Kitchen Experiments- Gluten Free, Grain Free Gingerbread

It has been awhile since I have shared any of the foods that I have been cooking in my kitchen but ever since I made this recipe, everyone has been asking me to share it. I found this recipe in a cookbook that has been on display in my office for quite some time.  This cookbook, Nourishing Meals, was written by a two fellow graduates of Bastyr University , Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre.

book

When the book was released last year, they sent me a copy for my waiting room and to be honest, I placed it there and never really glanced through it.  I am always talking about food with my clients and frequently inquire as to “what’s for dinner”.  One of my lovely clients, Geri, told me that she was making a gluten free zucchini lasagna with pine nut ricotta that evening from the book in the waiting room.  That recipe sounded very interesting and so I thought it might be time for me to glance through that cookbook and see what I could find.  I must admit that I love cookbooks with photos and this one had a middle section with some very pretty glossy colored photos.  The first thing I spotted was the gingerbread.  I love gingerbread so I flipped to the page and found this recipe.

cut

What I love about this recipe is that it is made without any flour.  I will give you the recipe from the book but then I will tell you the changes that I made.  It is a very bad habit of mine that I rarely follow a recipe exactly the way that it is written.  Sometimes that is a good thing and other times, not so much!

Gingerbread

1 1/2 cups creamy almond butter

1/2 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes

1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1-2 teaspoons ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with coconut oil.

Place all ingredients into a food processor fitted with the “s” blade and process until smooth and combined. You can also use a hand held mixer but the food processor is easier and creates a smoother batter.

Pour batter into baking dish. Bake for about 35 minutes. Cool and slice. Gingerbread will be fragile hot out of the oven but will firm up once cooled.

baked

When I saw the ingredients in the recipe I could not believe that it would hold together. But it does and it is delicious.  What a treat – a perfect high protein snack or breakfast.

So, as I said, I made a few changes.  I don’t have a food processor any more, so I made it in my Vitamix. I did not think that the baking soda was going to be enough to make it rise, so I added a teaspoon of baking powder as well. I made it twice because the first pan was eaten very quickly.  The first time I used the amount of spices recommended in the recipe.  However, I like my gingerbread spicy so I increased the ginger to about a tablespoon and added cloves as well, maybe a 1/2 teaspoon.  That did the trick.  It was much more spicy amd more to my liking.  Also, the first time I made it, I used regular almond butter from the jar.  The second time I used fresh ground almonds from Earthlight.  The freshly ground are not as creamy and a little drier so I added a little almond milk to make the batter smoother.

Anyway you make this gingerbread, you are going to love it!  Let us know what you think.  Happy baking!

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Lent

“Maybe you should give that up for Lent,” He said.

Many of my non-practicing Catholic friends still give up things for Lent. I laugh when they tell me that.

I think it is like a do – over for New Year’s Day. All the promises have already fallen by the wayside; gathering dust in the corners of every room. Those resolutions that we felt so sure we would succeed at this time around; all gone now as winter hibernation and lethargy have taken their place.

And

so, here comes Lent, another chance to make a commitment to do something good for yourself. ( I can almost hear my Dad at this point letting me know that is not why we give up things and certainly not what Lent is about. ” I know Dad,  but I am taking creative license here. Don’t worry, 12 years of Catholic education was not wasted, and many other fine blogs are out there about the true meaning of Lenten sacrifice.”)

OK

I do see that most of us need external reasons for growth and change – so what will it be?

~ Giving up Chocolate/Ice cream

gowith~ Limiting your Carbs

~Putting exercise into your daily routine

~Writing in your journal or meditating every morning

~Not cussing or swearing

~Loving your partner and showing that love daily

This is a chance to take advantage of an external prompt and goal. Plus, it is only a short time compared to those 2015, 365 day promises.

I am warming up to the idea.

For me, I am musing giving up working on myself.

That is the question that was posed to me. Could I do it? I am definitely addicted to self- help and constant self-evaluation. I have a pile of books surrounding me that are spiritual, psychological, and therapeutic in nature. I talk process constantly – I mean constantly – it is my work, my play, and everything in between.

What would I do with myself for 40 days?

What would be the reason to give it up? Maybe to take some of the pressure off of myself? Maybe to spend some time being more creative, more relaxed, and more _________?

I am not sure.

I still have a few hours to mull this over.

Chocolate seems like a better and safer bet at this moment!

The big Love day

 

heart rocks

We have arrived.

Hallmark is happy. Restaurants all around the world are happy. Godiva, Gertrude Hawk, and Hershey are happy.

And you?

Are you happy?

Have you thought about, worked on, and let in some love of self this week?

Are you ready to meet this day with an open heart and hands ready to receive love – first from yourself?

Go to the mirror now. Look into your own eyes and say, ” Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you.”

Yes, I am totally inviting you to actually stop reading and go do it. Seriously.

Wait. Let me suggest one more thing: take a deep breath first.

Calmly approach the mirror and meet your own gaze. (no judging your hair, wrinkles, teeth, etc.) If the negative self talk starts, just thank it for checking in and tell it to go away for now. (repeat as necessary!)

Take a moment to just be there. Take another deep breath.

Now say it. “Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you.”

Don’t worry if you feel fake, don’t mean it, laugh, cry, or anything in between.

It matters. It is essential. It will change the world.

Seriously.

 

Even though…

Even though you have 10 or more pounds to lose.

Even though you are still not sure what you want to be when you grow up.

Even though you don’t make enough money.

Even though you are never good enough.

Even though you make mistakes.

Even though you can’t see the forest for the trees.

Even though you snapped at your loved one this morning.

Even though you can’t keep up with the Jones’ or don’t want to.

Even though you fail, mess up, and trip over your own feet.

Even though you are afraid you will be alone.

Even though you hurt, get hurt, or avoid hurt.

Even though you live in denial.

Even though life is not always a bowl of cherries.

Even though you keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Yes, Even though, these things and so much more…

you are worthy of love, being loved, and most of all, loving yourself.

Ask anyone who loves you: partner, friend, child, pet – and really listen. I am positive they have been trying to tell you (about your loveableness) and get you to believe them for a long, long time.

Now your job is to work on letting it in – deeply, fully, and completely.

anita bondi designs

 

Signs of Love

The woods were beautiful over the weekend. In order to practice self- care and to grow in self-love I am working on doing things just for me, just because.

At one point I stopped to take in the beauty and when I looked down I saw a heart shadow at my feet.

I love signs and metaphors.

Of course we can interpret anything for our own gain (and why not?). For me this was a sign I was on the right track – the right track to the right love.

I was blessed during that hour with three natural images of hearts in nature. I am happy to share them with you and would welcome any you might want to share with me.

no part of nature was harmed in the taking of these photos. 🙂

hearttree

Love Yourself first.

As we go into this Hallmark made holiday week, I find myself reflecting about the first love of my life.
Well, not the first romantic love of my life, but Michael is a good story if you ever want to ask me about him.
This first love is self- love.
This is the love that I am cultivating finally, in mid- life. The love that I realize has to be present in order to truly love another person.
Brene’ Brown, one of my favorite author’s says, “We can only love someone else to the degree that we love ourselves.”
Seriously.
She says that some will argue that they love their children or their partners more than they love themselves.
They say that it is possible.
She says, no it is not.
I agree.
I can only love you to the degree that I love me.
Here are some of the things that get in the way of loving ourselves (that get in the way of me loving me):
~negative self- talk
~people pleasing
~hiding who we really are for fear of rejection
~comparison
~judgement
What I have found is that when we are doing any or all of these behaviors we are not cultivating love, rather we are creating large areas of shame, guilt, and blame within us.
We are pushing away instead of pulling in.
We are building walls instead of opening doors.
We are creating fear instead of allowing love.

I decided that this was a good week to start speaking up. To start “outing myself” so that you might feel like you could “out yourself”, and together we might feel brave enough to take on the self hatred and self- loathing that is at epidemic proportions in our lives. Empathy allows us to do that with one another.  I know that I am not alone. I know you understand. I know you have been there or are there.

It is not easy to love ourselves in a culture that is constantly telling us to be more, do more, have more, and that we are not good enough until we have made it – whatever that mean to us. It is not easy to love ourselves when we came from families that gave us similar messages.

It is not easy, but it is essential. It is important. It matters to our evolution- inside and out.

It will change the world.

Seriously.

 

 

 

 

Snow Day

snowday

A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder.

~ Susan Orlean

Wow, what a snow day!  I thought that winter was going to miss us this year, but here it is and it looks like it might be staying around for awhile.  For all of its inconveniences, it certainly is beautiful.  Hopefully, you can find the joy in just being home and not stress too much about what you could not get done because you were home.  My default on snow days is either baking or cleaning. Yesterday was filled with cleaning and making piles to give away.  I feel so much lighter today!  Here is to a new day … bitter cold, but no shoveling!