These Swedish meatballs are not just nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, Autoimmune Protocol friendly, and Whole30 compliant; they are simple comfort food to the max! They have a load of hidden veggies, ground meat of your choice, and all of those delicious spices you've come to expect from a traditional recipe.
The answer (like to almost everything else in this world nowadays) is: CAULIFLOWER.
As we are sure you've heard, cauliflower is all the rage right now - making its debut as a stand-in for pizza crust, rice, and even in smoothies! This recipe takes advantage of nutrient-dense cauliflower's neutral flavor and texture profiles. It is pureed with gut-loving bone broth and other tasty veggies to make bonafide delicious Swedish gravy.
Cauliflower, garlic, leek, and celery are simmered on the stove with broth and lemon juice until tender, then pureed until smooth and velvety. The creamy look and texture come from cauliflower's white color.
This type of blender, also known as a stick blender, saves an extra step when making sauces, gravies, and soups. It gives you the advantage of pureeing your recipe directly in the container you cooked it in - rather than transferring batches between another bowl or an extra pot and a blender. And when you make most of your meals from scratch due to food intolerances or food allergies, every little step and every dirty dish adds up very quickly.
We've also found immersion blenders safer to use with hot recipes than a traditional or high-speed blender. This is because you don't have to go back and forth between a steaming pot and blender. You attach the immersion blender head to the motor, plug in the blende, and puree away!
Always wash your immersion head by hand (soaking it in warm water if necessary beforehand) as the heat from dishwasher appliances can melt the BPA-free plastic components and render the head un-attachable. (We learned this the hard way, as you can imagine!)
Personally, for this recipe, we love a half and half mixture of lean ground pork and chicken. Still, ground turkey will also do, as we know this is easier to come by in the grocery store versus the former.
Suppose you can find pastured poultry or pork - even better. Animals raised on a natural, grain-free, and pesticide-free diet carry not just a lower toxic load due to lack of exposure to pesticides in conventional feed, but they also have a better balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids ratio.
This means that the meat from these animals is anti-inflammatory rather than inflammatory. When choosing a diet that is right for your hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's, always consider that lowering inflammation is key to reducing the possibility of damage to the thyroid gland.
A good plan to start for a healthy thyroid is to eliminate grain and dairy from your diet. However, many people with an autoimmune condition like Hashimoto's thyroiditis may also choose to remove some or all of these other inflammatory foods:
To determine if these foods are a dietary trigger for you, an elimination diet like the autoimmune protocol (AIP) can help. The AIP diet temporarily eliminates all of the above (plus grains, pseudo-grains like quinoa, and dairy) and then slowly reintroduced each food group to test your food tolerance thresholds.
You can substitute nut-free tiger nut flour for the hemp hearts and still get a lovely nutty texture and flavor while keeping it AIP. Mace is an excellent swap for nutmeg as it has virtually the same aromatic flavor. Then add in ginger and cayenne (or horseradish powder for AIP) for an extra kick.
Simmer your meatballs in your low-carb, anti-inflammatory, and allergy-friendly gravy, and voila! Comforting, luscious, and satisfying Swedish Meatballs that go perfectly over raw zoodles, grated and sauteed white sweet potato, or your favorite grain-free pasta.
Spiced turkey meatballs in a creamy cauliflower & mushroom gravy full of veggies. Serve over grated and sauteed white sweet potato "noodles" for an authentic, hearty meal. To keep it on the low-carb side, serve over spiralized zucchini. Makes 4 servings.
See NF for nightshade-free substitutions.
See AIP for Paleo Autoimmune Protocol Substitutions.
2 Tb refined coconut oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 leek, white part, sliced and washed well
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups cauliflower rice (or finely chopped cauliflower)
1 cup bone broth, chicken
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
1/4 cup hemp hearts (AIP: sub tigernut flour)
1 Tb coconut flour
1/2 tsp ground allspice (AIP: sub ¼ tsp ground clove)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (AIP: sub ground mace)
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (NF: sub 1/2 tsp black pepper; AIP: sub horseradish powder)
1 lb ground turkey, chicken, or pork
8 oz baby portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
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