Breakfast.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so they say. I find this is especially true when I’m pregnant. One thing about breakfast is that you can’t skip it. Even if you wait until lunch time, you are still breaking your fast when you eat whatever it is you decide to eat. Breakfast is the first meal of the day, regardless of time.

There’s a lot of advice about what is best to eat for breakfast. Out of all of it there seems to be at least one consensus: protein is important.

Having a sugar-laden breakfast cereal is a bad idea -even if it’s organic- because the processing techniques used to produce the cereals render them pretty much nutritionally deficient. Not to mention that most cereals ignore proper grain preparation (although I’m starting to see sprouted cereals in the grocery store, which makes me happy). Making your own is a good option, but it’s usually labor intensive unless you’re making granola. Homemade granola is really easy and super delicious, but should be considered a treat because there’s no way to soak or ferment the oats, that I’ve found anyway.

I’m not going to lie, I miss cereal. I do eat it occasionally and it’s one of the things that hubby really loves, so I try to keep some for him to snack on. What I really miss is cream of wheat. I love cream of wheat so much, but I can’t eat it any more. I’m on a quest to find a gluten-free substitute but I haven’t been successful (and I probably won’t be, but I can dream). Hot cereals are easier to fudge because you can ferment them and, if the grains are large enough, rinse them before cooking. This is how I prepare oats and I honestly think they taste better that way.

So here are some suggestions for breakfast:

Fried eggs and…
…sautéed squash. This is one of my very favorite breakfasts! I love a mix of zucchini and yellow squash, sometimes with onions. This is great with fried or poached eggs. One thing to note is that both zucchini and yellow crookneck are genetically engineered (virus resistant) if that’s something you prefer to avoid.
…potatoes. Whether you like country potatoes or hash browns be sure to blanch the potatoes first to prevent the production of acrylamide….bacon! This is a classic, but bacon is so expensive that we don’t enjoy it very often.

Scrambled eggs with bone broth and raw milk cheese mixed in. I add a dash of bone broth to the eggs before I cook them and toss in some cubed cheese when I put the egg mixture in the pan. Super delicious. Top them with some homemade green chili and you’re set!

Sourdough pancakes/waffles. These recipes are fantastic and very filling. I use einkorn flour for mine, but you can use any kind of wheat. I do have to add an egg to mine while I’m pregnant for the extra protein though.

Sourdough English muffin egg sandwiches. The recipe for the muffins is on the same page as the pancakes/waffles.

Banana muffins with cream cheese. Recipe to come.

Fermented oats with coconut oil, gelatin and cream. Maple syrup makes them extra tasty as well as adding some soaked almonds (or other nuts) on top. To ferment the oats, stick the desired amount in a glass jar and cover with water. Make sure the water is at least 1.5 inches above the oats. Cover with a cloth and wait about a week. You’ll know they’re ready when little bubbles start to form in the oats. I give mine a head start with either water kefir or kombucha (about a 50/50 mix with water). Rinse the oats and cook as normal, less 1/2 cup of water.

Yogurt with soaked nuts/seeds/ whatever you like.

 

So there you have it. I try to cycle through these, but I’m not terribly creative, so we end up eating the same things a lot.

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Gluten Free “Graham” Crackers.

IMG_20150915_181344It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten a real graham cracker, so I can’t reliably say whether these taste exactly like real graham crackers or not but I’m pretty sure they’re really close. I made them for fun after buying a bag to gluten free graham crackers from Vitamin Cottage that weren’t that great. I wanted to see if I could make a better graham cracker than the ones in the store, and I succeeded! Which is good because the ones from the store were expensive.

I made two batches of these. One just to see if they were worth making and another for a marshmallow roasting party we threw for hubby’s coworkers last Friday. So now you know why there wasn’t an entry last week: I’m a slacker and I basically just got ready for the party. Heh..

Gluten Free 'Graham' Crackers

  • Servings: about 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch (tapioca starch works for those avoiding nightshades)
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
6 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup sucanat
3 tablespoons honey

  1. Combine the sucanat and milk and set aside. This dissolves the sucanat, which is an important step for this recipe. Stir occasionally until completely dissolved, or do this the night before and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor equipped with the dough blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add in the butter and pulse until there are no more large pieces left. Add milk mixture and honey and pulse until the dough forms.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment, shaping into a rough rectangle and dusting with more flour. Cover with another sheet of parchment and roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Carefully peel off the top sheet of parchment.
  4. Slide the parchment with the dough onto a baking pan and cut into squares using a pizza cutter. Prick holes in the dough with a fork.
  5. Chill dough for 10 minutes.
  6. While dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the dough is a light brown. Remove the crackers from the oven and allow to cool completely on a baking rack before breaking them apart.
  8. For extra awesome crackers, place the lighter ones back on the baking sheet and toast 5 minutes more, or until they become a darker brown.

Soaked Gluten Free Chocolate Cake.

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Please pardon the baking tray in the background, we frosted the cake during the party so the meatball trays were still out.

When the wee one told me he wanted to have a train party for his birthday I got a crazy idea about making a 3-D train cake. So, I took to the interwebs to see if this was something I could do on my own and of course Pinterest was the place I found the answer. I found these instructions there and decided I’d give it a whirl.

When it came time to bake a test cake I realized my original plan to bake in a coffee can was foiled because the coffee can we had on hand was not actually metal, but cardboard. So I tried using a quart mason jar. That worked just fine, so I’ll include the directions with the recipe.

For the actual cake recipe I knew I’d need to make adjustments, but I’ve never done a sculpted (if you can call this sculpted) cake before so I wasn’t sure what kind of adjustments to make to the batter. I’d read to reduce the oil, but that was for regular cake batter, not gluten-free. Gluten-free cake is a whole other beast. So I talked with my sister-in-law and she suggested adding eggs. I combined the two adjustments for the practice cake and hoped for the best.

What I ended up with was a chocolate cake that was slightly more dense than usual making it very similar to a cake brownie. This cake was like a compromise between chocolate cake-dom and brownie-hood. It held together very well and it tasted great, so I ditched my back-up plan of buying a train shaped cake pan and decided to make the 3-D train for the party.

To bake a cake in a mason jar you’ll need to thoroughly oil the inside of the jar and cut out some parchment paper to line the bottom. Then oil the parchment for good measure. I filled the jar to the 1 cup line and set it in a water bath (a loaf pan works really well for this) and baked at the normal temperature. The water bath makes it take a bit longer, so start checking on the jar cake 5 minutes past the normal baking time.
To remove the cake from the jar, slice a little piece off of the bottom, taking it out with the knife. Shake the rest of the cake out.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake (for “sculpting”)

1/4 cup coconut oil
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces (2/3 cup )unsweetened cocoa powder
7 ounces (1 1/3 cups plus 1/4 cup) GF flour blend
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup) sucanat
1 cup whole milk
1 Tablespoon whey or other acid
4 cups frosting

  1. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, milk and whey/acid in a glass bowl. Mix well, cover and let sit on the counter overnight.
  2. In the morning, melt the chocolate in the oil and set aside to cool. In a separate bowl, mix baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt together. Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350°F.
  3. Oil two loaf pans (and a mason jar) and line the bottoms with parchment, oiling the top of the parchment as well.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla. Whisk in sucanat until well combined (it won’t be smooth). Whisk in cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Mix in the dry ingredients then add the flour/cocoa/milk mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth.
  5. Divide batter evenly between the loaf pans, leaving enough to fill the mason jar to the 1 cup (or higher) line. Put the mason jar in a water bath. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 30-32 minutes, rotating pans halfway. Check the mason jar and add extra time as needed (about 10 minutes).
  6. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edges and remove the cakes from the pans, allowing them to cool completely on the rack before frosting or storing in an airtight container on the counter (DO NOT refrigerate).
  7. Frost the cake before serving.

You can make this cake dairy-free by using water kefir instead of milk. Or water with lemon/vinegar instead of whey. The acid you use doesn’t particularly matter because the chocolate masks the acidic flavor really well. No one will ever know.
The cupcakes in the picture are made with water kefir, and they turned out awesomely!