by MELISSA GORDON
OK, that’s a lie. I’m not paleo — and if you’ve read this column even once before that’s probably pretty obvious to you. But I’m not paleo in the same way that I’m not vegetarian or vegan or gluten-free. That is, while I don’t personally eat according to any of these diets, there are aspects of each that resonate with me.
To be honest, I didn’t know all that much about the paleo diet until earlier this year when my husband purchased the magazine “Paleo” from the co-op because, he said, “The recipes look great!” Up until that point, I had only a vague and superficial perception of the diet as a “caveman diet,” which revolved around meat, so when the magazine appeared in the house, I was skeptical, to say the least.
The issue my husband brought home was the 2017 January/February issue, which was clearly targeting New Year’s resolution-makers because it included a basic introduction to the principles of the diet, as well as five days worth of recipes. Five days worth of delicious, healthy recipes, I should say. We made every single recipe in the magazine and I was struck every single time by how good they were. Not only that, as people who typically only eat meat once or twice a week, we were surprised to find that we weren’t overwhelmed by the meat. In fact, many of the recipes featured meat as a complementary side to the vegetables. But the absolute best discovery of all was when I learned the paleo philosophy is not that different from my own with its emphasis on choosing high quality, fresh (I read that as local) fruits and vegetables and high quality grass-fed, free ranging meats, while avoiding processed foods. I was excited to see such a popular diet underlining the importance in how and where food was grown and raised, and I found myself once again, feeling so incredibly fortunate to live in a place where such food is produced. As Bluff Country Co-op prepares to open its new, expanded meat department this week, I encourage everyone to take an extra look at the high quality local meats we have available to us.
Butternut Coconut Chai Smoothie
From “Paleo” magazine, January/February 2017
Whether you’re paleo or not, this recipe is absolutely delectable.
• 1/2 cup ice
• 1 medium banana, peeled and broken into chunks
• 1/2 cup butternut squash puree (or pumpkin puree)
• 1 tablespoon unsweetened creamy almond butter
• 1/2 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
• 1/4 cup water, plus more if needed
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Place the ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Blend on high until creamy and smooth, adding more water if needed to achieve desired consistency.
2. Note: To make the squash puree, cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Rub the cut sides lightly with olive oil and place cut sides down in a baking dish. Roast for about one hour in a 400-degree oven, or until the squash is easily pierced with a knife. Scoop the flesh into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and puree until smooth. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer, or freeze in ice-cube trays for easy portioning.