Raising Them Paleo: An Intro to Paleo Parenting from Lizz of My Granola Home

file0001438816162My Husband and I have been gluten-free for 4+ years now, and grain-free for about 10 months. It’s definitely a hard transition from a SAD (Standard American Diet) to a gluten-free one, and an even bigger transition to grain-free. I’m not about to tell you I’m 100% Paleo/Primal. I’m not. I skate in around 60%. It is a big struggle breaking those emotional ties I have with illegal foods. It is ingrained (no pun intended!) in my mind, in my heart, and in my body. However, my convictions are strong enough that I’ve chosen to raise my daughter primal.

To embed this lifestyle in my daughter from infancy promises her a way better future than many of us will see. I was raised on a healthy diet, almost on par with The Weston A. Price Foundation. Unfortunately, I fell prey to the “health” advice circling around. I know that I wreaked havoc on my body, which I regret. I do not want the same for my daughter.

Here are a few things I’ve realized the past 10 months:

Raising your children Paleo will raise a lot of eyebrows. It’s a grain-laden world out there, and scary things can happen when you let your “grain guard” down. Some of the first foods they suggest for babies to try are grains. All snacks—from first finger foods to toddler foods—are grain-based. There is no escaping. Most people will think you are crazy for avoiding these foods, some may even mock you, but hold your ground. I remember once telling my mom that I feed Zoey eggs almost every day, and her response was, “She’s going to have high cholesterol before she’s 1!” Of course my mom was joking, but some people will say things like this and mean it. You can’t let it phase you.

Raising your children Paleo/Primal is time consuming. Almost all premade baby foods, snacks and toddler food contain grains or other unwanted ingredients. That means you’re making the food, which is way more effort than buying it. It takes time to plan their meals everyday, doing the shopping, and doing the cleaning (oh the cleaning!). Raising them Paleo is messy! When you give them cheerios, you can vacuum them up. Hunks of banana and avocado? Not so much! In order to be a successful Paleo parent you have to have convictions, otherwise you might just give up because of the work!

Raising your children Paleo is one of the best gifts you can give them. Not only are you nourishing them, you are cultivating a habit and a lifestyle to care for themselves.

Some things I recommend if you plan on raising your children Paleo:

  1. Know your facts. You will be bombarded with questions and concerns about the way you are feeding your children. Do you actually know what physically happens when you eat grains? Do you know the importance and reasons for eating fermented foods? Do you know why pastured animals are better for you? If you don’t know your facts, you’ll get run over.
  2. Hold your ground. You’ve got the facts, and you believe them. Don’t let people change your mind.
  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You can’t control every single bite of food that goes into your child’s mouth. There will be times they get an animal cookie or fishy cracker…it’s not a huge deal (unless they have allergies!!). Don’t fret, it won’t kill them.

I hope you find this encouraging. I know at times I’ve wanted to give up and just “go the easy route.” But I want to give her the best that I can and I want to set up my daughter to succeed. Don’t give up! I promise: you can raise them Paleo! Here are a few ideas I came up with to feed my baby to save you some of that precious time. She loved them all by the way!

Superpowers for Baby (9 months & up)

Ingredients:

  • 4 large, steamed carrots
  • 1/2 C steamed green beans
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil or grass-fed butter
  • 1/2 tsp spirulina

Directions:

  1. steam the carrots and green beans
  2. reserve the water from steaming to thin out the baby food if needed
  3. put all ingredients in food processor or bullet until you reach desired consistency
  4. store for 3 days in fridge, or 1 month in freezer

Blueberry-Spinach-Pear Sauce (for around 7-8 months)

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 organic very ripe pears, peeled and cored
  • 1/4 C Frozen or Fresh, organic blueberries
  • handful of organic spinach
  • 1-2 Tablespoons organic, unrefined coconut oil
  • filtered water

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until semi-smooth, depending on age of the baby.
  2. Add more or less water depending on desired thickness.
  3. Will last 3 days in fridge, or a month in freezer

Green Beans & Pear (7 months and up)

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 very ripe organic pears, peeled and cored
  • 1/2 C organic green beans, steamed
  • 1-2 Tablespoons organic, unrefined coconut oil

Directions:

  1. reserve water from steamed green beans
  2. put all ingredients into a food processor or bullet and blend until desired texture, adding more water if needed
  3. store in fridge for up to 3 days, or freezer for up to a month

Power Green-Sweet Potato Mash (8 Months and Up)

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium organic sweet potatoes, baked until soft
  • Handful of organic spinach or power greens, such as kale or arugula
  • 1-2 Tablespoons grass-fed butter, or coconut oil if you want it dairy free

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients in food processor or bullet until semi-smooth
  2. add water if necessary
  3. store for up to 3 days in fridge, or up to a month in the freezer

My Granola Home

*This is a guest post written by Lizz of My Granola Home. Lizz writes about her explorations in granola living, granola parenting, raising a child paleo, and personal growth. You can find her at My Granola Home, on Twitter, and on Facebook

So Easy: Paleo-Style Finnish Pancakes

Paleo Finnish Pancakes

A few weeks ago, I wrote in with a new paleo almond flour pancake recipe that I was really excited about. After working through some research about baking soda, baking powder and the acidity of each ingredient, I managed to make the almond flour pancakes fluffy and delicious without shedding any tears of frustration in the process.

Today, I woke up once again with a hankering for some pancakes. Rather than re-doing what I’d previously accomplished, I wanted to figure out something new. I wanted to create a recipe that would follow traditional Finnish pancake style, an old favorite of mine from the pre-paleo days.

If you’ve never tried true Finnish pancakes before, think of the French crêpe—thin, made primarily of eggs, sugar and flour. Finnish pancakes are very similar to the French crêpe, and their appeal is that they’re extremely minimalistic and taste absolutely delicious. Before I started following the paleo lifestyle, I would make my own version of Finnish pancakes about three or four times a month. The only ingredients I used were eggs, flour, sugar, butter and salt. That’s where my challenge came in today: figure out how to make my beloved Finnish pancakes, paleo-style, without losing the authenticity of the original recipe.

Luckily, each of the original ingredients have simple and easily obtained substitutes. So, dear readers, I present to you:

Paleo-Style Finnish Pancakes

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 25 minutes | Serves: 2-4

You’ll need: a casserole dish, medium mixing bowl, a hand mixer

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 13oz. can unsweetened coconut milk (full fat, not light!)
  • 2 Tbsp. softened honey or stevia equivalent
  • 1/2 C. almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or NoSalt substitute

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Take the melted coconut oil and pour it into the casserole dish—spread it around with a rubber spatula to make sure all edges are covered
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs until they’re fluffy and bubbly.
  4. Add the coconut milk, honey/stevia, almond flour and salt to the eggs. Mix well, until there are no chunks of almond meal remaining.
  5. Pour the batter into the casserole dish over the coconut oil.
  6. Cook for 25 minutes.

I used to eat mine with maple syrup and cinnamon—today, I topped them with homemade whipped cream, cinnamon and some sprinkles of hemp hearts.

Enjoy!

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Lemon Garlic Reduction

Asparagus

THIS POST BY MEGAN KELLY ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON THOUGHTCIRC.US ON FEBRUARY 28TH, 2013

I get sad whenever someone tells me that bacon is unhealthy and that I shouldn’t eat it.

Not because I agree with them and lament my choice to partake in its porky goodness, but because its supposed “bad qualities” overpower all the good things bacon has to offer. For instance, it’s delicious, and it can be used with just about anything (read: versatility).

Not only that, but bacon is also a power food. When you really think about it, bacon offers healthy (yes, healthy!) fats and a good amount of protein, causing some to assert that a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs is actually better for you than one comprised of whole wheat toast and fruit. This is because it keeps you fuller for a longer period of time, and it doesn’t spike your insulin like a bagel would, which helps you avoid mid-morning (and mid-afternoon, and mid-evening) energy crashes.

Of course, if you’re like me, you tend to stray away from grains anyway, so this may not come as much of a surprise. But for those of you who claim to feel your arteries harden at the thought of eating fatty bacon, don’t panic; eating fat won’t kill you. In fact, it’s vital to your health, and avoiding fat can even cause mood disorders, like depression.

So why am I rambling about bacon and fat while sounding like a crazy person? Well, partially because I’m kind of obsessed with it, but also because I’ve got a really great recipe that I’d like to share with you, and I don’t want you to scoff at me when you see the alleged “health abomination” I’m about to place in front of you.

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus in Garlic Lemon Reduction

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 1 hour | Serves: 2-4 people

Asparagus

  • 1 large bundle (1lb) fresh asparagus
  • 8-10 slices bacon

Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 C. butter
  • 1/2 C. chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 325 F.
  • Wrap 4-5 pieces of asparagus with one piece of bacon apiece, from right below the tips down to the end of the stalk (don’t worry, bacon is stretchy). You may need to use more or less asparagus per bundle depending on the size of the stalks.
  • Place the bundles on a lightly greased pan, evenly spaced by about 1/2-inch, and put them in the oven for about 1 hour.
  • As the asparagus cooks,  grab a medium-sized sauce pan and melt the butter with the chicken stock and lemon juice over medium heat. Stir well to avoid any burned butter.
  • After the mixture comes to a soft boil, add the minced garlic, salt and ground pepper, and stir well.
  • Let the mixture reduce on medium-low heat (make sure it doesn’t go into a hard boil—keep it at a soft boil) for 40 minutes.
  • With 5 minutes left on the clock for the asparagus, remove them from the oven for a moment, drizzle the reduction lightly and evenly over the bundles, then put them back in the oven. Broil them on high for the last 3 minutes to get nice, crispy asparagus tips.
  • Serve hot as a side to any of your favorite “light” foods—grilled chicken breast, mixed greens, or baked white fish.

Now, go ahead and tell me that isn’t delicious.

A Tallow Tale: Special Discount for Fatworks Tallow

Dear readers:

As we all know, quality animal fats from eco-friendly, animal-friendly sources are the bread and butter (so to speak) of the paleo diet. Not much can compare to the rich, beautiful taste of hand-rendered tallow when used in cooking and baking. It provides a healthy amount of omega-3s and the taste simply cannot be beat when compared to vegetable oils and shortenings. So I’m excited to give you all an exclusive deal, available only via word-of-mouth here on The Primeval Tongue:

Head on over to Facebook and like my new friends, Fatworks Foods. They’re providers of quality, hand-rendered beef tallow, available in 15oz. jars, which can be used in nearly any cooking or baking application for all of your paleo needs. When you enter my name, Megan, into the coupon section, you’ll get a special discount on your order, but only until the ides of March (which is March15th, for those of you who didn’t know)!

Show these guys a little love! Give ’em a like and let them know I sent you their way!

Best Ever: Paleo Chocolate Truffles Rolled in Toasted Coconut

IMAG0693It’s another snowy day in Denver, which for me usually means adventure time in the kitchen. Having a somewhat insatiable appetite for all things chocolate, I decided today would be a good day to try my hand at some chocolate truffles.

About a week ago, my maid of honor came in to town to spend some time planning wedding-type things with me. We ended up at Barnes and Noble because we’re just a little nerdy, and I came across this book, Paleo Desserts by Jane Barthelemy. It has boatloads of delicious looking treats, of which I took the truffle recipe and tweaked slightly.

Let me tell you, I am so pleased with the results.

Paleo Chocolate Truffles Rolled in Toasted Coconut

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Wait time: 1.5 hours | Serves: many

IMAG0687

Ingredients:

  • 4oz. unsweetened bakers chocolate
  • 1/2 Cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Cup sweetener of your choice (you can use equal parts baker’s stevia, 1/4 C. honey or equal parts baking splenda)
  • 1/4 Cup almond butter
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 Cup unweetened coconut shavings, with 1/4 set aside for later

Directions:

  1. Line a medium mixing bowl with wax paper.
  2. Take the bakers chocolate and cut it into thin shaved pieces. You can also use a fine cheese grater and grate it into tiny little bits. Set aside.
  3. In a large sauce pan over a double boiler on medium heat, melt down the sweetener, coconut milk, vanilla, almond butter and 1/4 cup coconut shavings. Heat them until the sweetener is completely melted and the almond butter is no longer chunky. Add in the cinnamon and nutmeg. Be careful not to burn the mixture!
  4. Add the chocolate shavings to the melted mixture and mix in well, until all of the chocolate is melted.
  5. Set the mixture in the wax paper-lined bowl and let it chill in the fridge for about 1.5-2 hours, or until it’s non-sticky and tough to the touch.
  6. Lay out the rest of the toasted coconut on a plate.
  7. Using a small spoon, take out chunks about 1 Tbsp in size, roll them between your hands to form balls, and coat them in the toasted coconut.

Enjoy with a glass of red wine or almond milk. And be careful not to eat too many in one sitting!

IMG_20130309_161745

The “Tri-Pork-Ta”: Paleo Iowa-Style Pork Tenderloin

Pork TenderloinJosh and I have a favorite restaurant in Denver that we frequent at least two or three times a month. It’s called Freshcraft, and they’ve got a menu chock-full of delicious, handmade foods and a craft beer tap list that would make any beer geek’s head spin.

My favorite menu item is “The Burger”—a half pound of beef on baby arugula, topped with Gorgonzola and caramelized onions, served with a side of house-made aioli. My mouth is starting to water just thinking of it. Josh’s favorite is the Cheese Crusted Iowa Style Pork Sandwich, which comes out as a giant slab of pork tenderloin, breaded and fried in what tastes like homemade Cheez-Its, served on a teeny-tiny bun with a side of house made hush puppies.

Not to say that doesn’t sound delicious, but holy carbohydrates is it loaded with starch and not-so-paleo-friendly ingredients. I’ve always been tempted to just get one of my own, but could never bring myself to try such an abomination without feeling like I’d have to climb a mountain afterward to expend that sudden spike in energy.

Just last night, however, in a rush to find something quick and easy to make before meeting some friends for Happy Hour, Josh suggested I cook up some pork chops on the stove. As I looked around to try and figure out how to prepare them, I found a bag of chicharones, a giant meat mallet, and a Kerr jar full of bacon fat.

So, what did I do? I decided to try my hand at making my own paleo version of an Iowa-Style Pork Tenderloin at home, and I’m here to share the love with you.

Paleo Iowa-Style Pork Tenderloin

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Serves: Two

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. bacon fat (or sunflower oil, or coconut oil, but bacon fat is what makes it the “tri-pork-ta”)
  • Two ½-lb pork chops, completely thawed
  • 1 Cup crushed chicharones (pork rinds)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • Coarsely ground pepper

Directions:

  • In a bowl, crack and stir the two eggs together.
  • In another bowl, mix the crushed pork rinds, the salt, the crushed red pepper, garlic powder and coarsely ground pepper together.
  • Using a meat tenderizer, flatten each pork chop until it’s no more than ¾-inch thick; if you can, use a tenderizer with the pointed side and a flat side—smash it down with the pointed edge, then flatten completely with the flat edge.
  • Melt the bacon fat in a large pan on medium-low heat.
  • As the fat is melting, coat each pork chop first in a layer of egg, then in a layer of the pork rind mixture.
  • Put the chops into the melted fat and cook for 7.5 minutes on each side. Add additional seasonings to taste.
  • Serve hot with a dab of dijon mustard and enjoy!

Fluffy Almond Flour and Nut Butter Pancakes

Almond Flour Paleo PancakesIf I can be completely honest with everyone for a moment, I’d just like to say that I think science is pretty awesome.

Oh, what? You do too? Excellent. Now we can definitely be friends.

Know what else is awesome? Pancakes.  That’s right—science, and pancakes.

So what if I told you that the two can be married in a wonderful ceremony and make fluffy, delicious pancake babies without using dairy, flour or sugar? Yes, friends, it can be done! After a bit of research yesterday, I finally figured out how to do it.

You see, this may or may not as super exciting to the rest of you as it is for me. For the first 7 months of eating paleo, I tried time and time again to create an original recipe for pancakes that would come out as fluffy and delightful to eat as the bleached-flour, corn-syrup-soaked alternative.  Up until this point, I failed (sometimes quite miserably) and was almost convinced that flour alternatives would never be as good as the real thing.

For a well-seasoned baker, the solution to the flat, floppy, dense pancake may seem obvious. But like I said, I like science, and I like knowing why science works, so when I set out yesterday to figure this thing out, I was so pleased to find that the solution was, in fact, quite simple.

What was it? Baking soda! Duh! 

When baking soda interacts with something acidic (like the buttermilk in buttermilk pancakes) it creates carbon dioxide, which gives pancakes their wonderful little air bubbles. As an alternative, many bakers use baking powder, which is a mixture of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and cream of tartar—it gives breads and other baked goods their fully qualities without the use of yeast.

Another interesting thing about baking soda is that it changes the browning properties of a food as it cooks. Without any, a pancake will fall flat, dense, and very light in color. Too much, and you’ll get a deep brown pancake with the taste of unconverted baking soda.

Keeping all of this in mind, I did a bit of mixing and matching until I came up with a recipe I think really knocked it out of the park. Ladies and gentlemen:

Paleo Almond Flour and Nut Butter Pancakes

Prep time: 5 minutes; Cook time: 20 minutes; Servings: 4-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 C. Almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp.baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 C. almond butter, softened
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/3 C. Coconut milk + 2 Tbsp extra
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp. honey softened, or pure stevia equivalent
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

Directions (super simple!)

  • Mix all of the dry ingredients (Almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, stevia) together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Make sure they’re all thoroughly mixed together.
  • Add the wet ingredients (almond butter, eggs, coconut milk, softened honey and melted coconut oil) and stir well. I used a hand blender to make sure everything was mixed appropriately and no nut butter or coconut oil chunks were left behind.
  • Heat a well-greased pan (grass fed butter or coconut oil) over medium heat. Using a 1/4 C. measure, dollop out the batter onto the pan and cook for about 1 minute on each side, or until bubbles start to form and pop on the top of the wet batter. I made my pancakes quite a bit larger, so those took 1.5-2 minutes on each side.
  • Serve drizzled in honey and cinnamon, or if you’re feeling adventurous, whip up a batch of homemade whipped cream and serve with berries on top!