Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Carrot and Apple Hash from Louise of Paleo Living Magazine

Today we have a guest post from Louise at PaleoMagazine.com with an exclusive recipe from their new book, The Essential Paleo Cookbook. This book is packed with some amazing recipes and you can get a bunch of awesome FREE bonuses with your purchase- click here to check it out! With that, I'll hand it over to Louise…

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Jeremy (my husband) and I love simple recipes.  The fewer ingredients and steps, the better.

We used to make a lot of very complicated dishes, but we kept finding that we’d often run out of time to make those complex recipes.

When you taste this dish, you’ll understand why it doesn’t need any additional ingredients. The apple and carrots soften, and their natural sugars ooze out to mingle with the coconut oil making you savor every single bite of this dish.

The whole dish takes just 20 minutes, and it’s super easy to double or triple in size if you have a lot of people around for dinner.  Perfect as a tasty side dish, a snack, or for breakfast!


Carrot and Apple Hash with Cinnamon and Ginger 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
Serving Size: 1 plate

Ingredients
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 apple, peeled and shredded
3 Tablespoons (45 ml) coconut oil for cooking
Cinnamon (for sprinkling)
Fresh ginger (for topping)

Instructions
Squeeze out any excess water from the carrots and apples.

Mix the apples and carrots and pour 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) of coconut oil into the skillet/frying-pan.

Form 2 large flat patties in the skillet/frying-pan and fry on medium heat (2-3 minutes on each side – be careful when turning and check it doesn't burn).  Use a spatula to press down on the patties to help them cook better.

Serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon and freshly grated ginger.


About Louise Hendon
Louise is the co-founder of PaleoMagazine.com and author of the Essential Paleo Cookbook.  Apart from cooking a little too often, she really loves hiking and playing with her Shih Tzu named Karma.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What I Gather: 2014 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

Today's post is just a fun one to get your gears turning and start thinking about holiday gifts for your loved ones. I love Christmas, but I hate that the holiday season is pushed earlier and earlier each year. I refuse to celebrate until Thanksgiving night. Only then can I play nonstop Christmas music, pull out the Christmas decorations and watch Elf as often as possible.

I also LOVE choosing gifts for my friends and family and I try to be very thoughtful about it. I like to give unique, useful gifts that won't just collect dust in a corner somewhere or be played with twice and forgotten. I've put together a holiday gift list with something for everyone on your list. Check it out!

*Kids and Babies*



Diva Diapers is my favorite site for purchasing cloth diapers and natural baby goods. They have all my favorite Bum Genius prints (Bum Genius 4.0 is one of my favorite cloth diapers, not only because of the super cute prints) plus laundry soap, baby carriers and more!


                                                                
Play Kitchen  - I love the idea of kids having their very own play kitchen so they can "help" while you are cooking. Avery is too small to help with most cooking tasks, although I am starting to let him help sprinkle spices or pour ingredients into a bowl. With a play kitchen like this, he can cook right alongside me. There are tons to choose from in all sizes and price ranges, but I love this wooden kitchen from Hape because it isn't huge like some play kitchens and it comes with the pictured food and kitchen tools.


*Kitchen Newbies*
I've written about Primal Pal in the past, but here is a little refresher. Primal Pal is a fully customizable meal planning service that lets you add your own recipes or recipes from their huge database to make your meal plan for the week. You can even save your favorites if there are recipes you like to make every week. From there, Primal Pal puts together a complete grocery list with everything you need for the week! If you have a friend or family member who wants to eat healthier, but needs a little guidance in the kitchen, you could purchase them a monthly membership to Primal Pal for only $9.99 per month

Magazine Subscription
Paleo Living Magazine is a monthly magazine available for Apple and Android devices. The magazine shares practical tips for following a Paleo diet, delicious recipes and Paleo success stories. They have articles and recipes from tons of Paleo authors, including yours truly. You can purchase a one-year subscription for only $19.99, a great gift for a loved one who would like to learn more about the Paleo diet. And, BIG NEWS, they are hosting a HUGE holiday giveaway right now with over $450 in prizes like grass-fed beef sticks, Bearded Brother Bars, and HNINA Gourmet Truffles. I know I'll be entering. :) They also have a new book, The Essential Paleo Cookbook, which you can get in paperback ($29) or digital versions ($19). 
Paleo Magazine is the only Paleo magazine that offers a print version. This magazine goes beyond just food, though - they also include articles on exercise, raising a Paleo family, the latest diet and nutrition research and inspiring stories from individuals who have found health through a Paleo diet. The magazine is published bi-monthly and you can purchase a full year subscription for $29.95. If you subscribe now, though, you can get a year subscription for HALF OFF the regular price with code HAPPY2014US. Happy gifting!

Kitchen Tools
Anyone who is looking to spend more time in the kitchen preparing healthy, whole foods is going to need the right tools to do it. I usually stick to Amazon when I order kitchen gadgets because I like to read all of the reviews and I really like free shipping. :) Instead of spending hours reading reviews, I'll share with you a few of my favorites that I use day in and day out in my own kitchen.

 
Nesco FD-60 Snackmaster Express 4-Tray Food Dehydrator - We use this dehydrator mostly to make Kevin's super tasty homemade beef jerky, but we've also made dried fruit chips with apples and bananas and we've used it to dry herbs. It comes with a special tray for making fruit leathers, too.







Cuisinart DLC-10S Pro Classic 7-Cup Food Processor, White - We have this model in silver and use it pretty much every day. It comes with multiple disks so we use it to shred sweet potatoes, squash and onions for breakfast hash, for chopping veggies for salsa and even to make banana soft serve (if you don't know about banana soft serve, Google it). This thing is a major workhorse in our kitchen and it is a great price for a Cuisinart. They have the best customer service, too. I've dropped or broken parts to some of our other Cuisinart pieces (I have yet to destroy this one) and they have been great about replacing them.




Crock-Pot Smart Wifi-Enabled WeMo 6-Quart Slow Cooker, SCCPWM600-V1 - This is NOT the slow cooker that I have. I do love mine, but I saw a story about slow cookers that you can program from your smart phone on CBS Sunday Morning last week and I had to share this one with you. I don't know how necessary it is, but you can adjust the cooking time, temperature and even turn the cooker to "warm" or turn it off using the free app that comes with the slow cooker. I just think that is the coolest thing ever. If you know you'll be home early you can turn it up to high, if you know you'll be home late you can turn it to warm and dinner will be perfect when you get home.


Cuisinart CSB-79 Smart Stick 2-Speed 200-watt Immersion Hand Blender with Attachments - Another Cuisinart product! You can't beat the quality and warranty with this brand. I usually use the hand blender for blended soups and the small cup with the chopping blade to make sauces, dressing salsa and pesto. A hand blender is also the ONLY foolproof method I have found for making homemade mayonnaise. 






Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer - If you follow any other Paleo blogs (and if you are following mine, I'm sure you do), you've probably seen this, or a similar, spiralizer. We received this as a Christmas gift last year and I am obsessed. Not only can you make healthy veggie noodles,
you can also make curly french fries or sweet potato fries and you can make beautiful ribbon cut veggies for salads. The price is great and it comes with three blades for making different cuts.


BOOKS!
The books below are a few of my favorite Paleo cookbooks. Just click on the book cover to view on Amazon. There are HUNDREDS of others, but I have read these personally and love the recipes.

     

         

*Foodies*
Nikki's Coconut Butter is made with all-natural ingredients, is sweetened with only honey, maple syrup and/or dates and comes in drool-worthy flavors like Pumpkin Spice Donut and Vanilla Cake Batter. It is such a perfect treat for your favorite foodie with a bit of a sweet tooth. I've been eyeing this sampler pack that includes all of their current flavors in 2oz jars so you can try them all. Sounds like a good stocking stuffer to me!


A CSA subscription would be a wonderful gift for a friend or family member who likes to experiment with new fruits and vegetables in the kitchen. You could purchase them a gift card or gift subscription to get them started and let them decide from there if they want to continue the service. Each week, they will receive a bin full of whichever produce is currently available, so they will always get something new! Most CSAs also offer grocery items and many give you the option to customize your bin so you can skip the beets if they just aren't your thing.


Every foodie loves to snack and there are tons of health-focused snack-packed gift baskets available. PaleoPax has a Paleo Starter Kit for $49.00 with snacks from a variety of Paleo brands so the recipient can try a bit of everything. Healthy Surprise offers a Paleo Snack Box with over 17 snacks for $75. On the more budget-friendly side, Steve's Paleo Goods offers a Grass-Fed Gift Basket for only $39.99 that includes some of their grass-fed jerky and their tasty Paleo Krunch Bars. 




US Wellness Meats sells grass-fed beef, lamb, bison, and goat, as well as grass-fed butter and cheese, free-range poultry, honey, organic nuts, and other health and wellness products...plus they ship anywhere in the U.S. They work with a network of farms that are all committed to sustainable, humane practices of our brand.I don't know about you, but if I woke up to find grass-fed beef and Paleo trail mix under the tree on Christmas morning, I'd be pretty happy with Santa and his elves.


Fred and Friends Kitchen Gadgets - I have been obsessed with Fred and Friends for as long as I can remember and I give their cute and useful kitchen tools to friends as gifts all the time. I particularly love the Russian Nesting Doll Measuring Cups and the Deep Sea Diver Tea Infuser.



*Gifts that Give Back*

For the past few years, my sister and I have given my mom a gift from Heifer International. We've given her chickens, goats and a backpack full of school supplies. Okay, we didn't exactly give these gifts to my mom, but Heifer International sent them to a family in need with the donation we made in our mom's name. Heifer International will even send a card to the person who inspired your donation.


*Pregnant Mamas*


I couldn't create a holiday gift guide without including the perfect gift for any soon-to-be Paleo mamas out there, now could I? My upcoming book, The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book is the only guide she'll need to navigate pregnancy while sticking to a healthy, Paleo diet. This book is so much more than just recipes and nutrition information (although there is plenty of that, too). She'll learn how to deal with common pregnancy symptoms, the best foods for a healthy milk supply and how to start or modify an exercise program. The book officially comes out on January 9, 2015, but you can preorder on Amazon now and save over 20% off the cover price!



Cloth Diaper Service - If there is a pregnant woman in your life and you know she is interested in, or even curious about, cloth diapering, a gift certificate to a local cloth diapering service would be an excellent gift. Locally, we have The Diaper Fairy and with the wide range of services they offer, you would surely find something to help out a mom-to-be or new mom. You can sign up for a full service package where new diapers are dropped off each week and the old ones are magically whisked away and washed, or, if she has her own diapers, you can give her a certificate in the amount to have them washed and returned or even deep cleaned every few months. Many cloth diaper services even offer free informational classes to help you get started and choose the best option for your family.

Freezer Meals - A super thoughtful and inexpensive gift would be to make a few freezer meals for a new mom or soon-to-be mom. You could package them up and bring them over so she can rest easy in those last weeks of pregnancy or first few weeks of mommyhood. Check out my post on New Mom Meals to get some ideas. Trust me, she will be forever grateful. Bonus points if you vacuum the house when you drop by. :)

*Handmade Gifts*




Last, but certainly not least, I LOVE giving handmade gifts, whether it be homemade candles, ornaments, body butter or salt scrub. Check out my Holiday Crafts and Health and Beauty Pinterest boards for some fun ideas!

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Now it's your turn! What is on your wish list this holiday season? Did my suggestions spur any ideas for you?




Sunday, November 23, 2014

An Everything® Series Holiday - Featuring The Everything Guide to the Low-FODMAP Diet Book!

                                                 

The low-FODMAP diet is not something I have addressed on the blog in the past, but it is a diet that, much like Paleo, has helped thousands of people find health. Specifically, a low-FODMAP diet is often recommended for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and similar digestive disorders.

My first question when I learned of the low-FODMAP diet was "what in the world is a FODMAP"? You are probably wondering the same thing. :) FODMAP stands for "Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols" (now you can see why they just call them FODMAPs). What this really boils down to is FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates that can be poorly absorbed by certain individuals and left to be fermented by bacteria in the gut. These bacteria produce gas as a byproduct of the fermentation process, which can lead to serious digestive symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. We all experience occasional digestive distress, but when you experience these symptoms on a daily basis it can seriously effect your quality of life.



Luckily, as we are learning about many other health conditions, drugs and medical interventions are not the only treatment for these disorders. Recent research has shown that upwards of 70% of people involved in a low-FODMAP diet study saw improvement in their symptoms. To treat these disorders, you need to investigate (with the help of a practitioner) the underlying cause of your symptoms. A low-FODMAP diet doesn't necessarily treat IBS, but it does help to relieve symptoms. Foods that are high in FODMAPs can contribute to symptoms, while foods that are low in FODMAPs can often provide relief. What's more, you may only be sensitive to certain FODMAPs and see no ill effects from others, so it can take some trial and error to determine which foods to load up on and which to steer clear of. If you are suffering from IBS or a similar digestive disorder, discuss the potential benefits of following a low-FODMAP diet with your practitioner.


A low-FODMAP diet can be difficult to navigate on your own. There are extensive food lists and if you are unfamiliar with which foods to avoid and which are beneficial, it can be tough to figure out what to eat and how to adapt your favorite recipes.

That brings me to the reason for today's post - there is a wonderful new resource for people following this diet, The Everything® Guide to the Low-FODMAP Diet! This book is packed full of information that will help you to adopt this highly-personalized diet plan and walk you through the process of identifying your individualized sensitivities. This book also gives you practical tips for integrating a low FODMAP diet into your lifestyle with pantry items you should always have on hand and over 150 recipes.


The low-FODMAP diet is not a strict Paleo diet, but it is gluten-free and many people who suffer from IBS symptoms adopt a low-FODMAP diet on top of their Paleo diet. There are many resources, including the food lists in the book, that can help you determine which low-FODMAP foods are also Paleo if you are following a Paleo diet.


The authors of the book, Dr. Barbara Bolen and Kathleen Bradley, CPC (pictured above), have created a useful website to supplement their book, EverythingLowFODMAP.com. The site has recipes, food lists and more!


On their site, they are featuring a holiday resource with an Everything® series book for everyone on your list, including my book, The Everything® Paleo Pregnancy Book! You can see all the books on their list here. In addition, they have put together a low-FODMAP Thanksgiving recipe Pinterest board!

Speaking of recipes, I also wanted to share this tasty Carrot + Ginger Soup recipe from The Everything® Guide to the Low-FODMAP Diet with you today. This soup is both low-FODMAP and Paleo. It is nutrient-dense, great for digestion and delicious! Enjoy!



Carrot + Ginger Soup
Serves 6

Ingredients
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 (2-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated
4 cups Basic Roast Chicken Stock
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (1 whole orange)
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Toast pumpkin seeds on a rimmed baking sheet under broiler for 3 minutes. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add carrots and ginger and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add stock. Turn heat to high and bring just to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes until carrots are soft.

Purée the soup in a blender or food processor. Return to pot.

Stir in orange juice, zest, salt, and pepper.

Serve soup in bowls garnished with pumpkin seeds.

*Always check labels on all packaged goods used in the context of any low-FODMAP recipe prior to recipe preparation or consumption to be sure they do not contain high-FODMAP ingredients.

Source: The Everything® Guide to the Low-FODMAP Diet