Monthly Archives: December 2012

Porketta (GAPS/SCD/GF)



Porketta is a childhood favorite of mine.  I remember having it around the holidays…the local grocery store sold it ready-to-bake.   I can only venture a guess that it was laden with MSG and other nasties that I don’t care to eat…and who really wants all that in their food anyhow?  I recently found a recipe for it in the December 2012 issue of Food and Wine magazine (this link shows the step by step for you) and decided I had to make it.  I made a couple mild adaptations for us GAPSters.  I’ll share the recipe as it was written as well as my adaptations, and you can decide what best suits your tastes and/or dietary needs.

Anyhow, I’m jumping the gun a bit.  I just put it in the oven an hour ago, and I have no proof it will turn out good yet, but it smells fabulous so I’m venturing a guess it will be fine. 🙂  And I felt compelled to share.  Also, I messed up on it and missed a step…and I just realized that I forgot the garlic too (GASP!) but it will hopefully turn out stellar anyhow.  I’ll probably add a little raw chopped garlic after I slice it.  Nobody’s perfect! 🙂

Porketta (GAPS/SCD/GF):   

**Note that total prep time is 2 days for brining and seasoning.  In my rush…I missed this so only brined for a day and did not have time to season for a day.  Just thought I’d better point that out in case there are other sloppy cooks out there too who don’t always read as thoroughly as they should…ha ha.

BRINE:  10 rosemary sprigs (I used dry)

10 bay leaves (again, I used dry)

3 heads of garlic, smashed

1/3 c. juniper berries (I purchased bulk Frontier brand from the local co-op)

3 T. black peppercorns

2 T. fennel seeds

1 T. crushed red pepper

1 1/4 c. kosher salt (I used canning salt, which appeared to have no other ingredients than salt.  I am too cheap to burn through that much of my Real Salt in one recipe! :-))

1/4 c. sugar (see below but personally, if I chose to use sugar, I’d use something like rapadura which is more unrefined)

2 T. honey (****Note to GAPSters…I omitted the sugar and just used the same amount of honey + this 2 T.)

One 9 pound meaty pork belly with skin (I special ordered my pastured beauty from a local farmer…)

RUB:  1 1/2 T. fennel seeds

1 tsp juniper berries

3/4 tsp black peppercorns

3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (in a perfect world I would have had this but I didn’t so I just used powdered nutmeg!)

3/4 tsp crushed red pepper

3 T. finely chopped rosemary (I used my coffee grinder for this)

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1)  BRINE THE BELLY:  In a large pot, add the rosemary, bay leaves, garlic, juniper berries, peppercorns, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper and 1 gallon of water.  Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes.  Add the salt, sugar/and or honey and stir until dissolved.  Pour the brine into a large roasting pan and cool.  Add the pork belly, skin side up.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2)  MAKE THE RUB:  In a small skillet, toast and fennel, juniper and peppercorns for a minute or two.  Cool, the grind to a powder (again, I used a coffee grinder, works slick).  Stir in the nutmeg, red pepper, rosemary and garlic.  Drain the pork belly, pick off spices.  With the belly skin side down, rub the meaty side with the spices.  Refrigerate the pork uncovered overnight.

3)  BAKE YOUR PORKETTA!:  Before roasting, I rolled mine up (from the short end) and tied it tightly with cooking twine at 2″ intervals, and put it in a roasting pan.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake covered in a roasting pan for one hour.  Then, lower the heat to 300 degrees and roast for 2 hours and 15 minutes longer, until the skin is deep brown and crisp and an instant read theremeter inserved in the center registers 185 degrees.  I’ll leave it covered until the last 1/2 hour or so, and then bake uncovered, to let it brown up.  (And I frankly have my doubts about this timing…this is a big hunk of meat!  So, use your own discretion and allow enough time for your own purposes…I’m just guessing it will take longer.)  Anyhow…when it’s finished, transfer the porketta to a cutting board and let it rest for 20 minutes.  Remove the twine and slice 1/2″ thick.

I wish I had broccoli rabe – I think that sauteed rabe with garlic would be heavenly with this…but I don’t have any so I think we’ll settle for buttered carrots tonight.

A couple of tips offered by “Food and Wine” magazine:  This porketta can be prepared through Step 5 and refrigerated overnight.  They also recommend for leftovers:   Folded into an omelet with goat cheese and  scallions…or a sandwich with ciabatta bread, melted provolone and sauteed broccoli rabe for any bread eaters out there. 🙂  We can’t eat goat cheese or ciabatta bread around here…but that does sound good!!!

And a tip offered by me:  If you can’t find these spices and herbs locally, Mountain Rose Herbs has a great selection and I think you can find it all here.  I am not an affiliate at this time, and am offering this info as a public service only.

Have a Happy New Year!!!

This post was shared at Cooking Traditional Foods Traditional Tuesdays; Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays; GNOWFGLINS Simple Lives Thursday; Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday;


Non-Clinical Cognitive Observations from a GAPS Mama


I’m going to preface this post with:  I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  I AM NOT A PSYCHIATRIST.  But I do know my child.  So take this for what it’s worth, it is my merely my humble, non-clinical opinion (and my husband’s).  Any nay-sayers or Doubting Thomases…keep on movin’ and keep it to yourselves.

My three year old and I have been on the GAPS Diet since February.  10 months.   We’ve learned alot along the way.  I’ll post the link to where we were at last summer for your reference, and if you’re reading about GAPS for the first time, it will give you a little more info…

Cool new things:  she has healed enough to be able to eat cheese and nuts, although being previously moderately allergic to dairy and all nuts.  Even a couple months ago, they were giving her diarrhea, eczema flares and causing some behaviors we didn’t much care for…so we removed them from her diet for awhile.  Being able to eat these foods has been a really positive change for her, and allows a few more options.   I won’t get much into the physical stuff that is no longer an issue…because we really had alot of that taken care previously and I talked about most of it in the GAPS Part 3 link shown above.

We never really thought that she had any cognitive issues before GAPS, or at least much outside of grumpiness.  I stated in the GAPS Part 3 post that at that time, I felt she had some sensory issues, and I’ll stick by that.  I don’t really know what else to call it.  She has always been extremely bright, and social when she wants to be.  Maybe we were just really focused on her physical health.  Maybe it didn’t click until we saw such dramatic sudden improvement.  Don’t really have an answer for that.  But when she started healing more…it was OBVIOUS.

A few months back, we were having issues with lots and lots (and lots) of screaming tantrums, that seemed to last indefinitely.  All day during times when we were home.  I’ll take the blame for the last bad bout we had…I was stupid human and I thought she’d be able to “cheat” at the State Fair just once, and eat some gluten free fries.  WRONG.  After that she went backwards and we started seeing alot more of the screaming tantrums, “fuzzy” behavior and rubbing her ears, and being more quiet and reserved socially.  Our setback lasted about a month and a half (I’ll include myself in this…fair fries…GF or not…BAD IDEA) and as suddenly as it started, it ended.  Even now, I really don’t know what happened to cause the dramatic shift in her behavior except that I have chalked it up to detoxing and/or further healing.  I can’t pinpoint one specific thing so that’s my best guess.

Things got a little better a month and a half after the fry incident…and they kept getting better.  About a month ago, we really started seeing some great stuff from her.  Her screaming tantrums are now what are typical for three year olds…fairly few and far between and redirectable.  Her speech has advanced alot suddenly, and she is cracking jokes and making witty comments, and she’s knows she’s witty.  Her level of facial animation is amazing, and she knows that her “funny faces” are a HOOT.  And best of all…she is initiating hugs and kisses and LOVE.  She has always been a very cuddly and clingy child, but it wasn’t until this change that I realized that she was seeking comfort more than she was actually showing love.  She started to tell us “I love you!” which she has never done before (this is personally my favorite part 🙂 ).   My big kids started to say this around age 2, and she is almost 4.  While we gave it no thought when she wasn’t saying it (figured it was just her personality)…it is obvious to both my husband and I that this is all part of her change and healing because it is all happening at the same time and is so sudden.  No, I don’t think it’s because she’s “feeling better” or because she’s “growing up”.  I think that based on what I’ve read from the “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” book and everything we’ve learned along the way, her brain is finally detoxifying.  I have long suspected that she was storing mercury and other toxic elements, and now maybe I’ll never know.  Which isn’t all bad.  We can just focus on HER.

Thank you Lord for giving us the tools to heal our child…and help her to be who You meant her to be. 🙂  I am forever grateful.  This all makes me so excited for the end result…so stay tuned!

This post was shared at The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter; Real Food Freaks Freaky Friday; Cultured Palate’s Tasty Traditions; Butter Believer’s Sunday School Blog Carnival; Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania; Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesdays; Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays; Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays; Cooking Traditional Foods Traditional Tuesdays;

Minty Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows (GAPS/GF/Dairy Free)


We love cocoa around here, and being on the GAPS Diet isn’t going to stop that.  Dr. Natasha says that after you have had some healing take place…cacao powder is OK.  It is up to you to decide if you’re ready…so here goes.  This is also a great dairy free cocoa option.

Minty Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows (GAPS/GF/Dairy Free)

1-8.75 oz box of coconut cream (I get mine here…although unfortunately…they are out of stock right now.   You could sub out coconut milk, and probably just use slightly less water.  I didn’t try it this way so that’s just an educated guess. :-))

5-6 c. filtered water

1/2 c. raw honey

1/4-1/2 c. cacao powder (depending on how chocolatey you like it)

1/4 tsp peppermint extract (Flavorganics brand is GF)

Put all ingredients in pot, mix until smooth, heat thoroughly.  Voila!          (6-7 servings)


We topped our cocoa with these fabulous marshmallows from The Urban Poser…they are AWESOME!!!!!

We sipped our cocoa tonight and snacked on these awesome Raspberry Hamantaschen cookies from Elana’s Pantry.  Mine looked nowhere near as pretty as hers…but they sure were good. 🙂

I would like to add a disclaimer.  With the hamantaschen cookies – I swapped out honey for agave to make them GAPS legal.   And yes, we used honey for the cocoa and marshmallows…on GAPS it is the only allowed sweetener.  We are totally used to it…however…if you think you’d find the flavor “too much” and don’t have to worry about GAPS legalities…please feel free to use something different.

This post was shared at:  The Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania; The Prairie Homestead’s Homestead Barn Hop; Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesdays; Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays; The Tasty Alternative’s Allergy Free Wednesdays; Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays; Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter; GNOWFGLINS Simple Lives Thursday; Real Food Freaks Freaky Friday; Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday; The Liberated Kitchen’s GAPS Friendly Fridays; The Cultured Palate’s Tasty Traditions;