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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Entries in knife-free (34)

Saturday
Jun052010

Chilled Summer Pea and Herb Soup (gluten free, vegan, raw, ACD)

 

What a surprise, another green pureed meal in a bowl.  You know me, I love green food and I love pureed food, and these loves often intersect.  This green puree, however, is very different from this one or this one or this one or this one or this one (that's only a partial round-up of all the green pureed stuff on my blog, believe it or not). All green purees, though similar in appearance, are not alike. 

Summer food has a life of its own. It vibrates. It sings. It dances. It makes my body and soul happy.   The colors, the flavors, the textures - everything is amped up a notch.  This soup is inspired by the flavors of summer; it is bold and bright and lovely. And the best part? No heat involved. It is a raw soup, the perfect solution for hot summer days when you don't want to cook!

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov162009

Homemade Amazaké and some tasty ways to use it! (gluten free, vegan)

 

So, a couple weeks ago I was on South River Miso's  website, ordering a couple of bottles of gluten free, soy free tamari.

Wait, WHAT?!?!?!  SOY FREE SOY SAUCE?  Seriously?  

Yeah, it is true - South River Miso makes gluten free soy free tamari out of chickpeas.   Not familiar with South River Miso?  Well, now is the time to get familiar - they are a great little company in Massachusettes that makes small batches of delicious misos by hand.  Most of their misos are soy-based, but they also make two delicious soy-free varieties: azuki and chickpea.   Since tamari is a byproduct of the miso-making process, those clever folks use their soy free misos to make a soy-free tamari.  Brilliant!  After loving the misos for ages, I found out about the tamari last year, and completely fell in love with their azuki variety. I stretched that bottle out over the course of about 10 months, treating each drop like liquid gold.  Once the new batch of chickpea tamari was available for purchase, I had to jump at the chance to order a couple of bottles.  It is incredible; salty, rich, almost buttery.

Anyway, while I was tamari shopping, I was hit with the realization that I needed to buy something else to reach the $25 purchase minimum.   Last time I bought something on South River's site, I picked up a copy of the The Little Book of Miso as a way to reach that tricky $25; it is loaded with awesome recipes that all use miso. But, since I already had the book, I needed something else, and not eating soy, my options were limited. Then I saw the jackpot: BROWN RICE KOJI!

What's koji, you ask? 

Koji is Aspergillus oryzae , a special type of mold. Rice is treated with koji, and is then used as a starter to ferment a variety of traditional Japanese foods, like miso, tamari, saké, and amazaké. While most people are familiar with the first three, amazaké is slightly less well-known, but is my absolute new favorite of the bunch. It is made of cooked rice that has been fermented with koji-treated rice, and is served as a fermented beverage or can be served like a pudding. The enzymes created during the fermentation process break down the rice starch into unrefined sugars, resulting in a sweet liquidy mash. Here's a nice description from our friends at South River Miso : "Amazaké (pronounced ah-mah-ZAH-kay) means literally "sweet sake". It is a delicious, creamy hot rice drink with a "...rich, ambrosial flavor...most popular during the winter months, especially at New Year’s. Rich in natural sugars, it has long served as a sweetening agent in Japanese cookery." It can be used in place of sugar in many recipes, and is especially nice for baking." Traditionally, amazaké was served as a simple beverage, sometimes as street food, but has since gained popularity in desserts, puddings, and in other foods. And not only is it delicious, amazaké is super easy to digest because all those enzymes start digesting the grain during the fermentation process!

I've been intrigued by amazaké ever since reading about it in Paul Pitchford's Healing with Whole Foods last year.   I wanted to try it, and started a search.  Grainnassance makes very tasty looking amazaké shakes that are sold at tons of grocery stores and food co-ops.  But unfortunately, I couldn't find their pure rice amazaké anywhere, just blends containing nuts or other ingredients I can't eat, and all of their amazaké contains xanthan gum, which I avoid.   I wanted to try making it myself, but finding koji culture seemed even trickier than finding amazaké.  Sure, I figured I could find it online somewhere, but it wasn't a really urgent issue, and the desire to make it faded away to the back of my mind.  FAded away, that is, until I stumbled across the koji on my tamari shopping spree.  Suddenly, all my amazaké yearnings flooded back, and I knew it was meant to be.

I love fermenting things.   Knowing that all sorts of friendly little friendly are hard at work long after I'm done is a wonderfully satisfying feeling.  It's kind of like at work when you pass off a project to the next person in the process, knowing you've done you're part and now it is up to someone else to finish the job.

I checked on it a few times while it fermented, stirring it and smelling the sweet yeasty goodness.  After about 9 hours, I tasted it.  What an amazing transformation!  It was incredibly sweet, with a deep, nutty flavor that was totally out of this world.  The grains had softened, and after stirring the mixture, it became a thick mush. Per the instructions, I simmered it with water to stop fermentation, and was left with a thick, creamy porridge.  This was the most amazing rice pudding I'd ever tasted in my life, thick and sweet and super flavorful - who knew rice, water, and fancy mold could do that?!  I was now the proud owner of about 5 cups of homemade amazaké base.  Hurrah!

The next morning, I made a warm amazaké latté, blending some of the base with water and a scoop of Dandy Blend (gluten free dandelion beverage, see note about it at the bottom of this post).  It was totally kick ass.  I can't wait to try making a hot amazaké carob drink.  After the success with the latté, I have been experimenting with other ways to use it and have been thinking of many more tasty recipes ideas - salad dressings, gravies, smoothies, custards, oh my!  I have a little recipe for amazaké muffins up my sleeve that might get whipped out tonight.  Ooooh, more amazaké recipes to come!

So, is it Candida friendly?  Um, not so much;  the naturally occurring sugars that show up after the fermentation process are probably much higher than I'd like to know, and the koji culture is mold and smells pretty darn yeasty.  This, by all accounts, is totally not in the ACD plan.  However, now that I know I have Lyme Disease, my guess is that these symptom flare ups have more to do with Lyme than Candida.  Despite this, I know I still need to watch my sugar and yeast intake, especially once I start on antibiotics; I have felt better the last couple weeks without eating fruit or any simple sugars.  But c'est la vie, I'm gonna cheat a little with this, and see how it goes - moderation is the trick, right?  ; )

 


HOMEMADE BROWN RICE AMAZAKÉ 

adapted from South River Miso amazaké recipe: http://www.southrivermiso.com/store/pg/22-Amazake.html

yield about 5 cups amazaké base

2 1/2 cups dry short brown rice (4 cups cooked)
1 1/2 cups brown rice koji
water for cooking + 2 c filtered water

Helpful Equipment:
thermometer (helpful for monitoring temperatures)
heating pad or hot water bags/bottles
cooler or insulated bag

Instructions:

  1. Cook brown rice per desired method.  Once done, stir rice from top to bottom to mix.  Transfer 4 cups of cooked, hot brown rice to a clean glass or ceramic bowl, and let it cool to between 110* F - 130* F, stirring occassionally (about 5-10 minutes).
  2. Stir koji into brown rice, mixing quickly so rice does not cool too much.  You want the rice/koji mixture to almost fill the bowl so the heat is conserved.  The mixture will be thick, but will get thinner/more mushy as it ferments.  Cover the bowl immediately.
  3. Put bowl in a warm place for 5-10 hours, trying to keep the temperature of the rice between 115*-130*.  Ways to do this:
    1. You can incubate Amazaké in the bottom of your oven over the pilot light. 
    2. You can also use a hot water bath with a larger bowl, keeping the water 130-140º F.
    3. MY METHOD: Wrap bowl in an electric heating pad (hot water bottles might work too) and put in an insulated cooler or cooler bag.  Make sure the heating pad stays turned on as much as possible - or if using hot water bags, refill often with hot water.
  4. Stir mixture every couple of hours with a sterilized wooden or plastic spoon (metal is too reactive and will do weird things to fermentation).  The grain should become softer and smell sweet if it is fermenting properly.  If after 5 hours it is not sufficiently sweet to your taste, let it ferment 2-4 hours longer. When the fermentation is complete, the mixture will be sweet tasting, and the individual grains will be soft.  If you let it ferment too long, it will become swampy and alcohol will develop, so make sure to watch it closely near the end!
  5. Once your amazaké is done, you need to stop fermentation by cooking it.  Heat 2 cups of filtered water in a saucepan until it simmers.  Add amazaké to water and stir to mix, then bring to a simmer.  Cook for 15 minutes on low, stirring often so it doesn't burn or stick.  Store mixture in sterilized glass jars.  Will keep for about 1 week, and it can be frozen.

RECIPE NOTES:

  • Original recipe called for 3 cups of uncooked rice to get 4 cups of cooked rice.  I ended up with a TON of extra rice, so I brought down the quantity to 2 1/2 cups uncooked rice.  
  • I fermented it for about 9 hours, my temperature was probably closer to 110-120*. It tasted very sweet and was quite soft and mushy, so it seemed done to me.  My amazaké did not turn super liquidy during fermentation - just very moist and mushy.
  • You can use any cooked grain - I will be trying millet next batch!
  • Like any fermentation projects, use very clean utensils, bowls, and storage jars so you don't grow any funky bacteria.

BASIC AMAZAKÉ BEVERAGE 

recipe from South River Miso

Mix 1 part amazaké base with 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 c water in a saucepan and just bring to a boil.  Season with a pinch of salt, and serve in cups.  If desired, top each serving with a dab of grated gingerroot.


AMAZAKÉ LATTÉ 

yield 1 serving

1/2 c amazaké base
1 c hot water + 1 scoop Dandy Blend instant dandelion beverage, to taste
OR
1 c brewed coffee, Teeccino , chai tea, or other GF grain coffee

Please all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Transfer to saucepan and heat, stirring often to prevent burning.  Pour into a warmed mug and serve!


TO USE AMAZAKÉ AS A SWEETENER

 From South River Miso:
"Substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons Amazaké base for 1 tablespoon honey (or 2 tablespoons sugar) in any of your favorite preparations. Rich in enzymes, it is especially good in breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles, or muffins where it assists in the leavening process and adds a rich moistness."


A NOTE ON DANDY BLEND

Q. DandyBlend contains barley and rye. So, how can it contain no detectable gluten?

 

A. DandyBlend is made from extracts of barley and rye, not from barley and rye themselves. The roasted grains are mixed with the roasted roots, are ground, and then the water-soluble components (nutrients, minerals, biologically active substances) are leached out of the mash by hot water, just like you do when making tea. The liquid extract which is collected at the bottom is then spray dried to make the powder which we then call DandyBlend. Why no gluten? Gluten is not water soluble; it only dissolves in alcohol. Therefore, since no alcohol is used in the extracting process, all the gluten stays back in the mash. Tests done by Eliza-Tek Laboratories confirm the absence of detectable gluten in Dandy Blend.

Answer taken from http://www.dandyblend.com/faq.htm 

 

Sunday
Apr122009

Mesquite Millet Sorghum Waffles with Spicy Sweet Cashew Sauce (gluten free, vegan, low sugar, wheat free, Candida friendly)



Sunday mornings call for rich, tasty waffles.  Especially Easter Sunday mornings when I won't be eating baskets of full of candy.

A couple weeks ago I went on an online shopping spree for ingredients, which included whole sorghum grains and mesquite flour.  I've been reading about mesquite flour everywhere it seems, and the food blog community is using it in everything from pancakes to cookies to bread to savory dishes.  I had to try it.  As for the sorghum, I've wanted to get my hands on the whole grain.  Not only can you cook it up like any whole grain to use in pilafs, soups, or whatever, I heard you can pop it like popcorn.  Plus, I want to try sprouting it, grinding it, and make it into an Essene or Ezekial bread type loaf.  

My waffle craving seemed like a good opportunity to give these new ingredients a spin. Mesquite flour has a unique cinnamon-coffee-chocolate flavor and it gives baked goods a beautiful rich brown color.  When added to baked goods (about 2 tablespoons per cup of flour) it lends a rich, earthy, spicy twist that is oh-so-yummy. As for the sorghum, it combined beautifully with my trusted friend millet for a waffle that is crisp on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside.  Hooray!  But the best thing, by far, about these waffles is that they don't give me that terrible brick-in-the-bottom-of-my-stomach feeling that regular wheat waffles always did.  Why, darling?  Because they are gluten-free and fabulous!!!

I didn't make these very sweet, so if you like a sweeter waffle add more xylitol or use a squirt of agave or your favorite sweetener.  I drizzled these with a quick, easy, and super tasty cashew butter sauce  and it was heavenly.  Whole grain and fabulous, these are waffles you can feel good about that will leave you feeling satisfied.  They are high in fiber, protein, and full all those great vitamins and minerals.  While I'd say these are Candida-diet friendly, they are not low carb, and mesquite flour does have naturally occurring sugars.  While they are whole grain and there is only a small amount of sugar per waffle, if you are in a stage where you are very strictly watching your carbohydrate and sugar intake you may want to wait a while on making this or just give yourself a smaller portion size.   I've included approximate nutritional information below.

If you try these waffles, and like the overall technique, be sure to try  my Sprouted Quinoa Millet Waffles and Sprouted Buckwheat Coconut Waffles.  Wrap leftovers tightly and freeze for later; place a frozen waffle in a toaster oven or toaster and they crisp up like a dream.  Leftover batter can be thinned out a little and made into pancakes! Enjoy! 


 

 

Mesquite Millet Sorghum Waffles

yield: 4 5-inch square waffles, plus a little leftover batter 

If you don't have sorghum, feel free to substitute whole buckwheat groats, or use whole grain quinoa (use 3/4 cup millet and 1/4 cup quinoa).

  • 1/2 cup whole dry sorghum grains
  • 1/2 cup  whole dry millet grains
  • 2 tablespoons mesquite flour
  • 1/4 teaspoons allspice or 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon corn-free baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon xylitol, a pinch stevia powder, 20 drops stevia liquid, or 1-2 tablespoons agave, maple syrup, or brown rice syrup
  • 2 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil, warmed to liquid (or other oil)
  • water

THE NIGHT BEFORE...

  1. Rinse quinoa and millet, and place to soak in water overnight or for at least 5-6 hours. 
IN THE MORNING...
  1. Drain grains, and rinse well.
  2. Place grains in blender, or if using immersion blender, a large blending cup.  Level grains, and add just enough water to cover. 
  3. Add the salt, mesquite flour, flaxmeal, allspice, baking powder, oil, and xylitol. Blend until well mixed and smooth.  It will be a thick batter, but if it is too thick to blend properly, add a little water at a time just until it blends. Let sit for 10-15 minutes for flax to fully absorb liquid.
  4. Heat up waffle iron, greasing if necessary (I like to brush the iron with melted coconut oil).
  5. Once heated, fill waffle iron. Close iron and bake as directed in waffle iron user's manual, until waffle stops steaming and starts to smell done. I found that about 7 minutes in my waffle iron was just about right.
  6. Remove from iron and let cool a minute or two on a rack, the waffle will continue to crisp up.  Serve warm with your favorite syrup, spread, or the tasty cashew sauce below...
Approx nutritional information per waffle (about 4 waffles per recipe): 260 calories, 9.5 f fat, 39 g carb, 6.4 g fiber, 2.4 g sugar, 6.2 g protein



Spicy Sweet Cashew Sauce

yield: about 1/4 cup sauce, enough for about 2 people
  • 2 tablespoon cashew butter
  • 3-4 tablespoon water
  • pinch allspice or cinnamon
  • pinch mesquite flour
  • dash salt
  • squirt agave, to taste
  1. Warm cashew butter and water until cashew butter softens.
  2. Add other ingredients, and whisk together until smooth and creamy, adjust agave/seasonings to taste.
  3. READY!

 

variations: substitute your favorite nut or seed butter for the cashew butter, or alter the seasonings to fit your preference!

 


Thursday
Aug142008

Congee - ultimately satisfying

Congee is a traditional Chinese food famed to have healing properties. It is said to boost qi and nourish the spleen, and restore health to the ailing. The most simple and common recipe for congee is 1 part rice to 6-12 parts water, but you can also mix in other grains, beans, meats, spices, whatever you choose. The waterier the congee, supposedly the more healing. The trick is the cooking process - congee is best cooked over low heat for many many hours. What results is an easily digestible, soupy porridge, and it is tasty and fulfilling beyond words.

I have been on a congee kick lately and have been playing with different combinations. My favorite combo of the moment is a mix of wild rice, sweet brown rice, brown rice, kombu, ginger, orange peel, and star anise. I use my crock pot, throw in the ingredients the night before, and awaken to a large batch of warm, delicious congee. And one batch lasts for days! The wild rice adds a nutty flavor, hearty texture, and lovely color variation. Living in Minnesota, I have a deep love for wild rice in a very general sense. It isn't technically a rice either, did you know that?

Warming wild rice congee

1/2 c wild rice
1/2 c sweet brown rice
1/4 c brown rice
2 inches fresh ginger, grated or chunked per your preference
1 star anise (break open pods a bit)
a couple pinches dry orange peel or fresh zest
1 3-inch piece kombu seaweed (adds flavor, minerals, and helps soften rice)
8-9 c water (seriously - the wild rice sucks it up)

Rinse rice well, and soak for at least 6 hours. Soaking the rice starts the sprouting process, and makes the rice more easily digestible.

Put the soaked rice, ginger, anise, orange peel, and kombu in the crock pot with 8 cups of water. Cover, and put on low. Cook overnight, or for at least 6-7 hours. I've let mine cook as long as 12 with great results. The longer you cook, the more water you need, so if you know it will be a long time, add a little more water for good measure.

When done, remove the kombu chunk and large chunks of anise/ginger/etc, and serve up!

Serving suggestions:
*flax seed oil or pumpkin seed oil drizzled on
*flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds
*nuts or nut butters (I added a little homemade hazelnut butter and that was divine)
*dash of cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, clove, etc
*add beans (azuki or garbanzo are really tasty mixed in)
*add seaweed (crumbled laver, nori, soaked hijiki, etc)

Variations:
*switch up your spices or herbs to change the flavor completely
*switch up your rices
*add another grain that you can tolerate - millet, quinoa, teff (teff, brown rice, and sweet brown rice is really tasty), amaranth, oats, whatever
*add any combination of garlic, onions, grated carrots, squash chunks, sweet potato chunks, beans, meat, etc to the raw rice and cook it all together
*add dried fruits

This is a basic recipe that could go ANY direction, sweet, savory, spicy, herby, whatever. Get creative!

Enjoy!

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