Recipes

Grain-free, Refined Sugar-free Waffles

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Grain-free, Refined Sugar-free Waffles (Paleo option)

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I woke up this morning and wanted waffles. Not like “Hmm, I guess maybe waffles sound pretty good” but Pavlov’s dogs style, salivating as the thought of a waffle popped into my mind. So, in an effort to eat for my body, i.e. no grains or sugars, I had to come up with a recipe. I’ve tried grain-free waffles before… and dumped them in the trash when they stuck to the waffle iron and burned while the middle was still runny. But today, I had to find a recipe. I had to! It was important that I get my 6-year-old’s snack made, have him practice his penmanship, and get him on the bus to school, but I had to come up with a waffle recipe. So, as any true Mom would do, I multi-tasked. I tossed snack into his backpack as I came across it during my ingredient search. I checked his penmanship and got him started on the next word every time I walked by to put a utensil in the sink. I took him to catch the bus as I let the batter rest for a few minutes before cooking. Thank God for the ability to multi-task.

Once he was on the bus headed to school, I heated up my waffle iron, sprayed it with some non-stick something and tested my homemade recipe… Oh. My. Word! It is entirely possible that the perfection that was this waffle was simply a figment of my imagination as it tried to fulfill my earlier wish. It’s entirely possible that it was due to a lack of waffles in my life for the past several months. Or, it could be the impossibly fluffy center and the lightly crisp outside, the mix of cinnamon and vanilla with a drizzle of honey on top. I don’t actually care why it was… I just care that it was pure bliss!

If you’re one of the many folks who’ve been on a waffle-hiatus due to grains and sugars, I welcome you back to the waffle club!! This recipe is not Paleo, but there are pretty straightforward Paleo substitutes that should work just fine, let me know if you try it!

I apologize that there’s only one picture. I had planned to take a picture of a waffle with the toppings, looking all delectable. But, my mind shut down when I saw it and I just dove in… oops! This recipe made 4 large waffles at approximately 230 calories each (nutritional information will vary based on actual ingredients used).

Ingredients

1 large egg

7/8 cup milk (Paleo sub almond milk)

2 tbsp melted butter (Paleo sub coconut oil)

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tbsp honey

Pinch of salt

½ tsp cinnamon

½ cup almond flour

2 tbsp coconut flour

2 tbsp arrowroot flour

2 tbsp tapioca starch

1 tbsp baking powder

Directions

  • Combine egg, milk, melted butter, vanilla and honey in medium bowl.
  • Add salt, cinnamon, flours/starches and baking powder, combing as you add ingredients.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes while heating waffle iron to medium-low.
  • Spray waffle iron so it doesn’t stick, pour about ¼ of the batter into the waffle iron and cook until done, don’t over-cook it! I have the flip-style iron and it worked great!
  • Carefully remove the waffle from the iron (I found lifting from the center worked best with mine). Top with your favorite nut butter and a drizzle of honey… oooh, or blueberries (I’ll try that next time!) and enjoy!!!
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MFM: Week 46, Day 4

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Week 46, Day 4 (-25 pounds)

Heart: Today I’m going to point you to some grain-free, refined sugar-free pancakes I made that were unbelievable!! I don’t make up recipes, because I hate to think of the money I waste if they don’t work out. But, the other morning, I was desperate for a “normal” pancake, so I put on my thinking cap and it worked! The pancakes were delicious and they flipped like normal pancakes, I didn’t have to baby them!

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Check them out- they’re awesome! They can even be frozen for a quick breakfast!

Soul: I’m feeling very busy right now. My soul feels burdened with life. I think I just need to get back into the habit of spending quiet time in the morning with Jesus. That quiet time turned into my Bible-reading time, which is good. But, I need the relational piece of just sitting and listening for the voice of God. Unfortunately, it seems like as soon as I’m done reading, my kiddos are awake so I miss out on the quiet time in the presence of God. I need to work that back into my morning routine. I miss it. I miss it like I miss coffee dates with friends. Relationships thrive on time spent together, listening to each other and pouring out our hearts. Why would I think my relationship with Christ would be any different?

Strength: I’m nearly ten weeks into my new eating plan and I feel great! My body is beginning to function so much better than it was, so I thought I’d give a run-down of my ‘rules’. Since I’m dealing with insulin resistance (IR), my ultimate goal is to decrease my intake of carbohydrates. If you’ve never heard of IR, you should look it up! There’s tons of great info out there. There are 5 basic rules I’ve been eating by and it’s made all the difference!

  1. No grains, potatoes, or sugars (no GPS as it’s referred to by Dr. Sarah Hallberg, check out her Ted Talk). I have allowed myself 3 leniencies on this rule to make it doable for now. Eventually, I may cut them out, but for now I occasionally allow myself air-popped popcorn (corn is a grain, not a veggie), sweet potatoes, and honey (a sugar, but a natural option).
  2. No low fat. Typically, in lower fat dairy products (yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese), there are more added sugars. Since my aim is to help my body heal its insulin resistance, I need to avoid the sugars.
  3. Eat ‘real’ food. I avoid processed foods, even if they ‘technically’ follow the no GPS rule. I’m trying to allow my body to heal itself, and artificial ingredients aren’t helpful. In fact, if it has to say “all natural” it should probably be avoided. I should be able to look at a food and know if it’s natural. If I have to investigate its origins, it’s probably more processed than I should be consuming on a regular basis.
  4. Eat when I’m hungry and don’t when I’m not. This has taken some getting used to. Ultimately, I find that I eat less food, but more often if I eat when I’m hungry. As a stay-at-home-mom that works for me. But, this may take some adjusting when I go back to work in a few years.
  5. 50-30-20. I aim to eat 50% fat, 30% protein, and 20% carbs. The carbs I do get are from fruits and veggies (or honey for now), but the majority of my energy is coming from protein and healthy fats.

When describing this eating plan to friends, it often gets likened to Paleo or Keto diets. It is similar to both in different ways. It’s similar to Keto in that it is low-carb, but I allow myself natural carbs from fruits and vegetables. It’s also similar to Paleo, but I allow myself to eat dairy to increase my protein intake.

Ultimately, it won’t be right for everyone, and the best bet would be to visit with your doctor for the best plan for you. But, for me, dealing with insulin resistance and a desire for my body to heal, this is my doctor-approved IR eating plan!

Grain-free, Refined Sugar-free Pancakes

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I was craving pancakes the other day. My kiddos were begging for them and if I had to eat another egg I was going to throw something. So, I did something I’ve never really done before… I made up my own grain-free recipe. I’m so not one of those test-a-recipe-multiple-times-to-perfect-it types. I cringe at the money I dump in the garbage when they don’t work out. But this time I wanted pancakes bad enough. And I was tired of pancakes I have to coddle like a newborn baby to flip over. I wanted something like a real pancake, that could take a normal flip from a spatula without turning into some sort of Picasso-inspired mess on my counter.

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There are two things you should know about these pancakes. 1. They’re delicious! Not overly sweet as I skipped the honey in the recipe, but I topped mine with nut butter and a drizzle of honey and they were perfection. 2. They flip more like a normal pancake than any other I’ve tried! Whoop whoop! I have plans to try these pancakes with almond flour as well, but for now these are my favorite grain-free pancakes.

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This recipe made eight 5” pancakes at approximately 55 calories each. However, nutritional info will vary depending on specific ingredients.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp Arrowroot Flour

1 Tbsp Tapioca Flour

2 Tbsp Coconut Flour

1 Tbsp Baking Powder

2 Large Eggs

¼ Cup Unsweetened Applesauce

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Tbsp Butter (I’m sure you could sub coconut oil)

½ Cup Milk (could sub almond milk)

½ Tbsp Honey (optional, I did not use it, but drizzled some on top)

Directions

  1. Heat non-stick griddle to med heat, 275-300°
  2. Combine dry ingredients (all 3 flours and baking powder) and set aside.
  3. Combine wet ingredients (eggs, applesauce, vanilla, butter, milk, and honey if you use it) and then add dry ingredients until well combined. If needed, add more milk.
  4. Pour onto griddle in 5-6” diameter circles and cook for several minutes (3-5). These pancakes do not bubble like normal pancakes, but they lose their shine when they’re ready to be flipped (see picture below).
  5. Flip over and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Be somewhat careful when flipping, but they hold together fairly well.
  6. Top with your choice of toppings and enjoy! If you have any left over, they freeze well and reheat in the toaster wonderfully!2017-05-27 18.34.18

MFM: Week 41, Day 1

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Week 41, Day 1 (-16 pounds)

Heart: This weekend was one of the most amazing moments I’ve experienced as a mom! Tim, Banayner and I went on a trip so they could compete in Spartan races! It was Tim’s second (he did one last October) and Banayner’s first! Tim completed the Spartan Super (9.5 miles, 28 obstacles) and it was brutal! The obstacles were far worse than last year- so much more intense and disgusting. But he did an amazing job! I’m so proud! He’s got another Spartan race in two weeks, followed by his first triathlon two weeks after that! He’s such an inspiration to the kids and I!

Banayner’s race was a Spartan kids’ race. Half a mile and about 10 obstacles. They had to jump walls, do low crawls, climb nets, trudge through water, it was awesome! As he was getting ready, they announced that parents could run with kids if they wanted. Banayner looked at his dad, who had just finished his race 15 minutes earlier, realized that Daddy wasn’t going to do it with him, took a deep breath, and put on his game face! When they said “Go!” he took off like he’d been doing it for years! I figured he’d get to the first “icky” or “hard” obstacle and look back at us to decide if it was really worth doing, but the kid didn’t so much as flinch! He just did it! In fact, as he passed us in a few different spots, he didn’t even notice we were there cheering him on because he was so focused! As soon as he finished, he got his medal, ran over to me and said, “Even when they were hard, Mom, I just did ‘em!” He’s already planning his next one!

I can’t even begin to describe the pride and emotion I felt watching him rise to this challenge. He was so brave, so confident, such a big kid! I watched my little boy head out there and come back a Spartan! I am one proud Momma!

Soul: Last week, at my class the professor said something that really stuck with me. He said, “Sometimes God calls us to things that are unexpected and even unwanted.” We’d just begun the gospel of Luke and were going through the birth of Jesus. As we read about Mary, he said that she neither expected nor wanted what God asked of her. It occurred to me that sometimes I think that the only things God will call me to are things I’m good at, things I enjoy, and things I’m gifted in. That the trick is to find the special gifts God’s given me, and that’s where I’ll find His call for my life. But the thing God called Mary to- bearing and raising His son, that was not convenient for her. I doubt she would have chosen that calling, I doubt she enjoyed the judgement that followed her through her entire life. And, as a mom, I can’t even imagine the pain and anguish she experienced watching Him die. God’s call on her life was certainly not enjoyable, convenient, or desired. Yet, she heard the call and she obeyed. Maybe I need to do less searching and more listening?

Strength: This morning was rough. I woke up wanting pancakes. I thought through my breakfast options: protein shake, scramble, omelet, fruit and nut parfait… but I really wanted pancakes. So, in an effort to prevent myself from just grabbing eggo waffles, I went ahead and found an almond meal pancake recipe. Every recipe I’ve found so far has been a flop, so I was a little nervous. But I wanted them that bad. These pancakes were delicious!!! They use almond meal, eggs, and applesauce for the base. I topped them with blueberries and honey- it was perfect! So yummy and so easy!

Whisk together 2 eggs. Mix in 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce and ½ Tbsp honey. Finally, stir in ½ tsp baking powder and ¼ cup almond meal. Pour approx. 3 Tbsp for each pancake on griddle (on LOW/MED heat) and let cook for 5 minutes. Carefully flip over and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.

MFM: Week 38, Day 5

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Week 38, Day 5

Heart: I want to share a quick adaptation of an amazing Coconut Oil Fudge recipe that has been a life-saver with this new eating plan! It takes 4 ingredients, warming in the microwave, and cooling in the fridge! So fast, easy, and unbelievably delicious!

What you need:

½ cup natural peanut butter (we use Adams)

½ cup organic coconut oil

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3-4 Tbsp honey to your liking, we used closer to 3

What to do:

Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on half-power for a minute or so, until heated through. Whisk until smooth. Pour into small loaf pan lined with wax paper. Cool in fridge for several hours.

*Note: this fudge should be stored in the fridge or freezer as it loses its consistency or “melts” quickly at room temperature.

Soul: A couple of nights ago, during dinner, Banayner looked up from his meal and asked, “Why doesn’t God stop things like tornadoes, tsunamis, and volcanoes? He’s powerful enough to stop them, so no one gets hurt, why doesn’t He?” Wham! Talk about a big question for a little kid! It was scary, but awesome to talk with him about this… we got to tell them all of the things we know about how God works and how, ultimately, we don’t know why God does the things He does. We talked about the need for things like fires to get rid of old, rotting trees and make room for new growth and new life. We talked about the ‘physics’ (as much as a 6-year-old could handle) behind things like tsunamis. We talked about the importance of taking care of this world and that our choices have consequences. He seemed to really enjoy talking about it! In fact, it sparked other questions over the course of the past couple of days, including “So, I know that the rivers flow into the ocean. But, where do the rivers get their water?” and “How long did it take God to make the world? And how long ago did He do it?” It’s such a joy to see his little brain trying to process the world around him, trying to make sense of reality. It’s even more of a joy that e comes to us when he has questions, that he feels safe and secure enough to ask the hard questions. It gives me hope that as he gets older, he’ll feel comfortable coming to us with big, important questions. What more can a parent ask for?

Strength: Well, I’m over a week into this new way of eating and I still love it! I’m anticipating the challenge that will arise in the next couple of weeks, when I move out of the ‘honeymoon’ phase and my body starts to crave the foods it’s used to having. If I can anticipate it, though, I can get through that phase and hopefully make this my new normal. At least, that’s my goal! We’re going to Olive Garden for a date this weekend… yeah, Olive Garden. Can you imagine eating there without breadsticks and pasta?! Do they even serve anything else? Well, as a matter of fact… I know myself well enough to know that if I don’t walk through the doors with a plan, I’m liable to get suckered into breadsticks and pasta. Thus, I’ve already gotten online, looked at their menu and selected a grain-free entrée that sounds fabulous (chicken piccata with zucchini… yum!). With a salad before, I’ll be perfectly satisfied and feed my body the type of food it needs! Now, I just need to remember the reason I’m choosing not to eat breadsticks. It’s not because they’re inherently bad, it’s not “no” for the sake of no, but rather because I truly want my body to function properly.

MFM: Week 37, Day 1

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Week 37, Day 1 (-9 pounds)

Heart: Baby girl’s cake turned out fairly cute! Especially, the ombre colored sugar, that turned out beautifully! And I made it super easy by leaving the colored sugar surrounding the cake, rather than try to clean that mess off of the serving plate. Fortunately, at one she didn’t care. It also must’ve tasted decent because there was not so much as a crumble of cake left… that has never happened before! I had people coming back for second and even third pieces!

Using the colored sugar was so fun and easy that I’m trying to convince one of the boys to have a sand castle cake. Can you just imagine a brown sugar topping for the sand?! How cute would that be?! It reminds me of the construction cake we made for Banayner’s birthday a couple of years ago… so fun and the easiest cake ever!!

Soul: I was spending time with Jesus this morning and started thinking back to this week. I’ve had a very insecure week. There has been a lot of doubt and fear in me. Especially when it comes to my body. I was thinking back on the various things I’ve posted on my blog and realized that it is a smorgasbord of different ideas and efforts. It’s like I keep trying something new hoping it will overcome the fear and doubt. This morning God revealed to me that the fear isn’t going anywhere. No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, satan will continue trying to put fear in me. There isn’t enough exercise, eating right, or losing weight to eliminate satan’s efforts. What will hold him off is being confident in who I am and unleashing the power of the Spirit within me. Satan will never stop trying to fill me with doubt and fear, but I can choose to call on the name of Jesus to remind me of exactly who I am and He will give me the strength and confidence to choose not to listen to that voice.

Strength: In all of the new things I continue to try, I’m learning a lot of things about myself. I have learned that routine is crucial for me. I have learned that I have to log my food to have a true understanding of what I’m putting in my body. I have learned that in order to exercise, it needs to be something I can do from memory (exercises I know like the back of my hand) or it has to be something that I love doing. Recently, my husband suggested that maybe to discover the exercises I might really enjoy, I should think back to the things I loved as a child! He’s cycling, running and swimming… all things he loved to do as a kid.  I immediately thought of dancing. I love to dance! Every time I go dancing I think to myself, “I could spend hours doing this!” I danced all the time as a little girl! Why in the world haven’t I considered dancing as a form of exercise?! Because I feel like exercise has to be painful? Because I’ve spent so long telling myself I don’t like exercise? Because I’m just not ‘one of those types of people’? Rubbish! I want to find exercises I enjoy! I want to do it because it sounds fun! I want to dance!!

MFM: Week 36, Day 4

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Week 36, Day 4

Heart: I’m getting ready for Baby girl’s first birthday party… are you kidding me?! She started walking this week and hasn’t slowed down since! I can’t believe my baby is getting so big! For her birthday, I decided to do a fairly simple cake in the shape of a ‘1’ and just put colored sugar on top with an ombre effect. A few days ago, I prepared the colored sugar and it came out absolutely beautiful! I made 6 variations of pink. Beginning with white (I left one jar uncolored) I then added one drop of pink food coloring to one jar, 2 to the next and so on until I added 5 drops to the last jar making it the darkest pink. I then placed them in separate foil ‘boats’ on a cookie sheet and let them dry out in the oven. I set the oven to 350°F and when it was hot, placed the cookie sheet into the oven and turned the oven off. After 10 minutes, I took them out and let them cool. Then I sealed them in containers until I’m ready to make the cake! My plan for the cake is to frost it, then make 6 ‘stripes’ using only half of each color and leaving a gap between (about an inch and a half). Then I will take half of the remaining sugar from two adjacent colors and mix it, placing it between the two colors to provide a nice transition from one to the next. This should result in a beautiful pink ombre cake. *Fingers crossed*

A note about the sugar: it does not come out of the oven ‘glittery’ by any means, but it has a slight glimmer to it. It’s really quite beautiful!

Soul: What is the purpose of a church building? Sometimes it seems like maybe the purpose of the church building is to provide a place for Christians to gather, fellowship, worship and learn about the kingdom of God. Then we can leave the church building, go out into our lives and live the love of Christ so that others might see it and want to know Him. But the building itself isn’t necessarily the place that a non-Christian would just decide to encounter God, right? It’s more for the Christians to get their stuff figured out so we can go out into the world… right? Or should the church, even within the building, be a beacon to those who don’t know Jesus? Should it be a place that even those who don’t know Jesus desire to be? Should we design our services, activities, even children’s ministry to attract unbelievers, even if it means sacrificing some of our personal comforts? I don’t know, this is something my husband and I have been talking about recently and we’re both in a place of… “hmmm?” I wonder if the church building serves the kingdom of God better as a welcome mat for unbelievers or a command center for believers from which to “Go into the world…”

Strength: My husband has been training for an Ironman Race and this morning was feeling a little discouraged because, though he had a decent day, it wasn’t fabulous. He had expected his swim time to improve and it stayed relatively constant. I began typing out a text to him to give him some encouragement, “You don’t have to progress every day, some days it’s ok to maintain.” As I finished typing it, I realized how much I needed to hear those very same words. I was convicted that if I truly believe that for my husband, I need to believe it for me, too. Not every day has to be marked by a new success, a faster time, or weight loss. Some days can be marked by maintaining the success you had yesterday, by continuing the effort you’ve already put in and by holding your ground.