Category Archives: AIP

Monday, September 28, 2015

Perfectly Whipped Sweet Potatoes


Fall where are you!  It’s hitting the mid 90’s again this coming week (insert big eye roll here).  I am yearning to wear my sweaters and boots!  Soon…soon.  Around these parts it starts to really feel like fall at end of October, early November, so we have a few weeks yet.  But this hot weather is not stopping me from making some yummy fall inspired food. I made some absolutely out-of-this-world delicious whipped sweet potatoes on Saturday night for dinner. Seriously tasted like dessert. SO GOOD.  My kids loved it!  My daughter said, “Mommy, what’s in here…it tastes like pie.”  I made the sweet potatoes with this pork dish (sans the applesauce) that is so easy and always a hit and the two went together like gangbustas.  Anyway, if you are looking for a new way to eat sweet potatoes, try whipping them up.  I am totally going to make these whipped sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving and I’m so excited about it!  They are seriously delicious.  Look out fall…I’m coming for ya.  Continue reading

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Labels: ACD, AIP, GAPS, holidays, Paleo, sides, Thanksgiving, thanksgiving side dishes, vegan, vegetarian, winter cuisine.


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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Honey Kissed Mint Watermelon Salad

textIt’s warming up here in these parts.  A heat wave is moving through right now and pushing temps into the 90s.  Therefore cool, refreshing dishes are in demand.  It will drop back down to cooler temps next week, and let’s hope May is nice and mild. May is usually our last month of decent weather before the searing summer heat blankets our region.  But it’s all good.  I love the summer and I’m no stranger to hot, dry heat.  As a child I grew up in the desert near Death Valley (in Southern California) – so bring it on.  I was at Costco the other day and found organic, fair-trade mini seedless watermelons.  Awesome-sauce!  They are super delicious and so sweet. I’m thinking this would be a great dish for any summer gathering.

Continue reading

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Labels: AIP, GAPS, Paleo, raw, salads, SCD, sides, summer cuisine.


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Monday, January 27, 2014

Nightshade Free Roasted Veggie Pasta Sauce (SCD, Paleo, AIP, GAPS)

To the average person pasta sauce is a pretty healthy choice.  But if you suffer from an auto-immune disease and trying to decrease pro-inflammatory foods, tomato-based pasta sauces can be quite aggravating on the system.  Some folks find great success and relief by eliminating nightshades from their diets.  What are nightshades you ask?  Good question.  Nightshades are the following foods: Potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, tobacco, goji berries, ground cherries, and cayenne peppers (and more).  See this post by the Paleo Mom with a complete list of all nightshades.  
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Labels: AIP, GAPS, main dish, Paleo, sauces, SCD.


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Monday, January 6, 2014

Avocado Grapefruit Hemp Smoothie (full of protein and nutrients)

I feel so fortunate to have such great friends in my life.  I was thrilled to receive so many homemade treats this holiday.  Me, Scott and the kiddos spent time with our friends, visiting each family with homemade goodies in hand – chatting, laughing, and catching up.  And to my delight, we always left with a little something special: homemade applesauce, homemade beer, homemade fig & honey jelly, homemade chocolate, spiced nuts, homemade chap stick, organic pears, fresh picked plump grapefruits.  It was very special.  I was particularly intrigued by all the grapefruits.  I have been juicing and enjoying them in a variety of ways.  Most notably in my morning smoothie.  I wanted to share my concoction with you, as I think it’s quite delicious.  It’s a smoothie just the way I like it – thick and creamy (not icy or too sweet).  This is a nice pick-me-up first thing in the morning (as I’m not a coffee drinker) but love to make a little something to sip on.  If you get your hands on some grapefruits, try them in a smoothie.  I’m hooked.  See HERE for a list and description of the most common grapefruits.  My favorite for smoothies (hands down) is Pomelo.  
Avocado Grapefruit Hemp Smoothie
(click the links provided below for where to purchase)
-1 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
-1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
-1/2 ripe avocado
-1 medium ripe banana
-1 tablespoon raw hemp seeds*
-1 tablespoon grass fed gelatin or vegan pea protein powder 
-1 tablespoon sweetener of choice* (or 15 drops stevia)
-4 ice cubes (made from this silicone tray) 
-Handful of spinach (optional) 
How To:
1.  Add all of the above ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  Drink immediately or save in the fridge.  
*Hemp is 
Paleo, I referenced a trusted site, The Paleo List, (yes it’s permitted).  
*AIP & SCD, omit hemp seeds – they are not permitted.  
*For sweetener I like raw local honey or coconut nectar.
{affiliate links in post – thank you for supporting The Tasty Alternative} 
Shared on: Whole Food Fridays, Wellness Weekend , Gluten Free Wednesdays 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: AIP, drinks, GAPS, green drinks, Paleo, SCD, smoothie.


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Monday, December 23, 2013

Cinnamon & Coconut Sugar Dried Apples

I absolutely adore making homemade holiday gifts for friends and family.  They are always well received and appreciated.  Dried apples were on my list this year to make as gifts and the addition of cinnamon and coconut sugar makes these dried apples so festive and delicious.  You could certainly leave the apples plain, but I just love the added spice.  As gifts I also like to make homemade greeting cards, coconut ginger granola, homemade almond butter, and homemade lotions (and other beauty products such as facial toner and body spray).  Another favorite is the gift of tea.  You can get so creative with tea, purchasing loose leaf and fun tea paraphernalia (check out my All Things Tea Pinterest board for more tea ideas).   
Happy Holidays to all.  I’m signing off until January.  Until then, wishing you a restful and peaceful holiday filled with love and laughter.    
-Amber & The Tasty Alternative Family 
CinnamonCoconut Sugar Dried Apples 
-4 pounds of apples (any variety will do, I used Fuji)
-1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
-1/4 cup coconut sugar
–A good knife or mandoline
How To:
1.  Wash, peel and slice apples (slice thick for chewy dried apples, slice thin for crispy dried apples).  I like to cut out center seeds and the core.  
2.  Add apples to a large bowl and using hands, toss the apples with the cinnamon and coconut sugar, making sure all the apples are well covered.
3.  Transfer apples (in one layer) onto a dehydrator with mesh screens.
4.  Dehydrate on 95 degrees for 8 -10 hours  (basically, overnight). I encourage you to test out different drying times.  For another method, dehydrate on high (140 degrees) for 3 hours, then turn down to 95 degrees and dehydrate until your desired texture.  
*Yes you can make these in the oven set at a low temperature, however, I have not tried this, so I cannot give any specific directions.  If you try it in the oven, please report back and let us know how it goes.  I suspect they will be more like apple chips, but you never know.
*If you use a mandoline, the slices will be very thin and almost crispy.  Hand slice thicker pieces for that nice chewy fruit dried texture.
The cut apples tossed in the cinnamon and coconut sugar 
Here are the apples all dried and ready for the jars
Good morning you pretty little apples.  
These dried overnight.  

{affiliate links in post}
This recipe was shared on: Wellness Weekend, Paleo Link Party, Whole Food Fridays

Posted by Amber at

Labels: AIP, allergy-friendly, fall treats, Paleo, raw, snacks.


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Monday, November 11, 2013

Dairy-Free Banana Carob Pudding with Vanilla Bean Whipped Coconut Cream + Why I LOVE Carob

Last year after I posted my Bottomless Key Lime Pie recipe one of my lovely readers left a comment in the post introducing me to Great Lakes Gelatin.  I was so thankful for this reference, as I was using Knox gelatin up until that point and appreciated this new ingredient.  I’ve since been using Great Lakes to make weekly homemade Jello and to thicken smoothies and puddings (and most all my SCD desserts that need thickening).  Today I am sharing a carob pudding recipe that is the perfect anytime treat for my kiddos (and yes for my sweet tooth husbandwho LOVES this pudding BTW).  It’s smooth and creamy and has a lovely malty flavor from the carob.  We are big carob lovers in this house for many reasons (no caffeine & no theobromine) but for me I love that carob has so many health benefits (please see below for that information).  Pudding is such a great treat anytime of the year and so easy to fill with nutrient dense, whole foods!  
Health Benefits of Carob:
(Information below generated from this site)
Once referred to as locust, carob pods are found mainly in Mediterranean countries. Evergreen carob trees generally can grow wherever citrus or olive trees do, meaning a warm, dry climate. The pod’s fruit is technically a legume. 


Carob is high in antioxidants. A study published in the “Plant Foods for Human Nutrition” journal in March 2011 found that carob germ flour showed not only antioxidant but also cytotoxic activities. The flour has capabilities to attack and target specific cervical cancer cells, the study found. The antioxidant activity helps the body repair free radical damage, which is a process of aging.


Plants are naturally high in insoluble fibers, which contain polyphenols. Another study published in “Plant Foods for Human Nutrition” in January 2010 compared two groups of people with high cholesterol. One group took a placebo, while the other consumed approximately 4 grams of carob fiber a few times a day. After four weeks, the group eating the carob fiber had lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.

Gastrointestinal Support

Carob has a binding action within the intestinal tract. This means it helps absorb liquid and aids problems such as diarrhea. Mixing carob powder with pureed cooked fruit or an electrolyte solution is a gentle and natural way to help with diarrhea, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Talk to your health care provider before using carob or other herbs to treat diarrhea.
Please see HERE for Carob’s complete nutritional breakdown.  And HERE for another post discussing carob’s benefits.  Dairy-Free Banana Carob Pudding


Carob Banana Pudding:
-1 can room temperature coconut milk here or here 
-1 1/2 cups very ripe banana
-3 tablespoons local honey or grade B maple syrup
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
-2 teaspoons grass fed gelatin (see notes for vegan sub)
-1/4 cup carob powder

How To
1.  In a 1 cup glass Pyrex add 1/3 cup coconut milk and 2 teaspoons gelatin.  Whisk together well and let “bloom”
2.  In a sauce pan heat the remaining coconut milk until heated, not boiled (do not boil the milk).  
3.  Remove sauce pan from heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture.
4.  Add all the coconut milk to a blender along with the other pudding ingredients and blend on high for 15 seconds.  
5.  Pour pudding mixture into a bowl or several little jars or glasses.
6.  Transfer to refrigerator and allow to set up for at least 8 hours.  
7.  Top with maple coconut whipped cream or vanilla bean coconut whipped cream (recipe below).  

Vanilla Bean Coconut Whipped Cream:
-1/2 cup soaked cashews (4 to 6 hours)* 

-Coconut cream from 1 can of coconut milk here or here 
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
-1 vanilla bean, sliced in half and scraped out 
-2 tablespoons local honey or grade B maple syrup 

How To
1.  Drain the cashews and add to a blender (preferably high speed). Add in the coconut cream, vanilla, vanilla bean, and honey.
2. Using the tamper, move the mixture around and blend until everything is well incorporated, smooth and creamy.  
3.  Transfer to a glass container and store in fridge for 4 to 6 hours.
4.  Remove from fridge and mix.  Fill a pastry bag and top pudding. 

*Omit cashews for AIP – just use the coconut cream 
*Vegans add 3 tablespoons ground chia seeds in place of the gelatin.  If you are a die hard chocolate lover and looking for a vegan chocolate recipe, please see my Chocolate Pumpkin Pudding. Or for a different flavor combination, try my Vegan Raw Persimmon Cranberry Pudding

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Shared on:  Busy Monday, Sweet Sharing Monday, Melt in your Mouth Monday, Mix it up Monday,  Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Raw Foods Thursday, Lunchbox Love, Whole Food Fridays, 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: AIP, dessert, Paleo, pudding, snacks.


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Monday, November 4, 2013

Pumpkin & Apple Veggie Turkey Meatballs with Sauteed Spaghetti Squash (SCD/Paleo)

Lately, this has been one of my favorite SCD meals.  Super easy for dinner and leftovers are fabulous.  Have you ever tried eggs with spaghetti squash?  Delicious my friends.  And I love these meatballs for lunch or even breakfast sauteed in some coconut oil (you’ll get the browning effect you see in the pictures).  They are moist and flavorful and packed full of goodies – yes I threw some pumpkin in there.  Ha ha.  But I’ve also made these with leftover baked butternut squash and delicata squash.  Enjoy!
Pumpkin & Apple Veggie Turkey Meatballs with Sauteed Spaghetti Squash

-1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground turkey (free range/organic is best if you can find it) 
-1 cup peeled and grated carrots
-1 cup peeled and grated zucchini
-1 cup peeled and grated apple 
-1/2 cup baked pumpkin or any squash you like (best if not completely pureed) 
-1/3 cup diced yellow onion
-1 egg (omit for AIP)
-3 tablespoons homemade balsamic vinegar or a SCD legal brand or coconut aminos (not SCD)
-1 tablespoon garlic granules
-2 teaspoons salt
-1 teaspoon onion granules 
-A few turns of the pepper grinder 
-1 medium to large spaghetti squash 
–Coconut oil 

How To:
1.  Roast the spaghetti squash.  Preheat the oven to 375.  The easiest method for roasting a spaghetti squash is to cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, place the two halves flesh down in a roasting pan (I use a glass Pyrex) and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Checking at the 45 minute mark for doneness. Let cool and use a fork to get out the squash strings.  
2.  Coat a large baking dish with coconut oil (I use a glass Pyrex).
3.  Grate the veggies and apple with a hand grater or food processor (I use the food processor fitted the the grating plate).  In a large bowl, add all the meatball ingredients and mix with your hands (this is really the best method).  
4.    Make golf ball size meatballs and place them on the oiled baking dish.  
5.  Bake the meatballs at 400 degrees for 25 minutes (or until internal temperature is at least 175 degrees). Remove meatballs from baking dish and let rest for about 5 minutes, then serve.  Makes about 20 meatballs. 
6.  Saute the spaghetti squash.  To a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil.  Add in some spaghetti squash with salt to taste (I also add in garlic granules).  Saute until warmed through.  

*To create the browning you see in the pictures, place the baked meatballs in a large skillet with coconut oil and saute until the browning occurs. It just takes a few minutes.  This step is not necessary – they are great baked right out of the oven. 
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Shared on: Fat Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: AIP, fall cuisine, main dish, Paleo, SCD.


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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Butternut Squash Coconut Hemp Smoothie

Oh boy, folks, this smoothie is incredible.  It’s thick, creamy, and not icy (my three musts in a smoothie).  I don’t know about you, but I use pumpkin and butternut squash interchangeably.  TruthfullyI find butternut squash is much sweeter than pumpkin and I love it in desserts.  It’s fun to mix it up though, as I feel like pumpkins are taking over my life.  Ha ha.  A delicata would also be great in here!  They are perhaps my favorite squash of all! My son slurped this down for his morning snack and off to play.  I’m not a coffee drinker, so I like to make smoothies for a little pre-breakfast pick me up.  Be adventures and try the many different varieties of squash available this time of year.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  
Butternut Squash Coconut Hemp Smoothie 

-1/2 cup filtered water
-1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
-1/2 cup baked butternut squash
-1/2 cup ripe banana (1 medium)
-2 tablespoons coconut nectar (honey or maple syrup)
-1 tablespoon raw hemp seeds (optional)
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (more to taste)
-1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
-3 ice cubes*

How To:
1.  Add everything to a blender and blend until the ice cubes are properly crushed.  The smoothie should be chilled, but not icy.  If you like icy smoothies, than by all means, add in more ice.  

*AIP & SCD, omit hemp seeds – they are not permitted.  
*I use these for ice cubes – I purchase at a store in town, but they can also be found online.  
*Use any protein source or powder in place of the hemp, or just omit.  
*In place of the ice cubes, freeze the banana (cut up first) over night and add an additional 1/4 cup of water or coconut milk.
*Want to start with pumpkin in your smoothie?  Try my Chocolate Pumpkin Hemp Smoothie or Pumpkin Coconut Almond Smoothie. 
Shared on: Wellness Weekend, Whole Food Fridays, Whole Food Fridays, Allergy-Free Wednesday,  Healthy Vegan Friday  Lunchbox Love, My Meatless Mondays, Fat Tuesdays 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: AIP, fall cuisine, GAPS, SCD, smoothie, snacks, vegan.


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