Honey-Sweetened GAPS Peanut Butter Cups

Honey-Sweetened Peanut Butter Cups | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

These peanut butter cups might be my greatest recipe creation to date.  They just turned out exactly like I wanted, and that is so satisfying!  I used to make a version of peanut butter cups that had coconut oil in both the chocolate and peanut butter mixtures, but I would have to store them in the freezer and they really didn’t taste like what I wanted.  Now I know that what I was missing was the proper fat.

Cocoa butter has a melting point around 100 degrees which, when compared to coconut oil’s 76 degrees, makes it a much better fat to use in homemade candies that you want to set up and harden at room temperature.  Plus it has such a wonderful understated flavor, smooth and chocolatey.  Not to mention the fact that the company on my resource page supplies a very high quality cocoa butter: food grade, organic, and raw-processed.  The scent and flavor should be rich yet delicate.

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Grain-Free Shortbread Bars with Salted Caramel (Guest Post at Nourished Kitchen)

Last week I shared my recipe for Grain-Free Shortbread Wedges, crumbly and buttery and just in time for the holidays.  Now it is time to share how I morph that recipe into delectable shortbread bars that are delicious on their own, but go completely over the top when dipped in caramel and sprinkled with sea salt.  They are perfect on their own, but really shine when paired with afternoon tea, or piping hot coffee or hot cocoa…

Like the sound of this?  Read the rest at Nourished Kitchen where I am guest posting today!

REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Buttermilk Ranch Dressing


homemade buttermilk ranch dressing

(This recipe is an excerpt from my book: Real Food 101.  CLICK HERE)

I know that ranch dressing is arguably not in the realm of Real Food 101 for everyone reading here.  But oh my it certainly does hit the spot for anyone who grew up in my family.  We used to put ranch dressing on everything!  It wasn’t just for fries, it was also for salads, meats, veggies, and anything else savory.  The problem: we were eating bottled salad dressing or dressing from restaurants when we were out.

Growing up, the only less-offensive version of Ranch dressing was when we would buy the ranch flavoring packets and at least make our own from mayonnaise and sour cream at home.  But that isn’t much better since the packets contain MSG, the mayonnaise had industrial waste oils in it, and we used to buy fat free sour cream.  It is memories like this that make me feel so grateful that I started embracing whole foods.  To top it all off, I learned that fats are nourishing and healthy.

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Wintertime Snack: Shortbread Wedges & Peppermint Hot Cocoa

This recipe is an excerpt from my Natural Cocktails e-book, which is perfect for the homemade mixologist who doesn’t want any fake colors or flavors in their cocktails.  I use this shortbread recipe as a garnish for one of the cocktails in the book.  And I think this peppermint hot cocoa would be amazing with a little Creme de Menthe added to it.

There is a line in The Polar Express where the narrator talks about the children on the train drinking hot cocoa “as thick and rich as melted chocolate bars”.  I always imagined what that might be like, snuggled up in my jammies on a magical train ride to the North Pole.  Immediately after making this cup of hot chocolate I was transported to that imagery again. This hot cocoa looks exactly like what I pictured as a child when I read that line in the book.  Paired with a simple homemade shortbread cookie, this is one of the most decadent yet subtlely sweet treats that I have made this season.

All you need for an excellent shortbread are clean, wholesome ingredients.  They will speak for you without any frills as long as you buy quality butter, salt, flour, and whole sweetener.  Grass-fed butter, yellow and nutrient-dense with vitamin K2.  Almond flour, ground fine with a gentle and slight natural sweetness.  Sea salt, unrefined with trace minerals still in tact.  Raw honey, fragrant and sweet.  Coconut flour, powdery and dense providing a crumbly texture in our cookie.

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REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Lacto-Fermented Ketchup

How to Make Lacto-Fermented Ketchup | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS #ferment #lactofermented #DIY #probiotics #realfood

This post is part of a series.  You can buy the Volume One of the e-book containing several REAL FOOD 101 tutorials here: To buy the REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared, click here.  Full color photos, step by step tutorials, and more.  Only $14.

When you start reading labels at the grocery store, you may find yourself considering the idea of just making your own condiments.  Fortunately making ketchup is pretty simple, because it sure is tasty on all the grass-fed hamburgers and hot dogs at my house!  But ketchup is quite versatile too.  We also use it as a base for cocktail sauce and barbaque sauce on a regular basis.  I have not tried it, but I am guessing fry sauce would be amazing too.  Yummmm…okay, stay focused!

But most of all, I love that this ketchup is lacto-fermented, which means that it has probiotic goodness coursing through it.  When you add the whey and let it sit out overnight, the good bacteria grow and make your ketchup good for your gut.  Plus, this ketchup isn’t a compromise.  There is no need to worry about the price tag or the content: it costs very little, and there are not any ingredients to dread!

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Crispy Almond-Crusted Mahi Mahi

Crispy almond crust generously seasoned with spices gives way to flaky mahi mahi drenched in butter and lemon.  Mahi mahi is a versatile fish, easily meandering through various recipes and spices to blend beautifully and seamlessly into your dinner creation.  In this case, the mahi mahi is slightly spicy with a salty crunch of almond.  Baked in grass-fed butter, each bite drips with golden liquid rich in vitamin K2.

This savory dinner is particularly satisfying and simple to prepare and is perfect for getting in your weekly seafood.   Traditionally, seafood is an essential part of a nutrient-dense diet.  I like using mahi mahi in this dish, because it is mild-flavored and easy to find year round in farmer markets and health food stores.  Plus it is a favorite among my children who find the fish easy to cut and eat themselves.  They always ask for seconds during this dinner!

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REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Traditional Sauerkraut

How to Make Traditional Sauerkraut | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS #realfood #ferment #lactofermented #probiotics #DIY(To buy the REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared, click here.  Full color photos, step by step tutorials, and more.  Only $14.)

I am not sure there is a simpler ferment to make than sauerkraut.  After all, it is only cabbage and salt.  And time.  You wait, letting the flavors grow and shift and change until you are left with a humble but power-packed probiotic vegetable.  Sauerkraut is full of raw enzymes and probiotics, not to mention that it is a very good source of vitamin C after the fermentation process.

I like to eat more sauerkraut and other lacto-fermented vegetables in the wintertime.  We can all use more vitamin C during cold and flu season to support our immune systems.  I have read that seafaring people would take barrels of sauerkraut out with them to sea, since fresh produce would be scarce, and the vitamin C would protect against scurvy.  I hope that it true, because it’s a great story!

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Beware of Soy: A Classic Eggnog Recipe (with a dairy-free version)


This eggnog recipe is included in my Natural Cocktails ebook, and is one of many, many delicious tried and true drinks I have crafted over the last few years.  Enjoy!

This eggnog is pleasantly thick with rich egg yolks, and grass-fed cream and whole milk, not from thickeners and stabilizers that mimic what nature can do simply with whole foods.  Add a few pinches of warming spices and sweet honey and you have yourself a holiday drink that is nourishing and festive.  Plus, did I mention that this version does not include egg whites which are best eaten cooked (they have enzyme inhibitors!), and that we blend it up in seconds in the blender?  Okay, now I have your attention.

Well now you can have a quick version of eggnog that does not have to compromise on quality ingredients.  A guilty pleasure just because a regular pleasure!  But most importantly, now you can make goofy eggnog comments like my husband who, every year without fail, says “So eggy. So noggy.” as we sip.  Or something like “you can really taste the nog”.  It is just that fun to make eggnog, I’m telling you!

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Butternut Squash “Sweet Potato” Casserole with Pecan Crunch

Butternut Squash "Sweet Potato" Casserole | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Naturally sweet squash blended with rich grass-fed butter, warming spices, vanilla, and a tangy swirl of sour cream, this simple side dish is perfect for a Thanksgiving banquet table.  It is far from the overly-sugared version we grew up with, covered with corn-syrup mini marshmallows.  Topped with gently sweetened pecans, this butternut bake is crispy on top and smooth in the middle.  Scoop it onto plates for a side dish that can beautifully round out the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and stuffing fare.

This tummy-friendly casserole is a delicious and less-starchy version of candied yams or sweet potato casserole.  Butternut squash is easier to digest, as well as providing many vitamins and nutrients during the wintertime when it is in season.  I also took care to sweeten it just so, making the flavors enhanced by the honey instead of overpowering it.

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Thanksgiving Recipe Collection

It’s that time of year when you may be on the lookout for a Thanksgiving menu that covers all the sweet and savory tastes that your heart desires.  I have a few that I have written myself, and the rest I have collected from some of my favorite blogs to piece together into my perfect Thanksgiving meal.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!


Main Course: