Holiday Baking has begun, and I’ve had a bunch of questions on where to find the ingredients used in Paleo recipes, and also where to source local meat, eggs, and dairy. It’s a lot easier than you might imagine if you haven’t done this yet.
(Speaking of Paleo baking, remember: PALEO COOKIE EXCHANGE at my house, Friday, December 13, noon to 2. More details after Thanksgiving, but EVERYONE is invited!)
I’m just going to make lists, ready?
For any local meats, dairy, or eggs, go to local harvest.org., or eat wild.org; and this one, which is cool because it even has restaurants, eatwellguide.org. If you haven’t checked out these sites, I bet you’ll be shocked to see what’s available: dozens of small farms in your vicinity, that either have co-ops, deliveries, stores, or SHIP DIRECTLY. Check them out.
What’s the point of the extra effort, when you could just go to Wegman’s, Whole Foods, or any other grocery store? Small local farmers are following a trending movement of feeding their livestock traditional foods (grasses/hay) instead of just grains. If you’re avoiding grains because of digestive and immune issues, you’ll want to avoid eating animals that eat them also. Whether the gluten proteins that cause so many problems passes on to humans via meats/animal products is an issue that’s HOTLY debated; but here’s a certainty: grain fed meats, eggs, and dairy contain high amounts of Omega 6s fats (inflammatory), and not much if any Omega 3s fats (anti-inflammatory). Omega 3s come from grasses, and Omega 6s come from grains. One of the biggest reasons red meats cause inflammation is because MOST PEOPLE EAT MEAT FROM ANIMALS FED INFLAMMATORY GRAINS. We are what we eat.
Next, paleo/low carb flours that don’t contain gluten and don’t spike blood sugar. The most common ones you’ll see in recipes are almond flour and coconut flour. There’s also plantain and sweet potato flour for those with auto-immune issues who are trying to avoid nuts. Most grocery stores are carrying almond flour and coconut flour, but there’s a bunch of sites selling them online: here’s a link to VitaCost options, and here’s a page from Google.
One of my favorite sites?? Tropical Traditions!! What don’t they carry: every and any coconut product you can imagine, plus hundreds of other different and fun baking, beauty, and home products that are natural and non toxic. They even sell, and ship, eggs that are special because they feed the chickens coconut, which leaves the yolks rich in Medium Chain Triglycerides and Lauric Acid (trust me, you want those things).
Next up, sweeteners. I use a lot of Stevia in the Raw. I’ve just bought my first bag of Swerve and can’t wait to try that. I also use liquid Stevia. I’ve tried Truvia, and while it bakes well, I’m a little leary of it. We do use honey and maple syrup in some of our baked goods. Monk Fruit sugar is in a lot of recipes I see, and they just started selling that at our local grocery store.
Lastly some Recipe Sites, these are fun! The Paleo Mom, All Day I Dream About Food, Elanas Pantry, and Civilized Caveman. Paleo, Low Carb, Gluten Free sites are so popular on the web that I haven’t bought a cookbook in years, I just use the computer. I’ve also joined Pintrest and I think that’s a great way to keep a “recipe file”.
That’s it for on the cooking end. I have to finish this post with a reminder of this weeks mantra, “Attitudes don’t just happen, they’re the product of our choosing.” We can choose to make this holiday about family and friends and community, or we can choose to make it about gorging ourselves into a coma. Whichever of those we focus on is going to happen. Choose your thoughts wisely, and let me know what you’re making for Thanksgiving!