You may notice it has been almost six months since I posted here. SIX MONTHS!!!!! For those of you first visiting, that is a long time. Way long. When I first started this blog I had a lot of momentum, posting every other day. As life trundled along, the frequency varied more, sometimes every third day, sometime once a week. Once during a move across the country, when we lived in a kitchenless hotel, it was a month.
I want to explain why I have not posted in a while, and share a new recipe while I am at it!
About six months ago (hmmm….maybe a pattern here?) Big D, Little B and I started welcoming foster children into our home. We are licensed to welcome up to five at a time. For the most part, our capacity has been full for six months. That is a lot of mouths to feed. Not only feed, but make available food they will actually eat. Each child has had their own eating idiosyncrasies – some healthy, some not so much. Everything from a vegetarian to a voracious carnivore to some who don’t like speckles (a.k.a. herbs) in their food.
To develop and support consistent eating habits for the kids, I have had to focus on many foods with which they are familiar, in addition to introducing foods new to them. This means I needed to deviate from my grain free cooking some of the time. A lot of the food the kids are used to eating include many types of ‘junk’ food, canned and boxed foods. We don’t do ramen or canned ravioli here,. Yuck flavor wise and nutrition wise. Although I have cooked some grains for them, mostly including rice and corn, I still do plenty of grain free dishes.
As a result of almost tripling the size of hour household, my creative juices committed to cooking have dropped significantly. It has been sucked up focusing on feeding the masses, and trying to keep up with the demands of my business, Grain Free Haven. I continue to make many of the dishes I posted in the past, while making new stuff with some grain ingredients. I have made some really good tasting dishes, but hesitated to post them, since they are inconsistent with how I wish they would eat. I sneak in grain free versions of ingredients when I can, but the kids are sharp cookies, and cannot always be ‘tricked’. Other people try to sneak vegetables into food for kids. I try to sneak out grains and sugar!
I mean, I own a business that promotes grain free eating. How absurd is it to continue a food blog that promotes eating grains? I refuse to frustrate the foster children by not providing them foods they like just because they include grains, but I also refuse to have a kitchen that makes Big D sick, since he is extremely sensitive to wheat and other grains that include gluten. I firmly believe that avoiding grains and sugar have helped me, Big D and Little B avoid illness, internal inflammation, gastrointestinal irritation and diabetes. I am not at all interested in abandoning those tenets. It takes a little more effort to provide meals with grain free foods alongside those with grains, but it is very much worth it.
As the sixth year of this blog begins, I have decided to resolve my cooking and blog posting conundrum. I intend to continue fulfilling my love of cooking and creating new dishes, using this blog as my conduit. I look forward to posting what I cook, whether it is grain free or not. I also intend to share substitutions I would use if making the grainy dish grain free. I will also include what I serve to sate the appetites of those eating grain free.
To begin this new approach, I share with you some protein bombs. I like making these for the kids to appease their sweet tooth without added sugar, and fill them up between the school day ending and dinner beginning. The kids are growing like weeds and I need to get as much protein in them as I can. It is based on a no-bake cookie my mom has made for decades. For a grain free alternative you can make my Chocolate Coconut No Bake Goodies.
Fifth Blogiversary Protein Bombs
1 cup peanut butter (use natural to make the result sugar free)
1/2 cup butter (use your oil of choice to make dairy free)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon pure stevia powder (equivalent to 1/2 cup pure cane sugar)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups gluten free oatmeal, uncooked
In a medium pot over medium heat add the butter, peanut butter, vanilla and stevia. Stir until butter is melted and ingredients well combined.
Add the cocoa powder and stir, then fold in the oatmeal. Stir until all the oatmeal is coated.
With a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon drop portions onto parchment paper. The bombs can be made whatever size suits your needs. Let cool to room temperature and serve. Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Makes 18-20 bombs.