April 16, 2013
I made a list once of a bunch of the things I wanted to do in life. What was #1?
Visit the Nutella factory in Alba, Italy. Yes, it exists, and it’s apparently very hard to get into.
This chocolate-hazelnut spread is pretty awesome, but it’s also loaded with garbage. A two tablespoon serving has 21 grams of sugar, and chances are, you’re gonna want to eat way more than that. (My friends and I could easily polish off an entire jar in one sitting.)
These cookies, on the other hand, are baked with real, wholesome ingredients while capturing the Nutella-essence everyone loves. But be warned, though—they’re addictive, and you may want to eat the whole batch. Instead, share them with someone you love!
You can ZipList the recipe here.
A special thanks to Tammy Credicott and Adriana Harlan for the recipe inspiration!
To make these little guys, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of hazelnut meal flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Sift in 1/2 cup of coconut flour and 1/4 cup of raw cacao powder, then stir to incorporate.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 1 egg, 3 tablespoons of melted refined coconut oil, 2-3 tablespoons of raw honey (depending on how sweet you want it), 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar on low for 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour in half of the hazelnut flour mixture and mix on low until combined. When no more clumps of flour remain, add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix for an additional 2 to 3 minutes on low. The dough should be mainly dry while remaining a little sticky.
Scoop up about a tablespoon of the batter and, with your hands, gently squeeze it until it holds together and has a spherical shape. Place on the parchment paper and lightly press down in the center with your thumb. Repeat with the remaining dough. You should have between 10 and 15 cookies total.
Bake in the oven until the tops begin to turn brown and the cookie is firm to the touch, about 13 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool on the parchment for at least half an hour before frosting. Do not add the filling right away, or your cookie will literally crumble.
Speaking of the filling, you should make it while the cookies cool. In a food processor, crush 1/2 cup of hazelnuts until a paste forms, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add 1 tablespoon of refined coconut oil, then process for an additional minute or two.
Scoop the hazelnut “butter” into a microwave-safe bowl and add 2 tablespoons of refined coconut oil and 2.5 ounces of dark chocolate. Microwave in 30-second intervals until melted, about 1 minute and 30 seconds total.
Let the filling cool in the fridge until the consistency of butter, about 45 minutes. If it hardens too much, simply allow it to come to room temperature and stir every few minutes to soften.
Once the cookies and the filling are at ideal temperatures, fill the center of each cookie with an ample amount of chocolate-hazelnut goodness.
When filled, let the cookies sit out for at least an hour so the gooey center hardens a bit, then serve alongside a glass of coconut milk, nut milk, or raw grass-fed cow milk. These will keep in a cool, dry place for a couple of days or in the freezer for three months.
…but no way will they last that long.
What is your favorite chocolate dessert? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: chocolate, cookies, dairy-free, dessert, gluten-free, healthy, Nutella, paleo
April 14, 2013
At my elementary and middle schools, the yearbook always did a class survey, and every year, pizza would consistently win in the “favorite foods” category. Whatever the reason, people just love pizza.
Most “Paleo” pizzas are made with almond flour and/or arrowroot powder crusts, but this one uses nothing but ground beef. It’s moist, satisfying, and much more flavorful than your traditional doughy base. Paired with lots of yummy toppings, this pizza makes an excellent dinner for adventurous and picky eaters alike.
A special thanks to Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed for the recipe inspiration!
First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 3 9-inch cake pans with a circle of parchment paper and set aside.
For both the meat pizza and the tomato sauce, you’re going to need to make a spice blend. In a small bowl, combine 4 teaspoons of dried oregano, 4 teaspoons of dried basil, 2 teaspoons of dried parsley, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, and 1 teaspoon of paprika.
To make the meat crust, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons of the spice blend with 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef. (I use 1 tablespoon of seasoning per pound of meat.) Mix with your hands until well combined.
I highly recommend experimenting with different kinds of ground meat in this recipe. Try ground lamb, pork, or even turkey for completely new flavors! You can also add in some ground bacon for a savory, salty delight.
Divide the meat among each of the three pans. I used my kitchen scale to be precise, but if you don’t have a scale, don’t bother. Just make sure each pan has about the same amount of meat in it.
With your hands, gently flatten the ground beef into a circular shape. Use your fingers to spread it out so it just reaches the edge of the pan. It takes a little while, so don’t get discouraged! Repeat this with all of the pans of meat.
Bake the meat crusts in the oven until just turning dark brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before placing on a tinfoil-lined baking sheet. Do not turn off the oven.
While the crust cools, make the tomato sauce and broccoli pesto to go on top. You can make both of these, one of these, or neither, although I don’t recommend eating it plain.
To make the tomato sauce, heat 1/2 tablespoon of refined coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 finely diced cloves of garlic and saute for 30 seconds, then add a generous pinch of the spice blend.
Scoop in 1 6 ounce can of tomato paste and pour in 1/3 cup of water. Stir with a spoon until the tomato paste is mostly dissolved in the water, then add 1 14 ounce can of chopped tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least 20 minutes. When you’re ready to use the tomato sauce, blend it with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
To make the broccoli pesto, rig a large pot with a steamer and fill with water. Add the broccoli and sprinkle well with salt. Bring to a boil and steam until dark green and very soft, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, chop a handful of hazelnuts and a handful of macadamia nuts. I have pretty small hands, so a handful for me is a little under 1/4 of a cup.
When the broccoli is ready, add it to the food processor along with 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of onion powder, 2 teaspoons of paprika, a good pinch of salt, and a crack of black pepper. Process until smooth, about 3 minutes.
This pesto is pretty neutral tasting, so if you want to spice it up a bit, add 1 to 2 cloves of garlic and/or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Now, it’s time to embellish the meat pizzas! I topped half of mine with the tomato sauce and the other half with pesto, then added sauteed mushrooms and onions and some leftover pistachio crust from the Orange Pistachio Scallops.
The options are truly limitless for what you want to add on top of these. You can try fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, bell peppers, pineapple, bacon, prosciutto, carrots, olives, pepperoni, different kinds of crushed nuts, eggplant, fresh herbs, shredded coconut…you get the idea. If you eat dairy, you can also add some cheese—for my parents’ meat pizzas, I sliced up some fresh burrata.
Slide the meat pizzas back into the oven for about 7 minutes, or until they’re at your desired temperature. If you want a crisp top, broil on low for 2 to 3 minutes.
Is it exactly like pizza? No, but it’s pretty darn tasty.
What take-out food should I try and make Paleo? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: beef, delicious, dinner, gluten-free, healthy, paleo, pizza
April 9, 2013
Desserts are undeniably delicious, and that’s that. I have always had a sweet tooth, and once in a while, I just want something sugary and comforting. (Don’t we all?)
Luckily, this Chocolate Chip Banana Cake is filled with healthier, more wholesome ingredients, like almond flour, fresh fruit, and pasture-raised eggs. Best of all, it contains only little natural sweetener, so you can enjoy your treat without having a massive blood sugar crash afterwards.
To ZipList the cake recipe, click here.
To begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9-inch circular cake pan with parchment paper. Grease it heavily with melted coconut oil.
I cannot stress enough how important this step is. If you neglect to take these protective measures, your cake will undoubtedly stick, even if you have a non-stick pan. The resulting mess and drama are NOT worth it!
Puree 2 1/2 ripe bananas in a food processor or blender until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. The bananas should be clump-less and resemble a pancake batter. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of blanched almond flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix together with your hands, taking care to break up any big clumps of almond flour.
In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together 3 large eggs, 1/3 cup melted refined coconut oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of water, and 2 tablespoons of raw honey. When well incorporated, add to the bowl with the almond flour and stir with a spatula.
Gently fold in the banana puree into the rest of the batter, then mix in a little less than 1 cup of chocolate chips.
As a huge chocoholic, I’m very particular about what kind of chocolate I use in my baking. For this cake, I used Enjoy Life’s mini chocolate chips—and although they do contain some sugar, they’re pretty much the only widely available chocolate chips that are completely gluten, soy, and dairy-free. Alternatively, you can use 6 ounces of chopped chocolate or 1 cup of cacao nibs…but whatever you do, don’t use too much! This is a banana cake, not a chocolate cake.
Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and spread to get as even of a layer as possible. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean in the center and the top is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for at least an hour (preferably longer) before serving and resist the urge to immediately eat the cake.
This cake is incredible plain, but it tastes even better with my easy cashew (yes, cashew) frosting. And—bonus—it can be made completely vegan!
To ZipList the frosting recipe, click here.
The first step is the most important: put 1 cup of raw cashews in a small saucepan, add just enough water to completely submerge, and simmer on low heat with the lid on. You really should soak the cashews for at least 2 or 3 hours, but if you’re in a hurry to eat your cake, 1 hour will do—just make sure the nuts are soft to the touch.
Next, pour the cashews and their water into a blender. Add 1/2 a ripe banana, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of raw honey, 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar, and 2 tablespoons of your milk of choice. I used the raw cow’s milk my family buys from a local farm, but you can use almond, cashew, hemp, or even coconut milk instead. Blend until completely smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer the cashew mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. With the whisk attachment, beat on high (for me, alternating between settings 8 and 10) until significantly lighter, about 10 minutes. Put the bowl with the frosting in the refrigerator to cool for about half an hour before serving atop or alongside the cake.
Now, you can have your cake and eat it too! (I know, I know…bad pun…)
What dessert should I try and recreate next? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!
Tags: bananas, cake, chocolate, delicious, dessert, gluten-free, healthy, paleo