Buckwheat is the star of this breakfast recipe. Why Buckwheat? Buckwheat is not a grain, it is a seed! Surprise!!!! Because it is a seed, it is, like Quinoa, higher in fat and protein than cereal grains. It is actually in the same family as Rhubarb, and is gluten free, making it a good choice for those who have Celiacs, or even those on a Paleo diet, because it is a more wild plant seed.
Buckwheat can also be used as a grain substitute for those who have insulin resistance. Several studies have shown that adding Buckwheat to breads lower the glycemic index of the food. It also shows the ability to regulate blood sugar levels in those with diabetes, and can be used in those with Type 1.
Unlike most grains, buckwheat DOES NOT need to be soaked/sprouted/or fermented before consuming. So, it is a good choice for day of pancakes!
Banana Buckwheat Pancakes
Top with good quality maple syrup, and more grass fed butter, or jam.
Makes 4 servings
Apple Cinnamon Almond Flour Crepes
Heat a skillet over medium heat. 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Oil, Apple, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook until apples are soft and fragrant. Set Aside
In a bowl add Almond Flour. Add one egg and 1/2 the milk, mix till smooth. Add the remaining egg and milk, mix till smooth. Add Vanilla and blend. Heat a crepe pan over medium heat. Add 1/4-1/3 Tbsp Coconut oil. Pour half the crepe batter into the center of the pan. Using a crepe tool, spread the batter evenly. Once it begins to brown and solidify, flip. Fold on pan and remove. Repeat.
Top Crepes with Apple Mixture and Sprinkle with Chopped Almonds
Apple pie is one of the halmarks of fall. The delicious aroma of sugar, cinnamon and apples baking in the oven...ahhhh! I don't know about you, but the colder weather spurs me to bake, and bake I must.
My take on the apple pie gives it a rustic feel, and cuts a large amount of the sugar, without sacraficing the warmth and flavor. It is also a great way to get the kids to help out in the kitchen.
When I am looking to make meals healthier, for my family and for clients, I don't deprive myself of the things I love...like pie...but I do modify it with quality, nutrient rich, and sugar low ingredients.
To start this recipe, we must start with the crust. Now making a healthier version of pie crust is a little bit daunting, but doable. I start by cutting out the flour, and replacing it with a combination of Almond Flour and Coconut Flour. Both of these are nut flours, and as such contain a large amount of nutrients.
Health Benefits of Almonds:
Health Benefits of Coconut:
Grass Fed Butter is a staple in my kitchen. The flavor is more robust than basic butter, and once you see the bright orange color, you'll be hooked on the sheer beauty of it. Who knew butter could be so pretty. Grass Fed Butter is wortht the price, it is full of hard to find nutrients such as B12/Vitamin D/Vitamin K2/Vitamin E/Animal Sourced Vitamin A/Omega 3 Fatty Acids/Good Cholesterol/and more...
Raw, Unfiltered Honey, is the only honey I use. The pasturized and filtered verson are just sugar, but the raw, unfiltered honey contains propolis. Propolis is a natural anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. Raw honey is also host to a variety of beneficial enzymes, and nutritents, but only if it is raw and unfiltered. Ingredient quality!
Cinnamon Whipped Coconut Cream
If you are following along on my newest article series "Planning Nutritionally for Labor and Delivery Part 2" this is the recipe for my Miso Wonton Soup.
We love soup at our home. The kids get very excited about wonton soup too. Who doesn't like sesame ginger broth with doughy dumplings? Of course, nothing with me is simple. I always have to up it a little, nutritionally speaking.
So, I took the simple wonton soup and make it dense with fermented miso, and added veggies.
This would be a good soup, not only for those who are gearing up for Labor and Delivery, but for those who are postpartum, or just looking for a healthy, easy soup recipe the kids will love.
Miso Wonton Soup
**I used carrots and zucchini in this version, but you could use any that you have on hand; asparagus, broccoli, kale, etc...
*** Need a recipe for GOOD Kim Chi....CLICK HERE
Makes 4 servings
Yesterday afternoon I found myself with a couple of hours of free time....yes this did happen, and it is rare. My kiddos were out playing, and I was really unmotivated to do any actually housework (although it does need it). So to avoid any REAL work, I decided to get creative in the kitchen. I was also craving something sweet!
My original idea was brownies, but seeing as I did have enough unsweetened cocoa powder to do any good, Blondies seemed like the next best idea. (I have a love affair with brownies, and was really hoping to master a good black bean PCOS brownie yesterday...next time).
Of course all good PCOS baking begins with nuts and nut flours. Nut flours are a wonderful source of fats, fat-soluble vitamins, and fiber. All nutrients that are good for PCOS symptoms...read more in my previous blog posts....
Increasing Dietary Fats to Decrease PCOS Symptoms
Fat soluble Vitamins and the Epidemic of Deficiency in PCOS
Preheat oven to 350
In a bowl mix Almond Flour and Baking Powder, set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix Almond Butter, Eggs, Coconut Oil, Honey and Vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add in Flour mixture and blend till smooth.
Grease an 8x8 pan with coconut oil. Pour in mixture and spread evenly. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
This filling is so versatile. I make these a lot during the fall, when my chard is exceptionally prolific. It can be used with any green. I have made it with Spinach, Chard, Kale, and Beet Greens.
Many of us know that we need to eat our greens, but we often find it hard to find ways to incorporate it into our daily diet. Especially with kids. They can be pretty picky. My 7 year old loves this recipe, and even asked me make it for her birthday.
With all of the herbs and the Spinach, these filling is a nutritional powerhouse.
Spinach is your richest source of plant based minerals. It is also one of the highest in Oxalic Acid. Please see my blog post on Oxalic Acid. Cooking spinach unlocks it mineral profile, making it much more absorbable. Buying Organic Spinach is important, as it is highly fertilized and sprayed with pesticides, which destroy its enzyme profile.
I cup of Spinach gives you all your Vitamin K for the day. Vitamin K is an important vitamin for blood clotting and healing. It is becoming an increased problem for women who are pregnant. (hence the standard of care protocol for Vitamin K shots for babies at birth).
I think many people forget, or don't realize that the plants we use to season our food also have nutritional value.
Many of us just look at the vitamins and minerals in foods, and miss out on all the other important compounds that affect our health.
sPANAKOPITA - sPINACH & fETA pIE
Option 1 - Pie Crusts
Option 2 - Phyllo Dough Appetizer Sized
Do you save your extra ripe bananas? I do. We can never seem to make it through our banana bunches fast enough. I don't like bananas, honestly, but LOVE banana bread. So, maybe part of me actually wants them get over ripe so I can save them up for a big batch of this amazing bread. Freezing them makes them extra juicy and the bread extra moist as well.
I recently had enough bananas saved up to make 3x this recipe. The girls and I had a great afternoon whipping up batch after batch. Two of the loaves went back into the freezer for future deliciousness.
Of course, I have to mess with recipes. I cannot just love a recipe and make it the same every time. I am always experimenting. This one came out great, and the kiddos loved it. My original recipe called for equal parts sugar and flour. To me that is just crazy sweet, and it drowns out the flavor of the bananas, no need for that much sugar. So, not only did I cut it down, but I replaced 50% with coconut sugar. I also used sprouted, whole grain flour, and I added Chia Seeds, and Cinnamon.
Chia seeds are these super tiny, super cute seeds. YES, they are the same seeds that we used as kids to make those awesome Chia Pets grow. Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia! I sing it every time I pull out the bag.
In Oriental Nutrition, Chia Seeds are a Qi Tonic that treats dryness in the body. They moisten and lubricate not only the intestines, but the skin and hair as well. They give the body a burst of sustained and usable energy. In Native American cultures Chia Seeds were consumed before contests and battles to give those who consumed them long lasting energy.
Chia Seeds are second only to Flax in the amount of Omega 3 Fatty Acids they contain, and unlike Flax, they do not need to be ground in order to access these EFA's.
The Nutritional Profile of Chia Seeds help make it a good food for reducing inflammation and treating insulin resistance (a growing problem in all age groups.). The Magnesium in Chia Seeds regulates the secretion of insulin and its uptake into the cells. The high fiber content is slow to break down and reduces insulin spikes. Overall, Chia Seeds have been shown to slow the secretion of glucose into the blood.
No one in my house has issues with insulin resistance, but that doesn't mean I don't want to prevent it. So, I take steps in my cooking, especially when baking or making sweet treats, to keep the sugar levels down, and add ingredients that lessen the effects of sugar in the body. Cinnamon is a great addition to sweet breads like this one.
In Oriental Medicine Cinnamon is not only for culinary use, but is a medical herb found in the Materia Medica. It's uses are vast. Considered a Warming/Sweet/Acrid herb, it is used to treat conditions of; common colds, joint pain, menstrual irregularity, asthma, increases circulation, night sweats and wasting and thirsting disease (diabetes).
Cinnamon and Sugar....it just sounds right doesn't it. There is conflicting research on Cinnamon for lowering blood sugar. Most of these focus on long term supplemental use of high doses of cinnamon not associated with a meal. One study I found researched what happened when Cinnamon was added to sugar. In this study, there was a slowing of the absorption of the sugar in the group that consumed equal amounts of cinnamon with the sugar. The theory, based on this study, is that cinnamon binds to the sugar molecules and slows their digestion and absorption into the blood stream.
Coconut Sugar is still a sugar. It is a lower glycemic sweetener, YES, but it is fructose and fructose is not measured by the glycemic index. The glycemic index does measure how quickly a foods raises your blood sugar. So in that regard, coconut sugar is better than regular sugar. Some other benefits of coconut sugar are that, unlike granulated sugar, it is full of minerals like zinc and iron, and an array of antioxidants. It also has a high Inulin content. A fiber that isn't digested but works as a prebiotic feeding the good bacteria in your digestive system. So, overall, there are more benefits to using it over granulated white sugar.
Fructose does not affect your blood sugar, it does however affect your Liver. Unlike glucose, which can be metabolized in every cell in your body, fructose can only be metabolized in the liver. It's metabolism mimics that of alcohol. Too much fructose, like too much alcohol, can cause the same myriad of health issues. The key is moderation. Coconut Sugar is 39% Fructose.
Caution: Just because it has a better profile that granulated sugar, does not mean you can eat it until your hearts content. All sweets and sugars should be monitored and not overeaten. Naturally occurring sweets, occasionally, is not bad, and if you are making good choices that give you added nutrition long with it, you should be just fine. Those who have inflammatory, or auto-immune issues should be wary and monitor their sugar (of any kind) intake.
Banana Walnut Chia Seed Bread
***NOTE: AS MUCH AS I HAVE TRIED TO KEEP THE GLYCEMIC VALUES DOWN, IT IS STILL NOT THE BEST. BANANAS IN GENERAL ARE A NO-NO FOOD FOR THOSE NEEDING TO CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS, AND COOKING THEM INCREASES THEIR BLOOD SUGAR RAISING QUALITIES. THAT BEING SAID, HERE ARE THE LEVELS I WAS ABLE TO REACH, AND THESE ARE ROUGH, SO IT COULD VARY BASED ON THE INGREDIENTS YOU USE AND HOW BIG YOUR SERVING SIZE IS.