Carob Stuffed Strawberries – AIP/Paleo/Vegan

I made these beauties for a pot-luck I was attending earlier this month, and have only just got round to writing about them.

These are the perfect dessert or treat for summer…  ripe, seasonal fruit, a rich chocolatey flavoured filling and then a little bit of mint.

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Essentially, they are fresh, perfectly ripe strawberries that have been hollowed out and filled with the same choco-bananacado mousse that I have posted about a while back.  Then a mint sprig was added to simulate the green leaves. and provide a burst of freshness.

These are incredible and got devoured almost immediately.

They are 100% autoimmune protocol friendly, but are also vegan.  And they are very quick and easy to make.  If you can tolerate chocolate/cocoa, you could probably substitute the carob powder for some cocoa powder to make these really rich and chocolatey….

I am planning on making these again in a week or two’s time for another potluck…

Just an additional note – it is worth buying the best, ripest, strawberries you can find.  go for organic, local grown, really fresh… because if you don’t you won’t get the full strawberry flavour.  Who wants to eat insipid, out of season strawbs that have been flown halfway round the world, treated with pesticides and goodness knows what and taste of nothing!

I firmly believe that strawberries should be a seasonal treat – enjoy them while they are fresh and seasonal….

Carob Stuffed Strawberries

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Take the strawberries and wash them.  Then, using a small paring knife, cut the tops off and hollow out a small space in the top of the strawberries.  Don’t throw away your strawberry tops and the pieces you have cut away – save them and use them to make a strawberry infused water

Place the avocado, banana, carob powder, vanilla powder, coconut oil, honey and coconut cream in a food processor and puree the mixture until it is smooth and evenly mixed.

Use a plastic bag with the corner cut off, or a piping bag to pipe the carob/banana/avocado mixture into the hollows you cut in the strawberries.

You may have more of the mixture than you need to fill the strawberries – just transfer the extra to a dish and eat it later!

Top the carob filled strawberries with a mint sprig.

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Chill in the fridge to set the carob mixture.

These do need to be eaten relatively quickly, but will last a day or two in the fridge.

Shared at: Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable

Basic Mixed Salad With Balsamic Vinaigrette (AIP)

I realized that I have never posted about the basic salad that I eat with almost every single meal that I make…

This recipe is 100% AIP with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

You can vary the salad ingredients to include anything that you like to have in your salad – no need to stick to the vegetables that I have suggested here – I often vary them depending on what I have available and what is seasonal.

These ingredients are just a suggestion.

To make this recipe low-fodmap, simply omit the green onions and don’t use the suggestion of garlic in the vinaigrette dressing.

The vinaigrette cannot be made low histamine as given, but you could replace the balsamic vinegar with fresh lemon juice.

This recipe keeps well in the fridge for several days – just add the balsamic vinaigrette as needed.  I often make a big batch of salad, and store the dressing in a jar in the fridge.  I will serve myself a portion of salad as needed and then drizzle over a little dressing, toss it and eat it.

Basic Mixed Salad

serves 4-6


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  • ½ head romaine lettuce – chopped
  • ½ head green or red leaf lettuce – chopped
  • 1 small daikon radish – peeled and grated
  • 3 large carrots – peeled and grated
  • 4 green onions – chopped (omit this if low-FODMAP)
  • ½ english cucumber – chopped
  • Balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)

This recipe is very simple to make.  Peel the daikon and carrots and grate them into a bowl (you could also chop or julienne them if you prefer).  Chop the 2 types of lettuce, the onions and the cucumber.

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  I find that my hands are the best tool to do this as it does not bruise the salad greens/lettuce.

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At this stage, the salad can be stored in a covered bowl or storage container in the fridge for a few days.   But like all raw/fresh ingredients, it is better if you serve it fresh.

Just before serving, toss with the balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below) and serve at once.

In the picture below, I served this salad with a simple grilled burger and a large dollop of guacamole.

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Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette

makes ¼ cup (enough for a salad for 4-6 people)

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This dressing is the epitomy of simplicity.

All you do is add the balsamic vinegar to a small glass jar.  Add the olive oil and season to taste with sea salt.

Shake well and use to dress your salads immediately before serving.

It can be kept in the fridge for several days, but will need to be allowed to come up to room temperature before mixing as the olive oil may solidify.

This recipe can be varied by adding garlic (do not add this if low-FODMAP) or fresh or dried herbs.  I like to add fresh thyme and oregano.  If adding fresh herbs use right away.

You could also replace the balsamic vinegar with any vinegar of your choice or even any citrus juice.  To make this recipe low histamine, I recommend freshly squeezed lemon juice in place of the balsamic vinegar.

The extra virgin olive oil can also be replaced with any oil that you prefer as well.  Nut and seed oils are not AIP, but avocado oil is and makes a delicious vinagrette.

Avocado-Nana Raspberry Parfait

Avocado in desserts?  Why not!

In this parfait, the avocado provides a smooth rich creamyness, while the banana sweetens it.

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It is simply a smooth avocado and banana puree layered with fresh raspberries and topped with a little coconut cream and a few more fresh raspberries.

Tasty, delicious and very good for you!

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This dessert is sugar, dairy and egg free, is raw and 100% AIP.  .

Avocado-Nana Raspberry Parfait

makes 3


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Peel and remove the stone from the avocado and place it in a food processor.  Add the peeled banana, yoghurt, honey and collagen (if using).

Process on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Layer the avocado mixture in glasses or jars with the raspberries, topping with some coconut cream and a few more raspberries.

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Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Shared at:  Mostly Homemade Mondays, Thank Goodness It’s Monday

Choco-Bananacado Mousse – AIP/Vegan/Raw

A chocolate craving the other night, and a need for some comfort food led me to develop the recipe for this mousse

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It actually does not contain any chocolate – I used carob instead.

This recipe is 100% AIP, it is also vegan and raw as it contains no eggs.

But despite this, it is just as satisfying and “chocolatey” as any chocolate mousse I have ever tried.  It is also very rich and filling.

Choco-Bananacado Mousse

Serves 2

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  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3 TBSP carob powder
  • ¼ vanilla powder
  • pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP raw honey
  • 3 TBSP coconut cream (the thick layer at the top of a can of coconut milk)
  • Whipped coconut cream and fresh raspberries to garnish (optional)

This is a very easy recipe that takes only seconds to whip up…  perfect for when you need a “chocolate” fix in a hurry.

Peel the avocado and remove the pit.  Place the avocado flesh in a food processor with the banana, carob powder, vanilla powder, salt, coconut oil, coconut cream and honey.

Process on high for a minute or two until the mixture is smooth.

Transfer to two individual serving dishes or jars.

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This can be chilled in the fridge or consumed immediately.  Chilling in the fridge will result in a firm texture.

Serve garnished with whipped coconut cream and fresh fruit if you like.

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It is delicious eaten just as it is though.

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Nori Veggie Snacks

These are an easy, handheld snack that my kids love.

And the best part is that they are so nutritious.  The nori provides some iodine, the veggies provide a ton of antioxidants, vitamins and other minerals.

They are a little fiddly and messy to make, but the results are SO worth it!

These make a great lunch box filler, or a hand-held snack at any time.

You do need a dehydrator to make these.

Because these contain bell peppers and sundried tomatoes, they are an AIP stage 4 reintroduction.

When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Nori Veggie Snacks

makes aprox 36

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  • 12 Nori sheets – cut into ⅓ lengthwise
  • 8oz sunflower seeds
  • 8oz pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup sundried tomatoes – drained if in oil
  • 1 red bell pepper – seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 beet – peeled and grated
  • 1 carrot – peeled and grated
  • 4 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 5 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sundried tomatoes, pepper, beet, garlic and cayenne in a food processor.  Blend while gradually adding the water until it forms a smooth paste.  You may need more or less water depending on how juicy your veggies are.

Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Avoid using too much salt as it will become more concentrated when dehydrated, and you do not want it to be too salty.

Transfer the paste to a small ziplock bag.  Press out as much air as possible and seal.  Now snip off one corner to turn it into a piping bag.  You want to be able to pipe out lines of the paste that are about ¼-½ inch thick.

Lay a strip of nori on the counter, shiny side down.  Spritz it with a little water using a spray bottle.

Pipe a line of the veggie paste down the center of the nori.  Roll the nori around the filling, spraying with a little more water if necessary.  Press the edges of the slightly dampened seaweed together to seal.

Repeat this with all of the other nori sheets.

Place your nori veggie snacks on a dehydrator tray and dry overnight (I set the temperature of mine to 52°C/125°F).

When they are ready, they should be firm and dried out, and the nori should be crisp.

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Allow to cool and store in an airtight container until needed.

Shared at Mostly Homemade Monday #79

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Creamy Spinach Dip

This wonderful dip is 100% paleo despite the creaminess.  It is also dairy and gluten-free, raw and vegan to boot.  And it tastes incredibly delicious!

This is what I served the other day in the packed lunches…  I love serving dips in the kids lunches because research has shown that it is a good way of getting your kids to eat more veggies…  all I can say is that having seen what they bring back from school, it WORKS!  They will eat far more veggies (and everything else too) on the days I serve a dip…

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And with this dip, not only are they dipping and eating the veggies, there are veggies IN the dip as well….

It is great in packed lunches because it will not spoil if kept at room temperature for a few hours (the only issue is the presence of the nuts as some schools ban them), but it would also make a great appetizer or snack…  heck, I suspect it would be fab piled on top of a burger as well!

This recipe contains nuts and tahini, both of which are AIP stage 2 reintroductions.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Creamy Spinach Dip

serves 6-8

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  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 green onions – chopped
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

Put the cashews and almonds in a bowl and cover with cold water.  Leave to soak for several hours.  This not only deactivates some of the anti-nutrients in the nuts, but it also is what makes the dip creamy… the nuts will absorb the water and plump up.  Don’t stint on the soaking time!  Having said that, you don’t want to go mad – you don’t want those nuts starting to sprout or go bad on you…  3-4 hours is plenty.

Drain the nuts and put in a food processor.  Dump in all the rest of the ingredients and process until thick and creamy.  If it is too thick, add a little water (you could reserve some of the nut-soaking water for this).

Transfer to a serving dish and chill until needed.

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This is great served with all kinds of veggies, veggie chips or homemade crackers.

Raw Crackers

These crackers are not only grain/gluten-free, they are raw, as they are “cooked” in the dehydrator.   They are incredibly easy to make and very tasty.  Perfect for packed lunches, as part of a cheese-board (assuming you eat dairy) or for a quick snack.  They are also great with dips.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you could probably dry them out in an oven set at it’s lowest setting, but that might “cook” them a little, and you would have to watch them carefully to ensure that they don’t burn.

Because these crackers are made from seeds, they are an AIP stage 2 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Raw Seed Crackers

makes 1-2 dozen depending on how big you make them

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  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt

Soak all the seeds in the water for half an hour until thick.

Now tip into a food processor and process until it forms a thick paste.  It looks very unpromising at this point as the resulting mixture is thick and gloopy, and is an unattractive grey colour.

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Tip the mixture out onto a paraflexx sheet (if you don’t have one, you could use a silpat or even a sheet of baking parchment.

Spread it out as thinly as possible.  The thinner you spread it out, the thinner your crackers will be once they are dried.  The most important thing is that you keep it a fairly even thickness.  It doesn’t matter if the edges are a little ragged, the edge pieces will still taste good!

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Sprinkle the crackers evenly with 1-2 tsp sea salt.

Dry the crackers out in a dehydrator set at 57°C/135°F for a couple of hours until the top is starting to dry out.  Score the crackers into the desired size and shapes.  The smaller you make the crackers, the more you will get.

Return the sheet to the dehydrator and continue drying until the top is totally dry.

Place another tray on top of your crackers and flip them over.  Now you can peel off the Paraflexx sheet and dry the other side.  Return the crackers to the dehydrator and continue drying until the crackers are totally dry and crisp.

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Break into individual crackers along the score marks and store in an airtight container.

Zucchini Hummus

I love hummus, but seeing as it is made from chickpeas (which are a legume), it is most decidedly not Paleo…

There are a large amount of Paleo Cauliflower “Hummus” recipes out there, but I don’t have any cauliflower right now, so needed to come up with an alternative dip for the lunch-boxes….  but I did know that I wanted a “hummus” to dip the eggplant chips in.

After rummaging in the fridge for a while, I came up with some zucchini….

And a plan formed….

This recipe contains tahini (sesame seeds) which is an AIP stage 2 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Zucchini “Hummus”

serves 6

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2 large zucchini – peeled and roughly chopped (no need to chop finely, this is going in the food processor!)

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup tahini

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp cumin

4 cloves of garlic

1 tsp sea salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

This recipe takes seconds to make.  All you are going to do is dump all the ingredients in the food processor and pulse it until it forms a creamy dip.

Check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper as needed, then transfer to a serving dish and chill until required.

Simple!

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Surprisingly, this actually does taste like hummus (I suspect it is the combination of tahini and cumin).  It is also pleasantly thick.  And because the zucchini were peeled, it even looks like hummus.

I just KNOW it will taste fabulous with those eggplant chips.

And of course being a dip, it will encourage the kids to eat more veggies as well…

Don’t just keep this as a lunch-box filler though.  This can be used anytime you want a dip for veggies or chips.  I also suspect that it is thick enough that it could make a good filling for a wrap or sandwich as well.  And of course it would be fabulous as an appetizer or snack…

And of course it is a great way to use up a glut of zucchini!

Raw No-Grainola

I have struggled to come up with a breakfast cereal substitute that I am happy to feed to my girls.  While I don’t want them eating grains, especially gluten containing ones, I do occasionally want the convenience of a breakfast cereal.

On the days when I am starting work at 9am, I have to leave home slightly before 8am, and it is those days when I really feel the pressure to get a decent breakfast into the girls.  And it is those days that I really regretted not having a box of breakfast cereal.

We dabbled for a while by buying the odd box of gluten-free cereals, but they not only come in a teeny-tiny box (that my hugely-hungry kids can get through in one sitting!), but they also cost an absolute fortune.  And not only that, while they are gluten-free, they are still made from grains such as corn (which I try to avoid due to any corn that is not organic being most likley to be a GMO crop which will be contaminated with cancer causing Glyphosphate, and even the organic corn is likely to be contaminated with GMO DNA due to cross pollination), or quinoa, buckwheat and other gluten-free grains.  And this means that it is high in carbs, which hubby and I try hard to avoid.

I was sure that I could come up with a recipe that would work as a form of low-carb, grain-free granola far cheaper than those boxes of highly processed gluten-free cereal….

And this recipe is also raw which means that all the enzymes in the raw honey and bee-pollen are not destroyed.  If you don’t have a dehydrator, you could make it in the oven at the lowest setting, but the heat will be higher, and it won’t be a raw cereal.

This is an AIP stage 2 reintroduction recipe.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Raw No-Grainola

makes 25 1/2 cup portions

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1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup honey – we use raw honey from Buzz Honey

2 over-ripe bananas

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup almonds

1 cup raw pecans

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup walnuts

1 cup hazelnuts/filberts

1 cup unsweetened coconut

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup flax seeds

1/4 cup bee pollen (optional) – we buy this from Buzz Honey

First up, I melted the honey and coconut oil together, being careful not to let it get too hot.  Then I pureed the banana in the food processor and added that to the honey/coconut mixture.

I put all the remaining ingredients except for the chia seeds, flax seeds and bee pollen (if using) in the food processor and pulsed it to give a coarse mixture.  You do still want some texture to this, so make sure it is not too finely ground.

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Turn the mixture into a bowl and stir in the chia seeds, flax seeds and bee pollen (if using).  Then stir in the honey, oil and banana mix.

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Next you have a choice…

If you want your granola to be raw, you need to dry it in a food-dehydrator (I have one by Excalibur which is fantastic!).  I would advise you to use some sort of mat to stop any small pieces falling through the holes in the trays.  I used the Paraflexx mats that came with my dehydrator, but a silicone baking mat such as a silpat, or even a sheet of baking parchment would serve.

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Depending on the heat setting (mine was set at 125F/52C), it will take anything from 12-24 hours to dry.  Humidity in the air will also affect the drying time.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, it is possible to still make this granola, but it won’t be a raw one, which means that the heat of the oven will have destroyed any enzymes.  It will still taste good however!

In this case, set your oven to the lowest possible temperature (if you have a fan oven, use that setting to keep air circulating).  Place your granola on a rimmed baking sheet and pop it in the oven, propping the door open to increase air circulation as much as possible.  Stir often, and expect it to take less time to dry as the heat will be higher.  You will need to watch it more closely if you are cooking it in the oven to prevent it burning.

Once your granola is dry and crunchy, break it up into chunky pieces and stir in 1 cup of mixed dried fruits.  I used a mixture of raisins and chopped dried apricots.

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Finally, store in an airtight container until required.  This recipe made enough to half fill a 5.6 liter (1.5 gallon) storage container.

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This granola is fantastic as a quick, easy and nutritious breakfast when served with coconut milk (or even “normal” milk if you eat dairy).  I recommend that you serve no more than half a cup at a time as it is very filling.

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It also makes a great lunch-box snack when served without the milk.

Apricot And Date Energy Balls

These little bite-sized balls are a play on the energy-bars that I have posted about earlier.

They make a great lunch-box or post-workout snack, and taste great with no additives or non-paleo ingredients.  And the best part is that they are so simple to make.

Because these contain nuts and chia seeds, they are an AIP stage 2 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Apricot and Date Energy Balls

makes 24 walnut sized balls

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1 cup dried apricots

1 cup dried pitted dates

3/4 cup dried slivered almonds

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp bee pollen (optional) – we buy this from Buzz Honey

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it comes together as a paste.  You do not want to work the mixture so finely that the almonds turn to butter though or they will be very greasy.  Ideally, there should still be some small pieces of almond visible.

Roll the mixture into small walnut sized balls and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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The bee pollen is totally optional – it is supposed to increase your energy levels and contains many beneficial enzymes and nutrients, but these balls will be just as good if you leave it out.  And if you are allergic to pollen or bees in any way, I really would not recommend that you use it.