Posts

MY FAVORITE NEW PLANT-BASED FINDS AT EXPO WEST 2018

Natural Products Expo West was this past weekend.  It’s the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event, where brands release their new products and product lines.  It’s a jam packed weekend full of free samples, networking, snacking, snapping photos/videos and blisters…so many blisters!  For a Natural Products Expo, there sure was a ton of junk food being disguised as health food.  Like 99% of it – no joke!  Foods filled with canola oil, cane sugar, gluten, additives, preservatives, and gums.  I’m the one at these things flipping over boxes, asking for the ingredient list, and scanning for anything suspect.  I asked the brands a million questions, like “Is this organic?  Are the nuts sprouted?  How are those mushrooms extracted?”  And when all of the answers matched what I wanted to hear, I stuck around, talked to the founders, and taste-tested a bite (or two!).

There were a number of companies there that I already love and rave about, but I wanted to share some new brands and products that you will be hearing a lot more about in the coming months.  Before I get into it, I do have one caveat.  My diet is mainly comprised of fresh, mostly raw, some cooked vegetables, but sometimes a girl needs a snack-y food, some chocolate, or a bit of a nut-based spread.

So, here were my favorite new finds this year:

Michelle’s RawFoodz Dips

Ingredients:  Filtered Water, Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Hemp Seeds, Nutritional Yeast, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Onion Powder, Sea Salt, Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, Organic Minced Garlic, Organic White Chia Seeds, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Dill

Miyoko’s Cultured Cream Cheese

photo courtesy of Miyoko’s

Ingredients:  Organic Cashews, Filtered Water, Organic Coconut Cream, Organic Green Onions, Sea Salt, Cultures, Organic White Pepper

Vivoo Organic Raw Chocolate Bars

Ingredients:  Organic Raw Cacao Mass, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Siberian Pine Nuts, Organic Raw Cacao Butter, Organic Reishi

Healthy Crunch Kale Chips

Ingredients:  Organic Kale, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Cucumber, Organic Lemon Juice, Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil, Nutritional Yeast, Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Dill Weed, Himalayan Salt

Sprout Living Drinkable Oats

Ingredients (all organic):  Gluten Free Oat Flour, Pea Protein, Coconut Crystals, Heirloom Red Banana, Matcha Blend (Matcha, Lucuma, Maca Root, Spirulina), Sunflower Seed Protein, Pumpkin Seed Protein, Golden Flaxseed, Whole Food Vitamins & Minerals (Guava, Lemon, Sesbania, Amla, Holy Basil, Annatto), Sea Buckthorn, Himalayan Pink Sea Salt, White Mushroom, Stevia Leaf

 

Look out for these products either online or hitting the shelves soon! 

SaveSave

SaveSave

HIGH-QUALITY & PASTURE-RAISED MEAT

I gave up eating meat in late 2009, not for any moral or ethical reason, but because it just started to gross me out.  I guess my decision to stop eating meat was more for health reasons than anything.  The more I read about veganism, the more I began to believe that the human body is not designed to digest animal protein.  Not only that, but learning about all of the hormones and antibiotics animals are fed made me give it up cold-turkey (no pun intended).  I would still eat the occasional piece of fish or raw goat cheese, but I considered myself “vegan-ish.”  I really thrived off a plant-based diet.  Because animal protein is much harder to digest, I had all that extra digestive energy to use.

 

photo courtesy of Primal Pastures via Instagram

 

But then a few months ago, I started craving meat again, so I gave in here and there.  Some days I can’t get enough meat, and other days I feel grossed out by it again.  I’m listening to my body!  And most recently, because I’m dealing with some gut issues (SIBO – more on this another time!), meat is one of the only foods I can handle.  I still am eating a mostly plant-based diet, but I do want to make sure that the animal protein I am eating is of the highest-quality – organic, pasture-raised, free of hormones/antibiotics/drugs, and fed it’s natural diet.

 

photo courtesy of Primal Pastures via Instagram

WHY?

  • To avoid harmful toxins, antibiotics, hormones and other drugs that can disrupt your hormones and immune system, and put you at higher risk for cancer and heart disease.
  • Pasture-raised animals are lower in overall fat, lower in Omega-6 fats, higher in Omega-3 fats, and higher in CLA – making them more heart-healthy.
  • Higher in vitamins and minerals.
  • Decreased risk of food poisoning.
  • Better for the environment, because it decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

I’ve compiled a list of a few companies that I love and trust, that I’ve been sourcing my meats from.  Not only do I trust that I’m getting the healthiest meats around, but they taste so much better than anything you’d pick up at the grocery store.

 

photo courtesy of Primal Pastures via Instagram

US WELLNESS MEATS

US Wellness Meats has a wide range of grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, duck, organ meats, wild seafood, bone broths, fats, and even snacks.  I recently ordered a whole chicken, chicken gizzards, beef liver, and bone broth from them, and everything was delicious!

PRIMAL PASTURES

I first found this company on Instagram, where I saw their animals roaming around, looking so happy and free!  You can also take a tour of their farm, in California.  A wide range of meats, organ meats, and broths, as well.

BUTCHER BOX

This company creates a curated box of high-quality beef, chicken, or pork.  They also give you the option to customize, which is great!  Last year, I bought a box for my sister and her husband, who loved it!

 

Do you eat meat?  Where do you buy your animal products from?

 

 

 

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SINGLE-SERVING CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFIN (sugar-free, paleo, keto, SIBO-friendly)

I don’t know about you, but I have zero self-control when it comes to dessert.  Sweet treats don’t last more than a day in my house, and even that is generous.  It’s so serious that I even bought a $70 time locking container to put treats in (that I quickly returned, because $70?!?!).  Every time I bake a batch of cookies or muffins, I immediately give most of them away to clients, friends, strangers on the street.  Anything to get them out of my house, where I will likely inhale the whole batch within hours.

 

 

 

Why don’t I just stop making them, you ask?  Because I love healthy treats and I don’t think life is meant to be lived without them.  The only answer, then, is to create single-serving healthy treats that’ll leave me feeling satisfied without 11 other servings  tempting me with their deliciousness.  And, apparently, I’m not the only one.  I asked my Instagram family if they lack self-control like I do and the resounding answer was YES!  Which is what leads me here, to the first of many single-serving dessert recipes I’ll be creating.

 

 

I was amazed how good this muffin came out, because coconut flour can be challenging to bake with.  It was my first attempt at creating it, and it turned out perfectly!   Let me know if you try this muffin recipe, and comment below with some other single-serving desserts you’d like to see!

 

CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFIN FOR ONE (sugar-free, paleo, keto, SIBO-friendly)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 muffin
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Coconut Flour
  • Pinch of Vanilla Powder or Extract
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla Ghee (unflavored will work fine, too)
  • 2 tbsp Almond Milk
  • Stevia, to taste (I used Omica Organics Stevia and used 10 drops)
  • 1-2 tbsp Chocolate Chips or Chunks (I used ½ Addictive Wellness Chocolate, chopped up)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
  2. Line a muffin tray with 1 parchment muffin liner.
  3. Mix the coconut flour, vanilla, and sea salt until well-combined.
  4. Then, mix in the ghee, almond milk, and stevia until well combined.
  5. Next, fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into the muffin liner and place in pre-heated oven. Immediately turn the oven down to 350º.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Be patient, and let it cool down for at least 10 minutes (this will help it not fall apart!).

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (paleo +vegan +keto)

These might seriously be the most delicious cookies I’ve ever tasted.  They are my go-to for every potluck and they are always devoured!  Even people who eat “real” cookies (made with wheat flour, dairy, and sugar) love them.  Trust me, they are a hit.  With super simple and minimal ingredients, they’re so easy to throw together, too.

When I’ve made paleo and vegan chocolate chip cookies in the past, they never have that same moist, chewy texture I was looking for.  But these definitely do!

Just throw all of dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix together until well-combined.

 

Then add the wet ingredients and mix until well-combined.  The mixture should be pretty crumbly, but once you roll them into balls, it should stick together.  You can fold in the chocolate chips at this point, too.

 

 

There’s already very minimal sweetener in this, but if you’re looking to make these keto-friendly, you can leave out the sweetener entirely.  Just let them sit a bit longer (another 10-15 minutes or so) after you bake them to let them firm up.  You can also leave out the chocolate chips, as pictured below, and they’re still pretty yummy!

My patience is always tested (and pretty much always fails!) when I pull these babies out of the oven to let them cool down.  Fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies are my vice, and I can’t help but to sneak a taste.

 

 

This recipe is in my free recipe book along with 9 other delicious paleo + vegan, gut-friendly creations.

If you try these, I’d love to hear how they turned out!

 

THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (paleo +vegan +keto)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Mix together almond meal, sea salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Add the melted coconut oil, sweetener, and vanilla, until well-combined.
  4. Gently fold in the chunks of the chocolate bar or chocolate chips.
  5. Form the mixture into little balls, and lightly flatten onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes, or until cookie edges begin to brown.
  7. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes, then dig in!

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave