Monthly Archives: January 2014

spelt biscuits

Spelt Biscuits with Maple Honey Butter

Biscuits are a pretty basic thing, so I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out a recipe for them. I think I was assuming that using all whole-grain flour in a biscuit wouldn’t taste good. Or something?

Well, boy was I wrong. Like, totally and utterly wrong. Because yesterday I didn’t have anything readily on hand for lunch, and it’s freezing here and smoothies just don’t cut it on these frigid days, so I decided to experiment with biscuits. And the results were absolutely out of this world.

These babies are light and airy, flaky and tender, and have a surprisingly mild flavor. With all the cream and butter, they’re kind of a cross between a biscuit and a cream scone – which really is no bad thing!! Top them with some pasture butter blended with raw honey and maple syrup and they’re absolutely delectable! We each scarfed down three of these, and today the kids asked if I could make them again for lunch.

Why, yes. Yes I can.

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kale chips

The Ubiquitous Kale Chip

There’s a nice restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland called “The Ubiquitous Chip.” Or at least there was when I lived there in 1996. I had no idea what “ubiquitous” meant before I ate there, but I looked it up and it’s been a regular part of my vocabulary ever since.  Such a great word! I mean, it just feels good in your mouth, you know? Ubickwituuuuuussss.

Ubiquitous – adj (yü-ˈbi-kwə-təs) – seeming to be seen everywhere

So, the restaurant name referred to the fact that chippy (or french fry, to us Americans) shops are found EVERYWHERE in Britain, but this restaurant was something different.

When I thought about doing a post about my experience with trying kale chips, of course “The Ubiquitous Kale Chip” is the immediate and only title that came to mind – because, like British chippy shops they are everywhere. If life was a B rated horror movie they’d be some sort of alien plan to infiltrate the world, they’re that common. Do a simple Google search for “kale chips” and you get 7,800,000 hits. Seven MILLION!

So, yeah. This post is not exactly earth shattering innovation or anything. You can find this just about anywhere. But this blog isn’t intended to be about innovative culinary discoveries, but a resource of food ideas for people trying to figure out how to eat on diets like this, so I figured it would be good to include it.

First, let me say that I don’t really like vegetables. With the exception of Sauteed Asparagus I mostly simply tolerate vegetables because I know they’re good for me, rather than that I actually enjoy eating them. So I didn’t really have high hopes for kale chips.

But since I kept reading about them, and since I’d gotten an enormous bunch of kale from my CSA, I decided to try.

The verdict: Kale chips are very edible and enjoyable…when they’re cooked right! Added bonus: My kids LOVED them. Like, scarfed-them-down-and-couldn’t-stop loved them.

They are not an exact replacement for potato chips. But they have a nice saltiness and kind of fall apart in a melty way in your mouth that I find somewhat addictive. However…if you overcook them even a little they’re very bitter, and if you undercook them they’re chewy and very kale-ish! As I mentioned above, my kids were going to town on these things…until they got to some overcooked ones and they immediately ran to the trash and spit them out!

So, cooking time with these is very important. They make all the difference between, “Hey, I actually kind of like these!” and “These are disgusting and gross!”

No one wants disgusting and gross. So watch your time!

For the one or two people out there who might have never heard how to make these things, this is the process.

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sweet and salty maple popcorn

Sweet and Salty Maple Popcorn

I got a surprise gift from one of my cousins in the mail this Christmas: a cookbook of popcorn!! As a result, this recipe became the Food of Christmas this year. As soon as I saw this one in the cookbook, I knew I was going to make it. It called for sugar, but I knew that was an easy fix and I could make it work for me. And I did! I made massive amounts of this stuff. MASSIVE. I made a huge container to bring to our church’s children’s program Christmas party. I made some for all of my husband’s coworkers. I made baggies of it for neighbors and family members. We were drowning in it.

Yet, somehow, we never did get tired of it! That’s how yummy it is. It’s subtly sweet and salty – just slightly sweeter than Kettle Corn, but not as sweet as caramel corn. It’s buttery and maplely from the maple syrup. It’s addicting. Everyone who got this said that it didn’t last long. One of my husband’s coworkers said that it didn’t even make it home because once she tried it she couldn’t stop and ate all of it in the car!!

So, yeah. This is good stuff. However, it does have sweetener in it, so as always with my sweet stuff, if you’re particularly ill or experiencing symptoms of inflammation, be careful. If you’re maintaining or in good health, though, this is just fine because it uses all whole-food sweeteners!

And it’s dead easy.

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Hold the Sugar on Facebook


Okay, folks. I finally caved. I didn’t think I really needed an official Facebook page because I have rather humble ideas about this blog and the demand of its viewers. But recently someone tried to link to a Hold the Sugar Facebook page, but it turned out to be a site where you can buy diabetic foods made with artificial sweeteners. Which, as you know, is kind of the exact opposite of the sort of thing I would condone. So I’ve decided to set one up to avoid such mishaps in the future – should they occur. If you’re on Facebook and feel like you’d enjoy updates from Hold the Sugar there, go ahead and follow me there!

I’ll probably end up posting a greater variety of things there than I do here. I’ll of course share any new blog posts I make, but I’ll also post interesting news items or discoveries or thoughts or whatever else I think is interesting that relates to this sort of diet. (Without gunking up anyone’s news feeds with nonsense, of course.)

Hold the Sugar on Facebook! (Your dearest dreams have obviously been answered.)

Hot Cranberry Cider Swizzle

Hot Cranberry Cider Swizzle

Apple cider. And fresh cranberries. And fresh-squeezed lemon and orange juices. And spices. And honey. All together, hot and steaming and delicious, on my stove. This is one of my favorite wintertime drinks, and as soon as I start to see cranberries arrive in my grocery store I begin to think about it. “Yay!” I say to myself. “It’s Swizzle time of year!”

I have made this drink for many different groups of people over the years (because it’s a great sort of “special company” drink), and I have never yet encountered anyone who didn’t like it. People who say they don’t like hot cider like it. People who say they don’t like cranberries like it. I don’t know what it is, but it’s some sort of magical combination of ingredients that makes it universally loved. So odds are that you’ll love it too!

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