Paleo Spiced Zucchini Bread

IMG_3346This is the perfect bread to make ahead of time and serve Thanksgiving and Christmas morning for breakfast.  It is hearty enough to keep you full until turkey time and will keep your kitchen free of clutter and dirty dishes while you are whipping up your feast.  This paleo gluten free bread definitely has a warm seasonal taste to it with the blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, and hint of clove.  And as an added bonus, your house will smell Ah-mazing while this is baking!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Wet:

1 ripe banana
1 cup grated zucchini (this is about 1 small zucchini)
4 eggs
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup avocado oil (or an oil of your choosing that is ok for temperatures above 350 degrees)
1 tsp vanilla

Dry:

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a bread pan (9 x 5 is plenty big) with shortening or coconut oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Grate your zucchini and squeeze out some of the water with a paper towel.  In a large bowl use a handheld mixer or your stand mixer and whisk the eggs.  Once whisked add in the remaining wet ingredients.  Next, add in the palm sugar and mix together.  In a separate bowl mix together your remaining dry ingredients (minus the walnuts).   Once you have blended the dry ingredients together, slowly add it into the wet ingredients while the mixing tool is turned on.  Once everything is thoroughly mixed together stir in the chopped walnuts.  Pour batter into the bread pan.  Bake for 65- 75 minutes.  Serve warm with butter and your favorite tea.  Yum!

 

Banana Bread French Toast

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Have I mentioned before that I love all things brunch? I love the laziness of eating later in the morning and how it makes you feel like you belong to a secret world where everyone loves to relax and indulge. Before going Paleo, brunch was a whole different thing for me. It was eating as many sweet things as I could find and “balancing” it out with high carb, starchy hash browns. This Paleo banana bread french toast is a Sunday morning favorite in our house…and bonus, it’s healthy! It takes brunch to a whole new level. It tastes delicious–like it should be awful for you– but I promise you, it’s not! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 loaf coffee crumble banana bread (recipe here)
2 eggs whisked
1 tablespoon water
1 tsp vanilla extract
cinnamon
butterIMG_1945

Mix together the eggs, water, and vanilla and pour into a low bowl. Slice 6-8 pieces of the banana bread (1” thick). Place a piece of bread into the egg mixture and let soak for 5 seconds. Flip the bread and let soak for 5 more seconds.IMG_1955

Sprinkle cinnamon onto both sides. Heat 1-2 tbsp of butter in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Cook the french toast for 5 minutes per side. Serve with butter and warm maple syrup.

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Makes 3-4 servings.

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Vanilla Pudding Cake

IMG_2567This recipe started out as a horse of a different color. I was working on a banana cream pie and made a vanilla pudding base that wouldn’t set right. I realized half way through that I used the wrong amount of gelatin.

But it tasted too amazing to just throw it out!  Instead, I added a blend of flours to the “vanilla pudding” that I have found to be a great base for cakes and muffins: almond flour, tapioca flour, and coconut flour (the trifecta). I love it when a unfortunate mistake turns into something delicious! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Dry:
2 tbsp coconut flour
2 cups almond flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt

Wet:
1 can of full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup honey
1 tbsp vanilla
6 egg yolks
1 & 1/2 tsp gelatin

In a 2 quart sauce pan, heat the honey and coconut milk over medium heat while whisking.  In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks.  Add into the sauce pan the vanilla and egg yolks while stirring.  Bring to a low boil and remove from the heat.  Slowly whisk in the gelatin.  IMG_2439

Once fully incorporated, pour the mixture into a bowl and let cool in the refrigerator for 2 hours to set, stirring occasionally.  It will become thicker but not firm.  .  IMG_2446Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a medium sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients together until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients into the wet.

Using 2 round 8 inch cake pans, grease with either coconut oil or shortening, and lightly sprinkle with about a tablespoon of almond flour. You also can cut 2 circles of parchment paper and line the bottom of the cake pans to help the cakes fall away from the pan easier.

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Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of the cake pans to loosen the sides. Tip upside down over a clean counter surface and give light taps on the bottom until the cakes fall away. IMG_2574

Drizzle with a lemon glaze (recipe here) and fresh berries. Simply to die for.

St. Patty’s Day Cookies

IMG_2038These cookies look like regular old chocolate chip cookies until you take a bite and see what’s inside! They make every day fun but especially on St. Patty’s Day. The sunflower seed butter used in the batter reacts with the baking soda in the baking process to make a vivid green color. These cookies have it all- they are tasty, gluten free, have chocolate chips, and a fun surprise in the center. Your kids will thank you for making these!

Ingredients
Wet:
1 cup sunflower seed butter (make sure it is pure sunflower seed- click here to find the one I use)
2 eggs
1/4 cup palm shortening
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla

Dry:
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup chocolate chips (click here to find the ones I use)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Begin by mixing the sunflower seed butter and palm shortening with a hand held mixer/stand mixer using a large bowl.IMG_2000

Once the two are creamed together, mix in the maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk the 2 eggs in a separate bowl and add them into the batter. Turn up the speed on the mixer to high to help incorporate the eggs- it will look like a hot mess but it will cream back together after about 15 seconds.

In a separate small bowl mix together all the dry ingredients (minus the chocolate chips). Add to the batter and mix together for another 30 seconds. Once completely incorporated, add in the chocolate chips. It is completely normal for the shortening to not fully break down–you will see small white dots in the batter. It will melt down as it cooks.

Using a measuring spoon drop 1 heaping tablespoon of cookie dough out per cookie.IMG_2006

Bake for 15 minutes.  Makes 2 dozen cookies–with a twist. IMG_2032

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Coffee Crumble Banana Bread

IMG_1928This gluten free delight is where coffee cake meets banana bread and they become besties. The walnut cinnamon topping has a hint of almond extract reminiscent of the traditional coffee cake flavor while the bread has a classic sweet vanilla-banana taste to it. Together they make magic. What makes this so amazing? This is a Paleo bread that is sweet enough to be served as a dessert but healthy enough to be eaten with breakfast. You can enjoy it any time of day (multiple times if you like–I won’t tell!).

Ingredients:

Dry
3 cups almond flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

Wet
4 eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup oil (I used avocado)
1 tbsp vanilla
3 very ripe bananas

Topping
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp sea salt

Move your oven rack to one of the last 2 bottom slots. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large food processor add your dry ingredients together and blend for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and add all the wet ingredients.IMG_1893

Blend for 30-45 seconds.IMG_1900

Using a 9”x5” bread pan, lightly coat it with either coconut oil or coconut palm oil. Pour the batter into the pan. It should fill up about 3/4 of the way. In a separate small bowl mix together the topping by whisking the maple syrup, cinnamon, almond extract, and sea salt. Once combined add in the walnut pieces.IMG_1907

Pour over the batter and using a very light hand, gently spread it evenly over the top.IMG_1913

Bake for 60 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes and remove from the bread pan by gently running a knife around the sides of the bread and tipping it upside down over a dinner plate. The bread will fall away from the pan and onto the dish. Enjoy!!!IMG_1925

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Paleo Cupboard: Setting Up Your Kitchen

Paleo CupboardMost often when I talk to people about the Paleo lifestyle I hear comments about how hard it must be to prepare every meal by hand—all of the prep work, shopping, cutting, cleaning, ect… and I agree! It is hard to constantly plan ahead and prepare these amazingly gourmet and healthy meals, especially with a modern work schedule and the many demands on our time.

But here is my secret—

I cheat.

Rarely do I have to think about and pre-plan meals because I buy mass quantities of food ahead of time. I shop online for the stuff that isn’t at my local store. I get my produced delivered to my house, DELIVERED! I own all sorts of gadgets that cut, dice, and prepare the food for me. I am more of a cruise director in this process: Mr. Kale, have you met my dearest friend the Vitamix? Jump on in and enjoy the entertainment!

When my husband and I first decided to eat Paleo we started very slowly. During the process of transitioning over, my collection of essentials has grown, my routine of ordering and preparing food has become established and we purchased an extra fridge/freezer combo to help carry some of the burden of my obsessive meat shopping. I definitely have some cupboard essentials that make my lifestyle a lot easier to manage and are super fun to play with! Here is a list to help get you started.

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The Must-Have Equipment:

The Must-Have Foods:

This will help you prepare your assortment of paleo meals. Think of it as your dream team. I buy them online and in bulk from http://www.nuts.com.   It is not essential to purchase them in bulk, but for me it saves me the headache of remembering what I have/don’t have.

More Food—The It’s-Really-Great-To-Have-On-Hand Foods:

(Try to buy them organic.  It will cost a little more but is worth the investment.)

And that folks is it! There will occasionally be a recipe that calls for something you don’t have on hand but no matter what style of food you’re making that will come up from time to time.

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