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: Winter Warming Porridge (Paleo + oat/nut-free)

Are you like me and miss enjoying a bowl of steaming oats and honey for brekkie in Winter time? If you’re no longer eating gluten and grains and miss oats as an easy breakfast option then you’ll love my healthy porridge recipe!

 

It’s even nut-free, a bonus for those who, like me, don’t do well on nuts, or are allergic to them.

The other bonus is it’s super quick and easy to make! It even has a similar texture to instant oats.

WINTER WARMING PORRIDGE – with blueberries

 

You’ll need:

1/4 cup organic green banana flour (buy here)
1/2 cup organic desiccated coconut + extra for garnish
Pure vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg powder (to your liking)
Ayam coconut milk for drizzling over to serve (use another milk if you prefer)
1–2 cups spring/filtered water
½ cup organic frozen blueberries
Drizzle of raw honey (optional)

Other flavour suggestions: Grade B pure maple syrup, Medjool dates pitted and diced, grated apple, any berries, slices of banana

Method:

1. In a small saucepan on very low heat add the spices aand stir to draw out flavour
2. Add remaining ingredients and stir will until warmed right through and blueberries have thawed. Add more water if needed until it reaches the consistency you like
3. Transfer to a serving bowl
4. Drizzle honey on, pour on coconut milk and garnish with a sprinkle of dried coconut

 

You can leave out the blueberries and add whatever fruit you like, add chopped nuts if you like, some cacao nibs, cocoa powder for a chocolate porridge bowl… this recipe is so versatile!

Grated apple adds freshness

Time saver tips:

Measure out a few serves worth of the dry ingredients, place in a large jar, shake well and store in the pantry to grab on mornings when you’re short on time. Spoon as much as you like into the saucepan, add the water and any other flavours (such as fresh fruit) you like, stir through then serve. This saves you time getting the dry ingredients together, yay!

To save even MORE time, use clean dried fruit and add to the jar! Such as sulphur-free dried banana, berries etc.  Freeze coconut milk into ice cube trays and keep a bag of cubes in the freezer so you always have some handy, then use one on top of your warm porridge. Easy!

Enjoy and please let me know what you think!

Want to know more about green banana flour? Watch this video!

If you’d like to grab ALL of my green banana flour recipes my e-books are available to purchase HERE!

 

Aimee x

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 !!

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Cooking with Green Banana Flour

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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

 

 

Fun on the farm and learning about Biodynamics

We held another Farm Tour Meetup at Eumundi Beef a couple of weeks ago, and as always, Farmer Susan gave an incredibly detailed description of how she runs her small and sustainable grass-fed Angus/Murray cattle property using Biodynamics principles, even including her background (she wasn’t born into farming, she was actually a Biochemist  before she transitioned into farm life!) and also what her goals for the future are.

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She won’t be focusing solely on producing quality beef, she’s branching into heritage chicken meat, chicken and goose eggs,  tallow soap and more! She sure is a busy lady, she’s also very knowledgeable, passionate, interesting and generous with her time.

We appreciate her allowing our Sunshine Coast Paleo Lifestyle Meetup Group members explore her property and bug her with lots of questions about her methods.

When we’d had a thorough tour of the farm which included patting a bull, spying a cute calf wandering off and staying close to mum, holding chickens, seeing geese and ducks, getting lots of fresh air and sunshine.. we sat down to enjoy a picnic and chatted about what we’d just experienced.

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So many people, including us, were really interested in the whole Biodynamics philosophy and how it really seems to be the ultimate in achieving health for the planet, the animals and us humans as consumers of meat and produce. It sounds a lot more in-depth and rewarding than even Permaculture, which we know is really popular here on the Sunshine Coast, with courses being held regularly. Biodynamics though is less talked about but more farmers are finding out about it and starting to implement the methods.

Basically, the main benefit of Biodynamically-raised plants is that the nutrients from the soil end up in the cells of the plants, rather than just in the water part of the plants, which is sadly the result of many common ‘clean’ practices such as Aquaponics and even Organic farming. When the nutrients are held in the cells of the plants the plants are far more nutrient-dense, last longer, and are utilised more efficiently and effectively by the animals and humans consuming them.

Interesting or what?!

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Farmer Susan talked a lot about the processes in which she went through to vastly improve her soil quality over the 5 years since she began farming the land, the different layers of soil, all the important and pesky types of grasses, paddock rotation, how to raise happy and healthy cattle, why she chose the cross-breed of Angus / Murray, how to identify a healthy patch of ground, beneficial bugs and bacteria and so much more.

It really was a chance to learn new things and be inspired to take positive steps in our own lives with our own gardening practices and with what produce we purchase. Looking for Biodynamically-produced food is really the healthiest.

The day wasn’t all about learning though, we did eventually sit down for a picnic, scoffed down some amazingly delicious paleo delights, had great conversations and lots of laughs.

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We enjoyed some Turkish Delight, raw vegan cakes, char grilled flavoursome chicken, nuts, and more. It sure was a feast!

Thank you so much to all our members who came along for a day out on the farm! We hope you enjoyed yourselves and learnt a lot, we certainly did!

And of course a huge thank you to Farmer Susan for hosting us and sharing so much information and time with us all, we love you!

To keep up with all our farm tour and other paleo lifestyle meetups and events, be sure to register for our newsletters here.

To find out more about Eumundi Beef head to the website.

Clint & Aimee

5 Things We’re Grateful For:

  1. Really fun and interesting farm tour  meetups
  2. Spending time with lovely people at our meetups
  3. There being so many quality food producers on the Sunshine Coast
  4. Paleo Turkish Delight (lol)
  5. Sunny days spent outdoors

 

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!

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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.

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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.

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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