Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Recipe: Paleo/Gluten-Free Buckwheat Bread...


The holy grail of Paleo and Gluten-free people everywhere.

Most breads that are gluten-free, and especially those that are paleo have weird textures, can't hold up well enough for sandwiches, and well, taste like cardboard.

This bread is easy to make, tasty, and holds up! You actually need a bread knife to cut it! My husband compared it to the brown bread served at Outback Steakhouse.. though I think it would need a little tweaking to match that.  I had it with stew last night and breakfast this morning. I've topped it with butter and honey, toasted and plain. Yum!

Warning #1 with this bread. It looks brown, and it certainly falls into a grey area. It contains both buckwheat and yeast.  My understanding is that buckwheat is grossly misunderstood. It is NOT a grain. However, some still consider it a grass, and thus non-paleo. I believe, and several sources state, that it is actually a fruit.   It IS gluten-free.  As always, I urge you to make your own decisions. If you don't think buckwheat flour is OK in your definition of paleo, don't make this bread.

Warning #2 of course is the yeast.  I am going to try to replicate this bread in the future without yeast, using the baking soda/acid reaction to make it rise. However, I have not had much success with that in the past. Yeast is technically an organism. Again, debate this all you want... I think the occasional yeast is OK. If you don't, don't make this and I'll try to make it yeast-free soon.

So with all those warnings out of the way, let's get to the important stuff... the recipe!!

Buckwheat Bread


  • 1 1/2 Cups lukewarm water
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 package active dry yeast (I used Red Star)
  • 1/2 Cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 Cup coconut flour
  • 1 Cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp. salt

Mix yeast and water in a medium bowl and set aside for at least 5 minutes. 

In a large bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients (coconut, tapioca, buckwheat, salt) together until completely blended.

In the medium bowl with your yeast water, add eggs, honey, vinegar and mix well. Once mixed, pour liquids into the dry ingredients.  Mix well. 

Pour batter into your greased pan. I used two 8x4 pans, but you should be able to do a full loaf pan without problems. 

Let rise at least one hour  (note in the above image, I thought yeast should rise in the fridge... which actually slows the process... oops).

Heat oven to 350.  Bake for 45-50 minutes (full loaf may take longer) or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. 

Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack. 

Add some grassfed butter and ENJOY!!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Running Cold...

Winter dropped in with a bang here in Michigan. One day it was mid-50s and sunny, the next it was below freezing, windy and raw. Our first snow wasn't pretty and fluffy, it was rain that changed over to snow, driven sideways by the wind as the temperatures plunged 20 degrees.  Not to worry though, in true Michigan fashion, it will be int he 50s again this weekend. And then the 30s by Monday.

Weather FTW...

There is a great thing on Twitter every Sunday night called RunChat. It alternates between 8pm EST and 10pm EST. Let's be honest, I usually miss the 10pm one. Girl's gotta sleep!  A cool thing happened when I found RunChat... I tapped into a community of fellow runners, and I learned that the conversation keeps going 24/7 via the hashtag #runchat.

One of the most common topics of conversation on #runchat lately is running in the cold. Specifically what to wear.  I'm still maintaining... marathon training officially kicks off in just over a week (oh, holy panic attack!). So I am out in the cold, and I know it's getting colder. Thank goodness I started my running journey in January. I actually know what to do, what works, and I'm figured it would help to share with you the gear that works for me!   I've included links to same or similar products where I can...

Let's start from the ground up, shall we?

My biggest shortfall is socks... I just use normal running socks. I'm going to try SmartWool this year, since I love them for skiing, but I do not have any amazing go-to, which is sad since my feet are ALWAYS COLD.

In temps anywhere between 40 and 10 degrees I wear Nike running tights. They might not be warm when you step outside, but they are warm as soon as you get moving. Mine are at least two years old, but this is the most similar model: Nike Thermal. Once temps drop into or below single digits, I top my tights with a pair of Under Armour pants similar to these: UnderArmour Fleece Team Pant.  Mine are a bit different... picked up in a ski shop several years ago, but they are so warm and comfy, they are my go-to post-run pant, and well-worn at this point!

For gloves, I have one brand. Swany. I don't need a tech glove... I run with a iPod shuffle, so I just press buttons. No need for touch screens.  Until it gets very, very cold, I swear by the Suprasilk Liner. Being a liner, it is obvious thin, which I love. But the material wicks sweat away while trapping your own heat inside. My hands are always cold... they'll go numb in my own house, but these often get my hands so warm I have to pull them off for a bit!  (I also always wear these under my mittens while skiing).  For those of you looking for face masks, check out Swany!

When it's a bit colder, or when I'm driving or walking to the ski slope, I use these Stretch-Tec. They are a bit thicker, a bit fleece-ier, and have grippy palms.

As far as tops, this is where I have the most wiggle room.... it all depends on the temperature and wind. When it's mild... like 40s, I have a Nike Colts Therma-Fit similar to this (mine is thinner)... 1/4 zip, thumb holes, all the good stuff, plus I show team pride!

20s and 30s, I use Nike Dri-Fit. I have hoodies similar to this and a full zip fleece Dri-Fit jacket. I've been very impressed with how warm Dri-Fit keeps me.

And once the temps really really drop, I put on an UnderArmour ColdGear Compression top under one of the previously mentioned layers. These are perfect for skiing, and almost too warm for running! They've recently come out with Cold Gear Infrared, and I hope to try it soon!

As for my head, unless it's really, really, really cold, I don't wear anything. Running with anything on my head (visor, sunglasses, hat, headband, etc.) makes me crazy, and I'm ripping it off pretty quickly, no matter how helpful it is! If it's frigid, say a blizzard, I have a SmartWool hat I will wear until I can't stand it and yank it off!

How do you deal with running in the cold and snow? What gear do you recommend?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Recipe: Paleo Pie Crust plus Apple or Pumpkin Filling...

When marathon training kicks off the week of Thanksgiving, you are hosting, AND you're mostly Paleo, but strictly gluten-free, what's the one thing planted firmly at the top of your planning list? 


Yes, pie.   What were you thinking about? Let's be honest, the majority of Thanksgiving dinner is easy to make Paleo and especially easy to make gluten-free. But the pie! Oh, the pie!

I've struggled with making quiche or pie, and trying to find an acceptable crust. The pre-made versions in store are wildly expensive, and the recipes out there just weren't cutting it. Most that were just gluten-free were.. well, weird. Rice flour, potato flour, a million eggs, etc.  And the Paleo recipes, my own included, were almond flour based. Almond flour is a lovely thing, and works for many, many recipes, but try as I might, I couldn't make a pie crust that wasn't insanely dense. And pie crusts are meant to be light!

I got to work, and made several complete failures. I forced upon my husband a quiche crust that was chewy... and only got worse when microwaved. But hey, it had like 8 eggs and 6 slices of bacon invested in it, so he was eating it! We both suffered through one that was quite salty. And then I made something that I doubted would work.. it was so wet, I didn't see how it would work. But it did! It did! I liked it! I really, really liked it!!

Sorry, having a Sally Field moment...

I tested this crust with both apple and pumpkin pie fillings (my Thanksgiving staples). I haven't tasted the Pumpkin, as I don't like Pumpkin, well, anything, but my husband swears to me that it's delicious.  The best part is that this crust is nut and egg free, which is something I know several friends are happy for. 

Without further ado, I present to you... Paleo Pie Crust!!!  (with more pictures than any previous post!)

Paleo Pie Crust


  • 1/4 Cup coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp. arrowroot
  • 1/8 Cup (or 2 tbsp.) Tapioca starch/flour
  • 1/2 Cup Spectrum all-vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 - 3/4 Cup water  (start with 1/2 cup, add until you reach the consistency pictured)

Preheat your oven to 325.

First, grease your pie round really well with either butter or coconut oil and lightly dust with coconut flour.

In a medium or large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (coconut, arrowroot, tapioca, salt) until thoroughly blended.

Use a fork to cut in and blend in the shortening. 

You will end up with something the consistency of frosting. Once you have the right consistency, spread it out a bit to make the next step easier. 

Add water and stir together slowly with a spoon until completely blended. You now have something somewhere between cake batter and cookie dough consistency (pretty wet and sticky).

Here's the hardest, most time-consuming part...

Spoon some of the mix into the pie dish, then use the spoon to spread it until it evenly covers, and is a fairly even, thin thickness.  This takes a bit of time and patience, and you will most likely need to use your hands at the end. 

Once spread, use a fork to poke holes in the dough.

Dough plopped into the prepared pie round...

Spreading the dough. I'm not kidding when I say this is thin, but sticky...

Dough spread, ready to pre-bake...

If you want lattice or a double pie, you'll need to prep a cookie sheet with parchment paper. After you prep your pie round, put the leftover dough onto the parchment paper, and spread into a rectangle of even thickness. You should have more than enough dough.

Cook the pie crust in the oven at 325 for 15 minutes. The top layer can go for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool! Time for fillings!!

Pre-baked crusts ready!!   To make lattice, use a sharp knife to slice the rectangle into slices and weave. To make a top, cut out shapes as desired. 

Paleo Apple Pie


  • 1 stick unsalted organic butter
  • 1/2 Cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp arrowroot
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 6 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced


Preheat oven to 425. 

Prep the apples first. Put them into the pre-baked pie crust.

In a small pot, melt the butter over low heat. 

Add the arrowroot and stir until completely smooth. Add desired amount of cinnamon (I use probably 1 TBSP...)

Add maple syrup, stir until blended. Bring just to boiling, but do not actually boil. 

While the sauce is cooking, make your lattice, or put your top on the apple pie. Sprinkle additional cinnamon on top as desired. 

Slowly pour the sauce over the lattice.

 Cover the entire pie with foil. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes.

Decrease heat to 350.  At this point, I recommend that you remove the pie, remove the foil, and place either a pie shield, or create one out of foil to cover the outer ring of the crust. The tippy top will burn, but the liquid will keep the lattice from getting too burnt.

Bake an additional 35 minutes at 350.  Let cool, and enjoy!!!

Sorry the picture is sideways...  you can see here how the edges will crisp up if not protected.

Paleo Pumpkin Pie


  • 1 can of pumpkin (make your own if you want... I won't judge if you don't!)
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Cup. maple syrup
  • 2 eggs


Preheat oven to 425. 

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in canned pumpkin. Mix in maple syrup.  Slightly beat the eggs, and then stir in until everything is well blended.

Pour into pre-baked pie crust. Smooth out with your spoon.

Pumpkin pie ready to go!

As you can see in the finished product, I recommend that you use a pie crust shield or make one.. The exposed part of the crust will burn a bit. 

Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425.   Reduce temp to 350 and bake an additional 40 minutes or until the center is set. 

My husband ate this by himself. In two days.