Eat like a caveman!!
A dear friend of mine and her kiddos came over to hang out recently. They implemented the Paleo Diet with their family a while back and, when I knew they were staying for lunch, I thought I’d try my hand at some Paleo recipes!
If you know nothing about the Paleo Diet, it’s basically a high-protein, high-fiber way of eating. Some use it for weight-loss purposes. Some implement it for food allergy/ sensitivity reasons. Go Paleo and you’ll eat a lot of lean meats and fish, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. You can eat eggs, nuts, and seeds. You can’t eat any processed foods, wheat/ grains, dairy, legumes (like peanuts and beans), refined sugar, potatoes, salt, and refined vegetable oils (like Canola). It’s actually a very healthy way to eat.
I must say I admire our friends for switching their eating habits. Sure they’d rather be able to eat some of the foods they’ve given up, but they feel much more energetic and healthy than they did before they switched. They know it’s what’s best for them. I’m fairly certain I could never give up pasta. Or bread. Or dairy. Or pasta.
I definitely am not a Paleo-cooking pro. I didn’t even attempt to write my own recipes for making lunch for our friends. So I went recipe hunting online and found a few promising Paleo websites. I haven’t followed them long enough or tried out enough of their recipes to vouch for any of them yet, but I wanted to share a ‘step-by-step’ of one of the recipes I found: Cinnamon Raisin Harvest Muffins from Paleo Newbie. These muffins are full of flavor, moister than ever, and our kiddos devoured them! You can find the recipe HERE. It appears that Trina, the website’s author, aims at providing delicious recipes that stick to the ‘Paleo Rules’ as closely as possible. Check out her site to learn more!
Ready for the ‘Step-by-Step’?
Start with two cups of Almond Meal/ Flour. The recipe also calls for a small amount of coconut flour, but for the sake of money I just substituted more Almond Flour for the Coconut Flour. It worked great!
A tablespoon of cinnamon. Mmmmm. I love the stuff.
One and a half teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.
Half a teaspoon of baking soda.
A touch of salt. (Paleo encourages you NOT to use salt. You can add it or not add it. I added it.)
Give the dry ingredients a good whisk to break up any lumps.Or you can just sift the mixture through a fine mesh sieve if you prefer. I was lazy and went for the whisk.
Now for the wet ingredients! First I added 1/4 cup coconut oil.
Coconut Oil is a little pricey, but it’s used often in Paleo cooking and baking. You can buy coconut oil in a more solid form and just heat it up to achieve this same liquid quality. I believe the solid form is cheaper! And you can buy this item in bulk to save a ton of money. It’s an investment up front, but buying little bottles from the grocery store will break the bank! Or at least it would break mine. I bought the liquified version of the oil from Sprouts (a Farmer’s Market and Grocery Store in one… based here in Arizona). You can read about them HERE. The oil was undoubtedly good quality, but it was $10 for one bottle. YIKES!
Coconut milk. Mmmmm. This always makes me want curry.
Maple syrup. Mmm. This makes me want pancakes. Or French Toast. Or waffles.
No. I don’t think I would do well on the Paleo Diet.
3 eggs. My assistant Rachel took care of this one. Notice Emily carefully observing in the background.
Now the wet ingredients need a good whisk. Rachel and I teamed up on this one.
Peel an apple.
Toss it in! And give it a gentle stir.
Then pour the dry ingredients into the wet.
And whisk until well mixed.
Finally, stir in your raisins. You’re ready to bake!
Bake the muffins at 350°F for 23 minutes (or more). I baked them for 20 (the recipe says 20-23) and I didn’t feel they were done yet.
A little secret: even if you OVER bake these… let’s say for 30 minutes… they will still be MOIST MOIST MOIST! I may have stuck mine back in the oven and forgot about them. That might be the reason I know this little secret.
While the muffins are baking, mix together some cinnamon and coconut sugar for topping the muffins. The recipe called for equal parts sugar and cinnamon, but I used two parts sugar to one part cinnamon because I thought it was too cinnamon-y the other way. You can do as you like!
When the muffins come out, transfer them to a cooling rack. Sprinkle on the cinnamon-sugar mixture while they’re still warm!
Hopefully my first recipe in the world of Paleo encouraged you to check it out! Whether you want to make it your lifestyle or just use some of the recipes to encourage healthy eating and baking, it’s worth reading about! I know I will be trying more Paleo recipes in the future!