Gluten-free and paleo bakeries have finally reached "flyover country." The Organic Cave (3323-1 Domain Street, St. Charles; 636-541-7321), located in St. Charles County, is a gluten-, grain-, GMO-, soy- and dairy/casein-free bakery that uses no processed sugars. Even without these items, the bakery is still able to craft a variety of delicious treats for its customers, with a menu featuring muffins, cookies, cakes and biscuits.
Owners and wives Nichole and Angel DiGiuseppi opened the Organic Cave just last month, on December 2. Nestled between farms and the cute condominium complex New Town, the Organic Cave is most certainly a destination bakery. The duo's endeavors into specialty baking are primarily health-based.
After a friendly visit to their doctor, the two found out that some of their health issues would decrease if they stopped eating processed foods. They tried the "30-Day Paleo Challenge," cutting out all foods that weren't available to cavemen during the Paleolithic age.
"I ate your standard American low-fat, high-carb diet," Nichole says. "I ate sugar all the time -- I was a total sugar addict, still am. The doctor told me to cut out all the processed sugar, and I thought there was no way I could do it. So we tried it and it worked; we felt great. I had migraines that bothered me all the time, and those cleared up. I had thyroid issues that I've always had, but noticed that my weight was stabilizing. Angel has dealt with asthma all her life -- her asthma definitely acts up if she eats wheat."
Nichole and Angel started experimenting with ingredients at home, substituting almond and coconut flour for rice flour. They began using eggs, bananas, apples and soy- and dairy-free chocolate chips, and sweetening with raw honey or Stevia instead of processed sugars. They traded vegetable and canola oil for coconut oil. Once they perfected their art, they fed their treats to family and friends, soon moving on to the farmer's market in Lake St. Louis.
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