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!

pumpkin, pumpkin & more pumpkin

last week, i didn’t have a single pumpkin to cook with…and then suddenly this week i was given five.  i love this time of year and pumpkin baked goods, but i am not quite sure what to do with all my pumpkin i acquired.  typically, i would can the extra, but since we move (again) in less than 2 weeks, i am busy prepping freezer meals for the move week and just don’t have time to can it.  i am thinking about freezing it…Anybody have any good experiences with frozen pumpkin puree?

last night i roasted 2 of the pumpkins and from that, i got over 2 cups of roasted pumpkin seeds (my kids love them…see what we do below) and a half-gallon of fresh pumpkin puree.  so today, i have been busy baking with some of my fresh puree.  i tried 2 recipes that my friend lindsey at enjoying healthy foods created recently. {here are the 2 recipes for her pumpkin chocolate chip & pumpkin banana cookies}  both of the cookie variations are gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free (depending if you use chocolate chips or not).  i did make a little  variation to both cookies.  for the first ones, i only used 1/4 cup maple syrup (instead of a 1/2)…not because i thought they would be too sweet, but because literally, i used the last maple syrup i had in the house.  i also, added 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seeds to the cookies.  i have gotten into the habit of adding flax to all my egg-free baking and am typically happy with the results.  oh, and i also didn’t have pumpkin pie spice, so i just used a little cinnamon and fresh nutmeg.

the results, we loved the first recipe…and even with only half of  the maple syrup in the first batch, i thought that they were plenty sweet.  i am glad i added to flax seed as i feel like it helped bind the cookies better.  the second version with the banana were good, i undercooked them a little, but i have to say i liked the purer pumpkin flavor of the first recipe better.  my little boys helped make both batches and while i was getting one batch out of the oven, my 3.5 year old started feeding my 2 year old huge spoonfuls of the batter.  definitely recipes worth trying.

 

i thought would share what we do when we roast pumpkin seeds.  it is super easy, nothing fancy.

roasted pumpkin seeds
author: 
 
Ingredients
  • seeds of fresh pumpkin (approx. 2 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • celtic sea salt
  • any other desired spices
Instructions
  1. rinse and clean pumpkin seeds after pulling them out of the pumpkin.
  2. lay them out on a towel to dry
  3. when seeds are dry, toss with 1 Tbsp of coconut oil and sea salt to taste
  4. add any additional spices (we like plain sea salt best)
  5. on a baking sheet roast in the oven at 350 degrees stirring occasionally until they start to brown. approx. 30 minutes

 

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when we need bread – {gluten free, egg-free pudgy pies}

fall is here and i love it!  for us that means a lot of nights hanging out around a fire with family & friends and “pudgy pies.”  i love pudgy pies, not necessarily because they are gourmet meals, but because of the experience of making them and the memories they trigger of fun evenings around a fire with friends.

the pudgy pie below were made when we were hanging out on my husband’s families’ farm.  his mom, created an entire gluten-free pudgy pie station and scrubbed down the cast-iron pudgy pie makers for us. our little boys loved them and the experience.

so what’s in our pudgy pies?

we like to make pizza ones:

  • 2 slices of gluten-free, egg-free homemade bread (buttered – use earth balance or coconut oil for dairy-free)
  • pizza sauce (our favorite is muir glen organic pizza sauce)
  • browned ground beef or sausage
  • pepperoni (our favorite is applegate farms)
  • topped with raw sharp cheddar cheese
another favorite is to actually make dessert ones filled with pie filling (cherry or apple are my favorites).

 

 

bread is core to a pudgy pie…so what do i do when we need gluten-free, egg-free bread?

we eat so little gluten free bread, that i rarely buy any, unless i am in a major pinch and need it fast (but even then, they aren’t usually egg free for my son).  there are a lot of gluten free breads on the market and they are getting better, but i honestly don’t love any of them and most have egg in it. early on in my gluten free days, i did eat millet & flax seed bread made by sami’s bakery, but unfortunately because of cross-contamination issues in their bakeries, it isn’t safe for me or any celiacs. i hope that some day they get their act together, because i really did like their products.

because we eat bread so little, i typically will just make my own.  i have a millet flour one that we like (i promise to share that recipe at some point), but a lot of times i am throwing stuff in the bread maker at the last minute, so when that happens i use bob’s red mill gluten-free homemade wonderful bread mix.  it is easy, and quick and makes a pretty good gluten free loaf in a bread maker.  i follow the instructions on the bag (except, for the egg and i use almond milk or flax milk in it).  for this particular bread, i make 2 flax seed eggs {6 Tbsp water, 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed, and about a tsp. of coconut oil), but then i also add 1 heaping Tbsp of chia seeds right to the dry mix in the bread machine.

every bread maker is different.  mine actually has a gluten-free setting on it, but i feel like that never quite gets the bread cooked, so i always add 10-15 minutes of baking time at the end of the cycle.  you don’t want to undercook gluten free bread…it will just collapse.

if anybody has any other, quick fool proof bread recipes, i would love to try them!

 

 

October 25, 2012 - 2:49 am

Kasie - We LOVE pudgy pies, too! Everyone here looks at us like we’re crazy when we talk about them so it’s nice to find a kindred spirit:)

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preschool & gluten free play-dough

i love our boys’ preschool (today is our youngest, first day ever going).  i love the socialization they get from it, love the creative activities they engage in and their teacher’s absolutely love on them.  plus, it gives me a much needed 8 hours a week to work, schedule client meetings, run errands or even just meet my husband for a kid-free lunch out (we celebrated today and met at coopers hawk – they have a fantastic gluten-free menu and my cobb chicken salad was delicious)

last night, i was the mom running around in circles, filling out all my little boys preschool paperwork, loading backpacks, labeling supplies, packing lunches and of course, making gluten-free play-dough!  i love play-dough, my kids love play-dough, but i don’t love the wheat it is made out of. anybody with gluten free kids, knows the pain of play0dough.  you can buy gluten free play-dough, but it is pretty pricey, and since i am making it for 2 kids for home, preschool & church classrooms, making our own is much more budget friendly and it’s pretty simple too.

{we have used the store-bought, soy-yer dough, and my kids loved it also + it is an indiana local small business, so i like that too.}

here are a few tricks i have learned from making many batches:

  • most recipes say to heat on low while stirring until play-dough pulls away from pan…i have found that of you start on medium to high heat and let it heat faster until it starts to stick, than reduce to low, it turns out less sticky.  (i don’t know why this helps, but it does…just be careful not to burn it.)
  • gluten-free play-dough will become less sticky as it starts to cool down.
  • if it remains sticky after it starts to cool, keep kneading in cornstarch until it is the desired consistency.
  • i always knead my food coloring in at the end as it is cooling…the times i added it to the original ingredients, i get a sticky mess.
  • i always make it in small batches and then combine if i want larger amounts of each color.  big batches, just don’t seem to work as well.
gluten free play-dough
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup white rice flour
  • ¾ cup cornstarch (you can use arrowroot for kids with corn allergies)
  • ¾ cup iodized salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cream of tartar (I always do a heaping Tbsp.)
  • 2 tsp. grape seed or olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups hot water
  • food coloring if desired
Instructions
  1. in a pot, combine all of the dried ingredients, the oil & hot water.
  2. turn on the heat to med-high and begin stirring.
  3. as soon as the ingredients start to stick a little, reduce the heat to low and continue stirring.
  4. play-dough will begin to form a ball and pull away from the edges (typically, about 3-4 minutes).
  5. remove from heat and place ball into glass bowl and allow to cool a little.
  6. once the play-dough is cool enough to handle, you can knead in food coloring if desired.
  7. if it is too sticky, knead in a little cornstarch until you reach desired consistency.
  8. it does become less sticky as it cools.
  9. store in an airtight container or ziploc bag.

 

here are a few photos of my little guys before we headed of to preschool this morning.  my youngest was not sure about the heavy back pack he was wearing!

note on lunches:  {i promise i will share this year some of what my boys eat for school…we are using the goodbyn eco-system this year}

 

September 5, 2012 - 12:15 am

Jennifer - I’m going to have to try your heating tip, because mine always ends up sticky. I just read on another blog too about using glycerin, which is supposed to give the playdough that real smooth feel we get with the professional stuff. I’m going to give that a shot too. Thanks!

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nut truffle with blueberry-basil sauce

random note: {i have been a terrible blogger…i am just going to blame it on moving and move on!  i actually made this dessert a few weeks ago and it was amazing!..so i am finally sharing it}

in our csa share a few weeks ago, we got a huge bunch of basil and lots of blueberries.  i love basil, but I have been running out of ideas and inspiration on how to use it. i have made enough tomato and basil recipes in the last few weeks!  so i went hunting for ideas and absolutely loved the result.  it is completely inspired & adapted from two different recipes, from two different indianapolis local bloggers, who i really repect.

The base for the nut truffle was inspired by the recipe from the {summer berry bars} by lindsey at enjoyinghealtlyfoods.  i didn’t have any walnuts on hand, so i used pecans, added some vanilla and decided to turn them into individual truffles.  the sauce for the topping was based off of  {the old-fashioned blueberry-basil preserves} from katy at katyshecooks.  her take on lacto-fermented blueberry-basil preserves was very intriguing to me, but I didn’t have any whey (plus, i am dairy-free again) and I didn’t figure fermenting with sea salt would work on this recipe. {maybe it would? maybe it would make it to salty? thinking about trying it…but really i was just impatient and wanted something that evening for dessert}.

the end result, turned out to be these cute little desserts that had an amazing combination of flavors.  we will definitely be making these again.  the nut truffle bases could handle a bunch of different sauces.  I think chocolate and raspberry may be a good combination to try next.

 

nut truffle with blueberry-basil sauce
recipe type: gluten free dessert
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pecans (i soak, sprout & dehydrate mine)
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 8 dates (pitted & soaked in water for 1 hour)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (almond extract would work also)
  • ……………………
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • ⅓ cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ cup. chopped basil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½tsp. gelatin (or another thickening agent)
Instructions
  1. crush pecans in a food processor and then add coconut and almond flour and pulse until desired consistency.
  2. add in coconut oil, dates and vanilla and process until well incorporated.
  3. using a ¼ cup cookie baller (big melon baller), scope out nut mixture, pressing each one tightly in scoop.
  4. place truffles on parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. in a small saucepan cook 1 ½ cup of blueberries, honey & sea salt. bring to a simmer and let reduce down (approx. 5-10 mins).
  6. allow to cool slightly
  7. in food-processor add cooked blueberry mixture, remaining blueberries, lemon juice & basil and puree until smooth.
  8. serve truffles topped with warm blueberry-basil sauce!

 

shared on: pennywise platter, food renegade, slightly indulgent tuesday, & simple lives thursday

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beef, rice & yellow squash skillet dish

it’s moving week in our house!  it feels like we have been prepping to move forever.  we are temporarily moving into a basement apartment (8-12 weeks) so most of our stuff has to go into storage…which has made packing a little more challenging.  needless to say, this week will be full of simple quick meals!  i am still trying to eat down our pantry & freezer and every ingredient in this dish i had on hand.  (the onions and yellow squash were from our CSA share last week).

we don’t eat a ton of gluten free grains, but the four main ones that we still incorporate into meals are rice, corn, quinoa and some gf rolled oats.  one thing i am pretty strict on is what i cook my rice and quinoa in.  i very rarely just cook it in water, but instead always try to use homemade bone broth (i freeze it in big batches).  i could write a huge long post on the benefits and nutrients packed into bone broth (and after this move, i will).  i drink a big mug of it everyday, but getting it into my kids is fairly challenging.  i have found that cooking grains and other dishes in it, is a fool proof way to get some broth into my family’s diet. here is my quick: beef, rice and yellow squash skillet dish!

 

beef, rice & yellow squash skillet dish
author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups bone broth (i used beef)
  • 1 ½ cups brown rice
  • 1 lb. grass-fed beef
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut or olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion (diced finely)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 yellow squash
  • salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. cook rice in bone broth (i use a rice steamer, but can easily be done on stovetop)
  2. in a skillet, sauté diced onion & crushed garlic in 1 T. coconut oil.
  3. when onion becomes translucent, add in beef and cook until brown.
  4. toss in sliced yellow squash and cook down for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
  5. when squash becomes slightly soft add in the cooked rice, remaining coconut or olive oil.
  6. mix together well and add in salt & pepper to desired flavor
  7. serve!

 

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