Gluten Free Baked Bacon Cheese Bites

Gluten Free Baked Bacon Cheese Bites
Prep Time
10 mins
 

The most crowd pleasing appetizer. They are always gone within 10 minutes and are the easiest appetizer to make. Makes about 16 bites.

Course: Appetizer
Servings: 4 people
Ingredients
  • 1 packet bacon- gluten free, free range cut in half down the middle
  • 1 onion* caramelized (see below)
  • 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup dates thick slices
  • fresh sage leaves
  • firm cheese (I like goat gouda) cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut your choice of onion in half. Then make sauté slices along the grow lines of the onion and cut away from the end of the bulb. 

  2. *Heat a large frying pan to medium low heat.

  3. *Once pan is heated, add about a tablespoon of your choice of fat- make sure to use a high heat oil like ghee or avocado oil and salt, stir frequently.

  4. *Continue cooking, adding more salt if necessary, until onions are transparent and sweated through. 

  5. *Once onions begin to brown, turn the heat up to medium or medium high (setting can vary depending on how hot your stove runs), and begin to stir less often. Only do so to prevent blackening or sticking to the pan.

  6. *Once onions begin to caramelize, before they burn, add your choice of liquid to deglaze the pan. Set aside to cool.

  7. Cut one package of bacon strips in half, hamburger style. Each bite will be half a strip of bacon.

  8. Set your oven to 425 degrees F to preheat while you assemble.

  9. On a lined baking sheet (preferably with raised sides), place a few strips of bacon to begin assembling.

  10. Smear a dollop of mustard onto the bacon and layer with 1/2 tsp of caramelized onions, 1/2 a date, 1 cube of cheese, 1 medium sized sage leaf.

  11. Fold over the ends of the bacon slice and turn over so the fold side is touching the pan. 

  12. Leave about 1-2 inches of space between each bite.

  13. Bake for 15-25 minutes, checking occasionally. Time can vary depending on your oven and how thick your bacon pieces are. 

  14. Once out of the oven, use a spatula to scoop each bite onto a plate lined with paper towels to catch excess grease. Let cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

* The caramelized onions are optional. If you are short on time, no need to cook them up. If you do have the time, it is incredible!

Gluten Free Bacon Cheese Bites

Common Digestive Problems: Composition

 

Common Digestive Problems

What does it mean?

Understanding our bathroom habits isn’t typically something we learn growing up. However, we can see the biggest health changes by targeting our signs and symptoms to better understand common digestive problems.

Gastrointestinal bugs and chronic illnesses are on the rise. 60 to 70 million americans are affected by digestive diseases, and 135,000+ people suffer from colorectal cancer.

In learning what our bowel movements mean, we can make informed decisions about when it is time to seek out help. We should be able to take action on our health into our own hands but we order to make well informed decisions, we need to be aware of when it is time to get help. The problem of taking ownership for our health goals is that it is incredibly difficult to navigate between our sources of information with our current health status. 

Many of the following common digestive problems and their causes can also present as nutrient deficiencies or toxicities. Because there are many possibilities of nutrient deficiencies related to each symptom, it is hard to describe how each plays their role.

Some nutrient depletions or toxicities that result in GI symptoms are: antioxidant, fiber, magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, b vitamins (B3, B5, B12, folate, choline), chloride, copper, iodine, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin K. Many of these nutrients play a role in digestive health and often rely on each other. An imbalance of one nutrient may lead to an imbalance of another nutrient. 

Common Digestive Problems: Composition

Understanding our digestive health can be a clear window into understanding how healthy we really are. Our bowel movements can tell us so much about how well we are receiving nutrients from our food, hydration and even our hormones. Stool can really vary from rock hard to liquid. It can be fully formed, or break up. Here are the basics to what different compositions might mean:

Diarrhea:

Diarrhea commonly occurs for some of the same reasons as if you were to experience foul smelling stools. Additionally, some people may have diarrhea from overexercise, hormone imbalance, too much fiber or too many refined carbs.

In addition to the causes of foul smelling stool (enzymatic activity, intolerances, and infections), diarrhea is commonly a symptom of stress or anxiety. Due to the active vagus nerve that connects the brain with the digestive tract, stress can easily affect motility and cause nervous loose stools.

Persistent or frequently occurring diarrhea can be a sign that something in the diet is damaging the gut wall. The cells in the gut wall regenerate every three days, and without a chance to heal, you risk exposure of undigested food and pathogens entering through the gaps between cells. In this case, a person may be consuming something the body views as inflammatory or allergenic. This can be caused by already existing damage or an intolerance, like from gluten or dairy. 

Additional symptoms you want to look out for with loose, or even healthier stools, is undigested food particles. Stool that breaks apart easily in the toilet is indication that some food is not fully broken down. This can be caused by low enzyme or stomach acid production/activity, but will also occur if food is not chewed thoroughly enough.

Constipation:

Constipation has a variety of causes from poor diet, hydration, hormones and more. Depending on the makeup of the digestive tract, constipation can be very difficult to pinpoint the actual cause. Many people will still struggle with constipation despite trying all of the right techniques with proper nutrition and fiber.

In some cases, people are just built to pass bowel movements less frequently than others. A common cause, however, can be from under-exercise, nutrient depletions or toxicities, low fiber intake, high refined carbohydrate intake, and sometimes too high protein intake.

Constipation is a very common symptom among women because we filter some of our excess estrogen out through our digestive tract. If our body is struggling to eliminate, this can cause a range of symptoms including diarrhea or constipation.

Hydration is also very important to maintain for our digestive tract so we can successfully eliminate toxins. Constipation can potentially become dangerous because it slows down our ability to clean out our internal environment. Dehydration causes a risk that our body will reabsorb some water and toxins back through our digestive tract before elimination for the sake of proper cell and organ function. 

Because diarrhea and constipation have a wide variety of causes, it is very important to work with a nutritionist or other healthcare practitioner to assess diet, exercise, routine and any potential underlying deficiencies, toxicities or imbalances to successfully pinpoint the specific root cause for your needs.

Without additional assistance and assessment from a healthcare provider, you risk taking the wrong course of action which not only can waste your time and money, but may put you at a higher risk for worse issues down the road. What is important is making the right choices based off of a complete understanding of how your symptoms relate. The content in this post is meant to inform about common digestive problems and not to help diagnose or prescribe supplementation.

Shop these gut healing products with affiliate codes for a discount:

Easy Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

Fried Rice
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

Simple, quick and fool proof steps to making takeout worthy fried rice. This can easily be made into a paleo or whole 30 compliant meal. Substitutions provided.

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp fat/oil (I recommend duck fat, lard, or high heat avocado or sunflower) separated
  • chopped chicken (about 1 chicken breast)
  • 1/2 onion** diced
  • 1 carrot, cut in rounds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 cloves garlic** minced
  • 1 hot pepper, diced or your choice hot sauce
  • 1 c broccoli florets (+any other desired vegetables)
  • 2-3 c pre-cooked rice, grain, or cauliflower rice
  • 2 tbsp tamari, soy sauce, coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1-2 drops toasted sesame oil
  • 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Heat large frying pan or wok to medium low temperature for about a minute.

  2. Add 1 tbsp oil and let it heat. 

  3. Add chopped chicken and 1/4 tsp salt. Sautee until cooked through. Remove once finished.

  4. Add onions, carrot, 1/4 tsp salt (do not skip) and stir frequently to allow the vegetables to sweat and become translucent- about 5 minutes. Add more oil if you need.

  5. Add garlic and hot pepper if using.

  6. Once vegetable begin to caramelize, add the remaining vegetables and additional salt or oil if necessary to help it become tender. If you want to speed this up, use a lid to create some steam.

  7. Once the vegetables are tender, add your rice, choice grain or cauliflower rice with 1 Tbsp oil, soy sauce, pineapple juice, toasted sesame oil, dry spices (if using instead of fresh garlic, onion, hot pepper) and stir often to prevent sticking or burning on the pan.

  8. Once the ingredients are well incorporated and the rice has begun to fry (with little sticking), create a well and add an additional tsp of oil and your egg. Let it fry for a minute, then begin to scramble. Do not stir with the other ingredients. 

  9. Once the egg is cooked, stir everything together once again and add your chicken back in to the mix. Add any additional spices, soy sauce or hot sauce before removing from heat.

  10. Serve with green onions, chives, cilantro, hot sauce or more soy sauce if desired. 

Recipe Notes

Pre-cooked rice or grain is important in this recipe to achieve a perfect fried rice. Specifically if the rice is cooked with less water or is a day old, it is dryer and helps to avoid a mushy texture. 

For more tips on including more vegetables into your diet, check out my post on how!

 

Chicken Fried Rice

Nutrient Deficiencies and Collagen

Collagen & Nutrient Deficiencies

There are many ways to practice mindfulness around food because our experiences around eating occur under a variety of different circumstances. Sometimes we are rushing out the door and stressed, and other times we are laughing and high on life, surrounded by our favorite people. Nutrient deficiencies and collagen is an important conversation to have as it is quickly booming as the next all purpose health product.

Mindfulness techniques can be used to remind ourselves to chew our food thoroughly, but sometimes we use them to track food sensitivities or manage cravings.

We don’t often think that mindfulness can really help you to pinpoint your nutrient deficiencies, but, we do often use mindfulness techniques to reflect on our emotions or cravings.

In a reality beneath our awareness, cravings actually tell us much more about our needs than we realize. With further investigation, we can learn that our cravings are really signals from our body that there is either an imbalance or a nutrient deficiency that is abundant in the foods we crave.

Nutrient Deficiencies and Collagen

Protein is actually a very common nutrient deficiency, despite America being one of the largest consumers of protein at meal time. This is because many medications and other nutrient deficiencies can hinder our ability to break down and absorb protein.

Protein deficiencies can sometimes present with a variety of symptoms, including brittle nails, low energy, slow metabolism, blood sugar dysregulation, and many more common symptoms that commercial and (typically) toxic products ‘guarantee’ to fix.

What if we did something a little different and targeted all of our needs through our body’s chemistry before introducing unnatural chemicals that come with cute packaging and a catchy slogan?

Even if you are eating a well balanced diet that focuses on a high amount of quality protein, you can still show signs of protein deficiency if your body and digestion are not up to speed. In other words, deficiencies are not singularly caused by low consumption, but can also occur because of a low ability to break down food and absorb nutrients. Protein deficiency specifically can occur if we have low stomach acid and/or protein enzymes. Certain medications or lifestyles are also known contributors to nutrient depletions, including protein.

Further food is a fantastic tool because the protein is already broken down and ready for absorption. Both options of collagen peptides (marine or bovine), contain a well balanced range of amino acids (the back bone to protein) that your cells and processes just love to thrive off of.

Many people will take collagen for their hair, skin, and nails, but may notice that it takes a little bit of time for effects to develop. This can occur especially if the body wants to target any areas with protein deficiency first. Subsequently, some of those areas are found in hair, skin and nails. These parts of the body are usually the last to receive nutrients as they are less important than the function of your organs and body systems.

Nutrient Deficiencies and Mindfulness

While we already know about the benefits of collagen on a number of systems that require protein, what do we know about the mindfulness aspect behind protein deficiencies? We are usually so aware of when our nails start breaking, and when our hair is fragile or when our skin isn’t looking its best. So, why is it that we are mindful of vanity aspects of our health, but not of the aspects where our body shows it needs some support?

One tactic to use to help you become more in tune with your cravings and understand what they mean should occur before and after you eat or feel hungry. Ask yourself: “is this something that will make me feel good; is this something that will make me feel bad?”

If you ever struggled with any digestive, blood sugar, or hormonal disorders, then you know your body will likely speak back to you pretty easily. If not, then this practice will help you grow this awareness over time and can be amazingly helpful to understanding the difference of wanting nutrients in a food vs. when you want to indulge. This can take time to develop, but it is a process that is ingrained in the human physiology. You can do this every day and eventually your body will begin to respond.

Even if you decide to indulge, and know you will not experience a negative reaction from one treat like gain several pounds or go to the hospital (unless there is medical need to avoid that food), there are still chemical reactions occurring in your body. The process of metabolism does not shut off even if your body easily tolerates junk food or less healthy food options. The human body has a strong desire to guide you to what will be most nourishing at a given moment, but this can be hindered by a heavy load of junk food in your lifestyle. If we can tap into our instinctual abilities time and again, we can understand our needs and desires very clearly, learn what they mean and be able to manage our cravings like never before. Intuitive eating like this can bring us to optimal balance and wellness.

Achieving the surface level goals of health like thick, long hair, strong nails and perfect skin can be achieved much easier and cheaper if we learn to focus on how those relate to our deeper needs first. In providing your body with optimal support inside, the outside will follow through.

The ‘money back guarantee’ slogan behind so many commercial creams and beauty products will become just another slogan that does not gain your trust. Successful health journeys will occur just by trusting your own intuition and needs before a company that does not seek to get to truly know you inside and out. 

Further Food and the nutritionist behind The A.K. Kitchen have goals to get to know every individual inside and out. We work hard to create nutrition and health resources to help guide a community that gets to know each other and themselves first and foremost before buying into highly marketed products that fall short on their promises. We want to support you, so use Aimee's code: AKKITCHEN10 for some perks on your order! You can explore more nutrition tracking resources over at The A.K. Kitchen and stay informed with the latest research and resources for your specific needs at Further Food. Mindfulness can be practiced at every stage of decision with your health, from checking on your brittle nails to testing new foods or supplements for your nutrient deficiencies. We promise, it is much easier than you think and far more rewarding than any expensive beauty product!

Collagen & Nutrient Deficiencies

How to Live a Sustainable Life to find Happiness

This post contains sponsored content.

How to Live a Sustainable Life to find Happiness

When we ask about sustainability, are we asking the right questions? Do we ask ' how to live a sustainable life to find happiness '? Sustainability can be found in each of our habits that ultimately promote our quality of life. Sometimes as a culture, maybe we think that we have to be all in to be successful, but people don't completely live this way. People tend to veer the opposite direction and live by very unsustainable practices. If I have sustainable options available, does that mean I am a bad person for not using them 100% of the time? Supporting sustainable clothing companies like PrAna doesn't mean I am hypocritical for not having a full closet of recycled and organic options. Just like if I forget my refillable water bottle, it isn't bad to buy a plastic one once in a while. These habits are a one-step-at-a-time kind of deal, not an all or nothing excuse and judgement parade. What is important is that you are consciously asking questions and making some effort.

The point here in sustainability is that our planet is much bigger than we are as individuals and as communities. Yet we still make more waste than we choose to recycle or reuse products. The top three ways we produce the most waste are in the form of paper goods, plastics and food. On average we only recycle about 25% of our produced waste (1.51 pounds per 4.40 pounds of waste a day). Looking at statistics the correct way is crucial to understanding what kind of progress we make in protecting and nourishing our planet. In 2013, we generated 254 million tons of trash and successfully recycled 87 million tons of that. While it is not perfect, or very close to it, 87 million tons is a lot of waste. It is a window into how to live a sustainable life for happiness. Now you are probably asking: how can we possibly relate recycling your newspaper and supporting sustainable clothing companies with happiness? (Stats found at EPA)

Sustainable PrAna Cali Dress

Pro-tips for How to Live a Sustainable Life to find happiness

I often view recycling and sustainable practices the way I view liver support. We need to make sure we clean out the system, in the way the body was built to do. Many detoxifying options can actually be very toxic because they are very jarring and temporary disruptions to your biochemistry and normal habits. We really should be detoxing all the time with simple lifestyle and dietary changes (i.e. brussels sprouts, reduced stress), just like with reusing and recycling. The root of successful sustainability is habit, not just choices. Read about my health history to learn about why I got interested in how to live a sustainable life.

There are many habits you can act on for sustainability: using almond meal after making almond milk, stainless steal straws, homemade all purpose cleaner... all these are examples from my life that did not just appear all at once or cost me extra to do so. I actually saved myself a great deal of money, time and effort this way. Perhaps some of the options appear costly (in money or effort) at first glance, but each new habit introduced can bring a host of benefits. One of which is that they are a constant reminder that we do not want to just exist with whatever pathogens, pollution and negative energy comes our way. Sustainability also means keeping health status consistent (sustainable) and reminding ourselves that we are making those efforts. It makes me feel so fulfilled and happier than ever to know that.

Each new choice that you turn into a habit will consistently remind you that you are amazing.

So, no, you don't need to fill your entire closet of organic cotton (although non organic cotton has more waste to it than you realize), or go thirsty because you don't want to buy a plastic water bottle. We do owe it to ourselves and our planet to start turning sustainable choices into habits. What I looked into this year was sustainable clothing. This Cali dress by PrAna not only has a built in sports bra (hello summer days) but it also feels like seriously high quality. Not to mention, it is made of completely recycled materials! How cool is that? Also, check out the most comfortable pants I ever put on. These are also recycled and feel like linen! They are so perfect for summer days and an adorable wedge or bootie.

Your goals in 2017 should include making sure you evaluate whether or not you are living your life sustainably. Are you happy? Can you say that you tried? Did you overstep your bounds by littering the earth and your body with stress, trash, or artificial ingredients? Not only does PrAna have some amazingly adorable clothes, but they reminded me of the happiness that comes with not giving in to conveniency, clutter and destructive habits. Sustainable options are better quality substitutions for everything that is made cheap, easy and disposable. Healthy habits remind us how a small upfront cost will lead us to live a sustainably happy life, an invaluable kind of life. We can see that in high quality sustainable clothing brands like PrAna.

Sustainable PrAna Capri

Dairy free salted caramel ice cream recipe

Dairy free salted caramel ice cream recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup *homemade pecan and walnut 'cream' (homemade nut milk with very little water) (soak nuts overnight in refrigerator)
  • 1 can full fat, organic coconut milk (refrigerate and only scoop the fat solids at the top, discard the water at the bottom) (refrigerate for overnight)
  • 1 medium/small purple sweet potato (you can also use white here)
  • 4 pitted medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp non alcoholic vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 scoop collagen peptides this is optional- omit if you want to keep it vegan
  • chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Place can of coconut milk in the refrigerator and your ice cream attachment in the freezer overnight. 

  2. Cover raw walnuts and pecans (or any nut of your choice) with filtered water in a glass container and refrigerate overnight.

  3. Drain and rinse nuts thoroughly, until water is clear. 

  4. Place nuts in your food processor with 1/2 - 1 cup of filtered water. Blend thoroughly.

  5. Strain nuts through a nut milk bag. 

  6. Peel and gently boil your purple sweet potato in filtered water- about 5 minutes.

  7. Set them aside to cool. (the liquid from this is very nutritious, you can use it for a tea or to cook other food in)

  8. Once the sweet potatoes are cooled, add them with ~1/2 cup of sweet potato liquid and 2 dates to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

  9. Measure into a saucepan 1 cup of sweet potato, 1 cup of nutmilk + scoop only the fat solids from your can of coconut milk- discard or use the coconut water for a different recipe. 

  10. Add vanilla, salt, collagen and gently warm the liquid to incorporate everything evenly on very low heat- you do not want to scald/boil it.

  11. Set the mixture aside to cool.

  12. Set up ice cream maker and get your mixture started churning.

  13. Chop pecans and the remaining 2 dates and add to the ice-cream. It will take about 20 minutes to complete.

Recipe Notes

I would recommend not using store-bought nut milk because it will be more watered down, causing the ice cream to become too hard in the freezer. The homemade recipe for this ice-cream will instruct you to use very little water so you achieve a creamier nut milk consistency. *If you decide you want an easier route for the nut milk, you can soak cashews overnight and blend with the same amount of water- this will not need to be strained so long as you blend it for a long enough time.

Like the ingredient swaps in this recipe? Click here for support and lists of common swaps!

Grain Free Granola

Grain Free Granola
Prep Time
15 mins
 
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Servings: 10
Ingredients
  • 6 cups nut pulp or almond meal/flour (I use leftovers from homemade nut milk)
  • 6 whole/raw brazil nuts
  • 1 cup/whole/raw almonds
  • 4-6 whole/pitted medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1-2 tbsp non alcoholic vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp untoasted, unfiltered sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • spices to taste (I used cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1 cup/whole/raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Pulse almond/nut meal in your food processor. If you are using almond flour, you may want to add about 2 tablespoons of water. The nut pulp I used was frozen and still contained some moisture from when I made nut milk. 

  2. Add brazil nuts, almonds, dates, honey, vanilla, oils, spices and salt to your food processor. Process until nuts are roughly chopped and ingredients are well incorporated.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir with a spatula or spoon.

  4. Spread onto your parchment or dehydrator sheet evenly. Press in to compress the granola so it is not too crumbly.

  5. If using a dehydrator, place a mesh screen on top and add something heavy like a big platter or glass baking pan.

  6. Set your dehydrator to 110 degrees Fahrenheit and let it set for 18-24 hours. Check periodically the center for moisture. 

  7. Once the edges are dry but not firm and crumbly, gently turn over your granola so it dehydrates evenly.

  8. Turn up the temperature to around 135 degrees Fahrenheit and let it finish for about 4 or more hours.

  9. Once you notice the center is completely dry and firm, it is ready!

Recipe Notes

If you are making this in the oven and do not have a dehydrator, you may want to separate it into two blocks instead of one. That way it will dry out more evenly. Turn on your oven to the lowest setting, around 200 degrees fahrenheit or less and let it rest for several hours. Periodically check the dryness and if any browning occurs. For evenness, you may want to prop your oven open slightly and periodically rotate the granola.

Grain Free Granola
Prep Time
15 mins
 
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Servings: 10
Ingredients
  • 6 cups nut pulp or almond meal/flour (I use leftovers from homemade nut milk)
  • 6 whole/raw brazil nuts
  • 1 cup/whole/raw almonds
  • 4-6 whole/pitted medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1-2 tbsp non alcoholic vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp untoasted, unfiltered sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • spices to taste (I used cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1 cup/whole/raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Pulse almond/nut meal in your food processor. If you are using almond flour, you may want to add about 2 tablespoons of water. The nut pulp I used was frozen and still contained some moisture from when I made nut milk. 

  2. Add brazil nuts, almonds, dates, honey, vanilla, oils, spices and salt to your food processor. Process until nuts are roughly chopped and ingredients are well incorporated.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir with a spatula or spoon.

  4. Spread onto your parchment or dehydrator sheet evenly. Press in to compress the granola so it is not too crumbly.

  5. If using a dehydrator, place a mesh screen on top and add something heavy like a big platter or glass baking pan.

  6. Set your dehydrator to 110 degrees Fahrenheit and let it set for 18-24 hours. Check periodically the center for moisture. 

  7. Once the edges are dry but not firm and crumbly, gently turn over your granola so it dehydrates evenly.

  8. Turn up the temperature to around 135 degrees Fahrenheit and let it finish for about 4 or more hours.

  9. Once you notice the center is completely dry and firm, it is ready!

Recipe Notes

If you are making this in the oven and do not have a dehydrator, you may want to separate it into two blocks instead of one. That way it will dry out more evenly. Turn on your oven to the lowest setting, around 200 degrees fahrenheit or less and let it rest for several hours. Periodically check the dryness and if any browning occurs. For evenness, you may want to prop your oven open slightly and periodically rotate the granola.

Grain Free Granola

Avocado Frosting


What was your favorite part of cupcakes or cake? I was always a big fan of the frosting. I have to say, one of the hardest swaps to investigate in my journey to healthier eating was frosting. What do you do without butter and powdered sugar? Honestly, they’re the main things! It’s hard to find something that matches up. While I haven’t quite found my perfect buttercream, this is a dark chocolate close second! I honestly could eat this on its own like pudding- and you totally can because it is full of healthy fats and low sugar. I love avocados, but it was a crazy notion to me a few years ago when I learned that you could make an avocado based dessert. It took a bit of experimenting to play with the flavor and get that rich chocolate instead of that underlying avocado taste. I have tried a few other avocado puddings and many of them still had that avocado flavor. I loved this frosting because there is no way to tell that there is avocado in it. All you get is creamy, delicious chocolate avocado frosting.

Luscious chocolate avocado frosting

Avocado Chocolate Frosting
Prep Time
20 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Servings: 1 cake
Ingredients
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 5 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 scoop collagen peptides
  • 2 tbsp non alcoholic vanilla
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch
  • pinch salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Mash avocado and ghee together thoroughly (you can food process for a creamy texture if desired).

  2. Freeze your bowl and beaters for at least 15 minutes.. the longer the better

  3. Refrigerate your avocado and ghee during this time- I tried adding it to my bowl in the freezer and they both get too hard to beat. Refrigeration is your best bet.

  4. Setup your mixer and pull out your cold bowl, add the ghee and avocado. Beat on high.

  5. Add collagen, coconut sugar, vanilla and salt.

  6. Beat again until smooth and creamy. 

  7. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add half the cacao or coco powder and the tapioca starch.

  8. Scrape again and add the remainder of the cocoa powder.

  9. Beat again, making sure all the lumps are out. Taste test to check if it needs any adjustments.

  10. Spread onto a completely cool cake- if there is any warmth to your cake your frosting will not set properly and it will soak into the cake.

  11. Store in refrigerator to let it set for up to one week.

The Best Gluten Free Birthday Cake

The Best Gluten Free Birthday Cake Ever

What do you think about when you think of your birthday? How do you like to celebrate? Every birthday I always asked for chocolate cake. Over the years my health has changed and I could no longer eat that triple layer cake with hot fudge and chocolate chips for frosting. Growing to understand my food allergies was an emotional rollercoster, and would often leave me feeling conflicted and uncomfortable when menus and accommodations were so limited. Thankfully, over the years, this has improved on so many levels. I never back down from a challenge in the kitchen, it is one place I find myself to be very, very competitive. So, I decided to experiment with gluten free flours and eventually natural sugars only and grain free/low carb options. I vow that the adventure never stops, but I know and see that my tastes will continue to evolve. Now that I have discovered what foods had such a negative impact on my health, I feel such a difference in my position in that kitchen challenge. Things have gotten tastier, healthier and easier, but I never stop experimenting and wanting that chocolate cake. For years, I was on the hunt for the best gluten free birthday cake and one of my most casual cake baking experiences was the best yet.
Paleo chocolate raspberry birthday cake
 

The Best Gluten Free Birthday Cake I Ever Made

I eat chocolate almost daily, but these days, cake doesn’t often make it into my life. If I could eat chocolate cake daily, I would. As I continue to heal my body, I must choose what I eat very carefully. This year, I didn’t have to sacrifice my needs and I got to eat the best damn cake I ever tried. It was my quarter life crisis, so of course I had to take up that kitchen challenge and make something amazing. But seriously, this cake was even better than the hot fudge frosted one. I was ecstatic to use Simple Mills cake mix for my birthday cake. I had tried it before so I knew just the perfect way to turn it into the healthiest and best gluten free birthday cake ever with the most amazing avocado frosting. That’s right! Who here absolutely loves avocados? I adore them, and I’m so glad that I can turn my sweet tooth into a healthy one. 
*this recipe does include ghee (clarified butter), but you could swap for coconut oil. I chose to use ghee because it has that buttery flavor. When I use coconut oil, I usually opt for refined coconut oil as the extra virgin will result in a very sweet flavor and mask some of the chocolate goodness. 

The Best Gluten Free Birthday Cake Ever
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
1 hr 35 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 people
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup ghee
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.6 cup coconut sugar +
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 10 drops stevia OR
  • 1 tsp pulverized stevia leaf powder
  • 1/3 cup nutmilk (homemade tastes best)
  • dash sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1 box Simple Mills Chocolate cake mix
Instructions
  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Line the bottoms of two round 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper.

    Lightly grease with ghee and dust with coconut flour and cocoa powder.

    Put ghee, eggs, coconut sugar, stevia and nutmilk in your bowl and whisk thoroughly.

    Add 1/3 of the Simple Mills mix and the remaining cocoa powder and salt.

    Gently whisk to combine.

    Scrape the edges of the batter then gently incorporate the remaining ingredients into the bowl.

    Before dividing up the batter evenly between both pans, make sure to scrape the edges one last time to make sure all ingredients are properly incorporated- this step cannot be skipped.

    Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife poked in the center comes out clean.

    Let cool for at least 20 minutes before it is ready to transfer.

    With a knife, loosen the edges of the cake from the pan, then flip them onto separate plates and peel off the parchment paper.

    Decorating:

    When the cakes are fully cooled down, spread a thin layer of avocado frosting (use about 1/4 or 1/3 of your batch) onto the flat sides. Stick each in the freezer for 5 minutes or until slightly hardened.

    Spread raspberry sauce on the bottom slice that is on your chosen serving plate and very carefully transfer the other layer, frosted side down on top of the raspberry frosted layer. Place back in the freezer for 5 more minutes.

    Take your cake out and finish frosting the outside with the remaining chocolate frosting.

    Again, freeze and once set, drizzle almond butter around the sides.

    Freeze for 15 minutes for your almond butter drizzle to set. Then add more raspberry sauce on top- you want to make sure your almond butter has set so that your raspberry sauce does not drip down the sides.

 
 
 
 

No Bake Energy Bites

This is my favorite chocolate recipe that I developed. It is better than coffee and low in sugar. Two things I am prone to be sensitive to. Instead of coffee, I start my day with these no bake energy chocolates to get me focused and energized. 
 
One of the worst symptoms I have experienced in the past has been irregular blood sugar levels. As a serious chocolate lover, it has been hard to find an option that is healthy, affordable and not filled with fake sweeteners or too much sugar (even in natural forms). Developing this recipe not only allows me to indulge in my favorite food and avoid any sugar crashes. I can eat what I love without regret or guilt. I have found these no bake energy bites are fantastic if you are trying to cut back on your caffeine intake or if you are looking for a mid afternoon pick me up.
 Easy DIY Energy Chocolates

This is the tray I use for my chocolates, I got it at Michael’s craft store, and it is actually a silicone brownie tray. Each mold will hold about 2 tablespoons. If you are using a smaller chocolate mold or muffin cups, be mindful of the amounts you use to fill each cup so you can have even amounts across each one.

No Bake Energy Chocolates
Prep Time
30 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Servings: 10
Ingredients
Shell
  • 1 bag 8.8 or 9 oz 100% cacao mass unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp cacao butter
  • 1 tsp pulverized stevia leaf powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Filling
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 tbsp collagen peptides
  • 1/4 cup mct or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup cashew or almond butter
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tsp non-alcoholic vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. At low heat, slowly and gently melt cacao mass and cacao butter over double boiler. Once melted, take off the heat.

  2. Stir in the stevia and salt until all ingredients are smoothly incorporated.

  3. In a separate bowl, add honey, collagen and mct or coconut oil.

  4. Mix these ingredients until smooth.

  5. Add the cashew butter, hemp seeds, vanilla, salt, cocoa powder and mix until well incorporated.

  6. Set aside until the shell is prepared.

  7. With about half of the melted chocolate, pour the same amount of chocolate in each mold of a silicone tray. The amount will depend on how large the mold is- the one I use will hold ~2 tablespoons in each, so I put 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate for the shell base.

  8. Put your silicone tray on a baking tray and tilt the tray in each direction to evenly coat the chocolate to the tops of all sides of the mold. This is the chocolate shell base.

    Place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, or until set and hardened.

  9. Fill each with even amounts of your filling and freeze again for 5-10 minutes.

  10. Fill each mold with even amounts of the remaining melted chocolate and set in the freezer overnight or for at least 4 hours. 

Chocolate energy bites

Chicken Bone Broth: Liquid Gold

Chicken Bone Broth: Liquid Gold
Ingredients
  • Chicken bones
  • Chicken feet or neck (optional, but honestly almost necessary for the best consistency)
  • 2-4 tbsp Vinegar
  • Filtered water to cover
  • Leftover vegetable peels- if you do not have any, I like to use onion, onion peel, potato, sweet potato, mushrooms, celery, garlic, carrot, parsley, etc.
Vegetables that are especially nutritious in broth would be: beets, leeks, purple sweet potato, celery, parsley, mushrooms, red onion peels, garlic, carrot
Vegetables that are not so tasty in stock: parsnip, broccoli, asparagus (even though it is amazing for you), cauliflower, brussles sprouts, spinach, cilantro, anything that has a strong, bitter flavor. Over time, this flavor tends to become stronger and the broth has a strong, unsettling flavor. We are aiming for something that is more umami and hearty in our stock flavor.
Instructions
  1. Place all bones and chicken feet or neck in your stock pot.

  2. Cover completely with water

  3. Splash a few tablespoons of vinegar in the pot

  4. Let the pot stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes

  5. Bring the pot to a boil- promptly bring it to a simmer as it begins to roll. Foam will float to the top as the pot begins to heat up- skim as much of this off as you possibly can.

  6. Once you have removed all of the scum, add all your veg to the pot and cover with your lid.

  7. Allow the pot to slow down to a slow roll- only one or few small bubbles will appear up top but it will not be bubbling per se, and you do not want the stock to be completely still either. Check in a little more frequently in the beginning of your roll to make sure the temperature remains stable

  8. Keep your pot covered, at the same temperature with occasional checks for 12-24 hours.

If you are only using chicken bones and no chicken feet or neck, then I recommend doing this for about 8 hours. There is less collagen in these bones and it is not as necessary to roll it for that long. If you are using beef bones, chicken feet, oxtail then it is seen as a waste to not roll it for at least 18 hours.
Note: keep the lid on as you do not want to create any reduction, you want nearly the same amount of liquid (you will only lose about an inch of water in the process, so long as you keep it covered). What will occur will be flavor and nutrient extraction from your ingredients. It will continue to extract nutrients the longer you roll your stock, so we don't want to lose any liquid.

A.K. Kitchen Bone Broth

Berry Dream Cream

Berry Dream Cream Smoothie
Prep Time
5 mins
 
Course: Breakfast
Servings: 2 people
Ingredients
  • 1 whole avocado frozen
  • 3 tbsp banana frozen
  • 1 scoop collagen peptides
  • 1/2 cup cherries frozen
  • 1/2 cup strawberries frozen
  • 1 small zucchini frozen in slices
  • 1 floret cauliflower frozen
  • 1/3 cup raspberries frozen
  • almond milk to taste
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • splash of filtered water
  • dash of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Blend everything together in a high powered blender until thick and creamy. 

Homemade Probiotic Sports Drink

 DIY Probiotic Sports Drink

Homemade Probiotic Sports Drink

**Information about probiotic sports drinks is limited, so this warrants further research on what the best recipes might be for recovery and performance based off of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, bacteria strains, and carbohydrate combinations**
Please note that there are so many other nutritional aspects to sports drinks that my recipe does not take into account (like types of sugars and electrolytes). I do not have the resources to research or test these aspects of my beverage. However, clinical testing of consistent intake of this drink or a modification of this drink alongside stool testing could shed light on the effectiveness on this and other possible combinations of homemade probiotic sports drinks.  
 
This recipe is amazing for recovery from high intensity training and muscle building. It can also apply for a variety of needs such as: GI health, skin health, detoxification and fatigue. It has helps me with these health needs and it has saved me money from purchasing a variety of different supplements. It puts a lot of different nutrients that I benefit from in one beverage that I can consume once or twice a day with little effort and little money. It fits into my meal prep routine and grocery budget. I often use left over ingredients for a variety of my other recipes, so it isn’t going too far out of my normal eating habits. 

For so many of us, hydration and good athletic performance is so important in exercise.  Personally, I have really struggled with having effective and steady workout routines. My MO has always been frail and so so tired after my workouts. All too frequently I was unmotivated to focus on my body and I have lived a very sedentary life. Exercise was a task and not an enjoyment, but I wanted to know what it felt like to push my body, feel energized, and in control of my coordination. Sound like you? Or maybe you are athletic but want to go further with your workouts.

Feeling strong has always been out of my reach, and I didn’t accept that it was a fault of my own- there’s always the fact that we don’t know what we don’t know. During my journey in learning nutrition, I thought it would be helpful and important to understand a little about sports nutrition so that I can better assist people on a topic I haven’t fully experienced or understood in my own life. I always wanted to be an athlete, but never had the resources, health, motivation or confidence to try. I realized, after much contemplation that exercise needs to be an integral part of my healing, and I needed to start somewhere. 



While I have never yo-yo dieted, I have definitely been swinging on a pendulum with my exercise habits. I have never found a sustainable option for my efforts, and I have never achieved the level of strength and fitness I desire. I reached a point in my nutrition master’s program where I learned about biochemistry and how that plays a role in energy and physical activity. I had more questions, and I felt like I was looking into an abyss of information, misinformation from sports culture in the U.S. and not understanding my own abilities. It was evident then that I needed to take sports nutrition. What I learned was a few things: hydration and certain nutrients are often lacking in athletes. That includes B6, electrolytes, water and effective carbohydrate replenishment. Hold up- I have more questions; what about the difference between performance and recovery? And the fact that many athletes abuse their bodies and keep pushing (no pain no gain?) Common symptoms after pushing your body too hard shows wear in the muscle, performance plateau and digestive disturbances. I already have too much stress on my body, so.. how do I push myself without the mentality of no pain, no gain? I want little pain and I also want gains. This isn’t a have my cake and eat it too situation. Science is behind this, but sports nutrition research is vastly underdeveloped and too reliant on capitalist gains. 

Here is what I learned in my research

Fermented foods have potential to support and uplift my exercise potential. I know from experience in having fermented foods, there are so many benefits (better GI health, less joint and muscle pain, and more energy)! What more can we find out about fermented foods and exercise?

Foods I chose for a homemade probiotic sports drink:


Fruits High in antioxidants: Fruits will provide sugars for proper fermentation as well as for carbohydrate replenishment. Vitamin C along with other antioxidants (fruits with dark purple coloring) will help in recovery by reducing free radical activity in the muscle. Wear and tear on the muscle can increase free radicals, so it is important to have detoxification activity for comfort and easier gains.

Purple Sweet Potato: Sweets contain healthy carbohydrates (Huang, T., Zhou et al. 2015), B6 (among other B vitamins), Vitamin C, Potassium, anthocyanin (this antioxidant becomes more effective after fermentation (Wu, T., Tsai et al. 2011)), and a range of other nutrients. (Wholesome App. 2013).

Coconut: Coconuts contain electrolytes, vitamin C, B vitamins, amino acids, phenolic contents, volatile acids, and sugars. In fermentation, acidity, amino acids, sugars and Vitamin C content declined (after 3 days, Vitamin C increased slightly then decreased again), but volatile acids and phenolic contents increased by fermentation (Xia, Q. et al. 2011).

Fun Fact! Antioxidants and probiotics work in very similar ways to repair wear and tear in the muscle and GI tract from exercise. This means, antioxidants and probiotics have the potential to detoxify, decrease inflammation, pain, soreness and fatigue after workouts. (Maughan, R. J., & Murray, R. 2001) (Lamprecht, M. 2012)

Furthermore, fermentation can improve the absorption level and effectiveness of antioxidants found in purple sweet potatoes (Wu, T., Tsai et al. 2011). In fermented coconuts, researchers found that vitamin C levels decreased, then increased after 3 days of fermentation (Xia, Q. et al. 2011), and then decreased again. Since my ferments are almost always fermented between 2-3 days, it is possible that we are able to increase activity of helpful antioxidants for maximum muscle detoxification and repair. 

Here’s a disconnect I found

You may be asking, can’t we just buy some supplements and call it a day? Evidence suggests that supplementation of nutrients is not known to be useful in improving exercise performance or recovery, and megadoses of nutrients like antioxidants (vitamin C) can be harmful (Maughan, R. J., & Murray, R. 2001). This is not to say that all supplements are useless in exercise: the statement simply says that, we do not have enough evidence to objectively know that athletes actually should and need to be taking supplements. In these statements, it is explained that we also know that nutrients like Vitamin C reduces muscle tearing and free radical activity in the muscle (Maughan, R. J., & Murray, R. 2001). Here’s the issue: we are saying that we know certain nutrients help athletes, but there’s little evidence to show that supplementation is actually useful. We do know, however, that research shows that supplementation of probiotics over 14 weeks can improve digestive disturbances and muscle recovery for high intensity trained athletes that experience gut inflammation (Lamprecht, M. 2012)
 
Let’s go back for a second, because this is too confusing and I have more questions….How is it that there is little evidence about supplementation in sports nutrition, but yet there is evidence of usefulness for athletes to have certain nutrients? What about sports nutrition culture and the big push for supplementation? How is it that we know these nutrients can improve workouts, but we can’t be sure that supplementing them will actually help, and yet we still spend so much money on them? 
 
My aim is NOT to share my opinion, I have no judgement and I cannot possibly have any authority to host judgement over what a person needs or should do for their health. We all have different biochemistries, and my statements are here to point out relevant research. I want to encourage the experimentation of the potential behind whole food nutrition. 
 
Additional statements from researchers suggest that most athletes are healthy individuals without deficiencies or need to increase their nutrient intake (Maughan, R. J., & Murray, R. 2001). This is a claim based similarly as my original one- we don’t have enough evidence. So, just as it is said that supplements may not be useful, can we also say that, with lack of evidence, most athletes are in a physical state of not needing to improve their nutrition? If all athletes were physically capable at peak performance all the time, would they question the need to buy supplements?
 
What we do know is that your body can recognize what whole food nutrients are from a biological and evolutionary standpoint. 
Furthermore, quality probiotic and antioxidant supplements are very expensive, especially for me, I have to choose how I spend my money very wisely. What we have in research, is solid evidence that fermented foods and whole food nutrients are beneficial in exercise and overall health. Even if a person has adequate levels of nutrients, there is no risk for harm done by incorporating whole food antioxidants and fermented foods like there is from incorporating supplemental nutrients. Each person and athlete has their own bioindividuality. Not one person has total understanding of their own biology, so experimenting with supplements without knowing their potential affects can seriously hinder the quality of athletic performance with symptoms like GI inflammation. 
 
Additional Bonus 

This recipe is very sustainable and thought out so that you can reduce the amount of glass you are buying and recycling from kombucha or other fermented probiotic drinks. The cost of honey, salt, fruit, coconut meat and purple sweet potatoes is low compared to buying a new bottled beverage each time. You need only a small amount of each ingredient to make this recipe, and it can reduce how much you spend on making sure you are getting beneficial nutrients in your diet. 

 
You can also modify this recipe after fermentation based on what you do know about your body and athletic performance. For example, I know that my workouts feel amazing if I add in a dose of calcium/magnesium powder along with an extra pinch of celtic grey sea salt. Magnesium is a supplement that I, personally, receive major benefits from by having trialled when my body was lacking. Introducing magnesium supplements into my routine was a suggestion from my nutritionist, it was not a self prescribed decision. I always encourage you to get a professional opinion before choosing supplements. If you do have have supplements that you KNOW pumps up your workout, or improves your hydration or recovery, by all means, add it in! Always read ingredients, research and ask your nutritionist whether or not the supplements and products you use are the absolute best for your body. You have one life, so your body deserves only the best forms of nutrition, so make sure your decisions are informed and backed by a professional. My research and curiosities to research and test this recipe were to try and improve my health through whole food nutrition. I want to continue testing this homemade probiotic sports drink with testimonials and further research as I think so many athletes and average people, like myself, deserve to feel only the best.

Homemade Probiotic Sports Drink
Prep Time
5 mins
 
Course: Drinks
Servings: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 handful blueberries fresh or frozen
  • 1 handful raspberries fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup rough slices of purple sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup coconut meat fresh or frozen
  • pieces mango, pineapple, peach (fresh peach is my favorite) optional
  • 1 tbsp raw honey (manuka is best)
  • 1/8 tsp celtic grey sea salt
  • filtered water (do not use tap) to cover
Instructions
  1. Time: 

    Ferment for 2-3 days and store final product in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

  2. Make sure your fruit, ball jar + lid are clean.
 Place your fruit, sweet potato, honey and salt in your jar.

  3. Fill the jar with the filtered water, leaving 1 inch of space at the top between the water and the lid.

  4. Close lid down tightly. 
Leave on counter at room temperature for 2-3 days. Burp the jars if necessary.

  5. Strain into another jar or container and fill your jar with fruit back up with water. Store both in the fridge. The fruit will ferment again- throw out the mixture when fruit is pale.

 

References



Huang, T., Zhou, D., Jin, Z., Xu, X., & Chen, H. (2015). Effect of debranching and heat-moisture treatments on structural characteristics and digestibility of sweet potato starch. Food Chemistry, 187, 218-224. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.04.050

Lamprecht, M., Bogner, S., Schippinger, G., Steinbauer, K., Fankhauser, F., Hallstroem, S., . . . Greilberger, J. F. (2012). Probiotic supplementation affects markers of intestinal barrier, oxidation, and inflammation in trained men; a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 45. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-45

Maughan, R. J., & Murray, R. (2001). Sports drinks basic science and practical aspects. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.


Shirreffs, S. M. (2009, November 17). Hydration in sport and exercise: water, sports drinks and other drinks. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-3010.2009.01790.x/full



Wholesome. (2013). The Wholesome App [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from http://itunes.apple.com


Wu, T., Tsai, C., Hwang, Y., & Chiu, T. (2011). Effect of Antioxidant Activity and Functional Properties of Chingshey Purple Sweet Potato Fermented Milk by Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. delbrueckii subsp. lactis, and L. gasseri Strains. Journal of Food Science, 77(1). doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02507.x


Xia, Q., Li, R., Zhao, S., Chen, W., Chen, H., Xin, B., . . . Tang, M. (2011). Development and evaluation of a fermented coconut water beverage with potential health benefits. African Journey of Biotechnology, 10(66), 14999-15005. doi:10.5897/AJB10.2602

 

Carrot Greens and Kale Dressing

Carrot Greens and Kale Dressing

Ingredients
  • 1 cup carrot tops
  • 1/2 cup baby kale
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 spring onions or scallions
  • 2 Tbsp cashews
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider or ume plum vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp+ water use as little as possible but add more by the teaspoon if your blender needs help blending it up
  • salt
  • 1/4 tsp kelp powder
  • 1 tsp nori flakes
  • cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp spirulina optional
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender for 2-5 minutes.

Berry Avocado Moringa Smoothie

berry avocado moringa smoothie

Berry Avocado Moringa Smoothie
Ingredients
  • 1/2 avocado frozen
  • 1 cup wild blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup apple cider OR
  • 1/2 cup coconut yogurt or plain yogurt OR
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar +
  • 1/2 cup cashew/almond/coconut milk
  • 1 tsp moringa
  • pinch chlorella
  • pinch kelp
  • pinch flax & chia
  • 1 Tbsp oats
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender for 2 minutes. 

5 Minute Tangy Mustard Dressing Recipe

5 Minute Tangy Mustard Dressing Recipe
Author: Aimee from A.K. Kitchen & Nutrition
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup lemon infused olive oil you can use regular olive oil + 1 tsp meyer lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup + apple cider vinegar- add more if you want it more tangy
  • 1 Tbsp fine ground mustard + 1/2 tsp mustard seeds OR 1 1/2 Tbsp course mustard
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch dill, oregano, basil
Instructions
  1. Begin by mixing spices,, honey and mustard in the vinegar with a whisk

  2. Slowly drizzle the oil into the mixture to create a creamy texture. 

  3. You can add 1/2 tsp of tapioca and whip it quickly with your whisk so the mixture stays emulsified and creamy.

Homemade Gluten Free Pumpkin Crescent Dinner Roll Recipe

Homemade Gluten Free Pumplin Crescent Dinner Roll Recipe
Homemade Gluten Free Pumpkin Crescent Dinner Roll Recipe
Author: Aimee from A.K. Kitchen & Nutrition
Ingredients
Wet ingredients
  • 1/4 cup almond milk room temperature
  • 4 heaping Tbsp pumpkin
  • 2 heaping Tbsp coconut oil or ghee softened
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt fine ground
  • 3 Tbsp sugar organic cane sugar is best
Yeast
  • 2 heaping tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water 105-115 degrees
Dry ingredients
  • baking 1:1 flour by King Arthur or blend that does not include gums.
  • 2 1/4 tsp psyllium husk powder
  • 1 cup
  • 1 cup tapioca
  • 1/4 cup 1 Tbsp oat flour
  • 1/4 c spelt (not gluten free) or buckwheat flour (gluten free)
  • 1/2 tsp guar gum
For rolling/topping
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp agave or honey
  • Pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Mix wet ingredients in food processor with dough blade until combined, about 15 seconds- so not overmix.
  2. Prep your warm water to activate your yeast. **Optimal temperature is 105-115 degrees F so make sure your water is not too hot (this is super important!!!)** be sure to use candy thermometer to check before mixing the yeast in.
  3. Mix in the yeast and let it sit in warm (not hot) area for about 5 minutes or until it is foamy on top.
  4. While your yeast sits & activates, mix in 1/2 your dry ingredients.
  5. Mix yeast into the mixture.
  6. Scrape sides and add the rest of the dry ingredients.
  7. Let the food processor kneed for about 5 minutes on medium. Do not do on high or the heat from the motor may kill the yeast.
  8. Open and push to test how wet the mixture is. If it is very sticky, add 1 Tbsp of oat flour at a time and blend for 1 minute until it has a slight bounce.

  9. Mixture should still be slightly wet and sticky or it will be too heavy to rise. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with warm towel. Leave in a warm area for about 1.5 hours or until doubled.
  10. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a thick baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.

  11. Roll out on floured surface about 1/4 inch thick (I recommend using parchment paper on your surface to avoid any sticking).
  12. Spread mixture
  13. Cut carefully into 8ths
  14. Stretch ends and begin rolling
  15. Dust off excess flour if there is any

  16. Let rise another 30 min in warm area (I usually leave on top of the preheating oven)

  17. Brush with more butter mix.

  18. Let rise another 15 min.

  19. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Can also be used for cinnamon rolls- just roll out into 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Dust with vanilla & cinnamon sugar, place in a pan and bake for longer (30-45 minutes)