Paleo Mayo

This paleo mayo is a delicious addition to chicken salad, whitefish salad, sammies, and wraps. Yum!

This recipe was adapted from Nom Nom Paleo.

Not everyone loves mayo. But I am not one of those people. Homemade mayonnaise has a special place in my heart, and my chicken salad. Our dear friend, Chef Victor came to visit recently, and I asked him to show me how to make this splendid condiment. He obliged, and my life has been forever changed. Gone are the days of me wandering the aisles at the grocery store (well, that still happens... A LOT), wondering what kind of mayo to purchase. I'm not a big fan of mainstream "real" mayo, because it contains eggs and soy bean oil from goodness-knows-where (factory farms and genetically modified soy, anyone?). And the vegan variety just doesn't do it for me. So, what better way to know what kind of nourishment goes in your body? You guessed it! Make your own.

Make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature before you begin.

And patience, young grasshoppa. Mayo can be tricky. Add the first bit of oil sloooooowwwwwly. Like one drop at a time. Then you can start to add the oil a little faster, and the end result is well worth it. Bon appetit!

Ingredients:

1 egg (organic, pasture raised, pretty please!) 1 egg yolk (organic, pasture raised, pretty please!) 1 cup of oil, divided (you can use light olive, melted coconut, avocado, macadamia, almond, or walnut...but note it WILL affect the flavor, so pick something neutral and/or a flavor your favor) Juice of half a lemon or lime (about 2-3 teaspoons) A generous pinch of salt One to two drops of doTERRA lemon essential oil

Optional ingredients: Kick it up a notch with some other flavorings like a teaspoon of mustard, some ground black or cayenne pepper, or other herbs and spices. When the mayo is made, add a few tablespoons of pesto for a ridiculously delicious aioli.

Method:

Place all the ingredients, except the oil, in a blender.

Mix on "medium" until all the ingredients are well blended.

Then begin to pour 1/4 cup of the oil, a couple drops at a time. The mayo will begin to emulsify.

Then slowly add the second 1/4 cup of oil (at about the same rate). Then add the last 1/4 cup of oil all at once. Continue to blend until the mayo has emulsified completely (another 30 seconds-ish).

Add any other salt or seasonings to taste, then transfer to a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

It's ready to eat, or you can leave it in the fridge overnight to let it thicken.

Use within a week of making.

Health Benefits:

Coconut Oil: Coconut is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Both modern and traditional medicine have recognized coconut as having antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Meanwhile coconut provides a nutritional source of quick energy, and can be used to enhance endurance and physical performance. Coconut is also soothing to the digestive tract, and aids in absorption of other nutrients within the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Organic Eggs: (Preferably pasture-fed) Eggs are a good source of low-cost high-quality protein. They provide over 6 grams of protein (13% of the daily value for protein) each, and are a good source of choline, a key component of many fat-containing structures in cell membranes, which is particularly important for brain function and health. Eggs are also a rich source of tryptophan and selenium. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Olive Oil: Olive Oil is packed phytonutrients including polyphenols. Most of the polyphenols in olive oil function as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. When eaten in moderation, olive oil can be very beneficial to our gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Lemon: Lemons are vitamin C powerhouses. Great for immunity, vitamin C can also be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil has many properties including anticancer, antidepressant, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antioxidant. It is refreshing and invigorating, had can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve memory, ease sore throats and anxiety, help dissolve cellulite, boost energy, calm digestive problems, cleanse the lymphatic system cleansing, and promote a sense of well-being. It is also miraculous for removing grease, gum, oil, and unwanted marks and spots. See here to learn more about doTERRA essential oils.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTERRA because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTERRA Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per batch. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.

Homemade Coconut Milk (and Bonus Eggnog Recipe!)

Coconut milk is an excellent base for smoothies, chai, puddings, soups, and tons of other dishes and drinks. I've been a smidge obsessed with coconut products of late (see below for "benefits" of this lovely "nut). After spending way too much money on canned coconut milk, and trying to figure out how to avoid canned foods (BPA, a pretty icky, hormone-disrupting toxin found in the lining of most cans is worth avoiding when possible. Check this out if you'd like to learn more), I realized that it would be extremely easy, healthful, and cost effective to make my own.

For those avoiding dairy and nuts, this is a lovely milk replacement, and can be used in any recipe that calls for milk. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/2-2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut 4 cups water Pinch sea salt

Other optional ingredients: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1-2 pitted medjool dates 1 cup of berries of your choice 1 teaspoon honey and some spices like cardamom, nutmeg, or turmeric 1 teaspoon honey and a drop of your favorite doTERRA essential oil such as wild orange, peppermint, cinnamon, black pepper, etc.

Method:

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender.

Begin blending on low speed, then switch to high speed. Blend for at least two minutes, or until the milk is creamy.

Use cheesecloth, a nut milk bag, or a strainer to strain (collecting the pulp for future use) into a large jar.

Keep the coconut milk in the fridge for up to 4 days for best flavor and texture.

*Note: it could separate, so just shake it up before use for the best flavor and texture.

*Note: You can also heat the water (not boil!) before blending to help release the creaminess of the coconut. Try it both ways and see if you can taste/feel a difference.

*Note: You can use the reserved coconut pulp for all kinds of recipes, including smoothies, puddings, pancakes, soups, sauces, etc. Try adding it to this Blueberry Chia Pudding recipe.

To Make Raw and Dairy Free Eggnog:

Ingredients:

2 cups coconut milk

1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

4 egg yolks (pastured farm-fresh eggs preferred)

2-4 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1 drop doTERRA cinnamon oil

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated, if ya got it)

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

Process on high speed for 2 minutes until egg yolks are fully incorporated.

Serve chilled. (If you are a partaker of “spirits,” add a splash of spiced rum or bourbon.)

Add some freshly grated nutmeg on top, and voilá! Holiday cheer in a cup!

Benefits:

Coconut: Coconut is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Both modern and traditional medicine have recognized coconut as having antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Meanwhile coconut provides a nutritional source of quick energy, and can be used to enhance endurance and physical performance. Coconut is also soothing to the digestive tract, and aids in absorption of other nutrients within the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

*NOTE: Not all essential oils are created equal. I only use doTERRA because their oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which is suitable for internal, external, and aromatherapeutic consumption.

*NOTE: All doTERRA Essential Oils are extremely potent. I’d recommend 1 drop per dish. Otherwise, just know that you will have a VERY strong-tasting snack!

Click here to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.

Vegan Chocolate Pie That Tastes Like Chocolate Pudding, Fo Real.

This pie should be illegal to make it's so yummy.
This pie should be illegal to make it's so yummy.

I've been a little downtrodden lately about how terrible I feel after eating bar chocolate. My husband loves the stuff, and so do I. But even after a few couple squares of dark chocolate, even the highest-quality organic/fair trade, I have a distinct chocolate hangover. Boo. Is it the soy lecithin they use as an emulsifier? Or the type of sugar they use? Who knows. All I know is that it was high time to find a chocolate alternative that I could enjoy without feeling like I've been out drinking all night.

Enter this amazing chocolate pie. I found the recipe in my 2012 Natural Grocer's recipe calender, made a few ingredient adjustments, and voilá! The best chocolatey, puddingy, confection EVER. No seriously, I mean EVER.

What's better is it fits within most of the silly dietary rules that so many people are following these days. It's vegan, paleo, and gluten-free friendly. So grab a spork and dig in!

Ingredients:

Crust:
2 1/2 cups organic walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil, melted

Filling:
Flesh of 2 large, ripe, organic avocados (pit and skins removed)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon nut or seed butter
1/3-1/2 cup local honey (or organic maple syrup for a little "darker" flavor)
3/4 cup organic cocoa powder
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil, melted 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, combine nuts, baking soda, and salt. Blend until finely ground.

Add coconut oil and pulse until well-mixed.

Scrape the batter into a 9" pie plate and form into a crust with your fingers.

Place the crusted pie plate onto a cookie sheet (to keep the bottom from burning) and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling.

Blend all the pudding ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.

Grab a spoon and eat the pudding and feed the pie crust to your dog. Don't tell anyone.

When the crust is completely cooled, pour the pudding into the crust and refrigerate until ready to eat.

This is a great pie crust for those who have eliminated gluten and/or grains from their diet.
This is a great pie crust for those who have eliminated gluten and/or grains from their diet.

Benefits:

Avocado: Avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, fiber, folate, vitamins K, C, and B, and potassium. It also contains a wide spectrum of inflammation-fighting nutrients. Avocado also helps increase our intake of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—when eaten with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon has long been used as a medicine. It’s a good source of manganese and calcium. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to lessen unwanted blood clotting. It also has strong anti-microbial properties and help control blood sugar. The list of the powerful spice’s benefits continue, so see here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc, both of which are important to promote a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that maple syrup can also be useful for muscle recovery and immune system support. See here for more health benefits and nutritional info.

Nutmeg: Nutmeg has been used in traditional medicines as an anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive aid. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and B-complex vitamins including Vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin A. In small doses it’s great, but don’t overdo it! This powerful spice can be toxic if consumed in large amounts. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Walnuts: Walnuts are powerful medicine. They are packed with valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega fatty acids, manganese, and copper. Walnuts have been studied and proven to help decrease risk of certain cancers,  including prostate and breast. They also help prevent cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Cocoa Pepita Bites

These coco pepita balls are the bomb. 'Nuff said. Hungry for dessert? Have 5 minutes? Perfect. Throw a few ingredients in a blender or mini-food processor, and voilá: a MUCH lower maintenance version of "Chocolate Salty Balls." Eat your heart out, South Park Chef!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pepita sunflower butter (or any other non-runny nut/seed butter)

2 dates

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 tbs. Organic raw cacao powder, plus one more Tbs. for dusting

*NOTE: This recipe makes about 9-ish 1" servings, but can be doubled or tripled very easily.

Method:

Put all ingredients in a mini-food processor (or blender or regular sized food processor) and pulse a few times.

Then blend all ingredients for a few more seconds at a time until well blended. You might need to take a spoon and scrape the sides a few times to get all the ingredients sufficiently mixed.

Using clean hands, roll the mixture into 1/2"-1" balls and place onto a serving plate or a sheet of wax paper.

Place remaining cocoa powder in a mesh strainer (or any other kitchen tool with a fine mesh weave) and dust the balls with chocolate. (This is the PG version, get your mind out of the gutter!)

Eat immediately, or place them in the fridge to chill until ready to serve.

Health Benefits:

Cacao: Organic cacao is a legit superfood. It abounds with Vitamin A, C, and E, and a plethora of B vitamins, as well as, magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, iron, chromium, phosphorus, and Omega 6 fatty acids. It is also high in protein and fiber. Move over spinach! See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Dates: Dates are rich with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and copper. They are also high in other antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein, which help protect and nourish our cells. But they’re high in sugar, so a dab’ll do ya. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.

Pepitas (Hulled Pumpkin Seeds): These babies are packed with zinc and vitamin E, but are also excellent sources of manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. They are also very high in protein. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.

Sunflower Seeds: A handful of sunflower seeds will supply significant amounts of vitamin E (the body's primary fat-soluble antioxidant, which is also an anti-inflamatory and cardiovascular health superstar), magnesium (which has been said to help reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke), and selenium (helpful for DNA and cellular repair). See here for more health benefits and nutritional information. Many suggest that soaking nuts (and grains, legumes, and seeds) before consuming them enhances their nutritional quality.