Desserts, recipes, Sides

Pumpkin-Spice Zucchini Muffins (Gluten-Free, Reduced Sugar)

Summer is quickly coming to a close. The air is getting colder and I’ve traded my flip-flops and t-shirts for flannels and boots. The once prolific zucchini plants in our garden are winding down and fall flavors are once again beginning to hit the shelves.

As a final salute to summer and a welcoming wave to autumn, I decided to make some pumpkin-spice zucchini muffins. They are gluten-free and have less added sugar than your typical muffin. But they are not lacking in flavor, thanks to a generous helping of pumpkin-spice, fresh zucchini and sweet dates. If you’d like a little crunch, feel free to add in some walnuts!

This recipe makes about 20 muffins, which are perfect for breakfasts, snacks, or desserts. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

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Condiments, Sides

Tangy Sauerkraut Quick Pickles (AIP, Gluten-Free, Ketogenic,Low-FODMAP, Paleo, Vegan)

Last fall my aunt taught me how to make sauerkraut from scratch. We made several batches of it with green, red, and savoy cabbage. My favorite sauerkraut turned out to be the red cabbage variety. It not only looked beautiful due to its ruby red coloring, but it also had the most interesting flavor; sort of tangy, with hints of fruitiness.

When we ran out of the red sauerkraut, the jar remained half-full of flavorful brine. Since we had worked so hard to make it, I didn’t have the heart to throw it out and determined to find a use for it. But what do you do with left-over sauerkraut juice?

It sat in our fridge for a while before I figured out a solution: quick pickles.

My inspiration was a couple of giant homegrown cucumbers that I also didn’t know what to do with. Big cucumbers tend to be very bitter. I hoped that soaking them for a couple days in the sauerkraut brine would either mask or neutralize their unpleasant taste.

Turns out that quick pickles was the perfect solution for my big cucumbers. When I tried them today, I couldn’t taste a hint of bitterness. My taste buds were greeted only by tangy, crunchy pickle perfection!

So there you have it. Quick pickles: the solution to the problem of big cucumbers and leftover sauerkraut brine! I’ve included a short recipe below if you want to give these tangy sauerkraut quick pickles a shot!

How to Make Tangy Sauerkraut Quick Pickles

Step One: Eat Sauerkraut! Put in on your burgers, sneak it into salads, and enjoy it straight out of the jar!

Step Two: Save Your Brine! When you are finished with your jar of sauerkraut, don’t throw the brine away. Keep it in a quart-sized mason jar until you have two cups of tangy, salty deliciousness.

Step Three: Slice Your Cukes. Pick some cucumbers from your garden, or buy a couple from the store. Halve them, remove the seeds, and cut them into spears.

Step Four: Dunk the Spears. Submerge your spears into the brine, making sure they are completely covered. Return them to the fridge and forget about them for a couple days.

Step Five: Serve and Enjoy! Congratulate yourself for making homemade pickles and celebrate by savoring the crunchy, tangy goodness.

Stay tuned for next week! I’ll be sharing a sushi recipe that features these tasty pickles.

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Entrées, recipes, Sides

Creamy Lemon-Leek Chicken Soup (AIP*, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Ketogenic, Paleo, Vegan)

Leeks are one of those vegetables I used to walk past in the grocery store because, until this week, I had no idea what to do with them! But our latest box from Misfits Market included two leeks, so I decided to learn a little bit about this versatile vegetable in order to cook it properly.

What is a leek and how do you cook it?

Leeks are a vegetable and part of the genus Allium, which also contains Chinese onions, chives, garlic, onions, shallots and scallions. They have a light, onion-like flavor and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways including boiled, fried, and raw.

After perusing some delicious-looking recipes online, I decided to use my leeks in a soup. I wasn’t in the mood for a potato-leek soup though, so I thought I’d use up some of my many lemons and leftover chicken to make a Thai-inspired soup.

The result was nothing short of amazing!

This flavorful soup will quickly become one of your favorite comfort foods. It features creamy coconut milk, zingy lemons, hot peppers, and fresh leeks which lend a mild, onion-like flavor. Since this soup has an oriental flair to it, I like to serve it with or over rice.

This soup is makes a perfect weeknight meal for anyone on a dairy-free, gluten-free, Ketogenic or Paleo diet, but it can also be adapted to suit an Autoimmune Paleo or Vegan diet as well.

If you want to make it AIP compliant, substitute the peppers and beans for carrots and parsnips or another veggie of your choosing. It won’t have the same kick to it, but it’ll still be tasty. If you want to make it friendly for a vegan or vegetarian lunch or dinner, leave out the chicken.

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Desserts, recipes, Sides

Pumpkin-Spice Plantain Chips (Gluten-Free, Low-FODMAP, Paleo, and Vegan)

Every year for as long as I can remember, my family has had a small farm stand on the side of the road where we sell sunflowers and garden produce. It’s been a busy season for my dad, so this year he put me in charge of picking the flowers and opening and closing the stand every day. I’ve been getting up early to put out the stand, early enough to see the sunrise, and I’ve been noticing a cool, crispness to the air that July lacked. Fall is on the way.

But it’s not just the weather that’s pointing to autumn. In our garden, the pumpkins are almost ready for picking and some of the leaves on the nearby trees are starting to turn brown and fall.

The radio advertisers are also telling me it’s fall. Time for pumpkin-spice everything, they say! Buy this pumpkin-spice latte and that pumpkin-spice doughnut. I love pumpkin-spice, but a lot of the foods they want you to buy are full of added sugars, preservatives, and artificial flavors. Yuck!

If you’re in the mood for fall food, but don’t want to eat junk, I have a healthy recipe for you that will satisfy your sweet tooth and your craving for pumpkin-spice. This recipe is great because it takes minimal effort to prepare and only has three ingredients. It’s suitable for people following a variety of diet plans too: Low-FODMAP, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian and Whole30.

This recipe calls for ripe plantains, so look for plantains that are yellow or almost black. The darker they are, the sweeter they will be. Alternatively, if you’d like a more savory chip, use unripe (green) plantains because they tend to be less sweet.

Enjoy!

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recipes, Sides

Oven Roasted Broccolini (AIP, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegan)

Yesterday was the first time I have ever eaten broccolini in my twenty (plus a few) years of existence. I wish I had discovered it sooner because it’s delicious!

Broccolini, or baby broccoli, is a hybrid vegetable similar to regular broccoli, but different in a few ways. In particular, it has smaller florets, a longer, thinner stalk, and a slightly different (and in my opinion, better) taste. It’s slightly sweet and reminiscent of asparagus.

Broccolini can be served in a variety of ways including raw, boiled or steamed. I chose to roast it, which brought out more of its flavor and added a bit of crispness.

Here’s a basic recipe for Roasted Broccolini for you to enjoy as a tasty side.

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Sides

Summer Citrus Salad (Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian)

Looking for the perfect summer salad? This is it!

This recipe combines bitter kale, sweet balsamic, juicy grapefruit, and crunchy walnuts to create a salad that is nothing short of amazing! My only regret when made this was that I didn’t make more. (And that’s saying something, because I don’t even like raw kale!)

The one trick that takes this salad from meh to mmm is to peel the skin off of each grapefruit section. It’s a fiddly process, but it brings out the natural sweetness of the grapefruit and improves the texture of the salad.

I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we did!

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