Gluten-Free Cooking & Living Class

Gluten Free Class Offered through Local Living Venture DSC00874

Gluten Free Valentine's Cake, see recipe below.

POTSDAM, NY -- The idea of "gluten free" is being talked about everywhere lately, and many people find that they are unable to tolerate the proteins found in gluten-containing grains, or just feel a lot better when they eliminate them from the diet.  Because of the need for basic, solid information on this subject, the Local Living Venture is presenting another in their series of "Nutritious Delicious" cooking seminars entitled ""Gluten Free Eating and Living" on on Thursday, February 27th in Potsdam, NY.

If you are curious about Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance or are wondering about going gluten free, it may all seem overwhelming. This informative session with local nutrition educator Paula Youmell, R.N. will give attendees the lay of the land from both a practical cooking discussion and demonstration to the very important health perspective.  Plus, attendees will help make, and then sample, some gluten-free whole foods.

Topics to be discussed include:  the basics of a gluten free diet; how to do it in a healthy and easy manner; how to avoid hidden gluten and cross contamination; and, cleaning out the kitchen of gluten products.  Many resources will also be shared for follow up.

Presenter Paula Youmell is an R.N., Certified Health Education and Lifetime Wellness/Fitness Teacher who has worked in the areas of holistic health, healing and whole foods for twenty-plus years.  Youmell is currently proprietor of Hands On Health Holistic Healing ( and has co-presented several seminars in this Nutritious Delicious series, including "How-To Cook Beans & Grains" and the "Baking with Whole Foods" classes.

The Local Living Venture (LLV) sponsors workshops promoting traditional rural and simple living skills with the motto "Sharing Knowledge from the Past - Building Skills for the Future."   A listing of upcoming resourceful living workshops and events are on the Workshop Schedule page at   New topics and local workshop presenters are always sought and welcome.

Co-sponsoring the event is the Potsdam Food Coop at 24 Elm St., Potsdam, NY  They strive to provide a pleasant shopping experience and working environment, with an emphasis on education, shared information and developing a relationship with the community. The Co-op ( carries local, natural and healthful foods and is open to the public (no membership required) from 8 a.m to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

Class size is limited so attendees must RSVP for the location in Potsdam, NY.  To register contact or (315) 347-4223 with your name(s), phone numbers, and number in party.  The class fee is a suggested donation of $15 per person, $5 for students. Partial scholarships are available upon request.

Cake Recipe (all ingredients are organic and grass fed, naturally raised)

Keep in mind I made this in my usual "throw stuff in a bowl and hope for the best" method.  Amounts are approximate based upon my throwing in the bowl and eyeballing the amounts.

2 eggs

1 cup milk

½ cup butter

1/3 cup unrefined cane juice sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla

3 tbsp. cocoa powder

1 tbsp. baking powder (I use a larger quantity because I do not use the fluffy fillers that most gluten free products use: potato & tapioca starch, white rice flour.  These filler ingredients are all refined foods and deplete body cell health.)

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. unrefined sea salt

100% whole grain, gluten-free flour mix - this was millet, amaranth, quinoa, teff and buckwheat that I ground just before making the cake.  Any gluten-free grain will do.  Certified gluten-free oat flour is great if you want to replicate a "normal" cake. Start with 1 1/4 cups of whole grain, gluten free flour.  Add as described below and let set for the 5-10 minutes.  Add more to make thicker if needed.  Cake batter is runnier than cookie or muffin batter.  Stir and use best judgement on the consistency.

1.  Mix wet ingredients and beat together well.  I melt the butter first and use a little bit to butter the cake pan.

2.  Add dry ingredients on top of wet and mix them in well.  Start with 1 cup of the flour.  When every ingredient is mixed together, set the bowl aside for 5-10 minutes.  Whole grain flour soaks up liquid.  It is easier to add more flour, a little at a time, than to try and add more liquid.

3.  Check batter consistency after 5-10 minutes.  If too runny for cake, add a bit more flour and check again in a few minutes.  Batter is ready when it is at the consistency of cake batter.  Not sure what that means?  Well, runnier than cookies or muffins but a bit thicker than pan cakes.  That is my best explanation, play in the kitchen and these things become second nature.

4.  I baked in my 6" round, 2 1/2" deep Pyrex bowl to make a small cake.

5.  Bake at 350 F for about 40 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

6.  Allow to cool for 30 minutes or so and remove from baking dish.

7.  Allow to cool completely.  Slice in 1/2 to fill between layers.  Fill and top with other half of cake & frost.

Frosting (again, all organic and from naturally raised, grass fed animals)

1/2 pint heavy cream

1 package Neufchatel cheese (lower fat, higher protein cream cheese)

3 tbsp. maple syrup

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1.  Blend all frosting ingredients together until thick like frosting.

2.  Separate into 2 bowls, 1/2 frosting in each bowl.

3.  Add grape juice or black cherry juice concentrate to make the frosting pink.  I added about 1/4 cup of the concentrate (do NOT reconstitute this concentrate).

4.  I used the fruit juice colored frosting to fill between the layers and make the heart on top.

Grains and Beans Cooking Class

Grains and Beans Cooking


This is a class I co-teach with Chelle Lindahl of the Local Living Venture.  It is a great class to learn new cooking skills and add some new food choices (cheap ones!) to your menu whether you are vegetarian, vegan, meat & potato, omnivore, carnivore, etc.  

Adds some fun living skills to your life and new tastes/smells/textures for your senses!

Tuesday, December 3rd, 5-7 PM in Potsdam.

Only a few spaces left... don't hesitate if you are interested!

All proceeds support the Local Living Venture:

Click the below link to view the workshop poster with all pertinent information!

NutritiousDelicious Beans PDF 2013

"Cooking To Transform Your Health" Class

Cooking to Transform YOUR Health!!!

Free Weight Loss Report: email me  

The benefits of Health Counseling in a group class, at a group price! 

Class Dates:   Sunday: January 20th, Saturday: February 2nd and Feb 9th, 2013   

Time:  3-5 PM    1st Class, 1/20/13, will run until 5:30 PM

Location:  166 County Route 59, Potsdam         Call or email for directions

Price:  $150    Cost of sessions on private client basis:  $350

Send Payment to:  Paula Youmell  PO Box 115  Hannawa Falls, NY  13647 To pay via PayPal:  send payment to

Class Content: Whole Food Nutrition with Creative cooking Getting sugar and processed foods out of your diet, Cleaning out your kitchen and creating a healing cooking space, Learning to read labels / shop for healthy food / eat out and eat healthy, The Importance of eating locally / seasonally / organically and its positive impacts, Adding movement to your life for longevity Reducing stress and making room for life Whole health living and much more!

Benefits to you when you live this Whole Health Lifestyle:  Better kitchen confidence & cooking skills Lose weight, Feel great, look great Sleep better, Have more natural energy Improve your fitness Feed yourself and your family nourishing foods so everyone benefits! Detox the body, repair damage and inflammation, decrease and prevent symptoms of disease

Decrease risk for cancer, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease..... any disease

Brain functions better, memory and intelligence are enhanced

Improves moods, patience levels

Keeps blood pressure, cholesterol, insulin levels in check

Curbs cravings for unhealthy foods Improve your health and healing for your entire lifetime! And so many more positive health impacts! What you will receive from this class:     6 ½ hours of class time Email support between sessions

Educational emails with attached handouts after every Saturday class Educational emails every Monday with attached handouts to enhance the class experience

Inspirational emails every Friday to support and encourage you with your health & healing goals

Whole Health perspective around food, cooking, and life style choices Take your health back into your own hands with education, guidance, support and being held accountable for making personal change.

Class space is limited; call now to reserve your space in your cooking, health and healing class!  Client testimonial:  I have worked 1 on 1 with Paula, every two weeks, for 10 months.  Her knowledge of health, nutrition, healing and how to make lasting lifestyle changes is amazing.  I knew, going into this process that the change had to come from me, I had to be committed.  She has given me the tools to make better choices and create change I can sustain for life.  My health and happiness have truly improved!  D. Marshall


If you would like personalized attention around food, health, healing, herbs, Reiki and/or living a more natural lifestyle, please contact Paula Youmell to set up a Nutrition and Health Consultation.  She can be reached at the contact information above.

Enjoy radiant health today and every day!

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