Tips for Grilling Steaks

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Tips for Grilling SteaksWhether it’s the ultimate burger or the perfect steak, these tips from our experts in the Butcher Shop, will help ensure you wow friends and family, every time.

Tip 1. Starting

Before you heat up the grill, remove the meat from the fridge 20–60 minutes before cooking, this allows heat to evenly transfer throughout the meat while its cooking. Skipping this step means your meat will cook unevenly.

Tip 2. Seasoning

Naturally, personal tastes differ, but if you’re in doubt, going simple allows the meat to shine. Try seasoning both sides with freshly ground black pepper and coarse-grain Kosher or sea salt. A coarse salt will give you that bright salt crunch and flavor enhancement without too much sodium.

Tip 3. Searing

Searing the meat first—on high-high heat—locks in the flavors. Look for brown caramelization on both sides before. A cast-iron skillet is ideal for this step because it holds high heat and disperses it evenly. 

Tip 4. Temperatures for Grilling Steak

Investing in a meat thermometer will help you cook your steak to perfection! The most important thing to remember about temperature is to pull your meat from the heat when it is 5°F cooler than you want it. For example, if you want a medium steak, pull it from the grill or the pan when it reaches 140°F. This is true for any steak, whether it’s ¾- or 3-inch thick.
  • Rare: 130°F
  • Medium-rare: 135°F
  • Medium: 145°F
  • Medium-well: 150°F
  • Well-done: 160°F

Tip 5. Give It a REST

Tented or not—when you pull your meat from the heat, allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes. This allows the muscles to relax and the juices to flow out—that’s when you know it’s ready. Then for meaty magic, pour those juices over the steak and serve!

What If You Don’t Have a Grill?

Don’t let the lack of a grill stop you from creating steak perfection in your own kitchen. After searing and caramelizing the meat on both sides, you can turn the heat down and continue to cook in the skillet. Or you can put it on a broiling pan and cook it in the oven at 375°F. (If you don’t have a roasting pan, you can use a cooling rack on a cookie sheet to catch the drippings.) Whether pan or oven cooked, you’ll still want to test the doneness with a meat thermometer. Because grass-fed beef is leaner than grain-fed beef, it has less fat and doesn’t retain its juices as much. This results in faster cooking times. Using your meat thermometer earlier than you think you need to can help.

Did you know?

Every Sprouts Butcher Shop has a trained butcher who’s happy to custom cut steaks to your favorite thickness or share their own great grilling tips. After all, they love meat as much as you do. And, if you need a specific cut for a special occasion, they can help with that too!

 

Taste of the Tropics

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Taste of the Tropics: Tropical Fruits

Don’t let their exotic looks intimidate you—they’ve got exotic flavor to match! Next time you’re in our produce aisle, take home a taste of the tropics with some of these uniquely delicious fruits. To help demystify their appearance and how to eat them, we’ve put together a few tips and insights for you.


Ready to try some of these luscious tropical treats? SHOP TROPICAL FRUIT

How to Prepare, Cook & Eat an Artichoke

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Native to the Mediterranean region, the artichoke is the not-yet-bloomed flower of a thistle plant that is part of the sunflower family. Despite their slightly prickly exterior, artichokes are quite easy to prepare, cook and eat. Plus, they’re packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and dietary fiber.

Preparing an artichoke: Fresh artichokes in a paper bag

Easy Artichoke Prep

  • Because they have sharp barbs, the first thing you’ll want to do in preparation is to cut the top cluster of barbs off with a sharp knife. This will remove about a quarter of the artichoke. Then, utilizing kitchen shears, cut the barbs off the tops of the remaining leaves.

TIP: Don’t worry that you’re taking too much off the top of the artichoke or the tops of the leaves—the edible part is at the base of the leaf. More on that later …

  • Now that the artichoke is easier to handle, remove the small leaves at the base, closest to the stem and cut the stem, leaving about a ½”.
  • The final step is to rinse the artichoke under cool running water to remove any debris that might be trapped in between petals.

Cooking an Artichoke: It’s Easy!

  1. Add just enough water to a pot so that the water is just below the steamer basket. Cover and bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the prepared artichoke, replace the lid and lower the heat to simmer the water. It will take 20-40 minutes to cook. After 20 minutes, you’ll want to check the artichoke(s) every 5 minutes. The color will change from fresh green to a more muted green and you’ll know it’s ready when you can easily remove a petal. TIP: Use tongs for this part—those petals will be really hot!
  3. Set aside and allow to cool a bit before eating it.

Now What? How to Eat an Artichoke

  • Serve the artichoke right-side up on a plate.
  • Remove a petal from the artichoke and eat only the bottom, whitish fleshy part of the petal that was closest to the base of the artichoke.
  • You can certainly eat artichokes plain, or with a little salt & pepper. Try dipping them in melted butter or ghee, a tangy vinaigrette or a savory aioli.

TIP: Have a bowl at-the-ready for discarded petals.

Easy Aioli Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Garlic cloves, pressed
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher salt
  • ½ cup Sprouts Organic Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. Sprouts Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mash garlic and salt in a small bowl until a paste forms.
  2. Whisk in mayonnaise, oil and lemon juice.
  3. Season with salt and pepper—enjoy!

Did you know?

One artichoke plant can produce up to 20 artichokes per year.

What is the Paleo diet?

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What is the Paleo Diet article with featured saladBefore you make any changes to your diet, be sure to consult your physician because every body needs something different!

The Paleo diet is pretty simple—eat like early humans from the Paleolithic period. Grains are omitted because humans didn’t start cultivating them until about 10,000 years ago, significantly more recent than the Paleolithic era. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, as well as lean meat, poultry, fish and seafood are all a part of the basic Paleo diet.

What Not to Eat on a Paleo Diet

Besides grains, like wheat, barley, oats, etc., what else will you want to avoid while eating Paleo? Beans and potatoes are out for similar reasons to grains. Although, many people include sweet potatoes but not white potatoes in the Paleo diet. Similarly, dairy and processed sugars are not a part of the Paleo diet either. Of course, processed foods aren’t permissible. But don’t worry, this still leaves lots of delicious foods for you to enjoy!

Paleo Diet Benefits

One of the great benefits of the Paleo diet is boosting the amount and variety of your daily fruit and veggie intake which naturally increases the amount of nutrients and anti-oxidants you’re getting. Sugar has been linked to many health issues, eliminating it from your diet is another plus of going Paleo.

Ready to delve deeper?

We have more paleo-related resources on our website!

Written by blogger Cheryl Malik at 40 aprons.com, the article How to Go Paleo touches on topics like creating a Paleo recipe bank, getting support while starting your new routine and stocking your pantry for your new Paleo endeavor. In Stocking a Paleo Pantry, Cheryl hands you your Paleo shopping list for those must-have in Paleo planning. She even wrote about her Top Paleo Products at Sprouts.

In the article What is Paleo? you’ll learn more about the nutritional value of the fruits and veggies, as well as great snacks and a recipe for grilled lamb chops!

Another great resource for planning your Paleo shopping list is Top Five Paleo Substitutions by our blogger friend, Emily Sunwell-Vidarri, at RecipesToNourish.com. She explores substitutions for fats, baking ingredients, non-dairy milks, natural sweeteners and even rice on the Paleo diet plan.

 

Did you know? Despite the fact that the Paleo diet is trending now, it was actually developed by a gastroenterologist named Walter Voegtlin in the 1970s!

Paleo Strawberry Spinach Salad with Primal Kitchen®

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Spinach salads are a summertime must, but they’ll hold their own through all the seasons. This paleo one in particular, put together by the founder of Primal Kitchen®, Mark Sisson, boasts the sweet taste of fresh strawberries, crunchiness of pecans and tang from feta cheese. To add more protein to this salad, you can mix in shredded chicken, sliced steak or chunks of salmon. Yum!

 

Ingredients:Salad

Instructions:

  • Layer fresh spinach in a mixing bowl.
  • Sprinkle feta and pecans on spinach.
  • Add strawberries, avocados and protein choice.
  • Top with a generous drizzle of Primal Kitchen® Balsamic Avocado Oil Dressing and enjoy!

How to Choose the Best Jerky

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When eating paleo, protein is a priority. Jerky makes a great protein snack for post-workout fuel, to satisfy hunger between meals or for healthy, on-the-go snacking just about any time! As jerky’s popularity has grown, so have the flavors and types of meat. Besides beef, look for chicken, pork, bison, elk, venison, turkey, salmon and more.

Healthy Living - Choose the best jerkyJerky gives you more nutritional bang for your buck. It’s made with lean cuts of meat so it will dry out properly. This makes it a healthy protein choice because it’s low in saturated fat. Paleo jerky has many nutritional benefits over conventional jerky—without sacrificing taste. For example, the sugar content of paleo jerky is usually 2 grams or less, whereas conventional jerky ranges from 5–9 grams of sugar per ounce.

Benefits of choosing paleo jerky over conventional jerky

  • Lower in sugar
  • Lower in sodium
  • All-natural ingredients
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Higher meat quality standards (grass-fed, organic, hormone-free)

How do you know which jerky to choose?

Here’s what to look for on the nutrition facts label:

  • Serving size: 1 oz. (about 28 grams)
  • Less than 400 mg. of sodium
  • Less than 5 g. of sugar
  • 9 g. of protein or more
  • Nitrate- and MSG-free; no artificial flavors or colors (i.e. caramel color)
  • Paleo or Paleo Friendly certification logos
  • Certified Paleo FriendlyCertified Paleo

This article was brought to you by our friend, Jill West, RDN, at Caveman Foods.

Coconut Aminos

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Coconuts are one of our favorite island-fresh, nutty fruits because they’re packed full of flavor and brimming with good-for-you nutrients.

But what are coconut aminos? And why would you want to add them to your shopping basket, let alone food? Are they paleo-friendly? Let’s find out!

Mystery Sauce

Packaged in a bottle, coconut aminos contain just two ingredients, coconut sap and sea salt. Yep, that’s it! Not only is it paleo-friendly, it’s also gluten- and soy-free making it a great addition to your pantry.

Coconut sap is extracted from cut stems and the resulting material is full of potassium, vitamin C, B vitamins and 17 amino acids. Add that to the fact that coconut aminos have a similar and slightly sweeter taste than soy sauce with about one-third less sodium—and that’s tasty news indeed.

Say what?

Oh! And by the way, coconut aminos don’t taste like coconuts! But what can you use this savory-sweet sauce for? It’s a terrific substitute for soy sauce—a non-paleo-friendly condiment since it’s made from a legume. So feel free to use it in any recipe you’re converting to your paleo lifestyle. Or, try these easy recipes below for an amino boost that can’t be beat!

Paleo Salmon Cakes

Salmon cakes over green lettuce with lemon slices on a white plate

 

Thai Beef and Broccoli Soup

green curry soup with broccoli and vegetables in a textured green bowl

 

Slow-Cooker Tangy Pineapple Shredded Beef

glazed shredded beef in a dark-colored bowl

Top Five Paleo Substitutions

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Eating a paleo diet doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favorite foods. Feeling restricted is never fun … have no fear, there are plenty of great substitutions so you can still enjoy your favorite recipes!

Healthy Fats

Paleo Healthy Fats - Avocado OilVegetable and canola oils are out! Good-for-you traditional fats are in! It’s really easy to substitute fats with paleo cooking. Make sure to use quality, sustainably sourced fats so you get all of the health benefits.

  • Animal Fats – sustainably sourced and organic preferably
  • Avocado Oil – great for higher-temp cooking, baking, salads, mayonnaise
  • Coconut Oil – when heated, mixes well into soups, warm drinks, smoothies
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – great for salads, best when not heated
  • Ghee / Clarified Butter – lactose free, great for higher-temp cooking
  • Grass-fed Butter – great for cooking and baking
  • Palm Oil – sustainably sourced, great for higher-temp cooking
  • Palm Oil Shortening – sustainably sourced, great for baking and frostings

 

Paleo Baking

Paleo - Baking FlourBaked goods are usually one thing that people wonder about when it comes to the paleo lifestyle. While paleo baking does take a little bit of experimenting to find out what you like best, it’s absolutely doable! Everything from muffins, to cakes and tortillas can easily be converted using some grain-free substitutions.

  • Blanched Almond Flour – can usually be substituted 1:1 for refined white flour
  • Cassava Flour – can usually be substituted 1:1 for refined white flour, however, it often needs a bit less flour or needs more liquid (like coconut milk) or more moisture (like pureed fruit or vegetables—applesauce, bananas, dates, pumpkin, squash)
  • Coconut Flour – this flour absorbs a lot of liquid and usually requires a lot less flour and often more eggs
  • Tapioca Flour or Starch – can be used in combination with other grain-free flours
  • Baking Soda – use instead of baking powder
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – a liquid leavening substitution
  • Chia Seeds or Freshly Ground Chia Seed Meal – can be used in baking as an egg-free substitute

 

Non-Dairy Milks

Paleo - Non Dairy MiksSmoothies, soups, curries, casseroles, homemade ice cream and so much more would not be the same without a creamy addition. You can still enjoy all of your favorites without dairy! Coconut milk and cream is usually best used in recipes that need a higher fat content and a creamier texture. Nut and seed milks are usually best used in recipes that need liquid like smoothies or hot chocolate.

  • Almond Milk
  • Cashew Milk
  • Coconut Cream – great in curries and homemade ice cream
  • Coconut Milk – great for creamier recipes that need the fat content
  • Hemp Milk
  • Macadamia Milk

 

Natural Sweeteners

Paleo - Natural SweetenersSkip the agave and refined white and brown sugar and reach for the natural sweeteners!

  • Coconut Sugar – great lower-glycemic granulated sugar, darker in flavor
  • Date Sugar – great granulated sugar, mild in flavor
  • Maple Sugar – great granulated sugar, mild in flavor
  • Maple Syrup – great liquid sweetener with more moisture content, quality is important
  • Medjool Dates – pitted and soaked, a great addition for natural sweetening, add to smoothies, ice cream or baked goods
  • Raw Honey or Quality Honey – great sweetener with more moisture content

 

Skip the Rice

Paleo - Riced BroccoliGrains are out when you’re eating Paleo, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a side of “rice!” Vegetables like cauliflower are most commonly used for a great substitution, but broccoli and carrots can be used too.

  • Frozen Riced Broccoli
  • Frozen Riced Cauliflower
  • Riced Broccoli
  • Riced Carrots
  • Riced Cauliflower

 

The only question left now is which Paleo substitution will you try first?

 

Emily Sunwell-Vidarri is the blogger behind RecipesToNourish.com

On-the-Go Paleo

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Let’s face it, life moves quickly! And for newcomers to eating paleo it can be a bit challenging at first to prep on-the-go meals and snacks with seemingly simplified options, but it’s also super important if you want to stay on track! Here are some make-ahead recipes to make your paleo path a bit easier.

Snackables

Weekends are a great time to prep snacks for the week. Make these super-simple, two-ingredient (Yes—just two!) Apple Chips to pair with the raw nuts and seeds you’ve gathered at our bulk aisle. Voilà! You’ve got custom-made trail mix for the week.

Apple Chips

baked, crispy apple slices in a white bowl.

Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus

Dippable veggie snack options are practically endless on a paleo diet. While you’re baking the Apple Chips, cut up your favorite veggies for snacking. Then make this paleo-friendly Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus. Portioned into small, resealable containers and paired with your fresh-cut veggies, you’ve got snacks at the ready!

sweet potato hummus in blue bowl with sweet potato in background

Well in Hand

Heading to the gym and need a bite? Picking up the little ones from school and they’re famished? This tasty make-ahead breakfast might just become your new favorite grab-n-go snack as well! You can make it at the top of the week and store them refrigerated in an air-tight container for a delicious, nutritious protein-packed paleo pick-me-up anytime during the week. Breakfast: It’s not just for well, breakfast anymore.

Ham-n-Egg Cups

ham and egg cups in a muffin tin with two eggs on the side

Carrot Cake Balls

Paleo cake to go? Yes please! These little bite-sized nuggets of yumminess are packed with pecans and carrots. Loaded with 19 vitamins and minerals, not to mention fiber and antioxidants, pecans are the powerhouse behind these Carrot Cake Balls. Let’s not forget the carrots that hold their own in the vitamin-rich arena. A hint of sweet and spice make them irresistible!

 carrot cake balls on a wooden plate

You can find more paleo recipes on our website.

Top Paleo Products at Sprouts

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fresh meats, cheese and paleo productsWhen it comes down to it, eating a paleo diet is simple—embrace your inner cave-dweller self! Seriously though, paleo is about eating real, nutrient-dense foods that would have been hunted or gathered before the agricultural revolution. That means veggies, fruits, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee. You don’t need any exciting products to eat this way, just a great produce section and a quality meat department. But these paleo products make eating primally way more fun and easy. From Sunday morning pancakes to bacon on all things, take this list of the top paleo products at Sprouts next time you head to the store and stock up!

Vital Proteins® Collagen Peptides

A favorite supplement in the paleo world, collagen peptides are high-quality, high-protein amino acids derived from grass-fed gelatin. Loved as a protein supplement, collagen peptides are amazing for your hair, skin, nails, as well as muscle support when exercising. They’re tasteless, too, and won’t affect texture in most recipes, so load up!

Sprouts Coconut Date Rolls

Two ingredients, one big impact! These coconut date rolls are naturally sweet and so dangerous. After a couple bites, you’ll abandon all thoughts of conventional candy bars.

Rxbars®

So perfect for keeping in your purse, desk or gym bag, Rxbars® are high in protein without any undesirable fillers or weird ingredients.

SO Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert

For that occasional sweet indulgence, this coconut milk “ice cream” is sweetened with monk fruit extract and is totally dairy-free. It has more additives than you’ll want to include in your diet on a regular basis, but it’s great for an occasional dairy-free, sugar-free treat.

Sprouts Organic Bone Broth

Loaded with protein, collagen and other nourishing amino acids, bone broth is a staple in paleo diets for its nutrient-rich properties. Another plus? Bone broth helps to maintain a healthy gut and is great sipped like tea or used in place of chicken stock or broth in recipes.

Sprouts Coconut Cream

A staple in probably every paleo diet, coconut cream—the solid white part in a can of coconut milk—gives recipes a dairy-free richness and creaminess. Sprouts Coconut Cream is affordable and loaded with the solid cream, making it a must for any primal pantry.

4th & Heart Ghee Butter

The richness of butter without the lactose? Yes, please! Bonus points: this ghee is grass-fed and seasoned with mineral-rich Himalayan pink salt.

Farmhouse Culture Gut Health Products

Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut,” and this guy would be a big fan of Farmhouse Culture gut health products. From Garlic Dill Pickle Gut Shots (that you drink like a shooter) to Smoked Jalapeño Kraut and Taqueria Mix Fermented Vegetables, support your gut with these delicious fermented products, loaded with healthy bacteria.

Hail Merry Products

You’ll be shocked at how seriously indulgent these paleo treats taste. From Caramel Sea Salt Bites to Dark Chocolate Tarts, Meyer Lemon Cups and Chocolate Almond Butter Cups—luckily, there’s no guilt to these paleo desserts.

Sprouts Frozen Organic Riced Cauliflower

Cauliflower rice at your fingertips. Sprouts Frozen Organic Riced Cauliflower makes paleo “rice” beyond quick and easy.

Birch Benders Paleo Pancake & Waffle Mix

Pancakes can still be part of your paleo menu! Having a bag of this paleo pancake mix in the pantry is great when you want to make pancakes in a pinch. They’re light, fluffy and totally paleo.

Pederson’s Natural Farms Bacon and Sausage

Destined to go down in history—bacon and the paleo diet are a classic couple! Pederson’s Natural Farms makes a sugar-free paleo version you’ll want need in your fridge at all times. Check out their smoked sausages, breakfast sausages and chorizo too.

Sprouts Grass-Fed Beef

Leaner, more nutrient-rich, and more ethically-minded, Sprouts Grass-Fed Ground Beef is fresh, never frozen, hormone-free, raised in open pastures, and never administered antibiotics. Richer in omega-3s than grain-fed, Sprouts grass-fed beef is a must for any paleo diet.

Sprouts Market Corner Deli Carnitas

Dinner is served … in about a minute or two! Fully cooked and totally paleo, simply reheat these carnitas and serve over cauliflower rice and a quick guacamole. Or try these carnitas in lettuce tacos or over a bed of romaine topped with salsa! However you like it, this dish is great to keep on hand for super-quick, flavor-packed weeknight dinners.

Cheryl Malik is the blogger behind 40aprons.com