Monday, April 14, 2008

Playing with Teff Flour

First and foremost the fact that chocolate is on my superfood list makes my heart sing!! It just about makes up for the fact that wheat is on the avoid list.

So one thing I've been doing with my food list is google searching and or hopping on Wikipedia to look up foods I've either never heard of or am not too familiar with. At the very bottom of my carb list it says, "Teff", and I had a series of thoughts that went something like, "hmmmm, never heard of that...", "what the heck is that?" and "what the heck can I do with it?"

Google to the rescue! What in the world did we do before Google?? Anyway up pops Bob's Red Mill: and there are 15 recipes that use Teff Flour! Whoo Hoo!! Jackpot!

One in particular catches my eye-Chocolate Mint Refrigerator Cookies, because I have all the ingredients less the Teff, which I pick up during my next grocery run. I'm so excited that everything is on my good or neutral lists that I whip up a batch of cookies as soon as I return from the store. Here's the recipe for you to try.

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 cup Honey
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Mint Extract
1 cup Teff (Tef, T'ef) Flour
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1/8 Salt
1 cup Walnuts-Baker's Pieces-optional
Cream together butter and honey. Add vanilla and mint extract. Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add walnuts. Place in plastic bag, and shape into a log about 1-1/2" in diameter. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more. Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice refrigerated dough into 18 cookies. Place on oiled baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning. Makes about 18 cookies.
Variations:*Substitute carob powder and chips for cocoa powder and walnuts.
*Substitute chocolate chips, almonds, pecans, flaked coconut, minced dates for raisins and walnuts.
*Substitute cashew butter, almond butter, or tahini for butter.
*Add 1 tsp baking powder and bake as drop cookies without refrigerating. I added b. powder and it still need fridge time for sure!
Serving Size: 1 CookieCalories 170, Calories from Fat 90, Total Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 3.5g, Cholesterol 15mg, Sodium 5mg, Total Carbohydrates 19g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 8g, Protein 3g.

I loved these cookies! They were my first discovery of something "bready" I could make using only ingredients that are good for me! While Teff Flour, at least in this recipe, is a bit on the grainy side, the flavor and the fact that these cookies are actually good for me, far outweigh the grit factor!

I'm still working on perfecting the final product but so far making cookie balls (I opted out of trying to make a log) larger than smaller is good, a smidge smaller than a golf ball, and waiting til they're completely cool before removing them from the pan is important if you want them to retain any sort of recognizable shape. Also timing for me was much less than the recipe says. It's possibly because I was using a toaster oven, though that hasn't ever effected timing for me before. Mine were done in about 7 minutes so don't put them in and walk away like I did for the first batch. It was not good... By the way they weren't named Refrigerator cookies for nothing. Refrigeration is an important step and even though they said the butter should be softened, next time I'm going to try cutting in cold butter to see if they hold their shape better, and if they actually turn out looking like edible cookies I'll post a picture :-)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

So Far...

I've noticed that my skin was clear right before my period when it's usually breaking out. That in and of itself is reason enough to stick with it! ;-) I've also noticed that I'm not experiencing "food coma", getting really sleepy and lethargic, after I eat like I used to which is another fantastic benefit!

So far so good!

For any of you thinking about trying out the Genotype Diet or for anyone who has just begun, I'd highly recommend picking one or two foods to trade in at a time. I chose to start with breakfast because I found easy trades for what I already ate. For example I ate oatmeal with almond milk nearly every morning and neither of those things are on my superfood list, in fact they're on my avoid list! So I simply traded oats for brown rice cereal and almond milk for hazelnut milk. I made a copy of the food lists in the book and carry it with me to the grocery so I can explore new foods. I'm realizing that I'm approaching the change in diet with a lot more wonder and curiosity than I did the first time around with "Eat Right".
Another thing I'd recommend is going to the store when you're full, not hungry lol That's not a good time to try to figure out what you can and cannot eat. It makes for major crankies!

The biggest challenge for me so far is my committment to avoid all wheat, which also means sprouted. At first I thought, "no problem, I have 2 great cookbooks that are completely gluten free. I'll be able to find all kinds of substitutes for the bready, crackery things I normally eat." What I didn't bank on was the fact that the combo of flours she has come up with and perfected over the years uses 3 different flours, 2 of which are on my avoid list-drat! Next! Not sure what that is yet so if anyone has any fantastic ideas I'm open to hearing them. What do you eat for lunch if you're not making sandwiches or wraps? I know there's a world of food options out there for the taking but I got stuck in the PB & J rut, and a person can only eat tuna and gluten free crackers so many times a month, not just cuz it get's boring but because of the whole fish/mercury thing.
So what do you eat for lunch?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

In The Beginning...

Years ago, probably about 10 by now, "Eat Right For Your Type" kept crossing my path til I finally checked it out from the library. I had been diagnosed with both Fibromyalgia and Epstein-Barr Virus and along with those came chronic fatigue, depression, weight loss, etc etc. I wondered if I followed the guidelines for my type, O, if it might help w/all the physical yuck I was dealing with. I was religious about it for 6-9 months and I think it did help, and at the same time it added another stress to my life when I couldn't handle anymore stress. What the heck was I supposed to eat if I eliminated wheat, dairy, corn and potatoes?? Those foods are in everything! I finally decided to loosen up about it, and tried to limit those things among others as much as I could without causing undue stress.

Fast forward to a couple months ago when "Eat Right" started coming up again, but this time for my fiancee and his family, a bunch of whom all typed their blood at home with a kit from the Naturopath's office. So I dug out my old, crumpled, faded O list to share with them and went searching online for a better one, but couldn't find one even on the "Eat Right" website. Instead I started updating my own list via their updated food lists. They've done a lot more research and have added a lot since the book was first published, and discovered that he'd written a new book w/updated info and a new way of looking at things that seems to me to be more refined than the original.

After waiting a couple weeks for the "Genotype Diet" to become available at the library I delved in to all the fun tests and measurements to determine my Genotype, which I've discovered is the Hunter, and corresponds to my O blood type and "Eat Right"!

So I'm off and running on another new journey, much much healthier than I was the first time, and still looking to feel even better!