The Bountiful Harvest and The Grain-Free diet

Farmer in a buckwheat field

Farmer in a buckwheat field

Yes, it’s the middle of winter, so I feel somewhat strange writing about “the bountiful harvest.”   It feels more appropriate to be writing about such things towards the end of summer when there is truly a bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables.

But maybe that is why I’m writing about it now.  A little reminder of what exists, grows and blooms on this place we call home, the earth.  Even now, the seeds that will soon sprout into plants are simply taking a rest.  We don’t see them so it is easier to forget that they are there.

Then when spring comes, it is always a miracle to watch the earth slowly turn green and the plants start to blossom.  This is of course less noticeable in places that are more temperate, but this process this occurs.

What inspired this little post is my continued work on my cookbook (name still to be determined) where I am writing all about the ways one can substitute while cooking when following a diet limited to any of the following:  wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, egg, nightshade veggies, grains, corn, meat, seafood, yeast and so on.  I recently wrote about the different ingredients one could use if following a grain-free diet.  If you haven’t heard this term before, it may at first appear very limiting.

It is actually quite opposite.  People on a grain-free diet can still eat a rich diet of carbohydrates found in foods such as quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, tapioca, potato, as well as high-protein flours made from beans and nuts.  Quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat are technically seeds, and therefore can be eaten by a person on a grain-free diet.  These “grains” can be ground into flours, or cooked as is, to create bread and other nutritious dishes.  Almond, coconut and hazelnut flours can also be used to create baked goods that are just as good as those made with wheat.

For anyone on a limited diet, it can at first appear that there is nothing you can eat to replace what you used to eat on a regular basis. But when one is willing to venture into what I’d like to call the “bountiful harvest” of the earth, there are many foods that can be used to substitute and create new and wonderful dishes.

Furthermore, it seems to me that most people stick to just a handful of foods that they eat on a regular basis.  Take one of these out due to food allergies or another condition and a person may become lost as to what to prepare.  I think this is mostly due to the fact that the alternative grains, seeds, fruits and vegetables are not used in most of today’s processed foods.  Unfortunately, wheat, soy, dairy and corn are used almost exclusively over many other alternatives.

But this is where we have to use a bit of our creativity and a little investigation to discover some new foods and ways to create new and delicious dishes.  And you might be surprised, that the more you look, the more you will find!  The following recipe is an excellent example of how one can create a wonderful dish that is free of common allergens.  Enjoy!

Buckwheat or Quinoa Crepes
(Dairy, wheat, gluten, grain, egg, sugar, corn and soy free)

Recipe from www.grainfreeliving.com

Dry ingredients:
1 cup buckwheat or quinoa flour, or combination of the two
1/3 cup pure Potato Starch
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt

Wet ingredients:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Enough filtered water to make mixture a runny cream consistency. (I used about 1 ½ cups)
1 egg (optional – they taste great without it).


  1. Combine dry ingredients well.   Add water and mix well.  Add Oil and vinegar last.   Let sit for as long as possible – overnight will produce the best flavor, but it is OK to use right away.
  2. Pour into non-stick fry pan as you would a crepe – and cook until brown.  (the second side does not brown in the same way as the first)
  3. Fill with avocado and salad with a drizzle of vinaigrette and seasonings of choice.  You can also add some slices of cooked meat or any other filling of choice – really yummy!!!  We love them as just pancakes – add butter, maple syrup, coconut butter, almond butter, jams, etc and enjoy!

Why Acceptance Is Key When Coping With Food Allergies or a Restricted Diet

If you have food allergies, celiac disease or any other condition, which requires that you limit or restrict your intake of certain foods, it is usually a process to accept and embrace your new lifestyle. Even if you have been following your diet for a while, it can continue to be a challenge to figure out what to eat, how to communicate to people why you can’t eat certain foods, and to find places to eat when you are out in public.

In every situation where you are faced with the reality of your limited diet, you may also have different issues come up.  It is very common for people with diet limitations to have different feelings about their new diet.  If you’re just beginning a new diet, it may be more difficult as you may feel misunderstood or left out leading to feelings of frustration, anger, or sadness.

So where does acceptance come in with all of this? As humans, when we don’t like something, it is our initial reaction to want to change or fix it.  The other side of this coin is that we may resist the change or circumstances that life is giving us.  What we end up with is being unhappy with our situation, trying everything possible to change it, or simply giving up and believing that life is going to be miserable for us.

Even if our outward circumstances did change, it may not really bring us the peace and happiness that we think it will. In other words, is it really the pizza we miss?  Maybe yes.  But on a deeper level, if we can accept our feelings about not being able to eat the pizza, we will come closer to being “okay” with the fact that we can’t eat it.

Acceptance can be tricky.  We hear we “should” or “need” to accept our circumstances. So our mind goes, “I accept the fact that I can’t eat pizza,” while our heart feels totally despondent.  How do we go from not accepting or not liking what is happening in our lives, to being okay with what life serves us?

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