Pineapple and Digestion

Why did the pineapple go out with the prune?

Because he couldn’t find a date!

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What’s this buzz about pineapple being great for digestion? For starters, it contains about 87% water to it helps get flowin’ through your digestive tract. Did you just picture a pineapple on a waterslide? Because I did.

It also contains digestive enzymes that help break down proteins from food. Between the enzymes, water, and fiber this tropical fruit is a great addition to any meal. Check out a pineapple recipe line up at the bottom of the post!

mangia pineapple

One of the reasons I decided to post about pineapple is because I am currently in Hawaii. I have never tasted such fresh fruit until vacationing here. Once home of the world’s largest pineapple maze (because this is important, people) Dole was a huge distributor for pineapples in Hawaii. And for good reason.There’s pineapple everywhere and it’s delicious. So, here is some spikey fruit awesomeness.

How can you tell a pineapple is ripe?

Smell it! The more it smells like sweet pineapple the better it will be. The outside will feel almost like soft rubber. That’s a weird analogy but it’s not too firm, but not soft where you feel like you’ll leave a thumb print.

Bromelain

Pineapple contains bromelain extracts. These babies contain enzymes that help digest proteins in our gut. It’s also known to have anti-inflammatory effects. I think this is what people refer to when they say pineapple is good for digestion.

Vitamin C

Adding a bit more Vitamin C to your diet may help people with autoimmune diseases since it boosts your immune system. The healthier your immune system is the more your body can concentrate on healing the disease. That way it’s not so distracted with your head cold, etc.

grilled pineapple

Now I made you crave pineapple, huh? DON’T WORRY! Here’s a list of paleo recipes including this refreshing tropical fruit.

HERE’S THE LINE UP
Warm Cinnamon with Cashew Cream by Mangia Paleo
Piña Colada Shrimp by Mangia Paleo
Pineapple Verde Chicken by Mangia Paleo
Pineapple Pork by Ancestral Chef
PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw by Beyoutifully Delicious
Tropical MCT Smoothie by Plaid and Paleo
Chocolate Chili Pineapple by Civilized Caveman
Pineapple Bacon Guacamole by What Would John Mack Eat?
Pineapple Mint and Lamb Kebabs by Autoimmune Paleo
Hawaiian Turkey Burgers by Against All Grain

 

MANGIA!

Steamed Clams and Bacon

Check out these heroes in a half shell. Bacon power!

When my father and I collaborate with food this is what happens. First, dad gets access to millions of pounds of fresh locally harvested clams. Mom doesn’t like them. So, I get a phone call inviting me to dinner. I go visit with bacon in hand. Seriously, I brought bacon to my parent’s house for dinner. That sounds ridiculous. But it’s true.

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Did you know that clams are high in iron? I am pointing this out because most people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease are prone to anemia because we poop blood a lot. Women are especially prone to anemia. So ladies, get’cho bacon and clams on!

Clams are also a very lean protein which is helpful if you are following paleo for weight loss reasons. Not only that but clams have a significant amount of B vitamins which keep the nervous system running smoothly. The most important reason though, is that a clam is a freakin’ delicious treasure (#brunomars) found in the ocean.

Recipe adapted from and inspired by my father. 

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Ingredients:
NOTE: measurements are in Italian metrics. ie, handful of this, pinch of that. ;)

  • A million pounds of fresh littleneck clams
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup wine (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 handful lemon basil, chopped (or regular basil and zest from 1/2 lemon)
  • 1/4 handful of parsley, chopped
  • 6 oz bacon
  • pinch ground black pepper

Directions:

You can either grill or steam them. If you grill them, simply throw them on a the grill, cover, set on medium high heat until the shells open.
OR
Add clams to a large pot with wine, vegetable stock, garlic, parsley and basil. Cook on medium high heat until all clams open. About 10-15 minutes. Stir once halfway through. 

While the clams are bathing in wine, cook the bacon until crispy. (400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes is my favorite way). Chop the bacon into small bits. Add pepper and parsley. Combine.

Once cooked, remove clams from the pot. Discard or save the clam juice broth.

Break off the top shell. Add bacon mixture ontop of the clam. Serve on the half-shell.

I understand I went a little heavy on the bacon. WHY NOT? Did you not read Time Magazine’s article on good fat? ;)

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They make for a savory dinner or impressive appetizer. Substitute wine with vegetable broth to be autoimmune protocol compliant.

Mangia!

 

Strawberry Basil Grilled Chicken

There is nothing more tasty than hand-picked strawberries from your local farm. Wait… yes there is. When you combine it with basil and balsamic! If you have never tried this combination you’re probably thinking, “what the heck is this girl doing? Strawberries are for dessert!” I ask you to open your mind just a bit and try this deliciously refreshing grilled chicken dish. Go on… I promise you’ll like the combination of flavors.

If you’re like me you like chicken but it can quickly get boring. Adding fruit is a crazy idea. An idea that works! This is a perfect alternative if you’re watching your nightshades consumption. Nix the tomatoes and opt for fruit.

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Ingredients:

  • 2  8 oz chicken skinless breasts
  • 8-10 large strawberries
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 6 large basil leaves (about 1 handful)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

Place 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil and salt & pepper with chicken in a ziplock bag. Let sit for anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours. You can even skip this step and grill the chicken with light Italian seasonings. When ready, place on grill for at least 5 minutes each side depending on thickness.

While chicken is getting fired up on the grill chop the strawberries and basil into small pieces. Combine in small bowl with 1 tbsp vinegar and 1/2 tbsp olive oil.  Let the fruit and oil & vinegar sit in bowl until chicken is done cooking. The strawberries will break down and get soft in the vinegar.

Remove chicken from the grill and add strawberry chutney on top of chicken. Sprinkle fresh basil on top as garnish.

20140628-145141.jpgMANGIA!

Paleo, low FODMAP, and AIP friendly. Check out this balsamic vinegar recipe that is more SCD and GAPS friendly.

Sautéed Kale and Carrot Ribbons

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I will spare you and will not recite all the benefits of eating kale. You probably already know that leafy greens are packed with nutrients. And I’m sure you have heard the push on how kale is rich in antioxidant vitamins. So I won’t talk about how it’s a great source of Vitamin K, iron, and calcium. I also won’t need to tell you that, from someone with an inflammatory disease, kale is my go-to food because it has anti-inflammatory properties. You must know that it contains more vitamin C than spinach and more calcium than milk. Right?

So like I said I won’t need to highlight kale benefits because you already know. ;)

And if you don’t know…now you know. It’s all good baby bay-bee.

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This is an Autoimmune Protocol, SCD, Paleo, GAPS diet friendly dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large kale bunch 
  • 3 medium whole carrots
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Generous sprinkle fresh parsley (chopped)
  • Olive oil
  • S&P to taste

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Directions:

Use a peeler to shave the carrots into ribbons. Tear off 2-3 inch pieces of kale.  Peel and julienne an onion. Chop garlic. Set everything aside in a bowl. Congratulations. You just prepped all your veggies!

Next, lightly coat the bottom of a stove-top skillet with olive oil. Add onions and garlic. Sauté on medium heat until onions get tender.

Next, add carrots for another 2 minutes – just to soften them. Kale cooks pretty fast so by layering the ingredients during cooking you ensure they all will cook the same.

Add kale with lemon juice, zest, parsley, and S&P. Stir until kale is wilted but still has green color and body to the leaf. 

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Serves 2-3 as a side dish.

Double or triple this recipe as an awesome pot luck, picnic, or BBQ crowd pleaser!
Got leftovers? Add some to eggs for a breakfast frittata.

MANGIA!

 

Paleo Vanilla Flag Cake

The most patriotic paleo dessert of all time! America, the beautiful!

My great aunt used to make a rectangular angel food cake with cool whip and berries every summer for Independence Day. I would look forward to our fourth of July picnics just for this cake. So it was only a matter of time before I created a gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and refined sugar free version!

Red, White, and Blue meets paleo in the most refreshing dessert on the internet!

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Ingredients:

  • 8 egg whites
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup honey or 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (from carton)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch of sea salt
  • About 6-7 medium strawberries
  • 1/4 cup blueberries

For the whipped ‘cream’:

  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk (cold and hardened – like my heart LOL!)
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla

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Directions:

Beat the egg whites in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. This usually takes 3-5 minutes.

In a separate bowl combine whole eggs, vanilla, honey, coconut milk and lemon juice in a bowl. Then, in ANOTHER bowl (we’re up to three…I know…haha) mix the dry ingredients: coconut flour, baking soda, sea salt. Incorporate the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and mix well. Then, gently fold in your stiff egg whites until the batter is fluffy.

Add to 11 x 9 baking dish (9×13 may be too large, unless you want a think layered cake). As long as it is rectangle!! Bake in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Let cool before adding whipped cream. See below

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For the whipped cream:

Scoop out the top hardened coconut milk from both cans. (save the bottom liquid for smoothies, drinks, coffee, etc). Place in mixing bowl with honey and vanilla. Beat on high until peaks form. This is where you can add a tsp or so of brandy if you aren’t strict paleo. YUM!

Chill in the fridge until the cake is cooled.

While the cake is cooling cut strawberries in halves or quarters, whatever fits best on your cake. I cut mine in quarters. Then, pick out similar sized blueberries. Set fruit aside.

Cover the cake with whipped ‘cream’ and add fruit as seen in the pictures.

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This paleo American cake is a crowd pleaser at picnics, weekend breakfast treat, and a fun way for kids to help out. Ask them to place the fruit on top!

Don’t forget to sing happy birthday to good ‘ol United States of America!

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MANGIA DESSERT!

Top 5 Gelatin Benefits and Paleo Jello Recipe

Look how happy these gelatin smiley men are! 

This is a kid friendly recipe to introduce their vitamins in a fun way.  Sneak in some vitamins and ask them if they want Jell-o… BAM. Healthy children everywhere. Heck, you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy these giggly treats.

Most importantly, jello, and gelatin in general, is part of the autoimmune protocol diet. It is a superfood for regulating gut muscosa and overall inflammatory healing.

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Gelatin Benefits

1. Digestive health
Gelatin’s most important quality is to naturally attract water during digestion. So it binds to the water and helps carry the food around your digestive tract with ease. Because of this, it also protects and aids in healing the mucosal lining of your guts. It also makes the breakdown of nutrients easier for you. “You’re welcome”, says gelatin. All of these properties contribute to gelatin being categorized as an anti-inflammatory food.

2. Joint Care
Collagen, collagen, collagen. Our bones and joints need it. Gelatin’s got it. Amino acids are also helpful in this aspect of gelatin’s properties.
Gelatin has the same effect as the oil can to the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz.

3. Hair, Skin, Nail Care
You can rub anti-aging and collagen cream on your skin all you want. It won’t do as much as if you consume it. It comes from within. Gelatin aids the growth of nails and hair making both stronger. Because skin needs collagen to look smooth and healthy it’s a no-brainer that this will guide in your beautiful gelatinous makeover….Wait…Ew?

4. Weight Loss
Consuming gelatin before a meal aids weight look by helping you to feel more full. That way you don’t over eat. It assists with your portions while keeping you to feel full in a natural and healthy way. Gelatin has also been rumored to help boost metabolism.

5. You can make paleo desserts!
This might be the best benefit of all. Puddings, pies, desserts, and jello are pretty hard to recreate without something to bind it together. Hence, gelatin!

gelatin

Easy Paleo Jell-o Recipe

  • 3 cups 100% fruit juice or kombucha (I like strawberry!)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp grass-fed gelatin
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey (optional)

Directions:

Heat the juice or kombucha in a small sauce pan until just about a boil. Then whisk in the gelatin powder. Quickly pour into molds and set in fridge for at least an hour or until firm. You may want to coat the mold with a bit of avocado or coconut oil so they don’t stick – especially if it’s an intricate mold like my smiley faces!

*NOTE: It’s important to use the Great Lakes gelatin in the ORANGE CONTAINER. The green container gelatin is cold water soluble and doesn’t gel like the orange container.

MANGIA!

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If you have crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, digestive issues, arthritis, joint pain, are trying to lose weight, or have bad skin then try incorporating gelatin into your daily routine.

Piña Colada Shrimp

Do you like piña coladas? How about getting caught in the rain? This probably isn’t as fun as laying on the beach with a rum drink in your hand, but it’s pretty darn close. These paleo coconut shrimp are perfect for a sweet snack or appetizer. It can be pretty sweet so I add a bit of salt to the shrimp right after cooking.

Also, you may notice I don’t leave the tail on. Okay, okay… it makes a good handle. I get it. But then you have to have a separate bowl of mauled shrimp tails. Not to mention the hassle of trying to get every bit of meat out. Don’t worry, I won’t judge you if you leave the tail on.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound raw shrimp – 26/30 count or larger
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • coconut oil (if pan frying)
  • Sea salt and pepper for the shrimp (optional)

Directions:

Peel and de-vein the raw shrimp. In a small bowl let the shrimp sit in 1/2 cup coconut milk. While the shrimp are chillin’ in their bath set up your plates to coat the shrimp. Coconut flour in one plate, whisked egg in another, and shredded coconut in the other. 

Dip shrimp in coconut flour > Then egg > Then shredded coconut

Lay in a baking pan and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. OR fry in coconut oil in a skillet cooking the shrimp on medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes each side

For the sauce, simply blend the coconut cream and crushed pineapple. You can even use the thick part of the canned coconut milk instead. I find that coconut cream and pineapple together make it too runny.

COOKING TIP: You can either pan fry or bake. I baked these because I had other stuff occupying the stove at the time. But there is less of a chance of them drying out if you fry them in coconut oil on the stove-top rather than the oven.

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MANGIA!
Also, sorry for getting that Piña Colada song in your head. ;)

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