Buttermilk Biscuits

Comfort foods can be healthy foods: These grain free buttermilk biscuits will leave you feeling full without the sugar crash or carbohydrate cravings from traditional wheat biscuits.   Wheat is a common allergen, we all know that but did you know that  some people report dramatically lowered seasonal allergy symptoms from eliminating wheat?  Tell your friends!

High quality eggs, buttermilk and butter or coconut oil make these a great source of brain food and lasting energy-perfect for an afternoon snack!  The flours, flax and buttermilk are available locally at Berkshire Organics, Guido’s and the Berkshire Coop Market.  These are perfect for brunch: as a base for eggs benedict.  Or  a dessert topped with creme fraiche and a few blueberries or how about biscuits and gravy?  Yum! Set your oven to 425 and get baking!

First, mix together your dry ingredients, making sure to break up any lumps.

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 2 Tablespoons almond flour- Bob’s Red Mill makes a superior almond flour.
  • 2 Tablespoons finely ground flax
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour

Once your dry mix is thoroughly combined:

  • add 6 Tablespoons (a heaping 1/3 cup) of cold coconut oil or cold, unsalted pasture butter, broken up into small chunks.

Cut the fat into the dry mix using a pastry cutter until you get a pea sized meal.  Stop combining before it starts to clump together into a ball.

Crumbly flour and butter mixture.

Crumbly flour and butter mixture.

Combine in a separate bowl:

Whip the egg into the buttermilk.

Evan's Cultured Buttermilk is great to bake with.

Evan’s Cultured Buttermilk is great to bake with.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and fold to combine.

Finished batter resting for a few minutes. The batter will be very wet, but as it sits for a few minutes the coconut flour will fully absorb the excess liquid. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop out biscuits, I have used 1/4 cup measure as well as an ice cream scoop.  Make them as big – 8 biscuits- or as small – 16 biscuits- as you like.  Use your hands to flatten them a bit into shape. Bake for 18-20 minutes- til browned and set. Eat immediately or let cool completely and keep in an air tight container in the fridge.

Snack time: creme fraiche and warm biscuits!

Snack time: creme fraiche and warm biscuits!

Arugula Pesto Dinner

Sliced tomatoes, arugula pesto, feta cheese and flax bread for dinner!

Sliced tomatoes, arugula pesto, feta cheese and flax bread for dinner!

With so much fresh produce exploding out of gardens everywhere it’s easy to create interesting, healthy, veggie based meals.  My dad recently harvested a whole bunch of arugula.  He used it as the base for ‘Salad Lyonnaise‘, in place of the traditional frisee, yum!  And I decided to turn the bunch he gave me into a spicy pesto.  Eaten with sliced garden tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese and flax bread, this is a filling meal perfect for al fresco dinning.  I saved all my left over ingredients in glass containers, so it was easy to replicate the next night.

Arugula is full of vitamin A, K, folate, can help guard against cancer and is good for your brain too!  You can use the following ingredients as a guide and enjoy this pesto on flax crackers, flax pizza, as a spread on sandwiches, a dip for crudities, grilled fish…pretty much everything!

Ingredients:

  • arugula
  • garlic cloves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh lemon juice, optional: zest the lemon first, then add juice to taste
  • salt
  • grated romano or similar hard cheese
  • walnuts

Method:

Pesto is the perfect food for just using what you’ve got and don’t worry about measuring anything.  It’s hard to go wrong, but if you need some numbers to help you out, I go with about 50% greens and 50% nuts, cheese and olive oil with small amounts of lemon, garlic and salt. I use my food processor but I bet you could use a blender as well.

Start with the nuts and the garlic cloves, use as many as you like, and pulse together until you’ve got fine bits.

Then add the arugula, enough olive oil to cover it well, and pulse again to combine.  You can also add parsley or basil, or both, as a compliment to the spicy, bitter arugula.

Add some grated cheese and lemon juice.  Blend well and taste.

Add salt to taste, more cheese or nuts, basically, at this point I start tasting and adding a little more or a lot more of whatever ingredient seems to be lacking.  And I want the consistency to be thick and smooth, so olive oil is key!  You can add lots of oil and lemon juice to make this pesto into more of a thin dressing for a fresh garden salad.  Or keep it thick and use it as a dip or spread.

Serving Suggestion: Nachos

Cheesy nachos with chopped onion and cilantro and fresh guacamaole

Cheesy nachos with chopped onion, cilantro and fresh guacamole.

Ok, first, my apologies for yet another low quality photo, but, I think it’s better than no photo at all!  My version of nachos is fairly simple, more wholesome and healthy and yes, they are cheesy good too.

I started with a double batch of flax crackers, rolled out very thin between to pieces of parchment.

I used these fresh baked flax crisps in place of traditional corn chips, spread out fairly evenly on a baking sheet.

Dice up some onion, shred some cheese- a sharp, raw cheddar is what I used- mix the two together and liberally cover the flax crisps.

Bake or broil until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Take them out and sprinkle with a generous amount of chopped cilantro.  These are nachos so feel free to serve/eat them right from the baking sheet.

Top with fresh guacamole: I make mine with pressed raw garlic, cumin and chili powder, salt, fresh lime juice and a couple of ripe avocados, plus more cilantro.

This is a hearty snack or meal that pairs well with a big green salad like this one made with mostly cilantro or this raw kale salad, just skip the cheese!

Pesto Pizza

The barbed wire on the top really adds to the over all effect: Welcome to Greenpoint, kinda.

I took this photo on my last trip to NYC.  There is a block long wall topped with barbed wire that greets you as you leave the ferry dock and enter Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  This mural was my favorite piece of art along the wall.  My trips to NY are always filled with new experiences and plenty of new ideas for recipes based on the things I eat, the menus I read and the street food that seems to be on every corner.  This past trip I came back craving pizza and so, here’s my version, made with a thin, crispy flax crust and topped with fresh garden pesto, Kalamata olives, goat chevre and grated Romano.

For the Pizza Crust

Make up a batch of flax dough, from my previous recipe for flax crackers and flax bread.

Roll the flax dough out in an even, thin sheet, between two well greased pieces of parchment paper, the third method in the flax cracker post.  Make whatever shape you like, I tried to go with a round-ish shape.

Par-bake the crust, after piercing it all over with a fork, at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.  The dough should be set up but not too crispy.

For the Toppings

For my pizza I chose a base of freshly made pesto, here are a few suggestions!

And added halved Kalamata olives, fresh, soft goat cheese and shaved Romano cheese.

Have fun and get creative, use whatever toppings and cheese you have on hand.

Bake the finished pizza in the oven at 350 for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the edges are crispy and the cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Slice and serve with a big green salad.

Pesto pizza and garden salad, dinner is served!

Biscuits!

Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Coconut Flour Biscuits

Hot from the oven!


Makes about 8-10 biscuits depending on size.

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment.

 Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 shy cup almond milk
  • 6 Tbsp organic coconut oil or butter
  • 2 Tbsp  finely ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp  baking powder (non-alumininum)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp almond flour/finely ground almonds
1. Combine the dry ingredients (all but the first 4 ingredients) breaking up any lumps of coconut flour.  Cut the 6 tablespoons of coconut oil or butter into the dry ingredients until it’s an even mix of crumbly small pieces.
2. Whip the flax into about 1/4 cup of the almond milk until it’s very sticky, this will help hold the biscuits together.
Add the lemon juice and the rest of the almond milk to the flax mixture (can also use soy or dairy milk) and stir to combine.
3. Fold the liquid into the fat/flour dry mix.  The coconut flour will soak up a lot of liquid so mix quickly but gently and let it set for a moment before you start to form the biscuits.
4. I used a big spoon and my hands to shape the rounds.  You can use a measuring cup as well if you want to make sure they are all equal size, a 1/3 cup measure should work well.
5. I baked mine at 425 for about 17 minutes.  They will be nicely browned on top but be careful, these are very delicate until they have cooled completely.  I let mine cool  for about 20 minutes before eating/storing them!
    1. Biscuits with lemon curd, mmmm, breakfast!

      Serving suggestion, for dessert, breakfast or a snack, these biscuits go so perfectly with lemon curd and maybe a few wild blueberries.  Next week I’m making dinner for some friends and I think I will make a curry chicken pot pie with these biscuits as the topping.  What do you want to make with these versatile biscuits?

       

Hard-Cooked Egg and Basil-Butter Sandwich

Here is another yummy serving suggestion for my flax bread recipe which I have just updated.  I have been making flax bread about twice a month and have worked some of the kinks out of the process.  Happy sandwiching!  This recipe takes about 20 minutes and makes 4 sandwiches.  I think they would store, well wrapped, over night, but I haven’t tried it so let me know!

Ingredients:

4 large eggs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Fine sea salt, to taste

1 tablespoon finely chopped basil (or chives or parsley or pesto!)

1 small garlic clove, minced/pressed

8 slices flax bread

Pepper, to taste

Lettuce leaves, for serving.

If you are feeling like making more of a meal out of this sandwich, now is the time for a couple of slices of thick cut bacon and a ripe tomato from the garden!

1. Place the eggs in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Have a bowl of ice water ready. After 9 minutes, transfer the eggs to the ice water to cool completely. Peel and slice.

2. In a small bowl, stir together the butter, lemon juice and a pinch salt. Stir in the basil and the garlic.

3. Spread the bread thickly with seasoned butter and/or pesto, all the way to the edges. Lay the egg slices on four of the bread slices and season with salt and pepper. Top with lettuce leaves and the remaining bread.

Variations:  Top the eggs with several anchovy fillets.  Substitute arugula or radicchio for lettuce.  Add bacon and tomato slices….!

Original recipe can be found HERE

It’s Chocolate, For Breakfast

This is something that I recommend to a lot of my clients who are on the Candida diet and want something other than eggs or leftover veggies for breakfast.  There are plenty of variations but this basic breakfast shake recipe packs in a lot of protein, fiber and antioxidants.  It’s easy to digest and, duh, it’s chocolate, for breakfast!

Healthy chocolate breakfast, or snack or dessert...

Basic Breakfast Shake: Ingredients

1 Cup or more Unsweetened Almond Milk or soy/dairy milk

2-3 Tablespoons Hemp Protein/Fiber Powder (basically just ground hemp seeds, they sell ‘Living Harvest’ Hemp Protein at Whole Foods and I get Nutiva brand through my co-op)

Nutiva brand ground hemp seeds, lots of fiber and protein and it's vegan too.

2 Tablespoons unsweetened Dutch cocoa or raw cocoa powder

2 Tablespoons ground raw flax seeds (the omega 3 fatty acids help with inflammation and overall health)

1-2 Tablespoons almond butter and/or coconut milk.  Don’t bother with ‘light’ coconut milk it’s just regular coconut milk with a lot of water added.  A little of the full strength variety goes a long way for flavor and satiety.

Stevia to taste for sweetness

Dash of Cinnamon and/or ground ginger (both of these combat Candida and add unexpected flavor)

Optional: ¼ Cup organic whole milk yogurt. Hawthorne Valley Farms makes great yogurt or you can use soy yogurt by Wildwood, the plain flavor tastes like plain, tart yogurt!

Add some ice if you like and blend it up! You can use stand blender or immersion blender, my favorite kitchen tool. Drink right away.

Close up of ground hemp

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