AIP-Friendly Goodies – “soft serve” and cake-cookies

So – I like sweet things – like alot, a lot.

I don’t remember EVER having as much of a sweet tooth as I do currently and ever since going Paleo just under a year ago.  I used to crave cheese, carbs – in college I had pasta almost every day!! – but never really sweets.  Sure, I rarely turned them down either, but I literally could not say no to a plate of pasta.  Sweets I could have lived without.

Then things changed.  I could care less about cheese and pasta now – again, SURE, I miss them both from time to time but I don’t long for them.  What I do long for most days is just a simple cookie or two that won’t break my AIP diet, or any baked good really! …..

So, I’ve realized that I experiment the most with AIP dessert recipes and find that I spend most of my lunch hour browsing the AIP dessert section of Pinterest – follow my AIP Board, I post at least one new recipe I want to try almost every day – and Chowstalker’s AIP recipes, and actually get giddy thinking about baking when I get home from work.  I admit that baking with coconut flour is hard and that many of my attempts have fizzled into mostly almost-burnt-to-a-crisp cookies that crumble (and not in a good way) once they’ve cooled.  And since removing eggs and nuts from my diet about 3 weeks ago, baking while sticking to my diet became about 10 times harder.  But for now, I’m taking it as a challenge, not a negative, and have recently come up with two really yummy and easy AIP friendly treats!  I’m still working on the recipes for both, but I didn’t want to wait to share them, so here they are:

Creamy Banana Berry “soft Serve”

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First of all, sorry for the shadowy pictures – I am no photographer, that’s for sure!

So, this is, like, the easiest thing ever to make – and it’s almost like its simplicity makes it that much more delicious!  I walked around my house eating this creamy and cold dessert going “mmmm” after every bite.  The texture is perfect and the recipe leaves room for SO many different flavor combinations, you’ll never get bored!  It’s best if eaten right away but can be frozen – it will just need to thaw a bit on the counter or more quickly in the microwave to regain its creamy texture.

I used my Nutribullet to make this treat, but a blender or food processor would work just fine.  I’m still currently saving up for a good food processor, so the “‘bullet” was a good second choice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized frozen bananas cut into chunks
  • at least 3/4 cup of frozen blueberries and/or strawberries, plus a handful to top/mix into your “yogurt” if desired
  • the fat/crème from 1 can full fat coconut milk (I used Taste of Thai which I can find for pretty cheap at my local Walmart)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Add all the ingredients into your Nutribullet, blender or food processor and mix/pulse until smooth.  Using the bullet I had to pulse mine a couple times and shake the mixing cup once or twice since the mixture was pretty thick.  If you want a thinner texture add a teaspoon or two of the coconut milk left in the can after scooping out the fat (clear or milky liquid), and if you want a thicker texture, add more banana or try a couple of ice cubes and pulse until well mixed.  The mixture should have the texture of soft serve – hence it’s name!  As you will notice, I didn’t add any additional sweetener, but a little honey, coconut sugar or maple syrup would be nice!!  Once warmer weather is here to stay, i’ll be pouring this mixture into some popsicle molds for a quick treat!

To make something similar to a “Dairy Queen Blizzard” (especially in time for summer!), add some crunch and texture to your “soft serve” with the following diet-appropriate suggestions:

For AIP –

For Regular Paleo (less restrictive than AIP):

Hand-mixed Pumpkin Banana “Cake Cookies”

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Now THESE little beauties I am proud of – especially because I just threw the ingredients in a bowl and told myself I was going to eat them however they tasted.  Well – I actually ate TOO MANY of them because they were so good…Coconut flour has a lot of inulin fiber which can aggrevate some GI conditions like Ulcaertaive Colitis.  So, just a precaution, limit your self to a couple of these a day, don’t eat the whole batch in one day like I did!  I got carried away…with pride…

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  • about 1/3 can of pumpkin puree (I use the Aldi’s brand – no additives and it’s cheap)
  • 4-5 tablespoons of coconut flour
  • 2-3 tablespoons of arrowroot flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tsps. baking soda
  • cinnamon – it’s your call on the amount – I added some into the batter and sprinkled some on top of the cookies before I put them in the over.  I REALLY like cinnamon.
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
  • about 1 tbsp coconut oil, softened but not melted
  • 1-2 tbsp. of preferred natural sweetener – I used about a tablespoon of coconut sugar, but maple syrup would work too, you may just need to add more coconut flour to soak up a little more moisture

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  • Mix all ingredients together in one bowl (yep, just one!) I used my hands to mix the batter.  The batter should be on the dry side, a little spongy and should leave no residue on the sides of the bowl. It should be the consistency of – well, cookie dough 🙂
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Roll dough into balls of about 1″ in size and flatten with fingers to about 1/4″ thick.  Depending on size of cookies, this recipe makes between a dozen and 16 cookies.
  • Bake for 40 -45 minutes, checking every so often that the cookies aren’t burning. My cookies were soft on the inside and fully baked and a little chewy on the outside, and reminded me of cake!
  • Once these cooled, I squirted a little honey on them and they were amazing!

So amazing, I ate too many, kind of defeating the purpose of a sweet “treat” – it was more like a sweet meal.  Still, it was better than eating too many processed cookies.  Just be careful with coconut flour quantity if you have UC.

BUT 2 or 3 of these puppies with a hot cup of black coffee or tea in the morning with a little fruit or (((bacon))) would be the perfect start to any day.

Hope you enjoyed these recipes!  Have any ideas on how to make them better – please let me know!!

 

Yours truly,

-Erika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fool-proof AIP meal: my “go-to” nutrient-dense lunch/dinner equation

So —- meal planning while eating on the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet is hard.  Especially for me.  Something you’ll learn about me is that I like to save money wherever I can, even while eating a super-healthy diet and steering clear of cheap, processed foods (it’s no accident that 1) these foods are cheap as dirt and 2) most of the coupons floating around out there are for these items)).

While our local GIANT Food Store offers an OK selection of organic meats, I refuse to buy an expensive cut of organic meat at full price, just because I’ve been having a hankering for a pork chop or a nice steak.  I ALWAYS buy 2-3 packs of whatever meat is on sale (more if it’s a REALLY good price to stash in my freezer) and plan my menu for the week around those items – a process which has led to some pretty intersting meal combinations (most pretty good, some definitely not!).  I’m a a big fan of having my meat mixed in with my veggies, rather than just a big hunk of it on my plate.  That being said, I’ve become pretty creative over the last year with my meals, and have created a general, rule-of-thumb equation, so to speak, for a fool-proof easy AIP meal, with any type of meat, vegetables, fats and seasonings you are currently craving!  It’s kind of a cross between a stir-fry and a salad.  You’re intrigued now…I know you are!

So here it goes…..:

FOOL-PROOF QUICK AIP DINNER EQUATION – ENDLESS MEAL COMBINATIONS AND NUTRIENTS AHEAD!

At least 1 lb. of organic, grass-fed meat (get organic, grass-fed meat whenever possible)

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1-2 tablespoons of AIP-friendly cooking oil (I’m partial to olive oil, but do use coconut oil sometimes)

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3-4 cups of sauteed veggies (any combo works – one of my favorites is cabbage, mushrooms and greens of some kind)

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1-2 tablespoons (combined) of your desired AIP-friendly spice/seasoning mix (I frequently use a mix of pink himalayan salt, garlic powder, parsley, and oregano)

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a medium-sized spaghetti squash – optional

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A couple big handfuls of fresh spinach or other salad greens (more for a group of 3+) – optional

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the perfect savory and filling AIP meal, every time!

Did I mention that these are 1-skillet meals??  Just icing on the cake, right??

Here is my latest meal creation using my Fool-Proof AIP Equation – Ground beef stir fry with cooked cabbage, mushrooms and spaghetti squash on top of fresh spinach!   It’s not the prettiest picture, but you get the idea – it was a lot prettier before I mixed it up and it was really savory and juicy.

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It’s so simple – but I’ll be glad to walk you through the process 🙂

  • PREP: I baked the spaghetti squash for 45 minutes at 400°F – you could bake it in the morning or even the night before to save yourself some dinner-prep time.  Cut the squash in half (hot-dog style) scrape out the seeds, rub/brush the insides with your oil of choice, sprinkle with salt and desired seasonings, and place in your oven on a baking sheet/pan lined with tinfoil.  Chop up whatever veggies you’re using – I used half a wedge of cabbage and a pack of mini-portabella mushrooms
  • While that’s baking, brown your ground beef in the skillet at low-med heat.  I did not strain the fat from my meat because it was organic.  In conventionally produced meat, toxins are stored in the fat, so if you aren’t using organic meat, strain it first.
  • Transfer the meat to your serving bowl when finished and top with lid to keep hot
  • In the same pan, add a tablespoon (or less) of desired cooking oil and toss in cut up veggies and desired seasonings – I cooked my cabbage for about 5-10 minutes on med heat to get a little brown, before adding the mushrooms.  Cook your veggies to your liking on low-med heat – I like mine tender and juicy but not soggy!
  •  Transfer veggies to serving bowl and mix in with the ground beef.  When the squash is finished cooking, let it sit for a few minutes to cool and then scrape out the insides with a fork and transfer to your serving bowl, or keep it hot in a separate container.
  • Divide your spinach on your dinner plates and pile the meat and veggies mixture on top – I added some of my homemade apple cider vinegar dressing, which gave it JUST a little bit of tang that went great with the spaghetti squash.

This was my lunch two days in a row and I was totally okay with that because it was really yummy and didn’t upset my stomach at all or my UC symptoms from what I could tell.

Speaking of UC symptoms, I’m doing well right now.  No blood for the past couple of days, which is very exciting. Other aspects could be better (passing some mucus, a bit of bloating and gas) but one step at a time, right?

There are so many combinations you could make using this equation, hot, cold or both!  I’ve mixed in shredded chicken, bacon and collard greens and that is probably one of our FAVORITE meals.  SUPER SAVORY, and bacon makes everything better 🙂

What are your fool-proof breakfast/lunch/dinner AIP recipes???  I want to hear them all, so please leave me comments and links below!  I’ve been obsessed for the past couple of days with gathering AIP recipes on Chowstalker – check it out if you have an hour or two to spare!

Yours truly,

-Erika