Our Favorite Weekday Pancakes

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These pancakes make at least a weekly appearance at our house. The kiddos love them because they are slightly sweet and amazing smothered with butter. I love them because they are the quickest and easiest pancakes around and we almost always have all the ingredients.

Weekday Banana Pancakes (GF, Paleo, Grain-Free)

This recipe serves 2 people

2 Bananas
4 Eggs
1 Tablespoon Almond Butter
Pinch of Salt

Mix all the ingredients in a blender or in a bowl with an immersion blender. Cook on a cast iron skillet or griddle until golden. These pancakes are easier to flip if they are small. And, the bananas make them sweet enough as is so, we just serve with a pat or two of grass-fed butter.

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Toasted Coconut Butter Bombs

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The kiddos were home from school yesterday so, we worked on their science fair projects. While they were working on that, I did a little experimenting of my own in the kitchen. Admittedly, they don’t look all that appetizing but, I have to say, these turned out to be really delicious.  A nutty flavor, full of healthy fats and very little sugar (only in the form of medjool dates), these are a great, slightly sweet snack or an awesome treat for a lunch box!

I started by the toasting coconut flakes in a dry pan. You can also do this in the oven on a cookie sheet. Just be prepared to babysit it so it doesn’t burn. Then add the coconut flakes to the food processor bowl.

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Now, turn it on and just let it rip for about 5 minutes.  By then, it should all look pretty liquid. At this point, add the coconut oil, cinnamon, and salt and blend for another 30-60 seconds. The coconut will be warm so, it will melt the coconut oil right away.

While your food processor is running, prepare the cups by chopping the dates and lining a mini muffin tin with papers.

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Now, just pour the coconut mixture over the dates. I transferred mine to a measuring cup for ease of pouring.

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Now, for the tough part – waiting until they set up!  This took about 2 hours in the fridge. But, they were even better the next day.

Toasted Coconut Butter Bombs

Makes about 20

5 Cups unsweetened, toasted coconut flakes

1 T Coconut Oil

1 t Cinnamon

6 Medjool dates, coarsely chopped

Pinch of salt

Add toasted coconut to a food processor bowl and process for about 5 minutes or until smooth and liquid. While the food processor is running, chop dates and add to paper lined mini muffin tin.

When toasted coconut has become liquid, add the coconut oil, cinnamon, and salt, and process another 30-60 seconds. Pour or spoon mixture over chopped dates and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Italian Sausage Bake – A Real Food Recipe For Comfort

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This recipe was inspired by my dear friend and fellow NTP, Christie Banners. She had given me a formula awhile back and I’ve tweaked it to fit my family’s likes. The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can modify it to work with any vegetables you have around, or if you need to use up random veg in your crisper drawer. It’s also a super simple one-pan meal and very quick to throw together. And by the time it’s finished baking, your kitchen is already cleaned up. This is really only a formula – I’ve used countless veggie combinations and all of them have been amazing!

Italian Sausage Bake

1 – 1.5 pounds of bulk italian sausage (pork from foraging pigs is best but, just buy the highest quality sausage you can find or afford)

1.5 -2 pounds of potatoes, cubed or sweet potatoes, cubed or a combination

2 large carrots, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups of other assorted chopped veggies (fennel, mushrooms, cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, etc.)

3-4 cups dark greens or cabbage, shredded

2 T avocado oil or olive oil

1 C bone broth, organic chicken stock, or water

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss all ingredients in a large bowl with oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to a large baking dish and pour broth over everything.  Bake for 1 hour or until vegetables are fork tender.

New Year Resolutions With A Twist

Let’s keep it real, folks. I ate a donut over Christmas vacation. There, I said it. It was not gluten-free, dairy-free, or sugar-free. It was a straight-up, fake chocolate covered, soy-oil deep-fried donut. Donuts are my thing. My weakness. Put a donut in front of me and it’s almost impossible for me to resist. I don’t give in to this weakness very often but, when I do, I don’t beat myself up about it. I also probably had a few too many drinks between Christmas and New Years but, I’m human. I forgive and move on.

What kind of a nutritionist eats a donut? An imperfect one. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very passionate about nutrition, food as medicine, and knowing where your food comes from. But, I have to admit, I sometimes get damn tired of hearing about it – tired of fad diets, and tired of nutrition authorities touting all-or-nothing advice or one-size-fits-all protocols. Perfection has no place in nutrition.

I absolutely believe in therapeutic diets. All of us, myself included, can benefit from the healing power of a therapeutic protocol at one time or another, or seasonally, or whenever we need a “reset.” I love a good sugar detox or a gut-healing regimen. They definitely have their place in a journey to better health but, I believe in most circumstances, they are not meant to be long term.

Where I think we go off-track is when nutrition becomes an obsession. It becomes all we think about, and our lives can become only about what we are eating, day-in and day-out. It becomes an eating disorder in itself – orthorexia nervosa, a term that literally means “fixation on righteous eating.” The stress of having to think about what goes in your mouth, every minute of every day, the stress of nutrition perfection takes a devastating toll on the body and spirit. It becomes enslaving and isolating.

We are bombarded with nutrition information in the media, from well-meaning friends, and from those who consider themselves nutrition authorities. They are peddling their one-size-fits-all approach to eating and that’s never made sense to me. What is good for one person is not necessarily the best for everyone. Many nutrition websites and bloggers give the impression that they have “righteous eating” down to an art and a science and if you aren’t doing it perfectly, you’re doing it wrong. They are setting us up to fail. It’s no wonder we quit before we even start. Perfection is not sustainable.

Many of us have set New Year resolutions for ourselves – whether it be to lose weight, to eat healthier, or to exercise more. But, we all know that the resolutions we make for ourselves aren’t sustainable or every realistic, in most cases. I’ll say it again – perfect nutrition is not sustainable. It does not allow us room for grace and forgiveness on our journey to better health.

So, let’s set our resolutions with a twist. Instead of losing 30 pounds, or giving up sugar, or running a marathon, let’s resolve to set intentions to honor ourselves, to forgive our imperfections, and to have grace and courtesy in understanding our journey is different than anyone else’s. If we do this, the rest will surely follow.

Green Soup

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This soup makes a weekly appearance at our house this time of year.  It gives us all the greens we need until the weather warms up and we’re ready to eat salads everyday. We dubbed it “green” soup, not because of its ever-rotating list of ingredients but, because it is always one shade of green or another.  Never the same soup twice, this is more of a method than a recipe. It’s a great way to use up whatever leftover green veggies you have lurking at the end of the week.

 

Here’s the method:

 

  1. Sauté in olive oil, avocado oil, or beef tallow, an onion (or half), a couple carrots, and some celery (if you have it). Throw in a garlic clove or two if you feel like it.  I use a giant 9 qt dutch oven for this. If you don’t have many veggies, use something smaller.
  2. Add the stems of whatever leafy greens you may have (chard, kale, collards, etc.) and sauté for a few more minutes.
  3. Add the rest of your green stuff – here’s where you can get crazy.  Add whatever might need to be used up – cabbage, kale, chard, collards, broccoli, kale raab, bok choy, leeks, etc.
  4. Just barely cover with homemade beef or chicken bone broth or store-bought organic stock.
  5. Simmer gently for 15 minutes and remove from heat.  Add any veggies that don’t need cooking – like parsley and spinach (love both of these in green soup!).
  6. Transfer to a Vitamix or other blender and puree until smooth. Alternatively, use an immersion blender and puree right in the pot.
  7. Season with quality unrefined salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Store in the fridge and reheat as needed.

 

We serve up mugs of steaming green soup at lunchtime or before dinner. And even my kids love it!  With each mug of soup, you are getting an incredible amount of well-cooked veggies and nourishing bone broth – both very easy on digestion.  Enjoy! Just don’t get too attached – next time it will be different.

Instant Chocolate Chia Pudding

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The girls and I have been working to perfect our Instant Chocolate Chia Pudding.  It is packed full of healthy fats and is only slightly sweet.  And the best things about it – 1) IT’S INTSTANT!  2) It’s easy for kids to make themselves! and 3) if you have an immersion blender (best invention ever!) everything gets dumped into a quart jar so, no mess and no extra dishes!

Here’s the recipe:

1 can of full-fat coconut milk (preferably free of weird additives)

5 T chia seeds

3 T organic cocoa or raw cacao

3 T maple syrup or raw honey

½ t vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Dump all ingredients into a wide-mouth quart jar, and with an immersion blender, mix until thick and creamy.  Alternatively, add all ingredients to a regular blender.

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