A lot has happened since my last post in December (embarrassing, I know). I’ve been writing up a storm for a few publications including The List, Mashed, and more, I’m really coming into my own as a personal chef, and oh yeah, I’M HAVING A BABY!
Yup. It’s official. All my efforts in fertility food have paid off. Well, that mixed with a few months of frustration, a few weeks of letting go and having fun (read: more wine, less paranoia), and finally, a big old positive on the pee stick. Baby Hutson is arriving in September and my husband and I could not be more excited.
In the meantime, however, months have gone by of me learning tons of new recipes, techniques, and information that I’ve been dying to share with you. Just haven’t made the time to do it.
Because I couldn’t settle on one topic to talk about, I thought I’d give you a sampling of my new-found knowledge (i.e. a brain dump) so that we can get this train moving again. You ready? Here goes.
The Book I’m Reading:
Deep Nutrition: Why your genes need traditional food, 2nd Edition. I read the first years ago and it opened my mind up to the world of Epigenetics (meaning, what you eat and how you live can alter your DNA — and your future children’s DNA — for the better). Dr. Shanahan has now updated the book with more information on vegetable oils, brain health, body symmetry, and diet, and I cannot get enough. This book is really hard to summarize in a nice, neat paragraph. So maybe it’s better served having its own post. But if I can convince you to do one thing differently this month to better your health, it would be to read this book. No, I’m not getting paid to say that. I just really want more people to know more about it because it’s THAT good.
The Foods I’m Eating:
At the moment, I love all things cold, crunchy, and/or sweet. That includes (but is not limited to): Cado ice cream (yes, it’s avocado ice cream), frozen grapes, jicama, my homemade spicy brittle crunch (recipe below), and plantain bread with almond butter and cinnamon. I’ve also been really diligent about drinking bone broth as much as I can for all of the benefits it brings to me and Baby H. I’ve increased my carb intake, not only because it’s important for hormone balance, but because my body is begging for it. I’ve done that in the form of sweet potatoes, plantain bread and chips, sprouted quinoa, and the occasional piece of sourdough bread with a heaping spoonful of almond butter. Besides that, it’s really just me eating more of what I already know and love. Loads of veggies, lots of meat and fish (grass-fed, free-range, and wild-caught as much as I can), hormone-balancing meatballs (read: LIVER!), and tons of nuts and seeds (more cashews and almonds than one human should consume in a day). Which segways perfectly into my next update…
The Project I’m Working On:
Pregnancy has caused me some serious insomnia over the last two months. At first, I was frustrated. And then, I decided to use it to my advantage. So, I did what I always do to relax me. I wrote. And what came out of my writing was the beginnings of a cookbook. A paleo-ish pregnancy cookbook to be exact. Full of information about the benefits of a full-fat, meat-on-the-bone, organ meat-full, and gluten-free diet during pregnancy (with room for mess-ups and why-nots). I have no intention of taking this to a “real publisher." Instead, I am writing it because I love cooking, I love writing, and I wanted one place to put all my “craving recipes.” I’ll keep you updated on how that goes. Who knows. Maybe I'll print them out and make them available to you fine people. But no pressure, either way, cool? Cool.
The Cookware I'm Using…And Why:
I’ve made the switch to cast iron pans. It wasn’t easy. I’ve had them sitting in my cupboards for years, only pulling them out every once in a while, for special occasions. But after reading about the dangers of the chemical coating that could be coming off in my food while using a non-stick pan, I decided to lug the heavy stuff out for good. Non-stick pans are great, right? No stick, no mess, no scrubbing with a brush to clean up caked-on ground beef. Problem is, the non-stick pans apparently can’t stand the heat. When heated to high temperatures, they can emit polymer fumes that have been shown to kill pet birds (what??) and cause people to develop flu-like symptoms. Cast iron, on the other hand, is a much better alternative. Not only is it free-from chemicals or toxic fumes, it actually serves as a good source of…wait for it…iron. Genius, right? Who’d a thunk. Oh. As far as lifting them goes – my advice is don’t. Just leave them where they are and clean them off with a paper towel, then wipe them down with a little oil to keep them well-seasoned. Wouldn’t want you breaking an arm while scraping off turmeric scrambled eggs.
Alright folks. That's all she wrote for now. But don't worry, I'll be back. And it won't take nearly as long next time, K? Promise.
Spicy & Sweet Brittle Recipe (AKA My #1 Pregnancy Craving)
This recipe, first written by a food blogger, Amanda Skrip, was shared with me by health & wellness chef, Alia Dalal, as we were cooking it for a client of ours. I took one bite and knew I had to have it for myself. Since then, I’ve made some additional tweaks, and the result is this masterpiece. It has been, hands down, my biggest craving. Pregnant or not, the ingredients (nori for protein, minerals, and more vitamin C than an orange; molasses for strong bones and healthy blood; pumpkin seeds for immune support, omega-3, and hormone balance) are highly nutritious. But somehow, put them all together, and they are to-die-for. I’m talking, dream-about-it-all-day-till-I-get-home-and-stuff-my-face-with-it delicious. You catch my drift?
- 3/4 cup sesame seeds
- 3/4 cup sunflower seeds, sprouted
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, sprouted
- 2 sheets nori (the seaweed paper your sushi is wrapped in)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Tip: If you love ginger, grate a ginger root over your sticky mixture (or half your mixture if you don't want it ALL gingery) for an extra spicy – and anti-inflammatory – kick.
- Preheat oven to 325. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix all of your seeds in one bowl together.
- Put your two sheets of nori on top of each other. Now, using scissors cut them into small, thin 2-inch strips, and add them to the seed mixture (Tip: If you have herb-cutting scissors, they make this job SO much easier).
- Mix together maple syrup, molasses, cayenne, cinnamon, and sea salt in a bowl.
- Pour sticky, spicy mixture over seeds and stir to coat them.
- Now, pour mixture onto parchment-covered baking sheet, and use a spatula to spread it into an even layer.
- Put pan in oven for 18 minutes at first. Check to see if it’s burning at all. If not, leave in for another 3-5 minutes. At this point, the mixture needs to dry to form together so DON’T MESS WITH IT TOO MUCH.
- Let it cool for 30 minutes until it’s hardened.
- Break apart into big chunks and take a bit of the most delicious bark you’ve ever tasted.