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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Some of these are good enough to serve to guests, and yet so easy! See what takes your fancy and have a go! These are our family staples.
Chocolate chip cake bar
From Megan Stevens, author of Eat Beautiful, 'Grain-free, sugar-free and Loving it', guest writer on Keeper of the home http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2015/07/grain-free-chocolate-chip-cake-bars.html we have this fantastic cake. If you can easily purchase 100% dark unsweetened chocolate then you can make this as is. If not, then you will need to omit the chocolate or tweak the recipe for GAPS, but this is easy...
From the name alone, chocolate bark doesn’t sound particularly appetizing. Chocolate bark is actually a sheet of chocolate that is usually covered with nuts, dried fruits, candies or even additional pieces of chocolate.
Well - it couldn't be long! After cocoa powder was reintroduced and they had their first taste of home-made chocolate (see recipe for the cream egg), I wanted to improve on the theme. Yes - it was ME, not them! I've learnt something. It's been quite a revelation. I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to sweet treats. My family love it when I serve them, but are happy to eat stewed apple every day if that's all I've got. But it's ME... I keep giving them naughty things! I keep dreaming up more chocolate recipes to try!
So I was just simply delighted when first I found coconut butter and discovered coconut butter bread
( http://www.lovingourguts.com/coconut-butter-sandwich-bread/ ), and then discovered that instead of using expensive coconut butter, or making my own which is rather time-consuming...Oh wonders of wonders, I could go to the Co-op or Sainsburies (UK) and buy creamed coconut (BlueDragon https://bluedragon.co.uk/products - nonorganic but 100% pure coconut) or the health food shop has the 'Biona' organic creamed coconut (http://www.biona.co.uk/product-272-4.html) .
With a little research, I find that these two products are interchangeable, if not the same thing. See these links for proof. It seems the only difference is the price. yesterday I found a small jar of coconut butter in the health food shop for £4.99, while in the same shop a packet of Biona creamed coconut was only £1.79.
One of the biggest problems I have is interpreting American ingredients into English equivalents. But it works as I've tried making my own coconut butter and using creamed coconut to make coconut butter bread and the result was the same.
I then discovered coconut bark. Now to us English folk, that sounds really strange, but I found this definition of bark:
Well, I'd already made a sheet of chocolate with my carob chips recipe, but it was very strong - like 100% dark chocolate. With a little research I found that indeed, coconut butter can be used sort of like cocoa butter to make chocolate. Now most recipes do use some 100% unsweetened chocolate as well as I gather it's easily available in the US. Not so in the UK and certainly not at a price we can afford. Of course, we could just use cocoa butter, but that too is very expensive.
So I was thrilled when I found a recipe in my new GAPS cookbook called Coconut Bark. (The heal your Gut Cookbook by H. Boynton and M. Brackett).
Putting together the two ideas I came up with:
1/2 cup creamed coconut
3/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (raw cacao is best)
A little honey - until sweet enough to mask the bitter chocolate
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl over simmering water until melted. Stir well to combine.
Pour into a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Leave to cool then place in freezer to harden.
Break/cut into small pieces and store in freezer.
Take out and enjoy!
Ok it is rather coconutty in flavour but it also has a slight caramel flavour. I reckon you could add raisins and nuts if you liked.
The Family love it - so they have a ration of a small piece after lunch on Sunday! Just like the old days - but much healthier of course! Of course, I like it too!
So what else can you do with creamed coconut?
Well, basically, use it as a milk substitute, but it is best strained, otherwise it has a rather grainy texture.
So I have made proper custard with egg yolks, honey and vanilla, or cheese sauce with just the eggs and salt and mustard and cheese. So we almost had lasagne without the pasta for tea one day.
I'm looking forward to finding more uses for it as we progress through the diet!
I told you we all had a very sweet tooth - well we've succumbed to cocoa at last! The Men wanted a cream egg, so they got one. They tucked in delightedly while I thought of all the good it was doing them! They could indulge without me having a awful nagging feeling that it wasn't good for them. Why do 'treats' always seem to be those things we know are not good for us? Not this one!
This is basically only sour cream, egg yolk and chocolate, but of course GAPS style.
Want to make one?
First you need a chocolate mould, but any small dish will do. I have a silicon Easter egg mould from Lidl.
you have a choice here. you can find a recipe like this one:
Or you could use my coconut chocolate recipe here.
I used the 'Carob chips' recipe in Nourishing Traditions, only I used cocoa powder, honey and butter melted together. I halved the recipe to make four egg halves. The butter ended up being too much, so I will only use 2 oz next time. It doesn't produce a smooth chocolate mixture, but it hardened up into the freezer and the taste was good enough. Maybe you are more proficient than I am and can use cocoa butter and do a more professional job.
Once the chocolate is set, put each 'egg - half' in a bowl and fill with a scoop of sour cream.
What better to use than egg yolks (organic and pastured eggs), whisked with a little honey and poured over the top!
You can add more honey to adjust sweetness and more/less butter to make a smooth paste.
Looks aren't everything - the chocolate didn't quite come out of the moulds properly, but it's the taste that counts, and this was .....delicious!
And so much better for you!
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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.