Appetizer · Health Tips · snack

Paleo Nut-Free School Lunches

A couple of months before school started, my sister who owns Rocq Macarons gave me a 25-pound box of almond flour as part of my birthday present. Since her macaroons are made with almond flour, she orders thousands of pounds at the time, and gets a much better price than I get at the store. It was probably one of the best presents I have gotten,  something that I would use and enjoy for months and months and that would also save me tons of money. Fast forward to a the middle of August, my oldest daughter Lilah was about to start kindergarten and  I begun preparing for school: I made and froze 8 pounds of almond crusted chicken nuggets, several loaves of grain-free almond flour bread, 4 batches of paleo crispy waffles, a few batches of banana-nut muffins and several other make ahead, freezable school snacks. I really put that almond flour to good use!  I felt accomplished, prepared and ready for school to start…

Not so much! The very next day I found out that the school we had chosen to send our daughter, had just agreed to become a nut-free facility due to a high enrollment of children with anaphylactic-nut allergies… Back to square one!
At first I was very annoyed and inconvenienced by this, but I followed the rules anyway. Then I found out about a little girl at school  going into an anaphylactic shock because some parents were not complying with the rule. Nut allergies are serious, life threatening and they affect a lot of people. I am now 100% in support of their nut-free policy. I am glad that the school is taking extra measurements to protect their children. It’s been a little difficult to abstain from our beloved nuts, but it has forced me to come up with new recipes.

It’s been a learning process, so I decided to take daily  pictures of Lilah’s lunch box and share them with you, to help give you some paleo nut-free school lunch ideas. This is a progressive post, as the school year goes by I will be adding more lunches to the list. If you have any other ideas please share them with us in the comments. I would love more suggestions.

As for the giant box of almond flour; it now hibernates  happily at the bottom of my deep freezer, waiting for  winter, spring and summer break to come back to life.

 

Paleo Nut-Free School Lunches

The Basics

  • School lunches don’t need to always be very elaborate, sometimes I have extra time to make a grain-free wrap that morning, or make a chicken salad with a homemade mayo , but sometimes I just pack leftover dinner or breakfast in her thermos, a piece of fruit a vegetable and maybe a bar or something pre-packaged but healthy.
  • Although I avoid processed foods altogether, I make a few exceptions for healthy already-made packaged snacks that contain very few ingredients and that are made with only with things you would commonly find in my kitchen. I used those for days when I am pressed for time. Some of these include:
  • A good lunch box and/or containers make things easier. I usually stay away from all plastic container to prevent chemicals leaching into our food, so I bought this  stainless steel insulated thermos container to pack warm dishes and a Planet Box for snacks and cold dishes. I absolutely LOVE the PlanetBox. It was a little pricey, but it is made with very sturdy stainless steel and I am sure it will last several years. I bought the one that comes with the lidded containers, the case and the ice pack. It comes with fun magnets that you can switch for a fresh new look. The thermos I bought also fits on the drink compartment of the planet box.
  • Always have a good selection of fruits and veggies that you can rotate throughout the week, especially those that can be eaten without peeling or cutting: apples, carrots, persian cucumbers, snap peas, etc.

Tips To Get Your Child to Eat Healthy

  • Only serve healthy choices. If you serve Mac n’ Cheese and  cucumbers, most likely your kid will only eat the Mac n Cheese, but if you serve grilled chicken, broccoli and cucumbers, most likely he/she will eat a little bit of  each.
  • Talk to them about the importance of eating healthy and how unhealthy foods affect their body, their health, their play, their learning, etc. I like how this children’s story book addresses this concept.
  • Go shopping with your child and encourage them to choose the fruits and veggies they would like to bring to school.
  • Make them a part of packing lunch, reminding them that there should be at least one vegetable in their lunch box.
  • Talk about the nutrients and benefits of every food inside their lunch box. I always point out a the healthiest item in her lunch tray and encourage that she eats that first.
    How to get kids to eat their vegetables

The Lunches

  1. Kale wraps: Kale leaves stuffed with tuna salad (wild planet tuna, shredded carrots, lemon and homemade easy mayo), sliced mango, bell peppers, and homemade nut-free trail mix (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, raisins, banana chips, and a sea salt.Paleo School Lunches
  2. Turkey wraps ( turkey slices rolled around bell pepper and avocado strips), mango, olives, and a banana.
    Paleo School Lunches
  3. Homemade raw milk kefir mixed with applesauce, flax meal, and ground cinnamon, turkey and kale sandwich made on a homemade grain-free roll, pumpkin seeds, tangerine, and an apple + coconut bar.Paleo School Lunches
  4. Leftover braised short ribs, cherry tomatoes, jujubes, sweet potato pancake, Enjoy life seed and fruit mixPaleo School Lunches
  5. Homemade gelatin made with organic fresh-pressed grape juice and grass-fed unflavored beef gelatin, leftover chayote squash picadillo, tomatoes, snap peas, watermelon, and plantain chips.Paleo School Lunches
  6. Pulled pork sandwich on a grain-free roll, carrot sticks, apple slices with Love Bean Chocolate spread, cherry tomatoes and an apple banana bar.
    Paleo School Lunches
  7. Cheeseburger kabobs made with beef meatballs, crispy bacon slices, raw cheese, and cherry tomatoes, apple/sweet potato/carrot bake, toasted coconut chips, and cantaloup.Paleo School Lunches
  8. Spanish tortilla made with eggs, onions and diced turnips, plums, avocado and pumpkin spice shelled pumpkin seeds. To make the pumpkin seeds I just mixed the seeds with coconut oil, coconut sugar, and pumpkin spice and I baked them until golden brown.Paleo School Lunches
  9. Chicken burger ( chicken patty, homemade mayo, mustard, and lettuce leaves), steamed broccolini with sea salt, olive oil and lemon juice, rambutans, sautéed butternut squash with coconut oil, cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup, and homemade raw milk kefir with raw honey, chia seeds and bee pollenPaleo School Lunches
  10. Chicken salad cucumber cups, Paleo “granola” bar, vegetable chips, and tangerines.Paleo School Lunches
  11. Plantain chips with garlic bacon guacamole, rolled Iberian ham, raw broccoli, and grapes.
    Paleo School Lunches
  12.  Raw milk  homemade kefir with chia seeds and honey, raw green beans, grass-fed, nitrate-free jerky, avocado, cherry tomatoes and nut-free trail mix.Paleo School Lunches
  13.  Baba Ganoush dip, sliced organic summer sausage, carrot sticks, sliced cucumber, green beans, and a chia podPaleo School Lunches
  14.  Zucchini noodles with bacon Bolognese sauce (leftover dinner), coconut oil roasted seaweed, homemade “granola” bar, mushrooms, and papaya. Paleo School Lunches
  15.  Homemade roast beef/ cucumber sandwich, pomegranate (read this to learn the fastest way to seed them), sliced bell peppers, taro root chips.Paleo School Lunches
  16. Grain-free bread with duck pate, dulse, sliced persian cucumber, and longans.
    Paleo nut-free school lunches
  17. Salad made with diced chicken, chopped tomatoes, diced cucumbers, sea salt, raw apple cider vinegar and olive oil, grapes, love bean chocolate spread and sweet plantain chips.
    Paleo nut-free school lunches
  18. Banana “sushi” ( spread sunflower butter on a grain-free crepe, wrap it around a banana, slice it into sushi like pieces, and drizzle it with honey ), baba ganoush with carrot sticks, raw broccoli, and grapes.
    Paleo nut-free school lunches
  19. Roast beef wrap, made with a grain free wrap, lettuce, avocado, and homemade deli-style roast beef, a persian cucumber, sliced bell peppers, Go Raw Spirulina chips and sunflower butter.
    Paleo nut-free school lunches
  20. Do-it yourself chicken salad lettuce wraps, cherry tomatoes, and nut-free trail mix.
    Paleo nut-free school lunches
  21. Sweet potato maple pudding (recipe coming soon), sliced chicken sausage, sliced persian cucumbers and a homemade trail mix made with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, coconut chips, and banana chips.
    Paleo nut-free school lunches
  22. Meatza: made on a pre-made chicken patty with glass-jared tomato paste, Daya’s dairy-free cheese, and bacon, sliced carrots, 2-ingredient banana pancakes, sliced kiwi.paleo school lunches

More lunches coming soon… Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to get weekly recipes and updates.

 

 

 

Desserts · snack

Maple Almond Bark (paleo)

Crispy salted plantain chips covered with a layer of sweet and spiced almond freezer fudge and melted chocolate? I am not sure what made me come up with that unusual combination, but this Maple Almond Bark is AWESOME! The plantain chips give it a very nice crunch and the pumpkin spice makes it a perfect fall treat. I cut it in very small pieces,  just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth, but without loading up on too much sugar.

I came up with the recipe about a week ago and I have already made it 4 times. I originally made it with coconut butter, and then tweaked it around using salted and unsalted butter instead. I liked the salted butter version better as it gave it a caramel taste to it, but the coconut butter version had a better texture. I also tried replacing the maple syrup for honey, but it didn’t freeze as well, it was a little bit more chewy and it crumbled easily, but t was delicious still. You can also use sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter for a nut free version and I am guessing that if you use macadamia butter and salted butter it would taste just like caramel. I will be experimenting with that very soon.

For similar treats try my freezer fudge, raspberry chocolate fudge, or my almond joys.

Spiced Maple Almond Bark

Ingredients:

2/3 cup of plantain chips.
1/2 cup of almond butter (use sunflower seed butter for a nut-free version)
1/4 cup of coconut butter or 3 tbsp of grass-fed butter
1/3 cup of maple syrup or more to taste
1 tbsp of coconut oil (omit if you are using butter)
1 1/2 tsp of pumpkin spice (or 1 tsp of cinnamon 1/4 tsp of ground cloves, 1/4 tsp of nutmeg, 1/4 tsp of cardamom)
1/4 cup of Enjoy Life chocolate chips or homemade raw chocolate  (optional)

Preparation:

  • Lightly grease an 8″ x 8″ baking dish.
  • Spread the plantain chips at the bottom of the baking dish forming a single layer.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the almond butter, maple syrup, coconut butter, and coconut oil.
  • Simmer uncovered on low heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly to allow some of the moisture to evaporate.
  • When the mixture starts to thicken, pour over the plantain chips.
  • Melt the chocolate chips and pour over the almond mixture (optional step).
  • Freeze and cut into desired shape.
  • Keep frozen.
Maple Almond Bark (paleo)
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Paleo
Author: Edible Harmony
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup of plantain chips
  • 1/2 cup of almond butter (use sunflower seed butter for a nut-free version)
  • 1/4 cup of coconut butter or 3 tbsp of grass-fed butter
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup or more to taste
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil (omit if you are using butter)
  • 1 1/2 tsp of pumpkin spice (or 1 tsp of cinnamon 1/4 tsp of ground cloves, 1/4 tsp of nutmeg, 1/4 tsp of cardamom)
  • 1/4 cup of Enjoy Life chocolate chips or homemade raw chocolate (optional)
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease an 8″ x 8″ baking dish.
  2. Spread the plantain chips at the bottom of the baking dish forming a single layer.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the almond butter, maple syrup, coconut butter, and coconut oil.
  4. Simmer uncovered on low heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly to allow some of the moisture to evaporate.
  5. When the mixture starts to thicken, pour over the plantain chips.
  6. Melt the chocolate chips and pour over the almond mixture (optional step).
  7. Freeze and cut into desired shape.
  8. Keep frozen.

 

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Desserts

Paleo Flourless Chocolate Cake (4 ingredients)

Besides being affordable, this Paleo Flourless Cake  is the fastest, simplest, and easiest cake recipe I know of. The cake and the ganache combined only call for 4 ingredients.

Grain-Free flours are sometimes hard to find, especially outside of the U.S. I make this cake often whenever I’m traveling abroad, because the ingredients are easy to find pretty much anywhere. A few times I haven’t been able to find a soy-free chocolate bar, so I’ve used a regular kind and it works just as well. If you can’t find unsweetened chocolate, buy the sweetened one and just decrease the amount of honey to taste.

I’ve also made this for one of my daughter’s friends who is allergic to dairy, soy, nuts, and coconut, but I used  this organic environmentally friendly palm shortening instead of the butter or the coconut oil.

I have a new-found love for this environmentally-friendly organic  palm shortening. I can use it to cook my savory dishes or to safely fry things like sweet plantains, yucca chips, vaca frita, or patacones, without leaving them tasting like coconut, butter, or lard. Not to mention that palm oil is far less expensive.

The best part is that this non hydrogenated oil comes from small-scale family farms in South America. These farmers are certified by ProForest, which ensures that they meet strict social, environmental and technical criteria. With regard to environmental criteria, the assessments are carried out at the landscape and operational level at both the farms and processing facilities. These assessments cover environmental impact on the soil, water, air, biodiversity and local communities. The lands the farmers use are not lands that were deforested.

For other treat recipes try my grain-free carrot cake,

Paleo Flourless Chocolate Cake

 

Ingredients:

6 ounces of unsweetened soy-free chocolate or tempered cacao paste
3 large eggs, preferably room temperature
1/2 cup of butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup of honey or more to taste
1 tsp of vanilla (optional)
1/4 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to  350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • While the oven is preheating, place the chocolate and oil in an oven safe bowl and place it in the oven until they gently melted. If you are using raw honey melt it as well.
  • Allow the mixture to cool down a little bit so that the eggs don’t cook before you mix them in
  • Mix all the ingredients together until well combined.
  • Grease a small cake mold. I used this 6-inch soufflé dish.
  • Cut a piece of parchment paper the same size as the inside of the mold and line the bottom to prevent it from sticking.
  • Pour the batter in the dish and bake for 25 minutes or until the cake starts to crack in the center.
  • Allow the cake to cool down.
  • Using a small knife, separate the sides of the cake from the dish.
  • Remove the cake from the mold by turning it upside down over a plate and pour the ganache on top.

Ingredients for the ganache:

3 ounces of unsweetened soy-free chocolate or tempered cacao paste
2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil
2 tablespoons of honey

Preparation:

  • Gently melt and combine all the ingredients together and pour over the cooled down cake.
  • If the ganache is too runny, let it cool down for a few minutes.
Paleo Flourless Chocolate Cake (4 ingredients)
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Paleo
Author: Edible Harmony
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces of unsweetened soy-free chocolate or tempered cacao paste
  • 4 large eggs, preferably room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • INGREDIENTS FOR THE GANACHE
  • 3 ounces of unsweetened soy-free chocolate or tempered cacao paste
  • 2 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. While the oven is preheating, place the chocolate and oil in an oven safe bowl and place it in the oven until is gently melted. If you are using raw honey melt it as well.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together until well combined.
  4. Grease a small cake mold. I used this 6-inch soufflé dish.
  5. Cut a piece of parchment paper the same size as the inside of the mold and line the bottom to prevent it from sticking.
  6. Pour the batter in the dish and bake for 25 minutes or until the cake starts to crack in the center.
  7. Allow the cake to cool down.
  8. Using a small knife, separate the sides of the cake from the dish.
  9. Remove the cake from the mold by turning it upside down over a plate and pour the ganache on top.
  10. FOR THE GANACHE:
  11. Gently melt and combine all the ingredients together and pour over the cooled down cake.
  12. If the ganache is too runny, let it cool down for a few minutes.

 

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Desserts

Grain-Free Carrot Cake (Frozen-Themed)

I’ve made this grain-free carrot cake several times last month. My oldest daughter, Lilah turned 5 and I did a couple small-sized trials before I ventured with the 3-tier Disney’s Frozen birthday cake that she requested for her party.

I really liked the fact that it was relatively economical for a grain-free cake. Almond flour tends to be expensive and coconut flour requires a lot of eggs, but the fact that this recipe calls for 4 cups of shredded carrots cuts down a lot on the amount of flour, eggs, and sweetener used. I bought a giant bag of organic carrots at Costco for under $5.

I’ve made it once using coconut oil and a couple of times using butter instead and they both worked out great. I also used a cream cheese frosting and this dairy-free frosting, but I liked the cream cheese frosting better.

For other cake recipes try my strawberry cake, watermelon cake, or (nut-free) pound cake.

Grain-Free Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

4 cups of shredded carrots
5 cups of almond flour
5 eggs
1/2 cup of honey or more to taste
1 1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 cup of melted butter or coconut oil
1 tbsp of lemon juice
2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/2 to 1 tsp of ground nutmeg
1 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup of raisins (optional)

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Put all the ingredients in large mixing bowl and combine using a spatula.
  • Pour the batter into two greased 9″ round cake molds.
  • Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out dry.

Ingredients For The Frosting:

1 cup of cream cheese
1/2 cup of room temperature butter.
1/2 cup of RAW honey. Use the hard one and not the runny one
1/2 tbsp of lemon juice, a few drops of almond extract or 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Preparation :

  • Using an electric mixer combine all the ingredients until uniform.
  • Refrigerate the frosting for an hour before frosting the cake.

To make the carrot roses:

  1. Thinly slice a the top of a thick peeled carrot. You will need about 10 slices.
  2. Place the carrot slices in boiling water for about 10 to 15 seconds to soften them.
  3. Rinse them in cold water and pat them dry using a clean towel.
  4. Arrange the carrots in a straight line overlapping from the middle.
    Carrot Rose
  5. Roll the line of carrot slices.Carrot Rose
  6. Cut the carrot roll in half to make two carrot roses.
    Carrot Rose
  7. Place the carrot roses on top of the cake pushing the base of the rose  in and fanning the top out.
    Grain-Free Carrot Cake

Disney’s Frozen-Themed Birthday Cake

Just like every other little girl her age she wanted to have a Frozen birthday party. To be honest with you I’m ready for this Frozen craze to go away. I’ve heard the sound track at least 2000 times. I’ve spent weeks trying to find an affordable Elsa’s dress, they seem to be out of stock everywhere and the ones on E-bay are several hundreds of dollars. I have attended at least a dozen of Frozen birthday parties this summer. I’m pretty sure we own every single Frozen doll and story book on the market and even my 2.5 year old daughter who has never seen the movie or watched TV, can recite parts of the movie and sing all the songs. Disney’s marketing is just BRILLIANT!

But I just had to “Let it go”. It was HER birthday and this cake really brightened her day.

Paleo Frozen Cake

 

To make my daughters Frozen birthday cake, I multiplied all the ingredients by 2.5 and used the following mold and materials.

  • 3-tier square cake molds. I used these.
  • Blue satin ribbon to wrap each layer. I used this one.
  • Frozen cake topper set. I used this one.
  • Small snowflake ornaments. I used these.
  • Square cake base, I used this one.
  • I also used unsweetened shredded coconut to sprinkle on top.

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Grain-Free Carrot Cake (Frozen-Themed)
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Paleo
Author: Edible Harmony
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • Ingredients:
  • 4 cups of shredded carrots
  • 5 cups of almond flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of honey or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup of raisins (optional)
  • INGREDIENTS FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 1 cup of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of room temperature butter.
  • 1/2 cup of RAW honey. Use the hard one and not the runny one
  • 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice, a few drops of almond extract or 1 tsp of vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Put all the ingredients in large mixing bowl and combine using a spatula.
  3. Pour the batter into two greased 9″ round cake molds.
  4. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out dry.
  5. FOR THE FROSTING :
  6. Using an electric mixer combine all the ingredients until uniform.
  7. Refrigerate the frosting for an hour before frosting the cake.

 

Paleo Frozen Cake

Breakfast

Crispy Banana Paleo Waffles (nut-free option)

Grain-free breakfast can be fun, diverse, and go beyond the usual bacon and eggs. Although I love bacon and eggs, sometimes I just need something sweet and crispy, yet protein and nutrient-rich.

I love this recipe because the batter can be made in seconds, but also because I can make a double or triple batch of these Crispy Banana Paleo Waffles, freeze them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag, and then pop them in the toaster straight from the freezer. Even when they have been previously frozen, they still taste fresh and crispy .

This is my go-to “hurry-up-we-are-late-for-school” breakfast!

For other breakfast ideas try my banana-scramble, tropical frittata, almond flour pancakes, orange muffins, paleo corn-flakes, or my nut-free pancakes

 Banana Crispy Paleo Waffles

Ingredients:

2/3 cup of tapioca flour
½ a cup of almond flour
1 banana
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoons of baking soda

Ingredients for the nut free option:

2/3 cup of tapioca flour
1/3 cup of coconut flour
1 banana
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
3 large eggs
1/4 cup of water
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoons of baking soda

Preparation:

  • Preheat your waffle maker.
  • Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
  • Pour the batter in the waffle maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions
  • For crispier waffles, remove from the waffle maker before they start to brown and then pop in a toaster or a toaster oven until crispy.
  • Eat as is or top with butter, maple syrup, berries, banana slices, whipped cream or your favorite toppings
Crispy Banana Paleo Waffles
Author: Edible Harmony
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup of tapioca flour
  • ½ a cup of almond flour
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons of baking soda
  • Ingredients for the nut free option:
  • 2/3 cup of tapioca flour
  • 1/3 cup of coconut flour
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons of baking soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat your waffle maker.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
  3. Pour the batter in the waffle maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions
  4. For crispier waffles, remove from the waffle maker before they start to brown and then pop in a toaster or a toaster oven until crispy.
  5. Eat as is or top with butter, maple syrup, berries, banana slices, whipped cream or your favorite toppings

 

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Desserts

4 Ingredient Healthy Raw Fudge (nut-free option)

After I started eating healthier, my taste buds definitely changed. Things that I used to eat on a regular basis, like cakes and candy, suddenly seemed too rich or too sweet for me. Instead, I developed a taste for things that I used to dislike: vegetables, fruits, and all the so-called healthy dishes that I used to make fun of.  As I started learning more about the benefits of many foods I wasn’t a fan of I became more and more receptive to trying them again, and so my food preferences slowly reshaped.

Sadly not everyone enjoys healthy foods, and among my friends there are still quite a few who frown or laugh at  what they call “hippie” foods. I am sure that you have also come across a few “friends” who try to sabotage your health goals. Well, a few of those friends were invited to a casual dinner gathering  at my house. I had to come up with healthier versions of comfort foods and treats that were both healthier and tastier than the original recipes and I really did accomplish that with this recipe. No one could really believe what this fudge was made out of.

This raw fudge  is the perfect balance between a super food and decadent dessert. It is packed with healthy fats, antioxidants, and many other nutrients, and it’s satisfying to both healthy eaters and junk food lovers.

To make this, I used cashew butter because it has the mildest, least nutty flavor of all the nut butters I have tried, but you can certainly used any other nut butter or even sunflower butter to make a nut-free variation. I tried to keep all ingredients from heating to over 110 degrees Fahrenheit, to keep this desert raw and maintain most of its nutrient. To do this I placed all the ingredients in a bowl and set the bowl over hot water for about 15 minutes, until everything was melted, but if you want to make this faster you can just place everything in a small saucepan and cook it on low heat for a couple of minutes.

 

Healthy Raw Fudge

Ingredients:

1 cup of raw cashew butter (use sunflower seed butter for a nut free version)
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1/2 cup of raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup of raw honey
1/4 to 1/2 cup of sliced almonds (optional)
1 tsp of vanilla (optional)
1/4 tsp of fine sea salt (optional)

 

Preparation:

  • In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients.
  • Fill the sink or a large pot with a 2-3 fingers of hot water and set the bowl with the fudge ingredients on top of it. The heat will gently soften the ingredients and make them easier to combine. You can also place the ingredients in a small saucepan and gently heat them up on the stove top.
  • Line a small baking dish with plastic wrap or parchment paper. (I used a 5″x7″ food container).
  • Pour the fudge in the container and put in the freezer until it hardens.
  • Cut the fudge into desired sized pieces and store in the refrigerator or freezer
4 Ingredient Healthy Raw Fudge (nut-free option)
Author: Edible Harmony
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of raw cashew butter (use sunflower seed butter for a nut free version)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup of raw honey
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sliced almonds (optional)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp of fine sea salt (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients.
  2. Fill the sink or a large pot with a 2-3 fingers of hot water and set the bowl with the fudge ingredients on top of it. The heat will gently soften the ingredients and make them easier to combine. You can also place the ingredients in a small saucepan and gently heat them up on the stove top.
  3. Line a small baking dish with plastic wrap or parchment paper. (I used a 5″x7″ food container).
  4. Pour the fudge in the container and put in the freezer until it hardens.
  5. Cut the fudge into desired sized pieces and store in the refrigerator or freezer

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Beef · Chicken · Entree · Lamb

Kebab Koobideh

Ground beef is usually not this exciting for me! A friend of mine recently purchased a whole grass-fed, organic, pastured, unvaccinated cow. She took it to a butcher to be cut and vacuum sealed and then let a few of us come over and buy some of the cuts that didn’t fit in her 2 massive freezers. I knew cows were big, but it never really registered on my mind how many hundreds of pounds of meats and bones they convert into. The other thing that I had never thought about is how few rib eye steaks  come out of a whole cow. I went there with the intention of stocking my freezer with all of my favorite cuts, but soon realized that the cow only had one tongue (duh!), one liver, one tail, one heart… fortunately no one was fighting with me over those cuts, but the rib eye steaks were a different story.

I came back home with 4 rib eye steaks, some organ meats, some bones for bone broth, some stew meat and wealth of ground beef. I can only have so many lettuce wrapped burgers and picadillos before I get bored. I started experimenting with all sort of ground beef dishes, but they all taste so similar. This dish definitely brightened up my remaining 20 pounds of  ground beef.

Kebab Koodideh is a traditional Persian dish made by combining ground meat, onion, and spices, wrapping it around a flat skewer and grilling it. It works better if you use flat metal skewers, but since I didn’t have any I just used a regular wooden skewer and make the kebabs thicker, so that they don’t fall apart.

Kebab Koobideh

For other ground recipes try my bolognese sauce, meatza, chayote squash picadillo, cabbage unrolled or shepherd’s pie

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Pound ground beef , lamb, or chicken
1 Large onion
1/2 Tablespoon of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of  turmeric
1 Minced garlic clove
1 Egg
Salt to taste
1 Tablespoon of sumac (optional)

Preparation

  • Grate the onion with a cheese grater, the smaller the better.  Remove any excess water before adding to the meat mixture.
  • Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate  for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  • Remove from the refrigerator.  While still cold, scoop a large handful of the meat mixture and roll into a ball.  Push a skewer through the ball and use your hands to shape the meat into a long rectangle.  You can use a finger to make evenly space indentations along the meat.
  • Grill the kabobs on high heat or open flame about 4-6 minutes each side, on until desired wellness.
  • Sprinkle with sumac spice before serving.
Kebab Koobideh
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Paleo
Author: Edible Harmony
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 Pound ground beef , lamb, or chicken
  • 1 Large onion
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • 1 Minced garlic clove
  • 1 Egg
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon of sumac (optional)
Instructions
  1. Grate the onion with a cheese grater, the smaller the better. Remove any excess water before adding to the meat mixture.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  3. Remove from the refrigerator. While still cold, scoop a large handful of the meat mixture and roll into a ball. Push a skewer through the ball and use your hands to shape the meat into a long rectangle. You can use a finger to make evenly space indentations along the meat.
  4. Grill the kabobs on high heat or open flame about 4-6 minutes each side, on until desired wellness.
  5. Sprinkle with sumac spice before serving.
Disclosure of Material Connection: The links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a very small percentage. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Desserts

Primal Strawberry Cheesecake with Hazelnut Crust

Looking for an easy-but-tasty  grain-free cheesecake recipe? Look no further! Whether you are looking for a dessert to bring to a gathering or just a treat to satisfy a lazy Sunday craving, this primal strawberry cheesecake is just what you were looking for.

For the crust I used whole hazelnuts and ground them, but you can use any other type of nut you’d like, or you can use any kind of nut flour as well. If you are looking for a NUT-FREE crust use this recipe instead. You can also use blueberries, raspberries, apples, mango or any other fruit for the top layer or omit it altogether.

For other pie ideas try my strawberry rhubarb pie, mint chocolate ice cream pie, pumping cheesecake

grain-free strawberry cheesecake

Ingredients For The Crust

2 cups of hazelnuts or your favorite nut
1 large egg
2 tbsp of honey
2 tbsp of softened coconut oil or butter

 

Ingredients For The Cheesecake

16 ounces of cream cheese
1 cup of honey
½ cup of sour cream
1 tsp of vanilla extract
4 large eggs
½ tsp of lemon zest (optional)

 

Ingredients For The Strawberry Topping

16 ounces of frozen strawberries
1/3 cup of honey
1 tsp of lemon juice

 

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Using a food processor grind the hazelnuts into a flour-like powder, do not over-grind or it will become hazelnut butter.
  • Mix the rest of the crust ingredients and pulse in to combine.
  • Roll the crust dough into a ball and using your fingers, spread it and press  it at the bottom and sides of a greased pie round mold.
  • Bake for 8  minutes.
  • Clean the food processor and mix in all the ingredients for the cheesecake in it, you can use a blender for this as well.
  • Pour the cheesecake mix on top of the crust.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the cheesecake starts to crack towards the middle or is no longer runny
  • For the strawberry topping, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until it thickens to a heavy syrup consistency.
  • Allow the sauce to cool down.
  • Pour over the cheesecake and refrigerate.
Primal Strawberry Cheesecake with Hazelnut Crust
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Primal
Author: Edible Harmony
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • Ingredients For The Crust
  • 2 cups of hazelnuts or favorite nut
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 2 tbsp of softened coconut oil or butter
  • Ingredients For The Cheesecake
  • 16 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of honey
  • ½ cup of sour cream
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ tsp of lemon zest (optional)
  • Ingredients For The Strawberry Topping
  • 16 ounces of frozen strawberries
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a food processor grind the hazelnuts into a flour-like powder, do not over-grind or it will become hazelnut butter.
  3. Mix the rest of the crust ingredients and pulse in to combine.
  4. Roll the crust dough into a ball and using your fingers, spread it and press it at the bottom and sides of a greased pie round mold.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes.
  6. Clean the food processor and mix in all the ingredients for the cheesecake, you can use a blender for this as well.
  7. Pour the cheesecake mix on top of the crust.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until the cheesecake starts to crack towards the middle or os no longer runny
  9. For the strawberry topping, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer uncovered over medium -low heat until it thickens to a heavy syrup consistency.
  10. Allow the sauce to cool down.
  11. Pour over the cheesecake and refrigerate.

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: The links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a very small percentage. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Breakfast

Paleo “Corn” Flakes

So simple, yet so tasty! This Paleo Corn Flakes recipe is my attempt to win my nephews’ heart and a way to redeem myself from too many not-so-child-approved meals.

In case you were wondering why I have been so “quiet” lately, I have 8 relatives visiting from Costa Rica for the holidays and  they will be staying with me for about 3 weeks… Yes! It sounds a little unusual on this side of the world, but remember that I am hispanic and to us it is totally normal, expected, and fun. I am currently on day 8 and I must admit that it is a little bit more work than I thought. Right when I finish a meal and clean the kitchen, it is already time to get the next meal started. On the plus side, I am getting lots of help keeping the girls entertained and the house clean. They are even doing my laundry.

The most challenging thing so far, has been getting my 3 nephews to try new foods. As most Costa Ricans, their main staple is rice and they are not completely sold on the idea of being grain-free. Luckily the adults are being surprisingly embracing of this way of eating.

For this recipe I used Coconut Chips from Tropical Traditions, they are much larger than the regular shredded coconut or coconut flakes, but any other larger-flaked brand should work. I served it with coconut milk and fresh blueberries and it was a big hit.

Paleo Breakfast Cereal

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of water
¼ cup of coconut sugar
¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 cups of coconut chips or large coconut flakes

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In a large bowl combine the water, coconut sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
  • Whisk until the coconut sugar is almost dissolved
  • Add the coconut chips and mix until it is uniformly coated with the sugar-water mixture
  • Let stand for 2-3 minutes
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Spread the coconut chips over the paper, forming a single thin layer
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • Carefully move around and separate the coconut flakes
  • Place the coconut back in the oven.
  • Close the oven door.
  • Shut the oven off and leave the Paleo Corn Flakes there for an additional 15-20 minutes or until they are crispy.
  • Eat as is or with your toppings and milk of choice.
  • Store in an airtight container
  • If the chips become stale, you can bake them again for a few minutes to draw the moisture out again and make them crispy
Paleo “Corn” Flakes
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Paleo
Author: Edible Harmony
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • ¼ cup of coconut sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups of coconut chips or large coconut flakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large bowl combine the water, coconut sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
  3. Whisk until the coconut sugar is almost dissolved
  4. Add the coconut chips and mix until it is uniformly coated with the sugar water mixture
  5. Let stand for 2-3 minutes
  6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  7. Spread the coconut chips over the paper, forming a single thin layer
  8. Bake for 15 minutes
  9. Carefully move around and separate the coconut flakes
  10. Place the coconut back in the oven.
  11. Close the oven door.
  12. Shut the oven off and leave the Paleo Corn Flakes there for an additional 15-20 minutes or until they are crispy.
  13. Eat as is or with your toppings and milk of choice.
  14. Store in an airtight container
  15. If the chips become stale, you can bake them again for a few minutes to draw the moisture out again and make them crispy

 

Appetizer · Turkey

Cranberry Sage Turkey Meatballs

A perfect appetizer for holiday gatherings, potlucks or any other get-together, Cranberry Sage Turkey Meatballs are a great make ahead dish. I usually keep a batch in my freezer and simply pop them in my toaster over for a few minutes.

This year, my daughter Lilah is on a nontraditional preschool schedule. She goes to school from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm. This means that lunch has to be served at 11:30 am,  only 2 hours after she finishes breakfast. I’ve been having a hard time trying to incorporate an early lunch making time in my morning routine, so we have been surviving with salads, frozen homemade chicken nuggets, cucumber roast beef sandwiches and anything that I can put together in 15 minutes or less. These Cranberry Sage Turkey Meatballs have added some variety and the girls just love them.

I recommend you use fresh ground turkey instead of previously frozen because it is much easier to work with. Previously frozen turkey can be watery, mushy and hard to roll into balls, but you can try wrapping the turkey with a kitchen towel and squeezing some of the moisture out. The glaze is optional, as the meatballs themselves are flavorful enough to eat as it.

You can also omit the dry cranberries and replace the glaze with a cranberry sauce.

Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients:

1 pound of ground turkey
½ cup of dry cranberries
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped sage
¼ cup of pine nuts (optional)
½ tsp of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp of dry thyme
salt to taste
¼ cup arrowroot powder (optional)

Ingredients for the optional glaze:

1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup of coconut aminos
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tsp of arrowroot powder

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients for the meatballs except for the arrowroot powder.
  • Roll the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls.
  • If the turkey is too sticky or hard to roll, dust your hands and rolling surface with arrowroot powder.
  • Place the turkey balls in a greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until fully cooked (cut a turkey ball in half to make sure they are no longer pink in the inside).
  • While the turkey balls are baking combine all the ingredients for the glaze un a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook uncovered until the sauce has thicken into a gravy-like consistency.
  • Remove the turkey meatballs from the oven, brush lightly with the glaze and serve.
Cranberry Sage Turkey Meatballs
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Paleo
Author: Edible Harmony
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • ½ cup of dry cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped sage
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts (optional)
  • ½ tsp of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp of dry thyme
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder (optional)
  • Ingredients for the optional glaze:
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of coconut aminos
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tsp of arrowroot powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients for the meatballs except for the arrowroot powder.
  3. Roll the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls.
  4. If the turkey is too sticky or hard to roll, dust your hands and rolling surface with arrowroot powder.
  5. Place the turkey balls in a greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until fully cooked (cut a turkey ball in half to make sure they are no longer pink in the inside).
  7. While the turkey balls are baking combine all the ingredients for the glaze un a small saucepan.
  8. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook uncovered until the sauce has thicken into a gravy-like consistency.
  9. Remove the turkey meatballs from the oven, brush lightly with the glaze and serve.

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: The links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a very small percentage. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”