Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Paleo Mocha Frappé, two ways

Paleo Mocha Frappe
(left) Paleo frappé, (right) almost paleo frappé 

Instead of giving a traditional gift to my dad this year for Fathers Day, I “paleo-ified” one of his favorite non-paleo treats, a Mocha Frappé, and gave him the recipe.  My parents have followed paleo for several years, even long before I jumped on the AIP bandwagon. My dad saw great improvements to his seasonal allergies once he eliminated grains, sugars & dairy from his regular diet.

Paleo Mocha Frappe Ingredients

Almost Paleo Mocha Frappe Ingredients

Since my dad does not have diagnosed chronic or autoimmune health conditions that I have, he is able to follow the 80/20 rule. Yet, he still has a great love for Mocha Frappés--the ones that come from a certain fast food joint known for its golden arches. I wanted him to be able to indulge in the flavors of his favorite treat while maybe consuming *slightly less* of the non-paleo ingredients found in the commercial blended (flavored) iced coffee beverages. So, I set out to create a slightly better-for-you version that he could enjoy at home.

Paleo Mocha Frappe

Paleo Mocha Frappe
(left) Paleo frappé, (right) almost paleo frappé

In the end, I created not just one, but two frappé versions, both of which are still very much treats. The first is completely paleo, though it requires some prior planning to make the chocolate sauce, cold brew coffee & make coffee ice cubes, prep coconut cream.... I realize that not everyone may have the right forethought to prepare so many components ahead of time (basically, you would need to decide almost 36 hours ahead of time that you’d like to make a frappé), so I created a second, less labor intensive, version. The second version potentially uses some grey-area paleo ingredients but is more easily created on a whim. Still, with either frappé, the end product will have better, more “real” ingredients than a store bought treat.

Paleo Mocha Frappe

Paleo Mocha Frappé 
Yield: 1 serving

3 Super Cubes (approximately 150 g) of cold brewed coffee (see recipe below)
90 g (a little less than 1/2 c) Coconut Cream
60 g / 3 Tbl Paleo Fudge Sauce, plus additional for optional garnish
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
Coconut Whipped Cream (see recipe below), optional garnish

  1. Scale all the ingredients, in the order listed above, into a high-speed blender single-serve cup (I have this Ninja  but another brand should work too). 
  2. Screw on the blender cup top & blend until all the ice is pulverized. Allow the blender to rest as necessary. It may be beneficial to remove the blender cup from the base & shake it a couple times during the blending process. 
  3. Top with coconut whipped cream and/or a drizzle of paleo fudge sauce, if desired. Add a straw & serve immediately.
Note:
  • This frappé is not as sweet as the ones commercially sold. If desired, add 2 tsp (or more to taste) Coconut Sugar, or other Paleo sweetener of choice, during the blending process. 
  • This recipe can be easily doubled (or tripled) by using a regular blender container, instead of the single-serve cups. Scale ingredients directly into the larger vessel & blend.  
  • As always, use the weight measurements for the best accuracy. But this recipe isn't a fussy as a cake or other baked good, so if your amounts are slightly off, it should still be ok. 


Cold-Brewed French Press Coffee
8 Tbl Ground Coffee
32 fl oz Filtered Water 
  1. Measure the coffee grounds into the main vessel of a French press. Pour in the water. Stir to combine. 
  2. Place the lid on the French press, but keep the plunger up. Steep in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.   
  3. After 8-12 hours, press the plunger to separate the coffee from the grounds.  Make coffee ice cubes, if desired. Store any leftover coffee in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

Coconut Whipped Cream
Yield: enough for 2 frappés 

1 can Coconut Milk, refrigerated at least 8 hours
1 tsp Grade B Maple Syrup 
  1. Refrigerate the can of coconut milk at least 8 hours. Open the can from the bottom & pour out the liquid. Save the liquid for a future use, such as in a smoothie. Scoop the solids into a medium sized mixing bowl.  
  2. Add the maple syrup & vanilla extract to the solids. Use a hand-held mixer (or the whisk attachment of an immersion blender) to whip the ingredients to soft peaks. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. 
Notes:
  • Coconut milk with thickeners added (like guar gum) will produce the best textured whipped cream; however, thickeners can be gut irritants…. So keep that information in mind & make your own educated decision. 

Almost Paleo Mocha Frappé
Yield: 1 serving

125 g / ½ c + 2 Tbl Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream 
      (Coconut Bliss brand is what was used for testing this recipe )
125 g / 4 fl oz / ½ c Cold Brewed Coffee (see above recipe) 
25 g / (a litle less than 2 Tbl) Coconut Cream
75 g / approximately 6 regular cubes Ice
2 tsp Coconut Sugar, plus more to taste, as needed
Coconut Whipped Cream, optional (see above recipe) 
Paleo Fudge Sauce, warmed, optional 
  1. Scale all the ingredients, in the order listed above, into high-speed blender single-serve cup (I have this Ninja  but another brand should work too). 
  2. Screw on the blender cup top & blend until all the ice is pulverized. 
  3. Top with coconut whipped cream and/or a drizzle of paleo fudge sauce, if desired. Add a straw & serve immediately. 
Notes:
  • Unless you make your own coconut milk ice cream, most commercial brands are not entirely paleo, due to added thickeners (like carrageenan, locust/carob bean gum, guar gum…) and/or sweeteners (like agave or cane sugar). 
  • I chose to use Coconut Bliss brand chocolate coconut milk ice cream because I have diagnosed sensitivities to locust/carob bean gum and carrageenan (discovered via blood tests), which are found in most other brands of coconut milk ice creams. Yes, coconut bliss contains agave (read more about agave here), but for me, agave is a "less bad" choice than choosing a brand with those thickeners.
  • This recipe can be easily doubled (or tripled) by using a regular blender container, instead of the single-serve cups. Scale ingredients directly into the larger vessel & blend.  
  • As always, use the weight measurements for the best accuracy. But this recipe isn't a fussy as a cake or other baked good, so if your amounts are slightly off, it should still be ok. 
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Monday, June 22, 2015

Paleo Fudge Sauce & AIP Carob Sauce


Paleo Fudge Sauce & AIP Carob Sauce

This year, as a Fathers Day gift to my dad, I “paleo-ified” one of his favorite treats. Next weekend, during a visit to ND, I’ll be making him that treat AND giving him the recipe (watch for that full recipe in a future post).  Most people can follow the 80/20 rule for paleo, meaning paleo is followed 80% of the time & during the remaining 20%, certain indulgences/choices can be made to eat non-paleo foods.  While a person could choose to indulge in a non-paleo, store-bought chocolate sauce, I developed this sauce as a slightly better-for-you option.

Paleo Fudge Sauce

Still keep in mind, this paleo fudge sauce is still very much a treat.... Just because the title includes the name “paleo,” doesn’t make it a health food. However, it’s ingredients are a bit more clean than some of the store bought versions.  So far, we’ve eaten the sauce straight from the jar with a spoon (oops), added it to coffee and coconut cream to make a homemade mocha, and drizzled warmed sauce over coconut ice cream.

AIP Carob Sauce

Though I realized as I’ve been posting some pictures on Instagram of my test batches, perhaps developing an AIP-compliant sauce for those who haven’t yet reintroduced chocolate would also be a good idea. When following AIP, there is no 80/20 rule--following AIP 100% & reintroducing foods one-by-one, very slowly is the only way to succeed. Part of the reason I create AIP treats is specifically so that we don’t have to feel left out during times of celebration when others may be consuming foods we cannot.  Carob doesn’t taste exactly like chocolate, but if you’re someone who cannot eat chocolate, it makes a pretty tasty treat option stirred into coconut milk or drizzled over coconut milk ice cream.

Paleo Fudge Sauce & AIP Carob Sauce

Paleo Fudge Sauce: Paleo, AIP Reintro, Vegan

28 g / 1 oz / (a little less than 6 Tbl) Cacao Powder
160 g / 5.65 oz / heaping 1/2 c Grade B Maple Syrup
85 g / 3 oz / 1/4 c + 2 Tbl Coconut Cream
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
30 g / 2 Tbl Enjoy Lifechocolate chips
1 t Vanilla Extract
14 g / 1 Tbl Coconut Oil

  1. Combine the cacao, maple, coconut cream, and sea salt in a small saucepan. 
  2. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low & simmer for 3 minutes. Whisk constantly throughout. 
  3. Remove from the heat and whisk in the coconut oil & vanilla extract.  
  4. Pour into a jar, cool at room temperature & store in the refrigerator. The sauce will become solid in the refrigerator, so reheat as necessary for serving. 


Notes:

  • I have created this recipe using the gram weight figures & later converted it to volume for your convenience. However, I have not tested the volumetric measurements, so keep that in mind. I highly recommend getting a Digital Kitchen Scale & weighing ingredients whenever possible. 
  • Honey may be substituted for the maple syrup, but such a substitution will make the recipe no longer vegan. 
  • I have not tested any other brands of chocolate chips other than Enjoy Life--other brands may be more or less sweet. 

AIP Carob Syrup

28 g / 4 Tbl Carob Powder
3 oz / 1/4 c Raw Honey
2 Tbl Filtered Water
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
14 g / 1 Tbl Coconut Oil
1 Tbl Coconut Cream

  1. Combine the carob, honey, water, cinnamon, vanilla & sea salt in a small saucepan. 
  2. Heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer 3 minutes, continuing to stir constantly.
  3. Remove from the heat and whisk in the coconut oil & coconut cream. 
  4. Pour into a small jar, cool at room temperature & store in the refrigerator.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Herbed Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Sauce (AIP/Paleo)

Herbed Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Sauce (AIP/Paleo)

While It’s still rhubarb season, I thought I’d share a recipe I’ve been developing. This recipe is also one I gave a sneak peak of over on the Autoimmune Paleo Instagram account when I guest-posted a couple weeks ago.

With summer very quickly approaching & my tastes beginning to gravitate more towards blueberries & stone fruit, I wanted to share one more rhubarb recipe for this season. Did you know that rhubarb is actually a vegetable? Somehow, that knowledge gives me immense satisfaction, as I am consciously trying to increase daily my vegetable intake. I guess most vegetables don’t require the addition of honey or maple syrup (or apple juice) to make them palatable, but perhaps lets just forget that pesky fact ;)

Rhubarb is more often used in desserts, but this application proves it can work with savory foods just as well. This sauce has a great, pure rhubarb flavor (no strawberries in sight, rhubarb purists) while still remaining a little on the tart side. I’ve paired it with an herbed pork tenderloin, but I can imagine it might also be a great dipping sauce for meatballs or for roasted chicken.  Depending on where you live, rhubarb stalk color can vary greatly.... The first couple batches of rhubarb I bought were bright red & produced a very red sauce; however, my latest batch was more on the green side & the sauce was not nearly as colorful. Even my less-colorful batch was delicious, so don’t stress if your sauce isn’t quite as vibrant as my photo.

In case anyone is curious, I served the pork with some sautéed asparagus & butternut squash "risotto."

Herbed Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Sauce (AIP/Paleo)

Herbed Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Sauce
yields 2 to 3 servings 

1 1lb Pork Loin
4 tsp chopped fresh herbs (I like equal parts thyme, sage, parsley, and rosemary, but use what you have)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbl oil (I’ve used melted duck fat and avocado oil), plus an additional tablespoon for the pan.
Rhubarb Sauce, recipe follows

  1. Dry the pork tenderloin well. In a small bowl, mix together the herbs & sea salt. Rub the tenderloin with 1 Tbl oil & sprinkle with the herb/salt mix. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 
  2. Heat some additional oil in a cast iron skillet (or other heavy skillet). Sear the tenderloin (cut it in half if necessary) on all sides over medium high heat, rotating as necessary. The searing process should take around 5 minutes. 
  3. Transfer the tenderloin to the preheated oven & roast for 5 to 10 additional minutes, or until an instant thermometer inserted into the tenderloin reads 150 F. 
  4. Remove the pork from the oven & allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with rhubarb sauce, if desired. 

Rhubarb Sauce
250 g  (2 cups) sliced rhubarb (fresh or frozen)
75 g (1/3 c) filtered water
42 g (2 Tbl) Raw Honey, plus additional if needed

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Remove from the heat & carefully taste a little of the sauce. If the rhubarb is still exceptionally tart, add an additional tablespoon of honey. 
  4. Serve either warm, cold or room temperature with the herbed pork tenderloin. Refrigerate any leftovers. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle

The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle
NOTE: This bundle offer is extremely time sensitive! Act quickly before it’s gone… 
Also, this post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Sweet Treats!  

The Autoimmune Protocol of Paleo (AIP) literally gave me back the life I never thought I’d have again. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Interstitial Cystitis. Not long after that, I was also diagnosed with severe gluten intolerance (most likely celiac, though I can’t do the official gluten challenge test anymore, due to the severity of my reaction), IBS, fibromyalgia/chronic joint & muscle pain, hypothyroidism and other conditions. 

None of those conditions are curable, as of yet. They may never be curable. I was warned by my doctors that I needed to embrace “a new normal,” get use to dealing with symptoms for the rest of my life & plan to depend on medications for the rest of my life. The pain and fatigue were tremendous & I never knew exactly how I might feel from day to day. And to be honest, it was really emotionally challenging to think that life might never get better....

After going the conventional treatment route for a while, and at the convincing of my parents, I decided to try an alternative. I started seeing a holistic doctor in April 2014, who put me on a “detox diet.” Searching for recipes and resources for my “detox diet” is what lead me to find the Autoimmune Protocol of Paleo (AIP) & to discover that what I thought was simply a “detox diet” is so so much more! AIP is a more longterm comittment that uses food and lifestyle factors to manage these health conditions. Plus, there’s an entire online community of other people also following AIP who help provide resources/recipes & act as a support system! 

These days, after more than a year on AIP, I’m in a much better, healthier place. I have experienced tremendous improvements. My symptoms may not be entirely gone & I still have some flare-ups, but the number of good days outweighs the not-so-good days.  I’ve slowly been able to successfully reintroduce some formerly problematic foods. I’ve become a better advocate for myself & more educated on a variety health conditions. I’m finding a balance between the natural & holistic, while still remaining open to conventional medicine options.

I’ve always been a tender-hearted, highly sensitive person. My heart breaks for others who are going through challenging health conditions & who don’t have the hope I have. I want to give everyone with autoimmune conditions (or other chronic health conditions) some AIP paleo kool-aid--or perhaps kombucha would be a better option ;) But many people aren’t open to to the changes AIP requires (there is no 80/20 rule, like with paleo). Or they don’t know where to start. Or they think it will be too difficult to actually implement…. 

The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle: e-books


Which brings me to this very special project that Sarah Ballantyne, PhD of “The Paleo Mom”  LINK and her team have compiled: the first ever all Autoimmune Protocol-compliant bundle! I only wish something like this had been available when I was starting my AIP journey. 45 e-books (worth over $500, if purchased individually) and 26 discount codes all for just $39!! WHOA!! But it’s only available through Monday, May 25, 2015. 

Included in The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle are 15 AIP cookbooks and meal plans, including two of my favorites Mickey Trescott’s “The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook” and Bre’anna Emmitt’s “He Won’t Know It’s Paleo,” 15 lifestyle and exercise guides, 15 beyond the basics e-books (which go into more detail about different health conditions & factors), 9 brand new e-books, 26 discount codes for AIP-friendly products/vendors, and a brand new, exclusive e-book "The Best of the Autoimmune Protocol 2015." 

The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle: Sweet Potato Flat Bread

I was honored to contribute to “The Best of the Autoimmune Protocol 2015” exclusive-to-this-bundle e-book, which contains over 160 recipes from the best of the autoimmune authors, bloggers & recipe developers. I’m not going to lie, I’m still pinching myself that I was included in such a prestigious group. :) 

I urge you to consider investing in “The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle," whether for yourself or for someone you know dealing with chronic health issues. Or, for those in the hospitality/food and beverage industry, the Paleo & AIP movement is growing tremendously & this bundle is an awesome deal for some great recipe resources, when you find yourself needing to offer clients Paleo and/or AIP options. 

Take advantage of this incredible deal before Monday, May 25th! 

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April Check In & Chocolate Pots de Creme (Paleo)

Hi Friends! Hope everyone is doing well. My life has been unexpectedly busy lately & I’ve fallen a little behind on my blog posts... And my email.... And my social media!  But I wanted to stop in and tell you guys what’s been going on & tell you about some exciting happenings.

Chocolate Pots de Creme (Paleo)

Chocolate Pots de Crème (Paleo) over on Empowered Sustenance
Lauren over at Empowered Sustenance asked me to guest post on her site, where I am sharing a recipe for Chocolate Pots de Crème and some thoughts on custards & AIP reintroductions (this recipe contains pastured egg yolks & chocolate, both of which I have successfully reintroduced). This recipe is one of my husband’s absolute favorite things I’ve ever made (paleo or not), so I encourage you to go check out that post!

AIP Allergy Card

Allergy Cards for eating out
I posted over on Instagram about these allergy cards I’ve designed to take to restaurants to ease the challenges of eating out while following AIP. While my own cards include info about some extra food sensitivities I personally have, I’m also working on making a generic AIP printable card that you all could use for eating out too. While using these cards don’t mean that AIP eating out will be problem free, but it does make communicating with restaurant staff much easier. Watch for that post coming soon!

My AIP-iversary 
Last week, I marked my first anniversary of following the Autoimmune Protocol.  Prior to following AIP, I was following a reduced gluten, low acid, standard American diet, and I was on various medications, but still not seeing all my symptoms go away....  A new doctor I had begun seeing suggested I make dietary changes similar to AIP (only eliminating a few further items than AIP has one omit). I committed right then and there. Truthfully, I did not fully understand the changes I was making or that they’d be longterm--I foolishly thought it would be a 6 week stint & then I’d go back to things as they’d been. HA! While my life is far from perfect now, it is so so so much better than it was a year ago!

(left) Texas Blue Bonnets blooming in early April; (right) South Carolina Dogwood during our Easter Trip  

Travels
My schedule has included much traveling as of late. We went to visit family in SC at the beginning of April. I’ve added acupuncture in to my care plan, as well as a new functional medicine doctor, so there have been weekly car trips to and from the city. Now, I’m back in North Dakota for a bit to spend time with my parents & other extended family.

(left) Tulaby Lake, MN; (right) taking a walk with my Mom and Mollie-dog 
As always, if you’d like to see what I’m up to on a day-to-day basis, follow me on Instagram. I’ll be back next week with a new post!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumbles (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumbles (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

When I spotted fresh rhubarb in the produce section on my grocery trip last week, my mouth started watering. Rhubarb remains one of my all-time favorite flavors. Two years ago, I posted a recipe for a gluten free strawberry rhubarb crumble, but the food I eat is more than a little different these days. I thought it would be nice to re-visit that recipe & adjust the ingredients make it AIP, paleo, and even vegan! This crumble makes a great spring time dessert & would be a fantastic addition to an Easter menu. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumbles (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumbles (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

One of the joys (and sometimes struggles) of making AIP recipes is experimenting with new-to-me ingredients. This recipe was my first time baking with tiger nuts--I used tiger nut flour --which became the basis of the crumble topping, replacing the almond flour I used two years ago. At first glance, tiger nuts may not seem to be AIP, since nuts are officially out on the elimination process of the protocol, but tiger nuts are actually tubers/starchy vegetables, not nuts. Tiger nuts can be purchased both in their whole stage and ground as flour. I have to say I’m more of a fan of the flour & I foresee many future experiments with it! The flavor, once baked is slightly sweet & toasty-nutty, and I could have sworn I tasted a little vanilla, even though this recipe doesn’t contain a drop! (If you want to read more about tiger nuts, check out this post.)

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumbles (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumbles (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

While this crumble could be made for a crowd by baking the entire recipe in one large baking dish, I once again went the route of making individual crumbles. Regular dessert & treat consumption should not be a normal, every-day occurrence. A treat should be just that, a treat! Even though I have not consumed “regular” sugar in almost a year, I still have trouble with willpower around sweets. By making the crumbles individual, I resist the temptation to make my portion “just a little bigger” or eat “just a little more.” I very specifically used 4 oz freezer safe mason jars so that I can freeze the leftovers, thus once again removing further overeating temptation.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumbles (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumbles (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Also, how handy that the jars come with lids, making this an easily transportable dessert!  Add a spoon & they’re good for go. As we travel for the upcoming Easter holiday, I’ll be surrounded by non-AIP food, which still can be a bit tempting at times. But I’ll be prepared by freezing one or two of these crisps & bringing them along in a cooler. I’ll have my own tasty dessert without any detrimental side effects :)

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumbles (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumbles (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble (AIP, Paleo & Vegan) 
Yields 4 - 6 servings, depending on jars 

For the crumble topping
2 T  Arrowroot 
Pinch Sea Salt
1 T Grade B Maple Syrup
2 T Coconut Oil, melted 

For the filling
1.5 c hulled & sliced strawberries
1.5 c sliced Rhubarb
2 T Maple Sugar (note: can sub more maple syrup, but filling will be more liquid-y)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 
  2. FOR THE TOPPING: Mix together all ingredients with a fork until well combined & crumbly. Reserve in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
  3. FOR THE FILLING: combine the sliced strawberries & rhubarb. Drizzle the maple syrup over the fruit. Add the arrowroot starch. Mix to combine. 
  4. ASSEMBLE: Sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp of topping into the bottom of a small ramekin or mason jar. Add a heaping 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup portion of the strawberry-rhubarb filling. Press down the fruit slightly to compress. Spoon two tablespoons of topping over the fruit. 
  5. Place the crumbles onto a rimmed pan. Pour water into the pan, making a water bath to protect the containers during the baking process. 
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden & the fruit is bubbly. 
  7. Cool slightly before serving. Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers. 
Notes: 
  • To make the recipe coconut-free, substitute another fat of choice for the coconut oil
  • If you really like crumble topping, plan to double the topping recipe--it's addictively delicious! 
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