Author: Country girl

Fresh Taco Soup

This is such a great soup to make on any occasion. It’s made with fresh organic tomatoes, veggies, beans, turkey, chili powder, garlic and onions. If you buy all the ingredients fresh, I really think it makes all the difference. I can’t tell you how much better fresh tomatoes taste in soup compared to the canned version. You just have to try it. You’ll see. And if you are a fresh tomato soup eater already, you know what I mean. I also used chili powders and fresh jalapenos. No packet taco seasonings here. You are going to LOVE this soup.

Fresh and Healthy Taco Soup made with fresh tomatoes, beans, veggies, chili powder and ground turkey. [Pin It] Follow Me on Pinterest

1 medium sized onion

3-5 cloves fresh garlic

1 pound fresh tomatoes

1 pound zucchini

2-3 cups of freshly cooked pinto beans (about 1.5 cups dry beans)

water or chicken broth

1 pound of full fat ground turkey meat

Few tbsps. of olive oil, coconut oil or pastured lard for caramelizing the onions

1 tsp. sea salt (more or less depending on if you use water or salted chicken stock)

1/2 tsp. ground cumin or more

1 tsp. of New Mexico chili powder or ancho chili powder (add more if you like)

1-2 jalapenos with the seeds removed if you like your soup spicy

Begin by soaking your beans for at least 8 hours or overnight. If you do this your beans will take 2 hours to cook. I do not recommend making beans with out soaking. It takes too long and it also makes them hard to digest. After your beans are done (save the remaining water they are cooked in), caramelize the onions in a large pot. meanwhile roughly chop the tomatoes, zucchini and garlic. Once they onions are golden add the ground turkey to brown and fully cook. Next, add the chopped veggies, broth, spices, beans (with remaining water they are cooked in) and jalapenos ( if using) to the pot. Simmer until the veggies are tender. Season with sea salt here or earlier if you like. Serve with cheese, avocadoes, fresh herbs and Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Ready to simmer.

It’s ready! Enjoy!

5 Reasons to use Almond Flour for Baking

5 Reasons to use Almond Flour for baking + The Controversies Explained

1.Almond flour is rich in magnesium

1/4 cup of almonds has 45% of your daily value of magnesium. When there is enough magnesium around the body, veins and arteries breathe a sigh of relief and relax. This lessens resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body – a natural relaxant.

2. Almond flour is naturally gluten free

An easy way to think of gluten is to think of baking a loaf of bread with it. A loaf of wheat bread rises very well because the gluten (wheat proteins) trap air bubbles – think of chewing gum. Now bake a loaf of bread with rice or any other gluten free flours. You will have more of a dense bread. Now think of swallowing chewing gum every time you eat a piece of wheat bread or a bowl of wheat pasta. No wonder side effects of gluten intolerance are cramping and discomfort. You intestines are trying to digest the chewing gum causing them to spasm. The stress caused by gluten on the intestines leaves them weak, making it very difficult for the body to absorb nutrients.

Common side effects of gluten intolerance are anemia, depression, IBS, crones, weight gain, fatigue, celiac, inflammation of the joints etc…..

3. Almond flour is low in carbs

Simple carbs from whole grain flours (and starch flours like tapioca) are metabolized very quickly in the body similar to cane sugar. Its very easy to over eat carbs from grains, especially if you are already eating fruits, starchy veggies and honey (or other natural sweeteners) on top of this. Too many carbs and sweeteners (of any type) is a big cause of inflammation and weight gain. That’s why almond and coconut flour are best to use when baking; they are both low in carbs. This simple substitute is an easy way to get rid of extra carbs. I am not saying don’t eat carbohydrates, I’m saying save them for fruits and veggies and lots of them. As well as small amounts of local raw unfiltered honey.

4. Almond flour Its a great sub for wheat in recipes

It’s easy to sub out wheat flour with almond flour to a 1:1 ration. Unlike coconut flour, which can be a bit more tricky. Now I’m not saying this will work with all recipes, but it works with quite a few.

5. You do not need processed binders when baking with almonds flour

Guar gum and xanthan gum are examples of this. These act just like gluten in the body. You will notice some recipes that are gluten free, yet are grain based will call for these ingredients. These binders act like gluten in the body causing stress to your intestines making it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients. It’s better to find different recipes that do not use these binders. After you have used almond flour in a recipe you will notice it’s ability to hold together very well without using these ingredients.

Some things I want to cover about the controversies of using almond flour and perhaps the reason why I wrote this article.

They are high in calories

Yes they are. But they are also are packed with protein fiber and healthy fats making almond slow to digest, keeping you fuller longer. 1/4 cup of wheat flour has 110 calories and 19 grams net carbs (aka sugar) 1/4 cup of almond flour/meal has 160 calories and 2 grams net carbs. Also, you can add less oil in your recipes when using almond flour, and you will save calories doing so. Where as with wheat you will have to add the oil or you will have a dry outcome.

Almond flour contains oxalates

Oxalates are found in fruits (berries), beans, lentils, veggies, grains, nuts, seeds, black tea, chocolate, rhubarb stalks, cinnamon…. As you can see its a wide variety of nourishing food. The formation of kidney stones containing oxalate is an area of controversy. If you have kidney stones you will often be asked to stay away from foods that contain high to medium level oxalates. Although, recent research studies have shown that the intake of water, protein and calcium influences oxalate formation as much as, or more than intake of oxalate. Finally, some foods that have traditionally been assumed to increase stone formation because of their oxalate content (like black tea) actually appear in more recent research to have a preventive effect. Most oxalates are flushed out of the system anyway. Antioxidants that are present in almonds like tannins and vitamin E will protect against any other exposure.

Every food you eat is going to have pros and cons, that’s life. I think it reminds us that portion control and listening to your body is the secret to good health.

Almond flour is not heat stable and undergoes oxidation

This is not true.

Almonds experience oxidation when they are burnt, rancid, or processed into an oil. Nature was prepared for this and that is why almonds contain antioxidants to protect the fat, like vitamin E. Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is not sensitive to heat (starts breaking down at 200c, 390 f) but is sensitive to light and oxygen. That is why you would not want to use almond oil because it exposes the oil to light and oxygen. On the other hand, using the whole almond will preserve the oils shielding it from oxygen and light. In addition, the tannins found in almonds also play a role in preserving the oils. Tannins are resistant to heat as well. So, unless you burn your cookies, the oils in almond flour are very nourishing and heat sable. Using whole fresh almonds or fresh almond meal or flour will ensure you have safe stable oils to bake with.

The fats in almond flour causes inflammation

This is not true.

70% of the fat from almond is monounsaturated fat aka (MUFAs) Monounsaturated fats provide fatty acids needed in the body to build cells and maintain healthy skin. They are also a stable oil and do not go rancid easily which makes them great for baking and great for fighting inflammation.

30% is omega 6 polyunsaturated fat (PUFAs omega 6). PUFAs omega 6 protect against cardiovascular disease by providing more membrane fluidity when it is preserved – like with vitamin E. A healthy body can converted omega 6 LA in to DGLA which fights inflammation.

A study was done to a group people of all ages for four weeks given a diet of no almonds, low amounts of almonds or high amounts. The results, published in March 2010 in the “British Journal of Nutrition” showed that the people in both the low and high almond groups had lower levels of C-reactive protein, a common marker for inflammation in the blood.

Almond flour contains phytic acid

Grains, nuts, seeds, lentils and beans carry this as well as some fruits and veggies. Some studies state that phytic acid enable vitamin mineral absorption from happening when ingesting the food that carries it. Almonds carry most of the phytic acid in the skins . So if you are concerned, eat soaked (skins removed), blanched, or Marcona almonds. Blanched almond flour is also available. Funny thing is Phytic acid has been shown to have a detoxing effect. Not only does in bind on to minerals but it also binds on to metals (aluminum, mercury…) and anything else it can latch on to. Cool huh!

Best Baking Results

I believe that a combination of coconut flour and almond flour gives you the best baking results. coconut flour gives you very airy light baking outcomes and almond gives you more dense baking outcomes. That is why the combo of both creates amazing goodies. Also, this will keep you from over eating one or the other flours. Coconut flour is very high in fiber so combining the two will not only give you the best baking results but will also keep you satisfied.

As with everything moderation is key. Remember baking is a luxury and a treat. Baked goods should not replace balanced meals. I personally eat a treat (using almond butter or flour combined with coconut) every day which usually turns into a snack combined with three balanced meals though out the day. These meals would include veggies (with lots of butter), protein (whole egg, fish, some turkey), fruit, fermented dairy and a serving of grains once or twice a week. In doing so, I have over come chronic anemia and beginning stages of leaky gut.

Have you use almond flour in baking? What are your thoughts on it?

Supporting Research

Fallon, Sally and Enig, Mary. Nourishing Traditions. Washington DC: New Trends Publishing, Inc, 1999.

Gamma-linolenic acid, University of Maryland Medical Center.

Adams, Mick. “Almonds have many health benefits.” Natural News. Truth Publishing Inc. , March 29 2005.

Mark. “Dear Mark: Nuts and Omega 6.” Marks Daily Apple. March 15.

The George Mateljan Foundation. “Can you tell me what oxalates are and in which foods they can be found?” The World’s Healthiest Foods,

Singleton, Bonnie. “Almonds: Nutrition & Inflammation”. Feb 18, 2012.

Coconut Milk Strawberry Banana Popsicles

Coconut milk, strawberries, and ripe bananas. How can you go wrong with this combination? These are so satisfying on a hot summer day, not to mention they are packed with nutrient dense whole food so you will feel great after eating them too. Its really easy to blend fruit and something creamy together to make a delicious pop. If you don’t have popsicle molds yet, they could be a lifesaver for you in the hot months. I have three sets myself because my kids are little popsicle eating monsters! You will also save money making your own and you will save yourself the sugar overload. Store bought popsicles add way to much sugar to get people to buy them, not to mention the ever present added binders and stabilizers. My favorite part about making homemade popsicles is that you can make them with all organic ingredients.

Et innlegg delt av LP (@pjsmommie)

Coconut Milk Strawberry Banana Popsicles

1 can of full fat coconut milk
12 ounces of strawberries fresh or frozen
1 medium size very ripe banana
1-2 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbsps. honey or other natural sweeteners like stevia (Trader Joes has a great price of liquid stevia)

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into your favorite popsicles molds and place them in the freezer. It will take them at least four hours to set.

Best Paleo Pancakes

I am so happy and excited to share this recipe with you. I have been working with almond meal/flour and coconut flour for about 6 years now and I have not found a gluten free, low carb pancake recipe that I liked as much as this one. Some recipes I have found call for lots of almond meal/flour which is not good for my waist line. Others use all coconut flour, leaving me hungry after I eat them. A combo of both works perfect for me. In this recipe I used banana and gelatin to enhance the texture and vinegar to bring out the flavors of bread. These Paleo, low carb pancakes are super moist yet really fluffy and satisfyingly filling. Also, I used almond meal from Trader Joe’s for this recipe because it costs around $3.50 a pound compared to Bob’s brands or Honeyville which is around 8-13 dollars a pound depending on where you shop. Price aside, all of
these brands will definitely work for this recipe, and you will have fantastic pancakes! I hope you Enjoy!

Best Paleo Pancakes

3 jumbo eggs
1/2 cup milk (almond, goat, cow or coconut milk)
1/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup almond meal or flour (I used Trader Joe’s almond meal)
1/4 cup mashed ripe banana
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tbsp. gelatin (helps bind)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar (helps the rise and enhances the flavor)
pinch of sea salt

Severs 2-3 people 10 small to medium sized pancakes.

optional: For a special treat add a few chocolate chips after you pour the batter.

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. Let the batter sit for 1 minute to let the coconut flour fluff up. Meanwhile, heat up a large skillet on medium heat with oil or butter. Pour the batter to make small to medium sized pancakes. Once a few bubbles pop on the pancakes flip to cook on the other side for 1 minute, or until the pancake center springs back when you touch it. Serve with whipped cream, berries and honey (for a special treat).

Note: Very important that you use jumbo eggs and place the ingredients in the blender. This will ensure the best results.

This recipe was shared on Allergy Free Wednesday

Frozen Peanut Butter Bites (gluten free, grain free)

I get really excited when I make these. I use very little dishes, simple ingredients, and I can make them in a pinch. I especially love that they are frozen. The texture is similar to frozen cookie dough. These are something I thought I would make and no one would like them except my weird little self. I was wrong. My kids love these little frozen treats. They prefer them over most sweets I make. And I love them because there is something so satisfying about the combo of chocolate and peanut butter.


1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 pinches of sea salt
1 tbsp coconut flour
1-2 tbsp mini chocolate chips


Mix the peanut butter, honey, vanilla and sea salt together until smooth. Next, add the coconut flour and stir. Roll into bite size balls and then roll them into the chocolate chips (do this so you can use less chocolate chips and still see them on the outside). Place in a airtight container in the freezer for up to a month. Enjoy!

Easy Taco Meat From Scratch

Taco meat can be very easy to make from scratch, so long as you have the right chili powder. Once you have that ingredient down, you really are just about done. You will also have the best tasting taco meat from scratch ever! The best part; you don’t have all those weird ingredient in your food. So many of the store bought seasoning packets have strange ingredients, added sugar, and processed salt. I make this concoction whenever I crave traditional Mexican dishes my mother made for me when I was growing up. I also add it to anything from steamed veggies and salads to tacos and casseroles depending on how good I want to be. 🙂 My Mexican casseroles ROCK. And there are so many simple variations. I need to post one for you guys. Well, I can’t take all the credit. I stole most of the recipe from my mom. If you like veggies, spices and flavor you will love them. As some of you might know I have three kids ages 5, 3, and 1. With this many young lives in need of nurturing, I am left with little time for my blog. I love my little blog, and I am working on posting more regularly. I’m a mom that is just becoming use to the idea of letting someone else take care of my kids other than my husband or Grandma. I jumped over a huge hurdle yesterday and let my neighbors daughter watch my kids while I tough my yoga class. I came home and saw how much they loved it. Duh, I thought! I gotta give this a go more often. Especially to be able to post more! Also, I want to share why I’m gluten free soon in another post, and I do want to tell you that I have been cutting out sugar lately ( from all source including fruit) and I feel so much better. I’m doing this to lose some inches off my stomach and wake up with more energy to get on with my day. It’s been doing both of those things. Which leads me to one of my favorite fast meals, Taco Meat From Scratch, which can be served in many ways depending on how much time you have.


3 tbsp olive oil
4 large cloves garlic
1 lb ground meat (I used whole fat ground turkey from TJ’s)
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pasillo chili powder
1/2 – 1tsp ancho chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 cup salsa ( I used Double Roasted Salsa from TJ’s)

optional – a pinch or two or more on arbol chili powder ( only if you want spicy)

Coconut Milk Baby Kale Smoothie (diary free, nut free, bitter free)

We all know that leafy greens are an amazing super food. Getting them in our diet is the challenging part! It’s so hard to hide the bitter taste. Then I discovered Power to the Greens at Trader Joe’s. The secret is the greens are in “baby” form; way less bitter, yet full of vitamins! This smoothie is my favorite morning pick me up when I’m craving something sweet. If you’re not big on all the fruit sugar, just sub out the banana for stevia to taste. The fat from the coconut milk and fiber from the greens make this really low glycemic, especially if you sub out the banana. I like to eat low sugar and a higher fat/fiber diet because it not only keeps me full longer, it also keeps my cravings at bay. My moods seem to be more stable as well 🙂
Things you’ll need:

blender ( a high speed blender like a Blendtec or Vitamix will give you a smoother texture)

1 cup coconut milk ( if you use a thick coconut milk you can use half coconut milk half water if you like) Trader Joe’s and Thai Kitchen canned coconut milk are in BPA free cans.

1/2 cup frozen pineapple ( I buy mine from Trade Joe’s)

1/2 bag or less of Organic Power to the Greens from Trader Joe’s (it has baby kale, baby spinach and baby chard) or two big hand fulls of baby spinach. Because of the oxalic acid present in raw greens boiling, steaming or blanching (reduces the amount by 75%) before using are great options.

Place the coconut milk, pineapple, banana and greens in the blender and blend until smooth.

*Note: It’s best to use non fortified coconut milk which you can only find in a can or by making your own coconut milk. The calcium that is added to the milk with stop iron absorption. Also eat this with fried eggs for more iron absorption. The hemo iron in the egg helps the non hemo in the kale absorb. Non hemo (plant sources) only absorbs about 2-20 % compared to hemo (animal sources) which is about 15-35%. Hemo iron is superior for absorption because they are already in absorption form. Non hemo iron has to be converted. And that’s if you have a healthy gut. It’s best to combine them both with vitamin C. Also, if you are like me and can not tolerate raw mature kale, baby kale might be something you want to try. Steaming or blanching your baby kale mix before using it in a smoothie is also a great option. Baby greens become really tender fast! I do both raw and steamed depending on how I feel.

Drink up!

Nacho Cheese Greek Yogurt Dip

I can’t get enough of Greek yogurt right now. It’s my own personal super food! Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and probiotics and is super filling. I made this dip today for my kids and hubby. I was so excited to see them digging in and lovin it. This recipes is a way healthier version of anything you will find in the grocery store. Trader Joe Pub Cheese is oh so good by itself, yet oh so sinful. But mixing it with Greek yogurt, salsa, and herbs makes the guilt go away…right? 🙂 Well, I guess you’ll have to excuse the blue corn chips even though they are organic…. Crunchy fresh carrots or celery sticks are a superb substitute. This is a great recipe to share with your man. I swear the pub cheese and bacon totally hides the fact that there is Greek yogurt in it. My hubby said he preferred this dip over strait pub cheese, which he loves. Score!

Recipe: Nacho Cheese Greek Yogurt Dip

1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Pub Cheese
3 slices of bacon
2-4 tbsp salsa ( I used Double Roasted Salsa TJ’s)
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
fresh cilantro or chives about 1 tbsp chopped or more.


Cook the bacon until its crispy.
In a medium bowl add the greek yogurt, pub cheese, salsa, cumin and garlic and stir until combined.
chop the bacon into small pieces.
Add the fresh cilantro or chives and bacon (save some for garnishing)and stir.
top with the remaining bacon and herbs. Serve.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 5 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Calories: 62 Fat: 3 Protein: 2

Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt

I wanted to share what I’ve been making lately that makes me so happy. I love peanut butter and chocolate chips together. Usually, I just eat peanut butter out of the jar with chocolate chips sprinkled on top. This can be dangerous, to my waistline that is! I thought of a New Years Resolution minded way to enjoy my sinful indulgence with less guilt; mix those two ingredients with something that is healthy and filling – Greek yogurt! This totally does it for me. I eat way less peanut butter when I make it like this and my kids love it! Oh my goodness it’s so good!

Et innlegg delt av Bine (@binenr9)

1 small container of plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp nut butter (I used peanut butter)
1 tbsp sweetener (like maple syrup or honey)
1/4 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

Combine the Greek Yogurt with the nut butter, sweetener, vanilla and sea salt. Mix until smooth.
Top with Mini Chocolate chips. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Coconut Flour Oatmeal Pancakes

When I started making gluten free pancakes I did a couple of things with coconut flour and almond flour. Wasn’t to happy with my results and that’s why you haven’t seen them on my blog. But look no further you are looking at the best gluten free pancakes EVER! At Least my family thinks so. I love love coconut flour because it is so good for you. Full of fiber and low in calories/starch. And lets not forget about oatmeal! Oatmeal is the secret to these filling, satisfying and amazing pancakes. I love this combination because it is so much more satisfying then just using all oats or all coconut flour. I stay fuller longer putting them together. Oats are to starchy on their own and coconut flour is not enough to keep me full. Another good thing, they are super easy! All you do is put all the ingredients in the blender and your done. Just like mornings should be with three kids! 🙂

Turn on the burner to medium heat. Coat the skillet with butter or oil. Make sure to move the butter or oil around a few time to prevent the pancakes from sticking. Once the skillet is hot pour the batter to form pancakes. Before flipping, just like my grandma would say, “Wait until all the bubbles pop then flip.” At least most!

Once you flip the pancake cook for 1 more minute. The oatmeal in the pancakes is the secret for them holding up so well. I don’t have any problem flipping the pancakes.

I have made gluten free pancakes for years and nothing is quite like this. They are dense yet flaky and perfect.
Recipe: Gluten Free Coconut Flour Oatmeal Pancakes (super easy)


1 cup of old fashioned rolled oatmeal
1/2 cup coconut flour
4 jumbo eggs
1 cup of milk (goat, cow, almond or coconutmilk, if you use canned coconut milk use half water half coconut milk)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (the secret to making these pancakes rise. It also enhances the taste)


In a blender add the eggs, milk, oatmeal, flour and baking soda and blend on high for 30 seconds. Lastly add the vinegar (clean the baking soda off first). Then blend for a few seconds. You should have a slightly thick batter.
Pour the batter on to a hot greases skilled. Make sure the skillet is on medium to prevent from sticking and burning. Flif when most of the bubbles have popped. Cook for another minutes and serve.
Serve with maple syrup, honey, or hot milk and cinnamon.


Add sliced bananas, chocolate chips or blue berries after you pour the batter in the skillet.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Recipe inspired and adapted from Nourishing Days Coconut Flour Pancake recipe. This recipe is a great recipe if your looking for a grain-free low carb pancake.

This recipe was shared on, Monday Mania, Make Your Own Monday, GF Mondays, Natural Living Monday, Fat Tuesdays, Slightly Idulgent Tuesday, Tasteful Tuesday, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Thank your body Thrusday, creative juice, GF Fridays. Strut Your Stuff Sat,