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Mint Chocolate Pots De Creme

Chocolate. I had been craving chocolate anything for months. Doing a 30 day sugar detox felt great and detoxifying. It’s a great way to ring in the warm weather. But, now I am ready to splurge! Here is my recipe for chocolate mint pots de creme. I used fresh mint leaves from Absalona Greenhouse, and organic, pastured (soy-free) eggs from Freedom Food Farm. I have also used duck eggs from Pat’s Pastured in the past with great results. I use raw honey as a sweetener, as it is the easiest for most people to digest and does not spike the blood sugar. This is also dairy free! Coconut milk makes a great substitution for milk or cream. This decadent dessert is smooth and rich…I only needed a few spoonfuls to be satisfied.
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Coconut milk and fresh mint leaves.
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100% cocoa baking bar. Chopped finely for easy mixing.

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Slowly mixing milk/egg base with chopped chocolate.

Ingredients:
4 oz organic 100% cocao unsweetened chocolate bar, finely chopped
1 can full-fat coconut milk
2 large egg yolks
2 oz fresh mint leaves, chopped
3 oz raw honey (or your choice of sweetener)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
A couple drops of peppermint oil (optional for extra mintyness)

Preparation Method:
1. Finely chop chocolate, place in a bowl and set aside.
2. In a saucepan, combine coconut milk and chopped mint leaves. Simmer (do not boil!) for about 10 minutes, or until the mint leaves have released their flavor. Strain out mint leaves.
3. Whisk eggs yolks in a bowl and add about a tablespoon of the hot coconut milk. Mix well. Slowly add remaining coconut milk to egg until fully incorporated.
4. Combine coconut milk/egg mixture with raw honey and sea salt back into the saucepan. Heat at low/medium heat (do not boil), stirring constantly until it forms a smooth custard and coats the back of a spoon (about 12 min). It should reach a final temperature of 175 degrees. Remove from heat.
5. Set a fine-mesh strainer (or cheesecloth) over the bowl of chopped chocolate. Pour the custard through the strainer to remove any lumps. Let the hot custard sit on top of the chocolate for about 5 minutes or so. You want the chocolate to get warm and melty before you mix them together.
6. After the 5 minutes is up, with a spatula, slowly and gently mix the two together. A slow mix is essential to a stable emulsion. Once you’ve got a smooth mixture, stir in the vanilla extract.
7. Pour custard into 2 oz ramekins or cups (I used espresso cups). Let come to room temperature and then cover with plastic wrap. Place pots de creme in the refrigerator to set-up for at least 4 hours. I find that 24 hours gives a richer texture.
8. When ready to serve, remove from fridge and let sit at room temp for about 10 minutes. Optionally top with whipped coconut cream and fresh mint leaves.
9. Enjoy!!

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Ready to eat in cute espresso cups.

Coconut Flour Pancakes

We love pancakes. Really…who doesn’t love pancakes? I had been making sourdough pancakes when we wanted a special treat for breakfast…sometimes I just need a break from eggs. However, my body wasn’t loving the wheat as much as my taste buds do. Even though the wheat is fermented and much, much easier for my body to digest, my sinuses would still get inflamed from eating the wheat. So, gradually we have cut out all wheat. My sinuses are happier, but my mind and taste buds still crave fluffy cakes!

I found a Paleo coconut flour pancake recipe a few months back and thought they tasted bland and were dry, dense and didn’t have the fluffy texture my tongue was looking for. So, after 3 tweaks I finally got it right. The yogurt gives it the slight tartness that I love with buttermilk pancakes. Topped with a generous amount of butter and a little grade B maple syrup, these cakes are fluffy and tasty just like the Bisquick cakes I had as a child! (But, without the processed wheat, refined oils, additives and HFCS “pancake syrup”.)

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Coconut Flour Pancake Recipe     *Serves 2-3

4 Pastured Eggs

3 Tablespoons Good Quality Yogurt

1/4 Teaspoon Unrefined Sea Salt

1/2 Tablespoon Organic or Homemade Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon Grade B Maple Syrup (optional)

1/4 Cup Organic Coconut Flour

Dash of nutmeg (optional)

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

2 Tablespoons Pasture Butter (for cooking)

In medium bowl, beat eggs until slightly fluffy. Add yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt and blend well. Mix in coconut flour, nutmeg and baking soda until batter is smooth. Let batter sit for 3-5 minutes. Letting it sit will allow the coconut flour to absorb the liquid.

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium-low heat. Once the cast iron is hot add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. Once butter is melted, spoon about 2 tablespoons of batter on the hot pan, with a little space for spreading between cakes. Let cakes cook for 1-2 minutes. When the edges are slightly browned, flip cakes and cook an additional minute. Transfer to a warm plate while you cook the rest.

Serve with pasture butter, fresh organic fruit or grade B maple syrup. Proceed to let your taste buds dance and sing!

These cakes are even great when reheated in the toaster oven. I do it on 325 for about 3-4 minutes. I’ve also made them into blueberry pancakes. When you drop the batter on the hot pan, let the cake cook for about a minute and then gently place 4-5 blueberries in each cake. Flip when the edges start to brown. This will warm the blueberries, but not cook or dry them out. You can also add other fruit or flavorings. Next I’ll try banana/walnut. :)

Kombucha Tea Workshops

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Join us Saturday June 15th at Providence Alternative Market and/or Sunday June 16th at Northwest Farmers Market for a workshop on how to brew kombucha tea at home.

RI House Committee Hearing for H5820 (Raw Milk)

House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare.

House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare. Photo by Mark Baumer.

My partner, I and a group of raw milk drinkers, including recently turned 2 year old Desmond, were at the Rhode Island State House, this past Wednesday, to support House Bill: 5820 by Representatives Palangio, Handy, Ajello, Costantino and Winfield, Entitled, An Act Relating to Food and Drugs – Raw Milk. This bill would establish procedures and standards promulgated by the milk commission for the handling and sales of raw milk in the state, and was introduced on 2/28/2013 and referred to the House department of Health, Education and Welfare. On 3/12/2013 it was scheduled to be heard on 3/27/2013 at the rise of the house. We were told this would start around 4:30. A bill to require labeling of GMO’s in RI was also scheduled for the same day but was postponed. See EcoRI New’s article on it.

As the co-leaders of the Providence Chapter of the Weston A Price Foundation, Richard and I did our best to get the word out. We have been working with The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund  for tips to get the bill passed. We also started 2 petitions in support of the Raw Milk Bill.

http://www.change.org/petitions/state-of-rhode-island-legalize-raw-milk-s-15-house-bill-5820

http://signon.org/sign/state-of-rhode-island

We gathered at the State House with about a dozen other supporters, with excitement, to testify in support of the raw milk bill. We had the unfortunate coincidence of having our bill being heard in the same committee meeting as House Bill 5654. Entitled, An Act Relating to State Affairs and Government – State Emblems. This bill would designate Calamari as the official state appetizer. Read the article from the ProJo here.

As a native Rhode Islander, there is no way I could be against this bill. Its a fun and a wonderful idea. There was also no one opposed to the bill at the hearing. The room was filled with smiling people, cameras, a chef cooking calamari, waitstaff serving calamari to the committee and many supporters signed on to give testimony. Also, its good to note that two employees of the RI Department of Health were present during this.

Wednesday’s hearing at the State House turned into a theatrical show for the media and the committee’s Chairman Rep. Joseph M. McNamara. With more than an hour of repetitive testimony and Rhode Island Style Fried Calamari being served to the committee, half of our raw milk supporters could could wait no longer and had to leave without giving testimony. When the Calamari Bill was over and they had moved on to the Raw Milk Bill, most of the people in the room, along with the media and almost half of the committee left the room and were not present for the raw milk hearing.

The Department of Health were first on the list to give testimony. As expected, the DOH was completely opposed to the raw milk bill.  See their testimony here. https://www.dropbox.com/s/rozlw0h1ople6i5/03.29.13rawMilkFDA.MOV (Thank you Mark Baumer for taking and sharing the video)

We had five people give testimony in favor of legalizing raw milk. First, a woman with Crohn’s disease who told her wonderful story of using raw milk as an addition to her medicines to treat her Crohn’s symptoms. Then, my partner, Richard, who made it clear that this is a progressive rights issue (the right to choose) and addressed some of the DOH’s claims that raw milk has no benefits. Next, a man with a family history of dairy farming and then a very active member of the local food community gave his testimony of wanting to have access to raw milk, as his family in New Hampshire and Maine are able to. I am very proud of the brave farmer who got up in front of the committee and gave her testimony and showed a photo of her beautiful pet cow, Lily, from whom they get 2 gallons of milk per day.

After our testimonies, the committee continued with the other bills on the agenda, and we were met in the hallway by Representative Palangio and  Representive Tansi, who thought it went really well and are big supporters of the bill. We shared smiles and cups of raw milk with the Representatives and the supporters, celebrating our hard word.

I checked the next morning and found that the Committee recommended measure be held for further study. However, looking up the decision of the Calamari bill, that bill was also held for further study. I will continue to look up the status of Bill 5820 (Raw Milk) and will be at the next hearing(s) for the House and Senate.

Thank you all for your support and hard work for the ability to have access to clean, raw milk. If you are new to raw (real) milk please see RealMilk.com and learn about the benefits of drinking clean, raw milk from pastured cows.

Easy Sprouted Whole Wheat Pancakes

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Richard is a huge fan of pancakes. Whenever we eat breakfast out, he orders a single pancake with his meal. Knowing any more than that will hurt his tender gut. So, for over a year I have been trying many different recipes to make him the cakes he is craving. Most of the recipes are from soaked flour…not resulting in the fluffy, white flour cake he’s looking for. Then I came across this flour at Whole Foods. Sprouted flour! I’ve used it in many recipes and its super easy on the gut. Its the closest to white flour, in recipes, than anything else I’ve tried. And it doesn’t require preplanning, like working with soaked flours.

Easy Pancakes

1 cup Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
1 cup good quality Yogurt
1/2 cup raw milk or filtered water
1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted Pasture Butter

Mix dry ingredients and mix in wet ingredients until mostly smooth. There will still be small lumps. Heat cast iron skillet on medium heat. Melt about 1 tablespoon butter on pan. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter on pan. Once the edges start the brown, about 2 minutes, flip pancake and cook an additional minute. Transfer to slightly warm oven while you cook the rest. Serve with warmed maple syrup and melted butter or fresh organic fruit.

Makes 4 servings.