A Ventography!

Just two moms letting off some steam

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

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HEALTH TIPS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS!

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DID YOU KNOW …

  • One cup of cooked collard greens has as much calcium as a cup of milk with a serving of 100 calories? Collards are also rich in magnesium which is a critical nutrient for bone health.
  • Tyler’s Coffee makes a brew that is acid free?  My (Molly’s) stomach always hurts if I drink too much coffee so I am very excited to give this a try to see if it helps.
  • Curcumin is as effective as Prozac for major depression, according to an Indian study published in Phytotherapy? The effective daily dose of BMC-95 curcumin was 1,000mg. To buy curcumin, click here.
  • If you take Elderberry within 48 hours of experiencing flu symptoms, you have a good chance of fighting off the flu? Studies were done using European Elderberry Extract (Sambucol). The dose was 3 teaspoons of syrup, four times daily with meals. Scientists have found that Elderberry blocks the availability of the flu virus to invade and infect cells, which ultimately stops the virus from replicating. Elderberry also activates your immune system to fight off the virus in cells that have already been infected.
  • Elderberry combined with gentian root, cowslip flowers, sorrel, and vervain relieves colds, coughs, and sinusitis. This combination is sold as Sinupret by Bionorica or SinuGuard by Enzymatic Therapy. This formula has been used in Germany for nearly 80 years.
  • You can make a delicious alternative to mayonnaise if you are casein free? Puree white beans, olive oil, garlic, salt/white pepper, and a splash of apple cider vinegar to make a tasty, spread for your sandwiches. This spread is high in fiber.
  • Seaweed noodles are a delicious alternative to wheat based noodles if you are on a gluten-free diet? Kelp based noodles are low in calories and rich in iodine which is good for your thyroid. Serve the noodles with toasted sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and black sesame seeds for a tasty asian style treat.
  • You can make gluten-free couscous out of cauliflower? Chop cauliflower florets in a food processor until they look like small grains of rice, then cook in 1/4 inch of water until they are soft, but not mushy. If you want to add a middle Eastern flare, add coconut oil, cumin, curry, and dried apricots.
  • There are several natural alternatives for treating migraines/headaches? Butterbar extract is one of the most effective natural remedies for migraines. In one study, Butterbar extract reduced the number and severity of the migraines by 50 percent. Butterbar is a member of the daisy family. Make sure to buy an extract labeled “PA free” which means that the liver damaging alkaloids have been removed.  Feverfew (from the sunflower family) is another herb shown by studies to be effective for treating migraines. White Willow Bark (chemically related to aspirin) is effective for treating cluster and tension headaches.


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GLUTEN/CASEIN FREE, NO ADDED SUGAR, FALL INSPIRED DESSERT

Pumpkin Banana Date Pudding

Pumpkin Banana Date Pudding

We are embracing fall and love seeing all the pretty pumpkins in our local stores. That got us thinking… what delicious, gluten/casein free with no added sugar dessert could we make for our children with pumpkin? Molly had some left over Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour and Leah bought a pie pumpkin, so we decided to “put our heads together” and try to whip up a dessert our children can eat that won’t ruin the low carb/low sugar diet we’re on.

We are pleased with our creation (see above). Here’s what we did.

We started with a small pie pumpkin from our local grocery store. We cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, and sprinkled it with cinnamon.

Pumpkin Before Steaming

Pumpkin Before Steaming

Next, we set up a steamer. We filled the pot a few inches deep with water, placed the strainer over it and turned the stove to high and brought the water to a boil. The water level should be just below the strainer so you’re not soaking and boiling the pumpkin. We then placed the pumpkin halves (you can cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces if it doesn’t fit your steamer) inside the strainer and sealed it with the lid.

After about 20 minutes, our pumpkin was soft enough to mash. Be sure to cook the pumpkin until the inside is soft. Our next step was to take the pumpkin off the stove, scoop it out, and put it in a blender. Then, we added 2 ripe bananas and 12 dates (these are our sources of sweetness so that we did not have to add sugar) to the blender and pureed.

Next, we put 4 eggs in a bowl and whisked them.

Then, we added 4 cups of unsweetened almond milk, 6 tablespoons of tapioca flour, 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (add more to taste), 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the 4  whisked eggs to a pot and put it on medium heat. We stirred the ingredients while they slowly came to a boil.

We then turned the heat down to a simmer and added our ingredients from the blender, 2 teaspoons of gluten-free pure vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon of gluten-free almond extract.

We Got Too Excited With Stirring & Tasting... We Forgot To Take A Picture

We Got Too Excited With Stirring & Tasting… We Forgot To Take A Picture

We cooked the mixture uncovered, over very low heat for another 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Voila – it was done!

DISCLAIMER: We haven’t had sugar in a long time, so it tasted like a sweet treat to us. However, you may want to add coconut sugar or maple syrup if you want a sweeter taste.

Also, we topped ours with pecans and a sprinkle of cinnamon, however, we think it would be scrumptious to top it with shaved, dark (unsweetened Ghirardelli) chocolate or toasted (salted) pumpkin seeds.

Serve warm or chilled (Annie preferred it chilled). Enjoy and happy fall!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 tablespoons of Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour
  • 4 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 dates
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 4 whisked eggs
  • 1 small pie pumpkin (or if you’re lazy like Molly, get 2 glass jars of organic, pumpkin purée)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon organic, gluten-free vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon of gluten-free almond extract

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:

  • Ghirardelli unsweetened, dark chocolate
  • Toasted (salted) pumpkin seeds
  • Pecans
  • Drizzle of maple syrup
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon mixed with coconut sugar


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KID FRIENDLY, NON-FISHY, GF/PALEO SALMON BURGERS

Salmon Avocado Burger

Salmon Avocado Burger

As some of you know from reading, I have Annie on a rotation diet due to her numerous food allergies. I have been dying for her to eat something different, so I hopped on google in search of a gluten-free recipe for salmon burgers that I thought Annie would eat. Above is the picture that lured me in… they looked so good I could almost taste them. Here’s the recipe:

  • Two 6oz cans (BPA free) of wild caught sockeye Alaskan salmon
  • 1 whole, ripe avocado (you can substitute a cooked sweet potato)
  • 1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning (more if you really like the taste)
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut flour (or almond flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried dill (or fresh dill if you’re an ambitious chef like Leah)
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped green onion (I didn’t have this so I used 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder)
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped celery (I didn’t have this so I used 1/4 teaspoon of celery salt)
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley (that’s right, I didn’t have this either so I used 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley)
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut milk (or almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (for frying)

Place the chopped veggies/herbs, avocado, seasoning, salmon, and coconut flour into a bowl and mix. Add 3 tablespoons coconut milk and mix again. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Divide mixture into 6 burgers and put them on a plate and chill in the fridge for about an hour.

To cook, heat coconut oil in skillet over med heat. When the oil is hot, add burgers (don’t overcrowd the pan). Fry 4-5 minutes per side, flipping only once (make sure first side is crispy and golden brown before flipping).

Unfortunately, this method did not work for me. I think it’s because I cook in pans made of enamel coated cast iron (which are a real pain and very sticky but supposedly healthier to cook in than aluminum, stainless steel, or teflon). Anyway – here is what my fried salmon burger looked like.

Scrambled Avocado Salmon

Scrambled Avocado Salmon

As you can see, it has an unappetizing green tint to it – I think this is because I didn’t follow directions. I mushed the avocado instead of just chopping it. My creation started off as a burger, but as I went to flip it, it turned into what I affectionately named “Scrambled Avocado Salmon.”

Luckily, Annie’s reaction to the salmon fiasco was “mmmm, mmm, mmm!” She happily ate it but I was repulsed by the look of it. I decided to try cooking the rest of the burgers in the oven. I heated my oven to 400 degrees and cooked my remaining 5 burgers for 30 minutes (cook the burgers until they look brown and crispy on the outside). Here’s what they looked like… not beautiful like the recipe picture, but good enough that I would serve them to my family and friends.

oven salmon