It is my pleasure to share my favorite cocoa recipe with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do! We don’t wait for special occasions to partake in it’s deliciousness: it’s so healthy, we don’t need any excuses! Between the cocoa powder (packed full of antioxidants, iron, magnesium, calcium and fiber), gelatin (high quality protein that’s easily digestible, collagen, and gut healing constituents), and raw dairy (probiotics, healthy fatty acids including CLA, and immune-boosting immunoglobulins), this cocoa packs an insane nutritional punch.
Be sure to check out the pictures below: I even brought cocoa powder, gelatin and stevia with me when we went to Germany last year so we could enjoy it on vacation
- 1 cup raw milk (full fat) or coconut milk
- 1 tsp-1 T of raw butter (you could also use coconut oil, MCT oil or ghee…or leave it out, it’ll still be yummy)
- 1 tsp.-1 T gelatin (Great Lakes)
- 1 T raw cocoa powder (I love Navitas Naturals or Divine Organics)
- 2 tsps. or more of chia seeds (optional)
- 1-2 tsps. ground cinnamon, dash of cayenne (optional for both taste and immune boosting benefits)
- Stevia to taste (1-4 drops Sweetleaf)
On low heat, add all ingredients and stir to blend as beverage warms. Cocoa powder and gelatin can get clumpy so don’t be shy when stirring. Optionally, add cinnamon or nutmeg to the cocoa once it’s in your mug.
After a long day, I love this recipe! It’s nourishing, delicious, and SIMPLE!
- 1 package of grass-fed beef hot dogs (I love the sugar-free ones by U.S. Wellness Meats), OR chicken or turkey dogs if you prefer
- 1 large sweet potato (get a huge one, preferably a hanna white sweet potato, but yams are also delicious)
- 3-4 Tablespoons of Ghee OR bacon fat OR duck fat OR coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- OPTIONAL: Sauerkraut
- Preheat oven to 350
- Use a spiral slicer to slice the sweet potato into long curly noodles and place on a cookie sheet (This is the one I have).
- Melt fat on low heat and then pour over sweet potato noodles
- Sprinkle salt over the sweet potato noodles (you can also add other spices if you’d like, such as turmeric)
- Place hot dogs on top of sweet potato noodles and stick the whole thing in the oven for 20-25 mins
- Take hot dogs off the top and put on a plate. Stir around the sweet potato noodles.
- OPTIONAL: Put the oven on BROIL for 3-7 mins until they get a little crispy (watch them so they don’t burn).
- Serve with mustard and sauerkraut…or any other vegetable for that matter!
I admit it: I LOVED sloppy joe’s as a kid. For those of you that grew up on Manwich canned sloppy joe mix (and have fond memories), you will be delighted to have this healthy recipe alternative!
- 2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 1.5 cups chopped shiitake mushrooms
- 1 small can of organic tomato paste (I really like the Bionaturae in the glass jars)
- 1 small can of water (use the tomato paste can once you’ve emptied it)
- 1 Tbsp. ghee
- 1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped ginger root (about 2 inches of root)
- 1 tsp. molasses
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. each of sea salt and black pepper
- 2 tsps. organic hot sauce (I used Arizona Pepper’s Organic Harvest Chipotle Habanero Pepper Sauce)
- 2 tsps. fish sauce (I used Red Boat, no sugar added)
- In a large skillet, melt ghee on medium heat.
- Add onions and cook for 3-5 minutes until translucent.
- Crumble up beef into pan and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes with the lid on. Peel and chop ginger while it’s cooking.
- Add tomato paste, water, ginger root, fish sauce, hot sauce, vinegar, molasses, spices and mushrooms and stir well. Cook for 20 minutes on low heat.
- Serve over spinach or beside your favorite veggies or make these buns to go with it!
Butternut Squash or Sweet Potato Flatbread
By Empowered Sustenance
This recipe is SO amazing! Whenever we make it at my house, the batch gets tripled. Great texture, flavor and ingredients that support good health.
- 1 Tbs. coconut flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. grassfed gelatin
- 3 Tbs. well cooked and mashed butternut squash (or sweet potato)
- 1 Tbs. butter, ghee or coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt (more or less to taste)
*(You can double the recipe if desired…and you really should)
- Have all ingredients at room temperature. (If the squash and butter is cold, you can stir them together in a saucepan over low heat to bring them to room temperature.)
- Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir together the coconut flour and gelatin.
- Stir together the squash and the butter until smooth. Stir in the coconut flour/gelatin mixture until combined, then stir in the egg and sea salt.
- Spoon into rounds on the baking sheet. You can make these thinner or thicker– experiment and find what you prefer! I made them about 1/4 inch thick for the picture here, but I usually make them a bit thicker.
- Bake for about 12 minutes, then carefully peel them off the parchment paper and flip. Bake for another 5 minutes (or longer), until they are dry to the touch and pliable. (They will take longer to cook if they are thicker and they will cook faster if they are thinner… you know the drill.) Let cool completely, then enjoy within an hour or so of baking for the best texture. (Compliments of Empowered Sustenance)
I’ve got a great new recipe to share! Banana nut pancrepes (cross between a pancake and a crepe)!
- 3 chicken eggs, preferably organic
- 3 T sunflower seed butter or almond butter
- 1 medium banana, ripe
- Coconut oil for cooking
- Cinnamon and butter for topping
- In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to thoroughly blend eggs, banana and sunflower or almond butter.
- Heat 1 T of coconut oil in a large skillet.
- Pour palm-sized dollops of batter into pan and cook for 1-2 minutes (top side will change from shiny to matte). Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side.
- Top with butter and cinnamon and enjoy! Makes about 10 pancrepes.
These pancrepes have such a great flavor to them and while they were thinner than I expected, I really enjoyed the texture. If you desire a thicker texture, try adding a small amount of coconut flour (like a teaspoon or two) or nut flour to the mix. Happy cooking!
For those who were unable to attend my and Dr. Holly’s Immune Boosting Cooking Class, one of the recipes we cooked was this miso mushroom soup (modified from veganyackattack.com).
Immune Benefits of this Soup
- Onions: Contain fructans, a prebiotic (fiber that feeds beneficial gut bacteria). Acidic byproducts of probiotic bacteria help to lower the pH in the colon, which promotes absorption of minerals, many of which contribute to healthy immune function. Also high in selenium which helps reduce inflammation & stimulates immune system.
- Miso: Fermented foods like miso are supportive to gut flora. Friendly bacteria have a powerful, beneficial effect on your gut’s immune system, your first line of defense against pathogens, and aid in the production of antibodies.
- Mushrooms: Rich in protein, fiber, vitamin C, B’s, calcium, and other minerals. Also contain beta-glucans which binds to macrophages and other scavenger white blood cells, activating their anti-infection activities.
- Garlic: Antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal; contains allicin, a known anticarcinogen. Ideally crushed and set aside for 10 minutes before cooking/eating for maximum allicin effect.
- Broth: Contains many health-building constituents including the amino acids glutamine & glycine, collagen and glycosaminoglycans which are: vital for healthy connective tissue and digestive health (SIgA), help regulate synthesis of bile salts and gastric acid, required for production of glutathione (master antioxidant), enhances muscle repair, converted into the neurotransmitter serine which helps reduce stress, and promote alertness & memory.
- Coconut/coconut oil: Rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin. Monolaurin is the actual compound found in breast milk that strengthens a baby’s immunity. Easily digestible medium-chain triglyceride, strengthens thyroid & metabolism.
- 2 Tbsp. Water
- 3 C. White onion, Thin Half-Slices
- 3 Cloves Garlic, crushed
- 1 1/2 C. Button mushrooms, Sliced
- 1 1/2 C. Shiitake mushrooms, Sliced
- 4 C. organic beef or chicken broth OR water
- 2 Tbsp. miso Paste
- 1 Pkg. Miracle Noodles (angel hair)–grain-free & gluten-free
- 1 Sheet Nori seaweed, Torn into smaller pieces
- 1 tsp. Coconut oil or Hot Pepper Sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or coconut aminos
- Crush garlic and set aside to cure.
- Place the onions into a large pot over medium heat, along with the 2 tbsp. of water and cover with lid. Stir the onions every 2-3 minutes and add the garlic in once they start to turn clear.
- After roughly 7-8 minutes, add the mushrooms to the pan and cover with lid, stirring occasionally until they reduce in size and become soft.
- Carefully pour the broth or water into the pot, stir the miso paste. Cover with lid and bring to a simmer over low-medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Add noodles (rinse first), add the seaweed pieces, hot sesame oil and liquid aminos into the pot. Stir a few times and serve warm, and perhaps with some chili paste or sriracha!
Stand and walk as much as you can every day. There is a hugely growing area of research called sedentary physiology finding that regardless of whether you exercise daily (vigorous or not), if you “sit for more than 6 hours a day, you have up to 40% greater risk of death over the next fifteen years.”
Check out convertible sit/stand work stations such as the Ergotron if you have a desk job.
By the way, Your Personal Paleo Code by Chris Kresser ROCKS! Tons of useful info like this on how we can live healthier in modern times. I have learned a ton of great tips and it is definitely on my recommended reading list.
3 Quick Tips
- Aim for 10,000 steps a day of walking. This can be cumulative and you’d be amazing how when you make it a point to stand up and move more, those steps sure add up! Getting an inexpensive pedometer is a great way to track your steps. There are plenty of gadgets and apps that will do that and more, so whatever you prefer that will get you tracking is great.
- Stand up when taking or making phone calls.
- Stand up when talking to colleagues and consider taking walking meetings (when possible).
Being aware of the many benefits of standing versus sitting is a great place to start: improvements in metabolism, insulin sensitivity, bone density, and energy expenditure are yours for the taking. Stand up!
Happy New Year!
As I reflect upon the past year and look forward to the next, I find myself focusing on how we all influence what it is we get out of life.
Our daily choices and thoughts can push us into a happier more loving place, a negative and fearful place, or leave us unaffected.
I choose, and implore you to be mindful of the impact of your choices, to strive every single day to make more choices to tip my happiness scale in favor of loving life, respecting myself and others, and improving my wellbeing. I want to exude a deep sense of gratefulness that surrounds everyone around me and creates a domino effect that they in turn pass on so that we all enjoy life a little bit more and look for the beauty in everyone we meet.
Healthy and happy wishes to you all!