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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Baby food is not just for babies anymore!



This last year has brought lots of energy and excitement with the arrival of our daughter.  Food has been such a focal point in our home for the last 7-8 years that we wanted to make good, healthy choices for our new little one. 

The baby food choices have really exploded in stores and we were excited to see all of the wholesome and organic choices that were available. 

The more we shopped for baby food the more I got to thinking if this stuff could be something I could use for backpacking and climbing trips.  Something quick, portable, nutritious, SCD legal, and non perishable. 

Most of the new organic choices come in a convenient pouch container.  This makes them perfect for stuffing into a backpack pocket or jacket.  There are a variety of flavors and combinations.  Some are SCD legal and some are not (look at the lables!).  The only downside that I have found is that the calorie count is usually not very high on the pouches but that's OK.  PowerBar and Clif bar have similar "goo" pouches on the market but none that I have found are SCD legal or have as pure and organic ingredients as these.

Here's to more SCD tools in your toolbox!

Tucker




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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

We love this cookbook!     

Cooking for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet is a wonderful addition to your SCD cookbook collection, a must have first cookbook if you are starting out on the SCD.  

"I would have loved to have this information packed cookbook when I was learning to cook SCD for my son Tucker eight years ago" Says my mother Carol Sweeney.  

The 'BASICS' section is invaluable and makes you feel like Erica is right there in your kitchen helping you learn new recipes and cheering you on. 
We love the Cinnamon Bun Muffins, seafood chowder, cauliflower "popcorn", no grain granola, curry dressing, blueberry cinnamon coffee cake, and many others have now become our favorites.  The color pictures of food throughout the book make you want to cook and eat everything.  If you are craving comfort foods try braised short ribs and carrots, chicken pot pie, sweet fries, chicken tenders, fish tacos or waffles.  These are delicious 
recipes and quite easy to make following Erica's directions.   A bonus to this cookbook well worth mentioning are the sections devoted to information, tips and advice on adapting your lifestyle to the SCD, plus kitchen and pantry items to have on hand, product sources, and a list of handy SCD websites.  I love the measurements and ingredient substitutions in the back so you can adapt recipes to your individual needs.

A great buy and a great addition to your SCD resources.  
Check it out on amazon.com or at comfybelly.com

Take care and stay healthy,

Tucker Sweeney & Carol Sweeney

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hi there everyone!
Wanted to share the interview that I did with Erika over at the food blog Comfy Belly.  She did a great job putting together the interview and I think the questions and answers that are presented will benefit many as they go through the process of eating SCD.
Check out her site while you are there.  She has some amazing recipes, mostly SCD but some GF.

Comfybelly Interview Here

Take care and good health to all of you,

Tucker

Monday, January 7, 2013

Crunchy Energy Bars

These bars are super easy to make and in my opinion put other bars like Lara Bars to shame.  Think salty, sweet, and crunchy compared to thick and pasty.  I almost always make a batch of these before an outdoor trip because they provide plenty of quick energy and are tough enough you can just throw them in a bag with some other food and they wont get crushed.  Sometimes I like to add a little kick to the bars by adding a dusting of cayenne.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I like the large flake variety)
1/4 cup honey ( I like 1/4 cup but you could use 1/2 cup if you like it sweeter)
2T Butter or coconut oil/manna (The coconut oil tends to make them a bit greasy)
1tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (raises, dates, etc.)
Dusting of cayenne (optional)

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Rough chop the nuts using a knife or food processor.  Do not over chop.  Think about cutting a cashew into 1/3-1/4 no smaller.  Add the chopped nuts, seeds, and coconut to a large bowl.  In a bowl or measuring cup mix together the honey, vanilla, and butter/coconut product.  Heat honey mixture in microwave if needed to get to a more liquid state.  Add to nuts and mix.  Add salt and mix again. 

Spread nut and honey mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 10 minutes, re-spreading the mixture once to cook evenly.  After 10 minutes mix in the 1/2 cup dried fruit and bake for another 10 minutes stirring once.

Remove the mixture from oven and pour into a large bowl.  Do not let it cool on the parchment paper as you will not be able to remove it without sticking.  Let mixture cool until you can easily handle it with your hands, yet not cool enough that it is rock hard.  This should take about 10-15 minutes. 

When cool, form into bars with your hands by compressing the mixture between your two hands.  You need to use pressure to initially hold the bars together until they cool.  I like to form bars that resemble a Clif Bar.  About 1/2" thick X 3" long and slightly oval shaped.  You however, can make any shape you want just realize they will become hard when cool so ball shapes aren't easy to eat.

Let shaped bars cool in room temp for about an hour then toss into fridge.

Have a wonderful winter season!




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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Written conformation about hard cider and SCD

Hi everyone, 
I wanted to post the written conformation about a few hard ciders that are available.  Some turn out to be legal and others don't or some companies only have certain varieties that are legal.  
It is always a good idea to call or email the company about their ingredients because some of the ingredients are not listed!
A sample letter to a company:

Hi there, just wanted to see if your ciders contain any added sugars? (dextrose, alcohol sugar, cane, etc) or any starches or other ingredients besides cider, yeast, citric acid, etc. I have pretty serious food allergies and notice that some of your bottles do not have ingredients on them.
Thank you!
Tucker

Here are the cider companies I have contacted so far.  

Blue Mountain Cider Company
Hi Tucker, thanks for your interest in Blue Mountain Cider. We currently add fructose(the same sugar that is naturally found in apples) to a couple of our ciders, the Raspberry, Eden Ridge, Cranberry, and sometimes the Cherry has it added. We did not add sugar to our Estate Winesap, Dry Creek, or the Peach we just released this spring. Sugar is the only extra additive we use in the cider. If you have any more questions, just let me know.
Cheers!


Crispin Hard Cider
Hi tucker, thanks so much for your question. Our ciders do contain a small amount of cane sugar to help develop the ciders into alcohol. That is just for the original, some of the others are mostly sweetened with honey or other natural sugars but would still include a little cane sugar for the yeast to eat. Does that answer your question fully?
Tucker Sweeney
Ok thank you. So the added cane sugar is added before the cider is fermented and not after as a sweetener?
Tucker
Crispin Hard Cider
That's correct yes. Cane sugars are added before, any sweetener after is just juice, honey, maple syrup, etc.

***As far as I know, as long as the small amount of sugar was added before the fermentation it would still be considered SCD legal.  It would be the same process as taking illegal milk and fermenting it into legal yogurt.  Crispin and Fox always list whether they add apple juice, honey, or other sweeteners like maple sugar , molasses, etc.  so just look at the label.  Another tip is to look at the grams of sugar in the bottle.  It should be under 10-12 grams.  Angry orchard for example (not legal) has more than 20 grams of sugar per bottle.


 Tucker Sweeney
To:  Ace Cider Company and Angry Orchard Cider company,
Love your cider but wanted to check with you about the ingredients because I follow a very strict diet for allergies and health issues.
Do your ciders contain any sweeteners or starch that are not listed on the label (corn, cane sugar, artificial sugars, etc.) This would include added sugars in the apple juice concentrate or in any natural flavors. Naturally occurring sugars in apple juice are fine. If they do which have added sugars and which do not?
Thank you very much for your time,
Tucker Sweeney

Ace Cider
All natural Tucker just fruit juices.

Angry Orchard
Tucker,
I am sorry about the delay. Your message unfortunately got lost in our que. We are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.  Crisp Apple, Traditional Dry and Apple Ginger all have HFCS in them.

Cheers,


Wyder's Cider
Thanks for writing in and your interest in our ciders.  Wyder’s Cider does contain added corn sugar, which is added in after the fermentation process.
I hope this helps and let me know if you have any further questions.
Cheers,
Wyder’s Cider.


Reverand Nat's Cider

First here is my email...

Hi Nat, I was at the tap room yesterday and your employee was super helpful in helping to educate me on what ciders would like be okay and not okay for me to drink.

I have some serious health issues which prevent me from drinking anything that contains added sugars (polysaccharides - dextrose, alcohol sugar, cane sugar, etc.) or any starches or other ingredients besides cider, yeast, citric acid, etc.

She informed me that the revival dry would be a good place to start since there's no concentrate added after the ferment. She also said she was pretty sure that the concentrate added to other ciders has absolutely no sugars in it besides the straight monosaccharides from the apple - no sucrose or other polysaccharides. Can you confirm this is true?

Also, I was really intrigued when she shared that one of the ciders is made with lactobacillus instead of yeast. Would you be able to share which strain of lactobacillus you use?

Thank you so much for the info Nat. Looking fwd to being a loyal customer :)

Nat's reply...

Revelation Newtown Pippin has apple juice, fermented to dry and backsweetened with apple juice concentrate. There are no other ingredients in the concentrate or the single strength juice. I only know of fructose, not the monosaccharides you speak of.

Revival Dry is bone dry and only ever had apple juice in it.

Deliverance Ginger Tonic has pure cane sugar, aka white sugar aka sucrose.

Hallelujah Hopricot has apple juice and apricot/peach juice concentrate. Like the Newtown it's just fructose but I can't speak to anything else naturally found in apricot and peach juice.

Sacrilege Sour Cherry is the lactobacillus one you're talking about. It contains apple juice and cherry juice concentrate both pre and post fermentation. We use Wyeast 5335 american lacto in it.

Hope you can make use of this info and thanks for the email.


Schilling Hard Cider

Hi Tucker,
Thanks for reaching out!
All of our ciders are fresh pressed juice based and we normally don't back-sweeten or blend. However there are a few exceptions to this. On some batches the juice ferments beyond our target and we will back-sweeten with cane sugar. (We have not needed to do this on any recent batches). We try to avoid this as much as possible, but given your dietary restrictions this is the case for a few batches. Also our summer seasonal is made with cane sugar as part of the recipe so you should certainly avoid that one.
Hope this helps!
Colin Schilling



If anyone else has contacted cider companies about SCD legality please comment so we can increase our knowledge base.

Till next time,

Tucker 

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Misleading hard cider labels

Wanted to quick post a note about the cider company Angry Orchard.  I recently found the angry orchard hard cider brand at my local grocery store and decided to give it a try.  A quick look at the ingredients reveals that all the ingredients should be SCD legal except for the "natural flavors".  I drank a few with no negative effects but still wanted to check with the company about its ingredients. 

After many failed attempts to have a response email about their products ingredients I finally heard back from them a few days ago.  It turns out that they sweeten all of their ciders with HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP!  This is crazy because it is not listed anywhere on the ingredients label.  Not to well versed on the labeling laws here in the states but I would imagine that the "natural flavors" are natural flavors of high fructose corn syrup!  Anyhow, watch out for this and let your scd friends know.  It is really scary that we do not have the right to know what is in our food and drinks...

The other cider companies I listed on this blog have confirmed that they do not add sugar to their cider and if a variety does contain a sweetener, it will be listed on the ingredients.  Some of these include:  Fox, JK Scrumpy, and Blue Mountain.









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Summer Travels

Hi there and welcome to TwoStepsSCD!
Summer has been very busy for me and the writing bug has just not been around.  Sorry ):

I thought I would talk a bit about my travels this summer and let you know how they went and how they were while following the SCD.  

The first major travels that I did were to the Canadian Rockies were friends and I climbed Mount Sir Donald and Takakkaw falls. The trip was completed in about 4 days and included lots of exercise and beautiful mountain scenery.  For the shorter travels I have been starting to precook meals that I can just keep cool instead of bringing ingredients that I have to spend lots of time cooking and heating.  For this trip I made two medium sized pizza's (recipe below) some homemade granola and a few packets of the bagged tuna and salmon along with my standard biscuits. 

For Sir Donald, we arrived late in the evening after a long drive then hiked into the base of the mountain.  A brutal hike that gained over 3000 vertical feet, much of it viewed through the light of a headlamp.  For this two day outing I brought a Tupperware filled with a few slices of pizza, some bars and tuna packets for the next day, along with some biscuits and cheese.  Weight was at a premium so luxury items including some food were scrutinized.
Meadow on the descent
We awoke at first light and headed up towards the start of the ridge.  The exposure was immense and caused your head to spin a bit.  The route would entail about 3000 feet of exposed scrambling and mid 5th class climbing.  We would also end up soloing the entire route due to time restrictions.
About halfway up Sir Donald
Summit!


Around mid-day we arrived at the summit where we preceded to have a bite to eat and take a long nap.  Then came the long process of making it down...  After 20 something rappels we arrived safe and sound at the base and from there made the steep, knee jarring descent to our car.

Our next adventure would involve one of the largest waterfalls in Canada, rock climbing, and tunnels...
Takakkaw falls is the second highest waterfall in western Canada at 1266 feet and just happens to have a rock climbing route that ascends right next to it.  Near the top, the route also sports a 200' tunnel crawl in pure darkness.  Wow what a route!
About half way up the route




The rock quality turned out to be pretty poor but the position of the route was like nothing else I had experience.  Remember, this is no trickle of a waterfall it is a thundering, roaring falls that sprays you down from time to time.

The route ascends the left side of the falls
After this long day I dined on a huge salad with veggie greens from home.  Kale, chard, lettuce, carrots, peppers, green beans, and a big avocado.  Tossed with some olive oil and salt, sooo good!
I have to say fresh greens are so refreshing, easy, and light to bring on trips and taste so much better than packaged food, especially freeze dried.

So, now for the pizza recipe that sustained me for a few high energy days.
Pizza Dough (enough for about 2 medium pizza's):
-2 cups almond flour
-2 eggs
-2 teaspoons olive oil
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon Italian spices

Toppings (like always, add what you want and follow your taste-buds)
-Onion
-Bell pepper
-Pesto or tomato sauce
-Leafy greens
-Olives
-Mushrooms
-Cheddar cheese
-Tomato 

Mix everything together.  Separate dough between two baking sheets that are covered with parchment paper.  Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough and roll out with a roller.  Roll the dough to the thickness you desire (I like a shy 1/4 inch thickness).  Place into a 350 degree oven and cook until it is lightly brown (10-15min).  Pull the pizza dough out of the oven and lay down a layer of pesto or homemade tomato sauce (make sure its thick).  Next, quick stir-fry the onions and peppers so they are lightly cooked then spread onto pizza.  On top of that add a thick layer of greens (spinach, Swiss chard, kale, etc.)  Next, add some mushrooms, olives and cheese.  Lastly, add some thinly sliced tomato's on top of your piled high pizza.  Place into the oven for 25-30 minutes.

For your trip add cut up slices to a large Tupperware and place in a cold cooler.  It should be fine for at least a few days.
Enjoy!


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Tuesday, June 5, 2012


 

Breaded Fish

Hi there everyone, hope this post finds you healthy or on the road to a better life while dealing with IBD.  I wanted to post a quick recipe that we have been doing here in our household quite frequently.  It is a fried fish, much like you would find with traditional "fish and chips".  The recipe and method are so simple it works great for those late dinners when no one is interested in cooking.

Here we go!

Ingredients:
  • about a pound of Cod fish (or other white fish)
  • oil for frying
  • 1 cup almond flour*
  • 1t paprika*
  • 1/2 t salt*
  • 1/8 t cayenne*
  • 1/8 t garlic salt*
Tartar sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise* (scd legal homemade or legal brands like trader joes or spectrum)
  • 1 t lemon juice*
  • 1/4 t paprika
  • few shakes salt and pepper
 
*Spice amounts are approximate.  I usually just sprinkle the spices into the bag until I think it looks right.  Use your judgement and follow your taste buds.
Method:

Find yourself a large Ziploc bag.  Add fresh fish to the bag in manageable sizes.  Fish should be moist but not wet.  Do not add freshly defrosted fish because the breading will not stick properly to the fish, instead let frozen fish sit in refrigerator overnight.
With the fish in the bag add almond flour, paprika, salt, cayenne, and garlic salt.  Close bag and give it a shake until the fish is evenly coated with the breading mixture.
Add a high heat oil (I like to use grapeseed oil) to a heavy pan (enough oil to cover bottom but no more) and heat until wooden spoon bubbles when dipped into oil.  Add breaded fish to pan and cook each side for 2-3 minutes before turning.  Take care to not lose the breading while flipping.  A spatula helps with this.  Cook until fish flakes.
For the tartar sauce mix all of the ingredients together and keep cold until ready to use.

For traditional "fish and chips"  make up a batch of butternut squash fries as a side.

Take care and enjoy!

Tucker


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Monday, April 16, 2012

Spaghetti and pork meatballs



Hello, and welcome back to TwoSteps SCD!
Today I wanted to share a recipe that defies SCD logic and seems to trick my senses and taste buds every time.  What is it?  Well, its spaghetti using zucchini noodles with pork meatballs and a tomato marinara sauce. 

What has inspired this dish and many others like it (curry's, pesto noodles, etc.) is the spiral slicer that my mom, and co-author of our book, bought me as a birthday gift last year.  I had heard of people making noodles out of zucchini for SCD adaptations but just didn't want to bother with it, and like so many other things, thought the taste and texture just wouldn't be right.  Just easier to go without right?  Wrong!

The noodle maker (featured to the right on the Favorite SCD tools carousel) makes beautiful, long zucchini noodles in a matter of seconds and is very easy to clean.  The most important part though is that the noodles actually come out tasting and looking like real spaghetti noodles.  You can twirl them around a fork, toss them with sauce, etc. basically do anything you would with regular spaghetti or pasta.

Ready to give it a shot?  Here we go:


Meatballs-
In a separate bowl mix together:
1 lb ground pork
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
a dash oregano
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup almond flour
Mix everything together with your hands then form into small meatballs.  Add some oil to a large pan, wait till oil is hot, then add meatballs and brown on at least two sides.  Cook until the meatballs are nicely brown then remove from heat (the meatballs will not be cooked fully at this point).  Drain most of the fat out of the pan reserving enough to coat.
Sauce-
Add 1 cup chopped onions to pan with reserved oil/fat.  Cook until tender then add 2 cups sliced mushrooms and cook until soft.  Poor marinara sauce into pan over the onions and mushrooms.
For the sauce you can do a couple things:  You can make your own sauce like here or you could buy a pre-made sauce from a reputable source.  *Remember no natural flavors, tomato paste, starches or other illegal scd ingredients and fillers.  I recently had a great marinara sauce from Eden foods, which I trust to be scd compliant, at least for my length on the diet.  This is the sauce I used here
After you add the sauce to the pan let it heat up then nestle the meatballs back into the sauce and cook until the meat is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.  Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
Noodles-
At this point get out your spiral slicer, wash a zucchini ( I figure one medium zucchini equals one large serving) then process the zucchini into noodles.
From here you can cook your "noodles" by adding them to the sauce for a few minutes prior to eating (only do this if you plan on eating all of the noodles in one day) or you can add the noodles to boiling water for about 1 minute or until you are happy with the texture then drain.

Once everything is fully cooked add the sauce and meatballs on top of you spaghetti, add some Parmesan or cheddar cheese and call it a meal.


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Thank you!

Tucker and Carol