Jerky

Jerky

I really love crunchy things and salty things and this jerky recipe really hits that sweet spot for me. It’s super easy to make jerky at home if you have the proper tools and the patience. So for this recipe you’ll need a food processor and a dehydrator.

Jerky

Making jerky at home is great because you really get to control the ingredients, the thickness and doneness. Another great thing is that you typically use a lean cut of beef for making jerky which means that it’s more ok to use non grass fed meat (in my not so scientific opinion) because all the bad stuff found in corn fed beef (higher omega 6) is typically found in the fat. That’s why paleo normally says to eat high quality grass fed meat is so that you get all those great benefits (higher omega 3) found in the fat of grass fed meat. But if you’re making jerky with grass fed London broil you really won’t be getting too much of the great benefits about grass fed meat, because that’s normally found in the fat.

Jerky

Does that make sense? If tl;dr then know it’s ok to use regular London broil in this recipe, not grass fed.

There are so many great jerky recipes out there but the spices used in this recipe are inspired from here because I really don’t like my jerky to be soy sauce based and I love the techniques Russ uses here.

Here’s your visual guide:

SpicesMix up all your spices

London broil
Your London broil should look something like this

Slice
Slice with the grain into chunks that can fit into the food processor

Process
Process the chunks against the grain

Let it rip
Let it rip

All processed
It should look something like this once it’s all processed

Put in ziplock
Place all the meat in a ziplock

Add spices
Add the spices

Marinate
Toss the meat and then marinate overnight

Load up the dehydrator
Load up the dehydrator the next morning and evenly space the beef

Set on the Jerky setting
Set the dehydrator to the jerky setting

Rotate every 2 hours
Rotate the bottom trays to the top every 2 hours

Check to see if it's done to your liking
Around 5 hours check the jerky and chew it to see if you like it

Place in ziplock
Once it’s done to your liking place in a ziplock with a paper towel. Do not close until the beef is fully cooled. Enjoy!

Jerky
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Ingredients
  1. Ingredients
  2. 1 T black pepper
  3. 1 1/2T coconut sugar
  4. 1 1/2T salt
  5. 2T paprika
  6. 2t fennel
  7. 2t coriander
  8. 2lb London Broil
  9. Tools
  10. Dehydrator
  11. Food Processor
Instructions
  1. You can totally slice the London broil against the grain in thin strips, but the way I like to do it is from a tip I read here where he uses a food processor. Just cut thick chunks with the grain and let it go in the food processor so it chops against the grain with the mandolin blade.

  2. Process the whole 2lb in the food processor. Remove the chopped up meat and put in a ziplock bag with all the ingredients and let it marinate overnight. This is a dry cure so it may release some liquid in the bag the next day.

  3. Then when you’re ready to put in the dehydrator the next day, place all the meat pieces on the trays of your dehydrator evenly spaced out. Know that the processor probably chopped some pieces weird, don’t worry just mush them with the other pieces and as they dehydrate they will fuse with the other pieces.

  4. Rotate trays every 2 hours from top to bottom. After about 5 or 6 hours it should be done. I consider mine done when it has a little crunch to it but with some squish to some of the thicker pieces still. It’s up to you so play around with it until you get it to your liking.

  5. Place it all in a ziplock bag with a paper towel. Don’t close the bag for a few hours until it fully cools. This should stay good for a couple weeks but we eat it all up in a few days pretty quick.

  6. Enjoy!

That's So Primal https://www.thatssoprimal.com/

10 Weird Primal Things I Do

10 Weird Primal Things I Do

Over the course of being primal for the past 7+ years, I’ve realized that along the way I’ve picked up some pretty weird habits that if you had no idea I was following this primal lifestyle – you would think I was a complete weirdo. All these things I do I’ve picked up from various blogs and research so I don’t claim them as my own, but I feel they really have become so apart of my life that I wanted to put together a list. So here are 10 Weird Primal Things I Do:

1. I put trace minerals in my water with some Himalayan salt

The only thing I really drink is water. Therefore I pay a lot of attention to the taste of my water and the mineral content. I pay particular attention to my mineral consumption when I am swinging on a more keto primal diet because when you’re on keto you need to make sure you’re getting sufficient levels of trace minerals like potassium, magnesium and sodium. So I’ve been using concentrace minerals in my Nalgene bottles with a pinch of Himalayan salt to make sure I’m getting all I need. It makes the water taste great and it ensures you’re getting all the minerals you may be missing from other areas of your diet.

2. I drink potato starch

Resistant starch plays a pretty big role in maintaining and building your gut health. Think of it like food for your gut bacteria. If you’re taking or eating probiotics (which you should) and not giving the bacteria sufficient food to eat then you’re really just wasting the probiotics. After doing a bunch of reading here I determined that it’s best to periodically work in potato starch in my diet as a good form of resistant starch. You should start out slow if you’re not used to it so that you don’t get stomach cramps or bloating. Working up to 4Tbsp is a good goal to reach for. I just mix it with tap water and drink it as fast as possible. You can mix it with a splash of vanilla extract and stevia to make it more palatable – and it sorta tastes like horchata that way too!

3. I eat spoonfulls of coconut butter

I rarely get hungry in between my two meals from lunch to dinner but if I do get hungry I like reaching for a jar of coconut butter. You can buy this one or make a homemade one like I’ve written about here. But these do a really good job at curbing hunger by giving you a nice dose of saturated fat. I also like this brand if the budget affords it.

4. I drink butter coffee

You probably see this all over the place now so maybe it’s not so weird if you see me do it. Now I don’t do this all the time but I do work it into my diet occasionally if I’m needing that extra boost of energy at work from working out too hard or not getting enough sleep. I use about 2Tbsp of Kerrygold salted butter (I like salt ok), collagen and a splash of mct oil then I blend it together with this. This really isn’t weird, it’s basically a latte where you get to control the quantity and quality of the fat and the quality of the coffee. I’d rather have a bulletproof coffee anytime rather than a latte from Starbucks – gross.

5. I eat crickets

I’ve written about my love for insects many times on this blog. I’ve even put together this recipe recently that uses grasshoppers. But this concept is genuinely weird to people I know but man do I love Exo cricket protein bars. Crickets are such a good source of protein that contain all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that we need – and – they taste great. Pick some up and try for yourself.

6. I use a squatty potty

We have these in every restroom in our house and every time we have guests over they think we are just so weird. Then I tell them to try pooping with it and then they look at me even weirder. But man these are great. The only way you’ll know is if you try one ourself yourself. Go ahead and do it. They help you go quicker and more efficiently and they are good for your health. Every home should be using these and I’ve been half tempted to start using them at work too.

7. I only wear barefoot shoes

This is something I adopted early on when I first went primal and I literally donated all my other shoes. I only wear Vivobarefoot. Allowing your feet to spread naturally and feel the ground has cured my plantar fasciitis. I literally have no pain in my feet at all. When I first started working and wearing dress shoes all day my feet and arches would hurt so bad. I tried everything and nothing helped until I got Vivobarefoot shoes. I wear these to work so they’re dressy but they’re flat and allow my feet to feel the ground. Then I wear more casual ones when I’m not at work. I get weird looks sometimes sure because they don’t look like any other shoes but my feet feel amazing and I wouldn’t trade that for something that looks cooler but kills my feet. No thank you.

8. I eat canned sardines and oysters

I really loved canned fish and shellfish. It’s so easy to eat, tastes great and fills you up. Two particular ones I like are sardines and oysters. People give me weird looks all the time when I tell them I eat these and if they see me eating these they look at me even weirder – primarily because they smell terrible. But then I tell them they just need to try them. They’re not as bad as they smell. Not only do they taste great but they are so good for you. Sardines have tons of calcium, which is sometimes hard to pick up on a Paleo diet and oysters have a ton of B vitamins and various other minerals.

9. I make broccoli sprouts

This is one of those things that people see in my house and they think I’ve gone off the deep end. But broccoli sprouts are so cheap and easy to make at your house it’s like a no brainer. I make these because they contain a bunch of anti cancer properties – much more than just whole broccoli. 1 pound of sprouts contains as much sulforaphane as 100 pounds of whole broccoli. Sulforaphane is the antioxidant that aids your body in fighting cancer. I use these seeds and these jars and you can follow this super easy guide to grow some yourself. I normally eat them straight out of the jar or on the side with my bacon and eggs.

10. I make my own kombucha

This is another one that people see me making in my house when we have guests and they are like what is that slime in that jar over there on the corner of your counter?! But making kombucha at home is much cheaper than buying the $6 bottles at the health food store. Not only is it cheaper but you have much more control on the second ferment with what you add. I love adding mixed berries, herbs and ginger. If you don’t have a scoby you can get this one and this jar and be on your way to making your own kombucha. There are a ton of guides out there to making your own kombucha but here is an easy one to follow. It’s super easy, fun and great for your health. Try it today for yourself!


That’s it folks! Thanks for reading and I hope by now that you too think I’m pretty weird with my primal ways, but now you at least know the reasoning behind all the weird primal things I do. I encourage you to try out some of the weird things listed above and let me know which weird things you do too!

Gluten Free Turmeric Sugar Cookies

Turmeric Cookie

These are not so primal.

Ok glad that’s out of the way. But for real these cookies are not paleo or primal but they are delicious and gluten free! I came across this recipe on this blog and thought the idea was crazy – turmeric in cookies? Now I don’t really cook with turmeric a ton but I’ve used it to make golden milk when I feel like I’m getting sick and when we happen to have milk on hand, which is rare.

Turmeric Cookie Bite

So I decided to try to make the above recipe but by swapping out a few things. I didn’t want to make it complicated by trying to substitute a paleo flour for the regular flour as it would be hard to replicate without making too many tweaks. So I kept it simple and used this Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free flour. Along with the flour change I used brown sugar instead of white sugar. Why? Because I wanted to. You can also use coconut palm sugar if you are concerned about the glycemic index and insulin response of brown sugar as coconut sugar has a lower GI and insulin response. At the end of the day though a carb is a carb and brown sugar and coconut sugar is still sugar. So take that as it is (not to mention brown sugar is a lot cheaper).

doTerra Turmeric Essential Oil

The turmeric in the cookies was added with ground turmeric to get the flavor and yellow color but to really enhance the flavor I used some doTerra turmeric essential oil drops. I don’t suggest you use just any turmeric essential oil in the recipe as doTerra is certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils. Other essential oils specifically say on the bottle to not consume internally, doTerra on the other hand can be taken internally. We are working to eliminate toxins in our home, so cooking with essential oils isn’t the main use. We are using them for so many things in our home as natural solutions to replace toxins. My wife sells CPTG doTerra oils here if you want to buy some for yourself.

The whole family loves these cookies so much that when I came home from work the next day there was only three left for me… so I ate them of course. I don’t always eat cookies or sweets but once in awhile it’s good to indulge and one or two cookies won’t throw you off your health goals.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Turmeric Sugar Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 pound (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
  2. 1 2/3 cups (333 grams) dark brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  6. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 2 drops doTerra turmeric essential oil
  8. 2 1/3 cups (299 grams) Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free flour
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 375.

  2. Add the butter and brown sugar to a bowl and beat until mixed and light and fluffy.

  3. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix together thoroughly until fluffy again.

  4. Add the ground turmeric, baking powder and the drops of doTerra turmeric essential oil and mix on low again until all is thoroughly combined.

  5. Add the flour and mix on low again until everything is completely combined

  6. After everything is mixed well enough place the bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

  7. After the dough is chilled, roll the dough into balls and place onto cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick sheets (whichever you prefer). I fit about 6 balls on each sheet. Do not smash these down, they will fall naturally.

  8. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes until slightly brown around the edges and slightly cracking on top. If they look puffy that’s ok, they will fall when you take them out.

  9. Let them cool on the tray for a bit then transfer to a cooling rack.

  10. Enjoy!
That's So Primal https://www.thatssoprimal.com/

10 Primal Foods I Can’t Live Without

10 Primal Foods I Can’t Live Without Header

I’ve been primal for about 7 years now and what I’ve realized is that there are certain foods that really have stuck with me over time. So I thought it might be beneficial to compile a list of the top 10 primal foods I can’t live without. Sure I get in funks where I want to make some miso mushroom sweet potato thing, but that’s not something I eat every week or even every day. This list is a list of foods that really have stuck around for the past few years, that don’t get old to me and satisfy those cravings that other junk food tries to offer.

1. Eggs

Eggs are like the staple protein in my house. We go to a drive through egg place and buy about 60 eggs a week. My whole family loves eggs and do you blame them? They’re a whole food and a quick and cheapish source of protein. They’re great for breakfast, or a snack or fry them up for dinner. No rules with eggs!

2. Avocados

Avocados are all the rage these days on toast and such, but I like my avocados straight up. I pull out my pocket knife and slice away. With a little salt and pepper these little nuggets of fat and fiber are delicious. This is something that’s definitely on our grocery list every week.

3. Canned fish

I personally do not like reheated chicken on salads. It’s pretty gross to me. So as I’ve been eating my lunch salads over the past few years, canned fish has been my preferred source of protein on the side. I really enjoy all varieties of canned fish – tuna, salmon, sardines and even oysters. I literally could not live without canned fish.

4. Broccoli

I know this sounds basic, but out of all the vegetables I have at my disposal I consume crazy amounts of broccoli. It’s easy to roast in the oven and eat as a side or as an alternative to spaghetti noodles. We buy it frozen or fresh all year long.

5. Potatoes

I know if you’re watching your carbs this is something that’s been off your plate for awhile. But over the past few years I realized that a potato here and there won’t hurt your goals. One russet potato has roughly 35 net carbs. So if you’ve had eggs for breakfast, salad for lunch and potatoes as a side with you’re dinner – it’s not gonna kill you. Not to mention they’re delicious when roasted in your leftover bacon fat!

6. Pork shoulder

There is no greater cut of meat for a large family than the pork shoulder (or butt). You can smoke it, slow cooker it, pressure cooker it or slow roast it in a cast iron dutch oven for some authentic carnitas. All ways produce delicious pork that’s cheap enough to eat often and leaves you with plenty of leftovers for a few days at a time.

7. Olive oil

The amount of olive oil we go through in our family is pretty insane. I keep a liter bottle at work and at home. I use it for salads and for roasting veggies. It’s delicious, relatively inexpensive compared to avocado oil and they sell it at Costco!

8. Dark chocolate

I keep a handful of dark chocolate bars on hand at home when that late night dessert craving hits. Eat just a few squares and it satisfies any sweet cravings and not to mention dark chocolate is loaded with health benefits. Trader Joe’s has some really good dark chocolate with hazelnuts and Target carries plenty of options too. So it’s readily available, cheap and delicious!

9. Whey protein

Another primal food that’s slightly controversial in the paleo community, but it makes for a great source of protein in our house. We make quick meal replacement shakes, or add it to smoothies or we even add it to our babies rice cereal with coconut oil. When our budget permits I love the Primal Kitchen whey protein, but if the budget is tight we get this one too from Amazon.

10. Eat Smart Kale Salad

This is my go to bag of salad every day at work. I buy it in bulk at Costco, throw away the dressing and use olive oil (see above) and it’s the perfect salad. I like the crunch and texture of it and it’s incredibly filling. It’s also used at home as an easy side for some pulled pork or any other type of meal we may be eating for dinner at home. I just can’t get enough of this salad!

Bonus Food: Pork Rinds

Everybody loves chips. But I suspect we like chips because humans naturally just like salty and crunchy things. So sure you could buy some Siete chips and be totally Paleo compliant or even some corn chips cooked in lard (gluten free) but nothing beats a 99 cent bag of pork rinds. Crunchy, salty, low carb and tasty!


Thanks for reading everyone! These were just the top 10 (or eleven) things that really stuck out in my mind that I’ve been eating over the past few years on this Primal journey. Feel free to share in the comments below your favorite Paleo staple food items!

Locusts and Honey Bars

Locusts and Honey Bars

I really do have a thing for insects. I’ve reviewed a handful of protein bars that are made with cricket flour, I’ve even made some cricket tacos, I’ve made some cricket noatmeal and I was even in an insect recipe competition with this spaghetti squash recipe. Everyone seems to be talking about crickets though, recently they’ve been in the news for how great they are for your gut health.

Grasshopper

So I started wondering why are crickets getting all the attention? Then I remembered that crickets have a sort of big brother: grasshoppers. After doing some research I found out that grasshoppers are eaten all over the world like a bunch of other insects, but more specifically grasshoppers (chapulines) are very popular in Mexico. So I decided to reach out to one main supplier for grasshoppers in Mexico called Merci Mercado. They were more than willing to help me out with this recipe and sent me some ground grasshoppers and whole grasshoppers.

Grasshoppers

Now I was thinking about what would be a good recipe to make with grasshoppers and what came to mind was how in the Bible, John the Baptist, was known for eating a diet of “locusts and honey”. My kids, and even myself, have always found this idea intriguing that this nomad dude lived off of such a strange diet. So I thought why not try to build off this idea and make some Locusts (Grasshopper) and Honey bars. Now I know I’m not using actual locusts for this recipe, but according to wikipedia “Locusts are certain species of short-horned grasshoppers in the family Acrididae that have a swarming phase”. So nevertheless, locusts can be considered a type of grasshopper, therefore these bars shall be called locusts and honey bars!

Looking around

I looked around for a few recipes that were similar to Larabars and RXBARs and I came across this recipe. I used this recipe as a guide but made some tweaks with the nuts and protein source. I believe this came out as a great protein bar and hopefully you’ll feel the same. My kids sure do have no problem eating them! Enjoy!

 

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Ingredients
Get all your ingredients together

Nuts
Throw in the almonds and macadamia nuts

Ground Nuts
Grind them up to a french press coffee ground consistency like in the photo

Dates
Throw in the dates

Raw Honey
Raw honey

Grasshopper Flour
Ground Grasshoppers

Cacao Powder
Cacao powder

Water for moisture
After it’s all ground up add a little water to give it some moisture

Pour the mixture
Pour the mixture into the pyrex dish and then press in the whole grasshoppers

Press them in
It should look something like this

After the fridge cut them up
Place them in the fridge for at least an hour, then after an hour take them out and cut them into however many bars you want

Plate em
Get em on a plate

Enjoy!
Enjoy!

Locusts and Honey Bars
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup raw or toasted almonds

  2. 1 cup raw or roasted macadamia nuts

  3. 1/2 cup ground grasshoppers

  4. 1 1/2 cups dates

  5. 2 tablespoons raw honey

  6. 1/2 cup cacao powder

  7. 2–4 tablespoons water

  8. Handful of whole roasted grasshoppers for topping

Instructions
  1. Pour the almonds and macadamia nuts in a food processor. Pulse until they’re ground up pretty good.

  2. After the nuts are ground up, add the dates, honey, ground grasshopper and cacao powder. Pulse until they’re all mixed well together.

  3. Add in some tablespoons of water until the texture seems moist enough to press into a pyrex dish.

  4. After the texture is good line a square pyrex dish with parchment paper and press the mixture into the dish until distributed evenly. Then take the whole grasshoppers and evenly spread them out on top and slightly press them into the mixture.

  5. Refrigerate for about an hour then when you’re ready to eat take them out and cut into as many squares as you like. Keep refrigerated and enjoy!

That's So Primal https://www.thatssoprimal.com/