Berry Citrus Gelatin Gummies (Paleo, Low FODMAP & AIP) 

Raspberry lemon & strawberry lemon gelatin gummies! They are so tasty. I think they are tastier when you let them dissolve in your mouth rather than just chewing them! Perfect snack or dessert.

I made gelatin gummies and they came out awesome!! And then I decided to make a few tweaks to make them even better. If you’ve made gelatin gummies before or even looked up how to make them you’ve probably seen a similar recipe to this one before. I took a recipe for raspberry lemon gummies and adapted it a bit.

Why make gelatin gummies?

If you’ve heard about all the amazing benefits of bone broth then you already know some of the benefits of gelatin gummies. Gelatin is derived from collagen – think anti-aging creams and joint health & repair. Gelatin is rich in glycine and proline- amino acids which have important roles in the human body. You just want to make sure you’re using a high quality gelatin that comes from grass fed animals.

Benefits of gelatin:

  • Supports gut health
  • Aids in digestion
  • Strengthens hair, nails, and teeth
  • Supports bone health
  • Helps repair and support joints
  • Speeds healing after injury
  • Helps reduce wrinkles and prevent new ones
  • Reduces the appearance of cellulite
  • Aids in liver detoxification
  • Helps treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Helps regulate blood sugar levels
  • Some of the above issues are merely due to a breakdown or lack of collagen, proline & glycine. Supplementing with gelatin gummies is a tasty way to support your health and beauty.

Note: you can use any berry- strawberry, raspberry, blueberry- or a mix! I haven’t tried using other fruits but I read that other fruits make it harder for the gelatin to set so the recipe may have to be adjusted for that. Also, the links for the gelatin are amazon links but you can get both for a great discount if you join Thrive Market.

Berry Citrus Gummies Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of frozen or fresh berries or roughly chopped strawberries
  • 2/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 cup of grass fed gelatin (I use this brand – this brand works too!)
  • 1/4 cup of water if removing seeds, 2 tbs of water if not removing seeds
  • 3 tbs of real maple syrup for low FODMAP or 3 tbs of raw honey if not

Directions:

  1. Put the frozen berries, citrus juice, and water in a food processor/blender and purée!
  2. If you want to remove the seeds – just strain the purée through a strainer and into a sauce pan.
  3. Heat the purée on medium-low, you don’t want to reduce it too much, and slowly add the gelatin.
  4. Stir, stir, stir. It might take a while for all the gelatin to dissolve. (I panicked the first time I made the gummies because I had huge gelatin chunks but they eventually dissolved!)
  5. Once almost all of the gelatin is dissolved, stir in the maple syrup or raw honey.
  6. Once the gelatin is completely dissolved, take the saucepan off the heat. Let it cool a bit until it’s able to be handled- but still pretty hot.
  7. Pour the gelatin into a mold (I use this one) or into a pie pan or small baking dish and let it set in the refrigerator for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Pop or cut out (into bite size pieces) your gummies!
  9. Eat your delicious, healthy, gut-healing and beautifying gelatin gummies!! (Store them in the fridge.)

I actually made several more gummies than this. This is what was left over after my boyfriend and I ate a bunch of them! As you can see I didn’t strain out the big seeds for the raspberry one, definitely will next time I make them.

The Basics of Paleo! (& why I paleo)

Fruits and Veggies! These are all low FODMAP. Buy what’s in season and on sale- it’s cheaper and tastier!

25 lbs of grassfed beef and pastured pork and chicken! Might need to invest in a freezer…

This blog post is for anyone who is iffy on what the paleo diet is, but it’s also definitely for my family who seems really confused by what I eat and why I eat the way I do. The paleo diet is becoming more popular and a lot of people have heard about it but there are definitely some misconceptions about it going around. Firstly, paleo isn’t actually a diet, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not meant to be a temporary fix, it’s a way of eating that heals and nourishes your body. There are definitely other mind/body aspects of the paleo lifestyle but in this post I will be doing a quick overview of the diet portion. The paleo diet is also known as the “caveman” diet, because the idea is that we eat the same things as our ancestors did (before factory farming and processing of foods)- basically eating the optimum diet for our bodies to function properly. When people hear “caveman” they tend to picture Fred Flintstone with a giant dinosaur steak or mammoth rack of ribs. Yes, meat is a part of the diet and everyone who follows paleo does it a bit differently, but that doesn’t mean I just eat meat all day. Actually, the other day I ate totally raw vegan and I didn’t stray from paleo at all.

The basic, important facets of the paleo diet:

  • eliminate processed foods- this includes refined seed oils and processed sugar
  • eliminate grains and legumes- basically no gluten, no grains, no corn, no soy, no beans (white rice is a gray area, some paleos, like myself, eat it)
  • try to eat all or mostly grassfed, pastured, and wild meat, diary, and seafood (dairy is also a gray area)
  • try to eat organic and local produce as much as possible – you can avoid a lot of toxins buying the organic versions of the produce on the dirty dozen list

So what do you eat on the paleo diet?

Basically real, whole foods. All kinds of meat, fish, eggs, dairy (if you tolerate it), fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy fats and oils. It might seem like a short list to some but there are so many fruits and vegetables out there to try! As far as healthy fats go, ditch the margarine and canola oil and use real grassfed butter, olive oil, coconut oil, fat from healthy animals, and avocado oil – to name a few. Find and eat what works for you!

If your goal is lose weight then eat starchy vegetables such as potato, sweet potato, yucca, and squash as well as sugary fruits in moderation. But paleo is about the quality of food, not the quantity of calories! I don’t count calories, I just serve myself a reasonable portion, eat till I’m satiated (not full). If I’ve finished everything on my plate and I’m still hungry I just eat more. I’ve lost about 12 lbs in the past couple of months without doing any exercise (only because I was feeling really crummy at the time- you should exercise!).

A huge part of the paleo diet is eating for health, paleo is not the same for everyone because everyone is different. Part of the paleo journey is discovering what works for you, what helps your digestion, what heals you, and what might not be such a good food to eat all the time. Your gut is an integral part of your body, so much of your health is related to your gut health. So finding foods that are good for YOUR gut, will help you in many ways.

Why do I choose to eat paleo?

To me it just seems like common sense to eat foods as they are, without processing. A lot of mainstream foods today either contain ingredients that your body just doesn’t recognize and can’t process or contain ingredients that become poison when your body does try to process it *cough* artificial sweeteners *cough*. Also, trans fats are the devil – trust me, I got an A in biochemistry. Trans fats were created in a lab, your body cannot process them. Fun fact about trans fats, if there is less than 0.5 g of trans fat per serving, a food is labeled as having 0g trans fats… but if you eat more than one serving those trans fats start to add up…

Sure, sometimes I crave cupcakes and baguettes but I stick to paleo because the difference between how I felt before being paleo and now is huge. My energy levels, my digestion, my sleep quality, my ability to focus, my mood, my anxiety, my weight – so much has vastly improved. And it might be my imagination, but I’m pretty sure in the span of only a few weeks of strict paleo, my cellulite has visibly reduced. Yay! Eating mostly paleo, as I have been doing for several months now, is great but I noticed even better results eating a more strict paleo diet the past month or so. I’m pretty sure now that my stomach issues were mostly caused by the diet that the doctors suggested after I first got sick- crackers, toast, plain pasta, ginger ale, and gatorade. Gluten and sugar galore. I had not eaten like that in a very long time but with the doctor’s permission I went a little overboard and my stomach issues got really bad. Now that I’m strict paleo, I’ve been healing, and I feel so much better. I actually probably feel a lot better than I have most of life. (I might have a gluten free cupcake on my birthday but I accept it will make me feel crappy and it’s a special, very infrequent treat.)

Another reason why I choose to eat this way is for the welfare of animals, farmers, and the environment. I choose not to support factory farms as much as possible because of the terrible practices they employ. I think we’ve all seen the traumatizing PETA photos and trust me it’s actually a lot worse than that. I was vegetarian and vegan for a long time until I realized that there are places to get meat where they don’t abuse animals or pump them full of hormones and antibiotics. I get my meat from a local farm; I signed up for a meat CSA which allows me to buy grassfed and pastured beef, pork, and chicken in bulk so I pay a much lower price than if I was buying all my meat at Whole Foods. As far as the welfare of farmers and workers go, they’re not that much better off than the animals, as they are working in these toxic environments and are the ones distributing the antibiotics. You can find plenty of literature on the terrible consequences this has on their health. Even agricultural farm workers suffer. The amount of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides used on conventional produce is staggering. These chemicals go into the soil- soil that is overworked and depleted of nutrients. So anything that grows in that soil is a sad shadow of what that fruit or vegetable is actually supposed to be. If the soil is depleted of nutrients then whatever grows in it is as well. It’s not sustainable. We’re soon going to run out of food if industrial farming continues this way. And don’t even get me started on carbon emissions and toxic runoff waste. I realize that it requires a little more work, time and money to eat pastured meat and organic produce but I really feel that it’s worth it to at least try. Support farms that are helping the environment rather than destroying it!

If you are considering doing paleo, there are many 30 day kick-off programs to follow. For example, Whole 30. There’s a whole paleo community out there who are more than happy to help. Instagram is full of passionate paleos! Hehe follow me at @adventures_eating. Feel free to ask me questions! I will also be going more in depth into the hows and whys of paleo in future blog posts.

Thanks for reading!

Awesome links to learn more:

‘Tales’ of Pig Intelligence, Factory Farming And Humane Bacon

How Industrial Farming Destroyed the Tasty Tomato

Farm Sanctuary – Factory Farming

Clean Fifteen/ Dirty Dozen – Avoiding Toxic Produce

Fat is Good For You

Ending the War on Butter

NomNomPaleo – Paleo 101 (I love the cartoon!)

Eat Wild – Find local farm shares where you can get meat and veggies!

Trans Fat Food Labeling

The Low FODMAP Diet

My first photo-worthy low FODMAP meal! Sauteed shrimp and grape tomatoes and homemade pesto, all over a bed of zoodles (zucchini noodles)!

Wow. What a difference five days can make. I am currently five days into a low FODMAP diet and I already notice a big difference. My abdominal pain is pretty much gone! I’m getting over a cold but I actually feel great and have a lot of energy. While it’s hard to follow a low FODMAP paleo diet, so far it seems totally worth it.

Here’s how it started. Last Wednesday I went to a new doctor – I wanted to find someone who was a regular doctor but who also practiced functional medicine. I ended up finding one within the same group of offices I’ve used for years! In functional medicine, doctors focus on the patient as a whole and don’t just focus on the most obvious symptoms. In case you don’t know what functional medicine is here is a brief description from the Institute for Functional Medicine, “Functional Medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.” I was really impressed with my doctor, he was probably the first doctor I’ve ever had who actually looked through all of my old medical records and who asked me questions about my lifestyle and not just about my symptoms.

If you’ve read my bio and/or my first blog post you know that I’ve been dealing with abdominal pain, digestive issues, and new food sensitivities for a few months now. So far nothing that previous doctors have recommended or prescribed has worked, which is why I wanted to see a doctor who might have a different, more holistic perspective. He suggested I follow a low FODMAP diet in order to give my gut some time to heal and then to pinpoint any actual food sensitives. So for next three weeks, (I started that day) I am following a low FODMAP diet.

I had heard of the FODMAP diet but didn’t actually know anything about it. The doctor gave me a list of good foods and foods to avoid and a brief explanation (he had another patient waiting) but when I went home I was pretty much afraid to eat anything. That first day I ate eggs and meat and zucchini. I had to educate myself. Five days in I’ve got a much better understanding of the “why” behind the low FODMAP diet but am still getting used to “yes” and “no” foods. The other day I took a big bite of watermelon and then realized that I should have checked my list before! And sure enough- it’s on the definitely avoid list!

So what is the low FODMAP diet?

FODMAP stands for “Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols”. These are carbohydrate classes which include fructose, fructans, galactans, lactose, and sugar alcohols (polyols), and are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. While most people have no problem with these carbohydrates, people with an underlying problem, like IBS (irritable bowl syndrome), can react poorly to them. These carbohydrates tend to be harder to digest and absorb. It’s kinda sciency but basically it has to do with the way that these foods ferment inside the gut.

The purpose of adopting a low FODMAP diet is to reduce or eliminate the consumption of the carb classes that could be triggering issues. Eventually, after doing this elimination diet, the eliminated foods get introduced back in, one by one, in order to see what that person can tolerate and what they need to continue avoiding. Sometimes people are sensitive to all of the carb classes but sometimes it’s as simple as avoiding lactose – most people are actually lactose intolerant or at least lactose sensitive.

Some of the foods that fall under these carb classes include dairy products (lactose), wheat and rye (fructans), garlic and onions (fructans), legumes (galactans), apple, watermelon, and high fructose corn syrup (fructose). There is a much longer list – the list I found and follow is actually a low FODMAP paleo list. So I cut out extra things that are technically allowed foods – such as oats, quinoa, and artificial sweeteners. There are plenty of foods I can still eat, including any and all meats. Yum. The hardest part is avoiding things like garlic and onion (even in powder form) and sugar – it pretty much ends up meaning I have to make everything from scratch. I can’t just open a tub of pesto or have some ketchup. So while that sucks a bit it provides me with the opportunity to work on my cooking and meal prepping skills and forces me to be creative in the kitchen. I look forward to seeing what I can come up with!

Thanks for reading!! Feel free to ask me any questions.

Link to the low FODMAP paleo list: http://www.drgangemi.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/FODMAPs.pdf

Homemade Adobo Seasoning

I grew up eating a lot of latin food at home and though I cannot currently eat rice and beans, so sad, I still like to add latin flavors to my dishes. A very popular spice blend in latino homes is Goya’s Adobo. However, there’s been some msg concerns and even though the label says there’s tumeric in the blend, Adobo looks a little pale to me. I prefer to make my own Adobo at home–you can even make it organic by using organic spices. It’s really easy!

You only need 5 ingredients: (this makes about 1/4 cup of Adobo)

  • 2 tbsp salt (sea salt, pink Himalayan salt, whatever)
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp tumeric

Mix it all together and you’ve got your own Adobo. If you want, run it through a spice grinder or small food processor. I don’t bother because I’m lazy about cleaning extra stuff haha. I like to keep it in a tiny mason jar and just make small batches at a time. It’s pretty much an all-purpose seasoning. It’s great for meats, veggies, whatever. Enjoy!

Chili Beef & Pork Lettuce Wraps

The other day I made amazing scrambled eggs — the Gordon Ramsay way. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to regular scrambled eggs. See here. Anyways, since then the boyfriend and I have decided to try out a few more of his recipes. Of course I had to de-gluten and paleoify them. They came out awesome! So here is the first. (My only tip would be to keep in mind that there are salty ingredients in this dish when you are seasoning with salt.) Watch Gordon make the wraps here.

Chili Beef & Pork Lettuce Wraps

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1-2 red chilies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp raw honey (add a little water and mix/dissolve it if it’s very solid)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (red boat brand is good)
  • zest of 1 lime, juice of 1/3
  • 3 green onions/scallions, chopped
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • lettuce! to use as lettuce cups (romaine heart leaves hold up pretty well. Gordon Ramsay suggests using 2 little gem lettuces–I couldn’t find any–separated into leaves)

Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or tamari (if you’re okay with soy- tamari isn’t paleo but it is gluten free)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 red chili, thinly sliced
  • small bunch of cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat a large frying pan and add a little olive oil. Mix the ground beef and pork together. Season the meat with salt and pepper and mix again to distribute the seasoning.
  2. Add the meat to the hot pan and cook until the meat is crisp and browned. Drain the meat in a strainer so that it will stay crispy. Set it aside.
  3. Wipe the excess oil out of the pan and add the sesame oil. Add the garlic, ginger and chili. Fry with a pinch of salt and the honey for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the drained meat and stir in the fish sauce.
  5. Stir in lime zest and juice. Then add in the green onion, stir for 30 seconds. Take it off the heat.
  6. Mix the dressing ingredients together and adjust to taste.
  7. Spoon the meat into the lettuce cups and drizzle with a little bit of dressing. Ready to eat!


It seems like a lot of ingredients, but if you’re like me and like cooking asian-influenced dishes you might have a lot of these ingredients on hand already. I joined a local farm meat CSA, so I already had the meat in my freezer. I just had to buy chili peppers, a lime, scallions, cilantro, and lettuce “cups”. Also, if you don’t have ground pork on hand I’d just use all beef for this recipe. Hope you like it!!

P.S. Don’t be like me…when putting in/ taking out contacts remember you chopped chili peppers fairly recently. Oww.

Veggie Tuna Salad

  
This is one of my favorite new lunches (or dinners) to make. All you need is a cucumber, a small tomato, some balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and of course a can of tuna.

I like using albacore tuna in olive oil. I like Wild Planet brand tuna because it’s dolphin and turtle safe as well as being safer for me since it’s wild caught (not farmed) fish and supposedly it also has lower mercury than traditional canned tuna. Plus is tasty! I’m sure there are other great wild caught tuna brands out there but so far Wild Planet is the only brand stocked at all of the supermarkets I use.

I like that there’s no measuring required and you can throw in whatever you like. I like to throw in scallions, shredded carrot and some lime juice or sometimes a little extra olive oil. And it is amazing with avocado!!! You could also use another vinegar (or none at all-but I find it helps cut some of the extra fishy taste) I’m sure it would be tasty with some apple cider vinegar for instance (I’m gonna try that next time).

You chop and throw everything together in a bowl and mix it up, then let it sit for a few minutes to “marinate” while you make the cucumber “crackers”. That’s it! It takes me about 10 minutes total. And the best part is that it has a ton of protein so it’s actually very filling. I usually have leftovers for a snack later.

Tips:

  • I take the seeds out of my tomato before chopping to help prevent the salad from getting too watery.
  • If you are using tuna in oil, keep most of the oil from the can but if you’re using tuna in water I would recommend draining it and then adding a little bit of olive oil to the salad when you’re mixing.
  • Sometimes I make fried plantains aka tostones aka patacones to use as “crackers”. It’s delicious. Do it.

Ghee aka liquid gold!

Ghee has been around for a really, really long time. It originated in ancient India and is still used all the time in Indian cooking. It’s part the Ayurvedic tradition and is known for its medicinal benefits as well as for being super delicious.

Ghee is known for being good for the digestion – acting as a lubricant (if you know what I mean). Some people actually put it in their eyes because it’s supposed to be good for your vision as well. It’s also sometimes used directly on the skin as a moisturizer, although I wouldn’t put it on my face because it will probably clog your pores.

I like to use my ghee for cooking! And actually sometimes also for oil pulling. In Indian cooking ghee is heated in a pan and then spices are added to the ghee and sautéed for a while to help bring out all the flavors. Then the rest of the ingredients are added to the ghee and spices- unlike the way most of us cook, seasoning while or after cooking the main ingredients.

Ghee I made a few days ago! I love the golden color.

Ghee is great for cooking because it has a high smoke point. This means that unlike butter, that burns really quickly, you can cook at high heat with ghee. It has a really great flavor that is similar to butter but has a sort of butterscotch or toffee taste to it. It is also a great option for those who are lactose or casein intolerant because the process of making ghee separates the milk solids in butter from the pure oil. Many people who cannot tolerate lactose or casein can consume ghee without any negative effects.

You can buy ghee at most health stores and at Indian food stores as well as online. Some well known brands that sell their ghee online are Tin Star Foods and OMghee. I personally like to make ghee at home because it ends up being a lot cheaper and I can infuse it with flavors if I want to. Making ghee is really simple and takes about 30 minutes or so.

Ghee is mostly solid at room temperature and because the milk solids and water have been removed it can be left out of the refrigerator. When I make ghee I usually end up with multiple jars so I keep out the one I’m currently using and store the rest in the fridge. Remember to always use a clean, dry utensil when scooping out some ghee, especially if you’re leaving it out of the fridge. You don’t want it to spoil after all that work!

How to make ghee!

  1. Start by unwrapping your (grassfed) unsalted butter – I like Kerrygold. It’s important to use unsalted as the salt apparently does weird things when you’re cooking.
  2. Place your butter in a (light colored bottom) pot or large pan. I didn’t realize until after I had melted my butter that I shouldn’t use the darkest pan I own because it will be hard to see when the milk solids are browning at the bottom! Duh! Also, you can cut up the butter if you want but I always find that it melts quickly either way.
  3. Turn up the heat to about medium and let the butter melt.
  4. When the butter has all melted and you see the butter start to simmer turn it down to low.
  5. Let the butter slightly simmer on low. A foam/scum will start to form. This is the milk solids beginning to separate. I like to skim this off carefully with a spoon. Try not to stir the butter too much. You want the milk solids to stick to the bottom of the pan. This step takes about 25-30 min. Pay attention, don’t let your butter burn!
  6. Once the butter starts to smell like toffee and you can see the milk solids at the bottom of the pan starting to become golden brown, take the pot off the heat!
  7. The next step is to filter the clarified butter into a clean jar. Some people say you can use a coffee filter, I did this the first time I made ghee and it was a nightmare. I went through 15 coffee filters and it took over an hour to collect about a cup and a half of ghee. I now use a fine mesh strainer. It filters out about 90-95% of the milk solids. This works for me because I can tolerate a little bit of lactose. For those of you who need it to be very filtered a few layers of cheese cloth and a funnel works really well.
  8. Let the ghee cool in their containers. You’re done! Doesn’t it smell super good in your kitchen?

As lovely as my directions are I also want to link to a YouTube video. I find it’s really helpful to see what the ghee is supposed to look like while you’re making it.

Watch how to make ghee here. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wkZgIN4cZYc

Haha I love her accent! And she must be buying magical coffee filters.

My short ghee making video: