MOSTLY PALEO SAVOURY QUICK BREAD

quick bread

I have been lusting after cheese scones for a while now and this is the best I have come up with to sate the cravings so far…

I don’t usually have cheese and I think you could definitely leave it out here if it doesn’t fit with the way you eat, but I really felt like it!

I’m quite lucky in that my mother has a bumper crop of zucchinis at the moment so that’s what I put in, but I think you could happily add whatever veges you wanted to put in; some chopped spinach or silverbeet, some sautéed mushrooms, some semi dried tomatoes…

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ Cups almond meal

¾ Cup of tapioca flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

5 eggs

1 ½ tsps. Cider vinegar

½ Cup grated zucchini

½ Cup grated sheeps milk parmesan

Handful of pumpkin and sunflower seeds for scattering over the top (optional, but nice)

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your over to 180 C.

Grease and line a loaf tin with coconut oil and baking paper.

Put all your dry ingredients together in one bowl and in a separate container (I use a large jug, perfect for pouring) mix together all your remaining ingredients, except the seeds.  Beat well to combine and then pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Mix together until just completely combined and then tip into your loaf tin.  Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the top and then put in the oven to bake for ~35 mins or until golden brown on top and a skewer comes out clean.

Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack so the steam doesn’t make it soggy.  Eat within a couple of days or slice and freeze.

PALEO BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

blueberry muffin

Blueberry muffins are such a ubiquitous comestible that I feel like my cooking repertoire is incomplete without having a go to paleo version for those times when only a blueberry muffin will do.  You know the ones.

We’re very fortunate to be in the midst of blueberry season here and what better time to experiment with blueberry muffin recipes than when you can get punnets and punnets of them nice and cheap!

INGREDIENTS

½ Cup blueberries

3 eggs

2 Tbsps melted coconut oil

½ Cup coconut milk

1/3 Cup + 2 Tbsps coconut flour

2 Tbsps of maple syrup or coconut sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp baking soda

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your oven to 180 C.

Add all your dry ingredients to a large bowl.  Whisk together your wet ingredients in a separate bowl then pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients fold loosely together, then drop in the blueberries and gently mix together to distribute.  Line your muffin tray with patty cases and scoop your muffin mixture into each one.  Bake for 30 – 35 mins until they’re golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Store in the fridge if not using straight away.

blueberry muffin 2

Paleo Bagels

bagel

Season’s greetings everyone!  I hope you all had a safe and happy time with your loved ones.

Apologies for being silent for so long, the Bear family traditionally escapes after Christmas Day to a wee beach on the East Coast for some serious relaxing time.  It’s a stunningly beautiful place but there’s definitely no internet (I count myself lucky there is running water and electricity!) so we read lots of books (I can now recite Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack by heart) and went for lots of walks.  Hubby Bear didn’t wear a shirt for the entire holiday and spent lots of time out the back mowing the lawn, grilling meat over flames and growling happily to himself.  Baby Bear ate lots of sand and wore no clothes at all while I rediscovered the delicious joy of naps on sultry afternoons and continued to wear clothes, technically.  This might be a bit of a Kiwi joke, but ‘togs, togs, undies’ doesn’t apply when you’re at the beach all the time!!  For those of you who have no idea what I’m going on about, check it out here, you’ll be richer for the experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-Lx2ihpGbc

Well the other tradition we have is bagels for breakfast with my family on Christmas day with salmon, capers, red onions, tomato and avocado.  The following is an attempt to Paleofy that tradition.  Give it a go!  (Eating them for breakfast with my family is totally optional unless you like that sort of thing, in which case more power to you but I should warn you my sister has been known to bite during discussions over who gets the last of the smoked salmon.)

INGREDIENTS

½ C tepid water

½ tsp sea salt

4 T melted coconut oil

1 ¼ C tapioca or arrowroot flour

1 egg

¼ C + 2 T coconut flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp organic poppy seeds

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 180 C.

Combine the water, salt and coconut oil in a medium bowl, then slowly whisk in the tapioca flour. Next add the egg and combine well. Now add the remaining ingredients and let it sit for 3-5 minutes to firm up a bit.

Roll the dough into 4 standard or 8 mini sized balls. Press your finger in the middle and shape into a bagel shape.

Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 18 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!!

bagel 2

Paleo Banana Muffins

banana muffin

I feel like a passed a few rites of passage as a Mama bear this weekend; we did water play on the deck in our bikinis (well baby bear started in her bikini… I now have a very cute nakie dancing photo that I’m saving for baby bear’s 21st), I got the answer to whether a bear poos in the woods (nope, they do it in their bath…) and we did our first baking together.  And from these great milestones I learnt some pretty good lessons; I should invest in more water proof sunscreen, I should try and buy shares in ecostore cleaning products, but also that there is no point in using them to clean the kitchen floor just before doing baking…

Regardless of all of this the banana muffins we made together were a great hit with baby bear and Hubby bear 🙂

INGREDIENTS

2 large bananas, the riper the better

3 eggs

110g almond flour

1 Tablespoon honey

1/4 Cup sultanas

1/4 Cup chopped walnuts

Coconut oil for greasing the loaf tin

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your oven to 180C and then either use some coconut oil to grease a 6 cup muffin tray or line with patty cases.

Place your peeled bananas into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an ‘S’ blade and pulse to mush up.

Add in the rest of your ingredients – now here are some optional extra steps, I don’t usually do these myself, but we went through them all yesterday and the muffins were great, so perhaps there’s something in them;

Take an extra Tablespoon of almond flour and tip it partly on the bench, but mostly on the floor.

Pick four of the sultanas out of the food processor, eat three of them and spit the fourth one on the floor, cry until you find it again, put it back in your mouth and then spit it out on the floor again because it’s covered in almond flour and you don’t like the texture, lick your apron.

Lick the honey on the spoon, let someone else put most of the honey from the spoon into the food processor, put the spoon under your apron to pretend that it’s disappeared, then pull it out and try and put the entire Tablespoon into your mouth to lick off any remaining honey traces you can find.

Once you’ve worked through that, pulse the food processor to mix everything until it’s just combined together.

Pour mixture into your muffin tray and bake for ~30 minutes or until browned and when you insert a skewer in the middle it comes out clean.

There are also some option extras for consumption as well; again these are totally up to you.

Take a few bites of your muffin, then break a little bit off and try pushing it up your nose.

Put the muffin down on your plate and lean forward to take the next few bites without picking it up in your hands.

Crumble some of your muffin off and drop it down in your lap, then get upset when you can’t find all the bits.

Push the entire remaining muffin into your mouth till you look like a chipmunk and spend the next minute or so trying to chew it enough to swallow without anything falling out of your mouth.

Enjoy!

Paleo Bread

Photo

Isn’t life a wonderful dichotomy? Those who know me will tell you that I have a wardrobe full of high heeled shoes, gorgeous, elegant, sexy and delicious, but these same people will also tell you that I am almost always wearing flats.  The siren song of the heels calls to me.  They sing their sweet song from the shoe shops and under a spell I try them and buy them, taking them home to join their fellows in my wardrobe.  I do fully intend to wear them all, however when it comes to crunch I am rather more practical.  I tend to walk in what I like to call a positive, dynamic way (hubby bear calls it wifey’s crazy striding) and try as I might I can’t walk like that in high heels and if I can’t walk like that I get frustrated.  So the rest of my wardrobe is stuffed with flats, sad but true.

What, you may well ask, has any of this to do with paleo cooking, or family life?  Patience, patience, where I’m going with this is here – Paleo bread.  To me, other than my pathological love and avoidance of high heels, paleo bread is the other great contradiction in life.  That something so fundamentally carb rich could be converted to a Paleo friendly form seems mystical.  But here’s the thing, when I was pregnant I craved sandwiches.  Pregnancy was in the days pre-Paleo so the bread was your standard gluten free fare.  Don’t get excited, this isn’t a rambling way of announcing that I’m pregnant again, but I have promised hubby bear it’s not completely off the cards, so at some stage in the future (when I’ve forgotten what chronic sleep deprivation does to you) it could happen again and when that time comes I fully intend to be prepared (somehow, I just know I’ll look back on this and laugh at the naivety…).

Well at least in the interim I can enjoy some almond butter and lettuce sandwiches.  Give them a try, they’re really good.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups ground almonds

2 Tablespoons coconut flour

¼ cup ground flaxseeds (flaxmeal or linseedmeal)

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

5 eggs

1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.

Place the ground almonds, coconut flour, flax, salt and baking soda in the bowl of your food processor  fitted with an ‘S’ blade.  Pulse ingredients to roughly mix together, then pulse in the eggs, oil, honey and vinegar.

Transfer batter to a greased and lined loaf pan .

Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool in the pan, then use straight away or cover and store in the fridge for up to three days.

Paleo Almond & Berry Slice

coconut almond berry slice

I was a big fan of traditional Louise slice and this creation is a nod to that.

INGREDIENTS

Base & Topping

1 ½ Cups coconut flour

1 ¾ Cups almond flour

1 Cup of coconut sugar

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice

1 Cup of cold coconut oil, chopped into small pieces

Filling

4 eggs

½ Cup coconut flour

1 Cup maple syrup

1 Cup of coconut milk

1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Cup no sugar berry fruit spread

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your oven to 175 C and line a slice tin with baking paper.

Put the base/topping ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an ‘S’ blade.  Pulse until the mixture starts to clump together.  Depending on the weather and moisture content in your almond flour etc. you may need to add a little bit of water, but it you do, please go carefully.  Use icy cold water and add it a drop at a time.  Once your mixture is clumping together tip it out on to a clean bench and knead lightly.  Separate 1 Cup of the mixture and put aside for the topping.  Press the rest of the mixture into your lined slice tray and place in the oven to bake for ~10 minutes or until golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 mins while you make the filling.

Place all your filling ingredients, except the berry fruit spread into your food processor (I didn’t even bother to wipe mine out from making the base/topping) and whizz to combine.  Spread the berry fruit spread over the slightly cooled base and then pour the rest of the filling over the top.  Crumble the 1 cup of reserved topping over the top and place in the oven to bake for another 50 mins or until the topping is golden brown.  Let cool completely and then refrigerate.  I personally think this is best the next day, but suit yourself 🙂

RAW CHOCOLATE CARAMEL SLICE

Monday to Friday sees me shooting off emails, scanning spreadsheets, sitting through agency wips and sales call meetings, concocting marketing campaigns and competing in the all-important office bake off (which I fully intend to win, by the way).  Here is today’s effort.

choc caramel slice

You really do need to have a food processor for this.

INGREDIENTS

Base

1 Cup almonds

1 Cup medjool dates

Pinch of salt

Filling

1 Cup of cashew butter

½ Cup of melted coconut oil

1 Cup of medjool dates

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Topping

½ Cup of melted coconut oil

6 Tablespoons of raw cacao powder

¼ Cup of maple syrup

1 Tablespoon of boiling water

DIRECTIONS

To make the base, place the almonds and dates into the bowl of your food processor fitted with an ‘S’ blade and blitz until the mixture begins to stick together.  This does take a little while so I would suggest giving your food processor a break every 30 seconds or so to ensure the motor doesn’t over heat.  Once the mixture starts to clump together, scoop it out and press into the base of a 20cm baking pan (if your pan is not non-stick lay some baking paper down first).  Place in the fridge to harden while you make the filling.

To make the caramel filling, give the bowl of your processor a quick wipe over then place the cashew butter, coconut oil, dates and vanilla extract in.  Blend until smooth then spoon on top of the base, spreading with a spatula to get it even.  Place back in the fridge.  This layer really needs to be set firmly before you try and spread the topping over so leave in the fridge for an hour if you can or if you don’t have that much time, place in the freezer for 20 mins.

To make the topping, give your food processor a wipe out again (see why I said you can’t make this without one!!) and place all the ingredients for the topping in.  Blend until completely combined and smooth and then carefully spread over the filling.  Place back into the fridge until completely set, about 2 hours.

There weren’t really any left-overs from the office bake off, but if you do have some don’t leave out of the fridge for too long as the centre will start to soften (but it’s still yummy!).