Pineapple Frozen Yogurt

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This recipe came about in kind of a strange way…I bought a carton of yogurt I really didn’t like. I was at a store I don’t often go to and couldn’t find my usual brand. And every other brand I recognized was all skim milk. So I grabbed one that was supposedly Greek yogurt but turned out to be kind of slimy and icky but I couldn’t stand to just throw a whole container away. I had some pineapple and was suddenly inspired!
I added a little of this and a little of that and all of three of us loved it. Even my hubby, who isn’t crazy about frozen yogurt, especially the fruity kinds. (He prefers the chocolate variety. Or peanut butter. Or chocolate and peanut butter…you get the idea.)

A few notes about the ingredients:

Yogurt: So, what about the skim milk? Part of it for me is I eat almost no dairy. The almost? Is yogurt. That, and the occasional real cheese on pizza every once in a while. I also use ghee in place of butter (butter that has been clarified and the lactose and casein are removed; it’s easier to digest and rich in vitamins – yes, it’s from real butter and it’s good for you!). And I hate to admit I’ve become a bit of a yogurt snob. I’ve become very picky about it, but part of that is as I mentioned, it’s usually the only dairy I have. I just have not been able to make or find a store-bought dairy-free version I like, so if I’m going to cheat on the dairy, then why not enjoy it?! The other thing is a personal choice. The other part of the picky is the type of dairy.

I largely stay away from dairy because I don’t handle it well, but have discovered I do fine with small amounts of good-quality, full fat dairy. Skim milk is very processed; all the fats – and the vitamins it naturally contains – are taken out then synthetic vitamins are added back in. That doesn’t make much sense to me. And recent studies actually claim that full fat dairy is actually better for you. I bought into the low/no-fat fad years ago…and ended up the unhealthiest I have ever been. When I simply started focusing on real, wholesome food I lost weight I had been struggling with for years (without really trying which I didn’t think was humanly possible) and several health issues drastically improved or disappeared completely. It’s a matter of personal choice, but an interesting one I did not come about lightly.
And fermented dairy, aka yogurt, is easier on the tummy. Does it ever bother me? Sometimes. I actually consider it a treat. It’s one of the few things I’ve been able to reintroduce to an already quite restricted diet and I enjoy it. Like I said, personal choice. Here’s some food for thought. In her book, Nourishing Traditions, the author Sally Fallon says “the fermentation of milk results in numerous beneficial changes. Fermentation breaks down casein, or milk protein, one of the most difficult proteins to digest. Culturing restores many of the enzymes destroyed during pasteurization including lactase, which helps digest lactose or milk sugar. Lactase produced during the culturing process allows many people who are sensitive to fresh milk to tolerate fermented milk products. Both vitamin B and vitamin C content of milk increase during fermentation.”

Collagen Peptide: Collagen is an insoluble protein made up of amino acids. You can find it naturally in things like a well-made broth and in cuts of meat that contain skin and bone. It contains high amounts of proteins and also vitamins. It’s good for your gut as well as your hair, skin, and nails. I get it in powder form and add it to just about anything. I try to add it to at least something every day (there’s no taste and you won’t even tell it’s in there). I add it to my coffee, yogurt, smoothies, hot cereals, and even some baked goods! There are lots of good articles out there about its benefits if you’re curious. I started using it years ago and haven’t looked back.

Pineapple: These are one of my favorite fruits! Super sweet but also so good for you. Fresh is best, and it’s on the Clean Fifteen list, which means It’s low on the pesticide scale and safe to buy conventional over organic (hence, it’s more budget-friendly!). Pineapple is very hydrating and anti-inflammatory, it boosts energy, is a natural decongestant, and is rich in vitamins like vitamin C, B6, folate, and thiamin. It contains minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium. It’s also a good source of fiber and healthy carbohydrates. (Yes, there is such a thing as a healthy carb; they fuel your body, regulate your blood sugar, and make you feel fuller – as opposed to the opposite that an unhealthy carb does.)

Ginger and Turmeric: These are anti-inflammatory spices that taste good and are good for you! Ginger is great for the immune system and can relieve an upset tummy. It’s also a natural anti-viral. Both are natural detoxifiers for the body. Turmeric is also good for the digestive tract. It’s also very good for the liver and it has been used in Chinese medicine as a natural anti-depressant. The health benefits are good, but I used them because I like them and think they are a great accompaniment to the pineapple.
Himalayan Pink Salt: Himalayan Pink Salt contains 80-plus minerals and elements without the negative effects your run of the mill table salt contains, where all the minerals except for sodium and chloride are stripped away. It also helps balance the pH in your body, which is very important. Here, I added it for its health benefits, but also because a small amount of salt helps balance the sweet.

Raw Honey: The difference between raw and conventional honey is raw honey has not been heated, which can destroy the vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes it contains. Local honey, which I used, is also a great choice if you suffer from allergies or environmentally-induced asthma. It will contain local pollen, which can help in the anti-histamine reaction the allergies induce. It has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties and can help stabilize blood sugar, instead of throwing it out of whack like refined sugar does. Also, check your labels. You might be surprised to find how much of that regular “honey” is actually high fructose corn syrup. I’ve even seen some that advertise, “made with real honey,” and maybe it was, but the first ingredient is the aforementioned highly processed corn syrup and honey is very low on a very long list. When buying honey, whether raw or not, there should only be ONE ingredient: HONEY. I initially wasn’t going to add any but then added only about a teaspoon full after adding the ginger and turmeric; the sweet helps balance the spice, I think.

I hope you found this information helpful. I personally find it really interesting when someone breaks down ingredients I may or not be familiar with. It’s good to always be learning! Now onto the recipe! Note, some of the amounts are approximate because I really did just add everything to taste and according to what I had in my fridge/pantry. Please feel free to adjust to your personal tastes. Enjoy!

Pineapple Frozen Yogurt
1-1/2 cups pineapple, cubed
16 ounces plain yogurt of choice
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
¼ teaspoon powdered turmeric
1 scoop (or about 2 heaping tablespoons) collagen peptide
A pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
Raw Honey to taste

~ Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add to an ice cream maker and churn until thickened. Mine took about twenty minutes – just long enough for me to do the other dishes before we enjoyed this for dessert!

In Good (and pineapple-flavored) health,
Emily

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Sources:
Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, Ph.D. Nourishing Traditions. Washington, DC., 1999
http://time.com/4279538/low-fat-milk-vs-whole-milk/
http://holisticsquid.com/milk-hero-or-villian/
https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/pineapples.html
https://wellnessmama.com/3058/collagen-hydrolysate/
http://fitlife.tv/10-health-benefits-of-turmeric/
https://ritely.com/benefits-of-ginger/
http://www.lifejacks.com/health-benefits-himalayan-pink-salt/
https://bodyunburdened.com/health-benefits-raw-honey/

Double Chocolate Mug Cake (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, with AIP-Variation)

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Need a break from all things pumpkin? Or busy preparing for the holiday and need a little something for yourself? Don’t need a reason? Come on! It’s chocolate times two. Who needs an excuse?! If you need another, this recipe is also paleo-friendly, grain-free, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free, plus it’s so good the first thing both my husband and I said to each other on trying it was, “Mmm!” It can also be made autoimmune-protocol compliant – and believe or not, my husband and I liked it better that way!

I personally wasn’t looking for a break from pumpkin; I love it and make pumpkin-flavored goodies all year long. And we are moving a week from yesterday so another family member graciously invited us to join them for Thanksgiving, so I’m not cooking all week. I simply wanted something chocolate the other night. I love mug recipes. I don’t use my microwave very often but when you really want a piece of cake or a muffin and don’t want to spend all that time in the kitchen or wait all that time it’s awesome.

I’ve tried a few mug cake recipes and haven’t been overly impressed. The last one I tried was so dry I literally almost choked on it. I smothered it in yogurt to finish it. (Come on, it was chocolate! I wasn’t going to throw it out.) Also, almost all of them I’ve seen contain almond flour, which is fine for some, but I limit the amount of nuts I eat due to the fact I don’t handle them well. They are a treat for me, and so is this frankly, but I don’t always have almond flour on hand, plus to be honest I’m not crazy about the texture it gives baked goods.

A couple more notes about these. I like adding the wet ingredients first otherwise the dry ingredients tend to clump up badly when you dump the liquid on top. It also helps if you mix as you go. Finally, you can substitute a flax egg and use carob powder over the cocoa powder and it will be completely AIP-friendly. Both ways are very yummy but the flax egg version turns out almost fudgy. It is beyond good!

So I decided to create my own and combined several recipes, add a little of my own twist to it, and here you go! I didn’t tell my husband what I was doing the first time I made these and he came wandering out of our home office, sniffing, while the first one was cooking and I was mixing up the second. We joked having chocolate cake that was this good and that fast was either a really good thing or really bad. Yes, we can now have warm chocolate cake in a matter of minutes. On the other hand, we can have warm chocolate cake in a matter of minutes anytime! This is still a treat; a guilt-free one but a treat nonetheless.

I hope you enjoy it. I had to resist the urge to lick the mug.

Double Chocolate Mug Cake (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free with AIP-Variation)
Serves 1
1 egg or 1 flax egg (mix 1 Tablespoon ground flax seed to 3 Tablespoons water and let sit a few minutes to gel)
2-1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil, liquefied
2 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons coconut milk
3 Tablespoons coconut flour
3 Tablespoons cocoa OR carob powder
1 Tablespoon chocolate chips (I like the Enjoy Life brand; they are dairy, soy, and gluten free. If you are full AIP and do not handle chocolate well there are carob chips out there; try those or just leave them out – it’s still good!)

1. These puff up beautifully so use a good-sized coffee mug. Mix your wet ingredients together – in the cup (one dish is all that’s needed, which is part of the beauty of these) then add the coconut flour and cocoa powder, mixing well to combine. Stir in chocolate chips.
2. Place in the microwave and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Let sit a couple of minutes to cool slightly and then enjoy while still warm. (When I make these for my husband I do his first – being the good wife that I am – and then make mine. While they cool I get him a glass of milk and make me a cup of tea, and they’re perfect; his cools while mine cooks and mine as my tea steeps.)

These would make a great Thanksgiving dessert if it’s just a couple of you and you don’t want to make an entire dessert. Hmm…that got me thinking. Maybe I should make a pumpkin one next!

Happy Tuesday!

Emily