Sugar detox Macaroons

This is best treat ever…Seriously…I think I could eat all batch by myself…So good it is….And I am on Sugar detox day 14. I won’t lie that it’s easy, because it’s not…

Now the recipe:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 green apple, peeled and shredded
  • 1 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1) Mix egg whites with salt. Add in coconuts and apple and stir in well. Place in fridge for 30mins. to soften coconut.

2) Using a small scoop (i.e. melon baller, cookie dough scoop, or small ice cream scoop), fill with batter, pack very firmly and release bites onto parchment paper lined baking sheet

3) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes if you want them more golden.

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Paleo crunch bars

So, I wanted to order some stuff from Steve’s Paleo, but the shipping is super expensive, so I decided to make a research on all mighty google.com and find a recipe to make it myself. Anyways, I am so used to make everything myself that I kind of lost hope and interest to buy. Well, I try to ind something, but there is always some ingredients that I don’t like or if it’s all clean, then it is super expensive and it is much cheaper to make it myself.

I took a recipe from here and I basically repost the recipe:
Ingredients

1/2 cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup Pecans ( I used 1/4 cup of Pecan meal, because I had it and found it much cheaper to buy pecan meal than actual pecans. Anyways, I usually use them for baking and have to make into meal, so saving expenses and extra work)
1/2 cup Shredded (raw, unsweetened) Coconut
3/4 cup Almond Meal
1/2 cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Coconut Oil (plus a little to grease the pan)
1/4 cup Honey
2 tbsp of 100% Cacao

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grind the pumpkin seeds, pecans, and coconut in a food processor until it’s a coarse flour.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin/pecan/coconut flour with the almond meal and sunflower seeds. Use your hand. This is also when you add the cinnamon.
Add in the vanilla and the coconut oil stir with a spatula until the mix is evenly coated.
Add the honey and fold the mixture together until it is consistent throughout.
Grease your baking pan. I actually used two bread pans and divided mixture in half. I first pan I put and pressed so that it would be all equal the original mixture, then to the rest I added cacao and put that into second pan. I wanted to try two variations and did not want to cook twice 🙂 Both came out good. If you make just one variation, use square pan, for the convenience. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on it though. Once it is golden brown and the aroma fills your kitchen, it’s ready. Remove it from the oven and use the spatula to cut it into 20 bars. Let it cool though before you take them out of the pan.

How I earn all those chocolate goodies :)

I hope you don’t think that I just bake all these desserts and don’t work hard to earn to eat them. Train hard, eat hard 🙂 Desserts after all are treats and not food, even if they are paleo 🙂 Having that in mind and having in mind that I have tasted today all of the previously posted desserts, I felt that I have to make a workout, so that I wouldn’t feel that guilty of treating myself too good for no particular reason 🙂

I picked up an old workout from Bodyrock.tv website and boy oh boy it was nice. My sweat was literally dripping and I don’t remember when it happened to me, probably in Spain when it was super hard and any small workout ended up in a sea of sweat. But now I am in Quebec and it is not hot at all. Workout was 500 rep time challenge:

1. Prisoner Squats – 50 reps

2. Sit Ups – 50 reps

3. Forward/Backward Lunge – 50 reps (25 on each leg)

4. Push Ups – 50 reps

5. Reptile – 50 reps (switching legs)

6. Turkish Get Up – 50 reps (used 10 lb. weight from dumbell)

7. Side V-crunch – 50 reps (25 on each side)

8. Split Push Ups – 50 reps ( switching from wide stance push up to close stance push up)

9. Jump Forward And Two Jumps Back – 50 reps

10. Reversed Plank Knee Tucks – 50 reps (switching legs)

My time was 26min.17sec. Hardest part: Turkish Get ups, as I have never done them before, so had to work on figuring out proper positioning of the body, so it seemed to take forever to make 50 of them. Really nice workout though.

Chocolate love – weekend desserts

I LOVE chocolate. I used to love milk chocolate. Not anymore….I still remember days when I was teenager and I could eat 200-300g of chocolate in one sit. Seriously…I liked it that much…But, since I went paleo, I find it difficult to find chocolate that would not have soya lecithin in it and it is impossible to find chocolate without sugar. Well, in best case scenario you get chocolate with cane sugar and no soya lecithin and it might be pricey 🙂 But I prefer not to have sugar at all, so I prefer to make desserts by myself and explore different ways to enjoy it while making desserts with 100% cocoa.  I love richness of chocolate and I think I couldn’t live without it, but the sweetness was replaced by bitterness. That’s where the problem lies is making desserts, because Keven is sugar fan. So, this weekend for me was chocolate dessert weekend…I almost always make desserts on weekends to have what to enjoy during the week 🙂

This weekend I made paleo candies, sun butter chocolate fudge and sweet potato chocolate brownies. Actually, brownies are still in the oven, so pictures for all desserts will follow. My favourite easy to make dessert that I must have in freezer is pale candies. So easy to make and I started to separate now in a half. First half I make almost unsweetened (for me) and second half triple  sweetened (for Keven). The good thing about these candies is that you can mix in whatever I want. Sometimes I make them only with coconut flakes, sometimes make half nuts and half coconut flakes, sometimes I add a little bit of nuts. The one that is in recipe has maybe 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts and rest is coconut flakes, so experiment to find the best combination for you. I like this recipe because it doesn’t have as much of coconut oil and/or almond butter. I love both, but I also love to have something not that expensive to make, so these candies are good budget solution 🙂

Paleo Chocolate Bars

  • 2-3 Tbs coconut oil (depends on how crunchy you can you bars to be)    
  • 1/4 cup 100% cocoa
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (if not just replace them by shredded coconut)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbs raw honey (add more if you want it sweeter)
  • parchment paper or pyrex

Then comes the easiest part. Over medium heat in small saucepan heat oil and honey until melted. Add cocoa, nuts    and coconut and mix everything. Pour the mixture on a parchment paper or in a pyrex and form a square. Put in a freezer until set. Cut into desired sizes. Enjoy! I keep them in a freezer not to eat all at once. It is easier if you don’t see it, because it would be gone much faster 🙂

Sunflower Fudge

I found this recipe through Dessert Stalker and I chose to make it, because it did not relied heavily on either butter or coconut oil. Plus it offered to make your own sun butter (which I did, but I think I toasted seeds a bit too much, so my fudge has some little taste of burn….oh well…next time it will be perfect). Whether you choose to make your own sun butter or not, it is up to you, I think you will be satisfied with result. It is really nice and filling dessert (adopted from Erin).

Ingredients:

  • 2oz  100% cacao unsweetened chocolate (if you don’t have, just replace by 1/3 cup of cacao)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup organic sun butter (or make your own sunflower butter)
  • 3 Tbsp Maple syrup (or any other your preferred natural sweetener)
  • 6 drops stevia (I think next time I will not put stevia and maybe just add 1 tbsp of honey)

Over medium heat mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan until well combined. Pour into bread pan and freeze until set. Cut into desirable sizes and enjoy. What is good about this recipe that you can replace sun butter by any other nut or seed butter and have a great result, because the taste is really rich and I love the idea of using coconut milk instead of oil.

Last recipe came from my favourite dessert maker Juli 🙂 Needless to say it is really yummy, though less yummy than sweet potato pie 🙂 Anyways, when you have sweet potatoes around, very well worth to make.

Sweet Potato Brownies

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 eggs, whisked (I used 1 whole egg and 1/2 cup of egg whites)
  • 1/4 cup melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 cup unpasteurized honey
  • 1/4 cup Semi  Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 3 tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 2 tbsp 100% cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Bake potato on 425F for around 30mins. or until soft. Then reduce heat to 350F for brownies. Peel and mash sweet potato. Add coconut oil, eggs, honey and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry ingredients: cocoa, baking soda, coconut flour, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips. Mix all well. Pour into 8×8 or similar size pyrex and bake for 30-40mins. Cut into squares.

I served it with coconut ice cream and blueberries. Super nice 🙂

So, these are my treats for a week 🙂 I know that it might seem a lot, but brownies will be gone tomorrow and fudge will last a bit longer as it has burned sunflower seed taste :)))

Chocolate Frappe Paleo Style

I love coffee…I don’t care if it has caffeine in it or not, because I drink it not to get caffeine but because I like how it tastes. In summer, one of my all time favourite drinks is Frappe Latte along  with a cheesecake. I would probably jump off the Paleo wagon if I would be back in Vilnius and I could have “Coffee Inn” cheesecake. If you will ever be in Vilnius, eat this cake for me :))))

This is the only dessert that I really enjoyed eating in a restaurant (Most of the time I prefer home made desserts and don’t find restaurant desserts that amazing) and that I honestly miss. But, as Lithuania and Canada is separated by the ocean and 8 hours flight, my Paleo diet seems to be far from being in danger 🙂

However, I can still enjoy my frappe by replacing milk with coconut milk and adding some little extras 🙂 Even Keven got hooked up with this recipe (he doesn’t drink coffee at all) by adding couple of tsp of brown sugar to it 🙂

  • Brewed coffee
  • 1/3 coconut milk
  • lots of cubes of ice (at least 10)
  • 1 tsp of cacao
  • 1 tsp of almond butter (optional for extra creaminess)
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Put all ingredients into blender and process until well blended. Pour into tall glass and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Double Layer Fudge

Ok. Now, we come to serious business. I have tried this recipe last week and it was so good that I think that I won’t make it very soon. It is just so good that is hard to stop eating and it is really fat. Though fats are good for us, right? When it comes to desserts, one of my favourite websites is Juli from PaleOMG, this girl goes hardcore and she does it really well. So, I saw this picture on website and just left page open in my iPod browser not to forget that I want to make this dessert (sorry for not having my own picture to upload). I hope Juli will forgive me for using her picture for this post, but I just did not have time to take my own picture and when I had, the fudge was gone 😦

Double Layer Fudge

    • 1 cup coconut oil
    • 1 cup almond butter
    • 1/4-1/3 cup raw honey (Juli offers to add 1/2 cup of honey, but I was scarred that for me it would be too sweet. And it was sweet enough) 
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 4-5 heaping tbsp of pure cacao (the more cacao you will add, the more bitterness it will bring)
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • pick of salt
    • a handful of semi sweet chocolate chips (though not necessary)
    • extra of shredded coconut for sprinkling

Add coconut oil, honey, shredded coconut, vanilla extract, almond butter and pinch of salt to a food processor and mix until fully combined. Pour half of the mixture to a bread pan or some other pan and use spoon to make the surface even (I used pyrex, but then it was a bit hard to cut first part as it sticked to the bottom). Place it into the freezer to harden. Meanwhile, add cocoa step by step to the rest of mixture and mix throughly until you get the desired taste and not too bitter. Once cacao is all mixed in add a pinch of salt and mix it well, pour chocolate mixture over hardened light fudge. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, shredded coconut and some salt. I was really surprised about the salt, but it was actually working really nice once the fudge was done and brought up some unexpected nice addition to the sweetness. Place in freezer for 10-15mins. Cut in chunks and try not to eat all the chunks at once. I was keeping them in freezer and it was all gone in couple days. It is amazingly good with coffee. So far, my favorite dessert!

 

Sweet Potato Pie

I have been making quite lots of desserts lately. Well, after my Whole30 challenge I really missed making sweets and especially because Paleo is still new to me I love experimenting and trying out new stuff, especially free from all the inflammatory stuff 🙂 So, I have never made not Paleo sweet potato pie as well as I have never made pumpkin pie before in my life, so for me, this pie tasted amazing. Actually, all Paleo desserts tastes for me amazing, but this one is definitely worth trying, especially if you got couple sweet potatoes laying around.

This recipe is entirely from the book “Paleo Comfort Foods” and it has two parts: Nutty Crust and Sweet potato Pie filling itself.

Nutty Pie Crust:

  • 1 cup almond Flour
  • 1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all wet in the other. Combine wet with dry until completely mixed. Using fingers  or spoon (for me with spoon was less hassle as it dough is quite sticky) press dough into 24cm pie pan. Bake for 12-14mins. or until browned. Let it cool completely before filling.

Sweet Potato Pie:

  • 1 Nutty Pie Crust
  • 2 cups (400 g) sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
  • 1 tbsp of butter or coconut butter (melted)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder (I did not use baking powder as the one that I have from old times contains starch, so I just added extra 1/2 tsp of baking soda. I always do that when recipe calls for baking powder. I know that they have different reactions, but I have been lazy to search for appropriate baking powder or simply don’t remember that when I am shopping)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey (it is optional and I actually used maple syrup as I run out of sugar and as Keven still has huge sweet tooth I decided to please him by adding this extra sweetness to dessert)

Preheat the oven to 400F. In large bowl or food processor mix sweet potatoes and butter. Add in eggs and mix until fluffy. Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt in separate bowl. To the sweet potato mixture add coconut milk, vinegar and spices. Mix until fully combined and add honey if desired. Pour content into pie crust and bake for 10mins. at 400F and then reduce heat to 325F and bake for 30mins. or until set. Decorate with pecan halves 🙂
Super nice and everyone will be very pleased with this pie.

Zucchini Berry Muffins and Morning Power Smoothie

As my challenge is over, of course I allow myself to indulge in little sweet pleasures, but my taste and attitude changed a lot. Even if I want to have a dessert, I also want to be it as nutritious as possible and better with no sugar added, except from fruits. So, I was searching for some recipe and I could not be more happy when I found Zucchini muffin recipe. I am fascinated about idea of hiding vegetables in foods where you don’t expect to find them(muffins, pizza crust, pies, etc.)  I took this recipe from http://www.paleoplan.com and slightly changed (in the original recipe they were having tapioca flour, but I did not have it, so just did not put it):

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (check the consistence if you will need to add more. I put 1 cup, but the dough was too dry, then I had to increase eggs)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs allspice
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 10-oz bag frozen berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) OR 1 1/4 cup fresh berries
  • ¾ cup zucchini, grated
  • ¾ cup almonds, finely chopped
  • muffin paper liners

Instructions

  1. Take berries out of freezer to thaw, if applicable.
  2. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  3. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice.
  4. In a food processor, combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar and oil.
  5. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and blend until completely combined.
  6. Finely grate zucchini (or food process it).
  7. Fold in berries, zucchini and almonds.
  8. Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins.
  9. Bake at 350° for 25 – 35 minutes.

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It reminds me a bit of my traditional morning smoothie:

  • Mixed Berries (raspberries, blackberries and blueberries)
  • 1/3 banana
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • water (depending on how thick you want your smoothie to be)
  • few stalks of kale (love the idea of putting nutrition dense greens in smoothies, plus you would not make a difference)
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 1 tsp of almond butter

Truffles a la Paleo

Karyne, the mother of girls that I work with as a nanny, was curious to try some paleo dessert, so she bought coconut and dates last week. Today I was really not busy, so I decided to make her happy and make something out of coconut and dates. The coconut that I had was pretty small, but it was enought to make 15 truffles and have some shredded one for coating.
For truffles you will need:
-2 cups of pitted dates
-1 cup of sliced coconut meat ( if you dont have, use unsweetened shredded coconut
-2 tbsp 100% cacao
– a bit of lime zest ( can be lemon) (optional)
-1 tsp of vanilla extract (optional)
– shredded coconut for coating

Process:

Put into food processor dates and coconut. Pulse until it becomes like paste. If it is really sticky and blocking blade, add a splash of coconut milk, but just a little bit. Add cacao, vanilla, zest and mix well. Use wet hands to form little balls and roll them in shredded coconut till it is all covered. I placed them in metal box and put in fridge to be less soft. Yummi!!!

P.S. For shredded coconut I used coconut meat that was left and blended it with coconut water. Then I used sieve to separate liquid (coconut milk) and flesh. Press much liquid as possible from flesh, place flesh on cookie sheet in 350F oven for 10mins. or so to dry. Now you got homemade coconut milk and shredded coconut ( if you use blended for this once more, you would have coconut flour:) ) If my explanation of process seems confusing just check some youtube videos :)))

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Sunday tradition adaptations

As I already wrote on Sundays we always have friends coming over to have brunch with us and most of
the times it consists of pancakes. Since I started to change my way of eating there were all different type of pancakes, most of them with oat flour (the ones with oat flour and ricotta were actually amazing), also with soya flour (I also made pizza base couple times with soya flour). However, as I was finishing to use up all those products and turning more and more paleo, my way of eating also changed. Last Sunday I was making pale pancakes with coconut flour, they were really delicious, but then on Monday I started my Whole30 challenge and such a thing as Paleo pancakes are not allowed. It is not that they would be bad, they are nutritious and healthy, however, it is still comfort food and point of the challenge is also challenge yourself psychologically. I have to admit that I do face difficulties (I would like to have slice of cheese and cottage cheese with berries in the morning) and Sugar Dragon is really attacking me (oh….sweet chocolate and all the nice treats…) and oh how much I would wish to have a nice glass of red wine, but none is allowed, so I just stick to what I have and just think about the end result and about my body being all clean and my taste receptors able to detect natural sugar in fruits and vegetables…Having said that, I still have Sunday brunch and today I decided not to think too much and make for everyone crepes with regular flour. Why? Because we still have them and we need to use them, so Keven was a cook this time 🙂 For myself I just had egg white crepes (1 crepe requires 1/3 cup of egg whites with pinch of salt and vanilla extract. then just pour mixture in pan with some fat, in my case it was ghee and wait until egg white is all done). I could not decide whether I want sweet or savoury, so I decided to have both, because I felt that eating just fruit would not be best idea in the world. So my savoury crepe had guacamole, chicken and cauliflower from yesterday dinner and some indian curry sauce. That was really good and I could not actually make that much difference between only egg white crepe and regular crepe. The second one was a dessert one, so it had almond butter and cut fruits in it (apple, pear, banana and raspberries). So, while my husband and friends indulged themselves in crepes with Nutella, I simply enjoyed my version with a cup of coffee with coconut milk. It was much less awkward than I would have though and I did not feel any less fortunate than them…