Can you believe it’s 2017? I say this every year, but this one went by so fast! Here at Dr. Axe, it was filled with lots of exciting new things, from discovering things like the wonders of bone broth protein powder to revealing more natural ways to combat disease to learning about the dangers of synthetic scents.
In addition, I spent a lot of time having fun with my team in the kitchen in 2016 and whipping up a variety of recipes for all types of diets. While all had people trying them out, by looking at our data, there was clearly a “Top 20” that you all really enjoyed checking out and making. Gluten-free options were popular, as were gut-healing drinks and foods.
I hope this list of my top 20 recipes of 2016 inspires you to head into your own kitchen and make healthy, wholesome food that just happens to taste delicious. I can’t wait to cook together next year!
Top 20 Recipes of 2016
1. Secret Detox Drink
It’s no surprise that my secret detox drink was one of your favorites this year. In fact, I’d recommend kicking off 2017 with it, too! With metabolism-boosting apple cider vinegar, lemon, cinnamon and cayenne, it will help you cleanse your body, boost energy and lose weight, just in time for those New Year’s resolutions!
2. Beef Bone Broth
Packed with nutrients like collagen and gelatin to help you look and feel younger, bone broth is also one of my favorite ways to heal leaky gut. Make your own and enjoy the benefits right at home!
3. Turmeric Tea
This “liquid gold” drink is pretty impressive for just five ingredients! Thanks to the curcumin found in turmeric, this tea is terrific for reducing inflammation, managing diabetes and improving gut health.
4. Sweet Potato Brownies
Not only do these brownies contain sweet potatoes, which are rich in vitamins, but they’re also prepared with avocado for an extra nutritional boost. Best of all, with cacao powder and almond butter, they taste even a bit naughty!
5. Chicken Bone Broth
If beef bone broth isn’t your thing, this chicken version just might do the trick. It’s a great way to use up chicken parts, and you’ll find it works well in nearly every recipe.
6. Anti-Inflammatory Juice
This tasty green juice is a delicious way to start the day or give yourself a mid-day boost. Made with celery, cucumber, green apples, ginger and other good-for-you ingredients, it’s also a natural way to fight inflammation throughout the body.
7. Pho Recipe
No need to spend money on takeout when you can make your own version of this popular Vietnamese soup at home. Made from bone broth and grass-fed beef along with immune-boosting herbs and veggies, you’ll love this gut-friendly soup. It’s especially tasty on cold nights, as the warm broth and sriracha heat you right up!
8. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread
No gluten, no dairy, no problem. This pumpkin bread comes together in minutes with a handful of pantry staples. Cut a slice for breakfast or after coffee and enjoy.
Guzzled by American farmers in the 1800s to beat the heat, this fermented drink experienced a resurgence this year, as it intrigued hipsters everywhere. But whether popular or not, you’re sure to love this chilled drink made from apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Psst: you can even make switchel into a cocktail!
10. Gluten-Free Banana Bread
Make good use of your too-ripe bananas with this easy, gluten-free bread recipe. My version skips the refined carbs and sugars and uses only natural ingredients like almond flour and coconut milk to make a banana bread that’s better than the original.
11. Spaghetti Squash Recipe
Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to carb-heavy traditional pasta dishes. In this version, we roast the squash and top it with tomatoes, basil, fresh feta cheese and a homemade dressing for a light new take on Italian.
12. Sauerkraut Recipe
You might be familiar with it as a hot dog topping, but sauerkraut is one of my favorite fermented foods. It’s chock-full of probiotics, the good bacteria our bodies need to fight off the ones. While you’ll need to plan ahead before enjoying this one — it should sit for at least four weeks — it’s definitely worth the wait.
13. Gluten-Free Pecan Pie
This holiday treat gets a gluten-free makeover with a cassava flour-based pie crust and a mouthwatering filling made from maple syrup, pecans, vanilla and cinnamon. It’s so good you’ll want to eat it year-round!
14. Pumpkin Bars
Easier than pumpkin cheesecake bars, these tasty little bars are packed with beta-carotene, needed to convert nutrients into vitamin A, thanks to the pumpkin. Vanilla adds an antioxidant boost, while maple syrup sweetens things up naturally. When you need a dessert but you’re short on time and/or skill, these are a safe (and delicious) bet.
15. Gut-Healing Smoothie
One glass of this smoothie packs in more nutrients than your average meal. Avocado and coconut milk give this drink its creamy texture, bananas and honey sweeten things up and a mix of my favorite greens add an extra nutrient boost. You’ll feel satisfied for hours thanks to the chia seeds, too. Add this to your morning ritual, and your gut will thank you.
16. Gluten-Free Pie Crust
This gluten-free crust makes up the base of many pie recipes on my site and once you try it, you’ll understand why. It’s made from cassava flour, which is grain-, nut- and gluten-free and comes from the yuca plant. Best of all, this pie crust is super versatile and makes a great substitute for any of your own pie recipes.
17. Vegan Coconut Cocoa Cheesecake
“Vegan” and “cheesecake” don’t sound like two words that go together and yet, this yummy, no-bake dessert is one of my favorites. The filling is spectacular, with coconut milk and raw, soaked cashews combining forces to create a creamy filling your family will find hard to believe has no dairy.
18. Hot Cocoa Recipe
Perfect on chilly nights with a warm fire and fuzzy socks, this hot cocoa recipe is an all-ages crowd pleaser. It’s super thick and decadent from the coconut milk and dark chocolate bar (yes, real chocolate!), but also uses bone broth protein powder for a protein kick. Skip the store-bought powdered stuff, and make this drink instead.
19. Crockpot Breakfast Casserole
This hearty breakfast casserole, made with chicken sausage, sweet potatoes and eggs, is prepared in the crockpot over 6 to 8 hours, for little hands-on time. In fact, you could set this before bed and have breakfast waiting in the morning! With a variety of veggies and raw sheep cheese, this casserole could even double as dinner.
20. No-Bake Coconut Cookies
These no-bake, gluten-free cookies are an awesome snack for kids and kids at heart. With honey, almond butter, flaxseed and cacao nibs, they have a crunchy, chocolate-y flavor without any suspicious ingredients. Best of all, since you should keep these in the freezer, you can make multiple batches to store and always have on hand.
5 Honorable Mentions
While these recipes didn’t quite make it into the top 20, they’re still some of my favorites for the year. Give them a try in 2017!
1. Turmeric Eggs
This recipe is an egg-cellent way to enjoy all the powerful health benefits of turmeric at the start of your day. Made with ghee, which is often better for cooking than butter, and a variety of herbs and veggies, this egg dish is sure to be a new favorite.
2. Peppermint Patties
Chocolate, peppermint and honey — what’s not to love? These sweet little treats are made extra nutritious thanks to the coconut oil they’re prepared with. They’re easy to make and taste great; add them to your snack jar!
3. Tuscan White Bean Soup
Serve up a bowl of Mediterranean-style soup with this Tuscan recipe. It’s a vegan-friendly meal that’s loaded with fiber and protein, thanks to the white beans and array of vegetables, and makes a fantastic main course.
4. Coconut Boosters
These coconut boosters are the perfect post-gym snack. Filled with healthy fats from the coconut oil, a bit of crunch from chia seeds and extra flavor from vanilla and honey, you can toss these in your bag and munch on the go.
5. Cellulite Slim Juice
Help balance your hormones and slim down the appearance of cellulite with this all-natural drink. Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory, while lemon and cucumber refresh and help detox. The result is a juice you’ll want to sip daily.