Iron Bombs

Tigernuts are heroic. I first got into them when healing my gut and adrenals, limiting my nuts through a rotation technique and minimizing grains and sugar.

They helped my digestion, gave me grain-free options for a filling snack or meal, and made my experience in the kitchen a lot more adventurous and creative.

Along came, what I then called “the tigernut carob freezer cookie.”

Little did I know they’d develop into a staple power ball  three years later when diagnosed with anemia.

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Tigernuts are high in iron… also high in fibre, calcium, potassium, and vitamins E and C, are nut-free, gluten-free, paleo friendly, and a resistant starch (shameless plug)…. but yeah… back to iron…. HIGH IN IRON.

They contain somewhere between 20-40% of your daily iron content in one small serving, depending on the form.

Paired with some other high iron foods, these tigernut balls can provide all your iron you need for the day…. and more (for anemics like me.)

So first, coconut oil. It has no iron in it. But is a great addition to the ball for a great texture, and to help your body digest the iron that’s being pumped in through the rest of the ingredients.


Next comes sunflower seed butter. These seeds are naturally higher in iron than some other nut butters, containing 10% of your daily iron in 1 tbsp.

Then carob powder. This common substitute for cocoa/chocolate is quite sweet, and also quite high in iron, also coming in at 20% per serving.

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Blackstrap molasses is a wonder working iron friend. One serving contains 20% of your daily recommended dose too! Think of all of these ingredients together!

So to make these balls… we first melt the coconut oil,  add sunflower seed butter, carob and molasses. I also add a drop of vanilla and maca powder sometimes. Both are optional. Vanilla is very recommended. Then we stir until the mixture becomes one form.

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Next comes the tigernut flour…. and there you have it!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of organic unrefined coconut oil

  • 3/4 cup of sunflower seed butter

  • 1/2 cup carob powder

  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses (unsulphured)

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • Sprinkle of Himalayan salt

  • 2 cups of tigernut flour

Directions:

  1. Melt the coconut oil and sunflower seed butter together on low heat in a pan.

  2. Add carob powder, molasses, vanilla and salt, and mix together until it the consistency is shared between them.

  3. Stir the tigernut flour into the mixture, and add a bit of filtered water if needed to make the dough easier to work with.

  4. Roll the mixture into balls, and freeze or refrigerate. They are good to be eaten directly out of the freezer or fridge.


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Grain-free Blueberry Muffins

Let's talk about grains.

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As a passionate plant-based eater & nutrition student, I see both the benefit of grains and their potential of harm.When I'm talking about grains, I'm not talking about Uncle Ben's converted rice. I'm talking about whole grains, even gluten free grains.

Yes, they are "healthy," but everyone's body is different and in different states. Grains, even in moderation (and even  gluten free) can cause inflammation in certain instances, and when not consumed mindfully, can bring excessive sugar to our bodies that we simply do not need.I do love eating grains, and they are a regular part of my diet. Still there are stretches of time where I can tell my body needs a shake up.In these times, I enjoy Paleo recipes for sweet things and baking.

Those who follow a Paleoethic lifestyle typically refrain from eating grains, and it's one way of eating I admire. Unlike Keto, Paleo doesn't focus on cutting carbs, which is not-sustainable long-term for women physically, and emotionally and mentally for most people.

Unlike Keto, Paleo peeps can eat most fruit, and even sweeter vegetables. They focus on eating whole foods, as local as possible, and reducing inflammation. There are different Paleo guidelines for different purposes.

'Basic Paleo' removes dairy, soy, grains, and processed and refined foods from the diet. Well-sources meat, fish and eggs, fruits and vegetables can be enjoyed bottomlessly. And  nuts and seeds are to be eaten moderation.

'Autoimmune Paleo' is a targeted way of eating Paleo that is proven to be highly effective for those living with autoimmune diseases. AIP takes Basic Paleo to the next level. Catered to the person and their responses to certain foods, these people usually avoid nuts, legumes, nightshade veggies, and limit sugar intake.

'Primal Paleo' is supposedly more flex. Some primal dieters eat raw, unpasteurized dairy, white rice, and the occasional legumes.

'Ketogenic Paleo' folks would not be eating grains anyway, but also restrict carbohydrate intake. It is a more calculate approach to eating, and excludes starchy veggies and fruits.'80/20 Paleo,' or 'Paleo-ish' as some of my friends call themselves, is a mostly Paleo dietary lifestyle that includes local meats, eggs, etc, minimal gluten free grains, and no refined or processed foods. When eating meat, they would often not combine with grains, and they may eat legumes and certain dairy products once in a while.These muffins came out of an empty fridge, ripening bananas, and a bag of Paleo baking mix bought on clearance. They are 'Basic Paleo' friendly. 

Grain-free Blueberry Muffins (Paleo)

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  • 4 ripe-overripe banana

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup of wild blueberries (I use frozen)

  • 1/8 cup pure maple syrup

  • 1 cup coconut cream

  • 3 cups Bob's Red Mill Paleo baking mix

  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed

  • 1/4 tsp chopped almonds

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

  • Pinch of aluminum free baking soda

  • Pinch of salt

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  1. Mash bananas in a bowl.

  2. Add coconut cream, maple syrup, vanilla, flax and eggs.

  3. Slowly add the grain-free flour mix, and gradually add more, while stirring the mixture. You can add a bit of hot water if the flour gets hard to mix.

  4. Now, stir in the almonds, cinnamon, baking soda, salt - and - if you're a chocolate chip freak like me, now would be a good time to add some if they are in your pantry today.

  5. Scoop the batter into muffin molds and let bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

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While you're waiting for the muffins, scoop a couple spoonfuls of batter into a small mug, and microwave for two minutes. And le voila, the mighty impatient baker's mug-cake.Then comes the moment where you open the oven, and they're ready. Enjoy them while they're hot, or make them in batches and freeze for grab and go options throughout the week. 

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Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies

Do you like chocolate? How about cookies? Looking for a grab-and-go filling breakfast you can pre-make and take? An afternoon snack that will keep you full til supper and give you lasting energy? This one's for you! I'm used to creating things in the kitchen that most people fake smile their way through. As a creative, I've historically despised following recipes. It's about a 1/10 success ratio if you're measuring by other people's reactions.In my kitchen, it's pour this, and a little bit of that, and a pinch of that until it feels right. Needless to say, it's worth celebrating when something works out  to the point of being share-able. Making breakfast cookies has, in the past, been fun, a quest to create something ideal, something Pinterest-picture-perfect... only to create not so wonderfully textured baked goods that aren't filling unless you have five. So I share, after somewhat of a success.Alas, the filling, decadent & delightfully textured sweet potato protein-packed breakfast cookie.

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Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients 

1 baked sweet potato (when organic, I leave skin on)
1/2 cup of black beans
2 tbsp of chia seeds
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1 whopping tbsp of dairy-free butter
1 scoop of plant-based protein powder
1 tsp of maca powder
1 pinch of aluminum free baking soda
1 pinch of himalayan salt 

Makes 6 individual cookies.

HOLD UP WHAT IN THE WORLD IS MACA POWDER?

The maca root, aka peruvian ginseng, is an edible plant of the brassicaceae family. But trust me, it pairs with chocolate much better than broccoli or cabbage. It's an earthy flavour - kind of nutty.The root is native to South America, originating from mountains in Peru, but has become a North American superfood known for its adaptogenic properties.Adaptogens are healing plants that balance hormones. They are amazing incorporations into people's diets unto reducing the impact of stress on our cells.The benefits of these plants, like maca, holy basil, licorices or certain mushrooms are lower cortisol levels, enhanced sex drive and fertility, and energy.I love maca and consume it almost every day in some way. You don't need it in this recipe, but it's a high recommend.

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Directions

1. Blend all of the ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor until it's a batter with consistent texture.

2. Grease a baking stone, pan or use parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

3. Portion out the dough into cookie shaped blobs. Pat them down. They will not expand much, keep that in mind.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20ish minutes. You may need to bake them a bit longer, but after 20, check on them regularly until they look ready.

5. Let sit to cool and harden for at least 15 minutes before eating.

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I've been eaten two for breakfast each morning paired with matcha almond mylk. Each morning, chewing slowly, so thankful for the ability to access ingredients to make these. Mindful of the reality of food insecurity. And blessed to experience God's Love in the shape of a chocolate cookie.

"But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your own hand we have given to You." 1 Chronicles 29:14