Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Homemade Chocolate: Yes You Can...

Why buy commercial chocolate made from cocoa beans loaded with lead, lots of sugar (which is most likely refined, even worse), milk powder (a source of MSG) and soy lecithin (as the name says, made from soy)? Sometimes they also add "natural flavors", which we all know are far from natural. And to add insult to injury, the natural & beneficial cocoa butter is often replaced with a lower class fat, if not a hydrogenated one (which will clog your arteries).

After reading this, do you still want to eat store-bought chocolate?

Since I cook & take control of what I eat, I also take control of my treats and will make my own chocolate. It's really not as hard at it seems. You basically need raw cocoa powder, some good fat (like coconut oil) and a wee bit of natural sweetener (because cocoa powder is quite bitter). You can also add flavors like vanilla extract or spices like cinnamon, depending on your personal taste.

This first recipe is for making carob chips. Just use cocoa powder instead of the carob. Since you need to make a solid piece of chocolate first, you can choose to break it into pieces or not. Note that there are only 4 ingredients involved, can't beat that!

This 2nd recipe is with cocoa powder, and uses Rapadura as a sweetener (vs agave syrup for the first one). I think the Rapadura can easily be replace with coconut sugar (lower GI). The recipe has 5 ingredients which include a pinch of salt (which you can probably omit).

As I said earlier, making chocolate is really not that hard. Then you can also make chocolate fudge and truffles.

You can find plenty of inspiration, recipes & ideas just by browsing the web...Enjoy your chocolates ;)!

Happy New Year from Alchemille's Garden

Madame Alchemille wishes you a happy, healthy & prosperous year 2010!

To celebrate the New Year, Alchemille’s Garden items will be on sale on January 1st & January 2nd 2010.

I will be offering -25% off everything in my shop : artisan teas, natural & organic skin/body care as well as handmade accessories

(Discount will be refunded through paypal ~ Coupons aren’t accepted during sales)

Spring items will make their appearance in the shop by the beginning of February.

Also don’t miss the limited edition tea “St Amour” for Valentine’s Day!

Bright Blessings,


Alchemille's Garden:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sunflower Oil Mouthwash to Detoxify the Body

I found this technique in "Moon Time ~ The Art of Harmony with Nature and Lunar Cycles" by Johanna Paungger and Thomas Poppe.

"And old and effective method for the detoxification and strengthening of the whole body and at the same time decontaminating the teeth...This is how it works:
  • In the morning on an empty stomach and before you brush your teeth, take a soup-spoon of pure cold-pressed sunflower oil...
  • Slurp the oil, loud and vulgarly, like an old knight in the middle ages. This slurping fulfils an important function: it helps the entire body and all its internal organs to receive exact information, via the nerves of the taste buds and the brain, concerning what has just entered the body...When the body receives the information "sunflower oil" it knows that a substance has entered it on to which it can "load" everything that is undesirable, particularly everything that has negative radiations.
  • The important thing now is to keep the oil in the mouth without swallowing any! Suck the oil through the teeth and cavities of the mouth, let it roll and slide, push it through the gaps between your teeth, slowly, casually almost, so as not to arouse too strong of a flow of saliva. Do that for about 15 minutes. (If you feel an irresistible urge to swallow before the time is up, make sure you spit the oil first.)
  • After a quarter of an hour spit the oil into a wash basin and rinse both your mouth and the basin thoroughly. The oil has been transformed into a poison-laden substance: where it falls no grass will grow. Do not be surprised at the color of the oil: it has now turned white.
  • The most favorable time for such a cure: when the moon is waning and for a period of at least eight, preferably fourteen days."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Secondary Edible Parts of Vegetables

It's important to eat a wide variety of foods and these secondary vegetable parts can be a nice way to do so (especially if you grow your own vegetables). I am myself very fond of beet greens, broccoli greens, parsley roots and fennel roots (great in soups & stews) ;).

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

New Book Project

I've been wanting to write a book since my teenage years.
As I got older the project evolved and so did my inspirations for this hypothetical book.
I had completely forgotten about it until a couple days ago, after talking to a friend of mine.
The Muse has returned!

I can't say too much about my book project besides that it will be a children's book and most likely bilingual french-english. I will illustrate it myself (something I'm looking forward to) and I plan on publishing the book myself too.

I'm fully aware that such a project will require time and patience. That there will be days when I'll be inspired and others that I won't. That there will times of frustration too. But overall I think it'll be fun and rewarding!

Wish me luck ;)!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Cookbooks

I recently received the following books:
  • "Delicious ~ Gluten free baking with buckwheat flour" by Michelle Brewster
As the title mentions, all the recipes are made with buckwheat flour, which is a sticky/starchy flour which doesn't require added gums, starches or binders. I tried a small version of the "multi seed" bread (I replaced the egg with flax meal & water), it was very good. A little sweet for my taste buds, so I'll add less sweetener next time (I used date molasses, half the amount needed in the recipe).
  • "Flying Apron's Gluten Free & Vegan Baking Book" by Jennifer Katzinger
I haven't tried any recipe yet but they look very tempting. I was glad to read that chickpea flour can be replaced by chestnut flour (I'm not pro-legume flours because of the phytates they contain. Most of these flours are made from non pre-soaked legumes (and of course they are uncooked) which makes them very hard to digest). There is a mini bread section and only half of the breads are yeast free.
  • "C'est pas de la tarte" by Fannie Denault
I don't think this book has been translated to English but it's a little gem for alternative cooking. All the pie crusts (sweet and savory) are made of "unusual" ingredients (gluten free or not, but the recipes can be adapted) such as polenta, popcorn, shredded cabbage, agar flakes, sesame seeds...etc. I find this little book very inspiring. Who needs flour anyway? ;)

I also pre-ordered the 2 following books:
  • "The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook ~ How to bake without gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts and sesame" by Cybele Pascal (it will be released by the end of December)
  • "Allergy-Free Desserts ~ Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, and nut-free delights" by Elizabeth Gordon (it will be released in February)
I know it may seem like I bake a lot but it's quite the contrary. I don't bake much and usually prefer using nut flours instead of GF grain flour. I also use little to no sweetener (I'd much prefer to use fruits instead ~ something I need to research more about), no eggs and no yeast (I'm also not a big fan of leavening agents (baking powder & soda) so if I can skip them...).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Eating Wildness by Stephen Buhner

"One of our greatest fears is to eat the wildness of the world.

Our mothers intuitively understood something essential: the green is poisonous to civilization. If we eat the wild, it begins to work inside us, altering us, changing us.

Soon, if we eat too much, we will no longer fit the suit that has been made for us. Our hair will begin to grow long and ragged. Our gait and how we hold our body will change. A wild light begins to gleam in our eyes. Our words start to sound strange, nonlinear, emotional. Unpractical. Poetic.

Once we have tasted this wildness, we begin to hunger for a food long denied us, and the more we eat of it the more we will awaken. It is no wonder that we are taught to close off our senses to Nature. Through these channels, the green paws of Nature enter into us, climb over us, search within us, find all our hiding places, burst us open, and blind the intellectual eye with hanging tendrils of green.

The terror is an illusion, of course. For most of our million years on this planet human beings have daily eaten the wild. It's just that the linear mind knows what will happen if you eat it now."

-Steven Buhner

Alchemille's Garden is now on Facebook

Here's the link: Alchemille's Garden

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Egg Free Almond Flour Bread

A simple adaptation of Elana's Simple Bread recipe:
  1. I replaced the 3 eggs with 1/2 banana (thoroughly mashed), 3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce and 1 tbsp flax meal + 3 tbsp water. Stir the mixture and let it thicken a few minutes.
  2. Instead of 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar, I used 1 tsp gluten free baking powder and 1 tsp ACV. Egg free baking requires a little bit more leavening.
Other than that, the recipe is the same. I just used less sweetener (1 tsp grade B maple syrup vs 1 tbsp agave nectar) and baked the bread a few extra minutes (it all depends on how moist the batter is).

The result is a tasty bread, not too sweet (the banana flavor isn't too strong either), and a loaf that holds well even when slicing (I guess I'm getting better at replacing eggs).

You could use just flax meal if you wanted too. I know flax is good for you because it contains omega 3s and blah blah blah, but it also lowers the body's estrogen level. This may be beneficial for some women but not for others. Plus I already have my omega 3s covered with cod liver...

I am considering camelina seeds as a replacement for flax seeds. Camelina (also called wild or false flax) belongs to the brassica/cabbage/mustard family and has been used much longer than flax (the Celts were using camelina as part of their diet). But it has a higher omega 3 ratio and its oil is more stable than flax's. As for flax, the seeds also become mucilaginous with water but I haven't found any information about phytoestrogens in camelina seeds. The only thing is that the oil is already not widely available, and the seeds are even harder to find.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Homemade Gluten Free Sourdough Bread & Baked Goods - Yes You Can!

I've been on a gluten free (leaning more towards the SCD and paleo diets nowadays) diet for years now. And bread is something I have given up for a long time, except for the occasional crepes, pancakes or flat breads and nut/seed flour based breads that I enjoy because they are filling and nutritious.

Commercial gluten free bread are horrible concoctions straight from a mad scientist's lab. They are expensive and let's face it: replace gluten by loads of starches and gums isn't a healthy solution. Carbs and starches are sugars that your body will store, not burn. I checked several recipes for breadmaking which are also strange concoctions of a myriad of ingredients that in the end give you some kind of dense, starchy, sponge-like brick that I wouldn't dare calling bread! Baking without yeast and eggs can be challenging too.

I was looking for something else: something healthy, nutritious, easily digestible, easy to prepare with few ingredients and most importantly, something properly prepared.

Even though I've cut grains almost entirely from my diet, I always soak them. I've also recently discovered the benefits of lacto-fermentation and now ferment almost anything: juices, teas, pancakes, vegetables...etc. I got used to the sour taste which I now crave (your body knows best what's right for you, you just have to listen).

Most people think that soaking grains & legumes is time consuming and useless. Wrong! This process is absolutely necessary to remove the phytates/anti-nutrients, allow proper cooking and proper digestibility so that your body can fully absorb and use the nutrients in food. Using grains that haven't been sprouted, soaked or fermented will lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, tooth demineralization/enamel loss (which I have experienced), digestive problems and a whole lot of other health problems...

Anyway, I was on a quest to find a way to make natural, fermented/sourdough-like gluten free bread. And I found it! Shanon Kane, who has been suffering from food allergies and digestive disorders, has developed recipes to make gluten free sourdough bread. These recipes are free of gluten, dairy, eggs, yeast, corn, soy and gums. She uses water kefir to boost the fermentation of her sourdough starters, but if you are not dairy sensitive you can use whey, yogurt, kefir or cultured buttermilk as well.

Shannon offers an e-book which you can use to make your own gluten-free sourdough breads, muffins, pancakes and pizza, and contains "extensive and detailed directions to help you get started making your own gluten free starters. It also includes 10 delicious recipes plus a section on pancakes and interesting variations." She also has a few blogs, including the Art of Gluten-Free Sourdough Baking in which she gives a few recipes and explanations regarding sourdough fermentation, applying the principles of Weston A. Price to a gluten free diet.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Quinoa - The Golden Grain

Who hasn't heard of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) ? This little grain (which is in fact a grass from the chenopod family ~ like spinach and beets) has become increasingly popular these last few years, and is a blessing for people on a gluten free diet. But behind this little wonder of Nature that people can now enjoy worldwide, there is a sad and not-so-glorious story.

I just saw a very interesting documentary about quinoa and peasants of the Bolivian Altiplano. Quinoa has been a staple food in Bolivia for a very long time but with the increasing demand for the little grain and its proportionally increasing price, the poor folks of Bolivia can't afford eating quinoa anymore...They say even store bought pasta is cheaper, isn't it outrageous?

There's more to the story. Quinoa, it seems, has done a lot of good to the indian peasants of the Altiplano: they've become rich (and richer with higher prices on the market) and they've finally earned some respect! But here's the drawback: agriculture in the Altiplano isn't an easy thing - the land is almost barren and peasants already have a hard time feeding themselves & their families. Yet year after year, there's less and less quinoa being harvested in the Altiplano; the land they cherish is becoming "tired" as they say...And they start worrying and acknowledging that in a near future they won't be able to grow the golden grain anymore.

These people have been working hard to feed the world while they are already currently struggling to feed themselves.

Quinoa is a grain that doesn't have to many requirements, so that the home gardener can grow it too. There are a few seed suppliers selling quinoa seeds. If you can't find quinoa seeds (though I'm sure you can grow them from the boxes you find in your grocery store), there are other chenopods that produce similar edible grains (and greens) that you can grow, like Huauzontle (Chenopodium berlandieri) and the Giant Goosefoot (Chenopodium gigantium).

I believe that the agriculture of the future will be local. It has to be. If the best agricultural and environmentally friendly techniques were used worldwide, there would be enough to grow & eat (without depleting the soil: the ecology of the soil is very important) for everybody. This the 21st century and people are still starving...How come? There's enough money, knowledge and resources. Money is wasted, knowledge is hidden and resources have a price. It's always about money and the power to deprive & control poor countries which, with a little help and good will, could thrive! But that's another story...

I've just sown a few quinoa seeds this morning, I hope to be able to see the plants grow...And harvest my own seeds (even if just a few). I also hope that the peasants from the Altiplano will manage to grow enough quinoa to feed themselves first, before the rest of the world!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Alchemille's October Newsletter

Dear Friends,
I hope this newsletter finds you well.
I know I have been pretty silent lately, doing a lot of thinking and working on new ideas and projects.

So, What's New?
Well, since my Wise Woman Exfoliating Glove has become a popular item lately, I offer another "fancier" looking glove: the Rosette Exfoliating Glove. I knit both of these upon request and you can choose the fiber you want me to use: jute, Himalayan nettle or Himalayan hemp. For each glove, I provide instructions for use & care (see more under listings).
Halloween is approaching, so I listed my seasonal Samhain/All Hallows Tea: 100% organic and freshly blended with black tea, rooibos, orange peel, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and rosehips. This tea is only available until November 2nd.
I now also offer Seasonal Tea Subscriptions, called "ONE SEASON OF TEA". The current Fall offering (October to December) includes: 1 Thé du Matin (Moning Tea), 1 L'Orangerie and 1 Thé à l'églantine (Rosehip Tea)

>October: “Thé du Matin”/ Morning tea (organic green tea, organic rosemary, organic orange peel, organic rosehips, organic cinnamon and organic cloves) CONTAINS SOME CAFFEINE. AVOID DURING PREGNANCY.

>November: L'Orangerie (organic black tea, organic rooibos, organic orange peel, organic cacao nibs and organic cinnamon) CONTAINS SOME CAFFEINE. USE SPARINGLY DURING PREGNANCY.

>December: "Thé à l'églantine" / Rosehip tea (organic black tea, organic rosehips, pesticide free rose petals and organic cloves) CONTAINS CAFFEINE. USE SPARINGLY DURING PREGNANCY.
For more details regarding the subscription, see listing:
>Note that the 3 teas above are also listed individually.

Madame Alchemille also recommends:
-Thé d'Automne (Autumn Tea), a blend of organic rooibos, organic cinnamon, organic dried apples, organic anise seeds, coriander seeds, organic rosemary and organic peppermint.
-Zen Coffee, a 100% organic blend of roasted chicory roots, cacao nibs, cinnamon chips & cloves.
-Journey to Middle-Earth, a 100% organic blend of green & red rooibos, cinnamon chips, peppermint, anise seeds and rosemary.
-Vitamin C Tea, 100% organic blend of hibiscus, rosehips, dandelion leaves and strawberry leaves.

Autumnal beauty care items such as Autumn Cinnamon Wise Woman Lip Balm, Woodland Fairy & Autumn Fairy Facial Elixirs, La Campagne & Magic Pumpkin Face Masks, Autumn Faery Beauty Pack...
What am I currently working on:
-Sets of handmade, natural, biodegradable runes (with instructions) to allow you to do your own readings/divination at home or with friends
-Seasonal druidic creams and matching oils (both herbally infused) inspired by the Druid's Herbal.

Herbally Yours,

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

More Recommended Cookbooks

A few weeks I posted a long list of recommended cookbooks for special diets (gluten free, SCD, paleo...etc). I'd like to add a few more books to this list ;).

  • "Gluten Free Mediterranean" by Sanaa
  • "Gluten-Free Italian ~ Over 150 Irresistible Recipes without Wheat - from Crostini to Tiramisu" by Jacqueline Mallorca
  • "Specific Carbohydrate Diet ~ Southern Style" by Jan Locker (with almond flour)
  • "Cooking to Heal ~ Nutrition & Cooking Class" (DVD + Booklet) by Julie Matthews
  • "A Primitive Diet" by Beverley Southam
  • "Totally Flour-Free Baking" by Dinah Alison (with almond flour)
  • "The Allergy-Free Cookbook ~ How to avoid the 8 major food allergens and eat happily ever after" by Eileen Rhude Yoder
  • "The Allergy Exclusion Diet ~ The 28-day plan to solve your food intolerances" by Jill Carter & Alison Edwards
  • "Recipes for IBS ~ Great tasting recipes and tips customized for your symptoms" by Ashley Koff
  • "Food Energetics ~ The Spiritual, Emotional, and Nutritional Power of What We Eat" by Steve Gagné

Monday, September 28, 2009

Coconut and Chestnut Puddings (Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo Friendly)

I enjoy these for breakfast or as a quick dessert...

Coconut Pudding
I've modified my "cream of coconut" recipe slightly and I like this newer version better ;).
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk (I use Trader Joe's lite coconut milk because it's the only coconut milk I can find without thickeners, preservatives or other unwanted ingredients. But you can use half full fat coconut milk and half water instead)
  • 4 tbsp coconut flour
  • Coconut sugar (optional)
Pour liquid in a small saucepan and set on medium heat. Whisk in the coconut flour until there are not lumps left. Let the liquid thicken (it only takes a few minutes) until it reaches desired consistency. Add your sweetener (optional) and stir well.
Pour your Coconut Pudding in a bowl and enjoy as it is or add some toppings of your choice (fruits, berries, nuts, chocolate chips...).

Chestnut Pudding (my personal favorite)
  • 1 cup homemade almond milk or raw milk (you can dilute the milk with water if necessary)
  • 4-6 tbsp chestnut flour (depending on the flour)
  • Maple syrup (more than optional since chestnut flour is naturally sweet)
Proceed as for the above recipe.
I like to serve this Chestnut Pudding with a sliced apple, a few raisins and some sliced almonds. Enjoy!
For a chocolate pudding, just melt some chocolate chips with the milk before adding the chestnut flour ;).

How Breathing & Prana affect Our Body

This is taken from "The Seasonal Detox Diet ~ Remedies from the Ancient Cookfire" by Carrie l'Esperance

"...With every breath we take, etheric energy is also taken in. This etheric energy is what the yogis call prana, which means "etheric". Prana has two polarities - positive and negative - and our bodies make use of both energies. Through the right nostril we inhale positive prana, through the left nostril we inhale negative prana. Both are needed for our well-being.

The right or positive current of prana is called the solar energy, and the left or negative current is called the lunar energy. The positive solar energy being drawn through the right nostril can be used for self-vitalization by placing a piece of cotton in your left nostril and breathing only through the right one for about one hour. During this time, center your thoughts upon the part of your body that needs rebuilding or rejuvenating. This breathing technique, coupled with focused thought, is very powerful - you will be surprised at what happens.

It is known that great natural healers breathe for greater periods of time through the right nostril; they are able to extract and utilize more solar energy this way and therefore do not exhaust themselves as readily.

It is good practice to make a habit of breathing though the right nostril when we eat. The solar current, the positive prana, speeds up the process of metabolism. Then we can extract most of the energy from the food we eat, so we eat less and are satisfied. On the other end, when undergoing a fast, block the right nostril and breathe more through the left. You will not become as hungry because your metabolism will slow down. In the East, all yogis practice this technique when they go on long fasts..."

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Since my Wise Woman Exfoliating Glove has become a popular item lately, I decided to knit another glove with a fancier pattern. I'm glad I did because it turned out to be a pretty item (and useful too!).

I knit this Rosette Exfoliating Glove upon request (just like I do for the Wise Woman Glove) with the fiber of your choice: Himalayan wild nettle or Himalayan hemp (see details & health benefits under the listing).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Why Grains May Not Be Necessary for a Nourishing Diet

I agree with this post, grains are fillers.
I have noticed many times that I get hungry 1-2 hours after eating grains and have woken up in the middle of the night to have a snack because grains not only trigger hunger but hypoglycemia as well.
That's why I stay away from grains. I have no more than 1 serving a day and it's usually for breakfast.
I've also noticed that grains make me gain weight & body fat and they tend irritate my liver (since carbs convert to sugar).
I believe that grains are responsible (as well as gluten and oxalates) for the demineralization of my teeth, I have eaten so many whole grains/carbs throughout my life that weren't properly prepared.
Anyway, I surely feel much better without them...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Spice Road EcoBeads

Here they are, as promised!

My Ecobeads are all handmade, one by one, which gives them that rustic look. They have a wonderful natural spicy scent which comes from the ingredients I use in their making (I never add fragrance oils, perfumes oils or essential oils).

My Ecobeads always contain several of the following ingredients (which may vary according to "recipe"):

-Organic/ethically wildcrafted/pesticide free herbs, spices, leaves, stems, roots, barks, flowers and/or seeds

-Organic flour, gums and/or resins (used as binder)

-Floral waters/hydrosols (food or cosmetic grade), organic tea/herbal infusions, wine and/or spring water

-Homemade scented/herbal tinctures.

My Ecobeads are all natural, hypo-allergenic, eco-friendly and biodegradable ;).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gluten Sensitivity

Just because you don’t have celiac disease, doesn’t mean you are free of problems with gluten

Petite Jupe Féerique / Little Flower Fairy Skirt

Today I was in the mood for sewing, which I haven't done for some time now. I have lots of fabrics waiting to be taken care of, some of them dating back to collections I designed a few years ago.

Anyway, I decided to pick that fairy-like printed cotton fabric that a bought a few months ago at my local fabric shop. I only got 1 yard since I didn't have a project in mind when I purchased it...It's incredible what you can do with only 1 yard!

I decided to sew a simple knee high skirt. I've always been told when I was still a student at the fashion school that you need to choose simple shapes for fancy/printed fabrics but you can make fancier shapes with more plain fabrics...So I followed the advice.

And here's my skirt:
And a zoom on the fabric:The light wasn't good enough to capture the colors/details properly and the picture doesn't do my pretty little skirt justice, so I'll describe the print the best I can. It's a floral/leafy pattern printed in an ink/watercolor-like manner in Fall colors (shades of purple, olive green, rust, brown...) and the background of the fabric has an almond green color.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Alchemille's August Newsletter

Dear Friends,
I hope this newsletter finds you well and that you had a wonderful summertime.
Here the Lady of the Fall is already making her presence known and has inspired me to start listing autumnal goodies ;).

This month, Madame Alchemille recommends:
~Thé du Matin~
This blend is one of my favorites and my husband really likes it too ;).
Thé du Matin (Morning Tea in french) is a 100% organic blend of green tea, rosemary, orange peel, rosehips, cinnamon and cloves.
~Dryad Cream (NEW)~
This cream is inspired by the Dryads, which are tree nymphs/female tree spirits in the Greek Mythology.
It's handmade with:
-Organic sweet almond oil
-Plum kernel oil
-Wildcrafted mango butter
-Unrefined beeswax
-Organic aloe vera gel
-Vitamin E (a natural antioxidant & preservative)
This non-greasy cream can be used both on face & body and has a wonderful natural almondy scent with vanilla & caramel undertones.
~Vitamin C Tea (NEW)~
Vitamin C tea is a delicious blend of herbs naturally rich in vitamin C (as well as minerals).
Vitamin C is known to be a powerful antioxidant, to strengthen the immune system and the body's ability to ward off infections, to improve circulation and the absorption of iron.
My Vitamin C tea is a 100% organic blend of hibiscus, rosehips, dandelion leaves and strawberry leaves.

~Four Season Skin Elixir~
My Four Season Skin Elixir is a silky and moisturizing oil that leaves the skin smooth but not greasy.
This oil can be used from head to toe as: facial oil, body oil, (pre)conditioning hair oil, treatment for dry hands and/or feet...Even as massage oil.
Four Season Skin Elixir is a blend of organic sunflower oil, plum kernel oil, organic sweet almond oil, shea nut oil and vitamin E.
I recommend this oil for normal to dry and mature skin types.
For more details, see individual listings.

I expect to be listing my Spice Road Ecobeads in a few days from now.
They are handmade with a rustic look and made of herbs, resins & spices...

And other wonderful handmade, healing and always natural goodies ;)!

You probably noticed that my unusual silence lately for many reasons...One of which being that my computer broke and I had to get a new one! But you know me and the mad artist that I am always has new ideas and projects.
Lately, after watching an outdoor play, I have come to realize that I miss art (or should I say arts)!
I was born an artist, my world filled with princesses, fairies and other imaginary creatures that I used to draw or play with in my adventures... and art is what I studied as a teenager in France.
It is important to me to cultivate my inner world and keep my imagination alive.
This will result in creations that I will be able to share with you ;).
I will need to start drawing, painting, writing, sewing, knitting, doing calligraphy...etc again and might be a little rusty at first but I'm sure it'll come back to me...You never forget what you've learned!
Expect to see art dolls made of fabrics, illustrations, cards, poetry or shorts stories (in french and/or english) in a near future.

I want Alchemille's Garden to be a place where everybody feels good, at ease, whole and happy...And no matter how serious we may be, we're all children at heart!

Brightest Blessings,

Vitamin C Tea

Vitamin C tea is a delicious blend of herbs naturally rich in vitamin C (as well as minerals).

Vitamin C is known to be a powerful antioxidant, to strengthen the immune system and the body's ability to ward off infections, to improve circulation and the absorption of iron.

My Vitamin C tea is a 100% organic blend of hibiscus, rosehips, dandelion leaves and strawberry leaves.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Baby loaf pans

If like myself, you follow Elana's Pantry and bake her nut flour based breads, you know that a special baking pan may be required since Elana's loaves are about half the size of a regular loaf of bread.

I chose to stay away from aluminium and non-stick/Teflon pans for health reasons:
  • Aluminium is linked to Alzheimer's Disease and Breast Cancer (aluminium is an ingredient commonly found in commercial deodorants)
  • If you cook with non-stick/Teflon cookware, you can be sure that Teflon particles will be found in your bloodstream and...they don't go away! (From personal experience, non-stick pans don't clean better/more easily than cast iron pans...It's an urban legend).

So when it comes to baking, I prefer using glass, clay and ceramic pans.

Here are some items you might consider for your baking needs:

  • Luminarc has a 6.5"x4" baby loaf pan with lid (an item not available everywhere)
  • "Bake N Store" from Anchor Hocking (I've been using this pan for a while and am very satisfied about it. I usually add 5-10 extra minutes to the recommended baking time.)
  • Emerson Creek Pottery offers small ceramic loaf pans that are non-toxic & lead free
  • Ebay also has some good deals for new or used pans. I searched for "mini loaf pan" and found quite a few from 3" to 6" long pans. Prices vary and you can bid on some items.

Happy baking ;).

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Recommended Cookbooks

A long due post, but like we say in french "better late than never!" (Mieux vaut tard que jamais).
The following is a list of my favorite gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly, SCD/GAPS cookbooks. Some of them also contain dairy-free, egg-free and/or sugar free recipes as well.
Note that there are lots of gluten free cookbooks out there, not all of them are good or healthy.
I consider that replacing gluten grains/flours with starches and gums is like switching from one evil to another. Starches and gums are no good and certainly won't help you heal your gut/body.
When cooking gluten free, the best approach is to be open minded and to think outside the box.
If you're thinking about recreating your favorite donut recipe, then yes you'll need lots of gums & starches to obtain a similar yet passable result since it will feel and taste more like a sponge than a donut!
I hope this list will help you find your way through a new, healthy & healing way of cooking. Remember that recipes can always be adapted to suit your needs, even if they might require a little fine tuning.

Here are some of my favorites:
  • "Gluten-free gourmet desserts and baked goods" by Valérie Cupillard (translated from the french)
  • "Cooking with coconut flour" by Bruce Fife
  • "Breaking the vicious cycle"by Elaine Gottschall
  • "Gut and Psychology Syndrome" by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride
  • "Grain-free gourmet" by Jodi Lager & Jenny Lass
  • "Everyday grain-free gourmet" by Jodi Lager & Jenny Lass
  • "Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet" by Raman Prasad
  • "Cooking for Celiacs, Colitis, Crohn's and IBS" by Sandra Ramacher
  • "Eat well, feel well" by Kendall Conrad
  • "The gluten-free almond flour cookbook" by Elana Amsterdam
  • "The Spunky Coconut Cookbook" ~gluten free, casein free, sugar free~ by Kelly Brozyna
  • "The IBS low-starch diet" by Carol Sinclair
  • "Recipes for IBS" by Ashley Koff
  • "Cooking to heal little tummies" by Jenna Roberts & Natalie Hagood
  • "Lucy's Specific Carbohydrate Diet Cookbook" by Lucy Rosset
  • "SCD with taste & tradition" by Rochel Weiss
  • "Pesach - Anything's Possible!" ~Over 350 non-gebrochts, gluten-free & wheat-free recipes" by Tamar Ansh
  • "The Bee Well Cookbook" ~Nourishing foods for sensitive people~ by Katie Whitmarsh
  • "The wheat-free cook" ~Gluten-free recipes for everyone~ by Jacqueline Mallorca
  • "Mother Necessity gluten free/casein free recipes) by Cristin Fergus
  • "Gluten-free cookery" by Peter Thomson
  • "The art of baking with rice flour" by Muriel L. Richter & Debe Nagy-Nero

French books:

  • "Sans gluten naturellement" de Valérie Cupillard
  • "Sans lait et sans oeufs" de Valérie Cupillard
  • "Desserts et pains sans gluten" de Valérie Cupillard
  • "Recettes gourmandes pour personnes sensibles" d' Eva Claire Pasquier
  • "Recettes gourmandes pour une vie meilleure" ~sans lait, sans gluten, sans oeufs~ d'Eva Claire Pasquier
  • "L'Atelier Bio" (contain some gluten free recipes, other recipes can be adapted)

Other interesting & inspirational books (not all gluten free but recipes can be adapted):

  • "The Self Healing Cookbook" by Kristine Turner
  • "Allergy Alert Cookbook" by Rosita Blanka Filipek
  • "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon
  • "Full Moon Feast" by Jessica Prentice
  • "The Feel Good Food Guide" by Deborah Page Johnson
  • "Laurel's Kitchen Caring" ~Recipes for everyday home caregiving~ by Laurel Robertson
  • "Fabulous & Flourless" ~150 wheatless and dairy-free desserts~ by Mary Wachtel Mauksch
  • "Vegetable desserts" ~Beyond carrot cake and pumpkin pie~ by Elisabeth Schafer & Jeannette L. Miller
  • "Desserts with a difference" ~Carrot cake, fennel tart and other surprising & delicious vegetable desserts~ by Sally & Martin Stone
  • "Cucina Ebraica" by Joyce Goldstein
  • "Coconut Cuisine" by Jan London
  • "The Birket Mills Buckwheat Cookbook"
  • "Real food - what to eat and why" by Nina Planck
  • "Primal Body - Primal Mind" by Nora T. Gedgaudas
  • "Trick and Treat" ~How 'healthy eating' is making us ill~ by Bary Groves
  • "Eat fat, lose fat" by Mary Enig & Sally Fallon
  • "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Weston A. Price
  • "Nightshade free, pain free!" by Michael Fowler
  • "Wild Fermentation" by Sandor Katz
  • "Delia Smith's Frugal Food"
  • "The nutrient-dense eating plan" by Douglas L. Margel
  • "Ani's Raw Food Desserts" by Ani Phyo
  • "Ani's Raw Food Kitchen" by Ani Phyo
  • "Sproutman's Kitchen Garden Cookbook" by Steve Meyerowitz
  • "L'Alimentation ou la 3e Medecine" du Dr Jean Seignalet
  • "La Cuisine des Petits Chemins" d'Annie Pavlowitch
  • "Petit Précis de Cuisine Elfique" de Laurence & Yannig Germain

There are 2-3 other books that I might consider adding to this list. I'll update it later...

Hope this helps ;).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thé du Matin

I have so many tea blends that I enjoy but this one is one of my all time favorites!
Thé du Matin (morning tea in french) is a fragrant, flavorful and well balanced blend of green tea, aromatic herbs and spices...All organic!
If like myself, you are longing for the Fall, this tea will bring you a little autumnal foretaste ;).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Custom Diet - Update

How ironic is it that the more you detoxify your body by removing foods that make you sick, the more you get sensitive to other toxic foods...I guess finding the right diet for you is all about fine tuning ;).

Currently, I am:
  • Gluten free
  • Low grains/grasses to nearly grain free (I try not to have more than 1 serving per day...More than that feels like it's too much for my body. My favorites are buckwheat and wild rice ~ I like strong flavors.)
  • Low starch (Starchy foods seem to give me similar symptoms than gluten grains)
  • Sugar free (I only use natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar in small amounts. I use agave syrup only once in a blue moon, because it's not a liver friendly sweetener. Most of the desserts I have are fruits, fruit based or fruit sweetened...I plan on making some dry fruit syrups and see how my body reacts. I know manage to drink my teas without any added sweetener.)
  • Yeast free (I can't stand the smell nor the taste of yeast anymore and my body doesn't seem to like yeast anyway).
  • Nightshade free (The hardest part may have been to get rid off tomatoes since they are everywhere but since I realized how addictive they were, I found the motivation to stop eating them. I have found some very good no-tomato sauce recipes using carrots or butternut squash and beets (for color), with proper seasoning, it tastes about the same as real tomato sauce so I don't feel like I'm missing something. Potatoes make me sick within 24 hours. I've always had trouble digesting peppers no matter how much I loved them and eggplants give me a funny sensation in my mouth).
  • Soy free (Because it's a health hazard. I only have a little splash tamari once in a while)
  • Peanut free (Not that I'm allergic but I never liked the taste & texture, plus when you do a little research it's not such a great food...Sunflower butter has a similar taste and is more nutritious)
  • Few(er) eggs (I noticed that my belly doesn't agree with lots of eggs and surely not on a daily basis...I wonder if it has to do with the feed. For this reason, I will stick with pasture fed eggs and plan on trying duck eggs as well).
  • Few legumes/pulses (These can be hard to digest so I don't eat them too often and usually stick to a few "favorites" such as kidney beans, cannellini beans, azuki beans, lentils and peas/split peas...I find garbanzo beans/chickpeas very acidic)
At this point, dear reader, you are probably wondering (just like my mother did) : what is there left to eat? Well, there's plenty!

  • Nuts & seeds + nut/seed butters (I love making milks out of soaked nuts/seeds or butters ~ for express milks)
  • Fruits & vegetables (I particularly enjoy greens, members of the cabbage family, squashes & pumpkins as well as a few root vegetables)
  • Meat, poultry, fish, eggs (Preferably free range and grass/pasture fed)
  • Raw milk & dairy products (Great for homemade yogurt, whey and clabbered milk)
  • Homemade lacto-fermented foods and drinks (Don't neglect the good bacteria, you need them)
  • Miso (I use a soy free miso made with azuki beans)
  • Nourishing herbal infusions
My favorite ways of cooking & enjoying these foods are raw, steamed, boiled and oven baked.

I feel healthier, less aches & pains, less fatigue and more energy. I also have nearly no cravings (especially not towards junk and sugary foods) and experience less hunger due to the fact that I have a varied and nutrient dense diet (so I eat less that I used to). No more mood swings, cranky liver, pounding heart/tachycardia nor hypoglycemia either ;).

Monday, July 20, 2009


This cream is inspired by the Dryads, which are tree nymphs/female tree spirits in the Greek Mythology.

My Dryad Cream is handmade with:
-Organic sweet almond oil
-Plum kernel oil
-Wildcrafted mango butter
-Unrefined beeswax
-Organic aloe vera gel
-Vitamin E (a natural antioxidant & preservative)

This cream can be used both on face & body and has a wonderful natural almondy scent with vanilla & caramel undertones. (See listing for more details).

Enjoy ;).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's On My Food?

About pesticides in and on food items


Reserved to US customers placing an order in my Etsy shop between July 1st and August 31st, and who wish to participate to a raffle.
The book chosen for this giveaway is "The Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt Cookbook" by Mable and gar Hoffman.
The winner will be notified by email on August 31st.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

July's Tea Selection: Tisane Indienne

This is a very tasty and exotic blend, inspired by Indian spices and flavors, that can be enjoyed either hot (during the cold months especially) or cold (it makes a refreshing ice tea).
Tisane Indienne is a 100% organic blend of cinnamon chips and peppermint.
Cinnamon has a naturally sweet flavor, so you might not need to sweeten this tea.
Enjoy ;)!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

"Cream of Coconut" for Breakfast

This Cream of Coconut makes a tasty, satisfying and filling breakfast...
This recipe is grain free, gluten free and dairy free (unless you choose to use milk).

Ingredients for 1 serving:
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp sweet potato flour
  • Natural sweetener of your choice (optional)
  • Fresh fruits, nuts, seeds...etc (optional)
Pour water in a small saucepan and set on medium heat. Whisk in the coconut flour and the sweet potato flour until there are not lumps left. Let the liquid thicken (it only takes a few minutes) until it reaches desired consistency. Add your sweetener and stir well.
Pour your Cream of Coconut in a bowl and enjoy as it is or add some toppings of your choice.

If you like it...
  • Thicker & richer: use raw milk, nut/seed milk or coconut milk instead of water. I like a combination of half water and half milk.
  • More fancy: use a cool/lukewarm tea or herbal infusion of your liking instead of water. I think a rooibos chai would be a nice choice.
  • More flavorful: add some herbs or spices of your choice. Vanilla extract would be a nice addition.
  • More chocolaty: whisk in 1 tbsp of cocoa powder before it thickens or let some chocolate chips melt.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Best Things in Life are Green

Last night, it came to my mind that the most healing, nourishing & soothing foods, beverages & herbs were green in color:
-Green Tea
-Leafy Greens
-Green Clay
-Green Smoothies
-Nourishing herbs/weeds: stinging nettle, dandelion, plantain, purslane...etc

Green is the quintessential color of Nature and I believe that beyond appreciating this particular color (in all its shades) for its beauty and radiance, green color also speaks to our body and soul on more subtle levels (energetic/auric, your mood and to the subconscious).

Not to mention that chlorophyll is very close to human blood.

So next time you eat something green, notice how you feel...

Friday, June 19, 2009

About Becoming Less Dependent On Tomatoes...

I know that technically speaking, we should be buying tomatoes only during the Summer which is when the traditionally grow. But tomatoes is one of those veggies that I buy pretty much all year long.

Yet, even during tomato season - which is now- and at the farmers market (where produce is usually more affordable) the price for 1 pound of good, flavorful, organic tomatoes is about $4! While I can get a bag of 3-4 zucchinis (another favorite veggie of mine) for $1.

I started a couple cherry tomatoes plants (from seed) in containers which are growing a little slow lately but I expect to harvest my heirloom tomatoes by the end of the Summer. Meanwhile, I'd like to start buying & using a minimal amount (since I can use up to 2 pounds a week, these are becoming a luxury item).

I've seen people on other blogs use pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree as a substitute for tomato sauce. I tried it ounce, it wasn't bad. Here too, technically speaking, I should be waiting for the Fall but canned pumpkin/squash puree can be found quite easily and I also find butternut squashes in grocery stores (a pumpkin or squash stored properly can last up to 1 year after the harvest).

I also read that all squashes (pumpkins included) can be eaten raw. I have only tried raw cucumber and raw zucchini so far. I suppose that a thinly sliced squash would be a nice addition to a salad. The other option would be to diced the squash, steam it and let it cool before serving.

Of course other uses for pumpkins/squashes include soups, puddings, cakes, desserts, quiches, breads, pancakes...etc. So I believe that they are a valid substitute for tomatoes (not to forget that tomatoes are nightshades and that I usually don't digest nightshades too well).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Understanding The Keys To Health

Another great post by the Food Renegade!
It's good to be reminded that it's not the bacteria that make us sick but our poor food choices & lifestyle that weaken our immune system.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mondays in the Kitchen...

I have decided to stop posting my gluten free meal plannings (at least for now).
I'll still plan ahead because I noticed that it makes my life easier (except last week, I had to make quite a few changes) and my grocery expenses are now lower than my food budget.
I will still post recipes, links and cookbook references (I plan to write a post just about my favorite healing cookbooks...There are some unknown or lesser known gems out there).

This week, I'd like to:
-Make some carrot butter/spread (recipe from "The Self-Healing Cookbook" by Kristina Turner)
-Bake a grain-free & nut free butternut squash kugel (recipe from "Pesach-Anything's Possible!" by Tamar Ansh)...I never baked a kugel before so I'm looking forward to trying this recipe.
-Experiment with a grain-free white bean bread (I'm not big on beans since they are hard to digest, but I like the taste & texture of cannellini beans)
-Find the time to prepare some broth at last!
-Prepare some homemade sauerkraut with the raw milk whey I have left in the fridge.

Here's a simple dessert recipe that I like that requires few ingredients and little time:

Nut/Seed Milk Crème
(2 to 4 servings)

1 cup homemade unsweetened nut/seed milk
3 tbsp sweet potato flour
1 tbsp nut/seed butter
1 tbsp maple syrup

Pour milk in a saucepan and heat on medium heat.
Whisk in the sweet potato flour until lump free.
Let the milk thicken, then add the nut/seed butter and maple syrup.
Stir until homogeneous.
Pour the creme into ramekins. Enjoy warm or cold (refrigerate).
Feel free to customize this recipe with your own ingredients.

Friday, June 12, 2009

About Hypoglycemia...

I've been suffering from hypoglycemia since my childhood (with fainting episodes - remaining unconscious for several minutes). Everybody I know made it look like it was nothing serious and that I just needed to have some sugar or a sweet treat and it'll pass. So that's what I did for many years.
Several years ago, a friend of my grandmother died after falling into a coma because she couldn't reach for some sugar before passing out. And since she lived alone, nobody noticed what happened right away (reason why she fell into a coma). When I learned that, I suddenly acknowledged that hypoglycemia wasn't just a benign condition after all.
I've been gluten free for 3 years (for health reasons), and I've noticed that my hypoglycemia has improved tremendously. Before that I had the episodes were happening more often and I was starting to get more anxious, even aggressive...I knew this wasn't right.
My journey through food & health has brought me being simply gluten free to SCD, GAPS, the Paleo Diet and Nourishing Traditions. I also recently stumbled on books saying that sugar is bad for hypoglycemics.
So I figured that I'd try giving up sugars or at least have minimal amounts. I was worried that it's make things worse...In fact, it's quite the contrary, I feel much better! My body uses the sugars stored instead of having sugar overload. I'm even aware nor that my liver and digestive system feel cranky & irritated when I have a little too much sugars, and this happen with GF grains too.
The only sugars I have now are from eating fruits and maybe a few root vegetables. I manage to drink my tea without sweetener, except for mornings and evenings when I add 1 tsp of coconut palm sugar (a natural & sustainable sweetener with very low glycemic index).
I stay away from anything refined and artificial sweeteners which are true poisons for your body and your brain.
Hypoglycemia is often called the other sugar disease. I read that about 60% of hypoglycemics become diabetics. I have decided that it won't happen to me because I take responsibility for my own health.

So what works for me?
-Lots a vegetables (including leafy greens) , raw or cooked.
-Some protein at every meal (with good fats) whether grass-fed meat, wild caught fish, pasture poultry & eggs, raw cheese or nuts.
-Raw dairy products (I make my own yogurt).
-Grain-free breads made of coconut flour, almond flour or other nut/seed flours (it's best to grind your own).
-Fruits: raw, stewed or cooked in dessert (in this case I use minimal amounts of natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, agave syrup or coconut sugar).
-I'm cutting off the GF grains since they seem to irritate me. So I eat them in small amounts and plan to eat them rarely and properly prepare: soaked, fermented or sprouted. I usually only enjoy them in simple foods like porridge, soaked pancakes and crepes.
-Nuts & seeds in various forms: milks, butters, paleo cookies, "granolas", breads...
-Surprisingly I don't crave chocolate anymore (only on rare occasions)!
-Nourishing herbal infusions.
-Homemade fermented fruits and drinks.

So I'm now gluten free, yeast free, nearly grain free, starch free and sugar free ;)!

Things you need to know:
-Carbs & starches once ingested, transform into sugars which are stored in your body as fats!
Grains are fillers but they only "fill" you temporarily; you'll get hungry for more soon enough...
-Good fats (not vegetable oils but animal fats, grass-fed/raw butter, coconut oil, nut/seed oils, olive oil) once ingested transform into glucose which is use by your body and not stored as fats!
-Sugars block the absorption of necessary minerals for your teeth!
-Eat nourishing foods and your body will get all the nutrients it needs for good health and healing! If you get too little nutrients, these will go to the most important/vital organs in your body to the detriment of your teeth and bones!
-Eating non-pasteurized foods won't make you sick...On the contrary! Your body will benefit from good bacteria that will strengthen your immune system and make you less prone to sickness.
-By eating nourishing & properly prepared foods, you'll get more energy!

From my own experience:
-When I stay grain, starch & sugar free, my body fat percentage goes down (as I'm using the sugars and fats already stored in my body). When I reintroduce these, my body fat percentage goes back up.
-When I eat a variety of vegetables with some protein, it gets me going for hours without hunger or low blood sugar. Sometimes my belly needs to remind me that I should have a snack, but my energy level remains about the same.
-When I eat grains & veggies but no protein...I get hungry a few hours later to the point that I need to eat something before I sleep otherwise I won't be able to sleep and will need to get up in the middle of the night to eat something.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Note that I'm not a fan of using supplements unless really needed.
I believe that all the vitamins and minerals your body needs are naturally found in food & herbs and that with a proper, nutrient-rich diet you don't need supplements.
Also a lot of commercial supplements are not from a natural source which means that your body can't absorb them.

Top 10 Worst Nutritional & Dietary Mistakes People Make

Monday, June 08, 2009

Nourishing Gluten Free Meal Planning

B: Coconut flour bread (from "Cooking with Coconut Flour" by Bruce Fife) with stewed berries & filmjolk yogurt
D: Broccoli quiche with raw cheese
>Make beet kvass
>Bake Neanderthin paleo cookies (from "Neanderthin" by Ray Audette)
>Prepare a nourishing herbal infusion

B: Toasted & crumbled paleo cookie "granola" with filmjolk & fruits/berries
D: Shepherd's pie with mashed cauliflower crust
>Thaw ground beef
>Bake coconut milk pudding
>Soak pine nuts

B: Coconut milk pudding with fruits
D: Sweet potato gnocchis (adapted from "The Gluten-Free Italian Cookbook" by Mary Capone) with oven roasted chicken drumsticks
>Make pine nut milk
>Thaw chicken
>Bake almond flour bread (slice & freeze for later)

B: Smoothie with nut milk or yogurt
D: Rustic almond flour pizza with side of veggies or salad
>Make chicken stock
>Prepare nourishing herbal infusion

B: Leftover coconut milk pudding with fruits/berries
D: Oven roasted root vegetables with grilled salmon & salad greens
>Bake bean brownies (cut & freeze for later)

B: Almond flour bread with yogurt & artisan strawberry jam
L: Omelet with greens/veggies & raw cheese
>Soak GF oats overnight with yogurt

B: Overnight muesli with yogurt, nuts & fruits/berries

Friday, June 05, 2009

Bonny Clabber

As I mentioned in a previous post, I made some Bonny Clabber.
Since it was my first attempt, I figured that I'd try with a small quantity of raw milk (2 cups).
I found some more info on how to make clabbered milk in "Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection" by Jessica Prentice, except that I didn't add any salt to mine.
It takes about 1 to 4 days for the milk solids to separate from the whey. I expected to obtain 1 cup of clabbered milk and 1 cup of whey, which was about right.
The milk started to separate last night but I wanted to wait until this morning to strain it.
Clabbered milk looks like soft, creamy cottage cheese (in the book, the author says that you can keep it for 7 days in the fridge). It is traditionally eaten with molasses and spices, since I don't like molasses (maybe it's a cultural thing, people don't use molasses in France), I'll try to honey or maple syrup instead.
I also kept the raw milk whey in the fridge for later use (I read somewhere that you can keep whey for 6 months; I doubt that 1 cup of whey will last me that long). I'm very interested in trying Beet Kvass, both with red and yellow beets...Maybe I'll try next week ;).

Gluten Free-Paleo-SCD Rustic Pizza Crust

I tried a few variations of this recipes but this one seems to be my favorite ;).

  • 1 cup almond flour/meal, preferably freshly ground (for savory recipes, I usually prefer using the non-blanched variety...It also gives a more rustic look to the crust)
  • 2 tbsp chestnut flour
  • 1 tbsp flax meal, preferably freshly ground
  • 1 organic egg
  • A splash of extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Meanwhile in a bowl, sift the chestnut flour and mix it well with the almond and flax meal.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the oil. Then incorporate the wet mixture to the dry one.
You should have a compact, sticky dough.
Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper. Place the dough on it and cover the dough with a large piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the dough with your hands until desired result (remember this is a rustic pizza, so neither the edges nor the shape have to be perfect).
Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 8 minutes, then remove it. Flip the crust and remove the parchment paper.
Bake the other side of the now naked crust for 5-7 minutes (watch it carefully because the it can turn brown fast).
Let your crust cool a little bit, then add your favorite tomato sauce & toppings and bake the pizza until you think it's done (it usually takes an additional 5-10 minutes).
Enjoy your grain free pizza!

This recipe also makes fine crackers! Just pre-cut prior to baking...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Nourishing Gluten Free Meal Planning

This week I would like to try making some bonny clabber. I read about it on The Nourished Kitchen. I would keep the whey for later use (for making beet kvass for example - something I haven't tried yet).
I'm still cutting on sugar/sweets and would like to try having savory breakfasts. I am ok with raw dairy, eggs, GF grains and greens but I probably won't go as far as having meat or fish for breakfast!

B: Overnight muesli with berries and nuts
D: Buckwheat "polenta" with seasonal vegetables and raw cheese
>Bake coconut flour bread (double the recipe and freeze slices)

B: Coconut flour bread (from "Cooking with Coconut Flour" by Bruce Fife) with unsweetened applesauce and a little maple syrup
D: Swiss chard quiche
>Prepare filmjolk yogurt
>Grind fresh wild rice flour for quiche's crust
>Bake sugar-free neanderthin cookies (from "Neanderthin" by Ray Audette)

B: Smoothie with homemade yogurt or nut/seed milk
D: Shepherd's pie with mashed cauliflower crust and side of kimchi
>Soak Scottish oats overnight

B: Soaked oatmeal with raw/nut milk and blueberries
D: Rustic almond flour pizza with sauteed greens or salad
>Bake SCD cherry clafoutis

B: Cherry clafoutis with homemade yogurt
D: Quinoa with oven roasted chicken drums & seasonal vegetables
>Rinse and soak quinoa in the morning
>Thaw chicken
>Defrost homemade pancakes

B: Soaked buckwheat & wild rice pancakes with fruits/berries and a little maple syrup
L: Omelet with raw cheese and vegetables/greens
>Soak muesli overnight with yogurt

B: Overnight muesli with berries and nuts

Other nourishing foods to prepare throughout the week include:
-Homemade yogurt with raw milk
-Soaked nut/seed milks
-Nourishing herbal infusions
-Nut & GF grain flours

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nourishing & Gluten Free Meal Planning

I'm currently reading Ramiel Nagel's book "Cure Tooth Decay - Heal & Prevent Cavities with Nutrition". It's really a no non-sense book and I am very impressed with it. My teeth have paid the price of several years of hidden gluten intolerance, refined flours and sugar (my hypoglycemia didn't help).
Now I'm focusing on healing my teeth (and my body) with nutrition, especially since the last 2-3 months. And believe it on not but my teeth are already doing better. My front teeth were almost transparent due to demineralization/enamel loss and now they are almost completely opaque. I still experience some gum sensitivity (especially since I've had dental work done on my teeth) but I believe it is improving too.
I also decided to cut on natural sugars, keeping them to a minimum and I feel much better. My liver isn't cranky anymore. I was worried that my hypoglycemia would strike back but it isn't the case. I don't even crave chocolate or desserts anymore. I used to have tea with honey several times a day, now I've replaced honey with coconut sugar (except at night). I try to have nourishing and satisfiying meal so that I don't feel hungry or crave anything later.
When I need a snack I usually go for one or more of the followings: yogurt, fruits/berries, nuts/seeds, unsweetened applesauce, nut/seed milk.
I've also increased my protein and fat intakes but don't do/feel well with large amounts of those.

Here's my Nourishing Meal Planning for the Week:

Breakfast: Coconut flour & blue cornmeal bread (adapted from "Cooking with Coconut Flour" by Bruce Fife) with yogurt and berries
Lunch: TBD
Dinner: Vegetable quiche
>Freeze leftover cornbread for later
>Soak Scottish oats overnight
>Soak sunflower seeds overnight

Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal with raw milk and berries
Dinner: SCD shepherd's pie with mashed cauliflower, sweet potato or butternut squash crust
>Thaw ground lamb
>Make sunflower seed milk
>Make almond flour crackers
>Soak raw buckwheat groats & wild rice overnight

Breakfast: Overnight buckwheat & wild rice pancakes
Dinner: Rustic coconut flour pizza or almond flour pizza with salad
>Freeze leftover pancakes for later
>Soak muesli overnight with yogurt

Breakfast: Overnight muesli with yogurt, fruits and nuts
Dinner: Grain free zucchini beef lasagna (adapted from "Healing Foods" by Sandra Ramacher)
>Thaw ground beef

Breakfast: Smoothie with yogurt or nut/seed milk
Dinner: Quinoa & rice blend with grilled fish & sauteed vegetables
>Soak quinoa and brown rice
>Thaw fish

Breakfast: Quick paleo pancakes with matsoni yogurt and berries
Lunch: Omelet with vegetables & raw cheese
Dinner: TBD
>Soak Scottish oats overnight
>Soak almonds overnight
>Freeze leftover pancakes for later

Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal with raw/nut milk and fruits
Lunch: Bean burgers (adapted from "Healing Foods" by Sandra Ramacher)
Dinner: TBD
>Prepare and freeze bean burgers for later use
>Make almond milk

Other nourishing foods to prepare throughout the week include:
-Homemade matsoni yogurt with raw milk
-Nut/seed milks
-Nourishing herbal infusions
-Beef broth
-Nut & GF grain flours
-Coconut flour bread (from "Cooking with Coconut Flour" by Bruce Fife)



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