the sprouted life » a gluten free blog inspired by real food & balanced living

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  • welcome to the sprouted life!

    We are a gluten free family trying to balance real food eating & traditional food practices while still eating on a budget and living socially in an over-processed food society. This blog is intended to share: our favorite recipes, our gardening & canning experiences, our food flops (ask me about my egg-free, paleo, almond flour pancake mess) & life with two little dirt covered boys.

    all of our recipes are gluten free, many are egg-free or offer egg-free options (even though our family is no longer egg free, I still try to include egg-free options) and many are dairy free, paleo & GAPS friendly. we don't "follow one specific diet" but our cooking style is best described as "gluten free but inspired by wapf + paleo + raw + realistic."

    Welcome to the adventure we call life!

gluten free pecan oat apple crisp

It’s that time of year, where apples are abundant everywhere.  They are the feature sale item at most grocery stores (our local Earth Fare has had multiple varieties on sale for $0.88/lb).  I currently have a batch of apple butter cooking in the crock pot,  am planning on canning apple sauce this weekend and spent a morning earlier this week at one of our favorite local apple orchards (tuttles orchard) for my middle sons field trip. My favorite apples to cook with are golden delicious.


One of my favorite desserts to make is apple crisp.  Actually, I make all sorts of crisps…they are a quick and easy gluten free dessert and many times people will have no idea they are gluten free.  I rarely make them the same (and typically just throw unmeasured ingredients together), but this version, happens to be one of our favorite combinations.  It is a very simple combination of gluten free rolled oats (I use Bob Red Mills), ground pecans, tapioca starch, chia seeds, coconut oil,  sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  For people who are intimidated by baking a gluten free dessert, I always suggest trying a crisp first, because many combinations of ingredients will work.  I use my nifty little apple corer/peeler only a few times a year (I just usually forget I have it), but my kids love helping slices the apples with it.



gluten free pecan oat apple crisp
recipe type: dessert
  • 8-10 medium golden delicious apples (enough to make a thick layer in 13 x 9 pan)
  • 2 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ cup coconut oil (melted) or butter
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 T. cinnamon (divided)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cane sugar (divided)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp celtic sea salt
  1. Peel, core and chop your apples.
  2. Layer in bottom of a 13 x 9 pan.
  3. Sprinkle ¼ cup of cane sugar and 1 T. of cinnamon on top of the apples and then pour the 1 cup of water and 1 tsp vanilla in.
  4. In another bowl mix together the oats, pecans, tapioca starch, chia seeds, remaining cinnamon, sea salt, brown sugar and remaining ¼ cup of cane sugar.
  5. Mix together well and then pour ½ cup of melted coconut oil over the top.
  6. Work together with you hands and little crumbles will start to form.
  7. Spread crumbles across the top of the apples.
  8. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then reduce to 300 and bake for 45-60 minutes, until topping is lightly brown and apples are tender.
  9. *Hint – we like our topping ground a bit finer, so I run my oats and pecans through my vita-mix grain bin. (a food processor works well also).




October 4, 2014 - 6:20 pm

Sarah - Hi Jennifer,

Great meeting you last night at the reunion last night :). Excited to snoop around on your blog – thanks, this is a GREAT resource!

Can I add you to my blog roll?

Sarah F.

October 16, 2014 - 7:10 pm

sproutedlife - Sarah,

It was a pleasure meeting you guys also! and absolutely you can add us to your blog roll.


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Sauerkraut and Meatballs – A Gluten Free Family Favorite

We are in full swing of a new schedule this year, as my oldest started kindergarten in August.  I am not the most scheduled person and am learning to adapt to a set daily schedule, while trying to balance a 3 year old (who misses his big brother), a super active 1 year old and my freelance design work, yet still make sure that I am feeding my family well.  I am also now having to think ahead about packing lunches five days a week (lunch in our house is almost always dinner leftovers).  Hearty, filling dishes that I can prep in my pockets of free time are now the main items on our dinner menu.  I thought I would share a family favorite today.  Their is nothing wildly original about this recipe (I learned it from my mother-in-law).  It is simple and straight forward, yet delicious and filling and I can pack it the next day in my son’s goodbyn for lunch.

It is so simplistic that the ingredients are usually just ground beef, rice and sauerkraut.  Our local EarthFare has been having their grass-fed ground beef on sale fairly often, making this dish even more affordable.  Because their grass-fed ground beef is so lean, I have been adding a pound of ground pork to the recipe. My favorite sauerkraut for this recipe is Eden Organic.  I have been making this dish up in the morning, and then just pulling it out of the fridge and popping it on the stove an hour before dinner.


Sauerkraut and Meatballs – A Gluten Free Family Favorite
recipe type: Main Dish
  • 2 lbs of grass-fed ground beed
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 jar of sauerkraut
  • 1 cup of white rice (we prefer Lundberg Organic Basmati)
  • ½-1 cup of water or beef broth
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Combine ground beef, ground pork, one cup of rice and a pinch of salt and pepper
  2. Layer bottom of a heavy dutch oven with sauerkraut
  3. Roll handful size meatballs and layer the bottom of the pan, then add another Layer of sauerkraut and add in remaining meatballs
  4. Top with remaining sauerkraut.
  5. Pour about a cup of water or beef broth in the pan (this varies a little with how much liquid was in the jar of sauerkraut)
  6. Cover and cook on stove at medium/medium high heat for about an hour. It will be simmering pretty good and I always check it halfway through to make sure there is enough liquid in the pan for the rice to absorb.
  7. Enjoy!
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chunky chicken salad – a summer favorite

During the summer we keep our freezer stocked full of chicken breasts ready for grilling (we stock up when Earth Fare runs their $2.99 chicken breast special) and make a lot of simple grilled chicken meals.  One of our summer favorites is a fresh chunky chicken salad, loaded with grilled chicken, toasted pecans & almonds, celery and green onions.  It’s a simple meal, but it’s also quick (which is perfect for our busy summers) and packed full of flavor.


Our favorite way to serve it is over fresh salad greens and tomatoes, but a lot of times I make sandwiches for the kids, with toasted Udi’s gluten free bread or in a Food for Life Brown Rice Wrap.  On days that we are super busy, I will grab a rotisserie chicken from Earth Fare and just chop that up (they are currently, featuring their chickens for $5 on Fridays).


chunky chicken salad – a summer favorite
recipe type: lunch or dinner
  • 4 large chicken breasts drizzled with olive oil and Simply Organic Lemon Pepper or Penzey’s Bicentennial Rub. (or 6 cups chopped rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 heaping tsp. coconut oil
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ¾-1 cup organic mayo (I use Spectrum organic)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • salad greens
  • roma tomatoes
  1. Toss chicken breast in olive oil and seasoning of choice (our favorites are Simply Organic Lemon Pepper or Penzey’s Bicentennial Rub).
  2. grill chicken, set aside to cool.
  3. Toast pecans and almonds over low heat in coconut oil and lightly salt.
  4. In a large bowl combine chopped green onion, celery, almonds, pecans and diced chicken. Then stir in mayo, I use about ¾ a cup, but adjust depending to how creamy you like your chicken salad.
  5. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Serve over fresh salad greens and chopped tomatoes
  7. enjoy!


September 8, 2014 - 9:50 pm

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Salmon and Veggie Packets

Spring and summer are my favorite times of the year.  I love fresh seasonal vegetables and meals seem to be inherently lighter.  A quick easy dinner that we like to throw together are baked salmon packets.  The are easy and literally your entire meal is baked all together in a little parchment paper pouch.  I really try to buy wild caught salmon whenever I can get it on sale and our local Earth Fare had it on sale for $8.99/lb the other day, yay!  You can use any combination of vegetables but our favorite is a combination of carrots, zucchini and asparagus (of course these are missing zucchini because I forgot to buy it on my shopping trip).

The most difficult part about making this meal is keeping my 5 year old from eating all the veggies as I cut them. Seriously, these are such a simple, yet satisfying meal…perfect for busy summer nights.  I was actually prepping these before my son’s baseball game so that I could just throw them in the oven when we got home.


Salmon and Veggie Packets
recipe type: Main Dish
prep time: 
cook time: 
total time: 
serves: 4
  • 1 lb wild caught salmon (cut into 4 equal pieces)
  • 4 – carrots
  • 2 – medium zucchini
  • 1 – bunch of asparagus
  • (or any combination of fresh vegetables, sugar snap peas, green beans and yellow squash work well also)
  • olive oil
  • lemon pepper seasoning (I use Simply Organic)
  • salt & pepper
  1. Julienne cut all your vegetables and divide into four servings.
  2. Place each serving of the vegetables on a parchment paper square, and drizzle with a little olive oil and a little salt & pepper.
  3. Place each fresh piece of salmon on top of the vegetables and drizzle with a little more olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning.
  4. seal the parchment paper into packets and staple shut.
  5. back at 400 degrees for approx. 15 mins. (can vary depending on thickness of the salmon)
  6. enjoy!
  7. *Vegetables will still be a little crunchy, so if you like your vegetables cooked more, I would suggest blanching them for 2-3 minutes prior to baking


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Gluten-Free Chocolate Granola

A few weeks ago we had dinner with some good friends, Nate & Amanda (that we don’t see often enough).  Amanda loves discovering new foods was telling me about one of her favorite food blogs, called My New Roots.  She loves the Chocolate buckwheat granola recipe and said that I had to try it.

So of course the next day I decided that I had to make it…Problem, I had no whole buckwheat and no hazelnuts (two key ingredients).  But I did have Gluten free oats, coconut and chia seeds, so I decided to take the basic recipe idea and make my own variation.  I am certain that the flavor profile is pretty different than the original (especially since buckwheat has a pretty strong nutty flavor), but that being said…I love how the original recipe can be easily altered with ingredients that you have on hand and still taste fantastic.  This granola make the perfect snack, especially if you wanted something just a little sweet.  We also served in on top of our favorite local yogurt from Traderspoint Creamery.

chocolateGranola1 Literally, every item is this recipe I keep on hand at all times in my pantry… except the coconut sugar.  Which ironically, I had just picked up a bag at our local Earth Fare because it was on sale and I wanted to try cooking with it. I love the combination of coconut sugar and maple sugar.  It is probably one of my favorite sweetener combinations in baking/cooking.


Gluten-Free Chocolate Granola
recipe type: snack
  • 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats (I use Bod Red Mill’s)
  • 2 cups shredded coconut (flakes work also)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ⅓ cup chia seeds
  • ⅓ cup ground flax seed
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ½ cup organic cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Combine the rolled oats, pecans, shredded coconut, chia seeds, flax seeds and sea salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a saucepan over low to medium heat add the coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla. Whisk until liquid mixture is smooth.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and fold them together until well coated.
  5. Spread the granola mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and press firmly to stick granola together.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 mins until everything is lightly toasted.


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