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Archive for the ‘Breads’ Category

There was something missing from the first batch of muffins I made.  They were good, but a little dryer and not quite sweet enough.  They were, should I say, average muffins.  I have made about three batches since and I think I finally found the right combination, so I thought I would share.

I have to continue to credit Elana’s Pantry for the base recipe which I shift and play around with to suit my tastes.

**Since I first posted this recipe, I have been playing around with it a lot (since I make these practically every week).  I know replace all of the oil with a 1/2 cup of apple sauce (make sure it is unsweetened!).  This seemed to keep the muffins from getting too soft and wet as they sometimes do with the oil).**

Here you go:

Serves 10 muffins.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

3 eggs

1/2 cup strawberries, mashed

1/3 cup grapeseed oil

1/4 cup agave nectar

1 tbsp vanilla

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 cup pecans

Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  In a separate bowl, blend eggs, strawberries, oil, agave, and vanilla together with a hand mixer.  With the hand mixer, add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend until smooth.

Stir in the blueberries, walnuts, and pecans.

Scoop the mix into pre-greased muffin tins (I find they come out much cleaner in greased muffin tins instead of paper lined, but use whichever you prefer).

Bake for 20 minutes or until just slightly golden (keep an eye on them as they go from golden to burned quickly).  A toothpick inserted should come out clean.

Store wrapped in a paper towel in a plastic bag at room temperature (I find the fridge does funny things to the muffins – kind of dries them out).

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My friend pointed out last night that it had been a long time since I posted – shout out to the LionWhisperers – which is true.  It’s been a long busy few months (work and personal) and I just haven’t found the time or motivation to post.  If you must know as well, I’ve done some damage to myself (arm injury, slamming my face into a wall) which has made me a little lazier than normal.  I think, too, I cook a lot differently these days than I used to cook so my “recipes” just don’t really seem like anything worthy of sharing.  Most nights of the week I throw a piece of cod or flounder basted in olive oil, salt, and pepper on the grill with some asparagus and cherry tomatoes on the side, which let’s admit isn’t really ground breaking cooking.

I should also admit that I don’t think writing and photography are my strong points, so I’m not 100% happy with how my blogging turns out most times (I can also be a bit overly critical of myself).  I really enjoy blogging, but not sure that my readers always get where my mind wanders due to my writing/thinking style (if I can call it a style?).

For example, as I am sitting here typing I can’t decide where to take this particular post next.  Do I talk about lunch?  Which is the one meal that is always (still) a challenge on the Paleo diet…but as I think that, I think I may need to do a lunch specific blog one of these days to get all my ideas in one place and to see if I can solicit some new ones as well.

Do I talk to you all (if there are any you’s reading) about cleaning all the carbs out of my pantry??  About the fact that I cheat every weekend on my diet??

So then I try to refocus my mind again, back to the subject at hand, my lack of exciting cooking and blogging.  So, while I say that I don’t cook like I used to I have been doing a few interesting experimentation’s with different forms of carb substitutes.

I know I’ve mentioned one of my favorite sites these days, Elana’s Pantry, quite a few times.  The recipe today is a modification, once again, from her site.  When you can’t have carbs, you really need to find some substitutions for things like bread, muffins,  and potatoes.  Elana has a lot of great ideas and most are easily modifiable.

I decided to try out a recipe for muffins made with coconut flour earlier this week but Elana  made Blueberry and Cream Cupcakes and I made mine into Banana Walnut Muffins.  I also cut back a bit on the agave and oil a bit – but I can tell you from experience that her recipe is amazing as written and I may go back up on the oil and agave next time.   Either way, the muffins were tasty and satisfied my need for carbs.  I had at least two a day and here is how I made them…

Banana Walnut Muffins

Makes 12 muffins.

½ cup coconut flour, sifted

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1/5 cup agave nectar

1/5 cup grapeseed oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line or grease muffin cups.  Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, bananas, agave, oil, and vanilla extract with a hand mixer.  Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients with hand mixer and mix until smooth.  Fold in walnuts.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop and one scoop of batter into each muffin cup.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

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I know, I know, I haven’t posted in a long time.  I have been trying this Paleo diet and I was beginning to think that cooking would never be fun again.  I mean – what is interesting about meat, vegetable, fruit, meat vegetable, fruit, nut…or so I thought.  I have been coming up with some pretty interesting and tasty concoctions.  I was just hesitant to post them given I am no Paleo expert and didn’t want to come across as knowing more than I really do.

But here is the thing, I like blogging and talking about my trials and tribulations with cooking so I decided to come back and start posting again.


So how is it going??  I am one month in on Paleo and feeling great!  I don’t miss my vices as much (pasta, dessert, etc…) but when my sister pointed out Elana’s Pantry I almost thought it was too good to be true…there were bread and dessert recipes galore.  My next thought was — could they really taste good???  The answer?  YES!!!

While Paleo doesn’t necessarily promote using any sugar or sugar substitutes, this recipe requires a minimal amount of agave nectar that I really felt comfortable with given the fact that it would be the only real sweet I have in a week.  I served my bread topped with chicken salad and it made a delicious lunch.

Elana’s recipe for Simple Bread is a little easier than mine because I had to make my almond meal by hand (didn’t have any almond flour handy), but the recipe was still very straight forward and only took about ten minutes to whip up.  I used a mini-loaf pan that I got at the grocery store – 5.75 in x 3 in. but Elana used a slightly larger one – just don’t go to large as this doesn’t make a huge loaf.  From comments on her site it looks like you can double the recipe and it works fine.

Ingredients

2 cups almond meal

1/2 cup flaxseed meal

1/2 teaspoon salt (I had to use kosher – all I hand on hand)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 eggs

1 tablespoon agave nectar (I used raw honey as it was what I had on hand)

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

First, to make the almond meal, I grinded almonds in my food processor for about 2 minutes.  I took the almond meal and mixed it with the rest of the dry ingredients (flaxseed meal, salt, baking soda).

I then whisked 3 eggs in a separate bowl and added in the rest of the wet ingredients (honey/agave, apple cider vinegar).

Mix together the wet and dry ingredients.  Pour the mixture into your loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a knife in the center comes out clean.

Refrigerate to store.

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So, I woke up yesterday morning and after writing my post from the evening prior, decided I was starving (and a little hungover).  I don’t tend to keep a lot of ready-made breakfast food and I will admit that most weekend mornings find me at Bagel Bin – they have a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich on a roll that sends me to a place of euphoria (and then I add on a pastry – yes I know I cannot keep up this routine without needing to grease the door to get me into the shop in the future).  But the pastry and sandwich are heavenly.

However, as I mentioned I was a tad hungover and was also quite unpresentable in my state, I decided it would be better off for me to cook.  I was actually watching a show on The Food Network by Marcela that immediately made me want to make crepes.

The tip I got from the show, which was something I had never known or tried, was to let the batter sit for 30 minutes so the bubbles will disappear.

This made about 10 crepes.

3 Eggs (2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk)

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup flour

2 tbsp butter (melted)

pinch of salt

Topping of choice (I used strawberry jam and marscapone)

Throw all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Set the batter aside to let the bubbles disappear (I waited about 20 minutes and they weren’t completely gone but I was able to stir the batter lightly and almost all were gone).

Get a small fry pan nice and hot on the stove (I used medium high heat).  Spray the pan with cooking spray (or brush with melted butter – I used Pam).  Using a measuring cup, scoop out a 1/4 cup of the batter and pour onto hot pan.  Immediately swirl the pan so all the batter evens out in a circle on the bottom of the pan.  Let it cook for about 1 minute.  The edges will start to brown very slightly and will pull away from the edge of the pan.  Flip the crepe with a thin spatula and cook for about 30 seconds on the other side.  Both sides should be a light golden brown.

I spread marscapone and jam on mine, but they could also be covered in syrup, powdered sugar, whipped cream.  They could also be filled with something savory like the original version (I have had them this way as well and they are phenomenal).

**Note**After making a whole batch of these, I only ate two, so I had a bunch leftover.  I decided to try freezing them for later.  I separated each crepe between a piece of plastic wrap and put them into the freezer.  This weekend I pulled them out, pulled off two layers (so I would have two crepes) and microwaved both for 20 seconds and they were perfect!

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