A few weeks ago I was dreading the Holiday season as it applies to being gluten-free. Inevitably I would receive invitations to parties with tables filled with baked goods. (Cake, why must you tempt me so?) I’ve been on the prowl for a good gluten-free recipe to use as my go to this season. I’ve tried cookie and cupcake recipes, but I’ve been hard pressed to find one I really like and that I’d be willing to share with others.
This weekend we hosted a game night. This is a somewhat new thing in our family, but we are hoping to form a habit with some of our friends where we get together and play games once a month.
I spent days trying to find a recipe for a Christmas snack to offer at game night. Then, my sister solved my problem when she offered, “Why not make Christmas Crack?” I felt so silly. I was trying to think of some elaborate, brand new recipe when Christmas Crack has been a favorite for years. I love to make and eat this treat every year and all it needed was a small tweak to make it gf friendly.
It was a huge hit at the party by the way. Luckily, I saved back a bag for my family to munch on throughout the week, because my festive Christmas tin was empty by the final hand of Dutch Blitz.
Below is the recipe for gluten free Christmas Crack. Feel free to add pretzels if you are not confined to a gf diet.
-1/2 box of Rice Chex cereal
-1/2 box of Cheerios
-2 bags of Nestle white chocolate chips
-1 bag of M&Ms
- Lay two long sheets of wax paper across a table
- Dump bags of white chocolate chips into a large bowl. Melt the chocolate in the microwave (in 20 second increments being sure to stir after each set of 20 seconds and DO NOT LET THEM BURN.)
- Once the chocolate is smooth and completed melted through, quickly add both cereals and the candy to the bowl. Mix to cover all evenly.
- Pour the contents of the bowl onto the wax paper. Spread the contents into a thin layer.
- Let sit for 20-30 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.
- Break the mixture into small, bite sized pieces and place into a festive Christmas tin or large Ziplock bag.
This stuff is called Christmas Crack for a reason, people–it’s pretty addictive. Eat at your own risk and enjoy!
The Ameri Brit Mom
Many of you know that I am married to a British man. One meal that those British men love is a nice pot of roasted meat and potatoes. Roast dinners are a staple in England appearing on many household tables every Sunday evening and nearly every special occasion. If ever asked, “What should we have for dinner?” My husband almost always replies with “Roast Dinner!”
Since I have been restricting my diet to a Paleo/Caveman one there are many meals I am having to say farewell to, but luckily a beef roast doesn’t have to be one of them.
Currently, there is a lot of debate in the nutrition world about whether or not potatoes are allowable in the Paleo diet. I have done some reading and I have decided to be inclusive of the starchy vegetable myself, but if you have a problem with potatoes then you can always substitute them for sweet potatoes. For me, Paleo isn’t about recreating a caveman lifestyle, but about making sure I’m sticking to a diet rich in vegetables and meat. The Paleo diet is one that reduces sugar intake and removes all processed foods for the purpose of stripping the human diet down to its origins. Eating as many Paleo-friendly foods as possible will help your digestive tract, energy levels, and will also aide in weight loss.
Here is my personal recipe for a simple beef roast.
2 lbs beef steaks or chuck roast
3-4 russet potatoes (or sweet potatoes if you opt to avoid white potatoes)
2 cups fresh or frozen green beans
1 cup water
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- Chop the potatoes, leaving the peels on, into 1 inch cubes.
- Place your meat into the bottom of a cast iron pot or roasting tin.
- Add potatoes to the top of the meat.
- Place green beans on top of the potatoes.
- Pour water over top mixture. Cover.
- Place in the oven for 1.5 hours. Make sure meat is cooked and vegetables are tender before serving.
It’s a foolproof Paleo recipe!
The Ameri Brit Mom
For the past three weeks I’ve been trying to eat a Gluten-Free/Paleo diet. It’s been nice as I’ve been able to notice a difference in aches and pains. I’ve also been working hard to kick processed foods out of my digestive system.
One thing I’ve missed in my journey to Gluten-Free eating is baked goods. I’m a huge fan of bread, cookies, cake, and basically anything you can make with flour. Bread is difficult, but I’ve been able to abstain. My biggest issue (especially as we approach the holiday season) is desserts. I have been trying to minimize my sugar intake and even when I do eat sweets I’ve tried to make sure that the source of sugar is natural and not artificial.
This weekend I completed my first baking project with almond flour and it was a success! Being gluten-free/Paleo doesn’t mean that you have to forego delicious food. It just takes a little more effort and intentionality, but you can still enjoy your food.
Thanks to Elana Amsterdam at Elana’s Pantry I was able to remake a favorite. I followed the recipe below from her website and poured a glass of almond milk to drink along with my cookie. My whole family enjoyed the cookies.
**One note on the recipe, I would recommend using the EXACT ingredients that Elana uses to create the recipe. You can click on the links below for more information on those ingredients. I was unable to find her exact almond flour and so mine had a slightly different texture. It didn’t change the taste, but I would still recommend for you to use the EXACT ingredients.
- In a food processor, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda
- Pulse in butter, vanilla, and maple syrup until dough forms
- Remove blade from processor and stir in chocolate chips by hand
- Scoop dough one level tablespoon at a time onto a parchment lined baking sheet
- Press balls of dough down gently
- Bake at 350° for 7-10 minutes
- Cool for 15 minutes (do not handle prior or cookies will break)
The Ameri Brit Mom
One thing I can never seem to defend my family against is the gamut of germs that accompany the month of November. Every year at about this time, viruses take up residence in my home and as much as I try to prevent illnesses from running rampant, it still happens. For two weeks I’ve felt on the verge of infection. I’m lethargic and achy.
I’ve tried to combat these unwanted microscopic guests with essential oils, vitamins, exercise, and a natural diet. Yet, here I am at 6:00pm on a weekday, sipping on soup and ready to send off to bed.
Living in the Midwest has its downfalls. The sun escapes the sky shortly after work hours. My daylight is spent in a classroom, and I attribute most of my zapped energy to lack of natural vitamin D. Winter is upon us, and the need for a healthy diet and routine are imperative.
I’m really hoping my new Gluten-free/Paleo diet will help this year. I’ve read that the natural ingredients in a caveman diet (Paleo) will aide in the increase of energy and help fight contagious illnesses. Here’s to hoping and praying that God will use this new diet plan to help myself and my family during this critical time of the year.
Is anyone else feeling down with the winter blues already? How do you combat this weather and keep your family healthy?
The Ameri Brit Mom
This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Journey. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:
I’m on a journey to whole health. Last week I wrote about my decision to go gluten free for a month to see if I exhibit any noticeable results. Since then I’ve continued to abstain from gluten and have removed processed foods from my diet as well. I am currently reading and researching the Whole30 diet. That would involve narrowing my food choices down to meat, vegetables, fruit, and oils, but am not entirely committing to the Whole 30 diet until January as it is unwise to try anything that drastic over the holidays.
I’ve been pinning recipes and injecting more organic foods to my pantry and cooking menus. My husband has even been inspired and plans to join me in whatever dietary plan I land on. It’s no secret that I love to eat. I’ve hardly met a dish I didn’t like. So years of poor food choices and inherited genes have led me to a place where I am unhappy. I am unhappy with how I feel, what I eat, and how I look which is why I’m taking back control of my eating habits.
I’m on a journey to cleanse my body of the buildup of toxins. I’m on a journey to purge my mind of toxic thoughts and emotions. I’m on a journey to whole health that extends beyond what I choose to eat to include educated decisions about feeding my family and feeding my mind. As I go through this journey, I’ve been tracking my meals and reactions. After just a week and a half I’m already reporting feeling more full and energetic and less digestive tract discomfort.
I’m looking to start a social media group over the holiday season for others who are looking for relief from their symptoms. The goal of the group would be to share recipes and gain accountability in our whole health journeys. Be on the lookout for more information in the future about this group and my personal journey.
The Ameri Brit Mom
This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Eat. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:
I’m new to this gluten-free thing.
After months of struggling with weight and digestive issues I’ve decided to give gluten-free eating a try. Over the past couple of years I’ve noticed some changes to my metabolism and eating habits and I’ve been unhappy with the way my body has been reacting to the food I’ve been putting into it. Auto-immune disorders that run in my family also factored into this decision.
Several people I know have been eating gluten-free for a wide range of reasons and it’s been recommended by so many of them that I give it a shot. I was reluctant at first because one of my favorite foods is bread. My second favorite food is cake. I put off trying a gluten-free diet out of convenience. However, after a weekend of feeling pretty crummy I decided to try gluten-free for one month and see if I notice any difference to the way I feel.
My mom and best friend have both experimented with gluten-free diets and have been successful. I’ve turned to them for advice on where to find food and meals. Since I launched this new diet on Monday I’ve realized that eating gluten-free isn’t as big of a hassle as I had thought. Sure, there are some sacrifices to be made, but gluten-free has become so mainstream that many restaurants and grocers offer items tailored for such diets.
I know that cutting gluten is a newer approach to treating digestive tract disorders, auto-immune disorders and other health conditions. Many of you have years of experience under your belt. Today I would love to hear from you. I’m seeking advice on where to shop, what to buy, and what to eat. I covet recipes and any information those of you knowledgeable in the gluten-free world.
The Ameri Brit Mom