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.
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!!
2/3 cup of olive oil (I have also used coconut oil)
1tsp of dried herbs (I like an italian mix- you can use what you like or sun-dried tomato flakes)
2 tsp garlic or dried onion powder
2 tsp salt
3 cups of tapioca flour
1tbsp collagen hydrolysate (gelatin)
2 beaten eggs
1tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
3tbsp coconut flour
2 tbsp almond flour (optional)
dash of kefir (water or milk) (optional, you can also add a dash of apple cider vinegar)
Add the water, oil, herbs and garlic powder to a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Add the tapioca flour and it will instantly become a sticky mess (I mean dough)
Ensure it is all mixed in and allow to cool for 10-15 mins
Heat your oven to 200 centigrade.
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.
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.
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.
I have frozen the bases at this point
Put pizza in the oven to 20-30 mins to pre cook (longer if you have cooked from frozen)
Add toppings. I add passata, and whatever I fancy (the kids eat ham, pineapple and olives!) we like bacon, artichokes, olives and peppers!
Add cheese if you like and put back in the oven for another 10-15 mins.
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.
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.
Wow it seems a long time ago since I first started eating Chia for breakfast. I have never looked back
This was first written in Nov 2012. I have a 10k race tomorrow, my first since having my second baby 18 weeks ago. I am nervous as so far I have maxed out at 7k. My goal was and still is to finish, I never thought I would be running the whole thing. However I am very competitive and so secretly see myself sprinting to the end! So am going to give myself the best chance. This is my (very early) breakfast tomorrow. Great protein, fat and carbs- my kind of ‘carb loading!’
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup organic unsweetened almond milk/oat milk
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp vanilla
diced strawberries, raspberries & blueberries for toppings
raw almonds, cashews & sunflower seeds for toppings (preferably soaked over night)
Place almond milk in a bowl and sprinkle chia seeds in and stir immediately for a minute or so to avoid clumping. Add spices as you stir along with the vanilla. Allow to stand for 30-40 mins to thicken, or covered in the fridge over night. Add berries, nuts and seeds with a dollup of yoghurt on top to eat.
For my son (from 6 months old) I use 1 tsp chia and mixed with 2 tsp water and let soak either overnight in the fridge or for 15mins while he eats some blueberries/mango/melon or banana! It is best to leave the nuts out until at least 12 months old. I then added the coconut yoghurt little by little. He is now having the same amount as the recipe above and still wants more some mornings! He’s 18 months!
I have added Chia seeds to my muesli mix for ages now. I knew as a seed they would add great protein and fat to my breakfast. Also when added to liquid they become very mucilaginous and added to the oats in the muesli would help to calm and repair my digestive system. beyond that I am only just learning its other benefits. Many are claiming great things from the humble seed. From weight loss, Cardiovascular, blood sugar, detoxification, akaline the body, and even have hormonal and mood related properties. They even supposedly bring out the flavour in your foods, so make chocolate more chocolatey!
Seeds are designed to grow new life, therefore they are a bit like eggs in that they have everything you would want to grow and develop. Protein, fats and all the vitamins and minerals. However much like an egg you have to ‘crack’ them to release the nutrients so they can be absorbed. Seeds and nuts should be soaked or sprouted or at the very least ground to get the full benefit from them. With Chia the longer they are soaked the better, but 10 mins should do the trick.
I have been drinking 2 tbs in half a cup of coconut water and a tsp of greens. I really like it and have found it has helped to settle my digestive system, balancing my blood sugar, giving energy and I am finding my skin and hair is also improving. I have been doing it for 4 weeks and along with exercising and eating a healthy balanced diet rich with nutrients, I am losing size. Especially around my belly button and hips- a stubborn area for me due to my poor blood sugar control and digestive issues. It’s all in the combination. I am also breast-feeding and so still also losing baby weight. Do I think they are a wonder food- they are pretty good-but I think most foods high in nutrients and unprocessed are pretty wonderful
I have tried to compile the information I have found about them but I have found myself just copying what others have already successfully written… Here are the links I have found
Getting organised for the impending birth of my son, I wanted to go over my snacks list to make sure I have them here if I want them. It occurred to me that they are great snacks for anyone and for all the family. What else would you add, or have you used?
Labour and post labour Snack Ideas: (for him and her!)
Banana smoothie (all my smoothie recipes are here): banana, oat milk, mango, Pumpkin seed protein powder, nut butter and cinnamon (can also be frozen like an ice-lolly or in drinks bottles to thaw on route.) A common breakfast in our house.
Vegetable crisps. Homemade in the dehydrator or use a peeler to get nice thin layers and bake in the oven till crispy with a little olive oil or coconut oil.
Iced raspberry leaf, nettle and peppermint tea with lemon and honey to taste. (of course can be hot too or made into ice cubes) Can also use tulsi tea. (holy basil) can chill you out during labour. Also can add rescue remedy.
HIGH PROTEIN SUGAR FREE ENERGY BAR
• 250g desiccated coconut
• 200g ground almonds (can use pumpkin seed protein power for allergies)
• 100g sesame seeds
• 1 tsp of cinnamon
• approx 14 dried pitted dates, chopped
• 2 eggs (can use egg replacement for allergies)
• 2 tbs pure organic coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature.
Melt coconut oil over very low heat until it is liquid. Do not cook or
Chop dates and mix together with dry ingredients (coconut, ground
almonds, sesame seeds), and cinnamon.
Add 2 beaten eggs and mix till mixture is moist.
Pour in melted coconut oil and mix with fork or hands
Spread into a shallow tin lined with baking parchment.
Bake in a moderate oven (gas mark 4) for 30 minutes. Remove when top
Cut into slices while still warm and soft.