It’s two days away from Thanksgiving here in the United States, and that means a significant portion of my readership is scrambling to put together a Primal menu. Things are easier now with the rise of the ancestral health community and the growing preponderance of related recipe blogs, but a lot of you are still wasting precious time combing through their volumes or converting standard Thanksgiving recipes into Primal-friendly recipes. You have better things to do. You have family and friends to visit, footballs to toss (or kick, as the case may be), piles of polychromatic leaves to roll around in, and thanks to give. Even if you’re an international reader, don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or know quite what it’s all about, you still like to eat great food.
Bulletproof coffee has taken the paleo world by storm. Not me, though.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for people dropping grass-fed butter and coconut/MCT oil into their high-quality coffee, blending it all up into a high-octane mug of frothiness, but I just can’t get into it. If we’re talking coffee additives, I prefer my butter in the form of cream. That’s me. I definitely see the appeal of it, though, and I’m sold on the merits of the drink and its components. It’s just not for me.
However, the idea of adding non-traditional fatty food items to coffee intrigued me, so I decided to explore other options. Eventually, I landed on eggs.
Scroll all the way to the end for a step-by-step recipe
When the weather turns chilly and you’re craving a festive beverage, bypass all the stores selling over-sugared Venti drinks and head home to make your own Primal Hot Cocoa and Eggnog (or in this case, Egg-Less Nog). Sinfully rich with just the right amount of sweetness, these beverages are all pleasure and no guilt.
The naturally sweet flavor and creamy texture of coconut milk is a perfect non-dairy base for hot drinks. Adding a chopped date that’s simmered and then pureed with the milk makes the hot cocoa and nog even sweeter, for those who want their holiday beverage to taste like drinkable dessert. The date is optional; you can use half the amount suggested or none at all. However, dates are a great way to sweeten without adding noticeable flavor, like honey or maple syrup would.
Jiggling rings and towers of gelatin can bring back unappetizing memories of a culinary era when Jell-O was king. So it’s understandable if you read the title of this post and said, “Seriously?”
Yes, seriously. Forget about flavored gelatin rings made with mini-marshmallows and canned pineapple or with Miracle Whip, peas and diced ham. Instead, envision a rich and creamy dessert with the flavor of fresh, ripe berries and the gentle sweetness of coconut milk. Think about an appetizer that tastes just like salmon mousse, except you can serve it in slices without any need for crackers or bread. And this is just the beginning. With some unflavored, powdered gelatin and a little creativity there is no limit to what you can come up with.
Rhubarb is a mysterious vegetable, one that is loved by many despite its toxic leaves and puckering, tart flavor. It’s possibly one of the least versatile vegetables out there and resists most attempts at making it palatable, unless a cup of sugar is involved. There are some savory rhubarb recipes out there, but most make an unintentionally convincing argument that rhubarb really is best served for dessert.
So what’s a Primal rhubarb lover to do? If spring is not really spring until you’ve had a taste of seasonal rhubarb, but you want to avoid the sugar and flour in cakes and crumbles, then try Rhubarb and Berry Dessert Sauce instead. Rhubarb is simmered in butter, vanilla and just enough honey to sweeten it up without masking the tart flavor. Fresh berries are mixed in and then the sauce is spooned on top of full-fat yogurt or layered with homemade whipped (coconut) cream. The contrast of the tart, fruity sauce and rich yogurt or whipped cream truly tastes like an indulgent dessert. If you need a little crunch, sprinkle ground nuts or dried coconut on top. The bold flavor of this dessert makes small amounts really satisfying, so a little bit of the sauce will go a long way.
Not too long ago kombucha was a fringe beverage, a murky concoction brewing on someone’s kitchen counter or being sold in a few health food stores. In recent years, however, kombucha has gone mainstream. It’s now widely available in an array of eye-catching colors and flavors and sold in stylish glass bottles. Even at the price of nearly $4.00 for 16 ounces, people are regularly carrying cases of the stuff out of Whole Foods Market. So what’s all the fuss about?
There’s the not-too-sweet flavor, the carbonated zing and the potential health benefits. Kombucha is a fermented beverage (fermented tea, to be exact), which means it can introduce beneficial bacteria into your body. Once you get used to the somewhat vinegary flavor and as long as you watch the sugar content, kombucha is a refreshing and enjoyable drink. If you plan to drink it semi-regularly, then it makes sense to start your own brew at home.