Paleo Muesli — Not Just for Breakfast Anymore!

Craving oatmeal, but you know your body won’t be happy if you indulge? Me, too! But I’ve found that this delicious “muesli” recipe fulfills the “need to feed” using no grains, thereby making my joints happy!

This recipe makes one very hearty-sized serving. Prep time: 6 minutes.

 Ingredients:

1 apple, chopped

1 Tbls. raisins or dried cranberries

1/4 C dried coconut

1/8 tsp. apple pie spice OR cinnamon

1/4 C water

1 tsp. coconut oil

1/4 C pecans or sliced almonds (or both!!) If you toast them in a dry frying pan first, they’re extra tasty!

A few fresh berries (optional)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Coconut milk (optional)

The Process:

  1. Stir together the first six ingredients in a cereal bowl. Pop in the microwave for four minutes. Check the apples, if they’re cooked enough for your tastes, great! If not, cook a bit longer.
  2. Remove bowl from microwave. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Add the nuts and berries.
  4. Top with a splash of coconut milk.
  5. Enjoy with a cup of your favorite coffee or tea!

 

Paleo Muesli has all the goodness of the traditional muesli, but without the grains. Delicious and nutritious, plus it's easy and quick to make. Eat it warm on cool mornings, or chow down late in the day for a great, quick supper!

Paleo Muesli has all the goodness of the traditional muesli, but without the grains. Delicious and nutritious, plus it’s easy and quick to make. Eat it warm on cool mornings, or chow down late in the day for a great, quick supper!

Paleo Sweet Potato Apple Pie — no refined sugar, no flour! And delicious!

This Sweet Potato Apple Pie is scrump-dillyicious! I used the recipe created by Paleo On a Budget, a blog I highly recommend. http://paleoonabudget.com/

This Sweet Potato Apple Pie is scrump-dillyicious! I used the recipe created by Paleo On a Budget, a blog I highly recommend. http://paleoonabudget.com/

I love the blog Paleo on a Budget! Liz does a fabulous job with her fun and funny content, her recipes, and most especially her easy and budget-friendly paleo meal planning — Just seven meals a week, and then the other meals fall into place as leftovers or leftovers-recreated-as-tastebud-tantalizing-new-meals! Ya gotta love THAT!

Well, yesterday was colder, rainy, and dreary and I had a crazy yen to BAKE. So I made Liz’s Sweet Potato Apple Pie and it is not only scrump-dillyicious (thanks, Marc D., for reminding me of that word!), it was easy, and The Hub loved it, too.

Between the two of us, we ate half the pie (hey, it’s THIN, so I’m not feeling guilty about it). As you can see, it was extra tasty.

See how fabulous this Sweet Potato Apple Pie from Paleo On a Budget is?? I wish you were here to taste it, smell it, and applaud it!

See how fabulous this Sweet Potato Apple Pie from Paleo On a Budget is?? I wish you were here to taste it, revel in its cinnamon-y aroma, and applaud it!

The only two things I’d do differently next time are:

1 – Use more apples — the recipe called for five, but the pie plate I use is a 10-incher, so it needs a tad more filling. I think I’d bump the recipe up to eight or nine apples.

2 – Bake it longer to make the topping a bit drier. The recipe calls for 15 – 25 minutes; I did 20 minutes because I don’t trust my oven. But I think 25 minutes to 30 minutes might be even better, especially since the filling will be thicker with more apples in it.

3 – Oops! I thought of a third thing! I’d serve it with a couple of tablespoons of thick, creamy coconut milk on it as an extra, added attraction.

Here’s the recipe, copied from Paleo on a Budget. Click the link to visit the blog and see what Liz says about why she uses the egg and lemon juice, and other tips she has. But please remember to come back here and read more of Choice Fare! 

Topping
  1. – 1 Medium Sweet Potato, Peeled and Diced
  2. – Pinch of Salt
  3. – Fat of Choice {I like butter here}
  4. – 1 tsp. Raw Honey, melted
  5. – 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  6. – 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  7. – 1 Eggs, slightly beaten {optional}
Filling
  1. – Fat of Choice {I used Butter, but you can rock bacon fat, ghee or coconut oil here!}
  2. – Around 5 Medium sized apples, peeled and sliced {I used Macs and Cortlands but your favorite apple will totally do fine here 🙂 }
  3. – 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  4. – 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  5. – Pinch of Salt
  6. – Spritz of fresh Lemon Juice {Optional}
Instructions
  1. 1.) Get your oven rocking and rolling at 350 {F}
  2. 2.) Fill a medium sized pot up with water, and then peel and chop your sweet potato. Add it into the water, set it on the stove and allow to boil {you’re going to mash it up in the end!}. I personally like to start with the lid on, and the remove it once things are boiling and possibly turn down the stove a little. But it’s totally up to you!
  3. 3.) While those are cooking away, add your favorite fat to a large skillet {I used butter here — but I’ve also tried it with Bacon Fat and holy coffee — it was good!} and get it heating. Then start to peel your apples and chop your apples into slices. Add them into the pan and give it a good stir!
  4. — Note on my method. I like to peel two or three apples to start, cut them into quarters and then use a pairing knife {or any sharp small knife} to remove the core and then I chop the slices right into the pan. Then I proceed to peel the last two apples and do the same thing. That way some apples are soft and some have a bit more texture in the pie, allowing for some really awesome flavor and texture!
  5. 4.) When your apples are almost cooked through, add in your Cinnamon, Pinch of Salt, Vanilla Extract, Spritz of Lemon Juice and I also like to add another tablespoon or so of your favorite fat {there’s never a thing as too much butter 😉 }. Mix it all together well and let your apples finish cooking.
  6. 5.) When your sweet potato is fork tender, drain it and add in your fat of choice {as much or as little as you want}, Raw Honey, Cinnamon, Vanilla Extract and mash/ mix it well.
  7. 6.) By now your apples should be done and wicked yummy. Add them into your pie pan and spread them out into an even layer.
  8. 7.) Then add in your slightly beaten egg to your sweet potato, give it a quick mix about and spread it ontop of the apples.
  9. 8.) Place in the oven to bake for 15-25 minutes or until the top has set a little and has a pretty golden color.
  10. 9.) Try to let it cool before diving in! It does slice/serve better when you let it cool down a lot. But as you can see from the pictures, I have no patience for that hahah 🙂
  11. Enjoy!
Quick Tip
  1. -I’ve also made this by mixing the apple and the sweet potato together and then adding it into the pie pan and baking. This gives you more of just a apple pie filling feel, but equally as yummy and is a great way to vary it up a little!
By Liz

Healthy Frozen Cherries — A Snack that Beats Summer’s Heat

Simple. Easy. Healthy. A snack that will cool you off on a hot summer’s day. Your kids will love these, and so will you!

The cherries are frozen, icy cold and covered with frost. Just right for dipping in coconut milk, which will freeze onto the cherry. Then enjoy! Just watch out for the stones. They raise havoc with the dental work!

The cherries are frozen, icy cold and covered with frost. Just right for dipping in coconut milk, which will freeze onto the cherry. Then enjoy! Just watch out for the stones. They raise havoc with the dental work!

These delightful frozen cherries are just waiting to be coated in coconut milk and enjoyed one by one! Once they’re frozen, just hold one by its stem and dip it in some coconut milk. Hold it up for a few seconds while the coconut milk freezes on, then eat it right off the stem — just beware of the cherry stone: don’t bite it (ouchie wah-wah!) or swallow it (you’ll thank me later)!!!

Add a pinch of cinnamon to the coconut milk and you’ve got yourself a snazzy treat.

The more water you leave on the cherries when you freeze them, the icier or frostier they’ll be. I happen to like them icy, so I make sure they’re not totally dry when I put them in the freezer.

The Ingredients

Sweet cherries, black or red, as many as you want to fix. Keep as many of  the stems attached as possible.
A little coconut milk (optional).
A pinch of cinnamon (optional).

The Process

  1. Sort the cherries to get rid of the bad ones.
  2. Wash them for 30 seconds under running water, or soak in water and a little veggie wash of some type and rinse well.
  3. Drain in a colander or on paper towel.
    frozen sweet cherries washed
  4. Place in a resealable plastic freezer bag or freezer-ready container.
    frozen sweet cherries bag
  5. Place in freezer until frozen.
  6. Enjoy!

Sweetly Refreshing Paleo and Whole30 Summer Snack — Frozen Grapes

These sweet bites of frozen sugar on a hot summer day are (nearly) as refreshing as ice cream! Seedless. Scrumptious. But not sinful.

These sweet bites of frozen sugar on a hot summer day are (nearly) as refreshing as ice cream! Seedless. Scrumptious. But not sinful.

This refreshing and simple summer snack is a great choice on a hot summer day instead of ice cream. It only takes a handful of these frozen baubles of bliss and your yen for sugar will be satisfied. If you’re concerned about the glycemic spike, enjoy five or six of these sweet gems along with a handful of almonds or cashews to balance the sugar with protein and fat.

The sugar content in the grapes prevents them from freezing solid. They’ll be pretty hard, depending on the type of grape you use, but probably soft enough to bite. I like to hold one in my mouth until it softens slightly before biting it.

You can control how much frost or ice forms by controlling how much water is left on the grapes when you place them in the deep freeze. The more water, the icier or frostier they’ll be.

Definitely delish!

The Ingredients

Red or green seedless grapes — as many as you want to prepare.

The Process

  1. Remove and discard any spoiled or “bad” grapes.
  2. Wash the grapes in plain water for 30 seconds or in water with some kind of veggie wash.frozen grapes bowl
  3. Rinse well.
  4. Drain in colander or on paper towel.
  5. Place grapes in a resealable freezer bag or in a freezer-safe container.
    Frozen grapes bag
  6. Place in freezer until frozen.
  7. Enjoy!

The munchies for crunchies!

These tart-tangy-sweet colorful gems will make your taste buds dance a crazy jig! And you'll like it.

These tart-tangy-sweet colorful gems will make your taste buds dance a crazy jig! And you’ll like it.

Every so often, I get the munchies for crunchies that a stalk of celery or carrots and dip can’t satisfy. Sometimes I just want something different, and let me tell you, these babies fit that description!

I picked up these Organic Just Fruit Munchies at Nourish Organic Market here in Grand Rapids, MI, and they have had my taste buds dancing a jig!!! The company, Just Tomatoes, Etc!, apparently has lots of freeze dried goodies on the market, and a brief perusal of the web tells me they’re available online. But do your community a favor and buy local, if you can.

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This package contains only organic fruits: apples, blueberries, sour cherries (yes, they are!), mangoes  pineapple, and raspberries. The combination of sweet, tart, and sour is delightful!

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These munchies are vegan-, vegetarian-, Paleo-, Whole30-, and omnivore-ready (read your labels, just to be sure), and you don’t need a huge amount to be satisfied by the flavor and the crunchy texture.

They’re pricey — these were over $7 — but they’ll last me a long time because I don’t want a gigando helping. I’ve eaten them just out of the hand, thus far, but have plans for them to join a few pecans in adorning a green salad in the near future.

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Yup. Them are some good stuff!

Curried Mashed Plantains

One of the things I have loved about changing over to a paleo way of eating are all the new-to-me foods I am trying.  One of these foods is plantain.  My cousin Wendy, who is also a Whole30 success story, turned me on to this recipe when we had a lovely Whole30 compliant brunch.  She brought these curried mashed plantains and I just couldn’t get enough!

Plantains are similar to bananas, but not as sweet and much uglier.  The best ones to find look like big overripe bananas.  When I bought the ones for this recipe the cashier almost mistakenly rang them up as clearance bananas.  They are eaten fried, steamed, grilled, or baked.

 

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Ingredients:

3 ripe plantains

1 cup diced red onion

2 cloves garlic – minced

1T coconut oil -OR- bacon grease

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 t salt

1/2 t freshly ground black pepper

1 t curry powder

1t garam masala

Optional: 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

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Directions:

1.  Boil 6 cups of water, add a sprinkle of salt to the water.

2.  Peel the plantains and chop into medium size pieces.  I find it easiest to peel by first slicing the skin down the middle.

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3.  Add the cut up plantains to the boiling water, allow to boil for 20 minutes or until soft.

4.  While the plantains are boiling heat the coconut oil or bacon grease in a skillet and add the onion and garlic.  Saute until the onion starts to caramelize.

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5.  Drain the plantains and put into a bowl.  Add the 1/2 cup of coconut milk and mash with a fork or potato masher.

6.  Add the cooked onion and garlic, salt, pepper, curry powder, and garam masala.  This would be the time to add the bacon if you choose to do so.   Stir to combine.

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Snack Attack — Dried Apple and Macadamia Nut Butter Bites (gluten-free, dairy free, no sugar added)

Five or six of these will chase away the hungries and get you to your next meal.

Five or six of these will chase away the hungries and get you to your next meal.

I had an afternoon meeting today, so I grabbed a quick lunch that wasn’t filling or satisfying, changed my clothes, and blasted outta here. Two hours later, I was crazy hungry. It was all I could do to not pull into every fast food drive-thru to grab some fries or an apple pie, which surprised me because I haven’t eaten that food in months.

Instead of succumbing to the MADness (Magnetic Allure of Destruction), I headed across town to Nourish, a local (Grand Rapids, MI) organic food market and one of my favorite little shops. I picked up a few necessities, and filled a small bag with some of their bulk organic dried apple slices.

I scarfed down a few slices in the car, then sat on my hands (mentally, for safety’s sake) for the rest of the 10-minute drive home. It didn’t take me long after walking in the door to make up a handful of these Dried Apple and Macadamia Nut Butter Bites to get me through the afternoon. Mmm hmm. Total goodness.

These are fast, simple, and you and your kids will love them. They not only are satisfying, they’re handy when you need a little something sweet, there are no apple peels or seeds or stems, and you’ll get a bit of protein and healthy fat, too.

Organic dried apples and some homemade macadamia-chocolate nut butter. A scrump-dilly-umptious combo for a quick power snack.

Organic dried apples and some homemade macadamia-chocolate nut butter. A scrump-dilly-umptious combo for a quick power snack.

Ingredients:

A few organic dried apple slices

Fresh Macadamia Nut Butter or any non-peanut nut butter you like. I used my homemade stuff laced with chocolate and cinnamon. You can find the recipe here.

These little wrinkly buggers like to stick together -- you'll have to peel them apart to get them ready.

These wrinkly little buggers like to stick together — you’ll have to peel them apart to get them ready.

Process:

Slather the nut butter on the dried apple slices. Or dip them. That’s it! Really. (Unless you want to top the little gems with some sliced almonds or shaved coconut.)

Crazy good. Unbelievably quick to make. Dried apple slices slathered with macadamia nut butter and topped with shaved coconut.

Crazy good. Unbelievably quick to make. Dried apple slices slathered with macadamia nut butter and topped with shaved coconut.

One note of caution: if you eat more than a few of these, it could trigger sugar cravings or give you sugar high followed by a sugar crash.