Grain-Free Pizza

 

Grain Free Pizza Base

I have played with several grain free pizza bases over the years. We have been using this recipe for a year now and I am ready to share it with you all.

In my experience grain free bases are a faff to make and never taste like pizza most of the time! Traditional pizza base is very simple; flour (gluten and grain rich!), olive oil, yeast, water, sugar and salt. To recreate this without gluten and adding nutrients (which I always have to do!) is a tough thing.

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I have really enjoyed my cauliflower crust however it was not nice cold and that is a must for lunchboxes! So I have been searching and playing for the right combination. I tried simply replacing the flour with a gluten free mix, but my need for nutrients was not being met! Then I decided that I actually wanted it grain free for the kids and my digestive needs. Thats when I turned to tapioca flour (see here for a great one to buy). Learning to use tapioca flour is an experience!!

The best starting point I found was in this book, Paleo Eats by Kelley Bejelly; (its a really great book)

paleo-eats-cover

I then went about filling it with nutrition, namely making sure it contained the amount of protein in it necessary to nourish and fill up my kids. Here is the result;

Grain Free, Nutrient Rich, Pizza Base
Serves 5
A delicious grain free crust which is great for kids and works well for leftovers in their lunchboxes
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of water
  2. 2/3 cup of olive oil (I have also used coconut oil)
  3. 1tsp of dried herbs (I like an italian mix- you can use what you like or sun-dried tomato flakes)
  4. 2 tsp garlic or dried onion powder
  5. 2 tsp salt
  6. 3 cups of tapioca flour
  7. 1tbsp collagen hydrolysate (gelatin)
  8. 2 beaten eggs
  9. 1tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  10. 3tbsp coconut flour
  11. 2 tbsp almond flour (optional)
  12. dash of kefir (water or milk) (optional, you can also add a dash of apple cider vinegar)
Instructions
  1. Add the water, oil, herbs and garlic powder to a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the tapioca flour and it will instantly become a sticky mess (I mean dough)
  3. Ensure it is all mixed in and allow to cool for 10-15 mins
  4. Heat your oven to 200 centigrade.
  5. Add in remaining ingredients until it is a dough that can be kneaded. You may need to adjust the dry ingredients. Coconut flour expands so be careful if you add more. The gelatin helps to make it more doughy.
  6. I roll the dough out in between two pieces of baking paper. It is then easier to get really thin and then move to a baking sheet or pizza stone.
  7. Roll your dough out to a couple of mm. It is a nice thin and crispy pizza, any thicker and it is a bit too chewy.
  8. I have frozen the bases at this point
  9. Put pizza in the oven to 20-30 mins to pre cook (longer if you have cooked from frozen)
  10. Add toppings. I add passata, and whatever I fancy (the kids eat ham, pineapple and olives!) we like bacon, artichokes, olives and peppers!
  11. Add cheese if you like and put back in the oven for another 10-15 mins.
  12. Enjoy
Notes
  1. The gelatin, almond flour and eggs add a good nutrient content to the pizza base so it is not so starch heavy. The oil adds a good fat content. We always serve with a nice crisp and colourful salad and it is very filling.
Adapted from Paleo Eats, Kelley Bejelly
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
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Nurture Your Life- Your REAL FOOD weaning guide

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Nurture Your Life ebook Loula Natural

Nurture Your Life is the second in my series of books on natural health (the first was Culture Your Life published 2014). Children’s nutrition is a big passion of mine. As a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist I see many children with chronic conditions like persistent illness, skin conditions, energy and growth issues and a staggering increase in children with allergies and intolerances. With two children of my own, I feel compelled to help these kids find their strength and return them to health to help prevent more serious conditions in their future.

Weaning a child onto food is a very powerful first step in a child’s relationship with food. A relationship which is of fundamental importance to health. Think of your own love/hate relationship with food. There are so many non-foods in our diets in the west, our supermarkets are sometimes almost 80% stocked with chemical, processed and unhealthy foods. Conventional avenues still persist that rice cereal (which may be hugely inflammatory to an immature digestive system) is the food we should be starting our kids on. This book does not recommend that route.

I hope you enjoy reading it and ask questions, keep reading, become informed as to how the body works. Change your own relationship to food if need be. Lets start our kids off the right way, with foods to nurture their life from the beginning.

 

Download here:

My new weaning book

My new weaning book

Here is a link to all the recipes I used when weaning.

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Blender Waffles

Blender Waffles Loula Natural

When I was 20 I went to the U.S.A to be a camp counsellor in New Haven, Connecticut. I absolutely loved it. I was there for almost 3 months, 8 weeks at camp and then almost 4 weeks traveling as south as South Carolina (I absolutely loved Charleston) and as north as Toronto. I was introduced to many new culinary species on that trip (man the American’s have rubbish cheese and chocolate- well they did in those days my blogger friends insist things have changed!) but the thing that stuck for me was waffles with maple syrup and bacon. Stuck-like-glue, I just love the salty sweet combination.

Over the years I always ordered it in a restaurant and make pancakes all the time but waffles always seemed like such a faff. NOT ANYMORE! 

Blender Waffles action Loula Natural

Blender waffles she says! My pancake making days were instantly changed when I found blender pancakes, the mix of healthy fats and protein in the eggs and almond/coconut flour, plus the natural sweetness of the banana has given my kids pancakes way more often- even on school days! Grain free too which make these perfect for me and my family. So I took this combo and played with the consistency and thus blender waffles are born!

I now make 2 different types; Chocolate Waffles (very rich chocolatey flavour with zero added sugar) and Vanilla Waffles. I have included both for you- you’re welcome!

Vanilla Blender Waffles
A gluten-free and super simple waffle recipe. All you need is a blender and 5 simple ingredients!
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Ingredients
  1. 6 eggs (pasture raised if possible)
  2. 3 medium banana's
  3. 3 tbsp coconut flour
  4. 5 tbsp almond/oat flour
  5. 1 tbsp collagen hydrolysate
  6. 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  7. pinch of pink Himalayan salt
Instructions
  1. Add all of the ingredients to the blender and blitz on high until smooth. Pour into a heated waffle iron. Close waffle iron and cook for 4.5 minutes.
Notes
  1. I love to serve mine with bacon, maple syrup, almond butter and banana.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
 Here are the chocolate ones! These are nice served with cream and berries.

Waffle Iron Loula Natural

Chocolate Blender Waffles
Rich, bitter cacao with the natural sweetness of banana. Full of healthy fats and protein. Blender waffles are super simple and only have 7 ingredients that you probably have in your house. Grain free these are paleo friendly.
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Ingredients
  1. 6 eggs (pasture raised if possible)
  2. 3 medium banana's
  3. 3 tbsp coconut/almond flour
  4. 7 tbsp /raw cacao powder
  5. 1 tbsp collagen hydrolysate
  6. 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  7. dash of milk/water kefir
  8. pinch of pink Himalayan salt
Instructions
  1. Add all of the ingredients to the blender and blitz on high until smooth. Pour into heated waffle iron and cook for 4.5 minutes.
Notes
  1. I like to serve these black forrest style, with whipped cream or coconut cream and cherries or mixed berries.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Let me know if you try them…

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Why are companies giving away free ice cream in School?

Junk Food in Schools Loula Natural FB

Should there even be ice-cream in school?

Last week I got very cross with my daughter’s PTA (Parent Teachers Association). On the Monday we were given a flyer through the school diary. It read-

Ice Cream Day

It was on the following Wednesday (in less than two days) it was the first I had heard of it. There was very clear and blatant branding on the flyer. The wonderful “insert brand” have donated ice cream for us to sell to your kids. We are selling ice-cream to the children on Wednesday- please provide your child with $xx for them to buy their ice-cream in school. For the PTA to profit from.

My daughter is 4 years old.

When she was 2 and she started going to Kindergarten we had to walk past 4/5 ice cream places to get to and from school. It was a mine field- so we introduced ice-cream Friday. It meant that we didn’t have to experience a melt down every single day  going to and from school- we could simple say, “it’s not friday”. Don’t get me wrong- we make ice-cream at home, we buy good quality ice-cream with few ingredients and every so often they get terrible ice-cream at various intervals. I don not need her to be able to buy ice cream in school.

We do not call it a treat and I try to explain very clearly to both my kids (I also have a 2 year old) about what is real food and what is a chemical food. Which one does not give us anything for us to grow or develop and which makes us feel strong, balanced and full of energy. I want my kids to be able to make informed choices in their lives and to be able to nourish themselves- rather than pay into the ‘treat yourself’ vibe that marketing companies love so much to make us by utter crap for our bodies.

There are foods that do treat the body

When looking at real treat foods, we need to understand and appreciate the necessity of nutrients in our foods together with the ratios of macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbs) which are fundamental to health. You probably know by now how much I love healthy fats and how much they have changed my body, mind and spirit (they help me feel satisfied, safe and nourished). If not check out my articles and recipes here. Healthy fats are almost always missing from the cheap nutrient free ‘treat’ foods.

SO when I read Ice Cream Day at school I was cross- not necessarily because of the Ice-Cream (my daughter chose to switch days for the week). Although the ingredients in the ice cream in school were poor, cheap and mostly chemical, I was cross for the following reason;

My child was being used.

Used by “insert brand”. They set up the ice cream carts in the school playground in constant view of the kids. The kids were introduced to the brand and they were told ‘how exciting’ it was to have ice-cream in the school. The carts were there all day Monday and Tuesday, just so the recognition was there. My daughter was eager to show me them on tuesday morning and told me which one contained cones and which ones had cups and what flavours they could buy the next day. I drop my daughter off every morning and its all you could hear from the kids- ice-cream, ice-cream.  My daughter was introduced to the concept of

“ask mummy and daddy for money”

to buy this exciting thing. I am trying to teach my kids that just because you want something does not mean that it can or will be bought. That there is nothing wrong with admiring something and NOT buying it. The fever stirred up in the classrooms and the playground about buying ice-cream was necessary to help the kids to recognise the brand and when they see it out and about with mum and dad etc to demand to have it. This kind of advertising (ie breakfast cereals during cartoons) has been banned in several countries as it is absolutely disgusting and cheap tactics.

I personally do not agree with the company who donated the ice-cream’s ethics or business practices. It is not a brand I expect or want my child to be pushed towards by the schools Parent Teacher Association- WITH TWO DAYS NOTICE. No time to complain or say ‘no’ to- the ice cream was already there in the playground for all to see.

It was such a surprise to everyone that I was not grateful for the opportunity for my 4 year old to be able to by a terrible product in school. Not to mention they were buying it from the school hall first thing in the morning- to enjoy later. I would have hated to be a teacher that day.

This school, that is supposed to pride itself on healthy living and parent support, was selling ice-cream to my 4 year old at 9am in the morning. When I voiced my complaints to various classroom teachers, I was met with surprise and off hand remarks. I could bring something else in for my child to have- whilst all her peers were participating. Also that it only happened once a term.

Not good enough.

When I wrote to the PTA from a professional and parent point of view- I was told it would be discussed at the next committee meeting (sure- right). I was also approached by a member of the PTA to assure me that my letter would be answered- I promptly told them how much I strive to provide children with necessary nutrients to support their growth and development- the reply was-

“its only a treat!”

NO IT IS NOT. There is not a single ingredient in those tubs and cones which is in any way a treat to a child as young as 4 and as old as 11 in those ice-creams. For body, mind or mood- every single child will have nutrients leached from them when consuming that ice-cream. Even more importantly when did it become the schools place or right to be giving my child a ‘treat’.

No thank you.

So what do we do. Well I have already sat down with my child and explained to her why she can have the ice-cream if she wants it- but just because she has asked for the money does not mean she will get it every time. She also understands that the ice-cream she had was chemical and so she had to make sure she made up for it by eating all the real food in her lunch box to help her stay alert and balanced for the rest of the school day. 

What can we do as a global community?

We can keep on saying NO. Write letters when you see your schools do the same thing. Ensure that you keep telling people around you (parents, parents in law, friends) that these ‘treat foods’ are not helping your children. That they are not treats.

Most of all change your view of these foods. STOP BUYING THEM. The chocolate, sweets and crap we hide from the kids, consume thinking ‘oh well I deserve a little cheat’, the foods that make you feel like crap later on and feel guilty- the ones making companies a fortune because they cost nothing to make because they contain- nothing. Those foods.

Stop calling them treats.

They arent. Stop allowing companies getting access to your kids, to be brand loyal from as young as 4. It is not okay once a term. It just isn’t. Give your kids food– help them to grow and most importantly help them to have a relationship with food, real food, for life.

see my post on Children’s Nutrition to find real treat foods for your kids and you!

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Also with other mine fields of holidays in school and out read some of these posts;

5 healthy candy swaps for Halloween from Kula Mama

 Junk Food in Schools Loula Natural Pin

What is a Naturopath

What is a Naturopath Loula Natural

What is a Naturopath?

Have you ever wondered about what a Naturopathic Doctor does? Ever wanted to see one but are confused about why it may work for you? In a nutshell a Naturopath with use only natural means to heal, repair and balance the body. Whether acute or chronic- all conditions can be dealt with using nature.

We all have different tools in our tool box, but in general you can expect to talk about energy medicines  like homeopathy, Bach Flower Remedies or other vibrational remedies, emotional freedom technique (eft), herbs, healing power of foods, fermentation, accupuncture, kineseolgy, essential oils, muscle testing, breathing techniques, exercise advice, meditation and other mindful practices with other stress management techniques.

As you can see our breadth and scope of healing tools is vast. This gives us so much to draw from when seeking to help the individual. We are able to help balance symptoms, as we always concentrate on seeking and resolving the cause of the imbalance. Our knowledge about how the body works and all our body systems work together, Combined with a more open minded approach to healing free of the dogma of strict diagnosis and protocols means we can truly tailor make an individual treatment plan just for you.

I am so passionate about what I do and it is a huge part of who I am as a person and as a mother. I am constantly seeking ways to help people get back to themselves, to feel safe, secure and powerful and happy.

health quote collage

These are the six principles we ascribe to and all of them mean so much to me;

Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine:

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The Healing Power of Nature:

The Vital force, an inherent self-healing process in each of us which is both ordered and intelligent. Each person has their own relationship with it. A Naturopath will give the body space to have the energy to heal themselves helping to remove obstacles to healing and recovery. To help identify bodies signals and deliver options for the individual to come into line with their own healing intuition.

Identify and Treat the cause:

A Naturopath will seek to identify the underlying cause or driver of the illness rather than merely suppressing the symptoms. By resolving the cause of the issue everything else will be resolved in the ripple effect! 

First Do No Harm:

Use the least force necessary to diagnose and treat. Minimise risk of harmful side effects. Avoid the suppression of symptoms. Acknowledge, respect and work with the individuals self-healing process. Refer to others for treatment when your skills are inappropriate. Know your own skills and limitations. 

Doctor as Teacher:

A Naturopath will educate and encourage their patient towards self-responsibility for health. Teach them about their body and encourage the idea that prevention is better than cure. Empower them to heal themselves. A Naturopath support the healing; however you do it!

Treat the Whole Person:

Take into account individual physical, emotional, spiritual, genetic, environmental, social and other factors. Get the whole picture. Bring the body’s systems together again. Work at the individuals own pace to reunited them with their instinct and intuition.

Prevention Rather than Cure:

Emphasise the prevention of disease. Asses risk-factors, hereditary and susceptibility to disease and making appropriate interventions with your patient to prevent illness. Commit to create a healthy world where all of humanity can and will thrive.

These principles are the Hippocratic oath that all Doctors take. We just interpret them slightly differently. A Naturopath will take  full history and really get to know not only the physical issues but also the emotional ones too. Each personality will need different courses of action and each person will be able to make changes at different speeds. The key to the treatment is in giving the individual the responsibility to heal.

The only person that can make you well and happy is yourself. I can give you a tool box to work from but you need to listen and respond to your body. I teach many classes to help people to start to make choices for themselves and their families. Education is key, coupled with motivation for change and you will become unstoppable!

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