Food & Cooking

Creamy Oyster Stew

Classic chowder with oysters, broth, and cream is not only a New Years’ tradition and warm comfort food in the chilly depths of winter, it is packed with sugar-stabilizing nutrients! Oysters contain lots of B vitamins, chromium, and zinc, all of which are beneficial for healthy blood sugars. A homemade broth adds the amino acid L-glutamine, necessary for your liver to convert excess sugars to storage, then release them again when your energy slumps.

Additionally, the cream controls your uptake of sugars into your bloodstream, creating an even burn, instead of rocketing and plummeting blood sugars. Our recipe uses cassava root (also known as yucca) in place of flour or potatoes to give it body, cutting the glycemic index to half of what a conventional recipe ontains.

You can’t go wrong with this easy, nutrient-dense recipe. It’s even budget-friendly!

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 lb. cassava/yucca root*

3 cups bone broth

2 cans (8 oz.) oysters

1 cup cream (may use coconut cream if dairy intolerant)

2 Tb. red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

dash of red pepper flakes, optional

 

Instructions

In a heavy-bottomed pot, sautee onion and garlic in butter until translucent. Meanwhile, pare the skin from the cassava and cut into 1″ cubes. Add the cassava and broth to the pot. Simmer 15-20 minutes, until cassava is very soft. With an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and heat through.

*found with specialty produce at the grocery store – usually with a waxed coating to keep it fresh. Generally imported from South America.

Find more recipes to support healthy blood sugars here.

 

 

 

Make Your Own Bone Broth

Having the indispensible skill of making broth from bones, water and vegetables will save you money while sustaining you with necessary minerals and amino acids – more bio-available in this form than from a supplement. The benefits of bone broth are too extensive to list here, but check out this great infographic!

Ingredients

Soup bones, oxtail, knuckle bones, marrow bones, ribs, wings, fish bones, or carcass from roasted poultry

Water – enough to cover bones

Vinegar – 1 Tb. for every quart of water

2 carrots for every 2 lbs. of bones

2 celery stalks for every 2 lbs. of bones

1 onion for every 2 lbs. of bones

1 sprig of thyme for every 2 lbs. for bones

Instructions

In a stock pot, add water and vinegar to bones and let sit for 1 hour to begin dissolving the minerals out of the bones.

Turn the heat to medium-high and add the thyme and chopped vegetables. As soon as the water begins to reach a boil, skim off any scum that rises to the top, reduce heat to low and cover.

Cook at just barely a ripple for 2 hours if cooking fish bones, 4 hours for poultry bones, or 8 hours for beef or pork bones.

Strain. Pour into quart jars and refrigerate until needed.

Combine everything in a slow cooker and set to low if you prefer! Or put in a pressure cooker and process: 20 minutes for fish bones; 40 minutes for chicken bones; 60 minutes for beef bones.

How To Use Your Broth

You can drink it by the mugful each day, but if that seems unappetizing to you, substitute bone broth in any recipe using liquid. Here are some ideas:

  • Moisten mashed potatoes using broth in place of part or all of the milk.
  • Add to refried beans for a more savory flavor.
  • Simmer rice, quinoa, or other grains  in broth instead of water to add protein to the recipe.
  • Create gravies and white sauces by cooking roux (butter and flour) and herbs with broth alone or broth plus milk.
  • Use as a base for soups instead of bouillon cubes and water.
  • Combine with tomato paste for a nutrient-dense tomato sauce.

Holiday Treats That Won’t Let You Down

Nobody likes to feel left out at a holiday party. And certainly no one wants to be sick for Christmas. So how can you have your cake and eat it, too? How can you enjoy social warmth and celebrate festive food without indulging your sweet tooth and weakening your immunity? I’ve scoured the internet to find whole food dessert recipes for that won’t trigger a sugar rush and subsequent crash! Here’s my winning  line-up of TEN remarkable desserts:

Spiced English Pear Trifle from Autoimmune Wellness

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares from Rachel’s Nourishing Kitchen

 

Key Lime Pie from Pretty Pies

 

Chocolate Beetroot Cake from the Nourished Psychologist

with Chocolate Avocado Icing from Chocolate Covered Katie

 

batch_carob cup cranberry fig ice cream pro

Mini Carob Cups with Cranberry Ice Cream from Autoimmune Wellness

 

Sweet Potato Pie Pudding from Blissful Basil

 

Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookie from Gourmande in the Kitchen

 

Coconut Milk Eggnog from Wellness Mama

 

Chocolate Turtles from Meghan Telpner

 

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge from Bakerita

 

Stamina Snacks

Can’t get through the day without eating every 2-3 hours? Need a pick-me-up between meals? Optimally, the digestive system should rest for 4-5 hours between eating. The drive to fuel frequently in order to keep energy up can be a red flag for blood sugar dysregulation and may indicate an imbalance of macronutrients.

Nevertheless, there are those times when having compact, shelf-stable food in a purse or backpack, can save you from shakiness, irritability, faintness, or an emerging headache. If you’re going to reach for something, make sure it’s nutrient dense, with a proportionate ratio of carbs, fats, and proteins. Grabbing a snack bar or candy bar with something like 36 grams of carbohydrate will only aggravate the energy bursts followed by bouts of weariness.

These stamina snacks offer you some wholesome, real food nutrition, with plenty of minerals, vitamins, fiber, protein, Omega 3’s, and antioxidants. They contain selenium for the thyroid, zinc for immunity, copper for the genitals, calcium and magnesium for healthy muscle contraction, Vitamin E to scavenge free radicals, and a host of B vitamins to support detoxification. Plus they make up quick as a wink!

Ingredients

1 c. chia seeds

1 c. sesame seeds

1 c. pumpkin seeds

1 c. sunflower seeds

1/2 c. sliced almonds

1/4 c. honey, warmed

2 c. water

2 Tb. dry rub seasoning (or use 1 tsp. each of sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and chili powder plus 1/2 tsp. each pepper and cumin)

Method

  • Combine everything in a large mixing bowl. Let stand 5 minutes (while chia seeds absorb water and create a “slurry”).
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Spray paper with cooking spray.
  • Divide the mixture between the two trays. Place another sprayed parchment (sprayed side down) on top of each tray.
  • Pressing on the top parchment with your hands, spread and smooth the mixture until it evenly fills the tray.
  • Bake for 25 minutes. Carefully flip the sheet of cracker mixture over, remove the top parchment, and bake another 25 minutes.
  • If not crisped and brown, bake 5-10 minutes more. Cut with a pizza cutter.
Ginger Cookies are Big Fat Treat #3

These Ginger Cookies are a Snap!

Who doesn’t love a good cookie? Especially one that is fragrant, warm, and chewy! This gingersnap takes advantage of the earthy spices we seem to crave during autumn. Made without refined sugar and rich in natural fats with a touch of protein, these cookies pair well with fall fruits, such as apples and pears.  Make ’em and bake ’em in under 30 minutes. (You will need a food processor for mixing.)

Gingersnaps

Ingredients

2 c. raw walnuts or pecans

1 c. dried dates (pitted) or figs

1/4 c. molasses

4 Tb. arrowroot or tapioca starch

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. cloves

1/4 tsp. salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Process nuts and dates until they form a smooth paste. Add remaining ingredients and pulse to combine. Form 1″ balls. Place on a greased, sprayed, or parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten with the palm of your hand. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 18.

Fall Fare: Oven Roasted Dinners

Comforting, quick, and complete, this one-pan meal allows you to help the kids with homework or run a batch of laundry while its enticing aromas fill the kitchen. You’ll find this hearty meal warm and satisfying on crisp nights. With hardly any planning, the whole family gets balanced nutrition. Mix and match ingredients to adapt to your budget and availability.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pork, beef, poultry, fish, or vegan alternative (such as tempeh)
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, ghee, tallow, pastured lard, or virgin red palm oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Several cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped root vegetables: carrots, potatoes, rutabaga, beets, turnips, parsnips, etc.
  • 4 cups non-starchy cut vegetables: green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, bell pepper, celery, etc.
  • 1 teaspoon each: paprika, chili powder, thyme, oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar, any flavor

Instructions

Cube the meat and toss with cooking fat and cut vegetables in a roaster pan. Season with herbs, spices, salt and peper. Roast in a pre-heated 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.  When meat is cooked and vegetables are tender, remove from oven and sprinkle with vinegar. Serves 4 generously.

Like this recipe? Find more in our Balanced Bowl Cookbook

Hazelnut Fudge from Inner Connected Wellness

Carob Hazelnut Power Bites

Mmmmm! Rich! Satisfying! Guilt-free! You’ll feel like a queen. Just one will nip those cravings and carry you through until meal time. Loaded with healthy fat, they’ll give you the energy to pull through that 2 p.m. coma. And with a great blender, you can have them made in just minutes! Throw a few in the freezer to have when “hangry” sets in.

Ingredients

2 c. unsweetened coconut flakes

2 c. raw hazelnuts (may also use raw almonds, cashews, walnuts or pecans)

1/2 c. honey (may also use pure maple syrup, date paste, or fig paste)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. roasted carob powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla powder

optional add-ins: additional coconut flakes, any chopped nuts, seeds such as chia, sunflower, pumpkin or sesame

Instructions

Blend coconut flakes until they release their oil and form a paste. Scrape into a mixing bowl. Do the same for the nuts. Add remaining ingredients. Press into a square pan and chill before cutting into squares, or just roll into balls. Stores best in the refrigerator or freezer.

 

Like this recipe? You can find more in our Balanced Bowl Cookbook.

Power Up Your Picnic!

I love a picnic! Sunshine, fresh air, laughter and food – all the ingredients to create wholesome and delightful nourishment – are abundant even through autumn. But are you sabotaging your health with the lunch you pack?

Here’s a typical American picnic:

  • Sandwiches
  • Pop
  • Fruit
  • Chips
  • Cake or cookies

It’s appealing fare for all ages, but it’s a great mis-adventure for your physiology! Without realizing it, you and your loved ones are becoming so imbalanced in your nutritional needs, you are likely to be blind-sided by energy deficits that can someday become chronic health challenges, such as food sensitivities, chronic fatigue, weight gain, mood disorders, hormone imbalances, insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, and even auto-immunity.

Let’s dissect this picnic. Given that the sandwiches are either made with 2 ounces of thin-sliced deli meat, or peanut butter and jelly, the meal stacks up at approximately 66% carbohydrate (with all but the fruit as simple, refined carbs), 32% fat (none of which is natural, nourishing fat), and 2% protein. I’m sorry, Beautiful, but 2% protein is NOT ENOUGH to make your hormones and hemoglobin, your enzymes and anti-bodies, your skin and your tissues. And if you keep putting soybean, cottonseed, corn and canola oil through your gall bladder, it will be as congested as a CD player with a pancake in it!

I’m not anti-carb. I just believe in real foods, properly balanced! So what can you do?

Try out any of these ideas:

  • Fill a whole grain wrap or pita with meat and veggies, allowing you to get more filling and less fluff. Or pick up some dolmathes from a nearby Greek restaurant.
  • Substitute real whole milk, herbal tea, or flavored water for your soda. You might even try a homemade electrolyte drink, such as these or these. 
  • Need some crunch and some flavor? Try nuts and seeds instead of chips. Just make sure they are raw so the fats are not oxidzed. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are cheap and satisfying.
  • How about some cheese with your fruit instead of cookies? I’m partial to herbed chevre spread on apple slices.
  • Cut veggies with hummus make a great filler. Cherry tomatoes and petite bell peppers might be more add interest to celery and carrot sticks. Throw some olives in, too!
  • No time? Grab a container of ceviche from the market along with an avocado, and don’t forget to pack a knife. At your picnic site, slice the avocado in half, fill with your seafood salad and serve. If you don’t like crab and shrimp, you might try this Mexican-themed chicken filling instead.
  • Hard-boiled eggs and jerky both travel well and add extra protein. By the time you eat them, along with the other ideas here, you won’t even want cake!
  • Proscuttio goes well with melon. You could even put some on a skewer with cantaloupe balls before you leave home to moderate the insulin surge you get from eating carbs without fats and proteins.
  • Use jars to transport non-finger foods. For example, you could layer toasted oats and almonds with plain coconut yogurt.
  • Make a cookie that uses coconut or almond flour, rich in natural fats, instead of grain flour. If you use honey in place of sugar, you can cut the amount of sweetener in half.
  • Try a dessert recipe from our cookbook that uses only unrefined ingredients and has balanced carb-fat ratios.

Best Sesame Snacks

I couldn’t help giving you this sneak peek from our newly-released cookbook! These sesame squares make up in a snap and truly hit the spot when cravings strike. Easy and satisfying, the snack bars travel well for hiking, car trips, and picnics. They taste sweet, but have plenty of natural fat to prevent a blood sugar spike. As a bonus, they are gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free, and nut-free. (For those who have an allergy to egg, flax or gelatin can be substituted.)

Like the other recipes in our book, they use whole foods, not ingredients you can’t pronounce. (Get your copy of the cookbook here!) Best of all, they don’t require any previous cooking experience – your kids could make them! Just mix and spoon into your baking pan. In less than two minutes, you can leave them baking in the oven while you hustle up your backpack for an adventure!

Ingredients

1 c. tahini (sesame seed butter) or sunflower seed butter

1/2 c. honey

2 c. toasted sesame seeds

2 eggs (or use 2 Tb. chia seed and 6 Tb. water OR 2 Tb. unflavored gelatin and 6 Tb. water*)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

Mix everything together and press into a greased 9″ x 9″ baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees until browned and set, about 30 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

Fruity Frosty is a Big Fat Treat

Fab and Frosty Treats

Simple and sweet, from whole foods and healthy fats, these soft-serve ice creams whip up in minutes and leave you satisfied, not sick. Bursting with flavor, they need no artificial ingredients to engage your taste buds!

Blend or process until smooth:

  • 1 c. frozen fruit
  • 2 servings of natural fat (such 1 avocado, 1/4 c. nut butter,  or 1/2 c. coconut millk)
  • 1 Tb. citrus juice (or other liquid)
  • 1 Tb. natural sweetener (such as honey, pure maple syrup or coconut sugar)

Winning combinations

  • raspberries, avocado, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and honey
  • peaches, coconut milk, and orange juice concentrate (no sweetener needed)
  • cherries, 1/4 c. almond butter, pomegranate juice (may need water or ice for blending)
  • bananas, cashew butter, almond milk, and pure maple syrup
  • Pineapple; coconut milk; lemon, lime or orange juice; and coconut sugar

Find more treats and satisfying recipes here.

Photo credit: Mordi Photographie