If you’ve been following me on Instagram or Pinterest, you may have noticed that I have been hoarding recipes like a madwoman, restocking my pantry, and exploring outside dining options that all pertain to Paleo. I’ve been thinking, breathing, and mostly eating Paleo for a little over a week now and I couldn’t resist sharing at least a tiny preview here.
This will eventually become part of a bigger story I plan to tell, including an explanation of what the hell Paleo is for those who don’t know, what my intentions are with making this transition, and sharing some of the challenges. For now, I’ll just let on that I’ve been creeping the diet in meal by meal and with each passing day it does get easier and more fun. Perhaps the biggest fun I’ve had has been in the kitchen. There’s really no better way to be inventive with my cooking and baking than to work with a completely different ingredient list that doesn’t include any of my old standards: any sort of wheat flour, pasta, canola oil, butter, beans, rice, potatoes, all sugars, soy sauce, all dairy, and bread (including whole grain!). Of course processed foods are also a no-no but since I don’t eat that stuff anyway, it’s not a big deal. It’s been a trip trying to be creative with the rest.
Today I decided to tackle what for me was my biggest concern: baking. I’ve never worked with any kind of flour not based from wheat, so I had no clue what to expect from coconut and almond flour. Replacing the fat and sugar with coconut oil and mashed fruit respectively, was another unknown. I figured it was time to give it a shot. Here’s what I came up with.
PALEO PUMPKIN PECAN COOKIES adapted from Everyday Paleo
- 1 cup of almond meal
- *1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of cooked and mashed yam, pumpkin, or butternut squash
- *¼ cup coconut milk
- 2-4 tablespoons maple syrup
*Notes and Alterations: Instead of using chopped walnuts, I used pecans because I like it better with pumpkin and I was running low on the former anyway. I added 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg to add some more depth of flavor. The coconut milk was subbed with almond milk since I didn’t have any on hand. One word for these cookies: DELICIOUS.
PALEO APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS adapted from paleOMG
- *1 apple, cored and diced
- 1 cup almond flour/meal
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- *2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon (the more the better)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
*Notes and Alterations: I used one medium-sized gala apple, cored, cubed, and unpeeled. There’s debate in the paleo community about using honey and this recipe includes 2 tbsp of raw honey. I subbed with pureed dates that I made by chopping about 6 pitted dates and placing it in a food processor with a bit of water. I had the afterthought once I put the muffins in the oven that natural unsweetened applesauce would have been best for both flavor and moistness. These muffins were very good, although a bit denser than I anticipated. I’ll definitely try this again with the applesauce to note the differences. A solid breakfast muffin recipe.
Today was a great one for kitchen experimentation. I feel open to try a lot of new things that I hadn’t really thought of before and that’s a pretty awesome byproduct of what has been an admittedly difficult lifestyle change. I still can’t let go of my greek yogurt!! Sigh. More to come folks. Stay tuned! 🙂