Coconut Flour Keto Waffles! (Paleo/Dairy Free Variations)

We love coconut flour around here. It is not an inflammation causing grain and as you only use about 1/4 to 1/3 cup compared to standard flour or almond flour it is relatively inexpensive. My favorite Is Bob’s Red Mill but I have been known to use BetterBody Foodst as well because frankly it’s cheap at Winco. $2.27 a pound and when you factor in that you only use about a third as other standard and paleo or keto flours that’s really not bad. Also it absorbs a lot of eggs or whatever liquidy thing you want to stick in with it so there is a lot of potential for nutrition and flavor. I have literally used “chia eggs” made with cold brew for awesome coffee tasting vegan treats as well. Coconut also boosts your metabolism and is a great flour for those with nut allergies. So there you are. Many reasons to love coconut flour.

We came up with this recipe this morning after making our first batch of keto waffles (Thank you Wholesome Yum for your lovely recipe) with a few subs and then I realized we were all going “yum yum” on Marco Polo to my lovely friends, one of whom has a severely nut-allergic child. So we did some playing and six batches later we came up with this!

I tried tahini, and one child HATED it. I tried Avocado oil and coconut oil but my little butter fiend was not happy. Ghee or butter flavored coconut oil would be the winner here but make it as you like it.

Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

*I prefer Aroy-D because it is BPA free. BPA interferes with your thyroid amongst other things which will raise your insulin and defeat any efforts to lose weight and get healthy.

Method:

Preheat your nonstick waffle iron.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Separate egg whites from yolks and whip the whites in a medium sized bowl until stiff peaks form.  Like with Meringue. * 

*I have not tried it yet but for a vegan option you could use chickpea water and whip it in a mixer until you get the same consistency.

Place yolks, milk of choice, and healthy fat of choice (must be either in liquid form or melted down to liquid form) together with vanilla or maple essence in a bowl and whisk together.  *for a vegan option you could make 2 blended flax or chia eggs or use ground chia for your egg… let me know how it goes if you try it!)

Pour your mixed wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and mix until you have a thick batter.  

Incorporate your egg white meringue material (this is what gives the waffles the rise and fluff) and fold it into the batter until smooth.

Spray the waffle iron with a bit of avocado oil because it helps keep the waffles from sticking and it has the highest smoke point of all the oil and smoked/burned oils are toxic oils. (I put my oils in sally’s organics bottles because I’m not a fan of emulsifiers. Some oils take a little water or vinegar as a natural emulsifier. I’ll use this if the spray is more of a stream.)

I pour about 3/4 cup into our waffle iron but use your judgement.  It took about a minute in ours to cook.  If you try to pull up the lid and it holds, give it another 15-20 seconds before trying again.

Serve with healthy toppings of choice!  These can be separated and frozen to be used for toaster waffles.

My coconut flour tough sell digging in. Yay!

Note: Nutrition facts are based on one square waffle portion and using coconut milk and coconut oil.

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Fermented Onions for Troubleshooting Tricky Cultures…

Cultured white onions for other ferments & cultured red onions because they’re pretty yum.

Hey foodie friends,

Sorry I have been absent. My littlest has required much attention of late. We have had the winter of winters in terms of illness here and she is my one who is prone to pneumonia whenever anything as silly as a cold moves through the house. She is appalled by most things fermented, save hummus, so it is difficult to keep her already delicate immune system strong.

This has been life of late… She’s cute even with a mask.

I have still been playing in the kitchen but have been somewhat absent from social media and blogging. First things first, right?

This is essentially a re-post. I had a friend pull a recipe from my blog to make fermented carrots recently and he asked about the “fermenting juice” I had mentioned in order to help along a persnickety culture. A lot of people use whey, and I have done so as well. But my preference is to keep ferments pure if I can. Vegetables are vegetables and those who cannot tolerate dairy should not fear that it may be in their hummus or their carrots.

I had a post on making cultured red onions, which boasted all the lovely gut health info so have a read if you like. This post is the same recipe but I did a batch of red onions for eating and a batch of white onions for the purpose of having clear fermenting liquid “juice” on hand for other ferments. We still eat the white onions but they tend to go into things that the lovely purple will make unappealing.

Ingredients: 

Method: 

  1. Lay all your tools on a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat
  2. in the oven and heat to 170 degrees Fahrenheit to sanitize everything.
  3. Peel, wash and slice your red onions into thin strips, or use a mandolin.  For speed (which is completely necessary when you have 3 or more children running around) I used the latter method.
  4. Pile the onions into the sanitized 2 Liter jar.
  5. Smash down with a washed French rolling pin or wooden spoon to release juices and be sure you have a couple inches space at the top.
  6. Cover with non-chlorinated water and your salt of choice.
  7. Weigh down with a sanitized fermentation weight or small jar.
  8. Wait 2-3 Days and as long as a month for the healthy bacteria to grow.

Use the liquid from these to help along another batch of cultured veg, or to ferment your hummus or other dips. 

There you go… if you’re struggling with unruly wild yeasts in your home and you need a cultured win from which to borrow, here you are. 🙂


Fermented Aubergine (Eggplant)

I adore baba ghanoush. Actually I adore MY baba ghanoush. Which I always begin by smoking the tar out of a pile of eggplant. I met this vegetable on a pizza in the south of France and it was called an aubergine, so forgive me if I keep it that way. It sounds WAY more appetizing than eggplant, which is probably why I had never eaten one before. It was also the best pizza I had ever eaten until I began making my own and modeling it after the one I had enjoyed at “L’aubergine” restaurant in Provence. Apparently they liked the funny little veg-fruit too.

Well, I love grilling it with with sea salt and sprayed with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. It comes alive smoked, I’m telling you. But as most veg come alive through fermentation as well, I thought I’d give it a try.

Day 7 ferment

Ingredients

  • 3 Aubergine (eggplant) rinsed, quartered and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 onion sliced and diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, smashed or sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika, smokey ancho chili or red chili flakes
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt dissolved in 1 quart water (repeat in proportion if necessary)
  • 68oz mason (I used to have a ton of these before I moved overseas… le sigh…) or big pickle jar

You can add other herbs, but I wanted this as close to basic as possible because as I said… I love to make baba ghanoush. Consider this the prequel to that post! I’ve recently started making a Romanian flavor profile version by leaving the coriander and mint off and adding roasted onion. SO good.


Milk Kefir, Adaptogen Style.

Milk kefir with Ashwaganda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and vanilla.

One of my first introductions to the official cultured food world was Milk Kefir (pronounced “Keh-pheer”). I was reading Nourishing Traditions in an search for help with some of my health issues.

Long story short… I have had wheat allergies and sugar sensitivity all my life but didn’t know it. We didn’t have allergies in the 80’s! I was an exchange student in Mexico in High School and I didn’t drink the Tequila. Wrong move. When it is fed to children and home brewed in every home… DRINK IT. You guessed it. I got parasites. And not just any parasites… but LOTS of parasites. They began rearing their ugly heads when I went off to college… which because of a long and difficult fight with my health and these little buggers, took me a whopping 6 years including a move home and an incidental change of majors. So much for my journalism career. PSU didn’t have that department so I settled for my minor as my major: Political Science. Fun… but a waste of time for me. At least I have a Bachelor’s Degree now, right? And lots of debt. Yaaaaay. After prednisone and a host of other awful medications that all but completely destroyed my microbiome, I was NOT rid of these suckers. You though I was going to say I was healed, did ya? Nope. In the end, it was prayer, garlic and essential oils. Thank you very much. Oh and thanks prednisone, for making my insulin all jacked and for that extra FIFTY POUNDS it took me years to work off. Thanks… yeah… thanks for that. I still have to watch it. But that’s a story for another day.

My immune issues since the wee “friends” have been terrible. Even through my years in Scotland with Youth With A Mission and all my wonderful travels to beautiful sunny countries I struggled with my immune system… but never again did I contract parasites. One wises up, we should hope.

Nourishing Traditions. I was reading about milk kefir and came across a particular symptom that jumped out at me. It said that milk kefir can help your body absorb other nutrients as well as restore your gut health. Two of symptoms it was said do help with were dark under-eye circles and cracked lips. A light had dawned. My beautiful son Matt has had those issues since he went from breastmilk to food. I grew up with it as well. So I immediately found some culturing grains and started making my own milk kefir. I have a lovely culture… and I’ve tried several. It has a palatable mild (comparatively) taste that I was able to get down the throats of two out of three of my children. The third… I have to sneak it into homemade fruit popscicles.

It helps with a lot of things. Helps people recover from chemotherapy, helps with pregnancy and can lessen the risk of pre-eclampsia, helps weaken the symptoms of food allergies, is generally safe for people with lactose-intolerance because the bacteria feeds on the lactose (sugar) in the milk. It helps your body deal with anxiety and excess cortisol (the stuff that makes you stressed and fat if you don’t exercise it off) Yada yada… a lot of stuff. I could write a thesis.

After we started drinking it, Matt’s dark eye circles and cracked lips just went away. If he doesn’t drink it for a few days they come back. Just like that.

For me the kicker was the day my arms went numb from a combination of stress and a reaction to unhealthy oils in a bag of tortilla chips I shouldn’t have been eating. My father in law was visiting and he had to drive me to the Downpatrick A&E (Emergency Room for you Americans). I grabbed a glass of kefir and downed it before we left and the numbness dissipated within 20 minutes. We were sitting in the waiting room and it just… went away. I was sold on the stuff.

Flavor wise… I liked it straight off the bat and took it neat. I love plain yogurt and stinky raw cheese so no surprise there. Matt takes his with a bit of raw honey encompassed in a little water so the bacteria don’t brawl. My middle child is the same. My husband Steve likes his with cold brew coffee, vanilla and my cinnamon/clove/ginger mixture. I’ll post that recipe at a later date with my other Milk Kefir go-to.

I like mine plain, but I have taken to adding healthy compounds to get the most out of it… and of late have had it after a strenuous workout because it has LOTS of BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids) including Leucine, which helps with muscle recovery. Step aside, muscle milk.

Cinnamon and yogurt are one of those food combinations that boosts metabolism. Added to that, Ashwaganda (or Indian Ginseng) is an adaptogen (a natural food substance that helps the body adapt to stress) as well as an anti-inflammatory. Cloves, which are in the phytocannabinoid family along with rosemary and hempseed, help reduce stress and inflammation in the body as well. Ginger increases metabolism and has anti-inflammatory properties as well… and it’s yummy. I use pure vanilla extract and sometimes a drop of liquid stevia to offset the bitterness of the ashwaganda. If you’re feeling really frisky (close your eyes all you Whole30 and Paleo people) you can add a tablespoon of quality whiskey and you’ll feel like you’re drinking eggnog without the eggs.

If you have never had milk kefir I would recommend getting an unsweetened one from any health store or Whole Foods Market. I saw some in our local Market of Choice recently as well. Just try it and take a tablespoon per day, doubling every 3-4 days until you can drink a cup without any odd effects. Milk kefir kicks out the bad bacteria in your gut pretty quickly… and some people experience candida die off or something similar to the keto flu when they hit it too hard too fast. I had a full on set of flu symptoms that lasted approximately two hours and then I felt great. But I don’t eat sugar. My son had what looked like the flu and a rash on his face for about a day until it dawned on my that I might be able to speed it along and I gave him water kefir. The rash was gone within the hour. So… take it easy. I eased my daughter and my husband into it and they have never suffered any ill effects.

Ingredients:

I’ll often add a tablespoon of chia seeds for some extra BCAA’s but if you don’t like little bits in your drinking yogurt leave them out. It’s certainly not my husband’s cup of tea.

Drink it during or after a workout… or for breakfast… or to break your fast if you’re doing intermittent fasting. It is keto safe as most of the sugars and lactose are eaten up during fermentation. But don’t go crazy. It still has carbs. You can make it with full fat coconut milk as well for Paleo and Vegan folks. See here.

Here’s to happy gut bacteria!


Cultured Barbecue Sauce… Minus the Nasties

Fermented barbecue sauce day two. Look at that lively action!

One of the first things I learned to ferment was barbecue sauce. I had always wanted to give it a go, but my newfound resistance to refined sugars and the discovery that I could inject nearly any food with probiotics naturally put me over the edge. I came up with it alongside my fermented ketchup recipe (I have always hated ketchup but loved Australian tomato sauce for its vinegar kick).

The first time was a charm, which almost never happens, and then I had the challenge of recreating it.

It is still in process, but this recipe is pretty darned good and relatively easy.

I love it with sweet potato fries as well as an ingredient in my pizza sauce regime.

Give it a go and let me know how you like it!

Tomatoes and onions in the pre roast phase

Fermented Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:

Method:

Roast tomatoes, onions and garlic at 425° for 45 minutes or until blackened. Set aside to cool.

Sanitize your 1 liter or quart jar and lids if using. I place them in the oven at its lowest temperature for a few minutes. 170° Fahrenheit in an American oven. My British ovens were usually 75° Celsius.

Place all ingredients in high powered blender or food processor (wet in the bottom, dry on top) but reserve the olive oil.

Blend until smooth.

Pour the paste into the sanitized jar. I usually scrape all of it in the keeping 2″ at the top at least for expansion.

Cover with the olive oil and seal the jar with the clip top or the fermenting air lock and lid.

Leave to ferment for 2-7 days, depending on taste. The longer you leave it the less sugar you will have in the final ferment so taste it as needed but be mindful to use sterile spoons.

I like to keep it in these cool little oxo chef bottles but a glass jar is just fine.

Condiment to your saucy heart’s desire!