101 Best Paleo Diet Recipes

Like anyone else, we like searching for the best Paleo diet recipes we can find. While there are some limitations and restricted foods on the diet, I think it really is less of a diet than a lifestyle. As you’ll see below, there are tons of great meals and recipes you can make when on the Paleo diet, so much so that you won’t feel like you’re on a diet at all.

 

Best Paleo Diet Recipes

 

Breakfast Recipes

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Is Almond Milk Paleo?

Walking through the dairy aisle at your grocery store, you see so many different brands and types of milk products. And as you go through the different kinds of milk, you may wonder is almond milk Paleo?

This beverage could cause some confusion since the word ‘milk’ is used in the title. The traditional Paleo diet does not allow for dairy products likes cheese, yogurt or cows milk. The reason being that the Paleolithic people lived in a time before modern agriculture. So they would not have raised cows or goats with which to harvest milk and then in turn make cheese or yogurt with.

But you know what, while cow’s milk and goat’s milk are not included in the Paleo list of allowed foods, Almond milk is actually Paleo.

Why Almond Milk is Pale

So how does almond milk fall in the Paleo diet?

First, let’s find out what exactly almond milk is. Almond milk is created by soaking raw almonds in water until the almonds are soft and you’ve extracted the almond flavor into the water. This process turns the water white, creating a milky look and texture to it. This is where the beverage got its name.

So in reality, almond milk isn’t really milk like cow’s milk or goat’s milk is. Instead it is called ‘milk’ because of the appearance it takes when you’ve extracted the almond flavor from the nut. In short, the core ingredients of almond milk is the raw almonds (no salt or seasoning) and water.

This makes almond milk Paleo!

Some Clarification Needed

This is exciting for those of you looking for something to replace your beloved cows milk with. But before you add almond milk to your grocery list, there’s something else to consider.

You need to ask yourself what about the almond milk you buy in the grocery store? Is that Paleo?

Sadly, the store bought almond milk is often not Paleo. Many brands include flavorings, sweeteners, and added chemicals. They also often don’t contain the nutritional value that homemade almond milk does.

Most store bought almond milk are sweetened which means they have added sugar and more calories. There are some that are unsweetened but even those have been fortified by vitamins, calcium carbonate and other ingredient that were processed into the milk. All of which were not available before all the modern machinery and processing was available.

So if we are to be strict about things, most commercially packed almond milk is technically not Paleo. There a few, though limited, natural almond milk in store shelves that are Paleo however.

What to Do?

Homemaking your almond milk is your best option. And the process is very simple. You’ll want to take the time to be sure you purchase quality raw, and preferably organic almonds. There are many recipes out there that you can choose from. Many will give you the option to add sweeteners (natural) if you choose, like honey or stevia.

So you’ve decided to commit to the Paleo diet and you’ve determined that making your own almond milk is the best choice. Should you now be drinking almond milk day and night?

The truth is although almonds are great for you, they have fiber, vitamins, and monounsaturated (the good fat), they are still loaded with fat. So if you’re on the Paleo diet, or thinking of starting the Paleo diet in order to lose weight, you’ll want to practice moderation when drinking almond milk.

Conclusion

In conclusion, almond milk is definitely Paleo when made at home with simply raw almonds and water. When it comes to commercially available almond milk, chances are they are not Paleo though a limited few are. The key with almond milk is enjoy it, but make sure to do so in moderation.

For more Paleo friendly meals and tasty recipes, check out the Paleo Recipe Book.

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Are Cashews Paleo?

You’re sitting down on the couch watching your favorite show and open up a bag of cashew nuts. Then you think to yourself, oh wait, are cashews Paleo?

Nuts are one of the well known, quintessential foods to be eaten while on the Paleo diet, along with meat and vegetables. So as you reach for your favorite crescent shaped snack, you may not even stop to consider if they are truly Paleo.

Although cashews are often categorized as nuts, the truth is, they are not technically a nut! So to answer the question, ‘are cashews Paleo’, let’s first find out what exactly a cashew is.

A Closer Look at the Cashew

Cashews are harvested from the cashew apple which is actually a fruit. Therefore, cashews are considered a seed. The good news is, whether seed, or nut, cashews are commonly considered safe to eat on the Paleo diet!

Nut or seed, cashews are often categorized as a nut in most food journals. They are bunched together with other nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans and pistachios, all of which fall under inside the approved Paleo food list.

So this is good news if you love eating this crunchy and delicious snack item, since you can continue to enjoy it even on the Paleo diet.

Health Benefits of Cashews

While they’re considered often as snacks, cashews are in fact, very nutritional. They are loaded with magnesium and zinc. They’re also low glycemic and contain monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is a healthy fat that can be very beneficial to your heart. This is why nuts are often recommended as snacks because they contain a good amount of good fats.

Caution with Nuts

With all the good that cashews can provide, there are some cautions you should take when eating them. Cashews are very decadent, like macadamia nuts, so they’re easy to overeat. Although they have less fat then other nuts, if you’re trying to lose weight, you should still consider limiting your consumption.

One of the things about nuts is that they’re very addictive. Once you eat one or two kernels of cashew nuts, you more than likely to keep eating more until you’ve finished the whole pack. So it’s important to be aware of how much you’ve eaten and to stop yourself.

Eat in Moderation

Cashews are also high in phytic acid which is commonly known to be present in grains and legumes. Avoiding phytic acid is one of the principles of the Paleo diet because phytic acid is known to decrease mineral absorption. So you want to take caution when eating cashews that you do so in moderation.

The FDA acknowledges that nuts are an important part of a healthy diet. They recommend a daily intake of around 1.5 ounces of nuts daily or on many days of the week for heart health. One and a half ounces comes to about 24 to 27 cashews.

If you’re watching your weight or looking to shed some pounds, try limiting the amount of nuts to 1 oz. since for the amount you eat they are high on calories.

Enjoying and Choosing Cashews

With an eye on moderation, cashews can be enjoyed in many ways. They are excellent as a mid-morning or afternoon snack. You can even search for whole meal recipes that include cashews like cashew chicken. If you want a real treat, make your own cashew butter.

When purchasing your cashews be sure to go with organic and raw. Avoid cashews with salt or other seasonings to keep as closely to the Paleo diet as possible. As a note, cashews cannot be bought in the shell like walnuts or other nuts from the grocery store. Their shells are lined with a resign that is dangerous to consume and must be removed before put on the shelf to sell.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, cashews definitely get a thumbs up when you’re eating Paleo. So the next time you go visit the grocery store, aim to buy good, quality, organic cashews and eat with moderation.

If you’re looking for some Paleo approved recipes that have been taste tested, take a look at these cookbooks, The Paleo Recipe Book and the Paleo Hacks Cookbook reviews.

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Is Hummus Paleo or Not?

Is Hummus Paleo or not? Unfortunately, if hummus is a regular part of your diet, you’ll have to learn to do without it since it isn’t included in the Paleo food list. Hummus is known to be a healthy dish. It is low in calories, provides us with a plant-based source of protein, is high in fiber and good fats.

But while on Paleo, skipping this food is needed if you want to adhere to the rules. Because of that, you’ll need to find some other healthy snack alternative to hummus.

Why Hummus is Not Paleo

Hummus is a paste or spread whose main ingredients are chickpeas and sesame seeds. Olive oil, garlic and lemon are used to blend the chickpeas and sesame seeds into the soft paste.

So why isn’t hummus Paleo? It is not part of the Paleo diet for a few reasons. First of all, it is a legume. Legumes are part of the foods that aren’t allowed on Paleo. Actually, chickpeas aren’t even peas. In fact they’re really beans. This is why chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans.

And since legumes aren’t allowed on the Paleo diet, it also follows that foods that use beans as part of their ingredients, like in the case of hummus (which is made from chickpeas), aren’t part of the diet either.

Following the Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is considered one of the best diets around. I know that it can be overwhelming to figure things out with a lot of diets that are out now, because each diet seems to have their own version. The thing is, most diets work for some people and not all diets are created equal.

One of the good things about the Paleo diet is it strips out the processed foods and those that have additives in them. It has also become very popular in recent years because of how effectively it helps people lose weight while on it. In fact, many swear that it gets them into the “best shape of their life.”

The diet consists of natural ingredients that our ancestors ate which was way before process food came into the picture. These days, you see process foods that exist in many locations particularly when going grocery shopping at grocery stores or supermarket locations.

Also, fresh fruits and vegetables are highly valued, as well as lean meat products. These are foods our our ancestors would consume in their daily diet. If you think about it, the guys would chase after the animals for meat while the ladies are at home preparing the food. If they have kids, that’s the kind of food that they eat at home because it’s what they have at the moment.

On top of that, there was no fridge and freezer back them to keep the food fresh or frozen before their next meal so they have to either hurry up and eat or share with it with other people while the food is still fresh.

Making Hummus that’s Paleo Friendly

If you really like hummus, there are ways to make hummus that follows the Paleo diet. To do so, you’ll need to substitute the chickpeas (garbanzo beans) with another food that in the approved food list.

Some alternative ingredients to use in place of chickpeas are eggplant, zucchini or cauliflower. Beans are considered legumes which is why it’s not a part of the Paleo diet. You can still use the rest of the other ingredients that are traditionally used to make hummus, like lemon juice, sesame oil, black pepper, garlic, since they are Paleo friendly.

Staying on Track

While foods like hummus may not be allowed on the diet, one of the great thing about Paleo is that there are other alternatives you can use to replace that one ingredient, in this case chickpea, and still be able to enjoy the food that’s very similar to the original.

If you’re looking for new and delicious Paleo recipes to try out or add to your current collection, here are a couple of our favorite cookbooks:

 

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Is Quinoa Paleo Friendly?

Quinoa has been recommended by health and weight loss experts because of its benefits. But is quinoa Paleo?

Healthy Benefits of Quinoa

Quinoa does have its place on being healthy on some level. On the other hand, some people can’t handle it due to the digestive problem it causes even though it’s gluten-free. If you are super sensitive to gluten, Quinoa is better than the other wheat alternatives.

It is however, high on carbohydrates so it’s recommended to avoid it if you want to lose weight. It is high on protein and an excellent non-animal based protein source.

But when it all comes down to things, quinoa is not part of the Paleo diet.

Why Quinoa is Not Paleo

Quinoa, while it does look like a grain and is often considered by many as a grain, is really seed. Many health followers often use it as a better substitute to grain products, similar to buckwheat and amaranth.

But seeds are considered Paleo so why not Quinoa.

The issue with quinoa has to do with the potential digestive issues it causes. It also contains anti-nutrients which have been known to cause health issues. One example is irritation of the intestines. The effects it causes to the immune system can cause it to trigger auto-immune problems if you have that issue.

While quinoa is better than grains, it still doesn’t make the healthy goal of Paleo, so it is not an approved food under the diet.

Grains and Pseudo-Grains

Grain products are looked upon as a “sabotage on healthy lifestyle” because of the side effects that it causes such as weight gain and digestive problem comes along with it. This is one of the reasons why quinoa, which is a pseudo-grain, is considered a “no no” for a strict following fan of being on the Paleo diet.

Besides, there are healthier alternatives that can replace quinoa for more protein and are low on carbs. Fresh fruits and vegetables are used within the diet. Frozen ones are just as good as fresh if you are on a budget or that’s what you have with you.

Since you can’t use quinoa, the alternative ingredients are even better for you in the long run. If you eliminate grain from your diet, not only will you feel and look better but all that excess energy will help you to get and stay in such great shape. Lean sources of protein can come from seeds, nuts and certain animals such as chicken, turkey and eggs. Avoid high fat protein sources such as beef and pork which is due to high content of fat that certain body part of theirs have in comparison to their counterparts of chicken and turkey.

Alternatives to Quinoa

While not part of a Paleo diet, for those curious about quinoa here are some notes. If you want to eat quinoa, do not forget to wash the outside area because that’s where the wheat part is.

Quinoa can be used in place of rice, potato, pasta and noodle. If you are very strict and are conservative by being on the Paleo diet, avoid quinoa.

In place of quinoa, you can use squash, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and eggplants. Not only are they delicious but healthy as well if you mix it with the right herbs and spices to make them taste great. All thanks to books and the internet, we can eat healthy on a budget as well.

Eating for the Long Haul

If you can live without quinoa and wheat products, you are on your way to stick with the Paleo diet for the long haul. The goal of avoiding foods like grains is that our body, how we feel, and even our skin will reflect how we eat. The healthier we eat the better our health and bodies will be. It will also help cleanse out our system from toxins and chemicals we’ve gotten so used to eating from commercially based products.

For more food choices and recipes, check out the Paleo Hacks Recipes Collection and the Paleo Recipe Book.

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Is Stevia Paleo Approved?

Many people often ask about stevia when striving to attain a fully-paleo diet. But is stevia paleo? The answer isn’t exactly so cut and dry here’s why.

If you are referring to the raw, unaltered, pure stevia leaf itself — then yes, stevia is Paleo. If you’re referring to the multitude of products that are available in the grocery store that bill themselves out as “stevia,” then the answer is likely the opposite.

What’s Wrong with Grocery Store Bought Stevia

If you’re trying to find a low-glycemic or Paleo version of a sweetener, stevia can be an excellent choice. Unfortunately, many times, the stevia that you will find at the grocery store will end up being loaded up with other subtle sweeteners and chemicals that themselves are not Paleo. You might find powdered stevia sweeteners containing fillers like glucose and other non-Paleo ingredients.

This is one of the most common issues when trying to eat Paleo. There are a number of foods and ingredients that in their natural forms are Paleo-friendly. One example is stevia, the leaf. Another is almond milk.

However, because manufacturers of commercially made stevia try to enhance flavor and other things, more often than not they end up adding a lot of other unnatural ingredients that make Paleo approved foods like almond milk and stevia become non-Paleo foods. When this happens, their correspnding commercial products don’t belong in the Paleo diet anymore.

This is why it’s important to check products like store bought stevia before putting them in your grocery cart. The list of ingredients will quickly tell you if there are added sweeteners or other artificial flavors added.

Enjoying this Natural Sweetener

To stay within the guidelines of the Paleo diet, you can use the natural stevia, in its green leafy form. If you do decide to use a pure, unadulterated version of stevia in your next cup of tea or baked dish, consider that a little bit goes a long way.

Stevia is a very potent sweetener, up to 300 times as sweet as sugar. So there’s no need to use so much of it. The other good thing about stevia is that is has almost no calories, which makes it good for weight loss.

Some Precautions

Even if stevia in it’s purest form can rightly be called Paleo, there is some cause for concern that it can still be harmful for the body. Some scientific studies have shown that it can act as a mutagen and could potentially increase the risk for cancer.

Before you get scared away from stevia, do understand that these studies were run in animals and so far there have been no evidence of the same effects in humans. The animal subjects were also given high doses of stevia that people aren’t likely to take.

So far, stevia has shown a good safety profile when it comes to the tests done in humans. And it is believed that one to two teaspoons a day on your beverages or food will not be harmful.

Another important factor to consider when deciding if stevia is right for your Paleo diet is to consider why you are Paleo. If your reason is because you are trying to stay in the most optimum personal health or due to an auto-immune disease that you have, then you might want to consider staying away from stevia and generally anything that can have an effect on your hormone levels.

Other Alternatives to Stevia

Perhaps, some of the potential downsides to stevia sound burdening to you and you’d like to find a sweetener that doesn’t have some of these effects.

Stevia is one of the common sweeteners that’s been used to substitute for sugar. However there are other sweeteners you can use too like honey. Another option, though less well known, is to consider Monk Fruit, which itself is also quite sweet.

Chinese food science suggests eating Monk Fruit for it’s storied ability to curb weight gain and potentially even treat diabetes. Just like stevia, Monk Fruit can come in a powdered form that often contains many non-Paleo ingredients. Or, if you are able to source the real plant’s leaves or extract, you’ll find another Paleo option that may agree with your body’s other biological needs.

Conclusion

Stevia in its natural green leaf form belongs in the Paleo food list. However, commercial stevia, that have additives and other ingredients processed into them are not Paleo. In its natural form, you can use it as a sweetener while on paleo in place of sugar.

To find more Paleo foods and recipes, we recommend on taking a look at the Paleo Recipes Book.

Some of our favorite Paleo resources

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