Taking Our Health to the Next Level: We’re Going Carnivore!

Carnivore diet

Well… 90% anyway!

Welcome to Part 1 of our Carnivore Diet Experiment!

If you’ve followed us for any period of time on any of our social media platforms, you receive our newsletters or have come to an event we’ve held you’ll know we’re big fans of Paleo in terms of both eating and other lifestyle elements. Paleo, to us, has meant eating as close to how our ancestors did but in a modern way, as well as moving and living as naturally as possible.

We successfully pulled off sustainable Paleo eating and living for over 8 years and in that time it improved our health and overall well-being. But eventually we realised the food element wasn’t doing enough good for us and something needed to change.

How did we know Paleo alone wasn’t working well enough for us?

Earlier this year I noticed I was getting sick regularly again which used to happen a lot before I was Paleo and before I made a big effort to get lots of direct Vitamin D from the sun. Also, my weight wasn’t balancing out, my hormones were out of whack, my lower back pain was back with a vengeance… basically I had too many symptoms showing me clearly I wasn’t ‘healthy’ and couldn’t ignore them anymore. The final straw was when I came down with a the worst full-blown flu I’ve had in a long time, just a few months ago. It was hell! And I wanted no more of feeling so tired, moody and in pain.

So Clint and I decided to do one of our usual yearly 30-day resets which consists of cleaning up our eating for a month (Paleo eating but excluding a few other often-inflammatory foods – absolutely no sugar, no alcohol, no coffee and no sugary fruit) and focusing on getting more sleep, more gentle natural movement and allowing some healing to happen.

Just before we started Clint chose to take it a step further and try the Carnivore Diet at the same time. We’d heard a bit about it in recent months as our Chiropractor (who’s also our friend) had experimented with it earlier in the year, we’d been seeing more posts about it on social media then Clint was researching it heavily to figure out if it was something he wanted to try. So he did!

I was shocked at first and not convinced it was a safe way to live but realised pretty quickly that trying it for one month couldn’t be a bad thing. I was learning through Clint what a healthy Carnivore Diet (we hate the word “diet” but it’s kinda needed here as “carnivore” alone doesn’t give enough of a description) entailed and even started implementing it a little in my own 30-day reset!

So, what the heck is eating ‘carnivore’ anyway? 

A 100% carnivore diet = 100% animal products and nothing else.

Meat, seafood, fat, offal, eggs. Plus salt.

A plate of nutrient-dense goodness. Source: The Strong Sistas

It’s keto but not regular ‘keto’ because it leaves out ALL plant foods whereas regular keto is simply low carb foods of any kind (often really unhealthy – just look at any keto product in a chemist or supermarket… yuck. Not to mention there’s little talk of the quality of foods eaten such as organic, grass-fed etc).

Carnivore leaves out low carb cauliflower, berries, olive oil, nuts and even avocado. But a result of carnivore can easily put the body into ketosis. Especially if no sugary animal milk products (such as milk) or honey are consumed.

Fruit and veg aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

Sounds really restrictive doesn’t it?

In this modern time with so many (way too many actually) food choices, yes it really does seem hugely restrictive because we’re so used to having an abundance of meal options every day of the week. Obviously this is not natural as humans originally would have had to hunt and gather all of their food, not having access to the corner store to pick up even simple eggs whenever they wanted, not to mention all the other types of foods we have access to these days.

When you get your head around what you’re ‘missing out’ on and understand the science behind it, it absolutely makes sense.

Having said that, one challenge can be doing without herbs and spices for flavour, especially because we’re all so used to having an abundance of them to choose from 24/7. But our choice to be 90% carnivore means we can have some basic flavourings if we like and we’re happy with limiting them to weekends as we find the taste of meat, eggs, fat and salt pretty good on their own anyway!

What does the ‘carnivore diet’ actually look like?

Eating nose to tail; animal muscle meats, organ meats, bone broth, gelatin, seafood, fat, eggs and sometimes animal milk products (but that last one is not essential). Plus clean salt for essential minerals and electrolytes.

No fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, coconut, nuts, seeds, legumes, plant oils, tea or coffee (although, a lot of carnivores still have coffee).

That’s what a hardcore carnivore diet looks like anyway.

When you start experimenting with different meat and offal cuts and ways to prepare and cook all the carnivore-friendly foods it’s surprising just how much variety there actually is.

We don’t believe in going 100% carnivore for ourselves personally though. For a few reasons…

  • We know our ancestors consumed plant foods and that it’s a natural part of living. The thing is though, and why we’re cutting them out 90% of the time is, plant foods were only ever eaten to tied people over to the next animal kill which then provided the bulk of nutrients required for thriving, therefore plant foods were more of a ‘survival’ element, not staple food sources.
  • We enjoy foraging, the role it has in the evolution of humans and the connection it gives us to nature, our food and ourselves. We like going to the beaches and bushland near where we live and gathering berries, flowers, fruits pollen and seeds that haven’t been altered and modified for commercialisation. We find the whole practice from gathering outside in nature, to processing, experimenting and consuming extremely mindful, ‘slow’, fulfilling and rewarding on a deep level. We’ve been foragers for a while and always will be!
  • Many plant foods contain medicinal properties and play a role in improving health and well-being.
  • Our version of ‘balance’ includes consuming modern day ‘junk’ as well as conventionally ‘healthy’ foods (fruit, veg, seeds, nuts etc) sometimes because we simply want to. We like to socialise, we like to indulge sometimes, we like to cook and bake, we like to try new foods. Is this optimal for good health? Definitely not, but we’re trying to get a lot healthier, not perfectly healthy. We choose this and we accept the difficulties and challenges that come with it. But we also accept and are excited about the benefits of eating mostly very clean!

Gathering pine pollen

Pine pollen has medicinal uses and is fun to collect

Foraging for native lilly pilly fruit

Most of what we eat now is animal-base and we’ve mostly cut out fruit and veg because…

  • ALL plant foods contain natural built-in defences against being eaten by animals (i.e. including humans. We are animals), whereas animals don’t. Animals can try to run/fly/swim away from predators. Plants cannot. So they come with natural defences that are toxic to whatever consumes them. To give you an example… you’ve heard how we’re meant to soak and ‘activate’ nuts before eating them right? To try to break down the natural toxins (phytates) located on the outside, yeah? Exactly! Humans before 1. didn’t have access to many nuts and seeds in the first place, therefor wouldn’t have eaten many and 2. they wouldn’t have soaked and dried them out every time they wanted to eat some. In some cases they processed the bajeezus out of them (such as wattleseed, beans and other nuts and legumes) to make them suitable for consumption. The work that went into this was intense and time-consuming, from the harvesting to the processing and the cooking, but today we can simply pop down to the shop and buy the plant food already processed to consume in larger than traditionally normal quantities.  Eating plant foods with these natural defences may not seem to affect a consumer much, if at all, but it definitely does. Poor health symptoms are usually blamed on lifestyle elements, added toxins to foods such as chemicals used in the production, indoor lifestyle, even eating meat (!) etc but the reality is the anti-nutrients in plant foods are causing us humans issues. It’s just that the information we’re fed (pardon the pun!) is lacking and misleading.
  • The fact that plants contain anti-nutrients and animal foods don’t and that animal food nutrients are bio-available makes it an easy choice to eat mostly animal foods.

Vegetables fight back

For a long time  we’ve followed and trusted the professional opinions of many functional nutrition practitioners – from coaches to GP’s – thinking we were being really picky with where we sourced information from and we found a lot of the advice and tips from these people and resources to be hugely beneficial. We thought their information was the bees knees in terms of truly accurate insights into the ‘ultimate human diet and lifestyle’ but now we’re doubting that information and delving into a new level and way of thinking. Well, it’s not actually ‘new’ in terms of how long the information has been around and available, but it’s certainly new to us!

It’s not to say some of the guidelines we used to follow can’t be helpful to people. When I felt like I was truly healing for the first time in my life the eating plan given to me by a functional nutritional practitioner with over 12 years of practical experience consisted of a large amount of plant foods. I’m talking 100g fruit with brekkie (as well as egg yolks, a bit of meat, beef gelatin), 400g cooked veggies with lunch (small quantity of meat and fat) with 100g fruit, 300g veggies with dinner (again, small quantity of meat and fat as well) then pure organic orange juice (with beef gelatin) after dinner.

Wow that was a lot of food and a lot of plant stuff! But it worked. Within a couple of months of sticking to it about 90% of the time my period pain was gone, my weight was dropping smoothly, I had more energy and I was sleeping better. Woo hoo, success, finally!

That program worked really well for me. I loved how it made me feel. I loved that it included offal and good calories. But looking back now, I realise I felt instinctively nourished when I was including offal and gelatin more than the fruit and veggies. Also the plan did remove/reduce a lot of typical Paleo-friendly foods that are actually inflammatory over a long period of time such as pure organic cocoa, leafy greens, nuts and seeds. So that element would have made a difference on it’s own.

Cooked veggies and herbs are easier to digest but still not as easy as meat and fat

It’s funny because that same practitioner suggested I not play around with going keto because of the documented negative impacts to thyroid health over time, especially for those already suffering from low thyroid issues like I was This was actually one of my main concerns for going ‘carnivore’ because it leaves out all those supposedly simple and nourishing plant foods and definitely brings the body into a state of ketosis when followed properly.

But from what I’ve been learning about carnivore, the thyroid won’t be impacted in the long-term, it may just show up as fluctuations in the short-term – basically this is a long game approach to health.

And I wonder, is the thyroid ‘damage’ a symptom of nutrient deficiencies – whether on a keto plan or not – due to a lack of the vitamins and minerals available in nose-to-tail eating and just how much we actually need for true nourishment?

So where are we getting our information from and why should anyone else pay attention when it goes against so much of the ‘health’ advice available to us all?

One of the main sources of information we rely on is the factual data and opinions/experiences of Dr Paul Saladino (the surname is hilarious… Salad? I? No!. lol) who is a hardcore carnivore and backs everything up with science as well as personal experience.  His Fundamental Health Podcast is brilliant; combining a heap of scientific evidence with practical advice and easy to understand information.

The Carnivore MD

Pretty healthy looking considering all he eats is meat and fat!

Another great source of information and inspiration are The Strong Sistas who share some terrific info on the benefits and how-to of going carnivore. Their diet is pretty high in fat and calories because their workout regime is intense, so it wouldn’t mimic a regular person’s diet needs like ours and yours, but their content is fantastic and they’re really fun to watch.

Clint’s been enjoying the story of and content by Charlene Anderson on Meat Heals, while I’m enjoying the posts on Health Coach Kait‘s Facebook page.

There are many more carnivore diet promoters and experts out there, some only eat and promote eating ‘beef and water’ which seems pretty lacking in terms of nutrients and variety, while others  (like those mentioned above) advocate the nose-to-tail way, which we personally prefer.

Clint and I are about 2 months into our experiment now and finding out from trial and error what works for us, what feels good and what doesn’t, while ensuring we allow plenty of time for determining change and progress.

The next blog post – Part 2 – will be all about what we started out eating, what changes we’ve made, the benefits of carnivore and what we’ve noticed for ourselves, the challenges we’ve faced and the ins and outs of nose-to-tail carnivore eating including what “bio-available nutrients” mean + lots more. Stay tuned!

Aimee

Primal Influence – Mentoring + Training for kids + adults, based on the Sunshine Coast, QLD

Find out more about what we do, our services + upcoming events, plus register for Primal E-News HERE

 

 

 

Recipe: Sugar-Free Pumpkin Spice Choc Chip Biscuits (Paleo + nut-free)

Clint and I are going through periods of low and no-sugar eating at the moment because we need to for our health. He’s doing 30 days straight of no sugar and I’m 5 days on / 2 days off -ish.

It’s going really well for both of us; we’re each noticing improvements to our health, we’re feeling better, and we’re getting used to some of the swap foods we’ve been eating.

I went live on our Facebook page last week giving my tips for no and low sugar eating, because we’ve been through this quite a few times and can definitely give some advice on how to be successful with it. Watch the video HERE.

Yesterday I felt like baking so I had an idea of a biscuit I wanted to try.  I know pumpkin puree is a great natural sweetener and binder so I decided to try Pumpkin Spice Choc Chip Biscuits and was very pleased with the result!

They turned out nice and fluffy, quite moist and surprisingly moreish. The only negative… they’re best eaten warm. Not when they’ve completely cooled down as they then become a bit dry and definitely not as tasty. So if you wait until they’ve come out of the oven and have cooled just enough to still be warm inside, or you heat them up gently if they have cooled completely, then they are delicious! And warm biccies are so much more enjoyable in the cooler months, so it’s not a bad thing overall!

Here is the recipe for you…

 

PUMPKIN SPICE CHOC CHIP BISCUITS

(makes 8 large)

 

You’ll need:

1 egg

2.5 tbsp ghee

1 tsp pure vanilla

2 tbsp cacao nibs (as the ‘choc chips’. They don’t taste overly ‘chocolatey’ and don’t melt but give awesome crunch!)

2 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp nutmeg powder

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp each of bicarb soda and baking powder (look for gluten-free and aluminium-free)

3 tbsp organic green banana flour (buy some HERE)

1 tbsp arrowroot flour

6 tbsp pumpkin puree (Jap is usually the sweetest)

Pinch of pink salt

 

To do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius
  2. Make pumpkin puree by peeling and dicing pumpkin then boiling until soft. Strain to remove water, then mash with a fork until no lumps or chunks remain. Let it cool slightly before adding to the other ingredients
  3. Whisk egg and ghee in a bowl
  4. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly
  5. Use a spoon to dollop about 8 spoonfuls worth of mixture onto baking paper on a flat oven tray
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 mins or until the surface of the biscuits show golden brown colour
  7. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool down just enough to handle and eat safely then serve

TIPS

  • If you’re after more sweetness and aren’t on a low/no sugar eating plan, add raw honey or Grade B maple syrup to the mixture, and/or some chopped fresh Medjool dates. Yum!
  • Add more or less of the spices depending on your personal taste
  • Instead of boiling the pumpkin pieces, roast them instead on a medium heat until cooked through but without dark brown edges. This will add more sweetness and flavour
  • For denser biscuits, leave out the bicarb soda, baking powder and apple cider vinegar. These ingredients help the mixture rise when baking and creates a fluffy texture, so without them the biccies will be flatter and more dense which some people may prefer

 

That’s it, really easy!

If you’d like ALL of my healthy green banana flour recipes grab my e-books HERE.

 

Happy cooking!

Aimee xx

Food + Cooking Coach @ Primal Influence

 

 

Recipe: Easy Chicken Coconut Curry (Paleo + dairy-free)

A great way to enjoy warming, comforting, hearty and healthy meals in the cooler months is to take advantage of energy-efficient and easy-to-use kitchen appliances like slow cookers!

 

One of my favourite dishes to make in my slow cooker is my Chicken Coconut Curry. It’s so easy to make, it’s really versatile, and it’s a great dish for those who don’t enjoy rich and spicy curries. I’ve actually given taste testers of my recipe to people who don’t normally eat curry and they’ve loved it!

 

It’s Autumn here in South East QLD right now so it’s cooling down and feeling like the right time to start making hearty soups, stews and curries. So here’s my Chicken Coconut Curry recipe for you to use and enjoy…

 

CHICKEN COCONUT CURRY

 

You’ll need:

4 organic chicken thighs or 2 breasts, chopped
1 tin Ayam coconut milk
1 large brown onion, chopped
2 carrots, cubed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger (or more if you like), minced
2 fresh organic tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp organic curry powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
Himalayan salt, pepper to taste
Good cooking fat (ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, animal fat etc.)
Piece of fresh lemongrass
Up to 1 cup bone broth and/or water
Optional: Chili if you like heat, paprika, coriander leaves for flavour and garnish, other herbs and spices of choice, spinach leaves, celery

To do:

  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan on low, add onions and allow to cook gently
  2. Add garlic and chicken and slowly increase the temp but watching onion and garlic don’t burn
  3. Add carrot to the saucepan along with the spices, lemongrass, any other herbs, salt, pepper, tomato, broth/water and coconut milk to the saucepan and reduce heat to a gentle simmer
  4. Once all ingredients are cooked through, the carrot is soft and the liquid has reduced slightly, remove the piece of lemongrass
  5. Serve by spooning the curry mixture over a flattened heap of cauliflower or white rice on a plate. Garnish with coriander leaves

Easy!

 

Enjoy 🙂

Aimee

Food + Cooking Coach – Primal Influence

Recipe: Carrot Spice Muffins with Lemon Icing (paleo + nut-free)

I’m so excited to be launching my TWO green banana flour recipe e-books in October that I’m giving you guys a taste test with this recipe!

Yesterday I whipped up a batch of Carrot Spice Muffins with Lemon Icing and they were so delicious. Clint enjoyed one after work and because they’re full of nutrients, they’re very filling so he could only fit one in. That’s amazing, Clint usually eats a lot!

So it’s good to know that they go a long way, which is handy when you’re spending a bit more cash on the ingredients, compared to conventional baking ingredients.

As with most of my recipes, this one is free from nuts as well as the usual inflammatory suspects like gluten, grains and dairy. But it’s not missing flavour, the most important element! I love that by using quality ingredients, just real food, and utilising herbs and spices, dishes can be full of flavour without compromising on health.

I won’t waffle on anymore, here’s the recipe for you…

carrot-spice-muffins-w-lemon-icing

CARROT SPICE MUFFINS WITH LEMON ICING

You’ll need:

Muffins:

1/2 cup green banana flour (buy some here)

1/4 cup coconut flour (buy some here)

1 tsp pure vanilla (paste, powder, bean)

1 tsp combination baking powder and bicarb soda (look for brands free from aluminium, gluten and rice)

1 tsp organic nutmeg

2 tsp organic cinnamon powder

2 tsp organic ginger powder

1 cup firmly packed grated organic carrot

2 tbsp raw honey

4 tbsp coconut oil (liquified)

2 pastured eggs

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

 

(FYI: organic herbs and spices make a huge difference when it comes to adding flavour!)

Icing:

(I recommend you purchase a stick blender for making the icing, or use a small bullet blender, but anything larger will make it difficult to achieve the desired consistency because the creamed coconut is so firm)

1 tbsp raw honey

3 tbsp creamed coconut (buy some here)

2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

 

To do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius and grease a muffin tray with a little coconut oil
  2. Sift the flours and powders into a mixing bowl to remove lumps (important for the banana flour)
  3. Add remaining muffin dry ingredients and stir
  4. In a separate bowl add the wet ingredients and whisk then pour into other bowl and stir until the mixture is well combined
  5. Spoon into the muffin tray, to the top of each section (that’s a decent serving size, but you can make them smaller or larger if you wish)
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-30 mins, depending on your oven, until edges are brown and a skewer inserted in the middle to the bottom of one muffin comes out relatively dry
  7. Turn onto a cooling rack and allow to cool down almost completely (a tad warm is fine)
  8. For the icing add the creamed coconut, honey and lemon juice to the stick blender jug and use your stick blender on high speed to mix it thoroughly. Lift the stick blender up and down constantly and stop sometimes to scrap edges and to ensure all of the mixture is combined well. When it’s free from lumps it’s ready
  9. Spread the icing on the cooled muffins, or use a piping tool to make a fancier appearance and texture
  10. Then serve and gobble down! These muffins are best served fresh and with a slight warmness. If you do refrigerate these just take them out and let them sit on the bench for 30min – 1 hour before serving so they’re not too cold and firm. Enjoy!

Optional extras: if you do want to add nuts to this for crunch then walnuts and pecans would be nice. Also some natural organic sultanas/raisins would be a tasty and sweet addition.

Remember you can add more or less spices and honey depending on your taste, this recipe is not strict!

Note: the ingredient purchase links above are affiliate links, we only affiliate with products and companies we 100% trust and believe in.

Please let me know what you think 🙂

For a stack more green banana flour recipes pre-order the world’s first e-books using this amazing ingredient HERE !!

banana-flour-ebook-savory

Cooking with Green Banana Flour

banana-flour-ebook-sweet

Cooking with Green Banana Flour

 

Aimee x

 

5 Things I’m Grateful For Today:

  1. Using green banana flour to create really healthy and yummy dishes
  2. The sun shining on this gorgeous Spring day
  3. It’s the weekend tomorrow!
  4. The country music song playing right now and Spotify
  5. My little container garden doing really well right now

 

 

Recipe: Paleo Turkish Delight

Have you switched over to Paleo or generally cleaner eating and are missing certain ‘junk’ foods you used to eat regularly? Say, some particular chocolate bars? I sometimes do.

One of my old favourites was the Fry’s Turkish Delight! Or really good, authentic Turkish Delight pieces I’d find occasionally at cafe’s and foodie festivals/markets coated in sugar powder. <drool>

And would you agree a lot of Paleo/healthy swaps just don’t taste as good as the original version? I find it a lot; with breads and cakes, candy, all types of foods – often the taste or texture is off slightly, or even no where near. It’s not the end of the world of course, but it would be nice to get closer to the original version of some fave foods and memories.

Well.. I’m happy to announce my healthier version of Turkish Delight certainly comes very close to the Fry’s version I used to enjoy so much! Yay!

I’m giving you my recipe so you too can enjoy this yumminess, with both the way of coating it in chocolate (Paleo, or close to it, depending on what chocolate you use) like the Fry’s product, or in arrowroot (definitely Paleo) to replace the powdered sugar. Let me know what you think!

turkish delight choc

TURKISH DELIGHT

For the actual lolly you’ll need:

2 cups pomegranite juice (try to find one that’s organic or at least pure with nothing added)

2 tsbp rose water (check Asian stores and health food stores for this)

Raw honey to sweeten (quantity is up to you, with there being pomegranite juice in this recipe you may find you don’t wish to include honey at all)

4 tbsp pure grass-fed beef gelatin powder (grab some here)

The method:

  1. Pour pomegranite juice into a saucepan on the stove withOUT turning the heat on
  2. Gently sprinkle the gelatin powder over the surface of the juice, evenly
  3. Let it sit for a couple of minutes so the gelatin granules absorb the liquid and soften, or “bloom”
  4. Once softened turn the stove on to medium-high heat and use a whisk to stir until granules of gelatin have completely dissolved
  5. Turn the heat off but while the liquid is still hot add honey if you’re using it, and rose water then stir to combine
  6. Pour into a square or rectangle container, oven tray etc, something that’s flat and doesn’t have grooves or funny edges, so you can later on cut the set slice into squares or cubes. Or transfer liquid to a jug then pour into moulds. I used a long oven bread tin for mine which is non-stick and has flat sides and bottom, making it perfect for this type of recipe
  7. Set in the fridge for a few hours until the mixture feels firm to touch
  8. Gently remove from the mould/tray/container by pressing around the entire edge with your finger to seperate from the side of the container then turn upside down, hold close to your kitchen bench or chopping board then you should see the ‘jelly slice’ start to come out of the container. Watch it closely and guide it out as needed so it doesn’t break
  9. Use a flat blade knife to cut to size (even-sized squares for example)

Now you have a basic Paleo Turkish Delight! Have a taste, do you get that nice, familar hit of rose water? It’s so good!

 

Here’s how you can create either a choc coated or powder coated version… 

Chocolate Coated

You’ll need:

1 block plain paleo/primal/healthy-as-possible chocolate (I used the new Coles brand 70% dark chocolate because it’s dairy and soy-free) melted

OR

Make your own chocolate using cacao butter, organic cocoa powder, raw honey to sweeten, pure vanilla and melted coconut oil

Method:

  1. Let the chocolate mixture cool in a large container (large enough to get your hand into easily with some room to move around) but not to the point it’s becoming lumpy or re-setting then gently place Turkish Delight piece into the container to coat thinly with chocolate
  2. Place each piece onto a sheet of baking paper that’s on a chilled board or flat plate of some kind that’s been in the fridge or freezer. This will help the underside of each piece set quicker and prevent you losing more chocolate coating than necessary on the baking paper!
  3. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge (if it lasts that long!!)

This version may not be technically “Paleo” depending on the chocolate you use. Cane sugar isn’t classed as Paleo but I personally don’t mind consuming it occassionally. I’d rather use a chocolate that had coconut sugar though.

 

Powder Coated

turkish delight powder

You’ll need:

1/2 – 3/4 cup arrowroot powder

Optional: 1 tsp pure vanilla powder

Method:

  1. Sprinkle half the arrowoot on a board or late plate
  2. Gently place each piece of Turkish Delight on the board/plate then turn over. Use your fingers held out together and flat to pat each side to remove excess arrowroot leaving you with an even coating on each side. I find if you don’t try to pat the excess away and you coat each surface the taste overpowers the actual gummy; a thin layer on the top and bottom seems to be plenty
  3. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge but keep in mind the moisture may absorb into the arrowroot, reducing it’s powdery-ness.

Now you have a version of Turkish Delight similar to that found in cafes and at markets with that classic and famililar powder coating!

You can probably store either in a container in the pantry, but keep in mind there is BEEF in there, it may not last long outside of the fridge before going ‘off’.

I hope you enjoy whichever version you make! Let me know how you go and what you think!

Oh and before I go, my message is never “you should eat strict Paleo all the time” because I certainly don’t! I believe we each need to find a happy balance with what we eat and how we live. So if you feel like having the ‘junk’ version of Turkish Delight.. then do it! Own it and enjoy it.

However, for those times you feel like a healthy option then now you have one 🙂

That’s all the wisdom I have for you for today..!

Aimee x

 

5 Things I’m Grateful for Today:

  1. gelatin and how it helps me heal
  2. getting sun today for over 30mins
  3. a good catchup with Chris this morning
  4. Eric Church songs
  5. Spotting whales yesterday

Healthy food at the local show? It really happened!

Hard to believe isn’t it? Healthy food available at the local Show! Well we’re witnesses that it really happened… at the 2016 Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show held in Nambour we provided healthy food!

logo

I was invited to be a presenter in the Heritage Stage area over the 3 days the Show was held for in June. I decided to cook up my new creation… No Nasties Golden Chicken Nuggets with Tomato Sauce! I knew the event would attract a lot of families with kids, and I know how much kids enjoy chicken nuggets, so to provide a healthy alternative to the nasty regular varieties was a privilege.

ag show 1

 

I hosted 3 x 30min cooking demonstrations and had a great time showing show-goers how to make and cook up this really easy and healthy recipe. I received terrific feedback from so many people and gave out free recipe cards so everyone could make the recipe at home.

In keeping with the theme of the event I wanted to really focus on using local quality agriculture. I used Walker Farm Foods pastured chicken breast and thigh fillets, plus produce supplied by Sunshine Organics.

ag show 2

Because it’s such a popular and tasty recipe I’d love to share it with you guys too! So here it is, my new chicken nuggets recipe, enjoy!

 

GOLDEN CHICKEN NUGGETS WITH TOMATO SAUCE

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NUGGETS  – makes 6 large

 

250g free-range chicken mince (I used breast and thigh fillets food processed to become ‘mince’)

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup Natural Evolution green banana flour (avail. via our affiliate link here)

1/4 cup coconut flour

Himalayan salt, pepper to taste

1 tbsp coconut oil, organic olive oil or rendered animal fat to cook in

  1. In a container add mince and garlic and with either plastic gloves on or using a large spoon mix it all together so they’re combined thoroughly
  2. In a large, flat container add the flours. Stir to combine then pick up about a tablespoon of the chicken mince mixture, shape with your hands then place in the flour mix and turn to evenly coat. Shake off excess flour. Repeat with remaining mince mixture
  3. Heat a small amount of oil in a non-stick fry pan on the stove at medium-high temp
  4. Place nuggets in the pan, turning each over once one side is coated with oil, so the other side is coated. If the pan isn’t completely flat with a raise in the centre, that’s ok. As long as each side of each nugget is coated with some oil they’ll cook fine in the centre without the majority of oil touching them. Too much oil under the nuggets can prevent the surface crisping up and cause them to become soggy, so a dry-ish area on the pan is ideal!
  5. The nuggets won’t take long to cook through. Once cooked place them on a plate to serve, or paper towel for a minute or so if they’re too oily

 

TOMATO SAUCE

 

1 brown onion, finely diced

1 organic tomato, finely diced

1/2 cup organic tomato paste

1 tsp smoked paprika powder

1 tbsp Niulife coconut amino (avail. via our affiliate link here)

2 tbsp bone broth (free e-book avail. here)

2 tbsp raw honey

Himalayan salt, pepper to taste

Oil/fat to cook onion in

  1. Place the oil and onion into a medium saucepan on the stove at low-medium temp and cook until onion is translucent
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and let simmer until it reduces to desired consistency
  3. Allow the sauce to cool then use a stick blender (or pour into regular blender) to blitz and remove some or all of the onion and tomato chunks
  4. Serve alongside nuggets in a dipping bowl or pour into a container to store in the fridge. This recipe makes a lot more sauce than needed for the 6 nuggets, so you can freeze batches of it so you always have some to thaw and use.

Enjoy!!

I’ve had parents of conventional-foods-eating kids tell me their kids LOVE these nuggets and would definitely eat them often. That makes me happy!

I hope you and your kids enjoy and benefit from them too 🙂

Thanks for reading, and I might see you at next year’s Show for more cooking and food fun!

Aimee x

 

5 Things I’m Grateful For:

  1. Finally being almost over the bad ass cold I had all week
  2. Being able to cook for people and teach them healthy recipes
  3. Getting 1hour sunshine today, it felt so good
  4. Sitting by the fire outside in the courtyard during Winter
  5. Aloe vera tissues lol

Farm Tour Fun + Recipe for Paleo Mexican Pulled Beef Tacos

We had another amazingly fun Sunshine Coast Paleo Lifestyle Meetup Group event a couple of weeks ago when we held a Farm Tour & Picnic meetup with lovely local grass-feed cattle farmers Sue and Mark Menkens on their beautiful Bellthorpe property!

Maleny Black Angus Beef was the perfect spot for an enjoyable day out for both kids and adults alike. When we arrived we piled into the utes, some of us in the trays, some in the cabs, and off we went in convoy around the 600 acre farm.

Seeing cattle, being raced by a couple, dams, rolling green hills, trees, birds..

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.. what a start to the day!

We crossed a creek or too, stalled up a steep hill (the kids sure enjoyed that bit!) and ended up at a feeding area in one of the main paddocks where Farmer Mark treated the cattle to bucket loads of sweet molasses!

The kids enjoyed getting up close with the cattle with some experiencing this close proximity with farm animals for the very first time.

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Clint received a few odd looks and giggles when people noticed his farm footwear were his two bare feet! He was careful not to stand in any cow pats lying around. And I just missed a fresh one, only wearing my minimalist Earth Runner sandals, that was pretty lucky!

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After that long stop off we piled back in the utes and headed back toward the farm house, doing a full loop of the property and making another quick stop in a different paddock to give some other cattle a feed of molasses so they didn’t miss out on the day’s special treat.

I made a little friend who enjoyed sitting in my lap in the tray and holding my hand while chatting about the farm and cattle!

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The shaded grassy area between the house and the large fig tree was a terrific spot for our picnic lunch.

Rugs were placed down, food was shared around and everyone chatted and relaxed as the afternoon went by.

Even the Farmers enjoyed the rare chance to have a break from work and enjoy the time-out! They were back to moving cattle as soon as we left, but that’s a farmer’s life I guess.

Clint, of course, went exploring and attempted to climb the fig tree. Then he kept himself and the kids entertained playing games such as Tiggy and Wrestling on the lawn. The parents were happy about that!

I served my Mexican Pulled Beef Tacos, using blade supplied by Sue and Mark, which were a massive hit! Mark cooked up some of their delicious steak for us on the BBQ which was just amazingly good.

Because the tacos were so well received I thought I’d share the recipe with you!

Here it is, enjoy 🙂

 

MEXICAN PULLED BEEF TACOS

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BEEF:

1.5kg grass-fed beef blade
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 large brown onion, fine diced
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup bone broth*

– Place the beef in a slow cooker along with all other                                                                         ingredients
– Turn dial to Low and leave on all day or overnight
– It’s helpful to occasionally turn the meat around and spoon the liquid over the top to ensure the   whole cut of meat is flavoured well and cooked evenly
– The meat is cooked properly when you can easily pull some away using a fork. When it’s  reached this point remove the meat using tongs, place on a plate and use two forks to pull meat away into small, short strips
– The liquid in the slow cooker can be reduced to become a sauce by simmering it for about  10-15 mins in a saucepan on the stove on low heat. Pour the sauce over the pulled meat to store in a  container in the fridge or before serving.

SOFT SHELL TACOS:

1 pastured egg
4 tbsp pure coconut milk (Ayam is our preference)
3 tbsp filtered/spring water
3 tbsp arrowroot flour
3 tbsp green banana flour (available from the Products page on our website)
Himalayan salt to taste
Oil/cooking fat to fry in (you won’t need a lot)

– In a small bowl or container mix the arrowroot and water together until no lumps remain
– In a stick blender cup or a tall, thin container/jug add the arrowroot and water mixture along with all other ingredients and blend on high until well combined. Alternatively, use a regular blender
– Heat a non-stick pan on the stove to a medium temperature, add a smidge of oil/fat if needed then pour batter on the pan to form circles about 12-15cm in diameter (or more if you want larger tacos). Don’t move the pan around or you’ll end up with crepes.
– When the surface bubbles a little use a spatula to flip over and cook through (about 30 sec each side is all that’s needed). Place them on a plate when cooked then add a small amount of the beef and other fillings to each, hold underneath in one hand and eat like you would a regular taco!
– Filling suggestions: shredded lettuce, diced avocado, thinly sliced carrot

I hope you enjoy it!

And we hope all of our meetup group members who came to the farm tour had a really nice day out.

We know some did, with this wonderful feedback we received on Facebook afterwards…

Thank you Mark, Sue and Jesse for hosting us and thanks Aimee and Clint for organising it! Loved the scenery, the cattle and the conversations.” -Gypsy

“Thanks for a great day guys, the kids had a ball and were raving about it all the way home!” -Leanne

It was great to have you all come and visit us on the weekend and to see you all having such a good time while you were here. We will have to do it again some time soon!!” -Farmers Mark, Sue and Jesse

If you’d like to contact Mark and Sue about purchasing their fantastic grass-fed beef products visit their website here

maleny beef logo

We really enjoy being able to connect consumers to quality local food producers, we’re really passionate about helping people find new sources of food to benefit themselves and their families, and helping support local farmers and producers doing good things.

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If you know of a paleo-friendly food producer (or are one) in the Sunshine Coast region we should consider visiting for a meetup please contact us to let us know!

See you at the next meetup!

Aimee x

Recipe: Paleo Fish n Chips with Lime Aioli

Last night after another awesome Primal Fitness Class we popped into Woolies to grab something for dinner (yes we still shop at big bad chain supermarkets.. we sometimes need to – don’t judge!) and I had the idea to make fish n chips. Partly because we love making crispy chips out of different veggies (very rarely potato, bit too inflammatory for us unfortunately) plus there were a few choices of wild-caught seafood on special at the Deli. Yay!

So we grabbed some beautiful flathead fillets (50% off, why not?!), a parsnip and a white-fleshed sweet potato to go with the orange sweet potato we had at home.

I’d been wanting to try using green banana flour (only my favourite ingredient in the world!) with fish to fry to see how it went… so I did!

It turned out brilliantly and alongside crispy baked veggie chips and a serve of lime aioli… dinner was sorted and pretty darn enjoyable (if I do say so myself <wink>!).

Here’s the recipe for you guys to make and enjoy it for yourselves!

 

PALEO FISH N CHIPS WITH LIME AIOLI

fish n chiups

You’ll need:

500g fresh wild-caught flathead fillets

1/4 cup green banana flour (Natural Evolution available here)

About 1/2 cup healthy oil/fat to fry and bake with (I used olive oil as it was on hand, but you can use ghee, coconut oil, rendered animal fat etc)

Juice of 1 small lime

Wedges of lime to garnish

1 cup organic cold-pressed olive oil (Coles organic variety is the nicest we’ve found so far for making aioli/mayo)

1 pastured egg

About 1 tbsp roast garlic puree or garlic powder (more or less depending on your taste)

Veggies for chips (I used a combo of parsnip, purple skin/white flesh sweet potato and orange sweet potato as they all crisp up pretty well) – use a mandolin or julienne slicer to cut evenly

Himalayan salt to taste

Tip: use a flat-based fry pan so the oil/fat covers evenly

 

To do:

  1. For the chips: Pre-heat oven to 180.
  2. Cut up the veggies to about 5cm long and only 1-2 mm thick then place them flat and close together on an oven tray lined with baking paper and a thin layer of oil/fat. You may need 2 oven trays depending on how many slices of veggies you have
  3. Use your fingers or a cooking brush to spread a thin layer of oil/fat over the top surface of each veggie to ensure each piece has a nice coating
  4. Sprinkle salt over the top then place in the oven. Keep an eye on them because your oven may not cook evenly and some chips may cook or burn before others, so place your timer on to remind you to check every 2 or so minutes. Shuffle chips around as you need so they cook evenly. Keep in mind… white-flesh sweet potato hardens before it looks like it’s crispy! So check doneness by tasting a piece for yourself!
  5. Once chips are cooked to your liking place them on paper towel to absorb excess fat then place onto plates or serving dish.
  6. Alternatively you could fry the chips in a large pan on the stove.
  7. For the fish: heat a non-stick fry pan on medium-high temp with oil/fat you’re using to fry in, ensuring there’s an even layer of a few millimeters for the fish to sit in. Keep some oil/fat aside for the cut the fillets to a smaller size if they’re quite large and came in a fork-shape when you bought them, then coat in banana flour and some salt. I don’t use egg mixture to coat first as I like just a thin layer of flour so the flavour doesn’t overpower the fish
  8. Place the fish in gently to avoid fat splashing on you and let one side brown slightly before turning over carefully with tongs to let the other side brown. If you notice the first piece of fish breaking as you try to move it that means it’s cooked through so try to keep the other fillets on the first side for less time than that one 🙂
  9. Place browned fish pieces onto a plate with paper towel to absorb excess fat then place on a plate or serving dish
  10. For the aioli: in a stick blender cup add the lime juice, the egg, a pinch of salt and the garlic then blitz on high for a couple of seconds to completely emulsify
  11. Ask someone to hold onto it for you or somehow secure it to your bench then with one hand holding the stick blender on high inside the cup, use your other hand to pour in the cup of olive oil
  12. Move the stick blender up and down a few times to get all the oil blended properly. It shouldn’t take long to have a thick and slightly green looking mixture
  13. Alternatively, if using a regular blender follow all steps except turn the speed to LOW and pour in the oil VERY SLOWLY to prevent the mixture from splitting
  14. Spoon into a serving bowl or place dollops onto plates alongside the fish and chips. Garnish with lime wedges and serve
  15. Remaining aioli can last in the fridge in a sealed jar or container for a week or more

You’re done and you now have a pretty healthy version of an old favourite takeaway dish! Enjoy 🙂

 

Aimee x

 

5 Things I’m Grateful For:

  1. all the yum foods I create and eat
  2. the 30 min of sunshine I had today to boost my immune system
  3. seeing mum this weekend for her birthday
  4. our event on Saturday for kids and adults, it’s going to be so fun!
  5. The Food Network on SBS.. lol

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Biscuits

Last night I was in the mood for making some recipe ideas for my green banana flour ebook, but unfortunately I’d run out of eggs and since all the recipes I wanted to attempt needed eggs… I was kind of bummed (cue sad violin music). I really felt like cooking something, so I decided to throw together a few things and ended up making a really yummy batch of choc orange biccies! And with so few ingredients… that’s a huge win in my books!!

I really felt like cooking something, so I decided to throw together a few things and ended up making a really yummy batch of choc orange biccies! And with so few ingredients… that’s a huge win in my books!!

I didn’t use eggs, I didn’t use nuts, and what I did use was really basic stuff, so it’s a no-brainer I share this new recipe with you all!

 

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CHOCOLATE ORANGE BISCUITS

You’ll need:

2 tbsp chia seed meal (chia seeds ground down well in a good blender)

2 tbsp arrowroot flour

1/4 cup organic desiccated coconut

2 tbsp coconut oil (liquified)

2 tbsp pure organic cocoa powder

1/4 cup pure coconut milk (I use Ayam)

2 tbsp honey

Fresh orange zest, or dehydrated orange peel, or orange essential oil – to your liking

Optional: 2-3 tsp cacao nibs for crunch

Note: this made 10 small biscuits, double quantities to make larger batch

Do this:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees Celcius and line a baking tray with baking paper
  2. Add all ingredients (apart from cacao nibs) to the blender or food processor and blitz until well combined and there are no lumps left. I used my blender because I had pieces of dehydrated orange skin I wanted to break down and I wanted the desiccated coconut and chia meal to break down as much as possible. You could just add all ingredients to a bowl to mix together with a spoon, if not using dried out orange skin pieces, the result may not be the same but it’s up to you. The blender took very little time and did a good job, so I suggest using one for this.
  3. If including cacao nibs add them into the mixture now and stir through so they stay whole and crunchy
  4. Use a teaspoon to place big dollops of the gooey chocolate mixture onto the baking tray, about a tablespoon’s worth of batter for each biscuit
  5. You can keep them quite close together, about 2cm apart as the mixture will only spread a little while cooking. To ensure they stay fluffy don’t press down the mixture with the back of your spoon, just dollop it onto the paper, maybe tidy up the edges a little so they’re all neat and round, then bake them as is
  6. Place in the oven and bake for around 10-15 mins
  7. They really don’t take long to cook and actually cool down quickly because they’re not dense at all. They’ll be ready to munch on in no time!

These are great for school lunchboxes and after-school play dates because there’s no nuts present. Yet they’re so soft and moist.. wow!

Keep in mind though that some people with digestion issues can find arrowroot and chia meal heavy on the gut, but what I like about this recipe is it uses so little of each of those ingredients and they go such a long way that if you or your little one only has a couple of these they’re pretty filling because of the good fats, and there’s little chance of then being left bloated. But always listen to your body, the same ingredients for one person (paleo or not) don’t necessarily work well for the next.

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Enjoy 🙂

Aimee x

 5 Things I’m Grateful for Today:

  1. Creating these yummy biccies last night!
  2. The sun out today
  3. Playing outdoors
  4. Chocolate
  5. Holding fun cooking demo’s and all the great people I meet through them

Recipe: a Paleo dairy-free and nut-free cheese alternative

There are stacks of dairy-free ‘cheese’ recipes online and in books now. Some taste good and some taste nothing like cheese of course. Some are easy to make, some are really hard work.  Plus, most are made using nuts and not everyone can tolerate nuts well. Like me!

Most of my recipes are derived from a desire to create Paleo-friendly nut-free dishes for those who are allergic, don’t feel good eating many nuts, or just want nut-free alternatives. Especially important for school lunchboxes!

Last year I was introduced to an amazing dairy-free nut-free melting cheese recipe thanks to the legendary Aussie Paleo Chef (as known on Facebook, but just ‘Dan’ to us!) which goes brilliantly in Paleo burgers, in lasagne and on my chicken parmie recipe (in my soon-to-come Banana Flour e-book!!) and one of my fave recipes to teach people at private cooking workshops, always crediting back to the man himself of course!

If you’d like to grab his melting cheese recipe just download the Paleo Kitchen Creations e-book and enjoy the deliciousness!

So since learning that recipe, using it a lot and loving it.. I wanted to create a cheese that didn’t work only melted and could be spread onto crackers like regular animal milk-based cheese. One day I got creative in the kitchen and came up with a winner, using similar ingredients to Dan’s recipe, but slightly different. Of course though, me being me and not always organised in the kitchen, I didn’t write down the recipe as I went and couldn’t then remember the ingredients or method afterwards therefore I couldn’t replicate it so I could give it to you guys! Oh believe me, I tried! And failed… many times.

I’d almost given up but decided recently to have another crack.. and whad’ya know.. success!

I’ve finally created a spreadable cheese alternative recipe! I’ll be honest though, it doesn’t taste like real cheese, no cheese substitutes do. But, it’s a really healthy alternative and something interesting to include at dinner parties, as a snack, whenever you’d usually use cheese really.

Since it isn’t cheese and doesn’t taste exactly like cheese, let’s not call it “cheese”. Because that’s a fib after all! Instead, how ’bout we call it.. Cheezy Paleo Spread as it does have a likeness to cheese but it’s not the same as it, and that’s kinda cheezy I think! 😉

Cheezy Paleo Spread image

Ingredients you’ll need:

1/2 cup organic desiccated coconut

1/2 cup arrowroot flour

1 tbsp grass-fed pure beef gelatin powder (grab some via our affiliate link here)

2 tbsp spring/filtered water

1/2-1 tsp turmeric powder – depending on how yellow you want your cheez

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp Niulife creamed coconut (not coconut cream/milk, but dried coconut processed to become ‘creamy’)

Himalayan salt to taste

 

Kitchen bits you’ll need:

Good blender (high speed, bullet, or glass with decent power)

Whisk

Measuring spoons and cups

Round or square/rectangle container lined with baking paper or plastic wrap. Plastic wrap will probably allow for creases to appear around the edges of the cheez but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

 

Steps to follow:

  1. In a small saucepan add 1 tbsp water and gently sprinkle gelatin powder evenly over the surface. Do not turn the stove on until the gelatin powder has absorbed some of the water and has ‘bloomed’.
  2. Turn heat to medium and whisk the liquid so all gelatin granules have dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside
  3. Add to the blender add all remaining ingredients then drizzle the gelatin water on top
  4. Place the lid on the blender and blitz on high to break down the desiccated coconut and combine everything well. You can blitz until you reach a very smooth consistency or stop before it reaches that if you prefer the texture of some of the coconut remaining
  5. As you’re blending feel free to add a smidge more water (as in 1 tsp at a time) in case the mixture is too thick and isn’t combining properly. This can depend on your blender. Basically, you’re after a well combined and thick mixture with no lumps of creamed coconut or arrowroot remaining
  6. Once it’s to your liking use a silicon spatula or food processor scraper (food processor scrapers seem to work perfectly for getting around all the grooves in blenders!) to remove the mixture and transfer to the lined container
  7. Gently tap the base of the container on a steady surface like a chopping board to help the mixture spread to the corners and settle evenly
  8. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours to set
  9. When it’s time to serve, take it out of the fridge, grab the plastic or paper to remove it all from the container then remove the paper/plastic so you’re left with a big chunk of yellow cheez
  10. Serve on a platter with crackers spread out around, or cut to smaller sizes if you wish. Keep in mind on a really hot day outside the cheez may melt because of the coconut oil and gelatin but it will take a while to melt completely. Use a butter knife to spread onto crackers or slide carrot sticks into it. Easy!
  11. Store in the fridge in an air-tight container or wrapped in plastic. It contains gelatin which is an animal product so it will spoil after a few days as with any animal product. The apple cider vinegar will help preserve it to an extent but if the smell or colour changes please discard it.

Enjoy!

The recipe for the Rosemary Crackers (in the image) will be in my Banana Flour e-book, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.. launching in February 2016, yay!

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I hope you enjoy creating and eating this recipe, please do let me know what you think!

 

Here are some answers to some questions I may get after sharing this recipe:

  • Why not use nutritional yeast? I have experimented with it many times and every time it leaves my stomach very bloated and gassy the next day. From what I’ve read about it, it’s so processed and unnatural in its useable state that it easily messes with digestion. And don’t we mostly go Paleo to improve gut health?! Feel free to use it if you can tolerate it well but remember it could have inflammatory effects. It would replace turmeric for the yellow effect but turmeric is so healthy!
  • Why use gelatin? Pure gelatin is so healing (so it’s actually good for digestion!) and helps create the texture of this cheez
  • Could I use other types of dried coconut? Yes but the larger the pieces the longer they’ll take to break down enough in the blender.

Let me know if you have any questions to add!

Thanks,

Aimee xx

 

5 Things I’m Grateful For:

  1. Our long weekend away in NSW going to a family wedding, seeing new places and staying with amazing friends
  2. The sun out today so I can get some Vitamin D!
  3. Healthy recipe creating
  4. All Dan’s wonderful advice and inspiration
  5. You guys reading our blogs!