Category Archives: Desserts & Snacks

Strawberry Lemonade Gummies

Strawberry Lemonade Gummies | stupideasypaleo.com

Making homemade gummies with fruit and high-quality gelatin is one alternative to making lots of bone broth / soup stock for its gelatin content.

These Strawberry Lemonade Gummies are a recipe I develop for BreakingMuscle.com. The combo of the berries and lemon give it a sweet-tart flavor that’s really refreshing. (This is the only high-quality gelatin I use.)

Click here to get the recipe → Strawberry Lemonade Gummies

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Strawberry Lemonade Gummies | stupideasypaleo.com

Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta (Dairy-free, Paleo)

Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta (Dairy-free, Paleo) | stupideasypaleo.com

Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta is a riff on a traditional Italian panna cotta, but mine is dairy-free. Usually panna cotta is made from a combination of milk, cream, sugar and gelatin—creamy with a slightly firm texture.

Of course, there’s no actual bread in my version, but I incorporated all my favorite French toast flavors: the butteriness from the ghee, richness from the egg yolks, warmth from cinnamon and of course a bit of sweet from maple syrup. A bit of crumbled crispy bacon on top gives a savory counterpoint to the sweetness. And of course, I used coconut milk to keep it dairy-free. Seriously delicious.

Keep in mind that this panna cotta doesn’t set up like super-firm gelatin desserts. I serve it in small Mason jars for a few small, rich bites.

Ingredients for Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta:

Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta (Dairy-free, Paleo) | stupideasypaleo.com

Directions for Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta:

  1. Pour 1/4 cup of the coconut milk into a very small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and let it sit while you prepare the rest of the panna cotta.
  2. In a medium pot, whisk the remainder of the coconut milk, egg yolks, maple syrup, ghee and cinnamon until they’re combined. Warm the mixture over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, but don’t let it boil. You want to warm the mixture enough to dissolve the gelatin but not too much so that the egg yolk starts to scramble.
  3. Turn off the heat and whisk in the coconut milk / gelatin mixture from step 1 until the gelatin is dissolved. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the panna cotta into small ramekins, bowls or Mason jars. I used four 4-ounce Mason jars, like these. Refrigerate for 1–2 hours or until the panna cotta firms up. Serve with a garnish of crumbled bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Change it up:

  • Use homemade almond milk instead of coconut milk.
  • Use honey instead of maple syrup.
  • Omit the ghee if desired.

*Please note that while ghee is technically derived from butter, it’s had the problematic proteins removed during processing and is only pure butterfat. Therefore, some people consider it a dairy product. I, however, don’t because most folks who react to dairy negatively do because of the protein or the carbohydrate fractions, not the fat.

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Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta (Dairy-free, Paleo) | stupideasypaleo.com

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I Love Bacon Granola

granola 2

I <3 Bacon Granola. There, I said it.

Nobody makes maple bacon granola like my friend Claudette from Cavegirl Confections. Crunchy roasted nuts, a hint of sweetness from real maple syrup and of course, the savory awesomeness of crispy bacon pieces. I’m not Paleo perfect with my nutrition, and I do like the occasional small piece of dark chocolate or some nuts drizzled with raw honey. Sometimes, I want something a bit more special. The granolas, bars and nut butters from Cavegirl Confections are so delicious and just right for when I want a bit of a treat.

There are lots of Paleo snack companies out there, but Cavegirl stands out from amongst the crowd. I’ve had the opportunity to visit the prep kitchen and watch as Claudette prepares everything in small batches (so you know it’s fresh), artisanal-style, from the best ingredients. She’s a stickler for taste and quality, but don’t take my word for it: In her day job, Claudette’s a sous chef at one of San Diego’s best new restaurants, Sea180. Her flavor combos are spot on, and her eye for detail is evident.

She’s constantly developing new products, so check her site often to see what she’s cooking up! Rumor is that cashew butter and a new butter for making butter (aka “Bulletproof-style” coffee)! Cavegirl Confections ships product around the world, even APO for those serving in our Armed Forces.

Some of my personal favorites:

Maple Bacon Granola from Cavegirl Confections | stupideasypaleo.com

 

Maple Bacon Granola

Ingredients: walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin puree, apple sauce, Vermont maple syrup, uncured bacon, cinnamon, dried cherries

Chocolate Hazelnut Granola from Cavegirl Confections | stupideasypaleo.com

Chocolate Hazelnut Granola

Ingredients: almonds, hazelnuts, unsweetened coconut flakes, raw honey, coconut oil, imported dark cocoa powder, dark chocolate

AB & J Protein Bars from Cavegirl Confections | stupideasypaleo.com

AB & J Protein Bars

Ingredients: almonds, dates, dried strawberries & blueberries, Formulx Natural Recovery whey protein, coconut oil, vanilla

Almond Butter from Cavegirl Confections | stupideasypaleo.com

Almond Butter (comes in Bare Bones, Vanilla Coconut, Cherry Vanilla, Mocha, Cocoa Nib)

Click here to check out the rest of the online store!

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Paleo Snacks from Cavegirl Confections | stupideasypaleo.com

 

3-Ingredient Banana Pudding

3-Ingredient Banana Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com

This 3-Ingredient Banana Pudding is really simple. While I love convenience, the little cups of chia pudding goodness you can buy at the grocery store can be kind of pricey, especially if you’re watching your wallet.

The possibilities for ingredients are really endless, but this one has just three: banana, coconut milk and chia seeds.

Banana Coconut Chia Ingredients:

Banana Coconut Chia Directions:

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the banana and coconut milk. Process until smooth.
  2. Throw in the chia seeds and pulse a few times to mix evenly.
  3. Pour into a container and chill for an hour to let the chia seeds plump up a bit. (Or if you’re like me, eat it right away because you don’t want to wait. The seeds will be crunchy, though.)

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3-Ingredient Banana Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever tried chia pudding? What’s your favorite combo?

Why Paleo Donuts Suck

Why Paleo Donuts Suck | stupideasypaleo.com

It’s time somebody to say it: Paleo donuts suck.

[Full disclosure: There are a few recipes for treats on this site, but I don't make it a habit of posting tons of desserts because, well, they're not a part of my plan for optimal health and wellness, and I don't think it's right to pass them off to you with illusions that eating them regularly is a good idea.]

Desserts and treats are a tricky—and touchy—subject.

I’m not saying that you can never have a treat ever again when you make the commitment to improve your health by changing your diet. Being a Paleo perfectionist every day for the rest of your life is not a way to live and isn’t sustainable. (On the other hand, being squeaky-clean for a 30-day nutrition reset such as Whole30®, where you’ll completely avoid added sugar and desserts, is valid because it’s 1) a learning tool and 2) temporary.) But, let’s be honest. You may be here because you have a history of health issues, obesity or disordered eating. I was a sugar addict. We all have things we’re working on.

As a Paleo blogger with a sizable readership, I have a responsibility to you: to provide thought-provoking information, educate about nutrition best-practices and provide you with tasty, healthy recipes. I do all this without the illusion that making Paleo treats and desserts on a regular basis is a good idea. Sadly, there are influential folks out there selling you the sexy side of Paleo. A million and one desserts, even sweets and treats as part of clean-eating programs. (Remember, the programs where you’re supposed to reset and learn something about yourself?) They do this without preface…”Oh hey, by the way, these aren’t really for daily consumption.” Many have mentioned not eating the treats they make and blog about. How is this truth in advertising?

Where did we get things so mixed up? When did things become so grey? I guess I feel a bit like a Discovery Channel documentary to their Entertainment Tonight: One is good for you and the other, fantasy fluff. My readers deserve better. You see, bloggers have a responsibility to be transparent and readers, to know their context. Looking for gut health? Trying to normalize your metabolism? Performing your best athletically? Losing fat? These will all influence your unique dietary needs. Again, perfection isn’t the name of the game, but making good choices and building a strong nutritional foundation is non-negotiable.

So, back to Paleo donuts and why they suck. Okay, it could be Paleo [insert any dessert here], really…

Reason #1 Why Paleo Donuts Suck: They Don’t Taste Better Than the Real Thing

How to replicate the whisper-light crisp of a donut as you bite down, followed by the pillowy soft interior with almond flour? It’s not possible. Part of the reason why people love donuts is how they taste, feel in your hands and smell—faintly yeasty with sweet overtones—as you eat them. Instead of making Paleo donuts on a regular basis, why not just save up for a really special occasion and eat the real thing? You know it’ll freaking taste better than any Paleo recreation! (Celiacs or other people who should legitimately not eat wheat, please take this as intended.) Go to your favorite shop and sit down with your favorite kind of donut. Put your phone down. Savor each bite. Enjoy the experience. Then go back to life—and nutrition—as scheduled.

Reason #2 Why Paleo Donuts Suck: Gluten-free Flours Aren’t Perfect

Even Paleo ingredients aren’t perfect. Yeah, I know: Gluten-free flours may be “better” than wheat. The gut irritation caused by gluten is real, and it’s not good. But let’s not jade ourselves into thinking gluten-free flours or nut flours get “unrestricted consumption” status. They’ve got issues: phytates, the potential for gluten-cross reactions, and high caloric content just to name a few. Just because an flour is gluten-free doesn’t give anyone carte blanche to eat tons of it. Sweeteners hold the same burden. Some may be more “Paleo” than others, but it shouldn’t be eaten without limit.

Reason #3 Why Paleo Donuts Suck: They’re Not Helping You Make Better Choices

Like me, you may be here because you’ve got some serious issues to resolve with food. I was the queen of sugar, and I still have to watch myself. Does this mean I don’t indulge in a sweet from time to time? Not at all, but I have to be very careful about how frequently I make treats. In the four years I’ve been Paleo, I’ve had to pull the reins back more than a few times because “once in a while” became more like “every few days.” Sugar still messes with me if I eat too much of it, even from “Paleo” sources like honey or maple syrup. So, I avoid it in my day-to-day because I know I make better food choices when I do.

Reason #4 Why Paleo Donuts Suck: Daily Desserts Aren’t Part of a Healthy Nutrition Plan

Desserts should be special. And by special, I don’t mean eaten only on days that end in “y”. End of story.

Reason #5 Why Paleo Donuts Suck: Paleo Baking is Not Economical

Trying to do Paleo on a budget? Worried you can’t afford it? Paleo baking—and all the special ingredients that goes with it—is expensive. If you’re trying to decide between meat and eggs and good quality produce or baking, you’re going to get much more nutrition from the former than the latter.

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Why Paleo Donuts Suck | stupideasypaleo.com

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Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups

Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter CupsDark chocolate mint coconut butter cups are so tempting that I only make them once a year at the holidays as sweet little homemade gifts for family & friends. They’re pretty easy to make and you can put together a large batch relatively quickly. Trust me, they’re always a huge hit!

Not a fan of mint? You can leave out the peppermint extract and just use vanilla extract. They’re still good, but if you’re a fan of peppermint patties, you should give it a try. You can also buy pre-made coconut butter if you’re short on time.

Ingredients for the Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups: 

Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups

Directions for the Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups: 

  1. In a food processor or high speed blender, combine the coconut, vanilla and sea salt.
  2. Allow to process for several minutes – scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple times – until the coconut starts to become smooth. You may need to add melted coconut oil (1+ Tablespoon) to adjust the texture and make it stickier.
  3. Optional: add the peppermint essential oil and combine well.
  4. Remove to a separate container. You may have extra coconut butter left over. Trust me, you’ll find some way to eat it…it’s really good.
  5. Break chocolate into chunks and put in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high, stirring frequently, until melted. The time completely depends on how dark the chocolate is, percent-wise and how powerful your microwave is. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. You could also use a double boiler to melt the chocolate on the stovetop (my preferred method).

Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups

Assembling the Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups: 

  • Cupcake wrappers (large or small, your choice)
  • Mint coconut butter filling from above
  1. Place a spoonful of melted chocolate into the wrapper, smoothing it out with the back of the spoon to create sides and a bottom. Refrigerate until hardened.
  2. Then, scoop a small amount of the filling into the cup and flatten until it covers the bottom. Hint: one batch of the coconut butter filling should make ~6 large cups or 10-12 small ones.
  3. Place another spoonful of melted chocolate on top and smooth out. Refrigerate to harden.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for best results. May also be kept frozen!

Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups

Change it Up:

Dark chocolate mint…are you a fan? Let me know in the comments below!

Dark Chocolate Mint Coconut Butter Cups

Dark Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding (Paleo and Dairy-Free)

Dark Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding | StupidEasyPaleo.com Look familiar?

This deep chocolatey, rich treat (good for an every once in a while occasion…not daily, right?!) is so easy to make. A couple months back, I posted a very similar recipe with gelatin and some folks wrote in requesting other options for thickeners. I reworked the ingredients just slightly and the result was equally tasty and simple but gelatin-, egg- and dairy-free! I served it in small dessert cups for just the perfect little bite. Tiny spoons are fun, too.

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Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding:

Directions for Dark Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, chopped dark chocolate and cocoa powder.
  2. Warm the milk until the chocolate is completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the chia seeds and vanilla extract. [Hint: add the chia seeds while stirring continuously or else they will stick to the bottom of the pan in one big gelatinous lump. Not cool.]
  3. Stir thoroughly until the chia seeds begin to thicken the mixture a bit.
  4. Pour into small serving cups and refrigerate for at least an hour until the mixture is very thick.
  5. Top with shaved dark chocolate or coconut whipped cream.

Change It Up:

Sprinkle with cinnamon or cardamom.

Have you ever used chia seeds as a thickener?

chocolate 405 x 405

 

Paleo Strawberry Apple Parfait

DSC_0029I eat with my eyes first, so parfaits – with their repeating layers of tasty goodness – are always appealing. This one’s made with fruit and coconut and some chopped nuts for crunch (and contains no extra added sugar), so it’s perfectly nutritious.

[As an aside, I get lots of questions about whether fruit is Paleo or how much fruit is okay to eat. Know your context...if you are active and have good body composition and blood sugar regulation, there's nothing wrong with a couple servings of fruit each day. If you're battling a sugar addiction or trying to improve body comp, for example, you may want to be more wary of your fruit intake...especially dried fruit.]

I used rhubarb to counterbalance the sweetness of the apples, but if it’s out of season or not available in your area, you could leave it out. Another option is to add in some blackberries (like in my Blackberry Cinnamon Applesauce) to add some tartness…plus, the color would be stunning!

Ingredients for 2-3 parfaits:

  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and diced (optional…leave the skin on)
  • 1 large stalk of rhubarb, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk or heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped nuts, optional

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the apples and rhubarb with 1/4 cup of water. Stir frequently and cook until the apples and rhubarb are very soft and have made a thick sauce, about 20-30 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the strawberries by cutting off the green tops and quartering them. Also, mix the vanilla extract with the coconut milk.
  3. Time to make the parfait…there’s no real science here. You could make several small ones or a couple big ones, depending on your preference. I layered a tablespoon of the coconut milk at the bottom, follow by some fresh strawberries, then some of the apple-rhubarb sauce. I repeated these layers one more time, then topped it with some strawberries and a tablespoon of chopped Brazil nuts.

Get creative and let me know in the comments any variations you might use!

Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding

Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding | stupideasypaleo.com This dairy-free dark chocolate coconut pudding has 4 ingredients and is stupid-easy to make. Believe it!

Dark chocolate is one of those foods that is part of my Paleo because I know it fits in with my context, and I try to stick to soy lecithin-free, very dark (85%+), high quality stuff when I can. I wanted to use dark chocolate in an ultra simple dessert and instead of opting for a mousse – which has eggs – I incorporated coconut milk and gelatin to firm up this pudding-esque treat. It’s not very sweet because I didn’t add anything extra besides what’s in the chocolate, and it’s very rich, so I served it in tiny espresso glasses for just a couple lush bites.

If you can’t find gelatin sheets, you can probably use another form as long as it will firm up two cups of liquid – definitely check the label for directions.

Ingredients for Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding:

Directions for Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding:

  1. Prepare the gelatin by following the directions on the package. Mine required soaking the sheets in cold water for five minutes, then discarding the water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the coconut milk on medium-low in a heavy bottomed pot. You want to warm it enough to dissolve the gelatin but not boiling – that will make it harder for the gelatin to actually set.
  3. Once the coconut milk is very warm but not boiling, remove if from the heat and stir in the chopped dark chocolate until it melts. Add the vanilla extract.
  4. Then, add the softened gelatin sheets and stir thoroughly until they dissolve, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Pour into your desired glasses or cups and chill for at least 2 hours or until set.

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Simple Paleo Tortillas

Simple Paleo Tortillas | stupideasypaleo.comAre simple Paleo tortillas really possible?! If you’re looking for a really easy Paleo version of a flour tortilla – or a French crepe – look no further. These are pretty much foolproof and are much more flexible than other Paleo tortillas I’ve tried before that mostly use coconut flour as a base. I had a huge bag of arrowroot powder to use up (a gluten-free flour alternative) so this fit the bill quite well.

Simple Paleo Tortillas | stupideasypaleo.com

These Paleo tortillas hold up to folding or rolling and can be used in sweet or savory applications, and it’s easy to make a double or triple batch in advance and save them for upcoming meals. They’d also be perfect for making up some tasty lunches on the go, and I think they’d be super popular with kids (of all ages)!

Update: I tested these to see how well they’d freeze. I rolled the tortillas up, froze them, and they thawed flexible and easy to fold!

Makes: Three 8″ tortillas

Ingredients for Simple Paleo Tortillas:

Directions for Simple Paleo Tortillas:

  1. Crack the eggs into a medium-sized bowl and whisk in the melted ghee and water.
  2. Add the dry ingredients—arrowroot, coconut flour and salt—and beat well to combine.  Simple Paleo Tortillas | stupideasypaleo.com
  3. In a small (8″) skillet over medium heat, pour in about 1/3 of the batter and immediately roll it around to evenly coat the bottom. The tortilla should start to pull away from the edges as it cooks. Simple Paleo Tortillas | stupideasypaleo.com
  4. Cook for 1 minute on each side.
  5. If saving for later, cool completely and store in a plastic bag or airtight glass container. Simple Paleo Tortillas | stupideasypaleo.com Simple Paleo Tortillas | stupideasypaleo.com

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Strawberry Vanilla Rhubarb Sauce

DSC_0729-2 I’ve been on a rhubarb kick lately since it’s in season and easier to find now than at any other time. Rhubarb is a very tart vegetable but is commonly paired with fruit for a sweet counterpoint. I included some chopped dates to lessen the bite, but this sauce is not predominantly sweet.

I served this sweet-tart sauce on top of a brined pork tenderloin – which I cut into medallions and pan-seared – but it would also be great on chicken or served with some chopped nuts on top as a snack.

Ingredients: DSC_0723-2

  • 6 pitted dates, soaked and chopped
  • 1 cup rhubarb, sliced
  • 3 cups strawberries, quartered (about 1 quart)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (or 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Put the dates in a heat-safe bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 10-15 minutes until they soften, then drain the water and chop until it becomes almost a paste. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, combine the rhubarb, strawberries and ginger. Cook over medium-low heat until the fruit gets very soft, about 10-15 minutes. You may have to reduce the heat to low to keep it from sticking or burning.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the dates and vanilla.
  4. Serve.

Blueberry Rhubarb Granita

DSC_0726 Sometimes, all the stars line up for a fantastic recipe to be born. Call it serendipity, kismet or just plain old coincidence, but when three distinct events occurred that all pointed me in the direction of this granita*, I couldn’t resist. First, I saw Paleo Cupboard’s recent post for Fresh Fruit Granita. Then, the next day I was sitting in a dingy waiting room getting my car smog checked, thumbing through an old issue of Sunset magazine when I happened upon a recipe for Rhubarb Granita. And finally, I went to the market right after the smog center and bumped into a heaped up display of summer’s most misunderstood veggie: rhubarb. Okay, Universe. You win.

I decided to make rhubarb the star but cut it down by a cup and added some blueberries for color and sweetness. If you’ve been around here long enough, you know I’m not into making tons of Paleo desserts but I’m truthfully trying to use up my entire pantry right now with a three month trip to the UK/Europe approaching in just two short weeks – plus fruit with a bit of honey is hardly a Paleo-coconut-chocolate-cookie-caramel-tart-with-brownie-crumbles-on-top.

I cut the sweetener in the Sunset recipe from 1 cup sugar to ~1/3 cup of honey. The granita is decidedly sweet-tart, but you could add a bit more honey if you wanted to. The honey didn’t negatively affect the texture at all and still resulted in nice, icy fruit flakes. It’s best to prepare this on the day you want to use it but it can be softened and eaten later on. Store tightly sealed in the freezer if keeping leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup honey

Directions:

  1. Have a 13″ x 9″ glass dish ready (or two smaller 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ pans. Glass or ceramic work best because you have to scrape the granita with a fork, and it could ruin the finish of a metal pan).
  2. Wash the rhubarb, and cut it into thin slices until you have about 3 cups total. 
  3. Put the rhubarb slices, blueberries, water and honey in a medium saucepan.
  4. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Be careful because the mixture tends to bubble up. If that happens, turn the heat down a bit.
  5. Pour the fruit mixture into a fine mesh strainer over the 13″ x 9″ dish. Use a spoon to mash and stir the mixture through the strainer, catching the liquid underneath. Work it until all that remains inside the strainer is a thick pulp. Discard the pulp.
  6. You’ll have to babysit the granita a bit from here. Place the dish in the freezer and allow to harden for about 20-30 minutes. Then, scrape the dish down with a fork. Your goal is to create small icy chunks. I checked on mine about every 30 minutes after that, scraping it down further.  Eventually it’ll get firm enough to where you can scrape right across the top. DSC_0719
  7. Serve in chilled glasses. A garnish of fresh mint would be perfect here, too, or just enjoy as is. Savor it.

*When I was a kid, my grandmother used to make something similar that she called “slush”. It had booze in it so we were never allowed to have any. You could do the same if that’s up your alley.

 

Paleo Rocket Popsicles

DSC_0790 Do you remember the sound of the ice cream truck cruising around the neighborhood in summer when you were a kid? If you were like me, you conveniently didn’t hear your mom call for dinner, but you could hear that magical music from a mile away. Growing up, my siblings and I loved “rocket pops” – I looked it up and they’re officially called “Red, White and Blue Turbo Rockets” – a patriotic combination sugar and artificial food coloring in red (cherry), white (lemon) and blue (blue raspberry).

DSC_0780 While these Paleo versions have a bit of sweetness from the fruit and coconut water, they’re nothing like the sugar on a stick popsicles sold in stores. I added fruit to each layer and kicked up the flavors with citrus zest. You’ve got raspberry lime (red), coconut white peach (white) and lemon blueberry (blue). Perfect for a hot summer day! Don’t like raspberries? Use strawberries or cherries instead. You can also puree the fruit instead of slicing it.

Be creative and use your own fruit combinations or flavors. Let me know in the comments below what you tried!

[Note: I don't consider these a Paleo-ified dessert because it's essentially fruit and coconut water with no extra added sugar, but if you think you'd crack out on them, take that into consideration.]

Prep time: 15-20 min     Freeze time:  2-3 hours     Makes: 12 pops

Ingredients:

Red layer…raspberry lime

  • 2 cups coconut water*
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 cup raspberries (about 6 oz), quartered

White layer…coconut white peach

  • 1 white peach, peeled and chopped [hint: squeeze lemon juice on them to prevent browning]
  • 1.5 cups full-fat coconut milk

Blue layer…lemon blueberry

  • 2 cups coconut water*
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup blueberries, halved

Equipment

  • 12 dixie cups (3 oz. size)
  • 24 plastic straws or 24 popsicle sticks

Directions:

  1. Place 12 dixie cups on a sheet tray or in a muffin tin (I used a mini muffin tray). Clear a space in the freezer that the tray will fit in.
  2. Mix the different coconut waters (coconut water + lime juice + lime zest and coconut water + lemon juice + lemon zest) in separate containers. DSC_0767 DSC_0769
  3. Build your red layer first. Equally divide the quartered berries into the cups (about 2 raspberries per cup). Add about 2 Tablespoons of the lime coconut water to each cup. Freeze until solid. DSC_0774
  4. Build the white layer next. Equally divide the chopped white peach into the cups. Add about 2 Tablespoons of coconut milk to each cup. *IMPORTANT: Only partially freeze this layer then stick the straws or popsicle sticks in! Return to the freezer until solid. DSC_0810 DSC_0812
  5. Build the blue layer last. Equally divide the halved blueberries into the cups. Add about 2 Tablespoons of lemon coconut water to each cup. Freeze until solid.
  6. Peel the paper cups away and trim the straws down to size. I like the double straw or double stick method because it makes them easier to hold.
  7. Try to eat it before it melts!

*You’ll have a bit of extra coconut water left over…drink up and enjoy.

Paleo Memorial Day Menu

IMG_4131It’s almost Memorial Day weekend, and you know what that means: Sun’s out, guns out! Yussss! Summer is almost here!

Parties and BBQs with friends and family will be had. Days are still getting longer and evenings are getting warmer which makes for perfect outdoor dining. And, it’ll now also be socially acceptable to wear white pants – I won’t be taking advantage of that because I ruin anything white. Anyone who can explain where that rule came from will win my adoration forever.

In case you need some party-dish inspiration for the weekend ahead, I’ve pulled together some of my favorite summertime recipes in one place. See, I love ya! Leave a comment and tell me what YOUR favorite summer party take-along dish is.

Drinks

  • Coconut water with frozen berries
  • Seltzer water with lime and olive garnish
  • Watermelon Slush

Appetizers / Snacks

yamsSalads / Side-Dishes

Meat

plantainDesserts

Chocolate Orange Naked Bars

IMG_4142Okay, so these are actually called Cocoa Orange Nakd Bars, but I didn’t want to infringe on anyone’s trademark (and I figured I’d get more hits for having “naked” in the title) so I added the “e”. Clever!

When I was in Scotland, it became pretty clear that getting Paleo-friendly snacks on the go was as easy as it is here in the States. Read: virtually impossible. Craig and I were in Tesco or Sainsbury’s (Tesbury’s?) when he chucked a couple of these my way. A quick scan of the ingredients revealed nothing offensive…just a simple quartet of dates, cocoa, orange and almonds. Now, who knows if the orange is just orange flavoring or not, but they seemed pretty benign. Recently, though, I endeavored to recreate this treat, and I think the outcome is even better than the original. They’re kinda sorta Lara bar-y but better, I think. I’d file these under the “treat” category since they are high in natural sugar from the dates. Definitely not ideal for the Whole30 crowd, but an occasional indulgence for the rest of you.

Disclaimer: you’ll either need a food processor or the patience of a saint (if you chop the ingredients by hand) to make these.

Prep time: 15 min     Freeze time: 20 min    Makes: 8″ x 8″ pan

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of nuts (I used 1 cup almonds + 1/2 cup macadamia…baller status, I know. Use whatever you like or is on hand.)
  • 20 Medjool dates (these are the big, fat, squishy ones)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • Zest of one large orange
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Line an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with plastic wrap or wax paper. Set aside.
  2. Add the nuts to the food processor and pulse down until they become small, crumbly bits. Don’t let it go too long or it will become nut butter – er, not that there’s anything wrong with that but it won’t help this recipe. Some pieces may be a bit bigger and some might be tiny. That’s okay. Pour the nuts in a large bowl.
  3. Now, pit the dates and put them in the food processor. Pulse about 5 times until they are slightly broken down.
  4. Add the cocoa powder, orange zest, orange juice and sea salt.
  5. Process until the dates form a huge chocolatey ball.
  6. Now, with clean hands: add the chocolatey dates to the nuts and combine both together. You’ll have to knead pretty well but keep at it.
  7. Once all the nuts are blended in, you’ll take the lump of deliciousness and put it in the baking dish. Press the mixture into the dish until it’s packed down and smooth.
  8. Freeze for 20 minutes until firm.
  9. Turn out the mixture onto a cutting board and chop into pieces as big or small as you’d like. I usually make 12 bars from one dish.
  10. I individually wrap them. They can be frozen for a couple months if packed to withstand freezer burn. If not, store in the fridge for short term use.

Caramelized Figs

photo-592This is a simple way to make something that’s a bit sweet but a far cry from Paleo-ifying dessert. You could even skip the shaved dark chocolate if you wanted something Whole30-compliant.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time: 5 min    Makes: 4 figs

Ingredients:

  • 4 fresh, ripe figs (mission, black, brown turkey, etc.)
  • 1 spoonful of ghee or coconut oil
  • Cinnamon for sprinkling
  • Good quality dark chocolate for shaving on top, optional (I used 90% dark chocolate)

Directions:

  1. Wash the figs. Cut the stem end off and then slice in half.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the ghee or coconut oil. When hot, cook the figs 1-2 minutes on each side or until they begin to caramelize. 
  3. Remove from the pan sprinkle with cinnamon and dark chocolate shavings.