Truffle & Beetroot Cultured Barbecue Sauce (nightshade-free, keto, paleo, vegan)

This recipe is an adaptation of my cultured barbecue sauce. As I said in that post, among the first ferments I attempted was barbecue sauce. Since my Hashimoto’s Diagnosis I have been honing what I can and cannot consume… so this barbecue sauce is sans nightshades, soy and refined sugars. The sugars in it are fermented out so the end product still allows me to stay in ketosis. This may not seem important for some but ketones in the body are hugely anti-inflammatory and for me this allows me to continue to function as a human, wife, mother and homemaker. Any time I run into an allergy no matter what my macros are that day I am kicked out of ketosis and in pain. My neck, shoulders and back become so inflamed that sometimes it is difficult to breathe and certainly to move. So there you go. Because of this I avoid allergens at all costs and stay in keto for the better part of the month. I have been experimenting with carb ups weekly and have found it is too much, but monthly my body seems to handle fairly well. I still get to have my sweet potato truffle fries once a month… surrounded by a few days of raspberries without severe consequences. So for today I am posting a gorgeous beetroot based barbecue sauce with truffle salt to initiate the ferment. It is fantastic with those sweet potato truffle fries. 😂

This recipe is still in process, but it is both savory and (keto/paleo) sweet with a subtle umami flavor.

So Happy Labor Day everyone! I hope it is restful, joyful and full of family, spiritual and physical peace.

Give it a go and let me know how you like it!



Roast beetroot/beets, onions, garlic and apple at 425° for 45 minutes or until blackened. Set aside to cool.

Sanitize your 1 liter or quart jar and lids if using. I place them in the oven at its lowest temperature for a few minutes. 170° Fahrenheit in an American oven. My British ovens were usually 75° Celsius.

Place all ingredients in a food processor, blender or Vitamix. Chop first if you’re using a normal blender and place wet ingredients first and dry next (wet in the bottom, dry on top) but reserve the olive oil. Puree, then transfer to a 1.5 Liter fermenting jar with air lock or a swing/clip top 1.5 Liter Jar.  Leave 2″ of room at the top. Cover the top with extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil and seal.

Leave to ferment for 2-7 days, depending on taste. The longer you leave it the less sugar you will have in the final ferment so taste it as needed but be mindful to use sterile spoons.

Store in swing top or glass bottles. You may have to dilute with a bit of water, apple cider vinegar or onion brine after fermentation. Enjoy on pizza, barbecue or with my personal favorite: sweet potato fries!


Fermented Red Sauce (Nightshade-Free Ketchup)

Since my diagnosis with Hashimoto’s I’ve had to avoid a lot of things I love. I can’t say ketchup is up there at the top but I do like it once in a while with truffle salted sweet potato fries. As nightshades are no longer on the menu ketchup is out. Which would be no great loss but for those fries! I did a bit of fiddling with my fermented tomato sauce recipe and came up with this. I think you’ll like it. There are some options… and yes. I went for the truffle salt in this ferment and it is truly delish. But let me know what you think!


  • 1-2 beetroot (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 1 Small or 1/2 Medium Organic Onion
  • 1 small green apple
  • 1 Tbsp unsulphured raisins or 1 fresh plum or 1 rip fig (I used a fig)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves or 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 cup fermented onion brine
  • 1/4 cup Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/8 cup pure maple syrup, raw honey or ¼ cup date paste (I used date paste)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tsp pink salt or truffle salt
  • 1/2 tsp organic allspice
  • 1/2 tsp organic cloves
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  1. Dice the beetroot and roast in the oven at 350°F for 30 minutes.
  2. Sanitize your jar & lid in the oven at 180°F for five minutes.
  3. Place all ingredients in a food processor, blender or Vitamix (chop first if you’re using a normal blender) and puree, then transfer to a 1.5 Liter fermenting jar with air lock or a swing/clip top 1.5 Liter Jar. Leave for 2-4 days on the counter to ferment.

Chocolate Espresso Super Muffins, No Foolin’ (Paleo, No Sugar)

No Sugar, Paleo, Chocolate, Espresso, Nut-free, Keto-Cycling Protein Muffins

This is a recipe I have been working on for months, trying to come up with a guilt-free antioxidant and protein rich breakfast muffin.  It came out of the time of year when the greens do not last long and so my go-to make ahead summer smoothie gagged me with the unmistakable aftertaste of rotting veg.  Yep.  Sorry for the disturbing imagery.  Talk about April foolery. It was more disturbing to take a gulp and have to pull over to spew out the car door with the background sounds of bewildered and concerned little voices crying “mommy are you okay!?”  At this point I should probably tell you that I am one of those queens of TMI and it is all or nothing with me.

I love beetroot, coffee and dark chocolate so this is a win for me. If you’re not a fan of beets you can sub with butternut squash or zucchini… but it won’t have that red velvety pop.

A note on sweetness if you haven’t figured it out already. I DO NOT HAVE A SWEET TOOTH. I prefer things less sweet and tend to gag if anything is overly sweet. So if you are a sweetie, I recommend adding a 1/4 cup of sukrin fiber gold syrup or more allulose. And if you wonder why I use so many different natural sweeteners; it is because each one comes with it’s own aftertaste when used in excess. I have taken to creating blends to have on hand for simplicity as each one brings up the sweetness in it’s own way, so together they culminate into an “all purpose” sugar of sorts.

Beetroot (beets) are chockers with phytonutrients and trimethylglycine (TMG) which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as fight cancer and detoxify the body. They are also high in lutein, which promotes eye health. This in concert with raw cacao and espresso makes for a great morning (or mid morning) pick me up. In essence, these muffins are jacked up.

So here is a healthy and completely justifiable chocolate muffin. You’re welcome.

Yields 12 Standard or 6 Jumbo Muffins


*You can sub 3/4 cup maple syrup if you don’t care about the sugar content… I will sometimes partially sub when I’m making them for other people.

**I use Lily’s stevia sweetened chocolate chips mostly because they are sugar free but at times I have used Enjoy Life dark chocolate chipssemi-sweet chips or Pascha 85% dark chocolate chips if I am making them for non-keto people.


Roast beetroot in a cast iron or sheet pan at 400ºF/200°C for 40 to 60 minutes, depending on size. Let cool a bit and then peel and discard the skins. Set aside the peeled beetroot for the blender. If you don’t have a blender, you can try grating it but the texture will be different.

Preheat oven to 350ºF/175°C

In a high powered blender add the beetroot and wet ingredients and blend until smooth.

Follow with dry ingredients and mix.  Scrape down the sides and mix again.

I do this in a Vitamix but you can do it in a mixer or bowl if you reverse the order of ingredients: Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix.  Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl and mix.  Pour the wet into the dry and fold until combined.

I like to spray the muffin cups with a bit of coconut oil before I pour the batter in.  Leave about a 1/4” or half a centimeter at the top to allow them to puff up.

Bake for 20 +/- minutes, depending on your oven. They are done when you can just tap one with a finger without making a depression.

Take out immediately and let cool.

Cultured Beetroot

Fermented Beetroot (Beets) for salads, mezza style platters and… fermented beetroot hummus!

Okay, so I try not to talk to much about non-food stuff but I promise this is related.  One of the first Aussie food things I learned to do was to make homemade canned beetroot.  I grew up hating the stuff… when I moved to Scotland it was likewise awful.  But then I went to Australia to meet Steve’s family and I’m fairly certain there was a big tub of it sitting on nearly every table at friends and family’s houses.  It was a side to nearly every meal… and the reason was because it tasted awesome with all the Aussie platters and pretty much all summer food.  So… I found an Australian recipe and learned to can it myself.  We enjoyed it for years on grilled cheese sandwiches and in salads but when life got a bit more stressful my already high sugar sensitivity went through the roof and I needed to find a new way to prepare my favorite things.  In came Nourishing Traditions and a whole wide world of cultured foods was opened to me.  Once I got through the extreme language I saw the value in the foods and way of preparation used.  I’m sure it helped that from the very first experiment I fell in love with the flavors of ferment.  I started on milk kefir, and found a budget friendly friend in fermenting hummus.  Began making my own Ginger Beer (Ginger Whiskey as my husband calls it) and found for myself that the probiotics themselves also helped with my genetic predisposition for anxiety.  (Thank you, Scottish roots).  So I’ll shut up now, but all that to say I was pleasantly surprised to find a way of preparing one of my favorite vegetables that brought it to life rather than just baked the life out of it, though I still like that as well.

I did this recipe in a 2 Liter Kilner swing top canning jar but you can adjust proportions to your liking.

Fermenting lids and weights are helpful but you can do this with stainless steel or plastic lids… or swing top like this one. In place of a weight you will need a sanitized jar small enough to insert on top of the veg. Another trick is to fill a clean ziplock back with water and stuff it in. I have done this when using a bigger jar like with Kimchi.



  1. Make sure all your tools are clean and washed with hot soapy water and rinsed.
  2. You can sanitize your jars in the dishwasher but I tend to put mine in the oven.  I set it to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (the lowest temp) and place my jars and weights on a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat to prevent slipping.  I leave them in at that temperature for 2-5 minutes while I’m prepping the veg.
  3. Remove beetroot leaves and “tail” with a clean knife.
  4. You can use a mandolin or a sharp chef’s knife and slice the beetroot thinly and evenly. About 1/4″ or slimmer if you can as it makes for awesome texture and layering.
  5. Fill your sanitized jar with washed, unpeeled and sliced beetroot.
  6. Leave 2-3″ room at the top for placing the fermenting weight… and you’ll still want 1-2″ room to prevent explosions.
  7. Dissolve 1 tablespoon pink salt or sea salt per 2 cups warm non-chlorinated water and pour over the top, repeating until all your veg is covered. Insert sanitized jar or weight to keep vegetables submerged. Close lid.
  8. If you do not have fermenting or swing lids, set the lid loosely and cover with a towel to keep bacteria out. Wait 3-7 days, depending on your taste.

I love this in salads and paleo wraps and mezze platters. I’ve done this with Golden and Chiogga Beetroot as well but the red is still my favorite for fermenting.

The colors are gorgeous and the healthy bacteria are a boon! 🙌🏼