Saturday, February 22, 2014

Gingerbread Protein Pancakes - Gluten Free!


I love buckwheat flour for pancakes and quick breads.  It's rich, flavourful and loaded with nutrients, protein and fiber.  In fact, it just beats the crap out of wheat flour in terms of the nutrition it brings to the body.  As a bonus, it's naturally sticky, which makes it a uniquely easy gluten-free flour to use.  (There's no need to add xanthan gum, guar gum or eggs to get buckwheat to stick together.)   I used a 50/50 mix of buckwheat and brown rice flours here, but if you don't have brown rice flour on hand, feel free to go 100% buckwheat.

And please note:  These pancakes are not only for the gluten-free people among us.  They're just some damn tasty pancakes that happen to be gluten free.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ultra-Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Seed Bark


This chocolate is inspired by two things.  First; the disgustingly, wonderfully, alarmingly addictive product known as Bark Thins Snacking Chocolate.  It is pure evil in a bag.  I fell victim to a bag of it once and resolved never to buy it again, lest I snack myself into a diabetic coma.  Second; I'm currently following the Clean Program by Alejandro Junger M.D. (more on that below).  No sugar is allowed on the Clean program, which rules out most commercial chocolates.  Coconut sugar, however, is game-on (in moderation, of course) which makes this recipe possible.  Apparently, coconut sugar is high in minerals and has a relatively low glycemic index, making it a pretty decent alternative sweetener.  I find it to be a lot less sweet than regular sugar.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pistachio Date Bars



No-bake Pistachio Date Bars.  These babies take all of 20 minutes to make and are great as a late-afternoon snack, or as fuel for long workouts.  I made this batch specifically so that I could send some with a friend who's doing a cross country ski marathon.  I believe he's looking at two, ten-hour days of skiing, so he'll definitely need a lot of energy.

Many people shy away from coconut oil, thinking that it's bad because it's a saturated fat.  I've come to learn/believe that it's actually a GOOD fat, so I've included it here on purpose.  Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).  MCTs are digested easily, and unlike fats that are not MCTs, they are utilized in the liver.  Within moments of being consumed, they are converted to energy by the liver.  In other words; coconut oil provides more energy, more quickly than other fat sources.  Coconut oil has strong anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties.  All good things when fighting yeast overgrowth.  Coconut oil helps stimulate thyroid function, ladies, which in turn helps lower bad cholesterol.  It is also known to help regulate blood sugar.  I could keep going, but I'll stop before I bore you.  For more information on the value of coconut oil, check out Eating for Beauty by David Wolfe, Clean by Alexandro Junger, M.D. or Thrive by Brendan Brazier.