I’m Moving!

Hey guys! Guess what?! My new blog is up! I’ve been working on it for quite some time now and I’m so excited to tell you guys that it’s ready to go!

The new site has some great features! First of all, all of my recipes are finally in one place so that you can easily reference them whenever you need a tasty recipe! I’ve got Holistic Squid’s awesome real food and paleo meal plans available. I’ve featured some of my absolute favorite books, and I’ve set up a store so that you can get all of my favorite kitchen essentials, healthy foods, personal items and workout equipment!

I thank every one of you for subscribing to Happy Healthnut, and I look forward to seeing you over at my new blog! I’ll leave the link below. So go over and check it out. Look around, and don’t forget to subscribe via email for all of Happy Healthnut’s latest recipes and happenings!

Come see me at http://www.ahappyhealthnut.com!

P.S. Notice the “a” before happyhealthnut…I know..but just “happyhealthnut.com” was taken. Ah well!

Thank you guys!

In good health,

your Happy Healthnut friend, Kelli

Apple Bacon Breakfast Muffins

applebaconmuffinstitle

Alright, now I’m just getting wild and crazy with my apples. Oh so many apples. What’s a girl to do with SO MANY APPLES?! Apple sauce…check. Apple butter…check….baked apples…check….apple crisp….check…What now? What else? A spin on pork chops and applesauce!

applebaconmuffins1

Apples and pork. It’s a classic combo that it awesome no matter how you slice it. One of my favorite things to do is look in my fridge, grab out whatever I have, and see what I can concoct with it. It’s like my own little iron chef kitchen. So what do to with all the apples? ….let’s see…leftover bacon…maple syrup….AHA! Apple Bacon Breakfast Muffins!

applebaconmuffins2

Now before you snark at the thought…just consider it….it’s a sweet and salty thing right? If McDonald’s can get away with it with those crazy maple sausage breakfast sandwich thingies….So can I! And I’m happy I went there. I’m not sorry because these puppies turned out delicious. They’re a complete breakfast wrapped up into one little muffin!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour (get it here)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (like this)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (like this)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (like this)
  • 3/4 cup grated apple (about 1 medium sized apples)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup (like this)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (like this)
  • 1/4 rendered bacon fat, plus 1 tbsp for greasing your tin. Okay I know I know, but really- just go with it. If you want, you can use coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 strips cooked bacon, chopped

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your muffin tin with coconut oil, butter, bacon fat- or just use paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, sea salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir well with a fork until all of the lumps are gone.

applebaconmuffinsdry

Wash, peel and grate your apple.

applebaconmuffinsgratedapple

In a separate bowl, beat the 2 eggs together. Add in the grated apple, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir well to combine.

applebaconmuffinssyrup

Add whatever your fat of choice is into the bowl. It needs to be liquid, so if you have to melt it to do that please do so, but make sure that it’s not hot because it may scramble your eggs.

Add your chopped bacon to the dry ingredients and mix to incorporate.

applebaconmuffinsbaconadded

Combine the wet and dry ingredients together in a bowl and stir until well incorporated.

applebaconmuffinsbatter

I know. It’s not so pretty. But it sure is tasty. Spoon the batter into your prepared muffin tin, filling about 2/3 of the way up.

applebaconmuffinsintin

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the edges begin to pull away from the pan.

applebaconmuffinscooked

From here, you can gild the lily a bit and top it with a schmear of pastured butter, or you can just eat as is. Enjoy!

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Excaliber Food Dehydrator Giveaway

Enter to win your own Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator!

dehydratorIt’s Time for a GIVEAWAY!

 You guys know how much I bragged about inheriting that dehydrator this summer! I was SO excited! These machines are invaluable for healthnuts. There is so much you can do with them that will make healthy eating that much easier for you.

I used my dehydrator to dry tomatoes for tomato paste. I made zucchini, summer squash, and radish chips with it. I dried bananas (which make an EXCELLENT snack for little ones), and now I’m about to dehydrate apples for apple chips! YUM!

This Dehydrator is a $400 value!

FOLLOW THESE FOUR EASY STEPS TO WIN!

 
1. Click to take a closer look at the 
Excalibur DS900S and check out the terrific features! 
(After reading about it come back here to complete steps 2 & 3.)

2. “Like” Happy Healthnut on Facebook

(If your already a subscriber just continue to step 3…)

3. Complete the mandatory skill question.

(Don’t worry, if you don’t know what 1 + 1 equals, you may not want to be operating a piece of equipment like a dehydrator! :-))

 

4. Leave a comment letting us know what you would make first with the Excalibur D900S!

 

Click on “Rafflecopter Giveaway” to the right to enter the giveaway!

You can earn extra entries by following the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget. 

 

For more chances to win, be sure to visit this giveaway’s co-hosting blogs!

Nourishing Herbalist

The Skinny Pear

Don’t Mess with Mama

Blue Yurt Farms

Sky Minded and Ever Growing

Rethink Simple

Natural Family Today

Learning and Yearning 

Five Little Homesteaders 

 

 

Note: If you cannot see the Rafflecopter widget below, click here to see the widget and enter now.

A winner will be chosen via random.org. We will announce the lucky winner on Tuesday, October 15th, 2013. The winner will have 48 hours to contact (nourishingherbalist at gmail dot com) with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone, but the Excalibur Dehydrator will only be shipped to U.S. or Canadian residents. Winners who live outside of these areas will receive an Amazon gift card in the amount of the item sale price on Amazon

Best of luck! 

Happy Healthnut

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PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

How to Manhandle a Pomegranate

pomagranatetitle

I feel like pomegranates fall into the same category as artichokes…that beautiful nutritious fruit/vegetable that you know is wonderful for you but you never buy because you don’t have the foggiest idea what to do with it! How to cut into it? What part of it to eat? How to eat it? Am I getting warm?

pomegranatecloseup

I polled my Facebook peeps a few days ago and asked if you love this amazing fruit as much as I do. The reviews were mixed. Many of you said that you love the flavor, but reported that you just don’t know what to do with it or said that there were too many seeds! Well guess what? The seeds are the part that you eat!

And they are absolutely PACKED with antioxidants. Additionally, pomegranates may even help improve blood flow to the heart:

“Pomegranate juice may improve blood flow to the heart in people with ischemic coronary heart disease (CHD). In a study of 45 people with CHD and myocardial ischemia (in which not enough blood gets to the heart muscle), participants who drank about 8 fluid ounces of pomegranate juice daily for 3 months had less ischemia during a stress test. Study participants who did not drink the juice, meanwhile, had evidence of more stress-induced ischemia. The study noted no negative effects to drinking pomegranate juice (even on blood sugar levels or body weight). Lead researcher, Dean Ornish, MD, believes pomegranate juice may even be able to help prevent heart disease in people who do not already have it (source).”

I think that’s a sufficient excuse to add this fruit into your diet! They’re really not at all difficult to manage once you know how! So I’m going to show you!

When it comes to pomegranates, you definitely want to eat the seeds, but the juice is worth saving too! So here’s the set-up that I use.

pomagranatesetup

All I do is place a fine mesh sieve (like this one) over a large glass bowl (like this one). Cut the pomegranate in half on it’s equator. Then squeeze the crap out of one half of the pomegranate over the sieve- really MANHANDLE it! The seeds will stay in the sieve, and the juice will drip into the bowl. After you have squeezed every bit of that delicious juice out of it, you should be able to pretty easily rip the skin open. Your pomegranates will look something like this.

pomegranate1

Scoop out the remaining seeds into the sieve (you’ll continue to collect a bit of juice). I like to use my fingers for this. I find it easier to get all of the seeds out of their cute little cubbies. Some people prefer to hit the pomegranate with the back of a spoon. That method doesn’t work so well for me, but do what works for you. Either way, you’ll end up with these cute little gems of love.

pomagranateseedscloseup

Now you’re ready to devour! These seeds make a great snack! Mix them in with some other fruit or top a salad with them. They make a great crunchy and sweet/sour addition! My little one loves to just eat them plain! As for the juice, it makes an awesome vinaigrette! Mix the juice with a bit of olive oil, some dijon, sea salt and pepper and you have a tangy, delicious dressing. You can add the juice to sparkling water for a fancy little mock-tail (or even to a real cocktail if that’s your gig). These are just a couple of suggestions, but I’ve got some great recipes using this awesome fruit coming up for you guys! So stay tuned! And don’t fear the pomegranate anymore! The next time you see one in the market, pick it up and give it a whirl!

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Cinnamon Vanilla Crockpot Apple Butter

applebuttertitle

For the life of me, I cannot think of any good reason as to why I never did anything with the thousands of apples that I had at my fingertips growing up. My backyard was an apple orchard and not once did I bake up a pie or a crisp. Never did I make applesauce or apple butter! What was wrong with me? I guess you could partly attribute it to the fact that my mother, while a very talented woman, did not consider harvesting, washing, peeling, coring and baking apples a particularly fun job. It just is not her thing. So if I were going to venture to do those things, it would’ve had to have been on my own accord.

applebutter2So when my dad asked me if I wanted to help pick up apples (because they do have to ALL be picked up before he can mow), I obliged. I figured my little one would think it was a fun task. She had more fun taking bites out of about thirty different apples. Anyhow, I had no idea how many there were! There were so many apples that giant limbs were breaking off of trees! This is what we gathered, and it was probably only about one percent of what was out there!

apples

And there are so many more apples. I just collected what I thought I could manage to turn into something yummy. First order of business: Apple Butter! Apple butter is a great way to use up a HUGE number of apples at one time. It’s easy to make- pretty much a set-it-and-forget-it recipe, which I always love.

applebutter

So what do I do with apple butter? Well that’s easy. You can slather on some toast or any kind of bread. It makes a great snack for little ones if you put it on some crackers. My personal favorite way to eat it is as a dipper. It’s awesome with celery pieces, pear slices, and believe it or not, apple slices! That’s right- apple on apple. It’s delicious. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Special Equipment:

  • Crock pot (this is not the one that I have, but it’s the one that I want!)
  • Immersion blender (this is the one I love)

Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs of apples (I used Macintosh)- washed, cored and cut into eighths. There’s really no need to peel them, but you can if you like.
  • Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tbsp
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar (I like this kind)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (like this)
  • 1 vanilla bean, caviar and stalk (get it here)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (get it here)

Directions:

Put your washed, cored and sliced apples in the slow cooker. Add the lemon juice and cinnamon sticks. The lemon juice is not to keep the apples from oxidizing. They’re going to turn dark brown anyway. It’s mostly just to balance out the sweetness and keep the apples from burning. Turn the crock pot on low.

applebutteruncooked

Let the apples cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally. I know it seems like an enormous amount of apples, but they cook down A LOT!

applebutterhalfbrown

After about eight hours, your apples should be deep brown and very soft. Okay I know, it’s not pretty, but it will be delicious, I promise.

Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise with the tip of a sharp pairing knife. Scrape out the caviar with the back of the knife.

vanillabean

Add the vanilla bean and the caviar to the slow-cooker. Stir in the coconut palm sugar and sea salt. Allow the apples to cook for an additional hour so that the vanilla flavor infuses into the apples.

applebuttervanillaadded

Remove the vanilla bean pod and cinnamon sticks from the apple mixture. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender.

applebutterbeginningblend

Keep pureeing until the apples are completely smooth and creamy! Voila! Apple Butter!

applebuterblended

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Healthy Pumpkin Protein Oats

healthypumpkinproteinoats

Around this time of year, I get the urge to eat pumpkin in as many ways as possible! I love to roast it and eat it plain. I love to puree it, can it and pop it in the freezer and save it for later. I love to put it into soups. I love to scoop out the seeds and roast them! They’re delicious.

Aside from being tasty, pumpkin is also really good for you! It has loads of fiber, iron, and vitamins A and E. Additionally, it also helps fight inflammation! These are all good enough reasons for me to incorporate lots of pumpkin into my diet.

I adore pumpkin in this dish. It turns regular old oats into a creamy, nutrient dense breakfast dish that’s quick to make and super delish! I’ve also added some hemp seeds, which are loaded with protein, so this dish or oats will help keep you full and satisfied for hours! Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole rolled oats (get them here)
  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • 2 tbsp acidic medium (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or whey)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (get that here)- *Note- This is NOT the same thing as pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (get that here)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (get that here)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (get that here)
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds (get those here)
  • any combination of fruit or nuts to garnish

Directions:

  • The night before you plan to eat your oats, you will need to soak them. Okay I know you don’t plan ahead right? But it’s really not that big of a deal, and it makes them super quick to whip up in the morning. Additionally, it’s necessary to soak oats prior to eating them, as the soaking process will reduce the phytic acid (an anti-nutrient that will cause your body to leach minerals such as calcium and magnesium). So to soak your oats, combine the oats, 1 cup of filtered water, and whatever acidic medium you’re using in a saucepan. Cover the saucepan and let them sit out on the counter overnight.
  • In the morning, add an additional cup of water to the pan, and cook the oats per the instructions. It will depend on if you’re using quick, instant, etc.
  • When the oats are cooked, stir in the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and hemp seeds. Garnish with whatever combo of fruit and nuts you like. I LOVE goji berries and walnuts in mine, but pumpkin seeds would be great too! Enjoy!

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs with Roasted Cauliflower and Parsnip Puree

shortribsplatedtitle

The first time I had braised beef short ribs was in a barn! A barn in Tuscany that had been converted to a restaurant (although it still smelled of goat, which I found a bit charming to be honest). It was love at first bite. They were rich, flavorful, fatty and delicious!

shortribsplated1

For the life of me I can’t figure out how I missed this cut of meat prior to my amazing trip to Italy. Beef short ribs are available in my local grocery store (although not grass-fed, which is of utmost importance. I order them from my organics company), and yet somehow, I had never noticed them! Now, I almost always have a slab on hand in my freezer so that I can pull them out and cook them up whenever I have a hankering for something rich and slow-cooked.

When I had my first taste of short ribs they were served over fresh pasta, and appropriately so given that I was in Italy. Since then, I’ve also seen them served over mashed potatoes and rice. But I decided to go a different route. I went with a delicious roasted cauliflower and parsnip puree! For those of you that have never had parsnips before, they’re a white root vegetable and they sort of taste like spicy carrots. They’re delicious!

This dish also makes great company food! It’s elegant yet rustic, chic but not pretentious in the least. You can throw it together in about thirty minutes, let it simmer away on the stove, and flood your guests senses with the delicious aroma of a slow-cooked meal from the minute they walk in the door! This recipe is a MUST try. I promise you will love it! Here’s the Recipe:

Yields:

  • 6-8 servings

Ingredients for the Short Ribs:

  • 2 lbs grass fed beef short ribs
  • 3 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 lb of carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 8 oz crimini or button mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste (this is my favorite kind, or you can learn how to make your own here)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups dry red wine of your choice. I used a Merlot, but a Cabernet Sauvignon or Chianti would work wonderfully
  • 1/2 to 1 cup beef stock, or homemade chicken stock is fine too- whatever you’ve got on hand will do
  • Sea salt and Pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Puree:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 4 parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp butter (or more depending on how wild and crazy you feel)

Directions:

If your short ribs come in a slab like mine did, you’ll need to cut them into chunks. Often they come already cut. Season them generously with salt and pepper.

shortribsslab

Heat your ghee or coconut oil in a dutch oven (like this one) over high heat on the stove top. Brown the short ribs on each side- and I mean BROWN! Brown food tastes GOOD! They should look like this:

shortribsbrowned1

When the short ribs are browned on all sides, remove them from the pan and side aside. At this point, you should definitely have some brown goodies stuck to the bottom of your pan. That is MAJOR flavor! But you may also have some extra nasty fat that’s sort of blackish in your pan, and you’ll want to pour that off.

Return the dutch oven to medium heat, and add your onions, carrots, celery and garlic to the pan. Season generously with sea salt and pepper.

shortribsmirapoix

Saute the vegetables for about 3-4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Add the mushrooms to the pot.

shortribsshroomsadded

Saute all of the vegetables for an additional 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste to the pot and stir it around until all of the vegetables are well coated. Let the tomato paste and vegetables cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring frequently so that the tomato paste browns but doesn’t burn.

Now you’re going to add the WINE! So remove the pan from the heat (NEVER add alcohol to a dish over a flame!) and pour the wine into the pot. Return the pot to high heat and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all of the yummy good brown bits on the bottom of the pot.

shortribswineadded

Let the wine continue to cook out and reduce over medium heat for an additional 5 minutes or so. In the mean time, make your herb bundle!

shortribsherbbundle1

Add the browned beef short ribs back into the pot and nestle them in. Add the herb bundle to the pot, and add enough stock to come halfway up the meat! This is a braise, so you don’t want to cover the meat!

shortribsherbsadded

Bring the liquid up to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Add a bit more sea salt and pepper. Pop the lid on and let it simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

While your short ribs are cooking, prepare your puree. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lay the cauliflower and parsnip out on a sheet tray (you may need 2). Add a tbsp of ghee or coconut oil to each pan and season with sea salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast for 25-35 minutes or until the veggies are tender and golden brown.

Throw the veggies into a bowl and add some milk, starting with 1/2 cup and adding in until you achieve your desired consistency. I like mine pretty smooth. You can use a potato masher if you like, but I love to use my immersion blender (like this one). Puree until smooth (or lumpy if that’s what you like). Stir in a couple of tablespoons of butter. Taste and season with sea salt and pepper.

You will know your short ribs are finished because they will fall off the bone! Shred the short ribs and stir them into the stew. Taste again, and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. And for the love of all things decent and good in the world, PLEASE do NOT throw away the bones!!!!! They make a delicious and nutrient-dense stock.

Serve the braised short ribs and veggies over the puree. Enjoy!

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.