Category Archives: Paleo

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cauliflower Tortillas

Once upon a time (not too long ago) I received an email from a sweet girl named Lauren informing me about her new blog: Empowered Sustenance.  Like me, Lauren has been diagnosed with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease).  I was thrilled to learn that Lauren followed a SCD/Paleo diet, used real food to heal and had some awesome nut-free recipes.  Well, I’m am sure you’ve heard of Lauren by now.  Her blog has rightfully become a powerful source in the grain free, holistic healing blogosphere.  I am so very thankful she started blogging.  I reference her blog constantly regarding the many topics she covers and recipes she shares.  And speaking of recipes, I wanted to share a recipe of hers that I have been making since, well, she published the post: Cauliflower Wraps.  Literally the day after her post came out I made her cauliflower wraps and I’ve been making them ever since.  Over the months I’ve tried to make my own version, but it became clear that I didn’t need to reinvent the wheel here.  Her recipe is perfect and I love it.  See below for my slight modifications to the process.  I started making smaller versions of her wraps to use as “tortillas.”  We are big fans of taqueria night and when I can, I try to follow a grain free diet.  Her wraps work absolutely perfect as little tortillas and I actually pile on the ingredientsand they do great.  So my friends, take all the “OMG my kitchen smells like a garbage can now from the cauliflower” comments with a grain of salt.  It’s not that terrible.  So go for it, and be sure to thank Lauren for this awesome recipe.  
Cauliflower Tortillas 
Recipe inspired by: Lauren from Empowered Sustenance 
Ingredients:
-1 head of cauliflower 
-4 eggs
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-3/4 teaspoon garlic granules 
-1/2 teaspoon Mexican seasoning/spices (optional)

How To:
1.  Cut the cauliflower into florets
2.  Add 1/2 of the florets to a food processor and pulse until they are a crumb like texture, then pulse a little further until a fine texture is achieved.  Remove the cauliflower and add it to a steamer basket.  Add the remaining florets to the food processor and repeat, adding this batch now to the steamer.  Add in 3/4 cup water to the pot and steam for 8 minutes.  
3.  After steaming, the cauliflower will be HOT, so I like to spread it out on a plate to cool.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees 
4.  After it has cooled, I use my nut milk bag to squeeze out ALL the water from the cauliflower.  THIS STEP WILL MAKE OR BREAK THE TORTILLAS!  You must squeeze all the water out as much as your can.  I’ve found the less moisture, the better results.
5.  Add the cauliflower to a bowl.  To the bowl also add in the eggs and spices.  Mix well.  It will look like a batter.  Somewhat thick.
6.  Fit some parchment paper on top of two baking pans.  
7.  Spoon the batter onto the parchment paper.  I get about 6 out of this recipe, so three on each pan. 
8.  The trick is to evenly spread the batter in a circle.  And as Lauren states, keep the batter compact – there should be no parchment showing through any area of the tortilla.
9.  Bake for 17 minutes.  After they bake, I flip mine over and give them another 2 minutes.  
10.  Remove from parchment and transfer to a cooling rack.  

Notes:
*I prefer to make these earlier in the day.  I store them in the fridge and simply heat on a pan before I serve.
*I cannot offer any subs for the eggs, and I’ve only made these with eggs.  
*The cauliflower is not overwhelming and they don’t taste to “eggy” either.   
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Labels: GAPS, grain free, main dish, Paleo, SCD.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Lemon Garlic Baked Chicken w/ Lemon Garlic Gravy (Paleo, SCD, GAPS)

Any gravy lovers out there?  Mmmmm, I LOVE the stuff.  I like it thick, creamy, and bursting with flavor.  I don’t reserve gravy for JUST the holidays.  No ma’am.  I like it all year round.  I’ve been making this recipe for over a year now and finally sharing it.  It’s super easy and adds a little panache to the usual weeknight dinner.  Anyone else enjoy gravy year round?  I have made this with turkey drippings before and it as fabulous (just a FYI with turkey day right around the corner)….what!  Man, I can’t believe it’s already September.  
Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken w/ Lemon Garlic Gravy


Ingredients:

Chicken
-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
-1 cup chopped yellow onions
-3 tablespoons oil
-1/4 cup filtered water
-2 teaspoons garlic granules (or 2 chopped garlic cloves)
-1 teaspoon salt
-6 to 8 lemon slices
-0.3 ounces fresh thyme with stems (about 7 small stems)

How To: 
1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees 
2.  Arrange the chicken in a large glass Pyrex baking dish.  Add the oil, water, salt, garlic granules, sprinkle the onions around, top with two lemon slices per chicken breast, and fresh thyme. 
3.  Cover and bake for 35 minutes.  Make sure internal temp is at least 180 degrees.  I use my stainless steel baking sheet as a cover (I don’t use foil in my kitchen).
4.  When the chicken is done, remove each breast from the baking dish and let rest on a plate
5.  Now make the gravy

Gravy
-All the liquid from baked chicken (just over 1 cup)
-2 of the baked lemon slices
-1/2 teaspoon garlic grans (or 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh)
-1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons raw cashews 
-Salt and pepper to taste 


How To:
1.  Remove all the thyme and baked lemons from the baking dish (reserve 2 lemon slices).
2.  Pour all the liquid, including all the onions, and the 2 baked lemon slices from the baking dish into a blender.  
3.  To the liquid add the cashews, garlic, and salt/pepper (if needed).
4  Blend on high for 20 seconds and until smooth and creamy.
5. Add more cashews for thicker gravy, add some water to thin it out.  

Notes:
*I use a lot of garlic granules because garlic is not always in season at my Coop.  I rely on garlic granules (which I purchase in bulk).  

Shown below with the chicken and gravy is 
roasted and pureed butternut squash
This gravy also goes GREAT with my

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Labels: GAPS, main dish, Paleo, SCD.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Raw Nutella Bites

I’ve had Nutella on my mind since making my nut-free version.  I was thinking about the hazelnut/chocolate combination and how popular it is and how pleasing the taste.  And I was thinkinghow about something bite size with this ever so popular pairing.  I’ve had some soaked and dehydrated hazelnuts in the fridge for daaaays, so I was happy to use them in something.  These are very portable little snacks.  The dates make it possible to carry at room temperature.  Nice treat for mommies and kids alike.  
Raw Nutella Bites

Ingredients:

-1 1/3 cups of hazelnuts soaked and dehydrated
-7 pitted Medjool dates
-3 tablespoons raw cacao powder (I do 2 T cacao and 1 T raw carob powder
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
-2 tablespoons honey (vegans use maple syrup, coconut nectar, or 10 drops liquid stevia)
-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
-Pinch of salt

How To:
1.  In a food processor, add in the hazelnuts and process for 20 seconds.
2.  Add in the pitted dates, cacao, vanilla, honey, coconut oil and salt andpulse, pulse, pulse, then process until everything is well incorporated.
3.  With clean hands, form little balls and cover a few with shredded coconut if you wish.
4.  You can eat them at room temperature, or store in the fridge for later.
Makes about 12 

Posted by Amber at

Labels: dessert, Paleo, raw, snacks.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Snack Time: Sophisticated ~ Prosciutto Wrapped Figs w/ a Drizzle of Honey

While getting ready for a most recent play date, I thought it would be fun to give the mommies a little snack time treat, something a littlesophisticated.  As I packed the usual homemade treat, apples, and carrot sticks for the kiddos, I also began wrapping some gorgeous figs with freshly cut prosciutto.  A quick bake in the oven, with a little drizzle of honey, and perhaps the easiest and most delicious snack was born.  I had a strong craving for something sweet and savory and this beyond satisfied.  I was also quite pleased when my mommy friend raved about the flavor combination.  They were delightful.  I’m obsessed.  I hope you will give these a try.    
Prosciutto Wrapped Figs w/ a Drizzle of Honey  

Ingredients:
-10 fresh Black Mission Figs 
-1/3 pound fresh cut prosciutto (if you have it in your deliit’s cheaper to have it cut than buy it packaged)*
-Drizzle of honey

How To:
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.  Wash, dry, trim off the stem, and slice the figs in half 
3.  Remove the prosciutto from the fridge and layer them on top of one another
4.  Cut down the middle to make two rows of prosciutto
5.  Begin rolling up the figs in the prosciutto
6.  Bake for 12 minutes 
7.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then lightly drizzle with honey
Makes 20 little individual servings and best served at room temperature

Notes:
*Green Kitchen Tips: for the prosciutto, take a glass container (such as a Pyrex or glass lock n’ locks) instead of having the prosciutto cut and put into paper packaging. Use Carebags instead of plastic bags for the figs. 
*Utilize the deli!  I don’t think people use the deli for fresh cut meats.  I never buy packaged meat, as it’s cheaper to have it sliced in the deli, and I then have the green option of bringing in my own container and thus using less paper and plastic waste.  Deli’s will generally have prosciutto – go for a locally made variety (cheaper than the stuff from Italy too).  
*Proscuitto drys out fast, so try and use it shortly after you buy it.  It will last longer if stored in an airtight container. 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: appetizer, GAPS, Paleo, SCD, snacks.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Homemade NUT-Free Nutella

 
The Nutella you’ll find in the store is made up of 55% refined sugar.  Yep.  There’s dairy in there too, along with soy and yes a few hazelnuts   I wouldn’t call this a health food…or even a healthy choice for breakfast (or any time of the day).  Okay, let’s put this into perspective…eating Nutella is like eating a milk chocolate bar for, what some would agree, is the most important meal of the day.  Now if that’s your thing, than you go for it, but you know how I feel about cane-sugar, so I say boo to Nutella.  They were actually sued for mislabeling as a “health food.”  Ha ha, I think they considered it healthy because it had a few hazelnuts in there.  I love indulgences as much as the next gal, but I try REALLY hard to make good choices when it comes to food, especially when it comes to my kiddos.  If something can be made at home, I give it a go.  Now Nutella, what is the appeal here really?  It’s the CHOCOLATE! It spreads.  It’s sweet.  It’s different…okay, so it’s clearly appealing.  Agreed.  I mean, it’s chocolate in a jar!  So I’ve created a chocolaty, sweet, spreadable, and nut free version that is quite a tasty alternative.  I actually use carob when I make this, as it’s better for our inflammatory issues.  Whether you use carob or chocolate, it’s fun to mix it up for snack time.  Give it a go and let me know what you think.  
Homemade NUT-Free Nutella 
Ingredients:
-6 large dates
-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
-1/3 cup homemade sunflower seed butter or this brand is good too.
-3 tablespoons raw cacao powder  or carob powder.
-2 tablespoons honey (vegans use grade B maple syrup, coconut nectar, or yacon syrup)
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
-Tiny pinch of salt
How To:
1.  Seed the dates and soak them in water for 2 to 3 hours.
2.  Drain the dates (save the date water for smoothies) and add the dates to a food processor with all the other above ingredients.
3.  Blend until well incorporated.
4.  Store spread in fridge.  Allow it to sit at room temperature for a bit so it softens up.  Makes it easier to spread.
Notes:
*This recipe is also fabulous with carob powder (instead of the cacao)
*Can’t do dates?  Try the same amount of figs or 1 cup of raisins – soak as you would the dates.
Here is a date free version I tried that’s not as creamy, but still delicious and spreadable:
-1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid state
-1/2 cup homemade sunflower seed butter or cashew butter
-3 tablespoons raw cacao
-2 tablespoons honey (vegans use grade B maple syrup, coconut nectar, or yacon syrup)
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-Tiny pinch of salt
(Blend everything in a food processor)
Here is a picture of this date-free version at room temp.
It gets really firm in the fridge – sort of tastes like fudge!
*
Posted by Amber at

Labels: allergy-friendly, dessert, dips and spreads, nut free, Paleo, snacks.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Zughetti with Roasted Butternut Squash, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Baked Chicken Topped with Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce


I don’t know about you, but I am always on the hunt for dinner ideas.  I like to keep things fresh and different.  For one, it helps me stay motivated to cook the dinner, and two, I think variety is important.  I made this last week for dinner and everyone loved it.  For me, the cashew cream sauce really made the dish and the overall favors were quite pleasing.  The sweet butternut squash is nicely complimented by the sweet and tart tomatoes.  The savory chicken adds in a nice texture and the fresh herbs with their earthy, fresh taste.  The sauce is lemony with just the right amount of garlic, light and so creamy.  You can add as much or as little sauce as you like…or none at all.  It’s sort of like an Alfredo sauce, but it won’t kill your gut.  Vegetarians can leave out the chicken and add more veggies or white beans would be great.  
Salud. 
Zughetti with Roasted Butternut Squash, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Baked Chicken Topped with Lemon Garlic Cashew Sauce 
(SCD, GAPS, Paleo)

Ingredients:

Zughetti 
  
-1 medium butternut squash
-2 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
-2 pounds chicken 
-3 1/2 pounds zucchini
-A handful of fresh parsley and/or basil

Lemon Garlic Cashew Cream Sauce
2 cups cashews soaked 4 – 6 hours

-1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups filtered water
-1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
-2 teaspoons garlic granules (or 1 fresh clove)
-1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

How To:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400.
2.  Prepare the butternut squash by peeling and cubing.  Add to a baking dish with 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and 2 teaspoons garlic granules (optional).  Set aside. 
3.  Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.  Place them open face in a baking dish.  Sprinkle with oil and salt.  Set aside.
4.  Add the chicken to a baking dish.  Add in salt, onion granules and garlic granules (to your flavor preference, I do about 1 1/2 teaspoons of each).  Add in 1/4 cup water.  Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil.  Set side.
5.  When the oven comes to temp, put everything into the oven together (the butternut, tomatoes, and chicken).  Set timer for 30 minutes.  This should be enough time for the tomatoes and chicken to finish (check for chicken’s internal temp to be 180 degrees or more).  The butternut squash takes about 45 minutes.  So set the timer for an extra 15.  
6.  While everything is roasting and baking, make your zughetti and the cashew cream sauce.
7.  For the zughetti, peel, trim ends, and spiralize the zucchini.  Boil for 8 minutes in water.  Allow to drain while you make the cashew cream sauce.  
8.  For the cashew cream sauce add the soaked and drained cashews to a blender along with all the other ingredients.  Add in 1 1/4 cups water for a thicker sauce, and the 1 1/2 cups for a thinner sauce (as shown above).
9.  When everything is out of the oven, build the dish.  Zughetti, butternut, chicken, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and drizzle on that sauce!
Posted by Amber at

Labels: chicken recipes, GAPS, main dish, Paleo, SCD, summer cuisine.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Zughetti with Mushroom Fennel Pasta Sauce (SCD/GAPS/Paleo)

I was surprised by the interest in this recipe I posted on FB last week.  I figure zucchini pasta is such old news by now as I’ve been making my sun dried tomato and artichoke heart zucchini pasta for about a year and a half (and freaking LOVE it).  Also check out my raw pesto sauce with zucchini and carrot noodles.  Well, turning squash into noodles may be a standard in our house, but it’s not common for everyone.  Anyway, it’s a good reminder that everybody is on a different journey and at different points on their journey.  This recipe is near and dear to my heart.  The meat sauce is based on my Gramie’s pasta sauce recipe.  I love making it because the smells bring me right back into her kitchen.  As you might know from reading my blog, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up and lived with them for many years of my life (in childhood and as a teenager).  And I was exposed to my Gramie’s deep, devout love for food and her passionate cooking and baking (everything was from scratch).  I made a few adjustments from the original pasta sauce recipe, but it’s still wonderful and lovely and if she were still alive today, I have no doubt she would gobble this upand laugh hysterically at these funky little non-pasta noodles.
 Zughetti with Mushroom Fennel Pasta Sauce 
  
Ingredients:
-3 to 4 pounds of zucchini (I do 3 1/2 lbs)
Sauce

-2 1/4 cups homemade marinara sauce or THIS is my favorite store brand (it’s in a glass jar, organic, and salt free)

-2 pounds ground turkey 
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-1 chopped fennel bulb (1 1/4 cup)
-2 cups chopped mushrooms
-1/4 cup coconut vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
-1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or sub: honey, maple syrup)
-2 tablespoons coconut oil + 2 tablespoons coconut oil 
-1 teaspoons salt + 1/2 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon 
-2 teaspoons garlic granules 
-1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and basil (both optional) 
How To:
Sauce
1.  In a large skillet add 2 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, onions, and fennel and saute 5 minutes on medium heat.  Add in the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt and saute for 3 minutes. 
2.  Move the onion mixture to the sides of the pan, add the two final tablespoons of coconut oil to the middle of the pan and then add the ground turkey in the middle, chopping it up, browning, and incorporating it with the onion mixture.  
3.  After the meat and onion mixture are well combined and the meat is starting to brown, add in the garlic granules and the final teaspoon of salt.  
4.  Now add in the marinara sauce, the vinegar, and coconut sugar.  Mix everything together, turn down to low, and cover for 20 minutes.
5.  Turn off heat, remove the cover and add in the fresh chopped basil and additional dried spices (optional).
Pasta
1.  Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil 
2.  While the water is coming to a boil, peel and trim edges off zucchini. Make sure the cuts are straight to work best in the spiralizer.  
3.  Create the zucchini noodles.  I love this gadget or this peeler works too.
4.  Place noodles in the boiling water for 4 minutes (I love the texture at this cook time).
5.  Drain into a colander and allow the water to drain off for 5 or 10 minutes or so (you could also rid excess water by spinning in a salad spinner).  
6. Plate the zucchini noodles (zughetti) and top with the sauce and fresh basil (or parsley). 
Serves 4 to 5

Notes:
*Try THIS recipe for a nightshade free marinara sauce 
*Vegetarian?  Simply skip the meat and double all the veggies.  I would also add in 2 cups chopped carrots and 1 cup chopped celery.
Fabulous zucchini noodles! 
Boil
Drain
Posted by Amber at

Labels: allergy-friendly, GAPS, main dish, Paleo, SCD.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Asian Chicken with Sweet Orange Cabbage Salad (Paleo, gluten free, soy free)

You all know I love cabbage.  I LOVE it.  Many things upset my digestion, but cabbage has always been okay (crazy right).  Did you know that cabbage juice is used for those of us with IBD flare ups (especially helpful for colitis)?  Have you heard of this?  You simply run the raw cabbage through a juicer and drink six ounces four times per day.  It’s also touted to heal ulcers.  So my friends, if you are in a flare and nothing is pulling you out, try the cabbage juice.  You might need a chaserso also juice some fresh apples and mix together (if need be).  Okay, back to the food, this is perhaps one of my favorite dishes.  I love the Asian flavors along with the warm baked chicken and cold cabbage.  The fresh squeezed orange juice creates a nice sweet and sour touch.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family.  So easy to make. Oh and I’ve included my other cabbage recipes at the end of the post for ya! 
Asian Chicken with Sweet Orange Cabbage Salad 
(gluten free, soy free, paleo)

Ingredients:

-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts 

The marinade
-1/4 cup coconut aminos 
-2 tablespoons honey
-2 tablespoons sesame oil
-1 teaspoon garlic granules (or fresh)
-3 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
-1 teaspoon fresh ginger (zested)
-1/2 cup chopped green onions
The Salad
1 pound red cabbage
-1 pound savoy cabbage (a sweet, tender cabbage that I love)
-1 1/2 cups sliced red onion

The Salad Dressing  
-3 tablespoons coconut vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
-2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sesame oil
-2 tablespoons honey
-1 teaspoon garlic granules
-1 teaspoon ginger (zested)
-1/4 teaspoon salt 
-1 tablespoons sesame seeds
-1 large segmented orange for garnish 
-1/2 cup green onions for garnish 

How To:
1.  Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl, mix.  
2. In a glass Pyrex baking dish combine the chicken and marinade. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least an hour (I do about 3). After the chicken has soaked up this yummy goodness, preheat an oven to 400 and put the glass Pyrex with the chicken right into the oven and bake for 30 minutes (or until internal chicken temp is at least 180 degrees).  I cover the Pyrex baking dish with a baking sheet while the chicken cooks, but this is not necessary.   
3.  For the salad, thinly slice both cabbages.  Wash and spin dry.  Place the cabbage in a large bowl.  Add in the sliced onions.  
4.  Make the dressing, including everything from the coconut vinegar to the salt.  Mix and pour over the cabbage.  
5.  Mix the cabbage dressing well.  The cabbage will shrink down by half (it wilts quickly with liquid and salt). 
6.  Garnish with oranges, green onions, and sesame seeds.
Serves 4

~Other cabbage recipes by The Tasty Alternative~

Posted by Amber at

Labels: chicken recipes, main dish, Paleo, sides, summer cuisine.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Raw Peppermint Patties

These raw peppermint patties are dedicated to my handsome chocoholic husband.  This is his favorite combination (chocolate, peppermint, and coconut).  I love creating healthy treats for my family…I feel like such a superstar mom when I’m like, “Why yes, we have a fun sweet treat for snack, or yes, there is something tasty and healthy for dessert.”  I love it.  I’ve been working on this recipe for a while. I’m excited to share the final product with you today.  Enjoy!   
Raw Peppermint Patties 
 
Ingredients:
 
Chocolate Shell
-1/4 cup melted cocoa butter
-1/4 cup honey (vegans use 3 T maple syrup, 4 T coconut nectar or 1 teaspoon stevia) 
-1/4 cup raw cacao powder
-1/4 cup melted coconut oil 
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
-Tiny pinch of salt 
Filling
-1 cup shredded coconut
-1 to 2 tablespoon honey* (vegans use maple syrup or coconut nectar) 
-1 teaspoon vanilla 
-1 tablespoon peppermint extract/flavor (or more to your preference) 
-1 tablespoon cocoa butter (optional, but worth it) 
-Cacao nibs (optional) 
How To:
1.  Melt the cocoa butter.  Here is how to keep it raw while melting: fill a small pot with water (half full) and place a 1 cup glass Pyrex in the water.  Add the cocoa butter (shredded for quicker, more even heating).  Stir while it’s melting.  Once melted, remove from the water.  
2.  To the melted cocoa butter add in all the above chocolate shell ingredients.  Stir until the raw cacao powder is incorporated.  
3.  Don’t skip this next step:  Use an immersion blender (or some blender) to emulsify the mixture for only about 10 seconds* (see notes).  If you skip this step, the honey will sink to the bottom and will not be evenly distributed throughout the chocolate.  
4.  Pour chocolate (as much or as little as you like) into the bottom of a mold (silicone or paper) – place in the freeze for about 5 to 10 minutes to harden.  
5.  In a food processor make the filling.  Add the 1 cup of shredded coconut and blend 3 to 5 minutes.  Scrape down sides as needed. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until incorporated.  If adding the cacao nibs, add last and pulse a few times to incorporate.  
6.  Remove the molds from freezer and (with your hands) add in the filling on the layer of chocolate, leaving enough room on all side for the top layer of chocolate to form around the filling and touch the bottom layer of chocolate.  Add as much or as little as you like. 
7.  Transfer to fridge or freeze to harden.  
8.  Makes 4 to 5 large peppermint patties.  I pour any leftover chocolate into small silicone candy molds and refrigerate.   
Notes:
*Be careful…DO NOT blend the chocolate too long.  Something crazy will happen: the honey and coconut oil blob together and the cocoa butter separates.  There is no recovery when this happens.  
*I use 1 tablespoon of honey for the filling – these puppies are RICH, but add in more sweetener to your preference.    
Here they are with cocoa nibs for added texture and flavor 
Here’s what they look like made thin(er) 
*
Here is the general building process
Posted by Amber at

Labels: candy alternatives, chocolate, dessert, Paleo, raw.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Homemade Organic Roasted Almond Butter w/ Raw Option (never buy the expensive store brands again)

Almond butter came into my life in 2004 when I was doing my first candida cleanse.  And I kid you not, at the time it was pure indulgence.  Not much was allowed on the cleanse, but small doses of almond butter was okay, so I pretty much fell in love.  After the cleanse and through the years I ate almond butter regularly.  I’m deathly allergic to peanuts, so how fun to make my own version of PB&J with almond butter.  As much as I love almond butter, about a year ago I discovered that it irritates my digestion to no end.  So although I don’t eat almonds or almond butter much anymore, it’s beloved by my husband and children.  So I make it for them.  Making at home is also motivated by the insanely high price of store bought organic almond butters (common to see $15 for a jar…I’ve seen it as high as $24!!).  If you love roasted almond butter and want to save a little money, then this recipe is for you.  I also make a raw version with soaked and dehydrated almonds and included directions for this at the end of the post.

Homemade Organic Roasted Almond Butter
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 cups raw organic almonds
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Arrange the almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer
  3. Roast for 10 minutes
  4. Remove from oven and allow the almonds to cool completely
  5. When the almonds are cool, add to a food processor
  6. Turn it on and let it whirl. After about a minute the almonds will form a stiff, dry ball. This is okay. Take off the lid and break the ball apart with a fork. Turn the machine back on and keep it blending. If it stops up again, do the same with the fork
  7. After about 3 minutes the oils in the almonds will release and the mixture will become thin. Continue blending until the almonds are creamy and smooth. It takes about 9 minutes in my food processor. Add in your pinch of salt toward the end of the process. Please note, I do NOT have a fancy, high tech food processor. It is the most basic model
  8. Store in glass container in the fridge
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Homemade Almond Butter w/ Soaked Almonds
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 cups raw organic almonds
  • Walnut oil (or olive oil)
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, add the almonds and fill with filtered water (with about two inches over top of almonds). Soak for 12 - 24 hours. I soak mine for 24 and change the water once
  2. Drain and rinse the almonds
  3. Lay them out on a towel and pat off the excess water
  4. Add almonds to a food dehydrator and dehydrate on 105 degrees for about 30 hours
  5. The almonds will be properly dehydrated when they are crisp and crunch to the taste and you an visually see the meat of the almond is dry. You can tell when there is moisture left, you can see it and feel it
  6. Place the dehydrated almonds in a food processor and blend. You need to stay close to the food processor and give it many breaks, as the almonds get very hot and you don't want the temp to rise over 118 degrees. So if you are keeping this raw, blend and check the temperature throughout the process
  7. After the almonds look well blended, you can add in a little oil to help the moisture factor. It's up to you how much to add, so start with a teaspoon and go from there. At this point you can also add in the pinch of salt
  8. Raw almond butter made with this method smells and tastes different than roasted almond butter, but still delicious (and much easier to digest!)
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dips and spreads, GAPS, how to, Paleo, SCD, snacks.

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