Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Vegan Coconut Chocolate Mousse


My daughter has been plagued by belly aches since August. I have been weening her off of gluten, but she is eight years old and is still learning the ropes. Dairy is next on the off list. I have been preparing myself for this by executing non-dairy, non-gluten foods. But going to the grocery store and finding coconut yogurt and finding stabilizers like guar gum and preservatives is off-putting. You know I love dishes with less than 5 ingredients in them!

Last night at the co-op I found dairy, nut and soy free chocolate chips by Enjoy Life. I am not allergic to soy, but silken tofu chocolate mouse is so overdone that I decided to try coconut milk. I had a feeling that the ratio of coconut milk (16oz full fat coconut milk with a 10z. bag of chips) might not set up like if I had used whipping cream. I melted the chips, whisked them into the coconut milk and refrigerated overnight. This morning it was soupy like I thought it may be. But I wondered if I whipped it like ganache if it would set up. It did! A lovely, light, perfectly chocolately and sweet mousse. I had researched coconut pudding/mousse and all of the recipes I found had cornstarch in them. I wanted to make this as allergy free as I could so omitted the corn and really don't like cornstarch as a thickener in general.  There is cane juice in the chocolate chips however. But you could substitute any high quality chocolate you like in this recipe finding the one that fits your lifestyle whether it be dairy free or not.

I am going to be focusing on gluten free recipes for all of you. Since I told you I have gone gluten free (I most likely carry the celiac gene) and am focusing on an low inflammation lifestyle, I will share what I make with you. Up next I am going to re-tool the cauliflower pizza crust recipe going around and add some almond flour to see what I can come up with.

Vegan Coconut Chocolate Mousse
makes a bit over 2 cups

1 can organic full fat coconut milk
1 10oz bag enjoy life chocolate chips

Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Whisk into coconut milk in a medium sized bowl. Cover and completely cool in fridge. Whisk with hand beater until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes)


Monday, November 5, 2012

Gingered Toasted Pecans




There are numerous reasons why toasted nuts keep us happy. A mid day snack, trail mix, granola ingredient, salad topper, garnish on hummus or a grain salad, folded into homemade ice cream, sprinkled on oatmeal in the morning. And when fall comes to us in all its glory, why not give nuts the star billing they deserve? After all, the squirrels are doing it!

I made these on a whim for a raw kale salad. I have somewhat ditched traditional salad greens for kale and arugula these days.  I don't know if I have told any of you that I officially gave up wheat, so I am making my vegetable intake more hearty with fewer grains in my diet. Kale is very satiating for me and packs a nutritional punch. My identical twin was diagnosed with Celiac induced Hashimotos Disease a year or so ago. Because we are twins, and she tested positive for the celiac gene, I have a 75% chance of having the gene too. I may not have expressed the gene as she has however, and as I told her, I don't do disease and divorce in the same year. So, I will remain oblivious to that big ball of fun until I am ready to examine it further. She talks about her journey on her blog Heal Hashimotos. Autoimmune Disease is the next big thing we are looking at in the country as women in my opinion. It is a very misdiagnosed area of disease, and many many doctors are not able to treat autoimmune disease except to sometimes prescribe medicine to slow its progression which in turn may deplete the immune system more. Women who have one autoimmune disease are very likely to get more their lifetime. Think for just a moment how many people you know that have an autoimmune disease. Is it more people than you know that have breast cancer or heart disease? Yet modern medicine cannot explain autoimmune disease triggers mostly, and the immune system still remains a mystery to scientists. But, you can in many cases halt or heal autoimmune disease regardless what a doctor may say when you look at improving your whole body function through nutrition and food. Terry Wahls is an example of healing MS, and she is a MD! You can watch her TEDx talk here.  My sister is another example of someone who took their health back by not taking 'no' for an answer. She had to cycle through many practitioners to find a combination of healers that fit her goals, and she fell short a few times even in San Francisco where some of the best alternative doctors practice. She went grain, dairy, sugar and fruit free for 9 months. She healed her gut through diet, supplements and belief changes that worked on the root of the illness (for her it was self directed anger). A lot of this was facilitated by a practitioner who uses Noetic Field Energy Medicine. I have found NFEM to be a very progressive and form of somatic therapy. She also found a NAET practitioner in San Francisco who helped desensitize her body from the foods causing systemic inflammation.

So, I have been gluten free and I feel better. Any person who has an autoimmune disease, I recommend to go off gluten. I also take supplements targeted for glutathione production and inflammation reduction. I got a constitutional homeopathic remedy for increasing my vital energy. I regularly meditate. I switched to algae DHA instead of fish DHA after the earthquake in Japan. All of these things together is medicine. Not the narrow view we currently have offered to us. We can widen our view of medicine for ourselves by knowing we always have options and choices even if it appears we do not.

Gingered Toasted Pecans
makes 2 cups

2 cups pecans
2 Tbls maple syrup
generous pinch salt
2 heaping teaspoons fresh grated ginger

I use a microplane zester for grating my ginger. It makes is almost like paste. I did not peel the skins off of the ginger, although you can if you would like. A trick: use the back of a spoon to peel ginger skin off instead of a peeler; works great!
In a bowl, mix pecans, maple syrup, salt and ginger. On a silpat, parchment paper or very seasoned (so therefore non-stick mostly) cookie sheet, spread pecan mixture evenly.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes stirring once. Cook for 5 more minutes then remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container.

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