Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cherry Paleo Cake for Two

To be honest, I had sort of resigned myself to not having a birthday cake this year. Unfortunate, yes, I know. 

In my three months on the Autoimmune Protocol/AIP, I’ve only “cheated” a couple of times (mostly while on vacation in May), but the results were not so fun. Thus, I’ve made the difficult decision that eating something I’m not supposed to, even for a special occasion, is not worth the resulting pain & frustrations later....  Not everyone may need to be as strict, but that’s the decision I’ve made for now. 

an iPhone outtake from making the first cake

A couple weeks before my birthday, I started searching for potential birthday treats. I have successfully reintroduced a couple of items, like almonds & egg yolks & coffee, so that did help my search. But still, I really couldn’t find a good AIP cake option. (I should mention also that plantains, typically a staple of any AIP “baking,” and I do not get along...)

I had nearly given up hope of finding anything, when, on my birthday, I came across this berries & cream breakfast cake that contained all ingredients I could tolerate. While it may not be a traditional birthday cake with frosting etc., it was perfect for where I am in life right now. I made only a couple of changes, deciding to use the gorgeous cherries that are in season right now (instead of raspberries), and baking a single small cake in a rectangular baking dish (instead of dividing it into two ramekins). This cake was actually the first baking project I’ve done since APRIL--I had really missed baking, so actually making a cake seemed like an extra birthday blessing.

The cake might have been different than any other birthday cake I’ve had in the past, but adding a couple scoops of coconut milk ice cream and a candle made it feel just as special. Husband and I ate it straight from the baking dish while watching the Veronica Mars movie. The edges were similar to a sponge cake & the middle was similar to a pudding cake. What a special treat, perfect for two.

an iPhone outtake from making the first cake

an iPhone outtake from making the first cake

Cherry Paleo Cake for Two
adapted from Paleo Parents

5 large Organic Egg Yolks (pastured eggs, if possible)
56 g (1/4 c) Organic Coconut Oil, melted (plus additional for the baking dish)
63 g (3 Tbl) Organic Honey
2 Tbl Organic Coconut Milk, room temp
2 tsp Organic Lemon Juice, room temp

28 g (1/4 c) Organic Coconut Flour
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/8 tsp Sea Salt

100 g (approx 1/2 c) Cherries, pitted and quartered

Coconut Ice Cream or Coconut Whipped Cream for serving
  1. While the eggs are still cold, separate the yolks from the whites. Refrigerate the whites for a future recipe, if desired. Cover the yolks & allow them to come to room temperature. Measure the remaining ingredients and allow them, too, to come to room temperature. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush one small baking dish (or two small ramekins) with a little coconut oil. Stir together the dry ingredients. 
  3. Beat the room temperature yolks with an electric mixer for 3 minutes. Blend in the oil, honey, milk, and lemon juice.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until completely combined & there are no lumps. 
  4. Scatter approximately half the cherries into the baking dish. Top with the cake batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. 
  5. After 15 minutes, top with the remaining cherries (pressing them into the top of the cake), rotate the pan & bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cake are springy & the top is golden brown. The center may not be completely done.
  6. Remove from the oven & allow to cool slightly. 
  7. Serve with two forks and a couple scoops of coconut ice cream or coconut whipped cream. Best eaten sooner rather than later.
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Monday, July 21, 2014

Honey Roasted Plums (AIP)

I had intended to make coconut ice cream, rippled with roasted plums, but I seem to have turned into a crazy paleo person with a freezer so full of meat, veggies & smoothie fruit that I cannot find space for my ice cream bowl. Oh to have a Pacojet or Gelato Maker-hey, I can dream, right? :) 

Instead, I made these roasted plums and topped them coconut yogurt & a little honey. It might not be an ice cream sundae, but it still is an elegant summer dessert option (or breakfast).

Honey Roasted Plums 
yields 4 servings

4 ripe plums, organic if possible
15 g (approximately 2 tsp) honey, organic if possible, plus additional for serving 
Vanilla Coconut Yogurt, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F (I used our toaster oven). 
  2. Half each plum & remove the pit. Arrange the plums in a baking dish.  Drizzle with the honey, using more if the plums are not sweet, or less if the plums are sweet. 
  3. Roast in the preheated oven until the plums are very soft, approximately 30 minutes. 
  4. Cool slightly & serve topped with coconut yogurt & an additional drizzle of honey. 
  5. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. 

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Patriotic Panna Cotta (AIP, Low FODMAP)

Update 7-31-15: a low FODMAP variation is now listed at the bottom of the recipe! 

Most every 4th of July (Independence Day for the US) of my childhood was spent at my family's lake cabin.  Sometimes we were on our own, just my parents, sisters, grandparents and me. Sometimes friends joined us.

The morning was spent getting up early and decorating our boat (as well as ourselves) with patriotic red-white-and-blue decorations before participating in the lake-wide boat parade where all the other decked out boats would lazily motor around our smallish lake. Our portion of the beach would be filled with many smaller American flags we stuck into the sand.

The food choices for the day would vary, but there was always a giant spread with many. Sometimes burgers, sometimes fish & even for several years, before the oven in the beloved vintage stove quite working, roasted a turkey with all the trimmings.

Once we kids were old enough to stay up, sparklers and fireworks became an important part of the evening. We would douce ourselves in bug spray & cover up as much skin as possible to ward off the mosquitos. When the sparklers were all used, we would move on to the smaller fireworks & then to a few bigger ones. My grandma would sit on the screened-in porch (blissfully mosquito free) and take notes on which particular fireworks we liked the best, so that we would know which ones to buy the following year.

Somewhere throughout the years, I started making a patriotic dessert. I'm fairly sure the first year's dessert was a fruit salad containing un-pitted cherries…. Luckily, my skills (and forethought) improved as the years progressed. Many desserts were inspired by things I'd seen in Martha Stewart Living magazine. One year, the cover of MSL featured the most gorgeous fruit tart, decorated to look like an American flag. While I couldn't make it exactly like the cover image, due to ingredient unavailability, my version became a favorite among family & friends. Pastry crust, chocolate, cream cheese/whipped cream filling, fresh berries…. I make some sort of variation on it nearly every year (you can find my recipe here).

As I was brainstorming something to make this year, I thought a bit sadly about my favorite fruit tart. Pretty much the only component of that tart I'm able to eat this year is the berries…. Nothing against berries, I just eat them most every day & thus have a hard time seeing them as a special Independence Day treat. Then I thought of panna cotta & how easy it would be to make a panna cotta out of coconut milk & add berries to it, sort of similar to the nectarine buttermilk panna cotta I made last year.  While I might be mourning my fruit tarts just a little bit, I'm consoling myself with the realization that this dessert is *much* faster to prepare (and less mess) and it's actually good for me!

Patriotic Panna Cotta / Coconut Panna Cotta with berries 
yields approximately 4-6 servings, depending on how big your vessels are

1 can (13.5 oz) Organic Coconut Milk (full fat)
1 Tbl (7g) grass-fed gelatin (like this one)
1 Tbl / 31g Organic Honey (local, if you can find it)
1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste (optional for AIP)
around 1.5 c / 200g mixed organic berries (I used blueberries, strawberries & raspberries)

  1. Place the coconut milk nto a small sauce pan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the coconut milk & mix gently--I usually use my fingers & break up any clumps that I can.  Set aside & allow the gelatin to bloom for 10 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your vessels & berries. Place the vessels onto a pan (for easy transport). Fill each cup approximately 1/3 to 1/2 full of berries (either whole berries or cut). 
  3. Heat the sauce pan over medium heat & whisk constantly until all the gelatin just melts.  Remove from the heat and immediately add the honey & vanilla.   
  4. Give the coconut mixture a stir & then portion equally into the berry-filled vessels. 
  5. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. The panna cotta may be made a day or two in advance, just cover the dishes with plastic wrap & store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. 
  • Right now I'm trying to incorporate lots of gelatin into my life (it's full of protein, can help heal your gut, and is good for hair/nails/skin, just to name a few benefits), so I've made this panna cotta a bit more firm than usual. If you like, reduce the gelatin by half to produce a softer "custard." 
  • This recipe could be easily doubled or tripled for a crowd. 

Low FODMAP Variation
1 can (13.5 oz) Coconut Milk, full fat & free from additives
1 Tbl (7g) grass-fed Gelatin
1 Tbl / 31g Organic Grade B Maple Syrup (optional, could be omitted for SIBO protocols)
1/8 tsp Vanilla Powder
around 1.5 c / 200g mixed organic Low FODMAP berries (I used blueberries, strawberries & raspberries)

  • follow the same instructions as above, substituting the maple syrup for the honey & ensuring to use only low FODMAP fruits. 

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