Spicy Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

CLEAN EATING CHALLENGE STARTS TOMORROW!  On Facebook and Instagram I asked people to join me in a 30 day challenge to 1. Eat Clean,  2. Do mild daily excercise, and 3. To have low alcohol intake…..for 30 days!  There was a great number of responses to join in on this easy-to-do plan.

Here is how I will help:  I will dedicate this blog to encouragement of your success.  If you follow it and stick with it, you should be able to not only lose 10-15 pounds in 30 days, but you will feel better, have more energy and maybe see some improvement in your skin and hair, too!  This is an easy and healthy way to live with lots of delicious food choices. I will post recipes or links to them to keep things interesting plus links to other sites with more info and recipes!  Deal?  Deal.

To prepare, do the following:

  1. Clean your pantry and refrigerator of anything that has grains, dairy, refined sugar or articial ingredients.
  2. Prepare veggies for the week…have carrots, celery, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, etc on hand, washed and chopped for snacks and salads.
  3. Make a dozen hard boiled eggs to have ready for the week.
  4. Make a weeks worth of menus TODAY!  Stck to it as much as possible, but they should be flexible in case there are changes to your schedule!
  5. Choose a physical activity to get you motivated.  Walking, planks, weights, yoga, pilates, personal trainers….whatever you have time for, just DO IT!

Let’s all work together and encourage each other to do this. Feel free to leave comments and questions by clicking on the “Leave a Reply” box at the end of every post.  All comments and questions MUST be approved by me before appearing and no email info of yours will be seen.

Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season and it is just about a month away!  Share this post with your friends and family and check back often for more recipes, encouragement and FUN!

To start, here is a new recipe to start things off!

I know, I know, I know!  Another pumpkin recipe, but, hey!  It’s Fall!  Pumkins are everywhere!  Thanksgiving is around the corner!  Let’s continue to celebrate the seasons!  And this season of Autumn is full of spicy, pumpkin treats!  These Spicy Paleo Pumpkin Muffins are just right for breakfast or snacks, and lunch boxes!

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Shutterbug Chef!

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Paleo Pumpkin Bread

The crisp Fall air always makes me want to bake…and I don’t usually bake!  But I love the smell of a kitchen when Autumn treats are baking.  There is just something comforting about cinnamon anything wafting through the air! Continue reading

Paleo Crunchy Granola

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Paleo Crunchy Granola

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Shutterbug Chef!

My sister sent me the link to this recipe from Epicurious.  I had made a paleo granola before that was fair but not really good.  Well, this recipe from Epicurious is not only really good, but it is DELICIOUS!  In fact, this is akin to a nut brittle in a few ways….it is crunchy (once it is cooled), sweet and a little bit of salt adds to the brittle flavor.  This Paleo Crunchy Granola is so good on its own, but I am going to use shards of it as a dessert garnish along side my Pumpkin Chunky Chocolate Bars tonight.  (Also, for the chunky chocolate, I used 73% cacao with roasted almonds, for an even nutty, crunchier effect!)

This crunchy granola can be crumbled over fresh fruits for a light dessert, too.  For breakfast, some sliced fresh bananas on top of this would be a nice start to the day.  Oh, and by the way, you will not miss the oats!!

I made only a few slight changes in the original.  For one thing, I did not have cardamom so I substituted Chinese 5 spice powder, which added a nice flavor to it.  The other changes were that the original recipe called for some raw nuts and seeds that I could not find.  Instead, I used dry toasted of several varieties and they worked out great.

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New Ninja Paleo Strawberry Banana Smoothie

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New Ninja Paleo Smoothie

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Shutterbug Chef!

I just got a new Ninja Blender!  It is so awesome!  I can’t wait to try some recipes with it…like Instant Pot Velvet Tomato Bacon Soup or Asparagus Soup!  But just to test it out today, I made a kind of basic smoothie…well, it was anything BUT basic.  The texture was smooth as silk, not too thick, not too thin and had just a tiny hint of strawberry pulp, which looks so pretty!  I think you will like this New Ninja Paleo Strawberry Banana Smoothie.

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Shutterbug Chef!

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Breakfast Cake

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I’m the Shutterbug Chef!

Breakfast Cake

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Shutterbug Chef©

Facebook was running a hot Blueberry Lemon Cake video that was all the rage last week.  Of course, it looked wonderful, but, alas, it was not clean.  Not a bit.  It had everything on the “Do Not Eat” list:  dairy, grains, sugar. We had no choice, but to give this a clean up job.  Sooooooo glad we did!

I also used a new flour:  Banana Flour!  It was a gift from my friend Michele.  I have not checked to see if it is available at local grocers yet, but it is available on the internet. If you can’t find it, substitute coconut flour or more almond flour.

My first reaction to tasting this was that it reminded me of a breakfast coffee cake, but a lot more moist!  The fresh blueberries practically melted into the cake, yet there were many of them still round and juicy! The Breakfast Cake is a must try, for breakfast or dessert!

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All New Paleo Pancakes From Shutterbug Chef

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All New Paleo Pancakes

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Shutterbug Chef!

For over 2 years, I have been making “clean” pancakes, and they have been great!  The Pumpkin Pancakes have been especially delicious.  Since March 7 was National Pancake Day, I decided to try another recipe that did not include bananas or pumpkin….rather traditional, I’d say.  My new go-to breakfast is my All New Paleo Pancakes.

Great results!  Serve these with pure maple syrup and your family will be pleased! Don’t forget to make the amazing Mixed Berry Compote as an alternative to syrup.

The 2 main things to keep in mind with these, is first to let the batter rest for 15 minutes before cooking.  Secondly, make sure your non-stick pan is heated to just under medium-high heat.  Like with all pancakes, if the heat is too high, they burn, too low they don’t brown well and dry up. Continue reading

Paleo Raspberry Jam

Paleo Raspberry Jam

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Shutterbug Chef!

Recently I made a batch of my clean biscuits.  They are basically a vessel that good things can spread on or to use as a dunker, like into chili or thick soups.  They are also good for toasting to eat with scrambled eggs.  What I really wanted was to spread some jam on one for breakfast!  They don’t rise up like traditional ones, but they are darned good!  Anyway, I made some fantastic thick Paleo Raspberry Jam this weekend and am thrilled with the result!  There are only 3 ingredients and the jam takes less than a half hour to make! Continue reading

Banana Blueberry Pecan Muffins

Banana Blueberry Pecan Muffins

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Marianne Donahoe

School starts next week after a long winter’s break!  These Banana Blueberry Pecan Muffins will be a welcome breakfast for these cold mornings and a nice treat in the lunch box!  The warmth of cinnamon and the juicy blueberries make for a delicious snack any time of day.

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Paleo French Apple Custard Cake

Paleo French Apple Custard Cake

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The first time I ever had French Apple Custard Cake was actually in France!  Several years ago while in Paris our hotel served a delicious one for breakfast!  This wonderful cake was moist and more like a custard type of cake than a coffee cake, which is often a bit drier.  But, oh this cake was divine and I had to come up with a recipe for it.  After much searching through cook books, magazines and the internet, I finally came up with something VERY close to the French Apple Custard Cake I had in Paris for breakfast!! (Eventually I served it as a dessert, too.  It seemed a little too decadent for breakfast back at home….somehow on holiday in France it seems acceptable to have a sliver of French Apple Custard Cake for breakfast!)   😉

So that was a few years back and since January 5, 2015, I have given up sugar, dairy, grains and anything artificial in my diet (and lost 22 pounds in doing so!) This recipe was no longer working for me.  🙁 Continue reading

Very Banana Very Blueberry Smoothie

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Very Banana Very Blueberry Smoothie

Oh this is so refreshing and a great way to start your day! A very banana very blueberry smoothie has only a few ingredients, whipped up in a blender and you’re good to go! A mix of fresh and frozen bananas and blueberries makes this frothy and fresh.  A few blackberries might be nice too, as long as they are not too tart.  You want this to be sweet, but naturally sweet from the bananas, mainly. Continue reading