Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year, New Life

They say that all good things must come to an end, and so it is with Layton Health Clinic.
Ed has asked for a divorce, and officially Layton Health Clinic closed on 12/31/17.
Ed has begun to treat patients on a cruise ship for acupuncture.

Along with the move come some new realities and possibilities for me.
The new realities include my name, Dr. Jean Soran Ryan. No, this is not my maiden name, but a new name selected with care to reflect my new life. Feel free to ask me the source when we next see each other.

I moved into the world of online patient care, providing visits by Zoom, a video and audio program a couple of years ago. So many people do not have access to well trained naturopaths. This way I can assist them with their healing right in their home, no matter where they are in the world, even in Bellingham. So phone or Zoom or Skype visits are a new possibility.
Now, my online scheduler is available to book with me in town as well.
Otherwise, just call my cell phone 360-393-2132 and we’ll set up an appointment.

Please follow my Facebook page  for events or join my mailing list to receive notifications about future classes.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Comparison of Gluten-Free Flours in one simple chart

It has been a time of it, creating my gluten-free sourdough.

First I had to begin by trying to replicate the conditions that allow free floating yeast in the air to colonize food to grow.

Oh wait, first I had to create a food for the yeast to grown in.

No, first I had to analyze the properties of Wheat to see what worked best as food for those nice little wild yeast beasties, then I could create a flour mix that would allow them to multiply and feed to create the tangy lactic acid buildup we know and love as sourdough.

To begin all this process, I did what I do when confronted with any new problem. Research! I checked out the Gluten Free bread recipe books:

Then  I checked out the various conventional wheat bread baking books:

And I began to notice that the gluten -free breads were a perfect sandwich bread. That lots of them used a bread machine. None had that crunchy dense crust I remember so fondly from gluten full breads. 

So now I went to the blogging world.  I've found that books out there for a particular problem seem to be about 3 years behind the solutions people have found on their blogs.

Into Google I plunged: creating many different versions of the search for gluten free bread recipes on blog.
I looked  here for an overview of lots of recipes since they seem to be gathering from multiple blogs, at All Recipes since so many people search for their recipes there.
But this one had eggs and I was trying to avoid allergens as much as possible.

Kept searching- Found this recipe for a "rye" bread but it called for a pan size I don't have.  Looked here and here.
What I found was that quite a few are focused on making bread machine bread.

Some people just want simple sandwich bread.  I understand, I truly do, but that isn't what I was looking for at all.
I wanted a
                 tender threaded
                            open holed 
                                          sourdough bread.

One that will hold it's own as a bread bowl for soup if I wanted.  Not a soft tender crust at all.

So my journey of research continued into the world of bread message boards.
I love this one but can literally spend days there reading about the nuances of temperature changes, hydration, salt content and protein content of wheat flour.

Wait, protein content.  That makes sense.  The yeast need the sugars to grow and give off gas but without the protein strands, there is no lift, no holes, no bubbles to crust.

Now to the fun part, the chemistry of the situation:
Wheat flour is 11% protein,
Hard Wheat flour (typically used for bread) is 14% protein,
Their fat content is never more than 5 %.  Carbohydrate count varies with the growing season.

In order for my gluten-free sourdough to behave like gluten full sourdough, I had to get a balance of the available flours to mimic these parameters.
A bit of analysis now came into play while I learned the stats on gluten free flours.
Stats and analysis allow me to just play.  So I created a chart, for an easy understanding of what a substitution would do to my flour mixture.

One that I am happy to share, so you can all make substitutions based on the science and taste preference you would prefer.

Comparison of Gluten Free flours in one easy chart - printable

          I realize that this is just messy,  Click on the link for pretty.

  per 1/4 cup color, quality, fiber, fat, protein, carbohydrates        
Millet    yellow    soft crumb    0g    1g    3g    22g
Sweet Rice Flour    white    structure, sticky    1g    0.6g    2g    24g
Sorghum Flour    pale brown with tiny flecks of dark brown    tender, structure    3g    1.1g    4g    25g
Potato Starch    white     glide, slippery    0g    0g    0g    40g
Corn Flour    yellow    strength, depth    3.9g    1.1g    2g    22.5g
Amaranth Flour    brown    strength    3g    2g    4g    20g
Quinoa Flour    pale brown    strength, pronounced flavor    0g    1.7g    4g    21g
Brown Rice Flour    pale brown    crunch unless finely ground, mild flavor    1.8g    1.1g    2.9g    30.2g
Tapioca Flour    white     soft, crisp    0g    0g    0g    26g
Teff flour    dark or ivory    tender    6g    1.1g    5g    32g
Buckwheat Flour    Dark    tender    3g    0.9g    3.8g     21.2g
Garfava flour    yellow beige    beany    6g    1.7g    6g    18g
White Bean Flour    white/ivory    mild flavor, tender crumb    8g    0g    7g    20g
White Rice Flour    white    mild flavor, crunch unless finely ground    0.9g    0.6g    2.4g    31.7g

Next post I'll tell you more about what My sourdough flour mix contains and how to begin your own starter.

Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie with Gingered Coconut Whipped Cream

Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Gingered Coconut Whipped Cream

Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Corn-Free, Maple Sweetened, without xanthan or guar gums
250 grams (3⁄4 cup) maple syrup grade B
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 15-ounce Can Pumpkin Puree
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
240 grams (1 Cup) Canned Coconut cream
2 teaspoons pixie dust
1 gluten-free, vegan pie crust-rolled out, placed in pie shell and crimped.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
Stir until one color.
Pour the batter into the prepared pie shell.
Bake for 15 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350 for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. It may be a bit wobbly still, but it will firm-up as it cools.
Allow the pie to cool on a wire rack for 2 hours (Be patient! This is important). Serve
with ginger whipped coconut cream or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Ginger Whipped Coconut Cream
160 grams (3⁄4 cup) coconut cream (the rest of a 15 ounce can)
50 grams (3 tablespoons)maple syrup
1⁄4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon tapioca flour
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
Place bowl in freezer for 1 hour.
Beat well till the cream holds a soft peak.
Serve immediately

Gluten-Free Youth Fair Cake

As a parent there are moments when you see your child develop.
Moments that replay in your memories forever.
Like their first steps, first foods, first day at kindergarten.
Add to that the body changes, from unformed softness to well muscled growth.
Leggy and lean, coltish is the current description of my girls.
The hint of a waist, blossoming of hips and underneath it all the strength.
I love to watch them grow, love to see their minds develop and search for new challenges.

Realizing that they want to do what I do. What a shock. They love to cook and nurture. This was spring break week, for most kids a time of relaxation, travel perhaps, down time for sure.

My girls- they volunteered to train to be playground mediators at school. They spent 3 mornings of their spring break with fellow 4th and 5th graders learning how to facilitate playground conflicts for kinders and 1st graders.
Not because they had to, there isn't a requirement to participate. They chose to participate because they love to help people solve problems.

Then they spent the afternoons like lots of siblings, bickering and moaning that they were bored. At least till I let them play Club Penguin. That stopped the bickering.

And we did travel a bit, up to Vancouver BC to visit the Newton Wave pool with a friend for an afternoon.
That is a bit of work to keep swimming in the waves.

But most of all for the girls, spring break means Whatcom County Youth Fair.
This is their 3rd year attending.
This volunteer led program put on by the 4H, FFA and who knows who else is a milestone for them each year.
They eagerly await the release of the information in early March.
What groups will they want this year?
Dog agility training? No, Katie did that one first year.
Woolcrafts? Nope, Fiona did that last year.
Photography?Entrepreneurship? been there, done that.

No, this year, the choices were Horses for Fiona and Homemaking for Kate.
Fiona chose a mini horse named Rosie that really made her work to get the routine down.
But she loved every minute of it, right down to the consistent brushing and hoof care. She came home each night tired but so happy and dusty.

Katie loved her homemaking too. She had a bit of a problem getting my mothers sewing machine to work at a sedate pace but the apron she made for me was just lovely.

Equally lovely was the cake she decorated. Got to admit that when I read the material list for the class and saw
"3-4 cake layers overfilled and warm" to be delivered with her on Saturday morning.
9AM and the drive up is 40 minutes. I really wondered about it. But the teacher explained that she wanted the cakes warm so the glaze would soak in properly, and overfilled so it was tall and stately.

Of course, there is the minor problem of being gluten-free. and the not as easy problem of not knowing about the quality of the icing. But I can be a game player in most situations. I checked out the icing and it was fine.

I set up the night before as much as I could,
Had the cake pans ready with circles of parchment in the bottoms, foil collars around the rim,
organic spray oil at the ready.
Created the flour mixture, measured the dry and wet ingredients and left the eggs out to come to our cool house temperature.
Pulled out both of my mixing bowls so I could go from the first batch to the second without pause.

So I got up at 6AM and started baking the cakes.

Thank goodness I am a morning person, give me a dark cup of tea and I am all set.

The cakes turned out amazingly wonderful. Moist, buttery and tender.
The teacher couldn't believe it was gluten-free.
And Katie was so proud and not at all disappointed that she didn't bake the cakes. She was happy to sleep till 7.

So thanks for letting me crow a bit about my amazing daughters. Enjoy the cakes.

my inspiration for the flour blend was Annalise Roberts Brown Rice Flour mix from her book Gluten-Free Baking Classics
I had tried this mix and liked it before, but I wanted to enhance it a bit since all I had for brown rice flour was the coarser grained Bob's Red Mill not the powdery fine Authentic Foods flour.

I wanted it to be a bit tender with a lovely crumb, and to use a bit of sweet rice flour as well to create some structure.
So here is my flour mix:
6 cups Bob's brown rice flour
2 cups potato starch (not flour)
2 cups tapioca flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup millet flour

Then I used Annalise's Yellow Cake recipe with a few tweaks as well.
Since our family does ok with dairy, I used some butter to enhance the flavor.
I used organic sugar which is a bit coarser than granulated and has a bit of molasses still and I used my flour mix instead of hers.

Katie's Youth Fair Cake

for 2 overfilled 9 inch rounds
First create a collar around your pans using foil doubled over and molded to the side. Spray heavily with organic spray oil including bottom of pan. place parchment circle into pan and spray that as well with the oil
Preheat oven to 350.
1/2 cup butter
3 cups organic sugar
6 large eggs
3 1/4 cups flour mix (above)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup milk
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat butter till fluffy and add in sugar gradually. Beat for 2-3 minutes till all the sugar is coated in butter and the mixture is slightly lighter in color. Add in each egg, beating well after each addition.
Stir in all the other ingredients till combined and then beat for 1 minute.

Pour into prepared pans and place in oven. Bake 35-45 minutes till the center springs back when touched, rotating pans midway.

Grab children and dash to Youth fair.

Let your daughter have a blast decorating!

What to do on a flood day? Make Pudding!

Bellingham has been in the news lately. Not necessarily as a wonderful green city that is thriving in this economy but as a community under water.
Check out this video to see how Sudden Valley has been this week.

While we are dealing with so much water, I have neglected this blog. Luckily our home is fine and we used the two extra days off from school to cook a bit.

My daughter wanted to make a special pudding. Right now she is not eating all that much. It has been her pattern in the past so I don't get too worried.

So when she grabbed our antique copy of Joy of Cooking (1946 edition), turned to Bavarian cream pudding and said "This is It", we made pudding.

Now I really wasn't in the mood to create something elaborate, but like many recipes it was truly easy. It happened to be gluten-free as well without any changes.

Bavarian Cream I (page 660 in Joy of Cooking)
soak: 1 tablespoon gelatin in 2 tablespoons cold water
Scald: 1 3/4 cups of organic milk
Add: 1/3 to 1/2 cup organic sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Stir the gelatin into this mixture until it is dissolved. Chill it. As it thickens flavor it with:
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Whip it with a wire wisk until it is fluffy.
Beat until stiff 1 cup of organic heavy cream
Fold it into the gelatin mixture.
Place the pudding in a wet mold.
chill thoroughly.

Although the recipe said to mold it, we were all to eager to enjoy it so we scooped it into small bowls, added a bit of lingonberry preserves and an almond cookie.
This was amazing! Light in flavor although not in calories. Fiona decided that we really should only use 1/3 cup of sugar since it seemed too sweet for her.

Got to love when a child's sweet tooth is in good control. Now I want to use this as a launching point for a dairy free version and a diabetic version.

Crowd to feed, but only one snack

I love our twin daughters.
I love them so much that I volunteer with a group of a dozen eight year old Brownie Girl Scouts as their leader.
I love them so much that when they say, “Mom, how come we don’t learn much about really interesting things at Girl Scout events?
Scientific stuff, like Bugs and Butterflies?”
I respond by volunteering to run a service unit event, for the entire service unit of 20+ troops.
Yes, I know I’m a bit crazy. But science is so important to these girl’s future. The earlier they get interested, the better.

Today, I coordinated and facilitated the Bugs and Butterflies Try-It Day.
Try-Its are the badges a Brownie earns when they have covered a particular subject, learning all about how it works, and in the case of animals, how it grows.

It was a LID (Learning in Development) day in Bellingham, so no school for the kiddos.
A small group of fellow Girl Scout leaders and I had the group of 40 girls gathered together from 9-3 inside the gym of one of our local elementary schools.

We had a wonderful time, learning and exploring the worlds of these creatures.
We explained the differences between bugs, insects, arthropods and arachnids.
We mixed it up with crafts, is there a Girl Scout event without crafts?
We made up crazy songs, played Bug-O (like bingo but with bug pictures on the cards) and of course had a snack.
Or more correctly, two snacks. One in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Lunch was brown bag brought along by the girls.
Ok, here is my bias in full force.
My twins are gluten-free and so are a number of the other girls there.
Since I was the one figuring out the details all about the snacks, guess what I did?

Yup, the entire event was gluten-free!
Do you think any of the kids noticed?

Ants on a Log
We just worked with familiar and popular whole foods, did the ever so classic ants on a log recipe.
Organic Peanut butter (only peanuts and salt) and organic Celery with mini chocolate dark chips (OK so not all organic, I couldn’t find organic mini chips), currants and sunflower seeds.
For the girls who couldn’t have peanuts we had along organic cream cheese and SunButter (sunflower butter) as options.
The girls ate them up and wanted more.

In the afternoon, I invented a new treat.
Apple butterflies.
We took whole apples and using a wonderful hand cranked
Peeler, Slicer and Apple Corer
created the wings of the butterfly. It probably didn’t hurt that they got to run the peeler.
Then we took two Gluten-Free marshmallows and cut them in half across their middles to form the circles of the thorax, abdomen, and head. The last half became the antennas.
Mini chocolate chips for eyes and the girls were happy.
For once everyone could eat the SAME snack!
Maybe it helps that I counsel people for a living on making good food choices.
Maybe, I just can see fun in food.
All I know is, my girls had a wonderful time.
And all their friends only had a bit of sugar today and a lot of decent nutrition, and no one felt weird or special because they had to have a different snack.
I’ll post a picture as soon as I make another one.
The girls were eating them too fast to take one today.
Gluten Free Girl Scouts


Prep time
1 min
Cook time
2 mins
Total time
3 mins
There are so many variations on this classic snack.
Author: Jean Layton
Serves: 1
1 celery stick
1 tablespoon organic peanut butter or cream cheese or SunButter sunflower butter
1 teaspoon organic raisins
spread celery stick with spread of your choice inside the u shaped cavity
sprinkle with raisins
cut into serving pieces or leave whole
Wordpress Recipe Plugin by EasyRecipe

Easter Traditions and Hot Cross Buns

It brings back so many memories of Easter. Lots of food burdening a table full of family. Baskets hidden by my parents so we had a treasure hunt before mass.

Who could forget the year that Dad put them in the bathtub, then forgot to let us find them before he started his morning shower?
Wet Peeps for all, just as soon as we got back from church.

I think that was the hardest part about Easter, the waiting till the church services were over to enjoy our baskets and breakfast.

We always had a fairly simple breakfast on Easter. Simple but filling and fun.

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