Tag Archives: paleo friendly

DIY raw coconut milk, coconut flour and coconut butter

So, we’ve dabbled in the paleo world on and off for just over a year now. Steve’s never quite lost the baby weight he gained while I was pregnant with Caleb and with Jenna on the way, he’s determined to lose some weight before her arrival. He joined a gym a few months ago and is on the paleo bandwagon again.

He bought a couple of coconuts last week exactly for this project and then left them on the counter top while he flew to TX to help his mom move and drive back to MD so today, I finally decided to do something about them. In about an hour, I had  2 quarts of fresh coconut milk, a pint of coconut flour ready to be dehydrated and 4 oz of coconut cream that will be made into coconut oil.

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Grab yourself two mature coconuts. The ones here are pre-scored for easier cracking

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Whack your coconut open. I used a badass meat cleaver.

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Once your coconut cracks, you can wedge it open with a butter knife. Up to you if you want to save or toss the coconut water inside. Some people will drink it like Gatorade, though when we were in Hawaii, we were told that drinking too much of it will give you the runs.

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There you have yourself a beautiful coconut!

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I used a spoon to wedge the coconut meat from the shell. Use a veggie peeler to remove the rest of the shell.

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Add about 1/2 the coconut meat to a food processor with a cup of water. If you have a blender, you could probably do everything all at once. Add less water if you want more of a coconut cream like you’d find in a can.

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Let it go to town for a bit.

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Once you’re done blending, pour everything in a cheesecloth over a bowl.

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SQUEEEEEEZE! The liquid will be your coconut milk.

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When you’re done squeezing, save the coconut pulp.

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Spread your pulp onto the tray you’d use for fruit leather on your food dehydrator. Let it go for a few hours. Alternatively, you can do this in your oven at the lowest temp. Once it’s dried, pop it back in the food processor.

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In the end we had 2 quarts of coconut milk (we had already used some for our fruit smoothies earlier), a pint of coconut flour and coconut cream (which I’m currently making coconut oil).

So, there you have it! The coconut milk will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days to use it up! I already have plans for coconut infused rice and some butter chicken recipe that my friend Tina verbally told me how to make. Coconut flour can be used in all sorts of paleo baking, especially since Steve’s been on the quest on finding something sweet (he’s been making “cake in a cup”, brownies, cookies, etc).

As for the coconut oil, to make that you can skim the cream and let it ferment for 1-2 days. The oil and water will separate so then you can stick it in the fridge and scrape your oil. That is a work in progress and will be slathered all over my expanding belly :) [SEE BELOW FOR FASTER METHOD]

Oh and if you’re wondering what to do with the coconut shells, this is always fun!

A coconut bra for Caleb?

EDIT: For those who want their coconut oil faster and don’t want to wait for the fermentation process to take place, you can use this method that I saw on a YouTube video. You can heat up your cream on the stove and it will separate–the liquid is the oil so you just pour and strain that out. Voila! I got about 2 oz. in the end.

A faster way to make your coconut oil--heat it up! It will separate and then you can strain your oil.

A faster way to make your coconut oil–heat it up! It will separate and then you can strain your oil.

paleo blackberry cobbler, paleo peach cobbler and conventional peaches & cream cobbler

Cobbler, cobbler, cobbler!

That seems to be the “thing” to make whenever we pick fruits. A few weeks back on a hot, sunny morning, my friend Kelly and her son (Caleb’s BFF), came up to go blackberry picking at the farm around the corner from our house. The blackberries were HUGE and we all filled our buckets with the sweet, juicy fruits while the boys sampled every other berry.


Our berry stash! Each bucket weighed ~8lbs.

With so many blackberries, the first thing I did was split my batch in half, wash them and freeze them. Then, from the remaining stash, I decided to make a paleo blackberry cobbler, a conventional blackberry cobbler and leave the rest to munch on.

If you’re looking for a simple and delicious conventional blackberry cobbler recipe, I always make the one by Pioneer Woman. This what what I made for my mother-in-law after my father-in-law passed when she had guests in the house.

Paleo Blackberry Cobbler (or Crumble)

enough blackberries to fill a 2 1/2 qt. casserole dish (~3 cups)
1 1/2c almond meal
1 egg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2Tbsp coconut oil
honey (optional, not needed if your fruit is really ripe)

Preheat your oven to 35-*f. Wash your blackberries by putting them in a big bowl filled with water and using your fingers as a colander to scoop them up. Pat them dry and place them in your casserole dish.

Mix the almond meal, egg, cinnamon and coconut oil until it almost looks like dough. Using your hands, you can form the “cobbler” dollaps over the blackberries or crumble it over them (like I did below).

Bake for 30-45 minutes until the topping is golden brown. Serve and enjoy!

You can do this with almost any fruit to make a nice cobbler. I used the same recipe for a paleo peach cobbler since we went peach picking earlier on in the week and had sooo many left after I had made peach butters and fruit leathers. The topping was slightly different than the one I made with the blackberry cobbler because I ran out of almond meal and used coconut flour, but it was still very tasty.

Paleo Peach Cobbler

6-7 peaches, peeled, sliced & de-pitted
juice from 1/2 lemon
honey (optional, not needed if your fruit is really ripe)
1c coconut flour
1/2c almond meal
1 egg
2Tbsp coconut oil
1tsp cinnamon
1Tbsp arrowroot starch 

Preheat your oven to 350*f. Over medium heat, cook your peaches until they turn liquid-y. Mix the arrowroot starch with the lemon juice until it’s completely dissolved and add it to the peaches to thicken up the juices. Place them in a 2 1/2 qt. casserole dish and then mix the remaining ingredients together to make your dough. I formed a ball and squashed them in the palm of my hand and placed them on top of the peaches until the dish was covered. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the top is golden brown and then you’re ready to eat!


Years ago when Steve and I purchased our first house in TX, it had a peach tree in the front yard. That summer, it yielded soooo much fruit that I met many of my neighbors who quickly introduced themselves and then then asked if they could pick from peaches. One of the things I made that summer was a peach cobbler with cream cheese in it. I didn’t remember the exact recipe and when I Googled, I didn’t find exactly what I wanted so I ended up combining a few recipes to make my own. I brought it to a birthday party that night and left with an empty casserole dish :)

Peaches and Cream Cobbler

6-7 peaches, peeled, sliced and de-pitted
juice from 1/2 a lemon
honey (optional, not needed if your fruit is really ripe)
8 oz. package of cream cheese
1/4c sugar for the cream cheese, 1c sugar for the batter, 1Tbsp for sprinkling
1c all purpose flour
1c milk for batter and 1/4c for the cream cheese
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp baking soda
1/4tsp salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350*f. Just like the other cobbler recipe, over medium heat, cook the peaches, juice from 1/2 a lemon and honey if you’re using any. Once the peaches have cooked, put them in a 3 qt casserole dish.

Mix the cream cheese, 1/4c sugar and 1/4c milk with a mixer until everything’s blended and smooth. Dollop the cream cheese mixture into your casserole dish.

Mix 1c flour, 1c sugar, 1 cup milk, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Pour the batter over the peaches and cream cheese mixture. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes before sprinkling on a sugar topping. Continue to bake for an additional 30 minutes.

The cake will sop up the oozy peach juices. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

 

 

 

 

 

ch-ch-ch-chia! Paleo vanilla chia seed pudding

If you can get over the look of chia seeds once it absorbs the coconut milk, then this pudding is actually pretty good and not to mention packed with omega-3, anti-oxidants, fiber and protein. It’s got the consistency of tapioca (which used to be my favorite as a kid). Since buying a huge back from Costco, I’ve been trying to figure out ways of using it short of just adding them to water and chugging them (I’ve added them to smoothies, baking in muffins and stuffed cabbage).

Paleo Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

2c coconut or almond milk
1/4c honey, maple syrup or agave syrup
1/2c chia seeds
2tspn vanilla extract

Mix everything together and let it sit in the fridge for 3-4 hours in a covered bowl. Give it a good stir about half-way through. Top of fruit, add cinnamon or cocoa to jazz it up though I’m a Plain Jane and like it simple like this.

We’re back from our cruise! Paleo blueberry-lemon mini muffins…

We’re baaaaaaaack! After taking almost a month off for traveling, and cruising, we’re slowly getting back into the swing of things. Our Mediterranean cruise was AMAZING and we ended up going to seven countries during our trip. And as much as I enjoyed not having to cook or clean for that long, I missed Caleb like CRAZY and couldn’t wait to get back home to him. More cruise details in a later post…

After eating like gluttonous pigs on the cruise (four course meals every.single.day), we’re set on a healthier life style. Steve is really set on being paleo and sticking to it this time so I’m going along with it for the ride.

I took Caleb blueberry picking for the first time to catch the tail end of the season. It was sooo hot even in the morning that we ended up quitting after 30 minutes. Caleb really enjoyed the tractor ride and the novelty of picking blueberries faded in 5 minutes though he did like seeing all the beetles that were eating the berries. We (or I) picked just under a pound of blueberries so today, I decided to make…


Paleo Blueberry-Lemon Mini Muffins

1c almond flour
1/2c coconut flour
1/2c flaxseed meal
2Tbsp chia seeds
1/4 honey, maple syrup, agave syrup or sweetener of your choice
1ts baking soda
1/2ts kosher salt
2 eggs
1/4c coconut or almond milk
juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon
1/2c of blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350*f. Line or grease your mini muffin pan (this recipe is perfect for one that is for 24 mini muffins). Mix dry and wet ingredients before gently folding in blueberries. Drop in a tablespoon of dough for each muffin (I found it easier to do this by hand). Bake for 20-30 minutes and you’ll have yourself a tasty treat!

I’m sure you could make them into regular sized muffins or even a loaf. I went with the mini muffin option since Caleb tends to eat more of things that are bite sized. And feel free to use just almond flour or coconut flour. I just happened to have a bunch of stuff and wanted to use the last of my coconut flour and flaxseed meal so I could reclaim some of my fridge space back. Lemons and blueberries go so well together (I made some blueberry-lemon ricotta pancakes back in the day that were soooo good). 

Enjoy!!

 

 

Project 365, Day 6: Paleo brownie recipes! The good and the bad.

Yesterday, I made paleo brownies that were almost passable for the non-paleo version! I used the recipe based off of Baker Gal’s recipe after she had done extensive research and testing with several recipes so I used her recipe and only tweaked it slightly. It was really good!

11/4 cup raw light agave syrup, gently heated (or raw honey)
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
1 cup almond butter (ground myself in the food processor)
1 egg
1/4 coconut flour (my extra addition)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1. Heat agave syrup gently over stove until warm (do not allow to boil). Stir in cocoa powder over low heat until smooth. Cocoa burns easily, so keep the heat on very very low.
2. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients except salt until thoroughly mixed.
3. Sprinkle batter with salt, and fold batter to mix it in.
4. Pour into foil-lined or parchment paper-lined 8×8 baking pan (or, grease the pan with coconut oil or your preferred oil)
5. Bake at 325F for 40-50 min.  Use toothpick inserted in center to determine done-ness. (I baked mine in a glass pan at 325F for 45 minutes, and it seemed perfect). Let cool completely before cutting. Store in a plastic ziplock bag to preserve moisture.

I used the Baker’s Edge brownie pan and in reality I really should have doubled the recipe, but I only had enough agave syrup for what the recipe called for so the brownies were almost like a cookie bar, but still tasted great.


Recipe was kid tested and approved!


Today, I tried another paleo brownie recipe. This one was from My Paleo Life. The only swap I did was use cocoa powder and coconut oil for the dark chocolate since I didn’t have any. It looked promising when I took the batch out of the oven, but taste-wise, BIG THUMBS DOWN! Steve took one bite and put the piece back. I’m throwing it out and sad that I wasted two sweet potatoes on it. I’m sticking with Baker Gal’s recipe in the future.


The dud brownies.

 

Project 365, Day 2: Paleo-friendly beef stir fry

Caleb woke up at 2am so Steve brought him into bed with us. At 6:30am, he started vomiting. In bed. All over me and the bed. After cleaning up, it happened two more times so we got up for the day while Steve got ready for work.

I made Caleb some toast which ended up being fed to the dogs. I gave him some apples in which he ate and then threw up, twice. But each time he threw up, he was totally fine afterwards. I made him some ginger tea just by boiling some ginger slices and sweetening it with a bit of coconut sugar. After that, no more episodes!

We were both exhausted so after a small lunch, we both laid down for a nap for three glorious hours.

Anyway, I made a paleo-friendly beef stir fry for dinner. It’s not much different from your traditional stir fry recipe with exception of the soy sauce. I swapped it out for fish sauce instead and added some water. End result was tasty, quick and easy!


Paleo-friendly Beef Stir Fry

2T of fish sauce
2T of water
1T of freshly grated ginger
1/2T rice vinegar
1/2T honey
1/2T sriracha or chili sauce
2-3 minced cloves of garlic

2-3T of coconut oil
1lb of steak (I used sirloin) cut into bite size pieces
1 onion sliced
1c of mushrooms sliced
1c of broccoli florets
1c carrots sliced

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce. After cutting the steak, put it in a Ziploc bag with about 1/2 the sauce and let it sit for about 30 minutes. In a wok or large frying pan, saute the steak in coconut oil for a few minutes. Remove and add veggies to the pan with remaining sauce. Cook for a few minutes, add back the steak and serve. If you’re a moderate paleo, you can cook up some brown rice, otherwise enjoy!

Paleo Friendly Recipe: turkey sausage, sweet potatoes, spinach and bacon

Today was such a gorgeous day! Caleb and I took advantage of this 70*f day in December and went to the playground so he could get some energy out. Steve was able to come home early and once Caleb was down for his nap, we raked up the yard. I can’t get over how much my hands hurt! Wah, wah.

Anyway, onward to our paleo dinner. I was Googling for something with sweet potatoes since I bought some yesterday and came across this recipe. After looking at it, it reminded me of something my friend, Liz, used to make only it had pasta instead of sweet potatoes.

I did some minor tweaking, but this was a quick and easy recipe that took 15 minutes to whip up. Plus, it was REALLY good with the subtle sweetness of the sweet potatoes, the saltiness of the bacon and the hint of spiciness from the sausage.


Paleo friendly meal of the night!

1. Render some bacon fat if you don’t have any handy. I used three slices of nitrate-free bacon.
2. Peel and dice two sweet potatoes (or in my case, one HUGE one)
3. Sautee the sweet potatoes with the bacon fat and 2T of butter over medium heat until tender. Season as you please–I used salt, basil, sage, dried onions and paprika.
4. In a separate pan (I used a dutch oven), cook through 1lbs of hot turkey sausage. If you bought them in link form, uncase them.
5. Once the turkey sausage is cooked, combine with the sweet potatoes.
6. Add some spinach (I just dumped whatever I had left in the fridge), and cover to wilt.
7. Mix everything together, plate, and top with bacon.
8. Enjoy!!

A Paleo friendly (and maybe one not-so friendly) recipe: Biscuits and creme brulee

As some of you may know, Steve is trying the Paleo diet. I don’t know too much about it other than it being called the “Caveman” diet and eliminating processed foods from your diet. It sounds like a good deal…something that I probably should be doing. Though, I think the hardest part is the bread and pasta. So, I looked into a Paleo-friendly biscuit recipe to go with the brisket I had roasting for dinner.

I found a recipe here that looked promising and decided to give it a go. A lot of the comments said that the batter was too runny, but I found it to be perfect! You just have to make sure you get the egg whites nice and fluffy like you’re making a meringue. As for taste, it did have a coconutty flavor that reminded me of a blank macaroon. It was actually pretty good.


Only 6 simple ingredients for the biscuits: 6 egg whites, 3/4c of almond flour, 1/4c coconut flour, 1t baking powder, 1/4t salt, 1 1/2T coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350*f while you gather your materials. I stuck the egg whites in my Kitchenaid with the whisk and let it go to town while I mixed everything else together. I used a pastry blender for the flours, salt, baking powder and coconut oil. I stuck it in the fridge while waiting for the egg whites to fluff up. Then, I folded everything together and used a 1/4c measuring cup to heap mounds onto a greased baking sheet.


These baked up nice and fluffy though if you want a sandwich bun, you can flatten them a bit.


I let them bake for about 20 minutes until they were nice and golden. Then, chow down!

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The thing with that recipe was that I had to separate my egg whites so now I had 6 egg yolks. Creme brulee immediately came to my mind so I decided to make a version with a hint of orange. I had a creme brulee torch from years ago when I lived in TX. We lived 10 minutes from an kitchen gadget outlet that gave military discounts so I was in there quite often.


Orange peel creme brulee: 6 egg yolks, 1 1/3c of cream, 2/3c of whole milk, 2T of orange peel. The original recipe did not call for sugar, but I did add 1/4c of turbinado sugar. This recipe made enough to fill those 3 creme brulee ramekins and 3 additional ones (not pictured because they didn’t match–haha).

Preheat the oven to 325*f. I warmed the cream, milk and orange peel over the stove for a few minutes to infuse the orange flavor. I added the egg yolks, mixed and poured them into the ramekins. I set them in pan with some water to create a water bath. Bake for 40 minutes and let them cool. I stuck mine in the fridge while we ate dinner and then took them out to fire up the torch! I added about 1T of sugar to each ramekin, slowly melting it with the torch.

Voila! The finished product complete with hard, crispy, sugary top


It was Steve and Caleb approved :) Oh, and I also approved!

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