Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Paleo Bread + Pumpkin Applesauce

You read that right--you're getting 2 recipes in this post, to make up for my lack of culinary inspiration the past couple weeks.  Besides these two things, the new dishes I've tried lately have just been meh, and my only kitchen successes have been the oldies I've already shared with you.  For those of you who know me, the fact that these recipes include both a baked item and a dessert dish is probably mind-boggling.  But I have to keep you all on your toes, right?

In sweaty-mess news, I've decided to take this week off from the gym.  I've been getting up at 5AM to work out for about a year and a half now, and I think I just need a break from the grind.  This week I'm going to enjoy sleeping in and maybe taking a stroll around the neighborhood to enjoy the crisp fall weather I've been so anxiously awaiting.  My efforts in the gym have been less than inspiring the past couple of weeks, except for one gloriously sweaty tabata workout: alternating kettlebell swings and jumping rope.  Simply jump rope for 20s, rest for 10s, then do kettlebell swings for 20s (I used a 12kg kettlebell), rest for 10s, and repeat.  I did 6 rounds twice through for an effectively sweaty 15 minute workout.  Quick but intense, just how I like it.

I impulsively took today off to catch up on some errands, and it turns out there's a Top Chef Las Vegas marathon on the Esquire Network.  This raises two questions: 1) When did the Style Network become the Esquire Network, and 2) How will I ever tear myself away from the TV to get anything done?

Okay, now let's get to what you've all been waiting for: the food.

First up, paleo bread.  I saw this recipe on Elena's Pantry, a fun website to peruse through for whole food inspiration.  Now I really hate baking--I'm not a precise cook, and don't like the idea that you can't taste as you go like you can with savory dishes.  But for some reason, this recipe just screamed out to me.  The only ingredient I didn't have was flax meal, so I ran to Trader Joe's to buy some and didn't realize until I got home that not only did I not have a 9x5" loaf pan (thrown away after a tragic burned meatloaf incident), but the recipe actually calls for a 7.5x3.5" pan.  Who has that?  So I cooked mine in a 9" round cake pan (for all those layer cakes I've never made).  It ended up looking more like a cornbread, which doesn't bother me since I'm not slicing this bread for sandwiches anyway.  I've used it for a post-workout snack, and as a breakfast with some sunbutter or apple butter (or both) sprinkled with shredded coconut.  Holy yum. 

Paleo bread
2c almond flour
2T coconut flour
1/4c ground flax seed
1/4t salt
1/2t baking soda
4XL eggs (or 5 large eggs)
1T coconut oil (no need to melt it, solid at room temp is fine)
1T honey
1T apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place almond flour, coconut flour, flax, salt, and baking soda in a food processor and pulse ingredients together.  Add eggs, oil, honey, and vinegar and pulse until combined.  Pour batter in to a 9" round cake pan greased with coconut oil (or 7.5x3.5 loaf pain if you have one), bake for 25 minutes.  Let cool before serving.


So easy right??  I've made this 3 weeks in a row and I love it more every time.  Now the Coach thinks it has a "Passover-food" texture, which is not a compliment if you've ever been unlucky enough to sample some Kosher Passover baked goods, but when you heat it up and add some delicious toppings it doesn't taste dry at all.  It's light and fluffy, with a nutty flavor from the flax and a touch of sweetness from the honey.  This feels like a real treat in this grain-free household, but it's healthy, so that's pretty fun right?

Alright, on to the next one...

It's apple season in upstate New York (or everywhere I guess), which means the Coach and I have approximately 2 bushels of apples in our refrigerator.  I realized over the weekend that we couldn't possibly eat all of them in a timely fashion, so I decided to make them in to applesauce.  I've never done this before, but I saw so many mouth-watering recipes on Pinterest that I couldn't resist trying one of them.  Naturally I settled on the one that included pumpkin.  I am officially on the pumpkin bandwagon.  Now the original recipe called for the juice of 1 lemon, which I did, but having used tart apples as the base this yielded a pretty tart sauce.  Which I LOVE, but if you're looking for something sweeter, either use sweet apples or omit the lemon juice.

Pumpkin applesauce
2 1/2 pounds apples, cored and chopped (skins on)
2t ground cinnamon
juice of 1 lemon (optional, for a tarter applesauce)
3/4c water
 1/2c pumpkin puree
1t vanilla 

In a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat, combine apples, cinnamon, lemon juice, and water.  The liquid will not cover the apples.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat.  Simmer the apples for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally, until apples are super soft.  Once apples are nice and tender, remove the pot from the heat.
For chunky applesauce, add pumpkin puree and vanilla.  Smash apples with a potato masher until you reach the desired chunkiness.
For smooth applesauce, use an immersion blender or carefully transfer everything to a food processor or vanilla.  Add pumpkin puree and vanilla. Puree until desired consistency.


 As long as you wash your apples before, it's OK to leave the skins since they don't change the texture at all and have a ton of good-for-you nutrients.  Also, I'm lazy so I enjoyed skipping the peeling process.  This recipe is SO EASY and makes your house smell heavenly.  The pumpkin adds such a yummy sweetness without having to add any sugar to the sauce.  This sauce tasted best after sitting in the fridge for a few hours.  It will stay good in the fridge for 1 week, or for 3 months in the freezer.  Want a good breakfast idea?  Applesauce with crumbled paleo bread nuked for a minute and topped with a dollop of nutbutter and shredded coconut.  There are no words...

Hope you guys enjoy these treats, let me know how they turn out if you try them!

1 comment:

  1. I want photos of YOUR end results, too! Willing to post those next time? Also welcome back!