Gluten Free Triumphs!

Yesterday I was with the kiddoes. We had a great day -we went to a brand new park, climbed all over it, pretended to be Spiderman, ran around like crazy people, and did a fair amount of whining. We finally got home after our fantastic morning and I stuffed some lunch down their throats, excited for a couple hours of quiet while they napped. That did NOT happen. So, after I realized they were not going to sleep, I got everyone up. Spidey was promised by his dad earlier that morning that he could have a sip of his special "strawberry fizzy juice" which translates to Strawberry Fanta. So, I decided Spidey could have his special treat now. I took it out of the fridge as Spidey expectantly whimpered. I let him have one small sip, and as soon as the bottle left his lips, he looked up at me, eyes wide and yelled "SUGAR!" For the next 10 minutes, he ran around the house screaming, throwing himself on the ground, and bumping into walls. Wow is all I could say - and laugh at him.
Ok, now onto the more serious stuff... I have some more recipes! I have been cooking up a storm in my fabulous and sometimes clean kitchen. I can proudly say that every night this week, my husband has had only delicious things to say about my creations.YES! :) So I think I'll share another recipe :)

A couple nights ago, I made quesadillas with corn tortillas. They were really easy. I made mine meat free, but you could defiantly add some chicken or steak or whatever you wanted. I started by making my own refried beans.
Here are my black beans and I just threw some butter in there and smashed them all up and fried them up with a little extra water. These are SO MUCH healthier than the store bought refried beans in the can. And its SUPER easy to make. I keep prepared beans in the freezer and just take them out the morning before I need them.

While my beans were frying up, I got my Spanish rice ready. I threw some rice in my rice cooker along with some chicken broth, tomatoes, onions, a couple herbs, pepper, and garlic. Then I just hit the on button and let the rice cooker do the rest!

Then I shredded my insides. Well - the insides of what would be the quesadilla ;) I used carrots, spinach, onions, zucchini and mushrooms. I used my shredding attachment for my food processor. Love that thing! Then I cut up tomatoes in a separate container because tomatoes don't shred too well :)

Then came the actual assembly. I spread beans on the bottom corn tortilla, followed by cheese, insides, tomatoes, and finally another layer of cheese. Then I plopped my top tortilla on top, and then transferred the whole thing over to my buttered griddle.

It took about 3 minutes on each side to get the cheese to melt and the veggies inside to get a bit softer.

Then, I put them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 150 degrees just to keep them warm while I completed the rest of my quesadillas. Finally, I cut each quesadilla into four quarters and WALLAH! Dinner! :) I served it with the Mexican rice and a side of steamed corn kernels.

Tonight, I am making pizza. I have been craving it for SO long! The problem is that the premade crusts by Uldis and so expensive, so I've been trying to find recipes that are cheaper. I found one that is made completely from oat flour, so I am trying it tonight! With that being said, I had to make some oat flour. I had my gluten free oats, but no oat flour. Did I panic? Not at all! I just made my own, and now I'll teach you how to make your own :)

Step One:
If you are gluten free,make sure to buy certified gluten free oats. Although oats themselves are gluten free, they are often contaminated and processed along with wheat and other gluten containing grains.

Step Two:
Put two to three cups of whole oats (not instant!) into your blender. You don't have to have any kind of special blender. The one I have is a $2 OLD Hamilton beach blender I found at our local thrift store. This thing is older than my Grandma (I don't know that for sure) but its OLD!

Step Three
Then hit the ON button or the switch or whatever you have to do to make the blender do its thing. It shouldn't take too long - maybe a minute and a half? I don't know - maybe not even that long, but maybe longer. You just keep blending until all the oats are no longer oats but flour!

You might need to stir it up a bit to get any stray oats down to meet their Maker, but really this takes no effort on your part. Your ears might complain a bit, but that's it. You want to be careful to not overwork your blender though. If you start smelling a burning smell or it feels really hot to the touch, give the poor blender a break. It's working hard for you!

Step Four
Then, dump all your newly made flour into a container. i use a cheap Dollar Store container, but you could use any Tupperware you have or even a Zip Lock bag.
Step Five
Finally, toss it in your freezer wherever there's room. Grains tend to go bad more slowly when they are in the freezer. If you plan on using your flour within the next week then go ahead and keep it in your pantry. I might use all this flour within the next week, but I might not too. I just keep it in the freezer just to be safe.

There you have it! Super simple gluten free oat flour! Even if your not gluten free, you can use oat flour to bulk up your breads. You can replace up to a third of white flour with oat flour and up to 2/3 of whole wheat flour with oat flour. Oat flour tends to absorb more water than regular flour, so you might need to add a bit more liquid. You'll just have to experiment! :)

To do a MAJOR shift, I have started giving myself hot oil massages. Why? Well, I love using natural remedies to keep my body as healthy as possible. So I began looking up ways to keep my hair healthy and I found multiple sources that claimed that giving yourself these hot oil massages were fantastic for your hair. So - here's what you do :)

First, put a couple tablespoons of olive oil into a microwave safe dish. I just dumped some olive oil into a bowl, but you can measure if you want to :) By the way, supposedly you can only use coconut or olive oil to help your hair be healthy - other oils do not work. Whatever.

Then, heat up the oil for 30 seconds. Then, dip your fingers in the hot oil and then rub your fingers into your scalp. If you are patient, then continue to dip your fingers into the oil and then massage each area of your head. If you're like me, just dump the oil on your head (be sure to wear clothes that you don't mind getting oil stains on and stand in a place where it will be easy to clean up any oil drops) and massage your scalp that way.

After massaging your scalp, you hang your head upside down for 4 minutes! Your whole hair is kind of gross by now, but also kind of cool. :) I read that the reason you hang your head upside down is so that you can get your blood up into your head which helps good stuff get to your hair - I guess :)

Lastly, you just let your hair sit around with oil in it for four hours. Yaay, right? Well, I don't know about you, but I don't have four hours to just sit around and wait for my hair to get healthy. So I threw a shower cap over it and continued on to do dishes and clean the bathroom. Cleaning the bathroom was kind of pointless because once my four hours were up, I got back into the shower and got it all greasy with my olive oil. But, whatever. My hair felt super smooth and it really does feel a bit more strong or healthy I think. But maybe its just cuz I really want it to be healthier :)

What type of herbal/natural remedies have you tried?