Bake Me Home Tonight

Nom Nom Paleo: Whole30-Compliant DIY Snacks: Baked Kale Chips

nomnompaleo:

I first heard about baking my own kale chips a few years ago from my sister, the DIY chef extraordinaire. I tried it a few times but I stopped making them because it was so much easier tearing open a bag of potato chips. Now that I’ve turned Paleo, baked kale chips are making a comeback in our…

Primal 30 day reflections

Long time no talk… we’ve been off adventuring with our little one and despite the fact that he caught a cold, our vacation went extremely well. Now that I’ve caught up on all our laundry, I decided I’d put some of my thoughts and reflections out there regarding my primal 30 day challenge. 

1. Just a quick recap, I began eating primal about 7 months ago when my newborn son was experiencing a lot of discomfort during feeds, before feeds, after feeds - pretty much all the time.  I went hardcore the first time and did a 30 day paleo and found it exhausting.  However, I believe I was not getting enough calories from fat and carbs to sustain myself and my child as I was still breastfeeding 8-9 times in a 24 hour period.  And I was not getting the required amount of sleep as my newborn was still up about 2 times nightly and it was getting difficult for me to nap during the day as he started taking short naps (40min).

2. After the 30 days of paleo, I had lost all my baby weight and then some.  Reflecting back on that I’m not sure that was the best bet for either of us (my son and myself) as his weight gain slowed dramatically and we were constantly going for checkups to make sure he was still gaining weight. All in all, at around 8 months my son started gaining weight which might have to do with his solid food intake becoming more reliable.  Around the same time, I also slowly introduced grains back into my diet (brown rice, quinoa, millet).  The easter holiday arrived and family visiting threw me off my diet (my fault) and I felt the need to get back on track therefore doing this current primal 30 day challenge. 

3. After this current 30 day primal challenge here are my reflections on the process and the month that followed (both positives and negatives and in no particular order):

a) Most days I felt great, after the first week. I found I had more energy, wasn’t hungry throughout day, and my mood was light and happy.

b) However at least 2-3 times a week I felt nauseated (think 1st trimester pregnancy), had terrible all day headaches despite the amount of water I drank (some days I averaged almost 10 a day), had dizzy spells while playing with my son, was forgetful or my brain seemed fuzzy and I was exhausted by 8pm.  I wasn’t sure why I was feeling this way and I didn’t think it could be because of my breastfeeding given that I only nursed my son 4 times a day now and he hasn’t had a night feed for about 4 months. So I did some research, first looking at my consumption… 

- on the days I felt awful, I had a total carb intake of 65 grams. 

- on the days I felt great, I averaged 119 grams of carbs. 

I determined I wasn’t getting enough carbs in my diet during the day therefore needed to up the amount of sweet potato, parsnip and squash intake.  

Then I did some research on ketosis, which fit a lot of my symptoms and typical of low carb diets that enables weight loss.  I did not want to loose weight so ketosis was not a state I was looking to be in.   

c) I discovered some new (to me) fantastic paleo, whole living/clean eating blogs.  Check out some of my recipe links from day 11 to 30.  Awesome stories  

d) Since following a primal diet, I have been plagued with blocked ducts (I’m breastfeeding) every 3 weeks or so.  I thought it might have to do with oversupply - a blessing and a curse.  I was very frustrated and did everything thinking it was due to my distractible baby (he’s been nursing in a poorly lit, low stim room for about 4 months now and never in public!)  But I did some further research and too much saturated fats can cause blocked ducts.  MAN, I’ve been enjoying pork belly and other animal fats probably far too often. So I’m going to change my diet as I would like to enjoy my last few months of breastfeeding before returning to work. 

e) My sleep improved immensely. I sleep soundly, but definitely now need 8 hours.  If my little one gets up a too early one day then I’m screwed as I’m pretty fatigued most of the day.

f) It is a very VERY expensive diet to follow - if followed correctly.  I.E.;  Grass-fed, pastured animals, fresh organic fruit, nut, seeds, and veggies.  I am starting my own veggie garden just to help offset the cost of our organic basket delivery.  We also need to purchase a large deep freeze and buy organic/grass-fed/pastured meat in bulk.

g) I continued to lose weight.  This is a negative for me as this was NOT my intention.   I’m not sure if my body type is naturally inclined to just remain thin or what. My mother was always super tiny and she ate grains like no one’s business, BUT she also fought cancer for 10 years before she passed, the grains might have something to do with that. However, if you want to lose weight the healthy way, I would recommend primal blueprint to anyone. 

h) This diet seems to work really well for my husband.  He only felt affects of no sugar or grains for about a week and now he seems quite content and satisfied with the meals we’ve prepared.

i) We have always strived to eat locally and organically and I believe this diet allows the hippie in me to thrive.  

j) As stated above I recently went on vacation and for a day or two consumed gluten.  Well, I can NO longer eat gluten.  I get horrible pains in my stomach, bloating, gas, and just feel run down and almost sick.  

Overall, we have decided that the strict paleo diet is not necessarily for us as we feel as though beans and lentils (if prepared properly) can provide another adequate way of getting proteins into your system.  We have decided to limit our grain consumption significantly (1-2 servings a week) as we both feel so much better without any grains in our diet.  We are most likely subscribing to a gluten, soy and nearly grain free whole foods diet or maybe we can call it the semi paleo diet. 

For more info on whole food diets go here and here.  And if you’re looking for something that shouts NO to paleo go here and here.

Day 11 through to Day 30!

Its been a busy time here with celebrating upcoming births and paying respects to a dear neighbour who left this earth a little too soon in my opinion.  As life just gets busier I’m going to briefly review what I’ve consumed over the last little bit.  I’ve decided to just post my dinners as my breakfasts consist of either eggs (many ways), notmeal or yogurt and my lunches are usually leftovers from dinner (and whenever I don’t have leftovers I usually have a salad with a hard boiled egg or nuts). And of course my exercise routine has not changes (hiking with the dog and baby in tow and yoga sessions in my sunny living room).  I will write my reflections on how I did soon.

Without further adieu… 


Day 11 

Roast Chicken Basque (from an old Canadian living magazine) Sorry I forgot to take a picture. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 sweet red peppers, thickly sliced 
  • 1 sweet onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 can (large) crushed tomatoes
  • about 5 nitrate free pork sausages 
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 8 pieces of bone in skin on chicken
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450

1. On baking sheet place red peppers and broil on low for approx. 15-20 min or until the peppers just start to blacken around the edges.

2. Meanwhile cook your sausages, cut up your onion and get your garlic reading.

3. Once red peppers are finished, cut up your sausages and throw the peppers, onion, garlic, tomato and sausages into an oven safe casserole dish. 

4. Wash chicken and coat with olive oil.  Prepare the rub (thyme, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper) and coat the chicken with the rub. 

5. Place the chicken on top of the tomato mixture and bake in the oven for 45 min or until the chicken skin is browned. 

Day 12

Omelettes

Day 13

Shrimp and Salsa with Mashed Avocado on a bed of mixed greens

Day 14

Salmon Cakes with Salad

Day 15

Sausages and Salad

Day 16

Salmon with Salad

Day 17

Avocado Cilantro Chicken Salad

Day 18

Garlic Pesto Chicken with Salad

Day 19

Sweet Potato Sausage Hash with eggs

Day 20 

Chicken burgers with portobellos

Day 21

Apple Pork Patties 

Day 22

Pork Hash - you can sub the potatoes for sweet potato, purple potato or cauliflower

Day 23

Frittata - paleo style

Day 24

Stir Fry (used shredded cabbage instead of traditional rice)

Day 25

Chicken Pumpkin Chili  - one of my favourite recipes! 

Day 26 

Mexican Meatza 

Day 27

Pork chops with roasted sweet potatoes and parsnip

Day 28

Coconut Soup with Shrimp and baby bok chop (no kelp noodles as per the recipe)

Day 29

Shepherd’s Pie 

Day 30 

Fiesta Tuna Salad

Day 7,8,9 &10

Day 7


Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and sausages

Lunch: Salad and sausages

Dinner:  Hash 

Snacks: handful of almonds and 2 pieces of dark chocolate

Exercise:  30 min vinyasa yoga 


Day 8


Breakfast:  Scrambled eggs

Lunch: Leek and Goat’s Cheese Quiche, assorted veggies, and fruit (on a playdate)

Dinner:  Roast Basque Chicken (I’ll post this recipe soon)

Snacks: Herbal tea, big bear banuffin, 2 pieces of dark chocolate

Exercise:  20 min of yin yoga

Day 9


Breakfast: 1 cup of Notmeal!

Lunch: Leftover Basque Chicken 

Dinner: Pork tenderloin stuffed with bruschetta mix and garden salad

Snacks: handful of almonds, celery sticks with almond butter, herbal tea

Exercise: Day off

Day 10 

Breakfast:  3/4 cup Yogurt, handful of almonds slices and 5 chopped dates.

Lunch: Leftover tenderloin, half a pear, herbal tea. 

Dinner: Spaghetti Squash with tomato meat and veggies sauce

Snacks: 3 Cowboy cookies (recipe coming soon), herbal tea (it was a cold day) and 2 pieces of dark chocolate.

Exercise: 40 min of vinyasa yoga and 25 min walk with baby and doggie 

Bonus: Big Bear and Baby Bear Breakfast Banuffins!

OMG! I finally did it!  I have a title with all B’s - its been my dream for months!  I don’t even care that banuffins isn’t a real world.  Kidding, its not a dream but it’s kinda fun to read don’t you think?

These banuffins are refined sugar free and grain free AND taste pretty darn good.

Recipe adapted from Paleo Periodical 

  • 2 cups almond meal/flour
  • 1/4 + 2 tbsp. cup coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Greek plain full fat yogurt
  • 2-4 tbsp of unsweetened applesauce (if you’re looking for a sweeter muffin try honey instead).
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 375.  Line your mini muffin tin with paper cups and about 9 large muffin tin with paper cups.

1. Combine and sift all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

2. Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl and mix together until almost smooth. 

3. Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix well.  

4. Spoon batter into muffin cups (about 3/4 full). 

5. Bake for 25-30 min or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

WAIT… here’s the catch… you need to wait until they have cooled completely before eating them or they will just fall apart in your hands. 

Day 4,5,6

Day 4

Breakfast:  Classic bacon and eggs! 

Lunch: Leftover fritatta and a grapefruit

Snack: Decaf coffee with almond milk (no sugar) and 2 pieces of dark chocolate (I’ve decided that one piece of dark chocolate a day isn’t enough for me :))

Exercise:  A 30 min hike with my dog and baby in my great village of Chelsea.

Dinner: Shepherd’s Pie (again this recipe is not completely paleo or primal, but I am striving to use all the veggies left in my organic basket).  For a more paleo friendly shepherd’s pie visit: Paleo plan - they’re recipe is amazing delicious! 

Recipe:

For the beef mixture (base)

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 carrot, washed, peeled and diced
  • 1.5 small white onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of cooked mashed turnip
  • 1.5 stalk of celery, washed, diced
  • 1/4 cup of tomato sauce (optional: I used leftover pizza sauce I think)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp summer savory
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
For mashed potato topping:
  • 4-6 medium sized white potatoes, washed, peeled, cubed, mashed.
  • 1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Brown beef with onion in a large frying pan.  As the onion becomes translucent add the carrot, turnip, garlic, celery and spices.  Let simmer covered for a while or until carrots become soft.  If needed add tomato sauce.  Remove from heat and cool.  Once the mixture is warm to the touch mix in two eggs.  

3. Let mashed potatoes cool until warm to the touch.  Mix in 1 egg.

4. Pour meat mixture into a 9 X 11 casserole dish.  Ensure the mixture is patted down and firmly in place.

5. Spread mashed potatoes on top of meat mixture.

6. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until mashed potatoes seem crusty. Let cool and enjoy. 

Day 5 

Weekends are usually quite laid back in this house so meal times are usually quick and dirty:

Friday morning breakfast:  3/4 cup of Greek Yogurt, 4 chopped dates, slices of bananas. 

Lunch: Leftover Shepherd’s Pie

Dinner: BBQ’d pork chops with organic garden salad. 

Exercise:  45 min of Yin yoga & grocery shopping :)

Day 6


Breakfast: Notmeal (so yummy!)

Adapted Recipe from Paleo plan

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups organic unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 3 tablespoons coconut or almond milk
  • 3-4 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon of flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg.

1. Combine all ingredients into a pot, stirring unto mixture is smooth (but thick) over medium heat.  

2. Pour into bowl, throw on a garnish of our choice (I used almond slices) and enjoy. 

Lunch: 2 hard boiled eggs, celery sticks, carrot sticks, 2 pieces of smoked cheese. 

Dinner: 2 organic nitrate free pork sausages (from les fermes valens in Quebec) and organic basked garden salad. 

Exercise:  Day off! 

Day 2 and Day 3

Sorry for the delay, but here’s what I had on Day 2

Breakfast: 3/4 cup of greek yogurt, 4 chopped dried dates, handful of almonds slices. 

Lunch: Left over chicken breast and salad from the previous day.

Dinner: Garbage Stir Fry .  I added shredded carrotts, mushrooms, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, red and green pepper, onion, 2 cloves of garlic (chopped) and ground pork. 

Exercise: 30 min trail walk with dog and baby. 

Day 3


Breakfast: 3 hard boiled egg whites and half a pear.

Snack: 2 pieces of dark chocolate with banana (oops I already exceeded my fruit intake and chocolate intake for the day - oh well). 

Lunch: Leftovers! 

Dinner: Frittata ( used some left over marble cheese from the week of family hosting - usually I use goat’s cheese, but I didn’t want to waste it). 

Recipe:

  • 3-4 champaign mushrooms washed and sliced
  • 3-4 stalks of kale, washed, ribs removed and loosely chopped
  • 1 white potato*, thinly sliced
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese
  • 10 eggs, whisked with about 1-2 tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil (melted)
*Primal blueprint and paleo type diets frown on the use of white potatoes however, I had leftovers from the visitors and I hate to waste things.  Other alternatives to a white potato (and primal blueprint acceptable) could be cauliflower, turnip, or rutabaga. 
Preheat oven to 375. 

1. Slice potato and throw it in a wok with about 1/2 tbsp of olive oil.  Cook the potato for a few minutes on medium high, then add your onion, mushrooms, and garlic.  Toss  ingredients in the wok (the fun part) and reduce the heat.

2. Start chopping/shredding/whisking the other ingredients while the potatoe and other ingredients soften in the wok. 

3. Oil a square casserole dish (8” X 8” or 9”X 9” should be fine) and place a layer of potato/mushroom/onion/garlic on the bottom, slowly pour some egg on top, then add a layer of cheese and kale.  Continue layering until all ingredients are in the casserole dish.  

4. Pop in the oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the egg is fully cooked. Cool for about 5 minutes and serve.

Exercise: Walking dog and baby for 25 minutes.  

Evening snack:  Unfortunately more chocolate… oops again. I’ll get back on track tomorrow. 

A change in pace…

Its been quite some time since my last post and unfortunately I’ve lost the zucchini muffycakes results.  Suffice it to say they did not come close to the grain free/refined sugar free coconut cupcakes I made a while back.  I’m still going to attempt a grain free carrot cupcake at some point but right now my interest have taken me elsewhere.  

Over the last 2 weeks, we’ve been hosting family on both sides.  I really enjoy having family around, there’s always good and bad food to share, great conversation, rediscovering the world through the eyes of toddlers and enjoying a warm house full of love.  Were you anticipating a but? Well, you’re right - there’s always a but and that but is I may have eaten more bad food than good as I’ve gotten used to a pretty healthy way of eating.  After a few days of consuming highly processed and gluten heavy foods this is what I noticed:

  • My energy levels plummeted - I was literally exhausted (yawning, heavy lids - the works) by 8:30pm.  Because family was around and I wanted to hang out with them I forced myself to stay up until 9pm. 
  • My mood changed - I was way less patient with my husband and 9 month old and I found myself irritated easily.  I was not fun to be around and I had to try really hard not to show it.
  • I had headaches throughout the week, thinking it was coffee related when it probably wasn’t. 
  • I had a lot of gass.  Now if you ask my hubs, I typically have a lot of gass anyway, but I swear I was gassier and it wasn’t pleasant gass - I’ll just leave it at that. 
  • By the end of week, I had a blocked duct, which is very uncomfortable, I had a low grade fever for 2 days and it made my little boy very irritable as well. In fact my hubs had to run out and rent a hospital grade breast pump just to help me loosen it up for our little guy. 
Now, I might have already blogged about my diet choices but here’s a refresher for anyone who cares:

Since my son was about  11 weeks old, my husband and I dramatically changed our diet.  We went Paleo for 30 days, then switched to Primal Blueprint due to my son’s acid reflux.  It worked - my son’s reflux seemed to almost disappear.  He would still spit up (even to this day he occasionally does) but there was no crying afterwards, which was music to my ears.   At about 7 months old I switched to just a gluten free diet with limited grain consumption (Quinoa once a week).  I also tried my son on wheat and oats since then and both times he’s had reactions (wheat - vomiting and intense belly pain; oats - eczema and very runny poops). As an aside, I recently came across this blog of a mom with similar issues with her newborn and I thought WOW!  I’m not the only one.

So long story short, I’m going to get back on track and eat right again so I can be my best self for my husband, son, and our dog (she suffered too last week as she got lots of scraps that she normally wouldn’t get). I’ve decided to do a 30 primal blueprint challenge.  Its fairly straight forward and what I like about the primal blueprint is that its a bit more relaxed and for me more sustainable then the very basic paleo diet.  Here’s the basic jist of the diet:

Eat lots of:

  • Meat (fish, beef, fowl, pork - we eat mostly organic meat although grass fed, free range animals are the best)
  • Eggs (free range)
  • Vegetables (organic)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy fats (fats naturally occurring in the foods listed above, coconut oil)

Don’t eat:

  • Grains
  • Beans and Legumes
  • Added sugar
  • Processed foods and unhealthy fats (I’ve not done a lot of research into unhealthy fats so I just stay away from too many oils other than coconut oil).

In moderation:

  • Fruit 
  • Dairy
  • Alcohol 
  • Dark Chocolate

I’m taking a few liberties with this meal plan as I’m not trying to lose weight and I’m still breastfeeding about 5 times a day.  I’ll explain my approach a little later on. 

Fitness plan:  Its pretty easy - do 2 weight bearing activities a week, 3-5 hours of moderate cardio (walking) and 1 sprint exercise a week. Again I’m not trying to lose weight but I’m aiming for 30 minutes of walking/hiking (we live right by a provincial park)with my dog and my son in his carrier and yoga (I’ve been doing a home vinyasa   yoga practice 2 times a week for a few weeks now in an effort to save money and its going okay) every day.  In short, walking one day, yoga the next etc, etc.  

Other factors in the challenge include: 15 min of sun a day, approx. 8 hours of sleep a night, and play.  However, I do a lot of my activity outside and I find it enjoyable so I think I’ve got it covered.

Now onto my own eating plan. The following are my liberties I have taken:

  1. I’ve chosen to include at leave 1 serving (3/4 cup) of dairy at least 3 times a week.  The only dairy I will consume is full fat greek yogurt as I have lactose sensitivities. I occasionally eat goat’s cheese as well (I will limit the serving size to about 3 oz once a week - I’m just pulling this number out of my butt). 
  2. I will most likely limit my fruit consumption to one piece of fruit per day. 
  3. I don’t do well with alcohol after a day with a busy baby so maybe a small glass (4 oz) once a week. 
  4. Dark chocolate - I’ll give myself a square or two a day if needed. 

I want to blog about my meals every day just to keep me on track.  I may or may not post the recipes but I will post pictures and the basics of what I did to prepare the meals.  Although I’m doing this challenge, I believe my diet is and should be a big part of my lifestyle, who I am and what kind of example I want to set for my son. Therefore I will continue to research the most sustainable, environmentally conscious, and healthy way of eating and living and I will share my findings and thoughts here.  Ready, set, eat! 

Day 1

Breakfast - My version of huevos rancheros.  2 scrambled eggs without milk, 2 tbsp mashed avocado, 2 tbsps of mild salsa. 

Snack:  Banana with a handful of slivered almonds.

Lunch: Salmon fish cakes from the local smokehouse with a salad. 

Dinner: Grilled chicken breast with salad (there’s some cheese on my salad - it was left over and needed to be used up). 

Evening snack:  half a pear, 2 pieces of dark chocolate. 

Zucchini Muffycakes

We get an organic veggie basket from Bryson Farms every other week and its always my goal to try and consume every veggie possible.  We do pretty good most weeks, although the pea shots and other sprouts rarely get used up, but I’m not quite sure what to do with them yet other than put them in salad or frittata.  And this week I was tried of salads and frittatas so they remain alone in the fridge. 

In our basket last week we got three little zucchinis and I’m sure I could’ve put them to better use, but I was a little late getting to them and they were beginning to wrinkle up. However, I’m crafty and transformed the little wrinkled green veggies into delicious muffycakes (more on that word later).

I used to make zucchini chocolate chip muffins before I started eating gluten free - in fact, I think the last time I made the gluten version my son was 7 weeks old and battling a bad case of acid reflux.  We now know the cause of said reflux - lactose, gluten and mostly wheat products. Having a newborn with acid reflux is no fun.  They are constantly in pain.  My son would cry when he nursed, cry after nursing (because he was in pain), then spit up large volumes, cry after he spit up (because it burned his little esophagus), then cry (more like scream) again when you placed him on his back to change him, he didn’t sleep well at all as he was on his back, which made his reflux worse (I know what its like to sleep with heartburn -very painful).  It was hard for the first few weeks, but soon after I made changes to my diet things improved greatly for all us.  

Fast forward about 5.5 months and I was following the solid food introduction list given to me by the public health nurse.  My son was just a few days shy of 7 months when I thought I should try wheat with him (according to the chart you can introduce wheat at 7 months).  Well… horrible mistake!  He was in pain within a few hours and I cannot describe to you the sounds that came out of him, cries and moans and groans.  We could not console him or make him feel any better.  Finally, he fell asleep only to wake up and vomit every where! If anyone is still wondering why I’m choosing a gluten free cupcake option for my son’s first birthday, wonder no more.  He’s had issues with wheat since day one.

Enter Zucchini Muffycakes. A muffycake is a hybrid between a muffin and a cupcake (duh doieee).  My husband tested these first and he commented on the lack of sweetness the mini cakes had and therefore he considered them a muffin.  I slapped some cream cheese icing on them and he still thought they belong to the muffin family.  I’m of the believe that a muffin is muffin because it lacks icing… sadly I was mistaken according to my husband - muffins have less sugar. I’ve lovingly nicknamed them muffycakes (and I know some of you are thinking in the gutter - and I appreciate it if you would stop, immediately).  Personally, I think these muffycakes are sweet enough without the icing although the icing does add a tangy delight. 

I’ve been playing around with a lot of different flours lately.  And I got an excellent recipe for a flour blend that works 1:1 from one of my dear friends who suffers from a wheat intolerance.  I’ve tweaked the flour blend ever so slightly (almost tripled the flour blend) in this recipe and I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.  *Warning these muffycakes are NOT at all good for you, the muffycakes themselves are gluten and dairy free :)

Zucchini Muffycakes with mini chocolate chips (optional of course). 

Makes about 21 muffycakes

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup corn flour 
  • 1 cup quinoa flour
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups golden brown sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (I used enjoy life)

Preheat oven to 350 and line two muffin pans.

Combine flours and sift well in a large bowl.  Add remaining the dry ingredients and sift again.  The coconut flour tends to have lumps in it.   

In a separate bowl, beat your eggs, add your sugar, oil, zucchini and chocolate chips.  Mix until combined.  

Add wet mixture to flour slowly and stirring constantly as the coconut flour will again clump up.  Pour into muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes or depending on your oven. The tops of the muffycakes will crack but that’s okay. 

I have chosen not to post my cream cheese icing as it was a huge fail. The icing was too runny to pipe and I like to pipe my icing so I’m on the hunt for a better recipe.  I think I’m also going to return to searching/creating another grain free and refined sugar free cupcake as I’d like to have another healthier first birthday cupcake option (the coconut cupcake was the first grain free/refined sugar free cupcake). 

Results to follow soon… 

Gluten Free Macaroons & Coconut Cupcake Results

A few weekends ago we had a friend over for supper who is also a primal blueprint type person.  But, like us, she enjoys treats every now then and its always nice to have a grown up treat thats gluten free and tastes truly like it wheat counterpart.  These macaroons are a little time consuming and with many steps but are very worth it.  

I found this recipe in an old holiday baking magazine, I believe its a Cuisine Magazine , it was very simple to modify and one of the things I like about the modification is that I didn’t have to use Xanthan Gum.

Gluten Free Coconut Macaroons

Before you begin, here’s what you need to have on hand:

  • Food processor
  • Double boiler

Ingredients:

  • 1 package sweetened shredded coconut (approx. 200g)
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup corn flour 
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted.
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

For topping 

  • 4 tbsp of sweet chocolate finely chopped. 
  • 1 tbsp of shortening

For the Macaroons,

Mince together 1 1/2 cups coconut in the food processor. Transfer minced coconut to a large bowl.  Add remaining coconut and pecans, then toss to combine. Whisk together 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk, egg whites, flour, sugar, butter, vanilla in a bowl with a spout.  Gently mix egg white mixture into coconut and pecans until well combined.  Chill dough for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours (24 hours worked better with the corn flour). 

Preheat oven to 350.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up. Scoop dough onto baking sheet about 1” apart. Bake cookies until brown on base and golden on tops and edges (approx. 16-18 min). Let cool completely then drizzle with chocolate topping. 

 Topping:

Melt chocolate with shortening in a double boiler (or you could melt it in the microwave). Cool the chocolate and pour about 1/2 tbsp over each macaroon.

Now unto to the cupcake results…

As I stated in the last post, these are my best cupcakes to date and the results definitely prove it.  In fact, some of the guys at my husbands work just had to have another one because they loved them so much they forgot to rate them. Please see previous post from February 7th for the description of the rating scale.

Appearance: 4.6

Texture: 5

Taste: 4.8

Sweetness: 4.8

This rating is convincing me that there’s no need to continue striving to find the perfect cupcake as I’m pretty sure this will be the winner, but for my husband’s sake I will continue the blog and continue filling his belly with sweet stuff.  At least for the next 4.5 months.  

Stay tuned for more cuppin’ cakes.