If someone had told me three years ago that more than 30,000 unique individuals would be visiting this website every month, I would have laughed.
You see, when I started this site my goal was to share recipes that made my life easier. To create food that was safe for my family and delicious to eat…to help others with similar food restrictions and to show everybody that they shouldn’t just be able to have their cake and eat it; they should be have their cake and love it, too!
Today, my 11 year old daughter asked me what I meant by that.
“What do you mean by have your cake and love it, too? I mean, that’s just a weird statement, mom.”
Well, okay…so what DO I mean by that?
When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease, 4 years ago this month, it took me a while to really ‘get’ what having Celiac Disease meant.
A lifetime of gluten-free eating.
Alright. I could figure out how to live without cows-milk due to my daughter’s allergy, surely I could figure out how to live without gluten.
Yeah. If only it were that easy.
Gluten lives in the tiniest crevices of our world.
That old toaster? Throw it out…there is no way to turn it ‘gluten free’ once gluten has touched the inside of the machine.
That fruit basket we leave within children’s reach?
It’s covered in gluten.
Or at least it was until we eliminated all gluten from the house.
My gluten-eating children (which was all of them when I first started this blog), would eat their gluten-filled sandwiches, crackers, pizza, etc. and then go in for a bite of fruit.
That’s great until you realize that their little hands are covered in gluten. And they can never simply pick up and eat the first piece of fruit they touched. Meaning, my fruit bowl was no longer gluten free.
Nor is the one at the hotel sitting next to the cheese Danish. Or the vegetables at the local sandwich shop. Or the salad that just had the croutons removed off top. Or any number of items we come across in our day to day lives.
Things that are supposed to be gluten free quite often are not.
Oh the joy of cross contamination.
So when I finally understood this…when I finally got that we had to purge every crumb of gluten from our home if I was ever truly going to get well…it was then that I first joyously turned to packaged gluten-free foods to make life easier.
But you know what?
They were awful. Absolutely atrocious.
Gritty, overly sweet, flat out gross.
With rare exception, these new foods just did not please my palate.
Sure, I could have my gluten-free cake and eat it…
But most of the time I really didn’t want to.
It was then that I decided I wanted to have my cake and love it, too!
So I started to make my own gluten free food.
I started with rice flour, then moved on to soy flour. Soon I discovered that most gluten-free recipes called for multiple flours in different ratios.
Some flours worked for one recipe but not another.
Frankly…it drove me nuts!
Then one day, a dear friend of mine asked me if I had heard of Elana’s Pantry. She also asked if I had ever tried using almond flour.
An interesting concept…using nuts as flour, I thought it would never work.
In all my years of cooking. In all my years of gluten-filled recipe developing. I could see how certain flours and certain starches would make up for the lack of gluten in my new gluten-free foods.
But really, how on earth could almonds replace flour in some of my favorite baked goods?
The concept seemed weird.
Fortunately, my birthday fell just a short while after we had this initial conversation.
This same dear friend took it upon herself to send a bag of almond flour and Elana’s first cookbook, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook…and everything changed.
By the time I started this blog, I knew that baking with almond flour was a heck of a lot easier than mixing and matching other gluten-free flours…
By the time I started sharing recipes here, I no longer felt so much like a chemist in the kitchen…instead, I felt like a baker. A baker who loved almond flour.
Knowing this, it is no wonder that my first recipe on this site was an almond flour based cake recipe.
And while I have expanded my repertoire of grain-free flours since, between the ease of use and the increased comprehension of the difference between nutrient-dense foods and higher calorie, lower nutritional grain-based dishes…I still love me some almond flour.
Anyhow…back to where I started!
Three years ago, I started this blog to have a go-to spot where I could share with friends and family just how I feed my family.
You see, the more people knew about our food challenges, the more people I had coming to me asking “How do you make this? What would you do to replace that?”
I also wanted a page where I could share information about Celiac Disease because it pains me to see so many people in my life, so many people in my own family who have obvious symptoms but have not yet been diagnosed.
It is this goal of improving Celiac Awareness that spurred me to open this page on September 13th three years ago.
As I explained back then, September 13th is Celiac Awareness Day. Celebrating the doctor who is credited with being the first person to find a link between celiac disease and diet, Samuel Gee was born on September 13, 1839.
More than 170 years later…this blog was born.
To share all of this, it is a lot easier to say, “Here’s my website,” than it is to write and re-write the answer to every food or celiac question that comes my way.
I figured I would have a few dozen people visit my page. If I was lucky, I’d have a few hundred.
But knowing that there are tens of thousands of people stopping in to visit my page month after month…
Well, it’s overwhelming.
And for that…
For you, I am grateful.
Not only do you inspire me to continue to create, to try new things and explore new options…it is because of you that I pushed harder than ever before to discover the root cause of my son’s digressing vision.
It is because of you that I continued to seek answers when the ‘normal’ fixes weren’t fixing my daughters gut.
It is because of you that I learned the difference between a cows-milk free life and a casein-free life. The difference between a merely gluten-free life and a paleo life. The difference between a paleo life and a primal life.
It is because of you that I learned about gluten and dairy in prescription drugs…eventually leading to the true understanding that synthetic drugs were harming my family. Not just because of hidden ingredients like gluten and dairy but also because of their side effects and the continuous need to treat symptom after symptom with new prescription after new prescription. And it is because of this that my family is prescription-drug free.
It is also because of you that I learned the finite details of Candida and have gone on to heal our overgrowth using only nutrient-dense foods and essential oils.
How is it that you did all of this for us?
Frankly…there is a sense of responsibility that comes with knowing so many people are reading the words you write.
I spend my days doing research.
Most of the time this research is on things that directly impact my family, yes…but quite often I do research because you have asked me a question that spurred the need for a better answer.
And I love YOU for that!
So today, like I have on every September 13 for the last three years, I am happy to share a wonderful cake recipe with you.
In line with our Candida treatment, this one is completely sugar-free.
Even though the tapioca flour ensures that this cake is grain-free…because there is quite a bit of starch in tapioca starch, this is a treat we only enjoy once in a great while. But it is a treat we love to enjoy!
Berries are allowed in the third stage of the Paleolithic Approach to Candida Elimination®. This cake is allowed on every stage of our Candida Elimination Protocol as is the spiced coconut cream.
If you have trouble or are unsure how to properly separate eggs, I give step-by-step directions in my Dairy-Free, Casein-Free Eggnog recipe. As always, let me know if you have any questions.
So if you are working with me to eliminate Candida overgrowth or not…enjoy this cake!
And thank you, thank you for being here and helping me on this journey.
- 18 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 30 drops liquid stevia
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1c tapioca flour
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 can full-fat canned coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 24 hours
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 pinch cardamom
- 1 pinch salt
- Berries for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 350f.
- Mix together tapioca flour and salt,
- Using stand mixer, whisk egg whites at medium speed until foamy. Add in cream of tartar, stevia and vanilla, beat until soft peaks form. Increase speed to medium-high and slowly sprinkle in tapioca flour and salt mixture, using a sieve to sift these ingredients evenly into the egg white mixture. Beat until stiff but not dry.
- Pour batter into ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Smooth top with an offset spatula then run a knive through the batter to release air bubbles.
- Bake for 33-35 minutes or until golden brown and springy to the touch.
- Invert pan on its legs or over the neck of a glass bottle and let cool completely, about 1 hour, cake still in pan.
- Make coconut cream by carefully spooning the hard white cream off the top of the can of coconut milk that you have refrigerated for at least 24 hours. In chilled metal bowl, whisk together cream, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- When cool, place cake on a plate, bottom side up. Slice and serve with a dollop of spiced coconut cream and berries, if using.
- Makes 8-10 servings.