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Blueberry Maple Breakfast Sausages

I miss blueberry pancakes a lot now that I am AIP. I have not had a pancake in over two years . And the coconut flour ones just don’t cut it for me. But last week while shopping at my new local whole foods, I saw blueberry maple sausage patties at the meat counter. I decided to make up my own version AIP-style. The first thing that came to mind when I bit into these delicious sweet and juicy patties was blueberry pancakes. I think maple syrup and blueberries are forever friends in the flavor world and boy did this recipe hit a high note for me! Absolutely SPECTACULAR recipe folks! A true AIP Breakfast home run! And there are only 4 ingredients in these beauties. If you are new to AIP or in the elimination phase you may want to hold off until you know you are fine with maple syrup. But, there is only 3 Tablespoons for the whole recipe, so you may be fine. I used ground pasture pork for this recipe, but you could use turkey or chicken as well.

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Blueberry Maple Breakfast Sausages
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Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix pork, salt and maple syrup in a bowl. Add blueberries and mix again. Form into 3 inch sized patties.
  2. In a cast iron skillet heat ghee, coconut oil or bacon fat on high heat. Add sausage patties (you will have to cook them in two batches most likely due to lack of space). Let cook for 2 minutes and then turn down heat to medium-low and cover skillet for 6 minutes.
  3. Turn heat back to to medium high and turn sausages over and cook for 2 minutes. Turn heat back down, cover and cook for another 6 minutes.
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BBQ Chicken and Sauce!

If you miss BBQ Sauce raise your hand. I am raising both of my hands actually. The flavor profile of BBQ is so hard to re-create! No tomatoes, no mustard…I had made some attempts over this last year; all in vain. I kind of feel like if it isn’t good enough to really be a stand-in, then it can actually make you miss the dish more. BBQ is one of those for me. I would rather just not eat anything that is trying to come close to real BBQ if it is not close enough. Because I really love BBQ. I am that person who made their own sauce. For years. I perfected it. My daughter’s favorite dish I have ever made is my pulled pork with homemade BBQ sauce.

You will be glad to know I made a version worth making. For real.

It requires a few ingredients you may not have. But, consider investing in them, because they will make your AIP cooking much better. One of them is smoked salt. I was at Spice Ace this weekend in San Francisco and they have quite a few smoked salts to choose from. I choose the super intense Danish Viking Smoked Salt. The kind of salt that you spend $25 for a 1/4 cup, but it will last you for months if not years because a little goes such a long way. Maldon Salt is a smoked salt that you can probably get at Whole Foods. Smoked Alderwood Salt is another one. Sur La Table is a great place to scout these things out too. Or the internet. But, the key to recreating things you miss without cheating, is to be creative and selective with your ingredients. As for this dish, the lucky strokes of genius were using smoked salt and bacon fat. Along with fresh lemon juice and tart strawberries, it was all pulled together by maple syrup into a wonderful tart, sweet and smoky sauce. Strawberries are just coming into season, so they won’t be crazy expensive. You can always use frozen ones if you can’t find fresh.

After I made the BBQ sauce, I decided to make BBQ Chicken, naturally! It was really worth the effort of tinkering with this over the last few months. I did the work so you don’t have to, and if you have been missing BBQ I really know this is worth its weight in gold.

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BBQ Chicken and Sauce!
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Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, add maple syrup, lemon juice, vinegar, ginger, onions, carrots, strawberries and bacon fat. Bring to boil, stir and lower to a simmer. Add smoked salt, stir until it has dissolved and taste the mixture for salt. You may need to add more. The amount of smoked salt you will add will be very organic and intuitive; add more if you like a lot of smoke flavor. I added three small pinches of my smoked salt.
  2. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes or until the onions and carrots are tender.
  3. Transfer to blender and (using a towel to cover the top of the blender lid so you don't burn yourself in case any flows over) blend on high until completely smooth, scraping down sides once or twice, about 2 minutes. Pour back into saucepan and bring to low simmer and cook for about 10 min. more. Will keep in fridge for up to 5 days. Freeze if you don't think you will use it all.
  4. To make chicken, Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 Tbls of bacon fat or lard in a cast iron skillet. Brown all sides of your chicken on medium high heat on stove and sprinkle a pinch of salt on it. Chicken should be almost fully cooked, skins getting crispy. Remove from heat and spoon a good tablespoon or more of BBQ sauce on each piece of chicken. Spread on the chicken.
  5. Transfer cast iron skillet with chicken to oven and bake uncovered at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Check internal temperature of chicken to be sure for doneness.
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AIP Salted Caramel Ice Cream

I bought an ice cream maker this weekend and of course I have been tinkering with it. I love/hate ice cream because it has “sugar” in it and generally I don’t do well with sugary anything; even AIP-approved sugars like honey and maple syrup. But I like a little something here and there and if there is enough fat to temper the sugar load, I find I do fine with small portions. My favorite ice cream flavor of all time is salted caramel, specifically from bi-rite creamery in San Francisco. So here you go…a dairy free, autoimmune paleo version!

I was really wanting to get the consistency right and come close to the super high fat ice creams that stay soft even in the coldest freezer. My first batch I added coconut oil, but did not like how the ice crystals formed. This batch I used coconut manna and full fat coconut milk and I like how it came out. You should use your own salt compass to assess the salt content. I like plenty of salt in mine. So when the mixture is in the “custard” mode (or warm on the stove ) and completely mixed, taste for salt and add more then, while the salt will dissolve in the warm mixture. Be sure to let this ice cream stand at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping out after it has frozen in the freezer. I store my ice cream in a glass food container or in old yogurt containers.

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AIP Salted Caramel Ice Cream
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Servings
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Instructions
  1. heat all of the ingredients in a sauce pan. Whisk (or blend in a blender if you want) until smooth in the pan. Let completely cool in fridge.
  2. Put in ice cream maker for 20 minutes.
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Pumpkin Bars

Countdown To Thanksgiving Recipe!

I have made these bars twice in the last week. The first run I used roasted pumpkin and the second was butternut squash. I think it was hard to tell the difference between the two as far as flavor or texture. Winter squash is on sale everywhere here in Northern California and almost half the price of sugar-pie-pumpkins which is what I used when I want to make pumpkin pie.

I created these because I seem to always have leftover squash these days and they are SUPER easy.  Much easier than pumpkin pie.  The hardest part about making these is that they are not as good straight out of the oven as they are chilled over night. One of the drawbacks of coconut flour is that it absorbs so much moisture. But, once it hits a certain saturation point, it will stop absorbing  liquids and stay stuck in the soupy state and not bake dry like typical brownie mixes or cakes do. These bars came out really nicely dense and creamy, almost fudge-like. And not overly sweet. Next time you are baking squash (I am baking squash at least 3 times a week right now) throw an extra on the cookie sheet and whip these up! Great as snacks for kids too!

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Pumpkin Bars
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Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. On the stove, gently melt coconut oil and manna until melted.
  2. In food processor, add squash, spices, coconut flour, salt and maple syrup. Pour melted coconut oil and manna on top and blend for 30 seconds being sure all the big pieces of squash are blended.
  3. Line a square 8x8 brownie pan with parchment paper. Scoop the bar filling into the pan and use a spatula to smooth it out. Bake for 25 min at 350 degrees. Remove from oven, let cool, cover and put in fridge until completely chilled; about 3 hours.
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Pumpkin Pie

I was suffering terribly. Watching the fall colors burst and ovens turning on. Pumpkin is everywhere. In breads, latte’s, cheesecakes, candies, bars, butter..and every time I saw a pumpkin treat I wistfully remembered the days way back when, that I could eat those treats. I truly sympathize when my AIP clients ask how would they eat this Thanksgiving on the diet? So in my effort to enjoy Thanksgiving myself, and offer a way for you also to enjoy the delights of the season, I made this pie.

I have been thinking about it for weeks now. Trying out different ways of mastering the custard so it would set and flavors would sing. Arrowroot can be too mucous-like and gelatin can be too firm. And a pie crust worth eating seemed so unattainable. So I decided to mix arrowroot and gelatin (a bit of each) and double-whammy the custard texture.  The flavor issue was easily solved. I know that I had to increase the spice to counteract the less sweet pie that AIP’ers have come to recognize as normal. We don’t overdo the sugar. This pie is just sweet enough. It is just spicy enough and it is just custardy enough. And because I find so many traditional pumpkin pies cloyingly sweet and under-spiced, this is a refreshing departure.

In the end, you don’t bake this pie. In a riff off of the way I used to make pumpkin pie from the Cooks Illustrated directions, I decided to pre-bake the pie crust and heat the pumpkin filling. It pours into the crust hot, and cools overnight in the fridge. And let me tell you, it was hard to get the filling into the pie shell because it was SO fragrant and sweet and spicy that I kept tasting it on the stove top!

Be sure to check out our Countdown To Thanksgiving recipes. I have more desserts coming as well as some fantastic side dishes!

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Pumpkin Pie
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Pie Filling
Pie Crust
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Pie Filling
Pie Crust
Instructions
  1. Note: Do not leave out the salt! A pinch in the crust and a pinch in the filling. It brings out the spice and sugars!
  2. In a food processor, blend 2 cups coconut and 4 Tbls melted coconut oil and pinch salt. Blend until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of food processor a few times during the two minutes.
  3. Add this to a bow,l and add to it 3 cups of shredded coconut and one more tablespoon of coconut oil. Mix well and then dump into pie pan and use your fingers to shape the crust. This is really the hardest part of the recipe, so take your time pressing the coconut into the pie pan and making sure it is as packed and even as possible.
  4. Bake with the edges lightly covered with tinfoil at 350 for 20 minutes. Take out if it is getting too brown. Let cool.
  5. In a food processor, blend all the ingredients for the pie filling except the gelatin and water. Stop to scrape down sides once or twice.
  6. Pour filling into a saucepan and bring to a simmer stirring often. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Pour 1/8 boiling water in a bowl. Sprinkle 1 Tbls of gelatin over the hot water and let dissolve completely. Use a whisk to mix if needed.
  8. Pour the hot pumpkin mixture into the food processor again along with the gelatin mixture. Blend for 30 seconds. Slowly pour into the pie crust and completely cool in fridge (2hr-over night)
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