Shrimp and Pear Skewers

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You may have noticed by now that I’m a big fan of appetizers! Anything small that can be munched on in-between meals or before a delicious dinner is right up my alley, and this shrimp and pear skewer appetizer is no exception.

The below recipe makes 1 skewer. Double, triple or quadruple as desired!

INGREDIENTS

2 x 1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 shrimp
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
¬ľ pear, sliced into 4 thin strips
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar

RECIPE

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat.
Add the shrimp and garlic and cook until the shrimp are firm (about 4 minutes on each side), then remove from the heat.
In a small saucepan, heat the other tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat.
Add the pear strips and agave.
Stir gently to caramelize the pear in the agave nectar and cook until the pear is soft (approximately 1 minute.)
Using a wooden skewer stick, skewer one shrimp, followed by two pear slices, another shrimp, the last two pear slices and then the final shrimp.
Serve hot.

Easy and impressive ūüėČ

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

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Candied Walnuts

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Even if you’re perfectly Paleo you no doubt occasionally have candy cravings. That’s normal! The trick is not to throw in the towel and cheat too badly, but to get creative with naturally sweetened snacks.

Dates are always a good choice to help cure sugar cravings, and so are raisins, but for those times when something a little more candy-like is needed, you can always whip up some Candied Walnuts…

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons honey or raw agave nectar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

RECIPE

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix together the honey/agave, cinnamon and vanilla extract to form the candy dip.
Line a baking tray with foil or parchment paper.
Dip each walnut piece into the candy dip, making sure you cover the entire nut, and then place each nut about 1/4 inch apart from one another on the baking tray.
Continue until all the nuts are dipped and placed on the tray.
Place the tray in the oven and bake for 5 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven and set aside to cool for about an hour, or until the candy dip has hardened on the nuts (to expedite this cooling process, place the nuts in an air-tight container and refrigerator).

Enjoy this sweet but healthy alternative to candy!

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

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Frozen Summer Snack

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Continuing with our theme of fun summer treats that are sure to make you smile, we have a fantastic snack that will fill you up and basically requires no work to make. It’s easy and fast…so basically it’s the best kind of recipe.

INGREDIENTS

1 banana
almond or cashew butter
agave or honey

RECIPE

Cut the banana into 1/4″ to 1/2″ slices.
Place a spoon full of your preferred nut butter on top (roughly 1/2 tbsp.)
Drizzle with your choice of sweetener.
Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Yes it’s really that simple and it’s that good! I hope you enjoy this lovely summer treat.

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com 

Is Agave Paleo?

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During our Demos at Natural Grocers we¬†often receive questions about why we choose the particular products that we are using. We’ve noticed that there have been¬†a lot of questions surrounding the use of Agave Nectar and wether or not it is actually Paleo.

So, is Agave Nectar Paleo?

Yes and No. Unfortunately, based on the research that is currently available there are conflicting views on whether or not Agave Nectar is actually Paleo.¬†Let’s take a look at the arguments for and against Agave Nectar being¬†Paleo.

For Agave Being Paleo:

  • It is actually derived from the Agave Plant, however it is from the starchy root of the plat versus the actual sap.
  • It does have a lower glycemic index than regular refined sugar.

Against Agave Being Paleo:

  • It is¬†not in its natural, pure form. The Nectar we consume has gone through a process to extract the sweetener.
  • The process that the starchy part of the Agave Plant goes through to become a sweetener is similar to the process used to derive high fructose corn syrup.

It comes down to a personal choice as to whether or not you would like to include Agave Nectar in your Paleo diet. We choose to use it in our demos as an allergy substitute for honey, and while we believe honey would be the better Paleo choice we find Agave to be a better choice than normal table sugar.

A few notes about Agave Nectar and Sweeteners:

  • Agave is much sweeter than normal sugar, so in your recipes you most likely¬†need far less Agave Nectar.
  • All sweeteners, regardless if they are Paleo; will increase your blood sugar levels¬†and cause your body to produce insulin. Sweeteners¬†should always be consumed in moderation.

Research:

Here¬†are some links to the research ¬†“For” and “Against” Agave being Paleo.

  1. Nourish Network
  2. The Weston A. Price Foundation

Have fun becoming Paleo educated!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com