Archives for the month of: January, 2014

Homemade almond butter…made from organic raw almonds that were soaked for 24hrs in water with sea salt, then dehydrated overnight, followed by being roasted in the oven and finally were blended with a few other wholesome ingredients to create the creamiest and most delicious tasting almond butter you’ve ever had! I suppose you could just pour some almonds in the blender and mix them up, but the end product would definitely not be the same! The beauty of making your own is that you can add in different ingredients to customize the flavor to be whatever your little heart desires. I chose to make this one original with a hint of vanilla.

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1⃣Soak 2c organic raw almonds in 5c of water with 1t sea salt overnight
2⃣Rinse then dehydrate at 150F for 8-12hrs
3⃣Roast dehydrated almonds in the oven if you would like your almond butter to have that “toasty” flavor, if not skip this step
4⃣Place almonds in your blender (I used vitamix so not sure how long others take) along with:
🔹2T coconut oil
🔹1/2-1t sea salt to taste
🔹1t pure vanilla extract
5⃣Blend on high for about a minute (may be longer) using the tamper if necessary (I put mine in directly from the dehydrator and they were hot so they mixed easily) until a smooth texture is achieved. Taste to see if flavors need adjusting, if not, you’re done!
6⃣Store in the refrigerator

**This if another one of my base recipes. There are so many add-ins that can be used for almond butter. Some ideas are coconut sugar, pure maple syrup or maple extract, banana, honey, caramel extract, coffee extract, etc!**

Spaghetti-style stuffed kabocha squash is an easy 4 ingredient dinner idea! This is a great make-ahead meal. Assemble the layers then refrigerate. About 30 minutes before dinner, simply pop then in the oven to reheat and they are good to go! The four ingredients are squash, ground meat, marinara and quark/greek yogurt. That’s it! This can also be made paleo by not adding the layer of quark/greek yogurt

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1⃣Cut kabocha squash (or squash of choice) in half and scrape out the seeds. **Optional-place 1/2T grass-fed, organic butter (coconut oil, olive oil, your choice) in the “bowl” of the squash.** Place both halves cut side up in a baking dish with 1/2″ water in the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil and bake 425F until fork tender all the way through. (Cooking times will vary depending in size of squash. I had two small squash and it took about 30min.) Remove foil when they are almost done and continue to cook uncovered.
2⃣While the squash are cooking, brown 1lb ground meat (I used venison but beef, turkey, chicken, etc. would all work). You can add in diced onion, garlic, s&p if desired. When meat is completely cooked, pour in one jar of organic marinara (with no added sugar-read your ingredients!) and let simmer on low until squash are done in the oven.
3⃣When squash are done, remove from oven and scoop a dollop of quark or greek yogurt into the “bowl” then top with a scoop of the marinara/meat mixture. (Optional-top with shredded cheese such as Parmesan or mozzarella.) To make this paleo, simply omit the quark/greek yogurt and don’t add the cheese on top.

**For a make-ahead simply assemble the squash bowls, let then cool, then refrigerate in a covered container. About 30 min before dinner, pop them into a 350F oven and cook until heated through**

I used my left over almond pulp from making almond milk to make these cookies! Instead of dehydrating the pulp into a flour, I left it moist in for this recipe. It’s also a super easy recipe because all of the measurements use a tablespoon!

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1⃣In a bowl combine:
🔹pulp from making almond milk with 1c almonds
🔹2T coconut oil
🔹2T nut butter
🔹2T shredded coconut
🔹2T coconut sugar (or honey)
🔹2 eggs
2⃣Roll into 1″ balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
3⃣Use dark chocolate chunks to press balls down into cookie shapes and bake at 350F for 20min

I have seen a variation of this recipe going around for a while now. It uses nutritional yeast to make the kale taste cheesy. After scouring for what looked like the perfect recipe for me (that I never found), I decided to combine a few common ingredients I saw, plus added my own and I’m sure glad I did! These were delicious. So, so good! I made these in my dehydrator so it was no fuss. Only a few left, definitely making more soon 🙂

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1⃣Soak 1c raw cashews for a few hours ahead of time
2⃣Cut 1 large bunch of kale into large chunks being sure to remove the stem
3⃣Wash and spin dry then lay out on a towel to dry
4⃣When the cashews are done soaking, drain and rinse them, then place them in a blender
5⃣To the blender with the cashews, add in:
🔹1/2 red bell pepper, cleaned and seeds/ribs removed
🔹1/4c melted coconut oil
🔹1/2c nutritional yeast
🔹few shakes of hot sauce (1t)
🔹1 garlic clove, chopped
🔹juice of half a lemon
🔹few shakes of coconut aminos (1-2T)
🔹optional-salt to taste
🔹optional-pitted date for a little sweetness (I did not add this in though, but thought it could be a nice touch if you desired)
6⃣Blend until smooth and creamy, taste to see if anything needs adjusting
7⃣Place dried kale in a bowl and pour sauce over top, mix kale/sauce with your hands until each piece is coated then place on your dehydrator trays and dehydrate on 135F for 3-6 hours. Test toward then end to make sure they are crispy.

I love homemade almond milk and if you have never had it, you should definitely give it a try! Tastes way different (which is disturbing) and far better than store bought. Also, it’s a lot cheaper AND it doesn’t have any of the nasty ingredients that all of the store bought brands have. Nothing goes to waste with this almond milk either. I save the pulp to be dehydrated into almond flour for baked goods. I love my life. Choose to be healthy.

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Almond Milk
1⃣Soak 1 cup of raw almonds in 4 cups of water with a pinch of salt overnight
2⃣Drain and thoroughly rinse almonds and place in a blender
3⃣Also to the blender add:
🔹4c water
🔹pinch of salt
🔹2 pitted dates (optional)
4⃣Blend until thoroughly mixed and almost reaches a smooth texture
5⃣Pour into a nut bag (or thin cotton dish towel over a strainer over a bowl) and squeeze all of the milk out of the pulp (reserve pulp to be dehydrated into almond flour)
6⃣Store in the fridge, good for 5-7 days (shake before pouring as it may separate which is normal)
**Optional add-ins: cinnamon, vanilla extract, pure maple syrup, honey, raw cacao…add-in possibilities are endless!**

Almond Flour
1⃣Pour pulp onto dehydrator tray lined with parchment paper into a thin, even layer
2⃣Dehydrate around 115F for 4-12 hours (depending on amount, moisture, and thickness of pulp) until dry and crumbly
3⃣Store in the freezer until ready to use

Almonds, water, dates and salt in the blender

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Pulp poured into thin dish cloth ready to be squeezed

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Pulp on dehydrator tray

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For Christmas, my hubby got me a dehydrator and I have been experimenting with it lately. My first treat I tried was Japanese sweet potato chips in both sea salt and BBQ flavors. They had good flavor but lacked the crunch of a typical chip. Next time I try chips, I may toss the into the oven for a few minutes after dehydrating to try and crisp them up. Still delicious and WAY healthier than store bought chips. My second treat I made was this sweet, yummy snack! Sweet banana chips. I didn’t mind that these have that chewiness to them, at first bite they are hard then they sort of just melt in your mouth. Perfect! Another healthy snack in the books.

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1⃣Slice 1 ripe but still firm bananas into even slices, 1/8″-1/4″ thickness (I used a mandolin) and place in a small bowl
2⃣In a small sauce pan melt together (May need to double depending in size and amount of bananas):
🔹1T coconut oil
🔹1-2t honey (or maple syrup)
🔹1t cinnamon (can add nutmeg too)
🔹optional-1t coconut sugar
**Dip a banana in the sauce to taste and adjust spice/sweetness as desired**
3⃣Pour sauce over sliced bananas and gently stir until all are coated
4⃣Dehydrate 130F for 12hrs (longer/shorter depending on thickness of bananas)

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while…we went home for a week and while there, I got sick and have been recovering ever since. Now I am feeling a ton better and actually feel like cooking and posting my creations 🙂 So here is dinner last night. I made-over chicken alfredo. This has a coconut milk based sauce with spaghetti squash for noodles topped with broccoli and chicken for a perfectly healthy meal. (Can easily be made paleo, simply remove the cheese)

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1⃣Cook one medium spaghetti squash by method of choice, remove seeds and shred the squash into a large bowl, discard seeds and skin
2⃣Heat up some coconut oil in a large skillet and add in boneless chicken thighs or breasts that have been cut into strips
3⃣Season with s&p, garlic powder and crushed red pepper
4⃣Once fully cooked, scoop chicken into bowl with spaghetti squash
5⃣In a medium sauce pan, steam one head of broccoli that has been cut up into small pieces, until tender. Then put in bowl with spaghetti squash and chicken

SAUCE
1⃣In a small sauce pan sauté until translucent:
🔹1T olive oil
🔹1T butter
🔹1/2c diced onion
🔹2 cloves garlic, diced
2⃣Then add in:
🔹1 can full fat coconut milk
🔹1/2c almond milk
🔹1/4c grated parmesan
🔹s&p
🔹1t oregano
🔹1t basil
🔹1t garlic powder
🔹1/2t crushed red pepper
3⃣Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, simmer for a few minutes until starts to thicken, then pour into bowl with squash, chicken and broccoli
4⃣Mix all ingredients together then pour into 9×13 pan. (Optional-top with shredded mozzarella.) Bake in the oven until cheese is melted and heated through