The berries are here and just in time for all of the 4th of July-themed foods! Isn’t it just a beautiful site? I recently purchased my first flat of berries which left a giant strawberry shortcake-sized hole in my heart. I loved Hostess shortcake as a kid, but that food isn’t an option today. In 2 days we will be refined-sugar free for 3 months with 9 to go, so finding this cupcake recipe by Pretty in Primal was icing on the proverbial cake. The texture of the cake is spongy and moist, either right out of the oven or a few days later. I cut one in half, placed sliced strawberries on top and took a bite. Then I ran to give Jon his half so he could meet me in the kitchen to fight over the remaining cakes.
I count my blessings one survived.
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup coconut milk (one without additives; coconut and water only)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup granulated maple sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or omit maple sugar and use 1/2 cup coconut sugar)
- 1/2 cup fine almond meal (or blanched almond flour)
- 1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
- 1/4 tsp pink salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In one large bowl, mix all ingredients together with a handheld immersion blender, mixer or fork. Sifting your coconut flour will eliminate chunks of the dense flour-trust me.
- Line 10 cups in a muffin pan and fill 3/4 with batter.
- Bake for 28-30 minutes until golden brown (and you can hardly stand it).
- Cut them in half and serve with sliced farm-fresh strawberries if you can! If you’re not sugar-free then try a cool whip-like topping called Tru Whip which uses non-hydrogenated oils (trans fats).
One Paleo shortcake: 4 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 5 g protein, 9 g carbs, and 130 calories per muffin (using coconut sugar).
One Hostess shortcake: 0 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 1 g protein, 20 g carbs and 110 calories.
Yes, I believe you can have your cake and eat it too. Christmas in June? Heck yeah, why not? Oh, and by “cake” I mean cinnamon sugared almonds.
The kind they sell in corner carts at the mall, at Cabela’s at every fair and market…those crunchy sugar glazed almonds with the sweet cinnamon smell…I loooove them.
I have been working on finding a substitute for the sugary goodies since last Christmas, and working in earnest. I resorted to using organic sugar (whoops it was white sugar too!) but found a reduced measurement that worked just fine. But it was still cane sugar. Another plus however, was that it was also egg-free, which was a huge achievement since that version had always burned on me anyway.
HOW. EVER. In my endless pursuit for crunchy sugared almonds, a victor finally emerged. Behold…
Maple Sugar Almonds (from here)
- 2 cups raw almonds, rinsed (or you can soak* them for 8 hours and rinse for better digestion)
- 1/2 cup organic maple sugar granules
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp celtic sea salt
~Recipe can be doubled
- Soak and drain your almonds, if you are soaking them. Otherwise just rinse and drain your almonds.
- Mix together the maple sugar, cinnamon and sea salt.
- Roll the wet almonds in the mixture until well coated.
- If you didn’t presoak the almonds, lay on trays covered in parchment or teflex and place in the dehydrator for about 8 hours until dried.
- *If you soaked your almonds you will need to dehydrate for longer. At 140°, it took about 2 days and only turning it off when I slept.
Yes, 2 days is a long time, but I think you can infer that I am not short on patience. I’m guessing I didn’t drain my almonds well enough since I had some sugary puddles on my parchment covered trays. The sugary puddles dried nice and crisp on the almonds though. I suspect coconut sugar could perhaps substitute a bit of the maple sugar to lower the glycemic load.
Now, maple sugar isn’t really a raw food since it’s boiled maple syrup into a crystallized form. But it’s a far cry from white sugar. Plus by dehydrating at 115° instead of baking them, you are keepin’ it raw.
My grandma had passed on to me her famous banana bread recipe (aren’t all Grandmas’ recipes famous?), and I have not made it in such a long time. I don’t use any cooking flours so finding this flour-free cookie was great! I went home with the intent of making the original coconut banana cookie and realized I was out of coconut. Remembering a former substitute of coconut and oats I figured it was fail-proof. Totally.
Kids (and my husband) LOVE these cookies. They are absolutely delicious and they travel so well! 4 ingredients never tasted so good!
Banana Bread Cookies (adapted from here)
- 8 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- water to cover dates
- 1 medium banana
- 1 cup oats, ground 1-2 seconds (not too fine!)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Optional: maple sugar granules and nutmeg
- Place the chopped dates in a bowl and fill with enough water to cover the dates. Soak for 25 minutes.
- In a bowl mix banana, oats and cinnamon.
- Drain the dates, then process dates and banana mixture in a blender or food processor. Small date chunks are delicious! In fact, if you can try to mince your dates, mixing with a fork would absolutely work.
- Drop 1 tablespoon of ‘dough’ onto teflex or parchment sheets on your dehydrator trays. You should get 24 cookies.
- Dehydrate until soft and chewy. I dehydrated at 140° (default setting) for 3 hours. I also sprinkled a bit of maple sugar on them. The added sweetness was totally unnecessary but it adds a buttery flavor that’s a nice treat.
Each cookie contains 40 calories, 11 carbs and 6 grams of sugar. Pretty great considering what a slice of traditional banana bread consists of. Sure it’s not a fairly exact comparison, but I really enjoy the portable, healthy, mess-free version. Plus it takes me about 15 minutes of prep. These will become a staple in my house now. What could be a more perfect distance bike ride snack? Great sugars with the dates and banana, some potassium and carbs, and not too much fiber. Sprinkle some salt in the dough and I think we’ve got a winner!