I always love to try recipes from other grain free cookbooks because I like to see how others manage grain free flours. When I first started I my grain free journey, there was not much information out there. Now, it is a lot easier to access to grain free cookbooks and recipes. See below for 5 important reasons to go grain free.
I chose this recipe from Halle Cottis’s Gluten Free and Grain Free Breads, Batters and Doughs because it uses coconut flour – my favorite grain free flour – and who can resist a carrot cupcake?
These mini carrot cupcakes can also be used as a healthy snack for little ones. You should taste the batter before adding all the honey called for, as you might find it is sweet enough with less. That is what I did. The carrots are sweet and that helps to keep the need for more sweetener down. Leave off the sweetened icing and it is a healthy muffin!
I didn’t use the awesome cream cheese frosting recipe she provides as we are dairy free – see links below for the frosting I used instead. Needless to say, they went over really well around here.
Cream Cheese Icing
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 – 18 minutes
Yield: 24 mini cupcakes
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1 – All grains are high in phytic acid or phytates. This organic acid is present in the bran or hulls of all seeds (so this includes all grains and nuts) and blocks the uptake of critical minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc.
In order to remove the phytic acid in grains you have to soak and/or sprout the grains in a warm acidic solution. Covering the grains with water with added yogurt, kefir, or even lemon juice, in a warm place over night will help remove this harmful substance. This procedure will also add value to the grain as it increases B vitamins, carotene and enzymes that aid in digestion, while at the same time it decreases the enzyme inhibitors that are also present in the unsoaked grains.
Sadly, there are no commercial grain products (with some small exceptions) that are properly prepared so the minerals are not at all available. Since the Sad American Diet is full grains that are not properly prepared and therefore have little available nutrition, we have many people that are overweight but starving for nutrients. This is obvious in the sky rocketing rate of obesity in America today, especially in children.
2 – Grains feed inflammation which, arguably, is the basis of many diseases. Grains have several inflammatory substances such as, phytic acid as mentioned above, as well as gluten, and lectins. Additionally grains promote an acidic ph in the body which is known to be inflammatory.
Glutins can be problematic for many people who may be unaware that they harbor gluten intolerance. In a previous post I talk about the problems with gluten and celiac disease and the alarming increase of adult onset celiac.
Lectins may be the next largest area of research. Studies suggests that lectins may play a role in promoting the following conditions: inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, glomerulonephritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, retinitis and cataracts, as well as congenital malformations, infertility, allergies and autoimmune problems.
3 – Grains disrupt proper sugar regulation. Whether they are whole grains or refined grains, they still have a high glycemic index level and are absorbed very rapidly — much like a candy bar. This occurs especially if grains are eaten without any fat or protein. Many snack foods are pure carbohydrates from grains and these are highly glycemic and cause an insulin spike. Eat like this for years and you are on the way to disregulated blood sugar or diabetes.
4 – Improperly prepared grains may cause damage to the gut lining. Even properly prepared grains can do this to a susceptible person. If the food is not broken down properly, the large food molecules are released into the blood stream. The immune system will react to these large molecules as if they were foreign invaders and initiate an immune reaction. This is how “leaky gut” develops. If the offending foods are continuously eaten, this becomes a vicious cycle of immune reactions and damage to the gut lining.
5 – Wheat is no longer the wheat of our ancestors. Grains came on the scene only 10,000 years ago (the blink of an eye in evolutionary standards). Our digestive systems have not adapted to this newcomer. We are much better at eating traditional foods such as meat, fat, vegetables and fruits.
Additionally, wheat has been genetically manipulated over the years and the DNA codes are totally different today. This is a different food and many people have not adapted to it. It is especially clear when we talk about strains of gluten and the processing of gluten to make it more profitable for food manufacturers as I did in a previous post.
If you are on a special diet, whether it is for allergies, asthma, autism, learning disorders, mental health, digestive diseases like Crohn’s or colitis or other autoimmune diseases – a grain free diet is your first step towards a new normal.
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