Tag Archives: gluten-free

Stocking the Pantry

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
T
o get her poor dog a bone;
But when she got there
The cupboard was bare,
And so her poor dog had none.

Well, send that poor dog to my house.  I’ve got soup bones aplenty in the freezer!  No starving here!  Our cupboard has changed significantly since we removed grains, milk, and processed foods, but with my pantry ingredients, I can whip up something pretty fast now for the kids.

A long time ago my sister told me to write up what was in my pantry.  At first, when you start a “nutritional rehab” program, the pantry stock is always changing.  You buy ghee, only to realize three of you don’t tolerate it.  You stock up on coconut milk, only to realize it gives you a headache.  The 12 jars of almond butter arrive in bulk, and you realize two in your family have gastrointestinal symptoms from it.  So over the past year, it was maddening to buy too much in bulk, even though it’s much cheaper!  Don’t pitch things, though!  Over the course of the year, we were able to add most things back in.

The list below is what we keep on hand.  My kids and husband can eat most of these things, but I can’t.  Not everything I list is SCD or GAPS compliant, but it usually is.  We started out very strict and have been able to branch out with time (except me).  If I list a specific product, you can click on it to see a photo about it or read a description of it, usually from the Amazon page.  Amazon is not always the best place to buy it, however, so shop around.  Also, sometimes, the link is to a big bulk order, so if you do decide to order it, watch out for that!

Coconut products

Natural Value full fat coconut milk:  No BPA to mess with my estrogen receptors and no guar gum to upset my stomach.  Because wpid-IMAG0537.jpgthere is no guar gum to bind the coconut milk together, the milk is not homogeneous.  If you need smooth milk, a mild heating will provide you the uniform consistency you want.  For baking, I just give it a quick stir and use it as is.  I keep a can in the refrigerator and add a scoop to warm berries and cinnamon for an easy sweet snack.

Let’s Do…Organic Shredded Coconut, unsweetened:  Texture is a small, fine, dry flake.  I add it to trail mixes, use it in smoothies, add it to granola, and use it in desserts.

Nutiva Extra Virgin Coconut Oil:   Nutiva is probably my favorite coconut oil.  I’ve used a few others, also.  Wilderness Family Naturals has a lot of coconut products, and I bought a big coconut oil bucket from them.  It was good, too, but Nutiva is my favorite.  I really wish it came in a glass jar.

Artisana Organic Coconut Butter:  Artisana has such a smooth coconut butter!  Much smoother than the Nutiva brand, which seems almost gritty.

Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour:  I use this for pancakes, muffins, and cakes.

Coconut aminos:  I use these in place of soy sauce.

Sometimes I also keep coconut cream and larger flaked coconut around, but they are not “must stocks.”

Nuts

Roasted, salted almonds:  I buy these at our local markets or buy in bulk on-line.

Sliced almonds:  I buy these at the local supermarket, too–the thin kind you find in the baking section.  I keep them on hand because the Paleo Parents has the BEST recipe that calls for them.

Raw walnuts

Raw pecans

Occasionally, we rotate through pistachios, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts.  I stick to individual nuts and not the mixed nuts.  The mixed nuts and pre-made trail mixes usually have extra starches added to keep them smooth, silky, and unclumped.

Nut products

Almond Butter, unsalted, unsweetened:  We’ve tried a lot of different brands and have yet to settle on a favorite.

Honeyville almond flour:  I buy the huge box because we bake a lot.  (The link is for the smaller bag.)  Personally, even though I love them, I don’t tolerate nut products well, but having almond flour on hand is a must if you have kids or entertain.  The coffee cakes and cupcakes I make with almond flour disappear quickly at potlucks and ladies’ coffees.  My kids “fit in” because I can still make chocolate cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies.  An absolute necessity to keep them on our nutrition change.

We also occasionally keep tahini, sunflower butter, peanut butter, or cashew butter on hand.  Peanut butter and cashew butter gave us all problems initially on GAPS/SCD, but the kids really seem to have developed tolerance to them now (cross my fingers).

Canned meats

Natural Value wild caught albacore tuna in spring water, sea salt added, BPA free:  I could not find a link for this.  I must have wpid-IMAG0539.jpgordered it from Azure Standard.  We use other canned tuna, too, always searching for wild caught, BPA-free, and either in water or olive oil.

Wild Alaskan Salmon, with bones and skin

Sardines in olive oil, preferably with skin and bones

Canned goods

Farmer’s Market organic pumpkin, BPA free:  I use this for soups, muffins, breads, and pancakes.

Cut green beans:  Various brands or home-canned.  Canned is not as nutrient-dense as fresh or frozen, but for expediency and eating, the canned variety can’t be beat.

Canned tomatoes, home-canned and Eden’s organic, crushed tomatoes in glass jars:   The Eden crushed tomatoes are not really atwpid-IMAG0538.jpg all like crushed tomatoes; they are more like plain tomato sauce, so they whip up a fast spaghetti sauce!  I buy them through a company called Azure Standard, which is an organic food delivery system.  I mix the Eden’s tomatoes into meatloaf, chili, and taco sauce.

Applesauce:  We make this every fall and can it.

Condiments and Sides

Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve Balsamic vinegar, aged 18 years:  I’ve linked to Amazon so you can read about it, but the Amazon order is for 12 bottles.  You may want to look around to get one bottle to see if you like it.  Balsamic vinegar must be pure to be “legal” on GAPS/SCD.  Even still, it’s sweetness makes you wonder.  No matter.  This balsamic vinegar is the best I’ve had by far.  because of its age, it’s already thick, and I don’t have to reduce it for sauces and dressings.  We apply it to salads, vegetables, and meats.  I could drink it from the bottle if I knew it was “good” for me.

Organic mustard

Organic ketchup:  I cheat here with the kids because their issues are/were not so significant as mine, and the ketchups I buy have sugar in them.  I do use organic, however, because apparently tomatoes are guilty of high chemical levels.

Mayonnaise:  On a good week (and in the beginning of our nutritional rehabilitation), I make my own, but in a pinch I cheat and use a canola based product made with honey.   It is by Spectrum.

Red wine vinegar

Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

Crofter’s organic strawberry fruit spread:  This contains both pectin and grape juice concentrate, illegals on SCD/GAPS.

Coconut aminos:  See above.

Red Boat fish sauce:  I use this in curries.

Oils/Fats

Olive oil:  I have been experimenting with all kinds of different brands of extra-virgin, first cold-pressed olive oil.  I really, really like Trader Joes’ California Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but I only get it when a friend brings me a bottle back from “The Cities.”  I like to get the olive oil in glass.  I’ve been using olive oil to bake lately rather than coconut oil.  Addendum:  While just shopping online, I found Trader Joe’s Olive Oil.  A bit expensive but great for a special salad dressing.

Coconut oil:  See above

Palm shortening:  Its utility is for birthday cake icing.

Loriva toasted sesame cold pressed oil:  A nice twist for stir-fries and curries.

Purity Farms Ghee:  When we started our dietary change a year ago, most in our family had reactions to ghee.  Technically, you’re not “supposed” to react to ghee because the proteins have been removed.  Let me tell you, we still reacted to ghee.  A year later, my daughter can have ghee (and other dairy) with no ill effects.  So maybe this change is doing something.  Time and diligence will tell.

Fermented Foods

Bubbie’s pickles:  I slice these thin for hamburgers and slice into spears for the kids.  Sometimes I chop them up and sprinkle them over things, like sloppy Joe sauce.

Sauerkraut:  I make my own, and I buy Bubbie’s, too.

Sunja’s medium spicy kimchi:  It’s a bit spicy, but my kids will eat a small bit of it.  My local organic store carries it.

Herbs, spices, flavorings (and baking soda)

Almond extract

Baking soda:  Arm and Hammer is easy to obtain, and the label looks “pure” and “clean.”

Basil

Celtic sea salt:  I always try to get the fine ground, and I keep in mind there is NO iodine in it.  We snack on some seaweed now that we’re about a year into our endeavors for iodine.  GAPS/SCD don’t incorporate seaweed in the early phases of the diet.

Cinnamon

Cocoa powder:  My favorite comes from Penzey Spices.  I buy both the dark and the Dutch.  The Dutch chocolate makes good coconut milk hot cocoa.

Curry powder

Garlic powder

Ginger

Italian Seasoning:  This is great on fish, and I use Morton and Bassett’s brand because I like it so much.

Nutmeg

Onion powder

Oregano

Paprika

Parsley

Thyme

Vanilla:  Here I’ve been tricked!   Even high-quality vanillas may add sugar!  If you’re ordering on-line, you can’t always see the label.  For example, Penzey’s spices are super-fresh and reliable, but their vanilla has sugar added!  I use only vanilla that has alcohol, vanilla bean, and water.  Supposedly all of the proteins have been left behind in the distillation process, so I don’t fret about the original grain being a “gluten container.”  I’m still experimenting with vanillas to find my favorite.

My spice cupboard overflows beyond what is listed, but these are the staples that take care of me day in and day out.  Penzeys Spices taste incredible to me, and I think their prices are reasonable.  They list all the ingredients in their products, I just missed the fact their vanilla had sugar in it!

We also use Montreal Steak Seasoning on grilled chicken and steak, and Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Redfish Magic on pan-fried fish, but because they list “spices” as an ingredient, I think these should be used with caution.  Again, I didn’t use these until our symptoms had resolved, and I added them back in and watched.  They made the cut for my family (and me!).

Sweeteners

Local raw honey:  I like to use this in teas for its known positive qualities (antibacterial, local pollen immune boosters).  Some recipes I use (like frostings) do better with the stiffer, raw honey.  Also, it’s helpful to use as “glue” when making cute snacks for the kids.  Sometimes I’ll use it in baking, and it always seems to do fine.  It’s just not as easy to get out of the container as the pourable honey.

Local “liquid” honey:  Easy to pour for baking.

Maple syrup:  My dad makes and sells maple syrup on a small, local basis, so we break SCD/GAPS law here and use it.  I appreciate the fact that it has quite a few minerals packed into a little punch for the kids.  Does that offset the sugar nemesis?  I don’t know.  Sugar is sugar is sugar.  I won’t eat it much at all until I’m either functioning like I want or have given this SCD/GAPS/Paleo autoimmune (whatever you want to call it) thing a 100% go and it fails.  I think having maple syrup on their pancakes is one of the tricks that helped keep the kids on board with this diet intervention.

Agave:  I have on hand for baking, but we almost always use honey for baking.

Liquid Stevia drops:  Too many Stevia drops, and my family won’t eat it.  It gets a funny taste.  We don’t use Stevia much, but it’s helpful for a smoothie that isn’t just quite “there” or a barbecue sauce that needs just a touch of sweetness, but I think I’ve already added too much honey.  For us, it’s a “sweetener booster” for recipes where the baseline level of sweetness just doesn’t “make it.”  I don’t think it’s GAPS/SCD legal, either.

Sweets/Snacks

Raisins

Dried currants:  Great to have on hand for making cute snacks (think, eyes) and also better tolerated by kids in cakes, muffins, and cookies.

Dried bananas:  We like to make our own in the dehydrator.

Dried dates

Dried figs

Good Life chocolate chips:  These have sugar added, so they’re a real treat for us.

SeaSnax seaweed in olive oil:  Not SCD compliant, and only GAPS compliant after the introduction.

Coco-roons:  They have different flavors.  Clean ingredients, and I don’t have to make them.

If you made it reading this far, maybe you’d take the time to let me know YOUR favorite product!  Mine would probably have to be that balsamic vinegar I mentioned!

Goldfish

wpid-IMAG0482.jpg

Before we eliminated processed foods, Goldfish crackers used to be our “healthy” snack.  My daughter created a lovely way to still be able to eat “Goldfish.”

I marvel at how removing available options revs up the ingenuity.

“Ingredients”:

  • Dried apricots (1 for the body, 1/2 for tail fin, and 1/4 for top fin)
  • Currants (cut in half for eye and some for bubbles out of mouth)
  • Sliver of red apple peel (for the mouth)
  • Raw honey for “glue”
  • Blueberries for the water underneath the fish

Make a “school” of these fish to take to school for preschool snack!

Wishing you a lovely day!

L is for Lemon Bars

I have made these 2-3 times now.  A real hit with my family.  Unfortunately, the almond flour crust does NOT like to be overbaked, and so much to my chagrin, the topping gets devoured and the crust left behind.  But if you do not overbake the crust, you will  be tickled pink–or lemon yellow!  One of mine even likes the crust, shall we call it, “overbrowned“!  I have taken the lemon bars into preschool for snacks twice, and this time it is for the letter “L” in our “Snack through the Alphabet.” 

Please note that this recipe is for TWO 9×13 pans!!!  One to send to school and one for the family!

Lemon Bars

Crust
4 cups almond flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoonsful salt
4-6  tablespoonsful of oil (I’ve used coconut oil and even olive oil.)
6 tabelspoonsful of honey
2 tablespoonsful vanilla extract
Plus additional oil to oil pans

Lemon topping
1 and 1/4 cup oil (as mentioned above, I’ve used coconut oil and vegetable oil)
1 and 1/4 cup honey
14 eggs
2 cups lemon juice, on the scant side (I used freshly juiced)
2 teaspoonsful baking soda

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Oil two 9X13 glass baking dishes.
3.  Dump (yes, dump) all of the crust ingredients into a large bowl (begin with the 4 tablespoonsful of oil and add more if needed to hold the dough together) and mix well with hands to make a “dough” that holds together but breaks easily.
4.  Divide the crust mixture between the two baking dishes and press the dough into the bottoms of the baking dishes.
5.  Bake the crusts for 5 minutes.  Do not allow to brown.  Take out after the 5 minutes.
5.  While crusts are baking, put all of the lemon topping ingredients in a large bowl and mix with an electic mixer until smooth and mixed well.
6.  Pour the topping mixture over the lightly baked crusts.
7.  Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  I repeat, the crust can easily overbrown and taste burnt.  The topping will still be delectable, but you will be mad about the crust.
8.  Allow to cool and then refrigerate.  Best served cold.

I am waiting for the time to make this into a pie with a beautiful meringue topping!

Creamy Squash Soup with Sausage

My family all liked this soup.  Two of the kids picked out the meat, but the rest of us liked it in there.  The “sausage” recipe follows below separately from the soup recipe.  The only thing that would make this soup better for me is if somebody else cooked it and cleaned the kitchen when done!

Soup 6:  Creamy Squash Soup with Sausage

1 medium-sized butternut squash (buttercup is also spectacular here!  or even pumpkin!–and sometimes I mix them together)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves pressed garlic
1/2″ peeled, minced fresh ginger (about 1 rounded teaspoonful) (ground, dried would be substitutable)
4 tablespoonsful of olive oil
2 quarts of chicken broth (more or less to desired consistency, sometimes it seems like I only need 1 quart and others the full 2 quarts!)
1/2 teaspoonful coriander
pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoonful ground cloves
1 teaspoonful cinnamon
1/2 teaspoonful nutmeg
1-2 teaspoonsful salt
Browned (cooked) crumbled sausage, amount as desired (I use about a 1/4 pound), recipe follows
Coconut milk to taste or consistency, added in at the end

1.  Choose your method of preparation to cook squash (oven, boil, or steam).  I chose to cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp.  I then steamed the squash in my steaming pot until it was fork tender.  Then, when it was cool enough, I cut/scooped the soft flesh off of the shell and cut into chunks.  Set aside until ready to combine ingredients in the soup pot.

2.  While squash is cooking, saute onion, ginger, and garlic in olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot until soft and aromatic.  Add the coriander, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Continue sautéing until mixed through.

3.  Add the chicken broth (starting with 1 quart) and squash to the soup pot.  Stir together and heat through.  Use immersion blender or blender to blend soup very smooth.  You may want to add more chicken broth if you like your soup thinner.  Don’t forget that coconut milk may be added if you desire at the end– so don’t make it too thin if you’re going to be adding that.

4.  Add the browned “sausage” to the soup.  Heat through and serve.

5.  Add coconut milk as a garnish and to add a creamy texture and flavor.  Add as much as you want, but we save it for the end because we LOVE the flair it gives the presentation of the soup!

Family “gustar” report:  5/5 loved the soup.  I didn’t get the kids’ votes, though, until I handed them the coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and allowed them to “juice” it up the way they wanted.  When handed their bowls, they looked at me like I was crazy.  “I don’t like it.”  And they hadn’t even tried it.  So I gave them a pep talk about how “I make the basic soup, but it’s YOU who has to make it your own!  Add a little of this and that.  Make it YOUR soup.”  That made it fun,  and they had seconds.  They definitely wanted the coconut milk in there.  I left it out.  If your eater is really fussy, and you can let them have a little honey or maple syrup in it, the sweetness is delicious.

Sausage

I really like spices a lot.  So I add a lot to my sausage.  Pick and choose what you think you’d like, but I think the salt, sage, cumin, pepper, and cinnamon are my favorites.  The rest are because I’m having fun in the kitchen.  I love to add a little of this and a little of that.

1 pound ground beef (we also have ground goat, and it makes great sausage!)
1/4 onion, diced
1/2-1 teaspoonful cumin
1/2-1 teaspoonful salt
1 teaspoonful sage  ( I really like sage in my sausage, so I usually add extra–more like a heaping tablespoonful for me!)
1/4 teaspoonful cinnamon
1/4 teaspoonful nutmeg
1/2 teaspoonful pepper
1/2 teaspoonful oregano
1/2 teaspoonful basil

Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until mixed thoroughly.  Make into patties and use immediately or freeze for later.  Or brown it and use it in soups or omelets.

Chocolate Cake and Frosting

Chocolate cake and frosting

Chocolate cake with raspberry sorbet.

Celebrated my baby sister’s 26th birthday yesterday.  So had to take a break from soups and revisit sweets.  Darn.  This chocolate cake hits the nail on the head.  However, frosting has been challenging for me without butter, cream, and refined sugar.  After a few attempts and a trial of palm shortening, accomplished a sweet, thick, chocolaty, pipable frosting.  The gluten-free, dairy-free, GAPS nutrition program-legal chocolate birthday cake is done.  I have no changes to make.  No craving to fulfill.  This takes care of it.  And it is good.

Chocolate Cake:

A very good, moist, and thick chocolate cake.  Great chocolate flavor.

Ingredients:

3 cups almond flour (Honeyville is what I use)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I’ve used Hershey’s Dark and also Penzey’s, loved the dark chocolate in this recipe, but both great!)
3/4 teaspoonful salt
3/4 teaspoonful baking soda
1 and 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional, but enhances chocolate flavor)
5 eggs, divided into whites and yolks
1 and 1/2 cups honey
1 and 1/2 generous tablespoonsful vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. For 2 layer cake:  Oil two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans and also line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Oil the top of the parchment paper also. (Your circle doesn’t need to be perfect, and it shouldn’t go up the sides of the pan. It’s just that if the cake is going to stick, it seems to do it in the middle of the pan.)
3. Mix almond flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and cardamom together in a medium-sized bowl.
4. In a large bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
5. In a medium-sized bowl, mix yolks, honey, and vanilla together well.
6. Gently pour the yolk mixture into the beaten egg whites and fold together.
7. Gently hand mix, but mix thoroughly, the dry ingredients into the egg mixture.
8. Pour into prepared pans.
9. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Don’t overbake. Not forgiving.)
10. Allow to cool a bit (30 minutes, maybe) and then turn bottom layer out onto desired dish. (Mine turned out well even a few hours later after I’d gotten the frosting right.)
11.  Spread chocolate frosting between layers, as well as a layer of honey meringue frosting between layers (recipes follow).  Put on top layer.  Frost top and sides with chocolate frosting.  I just like the whipped creamy-like moistness that the honey meringue frosting sitting between the layers gives the cake, but I don’t like to frost the entire cake with it because it’s too strong of a honey flavor.

Please note:  Sometimes the cake sinks in the middle and sometimes not.  Sorry.  Maybe someone else can help me with this.

Chocolate Frosting:

A nice thick, creamy frosting with good chocolate flavor that will spread and pipe prettily.

4 ounces of 100% unsweetened cacao chocolate (Ghirardelli used)
1 cup of palm shortening (Spectrum used)
1/2 cup of raw honey that is set up at room temperature, not the pourable kind (although that might work, I don’t know)
1 tablespoonful of vanilla, or to taste

1. Chop chocolate bar into fine pieces (I used my hand held food chopper).
2. Melt over double boiler until just melted.  Remove from heat.
3. Allow to cool but still remain a liquid.
4. Meanwhile, cream together the palm shortening, honey, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
5. Slowly add in the melted chocolate while beating, only a little at a time to make sure it’s not too hot. Make VERY sure the chocolate is not warm enough to melt the palm shortening. (I added in a teaspoonful and mixed, repeated, and repeated until I was very sure the chocolate would not melt the shortening.)
6. Refrigerate just a bit if needed, but if you do so too long, it gets hard and you have to wait for it to warm up a bit and then refluff it.
7. Frost cake or put into piping bag and pipe on frosting.

Honey Flavor Meringue Frosting:

This frosting has a strong honey flavor.  Not reminiscent of the birthday cakes I had growing up.  So to spread the whole cake in this is too much honey for me.  But spreading it between the layers of a two-layer cake, along with the chocolate frosting–then icing the entire cake with the chocolate frosting–gives it a sweetness and moistness boost, making it decadent! Nearly sinful.

2 egg whites
1/2 cup honey
1/4 teaspoonful salt
1 teaspoonsful vanilla
1.  Bring water in the bottom pan of a double boiler to a boil (alternative to a double boiler is to use a large heat-stable glass bowl over a saucepan).
2.  As you are waiting on water to boil, put honey, egg whites, and salt in top pan of double boiler and mix well for one minute with hand mixer.  Make sure your top pan of the double boiler is large enough for the whites when you froth them up.  The mixture will froth up as you beat it in the pan.  It almost overflows my pan, but it doesn’t.
3.  Once water in the bottom pan is boiling, place honey and egg mixture pan (or bowl) on top of the boiling water bath.  Be sure the boiling water does not touch the bottom of the pan.
4.   Beat with a handmixer constantly for 7 minutes.  Remove from heat.
5.  Mix in vanilla.

Conversely, you can bring the honey to a boil in a pan for about 4-7 minutes (don’t burn).  In the meantime beat egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form.  Slowly, slowly pour the honey into the egg whites, beating constantly.  Add in vanilla.  Beat to desired consistency.  Sometimes I just can’t get this to stiffen as much as I’d like.

Things I had to look up:
Is it chocolaty or chocolatey?  Both are correct.
How to spell pipable:  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pipable.
How about fulfill?  Looks as if there is a British spelling and an American spelling.  (fulfil vs. fulfill)

Do You Know How Long It’s Been Since I’ve Had a Cupcake?

wpid-IMAG1417-1.jpgMy gluten-intolerant, dairy-intolerant friend doesn’t like to bake or cook.  So when I sent some of these home with her, she asked me, “Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had a cupcake?”  That tore at my heart!

I started with a chocolate cake recipe from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam.

But it just didn’t have a strong chocolate flavor.  So I added more cocoa.  And it sank too much in the middle.  I tried adding another egg.  Seemed to do the trick.

It is best to let these sit overnight, although we downed quite a few on bake-night.  Ours came out of the wrappers terrifically the day after they were made.  Not crumbly a bit.  I tried making them in fancy white paper cups from Wilton and cheaper normal cupcake wrappers.  Cheaper worked best.

Chocolate Almond-Flour Cupcakes

Yields:  24

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Almond Flour (Honeyville has been best for me)

1/3 cup of cocoa, on the scant side (love Penzeys brand)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoonful of cardamom (may be omitted, but it enhanced the chocolate flavor)

3 eggs, divided into whites and yolks

1 cup of honey

1 generous tablespoonful of vanilla

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare muffin pan with paper liners.

2.  Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  (Please note that I tried running the cocoa and almond flour through a sifter to see if it contributed anything to texture.  Texture is good, but sifter didn’t seem to make a difference for the Honeyville flour.)

3.  Crack eggs and place the whites in a medium-sized bowl and set aside to be whipped.   Place the yolks in another medium-sized bowl.

4. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.

5.  To the yolks, add the honey and vanilla and mix well.

6.  Gently fold the yolk/honey/vanilla mixture into the whites.

7.  Gently hand-mix the dry almond-flour mixture into the egg mixture.

8.  Scoop batter into prepared muffin pans (I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup and that filled them about right.)

9.  Bake for 20-30 minutes until the tops are set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean (this is usually about the time they start really smelling great and your mouth is watering for cupcake NOW).

10.  Allow to cool in pan a bit before trying to remove.  Centers may sink a bit as they cool.  Ours didn’t sink too much.

11.  Frost when cool.

Addendum:  I made this cake yesterday (11/12/12) as a cake.  I made the recipe 1.5 times as much (rounded the eggs up) and poured into round 9 inch cake pans (grease well).  It was awesome–I used a coconut milk ganache layer in the middle and a boiled honey and whipped egg white frosting.  Awesome.  Again–good the first day–but the second day–absolutely the best.  Moister, richer, just…”MMMM.”  Awesome.

Remembered to take photo of last cupcake so you could see the crumb/texture. Not really decorative as I just slapped lots of icing on for me to eat! Sorry!

Chocolate Frosting

(Fly by the seat-of-your-pants recipe.  Ingredient amounts will not be exact.  It will require taste-testing and adding more of this or that.)

Try Googling the internet for frosting made of lard.  I did and didn’t have too much success.  Lard for the actual pastry, cake, or cookie–absolutely.  But lard for frosting–“YUCK–DON’T DO IT!”  An actual quote from one site I Googled.   However, one-track-minds can’t put ideas to rest.  (If you’re on GAPS, SCD, or you’re a homeschooler–you know you’ve got one of those stubborn, one-track brains that won’t take “no” for an answer.  You know it.  You know what I’m talking about!)

Well, we needed a dairy-free creamy, chocolate, melt-in-your-mouth frosting that was GAPS/SCD legal (cocoa powder is not really SCD legal–I conveniently hop from GAPS to SCD or vice versa to suit my fancy!  LOL!  But seriously, only if my goals are being met. And right now they are!  Yippee!).  I had lots of freshly rendered lard.  Snowy-white and yelling at me, “I’m perfect for frosting!  Try it!”  So I turned on the Kitchen-Aid and whipped that lard until light and fluffy.  Beautiful, really.

This:

Rendered lard

Became this:

Ingredients:

About 2-3 cups of refrigerated pure lard, no preservatives or additives

About 1/2 cup of cocoa powder

About 1/2 cup of honey

About 1 tablespoon of vanilla

About 2 teaspoons of almond extract (you may or may not need)

Directions:

1.   Whip cold lard until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes or so.

2.  Add in some of the cocoa, some of the honey, some of the vanilla, and some of the almond extract (if desired).

3.  Whip mixture some more.

4.   Taste.

5.  Add some more of whatever is lacking. More chocolate?  More sweetness?  More rounding out with vanilla?   Get the paranoid feeling you can still taste pork?–that’s what the almond extract is there to mask:).  Obviously as you add the needed honey, the frosting will get thinner, mine was like the consistency of a brownie mix.  But it wasn’t thinner than cake batter.

6.   Put it into the fridge to chill.  Let chill for about an hour.

7.   Whip it up again.  And frost cupcakes.