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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

 

 

Awesome Corn-Free Mayonnaise Substitute

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

Saving Undercooked Banana Bread

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

Corn Free and Wheat Free Pasta

I have found the winner in my search for an acceptable pasta: Bionaturae – gluten-free pasta.

I am so thrilled to have found this one! I added all of the different types of this gluten-free pasta on my aStore (I wish they had the frequent buyer program for it though). The bulk price is pretty good considering I found it at the health food store for over $5.00 a bag and on my aStore it is only $3.60 a bag in bulk with free super saver shipping. I will definitely be ordering this in bulk!

It does not turn mushy while cooking it and it tastes remarkably similar to wheat. The pasta is made with rice, potato, and soy. Normally I don’t use soy products, but I am willing to bend on this one since it states that the soy is not genetically engineered! It is absolutely fabulous.

Last night I made a very simple tomato pasta sauce with only italian seasonings and put it on this pasta. It was the prefect consistency and I really couldn’t tell the difference, but I am not Italian. I have not used it in a salad form yet, but one of the reviewers on Amazon said that it is good this way too if you eat it up within a couple of days.

Now I can start cooking a bunch of lunch and dinner pasta dishes.

Corn-Free & Wheat-Free Banana Bread

Corn-Free & Wheat-Free Banana Bread

 

1 cup EnerG pure rice flour

1 cup blanched almond flour

1/2 cup amaranth flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. Hain featherweight baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. powdered ginger

1 tsp. guar gum

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla (Non-alcohol)

1/4 cup oil

1 cup warm water

3/4 cup cream or almond milk

4 extra ripe bananas

1 cup brown sugar (With no added caramel color)

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 cream together; add the sugar, water, and oil. 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 and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Add nuts if desired. Pour into the 13 x 9 baking pan and cook for 1 hour 10 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

An Elimination Diet To Find Food Intolerances

I have spent a great deal of time reading up on food intolerance and food allergies. They are different because reactions within the body are different. Allergic reactions can be life threatening, quite severe, and most often occur immediately. Food intolerance or sensitivity reactions can also be severe, but often cause major problems over time.

Here is a link to one article I found: http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/food_intolerance.htm

Another: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-allergy/AN01109

A third: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400354/Best-Test-for-Food-Intolerance.html

All of these articles are written by doctors who see definite connections to health problems caused by eating certain foods. Many of the articles I have read today suggest an “elimination diet” to find out what you are allergic or intolerant to. That is basically what I did with the guidance of my registered dietician’s detox program.

If you suspect you have issues with any foods you may consider this approach since it is relatively inexpensive and fairly easy to do with a little prep work. To succeed you should read the literature, buy things which you can eat on your program, and try preparing things ahead so you will not be starving as you are trying to figure out what you can eat.

Using Quinoa

I prefer Eden Organic white Quinoa. It has a milder taste than the red does.

One thing I have learned to do is to add some to other things rather than trying to make a main meal out of it. If you do this you will be adding a great deal of fiber, an impressive array of nutrients, and an excellent source of complete protein to your meal. You can find out more about its health benefits here: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=142&tname=foodspice

I have found that I can go a long time without feeling hungry again if I add just 1/4 cup cooked quinoa to a bowl of old-fashioned long cooking oatmeal. I put the quinoa in when adding the oatmeal to the boiling water. My favorite combination is to add sliced banana, cinnamon, ginger powder, and a little low-fat milk or almond milk.

Adding quinoa to chili or soup is also a great way to get more from your meal. Keep in mind that it is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach, so anything that goes with this veggie will most likely go with quinoa. You can add it to your salad too. I am going to also try adding it to a baked good or two and will let you know the results of that.

A quinoa main meal recipe will be available for you once I perfect it. In the meantime, the best way to use it is to make a batch  as advised on the back of the bag and keep it in your refrigerator (Keeps about a week in an airtight container), so that you can quickly add it to your meals.

Hope you enjoy it!

Honey

I grew up using the sweet golden flavorful treasure created by my Uncle Bud’s bees. This was religiously drizzled on cereal and fruit, plus my mother baked it into many things. It is still a staple in my household and I use it in many things.

When I read someone’s post about corn in honey I was appalled! Then I was concerned since I still use it to do all of the above, including adding it into my baked goods.

I knew that beekeepers must feed their bees when they travel and I heard that corn syrup was a main food for that. I sent a message off to my cousin, who now owns the honey business, to find out about the corn and honey connection.

Larry Hilbert, owner of Hilbert’s Honeyland in Traverse City, MI sat with me patiently answering my questions about using corn syrup to feed his bees. He explained to me that the bees use the corn syrup to survive. In other words, they eat the corn syrup along with other nutrients fed to them while traveling. They do not feed the bees the syrup when they are collecting to produce honey, which the bees do at a certain time of the year.

He told me that since the bee colony collapse problem has occurred he has regularly had his bees and honey tested for everything under the sun and corn residue is one of them. His honey is clean.

Bee colony collapse is a very serious issue because about 1/3 of the crops in the US are pollinated by bees. If the bees all die then the US and possibly the world will lose the ability to have the choise to eat 1/3 of what we can now (Apples, cherries, etc. are all pollinated by bees). It is important to keep his bees in top health, so he gets them checked regularly.

You can read more about the bee colony collapse here: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33938.pdf

I will be selling my cousins honey once I get my regular website up and running.

Hope you have a sweet day!

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