Posts in Category: Baked
It was with swift fortitude that I began to experiment in cracker making once I made the leap into grain and wheat-free eating. The cost of purchasing a box of wheat and grain-free crackers, containing maybe 20 crackers (sometimes less), is ridiculous. And hard to find. You can find gluten-free everything, but that’s a whole other post for another day. Giving up refined sugar was easy, I found alternates (raw honey, real, dark maple syrup, dates and bananas) far superior anyways. But pasta. Bread. Crackers. Vehicles with which to devour avocado smashed, and cracked salt and smothered goodness. Other dips and spreads. Without at least one staple with which to enjoy any of these fine things I knew I was in for it and fall off the wagon I did, many a time.
If one is going to completely over-haul their diet and eat/treat food as the medicine it was intended as well as the truly scrumptious and sensual experience that it should be; well then. You need an alternate plan of action. For me it was these crackers. Which, until of recent…have satiated many a would-border-crossing over to the dark-side of grainy, wheat-y goodness. Yet, I’m rather enjoying the well-rested, non-spiked blood sugar, migraine-free days of my life as it happens to be right now…being pre-diabetic in two words? Can SUCK IT. These have become a staple and I’ve moved right along into testing (over and over and over) again a Paleo rye bread recipe. When that recipe gets approved out of test-kitchen status to that of something mouth wateringly magnificent, oh my friends. Then we shall have a smashed avocado on toast party. All the things on toast.
Until then, I have these crackers and they’ve been doing me just fine. Others too, if my neighbours count. (Of course they do. You wish you had neighbours as awesome as I do.) You don’t have to be a Paleo cuisine convert to make/enjoy these beauties. If you care about what you put into your body or simply love delicious food, in a ‘from-scratch’ sort of way; these belong in your mouth.
In the search for a quick weeknight dessert, that can be sent to school the next day as a healthy treat? I was! Luckily, my friend the Baker Babe came to the rescue a while back with this recipe. Except it featured almond meal, so since then I revisited it and experimented a bit and came up with these delicious little suckers.
Again, they are totally 21 Day Fix approved for those of you who give a care, so rock those yellows when and if you wanna! Heck, have an extra one because I said so! You’re welcome!
- 10 pitted Medjool dates (blitzed in food processor with a wee bit of hot water until a paste is formed)
- 2 tbsp. unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 tbsp. coconut flour
- ¾ raw cacao powder
- ½ c. melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1.5 c. sunflower meal (pre-food-processor blitzed sunflower seeds to resemble flour)
- ¾ tsp. g-free baking soda
- ½ tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
- Preheat over to 350 F and grease an 8x8 baking dish with coconut oil
- Whizz sunflower seeds in food processor until a rough flour-like consistency is formed (like almond flour), remove and set aside.
- Whizz medjool dates with a wee smidge of boiling water in the food processor until paste is formed.
- Add coconut flour, cacao powder, melted coconut oil, vanilla, baking soda, salt, eggs and whizz/pulse again until mixed (stopping to scrape down sides as needed).
- Pop in the oven for 35-40 minutes depending on the heat of your oven.
- These need to set for about 20 minutes after baking as they are gooey and I've found that all paleo baked good need time to set as they continue to cook a bit in doing so. Enjoy!
That’s it that’s all. I had a whole whack of ripe bananas to get rid of again. Okay, I purposefully purchase bananas in excess so that I can make nana ice-cream, banana bread, muffins, cakes, smoothies, popsicles, etc. They are pretty much the perfect food, adding sweetness, texture/consistency and elasticity to baked goods and creaminess to blended desserts.
So. Onto the bars. They make a great snack, quick breakfast on-the-go, or dessert crumbled up with coconut or regular yogurt or that banana ice cream I mentioned. Or straight up ice cream if you’re feeling hardcore and your body doesn’t hate you after eating dairy …
Or all the ways, basically. You can put whatever fruit you want in this loaf recipe. You can add cacao or not. Versatile, moist and fluffy … this is a recipe that I played around with a LOT in my little test kitchen until I perfected something that rivaled my old Betty Ctocker banana bread recipe chock full of grains and white sugar.
Not only is it versatile in how you may choose to mix up a batch (or double batch as it were, since I never bake in single batches hence not ever posting single batch recipes when it comes to baked goods), but there are so many ways you can eat it too! Plain is always a good start. We’ve also played around with smearing some almond butter on it with sliced strawberries or slicing the loaf lengthwise, three times, to layer with coconut whipped bream and fresh berries. Last night I brought a loaf to a BBQ and halved and sliced it up to serve with some fresh cherries for dessert.
Banana bread is a quintessential anytime food. Breakfast, snackage or dessert … it hits the spot. I have yet to try it topped or wrapped with bacon. I don’t want to hear about it if you decide to do that. Blasphemy.
My Top 3 Ways Are …
→ With (2 c.) seasonal fresh or frozen fruit added and poured into muffins trays instead of loaf pans
→ Loaves topped with a maple sugar, himalayan pink sea salt nut and dried fruit crumble (walnuts or peacans with dried cherries and a little bit of maple or coconut sugar)
→The addition of raw cacao to make dark chocolate banana loaves! (Add 1/2 c. of raw cacao powder to the double batch recipe below and remove a 1/2 c. of the almond flour.)
As my paleo baking adventures evolve I’m discovering that most cakes, breads, muffins and other such niceties taste better when left alone for a few hours. Never straight out of the oven. There’s just something about that magical science of baking wherein all of the ingredients really bond and cuddle up to one another to create the perfect texture. This bread in particular is best the next day! I’ve gotten into the habit of whipping up a double batch at night, whenever I have enough brown bananas, for everyone to enjoy in the morning …
When I first laid eyes upon Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest cookbook, ‘Plenty More’, I knew I had to have it. Cookbooks, in general are the one type of book I splurge on. Usually I suss books out at the library, loan them out and then buy them if I really love the read and plan on revisiting it. Or if I simply want it for my collection. Collecting books is a beautiful, somewhat lost art, what with the internet and kindles and whatever other devices you millenials use.
Myself? I am every bit the techie, for the most part.
But when it comes to books, there is nothing that can replace the feel and smell of a book. Flipping through the pages, stacking them up on my nightside table, tyring to find the last page I was on, falling asleep with that warm, smokey paper smell … it’s a ritual really, one that I savour.
Cookbooks though, that’s a whole other entity. They are meant to be revisted repeatedly, until pages curl and covers become worn and splattered with all previous endeavours and adaptations of favourite recipes. When Trevor got diagnosed with gout, being the holistic wellness seeking bio-hacker that I am (say that three times fast!), I of course went on a mission to learn everything I could about vegetarian cooking. I’ve dabbled with it of couse and my love for vegetables is vast. However vegetables were never the regular highlight of our meals, especially since I went *soft* Paleo. (As in eating right for my body type and avoiding the onset of diabetes with foods that land high on the glycemic index.) Clearly, meat was. Happy meat, yes – but purine laden meat none-the-less.
It’s been a few months now since Trevor’s (finally) diagnosis, and he’s back to eating meat about three time a week TOTAL, which is still is HUGE cut-back for Mr. Meat & Potatoes. So I thought I was onto something when I discovered this caulitflower bread recipe that I made serious test kitchen designs on. I knew I could make it paleo and (thought) it was something that we could eat! Sadly, this beauty bread isn’t the best for Trevor, since cauliflower is high in purines. Purines are what cause a person’s uric acid levels to sky-rocket (if you’re a person with gout), and all horrid that uric acid gathers around joints and crystalizes to cause seriously painful and debilitating flare-ups.
Now that we have things under better control over here regarding his flare-ups, we might get adventurous and try this out again, caultiflower used to be a staple in our house, we used to enjoy it so many different ways, so. When I have time, I cook it still, however I want to while also preparing an alternative for him, but that’s rare, becasue LIFE. No time for that tom foolery on the regular.
Gout, in case you haven’t gleaned by now, sucks the big one. However this bread/cake does not! I fact, I think I’ll make it and bring with me for my weekend away for a dear friend’s birthday. Having healthy, tasty options on hand is always a must when travelling. Onto this recipe already, right?
The ultimate adult cookie. The making of which I’ve dreamed about since the summer, when I harvested all of the glorious english lavender from the garden. We’ve enjoyed vases of it all over the house so far, through the fall and the winter and it was time to say goodbye to some of it to be enjoyed in culinary form…
One of the most delicious quick breads to make, bannock can also be high in carbs and rather generous with the butter (you can’t have bannock without generous amounts of butter!). Not the healthiest of breads, yet still very much loved by many. Including us! It pairs perfectly with soups and stews and I love making it because it’s so quick and easy and doesn’t need to rise!
While spelt flour has the lowest gluten content of all the flours, it’s not toally g-free so if you’re gluten intolerant this might be okay for you but if you’re celiac? No dice. The addition of the coconut flour is used for it’s delicious flavour and texture as well as being g-free.
Even though this bannock recipe is low- carb and considerably healthier than it’s beloved deep fried brethren, we still consider this bread a treat. Versatile and delicious we enjoy it warm with butter (in case I didn’t mention that yet), or butter AND jam, because hello. But most of all we love it best when paired with soups and stews.
I’m thinking of experimenting with smoked wild fish and meat, root vegetables, herbs, cheeses and spices in the future, different variations. Maybe even desserts made with bannock. Probably a full-on gluten-free one too. Until then however, here is the straight up, low-carb, easy-peasy version…
But why? Why on earth would I do that? Psh, you might be saying to yourself…’sure, you could make any baked good without all of those luxurious (necessary) things, but it won’t taste good.’
And after one failed attempt I might have agreed with you. But like
any glutton for punishment, home cook who has a big Holiday table to feed, including a bevy of loved ones with food allergies…I knew I had to perfect this recipe. A pumpkin pie that tastes just as decadent and creamy as it’s traditional velvet-like ancestors…
I struggle with what to call these morsels of joy. They are topped with a most delicious crumble, made with no refined white sugar or white flours. They’re not quite gluten free, but I do use gluten free products in the baking of said joyous muffins.
Basically, they’re just darn good muffins that you can feel good about eating and feeding to your little ones. I’m trying to get into the habit of baking a batch of muffins and cookies one a week to have homemade, package-free snacks to pack into Wyndham’s lunches . So far, so good.
Peaches with olives you say? YES. Oh hells yea. First, one must have a love for kalamata olives. I do – the mister doesn’t, so this melt-in-your-mouth, dip, soak and scoop up with fresh crusty bread tapas style appetizer… it didn’t do it for him.
For those of you who love fresh inspired cuisine? Rustic, seasonal and adventurous food? This is for you. The creamy, perfectly oozy and mild flavour of the brie pairs perfectly with the strong and salty taste of the kalamata olives. The peaches serve as but a sticky sweet vehicle for said olives and brie. And the basil? Well basil in growing in abundance in our garden right now and I had visions of basil infused oil drizzles and basil served with desserts painted with reduced balsamic swirling through my foodie brain…