Monday, March 18, 2013

Contestant #2: Paleo Thin Mints


Ingredients:
Cookie:
1 C almond flour
1 tsp coconut flour
2 Tbp Cocoa Powder
pinch sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp Palm Shortening
1/4 C raw honey
1 tsp peppermint extract

Chocolate coating:
6-10 oz dark chocolate
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1-2 tsp coconut oil

Steps:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In food processor combine almond and coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda & salt, add shortening, honey, and peppermint extract and pulse in short bursts until a dough forms. 
Remove dough from food processor and place in between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Thicker dough will give you a thicker cookie so use your discretion. Using a 2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake for 4 minutes. Allow to completely cool on baking sheets then freeze for 1 hour. I had to leave a this point so I ended up having mine frozen in a ziplock bag for a few days before I moved on to the next step, mine turned out great, so just in case you need to pause, here works.

Melt chocolate, peppermint, and coconut oil in a double boiler, (or a smaller pot with chocolate on top of a bigger pot full of water on the bottom), dip frozen cookies into chocolate and fully coat, place on wire racks lined with parchment paper. Place in freezer for 1 hour. Eat! I have been storing mine in the freezer as I think this keeps them super crunchy and closer to a GSC thin mint. (Obviously I let them defrost for a bit before eating.

So far I think this one might be the 'closest' to a Girl Scout Cookie, but I've got one more up my sleeve, and I am still looking for volunteers to come over and try some cookies. If we've met in real life and you'd like to be a taste tester, just shoot me a comment or twitter message and I'll hook you up with some cookies and all you have to do is paint a word picture about your experience eating them. deal? awesome.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Contestant #1: Paleo Tag-A-Longs

So for the next two weeks I'm going to be running a sort of taste test food contest around Girl Scout Cookies. This time of year, it's hard to escape them, but the sugar, gluten, and feel crappy that I will experience after eating them really has me down. Luckily there is a great work around. And I'm excited to share recipe 1 (of at least 3 or 4) of girl scout cookie week!

Tag-A-Longs / Peanut Butter Patties. Possibly my favorite girl scout cookie as it brings two of my favorite things ever together in one bite. Chocolate and Peanut Butter. But Peanut Butter's not paleo! I know, right? well lucky for us Sun Butter is going to make an appearance in this cookie and I can guarentee you'd swear it was peanut butter. Original recipe credit to Elana's pantry

Ingredients:

2 C. almond flour (blanched or unblanched)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp palm shortening
2 Tbsp raw honey
2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 C. sun butter (estimated)
1 C. dark chocolate
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Steps:
In food processor, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, shortening, honey, and vanilla, pulse until ingredients are combined as a dough.
Roll dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper until they are 1/4 inch thick
Chill dough in freezer for 20 minutes (optional- makes dough firmer thus easier to work with) toward end of wait, preheat oven to 350
Cut out dough using a 2-inch cookie cutter, press thumb in center of each circle to make indentation as placing on cookie sheet (with parchment paper underneath).
 


Bake for 4-6 minutes, remove from oven and cool cookies on wire rack for 1 hour. Place 1 teaspoon of sun butter on top of each cook and place in freezer for 10-20 minutes. My sun butter was runny so we went with 20 minutes.
Melt chocolate over double boiler- or if you're like me and don't have one, take a small saucepan, and place it in a bigger saucepan with water in the bottom pan. Melt chocolate with coconut oil- this will make the chocolate a little runnier and easier to dip cookies in.


Dip cookies in chocolate, this is not that easy, be careful as it can become a chocolatey mess. Get excess chocolate off cookie, then place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet- or the wire rack (my baking sheet does not fit in my freezer). Freeze for 30 minutes. Eat. I find storing them in the freezer ensures they are crispy when eaten.

I think these might even be tastier than their boxed companions. I'd love to have some taste testers to vote but without other votes, so far these are my favorite. Up tomorrow, thin mints! Enjoy.




Wednesday, March 6, 2013

About an Avocado

Oh the avocado, it's one of my favorite parts of being paleo. I'm not lying. This simple fruit is anything but simple. It makes me happy to consume them every day- that's right I have at least half an avocado each day that I've been paleo. Why would I do such a thing? Well I firmly believe that something magical  or sciencey in the avocado keeps me from going into crazed carb cravings mode and keeps my brain chemistry happy with the paleo diet. Remove the avocado, remove my ability to follow as strictly.




Sciencey stuff:
Avocado Nutritional Facts (1/2 and avocado) that paleo people would care about
Fat: 15g 
Calories: 161
Fiber: 7g
Protein: 2g
Carbs: 9g
Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 110 mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids: 1698 mg
Vitamin K- 28% daily value
Vitamin C-

Fiber! Protien! Omega-3! Omega-6!
So being paleo means I don't care about the fact that it's made of fat, because what that fat is doing for my body is very different than downing a Bacon Cheeseburger. Avocados are made of monosaturated 'heart heathly' fats. Keep in mind Omega-3/6 balancing is definitely something you want to be thinking about since when on the paleo diet you do tend to eat a lot of Omega 6. More about Omega-3/6 balancing


Similar to bananas, avocados grow on a tree and do not ripen until picked. Once picked, avocados take a few days to ripen and do best at room temperature. Trying to speed up the process? Let your avocados hang out with your bananas and apples. In a huge rush, stick some ripe bananas in a brown paper bag with your avocados. You'll be making guar in no time at all. A ripe avocado will give when you apply light pressure when holding it in the palm of your hand and just barely pressing down. I'd like to stress the word light. You are not going around the store groping all the avocados making bruises for the next poor customer. Be gentle! I was once yelled at in the Italian market in Philadelphia over this exact thing. And I was NOT squeezing hard. but still, the woman screaming at me had a point, avocado bruises are gross, so don't bruise them. When buying shoot for one with a dark brown/black skin, the ones that are green really aren't ripe at all. Once you cut them in half (if only using half) leave the pit in to prevent from browning. If making guacamole adding lemon or lime juice can help it stay green.


How do I eat my avocado?

  • diced in a bowl with a bit of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper 
  • a top a piece of toasted Paleo white bread
  • as a dessert in cowboy cookies, or  Emily Levenson's amazing 'choca-mole' recipe
  • On top of eggs done over easy or scrambled
  • on top of meat, just about any kind
  • whipped into a guacamole (recipe coming) and eaten with something like tacos.
  • in a smoothie! seriously try this.

I try to only eat 1/2 a day, but sometimes I do eat a whole avocado, if this is bad for me, I have yet to see any negative effects.