Peppermint Patty Pudding Parfait (Paleo, Vegan)

Spirit animals.

Let’s just jump right into this, because I am too tired to come up with some fancy superfluous introduction. Have you ever given any thought to what a spirit animal is, or why it’s important?

I think because of subtle Native American influence throughout my life, I’ve paid more attention to it than the average person. Only until more recently did it start to make more frequent appearances, and I have to tell you — it’s more than just coming across a great meme on Instagram or talking about how Cardi B is your spirit animal because she’s a chatterbox who don’t curr about nothin’. A spirit animal is essentially Mother Nature’s driving force of what embodies you as a cultivated spiritual being, or what supports you as someone in need a spiritual fine-tuning.

Let’s use me an example. I’ve always known my spirit animal was a horse. I’ve loved them and ridden since I was very young, and I’ve always been a “horse girl”. What does a horse actually represent, though? Those of you who know me, I’m sure you know me quite well — I’m the most unintentionally transparent person alive. Apparently, so is a horse. So, the horse… the horse is known for pride, highly charged emotions, and a very driven instinct. Horses are powerful — not in that they are nature’s predators, but they are powerful in such a way where they know there’s strength in numbers and strength in endurance and perseverance. Horses, like any earthly being, are also not perfect. If given the option between fight or flight, a horse will choose flight 99% of the time. However — a horse is not defenseless. they are quick, and bold if need be.

The interesting thing about the representation of a spirit animal is that — no matter how domesticated, the instinct of an animal remains pure. Animals are born with imprints that can be subdued, but they cannot be stopped. A horse has the innate capability of horsey ways that stay with them for life. The same can be said for someone’s spirituality — you can live your life any way you choose and make any decision you want… but ultimately, one way or another, we are all drawn to the same thing, which is compassion, self-acceptance and growth. When situations come up where I know I need to take a step back, ground myself and really understand the situation, it truly does help to envision what qualities a wild horse possesses, what could apply to this situation and how I could channel that into my own perspective.

Not to get too “woo-woo” — you can interpret your spirit animal any way you choose. While mine is a horse, maybe I keep seeing a fox while out driving, walking or riding (a horse… lol..). Perhaps, for that time, I need to bring more fox-like energy into my life by way of my thoughts, my actions, or my reactions. I think we’re drawn to certain animals in certain times of our lives, and I don’t think it’s simply because nature is around us and it happens as coincidence. embrace your inner wild side!

Onto other fun things… like food! I’m not sure where you are in the world right now, but in the Mid-Atlantic US, it’s HOT. Like, stop-wearing-make-up hot. Like, could-I-really-fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk-today hot. Cool down with this fun delicious peppermint patty chia pudding parfait!

Peppermint Patty Pudding Parfait (Paleo, Vegan)

Prep time: 4 hours

Cook time:  n/a

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the chia pudding

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 heaping tbsp smooth almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract, or 6-8 drops of food-grade peppermint essential oil (use sparingly)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

For the parfait

  • 10 oz almond milk Greek yogurt, such as Kite Hill or Silk
  • 2 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

mint leaves, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, mix together almond milk, almond butter, peppermint, vanilla, maple syrup and cocoa powder, until smooth.
  2. Once mixed, add to an airtight container and stir in chia seeds thoroughly. Place in refrigerator overnight or for at least 2-3 hours.
  3. Once ready to serve, mix together your yogurt ingredients – the Greek yogurt, honey and vanilla.
  4. Here’s where you can get creative if you want – layer your pudding, and then your yogurt. Add your cacao nibs, and garnish with your mint leaves. Best served chilled – if you want to put it back in the fridge, feel free to do so for a few minutes!

Serve and enjoy 🙂

-S

Apple Sage and Onion Breakfast Sausage Patties (Paleo!)

Hey ya’ll. It’s JULY. Or rather, it July this weekend. How crazy is that? I’m headed to the beach tomorrow but last night I had the chance to cook some delicious FOOD! Getting some ideas on what to feed the crowd when down at the beach.

Really nothing crazy going on recently, just a lot of the same busy stuff. I am getting my Reiki Level II in July, so that’s new! I can’t wait. I’ll be able to do distance Reiki, so if anyone will need me… I’ll be around. 🙂

In other news… the full moon was last night – it was the Strawberry Moon, which marks the close of peak Strawberry season. This particular full moon falls under the sign of Capricorn. Hardworking, steadfast, balanced and grounded are what we need to channel now and going forward after this full moon. Capricorn is represented by the Mountain Goat. As I write this, I realize now why I’ve been having so many thoughts about goats… I needed to really dig into that energy. I was just telling a good friend that she was appearing in my dreams, and she became a goat shepherd. I guess my elaborate dreams are a story for another time.

Mountain goats are quirky, but are even-keeled, have incredible balance, and are extremely resilient and determined with every step they take up the vertical pitches of a mountain. As we work through this energy during the full moon, it’s important to remember that we can adventure during this time because of how prevalent this grounding energy is.

Just like the mountain goat trusts its footing, also need to trust our place and be sure of where we are. Everything is as it should be, and now is the time to trust the existence of balance and go for what we want. Can I get an AMEN, ladies and gentlemen?

I’ll have more fun stuff to post about once I get to the beach… there’s a new boat waiting for me to lay around like a total slug on and not do anything active. Just kidding, I’m determined to run each morning when I’m down there. Gonna have to, because I’ll be eating a WHOLEEEEE lot. Starting with a solid breakfast!

This is delicious and a really an easy way to make breakfast for crowd, or to roll into patties and freeze for later. I bagged the rest of mine up to bring to the beach! Lord knows those boys can eat.

On that note… short, sweet and to the point. Bon Appetit 🙂

 

Apple Sage and Onion Breakfast Sausage Patties (Paleo!)

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Prep time: 25 min

Cook time: 15 min

Makes about 12-14 small patties, 8-10 large patties

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 Fuji apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp dried fennel
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, combine onion and apple and ~ 1 tbsp of your preferred oil. Sauté until browned, about 6-7 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and allow to cool.
  2. Once sausage has cooled off, combine the pork, garlic powder, sage, thyme, nutmeg, coconut sugar, cayenne pepper, cloves and salt and pepper. Use more salt than you think you’d need – I likely used a heaping tbsp of sea salt, and ½ tsp of black pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  3. To get nice and *shudder* “moist”, sausages, you need to mix the crap out of these, while the meat is cold. I mean, your hands need to hurt from fatigue, or you need to take some anger out on this stuff. Really mash this sh*t up.
  4. Let it chill in the fridge for an hour or two, come back, mash it some more. Put it back in the fridge for another hour or so. You want the proteins in the meat to break down so that everything becomes tender. I don’t know the science of this, but a hunter told me, so I won’t question it.
  5. Once the meat is puliverized and chilled once more, shape into patties of your desired size. If freezing and saving for later, and chill for at least 20-30 minutes before freezing, so they keep their shape. If cooking immediately, heat a large skillet over medium high heat, and add another tbsp of your preferred oil and sauté until browned on both sides, about 4-5 minutes each side.

Enjoy!

-S