jerf

Savory Meatballs

Savory Meatballs

This meatball recipe is an update to an older recipe I published many moons ago with really awful photos. I've learned more about lighting and chopping and seasoning, so I've updated the recipe to reflect all of that fun. 

These meatballs are nutrition powerhouses, packed with veggies and surprise-- LIVER!

Boobs and Cookies: Real talk and a real recipe

Quite the post title, right? I figured it'd grab your attention... 

As many of you may know, my lovely husband and I welcomed a new addition to our family this summer, our sweet baby girl, Edith James. (This should also explain the severe lack of activity in Sprout land). I was lucky to have a fairly uncomplicated pregnancy that allowed me to continue working out until the day before Edith was born via a fast (seriously FAST) and uncomplicated labor and delivery. 

What has been complicated?

Breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding has been the most difficult thing I've experienced, both physically and emotionally.  I wasn't expecting it to be easy, but I certainly wasn't expecting it to be the struggle that it has been. Everyone's experience is different, but I had a series of factors working against me that made exclusively breastfeeding my baby a daily fight. My milk took its sweet time to come in, we had limited nursing support at the hospital, and Edith had some anatomical issues that made nursing difficult. This negatively impacted Edith's growth and my supply. She was quickly losing weight (i.e. strength) and was burning more calories at the boob than she was ingesting. Weak baby = weak suck = low supply. 

Basically we were screwed on all fronts.

A much needed trip to the lactation consultant (i.e. miracle workers) turned everything around for us. Edie and I got the support we both needed through Kaiser's Mother Baby program. We started a fairly strict nursing/pumping/who-needs-sleep regimen right away. She supplemented with formula in addition to nursing to build strength and I began supplementing with blessed thistle, fenugreek, and Vitanica Lactation Blend. My sister also made me a batch of gluten free "Lactation Cookies," which I washed down with Mother's Milk Tea. Basically we were both like: WE WILL MAKE THIS HAPPEN. 

And we did. 

Now that Edith is 7 weeks old, growing and thriving, things have improved DRASTICALLY. My supply has solidified, Edith is a champ and we are a happy house (most of the time). 

I will tell you now that lactation cookies are a godsend.

Its two am. Your starving. Your baby is also starving and screaming and pooping and clawing at your boob. Which probably all makes you want to scream and cry and poop too.... and also probably crawl back into bed and hide under the covers or say " please hold on child, while I make a quick meal. That's cool right:?" Unless you have a wonder baby, its probably not cool. So having a quick, one-handed food, like these tasty cookies, is key to not having a hangry, sobbing breakdown. 

What makes them different from just a regular cookie? Well. They are good combination of healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates and loaded with nutrient dense ingredients that support a healthy milk supply! 

  • Brewers yeast provides necessary B vitamins
  • Flax seed provides omega-3 fatty acids
  • Coconut oil is an easily and quickly digestible healthy fat. 
  • Dates, almonds and oats have all been linked to increasing milk supply.

Plus, like I mentioned, they are easy to grab and tasty. What more could a new mom want? Other than sleep.. 

These cookies are gluten and egg-free and the recipe is seasonably appropriate-- hey its September, bring on pumpkin spice everything! 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups gluten-free whole grain oats (do not use quick oats)
  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free brewer's yeast (please note: this is different than nutritional yeast!)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbls cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 heaping tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin 
  • 3/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1 heaping cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate chips 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F

In a large bowl combine oats, almond flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, brewers yeast, spices, baking soda and salt. 

In a small bowl whisk together ground flax seed and hot water until well combined. 

Add flax seed slurry, pumpkin and melted coconut oil to dry ingredients and mix well. 

Silipat is a great tool when making these cookies! 

Silipat is a great tool when making these cookies! 

Somebody ate the photo props... 

Somebody ate the photo props... 

Gently stir in coconut flakes, dates, pecans, and chocolate chips. Be sure to mix it well enough so the goodies are evenly distributed!

Line a large cookie sheet with silipat or parchment paper. Spoon heaping tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheet and gently flatten with the back of the spoon. These won't spread much, so you don't need to stress about spacing! 

Bake cookies at 350F in center of oven for 12 minutes. Allow to cool on silipat for 10 minutes before storing (whether that be in an airtight container or just straight into your mouth).

These cookies should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge! 

Everyone loves meatballs!

Amiright?!

This meatball recipe evolved from the Insanely Awesome Meatloaf found in Paleo Parents' Beyond Bacon cookbook. (If you don't own this book, you should. Go buy it. Right now. Seriously. I'll wait... Got it? Great. We can move on...) 

These little dudes are nutrition powerhouses, packed with veggies and surprise-- LIVER!

Not a liver lover? It's cool... The ground meat and veg mask the earthy taste of liver, so even the pickiest of eaters will love it! Hungry yet? 


Let's cook! 

Slightly More Insane and Equally Amazing Meatballs 

Ingredients

  • 3 tbls butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 5 large white button mushrooms, diced
  • 2 pounds ground grassfed beef
  • 1 pound ground pastured pork
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup almond flour 
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Saute the diced onions, carrots, mushrooms and celery until the onions are translucent and the other veggies begin to soften. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt over the veggies to help them release moisture.
  4. Remove skillet from heat when cooked through.
  5. While the veggies are sautéing, puree the chicken livers in a high speed blender.
  6. In a large bowl, combine pork, beef, liver and eggs. Add salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, parsley, and almond flour. Use your hands to mix well! 
  7. Gently fold the cooked veggies into the meat mixture, again using your hands. Wear gloves if you don't like getting all up in your food. 
  8. Form golf ball size meatballs and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.* 
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through.

*You could also bake these in a muffin tin. You may need to adjust the cooking time based on the size!