Gluten Free Vegan, Grain Free, Raw

Chocolate Pots De Creme

 

veganpotsdecreme

A delicious vegan chocolate pots de creme made from cashew cream – a healthy, cruelty-free twist to the classic french dessert with all the rich, chocolaty goodness.

You can whip this up in a couple minutes with your leftover cashew pulp from homemade cashew milk. It’s so easy and yummy =)


Cashew Pulp Chocolate Pots De Creme

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Soy-Free, Raw

ingredients:

1/2 cup cashew pulp (leftover from homemade cashew milk)
1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil 
1/4 cup coconut nectar or brown rice syrup, or to taste
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or extract/flavor of choice)

instructions:

blend together until all ingredients are well combined and smooth. pour in ramekin, or small food container and refrigerate for ~1hr. keep refrigerated. enjoy!

Bread, Breakfast

Rustic Pumpkin Bread

 

vegan gluten free pumpkin oatmeal bread

This healthy pumpkin oat bread is comforting and delicious.

vegan pumpkin bread

Sometimes, not often but every once in a blue moon one of my “brain fog moments” happens for the better. Like the time when I forgot a major ingredient in a bread recipe and thought it was doomed for good only to find out it was the best tasting accident ever.

I’m so glad we forgot the milk in the original recipe and decided to change a few of the ingredients to make it acceptable for all my allergy, health, and nutritional needs, AND to my liking. We were pleasantly surprised with the final product – a surprisingly moist, and incredibly yummy pumpkin loaf! It has a nice hint of lemon, and is reminiscent of carrot cake, which I love. This recipe is going to be a go-to of ours from now on. It’s such a comforting treat for someone who can’t have sugar, gluten, dairy, etc, etc…and yet by the taste and texture you’d never guess this was allergy-friendly at all!!

the best pumpkin bread


Rustic Pumpkin Bread

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Flour-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Yeast-Free

Yield: 1 bread loaf

{recipe adapted from: A Rented Kitchen}

Ingredients:

2 cups gluten free rolled oats, ground to a flour
1/4 cup xylitol, vegan cane sugar or coconut sugar
3 tsp chia seeds or flax seeds, ground or whole (optional)
1 heaping tbsp gluten-free baking powder
1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp salt
1½ cups pumpkin puree
1/3 cupunrefined coconut oil, softened or melted, or grapeseed oil
1/4 cup coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup (or more granulated sweetener of choice)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1/4-1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest

optional add ins: ~1 tbsp walnuts/pecans, pepitas, hemp seeds, golden raisins
optional toppings: pepitas, walnut/pecan crumbs, lemon zest, coconut

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 415˚ and lightly spray/grease a loaf pan or line with parchment paper. Blend the whole rolled oats in a food processor or high powered blender until you have two cups of fine powder oat flower. Combine the oat flour, xylitol, chia/flax, salt, baking powder, and spice in a large bowl and mix until blended. Add the wet ingredients in with the dry, mix together until well combined. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle optional toppings. Bake for 20 minutes at 415˚, then reduce heat to 395˚ and bake for an additional 25 minutes. It should be about 40-50 minutes total. If toothpick comes out clean it’s ready. Allow to cool for 30 mins. Enjoy!


Cookies, Grain Free, Raw, Snacks

Grain-free Cookie Dough for One and a little on my battle with chronic illness

I’m so sorry to admit that I’ve seriously neglected this lovely lil blog of mine…but for a good reason. Let me explain.

Last year in June I was diagnosed with chronic late stage neurological lyme disease. At that time I’d been suffering for years with persistent symptoms since age 4. It started with childhood asthma, allergies, headaches, migraines with nausea and auras, IBS, and chronic fatigue. Later it progressed to severe brain fog, (like forgetting which side of the faucet is hot or cold, and finding myself in a room and not realizing how i got there…), stuttering, disorientation, hallucinations,, panic, rage, mood swings/irritability and general delirium, along with physically disabling symptoms like severe body wide musculskeletal pain, seizures, vasovagal attacks, tachycardia, arrhythmia, dizzy spells, fainting, loss of balance, severe chronic nausea, bouts of vomiting, shortness of breath, chest pain, profuse sweating, shaking chills, swollen painful lymph nodes, irregular body temperature regulation, trouble with vision and hearing, twitches, fasciculations, tremors, low grade fevers, constant exhaustion that feels as if the air around me is a constant weight of 1,000 bricks pushing down against my body, I could go on and on with my close to 200 symptoms. In recent years I’ve developed/been diagnosed with a chronic form of leukopenia (abnormally low white blood cell count) which makes it difficult for my body to fight off infections, bacteria and other harmful stuff…POTS (a severe condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue fatigue syndrome, adenomyosis (type of endometreosis), multiple chemical sensitivity, multiple food allergies, ovarian cysts, numerous infections such as chronic UTI’s, liver and kidney infections, low natural killer cells and more. I’m now intolerant of heat, alcohol, makeup, lotions, shampoos, etc. and hypersensitive to light, sounds and especially smells (MCS). Anything and everything seems to send me into a flare-up these days. I should really just live in a bubble lol. I also lost 25 lbs rapidly and despite pushing myself to eat through the pain I dropped down to about 85 lbs at my sickest (I’m 5’5″, so no bueno). Being so underweight created a whole slew of other serious health problems as well.

It took literally millions of dollars on different specialists and extensive testing, and decades went by before I got the correct diagnoses, the ones that explained it all and connected the dots (dots being symptoms and also disorders/syndromes/conditions). I thought that was it when I was diagnosed with late-stage chronic neurological lyme, as well as HH6 virus, and an acute form of chronic pneumonia. I really had no clue what I was in for and that there was more to it than lyme. When my LLMD told me I’d have a long, tough road ahead of me, I had no idea just how true that was.

6+ months of loads of antibiotics and a PICC line, and I had gotten so sick that most days I was completely bedbound. I could barely walk or talk, I would lay in bed in agonizing pain, none of the prescription pain meds would be of relief, and my herbal meds were just not enough. At times I was so weak I needed to be fed. I was losing the little bit of myself was left, including my hope. In November I took a break from antibiotics since it was destroying my digestive system and did 5 months of low level laser therapy and detoxing, which helped some symptoms but others are now worse. I was getting so bad that I couldn’t get any sleep for weeks and I ended up in the ER with a mass in my large intestines.

I was so weak and riddled with pain, but then the universe intervened and my Dr. suggested a mold test for our house. Turns out we were living in a house which in my dr.s words were “unliveable conditions” due to extremely high infestations of toxic mold, including black mold (all the mold was invisible.) Once the mold toxins (mycotoxins) colonize in the body it becomes a multisystemic neuroimmune disease and never ending war. For the unlucky people like me who don’t have the necessary antibodies in their immune systems to fight off the mycotoxins, even a brief exposure to indoor mold can lead to mycotoxicosis which is full blown systemic disease, where the mycotoxins invade and attack every single living cell and organ in the mold exposed victim. Mycotoxicosis is fatal if left untreated, or if the treatment period begins too late and the mycotoxins have already destroyed organs, or crated cancerous tumors. We now know I have been battling this dreadful disease for years. My mycotoxin test came back positive even after 4 1/2 months of moving from the moldy house. I was told this means the levels of mycotoxins in my body were really high since people with mold illness generally have to “provoke” the mycotoxins to be released from fat cells in the body. This is often done with sauna and heat detoxing, and since I’ve been so sick I sweat almost constantly which sucks but it’s a natural detox. Unfortunately I will always get very sick from mold, but with A LOT of intensive treatment, detoxing and time I should get better, and many of my mycotoxicosis symptoms should go away.

Long term exposure to toxic mold damages the brain and leaves behind permanent complications after even after years of treatment. Unfortunately, I lived in the “moldy house” for over 5 years, and we suspect most of the previous houses I lived in had mold due to my progressive mycotoxicosis symptoms throughout my life. My fibromyalgia is from the mold exposure I’ve been told, and a lot of people with fibro actually have mycotoxicosis. My father bravely battled many forms of cancer before he finally died from brain cancer. I believe his death could’ve been mold related, since mycotoxicosis commonly leads to brain lesions and tumors, as well as cancer (the most common mycotoxins are aflatoxins; highly carcinogenic toxins, and trichothecenes; dangerous neurotoxins which are the most fatal of all the mycotoxins)

It’s estimated that 500,000 people in the U.S. die every year from mycotoxicosis, and it’s likely to be many more since it goes so undiagnosed. Many dr.’s don’t know to test for mycotoxins, and may even go as far as to say mold can’t make you sick! The fact is mold can make people very ill and myctoxicosis takes lives with organ failure, cancer, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), anaphylaxis, and more. I thank God and the Universe because I honestly don’t know if I’d be alive today if I’d stayed in that house the way my body was going, my organs were set to fail. As of now there is no telling the extent of the damage to my brain, I have to wait to get brain scan and lots of other tests. I still have progressing and emerging symptoms, and have been wheelchair bound for the past month. I had to get a port implanted in my chest for my regular IV infusions. There is no cure for mycotoxicosis, and I know I have a long, long way to go and it will only get harder from the toxin die-off as they slowly up the dosages of my meds and infusions, but I am determined to win this.  Now that I finally found the missing piece of my chronic illness puzzle, I have nothing but gratitude and a new sense of hope. My fiancé who lived with me for about a year also got very sick from the mold but not to my degree, fortunately. It’s so very hard to watch him suffer in some of the ways I do. After months of research we have found an environmental illness treatment center out of state which has a high success rate for mycotoxicosis. If all goes according to plan, we should be leaving in june to stay for a month for intensive treatment.

I will be honest, so many times I lose hope, but I know that there is a reason for me to go through this and giving up is just not an option. Being chronically ill is tough, but I am tougher! ❤

What Is Mold Illness? (Mycotoxicosis)

Mold Illness: “Mold Illness is not an allergy. It is an inflammation within the body which is caused by an immune system that has gone haywire. The term “mold illness” is a subcategory of biotoxin illness called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). Some individuals have a genetic susceptibility to develop mold illness based on their immune response genes (HLA–DR). The genetics are clear: occurrence of specific HLA types are found in about 25% of the population.”


Mycotoxicosis Symptoms

Lyme Disease

Lyme has surpassed AIDS as the fastest growing infectious disease in the U.S. right now. Lyme is relatively easy to treat if caught very early, however once it’s progressed to it’s late stages becomes chronic, debilitating and difficult to treat.
“It is caused by a type of bacterium called a spirochete. An infected tick can transmit the spirochetes to the humans and animals it bites. There is some debate to whether other bugs can transmit it, or if it is sexually transmitted. It is however transmitted in utero. It is a multi systemic inflammatory infection. If left untreated it will travel from your skin, through the bloodstream, joints, organs, and will establish itself in various body tissues, and can cause a number of symptoms including neuropsychiatric manifestations.”

Lyme Disease Symptoms

Meanwhile, until I leave for treatment I have a healthy, easy and thoroughly enjoyable treat like cookie dough to turn to keep my spirits up 😉

Vegan Cookie Dough


Grain Free Cookie Dough

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Soy-Free

{adapted from The Live In Kitchen}

yield: 1 serving | prep time: 5 mins | total time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

6 tbsp almond meal/flour
2 tbsp virgin unrefined coconut oil, melted or softened 
2 tbsp coconut nectar, or maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
dash of salt, to taste
vegan chocolate chips or carob chips, to taste

Instructions:

In a small bowl mix together coconut oil, sweetener, and vanilla.
Add flour and salt until well combined, folding in chips last.
Chill for best results…or scarf down immediately. Enjoy!


Breakfast

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

 

Vegan Gluten free Pumpkin Pancakes

Let me tell you about my delicious fall harvest recipe!

First, though, since today is Columbus Day, I felt the need to mention that I do not celebrate or give homage to this US holiday. Columbus was a terrible, terrible man responsible for the deaths, rapes, and enslavement of thousands of native Americans, including, young children which he bragged about.  This man in my book is definitely not worthy of his own national holiday. I wanted to share this with everyone. It’s a little history on Christopher Columbus:
The Real Columbus

Anyhoo, back to the food! This is my favorite time of year! Autumn is such a beautiful and festive season. With all the beauty in nature with the trees foliage turning rich, wondrous shades of yellow, red, and orange, and the streets covered in a tapestry of leaves. It really is a real life postcard. Many of you may agree that one of the best things about autumn is all the seasonal food. Pumpkin quite easily tops the list as americas favorite. Now the pumpkin spice craze is viral – pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice cupcakes, pumpkin spice doughnuts, even pumpkin spice oreos…wait, oreos?! There appears to be no end to the madness, however I think the classics like pies, bread loaves and ofcourse pancakes are totally lovable pumpkin spice material ; )

A few days ago, my fiance made a pumpkin pancake recipe that I found online, and for the first time in my life I was let down by a pumpkin recipe. It’s not that my boo is a bad chef, he actually makes awesome pancakes that sometimes put mine to shame. Problem was the pancakes were lacking flavor and tasted odd to me. It wasn’t just because of the lack of spice, but the flavors didn’t blend well, at least my taste palate didn’t approve. This disappointed me and I was determined to make a satisfying, flavorful pumpkin spice pancake recipe. I decided that it had to have a ton of energizing fall spice in every bite, but also had to be cosy and comforting, which is why I added the buttermilk.

A little creativity went a long way and I am proud to say I created a successful and amazingly delicious pumpkin spice pancake recipe. These pancakes are cleaner, more wholesome, and way yummier than IHOP’s pumpkin pancakes! =) Amazingly, it took me just one try at this recipe and it needed no further tweaks or adjustments. To be honest, I was surprised at how great these pancakes turned out. I was a little nervous because it was a complete experiment, but I relied on what I’ve learned about creating vegan, gluten free pancakes from scratch. For the flour, I used ground up gluten free oats since it’s a healthy filling grain. I use GF oat flour a lot, especially with my breakfast recipes, as it is highly nutritional. Rolled oats aka old fashioned oats are loaded with fiber, manganese, and are a great source of protein since they’re whole grains. Old fashioned oats help strengthen immunity against infections, stabilize blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, prevent heart failure and cardiovascular disease as well as help the body fight against cancer and other diseases with all of it’s antioxidants. Perfect for those like myself who are on the road to healing, and for those who want stay healthy!

Oats are harvested in the fall, so yet another reason to love the season!
ClairesPumpkinSpicePancakes


Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free optional, Sugar-Free optional

Yield: 5-9 buttermilk pancakes

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup cashew milk or vegan milk of choice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats, ground to a flour
1 tbsp xylitol, vegan cane sugar, or coconut sugar (optional)
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1-1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 tbsp coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup (optional)
1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil, melted, or grapeseed oil

Instructions:

To make buttermilk, mix one tablespoon of vinegar in a measuring cup, with the milk, whisk and set aside for 5 minutes to curdle.
In a blender or food processor, grind oats to a flour. It’s ok if there are a few pieces of whole oats.
In a large bowl mix dry ingredients together.
In a medium bowl mix together pumpkin puree with the rest of the wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients into dry, mix until just combined, a few clumps are okay.
Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat and lightly grease with a little vegan butter or oil. Ladle pancakes on the griddle and cook until bubbles form on the inside as well as the outside of your pancake, about 1 1/2 mins, flip with a spatula and repeat.
To keep your pancakes hot, you can keep them in a 150° oven while you finish making the rest. Serve with topping of your choice. Enjoy!

Breakfast, Muffins

Blueberry Hemp Muffins

 

Blueberry Hemp Muffins

On days when I have the energy, and hallelujah when I do, one of my favorite things to make for breakfast is muffins. I just love the varieties muffins have to offer, so many options to get my hands dirty in the kitchen with  =)

There is just something about the traditional muffin that is so inviting and comforting, don’t you think? These blueberry muffins are not so traditional but are yummy and nutritious. I added hemp seeds to my blueberry muffins, since they’re ridiculously healthy I try to incorporate it into my food as much as I can. Hemp seeds are high in protein, Vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids, and amino acids. In fact the super nutritious little seeds contain all 20 amino acids, including the 9 amino acids our body can’t produce on it’s own. (Go ahead, read more on the nutritional benefits of glorious Hemp Seeds here.)

Delicious, highly nutritious, and a great way to start any day, these muffins turned out pretty splendid I must say!

Healthy Blueberry Muffins - Vegan + Gluten Free


Blueberry Hemp Muffins

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Soy-Free, Grain-Free optional

Yield: 4 Muffins

Ingredients:
1 cup gluten-free flour 
{i’ve made these with gf oat flour, rice flour, almond flour, gf all purpose flour/blends all with success}
1/3 cup hulled hemp seeds 
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup coconut nectar, brown rice syrup or maple syrup
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar, or fresh lemon juice
3/4-1 cup fresh wild blueberries (non-wild variety works just fine too)

BlueberryHempMuffins

*Note on flour: The photo at the beginning of this post are muffins made with gluten free oat flour, the muffins in the to the right of this text, and just above were made with almond flour. I’ve tried gluten free all purpose flour, brown and white rice flour which all worked out just as well. I found the almond flour to be very moist and fluffy, the oat Flour, more dense and chewy, and the all purpose right in the middle.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°.
In a medium bowl mix together all your dry ingredients.
In a large bowl mix together your wet ingredients.
Add your dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined (making sure not to over-mix), folding in your blueberries last.
Ladle your batter into a lined muffin pan filling cups 3/4 of the way.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool for about 30 minutes in pan. Enjoy!


Bread, Breakfast

Strawberry Banana Oat Bread

 

Banana Strawberry Oat Bread
This strawberry banana oat quickbread is hearty, wholesome, sweet and deelicious!

Let’s talk about oats for a minute. Old-fashioned oats to be specific. In case you didn’t already know, old fashioned oats are also referred to as rolled oats. Rolled oats are darn healthy grains. They are highly nutritious whole grains packed with fiber. In fact one cup is a whole 10 grams! These oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, including  Beta-glucan, a soluble fiber unique to oats. Beta-glucan is associated with a 5 percent reduction in total cholesterol and a 7 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol, the type associated with heart disease. (Read more here.) Oats are low-glycemic, which is important to look for to regulate blood sugar levels, not just for weight loss purposes. These grains happen to be very filling, and that’s why I love them. Apparently, I have a black hole in my stomach and it takes a lot for me to feel full, but it seems that whenever there are oats present I always feel full and satisfied without the sluggish feeling heavy processed foods may leave behind.


Strawberry Banana Oat Bread

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Refined Flour-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Yeast-Free

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

Yield: One 9×5 or 8×4 Bread Loaf

ingredients:

2 cups gluten free rolled oats, ground to a flour
4 heaping tbsp gluten free rolled oats, whole
1 tsp baking soda
1/2-1 tsp ground cinnamon, optional
3/4 tsp gluten free baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup fresh strawberries
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2/3-1 cup coconut nectar, brown rice syrup or maple syrup
1/3 cup virgin unrefined coconut oil
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9×5 baking/loaf pan. Grind your 2 cups of your rolled oats in a blender or food processor to make into flour. It is perfectly fine is some whole oats remain in the flour. In a large bowl, mix oat flour, and the rest of your dry ingredients well. Puree your strawberries. Now add in strawberry puree and mashed bananas along with the rest of your wet ingredients. Mix with a wooden or plastic spoon (preferably) until blended together evenly. Pour your bread batter into greased loaf pan and bake for 30-50, or until top is golden-brown and toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!