A couple weeks back, I got the privilege of attending a conference called Eat Write Retreat. I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for quite some time, and was so happy to find that it was everything I thought it would be and more. For three days straight, I was entrenched in good food, great ideas and inspiring, creative, foodie food bloggers. I was in health blog heaven.
There were presentations, food tastings, sponsors, breakfasts, lunches, dinners and one very memorable activity called a Food Swap, run by a fellow Chicago blogger Emily Paster from West of the Loop. What is a Food Swap, you ask?
A Food Swap is essentially a bake sale in which the only currency is your own food. Each attendee was asked to bring their own homemade products and dress them up in pretty packages. We had 15 minutes or so to peruse everybody else’s goodies. When time was up, we scrambled for our top picks, hoping that the maker would be just as interested in our treat as we were in theirs. No money passes hands. Just food.
Let me tell you, I cleaned UP. I had so many goodies – half of which I would never take the time to make myself, but I was so so happy to reap the benefits of others’ hard work. By the end of the swap, I walked home with:
- Mango Hot Sauce all the way from an Alaskan blogger’s kitchen
- Rosemary Crackers from a lovely woman that writes the Homemade Italian Cooking Blog
- Sweet & Sassy Party Mix from the well-known Well Plated Blogger
- Grain Free Granola from a fellow Paleo-ish blogger
- Apricot Almond Coconut Bar from a Skinny Chick who can Bake
- A big baggie of Wholistic Woman’s Tonic Loose Leaf Tea that’s quickly become my new 2:00 tea in my ice cold air conditioned office
- Homegrown Avocados (one as big as my head…almost) from a lovely lady named Mimi Avocado who owns an avocado ranch in Southern California!
- Oatmeal Cookies from a time-tested family heirloom recipe
- Rainier Cherry Liquor from Or Whatever You Do
And I paid for all of it with these babies:
Paleo Pumpkin Carrot Turmeric Muffins
Inspired by a recipe from one of my favorite bloggers – NomNomPaleo – this spongy, slightly spicy muffin is a paleo-approved combination of warm comforting ingredients. But I decided to make a few tweaks and add one very important ingredient that not only makes it more exotic, but also adds big health benefits. That’s right, my favorite anti-inflammatory friend – turmeric.
- 3 large eggs at room temperature – huge fan of Vital Farms
- 4 medium carrots, grated and squeezed of juice (final volume: 1½ cups shredded carrots)
- 1 cup almond flour, spooned and leveled
- ½ cup coconut flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder + more for sprinkling on top
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cup canned pumpkin purée – I order this brand by the dozen
- ½ cup local honey
- 2 tablespoons sunflower butter – my fav is MaraNatha
- 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil + more for greasing muffin cups
- 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon toasted pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 350
- Take your eggs out of the fridge (room temperature eggs = better blending)
- Line a muffin tin with paper liners and coat them with coconut oil for extra non-sticking assurance
- Grate carrots with food processor or by hand
- Place carrots in two sheets of cheese cloth, gather up the sides of the cloth, and squeeze the heck out of the carrots until they’re dry as a bone (I know it’s a pain, but skipping this step might make the muffin fall apart)
- In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, pumpkin spice, turmeric spice, baking soda, cream of tartar, ground cinnamon, and sea salt.
- In a separate bowl, mix together your room temperature eggs
- Add the pumpkin, honey, sunflower butter, and melted coconut oil
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir
- Fold in the dry-as-a-bone carrots
- Scoop the batter evenly into your greased muffin tins/cups
- Toss pumpkin seeds on a sauté pan or put them in the oven for about 5 minutes to toast them
- Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and turmeric on top for a vibrant orange and green topping
- Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the tin halfway through
- As soon as you can get a toothpick to come out clean, they are done!
- Transfer to a cooling rack and try to hold on as long as you can before you stuff one in your mouth and still burn your tongue (because you definitely did not hold on long enough)
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