Category Archives: Extras

Gluten free, Dairy free, Paleo, Sugar Free Recipes for Condiments, Sauces, Spreads, Beverages etc.

Fermented Carrots

Fermented foods are a staple in every single traditional culture, and their absence in the typical North American Diet, is likely a major contributor to poor health. I’ve written about gut heath and fermented foods many times on this blog already, so feel free to check out those posts:

Sauerkraut

Kombucha

Coconut Yogurt

Leaky Gut

What Causes Leaky Gut

Healing Leaky Gut 

Sauerkraut was my introduction to fermented foods, and for a lot of people this is an easy add-in to their diet – especially if you like sauerkraut, pickles and olives. However, the combination of fermentation and cabbage can be a little too much for the fermented food rookie. And if you are interested in making your own fermented foods (which I highly recommend for 2 reasons, [1] it becomes inoculated with microbes from your environment and [2] it is a fraction of the price), sauerkraut has a fairly long fermentation period – 3-4 weeks. So instead, I recommend Fermented Carrots.

These are my favourite way to introduce fermented foods to kids and adults alike. A little sweeter for the rookie-palate, and with a 4-7 day fermentation period, they are a great intro to home-fermenting. 

Fermented Carrots

(Option: Garlic Dulse Fermented Carrots)

Ingredients & Equipment

  • 2 lbs carrots
  • 4 tsp fine-ground sea salt, or garlic sea salt (my preference!)
  • OPTIONAL: 1 heaping tbsp dulse 
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 more heaping tsp sea salt, or garlic sea salt
  • jars
  • silicone muffin liners (my preference, but you can get creative)

 

Directions

1. Slice carrots as thinly as possible. I recommend using the slicer attachment on your food processor. (Note: save your carrot tops for making broth!)

2. Add to a bowl, and toss with sea salt, or garlic-sea salt.

3. Optional – add a heaping tbsp of dulse for extra minerals and thyroid support!

4. Toss well. Spoon into jars, packing carrots down as tightly as you can. 

5. Create a brine by mixing 1 tsp salt (garlic salt) with 1 cup of water, and adding to the jars of carrots. Add enough brine to cover carrots completely.

6. Use something to hold the carrots under the water. I like to use my silicone muffin liners!

7. Place in a cool, dark corner of the room, out of direct sunlight. But don’t put them in a closet or cupboard where you can forget about them (learned this one the hard way!). Check on them every day to make sure the carrots are still below the water. If not, add a bit more brine, or push down the muffin liner. Let ferment for 4-7 days. Start checking at 4 days to see if you like the tangy flavour. I usually ferment for 5 days.

 

I love adding a spoonful to salads, or just on the side of a meal. When I was breastfeeding, my favourite snack was to toast 2 pieces of GF bread, spread half an avocado on each piece and top with these bad boys. Delish!

 

 

What’s your favourite fermented food? Have you tried making it yourself? Share in the comments below!

Homemade BBQ Sauce

BBQ Sauce | real ingredients | sugar free | AmandaNaturally.comBBQ sauces are loaded with junky ingredients – sugar, vegetable oils, weird texturizers/emulsifiers etc. – which is why I like to make my own. To be fair, homemade BBQ sauces are definitely more work than buying one at the health food store (which are often cleaner than the regular grocery store, but still contain all sorts of gums which give me migraines), but the flavour is totally worth it! 

When I go to the effort of making homemade sauces I make sure to make as large a batch as my soup pot can handle. Then I freeze in 2-3 cup portions so I have sauce on hand for the next few times I want it!

This classic-style BBQ sauce is going on a huge pork shoulder for Saturday night at the cottage this weekend (see my directions for Slowcooker Pulled Pork). I have also used it on BBQ chicken wings – simply season the wings with sea salt and pepper, then grill. Toss in a bowl with some heated BBQ sauce before serving. Easy and delicious! I can guarantee that this would be amazing on ribs as well, although I haven’t made ribs yet this summer. Stay tuned!

NOTE: If you are currently avoiding nightshades, check out this recipe for a nightshade-free BBQ sauce.

 

Homemade BBQ Sauce
Easy homemade BBQ sauce. Make in large batches and store in the freezer!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
BBQ Sauce Base
  1. 2 tbsp fat (tallow, lard, avocado oil, ghee)
  2. 2 onions, roughly chopped
  3. 2 apples, roughly chopped (skin can stay on)
  4. 1 head garlic, roughly chopped
  5. 2 cans organic tomatoes
  6. ⅓ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  7. ⅓ cup maple syrup
  8. 2 tbsp GF tamari or soy-free coconut seasoning
  9. 2 tbsp fish sauce (optional, but definitely adds a great layer)
Spices
  1. 2 tbsp cumin
  2. 1 tbsp chili powder
  3. 1 tbsp mustard powder
  4. 1 tsp paprika
  5. 1 tsp sea salt
  6. 1 tsp black pepper
  7. 1 bay leaf
Instructions
  1. Heat fat over medium high in a large soup pot.
  2. Add onions and apples. Sauté until onions start to turn translucent - about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Add in both cans of tomatoes, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add in remaining ingredients, bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  6. Remove bay leaf and blend with an immersion blender.
  7. Let cool and store in mason jars in the freezer.
  8. Use on pulled pork, BBQ chicken wings, crockpot chicken thighs and ribs!
Adapted from Domestic Soul
Adapted from Domestic Soul
Amanda Naturally http://www.amandanaturally.com/
 

Homemade Salad Dressings – a DIY Tutorial and a Recipe Round Up!

Salad Dressings | DIY Tutorial | Recipe Round Up | AmandaNaturally.comOne of the processed foods I really caution my clients against is pre-made salad dressings. The reason for this is multi-factorial:

  • The oil is always a vegetable oil. Even if it says “made with olive oil”. Check the ingredients list, olive oil will be listed after an industrial seed oil such as canola or soybean. This is true even for the “healthy” or “organic” salad dressings. I don’t care of canola oil is organic, it is still not suitable for human consumption, since it is an unstable, damaged oil that causes high levels of inflammation and free radicals in the body.
  • It always contains at least one form of sugar, and often as many as 4 or 5. Sugar, brown rice syrup, brown rice syrup solids, corn syrup, honey, fruit concentrates, barley malt syrup or just malt syrup (note: also gluten), dextrose, maltodextrin… why so many types? Because ingredients are listed in order of highest amount to lowest. Better to list 5 low amounts of sugar, which show up at the end the list, than use just one type and have it be the first ingredient.
  • It is thickened and stabilized with fake foods. Things like xantham gum and maltodextrin (derived from GMO corn).
  • Weird ingredients are added for flavour and texture. Things like autolyzed yeast extract, corn syrup and caramel colour pop up regularly.
  • Natural flavour (which is just chemically synthesized from real food, often GMO foods) and artificial flavours are common ingredients.
  • They are notorious for containing major allergens – specifically dairy, corn, gluten, soy and egg.

I hate to break it to you, but store-bought salad dressings are simply sugary, chemical-filled, inflammatory flavour boosters. So you can see why I take all of my clients off it right? Interestingly, it’s something that I get a lot of resistance to. For some reason people are scared to make their own salad dressings, or they have no idea where to start. Little do they know that it’s super easy and way less expensive too!

Real salad dressing, made with real ingredients, are not only more delicious than these junky store-bought ones, but can have major health benefits as well! By using quality, nourishing oils and natural ingredients such as vinegars, herbs and spices, you can enjoy your salad for both the flavour and the nutrition it’s providing you. And you don’t have to do that silly old “diet trick” of dipping your fork into the salad dressing first before spearing some salad, so you get the taste without all the calories. With real salad dressing you’re going to want those calories because they contain all sorts of awesome nutrition and/or they help deliver the nutrition found in vegetables to your body.

So, how do you make your own salad dressing? It’s a lot easier than you think it is, I promise. Here’s how.

 

Homemade Salad Dressings

Choose 1 or 2 from each list:

Nourishing OilsSalad Dressings | DIY Tutorial | Recipe Round Up | AmandaNaturally.com

  • olive oil
  • avocado oil
  • MCT oil
  • bacon fat
  • sesame oil

Acid

  • vinegar (apple cider, balsamic, white wine, red wine, raspberry wine, champagne etc.)
  • citrus (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit)
  • pineapple juice

Flavour

  • sea salt (always include this!)
  • herbs such as cilantro, parsley, dill, oregano, basil, thyme, mint, tarragon (herbs can be fresh or dry)
  • spices such as cumin, chili, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, black pepper, paprika, coriander, mustard powder, ginger (omit nightshades and seed-based spices if AIP)
  • aromatic vegetables such as minced garlic, diced onion/shallot/chives
  • other flavours like anchovies (caesar), nutritional yeast (vegan/paleo cheesy flavour), tamari sauce or soy-free coconut seasoning (aka coconut aminos in the USA), citrus zest

Optional Add-Ins

  • mustard or egg yolk, for flavour and as an emulsifier
  • homemade mayonnaise or ripe avocado for a creamy consistency
  • mashed raspberries or strawberries (fresh, or thawed from frozen) or a bit of organic jam
  • raw honey, real maple syrup or pomegranate molasses to add a bit of sweetness

 

Directions for Making Salad Dressing

  1. In a measuring cup, glass or small bowl, whisk together all of your ingredients except the oil. This might just be your acid and spices, or it might include mayo, egg yolk, mustard, honey etc.
  2. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  3. Slowly drizzle in oil of choice, until the desired flavour and consistency is achieved.
  4. Tweak ingredients as needed – add more salt, vinegar, spices etc. until your dressing tastes 

Additional Tips

  • When it comes to the ratio of acid to vinegar, it really is a personal choice. I recommend starting at a 1:1 ratio, and tweaking it based on your palate.
  • If you want it creamy, but don’t want to use avocado/mayo, use a small food processor or immersion blender instead. Combine all ingredients and blend well. Drizzle in oil while blending to achieve a creamier consistency.
  • Keep it simple! Start with one oil, one vinegar/citrus, sea salt and one or two herbs. Make the dressing and taste it. Do you like it? Why or why not? Too simple, add more spices. Too vinegary but you can already taste the oil? Maybe add some mustard, honey or fruit. Play around!
  • Keep the volume of each ingredient small when you first start out so you can toss creations that go awry. You will be more likely to be creative and adventurous, if you aren’t stressed about wasting 2 cups of oil!

 

My Favourite Salad Dressings

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil, whisked in at the end

Raspberry Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp mashed raspberries
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • ¼ cup olive oil, whisked in at the end

Chili Lime Vinaigrette

  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ cup avocado oil, whisked in at the end

 

Salad Dressing Round Up

Sweet Kale Salad (copycat of the beloved Costco salad!) from Paleo Parents

Ranch from The Clothes Make the Girl

Ranch, nightshade free from Planks, Love and Guacamole

Ranch, AIP friendly from He Won’t Know It’s Paleo

Caesar from Primal Palate

Bacon Caesar from The Healthy Foodie

Honey Mustard The Ancestral Chef

French Tarragon Shallot from Cali Zona

Classic Greek from Detoxinista

Creamy Avocado from Tasty Yummies

Maple Mustard from Jay Bird Blog

Creamy Poppyseed from Living Loving Paleo

Italian from Paleo Cupboard

Sesame Ginger from Primal Palate

Orange Vinaigrette from Primal Palate

Chimichurri from Primal Palate

Pineapple Balsamic from Barefeet In The Kitchen

 

So am I missing a DIY version of your favourite dressing on this list? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to find a great homemade alternative for you!!

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