PALEO CARROT CAKE & MUFFINS!

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Carrot Cake… swoon.  *sigh.

Yes, it’s one of my favorite treats, but I don’t enjoy it as much when there’s Gluten and especially when sugar is the first or 2nd ingredient on a long list of too many not-so-goods!  But, it takes a bit more of an effort than other nice cakes, so I don’t make it often. However, my mom’s recent birthday prompted me to try re-making a version I loved because my parents both love carrot cake…they passed that preference to me! LOL

This is a good number of ingredients, but they are all wholesome and you can cut down even further on the fruit and the maple syrup if you want less sweetness.

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INGREDIENTS:wp-1488935949741.jpg

1.5 cups shredded carrots (about 7 medium to large sized)

1/4 pure maple syrup (grade B for least processed variety- use up to 1/3 cup)

 

2/3 cup coconut flour sifted with 1/2 cup arrowroot flour

3/4 cup melted coconut oil

1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste

1 Tbsp Ceylon Cinnamon

1 heaping tsp each of allspice, ground ginger, and baking soda and baking powder

8 pasture raised eggs

1/2 cup crushed pineapple (measured after squeezing out juice) (omit for strict paleo)

1/2 cup each of raisins and white mulberries (omit for strict paleo)

1 cup or so activated walnuts (I save this for the frosting for distinct texture from cake)

Coconut Rum Frosting-recipe at the endwp-1488871720258.jpg

WHAT TO DO:

1- Prep your fruit.  If you have fresh chunks of pineapple, put them in a food processor, then squeeze as much as possible out and allow the raisins and mulberries to sit in the juice. Set the pineapple fiber aside for mixing in to batter.  If you don’t already  have the date paste ready and softened, put your seeded dates into the food processor and make a nice paste 🙂

2- Peel and then shred carrots in food processor and let sit in maple syrup overnight, preferably, or an hour or so. Again, do what you can to squeeze as much of the carrot juice and syrup from the fiber by hand.  I usually press it between two stainless steel bowls.

3- Sift all your dry ingredients together (coconut flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, baking soda and powder.)

4- Mix up wet ingredients (eggs, date paste, vanilla paste, melted coconut oil)

5- Add the dry ingredients and continue mixing.

6- Wring out your wet ingredients another time and add pineapple pulp, carrot shreds, mulberries, and raisins and stir everything together.

7- Grease cake pans of your size preference or muffin pans and fill!

8- Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (smaller pans)-60 minutes (9-inch pans).  Because this is sooo moist, you may need to bake longer depending on how well you squeezed out the juices.

9- Test cakes/muffins at 45 minute with a toothpick and remove if/when done.

10- Let cool… Frost and garnish with activated walnuts. (Frosting recipe below.)

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NOTES: Adding pineapple and the dried fruit makes it not so Paleo, so omit if that’s a major matter for you.  I added them because I love the taste.  Also, if you prefer a denser cake and not the lightness of the flour mixture in this version, then sub arrowroot with more coconut flour or buckwheat flour.

FROSTING –INGREDIENTS:

1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)

1 tsp Himalayan pink salt

5 teaspoons arrowroot flour

1 Tbsp rum extract

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 cup coconut manna or 1 cup soaked cashews to blend together

WHAT TO DO

1- Put all in your food processor or high-powered blender.  If you need some liquid to help move along the processing (if the manna or cashews are too thick,) then use some of the pineapple juice from above.

2- Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and when it’s solid enough, yet spreadable enough, decorate your cake/muffins!  I love sprinkling light coconut shreds on top along with the walnuts for a pretty touch.

 

MINTY BROWNIE HEAVEN (Vegan. GF.)

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Base fudgey brownie layer
-2 cups soft pitted dates(I like caramelly kinds.. but go for Medjool if it’s easiest!
-4 tsp coconut oil
-1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
-2 cup sprouted and dehydrated walnuts
-3/4 cup rolled oats
-6 tablespoon raw cacao powder
-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I used the kind sweetened with stevia)
-2 peppermint candy cane, crushed (for holidays)
(or crumble up 1/4 cup organic mint candy patties for non-holiday times)
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Mint Ganache Top
-3/4 cup full fat coconut milk (only use the solidified portion of canned milk)
-1 tablespoon peppermint extract & a splash of mint extract
-1 cup dark chocolate chips (I like stevia ones unless you want to make your own!)
Decoration
1 cup of crumbled mint candies of your choice or 6 peppermint candy canes for thewp-1482547192949.jpg holidays, crushed and sprinkled on top
WHAT TO DO:
Base
  1. Use food processor to pulse walnuts and oats until finely chopped–like coarse sand. Set aside in larger bowl.
  2. Add dates, melted coconut oil, sea salt and process on high until a smooth paste forms. Let it get super sticky and dense.
  3. Add the raw cacao, walnuts/oats mixture, chocolate chips, and mint candy of choice. Process until thoroughly mixed.  It’s hard to over-process them, so keep going until you’re darn sure 🙂
  4. Line an 8×8 or smaller springform with parchment paper. (The smaller the pan, the thicker the brownie!) Press the brownie layer firmly into the loaf pan..use gloved hands. Chill while you make the ganache.
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Ganache Top
  1. Bust out your double boiler 🙂
  2. Add the coconut creamed part of your millk and mint extracts to the bowl. Heat until the mixture is steamy hot…not rolling at a boil.  Add the chocolate chips and whisk to mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture over the brownie layer and chill in the freezer.
  3. Chill for 30 minutes and top with crushed candy canes-press into the top ganache with your gloved hands gently.  Chill for another 45 minutes minutes and then cut into mini squares. Store in freezer. Allow 3o minutes in fridge before serving…and at room temperature, the nice chilled minty flavor will last about 2 hours before your should put in fridge again.
wp-1482547192996.jpgThis fantastic recipe is adapted from ilovevegan.com … Thank you!

PALEO PECAN DATE PIE

wp-1479998514796.jpgSo, full disclosure.  This is a recipe that came from a mistake I knew I was making in the moment, but it is still beautiful to serve and tasty!!! So I’m humbly offer you my learn-from-my-goof goodie and the adjusted recipe.

Basically, I used too many dates (1.5 cups) because I was excited I got so many from the farmers market. Thus, it became a date (fruit and nut) cake instead of the pie I intended. All this to say, that’s why I am adjusting the ingredients to only have no more than 1/2 cup of date paste involved and more maple syrup. Sometimes, I get overzealous about cutting out the sweeteners and subbing whole foods instead, but it doesn’t always work as well as I want!  Note to self: less dates (in this case)!

wp-1479998514756.jpgINGREDIENTS:

for crust:

2 cups fine almond flour

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

2 tablespoons ghee of coconut oil melted

1 egg-organic, pastured-raised  please

8 tablespoons monkfruit granules (or muscavado sugar or coconut crystals)

3 tablespoons raw cacao (or skip if you want straight forward pecan pie)

for filling:

1/2 cup maple syrup -unrefined, grade B

1/2 cup moistened date paste (do not use more unless you want a date cake!)

1/4 cup fair-trade molasses (of if the rich flavor of molasses is not your thing, just use 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar, especially, if you want to skip the cacao twist altogether.) Here’s why I like molasses .

3 eggs

3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil

1/2 tablespoon arrowroot starch

1 teaspoon vanilla paste

2 cups pecans, chopped and whole

dollop of vanilla paste

handful of unbroken pecan to decorate top

dashes of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves

WHAT TO DO:

1- Heat oven to 350 degrees and spread coconut oil on sides of your 8-9″ springform pan after placing parchment paper on bottom.

2- Combine all of the ingredients for the crust and press into bottom of pan.  Bake 10 minutes.

3- In a stovetop bowl, mix all the filling ingredients (molasses, maple syrup, date paste,) bring to boil and let sit for minutes.

wp-1479998515908.jpg4- Whisk in eggs, ghee or coconut oil, arrowroot starch, vanilla paste, and dashes of spices. Mix in pecans.

wp-1479998515598.jpg5- Pour into crust and bake for 45 minutes.  Depending on how much date you used (1/3-1/2 up), you may need more baking time. Check check with toothpick on how set it is while not over baking so that it’s too dry.

6- After popping out of oven, place stevia sweetened chocolate chips in pattern you want your unbroken dates to make.  The chips will melt enough to be like glue to hold the pecans.  Decorate as you wish!  I like using soaked and dehydrated pecans for this so up the nutritional value as much as possible.

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Looks like a cake because I originally  used too much date paste!

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BERRY GOOD RAW CHEESECAKE

wp-1474488711236.jpgBEAUTIFUL AND DELICIOUS TREAT FOR YOUR FAMILY OR HOUSEGUESTS…with some overnight soaking, putting this together is pretty simple! Please use only organic or local berries not sprayed with pesticides grown by farmers you know and trust.

wp-1474488711606.jpgCRUST INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup soaked and dehydrated nuts (Brazil, almonds, walnuts, & pecans are my favorite)
  • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut (handful extra for pan lining)
  • 1 cup gently soaked dates or raisins… or even figs–whatever suits you fancy and that is on hand
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat groats (yes, these are gluten-free)
  • dash Himalayan pink salt
  • dashes Ceylon cinnamon

 

CHEESECAKE INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups soaked Indonesian cashews (they are very buttery and creamy)
  • 1/3 cup sweet liquid (I soak monk fruit granules in water.)  Honey or maple syrup works, too.
  • 1 scant Tablespoon vanilla paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice or at least 1 a lemon
  • 1/3 cup warmed coconut oil

TOPPING OPTIONS:

  • fresh fruit (I like layering with jammy topping and then topping with fresh fruit
  • jammy topping of berries 1 cup and 1/4 cup dates with squeeze of lemon juice, pureed
  • option (to seal in fruit, you can add jammy topping over the fresh fruit

DIRECTIONS:

  1. pulse together crust ingredients in food processor until it sticks together but still has not crunchy texture.. this is a preference matter so do what feels appetizing to you!
  2. line your springform cake pan with parchment, then spray with coconut oil…sprinkle some of the coconut shreds on bottom for ease later
  3. press crust firmly into bottom of pan
  4. mix all cheesecake ingredients into your power blender (Vitamix or like) until smooth
  5. scoop cheesecake into pan and chill to set in freezer for a couple hours
  6. blend the topping ingredients and prep your fruit (i.e. if you are using strawberries, slice them as you want for decor or go bold and use them whole other than the green leaves, that is!)
  7. top as you like, but make sure you let the entire cake defrost before serving (about one hour room temp or several in fridge)

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    Make sure you save a slice (or 2) for yourself!

 

PALEO-FRIENDLY BANANA DATE “CAKE” LOAF

JANE’S BANANA DATE CAKE LOAFwpid-20150814_173318.jpg

I used to bake standard gluten-filled, sugar laden, and sour cream-filled banana nut bread, but this higher protein, no-gluten version TAKES THE CAKE! This one is FLUFFY LIGHT as a loaf YET DECADENT IN TASTE. PLUS, MY FAMILY ENJOYED THIS AS MY DAD’S HEALTHY BIRTHDAY CAKE OPTION and am now posting it because I made it again and it turned out just as delightful! 🙂 mmmmm…. happy birthday to a friend and to meeee bellyyyy 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas (1 frozen from overripe and 2 ripe unfrozen yet…. or just do 3 ripe of any kind)
  • 4 free-roaming hen eggs
  • 3/5 cup coconut flour
  • 3/5 almond meal (not blanched)
  • 4 melted overflowing tablespoons of melted coconut oil
  • 3/4- 1 cup of mixed variety date paste broken up into chunks for mixing ease
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 dollop of vanilla bean paste
  • several dashes of Himalayan Pink salt
  • small capful of apple cider vinegar
  • unsweetened dark chocolate (I used what goes into making mole sauce for spice and depth)
  • 1 cup of more of pecan pieces
wpid-20150814_183206.jpgInstructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Combine your frozen bananas, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, cider vinegar
  3. Once all of your ingredients are blended, add in your coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and sea salt and mix well
  4. if you are using 2 unfrozen bananas, then slice super thin and mix into batter .  if using only room temp or only frozen, just mash and mix into wet batter in step 2
  5. then mix date paste into batter into well mixed, but not overly so
  6. Pour your batter in a loaf pan
  7. mix your coarsely crumbled chocolate and pecan pieces into top 1/8th of loaf pan batter b/c this will form a delicious crust
  8. You will bake for 40 minutes, then cover the top to prevent the crumbley choco-pecan covering from burning with some foil.  Put back into over let bake another 12 minutes.
  9. All done when a chopstick inserted into loaf comes out clean.
  10. I had enough batter to make a small mini loaf of this… for me…HEE HEE!!!wpid-20150814_161413.jpg

BTW– you can opt not to do the pecan and chocolate topping, but it made it so rich in look and flavor that I would recommend you add the flourish!

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…and I do love using a silicone loaf pan… avoid metal toxicity whenever possible (Aluminum in our systems is just bad news for our brain and studies have shown some links to Alzheimer’s Disease.

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PROTEIN (GF & V) AMAZEBALLS

JANE’S PROTEIN

DESSERTY AMAZEBALLS

DESSERTY AMAZEBALLS

AMAZEBALLS

4 bananas, ripe, mashed (moist base)
1 cup each of old-fashioned oats, shredded coconut, & cooked quinoa (I sprout them overnight with some sea salt and room temp filtered water then stove cook for 15-20 minutes til fluffy)
add 1-2 cups of your choice (dried fruits, choco chips, nuts, etc)
1/2 or so of nut butter, if you decide to
2/3 cup sweetener of choice (I like sucanat or palm sugar for it’s caramelly flavors–you can try erythritol if you want even less carbs)
few pinches of himalayan pink salt
splash of real vanilla extract
dashes of cinnamon
I put in chia seeds and sunflower seeds for extra goodness
mix up and put in fridge or 20 min or so and preheat oven to 380.
scoop with a cookie scooper or round into balls by hand and bake at 380 for about 30 minutes (longer if the balls are larger b/c this is a very moist recipe).  I like to leave in the oven until the outside is a bit crisp and browned b/c it will soften anyway and it adds a nice flavor.
You can also use pumpkin or pureed apples along with or instead of bananas, but the bananas always lends the most adhesive sweetness…
Also, any choco chips, carob chips or any kind of desserty chips makes it more of a treat and fun.
For dessert type balls pictured above with a happy veganized frosting, I add 3/4 cup of a natural sweetener of choice along with a couple packets of stevia (sucanat and stevia in combination work great!)
I was first inspired by a a recipe on Vega (a super vegan protein powder product) and have made it my own with endless tweaks!  Hope you do the same! 🙂