Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Peach Gobbler - GF, DF

I know I have been absent for a few weeks. I am still doing the Eat Fat, Lose Fat Diet. Things have been interesting. :) The first two weeks my weight basically stayed the same, but when I did a body composition test at the end of those two weeks I had lost 2.8% body fat!!! Yahoo!!!! The next week I decided to try adding dairy back in.....bad idea. I didn't weigh myself until the end of the week and I had gained 5 pounds. Obviously I cannot do dairy! For the last week and a half I have been slowly losing that 5 pounds.

I still have not done a lot of experimenting with adapting the recipe from EFLF. That is why I haven't posted many recipes...but don't worry, I'll get there. :) I have a few in the works.

I know that peaches aren't necessarily in season right now, but I bought some ripe ones at the store yesterday and decided to make something that has been on my mind since my sister mentioned it the other day. Peach Cobbler. Yummy, warm, peach cobbler. The only way I have ever had peach cobbler is in a dutch oven when we camp.....which is the best way to enjoy it. However, this is also pretty darn good! :0)

Peach Cobbler - Gluten and Dairy Free
Serves 6-8

6 Peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup raw honey (or coconut palm sugar)
4 TB chia seeds (optional)
1 TB vanilla extract

1 cup gluten free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill)
2 TB coconut palm sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 TB non-hydrogenated butter replacement (I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl combine the filling ingredients and toss to coat the peaches. Pour into a prepared 8 x 8 dish. Set aside.

2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Cut in the butter until a course crumb forms. Add the milk and mix with a fork until just combined. Do not overmix.

3. Drop the dough by the spoonful on top of the peaches. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or Whipped Cream.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Blueberry Kefir Soda

Bear with me for a moment for a very technical, possibly boring, lesson. Don't worry, I'll get to the good stuff (the recipe) at the end! :)

A bit part of the Eat Fat, Lose Fat diet is repairing your gut and replenishing the friendly bacteria. Today most people take probiotic supplements containing these healthy bacteria for the digestive tract. Traditional cultures did not take probiotics. They obtained these healthy bacteria from lacto-fermented foods such sauerkraut and other pickled vegetables and fruits. Sauerkraut is familiar to most of us. Cabbage is pounded and mixed with salt to encourage the growth of lactobacilli, a bacteria that produces lactic acid, which also acts as a preservative. Fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir (a sour, fermented milk beverage), and other lacto-fermented beverages, also act as probiotics. In addition to these awesome probiotics, fermented foods and beverages also have loads of enzymes, a higher vitamin content and minerals that are more readily absorbed.

In the Health and Recovery phase of the Eat Fat, Lose Fat diet (and strongly encouraged in the Quick and Easy Weight Loss phases) you drink three lacto-fermented drinks per day. Soaking grains is one way of making lacto-fermented beverages. Some traditional cultures used (and still use) soaked corn or sorghum. A popular modern-day soaked grain lacto-fermented drink is called Rejuvelac, which is made by soaking wheat. If you can tolerate wheat and gluten, this could be a great option for you.

Another method of making these healthy beverages is using kefir grains. Kefir grains are a not a "grain" like wheat or barley, but a grain, as in a grain of salt. These grains contain lactic acid bacteria and yeast, and when placed in a liquid at room temperature for a period of 12-48 hours create healthy lacto-fermented beverages. The grains use naturally occurring sugars in the liquids to feed off. Kefir grains cannot be produced from scratch, you will need to obtain grains from someone. If properly cared for, the grains last indefinitely and will grow, allowing you to share your grains with others. I will post Resources link where you can purchase your own grains at the end of this post.

There are two types of kefir grains; milk and water. As their name infers, milk kefir grains are used in milk. Traditionally cow or goat milk was used, but coconut and other nut milks can also be used. Water kefir grains are used in water (added sweetener needed), coconut water, or fruit juices.

My very happy, multiplying water kefir grains!

The finished product is a tart, effervescent liquid that can be used in so many ways. Milk kefir thickens and is the consistency of a thin yogurt, but with far more probiotics and health benefits than regular yogurt. I have been using my milk grains in coconut milk and my water grains in coconut water. They all seem very happy and are growing like crazy.

Okay, enough of this...let's get to the recipe. One of my favorite ways to enjoy kefir is using coconut milk kefir to make a smoothie in the morning. So addicting! No worries, recipes will be coming soon. :) My second favorite way to enjoy kefir is with Kefir Soda. This soda is a healthy alternative to the deadly (in my opinion) sugar/artificial sweetener, caffeine, carbonation laden sodas that most children and adults live off of. I had some fresh blueberries just begging to be used, so I threw them into some coconut water kefir and let it ferment for another 24 hours and....Tada! Blueberry Kefir Soda. It tastes very similar to IZZE Natural Soda. It is refreshing, delicious and sooooo very healthy.

See the bubbly soda goodness?!
*This recipe is linked to Simply Lives Thursday and Pennywise Platter Thursday.

Blueberry Kefir Soda
Makes approx. 2 quarts

Note: This recipe takes 2 days and requires some special equipment

Special Equipment:

- Glass soda bottles with wire-held caps (you can use mason jars with lids, it just won't be as bubbly)
- Non-metal strainer with small holes (wire mesh small)
- Plastic funnel


2 quarts coconut water or filtered water (if using water only, also add the 1/2 cup sugar from below instead of adding it with the blueberries)
3/4 cup water kefir grains

2 cups fresh blueberries, mashed with a fork
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar, Rapadura, or Sucanat


1. Place the grains in a large glass container and pour the coconut water over the them. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave at room temperature for 24 hours. Strain the liquid using a non-metal strainer into a large glass container, reserving the kefir grains to start another batch.

2. Using a funnel pour the water kefir into the soda bottle(s). Next add the blueberries and sugar. Close cap and shake the bottle a few times. Leave at room temperature for 24 hours, shaking occasionally.

3. Place the bottle inside a large mixing bowl (the overflow catcher). Place a clean washcloth over the bottle and open the cap. CAUTION: Contents under pressure WILL explode. (I learned this the hard way. I had blueberry soda all over my kitchen.) Once the craziness has settled strain the liquid into a medium bowl and discard the blueberry pulp. Strain any liquid in the large overflow catcher mixing bowl into the medium bowl. Using a funnel pour the liquid back into the soda bottle(s). Serve immediately over ice or chilled for several hours. Store in refrigerator for several days.

Kefir Grains Resources

I ordered my grains from:
Organic Raw Milk Kefir Grains from One Great Place @ Etsy
Organic Water Kefir Grains from Keysands @ Etsy

Other sources:
Cultures For Health (if you sign up for their free newsletter you get a free Kefir Recipe e-book)
Kefir Lady

Friday, June 3, 2011

Eat Fat, Lose Fat - A Few Changes Coming

I have been a little absent the last week. I have been busy studying and preparing to do a new diet. If you have read my About Me page you know that I have lost a lot of weight over the last 2 1/2 years. It has been wonderful and has changed my life. Not only do I weigh less, but I am healthier and happier. Before I lost this weight and changed my diet I am certain I was pre-diabetic. I was so unhealthy and toxic. I ate out at least once a day, usually twice. I have come a long way since then. I still have 20-30 lbs to lose and in spite of all the changes I have made to eat healthier, I still have some health issues that haven't completely resolved.  I feel like I am 80% of the way to optimal health and I REALLY want to be at 100%. I still have hormone imbalances and have recently developed a rash on my hands and arms. I believe the rash is connected to a gluten and dairy allergy, but it could just as well be a simple inflammatory reaction as well.

As I started thinking about the different diets, cleanses and fasts I could do, I kept thinking about Eat Fat, Lose Fat. I have had the book for a couple of years, but have never incorporated any of the principles. This book has one of the most comprehensive explanation of good fats and why they are essential for optimal health. It also addresses the failed no fat/low fat diet, and debunks the theory that saturated fats are bad for you.

There are three "diets" in Eat Fat, Lose Fat:

1. Quick and Easy Weight Loss
2. Health Recovery
3. Everyday Gourmet (Maintenance)

It is not only about weight loss, but rebuilding the organs and healing at a cellular level. They call it a "diet" but it is far from the usual calorie restricted, deprivation diets. In Phase 1 of the Quick and Easy Weight Loss program you eat 2500 calories a day and in Phase 2 you eat 2000....no deprivation or starvation there! :) It is a high fat, moderate carb diet using real, traditional foods. The majority of the fats comes from coconut; coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut flakes, etc. Coconut oil in particular has been proven to increase your metabolism and provide satiation. Hence this diet calls for eating coconut oil 20 minutes before each meal. The traditional foods help heal organs, provide essential nutrients and repair the digestive system.

I don't know if this diet will work for me. I know that every body is different and what works for one person may not work for another. Regardless of whether you do the diet outlined in this book, I recommend that you get the book and incorporate as many things are possible into your current lifestyle. I have already started taking the coconut oil before each meal and have noticed that I have been much more satisfied after my meals. In fact, I have to force myself to eat sometimes....and I have already lost a pound in a week.

You will be seeing a change in the recipes I post for the next month of so. I will be posting fewer desserts and more traditional food recipes, probably with a lot of coconut ingredients. I welcome any questions and will keep you updated on how things are progressing in this experiment!

Update 6/8/11: I have found the easiest way to get the coconut oil down before each meal is to add the coconut oil to 1/2 cup warm water and a little squeeze of lemon juice and then stir until the oil is melted. Then I drink it in a couple of gulps, stirring in between. With this method I have no problem's getting the coconut oil down.