Naked Paleo started with Jen creating nourishing gluten, grain, sugar, and dairy free snacks for friends and family. Several years later, Naked Paleo are bringing us even more delicious paleo foods and recipes! We chatted with Jen of Naked Paleo about their favourite ingredients, and their latest recipe inspiration.
Since first starting Naked Paleo four years ago, you’ve expanded your offerings from your Paleo Bars to Mylk Infusions. What inspires you to keep creating healthy, paleo and plant based friendly foods?
My inspiration comes from being really busy and always trying to be more organized. I really don’t like having to cook every day so I’ve become really good at creating dishes that will give us lots of leftovers.
Your blog features so many delicious recipes that make the most of fruits, nuts, and vegetables. What would you say are the essential ingredients for a plant based, paleo pantry and fridge?
Herbs and spices would be my number one essential. If I have some herbs and spices on hand I can make a meal out of whatever is left in your fridge.
Fresh vegetables is my second essential. We eat a lot of vegetables in our house and I find I am more inspired when I open my fridge and there are a lot of green veggies staring back at me.
How has your relationship with cooking developed since starting Naked Paleo?
I think my cooking style has become simpler, but at the same time bolder. I love my slow cooker as well as creating a good soup and I’m not afraid to jam pack the flavour in to those types of dishes. Five years ago I probably would have been more intimidated by creating things like my own curry paste and salad dressing from scratch.
What advice would you give to people who are interested in adding plant based paleo foods into their diet – what should they be looking for?
Keep it simple and don’t get overwhelmed by rules. We tend to overcomplicate certain ways of eating by defining it too much. Meals don’t have to be complicated; some roast veggies or a big salad and a source of protein. Eat until you are satisfied and listen to your body. If you feel tired and bloated after the meal you probably need to reassess the things that were in there.
The Naked Paleo Mylk Infusions are so great for smoothies and hot drinks! How did you decide on these three main ingredients; reishi, turmeric, and cacao?
When we designed the Mylk Infusions range, we wanted cater to all walks of life. We started with the turmeric + vanilla flavour to get people thinking outside the box when having a hot drink. We wanted to design something that would physically and nutritionally support them as well as taste great. We chose turmeric for it’s amazing anti inflammatory properties.
Cacao was added to our Beetroot + Cacao flavour to help keep it appealing to the customer who wants to try something new but it’s also a familiar flavour at the same time. Cacao also helps to enhance the beneficial properties of beetroot and its ability oxygenate the blood.
When we created our Reishi + Chai flavour we were using reishi medicinal mushrooms personally to support our immune systems and help lower stress levels. Again, like with the Beetroot + Cacao flavour, we wanted to pair the medicinal qualities with something that consumers were familiar with to encourage them to try something new. That’s when we decided on chai, because who doesn’t love a chai latte?
We love hearing about how people enjoy their Cocobella. What are your favourite ways to use Cocobella coconut water or coconut yoghurt?
We LOVE using the coconut yoghurt on top of our Paleo Pancakes or with our Spiced Cacao Granola. Both recipes are on our blog.
We use the coconut water in our smoothies almost every day during the summer or simply just as something different to drink from regular water.
What’s your favourite dairy-free recipe at the moment, something that’s better than the ‘real’ thing?
Any of the smoothies we make for lunch at the moment. With the hotter weather on the way, we’ve been having these pretty often and I usually keep it really simple – frozen berries, banana, coconut yoghurt, coconut water, avocado and protein powder. Way better than a big sugar filled milkshake!
Feeding a family healthy meals can be tricky when everyone has different preferences! Which vegetables and fruits are always in your trolley?
Our son, Bear, is almost two and anyone with a toddler will tell you that toddlers are fruit eating machines. We always have apples, mandarins and bananas to hand. And when blueberries are in season, they are a fave.
For vegetables, we all have celery juice first thing every morning, so we always have celery in the fridge. You’ll always find dark leafy greens in the fridge too. Whether it’s a big bunch of kale, silverbeet or spinach, we eat them with every meal. Our son eats exactly what we do and has done since he started solids. We’re so grateful to have a kid who loves food as much as us!
Where do you turn to for information on food and health, to make sure your recipes are just as nutritious as they are delicious?
I do a lot of reading, whether it is nutritional journals, blogs, books, or even recipe books. It has definitely taken years to build up the information that I know now, and because it’s constantly changing you need to be really interested in it to want to be continuously learning.
I totally understand people not being as interested in food and nutrition as I am, which is why I do what I do. Not everyone wants to study what they should be eating or why they should eat certain things, so we started Naked Paleo to help make those decisions a little easier.
A great thing about social media is the people you discover doing great things! Which Instagram accounts are in your top 5 for foodie inspiration?
My inspiration comes from lots of different places. I genuinely try to not spend time scrolling through Instagram but there are a few accounts that sit at the top of my feed consistently.
@jordiepieface introduced me to the wonderful world of fermenting just about anything. At the time I was trying to reduce sugar intake from fruit for my son but still wanted him to have fruit. Her account was perfect for that.
@medicalmedium is an amazing resource for all things health, science and facts.
@livelovenourishaus for all her mumma recipe inspiration and the fact that she is due to have bubba number 2 at exactly the same time as me and we both are feeling the small biz/life juggle at the moment
All my other small businesses who are hustling and working their butts off everyday.
I could list a lot of people who inspire me everyday!
We’re excited to see where you and Naked Paleo are going next – do you have any plans you can share with us?
We have a big 2019 planned with a bunch of new products but unfortunately we can’t say anymore, but right now we are focused on welcoming bub number two at the end of November, and balancing small business life. It’s a juggle but something we wouldn’t change for the world.
Thanks for chatting with us, Jen!
Try Naked Paleo’s recipe for Mango Coconut Probiotic Icy Pops.