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RA Natural Way

Sharing what I have learned about treating chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia and indeterminable autoimmune disorders in the most natural way possible while maintaining a positive attitude. Hope. Faith. Love. Yoga. Travel.

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Baking

Pumpkin Ninja

One of the coolest presents that I received this Christmas was the Ninja Mega Kitchen System:

My mother knows how much I love to cook and that my cooking gadgets are antiques! Today I opened up the Ninja, read a few instructions and put it to work!

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I wanted to make this gluten-free pumpkin bread to share with my friends at book club. I’ve never made this particular brand before, found at the discount grocery store. Hopefully I can find it again because it did turn out moist and delicious!

This particular Ninja set can be used for so many different things! First, I tested it’s chopping abilities with a 1/2 cup of pecans. Next, I changed the metal blade to the plastic bread mixing one. I dumped all of the ingredients into the mixer and held my breath while I pushed the “Dough” button.

Everything mixed together perfectly! But now I had to get it out of the mixer and into the bread pan. This proved to be much harder because the dough was thick.

Here I’ve removed the blade and tried to get all of the dough scraped off:

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While the bread was baking, I made myself a smoothie to test the single serve option. I didn’t have much to work with but it turned out yummy! This is so easy with very little clean up. I feel so lucky have have these fun gadgets to play with now!

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Pancakes for New Years Day

This year I took responsibility for my pain and made some big changes! I also made big promises to myself, including setting lofty goals. Starting this blog was a huge part of my plan to educate others on RA and the necessary changes I’ve had to make for my health. It has been a slow and difficult process, with lots of trial and error, but progress has been made!

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2014 is full of possibilities with so much to look forward to! I’m happy that 2013 has come to close. It was a wild year, full of uncertainties and huge obstacles to overcome. Looking forward to the future, now more than ever…

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I’m planning a long road trip this summer and I look forward to writing all about it! The Trip will begin at the Grand Canyon and hopefully continue west for at least month! I have lots of training to do if I’m going to hike down to the bottom and camp the canyon with my boyfriend! Setting goals and achieving them is something I take very seriously. Over the years, I have achieved some challenging goals, but these will probably prove to be the hardest yet!

More about that later…

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It was a very rainy, yucky January 1st at my house! Therefore, I prepared a treat for dinner to cheer myself up! I used the same mix from the delicious banana bread I made a few weeks ago. The recipe called for 1 cup of mix, 1 large egg, 3/4 cup of water and 1 tbsp of oil. I used an organic egg and vegetable oil. After mixing up all of the ingredients, I decided to add a little more of the Mix to thicken it up. It should make four pancakes about the size of the ones below, but I only made 3 to ensure that I would have enough room to flip them. It’s been a while since I made pancakes! I cooked them slowly on low-medium heat and topped them off with a little butter/olive oil spread, organic maple syrup and sliced bananas.

The pancakes turned out to be delicious but rather filling! From this meal, I consumed about 3.5 grams of saturated fat, which is something I constantly have to monitor. Sugars are also on the bad list and must be monitored. These were a real treat and I’m glad I made them for this special day! Tomorrow begins the hard work… cutting down on my sugar intake and making this body stronger!

Happy New Year everyone!!

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Pamela’s Banana Nut Bread

I am a lover of banana nut bread and my mother makes the best! But while I’m not currently eating gluten, I need to find a substitute. Pamela’s comes close!

IMG_3531editHere is what you’ll need to get started:

  • 2 bananas (1 cup, smashed)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar, or honey
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1-3/4 cups pancake mix
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350F. Beat together butter, sugar or honey, eggs and banana. Add remaining ingredients and mix together with a spachela. Pour into a large greased loaf pan. Bake in oven for 30 minutes and check for doneness with a toothpick. *The package said to cook for an hour but mine did not take that long. Every oven is different.

I thought this banana nut bread turned out wonderful! I plan on sharing a loaf with my family. Don’t forget to serve warm! Just in time for the holidays!

Yummy! Bananas and Pecans are two of my favorite things! A truly enjoyable gluten-free version!
Yummy! Bananas and Pecans are two of my favorite things! A truly enjoyable gluten-free version!

Gluten Free Cookies

My first attempt at gluten free cookies was not as successful as the chocolate brownies… but I learned from my mistakes and the second batch turned out ok!IMG_3024 copy

Making these cookies is much harder than any other cookie I’ve ever baked! The batter is so sticky that I had to ask my boyfriend to scrape off my hands for me. It says to roll the batter into little balls and this proved to be most difficult. Even using a spoon was futile. But once my hands were clean, I kept them wet and was able to to get the dough rolled…

They cooked faster than the box said and the first batch burned really fast! It’s a good idea to always do a test batch when baking something for the first time!

I used dark chocolate chips and the second batch turned out yummy!

Closer to Christmas, I will try more brands and combinations so that I can get my holiday cookie fix and remain gluten free!

Chocolate Brownies (Gluten Free)

These are the first gluten free chocolate brownies that I have ever made! I have seen this brand at many stores, but found this particular box at my local discount grocery store! It was a little banged up, but the contents were delicious!

IMG_2987editI went online and read reviews before baking. With all the gluten free baking I’ve been doing, I appreciate good tips! Many people said to let them cool on the counter, slice into bite size pieces, then cover and put in the freezer until needed.

Instead of using 1/3 cup of oil, I used part water, part oil. This cuts down on calories a bit. Real butter was used in these as well. Even though I cook from a lot of Vegan recipes, I am not one.

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I’m finding that most gluten free products are best served warm or right out of the freezer. The frozen brownie bites were a big hit at my book club meeting last week!

At my local farmers market, I found pecans and chopped them up to add a little crunch. At least I can still enjoy these favorite nuts!

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They turned out wonderful! Not too shabby for a gluten free product! I definitely recommend keeping them in the freezer unless you are going to eat them right away!

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Thanksgiving Firsts

This was a particularly challenging Thanksgiving due to the fact that I am trying not to eat gluten, dairy or red meat. Every day is a challenge but holidays are the worst! My friends prepared a gigantic feast for 15 of us, which included two turkeys, a ham, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, rolls and many different desserts.

Knowing ahead of time that I could only eat the turkey, I prepared sweet potatoes and corn bread. I also baked a vegan, gluten free apple pie. The crust didn’t turn out as well as I hoped, but I learned a lot in the process. I included the recipe in this post.

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What a feast!
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So much food!
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pre-baked apple pie

This is what most plates looked like!

Lots of yummy goodness!

Here is a recipe for apple pie filling:

Ingredients:

  • Granny Smith Apples (5-6)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar *I used organic cane sugar
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice

We peeled and cored the apples first. Then cut them into smaller pieces. I went back later and added a few more pieces to hold up the crust. The more apples the better! They will shrink down to mush in the oven.

We put all the ingredients in a bowl, and mixed them together. This proved challenging because there wasn’t a lot of moisture. But there will be plenty once the apples are baked.

We baked our pie at 400F for 15 minutes while covered. Then lowered to 375F, removed foil and baked for 30 minutes, while watching carefully to make sure crust did not burn. Depending on the crust you choose to use, these temperatures and times may vary. Let pie cool for a few hours before eating.

Next time I will make my pie crust from scratch instead of buying a mix. The filling turned out really yummy though and I look forward to trying this again!

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Cornbread!

Yummmm! Just what I’m craving when the weather turns chilly!

I used this brand for Thanksgiving! Once
again, like most gluten free products, they are best served warm with real butter! 🙂 But that’s just my southern opinion!

20131201-190533.jpg They are super easy to make and only require eggs and water! I have received nothing but good reviews so far!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of yummy food!

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