain free, gluten free, kid friendly, whole 30
did you know a 2 year old can actually crack eggs?!

 

If you have never used parchment paper before I HIGHLY recommend it. Parchment paper is not the perfect answer for everything, but it makes baking 85% of recipes much easier. We use it for our brownies for the same reason that it is used here for the cake – makes clean up and flipping it over a breeze!

family friendly, kid friendly,
cook with your kids!

 

*Special Brownie Tip*

If you want to decorate your brownies, cook them with parchment paper lining the pan. Let cool in the pan, then flip the pan over onto a cutting board and pull the parchment paper off. The surface you see (the bottom of the brownies) will be perfectly smooth and ever so slightly sticky for decorating with powdered sugar, decorator’s gel, melted chocolate, sprinkles, etc!

 

Now back to pineapple upside down cake and grain free breakfasts.

Cherries

You could use frozen or dried cherries if you don’t have fresh on hand. Defrost the frozen cherries first, and then pat them dry with a paper towel. Defrosting them first will allow the majority of the liquid to go elsewhere and not throw off the texture off the cake. You can do this with any recipe calling for fruit if you need to use frozen fruit.

fresh cherries
pitting those cherries! use a cherry pitter, not a toddler….

Pineapple

For the pineapple we did not use rings. We do not have and I refuse to buy a pineapple corer, haha. No kitchen uni-taskers! We took a fresh pineapple, peeled it, cut vertically into 4 sections, cut the core out, and sliced the sections into thin slices. I would recommend a ¼ inch slice. Obviously that is up to you. Canned pineapple would be a great option as well here.

fresh fruit, whole foods, grain free, paleo
fresh fruit always wins!

Coconut Flour

Last quick tip before we move on. How to measure wheat flour is quite the argument, with everyone having learned a different way from their grandmother. Do you scoop, or pack, or fill and sweep.  For coconut flour especially, I highly recommend the fill and sweep method. Coconut flour soaks up SO MUCH water that if you add too much it will throw off your recipe. Take your measuring cup and, using another spoon or scoop fill your measure cup from the container. When the measuring cup is heaping full, use the back of the knife to scrape it off flat. You do not want to pack it in, just loosely pour it into the measuring cup. A little coconut flour and a lot of eggs can make lovely grain free breakfast options as they yield a fairly nice, spongy, tasty texture for some variety from plain eggs!

Grain Free Breakfast Substitutes

I do want to let you know, before you jump in, that if you are expecting a grain free perfect replacement of pineapple upside down cake, this is not it. This recipe is delicious and highly enjoyable. We will be making it again. This recipe is also fairly eggy, and is more of a clafouti style, custardy coconut flour texture. I think you’ll love it, but I do want to make sure people understand what it is first. It makes a better breakfast alternative than dessert alternative.

It is great that this has so many eggs, though! It’s crammed with protein and is filling. That makes it great for an all in one grain free breakfast. If you know you are short for time the next day, bake it the night before, put it in the fridge, cut slices and toast them in the morning, easy!

You can see our first grain free blog post here – and look for many more delicious gluten and grain free breakfast (and other meals) recipes to come!

grain free breakfast
little cracking, but still pretty – use halved cherries for a prettier effect
grain free breakfast, family friendly
beautiful
kid friendly, family friendly
grain free breakfast alternatives

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup butter or coconut oil (softened, but not melted)
  • 8 eggs
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ can cored pineapple slices in juice or ½ of a fresh pineapple
  • ¼ cup fresh cherries or maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 325°F.

  1. Prepare a 9-inch round baking dish or spring form pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. If using fresh pineapple, peel, core, and cut into ½ inch slices.
  3. Arrange the pineapple slices on the bottom of the baking dish you are using.
  4. Place the cherries around and in the center of the pineapple slices.
  5. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients. If needed, thin with pineapple juice or coconut milk to get a spreadable consistency.
  6. Spread the batter over the pineapple and cherries.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-40 minutes until cooked through and no longer soft in the middle.
  8. Loosen the edges of the cake and carefully flip over onto a plate or baking sheet.
  9. Serve and enjoy!