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No Knead Bread, an easy and tasty Einkorn recipe!

Having just talked about Einkorn the other day, I wanted to give y’all an easy recipe to enjoy. This is a long ferment, no knead bread. It’s a lazy man’s sourdough per say. Fermented foods are absolutely fantastic, and I think should be a part of our daily diet. I try my best to eat something fermented everyday, though oftentimes I forget… The advantage in a bread product (gluten free or otherwise) is that the fermentation process feeds on a good portion of the carbs reducing the carb load. It also makes it much easier to digest on our bodies. So if you are thinking about trying Einkorn but aren’t sure, this would be a great place to start.

I include some options to these steps because I think it makes the overall process easier, but you can just follow the basic steps. The fermentation time can vary on this.  One week is ideal, 24 hours works, and 2-3 days is probably the sweet spot if you don’t want to wait forever but want better flavor,less carb load, and higher digestibility.

No Knead Bread

Ingredients:

6 1/2 Cups Flour (6 cups if using whole wheat)

3 Cups Warm Water

2 Packets or 1 1/2Tblsp Yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt

Steps:

1. In a large container, a gallon or more in size, mix all ingredients

2. Cover loosely and let rise on the counter for 1-2 hours

3. Put in fridge for 24 hours to 1 week

4. When ready to bake: Wet or oil your hands and tear off roughly a quarter of the dough and gently shape into a loaf, smoothing the top. Place in pans or place on parchment or slide onto a pizza stone. Score the top of the loaves to release steam.

5. Let rise 40 minutes, after 30 minutes preheat the oven to 450. When preheated, bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and internal temp is 190-200.

6. I do recommend letting it cool at least a bit so you don’t burn yourself and so the texture will be better once cut.

Further Details

A long ferment bread like this recipe is also super nice as the holidays approach. It requires very little actual time involved.  It makes a hearty loaf, so baking the day before and doing a gentle reheat of it on turkey day will be perfect, and not take up much of your valuable oven space the day of. This is what is called a no knead bread. So no kneading! You literally just mix all the ingredients, let it rise, and then bake it!

I’ve used multiple versions, but I think this is one of the best for most people. I’m a big fan of true sourdough, but that’s not easy for most people, so I shelved it for this recipe. The original recipe is from Gwen’s Nest, and she has lots of low carb recipes for those who are interested.

Most no knead bread recipes do make use of dutch ovens typically to bake in. Since you don’t knead the dough, it does not have much structure to hold a great shape. This kind of thing is not the end of the world though. If you start making it a ton, I would recommend you invest in a dutch oven to bake in, or you can also go the pizza stone route for a crispy bottom. You will just end up with a flatter bread, but it’s still a lovely “artisan” loaf. You can also use a loaf pan. Just go for it the first time and adjust the specifics as you do it more. It will be delicious no matter the shape!

This recipe enables you to enjoy the fantastic, fresh bread experience with very little effort, and it’s better for you! It’s also such a basic recipe you can easily make it with your kids. I had our girls help me make the dough, and it really added only about one extra minute to a 5 minute recipe.

Mixing the no knead bread!

So recipe time! You do need a large vessel, something like a gallon or 5 qt jar or crock is perfect. Get yourself out 6 1/2 cups of flour (we use Jovial Foods Einkorn Flour), 6 cups if you want whole wheat, 3 cups warm water, 2 packets or 1 1/2 T yeast, I prefer regular though instant works too, and 1 1/2t of salt, preferably something likes Redmond’s Sea Salt.

Then dump it together and mix! Too hot of water, and salt will both kill yeast, so you have to be careful on mixing. It’s also a pain to get the very bottom mixed properly if you dump it in at once. So I put my water and salt in the jar, and dissolved the salt, then I added half the flour, mixing it in after each cup, then the yeast, and then the rest of the flour, mixing as well after each cup. It came together beautifully, and didn’t give me a single issue.

Cover it loosely and let rise on the counter for an hour or two – it’s a long rise bread, so over fermentation isn’t a big deal, just keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t escape the jar.

At this point, put it in your fridge for your choice of time, the longer the better really! Even up to a couple weeks.

As I just made my batch today, I have no baking pictures… Sorry!

This does make a good amount of bread, so decide on your baking vessel of choice before getting further. 4 medium sized loaves in pans or on the stone? Sure! One big loaf in your 10 or 12 inch dutch oven? Sure!

Just a warning this dough is sticky, once again a result of not kneading, so you will want to wet, oil or flour your hands well.

If you are going to make loaves pull off about a quarter of the dough and gently shape it into a loaf shape, working to smooth the top. Place those in your parchment paper lined pans or on parchment paper on your counter to slide it onto your stone.

Let it rise for about 40 minutes, preheat your oven to 450 about 10 minutes before your rise is over.

It is wise to slash the top of your loaves with a razor blade or very sharp knife. This allows gasses to escape during baking and not crack the top of your loaf.

Bake for 25- 30 minutes until golden brown and delicious. As well look for an internal temperature of 190 or so degrees (yes i’m a food nerd).

I know, its done, so you must rip into it right away! It really is best if you wait. First off so you don’t burn the living daylights out of your mouth. Second, the longer you let the bread cool, the more the starches can set up, and not be gooey and smear.

So let it cool, at least a little, and then cut and enjoy, preferably with grass fed butter! If you’ve never tried Kerrygold, now is the time!

Pretty straight forward right? Like I said, mix it, rise it, bake it, I guess you can add eat it to the end. Let us know if you try this great no knead bread recipe!

Make it a tasty day,

Chris

 

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Grain Free Cinnamon Roll

Delicious Grain Free Cinnamon Rolls!

As I mentioned in the review on the Real Bread Mix from California Country Organics, we were going to be trying their grain free cinnamon roll mix for my wife’s birthday. We did, and they are quite delicious! We even took them one step further and made them into orange rolls instead of just plain cinnamon rolls since this is a family tradition on her side for birthdays.

As with the other Real Bread mixes – is this a perfect substitute for a cinnamon roll? No, but its pretty darn good, and is one of the best grain free cinnamon roll I’ve ever had.

Much like the other mix, the taste is quite good. Due to the other flavors and sweetness from the cinnamon, orange, and sugar involved I could not taste any of the coconut flour.

The texture is a bit different than regular bread, as mentioned before, but is still quite enjoyable. I think it’s a bit more noticeable in these than in a loaf of bread, but wife says these are great.

She was quite happy with these for her birthday in spite of their small draw backs, and they satisfied our cravings for cinnamon rolls. Once again, I high recommend you check out the Real Bread mixes for yourself! We will definitely be buying more from them.

Real Bread Mix Cinnamon Rolls:

Ingredients:

1 Real Bread Cinnamon Roll Mix

1 cup of eggs whites

1 cup of water

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

½ cup butter softened (I ended up using 1/3 cupish)

1/3 cup Cinnamon

1/3 Cup sweetener of choice (we used coconut sugar)

Optional: Zest of 1 orange if you want to do Orange Rolls

Instructions

  1. Follow the instructions on the mix to make the dough
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Roll it out to a roughly 12×8 rectangle, ½ inch thick on a piece of parchment paper. You can sandwich the dough between each side of the paper to help keep your rolling pin clean.
  4. Spread with softened butter
  5. Sprinkle your cinnamon and sweetener evenly over the surface of your dough, leave about a half inch plain on one side of the 12 inch side of the dough. This allows a better seal when you roll it up and keeps filling from squishing out as much.
  6. Optional: Spread your orange zest around at this point if using
  7. Starting with the long side that has the filling all the way to the edge tightly roll the dough up. Focus on trying to keep the roll as tight as possible.
  8. Cut your roll into 12-14 sections depending on your desired size of cinnamon roll.
  9. Spray or butter your pan and place the cinnamon rolls in it, cut side down. The mix calls for a 9×13 pan, which I used but there was lots of space left. I think I would use an 8×8 next time.
  10. Bake for approx. 30 minutes or until golden brown and delicious. They will rise in about the last 10 minutes of baking.
  11. Let cool, ice with the glaze of your preference, and enjoy!

Notes and Tips:

  • This size results in a fairly “bready” cinnamon roll. If you prefer it thinner just roll it out into a larger rectangle. You might need to adjust your filling measurements at that point.
  • If you want to add additional flavor feel free to add more zest to the filling or into the dough. You can also use some orange oil (or even orange extract) if you have good quality essential oils on hand.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

6 oz of cream cheese

¼ cup of butter

6 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

Zest of 1 orange

6-10 Drops Orange or Tangerine Essential Oil

3 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar

2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

  1. Cream your butter, cream cheese and coconut sugar together until smooth in either a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.
  2. With your mixer on low, slowly add in your maple syrup and then the orange juice until fully combined.
  3. Add your zest and citrus oil and combine.
  4. Taste and adjust sweetener level, and citrus components to your taste.
  5. Spread on either hot or cooled cinnamon rolls as your prefer. Or eat it with a spoon…

Notes:

  • This results in a fairly thin frosting, which is Katie’s preference. Somewhere between a glaze and a frosting. If you want it thicker, then reduce your liquid.
  • You can easily omit the citrus elements and make a more traditional cream cheese frosting.
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The Wheat I Can Eat – Einkorn

The Wheat I Can Eat

I had no idea that my rhyming was so good, I’m sure my wife disagrees, though. Regardless, I mentioned way back in the beginning somewhere that there is one variety of wheat that I am able to eat. Einkorn is this wheat’s name. Just as a reminder for anyone, I do have a severe reaction to gluten. Whether you want to call it a sensitivity, an allergy, whatever, it’s bad, and I have to avoid it like the plague. Einkorn has been very successful for me, though!

First off, let me say I am not a doctor, and even if I was, I’m not your doctor, or naturopath, or nutritionist or anything. I’m just your friendly neighborhood baker. I highly recommend you talk about this with whoever your healthcare professional is. After that, I recommend ordered a very small amount to try, and go from there if you it works for you.

It took me 6 months to drum up the courage to try it. I very much did not want to be curled up in bed in extreme pain. I ate one small cookie and went from there. Praise God it did not affect me, and was safe for me to eat.

What is Einkorn?

Einkorn is a variety of wheat, therefore it also contains gluten. That is the last similarity between einkorn and modern wheat. Einkorn is considered to be the original wheat that was ever domesticated (somewhere between 5,000-10,000 years ago). Since then we have hybridized various varieties of wheat to create all the varieties we have today.

Along with that hybridization came higher amounts of gluten and a different genetic structure to the gluten dna itself. This was both intentional and unintentional. As we have discussed, if you are wanting to create a great loaf of bread, gluten is wonderful and helps create that beautiful structure. Wheat farmers selected varieties over the years to increase that gluten and make it stronger so bakers can create those particular loaves of bread.

But this same hybridization has ended up helping create the problems that many of us are familiar with. While Einkorn certainly has its drawbacks due to its lower yield, weaker gluten, and increased difficulty in harvest, the weaker gluten that it contains also makes it edible for a large portion of the population! Your body may very well be able to process einkorn flour just fine even if you have a severe reaction to “regular” wheat.

Einkorn only has 2 sets of chromosomes as opposed to modern wheat which can be up in the 40s. Emmer, Kamut and Spelt are all in-between. Einkorn also does have quite a bit higher level of nutrients and protein compared to modern wheat. If you would like to learn more, here is a website all about einkorn.

Does all of this matter?

Does all of this matter for those of us who are gluten intolerant, though? Well, as I mentioned above, it all just depends. I think as a baseline rule, it does. It starts as a much healthier product to begin with compared to modern varieties. Almost all einkorn is produced organically so that can also aid in digestibility. As with all things, you need to try a little bit and see if your own body can handle it. We do know many gluten-free people who are able to eat einkorn, though! It functions basically the same as regular white flour, and it can be fermented into sourdough, so it is a wonderful thing to be able to add into your diet on occasion! Einkorn has made it much easier for our family to live with all our food allergies.

Let us know if you try einkorn and how it works out for you! Jovial Foods is where we purchase ours.

Make it a tasty day,

Chris

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Crispy Gluten Free Waffles (also paleo!)

Crispy Gluten Free Waffles!

Waffles or pancakes? I feel like there is quite the divide between people on that question. That is, of course, not even talking about Belgian vs regular waffles, thin and crispy vs fluffy pancakes. Certainly the debates can go on and on. For me, it very much depends on the mood I am in as I love them both. Obviously, in our household, they always have to be gluten free waffles or pancakes, too.

Our oldest daughter requested waffles for her birthday breakfast, and with the current state of food allergies in our home, we had to go digging for a new recipe. My wife found this one and it is quite good! They are light and crispy, but also paleo, though they are not low carb due to the tapioca starch. Their only downside, I would say, is if you are making a lot and holding them in the oven they might start to soften just a bit. They are still quite good, but they don’t hold super crisp, so you might want to work in batches. They are really delicious though, and I highly recommend you try these gluten free waffles! We did use a regular waffle iron and not a Belgian waffle maker. If you make these in a belgian waffle maker, let us know how they come out!

Ingredients:

1 Cup Blanched Almond Flour

1 Cup Tapioca Flour

2 T coconut flour

2 t baking powder

¼ salt

2 eggs

¼ cup melted coconut oil (or melted butter)

1 t apple cider vinegar

1 cup almond milk (or any milk of your choice)

½ vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions
  2. Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until all lumps have been removed
  3. Add liquid ingredients and whisk for 2 minutes or until batter has thickened. Batter will be similar to a thin pancake batter
  4. Spray or wipe on a thin layer of oil onto waffle iron (I only did this the first time, possibly even unnecessary)
  5. Cook waffles according to your waffles irons instructions (I used about a 1/3 cup for our iron)
  6. Enjoy with lots of good butter and excellent maple syrup!

This recipe is originally from Nurture My Gut.

 

These are a great quick, easy, delicious waffle that the whole family can enjoy and the kids can help make! They have really good texture that compares well with “normal” waffles! Use these waffles to make your day a tasty day and let us know if you like them 🙂

Chris

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Eat Gluten Free in Houston: Season’s Harvest Cafe

Are you looking for a restaurant that serves the freshest possible ingredients and also has great gluten free options? I think I have found your place! We had heard about Season’s Harvest Cafe in Cypress, TX several times from friends and have wanted to try it, so we decided to go celebrate our anniversary there.

They are a farm to table restaurant, and they get a significant amount of their food from local vendors in the area. What they cannot find local, they strive to at least get organic. Their menu does rotate, though I am not sure exactly when it changes. They work to make their dishes available to different eating styles as much as possible. If you eat Raw, they have that, Vegan is covered, and gluten free they can do. Their menu is full of whole foods, so it is easy to adapt any item to your diet and they are familiar with all the different allergies/diets and can work easily with you!

That is always the beauty of focusing on fresh ingredients, prepared from scratch. Things become super straight forward when you focus on basic ingredients, and it can be extremely flexible to work with different diets. Here is the one caveat: They are not a gluten free kitchen. So while they use primarily fresh ingredients, and there probably is not a ton of flour floating around, there is a risk of cross contact happening. I would characterize this as more gluten friendly than totally gluten free, but they are way beyond many other gluten friendly restaurants. They bring in all of their breads and desserts, so they don’t have flour all over the kitchen from any of their cooking.

The Environment

First off, I totally wasn’t thinking about this from a blog post perspective. I did not take anywhere enough pictures, so we will have to make do, sorry!

Season’s Harvest Cafe is set on 2-3 acres of land in North Cypress. It is in a rustic, “cabin” setting. Lots of exposed wood, log façade etc, it has a great farm feel to it which both my wife and I enjoyed immensely. It is a very peaceful environment with very little road noise.

They do have some gardens and a chicken coop, though I am unsure how much food they try to get off their own property. We sat outside for our first cool front of the year and it was quite pleasant. There’s trees, lots of birds and other small wildlife, and a little pond next to the deck we were eating on. They also bring in live music once a month which would be great fun to go for!

The Food

The main dishes were excellent! They do keep their menu small, but each item is made carefully and well. They had 6 options to choose from. Chicken salad as a sandwich or a salad, a fall garden vegetable soup (fantastic), a quinoa bowl, a humus dish (so good), a fall harvest salad (yummy!) and a raw marinated veggie plate. You can probably tell which ones we tried haha.

Katie got the jalapeno humus with a side of chicken and their vegetable soup. It came with gluten free lavash, local feta (most amazing cheese!!), soup, homemade glazed walnuts, and some fruits and veggies. I do NOT like humus, period. I don’t like the flavor, and I really despise the texture. This stuff was good, though. I would totally eat their humus any time! It was a very pleasant level of spiciness as well. Katie does not really like chili heat and said she would still not choose to have it in there but it was enjoyable and not overwhelmingly hot.

The Harvest Salad was excellent, also. It came with cranberry goat cheese, local veggies, glazed walnuts, and I added on a delicious chicken breast to it. While it was a fairly typical fall harvest salad, it was all quite tasty and satisfying other than the dressing. The dressing was fine but not amazing.

Let Them Eat Cake

Or maybe not… So here is their one downfall, though it’s fairly minor. They had 3 different gluten free desserts available. All their desserts are produced by a local bakery and brought in. Since it was our anniversary anyway, and we have to make sacrifices for all of you good people, we went ahead and tried all 3. They have a carrot cake, an espresso chocolate cookie and an almond butter bar.

They serve them warmed, if you like. We went that route and they got a bit too warm and got crunchy on the outside. They were all fairly “meh”. The cookie was probably the best, but it did not really have any espresso flavor. Both the almond butter bar and the carrot cake were fairly plain, and all the flavors ran together. I at least have to say none of their desserts were dry or crumbly. If you have been eating GF very long you know that’s a big risk you take with many gluten free baked products. Theirs were moist, but just not great.

I would not spend my money again on their desserts; I would rather go without or make something at home afterwards. Something like our brownies would be great… Had to throw in the shameless plug sorry. Frankly, this is why we have spent so long working on our recipes. We want them to be amazing, not just ok.

The Verdict

Other than the desserts, their food is quite delicious, and I highly recommend Season’s Harvest Cafe. Their menu can be easily made to work with almost any diet, and I feel like the whole family can be happy with whatever they get. They also serve breakfast, and I am excited to go back and try it out. Here is also an important part. Their silverware is not giant, it’s properly sized for a normal human. I find this to be a very important to enjoying our meal! What is up with the giant, heavy, clunky silverware that’s in style right now ?! Anyway. More on that rant later, but go check out this restaurant and make your mouths and bodies happy at the same time!

Let us know in the comments, have you ever been to Season’s Harvest Cafe and what did you think? Is there somewhere else you would like us to try?

Make it a tasty day,

Chris

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Is Low Carb also Gluten Free?

Is low carb also gluten free? In a word: No.  Frankly if you are eating low carb and gluten free, you must be extremely careful. While a lot of low carb products and recipes are gluten free, many have hidden gluten that you must be careful to avoid!

Let’s go back to the basics of what gluten does. It helps our gluten-filled bread stick together, right? Well, starch helps to make that happen as well. So in many low carb products, when they remove starch filled products, they substitute in extra wheat gluten to help give structure. Obviously this is a huge problem for anyone who is sensitive to gluten and is also eating low carb.

Should we be mad?

Should we be upset at the companies using vital wheat gluten and recipe creators who use it in their recipes and products? Absolutely not! They are creating value for the many people who are not gluten free but do want to eat low carb. Just as much as we should not be upset with the people who create products or recipes using wheat flour.

What to look out for?

Certainly it’s true that, “You cannot judge a book by it’s cover”. Looking at outward appearance, in some cases, can help us, though. If you see a recipe or a product that looks too good to be gluten free, pay more attention. Take that next step and look at the ingredients. Don’t waste your time watching a 20 minute youtube video, just to check the recipe at the end and realize it has 2 cups of wheat gluten added to it. Here is a great example of something that looks a bit better looking than other gluten free recipes and low and behold, it’s not!

As always, checking ingredient labels is one of the most important things we can do as allergen sensitive people. I totally understand the excitement and the comfort we get from seeing a product mentioning it is free of “fill in the blank”. It is typically a good sign that it at least has a good chance of being safe for us to eat. We still need to carefully examine it and make sure it is safe!

So is low carb also gluten free? Maybe… It’s not a guaranteed thing, and many low carb options contain lots of extra gluten. Read the recipe or ingredients list carefully and pay attention. If it seems too good to be true, it quite possibly is. I don’t want to drag your enthusiasm down but I really don’t want people getting sick either, and we have been deceived by quite a few of these recipes recently.

Don’t forget yesterday’s post here about these new bread mixes which ARE both gluten free and low carb (and amazingly delicious, too)!

Make it a tasty day,

Chris

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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/