Re-Mixed Paleo Waffles

Photo credit: Erika Liu

Photo credit: Erika Liu

It’s rare, but once in a while being disorganized really pays off.  I have a grain-free waffle recipe that I’ve used for ages, and my kids love it.  One day I promised them the waffles, then reached into my fridge to find…not enough eggs.  By half - the recipe calls for six and I had three.  Fortunately, I had an extra banana.  The old recipe also called for melted coconut oil but I only had ghee.....  

So, I tried this new version and it worked out great.  However, if you are organized enough to have six eggs in your house, feel free to revert to the old version.  Remember to only use one ripe banana in that case.  It's your choice on coconut oil versus ghee.  

I have a spice blend called Cinnamon Plus that is basically pumpkin pie spice with dried orange peel added.  It tastes great in these but feel free to substitute pumpkin pie spice blend or just cinnamon.

Overall, I love how this recipe is a 'paleo' replacement of a grain food but WITHOUT a lot of grain-free flour - just 1/3 cup total, from coconut flour.  It's full of clean protein, fiber, and ancestral, beneficial fats.  There's no inflammation-promoting fat or refined flour and they taste great.  I like to top these with a little bit of nut butter, and the kids love maple syrup.  Berries are also great on top.  Experiment and enjoy!

Oh, and a big shout-out to food photographer Erika Liu!  As you can see, her pictures are gorgeous.  Thanks for the help, Erika!


Photo credit: Erika Liu

Photo credit: Erika Liu


Re-Mixed Paleo Waffles 

Hands-on time: 15 minutes / Total time: 15 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) Cinnamon Plus, pumpkin pie spice, or cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) whole chia seeds (optional)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut flour
  • 1 tsp (5ml) cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp (60ml) ghee or coconut oil (melted)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your waffle iron (this recipe can also work as pancakes).
  2. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl.
  3. Add the mashed bananas, baking powder, sea salt, coconut flour, cinnamon, and chia seeds and mix well.
  4. Add melted coconut oil and mix again.   
  5. Cook in waffle iron using ~1/3 cup batter per waffle.
  6. Serve with your topping of choice.  A few of our favorites are nut butter, pure fruit preserves, maple syrup, coconut whipped cream, pan-fried apples, or a little honey.

Did you give this recipe a try?  I'd love to hear how it went in the comments below!  You can also contact me or get more tips from the social links below.

Apple Gelatin Gummies (or "pancakes")

If you're interested in improving gut and joint health, then you should be eating gelatin.  Athletes, you should be eating it for recovery, although this shouldn't be your post-workout recovery protein.  It also can help with skin, hair, and nails.  Gelatin is part of an ancestral diet - a protein derived from collagen.  I've refined (what I think) is the perfect recipe to share with you.

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Candy vs. Your Child - Best Frenemies

candyvschild

This is your child’s brain:

brain

This is your child’s brain on candy:

tantrum

And yet….we do this every year on Halloween.  Actually, we might even do it every day for the week of Halloween when you count all the school parties and fall festivals.  What’s causing this phenomenon, and what counter-attack can you launch?

Your Kid and Sugar – Best Frenemies

Candy is primarily a concentrated source of sugar – glucose and fructose.  Once it enters your child’s mouth, a primal instinct takes over.  The brain releases a feel-good neurotransmitter called serotonin.  Serotonin makes people feel great – happy and calm (yes, I said that – about kids and candy).  Serotonin is tightly linked to mood.  In fact, a deficit of serotonin is a known cause of depression.  

Anyway, back to your kid.  Life is good – now that their neurons are swimming in feel-good chemicals your kid is super happy.  Until they’re not.  Next thing you know, they’re screaming and throwing a fit – they don’t like the color of their shoes, you won’t let them eat all the candy right now, they want to rip off their costume, whatever. 

What happened?  We were having so much fun trick or treating! 

Well, the unfortunate follow-on to the serotonin high is that it comes back down.  Did I mention that this is a primal response?  We are wired to seek energy-rich foods.  Back when food was scarce, this really helped out our species.  When serotonin goes away, our brain looks for a way to get it boosted again – with more energy-rich foods – like candy.  It looks like this:

MORE CANDY!

MORE CANDY!

Meanwhile, your child’s pancreas.  It noticed that glucose from candy got absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a large increase in your child’s blood sugar – and fueling their tantrums.   The pancreas responds by releasing insulin.  Insulin facilitates the absorption of blood sugar into the body’s cells.  If you’re in luck, your child may then transform from werewolf back into human child.  Unfortunately, the more common result is that your child now feels….like trash – tired, lethargic, and “over it” with this “trick or treating”.  You can carry them home now.

SO TIRED now.

SO TIRED now.

Kids Will Be Kids….

None of this means that your kid shouldn’t be allowed to eat Halloween candy.  Let me just note, though, that the habit of seeking serotonin-boosting foods is pretty addictive.  One of the leading causes of obesity is believed to be the brain’s addiction to the serotonin that comes from energy-dense foods.  Halloween is a special occasion, but you may not want to allow the “roller-coaster of candy emotions” to be a regular occurrence for your kids. 

In fact, high added sugar intake has been linked to the following effects in children (a):

  • Increased LDL cholesterol
  • Increased triglyceriedes
  • Increased diastolic blood pressure
  • Dental carries/cavities
  • Increased fasting blood sugar and insulin levels

Fortunately, there is hope.  A recent study found that when obese children reduced added sugars from 27% to less than 10% of calories, they experienced remarkable reductions in all of these health markers – in only 10 days (a). 

So, don’t feel like you need to keep your kids candy-free on Halloween – but it’s probably not a good idea to let them feast on their stash until Thanksgiving.  Good luck Trick or Treating!

One-Pan Paleo Chicken Curry

paleo chicken curry.jpg

Recipes that require more than one pan – who has time for that?  Apparently, not me.  This week I went searching for a quick chicken curry recipe and found all kind of ridiculousness – multiple pans required, oven-baked, using ONLY curry and no other spices….am I being too picky here?  I just want some clean, delicious, curry, and I need to be able to accomplish it while two little boys hang off my legs screaming.  No kids?  Just forget that last part.

If you come home from work, pour a leisurely glass of wine, and spend a couple of hours cooking/enjoying an elaborate dinner, then enjoy that.  However, if you're like the 99.9% of us who have something else that we need to be doing, then here you go.

Oh yeah, let’s talk about these potatoes really quick.  Are we all over the whole white potato thing yet?  Most paleo curry recipes will substitute sweet potatoes for white.  You can do that if you want, but there’s really no reason to avoid small amounts of white potatoes unless you avoid nightshades or have insulin resistance.  They are a great source of prebiotics, which means they feed the "good bacteria" in your gut. 

Ok, one more thing and I'll stop.  Have you discovered creamed coconut yet?  You reconstitute it with water and it tastes WAY better than canned coconut milk in my opinion.  Also, you don't have to worry about the can lining and extra yucky ingredients usually found in canned coconut milk.  I highly recommend creamed coconut if you can find it, but feel free to use a canned coconut milk (check that ingredient label) instead.  Enjoy!

One-Pan Paleo Chicken Curry

Hands-On time: 30 minutes / Total time: 60-70 minutes / Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon duck fat (or coconut oil)

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-2” pieces

  • Sea salt and black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon cumin

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 ½ teaspoon fish sauce (may omit if desired)

  • 2 cups reconstituted creamed coconut OR use 1 can full-fat coconut milk

  • 2 cups chopped cabbage

  • 2 ½ cups carrot slices (~5 medium carrots)

  • 2 cups potato pieces (~5-6 baby potatoes) – may sub sweet potato if desired

  • 1 tablespoon Unsweetened coconut flakes (optional garnish)

Instructions:

1.     Melt the duck fat or coconut oil over medium heat in a large container such as a Dutch oven or big fry pan.

2.     Add the onion and ginger, and stir fry until onion is translucent.

paleo chicken curry 1

3.     Add the garlic and chicken pieces to the pan.  Season with salt and pepper.

4.     Stir fry until chicken is nearly fully cooked, then add the four spices.  Stir fry 10-20 seconds until fragrant (see left image).

5.     Add the fish sauce, coconut milk, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes (see below image).  Adjust heat to simmer while loosely covered (leave crack to allow some steam to escape.  Simmer around 30 minutes, until veggies are fully cooked, stirring occasionally.

paleo chicken curry 3

6.     Serve over choice of cauliflower rice or white rice (if tolerated).  Garnish with unsweetened coconut flakes.  Enjoy!