Sugar detox Macaroons

This is best treat ever…Seriously…I think I could eat all batch by myself…So good it is….And I am on Sugar detox day 14. I won’t lie that it’s easy, because it’s not…

Now the recipe:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 green apple, peeled and shredded
  • 1 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1) Mix egg whites with salt. Add in coconuts and apple and stir in well. Place in fridge for 30mins. to soften coconut.

2) Using a small scoop (i.e. melon baller, cookie dough scoop, or small ice cream scoop), fill with batter, pack very firmly and release bites onto parchment paper lined baking sheet

3) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes if you want them more golden.

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Morning Glory muffins (Paleo)

Paleo Morning Glory Muffins

I was willing to bake something and Keven pointed out today that our apples are going bad, so I decided to seize the moment and do something with apples. Of course, I have my favourite apple fritters muffins recipe that I love and could eat all the time, but also wanted to try sometihing new.

I went to check on PaleoOMG website to see if there are some ideas that I could use. I took her Morning Glory Nut free muffin recipe, twisted a lot and got my own version of Paleo Morning Glory Muffins. They came out very nice, feel a lot sunflower taste and misses a bit sweetness, so if you have sweet tooth, I would advice to put at least 3 TBSP of honey, but if you are trying to limit sugar then keep initial 1 TBSP.

Here comes the glorious recipe for 12 muffins:

Ingredients
  • 2 apples, peeled and cored, grated
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled ir grated
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • ½ cup Walnut Oil or Coconut Oil(melted)
  • ¼ cup dried apricots or any toher dried fruits of your choice
  • ¼ cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Chocolate chips (Enjoy life) -optional
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toast sunflower seeds over medium heat with 1TBSP fat. I used regular olive oil, but you can go with coconut oil. Make sure that you don’t burn seeds, so keep mixing very frequently.
  3. Grate apples and carrot to a bowl and add  almond butter.
  4. Then add your roasted sunflower seeds to the food processor and puree until you get a flour/meal.
  5. Then add your sunflower seeds flour, eggs, walnut oil, honey, apricots, chocolate chips, pecans, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix well.
  6. Pour your batter into muffins tins. I lined my muffins tin with silicone muffin liners but paper would do just fine.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.
  8. Let cool slightly, but but best to eat them warm. ENJOY!

What I learned this weekend…

ufff….I had such a bad experience…..I got alcohol poisoned and all day yesterday was spend sleeping, waking up, going to bathroom to puke, then go back to sleep again…

I had no idea that it would be that bad, seems like I start having alcohol tolerance zero. So, there was a birthday party fot my friend from french class and they are really not good cooks and decided to make pizza with some bought dough, so I offered to help them and to make proper dough. Anyways, thought it would be nice to teach others what I know, especially as I don’t eat pizza’s anymore, not regular ones…..Maybe I would have tried this one, but the sauce that they used was full of “red list” ingredients, so I just decided to skip. Anyways, those who tasted, said that pizza was good 🙂 And Keven decided that he wants to have something nice to drink, so we came to agreement to buy some rum and make Pina Coladas, which were actually very nice:

So, the recipe seems pretty much paleo, I just should not have drunk wine before and maybe maybe all would have turned out nice….But it did not….That was worst day of my life….Last time I felt so bad was after my hen party, but then I ate whatever and mixed all alcohol possible….and Friday…no shitty food, wine and Pina Colada…except I ate some apple crumble as birthday cake, just because it had much more apples than crumbles and decided to take a chance as I almost never, literally, never cheat, because I don’t feel like and I don’t need. The only times when I allow myself to cheat is when something is homemade and I feel that it might be tasty and I want to try it and pay courtesy to the person that made food, which happens maybe once in 3 months. Anyhow…..at 20h I started feeling a bit better, drank some hot water with honey, then ate some apple sauce, decided to make myself chicken soup that would soothen my upset stomach:

  • 2 chicken drumstick (or whatever chicken you have)
  • 2 carrots, cubed
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • some persil (dried or fresh)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in pot with cold water, make it boil and simmer for ~1hour or until meat falls easily from the bones. Remove meat from bones, cut into small peaces and return to pot with vegetables. Check for salt and pepper to season and that’s it. Very simple and delicious. I would have wanted to make something more spicy, the one with roasted garlic, but decided that maybe not this time….

Soup and applesauce worked their magic and finally I could relax and not think about running to bathroom to hug toilet bowl. I think I slept in total from friday night till now like 24 hours. Today I am feeling better, though still a bit shaky, decided to go for a walk as obviously there will be no training for me today…Lesson learned: training, healthy living and alcohol does not go together…

But this poster helps to think positive and go through and experiences:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/403137_452832388118074_181927033_n.png

Paleo crunch bars

So, I wanted to order some stuff from Steve’s Paleo, but the shipping is super expensive, so I decided to make a research on all mighty google.com and find a recipe to make it myself. Anyways, I am so used to make everything myself that I kind of lost hope and interest to buy. Well, I try to ind something, but there is always some ingredients that I don’t like or if it’s all clean, then it is super expensive and it is much cheaper to make it myself.

I took a recipe from here and I basically repost the recipe:
Ingredients

1/2 cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup Pecans ( I used 1/4 cup of Pecan meal, because I had it and found it much cheaper to buy pecan meal than actual pecans. Anyways, I usually use them for baking and have to make into meal, so saving expenses and extra work)
1/2 cup Shredded (raw, unsweetened) Coconut
3/4 cup Almond Meal
1/2 cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Coconut Oil (plus a little to grease the pan)
1/4 cup Honey
2 tbsp of 100% Cacao

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grind the pumpkin seeds, pecans, and coconut in a food processor until it’s a coarse flour.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin/pecan/coconut flour with the almond meal and sunflower seeds. Use your hand. This is also when you add the cinnamon.
Add in the vanilla and the coconut oil stir with a spatula until the mix is evenly coated.
Add the honey and fold the mixture together until it is consistent throughout.
Grease your baking pan. I actually used two bread pans and divided mixture in half. I first pan I put and pressed so that it would be all equal the original mixture, then to the rest I added cacao and put that into second pan. I wanted to try two variations and did not want to cook twice 🙂 Both came out good. If you make just one variation, use square pan, for the convenience. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on it though. Once it is golden brown and the aroma fills your kitchen, it’s ready. Remove it from the oven and use the spatula to cut it into 20 bars. Let it cool though before you take them out of the pan.

Chocolate love – weekend desserts

I LOVE chocolate. I used to love milk chocolate. Not anymore….I still remember days when I was teenager and I could eat 200-300g of chocolate in one sit. Seriously…I liked it that much…But, since I went paleo, I find it difficult to find chocolate that would not have soya lecithin in it and it is impossible to find chocolate without sugar. Well, in best case scenario you get chocolate with cane sugar and no soya lecithin and it might be pricey 🙂 But I prefer not to have sugar at all, so I prefer to make desserts by myself and explore different ways to enjoy it while making desserts with 100% cocoa.  I love richness of chocolate and I think I couldn’t live without it, but the sweetness was replaced by bitterness. That’s where the problem lies is making desserts, because Keven is sugar fan. So, this weekend for me was chocolate dessert weekend…I almost always make desserts on weekends to have what to enjoy during the week 🙂

This weekend I made paleo candies, sun butter chocolate fudge and sweet potato chocolate brownies. Actually, brownies are still in the oven, so pictures for all desserts will follow. My favourite easy to make dessert that I must have in freezer is pale candies. So easy to make and I started to separate now in a half. First half I make almost unsweetened (for me) and second half triple  sweetened (for Keven). The good thing about these candies is that you can mix in whatever I want. Sometimes I make them only with coconut flakes, sometimes make half nuts and half coconut flakes, sometimes I add a little bit of nuts. The one that is in recipe has maybe 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts and rest is coconut flakes, so experiment to find the best combination for you. I like this recipe because it doesn’t have as much of coconut oil and/or almond butter. I love both, but I also love to have something not that expensive to make, so these candies are good budget solution 🙂

Paleo Chocolate Bars

  • 2-3 Tbs coconut oil (depends on how crunchy you can you bars to be)    
  • 1/4 cup 100% cocoa
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (if not just replace them by shredded coconut)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbs raw honey (add more if you want it sweeter)
  • parchment paper or pyrex

Then comes the easiest part. Over medium heat in small saucepan heat oil and honey until melted. Add cocoa, nuts    and coconut and mix everything. Pour the mixture on a parchment paper or in a pyrex and form a square. Put in a freezer until set. Cut into desired sizes. Enjoy! I keep them in a freezer not to eat all at once. It is easier if you don’t see it, because it would be gone much faster 🙂

Sunflower Fudge

I found this recipe through Dessert Stalker and I chose to make it, because it did not relied heavily on either butter or coconut oil. Plus it offered to make your own sun butter (which I did, but I think I toasted seeds a bit too much, so my fudge has some little taste of burn….oh well…next time it will be perfect). Whether you choose to make your own sun butter or not, it is up to you, I think you will be satisfied with result. It is really nice and filling dessert (adopted from Erin).

Ingredients:

  • 2oz  100% cacao unsweetened chocolate (if you don’t have, just replace by 1/3 cup of cacao)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup organic sun butter (or make your own sunflower butter)
  • 3 Tbsp Maple syrup (or any other your preferred natural sweetener)
  • 6 drops stevia (I think next time I will not put stevia and maybe just add 1 tbsp of honey)

Over medium heat mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan until well combined. Pour into bread pan and freeze until set. Cut into desirable sizes and enjoy. What is good about this recipe that you can replace sun butter by any other nut or seed butter and have a great result, because the taste is really rich and I love the idea of using coconut milk instead of oil.

Last recipe came from my favourite dessert maker Juli 🙂 Needless to say it is really yummy, though less yummy than sweet potato pie 🙂 Anyways, when you have sweet potatoes around, very well worth to make.

Sweet Potato Brownies

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 eggs, whisked (I used 1 whole egg and 1/2 cup of egg whites)
  • 1/4 cup melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 cup unpasteurized honey
  • 1/4 cup Semi  Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 3 tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 2 tbsp 100% cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Bake potato on 425F for around 30mins. or until soft. Then reduce heat to 350F for brownies. Peel and mash sweet potato. Add coconut oil, eggs, honey and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry ingredients: cocoa, baking soda, coconut flour, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips. Mix all well. Pour into 8×8 or similar size pyrex and bake for 30-40mins. Cut into squares.

I served it with coconut ice cream and blueberries. Super nice 🙂

So, these are my treats for a week 🙂 I know that it might seem a lot, but brownies will be gone tomorrow and fudge will last a bit longer as it has burned sunflower seed taste :)))

Sweet Potato Pie

I have been making quite lots of desserts lately. Well, after my Whole30 challenge I really missed making sweets and especially because Paleo is still new to me I love experimenting and trying out new stuff, especially free from all the inflammatory stuff 🙂 So, I have never made not Paleo sweet potato pie as well as I have never made pumpkin pie before in my life, so for me, this pie tasted amazing. Actually, all Paleo desserts tastes for me amazing, but this one is definitely worth trying, especially if you got couple sweet potatoes laying around.

This recipe is entirely from the book “Paleo Comfort Foods” and it has two parts: Nutty Crust and Sweet potato Pie filling itself.

Nutty Pie Crust:

  • 1 cup almond Flour
  • 1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all wet in the other. Combine wet with dry until completely mixed. Using fingers  or spoon (for me with spoon was less hassle as it dough is quite sticky) press dough into 24cm pie pan. Bake for 12-14mins. or until browned. Let it cool completely before filling.

Sweet Potato Pie:

  • 1 Nutty Pie Crust
  • 2 cups (400 g) sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
  • 1 tbsp of butter or coconut butter (melted)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder (I did not use baking powder as the one that I have from old times contains starch, so I just added extra 1/2 tsp of baking soda. I always do that when recipe calls for baking powder. I know that they have different reactions, but I have been lazy to search for appropriate baking powder or simply don’t remember that when I am shopping)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey (it is optional and I actually used maple syrup as I run out of sugar and as Keven still has huge sweet tooth I decided to please him by adding this extra sweetness to dessert)

Preheat the oven to 400F. In large bowl or food processor mix sweet potatoes and butter. Add in eggs and mix until fluffy. Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt in separate bowl. To the sweet potato mixture add coconut milk, vinegar and spices. Mix until fully combined and add honey if desired. Pour content into pie crust and bake for 10mins. at 400F and then reduce heat to 325F and bake for 30mins. or until set. Decorate with pecan halves 🙂
Super nice and everyone will be very pleased with this pie.

Crispy Spiced Chicken Livers

This recipe is entirely taken from The Clothes Makes The Girl website, but I thought that it would be nice to share it with you, especially because livers are really nutritious, but at the same time not the food that is eaten every day. Anyhow, today I bought some chicken liver, because I saw them in meat section and I already made this recipe once. Keven really likes it and he is all about texture and really hesitant in trying new stuff, so I was pleasantly surprised that he loved them and actually ate almost all of the ones that I just made, before I could take a picture 🙂

Ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken livers
1/2 cup coconut flour (there still will be left quite a lot, but it need to be a lot for proper dusting.  I just reserve it and used it later with some savoury recipes that require coconut flour, such as Zucchini pancakes – nothing to be wasted)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon  garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cloves (I did not have it, so used all spices mixed with Chinese 5 spices)
2-4 tablespoons coconut oil
garnish: fresh lemon and chopped parsley

Cut chicken livers into 2-inch pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Mix flour and all the spices in a big bowl. Add the livers and mix with flour making sure that the livers are all covered. Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil over medium high heat, let it heat for couple minutes and add livers. I needed two batches to cook them all as they need to have space and not touch each other. Be prepared for lots of some, as high heated oil and flour tends to have such a powerful smokey combination and don’t be too close to the pan. Fry for 2-3 mins. until bottom is browned and crispy.  Flip livers with tongs and brown other side. Put the done ones on paper towel to drain while you make the rest. Serve alone or with squeezed lemon juice.

Zucchini Berry Muffins and Morning Power Smoothie

As my challenge is over, of course I allow myself to indulge in little sweet pleasures, but my taste and attitude changed a lot. Even if I want to have a dessert, I also want to be it as nutritious as possible and better with no sugar added, except from fruits. So, I was searching for some recipe and I could not be more happy when I found Zucchini muffin recipe. I am fascinated about idea of hiding vegetables in foods where you don’t expect to find them(muffins, pizza crust, pies, etc.)  I took this recipe from http://www.paleoplan.com and slightly changed (in the original recipe they were having tapioca flour, but I did not have it, so just did not put it):

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (check the consistence if you will need to add more. I put 1 cup, but the dough was too dry, then I had to increase eggs)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs allspice
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 10-oz bag frozen berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) OR 1 1/4 cup fresh berries
  • ¾ cup zucchini, grated
  • ¾ cup almonds, finely chopped
  • muffin paper liners

Instructions

  1. Take berries out of freezer to thaw, if applicable.
  2. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  3. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice.
  4. In a food processor, combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar and oil.
  5. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and blend until completely combined.
  6. Finely grate zucchini (or food process it).
  7. Fold in berries, zucchini and almonds.
  8. Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins.
  9. Bake at 350° for 25 – 35 minutes.

Image

It reminds me a bit of my traditional morning smoothie:

  • Mixed Berries (raspberries, blackberries and blueberries)
  • 1/3 banana
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • water (depending on how thick you want your smoothie to be)
  • few stalks of kale (love the idea of putting nutrition dense greens in smoothies, plus you would not make a difference)
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 1 tsp of almond butter

Food choice challenge

It is funny that Mother’s day date differ from country to country. You would think that such an international thing as Mother’s Day would be the same everywhere, but no….I don’t know how it is determined here, in Canada, but back in my country Lithuania, it is the first Sunday of May. So, I congratulated my mom last Sunday. Father’s day is first Sunday of June. So, I always know when it is Mother’s or Father’s day…So, we decided to have brunch with Keven’s family, to spend time together. Keven’s sister picked the restaurant where they have Sunday Brunch for reasonable price. Last time when I went for the brunch with family, I was simply avoiding gluten in all forms, but did not omit diary and was not in Whole30 challenge. This time everything was much more difficult. So, before going there I decided to make sure that I am not gonna die from hunger if I would not find what to eat, so popped in before leaving couple of Broccoli fritters, just to make sure 🙂 I also took some Paleo mayo, hoping that there would be some nice vegetables so that I could combine salad and just in case if they would not have olive oil.  I like veggies, but I also like to have a dressing 🙂

And actually I had very poor choice in the restaurant, because it was all processed food, fried, made in dough or made with potatoes (pate, fried bacon, fried potatoes, loads of deli meat, cheese plate, pasta, pasta salad, some stew, little meat cakes and etc). They did not have any boiled eggs and they did not fry eggs on site ( even though probably I would have eaten them, because they would not be organic 🙂 ) , the only egg choice was omelet, but I assume that they would put some wheat and diary in it, to make it more filling, therefore I did not risk. I was lucky that they had sea food table where I could pick some baked salmon and some shrimps. I don’t know if shrimps were having any additives, but I decided not to worry too much about it as they were not having any sauce on them. There was no vegetable bar, only salad bar with ready-to-eat salads, but one was with mayo (even before I changed my diet, I never ever ate salad with mayo that I did not make myself. I just find it somehow unsafe) and the other was with feta cheese and oil, so could not fill my carb choice with vegetables. So, went to fruit section where could get some fruits (watermelon, melon and pineapple). So, eventually my plate consisted of salmon, shrimps and fruits :)))) And I had loads of water and black coffee. If someone would have told me sometime ago that that would be my food choice, I would not have believed. But now, I felt totally O.K. with that. I wish I could have had better choice, but well, you can’t expect all the world to turn into healthy food. And I did not feel that much tempted to try out rest of the food, so when you don’t feel tempted, it is much easier to get around. But Keven indulged himself for both of us. Even desserts were not tempting me, I did not feel being seduced by croissant, brownie or sugar pie. Simply because I don’t know what is inside. I would not mind that much in general gluten, but I just can’t stand the idea of putting in my body modified this or modified that, some artificial sweeteners and God what else. So, just the idea about that totally turned me off. Even when everyone around were eating all the sugar load after having all the fat and carb load I did not feel bad. Not a tiny bit. First of all, because my challenge is almost over and I  can really confirm that my sugar dragon was really slated, so I did not feel tempted by all the desserts. Second, because, even f I would feel tempted, I would still wait until I would go home and bake my own Paleo dessert that would taste as good or even better and would not have all the hidden nasty ingredients. So, I survived my Sunday brunch successfully and this time they were not asking me if I am gonna have a cheat day :))))

 

My new books

yesterday I received my books from Amazon and already started digging into them…As my newest passions are nutrition and dog, so naturally books are about that. So, I got 4 books:

Gary Taubes “Good calories, Bad calories”. I read lots of good reviews about this book and decided that it is definitely worth to have at home and read it thoroughly, because I definitely can confirm that low fat diet is not working and actually high fat diet is much better option. But still I want to have as clear as possible picture of how my body works and what it is best for it. (even though I have to admit that Paleo diet and reading about it and taking Whole30 challenge helped a lot to get a picture). At the same time, I remember that lets say 5 years ago, for me it was too much even to understand what it is proteins, carbs and fats, I simply was saying that I have no idea what all these numbers in labels mean and I actually had no idea, so I am very proud that I evolved so much in my understanding about nutrition and what is what.

Julie and Charles Mayfield “Paleo Comfort foods”. Again, after going through many reviews, I decided that this would be book to have and it looks really promising. I am gonna try to make tomorrow some meatballs, though I will have to omit some ingredients as my Whole30 challenge is not over, so no sauce with red wine for me, even if it is only 2 tbsp. I have less than a week left for the challenge 🙂 The other book that I definitely want to have is by Melissa Joulwan “Well Fed”, as I love  her website and tried many recipes and she seems to be really good cook.

 

 

 

Bastin, Ashton and Nixon, D.V.M. “Better food for Dogs”

It took us a long time to choose the dog food that would satisfy our requirements and would be as healthy as possible. After reading a lot of labels and ingredient lists, checking online and etc. we decided to feed Nora with Orijen brand dog food. It is canadian and it seems to use whole food rather than protein by-products and is not full of preservatives. However,  I know that best would be to make food for dog ourselves and I don’t mind doing that, so I wanted to have book about dog nutrition. It is not as complete as I would like it to be and I would like to have more recipes in there simply because they make differentiation by dog weight and then provide recipes, but same recipes go for 15 lbs dog and 45 lbs dog just it calls for different quantities of ingredients which I would have adjusted by myself, so for me it is basically waste of paper. Instead I would have suggested simply to provide recipe for 10 lbs of dog weight and multiply according to actual weight. Apart from that book contains really useful information on dog nutrition, on supplements and vitamins and nutrient requirements according to adult dog weight. Anyhow, I still can’t use the recipes in there yet as Nora is a puppy and puppies need a lot of different elements to grow healthy and strong, so for a while I will stick with pre-made dog food. Still, I made for her today Carrot and Cinnamon Puppy Treats as to introduce different tread for training sessions.

 

 

Gerilyn J. Bielakiewicz “The Everything Dog Training and Tricks book”

Even though I have read fairly good amount of books about dog psychology and training, I still wanted to have one book that would be mine and not borrowed from the library and that would include a bit more of tricks for dogs and reviews seemed to favour this book. Time will show, I haven’t read it yet actually.