Friday, March 19, 2010

Never too late for Muffins

This week-end I am going to travel. A 3 days trip to Vermont, 5 hours in the car and then 2 nights and days in a ski resort known to have, well, greasy dangerous food. I am planning already snacks (healthy or comfort food) and if I got bored of my Fuji apple, I know what to aim for: Muffins. Blueberries muffins would be my favorite right now: blueberries are juicy and sweet. Perfect timing. There are many recipes that one could follow: depending what defines you: vegan recipe, dairy intolerant recipe, low calory or non of the above, just depending on what is left in your pantry. Muffins are very flexible. During my chef training program I took a class called: Converting Practicum, that teaches you how to change an existing recipe to make it safe for you. Mine should aim for migraine-free recipe, but this one wasn't on the program. My recipe today yields 12 muffins.
The general guidelines for converting:
1. get clear
2. time and space
3. make sure that the original recipe work (but don't eat it)4. what's staying? what's going?
5. mesure and write down.
6. one ingredient at the time
a. as is
b. replace flour
c. replace milk
d. replace additives (chocolate chips, sweetened cocoa, peanut butter, canned fruit, processed products)
e. replace sugar
f. replace butter (add moist and give a fluffy soft texture, coats the flour and prevents the gluten to developping, gives color, goes in between the layers of the flour, when baked, melts and creates holes)
g. replace egg (contractive)
if results at any given stage are unsatisfactory, repeat that stage again before proceeding
7. namesake
Watch out for pittfalls: * keep your sweeteners lower than standard; people who consume complex carbohydrates regularly on the whole need less sweetness in their food
* avoid imitations and stick to real food.

original recipe ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extrait (optional)
1 cup of blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease muffin tin and use cupcake liners.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. add egg, mixing thoroughly.
Sift dry ingredients and add to butter and egg mixture. Sift until flour has been incorporated completely. Add milk, vanilla (optional), bluberries and mix gently.
pour batter into cupcake liners, filling 1/2 - 2/3 full.
cook for 20 minutes and check if done with a toothpick. (top must be brown).
Looking for a better recipe: replace sugar by maple crystal: dehydrated maple syrup. 93% sucrose, 1% to 3% invert sugars. Light brown granules with maple flavor. Use in all baked goods, but this stuffis quite expensive! but i think it is perhaps the most richly flavorful of the bunch of other healthy sweetners (date sugar, palm sugar, stevia, agave, brown rice syrup, honey, evaporated whole can juice (rapadura, sucanat), molasse). easy to use: substitute straight across for white or brown sugar called for in recipes. add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda per cup maple sugar.
Blueberries muffins always look so pretty!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hello Mornings

Luckily for us, bread (at least the one that we buy in a plastic bag, the one with a 2 lines label, like: whole grain spelt: organic whole spelt flour, water, sea salt, organic flax, organic sesame seeds and not the one that have honey sugar, molasse, vinegar, etc... with a 10 lines label) is an easy way to enjoy breakfast, toasted with melted organic butter from grass-feed (100% grass-feed) cows and buttery raw unrefined honey from vermont. But sometimes, even this breakfast needs to be put on the side for something more comforting. Few rainy days and I am craving my home-made GRANOLA. Easy and creatif. Today the mood is asking for a white chocolate granola with sesame and sunflower seeds. Ok I had to go online making sure what it means to buy today a WHITE chocolate. In a large bowl I pour 1 pound of organic rolled oats, 1/2 cup of sunflower seed and 1/3 cup of sesame seeds, a pinch (a pinch is what holds in 3 fingers)of sea salt (always use sea salt, regular salt contains dextrose which is sugar..), after the dry ingredients I add the wet ingredients: 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of maple syrup, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. I preheat my oven around 300 degres, spread the mixture into a sheetpan (with unbleached parchment under). Bake for 15 minutes then sprinkle mini pieces of white chocolate and bake for 10 more minutes. It is up to you: you try if you like it dark, soft, crunchy, caramelised. It is a great way to start the day with a rooibos tea:-) Bon petit dejeuner!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Heal your migraines

Hi I am just starting my blog:
Green Alert Heal Your Migraines on

I am an health supportive chef and a "migraineur" since I am 13 years old. I've never stopped searching for a way to controle my migraines neither I've stopped hoping for a solution. It seems that I was in the right direction when I had enrolled in culinary school: what you eat could make you sick, more than what you eat make you healthy.
And when I came across the "1 2 3 program for taking charge of your pain" from David Buchholz, M.D. I was happy to read what I knew already: food and migraines are directly related. It took me 2 months of a very strict diet with what I am eating to be able to say: I am migraine-free. But I still feel like a migraine could come at any time. The disease is not gone, it is under controle. I reclamed my health and yes you could do it too! This blog is a way for me to share my story and posts all recipes and tips and warnings about food, the food industry, what the doctors don't tell us and how the pharmaceutic world is happy to sell their pills. It is possible to make your life a migraine-free life. Of course who has time to cook for their mornings lunches and dinners every day? Look around: onion, vinegar, acid citric, soy etc.. are every where...But with some good tools and yummy recipes I believe it is possible. For me and for everyone.