October 9, 2015

five friday favorites #19: week of oct. 9, 2015 (aip edition)

This week's Friday Favorites is going to look a little different than usual--I have a theme: AIP.

Just before Labor Day, I talked about how I was going to embark on the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) diet in an effort to feel better. Today marks my 30th AIP day. In these 30 days, I've had only one truly bad "thyroidy" day (more on that later). I'm still tired all the time, and I've had other minor symptoms at times, but I have also seen an uptick in energy and stamina. I'm not ready to shout "I'm healed!" from the rooftops, but I'm definitely seeing improvement.

AIP is incredibly restrictive, but fortunately we have a little thing called the internet where bloggers share their AIP recipes! I have spent a ton of time in the kitchen over the last month, and I'm running my dishwasher every other day, whereas before, I'd run it maybe once a week. But I've found some absolutely amazing recipes ... and some duds, too. So today, I want to share my five favorite AIP foods. (These are mainly sweets or snack items--because those are the things I miss most.)

1. Molasses Cookies
I finally got that recipe I was telling you about last time perfected. (I was calling them ginger cookies then, but the molasses is what stands out, so that's the name I'm going with now!) I'd hoped to post the recipe tonight, but then a friend who's home from college for the weekend wanted to get together, and she's more important than any recipe! I'll be sure to link to it once it's up. I absolutely adore these cookies!

Update: Here is the recipe!

2. "Buttery" Baked Pita Crisps (from Eat Heal Thrive)
These little crisps are so incredibly simple to make, and they taste great! I didn't particularly think they tasted buttery, but they definitely reminded me of pretzels ... and that's a win in my book! They go perfectly with soup--they don't get soggy at all, which is what I always hated about putting crackers in my soup back in my gluten-filled days.

3. Sweet Potato Chips
I always thought I hated sweet potatoes. Their sweetness is what turned me off ... practically the only way I ever saw sweet potatoes was in sweet potato casserole, which just seemed disgusting to me. Why would you want to make sweet potatoes even sweeter? I didn't want them sweet in the first place! I tried sweet potato fries a few times and didn't like them, either. But now that regular potatoes are off the table (please, Lord, let it only be for a time!), I decided to give sweet potatoes another go. I started with sweet potato chips. I bought a bag for like $4 at the grocery store, and it wasn't even completely "legal"--it used the wrong kind of oil. But the chips grew on me, and I decided to try to make my own.
My homemade chips were fantastic! I found a recipe for making them in the oven, but I got impatient, so I fried the rest up in a skillet with coconut oil. I didn't feel so great the next day (but not terrible), and my sister suggested that maybe it had more to do with the excess oil than it did with the sweet potato itself.

However, the day before my one truly bad day since I've started AIP, I baked myself a sweet potato for supper. That was the only "out of the ordinary" food I ate that day, and it was more sweet potato at once than I'd ever before had. I know my bad day could have just been my thyroid deciding to act up for the fun of it, but I really feel like the sweet potato was connected. So I'm guessing that while sweet potatoes are OK for AIP, I need to be careful about them.

This revelation, of course, comes after I dropped something like $15 on a few bags of Jackson's Honest Sweet Potato Chips. These chips are phenomenal, and the only ingredients are sweet potatoes, organic coconut oil, and sea salt. I'm hoping that in moderation, these sweet potato chips will be OK. I'm definitely going to try to make them work!

4. Salted Caramel Ice Cream (from AIP Lifestyle)
I bought myself an ice cream maker last summer. Shortly thereafter, I began to suspect that dairy and I didn't get along as well as I wanted us to. So I started experimenting with coconut-based ice cream. I made a coffee version that was delightful, but coffee is a no-go on AIP. I made a lemon that was decent and a pumpkin that was WAY overpowering--and neither of those really seemed like ice cream. But this salted caramel? It's wonderful! Somehow, the combination of coconut milk, maple syrup, coconut manna (I used creamed coconut), and sea salt really comes out tasting like salted caramel! I did make a tiny change to the recipe--I added 1/2 tablespoon gelatin.

5. Waffles (from Tasty Yummies) with "Butter" (from He Won't Know It's Paleo)
These are hands down the tastiest waffles I've had since going gluten free a year and a half ago! They're made with cassava flour, which is uber-expensive, but in this case, it's worth it. I should mention that my waffles turned out a bit gummy in the middle, as has everything I've made with cassava. But the outside is so crispy, and the flavor is delightful, so I can overlook that. Plus, these waffles freeze and reheat beautifully.

The "butter" reminds me of the oleo my grandma used to buy and put on the treat she gave us every time we visited: juicy toast. (Kind of a gross name, right? But the toast was oh so good, due to the copious amount of oleo that Gram used.) The flavor combination with the waffles is so great--it makes me feel like I'm cheating, but I'm not!

Those are my five (or six) favorite AIP finds so far. If you want to know more about AIP, I'd recommend The Paleo Mom and Phoenix Helix. I've gotten a wealth of information from them!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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