The Glutening

GF Resources, Healthy Living, New York City, Travel

The Glutening

18 Comments 24 May 2016

It began the way most of my favorite New York evenings begin. A much anticipated evening with friends, a train ride with laughter, a new restaurant selected, and theater tickets. This evening was particularly exciting, because our train was taking us out of the city to see a play starring a friend of ours. When I made these plans, I had no idea that the evening would end with a pineapple-infused cloud of impending doom hovering over my head.

The Glutening

I’m not going to slam this restaurant. I’m not even going to mention its name. Despite the fact that I was horribly glutened, the waitstaff and manager did the best they could in the moment, and they did comp the entire dinner for four.

We selected this cute little pizza joint because they had gluten-free pasta, not pizza, but pasta, and it was walking distance to the theater. My friends ordered pizza, and I ordered the gluten-free pasta. I clearly ordered gluten-free pasta. When the pizzas arrived, I assumed my pasta would follow shortly. When my friends had almost finished their pizza, I inquired about my order. “Don’t worry,” the waiter reassured. “Gluten-free pasta takes a little longer to prepare.”

I felt confidentbecause clearly the waiter remembered that I had ordered gluten-free. Clearly the staff knew enough to prepare a new pot of water instead of tossing gluten-free pasta into boiling poisonous wheat water. I sipped my wine, and minutes later a plate of pasta was placed in front of me. I didn’t even question whether this dish was mine. I was the only one without food, I had just asked about my meal, and this plate was served to ME. Clearly, it was mine.

The first bite only served to verify that this pasta was gluten free, because it was a bit chewy like bad gluten-free pasta. It wasn’t going to be a great meal, but I wasn’t going to complain. At least they offered a gluten-free option. I was a little confused about the sauce as it didn’t seem like the marinara and veggies that I’d normally order, but I had hemmed and hawed over the three vegetarian options on the menu. Maybe I didn’t realize I’d ordered a dark sauce. It was marked gluten-free, so I didn’t worry.

I ate the entire plate of pasta minus a few spoonfuls shared with those who wanted a taste. As soon as I put my fork on my cleared plate, a waitress appeared announcing, “And here’s the gluten-free pasta!”

That’s when my memory gets a little fuzzy.

I remember the waitress confirming that I’d just eaten a full plate of gluten-filled wheat pasta.

I remember involuntarily saying a word that I never say.

I remember everyone asking me, “What’s going to happen to you?”

I had no earthly idea what was going to happen to me. I hadn’t ingested that much gluten since before going gluten free 12 years ago. Was I going to get violently ill? Did I need to take the hour-long train ride home right now instead of staying for the show? Did I need to remain close to a bathroom? Was this going to get ugly and embarrassing?

I remember the waiter asking, “What can I get for you?”

He wanted to bring me more pasta on the house! That wasn’t going to make anything better. And I wasn’t going to put another piece of food in my stomach since I had no idea if the food already in there was going to stay put.

I remember the waitress suddenly realizing the severity of the issue and saying, “I will go to CVS and get whatever you need!”

I remember the Husband flying like a superhero to the manager. Their words were lost in the buzzing restaurant noise as the waitstaff swirled around my already spinning head. I just needed them to leave me alone so I could think. And within 60 seconds of hearing the news that sent this perfect New York evening careening off the magical evening track and into unknown waters, my head cleared enough to have the wisest thought of the evening.

I remembered Shirley. I had a blessed vision of Shirley. If you’ve been gluten-free for more than 12 seconds, you most likely already know Shirley of Gluten Free Easily. Shirley is the mama of the gluten-free bloggers, the teacher of newbie gluten-free eaters, and an inspiration to the gluten-free community as she demonstrates to her readers, year after year, that eating gluten free is easy, healthy, and delicious if you focus on foods that are naturally gluten-free. And I’m lucky enough to have Shirley as a friend.

The Rescue

I sent an SOS email to Shirley. Then the Husband and I walked to CVS and found this.


I’d never purchased the product before, but I was desperate to try anything that could help. The directions said to take the capsules before ingesting gluten. A little late for that, and confused as to why anyone with a gluten problem would willingly ingest gluten, but I figured it couldn’t hurt and I downed four capsules before even finishing the transaction with the cashier.

By the time we walked to the theater, my phone buzzed with a message from Shirley! With 8 minutes until the show started, my superhero Husband flew back to CVS to get Shirley’s recommended activated charcoal capsules and pineapple juice.

When was the last time that you purchased pineapple juice? At least at CVS, it still comes in a gigantic can that requires that special pointy-tipped can opener that you may remember from snack time in preschool. CVS didn’t have one of those. But the manager found a regular can opener for sale on a shelf and let the Husband borrow it to start the opening process. He ran with a semi-opened can of sticky juice to the theater parking lot.

This was the next step. Two minutes before show time, standing in the rain, we dripped the juice from the can into a water bottle so that I could smuggle it into the theater. Frustration and anxiety turned to hilarity as we realized that at this drip rate we’d be lucky to get to the show by intermission. Thankfully, my superhero made the hole a little larger with a key.


We did make the show, during which my friend wowed us all with her talent, and I slugged water and straight pineapple juice until I got home.

The Recovery

I firmly believe that Shirley’s timely answer to my frantic email took days off my recovery time. The pineapple juice provided enzymes to break down the gluten, and the activated charcoal helped to absorb it.

For the next week, my body was shock. I wasn’t hungry. I didn’t feel sick to my stomach. I didn’t feel like I had a digestive system at all. When I’ve been glutened in the past from cross-contamination, my biggest symptoms have been irritability, tiredness, and a brain fog that lasted a day or maybe two. This time, I felt like I had mono. I woke up exhausted after sleeping for 8-10 hours each night. Moving from the bed to the couch felt like I had just climbed a flight of stairs. The weirdest symptom I had was the sensation that my entire body was buzzing. If I had a normal job, I would have taken multiple days off. But I taught school that week through a mental haze because there was something I had to take care of each day that was beyond the scope of a substitute teacher. So I fumbled for words, lost papers in front of my face, and did the best I could to shape the minds of our future. I really can’t remember much of that week, sorry students. Thankfully I have great support teachers that helped me keep the class running.

And I had Shirley’s wise counsel ringing in my ears to take care of myself. I came home by 4:00pm each day and napped with Maggie until bedtime.


I continued taking enzymes, activated charcoal, probiotics, epsom salt baths, and I flooded my body with juices and water. Just when I was wondering if I’d ever feel like myself again, some energy and clearer thinking returned. It took six days for any improvement. I still don’t think I’m back to normal. Shirley warned me that it could take weeks, not to be discouraging, but to remind me to be patient and take time to take care of me. So I’m listening to my body, getting lots of rest, and eating well.

I want to thank my two superheroes. My number one hero is always the Husband. I’ll never forget him running to my rescue with a dripping can of pineapple juice. My number two hero is Shirley. After my brain fog lifted I remembered that Shirley wrote a post in 2011 called How to Recover After Being Glutened that you must read so you’re prepared for that inevitable moment when you will say, “What do you mean this isn’t gluten free?”

Chocolate Almond Butter Buckeyes (Raw, Vegan, GF) and

GF Product Reviews, GF Recipes, GF Resources, Raw Foods, Vegan

Chocolate Almond Butter Buckeyes (Raw, Vegan, GF) and

13 Comments 10 March 2014

Are you a fan yet? If not, I’m sure you will be by the time you’re done reading this. First, note that I’m not receiving any payment or affiliate kickbacks for this post. I am a die-hard fan of for many reasons and want to spread the word. I contacted them to let them know how much I love the company, and they asked if I’d like to do a review of two of their products. I did receive those two products free. Before I tell you about them, let me explain why I’m a nut for Nuts. com.

I was first turned on to this company by friend and blogger Valerie of City|Life|Eats. She showed up to a blogging retreat with bags of happiness. How can you not smile when you reach into a bag that looks like this?


Since then, has been my go-to place to order raw vegan recipe ingredients and snacks. Why do I love this company?

  • While everything that I order is naturally gluten free, I have an extra measure of confidence because they are certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization and use dedicated lines for their gluten-free products to avoid cross contamination.
  • The people who work at are ridiculously nutty. And by nutty I mean corny and silly. I love the emails that I get letting me know that my order is on its way, or that it has been delivered, as well as the cute nut characters on the delivery boxes.
  • And if you’re worried about delivery, fear not. Every time I place an order, my package arrives before it was promised. Sometimes it’s even the very next day.
  • Their products are high quality and reasonably priced.
  • Every order comes with a free sample of something that I’ve never ordered before. They know how to get me, because I usually end up adding that item to my next order!

I’ve tried many of their products:

  • Nuts: cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts
  • Seeds: sunflower, hemp, chia, black sesame, flaxseed, flax meal
  • Powders: spirulina, raw cacao, cacao nibs, maca
  • Grains: quinoa, buckwheat (Note, the buckwheat is great for cooking, but not suitable for soaking and sprouting.)
  • Beans: chickpeas
  • Dried Fruit: Goji berries, dates

But until recently I hadn’t tried any of their flours. I don’t do much baking anymore, so when I received a bag of almond flour and coconut flour to review, I almost didn’t know what to do with them!


So I decided to do what I do best. Stay away from the oven and make raw treats!

For Thanksgiving, I made these Raw Caramel Nut Frosted Fudge that I shared at The Balanced Platter. The almond flour and coconut flour give these raw treats the structure they need as well as a delicious nutty taste.


For Christmas, I made these Christmas No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies for Sandra’s cookie event.


This is a great recipe with so much versatility. Make a thumbprint cookie or a bite rolled in your favorite chopped nuts.


The coconut and almond flour give a delicious taste, structure, and smoothness to these healthy treats.


And for Valentine’s Day, I made these Chocolate Almond Butter Bites. The Husband loves Buckeyes, so I created a similar treat for him using all raw vegan ingredients.


Chocolate Almond Butter Buckeyes

by Heather

Almond Butter Ball Ingredients:

Chocolate Coating Ingredients:


1. Place all Almond Butter Ball Ingredients in the food processor and process until a dry batter forms.

2. Roll batter into 20 balls and place them in the freezer on parchment paper while you prepare the chocolate coating.

3. Melt coconut oil by placing it in a measuring cup in a bowl of hot tap water.

4. Pour cacao and syrup into a small bowl.

5. When the coconut oil melts, pour into the small bowl and stir to make the chocolate coating.

6. Roll Almond Butter Balls in the chocolate coating until well coated. Feel free to dig in and use your hands.

7. Place coated balls in the refrigerator on parchment paper to set.

Yields 20 buckeyes


If you haven’t tried I encourage you to browse their site and look for your favorite products. You’ll be glad you did!

Readers, dish!

  • Where do you find your nut flours?
  • Have you ever tried

This recipe was shared with Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Plant Based Potluck Party Link UpRaw Foods Thursdays, Wellness Weekends, Healthy Vegan Fridays, and Gluten-Free Fridays.

Organic Avenue Love Deep Cleanse: Day 27

GF Resources, Healthy Living, New York City, Raw Foods, Vegan

Organic Avenue Love Deep Cleanse: Day 27

7 Comments 29 January 2014

I’m back to making my own juices now that my week of Organic Avenue deliveries has come to an end. Just a few more days to complete my 30 day goal! I had such a wonderful experience with Organic Avenue that I wanted to tell you all about it.

Organic Avenue has three different levels of cleanses:

  • LOVE Easy – a beginners cleanse that combines a booster shot, juices, and raw meals.
  • LOVE Fast – an intermediate cleanse consisting of a booster, juices, mylk, raw soup, and a raw meal.
  • LOVE Deep – an “expert” cleanse consisting of a booster, juices, and a mylk.

The LOVE Deep Cleanse comes as a 3-day, 5-day, and 7-day program.  Since Organic Avenue was having a 30% of sale, I decided to go for the 7-day to give myself a week break from juicing in my baby NYC kitchen. This is what I received on the first day.


My juice for the day was delivered to my home, free of charge, between 6:00 and 8:00am. I immediately opened the box and labeled each bottle with the time they recommended consuming it. This made it easy for me to toss the bottles I needed throughout the day into my lunch bag and save the rest in the refrigerator for later.


8:00 – 9:00 am The Booster Shot

Each day began with a booster shot.


  • E3 Live Shot – It doesn’t taste great, but when you know that you’re getting 64 vitamins, minerals, and enzymes from blue algae, it’s much easier to get down.
  • Aloe – This tastes sour, which surprised me as I’ve taken aloe in the past and it didn’t have a taste at all. Aloe is great for detoxification and decreases inflammation in the digestive tract.
  • Wheatgrass – LOVE, love, love! By far the most deliciously sweet shot. The benefits of wheatgrass seem to be endless, but it’s well known for it’s detoxifying properties as well as its ability to increase red blood-cell count.
  • Chlorophyll – Brush your teeth and tongue afterwards if you don’t want to leave the house looking like you just ate a green lollipop. It regenerates and cleanses the body on a cellular level, so it’s worth looking a little like a toddler.

9:00-10:00 am Fruit Juice

Now we’re hungry and we’re ready for our first juice of the day. One of the following fruit juices came each day.


Orange Juice – 100% pure orange juice. I added vanilla protein powder to this on the days that started with a workout which made it taste like an orange julius.

Grapefruit Juice – 100% pure grapefruit juice! Delicious, but I missed the ginger that I put in my Morning Zinger.

Royal Red – Packed with antioxidants and powerfully delicious with carrot, beet, orange, pear, pineapple, ginger, and lemon. I love this juice.

11:00 am -12:00 pm Green Juice

Next was one of the following green juices:


Sweet Greens – Sweet pear, orange, and hydrating cucumber balance the intensity of Swiss chard, kale, and collard greens. A touch of lemon and mint finishes it off.

Mellow Love –  A smooth combination of romaine, celery, cucumber, spinach, and parsley.

Green Coco – Wonderfully hydrating with organic young Thai coconut water, green chard, romaine, spinach, kale, and celery.

Green Love – Pear and lemon sweeten up a concentrated combination of dark leafy greens including kale, Swiss chard, spinach, parsley, collard greens, and romaine.

Medicinal Green – This one had to grow on me. I finally came to appreciate the kick from the garlic, turmeric, cayenne pepper mixed with cucumber, Swiss chard, spinach, collard greens, kale, lemon, and Himalayan salt.

1:00 – 2:00 pm Tonic

The early afternoon tonics gave a little boost during a busy time of day.


Master Tonic – Flashback! Have you ever done the Master Cleanse? One sip and you’ll be flashing back. Maple syrup, lemon, and cayenne pepper is the original Master drink, but Organic Avenue uses coconut sugar instead of maple syrup. Very tasty.

Ginger Lemonade – Sweet and tangy with a kick of ginger, this was by far my favorite tonic. Purified alkaline water, lemon, lime, ginger, and coconut sugar provided a great boost.

Turmeric Tonic – This was my least favorite. In fact, I didn’t like it at all. It may be that the spices are gritty and collect at the bottom of the bottle. Ingredients: purified alkaline water, ginger, coconut sugar, lemon juice, turmeric, cardamom, black pepper, cayenne pepper, Himalayan salt

3:00 – 4:00 pm Vegetable Juice

My favorite time of day! I’d come home from work and sit down to a tall glass of…


Carrot Juice – Yes, pure organic carrot juice. It tastes like candy. Have you ever tried 100% carrot juice? It’s out of this world. I didn’t even miss the fact that none of my boxes included the alternate veggie juice called Veggie Vibe.

5:00 – 6:00 pm Green Juice

Early evening brought another one of the 5 green juices.


7:00 – 8:00 pm Mylk

And the best part of the day was ending it with one of these.


Cashew Hemp Mylk – I love love LOVE this milk. It was such a treat right before bed. More decadent than my version of Cashew Hemp Milk, this one has organic coconut sugar.

Coconut Mylk – Thick and dreamy, this creamy delight is made from 100% Organic Coconut Meat and 100% Organic Thai Coconut Water. That means it’s 200% delicious if I’m doing my math correctly. Seriously, it’s so thick that it pours out of the bottle like a pudding. What a great way to end the day.

Having Organic Avenue cater to me during the third week of my cleanse was the refreshing break that I needed. Now just a few more days of juicing on my own to meet my goal. I would highly recommend Organic Avenue’s LOVE Deep Cleanse. The juices are top quality, the variety keeps you interested and properly fueled, and customer service can not be beat.

Readers, dish!

  • Have you ever tried an Organic Avenue cleanse?
  • Have you tried a cleanse by another company?
  • Which Organic Avenue juice would you like to try?
  • Which juice would you like for me to replicate and post?


Healthy Christmas Cookies are Here!

GF Resources, Healthy Living, Raw Foods, Vegan

Healthy Christmas Cookies are Here!

4 Comments 13 December 2013

Earlier this week I warned you that it was happening, and now it’s here! Sandra of Candida Diet Plan is hosting a healthy cookie event that you don’t want to miss. She asked 17 bloggers to join her in creating their healthiest tastiest Christmas cookie, and they are all linked up in this delicious cookie roundup.



  1. Sugar-Free Sugar Cookies – Gluten, Dairy, Egg and Sugar Free from Candida free Candee
  2. Dark Chocolate Truffle Cookies – gluten free and dairy free from Tessa Domestic Diva
  3. Macadamia Coconut Cookies – gluten free, sugar free, with dairy free and vegan option from Candida diet Plan
  4. Christmas No-Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies – gluten free, grain free & super versatile from Gluten free Cat
  5. Jungle Balls – quick, raw & vegan from Carrie on Vegan
  6. Raw Gingerbread Men – Raw, grain free, and vegan from Om Nom Ally
  7. Chocolate-Orange-Goji Cookies (No-Bake or Baked) – gluten free from Coconut and Berries
  8. Spiced Orange Cookies – gluten-free, vegan & oil-free from Stir, Sift & Savour
  9. Gingerbread Men who like to be healthy – gluten free, dairy free & vegan from Including Cake
  10. Quinoa Raisin Cookies – gluten free from Simply Sugar and Gluten free
  11. Gingerbread-Cookies – Gluten free, dairy free and egg free from Sandi’s Allergy free Recipes
  12. Flourless Triple Nut (or Seed) Brownies – gluten free, grain free, vegan & paleo from Gluten free Easily
  13. Hazelnut and Cherry Carob Truffles – vegan and wheat-free from Bitesized Thoughts
  14. Double Chocolate Paleo Hazelnut Cookies – gluten free, grain free & dairy free from the Tasty Alternative
  15. Healthy Peppermint Oreo Cookies – vegan & gluten free from The Healthy Maven
  16. Chewy Molasses Cookies – gluten-free and sweetened with date sugar – from Queen of Quinoa
  17. Anzac Biscuits with Cranberries – from Green Gourmet Giraffe
  18. Chocolate Mint Tea Cookies – refined sugar free from Spiced Curiosity

Make sure you enjoy Sandra’s beautiful round up post as well!

Happy baking!

Readers, dish!

  • What are you baking this year?
  • What are you now adding to your list?
Christmas No-Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

GF Recipes, GF Resources, Vegan

Christmas No-Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

23 Comments 11 December 2013

Have you been baking Christmas cookies? Most Christmas cookies are loaded with sugar regardless of their gluten content. But they don’t have to be. Not only do I have a cookie for you that’s far healthier than traditional Christmas cookies, I have a great resource for finding even more healthy Christmas cookie recipes created by some of your favorite bloggers!

Sandra of Candida Diet Plan is hosting a healthy cookie event that you’re going to want to check out. She asked 15 bloggers to join her in creating their healthiest tastiest Christmas cookie to share at her event. You can check out her preview post here. I will be sharing her round up here at GFC just as soon as it’s posted.

These Christmas No-Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies are my contribution to Sandra’s event!


They’re gluten-free, grain-free, and refined sugar-free sweetened with just a half cup of grade B maple syrup for 3-4 dozen cookies! And they’re incredibly versatile. You can vary their size, shape, or trimmings.

Start with the base recipe and enjoy the chocolaty pumpkinness by itsself.


Or roll them in your favorite chopped nut, dried fruit, or coconut. Sweet cashews taste delicious.


I love pistachios for a festive green color!


You could even turn them into a thumbprint cookie and fill the center with a frosting, jam, or a simple dark chocolate chip.


And they look really cute arranged like a Christmas tree.


Best part? (Besides the taste.) You don’t have to bake. Mix them up, roll them around, and keep them in the freezer. They keep for weeks and are easy to pull out, thaw slightly, and serve.

Christmas No-Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

by Heather



1. Place all ingredients except chopped nuts in the food processor and process until smooth.

2. Roll into small balls by hand and then roll the balls in chopped nuts. Or press your thumb into the top of the ball to flatten. Fill the thumbprint with filling of your choice.

3. Store in the freezer for at least an hour. Serve slightly thawed.

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies depending on the size of the balls

Are you wondering why I use nut flours from More on that soon!

Readers, dish!

  • What is your favorite healthy Christmas cookie?
  • Do you bake with almond flour or coconut flour?
  • What Christmas cookie do you wish had a healthy version?

GF Recipes, GF Resources, Healthy Living

Tips for Handling the Holidays Gluten-Free at TBP!

1 Comment 05 November 2013

As we approach the holiday season it’s time to start gathering tips for enjoying our celebrations while staying healthy, stress free, and gluten free.

I’ve shared my Tips for Handling the Holidays Gluten-Free at The Balanced Platter today. Come on over and check out strategies for:

  • Making traditional holiday foods gluten-free
  • Finding great gluten-free desserts for every occassion
  • Educating friends and family about your gluten-free diet
  • Keeping perspective (and your sanity)

Hope to see you there!


A Vegan Delish Giveaway!

GF Resources, Healthy Living, Vegan

A Vegan Delish Giveaway!

8 Comments 15 October 2013

Have you heard about the app Vegan Delish? I’ve been meaning to tell you about it for a while now. As a new vegan, I’m always looking for delicious vegan recipes to try. Raw vegan recipes seem to be easier for me to figure out than cooked vegan meals, but I’m learning quickly!

One of my favorite new resources is Vegan Delish by Carrie of Carrie On Vegan. I love her blog and her recipes, so imagine my excitement when I learned that I could carry her app in my pocket!

easy recipes

I have it on my iPhone and am loving it! Not only does it have over 130 vegan and gluten-free recipes that contain a minimum of oil, salt, or added sugars, but I have them all at my fingertips. Always! The opening screen looks like this. So I can easily scroll through all of the recipes, choose a category, or instantly find the recipes that I’ve tagged as a favorite.

Vegan Delish screenshot

One of my favorite features is the shopping list. Once I select a recipe, I can also select the ingredients that I need to purchase. They instantly transfer to a shopping list organized by sections of the grocery store! I have literally chosen a recipe while walking to the grocery store and had an organized list ready before I got there. (Texting and walking not necessarily advised!)

I love that this app is so visually appealing. You don’t have to wade through screens of text to find what you are looking for. Every recipe has a picture. The recipes are also interactive. You can check off instructions as you’re cooking so you know where you left off.

iPad screenshot

Last week I made Carrie’s Brown Rice and Lentil Salad on the fly. It was my first week back to work, so efficiency was a high priority. I also have a secondary priority to serve flavorful vegan meals at home. The better they taste, the less likely the Husband is to request meat! He loved this dish because of the combination of flavors. I loved this dish because it was easy to make, satisfying, and contained healthy ingredients that I feel good about serving. And leftovers were great to pack in a lunch box!


Carrie has given me codes for this app to share with THREE lucky readers! You could have this wonderful app for free just by leaving a comment below. You must have an iPhone or iPad to run the app. Why would you like to win Vegan Delish?

You can leave up to 3 entries today by answering the above question and letting me know in separate comments that you shared the giveaway on Twitter (tagging @glutenfreecat) and “liked” Gluten-Free Cat’s Facebook page and shared this giveaway with your Facebook friends.

Giveaway Guidelines:

  • This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents 18 and older residing in the continental U.S.
  • Enter by leaving a comment on this post.
  • You are limited to 3 entries.
  • The giveaway begins Tuesday, October 15, 2013 and ends at 11:59 pm eastern time on Friday, October 18, 2013.

No purchase is necessary.  Odds of winning are based on the number of entries.  The winner will be randomly chosen and will be contacted by email with a free download code and instructions for downloading. The winners will have 48 hours to respond.  If the winners do not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen.

Can’t wait for the giveaway? You can download Vegan Delish today for $2.99 at the app store!

Sun-Dried Tomato Flax Crackers and my dehydrator recommendations

GF Recipes, GF Resources, Raw Foods, Vegan

Sun-Dried Tomato Flax Crackers and my dehydrator recommendations

11 Comments 24 September 2013

My friend Diane is The Flax Cracker Queen. She always kept me well stocked with crispy little crackers that were perfect when I needed something healthy to munch. But now that we’re miles apart I actually have to make them myself. Raw veggies are great, but sometimes you just need a cracker.

Now I realize just how lazy I have been, because flax crackers are ridiculously easy to make, especially if you have a dehydrator. After I share my new flax cracker recipe I’ll be talking more about dehydrators.


Not only are flax cracker easy to make, but they’re really good for you. Here are my favorite flax seeds health benefits:

  • They’re an excellent source of omega-3s.
  • They’re fiberlicious – yay for digestion!
  • They’re anti-inflammatory.
  • They lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels.
  • And the ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid) promotes bone health.

This recipe makes use of the whole flaxseeds for a super crunchy cracker. But you can also combine whole flaxseeds with ground flaxseed to vary the texture.



Sun-Dried Tomato Flax Crackers

by Heather


  • 2 c. flaxseeds
  • 2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. sun-dried tomato
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. sea salt


1. Mix all ingredients together by hand in a large bowl.

2. Let mixture sit for at least 10  minutes to allow the flaxseeds to gel.

3. Divide the mixture between two Non-Stick Dehydrator Sheets. Spread to the edges of the sheets, creating two large squares.

4. Dehydrate at 115 for 4-6 hours, until you are able to peel the Non-Stick Dehydrator Sheets off, leaving the large cracker intact.

5. Flip over onto the mesh trays and score with a knife creating 16 crackers per sheet.

6. Continue dehydrating for another 4 hours, or until desired crispiness is attained.

7. Break along score lines and store at room temperature in an air-tight container.

Yields 32 crackers


Many of you have asked for a dehydrator recommendation. I highly recommend my Excalibur 3500B 5 Tray Deluxe Dehydrator. I’ve had it for 2 years and have never wished for any more trays than the 5 tray. It does come in a 9-Tray if you were planning to go nuts with dehydrating! The dehydrators come with mesh trays. In order to make raw crackers, bread, pizza, wraps, and fruit leather you will need to purchase the Non-Stick Dehydrator Sheets that go over the mesh trays. These are essential to raw foods creations, so it’s worth the extra few dollars to get them. (They are $2.00-3.00 a piece.)

I will say that there have been times that I’ve wished I had the Excalibur 3526TB because it has a timer.  This is great when you still need 4 more hours of dehydrating, but it’s time for bed. I used to get up in the middle of night to check bread. But now I either turn down the temperature so it’s still fine by morning or I just know I’ll have extra crispy bread. A timer would be nice, but it’s not necessary.

My dehydrators gently hums more days than it doesn’t. It’s essential for my weekly staples:

  • raw crackers
  • raw bread
  • buckwheaties
  • raw granola
  • raw cookies
  • warming coconut oil
  • taking the chill off raw noodle dishes
  • drying fruit

Does that help?

Readers, dish!

  • Do you have a dehydrator? If so, what kind, and would you recommend it?
  • What kitchen appliance or gadget is on your wish list?
  • Have you ever made flax crackers?

This recipe was shared at 5-Ingredient MondaysSlightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, and Raw Foods Thursdays.

Coconut Butter and Coconut Oil – What’s the difference?

GF Resources, Raw Foods, Vegan

Coconut Butter and Coconut Oil – What’s the difference?

14 Comments 03 July 2013

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I’ve only recently started using coconut butter in my raw foods recipes, but I’ve used coconut oil for years. It took me a while to figure out what the coconut butter hype was about, because I thought that coconut butter and coconut oil were the same thing. They are NOT. They are drastically different and yield different results when making raw foods.

What are the main differences:

  • Coconut oil is the pure oil extracted from the coconut. Coconut butter is the coconut meat ground into a creamy butter.
  • Coconut oil is used for cooking, just like any other oil, but it can tolerate high heat without smoking. Coconut butter is best used for baking or eating raw. It can be substituted for butter in recipes or whipped into a creamy frosting.
  • Coconut oil is solid at room temperature and melts clear when heated. Coconut butter is creamy white when at room temperature or heated.

A recent silly mistake gave me the perfect opportunity to give you a visual of the difference.

I was creating a raw frosting for two desserts, yesterday’s Raw Chocolate Cherry Pie and Raw Cherry Cream Cups that I shared at The Balanced Platter. Meanwhile, I was watching the season premier of The Bachelorette. Not exactly something that I need to give 100% of my attention to, but clearly it took more attention than my frosting did, because this is what I came up with.

Ick, right? It wouldn’t stir into the creamy frosting that I was trying to create. As soon as I tasted it, I realized my mistake. I had grabbed the coconut oil jar instead of the coconut butter jar while engrossed in Bachelorette drama.

Little black feet were also curious about my error.

Mama, that’s just not right.

So I made the frosting again using the contents of the correct jar, coconut butter, and I gave my task a whole lot more attention.

You can see that Max’s little nose knew the difference too. The coconut butter frosting on the right is creamy and scoopable instead of the crumbly mess that I got with the coconut oil.

Coconut butter makes a frosting that’s creamy like a pudding and easy to scoop and spread on tarts, cakes, cupcakes, or cookies.

Yes, much better.

The above frosting was used on my Raw Chocolate Cherry Pie and these Raw Cherry Cream Cups.

Raw Cherry Cream Cups

Readers, dish!

  • Do you use coconut butter?
  • Do you use coconut oil?
  • Please share your favorite ways to use them.
  • Do you have a favorite brand?

A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, fitness fanatic, gluten-free foodie, high-raw vegan, and Mama Cat living in NYC. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. While I'm not 100% vegan, it's my favorite way to eat, and making and sharing raw foods makes me giddy. Living in the City has its joys and challenges, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.

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