Corn free products and information at your fingertips

New Items

I have been away from blogging for quite some time, but have been finding interesting items and ideas to survive my corn-free and wheat-free life. Since I have not posted in a long time I thought it would be good to catch up on all the good stuff I have found. Most of the items in this blog are found at Trader Joe’s and low in calories.

The first is to purchase dried yellow mustard powder and add it to Vegenaise if you like to have a mustard egg salad. It works great with a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar. I prefer Frontier Herbs brand sold at most health food stores. 

The second is a prepared mustard from Eden Foods in Michigan. They make it with cider vinegar. It really is wonderful to have prepared mustard!

A third is a product I found at Trader Joe’s which reminds me of popcorn: Lundberg Organic Brown Rice cakes. They are lightly salted, vegan, gluten-free, and corn-free. Ingredients: Organic whole grain brown rice & sea salt. It does not get much simpler than that. And only 60 calories for 2 cakes. They are also fantastic with a thin layer of peanut butter and some banana – yum.

The 4th is actually 2 items from Trader Joe’s: Organic Hemp Protein Powder – Chocolate and Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. I add 2 Tablespoons hemp powder (60 cal.), 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder (20 cal.), 6 – 8 oz. Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almond Milk – Chocolate – Unsweetened (45 cal.), and 2 cups frozen raspberries (186 cal.) into a blender for 2 full glasses of smoothie. You can add some TJ’s Blue Agave Sweetener (1/2 T = 30 cal.) if you want it sweet. This is – OMG – awesome!

The 5th category is Trader Joe’s: Organic Split Pea Soup (150 cal.) in one can. Oh so good to warm the bones in the winter months.

Next is Trader Joe’s: Traditional Style Fat Free Refried Beans. Numerous dips can be made with these or you can serve them heated with some vegan cheese on top as a side dish with rice.

Last, but not least, is another item from Trader Joe’s: Vegetable root Chips (Low sodium, high fiber, and only 160 cal. for 16 chips).

Enjoy and stay healthy!

 

My Best Investment

In order to survive my corn-free and wheat-free journey I feel it is necessary to have a chest freezer. This is the one purchase I am thrilled I made a short while back.

By buying in bulk and freezing things I can save a ton of money. The unit is not the smallest one, but close. It was fairly inexpensive and the cost to run the freezer only increased my bill by about $2.50 to $3.00 a month. The cost of buying things individually can cost way more than that.

My aStore through Amazon also offers free shipping on most of the items in bulk. The best thing about this type of shopping is that you can shop in your pajamas. The next best thing is that you can find all the items that you need in one place.

One of the problems with finding food when you are corn and wheat free is that many processed items, including frozen veggies and fruits, can be processed with the items we are trying to avoid (citric acid is a common item used to preserve the color of things and it is most often made from corn here in the US). However, if you have a freezer you can buy fresh produce, or pick your own and freeze it.

Many foods are easy to freeze. Berries are especially easy to freeze by simply putting them on a cookie sheet, making sure they are a, and putting the whole thing in the freezer. Then just put them in an airtight bag.

I just made chili from tomatoes which were frozen as described above. My mother taught me the trick. You just leave the skins on them and put them on the cookie sheet. Very easy to do and very little time. Tomatoes are another item we corn-free folks have a hard time finding processed because of the citric acid used in the canning process.

Plus one other thing that makes the freezer helpful is that I make big batches of foods and then freeze it in smaller portions. It makes it easy to come up with a meal in a snap.

You do need to make sure to label everything and date them too. Another thing my mother used to do when she had a great big chest freezer was to make a list of items in the freezer, put the tick marks next to it, and mark a line across the tick mark when she took an item out. These days the computer can even sort the list by date and then in alpha order. If you are really organized you can even have things in specific quadrants of the freezer in individual larger containers. No matter how you do it, it is really important to label what is in each package because once it is frozen it looks a lot like many other things.

Then there are the meats which can be bought in bulk and individually packaged. Or the really good deals, like the buy one get one free deals that Kroger’s has occasionally. I have saved hundreds of dollars just on meats alone. That more than pays for the freezer.

Anyone who has a food intollerance knows how expensive the foods we must buy can cost. This simple investment has saved me oodles of money so far. It is without a doubt the best investment I have made.

Eat well, save money, and stay healthy!

Cornfreegirl

Buckwheat Pancake Mix

Awesome  Corn-Free & Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancakes

The company is 123 Gluten Free and it is Allie’s Awesome Buckwheat Pancake Mix. I have it in the aStore on page 6 of the corn-free baking items list.

For those of you who are new to the gluten-free scene, buckwheat is not really wheat. In fact it is a distant cousin of beets. The buckwheat is really a seed. The seeds are packed with nutrients and this is one of the few vegetable items which have all the essential proteins for a complete protein.

I made them as suggested, but the batter is thin. When I got to the end of the box I didn’t have enough mix to follow the directions, so I improvised and the following recipe is quite thick and filling:

1 1/4 cup of the mix

1/2 cup powdered buttermilk

2 eggs

3/4 cup almond milk

plenty of plump blueberries

Cook as directed on a hot griddle.

Making up a batch of pancakes without adding the fruit is something which can be frozen and heated in the toaster. Just let them cool, separate them with plastic wrap, and freeze in an airtight container.

You can even use them like a sandwich wrap if you make them the original way on the box and make them big enough. Wrap them up in the plastic wrap by putting it on the plastic wrap and folding the edge of the wrap up over one edge of the pancake, then gently roll the pancake up and seal it into the plastic wrap.  These should store in the fridge for several days.

There are a bunch of recipes inside the box which I can’t wait to try out!

Stay Healthy,

Lyn

 

 

Packaging With Corn

I have read several times that certain packaging materials may be made with corn. I searched: “corn used in packaging materials” and came up with a website: http://www.ncga.com/  which is the National Corn Growers Association. The page I went to right off was: http://lepton.marz.com/ncga/comm_dev_center/product_detail.asp?product=Packaging+materials#top  This page gives a long list of items which are being produced as “green” materials for the environment.

My most recent bit of information I stumbled upon was that cornstarch may be used in waxed paper. Cornstarch is used to keep things seperated, but why in the world would you need to keep a waxed item seperated? Isn’t that what the wax is for? This is what made me decide to research packaging materials.

Many of the biodegradable packaging foams are made of cornstarch now. Beware of the cups, plates, plasticware, individual wrap which is on a sandwich or other food item, the foam under any individually wrapped item, the hinged type container for individual servings (especially if you can microwave it), the wrapper on that individual piece of candy may be suspect too. It is my bet that many school cafeteria items will be using these items because they are very cost effective and save the environment.

Many bags are biodegradable because they are made with corn, so if you have a corn allergy the cloth grocery bags may be a good thing to buy.

Paper bags may be a good option, but I am concerned about the “dextrin adhesives for the paper converting industry” and will have to investigate this a bit more. You can reuse paper bags numerous times and they are biodegradable. After they are spent you can use them in your garden under mulch to stop weeds and they will attract beneficial worms to the area.

What a beautiful 4th of July! Sunny and hot, hot, hot.

To start out my day I loaded up my truck with all of my recyclable items to be dropped off later in the day. Then added a layer of boxes for weed control at the farm and a huge pile of tree limbs to be unloaded there too.

Once at the farm I did almost 3 hours of weeding. My legs were really sore right afterwards, even though I switched positions from kneeling to sitting half way through.

What I am doing at the close of this day is having a cup of CALM which is a “premium sports Magnesium-Calcium formula” made by Peter Gillham. My mother has been using this for years and swears by it. I also have been using it for years and know it works for me. I drink it sometimes while I am out working hard, but many times just have a cup of it later in the evening before bed (It helps you sleep better too). Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer. In fact,  it helps to stop leg cramps for many people and I recommend it to a lot of people for that reason.

I checked with the company who makes this product to find out if the citric acid was derived from corn and was told that it is derived from beets. The product also contains potassium, boron, and vitamin D3. By creating a liquid from these nutrients your body is able to easily absorb the ions, rather than taking a pill which is full of fillers and generally large portions of them pass right through you.

The drink has a lemony taste. It can be mixed up in a larger concentrated batch and stored in the fridge for several days if you are planning on a lot of hard physical work for a few days. This can be added to some cold water or to orange juice if you want a good synergistic drink to mix it with. I like to add it to my hot tea (lemon zinger), but you want to make sure that you catch the water before it boils because you only need it to be hot. Sometimes I even make a cold tea with this concoction. They do have fruit flavored CALM as well. I don’t like that kind of stuff, so I can’t tell you what it tastes like.

I recommend you try drinking CALM at night after a hard physical day in order to wake up feeling refreshed with the aching in your muscles gone, or at least considerably subsided.

I was searching for mayo which doesn’t have white vinegar (Made from corn) and found the following product at Better Health store. I am sure that most health food stores would order it for you if they do not carry it.

Grapeseed Vegenaise – Dressing and Sandwich Spread.

Ingredients: Expeller-Pressed Grapeseed Oil, Filtered Water, Brown Rice Syrup, Apple Cider Vinegar, Non-GMO Soy Protein, Sea Salt, Mustard Flour, and Lemon Juice Concentrate.

When I opened the jar I smelled it before I put it into my salad because I have purchased other substitutes and was very disappointed. It smells just like mayo! It is really amazing.

The simple salad I made was:

Chicken Waldorf with Dried Cherries

Ingredients: 2 Cups chicken chunks (from left over roasted chicken breast), 1/2 large apple chopped up, 1/2 cup dried cherries, walnuts, 2 tbsp. chopped water chestnut, and 1/4 cup mayo. More mayo can be added if you like a creamier salad. Just mix it all together in a large bowl and serve on a bed of lettuce if you want a pretty presentation.

© Lyn Watson

My new recipe for banana bread turned out really yummy, but it ended up being too moist and seemed undercooked to me. I sliced it into 1/2″ strips, placed it on parchment paper over a cookie sheet, and cooked it at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (Cooking time will depend on how moist your quick bread is).

It created a type of soft biscotti without having to roll dough. I really like it!

The EnerG pure rice flour is a bit finer grind than Bob’s Red Mill white rice flour (I have both in my aStore). I may try Bob’s Red Mill next time I make banana bread…

Following is the new recipe I used. I suggest that you reduce the amount of liquids used if you want a dryer cake:

Corn-Free, Wheat-Free, & No Oil Banana Bread

 

1 Cup EnerG pure rice flour

1 Cup blanched almond flour

¼ Cup amaranth flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. Hain featherweight baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. powdered ginger

1 tsp. guar gum

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla (Non-alcohol)

½ cup applesauce – unsweetened

1/2 cup warm water

¾ cup almond milk – unsweetened

3 extra ripe bananas

½ cup honey

1 cup walnuts if desired

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a sheet cake pan. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together making sure to crush the clumps of almond flour. In a small bowl scramble eggs, vanilla, and almond milk together; add the sugar, water, and applesauce. In a second small bowl smash the banana and cream it with a fork. Add the egg mixture and the bananas to the dry ingredients a little at a time and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Batter will be quite wet. Add nuts if desired. Pour into the 13 x 9 baking pan and cook for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The edges will pull away from the pan and it will be quite brown, but it will be very moist.

 

© Lyn Watson

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: