Gluten and Depression

PET scan of depress and not depressed brain
PET scan of depressed and not depressed brain
Gluten and Depression
Do we feel unhappy because of our lack of familiar foods as we get diagnosed, or is there a more complex answer for the depression that frequently accompanies gluten sensitivity?

The gut and brain communicate via the nervous system, hormones in the bloodstream, and the immune system. Some of the bacteria in our digestive tract (microbiome) can release neurotransmitters, just like our own neurons do, speaking to the brain in its own language via the vagus nerve.

And what a mixture of bacteria that can be!

How To Peel and Cook a Squash

Butternut Squash- How to Cut, peel and use in recipes

My daughters are sixteen, at that time of life when getting information from Mom is fraught with having to actually hang out with me and learn.

No, that isn't quite right.

I have amazing daughters. They are smart, courageous, playful, athletic, charming, funny, gorgeous and brilliant. Yes, I might be biased,  just a bit.

They are also teenagers, so getting their full attention for a task or lesson about cooking is a bit harder than when they were little.

Girls Cooking circa 2005
Sometimes, I wish they were still small. 

They got their first chef's knives at seven. 
Back then, the idea of being beside an adult cooking was one of their favorite things to do.

We must have done something right because now they are both working, cooking at a Food truck in town.
Yes, at sixteen, they have a job that balances timing, seasoning and presentation for paying clients.

We are truly proud.

But the other day, Katie asked how to cook a squash, a whole squash.

Herb Biscuits Gluten Free

This is one of those recipes I keep taped up inside a cupboard door.

One I use so frequently that I almost have it memorized.
My husband is a bit of a country guy, he believes that biscuits make any meal better.
Our girls agree, so anytime they can, they ask for biscuits with a meal.

Does not matter if it is breakfast, where I tend to call them scones and add a bit of sweetness to the dough.
Or Dinner, when I tend to get all savory, adding herbs, a bit of spice and maybe even some cheese.
Frequently enough, nut flours get involved as well.

One daughter is fending off a cold.  It is already that time of the year, when new classmates have brought along all the fun and new viruses from far away.  She is in her first year of college, and having a great time. It is also bouldering season, and that means she needs to get healthy FAST!

So when she asked for herb biscuits to go along with her Butternut Squash Soup,  how could I refuse?

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup with Cashew Cream

Some nights I'm amazed that there is any dinner on the table at all.

Between work, writing, school, homework, volunteer work, team practices-complete with the 5 hours of driving for one daughter, and getting them to their jobs, some days dinner is the last thing planned.
Vegan Butternut Squash Soup with Cashew Sour Cream -Gluten free recipe

I try to get all organized on Sundays, just so I don't have to stop and think so much when 5pm rolls around each day.
But frequently, all I have is an already roasted off something in the fridge and a vague idea of how to use it. My Sunday prep is likely to include roasting off squash, beets, onions, garlic-heck just about any vegetable.  Hubs likes to be the Pitmaster - smoking a pork shoulder till it falls off of the bone.

Somehow, no matter how hard I try to have a well planned out dinner, life intervenes.

Vegan Cashew Sour Cream without Presoaking

Step by step- Vegan Cashew Sour Cream recipe from @drjeanlayton

I'm always short on time.

At least once a day, I wish I had a couple of extra hours to make the foods my family loves, but ones that take just a bit of time to prepare.
In my most perfect world, all food preparation would have the extensive time and ingredients tneeded to create the perfect results.

And someday, that perfect tiny world might manifest.  In the mean time, I need to get dinner on the table within 20 minutes of coming home most nights. I've got hungry athletes to feed, and a husband who routinely skips lunch, who'll dive right into the organic corn chips with the slightest delay.

One of our daughters does her best to avoid dairy products, they just don't work for her body.
I try to avoid some as well, especially if I'm dealing with a lot of colds exposure at work.
I like to make substitutions for dairy when I can, switching off between coconut and nut based creations.

But all the recipes I've found for these nut based cream substitutes require thinking about the process hours before.
Soak the nuts for 3 hours, but not more than 8 is a frequent enough theme in the many, many recipes I've looked at for inspiration.


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