Tag Archives: fruit

Vanilla Berry Chia Pudding

Vanilla Berry Chia Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com

Vanilla Berry Chia Pudding is the perfect red, white and blue treat for this weekend. Seeing as it’s Memorial Day, I put together a quick, easy, festive treat for your holiday picnic or BBQ. You can make them parfait-style like I did here or just plop the chia pudding on the bottom and the fruit on top.

The sky is the limit with how you can adding your own toppings or customize them! You can make these in advance and keep them refrigerated until serving.

Serves 3.

Ingredients for Vanilla Berry Chia Pudding

Directions for Vanilla Berry Chia Pudding

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the coconut milk, chia seeds, maca, vanilla protein and vanilla extract. Whisk constantly until the chia seeds are evenly distributed and not lumpy. Refrigerate and stir occasionally until the pudding has thickened, about 1 hour. If it’s too thin, add another tablespoon of chia seeds.
  2. In small mugs or serving cups, layer a few spoonfuls of chia pudding in the bottom, then a layer of fresh raspberries, followed by another layer of chia pudding and then a layer of fresh blueberries. There’s really no wrong way to do it so be creative. Eat immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving.

Change It Up

  • Use strawberries instead of blueberries.
  • Try almond milk instead of coconut milk.
  • Add a dash of almond extract to the pudding and top with sliced almonds.
  • Omit the vanilla protein and sweeten with honey or maple syrup.

*Use the code SEPaleo for 10% off your order with Stronger Faster Healthier!

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Vanilla Berry Chia Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com

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Passion Fruit Panna Cotta (Paleo & Dairy-Free)

Passion Fruit Panna Cotta (Paleo & Dairy-Free) | stupideasypaleo.com

There’s nothing better than the smell of passion fruit: tropical, sweet-tart and fragrant! (Okay, maybe the smell of bacon could compete.) I saw some delectable passion fruits at the farmer’s market last weekend and immediately wanted to make something with them. Invariably, my mind jumped to a Paleo-friendly panna cotta.

If you can’t find fresh passion fruit, you can usually find it sold as puree in the frozen foods section of the market. (If you still can’t find it, consider making my Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta recipe instead.) Depending on how sweet your passion fruit is, feel free to adjust how much honey you use. I only used a small amount because I wanted a sweet-tart flavor not unlike a lemon curd.

Serves 4.

Passion Fruit Panna Cotta (Paleo & Dairy-Free) | stupideasypaleo.com

Ingredients for Passion Fruit Panna Cotta

  • ~8 passion fruit (or 1/2 cup passion fruit puree)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoons high-quality gelatin (like this or this)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey, or to taste

Directions for Passion Fruit Panna Cotta

  1. If using prepared passion fruit puree, skip to step 2. If using fresh passion fruit, halve the fruit and scoop the seeds into a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Using the back of a spoon to squish the juice out from the seeds. (You can also use your hands. Definitely a slightly messy job but fun nonetheless.) I was able to get about 1/2 cup of juice from 8 passion fruit.
  2. Pour the passion fruit juice / puree into a medium saucepan. Add the coconut milk and heat the mixture on medium-low but do not allow to boil. Once the mixture is heated, whisk in the gelatin, stirring constantly until it’s dissolved.
  3. Taste the mixture and add 1 Tablespoon of honey (or less or more depending on how tart the fruit is).
  4. Pour the mixture into four small ramekins—or if you’re feeling clever, you can reuse the shells as serving cups and pour the mixture evenly into those. I used an empty egg carton to prop them up. Refrigerate the panna cotta for at least 3 hours or until completely set.

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Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa by A Dash of Meg

Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa | stupideasypaleo.com Please welcome today’s guest blogger Meg, founder of the popular blog A Dash of Meg. I first met Meg on Instagram and have followed her journey as she’s learned how to properly fuel her body for health and strength. Meg even recently did a Whole30 and posted up lots of tasty eats along the way. She’s got a great, positive attitude about nutrition and health. Take it away, Meg!

If you had to pick a favorite fruit what would it be?

Personally, I’d say berries. But, if you asked me which berry was my favorite, I’d have a hard time choosing. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries… oh, they are all so delicious! But, if I absolutely had to pick I’d say my favorite is the blueberry. Although blueberries are itty bitty, they are packed with a lot of nutrients!

Blueberries are particularly high in the type of antioxidant called anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support the elasticity of capillary walls; therefore, they may help fight heart disease and some types of cancer. Not only are blueberries high in antioxidants, but they are also rich in vitamin B2, C, and E, manganese and fiber.

Blueberries are beautiful, delicious and nutrient-dense! They are definitely something you should incorporate into your diet especially when they’re in season.

Blueberry season is from July to August, and although I try to eat as seasonally as possible, when I saw that the blueberries at my local market were on sale last week I just had to grab some. I think this long, brutally cold winter is really getting to me (Steph’s note: Meg lives in central Canada), but these blueberries reminded me of the beauty of summer and were able to cheer me up quite a bit!

They also inspired me to create a new recipe. I love recipe developing. I’m actually hoping to publish my own cookbook some day, but for now I will just share my recipes with you!

This recipe was actually inspired by Steph! After seeing her “strawberry mango relish” on Instagram a few weeks ago, I couldn’t get the though of creating a recipe for a fruit relish / salsa of my own, particularly a blueberry-flavored salsa. So, I created this incredibly stupid-easy Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa!

Before I even met Steph, I always chose the simple way of doing things. My Mom and I call it the “KISS Method” (Keep It Simple Stupid Method). I believe that’s why Steph and I became such good friends ;) Or at least one of the reasons why…

I hope you enjoy today’s recipe! Use it as a condiment with any meal of your choice. I particularly love it on top of my salmon or with my runny-yolk eggs! Eggs and blueberries are a match made in food heaven!

Ingredients for Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa:

  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, whole
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped (use half for less spicy salsa)

Directions for Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. (Note: For milder flavor, seed the pepper and remove the white inner membrane. Wash your hands thoroughly.) Serve immediately or allow flavors to mingle for 30 minutes.
  2. I chose to keep this recipe stupid-easy, as you can tell. I’m not a fan of onion in my fruit salsas, so I left it out. The blueberries I used were incredibly sweet, think candy-like, so I chose to leave out lime / lemon juice. However, feel free to add in your favorite salsa ingredients!

Change it up!

Try adding the following:

  • lime or lemon juice
  • lime zest
  • fresh basil
  • sweet onion
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh cilantro

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Blueberry Jalapeño Salsa | stupideasypaleo.com

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Berry Mango Chia Jam

Berry Mango Chia Jam | stupidesaypaleo.com

If you’ve been around the blog for long enough, you may notice I use chia seeds from time to time to create very lightly sweetened puddings. This time, I paired them with fresh fruit to make something that’s a jam-like consistency with no added sugar. Feel free to switch up the berries with other fruit!

Ingredients for Berry Mango Chia Jam (makes about 2 cups)

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) diced mango
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) blueberries
  • 1 cup (225 g) chopped strawberries
  • 4 Tablespoons chia seeds

Directions for Berry Mango Chia Jam

  1. Add the fruit to a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until it has softened.
  2. Slowly stir in the chia seeds until they’re evenly incorporated. The “jam” will continue to thicken as the seeds absorb moisture.
  3. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

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Berry Mango Chia Jam | stupidesaypaleo.com

4 Real Foods You May Be Overeating

4 Real Foods You May Be Overeating | stupideasypaleo.com When it comes to eating real foods, it’s still possible to overdo it.

If you’re new to Paleo or a more general “real food” way of eating, it can be a monumental task to switch over from a diet of processed, nutrient-poor junk food to one that’s healthier. Building a foundation on meat and eggs, veggies and fruit and healthy fats is one that’ll take you far in your quest, but often, even the best of intentions can get us in trouble.

You see, some foods, even though they fit a Paleo template, are easily over-consumed. Granted, it’s easy to eat too much of anything, and slipping up from time to time won’t really make or break you in the long term. What I notice, though, are some real, Paleo foods that become problematic for folks even though they’re supposed to be “okay” to eat.

With what frequency and in what quantity will consuming these foods be an issue? It’s impossible to say for everybody, but if you notice you aren’t feeling or looking your best, it may be time to examine your eating patterns. Awareness, together with knowledge, is a powerful thing.

Real Food #1 You May Be Overeating: Nuts

Crunchy, fatty and satisfying…nuts are a common Paleo-friendly food that’s over-consumed. Paleo’s definitely not a low fat approach to nutrition, but nuts are a dense source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and calories. Together with the fact that they’re portable, mindlessly munchable (or mindlessly spoonable out of a jar) and readily available, you can see why they could be an issue.

What else about nuts makes them something to not crack out on? They contain phytic acid (one of the same reasons beans / legumes are avoided in Paleo) which prevents some of the minerals in the nuts from being available to us upon digestion. Another issue? Certain types of nuts – particularly those with high PUFA content such as walnuts – are prone to going rancid because these fatty acids are structurally more unstable.

I’m not telling you to never eat nuts ever again (I usually eat them once a day), but look for other healthy fat sources, like coconut products, animal fats and olives, to incorporate into your diet. You can also soak nuts to reduce their phytic acid content (click here for a tutorial from Whole Lifestyle Nutrition). One of my favorite ways to use nuts is as a condiment for sprinkling on top of a dish for some crunch and texture.

Real Food #2 You May Be Overeating: Dried Fruit

Fruit is one of those real foods that gets a bad rap. Yes, it’s generally got more sugar than veggies and if you’re particularly sugar-sensitive you may want to limit it to 1-2 servings a day, but it’s hardly the same as putting 3 spoonfuls of sugar in your coffee in the morning. Where fruit becomes more of an issue is when it’s dried.

Removing the water from fruit makes the sugar highly concentrated, and since the fruit’s volume is reduced, it’s easy to keep popping it in your mouth. If you’re sugar addicted (like I was), you may do best to limit or avoid dried fruit. If and when I do eat it, it’s usually as a natural sweetener (say, in my cranberry sauce). I used to sit down to a bag of Trader Joe’s dried mango slices (some of you know exactly what I’m talking about) and kill the whole thing in 5 minutes. Now, I’m happy with half a sliced apple on top of my salad.

Real Food #3 You May Be Overeating: Kombucha

Jackie (The Paleo Mama), Vanessa (Healthy Living How To) and I were recently discussing the rise of cavities among heavy kombucha drinkers, and we all came to the same conclusion: kombucha is supposed to be a tonic, not a soda replacement.

Kombucha is awesome (read more about kombucha health benefits), and I love making it (heck, I even have a tutorial and an e-class for it) but it’s one of those real foods that can be overdone. Why? It does have sugar – even though that’s drastically reduced by the fermentation process – and it is acidic. While consuming acidic foods isn’t fundamentally bad, drinking a lot of kombucha can be just as hard on the enamel of your teeth as soda (which is acidic due to its carbonation). Yes, it’s still a great source of probiotics, but if you’re drinking several cups a day, it might be time to cut back.

Real Food #4 You May Be Overeating: “Natural” Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners suck (they’re hyper sweet and offer zero nutrition) but what about natural sweeteners that pop up in real food / Paleo recipes like honey, coconut sugar and maple syrup? They’re still going to affect blood glucose and cause an insulin response, just like refined sugars. While you may argue that natural sweeteners have nutritional advantages over their refined counterparts and are therefore “better choices”, one thing’s clear: continuing to eat high amounts of sugary-sweet substances in your diet isn’t ideal.

Again, if you’re battling a sugar addiction, this one’s particularly relevant, but even for people who aren’t, pouring natural sweeteners in your food or drink daily can turn into a problem. Your goals and context will dictate how much you can tolerate – from a physical and psychological perspective – but just know that just because a sweetener is labeled “natural” doesn’t mean it should be eaten with abandon. For more on sugar, check out this article.

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Have you ever overdone it on any of these real foods? What would you add to the list?

Paleo Strawberry Apple Parfait

DSC_0029I eat with my eyes first, so parfaits – with their repeating layers of tasty goodness – are always appealing. This one’s made with fruit and coconut and some chopped nuts for crunch (and contains no extra added sugar), so it’s perfectly nutritious.

[As an aside, I get lots of questions about whether fruit is Paleo or how much fruit is okay to eat. Know your context...if you are active and have good body composition and blood sugar regulation, there's nothing wrong with a couple servings of fruit each day. If you're battling a sugar addiction or trying to improve body comp, for example, you may want to be more wary of your fruit intake...especially dried fruit.]

I used rhubarb to counterbalance the sweetness of the apples, but if it’s out of season or not available in your area, you could leave it out. Another option is to add in some blackberries (like in my Blackberry Cinnamon Applesauce) to add some tartness…plus, the color would be stunning!

Ingredients for 2-3 parfaits:

  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and diced (optional…leave the skin on)
  • 1 large stalk of rhubarb, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk or heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped nuts, optional

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the apples and rhubarb with 1/4 cup of water. Stir frequently and cook until the apples and rhubarb are very soft and have made a thick sauce, about 20-30 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the strawberries by cutting off the green tops and quartering them. Also, mix the vanilla extract with the coconut milk.
  3. Time to make the parfait…there’s no real science here. You could make several small ones or a couple big ones, depending on your preference. I layered a tablespoon of the coconut milk at the bottom, follow by some fresh strawberries, then some of the apple-rhubarb sauce. I repeated these layers one more time, then topped it with some strawberries and a tablespoon of chopped Brazil nuts.

Get creative and let me know in the comments any variations you might use!

Cool Paleo Melon Mint Smoothie

DSC_0724 I’ll admit to not being a huge melon fan, but a few weeks back, while strolling around the local farmer’s market, I sampled a smoothie like this one and knew I had to recreate it. The mint gives it a freshness and earthiness that perfectly compliments the melon, and the coconut milk brings a bit of creaminess.

Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth.
  2. Serve with a garnish of fresh mint if you want to be a little fancy.

Strawberry Vanilla Rhubarb Sauce

DSC_0729-2 I’ve been on a rhubarb kick lately since it’s in season and easier to find now than at any other time. Rhubarb is a very tart vegetable but is commonly paired with fruit for a sweet counterpoint. I included some chopped dates to lessen the bite, but this sauce is not predominantly sweet.

I served this sweet-tart sauce on top of a brined pork tenderloin – which I cut into medallions and pan-seared – but it would also be great on chicken or served with some chopped nuts on top as a snack.

Ingredients: DSC_0723-2

  • 6 pitted dates, soaked and chopped
  • 1 cup rhubarb, sliced
  • 3 cups strawberries, quartered (about 1 quart)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (or 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Put the dates in a heat-safe bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 10-15 minutes until they soften, then drain the water and chop until it becomes almost a paste. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, combine the rhubarb, strawberries and ginger. Cook over medium-low heat until the fruit gets very soft, about 10-15 minutes. You may have to reduce the heat to low to keep it from sticking or burning.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the dates and vanilla.
  4. Serve.

Blueberry Rhubarb Granita

DSC_0726 Sometimes, all the stars line up for a fantastic recipe to be born. Call it serendipity, kismet or just plain old coincidence, but when three distinct events occurred that all pointed me in the direction of this granita*, I couldn’t resist. First, I saw Paleo Cupboard’s recent post for Fresh Fruit Granita. Then, the next day I was sitting in a dingy waiting room getting my car smog checked, thumbing through an old issue of Sunset magazine when I happened upon a recipe for Rhubarb Granita. And finally, I went to the market right after the smog center and bumped into a heaped up display of summer’s most misunderstood veggie: rhubarb. Okay, Universe. You win.

I decided to make rhubarb the star but cut it down by a cup and added some blueberries for color and sweetness. If you’ve been around here long enough, you know I’m not into making tons of Paleo desserts but I’m truthfully trying to use up my entire pantry right now with a three month trip to the UK/Europe approaching in just two short weeks – plus fruit with a bit of honey is hardly a Paleo-coconut-chocolate-cookie-caramel-tart-with-brownie-crumbles-on-top.

I cut the sweetener in the Sunset recipe from 1 cup sugar to ~1/3 cup of honey. The granita is decidedly sweet-tart, but you could add a bit more honey if you wanted to. The honey didn’t negatively affect the texture at all and still resulted in nice, icy fruit flakes. It’s best to prepare this on the day you want to use it but it can be softened and eaten later on. Store tightly sealed in the freezer if keeping leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup honey

Directions:

  1. Have a 13″ x 9″ glass dish ready (or two smaller 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ pans. Glass or ceramic work best because you have to scrape the granita with a fork, and it could ruin the finish of a metal pan).
  2. Wash the rhubarb, and cut it into thin slices until you have about 3 cups total. 
  3. Put the rhubarb slices, blueberries, water and honey in a medium saucepan.
  4. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Be careful because the mixture tends to bubble up. If that happens, turn the heat down a bit.
  5. Pour the fruit mixture into a fine mesh strainer over the 13″ x 9″ dish. Use a spoon to mash and stir the mixture through the strainer, catching the liquid underneath. Work it until all that remains inside the strainer is a thick pulp. Discard the pulp.
  6. You’ll have to babysit the granita a bit from here. Place the dish in the freezer and allow to harden for about 20-30 minutes. Then, scrape the dish down with a fork. Your goal is to create small icy chunks. I checked on mine about every 30 minutes after that, scraping it down further.  Eventually it’ll get firm enough to where you can scrape right across the top. DSC_0719
  7. Serve in chilled glasses. A garnish of fresh mint would be perfect here, too, or just enjoy as is. Savor it.

*When I was a kid, my grandmother used to make something similar that she called “slush”. It had booze in it so we were never allowed to have any. You could do the same if that’s up your alley.

 

Paleo Peach Mango Ginger Chutney

DSC_0793 When I made my Coconut Wild Boar Burgers, I was searching for the perfect accompaniment. Peaches were calling to me because they’re in season and juicy and pair really well with pork, so I created this Paleo peach chutney to put on top almost like a relish. Chutney, traditional to Indian cuisine, is a condiment that combines fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices. Being Paleo, I left out the sugar and instead of using oil, I stirred in ghee for a rich buttery flavor.

Putting vinegar, onion and garlic in with fruit may sound weird but it gives just the right counterbalance to the fruit’s sweetness.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time:  10-15 min     Makes: ~2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons ghee
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 3 peaches, diced
  • 1/4 cup mango, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Zest from 1 orange

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the ghee, and minced onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, a few minutes. 
  2. Add the peaches, mango, garlic, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, ginger, red pepper flakes and orange zest. (I zested the orange, then cut it open and used the juice from inside. Hint: use a microplane grater to zest the orange and grate down the garlic and ginger, saving time.) DSC_0790 2
  3. Turn heat to low and continue to simmer until the fruit is softened but not overly mushy.  DSC_0789
  4. Spoon over pork burgers or chops, chicken or even salmon.  DSC_0800

Easy Breakfast Salad

DSC_0776 I’ve taken a liking to making what I call breakfast salad. It’s usually a mash up of different mildly flavored veggies or leftover fruit that’s in my fridge, and the exact ingredients are always different. Sneaking in more veggies is something I’m always trying to do, and this cold salad served in the morning is a good way to do that. You could easily prep this the night before to save time in the a.m. Easily doubles for two servings.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time:  0 min     Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 an orange, segmented or cut into supremes
  • 1/2 a black plum, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of jicama, cubed
  • 1/2 an avocado, chopped
  • 1Tablespoon of chopped mint or parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DSC_0765 Directions:

  1. Combine all the veggies, fruit and herbs in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice on top.
  3. Gently stir to combine all the flavors. If you’re preparing other breakfast items like eggs, make the salad first so it has time to sit and let the flavors marry a bit.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fourth of July Salsa

DSC_0792 Happy Independence Day! Summer is in full swing, and you’re sure to find an abundance of red, white and blue-themed recipes to put on your table. This fruit-based salsa is festive and easy to throw together for a holiday BBQ or party. Even though fruit is the star, it’s balanced out by a bit of heat from the jalapeño, acidity from the tomato and lime, and freshness from the mint. This would also be fantastic with some cubed avocado, served over grilled chicken or salmon. Eat up!

Prep time: 10-15 min     Cook time:  0 min     Makes: ~3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, sliced in half
  • 1 ripe white peach, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 a tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 a jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (or leave seeds in for more heat)
  • 1 Tablespoon thinly sliced mint leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop all the fruit. Mince the jalapeño pepper. Stack the mint leaves on top of each other and roll lengthwise. Slice thinly.
  2. Combined all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. For best results, let the ingredients hang out and get friendly for at least an hour before serving.

 

Easy Paleo Mocktails

Photo Jun 23, 7 15 38 PM Full credit for this idea goes to one of my awesome readers, Krista from Kansas. On my Whole30 tip #4 about how to handle social drinking, she wrote, “I love Club Soda with lime, but I’ve also recently discovered that flavored Balsamic Vinegars mixed with sparkling water is the shizz.” I love this woman already, and this mocktail* is dedicated to her.

The concept is simple: sparkling water plus a splash (or a bit more) of flavor-infused balsamic vinegar plus ice and a fruit garnish. Tangy with a hint of sweetness! The flavored balsamics are generally not as harsh as what you’d pour over a salad and are infused with different layers of flavor. Read below for my combinations.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time:  0 min    Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 4 large ice cubes
  • 1 oz flavor-infused balsamic vinegar 
  • 4 oz sparkling water
  • Herbs or fruit to garnish

Directions:

In a 6 oz glass…

  1. Place 4 ice cubes in the glass. 
  2. Pour the vinegar in the bottom of the glass.
  3. Slowly pour the sparkling water on top. If you do this carefully enough, you’ll be able to create a vinegar layer at the bottom and the sparkling water in a layer above (because the vinegar’s more dense…SCIENCE). This makes the flavor more intense as you keep sipping. Or, just stir it all up!
  4. Garnish with your choice of fresh fruit or herbs.
  5. You can experiment with different amounts of vinegar. 4 parts sparkling water : 1 part vinegar was where my tastebuds were happy, but you may want more or less.

My flavor combinations were orange-vanilla white balsamic with fresh blackberries and a slice of orange for garnish and lemongrass-mint white balsamic with muddled mint and a garnish of lemongrass leaf (not edible). Krista also tells me that lemon balsamic with a bit of lemon olive oil floated on top is amazing.

The flavor-infused vinegars can be found online (the good people at The Tasteful Olive got me my order FAST) or at some gourmet food stores. Yes, they can be a bit pricey BUT think of these as special occasion drinks, and maybe the splurge is worth it. If not, you could play around with plain sparkling water and different fruits / garnishes or even freezing fruits and herbs like mint into ice cubes.

*I know we always talk about not trying to Paleo-ify bad food choices – like eating Paleo pancakes and cookies on your Whole30 and perhaps the same argument could be made against the mocktail. However. Many folks are reluctant to start a Whole30 because there’s a ___________ coming up this month (fill in the blank…birthday, anniversary, holiday, wedding…). Choosing something like this would give you a sparkling to hold and sip on and mingle with so you can feel like you’re part of the celebration with your fancy beverage.

Apricot Ginger Applesauce

IMG_3731

I’ll admit, fruit isn’t something I buy a lot of unless it’s fresh berries in the summer. Fact: the smell and taste of brown bananas actually make me queasy. Anyhow, I had a hankering for applesauce again when I saw the pictures of our pork belly meal from a few weeks back, but I wanted to kick up the flavors a bit. The apricots bring a depth of flavor that the apples just don’t have on their own, and the fresh ginger is warm and gives a bit of spice. If you decide to leave the applesauce chunky, be sure to mince the ginger very fine so you won’t bite down on any large pieces. If you don’t have a fresh vanilla bean lying around you could add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead. Serve this alongside grilled or roasted chicken for a nice departure from the old pork n’ applesauce combo.

Prep time: 15 min     Cook time: 45 min     Makes: ~4 cups

Ingredients:

3 lb of apples (I used Gala but any will do – a mixture of a few varieties seems to make the best sauce)

6 fresh apricots, pitted and roughly chopped

1 tsp fresh minced ginger (sub: 1/4 tsp powdered ginger)

1 vanilla bean, halved (sub: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)

Water

Directions:

1. Peel and roughly chop the apples. Place the apples into a heavy-bottomed pot and cover loosely.

2. Cook the apples on medium-low for about 30 minutes. You may need to add some water as the apples cook down so they don’t stick to the pot. Stir frequently.

3. After 30 minutes, add the apricots and the minced ginger. Cook about 10 more minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla bean seeds.

4. Use a food processor to make the texture to your desired smoothness. I left a few chunks so the apricots would stand out a bit.