persminis

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It’s that time of year. The time of year when you can’t walk down the street without seeing a persimmon tree or squishing one of the overly ripe fruits under your shoe. My dogs particularly love this time of year and tend to go persimmon crazy whenever we walk under a tree. You’d think we never fed, the gluttons.

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My dogs aren’t the only ones who get pumped about fresh, juicy, flavorful persimmons straight off the tree, though. The fruit has such a deliciously unique flavor that can’t be replicated, and the fact that you can really only get them in the winter months, when there is copious amounts of merriment, makes them that much more spectacular.

I have had multiple friends send me pictures of boxes that runneth over with loads of persimmons, and the question always follows, “what the heck do I do with all of these?” Well, my friends, here is your answer. Persminis! The name may sound funny, but there really couldn’t be a more perfect combination of wonderful things – the unique pure flavor of fresh persimmon over a nutty, sweet, crumbly crust, and all in an individual sized mini jar of goodness. I made mine in mini mason jars. Anything is adorable in a tiny mason jar. They were so stinking cute and, of course, delicious.

So go for a walk or head to you nearest farmers market, pick yourself some persimmons, and in less than 30 minutes, you can have your own adorable persminis to snack on. They make a great breakfast, a delicious midday snack, or when topped with a bit of vanilla ice cream, a perfectly sweet dessert. Enjoy! <3

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persminis (GF, DF)

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: easy
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WHAT YOU NEED:

for crumble layer:

  • 1 cup of raw nuts (I used pecans, but cashews and/or almonds would work well)
  • 3 TB of coconut oil
  • 1 TB maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

for persimmon layer:

  • 2 diced persimmons
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (full fat from the can)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

*more info on ingredients can be found HERE!

WHAT YOU DO:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • throw all crumble ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you have an even consistency that is a bit crumbly but also moist
  • evenly distribute the crumble into individual ramekins or muffin tray  and use your fingers to press down flat
  • now, add all persimmon layer ingredients into the food processor, blend until you have a smooth pie filling consistency
  • pour on top of crumble layer and smooth it out
  • bake for 15 – 20 minutes until top is firm when you jiggle it
  • let cool and Enjoy! I topped with a scoop of whole milk organic yogurt. Yum!

Happy holidays, guys! I love this time of year and all of the delicious smells, tastes, and flavors that come with it. Cheers! <3

holiday spiced cran-apple kombucha sangria (that’s a mouthfull)

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If you haven’t learned by now, I just love this time of year. The spirit, the food, the flavors, and the continuos merriment. What’s not to love? Everything is spiced perfectly with cinnamon, nutmeg, and all of the flavors of the season. There are unlimited excuses to get together with family and friends to celebrate all that we have to be grateful for… we get breaks from work or school, the holidays are upon us, and a brand new year is ahead. It goes without saying that most folks like to celebrate this time of year with a toast. So I bring to you a delicious sangria recipe that will take you right to that feeling of bliss that the holidays are truly all about.

A little before Thanksgiving, my little brother’s awesome girlfriend, Raana, sent me a link to a holiday sangria that featured kombucha as a delicious addition. I knew this was going to be a necessary part of this holiday season and went to work on my own sangria creation. Now, amazing food is… well, amazing. And the only thing that can make it more spectacular is to experience the flavors while enjoying time with family and friends. I am not much of a drinker, BUT every once in a while, I do enjoy a good glass of wine or a dry hard cider. There is now a new addition to that short list: this kick ass sangria. All my favorite spices, fresh seasonal fruit, suav blanc, organic juice and sparkling cider, my favorite kombucha ever, and a hint of brandy…. this sangria is a hit!

This Thanksgiving was truly special because it was shared with the people that I am most thankful for; my family, my amazing husband, and our two perfect pups. The joy of toasting to all that we have to be thankful for with a mason jar of this sangria is something I won’t soon forget. So cheers to this holiday season, to the ones you love, and to creating a lifestyle of health, wellness, sustainability, and joy <3

Enjoy this Holiday Spiced Cran-Apple Kombucha Sangria with the ones you love and take some time to appreciate the present moment, the love, and the happiness. A toast to you!

Holiday Spiced Cran-Apple Kombucha Sangria (GF, NF, DF)

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 45 min
  • Difficulty: easy
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WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 bottle sauv blanc
  • 3 apples (I went with braeburn)
  • 1 cup fresh whole cranberries
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup sparkling cider*
  • 1/2 cup Uber Fresh C++ (pure, unsweetened orange juice will work too)
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 bottle of  GTs third eye chai kombucha

* I used a pomegranate apple, which was delicious, but regular apple works. Also, Martinelli’s makes organic sparkling ciders, and they have no added sugar or preservatives

WHAT YOU DO:

  • add all of the ingredients except for the kombucha to a large glass bowl or pitcher
  • stir it nicely until the liquids meld, and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes to let the flavors mix and the fruit soak up all of the goodness
  • when it’s time to serve, add your kombucha and give it one more stir
  • pour into mason jars, making sure to include some fruit in each
  • ENJOY! Cheers <3

Happy holidays, everyone. Cheers to a fantastic finish to a really kick ass year. There’s been ups and downs, of course, but I wouldn’t change where I am now and the people I am surrounded by, including all of my readers!

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Cheers <3 The Bruners

cranberry lemon swirl pancakes

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Pancakes… oh how I love pancakes. There was a time, after realizing how severe my intolerance was to certain foods, when I thought I would never get to enjoy pancakes again. I tried all kinds of “paleo” pancakes and would always end up feeling bloated, heavy, and uncomfortable from loads of almond flour and a tummy full of super dense wanna be pancakes that didn’t even fit the bill.

Now that I have been at it in the kitchen for a couple years, I have started to figure out how to recreate certain foods without the bloat or discomfort and WITH all the flavor and textures that I remember and love. These pancakes are nut free, oh so fluffy, and just hearty enough to be a vessel for whatever topping your heart desires. Plus, they bring the flavors of the season with fresh cranberries, a hint of tart lemon, a bit of sweet honey, and the goodness of whole fat yogurt.

Now, I know what A LOT of people (especially as of late) are going to say. Pancakes aren’t paleo. Pancakes aren’t real food. You can’t eat pancakes and be real food perfect. And you know what? That’s totally right. The reality is, though, that no one can be perfect. No one should be perfect. You CAN eat pancakes on occasion and be super healthy, happy, and perfectly you. And guess what…

To give someone the joy of being able to eat pancakes with the ones they love after never feeling like they could have that joy again is worth every criticism.

I know the feeling of watching family and friends enjoy the foods I used to love from the sideline, feeling a bit outcast and sometimes, a little bummed. Now, though, I can make these foods for my family and friends and enjoy the fruits of my labor with a happy heart and a really happy tummy.

Is this the most nutrient dense breakfast you could eat today? Not necessarily, but if one person comes to my blog after seeing a picture or link to this recipe and tries them, only to realize that they do in fact like “clean” food, that’s a win. After enjoying some whole food pancakes (with some added nutrient dense bonuses like gelatin and coconut), that same person might stumble upon a recipe for clean meatloaf, and then grass fed chuck roast over cauli-rice, and then they might just give bacon liver paté a try. Do you see where I am going with this?

There is a lot of dogma out there when it comes to this real food movement, but what really matters is that people are moving in the right direction and making life-saving changes, even if it is in baby steps.

From processed flours and table sugar to healthier, real food flours with natural sweeteners, like raw honey, that haven’t been altered in any way. Now those same folks are eating things that could truly change their lives for the better, OR they’re removing things from their diet that were slowly ruining their health and leading to an early death. Are “paleo” pancakes saving the world? That might be a stretch, but these are damn good, and I hope that anyone who tries them enjoys them as much as we did! So don’t eat these every day, but certainly whip up a batch at least once this holiday season, while cranberries are ripe, spirits are high, and joy is all around us.

Just say “NO” to dogma. And just say “YES” to joy. Cheers! <3

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Cranberry Lemon Swirl Pancakes (GF, NF)

  • Servings: 6 pancakes
  • Time: 20 min
  • Difficulty: easy
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WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 2 TB honey
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk (I used Uber Fresh almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup organic whole milk lemon yogurt, plus more for topping (I used St. Benoît Creamery)*
  • 1 TB raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • cooking fat of your choice (ghee, butter, coconut oil, bacon grease)
  • OPTIONAL ADDITIONS: collagen peptides or grassfed gelatin for cranberry mixture for an extra nutrient dense bonus and/or organic pure maple syrup for topping

*If you want to avoid dairy, you can go with a full fat plain coconut yogurt and add 1 tsp lemon juice OR add an additional 1/4 cup coconut or almond milk (texture will change a bit, but still be delicious)

Find ingredient notes HERE

WHAT YOU DO:

  • heat a saucepan over medium heat, and add the cranberries, lemon juice, and honey
  • mix together and let simmer until cranberries have broken down
  • then, bring heat to low to let thicken slightly (stirring in optional gelatin if desired)
  • whisk together eggs, milk, yogurt, honey and vanilla in a large bowl
  • in a separate bowl, combine coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt
  • Then, while continuously stirring, add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until batter is well combined*
  • grease a large cast-iron pan as it heats up to medium heat
  • once pan is hot, use a 1/4 cup to pour batter on the pan
  • use a small spoon to scoop out a bit of the cranberry lemon mixture and swirl it around into the wet side of the pancake
  • Once pancake has cooked and bubbles show up on the edges of the pancakes, flip ‘em (careful not to burn)
  • repeat until all the batter is used up and plate your pancakes
  • swirl the leftover cranberry mixture into 2 TB of lemon yogurt and top your pancake stack with it
  • ENJOY!!

*The batter will be really thick (think somewhere between normal pancake batter and a bread dough), but if it is too thick, add a bit more coconut or almond milk.

Happy holidays, guys! Cheers to an awesome finish to 2014! Please leave your thoughts in the comments, and as always, share this recipe with friends and family! Baby steps towards better health for the long haul!

super tender chuck roast with bacon and kale cauli-rice

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So, I got a new pressure cooker. It’s beautiful. In fact, I sit and sing to it in the evenings…. not really, but I seriously love this thing. Big thanks to Danielle Walker of Against All Grain for posting a great deal for Cyber Monday last week. You can find the cooker HERE. It rocks. I took it for a test run with lamb shanks that were so tender the meat just fell off the bone. With little faith that the shanks could be beat, I went to work last night with a chuck roast recipe that though simpler in execution, was to my disbelief, even more tender and more delicious. I assume that the pastured fresh bacon from Farmers Market was the clincher on this dish with the help of a bit of red wine, some homemade bone broth, and the nothing fancy seasoning.

So why all the pressure cooker love? Well, first off, it takes a meal that usually would have taken at least 6-8 hours to cook and comes up with a finished product in less than 45 minutes. To say I am busy would be an understatement, so to have the pleasure of having dinner ready from start to finish in under an hour without a ton of planning ahead is really wonderful. That being said, I am a pretty good planner, so starting food prep in the morning, isn’t too big of a deal. The real game changer here is actually the final product. The pressure cooker somehow (I don’t know the science behind this yet) prepares meat that is the juiciest, most tender, fall-off-the-bone goodness that has come out of my kitchen, and while I would like to take all of the credit, I am not sure that I got that good overnight. This thing rocks. I can’t wait to get even more creative. Next up, a fresh batch of bone broth (with chicken heads that were gifted to me from my chicken farmer turned friend at Farmers Market) and then homemade yogurt that I’ll make from organic, pastured raw cows milk (yep it does that too).

Stay tuned for some more pressure cooker goodies, but in the meantime, don’t hesitate to throw together this delicious meal. Guaranteed to be tender whether it’s prepared in a pressure cooker or a crock pot. The grass fed chuck roast, homemade bone broth, pastured bacon, organic onions, and bit of garlic make this meal a nutritional powerhouse that lovingly smothers bacony rice made from one of the most utilitarian veggies of all time, cauliflower.

So, there’s no need to wait for the “right” time to make this meal. In fact, you probably have most of the simple ingredients in your kitchen right now. Nothing fancy; just super tender, deliciously flavorful, fall -off-the-bone goodness that you can enjoy tonight!

I introduce to you my super tender chuck roast with bacon and kale cauli-rice. Enjoy! <3

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Chuck Roast with Bacon and Kale Cauli-Rice (GF, NF, DF)

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 -8 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
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WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 8 slices raw bacon, chopped
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 2 lb grass fed chuck roast
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 cups homemade bone broth
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 cups of kale (I just grabbed a couple big handfuls… it wilts a lot)
  • 1 TB ghee, butter, or tallow

WHAT YOU DO: 

  • cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until it is brown and slightly crisp
  • move the bacon to a bowl, leaving the grease behind in the skillet
  • transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate. Set it aside.
  • rub sea salt and pepper over all sides of the roast
  • sear all sides of the roast (about 1 min per side) and then place in your pressure cooker or crock pot
  • reduce the skillet heat to medium, add the onion, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes (stir occasionally to avoid sticking)
  • move the onions to your pressure cooker or crock pot on and around the roast
  • now, add the wine to the skillet, scraping any flavorful bits off the bottom and sides of the pan
  • add the beef broth and garlic to the skillet, and stir it up
  • pour the liquid mixture over the roast let the magic happen*
  • about 30 minutes before it’s time to eat, rice your cauliflower in a Vitamix or food processor
  • heat a skillet to medium and add your cooking fat
  • add the cauli-rice, season with salt and pepper to taste, and let this cook for about 5 minutes, continuously stirring
  • now, add in your bacon from before and stir it up more, and then add in the kale to wilt
  • plate your cauli-rice, top with sliced tender roast, and pour onions and juice on top
  • ENJOY!! This dish is LOADED with healthy nutrients so smile on

Happy holidays, everyone! I love this time of year, and I am so grateful for all 2014 has been. Can’t wait for the changes coming in 2015. I think you guys are going to like this… <3 Cheers!