Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Paleo Chocolate Swirl Banana Cake

My husband's grandmother just celebrated her 89th birthday, so we decided to have a special celebration at our house with the kiddos.  It's not everyday you turn 89!  So we wanted to have a little cake and sing to make it extra special.

This recipe is wonderful to make with little helpers.  Lots of opportunities for measuring, stirring and mixing.

I also added a super easy glaze which I will detail below.  Since I will not be eating this cake I used milk to make the glaze, but you could just as easily use almond or coconut milk for a dairy free glaze.

With a few candles you've got a lovely cake!

Paleo Chocolate Swirl Banana Cake
3 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
3 bananas, mashed
2 tbs oil, whatever oil you prefer to bake with (examples would be walnut, coconut, even olive)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (ACV)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Swirl (optional)
1 tbs cocoa powder
splash vanilla extract
1 tbs maply syrup
1/2 tbs oil
splash of your preferred milk, if needed

Glaze (optional and not paleo)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
splash vanilla or maple extract
couple tablespoons milk of choice, starting with just one, and add more until reaching desired consistency

Preheat your oven to 350.  I prefer to line a 9" square pan with parchment, but grease yours if you don't like or don't have parchment.

Mash your bananas and mix in your eggs, oil, syrup, ACV, and extract.  In a separate bowl, mix your almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and then add wet to dry and incorporate.

Pour your batter into your baking pan.  In a small bowl, mix up your chocolate swirl.  Pour it over top of the batter, and with a sharp knife or toothpick, swirl the chocolate mixture around until it's well distributed.  I had some additional leftover that I just drizzled on the top.  Bake at 350 until a toothpick comes out cleanly- start checking at 20 min.

When the cake has cooled you can pour your glaze on top, and use the back of a spoon to distribute.

While this cake is grain and dairy free, it does have almond flour so is certainly not suitable for those with nut allergies.  There are scores of coconut flour banana bread recipes available however.  I have one on this blog, but it uses sugar-free sweeteners, which I no longer use or approve of.  It would be easy enough to sub out the SF sweetener for maple syrup or whatever, but I would rather put up a new recipe than link to that one.

When it comes to baking, at this point my personal stance is that there are really no baked-goods that I should be eating, as I no longer eat artificially sweetened things, and cannot really tolerate the carbs or sugar anyways.  Whatever I bake is going to be for friends and family, and I want to be sure everything I use is natural, free of pesticides or chemicals, and as healthful as possible.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lemon Thyme Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are IMO.  They are super easy to roast, a total crowd pleaser, and so damn good for ya.  It's always nice to bring a brussel sprout dish rather than your customary green bean side dish I think.  We have roasted brussel sprouts pretty regularly in our household, so when making them for company it's nice to give your usual recipe a little boost.

This recipe definitely accomplishes that.  With a fresh, bright flavor and a bit of a tang, these are for sure not your average sprouts.  With just a few extra steps, you'll have an updated brussel sprout dish in no time.

Lemon Thyme Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Bag (or two) or Brussel sprouts, quartered
Juice from half a lemon
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 tbs dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients well on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes, or until browned.  These are also good cold the following day, and are really excellent tossed into a salad if you have leftovers.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Paleo Cauliflower Broccoli Mash and Ground Beef Bowl

Funny lookin' bowl of food eh?  Yep, sure is.  And you know what- who cares?  It's tasty, it's easy, it's chock full of veggies, and it is FAST!

I was rummaging through the freezer yesterday, trying to locate my frozen bags of cauli, when I
thought- ugh how boring, cauli mash again.  Why not switch things up a little and make a cauli/broccoli mash?  It will be bright green and a totally new flavor.  Sounds fun right?

This is not even a recipe.  You throw a bag of steam-in-the-bag cauliflower and a bag of broccoli in the microwave and then get your stick-blender and mash it all up in a bowl with butter and salt and you're dunzo.  Cook your ground meat and spoon it over the top and you are good to go!  Obviously this side would be totally appropriate for whatever protein you have on hand, but I thought this sounded appealing and it was already defrosted so there you go.

The best part is that leftovers are perfect for my twin one-year-olds.  This is a great meal for little eaters as it is soft and easy to chew.

So next time you are considering cauli mash for the hundredth time, swap in some broccoli for some green mash that will give you and your kiddos the giggles.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Bread- Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free

#Pumpkinspice is a thing.  It's a stupid thing if you ask me, since really all it means is that something has some combination of cinnamon, ginger, and clove in it, but it's a thing all the same.  Don't even get me started on the pumpkin spice lattes at starbucks.  Oh my god, none of the ingredients in that are even food!  Blech!

Anyways- if you are wanting a quick and easy recipe for pumpkin bread that is entirely nut and dairy free, this is your ticket.

I highly suggest you give my maple syrup/molasses combo a try to get an especially warm and spicy flavor, but if you don't like molasses or just don't have any, using all maple syrup will still be delish.

You could also bake this in a muffin tin for pumpkin spice muffins.  Or frost it for a cake.  Or bake it in a square pan for bars.  Lots and lots and possibilities.

Pumpkin Spice Bread
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp clove (optional, I chose not to use it because I hate cloves, but customarily that is part of "pumpkin spice")
5 eggs
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp ACV
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350.  Mix all your wet ingredients, and then add your dry and incorporate well.  Pour into a greased, or parchment lined loaf pan and bake until firm, 25 to 45 min depending on your oven.  You will notice this has a very dark appearance due to the molasses.  That is fine!