Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Oodles of Noodles & Other Fun Food - WEEK 31/Full GAPS Diet

My husband and I continue to enjoy vastly improved symptoms with the full GAPS diet. My energy level continues to stabilize and increase, and my husband's venturings into the bathroom remain of normal frequency.

Fermentation Station
I am starting to settle into my kitchen routine more. I recently added this lovely shelving unit as my "Fermentation Station." It can be purchased for $80 (free shipping) at

Recent favorite GAPS-friendly inventions include: Vietnamese pho, spaghetti, meat loaf, dairy-free cream of tomato soup, apple crisp, and dairy-free milkshakes. I don't have time to share them all here, but I've highlighted a few below.

Probiotic Non-Dairy Cream of Tomato Soup

Probiotic Non-Dairy Cream
of Tomato Soup
3-4 lacto-fermented roma tomatoes (I bought these organic tomatoes in bulk for about $1.30/lb during the season and fermented them in a 5L Fido jar with fresh basil and garlic)
Lacto-fermented Romas
1/2 c. fresh home-made raw almond milk
1/4 c. cold-pressed organic extra virgin olive oil
1 T. fresh herb of your choice (sage is good!)
Dash of pepper
1T. fresh herb, chopped finely for garnish

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until completely creamy and smooth. If you have a Vitamix, blend until warm, but not hot, as we want to maintain the probiotic value of the lacto-fermented tomatoes. Pour into bowls and sprinkle herb on top for garnish. Eat cold or warm as desired. Serves 2.

GAPS-Friendly Spaghetti

I'm not very "up" on gadgets, so I had no idea that such a thing as a vegetable noodler even existed until a friend told me about them a couple months ago. 
Well, here it is, and as you can see, it works quite nicely on this yellow zucchini. I bought it on for about $35. To cook these noodles, you boil water as usual and then blanch them for 1-2 minutes. Strain and serve. I made a hearty spaghetti sauce to go with these.

1.3 lb. package organic ground beef
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1-2 t. each of dried oregano, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, basil
10 ripe organic roma tomatoes
1/4 c. coconut or other high-heat oil.
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the beef in a large skillet or pot with the oil and onions. Chop the tomatoes coarsely and add them to the pot. Add herbs, salt, and pepper. Cover with a splatter screen and boil on med-high heat until the tomatoes have turned to sauce and the sauce is thick to desired consistency. Spoon over zucchini noodles and serve. Serves 4.

Zucchini Spaghetti
Apple Crisp

4-5 organic apples, cored and thinly sliced
1c. raw almonds, ground to coarse meal
Apple Crisp
1/2 c. raw cashews, ground to coarse meal
2-4 T. raw honey
2-4 T. coconut oil
1-2 T. cinnamon

Place the apples in an 8x8-inch baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cut the almonds, cashews, honey, coconut, and remaining cinnamon together coarsely in a bowl using a fork. Sprinkle over the apples. Bake for 30-40 min or until desired crispness. Serves 6.

My Ginger Bug Grew a Scoby!

Yes, surprise, surprise, my ginger bug grew it's own SCOBY from scratch. This is really fun... At first I was concerned that maybe this was a bad sign, but it smells great, looks great, and tastes great. No hint of excessive yeasts, no mold. The culture remains active. I had a hard time finding any information about this online, but I did finally run across another blogger who reported a similar experience. You can see from the image above that there is a thin SCOBY film on top of the ginger culture (notice the healthy bubbling action too!). In the picture below, you can see the translucent SCOBY from the top (slightly reflective and shiny in appearance). It is still thin, but I anticipate it will continue to grow.

I have changed my ginger bug routine somewhat. When I first started it, I read that you had to feed it daily. However, some people said twice per day, some
once per day; some said add 1t. of sugar and ginger into 2c. of water, while others suggested 1T. of sugar and ginger into only 2T. of water... In short, there doesn't seem to be much consensus on what makes for a good ginger bug. So I decided to depart from convention and see how my bug would do if I didn't babysit it quite so closely. I have left it for up to 3-4 days without adding any sugar and ginger with no problems. I add about 1-2T. of sugar and 1-2T. of ginger every few days, and add some water when it looks like it needs it. When there gets to be too much old ginger, I just throw some of it out, and continue adding it every few days. About once every 7-9 days, I make ginger beer with a combination of ginger bug and kombucha as a starter. For this, I remove almost all the liquid from my ginger bug except about 1/4 c. or so (out of about 2-3 cups). Then, I add a cup or two of water, and 1-2T. of ginger and sugar to get things going again.