Paleo Hot Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Happy December, sweet friends!

MAN, has it been a while…almost a month since my last blog post! To be honest, I’m still trying to catch up with life, but I’m almost there 😉 The holidays always feel a little bit go-go-go, even though I feel we should be slowing down right about now!

Well, I’m making an effort to be more present, and it started with that beautiful first snowfall yesterday! Waking up on Saturday to snow falling fast to the ground made me feel all of the holiday feels.

Cue the Pandora Christmas Radio, the 25 Days of Christmas movie marathon, hot cocoa, and cookie baking galore while admiring that beautiful rainbow colored Christmas tree in the corner of our Brooklyn apartment. Oh, and we can’t forget are two sweet kitties, Kosmo and Nala, batting around the ornaments (thank goodness they’re so cute because it’s been a mess cleaning up after them haha!).

And so, these beauties were born.

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Paleo Nut-free Hot Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies! I really don’t like saying that they’re for a specific diet (because they’re for everyone!) and I don’t follow a specific protocol myself- I just eat what feels good to me and leave it at that! That being said, I do want everyone to feel comfortable coming to my blog and finding a recipe that everyone can eat. Unfortunately, our food system is set up right now to describe who can eat what, and saying that they’re paleo is a heck of a lot easier than saying they’re free of everything BUT good taste (which they’re actually chock full of!).

So maybe a better name for them is simply Hot Chocolate Cookies and you can read about which ingredients they use below:

Coconut Flour

Cacao Powder

Eggs 

Ghee

Cinnamon

Sea Salt 

Coconut Butter

That’s it! I don’t use any sweetener except for cinnamon or this stevia (because it’s actually the ground of green leaf plant rather than a white processed chemical) in baking because of Jared’s diet (he struggled with chronic Lyme, so he was following an AIP-type diet for a while! But added back in cacao because #chocolate), but honestly once your taste buds have adapted, you really don’t need it.

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So let’s stop talking about what these cookies are free of and rather what they’re FULL of: rich chocolatey gooeyness, coconutty sweetness, and buttery flakiness. Aka an orgasm in a cookie. Yeah, I went there.

They’re perfect for a cookie exchange or holiday party! Let me know if you make them and tag me in your post using #iyamlove J

Happy Baking!

Hot Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Makes 16 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic coconut flour
  • ½ cup melted Fourth and Heart vanilla ghee (or regular ghee/coconut oil!)
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup organic cacao powder
  • 1 heaping tsp organic cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup organic coconut butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together organic coconut flour, cacao powder, cinnamon and sea salt.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, beat together eggs and melted ghee.
  4. Fold in wet ingredients to dry and combine completely.
  5. Roll into small balls and lightly press your thumb into the middle to create a thumbprint.
  6. Place on cookie sheet and repeat for the remainder of the batter.
  7. Place cookie sheet in oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and fill the thumbprint with ½ tsp of coconut butter each.
  9. Place cookie sheet back in oven for 5 minutes.
  10. Let cool on cookie rack.

 

Meal Prep + Grocery Budgeting

Meal Prep. Love it, hate it, love to hate it, all of the above?

Truthfully, I wasn’t a meal prep lover until recently. It’s not that I disliked it; I just didn’t think I had the time and never knew how to prepare veggies without it feeling monotonous and boring throughout the week. And yet there I was, spending at least 30 minutes each meal preparing food and becoming increasingly jealous over everyone’s beautiful meal prep spreads on Instagram (comparison alert, I know, but this one was kinda good!).

Well, I finally decided to give it a try a few weeks ago and I don’t see myself turning back anytime soon. With my weeks becoming increasingly hectic doing two jobs, babysitting part-time, running a blog, and applying to master’s programs, I needed to reorganize my schedule so that I didn’t have to think about what the heck I was going to cook and how long it would take for my next meal.

Meal prep can be as basic or as complicated as you want. It could mean chopping up some raw veggies, organizing your produce that you just stocked up on, prepping some hard-boiled eggs, etc.

For me, the meal prep process is a little extensive (2-3 hours I consider to be extensive, but others may not!), but it’s so worth, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I mean, let’s do the math: 2-3 hours on one Sunday = 14+ meals during the week (I like to make a different brekkie every morning, as you guys can see!)? Not too shabby! Plus, it’s actually a lot of fun when you bring in some jams- I’ve already started on the Christmas music…too soon?

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This week’s meal prep includes: roasted organic turmeric cauli, roasted organic red cabbage, roasted organic turnips + daikon, roasted organic golden beets, roasted organic carrots, organic roasted sun choke, steamed organic Swiss chard, and steamed organic kale. The best part? All of this, and more, cost me only $60 for the week.

Yep, you read that right. 6-0 dollars! And yes, I bought everything organic, including free-range eggs, my favorite dairy-free cream cheese, organic cranberries, and my beloved Eating Evolved midnight dark chocolate.

It’s very easy to go over budget with grocery shopping, especially when buying organic. Here are a few of my key tips for not only shopping within your budget, but also prepping what your hard earned dollars have afforded you!

  1. Get to know your local farmers at your farmer’s markets. This is key! Shopping at a farmer’s market can actually be very cost effective, and when you make friends with the people you’re buying your food from, it can be very beneficial. Plus, it always feels better knowing where your food is coming from and who is actually growing it, directly from the source 😉
  2. Start to familiarize yourself with what’s in season. You’ll start to get the hang of this when you go to the organic stands at farmer’s markets, but in season food will always be less expensive than out of season. It’s also better for our bodies- the food that is in season locally contains the essential vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need to thrive in whichever season it is. I used this site to get started with figuring out what grows when and where!
  3. Write a list. I always try to stick with a list whenever I go shopping. For the fall, I usually choose 1-2 leafy greens, 1-2 starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, squash), 2-3 other vegetables, 1-2 fruits, eggs, and then I allow myself 1-2 specialty items. This could be your favorite chocolate (ahem, chocoholic), specialty fresh bread, a really good quality nut butter, etc.
  4. Allot yourself 2-3 hours to buy and prepare. I usually give myself a max limit in a farmer’s market (I can spend all day there!) so then I can get home and prep!
  5. Keep the prepping simple. For me, simple is key so that I can spice it up throughout the week! That being said, I’ve learned how to cook to my taste buds. For me, I really like roasted veggies, while others may like steamed, sautéed, or raw. My usual cooking style: sea salt + pepper + turmeric + grass-fed ghee. And I don’t skimp on the ghee! Sometimes I’ll throw in some fresh garlic if I’m feeling fancy, but usually this is how it goes!
  6. Invest in some quality containers. This makes life so much easier, guys! I really love these glass ones (P.S. I’m not an affiliate, I just love them!). Plus glass is better for the environment. Just saying, love your body, but also love your planet!
  7. Put on some tunes or a movie! Meal prepping is a lot more fun when you have a movie going or are jamming out to some music! Lately, I’ve been playing Christmas music because I’m as corny as it gets, but I also sometimes put on an episode of the Office or watch a movie! It makes the time fly by J

I hope this helps in any way! What are your favorite meal prep tips and tricks? I’d love to hear!

Apple Pie Paleo Oats (Appaleoats)

Goes apple picking one weekend. Comes home the proud new mama of 5 lbs of organic apples.

Yes, 5 lbs.

Needless to say, I’ve been on an apple-recipe marathon since Saturday, and I don’t see it stopping any time soon!

One of the recipes I decided to whip up is all sorts of deliciousness snuggled into a bowl of cozy fall flavors. You ready for this? Appaleoats (a.k.a. apple + paleo + oats!).

Yep, you heard it right! Apple crisp in the form of paleo oats (and yes, that means there are no actual oats in there!), and you’re going to want to make this ASAP because I’m already on to seconds!

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All you need are the following:

Organic apple

 Organic Cinnamon/Apple Pie Spice (I love Primal Palate’s blend, it’s all organic and absolutely delicious!)

Organic Grass-fed Ghee/Organic Coconut Oil (if you’re not vegan, I highly recommend using ghee, it gives it that rich, buttery taste)

Organic Coconut Flour

Organic Free-Range Egg

That’s it! Simple, right? No added sugars, gluten, fake shiz, etc. I like to accommodate everyone’s gut 🙂

Now, you may have noticed that I’ve been saying “organic” a lot in my posts lately. I will dive deeper into this in a post later on (look out for Monday!), but do what you can! It actually can be cheaper to shop organic if you’re going to your local farmer’s market (just make sure they’re certified or use organic practices). I do believe it is better for us and better for the environment, but I understand that it’s not better for everyone’s banking accounts at times. Another great option is Trader Joe’s- their organic selection is very price conscious (except for avocados- get those at Whole Foods because theirs are now cheaper than Trader Joe’s conventional ones!). BUT I digress…I’ll be talking about this on Friday!

Now back to this deliciousness. Definitely prep the apples the night before if you’re short on time in the morning (takes about 30 minutes for the apples, 10 minutes for the “oatmeal”), but if you have some time, the fresher the better!

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Appaleoats

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic apple, skinned
  • 2 tsp organic cinnamon/apple spice blend, separated
  • 2 tbsp organic grass-fed ghee/organic coconut oil, separated
  • 2 tbsp organic coconut flour
  • 1 organic free-range egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Chop up the skinned apple and place into a small baking pan.
  3. Sprinkly 1 tsp of the cinnamon/spice blend onto the apples and add 1 tbsp of ghee on top.
  4. Place the baking pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, occasionally tossing the apples every 10 minutes or so until done.
  5. Once baked, remove the apple from the oven and mash with it fork. Next, add in the remaining spice, egg, and coconut flour, and mix thoroughly.
  6. Heat a medium skillet with the remaining ghee.
  7. Add apple batter to the pan and cook much like scrambled eggs.
  8. Once the mixture looks crumbly/not so wet, transfer to a bowl and add your favorite toppings!

(Almost) Paleo Banana Bread

So I may be in Italy right now, diving face first into una coppa di gelato (naturally), but before I left, I did a thing.

A banana [diaries] thing.

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Ohhhhh yes.

A (almost) paleo banana bread thing! This. Stuff. Is. INSANE!

Before leaving for Italy, I had to do a fridge clean out, and I just so happened to have three very ripe bananas. I also knew that being away from my kitchen for a week and still seeing everyone’s beautiful creations was going to be tough, so I had to get it all out before I left! Instead of looking up a recipe, though, I just decided to go with it (trusted my gut on this one 😉 ).

So this is literally a straight up, OG BD recipe (like every full recipe here) from the mind of Britt. I used a mixture of coconut and chickpea flour (the reason why it’s almost paleo haha!), and I think I’ll be using this combo more often! I also didn’t use any sweetener in it (yeah, you read that right: no sugar, maple syrup, honey, or stevia!), so bare with me, but I promise you won’t miss it!

Give it a go! Insider’s tip: slather on some walnut butter (I’m a big fan of Artisana). It’s a game changer!

(Almost) Paleo Banana Bread

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

  • 3 very ripe large bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
  2. Combine mashed banana with ghee/oil and eggs in a small bowl.
  3. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, and baking soda.
  4. Stir in banana mixture to flour until fully combined.
  5. Pour batter into loaf pan and place in oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.