Recipe: Key Lime Cheesecake Bites

PIN-key-lime-cheesecake-bites

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight & drained
  • 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk (well shaken)
  • 3-4 tablespoons raw honey
  • 4 limes, juiced & zested

Instructions

  • Line a muffin tin with 6 cupcake liners and set aside.
  • Place the almonds and melted coconut in a blender or food processor and blend until the mixture is crumbly and sticks together when pinched between you fingers.
  • Place one heaping tablespoon in each lined muffin cavity, and press the mixture down using the back of a spoon to make a mini “crust”.
  • Place the muffin tin in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, while you prepare the filling.
    In the food processor add the drained cashews, coconut milk, honey, and lime juice. Puree until smooth and transfer to a measuring cup.
  • Remove the muffin tin from the freezer when the crusts have hardened a bit and pour the filling mixture over the crusts. Top with lime zest and place back into the freezer for at least 4-6 hours to harden.
  • Store in the freezer until ready to serve. Enjoy!

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2re1OHN

How to Prepare and Eat an Artichoke

If you’ve never eaten an artichoke before, this strange vegetable may present some unique challenges when you finally try to prepare or eat one. The process for eating an artichoke is somewhat non-intuitive – the fruit can’t be eaten in its raw form because its tough fibers and sharp leaf tips can wreak havoc on your digestive system. However, if approached correctly, an artichoke can be a delicious, healthy and unusual addition to nearly any meal.

 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 or more large globe artichokes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 slice of lemon

HOW TO COOK AN ARTICHOKE

  1.  Cut of the tips of the petals: If the artichokes have little thorns on the end of the petals, take a kitchen scissors and cut of the thorned tips of all of the petals. This step is mostly for aesthetics as the thorns soften with cooking and pose no threat to the person eating the artichoke.
  2.  Slice off the top of the artichoke: Slice about 3/4 inch to an inch off the tip of the artichoke. A serrated bread knife works great for this.
  3.  Remove small petals at the base: Pull off any smaller petals towards the base and on the stem.
  4.  Cut off excess stem: Cut off excess stem, leaving up to an inch on the artichoke. The stems tend to be more bitter than the rest of the artichoke, but some people like to eat them.
  5. Alternatively you can leave the whole long stem on the artichoke, just cut off the very end of the stem, and peel the tough outside layer of the stem with a vegetable peeler.
  6.  Rinse the artichokes: Rinse the artichokes in running cold water. While you rinse them, open up the petals a little so that the water does get inside more easily. (This is where it helps to have cut off the thorny tips, it makes the artichoke easier to open without getting poked!)
  7.  Set up a pot with some water, aromatics, and a steaming basket: In a large pot, put a couple inches of water, a clove of garlic, a slice of lemon, and a bay leaf (this adds wonderful flavor to the artichokes). Insert a steaming basket.
  8. Steam the artichokes: Place artichokes on top of the steaming basket. Cover the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
  9. Cook for 25 to 45 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off.

 

HOW TO EAT AN ARTICHOKE

Pull off outer petals, one at a time. Dip white fleshy end in melted butter or sauce.

Tightly grip the other end of the petal. Place in mouth, dip side down, and pull through teeth to remove soft, pulpy, delicious portion of the petal. Discard remaining petal.

Continue until all of the petals are removed.

With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (called the “choke”) covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and dip into sauce to eat.

***NEVER EAT THE WHOLE LEAVES OR CHOKE

 

All about the miserable” Carb Flu”

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If you’ve ever dramatically reduced your carbohydrate intake, you might have felt it already: it’s that first few days of headaches, brain fog, crankiness, and constant, dragging exhaustion. At some point, you know the magic is going to happen and you’ll start feeling like a human being again, but the transition period is really rough. It feels like having the flu (hence the name), only you’re not sick; you’re just cutting carbs. Low-carb flu can include any of the following:

  • You feel fuzzy and foggy, like your brain just isn’t working right. You might have a pounding or throbbing headache.
  • You’re exhausted, cranky, and irritable for no reason.
  • Going to the gym feels like an insurmountable challenge. If you do make it, your performance is completely down the drain.
  • You’re ravenously hungry, tearing into everything in sight.
  • You’re craving anything with carbs – bagels, pasta, pizza, sandwiches, mashed potatoes, candy…

So what gives? Isn’t Paleo supposed to make you feel better, not worse?

Yes it is – and yes it will, eventually. But for some people, there’s an initial period of adaptation while your body switches tracks. Here’s how it works:

At any given time, your body can be burning either fat or carbohydrates for energy, but given a choice, it’ll start with carbs. If you eat a mixed meal (say, a potato with butter), you’ll burn the carbs first, and then start working on the fat.

Metabolic flexibility is the ability to switch back and forth between carbs and fat for energy without a problem. This is how healthy humans are set up. If you eat a potato with butter, get up, and go along with your day, you’re metabolically flexible. First you burn through the carbohydrates in the potato; then you burn through the fat in the butter. Finally, several hours later, you notice hunger gradually increasing and get up to find something else to eat.

If you eat the potato with butter, and then an hour later you need some crackers because your blood sugar is tanking and you’re snapping at everyone in the room, then you have impaired metabolic flexibility. Your body burned through all the carbs, but the switch to burning fat is difficult – so it stores the fat and demands more carbs for energy. If you eat the crackers and just keep providing those carbs, the cycle keeps repeating (while you gain weight from all that stored fat).

This impaired metabolic flexibility is clearly a problem – it’s a hallmark of diabetes and related metabolic disorders. Paleo is all about restoring metabolic flexibility, to avoid these problems, but unfortunately the low-carb flu can sometimes be a side effect of that. Initially, your body is going to throw an “I want carbs” tantrum – that’s the crummy, run-down, “low-carb flu” feeling. Eventually it’ll get the message and switch over to fat-burning mode, but sometimes it takes a lot of tantrum to figure it out.

Make no mistake: this stinks while you’re doing it. It’s not actually starvation, but it’s pretty close. But here’s the good news:

  • Low-carb flu is not inevitable: it doesn’t happen to everyone, and there’s a lot you can do to make it less miserable or even avoid it altogether.
  • It doesn’t last. Yes, it’s awful in the short term. But that short-term pain is a door to long-term gain.

Low-Carb Flu and Paleo

And now for the million-dollar question: do you have to put up with this to go Paleo?

No! For one thing, not everyone will get anything like the low-carb flu even if they do reduce carbs in their diet. Metabolically flexible people can adjust carbs up and down within a wide range and be just fine. It’s only people with impaired metabolic flexibility – people like diabetics, for example – who really get the worst of the “flu.”

Even for the unlucky ones, though, the misery isn’t inevitable. The first thing to remember about Paleo and the “carb flu” is that Paleo is not a low-carb diet. It can be low-carb, but it doesn’t have to be. Paleo is about eating the foods we’re evolutionarily suited to eat, not about any particular macronutrient ratio.

For people who are metabolically unhealthy, a low-carb version of Paleo can be very therapeutic, but you don’t have to go from 0 to 60 overnight. A better strategy is to step down gradually. First, try plugging a day or two of your current diet into any nutrition calculator online, to see how many carbs you already eat. Then start slowly pushing that number down while increasing fat and protein intake. Try to replace grain carbs with Paleo carbs as much as you can, but don’t be afraid to eat those potatoes! This will help your body adjust without the need for a brutal week of “carb flu.”

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You can also do all kinds of other things to help make the transition easier, and reduce or avoid the “low-carb flu” altogether.

  • Don’t reduce carbs unnecessarily. There’s no point to being low-carb for the sake of being low-carb! If you’re struggling with low energy and other flulike symptoms longer than a few weeks, maybe it’s not an adaptation period; maybe your body just does better with more carbs. That’s fine too. Don’t try to force yourself into a low-carb mold if you just weren’t cut out for it.
  • Get enough electrolytes. Salt deficiency and potassium deficiency can cause some of the same symptoms (especially exhaustion and exercise apathy); there’s no reason to make things worse!
  • Get enough fat. It is physiologically impossible for protein to be your primary calorie source. Your body will just stop metabolizing it, and you’ll end up starving even though enough calories are technically going into your mouth. Don’t do this! If you’re going to lower carbs, you absolutely must increase fat to match.
  • Exercise if you can. This review found that exercise was a great way to improve metabolic flexibility – but in the throes of carb withdrawal, a trip to the gym is probably the last thing on your to-do list, and that’s fine. Instead of forcing yourself through a workout when you’re falling asleep on the squat rack, put exercise on the back burner, and add it back in to maintain metabolic flexibility once the “flu” is over.
  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration will just make the headaches worse, and it’s hard on your whole system.

Summing it Up

Not everyone gets the “low-carb flu.” In fact, many metabolically healthy people seem to skip it altogether, or else just get a very mild dip in energy levels for a day or two. So don’t go into Paleo assuming that you’re going to go through a week of horror before you get to the good part: it might not even happen!

On the other hand, people with impaired metabolic flexibility do often get a kind of “flu” from dropping carbs. This really stinks, but you can make it stink less by lowering your carbs slowly, getting plenty of water, salt, and fat, and giving yourself a break until it passes. Remember: Paleo is not a week-long fad diet; you can afford to take 2 weeks to ease into it for the sake of long-term sticking power. You also don’t have to do a low-carb version of Paleo if it doesn’t make you feel good; there’s no carb police hovering over your shoulder ready to pounce if you look sideways at a potato!

Ultimately, a hellish week of “carb flu” shouldn’t be the Paleo price of admission. You shouldn’t have to take vacation time just to change your diet. So if you’re in the throes of the low-carb blues, don’t just suffer through it; take a second to stop and think what you might do differently to make the transition less rocky and more sustainable.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2osaSbI

RECIPE: Anytime Egg Muffins

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Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • Non-stick coconut spray oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saute pan, heat coconut oil. Add onion and peppers and cook for about 2 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Season with salt and pepper. Add the veggie mixture and stir until well combined.
  3. In a regular muffin pan, spray with non-stick coconut spray oil. Evenly distribute the egg mixture into each muffin tin, filling them up 3/4 of the way full. You should get 8 muffins total.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the muffins have turned light golden brown around the edges.
  5. Serve immediately or store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, stick in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2p0eIw2

Recipe: Moist Oven Baked Pork Chops

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Ingredients

4 boneless, pork chops – ~1 inch thick
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp  minced garlic
1 tsp minced onion
1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 to 1 c water

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Mix together black pepper,  salt, garlic & onion . Rub evenly all over each pork chop.
3. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over med-high heat. Lay pork chops on pan and allow to sear for 2 minutes without moving them. Flip the pork chops over and allow to sear for 1 minute longer.
4. Remove pork chops and place in an oven safe baking dish.
5. Pour in the water. You will want the water to come about 1/3 the way up the pork chop.
6. Cover baking dish tightly.
7. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I would not check until at least an 1 1/2 hours have past. You will let out all the steam that is keeping the chops moist.
8. The juices in the baking dish make a wonderful gravy.

Recipe: Classic Paleo Chicken Pot Pie

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Ingredients

For the crust:
1-1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1tsp salt
1/2tsp baking powder
2/3cup lard
6TBSP cold water

For the filling:

1lb boneless, skinless chicken breastscut into small cubes
2 carrots chopped
1 cup broccoli chopped
1/3 cup butter
1/3cup chopped onion
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch paprika
1 3/4 cups chicken broth or bone broth
1/3cup coconut milk

Instructions

For the crust:

  1. Using a fork, stir together the almond flour, tapioca flour, salt and baking powder.
  2. Cut in the lard until the mixture resembles course sand.
  3. Stir in the cold water.
  4. Place in refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

For the filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the chicken, carrots and broccoli.
  3. Cover with water and boil until chicken is done, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside.In another saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until tender.
  4. Stir in tapioca flour, salt, pepper and paprika.
  5. Slowly stir in chicken broth and coconut milk.
  6. Simmer over medium-low heat until thickened like gravy. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. Check on your crust–if it’s chilled completely, it’s ready. If it’s still a bit sticky and not cold, wait another 15-20 minutes. Note: The crust dough MUST be cold in order for it not to stick!
  8. Divide the dough in half and place 1/2 in a 9-inch pie plate, and put the other 1/2 back in the fridge.
  9. Place a piece of parchment paper on top and press down with another pie tin or plate until flat. Use your fingers to spread the dough crust to the sides if necessary.
    Stir together the chicken mixture and butter mixture, then pour into crust.
  10. Take the other 1/2 of your crust out of the fridge and place between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to roll into a circle, then lay on top of your pie.
  11. Note: You may need to use some more almond flour or tapioca flour for the top crust. You need to work quickly to get the top crust on. It may not be perfect looking, but it tastes amazing!
  12. Place on baking sheet (it may bubble over), and bake in oven for 30-35 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
  13. Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe: Gluten Free Coconut Cream Pie

paleo-coconut-cream-pie

Ingredients

CRUST:

¼ cup pecans, chopped
½ cup blanched almond flour
½ tablespoon raw honey
3 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

COCONUT CREAM LAYER:

1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk, full fat
1 large egg
3 tablespoon tapioca starch
3 tablespoon raw honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
⅛ teaspoon salt

COCONUT WHIPPING CREAM:

1 can (13.5 ounces) full fat coconut milk refrigerated overnight (light coconut milk will not work)
toasted shredded coconut

 

Instructions

CRUST:
Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a 7×5-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the pecans, blanched almond flour, coconut oil and honey.
Press mixture onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan and bake for about 10 minutes or until the top and edges start to brown. Cool on a wire rack.

COCONUT CREAM LAYER:
Combine the coconut milk, egg, arrowroot powder, honey and salt in a saucepan. Heat the mixture slowly over medium-low heat, stirring constantly just until it thickens.
Remove from stove. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes, then stir in the shredded coconut and vanilla extract. Set aside to cool for another 20 minutes.
Pour cooled custard over the chocolate and refrigerate until the coconut layer is firm.

COCONUT WHIPPING CREAM:
Scoop out the solid coconut from the can into a large bowl, being careful not to mix with the water on the bottom.
Whip the coconut with a handheld or electrical mixer until fluffy, then spread it over the coconut cream layer. Sprinkle top with toasted coconut.

 

Source Adapted from: http://bit.ly/2lKUSDG

Recipe: Basic Paleo Coconut Cake

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 c Coconut Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 Large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 c Coconut oil melted and cooled

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 8″ cake pan with coconut oil or lard.
    Combine Coconut flour and baking powder
  • Whisk together eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla until frothy.
    Add coconut flour into mixture and stir until smooth.
  • Pour into pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until golden and tester inserted into middle comes out clean.
  • Cools 5 min and turn out on cooling rack.
  • You can top with whipped coconut cream and toasted coconut.

You can also pour into muffin pans and make fruit or nut muffins. Experiment and have fun!

So am I a real Blogger?

 

7430e1a3f27ad0adedeb85f6fe846fb6.jpgToday’s food for thought.

Sometimes while I’m cruising around the inter-webs for some tasty or informative information it strikes me that I do a lot of cut, paste, re-blog with edits – I always point to sources and I don’t take credit for things where its not due. I mean I do have original ideas and recipes but it still made me ask the question Am I a real blogger?

 

Blog is defined as a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.

So if I’m not pouring my life experiences and heart out with all “original” ideas should I be posting healthy, informative information that could potentially turn people on to proper eating and wellness habits and helping them to make better decisions?

Your darn right I should be.

The reason I started Green Grass Grove was so I could post a variety of information and posts all in once place. A place of reference. I look forward to my mornings when I wake up refreshed and sit with my coffee and look for what I think will be inspirational today. It’s selfishly my therapy, my time and I love the fact that someone else might take anything away from it and if they don’t, what if no one in cyberspace cared? Honestly, It wouldn’t matter. I would continue to do it anyway.But you do care. I would like to take this time as well to thank all my followers and readers. You do add to my daily inspiration and make my day brighter with your comments!

This has all inspired me to keep going on my own journey and striving for healthy choices in life and in all matters not just diet. I am so passionate about it I am in the process of getting proper certification to become a nutritionist with specialization in paleo and raw foods. This will further aid me in the quest to educate and help others make more informed choices. I plan to do a free seminar and workshop at local schools and community center once I am ready to do so.

Ok so back to the question at hand, Am I a real blogger? I believe the answer is a resounding yes.

 

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Recipe: Gluten Free Apple Crumble

Traditional-PIN-The-Best-Apple-Crumble

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 3 apples
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the crumble

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 8×8 pan with coconut oil.
  2. Peel, core and cube the apples.
  3. Mix the cubed apples with lemon juice, honey, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl and let the apple filling sit while you prepare the crumble.
  4. Pulse walnuts and almonds in a blender or food processor until you get a fine meal.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the almond meal and walnut meal together with tapioca starch, ground cinnamon, and salt. Mix ingredients together.
  6. Add in melted coconut oil and honey to the dry ingredients, and mix until you get a crumbly texture.
  7. Place the apple filling in the greased pan and top with the crumble mixture.
  8. Place pan on a baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the juices are bubbling and the crumble is browned on top.
  9. Let the apple crumble cool slightly before serving.

 

Adapted from Source: http://bit.ly/2mFhkxP