Category Archives: Newsletter

Grain Free Haven Newsletter and Discount Code – July 5, 2016

pecan-crusted-tendersWe have enjoyed immensely the last few weeks at the Pearl Brewery Farmers Market, sharing our products and meeting enthusiastic new customers! A question that has come up numerous times is what is so bad about grains? I will chat a bit about my perspective here…


I am not saying grains are bad for everyone.  In fact, if there was not a steady consumption of grains worldwide, based on current food production rates, it would be impossible to feed the billions of people that populate our planet. What I am saying is some people have bodies and digestive systems that struggle to process them, causing damage to the system and restricting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

Most people started consuming grains from the earliest stages of life,  beginning with rice based cereals at  4-6 months old. This is before their little bodies are mature enough to produce the necessary starch splitting enzyme amylase.  When these babies become toddlers they are often bombarded with prepackaged grain based snacks and convenience foods, like puffs, piles of pasta and crackers. It simplifies mealtime when some breaded chicken tenders or fish sticks are gobbled up by little fingers. In elementary school the quickest, cheapest breakfasts are grain cereals and for lunch a bag of chips, cookies and a sandwich.

This may read as a criticism of parenting decisions, which is not my intent. I grew up eating like this, and today, surrounded by my daughter’s friends and other young children, I know it is still a very typical approach. My intent here is to highlight the prominence of grains in America’s food culture. Most American diets, fad or otherwise, either highly value or condemn grains. There is rarely a middle ground.

As these children get older, habits and tastes from early childhood become the habits of adults. Adult metabolism slows and the gut damage begun in childhood steadily increases. For anyone who has experienced the impacts of gastrointestinal disease, auto immune disorders or allergies, they are widely varied, uncomfortable and often painful. The cumulative effects of grain consumption is glaringly evident when grains are removed from the diet. Oftentimes, removing grains from a diet result in significantly reducing the persistent inflammation and irritation from the conditions, providing relief to sufferers.

Besides the biological effects, these grain-based eating habits from an early age instill an emotional desire for classic American comfort foods, which are generally defined as containing high levels carbohydrates and/or sugar. Foods like pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, macaroni and cheese or pie often fall into the category. The are full of highly processed grains/carbohydrates that can irritate the previously mentioned gastrointestinal and autoimmune disorders. If grains are being avoided it may be assumed such comfort foods must also be spurned, but it does not have to be true.

By using the right ingredients in the right combination you can have grain free versions of your beloved comfort foods. In my personal experience, my longing for such foods is two-fold. The first is based on the taste of the comfort foods, and thankfully, much of the flavor of such foods come from grain free elements. Thank goodness! The second element I miss can be harder to duplicate, which is texture – grains definitely make it easier to create crispy, crunchy, gooey, flaky….  Since the flavor aspect was significantly overcome I knew the next step was to tackle the texture challenge. I knew I could do it and now spend a large part of my time sharing my successful results.

Those results are nutritionally dense, filling, healthy meals. They include options that are indeed crispy, crunchy, gooey and flaky. They are succulent, sweet, spicy and savory. Meals that can be made in advance, snacks at the ready for the entire family, and staples that can be relied on for any meal. It has taken years for me and my family to figure it all out, but it was worth every minute. Our digestive systems now function like clock work, my husband’s gastrointestinal problems are in check, our daughter is contentedly growing like a healthy, robust weed, and my symptoms from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome are much more under control and accomplished without medication.

To ease your path to eating grain free I encourage you to explore my world. Between my food blog, Any Kitchen Will Do, and the products offered by Grain Free Haven it is is possible to enjoy delicious, comforting dishes while avoiding grains.

If you have not yet come by our booth at the Pearl Brewery Farmers Market to sample our products, please take some time one weekend soon and say hi! Also feel free to call or send a note if you have questions. I am constantly experimenting, so if you have any ideas or challenges to present to me I am ready to hear them!


These chicken tenders are a great substitute for the more traditional wheat flour based breaded tenders. They freeze well after being cooked, so you can stock up for quick weekday dinners. The pecans in the crust also add protein and fill up the family more quickly!

Pecan Crusted Chicken

3 pounds boneless skinless chicken pieces (tenders and thighs recommended)
2 pounds raw pecans (or 1 pound pecans and 1 cup almond meal)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a food processor pulse pecans (and almond meal if used), salt and garlic powder until nuts are finely chopped.

In a medium bowl whisk together egg whites and mustard until well combined, but stop short of the whites becoming stiff.

Line one to two shallow baking sheets with aluminum foil. Spread the nuts on a third sheet or large plate.

Generously season chicken with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the egg wash, letting the excess run off. Roll chicken in the nuts, gently pressing them into the meat. Place chicken on the foil lined baking sheets with about an inch between pieces.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until juices run clear (whole chicken breasts or bone-in chicken may take longer). Serve immediately, plain or with desired dipping sauces.

Note: the leftover egg yolks are perfect for making a fresh batch of blender mayonnaise and/or hollandaise sauce.

Saturday, July 9, 2016, 9am – 1pm: Pearl Brewery Farmers Market.  We are making sure we have plenty of Coconut Macaroons and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies for everyone! Come by and grab a snack! Also, we will have some lovely muffins with some fresh ingredients from the Market’s  produce vendors. Samples will be ready and waiting for you!
Sunday, July 10, 2016, 10am-2pm: Pearl Brewery Farmers Market. Bring along any of your friends that are grain or gluten free. We can chat about what products best fit your dietary needs and make life a little easier. Don’t forget to grab some savory Momma’s Pecans. A small handful will take care of your mid afternoon nibbles!


If you come by my booth and tell us this week’s discount code you will get $1 off any purchase! The code for this week is PEARL!

Please feel free to forward and share this newsletter with anyone you like! We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Grain Free Haven Newsletter and Discount Code – March 23, 2016


This week’s newsletter will be short and sweet, for we have a long list of orders to prepare for this weekend and packing up!


As we mentioned last week, we are moving our business to the San Antonio metro area after this weekend. We will still be offering the same great products, but are limited to pick up and delivery in and around San Antonio.

If you are in the Dallas area and interested in picking up an order at this weekend’s farmers market, please let me know by 7pm on Thursday, March 24th. I can get it made fresh and have it waiting for you on Saturday or Sunday! Our baked goods freeze well, so stocking up is very doable!

We will miss you after we leave, and be sure to look us up if you are down in olde San Antone!


The great thing is that there are no grains in this recipe. The other great thing is that it is easy, high protein, nutritious and darned pretty. Serve with all kinds of fresh spring vegetables and you are good to go!

Stuffed Flank Steak

1 – 2 large flank steak (1 ½ – 2 pounds total)
8 ounces bacon
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
4 – 5 ounces goat cheese
1 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves, coarsely chopped
8 ounces baby spinach leaves
8 – 12 wooden toothpicks

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice bacon into ¼ inch strips. In a medium skillet over medium heat  cook bacon until it begins to release fat. Add onion and garlic and continuing to cook until garlic slices begin to brown. Transfer bacon, onion and garlic to paper towel to soak up extra grease.

Lightly salt and pepper the steak. Place steak between two layers of cling wrap. With a tenderizing mallet or side of a regular hammer flatten steak until about ¼ inch thick. Remove the top layer of wrap.

Spread the goat cheese on the steak, leaving about ½ inch border around the edges. Make a layer of spinach leaves on top of the cheese. Sprinkle the bacon, garlic and oregano on top of the spinach. Add another layer of spinach. Sprinkle spinach with a little more salt.

To roll the steak, begin by lifting the wrap edge on the long side of the steak, pull the steak off the wrap and begin curling it over the spinach. Continue rolling it, squeezing slightly to keep the roll an even size along the length. When completely rolled, place the seam facing up.

Impale the roll every inch along the seam with toothpicks. If it is thin enough on the ends, weave a toothpick across them to seal it – like you would a straight pen through cloth. Place the roll in a shallow baking dish or baking sheet covered with foil.

Bake for 20 minutes. Turn oven temperature down to 350 degrees and cook for 20 – 45 minutes longer, depending on thickness of steak and desired doneness.

Saturday, March 26, 2016, 8am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market.  Unfortunately this will be our last Saturday at the Dallas Farmers Market. This is the perfect time to stock up on your favorite Grain Free Haven products, for the baked goods freeze well and the nut mixes have long shelf lives. Send me a note or give me a call and your order can be waiting for you this weekend or next!
Sunday, March 27, 2016, 10am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market. Our last Sunday at the Dallas Farmers Market brings you our popular Breakfast Mix, Power (Paleo) Bread and a variety of muffins, like Banana Bread, Strawberry Shortcake and Orange Ginger! We will also have plenty of our famous Chocolate “Cinn” and Cajun Cashews!


If you come by my booth and tell us this week’s discount code you will get $1 off any purchase of $15 or more! The code for this week is STOCK UP!

Please feel free to forward and share this newsletter with anyone you like! We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Grain Free Haven Newsletter and Discount Code – March 16, 2016

paleobreadWe have bittersweet news for everyone. I know we usually talk about ingredients and recipes in these newsletters, but today I am  going to talk about exciting things going on in the near future with Grain Free Haven!


Less than a year ago we started Grain Free Haven. Our intention was to share our success with creating grain free products and to ease the struggle of others. We created a list of products to fill in the gaps of a grain free diet. Staples that make it more convenient to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

We are ecstatic about how well it has gone and feel we have helped a lot of people. Every week I meet new and return customers that enjoy and appreciate the fact our type of products are available.

Due to exciting decisions we have made in our personal lives there will be some significant changes to our business location. We plan to continue our efforts, but it won’t be in the Dallas area. We will be moving the business to the San Antonio metro area starting in April!

We struggle with the fact that customers in the Dallas area now rely on our products and here we are packing up and leaving. Unfortunately, we are not yet in a position to continue the business in two cities. As soon as we can get established in a permanent location and mail orders are possible we will make sure everyone in Dallas knows!

Of course with the bitter comes the sweet. San Antonio is a place we hold dear to our hearts, having lived there previously for many years. We are making plans to be available in reliable market locations around town, and even will be offering free delivery in the San Antonio metro area!

Thank you Dallas for helping us start our fledgling business. As our business grows we hope to be back in your pantry soon!


Since we are abandoning you we decided to share our super ultra mega top secret Power (Paleo) Bread recipe with you.  This way when you are wallowing in sorrow  because you are missing the slices and buns you can create your own!

Power Bread or Buns

1 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup golden flaxseed meal
½ tsp sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 medium eggs, room temperature
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup melted lard, butter or extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup water (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine coconut flour, golden flaxseed meal, salt and baking soda then stir until well blended.

In a mixer bowl combine eggs and apple cider vinegar. Whisk together until egg whites and yolks are well combined. Add lard/butter/oil to egg and vinegar mixture. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix on medium speed for one minute.

Batter should be the texture of natural peanut butter, which is droopy.  If it is stiff, add the 1/2 cup of water and mix for 30 more seconds. Don’t add more than 1/2 cup of water.

For one loaf: pour dough into well greased 8 x 4 loaf pan.* Wet your hands and even out the top of the loaf, making sure it is level and damp. Bake a single loaf, on the center shelf for 50-55 minutes. If you bake two loaves they will bake evenly but may need additional five minutes.

For 7 buns: well grease seven 1-cup ramekins. Grease each ramekin generously then place a round of parchment paper on the bottom of each, making sure the paper does not run up the sides. Using a large ice cream scoop place two level scoops into each ramekin. Wet your hands even out the top of each bun, making sure each is level and damp. Place all seven ramekins on a shallow baking dish as far apart from each other as possible. Bake buns on the center shelf (third shelf from the top) for 28-32 minutes.

The top of the buns will be evenly brown, more than light golden. Let cool for ten minutes. Run a paring knife around the edges and drop out of the ramekin.

*This is a smaller loaf pan than typically used with wheat-based breads. The size allows for a square loaf. A larger pan can be used, but you will have more of a rectangular end result.

Saturday, March 19, 2016, 8am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market.  Unfortunately this will be our second to last Saturday at the Dallas Farmers Market. Life forces are taking us south to San Antonio. Although bad news for our Dallas area customers, we hope it is good news for San Antonio! This is the perfect time to stock up on your favorite Grain Free Haven products, for the baked goods freeze well and the nut mixes have long shelf lives. Send me a note or give me a call and your order can be waiting for you this weekend or next!
Sunday, March 20, 2016, 10am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market. Our second to last Sunday at the Dallas Farmers Market brings you our popular Breakfast Mix, Power (Paleo) Bread and a variety of muffins, like Banana Bread, Strawberry Shortcake and Orange Ginger! We will also have plenty of our famous Cajun Cashews!


If you come by my booth and tell us this week’s discount code you will get $1 off any purchase of $15 or more! The code for this week is POWER BREAD!

Please feel free to forward and share this newsletter with anyone you like! We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Grain Free Haven Newsletter and Discount Code – March 10, 2016

scotcheggsCrack glop crack glop crack glop crack glop crack…. Every week I crack hundreds of eggs, not only when preparing Grain Free Haven products, but also for general consumption by my family. We go through a lot of eggs. This week I am going to talk about the incredible, edible egg!


Eggs have gotten a bad  in the past. They were considered evil and bad for people to include in their diet. Recent information has mixed it all up.

Historically the high level of cholesterol in eggs was considered detrimental to heart health. Current information shows that yes, the cholesterol in eggs raises cholesterol in humans, but it is the ‘good’ cholesterol – HDL, High Density Lipoprotein. High levels of HDL typically represents a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. The cholesterol also has an impact on LDL, Low Density Lipoproteins – it makes the particle pattern from small and dense to large , thus reducing heart disease risks typically associated with high cholesterol.

Now that we have covered some of the drama surrounding eggs, let us get down to the more clear benefits of eggs, like protein protein protein! High protein foods like eggs (six grams each) make you feel full longer. If you start to feel snacky mid-afternoon you should grab a boiled egg as a snack. It will sate you until dinner, unlike a bag of chips or a bagel. Some people who eat two eggs a day in place of processed, starchy foods experienced a reduced appetite and even weight loss!

Size matters. Have you ever paid much attention to the size of the eggs you use? To fry or scramble they are just eggs, in control of the dish’s destiny. If you are using them to bind other ingredients together, like in baked goods, you will want to stay alert. The volume difference between a medium and extra large egg is a whole tablespoon! Not that big a deal if you are talking one or two eggs in a recipe, but when you bake grain free you will be using a ton of eggs. A batch of coconut flour based grain free muffins may need six eggs. That is a lot of eggs.

Another example is Grain Free Haven’s Power Bread. One loaf requires 11 medium eggs (about two cups). If you try to make the bread with larger eggs you will end up with 1/2 cup more egg volume, which will give you an overflowing, lopsided loaf that is too wet and may stick to the pan.

There is a bounty of eggs in Grain Free Haven products, whether it be cookies, macaroons, muffins, buns or breads. If you have a problem with eggs and have to exclude them from your diet there is hope for you in our product line! Our Hot Chocolate Mix, Breakfast Mix and all the Nut Mixes are free of dairy and eggs.


My family fell in love with these after spending many years visiting Renaissance Festivals and Faires. They make a hearty breakfast . Since the versions served at festivals are usually coated with wheat based breadcrumbs we had to give them up. Using golden flaxseed meal instead is a grain free, nutritious version, which we enjoy all year long.

Scotch Eggs

1 pound hot breakfast sausage (we typically use Jimmy Dean All Natural or Spicy style)
8 medium boiled eggs, peeled
2 raw eggs
1 cup golden flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine the flaxseed meal and salt together in a bowl. In another bowl whisk together the two raw eggs.

Divide the sausage into eight piles. Using your hands, press the sausage into a patty in the palm of your hand. Place a hard boiled egg in the middle of the patty and and mold the sausage around it until it is completely and evenly covered.

Roll each sausage covered egg in the raw egg, then each in the flaxseed meal to coat it. Repeat with the remaining eggs, then roll them all once more in the meal until it is gone.

Place the eggs on the foil-lined baking sheet, at least two inches apart. Bake the eggs until the outside is browned and the sausage is cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let the eggs rest for 5 minutes. Slice in half and serve with mustard.

Saturday, March 12, 2016, 8am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market.  Yes, it might be raining, but we will be under cover at The Shed! Come on out and laugh loudly at the precipitation and enjoy our springy Orange Ginger Muffins and addictive Coconut Macaroons!
Sunday, March 13, 2016, 10am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market. As our Sunday moves forward and you prepare for the week remember to pick up your order of buns, bread and muffins from our Grain Free Haven booth! Oh, you have not placed an order yet? If you do it by Friday at 5pm you can pick it up at your convenience on Saturday or Sunday!


If you come by my booth and tell us this week’s discount code you will get $1 off any purchase of $15 or more! The code for this week is OLIVE OIL!

Please feel free to forward and share this newsletter with anyone you like! We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Grain Free Haven Newsletter and Discount Code – March 2, 2016


This week I have been busy making nut  mixes! Some of my nuts sell quickly, while others, though loved by many, just don’t sell as quickly. The fast and slow sellers came to a pinnacle after last weekend and I had to hustle to get them all made to restock. The first step to making the nuts is creating the extra special secret coating. Besides coconut oil, which I talked about a few weeks ago, there are two other oils that I rely on for the nut coatings and other products. Here is a little about them.


When we first started eating grain free we had to take a very close look at the ingredients we used regularly to cook, which included oils. Whether frying eggs, making salad dressing or making marinades, we needed to keep our fats grain free. This meant excluding commonly used oils like canola oil, corn oil and soybean oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Avocado Oil were two oils that we always loved and were joyfully able to continue using.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

There are four recognized types of olive oil: extra virgin, virgin, refined and olive pomace. While the production process is the same, the difference between extra virgin and virgin is the acidity level, with it being twice as high in the virgin at 1.5%. Refined olive oils are made with virgin batches that are too acidic and have been filtered with charcoal or other filters, but no solvents added. Olive pomace is a mix of refined and virgin oils, resulting in a more neutral flavor and higher smoke point. It is often used in restaurant commercial cooking situations.

Extra virgin olive oil is high in Vitamins E and K, as well as oleic acid, which gives the oil anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have likened the anti-inflammatory effects comparable to Ibuprofen.

We only use the extra virgin type of olive oil in Grain Free Haven products, taking advantage of the high quality, slightly pungent, nutty flavor for savory recipes. The coating of Momma’s Mixed Nuts and Pecans, as well as the Cajun Cashews include extra virgin olive oil. It is also used as the fat in Jalapeño Cheddar Muffins.

Avocado Oil

To me avocado oil has a buttery taste, just like the fruit they are made from, so I like using it in recipes to give the end result a hint of butter, while keeping them dairy free. It is made by using a centrifuge to separate the flesh, oil and water, then a separator is used to refine the oil.

It is crazy high in Vitamin E and a mono-unsaturated omega 9 fatty acid called oleic acid. Besides helping reduce inflammation, these elements help reduce gassiness and bloating while also improving digestion.

Grain Free Haven products like Chocolate “Cinn” Cashews, Banana Bread Muffins and Blueberry Lemon Muffins all include Avocado Oil. The flavor seems to do really well in sweeter dishes, so that is typically where were we use it.


This delicious Argentinian sauce is packed with the healthy benefits of extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil, and the parsley will add loads of vitamins and antioxidants to whatever dish to which it is added. It is also addictive so you may need to make a double batch!

Chimichurri Sauce

1 bunch parsley
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 large lime, juiced with meat included
1 slice bacon, cooked crisp
1 Tablespoon bacon grease
1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (nuttier taste) or avocado oil (buttery taste)

Roughly chop parsley, including stems. Place them in a glass bowl or jar. Add garlic, salt, lime and oil. Stir or shake up the ingredients until the parsley is coated.

Heat up the bacon grease and chopped bacon until it is hot, then drop bacon into bowl and drizzle grease over the mixture. This step will wilt some of the parsley and release flavor and aroma.

Place chimichurri in the fridge for at least four hours. To serve, remove from fridge at least one hour before serving to allow the oil and grease solids to liquefy.

Serve over steak, fajitas, roasted vegetables or use as a dipping sauce.

Saturday, March 5, 2016, 8am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market.  We are so very glad you like our Power Bread, Buns and Breakfast mix (all Paleo compliant)! This week we will have plenty ready for you so we don’t sell out before you arrive. We also restocked our nuts, especially Momma’s Mixed Nuts and Pecans, including new crop pecans from our market vendor friends at Lampmans Pecan Company.
Sunday, March 6, 2016, 10am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market. As a special treat this weekend we are offering our Strawberry Shortcake Muffins! As spring gets nearer we know you are longing for those delicious Texas strawberries, and these muffins won’t disappoint! We will continue to also have our decadent Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and sugar free, dairy free Coconut Macaroons!


If you come by my booth and tell us this week’s discount code you will get $1 off any purchase of $15 or more! The code for this week is OLIVE OIL!

Please feel free to forward and share this newsletter with anyone you like! We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Grain Free Haven Newsletter and Discount Code – February 24, 2016

pecanpieDo you remember those silly little planters that grow green plants for hair? I do. I also remember the song on the commercial: ch ch ch ch chia! Well, those little seeds you soak then slather on the head made of clay pottery were chia seeds. Besides growing on the top of creepy looking heads, they are very good at giving you a punch of energy when you eat them.

I remember the first time I saw something made with chia seeds. I assumed they were poppy seeds–little black things floating around in some pudding. When I tasted it I knew I was wrong. The lovely texture and slight sweetness the chia seeds contributed were nothing like poppy seeds. I had found a new love.


Chia seeds are the seeds from a flowering herb plant called the Salvia Hispanica, presenting themselves in shades of black, grey, brown and white. They were first identified as a consumable product grown as a crop in the time of the Aztec in the 1500s. The plant itself is kin to mint, evident from the similar look of the leaves. Today the seeds are relied on for their high level of nutritional value all over the world, especially in Central and South America as an ingredient in drinks and food.

The seeds are bursting with things your body craves, including fiber, protein, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Among other things they also have Vitamins A, B, D and E. Pretty impressive for a spoonful of little seeds, huh?

Chia seeds will absorb any water you mix them with, expanding up to 12 times their original mass. This high level of absorption, especially after they arrive in your stomach, makes you feel full faster, which is why they are considered an appetite suppressant. The high level of fiber helps regulate your digestive system, keeping you nice and, er, cleaned out.

Studies have also shown that regular consumption of chia seeds helps reverse inflammation, regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure. I know from personal experience regarding the internal inflammation, but never having had cholesterol or blood pressure problems, I am just relying on research I read.

Other research I read identified a detrimental interaction between chia seeds and blood thinners, like warfarin/coumadin. As with anything I write about, before you go whole hog consuming two tablespoons a day, please be diligent. Make sure you do your own research about how chia seeds interact with medications, supplements and foods you are already taking. They are small yet powerful.

If you are like me, you may not enjoy straight spoonfuls of chia seeds. Incorporating them into other foods is much more appealing. At home we add them to breads and muffins, partially replacing some egg in recipes–for each egg being replaced combine one tablespoon of chia seeds with three tablespoons of water. I don’t recommend replacing more than half the eggs in a recipe with the mixture, for my results have not been great doing a full replacement.

Chia seeds can be added to all kinds of dishes, not just baked goods. We randomly toss them in pudding, egg dishes, smoothies, dressings, gravy, frittatas, and also use them as a breadcrumb filler in meatballs and burgers….the list is endless.

Two current Grain Free Haven products include chia seeds. One is our Chia Chai muffins, filled with the spicy goodness you enjoy in a cup of chai tea.

The other product is our wonderful, amazing Breakfast Mix–it is chock full of protein, fiber and energy inducing chia seeds. We combine a secret ratio of almond meal, golden flaxseed meal, unsweetened minced coconut, chia seeds, ground cinnamon and a dash of salt to make the mix. All you have to do is add 1/2 cup of hot water, let it sit for a minute, then stir in some sweetener of your choice and a splash of cream. The chia seeds expand and mix with the other ingredients to give it a texture similar to oatmeal or cream of wheat. You end up with a warm, comforting breakfast that gives you a spike of caffeine free energy in the morning and will keep your belly full until lunch.


Here is one of my family’s favorite pies, reaping the benefits of wonderful Texas pecans and chia seeds bursting with energy.

Pecan Pie

3/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup toasted pecan halves*
3 large eggs
8 tablespoons chilled butter (coconut oil  can be used for a dairy free version)
3/4 teaspoon pure stevia powder (equivalent to 1/2 cup pure cane sugar)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoon pure stevia powder (equivalent to 1 cup pure cane sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted (avocado oil can be used for a dairy free version)
1 cup water
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 1/2 cups toasted pecan halves*
12-15 raw pecan halves

For the crust combine the coconut flour, 1/2 cup pecan halves, fat (either butter or coconut oil), stevia and salt in food processor. Pulse until combined and pecans are finely chopped. Add the eggs and pulse until a dough is formed.

Spread the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9 1/2 inch tart or pie pan.

In a small bowl place the chia seeds and pour water on top. Stir and let sit for about a minute, allowing the mixture to thicken.

Roughly chop the 1 1/2 cups of toasted pecans, making sure they are evenly sized.

In a mixer bowl mix together eggs with stevia. Add and stir in the vanilla, butter and chia seed mixture. Add the chopped pecans and mix until well combined. Pour mixture into the prepared crust. Smooth out the surface of the filling, then arrange the raw pecan halves on top.

Bake on the middle rack in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 45 minutes, but check after about 30 minutes in case it is cooking quickly. A finished pie will have brown edges on the crust , the whole pecans on top will be darkened and a toothpick stuck in the middle will come out clean.

Let pie cool to room temperature before serving. If refrigerated before serving, set pie out about an hour before eating so it can return to room temperature.

*To toast pecans: spread nuts evenly in one layer on a shallow baking sheet. Place sheet in 325 degree preheated oven on the middle rack. Toast for 7 minutes. Remove pan from oven, toss the nuts, again spread them out to one layer and return pan to oven. Toast for five to seven more minutes, watching and smelling carefully to avoid burning. Nuts are done when they have turned dark, but not black. Remove pan from oven and let nuts cool completely.

Saturday, February 27, 2016, 8am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market.  We are stocking up on more wonderful grain free products, ready for you to come by! Our savory Jalapeño Cheddar Muffins are returning this week, along with our Banana Bread Muffins and Orange Ginger Muffins, so get your taste buts ready!
Sunday, February 28, 2016, 10am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market. Let’s close out February right with a visit to the market! Come by and pick up some organic produce from the local farmers and some of my baked goods, made with organic, grain free flours and meals. The Power Bread and Buns are calling your name! The wonderful Breakfast Mix will be available too!


If you come by my booth and tell us this week’s discount code you will get $1 off any purchase of $15 or more! The code for this week is CH CH CH CH CHIA!

Please feel free to forward and share this newsletter with anyone you like! We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Grain Free Haven Newsletter and Discount Code – February 18, 2016

coleslawFor many years my vinegar repertoire was limited to three types – white, red wine and balsamic. I was happily ignorant of other types. Eventually my vinegar world expanded to other types, like making my own infused versions, as well as champagne and finally apple cider.

Before trying it I just assumed it was cloying and sweet. It is made from cider, isn’t it? About the flavor I was very wrong, and discovered that there is more to apple cider vinegar than the apples.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

The vinegar is very easy to make. Simply put, toss some chopped apples and water into a jar, cover it and put it in the dark for six months. Some people add sugar or honey, but it is not necessary. After scraping some gray scum off the top  (which is supposed to happen) spoon it out and start using it.

Another method is putting apple cider (made with winter or fall apples) in a jar with some special yeast. Not the kind used to make bread, but the kind used in wine making. Stir it daily for about a month until it is the strength you like then use it up!

The third and final method is walk into the local grocery store, locate the condiment aisle and search for the golden colored vinegar squeezed between the white and wine vinegars. I prefer to use Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar when I can find it, which is often. There are also pasteurized and filtered versions, but based on my research the heating and filtering processes take away essential nutrients, probiotics and enzymes found in the raw, unfiltered type.

Now that you know how to make or acquire the vinegar, here are some reasons why you should use it.

First, it helps your body work better in a few ways. It helps digest food and boost immunity by helping good bacteria naturally occurring in your stomach do their job. It also helps with constipation, moving foods along the digestive system more smoothly. It is easy to add it to your meals, in salad dressings, sauces, as an ingredient in the brine of pickled vegetables, or just mix some with water and drink it before you eat.

Be careful when you drink it though – apple cider vinegar is very acidic. If you want to make a drink with it make sure it is sufficiently diluted in water or another beverage (8 ounces for every tablespoon of vinegar). Straight vinegar can eat away at enamel on your teeth or the lining of your esophagus. It has not happened to me, but sure sounds like it hurts!

Drinking some with a starchy meal evens out your digestive system by balancing blood glucose levels. Blood sugar of Type 2 diabetics has also been know to drop consistently when ACV is included in your morning beverage.

More health benefits include some protection of LDL particles, helping to reduce cholesterol. It is also said to help reduce blood pressure.

I am intentionally not including links or references in this newsletter because I am skeptical about any single product that is shown to ‘cure’ or ‘fix’ health problems. If you have health problems it is important to figure out what combination of food and physical elements in your life work for you and enhance your positive health conditions. I do encourage you to do some research and find out if apple cider vinegar could help you, especially if you have sensitivities to grains, gluten or sugar.

ACV is also known to help your outside body parts too. Dilute it 1:1 with water and use it as a toner for your face. Rinse your hair with a stronger 2:1 ratio and clear up any build up on it from using shampoos and conditioners. After rinsing it out your hair will be soft and won’t smell like vinegar. I promise! Works great on my naturally curly hair without weighing it down. You can also pour a quart in your warm bath to detoxify and sooth muscle aches and pains.

I am far from saying that apple cider vinegar is a cure all or will make you skinny, but it has been shown to help, along with healthy eating and other positive life habits.

Here at Grain Free Haven we use apple cider vinegar in Power Bread and Power Buns. Since we don’t use yeast we rely on ACV as an acid, working with baking soda as a base, to be leavening agents. It is what makes our bread and buns rise with pleasantly fluffy and light results. Come by for a sample of our lovely bread, or if you have already experienced the wonderful taste, come stock up – it freezes well!


There is no need for sugar or sweetener in this recipe. The apple cider vinegar gives both sweet and tart to the slaw dressing, giving you the benefits of the vinegar while bringing out the best qualities of the colorful cabbages.


4 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
½ cup shredded carrot
½ cup finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, crushed and diced
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper

In a large bowl combine garlic, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk until combined.

Add green cabbage, purple cabbage, carrot and onion. Toss vegetables until coated with dressing.

Chill for at least one hour and toss again before serving.

Saturday, February 20, 2016, 8am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market.  If you are like me you wonder if our North Texas winter is really over. Based on this Saturday’s forecast it looks like winter may be behind us! We are doing our best to stock up each weekend, making sure we don’t sell out of Power Bread before you come by! As always, we have our Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and wonderful dairy free, sugar free Coconut Macaroons!
Sunday, February 21, 2016, 10am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market. Don’t worry about the hint of rain we might get, for we are all under the huge pavilion of the Shed! We will be offering just for you a collection of muffin flavors to choose from and a variety of nuts, so stock up to make sure you can be sated during your afternoon snack all week!


If you come by my booth and tell us this week’s discount code you will get $1 off any purchase of $15 or more! The code for this week is APPLE CIDER VINEGAR!

Please feel free to forward and share this newsletter with anyone you like! We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Grain Free Haven Newsletter and Discount Code – February 11, 2016

limeycheesecakeLove is in the air! People will do amazing and wonderful (and slightly psychotic) things for love. In my case, I ran to the kitchen after a loved one discovered an extreme physical reaction to wheat. This is what happened.

Baking For Love

A lot of people ask me how I got into making and selling grain free products. It was a bit of a journey, but I am happy to share it with you here.

About six years ago my husband got very sick. Not just a stomach bug that lasted a few weeks, but months of an odd combination of symptoms and strangeness. I watched him go from a vibrant, creative husband and father to a weak, frail person barely able to get out of bed for more than ten minutes.

A plethora of tests and examinations resulted in diagnoses ranging from  alcoholism (for someone who had not had a drop for six months, and never had that particular issue) to multiple sclerosis. No amount of medication or treatments seemed to reduce the symptoms. Until we tried an elimination diet.

Long story short, eliminating then reintroducing a wide variety of foods and beverages was very revealing. We did this without medical assistance, for all the medical professionals wanted to ‘fix’ him with prescription drugs and therapy. Granted, such solutions work effectively for many, but in my husband’s case, it seemed rather aggressive and complex without trying simpler steps. It might also have helped if there had been any agreement on a diagnosis.

Toning down his beverages revealed that aspartame-laden diet sodas were having a significant impact on his nervous system. After going through a withdrawal period, just having one diet soda with aspartame brought back some symptoms. Such sodas were thrown out immediately. It sounds strange…but he could finally walk again without a cane. And even run.

Another revelation was two-fold. He had gastrointestinal problems for years. To counter the discomfort he had regularly taken some acid reflux medicine. After a very painful and uncomfortable withdrawal period, allowing his body to again produce a healthy amount of stomach acids, he was able to eat food without symptoms. The second element of this process was discovering that every time he consumed wheat the stomach discomfort returned. Out the window went wheat. His belly has been much, much happier for years now.

The next step was to ease the frustration of avoiding wheat by substituting gluten free solutions. Bottom line – the products found in stores usually tasted like cardboard and were nutritionally lacking (but so was the wheat). As we sat in our kitchen one day, pondering the issue and missing many of the comfort foods we grew up with, we decided to figure out satisfying, nutritional substitutes. Gluten free grains were just not cutting it, so pursuing other avenues was the next step.

Our adventure led us to nut flours and seed meals. If you like Grain Free Haven products you very much have my husband to thank. I would like to think I have a sophisticated palate. He has a particular one, whether sophisticated or not. He knows what he likes and does not like. Batch after batch we tweaked and twerked recipes until we found textures and flavor balances that worked. I will never promise that any of our products will taste or feel like grain filled products, but I will say  you will feel satisfied and full after eating them. If nothing else they are robust and energy filled. (And we think they’re tasty, too.)

Our journey to starting Grain Free Haven was quite challenging. I hope that at this stage in the journey, sharing what we have learned helps ease the burden of others who have similar challenges with wheat or other grains. Check out our past Newsletters to learn more about the ingredients we use and why, and please ask questions when you have them. I certainly want to help!


This recipe was one that brought my husband full circle in the comfort food department. His love of cheesecake and key lime pie were appeased (by sometimes adding extra lime) with the crust and creamy custard. Make it for your love this weekend without guilt!

Limey Cheesecake

2 cups finely ground almond flour
2 Tbsp coconut flour
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon pure stevia powder (equivalent to 2 teaspoons pure cane sugar)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 ground ginger
1 egg white, whisked (save yolk for filling)

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
2 large eggs and 1 egg yolk, room temperature
3 Tbsp butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure stevia powder (equivalent to 3/4 cup pure cane sugar)
2 large limes, zested and juice separated from meat (use less or more to taste)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Fresh berries (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In 9″ pie dish cut a round of parchment paper that fits the bottom of the dish.

Crust: in medium bowl stir together all dry crust ingredients. Add the butter and stir until the ingredients clump. Add the egg white mix until well combined. Crust will still be crumbly. Press crust into dish until bottom and sides are covered.

Filling: in large bowl combine cream cheese and sour cream. Whisk together until completely smooth. Add butter and stir again until smooth. Add eggs and yolk, stir to incorporate and until smooth. Add stevia, lime zest, lime juice and vanilla. Beat until well combined and smooth. Pour filling into crust and gently smooth surface.

Place in oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until filling sets. Turn off heat without opening oven door. Leave cake in oven until oven and cake are cooled, about one hour. Remove from oven  and chill for at least an hour. Serve plain or with fresh berries.

Saturday, February 13, 2016, 8am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market.  The professional football season is over, Advent has begun and the days are getting longer. What can you do but think about how to spend all that extra daylight time? Don’t worry about baking grain free staples! Come by and get some Power Bread and muffins for your week and don’t worry about sweating over a hot oven! Let us do it for you!
Sunday, February 14, 2016, 10am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market. Ah, love! For many today is a day of expressing it in simple or extravagant ways. Come by and get some sweet treats, like Chocolate “Cinn” Cashews, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies or sugar free, dairy free Coconut Macaroons! Regardless of how you spend the day, come out for some fresh air, a quiet stroll and check out all the hand made goods at the market!


If you come by my booth and tell me this week’s discount code you will get $1 off any purchase of $15 or more! The code for this week is LOVE!

Please feel free to forward and share this newsletter with anyone you like! I look forward to seeing you this weekend! Come on out and enjoy the predicted beautiful weather!

Grain Free Haven Newsletter and Discount Code – February 4, 2016


As with any diet there are temptations. Not just with what is on your “stay away from” list, but also what is on your “eat whenever you want” list and your “okay you can have it sometimes” list. Almond flour falls into the category of “okay you can have it sometimes” for my family’s grain free diet. It is good for you. It is not so good for you in excess, as with any nuts. Regardless, it tastes good.


Just like the coconut, the almond is not a true nut, but a drupe, comparable to the stone pit of a peach. It is considered a tree nut, when  most people refer to tree or other nut allergies.

Almonds are usually offered in nut form as whole, sliced, slivered, chopped and ground into meal or flour. Almonds are also made into a dairy milk substitute. When they are blanched they have a creamy color. When ground from their natural state, with the brown ‘skin’ on, there is a speckled look to the meal.

The good thing about almonds is they are nutritionally dense, giving you a hearty boost of Vitamin E and B vitamins. Their high level of protein, fat and fiber fill you up and help level out blood sugar. The bad thing for some people is they are high in calories and fat, which, when consumed as a snack and not a primary source of protein is fine, but in excess can cause bloating and an unnecessarily high consumption of calories. A  majority of the fat is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, so if fat is to be consumed, it is not a bad nut to rely on.

Almond milk is a lactose free alternative to traditional dairy milk. It is made by grinding almonds along with water, then straining the mixture to remove the nut pulp. It is often used as a one to one substitute for dairy milk.

Blanched almond flour is a result of removing the brown skin from the almond. The result is a light colored, smooth flour that makes for a more delicate result when making baked goods or marzipan. Removing the skin reduces the nutritional value of the almonds. Since the skin is full of flavanoids, the skin enhances the antioxidant power of almonds. Removing it reduces the impact of antioxidants.

Natural almond meal is a result of grinding the almonds with the skin on. It makes for a darker, more rough texture, which carries into any baked goods made with it. As noted above, including the skin when consumed increases the antioxidants available from the nuts.

I enjoy using both blanched almond flour for lighter, fluffier baked goods, while also enjoying the use of almond meal for heartier, more dense results.

The use of almonds in Grain Free Haven products is two fold.

Our Momma’s Mixed Nuts include almonds, along with walnuts and pecans. A handful of the Mixed Nuts as an afternoon snack is a great way to give you a boost of energy between lunch and dinner.

Almond meal is combined with coconut flour and other ingredients to make the various muffin flavors we make available each week. In comparison with coconut flour, almond meal is higher in calories, fat and protein, while being notably lower in carbohydrates and fiber. The almond meal is a great companion to coconut flour in our muffins, resulting in a quick and filling breakfast or snack. The meal and flour work wonderfully together to balance out the texture and moisture of the muffins, whether they are Banana Bread, Orange Ginger, Blueberry Lemon or Jalapeño Cheddar.


This pizza crust recipe is quicker and easier than a traditional wheat flour crust that needs to rise. Considering the crust is made primarily of cheese and almond flour it is also very filling, so a person who is used to eating half a pizza in one sitting would be wise to take a break after one or two very filling pieces. My family loves making two or more pizzas on a pizza night, allowing for plenty of leftovers and all palates to be appeased. Enjoy!

Almond Pizza Crust

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
6 Tbsp almond flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 eggs, beaten

Toppings (Suggested)

1/2 cup pizza sauce or tomato paste
1 cup mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese, grated and mixed
20-24 pepperoni slices
1/2 cup black olives, chopped
Sprinkling of finely chopped basil and oregano

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine in a medium bowl all crust ingredients except the eggs. When well combined add the eggs and stir with a fork until a moist dough forms.

Spread enough dough onto enameled pizza stone (preheat as directed) or baking sheet to have a layer about 1/4 inch deep. Bake the crust for no more than five minutes, allowing it to set and just begin to brown.

Lower oven temperature to 425 degrees. Remove crust from oven and add sauce, toppings and cheese.

Return to oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes, until top cheese is browning. Remove from oven and let cool for about ten minutes, allowing crust to set and toppings to cool. Slice and serve.

Saturday, February 6, 2016, 8am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market.  It is supposed to be a little chilly, but with wonderful blue skies! Come get some more Blueberry Lemon Muffins and balance them out with spicy Cajun Cashews! I know your Whole30 January Challenge is over, but they are still delicious!
Sunday, February 7, 2016, 10am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market. Yes, there is some big game playing on the television today, but it does not start until this evening after the market closes! Come down and stock up on snacks to enjoy during the commercials and get ready for the week with some grain free muffins and bread!


If you come by my booth and tell me this week’s discount code you will get $1 off any purchase of $15 or more! The code for this week is PIZZA!

Please feel free to forward and share this newsletter with anyone you like! I look forward to seeing you this weekend! Come on out and enjoy the predicted beautiful weather!

Grain Free Haven Newsletter and Discount Code – January 27, 2016


My family has experimented with all kinds of nut and seed meals to figure out what makes our eating experiences joyful and satisfying. One of the most satisfying ingredients has been flaxseeds and flaxseed meal. They are filling and give a convincing grain texture to baked goods. On top of everything else it is an extremely nutritious ingredient.


There are two basic types of flaxseeds–brown and golden. The brown have a stronger, nuttier flavor than the milder golden seeds.

Flax has been cultivated for more than a millenium, with the first evidence of the plant dating back 30,000 years. Fibers from the plant are used to make fabric and fine linens. The seeds are typically eaten whole or ground into a meal. This meal is the reason you are reading about flaxseeds right now. We use golden flaxseed meal when we add flaxseed to Grain Free Haven products.

Flaxseeds have four main components that are beneficial to the smooth functioning of our human bodies: omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber and lignans.

–Omega 3 fatty acids help support a healthy cardiovascular system by reducing internal inflammation.

–The protein in the seeds and meal help synthesize the fatty acids in your body and give you energy to move all day long. If you need to increase your protein intake and not interested in eating a big steak, then have a spoonful of flaxseeds!

–Fiber, as we all know, is necessary to help our bodies absorb vitamins and nutrients. People often rely on grains to consume a sufficient amount of fiber to keep their digestive system working smoothly. Such a high level of fiber in flaxseeds makes them a logical grain free source of it.

–Lignans are often found in high fiber foods and further contribute to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of flaxseeds. They have also shown promise, through the consumption of flaxseeds, in reducing the effects of menopause and pre-menopausal symtoms (like reducing hot flashes – yay!).

Our Power Buns and Loaves are made from a combination of coconut flour and golden flaxseed meal. They can be paired with any “meal” (see what I did there :-)) and  definitely fill you up. More products are coming up with flaxseed meal, as we rotate some of our other recipes at the weekly markets.


These buns are a great way to have buns for burgers or breakfast. They are less dense than our Power Buns and much quicker to make, while being a powerful source of omega 3 fatty acids, fiber and protein.
Microwave Flaxseed Buns
1 tablespoon butter or oil
1/2 to 1/3 cup golden flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash pure stevia powder (optional)
1 egg
In large microwaveable mug melt butter. Add flaxseed meal (a larger quantity of meal makes for a shorter, denser muffin), baking powder and stevia, then stir until butter is absorbed.
Add the egg and stir briskly until fully incorporated. Place mug in microwave. Cook on high one minute. If the center of the muffin is still sunken cook for 15-20 more seconds. Remove mug from microwave and immediately flip muffin out of mug. Let cool about five minutes and serve.
Saturday, January 30, 2016, 8am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market.  The warmer weather is bringing on thoughts of lighter flavors. Try our blueberry lemon muffins and chase those winter blues – heh – away!
Sunday, January 31, 2016, 10am-5pm: Dallas Farmers Market. We will have plenty of Power Buns and Loaves to keep you going all week! Stock up, along with our muffins and some fresh, organic produce from other market vendors!



If you come by my booth and tell me this week’s discount code you will get $1 off any purchase of $15 or more! The code for this week is BLUEBERRY!

Please feel free to forward and share this newsletter with anyone you like! I look forward to seeing you this weekend! Come on out and enjoy the predicted beautiful weather!