Wednesday, March 23, 2011


i've been tinkering around with a recipe for spelt bread that uses the bread machine.  after numerous loaves of BLAH- i've finally hit upon a combination that tastes good and also has a good texture.

spelt bread (machine)

1.5 cups rice milk, warmed
3 T honey
2 T melted butter
1.5 T salt (kosher)
1 cup whole grain spelt flour
3 cups white spelt flour
1 T potato starch
1 T oat flour
2.5 tsp yeast

i add all the ingredients (in the order above) into the machine, set it to 2lb loaf, whole wheat, medium color and push the button.  apparently bread machines are not all the same- so make sure you read the instructions for your machine before starting.

p.s.  this bread makes awesome toast (unless you prefer the scratchy kind.....)

Monday, February 21, 2011

f is for flakes

it seems like every time i go to whole foods i pick up a box of this cereal and put it in the cart, only to put it back on the shelf because it is too expensive.  but yesterday?  yesterday it was on sale!

it wasn't until i got home that i noticed this little gem on the back of the box:

Spelt Flakes, "a Living Legendary Folk Cereal".  One of the first grains to be grown by early farmers as long ago as 5,000 BC, "nutty" flavored Spelt combines with fruit juice sweeteners in this whole grain organic cereal to offer you a good source of fiber and a low fat way to revitalize and energize your body.

living legendary folk cereal??!?  uh......what does that even mean??

all i know is that this cereal tastes almost exactly like wheaties.  and i love wheaties.

now if only i could have normal milk.....

Monday, February 7, 2011

a better butter?

butter, i love you.  you are such a lovely shade of the palest yellow.  you melt into happy little puddles on my toast.  you make baked goods taste like baked goods.  oh butter butter butter!

but lately i've been wondering about the butter i'm eating.  blood tests have shown that i have a very slight milk allergy (but mysteriously not to the lactose nor to the casein.....sigh....), so i've painfully eliminated all other dairy products from my diet.  no milk, no yogurt, no cheese (sob!)......but i haven't been willing or able to give up the butter.

to complicate matters, i'm also (supposedly) allergic to soy and corn, which are the primary ingredients in most margarines.  so i'm wondering, is it better to eat the butter, which usually has one or two ingredients (cream, salt) or margarine which has 12?

yes, yes, i KNOW!  the answer is to cut out both the butter and the margarine and use something else like coconut oil or petroleum......

Thursday, February 3, 2011

gluten tag

greetings from the frozen arctic!  okay, okay, i'm not really in the arctic, but with more than 2' of snow on the ground and snowbanks that tower above my head, it certainly feeeeels like the great snowy north. 

i suppose i should come clean right off the bat and warn you that this post is.....spelt free!  gasp!  i still think i can eat spelt (although these days i'm so confused about food that i really don't know), but i've realized that no matter what, i need more variety in my day-to-day diet.  overall, i think my diet is reasonably varied (possible wishful thinking....), but i tend to eat the same things over and over day after day until i get sick of them and move onto the next thing that i will eat over and over.  there is a theory out "there" that one way to resolve/prevent food intolerances is to adopt a rotational diet.  the general premise is that you can eat foods that you might otherwise be intolerant of if you space them out over many days.  since i don't seem to have any severe food allergies (other than to tree nuts- which i'm not even sure of anymore), it might mean that i can eat certain foods as long as i can muster up some discipline.  i'm still learning about it, so we'll see......

anyway! in the search for variety i have decided to explore some gluten-free baking.  i still love spelt (which is a good thing since i still have at least 15lbs of spelt flour.....), but eating a spelt-centric diet seems almost as bad as a wheat-centric one.  right?  time to let some other grains in on the fun!

one of my favorite blogs is gluten free girl.  even though i don't have celiac disease, i find her writing to be incredibly inspirational.  for gluten free baking she suggests a 70/30 ratio of grains to starches (see this post for more information).  following her suggestions i made my own mix using potato and arrowroot starches and brown rice and oat flours.  i don't have a kitchen scale (yet!) so i used this handy conversion chart to work out the amounts.

my mix was:

1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup arrowroot starch

1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 cup oat flour

which i used to make......

gluten free tollhouse cookies!  yum!  because honestly, what diet doesn't need MORE cookies?

update! (2/7)

i've been playing around with the various gluten-free flours and starches trying to come up with just the right combination of flavors and textures.  i made this same recipe using some of this mix:

2 cups king arthur ancient grains flour (which is 30% amaranth, 30% sorghum, 30% millet, 10% quinoa)

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup white rice flour (used as a starch)

1 tablespoon arrowroot starch

the texture of the cookies was good- but the taste was off....kind of grassy?  i think it might be the amaranth or the quinoa that i don't like....

anyway- i'll keep trying!

Friday, January 21, 2011

back in the saddle've been gone for awhile.  no real reason- just lots of little excuses for not focusing on food and health.  i totally fell off the proverbial wagon over the holidays, and for awhile i was actually feeling fine.  i even started to think that all this food allergy nonsense had been blown out of proportion.  whole wheat tortillas?  fine!  cheese?  fine!  was i wrong?  yes!

little by little i started to feel more and more meh.  not AWFUL, but very very meh.  i also started to experience some heartburn and reflux issues, both symptoms of the eosinophilic esophagitis which i have been diagnosed with but had previously been asymptomatic of.  lovely.

so.  back to reality for me.  no more wheat cheats, and (crushingly) no more dairy.  i'm hoping this is less of a "farewell" and more of a "see you later" situation, but i'm not going to hold my breath.  when i eat wheat and dairy i feel sick.  doesn't take a rocket scientist to sort that one out.  the only dairy product i'm still eating is butter.....i might have to give that up at some point as well, but for now it doesn't seem to bother me.

as for this blog, i'm no longer going to be focusing solely on spelt-centric foods.  i'll still be using spelt in baking, but i want to explore other foods as well......things like nutritional yeast and vegan cheese.  oh how i wish i was kidding!

anyway- before i go all "crazy food-allergy girl" on you (or is it too late?), here is a new recipe for:

spelt banana bread, with orange and dates 
(adapted from spelt healthy by marsha cosentino)

this is an adaptation of her chocolate variety bread, i halved the recipe, omitted the chocolate and made some other tweaks

2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil (i used canola)
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup white spelt flour
1/4 cup whole grain spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder (corn free)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1-2 ripe bananas, mashed
8-10 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice

1.  preheat oven to 350.

2.  spray or grease 1 9"x5" loaf pan.

3.  mix eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla together in one bowl.  add the bananas, dates, orange zest and juice.  mix well.  set aside.

4. in another bowl, mix together the flour, leavening, salt and spices.

5.  add dry ingredients to the wet, mix thoroughly but do not over mix.

6.  spoon batter into prepared pan.

7.  bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out cleanly.

8.  allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  remove from pan and place on a rack until cool.