Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Paleo Shamaleo

This thing called Paleo intrigues me.  I'm subscribed to a few paleo blogs that I really enjoy.  They each offer a little something different and recipes that I feel like I could take on and do.  Some I do already!  A few of my favorite blogs are Change of Pace, Paleo OMG and The Paleo Mama.  I never, ever dreamed that I would ever ever want to change my diet, way of eating and cooking to be so restrictive.  I'm still not totally there yet; but the more I read and the more I'm trying to figure out why I feel the way I do, the more I'm thinking about it.  I'm not ready to take that plunge this summer, especially being home with family and friends and picnics.  Soon, very soon, I just might though.
As I'm trying out some of these ways and dabbling in some of these recipes, it's fun trying new things.  Baking this way is especially tricky.  So many things call for banana and I like bananas, but a girl can only mash up so many in a week.  But, it is a great binder, sweetener and flavor for some great recipes.
I tried a little spin on one of my recent favorite recipes by adding blueberries to my Banana Bread Paleo Pancakes.  I love smearing them with butter, dousing them with maple syrup, cutting up some banana on top and this time I added some coconut chips too.  YUM!!  They were so good!  It was great to be able to put a spin on an already great recipe that I make a lot.  I probably make these once a week for myself, so now trying different flavors is great!

The Perfect Bite
Paleo and baking don't exactly go well together considering you can't have sugar, butter or flour; so it gets a little tricky.  I tried making sweet potato brownies during my GF brownie trial and they definitely needed some work.  Maybe it was a baker error, but they weren't that great.  I don't want to give up on paleo desserts though!  I'm determined to keep trying.  I found a recipe for Flourless Peanut Butter and Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.  They actually weren't bad at all!  My kids kinda liked them too.  If you try these, don't be surprised with oil on the cookie sheet after they bake.  Let them sit for a few minutes and it's all good.  These little cookies, puff up like regular ones and tasted not bad at all.  Only thing is, eat them within a day or 2.  The banana does make them get a little yucky quickly.  Refrigerate any that don't get eaten that first day and all is good.

Flourless Peanut Butter and Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
(From Inspired Edibles)
  • 1 cup all natural smooth peanut butter (just nuts, sugar free, sodium free), substitute almond butter for paleo version (I used Jiff, probably why I had the oil after baking)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla essence (I used regular vanilla extract)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup quality dark chocolate chips* + a few more for topping (I used semi-sweet)
    Directions:Heat oven to 325 F
    1. Using a simple hand mixer, food processor or blender, mix together peanut butter, banana and vanilla until well combined and smooth.
    2. Add egg and maple syrup or honey and mix to combine.
    3. Mix in dark chocolate chips by hand with the help of a spatula or wooden spoon.
    4. Place mixture in fridge for about 20 minutes to allow it to firm slightly.
    5. Place parchment paper over a baking sheet and gently brush or spray the paper with olive oil.
    6. Drop peanut butter cookies onto sheet by rounded tablespoons allowing room between the cookies (they will expand and puff up somewhat).  Add another chip or two to the top of each cookie.
    7. Place cookies in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
    8. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on a rack for a few minutes before enjoying!

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