For those of you with allergies….here are a few ideas for the big day!
I have found, what just might be, the perfect gluten free flour… CASSAVA FLOUR! That may sound like an exaggeration, and maybe it is a bit. HOWEVER, being gluten free for more than 8 years, I have tried many different gluten free flours over the years. I’ve made (and thrown away) my share of gluten free baked goods. Any gluten free baker can tell you the same thing. Sometimes it turns out, and sometimes it doesn’t. It really is a gamble.
That’s why I’m so excited with this flour. Gluten free bakers spend hours trying to blend different gluten free flours together to get that “wheat like” consistency. The results are never that great, no matter how hard you try. Cassava flour is so exciting because it is so close to the real thing in taste and mannerisms in baking. (With the exception of yeast bread, see below)
What is cassava flour?
Cassava is a plant with origins in South America, and most widely known as Yuca. (2) Here are some facts about cassava…
- “Cassava is the third-largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and maize” (2)
- “One of the most valuable sources of nutrition for more than 500 million people living in Africa, Asia and Latin America.” (1)
- “It is one of the most drought-tolerant crops, capable of growing on marginal soils. “(2)
- “Provides a similar amount of carbohydrates as most other grain-based flours.” (1)
- “It is about 60 percent to 65 percent water moisture, 20 percent to 31 percent carbohydrates, and less than 2 percent protein and fat.” (1)
- “In some parts of Africa, it provides up to 30 percent of total daily calories.” (1)
- Can be used in place of wheat flour. (1)
- It is allergy-free – free of nuts, grains, and gluten
Nutrient content of cassava flour…
Cassava flour is not a super food by any means. It is, however, lower in calories than most gluten free flours. Here is the nutrient content of cassava flour (1):
A quarter-cup serving of cassava flour has about:
- 114 calories
- 2 grams of fiber
- less than 1 gram of fat, protein or sugar
- 28 grams of carbohydrates
- about 17 percent of daily vitamin C
Cassava flour and cyanide
You may have heard that Cassava contains cyanide. This isn’t ENTIRELY accurate. Cassava plants contain what’s called a cyanoglycoside.(3) That’s a scientific way of saying it contains a precursor to cyanide. When ingested, it has the potential to become cyanide in the body. (3) This is a defense mechanism developed by the cassava plant that to ward off insects and other predators. Cassava is not the only plant that contains cyanoglycosides:
Food Plants Containing Cyanoglycosides (3)
- Cassava root and leaves (Manihot esculenta)
- Flax seed (Linum usitatissimum)
- Sorghum leaves (Sorghum vulgare)
- Lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus)
- Apple seeds (Malus spp.)
- Almonds (Prunus dulcis)
- Bamboo shoots (Bambusa arundinacea)
- Peach kernels (pits) (Prunus persica)
- Apricot kernels (Prunus armeniace)
- Nectarine kernels (Prunus persica var nucipersica)
- Plum kernels (Prunus spp.)
- Cherry pits (Prunus spp.)
Not to worry, these cyanoglycosides
are easily neutralized with proper preparation.
Most of the cyanide resides in the leaves of the plant, and the skin of the roots. OTTO’s brand Cassava Flour PEELS and FERMENTS the root prior to grinding it into flour. This is enough to neutralize the cyanoglycosides. Cooking the flour also neutralizes the cyanoglycosides. Cassava should never be eaten raw. ***
Cassava flour vs tapioca flour…
You may also know that tapioca flour also comes from the yuca or cassava plant. Are cassava flour and tapioca flour the same thing….NO.
Cassava flour is a whole food – the root of the cassava plant, that has been dehydrated and ground into flour.
Tapioca starch/flour – is more processed – the extracted starch of the cassava root that has been bleached.
Think of it this way….CASSAVA FLOUR is like whole wheat flour. TAPIOCA FLOUR is like white flour.
How to use cassava in recipes…
In most cases, though results won’t be perfect, you can use it 1:1 in place of all-purpose wheat flour. This saves all of the measuring, calculating and blending that goes along with most gluten free baking. If you’re like me, you’ll be happy to do away with 5+ different kinds of gluten free flour setting on your counter!
With that said…one thing to note, you won’t get that same “rise” from cassava flour in recipes that use yeast. Yeast bread made from cassava flour is more dense. If you’re looking for a “light and fluffy” bread, unfortunately you’ll need to combine it with other flours.
ONTO THE RECIPES!!!
I am SO excited about these tortillas! I have made them several times and they are PHENOMENAL! They look, act and taste remarkably like real flour tortillas. I wish I had discovered these years ago! I have been looking for a good gluten free tortilla for 8+ years, and I have FINALLY found one. I have also used this recipe to make sweet potato tortillas. In place of the water, I used 1 mashed sweet potato. (amazing and delicious results that even my family enjoyed!) Instead of rolling, I use a tortilla press, which speeds the process and makes it so much easier. It also produces a rounder, cleaner looking tortilla, which I prefer.
- ¾ c. Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour (I do recommend Otto’s, due to their technique for making the flour. Of course, feel free to use any Cassava flour you choose) – ***
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ⅓ c. warm water
1 cup Cassava Flour
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 ripe banana
2 organic eggs
1-2 tsp real vanilla extract
2 Tbsp organic virgin unrefined coconut oil
1.5 cups coconut or almond milk
1 cup cassava flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
5 tbsp arrowroot flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup warm water (approx 105-110F)
1 packet active dry yeast, OR 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
1 cup almond meal or cashew meal (make in food processor or buy)
1 cup sifted Cassava Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup olive oil.
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 generous tbsps honey
1/2 teaspoon Redmond Real salt
1 cup chocolate chips
5 tbsp butter, ghee or coconut oil
1 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup cassava flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
*** (Not a paid advertisement for Otto’s. I simply like their flour.)
As someone on an elimination diet, and attempting to stick to 100% whole foods during my first 21 days, I’ve been looking for creative ways to eat during my detox diet. Today’s post, and future Wellness Wednesday posts, will focus on creative ways to eat on an elimination or detox plan. This post focuses on a creative way to eat your carbs.
While rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes are fine, I don’t really want to eat them, as is, at every meal, which is a bit boring. Plus, oatmeal for breakfast every morning is getting old, real quick. So, I’ve ventured out and found some flat bread recipes, since yeast is banned on the elimination diet. I originally set out to make the 4 ingredient flat bread recipe I posted for my first Allergy Free Friday. However, that recipe called for either butternut squash or sweet potato FLOUR. Now, I had sweet potatoes, but no sweet potato flour. While I know it’s possible to make my own flour, I was too lazy for that. So, I set out to find a way to make flat bread with whole sweet potatoes instead of sweet potato FLOUR.
Before we get to the recipes, you may be asking why flatbread is called the “world’s oldest bread”. The website American Flatbread states that flour and water flatbread, cooked on a fire-heated rock, has been a main part of the human diet for over 5000 years, worldwide. While the grains in each may be different, the basic method was the same. They give some examples:
- Mexico – tortillas
- Scotland – oatcakes
- India – chapatti
- China – po bin
- American Indian’s – Johnny Cake
- Norwegians – FlottBrod
- Ethiopia – Injera
- Israel – matzo
Onto the recipes!
I found 3 videos on youtube which highlight 3 different flat bread recipes
This video, from OFF GRID WITH DOUG AND STACY, is the first one I found. It was perfect, except for one problem, she uses sprouted wheat flour, which contains gluten. The other alternatives she gives in the video, though considered ancient grains, are also forms of wheat. Not only is gluten off limits in the elimination diet, I have been gluten free for more than 7 years. AND, through my own experience, gluten free flours didn’t make for very good tortillas/flatbreads. But, I had a place to start and knew it was possible to use sweet potatoes in flat bread. Here’s the first video…
So, now that I knew I could use sweet potatoes in flat bread, I needed to figure out a way to make it gluten free. I realized that my normal cup-for-cup gluten free flour would probably work, however, it has ingredients not allowed on my elimination diet. So, I needed a gluten free, whole food flour…enter oats! Now I needed to know if it was possible to make flat bread-GOOD flat bread- from oats. I realize that the Scottish people have been making oatcakes for thousands of year, but I didn’t want a traditional oatcake, I wanted flatbread, like in the first video. I found just what I was looking for on CLEAN FOODIES. Here is that video…
I had 2 pieces of the puzzle put together. I could use sweet potatoes to make flat bread AND oats can also be used to make flat bread. BUT, how would they work together? I found a video, on AUSSIE VEGAN GARDENING YOGI, of a sweet potato and oatmeal grilled flat bread. Here it is…
Now, I found all these things just this morning, so, I haven’t actually tried to make the flatbread yet. I will be doing this sometime today. If you want to know how my flatbread turns out, I’ll be writing about it in my daily log post tonight at 8:00 est. Check it out!
God Bless! Namaste!
If you’re allergy free or even just gluten free, you know it’s difficult to find a good loaf of bread, and even more difficult to MAKE one. When you take all the allergens we avoid in this series into account, it’s nearly impossible to find a loaf of bread. There’s either eggs or corn or soy in almost every loaf of gluten free bread. Corn was the hardest to avoid. Corn isn’t widely acknowledged as an allergen and not marked on labels as an allergen. What makes it even harder is many things, such as maltodextrin or xanthan gum, are made with corn.
BUT… I FOUND ONE!
It took me awhile, but I found a brand of bread that is free of all the allergens for this series. The company FOOD FOR LIFE makes a type of vegan, gluten-free, yeast free, rice flour bread that’s free from the above allergens. Make sure you get the yeast free brand, as the regular gluten free bread from FOOD FOR LIFE contains corn (xanthan gum) and chia. AND, the multi-seed version has flax. I haven’t personally tried these breads, but for those with allergies, it’s a possibility. If you have tried it, I’d love to hear a review of what you thought.
These yeast free loaves contain agar-agar, an extract from sea weed. Agar can be used as a substitute for gelatin, and is widely used in the vegan community. It is well known for its thickening and gelling properties. One Green Planet had this to say about Agar Powder:
“Agar has no calories, no sugar, no carbs, and no fat. It is free from soy, corn, gluten, yeast, wheat, starch, milk, egg, and preservatives. It is a good source of fiber, calcium, and iron.
Agar is said to help digestion and help detoxify the body by acting as a mild laxative. It absorbs bile and is believed to help the body dissolve more cholesterol. It passes through the digestive system quickly and inhibits the body from storing excess fat. Other health benefits associated with agar are inflammation reduction and improved respiration.”
If you’d like to learn more about Agar-Agar, follow this link to One Green Planet.
As a reminder here are the allergens
we avoid on Allergy-Free Fridays:
So, you might be asking why I was trying so hard to find a loaf of bread for this article. WELL, you can’t make PANZANELLA SALAD without it! Here is this delightful recipe!
Gluten-Free Grilled Panzanella Salad
By: Cybele Pascal
1 small garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning bread
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
2 lbs ripe tomatoes of varying colors and sizes
8 oz (6-8 slices) gluten-free allergy-friendly white bread
1 large garlic clove, cut in half
2 tbsp drained capers
½ cup chopped fresh basil (or parsley)
For the complete recipe and instructions
follow the link below:
God bless! Namaste!
Breakfast is a difficult time in an ALLERGY household, especially when you take eggs out of the equation. You can only eat so much oatmeal and cereal or toast. (gluten free of course). AND, taking dairy out of the picture means no more lattes right?
So to help you “change it up” a bit, (and give you back your lattes) I’ve found two recipes for you today.
The first recipe is made with the super healthy sweet potatoes. It does call for either butter or coconut oil, however, just substitute whatever oil you currently use in your home.
I’ve mentioned just how healthy sweet potatoes are for us so many times but, in case you’ve forgotten, let me remind you with some figures from whfoods.com.
For complete instructions click HERE
The second recipe calls for milk. Once again, just use whatever milk you currently use in your home. As the ingredients say, they all work well.
For complete instructions click HERE
I’ve written about Teff before. If you’re not familiar with Teff, it’s a tiny grain/seed, grown in Ethiopia, and used to make Injera-Ethiopian Flatbread. But don’t let it’s tiny size fool you. It packs a wallop in terms of nutritional fire power.
Take a look at the nutrition and health benefits:
So, to add this little gem into your nutrition arsenal, give these cookies a try! Don’t like coffee? Swap it out for cocoa powder. YUM!
For complete recipe instructions follow this link: Mocha Cookies | The Teff Company
UPDATE: (4/29/17) This bread recipe does contain millet. The proteins in millet are very similar to corn. If you have a corn allergy, you will want to substitute the millet with something else. I did a bit of research and found that Quinoa Flour would be a great alternative, and a healthier one.
Today for Allergy-free Friday, I have 2 recipes: Irish Stew and Soda Bread, a classic combination. The stew is the easy part of this combo. Since the Irish Soda Bread is gluten free, nothing is cut and dried. And, as is the case in many gluten free bread recipes, there are several flours with which to incorporate, in this case millet, amaranth, sorghum and tapioca. The good part about this combination is the ancient grains used: millet and amaranth. Like most ancient grains, these 2 grains have several health benefits.
Health benefits of millet include:
- heart protection
- tissue repair
- assist with type 2 diabetes
- prevents gallstones
- breast cancer protection
- protection against asthma
Health benefits of amaranth include:
- Natural pain killer
- reduce anemia
- high in anti-oxidants
- helps with weight management
- aids in bone strength
- prevents macular degeneration
- helps with a healthy digestive system
- helps repair blood vessel walls
- helps with growth and creation of new cells and body tissues
ON TO THE RECIPES….ENJOY!!
Slow-Cooker Irish Stew
Traditional (Gluten-Free) Irish Soda Bread
Today’s allergy-free recipe is a bit unusual, in that the main ingredient in these waffles are lentils.
Lentils are small legumes, which are easy to prepare and soak up flavors of other ingredients Lentils might be small, but they pack some nutritional power. One cup of lentils contains 230 calories and a WHOPPING 16 grams of fiber! (The RDA for fiber is 25 grams per day). The health benefits of lentils include:
- Improved heart health-This is due to their fiber content, but vitamin and mineral content as well.
- Improved blood sugar-Once again, the fiber content helps out, this time, stabilizing blood sugar.
- Energy- The iron content of lentils can improve energy levels.
- Digestive health-once again-FIBER!
Here is the vitamin and mineral content of lentils from whfoods.com.
RED LENTIL WAFFLES
WITH ROSEMARY POMEGRANATE SYRUP
FROM: Eat. Thrive. Glow
Featured photo source: Eat. Thrive. Glow.
Ok, I’m going to start this first Allergy-Free Friday article out by saying I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with this one. LOL! 🙂 It is really tough finding allergy-free recipes. But, that’s why I’m doing this. It’s needed, because, there are so many people out their with allergies. It won’t be my normal recipe list of 5 or 10 recipes, however. (that would take way too long!)
As a reminder, every Friday, I will include one or two recipes free from the following ingredients:
- Tree nuts
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
Probably the most difficult items on the list are coconut, chia and flax. Many “allergy-free” blogger, will include recipes that use coconut as a flour/nut replacement and chia/flax “eggs” as a replacement for regular eggs.
I also want to mention that the flour used in many of the recipes will be processed gluten-free flour. The lack of nuts prevents the use of almond flour. (one of my personal favorites.)
Also, I will attempt to make some of the recipes kid-friendly…So, on with the 1st show!
This recipe calls for butternut squash flour. I found it on Amazon and it’s not cheap. So, you would make these for a treat or special occasion. I did find sweet potato flour, which may work in the recipe as a replacement and is quite a bit cheaper.
- butternut squash flour – 1 pound- $17.99 + $4.99 shipping
- pumpkin flour– 1 pound – $18.99 – free shipping with prime membership
- sweet potato flour – 1 pound – $11.49 – free shipping with prime membership
(BTW-You can make your own sweet potato flour. Here is a link to a HOW-TO article with creativlypaleo.com. The same process could be used to make butternut squash flour or pumpkin flour.)
Any of these flours would be amazing and healthy! However, of the three flours, sweet potato flour wins out. Not only is the flour cheaper, but sweet potatoes contain 214% DRI for vitamin A versus 59% for winter squash. (These nutrients are courtesy of whfoods.com)
By: Heartbeet Kitchen
Makes: 1 (5 inch) round
(It’s easy enough to be doubled)
For full recipe and instructions, follow this link: HEARTBEET KITCHEN
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this new series!
FEATURED PHOTO COURTESY OF HEARTBEET KITCHEN
I just wanted to make a quick announcement. I decided to add one more series to my Friday Blog posts: ALLERGY-FREE FRIDAY. This will be a challenge, but a necessary one. There are so many allergies out there. It’s tough to find good recipes.
These posts will include 1 or 2 recipes that are free from 12 different foods. These include what are known as the “TOP EIGHT” allergens:
- Tree nuts
I am also including 4 additional items
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
Stay tuned on Friday
for the first article.