Sweet & Spicy Candied Walnuts & Pecans

Sweet and Spicy Candied Walnuts and Pecans - A delicious DIY gift! They are great for snacking on, or for serving on green salads. Yum! --- The Nourishing Gourmet

Walnuts and pecans are coated with an unrefined sweetener (such as coconut sugar), spice, and salt, for a delicious combo of sweetness, saltiness, and spice.  They make a perfect gift!

Every December for the last few years I try to come up with a new holiday nut mixture to give as hostess gifts where ever we are visiting. It is one of the easiest things to do and a thoughtful gesture to parents, friends, and neighbors. They can be made up way ahead of time which I love too.

Speaking of DIY gifts, see other lovely and healthy DIY Christmas gifts here (Everything from Dairy-free Hot Cocoa Mix to Homemade Candies to a Healthy Ice Cream Basket), and see the other two posts for the 2015 12 Days of Christmas Series, Mint Chocolate Lip Balm, and Chai Eggnog.

I always end up going back to giving my candied nuts a bit of a spicy kick to them though! There is just something about that flavorful heat that goes so well with the sweet candied coating.

I actually do not have much of a palate for super spicy food but I do appreciate a flavorful heat from a smokey chipotle or a cayenne type of heat and these nuts have just the perfect amount of heat to me. If you prefer things really spicy you could definitely get away with almost doubling the heat in the recipe.

Soaking the nuts before they are prepared will help with digestion – it only takes a little bit of extra time and very little hands on time. (See also how I used this method to make salted soaked and dehydrated almonds).  If you are sensitive to eggs you can leave the egg white out. It does give the nuts a pretty candy like coating but they still come out really good without the whites and I do this with one of my batches every year for a family that we visit that has egg allergies.

By the way! Don’t throw that egg yolk out! Put it in a smoothie or use it for this delicious Caesar dressing! They are very nutrient-rich. (Katie shares great safety information on consuming raw eggs here. As always, consume at your own risk – as small as that risk may be.)

The nuts wrap up great in those little holiday party bags or look gorgeous in a little mason jar with ribbon.

If you don’t have one yet already, here is a (affiliate link) good dehydrator that is high quality and long lasting.

Sweet and Spicy Candied Walnuts

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups raw walnuts
  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 1 tablespoons sea salt for soaking
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup organic pure cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper if you like a smoky heat (more if you like more heat – you can do a combo of these to pepper powders too if you wish)

Directions: 

  1. Put the walnuts, pecans, and 1 TB of sea salt in a medium mixing bowl and add water to cover by a couple inches. Place the bowl in a warm spot in your kitchen 8 hours – this soaking process breaks down the phytic acid in the nuts making them easier to digest as well as making their nutrients more available to absorb.
  2. After the nuts soak, place the nuts in a strainer to drain the water while you put the egg white, sugar, sea salt, and cayenne pepper in the bowl and beat to combine.
  3. Return the drained nuts to the bowl of seasoned egg white and combine with a big spoon to coat the nuts in the seasoned mixture.
  4. Spread the coated nuts onto your dehydrator trays and dehydrate overnight at 150 degrees until crispy and dried out. If you are using an oven you can bake them around 300 degrees for a half hour stirring occasionally.

Sweet & Spicy Candied Walnuts & Pecans
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw walnuts
  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 1 TB sea salt for soaking
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup organic pure cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper if you like a smoky heat (more if you like more heat - you can do a combo of these to pepper powders too if you wish)
Instructions
  1. Put the walnuts, pecans, and 1 TB of sea salt in a medium mixing bowl and add water to cover by a couple inches. Place the bowl in a warm spot in your kitchen 8 hours - this soaking process breaks down the phytic acid in the nuts making them easier to digest as well as making their nutrients more available to absorb.
  2. After the nuts soak, place the nuts in a strainer to drain the water while you put the egg white, sugar, sea salt, and cayenne pepper in the bowl and beat to combine.
  3. Return the drained nuts to the bowl of seasoned egg white and combine with a big spoon to coat the nuts in the seasoned mixture.
  4. Spread the coated nuts onto your dehydrator trays and dehydrate overnight at 150 degrees until crispy and dried out. If you are using an oven you can bake them around 300 degrees for a half hour stirring occasionally.

 

Enjoying a Gluten-free or Grain-free Holiday Season

 

Enjoying the holiday season on a gluten or grain-free diet (resources and recipes!)

The first holiday season we were gluten-free was a big adjustment. So many family recipes and treats were off limits. But you know what? We’ve found that the holiday season can be a joy and a blessing with glorious food!

This week Megan from EatBeautiful.net and I shared about how we love the holidays, and holiday food – even though we eat differently. More then that, we found our holiday meals to be beautiful with real food!

Megan and her family have been on the GAPS diet, which is a healing, grain-free, starch-free diet. Half of my family is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free.

Maybe you can relate. We hope that this conversation is encouraging to you! We discuss not only recipes, but also some of the surrounding issues, like how to handle children on restricted diets during holiday get togethers, making desserts sweet enough to share with the general public, and more!

To get all of the links to recipes and resources: visit my holiday recipe page here.

How to Make Carrot Juice With a Blender

 

How to make carrot juice without a blender - easier than you think, and so helpful for those of us without juicers! -- The Nourishing GourmetBy Chloe, from How We Flourish

Here’s the thing: I have a very small kitchen. I’m also on a tight budget. I don’t have the option of having a kitchen filled with small appliances. However, I had heard a lot about the benefits of juicing. A morning carrot juice is also an important about of the GAPS Intro Diet, so I learned how to make carrot juice with a blender.

If you ask most people, they will tell you that you need a real juicer for juicing. To truly receive the benefits of juicing, commercial juice is not an option as it is pasteurized. Juices must be freshly pressed to preserve the enzymes and nutrients that makes vegetable juices so good for us. But not everyone can afford a big fancy masticating juicer! I’d love to have one, of course, as it is certainly less work than making juice with a blender. But when that is not an option, you do not need to worry. You can still get the benefits of juicing for a lot less money.

Why Juicing

I was never a fan of juice before GAPS. But I learned that juicing can help support detoxification, and the vitamins and minerals from the juiced vegetables can be quickly absorbed. It can be a great remedy for constipation! This might be TMI, but that is why I have taken such a liking to juicing. It helped for me very much, so it’s a tool I like to keep in my back pocket.

Interested? If you would like to test the benefits of juicing without the investment, read on to learn how to juice without a juicer.

How to Juice without a Juicer

The following tutorial is for 100% fresh carrot juice, which is the starting point for juicing on GAPS Intro. How many carrots you need will depend on how much juice you want – 2-3 carrots usually makes a decent sized glass for me. This method of making juice in a blender will also work for all types of juices!

  1. Wash and chop the carrots.
  2. Add them to the blender. Any type of blender should work fine.
  3. Add a small amount of filtered water. With more watery vegetables, you may not need any. If you like your juices more dilute, add more. For carrot juice, add enough water to come slightly less that halfway up the carrots. It just needs to be enough to help get things moving.
  4. Blend on medium until the ingredients are well pulverized.
  5. Place a nut milk bag in your desired cup/container and pour in the blended ingredients.
  6. Squeeze as much liquid out of the nut milk bag as possible. Save the leftover pulp in the freezer to be used in other recipes.
  7. Enjoy your juice! It is best to drink on an empty stomach, such as first thing in the morning before breakfast.

Tip: If you enjoy the benefits of juicing, but find that it spikes your blood sugar, try adding fat and protein to your juice. One of my favorite ways to do this with with the so-called “GAPS Milkshake.”

Want to make a large batch? It is recommended to always drink juice fresh. However, I believe that if you are experiencing benefits with juicing, less-than-optimal juice may be better than no juice at all. Try freezing the juice immediately and thawing it in a water bath when you want it.

Are you interested in learning more about healing your gut with GAPS Intro? Learn more about how I did just that (without going crazy!) in my book Healing Patiently.

How to Make Carrot Juice With a Blender
 
Author:
Recipe type: Beverage
 
Carrot juice is a delicious and nourishing drink. Learn how to make it fresh, even if you do not have a juicer!
Ingredients
  • 2-3 carrots
Instructions
  1. Wash and chop the carrots.
  2. Add them to the blender. Any type of blender should work fine.
  3. Add a small amount of filtered water. With more watery vegetables, you may not need any. If you like your juices more dilute, add more. For carrot juice, add enough water to come slightly less that halfway up the carrots. It just needs to be enough to help get things moving.
  4. Blend on medium until the ingredients are well pulverized.
  5. Place a nut milk bag in your desired cup/container and pour in the blended ingredients.
  6. Squeeze as much liquid out of the nut milk bag as possible. Save the leftover pulp in the freezer to be used in other recipes.
  7. Enjoy your juice! It is best to drink on an empty stomach, such as first thing in the morning before breakfast.

 Do you juice? What is your favorite type of juice to make?

Paleo Meat and Veggie Muffins

Good for both breakfast and snaking. These delicious grain free savory  muffins are protein-rich, nut-free, and amazing in flavor!  -- The Nourishing Gourmet

By Megan, from Eat Beautiful

These protein-rich, savory muffins are studded with delicious vegetables and make an excellent breakfast or snack. They don’t contain almonds or almond products, and can be made nut-free with the use of sunflower seeds. So many Paleo or GAPS-friendly baked goods contain almonds or almond flour, so I’d like to share a recipe with you that doesn’t.

There is a glut of almond flour recipes in the Paleo baking community and while they are delicious they are also high in omega-6s, which already inundate the standard American diet. Additionally, most commercial almond products (meal, blanched meal, flour and butter) are not sprouted. In my opinion, all nuts and seeds should be sprouted before consumption for digestibility, and mineral absorption.

What about a muffin that has no flour at all? Truly Paleolithic in spirit, and even healing in its gentleness and nutrient profile, a muffin of meat, soaked seeds, eggs, veggies and fat is in order!

Soaked pine nuts are the secret ingredient in these lunch-inspired savory treats! The pine nuts do not, however, need to be dehydrated. They soak overnight in salt water (this takes less than 5 minutes, including their morning rinsing) and then get pureed right into the muffin batter. Easy.

For a more economical version, raw sunflower seeds are used.

The Sausage and Egg Muffin is also full of grated veggies. So you’re getting a walloping dose of goodness, a meal, in the form of a delicious handheld snack. I make a batch of these and freeze them. Then I alternate putting them, or leftovers from dinner, in my daughter’s daily lunches. She loves them and they look “normal” to her friends who do not eat Paleo diets. (That’s helpful when you’re 14.)

These are also great for road trips, or whenever you’re overly hungry but have no time to make a quality meal. They defrost beautifully in a toaster oven, straight from the freezer.

We love them plain. We also love to break them in half and top the halves with slices of butter or cheese.

You may notice; the recipe indicates the muffins are baking soda-free. For those on healing diets, such as GAPS, this plays in. Baking soda makes the stomach less acidic. Having an acidic belly is important in terms of triggering the digestive mechanisms to secrete digestive juices. (I even take a supplement called Betaine HCl with Pepsin that adds more acid to my stomach.) The muffins rise beautifully and stay their risen selves without the leavening agent.

Try these nourishing, protein-packed muffins that offer nothing but good stuff to give you energy toward wellness!

By the way, this recipe comes from my cookbook; and it’s one we make in our Paleo café. If you enjoy this recipe and approach to grain-free baking, check out my cookbook where you’ll find lots more treats that are customer-approved and genuinely healthy! My cookbook is Eat Beautiful: Grain-free, Sugar-free and Loving It and can be purchased as an eCookbook or in softcover from Amazon.

Cheers, friends! Enjoy.

Good for both breakfast and snaking. These delicious grain free savory  muffins are protein-rich, nut-free, and amazing in flavor!  -- The Nourishing GourmetSavory Meat and Veggie Muffins, aka Sausage and Egg Muffins

(nut-free, dairy-free, baking soda-free)

Intentionally GAPS-friendly, these muffins are an easy meal in your hand. Accompanied by a mug or Thermos of bone broth, they make the diet easier when you need to be away from home. Make a bundle of them and keep them in the freezer, easy to grab on the go. They also are free of baking soda, an added GAPS bonus, for a healing and satisfying food.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soaked raw pine nuts, wet* (see how-to below), or sunflower seeds (for a more economical option)
  • 1 cup zucchini or carrots, grated, or a combination of both
  • 1 cup cooked ground beef or other ground meat (ideally cooked up with a little sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon per 1 pound meat)
  • 6 eggs, preferably pastured
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, coconut oil, ghee or rendered animal fat, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour or chia seeds
  • 1 dried teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon powdered stevia (or 10 to 15 drops liquid stevia — NuNaturals brand preferred) or 2 tsp. honey

Yields 6 large or 12 small-size muffins.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Directions:

  1. Prepare 6 extra-large muffin cups or 12 medium-size muffin cups by lining them with cut squares of parchment paper. (Or use good-quality muffin cup liners that won’t stick.)
  2. Place the pine nuts, eggs, oil, coconut flour, oregano, sea salt and stevia into the blender.
  3. Puree the ingredients until they are smooth, about 30 to 45 seconds.
  4. Fold in zucchini or carrots and meat.
  5. Pour the muffin batter into the prepared tin and bake until they are puffed, golden and a knife inserted into the center of one comes out clean — about 25 minutes.

Variations:

  • Substitute grated apple and bulk pork for the zucchini and beef. Substitute 1/4 teaspoon allspice and 1/2 teaspoon sage for the oregano.
  • For added protein, use the full 1 pound of cooked ground meat, folding it into the batter as described. This version turns out great.

*How to soak raw seeds- For every 4 cups raw seeds, cover by two inches with room-temperature filtered water and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Stir well to dissolve the salt. Leave uncovered at room temperature overnight, then drain and rinse well in the morning. They are now ready to be used in their wet form.

Paleo Meat and Veggie Muffins
 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup soaked raw pine nuts, wet* (see how-to below), or sunflower seeds (for a more economical option)
  • 1 cup zucchini or carrots, grated, or a combination of both
  • 1 cup cooked ground beef or other ground meat (ideally cooked up with a little sea salt, ½ teaspoon per 1 pound meat)
  • 6 eggs, preferably pastured
  • ½ cup olive oil, coconut oil, ghee or rendered animal fat, melted and cooled
  • ⅓ cup coconut flour or chia seeds
  • 1 dried teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon powdered stevia (or 10 to 15 drops liquid stevia — NuNaturals brand preferred) or 2 tsp. honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare 6 extra-large muffin cups or 12 medium-size muffin cups by lining them with cut squares of parchment paper. (Or use good-quality muffin cup liners that won’t stick.)
  2. Place the pine nuts, eggs, oil, coconut flour, oregano, sea salt and stevia into the blender.
  3. Puree the ingredients until they are smooth, about 30 to 45 seconds.
  4. Fold in zucchini or carrots and meat.
  5. Pour the muffin batter into the prepared tin and bake until they are puffed, golden and a knife inserted into the center of one comes out clean — about 25 minutes.
Notes
Substitute grated apple and bulk pork for the zucchini and beef. Substitute ¼ teaspoon allspice and ½ teaspoon sage for the oregano.
For added protein, use the full 1 pound of cooked ground meat, folding it into the batter as described. This version turns out great.

*How to soak raw seeds- For every 4 cups raw seeds, cover by two inches with room-temperature filtered water and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Stir well to dissolve the salt. Leave uncovered at room temperature overnight, then drain and rinse well in the morning. They are now ready to be used in their wet form.