Lauren’s Favorites

Season’s Greetings on Christmas Eve!

New Fantastic Food:

I found a fabulous new line of nut cheezes that are made from cashews and coconut oil! I was so delighted to find vegan cheeses that have healthy, familiar ingredients! I have tried the shredded Mozzarella, Cheddar and Pepper Jack and they have worked very well in my recipes including: Quiche, French Onion Soup, Enchiladas, Lasagna, Pizza, Grilled Cheeze on SRSLY Sourdough and much more. They have hard and soft cheeses in a variety of  fabulous flavors.

Parmela Cashew Cheeze-Our nut milk cheeses are made using traditional cheese making techniques.  Rich nut milks made from blending cashews and almonds with filtered water form the base.  These are much thicker than the nut milks you would drink, and amazingly have more flavor potential than dairy milks.

It took over 2 years and 2,000 iterations to get the cultures to grow properly in the thick cashew milks and unlock true cheese flavors for the Creamy Treenut Cheese.  In crafting our new aged cheeses we up over 4000 iterations of cultures grown.

The nutmilk cheeses can be found in Whole Foods, New Leaf Markets and other natural food stores or ordered directly  http://www.parmelacreamery.com 

 

SRSL Bread-Gluten-free, Dairy-free San Francisco Sourdough Bread and Rolls! 

SRSLY Bread

http://www.breadsrsly.com

OMG, I thought I’d never be able to eat Sourdough again…until now! I did the happy dance when I found this amazing bread. I am a traditionalist so I like the classic best, but the seeded is very good and my husband loves the Kale(me too). The sandwich rolls are made out of just Sorghum flour so its great for people who have multiple grain sensitivities. She also makes a huge Pullman Loaf that you can special order!

WHY SOURDOUGH?

Bread SRSLY is committed to making nourishing bread. Each loaf is leavened with wild yeast, cultivated from the air and grain. Unlike commercial yeast, wild yeast helps to break down the grains, making them easier to digest, and adding a pleasant tang that we call sourdough.

WHY SERIOUSLY?

We created our bread only after months of research, applying traditional sourdough techniques to our gluten-free recipes. We learned that good bread takes its time to rise. Each Bread SRSLY loaf rises for more than 12 hours, making it SERIOUSLY good for you. In addition to being gluten-free, all Bread SRSLY products are free of dairy, egg, soy, nut, potato, tapioca, and garbanzo.

Available at Health Food Stores including New Leaf Market, Staff of Life, Bi-Rite Markets or Order at: http://bread-srsly.myshopify.com

 

Want to bake your own Bread?

Manini’s Bread Mix & Fresh Pasta

These pastas and breads are so nutritious and have great texture! I’ve enjoyed Manini’s Spaghetti, Lemon-Thyme Linguine and Lasagna Noodles(not the ravioli b/c they contain diary) and bread mixes which are easy and nutritious. Even my Italian friends are now loving this pasta!

At the heart of our commitment to quality is our dedication to making all of our fresh pastas, breads & bakery products and flours from naturally Gluten Free Ancient Grains. Our Ancient Grains include Amaranth, Teff, Sorghum, and Millet, plants that are essentially unchanged from hundreds of years ago. The result is a nutritious, fiber-rich, great-textured food that is delicious and superior in taste, texture and nutrition to the vast majority of typical rice and corn based Gluten Free foods.

http://www.maninis.com

Want less carbs and more protein in your pasta go for: Tolerant Red Lentil or Black Bean Pasta which have great texture and tons of protein and nutrition! Available at Health food Stores and online.

Tolerant Pasta

Sonoma Pasta SauceSonoma Mushroom Pasta Sauce. I had to stop eating tomatoes due to arthritis and was so happy to find this tomato-free sauce! They have many flavors, but not all are dairy-free. I do still make my own with wild mushrooms and sherry, but nice to have a jar in the pantry in a pinch. Available at Health food Stores and online.

 

Paleo-Cake-Therapy-Paleo-Chocolate-Cake-Mix.jpg

Cake Therapy  Paleo Cake Mix: offers gluten free and paleo baking mixes, made from quality natural ingredients, without preservatives or additives. Cake Therapy’s products are always free of gluten, dairy, soy and corn, with grain free options.

Paleo Chocolate Cake Mix Ingredients: Organic coconut flour, arrowroot, almond meal, organic coconut sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder.

I’ve tried all three flavors: chocolate, vanilla and spice, and love them all! They make a moist and tasty cake or cupcakes. I used my Chocolate Ganache Frosting  with Lily’s Stevia Sweetened Chocolate Chips and Cashew Cream Frosting with them. They have recipes and adaptations on their website too! I used the Spice Cake Mix to make a Carrot Cake and it was so delicious.

Teas to go with your dessert or just enjoy anytime:

Art of Tea: Chocolate Mint Tea which is so rich and tasty it does not need anything else. Great way to avoid sweets, drink this tea instead!  www.artoftea.com 

Numi Turmeric Teas are anti-inflammatory and very tasty especially when I add some local raw honey, ginger and homemade cashew milk! Available at health food stores or http://www.Numitea.com

Steven Smith Lord Bergamot Earl Grey Tea

A few other goodies I’ve fallen in love with this year:

Lily’s Fair Trade Stevia Sweetened Chocolate Chips

We love premium dark chocolate. We don’t like sugar. The addition of stevia to premium dark chocolate is a perfect fit. It makes our favorite food even better. Click to learn more about why we love stevia.http://lilyssweets.com

 

 

Chai-I

Vixen Kitchen Premium Vegan Gelato!  So creamy and delicious you will think you are in Italy!  The first time I tasted this luscious Gelato I was in San Francisco on a cold windy day, but had to have it as my teeth chattered! OMG, I was in Heaven and forgot about the cold the first lick! I love that they sweeten with real maple syrup and use cashews as the base! Again, nutritious and delicious and guilt-free! It is expensive b/c they use the highest quality ingredients and it is worth it! Available at health food stores, including Staff of Life. Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Chai, Coffee, Mint,Blueberry.  http://vixenkitchen.co

Xyloburst Chewing Gum, stays soft, sweetened with xylitol which is great for teeth and tastes good! Available at health food stores,  iherb.com and Amazon.com

My new favorite website to buy all the aforementioned goodies and many more at a 25%-75% discount/usually 25% is at http://www.ThriveMarket.com

 

Kitchen Tools:

  • Kitchen Aid 7 Quart Mixer is the largest capacity home mixer and I love my new one in Candy Apple Red! I also bought the:
  • Spiralizer Attachment that also slices and peels fruit and vegetables!

Body Care Products: Many skincare products contain gluten and dairy which go into your bloodstream within 30 seconds! Yes, it will cause you just as much trouble as eating it!

  • Nubian Heritage Soaps and Lotions
  • Evoli Body Butter & Lip Balm, made from all organic healthy oils
  • Zoya Nail Polish, free of formaldehyde and other bad chemicals available at Whole Foods
  • DoTerra essential oils: I do not travel without the OnGuard and put it on my feet every night! DoTerra.com
  • For the Bathroom: Poo Pourri toilet spray. This is so Brilliant! You spray your favorite essential oil based Poo Pourri into the toilet before you go and it acts as a barrier to help keep your bathroom smelling good! It really works, honest! I keep one in my purse and in our bathroom.

Healthcare/Natural Medicine:

  • Alpha CF Homeopathic liquid is lactose free and is what I use at the first sign of a cold or flu and it usually gets rid of it right away or at least shortens the duration to a few days instead of a few weeks. Available at health food stores, you may have to special order the liquid form.
  • Occiliccocinum homeopathic cold and flu, Walgreens, CVS and healthfood store. Pellets contain lactose so either dilute a dose in water and only take a teaspoon or find the Alpha CF liquid.
  • Deep Lung is great for respiratory infections.
  • Chestal Homeopathic Cough Medicine with honey, health food stores and CVS and Walgreens.
  • Yin Chao Chinese Medicine for colds that start with a sore throat is great.
  • High Dose Vitamin C Meyers Cocktail Infusion through an IV drip or push by a naturopathic doctor. http://www.naturopathic.org or wwwCalND.com in CA. This saves me every Christmas/Winter, including this week!

Books:

  • Can’t go to Italy this year read, Dolce di Love By Lynch
  • for Humor and belly laughs read Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
  • go to http://www.hayhouse.com for many inspirational and spiritual books, audio books and DVD’s for adults and children
  • Listen to shows on:
  • http://www.HayHouseRadio.com

Games:

  • Kids and Adults: Simon, an electronic game that lights up and tests your memory. Can be played with 2-4 people
  • Adults: Rummikub, a game with tiles and numbers. Good mental challenge and fun.

 

Clothing:

  • Nomads Organic Clothing, this Canadian company uses all organic fabrics made from hemp, soy, bamboo and cotton. It feels so good on and will not disrupt your hormones or endocrine system and it’s great for the environment. A win-win-win! Just wish they did not make them in China. Sometimes you have to compromise. These clothes feel really soft and warm; and look stylish.                                   Available at https://nomadshempwear.com
  • Synergy Organic Clothing, mostly cotton, made in Nepal. Stores in Santa Cruz and San Francisco and available online http://synergyclothing.com
  • Smart Wool Socks, wool that doesn’t itch and keeps your toes and feet warm in the coldest weather! They also make runners socks-breathable and cushiony! Available at The Sock Shop and online http://www.smartwool.com

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Healthy, Happy New Year filled with wonderful food, friends, family and goodies that improve your health and life! Love and Blessings to all! Please Comment and share with us your favorite  Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, Organic food, things & products.

Be Well and Thrive into your Dreams! 

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Announcing Lauren’s Kitchen Biscotti Company and New DVD Cooking Class!

I promised you a Big announcement and surprise, so here it is just in time for the Holiday’s! I started a Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Low Glycemic Biscotti/Cookie company this year and they are now available to purchase on this site.

They come in two flavors: Cherry Orange and Double Chocolate Chip and have 5 grams of protein and a low Glycemic Load/Index of 18-29!

They differ from all other cookies and Biscotti in two ways; they are a little softer than traditional Biscotti, and they use healthy ingredients that are heart healthy and low glycemic. There is NO XANTHAN GUM/GUAR GUM or corn. 🙂

Most importantly, they are made with love in a GLUTEN-FREE FACILITY! No cross-contamination.

The main ingredients are Gluten-free Oat Flour(high protein/high fiber/heart healthy), Coconut Palm Sugar(low glycemic index) and YUMMY! Most ingredients are organic too.

I love it when I go to the coffee houses that carry my Biscotti and the employees ask me, at the check out, if I’ve had the “delicious” Gluten-free Biscotti! The employees love them even if they are not Gluten-free! So, they are for everyone. I had one employee buy them for her children’s lunches as a healthier choice for a treat! 🙂 Yeah!

New DVD: Chocolate Cooking Class with Chef Lauren!

The other big news is that I have just released a DVD Cooking Class on chocolate! It includes learning to make Chocolate Ganache, Frosting, Fondue and Truffles! They are all Gluten-free and Dairy-free and low glycemic index/load! So, you can finally have a cooking class with Chef Lauren in the comfort of your own home on your time schedule. Don’t know what to buy as a gift for the Holidays or a birthday for someone who is Gluten-free, Dairy-free or reducing their sugar intake? It is also for everyone who loves Chocolate. The Truffles are the perfect, inexpensive gift. Just make the Truffles and put them in cute Chinese take out containers or bags and tie a beautiful bow and you will have a great gift.

I wish you all happy and healthy holidays. Remember to just do what brings you peace and joy.  Go to the Buy Cookbook/Lauren’s Biscotti/DVD page to make your purchases. Thank you for your support. Many Blessings.

Updates for all previous posts

Happy New Year Everyone! I have lots of updated and new information I am excited to share with you. Hope you all had a great holiday season and a have begun a very healthy 2011.

May you have a Valentine’s filled with love and chocolate. No Wheat No Dairy No Problem has an abundance of chocolate recipes for you just in time for Valentine’s Day, but who needs to wait for that? I’ll be making Chocolate Truffles this week and hot chocolate for this rainy Sunday. Those of you who don’t cook or bake can even handle the Hot Chocolate recipe! For those who love to bake; the Molten Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Decadence Cake are a little peice of Heaven, especially with Raspberry Sauce.

Substitutions in No Wheat No Dairy No Problem Cookbook: Yes, you can use low glycemic index Coconut Palm Sugar in my cookbook in all the recipes that call for sucanat, date sugar, maple sugar-just use the same measurement 1 to 1. It is now available at the Beehive and Asian supermarkets and health food stores. Agave has not been proven unsafe, but be sure you use raw blue agave for the least amount of processing. And, make sure to read ingredients and that high fructose/corn syrup has not been added in. The Maple Agave at Trader Joe’s has corn syrup-so, do not use this-buy the blue agave there instead.

Stores: Staff of Life in Santa Cruz is moving across the street on Soquel and is much bigger! I love this store for all the unique and familiar healthy food and the best prices around. It is worth a trip even if you live “over the hill”!

Jones and Bones in Capitola has brought in a line of gluten-free flours-such as sweet potato and mesquite. They have a german line of the healthiest non-stick cookware pots/pans-it has ground diamonds. They are so amazing and don’t scratch. They’re worth the price-not inexpensive but an investment. Jennifer always has one of a kind gifts and gourmet goodies that are fantastic gifts. You can order at www.jonesandbones.com and she will pack and ship it for you. She still has rare olive oils and vinegars too.

Product News: Bob’s Red Mill now has a Gluten Free line-including GF Oats. Well, I have been waiting and now it is here-GF Bisquick! Some Costco locations are now carrying Bison(Buffalo) ground and steaks and roasts for the best price! I found a delicious GF/DF  Chocolate or Carrot Cake, with a fine crumb texture, at Sprouts in Arizona by O’Doughs a Canadian company- It will be carried at Sprouts and the Beehive in San Jose, CA.

Warning: Green and Black’s Chocolate has added Milk Powder to their dark chocolate bars! They have reformulated, too bad. ;(

Bread: You can finally have a baguette that will transport you to France, but it is made in Italy of course!;) It has a crispy crust and soft inside. Makes a great hot dog roll, baguette slices, bruscetta and sandwich roll. It is called Schar and they also have dinner rolls and sliced bread. Yes, it has brown rice flour and psyllium. I don’t suggest you eat it all the time, but it will definately satisfy your yearning without a need to cheat! You just heat it up in a toaster oven or regular oven at 400 degress for 5 minutes.  It is available at the Beehive in San Jose, one of the best gluten free independant health food stores.

Dariy Alternative: Mimicreme has release their Dairy-free/Vegan Whipping “Cream” made with nuts! Yeah, we can have fluffy whipped “cream” again. Try it on top of any of my desserts and my Hot Chocolate recipe-mmm. You can also make the Meringue in my cookbook for a great alternative.

Sad things: Clementine’s Kitchen store in Monterey closed. We wish David and Drew all the best and thank them for providing us with one of the most beautiful cooking stores ever. Lots of Love and best wishes.

New Gluten Testing Lab: Cyrex Labs finally opened! They specialize in the most comprehensive and up to date saliva and blood testing for gluten sensitivity/celiac’s disease  etc…No more endoscopies-that is no longer the gold standard-thank you Cyrex! See the page on this site for Naturopathic Doctors(Dr. Bradley West) who use Cyrex.

Personal News/Blessings & Coming Soon: I will be posting a few of my television apperances on ABC Live in Sacramento and Chicago for you to watch.

Coming Soon: This year I will be filming DVD’s of cooking classes for you to enjoy at your convenience and you can watch them more than once, pause, rewind and fast forward all you like! They will be sold on this site and at my classes/events.

New Page Coming Soon: Dr. Bradley West, a Naturopathic Doctor will be writing a page on this blog for all of you on various subjects-stay tuned for that within the next month.

On a personal note: I’m engaged to be married to a man worth waiting  43 years to share this life together! 🙂

Be Well and share this site with all you know that can benefit from it. “May you live the life you’ve always imagined” by Henry David Thoreau

Chocolate-Heavenly and Healthy!

cocoa pods

Dcocoa pods

Just one bite of luscious dark chocolate can melt away any worries and send you to pure ecstasy-even if it’s for a moment! What’s not to like about that? And if that isn’t enough, it is beneficial to our health!

Chocolate Facts

Chocolate is the most craved food in the United States. Americans consume about 11.7 lbs of chocolate per person annually. Swiss citizens consume the most – 22.4 lbs per person per year.

90% of the world’s cacao is grown by 5-6 million family farmers.

Worldwide production amounts to about 3 million tons. Organic cacao accounts for only a fraction of this. Purchasing organic chocolate will increase this important frontier of sustainability.

Cacao grows within 20 degrees of the equator, and does best when nurtured under the natural canopy of the rainforest. Africa produces 70% of the world’s crop, followed by Latin America and Southeast Asia.

There are three main varieties of cacao
Criollo – Highly prized & rare, thin light colored pods, wonderful aromas.
Forastero – More plentiful, thick pods, pungent flavor.
Trinitario – A cross of Criollo and Forestero, diverse range of characteristics, Good, aromatic flavor and easily grown.

Cacao pods grow out of the cacao tree’s stem and branches, from fragile flowers pollinated by rainforest insects. Cacao pods hold about 50 beans (really seeds). Around 200 beans make 1 pound of chocolate.

There are two main harvests per year, though some amount of cacao can be harvested year round.

Once harvested, the cacao bean and pulp are scooped from the pod and allowed to ferment for about 3-5 days. After this, the beans are dried, roasted, deshelled (winnowing) and ground into a fine paste called chocolate liquor. This is mixed with sweeteners and sometimes milk or other ingredients to make finished products. Click to learn more about types of chocolate, such as milk, dark and white.

Pests and disease destroy about 25% of the world’s cacao each year. Organic methods successfully combat these.

Chocolate and Your Health*

A recent study found that natural cacao powder – which we use in our products – has more antioxidants than alkalized or Dutched varieties.

Some cacao powder is processed with alkali to cut acidity and darken the color. This is called alkalized or Dutch process. We use only high-grade beans with exceptional full flavor, so we do not need to do this. Our cacao powder is “natural”/ non-Alkalized/Non-dutched. We also use natural process cacao in our hot chocolates, coffee beans and our bars. A recent study found that natural process cacao has higher antioxidant levels than alkalized/Dutched cacao. When baking, if you are using a recipe that calls for Dutch process cocoa powder, add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda for every 3 Tablespoons of Dagoba (natural) cacao powder.

· Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) measures total antioxidants. Chocolate has the highest ORAC levels per 100 grams (US Dept of Ag/American Chem Society).
Dark chocolate – 13,120
Milk chocolate – 6,740
Prunes: 5,770
Raisins: 2,830
Blueberries: 2,400
Blackberries: 2036
Kale: 1,770
Strawberries: 1540
Spinach: 1260
Broccoli: 894

· Antioxidant flavanols may help repair damage to smokers’ blood vessels, at least temporarily, according to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

·Cacao has been associated with decreased diabetes & blood pressure (American Heart Association)

· Cacao is rich in B1, B2 and D vitamins, and magnesium and iron.

· Cacao is associated with improved vasodilation, helping increase stamina during exercise. (Athens Medical School)

· Cacao is cholesterol free. Its phenolic properties may also block oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

· Chocolate is associated with euphoria and reduced depression – due to phenylthylamine.

· Serotonin, a well-studied neurotransmitter, is thought to instill calm and relaxed feelings. Chocolate is associated with increased serotonin levels, a factor that is believed to explain chocolate cravings.

· Some researchers believe that serotonin is related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), explaining premenstrual chocolate cravings.

· Stearic acid, chocolate’s predominant saturated fat, has neutral effects on blood cholesterol.

· The European Board of Health lists chocolate as a pre-digestive aid.

What about caffeine?
· Rest easy – 1.4 oz of chocolate has only as much caffeine as a cup of decaf coffee.

What about allergies?
Jeremy Drelich, MD assessed a group of 20 individuals who reported allergic reactions after chocolate consumption. After a week without eating chocolate each individual received skin prick and blood tests for allergies to chocolate and component ingredients (milk, soy,almonds, peanuts, vanilla), and consumed unlabeled cacao and non-cacao samples. Sugar allergies were assessed by giving half the participants unsweetened chocolate and half chocolate made with cane juice. None showed definite evidence of a chocolate allergy, though some tested positive for non-cacao ingredients. By choosing organic products made without additives or fillers – such as organic dark chocolate made without refined sugar – you’ll may find yourself happily reunited with chocolate.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.

Chocolate Resources

Dagobachocolate.com is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free, soy free, vegan, organic and kosher!  Other sources include: www.enjoylifefoods.com and www.sunspire.com chocolate/chocolate chips are also diary free, gluten free, soy free, allergen free, grain sweetened and organic.

Information taken from www.dagobachocolate.com