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Oh my goodness. You have to try this.

I’m not too familiar with rhubarb but Tyler really likes it. I had some strawberry rhubarb pie at a wedding a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it so when we received a little bunch of rhubarb in our CSA share this week I thought I’d make a crisp (I haven’t delved into the world of gluten free pies quite yet). Though I’ve never made a crisp before, let alone a gluten and sugar free crisp.

Yesterday at the farmer’s market I bought a second little bunch – I wasn’t sure how much I would need but I thought I could at least make two batches if I had enough..

I started with a recipe I found via Pinterest. It’s from Quaker Oats circa 1990 something. I naturally had to modify quite a few things to make it fit my needs and was very pleased with the results! I confirmed this with Tyler who agreed that he would be happy to eat it again. So that’s a good sign.

You’ll need:
3 cups of chopped rhubarb
2 cups of chopped apples with peels removed (or strawberries.. or whatever)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup coconut oil (or butter)
1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.

Roughly chop the rhubarb:
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And the apple (or whatever):
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Combine in a bowl and coat with the cornstarch:
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Add agave & maple and stir to coat until you see little to no dry cornstarch:
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Place mixture in a baking dish (I used a rectangular one, square would probably be better but I don’t have one!):
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In the same bowl (I’m a fan of making as little mess as possible) combine the oats, coconut oil, almond flour, maple syrup, cinnamon, and stir to combine:
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With your hands drop the topping over the rhubarb mixture:
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Bake for 40 minutes… and yum! :)
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This makes 4 big servings… or maybe 6-8 smallish. But I’m a big serving kind of girl. Feel free to top with ice cream, whipped cream, or ice milk!

The whole thing is about 2594 calories – so that’s 432 calories if you divide it into 6 servings. So.. maybe do that. :)

Sound yummy? Why don’t you pin it?! :)

A couple of weeks ago I tried to make a veg burger from a recipe I found on Pinterest. I did a ton of substations, because I usually do, and also to make it gluten and sugar free. The consistency did quite work right for frying into a patty. I put it on lettuce and we ate it sort of roll form. I rolled up the leftovers and lettuce and we ate it for lunch on our road trip to Washington.

While making my meal list last week I thought I would try something similar but modify it to be more friendly for our family. What I came up with is gluten and sugar free, mostly fresh and local, healthy, very easy to make, portable, perfect for summer when don’t want to use your stove or oven, and is about 280 calories per serving.

I’ve called it Sweet Jar Lunch, that is sort for Sweet Potato and Cannellini Bean Layered Lunch Thing in a Mason Jar. This recipe makes four jars.

Sweet Potato & Cannellini Bean Thing:
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Avocado “Spread”:
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Chopped Tomatoes:
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Lettuce Mix:
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Mustard:
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Layers, from top to bottom:
1: Shredded Lettuce Mix, about 2 cups
2: Chopped Tomatoes, I happened to have 5 cherry tomatoes waiting to be used.
3: Avocado “Spread” – 1 avocado, some green onion, 2 small fresh onions, 1 tsp lemon juice, dash of sea salt – all smushed together.
4: 1 Tbsp Mustard (per jar)
5: Sweet Potato & Cannellini Bean Thing – 1 medium baked sweet potato (skin removed), 2 cans cannellini beans (rinsed & drained), 3 Tbsp almond flour, 2 Tbsp honey, 2 Tbsp peanut butter (I would have preferred almond butter but didn’t have enough), a dash of fresh ground black pepper – all mixed and mushed together using a potato masher.

I’m planning to make this every couple of weeks this summer as we do not have air conditioning so the thought of a good meal without the use of the stove or oven is very attractive. Throw a lid on the jar and it’s a perfect meal for a road trip, picnic, or day at the beach!

I’m expecting this to be popular on Pinterest. Because its yummy, fast, easy.. and in a jar. ;) So.. pin it if you please!

I’ve seen photos of overnight oats on Pinterest a few times. I’ve also seen photos of overnight chia puddings and things. And I’ve skimmed those recipes and then without much thought or plan made some the other night after realizing we didn’t have much on hand for the following morning’s breakfast.

As usual I didn’t measure anything. I’ve done this three times so far and while each one was different each one was super super yummy.

Combine in a sealable bowl or jar:
(all of these measurements are complete guesses, just feel it out as you go as far as the texture you’re looking for)

1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup heavy cream (I’m eager to use yogurt but I haven’t made any recently)
Splash of maple syrup or other sweetener
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon unsweetened dried coconut
Fruit! (the first time I used handed grapes and diced apples, second time sliced grapes and diced peaches, third time diced peaches and apples)

Mix, cover, refrigerate overnight. Then enjoy in the morning!!! :)

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I whipped up some “cookies” last night and thought I would share. :)

– half of a can of pumpkin purée
– 2 eggs
– 4 tablespoons almond butter
– 3 tablespoons almond flour
– splash of vanilla
– pinch of cinnamon
– dash of nutmeg
– sprinkle of cloves

Preheat oven to 350
Mix all ingredients until smooth
Plop onto parchment lined baking sheet
Bake for 14 minutes (or so.. Our oven isn’t overly accurate)

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We enjoyed some last night with whipped coconut, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of shredded coconut on top. :)

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Everyone seems to be making mug cakes these days. I really never paid much attention since they seem to involve things like gluten and sugar and other bad things.

On a whim and after about two seconds of thought I threw some things into a mug and had myself a yummy mug cake!

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A lump of butter. Possibly two tablespoons (I make my own butter and I typically don’t measure things so…)
Three tablespoons of oat flour
Two teaspoons of baking cocoa
One teaspoon of maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon of honey

Melt the butter in the mug you’re using. Add each ingredient above while stirring with a fork.
Microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds.

It didn’t rise too much but it’s dense and rich so it was just enough. :)
It bubbled and was still bubbling when I took it out. That left it with a neat honeycomb pattern on top.

Enjoy! :)

It’s already time for another elimination diet update!

Last night, in celebration of Brooke‘s birthday, I had a slice of cheesecake. I was intending to sacrifice myself and enjoy it, despite the sugar, since I’m aware that sugar most certainly causes some ankle stiffness and other joint aches. Knowing that going into a little sugar now and then isn’t terrible. I was hoping to avoid the oreo crust since it contains gluten but this was a unique cheesecake the crust was on top and wasn’t as solid of a crust as you’re most likely used to. There wasn’t a solid division between the cake and the crust so I just ate it. Later I read the recipe and found that there was also flour in the cheesecake part so avoiding the crust wouldn’t have been worth the trouble anyway.

So… I had gluten. What happened?

Last night my fingers got pretty swollen and stiff a couple of hours after eating the cheesecake. When I woke this morning they were still puffy and stiff. I also felt about 20 years older walking down the stairs this morning.

It’s hard to say what did what since I ate both sugar AND gluten, but it’s clear that something bothered me and there were more symptoms that what I have previously attributed to sugar.

So I’ll soon be eating something with gluten (something really worth it… like naan on my birthday possibly? :) ) and will report back with any symptoms I may have.

I did a little googling this morning and found quite a few people linking gluten consumption to swollen fingers/water retention. Interesting stuff!

Again, I encourage you to look into what you’re eating if you have any ailments whatsoever. It’s not very challenging to try an elimination diet and if you find that avoiding something makes you feel better it is so very worth it.

I’m sorry I haven’t been keeping you in the loop about my elimination diet too well, save for a few recipes. It’s been a little busy around here. As I type this I’m looking at things that have been sitting on my desk for months that still need tending to.

I’m back to eating nightshades. A couple of days short of the end of February I made a dish with both potatoes and tomatoes. I know that’s a terrible strategy to use in an elimination diet because if I had had a symptom there would be no way of knowing what was at fault – the potatoes or tomatoes. But luckily nothing happened. I am very grateful for that because avoiding nightshades independent of other dietary restrictions probably wouldn’t be too difficult, but avoiding nightshades AND gluten was surely a challenge. I was running out of things to cook that seemed appetizing.

I’m still going strong on being gluten free. I think that one is going to stick. In the little bit of research that I have done recently it seems there is a strong link between many autoimmune diseases and Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance. I read an article that actually suggested 20% of people diagnoses with lupus actually have Celiac Disease, a gluten allergy, or a gluten intolerance and are being incorrectly medicated with harsh drugs. I’m not taking any medicine released to lupus but still.. if there’s a chance that my body is not dealing with gluten correctly.. why not give it up. Of course there are other reasons for avoiding it as mentioned in my initial elimination diet post.

I’m still trying to eat paleo-ish. I’ve been having a lot of rice lately in kheer. But I’m not eating the rice to gain nutrition.. it’s just for fun as a nice way to use up the plethora of milk we have. Speaking of milk, I’ve been having more dairy for that reason as well. But at least I’ve been making yogurt. :)

The biggest thing that I want to report is on the sugar front – that’s the reason I thought to write this update post today. Save for natural sugars I’ve been almost sugar free since the start of February. A couple of nights a week Tyler and I have Theo Chocolate sipping chocolate (or as I like to call it.. drinking chocolate..). Tyler got it for me for Christmas and I absolutely love it. We both have a small cup and it contains only a little bit of sugar (it’s dark chocolate). I have noticed a bit of correlation between this and ankle stiffness in the morning but nothing unbearable by any means. (If you’re in search of good chocolate – check out Theo. They have a small chocolate factory in Seattle where they make organic and fair trade amazingness.)

Yesterday I ate some regular chocolate that I got in my Vox Box from Influenster. It’s milk chocolate and contains 20 grams of sugar per serving (three squares). I enjoyed eating it but I don’t enjoy the consequences. It’s amazing how quickly and noticeably it affected me. Not only did it cause my ankles to be stiff this morning but my legs have been aching all day and this afternoon my wrists even joined in. Woah! So… I’m staying sugar free. For obvious reasons.

I will occasionally compromise since the consequences will not kill me, but overall I’m labeling myself sugar free. Compromisses will be for special occasions such as a small cup of sipping chocolate with Tyler, my friend Brooke’s birthday cheesecake tomorrow, my birthday on Saturday, and a celebratory gluten free cupcake on Monday with Amber (celebrating both of our birthdays).

If you’re an achey person I STRONGLY suggest you give going sugar free a try. In addition to reducing inflammation it has many benefits.. it’s really not good for us in the first place. And why not have a sugar free home if you have little kids around?

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