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!

earth fare wrap up

today, i got the opportunity to walk through the new earth fare store opening in noblesville/fishers tomorrow.  i have mentioned that we are super excited about having a new health food store so close…i mean literally minutes from our house.

so, i thought i would highlight a few items that i learned today from my visit and some tips for gluten-free shoppers.

  • check out the wall right when you enter, that is always their “value wall” where they will have discounted specials to stock up on.
  • bulk bins – they have a large selection and obviously this is a much more economical way to shop. 
    • what does “bulk bins” mean for people who have to eat gluten free and need to avoid cross contamination?
      • a lot of the “gluten free” items are in the overhead pour bins, which helps lessen the chance of cross-contamination
      • bins are always used for the same items, so they don’t switch up a gluten free item with a gluten-containing item, which is good to know.
      • obviously, use your judgment.  the cane sugar is by the whole-wheat flour, so for me personally, the savings isn’t worth the risk, but the millet is in a put bin overhead, not by any gluten containing items, so i would buy from that.
  • coffee & tea selection
    • my husband is going to love their selection, a ton of fair trade, direct trade and organic options.  they have both packaged and bulk bins with coffee
    • they have a nice tea selection, including a small section of loose-leaf tea. i am very happy that they have a few green teas, definitely will be trying those out.
  • don’t see an item you want? ask.
    • one of their commitments is to getting customers items that they desire or to introduce new items.  i was told that many times they could order you an item to come monthly with their shipments.  so if you don’t see something you are looking for, ask.
  • gluten-free sections
    • gluten-free items aren’t necessarily grouped in sections, but they do have tags denoting gluten-free items to help with the selection
    • also, look for the sections on shelves that have a “wood” bar on the shelf (it will make sense when you see it).  everything in those areas is gluten-free.
    • if you have a question. ask.
  • local items and preferred producers
    • they will label items if they come from a 100-mile radius and they also feature some of the small farms & producers that they work with nationally and those will be labeled too.

overall, the was cheerful and friendly, a lot of selection and a lot of items on sale! and i promise that i will have a bunch of fall recipes to share shortly!  i grabbed a few photos from their facebook page to share…as i went to the store straight from voting and didn’t think to take my camera.

 

i did want to remind all the winners in the earth fare $30 dollars in 30 days contest that they need to pick up their gift cards at new earth fare store.  you have from tomorrow, november 7th- 11th to pick them up.  a list of the winners are below…if you did not receive an email from me, with details please contact me a.s.a.p.

  • melody c.
  • lilian h.
  • lindsey n.
  • mark l.
  • kim f.
  • kim g.
  • keith c.
  • rachelle p.
  • margrete m.
  •  lindsey m.
  •  meggan s.
  •  kathy g.
  •  ryan f.
  •  holly s.
  •  kyle m.
  •  kay n.
  •  erin l.
  •  judith m.
  •  melissa m.
  •  marcia f.
  •  lisa s.
  •  david f.
  •  lisa h.
  •  carrol b.
  •  melody s.
  •  michelle m.
  •  cameron g.
  •  lexie g.
  •  sara c.
  •  julie e.
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30 days – $30 giveaway – earth fare noblesville

not gonna lie, i was a little bummed when border’s shut down at the outdoor mall near us.  {i know, i know…first world pain} but it was a favorite little hang out for my husband and i when we needed some time away from the kids.  needless to say, i was so excited when i saw the banner hanging on the building welcoming “earth fare” this fall.

don’t get me wrong, we live in fishers.  we are spoiled, we have both a whole foods & trader joes about 25 minutes away and farmer’s markets galore, but there are always those times when i decide on a whim that i want to make something, that i have none of the ingredients for and having more organic, nutritious options nearby is very exciting. earth fare will literally be less than 5 minutes from our house.  if i am adventurous, i could even ride my bike with the boys in the bike trailer there.

my first experience at an earth fare, was 3 year ago, when i was looking for gluten-free foods while on vacation in the carolina’s and we happened to visit the charlotte store. overall, i was very impressed by the selection, the local options and the prices.  as a store, their motto is “eat better. live longer.  spend less. start now.”  i love that they have a list of banned food products and that they work hard to keep prices affordable.  i am excited to have another healthy super market and the convenience of how close we are to it is an added bonus!

earth fare is set to open in noblesville at the hamilton town center on november 7th.  as part of welcoming earth fare to the area, the sprouted life is taking part of their “30 days, 30 dollars” contest.  we will be giving away a $30 gift card {for the noblesville earth fare only} every day for the next 30 days. yes, we are giving away $900 in gift cards!

how to enter:

it is a simple contest.  all you have to do is comment on this blog post one time and tell us why you are excited about the new earth fare store or how you would spend your $30 gift card.  this will enter you for a chance to win all 30 days. each day, starting monday, october 8th,  a generator will randomly select a winner.

to double your chances, “like us” on facebook and your name will be entered in the drawing twice.  {if you already like the sprouted life, like the post on the facebook about the contest, and you will receive your second entry)

to triple your chances - share the contest link from the sprouted life’s facebook page to your friends on facebook and you will be entered in the drawing a third time!

all the other details:

each person is eligible to only win one gift card.
this offer is for the noblesville, indiana store only
winners will need to be available to pick up their gift cards in person at the noblesville store november 7th – 11th
please make sure your comment has a valid email address, this is how i will notify winners and daily winners will also be posted on the sprouted life’s facebook page.

 

join us in welcoming earth fare to the northside of indianapolis!

 

***comments may take a bit to appear, because of a recent spam barrage on my blog, i have tightened the spam blockers***
October 5, 2012 - 1:47 am

Kim - Affordable, healthy food is always exciting! Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are great, but extremely expensive! Looking forward to shopping at a store that stocks healthy food AND is budget conscious!

October 5, 2012 - 2:09 am

Melissa Millis - Totally psyched about Earth Fare! The reasons are too many to count…I hate traffic (even a 20 minute commute to the next health food store), I like the idea of shopping more often for more fresh items to use in meals, I could ride my bike there to shop, I can hit the play ground just outside the store (for my kids)…did I mention that I hate traffic?! :)

October 5, 2012 - 2:45 am

Cameron Geesaman - Very excited about Earth Fare being so close as well. I can’t wait!! Everyone I have spoken with and talked with from Earth Fare have been amazing.

October 5, 2012 - 3:38 am

Sarah - We are SO excited for Earth Fare to open! We love eating healthy, and while we have several natural/organic food stores nearby, it will be fantastic having one only 5 minutes away! Won’t have to deal with traffic, love that it has a great selection & it’s affordable, and I love that there’s a Kids Eat Free night! :)

October 5, 2012 - 12:11 pm

Kim F - We are very excited to have a Health Food store so close to our home. Counting down the days to Earth Fare opening! We are also excited for the Kids Eat Free night. :-)

October 5, 2012 - 1:20 pm

keith - My wife and I are looking forward to the opening! Their prices appear to be better than Whole Foods and Trader Joes. I will be spending all of my $30 on hummus to share with Brian at work. Our office mates love the smell.

October 5, 2012 - 1:23 pm

Carrol Brown - This $30 will get me started on a Gluten free diet. I have been putting ths off for a year now. Because of my 20 pounds overweight, I need to focus on the Gluten Free Diet which is one of the reasons I am overweight. Now there is a store near by so I can focus on that diet.

October 5, 2012 - 1:37 pm

Judith Matas - My husband and I are retirees and I am trying to make healthy food so that we will be as healthy as possible during these golden years. I am excited to have Earth Fare close so that we have affordable, organic, healthy food available.

October 5, 2012 - 1:49 pm

Ryan Foust - Proximity will be great and they have bulk items.

October 5, 2012 - 1:52 pm

mark - Been needing a store like this in Fishers/Noblesville for a long time!

October 5, 2012 - 2:11 pm

Michelle - Anxiously awaiting Earth Fare- love them!

October 5, 2012 - 2:22 pm

Lilian - I’d love to check out their nut supply and other staples like olive oil and tomato paste–the stuff I’d buy at WF but without the long trek:)

October 5, 2012 - 2:55 pm

Renee - I’m just excited to have something that is right around the corner! No more driving 20min+.

October 5, 2012 - 4:23 pm

Lindsey @ enjoying healthy foods - I am extremely excited for Earth Fare’s bulk section but looking for to just the store in general!

October 5, 2012 - 4:26 pm

Adam - Looking forward to having another quality store around.

October 5, 2012 - 4:44 pm

Rachelle - EarthFare is very near my house. I’m looking forward to checking it out! If I had a $30 gift card…I would probably look for some new items that I have not tried before…and who knows…maybe I would get hooked and shop there all the time.

October 5, 2012 - 4:57 pm

Mallory - Very exciting to see another option for organic foods in the area! Could definitely put the $30 to good use :)

October 5, 2012 - 5:47 pm

Holly Sayer - Very excite for a health food store nearby!

October 5, 2012 - 5:54 pm

Jennifer - Oh how I would love a gift card to shop at this great store!!!!!

October 5, 2012 - 6:27 pm

Julie Earlewine - I am so excited to have organic options closer to home!! Yay for Earth Fare!!!

October 5, 2012 - 7:32 pm

Kyle - I am very curious to see what healthy options Earth Fare has to offer.

October 5, 2012 - 9:31 pm

Marcia Foust - I am excited because my som is thrilled. So I would give the gift card as a surprise to him …..shhh…,don’t tell him

October 5, 2012 - 9:31 pm

Marcia Foust - I am excited because my som is thrilled. So I would give the gift card as a surprise to him …..shhh…,don’t tell him

October 6, 2012 - 1:07 am

Erin - So excited to have Earth Fare coming! I have been following them on Facebook and their store looks amazing! $30 gift card would be great! :)

October 6, 2012 - 1:53 am

Lexie - I love to shop organic when I can! But Whole Paycheck…I mean Whole Foods ;) can get pretty expensive. I will definitely be checking out Earth Fare when it opens!

October 6, 2012 - 2:47 pm

Mel Carpenter - We would be a fan of a $30 gift card to organic shopping! Thank you!!!! :)

October 6, 2012 - 7:00 pm

John - We buy a lot of “healthy” food, which can get expensive. I like the idea of saving money on gas and not having to spend as much time in the car to get what we need.

October 7, 2012 - 12:57 am

Jen P. - So excited about this new store! We are just beginning the journey towards living a more organic, healthy life. We are looking forward to buying healthy fruits, veggies and other products at Earth Fare. Thanks!

October 8, 2012 - 12:12 pm

Lisa Hawkins - A bit of a drive for me, but…so is everyplace else. If the prices are as good as people say, it’s worth it! Anxious to check it out!

October 8, 2012 - 12:26 pm

Kay Niedenthal - It will be great to have another healthy shopping alternative closeby. I’ll be shopping for organic produce and meat. With farmers markets winding down, I hope they’ve met some of our great local farmers and will stock their wares.

October 8, 2012 - 1:59 pm

Mandi H - This is wonderful news for our community! I would love to use the gift card to explore the store and find new gfree products!

October 8, 2012 - 2:13 pm

Melody Stiles - I always get really excited for a new store in our area! My daughter and her family moved to the Noblesville area about a year ago, shortly before finding out Celiac Disease is a problem in our family. Both of my granddaughters and daughter are impacted physically. Their entire household is now gluten free. I cannot WAIT to give my daughter the good news about this store! SO much closer to home:)

October 8, 2012 - 3:00 pm

Bonnie Hogan - We’re so excited to have more choices for organic and gluten free cooking! Budget friendly is a major bonus!!

October 8, 2012 - 4:59 pm

Sara Carpenter - Hooray for healthy choices made more convenient! And to keep you inspired for blogging, hot momma :)

October 8, 2012 - 6:57 pm

Nancy O'Dell - I am really excited about Earth Fare coming to this area! When I visist my Aunt in Greensboro North Carilona I always go to their store and stocked up on items that I cannot get here in Indy!

October 8, 2012 - 7:07 pm

Lisa - I’m excited to have a new store for my gluten free shopping!

October 8, 2012 - 9:04 pm

Kathy Gray - I’m very excited to have a new health food store so close to home!

October 9, 2012 - 12:47 am

Linzy - I love Earth Fare! I haven’t had the opportunity to shop there since I lived in Charleston, SC, where I frequented it often. Thanks Jenn!

October 9, 2012 - 3:36 pm

amanda reynolds - Yay for a new healthy grocery store!! I’ve never shopped at one before but am excited to check it out!! How fun for your blog too :) Go jen!!

October 9, 2012 - 7:49 pm

Meggan - This will be a great place to not only get groceries, but also get lunch while shopping at Hamilton Towne Center. Great alternative to the burgers and fries the kiddos usually ask for!

October 9, 2012 - 10:52 pm

robin - I am very excited to know there will be a better alternative to the average grocery store. as the groceries are becoming more aware, it is the knowledge that make earth fare stand out!! WELCOME!!! to our city! (i hear you are coming to Carmel as well…YAY!!)

October 10, 2012 - 1:19 pm

Margarete - I have never heard of Earth Fare, but looking forward to exploring the store when it opens. I am always trying to get my husband to eat a more healthy diet and I am thankful he is open to tasting new recipes and foods. Excited to see what is new at Earth Fare!

October 15, 2012 - 4:25 pm

Lindsey - I super excited to have this store so close to home!! Can’t wait see what they have to offer!!

October 18, 2012 - 12:10 am

Sacha - ooooh ooooh oooooh how wonderful <3
congratulations xx

October 25, 2012 - 2:46 am

Kasie Miller - Oh no-I may not sleep for 3 days now that you’ve introduced me to your blog! Can’t wait to read and try your ideas!

And I’m SOOOO excited that Earth Fare is coming! FINALLY, I can stop spending 30 minutes in the car trying to find fresh, organic foods. I have so many ideas for how to spend $30 that I don’t know where to begin. Just know that I would spend it (and more!) so joyfully. And who knows, it’s so close that maybe I’ll walk there. Or maybe not. Baby steps:)

October 25, 2012 - 1:05 pm

Adam Mason - Excited to be able to take a quick trip to a store that I won’t have to worry about the quality of food I am purchasing for my family. I hope the prices are reasonable, but I rarely mind paying a buck or so to get better things for my family.

October 26, 2012 - 7:42 pm

David Fitch - Yea! excited for new health food store

November 5, 2012 - 12:16 pm

Danielle Dalton - I saw the new store in Noblesville as I was returning home from work today. I am so excited to have a natural supermarket so close to home now! A $30 gift card would be icing on the cake…gluten free of course. :)

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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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