At the time of publication, all recipes were free of the allergens listed as being free of in the title (i.e. soy-free, milk-free, etc.), and all other information shared was accurate to the best of my knowledge.
Though I strive to update outdated information quickly and work diligently to make sure you have the most accurate information possible at all times, it is your duty to double check labels EVERY TIME to ensure that the ingredients you use are SAFE FOR YOU.
Your doctor or allergist should also be your first go-to for information on how to handle your medical needs. That being said, if you DO notice an error, please send me an email letting me know (tell me what page or recipe the error is on, what the error is, etc.), and I will correct the error ASAP.
Thank you so much!

Please Be Advised:
I make sure all of my recipes use foods that are free of the allergens they say they are free of. You will need to do the same. For help with this, please see the appropriate "Alternative Names" page for the allergen(s) you need the recipe free of.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Carrot Cake Bread (Soy, Fish and Milk-Free, Can Be Nut, Egg and Wheat-Free)

Hello, everyone!  I know - it's been a long time since my last post, and I deeply regret that.  My daughter's healing from her surgery took a month or so since she had to have a second surgery due to a post tonsillectomy hemorrhage.  After that, it was getting ready for back-to-school, illness and a myriad of other things.  I've wanted to and meant to post a new recipe so many times between the last one and this, and I just haven't been able to for one reason or another.  I'm hoping that I can post more often (I have several that I have tried out and just need to type up), but I can't promise.  Life happens, and not always as we expect.  I hope, however, that this recipe was worth the wait! :D

This recipe is a twist on my Zucchini Bread recipe.  It reminds me of carrot cake without the frosting, hence the name.  I'm sure you could make it in a cake pan and frost it and have a delicious carrot cake, too. :)  I hope you like it!

Please note that this recipe is soy-free if you use all soy-free ingredients, and is fish and milk-free.  It can also be nut, egg and wheat-free (see variations).
Carrot Cake Bread

3 Cups soy-free flour (white or wheat will work, though I prefer whole wheat for this recipe)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

3 eggs

1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Cup soy-free, unsweetened, natural applesauce

2 1/4 Cups sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla

1/2 to 1 Cup grated carrots

2 Cups grated zucchini (DO NOT DRAIN!)

1/2 to 1 Cups pecan pieces

1. Grease and flour two 8x4 pans (To keep this recipe milk-free and soy-free, use olive oil or lard to grease the pan. If you don't need to keep it milk-free, use full-fat, salted butter.).

2. Preheat the oven to 325oF.

3. Mix flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon together in a medium bowl; set aside.

4. In another large bowl, beat eggs, oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla until well blended.

5. Add dry ingredients to the creamed sugar mixture and beat well.

6. Stir in zucchini and carrots until well combined. (Note: The grated zucchini should be very wet - DO NOT DRAIN! The moisture is needed.  Amount of carrots is based on personal preference.)

7. Stir in the pecan pieces (amount is based on personal preference) until evenly distributed.

8. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 55 - 70 minutes or until tester/toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

9. Cool loaves in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes before removing the bread from the pans.

10. Allow the bread to cool completely on the wire rack before enjoying.

Variations (Please keep your individual allergy and dietary needs in mind when using substitutions.):
  • Nut-Free: Leave out the pecans and prepare as directed.
  • Egg-Free: Use an egg replacer or try one of the ingredient substitution ideas for eggs listed here.
  • Wheat/Gluten-Free: Use a gluten-free or baking mix of your choice for the flour.  You can even use gluten-free flour/baking mix to flour the pans with.  Note that this substitution will change the texture of the bread (no matter what kind you use), and may require 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum or ground flaxseed for textural purposes.
  • Stir-In Ideas/Substitutes: Use walnuts, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, raisins, apple, crushed pineapple, chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is a great allergy-friendly option), etc. for the pecans or along with them.  I would not recommend using more than 1 Cup total add-ins, so make sure that the amount of pecans, raisins, pumpkin seeds, etc. does not exceed 1 Cup total.  Also, if you use crushed pineapple, you will not want to use more than 1/2 Cup and may want to leave out the applesauce.  Make sure you drain the pineapple well, as it will increase the moisture content by a lot.  If you want to use both applesauce and pineapple, reduce the applesauce to 1/4 Cup and use 1/4 Cup crushed pineapple.
  • Less Zucchini Bread: If you don't want so much zucchini, you can reduce the zucchini to 1 Cup.  You do not have to increase the amount of carrot if you do this.
  • Carrot Cake: Bake this recipe in a 13x9 pan instead of loaf pans and cook at 325oF for 40-45 minutes or until a tester/toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Top with Sweetened Whipped Cream or frost with Vanilla Buttercream or the Cream Cheese Frosting Listed below if desired. You can also top it with chopped walnuts or pecans if desired.  Note: You can try your hand at making a soy-free version of cream cheese from scratch if you like (I've not tried it, so I can't vouch for the taste, though.). You can also try using a dairy-free, soy-free "butter" (Earth Balance has one) if you want to make the buttercream dairy and soy-free. There is a recipe for a dairy and soy-free "cream cheese" frosting here, but I've never tried it, so I cannot vouch for the taste. You can also just dust the cake with powdered sugar or eat it plain as well.
Cream Cheese Frosting
(Adapted from a recipe on submitted by Janni to be egg, fish, wheat, and nut-free)
1 package cream cheese (8 oz.), softened
1/4 Cup full-fat, salted butter, softened
1-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
dash of salt
1 to 2 Cups powdered sugar

1. Cream butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl until creamy.
2. Mix in vanilla and salt until well blended.
3. Gradually stir in the powdered sugar until well incorporated.
4. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

  • Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting: Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 Cup cocoa powder with the powdered sugar.

Looks good, right?  I promise; it is!

What's your favorite bread?
Do you like sweet or savory breads better?
What's your favorite autumnal recipe or activity?

(This recipe was originally posted on my original site, Natural and Free.)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monthly Milestones {10}

I know this is a few days late, and I apologize.  It was a very crazy weekend, and we were not home, and I have not had a chance to put this up until today.  My plan had been to put this up Friday, and when that didn't happen, the plan was Sunday, but all I managed to accomplish was getting my picture taken, is the day!  Again, I apologize.  Better late than never, though, right? :)

Anyway, today is my tenth time running my monthly feature where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc. and in which you can link up a post about some form of progress you are making, if you wish (see details below). I am enjoying this, and being publicly accountable (as hard as it is) will and is helping me out tremendously.  I hope you enjoy this link-up as well, will link up something inspiring and share it with others so that we can meet our goals together! :)

Here is how I am doing as of yesterday:

Me on October 5, 2014 at 230 lbs.

  1. My weight has essentially stayed the same.  My weight has fluxed a little between about 229 and 231, eventually tapering off to just above 230 (230.2 lbs. according to Wii Fit).  To say I have not been frustrated would be an understatement, but I can not be completely upset either.  I mean, I haven't been riding the roller coaster of weight loss and gain, so that's a start!  I'll keep plugging away! :)
  2. I am still able to walk a little pretty much daily!  Since my daughter has started preschool, I am able to walk Monday through Thursday for about 15 minutes or so each day.  When I can walk more than that after school is done and it is not raining, hubby and I try to get out and walk.  It's been raining a LOT here lately, so we've not been able to do a lot of extra walking, but today is looking nicer so hopefully we can today and other days when the weather behaves. :)
  3. My system is getting more and more sensitive to certain foods.  Here's what I know: garlic in any form, raw onion, corn products of any type, too many grains, too much processed sugar (honey is fast becoming my go-to sweetener), soy in any form, too much pre-made foods or highly processed foods, or too many foods that are fried or considered junk are BAD.  My body is letting me know very quickly that I cannot eat these things.  I get IBS-type symptoms, migraines, pain or all of the above.  Not worth it.  Sometimes, eating out or having limited choices happens, and I have to pick the lesser of the evils, but I have a feeling that there will come a point where I cannot do this.  I have a very short list of things I can eat when dining out, and if I stray from it, it is a bad day.  I hope the list doesn't get too much shorter, but it just might.  We shall see!
  4. The exciting plans for my blogs will happen...just not any time soon. I've been more than a little busy with family, schooling, writing for the local paper, church and other things (including illness), and have not been able to post or make any more changes here or on Natural and Free.  This doesn't mean I have forgotten about you all (trust me, I wish I could post more, but the time just has not been available), it just means that life - family, church and responsibilities outside the online realm - have to have priority, and when that gets crazy, the blogs suffer.  I will find a routine that  makes blogging easier; I just haven't found it yet! :)  Thanks for your patience! :)
  5. I've been in a fair amount of pain for weeks now.  Between migraines, IBS-symptoms and body aches or stiffness, I've had a really hard time pain-wise.  Part of it is the stormy weather.  Part of it is this new extra sensitivity to foods.  Part of it is doing too much and feeling overwhelmed.  It has caused a whirlwind of emotion for me, especially frustration.  I just want to function normally, and I don't.  When I hurt, the Fibro Fog is worse, the emotions go into hyper drive, and the world spins out of control.  There is a grieving process involved with that.  I grieve the loss of me.  I know that at times like this, I need to be in the Bible more and praying more, and it does help.  I don't know why God has chosen this valley for me, but He has, and He walks through it with me.  Just pray I don't lose sight of that. :)  Thanks!

That's all for now, I suppose, and again I apologize for being so late in getting this up.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will link-up a post telling me all about it or even leave a comment sharing your thoughts.  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)

Now It's Your Turn!

Grab A Badge!

(This post was originally posted on my original site, Fibro, Fit and Fab!)