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Homemade Paleo Beef Jerky

homemade paleo beef jerky

Stu: I’m a big fan of beef jerky as it makes a tasty, nutritious snack. However, most store-bought varieties are loaded with crap with ingredients that read like a science experiment. This homemade jerky recipe from Emma at Primal Life ticks all the boxes and doesn’t have an e-number in sight :)

Emma: This is a very tasty, high protein snack-on-the-go. I am not an expert on making jerky but this recipe has served me well so far:

  • Prep time: 3 – 4 hours (includes some freezing time)
  • Cook time: 3 – 6 hours
  • Yield: I do about 1 kg of meat at a time
  • Equipment needed: a dehydrator but this can also be done in the oven

Step 1

beef jerky step 1

  • Buy about 1kg of beef casserole or blade steak
    (cheap cuts are great for making jerky).
  • Cut fat and sinew from meat

Step 2

beef jerky step2

  • Freeze for approx 2-3 hours until firm but not frozen
    (this will help you to cut it into even slices)

Step 3

beef jerky step3

  • Cut meat into 5mm strips ACROSS the grain
    (if you cut it along the grain it will be VERY chewy)

Step 4

beef jerky step 4

  • Make your choice of Marinade(s):
  • Ginger and Chilli:
  • 4 Tbs Tamari soy sauce*
  • 1 Tbs finely grated ginger
  • 1 Tbs finely grated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 finely chopped hot chillies (can leave out)
  • Herb Garlic and Pepper:
  • 4 Tbs Tamari soy sauce*
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves chopped (1tsp dried)
  • 1 Tbs fresh oregano leaves chopped (1tsp dried)
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbs finely grated garlic
  • Harissa:
  • 4 Tbs Tamari soy sauce*
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 
1 tsp ground cumin
  • 
1 tsp ground caraway (can use fennel)
  • 
1 Tbs finely grated garlic
  • 1 Tbs chili flakes

*You can substitute the Tamari for Red Wine.

Step 5

beef jerky step 5

  • Coat meat in marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight

Step 6

beef jerky step 6

  • DEHYDRATOR: Place flat on dehydrator trays – I lined mine with baking paper to minimise mess.
  • OVEN: Lay strips of meat on top of oven trays (good idea to put a baking tray on the next rack down to catch any drips, or line the bottom of your oven with foil)

Step 7

beef jerky step 7

  • Dry at 60c.
  • Check after 2-3 hours - Take a piece of jerky and bend it, if it bends easily or feels juicy it needs more time.
  • The time will depend on how much you have made and the thickness of the meat
  • When it starts to stretch or tear the fibres when you bend it it is near done (see picture)
  • You can let a strip cool out of the oven for 10 minutes and do this test again. When warm the jerky is easier to bend, so cooling it first can let you know if it is dry enough

Step 8

  • Remove the jerky from the dehydrator or oven and leave to air-dry for 24 hours before storing in an airtight container in the fridge. 
It should easily keep for as long as it take you to it.
  • If you aren’t going to get through it fast enough place into ziplock bags and freeze.

Let us know if you have found a healthy store-bought version.

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Healthy Sweet Potato Chips

healthy sweet potato chips

Stu: Who doesn’t like sweet potatoes? I’m a huge fan as they are high in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants and my favourite clean-burning starch. So when our good mates at Primal-Life in NZ shared their Kumara (Maori name for sweet potato) chips recipe with us, I just had to pass it on.

This process takes about 15 mins to prep and will give you a healthy chip alternative without the crazy chemicals and damaging oils. Enjoy…

Ingredients

  • 4 sweet potatoes (the longer ones are easier to work with)
  • About 2 cups animal fat or coconut oil
  • Sea salt

Method

  • Peel the sweet potatoes using a potato peeler or mandolin slicer, very thinly slice onto a paper towel (helps to absorb the moisture)
  • Pat dry with another paper towel
  • Heat fat on medium/high in a pot (I usually make the fat about 4cm deep)
  • Cook chips in batches until crispy and golden (watch them carefully because once cooked they burn easily)
  • Remove from pot and place onto a baking tray lined with paper towels (this will help absorb any excess fat)
  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • Either eat fresh or put the tray they are on into the oven for 30 mins on 150c – this will dry them out a bit more and help them to stay crispy.

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Homemade Healthy Nut Fudge Slice

Healthy chocolate fudge

Stu: Big thanks to Emma from Primal Life who made three batches of her delicious healthy nut fudge slice in the last two weeks. Apparently they went down well with both adults and kids (not surprising). Anyway, enough rambling from me, the recipe’s below:

Melt together in a medium pot:

  • 100g butter or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/8 tsp powdered stevia (optional)
  • 2 tbs rice malt syrup
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Put in a bag and smash with a rolling pin (or use a food processor) until crushed into chunky and small pieces:

  • 3/4 cup mixed nuts (I use almonds, walnuts and cashews)

Put crushed nuts into a bowl with:

  • 1/3 cup mixed seeds (pumpkin and sunflower)
  • 2/3 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 scoops (100g) chocolate 180 Superfood
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dates
  • Mix to combine

Pour wet ingredients into dry and:

  • Add 1/4 cup coconut cream (the solid stuff at the bottom of one of the can after you have put it in the fridge)
  • Stir well, shouldn’t be too wet, just nice and sticky
  • Transfer to a lined dish (18 x 26cm), press down hard and refrigerate until firm
  • Slice and enjoy

Optional: Drizzle with melted dark chocolate :)

Tip: This is best kept in the fridge and will be fine in lunch boxes if they are chilled. If you would like a version that stays more solid at room temperature then replace half of the butter/coconut oil with cocoa butter.

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Homemade Coconut & Vanilla Breakfast Protein Slice

homemade vanilla & coconut protein slice

Angela: With a little bit of preparation, these 180 Nutrition homemade protein slices can be a fantastic alternative to the processed sugary breakfast cereals marketers would have us believe to be healthy.

They are a very practical solution you can replace your breakfast with or pop in your lunchbox. Try them warm with a little full-fat cream or yogurt, and a sprinkle of berries. delicious! Big thanks to our friends over at Primal Life for this recipe.

Prep time: 10mins

Cook time: 40mins

Servings: approx 12  (3cm x 8cm slice)

Ingredients:

  • 50g melted butter or coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup natural yoghurt
  • 3/4 cup milk (can use coconut cream instead)
  • 3 x 50g scoops of coconut 180 Natural Protein Superfood
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 2/3 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed nuts (optional)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180c
  2. Melt butter and whisk together with eggs, vanilla, yoghurt and milk (or coconut cream)
  3. In a large bowl mix together all other ingredients.
  4. Add wet ingredients stir gently until combined.
  5. Line a 28 x 18cm baking tray with baking paper.
  6. Spoon mixture into tray and evenly spread.
  7. Bake for approx. 40 mins until golden and firm to the touch.
  8. Cut into slices and store in an airtight container in the fridge
  9. Serve warmed with berries and cream or just eat as is.

Flavour Options:

  • Take out 1/2 cup of liquid and add 1 cup mashed banana
  • Add two grated apples and 1/3 cup chopped dates or take out some liquid and add apple puree
  • Add 1 cup berries of your choice (I think blueberries work best)
  • Make a chocolate version – Use chocolate 180Superfood, take out cinnamon and add 2 Tbs cocoa and 1 cup crushed, frozen raspberries.

Click Here & Learn More about 180 Natural Protein

5 Practical & Nourishing Kids Lunchbox Ideas They Will Love!

healthy kids lunchbox ideas

Angela: I’m a mum of two little boys and like Emma I’m very passionate about feeding them wholefood and teaching them about balance and how to fuel their bodies. I love Emma’s practical lunchbox ideas. Over to Emma…

Emma: Just over 1 year ago now school lunches in our house used to look very different from the picture above. How things have changed! It’s so important to me now to feed them truly nourishing meals. The kids weren’t too stoked about it at first and some days they still come home complaining about their lunch, but it is getting easier and I am determined to stick to my guns – this is a battle I WILL win!

Difference in Nutritional Value

I decided to work out the combined nutritional information in “old vs new” lunches in our house and was a little bit shocked. The old had almost 60g of combined sugar which is equivalent to 13tsp or 1/4 of a cup!

sugar kids lunches

Half of this is from the fruit but it is still sugar. I now choose fruit with a lower sugar content and rarely give bananas. The new lunch box has 23g combined sugar = 5 tsp (15g from fruit). It has 66% less carbs, 50% more protein, is higher in saturated fat and lower in sodium. There is less food but because of the nutritional breakdown, it is just as filling if not more so and it will provide sustained energy – not give energy spikes like the old lunch will.

Fuel Their Brains

It is so important to feed kids well in order for them to concentrate in school and have the energy to play at lunchtime and participate in after school activities. Feeding them with sugar and carbs is like putting paper on a fire, it will burn fast then go out. Stoke it up with hard-wood and it will burn long and hot.

Feed your kids GOOD food – additive free, protein, good fats, veggies, fruit and unrefined carbs. This will fill their bellies, fuel their brains and keep their furnaces burning steadily!

 

Old vs New Lunches

Old Lunch: Fruit yoghurt, potato chips, banana, apple, muesli bar, peanut butter sandwiches, crackers…

New Lunch: Here are some lunches – they are all different so not really a typical week – I will make a batch of something at the beginning of the week and use it for a few days then make something new:

  • MONDAYhealthy kids lunchbox monday
  • Yoghurt blended with 180 Superfood, banana & berries – set in fridge overnight
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Homemade meatballs
  • Sliced orange
  • Sliced avo (tossed in some water and lemon juice to stop going brown)
  • Grain-free Chocolate Muffin
  • FRIDAYhealthy kids lunchbox friday
  • Yoghurt blended with Chocolate 180 Superfood, banana, avocado and berries – set in fridge overnight then topped with frozen raspberries
  • 180 Superfood Nut Bar
  • Kiwifruit
  • Mandarine
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Biltong
  • Small tomato
  • Cheese

Some things I find help:

  • Cut fruit up – kids struggle with getting through a whole piece of fruit
  • Lots of colour makes it interesting and appealing
  • Make baking small – mini muffins, small pieces of cake etc – bite sized is more likely to be eaten
  • Make sure you remember a spoon or fork if needed!
  • Don’t give them too much, lunches like this are much more filling that traditional sandwiches, chips, bikkie etc. so don’t be afraid to not fill up the lunch box!

What we eat DOES matter and the sooner we can teach our kids to eat good food the sooner change will happen! “All social change comes from the passion of individuals”, be one of those passionate individuals – make a change, this is an investment in your children’s future!

Find out more about Emma from Primal Life here.

Visit Emma’s Wholefood Family Facebook group here.

Healthy Grain-Free Granola

Stu: Back in the day I was a big fan of granola until I realised it was packed full of gluten, sugar and damaging oils. So big thanks to Emma from Primal Life for reconnecting me to an old friend :)

Emma: A delicious way to start the day or a quick snack to keep the sugar cravings at bay. Great on its own or served with a bit of natural yoghurt and some berries. Also works really well as a topping on apple crumble! 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tbs chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews (or your favourite nuts)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 60g melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs rice malt syrup (optional)
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 2 scoops Coconut 180 Superfood (optional)

Method

  • Heat oven to 120c
  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl
  • Spread the mixture evenly over a large lined baking tray
  • Bake for 20 – 30 mins until golden
  • Remove from oven, cool and stir through 180 Superfood (if using)
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge

You can find more awesome recipes here

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Easy Wheat Free Seed Bread

Stu: Want to try ditching wheat for a while but still attached to bread? This healthy gluten free seed loaf will not disappoint, it’s super simple to make and will provide around 20 slices. Big thanks to Emma from Primal Life for the recipe :)

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Grain & Gluten Free Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Muffins

grain free carrot cake

By 180 Nutrition

Angela: I LOVE carrot cake and I’m always on the hunt for a good gluten-free and grain-free version. Well I’ve found another awesome one! Thank you Emma from Primal-Life NZ for this great recipe :)

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 120g butter or coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs honey or rice malt syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (essence but natural and without the added flavours and colours)
  • 1/8 tsp powdered stevia (optional)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup grated carrot (about one big one)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dates (I find if I soak the dates in some warm water they are much easier to chop)
  • Approx. 100g cream cheese (I use philadelphia, or make my own)

 Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 160c.
  • Beat eggs until light and fluffy.
  • In a small pot melt together butter or coconut oil and honey, add vanilla.
  • In a large bowl combine mixed spice, salt, coconut flour, desiccated coconut and baking powder.
  • Add carrots, dates and walnuts, mix.
  • Pour eggs and butter mixture into dry ingredients, gently fold together until just combined.
  • Spoon into silicone muffin cases until half full, top with a teaspoon of cream cheese and then fill to top with mixture (they don’t rise much so don’t be shy when filling them up).
  • Bake for 30mins until golden and firm to touch (they honey is prone to burning so keep an eye on them)

Notes

Could also add a grated apple for some extra sweetness if needed.

You can find more awesome recipes here.

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Wheat Free Mini Quiches

By 180 Nutrition

Stu: If you love quiche you’ll be happy to learn that it can still taste awesome without the flour. Emma from Primal-Life over the ditch in NZ has done it again and created a wheat free recipe that will serve you well :)
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Guilt Free Healthy Bun Recipe

Stu: Emma from Primal-Life over the ditch in NZ has shared another awesome recipe. This time it’s an alternative to our nemesis, the white hamburger bun. I know a lot of people really miss bread, rolls & buns when they eliminate wheat from their diet so this should appeal :)

Over to Emma…

Emma: This is a recipe I found on the Far North Crossfit web site. I have just adapted it to fit the ingredients I normally have in the fridge (natural yoghurt instead of cream cheese and a bit more fibre husk). It works really well for burger buns and our kids enjoy them made with cinnamon and dates and served with a bit of whipped cream and some berries. Pictured as a bread alternative for a roast lamb sandwich – Delicious!!

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup natural yoghurt
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbs psyllium seed husks
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 150c
  2. Separate the eggs, with the egg whites in one bowl and the egg yolks in another.
  3. Whisk together egg yolks, yoghurt, psyllium seed husk and baking powder, leave to sit for 5mins while you beat the egg whites.
  4. Beat the egg whites together with the salt until very stiff. You should be able to turn the bowl over without the egg whites moving.
  5. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mix – try to keep the air in the egg whites.
  6. Place 6 large (10cm diameter) or 8 smaller (8cm diameter) amounts of mixture on a lined baking tray. They do spread a bit so just put bigger or smaller blobs of mixture on the tray. You can spread it a bit if you want panini size/shape etc.
  7. Bake in the middle of the oven at 150° C (300° F) for about 25 minutes – until they turn golden.

Variations: You can eat these as bread or use them as a bun for a hotdog or hamburger. You can also put different kinds of seeds on them before baking them, for instance poppy, sesame or sunflower seeds. One big bun can be used for a swiss roll: Add a generous layer of whipped cream and some berries. Make sure you roll when still warm or it will split. Add 1t cinnamon, ½ t mixed spice and ¼ cup finely chopped dates or raisins to the mixture, once cooked top with cream and berries.

You can view more of Emma’s recipes here.

You can also visit Primal-Life’s website here

Avoid bloating with a 180 superfood smoothie here