Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge (dairy free, grain/gluten free, soy free, gaps legal)

Technically I haven’t taste tested this fudge yet, since it’s for an event tomorrow evening, but I licked out the bowl, and it is *amazing*.

It’s based on the recipe for marshmallow fluff filling here: http://urbanposer.blogspot.com/2012/04/grain-free-oatmeal-creme-pie-cookies.html

and the chocolate truffle recipe here:

https://www.healthhomehappy.com/2011/02/homemade-gaps-friendly-chocolate-truffles.html

Part 1: The Fudge

1 1/2 cups coconut butter (aka coconut manna)

2 cups cocoa powder

1 cup honey

Blend ingredients thoroughly.

 

Part 2: The Marshmallow

1/2 cup water

1 package unflavored gelatin

 

1 cup honey

1/2 cup water

1 tsp vanilla

 

In mixer bowl, combine gelatin and 1/2 cup water.

Mix remaining ingredients in medium saucepan and bring to a boil. (I used a small saucepan. It worked, but I’d highly recommend a medium one, especially if you don’t like repeatedly take a pan of the stove to keep it from boiling over.) Continue boiling until it reaches 240 degrees (softball stage). (Uh, I don’t really have to tell you to stir it during that time do I? Because that’s pretty obvious, right? I should probably not write cookbooks…)

Turn the mixer on low, slowly pour in the honey mixture. Turn the mixer up to high and let it work its mystic power for about ten minutes. You can use those ten minutes to clean up all the sticky spatters on your stove or you can stand and stare at the mixer working like I usually end up doing…

Part 3: Marshmallow Fudge

My plan was to put half the chocolate mixture in the bottom of a pan (roughly equivalent to an 8×8, mine just happens to be rectangular), put the marshmallow mixture in the middle, and put the rest of the chocolate on top.

But… because of the various consistencies involved (the marshmallow being to soft to spread stiff chocolate on top of, and the chocolate being too crumbly to move after patting it out into the right size rectangle) I ended up with  a bottom layer of chocolate and a top layer of marshmallow with chocolate chunks in it. I think that will work very nicely, though perhaps next time I would mix all the chocolate into the marshmallow instead of trying to layer.

I only used 2/3 to 3/4 of the marshmallow mixture in the fudge. The rest is being saved for other undetermined amazingness….

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Sourdough Pancakes

I am very close to being off the gaps diet. I have reintroduced dairy (slowly, but eventually successfully) and starches and sugars (though I’m still being sparing with ‘unnatural’, that is, refined, sweeteners, at least until I’m entirely off gaps) and have gotten as far as fermented grains. This week I have (successfully, as far as I can tell) introduced sourdough bread. Having not eaten wheat for several months, ‘real’ bread is an amazing experience.

Possibly just because it’s the first wheat I’ve been able to eat in a while, I’m now intrigued with sourdough. This is slightly ironic because I’ve previously insisted that I’m nearly incapable of keeping a sourdough starter alive for any length of time. I’m now hoping to keep it going long enough to try sourdough pizza dough, muffins and various other culinary explorations.

This morning, I made sourdough pancakes. (You already figured that out from the title of post, didn’t you? Do you feel clever now?) I was more gleeful about whole wheat eggless sourdough pancakes than the general populace would understand.

For those interested in cooking details, I used this recipe: http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2008/06/sourdough-pancakes-2.html and replaced the eggs with flaxseed (mixed with water and refrigerated overnight to better simulate egg).

For those more interested in flavor details, I thought the pancakes were excellent and adapted well to being eggless. They were soft and, as Colton pointed out, the odd consistency of restaurant pancakes. You know, fluffy and soft when you cut them, but oddly resistant to tearing as you butter them.

I tried them with honey and almond butter, which was good, but they were especially amazing with maple syrup (which I also hadn’t had in several months).

An addendum about being eggless: I’m currently trying to reintroduce egg for the second time. The first time I woke up with bad cold symptoms and decided to stop and take a fresh start to see if it was a real cold or egg allergy symptoms. This time I’m going slowly, having basically just introduced egg yolk in mayonnaise and therefore relatively small amounts. So far it’s inconclusive and I’ll be continuing the test and slowly adding in other forms of eggs. I have hopes that even if scrambled eggs remain off limits, my system might be able to adjust to smaller amounts of eggs as ingredients in other foods.

Catching Up

I haven’t done a very good job continuing with gaps diet updates, or general life updates, or any kind of writing this week. Last week was the catching up from vacation week, and this week was actually a bit of catching up on projects I didn’t have energy for over the summer.

I don’t have massive amounts of energy to burn, but right now it is so amazing to be able to function like a more or less normal person that I occasionally have to re-rhapsodize on the subject.

I’ve been able to make more stops on my errand day, often in less time because I’m moving faster, thereby catching up on a few errands that were on backlog (I now have my very own car key again, making errand day simpler) and still being a bit less exhausted afterwards (errands are still about all I can get done in a day, but I’m only tired at the end instead of mostly dead).

We finally have curtains up in our living room, I vacuumed for the first time in months (to be clear, it was vacuumed a few times in that time span, just not by me).

Today I made allergy friendly desserts to take to a get together, prepped food for Sunday, set out a sourdough ‘sponge’ for sourdough pancakes tomorrow, set yogurt to ferment, and made cheese out of last week’s milk. Not only was it good to be baking again, but I was lamenting the lack of time because I wanted to do more new and and interesting baking projects, which I think is also a sign of more energy.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I don’t quite have the massive amounts of energy I’d really like to have yet. I still have to crash and rest after a few hours of running errands. Some mornings I wince to hear the alarm because I was thinking a couple more hours of sleep sounded really good.

But the first time in a long time I stayed caught up on dishes all week, did menu planning and shopping, all my other normal chores, and still had energy left for extra projects. For the first time in quite a while I had this odd feeling of not having any urgent projects left to work on. Sure, I had a ton of projects waiting the background that ‘needed’ to be done. But I had all my basics covered already, and I didn’t have to stress about heading out to my husband’s office early and reading for a few minutes while I waited for him to finish a meeting, or visiting with people for a few minutes after lunch instead of rushing back to catch up on dishes. I think I may have discovered a bit of the extra time people talk about having on their hands, and I have to say, I quite like it.

Day 107 of my GAPS journey…

I know I missed a lot of details by not posting about GAPS during my vacation last week, but it was so good to really take a break, not have to worry about getting *anything* done and have a bunch of food already cooked in the freezer. As usual, I overestimated how much food we needed, and as usual, this is not a problem, as we’re happy to continue eating vacation leftovers for a few more days. 🙂

GAPS highlights from vacation:

-I successfully introduced fermented millet! I cooked up a large (for one person) batch and then reheated it as necessary. It’s especially good reheated with lots of butter, garlic and cheddar.

-I had some uncertainty about whether mozzerella was okay on my stomach, and wasn’t consistent about trying it several days in a row, but I did a bit of a retest toward the end of vacation and it seemed to be fine.

-While over at someone else’s house I took a bit of a risk and ate  a pumpkin doughnut hole made with mostly almond flour but some tapioca starch and containing sugar (cane juice). I noticed no ill effects.

-I’ve eaten (organically cured) bacon twice now. Yay!

-I had one piece of sourdough bread while we were eating out, but my plans for getting sourdough starter this week fell through, so I had to put off continuing to introduce it until next week.

-I started introducing egg yolks this week. So far I’ve had some mild stomach symptoms, and a return of fatigue, so it’s possible this will *not* go well, but I’m still holding out some hope that it’s either just my body readjusting to egg after so long, or some other kind of of reaction. I’m really hoping to be able to eat eggs again on a permanent basis!

I took my probiotics (almost) consistently through vacation, though without any increases, so I’m still at five capsules. I missed most of my other supplement doses, because I can’t easily take my cod liver oil with Colton in the house, because he can’t stand the smell. 🙂 I inconsistently had olive oil and fermented foods with my meals–my stomach did start to feel a bit off a couple times during vacation and returned to normal pretty quickly if I made a point of including more fermented foods in the next meal.

Also, I discovered that it’s difficult and perhaps impossible to make cheese fondue that’s GAPS legal.

I’ll try to post more consistently from now on about the rest of the stages of coming off of GAPS…

GAPS Diet, Day 94 (Coming Off GAPS)

(Wrote this last night and forgot to post it…)

This morning had an odd start, as I woke up with a sore throat and congestion, the main cold symptoms Colton had over the last couple of days. I put some Theives oil on my throat and went back to sleep for a couple hours, at which point the sore throat was gone and the congestion not gone, but lessened.

I had spinach zucchini pineapple juice, and then wasn’t really hungry for breakfast. I did eventually have the last of the leftover hamburger stew and didn’t really enjoy it that much. I drank some whey with agave with my food. Having just had (and not finished) breakfast I only had a couple bites of leftover meat and sauteed veggies for lunch.

I had a bunch of cooking to do in prep for vacation again, and started soaking millet so I can try introducing it early next week. I made pizza crust using cauliflower, flax seed and water (using this recipe and substituting flax eggs ala these directions for the egg–I was impressed with the eggy consistency of the flax). I made an eggless ‘mayonnaise’ by substituting grapeseed oil for the olive oil in this recipe and and leaving out the garlic. (It does taste like avocado, but since I like avocado that’s not a problem for me…) I made lacto-fermented ketchup, substituting agave for the honey.

Our vacation starts tomorrow, and I won’t be documenting my food in detail during that time (trying to get the hang of this ‘relaxing’ idea I hear about…), but the general idea is I’ll be trying avoid any food I haven’t properly introduced yet, but I’ll be a bit less strict about things like including olive oil with every meal. I’ve ordered some gaps legal hot dogs, made some gaps pizza ahead for the freezer, along with gaps legal ‘pizza’ stuffed mushrooms, chicken wings with gaps legal sauces and zucchini casserole. I’m planning to make a gaps legal cheese fondue with roasted vegetables to dip in it, and make chicken salad and tuna salad which I will eat on lettuce leaves. (The tuna does possibly have soy broth in it, but at this point it didn’t seem like a huge deal, especially since my omega oil also has soy in it.)

For supper we had meat with sauted green and yellow peppers, mushrooms and eggplant (and butter). (It was really good.)

I think I miscounted my probioitics and accidentally increased to 6 capsules. No bad effects yet, but I’m going back to 5 for the duration of vacation so as not to spoil it with die off. 🙂

GAPS Diet, Day 93 (Coming Off GAPS)

This morning I had juice made out of zucchini, butternut squash, watermelon and mango. Odd as it may sound, it was pretty good.

Since I had to do some last minute errands to pick up perishables for our vacation (and a few things that were on sale for cheap) I was out all morning and didn’t breakfast at all. I did have a glass of milk before I left though.

For lunch I had leftover unstuffed cabbage with yogurt cheese and parmesan cheese. I also had a bite of mozzarella with my food. Mozzarella is exciting! I hope that goes well, partly because opening up cheese options is always good, and partly because it would bode well for dairy in general.

In the afternoon I got a bit peckish and made a smoothie. I discovered that (given a large enough glass) I can make smoothie with my immersion blender, which is much easier to clean than my blender pitcher. I made smoothie with banana and pineapple and a scoop of coconut butter and yogurt whey instead of milk. I also added a spoonful of agave after a few sips, deciding that while it was quite edible without sweetener, it was worth adding for the additional enjoyment factor.

Supper was ground beef with sauteed eggplant, spinach, tomato and garlic. I added a whole stick of butter to my skillet of meat and vegetables, and as I’ve heard, the eggplant did an amazing job soaking up the fat. 🙂 I also added olive oil to my plate of food. (I skipped the probiotic food, partly because I didn’t feel like it, and partly because I had the whey earlier.)

I had a few twinges of stomach pain during the evening, but nothing prolonged enough to think the mozzarella is necessarily causing problems.

Later in the evening I snacked on pineapple, once again bringing my pineapple consumption for the day to almost an entire pineapple. (Colton’s had a cold the last couple of days I wonder if my body really needs vitamin C or bromelain or something to fight off the cold, and that’s why pineapple has been tasting so good.)

GAPS Diet, Day 92 (Coming off GAPS)

This morning I had carrot spinach pineapple mango juice. I also had a glass of milk before I took a 3/4 of a mile walk.

Breakfast was hamburger stew (I’m so glad it’s almost all eaten, finally…) with sauerkraut and parmesan cheese.

Lunch was leftover unstuffed cabbage with yogurt and parmesan cheese and olive oil.

This afternoon I had a lot of baking to get done in prep for our vacation coming up so I had coffee again, with agave and (frothed) raw milk. I’m now avoiding coffee for at least the next two days (I make no promises for after vacation starts) because one of my main health concerns now is thyroid/adrenal issues, and I don’t want to push myself into adrenal fatigue by pushing caffeine too much. It did help today though. 🙂

This afternoon I washed some dishes (and kept up with dirty dishes I made with my baking projects), made gaps muffins, grain-free raisin ‘bran’, gaps crackers, cauliflower rice (preparatory to making cauliflower pizza crust) and started a new batch of yogurt. I also did some minor food saving projects like cutting moldy spots off cheese.

Supper was sauteed spinach and meat (with onions, yellow pepper and garlic). I ate mine with yogurt cheese, parmesan cheese and olive oil.

I started getting that weird throat muscle pain in the afternoon, getting worse into the evening. Colton rubbed my neck which helped the pain some, and I also put lavender oil on it, but it’s still at the ‘hurts to move my head’ stage.

I’m trying to figure out if it could somehow be a food reaction, but none of the foods seem to match up between the two episodes. On the other hand, if it was a muscle strain, why would it go away for a couple days and then come back for no apparent reason? Or could it be a Lyme disease symptom that’s showing up as a die-off reaction now? I’m really not sure what to think…

However, despite the neck pain, it was really exciting to have a ‘normal’ baking day again, and be able to get so much done! It may not sound like a lot, but it seemed like a lot to me…