With only a few weeks until Christmas I am sure you are all trying to be festive and in the holiday spirit right? It is no secret that the holidays, while a joyful occasion, can also be filled with some stress. So, it is very important to monitor your self care and stress management around this time of year so that you can avoid an autoimmune flare.
One of my favorite ways to unwind and de-stress is with a warm cup of tea. It is no secret that I used to be a major coffeholic and you can be guaranteed that I was the person perpetually holding a red coffee cup filled with some sort of holiday latte concoction from September to February. However, these days I stick to tea and I have found some wonderful ways to add some festive flavors to my favorite brews. This gingerbread latte is definitely a treat but it is the perfect pick-me-up for afternoon cookie baking sessions, holiday party prep or wrapping gifts with Christmas carols in the background. It will definitely help to lower your stress and add some holiday enjoyment to your days!
Gingerbread Latte (AIP/Paleo)
12 oz strongly brewed roasted dandelion root tea (I use two tea bags steeped for 20 minutes)
1/4 Cup of full fat Coconut Milk
1 TBS Maple Syrup
1 TBS Coconut Sugar
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of cloves
1 TBS of Collagen Powder
1 Cinnamon Stick
Combine all of your ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender and serve. Garnish with coconut whipped cream if desired.
It is that time of year where traditions become especially important. Many families rely heavily on traditions around the holidays whether it is a favorite recipe, travel plans, or a certain activity, we all trim the tree, watch movies and eat food in our own special ways.
As I have gotten older I have enjoyed learning about other family’s traditions and seeing what I have in common and what I do differently from others. One tradition that I have found to be fairly unique to my family is our Christmas breakfast. For as long as I remember we have had the same breakfast each Christmas morning… a casserole with link sausage on the bottom, cranberry sauce in the middle and cornbread on top. My grandmother used to make it, we make it and I believe that most of my aunts and uncles make it as well. I love it.
However in recent years I have had to make do with other breakfast options since link sausages and cornbread are not AIP. This year, I decided to try and make my own version ahead of time so that I could have the chance to partake in our yummy tradition and I am pleased with the result.
You may have your own Christmas breakfast traditions, but if you are looking to try something new or on the off chance that you also grew up with this Christmas casserole than I hope you give this a try!
Cranberry Sausage Breakfast Casserole (AIP/Paleo)
1 lb Ground Pork
2 tsp Dried Sage
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
3 Cups of Fresh Cranberries
1/4 cup of Maple Syrup
1/2 cup of Fresh Orange Juice
8 Pastured Egg Yolks
1 Green Plantain- Pureed
4 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Cup of Coconut Flour
1/2 Cup of Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup of Honey
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl combine all of your sausage ingredients until well blended. Press the sausage meat into the bottom of a 9×9 baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and drain some of the fat from the pan. Set the sausage aside. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. In a small sauce pan combine all of your cranberry sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer. Stir continuously for about 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Spread your sauce over your sausage. In a food processor combine all of your topping ingredients and blend until smooth. Gently press the dough on top of your casserole until it covers it completely. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Allow it to cool slightly and enjoy.
Well, Thanksgiving is now behind us and that means it is time for all things cranberry and peppermint! So long pumpkin spice it has been fun… In all seriousness though I love Christmas flavors. I eat cranberries all year long and one of my favorite flavor combos in the world is cranberry and orange it is just a classic.
Growing up, I have very fond memories of my mom making cranberry bread. As wonderful of a cook as my mother is she is not much of a baker so this cranberry bread was a definite seasonal treat. She would pick a day and make a bunch of loaves for neighbors and friends, reserving one special loaf for us. That one loaf was never enough. I just wanted to gobble it all up!
Since going paleo I have tried a few different re-creations of this classic recipe, but I have never been 100% satisfied. Until now… After creating my pumpkin bread recipe I knew that this recipe had to be next.
This recipe turned out just as well as the pumpkin bread and it is definitely my new current holiday favorite. I hope that it will fill your home with some wonderful holiday memories and flavors in the coming weeks!
Cranberry Orange Bread (AIP/Paleo)
(yields 1 mini loaf)
1 C Sweet Potato Flour
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp sea salt
½ Cup of Pureed Green Plantain
½ C Palm Shortening
2 TBS Grated Orange Peel
1/2 Cup of Maple Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2/3 Cup of Fresh Cranberries
2 TBS Coconut Cream
1 tsp Honey
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In your food processor combine your sweet potato flour, baking powder, sea salt, plantain, palm shortening, orange peel, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. Fold in your cranberries. Grease a mini loaf pan and pour in your batter. Baking for 45 minutes to an hour or until a knife comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool completely and then gently turn it out of the pan. To make your glaze, blend together all of your ingredients and drizzle on top of your bread. Enjoy.
There are only a few days left before Thanksgiving and you are probably trying to finalize that menu! I have one last simple recipe for you to add… gravy. Growing up we always made the gravy from the drippings of the turkey. It was the last thing to get made before the food went on the table and sometimes it could be a tad stressful. This stress got magnified when we started trying to make it with gluten free flours. It would turn into a gross clumpy mess and everyone would get kind of grumpy. Last year my sister and I tried making a separate gravy out of bone broth and pureed veggies like onion and celery and while good it was still a little thin for me. So, this year I decided that I was going to come up with a creamy, savory, AIP gravy recipe that could be made ahead and would be delicious over turkey.
Around the time that I made this resolution I saw a recipe that used pumpkin as a thickener in a stew base. I tried the stew and it was delicious and I knew that I had to incorporate pumpkin into my gravy, I mean how fitting is that?! This recipe turned out great and it was so simple.
So, if you are looking for an easy way to add gravy to your menu than I highly recommend this one and I hope you enjoy it! Happy Thanksgiving!
Pumpkin Gravy (AIP/Paleo)
2 Cups of Bone Broth
1 Cup of Pumpkin Puree
2 tsp Salt
4 Cloves of Garlic
½ Cup of Chopped Onion
2 TBS Arrowroot Flour
Add your bone broth, pumpkin, salt, garlic and onion to your food processor and blend until smooth. As the food processor is running, slowly sprinkle in your arrowroot flour. Once everything is well blended pour it into a sauce pan and simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to set for about 3-5 minutes to thicken. Serve over mashed sweet potatoes, turkey or anything else you like!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you may be starting to think about your menu. Maintaining an AIP diet over the holidays can be a challenge, especially when so many of us look forward to meals and recipes that are steeped in tradition and comfort. I actually began my AIP journey the week of Thanksgiving three years ago. I was unbelievable sick and desperate and I happened to have my AIP “lightbulb” moment about two days before Thanksgiving. Bless my mother because I called her up and announced this with only a few days to prepare and she came through with flying colors for the Thanksgiving meal.
Fast forward to the present day and I am now a pro at navigating the holidays on this diet. I have AIP-ified many of my old favorite recipes and I genuinely lack for nothing. One recipe that I have experimented with each year is the stuffing recipe. Obviously, traditional bread based stuffing is out and a lot of paleo stuffing recipes use eggs and nuts to bind the ingredients together. It hasn’t really bothered me to have a crumblier version of stuffing over the past few years and just skip the binders all together but this year I thought I would do a practice run and try to recreate the texture. I used mashed sweet potatoes as a binder and tigernut flour to add that slight breaded feel. I feel like the result turned out well and it will be a great addition to the Thanksgiving table. I hope you enjoy it as well!
Apple, Sausage and Sage Stuffing (AIP/Paleo)
2 lbs Ground pork
3 Ribs of Celery, diced
2 Large Apples, diced
1 Medium Onion, diced
2 tsp Dried Sage
2 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp Dried Rosemary
1 Cup of Bone Broth
2 tsp Salt
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Cup of Pureed White Sweet Potatoes
1 Cup of Tiger Nut Flour (Divided)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large cast iron dutch oven or sauce pan brown your ground pork over medium heat. When the meat is mostly browned and crumbled add in your celery, apples and onion and sauté until slightly softened. Add in your seasonings, bone broth and sweet potatoes and stir until well combined. Gently stir in half of your tiger nut flour. If you are not using a dutch oven transfer into a 6 qt baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining tiger nut flour on top. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until golden brown on top and not too wet. Enjoy.
I cannot believe that it is already the middle of fall! The days are (finally) starting to cool down and in just a few short weeks our Baby Sweet Potato will be making his or her grand entrance into the world. When I think back to the day in March when I found out that I was pregnant, it seemed almost impossible that we would make it to this point, yet here we are!
Fall is a time when things generally tend to start slowing down for me. I like to stay at home, travel less, focus in on preparing for holiday family time and make time to do more low-key fun activities. That has been especially true this year, for obvious reasons. For some, that may sound kind of boring but the truth is that I love it. Summer is usually very hectic for our family and the holidays are filled with a lot of hustle and bustle so having a chance in between to slow down is a blessing I look forward to.
One of my favorite ways to wind down and enjoy the cooling weather and relaxing atmosphere of fall is with a nice warm beverage. In the past I was a die-hard PSL (Pumpkin Spice Late) girl, but those days are long behind be. I have traded them in for a variety of equally comforting and autumn-inspired teas. One of my favorites is this blend. It is warm and spicy and sweet without having caffeine or any nightshade or seed based spices.
I hope that you also get the opportunity to have some relaxation time over this coming month and enjoy a nice cup of something warm and fall-ish!
Apple Pie Tea Mix (AIP Friendly)
(Makes 2-4 cups of tea depending on desired strength)
6 tsp loose leaf rooibos tea
2 TBS chopped unsweetened dried apples
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick cut into 3-4 pieces
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
maple syrup to taste (optional)
Combine all of your ingredients with the exception of the maple syrup into a bowl and stir to combine. To make tea place anywhere from a teaspoon to a Tablespoon’s worth of the tea mixture in a tea ball or strainer (The more tea you use the stronger the flavor will be) and pour 8 ounces of water over top. Allow it to steep for 4-5 minutes. Remove the tea leaves and sweeten with maple syrup to taste.