Okay, so here is the easiest recipe ever....and totally the most rewarding!!! If you are buying regular vanilla or, God forbid, the fake stuff, you need to read this!! I have been making homemade vanilla for a few years now, and it has taken my baking to a whole new level!!! Buttercream to die for, muffins and cupcakes that people can't NOT eat, and even my favorite London Fog tea tastes better!
So here's the thing, lots of recipes will either tell you to cheap out of the alcohol or cheap out on the vanilla beans. JUST. DON'T. Buy good alcohol, buy good beans and use enough of them!! I have seen recipes where they used cheap vodka and 5 beans for 750ml. Nope. Not good enough!!
Soooo let's talk booze! Traditionally, homemade vanilla is made with vodka, because it is a neutral tasting alcohol. Tried it and it's "ok". The BEST vanilla I have ever made comes from either run or bourbon, but my preference is a nice rum. The sweet, subtle flavour pairs beautifully with the vanilla and adds an amazing flavour to everything!!
Now, vanilla beans. If you area vanilla snob, then you'll already know that the three main types of beans are the Bourbon, Mexican, and Tahitian vanilla beans and each ones has its own flavour profile. I'm in Canada. The fact that I can get my hands on vanilla beans is a feat in and of itself. I buy what I can which happens to be a fair trade vanilla beans that are imported from Uganda. I'm assuming the are Bourbon beans! (correct me if I am wrong!!). If you want to know the difference, I suggest you google it. It's worth a read. For all intents and purposes, I would recommend bourbon and they have the most natural "vanilla" flavour!
Not only will this vanilla elevate your cooking, it makes a wonderful gift! Make mini size bottles and add to Christmas baskets or pair it with a box of tea! People will love the thought that went into it! Give it a shot!
750ml good quality rum
20 vanilla beans
1L Pop top bottle
1. Place the funnel in the pop top bottle.
2. Split each vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Add seeds into the bottle and toss in each half of the beans.
3. When done with all the vanilla beans, pour over your rum.
4. Seal the pop top jar, give it a good shake and place it in a warm spot
5. Let sit for 6-8 weeks and shake each week to really distribute the flavour!
P.S. When your bottle is half full, add a couple new beans and fill it up with rum again. Once you finish that batch remove the vanilla beans and dry out in a dehydrator or low oven. You can then pulverize these babies with cane sugar to make vanilla sugar. Or grind them up and add the vanilla powder to smoothies or baking recipes for extra flavour!
Who doesn't like pulled pork? We love us some pulled pork! And this recipe is super easy because it is all done in the crock pot! Serve with coleslaw or pile it sky-high on a grain-free bun!
2-3lbs pork shoulder
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup chicken stock/broth
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1/2 cup Paleo Ketchup (mine is right here!)
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
S+P, to taste
1. Whisk together the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, broth, coconut aminos, ketchup, and garlic in the crock pot.
2. Season pork shoulder liberally with salt and pepper and place in crockpot. Turn over a couple times to coat it in the sauce.
3. Cook on LOW for approximately 9 hours.
4. When done, remove from crock pot and let cool for a few minutes.
5. Using tongs, pull pork and then add back to sauce in crock pot.
6. Let sit for 15 minutes and then serve! Enjoy!
Who doesn't love Reese Peanut Butter Cups? Well, me (because I'm allergic to peanuts/tree nuts!) but my husband would have sold his soul for a peanut butter cup! So these can be totally nut free but you can also substitute almonds in for the sunflower butter!
Aside from my obvious allergy, we removed peanut butter from our house because legumes have a tendency to be rough on the ol' guy lining! Trying to avoid leaky gut in this family! Also, in the attempt to stay our healthiest, we have added Shakeology into our daily regime! FULL of superfoods and has done wonders to help heal our tummies!
You're going to love these!!
1.25 cup sunflower seeds
0.5 cup organic shredded coconut (unsweetened)
2 tbsp organic coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sweetener (I used honey, but you could sub in maple syrup or palm sugar)
Pinch of sea salt
3 tbsp Chocolate Shakeology
0.5 cup of water
1. Combine sunflower seeds, coconut, honey, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 5(ish) minutes. You may need to scrape down the side periodically to make sure it's mixed. It should resemble cookie dough when it's done!
2. While the food processor is doing it's thing, line 8 muffin tins with silicone liners. This isn't a necessary step but it makes your life SO much easier!
3. In a small bowl, mix Shakeology and water together until it has the consistency of chocolate pudding.
4. When the base mixture is done, drop two level tablespoons of mix into each silicone muffin liners. Level mixture with the back of a spoon (or your fingers...I won't judge!).
5. Top each cup with 1 tablespoon of the chocolate Shakeology mixture. Level with a spoon.
6. Pop into the freezer and freeze for approximately an hour!
Note: You can substitute 1 cup of almond or sunflower butter for the sunflower seeds/almonds, coconut, and 1 tbsp of the coconut oil!
Looking for an all-around amazing seasoning mix? Look no further! This stuff is amazing!! Remember that old lady from the hot sauce commercial with her "I put that s*^t on everything"? That's how this is! It's amazing on red meat, chicken, fish, veggies, starches.... EVERYTHING!!
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp chili powder
1.5 tbsp Italian seasoning
1.5 tbsp chili flakes
Combine everything together in a glass jar and shake it up!
Go forth and put this stuff on ERRRRRRYTHING!!! Enjoy!
I cannot bring myself to buy salad dressing. Wonder why?? Have a look at the ingredients list! Do you know what all those things are?? Probably not. Which means they probably don't belong in your body!
Now this dressing....this is something I can get behind! Not only is it delicious on greens, but I have smothered it on salmon, chicken, pork...well basically everything! It's that good!!
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup avocado oil (or light olive oil)
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)
sea salt (to taste)
Pour everything into a glass jar and shake to your hearts content!
Now go! Slather your life with this amazing stuff!!
Oh! And enjoy! :)
So let's talk coffee! I don't drink coffee all the time, but when I do, I'm like "hook it to my veins!!".
If you haven't heard of the whole "bulletproof" coffee thing, it is definitely worth a Google. Long story short, you blend high quality coffee with healthy fat (usually coconut oil, grass-fed butter, MCT oil, or some combination of the three). The result is creamy, delicious coffee that is said to aid with weight loss and kick your brain fog in the face!
This is my awesome latte version. I add collagen (a boost for the hair and nails!) to mine, and have even been known to blend in a couple raw quail eggs in the past. No need to do either, but both add an extra nutrients!
Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think!!
10 oz organic coffee
2 tbsp canned coconut milk (BPA-free can please!)
1 tbsp grass-fed butter
1 tbsp organic coconut oil or MCT oil
2 tbsp of collagen (optional but amazing!!)
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of pink salt
1/2 tsp organic stevia (optional)
Dash of cinnamon
1. Combine the hot coffee with everything but the cinnamon.
2. Blend until frothy (BE CAREFUL!! Blending hot things can be dangerous so don't burn yourself!!! I will "burp" my blender lid after each ten second blast to release pressure and I always put a tea towel over the top JUST IN CASE!)
3. Pour into a cup and sprinkle with cinnamon!! YUM!