Garlic Thyme Turkey Sausage

Sausage is a favorite breakfast food around our house. It goes well with almost everything—and it’s really quick to cook up. But we don’t use just any sausage. Many that are sold in the store are filled with additional ingredients and aren’t made with high-quality meat. This is why I like to make my own or purchase it from local farms.

Garlic Thyme Turkey Sausage

Fortunately, making your own is really easy and is oftentimes cheaper anyway (win-win!). And the possibilities are endless! This turkey sausage has become an easy snack for us in addition to a breakfast favorite. When my husband gets home from work, he is usually hungry and needs something easy to grab. I’ll cook a batch of these and store in the fridge, so when either of us wants a quick source of protein, these are ready to go. Of course, they don’t last too long…

Garlic Thyme Turkey Sausage 2

This isn’t a spicy sausage, but the garlic and thyme provide a very distinct (and delicious) flavor that complements the turkey well. I normally use dried thyme but you could always substitute fresh thyme if you have it on hand.

Garlic Thyme Turkey Sausage 3

Enjoy this savory snack!

Garlic Thyme Turkey Sausage
(Makes 12-18 sausages, depending on size)

1 lb ground turkey (preferably free-range or pastured)
1 tsp raw honey
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp dried sage
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and combine well. In a greased skillet, spoon out the mixture in small patties, flattening and shaping with spoon as needed. Cook over medium heat and flip midway through for even cooking. Remove from heat once thoroughly cooked.

Have a favorite homemade sausage recipe? Please share!

 

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Paleo Honey Nut Bread

Happy Monday, everyone (as happy as Mondays can be anyway)! I hope your weekend was exceptional.

I want to share a bread recipe with you that I’ve been toying with for the last several weeks. I don’t eat bread much since I’m currently on a grain-free diet, though it is nice to have some every now and then. But most of the bread recipes out there include almond flour. See, I’ve found that I just don’t do that well with almond flour (plus, it’s pretty expensive, usually not fitting in our budget, homemade or store-bought). I can handle almonds pretty well in small portions (like with this recipe) but just not as a flour.

Paleo honey nut bread 5
So that pretty much leaves coconut flour. This is a challenge, too, because coconut flour is so dense, not to mention it’s distinct flavor. Sigh. But I’m happy to say that I’ve found a winner.

This is a really, really moist bread, definitely not your “sandwich-type.” Butternut squash and honey provide a nice, mildly sweet flavor and account for the moist texture. And the walnuts—well, no explanation needed there—walnuts just make everything better 🙂

Paleo honey nut bread 2
This makes a small loaf, but again, it’s just from the density of the coconut flour. It is very filling though. I like to have a slice as a snack or for breakfast with scrambled eggs.

Paleo honey nut bread 4

A couple quick notes on the recipe: First, if you aren’t comfortable using baking powder, you can omit it. I left it out once and still had good results. Second, move the loaf pan from the top rack to lower rack (or vice versa) in the oven about mid-way through the bake time. I’ve found that if it stays on one or the other the entire time, it doesn’t bake very evenly (either the top or bottom ends up a bit burnt).

Enjoy!

Paleo honey nut bread 3

 

Paleo Honey Nut Bread
2 cups pureed butternut squash (or 1 can)
3 eggs
3 Tbsp raw honey (more or less to taste)
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 Tbsp arrowroot starch
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder (optional)
1/4—1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine the squash, eggs, honey, and oil in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the coconut flour, arrowroot starch, sea salt, baking soda, and optional baking powder. Once thoroughly mixed, add in walnuts. Pour batter in a loaf pan—I like to line with parchment paper, optional—and bake at 350 degrees for 70-80 minutes (stick toothpick in middle to test). During the middle of the bake time, move loaf pan from top rack to lower rack (or vice versa) to ensure even baking. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.

 

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Green Breakfast (or Anytime) Smoothie

green smoothie 1Over the past several weeks, I’ve been looking for more (and different) ways to get vegetables into my diet, preferably uncooked vegetables. I don’t have a problem with cooked vegetables, but I have gobs of ways to get those in. But raw veggies? Well, there’s salads..and more salads..and salads?…

green smoothie 2Don’t get me wrong—I’m a diehard salad lover. But I just needed a change-up. And I have to say that this green smoothie is now a go-to favorite in the morning, or really anytime of day. It’s not super original—there are a lot of green smoothie recipes out there. But it’s fairly quick, pretty tasty, and my personal favorite of the green smoothies I’ve tried.

Now this isn’t a super sweet smoothie (i.e., don’t bite into it expecting green fruit-flavored ice cream.) But it has a nice, slightly sweet flavor that isn’t super strong but crisp and fresh. Don’t worry though—if this doesn’t sound like your thing, there are ways to enhance the sweetness which are listed below.

Green Breakfast Smoothie (2 servings)

  • 1 sweet apple (Gala, Pink Lady, etc), cored
  • 1/3 cup avacado
  • 1/3 cup carrots
  • 8-10 slices cucumber
  • 3-4 cups baby lettuce mix (or leafy green of choice)
  • Splash of lemon juice (1/2 – 1 tsp)
  • 1-2 pieces of frozen fruit (handful of berries, piece of mango, etc)
  • 1 cup of water

Optional add-ins/substitutions: coconut milk (or milk of choice) instead of water; gelatin powder (for protein)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately (or place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours for a colder result).

For a sweeter smoothie: add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of frozen fruit (mango, pineapple, bananas, etc) and reduce the amount of lettuce.

One additional note: I’ve found that the raw vegetables/fruit and lemon juice in this smoothie can cause a bit of a detox effect. Please keep this in mind if you plan to try this for yourself.

Have a favorite smoothie recipe? Please share!

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Banana Nut Pancakes—Grain, Dairy and Refined Sugar-Free

Banana pancake 4 mediumI usually find myself in a rut when it comes to breakfast. I feel like I have the same thing over..and over…and over…again. It’s not that I don’t have things I could make, it’s usually that I just want something quick. The morning is when my infant son sleeps the best, so I want to get everything I possibly can done during this time. What I don’t want to be doing is a lot of cooking and dishes, especially since I’m the only one eating breakfast (my husband is already gone to work by this point).

However, when you are on a grain-free diet, quick breakfast ideas can be a bit more tricky. So over the last few weeks, I’ve been toying with different ingredients and came to a pretty simple pancake recipe that I’ve found to be a personal favorite.

I had a few goals in mind with this concoction:

  1. To make it very simple, requiring a minimal amount of ingredients
  2. To make a small serving size (since I’m only fixing it for myself)
  3. To be grain-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free
  4. To taste great (I mean, really, who wants to eat gross pancakes?)

Surprisingly, I think this pancake recipe hits all of these! The banana and nuts add a nice flavor and help hide the coconut flour taste. It’s also really quick to put together—about five minutes or so. It does make a small serving, about 5-6 small pancakes, so if you are cooking for more than one or two people, go ahead and double the recipe.

Start with mashing a very ripe banana in a small bowl. Once the banana is completely mashed, add one egg. Mix together well.

Banana pancake 1

Next, add the vanilla and baking soda (and optional raw honey) and continue mixing. Once all these have been thoroughly mixed, add one tablespoon of coconut flour then whisk it into the mixture. Continue doing this until you’ve reached three tablespoons.

Banana Pancake 2

The only thing left to add is the nuts. I’ve been using walnuts, but pecans would probably work well too. Mix in a handful of walnuts, more or less based on what you like best. In an oiled skillet (I used coconut oil), dip out a spoonful of batter and lightly flatten with the spoon or a spatula. I recommend keeping to a small size with these pancakes. The coconut flour makes them dense, so they can be hard to flip otherwise. Additionally, you’ll want to cook these on low to medium heat. I’ve found that when I cook on high heat, the pancakes get too brown on the bottom too soon.

Banana Pancake 3

Make up the rest of the batter. These are great with maple syrup, honey, nut butter, fruit or even just plain (yes, I like them that much!)

 

Banana Nut Pancakes (Makes 1-2 servings)

  • 1 very ripe medium banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp raw honey (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • walnuts or pecans to taste

Banana pancake 5

Mash the banana in a small bowl and add egg, vanilla, honey and baking soda. Combine well. Whisk in coconut flour (one tablespoon at a time). Stir in nuts. Place a spoonful of batter in a well-oiled skillet, lightly flatten with spoon or spatula and cook over low to medium heat. Continue until all of the batter is gone. Serve with maple syrup, honey, nut butter or fruit.

 

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