Monday, February 23, 2015

Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread from PaleOMG

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I'm hooked on recipes from Juli at PaleOMG.  No, she's not paying for endorsement. I think it's because so many people who do alternative baking seem to have taken the joy out.  I need joy with my food, even when it's good for me.  I have a hard time compromising taste and texture; knowing it is healthy is not enough! Her recipes seem to demonstrate an understanding of this need, and I have found them to be vibrant and flavorful so far.

One Sunday, I had wanted to try her banana bread coffee cake, but my husband was uncertain. So I thumbed through similar recipes, and we landed on Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread.  I made this recipe pretty much exactly as described, even using honey instead of a substitute. (I always worry I will sacrifice texture when I use a dry sweetener for a wet, and it was only 1 tbsp.)  The chocolate chips I used were sugar free but not intentionally paleo, but like I've said before, I'm not going for paleo myself, just looking for recipes that aren't using traditional flour.

Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread
Source: PaleOMG (the second recipe from that site in a month - also her pictures are nicer)

For the pan
  • coconut oil, to grease the pan
For the banana bread:
  • 4 medium bananas (about 1 pound)
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted grass-fed butter, melted
  • ½ cup almond butter (I used peanut butter, which is not paleo, but it's what I had)
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine-grain sea salt
For the swirl:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips (took out brand name since I used something else)
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-5-inch metal loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. (I used glass with spray and it came out fine.)
  2. Combine the bananas, eggs, butter, and almond butter in a food processor or mixing bowl and mix until the ingredients are well blended. Add the coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and salt and continue to mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
  3. In a double boiler over medium-low heat, mix together the swirl ingredients. Heat, stirring often, until the chocolate has melted. (I just used the microwave, much faster!)
  4. Pour the bread batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. As soon as you pour the batter, pour the chocolate swirl directly on top and use a knife to swirl the chocolate throughout the loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving. (Mine had to bake another 8 minutes.)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tahini and Wholegrain Mustard Crackers from Eat Drink Paleo

I hope you aren't tired of paleo recipes because this isn't the end!  I had picked up some Snow Camp cheese from a localish dairy, Goat Lady Dairy, at our favorite local-organic market, the Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery. Swamp Rabbit is my go-to place for non-traditional baking - they have a better special flour selection than Whole Foods, not to mention gluten-free and vegan pastries galore, really good lattes, cheese-making supplies, and Turkish pogacha.  Anyway, I can spend a lot of money there!

I bought this lovely cheese and as we drove home I said, "Huh, what we will eat the cheese with? Without croissants or crackers, I took to the internet to see if I could find a cracker recipe.  I had used up all the almond flour, so I needed a recipe that used coconut flour.

I found a few, but none so intriguing as the Tahini & Wholegrain Mustard Crackers recipe from Eat Drink Paleo.  Almost all the ingredients are just normal pantry staples at my house, and this was super easy to pull together.  Texture-wise I should have baked the middle a bit longer, as they were a bit soft, but cracker-like enough to spread with gooey local goat cheese.

Tahini & Wholegrain Mustard Crackers
Source: Eat Drink Paleo (the blog with the original recipe has ingredient substitution advice as well as step-by-step photos)


  • 3 tbsp tahini paste
  • 1 tbsp soft or slightly melted butter, ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 1/2 tbsp coconut flour


  1. Preheat oven to 170 °C/338 °F. (The closest I could get on my oven was 340)
  2. Mix tahini, butter, egg, sesame seeds, salt and mustard in a bowl until well combined. Add coconut flour and mix until thick, sticky mixture forms. (Do not merely substitute a different flour, coconut flour has very specific properties.)
  3. Roll the mixture into a ball and place on a slightly greased parchment/baking paper (about 40 x 40 cm). Flatten with you hands in the middle until it’s a flat pancake. Then cover with another piece of parchment paper of the same size and use a rolling pin to flatten the pancake into a thin dough layer, about 3-5mm. Roll it evenly in four directions starting from the middle. Finally using a knife make small incision marks vertically and horizontally to make it easier to break the crackers when cooked.
  4. Place on the middle shelf and cook for about 15 minutes. The outer edges will cook faster so I recommend taking the tray out of the oven when those start going golden brown and slicing those edges off first, then putting the tray back in the oven for a further 3-5 minutes. Alternatively, before you put the tray in the oven in the first place, slice the thin pancake into halves and spread them apart so there is some space between the halves. When you’re taking them out, you will notice that there is of oil bubbling away around the cracker and that’s fine. Set the cooked cracker layer to cool before breaking apart.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: about 15 minutes
Makes about 15 crackers

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Churro Waffles from PaleOMG

Sometimes when I find a blogger I really like, I get stuck making their recipes for a while.  (Stuck isn't a bad thing exactly, but might be boring for my readers!) This happened with Smitten Kitchen, and now PaleOMG.  I actually found Juli at PaleOMG first through a cookbook that I got for review (OMG. That's Paleo?) and only then poked around her blog.

Some people say that using baking soda makes a recipe not paleo, but I don't really care about paleo as much as I care about lower sugar, grain-free recipes. So if you are paleo, check the ingredient list and make a small change accordingly.

These were pretty tasty, and just different enough from our usual morning routine to make a nice change in taste and texture.  The picture on her blog is quite a bit darker, so it's possible that mine are underbaked.  I made four almost-whole waffles with this recipe.  I will indicate when what I did differed from her recipe.

Churro Waffles
Source: PaleOMG (check out her other recipes!)

  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal/flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • ⅓ cup canned coconut milk (I used full-fat)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 tablespoon honey (I used coconut sugar and added a bit more coconut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons grass fed butter, melted (or coconut oil if you don’t do butter)
  • ¼-1/3 cup coconut sugar
  1. Place almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and whisk together.
  2. Then add coconut milk, eggs, honey, and vanilla extract and mix well.
  3. Place mixture into hot waffle iron and cook until cooked through. I used a non stick waffle iron but you may want to grease it just in case.
  4. Melt butter in a wide bowl and place coconut sugar in another wide bowl.
  5. After waffles are cooked through, place each other into the melted butter, soaking it on both sides, then place them into the coconut sugar to coat.
  6. Then eat!
Made 6 small waffles. Should make 3-4 large waffles