Beef Jerky – Paleo/AIP

Jerky makes a great snack – tasty and protein rich, it fills you up.

But most of the jerky’s you can buy contain dubious ingredients like soy and MSG.  And they usually contain spices that are not AIP.

And then there is the cost – to buy jerky made with decent grass-fed beef costs a fortune – it is far cheaper to make it yourself.

This recipe contains no nightshade spices but it does have peppercorns – pepper is classed as a stage 1 reintroductoin.  If you know that you will react to it, or if you are strict AIP, simply leave it out.  The jerky will still taste AMAZING!

The good thing is that jerky is very easy to make.  If you have a dehydrator it is a breeze, but it is also possible to dry it out in the oven set at the lowest setting.

Black Pepper is a stage 1 reintroduction.  If you have not reintroduced it yet, or are in the elimination phase of the AIP simply omit it from the seasoning mix.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Beef Jerky

makes aprox. ½lb jerky

BJ1

  • 2lb grass-fed beef (look for a lean cut – flank steak works well)
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste (omit if sensitive or strict AIP)
  • 2 tsp wasabi powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder

Trim off any visible fat, then slice as thinly as possible – ¼” thick or even less if you can manage it.  Chilling the meat in the freezer so that it is partially thawed can help with this.  Use a very sharp knife or a meat-slicer if you have one.

Place the meat in a glass bowl and add all the remaining ingredients – mix well so that all the meat is evenly coated.

Marinate in the fridge for 12-24 hours.

To dry the jerky using a dehydrator:

Arrange the slices of meat on the dehydrator tray, spacing them out evenly and making sure that no pieces overlap.

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I have an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator which is amazing.  But you can use any dehydrator to make your jerky…

Set the temperature to the meat setting – 68°C/155°F for 3-5 hours until dry – it is ready when it is dry to the touch and shows white fibers when you bend it.

Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

To dry the jerky using the oven:

Place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet, and arrange the slices of meat on top of the cooling rack.  You could also use a roasting rack and roasting pan for this if you have one.  The aim is to allow air circulation on all sides of the strips of meat so that they dry as fast as possible.

Set the oven temperature to the lowest possible setting – 68°C/155°F is ideal, but if your oven does not go this low just set it as low as you can.  If you have a fan oven use this setting as this increases air circulation and that will speed up the drying.

Place the trays of meat in the oven and prop the door open to allow more air to circulate – I use a wooden rolling pin to do this!

Allow the jerky to dehydrate for anything from 4-8 hours until it is dry to the touch and shows white fibres when you bend it.  It should still be slightly pliable, not crispy.

Allow the jerky to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

BJ2

Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #32

Shared at Gluten Free Wednesday

The Easiest Mayo Recipe EVER!

A few months ago, I saw a post on IPMG about how to make mayo using a stick-blender and a mason jar.

Previously, I had been making my mayo either in my blender or the hard way with a mixing bowl and a hand whisk.

Put it this way, this method has literally changed my life!

It is so easy – rich, thick, additive-free mayonnaise without any hard work.  And the best bit is that it only takes seconds.

It works every time – the trick is to keep the stick-blender perfectly still until the mayonnaise has started to thicken.  If you move it before this it will go runny on you.

While not strict AIP (it contains egg yolks), this may be tolerated by anyone who has successfully reintroduced eggs or egg yolks (for the most part, it is the egg white that can be problematic for people with AIP issues).  This is also paleo, and free of all of the questionable additives that store-bought mayo contains.

And it is delicious!

This recipe contains egg yolks (stage 1 reintroduction).  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

The Easiest Mayo Recipe EVER!

makes 1 cup

BM10

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup avocado oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the egg yolk and lemon juice in a wide-mouthed mason jar.  Add the olive oil and avocado oil.  Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the stick blender in the mason jar and blend without moving the stick blender.  Once the mayonnaise is starting to form, you can move the blender up and down gently, but wait until it is starting to thicken before you do this.

Taste to check the seasoning and adjust by adding more salt or pepper as necessary.

BM9

This mayo will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks if it is stored in a sealed jar.

Use as you would use any mayonnaise.

Optional add-ins:

  • add 1-2 cloves of garlic before blending to make Aioli
  • add ½-1 tsp ready made mustard (mustard is an AIP stage 2 reintroduction).
  • add ½-1 tsp anchovy paste and a little nutritional yeast to make a paleo/aip version of ceasar salad dressing
  • add 1 canned sardine before blending to increase the omega 3 content
  • add any herbs you like along with some spinach to make a green dressing.
  • add a chilli pepper or even a chipotle chili in adobo to make a spicy chilli/chipotle salad dressing or dip. (chilli is a stage 4 reintroduction)

That is just 6 suggested add-ins, but really you could add anything you fancy to this

Go wild!  Experiment!  Have Fun!

Shared at Mostly Homemade Mondays #83

Lemon and Mint Water Kefir Popsicles

I posted about how I made water kefir a few weeks ago.

One of my favourite flavours to make is lemon and mint.  To make this, you simply carry out a secondary fermentation in a sealed mason jar, adding sliced lemons and mint sprigs.

But I don’t always drink the water kefir.

During the summer I like to make the girls popsicles as a treat – homemade popsicles are wonderful – you can control exactly what goes in them to make sure that there is no nasty stuff.  Quite often I use fruit juice, coconut water or even the pureed fruit itself to make popsicles.

But the other day, I was thinking, why not use water kefir.

These are really good!

Not overly sweet, with a tangy lemon flavour and a subtle taste of mint.  They are incredibly refreshing, and a good way of getting some gut-friendly probiotics into your kids tummies.  The bacteria become dormant when frozen, but they “wake-up” again once they are ingested.

Lemon and Mint Water Kefir Popsicles

lmwkp3

  • 1 quart ready made water kefir – see here for instructions on how to make the water kefir
  • 1 lemon
  • 2-3 sprigs of mint
  • popsicle molds

Take the lemon and slice it into thin rounds – no need to peel.  Place the lemon in a quart mason jar and add the mint.

Strain the water kefir over the lemon and mint to make sure you retain all the grains so that you can use them for the next batch.

Seal the jar and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

Next day, strain the liquid out of the jar and pour into popsicle molds – any kind works.  Bigger molds will make fewer popscles, with smaller ones you will get more.  If you do not have any popsicle molds, you could improvise with a small dixie cup and popsicle sticks.

Freeze for several hours until frozen solid.

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To release the popsicles from the mold, run them under the hot tap for a few seconds until they release.

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And enjoy!

Shared at Paleo AIP Recipe Roundup #29

Shared at Mostly Homemade Mondays #83

Shared at Gluten-free and DIY Tuesdays

Homemade Mixed Berry Fruit Rollups

These are the perfect treat to give your kids, and actually, I like them myself when I fancy a sweet treat. So much better for you than candy!

They are so easy to make, and much cheaper than buying the over-priced fruit leather at the grocery store that often contain additional sugar, colourings and other additives.

Because you are making them yourself, you can control exactly what goes into them.

This recipe is easiest made in a dehydrator, but you could use the oven set at it’s lowest temperature.

Homemade Mixed Berry Fruit Rollups

FL8

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups mixed berries (I used an organic frozen brand that contains strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries).  Fresh berries would work too.

Puree the berries and banana in a food processor.  You don’t need to thaw the berries first – I just pureed them frozen.

Spread the puree out on a sheet of parchment paper placed on the dehydrator tray trying to get it as even as possible.  If using the oven, spread the puree out on parchment paper on a baking sheet.

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Dry the fruit out in the dehydrator until the top is set.  If using the oven, set it to the lowest temperature that you can and prop the door open to allow air circulation.  You need to keep a close eye if using the oven to ensure that it does not burn.

Once the top is set, flip the fruit leather over and peel off the parchment paper.

Allow to dry for another few hours until the other side is no longer sticky.

Don’t over dry this or it will become brittle.  You want it to be a little pliable so that you can roll it up.  Mine took about 4 hours in the dehydrator in total, but it will vary depending on the heat of your dehydrator or oven.

FL7

Once your fruit leather is dry, you cut it into strips about 2″ wide.  The easiest way to do this is using a pair of scissors.

Cut a strip of parchment paper a little wider and longer than each strip of fruit leather.

Lay the fruit leather on the strip of paper and roll up tightly.

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Seal with a piece of tape and store in an airtight container.

FL5

And there you have it – homemade mixed berry fruit roll-ups that contain nothing but fruit.

Shared at Gluten Free Wednesday, Home and Garden Thursday

Homemade Grainy Mustard

This is a necessary condiment to serve with roast beef, and is one of Hubby’s favourites.

Rather than buying the small jars of ready made mustard, which often contain dubious ingredients (which means I have to read labels), I decided to make my own.  That way, I could control exactly what went into it.

This has a more pungent, stronger flavour than bought mustard.

Mustard is an AIP stage 2 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Homemade Mustard

must1

  • ¾ cup of mustard seeds (I used a mix of black and yellow mustard seeds)
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar (be sure to use one that is “live” and contains a “mother”)
  • ¾ cup white wine (or substitute fruit juice)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place the mustard seeds in a bowl and pour over the apple cider vinegar and wine/fruit juice.  Allow to soak at room temperature for several hours.

Once you are ready to make the mustard, place the soaked seeds, the liquid and all the remaining ingredients in a blender.  Blend to a thick paste.

Store in the fridge in a mason jar.

Chocolate Fat Bombs

Hubby is really struggling at the moment…  he feels constantly hungry, constant carb cravings, and it is not helping him with his weight loss or trying to avoid gluten (because he ends up eating chocolate bars from the vending machine at work).

So I decided to try upping his fat content, and as a result made the following fat bombs for him to eat in lieu of those carb and sugar laden chocolate bars.

These are full of good fats – and hopefully will help curb those cravings.

Chocolate and almonds are an AIP stage 2 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Chocolate Fat Bombs

makes 24 individual bars

fat1

  • 2 cups unsweetened dried coconut
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup raw honey (ours comes from Buzz Honey)
  • ¼ cup cocoa (unsweetened)
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

The first thing you need to do is to put the coconut into your food processor.  You are going to leave this running until you get some coconut butter…  depending on how powerful your machine is, it could take anything from a few minutes up to about 10 minutes.  Just leave it running until it starts to clump together and the flakes are starting to break down and resemble nutbutter.

Now add the almond butter, coconut oil, butter, honey and cocoa.  Blend until evenly mixed.

Add the slivered almonds, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla and pulse until evenly mixed.  You don’t want to totally break up the almonds – they are there to provide texture to the finished bar.

Scrape into a loaf tin (I used a silicone one for ease of turning out, if you have a metal one you may need to line it with cling-wrap to be able to get the finished bars out of the tin).

Place in the freezer until frozen solid and then turn out and cut into bars.

I cut the loaf into 12 evenly sized bars and then cut each bar in half again to make 24 small chocolate bars.

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Wrap each bar in cling-wrap and store in the fridge until needed.  They will go squishy if unrefrigerated.

I don’t normally work out the nutritional profile of my recipes, but in this case I was interested in the macro-nutrient profile (specifically, I wanted to know how much fat and protein was in there) so I ran this through the recipe calculator on spark people.

It came up with the following (note this is not complete – I was not interested in all the minutae of the micronutrients for this recipe as it is a snack only)

Serving size  1 bar (1/24 of the recipe)

Calories 248

Total fat 24.4g

Saturated fat 16.7g

Polyunsaturated fat 1.5g

Monounsaturated fat 3.7g

Total Carbs 6.2g

Fiber 3.7g

Sugars 4.4g

Protein 2.8g

Don’t be put off by the high levels of saturated fats in this, there has been research that effectively debunks the myth that dietary saturated fat plays a major role in heart disease.  The main thing is that this is fairly low in the inflammatory polyunsaturated fats but still contains some of the beneficial monounsaturated fats. And the role of all these fats is to fill you up, keep you full and combat those carb/sugar cravings.

It is relatively low in carbs as well – not only is 6.2g not all that much, by the time you deduct the unavailable dietary fiber you end up with an available carb figure of  only 2.5g per serving…  a tiny amount really – hardly enough to cause an insulin spike.   And the protein content was 2.8g per serving.  Not a huge amount, but bear in mind that this is a snack designed to combat cravings, NOT a meal replacement….

Hubby says that these are really effective at helping combat his sugar cravings when he is at work.

And I have to say (having licked the spatula after scraping it out of the food processor), it tastes delicious!  Not overly sweet, with a nice chocolatey flavour and an appealing nutty texture.

I am guessing that if you wanted to make this ultra-low-carb (to fit in with something like the Atkins diet, or similar ultra-low-carb ketogenic diets), you could substitute artificial sweeteners or stevia for the honey…  for ourselves we prefer to be more natural, avoiding any artificial sweeteners and I don’t like the way stevia tastes… besides, I don’t really think 2.5g of available carbs in a snack is all that bad in the big scheme of things really…..