Easy Paleo Crepes

Who doesn’t like a soft, pliable, yummy crepe? I don’t remember my first time having one, but I always know the feeling I get when I’m craving one. I get all warm feeling, and I desire a blanket, the a/c on full blast and a rom-com while digging into something syrupy and gorgeous.

But, traditional crepes make me sick. It could be both the dairy and the gluten, I donno, so I set out to recreate a recipe that was close to the standard crepe, but paleo compliant. This recipe is both high protein and low carb. It does contain almonds, so if you have a nut allergy, this recipe is not for you (I’ll be experimenting with variations in the future). This is what I came up with:

The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or unsweetened nut milk of choice)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp. cassava flour
  • 1 tbsp. vital proteins collagen protein powder (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch lemon zest (optional – but cuts the “egginess” of this dish)
  • 1 tsp light tasting oil (e.g. avocado, refined coconut) for frying

Utensils:

  • whisk (or fork)
  • measuring utensils
  • 12″ skillet

Method:

  • Whisk the egg and almond milk together
  • In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine all the dry ingredients (almond flour, cassava flour, protein powder and salt)
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk thoroughly. The batter will be runny, the almond flour may make it slightly grainy, but this will not translate in the meal.
  • Heat 12″ skillet/ frying pan with the oil. Use medium heat.
  • When the skillet and oil are hot, add the batter to the pan. Swirl the pan around, allowing the batter to spread across the entire circumference of the pan. Do this quickly, as the batter will start to set.
  • Cook for approx. 2 minutes per side. You may need to reduce the heat, depending on your stove.
Paleo crepe with strawberries, shaved toasted coconuts, coconut cream, chocolate chips and drizzled honey

Look at all that deliciousness? Don’t you just love a guilt-free, high protein treat? **drool**

Some Pointers:

* Do not overcook or steam this crepe (like some do a pancake). This cooks up quickly, so monitor carefully. If you overcook it, it may not be as pliable to roll and fold, without breaking

*Makes 1 large 12 inch crepe. Can also make 2 thinner 6″ crepes, depending on your preference.

* You may double, triple or quadruple this recipe as needed to serve more persons!

* These crepes hold up well, refrigerated, rolled in parchment paper and sealed(cling wrap or ziplock bag) for approx 2 days.

Pairing your crepe

I love both sweet and savoury crepes. Here are some ideas on how to serve your crepes:

  • For sweet crepes (my absolute favourite): I like to add alil nutmeg and vanilla to the batter. I like to pair it with in season fruits: strawberries, otaheite apples, bananas. I like to top with any nuts and seeds I have on hand (I love ground flaxseed sprinkled on top and walnuts!) I love to make a “syrup” or spread of sorts. Its usually some homemade nutbutter with cocoa powder mixed in. Some whipped coconut cream on top is also good (whipped coconut cream works different in the tropics – I’ll share some tips in another post).
  • For savoury crepes: I like to have it for breakfast so eggs, ham, sausages and bacon are my go to. Alil drizzle of maple syrup or Jamaican honey is a real treat too.

Sourcing Your Ingredients

If you are in Jamaica, I recommend you get almond flour (not almond meal) from Pricesmart. This has been the most reasonably priced almond flour I have come across in Jamaica. Click the image below to shop the almond flour from their website:

My favourite local cassava flour is from Goldseal. You can get it at most local supermarkets, and I find that it is reasonably priced for such a high quality (its even more refined than Otto’s)! This is what the package looks like:

If you wanna shop on Amazon, here are my highly recommended products. Pick up the almond flour, cassava flour and 12″ skillet on my store:

https://kit.co/Nouriched/kitchen-merch

Please note that I will earn commission from the purchase of these Amazon products. It doesn’t cost you extra, but the income will help me keep this website up and running.

I will be trying 2 other versions for greater accessibility for Jamaicans on a tighter budget:

  • a coconut flour version to keep it low carb
  • and a full cassava flour (or other starch based flour) version which will not be low carb, but will still be gluten and dairy free. This one may end up being the lowest price point option.

Happy creating! Let me know how it turned out for you! Tag me in your social media posts @nouriched so that I can see your gorgeous crepe creations.

Its the First Monday of the New Year…

Not everyone loves New Year resolutions, especially for my 9-5 peeps. Its ok to be hesitant and a bit sad about returning to work after a long vacation, especially after the happy yuletide season.

Disclaimer: If day in, day out you loathe your job…pray and consider getting out.

However, if you generally like what you do, but aren’t as optimistic about the work day (and the “new year”) as everyone else around you, you are not alone. My biggest flex is remembering that even “Mondays are the Lord’s” and I rejoice in His provisions for a new day, above all

I have a few more tips for you today. Scroll through to read on:

You Don’t Need a “Detox” or “Cleanse” for the New Year

The juice cleanse, skinny tea detox, herbal tea liver detox, and even a colonic or colon cleanse are all popular diet trends when January rolls in. These fad diets are built on the premise that the body needs periods of cleansing to help it remove toxins, refresh the gut, reset your metabolism and even weight loss, or an energy boost at the end of the diet.

The truth is, any benefits you experience is from the removal of junk and highly processed and sugary foods, as well as a calorie deficit from your diet. In fact, “your body is capable of cleansing itself through the liver, feces, urine, and sweat. Your liver makes toxic substances harmless, then ensures that they’re released from your body.”

I promise you – you do not NEED any of these “detox interventions” to start the new year right. There is no scientific evidence that a detox is beneficial or necessary. In fact, some research point to how physically and psychologically damaging the repeated use of these cleanses are.

A Better Detox Approach

Most disturbing for me is the fact that women’s bodies are the targets of these fad diets, especially after the Christmas festivities. It can be especially hard to ignore these messages about how broken our bodies (and our will powers) are especially for those with eating disorders and on an emotional rollercoaster due to hormonal imbalances.

Why should you feel guilty for having Christmas cake and sorrel or prioritizing visiting your family over hitting the gym? There are ways to have fun in moderation. But let’s say you in fact overindulged. You did have too much alcohol and went crazy on the Christmas ham and now feel bloated and lethargic. Ok, no big deal, the abundance of food was made to make you overindulge. It’s ok… you now notice where you went off track, and can gently and sustainably get right back to making better choices at your next meal.

No. Big. Deal.

So, here are my steps to a better “detox”:

  • Eat more whole, unprocessed foods (plants and meat) and reduce your sugar consumption.
  • Nix dessert
  • Eat when you’re hungry and until you are comfortably satiated
  • Drink more water. Think you’re drinking enough? Drink some more
  • Drink regular, readily available herbal teas – peppermint, chamomile, moringa, hibiscus – whatever you fancy
  • Get out into the sun and sweat
  • Get enough sleep each night

Under some conditions and with the right supervision, periods of fasting and elimination can be beneficial for some. Work with a qualified nutrition specialist and consult your GP when implementing any such changes.

Cheers to the New Year!

References

Pain is not a symptom of PCOS

Hey guys. I’m back with this very important public service announcement. Notice, I did not list pain as a symptom? This is one I personally want to pause to highlight. Pain is not a symptom of PCOS. I had pain, and in my mind, I thought, this must be all a part of my PCOS experience. With every rush to the emergency room, or discussion with a doctor I would hear “your pain is not related to PCOS.” Truthfully, I never received a definitive diagnosis for my pelvic and abdominal pain, but I am grateful to have had doctors who believed me. So, ready for story time? references for your benefit.

Story #1

Well, this is not a story, but its a fact, and maybe a good precursor to the next 2 discourses. I started experiencing pelvic and abdominal pain and after I went on the birth control pill. In fact, some women experience some gut discomfort on some birth control. I wish someone told me this all those years I stayed on BC with clear, glowing skin on the outside, but deteriorating gut health on the inside. 

Story #2

My pain was so severe I would be rushed to the Emergency room and put on a morphine drip to relieve me of my pain. I was an A&E regular up UHWI. Every 4 or 5 months, I was there. Sometimes, I’d get admitted. One a few occasions based on ultrasounds, the pain has been linked to: 1 a ruptured cyst (there was evidence of free fluid on the abdomen which to them was a tell tale sign i probably had a ruptured cyst) 2. They suspected intermittent ovarian torsion.

Story #3

One of the times the pain happened, my son’s paediatrician (he saw me miserable during one of my son’s wellness visits and asked me what was wrong). I explained and he gave me advice I never forgot. He said I should not treat the pain at home, but drive straight to my gynae at the peak of the pain, so he could investigate. I did just that the next time an episode occurred. Went to my gynae, hopped on his table and asked him for an ultrasound stat. He gladly obliged. His face was puzzled. “Chantelle. There’s nothing there.” He turned the screen to me. He explained my ovaries looked the same as they did a week ago (I was actively doing fertility treatments with him, so he had it all documented). Still polycystic, no changes in volume. Nothing noteworthy in my pelvis otherwise. He passed me a bucket and I vomited up more green bile and pus. He examined it, then moved the scope to my abdomen. “Chantelle, I’m sending you to a gastroenterologist.” He explained that my stomach was in an aggressive spasm. He explained that the movement should be smooth and rhythmic but mine was pulsing aggressively as if trying to expel something. So, I finally saw the gastroenterologist and after an endoscopy confirmed that my stomach was raw and sore as if I swallowed razors (signs of inflammation)! But what caused that? He had no clue, but told me to avoid greasy foods and sent me off with antacids and NSAIDs. Still no answer into how my abdominal issues translated into what felt like pelvic pain.

Other Factors

Your pain could be related to Endometriosis. Take a read of this article by my girl Clare: https://thepcosnutritionist.com/blog/pcos-and-endometriosis/

REFERENCES:

REFERENCES – BIRTH CONTROL & GUT HEALTH:

What is PCOS?

From the “Things I wish I knew” PCOS Awareness Week Instagram Series

“PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome” is a combination of symptoms that present in women (usually of childbearing age) when their environment doesn’t play nice with their genetics. I’ve learned some key things over the years that have changed my approach to managing my PCOS. And it all starts with the definition: understanding the “what”. ⁠

3 things I’ve learned when defining PCOS:⁠

(1) The sole presence of cysts is not an indication of PCOS. For e.g. under the Rotterdam criteria (which has its own controversies) you must meet 2 of the following 3 symptoms: signs of elevated male hormones (blood test or through observation), irregular periods, or the presence of cysts on the ovaries. It simply means, you can have a PCOS diagnosis with no cysts! (BTW, it also means if you were diagnosed by ultrasound ONLY, you may not really have PCOS).⁠

(2) The reason multiple cysts are present in our ovaries is because we either don’t ovulate at all (anovulation), or don’t ovulate regularly enough (oligoovulation) ⁠


(3) CEMCOR (The Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research) posits that genetically, some of us are just more predisposed to having higher than normal androgens (male hormones) and coupled with impaired ovulation, it drives the classic PCOS symptoms of weight gain, acne, hair loss etc. ⁠

This is why I kinda like CEMCOR’s recoinage of the syndrome from “PCOS” to “Anovulatory Androgen Excess”. ⁠

*I am not a medical expert, and certainly don’t have all the answers, but I believe knowledge isn’t just reserved for the medical experts. The more we know (both medical and body literacy) the more we can advocate for ourselves, and help others out.*⁠

  • References:

An Ode to Sauerkraut

I’ve been digging in some more into all things gut health recently, as I’ve been on my whole gut healing protocol. Sauerkraut was the next logical step on the journey for me.

But, I’ve made sauerkraut in the past, and it was too salty and subsequent tries just didn’t come out right. So as usual, I spent time researching recipes, and talking to the home-cooks I’ve met on social media, and I think I finally figured out the right balance.

I summarise my findings below:

Salt to Cabbage Ratio

You need 2% of the weight of your shredded cabbage in salt. That’s it…simple. Do not trust the recipes that don’t give you this ratio. Your kraut may not come out good: too salty – and the fermentation is hindered, too little salt – and the whole thing becomes a moldy, slimy party of germs. 

My suggestion therefore is to invest in a kitchen scale. The digital ones are cheap. If you are in Jamaica – I purchased my last scale at MegaMart back in the day (and by extension, you can find it at Bashco – sans the mark up. You are welcome…)

Temperature & Time

Based on my research, the best kraut, with the highest amount of vitamin C, and the best flavour is developed at around 60 degrees Fahrenheit after 6 to 8 weeks.

However, I keep my abode much warmer than that (it’s the Jamaican in me) and at 70 to 75° Fahrenheit, my kraut was ready MUCH sooner. I decided it was sour enough for me at the 1 and a half week mark, but could have left it out for 2 or 3 weeks for a very tangy kraut. The fermenting continues (though slowly) in the refrigerator, so I decided to seal my jars and record this as success!

The temperature in my house back in Jamaica would have been around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which meant my kraut would have been fermenting a lot quicker. The flavour may be different at this temperature since the work of the bacteria would change. If you are in a warmer country, and you don’t use central air, then check your kraut at 5 – 7 days, and keep your kraut in the coolest spot of your house (especially when its locked up during the day and the heat becomes sweltering). I wish I knew these things years ago when my ferments flopped!

Should I do it? What does it taste like?

When I first heard about sauerkraut, I was like… no way… this thing is glorified 9 day cabbage water (click me to find out what that is!!) Cabbage sitting out on my counter? This must be foul and disgusting! But alas, it wasn’t – thanks to the preserving effects of SALT. For my Caribbean skeptics, it reminds me of a tangy relish – with a hint of vinegar tones (similar to a good escoveitch sauce). It is lightly salty and has a nice crunch. You either like it, or you don’t. 

If you’re interested in the science behind lacto-fermentation and the beneficial bacteria you get from a good kraut, then I suggest checking out Cultures for Health to nerd out on their fermentation resources. It certainly is a cost-effective version to the expensive, imported or sugar filled yogurts, or probiotic capsules. 

Here’s a picture of my kraut on a bacon wrapped hot dog, on my paleo “waffle” bun. Perfect low carb, paleo lunch! Yummy!! 

Ok, I’m Sold, How do I do it?!

Here’s a great video I found showing the process I basically followed for my kraut. 

As usual you can just skip to the written recipe below. I use alil carrot in mine, and used maybe just 2.5 lbs of cabbage to make 2 small jars. At the end, I cut up a few pieces of scotch bonnet pepper, and added it to one of the jars to make one a spicier pickle (I call this one Reggae Kraut!).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUwC7bTjLkQ

Simple Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a simple, probiotic rich condiment that pairs well with meats, hotdogs and meaty sandwiches

  • 2.5 lb Fresh Green Cabbage
  • 23 grams Salt
  • A few slivers of carrot
  1. Remove outer leaves and core of Cabbage. Peel Carrot and cut off the ends.

  2. Slice or shred cabbage and carrots finely. Transfer to a clean bowl.

  3. Weigh your shredded cabbage and carrots in grams (I gave some estimates of my amounts in the Ingredients). Remember to tare your scale to take into account the weight of the bowl!

  4. Calculate how many salt you will need by multiplying the weight of your shredded vegetables by 0.02

  5. Use the result from step 4 to measure out your salt. Use the scale to be precise! Remember to tare your scale to take into account the weight of the container holding your salt!

  6. Sprinkle the salt on the vegetable

  7. Massage the salt into the vegetables until it springs its own water (approximately 5 – 7 minutes)

  8. Pack your massaged cabbage firmly into your sterilized jars.

    Don't fill it all the way to the top, as the liquid may bubble over during the fermentation process. I like to fill my jars only 3/4 ways full.

    Ensure the water from the massaging process covers your cabbage completely (cabbage above the water line will go moldy!)

  9. Use a clean cabbage leaf to "smush" down your cabbage below the water line. Add a weighted object like a plastic bag of water, or a smaller jar on top to keep everything below the water line.

  10. Get your cheese cloth and cover the mouth of your jar. Secure with a rubber band

  11. Label your jar with the date (so you'll never forget how long it's going for!), and set in an area of your kitchen that is visible for the recommended time (see details in the blog post section "Temperature and Time")

  12. Check your kraut using clean hands and utensils as the days go by. When it is at the desired "sourness" remove the cheese cloth, weight and extra cabbage leaf, put the lid on your jar, and transfer to the fridge.

Image Credit: Photo by ELEVATE

Video Credit: Joshua Weissman

Friday Faves – April 24, 2020

If in my recent past, someone told me we would be in lock down for all these weeks because of a worldwide virus pandemic, I would tell them naaah. That type of apocalyptic future was reserved for year 3030… not 2020. But alas, here we are sheltering in place for maybe 5 weeks now.

While I keep up with the news and all the press conferences to understand what’s happening in the “outside” world, what balances it, are the feel good resources I find on the world wide web. It balances the chaos, and I’ll use this post to share some things that have been a delight recently.

FOOD!

First – FOOOOD! Yes, nothing like coming across great recipes and resources – especially now. With a little more time for, and more fresh food in my kitchen, I have been finding creative ways to ensure I don’t have any food waste. Plus, I’m in the gut rebuilding phase of my gut healing protocol, so FOOD FERMENTATION has become my new interest. I’ve tried and failed at ferments in the past, so I got to researching and came across this YouTube channel. I love his simple explanations about how fermentation works. I have a few jars of sauerkraut going… I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best!

 

Now, since bread has become scarce on many of our supermarket shelves, what do you do? Make your own of course! 

Now I’m 100% gluten free but the attractiveness of a well made sourdough loaf woos me every time. I’m secretly hoping that after my gut healing phase, I can experiment with some long fermented sourdough (to break down as much of the gluten as possible) so I may occasionally indulge without those horrible gastro-intestinal symptoms. 

For all the wishful-thinkers, and the magical unicorns with no gluten intolerance, check this out:

Finally, on the topic of food, am I the only one with too many carrots post Easter? 

Doubt it. Have no fear though, this delicious quick bread recipe comes to the rescue. I have NO modifications to this fabulous recipe. It goes well with cream cheese (I use Kite hill Almond crema cheeze spread). Here are some piks of my loaf below. 

Follow this link to access the recipe! 



Random Learning, Beautiful Humanity

I love to learn. Love love love it! Here is my roundup of great online learning resources. Some times its good to immerse yourself into something new. Like the course on modern poetry:

Short on time – or just not interested in these long courses? Then enjoy the cliff-notes audio version to your favourite books with Blinkist. Blinkist is also offering free Premium subscriptions during the COVID lockdown for a limited time: 

Finally, I get all the feels with this Instagram page, which celebrates the resilience and beauty of the human race. I love the triumphant stories of people overcoming and living victoriously despite the COVID-19 infection! 

That’s all for now folks! Maybe something in the list above will interest you some. Maybe try a new recipe, or enroll in a new course, or listen to a book while cleaning the house. Whatever you do, find a way to keep your mind occupied and away from anxiety. There is so much beauty and joy, still left in the world!

Cheers!

Chantelle.

Homemade Paleo Mayonnaise

You wanted to know how I make mayonnaise, so here it is (let’s try to make this short and spicy)

First – why make your own mayo?

  1.  It’s healthier than traditional store bought mayonnaise: you’ll avoid the preservatives (like calcium disodium EDTA) and inflammatory oils (like canola oil) in the store-bought brands
  2. It’s cheaper than both the traditional and the store bought Paleo versions: When I calculated it, the traditional Hellman’s mayonnaise is around US $3.99, while the Primal Paleo avocado mayonnaise usually costs me around US$8.00, My homemade version was probably US $0.50 per jar.

Now that I’ve won your confidence, let’s move on to the details.

INGREDIENTS: Mayonnaise is made up of: eggs, oil and seasonings of choice. If you want a milder taste, halve the amount of apple cider vinegar and add 1/2 tsp of honey or maple to balance the acidity. Please dont use EVOO – it’s much too strong a taste. Light tasting olive oil or avocado oil is best.

METHOD is where it all comes together; and for me, an immersion blender does the trick. I’ve watched top chefs whisk vigorously by hand and YouTube cooking stars slowly make this stuff in their food processors. The immersion blender makes this so easy, but you choose! 

                                                 Some piks from my kitchen are below. The recipe follows. Do enjoy!!



Homemade Paleo Mayonnaise

Homemade Paleo Mayonnaise

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Olive Oil (Light Tasting)
  • 1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Pour everything into the container that came with your immersion blender (or any wide mouth jar/ cup)

  2. Immerse your blender into the jar with the ingredients, letting the wand touch the bottom of the jar. 

  3. Start on low speed at the bottom for maybe 5- 10 seconds, then slowly move the wand up and down until the mixture begins emulsifying.

  4. Continue for around 2 – 3 minutes until completely emulsified.

Friday Faves – April 10, 2020

Disclaimer: I like to start these posts with awesome photos I’ve come across throughout the week – it’s likely the pik won’t correlate to the actual content of the post, but maybe things will change in the future. I’ll try and add photo credit, whenever I can!

Let’s get on with the post!

What’s a great way to pass the time without going brain dead? Podcasts! Here is a round up of a few of my faves this week. These have been some of my favourites, especially for long commutes, while doing chores and other mundane tasks, or while taking a jog.


Desiring God’s “Ask Pastor John Podcast” (or “APJ”)

This is my absolute fave to ground me in the morning. After a short prayer, I head to the bathroom, to get ready for the day, and I fire up my APJ podcast app. Its much shorter than a sermon, and works well for the morning bathroom or quick breakfast prep, before beginning the work day. It is usually the catalyst that drives me to some scripture that was referenced, leading to meaningful meditation, conversations, prayers and thoughts throughout the day.

Click on the link in the image to download the app.


On the heels of the APJ podcast, is this new audiobook by Pr. John: “Coronavirus and Christ”. 

Its the perfect read/ listen this Easter weekend to counter/ balance all the news you’ll be hearing about COVI-19. I’m probably half way into the mp3, and I am drinking it in!

Click on the link to access this free resource.


The Ted Radio Hour

I’ve always loved Ted talks, but truth is, I never get the chance to just sit and watch and savour these videos. So, the Ted Radio hour has been a blessing for me to catch up on talks I would have certainly missed. Its usually one of those podcasts I listen to during a long commute or when I’m unwinding at home on the couch, after a long day. I love listening to it with a mug of herbal tea/ hot chocolate in the nights, especially when my eyes are too tired to read a book.  BTW, the new host feels like a smart, well traveled, long time girlfriend, you love to hang and chat with (to me at least!)

Click on the image to check it out.


Dr. Rangan Chatterjee’s “Feel Better Live More” podcast

I stumbled on Dr Chatterjee, while randomly browsing Youtube. I found his “Doctor in the House” episodes (its a British series) and was totally enthralled with his methods re: integrative medicine. I googled him immediately and found he had this amazing podcast. I’ve gained so many practical tips from him and his guests, and I love the fact that he gives all this good information away – for free! If you’re into health and wellness, and like to get into the “nitty-gritty” of things, then this one is for you.

Click on the image to check it out.