Paleo Gingerbread Donut Holes (AIP)

Few things say “holidays” like the flavor of gingerbread. The kick of the ginger, the warming, familiar flavor of the cinnamon, and that sweet, sweet sweetness, that just gets you feeling all of the holiday feels! Gingerbread men, and gingerbread houses are an amazing and fun holiday tradition that we all love. However, here’s the thing… they also take quite a bit of work. Especially if you’re paleo and AIP. You just can’t grab a mix or a pre-made gingerbread house off the shelf. Sometimes you’re up for the extra steps, sometimes you’re not. So, I wanted to create an alternative for those who still want all of the gingerbread flavor with an easy shortcut, and unique twist. Gingerbread Donut Holes that are both paleo, and AIP!

When I first made my Pumpkin Donut Holes earlier this season, my first thought was “uh oh… these are way too good! I have to share them immediately!” Luckily, my husband was more than happy to take on the task of my donut hole eating partner, and we were both super happy campers. We were seriously even happier when we tried out these Gingerbread donut holes!

These paleo gingerbread donut holes are perfect for….

  • Leaving out for santa
  • A little holiday treat for two or three to share (the recipe makes 6-8 donut holes)
  • Doubling or tripling the recipe (as you’ll see in the photo below) to bring to a holiday party to share
  • Placing on a holiday cookie tray as something a little fun and different
  • Making with kiddos for a super simple holiday treat

 

Paleo Gingerbread Donut Holes (AIP)

The Ingredients You’ll Need (and a word on substitutions) for these Gingerbread Donut Holes

Tigernut flour, Coconut flour & Tapioca starch

These three flours are all grain and nut free, making them paleo and AIP friendly. I’ve tested this recipe a lot of different ways and have always had the best results with these three flours together. I would not recommended subbing any of them out to get the same results. 

Palm Shortening

Palm shortening helps give these donuts a really cake-y texture. I have not tried it without palm shortening.

Maple Syrup

You can easily sub honey in place of maple syrup.

Vanilla

Vanilla gives these even more of a cookie flavor!

Gelatin

Gelatin basically acts as a binder in this recipe. There’s not need to bloom it (it’s dry in this recipe) and you can use varieties such as Vital Proteins, Great Lakes, or other. However, you cannot sub collagen. 

Ginger, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg

Ahh, there’s that gingerbread flavor! I just love that kick from the ginger. If you’re AIP, sub the nutmeg for mace.

Optional – melted coconut butter and coconut sugar for topping

The topping is optional, but you’ll find that it really makes these donut holes look a lot prettier! On their own, they look a little plain, so a quick extra topping really dresses it up and adds more of that traditional donut hole look to them.

Please note…

  • The recipe makes 6-8 donut holes. You can scale up or down from there!
  • The donut holes are best eaten warm. You can totally store them in the fridge, but I think they’re best warmed up a bit.

 

Paleo Gingerbread Donut Holes (AIP)

Paleo Gingerbread Donut Holes (AIP)

Serving Size: 6-8 donut holes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup tigernut flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup palm shortening
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp gelatin (can use vital proteins, great lakes, etc... do not sub collagen)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp clove
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg (sub mace for AIP)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • FOR TOPPING-
  • 2-3 tbsp melted coconut butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp coconut sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  2. Sift together the three flours in a medium sized bowl until evenly combined
  3. Pour in the maple syrup and vanilla and lightly mix
  4. Next, fold in the palm shortening and stir until the mixture is creamy
  5. Add the baking soda, spices, and gelatin and stir well
  6. Form the dough into 6-8 donut holes and place on the parchment lined baking sheet
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the donut holes are hardened on the outside
  8. Remove from the oven top with melted coconut butter, cinnamon, and a sprinkle of coconut sugar if desired.. it's optional, but it really makes it pretty!
  9. Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes

Makes 6-8 donut holes.

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Paleo Gingerbread Donut Holes (AIP)

I mean, can you even?

These donut holes are such great spin on traditional gingerbread cookies, and are sure to make your family smile. But seriously… you’ll want to share these. They’re good enough to eat a bunch of for sure!

Have a happy holiday, and enjoy these yummy treats!

Paleo Gingerbread Donut Holes (AIP)

Paleo Minestrone Soup (AIP & Whole 30)

Italian food has always been one of my favorite cuisines. Growing up on Long Island and being of Italian descent, it’s a natural favorite for me! The rich hearty flavors, the comforting smells, and the cheese and carbs… oh baby! When I was a kid and we went out to eat as a family, I always went for the pizza, my dad went for something like chicken parmigiana, and my mom always got the minestrone soup. I was always baffled by this decision. Why get soup when you could get pizza? Slowly but surely as my taste buds matured and my diet changed, I saw the beauty in warm, nourishing and nutrient dense soups like minestrone… and I had to recreate a paleo minestrone that’s also Whole 30 and autoimmune protocol compliant!

So, what is minestrone soup? It’s a hearty Italian soup that’s made with tons of veggies like tomato, onion, celery, carrots, and typically also has beans, pasta, and cheese. Meat is optional, but I was always used to it being a vegetarian soup. The challenge for making this soup paleo, AIP, and whole 30 mostly lies in the beans, pasta, and cheese… can you still get the flavors without them? Yes! Let me show you how…

Paleo Minestrone Soup (AIP & Whole 30)

Ingredients

Bone Broth or Veggie Broth

You can do either a bone broth, or a veggie broth as your base.

Tomatoes (or beets for AIP!)

Minestrone traditionally has diced tomato, giving the broth a red color. If you read my blog often, you know that I follow an autoimmune protocol template and am intolerant to all nightshades, including tomatoes. So, I use beets for a red color in this soup, but you can use either!

Zucchini, Parsnips, Spinach, Carrots, Celery, and Onion

These are the basic vegetables used in this soup. You can mix it up or leave one or two out if you’re intolerant, but these give the best flavor.

Basil, Oregano and Parsley

Basil, oregano and parsley are the main herbs used to give it that minestrone flavor!

Optional: Grain Free Bread or Cracker like Yucan Crunch

I’m used to serving pretty much all Italian food with bread! One of my favorite bread hacks is Yucan Crunch. It’s made entirely from yuca… no other ingredients! You can also serve with another grain free bread alternative or recipe. This is totally optional, but I loved the addition!

Paleo Minestrone Soup (AIP & Whole 30)

Paleo Minestrone Soup (AIP & Whole 30)

Serving Size: 3-4

Ingredients

  • 5-6 cups broth (chicken bone broth or veggie broth)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (sub 1/3 cup diced beet for AIP)
  • 2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup parsnip, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 3 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped into halfmoons
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil (or 1 tbsp fresh)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • OPTIONAL-
  • Grain free cracker or bread like Yucan Crunch
  • 1-2 cups pre-cooked shredded chicken

Instructions

  1. Place a large stock pot on the stove on medium heat and add olive oil
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until the onions become translucent
  3. Add in the parsnips, celery and carrot and sauté until lightly softened for 3-4 minutes
  4. Pour in the broth and the remainder of the vegetables (reserving the basil and some parsley for topping) and herbs and stir
  5. Place the lid over the pot and simmer on medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  6. Once the veggies are cooked through, add in the spinach and stir until the spinach is wilted
  7. Allow the soup to cool and top with extra parsley before serving
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Paleo Minestrone Soup (AIP & Whole 30)

That’s all there is to it! This soup is an amazing, and nourishing way to get in more vegetables while enjoying a nostalgic Italian classic. I hope you enjoy!

If you like this soup, be sure to also check out my Italian Zuppa Toscana!

Paleo Minestrone Soup (AIP & Whole 30)

How To Snack Smart On a Real Food Paleo Diet

Thank you, That’s It Fruit for partnering with me on this fun post! This post is sponsored by my friends at That’s It Fruit. All opinions expressed here are my own.

The health world is always divided on something, and one of the most divided topics in snacking! Is it good or bad? How much should you do it? What’s considered a healthy snack? These are questions that I’ve pondered myself many, many times! And you know what? Everyone is different. However, there are some good general guidelines that everyone can follow when it comes to snacking, that that’s what I’m going to share with you today.

First, why and when should you snack? It’s no secret that I love nourishing, nutrient dense meals and will always share recipes for those. However, in reality, we could all use a snack every now and then! Here are some occasions that having a snack on hand can really come in handy…

  • Traveling
  • Long car rides
  • Conferences
  • Long school or work day
  • Parties or events
  • Or just when you feel like having a treat!

Again, everyone is different. Having a little snack in between meals can be perfectly fine for most and necessary in many situations. As someone with food intolerances that follows a real food paleo diet and travels often, I depend on healthy snacks to get me through airports, long car rides, and events where I’m surrounded by food that would otherwise make me sick. So, how do you make sure you’re snacking smart when you’re living a real food, paleo lifestyle?

 

How To Snack Smart On A Real Food Paleo Diet

 

1.Prioritize full meals… don’t depend on snacks alone

This is placed at number one for a reason. One of the biggest mistakes I see with snacks is that people forgo full, nourishing meals and just snack all day. This is the opposite of what you want to be doing.

We still want to be having full sit down meals, and taking time to enjoy our food. Not only does this ensure you get in more nutrients, but it helps aid digestion. Digestion takes place slowly, and in a relaxed state, so if we’re constantly eating or are constantly on the go, it can be counterproductive. 

Rather than just snacking here and there throughout the day, make time for full meals and have optional snacks when needed.

2. Favor real foods and simple ingredients

When I first started traveling on a paleo and autoimmune protocol diet, I was at a complete loss for what to bring along with me on trips for snacks. Everything was filled with added sugar, canola oil, or corn based ingredients. Even snacks that are labeled as “natural” just weren’t the best choices.

Regardless of the convenience factor of a lot of these snacks, it’s never been worth it to me to feel terrible over one bag of poor quality chips! I’d much rather enjoy my day free of head and stomach aches and choose a real food snack instead. 

Favor real foods like chopped veggies (celery and carrots are my favorite for travel), fruits, other homemade options, or pre made snacks that have minimal ingredients.

That’s It bars were one of my early discoveries for simple ingredient snacks on the go that I’ve stashed in my bag on several trips, and have accompanied me to many coffee shop trips while I work!

These bars are made with just two ingredients each, and have no added sugars or juices. Their paleo variety of bars are made with just apple and another fruit. The first one that I tried during my early paleo days was the blueberry and apple, and I’ve always loved it.

I was also excited to see that they have a blueberry and coconut, and tons of other flavors! There’s an apple and pear flavor, apple and banana, and even black bean based bars for those who tolerate beans. 

That’s It bars are especially great for when you’re trying to conserve space. Sometimes I just can’t fit a whole piece of fruit in my purse or carry on bag!

Picking real food ingredients for snacks doesn’t have to be hard, and convenient options like these are making it even easier!

3. Plan ahead

If you want to snack smart while following a real food paleo diet, this step is always crucial! I’ve had entirely too many experiences where I’ve showed up to the airport or college campus empty handed and have been greeted with nothing but canola oil and sugar laden packaged snacks.

Think about where you’re going to be, how long you’re going to be there, and what you can reasonably bring. I often check with airlines and customs laws if I’m traveling, or double check with the hotel that I’m staying at if there’s a fridge in my room or not.

I’m known for always bringing a snack in my purse if I’m going to be out all day, and even packing an extra bag if I’m traveling with safe food! In the beginning, I felt silly, but as someone with food intolerances, it’s worth it to plan ahead than be sorry with a head and stomach ache later!

4. Balance your snacks

In order to balance your blood sugar, you want to make sure that you’re getting in healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates if you can.

So, what does that look like? Here’s an example of some snacks that I’ve brought along on a trip or a long day…

All of these together help provide more balance, satiation, and they’re all convenient enough to carry in a small bag!

 

When we find make the time to put in the thought for the best options, healthy snacking can be a breeze! I hope you love these simple tips and that they can be of help during your holiday travel and beyond. Feel free to share your own favorite tips for smart snacking in the comments.

How To Snack Smart On a Real Food Paleo Diet

Orange Cranberry Scones (Paleo & AIP)

 

Orange and cranberry is one of my favorite flavor combinations. It’s tart, sweet, and just says “winter” so perfectly! So when I started planning out what recipes to make during the winter, I knew I had to make orange and cranberry something. But, what? My list was already filled with cookie ideas, and those flavors just aren’t what I was wanting to use for a savory dish. So, I decided to step out of my comfort zone a little bit and make Paleo and AIP Orange Cranberry Scones!

This was my first time making scones, and I regret not doing it sooner. Scones are comparable to a sweeter biscuit, and are much easier to make than I imagined. These scones in particular are denser than a cake, but still light, and all of the flavors come together absolutely perfectly! They’re going to be one of my new favorites to make at the holidays, for sure.

Orange Cranberry Scones (Paleo & AIP)

The Ingredients You’ll Need For The Orange Cranberry Scones

Tigernut flour

You guys know I’ve been loving tigernut flour these days. It’s light, similar to almond flour in texture, and makes amazing baked goods. It’s not a nut, but a tuber, so it’s nut free and AIP! If you can have almonds, you can try subbing almond flour here, though I can’t guarantee it will work the same.

Tapioca starch

This helps bind a bit more in the recipe. You can also sub arrowroot.

Coconut oil

I haven’t tried other fats here, and would still assume that coconut oil works best. If you want to try another fat, I would try lard. I haven’t tested this and can’t guarantee the result, but it may be a good one to test.

Maple syrup

You can also sub honey here.

Fresh cranberries

Fresh cranberries really add something special to these scones. They’re absolutely delicious to bite into when baked! I wouldn’t leave these out or sub dried cranberries.

Orange juice and zest

You can easily just use a whole orange to get the juice and the zest .

1 Egg (or a gelatin egg)

You can use one egg if you tolerate it, or an egg substitute like a gelatin egg, which is what I use.

Orange Cranberry Scones (Paleo & AIP)

Orange Cranberry Scones (Paleo & AIP)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup tigernut flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 tsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut butter (optional- for topping)
  • FOR THE GELATIN EGG (sub 1 regular egg)
  • 1 tbsp gelatin (great lakes or vital proteins)
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper that's lightly greased
  2. Sift the tigernut flour and tapioca starch together and set aside
  3. Add in the coconut oil, orange juice and maple syrup and stir
  4. Stir in the baking soda and fresh cranberries
  5. For the gelatin egg (sub 1 regular egg if tolerated) add the water to a small sauce pot and slowly pour over the 1 tbsp gelatin. You don't want any clumps, so lightly mix if needed. Allow the mixture to rest and bloom over 2-3 minutes. Place the pot on the stove and turn in on low heat. Slowly melt the the gelatin (this will take just a few minutes) and remove from heat.
  6. Once removed from the stove, vigorously whisk the gelatin egg until it becomes frothy. Add the gelatin egg to the mixture immediately and mix to combine.
  7. Once the dough in thoroughly combined, place it onto a cutting board and form it into a large circle, keeping it about an inch in height.
  8. Use a pizza roller or a knife to slice the dough into 6 triangular scones
  9. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes
  10. Remove from the oven and cool. Add the orange zest and the optional coconut butter
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Orange Cranberry Scones (Paleo & AIP)

These scones are just so, so good! I brought them to Thanksgiving for my family and everyone loved them regardless of their diet. There’s nothing that seems grain free or even gluten free about these scones… they’re just straight up delicious!

They’re great for bringing along to holiday parties, making for a special family dinner, or just as a treat to have at home.

I hope you love them as much as we do in this family! Happy holidays, and enjoy!

Orange Cranberry Scones (Paleo & AIP)

Hasselback White Sweet Potato (Paleo, AIP, Whole 30)

I’ve been seeing hasselback potatoes around a lot more recently… and I was intrigued. I’m a big fan of getting creative with sweet potato (enter sweet potato chicken poppers) and this seemed like a great opportunity to have a little fun! So I broke out a sharp knife, my favorite sweet potato (Japanese, white sweet potato) and a creamy sauce for this Hasselback White Sweet Potato Recipe!

So, first what is hasselback? It’s essentially the method of making lots of little slits in a potato (or another veggies) and roasting it. But, why hasselback a sweet potato? Aren’t fries or baked potatoes enough? What’s so special about it, and why is everyone doing it? Here are just a few reasons why I’m loving the hasselback method…

  • It’s unique!
  • It’s easier than it looks
  • It helps the flavors permeate the sweet potato more than a baked potato
  • It’s crispy like a french fry, but soft like a baked potato… basically the best of both worlds
  • It makes for a pretty presentation

So, do I have your attention? Here’s what you’ll need…

 

The Ingredients You’ll Need for the Hasselback White Sweet Potato

White Sweet Potato

This is my personal favorite variety, and the closest to an actual potato in my opinion. But, where do you get it? I buy mine at Natural Grocers or Whole Foods. Can you sub other varieties? Yes! This is just what I like to use.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is the cooking oil for this recipe, but you can sub other cooking fats like butter or ghee if you tolerate it.

Chives, sea salt and pepper (omit for AIP)

Fresh chives really round out the flavor as do salt and pepper (omit the pepper for AIP).

For the optional sauce…

For the sauce, you’ll need coconut cream, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and salt. This is an optional sauce.

Cookware You’ll Need…

A sharp knife

These suckers can be hard to cut!

Chopsticks

Wooden chopsticks are the secret weapon to slicing these guys! You’ll see the method below…

Hasselback White Sweet Potato (Paleo, AIP, Whole 30)

Ingredients

  • 3 white sweet potato (sub other varieties, and see above for where to buy these)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (or ghee for non-AIP)
  • 2 tsp fresh chives
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • FOR THE OPTIONAL SAUCE
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream
  • 1/8 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Wash the sweet potatoes well, and line them up on a cutting board. Place a chopsticks on both sides of the sweet potatoes, and make 15-20 slits in them. You can do this without chopsticks, just be careful and controlled!
  3. Top the potatoes with coconut oil, salt, and pepper if using.
  4. Bake in the oven for for 50 minutes to an hour or until sweet potatoes are baked to liking. Remove to the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. Top with fresh chives.
  5. For the sauce, combine the coconut cream, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar and salt and whisk well. Serve the sauce over the sweet potatoes. Note that it will melt if the potatoes are too hot!
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That’s all there is to it! Easy, right?

These sweet potatoes are the perfect weeknight side dish, or will be sure to impress guests at holiday dinners. My husband I have been eating them with a variety of different toppings!

Here are some more topping ideas…

I hope you love these fun little potatoes!

Hasselback White Sweet Potato  (Paleo, Whole 30, AIP)