Monthly Archives: May 2015

On The Go: Paleo Snacks

Paleo Snacks | Paleo + Life

Portable snacks are a lifesaver around here. Between the kids’ schedules and ours, we are on the go a fair amount. While there are a few paleo staples I have all the time, like hardboiled eggs and beef jerky, I thought I’d share a few, lesser known paleo snacks with you as well.
We rely on these sorts of things to stay as paleo as we can when we’re out.

Exo bars: These bars, made with cricket flour, are amazing. I was mostly amazed that they didn’t taste like the bottom of a dirty shoe (because, honestly, the idea of eating crickets sounded pretty darned gross). But it’s not just that they aren’t bad, the taste is actually good: the flavors are true, fruity and intense. The toddler has gotten more particular about his snacks as he heads into the terrible twos — even old reliable snacks like bananas and applesauce are rejected about half the time — but the blueberry vanilla Exo bar is the one he snatched out of the pile and demanded to eat RIGHT NOW. In my book

EPIC bars: I dig these because they are more savory than most. The vast majority of snack bars are fruity and/or sweet, which can be cloying after a while. Epic bars, though, taste as if a bratwurst has been flattened and turned into a portable snack. Beef Habanero Cherry is my favorite, though I have not yet tried the lamb and mint version.

Larabars: A Paleo classic (is there such a thing, really?), Larabars are a reliable treat that satisfies my sweet tooth pretty readily. Most of them are even clean enough for a Whole30: the ingredients are generally dates, nuts, and fruits (make sure you read the label carefully, as most, but not all, are paleo).

I really like the variety of flavors available, too, though I almost always choose Cashew Cookie for its simple deliciousness. Of the latest flavors, Pineapple Upside Down Cake is my new favorite, though Chocolate Covered Almond is a close second.

Vermont Smoke & Cure: These RealSticks are a nice alternative to beef jerky, which is my usual snack. They are not inexpensive, but they are delicious. I like the BBQ and Cracked Black Pepper flavors best — the pepper is sharp and feisty, while the BBQ has a classic southern-style tang.

 

 

 

 

 

Butter Tea

Butter Tea Bl This is not the post I intended to write today.

I had grand plans involving honey, and cherries, and ginger — but I also have hungry teenagers. That bag of cherries never stood a chance. Sigh.

Instead, I’m revisiting a lovely winter evening in the early 2000s. At the time, my beloved and I had just moved to Minneapolis — during an icy, snowy January. Although we were from Chicago, this was a whole new level of winter. We felt like human popsicles much of the time.

Butter Bl

Just a pat of butter…

Since we were new to the city, just exploring our neighborhood was novelty enough for us.
We lived close enough to Uptown to walk, and frequently found interesting places there. On one of these excursions, we discovered a teeny little Tibetan restaurant. Though I can no longer recall its name, I remember steamy warmth that instantly fogged my glasses, turmeric-yellow walls, and momo (dumplings) filled with intensely flavored meat.
I also remember that my husband, more adventurous than I, ordered yak butter tea. At the time, he loved it, but I was certain such a thing would never cross my lips. Nope, no, negatory – absolutely not.

You all see where this is going, right?

Coconut Oil Bl

And a scoop of coconut oil…

A decade later, we are eating paleo, and we discover “bulletproof coffee. ” My husband, as I may have mentioned, loves coffee. Every morning, he grinds his own beans, makes coffee in the morning to drink at home, takes a cup to commute with, and keeps a single serving coffee maker on his desk so that he can refresh his cup after lunch. I’m convinced that the reason he agreed to buy our house was its proximity to four local coffee shops, two of which roast their own beans.

When I told him about this insane coffee trend, we had a good giggle over the craziness of blending perfectly good coffee with butter and coconut oil — but then we tried it.

Tea Bl

Add a cup of hot tea and blend.

Frothy like a latte, the combination of butter and coconut oil gave it an extra richness that was better than milk alone. We quickly added it to our regular repertoire of beverages. But a few months later, while listening to a podcast, the guest suggested trying the bulletproof recipe with tea.

A light bulb went off in my head, and I immediately flashed back to that cold night, and the wonderful meal, and the ‘crazy’ tea that had stayed in my memory all this time.
I tried it, and it was overjoyed to find it just as good as I had imagined.

Froth Bl

20 seconds later, voila! Butter tea. For this batch, I added cinnamon afterward, but I think it’s better included with the other ingredients.

The most important thing here is the tea. A good strong one is a must, as the butter/ghee and coconut oil is going to smooth out whatever sharp qualities it normally possesses. I used a chocolate pu-erh, which was very tasty indeed. While the chocolate notes were a complement to the cinnamon I included, it’s not necessary; the tea is delicious either way.

Butter Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup strong black tea
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, divided (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine butter, coconut oil, tea and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a high-speed blender. Process on high for approximately 20 seconds, or until well mixed. Pour into a large mug. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon on top; serve immediately.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/butter-tea/

Opening of the Market

Last week, I had one of my favorite days of the year: the season opener of my local farmers market. I have gone every year since we bought our house, and know what to expect, but there’s an effervescent joy I succumb to every time the season begins.

Opening days are frequently the same wet and rainy drizzle that makes up an Oregon winter, with just a few hardy souls willing to brave the damp. But not this day. On this day, the sun splashes across the cool blue sky, lending a sparkle to the afternoon, if not warmth. It is definitely sweater weather. Still, the memory of winter is fresh, and these rays feel luxurious in contrast. It is glorious, and I am again, so thrilled to call this place my home.

Market Sign

Flower Basket

Humongous hanging baskets from one of our favorite vendors.

Market Crowd

This was a surprisingly good crowd for opening day — thank goodness for the nice weather!

Sample Salad

Radish and green salad in a freshly made vinaigrette. It was delicious — I’ve been using the spice mixture in a variety of dishes since then.

 

Cacao Bean

Can you believe this is a cacao bean? I had never seen one in person before. It’s quite striking.

Sampling the goods

The tot, of course, prefers sampling to learning how chocolate is made. Clever boy.

Paleo Chocolate & Cinnamon Mug Cake

I am still adjusting my schedule — a much more active little one presents some difficulties — but I needed to share with you all this delightful creation. I present: mug cake.Chocolate & Cinnamon Mug Cake | Paleo + Life

“Really, Cher?” I hear you saying. “Mug cake? That’s so 2013.”

Perhaps mug cake is a bit past its new and exciting stage. But you know what it also is? Delicious.
I adore mug cakes, and I am not ashamed. Especially since paleo mug cakes have fairly healthy ingredients. Eggs, bananas, a bit of spice for flavoring — these are staples I use just about daily.
(Speaking of spice: I have always wondered: just what the heck is in “spice cake” anyway? I need to investigate. I bet a spice-cake style mug cake would be amazing.)

This recipe is quick and easily adaptable to whatever spice you have on hand. Two things to note:

1) This works best with liquified oil. If using coconut oil, warm it before using so that it isn’t solid.

2)For best results, be sure to mash the heck out of the banana. If you don’t like banana or want to lower the carbs, a thicker applesauce (like my Apple Sassy Applesauce) is a fine substitute.

Paleo Chocolate & Cinnamon Mug Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large banana
  • 1 egg
  • 2 heaping teaspoons cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Combine banana and egg in a large coffee mug; mix thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients, stirring after each addition. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, depending on the power of your device. Serve immediately.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/paleo-chocolate-cinnamon-mug-cake/

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