Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Corn-Free Kitchen

When cooking from scratch, I find cooking corn-free is one of the easiest things to do; most of the ingredients are easily substituted with something you probably already have in your cabinet. Buying corn free can be difficult. This list tells you ingredients that may be derived from corn and are commonly found in things such as canned food. I prefer to not buy things that have ingredients I can't pronounce, or acids (can be made from corn), so many of the canned foods I use only have 2-4 ingredients (sugar, salt, water, juice, etc., depending on what it is.) Ironically, it is usually the cheapest brands that contain the simple, edible ingredients (Note-cheaper can be better!)

                                           --A Corn-Free Kitchen--

Iodized Salt- Buy sea salt! Iodized salt contains corn-based stabilizers

Baking Powder- Contains corn starch. Instead, use 1/4 tsp. baking soda + 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar for every 1 tsp. baking powder.

Powdered Sugar- Corn starch. Thankfully, making your own is easy; simply throw some white sugar in the blender until fluffy!

Honey- Buy your honey local. Big honey companies will sometimes mix corn syrup in with the honey during bottling, or they will feed their bees corn syrup. Buying local supports you farmers and means that you can ensure good, pure honey (ask them how they make it, of course)

Xanthan Gum- That's right! Xanthan gum is bacteria grown on corn. You can substitute guar gum, or buy  this corn-free brand.

Sourguhm Flour- Close relative of corn. Don't even go there. Use other flours.

- When buying pre-prepared foods or canned goods, avoid elusive starches (vegetable starch, food starch, etc.) Same goes for oils.
-Utz potato chips are corn free :)

These are simply the ingredients I use the most. Find more info at these blogs:

Know anymore substitutes or things to avoid? Leave a comment and share!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cooking Without Eggs

Eggs make me feel funny and I can't stand them cold. But, all in all, they are really nice in baked goods. After I cut out gluten and corn, I still couldn't handle breads until I eliminated eggs. Poo on egg allergies. So now there's the problem of cooking without them. Corn is easy to eliminate when it comes to cooking from scratch, but eggs...sigh.

When I got Allergy Free Desserts by Elizabeth Gordon, I finally had success with egg-free cooking! Not only had I got my ratios wrong, but the flour I use seems to make a difference (more on that later).

                                                --Egg Substitutes--

There are several different substitutes; bananas, applesauce, flax seed, and chia seeds are some of the most common. Applesauce and bananas add flavor, so I don't use them, BUT you might want to.

1/4 Applesauce in place of one egg
1/2  a Banana in place of one egg

My personal favorite is flax seed. I've not tried chia seeds yet and I'm not sure what the difference would be, if any.

1 Tbsp Ground Flax seed or chia seed  
3 Tbsp Water

Combine and let sit 3-5 minutes until gelled. Use in place of one egg.

 - You should not substitute for more than 2 eggs (or so everyone says. I decided to believe them..for now) 
 - 1/2 Tbsp un-ground flax seed equals approx. 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
 - Do not store extra ground seeds, as they lose nutrition and go rancid quickly
 -Extra flax/chia egg substitute can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge

Extra Info:

Got a favorite substitute? Info on how to store, make, etc.? Helpful hints? Substitutes you hate? Leave a comment and share!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Picture Perfect

                              "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"
                                                                Genesis 1:1

"Then God said 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the night from the day and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years' "
                                                                  Genesis 1:14

"The God said 'Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind'; and so it was. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw it was good"
Genesis 1:24-25


"Then God said 'Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth'; and it was so "
Genesis 1:11

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Fox andTthe Wolf (An Original Story by Huldah)

I was cleaning my room and found a folder entitled The Story Book. It's a folder full of stories (in case you didn't guess) that I wrote when I probably about 8 (this was before I dated my work, so not sure about the actual age). One of the best is The Fox and The Wolf. I can tell you're getting all excited, "At eight, she came up with such an awesome title?" "What happens? Does the Fox befriend the Wolf?" Da-da-da-da-dum! Since the story is actually really boring (suspense at eight is a lot lamer than it is now), I've kept all original spelling and punctuation for your amusement! If you're reading this out loud take a deep breath because there won't be any stopping once you start.


                                                 The Fox and The Wolf

There lived a Fox named Foxy and he had a freind named Wolfy. Every day they always play togeter they play hide-n-seek + jump rope + they would ride bikes they hade so much fun 'tell one day when Foxy hade a party because they played in the woods by Foxy's house but the thing thats going to happen never com's to the house but theye live in the wood's so anyone who went to it's house it's bad so they went to the wood's and Foxy steped by it's house and a snak bite him on the leg and everyone ran but Wolfy because he was helping Foxy. (Notice how the drama builds and then - BAM!! Foxy gets bit by "The Thing", which is really a snake? Also, notice I finally used some punctuation) The next day Wolfy came to visit Foxy he hade gone to the hostpital last night + and he came home felling dizy but the next day he felt O.K. A month later Wolfy had a party. (Okay, notice how I just stopped? Can you say drama for a sequel? Also, who liked the plus signs instead of "and"?)

 We can all agree that I was an amazing writer at 8? I think this came about because our neighbor had told my brothers and me to be careful in the woods as there were copperheads. Obviously, I was impressed.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Okay, forgot how much fun it is to make a cake from scratch and then frost it with made-from-scratch frosting. It's pretty satisfactory. So, anyways, doesn't it look yummy?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Starting the day off with a good breakfast is important. I find that I feel better throughout the rest of the day if I eat first thing in the morning. That's why I eat granola; it's loaded with great minerals and keeps me going.
 Molasses is high in magnesium, potassium, etc.; honey is good for aiding your digestion; the various nuts in the granola are chalk-full of good vitamins. You get the idea. Eat granola. The amounts and ingredients can easily be switched around. The basic formula for this is 7 c. dry ingredients, 1 c. wet.


4 c. Certified Gluten-free Oats
1 1/2 c. Shredded Coconut
1 c. Sunflower seeds
1/2 c. Walnuts (or any nut of your preference)
2 Tbsp. Chia seed
2 Tbsp. Flax seeds

1/3 c. Honey
1/3 c. Molasses
1/3 c. Olive Oil

Combine all ingredients in roaster pan, or one of suitable size. A 1/2 batch in a 9x13 in pan would probably work well. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes - 1 hour, stirring every 10 - 15 minutes.
 The time may vary depending on your oven. Our gas oven burns hotter than an electric one, so it takes less time (30 minutes, stirring every 10) In town, with the electric oven, cooking for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, worked just fine.

Serve plain or with applesauce. If you can handle dairy, it's also very good with yogurt.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Going Toxic Free

I figured if I have to cut corn, eggs, gluten, and dairy, and watch my intake of things like pork, why not go the whole way? So, with the hope it will help with my dry skin and sinus troubles, I've stopped using shampoo...and conditioner...and toothpaste, deodorant, and lotion. And I'm wishing I'd done it a lot sooner. Why? Well, let me list the reasons

1) Bye, bye shampoo!
  I never liked shampoo. Well, okay, I liked it, but I knew I was dependent on it-if I went more than 2 days without, my scalp got all itchy and my hair gross and crunchy and ugghh.
 I started out using a honey shampoo (1 Tbsp. honey, 3 Tbsp. water), but my hair was still fairly greasy looking. So I tried baking soda. Yup! My hair looks like I've used shampoo, feels great, and is basically awesome. It also takes about a quarter of the time to brush it out. Considering my waist-length hair, that feels like an accomplishment.
 Use one part baking soda, three parts water. Keep in mind that some people find it makes their hair feel limp if you use too much, too often

2) Deodorant
 No one likes to smell like sweat. Unfortunately, it still happens. Finding a deodorant that works for me usually means getting one that smells so strong people can't smell me over it. Reading up on Do-It-Yourself deodorant, they were talking about how your body sweats more when you use store-bought stuff because it's trying to rid itself of the toxin in it. Make sense? So, I mixed up a batch of deodorant. I don't smell anymore. It's pretty nice.
 Mix 1/3 c. Coconut oil, 1/3 c. Arrowroot powder, and 1 Tbsp. Baking soda. Mix until creamy-it may take a couple of minutes, but it works. You can store it in the fridge or on your dresser, but coconut oil may melt there ( your preference, really. It won't go bad) Original recipe

3) Toothpaste
 My dentist once told me to brush without toothpaste first, and then use toothpaste, because it was proven to clean your teeth better. 'Nough said? My teeth definitely feel and look cleaner than when I was using toothpaste. Just grab that dry toothbrush and scrub!  Worried about bad breath? I've heard that baking soda mouthwash works ( I haven't tried it yet)

4) Lotion
 I hate lotion. I have sensitive skin and anything with a whiff of scent makes my hands sting. So I use coconut oil. That's really all there is to it.

Not convinced? Go Google everything and see what other people have to say!

Go a little farther, get more info, try a different recipe:

Got a good recipe? A failure or success with using your own shampoo, deodorant, etc.? Comment and share!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

No-Bake Energy Bites

These things are amazing. And when I say amazing, I mean "Oh-my-drop-dead-I-had-to-take-bite-before-getting-a-picture-for-the-blog amazing". Yup, they're that amazing. They also take about 5 minutes to make. Yup, that amazing. Sadly, I didn't come up with the recipe; so, all credit goes to Smashed Peas and Carrots (awesome blog name, huh?) Original recipe here.

                                             --No-Bake Energy Bites--

1 c. Certified Gluten-free Oats

1/2 c. Chocolate Chips ( I used dark chocolate. A-maz-ing)

1/2 c. Peanut Butter

1/2 c. Flax seeds ( I used half of what they called for, but feel free to go all out!)

1/4 c. Honey

1 tsp. Vanilla

Combine and thoroughly mix. Roll into balls and then eat them. Yum! You may need to stick them into the fridge for a few minutes so that they're easier to roll.

Yeah, they are definitely amazing.