Summer Sausage Breakfast Rolls

I was walking into the gym with my kids the other day when the lady at the front desk asked what my son was eating.  He was snacking on one of Paleovalley’s grass fed beef sticks and I told her such.  She went on to say something along the lines of: “Ah, okay.  I thought it looked like a Slim Jim, but I figured you guys ate healthier than that!”  I laughed at the comment, not because it was false but because it is completely true – my family doesn’t eat highly processed snacks, especially when it comes to animal products.  I was also surprised that she guessed as much, but I suppose when you show up to the gym nearly every weekday morning people assume you’re healthy 😉

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Have you ever looked at the ingredients in conventional meat sticks or jerky?  They are often filled with soy, corn syrup, caramel color, “natural flavors”, sugar, wheat flour and preservatives; not to mention the meat comes from conventionally raised cows.  When it comes to feeding myself and my family, I just cannot buy products like that.  But I recently discovered Paleovalley’s grass fed beef sticks and was amazed by their quality, taste and texture.  I was expecting a hard, jerky-like texture, but these beef sticks are tender like sausage and easy to eat.  I love having them around as a convenient snack or quick lunch addition for both myself and my family, but I also couldn’t wait to get in the kitchen and find a way to creatively incorporate Paleovalley’s beef sticks into a recipe, like these Summer Sausage Breakfast Rolls.

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Tigernut Flour Pancakes

Don’t mind me, just adding more to my collection of pancake recipes!  Haha!  I went years and years without ever making pancakes because I thought they were so unhealthy.  Well, yes, many pancakes ARE unhealthy, but if you make your own from scratch they can be quite nutritious.  These days, I make quite a lot of pancakes, waffles too (pancakes with abs…isn’t that what they call them).

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I mostly make pancakes/waffles because both my husband and son enjoy eating them for breakfast.  I like that they can be thrown together quickly and the flavor combinations are practically endless.  And although I haven’t been putting hidden veggies in my pancakes, that’s definitely an option too!  (Now I have a bunch of new pancake recipe ideas floating around in my head that involve veggies and hidden greens…stay tuned.)

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Anyway, back to these Tigernut Flour Pancakes.  They are allergy friendly, Paleo and can be made Vegan by substituting the honey for maple syrup.  The chocolate chips are optional; perhaps not quite so “healthy” as a daily breakfast, but definitely a fun Saturday morning treat!

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Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter

One thing that I cannot get enough of lately: sunflower seed butter.  I love the Trader Joe’s brand, but have also started making my own.  I’ve been enjoying a spoonful of this unsweetened Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter with a bit of extra dark chocolate.  It absolutely satisfies that sweet’n salty craving and constitutes a healthy dessert.

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Sunflower seed butter is a great nut butter alternative.  It can be used in place of nut butter and/or peanut butter in many recipes and it’s less expensive!

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Making your own seed, nut, coconut or peanut butter is extremely easy, so I urge you to try it yourself if you haven’t.  Literally all you need is a good quality food processor (THIS is what I have), some nuts/seeds/coconut/peanuts and a little patience.  Homemade is often cheaper than store-bought, plus it’s fresh and you can easily tweak the flavoring, nut variety or sugar content to your liking.

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My recipe for Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter is only 2 ingredients and doesn’t contain any added sugar or sweeteners.  It is Paleo, Vegan and allergy friendly.

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Cranberry Protein Muffins

I’m currently sitting in Starbucks drinking my favorite coffee drink, writing this blog post and listening to the quiet chatter of the people around me.  Something I’ve noticed when it comes to Starbucks: people either love it or they hate it.  I am a proud supporter because I LOVE their coffee.  I like my coffee strong and Starbucks always delivers.  My favorite thing to get: an iced Americano (decaf usually) and I add a packet of Sweet’N Low.  Yeah, that pink, cancerous packet – I pour one of those straight into my 16 oz coffee without any regrets.  You don’t need to tell me how bad that packet of sugar is for me, I know and I don’t care 😛  Starbucks is a treat and that sweetener is something I happily indulge in when I get a coffee outside of my own home.

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What are your thoughts?  Are you a Starbucks person or do you prefer something more organic and eclectic?  Or do you not even like coffee?  And what about that “unhealthy” indulgence?  Do you have a favorite food, beverage or ingredient that you knowingly slip into your diet every now and then even though you know it’s not the best for your health?

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Anyway, I digress.  This post has nothing to do with coffee, Starbucks or harmful sweeteners.  Although I’m 100% sure these Cranberry Protein Muffins would pair excellently with a fresh mug of coffee.

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The purpose of this post is to share the recipe for these gluten free, high protein muffins.  Although this recipe is not Paleo or Vegan, it is gluten free, made with less than 10 ingredients and offers a good dose of protein to help satiate hunger.  I used Organifi Vanilla Protein; my absolute favorite vegan protein powder.  Truly, if you haven’t tried it yet and are looking for a high quality, vegan protein then I highly suggest testing this one out.  It bakes so well – none of that dry texture, protein after-taste.   And all the ingredients are organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free.  (If you make a purchase be sure to use my discount code: RABBIT for 15% off your online order.  I am an Organifi affiliate because I truly like their products!)

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Enough of the chit-chat, here’s the recipe: Read More

Buckwheat Banana Bread

I know I just posted a banana bread recipe last month, but I’ve got another one to share.  What can I say, I buy a lot of bananas, and a lot of them ripen before we can eat them!  (Great excuse to bake with bananas, right?)

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What do you do with your over-ripe bananas?  Do you freeze them, put them in smoothies, make banana bread, toss them?  You can usually find me whipping up banana bread or freezing them for future smoothies.  Baking with bananas is one of my favorite things, simply because the bananas add enough sweetness that I don’t need additional sugar or sweetener.

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This Buckwheat Banana Bread recipe is moist, easy to make, gluten-free, nut-free and only sweetened with bananas.  It holds together well, making it a great vehicle for a heaping spoonful of nut butter, a drizzle of yogurt, cream cheese and would even go well topped with avocado and an egg.

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Paleo Strawberry Muffins

Strawberries aren’t at their peak season, however I can’t help but love them this time of year!  I think they make the perfect Valentine’s fruit, mostly because of their luscious red color but also the fact that they work well in many desserts.  Strawberries also bring back fond summer memories of gorging myself on berries in the sweltering heat of my parent’s backyard, before taking a refreshing dip in their pool – and this time of year hot and summer are all I’m dreaming about.  (I know I’m not the only one done with winter and ready for summer, or at least spring.)

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These Paleo Strawberry Muffins use fresh, juicy strawberries and a tad bit of honey for a sweet treat that will bring back all those wonderful summer memories 😉  And if nothing else, these muffins taste great and the mixture of pinks and reds is just what you need for a healthy Valentine’s Day dessert.

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These muffins are free of: grains, gluten, dairy, nuts, soy and refined sugar.  They store well in the fridge for a quick grab’n go snack and best of all, are toddler approved (always a win in my book).

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Basil & Thyme Grain-Free Crackers

Have you ever had a tigernut?  In case you don’t know, tigernuts aren’t actually nuts.  They are little, round root vegetables with a naturally sweet taste and hard, rough outer shell.  They are rich in prebiotic fiber, making them beneficial for your gut and are a good source of magnesium, potassium and plant protein.  Tigernuts are also naturally gluten free and Paleo-friendly!  (So of course I had to get my hands on some and do a bit of recipe testing 😉 )

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I had the opportunity to sample a variety of Organic Gemini products.  They sell whole tigernuts, peeled tigernuts, tigernut granola, flours, oils and even horchata (a drink made using tigernuts).  All of their products are organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, Vegan, Kosher, Paleo and nut-free.  I recommend giving their products a try, especially if you have a nut allergy or eat Paleo.  (And no, this post isn’t sponsored, I am just highly impressed with their products.  I also think tigernuts are a great way to add some variety to your diet.)

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I haven’t done a lot of baking with tigernuts; mostly, I’ve experimented with tigernut waffles and crackers like these Basil & Thyme Crackers.  One thing I like about tigernut flour is that it is naturally sweet, meaning I don’t need to add much sugar (if any) to the recipes I have tested.  Although I haven’t mastered the art of baking with tigernut flour, these Basil & Thyme Grain-Free Crackers turned out perfectly!  They are allergy-friendly, Paleo, Vegan, nut-free and do not contain any added sugar or sweetener.

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Whole 30 Recap

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I cut my Whole 30 short.  I lasted 23 1/2 days (hey, that half day counts) and then decided that I had had enough.  I was having trouble controlling my cravings.  Not cravings for sugar or treats or unhealthy foods, but cravings for carbohydrates and just overall more variety.  So, today I thought I’d share a quick recap discussing my thoughts on the Whole 30 and what I learned about my body while partaking in this re-set. Read More