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I love the holidays and am quick to break out my sweaters, string up various shiny decorations, all while warming up a mug of something warm to sip. We all love our bone broth, but you’ve just gotta treat yourself sometimes. Nothing is better for that than hot chocolate, or Paleo AIP hot chocolate in this case.
“Hot Chocolate” is problematic for a few reason if you’re Paleo or following the Autoimmune Protocol. For one, it’s most often made with conventional whole milk (hello, GMO corn-fed, CAFO, sad cows) and made with lots of sugar and chocolate, both of which are off limits of the autoimmune protocol.
My gut health issues are literally life long, and though I’ve come a tremendously long way, I still just can’t pop into any ol’ coffee shop and get a hot chocolate without suffering consequences. It’s not worth it, and it’s not really even necessary when you plan properly!
That’s where this recipe for Paleo Autoimmune Protocol hot chocolate comes in…
Not only is it quick and easy to make, but it’s so close to the real thing! It’s super rich and creamy, and really hits the spot for a craving on this traditional treat.
So, how does one do “chocolate” on AIP? Say hello to my new favorite Paleo/ AIP pantry staple, Carob powder.
Carob powder is cheap, AIP, Paleo, and tastes just like chocolate. I sub it for chocolate in AIP mug muffins, chocolate avocado mousse, and even add it to my smoothies if I’m feeling spicy. Get it here on Amazon if you don’t have it yet, and I promise that you’ll thank me!
This hot chocolate also wouldn’t be the same without it, along with coconut cream which helps make it nice and creamy, even without the dairy!
Last but not least, I’ve given this hot chocolate a bit of a face lift since I first shared it and added in vital proteins collagen powder.
Collagen from grass-fed cows is amazing for gut health support, as well as hair, skin and nail health. It literally disappears in liquid, and doesn’t have any taste. It’s the perfect boost to this hot chocolate, and instantly elevates this from just a treat, to an added healing food.
Paleo Autoimmune Protocol Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 tbsp coconut cream
- 2 tbsp carob powder
- 1/2 tsp maple sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1 scoop collagen powder (or 2 tbsp)
- Add coconut milk to a small sauce pan and begin to heat on med/low heat for about 4 minutes
- Add in coconut cream and whisk until combined and melted
- Stir in carob powder, collagen, and maple sugar and whisk vigorously until there are not more clumps
- Top with extra coconut cream if desired, and enjoy!
There you have it! Creamy, chocolately, and totally compliant with a healing diet. I’m going to be enjoying this baby on many a cold night this winter.
Is hot chocolate one of your cold weather favorites? Have you ever had carob?
This recipe was shared on the Phoenix Helix AIP Recipe Roundtable and featured on the top 100 AIP Recipes!
The time has come… pumpkin spice everything season is upon us.
It gets more and more commercialized every year… pumpkin spice drinks, pumpkin spice baked goods, pumpkin spice candy, pumpkin spice beer. And let’s face it… I eat up every second of it. I mean, I would get my cat pumpkin spice cat food if I could.
Pumpkin spice is just the perfect cue that summer is over, and a new season is here! There’s something so special and exciting about a new season. Even though we experience this feeling four times a year for every year of our entire lives (unless you live in Texas like me and you’re lucky to feel it twice a year) fall is just extra special, and pumpkin spice is extra special.
I went pumpkin spice latte crazy at about 19. A young, naive college student ready to take fall by storm with my leggings, knock-off Target ugg boots and blanket scarf. At the time, I had a lot of Starbucks and K-cup PSL’s filled with sugar, caffeine and other mystery ingredients that left me feeling like junk every single time. Yet I did it again and again… until I finally came to a final breaking point.
In my 20’s I said “goodbye” to the caffeine and drive thru windows, and started my healing journey with my Hashimoto’s and gut issues. I made my very first AIP (autoimmune paleo friendly) pumpkin spice “latte” last year and enjoyed that as a nice treat while healing my thyroid and gut.
However, over the past year, I’ve been able to make even more strides in my healing journey to where I can enjoy ghee (clarified butter) and decaf coffee to make my own Paleo Pumpkin Spice Butter Coffee Latte!
Why Butter/Ghee Coffee?
Butter coffee or bullet proof coffee is a big thing in the paleo world. However, let me start out by saying that I do not believe in coffee as a meal replacement and this is not intended to be that… it just makes it even tastier 😉
The added fat from the butter/ghee in this coffee allows it be more satiating and help balance your blood sugar from the little bit of caffeine and sugar. I always recommend making sure that you’re pairing fat/protein with sugar, so adding butter/ghee to coffee is a great way to help that balance and make it taste even richer!
This recipe is made with ghee, not butter. Though you can sub grass-fed butter if it works for you, it still doesn’t work for me. Ghee is clarified butter in which the butter is clarified to remove the milk solids and be made lactose and casein free. Thus, pure butter fat that often works as a great sub for those of us with dairy issues or autoimmunity.
Well, one because I’m a spaz and will lose it on a caffeine high if I tested this recipe with caffeinated coffee. Decaf still does have some caffeine, but it’s much lower and I can tolerate it better.
Two, I know that the majority of my readers are dealing with some sort of chronic illness or health issue. Though coffee in any form still may not be a good idea, I prefer to recommend decaf as I just don’t like to perpetuate regular consumption of caffeine. Though it can be fine in moderation, I recommend going without when possible. Caffeine is stimulating to the adrenals and causes a stress response. Knowing how many people already suffer from adrenal dysfunction, I don’t recommend adding fuel to the fire when not needed.
Also, depending on caffeine daily to keep energy up is a sign that there’s another underlying issue that’s best to not ignore.
So what if you’re a regular caffeine drinker? That’s fine. Just because I don’t like to recommend drinking caffeine on a regular basis doesn’t mean that it’s not a fine thing to have occasionally. Many of my clients are and I work slowly with them to cut back on it. However, when you can avoid caffeine and opt for a caffeine free drink, go for it it 🙂
Paleo Pumpkin Spice Butter Coffee Latte
- 8 oz decaf coffee
- 1/4 cup coconut cream
- 1 scoop grass-fed collagen powder
- 1 tbsp pumpkin puree
- 1 tbsp ghee (sub coconut oil if ghee isn't tolerated)
- 1 tsp vanilla extra
- 1/2 tsp coconut sugar or honey
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice blend of choice
- Brew the coffee and add to a high speed blender like a vitamix
- Add the remainder of ingredients and blend for 5-7 seconds of until coconut cream froths
- Pour into a mug and top with a bit of pumpkin spice blend and enjoy!
When it comes to fermented foods, fermented drinks like kombucha are the little darling of the ferment world right now. Easily one of the most mainstreamed health foods, there are tons of brands making kombucha and even more people taking on making fermented drinks themselves. Though kombucha isn’t my favorite, I do have favorite, and it’s ginger beet kvass. Stay with me here! It’s much easier to make than kombucha, it’s cheap, and dare I say, it may be even healthful of a probiotic drink than kombucha.
Why have fermented foods?
So, what’s the deal with all of this probiotic/fermentation buzz these days? It may be trendy now, but fermented foods date way, way back beyond the packages that we find in stores today. Before refrigeration, fermenting foods was a way to keep them fresh while also adding the benefit of probiotics. Fermented foods as a traditional food rather than a hot health trend, and probiotics are a much needed part of our diet.
Probiotics help maintain and refresh our gut flora which is necessary to maintain proper gut health, and just good health in general. Unbalanced gut flora can lead to a myriad of problems from autoimmune disease, digestive dysfunction, and even changes in our mood. We’re born with a certain amount, but our ancestors taught us that we need to keep replenishing our gut flora with fresh probiotics. But wait, can’t we just take a probiotic pill and call it a day? Well, it’s said that one jar of a fermented food like sauerkraut is equal to 8 jars of probiotic pills! Fermented foods are more traditional, cheaper, and more probiotic rich.
Why ginger beet kvass?
So, what makes beet kvass so special? Not only does it actually taste surprisingly delicious, but beet kvass packs more of a punch than just your average kombucha. Not only is it fermented, thus probiotic rich, but it’s great for both liver and gallbladder health.
In our low-fat/poor quality fat centric world, many of us fall victim to poor fat digestion caused by our gallbladder getting lazy. The bile within our gallbladder isn’t needed if we’re not consuming fat, or consuming bad fats… it gets viscous and doesn’t flow well even when we switch over to a good quality fat diet. Beets help to naturally get the bile moving, thus improving fat digestion.
Not only does improving fat digestion take away digestive distress, but it also helps with satiation, nutrient absorption and cures tons of mystery symptoms. Have dry hands all of the time? Blame poor fat digestion. What about bloating? Most likely poor fat digestion. The list goes on, and on as so many of us suffer from it.
The ginger also helps aid in digestion, and adds great flavor!
Ginger Beet Kvass Recipe
- 1 large purple beet
- 1 large golden beet (could sub for another purple… I think the golden helps enhance the flavor)
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup of juice from sauerkraut
- Enough water to fill the half gallon jar (varies by how large your beets are)
- Chop the beets into large cubes and add to the bottom of the jar along with the ginger into a half gallon jar
- Add the juice from the sauerkraut, water, and sea salt
- Take a clean kitchen cloth and cover the mouth of the jar, securing it with a rubber band
- Keep in a cool dry place for at least 3 days. You’ll see the top of the jar will start to fizz a bit.
- Remove the cloth, and add the lid.
- Refrigerate, and enjoy!
How do you drink it?
I probably wouldn’t drink the entire thing at once, just as I’d want to save it! I drink a few sips, or a half of a small glass daily. It has enough flavor to drink by itself and is so much better than just taking a probitoic daily.
I also find that if I eat a high fat meal and start to ever feel discomfort, I take a swig of this and it aids in any discomfort.
What’s your favorite fermented food?
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Have you ever seen those big beautiful smoothies on Instagram? The ones that are just overflowing from a mason jar or have a mosaic of toppings in a bowl? They look so beautiful, so fresh, and most of the time… pretty full of sugar. If you actually take a good look at the recipes that go along with these popular green smoothie bowls or juices, they’re usually packed with sugar, scarce on veggies, and almost always void of healthy fats and protein. But, it doesn’t have to be that way! That’s why I created a nourishing smoothie bowl thats packed with all the good stuff while still being full of flavor.
Smoothies can be one of those pseudo-health foods that seem healthy, but can have just as much sugar as a soda if not more if not made properly. So, what does a good, nutrient dense smoothie need?
Mostly veggies. Especially leafy greens! Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of leafy greens. Have as many veggies as you want in your smoothies!
Moderate fruit. Fruit may be natural sugar, but it’s still sugar. And in excess, it’s still going to swing your blood sugar and not satiate you. If you’re relying on mostly fruit to make your smoothie, I guarantee that you’ll be hungry soon after and craving more sugar. In nature, we didn’t have much need for more than 2 servings of fruit a day. However, smoothies can easily have 3-4 servings of fruit along with sugar-y juice that’s void of fiber. Try sticking to one serving of fruit in a smoothie and using something like a frozen banana, or fresh berries.
Healthy Fats. Fat is usually the big thing that’s missing from most smoothies. Healthy fats like avocado and coconut oil are a great addition to a smoothie, and are what actually satiates us. Adding a tablespoon of fat to your smoothie will help keep you full.
Good quality protein. Extra protein is a great addition to a smoothie, but be cautious of poor quality powders. Many protein powders can be filled with sugar, fake ingredients, and soy. I like adding grass-fed collagen to my smoothies. It doesn’t add any funky taste either! Collagen from grass-fed cows is also great for gut healing as helps to restore the intestinal lining that is often destroyed by leaky gut. Get some here!
It’s also important to note that I say smoothies not juices. Juices can be great in moderation if you’re juicing mostly vegetables, but when we’re talking fruit juice, it’s a huge shot to your blood sugar.
Now that we’ve got all of the essentials laid out, let’s put them all together in my coconut kale smoothie bowl!
Coconut Kale Smoothie Bowl | Autoimmune Paleo and Gut Healing
- 3-4 large kale leaves, destemed
- 2 frozen peach slices
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp collagen hydrolysate
- 3 ice cubes
- Juice from 1/4 lemon
- Optional Topping
- 1/2 banana sliced
- 1 tbsp coconut flakes
- Add the kale and coconut milk to the blender (vitamin, ninja, nutribullet, etc) and blend until smooth
- Add other ingredients and blend until smooth and all frozen chunks are broken up
- Pour smoothie into a bowl (or cup if preferred)
- Add toppings as desired
- Eat with a spoon and enjoy!
I highly recommend trying this out if you’re looking for a cold treat, or are struggling to get extra leafy greens into your diet. Not only is it nutrient dense, but it’s so much fun to eat!
Do you make smoothie bowls? What are you go-to toppings?
This recipe was shared on the Pheonix Helix Recipe AIP Recipe Roundtable. Go check it out!
Though I follow the autoimmune protocol for the most part and have an autoimmune disease, I do enjoy a few reintros. Coffee, goat dairy, and certain spices are just a few and I’ve been incredibly thankful during the season of pumpkin spice latte’s! However, these deliciously cliche autumn drinks aren’t totally off limits for AIP folks. When September rolled around, my first move was to make an AIP pumpkin spice “latte”. However, for the sake of all my fellow fall lovers, you can never have enough pumpkin. So, I also wanted to share a paleo version that I also enjoy made from local goat milk from Hidden Valley Creamery, Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee, and a pumpkin pie spice blend.
So, why did I chose chameleon cold brew? Well, it tastes bomb for one. The mocha flavor is a spot on, and the cold brew is much appreciated as iced coffee is still appropriate for me in Texas. Also, it’s great quality and doesn’t make me feel weird. Instant coffee is often cross reactive with gluten, and non-organic coffee has high pesticides. This coffee easily makes the best iced coffee I’ve ever had.
First, let me address the goat dairy as it can be a gray area for some on the paleo diet. I follow a more ancestral and local approach, and let’s face it… when it comes to milk options, coconuts do not grow in Dallas. Not everyone can tolerate dairy and coconut milk is a good option if you can’t, but local goat milk is a good option for myself, and for many. Eating local is such an integral part of my own health journey, and it’s the way that we’re primally wired to eat. I fully believe that dairy is a good option for many (not all, of course). Goat milk is a perfectly healthful and delicious option for this drink, and I highly recommend finding a local source!
(update 2016: I’ve since stopped drinking goat dairy as I wasn’t tolerating it well. I advocate it for some, but stick to coconut for myself).
Paleo Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte
- 4 oz Mocha Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee
- 2 oz Coconut Milk (sub the grass-fed goat milk if you're feeling spicy)
- 1 tsp maple sugar or local honey
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 5-6 large ice cubes
- Blend the spices in a small ramekin separately
- Fill a glass with ice cubes
- Add cold brew, and finish with milk
- Combine the mixture with a spoon or coffee stirrer
- Add the pumpkin pie spice blend to the coffee
- Combine with a spoon
- Add more ingredients as needed, and enjoy!
Unbound Wellness http://unboundwellness.com/
What’s your favorite fall drink? Are you pumpkin spice crazy too?
The time has indefinitely come. The leaves are changing, the air is getting more brisk.. well those things are happening somewhere other than Dallas, but hey, a little coffee told me that it’s time for pumpkin spice everything. So therefore, I can only deduce that it indeed almost fall. That means it’s was time for me to come up with an AIP pumpkin spice latte of my own that was dairy free, coffee free, and fit the autoimmune protocol.
So what’s in a normal pumpkin spice latte that someone following AIP can’t have? Dairy for sure, but there’s also the coffee, and all spice. Not to mention the mystery sweeteners and flavorings that you’d find anywhere else other than making this homemade.
Personally, I’m at a point in my journey where I can tolerate coffee just fine once or twice a week, and that’s fine. Strict AIP isn’t made to last forever as Pheonix Helix reminds us, but I wanted to make something that was fully compliant for someone who was currently strict AIP. That’s when I brought in the tea. I used a black tea for the base, but remember it’s fermented and won’t work for someone with yeast issues. You can try a chai or roobis tea, but be sure to get something with a neutral flavor.
AIP Pumpkin Spice Latte
- 8 oz Black tea, brewed
- 1 tbsp canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup coconut cream
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp mace (sub nutmeg if tolerated)
- 1/4 tsp maple syrup or maple sugar
- Combine the ingredients in a blender of your choice
- Blend for 5-7 seconds on low
- Reheat slightly either in the microwave for 20-30 seconds or on the stove until it starts to steam if desired
- Throw on some leggings, an oversized jumper and enjoy
Unbound Wellness http://unboundwellness.com/
Like I said, you can easily sub ingredients that you’ve been able to add back into your diet, but this is strict AIP! There are lots more yummy AIP pumpkin goodies coming soon! I did have a whole can to play with 😉
That’s all for this week! Stay seasonal my friends.
What’s your favorite way to get your first taste of pumpkin in the fall? Have you had a pumpkin spice latte yet?
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