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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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…]

Homemade Cracker Jacks

homemade cracker jacks

This recipe was a sort of happy accident.  I was figuring out how to make this caramel corn and one of the early attempts yielded way too much caramel coating for the amount of popcorn.  So I added some peanuts, baked it, and then let it cool.  And when I tasted it, I realized: this tastes like cracker jacks!

Unlike my effort to figure out caramel chips (a dismal failure; I’m still working on that one!), this accidental cracker jack recipe is one I’m sure will be a big hit.  My kids love taking a bag to school in their lunch.  I love that the sugar is wholesome.  And I have even made a double batch and brought it to a party with great success!

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Coconut Sugar Caramel Corn

homemade caramel cornEver since I failed miserably at crafting caramel chips a few days ago, I have been rethinking my approach to caramel in general.  If you check the standard cookbooks that most people own, the caramel recipes nearly always call for white sugar, corn syrup, brown sugar, or some combination thereof.

Natural sweeteners can be a bit of a challenge by comparison!  I have had success making caramel with honey, like in my caramel sauce in a homemade macchiato or even these grain-free salted caramel shortbread bars.  While honey worked in those recipes, I hoped to find another whole sugar that would work well for a caramel sauce.

Enter coconut (or palm) sugar!  Coconut sugar combined with melted butter makes this recipe absolutely gorgeous.  The richness from the butter melds beautifully with the satisfying sweetness of the coconut sugar and the crunch of the sea salt into a sweet and savory bowl of popcorn everyone will love!

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Homemade Green Bean Casserole

green bean casserole

If you go through the trouble of opening a can of condensed soup, you save about 20 minutes of work for yourself.  But you gain a healthy dose of yeast extract, MSG, and other questionable ingredients.  Plus you miss a golden opportunity.

One the greatest losses that we have in our home kitchens nowadays is an understanding of simple sauces and gravies.  They aren’t even hard to make; we just haven’t learned how.

I know that green bean casserole is traditionally a Thanksgiving recipe, but every year when I make it from scratch, I vow that I will make it more often than once a year.  It is so worth it.  And green bean casserole just happens to be an excellent example of how to use basic sauce knowhow to make a spectacular dish.  (Especially when so many people rely on those cans of soup!) [Read more…]

Grain-Free Pecan Pie (GAPS-friendly)

grain free pecan pieIt’s Pie Week!  This buttery, rich grain-free pecan pie is made with maple syrup instead of corn syrup, and has a mildly sweet coconut flour crust that crumbles in your mouth. Pecan pie is always a little bit about indulgence, but I prefer to call it an opportunity to really savor your food.  And in this case, you can do that without any grains in the mix.  If you aren’t on GAPS or don’t have a grain or wheat allergy, use my sprouted flour pie crust recipe.

The secret weapon in this recipe?  Well, there are three actually: toasting the pecans yourself, using maple syrup instead of that dreaded corn syrup, and adding a little bourbon to the filling.  All these flavors combine to really bring out the complex flavor of the pecans and deep notes of vanilla, caramel, and molasses. 

Other Pie Week recipes: Homemade Apple Pie, Key Lime Pie, Jumbleberry Pie.

Other pie recipes: French Silk Pie, Heart Tarts. [Read more…]

Ultimate Tomato Basil Soup

When I lived in Michigan, I worked at a bread store that also served soups for lunch, and tomato basil soup was one of my favorites. Especially with a crusty, buttered piece of toast to dip in it. Over the years I tried to replicate the recipe, and I even came close a few times.  It was not until I found Nourishing Traditions that I learned the real secrets to the depth of flavor.

But I’ll tell you what really pushes this recipe over the top: serving it with grilled turkey, ham, and cheese sandwiches.  You will die and go to Savory Heaven.  You’ve been warned! [Read more…]

Pumpkin 7 Layer Bars

Pumpkin 7-Layer Bars | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Remember how I figured out how to make sweetened condensed milk?  Well, I admit that it was at least partially so that I could make seven layer bars.  And not just any seven layer bars, but pumpkin seven layer bars.  I think we are all in agreement that everything is better with pumpkin.  Don’t even think about disagreeing with me.

And yes, I know that there aren’t really seven distinctive layers here, so you can either pick your favorite seven ingredients in the recipe, or you can use mine.  I will rank them below the fold. [Read more…]

REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk (no BPA, no white sugar)

This post is part of a series.  To buy Volume One of the e-book containing several REAL FOOD 101 tutorials, click here: REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared.

Who was the first person who thought of condensing milk to a thicker consistency anyway?  I mean, sweetening it up totally makes sense.  But the combination of the sweetness with the thicker milk…genius!  So smooth and velvety, and so versatile.

Sweetened condensed milk is a staple in many modern recipes, especially certain cookie bars and pies.  In short, I find it incredibly handy to have a jar of this real foodified sweetened condensed milk in my fridge.  Especially because the holidays are just around the corner and (as you may have noticed) I love making all kinds of pies, cookies, and candies. [Read more…]