November 23, 2015

Grain Free Bagels and Without Grain Cookbook Review

Grain free bagels. Have I caught your attention yet? I hope so. Because today I am lucky enough to share the bagel recipe from the new cookbook, Without Grain by Hayley Ryczek. Plus I will be giving you a review of this awesome book. Honestly, beyond the friendships I have made, one of my favorite parts of blogging is getting to review cookbooks. You can never have too many in my opinion.

So what is Without Grain? Well, as the title implies it is a cookbook with 100 delicious grain free, gluten free and paleo style recipes. But it is also so much more!

The book opens with an introduction where Hayley emphasizes the importance of eating real foods, and shunning the trend for low fat-highly processed ones. She explains that for many people, simply eliminating gluten isn't enough, and that a grain free diet can truly help you heal from the inside out and achieve optimal health.  For her, a grain free diet helped heal her vitiligo, an autoimmune condition that affects the skin. This is the reason why she started her blog, Health Starts in the Kitchen.

The first chapter of the book outlines exactly why going gluten free isn't enough. Hayley explains how our ancestors evolved on a hunter-gatherer type diet of animals, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, tubers, roots and seasonal fruits and vegetables. It was not until the last 10,000 years, and especially during the 18th and 19th centuries that grains became a part of the human diet. Along with the dramatic increase in grain intake in the last few centuries there has been an associated increase in obesity, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. There are many reasons why grains are problematic including the high lectin content, which can damage the intestinal lining causing leaky gut and inflammation as well as preventing your body from absorbing the vitamins and minerals in the grain; the acidity, which can cause stress on the kidneys, liver and pancreas; and the high omega-6 fat content which can cause inflammation and associated diseases like diabetes and heart disease.  Hayely goes into much greater detail as to why grains are problematic, and debunks many of the "healthy grain" myths that the food industry promotes. If you, or anyone you love is hesitant about eliminating grains from their diet, they need to read this section of the book. I promise she will convince you to change your eating habits, or at least to give it a try!

The next chapter details exactly how to embark on a grain free, real food based diet. Now that you know all the problems associated with grains she outlines exactly which foods are safe to eat and which are not. She provides a guide to help you stock your pantry with grain free, real foods. Everything from safe starches to highly quality fats. She also discusses the dangers of genetically modified foods, processed foods and toxic fats, and how to avoid these common food sources.

Then the book gets into the really good stuff- the recipes! There are so many amazing recipes in this book, and just some of the ones I am dying to make include:

  • Sandwich Bread
  • Flatbread
  • Tortillas
  • Dinner Rolls
  • Blueberry Muffins with Crumb Topping
  • Vanilla or Dark Chocolate Granola
  • Cinnamon Crunch Cereal
  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Cake Doughnuts
  • Egg Rolls
  • Everything Crackers
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • Hungarian Goulash
  • Sloppy Joe Baked Potatoes
  • Classic Meatloaf
  • Salmon Patties with Lemon Aioli
  • Crispy Beef Tacos
  • General Tso's Chicken
  • No-corn Corn Dog
  • Soft Pretzels
  • Key Lime Pie
  • No Bake Cookies
  • Fudgy Brownies
  • Banana Nut Bread
  • Apple Crisp
  • Dark Chocolate Dipped Waffle Cones
  • Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Is your moth watering yet? Don't some of those dishes sound amazing? 

A few other highlights of the book include Hayley's tips for eating out and how to survive party situations, the allergy free substitutions section that provides great tips on swapping most unsafe food items for ones that are grain-free friendly and the resource section that provides information on where to find the best grain free foods online. 

Overall Without Grain is not only a great cookbook, but a great health resource to add to your home health library. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for dietary advice to improve their health. Because remember, food really is medicine! 

If you are interested in Without Grain you can find out more by visiting here.

And scroll down below to get the Grain Free Bagels recipe. As always I would be thrilled if you visited my social media pages on PinterestInstagram and Facebook!

Until next time, happy eating everyone! 

Grain Free Bagels Recipe


3 cups (288 g) blanched almond flour (buy here
1 cup (122 g) tapioca starch (buy here
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons home-made baking powder (**see recipe below)
2⁄3 cup (160 ml) warm water
2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar (buy here
2 tablespoons (40 g) honey
1 egg yolk, beaten
Optional toppings: toasted onion flakes, garlic powder, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, etc.


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large pot over high heat, bring about 4 inches (10 cm) of water to a boil. Add a pinch of sea salt.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, starch, salt, and baking powder. Add the water, vinegar, and honey, and mix well.
4. Divide the dough into 6 to 8 equal portions. Dust your hands with additional tapioca starch and roll each section of dough into a ball. Flatten the ball and use your finger to push through the center to make a bagel shape. Place each bagel onto the baking sheet.
5. Working in batches of 3 or 4 bagels, carefully place each bagel into the boiling water for 1 minute (or until they float). Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the water and place them back onto the baking sheet.
6. Bake the boiled bagels for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush with the beaten egg yolk, and top as desired. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
7. After baking for a total of 20 minutes, increase the temperature of the oven to 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7) and bake for 5 additional minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy.
8. Transfer the bagels to a rack and allow to cool. 

Yields: 6-8 bagels

Print Recipe

**Home Made Baking Powder 

1 cup cream of tartar (buy here
1/2 cup baking soda (buy here
1/2 cup arrowroot starch (buy here)

Mix the cream of tartar, baking soda and arrowroot starch together and store in an airtight container. 

*** Pin This Recipe For Later ***

November 16, 2015

Chocolate Mocha Smoothie (Paleo, Vegan, GAPS)

Hi friends! How was your weekend? Amazing I hope.
It's back to the regular routine for me. I got home from San Francisco on Thursday. It was hard to leave I must say. Especially since I came home to winter. One word: Brr. Okay that might not be a real word, but you get my drift. You Californians have no idea how lucky you are with your weather. Or maybe you do? Either way I am jealous. But, it's not all bad. I have a pretty exciting recipe to share with you this week. It involves two of my favourite things. Chocolate and coffee. Actually three of my favourite things. Chocolate, coffee and coconut. Need I say more? Maybe not, but I will.

This smoothie is compatible with the paleo, vegan/vegetarian and GAPS diets. It also doesn't contain any added sugar and is sweetened with only real ingredients like banana, coconut milk, coconut butter and cacao powder. So if you are on a sugar detox you can even indulge in this little treat without feeling guilty. Just because you are eating a healthy, real foods diet doesn't mean you need to feel deprived. Right? Right.

Before I let you get to the recipe I have a few observations from my trip to San Francisco. I am curious if anyone else has noticed the same things?

I have never seen a city with so many laundromats. Seriously where I was staying there was at least one on every block. Are that many really necessary? Laundromats are almost extinct in Calgary. I honestly couldn't even tell you the location of one... Bizarre.

They have the cutest coffee shops. Yes they also have their fair share of Starbucks, but I was quite impressed by the number of local, unique coffee spots. There was one right by my apartment that had board games, a vintage television and a book exchange. How cool is that? And they allowed pets. I would go back there in a heart beat. I spent many afternoons sipping mint tea, reading The Loving Diet (if you haven't read this book you need to) and people watching.

The sidewalks are dangerous! I definitely bailed hard on a slippery grate while walking to the conference centre one day. Think torn pants, bloody knee, spilt coffee, and a majorly bruised ego. But I know I am not the only one. I saw a few other people either trip, or slip on the grates or uneven sidewalks while I was there. And I heard similar stories from other conference attendees as well. Needless to say I was way more careful on the sidewalks after that experience.

Alright but enough rambling from me. Time to let you get to the chocolatey goodness that I know you really came for. As always I would be thrilled if you followed me on my social media pages on PinterestInstagram and Facebook!

Happy eating everyone! 

Chocolate Mocha Smoothie Recipe (Paleo, Vegan, GAPS)


1 ripe banana
3/4 cup brewed coffee (ideally fair trade)
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk (I recommend this brand) (dairy milk could be used as well)
1 TBSP melted coconut butter (or coconut manna or concentrate)
1 TBSP melted grassfed ghee or coconut oil (use coconut oil for vegan) 
2 TBSP organic cacao powder (buy here)

Optional: 1-2 TBSP grassfed gelatin (I recommend the Vital Proteins Brand - buy here) (omit for vegan) 


1. Place all the ingredients into your high speed blender (this is the blender I have
2. Blend well until smooth
3. Place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to cool 
4. Serve and enjoy!

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*** Pin This Recipe For Later ***