Sunday, February 27, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Hazelnut "Nutella" (Spread)

Based on homemade nutella recipes, this combines the best of nutella without the chocolate.

2 C raw hazelnuts
10 vanilla beans scraped
1-1/2 C powdered sugar
1-1/2 T vanilla extract
1/4 C melted coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan and toast them in the oven until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking for even color, and cool briefly.

Place the toasted nuts into a plastic bag and rub them firmly until most of the skin comes off of the nuts. Don't worry about the stuff that sticks, it just makes it pretty.

Place the roasted skinned nuts into food processor and process for about 5 minutes, scraping sides periodically, until you have smooth hazelnut butter. Add in the sugar, vanilla bean scrapings and vanilla extract. Process until smooth, then slowly pour the coconut oil into the processor until you have a spreadable texture.

Spread on breads, in sandwiches, on top of waffles or pancakes, an unusual frosting or filling for cakes, or any other nutella-like ideas that come to mind. And enjoy your vanilla nutella sulfur-free! :)


© 2012, Miriam Mason

Cookware While Chelating

It's amazing how much metal can get into the foods and liquids you cook and heat, just by the mere act of heating them. Since you are chelating, the best metals for you to use would be cast iron or titanium to cook in. The stainless steel pans with aluminum cores can still leach, although they are better than plain aluminum. Avoid nonstick pans and pure aluminum cookware. These leach and add unwanted chemicals to your body.

Silicon also works beautifully, but if you must use nonstick for things like muffins or cupcakes, line them with paper instead of placing food directly against them.

And of course, glass is always a good thing to use, if you can. Most of our bakeware is either clay or glass.

Clay pots are wonderful, and you soak them for 20 minutes before you cook in them. They make food so moist the delicate and they are healthy to cook in.

For big giant soups, titanium is very expensive but absolutely the ideal. Second choice would be stainless steel with a completely hidden aluminum core (for proper heat distribution). If you can see the aluminum either on the top of the bottom, the pot is no good, and you need a replacement.

Preferably do not store hot foods in plastic containers, or heat up food in plastic containers in the microwave. Transfer to glass, if possible. Plastics leach a lot and this is an added burden your body doesn't need right now while you chelate.


"Buttermilk" Pancakes

Okay, let's start with breakfast in the first recipe!

These are delicious pancakes, considering no egg at all. This is my recipe, and if you want to post it as long as you include my name as the author, you may post freely.

by Miriam Mason

1-1/2 T apple cider vinegar
2 C coconut milk (from a carton, not a can)
1 T melted butter
2 t EnerG egg replacer
1/4 C warm water
2 t baking powder
1 T sugar (or organic agave or coconut sugar)
2 C flour (we always use whole wheat white, but gluten-free will also work)
1/2 t salt

Wet: Put apple cider vinegar into a 2 cup measure then fill with coconut milk. Give it a small stir and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to sour. Mix together egg replacer and warm water, beat very well until frothy. After milk has soured combine in a small bowl with egg replacer water and melted butter and whisk together.

Dry: Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combined until just mixed.

Use 1/4 cup measure to pour out pancakes on a preheated (on medium) greased iron pan. Allow to cook until bubbly in the middle and slightly dry around the edge then flip the pancake and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes until cooked through.

Serve and enjoy.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Foods and Products

Since soy is not an option for those of us on low sulfur diets, we are sometimes even more limited than a vegan diet in terms of making dishes with loads of dairy products and eggs. Finding suitable replacements for those has been a huge asset.

For dairy products, we largely use unsweetened coconut milk from Turtle Mountain. They also have yogurt and cultured coconut milk. Ice cream requires full fat coconut milk in cans. Make sure there are no thickeners or preservatives. You can use other nut milks, like almond milk, or rice milk. All varieties of milk should sour with about a Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1-1/2 cups milk, which gives you "buttermilk," and some nice variations thereof.

Recommend for oils a mix of butter and coconut oil for flavor. Occasionally we still use canola oil, I would much prefer safflower, but alas, safflower isn't a GM crop and is less readily available. With oils there's really no limit, since oils never contain sulfur.

Egg replacers are varied and depend on what recipe you are using. For most baking, I have found using a lot of EnerG egg replacer is good (usually twice what is called for). For binders, ground flax seed soaked in warm water is excellent. Sometimes all that is needed is some extra starch, in which case, tapioca, potato, arrowroot or even corn starch will work fine. For moisture, applesauce or pearsauce is lovely in some cases. And combinations can be interesting. Tofu is out, alas.

Cheese is tough, but I have found vegan recipes that use ground nuts, pimentos or red bell peppers with nutritional yeast, a bit of water and a whole lot of grinding for cheesey sauce. For hard cheese, you use a similar mixture, but can add Agar Agar to it to harden it. No, it isn't cheese, for those of us who love cheese so dearly, the very thought activates our salivary glands, but it's a reminder of what cheese can mean, which is important, I think.

Which brings me to the question of whether or not nutritional yeast contains sulfur as yeast extract does. If it does, since I am sulfur sensitive, especially around chelation rounds, I have no trouble at all with it. Perhaps because I'm not using a lot of it. 1/4 cup can flavor 4-6 pounds of potatoes, so overall, the intake isn't that high. If it makes you uncomfortable, exclude it, and perhaps use a different overall seasoning. It does not seem to be responsible for raising my thiol level, which is pretty noticeable to me now after nearly two years of being on this diet.

And alas, it's hard to be without dark leafy greens and many of the vegetables that contain sulfur, but I have been exploring different ways of using varieties of lettuces, and it's surprising how versatile it can be. We also juice a lot of carrots and apples around here. And celery sticks with sunflower seed butter in them rock for a snack. Squash and sweet potatoes are enormously healthy and can be used in a diverse set of ways; eggplant is a girl's best friend when it's cooked properly; and cucumber is a great refreshing addition to all kinds of things and french artichoke is lovely with melted butter.

Suggest that you make your own chicken or beef or turkey stocks with carrots, celery and salt then strain and freeze them in pint size containers so you always have a sulfur-free variety of soup stock available to you. Obviously, contrary to common practice (even in the store bought brands) never use any onion or garlic of any sort in your stock.

Fruits are great, and most, with the exception of pineapple, are free of sulfur. There is nothing like a fruit crisp with warmed coconut milk poured over it on a cold day. Fruit offers so many options and so few limits.

Chocolate? Yes, sad. No chocolate. No coffee, either. This does not mean you must be deprived of amazing desserts, though. Some of the desserts here might be too sweet for stomachs having trouble with candida. Apologize to those out there for whom some might be too sweet. I will try to present a diversity of choices as this progresses.

For those with a hankering for some fudge, though, this might be your place. :)


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Introduction to Low Sulfur Cooking

According to Andrew Cutler, about 30-50% of mercury toxic people will be high cysteine, and will have difficulty tolerating foods with high sulfur content. I'm one of those folks. I'm on a low sulfur diet, especially when I'm detoxing.

This blog is based on the information and food lists available at Living Network's Sulfur Food List site. Please read that page before continuing. It explains how to do a test diet to see if you are high cysteine and precisely which foods you may and may not use.

The recipes on this blog are intended for people who are high cysteine, are probably chelating mercury using the Andrew Cutler Protocol.

Disclaimer: I am just a high cysteine individual who enjoys digging for great tasting foods within the limitations of my low sulfur diet. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or health care provider. If you have additional food sensitivities, you may need to revise these recipes to fit your needs. I am doing this blog to have a centralized spot to collect recipes, create recipes, revise recipes and offer tips. Some foods that people insist have sulfur (i.e. nutritional yeast), and that are not on the list, I have found I am quite tolerant of. Obviously, follow your needs. Also, these recipes may not be completely free of sulfur, but they are low sulfur and I have tolerated them very well, even during a chelation round.

I love good food, and I think good food contributes to feeling good which then contributes to better healing. Food is pleasure. Food is celebration. Food is connection and nurturing. I love little more than experimenting with a new recipe, revising other recipes to answer my various pangs. It is in that spirit that I begin this blog. I hope you enjoy it, and feel free to comment.