Thursday, August 24, 2017

August 2017 Favorites

A few favorites from August  2017 from Laura of "Sweet Treats."  The Complete AIP Resource Library, Peach Season, Paddle Boarding, Collagen, Walking by the Beach, and Trader Joe's Onion Salt

I’m sharing my August favorites a few days early this month so that I can share details about a very special AIP resource that’s only available August 24 to 27!  

Note: some of these items contain affiliate links, but nothing in this post is directly sponsored by any company... I'm just sharing what I like! 

August 2017 Favorites:The Complete AIP Resource Library

This is one you don’t want to miss! 
My friends Mickey and Angie from Autoimmune Wellness have put together a fantastic resource for those healing from chronic illness. It’s called “The Complete Autoimmune Protocol Resource Library,”  featuring over 31 AIP-compliant e-books, including my book “AIP & Paleo Holiday Sweet Treats” AND “The Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook” which I designed last summer.  This resource is one I wish had been available when I started AIP back in 2014. And it’s only $28 (which works out to less than $1 per e-book). 

August 2017 Favorites:The Complete AIP Resource Library

One other really unique aspect to this resource library is that 10% of each purchase will be donated to a charity in the health and wellness community. How cool is that!?! 
However, The Complete AIP Resource Library is only available August 24 to 27, so don't delay! 

August 2017 Favorites: peach picking

Peach Season  
Last weekend, we visited two farms, Cider Hill Farm and Applecrest Farm Orchard, for their peach festivals. I hadn’t done any “pick your own” fruit or veggies before, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. 

August 2017 Favorites: peach picking

Not only was it neat to see exactly where our food is grown, but it gave me a new appreciation for how much work farming can actually involve. And there’s nothing quite like sampling a perfectly ripe, sun-warmed, freshly picked peach.  

August 2017 Favorites: freshly picked peaches

Now that we’ve got peaches galore (nearly 40, to be exact), I’ve been adapting some of my recipes to utilize our peach bounty. 

August 2017 Favorites: Peach Crumbles (AIP)

First, I adapted my individual AIP strawberry rhubarb crumbles into peach versions. I replaced the strawberries/rhubarb with 3 cups of chopped peaches, and I added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the both the tigernut crumble topping and to the peach filling. 

August 2017 Favorites: Peach Galette (AIP)

Second, I adapted the AIP pear galette recipe from my e-book (don’t forget, it’s available in “The Complete AIP Resource Library”) into an AIP peach galette. I reduce the water in the AIP pate brisee to 2 tsp because we’re experiencing higher humidity weather in NH, and I used peaches instead of pears for the filling, reducing the maple sugar a bit because the peaches were so sweet. And instead of making caramel sauce to go with it, I glazed the baked galette with some warmed fruit-sweetened apricot jam. 

August 2017 Favorites: Paddle Boarding
photo by my friend Bekah, who was brave enough to take her phone on the water ;) 

Paddle Boarding 
I caught the paddle boarding bug in July while at my family’s lake cabin in Minnesota, but, unfortunately the flies were so bad that I couldn’t be out on the water as much as I’d have liked. Then, some NH  friends told me about a paddle boarding opportunity on the Contoocook River outside Concord, NH. We made reservations, and went on a Sunday afternoon after church. We ended up paddle boarding for 4 miles, 2 miles of which were upstream and against the wind. 

August 2017 Favorites: Paddle Boarding
photo by my friend Bekah, who was brave enough to take her phone on the water ;) 

As someone who has struggled with chronic health issues and isn’t use to a ton of physical activity, I’m proud of myself for completing the entire paddle boarding excursion. Yes, I was exhausted by the end and I ended up having some of the worse muscle soreness I’ve ever experienced the evening after and the following day (more on that below), but I’d still go again :) 

August 2017 Favorites: Vital Proteins Collagen

Post-paddle boarding, I had some of the worst muscle soreness and stiffness I’ve ever experienced, but I’m also amazed at how quickly my body bounced back. While I can’t say exactly why I recovered so quickly, I suspect my increased consumption in collagen aided at least a little. I typically put the collagen powder in smoothies. Sometimes I use plain collagen, but other times, if I really want to up the nutrient density (and my vegetable consumption), I’ll use the collagen veggie blend  Vital Proteins developed with Dr. Sarah Ballantyne. The plain collagen is pretty much tasteless, however the veggie blend does have a stronger flavor, so I often use it in smoothies that use sweeter or stronger flavored fruits, like banana or dark cherries. My husband is also a big fan of collagen, though he mixes plain collagen with coffee and coconut oil in the mornings for a homemade bulletproof latte.  

August 2017 Favorites: Jenness Beach Walks

Long Walks by the Beach 
Winter is coming! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that Game of Thrones reference, haha!) I’ve started noticing the days are getting shorter and in looking at the calendar, and I know fall/winter will be here before we know it. I’ve always been a person who loves being near water, whether it’s a lake or the ocean, and I find that there’s something about being near water that refreshes and reenergizes me. While the weather is still beautiful, I’m encouraging myself to take advantage of the Atlantic Ocean being a manageable drive away. Especially when I travel to the farmer’s market, it’s so easy to drive just a little further to the beach, and go for a walk. Not only do these walks help refresh and reenergize my soul, but they also give me some easy physical activity and some vitamin D, if the sun is shining. 

August 2017 Favorites: Trader Joe's Onion Salt (AIP)


As I’ve been spending more time outdoors and doing summer-y activities this month, I’ve been spending less time in the kitchen, and have embraced quicker, more simple meals. This onion salt, which I buy at Trader Joe’s, has been an easy-yet-flavorful addition to my spice collection. I most often sprinkle it on a microwaved white sweet potato, but it’s also been great on oven-baked sweet potato fries, in scrambled eggs (AIP-reintroduction), on roasted vegetables etc. It also may be a blend I take with me when traveling in the future. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near by, this blend would also be pretty easy to mix up at home. 

So those are a few of my favorites from August. What are you loving lately?

Some of these items include affiliate links, meaning Sweet Treats makes a small commission off items purchased after a link is clicked with no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.

Monday, July 31, 2017

June and July 2017 favorites



A couple months, I started a new series where at the end of each month I share some of my favorite things. Some may be things I’m reading or watching. Some may be body or beauty products. Some may be kitchen and food related. Some may be travel or adventure related. Today I’m sharing my June and July favorites (in no particular order).

Note: some of these items contain affiliate links, but nothing in this post is directly sponsored by any company... I'm just sharing what I like! 

June and July 2017 favorites | Airbnb

Travel: Airbnb 
After not traveling for almost the first 6 months of 2017, I’ve made up for lost time! We traveled to NYC the end of June/beginning of July, to North Dakota/Minnesota the middle two weeks of July, unexpectedly to South Carolina (while in the middle of our ND/MN trip) for a funeral, and now I’m currently in Minneapolis on a quick trip. Whew!

For the NYC trip and the SC trip, we used Airbnb for our lodging. Both were great experiences and we especially loved having a full kitchen at our disposal. I don’t love to do a lot of cooking while on trips—I’d much rather bring a bunch of batch-cooked foods with me & reheat as necessary, but it was nice to have a full fridge and freezer for storing foods and to be able to make easy breakfasts for family. Also, for both of these trips, it was much more economical to book with Airbnb than to stay in hotels.

Make sure to vet your Airbnb listings well before booking them. If you’re especially keen on having a good kitchen, make sure to read whether it’s fully equipped or not, and pay attention to what’s in the photos. Even in a fully equipped kitchen (and even if i’m not planning on doing much actual cooking), I usually bring along some of my own kitchen tools, such as dish soap & a sponge, a dish towel (which also doubles as a hot pad), a mini cutting board, paring knife, spatula, kitchen shears, and ziplock bags.

For more information on how I travel while following AIP, check out these two posts here AND here. I myself was so out of practice with traveling that I referenced my own posts before recent trips ;)

June and July 2017 favorites | German Sweet Potato Salad from "Nourish"

Recipe: The German (White Sweet) Potato Salad from “Nourish: the Paleo Healing Cookbook”
I am ever so thankful to my friend Rachael from “Meatified” for developing this potato salad recipe. I’ve made it many many times (including two double batches in July alone), & it’s always a crowd pleaser, even for non-AIP/Paleo people. It’s also a salad that gets better with age, so don’t be afraid to make it a little in advance (or to make a double batch). A couple minor changes I make: I usually sub finely chopped scallions for the chives—I never have chives on hand, but I always have scallions. I also really like celery & will add a little more than the recipe calls for. And when in doubt, double the recipe. You’ll never regret the leftovers.

“Nourish” is full of delicious, all-AIP, restaurant-quality recipes. While this potato salad recipe can only be found in “Nourish,” I’d say the purchase price of the book is worth it even if you only make this potato salad!

June and July 2017 favorites | Kitchen Shears

Tool: Kitchen Shears
I have the Mercer Culinary Kitchen Shears (http://amzn.to/2vhlksW)
One kitchen tool I never like to be without is my kitchen shears. I only began using specific kitchen shears in earnest since culinary school, but they’re a tool I use so often that I have multiple pairs. They’re not only useful for opening packaging, but I also use them to cut bacon into pieces, snipping herbs, cutting scallions, butterflying poultry, and much more. I never realized how much I rely on my shears until traveling to other kitchens and NOT having them along!

I have the Mercer Culinary Kitchen Shears, but there are other good quality options out there. One feature I especially look for is that they come apart, which makes cleaning them (and drying them) much easier.

June and July 2017 favorites | Trader Joe's Organic Grass fed Hot Dogs (nightshade-free!!)

(Almost) AIP Product: Trader Joe’s Organic Grassfed Hot Dogs NIGHTSHADE FREE! 
It’s really ironic, given my former vegetarian ways, how much I really love hot dogs. But, I hadn’t eaten hot dogs in over 3 years since nearly all hot dogs contain “spices,” which generally means NIGHTSHADE ALERT. However, hot dogs are back in my diet, thanks to these organic grass fed hot dogs from Trader Joe’s. They do require AIP reintroductions of white pepper and nutmeg, but they are completely nightshade free (and delicious). I’ve also reintroduced mustard, so I enjoy dipping my hot dogs in Sir Kensington’s Dijon Mustard.

One tip: should you need to cook your hot dogs on a shared grill, such as at a friend’s house for a BBQ, wrap the hot dogs in foil & then grill. They won’t get grill marks, but there also won’t be cross-contamination.

June and July 2017 favorites | Paleo On The Go
My first POTG order from August 2016. Note: some of their packaging has changed since then! 

Convenience Food: Paleo On The Go
I’ve placed 4 large orders from Paleo On The Go’s AIP menu over the past year & have found it to be a great option, especially when traveling. For those not familiar with POTG, they’re a paleo (with AIP options) frozen meal company that delivers throughout the US. I’ve primarily used their meals as a replacement for eating out while traveling. Yes, they can be more expensive than traditional frozen meals, but POTG makes delicious products and they use high quality ingredients. It’s such a treat to eat good food that I’m confident won’t cause me to get sick (like eating out sometimes can) and that I didn’t have to make myself! My personal favorite has been the beef pot pies.

POTG also came in really handy earlier this month while we were in ND visiting my parents—I’d had a big order of POTG products shipped to their house ahead of our arrival—but suddenly found out we needed to go to SC for a funeral. I didn’t have enough time to do as much batch cooking as I normally would for a trip like that, but thankfully I could take some POTG things (like beef breakfast empanadas and bacon apple chicken burgers with maple cranberry sauce and chicken breakfast sausage) frozen in my checked luggage. I then used our Airbnb oven to re-heat some of them, & some items (like the breakfast sausage) I just ate cold!

June and July 2017 favorites | Beautycounter Sun Screen

Beauty: Beautycounter Sun Screen
As I’ve cleaned up my body products, finding good quality sunscreen that works and isn’t full of bad ingredients (and doesn’t leave me looking ghostly white) has been a challenge! Last summer, I won a tube of Beautycounter Protect All Over Sunscreen SPF 30 from a Beautycounter party and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love that it works well, it has good ratings from EWG, AND it doesn’t leave my skin all white.

I’ve also become a fan of their sunscreen sticks. Especially while we were traipsing around NYC, it was so handy to have the face-sized sunscreen stick in my purse for easy reapplication. I've also recently ordered a body-sized sunscreen stick, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

While I’m not a consultant with Beautycounter, you can order products through your favorite consultant (I’m sure you probably know *someone* who sells it, if you’re in the AIP/Paleo-sphere) or through the Beautycounter website.

So those are a few of my favorites from June and July. What are you loving lately?

Some of these items include affiliate links, meaning Sweet Treats makes a small commission off items purchased 
after a link is clicked with no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Berry Coconut Pie (AIP, Paleo, Coconut-free)

Berry Coconut Pie (AIP, Paleo, Coconut-free)

Continuing my pie-making-spree and just in time for the 4th of July holiday is this berry pomegranate pie. It’s a rift off my Patriotic Panna Cotta Pie from 2015, but this one can be made coconut-free, in case of coconut allergies or dislike of coconut.

Berry Coconut Pie (AIP, Paleo, Coconut-free)

Making the crust is probably the most challenging part of the dessert, but after that, it’s super easy! I tested this filling recipe last 4th of July, and brought a couple pies to a pool party with friends. There were ZERO leftovers —kids and non-AIP/Paleo people alike all gobbled it up :)

Berry Coconut Pie (AIP, Paleo, Coconut-free)

In these photos, I used leftover Lard Cassava Pie Crust (Paleo), but if you need an AIP pie crust that is also coconut-free, I’ve got an AIP Pâte Brisée recipe in my e-book Holiday Sweet Treats (though does use palm shortening)--I would recommend doubling that recipe to ensure enough dough for a 9" pie. You may be able to find other coconut-free AIP pie crust recipes online, but I haven't tried any of them.

Berry Coconut Pie (AIP, Paleo, Coconut-free)

 **As with most of my recipes, I’ve only tested this recipe using the grams measurements included. I’ve figured out volume measurements with math, but have not personally tested them. I HIGHLY recommend using a kitchen scale + grams measurements to ensure the most successful end product.**

Berry Pomegranate Pie (AIP, Paleo, Coconut-free) 
yield’s one 9-inch pie (approximately 8 servings) 

9-inch AIP/Paleo crust, baked (see instructions below)—I used my Lard Cassava Pie Crust (Paleo), but in the past I’ve also used Martine from Eat Heal Thrive’s Sweet and Savory Pie Crust (AIP, but not coconut free) 
383 grams (1 1/2 cup) organic pomegranate juice
24 grams (1 tablespoon) honey
11 g (1 tablespoon) gelatin
1/8 tsp vanilla bean powder (optional)
2 cups (250 to 275 grams) berries—I used a mix of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries & I cut most everything in half

Blind Baking Instructions for the Lard Cassava Pie Crust (Paleo):

  1. Roll the dough between parchment paper until it is a circle approximately 12 to 13 inches in diameter. Use the parchment paper to help transfer the dough to a 9-inch glass pie pan. Gently press the dough into the pan. Crimp the edges as desired. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 F. 
  3. Line the chilled shell with parchment paper & place beans or rice on the parchment to act as weights (NOTE: the beans/rice are NOT eaten). Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. 
  4. Then, carefully remove the parchment with the beans/rice & place the pie shell back in the oven for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. 
  5. Cool completely before using.  

Blind Baking Instructions for the Sweet and Savory Crust (AIP) from Eat Heal Thrive:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Make the crust as directed in the recipe. 
  2. Press the dough into a 9-inch glass pan. Do NOT pierce the bottom with a fork. 
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden around the edges. 

To make the filling: 

  1. Pour the pomegranate juice into a medium sauce pan. Drizzle in the honey. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the juice. Allow the gelatin to bloom for 10 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the berries by cutting them in half (or quarters for strawberries) & placing them in the baked & cooled pie shell. For ease of transport in and out of the refrigerator, place the pie pan onto a quarter sheet pan
  3. After the gelatin has bloomed, add the vanilla powder. Heat the sauce pan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the gelatin melts.  
  4. Carefully pour the pomegranate mixture in the berry-filled pie shell. Transfer to the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight. 
  5. Cover any leftovers and store them in the refrigerator. The pie is best consumed within 24 to 36 hours, or else the crust begins to get soggy. 

This post contains affiliate links, meaning Sweet Treats makes a small commission off items purchased 
after an Amazon link is clicked with no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Lard Cassava Pie Crust (Paleo, Nut-Free, AIP Reintroduction)

Lard Cassava Pie Crust (Paleo, Nut-Free, AIP Reintroduction)

I’ve been on a bit of a pie spree lately. I blame rhubarb season and the fact that I’ve been more successful with my egg consumption since finding really amazing local soy-free eggs.  My Grandma Vein is famous (at least in my family) for her rhubarb custard pie. I’ve been on a mission to perfect a version of her recipe that I can eat. Unfortunately, my rhubarb supply has run out for the season, so I’ll have to wait until next year to share my paleo rhubarb custard pie. But I did manage to perfect a paleo version of her crust recipe. PS, if you need an AIP pie crust recipe, I’ve got one in my e-book Holiday Sweet Treats.

Lard Cassava Pie Crust (Paleo, Nut-Free, AIP Reintroduction)

Lard Cassava Pie Crust (Paleo, Nut-Free, AIP Reintroduction)

Grandma has made a lot of pies in her nearly 90 years of life, and she’s also tinkered with different pie crust recipes. I can remember making pies with her (like this peach pie) and sometimes we used shortening (usually butter flavored Crisco), and sometimes we used lard, and sometimes we used a combination of shortening and lard.

Lard Cassava Pie Crust (Paleo, Nut-Free, AIP Reintroduction)

While Grandma’s original crust recipe used all lard, I’ve adjusted my version to use half lard and half shortening for a couple of reasons…. First of all, I’m passionate about using well-sourced ingredients, and pastured leaf lard (a higher quality lard) is a more expensive ingredient than I usually use in my recipes. Secondly, while leaf lard isn’t quite as pork-y in flavor as traditional lard, I still find it tastes better when mixed with a more neutral fat, like palm shortening.

Lard Cassava Pie Crust (Paleo, Nut-Free, AIP Reintroduction)

Lard Cassava Pie Crust (Paleo, Nut-Free, AIP Reintroduction)

This recipe does make a lot of pie dough—enough for three 9-inch single crusts, but thankfully, the dough also freezes well. Stay tuned to my next post for a 4th of July-themed pie utilizing this crust!

Lard Cassava Pie Crust (Paleo, Nut-Free, AIP Reintroduction)

 **As with most of my recipes, I’ve only tested this recipe using the grams measurements included. I’ve figured out volume measurements with math, but have not personally tested them. I HIGHLY recommend using a kitchen scale + grams measurements to ensure the most successful end product.**

Lard Cassava Pie Crust (Paleo, Nut-Free, AIP Reintroduction) 
adapted from my Grandma Vein’s recipe collection
yields 3 single regular 9-inch crusts or two deep dish crusts (with some leftover scraps)  

168 grams (3/4 cup) pastured leaf lard (I use Fatworks)
144 grams (3/4 cup) palm shortening (I use Spectrum Naturals)
384 grams (3 cups) cassava flour (I use Otto’s), plus extra for sprinkling, if needed
60 grams (1/2 c) tapioca starch
30 grams (1/4 c) arrowroot
1 tablespoon maple sugar (or other granulated Paleo sweetener)
1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 large egg (I use a soy-free pastured farm egg)

  1. Scale the leaf lard and palm shortening and place into the freezer to chill for at least 20 minutes. I scale both onto individual pieces of plastic wrap, then wrap/flatten them into little packets before freezing. 
  2. While the fats are chilling, scale the cassava flour, tapioca, arrow root, maple sugar, and sea salt into a large bowl. Stir to combine. 
  3. Once the fats are solid, remove them from the freezer and cut them up into small pieces. Add the small pieces to the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender or two forks to work the cold fat into the dry ingredients. Continue mixing until the mixture looks like coarse sand. 
  4. Measure the cold water into a liquid measuring cup. Add the apple cider vinegar and egg to the liquid measuring cup & whisk together using a small whisk or a fork. Add to the fat/flour mixture and mix, using a pastry blender and/or a wooden spoon, until the liquid is evenly distributed and a dough forms. Work as quickly as possible to ensure the fat doesn’t melt. The dough will be quite soft. 
  5. For regular crusts, divide the dough into three equal pieces (approximately 322 grams each). For deep dish crusts, divide the dough into two equal pieces (approximately 483 grams each). Wrap individually in plastic wrap and flatten into a disc. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. Dough also may be frozen for use later—I usually place individually wrapped dough discs into freezer ziplocks. 
  6. When ready to use, roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper. Sprinkle with a little extra cassava flour if the dough sticks to the parchment. Use the parchment paper to help transfer the rolled out dough to a pie pan (I use 9-inch glass Pyrex pie pans).  Crimp or trim the edges as desired. Save the scraps for later! 
  7. Bake as directed in a pie recipe (or see my notes below). This dough does not brown like a traditional pie crust, so be careful not to over-bake it in hopes of a golden crust. 

Notes:

  • I’ve only tested this recipe using the grams measurements included. I’ve figured out volume measurements with math, but have not personally tested them. 
  • I haven’t tried making this dough in the food processor, but suspect it could be done that way too. 
  • I do not recommend using regular lard in place of leaf lard, as the pie crust flavor will be *very* pork-y.
  • To make this recipe more cost effective, I chose to use half leaf lard and half shortening. I have not tested it using all lard because I ran out of leaf lard… 
  • I have not tried any flours, other than Otto's cassava flour, tapioca, and arrowroot. If you try this recipe with other flours and it turns out well, please let me know in the comments. 
  • The egg helps with plasticity of the dough & I have not yet tried an AIP version of this recipe without the egg. If you need an AIP pie crust recipe, I’ve got one in my e-book Holiday Sweet Treats.
  • If you live in a very dry climate, you may need a little extra cold water, if the dough doesn’t come together easily. More cold water can be added a tablespoon at a time. 
  • Any dough scraps can be saved and re-rolled (or frozen and used later). 
  • Some baking direction for a 9-inch glass Pyrex pan, if your intended pie recipe doesn’t include them.  Reduce the baking times for a metal pie pan. 
    • For a double crust pie (not deep dish), I usually begin baking at 400 F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F for 30 to 40 additional minutes. 
    • For a single crust pie (not deep dish), I begin baking at 400 F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F for 20 to 30 additional minutes. 
    • For blind baking (not deep dish), line the pie shell with parchment paper and fill with dry rice or dry beans (note: these act as weights and are NOT eaten); bake for 15 minutes in a 357 F oven, then remove the parchment/rice/beans and bake for an additional 15 to 25 minutes.
  • This dough does not brown like a traditional pie crust so it will not be golden when finished. Brush an egg wash on top (straight egg or egg mixed with water) to give it a little extra color and/or shine, if desired.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning Sweet Treats makes a small commission off items purchased 
after an Amazon link is clicked with no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 2017 Favorites

A few favorites from May 2017 from Laura of "Sweet Treats." Recipe, kitchen tool, convenience product, beauty product, travel, in memory of Martine Partridge of “Eat Heal Thrive.”

Last month, I started a new series where at the end of each month I share some of my favorite things. Some may be things I’m reading or watching. Some may be body or beauty products. Some may be kitchen and food related. Some may be travel or adventure related. Today I’m sharing my May favorites (in no particular order). 

Note: some of these items contain affiliate links, but nothing in this post is directly sponsored by any company... I'm just sharing what I like! 

May 2017 Favorites | Easy Tigernut Granola (AIP)

Recipe: Easy Tigernut Granola (AIP) from Backcountry Paleo 

While guest-posting on the Autoimmune Paleo Instagram account earlier this month, I made a small batch of Susan’s granola to include in an AIP fruit-and-granola yogurt parfait. The granola was SO GOOD (and fit a cereal-shaped whole in my heart that’s been empty since I started AIP) that we ate it all the day I made it. Since then, I’ve made three more batches & don’t see myself stopping anytime soon ;) A couple changes I make…. I don’t add any citrus zest or dried fruit. I also reduce the maple syrup by a quarter, using 117 grams in a full batch. And I bake it around 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. It’s delicious eaten by the hand-full, on top of yogurt, in a bowl with a splash of coconut milk, etc.

May 2017 Favorites | Parchment Sheets

Kitchen Tool: “If You Care” parchment paper sheets
This is a product I’ve been using for several years and really love. I started using unbleached parchment paper after beginning AIP and slowly transitioning to more eco-friendly (and health-friendly) products. And I became totally spoiled by this product that has the parchment paper pre-cut into half-sheet-pan-size sheets—no more fumbling with trying to cleanly tear it, or estimate how large of a piece I’ll need for my pans. I’ve especially enjoyed using it this month when making the Easy Tigernut Granola listed above. I use to buy it at my local Whole Foods in San Antonio, & I’ve also found it at Natural Grocers in North Dakota. Sadly, I haven’t been able to find it locally since moving to NH, and my stash is nearly out… So I’ll probably end up buying a case of 12 on Amazon. Goodness knows with all the recipe testing I do, all 12 boxes would eventually be used ;)

May 2017 Favorites | Trail Mix (Paleo)

Convenience Food: Homemade trail mix (Paleo) 
I did a three week Whole30-style reset the last two weeks of April and the first week of May, and this homemade trail mix was a huge help as an easy, shelf-stable, on-the-go snack. I mixed together raw peeled almonds (I seem to have a mild reaction to the peel), raw pecans, and raw pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds), with raisins and apple-juice-sweetened dried cranberries. I try to include more nuts than dried fruit, but the ratios were dictated more by what amounts of the ingredients I had on hand. A small handful of this trail mix here and there, especially if I felt my blood sugar dip or started feeling hangry, was really helpful.

May 2017 Favorites | W3ll People bio correct multi-action concealer

Beauty Product: W3ll People Bio Correct Multi-Action Concealer in light
I’ve been on the hunt for a good concealer for over 2 years, as I’ve transitioned all my makeup to be gluten free and less toxic. But I haven’t found one that I truly liked (and liked enough to recommend to other people) until I discovered this one. It has good coverage, the light version works well with my skin tone, and it’s pretty easy to apply with my fingers. I do find it needs a little powder over top, otherwise it attracts my mascara and I end up with worse raccoon eyes than if I’d skipped concealer… I bought mine at Target (though I’m not sure every Target is carrying W3ll People), but you can also find it at select Whole Foods, or through the W3ll People website.

May 2017 Favorites | Stowe Mountain Lodge Anniversary Trip

Travel: Anniversary Vermont Trip 

My husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary this month and took a quick trip to Vermont. Even though I have some successful reintroductions under my belt, it still can be challenging to travel. We booked an Airbnb condo at Stowe Mountain Lodge (so that we’d have a tiny kitchen) for our lodging. I cooked most of our meals ahead of the trip & brought them in a cooler. And for our actual anniversary dinner, I found a restaurant, Michael’s on the Hill,  that could accommodate my needs & was in contact with them well before our reservation. It was a great, refreshing getaway. We thoroughly enjoyed the Stowe Mountain Lodge (even if it was a between-seasons time to visit). And we took detours on our drive back to visit the King Arthur Flour headquarters (something I’ve wanted to do since culinary school) in Norwich, VT; the Simon Pearce glass blowing studio in Quechee, VT, and Farmhouse Pottery shop + studio in Woodstock, VT.

If you’d like more of my tips about AIP travel, check out my posts here and here.

May 2017 Favorites | remembering Martine Partridge of "Eat Heal Thrive"

In memory of Martine Partridge of Eat Heal Thrive (formerly The Paleo Partridge) 
I found out last week that my friend Martine had passed away (obituary here). She has been a pillar in the AIP community. We will miss her terribly, not just for the fantastic recipes she created, but for her witty way with words, and her encouraging, bright personality. I especially love her sweet and savory pie crust recipe, which I used in my berry panna cotta pie recipe, and her chicken liver pâté with mushrooms and bacon recipe, which was the first pâtâ recipe I made and ate.

If you’d like to contribute to a fund organized in Martine’s honor by the AIP blogging community, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/in-memory-of-martine-partridge.

So those are a few of my favorites from May. What are you loving lately?

Some of these items include affiliate links, meaning Sweet Treats makes a small commission off items purchased after a link is clicked with no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Panna Cotta with Roasted Rhubarb (AIP & Paleo)

Panna Cotta with Roasted Rhubarb (AIP & Paleo)

I love all produce seasons, but there is something extra special about rhubarb season. Anytime I see rhubarb for sale, I feel like I’ve found a treasure! I’ve been especially thrilled to find local rhubarb at the farmer’s market, and I dream of someday having my own rhubarb patch.

Panna Cotta with Roasted Rhubarb (AIP & Paleo)

In previous years, I’ve made rhubarb sauce to pair with pork, strawberry rhubarb crumbles, strawberry rhubarb compote, rhubarb cake, and a rhubarb galette, which are all super delicious. But this year, I decided to experiment even further by roasting the rhubarb. I also branched out from my usual flavor parings of rhubarb with strawberry, and pared it with orange and vanilla.

Panna Cotta with Roasted Rhubarb (AIP & Paleo)

When it comes to something to serve the roasted rhubarb on, I have returned to a favorite: coconut milk panna cotta. I’ve adapted my stand-by panna cotta recipe just slightly, adding a little more gelatin since this is an unmolded version, and sweetening it with orange blossom honey.

Panna Cotta with Roasted Rhubarb (AIP & Paleo)

So simple to make, very minimal added sweetener, and a good serving of gelatin. But, if panna cotta isn’t your jam, I’ve also served leftover roasted rhubarb on cupcakes and I also suspect it would be fantastic on pancakes or waffles.

Panna Cotta with Roasted Rhubarb (AIP & Paleo)

One final note: I don’t believe this recipe would work well with frozen rhubarb—I’m fairly certain that freezing the rhubarb would cause it to break down too much to retain it’s shape. But, if you don’t mind if the rhubarb turns more sauce-y, feel free to try frozen rhubarb.

Panna Cotta with Roasted Rhubarb (AIP & Paleo)

Coconut Milk Panna Cotta 
yields 4 to 6 servings, depending on molds/vessel size

1-13.5 oz can of coconut milk (I use smaller cartons & weigh out 13.5 oz)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
21 g (1 tablespoon) honey (I used orange blossom honey)
10 g (1 heaping tablespoon) gelatin

  1. In a saucepan whisk together the coconut milk, vanilla, and honey. Carefully sprinkle the gelatin over the surface & mix gently. Allow to bloom for 10 minutes. 

  2. Heat the saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the gelatin melts & there are no lumps--do not boil! 

  3. Portion into small bowls/glasses or molds (I used a silicone muffin pan in these images). Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (or overnight). 
Roasted Rhubarb
8 oz fresh rhubarb stalks
63 g (3 tablespoons) honey (I used orange blossom honey)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 
  2. Cut the rhubarb stalks on an angle into 1" to 2" pieces. Place the cut pieces into an 8x8 baking dish. 
  3. Drizzle the honey over the rhubarb & sprinkle with the vanilla powder and orange zest. Add the orange juice. 
  4. Roast in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Stir the rhubarb & roast an additional 10 minutes or until the rhubarb has softened, but is not falling apart. Cool to room temperature before serving. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. The tart flavor of the rhubarb will continue to mellow the longer it sits in the fridge. 
To serve 

  1. Unmold the panna cotta, if desired—I ran a small offset spatula around the custards before gently popping them out of the silicone muffin pan I used as a mold—and plate. 
  2. Top with a few pieces of rhubarb & a generous spoon full of the rhubarb liquid. 
  3. Serve immediately. 
Note: 

  • The rhubarb will remain pretty tart, even with the 63 g (3 tablespoons) of honey. If serving this recipe to non-AIP/Paleo people, you may way to up the sweetener by a tablespoon or two in both the roasted rhubarb and in the panna cotta.  

Panna Cotta with Roasted Rhubarb (AIP & Paleo)

This post contains affiliate links, meaning Sweet Treats makes a small commission off items purchased 
after an Amazon link is clicked with no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

April 2017 Favorites

April 2017 Favorites | Sweet Treats/Laura Vein

I’m starting a new series at the end of each month where I share some of my favorite things from the previous month. Some may be things I’m reading or watching. Some may be body or beauty products. Some may be kitchen, food, and recipe related.  Today I’m sharing my April favorites (in no particular order). 

Note: some of these items contain affiliate links, but nothing in this post is directly sponsored by any company... I'm just sharing what I like! 

April 2017 Favorites | "Hope Heals"

Book: Hope Heals: A True Story of Overwhelming Loss and an Overcoming Love*
I haven’t done great on my “Goodreads” progress this month, but I did finish one of the most inspiring/convicting books I’ve ever read. “Hope Heals” chronicles Katherine & Jay Wolfe’s story following Katherine’s massive brain stem stroke in 2008 when she was 26 and a brand new mom. Their hope-filled, positive, joyful outlook despite living with the lasting physically disabling effects of a traumatic brain injury is incredibly inspiring and convicting. I actually had the pleasure of also hearing Katherine and Jay speak at a women’s event at my church the beginning of this month (and I met them after the event). I hope to write a longer reflection post about the book & hearing them speak, so stay tuned for that. In the mean time, pick up a copy of their book (it’s on SALE right now), check out their story on their website, and/or follow them on social media @hopeheals.


April 2017 Favorites | Primally Pure Sensitive Deodorant

Body: Primally Pure Sensitive Deodorant in Lavender
Since going AIP three years ago, I’ve also made a conscious effort to clean up the products I use on my body. However, I’ve tried many, many, many deodorants with terrible results. Many did not work (i.e I smelled less-than-fresh, yikes!), but worse yet, others made my underarms break out so badly I honestly wondered if I possibly had developed the autoimmune condition "hidradenitis suppurativa" (HS). NOT GOOD!! I finally ordered this sensitive deodorant in lavender from Primally Pure, after seeing AIP friends post about it on Instagram.  After testing it out for a few weeks, I’m pleased that it both seems to work (note: it’s not an antiperspirant) AND I haven’t had one underarm break out.

April 2017 Favorites | Muji Pens

Tool: Muji 0.38 mm Pens*
I’m a bit of a pen snob & I really prefer using very fine-tip pens for my journaling, writing, list-making etc. This month, I heard about Muji gel pens via an Instagram video from She Reads Truth. I immediately ordered a 3-pack of black Muji 0.38 mm gel pens on Amazon and now I wish I’d ordered more of them and possibly more colors. I love how fine the tip is, but yet it doesn’t wear down so quickly, like the Microns or LePens I’ve used in the past.

April 2017 Favorites | Large Mesh Strainer/Colander

Kitchen Tool: Large Mesh Strainer/colander*
For the past few years, I’ve used a small mesh strainer that was probably made with less-than-ideal metal. I would have to strain or wash produce in it in batches, which often slowed down my productivity. Somehow, upgrading it to a larger, stainless option wasn’t a priority until the old strainer started becoming rusty. I ordered this one on Amazon and wow! why didn’t I make this upgrade sooner! It’s now SO much easier to wash leeks and chopped greens and to strain bone broth.


April 2017 Favorites | Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers (AIP)

Recipe: Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers from Unbound Wellness
I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a few months, but I was having trouble finding high quality ground chicken. We recently found a local pastured chicken farmer who sells ground chicken at a local farmers market. The first time I made the poppers, I made only a single batch. But I immediately regretted not making a larger batch. This week, I made a double batch and I think we ate them all in three days. A couple tips that I’ve found to be helpful when making these: 1)use the shredding blade in your food processor to shred the sweet potato (especially if making a double batch) and then pulse the shredded sweet potato with the S blade to break them up a little further; 2)use a medium (1.5 tablespoon) cookie scoop to scoop the popper mixture, which both makes the poppers uniform and helps the portioning to go faster; 3)bake the poppers on a baking sheet WITHOUT parchment paper—they get a much better crust that way; 4)make a bigger batch than you think you’ll need because they are SO TASTY ;)

April 2017 Favorites | Tessemae's Creamy Ranch (Paleo & Whole30)

Ingredient: Tessemae’s Creamy Ranch (AIP reintroductions required) 
As I’ve gotten some successful AIP reintroductions under my belt, I’ve been able to eat this Tessemae’s Creamy Ranch without any reactions. Ohmygoodness!! I had forgotten how much I use to love ranch dressing! This delicious product has been an especially nice addition to my diet the past couple weeks as I’ve been doing a Whole30 reset. As I exclaimed to my husband a couple days ago in a hangry episode, “Ranch is LIFE!!” haha! I buy this product at Whole Foods in the refrigerated section of the produce department. Use their store locator to see if you can find it locally

So those are a few of my random favorites from April. What are you loving lately? 

*These items include affiliate links, meaning Sweet Treats makes a small commission off items purchased after an Amazon link is clicked with no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.