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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!

This recipe was a big hit with family and friends!

Corn-Free and Wheat-Free Nutty Cake Brownie

 

2 Cups Almond Flour

¼ Cup Amaranth Flour

½ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

½ Tsp. Sea Salt

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

½ Cup Honey (Raw with no additives)

3 Large Eggs

1 Tbsp. Alcohol-free Vanilla

½ Cup Pumpkin Puree

¼ Cup Walnut Oil

1 Cup Walnuts *If desired

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13” x 9” baking pan. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Scramble eggs and vanilla together in a smaller mixing bowl. Pour the oil then the honey into a glass measuring cup. Add both containers of liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon till smooth (You may need to smooth out a few lumps with your spoon). Mix in the pumpkin puree and nuts. Pour into the baking pan, push it up to the edge, and flatten out the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean (Keep an eye on it if you bake it longer or it will burn quickly).

 

**Alternate recipe ideas: Add 1 Cup of chunks of dark chocolate; Add frosting of your choice; Add more of the following ingredients: ¼ Cup Honey, ¼ Cup Pumpkin, ½ Cup Oil and add 1 less egg for a moister brownie.

© Lyn Watson

Adapting recipes

I was in need of something chocolate, so I scoured the cookbooks I have for the right recipe, but as always, I could not use all the ingredients in the recipe I landed on. I have tried adapting the same recipe in two different ways within the last couple of days.

The recipe called for agave and vanilla extract. Extract is made with alcohol and that is derived from corn – so that item is Out. The agave is something I tried in other recipes and was not too thrilled, so I decided to use honey instead.

My first attempt was very sweet and I cooked it just a tiny bit too long, but it turned out to be a good brownie consistency. Encouraged by that I came up with a new recipe and I love it! It is perfect cake brownie consistency, not too sweet, is good as is, but I will be adding to the recipe soon. I have already had two thumbs up on this one.

More on this later.

I have gotten permission to put a link to another corn-free website on this site. The site manager, Jenny, has compiled a great deal of information and I thought it would be good to share it with you.

She has a bunch of corn-free recipes (Unfortunately I can’t use many of them because I am also wheat sensitive, but I know there are others who can).

www.cornallergens.com/food/cornfree-recipes

Thank you Jenny! You put a lot of hard work into your site.

I followed a recipe off of a box today and added just a couple of things, which made it a flop. Not a total disaster, but not an excellent end product. The following recipe is how I save my flops:

 Banana Bread Pudding

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease the bottom and sides of a large 3″ deep baking dish. Use a large mixing bowl to combine the following ingredients:

4 large eggs whisked

2 cups 2% milk

1 cup almond milk

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon non-alcohol vanilla flavoring

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

2 ripe bananas, sliced

Any baking flop chopped up into 1″ or smaller pieces

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans if desired

Whisk the eggs first, add the other wet ingredients, and mix well. Put the chopped baking flop into the bowl and toss to coat thoroughly. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, banana slices, and the nuts if desired. Toss to coat everything well again. Pour into the baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until it is browned on top (It can still be bubbling and that is okay). Serve warm with maple syrup drizzled over it.

Blueberries make an excellent addition to this mixture, but the more you add the less firm the pudding will be. Add about 1/2 – 1 cup with the banana slices.

© Lyn Watson

 

I wanted to have a barbecue sauce recipe and tweaked something from an on-line search. It turned out really good. In fact, I had rave reviews from the two other people who tried it. The recipe will be listed under the recipe tab, but I will give it to you here as well:

BBQ  Sauce by Cornfreegirl

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup Nature’s Hollow ketchup or tomato puree (Without citric acid)
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg’s cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree or tomato paste (Without citric acid)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons hot chili powder
  • 1/2 cup sautéed onions in 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 drops Vital Heat raw hot pepper sauce
  • Pinch black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper seeds

Chop onion and sauté it in the butter. Mix all other ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the onion mixture, reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low for an hour. Stir occasionally. Cool and store in canning jar or other air tight container for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

© Lyn Watson

I am sure that there are many folks watching their sugar intake and those of us who are sensitive to corn – or allergic to corn – will be happy to know that Emerald Forest makes their Xylitol from birch trees. This sweetner is made here in the USA too.

The sweetner is good, but make sure to check the ingredients in the candy!

Below is a very comprehensive list of items created with, or possibly created with, corn and I would like to thank Sharon Rosen for listing them! Remember that you can get some of these items (By the same name) which are derived from different substances (Such as citric acid, which is usually derived from sugar beets in England).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ingredients Derived From Corn – What to Avoid

By Sharon Rosen

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When you first learn of having a Corn Allergy, it doesn’t seem like it will be that difficult to manage. You know to avoid corn, corn syrup, and popcorn. It seems pretty simple actually.

As it turns out, there are a few hundred ingredients that fall under the classification is, or can be, derived from corn. This information is not to scare you, but to help you be an informed consumer, and hopefully help you avoid those pesky corn based ingredients.

Let’s review the usual suspects:

  • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
  • Baking Powder (corn starch)
  • Brown Sugar – look for use of Caramel color. Domino’s Brown sugar no longer uses Caramel color
  • Calcium Citrate – the calcium salt of citric acid. See Citrate below for details.
  • Caramel – coloring used in soft drinks, derived from corn “or cane sugar.” The “or” in Coca-Cola’s explanation refers to a temporary change to make the ingredients Kosher for Passover. The rest of the year, it is from corn.
  • Cellulose, Vegetable, Powered, etc.
  • Citrate – can refer either to the conjugate base of citric acid, or to the esters of citric acid. An example of the former, a salt is trisodium citrate; an ester is triethyl citrate. Forms of Citrate include: Calcium Citrate, Magnesium Citrate, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, and more.
  • Citric Acid – the source sugar is corn steep liquor along with hydrolyzed corn starch
  • Corn
  • Corn Meal – items baked sitting on Corn Meal such as Bagels, Breads or Pizza, may not list Corn Meal as an ingredient
  • Corn Starch – in most over the counter medicines that come in a dry pill form. Yes, this includes Benedryl too. Watch for Corn Syrup in the liquid forms.
  • Corn Syrup
  • Decyl Glucoside – used in personal care products such as shampoo. It is produced by the reaction of glucose from corn starch with the fatty alcohol decanol which is derived from coconut.
  • Dextrin, Maltodextrin – thickening agents found in sauces (check those frozen veggies!) salad dressings, and ice cream
  • Dextrose (glucose) – corn sugar, found in cookies, ice cream, and paired with glucose in hospital IVs unless specified not to! Can also be used as a carrier with anesthetic shots such as Lidocaine and Novocaine! Dextrose is also injected into meat, lunch meats and deli cuts. Be weary of “honey baked” items, the sweet flavor may not be from honey.
  • Ethanol – made by fermenting sugars produced from corn starch.
  • Ferrous Gluconate – i.e. as found in canned olives, and comes from corn or potato acid.
  • Flavoring – Artificial or “Natural Flavors” – as defined by the FDA regulations of labeling of spices, flavorings, and colorings.
  • Golden Syrup – Sometimes recommended as an alternate to Corn Syrup, but it may contain Corn Syrup as well.
  • Honey – May contain corn syrup, as HFCS is sometimes fed to bees, resulting in corn in the honey produced.
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
  • Iodized SaltMorton’s FAQ explains why they add Dextrose (corn) to their salt.
  • Lactic Acid – Commercially, lactic acid can be made synthetically from chemicals or organically as a byproduct of corn fermentation.
  • Lauryl Glucoside – is a surfactant used in cosmetics. It is a glycoside produced from glucose and lauryl alcohol.
  • Magnesium Citrate – Magnesium salt of citric acid.
  • Magnesium Stearate
  • Malic Acid
  • Malt
  • Malt Flavoring
  • Maltitol – (also known as Maltisorb and Maltisweet) Commercially, maltitol is a disaccharide produced by Corn Products Specialty Ingredients (formerly SPI Polyols), Cargill, Roquette, and Towa, among other companies. Maltitol is made by hydrogenation of maltose obtained from starch.
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Mannitol – A naturally occurring alcohol that is often combined with corn derived sugars. Here is the link on USDA’s website explaining this practice.
  • Methyl Gluceth – an emollient used in cosmetics manufactured from corn sugar and corn starch.
  • Modified Food Starch
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) – The MSGMyth site explains MSG is made from corn.
  • Polydextrose – is synthesized from dextrose, and contains sorbitol and citric acid. It is a food ingredient classified as soluble fiber and is frequently used to increase the non-dietary fiber content of food, replace sugar, reduce calories and reduce fat content.  Note: Dextrose, Sorbitol, and Citric Acid are all on this list of ingredients derived from corn.
  • Polylactic Acid (PLA)Plastic made from corn starch (U.S.) or sugarcane.
  • Polysorbates (i.e. Polysorbate 80) – Polysorbates are oily liquids derived from PEG-ylated sorbitan (a derivative of sorbitol) esterified with fatty acids.
  • Potassium Citrate – See Citrate above for details.
  • Powdered Sugar – contains corn starch
  • Saccharin – in powder form IS Sweet’N Low and therefore contains Dextrose.
  • Sodium Citrate – See Citrate above for details.
  • Sodium Erythorbate – is produced from sugars derived from sources such as beets, sugar cane and corn. It is a food additive used predominantly in meats, poultry, and soft drinks.
  • Sodium Starch Glycolate – is the sodium salt of a carboxymethyl ether of starch. It can be derived from any starch source (rice, corn, potatoes, etc).
  • Sorbitan – is a mixture of chemical compounds derived from the dehydration of sorbitol.
  • Sorbitan Monostearate – an ester of sorbitol and stearic acid. You will see this ingredient used in Yeast (and possibly other places as well).
  • Sorbitol – You will find Sorbitol in Sugar Free items such as candy, chewing gum, cosmetics, mouth wash, and toothpaste
  • Starch – often this is corn starch unless it specifies something else, like potato starch
  • Sucralose – Sucralose by itself may be corn free, though it is likely one best to avoid. Repackaged as the brand Splenda, it will contain dextrose and/or maltodextrin.
  • Sweet’N Low – contains Dextrose, and according to Sweet’N Low, ALL sugar substitutes in powder form contain Dextrose.
  • Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
  • Vanilla Extract – most brands will have corn syrup, though you can find organic brands that do not, though the alcohol may be corn-derived.
  • Vinegar, Distilled White – can be made from any sugar, but the most common method is to use corn that has been converted from starch into sugar.
  • Vitamins – Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) and Vitamin E (Tocopherols). Use caution with products that are “enriched” with added vitamins. The vitamins may be corn-derived, or corn-derivatives may be used in the binding (if solid) or suspension (if liquid) of the vitamin compound.
  • Xanthan Gum – a food additive that is used as a thickening agent. It is found in sauces, spices, and commonly in Gluten Free foods. Xanthan Gum is most often grown on corn, or corn sugars. If an item includes Xanthan Gum and states it is corn-free, call the manufacturing company and inquire as to the source of Xanthan Gum to be sure.
  • Xylitol – You will find Xylitol in Sugar Free items such as candy, chewing gum, cosmetics, mouth wash, and toothpaste
  • Zein – used in time-release medications, derived from Maize

This list is not all inclusive of ingredients to avoid. Tip offs can be the generic use of ingredients without specifying their nature, for example: “natural” flavor, vegetable (which vegetable?), starch (which starch?), syrup, and so on.

Update 6/16/10: This page now has it’s own “Tiny URL” so you can easily pass it along, or remember how to find it. Here is the shortcut URL: http://go.livecornfree.com/list

Sources: Jenny Connors’ Corn Allergen List, Ephraim Vishniac’s list of Corn-derived ingredients to avoid, and Wikipedia

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