If you like chocolate and enjoy roasted nuts, then these little bites of heaven are for you. Whenever I offer one of these truffles to friends or family they always ask me, "Are you sure there is no sugar in these?". My answer is always, "Yes, it's just nuts, cacao, and dates!". I chose to use two different cacao powders. The extra dark cacao powder gives the truffles that rich dark chocolate flavor, but I didn't want it to be too rich, so I used regular cacao powder as well. Depending on your preference, or what you have at home, you can make your own personalized cacao blend. The cacao nibs give the truffles a little crunch (which I love). These truffle bites are the perfect little whole food treat that all will enjoy, trust me. You might as well make a double batch while you are at it! My favorite way to eat these truffles is to pair it along side a cold glass of unsweetened almond milk or a cup of hot green tea.
Make 12 Truffles
Time: ~ 1 hour (including 45 minute cool time)
1 heaping cup raw nuts (hazelnut/almonds, walnuts/pecans, cashews)*
8 medjool dates, pitted
1 tablespoon extra dark cacao powder (I got mine at Whole Foods)
1 tablespoon organic cacao powder (I used TJ's organic cacao powder)
1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs
Generous pinch sea salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place nuts on baking sheet and roast for 8 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer to a plate, and allow to cool completely, about 30-45 minutes.
Once the nuts are cooled, transfer the nuts to a food processor and add the pitted dates, cacao powders, cacao nibs, and generous pinch sea salt.
Process until the mixture sticks together when pressed between fingers, about 1 minute. Roll into even balls and store in an airtight container. Store in fridge or freezer. They are softer when stored in fridge and a bit firmer when frozen (my personal favorite).
*My favorite nut combo is a blend of walnuts, hazelnuts, and cashews.
Although most Americans may be weirded out by chicken feet, many cultures use chicken feet as part of their home cooking. Since feet are really high in connective tissue, they make a very gelatinous broth, more so than beef bones. If you want that jelly...then make chicken feet broth! If you are feeling a cold or flu coming on, needing extra collagen for healing after surgery or birth, or are wanting to boost your skin health, then drinking homemade bone broth can help.
Makes 8-10 servings
Time: 6-8 hours or more
2lbs chicken feet (I buy mine from Osprey Hill Farms)
1 whole onion, cut in half (keep peel on)
1/2 small celeriac root
2 carrots (cut in half)
1/2 bunch parsley
2 cloves garlic
1 thumb length ginger root
1 sprig rosemary (or 2-3 sprigs thyme)
1 bay leaf
Splash apple cider vinegar
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chicken feet to the pot and boil for 5 minutes. Strain the chicken feet and briefly rinse under cold water. Using scissors, cut the nails off at the first joint. This is done very easily, you don't need special kitchen shears for this. Meanwhile, sear the onion face side down in a skillet until browned.
Place the feet, seared onion and all the rest of the ingredients into a pot (or slow cooker) and cover with filtered water. Bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low. Allow to very gently simmer for at least 4 hours, preferably 6-10. If using a slow cooker, put heat on low for 10 hours.
Use only what is needed from the base pot of bone broth for soups or simply for drinking. Season that separately with salt, bouillon and/or dulse flakes. Pour more fresh filtered water into the bone broth pot to replace what has been taken out. Continue to simmer. Repeat this until the broth lacks flavor. Alternatively, you can transfer all of the bone broth into glass mason jars and freeze what is not needed for immediate use.
For individuals with IBS & SIBO: If you want to make a Low FODMAP alternative simply omit the garlic and onion, and use only the green parts of the leek. Keep in mind some individuals with SIBO do not tolerate collagen rich broth. Use small amounts as tolerated.
Getting your little to eat greens can sometimes be difficult, especially early on when they do not have the pincer grasp down yet. This recipe combines two superstars broccoli and spinach carefully blended with naturally sweet onion and sweet potato to round out the slight bitterness of the greens. I love to make baby egg pancakes with this mixture. Toren absolutely loves them and is able to use his pincer grasp to eat them on his own. This way not only is he getting his veggies, but also his choline and active vitamin A from the egg yolk! Plus, for some reason Toren isn't a big fan of scrambled eggs lately, but total digs the egg pancakes (see below for instructions on making an egg pancake). Usually, Toren eats one egg pancake throughout the day.
Makes 10 Servings
Time: ~ 20 minutes
1/2 sweet potato (tan/white)
1 medium onion, peeled, and cut in halves
2 cloves garlic
10 florets broccoli
1 cup packed baby spinach
2 tablespoons salted grass-fed butter
2 tablespoons Great Lakes Hydrolyzed Collagen
Peel the sweet potato and coarsely chop. Add to steamer basket along with onion, garlic. Steam for 5 minutes and add the broccoli florets. Steam for another 10 minutes or until all the veggies are fork tender.
Meanwhile steam/cook the spinach in the microwave for 1 minute or until bright green and tender. Place the potato, onion, garlic, butter and collagen into food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Then add the broccoli and spinach and process until smooth. Add a little freshly ground pepper. Pulse to combine.
Transfer to a baby food freezer tray, cover, and freeze. Once frozen transfer to a silicone ziplock bag or glass mason jar and keep frozen.
To thaw simply remove one serving and leave in a bowl in the fridge overnight or quickly microwave for 15-30 seconds. Prior to serving make sure to test the temperature to make sure it is not too hot for baby.
Nutrition (per serving): 45kcal, 2.4g fat, 4.3g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 2.3g protein.
Baby Veggie Egg Pancake
This is a breakfast staple around our house and is great for older babies and toddlers. However, not all purees work because they have too much water. Avoid using the pre-made baby purees because the pancake will just stick and burn. Use the Broccoli Spinach Baby VEGGIE BLEND or the Apple Butternut VEGGIE BLEND for good results. Toren usually eats a couple slices of his egg pancake with a side of fruit like kiwi or berries. We refrigerate the leftovers for an easy protein throughout the day.
Makes 1 serving
Time: <5 minutes
1 cube of a VEGGIE BLEND, thawed (the Broccoli Spinach and Apple Butternut work well)
1 pasture-raised egg, beaten with a fork
Mix together the egg and the thawed single serving of a veggie blend of your choice. Meanwhile preheat a small cast iron pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of butter or ghee, and once hot add the egg mixture. Reduce heat to medium low, cover with a lid, and set timer for 3 minutes.
Remove lid, turn off heat, and let egg pancake sit another minute or two. Transfer to a plate, cut into slices, and serve once cooled.
Nutrition (per 1 egg pancake): 155kcal, 5g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 11.5g fat, 8.5g protein
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.