Mind the Gaps Diet
Our site aims to give support/information for those on or considering the GAPS diet, or wishing to improve their health through a traditional diet. All the recipes are:
Grain-free and Refined sugar free
Straight forward English Food!
Watch your health bloom as your diet improves!
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'Fruit season is here once more and my family are craving jam! I was thrilled when I came accross such a simple, GAPS friendly jam on my organic fruit and veg. delivery website. It has just two ingredients and is a winner.
They call it Honeyed Jampote and it knocks up in a jiffy - and the great thing is that you don't need much honey. Neither do you need heaps of fruit - I usually only have 3/4 of a pound from a quick pick. This is a thick jam - not runny: sticky like it ought to be!
We made a jar with our home-grown strawberries and it was soon gone - mixed with sourcream it was a delight!
Now the blackberries are ripening on the bushes and the Sons are crying out for blackberry jam. My question was - could we use the same method for blackberries as we had for strawberries? A quick google gave me the anwer that blackberries contain a lot of pectin (the ingredient that helps them to gel) and so we had a go.
Yes it works! So now the sons are asking if we can make lots of it that can be stored. The answer to that I think is only if we keep it in the freezer as freezer jam, but that would take up valuable freezer space.
We are slowly transitioning off of GAPS now and they want jam to put on their sourdough waffles.
The process is simple:
1. Wash the fruit and place in a heavy based saucepan.
2. Mash it with your hands - or use a hand blender.
3. Sieve it if you don't like pips.
4. Add at least 1/4 cup honey per pound of fruit.
5. Bring to the boil and then simmer for up to 10 minutes until it starts to thicken, stiring as necessary.
6. Let it cool in the pan.
7. Transfer to a clean jar, put on a lid and store in the fridge for up to a week - but it won't last that long!
Some add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Others add Granny Smith apple to the blackberry. I have done it both with and without lemon and apple and it works fine with just fruit and honey.
Fermented GAPS legal Jam
If you would like to experiment with fermented jam, then Cultures for Health have a recipe forBlueberry Lacto-fermented Jam. I'm going to try it soon!
What can do you do with GAPs legal jam?
Spread it on coconut flour waffles for a delicious snack at any time of day!
Mix a heaped teaspoonful together with sour cream or yoghurt and put them little pots ready to take for packed lunches!
Or as above with sourcream for a pudding treat.
I miss my porridge, It cant be helped, but until recently I could not find anything to replace it with, and so have resorted to scrambled eggs every day for breakfast. As I am not an egg-lover, I can't say that I always enjoy it. However, son 2 has recently started having breakfast with Husband at an earlier time, leaving me just making scrambled egg for myself and something in me decided to try a variation. What I came up with is surprising delcious - well I think so!
Eggs are a good choice for breakfast
Eggs are easy for breakfast - they cook quickly - a real fast food, and are also very nutricious, especially if they are from hens that are free to roam in pasture.
I put my beaten eggs along with a small quanitity of frozen raspberries and a dash of milk kefir into a pan with a knob of melted butter, and stirred, until the egg began to solidify, but took it off the heat before it properly scrambled. I poured it into a bowl, stuck in an extravagant spoonful of raw honey, topped it with dessicated coconut and sour cream and....took the first mouthful.
It was warm, cozy, creamy and surprisingly, just like porridge in texture - only with eggy lumps rather than oaty lumps.
Now it is my every day staple!!
And so I though I would share it with you, just in case anyone else fancies trying it out!
It only takes minutes to make!
Any frozen fruit can be used - or even cocoa powder!
Any milk or milk substitute can be used if you want dairy free.
The butter can be replaced with coconut oil.
The coconut could be replaced with home-made granola.
We were invited to our nephew's 18th birthday party last week. My sister-in-law messaged me to check the menu and said that the non-GAPS attendees would be having sausage rolls alongside cooked chicken and salad. That got me thinking as I liked the sound of sausage rolls but obviously pastry is pretty hard on the GAPS diet! So I rolled up my sleeves to see what I could create. The family were delighted with the result! We certainly didn't feel as if we were missing out. We had our 'sausage and chicken' flavour along with the rest! So I thought I would share it with you.
Gluten and Wheat Free pastry (nuts)
Of course the pastry had to be both so this recipe is ideal for any gluten-free friends. It is made from soaked nuts (I used cashews, but you can use a nut of your choice), coconut flour, butter ( though you could substitute coconut oil or lard) and egg. I like to soak my nuts to make them easier to digest. I have been working on a pastry for a while and this is my best yet. It holds together well and bakes well - just like ordinary pastry. It does not roll though, so sadly it had to be a pie rather than sausage rolls - but non-the-less tasty! If you are not on the GAPS diet, feel free to use any gluten/wheat free pastry recipe.
You will need to grind your nuts - soaked or unsoaked. I like my mini processor - it fits neatly on the work top, without stealing all the space in my small kitchen.
The grain-free sausage filling
I used organic pork mince as I like to get the best pork I can, preferably out-door raised. I added some sea salt and pepper and sage to add flavour. I could of added 1/4 cup diced onions too. I didn't this time, but will next time.
Versatile - sausage pie for breakfast, dinner and tea!
Great for breakfast, cold with salad for dinner, great in a packed lunchbox, or served hot with vegetables for the main meal. You choose!
How to make the GAPS/grain-free sausaage pie
If you are using my pastry recipes, you will need to soak your nuts 2 hours ahead of making the pie.
No they don't bite, but they are the ideal size for a little nibble. A healthy treat to fill that little gap mid-morning or afternoon. Great for children's party's too. Ideal for diabetics as they contain no added sugar. I reckon they would make a quick breakfast too, especially if served with some sour cream. A good all rounder!
Simple ingredients: banana, egg, butter (or coconut oil), coconut flour and dessicated coconut.
Quick to make!
What are you waiting for - make some today! They won't last long!
Here's what to do:
Just a short post this time.
It's that time of year again. I know that last year I shared my favourite waffle recipe that we invented with you and you can find it here:
We make it in our new waffle maker now, so it's no longer chocolate banana pancake, but chocolate waffle.
But a couple more recipes have come my way and I though I would point them out to you.
The first (above) makes a great sandwich replacement which is great when husband has to travel or we go out for the day. Just be careful - it IS very filling, before you add a filling! So don't do too much. With my round waffle maker I can make four waffles and one is enough each. I like the sound of using it as a pizza base, but that's not for us yet!
I have to say that we don't indulge in waffles on Sunday as we are in too much of a hurry to get to church, but we do indulge on Saturdays.
The second has the lovely flavours of autumn and is delicious with honey and sour cream!
I love the change in seasons. After the toil of the spring and summer, growing and harvesting, it is good to put the garden and allotment to bed for the winter and curl up warm and snug.
We are not quite there yet...the weekend saw us spreading manure on the allotment. This week we have a few more projects to undertake to ensure the plot is ready for next season, like building a compost bin and digging trenches to improve drainage on the site, which is a real problem. There are still carrots to dig up, cabbages, leeks and swedes still growing. Never-the-less we feel the nip in the air and the dark mornings and evenings and our thoughts are turning to warm nourishing foods fit for Autumn and Winter.
So here's a few things we are currently enjoying.
Yes it just has to be chocolate for breakfast - not every day mind, just a weekend treat!
These are so simple.
Recipe for 1 (double/triple as needed)
2 pastured eggs (or more up to 4)
1 small/medium banana (yellow with brown spots for GAPS)
1 tbls coconut flour
1 heaped tsp cocoa powder
Preheat the skillet and melt a knob of lard (a standard frying pan would do too)
Meanwhile, put all the ingredients in a bowl and use a stick blender to whiz it all together into a smooth batter.
Pour a small amount into the skillet and wait until it begins to lose it's glossy look. Ease a metal spatula underneath and when it will come away easily, lift and flip.
We make double/triple decker layered pancakes, oozing with honey and sour cream!
This didn't sound very appealing, but having some left over cooked squash I though I would try it. When I came to make it I decided I could improve on the original recipe and make it more nutritious. The result astounded me, so much that Son 2 declares it the best porridge he's ever tasted and even the more reserved Son 1 says he will try some!
It is simple to make. You need:
1 oz butter (or just cut a thin section off a block - I rarely measure for something like this as it really doesn't matter.
A quantity of cooked squash - use what you have and adjust, about 1 cup per person is good.
1 egg per person eating the porridge
2 oz creamed coconut
spices - cinnamon/mixed spice/nutmeg (We like lots!)
I cooked my squash first and used a stick blender to mix it to a smooth consistency, then simply added the butter and creamed coconut (it melts once warmed) to melt in the hot squash. . I stirred it all together, then added the eggs and a little boiling water to bring to the right consistency (how you like it really). At this point I put it back on a gentle heat, briefly, to cook the eggs, stirring all the time in case it stuck on the bottom of the pan.
I then added the spices, leaving the nutmeg to sprinkle on top once served.
We then added honey and sour cream.
It was so warming and delicious!
If your squash is already cooked, just put the ingredients in a pan and warm it through. You may need a little more boiling water to help stop it sticking.
Nothing earth shattering here... just that we had tried using creamed coconut to make coconut milk but it was always 'gritty' however much we strained it. but now we have found canned coconut milk from Biona - in BPA free cans, and it is so smooth and creamy...so as an odd treat we make ourselves a mug of steaming hot chocolate. Oh how we had missed it!
1 can coconut milk (free from additives)
1 can cold water (fill the can with cold water)
3 tbls cocoa powder
honey to taste
Put first three ingredients in a pan and heat to boiling.
Stir in the honey.
One of the hardest things about changing to a grain free diet is what to have for breakfast.
Having been heavily grain dependant for years, it took us a while to find something we were happy with. Different members of the family have their preferred dishes. Sometimes we all have the same.
Most days we all have something different.
I scour other web-sites looking for ideas, but many are too complicated for every day use. So here I list easy to prepare nutritious breakfasts that are practical for a busy family.
Please share if you have other ideas, as we love to hear of new breakfasts to try!
We always have a mug of broth on the side and sauerkraut with our savoury course, followed by a serving of fermented dairy, either sour cream or milk kefir with a small portion of fruit when available. We are currently loving strawberries, raspberries and blueberries from our garden and cherries from the farm shop! We love berry season!
Egg based breakfasts:
Scrambled egg, plain or with mushrooms, spring onions, cheese, cooked in lots of butter. Serve with salad if desired. On a work day Husband just has cheese in it.
Omelette, again cooked with whatever you fancy: mushrooms, spring onions, cheese, tomatoes, other favoured throw ins. Serve with salad or on its own with home-made ketchup.
Fried eggs, poached eggs (my favourite), with salad and salt and butter melted on top.
Nitrate free, grain free sausages (we get ours from a farmer market stall) with/without eggs, with prosciutto ('Parma' nitrate free - most supermarkets have it), fried tomatoes and mushrooms - for when you have a laid back sort of day and have time to make it.
Pancake made in the traditional GAPS style with cooked squash mashed into the egg, and butter.
Son 2's favourite breakfast staple: banana pancake. Mash a ripe banana into the egg and fy gently. Serve with sour cream and honey! Delicious. We have used stewed apple and that was good too.
Waffles: we don't have a waffle maker but tried frying them and what we had was good.
Scrambled egg porridge: surprisingly not eggy at all.
You can of course always drop an egg into a mug of boiling broth and stir it in, to gently cook the white, and to add extra nutrition.
Don't forget a bowl of soup is also very nutritious and you can add an egg yolk or two into that to add extra protein.
French Toast Omelette - Grain free I'm not an eggy person, but I found this to my liking. I tried it the first day with the cheese filling (I used cheddar cheese), but the next day I just made the 'toast' bit and spread it with a dribble of honey, then put a good dollop of sour cream in place of the cheese and rolled it up - now that was a feast!
http://myhoneypie66.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Breakfast (scroll down the page to the bottom)
Non -egg based breakfasts
We like to have an egg free day every week to avoid allergy so these are our favourites:
Son 1 prefers to have left overs from our evening meals, so I try to cook more so he can have it the next morning. Reheat in stock. Serve in a bowl.
Fish is a great, light, wake-me-up. Our favourite is wild caught salmon from the frozen aisle of the supermarket. Trout is also very nice.
We have mackerel and herring in season. Son 2 and Husband like soused herring.
Serve with salad.
Pork belly slices. We discovered these on holiday and loved them so much they have become a regular fixture. Serve with salad, fried mushrooms, ketchup or on their own with a mug of broth or soup.
Kefir smoothies with fruit (occasionally chocolate!!)
Porridge thickened with chia/flax seeds - our favourite is in the above book (Aztec porridge - chocolate porridge MMmm!).
Two cauliflower porridges - worth trying though they sound strange!
Home-made GAPS friendly granola: Too expensive for every day, but a lovely weekend treat.
We like this one:
served with milk kefir/yoghurt/sourcream (or a combination of all three!) with summer berries on top if available and an extra drizzle of honey!
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Welcome to Mind the GAPS!
Here you will find not only a record of our GAPS diet journey, with helpful hints and tips, but also mouthwatering, simple, adaptable, recipes for feeding a growing family without spending all day in the kitchen! Please stay and browse.