Last Wednesday night was our final GAPS Support Group for the year and we focused our attention on GAPS friendly Christmas foods. GAPS looks really scary when it comes to the foods that you CAN’T have ….until you scratch the surface and realise there is an AMAZING world of undiscovered foods out there. For instance, a person on the GAPS diet is not allowed to have ANY grains or sugar. I can see all of you non-GAPSters fainting out there! It’s really not that bad but as you can imagine that removes a good portion of the delicious Christmas foods that we have all come to know and love. So this post is to show you the tip of the “GAPS friendly Christmas recipes” ice-berg. There really are that many recipes. Some of the recipes below will link you to other GAPS friendly pages but there are a couple that I made up myself.
So the VERY basic Christmas menu that I shared with the GAPS group looks a little like this:
Think Poached Eggs with Wilted Baby Spinach and Mushrooms or Banana Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce (or even just lashings of butter and honey) or Nitrite Free Bacon and Eggs.
What about Decorative Fruit Skewers with a Salted Almond Caramel Dipping Sauce or a GAPS friendly Christmas Cake with a huge slab of butter.
Lunch and Dinner
Almost ALL of your traditional Christmas meals can be made to fit into a GAPS lifestyle. Let your imagination run wild!!
Sweet Christmas Nibbles
Almond Roca (this is kind of like a peanut brittle with a chocolate coating)
Honey Sweetened Peanut Butter Cups (OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD!!) I did change this recipe ever so slightly and I’m working on a completely different version so stay tuned. I swapped out the vegetable shortening for lard. I just can’t bring myself to use shortening of any kind, organic or not, and traditionally lard has always been used in place of shortening. It was still amazing, only I couldn’t ‘roll’ the peanut butter in balls so I just cooled the peanut butter mix to stiffen it and then spooned it into the cups.
Salted Honey Caramel Crispy Nuts
Home-made Ice-Pops – I must confess that I really want to do an entire post on these babies by themselves so again, stay tuned.
Savoury Christmas Nibbles
How about a trio of home-made dips with vege sticks. Dips are always popular at BBQs and get-togethers and when you make them yourself they always seem to start fabulous food conversations. My best source of home-made dips is a book called Snack It Out, Donna-Lee Halkett. The dips pages in my copy are all dog-eared and smeared with food ….very well loved :). You can purchase the Snack It Out book here. As well as lots of yummy dips, it contains fabulous ideas for healthy and delicious snacks and lunchbox foods for kids. You’ll love it!
You could even serve your dips with some home-made Multi ‘Grain’ Crackers, yoghurt cheese and a selection of cold meats.
Christmas Drinks Menu
For the kids (and big kids too!), how about some Lacto-Fermented Ginger Ale or you can take it one step further and make Blackberry Fizz! This is one that I have played around with and the recipe is below.
I think it’s important to note here that all of these foods are GAPS friendly …..BUT (and it’s a big BUT) that doesn’t mean that you go crazy with them. They still contain honey and fruit etc which are natural sugars and sugars should never be consumed in ridiculously high amounts. You don’t want to undo all of that hard work that you have done leading up to Christmas!
BLACKBERRY FIZZ RECIPE
To make your Blackberry Fizz you are going to need to first make the Ginger Ale. The lacto-fermented Ginger Ale will act as your ‘bug’.
3 cups Blackberries (fresh or frozen) – you can use any berry really.
2L of filtered water
1/2 cup of honey
1 cup lacto-fermented Ginger Ale.
Put half of filtered water into a large pot. Bring the water to a boil. Stir in your honey.
Add your blackberries to the pot (these can be fresh or frozen and other kinds of fruit can be substituted for the blackberries – raspberries, blueberries, strawberries etc) and bring the water back to a boil. Allow them to simmer in the water for about 10 minutes.
Taste it!! Is it sweet-ish? Does it taste fruity enough? If not maybe you want to add more berries or simmer a bit longer.
While your berries are simmering, sterilise your bottles/jars with boiling water.
When you’re happy with your syrup, add in the rest of the filtered water to cool the syrup down. Leave to cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, add 1 cup of Lacto-fermented Ginger Ale and give it a good stir. Pour this mix into a jug to make filling your bottles easier and as you do so, sieve out the solids. I often find that if the blackberries are left in the bottles, the bottles are much more likely to explode!! Don’t throw away the blackberries ….pop them into a container in the fridge to serve with yoghurt or ice-cream.
Fill your bottles with this mix, ensuring that you leave a 2 inch space at the top ….trust me, you will need it! Cap them tightly and leave them to sit on the bench for 24 hours or up to 3 days depending on the room temperature. Watch them carefully!! I made this on a hot day and only left them out for 12 hours. They were crazy gassy and I put them straight in the fridge.
Once cultured, pop them in the fridge to cool. When you open them, do so very slowly! You might be surprised at how much gas has accumulated.
Enjoy!!….and don’t tell your kids it’s healthy.
This recipe has been adapted from http://www.learningherbs.com/soda_recipe.html