Paleo goodies for Christmas

I love December. It’s my favourite month of the year. We have Christmas and New Year is just round the corner. Work slows down. Everyone becomes more relaxed. It is also a time for pigging out on cakes, cookies and sweets galore.

I’ll be away for most of Christmas this year in Taiwan hiking in Taroko Gorge (yay!) but I have one or two parties to attend. What better way to introduce people to your fantastic paleo diet then baking some yummy goodies for them?

This year, I’m planning to bake at least one of these paleo goodies. Click on the title for the link to the recipes!

Paleo fruitcake 

This is a recipe by Elana’s Pantry and uses almond flour as the base.

paleo-fruit-cake-gluten-free-recipe-DSC_4329

 

Continue reading Paleo goodies for Christmas

Today I can call myself a baker

I started baking quite recently. The urge to bake paleo bread and muffins was what made me buy an oven, buy measuring cups and an oven thermometer, among other nifty baking gadgets. It made me attend expensive bread baking classes at Shermay’s cooking school. It drove me to spend hours poring over recipe books.

I’ve never counted myself as a “baker” until today. Today, I sold my first loaf of paleo bread.

paleo bread

This simple paleo herb bread contains the most nutritious ingredients: almonds, fresh coconut, kampong eggs, yoghurt, butter, flaxseed meal and thyme.

It’s grain-free, gluten-free and sugar-free. This bread has been very difficult for me to master because of the lack of sugar. I found that baking banana paleo bread or any sweetened bread was easier because the sugar would mask any strange tastes. But I was determined to make one that was sugar-free yet tasted good. Honey was not acceptable. Artificial sweeteners had no place in my bread. Continue reading Today I can call myself a baker

Recipe: bacon and cheese muffins made with coconut flour

You know that feeling when you’re stuck in a cooking rut? You cook the same thing every day using the same ingredients and your taste buds become numb. This is made worse when you’re on a restricted diet because there are so many things sold outside that are not good for your health.

As such it’s important to experiment once in a while with new recipes. I’ve only made sweet muffins so when I chanced upon this savoury muffin – containing cheese, eggs and bacon, I knew I had to try it.

bacon, cheese eggs paleo muffin Continue reading Recipe: bacon and cheese muffins made with coconut flour

Recipe: black pepper and cheese crackers

This is a recipe for paleo black pepper and cheese crackers. This recipe is not my own. I bought Peter Reinhart’s The Joy of Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Baking from The Book Depository recently. This book contains “80 Low-Carb Recipes That Offer Solutions for Celiac’s Disease, Diabetes, and Weight Loss”. Now Peter Reinhart is an expert bread baker who has written many books about bread making, including “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice”.

In his introduction, he said that had been overweight for 20 years. He weighed 214 pounds at the start of the writing the book but within two and a half weeks of eating a low-carb diet, he lost 14 pounds. He keeps his carb count to under 120 grams a day and sugar to about 15 grams a day.

His recipes rely a lot of nut flours and sugar substitutes. I’m not very keen on sugar substitutes after my disasterous Stevia experiment. So I chose a savoury recipe as my first since it would require little sugar.

peter reinhart gluten-free baking Continue reading Recipe: black pepper and cheese crackers

I bought paleo rosemary bread from Nature’s Bakes

Did I mention that I love bread? Because I love bread, I’ve been baking on my own using paleo baking ingredients. I’ve had some successes (banana muffins and “pizza” turned out well) but had experienced many more failures. It’s not easy. Every measurement must be precise and the slightest change in the recipe can cause problems.

I decided to go to the experts and order a loaf of Rosemary bread from Nature’s Bakes. Not only is Pauline an excellent baker, she also coaches at Crossfit Singapore.

We met up for the first time today at an MRT station. I felt like I was on a blind date. “I’m wearing a sleeveless grey top,” I messaged her, “I’m sitting on the left hand side.”

The reason why I was meeting her was to buy a loaf of rosemary bread. The base of this bread was coconut and almond flour. There was no sugar or honey or fruits. Pauline warned me that it might be a bit plain so it was best to eat it with butter. Personally, I prefer my bread without sugar or fruits so then I can add whatever toppings I want.

The bread was given to me wrapped in plastic.

paleo rosemary bread Continue reading I bought paleo rosemary bread from Nature’s Bakes

Where to get paleo baking ingredients

Having experimented with paleo baking for a few months now, I must say it has been tedious trying to get ingredients. I’ve scoured the island and this is what I’ve found. I don’t use all of the ingredients listed below because it’s too complicated but I’ve seen them pop up often in paleo recipes:

Flour

  • Coconut flour – replacement for wheat
  • Almond/or any nut flour – replacement for wheat

For texture

  • Gelatine – helps hold baked goods together because there is no gluten in the flours
  • Arrowroot powder – thickener from a starchy tuber, used for sauces and to make almond flour products lighter

For moisture and taste

  • Coconut oil – to add moisture
  • Coconut milk and cream – replacement for dairy
  • Almond milk – replacement for dairy

Sweeteners