Homemade Almond Milk

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When you are faced with having to eliminate dairy out of your diet due to a intolerance, it can be a scary, sad and intimidating experience.  To have to give up an entire food group that had been so enjoyable to eat had me feeling all of those emotions and more.  I quickly had to find a replacement for my gluten-free, grain free cereals and O.M.G what about my coffee!?!?  That’s when I started to look into nut and coconut milks.  I learned how to incorporate them into my cooking to thicken up sauces, make soups and even used it in my beloved coffee.  Could it be that going dairy free wasn’t so bad?  Did I miss all that creamy, tasty dairy?  Heck yes, but not having debilitating nausea and vomiting was a very good trade-off to me!   In the beginning, I was buying your typical run of the mill boxed almond milk but quickly graduated to making my own, without all the extra wonky stuff in the long list of ingredients.  It’s not that hard and tastes 1000% better than from the box.  Its well worth making and is super easy!  I hope you will give it a try.

What you will need:

  1. Almonds
  2. Powerful blender ( I have a Vitamix )
  3. Nut Milk Bag ( ordered mine from Amazon )

 

How-to Make Homemade Raw Almond Milk:

*adapted from Tasty Yummies*

  • 1 heaping cup whole, raw, organic NON roasted almonds ( I use raw and organic )
  • 4-6 cups water (you can use more depending on how “thick” you want it, I used about 5 cups)
  • Pinch of salt ( I use Pink Himalayan Sea Salt )

Start by soaking the almonds in water covered in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.  During this 24 hours I generally will rinse the almonds and change out the water two times, you will see how dirty the water becomes. . . yikes!

After 24 hours drain and rinse the almonds and then place them into your blender.  Add your 4-6 cups ( or more if you choose ) of filtered or bottled water and your pinch of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt.

Cover and blend on high for 1-2 minutes.  It will resemble the color of milk and have some foamy, frothy bubbles on the top.   I like to let my almond milk settle for about 30 minutes then take a large spoon and skim the foam off.

Strain it through your nut milk bag, squeeze the bag so the milk goes into a large bowl.  I use two 4 cup glass Pyrex measuring cups.  You will have to empty the almond pulp from the bag each time you squeeze the milk through. Don’t throw it away put it in a freezer bag to make your own almond meal to bake with later!

Store your almond milk in a covered container.  It should last 5-7 days, but I have always used my milk up by around the 5th day.

congratulations!!!!  You just made your own healthy, super tasting Almond Milk to use in sauces, cereals, soups, coffee, tea or on its own with some gluten-free, paleo treats!

ADDITIONAL MIX IN’S:

I have made some flavored almond milks as well.  I always keep this unsweetened version in my refrigerator but here are some mix in’s that I love to do:

  1. Honey ( 1-2 TBSP )
  2. Dates ( about 3 )
  3. Raw Cacao Powder
  4. Vanilla Extract ( please be aware that you will taste that “alcohol’ish” after taste due to the vanilla extract not being heated to cook off that “alcohol” taste )
  5. Strawberries ( fresh and freeze-dried )

Any of those combinations taste great and you really can’t go wrong.  Please feel free to contact me If you have any questions and I would be more than willing to try to answer them!

Enjoy!

~Lori

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lactose Intolerance after Gastric Bypass

When it came to food related intolerance or allergies in my pre-gastric bypass life, nothing stood out to me as something that I was having issues with.  When I look back now with a better understanding about food intolerance and allergies I can see where gluten along with other highly inflammatory foods may have played a role in some of my health issues like migraines, joint pain, stones in my gall bladder, Keratosis Pilaris on the backs of my arms, and constant battling with my weight.  And when it came to milk or dairy products, I simply didn’t have any problems to speak of.  Fast forward about 8 years and that’s now a different story!

Now, before we dive too much further into this, lets just clear up exactly what I mean by dairy or milk in this post shall we?  Today, I’m speaking strictly about the dairy or milk that comes from a cow, not from goats or sheep.  I’m doing this for a couple of reasons.  First, cow’s milk carries a much higher incidence of intolerance, even among non bariatric people.  Second, the intolerance that I have developed since my surgery is specifically related to cow’s milk and has lately become one of the more commonly reported side effects associated with bariatric surgery (Roux-en-Y and Vertical Gastric Sleeve).  The foods that I am speaking of are the more common forms of dairy that everyone is  familiar with, starting with the obvious milk and cream and moving along to yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream and cheeses.  Another point worth mentioning is the importance of distinguishing between an allergy and an intolerance.  According to The Mayo Clinic, a dairy allergy means immediately or within a couple of hours after consuming milk hives, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, runny nose, watery eyes and abdominal cramps may develop.  An intolerance to dairy is bloating, diarrhea and gas.  So, are we clear as mud now?  Awesome!  Let us move on.

Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar found in milk.  We are born with an enzyme in our small intestine called lactase, that gives infants the ability to break down our mothers milk.  Even though this enzyme is genetically controlled, as we age the presence of lactase begins to diminish around the age of two when babies are typically weaned.  In some people, the reduction of lactase production does not start to occur until around the age of twenty and in more rare occasions lactose production will continue at sufficient enough levels to enable a person to consume milk through out their life (anthro.palomar.edu).

Lets look at the pre-bariatric stomach ( see photos below ).  When you consume dairy products the normal anatomy of the stomach is designed to slowly release the milk into the small intestine where there usually is enough lactase to handle breaking down small amounts of milk at a time.  At this point depending on the individual you may or may not experience digestive issues.  After gastric bypass surgery the dairy that you eat passes directly through the gastric pouch into the small intestine at a much, much faster rate.  The milk or dairy containing food overwhelms the already limited lactase and the symptoms of intolerance will appear (nybg.com).  It took me a while to figure out what was causing my nausea, vomiting and feeling “fluish” aftere I would consume dairy products like milk, ice cream, yogurt and cottage cheese.  This feeling at times would last for hours or until my body completely rejected it and vomited.  Sorry for the visual, but it is the reality of gastric bypass and I’m always going to be honest.  Eventually I figured it out and eliminated eating all dairy except for the very rare treat of organic, raw, grass-fed cheese.

“But then how do you get in enough calcium?”  I get this question quite a bit.  In addition to taking my calcium supplements, I really try to eat foods that are calcium rich, like:

  • Broccoli
  • Dark Leafy Greens
  • Kale
  • Collard Greens
  • Arugla
  • Oranges
  • Figs
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Almonds

The amount of lactose varies from food to food.  It is possible to not be able to drink milk or eat ice cream even in the smallest amount, but find it possible to  tolerate a small amount of high quality cheese.  The lactose content in foods is measured in grams (g).  In my researching the web I found nearly every single guide or chart listed very different lactose values.  This total lack of consistency is frustrating, but here are a couple of web sites you can check out on your own if you are interested:

So as a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass patient, I have found that I absolutely cannot tolerate Milk, ice cream, cottage cheese or yogurt.  These foods are 100% guaranteed to make me wish for sudden death!  Foods that are a gamble for me, meaning one day I may do fine with them but then not be able to tolerate the next, are sour cream, half and half, heavy cream and hard cheeses.  When I buy any of these, I get them organic, full fat and grass-fed.

I hope that you find some of this helpful in understanding why most gastric bypass patients cannot tolerate dairy any longer.  Remember that it is entirely possible to get your calcium from non-dairy foods.  You just have to venture beyond the traditional wisdom of dairy being the only way to get in your calcium!

Have a great week and get in those leafy greens!

~Lori

 

 

 

Normal anatomy of non-bariatric digestive system.

 

Gastric Bypass~ Roux-en-Y

 

 

Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

Hi everyone,  Its been a while and It’s really nice to be back!  Today I thought I would share with you a baked treat because it’s Friday aaaaaaaand it’s a three. . .  count em, one, two, three day weekend!!!

The hysterical and very talented Julie Bauer from PaleOMG and kind-hearted George Bryant from Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations have teamed up to bring you their cookbook The Paleo Kitchen.  When I received my copy last week immediately I was drawn in by the beautiful photography and over 100 brand new recipes!  There was one in particular that seemed to be calling me, begging me to put the spotty, black bananas on my counter out of their misery.  Cinnamon. Chocolate. Banana Bread.  Yes folks, a pretty tasty combination of flavors wouldn’t you agree?  Well, If you love any of those flavors you are in for a very tasty treat!   I knew that this was the recipe I wanted to share with you from the Breakfast chapter of the book.

Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

Yield: 1 (9-by-5-inch/23-by-12-cm) loaf

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

For the banana bread:

  • 4 medium bananas (about 1 pound/455 grams)
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup (½ stick/50 grams) grass-fed butter, melted  ( I used coconut oil to keep it dairy free )
  • ½ cup (125 grams) almond butter
  • ½ cup (60 grams)coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt  ( I used sea salt )

For the swirl:

  • 2 TBSP grass-fed butter  ( I used coconut oil to keep it dairy free )
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (3½ ounces/100 grams) Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • 1 TBSP organic honey

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-12-cm) metal loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the bananas, eggs, butter, and almond butter in a food processor or mixing bowl and mix well until the ingredients are well blended. Add the coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and salt and mix together well.
  3. In a double boiler over medium-low heat, mix together the swirl ingredients until the chocolate has melted.
  4. Pour the bread batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. As soon as you pour the batter, pour the chocolate swirl directly on top and use a knife to swirl the chocolate throughout the loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before serving ( but I dare you to try to wait that long!!!!! )

This simple, healthy bread is grain-free, gluten-free and does not have any refined sugar to contribute to the miserable feeling of “dumping syndrome.”  I was able to have a slice with coffee and maintained my blood sugar well beyond that dreaded 90 minute mark. With the use of coconut flour, it was much easier on my digestion,  without causing any nausea or vomiting.  I decided to make it dairy free and substituted Tropical Traditions Gold Label Organic Coconut Oil just to see if it would work and It came out great!

This recipe can easily be enjoyed by gastric bypass patients as an occasional treat when you are advanced to the stage III bariatric diet ( and beyond )

A few things about The Paleo Kitchen cookbook:

Before you run off into your kitchen to make this satisfying treat I just want to mention some important things about this valuable cookbook.

Julie & George have given you over 100 brand new recipes that will appeal to any level of home cook or easily be adapted to fit what ever stage of the bariatric diet you are currently following.  Here’s a small example of what you will find!

  •  Sage and Shallot Delicata Squash Soup
  •   Citrus Mint Sugar Salad
  •   Lemon Raspberry Swirl Muffins
  •   Baked Banana Chip French Toast
  •   Creamy Seafood Risotto
  •   Pepper Crusted Prime Rib
  •   Asian Marinated Wrapped Asparagus
  •  Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
  •  Blueberry Cheesecake
  •  Lime Pound Cake with Coconut Lime Frosting
  • Orange Cream Smoothie
  • Banana Berry Smoothie

The book also has practical advice for grocery shopping, transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, making better choices when eating out and much more.  You can pre-order The Paleo Kitchen through Amazon and  Barnes & Noble right now before the release date of June 10th.  It’s a great addition to your healthy living cookbooks!

 

Have a safe & fun weekend!

~Lori

 

DISCLAIMER: I do not receive any compensation from any of the brand names that I mention and use in this post .

You Do WHAT to Your Coffee?!

Bulletproof Mocha
Bulletproof Mocha

It’s not a secret that I’m a coffee L-O-V-E-R.  I really, really enjoy a good cup of Joe.  My deep love for coffee can easily be compared to the way people enjoy and get pleasure out of a fine wine or a good beer.  When I first started drinking it, it was your typical grocery store, run of the mill, ground coffee in the tin can, and in a pinch even instant coffee would make an appearance. . . .  Don’t judge.  I was young and naive!  But it wasn’t long before I was introduced to coffee shops and a better tasting brew.  I started locally with Java City, moved on to Starbucks and then up to Peet’s Coffee & Tea.  Most recently I have become a huge fan of Temple Coffee Roasters here in Sacramento.  That’s when I really started developing my coffee snobbery!  I have come a very long way in developing my still developing taste for coffee.  I used to drink all those super sugary concoctions and add the horribly fake, artificially flavored coffee creamers and think I was being healthy because they were low calorie and low fat.  Besides the empty calories I was consuming, their massive sugar content would cause my blood sugar to drop (refractory hypoglycemia) about an hour to an hour and a half after I drank it.  It took many years for me to kick the sweet, sugary habit but once I did my blood sugars became more manageable and I noticed I didn’t crave the sweetness anymore.  I found I really liked the taste of a good quality, properly roasted and brewed coffee.  I started drinking it without any sugar or artificial sweeteners and added half and half, until I found I needed to eliminate dairy – even from my morning coffee.  So now when Paul and I head to one of our favorite coffee houses, almond milk is my “milk” of choice.  Temple Coffee Roasters and Peet’s Coffee offer almond milk in case you are wondering.

So what if you could make your coffee work for you?  As in provide you with incredible nutritional value by including some essential fats and antioxidants, and helping to aid in the absorption of fat-soluable vitamins, maintain feelings of satiety, along with a non-jittery level of energy and still taste ah-maze-ing?  Maybe you’ve heard of Bulletproof Coffee? This wonderful brand was founded by Dave Asprey, a Silicon Valley investor and life hacker.  His trademarked formula and brew is quite specific and requires specifically grown beans that are free from mycotoxins which are linked to many health problems.  Even though Dave has trademarked this brand and term, whenever you hear anyone speak about “bulletproof coffee” or “butter coffee” they are simply meaning that they add 100% grass-fed butter and MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides) to their morning cup of Joe!

I first thought this idea was gross and was seriously skeptical about the claims.  Who wants to suck down an oil slick and how could you even think about putting those ingredients into a perfectly good, pure cup of coffee?  But as usual, in my never-ending quest to achieve and maintain optimal health, not to mention my heightened curiosity level, I caved and tried it, and am I ever glad I did!

I thought I’d share with you my adapted version of butter coffee or Bulletproof Coffee.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Brewed Coffee ( Your favorite is fine. Beans or ground )
  • 100% Grass-Fed Butter ( Kerrygold is what I use, and I only recommend grass-fed butter to receive the maximum health benefits discussed )
  • Coconut Oil or MCT oil  ( I use and prefer MCT oil from the Bulletproof Coffee website, it doesn’t have a coconut flavor but has all the health benefits )
  • Almond Milk, Heavy Cream or Half & Half ( I use a splash of homemade almond milk but use what ever you can tolerate )
  • Blender, Nutri-Bullet or Immersion Blender ( I use my Vitamix )

How I make it:

  1. Fill my coffee mug with coffee and pour into blender.
  2. Add approximately 1 – 1 1/2 TBSP of butter into blender
  3. Add 1 tsp MCT oil or coconut oil to blender
  4. Add a splash of almond milk
  5. Place lid on blender and mix just enough to blend up the oil and butter. This usually only takes a minute or less.
  6. Remove lid and pour the coffee back into your coffee mug. You will probably have more than will fit back into the mug depending how much milk you add.
  7. Sit back and prepare to be amazed!!!!
  8. Feel free to throw some mix-ins to it like vanilla powder or extract, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, peppermint extract and, my favorite, cacao powder!

It’s hard to describe the flavor but it’s frothy, smooth, creamy, kinda sweet, a little nutty and is NOT oily!  So far it’s everything I have read and researched it to be.  It gives me a steady, non-jittery energy level.  I don’t feel tired, sluggish, jittery or like my brain isn’t “awake” if I’m not able to eat for a few hours.  It keeps me satisfied and energetic.  As a gastric bypass patient it’s especially important that I’m able to absorb as much nutrient and healthy fat as possible from my food, because bypass surgery considerably compromises the body’s ability to absorb these nutrients.  The fats present in the butter and MCT oil here aid in the absorption and transport of much-needed fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamins A, D, E & K ).  I have been drinking my coffee this way for about 6 weeks now and can say yet again that I’m a believer.  It not only tastes SO good and satisfying, but the way it makes me feel is an added plus.  Was I concerned about the calories and fat content that I was consuming in my coffee in the morning?  YES!  It would be dishonest to tell you that I wasn’t worried, especially since I’m not a Cross fitter or someone who lifts weights or works out on a regular basis to burn those extra calories and fat intake.  But going with what I know through my own education and experience and putting the negative thoughts that still invade my brain space behind me, I have given it a good six week trial and have not gone up in clothing size or gained any weight.  Remember, fat does not make you fat!!!  I hope you give this coffee idea a try sometime, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

Steph Gaudreau, the creator of the blog Stupid Easy Paleo and author of  the ebook The Paleo Athlete has a great post titled “Can Coffee Really Improve Your Health? Meet Bulletproof.”  Please go visit her site and read up on the in-depth benefits of drinking Bulletproof or butter coffee can bring you!  Enjoy!

~ Lori

 

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

 

Hello everyone!  I’m back after a fantastic 4 days in Austin, Texas attending The 2014 Paleo{f}x conference.  I had such a good time meeting some of my favorite bloggers and vendors along with making new friends and learning the latest, cutting edge information in the Paleo, Holistic and Functional Medicine world!  It certainly is an exciting time in this community.

In the up coming week I will be working on a post about it, but first I’d like to share something that I’m extremely humbled and honored by.  I was nominated for the Liebster Award!  The word Liebster means “favorite” and is awarded to you by your blogging peers in recognizing you as a new, up and coming blogger.  I was extremely touched to be chosen since I had only started my blog on April 7th!

I was nominated for this award by Megan, she runs her blog, The Recipe for Healing.  It’s a great reference if you are looking for information and to connect with someone who has experience in following a GAPS diet.  Megan has experience with this subject and has found it has helped in her journey towards health.  Please go check her out and make some of her fantastic recipes!

Here are 5 questions that Megan has come up with for me to share with all of you!

Q:  How did you eat before you decided to change your diet?

A:   Before I made the change to following a more nutrient dense, whole foods/paleo template I was following the typically prescribed 1200 calorie bariatric diet for the maintenance stage of weight loss surgery.  This consisted of mainly protein, vegetables, limited low-calorie “heart healthy grains”, low or fat-free dairy, fruits and very little real fats.  Examples of dairy would be low-fat or non fat yogurt, laden with artificial sweeteners.  Low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese, skim milk and low-fat cheeses.  In the fats category, it was vegetable and canola oils that claimed to be heart healthy and that dreaded low-calorie tub margarine.

Q:  What are your favorite foods to eat, cook, and bake? Have you always enjoyed being in the kitchen?

A:   Favorite foods to eat, wow, there are so many! I will narrow it down to a few. Liverwurst, Bolognese, kale chips, nut butters, Thai curries, anything spicy, avocados and a good baked treat from my favorite gluten-free, dairy free bakery named Pushkin’s Bakery in Sacramento.  As far as cooking there isn’t much that I don’t enjoy, It’s the clean up I loathe!  Baking, well that has to be quick breads, muffins and cookies.  There was a time when I did not like to be doing any cooking or baking at all.  It was intimidating to me only because I only knew how to “cook” by opening a can or a box. I started watching Food Network, reading cooking magazines and just getting in the kitchen and teaching myself.  It was very gratifying, satisfying and such a confidence booster to put time and effort into a dish and have it turn out!

Q:   What made you decide to start blogging and what do you wish to accomplish with it?

 A:   As a gastric bypass patient that has had her share of health problems related directly to the surgery, as well as the foods that I was still eating.  I discovered that there wasn’t a lot of information to be had when I turned to researching the internet and searching for others that had similar health problems.  I came across a couple of abandoned blogs and old, “thread” posts from closed forums.  But there wasn’t a dedicated site that catered to weight loss patients that were just looking to share and compare their experiences, and to possibly explore the idea of adapting a completely different way of eating to improve health and maintain weight loss.  My goal is to share my experiences in hopes to help others make well-informed decisions to help them improve their overall health and maintain their weight loss.  It’s nice to know there are others like you on the same journey!

Q:   If you could do/be anything what would it be?

A:    First, I would love to go around to hospitals and clinics all over the US that have weight loss programs and or support groups to speak and answer questions.  Second, I am considering going back to school to pursue a NTP, NC or Holistic Nutrition degree/certification.  Third, I would own my own bakery and coffee shop that offered Paleo/primal/gluten-free/refined sugar-free baked goods and butter coffee!

Q:   Who are some people who inspire you to eat clean?

A:     Besides the bloggers out there that continue to educate us and turn out fantastic recipes, it’s really my loved ones and myself that inspire me to eat clean.  I want to stay healthy so I can be the best I can possibly be to not only them, but to myself as well.  Gastric bypass can changing and improve your life in fantastic and exciting ways but its only a small part of it.  Eating good, clean healthy nourishing foods is equally important to stay healthy and maintain your weight loss.  Anyone can question the research and science behind a paleo/primal/whole foods lifestyle, and I encourage that, but the overall improvement in your health and well being is all yours and there isn’t anyone out there that can challenge and question that!

Thank you so much Megan for this great blog award!

~Lori

 

 

 

Homemade Mayonnaise

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Photo by Healthy, Wholesome Me

 

Homemade mayonnaise? Heck yes!  This little darling of the condiment world is probably ( aside from hot sauce ) the most used in our household.  But when I first started learning about eating and following an unprocessed, whole foods lifestyle I realized mayonnaise was on the list of things to avoid.  The oils that are used in almost all store-bought mayo are highly processed, man-made and full of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.  These oils can lead to a lot of inflammation within the body and have absolutely no nutritional value!  As a bypass patient that has had many complications it’s important to me to keep inflammation under control.  Canola, vegetable and soybean are the most common oils you will see in typical store-bought mayonnaise.  Homemade mayonnaise can be made from a few oils that are actually healthy and beneficial to the body – avocado, macadamia nut and olive oils, to name a few.  These are minimally processed and naturally occurring therefore reducing unnecessary and damaging inflammation

There are certainly plenty of recipes and techniques to help you make your own mayonnaise.  Whisking by hand, using a food processor,  an immersion or stick blender are the most common ways.  I have attempted the hand whisking work out method and, well, lets just say it was a major learning experience never to be tried again!  My next attempt was with the food processor, and I made something that came closer to resembling actual mayo.  But let me pause and ask you something, mmkay?  Who here likes to wash dishes?  Anyone?  Exactly.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  And then I found it –  the perfect way to make homemade mayo!   Allow me to introduce you to the immersion or stick blender.  This is my mayo  method of choice, and it takes literally 30 seconds to make with minimal clean up.

Feel free to google up some recipes of your own.  There are plenty of good ones out there, however, I can save you some time and direct you to my favorite!  My go-to base recipe that never fails me is from Jenni Hulet over at The Urban Poser.  She keeps her ingredients minimal and very clean.  I have made this mayo dozens of times and I’ve adapted it slightly to fit my taste only because I prefer a milder tasting mayo.  Below is my adaption of her recipe and I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg yolks separated from whites and at ROOM TEMPERATURE.
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup extra light olive oil
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt ( or to taste )

Process: 

  1.  Gently separate your yolks and put them in a container that will fit your immersion blender.  I use a Pyrex measuring cup.
  2. Next add your 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar into container.  I use “Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar.”
  3. Pour in your oils.
  4. Lower the immersion blender into your container and turn on to highest speed to start blending.  You should see the mayo start coming together within seconds.
  5. Slowly move the blender up and down just enough to ensure the oils get mixed.

Congratulations! You just made healthy and tasty mayonnaise!  Once you have the basic mayo down, you can add different spices and other condiments to make some great tasting spreads and sauces.  Here is an example of a Chipotle Mayonnaise I made by just adding some Chipotle powder and a few heavy dashes of Chipotle flavored Tabasco sauce.

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Gut Healing Blueberry Gummies

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Photo by Healthy, Wholesome Me

Gelatin.  This powerhouse of a supplement is becoming quite popular and for good reason.  When I started down the whole foods path, there were a lot of foods and supplements that I thought “Yeah. Thanks anyway, but I’m not eating that.” Gelatin was one of these foods!  My resistance to it was based on a lack of understanding of how to include it in my diet, and I had absolutely no clue of the health benefits.  If you are vegan or vegetarian, this isn’t a product for you because it is made from 100% grass-fed cows.  But for the rest of us, here ya go. . . .

Gelatin comes in two forms: hydrolyzed and whole.  Each has its own benefits.  My favorite brand is Great Lakes.

Great Lakes unflavored gelatin.  This comes in orange/red container and CANNOT be used in cold liquids.  This is the whole form of gelatin.

Great Lakes collagen hydrolysate.  This is the hydrolyzed form.  It comes in a larger 16 oz. green and CAN be used in cold fluids like smoothies and juices.

Lets start with the hydrolyzed form (Great Lakes comes in the green can).  In this form, the protein has been broken into individual amino acids which makes them easier to absorb.  Score one for us gastric bypass patients! This is the type I use to mix into cold things like juices or smoothies. The benefit that this kind of gelatin delivers is improving skin and joint health as well as sleep.  Next is the whole protein gelatin (Great Lakes comes in the orange/red can). This form is best for improving gut health!  It works by carrying fluid through the intestines, acting as a kind of protective coating to your gut.  This is the type you will use to make gummies, jello-y like snacks and some desserts.

After learning about the health benefits of gelatin, I knew I had to somehow (thank you Fat Bastard) get it in my belly!  That’s when I found Primal Palates recipe for their Gut Healing Blueberry Gummies.  They are fast, simple and really delicious! I have made these numerous times, and I’ve even switched up the fruit flavors with great results. Here is the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 cup of lemon juice (organic preferred)
  • 1 cup of organic fresh blueberries (I have used fresh and frozen at different times with great results)
  • 4 Tbsp Great Lakes unflavored gelatin (orange/red can)

PROCESS:

  1. Place lemon juice and blueberries into a heavy sauce pan and heat over medium heat (seems to be approx 2-3 lemons).
  2. Stir blueberries and allow to cook until the liquid is steaming and the blueberries are plump.
  3. Place lemon juice and blueberries into a high-speed blender or food processor, and blend until smooth (I use a high-speed blender).
  4. Remove lid and allow mixture to cool slightly.
  5. Add the 4 Tbsp of Great Lakes Gelatin into the blender, and blend again until smooth.
  6. Pour mixture into a 9×9 glass dish or into candy molds and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.

As I mentioned, I have switched the fruit in this recipe and made a Strawberry flavored Gummie and a Mango flavored Gummie.  The possible fruit combinations are limitless!  And I almost forgot to mention that these are sugar-free and can be enjoyed if you are following The 21 Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites.

Here’s to our gut health!  Enjoy!

Healthy, Wholesome Me.