Paleo Browned Butter Snickerdroodles

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I’ve tried to limit my posting of desserts, but every once in a while, I can’t resist.

I found this recipe on the Clean Eating With a Dirty Mind blog.  Tons of Paleo goodness. Main courses to snacks.  Sweet to savory.  Check it out when you have a chance. 

I’m a big fan of snickerdoodles.  Huge fan.  Really, with a name like Browned Butter Snickerdroodles, I just had to try it.  And here it is.

Makes approx 2 dozen

Ingredients

Dough
1 & 1/2 cups Almond Flour
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
1/4 cup Coconut Crystals (coconut sugar)
2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 cup Kerrygold Grass-Fed Butter Browned (1 block)
1  Egg
1/4 cup Honey
1 Tbs. Canned Coconut Milk, Full-Fat
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

Rolling Mixture
1/4 cup Coconut Crystals
2 tsp. Cinnamon

Parchment paper

Directions

1. In a large bowl whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, coconut crystals, cream of tartar, baking soda, 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon and salt, set aside

2. Brown the cup of Kerrygold Grass-Fed butter. Put the butter in a sauce pan and continue to whisk consistently over medium heat until the butter boils then turns brown and starts to give off a toffee like aroma. Immediately remove from heat so it doesn’t burn. Set aside and let cool. (I ended up putting the browned butter in the fridge to speed up the cooling.

3. In a separate bowl add the egg, raw honey, coconut milk, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar. Stir until combined. After the browned butter has cooled (you don’t want to cook the egg on accident because the butter is still too hot) stir it into this mixture.

4. Now pour the wet mixture in to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. At this point you will have a dough that has a consistency similar to cake batter. Refrigerate the dough for 2-3 hours. It will harden and thicken up. You can even throw it in the freezer for a bit. Do not skip this step, I promise it will be worth it!  It makes the dough rolling much easier.

5. Prepare your rolling mixture in a small bowl.

6. After your dough has hardened, preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking shcookies1eet with parchment paper, very important!  Grab a piece of dough and roll it in a ball, then roll it into the coconut crystal/cinnamon rolling mixture and place on the baking sheet. Lightly press the end of your palm into the dough to flatten it a tiny bit, don’t press too hard, you only want a slight indentation. The cookies will spread a bit while baking.

7.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, then let cool. I let mine cool on the baking tray because when I tried to transfer them to the cooling rack they were so soft they fell apart, but after they cooled on the tray they solidified and became easily moveable. Enjoy!

I was quite pleased with how these turned out.  I made them at the firehouse, and they were a huge success.  They really are a Paleo snickerdoodle.  I imagine they pair perfectly with a cup of coffe.  If it wasn’t 8:00 at night and if caffeine didn’t have an effect on me, I would confirm that hypothesis. I must warn you, these are dangerous.  As Vanessa, the recipe’s author, writes, “this recipe is outstanding.”  I second that.

Instead of baking up a batch of your typical full of grain, full of dairy, full of sugar cookies, try these out on the family.  Sure to be a hit.  Bet they won’t know it’s Paleo.

Happy eating!

Recipe found HERE.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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I really dig Brussels sprouts. A lot. One of my favorite ways to prepare them is by roasting them.

Ingredients
Brussels sprouts
Olive oil
S&P
Other seasonings

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400°. In the meantime, arrange the Brussels sprouts evenly on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with s&p. I also use a, little garlic and onion powders. Stir to evenly coat. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until soft and golden around the edges.

I bought a bag of Brussels sprouts from Trader Joe’s today. Freezer to pan to oven to plate in less than 45 minutes. Nutritious AND delicious.

Happy eating!

Paleo Baked Apples

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While looking for the perfect Autumn dessert, I came across this little gem on the CrossFit Grand Forks website. It is a recipe that my good friend, Gina, had posted awhile back. Gina is a Registered Dietician and CrossFit Level 1 certified trainer. She also heads up the nutrition aspect at the CrossFit Grand Forks box. Gina and her family have been eating clean for quite some time now, and she is a pretty fantastic cook. I knew this baked apple recipe was sure to be a winner.

Ingredients
4 Apples (Original recipe calls for Granny Smith, but really any Apple will do)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup raisin OR dried cranberries OR chopped dates
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2.5 T. coconut oil

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Use a paring knife to remove the core and some of the top. Place in a glass baking dish.
3. Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl (I added the extra Apple bits that I cut off in step 2 to this mixture) and stuff as much into the apples. (Any extra filling I just put in the pan around the apples.)
4. Bake the apples for 40-50 minutes. (You may choose to cover them for an additional 5-10 minutes with foil to soften the apples more.)
5. I drizzled a little real maple syrup over the top of them for just a little extra sweetness.

Gina suggests that they are best served warm, right out of the oven!

I plan to make these again. They smell incredible while baking, filling the entire house (or firehouse) with the sweet smell of apple cinnamon. The pecan, coconut, and spices mixture is really quite fantastic. Each ingredient complements the others perfectly. While baking, the coconut and pecans get a little crispy. The toasty flavor is a fun surprise.

Simple, clean, and delicious.

Happy eating!

Recipe can be found HERE

Slow Cooker Chili

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My last shift was on the first day of Autumn. My medic partner and I were craving chili. He volunteered to check in the truck if I searched the Internets for a solid Paleo chili recipe. Challenge accepted. I found THIS recipe and altered it a bit. This is what I came up with.

Ingredients
1# grass-fed beef
1# bacon
1 medium red onion
2 green peppers
1 can chili peppers
2-14 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce
3-4 medium sweet potatoes
1 small container mushrooms
4-5 large carrots
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
Olive oil

Instructions
Brown the beef, set aside. Using the same pan, cook the bacon. Once bacon is crispy, set aside. Chop peppers and onions, brown in bacon grease.

In the meantime, peel and chop carrots into large chunks. Combine tomatoes, sauce, chili peppers, mushrooms, carrots, beef, and crumbled bacon into crock pot. Add peppers and onions once they are soft. Add spices. Season to taste. The 1 tsp is just a starting point. Cook on low for 5-8 hours.

Approx 1 hour prior to eating, peel and chop sweet potatoes. Pour them onto baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle a little garlic and onion powders onto the potatoes, gently stir potatoes. Bake at 400 degrees for approx 20-30 minutes, or until you can easily stick them with a fork. Stir every 10 minutes or so. Once they start to soften, add the sweet potatoes to the chili. Cook for about another 30 minutes, to combine flavors.

Enjoy! I like to serve sweet potato chips on the side.

I know, I know…”but what about the beans??!?” Legumes are not Paleo. The carrots and sweet potatoes are great substitutes for the beans. Honestly, you don’t even miss them. The sweet potatoes add a subtle sweetness to the spice of the chili. Really a brilliant ingredient for this recipe. And then there’s the bacon. This is another subtle ingredient that packs a punch. Every once in awhile, you get a bite with bacon and think “mmmm…bacon.”

The best thing about slow cookers is that you throw it into the crock pot in the, morning, let it cook all day, then have a delicious dinner waiting for you later that day. Prep work can easily be done the night before. This chili reheats really well. Also, the leftovers are even better the next couple days.

This recipe is loaded with vegetables. Tons of protein and a plethora of other nutrients with each bite. A perfect Autumn Paleo dinner.

Happy eating!

350 Likes Giveaway

The Paleo Paramedic Facebook Page has reached 350 Likes!  I am truly humbled.  As a thank you, I’d like to have a give away.  I am giving away a fruit infuser water bottle from one of my favorite places, Reset massage. I go to Reset about twice a month for amazing massages.  This water bottle is great.  I like to add fruit or cucumbers, fill with water, then I’m good to go.  Prize number 2 is a $25 gift certificate from my friends at Tripp’s Primal Farm and Kitchen.  Based out of Maine, the Tripp’s use only the freshest Paleo ingredients for their treats, many of which they have on their own farm.  Muffins, cookies, cereal…  sure to satisfy any caveman’s sweet tooth. Last but not least, prize 3 is some bacon apparel.  RAYGUN is a t shirt store in downtown Des Moines.  This local shop is known for creating clever tees, sure to be the highlight of any part.  I will be giving away one of their “Bacon My Heart” tees (you pick the size, details will be discussed with winner).  Check it out HERE.

The giveaway has already begun.  You may enter by heading over to the Paleo Paramedic facebook page HERE. Click on the “Giveaway” tab near the top, next to the “about” section.  Enter away. You have may have up to 5 entries. 

There are 6 days left in this contest.  I’m really excited about this giveaway.  Good luck!

Alcohol

This post has been a long time coming.  I’ve talked about legumes.  I’ve talked about grain.  I’ve talked about dairy.  “But is alcohol Paleo?”

The short answer, no. 

The way I see it, Paleo is all about eating clean. I consider it a long-term cleanse of sorts.  It’s bringing your body back to it’s normal state.  Getting rid of toxins, processed garbage, sugars. Regulating insulin.  Maintaining normal hormone levels.  Alcohol is one of those things that does nothing to cleanse the body or bring it backs to its normal state.

There are 3 types of alcohol. Wine, beer, and spirits.  Wine and beer and products of sugar or starch fermentation.  Wine from grapes, and beer from grains.  Essentially, beer is like liquid grain (think: gluten). Spirits come from grain fermentation, but are later distilled, which removes the grain protein, thus making them grain-free. However, sometimes the gluten can be added back in by way of additives or other alcohols.  

Alcohol does a good job at reducing your inhibitions, as well as coordination and fine motor skills.  Even just a “little” bit of alcohol can make you think “hey, those chili cheesy deep fried corn dog fritters would be perfect if they were in my belly right now.” Bad idea.  Bar food, also bad idea.  If you’re serious about eating clean and sticking to it, don’t set yourself up for failure by drinking alcohol then making poor food choices.  It’s lose lose.

Alcohol has a HUGE effect on hormones.  It messes with your body’s ability to regulate glucose…big time.  This affects your insulin levels as well as your glucagon levels.  When something interferes with these hormones, one may see a major systemic inflammatory response, which plays a big part in a whole plethora of conditions and diseases.  

While we are still on the subject of sugars, alcohol is LOADED with sugar…and a major lack of nutrition.  Empty calories.  Lots of them.  Mixed drinks can be a bad bad combo.  Man oh man.  Consider cleaning it up a bit by scrapping those sugary soda pops and mixers for something a little better.  Try club soda, real lime for Rose’s lime juice, and drinks with fruit juice instead of those pre-packaged mixers.

As I mentioned in paragraph one, alcohol is not recommended.  Ok, that being said, treats are ok.  I guess I just encourage people to be mindful of what they’re (eating and) drinking.  Pre-Paleo, I enjoyed beer every now and then.  Good beer.  Hearty beer.  The stuff that is full of flavor, full of calories, and is fairly similar to eating a loaf of bread.  Since choosing the Paleo way of eating, I have cut out beer.  Completely.  I do like a drink every now and again, however.  I chose to switch to a vodka, club soda, lime wedge cocktail.  I felt that this was a better choice than the alcohol choices that I made before eating clean.  Some Paleo people recommend choosing gluten-free beer.  Some say wine.  Others say 100% agave tequila or hard cider.  Really, alcohol is alcohol.  Sure, some choices are significantly better than others, but there is really no “Paleo alcohol.”  I consider a cocktail or two a treat.  Just make good choices.  Moderation.  The less that you drink, the healthier you will be.

Cheers

Pantry Necessities

Part of following a Paleo way of eating is being prepared and thinking ahead for meals.  One way to do that is by keeping a well-stocked pantry. Everyone is differnent.  The is what I always have on hand.

Olive oil.  Olive oil is a staple.  I typically buy the biggest jug of olive oil that I can find.  I use it in recipes as well as to grease pans.  I tossed the Pam spray and bought a Misto sprayer.  I actually found mine at Target.  Love it.

Almonds. Snacking or cooking.  Always delicious.  I like raw almonds as well as lightly salted.  Easy to take along as a quick snack.

Real maple syrup. Although I use it sparingly, this is my primary, go-to sweetener. If something needs a little sweet, I add a little syrup.  Sweet potato, morning shakes/smoothies, mixed with mustard as a marinade for chicken. 

Honey. This is my secondary sweetener.  It’s great because it’s real, natural sugar.  I try to buy as local as I can.  In addition to adding a little somethin to food, it’s also good for my allergies.

Coconut/almond flours. I try to have a bag of each on hand.  I use the coconut flour for my pancakes, and you never know when you need a little flour for a recipe.  Also good to thicken gravy.  Tip: Once opened, keep the flours in the freezer to prevent from going bad.

Dark chocolate. I also keep my chocolate in the freezer. I like dark dark chocolate.  The darker the better.  80-90% is ideal for me.  Great for sweet treat before bed or blended in the food processor with a frozen banana for chocolately banana “ice cream.” 

Almond milk. I typically have almond milk in the fridge, sometimes I’ll switch it up and buy coconut milk.  I tend to buy 2 cartons at a time.  This stuff is great.  Unsweetened…no extra sugars.  I cook with this, drink it plain, use it in smoothies, pour it in coffee.  It has more calcium then cow’s milk as well as a significant amount of other vitamins and minerals. 

Almond butter. Justin’s is my brand of choice.  I like to buy a jar of it as well as little indivual serving packets.  The packets are great to throw in my work bag or in the car for a quick snack.  Easy protein and fats for on the go.  I like almond butter in smoothies, on my paleo pancakes, on sweet potatoes, and on celery with raisins. 

Chicken/beef broth. I always have a carton or 2 of this stuff.  There a million and 2 different ways to use it.  A lot of times, I’ll throw some meat in the crock pot with some stock and vegatables then come back 8 hours later for a delicious dinner. 

Eggs. Always.  Eggs.  I always buy one or two 18 ct cartons at a time.  Many times, I will get eggs from my in-laws who have chickens roaming about their farm. Farm fresh is ideal, pasture raised is next, free range at the bottom.  Know where your eggs come from.  Know how those chickens lived.  My advice, find a farmer who has chickens or scope out your local farmer’s market.

Grass-fed beef. This stuff blows my mind.  Personally, the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed is astounding. Grass-fed is pretty darn tasty.  While we are are talking about meat, have you tried bison meat?  Whoa.  I grew up in North Dakota where the buffalo roam.  If you have the chance to sample bison, do it. 

Coconut oil/butter. This stuff is so versatile.  I bake with it, cook with it, fry with it, put it in my coffee.  The flavor is subtle.  Great way to get your fat.  Coconut butter is great.  I use it with baking or on sweet potatoes. 

Kerrygold Butter. This Grass-fed, Irish butter is probably one of the best things ever.  The flavor… I have been known to eat this with a spoon.  Once.  Well, twice.  I don’t necessarily use this for cooking as much as I use it to boost flavor.  I grease pans with it, put it over vegetables, used it on pancakes, put it in veggie packets for the grill, use it in my coffee.  I find it at Trader Joe’s.  I have recently found it at Target as well.  It’s a little more spendy than your typical sprawl-mart bran butter, but the flavor is unlike any other.

Avocadoes.  Many times, I will slice up an avocado and have it with my meal.  I use it to top my scrambled eggs.  I make guacamole.  Use it in lettuce wraps.  I have also added it to chocolate smoothies for a creamier, mousse-like drink.  It’s flavorless in smoothies.  Try it out!

Dijon mustard. I use this on lettuce wraps and cucumber sandwiches.  I also mix it with real maple syrup for a spin on honey mustard.  Marinade, dipping sauce.  Sometimes I will mix it with some olive oil, s&p, and diced pickles and use it as a dressing of sorts for burgers. 

Sweet potatoes. To be eaten sparingly.  Roasted, baked.  Whole or cubed.  Mashed or chunky.  Sweet or savory.  Tons of clean ways to enjoy these potatoes.

Onions/peppers/garlic. These are my go-to veggies.  Roasted, grilled, crock-pot, sauteed.  They’re great by themselves, great with meat.  I always have a few of each on hand.

Spinach. I always shoot for having at least 2 handfuls of spinach a day.  Huge source of calcium for me. Many days, I will make my eggs over-medium then have them on top of a bed of spinach, allowing the yolk to run, creating an eggy dressing.  Spinach is also delicious with some balsamic, olive oil, and a ton of chopped veggies, bacon crumbles, sliced almond or toasted pecans, and berries. 

These are just a few staples that I have on-hand at all times.  My list could go on and on and on, but really, these are MY necessities.  They’re all fairly versatile. What clean foods do you always have stocked in your pantry?  Any shopping-cart staples?

Happy eating!

Sweet Corn Salsa Soup

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Whipped this up while waiting for my beef (grass-fed of course) to brown.

Tomatoes and corn from in-laws’ garden, cilantro, can of green chili peppers, salt. While corn is not Paleo, there will always be a special place in my heart for Iowa sweet corn fresh off the cob. Also, corn doesn’t really bother my guts, so I’m ok having it sparingly.

I am out of sweet potato chips, so I am literally eating this with a spoon. I suppose one could call it sweet corn salsa soup.  There are 152 ways to make salsa…this was just quick and easy, using the ingredients I had on hand.

What do you like in your salsa?

Pumpkin

pumpkinPumpkin! 

Tis’ the season.  Pumpkin is chock full of healthy goodness.  Protein, fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium… While the real deal is significantly better, I do use canned pumpkin puree once in awhile just for convenience.  If you choose to do this, make sure the only ingredient is pumpkin. Furthermore, I encourage you to be mindful of pre-packaged pumpkin treats and drinks.  It it pumpkin spice latte time.  In case you were curious, HERE is the nutrition information for the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. Make good choices when deciding upon which pumpkiny beverage to choose from.  Treats are ok….once in awhile.  If you choose to imbibe, perhaps you could order a small instead of the largest size.  Maybe ask for only 1 pump of syrup.  I guess I just encourage you to be mindful of what you’re about to comsume. 

If you’re looking for some healthy ways to enjoy pumpkin, there are a TON of clean recipes online.  I searched “Paleo Pumpkin” on Pinterest which resulted in a plethora of recipes.  Cookies, muffins, pancakes, smoothies, pie….all Paleo.  Read through the recipe very critically.  Is there a sneaky sugar hiding in there?  What kind of flour?  Is there dairy?  There are so many fantastic recipes out there.  Just be smart.

With the cooler weather approaching, I hope to post more recipes on my blog, especially the ones with pumpkin.  HERE is one of my cold weather favorites.  Vitamin A Bisque. 

Here’s to the end of summer and the start of Autumn. 

Happy eating, my friends.    

Thanks, Paleo Cupboard, for posting that fantastic picture to Facebook.