Blueberry Muffins Paleo Style

Blueberry Muffins Paleo Style

You may heard of the Paleo Diet, and are also unaware what the diet consists of.

The paleolithic lifestyle also known Paleo Magazineas the Paleo Diet, is a diet that attempts to recreate or endeavors to imitate the eating patterns of our ancestors lifestyle, who lived 1000’s of years ago.

They did not eat food that was processed, refined, cooked with toxic oils, or that contained sugar, unlike the majority of the foods that we eat today (The PaleoSecret).

There are a small number of cultures in the world today, who continue to live a paleolithic hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

Those who live in a modern society cultures, try to recreate elements of a paleolithic lifestyle, and do so in an attempt to improve or enhance their health, fitness and happiness by avoiding the common diseases that most of society faces today, which include obesity, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, allergies, depression, and chronic stress.

the paleo diet verse a non paleo dietThe paleo diet encourages eating generous amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil and butter or clarified butter.

The diet also promotes not using oils made from vegetables, or that are hydrogenated and partly-hydrogenated including, but not limited to, margarine, soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil.

Olive oil and avocado oil’s are encouraged for consumption, but only use them in salad dressings and to drizzle over food (PaleoLeap – Paleo 101).

A paleo diet is neither vegetarian or vegan. Paleo eaters eat meat, unlike vegetarians, though they will eat dairy or eggs (depending on the person), and unlike vegans who eat no meat at all, including the by products of animals, such as dairy products, eggs, and even honey.

Now for our featured recipe: Blueberry Muffins Paleo Style, and here is what you will need.

2 cups almond flour

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large eggs

1/4 cup melted ghee

1/3 cup raw honey

1 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla

1 1/4 cups blueberries

A few pumpkin seeds and berries for topping the muffins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 mold muffin pan with baking cups.

Preparing step by step Blueberry Muffins Paleo StyleIn a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients, making sure there are no lumps.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, then combine the wet ingredients with the dry, and incorporate together. Next fold in the blueberries.

bluebery muffin dough in a 12 well muffin panDivide the batter among the 12 muffin molds, filling each cup 3/4th of the way. Top with pumpkins seeds and a few berries.

Blueberry Muffins Paleo StyleBake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are a deep golden brown.

Enjoy some other desserts using alternatives to whole wheat or grain flour, both Paleo approved.

Gluten Free Tropical Carrot Cake

Orange Almond Cake

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Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce

You may have heard of mascarpone as an Italian style cream cheese, but a softer texture, than the regular cream cheese, such as the brand name Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Mascarpone can be used in cheesecakes, and is also used to make Tiramisu. Because of its creamy texture, it makes a grand accompaniment with berries, like strawberries. The Italian style cream cheese is described in flavor as sweet, rich, and creamy-like with a mild buttery flavor.

Mascarpone was invented in southern Italy around the 16th century. It is made using the cream of cow’s milk. The name Mascarpone, pronounced  Mahs-kahr-po-nay, is thought to be related to the root word mascherare, an Italian verb meaning to “dress up” or “camouflage.”

This dressing up of the cow’s cream, relates to the way the cream cheese is made. It begins from mascarpa, which is a by-product that is extracted from the whey that is leftover from making stracchino, a semi-soft cheese made from whole cow’s milk, and once extracted from the whey, it is then coagulated with lemon juice and drained, and you have: Mascarpone.

Now for our featured recipe: Gluten Free Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce, and here is what you will need.

2/3 cup coconut flour

1 ripe medium banana

1 medium carrot finely grated, do not pat dry (should equal about 1 cup)

1/2 cup dried coconut, shredded and unsweetened

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons melted coconut butter

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3 eggs

2 cups coconut milk (can also use buttermilk, milk, or almond milk)

The Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce to follow.

Ingredients for Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange Maple Mascarpone SauceMix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

Carrot Cake Pancakes cooking in a skilletWarm a ceramic coated skillet over medium heat, and add a tablespoon of coconut butter. When butter is melted, add a ladle full of the pancake mix, and cook about 1 1/2 minutes on each side.

Before making the pancakes, in a separate small mixing bowl, make the Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce, as follows.

Ingredients for Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce

 

1 – 8 oz. tub of mascarpone cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 zest of an orange

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon real maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Mix all ingredients in a small mixing bowl, and set aside. If there is any leftover cream cheese sauce, save in a glass jar with a tight lid for up to 10 days in the refrigerator.

Carrot Cake Pancakes with Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce

 

When you have finished cooking the pancakes (makes about 6 large cakes), plate them and top with the Orange Maple Mascarpone Sauce. You can also top the sauce with some grated carrot, and nuts, like pecans or walnuts. Enjoy!!

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Gluten Free Carrot Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting

Just because you can’t have gluten, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favorite desserts! For health reasons I have chosen to eat as much gluten free breads and desserts as I can. If gluten does bother you, then it is causing inflammation to your digestive system.

The carrot cake we are featuring was made with an all-purpose baking flour that consists of garbanzo bean flour, whole grain sweet white sorghum flour and fava bean flour. To replace the gluten, potato starch and tapioca starch was used. We also used oat flour, and coconut flour.

Here is what you will need to make Gluten Free Carrot Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting.

3/4 cup all-purpose gluten free flour

3/4 oat flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1 1/2 teaspoon 5 star chai spices

1/2 cup dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 to 1 cup mixed dried fruits (Trader Joe’s has a package of mixed fruits that have blueberries, cranberries, cherries, and golden raisins)

4 medium eggs

1 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 cups shredded organic carrots

3/4 cup pecan pieces, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

 

melting coconut oil

First melt the coconut oil. Coconut oil is solid below 76 degrees. To use it in baking it is necessary first to melt it. What we have done to melt the oil, is first place a small sauce pan over medium heat, and heat the pan for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the 1/4 cup of solid coconut oil, and begin swirling the pan until the coconut butter, has melted to oil. Put aside.

mixing gluten free dry ingredients with dried fruit

In a large mixing bowl, add the first 8 ingredients from the list above, and mix till well incorporated. Then add the dry fruit and mix in, add nuts if using, mix in and set aside.

Next shred the two cups of carrots and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together eggs, coconut sugar, applesauce, and coconut oil. Once well incorporated, add shredded carrots, mix in, and set aside.

Prepare two 9-inch glass pie plates with parchment paper on the bottom, and coconut butter smeared around the sides. Set the pie plates aside.

Now returning to the wet ingredients, add it slowly to the dry ingredients and stir. Divide the gluten free cake mixture between the prepared pie plates. Place into heated oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a inserted knife comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes before adding frosting.

Here is what you will need for the Cream Cheese Frosting.

8 ounces cream cheese, soften

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon real vanilla

1 cup organic icing sugar (powdered organic cane sugar)

In a mixer, add soft cream cheese, yogurt, and vanilla and cream together. Next add icing sugar and mix in.

preparing to add frosting to cakePlace on of the cakes on a large serving platter, and cut around the outside of the cake to cut off any uneven edges. Top with frosting and pecan pieces. Next place other cake over the frosted one, and continue frosting.

close up of Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese FrostingPlace around the outer edge of the frosted Gluten Free Carrot Cake pecan pieces. Using a yellow and purple organic carrot, shred some pieces and place in the center of the frosted cake.

Serve and enjoy.

slice of Gluten free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Organic Rainbow Carrots and Spinach Salad

Rainbow Carrots and Spinach Salad

It is said, but cannot be proven, that the orange carrot was cultivated in the 17th century by Dutch growers. It is thought that the carrot was cultivated orange as a tribute to William of Orange, who led the the struggle for Dutch independence.

Whatever the origin of the orange carrot, the Long Orange Dutch carrot, first written about in 1721, is the forebear of the orange Horn carrot varieties so abundant at supermarkets today.

History states the first mention of growing carrots was in Iran. Carrots cultivated before 1721 were of different colors, like purple, red, yellow and white. The orange carrot we buy today is crossed from the later two colors, yellow and white.

It is note worthy, the nutritional benefits of rainbow carrots. Four (4) ounces or 1/2 a cup has 157% of the daily value of vitamin-A, 14% of the daily need of vitamin-C, 337 mg of potassium, and 3% of the daily need of calcium, and iron. Four ounces also have about 3 grams of fiber.

Our featured recipe is prepared using wild organic rainbow carrots. It is a simple and delicious salad. Fast and easy to make. Our featured salad, Organic Rainbow Carrots and Spinach Salad will need the following.

Organic Rainbow Carrots and Spinach Salad

2 cups cooked organic rainbow carrots, sliced

3-4 cups baby spinach

1/4 cup Asiago cheese, shredded

Ginger syrup

Olive oil

Caribbean Spiced Rubbed Beef Rib SteakWash and slice carrots, but do not peel. Place into a steamer basket over boiling water and steam, about 5 minutes. Cool and set aside.

Plate spinach on a large salad plate. Top with cooled carrots. Drizzle ginger syrup over vegetables, then drizzle olive oil. Top with cheese.

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We enjoyed the salad with a Caribbean Spiced Rubbed Beef Rib Steak and slices of olive bread.

 

 

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Gluten Free Tropical Carrot Cake

Gluten free Tropical Carrot Cake - Dessert Bread and CupcakesGluten is a vital protein to wheat. But many people without knowing it are allergic to it. Those who are bothered by gluten can suffer from digestive problems, skin problems, and even depression, too name a few.

There are alternative flours that do not contain gluten, and if you make them a part of your diet, they could help to improve your health.

Watch the video to learn what these alternatives are. After the video we have provided a gluten free recipe: Tropical Carrot Cake.

 

Here is what you will need for the featured recipe:

flours used for Gluten Free Tropical Carrot CakeFirst preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

As shown in the image above, mix the potato starch and both flours in a large bowl with the following ingredients. mixed dry ingredients for Gluten free Tropical Carrot CakeThere is no need to sift the dry ingredients. When mixed together set bowl aside:

1/2 tsp powdered ginger root

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum can be a little spendy so you can substitute it for any starch, like arrow root, corn, or tapioca. The xanthan gum or any one of these starches are needed to replace the gluten. The starch or xanthan gum holds the flours together.

coating a glass baking pan with butter and sugarNext, coat a 7 x 4 inch glass baking pan with butter and sugar, set aside.

mixing wet ingredients for Gluten Free Tropical Carrot CakeNext, in a large bowl mix together eggs, sugars, oil, yogurt and vanilla. Add flour mixture slowly until just blended. With a large spatula, stir in carrots, pineapple, coconut, and nuts. Pour batter into baking pan ½ inch from top. Any extra batter can be used to make cupcakes (it should make 7).

Bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Bake cupcakes for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Remove cake from pan.

Gluten free Tropical Carrot Cake - Dessert Bread and Cupcakes

For the frosting combine 1/3 cup cream cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons almond milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat together until smooth. Frost cake when completely cooled. Save aside a small amount of frosting and mix half  with food grade orange coloring and the other half with food grade green coloring. Add frosting to a cake piper and pipe onto cake to form carrots and leaves with respective colors.

Gluten Free Tropical Carrot Cake - plattedWhen ready to enjoy your gluten free dessert bread, plate and serve.

 

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Carrot Cranberry Salad

Carrot Cranberry Salad

 

Carrots originated in Afghanistan with an array of colors, from reds, purples, red and even black. Orange is not an original color. It is said that the Dutch cross-bred the yellow and red carrot to produce a variety that was the emblematic color of the House of Orange. This carrot quickly became popular and was further developed to become the sweet, succulent orange carrot which is the most recognized color of carrot used throughout the world today (World Carrot Museum).

Most carrot cultivars are about 88% water, 7% sugar, 1% protein, 1% fiber, 1% ash, and 0.2% fat. Most of the nutrition in carrots are in the peel and about the first 1/4 to 1/2-inch upper part of the carrot.

The so called bagged “Baby Carrots” sold in the market have no nutritional value. The carrots are wedeled down to get the shape and uniformity that they have. Basically the baby carrots are the center part of the original product, were no nutrition is found.

 

5 Good Reasons to Eat Carrots

1. Vision: Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in your liver to keep your eyes healthy.

2. Cancer: Carrots have phytonutrients in them and this helps to reduce the risk of lung, breast and colon cancers.

3. Heart: Carrots are full of potassium and soluble fiber, which means the vegetable is good for blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.

4. Aging: Carrots have beta-carotene that helps to prevent and repair cell damage, slowing the aging of cells.

5. Skin: Vitamin A and antioxidants found in carrots, protect the skin from sun damage and prevent premature wrinkling, acne and dry skin.

 

The featured recipe: Carrot Cranberry Salad and here is what you will need:

ingredients for Carrot Cranberry Salad

1/4 cup pecan, pieces

3 cups carrots, grayed

1/2 cup cranberries, dried

4 cups boiling water

Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

juice of 2 oranges

Zest of 1 orange

1 tsp. grated ginger, fresh

 

 

grated carrots

 

First take the carrots from the cutting board and grate them till you have 3 cups.

 

placing grated carrot and dried cranberries ini hot water

 

In a lager quart pot, boil 4 cups of water. Once the water is boiling turn it off and remove from burner. Now place the 3 cups of carrots and the 1/2 cup of dried cranberries into hot water for 30 seconds then drain off water.

Rinse with cold water and allow water to drain completely. The purpose of the boiling water is just to soften a bit the carrots and hydrate the cranberries so the juices and the flavor of the zests and ginger will enter the shredded carrot with more ease.

Place the carrot and cranberries into a large bowl. Now mix in the rest of the ingredients from the cutting board less the pecans.

 

mixing all ingredients together for Carrot Cranberry Salad

 

Mix all of the ingredients until well incorporated. Place some plastic wrap or aluminum foil over the bowl and put into the refrigerator and allow to chill, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove from the refrigerator and mix in the pecans. Mixing in the pecans last prevents them from getting soggy while the salad  is chilling.

-Carrot Cranberry Salad-

 

Plate and enjoy!!

 

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Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. We all know that statement. But do we understand why it was coined or when it was coined?  History.com says it was first coined at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair by Missouri fruit specialist J.T. Stinson. But there is also the earliest known written use of the phrase, in a magazine edition called  Notes and Queries, printed and distributed in Whales around 1866. As to this fraise it is written, “A Pembroke shire proverb. Eat an apple on going to bed, And you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

In 1866 or 1904 they may have not known the reason why apples where healthy for you, they just knew they where. But in the 21st century we do.

Apples have flavonoids quercetin, epicatechin, procyanidin (B-2), and additionally, they are also good in tartaric acid. Together, these compounds help the body protect itself from the debilitating effects of free radicals.

The apple is also a good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). Together these vitamins help as co-factors for enzymes in metabolism as well as in various synthetic functions inside the body.

The fruit also contains a small amount of minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Potassium is important to cell and body fluids, as it  helps control heart rate and blood pressure, and in turn counter acts the negative influence of sodium.

Now for our featured dessert. Here is what you will need:

lineing with parchment paper a 8 inch sprin form pan

First preheat your oven to 350°F and line the bottom of a 8-inch round spring form pan with parchment paper. Then lightly grease the rounded sides with your choice of butter, avocado oil, or coconut oil. Coconut oil is neutral in flavor and will never add additional flavor to your cooked or baked goods. Be sure to cut off any excess parchment paper.

Topping for Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

For the topping:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 whole cloves
1 ¼ lbs. tart apples, such as Granny Smith, cored, peeled and chopped into 1/3-inch cubes
2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

First  peel, core and chop apples into 1/3-inch cubes. Mix together apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Make sure apples are well coated with the sugar mix. Heat butter in a large non-stick frying pan (even better if you have a ceramic coated pan) over medium heat until the foam subsides. Add whole cloves so they infuse the butter and then add the apple mixture.

butter infused with clove. Cooking coated apples in infused butter.

Toss apples about until they just begin to soften, but not mushy, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer apples back to the bowl, discard cloves and set aside to cool completely while you prepare the rest of the cake.

Cheese cake batter for Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

For the cheesecake:
1 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. each freshly grated nutmeg and ground clove
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. flour

In a medium bowl and a hand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until smooth and the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 40 seconds. Beat in the cinnamon, nutmeg and clove until combined. Add egg yolk and flour and beat just until incorporated and batter is smooth. Set this aside while you make the cake batter.

Here is what you will need:

For the cake:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cardamom
¼ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
½ cup evaporated milk

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. In another medium bowl, beat butter with both sugars until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla until combined. Add egg and beat until well incorporated and batter is fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add one-third of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until mostly combined. Beat in half of the evaporated milk until blended. Repeat this step by adding half the remaining flour mixture followed by the last of the milk, beating no more than 15 seconds between additions. After the last bit of milk has been added, beat on medium speed for 3-5 seconds to just make sure the batter is smooth. Fold in the last of the flour mixture by hand using a rubber spatula until evenly combined.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Spread cream cheese mixture over the cake batter. Gently spoon cooled apples over the batter in an even layer.

prepared Apple Spice Cake to cook

Bake cake until the cake wobbles ever so slightly in the middle, 45-50 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool completely. Plate and serve.

Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

For the cake:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cardamom
¼ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
½ cup evaporated milk

For the cheesecake:
1 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. each freshly grated nutmeg and ground clove
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. flour

For the topping:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 whole cloves
1 ¼ lbs. tart apples, such as Granny Smith, cored, peeled and chopped into 1/3-inch cubes
2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Lightly grease an 8-inch round spring form pan with butter and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.

To make the topping, fold together apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Heat butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat until the foam subsides. Add whole cloves so they infuse the butter and then add the apple mixture. Toss until they just begin to soften, but not until they’re mushy, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer apples back to the bowl, discard cloves and set aside to cool completely while you prepare the rest of the cake.

To make the cheesecake batter, beat cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until smooth and the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 40 seconds. Beat in the cinnamon, nutmeg and clove until combined. Add egg yolk and flour and beat just until incorporated and batter is smooth. Set this aside while you make the cake batter.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. In another medium bowl, beat butter with both sugars until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla until combined. Add egg and beat until well incorporated and batter is fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add one-third of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until mostly combined. Beat in half of the evaporated milk until blended. Repeat this step by adding half the remaining flour mixture followed by the last of the milk, beating no more than 15 seconds between additions. After the last bit of milk has been added, beat on medium speed for 3-5 seconds to just make sure the batter is smooth. Fold in the last of the flour mixture by hand using a rubber spatula until evenly combined.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Spread cream cheese mixture over the cake batter. Gently spoon cooled apples over the batter in an even layer. Put cake into oven and bake until the cake wobbles ever so slightly in the middle, 45-50 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool completely.

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