Vanilla Cinnamon Espresso Hazelnut Butter

This recipe meets all the criteria (and more) of a great nut butter. It’s creamy, salty, nutty, and a little crunchy. It’s also subtly sweet with added elements of cinnamon, coffee, and vanilla. The coarsely ground coffee is what adds the slight grainy texture and crunch, and it’s magnificent. All in all, it’s a match made in heaven. I think it might be the best nut butter I’ve ever tasted — not even exaggerating. It’s out-of-this-world good! Enjoy it straight off the spoon or spread on apples, pears, bananas, or in my sunny cinnamon sammie recipe (instead of the sunflower seed butter). It’s also delicious drizzled into plain yogurt.

Also, note that I used decaf beans in this recipe, but you can use regular as well. I don’t like to consume caffeine after 12-ish p.m. and don’t tend to eat nut butter in the morning, so opted for decaf beans. Use whatever you like.

On another note, I’m off to NYC early this morning with my close friend, Heather. We have been looking forward to this trip for months and it’s finally here! We’ve got some fun things in the works, but are leaving plenty of room for trekking and exploring. We’re kicking off our trip this evening with, Sleep No More and I’m super excited…a little scared too! Be sure to follow me on Instagram if you want to see what I’m up to (and eating) in NYC!

Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • Heaping 2 cups raw hazelnuts
  • 1 Tbsp coarsely ground high-quality coffee beans (I used decaf beans from a local roaster)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (use 1/4 tsp if you want it less salty)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp coconut sugar, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast hazelnuts in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until fragrant and light golden brown. Give pan a shake halfway through roasting time.
  2. Once hazelnuts are cool enough to handle, remove some of the skins (doesn’t have to be perfect!). It’s up to you how much you want to remove, but less skin will result in a creamier consistency (the skins can also be bitter). You can also place the hazelnuts on a damp kitchen towel, fold it over, and rub the skins off inside the towel.
  3. Next, add hazelnuts (minus the skins) to the food processor. Blend for about 5-6 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Once creamy, add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust flavors as you like.
  4. Store in a glass jar at room temperature and use within a week. Will last a week or so longer if you store it in the refrigerator.
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Spiced Beef Stew with Cabbage, Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato

The weather has been chillier and damp the past few days, so this hearty, tasty, fall-spiced one-dish meal has been a sufficient belly warmer. Full of butternut squash, white sweet potato, red cabbage, ground beef, and flavorful spices, it’s a winning combination. Perfect for fall, in my opinion.

Also, this probably comes as no surprise, but the flavors are even more abundant the next day and the texture becomes a bit creamy too. The creaminess is a result of the squash breaking down more when reheated and stirred. The sweet potato holds together more since it’s starchier, but probably adds a dose of its own creaminess as well. Regardless, it’s legit.

Meanwhile, catch me next Wednesday, October 18 on KATU Afternoon Live! I’ll be making my pumpkin spice chocolate clusters that I shared last week. Stay tuned!

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1-2 tsp grass-fed ghee, butter, or other fat of choice
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • Splash of chicken broth, homemade or high-quality store-bought
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2.5 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste, if needed
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee or other fat of choice in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté a couple minutes. Then, add the ground beef and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes, breaking up the pieces with a spatula as needed.
  2. Next, add the cabbage and 1 tsp sea salt. Stir, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the butternut squash, sweet potato, broth, vinegar, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, remaining 1 tsp sea salt, and black pepper. Stir, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Check sweet potatoes and squash with a fork and if need be, cover and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust sea salt, pepper, and spices as desired.

Yields: 6 servings

 

Grain-Free Snickerdoodles

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I can’t believe it’s the holiday season! This year has been such a whirlwind and full of change, but it’s hard to believe that it’s already almost over. Regardless, I love the holiday season and am happily embracing it. I’m even going home to Michigan for Christmas this year…the first time in five years!

Anyway, since it is the time of year for goodies, I thought I’d try my hand at grain-free snickerdoodles. These did not disappoint and could not be any easier to make. The texture is soft and pillowy with a light crust on the edges. The flavor is slightly sweet, tangy and of course, cinnamon-y. The cream of tartar is actually what gives the cookie its signature tang and reacts with the baking soda to create the crackled appearance. The cream of tartar also accounts for the perfect chewiness.

When first researching snickerdoodle recipes, I was actually kinda thrown off by the cream of tartar. I had to do a little more digging, but soon understood that from a snickerdoodle purist standpoint, it’s a must. Traditionally, it was always used to make snickerdoodles and without it, it’d just be a crunchy cinnamon sugar cookie (it keeps sugar from crystalizing!). It truly is the age-old snickerdoodle secret and enough for me to want to include it in the recipe.

Another thing about a classic snickerdoodle recipe — there is no vanilla extract. This is actually quite rare for a cookie recipe, but from what I learned, vanilla mellows out the tangy flavor from the cream of tartar. Who knew? So, in an effort to keep the cookie more classic, I also opted for no vanilla. And, truthfully, I didn’t miss it.

On another note, I went back on KATU Afternoon Live in November and made my herbed turkey potato stew. Watch the segment HERE. Stay tuned because I’ll also be going back on December 16 to make my no-bake rum balls!

snickerdoodle-bite

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour (I used this brand)
  • 1 tsp non-irradiated cream of tartar (I used this brand)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted softened butter, preferably grass-fed
  • 3 Tbsp coconut sugar, plus another 3 Tbsp for rolling
  • 1 large egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or use a non-slip baking mat like this one. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, cream together the softened butter and 3 Tbsp of coconut sugar. Once light and fluffy, beat in the egg. Then, slowly add the dry mixture until combined.
  4. In a shallow dish, mix together the cinnamon and remaining 3 Tbsp of coconut sugar.
  5. Scoop out 1 Tbsp of dough and roll between hands to form a ball. Then, roll the ball in coconut sugar and cinnamon to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet. Gently flatten dough with palm of your hand.
  6. Bake in the prepared oven for 8-9 minutes or just until edges are barely brown.
  7. Cool on baking sheet for several minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Yields: 20 small cookies

Cinnamon Spice “Porridge”

cauliflower porridge

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at cauliflower “porridge” for some time now and finally got around to doing it. I was surprised how easy it was and how well the porridge held its shape. The texture came out just right, but I think a lot of that can be attributed to the shredded coconut. It adds a bit of thickness and a nice bite. I ate my porridge with fresh strawberries and blueberries mixed in, which was delicious, but you can garnish it with whatever you like. I’ve listed some topping suggestions in the recipe below. This is great hot or cold, and is pretty filling too. It also makes for a good treat!

Also, if you’re wondering if you can taste the cauliflower — yes, of course you can. It’s not overpowering, in my opinion, but is noticeable. I happen to like cauliflower, so it doesn’t bother me, but if you don’t care for cauliflower, this recipe probably isn’t for you. My husband and I are both fans of this concoction though. Hope you are too!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Medium head of cauliflower, riced in food processor
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand, which has no gums or stabilizers)
  • 3 Tbsp filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened almond butter
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I like this brand)
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • 2 eggs, preferably pasture-raised, whisked
  • Up to 1 Tbsp raw honey, optional

Topping Ideas:

  • Fresh berries
  • Banana slices
  • Drizzle of coconut milk
  • Chopped nuts
  • Cacao nibs
  • Extra drizzle of raw honey
  • Nut butter

Directions:

  1. Add the riced cauliflower and shredded coconut to a large saucepan. Then, add the remaining ingredients, EXCEPT for the whisked eggs and raw honey. Stir well over medium-low heat.
  2. Bring mixture to a simmer. Cover with lid and continue to simmer 20-25 minutes or until porridge is smooth and creamy. Stir occasionally.
  3. Once porridge is done simmering, remove from heat and add a small amount of the mixture to the whisked eggs to temper. Add a little more porridge and whisk again. Then, add the egg mixture to the porridge and stir well.
  4. Taste and adjust spices as desired. Add raw honey, if using and stir well.
  5. Serve warm or cold with toppings of choice.

Turmeric and Spice Granola

turmeric spice granola 2

I’ve been putting turmeric in nearly everything lately and even recently bought some fresh turmeric root for the first time ever (it was great in stir fry with fresh ginger). I know turmeric is incredibly good for you and has great flavor, but often forget about it when I’m choosing my spices for a dish. I think it’s become more of a habit to reach for it now and don’t plan to forget about this incredible spice!

I regularly make homemade grain-free granola and while whipping up a batch one day, decided to try adding a little turmeric to it. I liked the way it turned out a lot, but tweaked the recipe slightly the second time I made it and liked it even better. Hope you enjoy it too!

turmeric spice granola

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ~2.5 cups raw pumpkin seeds (I used raw sprouted ones)
  • ~2 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract (I like this brand)
  • 2-3 Tbsp raw honey or to taste
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 + 1/8 tsp ground turmeric

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Pour coconut, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds on a large baking sheet.
  3. In a bowl or glass measuring cup, mix together the coconut oil, vanilla, raw honey, sea salt and spices.
  4. Pour oil and spice mixture over the coconut and seeds. Stir well to coat. If need be, divide granola up between two baking sheets, but make sure it’s not spread too thin, so the coconut doesn’t burn!
  5. Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and stir, and place in oven for another 15 minutes. Stir again and if need be, place in oven for another 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it at this point to make sure it doesn’t get too dark!
  6. Cool completely and store in glass jars.

 

Curried Acorn Squash with Almond Butter

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Whenever I eat squash as a side with a meal, I always save it for last. To me, it’s like dessert and I prefer to savor each and every buttery bite (because you have to put butter on squash…come on!). Sometimes, I like it simple with only grass-fed butter and sea salt, but other times I like to add cinnamon and nutmeg, and maybe even a drizzle of raw honey if I’m feeling indulgent. This time, I decided to change it up a bit and add curry, cinnamon and more fat…both grass-fed butter and almond butter alike. The almond butter gets all melty and gooey, and is like heaven with the squash, butter and spices. Now, it’s really like dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash, cut in half and seeds scooped out
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter, divided
  • 1 tsp curry powder, divided (plus more if needed)
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond butter, divided (this brand is my favorite)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place squash halves flesh side down in a baking pan with about 1/4 inch of water. Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  2. After 40 minutes, remove from oven and flip squash over, so the flesh side is up. Spread 1 Tbsp of grass-fed butter on each half and allow to melt into the cavity (I like to poke some slits with the knife in the cavity, so the butter seeps inside). Sprinkle with sea salt and cinnamon to taste. Then, sprinkle 1/2 tsp of curry powder over each half. Spread spices around with a knife if need be.
  3. Place back in the oven flesh side up and bake for another 20 minutes or until tender. Once done, serve with 1 Tbsp of almond butter in each half.

Yields: 2 servings

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Bacon Harvest Medley

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The weather has definitely transitioned to fall here in Portland and this has made me really excited about Autumn’s bounty. The squashes, apples and pumpkin everything, along with pretty colors, dancing leaves and smell of warm spices. I definitely love summer, but fall is so magical and cozy. Not only that, but it gets us into the holiday season, which I absolutely adore.

With that said, I tossed together this fall-inspired saute the other day. It’s sweet and smoky with warm cinnamon spice. It makes for a delicious side dish, and I think it would pair especially well with chicken or turkey. Hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

  • 5 strips good quality peppered pork bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium beet, chopped into cubes
  • 1 large apple, chopped (I used braeburn)
  • 2 dried Turkish figs, chopped
  • 1/4 large green cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bone broth
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Himalayan sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and stir. Continue to cook for a few minutes, until bacon starts to sizzle and crisp up.
  2. Next, add the chopped beet and stir. Continue to cook for about five minutes over medium-low heat. Then, add the apple, dried figs, bone broth, vinegar, sea salt and cinnamon. Stir well and cook another two to three minutes.
  3. Add the chopped cabbage and stir. Season to taste with more sea salt, if desired.
  4. Once the cabbage has wilted down a bit and the beets are tender, remove from heat and serve.

 

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.