Category Archives: Recipes

The Ultimate Guide to Natural Sweeteners: Stevia, Birch Xylitol, Monk Fruit, Lucuma, Maple, & Raw Honey

Since the release of my recipe books Dessert First and The Gourmet Foodie, I have been receiving a few emails a week about the different types of sweeteners I use. What are they about, where are they from, what makes them healthy, which is the best, how to substitute and so on.

In réponses to these emails, I wanted to put together this post and answer these questions and also give some insight into why I use these particular sweeteners and their surprising medicinal benefits.

The Not so Sweet Side of Sugar

Before we dive into these sweeteners, it’s helpful to know why I do not consume refined sugar, cane sugar, HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup), other varieties of table sugar and especially artificial sweeteners .

The above mentioned choice of sweeteners are not ideal and often considered for a few practical reasons:

  • Suppresses immune function – Brown sugar and white sugar, even molasses suppresses immune activity for a few hours when consumed. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose are even worse in their suppressive effects on the immune system. Studies have confirmed that consuming these sweeteners triggers an inflammatory response that shuts down immune function for a couple of hours until the sugar has been processed out of the liver. 1
  • Feeds pathogenic microbes – Interestingly enough, glucose and sugar or carbs are non-essential. That is why you’ve never heard the term “essential sugar” or “essential carbohydrate”. There are however, essential fatty acids and amino acids, meaning the body does not create them. The liver does however produce it’s own glucose and typically anything beyond what the liver can create on it’s own is not essential. That doesn’t mean we cannot utilize carbohydrates and natural sugars for let’s say thyroid function or to replenish glucose more quickly after a workout. But keep in mind, what modern science says about how much sugar we need is usually far off. Looking at our micro biome, our probiotic bacteria feed off of healthier, longer chain sugars like polysaccharides and oligosaccharides and cellulose from vegetables. Pathogenic bacteria however feed off of excess undigested food and sugar. It has even been proven that cancer cells feed off of sugar. In a nutshell, sugar is usually more or less fuel for pathogens, viruses, unhealthy bacteria, and cancer cells. 2
  • Burdens and damages the liver – Sugar is essentially crystalline acid in the body; its a major toxin to the body in the wrong amounts. While the body can process a small amount of natural sugar, it is not designed to handle anywhere near the amounts people consume today. The liver produces its own glucose, typically too much beyond its natural amounts is almost too much for the body, with perhaps the exception of post-work times for athletes who burn through glycogen stores (still not something to be done frequently). Fructose (fruit sugar) is even worse in high amounts, mimicking the effects of alcohol. When you consume fructose it gets sent to the liver to be transported, which places a heavy burden on the liver, eventually leading to fatty liver disease if the job cannot be carried through. In short, it is excess sugar consumption and carbohydrate intake that causes fatty liver disease, not fat. Healthy fats like grass-fed ghee, coconut oil and raw butter are exception for promoting healthy bile flow and liver function actually. If you are someone who has a history of sugar consumption be it from a Standard American Diet, a fruitarian diet or alcohol consumption, you want to help your liver out – Glutathione is the master antioxidant in the body and can greatly help your liver detoxify and rejuvenate from past damage, toxicity and oxidative stress.
  • Disrupts hormone function and causes fat gain  – Both refined sugar and any sugar in excess is very harmful to the hormonal system. Consume sugar sends mis-signals to two important hormones, insulin and leptin, which are mostly responsible for telling the body how hungry it is or not. This means a broken mind-body connection to hunger, desensitizing us. Fructose desensitizes the metabolism by turning off the body’s appetite-control system. When the body fails to stimulate sufficient insulin, then ghrelin, “the hunger hormone,” fails to be suppressed, which then causes leptin release to become inhibited. Leptin is the “the satiety hormone”. In the long run, this is what happens on a biological level when we become compulsive overeaters and is a common trait of those with insulin resistance.
  • It causes metabolic dysfunction. Eating too much sugar is one of the major causative factors in a broken metabolism – having a lot to do with the above mentioned impact on the hormonal system. Too much sugar can lead to fat gain, obesity (around the belly especially), imbalance in cholesterol (elevated triglycerides), diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • It makes your body Acidic. As mentioned, sugar is like pure acid for the body, even fruit sugar. High uric acid levels are a risk factor for heart and kidney disease. In fact, the connection between fructose, metabolic syndrome, and your uric acid is now so clear that your uric acid level can now be used as a marker for fructose toxicity.

These are the side-effects of consuming too much sugar of any type (even some of the good stuff like fruit, dried fruits, dates, honey and maple syrup) and also consuming very concentrated sources of sugar like refined sugar, HFCS and anything that contains them like processed foods, desserts, and other sweets.

The Best of Sweeteners

Despite the many dark sides of the sweet stuff, not all sweetness is created equally. There are many natural sources of sweetness that do not damage the body and also have surprising health benefits of the body. However, these are not to be confused “sugar alternatives” like Aspartame, Sucralose and other artificial sweeteners, which are linked to many health problems like birth defects, autism, neurological disorders, inflammation, allergies, obesity, endocrine disruption and many others. 3 4

On the top of the list for natural sweeteners we have of course fruits and vegetables. When the body is healthy these foods, amongst others, have a natural sweetness to them that satisfies our need for sweet. Keep in mind, I am gauging the health of the body by an ideal balance of probiotic bacteria to pathogenic bacteria in a 80:20 ratio, optimal hormonal function, and digestive and metabolic efficiency. Also, I am not recommending you use fruit and vegetables to sweeten your coffee and chocolate; however, a couple of organic dates, some berries or green apple may make an appropriate sweetener depending on your recipe.

In this article, I am going to talk more about more similar alternatives to white table sugar, mostly for the uses of sweetening smoothies, Bulletproof Coffee, tea, desserts, and chocolates. For that we need more neutral and flexible sweeteners that can serve many functions – a job that berries alone may not be able to fulfill.

Starting with my favorite sweeteners and the ones I have discovered to have the most health benefits I bring you:

  1. Stevia – This unique sweeter is one of the only sweeteners that is used in its original state, with a bit of drying and grinding that is. Where as many other sweeteners go through a deal of processing, stevia is the leaf of the stevia plant that is typically just dried and ground then added to tea. It has been regularly used by the people of Brazil for over 1,500 years and is nearly 300 times sweeter than sugar. It is rather bitter in its raw form but comes with a super sweet aftertaste. In this form, it may take some getting used to but is hands down better than any artificial sweetener and is perhaps the most medical of all plant-based sweeteners. In study, an extract of stevia was found to provide an incredible ability for fighting Lyme disease, a tick-borne multisystemic disease that occurs when the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium is exposed to a weak immune system. Best of all, stevia was found to be even more effect against destroying B. burgdorferi spirochetes, persisters, and their biofilm than drugs like doxycycline and daptomycin, which has negative side effects, like weakening the immune system and killing off probiotic bacteria. Additionally, stevia is found to be anti-cancerous, anti-diabetic (balances blood sugar), balances hormones, regulates blood pressure, and of course helps with fat loss. Stevia is typically one of the top sweetener choices for anyone with cancer, diabetes, autoimmunity, viral infections, candida, and those interested in anti-aging. The best is organic, raw green leaf stevia;  however, it can be bitter, so a water-extracted stevia from the organic whole leaf is my favorite. My two favorites are BodyEcology Stevia and Omica Stevia. A final tip, I find that liquid stevia is best in coffee, tea, smoothies and other liquids – for baked goods and chocolate, keep reading.
  2. Birch Xylitol – If you’re interested in the healthiest alternative to white sugar, birch xylitol is probably it. I have an entire blog post about it HERE. However, in short, it is a sugar alcohol that is derived from the birch tree; the same tree that is home to Chaga mushroom. It tastes very similar to table sugar and is similar in texture, making it really great for baked goods and chocolate. It has no glycemic index and best of all, it can prevent and even reverse bacterial infections of the gums because of its unique 5 carbon molecule chain. The only consideration I have for birch xylitol is that because it is a sugar alcohol, it may not be tolerated well by those with IBS and digestive issues. If this is the case for you, stick with small amounts of raw honey or maple and raw green stevia. Otherwise, birch xylitol could be a life saving for those struggling with sugar addiction and diabetes.
  3. Monk Fruit – Here is another plant-based sugar alternative that is good for your health; however, Monk Fruit is not so popular. Its true name is  Luo Han Guo, but is currently going under the name of Lakanato, which is a blend of Luo Han Guo and Erythritol, which is also a sugar alcohol like xylitol and is about 60 – 80% as sweet as sugar. It exists naturally in human tissues and body fluids. Erythritol is not your average sugar alcohol though; it is fermented, 90% easier to digest than other sugar alcohols, and is actually an antioxidant. Monk fruit on the other hand comes from a small round fruit that grows in Southeast Asia.  In addition to being a zero calorie sweetener, it has been used in Chinese Medicine as tonic herb for raising immunity and as a digestive aid.  You can get a blend of both Monk Fruit and Erythritol HERE.
  4. LucumaSimilar to monk fruit, lucuma also comes from a small, sweet fruit. Lucuma fruit grows in Peru; however, is typically sold in the form of a dried whole fruit powder. Unlike xylitol and stevia, lucuma does have a glycemic index and some calories. However, it has many health benefits worth noting; it supports healthy skin, and digestion. Lucuma also has a history of use as a cardiovascular tonic, for balancing blood sugar, and regulating blood pressure issues. It is ideal for desserts, chocolate and smoothies – I wouldn’t recommend putting it in coffee or tea; however, Adriana and I use it often for tonics in Dessert First.
  5. Maple Syrup – While sugar is still sugar, and maple syrup does contain sucrose that may not be beneficial for those with low immunity, yeast/fungal infections, or diabetes – for a person in good health, this old fashioned sweetener is actually surprisingly beneficial for our health. Unlike most other sweeteners, maple contains minerals that make it alkalizing to the blood and aid in the healthy metabolization of it. Additionally, it contains 24 different phenolic antioxidants that fight inflammation and inhibit oxidative stress. With these abilities, it can help protect us from cancer, a variety of inflammatory disease and even promote healthier skin. When choosing maple syrup, always go with local, organic and darker, grade B maple syrup, which contain more beneficial antioxidants than the lighter syrups.
  6. Raw Honey – Perhaps the mecca of healthy sweeteners, raw honey has been around for thousands of years and is a praised health food. While I’ve referred to it as ‘caramel sunshine’ it is so much more than a sweet treat; it is a natural anti-bacterial, immune boosting, superfood. In its raw and untreated state, it contains living enzymes, bacteria, propolis, pollen and antioxidants that promote a healthier immune system allergic response, ideal weight, better sleep and can even be used topically to heal wounds and infections. It is low on the glycemic index and can be safely consumed by most people and when mixed with good quality cinnamon can actually help regulate blood sugar levels. My favorite is Manuka Honey – as it is the only raw honey that has been shown clinically to be effective against any type of pathogen, and work even where antibiotics fail. However, the best is to consume local honey to get in the local allergens from the environment to build immunity.

 

 

While I do not promote junk-food eating and sugar binges, I definitely support real food sweetness and a healthy relationship with food. The more you resist something, the more you want it and the more important you make it. While a low sugar diet is ideal for good health, it does not mean you can never have sugar again. I say the less fuss over food the better and by focusing on quality, you won’t ever need to be deprived again.

I hope this information helps you make wiser decisions when picking what sweetener is best for you! And remember, everybody needs a little sweetness in its life, don’t take life so seriously, enjoy a little bit of sweet now and then.

Bulletproof Mint Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

Summer is coming to a close but here in Orlando it’s still pushing 100 degrees. What better way to cool down than an official Bulletproof Ice Cream Sandwich with some cooling fresh mint?

In case your not familiar with the metabolic benefits of this extra creamy ice cream, you can grab the details here. Otherwise, let’s get started…

Here’s what you’ll need:

(for the cookies)

Here’s how you make it:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F
  2. In a food processor, mix all of your dry ingredients
  3. Add in your wet ingredients and mix until blended thoroughly, adding small amounts of water to get the right cookie dough consistency.
  4. Using a small ice cream scoop, form balls and flatten onto a greased cookie sheet
  5. Bake for 18-25 minutes or until lightly brown (will be chewy on the inside)

(For the Ice Cream)

Here’s how you make it:

  1. The first thing you’re going to want to do is melt down all of your fats in a double boiler. Try to do this slowly and not heat up the butter and oil too much, we want it just soft enough to blend consistently.
  2. Once your butter and coconut oil have liquified, add in your xylitol and whisk it until it begins to dissolve a bit. It doesn’t need to be fully dissolved as the Blender will do most of the work.
  3. Pour this mixture into your Blendtec or high-speed blender, crack your eggs into the blender. Remember, you want 8 yolks but only 4 of them containing the white. The protein in the egg white adds to the consistency.
  4. Now add the rest of your ingredients except for the cacao nibs, those will be added by hand at the end. Then, blend it on the lowest setting, gradually increasing the speed to high.
  5. Once it’s blended together, let it sit for a second for it to settle out any air bubbles. Then pour into your ice cream maker or into a glass pyrex container.
  6. If using an ice cream maker, just follow the directions that came with it. If you’re freezing it, I find that it takes about 8 hours to freeze perfectly. I like making this at night so it’s reading in the am the next day.
  7. Lastly, scoop onto one of my Bulletproof Cookies (recipe above) and sandwich together!

For more recipes like this, grab a copy of my recipe books HERE!

 

Is Your Diet Causing Gum Disease?

Keeping good dental hygiene is a must for good overall health. The entire body is connected  and the moment we specialize, we pay a price. We cannot split the body up into parts and hope to treat one area without treating the other. The entire body is connected via meridian lines and is ruled by our immune system.

Taking a look into our mouths we find there are 32 teeth with 32 vertebrae in the spine and each are connected to one another. Not just that, but every tooth and vertebrae are connected to specific organ systems within the body.

When we fail to keep our mouths clean our immune system starts to suffer. Likewise, if we do not care for our digestive systems and organs, our teeth can suffer, leading to a vicious cycle of problems. In fact, periodontal disease (bleeding gums) has been linked to a host of health problems, including diabetes, low birth weight, pre-eclampsia, placental infections, infertility even cancers of the blood. 1

Bleeding gums are caused by a species of pathogenic bacteria known as spirochetes in the mouth. They literally eat away at the gum lining causing them to bleed. As this progresses, we find that overtime as we eat, we release a micro-amount of pathogens into the blood stream for the immune system to handle.

Diet & Dental Problems

Many people are voluntarily giving themselves gum disease, tooth decay and the dental problems without knowing. Research has shown time and time again that sugars, including fruit sugar and “healthy sugars” alter the pH of the mouth. A lowered pH in the mouth leads to the overgrowth of harmful pathogens like Streptococcus mutants, which promote dental plaque and is often the cause of street throat. 2

However, how many doctors treat strep throat by addressing dental hygiene and overall immunity? Typically, strep is treated with a round of antibiotics that simply knock out ones immunity, never addressing the root, lifestyle problems like a high-carb, sugary diet, stress and other factors that lower immunity.

Foods That Cause Tooth Decay & Gum Disease

Sometimes a “healthy diet” isn’t enough for keeping the teeth healthy. And if our diet isn’t supporting dental health, then is it really supporting our overall health? I’d say no.

Even with a healthy diet, some foods on this list will cause a tooth decay, gum problems and more. Some healthy foods that may be problematic may not need to be avoided all-together but rather, consumed on occasion. However, many people who get caught in too strict of dietary dogmas, often consume these foods in excess.

Many vegan, vegetarian and especially modern American and Western European diets contain foods that weaken the immune system and cause tooth decay. Some of these foods are even considered “healthy foods”, yet they only lead to problems.

At basic, the more you avoid these foods, the better of a chance you have to avoid tooth problems and even remineralize your teeth.

Also know, you are always free to do whatever you want with your life, diet, etc. Some will never consume foods that may be most helpful for their overall dental health and immunity, such as raw animal products, because of their own ethics. I understand, there is a principle of least harm and greatest good. If that is you, then do the best you can and own the responsibility of your own choices. However, these guidelines will without doubt benefit the health of your teeth and mouth.

You be the judge, but here are the foods I recommend to avoid when healing the teeth:

  • Avoid sweets and foods sweetened with these items—white sugar, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, agave nectar, jams, dried fruit, candy bars, health food bars, yacon syrup, erythritol, lo han, palm sugar, coconut sugar, glycerin, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, inulin, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), brown rice syrup, malted barley and grain sweeteners, maltodextrin, sucrose, dextrose, sucralose, aspartame, and saccharine.
  • Avoid white flour, GMO or altered grain products and even non-fermented organic grain products such as: crackers, cookies, doughnuts, pies, breakfast cereals, granola, muffins, pastries, flour tortillas, bagels, noodles, pasta, pizza, couscous, bread and nearly every packaged product that contains grains.
  • Avoid non-germanted or fermented whole grains including whole wheat, rye, kamut, spelt, brown rice, and quinoa, especially non-organic.
  • Avoid raw, non-sprouted nuts and nut butters —including all raw nuts, as well as peanut butter, raw almond butter and raw tahini.
  • Avoid hydrogenated oils such as, margarine or other butter substitutes.
  • Avoid low quality vegetable oils such as, vegetable, soybean, canola, corn and safflower oils, and Crisco®. Also, be careful if you eat out; most restaurants use these vegetable cooking oils because of how cheap they are.
  • Avoid pasteurized, homogenized or grain-fed dairy products. Also avoid low-fat dairy products and powdered milk and anything that contains it.
  • Avoid store-bought nut milks including, rice milk, soy milk, hemp and almond.
  • Avoid table salt and the many foods that contained refined salt. Table salt throws off electrolyte balance, causing blood pressure problems and other issues that affect the teeth negatively.
  • Avoid conventional fast foods and junk foods.
  • Avoid stimulants like poor-quality coffee, soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, or alcohol. Do not smoke cigarettes and consume only raw cacao without sugar.
  • Avoid unfermented soy including isolated soy protein, tofu, soy, veggie burgers, soy “meat” and soymilk.
  • Avoid most green powders. Many green powders have sugar and improperly prepared ingredients that should be fermented. There are a few exceptions, which would be 100% food-based dried powders with no sweeteners added.
  • Avoid factory farmed meat, fish, and eggs. The quality nutrients in these sick animals are toxic and contain many chemicals and estrogens and above all else, contribute to animal suffering and a sick industrial food system.
  • Avoid too much fruit. Even though fruit is natural, people often eat too much. Be very careful with sweet fruits like as oranges, bananas, grapes, peaches, blueberries and pineapple especially, which are high in fructose that can alter the mouth pH and lead to plaque and rob the teeth of minerals.
  • Avoid medications, over-the-counter drugs, and vaccines. These damage the liver, weaken the immune system and glandular system – many are causative factors in tooth decay.
  • Avoid food additives like MSG, nitrates, and nitrites.
  • Avoid all commercially processed foods; crackers, chips, boxed cereals, pastries, cookies, TV dinners, packaged sauce mixes, etc.
  • Avoid synthetic vitamins and any foods containing “fortified” ingredients.

Acceptable Foods List

As far as acceptable foods go, here is a counter-list to the previous foods to avoid list:

  • Acceptable sweets would be raw honey, organic maple syrup (grade B preferred), real cane sugar, raw stevia (actual herb), whole low-glycemic fruits like berries.
  • Acceptable grains like truly fermented sourdough bread made with unbleached flour (bran and germ removed), partially milled rice that is soaked with a starter. White rice is acceptable.
  • Acceptable nuts and butters would be those that are properly germinated and soaked first. You can also dehydrated nuts after soaking and eat 2 oz. daily.
  • Acceptable fats are preferably raw, organic and always from small producers. The most healing fats would include coconut oil, palm oil, stone-crushed olive oil, raw butter, grass-fed lard, tallow, chicken, duck and goose fat.
  • Acceptable dairy products are raw and grass-fed from Jersey cows, goats, and sheep. Always go for whole fat, not skimmed. When you have only grocery store options for dairy products then choose vat-pasteurized, grass-fed dairy products from smaller, local farms. Fermented dairy like yogurt, kefir and cultured butter are better than non-fermented. If you can’t find local, then choose products from Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, which contain far more clean soils and environments.
  • Acceptable salts are Himalayan salt, Celtic Sea Salt, Real Salt and other unheated sea salts.
  • Acceptable soy products are traditionally fermented—You can have small amounts of unpasteurized soy sauce, miso, and natto.
  • Acceptable proteins are grass-fed or even better wild-caught animals and fish. These offer superior quality, more bioavailable than most plant-proteins, are complete proteins and are least allergenic proteins. They are true superfoods and have been consumed longest by man. Just be sure to note the differences between industrial, commercial animal food and grass-fed, local and wild. You can read more here. 

Foods that Heal Teeth and Gums

The billion dollar question remains, what do we eat? Well, amongst the dietary warfare, there are neutral grounds. There are also questionable grounds. For dental health there are foods you will find specifically healing for those who have the trouble of low immunity or teeth problems. These foods may not be in alignment with your values around eating, therefore, the choice is yours to either help your body achieve an ideal state of health, or deal with the dental consequences of your current diet. My hope is that you can find a happy medium, more freedom in eating, gained awareness of healthy eating and of course, greater dental and overall well-being.

That being said, here are some therapeutic foods that contain necessary nutrients for a strong immune system, healthy microbial balance, strong teeth and healthy gums:

  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil. Try 1⁄2 teaspoon two or three times per day of Green Pasture’sTM Blue IceTM Royal Blend. Cod liver oil is a rich source of fat-soluble nutrients that build immunity, healthy hormones and glandular systems. In my time spent living in France, I found that every child was raised on this scared food. I also found the French to have healthier teeth, incredible hair, overall healthier frames.
  • 2 cups of raw grass-fed, whole-fat milk, kefir, clabber, or yogurt or 4 ounces of raw grass- fed cheese preferably from Jersey Cows. If you cannot tolerate dairy or do not wish to consume it for moral reasons then you will want to up your doses of green vegetables for calcium and magnesium. Strive for 3 cups of a cooked green veggies in variety each day. Even better if you ferment them. You can also consume raw coconut kefir.
  • Bone broths or stews made from local, pastured meat or fish made from a gelatin-rich broth. Get a recipe HERE and be sure to add in sea veggies to added minerals.
  • 2-8 ounces of high-quality animal protein or wild-caught fish from either anchovy, sardine, herring, mackerel, halibut or salmon.
  • Vitamin C-rich foods; broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, mustard greens, cabbage, sauerkraut, kohlrabi, liver and adrenal glands.
  • Probiotic foods; especially coconut kefir and raw kraut.
  • Something we can all agree on – eat mostly non-starchy vegetables such cabbage, kale, spinach, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, etc.

Homemade Tooth Paste for Gum Infections

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Keeping a strong immune system is key for healthy gums and teeth. Therefore, diet, exercise, and stress-management are usually far more important things to consider when keeping your teeth healthy, we cannot overlook dental hygiene.

Here is a quick, easy and very effective homemade tooth paste that can wipe out gum disease within days:

  • 1/2 cup aluminum-free baking soda (baking soda spot kills the spirochetes that cause bleeding gums and also neutralizes lactic acid produced by these bacteria that cause tooth decay.)
  • 1/2 cup spring water
  • 2 drops anti-bacterial essential oils (I use this one, it’s incredible).
  • 1/2 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. organic extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. birch xylitol (xylitol breaks down the bio-film produced by harmful pathogens in the mouth, making it easier for them to be washed away during waterpiking).
  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together to form a paste. Store in a dark glass jar out of direct light. Use it twice a day in addition to the dietary and lifestyle recommendations.
  2. I would also suggest using a salt rinse, waterpik and gum blotting brush in addition to this tooth paste.

For more tips and wisdom Holistic Dentistry read here.

Bulletproof Steak Burritos

As a lover of whole foods, it’s not often you’ll find me eating very complex dishes. In fact, the most complex of any of my meals are the fun and creative desserts I co-create with my beloved partner. Aside from those nutritious and delicious delights, we keep things fairly simple and unprocessed. So the thought of a burrito as a meal never really crossed our mind.

Some sort of tortilla wrap that would need to be created with proper ingredients and minimal processing; in our minds, would actually require a great deal of work; you know, dehydrating and such.

Thankfully, a wonderful company has put together a rep-made Paleo Wrap, made from only three ingredients – all which are quality whole food ingredients. Actually, every ingredient is derived from one superfood, the coconut. That’s right, just raw coconut meat, water and oil is all you’ll find in these wraps. Not only are the ingredients pure, coconut so happens to be an amazingly medicinal food with anti-fungal properties, nourishing healthy fats that support thyroid function and much more.

So for someone who typically keeps their meals simple yet creative, it was fun to get a little recipe inspiration the other day when we came across these Paleo Wraps and decided to finally giving them a go after a few years of their known existence.

Today I put together a Bulletproof Style burrito using organic grass-fed new york strip steak, some raw herb tahini dressing, probiotic kraut and some fresh greens.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Here’s how you make it:

  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium heat and melt down a healthy fat for cooking – I used goat butter, you can use grass-fed ghee or raw butter.
  2. Season your steak with lemon pepper
  3. While everyone has a preference, it’s important to note that how you cook your food determines its health. Overly cooked meat oxidizes the fats and denatures the proteins leading to a toxic, carcinogenic food (learn more about cooking techniques in my book). This is the type of meat that you hear all the bad things about. Organic, grass-fed meat minimally cooked (rare) is a true immune building superfood. That being said, I suggest to cook your steak rare – that means only 2.5 minutes on each side on a medium heated cast iron.
  4. Once your meat is cooked, slice it longways into strips and salt to taste
  5. In your Paleo Wrap, add your greens, kraut then sauce and your meat last.
  6. Roll into a burrito and serve!

Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie

Apple pie is nice and all but I’d rather have chocolate any day. While taste preference is certainly a thing, just observing the differences in health benefits of your common apple to cacao I find good ole theobromine to take the cake.

Apples can be beneficial to ones health; containing pectin and fiber that cleanse the colon, liver and gallbladder. The downside though is that many apples are hybridized or cross-pollinated and about as “natural” to their original state as a Chihuahua is to a wild wolfe. That’s right, most modern fruit is in a highly man-altered state, resulting in a fruit that is 60 times sweeter and larger than it would be if it were grown wildly. This means potentially toxic levels of fructose (fruit sugar) and the greater likelihood of it being grown with pesticides.

All that being said,  if you do love an apple every now and then the maximum fructose intake recommended would be about 1 apple per day (ideally a granny smith or wildly picked!)

On the other hand, we have raw cacao and while not all cacao is grown equally, it is certainly non-GMO and of it’s original species, either Forastero, Criollo, or Trinitario. Then of course we have the long list of medicinal benefits that cacao provides:

  • Over 300 potent antioxidant qualties
  • Protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, sulfur, flavonoids, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids
  • Lowers LDL cholesterol
  • Improves heart function
  • Reduces risk of cancer
  • Rich in phenethylamine (PEA), which is a natural pain and stress relieving chemicals that stimulates the secretion of endorphins to help us stay alert and focused
  • Rich in anandamide, which produces uniquely euphoric feelings of relaxation and contentment.

With all the reasons to consume cacao and among the many ways to consume cacao, chocolate pie is easy, fun and uniquely delicious. But don’t believe me, try it for your self!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Here’s how you make it:

  1. First make your crust – in a food processor, grind soaked and dried almonds with 2 tbsp. of coconut oil and 1/2 tbsp. vanillamax
  2. Press your crust into a pie dish and refrigerate.
  3. Now for your filling – remove the meat from two young thai coconuts and scrap away and skin.
  4. In a high-speed blender, blend your coconut meat with the 1 cup cacao powder, 4 tbsp. coconut oil, 2 tbsp. brain octane, and the rest of the vanillamax until smooth.
  5. Remove pie crust and with a rubber spatula spread your filling into the crust.
  6. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy the next day!

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Bison Burger Cauliflower Crust Pizza

One bite of this nutrient-dense, whole foods pizza and you’ll wonder why you’ve ever spent the time and money on commercial, delivery pizza. This gluten-free, paleo, bulletproof approved dish is easy to digest, packed with nutrition and absolutely gourmet in taste.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 pound grass-fed organic bison burger
  • Herbamare for seasoning
  • 1/2 package sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow squash or zucchini
  • 1 tsp. extra-virigin coconut oil

For the crust:

  • 1 pasture-raised egg
  • 1/2 head organic, local cauliflower
  • Real salt & pepper

Here’s how you make it:

  1. First start off by cooking your bison – I recommend a medium-heated cast iron skillet greased with grass-fed ghee.
  2. Roll into small “sausage like balls” and toss in pan for a few minutes to cook – careful to not overcook.
  3. Now time for the crust…
    1. First, lightly steam cut and prepared cauliflower pieces.
    2. When soft, put the cauliflower through a food-processor and pulse until all the cauliflower is in rice-sized bits.
    3. When finished, move the cooked and processed cauliflower to a large bowl to cool.
    4. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    5. Remove cauliflower from fridge and stir in the egg, garlic, salt, and pepper until combined. 
    6. Pour mixture onto the prepared baking sheet; press and shape into a pizza crust.
    7. Brush with coconut oil and top with thinly sliced zucchini and soaked/sliced sun-dried tomato.
    8. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
    9. Slice and serve!

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For more delicious, healthy and gourmet recipes like these, grab a copy of my book The Gourmet Foodie!

Chocolate Golden Milk Truffles

If you’re not familiar with golden milk, this creamy, delicious and medicinal Ayurvedic beverage it’s a must-try.

I have a Bulletproof recipe of it here.

As far as benefits goes, golden milk is definitely an impressive tonic:

  • It’s an antiseptic and an analgesic, so it helps with pain relief.
  • It detoxes the liver and helps to purify the blood.
  • It’s great for joint problem, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It works well for different skin problems.
  • It offers a general immunity boost and provides you with a good dose of antioxidants.

In addition to it’s health benefits, golden milk is uniquely delicious. The thought of combining the warming spices, richness and slight sweetness of golden milk to chocolate just made a lot of sense, so that’s what I did!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Here’s how you make it:

  1. This recipe has two parts to it; the chocolate then the golden milk center.
  2. First you want to make your base Bulletproof chocolate by melting chopped cacao butter in double boiler – stirring frequently until cacao is melted.
  3. Once melted, remove from heat and set bowl aside.
  4. Next, add in Brain Octane oil, cacao powder and stevia – mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Once thoroughly mixed, pour liquid into silicon molds just under half way.
  6. Place in freezer until firm – about 5-10 minutes.
  7. Now for the golden milk center – simply melt down coconut oil then add raw honey and herbs/spices.
  8. Mix this until a thick and creamy yellow paste is formed.
  9. Remove chocolate molds from freezer and add the golden milk truffle batter to the mold leaving some room on top for more chocolate.
  10. Place back into freezer so the truffle can become firm.
  11. Remove from freezer then add your third and final layer of chocolate.
  12. Freeze until solid – eat and enjoy!

For more Bulletproof desserts and medicinal treats like these be sure to get a copy of my book The Gourmet Foodie!

Bulletproof Chocolate Cookie Dough

Inspired by a late night probiotic date with my beloved – Bulletproof cookie dough was born.

It took me a moment to figure out the exact texture of this recipe but I eventually realized it was near identical to raw cookie dough. This wasn’t my intention though, everything occurred on a whim of spontaneous hunger. I had no clear vision in the moment, all I had was an appetite, some soaked cashews to use up and a cabinet full of superfoods and Bulletproof products.

Sometimes no plan is the best plan and in this case that was definitely true! I was able to put together something delicious and healthy from pure inspiration. Join me for another delicious Bulletproof dessert with benefits…

Bulletproof Chocolate Cookie Dough

Here’s what you’ll need:

Here’s how you make it:

  1. Start by soaking your cashews for 2 hours
  2. Strain, rinse then strain a final time
  3. Place all ingredients into a food processor
  4. Pulse and process until a cookie dough like consistency is formed
  5. Using a small scooper like this one, scoop into balls and refrigerate or eat as is! Because there is no coconut oil, these will not get any more firm than they are and they’re meant to stay in a dough like consistency anyway.

For more Bulletproof desserts like this grab a copy of my book The Gourmet Foodie and receive over 35 nutritionally supercharged desserts and more.

Soured Wild Rice Pancakes [3 ingredients]

There’s wild rice and then there’s real wild rice. What’s the difference? Authentic wild rice is a species of marsh grass found growing naturally in shallow aquatic wetlands, lakes and slow moving streams. Also known as manoomin which means “the good berry”, wild harvested rice is an indigenous sacred food of the Native American Anishnaabe (Ojibwa) people of Minnesota and the Great Lakes region.

The texture and taste of wild rice is chewier with a distinctive roasted nutty flavor compared to other kinds of rice and can be a healthy gluten-free alternative to other grains. Unknown to most people, all wild rice is not necessary “wild”, as the term might imply. True wild rice is harvested from naturally growing aquatic grass fields and the other is a cultivated paddy-grown variety, created from the same wild species Zizania palustris.

Health Benefits of Wild Rice

  1. EASY TO DIGEST. Most grains and rice are difficult to digest. Wild rice is actually the seed of a grass though not a grain at all, which is one of the most popular benefits of wild rice.By nature, wild grasses are far easier to digest than any grains. If you are sensitive to gluten or have digestive issues wild rice will be the perfect replacement to any grains.It’s only due to it’s appearance that wild rice is often confused as a grain. Though it’s completely gluten-free, it has a rich, grounding quality to it like a cooked grain.
  2. RICH IN ANTIOXIDANTS. Wild rice is a Native food to America that was originally harvested in Minnesota.As a truly wild food, it is highly sustainability far more nutrient-dense and has an increased antioxidant value. This makes it a wonderful anti-aging and healing food.
  3. HEALTHY METABOLISM. Wild rice is great source B vitamins containing far more riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin B6 than brown rice. These B vitamins are essential for energy production, regular blood pressure, digestion, and metabolism.
  4. MAGNESIUM POWERHOUSE. Wild rice is a superior source of magnesium. Not just because the nature of this food but as a wild food, it’s soaking up far more minerals from the soil compared to farmed food. Magnesium is one of the most common deficiencies in modern man and is absolutely necessary for many physiological functions, including – a healthy nervous system, regular bowel movements, energy, and deep sleep.Magnesium also reduces stress, headaches, anxiety, and fatigue.
  5. IT’S DELICIOUS. My beautiful wife has been making the most delicious bread I have ever tasted in my life using this wild rice. The recipe is simple but the flavor from the wild rice is complex, sweet and nutty that it offers and explosion of taste on it’s own! Stay tuned as this recipe will be a highlight in our up and coming recipe book. Remember that authentic wild rice will be a mix of black and brown colors, which will provide the exquisite flavor.Many store bought wild rice blends contain a mix brown rice and even white rice. I suggest the Wild Food Warehouse for an authentic and truly wild rice. This is the exact rice we use in this recipe and our wild loaf recipe.
  6. SUPER FIBER. Regular rice is typically a very low fiber food, which is part of the reason brown and white rice as less superior carb sources grains like oats, which have more fiber out of all the carbohydrates the grain contains. For example, brown rice only contains 1 gram of fiber per ¼ cup!
    The ideal intake of fiber is right around 30-40 grams per day. Wild rice contains three times the amount of that making it a great source of fiber, which will help detoxify the body and cleanse the digestive system.
  7. POTASSIUM. Wild rice is a great low sugar source of potassium. If you don’t like bananas or are just watching your fructose intake, wild rice is a great way to get in potassium. This essential mineral regulates blood pressure and can reduce bloat.

How To Use Wild Rice

Wild rice is best soaked for 24-48 hours before cooking. I like to get it to the point of where it’s slightly fermented for my soured kefir pancakes.

Once you soak for the initial 12 hours, be sure to rinse it and repeat about 3 times. From there, it is best cooked then paired with spices and eaten as a main part of a dish with veggies. You can also have it for breakfast like you would an oatmeal, serving it with raw almond milk, cinnamon and raw honey. Or best of all, you can get really creative an make some breads and pancakes!

Soured Wild Rice Pancake [Recipe]

Here’s what you’ll need:

Here’s how you make it:

  1. Heat greased cast iron skillet to medium-low heat.
  2. Place all ingredients into a Blendtec, blend until a creamy pancake batter.
  3. Pour into skillet and let cook until bubbles come through to the surface then flip.
  4. Eat cake will take about 1-2 minutes before flipping then another minute on the other side.
  5. Eat as is or serve with raw grass-fed butter and a side of soup!

You can find wild rice online. I love and use the authentic Minnesota Grown Wild Rice, from The Wild Food Ware House.

For more recipes like this get a copy of The Gourmet Foodie and stay tuned for future recipe books co-created with my incredibly talented and beautiful wife Adriana.

How To Make Raw Milk Kefir: Probiotic Beverage

Not all dairy is created equally, raw milk from grass-fed cows is a health food. So long as your digestive system is in good shape, this food has many incredible benefits. It is anti-viral, immune building, protects the body from infection, builds muscle, and tastes great!

If you’ve been avoiding dairy then you may find that fermenting it into a probiotic-rich kefir will provide your body with great nourishment. It also makes an amazing base for smoothies and milk shakes!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 quart raw milk *preferably grass-fed
  • 4 tbsp. milk kefir grains or starter culture
  • 1 quart-sized glass jar
  • Cheesecloth, paper towel, or clean napkin
  • Rubberband
  • Small strainer *preferably nylon

Here’s how you make it:

Note: Avoid prolonged contact between the kefir and metal both during and after brewing. This can affect the flavor of your kefir and weaken the grains over time.

  1. Combine the milk and the grains in a jar: Pour the milk into a clean glass jar (not metal) and stir in the kefir grains. The milk can be cold or room temperature, either is fine.
  2. Cover the jar: Cover the jar with cheesecloth, a paper towel, or a clean napkin and secure it with a rubber band. Do not screw a lid onto the jar as the build up of carbon dioxide from the fermenting grains can cause pressure to build in the jar, and in extreme cases, cause the jar to burst.
  3. Ferment for 12 to 48 hours: Store the jar at room temperature (ideally around 70°F) away from direct sunlight. Check the jar every few hours. When the milk has thickened and tastes tangy, it’s ready. This will usually take about 24 hours at average room temperatures; the milk will ferment faster at warmer temperatures and slower at cool temperatures. If your milk hasn’t fermented after 48 hours, strain out the grains and try again in a fresh batch (this sometimes happens when using new kefir grains, when refreshing dried kefir grains, or when using grains that have been refrigerated).
  4. Strain out the kefir grains: Place a small strainer over the container you’ll use to store the kefir. Strain the kefir into the container, catching the grains in the strainer.
  5. Transfer the grains to fresh milk: Stir the grains into a fresh batch of milk and allow to ferment again. This way, you can make a fresh batch of kefir roughly every 24 hours. To take a break from making kefir, place the grains in fresh milk, cover tightly, and refrigerate.
  6. Drink or refrigerate the milk kefir: The prepared milk kefir can be used or drunk immediately, or covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Recipe Notes

  • Activating The Kefir Grains: If you bought your kefir grains in a dried form, rehydrate them by soaking them in fresh milk at room temperature. Change the milk every 24 hours until the grains begin to culture the milk and make kefir. It may take 3 to 7 days for the kefir grains to become fully active.
  • What Milk is Best: Kefir works best with raw whole-fat cow, goat, sheep, or other animal milk. You can use low-fat milks, but refresh the grains in whole fat milk if they stop fermenting the kefir properly. Raw and pasteurized milks can be used, but avoid ultra-high temperature (UHT) pasteurized milks.
  • Making More or Less Kefir: You’ll need about a teaspoon of grains to ferment 1 to 2 cups of milk. You can also ferment less milk than this, but fermentation will go more quickly. Your grains will start to multiply over time, allowing you to ferment more milk if you like. Maintain a ratio of about a teaspoon of grains to 1 cup of milk.
  • Taking a Break from Making Kefir: To take a break from making kefir, transfer the grains into a fresh container of milk, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to a month.
  • What if Your Kefir Separates: Sometimes kefir will separate into a solid layer and milky layer if left too long. This is fine! Shake the jar or whisk the kefir to recombine and carry on. If this happens regularly, start checking your kefir sooner.