Paleo Holiday Recipes

Paleo_recipes

So, if you’re like me, then most people you know still have a modern diet and holiday parties are filled with lots of enticing foods that are loaded with flour, sugar and processed oils. I feel a little better when I bring something that is both tasty and healthy. I know I can eat that one dish, at least, without any guilt. The chocolate cream pie is now a new favorite and I’ll be making a few over the next couple weeks. Need an easy healthy cookie recipe for your party? The chocolate macaroon cookies below are no-bake and delish! There are links at the end to other recipes we’ve done that would be good for holiday parties, as well. And, if you’re not much of the make-from-scratch kind of person, then a big veggie tray is an easy, healthy addition to any party. My family’s favorites for the veggie tray are snap peas, sliced red peppers, grape tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and cauliflower. I’ve included below an easy ranch dressing made from avocado mayonnaise, so it’s Paleo-friendly. Enjoy your holidays and all the parties!

Easy Paleo/Primal Ranch Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup avocado mayonnaise (Try Primal Kitchen MAYO)
  • 1/2 tsp dried chives
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
  • Optional Primal Ingredient: 1/2 cup organic plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Caramel_Chocolate_coconut_cookie_recipe

Salted Caramel Chocolate Macaroon Cookies

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, & Vegan. Inspired by GI365.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, (from the can)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups finely shredded coconut
  • 1 cup big flake coconut
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chunks or chocolate chips (I used 80% dark chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup almond or cashew butter (optional)
  • 1/2 cup whole raw almonds (optional)

Instructions:

In a large saucepan, combine the coconut sugar, coconut oil, and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for 2-3 minutes until the caramel thickens, stirring constantly to keep the caramel from sticking.

Remove the caramel from the heat and add the vanilla, sea salt, and coconut. Stir to combine. If you’re using the almond or cashew butter, mix it in thoroughly.

Finally, add the almonds and chocolate chunks and combine, stirring as little as possible to keep the chunks intact. No worries, though – it’s still very good even if the chocolate melts.

Portion the cookie on a parchment lined baking sheet and let cool. This version of no-bakes takes a full 3-4 hours to fully set up, but you don’t have to wait that long because they’re really good warm and gooey.

Note: To keep this recipe 100% dairy free and vegan, be sure to use a chocolate that is dairy free.

paleo_chocolate_silk_pie_recipe

Paleo Chocolate Silk Pie

I had to find a great chocolate cream pie recipe because it’s my step-father’s favorite. This silky, decadent Paleo chocolate cream pie fits the bill! The pie is dairy-free as long as you use coconut oil instead of butter. This one’s for you Kenny!

Inspired by lafujimama.com.

For the chocolate almond crust:

  • 1 2/3 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil or butter

For the chocolate silk pie filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk, almond milk or pastured milk

For the coconut whipped cream:

  • 1 (13 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

1) Make the chocolate almond crust first.

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, and coconut sugar in a medium bowl. Add the egg and coconut oil to the bowl and beat with a mixer until a crumbly dough-like mixture forms. This may seem a little dry or hard to mix, but that’s normal. Just get everything well combined.

Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then let the pie crust cool completely before filling. Refrigerate to speed the cooling process if necessary.

2) Make the chocolate silk filling.

Place the eggs, honey, and vanilla extract in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted; do not overheat the chocolate!

With the blender running on low speed, pour the hot chocolate milk in over the other ingredients. Blend until the mixture is smooth and completely incorporated.

Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

3) Make the coconut whipped cream.

Refrigerate the coconut milk at least 24 hours before making the whipped cream. The makes the thick cream separate from the liquid and firm up. Chill a glass or metal bowl in the freezer 20 minutes before making the whipped cream.

Remove the lid from the can of coconut milk. The coconut cream will be very thick on the top. Gently scoop this part out and put it in the chilled bowl. Save the watery liquid for another recipe.

Using a mixer, whip the coconut cream until it is light and fluffy and peaks form, then mix in the honey and vanilla extract. Scoop on top of the pie and use a spatula to spread, or use a pastry bag to decorate the top of the pie with the whipped cream.


Holiday Special: Take 10% OFF Perfect Coconut Oil, detox supplements, probiotics, and eco-friendly stocking stuffers/non-toxic personal care with coupon code: HealthyHolidays


More Holiday Party Recipes

Check out these delicious, healthy recipes, perfect for your upcoming gatherings!

By Kerrie Bross

Avoid Holiday Weight Gain with These Tips from Dr. Oz

Dr.Oz_No_Weight_Gain_HolidaysBy Ali Wetherbee

On average, men and women gain about 5 pounds over the holidays. Turkey and stuffing, freshly baked Christmas cookies and eggnog, and your mom’s famous cheesy casserole can ruin even the best intentions. The holidays are probably not the time to start a new diet — too many temptations! — but you can keep your weight gain in check with both new & time-tested tips from Dr. Oz.

Drink White Tea with Lemon

Starting a week before a holiday gathering, make yourself a cup of white tea twice daily and squeeze some lemon into it. This antioxidant-rich drink can replace your cup of coffee, and will regulate the way your body responds to sugar. Dr. Oz calls this combination a “soothing spa treatment for your body,” and early research suggests that it may prevent your body from forming fat cells.

Weigh Yourself Twice a Week, and Keep Track of What You Eat

When you know you’ll see the results of your indulgence, you’re less likely to overeat. You will also be able to compensate with an extra workout or two if the number on the scale starts to creep up. Dr. Oz also recommends keeping a food diary, including even the taste-test spoonful of stuffing or the 3 chocolate chips you snagged while no one was looking.

Don’t Starve Before the Party

You know you’re in for a big meal at tonight’s office party, so you might as well skip breakfast and get ahead of the game, right? Wrong. Skipping meals slows down your metabolism and leaves you more likely to overeat. Instead, Dr. Oz suggests starting your day with a macronutrient breakfast smoothie, made with almond or soy milk, walnuts, banana, and canned pumpkin. Add in some cinnamon and a touch of ginger, and blend well. This smoothie has the perfect balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats — plus it’s filling, and tastes delicious!

Right Before the Party, Eat a High Fiber Cracker

Dr. Oz recommends eating a cracker containing 6 grams of fiber. It may not taste all that exciting, but he believes that it can slow the absorption of fats from your meal. This means you can indulge in your favorites without getting weighed down. You can also fill up on a healthy snack like string cheese or almonds beforehand, to avoid devouring tons of calorie-laden appetizers. Or, bring a veggie tray to the party, and gorge on low-calorie carrots and pepper strips instead of bacon-wrapped smokies.

Start Your Meal with Apple Cider Vinegar

When you sit down to eat, drink 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, or add some vinegar to your salad course. This helps your body to process sugar optimally. Most of our holiday favorites — even the veggie side dishes, such as sweet potato casserole or glazed carrots — are high in sugar, so we definitely want to set ourselves up to process all this extra sugar well. Dr. Oz calls these apple cider vinegar shots the “foundation of this holiday cheat sheet.”

Limit Alcohol

Alcoholic drinks are filled with calories, with eggnog topping the list at 450 calories a serving! Dr. Oz recommends opting for 100-calorie drinks such as light beer, wine, hard liquor on the rocks, or wine or liquor mixed with club soda. Alternate glasses of alcohol with glasses of water to stay hydrated and limit calories. Avoid becoming inebriated, as this will not only add to your liquid calorie intake, but also lower your inhibitions and leave you more likely to overindulge on the buffet or the dessert tray.

Eat Dessert, But Skip the Crust

Go ahead and help yourself to a slice of pie — but just eat the filling. The crust contains, on average, an extra 125 calories and 7 grams of fat. This will allow you to join in the fun and yumminess without feeling deprived or ruining your efforts to prevent weight gain. Another trick Dr. Oz suggests is buying a pre-made dessert on the way to the party, instead of baking one yourself ahead of time. This will eliminate that tendency to sneak bites the night before.

Exercise to Compensate

Aim to get an extra 20 minutes of exercise a day, and step it up a notch if you know you overdid it at last night’s holiday gathering. Maintaining your weight can be as simple as making sure your calorie expenditure meets or exceeds your calorie intake. If you don’t have time for an extra-long gym workout, try to fit in a brisk walk in the morning, or pull up a short workout video on YouTube before making dinner. Or try fitting in mini calorie-busting moves: While you’re finishing your holiday shopping, park far from the entrance and carry your bags back to your car. Take the stairs at the office, or take brief breaks throughout the day to do some jumping jacks and squats. Start a dance party at your family gathering, and get everyone up and moving!

Check out our blogs from earlier this year to see what weight loss supplements Dr. Oz recommends:

Dr. Oz 2 Week Diet:  The New Year’s Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Method Part 1

Boost Your Metabolism & Burn More Calories, the Dr. Oz Way

Recommendations from Dr. Oz Part 2: CLA for Weight Loss

 

Bust Holiday Stress

By Ali Wetherbee

The holidays can be fun and magical and ever-so-memorable — but this busy time of year can also really stress your mind and body. From holiday shopping to fighting traffic, from being cooped up indoors with germs to being cooped up with the in-laws, there are countless hits to our time, our finances, our health, our peace and sanity. We don’t eat as well and don’t have time to exercise. All of this leaves us especially vulnerable to all those colds and flus going around. So before you wind up in bed with a box of tissues and a hot water bottle, try these ideas. 

In Your Medicine Cabinet:

Instead of toxic, chemical-laden medicines, stock your medicine cabinet with organic vitamins and herbs and homeopathic formulas. Take these daily, but especially when you are under unusual stress or already sick.

Start with Vitamin C

Whole Food Vitamin C belongs in every family’s medicine cabinet. Take it daily to keep your immune system functioning optimally, and begin taking it more frequently or in higher doses as soon as you feel something coming on. Vitamin C, when taken daily, can shorten the duration of the common cold. Taking one or two extra doses when symptoms first appear can thwart a cold before it really gets started! It also prevents and reverses free radical damage caused by oxidative stress, UV rays, and environmental toxins. Vitamin C is necessary for serotonin production, so this is a must-have for anyone suffering from depression or seasonal affective disorder.

Try:

Adapt Better to Stress

Take adaptogens during intense periods of stress. Adaptogenic herbs help you adapt to physical and mental stress and keep the body in balance. They may be particularly useful if you are experiencing anxiety, fatigue, or depression as a result of stress or tension. Stress increases cortisol levels, which may lead to chronic inflammatory conditions, weight gain, fatigue, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, and illness. Adaptogens such as rhodiola and cordyceps lower high cortisol levels, minimizing the harmful effects of stress on the body.

Try:

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Stress can disrupt your sleep/wake cycles, making it hard to fall asleep and sleep through the night. This leaves you even more prone to feeling stressed, and you wind up stuck in a vicious cycle. These all-natural formulas can ensure you get an adequate amount of sleep, whether you are up late wrapping gifts or at your company Christmas party past bedtime. Healthy sleep is critical to a healthy immune system, and those who get poor-quality or insufficient sleep are more likely to succomb to colds, flu, and viruses.

Try:

Support Your Immune System

Take an immune support formula to keep your immune system in tip top shape. These are an excellent way to boost your body’s resistance to illness during this stressful time of year. Inadequate sleep, poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, increased exposure to germs, aging, and chronic health conditions can all leave you much more susceptible to illness, but these supplements strengthen the immune system, naturally.

Try:

Treat Your Cold Naturally

If illness hits despite your best efforts, you will be glad to have a medicine cabinet stocked with healing herbs, vitamins, and supplements! Keep these items on hand for when you start to feel stuffy or achy. Calm Balm is an all-natural alternative to petroleum-based chest rubs, and is great for colds, aches, and pains. Manuka Honey Nuggets help soothe sore throats with organic antibacterial ingredients.

Try:

‘Tis the Season to Stay Healthy!

Keeping healthy and fighting stress is not just a physical process. Every choice we make and each action we take can leave us more stressed or more relaxed, sicker or healthier. Try these tips to stay on track toward a healthier holiday season:

Learn to Say No

You do not need to attend every party or gathering you are invited to! Pick your favorites and skip the rest. The same goes for gift swaps among friends or at the office. Feel free to opt out of those that bring you more stress than pleasure.

Designate one day a week as a “day off” and avoid errands, shopping, planning, ordering, and organizing for the entire day. Instead, read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk, or do something else relaxing. If an entire day seems unrealistic, aim for at least one stress-free evening a week. 

Focus on the Important Things in Life

Spend time with your family. Your kids or grandkids won’t remember every present under the tree or how perfectly the gifts were wrapped, but they will remember the days spent baking cookies, playing games, building snowmen, and cuddling by the fire. Take time out each day to do something that builds memories.

Be grateful. At the end of the day, instead of thinking about all the things you didn’t get done, spend some time thinking about all the things you are thankful for. Keep a Gratitude Jar with scraps of paper for family members to write down each happy moment or blessing, and read through the papers every night at dinner. Bake cookies for someone who has helped you out sometime this year. Bring gifts or food to those who are less fortunate.

Get Plenty of Fresh Air and Exercise

Go for a jog before work or take an evening walk with the family to see neighborhood light displays. Enjoy winter sports such as sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. Build a snow fort with the kids or have an improptu dance party. It’s fine to do your workout indoors if the cold is too harsh for you, but also bundle up in a blanket and sit on your front stoop for a few minutes with a hot cup of tea and breathe in the fresh air.

Nourish Your Soul

Engage in soul-friendly practices. While you’re sitting at a red light or stuck in traffic, take some deep breaths and relax your shoulders. When someone cuts you in line at the store or pushes you aside to grab the very last can of cranberry sauce, take some time to think loving, forgiving thoughts about this rude person. Be present and live in the moment instead of spending the entire holiday season tallying your mental lists. Practice yoga, mindfulness, or meditation. All of these things will reduce your stress load and leave you stronger, healthier, and happier.

Planet-Friendly Gift Wrap

envirosax-gift-wrap

Order now & save 10% on 3 or more Envirosax bags with coupon code: EcoWrap

By Ali Wetherbee

Each year, 4 million tons of wrapping paper and gift bags end up in the landfill.

That is enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. This holiday season, instead of adding to all the waste, why not be part of the solution? Envirosax come in many colors and patterns to suit all of your gift recipients. Aim to wrap at least 3 presents in Envirosax this year. If each family did this, we would keep 13,500,000 feet of waste out of the garbage!

The bag itself becomes an extra gift that will surely get lots of use. Kerrie, our owner here at Peaceful Planet, once found herself on a family vacation with too many souvenirs to fit in her suitcase. Fortunately, she had a couple of Envirosax stashed in her purse, and was able to pack one as her carry-on for the flight home. Envirosax, and Omnisax by Envirosax, are stylish, lightweight, waterproof, and fold up small. Each bag has the potential to replace a whopping 5,000 plastic bags during its lifetime!

Many possibilities

These cloth bags are not just great gift wrap; they are also a perfect stand-alone gift that will get constant use. Every time someone bags their groceries with Envirosax, they are taking several plastic or paper bags out of production, saving trees or petroleum, and keeping bags out of the landfill. This truly is the gift that keeps on giving — to the planet!

Envirosax are also ideal for:

  • Running errands
  • Carting books home from the library
  • Toting towels and sunscreen to the beach
  • Carrying gym clothes
  • Hauling diapers, bottles, and burp cloths
  • Transporting gear to & from dance, karate, soccer, and other sport practices & classes
  • Stashing the knitting or sewing projects you’re working on
  • Picnicking
  • Packing for trips, sleepovers, and overnights
  • Organizing closets full of bulky, odd-shaped items
  • Keeping small toys and sets together
  • Storing seasonal clothes or items

They are a great carry-all and even cute enough to use as a purse! Add an Envirosax to Christmas stockings, give it alone, or use it in place of wrapping paper or disposable gift bags.

Check out this video to learn how to wrap gifts in Envirosax!

Save 10% off your order of 3 or more Envirosax! Just use coupon code EcoWrap at checkout. Sale ends 12/31/14.