ingredient notes 2017-08-02T19:29:38-08:00

All of the recipes you’ll find on this blog are gluten free, soy free, processed ingredient free, refined sugar free, and many can be made dairy free (though, I do love me some raw dairy and grass-fed butter).

If your finished products don’t turn out like the pictures I post, that could be because results can vary depending on the ingredients you use. Below, you’ll find more information on the ingredients I use throughout all of my recipes to help.

I get most everything from my own backyard, the community coop, or at my local farmers market, but what I can’t get there, I order through THRIVE MARKET. Think Costco wholesale prices for your favorite nutrient dense products and supplements at 1/2 the cost of Whole Foods. Check it out!

I am SUPER picky about my coconut milk. There are some brands out there that will ruin a recipe (not to mention add some crap that no one needs to ingest). It’s an absolute must for you to use full fat, unsweetened coconut milk from the can (preferably BPA-free). The stuff from the carton simply won’t work, and it’s loaded with junk. I typically buy THIS, which you can buy by the case.

Notes on coconut milk:

  • spoils very easily and must be refrigerated after the can is opened (1 week tops)
  • anything made with coconut milk also much be refrigerated
  • when a recipe calls for coconut milk, shake the can before opening and use the combined contents
  • when it calls for coconut cream, chill your can ahead of time, DO NOT SHAKE, and scoop just the cream from the top (keep the water for smoothies, coffee, etc.)
Nuts in general should be used sparingly because, while they have beneficial fat content and are a great way to wean off of the junk that so many typically snack on, they have a very high omega-6 content (which we get plenty of throughout the day), high levels of phytic acid (a toxin that binds to minerals halting absorption), and many people either already have or can develop sensitivities to nuts. They are one of the first things I eliminate, after gluten and dairy, when someone is having any kind of clear gut irritation or obvious food reaction (which can show itself in the skin, energy levels, etc.). That being said, they are a wonderful substitute for all kinds of baked goodies, and every once in a while, it is important to indulge. There is no reason to go off the handle with processed wheat flour and sugar, and nuts provide a much better whole food substitute.

  • nuts – when a recipe calls for nuts, you can assume they will always be organic, raw, soaked, and probably sprouted before use. I tend to avoid roasted nuts (unless I roast them myself) because most of the time when you read the ingredients list, you’ll find vegetable oil, peanut oil, or something as gross
  • nut butters – I always go for raw and organic (sometimes you can find sprouted seed butters), which is a little more expensive but of higher quality and higher nutrient density than the other options
  • almond flours – You won’t find many recipes with almond flour, but when you do, note that almond flour is different from almond meal, so when a recipe calls for almond flour, be sure you use the right kind or the consistency will be off. (HERE is some great insight into almond flour use from Against the Grain)
This stuff matters. Every recipe on my blog uses pasture-raised, properly farmed, or wild meat, poultry, and fish. Find out a bit about why HERE. Below you’ll find a list of what words to look for when buying meat. I highly recommend that you seek our your local farmer to find the highest quality meats with the least travel time. The environment, your body, and your wallet will thank you. HERE is more info on finding a local farmer near you!

  • red meats – grass fed and FINISHED (organic is great but not essential if they are truly eating grass)
  • poultry – pastured (if it says “vegetarian fed”, skip it. Chickens are omnivores, and if they are truly pastured, they should be eating insects
  • seafood – wild caught
  • powder – organic, minimally processed, gluten, rBGH, soy, and GMO free (there should be no sugar or additives in the ingredients)
  • ORGAN MEATS – all of the above and eaten often!
Hopefully it’s clear by now (if you’ve read any of my posts) how essential fats are in the diet. *This is my favorite section

  • butter – I am a huge butter believer (I love butter)… that is if it is either butter from properly raised, grass-fed cows or, even better, THIS Paleo Butter, which is actually ghee (more on this HERE). It is a great source of healthy saturated fat, which we NEED in our diets. I know everyone wants to substitute coconut oil, but coconut oil is not a substitute for everything. I use it when appropriate, but I think butter is just as important. I know, many people are dairy sensitive. If you absolutely cannot have it, palm oil and ghee are good substitutes. But if you are not sensitive to butter and are not reacting to it physically- please use it!
  • tallow and/or bacon grease -it’s hard to go wrong with the delicious liquid (or at room temperature, solid) gold that is pastured animal fats. Don’t you dare throw away that fat! I use the fat that settles at the top of my bone broth to cook everything from veggies to eggs. It stores for a long time in the fridge and adds the most amazing flavor (not to mention all kinds of nutrient density) to any dish. Bacon grease stays good for weeks on the countertop in a glass dish, and who doesn’t want the flavor of bacon showing up all throughout the week! All of the nutrient density provided by the properly raised animals you eat is still there ready to be consumed in the fats left behind.
  • coconut oil – I also believe that coconut oil has some pretty stellar health benefits, and you will see it used in a lot of recipes, but not all. I think that there needs to be a balance between coconut fat and animal fat, so some recipes will call for bacon grease, BUTTER, or tallow, and there’s a reason for that.
  • olive oil – Olive oil should be chosen very selectively (as local as possible and preferably from a farmer you know and trust) because it can be “laced” with vegetable oils. The regulations aren’t as strict as they should be. Also, olive oil is used exclusively for recipes that are NOT cooked or heated because the oil can become rancid and the entire makeup of the fatty acids can be destroyed.
I use coconut sugar, date sugar, REAL grade B maple syrup, raw organic local honey, and rarely, organic liquid stevia (only the pure stuff).


  • honey and maple syrup with each other only
  • granular sweeteners with granular sweeteners only (coconut sugar, date sugar), but the texture/flavor will differ
Cocoa and Cocao are not the same thing. Cocao is raw and unprocessed and a superfood while Cocoa is processed and lacks many of the benefits of Cocao. Note, however, that they are substitutable 1:1. Use cocao when you can.

When a recipe calls for dark chocolate, always assume that I am referring to 75% or darker chocolate that is soy free and fair trade (I am ok with organic cane sugar or organic cane syrup in moderation)