Locavore Blog: Venison Swedish Meatballs (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)

The second bow season in Vermont begins this Saturday, Dec. 6, and runs through Dec. 14. I’m hopeful to get out in my tree stand during this brief (albeit cold) second season in hopes that one of these deer decide to visit.

0825:110414:17F:2839:CAMERA1 :3We got our first snow storm over the Thanksgiving weekend and had a chance to try out the plow attachment on our Honda Pioneer. We had about 10 inches once it stopped and were able to make paths to our woodpile and chicken coop. Here’s a short video we put together (hope you like the soundtrack):

Ironically, two days after that huge storm, the weather warmed up and our snow is nearly gone. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the warm(er) weather to stay so that my time spent in a tree stand is a tad more manageable. I think I need to invest in one of those Heater Bodysuits or use my sewing skills to create more pockets on my camo to insert hand warmers. I’ve even seen tips that suggest using a heated back wrap under your clothing to keep body temperatures up.

I would rather spend time concentrating on bow hunting than on staying warm in the stand. Do you have any tips for staying warm during the late season?

Over the weekend, I also prepared amazing venison Swedish meatballs that are gluten-free and dairy-free and also incredibly tasty. My recipe appears below. Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of ingredients — most of them are spices. I served mine with roasted potatoes and salad.

Venison Swedish Meatballs

Ingredients: for the meatballs
1 ½ lbs. ground venison
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dried mustard
1/2 cup almond meal (Don’t use pure almond flour. I used Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Ingredients: for the gravy
3 cups bone broth (I used goose stock that I made with the rest of our Thanksgiving goose, but you can use any you prefer.)
3/4 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked for 6 to 8 hours, then drained
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter (or non-dairy butter substitute)
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom


  1. Add all the ingredients for the meatballs to a large mixing bowl and knead well with clean hands to fully combine.
  2. Form into meatballs.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees on parchment paper for 20-25 minutes. (This will vary depending on the meatball size.)
  4. While your meatballs are cooking, add all the ingredients for the gravy to your blender and process on the highest possible speed until completely combined and creamy looking.
  5. Transfer cooked meatballs into pan and pour the gravy mixture on them. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and cook the meatballs for about 20 to 25 minutes on a slow simmer.
  6. Eat!

Unfortunately the only photo I grabbed features my olive oil front and center. The meatballs are in the orange pot behind it. That’s what happens when real life takes center stage instead of styled photos!

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