New and Improved: Real Food 101 is TWICE as long, and now in full color paperback

REAL FOOD 101 Guide | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

When I picked up a copy of Nourishing Traditions at my library all those years ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  It was the best kind of crazy whirlwind to learn in one innocent weekend about why saturated fats are good for me, why I needed to eat more seafood, why local produce contained more vitamins, why raw milk wasn’t going to kill me after all, and what my ancestors generally ate.  (Hint: it’s not what the paleo people say.)

Fast forward a few years, and after much trial and error in my own kitchen, I have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to real food.  I know what my kids like, I know the shortcuts that work, and I know which recipes taste best after trying out several variations on say, lacto-fermented dill pickles.  In Real Food 101, I have compiled my experience and done the work for you.

Plus, Real Food 101 is new and improved, with more than twice as many recipes as it’s original printing.  And it’s now available exclusively on Amazon, for your convenience and peace of mind when it comes to the quality of the content.

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Real Cocktails: The Perfect Margarita

Real Cocktails: The Perfect Margarita | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

There is nothing quite like drinking a margarita with fresh lime.  Perhaps it’s because I grew up in California, and now I live in Arizona, or perhaps it’s because I have always loved Mexican food, but a margarita might be my favorite drink of all time.

Well, at least today it is.  Or at least, in the summertime that’s usually the case!

A margarita is a simple and delicious as it gets.  All you need on hand are limes, tequila, and homemade orange liqueur.  The orange liqueur takes a little thinking ahead, but I promise you that it is so worth it.  Orange peels steeping in rich Cognac, then sweetened with honey or coconut sugaryum!

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Traditional Irish Soda Bread with Orange Zest and Bourbon-Soaked Black Currants

Slightly sweetened with rich whole cane sugar and orange zest, this Irish soda bread is my favorite combination of flavors I have tried during these St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.  I cannot imagine a better Irish treat than a piece of soda bread fresh out of the oven, studded with plump raisins and slathered with bright yellow butter.

I love Irish soda bread.  I know that the soda breads we enjoy here in the States aren’t very traditional, but as long as I use real food ingredients I’m okay with not being authentic.  At least I am eating some tasty foods that are festive for the occasion! [Read more…]

Cocoa Almond Butter Spread: Easy “Nutella” You Can Make Without a Food Processor!

Cocoa Almond Butter Spread: Easy "Nutella" You Can Make WITHOUT a Food Processor | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Sometimes I just cannot be bothered to bust out my food processor, as much as I love this one, and make hazelnut butter, you know?

So I cheat.  Yep, I admit it!

I cheat and I make this quick, simple, yummy version of “nutella” that satisfies my chocolate craving just as well as the original ever did.  Plus it doesn’t make me want to restrain myself from reading the label and lamenting the fact that they are using vanillin instead of vanilla, among other things.

I mean look, at the ingredient label for it these days: [Read more…]

Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Whole Grains

Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Whole Grains | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a staple every fall at my house.  There are a million recipes for them, and none are all that different from each other, really.  But to make mine a little extra special, I like to use my homemade pumpkin pie spice.  I add cardamom and cloves to mine, and I really like the complex flavor it brings to recipes like these.

But pumpkin pie spice is small potatoes, compared to what my sister discovered about making these cookies really something special.  For some reason, they taste quite different when baked with mini chocolate chips and in smaller-sized cookies.  The flavors come together better, and the cookies bake more evenly.

Then couple that with my need to real foodify everything, and you have yourself THE perfect mini pumpkin chocolate chip cookie.  I can die happy now, because I have reached the pinnacle of pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipes!

Equipment Needed:

Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Whole Grains

2 cups freshly ground whole grain flour (find whole grains here, how to make sprouted flour here)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (find aluminum free baking soda here)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (find aluminum free baking powder here)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (how to make homemade pumpkin pie spice with cardamom here)
1/4 teaspoon salt (find unrefined sea salt here)
1/2 cup butter, softened (find grass-fed butter here)
1 cup whole cane sugar (find whole cane sugar here)
1 egg
2 cups (or 1 15-oz. can) pumpkin puree (find organic canned pumpkin here)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (get chocolate chips here, make your own here)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line the cookie sheets with parchment and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.  Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer, blend the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the egg, mixing to combine.
  6. Add half the dry mixture, then all the pumpkin puree, and then the rest of the dry mixture, waiting until each is mostly incorporated before moving to the next step.
  7. Add the chocolate chips and stir until just combined.  Don’t overmix!
  8. Scoop onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them apart by only 2 inches or so (they don’t spread much).
  9. Bake two cookie sheets at a time on racks set in the upper and lower third of the oven, for 12-14 minutes, rotating halfway through the cooking time to get an even browning.  Bake until slightly browned and set in the center.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Quick Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice (with Cardamom!)

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice with Cardamom | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Pumpkin pie spice is a handy blend to have on hand in the kitchen, especially if you mean to make any pies, cookies, or fall-themed treats this autumn.  You can buy pre-made spice blends at the grocery store, but since I buy my spices in bulk already, I find that it’s easier to blend up a quick jar myself.

Plus, most pumpkin pie spice blends are only cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.  But I really like to add more spices to my blend to round it out a little more, like cloves and cardamom.  Especially cardamom!   [Read more…]

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

As I have gotten older, with my children are now in grade school, I tend to have less patience for “busy work”.  Dropping cookie dough onto sheets over and over?  Please!

Let’s streamline this process and cook the dough all at once.  You can do that in a glass or ceramic casserole pan, but I find that my cast iron skillet is a little more fun.  Cookie wedges, amirite?  Plus, when you make one big cookie your house doesn’t get so hot in the summer.  You’re welcome. [Read more…]

Spelt Banana Bread Brownies with Brown Butter Icing

Banana Bread Brownies with Brown Butter Icing

This recipe is perfect for when you have some ultra-ripe, black-spotted bananas looking meaningfully at you from your kitchen counter.  Instead of turning them into the same banana bread as last time (as tasty as that is!), try these beautiful, warming brownies topped with the most delicious ingredient of all time: browned butter.

I mean, seriously.  Is there anything better than browned butter?  The answer is NO.  No there is not.  Browned butter is heavenly.

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Tequila Whipped Cream

tequila whipped cream

Sometimes I like to make a pie.  Or a lot of pies.  Like, a week’s worth of pies.

And sometimes I like to make fancy whipped creams to put on those pies, like this tequila whipped cream!  It is amazing all on it’s own (I dare you not to have a taste when you make it), but it’s also the perfect pairing with tropical fruits like pineapples and mangos.  You could even use it for an elegant dessert of vanilla pound cake with a tropical fruit compote.

But my favorite is still this whipped cream atop a gorgeous piece of key lime pie.  I seriously can’t get enough citrus in my life…and this is why I belong in Arizona!

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The Best Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies Ever!

peanut butter swirl brownies

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Sometimes you just need to have peanut butter and chocolate together.  Because they are a match made in heaven.  And not to mention: this is the greatest brownie base I have ever used.  I discovered it a few years ago in a book called Cookies Unlimited and ever since then, it’s THE brownie recipe that I use.  Every time.

And this time: it’s with peanut butter swirl! [Read more…]