I finally did it, I said last week to @ThePaleoMom (Twitter link) or ThePaleoMom (Blog) that I was going to try to make her homemade coconut milk. I am proud to report that I did it.
There are a few things to note on this back story on why I did this. Most people I tell that I was looking forward to making coconut milk would ask me why I wouldn’t just buy it in a can. Well its a simply answer, if you go through coconut milk as fast as I do $2 a can adds up quickly. On top of that if you have been following my blog you also know that I suffer from a rare stomach disorder so I am avoiding known gut/stomach irritants. Most cans of coconut milk that you buy off the shelf contain an additive called Guar Guam. Now I am not sure if this will irritate my stomach chances are it may not if I consume it in moderation however with the coconut milk that I go through I fear that it will add up and trigger another attack.
So that is a little back story on why I decided to try to make coconut milk. The better part of this is how EASY this was. I have tried other methods of making coconut milk but I could never seem to get the texture right. This recipe that the PaleoMom posted is spot on perfect. I did not tweak this at all and full credits/concept etc go directly to her. You should try to take a moment and check out her blog.
The only thing I can add to this, is next time I am going to make this with coconut water instead of regular water and take her up on her suggestion of putting this over her Paleo Granola. I will have to try to make that in the near future.
- 3/4 cup organic finely shredded unsweetened dried coconut
- 1 ¼ cup just boiled water
- Boil the water
- Put coconut in to blender with the boiled water
- Blend on high for 5 minutes
- Pour pulp into a Nut-Milk Bag or Cheesecloth (or other chosen strainer) suspended over a glass bowl
- Let the mixture drip in to the bowl or if you have no patience let it cool and squeeze it through
Hectic Hectic Hectic. That is how I would describe these last few days. Even with everything being hectic I had recorded the first episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley and I had a chance to watch it last night. I work in IT, more specifically Computer Software design and architecture etc so its pretty safe to say I was looking forward to this show. I absolutely loved it. It reminded me alot of Office Space meets The IT Crowd. It was a good show and I found myself messaging 1 liners back and forth with a friend of mine. So needless to say I hope it continues and doesn’t get cancelled. It’s good to see a comedy every once and a while on a pay channel that doesn’t have nudity etc all over the place.
So today’s recipe is one of my favorites. I started making Jerky over a year ago and I have made all kinds of Jerky. Before I decided to venture on this Paleo journey all the jerky I made was not Paleo compliant simply because it contains a form of gluten or soy. So it took a while to try to come up with an alternative and I will post a series of different recipes but I will start with a bit of a spicy one.
In general there are different types of jerky you can make one is made from a ground beef/bison or you can get a flank steak or similar and cut that in to strips. I have made both types but personally I have gravitated towards the ground beef simply because of price and it gets a texture like a slim jim. Here is a video of me putting some jerky on to my dehydrator.
This is really just a jerky gun and I load my jerky in to it and shoot it out.
On to the recipe.
- 3 lb Flank Steak or Ground Beef, as lean as possible (fat turns tough when dehydrated)
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 cup Coconut Aminos
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Chipotle Powder
If you are using ground beef
- Take all ingredients except for the meet and blend it all together
- Mix ground beef with marinade
- Let it sit for about 2 hour in the fridge (no more than 24 hours)
- Load in to Jerky Gun and and put it in dehydrator.
If using flank steak
- Partially freeze meat for 2-4 hours, until mostly solid.
- Slice meat into thin strips. (try to make sure they are all about the same size)
- Create the marinade in a large ziplock bag
- Toss meat in to marinade
- Let it sit for atleast 2 hours in the fridge (no more than 24 hours)
- Place strips on to your dehydrator
- Sprinkle with a little Salt & Pepper (I also add a bit of red chili if i want it spicier)
If you are using an oven
- You can dehydrate by setting your oven to lowest temp possible most can get to 160 or 170
- Add the steak strips or jerk gun strips on to oven sheet
- Cook for about 3.5 - 4 hours be sure to not over cook
How to tell if its done
- Take out a strip let it cook for a min, try to bend it. if it snaps its over cooked if it slowly peels apart when you bend it.. its perfect.
It looks like the crazy weeks are just going to continue. I have been making an effort to find an organic place in South Florida or a trusted one online that I can order Grassfed Beef and Free Range Chicken from. I tried on #farming #organic and now I tried on #Paleo and #Primal but still no luck. I had I think 5 people favorite it but that is simple to get a response if someone actually responds. No luck yet so if anyone knows a good place please let me know
Quick status update on my personal goal, I am 3 lbs away from hitting my first goal of dropping 25 lbs. Pretty excited about that and it has really been super simple. I have been eating good food, I am never hungry so that is a plus in my columns. Exercise as you can tell has been folded in to my routine so I am sure that does help alot as well.
This recipe I am bringing you today is again from Julie and Paleomg. Its a copy of her Banana Nut Chololate Chip Muffins. Honestly if you are not following Julie you must! She is an amazing person but you all know that because I have stated that before. I made these and my entire family went through them like nothing. I wish I could say I had more than 1 but my 5 year old beat me to it.
Trust me make these!
Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Muffins
- 3 bananas, mashed with a fork
- 3 eggs, whisked
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup smooth almond butter
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy life but Julie recommends 72% Eating Evolved Baking Chocolate)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add eggs, maple syrup, almond butter, and vanilla extract and mix together.
- Then add coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda and powder and a pinch of salt and mix well.
- Lastly, fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.
- Use an ice cream scoop to scoop batter into 9 cups of a silicone muffin pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool before removing from silicone pan.
- Trust me if you do not have a silicone pan you may want to get one. I made my batch outside in a regular tin and I greased it really well but they still stuck. I ordered a silicone pan the following day!
Today I am bringing you a little snack that I have eaten for years (sub peanut butter instead of almond butter). For as long as I could remember if I wanted to have a banana I would top it with peanut butter, but as you know peanut butter is a no no with paleo. So I have modified this slightly and changed out the peanut butter with almond butter. It actually works out really good and is a great snack, I sometimes have been known to eat this for breakfast 🙂 lol.
So time seems to have flown by in March, I am trying to figure out where it went! Now that the end of March is really just a week away I have been trying to figure out what exactly I got accomplished in this month lol. So on a personal goal I have set was to stay on Paleo this month and I have done that, the results are pretty great for me and my energy levels are actually amazing. The only issue that I have from time to time is getting enough sleep but that is related to work and not the diet. I think everyone knows how much stress a job can have on someone’s life and in my case I have to be available 24/7 365 so pretty much any time of day or night I can get a call. But reality is its more of just the daily grind that has me more stressed out than the on call hours. Anyway enough with that rant and lets take a look at this snack/breakfast item.
Banana, Almond Butter, Honey bites!
- 1 Banana
- Almond Butter
- Raw Honey
- Take the banana and slice it any direction that you want
- Apply almond butter on top of the banana
- Take some raw honey and drizzle it on top of the banana/almond butter
- Eat and enjoy
Well if you have read my previous posts you know that I do not do this professionally and this blog is really a way for me to keep myself honest on choices that I make. With that said I didn’t make a post last week because I have had work functions that did not allow me to eat a good home cooked meal. Normally for the blog I actually write items that I ate the night before or even that same night. I am not one that just randomly selects a recipe online and writes a fake review on it so that is why there was no post. Now I must say that I was having a talk with my good friend Miguel about this and just as any friend he inquires about my progress and how its going. He was a bit concerned about me eating out at restaurants while being on Paleo and I told him I was surprised at how easy it really was.
Before I explain all the details you must understand that I was not eating fast food I was at actually eating at sit down restaurants with a pretty good menu (avg meal price on the menu was about $15).
So like I said above I was doing work functions such as meeting with clients, vendors or work meetings. I initially went in thinking great its going to most likely be a plain green salad and grilled chicken breast but as I started going through the menu I realized I actually had some pretty good choices. What I want to get across on this post is not really the things I are however it was my approach. I find that most people may settle for just having an undressed salad but I really wanted to know what they actually had that I could eat. So here are some questions that I feel were helpful
1) When looking to order any type of beef, pork, chicken etc make sure you ask the waiter what is this marinated in?
You want to verify what it is marinated in because the marinade could be gluten based (think beer, it is often used in marinades)
2) If you are afraid of asking the waiter 101 questions about the food and you think they will brush you off simply tell them that you need to avoid all foods that contain Gluten, Grains and Soy if you just give them those 3 things they will come back with a selection of XYZ and then from there you can easily figure out which one you want to order. I am not telling you to say that you are allergic to those ingredients all though if you did they wouldn’t know the difference.
3) If you really want to have no contact with the waiter because obviously they are low hourly paid employees and the more questions you ask them the more they may be irritated ask the waiter to speak to a manager on duty because of your dietary restrictions. I found this one honestly to be the best approach because the waiters get to just get drinks and do their normal routine and the managers are usually far more versed in the menu contents than the waiters.
4) You can ask them if they have a Gluten free menu
5) If you really want to ask no one for anything go to the sandwich area and look for a grilled chicken sandwich and order it without the bun and no sauce.
Now those 5 tips above won’t give you the exact answer you want or if the place you are going has exclusive items on their menu but if you go with item #3 10 times out of 10 the manager will accommodate you because they want to earn your business. For example, lets say everything they have is marinated in beer and/or high sugar items. The manager and chef will have absolutely no issue just throwing a fresh piece of meat on the grill (or broiler) for you with just a little bit of salt and pepper.
It may not be the best meal you will ever eat but it will at least put something in your stomach and keep you on track.
Wow this bread is incredible, like insane. I did not come up with this, I grabbed this off a blog I have been following even before I went paleo, its PaleOMG.com. Julie the owner of the blog is an amazing cook and I also like her stories that she uses to frame them, seems pretty down to earth. So yes today’s post will include one of my favorite desserts that she makes, I kind of eat this for breakfast but it can easily be a treat so I am going to put it in both areas.
So the bake sale at my sons VPK went great all 52 cookies were gone and it looks like they want me to make some stuff for their graduation. I make a pretty killer homemade Tres Leche (definitely not paleo friendly, not yet atleast). So for their Christmas party I made that for the school party and I had a handful of people want me to cater them one which I don’t cater so I did not accept the offer. I know I might be crazy but I think people can be far more critical when they pay for something than when it’s free so that’s why. So after the Christmas party I was volunteered to make something for the bake sale and now apparently for the VPK graduation. I’m just glad 5 and 6 year olds aren’t hard to please when it comes to sweets ;).
I am a bit all over the place today sorry, been pretty hectic 🙂 but back to the bread. I saw this the day she posted it and I immediately went and bought bananas and set 3 of them aside to wait for them to brown. I mean my picture really does this no justice but trust me its amazing. If you have never checked out paleOMG I highly recommend it, bookmark it and visit it often!
Here is the recipe, again its Julie’s you can find the original here, the only original item on this recipe is the picture lol that is the bread I actually made.
I make no claim to this recipe at all, it is exactly as she has it on her site.
- 3 brown bananas, mashed
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup almond butter (or other nut/seed butter)
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) grass fed butter, at room temperature (or coconut oil)
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup pecans, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8.5×4.5 baking dish with oil then line the middle with parchment paper. It will make it easier to remove from the pan without it coming apart.
- In a large bowl, mix together bananas, maple syrup, vanilla extract, eggs, and almond butter.
- Then add coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and mix well.
- Pour batter into baking dish. Place on a baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, add butter, coconut sugar, almond flour, cinnamon, and pecans. Use your hands to mix the toppings together.
- Place chunks of the toppings all around the top of the banana bread mixture.
- Place in oven to bake for 50 minutes.
- Remove from oven, place on cooling rack and let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Ok ok ok no I did not eat these cookies, I swear! My son is in VPK and they are having a bake sale to raise some funds. For those of you that do not know I actually really love baking. I have been baking ever since I was a kid and I love to make things from scratch. So I made these and for those that are strict on paleo all the time will not be able to eat them. However there are some of you, yes you know who you are, that like to indulge every once and while in some sweets. This recipe is one that I have been making for a really long time. I have played and tinkered with it over time and I finally feel I got it to a really good place. I was inspired to make this recipe after I had my very first double tree cookie. You can call this a copycat recipe or a clone as I have no idea what they actually put in them I took my best guess at it. Feel free to scale back or add whatever you see fit. This recipe can easily be made paleo with some alterations and I will do that in the near future.
So you see before you all get mad at me this was made for a good cause, a fund raiser bake sale!
On to the recipe.
Warning Non-Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup unsalted butter (two sticks), softened, not melted!
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks (if you don't want to use them you can do 3 cups of chocolate chips)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Pulse oats in a food processor until semi-fine you still want to have texture on them so do not make them in to a powder.
- Add butter, sugar (both brown and granulated), vanilla extract and lemon juice to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric hand mixer cream the ingredients. Add eggs one at a time and mix until the ingredients are creamy. Do not forget to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl, add the oats, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix al the dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly (I usually just use one of the measuring cups I was using) and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula, being careful not to overmix.
- Drop in the chocolate chips and chunks (if you are using them) and walnuts. Mix until both are evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough. Do not over mix if you do it will become a bit like a cake texture
- Refrigerate the cookie dough for a few hours to allow the ingredients to set
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Using a large scoop (2-3 tablespoons) or ice cream scoop, scoop cookie dough onto a lined baking sheet.
- Place cookie dough portions onto baking sheet at least 1 1/2 inches apart.
- Bake for about 14-16 minutes
- If you are going to store these allow them to cook on a rack before storing them. If you want them to stay nice and soft add a piece of bread to the container.
Had a pretty great weekend, it flew right by but was very good. The only bad thing was moving the clocks forward one hour on Saturday night :(. So on Saturday we had the usual teeball game with the little guy. He did really well I am really proud of him on how well he has taken to it. After teeball we had to go to one of my relatives 95th birthday party its incredible to me at his age how alert he is. He definitely still has all his bearings and I hope as I age I can keep my wits as well as he has.
Overall I hope this week continues where the weekend left off but chances are work will get in the way and that won’t happen.
Well today I have a pretty cool recipe for you that my sister gave me. Its pretty simple its just a simple vanilla ice cream made out of coconut milk and coconut palm sugar. One word of advice (yes I made the mistake) so I got a basic Ice cream maker from Cuisinart literally it came with no directions not sure why. So my first time using this thing I get it assembled and I google how to make ice cream it was pretty unanimous that you just blend the ingredient and then put it in the maker and turn it on.
Sounds simple right, yea clearly not for me. Apparently with the maker I bought you need to freeze the icecream bowl first lol. So yea word to the wise you may need to freeze your ice cream bowl first otherwise you may end up like me.
Here is the recipe below
Vanilla Ice Cream with Coconut Milk
- 1 can of full fat coconut milk (13.5 ounces)
- ½ cup coconut palm sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
- Put Coconut milk, Coconut Sugar and Sea salt in a blender
- Run the blender until everything is mixed really good
- Add the Vanilla extract
- Run blender again to mix ingredients
- Add to ice cream maker
- Let it run for about 20 mins until it gets to the consistency you want.
It was a pretty crazy weekend with everything that was going on, I didn’t get much rest but I did manage to eat clean. Outside of the hectic weekend it was actually rather enjoyable. Saturday we had a teeball game and Sunday we had a birthday party but both turned out to be a great deal of fun. Sunday I lit up the BBQ and grilled everything from shish kabob’s (both chicken and steak) to a whole chicken broken down and hamburgers and hot dogs. Of course I ate the good stuff and by that I mean the shish kabobs, deep inside I wanted a hot dog with relish, ketchup and mustard but I was able to resist! The food turned out to be really good, my wife did an amazing job on the steak kabob’s. One of these days I will need to post the marinade that she did on them, it was all paleo friendly. After all was said and done I didn’t even eat cake so to me that was a successful outing 🙂 .
So a little bit about this recipe today, with the lack of cake in my life and random cravings for something sweet this will definitely do the trick. Anything with in the paleo guidelines that can be eaten as a treat in moderation I am ok with. So this brings me to these coconut squares. I love coconut so these are right up my ally, not to mention they are so easy to make but its a sweet treat that I can actually eat without breaking the guidelines I set for myself. I will need to ask my wife where she got this from but its a coconut delight for sure.
Sorry no picture today 🙁
- 3 eggs;
- 1 cup coconut milk;
- 1/3 cup coconut oil;
- 1/3 cup raw honey;
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract;
- 1/2 cup almond flour;
- 1 tbsp coconut flour;
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut;
- 1/4 tsp sea salt;
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Using a stand or a hand mixer, combine the eggs, coconut milk, coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract.
- Set your mixer to the lowest speed and slowly add the almond flour, followed by the coconut flour. Once mixed, add the shredded coconut. Continue mixing just until there is no clumping and the coconut mixture is consistent throughout.
- Pour the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish and cook for 30 minutes, or until golden around edges.
- Once through, remove from the oven and allow to completely cool. Cut into squares and keep them refrigerated until serving.