Coconut Cardamom Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca pudding is a weird phenomenon. It’s bizarre what those little pearls turn into once cooked (seriously reminds me of tiny clear fish eggs). It creates such a strange, gooey texture that is kinda creepy, yet oddly delicious.

This gummy pudding is a little bit of a blast-from-the-past as well. I remember eating it as a kid, though not in its traditional form. My mom used to make some sort of fruit “salad” (one of those that’s not actually a salad in any way, shape, or form) that had tapioca in it and I recall really liking it. But, today, it doesn’t seem like something people really make anymore. I don’t know…maybe it’s lost its luster, but I’m all about bringing it back because this stuff is G-O-O-D! I even enjoy eating a small dish of it for breakfast, but it’s great as a little treat too.

Also, know that this version is egg-free, dairy-free, and date-sweetened. It’s full of coconut flavor with just the right amount of cardamom and natural sweetness. I prefer eating it topped with raw sprouted pumpkin seeds for a little crunch, but you can top it with whatever seeds/nuts you like.

On another note, less than one week until I head to Poland! Tuesday is the big day and I’m SO excited!

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup small pearl tapioca (I used this brand)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 13.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Raw pumpkin seeds (preferably sprouted) or other seed/nut of choice for topping, if desired

Directions:

  1. Add tapioca pearls and the filtered water to a small saucepan, and let soak uncovered for 30 minutes. Do not drain remaining water, if any.
  2. Next, add the coconut milk, chopped dates, sea salt and ground cardamom. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens.
  3. Remove from heat and cool for about 15 minutes before stirring in the vanilla extract. Serve warm or place in refrigerator to chill and serve cold. When ready to serve, top with pumpkin seeds or other raw seed/nut of choice.

Yields: 3-4 servings

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Caramel Coconut Mousse Pie

Okay, I think I may have created a new vice. For real, this dessert is ridiculous and almost too damn good. It combines some of my favorite fats — coconut, avocado and macadamia nuts — all together in a decadent, layered concoction. It’s perfect. The worst part, aside from trying to get it out of the pan (as you’ll see below), is when it’s all gone. This dessert is worth savoring and definitely worth making again. It sets up a lot better if you wait several hours to serve it, but then the avocado layer doesn’t look as nice and green (as you’ll see below).

Look at those layers!

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • Dash of sea salt
  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor. Blend until nuts are broken up a bit and all ingredients are well combined.
  2. Empty into a small loaf pan or small baking dish and place in freezer (Note: I used about a 4×7 Pyrex dish).

Caramel:

  • 6 medjool dates
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp water
  1. Briefly soak the dates in very hot or boiling water for several minutes. Once softened a bit, carefully remove from the water with a utensil. Pit the dates and add them to the food processor once cool enough to handle.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Empty into a bowl and set aside.

Avocado Mousse:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk
  1. Place all ingredients into the food processor. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pull the crust out of the freezer and spread the caramel on top. Next, top with the mousse. Garnish with chopped macadamia nuts or shredded unsweetened coconut flakes, if desired. Serve right away, messy style, or place in fridge until ready to eat (warning: the avocado will turn brown in the fridge though).
Avocado caramel coconut bars
Caramel coconut mousse pie.
A messy serving, but hey, life's not perfect!
All those layers combine so well. It almost reminds me of one of those dump cakes, where everything is thrown together in the bowl in layers, but way better and more wholesome, obviously.
This is what it looks like if you wait several hours or overnight, but as you can see, the avocado layer turns brown on top, so it’s not so pretty. The layers look nice, but the green color … not so much! I actually like to eat it the messy way better.

Recipe Review: Sugar Detox Carrot Cake Pudding

I recently made PaleOMG’s sugar detox carrot cake pudding and it is stellar! It’s like creamy, spicy pumpkin pie filling, but with carrots instead of pumpkin. It’s fabulous, light and satisfying and really quick to make. The longest part is cooking the carrots, but mine cooked in even less time than the recipe states because I used sliced big carrots rather than whole baby carrots. I also steamed the carrots instead of boiling them, which took about 10-12 minutes.

I think my batch came out extra tasty since I used fresh garden carrots that came in my CSA box. I’m sure it’s awesome with baby carrots too, but you just can’t beat the taste of fresh garden carrots. Also, I made a few changes to the recipe:

  1. I added two medjool dates for a dash of added sweetness (it tasted a bit too spicy before).
  2. I used almond extract instead of vanilla because I am still out of vanilla extract (I keep forgetting to pick up the darn stuff).
  3. I used almond butter instead of sunbutter.
Garden fresh carrots
Garden fresh carrots.
Coconut cream concentrate
Coconut cream concentrate — it’s the exact same thing as coconut butter. Run the packet under hot water until it softens and then squeeze out into a jar.
PaleOMG's sugar detox carrot cake pudding.
PaleOMG’s sugar detox carrot cake pudding.
Spoonful of carrot cake pudding
Spoonful of carrot cake pudding.

Last night, I took another go at the recipe, but instead of carrots I used canned butternut squash that I picked up over the weekend. It turned out just as great and is even faster since there’s no need for chopping and steaming carrots. I made the pudding as I did prior, with my addition of two dates, almond butter instead of sunbutter and almond extract instead of vanilla. Oh, I also added a little ground ginger and would’ve added it to the carrot version, but didn’t think of it at the time. Next time.

Retake on the carrot cake pudding, but with butternut squash instead.
Retake on the carrot cake pudding, but with butternut squash instead.
Spoonful of butternut squash pudding.
Spoonful of butternut squash pudding.

You know what else is really tasty in a pinch? Baby carrots dipped in coconut butter. I thought of trying this combo after making the pudding and to be honest, I don’t know why I never thought of trying it before. It is g-o-o-d! I am such a sucker for coconut butter. I love it on a spoon too … tee hee hee.

If you haven’t been to PaleOMG’s site, I highly recommend it. I’ve been making her recipes and reading her blog for many, many months now and it never fails to entertain me. She’s got quite the personality and comes up with wicked good recipes, many of which are simple to make. There’s lots of deliciousness on her site, so check it out!

5-Minute Grain-Free Mug Cake

Grain-free mug cake with fresh berries.

Sometimes you just want cake. Am I right? Well, maybe. Actually, to be honest, I never really crave cake or think about it. I do enjoy grain-free coconut cake with SCD yogurt cream cheese frosting though, but it takes a while to make and involves a large quantity of each of its ingredients. It’s definitely something I have to plan for, and I only make it for special occasions.

Recently though, I bumped into a simple recipe for a grain-free mug cake on a fellow blogger’s site, Writing in White. I felt intrigued to try it, especially because it only made one serving and took no more than five minutes total to make. I tweaked the recipe a bit to make it my own, but credit goes back to Writing in White for the inspiration. For full instructions on how I adjusted this recipe, see below.

The whole process did indeed take five minutes or less and was so easy. It could literally be called, “mug cake for dummies.” The coolest part was watching the cake puff up in the microwave. The mug was about half full of batter and then suddenly, it became all puffy and was standing up out of the mug — kind of like a soufflé. The cake tasted good, almond-y and subtly sweet, which is good for my taste (I don’t like stuff too sweet and my taste buds have adapted to less sweet). I loved it with the fresh berries, but it would also be wonderful with cacao nibs and/or coconut milk whipped cream…or all three!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted, plus a little extra for greasing mug
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 egg, preferably pasture-raised
  • 2 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk or filtered water
  • 1 tsp raw honey, or more if you want it sweeter
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • Fresh berries, for serving

Directions:

Grease mug with a small amount of melted coconut oil and set aside. Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl, except for the berries. Transfer into the greased mug and microwave for 90 seconds, until mug cake puffs up and appears fully cooked. Serve with fresh berries and enjoy!

From this ...
From this …
... to this!
… to this! (Don’t mind the spots in my microwave – guess I need to wipe it down. Mom, don’t look!)
Mug cake with fresh berries
Mug cake with fresh berries.

Paleo Doughnuts

Glazed or unglazed

Anyone who says the paleo/SCD lifestyle is boring or too restrictive is crazy! There’s SO much REAL food that you can eat and the possibilities are truly endless. Not only that, but it is so much fun to experiment with what’s available. Don’t believe me? Well, check out the baked DOUGHNUTS that I made below, inspired by a recipe from Multiply Delicious. Thanks PaleOMG for posting it on your Facebook page!

It’s kinda funny that I decided to make these considering I was never much of a doughnut fan, except as a kid (only glazed though – nothing else!). I’ve never even had a Voodoo Doughnut and I live in Portland. Honestly, I never had the desire, and then realized that gluten makes my body scream bloody murder.

*Note: I still cannot eat cocoa powder because of adhering to the SCD, so I omitted it from the recipe and instead of melted dark chocolate for the icing, I used melted coconut butter. Also, I was out of vanilla extract, so subbed almond extract instead. I only made a half batch, but my doughnut pan must be smaller than the one in the recipe because it still made six doughnuts. I even used one of my fresh duck eggs in the recipe, but combined it with two chicken eggs I had left in the fridge. These turned out fantastic and were insanely easy to make, as long as you have a doughnut pan (I picked one up for about $10 from Sur La Table the other day, specifically to make this recipe).

Ready for the oven
Batter, eady for the oven!
Fresh baked paleo doughnuts
Fresh baked paleo doughnuts.
Doughnuts with coconut butter icing
Doughnuts with coconut butter icing.

Almond Flour Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls

Oh no I didn’t … oh yes, I did! I made grain-free cinnamon rolls and seriously, these will rock your socks off. I actually made these once before this past Easter and have been dying to make them again, but held off. Finally, I caved the other morning and decided it was happening. I follow a recipe that I originally found via Pinterest, but modify it slightly to my liking. Additionally, I only make a half batch and cut the pieces smaller to make mini cinnamon rolls. Now, these are quite different than your standard cinnamon roll — they’re more biscuit-like, but still nice and soft with layers that can be pulled apart (that’s my favorite way to eat ’em). Check out the link below to view the recipe.

The Best Almond Flour (biscuit style) Cinnamon Rolls by The Urban Poser

I made the following changes to the recipe:

  • Take out the raisins, since I don’t usually have them on hand
  • Add two tablespoons of melted ghee or butter to the honey/nut/cinnamon filling mixture (note, this needs to be 4 Tbsp if making the full recipe)
  • Drizzle with melted coconut butter only, no honey
  • Also know, I follow the recipe using the lesser amount of honey for the filling – it truly doesn’t need more than that

If you make these, be very careful when rolling up the dough and when rolling with the rolling pin. It’s fragile, so go slowly! It’s well worth it to slow down, even though you’re excited to get these little suckers in the oven, so you can have a taste sooner than later. Be patient and I promise it will pay off!

Rolling the dough

Spreading on the filling

Cinnamon rolls going in oven

Cinnamon roll closeup

Cinnamon roll layers

Almond Banana Cookies

Ah, a relaxing Sunday afternoon of baking. It felt good to get a little project going and not only that, it produced a tasty batch of cookies. I wish I could share smells with you all because these smelled so wonderful while baking, but hopefully you can imagine it or recreate the recipe for yourself and gather your own smells.

These cookies are soft and nutty with a slight sweetness from ripe banana. The best part is that they’re healthy, grain-free (of course), quick and there’s no added sugar. Inspired by Everyday Paleo once again, I made a slight twist on her nutty cookies recipe, and cut it in half. (Seriously if you don’t have the Everyday Paleo cookbook, get it or see if it’s available at your local library!). I bet kids would love these cookies and there’s truly no shame in letting them indulge in these anytime.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 5 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 C unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 C plus 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 5 Tbsp coconut milk
  • 1/4 C sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mash banana in large bowl with a fork. Add coconut flour, baking soda and almond butter; mix thoroughly.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
  4. Drop by tablespoonfuls on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 25 minutes.

Yields: 12 cookies

Cookie bite