Nutrition for an Anti-Inflammatory TMJ Diet


Dear Patient,


You’ve probably just started treatment for Craniofacial Pain with my husband, Dr. Nathan Jergensen. My name is Janessa Jergensen and I love food. I love to bake and cook and I especially love to eat. When I began my Craniofacial Pain treatments and found out about the dietary restrictions, I told my husband it should be called the No Joy Diet. I didn’t exactly have a good attitude about giving up all grains, sugars, legumes (including soy, which is in just about every packaged food product out there), and nightshade vegetables – especially in the middle of the holiday season. But because I love food so much I started collecting recipes for compliant meals that actually taste good. Some of these we like well enough to continue eating when I finish my treatment. I’m sharing them with you in the hopes of giving you ideas for fast, simple meals that are more or less kid-friendly (we have three, and they’re picky and unpredictable, as 1-6 year-olds tend to be). I hope this helps you as you go through your treatment.

Good Luck!


TMJ Groceries

Grocery List

I spent about 1.5 hours reading labels at Sprouts when I started this anti-inflammatory diet. I considered myself a healthy eater and didn’t buy many packaged food items, but everything I did buy contained ingredients I couldn’t have. It took some trial and error to find replacements that were both compliant and edible (or better). I’ve learned that many items labeled Paleo or Whole 30 are ok to eat, but some still have ingredients we should avoid, like nightshade products. Here are some of my favorite things to have on hand:

Oils, Fats and Dressings

Olive oil
Coconut oil
Butter (I know the diet says no dairy; butter is ok. I don’t know why. I also didn’t want to argue)
Brianna’s Salad Dressing French Vinaigrette (this is sugar-free!) and Creamy Balsamic (this is sweetened with honey)
Coconut aminos (replacement for soy sauce. It’s already sweet so don’t add honey or sugar even if the recipe calls for added sweetener)


Pure maple syrup (Costco has the best price)
Coconut sugar (good for baking)
Cocoa powder (naturally unsweetened)
Chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand has a small amount of added sugar and for the price compared to the truly Paleo options, I was ok with this brand)
Dried dates, cherries, or cranberries

Grain-Free “Flours”

(You don’t need any of these. I love to bake and found recipes that use these that I have enjoyed but you can very easily just not buy them and not bake)

Blanched almond flour (NOT almond meal)
Coconut flour
Tapioca flour
Dairy Free “Milk”
Coconut milk (canned for baking and curry; carton for smoothies)
Unsweetened almond milk (I like the vanilla flavor. I also sometimes make my own)

Starch Replacements

Cauliflower rice (Costco has the best price and the best texture! Green Giant is available at Stater Bros but very watery. Store brands are ok)
Chickpea pasta (texture is not great but if you’re really craving noodles it kind of works)
Spaghetti squash

Meats and Nuts

Paleo bacon (no additives, no sugar, uncured. Found at Costco and Sprouts)
Paleo sausage (Walmart has an apple chicken store brand I love)
Rotisserie chicken (Costco brand contains very little sugar)
Raw almonds
Raw cashews
Unsweetened almond butter
Frozen bananas (I buy brown bananas, slice them, freeze them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet for 2 hours, and store them in a freezer bag. Perfect for smoothies)

TMJ Beverages


Pina Colada Smoothie (Serves 2)

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 whole, peeled orange
1 cup frozen mixed tropical fruit from Walmart (pineapple, strawberry, mango, peach)
2 cups spinach, packed on top

Blend in a high speed blender until smooth.

Cherry Almond Smoothie

Per serving:
½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
½ frozen banana
1 cup frozen dark sweet cherries (from Walmart)
1 tbsp unsweetened almond butter
2 handfuls spinach

Blend in a high speed blender until smooth.

Date Cocoa Smoothie (Serves 2)

1 cup almond milk
1 frozen banana
2 pitted dates
1-2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 handfuls spinach

Blend in a high speed blender until smooth

Hot Cocoa

Per serving:
½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
1-2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Sprinkle each cinnamon and salt

Combine ⅓ cup water with honey, cocoa, salt and cinnamon and whisk until it boils for a minute. Stir in almond milk and whisk until heated through and smooth.

Homemade Almond Milk

2 cups raw almonds soaked in water overnight, then drained and rinsed
6 cups filtered water
3 pitted dates
2 tsp vanilla extract

Blend in a high speed blender and strain through a nut milk bag or very fine cheesecloth. Lasts 1 week.

TMJ Breakfast


Kale and Potato Baked Eggs (serves 2)

4-5 small scrubbed Yukon gold potatoes
Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves minced garlic
½ cup chopped onion
2-3 handfuls chopped kale leaves
4 eggs
Diced green onion and parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to 450. Combine potatoes, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, and olive oil in an 8” square pan. Roast for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and stir in kale until it starts to wilt. Make nests and crack eggs. Lower heat to 400. Bake about 10 more minutes until egg whites set but yolks still runny. Garnish with green onions and parsley.

Mexican Style Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs (Serves 2)

1 cup diced sweet potato
Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup diced onion
2-3 handfuls chopped kale leaves
Sliced avocado and salsa for serving

Preheat the oven to 400. Combine sweet potatoes, onion, salt and pepper, and olive oil in an 8” square pan. Roast for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and stir in kale until it starts to wilt. Top with fried eggs, sliced avocado and salsa (see compliant salsa recipe in the sauce section).

Do ahead: keep extra cooked sweet potato in the fridge. Reheat on the stove in a skillet with onion, salt and pepper, and oil. Stir in kale until wilted.

Sweet Potato Avocado Toast with Eggs

Per serving:
Sweet potato sliced in half (either leftover or still raw, then bake at 450 until soft)
Olive oil, salt and pepper
Half avocado, mashed
Fried egg

Either bake or reheat sweet potato at 450, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Top with mashed avocado and fried egg. Optional; add arugula or spinach, or other garnishes like green onions and herbs.

Sweet Potato Brussels Sprout Hash with Apple Sausage

Per serving:
½ diced sweet potato
6 Brussels sprouts trimmed and cut in half
¼ thinly sliced apple
1 whole 30 chicken and apple sausage sliced
Olive oil, salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425. Toss sweet potato and Brussels sprouts in olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Add apple and sausage, stir, and cook 5-7 minutes more until sausage is browned and veggies are soft.

Paleo Dutch Baby (Serves 2)


2 tbsp butter
½ cup almond flour
¼ cup tapioca flour
2 tbsp coconut sugar
Pinch of sea salt
4 large eggs
5 oz almond milk

Preheat the oven to 400; while heating add the butter to a pie pan or 8” square pan and put in the oven to melt the butter. Combine everything else in a blender and pulse until smooth. When the oven is heated, pour the batter into the pan. Bake for about 15 minutes. Serve with berries and maple syrup.

TMJ Soup


Zuppa Toscana (Serves 6)


4 slices Whole 30 bacon
1 lb homemade Italian sausage (see recipe below)
½ cup diced white or brown onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
4 cups chicken stock
4 Yukon gold potatoes, about 1.3 lbs
½ bunch of kale
Cashew cream: 1 cup raw cashews blended with ¾ cup water
Salt & pepper to taste

Homemade Italian Sausage

1 lb ground pork
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp fresh parsley or 2 tsp dried
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Pinch dried oregano
Pinch dried thyme

Combine and refrigerate until ready to use

In a Dutch oven or heavy metal pot, brown the sausage and set aside.Brown bacon and set aside. Saute garlic and onions in bacon fat. Deglaze pan with chicken stock. Bring to a boil and add potatoes. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender. Stir in cashew cream and kale, then sausage and bacon.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup (serves 6)

½ cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 cloves minced garlic
Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
6 cups chicken stock
4 Yukon gold potatoes
1 cup raw cashews
¾ cup hot water
1 cup frozen green beans
2-3 cups diced cooked chicken

Saute the onion, carrots, celery and garlic in olive oil with salt and pepper. Pour in broth and potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile blend cashews and water in a high speed blender until smooth. After 10 minutes stir in the cashew cream to thicken the soup. Stir in green beans and chicken and heat through.

Bone Broth

Paleo soups always call for bone broth. This is quite expensive to buy but very easy to make, especially if you have bones left from a rotisserie chicken. I save chicken bones and scraps from onions, carrots, and celery in freezer bags to make bone broth and store the broth in quart freezer containers.

Combine chicken bones, vegetable scraps, 2-3 tbsp garlic, 2-3 tsp peppercorns, 2-3 tbsp salt, and 2 bay leaves in a stock pot and fill with water leaving 2” of space at the top. Bring to a boil and then simmer for several hours. The bone broth will be golden yellow when it’s done. Strain the broth through a colander into a large bowl and discard the solids. Let it cool then store in quart containers in your freezer until you need it for soup.

TMJ Salad


I know you can figure out what you like on salads yourself, but here are the things I always have on hand to make it quick and easy:

Chopped roasted beets
Green onions
Red onions
Cucumbers (peel and seed them to be compliant)
Leftover steamed or roasted asparagus
Diced cooked sweet potatoes
Dried fruit (cranberries or cherries)
Chickpeas (start with dry, soak them for 12 hours then cook in the Instant Pot to be compliant)
Paleo bacon
Boiled eggs
Leftover rotisserie chicken

TMJ Meat


Chicken Green Chile Burgers (Makes 5 Patties)

1 lb ground chicken
7oz can diced green chilies
1 cup minced cilantro
½ tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper
Olive oil for cooking

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Mix all ingredients except pepper and form 5 patties. Chill patties while oil heats. Cook in oil for 3-4 minutes per side, adding freshly ground pepper as you flip them. Finish in a warm oven until temp reaches 165.

Serve in a lettuce wrap with guacamole and pickled red onions.

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken (Serves 6)


Note: This is one where you don’t need to add the honey! The coconut aminos are sweet enough on their own.

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
½ cup coconut aminos
¼ cup raw honey (I leave this out)
2 tbsp Red Boat fish sauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
4 cloves minced garlic
2 diced green onions (save green parts for garnish)

Place chicken in the bottom of the Instant Pot. In a bowl whisk together the coconut aminos, honey (if using), fish sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and the white parts of the green onions. Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken. Cook on high pressure for 22 minutes (or you can do this in a crockpot on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours). Manually release the pressure on the Instant Pot, remove the lid, and shred the chicken.

We like to serve this over cauliflower rice with stir fry vegetables. We’ve also done this on a salad with spinach and arugula, roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, and red bell pepper.

Lemon Chicken Skewers (Makes 4 Skewers)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” cubes
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ cup olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine chicken pieces in marinade and keep in the fridge for up to 6 hours. Grill.

Paleo Panang Chicken Curry (serves 4)


3 tbsp red curry paste
3 tbsp creamy almond butter
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot, diced
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
2 cups broccoli florets
1 can full fat unsweetened coconut milk
1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs sliced into bit sized pieces
2 tsp Red Boat fish sauce

In a small bowl, combine the red curry paste, almond butter, coriander, and cumin. Set aside. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and saute for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add in the panang curry mixture and saute for about 2 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and the fish sauce and whisk until well combined. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken, red bell pepper and broccoli to the sauce and stir. Let simmer in the sauce for about 5-7 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

The recipe writers serve this over spaghetti squash. We prefer cauliflower rice.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas (serves 4)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Juice from 2 limes
½ cup olive oi
½ cup cilantro
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chile powder
2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
Avocado, salsa, arugula and cauliflower rice for serving

Combine chicken with marinade (lime juice through salt and pepper) and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375 and line a sheet pan with foil. Add the chicken and cook for 15 minutes. Toss the peppers and onion with a little oil, salt and pepper and add them to the sheet pan for 10 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Slice the chicken and toss everything together. Serve as a bowl with cauliflower rice, arugula, avocado or guacamole, and salsa.

Chicken Sausage and Zucchini Skillet (serves 4)


4 cooked chicken apple sausages
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
½ tsp dried basil
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
½ tsp oregano
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic

Slice sausages and brown them in ½ tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Set aside, add the rest of the oil, and add in the vegetables and spices. Saute until tender. Add the sausage back in and heat through. Serve with cauliflower rice. This is also a great way to serve the carne asada from Stater Bros.

Sheet Pan Lemon Salmon and Asparagus (Serves 4

1-1.25 lb salmon filet
1 lemon
1 tsp dried dill
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter
Olive oil
1 bunch asparagus

Preheat the oven to 375. Line a sheet pan with foil and place salmon on it. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel and add lemon zest, dill, salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, trim the asparagus and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Slice the lemon and dice the butter. Add the asparagus to the sheet pan and cover the salmon with the lemon and butter, and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve with cauliflower rice.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Serves 6)

For the sauce:

1 cup pineapple juice (remainder from can)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup coconut aminos
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger, minced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced

For the chicken:

1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, or chicken thighs, cut into 1” pieces
1 cup arrowroot starch
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 yellow onion
1 red bell pepper, chopped (can leave out if peppers are irritating for you)
1 green bell pepper, chopped (can leave out if peppers are irritating for you)
1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, in 100% pineapple juice, not syrup
Sesame seeds, to garnish
Green onions, chopped, to garnish

Make the sauce by whisking together the pineapple juice, ketchup, ginger, garlic, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, chicken broth, honey, and arrowroot starch in a small sauce pan. Set aside.

In a gallon size zip lock bag, pour in the beaten egg and chicken. Zip the bag and shake the chicken around so that the egg coats the chicken pieces. Add the arrowroot starch and repeat until chicken is evenly coated with the arrowroot.

Heat 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add enough oil so that the bottom of the skillet is topped with oil. Working in batches (about 2), place chicken pieces in skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Using tongs, transfer chicken pieces to a plate.

Place sauce pan on burner and simmer sauce over low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes.

Heat coconut oil over medium heat in skillet. Add onion, and bell peppers. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until onion is soft and translucent. Add the pineapple and chicken pieces. Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture in the skillet. Mix all ingredients to coat evenly with sauce. Serve hot.

TMJ Sides


Flatbread or Pizza Crust


2/3 cup blanched almond flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot starch, plus 2-3 tbsp more for spreading/kneading dough
6 tbsp coconut flour divided into 3 (first) and 3 (after adding the egg)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
3/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup light flavored olive oil or avocado oil
1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 egg room temp, whisked

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet (round if you prefer) with parchment paper

In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca or arrowroot, 3 Tbsp of the coconut flour, onion and garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt. Stir well to fully combine.

In a measuring cup, combine the water, oil, and vinegar , then pour into the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.

Now stir in the whisked egg to combine well. Once you have a sticky mixture, you will slowly add the remaining coconut flour. I recommend adding a Tbsp at a time and mixing well, allowing the dough to sit a bit after each Tbsp to absorb the liquid, until you have a dough that’s still a bit sticky yet able to be spread out. Don’t add more than 3 additional Tbsp of coconut flour in this step, even if the dough seems sticky to work with – you can use extra tapioca to help spread it out.

Sprinkle extra tapioca or arrowroot on your parchment lined baking sheet, transfer the dough to the sheet and sprinkle with more tapioca/arrowroot. Work the dough into a 10 inch circle (12 for a very thin crust), then bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes depending on how crisp you want the crust. I baked mine for about 10 minutes before adding my toppings, and baking again. Bake time will depend on the toppings you plan to add, how crispy you want the crust, and how thin you spread it out.

Topping ideas: olive oil, salt and rosemary; paleo bbq sauce, shredded chicken, red onions and cilantro; olive oil, prosciutto, goat cheese and arugula.

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potatoes sliced into ½” strips
Olive oil, salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450. Combine on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, stir and rotate the pan, return to the oven for 10 more minutes.

Cauliflower Rice

The bags all say to steam or boil this. Please don’t! It’s already watery especially if it’s been frozen. Saute it in a skillet with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper for about 7 minutes and add in a little butter at the end. It’s delicious this way.

Roasted Vegetables

This is a basic way to cook broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and other veggies that my kids will always eat. Preheat the oven to 400. Toss your veggies in olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes (asparagus) up to 30 minutes to your desired level of crispness and dark, roasted flavor. It takes some trial and error but this is our favorite way to cook veggies.

TMJ Sauces

Sauces and Dips

Whole 30 Mayo

1 egg
2 tsp whole 30 spicy mustard
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup olive oil

Put everything in a tall container. Use an immersion  blender to combine, starting at the bottom for 30 seconds then up and down for 20 more until smooth.

Whole 30 Ranch Dip

½ cup whole 30 Mayo
½ tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dill
½ tsp parsley
½ tsp chives
¼ tsp pepper

Combine and chill. Serve with sweet potato fries or cut veggies.

Instant Pot Salsa (Makes 1 Quart Jar)

4 large tomatoes, chopped
½ bell pepper of any color, chopped
1-2 jalapenos, chopped
½ red onion, chopped
½ yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp baking soda
Juice from 1 lime
¼ cup tomato paste
Cilantro to taste

Combine everything up to the baking soda in Instant Pot and cook at High Pressure for 5 minutes. Allow 10 minute natural release. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, and enough tomato paste to get your desired thickness. Pour into a quart Mason jar or other container, allow to cool on the counter, then keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Coconut Caramel (Makes 2 Cups)

1 can unsweetened coconut milk
⅔ cup coconut sugar

Combine in a saucepan over medium heat and stir occasionally for about an hour. It should be simmering and thickening. It won’t get as thick as actual caramel but tastes good with apples or bananas.

Cocoa-Nut Almond Butter

From Blendtec

2 tbsp. cocoa or cocoa powder
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/4 cups roasted and unsalted almonds
2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes

Blend until creamy and smooth. I have the Nut Butter Twister Jar for my Blendtec but you could just as easily do this in another high speed blender or food processor. This is delicious with apples, strawberries, and bananas.

TMJ Sweets


Perfect Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies


These are our favorite compliant cookies, kids included (we did a lot of trial batches before finding these). Erin explains it so well that I’m just going to link her post. We use Enjoy Life Dark chocolate chips for these.

Paleo Samoa Cookie Bars



1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup coconut oil refined, melted
1/4 cup pure maple syrup


1 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
large Pinch fine grain sea salt

Remaining Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups coconut flakes divided
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips or Hu Kitchen Gems

For the crust:

Stir together all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Chill the dough for 30 minutes while you prepare the caramel.

While the caramel cools, preheat your oven to 350° Line an 8 x 8” baking pan with parchment paper on the bottom and an inch up the sides. Press the chilled dough into the bottom of the lined baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until set and just beginning to turn light brown. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool.

For the caramel:

Combine the coconut milk and coconut sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk, bringing to a boil. Once boiling, continue to stir occasionally and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes (it should be bubbling but not overflowing) until the mixture is reduced, thickened and a deep caramel color. Make sure you continue to whisk while cooking to avoid burning.

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Set aside to cool a bit until ready to use. You can also make the caramel ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Assemble the bars:

Optional step: toast the coconut. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add all the coconut flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally to avoid burning, until beginning to turn light brown (2-3 minutes) then immediately transfer to a bowl to avoid burning.

After the caramel has partially cooled, stir in 1 cup of the coconut flakes. Spread this mixture all over the cooled crust. Sprinkle the remaining coconut over the top, cover, and chill for an hour in the refrigerator to set.

Once set, melt the chocolate in a microwave safe dish in 20-second increments, stirring in between. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the chilled bars (before cutting). Allow the chocolate to harden, then cut into 12-16 squares to serve.

“Granola” or Fruit and Nut Bars (Makes 16 bars)

1 cup raw pecan halves or walnuts
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1/2 tsp salt or 1/4 for less salty
1/4 cup organic coconut oil melted (use refined for no coconut flavor)
1/4 cup smooth almond butter
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp raw honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips dairy free, soy free

Place the nuts in a food processor and pulse several times to “chop” them into a crumbly texture – a few larger pieces are a good thing – don’t overmix!

Transfer the nuts to a large mixing bowl* and stir in coconut flakes, cinnamon, salt, and raisins to evenly combine.

Place melted coconut oil in a small sauce pan and whisk in the almond butter and honey. Set heat to low and whisk while honey and almond butter melt. Once mixture is smooth and well combined, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

Pour the wet mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and stir to fully combine – I used a silicone spatula for this step. Thoroughly mix to make sure all the dry mixture is coated. Once coated, gently stir in the chocolate chips.

Line an 8 x 8” or 9 x 9” square pan with parchment paper along the bottom and sides, with extra up the sides for easy removal. Transfer mixture in and press down, using your hands, or another piece of parchment paper to get it packed tightly into the pan.

Cover the top with parchment or plastic wrap, then set in the freezer for at least 1 hour to firm, or longer if you have time.

Remove pan from freezer and grab two ends of the parchment paper to remove the bars, set on a cutting board.

Using a long very sharp knife, cut into 20 bars.  You can wrap them in parchment individually storing in the fridge (for up to two weeks) or freezer for longer.

Bars will start to melt around room temp due to the coconut oil, so they’ll need to be kept chilled to stay firm. Enjoy!

Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream (Serves 6)

2 cans coconut cream
⅔ cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt

Combine in a blender and freeze in an ice cream maker. This is better as soft serve and will get icy if you try to put it into the freezer after. I like to let it get more solid by adding more ice and rock salt to the ice cream maker after the churning is done and letting it sit for a couple of hours before serving.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream (Serves 6)

2 cans coconut milk chilled and divided
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 tsp flaky sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp arrowroot flour

Reserve a 1/2 cup of coconut cream from a chilled can. Heat up the cream in a small pan over low-medium heat.

Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add coconut sugar, stirring with a fork until sugar liquefies and starts to darken. Keep it away from the cool sides of the pan to avoid crystallization.

Remove from heat and carefully add the reserved and warmed half cup of coconut cream and stir until you have a creamy amber liquid. Add salt and vanilla. Set aside to cool.

Combine caramel with remaining coconut milk, maple syrup, and arrowroot in a blender. For best results, chill in refrigerator for a couple hours or overnight.

Prepare according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Serve immediately, or freeze until ice cream reaches your preferred hardness/texture.

Almond Joy Cookies


¼ cup coconut oil (solid at room temperature, similar to softened butte)
¼ cup creamy almond butter
¾ cup coconut sugar
1 egg (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups (192g) blanched almond flour
⅓ cup flaked coconut (toasted)
⅓ cup chopped almonds (toasted)
⅔ cup (4 oz.) chopped dark chocolate (make your own chocolate to keep 100% Paleo)
Flaky sea salt (to sprinkle on top (optional))

In a bowl or stand mixer, beat together the almond butter, coconut oil and coconut sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.

Add the almond flour, salt, and baking soda to the wet ingredients. Mix until well incorporated. Fold in the toasted coconut, almonds, and chopped chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 48 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and use a cookie scoop to form cookies. Place cookies 2” apart and press down slightly. Sprinkle with a bit of flaky sea salt if desired. Bake for 11 minutes or just beginning to turn golden brown around the edges.

Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Strawberry Shortcake


2 ¼ cups Bob’s Red Mill Super Fine Almond Flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3 tablespoons avocado oil (or oil of choice)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda.

Add eggs, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla and stir until combined.

Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, measure out the dough. Use your hands to form a round shortcake about 2 inches thick. Place each one onto the prepared baking sheet and press down slightly. Repeat until all dough is used.

Bake for 15 -17 minutes or until the centers are cooked and the tops start to crack.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Serve with sliced fresh berries (if you’re in Hemet or Winchester, the berries from KS Farm Stand are by far my favorite and so sweet you don’t need sugar) and sweetened coconut cream or heavy whipping cream, if dairy doesn’t irritate you.

Morning Glory Muffins (Makes 12-15 Muffins)


These are also delicious as a cake baked in a 8” square pan. I know they have a ton of ingredients but I promise they are worth the effort and super addictive.

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup flaxseed meal or golden flaxseed meal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup coconut sugar or maple sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
1/4 cup melted refined coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp orange zest
2 Tbsp orange juice
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup grated carrots about 2 large
1 cup grated apple about 1 large, squeezed with paper towels to remove excess water
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 350° F and line 2 muffins pans with 15 parchment liners.

In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, flaxseed meal, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, syrup or honey, coconut oil, applesauce, orange zest and juice and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the grated carrots and apples (after squeezing out as much water as possible) then gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet until no flour spots show.

Fold in the raisins and pecans, then fill the muffin liners just above the top, (batter will be thick). You will make 14-15 muffins. Bake for 23-28 minutes, until golden brown on top and set in the center. A toothpick inserted near the center of a muffin should come out with a few crumbs.

Allow the muffin pan to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the muffins from the pan (in their liners) and continue to cool to room temperature. Store muffins at room temperature for the first day (loosely covered) then in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

Schedule Your Appointment