Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Homemade Chicken Broth

Today is a big day for me for lots of reasons.
First let me start by saying how excited I am
to finally own a cast iron stock pot.
For the past 15 years I have been so weak and so full of daily pain
that I couldn't even lift one of the lids on these beauties.
 I thought for sure I'd never be able to cook with one.
But low and behold, no more pain for me
 and this gorgeous red pot is mine.
So for her maiden voyage (so to speak)
I'm making homemade chicken broth.
The only store bought chicken broth that I can have
with my food sensitivities costs about $4.00 per quart.
This pot will yield 2 quarts plus a beautifully cooked chicken as well
for around $12.00 total.
( I pay about $10.00 for a whole free range chicken)

Homemade Chicken Broth

2 1/2 pound whole free range chicken
2 organic celery ribs
3 organic medium carrots, cut into chunks
2 organic medium onions, quartered
2 bay leaves
4 tsp sea salt (optional)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
8 whole peppercorns
2 quarts cold water

Place all ingredients in a soup kettle or dutch oven. Slowly bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Set chicken aside until cool enough to handle and remove all meat from the bones. Strain broth. I add the cooked vegetables to some cooked rice along with some of the chicken for a tasty meal. Refrigerate the broth overnight and remove cold layer of fat if desired. I've noticed that with the free range chicken there is almost no fat the remove the next day. So that's it! Super easy and healthy! AND cost effective! Try'll like it!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gluten Free & Sugar Free Pumpkin Muffins

One of my favorite things about the fall is
pumpkin bread and muffins!
One of the things I've noticed about gluten free baking is that most people who go gluten free for health reasons, totally overlook the ill effects of cane sugar.
For me it's not an option because I am glucose intollerant.
Coconut crystals have been a real find for me. They look and taste like brown sugar and are made from the coconut flower. Coconut crystals have 1/2 the glycemic index of sugar and that makes it a great alternative for me and my baking!
I've been playing around with some different recipes and so far this one is my favorite.
The house smells divine while they are baking and these yummy little bundles of deliciousness are free of gluten, gliaden, corn, dairy, and sugar.

Gluten Free Sugar Free Pumpkin Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1/2 cup + 1 tblsp fine brown rice flour (or white rice flour)
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup coconut crystals (natural sugar alternative)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp g/f corn free  Hain baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp guar gum
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 of 15oz can Organic Pumpkin puree
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 free range eggs (at room temp)
1 tsp g/f pure vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together and with a whisk add in wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spray muffin pan with olive oil spray. Pour batter into muffin tin about 3/4 full. Gluten free batter doesn't rise the way regular flour does so you don't need to worry about it overflowing during the baking process. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. I like these better after they have cooled. The taste and texture actually improve the next day.....if you can wait that long!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sunflower Seed Butter

Sunflower Seed Butter

2 cups raw sunflower seed (shelled)
3 packets Sweet Leaf Stevia
1 Tablespoon Coconut Crystals (sugar alternative)
4 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp sea salt

First let me just warn you that this stuff is addicting. I mean seriously yummy! For those of us who can't have tree nuts or peanuts, this is heaven!!! I tried making this without toasting the seeds first and just leaving them raw (because I'm lazy sometimes) and it was awful! I threw the entire batch in the trash. It tasted like olive oil....period. Yuck. on to the recipe. First toast the seeds in a dry pan over high heat, stirring constantly until they become a lovely golden brown and you can smell the nutty goodness :)

Allow them to cool for a few minutes and then transfer them to your food processor. Chop the seeds until they they resemble beach sand. This can take up to 15 minutes depending on the power of your food processor. (only took 1 1/2 minutes in my new Kitchen Ninja...
but that's a story for a different day)
Add in the Stevia, Coconut crystals and salt and pulse to combine. Then slowly add in the oil through the top of your processor. After a few minutes you'll have Sunflower Seed butter!

You need to store it in the refrigerator. I have no idea how long it will stay good because I've been eating it all in about 2 days :)

Super tasty on an organic brown rice cake :)
Also super tasty right out of the container with a spoon
while standing in front of the open refrigerator......

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)