In that Mediterranean world which begat Western civilization, the olive enjoyed special prominence beyond its culinary properties. Roman aristocracy thought good health depended on two things: wine within, and (olive) oil without. The olive branch was the symbol of peace, and the fruit itself an emblem of wealth and prosperity. Today, the oil extracted from olives is the main draw for many – it figures crucially in Italian, Greek, and Northern African cooking, and it’s the basis for many marinades, dressings, and sauces. As Primal Blueprinters, olive oil is one of the best fats we can use, but let’s not forget about the source. Whether as snack, spread, or salad ingredient, we need to start recognizing the power and versatility of the olive itself.
In one sense Grok had it easy. He never had potato chips or candy bars in his diet. You, on the other hand, likely used to eat these foods in some way, shape or form before you found the Primal lifestyle. And, while you’re happy with all the changes that Primal Living has afforded, every now and then, when you least expect it, a craving for a cheese doodle – of all things! – sneaks up.
Well, fear no more, because we’ve figured out some great Primal alternatives to some of your favorite not-so-Primal foods. Granted, they’re not perfectly Primal and may contain a bit more sugar than we usually recommend, but they’ll beat store-bought, HFCS-laden, processed junk food any day.
In the Phillipines, it’s called the “Tree of Life.” Malays refer to it as pokok seribu guna, “the tree of a thousand uses.” Yes, today’s edition of Smart Fuel is all about the coconut. I’m going to focus purely on the culinary benefits, but the non-culinary, utilitarian advantages of the coconut are many, varied, and point to the coconut’s position as the ultimate Primal food. We can imagine early man using the husks for ropes and brushes, the leaves for roofing material and basket making, and the dried shells for musical instruments or food storage. Nowadays, coconut water is used as an intravenous fluid, the empty shells as improvised explosive devices, and the husks as floor buffers. Now, none of that probably concerns you, but I find it absolutely fascinating. Okay – on to the actual meat of the topic.
I was at the gym yesterday when a fellow weightlifter and I got to talking about diet (for lack of a better word) and nutrition. He listened intently, interested in the philosophical foundation upon which the Primal eating plan is based. At the end of the conversation he had the same response I get from many people new to the Primal Blueprint. It started off with “I could never…” and ended with admiration in my ability to be so diligent about what I put in my body. It seems that most people get hung up on a couple things they think (and maybe they’re right) they could never “give up”. For some people it’s tortilla chips or ice cream. For others it’s fast food or pizza.
A few weeks ago we previewed a recipe for a flourless pie crust. Our only regret? We didn’t actually tell you what you could be filling those pie crusts with!
With the fall season now in full swing (seriously… where did summer go?) we wanted to offer up a few Primal pie fillings. Granted, some are higher than we’d like in carb counts, but when you compare it to the alternatives, it looks a whole lot…errr…sweeter!
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