Does anybody else have the warm-weather bug right now? Summer is in the air, and I am itching for it big time! We had our first few days of spring temps this week, and my food cravings immediately shifted. Gone are the days of soups, stews, and stir-frys to warm me. Hello, salads, slaws, and grilling!
So, I went through my mental Rolodex of summer recipes and got busy in the kitchen. First up, my absolute favorite summer side dish, this Citrus Avocado Slaw. (Let’s not talk about the fact that while I was whipping up this slaw, it was cold and snowy.) I created the slaw many years ago, and it’s been a staple ever since. This time around, I realized I had made some tweaks over the years to perfect it and never shared the changes. And, I’d never shared this incredible easy low-carb recipe with my keto friends. Time to change that!
This Citrus Avocado Slaw is excellent for so many reasons. It’s the perfect side dish to make for friends and family, even if they’re not keto or paleo. They will never know! Not only can it be a side dish, but you can also use it as a topping for tacos, fajitas, salads, veggie bowls, you name it. And, it makes for great leftovers the next day. (Eat it within a few days to avoid a brown avocado mess.) Plus, it’s so easy and quick to whip up for a last-minute dinner idea.
As many of you know from my chats with you on the Keto For Women Show, I’m not a fan of sugar-free sweeteners like erythritol, xylitol, even stevia. I think these products are WAY over-used in the keto community without any of us knowing the long-term side effects.
Because of this, I much prefer using small amounts of natural sweetness that comes from real food. This Citrus Avocado Slaw is the perfect example of this. Using a little bit of juice from fresh citrus fruits gives you fantastic flavor with just a touch of sweetness, while still also providing critical nutrients that processed sweeteners don’t have.
I say this because I’m seeing a lot of people following a keto diet who are afraid of fruit. They would see this recipe and never make it because it calls for an orange. For the vast majority of those following a keto diet, this small carbohydrate amount won’t have any impact on their blood sugar. But, the nutrients provided will be of enormous benefit to increase their health status.
Alright, time for you to feel the summer vibes with this slaw!
I love Southwest. I love that you don’t have to pay for checking a bag. I love that the flight attendants are always funny and entertaining. I love that flights are guaranteed to be pretty dang cheap. Yep, you guessed it…I’m on a plane! This post is coming to you from the friendly skies on my way to my first workshop weekend as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. I’m so excited for the next 3 days of total mind-blowing, brain-filling lessons on how to be an NTP. The people I know that have done this program say these weekends are just awesome, getting to spend time with people who think the same way you do about health, nutrition, and wellness. I’ll let you all know how it goes!
Back to Southwest, I can’t decide if I love or hate the ‘no seat assignment’ concept. Let’s say this…I love it when I’m an A. But, when I’m a B or C, I’m not so happy. Yesterday, I checked in 5 minutes after my 24 hour check-in time and got in the B group. Dang it!
I was elated when boarding to still be able to find one of the last window seats available. Score! And then, not even a minute after I got comfortable in my seat, there was kicking, screaming, and crying directly behind my chair. Uh, oh, it was an unhappy baby on a plane situation. Not my favorite thing in the world and I always feel really bad for the parents, but still, my dreams of a little airplane nap were O V E R. I knew it was going to take a little bit more for me to be in my happy place on this plane ride.
First, I needed something to make this plane ride somewhat enjoyable. I needed something else to listen to besides baby cries. I plugged in my earphones and blared some Janet Jackson Greatest Hits. (Yes, it’s amazing…I love the Jackson’s and I love the 90’s…don’t make fun!)
Second, I needed a distraction. It was time to bust out the Us Weekly. Celebrity gossip is a guilty pleasure of mine and I always buy a magazine when I’m at the airport as a special travel treat. (Again, don’t make fun!)
Third, I needed some yummy, fun snacks! More specifically…a sweet treat! Luckily, I had packed some of my Gingerbread Balls to bring on the trip. It was the perfect time to have one…or all of them.
After my Pumpkin Pie Ball recipe was such a success for the Thanksgiving season, I knew I had to come up with something similar for the rest of the holidays that would allow even people following the Autoimmune Protocol to have a festive dessert!
These Gingerbread Balls are a fun and easy holiday treat! They have a ton of the gingerbread flavor we all love this time of year and are still grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, soy-free and refined sugar-free. They are a great addition to this year’s cookie plate and something that everyone can enjoy regardless of food sensitivities/allergies/intolerances.
Gingerbread Balls are also the perfect pre- or post-workout energy bites, with the right combo of fat and carbs to keep you fueled. Take them with you on your next adventure! They pack and travel really well.
I’m dreaming of laying poolside with a blazing sun right now for two reasons.
Reason #1: It has been way below zero here in Boulder, CO for 5 days straight now. I really don’t terribly mind cold weather. It’s a chance to find your thickest scarves, heaviest blankets and get cozy! The only times I will complain is when I have to drive somewhere far and the roads are horrible or when I shovel the driveway and 20 minutes later you would never know it.
Reason #2: Hummus and pita chips used to be a staple in my summer pool-side snack bag. It’s been several summers since I’ve had traditional hummus and I was starting to think I would never have hummus again. I finally decided to try a cauliflower-based hummus recipe because I just couldn’t go another day without something to dip my veggies in. I attempted several different versions but couldn’t see to get it right.
And then, it worked! The perfect combo of flavors that brought me right back to pool-side snacks with friends…here in the below zero temps! I took it to a get-together that night and the bowl was gone within minutes. Definitely a sign that the recipe works. Try it and let me know what you think!
I love apple pie. And I make a pretty darn good one. But, I’m always so conflicted when it comes to dessert at Thanksgiving. I have to have apple pie, but then I really want pumpkin pie too. I end up filling my plate with both desserts, even though I just got done stuffing my face with a plate…or two…or four of Thanksgiving dinner. The result is barely eaten desserts and a super full tummy.
Not the case anymore with these low-sugar, keto-friendly pumpkin pie balls! I am definitely taking these to Thanksgiving dinner this year. That way, I can have the few bites of pumpkin pie that I really want, but save room for the ENTIRE piece of apple pie. Yes! Crisis solved.
These balls are so good, so easy, so festive, and so….healthy! Each ball has a serving of energizing, satiating fat and less than 2 grams of natural sugar from raw honey. Not to mention the wonderful vitamins and minerals in pumpkin. While this will definitely pass as a dessert, it would also make a perfect midday snack or pre-workout energizer.
GET YOUR HEALTHY FATS IN
One of the questions I get most often as a nutritionist specializing in a high-fat, low-carb keto diet is how to increase healthy fats enough to get into ketosis without resorting to spoonfuls of butter or coconut oil. These pumpkin pie balls are always my answer. With a base of coconut, you’ll get the healthy fats you need for your keto diet, but in a dessert-like package.
YOUR WHOLE FAMILY WILL LOVE
The best part? The whole family will love these! Give them to the kids for dessert or a midday snack. And, be sure to bring them to your next office party, family gathering, or girls’ night. They make a perfect dish to pass, especially during pumpkin season.
Alright, let’s get cooking…or, rolling, I guess we should say!