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Posts Tagged ‘Grain-Free’

My post from April 9,  Fabulously Frugal, Sprouted Lentils, reminded me that I have been wanting to share another fabulous way to save money on natural, gluten-free, and organic foods. A few months back I began actively seeking coupons, weekly sales, and special discounts for items that we regularly purchase from stores. At first I was skeptical – I though that there wouldn’t be coupons and sales for natural and organic foods – yet over the last few months I have found several ways to make these types of small savings add up – all without compromising on buying mostly local, fairly traded, and organic food! This week I’ll share my strategies for gluten-free, organic, and natural foods couponing.

Initially, I was inspired to investigate the possibilities of natural foods coupons by the Chinook Book. The book costs $20, but can be found on sale for $15 (we bought one at the Better Living Show for $10). It is filled with coupons for discounts on natural foods and at natural foods stores (and for many other green-ish businesses). In my household the Chinook Book quickly pays for itself. For example, for each of Portland’s Co-Op’s (People’s, Food Front, and Alberta Street) there are coupons for 5 dollars off a purchase of 25 dollars. That’s 25% off our groceries!

Click here to view a list of the natural grocery coupons in the Chinook Book.

Click here to view a list of the local grocery store coupons in the Chinook Book.

Keep an eye out for coupon books in your favorite grocery stores. New Season’s and Whole Foods each have in-store coupon books. (Whole Foods coupons are also available online.) People’s, Food Front, and Alberta Street Co-Ops (and other co-ops) share the bi-monthly Co-Op Advantage coupon book, though not all of the products are available at every store. Free, bi-monthly publications like Remedies for Life, Taste for Life, and Delicous Living frequently contain coupons, I pick them up at Food Front in Hillsdale. Other print publications frequently contain coupons, I like to scan neighborhood and weekly newspapers, as well as my favorite print magazines devoted to healthy lifestlyes. (Living Without and Whole Living frequently contain natural foods coupons.)

I’ve found a few coupon websites devoted to natural foods. Mambo Sprouts Coupons is affiliated with the coupon giant Coupons.com and is regularly updated with new coupons. Coupons.com, like the Sunday paper coupon inserts, is mostly for conventional foods, however, there are occasionally natural products coupons to be found on/in both. HealthESavers.com is also dedicated to natural foods, but it is updated only occasionally Whole Foods coupons are updated bi-monthly, but (of course) they are only good at Whole Foods.

Click here to view Mambo Sprouts coupons

Click here to view Coupons.com coupons.

Click here to view HealthESavers coupons.

Click here to view Whole Foods coupons.

Some natural foods companies offer coupons to people who sign up for their mailing lists or become their Facebook fans. Look for mailing lists and facebook pages that offer specific coupons when you sign-up or ‘like’ the company. I’ve had repeated success with directly contacting companies and requesting coupons. I send quick e-mail note telling the company what at I appreciate about them, which products I buy, and I request coupons. (Some even send samples!) I encourage you to contact some of these exciting companies.

Columbia Gorge Organics

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap (they make coconut oil too),

Food For Life (sprouted and gluten-free breads)

Nancy’s Cultured Dairy & Soy

(These links provide you with the contact page, but you must make the request.)

All of this may seem exciting and overwhelming, so here are three things that I do to keep couponing helpful and under-control.

#1. My own rule has become that coupons must be for something I would normally purchase (even without the coupon) or for special treats on special occasions. (They’re for saving money not spending more!)

#2. Organization is key. I keep a small 3-ring binder with clear pockets to organize all of my coupons. It’s cute, tidy, and fits easily into my purse or shopping basket. I’m sure to keep it with me and I’ve seen other shoppers eyeing it enviously!

#3. Combining coupons and sales is always best, so next week I’ll share how I keep track of sales.

Do you have any tips for gluten-free, organic, or natural-foods couponing? I’d love to hear any suggestions in the comments below.

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Gluten-Free, Sourdough Pita Bread

Makes 8

I’m truly delighted by these little, gluten-free, sourdough flat breads. They puff-up when baked, they’re perfect for pocket sandwiches, and they’re wonderful with hummus!

2 cups mature Gluten-Free Natural Levain Starter Culture

½ cup warm (about 100 degrees F), well, spring, or filtered water

1 ½ cups tapioca flour, plus more for rolling out the dough

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1 ½ cups sorghum flour

1 ½ teaspoons whole, unrefined sea salt

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl combine the mature starter, warm water, honey, chia seeds, and xanthan gum. Whisk until evenly combined, about 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of the sorghum flour and ½ cup of the tapioca flour at a time. Use a wooden spoon or the dough hook to mix incorporated. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Mix until the oil has been absorbed into the dough, about 1 more minute. Scrape the dough into a ball. Lightly oil the mixing bowl. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat in the oil. Cover tightly. Set to rise in a warm (about 75 degrees F) place for 2 ½-3 hours, until nearly doubled in bulk.

Center the oven rack. Place a cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan in the cold oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Use a bench scraper or chef’s knife to cut the dough into eight equal portions. Lightly flour your hands, a work surface, and a rolling pin.  Form the dough into a ball. Flatten and roll into a round that is ¼-inch to 3/8-inch thick and about 6-inches in diameter.

Bake 3-4 breads per batch on the hot cookie sheet. After 3 minutes remove from the oven. Flip each bread. Use the flat side of a metal spatula to press down all of the bubbles in the pita (this actually helps the bubbles to expand). Return to the oven. Bake until puffy and barely browned, about 3-4 more minutes. Stack hot pita breads and wrap in a kitchen towel. This will keep them moist and warm for up to one hour. Serve while still warm. Store cooled pita tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Fabulously Frugal, Sprouted Lentils

Makes 4 cups

Dried lentils, soaked and cooked form the basis of many richly flavored but inexpensive dishes throughout the world.  Organic dried lentils cost about $1.30 per pound (one pound is over 2 cups) and soaked lentils roughly triple in quantity once cooked. When lentils are sprouted they triple in volume even before being cooked! Thus, 1 cup of organic dried lentils (less than 65 cents worth) could yield up to 6 cups of sprouted lentil soup. That’s a fabulously frugal!

Use sprouted lentils in any dish where you would normally use dried lentils. When substituting sprouts in a recipe start by reducing the amount of dried lentils called for by 1/4. Some of my favorite lentil dishes are Dal (Indian lentil soup), Lentil Salad from Nourishing Traditions, and Lentil Pecan Patties from the Moosewood Cookbook.

1 cup whole, organic lentils

clean (well, spring, or filtered) water

Add the lentils to a wide mouth mason jar. Cover with 2 inches of water. Cover tightly with the lid. Store in a warm (about 72-75 degrees F) place. Twelve to 24 hours later replace the mason lid with a sprouting screen. Drain the soaking water from the lentils. Add more water to cover the lentils. Swirl the jar to thoroughly rinse the soaked lentils. Drain and discard all of the water from the jar. Invert the jar over a small bowl for 5-10 minutes to allow any remaining water to drain out. Thoroughly rinse and drain the lentils 2-3 times each day until you see a small sprout emerge, about 2-3 days.

When the sprout emerges the lentils can be cooked immediately or refrigerated for future use. To use immediately, cook the lentils according to your recipe. Be sure to skim any film that accumulates on top of the cooking water. To store sprouted lentils replace the sprouting screen with a mason lid. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Rinse the refrigerated sprouts every other day using the sprouting screen. Remember to let the sprouts drain over a small bowl for 5-10 minutes, then cap tightly and return to the refrigerator.

This post was shared on Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday , Simply Sugar & Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday, Mind, Body, and Sole’s  Wildcrafting Wednesday  and Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday blog hops.

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Grain-Free Raisin Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

Makes one 9-inch square cake

To celebrate the good news of Easter I’m baking this gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and gum-free raisin carrot cake. Like my Black Bean Chocolate Cake, this cake is made from cooked beans rather than from flours. The naturally sweet pinto bean is actually undetectable in this light, moist cake!

sunflower oil

1 cup raisins

1 ½ cups cooked, drained pinto beans

1 cup whole cane, date, or coconut palm sugar

¾ cup extra-virgin coconut oil, at room temperature (about 72 degrees F)

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt, finely ground

1 ½ cups grated carrots, about 2 large

2/3 cup cinnamon glaze

Center the oven rack. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9–inch square baking pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper. Generously oil the sides of the cake pan. Place the raisins in a small bowl. Add enough warm (about 100 degrees F) water to cover them by one inch.

Assemble the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade. Add the cooked beans, sugar, coconut oil, and eggs. Process until a smooth batter forms, about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Process until the powders become fully incorporated into the batter, about 1 more minute. Drain the water from the raisins. Add the drained raisins and the grated carrots to the batter. Pulse just until the raisins and carrots are distributed evenly throughout the batter, about 2-3 times. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Use a knife to loosen the cake from the edges of the pan. Invert a serving platter on top of the cake pan. Quickly flip the cake and pan over onto the serving platter. Lift off the pan. Discard the parchment paper on top of the cake. Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake just before serving

Cinnamon Glaze  

Makes 2/3 cup

1 cup confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4-5 tablespoon coconut milk

In a medium bowl combine confectioners sugar and cinnamon. Use a whisk to mix until the cinnamon is evenly distributed. Add 4 tablespoons of the coconut milk. Whisk until combined. The glaze should be thin enough to spoon over the cake. If necessary, thin the gaze with one additional tablespoon of coconut milk.

This post was shared at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday , at Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday, at Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday, and at The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday blog carnivals.

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Kefir Sauerkraut

Makes about 1 quart

Dairy kefir grains can be used to make quick and consistently delicious cultured sauerkraut. The kefir grains act as a starter culture for the cabbage, the ‘kraut ferments for just 2-3 days, and the results are predictable: tangy, crunchy, and palate pleasing. To preserve the probiotic content, heat raw, cultured sauerkraut to no more than 110 degrees F. Serve as a garnish to savory dishes like baked beans, vegetable or lentil salads, roasted meats, or stir-fries. This recipe is inspired by Dom’s Kefirkraut recipe.

1 medium sized white cabbage

1 tablespoon unrefined sea salt

1 tablespoon dairy kefir grains, well rinsed (see cooks notes)

clean (well, spring, or filtered) water

Prepare a half-gallon (or one-gallon) wide-mouth glass jar by washing it in hot soapy water (use soap, not detergent). Remove any wilted or discolored outer leaves on the cabbage. Discard them. Peel off one crisp outer leaf. Trim it one-inch larger than the diameter of the jar. Set it aside to be used later as a cover for the sauerkraut.

Use a chef’s knife to half, core, and thinly slice the cabbage. Place one quarter of the sliced cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle with one quarter of the salt. Use a large wooden pestle, kraut pounder, or the flat end of a meat hammer to bruise the cabbage leaves. When the vegetables have been thoroughly bruised, add another quarter of the cabbage. Sprinkle with another quarter of the salt. Repeat the bruising process with the remaining cabbage and salt.

Place one half of the kefir grains in the bottom of the prepared jar. Add one half of the cabbage. Press down firmly with your pestle, pounder, or hammer. Evenly compact the cabbage within the jar. Add the remaining kefir grains. Then add the remaining cabbage. Again, press down to evenly compact the mixture. Cover the shredded cabbage with the reserved cabbage leaf. Tuck the edges of the leaf into the sides of the jar. Add a weight heavy enough to hold the cover leaf in place (see cooks notes). Add enough water to cover the top of the sauerkraut by one inch. Cover the top of the jar with a cloth or paper towel. Secure the cover tightly with a rubber band or string.

Store at room temperature (about 65-75 degrees F) until the kraut smells and tastes pleasingly tangy, about 2-3 days. Skim any foam that rises to the top during the fermentation period. If the liquid evaporates, add water to keep the sauerkraut covered by one inch.

Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. The taste of kefir kraut is stable for two weeks. After 2 weeks of storage it becomes increasingly, though pleasantly, tart. Eat within one month.

Cooks notes:

To prepare kefir grains for making sauerkraut rinse them in water until it runs clear. No traces of milk should remain.

If it fits through the opening in the sauerkraut jar, a pint-sized mason jar, filled with water, and capped tightly may be used as the weight. To use a stone as a weight for fermentation, select one that is non-porous, relatively heavy and flat, and fits easily through the mouth of your fermentation jar. Scrub the stone with hot soapy water. Then, sanitize it by dropping it into a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes (alternately, drop the stone into the silverware tray of the dishwasher and sanitize it with the next load of dishes).

Read more about Making Kefir

Read more about why Fermented Beverages are Homemade Probiotics and Multi-Vitamins

This recipe was shared on Fat-Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays,  Hearth & Soul Hop, Real Food Wednesday, and at the Probiotic Food Challenge.

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Gluten-Free, Grain Free Strawberry Shortcakes

Makes 9

These slightly sweet, biscuit-style shortcakes are made gluten-free with coconut and arrowroot flours. Simplify this desert by omitting the strawberry sauce and whipped cream and topping the warm shortcakes with butter and strawberry jam. This recipe calls for mixing the dough by hand – but if you prefer, combine the recipe in the bowl of food processor instead of using a pastry cutter. Pulse the food processor and avoid over-mixing the dough.

1 cup coconut flour

1 cup arrowroot flour, plus more for rolling out the dough

½ cup whole cane sugar or palm sugar

½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt, finely ground

1 large egg, lightly beaten

8 tablespoons coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for buttering the pan

4 cups Strawberry Sauce

2 ½ cups Honey Whipped Cream

Adjust the rack to the center of the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine the coconut flour, arrowroot flour, sugar, and salt. Mix until coarsely combined. Add the egg, coconut milk, and vanilla extract. Use a pastry cutter or two butter knives to work the liquids into the flours. The mixture should resemble a coarse pea sized meal. Add the butter. Using the pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour mixture until the dough sticks together when pressed, about 2-3 minutes.

Lightly butter a sheet pan. Dust a work surface and rolling pin with arrowroot flour. Turn out the dough and dust it lightly with the flour. Roll out the dough into a ½-inch thick slab. Use a 2-inch diameter round cookie cutter. Press straight down when cutting – don’t twist. Gently lift the shortcakes from your work surface and place them evenly spaced on the cookie sheet.

Bake until browned on top, about 30-35 minutes. Serve while still warm, or reheat just before serving in a toaster oven set on low. Store shortcakes tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (or for up to two weeks in the freezer).

To serve pour 1/3 cup Strawberry Sauce over each shortcake and top with a dollop of Honey Whipped Cream.

This was shared on Real Food Wednesday, the Grain-Free Real Food Link Carnival,  Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, and the Favorite Fruit Recipes Blog Hop.

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 20

Gluten-free, grain-free, crisp at the edges, chewy inside – I can’t ask for more! Be aware that many naturally sweetened chocolate chips contain malted barley (a gluten-containing grain). Look for a brand sweetened with cane sugar.

1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil, at room temperature (about 70 degrees F)

½ cup coconut palm sugar or whole cane sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup coconut flour

½ cup arrowroot powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup gluten-free chocolate chips

½ cup crispy sunflower seeds or crispy nuts, roughly chopped (optional)

Position the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together coconut oil and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla extract, vinegar, and salt. Whisk until the mixture lightens in color and becomes well blended, about 1-2 minutes. Sift together the coconut flour, arrowroot powder, and baking soda. Add ¼ of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Stir until it is well incorporated. Repeat until all of the flour mixture is added. Add the chocolate chips and optional seeds or nuts. Mix until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Measure 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Space them about 1-inch apart on the cookie sheet. Bake until just browned around the edges, about 15-20 minutes. Use a heat safe spatula to remove cookies from the baking sheet. Cool them on a plate. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.

This was shared on Real Food Wednesday and the Grain-Free Real Food Link Carnival.

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