Bake Spaghetti Squash In the Oven: 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and halve squash lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard seeds from the middle of each half.
  • Arrange squash in a 9x13-inch casserole dish, cut sides down. Pour 1/2 cup water into the dish and bake until just tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Rake a fork back and forth across the squash to remove its flesh in strands

Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Microwave:

  • Place squash cut-sides-down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Fill the dish with about 1 inch of water.
  • Poke a few holes through the outside of the spaghetti squash
  • Microwave on high for about 10-12 minutes (depending on the size of the squash), or until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork. 
  • Let cool for about 15 minutes, or until squash is cool enough to handle.
  • With a fork, scrape out the spaghetti-like strands and prepare as desired.

Boil the Spaghetti Squash

  • Fill a large pot 2/3 full with water. Over high heat, bring to a low boil. ...
  • Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until soft to the touch. Slice, first horizontally, then scoop out the seeds and pulp.
  • Separate strands with a fork, and serve.

Is spaghetti squash supposed to be crunchy?

  • After you have separated the strands from the squash and the if the noodles are still a bit crunchy for your taste, continue to cook the spaghetti squash for a few more minutes. They should be pretty soft but with enough integrity to keep their form. 

Paleo Recipes with Spaghetti Squash

A recent study from Edith Cowan University has found the paleo diet to be more effective for weight loss than the Australian Dietary Guidelines (AGHE). The study included 39 healthy women, with half eating a paleo diet while the rest were assigned the AGHE diet over a four-week period.


As we know, the paleo diet is based mainly on foods presumed to be available to paleolithic humans, and generally includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, meat and organ meats, but excludes foods such as dairy products, processed foods, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils and alcohol.


The paleo group lost an average of 2 kg more over the period than the AGHE diet group. 

"While both groups lost weight over the period, the paleo group lost an average of 4.3% of their body weight over the testing period, compared to 1.6% for the AGHE group” -Lead researcher Angela Genoni said.

However, she urged caution about advocating a diet that cuts out entire food groups, highlighting the marked reduction in calcium intake from the paleo diet relative to the AGHE diet, due to the exclusion of all dairy products. She said this could have a negative impact on bone strength, particularly in older people.


So how do we get our calcium on the Paleo Diet? 

In regards to calcium intake, Dr. Loren Cordain, Founder of the Paleo Movement states “By replacing hard cheeses, cereal grains, and processed foods with plenty of green vegetables and fruits, the body comes back into acid/base balance which brings us also back into calcium balance”. He is not involved in this research, but we wanted to give you another perspective. 

Associate Professor Amanda Devine, who also contributed to this research, said that more research was needed to fully understand the health implications of the paleo diet. Devine said a further study was planned that would particularly focus on the impact of the paleo diet on gut health which has been a big concern to paleo eaters. 

thepaleodiet.com
Photo: By The-villages-onli... (Clips) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

BlackCoffeeWe've all tried almost everything to lose weight. Who would've ever thought to add butter to your coffee? According to the U.K.'s Daily Mail, "Butter Coffee" has become a new trend in U.K. cafe's. Many have claimed that adding butter to their coffee gives them the energy they need to stay focused, burn calories, and feeling full until lunchtime. I think we need more research before we could make that determination.  

This trend took momentum when U.S. entrepreneur, Dave Asprey, was inspired by the drink coined his own "Bullet-Proof Coffee with Butter". He claims that it will help you drop weight, gain energy and ward off chronic diseases. Asprey suggests organic coffee because he feels the toxins in regular coffee are what gives people the jitters. He also suggests using butter from grass-fed cows and organic coconut oil. Asprey believes with his "bullet-proof coffee" or versions of it, will start ketosis, the process your body goes through when there are no sugars to burn. 

“Dave Asprey was inspired when he sipped tea with yak butter and now people around the globe are drinking butter coffee” –U.K. Daily Mail

Butter Coffee

What brands of butter are Grass-Fed?

We really couldn't find too many that we were able to verify. As a matter of fact only Kerrygold Butter was labeled as Grass-Fed

“Milk from grass-fed cows contains higher quantities of unsaturated fatty acids (Omega 3 & 6) than milk from cows fed indoors. This is why Kerrygold butter is very spreadable and has a unique creamy taste”…-Kerrygoldusa.com

Isn't butter bad for you?

Maybe we mention that one cup of butter coffee could have 400-500 calories PER CUP... Yowzers...! As well as 50 grams of saturated fat. We suggest getting some facts from additional dietitians before making a drastic change to your morning routine. 

10 cokes before and afterThere’s no secret that sugary sodas have an effect on your health, but when someone takes on an experiment where he drinks 10 Cokes a day for a month; you can’t help to take notice.  

When George Prior, a 5o year old father of two, decided to start this experiment, his intent was not only to expose the dangers of the sodas most Americans consume on a daily basis, but so we take notice how much sugar is in most drinks available in the grocery aisles.

“Obesity-related diseases are the worst health epidemic America has ever faced.  Start by cutting out sugar. Avoid sugary drinks including fruit juices. If you have diabetes type 2, this is very important to understand: Fruit is not your friend. Are you eating the sugar of 10 Cokes a day without even drinking ten Cokes a day?” –www.10cokesaday.com

You’re drinking “10 cokes” and you may not know it.

“10 Cokes a day?”… We know that you’re probably thinking you’ll never drink that much per day, but the purpose of Prior’s experiment was to expose the amount of sugar in some of your other favorite drinks. You may be surprised how much sugar could be found in your favorite sports drink, flavored coffees or bottled teas.

Experiment backfire: What Prior didn’t expect in such a short period of time

Maybe we expected a protruding belly and high blood pressure, but the extreme sugar cravings were hard for him to ignore. While trying to stick with his normal paleo diet, he couldn’t help the cravings for other sugars besides cokes.

“There were a lot of visits to the restroom, a feeling of constant fullness, and a clutter of cans everywhere…I think there are a lot of people suffering health problems like diabetes and heart disease, who aren't aware they could help themselves by just stopping sugar” –Prior added.

Why TEN Cokes a day?

George Prior wants to raise awareness about how much sugar you drink every day, and to remind you how unhealthy it is. Not necessary to point out Coke, but to point out the amount of sugar in almost every drink.

Read more about George and his 10 Cokes a Day experiment.

CaveMunch.com’s take?

Take a look at the label. Organic, doesn’t necessarily mean “healthy”. Large (or any, some may argue) amounts of sugar is bad for your health and it shouldn't take an extreme 30 day experiment for us to take notice. 

Photos courtesy of http://www.10cokesaday.com/




What's in our olive oil?

Grocery Store Olive OilsWe've heard a little about the newest GMO labeling fight when it comes to corn and soybeans, but under the radar there has been a concern with olive oil. Because there are no genetically modified olives (yet), we turn to olive oil as a healthy alternative. Unfortunately, many popular brands of olive oil are not actually olive oil, but a “blend of lower-quality vegetable oils.”

“They are ‘cutting’ their olive oil with genetically modified canola, soy, corn and cottonseed oils… As much as half of all the olive oil sold commercially in the United States fails to pass the strict testing standards used to qualify it as authentic. In addition to genetically modified vegetable oils, some companies also add flavoring chemicals and dyes to give the illusion of real olive oil“ says Judson Parker from the Examiner’s article:  Do you have fake olive oil in your pantry?

Say what? Paleo eaters know to avoid soy and corn simply because they haven’t been part of the paleo diet. We’ve looked for “non-GMO” labels on some of our other foods but now it looks like we have to look out for “clean” olive oil for our paleo recipes.

“Extra Virgin” doesn’t mean it’s GMO free.

We can see the pattern here. Most of the olive oils in our grocery stores are mixed with a concoction of other oils from genetically modified corn or soy. This holds true with most extra virgin olive oils as well. 

“70 percent of the extra virgin olive oil sold worldwide is watered down with other oils and enhancers making them far from virgin.” Says Tom Mueller, the investigative author of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil .

Cavemunch.com shares the belief that everyone deserves an informed choice about whether or not to consume genetically modified organisms. In most developed nations, they do not consider GMOs to be safe. In more than 60 countries around the world, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. United States IS NOT one of them. In the absence of mandatory labeling in the U.S., a great resource to double check if your Olive Oil is Non-GMO, is checking out the Non-GMO Project website or download their Shopping Guide App. If you still want to make sure, there's some additional help below. 

What to look for when searching for the real deal extra virgin olive oil:

  • The International Olive Council (IOC) label of authenticity. Imported olive oils that have official IOC labels of authenticity undergo strict quality control testing.
  • The California Olive Oil Council (COOC) seal. US growers and manufacturers are held to stricter standards than companies that export to the United States. Another great reason to buy local.
  • The Non-GMO Project seal. The Non-GMO Project rigorously evaluates companies before verifying their products.

Quick list of Non-GMO Olive Oils from nonGMOProject.org:

24Jun

Is Quinoa Paleo?

by Cave Munch

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Although paleo is obviously old in it’s roots, the recent interest in the paleo diet is new and we’re always asked; Is Quinoa paleo?

Although eaten like grains, technically, the part of quinoa we eat is actually a seed and is considered a pseudo-grain because it's similar nutritional profile. If we use the logic that the paleo diet consists of meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and oils… Quinoa would fall into the paleo food category under “seeds”... But, is that just a technicality? The same technicality is why quinoa "seeds" are gluten-free.


Smart people say quinoa, in fact, is paleo... 

Technically…. yes, if you look at all seeds as paleo. Pete Evans, a well known Australian Chef who has been criticized for promoting the paleo lifestyle, has included quinoa in many of his recipes. On Taste.com.au, Pete Evans even states: 

“it (quinoa) has a place in all kitchens if we can manage to find a sustainable way to grow it and therefore keep it affordable. Quinoa is a great ingredient, especially when it's sprouted – it's wheat and gluten free and it's high in protein... it's wonderful in so many different dishes...” - Pete Evans’ article “How I Feed My Family” 

Best Selling Author for the Primal Blueprint, Mark Sisson states: 

“One of the most popular choices in grain alternatives, particularly among the more moderate paleo set, is quinoa. Technically not a grain but a relative of green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard, quinoa is a complete protein that offers a respectable serving of all nine essential amino acids as well as a strong showing of manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus." Read more on MarksDailyApple.com 

So, could we say... Quinoa is paleo? Not so fast...

Smart people say quinoa is not paleo...

Loren Cordain, founder of the paleo movement, lists cereal, grains and the grain-like seeds under foods to avoid. So quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth fall under this category. Here's Loren's explanation:  
“Quinoa seeds may contain very high concentrations (up to 5,000 mg/kg) of compounds known as saponins, which like the name implies, have soap like properties they may cause a “leaky” gut by breaking down intestinal cell membranes. I believe that a leaky gut promotes chronic low level inflammation and likely represents a necessary step in the development of autoimmune diseases. Quinoa seeds may be ‘polished’ during processing to lower their saponin content, because the highest concentration of these compounds are found in the outer layer of the seed. Fresh fruits and vegetables are superior nutritionally to all whole grains, including the pseudo grains, which I recommend should be consumed infrequently.” 
Uh oh... That doesn't sound good.
“Quinoa is botanically not a grain, but because it has evolved in a similar biological niche, Quinoa has similar properties to grains, including chemical defense systems that irritate the gut. In the case of Quinoa, it contains soap-like molecules called saponins. Unlike gluten, which attaches to a carrier molecule in the intestines, saponins simply punch holes in the membranes of the microvilli cells. Yes, that’s bad. Saponins are so irritating to the immune system that they are used in vaccine research to help the body mount a powerful immune response. The bottom line is if you think grains or grain-like items like Quinoa are healthy or benign, you are not considering the full picture.” -Robb Wolf, The Paleo Solution

What do we suggest?

CaveMunch.com suggests looking at the complete dietary picture. So quinoa is technically paleo but not recommended for the hard-core paleo lifestyle. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Some dietitians love the paleo diet because of its use of fresh vegetables and organic foods, but some tend to stay away because they feel it may be too restrictive or that it’s lumped into the “fad diet” category. Granted if you’re 80/20 there’s plenty of room in that 20% for quinoa and we'll continue to provide quinoa recipes.



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