Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Get ready...

Delightfully Free is almost here! And I've been incredibly busy with the finishing touches--I'm very happy with everything so far and am now eagerly looking forward to the cookbook release date. So, for everyone in suspense, this is a quick update to let you know that Delightfully Free is well on its way and that we're anticipating a really wonderful finished product very soon :)


You can buy Delightfully Free and Even More Delightfully Free on my website, www.delightfullyfree.com or directly at this link: https://squareup.com/market/delightfully-free
Your signed books always come with free shipping. We do not sell on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or any other internet sites.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I'm Seeing Less Of My Husband!

How's that for an inference-laden title? For those of you wondering if I was about to reveal trouble simmering outside of the kitchen--sorry to disappoint. No, my husband, Brian, has not abandoned me in a quest to visit every major league ballpark. Nope, he's around more than ever. It's simply that my husband, who suffers from no known food intolerances, has been eating meals made up of my cookbook recipes for many months...and he's been losing weight

This welcomed development comes despite the fact that he has not kept to his exercise regimen of mountain biking for many months. So even though his exercise has been curtailed, by significantly reducing his consumption of breads, white rice, white pasta and dairy, Brian is quickly shedding weight. And he came to this conclusion all by himself about a week ago :)

Like most of us, Brian noticed his metabolism slowing up throughout his 30's. And based on what he knew, he responded by exercising more. “Conquer at play and you can eat all day” became his new motto. But unfortunately it didn't work out that way and, despite increasing his mountain biking habit, Brian was still gaining weight. 

So his next move was to cut back on long-standing food favorites such as ice cream, lasagna and creamy dishes. That {and a whole lot of exercise} allowed him to maintain a pretty good weight. Yet he was dissatisfied with this combo, knowing that if he upset the delicate balance between vigorous exercise and eating less of what he wanted, he'd put back on the weight.   

This is the point in the story where I must humbly admit that in the early days of my adventure into gluten-free and dairy-free cooking, my family wasn't exactly sneaking into the kitchen to gorge on my DF, GF, low-sugar experiments. So, back in the old days, I would most often fix two meals—one "healthy meal" for myself and my daughter who has dietary restrictions, and another "normal" one for everyone else, including Brian. 

I could sometimes coax him into sampling a GF cookie or even a main dish, and he would always compliment me {Usually something along the lines of “this is the greatest GF product I've had all day!” Isn't he funny ;) but he was not at all interested in substituting any of his food with my healthier versions. And then, it all changed.

As I stuck to it, countless tries later, a very interesting thing started to happen: Brian tried my creations and his new response became, “Hey, this is really good...you keep making it better,” and furthermore {to my GREAT satisfaction} he'd eat the entire GF, DF, SF item in question. 

Pretty soon I was cooking only one meal and only one desert and, by that point, he was happy about it because he and the rest of my family actually liked the food. And now, after having eaten about 80% GF, DF and low sugar for sometime, I have to say I really like the change in how healthy he looks. 

I now attribute the family's “conversion” to the fact that my re-imagined, GF, DF, SF recipes feature the same kinds of textures and tastes found in the old dishes that rely on gluten and dairy ingredients. I love to hear family and friends say that they never would have known that something they just ate was gluten and dairy-free, or to hear them ask incredulously, “This sauce has no dairy in it?!” 

So my family's story is how this all started. And now my cookbook is full of recipes that take the best of everything I learned along the way and will show other families with special diets new ways to enjoy creamy dishes, cookies, muffins and a host of other formerly off-limit foods

So, here's to healthy eating and happy husbands! ;)

You can buy Delightfully Free and Even More Delightfully Free on my website, www.delightfullyfree.com or directly at this link: https://squareup.com/market/delightfully-free
Your signed books always come with free shipping. We do not sell on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or any other internet sites.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The AMAZING Coconut

One of the pleasant surprises I have discovered in my ongoing adventure of healthy cooking and baking for "clean" eating is the
coconut!!! This under-appreciated fruit turns out to be remarkably versatile. In fact, I have been amazed at the benefits and advantages that coconut products provide.

Coconut has been a staple food in Asian and island cultures for centuries. And while this super food has been gaining recognition in the health and nutrition communities, the general public in the western world has yet to realize that coconuts are one of the most nutritious of all fruits. There are so many good reasons to incorporate coconut into our diet.  And that is all good, but what about taste?

The good news is that the use of coconut in so many diverse dishes lends a delicate, creamy, slightly sweet, richness to all sorts of foods, from egg dishes and sauces to baked goods. In my new cookbook "Delightfully Free," I have taken advantage of coconut nutrition and scrumptiousness, using coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut flour and coconut meat. Here is a quick breakdown of some different coconut products and their benefits:

Coconut Milk:  Is not to be confused with the liquid found in the middle of the coconut when it is opened. That is the coconut water or juice. Coconut milk is the juice expressed from the meat of the coconut. One cup of coconut milk contains 38.4 mg of calcium, around 89 mg of magnesium (which helps maintain normal blood pressure, decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease), is an excellent source of potassium (631 mg) and phosphorus (240 mg).  For this reason, it also helps increase energy levels and promotes bone and kidney health.  Additionally, Manganese, copper and zinc are other important minerals naturally found in coconut milk.

Coconut Oil:  Is the fatty oil that comes from coconut meat.  Quality organic coconut oil is said to be the healthiest oil to use. This is because coconut oil is heat stable, which makes it slow to oxidize and resistant to becoming rancid. It is also low in monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Bruce Fife, N.D., who has written about the benefits of coconut oil, believes that our bodies use the fat in coconut oil to make energy and not to store fat, which keeps us fit and lively (something that most of us would gladly opt for!). All of these things make coconut oil a safe and healthy alternative for heating, cooking, frying and baking.  

Coconut Flour:  Is something that really makes me happy! What a wonderful difference coconut flour has made in GF baking. It allows us to achieve moist, rich texture and has a delicious natural sweet flavor that enhances baked goods.  Whereas white flour has no fiber, coconut flour is very high in fiber, it is actually 58% fiber, a whopping 6 grams per 2 tablespoons (compare that to wheat bran which is only 27% fiber). It is also low in carbs and is a good source of protein, 2 grams per 2 tablespoons. White flour has zero iron, but 2 tablespoons of coconut flour meets 2% of your daily iron needs.

Coconut Meat:  Besides being a refreshing twist of flavor in soups, vegetables and desserts, 1 cup of coconut meat has 7.2 grams of fiber, more than 20% of the daily recommended amount for adults, not to mention, more than half the recommended daily amount of manganese, which helps your body metabolize both fat and proteins, supports the immune and nervous systems and promotes stable blood sugar levels.  Beyond all this, coconut meat contains significant amounts of potassium and copper.

Coconut Sugar: As I covered in another post here, coconut sugar allows us to achieve some of the textures and consistencies that were nearly impossible before in GF, DF and naturally sweetened baking. Produced and used in south east Asia for thousands of years, coconut sugar has a super low glycemic index of 35 compared to that of corn syrup at 75, refined, pasteurized honey at 75, table sugar at 80, high fructose corn syrup at 87 and glucose (or dextrose) at 100. Furthermore, coconut sugar boasts an extremely high nutrient content--higher in Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc and Iron than agave nectar (which I am crazy about). Coconut sugar is also a natural source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and C. Still another great aspect of coconut sugar is that it contains only 148 grams of carbs per cup compared to agave nectar which has 256 grams per cup. Recent medical research suggests that a diet low in carbohydrates is beneficial to people with type 2 diabetes, in which case choosing coconut sugar can be a huge help.

As you turn the pages of my cookbook, you will notice that in many of my recipes, in almost every section, coconut is an important ingredient.

And that's because coconut is just plain amazing :)

See more of my recipes on my website: www.delightfullyfree.com

Some links to check out:



Also check out Bruce Fife's book, Coconut Cures for more complete info:
Fife, Bruce (2005). Coconut Cures. Piccadilly Books. ISBN 978-0-941599-60-3
Available from Amazon here

You can buy Delightfully Free and Even More Delightfully Free on my website, www.delightfullyfree.com or directly at this link: https://squareup.com/market/delightfully-free
Your signed books always come with free shipping. We do not sell on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or any other internet sites.