Category Archives: Extras

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

Mayo

Mayo | AmandaNaturally.comMayonnaise has a very bad reputation, and honestly, that’s probably for good reason. At least that’s the case for the junk sold at the grocery store! Do you know what actually goes into real mayo? It’s simple: raw egg, oil and lemon or vinegar. Simple, straight forward and depending on the oil that you use, actually pretty darn healthy! So you might already be wondering… if it’s made with raw egg, how come it’s not found in the fridge? Well my friends, here’s the low-down on this artificial food we like to refer to as mayo. Check out the ingredients lists in these popular brands of mayonnaise:

Hellman’s Mayo

Canola Oil, Water, Liquid Whole Egg, Vinegar, Salt, Liquid yolk, Sugar, Spices, Concentrated Lemon Juice and Calcium Disodium EDTA

Kraft Mayo

Soybean Oil, Water, Eggs, Egg Yolks, Vinegar, Contains Less Than 2% of: Sugar, Salt, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Calcium Disodium EDTA As A Preservative, Dried Garlic, Dried Onions, Spice, Natural Flavor.

Miracle Whip

Water, Soybean Oil, Vinegar, Sugar, Modified Cornstarch, Eggs, Contains 2% or less of: Salt, Mustard Flour, Paprika, Spice, Natural Flavor, Potassium Sorbate (preservative), Enzyme Modified Egg Yolk, Dried Garlic.

Veganaise

Organic Expeller-Pressed Soy Oil, Filtered Water, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Soy Protein, Sea Salt, Organic Mustard, Organic Lemon Juice Concentrate.

 

I bolded the ingredients that are questionable. Aside from the preservatives that are clearly required to make raw egg shelf-stable, my biggest concern is the junky, inflammatory seed oils they all use. Canola and soy oils Homemade Mayo | AmandaNaturally.comare not healthy in any way, shape or form. They are incredibly high in omega-6 fats and they are chemically unstable. Exposure to light, oxygen and heat will cause them to break down, creating free radicals and wrecking havoc on your tissues. Also, the term spice is a catch all term. The ingredients used are not disclosed. Also, sugar?? What the heck! And cornstarch in the Miracle Whip? They’re so scared of the fat and cholesterol from the egg, that they’ve added cornstarch as a thickener, instead of utilizing the egg. And don’t get me started on that enzyme modified egg yolk business…

It’s a shame, because when made properly, mayo is actually like a fat supplement! A pastured or organic egg brings a whole whack of nutrients to the table. Combine that with a high quality oil and you’ve got yourself a very healthy food! So without further ado, here’s my recipe for:

Homemade Mayo

Combine 1¼ cup avocado oil, 1  raw egg, the juice of ½ a lemon, a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of mustard in a jar and let sit for about an hour. Bringing the ingredients to room temperature is critical.


Once at room temperature, place your immersion blender in the bottom of the jar.


Turn it on and slowly pull the immersion blender upwards over the course of 10-15 seconds. If necessary, drop the blender back down to the bottom and repeat once more.

  

After about 20-30 seconds it will be fully emulsified ie. thick and creamy!

A few notes:

  • It lasts at least 7 days in the fridge, likely more.
  • It is a fabulous vector for other delicious flavours.
    • Add some sriracha for sweet potato fry dip.
    • Mix with lime juice and cilantro for a taco or nacho topping.
    • Turn into ranch dressing using this fabulous recipe by Melissa Joulwan at The Clothes Make The Girl.
  • Play around with oils. This recipe calls for avocado oil, because it’s a neutral taste. Substitute ¼ cup of avocado oil for another oil for a different flavour! Try bacon grease for a wonderfully smoky mayo. Coconut oil makes a thicker, sweeter mayo.
  • A handheld immersion blender is really key for this recipe. You can use a food processor, but it really works best with an immersion blender!

UPDATE: 9 times out of 10 this is fool-proof, however every so often you may experience the crushing blow of a broken mayo. This is super disheartening, especially if you feel like you have to throw out all those ingredients! But WAIT! You don’t need to toss the ingredients. Simply follow this amazing trick for repairing broken mayo!

Mayo
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
2 min
Total Time
2 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
2 min
Total Time
2 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 ¼ cup avocado oil
  2. 1 egg, pastured or organic
  3. juice of ½ a lemon
  4. pinch of mustard
  5. pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a jar and let sit for about an hour. Bringing them to room temperature is critical.
  2. Once at room temperature, place your immersion blender in the bottom of the jar.
  3. Turn it on and slowly pull the immersion blender upwards over the course of 10-15 seconds.
  4. Drop the blender back down to the bottom and repeat once more.
Notes
  1. Bacon Mayo = 1 cup avocado oil + ¼ cup bacon grease
  2. Sweet Mayo = 1 cup avocado oil + ¼ cup melted coconut oil
Amanda Naturally http://www.amandanaturally.com/

Bone Broth

Bone Broth - Amanda NaturallyLet’s try and think about the perfect food for supporting your joints. It would have to contain the exact nutrients that your body needs to build your joint tissue, right? So it would need to contain protein, but not just any protein. The exact ratio of amino acids (protein building blocks) for joint tissue synthesis. Your body is capable of creating most of the animo acids it needs from a few basic amino acids, but why add the extra step? It is significantly less efficient to demand the body to convert one nutrient into another, than to provide that nutrient directly (take note, this rule applies to plant-based forms of other key nutrients like omega-3’s and vitamin A as well). Additionally, it requires a healthy body, replete with nutrients to do this step. So for this scenario, let’s skip the middle man and go right to the source – a food with the ideal profile of amino acids. This super food would also require the minerals the body uses to make the scaffolding that joint tissue is built on. Now, where in the heck could we find this incredible food that will help us build up our joints….

In animal JOINTS!

I know I know, it sounds crazy, and a little gross, to just go ahead and scarf down some joints (although that’s what our great-grandparents used to do). That’s where broth comes in to the story. When you make broth with bones that contain joints and connective tissue (think oxtail, a whole bird carcass, ribs, necks, chicken feet etc.) the joint tissue breaks down into gelatin. As well, if you cook the broth for long enough, the bones start to break down, saturating your broth with the perfect minerals required for bone and joint synthesis. Your broth has now become an incredible source of nutrients – the exact nutrients your body needs to build, re-build or heal your joints.

 

Let’s take this one step further…

What is joint tissue? It is more broadly known as connective tissue, which is mainly composed of collagen. One area this connective tissue just happens to be located is where the ends of two bones meet, i.e. a joint. Now, connective tissue is not only found in the joints. It literally provides the framework that all of our cells are built on. For example, collagen twists around itself and provides the framework on which minerals are deposited to form bones. No connective tissue? Your body will start to disintegrate. This includes not only joints, but organs systems, bones, skin, brain, and arteries/veins.

Homemade broth supports every single cell, tissue, organ and system in your body.

Holy crap that’s incredible! The simple act of reusing bones from previous meals, can actually catapult your health to the next level. Regular consumption of homemade broth has been crucial to my heath journey. I consume it at least a few times a week on a general basis, but if anything pops up, I go broth crazy! For example, say I get “gluten-bombed” or “dairy-bombed”, or maybe I’m experiencing elevated stress levels. Or if either myself or my husband gets sick, or even if my joints are a little sore from being too hard on them at the gym. Any of these situations call for a major increase in broth consumption! 

Bone Broth - Amanda Naturally 

Interested in learning more…?

If not, skip below to the instructions for making broth. Otherwise, check out this summary of all the incredible things that collagen and its building blocks do. (For the complete story, visit this article by The Paleo Mom)

Connective Tissue

  • form cartilage in joints
  • form extracellular matrix that is framework for all cells to organize into tissues and organs
  • heal open wounds
  • heal tiny tears in blood vessels due to inflammation
  • heal damage to tissues from infection

Glycine (the star amino acid found in collagen)

  • inhibit the immune system (in a good way! it down regulates an inappropriate response, such as with an autoimmune condition)
  • reduce inflammatory cell production
  • required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA and other proteins (ie. the blue print for how our entire body works)
  • improve digestion by regulating bile and gastric acid production and secretion (crucial for digesting fat and turning on all digestive processes)
  • required for building glutathione, a crucial antioxidant in the body
  • stabilize blood sugar levels by preventing conversion of protein to glucose by the liver (a.k.a. gluconeogenesis)
  • increase creatine and HGH, resulting in improved muscle growth and repair
  • support a healthy nervous system, specifically eliciting a calming effect
  • precursor to serine, a neurotransmitter which is important for memory, positivity and stress reduction

More Benefits of Glycine (from this amazing podcast by The Paleo Mom and Paleo Parents)

  • precursor to other amino acids
  • strong impact on the production of glucagon, a hormone required for controlling energy and staying full between meals 
  • regulate metabolism
  • reduce effects of stress on our brain chemistry
  • inhibit macrophage activation and inflammatory cells such as neutrophils and monocytes (which can be overactive in chronic illness)
  • inhibit t-cell activation, which means it helps regulate the adaptive immune system

Proline (runner up amino acid)

  • assist blood vessels get rid of plaque build up
  • assist body utilize proteins for new muscle cells

 

How to Make Bone Broth

Ingredients

  • bones (grassfed, pastured or organic)Bone Broth - Amanda Naturally
  • apple cider vinegar
  • filtered water
  • sea salt
  • a few root veggies and onions
  • plus any additional ingredients for flavour and health benefits (see below)

Equipment

Step 1: Accumulate Bones

Bone Broth - Amanda NaturallySave any bones from meat that you eat in a ziploc in the freezer. It goes a lot faster if you have a whole carcass of a chicken/turkey/duck but I don’t cook those that often, so I accumulate bones over a few weeks. Some people separate their bones into different bags (pork, poultry, beef), but I honestly don’t worry about that. I find the flavour of the broth delicious with them mixed. My freezer bag usually consists of chicken thighs, pork chops, ribs, beef shank and less frequent appearances by oxtail and chicken wings. One of my favourite parts about this is it’s free! And by using the animal products multiple times, it saves money, significantly reduces waste and respects the life of the animal.

Step 2: Make Broth

Once you have accumulated a few cups of bones, dump them into your slow cooker with a few tbsp of apple cider vinegar and a few pinches of sea salt. Cover the bones with filtered water and set on low for as long as your slow cooker lets you! Ideally for a minimum of 24 hours – the longer the better! Mine only lets me go 12 hours, so I end up resetting it 2-4 additional times. (NOTE: I now make Bone Broth in my Instant Pot and it takes me 2 hours).

Bone Broth - Amanda Naturally

Step 3: Add in FlavourBone Broth - Amanda Naturally

In the final 4-8 hours, add in some veggies for flavour. (If you’re using a pressure cooker, throw the veggies in at the beginning). You don’t want to add them before now because they will turn bitter and ruin the flavour of your broth. You can add in sweet potato, onions, garlic, herbs, spices, peppercorns – get creative! I usually keep a second ziploc bag in my freezer and store things like carrot tips, onion ends, celery bottoms, squash peels etc that I accumulate from cooking. Then I just dump the bag in! (If you can’t tell, I’m all about using the heck out of my foods! I spend money on great quality ingredients, so I’m going to make sure I max out the nutrition!)

Step 4: Strain and Store

After about 24 hours (or more!), simply strain the broth, cool, store in glass containers and freeze for later use! I usually strain into a large bowl and chill before pouring into individual jars. At this point, the fat will solidify on the top of the broth. If you are using conventional bones, skim off the fat and discard it. If you’re using grassfed bones you have 2 options! Keep the fat on to add nutrients and a creamy texture to soups, stews, sauces etc. (this is what I do), or skim it off and store it in the fridge to cook with later.

Bone Broth - Amanda Naturally     Bone Broth - Amanda Naturally

Ideally when the broth chills, it will gel. This means the collagen has broken down into gelatin and infused the liquid. As soon as you heat it again, it will turn to liquid. If your broth does not gel – that’s okay!! Mine doesn’t always gel because I don’t always have bones with lots of joints. While the gelatin is one of the main reasons to consume broth, the mineral content is equally as important. When I strain the broth, the bones actually crumble apart. That means all of the incredible minerals found in bones (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, as well as some sodium and potassium) are now in the liquid. Hello superfood!

Bone Broth - Amanda Naturally

Adding in Superfoods

Broth is a superfood on its own, but I often add in additional ingredients to jack up the nutrition even further. 

  • Bone Broth - Amanda NaturallyEgg shells – even more calcium
  • Sea weed – great source of iodine, as well as other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iron, chromium and copper, as well as numerous trace minerals. Sea greens can also contain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA (the animal form!), B vitamins and the fat soluble vitamins A, D E and K
  • Spices – healing spices such as ginger and garlic, anti-inflammatory spices such as turmeric 
  • Chicken feet – incredibly inexpensive and pure connective tissue! I get mine from my butcher for about a dollar, and they are already prepared for use. If you find them and they’re still yellow, check out these detailed instructions for preparing chicken feet. 

 

Using Broth Regularly

I keep a jar of broth ready to go in the fridge all the time, so I have it whenever I need it for a quick recipe. Here are some easy ways to use broth regularly:

Sauces/Gravies: After cooking meat, remove it from the pan and set aside to rest for a few minutes, covered. Toss some garlic into the same pan, let cook for 1 minute and deglaze with some broth. Voila, instant glaze! 

Mashed Veggies: instead of mashing your potatoes (or sweet taters, or autumn root veggie mash) with butter and milk, use broth! But by all means, keep the butter, especially if you tolerate it well and it’s grassfed. (I’ll just sit over here jealous and enjoy my broth…)

Stir Fry: add some broth to your stir fried veggies to tie it all together and create a delicious sauce. Add coconut seasoning, or gluten-free tamari for flavour.

Soup: obviously! This includes stew and curry!

Slowcooker: when you have nothing planned for dinner and you know you’re going to be home late, do this in the morning! Pour half a cup of broth in the slow cooker. Add some meat that has been liberally seasoned with sea salt and black pepper. Cook on low til you get home. Done! Have a few extra minutes in the morning? Chop up some root veggies (carrots, potato, sweet potato) and add on top. Keep it super simple! I have literally just done broth, seasoned chicken thighs and carrot chunks. It turns out beautifully!

Amanda’s Mug of Goodness: the way I consume broth on a regular basis is by following this recipe: ½ cup broth + ½ cup water + 1 tbsp Aroy D yellow curry paste + pinch of sea salt. Quickly bring to a simmer on the stove, whisk to combine. Stir in ¼ cup Aroy D coconut milk. Heat through. Pour into a mug and enjoy! I regularly have this for breakfast, especially if my GI tract is feeling irritated. It’s one of my favourite snacks as well. I have found it to be incredibly useful if I get any ridiculous cravings for sugar/starches as well – totally kills the craving!

UPDATE (Feb 28/15): My new favourite way to store broth is in pucks, as recommended by Michelle at Nom Nom Paleo. Instead of freezing in glass jars, use silicon muffin cups. When they’re frozen pop out and store in a ziploc bag in the freezer. No more waiting for broth to thaw! Simply throw a puck into the pot and you’re good to go!

Bone Broth | AmandaNaturally.com Bone Broth | AmandaNaturally.com

Cheers to making your pennies stretch, respecting the entire animal, enjoying mugs of broth and supporting healthy bodies!

Sauerkraut

Recently I have had a lot of questions on my Instagram account about sauerkraut. What it is, how I use it, where I find it and why I’m so obsessed with it. So let’s chat about it!

Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. I know, that doesn’t sound so awesome, but trust me, it’s delicious! To be honest, when I first started eating sauerkraut, I didn’t like it. But I wanted to like it, so I made a conscious decision to work at it. I started with 1 tsp, mixed in with sautéed onions, potatoes and sausage. It was faint, but the flavour was there. Over a few weeks/months I started increasing the amount I was eating. And then one day, I realized I loved the stuff!! I started putting it on everything – hamburgers, tacos, sausages (of course). What’s my favourite food to eat it with? Eggs. How bizarre is that?! Bizarrely delicious, that’s how! If you like it, try it – I promise it’s amazing!

eggs & kraut | AmandaNaturally.com

 

Why have I made such a concerted effort to develop a liking for sauerkraut?

As I said before, sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. Fermented foods are an incredible addition to your diet. For the longest time I was always focused on what to avoid in my diet – no more dairy, then gluten, then garbage-y gluten-free products, then legumes. That was an important part of my healing process, but it was only when I started actively adding in super foods that I really started seeing some amazing changes.

The weakest part of my body is my digestive tract. I feel like it’s always a work in progress. It still flares up from time to time, which is frustrating considering I’m supposed to be coaching others on how to heal themselves, and I’m still working on myself! Whenever I start down that thought path, I try to take a few steps back and imagine where I would be if I hadn’t made the interventions I had when I did. Probably on some serious IBS drugs and en route to a full blown autoimmune condition like arthritis.

Lately, I’ve been having digestive attacks less and less, and I swear it coincides with aggressively including fermented foods in my diet on a regular basis. I try not to go more than a day without a fermented food, and it seems to have done wonders for my belly!

So what’s the deal with fermented foods??

First and foremost, they are an absolutely incredible source of probiotics. Sauerkraut is made by allowing non-oxygen dependent microorganisms to grow on the cabbage. These microorganisms are powerful probiotics – way more potent and diverse than anything you can get at a health food store! Constantly consuming probiotics (in food form) will slowly start to change the landscape of your colon – in a good way! If pathogenic gut bacteria are starting to grow over (a.k.a. dysbiosis), regularly reintroducing healthy bacteria can keep them in check! Having a healthy gut microbiome is the foundation of a healthy body. Fermented foods are an easy and inexpensive way to keep your gut healthy!

Second – fermentation increases the bioavailability of certain vitamins and enzymes. The cabbage is pre-digested by the microorganisms, which makes it easier for us to digest and absorb the nutrients.

Third – it’s an easy and delicious way to get some extra veggies in! If we’ve been out of town and come home to an empty fridge, I know I can grill up some meat from my freezer and add some cabbage for a complete meal!

Lastly – it’s empowering. Eating a delicious food (well first learning to find it delicious) on a regular basis, and knowing that it is actively working to heal my digestive tract and support my overall gut health is super amazing. It’s the simplest thing that keeps my digestion healthy, my immune system rockin’ and my nutrition status through the roof! All from eating a little kraut! Super cool.

Where to buy the good stuff?

First of all, it is absolutely imperative that you eat raw sauerkraut. The standard stuff found at most grocery stores isn’t actually fermented – it’s pickled. Not the same thing! Pickled kraut is found on the shelf. Fermented kraut is always in the fridge.

I used to buy my sauerkraut at the farmer’s market, because it was to die for! They added fun herbs such as nettle and dulse, which helped mellow out the sour flavour. Unfortunately as I started to eat more and more of it, $10/jar started to add up quickly. There are some great products at local health food stores that are slightly more reasonable. My 2 favourite brands are Bubbies and Eden Organics

 

Excited to try this dulse & nettle sauerkraut! #probiotics #natural #local #nutrition

A photo posted by Amanda Beatty (@amandanaturally) on

 

One day I decided to learn how to make it myself. It couldn’t be that hard since practically every culture in human history has some kind of fermented food in their diet. And at $3 for a head of cabbage – I couldn’t beat the price! 

Homemade Sauerkraut 101

My first 4 batches of sauerkraut had a 50% success rate. The first batch I followed directions I had found online somewhere. It didn’t recommend keeping an eye on it, so I put it in the back of a closet and left it for 3 weeks. When I went to grab it at the end of its fermentation time, it was a mouldy mess! I hit the internet and realized what had happened. The good bacterial growth needs an anaerobic environment. This means it needs no exposure to oxygen. So it has to stay submerged under water at all times!

So, round #2. Total and complete success! I diligently checked the sauerkraut every day and topped up the jars with a salt water solution regularly. I was thrilled! Also, I used purple cabbage, so it was beautiful!

 

 

Round #3. I got cocky. I had nailed the last batch so I thought it would be a breeze this time round. I even poured the leftover sauerkraut juice on my new batch of kraut to speed the fermentation process. I didn’t check it nearly as often, so what happened? Mouldy mess.

Round #4. I perfected my technique. A perfect balance of keeping an eye on it, without being obsessive! This is how I make my sauerkraut.

Homemade Sauerkraut

1. Add your shredder attachment to your food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can shred your cabbage using a Spiralizer or a good knife!

Make Your Own Sauerkraut - Amanda Naturally

2. Peel the outer few layers off your cabbage.

 Make Your Own Sauerkraut - Amanda Naturally

3. Chop the end off your cabbage. You can cut out the core as well, but it’s not necessary!

Make Your Own Sauerkraut - Amanda Naturally

4. Cut cabbage into slices that will fit into your food processor spout.

Make Your Own Sauerkraut - Amanda Naturally

5. Shred the cabbage!

Make Your Own Sauerkraut - Amanda Naturally

6. Dump shredded cabbage into a large bowl. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt. I used about 1 tbsp sea salt per head of cabbage and I usually do 2-3 heads of cabbage at a time.

Make Your Own Sauerkraut - Amanda Naturally

7. Smash your cabbage with a meat mallet or your hands for a few minutes, until the cabbage starts to soften and releases some of its liquids.

Make Your Own Sauerkraut - Amanda Naturally

8. Pack the cabbage as tightly as possible into jars.

Make Your Own Sauerkraut - Amanda Naturally

9. Sprinkle the top with some additional sea salt (I used a few twists of my salt grinder) and add enough filtered water to make sure the cabbage is all below the surface. A few pieces will float on top, that’s okay!Make Your Own Sauerkraut - Amanda Naturally 

10. At this point, my kitchen is usually a total disaster and cabbage is everywhere. I fasten the lid to the jars, so I can rinse the cabbage off in the sink. (NOTE: make sure to remove the lid after you rinse off the jars!)

11. Place your jars in an area of your home where they can sit undisturbed for 3-4 weeks. It needs to be relatively dark (no sun exposure) and a fairly consistent temperature. You also need to be able to access it easily! I keep mine on a shelf in my living room!

Make Your Own Sauerkraut - Amanda Naturally

12. Cover with a tea towel to prevent dust and bugs from getting in. You might want to place it on a plate, tray or another towel, because sometimes liquid can bubble up and over in the first few days. It can be a little stinky the first few days too – this goes away!

Make Your Own Sauerkraut - Amanda Naturally

13. Every 2-3 days, check on your sauerkraut. If you notice that the water has dropped below the cabbage, simply add a few more grinds of sea salt and some filtered water. 

14. In 3-4 weeks, with the help of some amazing beneficial bacteria, your cabbage will have turned into sauerkraut! At this point you can add the lid and place in the refrigerator for regular use. Enjoy!

 

UPDATES:

1. Please do NOT rinse your sauerkraut after fermenting it! I have had many people say they were worried about the salt content, so they rinsed it off. You will be rinsing away the good bacteria at the same time! Sea salt is not bad for you, in fact it is a fabulous source of minerals. If you are eating real, whole food you actually need to make sure you get enough salt in your diet. 

2. Do NOT heat your sauerkraut. It will kill the bacteria.

3. My kraut-making technique has evolved over the last year or so. I now use a fermenting crock because I make extra large batches. You can also use these nifty jar top fermenters. Both are great because they force the cabbage to stay submerged, decreasing risk of mould. 

 

So tell me, have you ever fermented any foods? Do you have any recommendations for other fermentation projects I should try?

 

Copyright 2014 Amanda Naturally | Design by The Nectar Collective