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Comfort food season has arrived! There’s something about the flavors of fall foods that are more warming than the rest. Buttery squash, spicy pumpkin flavors, nutty aromas, apples upon apples, and of course, bacon. Yummmm. And if you’re not already filling up with cans of organic pumpkin puree, you’re doing it wrong. You can put that stuff in everything!

Let’s do this (talk about food that is).

1. Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs – this is a staple in our house in the fall and even through the winter. Spaghetti squash is back in season, and it’s the perfect paleo option for pasta. We use it all the time, in so many different recipes! I absolutely adore Caitlin’s blog and I can eat everything in her recipes!

2. Apple, Pecan & Bacon Butternut Squash Hash – this is Kyle’s absolute favorite. We get local pastured bacon from our favorite farm, Hendrick’s, and make this on Saturday mornings and top our plate with a fried egg from our own chickens. Sometimes we’ll make this for dinner too — breakfast for dinner, anyone? So good.

3. Caramel Apple Spice Waffles – this recipe requires a little more ingredients than I typically like, but it’s so good, you won’t be sorry. It’s perfect for a lazy weekend morning, with a giant mug of Bulletproof coffee.

4. Pork Chops with Sage-Garlic Butter – I know some paleo eaters don’t use butter, and I imagine ghee would work just fine in this recipe, though I’ve never tried it. We do use grass-fed butter from local organic farms, and the flavor simply cannot be beat. Using regular old factory butter is just a crime, don’t do it. We get pastured pork from local farms as well, and boy, do I love a good pork chop.

5. Pumpkin Spice Latte – Oh my heavens, you gotta try this. It’s insanely yummy and will have your PSL running. This recipe uses creamy coconut milk instead of dairy milk. I think the real trick here is to use real pumpkin, if you’ve got any on hand. I used organic canned pumpkin and it tasted just fine though!

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The idea of supporting local farms is something I am very passionate about. I used to do the majority of my food shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s but we’ve slowly transitioned over to shopping at local family farms, in addition to foraging from our own gardens and gathering pastured eggs here on our own farm. The reward is so great! Not only do we find that the flavor profiles are insanely different (read: exploding with flavor), but supporting a local family, and our local economy, is something that makes us so happy! Living on a farm, we now understand the work that goes into caring for organic gardens and happy livestock. And since we choose to eat grass-fed or pastured meats and eggs, knowing where the cows, pigs, and chickens have grazed, and spent their lives, is very important to us, as is knowing the farmer who raised the animals. We make it a point to only support farming that is humane, free of chemicals and hormones, and of course free of pesticides and GMO’s. Sure, you can find these types of products at Whole Foods or other health food stores, but handing over that check directly to the farmer feels like a statement of support. I guess we’re hoping more people will forgo shopping at major grocery chains, which supports industrialized farming and Big Agriculture yada yada… and instead shop at local farmer’s markets or go directly to their local family farms.

The majority of us don’t realize how easy it is to locate local farms or farmer’s markets in our area – hint: it’s soo easy!

  • Please check out Eat Wild to search for local farms, or farmer’s markets, in your area that raise, produce and sell meats, cheese, milk, butter, fruits and vegetables, honey, coffee, eggs, and so much more that is all sustainably raised, grass-fed, organic, pastured or otherwise all-natural and humane. The site includes a US map with farms across the country ready to be found.
  • If you’re part of a big family, something like Philly Cow Share, might be of interest to you. These types of share companies connect responsible farms and butchers with urban communities who are looking to simply eat well. Depending on where you are in the country, you can do your own research to find something like this local to you.
  • Local Harvest is another directory that allows you to find local organic food, farmer’s markets, family farms, and sustainable farms in your area. This is an incredible resource that I refer to all the time.
  • If you’re looking for grass-fed beef, Mark’s Daily Apple has put together a little list of farms in almost every state for you to contact. Check it out here.
  • The American Grassfed Association also has an extensive list of grass-fed farms and products listed by state on their site.

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My mom and I are working on putting together some Farm to Table events for our local community in collaboration with our neighbors who have this gorgeous refurbished barn that is used for weddings and such. We are so excited about getting our community involved and bringing awareness to the importance of supporting local, and sustainable, farming. Our first event will take place late October and I’ll be sure to fill you in on details as we plan our events and source local farms, food and wine!

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COOKIE

AHHHH!! It’s here. The day I’ve been hinting about for.. what? Almost a month now? It feels very strange to talk about this online because so many people in my life have been begging me to just make this real already! It feels like it’s already real to me with how much I’ve been baking, but now it’s really real! It’s only real when it’s on the internet right?!

So here it is…. I’m launching my own food business, Honest Goodness!

In efforts to make this world a sweeter, healthier place, I’ve decided to start sharing the most delicious treats I’ve ever had with everyone I possibly can. We launched two products this week: Chocolate Chip Cookies and Almond Coconut Chip Cookies. Both are honestly melt-in-your-mouth good with only real, organic ingredients. You can visit the Honest Goodness shop here.

Next week we’re launching a Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroon and Pecan Shortbread. There’s much more to come!
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So how did this even happen in the first place? Oh, lemme tell ya!

I’ve been baking so many cookies for my family since I moved home last December. Of course in my efforts to make everyone around me healthy, I’ve managed to turn the most delicious chocolate chip cookie into the healthiest one possible. And it so happens to STILL be the most delicious cookie we’ve ever had. Then I began experimenting with every other cookie, bread, treat recipe under the sun and I’ve come up with some pretty incredible things (humble-brag alert). I love spending time in the kitchen, and I especially love sharing delicious things with everyone I know. So my passion turned into hobby, and now it’s so much more than that… it’s very rare for someone to leave my house without a few healthy treats in tow. After a few dozen raving reviews, I’m open for business. I’ve been in the kitchen for years, I guess it’s time to start sharing some of the goodness.

And this is just the beginning.

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Visit the Honest Goodness website here.
Follow Honest Goodness on Twitter here.
Like Honest Goodness on Facebook here.

 

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Sauerkraut. Kombucha. Kimchi. Sourdough bread. Olives. Soy Sauce. Wine. Yogurt. Some of these foods you may eat on a regular basis, others you make a point to stay clear of. What all of these foods have in common is that they are a fungus party in a bite and full of friendly bacteria. Friendly bacteria, say you? Oh yes.

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Lately I’ve been addicted to raw sauerkraut and consuming it in large quantities. One year ago I turned my nose up at fermented foods and glared at you if you suggested I take a bite. Ironically it was then that I needed healthy bacteria the most. It was then that I felt my worst and began the journey of uncovering the roots to all my digestive problems. Most of us are in desperate need of more probiotics in our diet. I just stumbled upon a Fabulous Fermentation Week movement on some of my favorite health blogs, and I squealed with happiness! It’s so exciting to see other bloggers spread the word about healthy bacteria (yes I totally just said that). So it’s about to get all factual up in here – get ready to learn, feel free to take notes.

The facts //

1. Your gut serves as your second brain and produces more serotonin (known to have a beneficial influence on your mood) than your brain does.

2. An adult is supposed to have two to five pounds of live bacteria in their body (gut) – that’s more than 100 trillion tiny, single-celled organisms.

3. Junk foods, antibiotics, non-organic meat and dairy (pumped with antibiotics themselves), stress and unfiltered water are all healthy bacteria killers.

4. A low count of good bacteria in the gut can cause candida (a genus of yeasts causing infection), leaky gut syndrome (damaged bowel lining), a very weak immune system, and even poor development in babies.

5. Antibiotics weaken healthy bacteria growth for up to 6 months!

6. Healthy bacteria should outnumber the cells in your body by at least 10 to one.

7. Lactic acid is the most common bacteria found in the fermentation of vegetables. They help the body produce natural antibiotics, anti-carcinogenic compounds and other compounds that actually inactivate toxins.

8. Most disease originates in your digestive system, including physical and mental disease. Once you heal and seal your gut lining, your digestive system will begin to work properly again and disease symptoms will typically resolve.

9. Probiotics promote regular bowel movements, maintain bone health, improve digestion, banish skin conditions, produce antioxidants, and reduce cholesterol.

10. Lactic acid balances out blood sugar, making us less prone to developing diabetes or storing too much fat (I know this got someone’s attention!).

BOTTOM LINE: Maintaining an ideal balance of good and bad bacteria forms the foundation for good health—physical, mental and emotional.

This is not a joke, people!

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All of the aforementioned fermented foods actually FEED the healthy bacteria in your gut, known as probiotic foods! Most are incredibly healthy and delicious (I stay away from the sourdough, yogurt, soy sauce and wine bit – but I dig kimchi, sauerkraut and olives). The very best fermented foods are the veggie kind, and they are typically easy to make at home. Aside from taking probiotics before bed every night, I make it a point to eat fermented vegetables everyday. I’ve noticed a significant difference in my digestion and even in my skin! I’ve seen my digestion go from very, very bad (the holidays were a wreck) to good. Not very good just yet, but we’re moving forward, and that’s all that counts.

When shopping for fermented vegetables, it’s important to buy RAW vegetables that do not contain added dyes, sugars, or preservatives. Pasteurized foods are non-beneficial because the heating process kills the bacteria. But honestly, if you’re up for a fun kitchen-DIY one weekend, just make it yourself. That way you ensure that your fermented veggies are gluten-free and preservative-free.

I’m starting to experiment with making my own kimchi and sauerkraut. I could have never imagined it being so easy! It’s a little tedious with the cleanliness part, but it’s really nothing impossible. Best of all, it’s so rewarding and beneficial to your health. And we all know how I feel about that.

If you’re nerdy like me, check out this TED Talk with Bonnie Bassler. Pretty amazing, I’ll say!

 

Here are some fermented recipes that I’m totally digging right now:

Kimchi

Raw Vegan Cashew Labneh

German + French Sauerkraut

Fermented Beets with Orange & Thyme

 

So what do you think? Would you board the bacteria train? Or are you already making it a habit to eat fermented vegetables?

 

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