Paleo

Paleo Ranch Dressing

This is one of my favorite dressings to make and have in the fridge for anytime use. I use it on salads, for vegetable dip, on wings, etc. Whatever you can think to use a ranch dressing on! (which, let's face it, can be pretty much anything 😉)


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk ( I use the canned full-fat coconut milk and whisk together the coconut cream/water and then use a half cup of that mixture)
  • 1/2 cup of homemade or avocado mayo - I use Sir Kensington’s brand but I’ve been seeing other brands use avocado oil as well!
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed or finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of dried or fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1-2 pinches of sea salt or to taste preference

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or jar that you’ll use to store the dressing.
  • Stir until well combined and that’s it!
  • Store in the fridge - it will also thicken once it has sat in the fridge for a couple hours.

Notes

I like my ranch really garlicky, the fresh cloves of garlic definitely give it an extra kick. If you’re not as big of a fan of garlic you can go a little easier or even just use the garlic powder instead, for a milder flavor.

If you’ve never bought canned, full-fat coconut milk you may be confused on what I’m talking about. When you open the can, you’ll see that the coconut cream has separated from the water and will be on top. Scoop the cream out into a medium sized bowl and then pour the water in after that. I use a whisk to thoroughly incorporate the water with the cream. That’s it! You can save the left over coconut cream mixture in a small jar, stored in the fridge and use as a “whip cream” for desserts if you’d like or save it to make more Ranch later on!

 

Italian Meatballs - Paleo, AIP, Whole 30

Meatballs are one of my favorite quick foods to batch cook for meals or snacks throughout the week. You can easily reheat them in bone broth, slice them up over a salad, pair with other prepped veggies or just eat plain as a snack, yum!

Equipment Needed

  • Baking sheet
  • Mixing bowl
  • Parchment paper (optional)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 lb pastured ground pork
  • 2 small-medium shallots finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely diced or put through a garlic press
  • 1 pasture raised egg
  • 2 tablespoons of almond flour (Optional. Omit for AIP)
  • 1-2 tsp fresh ground fennel seed (Omit for AIP)
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 and get your baking sheet ready. If you're using parchment paper, line your baking sheet with this now.
  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and prepare to get down and dirty!
  • I like to remove all my rings, wash my hands well and combine all ingredients by hand. If you have rubber gloves on hand and prefer to wear those, go right ahead.
  • Once everything is well incorporated, start to form your meatballs.   Pack them tightly between your hands and roll them around your palms to make them more even. You can make them any size you'd like but I usually go with a medium to larger size. 
  • Place meatballs on your baking sheet, leaving a half inch to an inch of space between each.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until is cooked through. Enjoy!

Lemon Cherry Gelatin Gummies

Give your gut a tasty treat AND a some healing love with these lemon cherry gummies. They're simple to make, full of gut healing collagen and great for kids too!

Equipment Needed

  • Blender
  • Small saucepan
  • Gummy molds or small dish

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tart frozen cherries (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup grass-fed gelatin (I use this)
  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey

Instructions

  • Combine cherries, lemon juice and water in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Add cherry mixture to a small saucepan and turn on medium-low heat.
  • Add honey and then slowly sprinkle gelatin into the gummy mixture.
  • Whisk thoroughly for 5-10 minutes over a medium-low heat, do not let it come to a boil. 
  • When it's done, it will form a slightly thicker consistency, but don't be concerned if it doesn't seem as thick as you expect it to be. From here you can either pour your sauce into gummy molds or into a small dish to be cut into squares later.
  • Place in the fridge for at least an hour to fully set but enjoy shortly after that!

*Store gummies in the fridge, they should keep for about a week or so. They can be transported at room temperature for a few hours but they will lose form and get softer as they get warmer.

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How to Make Homemade Bone Broth (2 Ways)

Equipment Needed

  • Slow-Cook/Crock Pot or Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) - at least 6 quarts
  • Mesh strainer
  • Large bowl or large measuring cup (preferably with spout)

Ingredients

  • About 2lbs of bones - try to use a variety of different bones such as chicken backs, necks, gizzards, feet or jointy bones (leg, thigh, wing bones, etc.)***
  • Filtered water - enough to just cover the bones
  • 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, roughly chopped (optional)**
  • 1 yellow onion or shallot, roughly chopped (optional)**
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (optional)**

Instructions - CrockPot

  • Place bones, veggies and apple cider vinegar in your crock-pot and fill with filtered water, just enough to cover the bones.
  • Cover and turn on high heat for 3-4 hours then switch to low heat. If you're not going to be home to switch it after 3-4 hours just start and keep it on the low setting.
  • Keep on low for 24-48 hours, stir bones a couple times throughout if you'd like. (I've found that with my crock-pot batches, 24-28 hours seems to be the sweet spot, richest flavor and more gelatinous).
  • Once you've hit AT LEAST the 24 hour mark, turn off and let cool. Sometime I let it cool for about an hour before handling it.
  • Using a fine mesh strainer, strainer your broth into another large bowl. You may need to do this in batches. A large bowl or large measuring cup that has a spout will make pouring your broth into containers easier! DO NOT THROW OUT YOUR BONES YET!
  • Store your broth in mason jars, freezer safe containers or portion into silicone ice cube trays.
  • Return your bones to the crock pot and REPEAT the above steps. Yes you can get TWO bathes out of the bones!! Many people skip this step and only do one. The second batch will not be as rich as the first but it will still have good nutrition and flavor (usually a little weaker). I will often use my second batch as the base for soups and stews.

Instructions - Instant Pot

  • Place bones, veggies and apple cider vinegar in your Instant Pot insert.
  • Fill with filtered water, just enough to cover the bones, about 1 inch below the max fill line usually.
  • Seal the lid on your Instant Pot and make sure your release valve is turned to sealing position.
  • Select the "Soup" setting, make sure it's on high pressure, and adjust the time to at least 90 minutes (I usually do 120 minutes)
  • Once it has come to pressure, it will start counting down from 120 minutes.
  • Once 120 minutes is complete, your Instant Pot will switch to the Keep Warm/Off function and start counting up from when it has finished. I usually let the pressure naturally release in the "Keep Warm" setting. This can take about 20 minutes or so. You'll know all the pressure has released once the small sliver float valve next to the release valve has dropped. The lid will then be unlocked and you'll be able to open your Instant Pot to see your liquid gold!
  • Using a fine mesh strainer, strainer your broth into another large bowl. You may need to do this in batches. A large bowl or large measuring cup that has a spout will make pouring your broth into containers easier! DO NOT THROW OUT YOUR BONES YET!
  • Store your broth in mason jars, freezer safe containers or portion into silicone ice cube trays.
  • Return your bones to the Instant Pot and REPEAT the above steps. Yes you can get TWO bathes out of the bones!! Many people skip this step and only do one. The second batch will not be as rich as the first but it will still have good nutrition and flavor (usually a little weaker). I will often use my second batch as the base for soups and stews.

Uses for Bone Broth

  • Breakfast Soup - I usually add eggs, some fresh herbs, veggies or sausage for a really nourishing breakfast!
  • Base of soups and stews
  • Enjoy a mug or bowl totally plain, I usually season with a little Himalayan Sea Salt 
  • Base of sauces, glazes, marinades, etc.
  • Cooking liquid for roasted meats

Special Notes

***I like to use a combination of bones that have some meat on them still, like what you find with chicken backs, and bones that are pretty cleaned off. I save ALL bones from meats I cook. Simply rinse them off and throw them in a container or bag in the freezer. Certain health food stores will typically keep chicken backs, feet, etc. in the freezer or you can make friends with a local farmer for bones! High quality bones are key to making a high quality, nutrient dense bone broth! I suggest using local, pastured poultry or beef bones as your first choice and organic as your second choice.

** A lot of times I don't even bother with the additional veggies if I'm trying to just get a batch going real quick. I also like to leave it plain sometimes because then I can use it in soups or stews and season it how I like from there.

*I don't skim anything off of my broth when it's finished. I don't find it's necessary if you're using high quality bones. You'll notice that the fat separates to the top of the broth pretty quickly, especially after it has cooled and solidified in the fridge. If you know you have difficulty breaking down fats you can remove this fat. Sometimes I will also remove it and save it in a separate jar to use for cooking fat. Sometimes you broth will "gel" and sometimes it won't. This is completely normal! Usually my first batch gels really well (it will be totally gelatinous) but my second batch with the same bones will not. You're still getting lots of nutrients don't worry!

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Butternut Squash & Ginger Soup

Equipment Needed

  • Large pot - 5-6L
  • Immersion blender or regular blender
  • Large knife

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of bone broth
  • 1 cup of  full fat coconut milk
  • 1 medium-large squash
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 - 3 inches of fresh ginger, diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil - coconut oil or bacon fat

Optional Ingredients

  • Nuts or seeds for garnish
  • Diced bacon for garnish

Instructions

  • Peel and cut your butternut squash into medium sized cubes. If you need instruction on how to go about cutting a butternut squash, check out this video. I like to wear rubber gloves when I mess with butternut squash because it always leaves this ridiculously sticky residue on your hands that just won't come off! (Anyone else know what I'm talking about? It's the worst!)
  • You can do two things with your butternut squash, you can roast it before hand or you can just allow it to cook right in the soup. If you're going to roast it, I recommend tossing it with a little coconut oil, salt and pepper and roasting on a baking sheet for about 20-30 minutes at 375. Otherwise, just set aside until you're ready to add to your broth.
  • In a large pot, melt 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil of your choice over medium heat. Add diced shallots, a pinch of salt and pepper and saute for 5-7 minutes until tender and translucent.
  • Add diced garlic and saute for another couple of minutes.
  • Next add the bone broth, coconut milk, butternut squash (roasted or raw), ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and sea salt/black pepper to taste. and bring to a light simmer.
  • Cover and let simmer for just a little bit, maybe 20 minutes or so if your butternut squash needs to cook through.
  • If you're using a regular blender, I like to let my soup cool a little bit and you will DEFINITELY want to blend in small batches. Don't make the mistake I've made before which was to pour almost my entire batch of HOT soup into my blender, crank it on high and watch it explode all over my walls, window and ceiling...
  • If you're using an immersion blender (highly recommended! They're just so easy and useful), you can start blending your soup right away. Blend until smooth and no more chunks remain. 
  • Sometimes after I've blended my soup, I cook it a little longer to let the flavors really soak in but this isn't a necessary step.
  • Serve with a swirl of full-fat coconut milk, walnuts, pumpkin seeds or diced bacon!
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Apple Cranberry & Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Equipment Needed

  • Frying pan
  • Baking Dish
  • Large knife

Ingredients

*Serves 2 - double the recipe for additional servings

  • 1 medium-large acorn squash
  • 1/2 lb of sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup of cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of peeled, diced apples
  • 2 Tablespoons of diced fresh or dried sage
  • 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil or ghee
  • Maple syrup for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Cooking the Acorn Squash

  • Preheat your oven to 350.
  • Carefully cut the stem and bottom off the acorn squash, trying to cut as little as possible. I do this so it can lay evenly on a plate when serving.
  • Cut your acorn squash in half (through the middle width wise, not length wise) and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
  • Fill your baking dish with about a 1/2 inch of water and lay your acorn squash "bowl side" down in the dish. I like the addition of water to the dish because it helps cook the squash by steaming and also prevents it from becoming to dry!
  • Place your acorn squash on the middle rack in the oven. Set a timer (or note the time) and check your squash in about 20 minutes.

Stuffing Mixture

  • While your squash is cooking, melt coconut oil in a frying pan on medium-low heat.
  • If the Italian sausage you're using comes in a casing, use your hands to squeeze all of the sausage out of it's casing, it should come out fairly easily. Yes it's kind of gross and weird feeling, don't be afraid to get your hands dirty! 
  • Add your sausage, sage and cranberries to the frying pan. Break the sausage up into smaller pieces as it cooks using a spatula or wooden spoon and stir mixture every couple minutes.
  • After about 5-7 minutes, your sausage should almost be cooked through. At this time you can mix in your diced apples and let those cook for just a few minutes. I like them to be a little crunchy still and not to mushy.
  • Switch your heat to very low so your sausage mixture won't over cook but will stay warm until the acorn squash is ready.
  • To see if my acorn squash is done, I poke it with a knife. If it goes through easily, it's ready. If it still feels a little hard I let it go a little longer and then test it again.
  • Once it's ready, take it out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • After a few minutes, carefully flip your acorn squash and place on a plate or in a bowl. You can then add your sausage mixture and garnish with maple syrup, pumpkin seeds, walnuts or whatever else you think would be tasty!
  • The acorn squash will probably overflow with sausage mixture which is fine, you'll want more to balance out the squash as you get into eating it!
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Please comment if you enjoyed this recipe, made some fun changes or if something didn't work for you! I'd love to hear your feedback :)

Slow Cooker Paleo Applesauce

Equipment Needed

  • Slowcooker or CrockPot
  • Sharp knife
  • Apple corer (if you have one, not necessary though)
  • Vegetable/fruit peeler

Ingredients

  • 12-14 medium apples
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of water

Instructions

  • Using your veggie peeler, roughly peel the skin off your apples. I personally don't mind if there is a little bit of skin in my apple sauce but you may choose to remove it completely.
  • If you're using an apple corer, remove the core and then roughly chop your apples into medium sized chunks. (Again, its a personal preference to have my apple sauce slightly chunkier, if you like it to be really fine, simply cut your apples into much smaller pieces.)
  • If you're not using an apple corer, I like to remove the core by cutting the apple into quarters, slicing alongside the core, all the way through the apple so you're left with a box shaped core. If you start cutting about 1/2 -3/4 of an inch away from the center of your apple you should slice right along the outside of the core. (Sometimes you do go through some of the core.) I carefully remove any pieces of apple core that might have been included in my quarters. I like this method because it's a bit quicker in my opinion and I don't have to manhandle my apple slices as much to remove the core.
  • Once all your apples have been peeled, cored, and roughly chopped, place into your slow cooker or CrockPot, with your spices and water. Stir until the spices are combined
  • Turn your slow cooker or CrockPot on low and let cook for about 3 hours, stirring a couple times throughout. Some chunks should remain but for the most part it will be very saucey!
  • Store in glass jars in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer to enjoy for many months to come! ( Make sure you do not overfill your jars if storing in the freezer as the sauce will expand some while freezing)

 

  • Tip: I like to eat my applesauce with a little bit of full-fat coconut milk and shredded coconut drizzled on top, so good and one of my favorite desserts!
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Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk

Equipment Needed

  • Blender
  • Medium sized bowl
  • Cheesecloth or nut milk bag
  • Glass jar to store milk

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups of raw almonds, soaked overnight
  • 4.5 cups of filtered water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Variations/ Additions

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom
  • 2 dates or 1/2 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup for a sweeter milk

Instructions

  • Place your almonds in a medium to large sized bowl or large mason jar and cover with water filtered water. Let soak for at least 12 hours.
  • After 12 hours rinse your soaked almonds well, place in your high powered blender or Vitamix and add your 4.5 cups of filtered water.
  • Blend for several minutes until mixture is smooth and creamy. (Make sure that your blender is not to full when begin as it will expand in volume slightly as you blend).
  • Drain you almond milk through a cheese cloth or nut milk bag into a large bowl or mason jar. You may need to do this in a few batches if your bag isn't big enough. Be sure to thoroughly squeeze all of the milk out.   
  • Reserve your almond pulp as you can use this after to make homemade almond flour!
  • Place the almond milk back into your blender, add your sea salt, vanilla and optional ingredients such as spices or sweetener. Blend to incorporate. 
  • Pour back into your glass jar or pitcher and store in the fridge. The almond milk should stay delicious and fresh for up to one week.

Almond Flour

  • Spread out your saved almond pulp onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and dehydrate in the oven on the lowest setting until completely dry. This will usually take at least 3-4 hours. It's very important that it be completely dry so that no mold forms on the flour!
  • After the almond flour is completely dry, run it through your blender or food processor until it's a reached a fine consistency.
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Paleo Shrimp Scampi

Equipment Needed

  • Baking pan or baking dish 
  • Frying pan 
  • Cutting board 
  • Knife
  • Hand juicer (optional)

Ingredients 

  • 1 spaghetti squash 
  • Italian Seasoning 
  • 1-2 shallots, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • Juice of half a lemon (if you don't have a juicer, slice lemon into wedges and squeeze juice into pan that way) 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or butter 
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, thawed if previously frozen and deveined/detailed 

Variations/Additions

  • Shiittake mushrooms
  • Broccoli 
  • Brussels sprouts 
  • Asparagus 
  • Bacon 
  • Diced spinach 
  • Fresh basil 

Instructions

Makes 2-4 servings

Pre-heat oven to 375

  • Cut spaghetti squash in half and spoon out the seeds. 
  • Place in your baking dish or pan, inside up, brush with a little bit of ghee, butter or coconut oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.  
  • Bake for about an hour at 375. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before scraping out your spaghetti. (You can also microwave spaghetti squash to cook it a lot faster. Check out Nom Nom Paleo for detailed instructions on how to do this.) 
  • Add coconut oil and diced shallots to your frying pan and sauté on a medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. 
  • Add diced garlic to shallots and saute for another 3 minutes. If your adding vegetables to your scampi (or just doing a vegetable scampi) add them at this stage. 
  • Next add your butter, lemon juice and shrimp. (Sometimes I chop my shrimp so it's in bite sized pieces.)
  • Saute for about 5 minutes until shrimp are cooked through and then add your "spaghetti". 
  • Mix everything together thoroughly and allow to cook a few minutes longer, so all of the flavors really soak into the "spaghetti".  
  • Top with fresh basil (optional) and dig in! 
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How to Simply Bake Chicken or Turkey

Equipment

  • Glass baking dish 
  • Baster 

Ingredients 

  • Chicken or turkey (Choose from legs, thighs, drumsticks, wings, or skin-on breasts) 
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
  • 1/4 bone broth (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon sage powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt 

Optional Ingredients 

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 

  • Place your desired cut of chicken or turkey in your baking dish, skin side up. 
  • Pour your apple cider vinegar and bone broth (and/or additional ingredients coconut aminos and maple syrup) over the poultry and add your coconut oil or ghee to the dish. 
  • In a seperate small bowl, mix together your spices and sea salt. 
  • Sprinkle your mixture evenly over the poultry. 
  • Place in the oven and bake on the middle rack for about 45-60 minutes, basting a couple of times throughout the cooking process. (If you do not have a baster, I suggest flipping each piece about 20 minutes after its been in and then again 20 minutes after that. I've done this many times while baster-less and it still comes out amazing!) 
  • Depending on how thick your cut of poultry is, it may take shorter or longer. Poultry should have an internal temperature of about 165, so if you have a meat thermometer handy, insert it into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone to get an accurate reading.  

Notes 

You could easily make this a one-dish meal by adding some veggies to roast alongside the meat. I've tried cauliflower, broccoli, beets, carrots and Brussels sprouts before and have never been disappointed!

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Herb Roasted Root Veggies

Equipment Needed

  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • 13 x 9 baking dish

Ingredients

  • 3 medium parsnips 
  • 3 small-medium beets 
  • 4-5 carrots 
  • 1/2 tablespoon sage powder 
  • 1-2 teaspoons ginger powder 
  • Couple sprigs of fresh rosemary or 1/2 tablespoon rosemary powder 
  • 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt 
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee 

Variation 

  • Add diced pecans, walnuts or almonds  

Instructions

Makes 4-6 servings

Pre-heat oven to 375

  • Begin by washing your parsnips, beets and carrots. If you're buying non-local or conventional veggies, wash your produce very well and peel before using. If you're growing your own or buying locally, I would just rinse them. It's totally up to you if you choose to peel them or not. 
  • First cut the ends off of your parsnips and carrots. Then cut them in half. They should still be whole, just shorter in length now to make dicing easier. 
  • Next slice your veggies in half lengthwise down the middle and then again, lengthwise, so you're left with what looks like parsnip "sticks". (If you wanted to roast them like this you totally could. I just prefer them diced in smaller bite sized chunks.) 
  • I then like to line up 3-4 "sticks" at a time and dice them 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick. Place all of your diced carrots and parsnips in your baking dish. 
  • Now its time for the beets. Slice the ends off of your beets to begin. 
  •  Cut your beet into 1/2 inch thick slices and then cut into beet "sticks". 
  • Once you have your beet "sticks", dice into chunks of your desired size. Place beets in your baking dish with carrots and parsnips. 
  • Sprinkle herbs and sea salt over the veggies and mix thoroughly. Place your coconut oil or ghee on top of veggies and place in the oven. 
  • After the coconut oil or ghee has had time to melt (usually a couple of minutes), I give the veggies another thorough stir to ensure the oil is distributed evenly. 
  • Cover with tin foil and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring a couple times throughout. I like to take the tin foil off for the last 10-15 minutes so the veggies crisp up just a little bit before finishing. Remove from oven and enjoy! 
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Plantain Chips

Plantain Chips

Chips are probably one of the best comfort food snacks out there, in my opinion.  What's much better than biting into a salty, crunchy chip or scooping up a heaping mound of guacamole at the end of the day? Forget everything you've ever known about traditional potato or corn chips (fried in unhealthy oils) and give these healthy plantain chips baked in coconut oil a try. As a long time self proclaimed chip fanatic, I made the switch and i'm not looking back.