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Tag: Eggs

Sweet Spinach Pie with Basic Paleo Almond Crust

I found an interesting article the other day, “Three Ways Cooking Has Changed Over the Last 300 Years,” which I posted on my Facebook page.

“With help from food historian Annie Gray, Finnamore has been cooking – and blogging — her way through The Unknown Ladies Cookbook, a 300-year-old British compendium of family recipes. Jotted down by hand by several different women between 1690 and 1830, the recipes provide insights into the cooking habits of the Georgian and Regency periods. They also tell us quite a bit about how much culinary craft has changed over the centuries.” ~exert from “Three Ways Cooking Has Changed Over the Last 300 Years”.

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The article intrigued me, and even more captivating were the use of some ingredients, such as spinach in a sweet pie. Yes, I know we use vegetables in many sweet versions, especially zucchini, carrots, potatoes… But somehow, I hadn’t thought of spinach as something for a dessert. However, having said that, this dish was not considered a dessert, but a second course! 

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‘To Make a Spineage Tort:’ Sweet spinach tart – a surprising combination of sweet and savory ingredients. This recipe has been largely forgotten in Britain, but a very similar dish is still made in a parts of Provence during the Christmas celebrations. This would be served as a second course.

“Take 6 eggs, yolks & whites. Beat them well with a pint of sweet cream, a qr of a pd of crums of bread, a good handfull of spinage cut small, half a qr of currons, half a qr of almonds pounded wth a little rose water, half a nutmeg, half a pd of white sugar. Half a pound of drawn butter, 3 spoonfulls of brandy. Mix all well together. Lay paist thin at the bottom & sides of the dish & cross bar at top. 3 qrs of an hour bakes it.”

 I loved the sound of this and therefore have made my own version of sweet “spineage” tort, which I have found delicious.

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My version is of course Paleo and Primal. The crust is a basic almond-coconut crust, of which I only made enough for a 6-inch pie. If you plan on making a larger pie, you may want to double up the crust recipe.

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As for the filling: I also followed the basics of spinach, almonds, and eggs, added a bit of coconut flour for more of a baked-goods texture, and included the rosewater (the secret ingredient I’ve been mentioning on Instagram and Facebook). I know the rosewater can be overpowering for some, but personally I wouldn’t omit it. It adds depth and an exotic taste to the pie, and actually brings out a nice flavour in the spinach.

For a slightly less sweet version, reduce the coconut sugar to 3/4 cup.

Enjoy!

Sweet Spinach Pie with Basic Paleo Almond Crust
Cuisine: Old English
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
One 6-inch pie.
Ingredients
  • For the pie crust:
  • 1 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of sea salt
  • For the spinach filling:
  • 300g fresh spinach leaves (1 cup cooked)
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. For the crust:
  2. In a mixing bowl, knead all the ingredients together until a dough is formed.
  3. With your hands, press the dough into a pie plate, bottom and sides (I used a 6-inch round plate).
  4. Set aside.
  5. For the spinach filling:
  6. In a medium-sized pot, place the spinach and about 1 cup of water. At medium heat, bring to a boil, and cook about 5 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat to low and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Turn heat off and allow to cool in the pot with water.
  9. Once the spinach is cool, drain into a colander and press the spinach to remove all of the water. I pressed it with the back of a spoon.
  10. Put the spinach, egg yolks, rosewater and sea salt into a food processor. Pulse until a a puree is formed, about 1 minute.
  11. Add the almond four, coconut flour and sugar and pulse again until everything is well incorporated.
  12. Pour the dough into a mixing bowl.
  13. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  14. Fold the egg whites into the spinach mixture. Mix well until no white is visible.
  15. Pour the spinach filling into the pie crust.
  16. Bake at 180C (350F) for 35-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out dry.

 

Quail Egg Stuffed Mushrooms

I find quail eggs simply adorable. Not only are they pretty, but they are fun to use in recipes, such as appetisers, garnish or as I used in this breakfast dish.

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This recipe is for 1 serving for a meal. It doesn’t take too much work and it’s healthy, nutritious and something different.

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(Beautiful quail egg shells.)

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(All my ingredients, chopped and ready to start cooking.)

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(Mushrooms with the stuffing.)

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(Mushrooms, stuffed and with the quail eggs on top, now ready for the oven.)

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(Ready to eat and served with the remaining stuffing sautéed with some kale, as a side.)

I hope you enjoy!

Quail Egg Stuffed Mushrooms
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves 1.
Ingredients
  • 6 medium sized button mushrooms (large enough to hold some stuffing and an egg on top)
  • 6 quail eggs
  • 2 slices of back rashers, cooked and minced (can be substituted for cooked bacon or raw jamon serrano pieces)
  • 1 small red onion, very finely diced
  • 1/2 stalk celery, very finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 mushroom stems, diced
  • a pinch of ground cumin
  • a pinch of ground rosemary
  • coarse sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • butter or fat of choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), while you prepare the ingredients.
  2. In a pan, place the butter, onion and celery. Over low heat, cook until the onion is tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, mushroom stems, back rashers, spices and seasoning (if desired) and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Place the washed and de-stemmed mushrooms in an oven proof dish, with the inside facing up.
  5. Spoon some of the stuffing into each mushroom.
  6. Break the quail eggs individually into a small glass bowl and carefully pour one egg on top of each stuffed mushroom.
  7. Bake for 7-8 minutes.
  8. If you have leftover stuffing, as I did, you can sauté with some kale, for example and serve as a side to the stuffed mushrooms.
  9. Garnish with freshly cut parsley or cilantro, if desired.
  10. These also work well as an appetiser for parties.

 

Zucchini, Tomato, Potato & Cheese Muffins (Nut Free)

These are a nice muffin to make in advance and have on hand for breakfast or a snack. They are filled with vegetables and nutrients. Additionally, they are nut free, which I tend to prefer when consuming something that is not a treat.

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From a definition point of view, these are probably more Primal than Paleo, as they contain raw cheese. I’m lactose intolerant; and in my case, I have no issues with cheese, especially made from raw milk vs pasteurised milk. Manchego is also a goat cheese, which is even easier on the digestive system than cheeses made from cow’s milk. (Plus, it’s really tasty!)

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(Ready for the oven, pictured above.)

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Pictured above are the muffins with some homemade chicken liver pate. A lovely combination!

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(The way the potatoes and the courgettes – zucchini – looked after cooked on the stove top, pictured above.)

Bon Appétit!

Zucchini, Tomato, Potato & Cheese Muffins
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: French
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Makes 12 muffins.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium zucchini (courgette), yellow or green, diced with skin
  • 2 medium white potatoes, peeled and diced (you can also use swede/rutabaga)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 50g butter (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup flaxmeal
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 80g (about 1/2 cup) grated aged Manchego (or Parmesan or Gruyere)
  • 6 eggs
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Prepare a muffin tin with the muffin wraps and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  3. Rinse and prepare the vegetables.
  4. In a pan, over low heat, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and the diced potatoes. Cook stirring frequently until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Pour into a glass or ceramic bowl and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, over low heat, add another tablespoon of olive oil and the zucchini (courgette) pieces. Cook, stirring frequently about 5 minutes. Pour in the same bowl as the potatoes. Sprinkle with some sea salt, pepper and the herbes de Provence and mix. Set aside.
  6. In a small pot, melt the butter in the coconut milk over low heat. Cool.
  7. Beat the eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Add the cooled coconut milk-butter mixture and whisk together.
  8. Add the flaxmeal, vegetables, herbes de Provence, and grated cheese. Mix well.
  9. Add the coconut flour and baking soda; and if necessary fold in with hands instead of a whisk or spoon.
  10. Mix well again until everything is well incorporated and there are no traces of the flour.
  11. Taste, and add sea salt and pepper, to taste. Mix again.
  12. Place into the muffin wraps and sprinkle with a little bit of coarse sea salt.
  13. Bake for 40 minutes on the middle rack.

 

Roasted Strawberry Custard Popsicles

I follow Cannelle et Vanille on Instagram, since I love Aran’s food photography and interesting ideas. I was ecstatic when her book came out last year and promptly purchased it. I have made a few recipes from it; and it has inspired me to create some of my own.

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Today is one of those days where I drew inspiration from one of her photographs. Aran posted some gorgeous    strawberries with thyme (much prettier than mine, as she’s a professional food photographer!), that she was preparing to roast. And since I had two packages of strawberries that were threatening to go bad on me, I thought what a perfect idea…for some ice cream!

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I wanted something super creamy, like a custard… so I used egg yolks in this recipe. If you’re worried about raw eggs.. don’t be. They are cooked.

None of my other ice cream recipes are made with eggs, except the rhubard semifreddo; and I must say the custard makes this ice cream spectacular! In fact, it’s so creamy that after putting it through the ice cream maker, I had to freeze it a bit longer to make it hard enough to scoop.

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However, after being in the freezer overnight, it was hard as a rock. So, I put it out to defrost a bit and forgot all about it… so instead of putting it through the ice cream maker again, I decided to make popsicles.

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They are a bit tangy, as I didn’t add much sweetener on purpose, since my intention was to pair the ice cream with a balsamic reduction. So, if you like things sweeter, just add more honey.

For a slight variation (last photograph): make an extra batch of roasted strawberries with the coconut sugar and blend with the immersion blender. Place this puree into the popsicle molds first. Freeze until it solidifies. Then place the strawberry custard mixture on top of that. Add some more of the roasted strawberry puree and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze again until solid. You will get a more colourful popsicle and also one with more intense flavours!

 

Roasted Strawberry Custard Popsicles
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Makes 6 popsicles.
Ingredients
  • For the ice cream:
  • 300g strawberries (about 2 cups cut)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups coconut milk (if using canned, make sure it’s full fat)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (more for a sweeter version)
  • 1/2 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 3 egg yolks
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. For the ice cream:
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  3. Clean the strawberries and take the stems off. Cut in halves.
  4. Place them on a double sheet of parchment paper on a cookie tray or in an ovenproof dish.
  5. Drizzle with the lemon juice, zest and coconut sugar.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  7. In the meantime, in a pot over very low heat, mix the coconut milk and honey and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  8. Beat the egg yolks in a glass bowl and stir in a few tablespoons of the hot milk into the yolks, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  9. Add the arrowroot into the egg yolk mixture and mix well. Add a bit more hot coconut milk if necessary.
  10. Pour into the hot milk and continue cooking over very low heat until the sauce thickens and becomes a custard, stirring constantly.
  11. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Should you need to strain it, do so, while it’s warm, but not hot (you could burn yourself).
  12. Place the caramelised strawberries (with all the liquid, but remember to discard any lemon seeds) in the immersion blender or electric blender bowl. Pulse to liquify.
  13. Add the cooled custard and pulse to mix well.
  14. Add a pinch of sea salt and mix well.
  15. For popsicles:
  16. Pour the mixture in the popsicle molds and freeze.
  17. For ice cream:
  18. Place the entire mixture in your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to churn.
  19. If you do not have an ice cream machine, don’t fret. Simply place the mixture into a sealable freezer container and freeze for about 4 hours, stirring every once in a while to avoid crystallization.
  20. For a slight variation (last photograph): make an extra batch of the roasted strawberries and blend with the immersion blender. Place this puree into the popsicle molds first. Freeze until it solidifies. Then place the strawberry custard mixture on top of that. Add some more of the roasted strawberry puree and insert a popsicle stick. Freeze again until solid. You will get a more colourful popsicle and also one with more intense flavours!

 

Paleo Churros, the Real Deal

As I was frying these churros, my house was engulfed by the smells of the oil and the dough that transported me to the traditional churrerias in Spain. Eating churros in Spain equates to eating pancakes in certain countries… it’s not just about the  food, but the rituals that accompany it.

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For me, it reminds me of the many times my mother, my aunt and I would meet up in Sevilla to go shopping, first stopping to have a “churro con chocolate” breakfast around the corner from my great-aunt’s apartment in San Gonzalo. We still indulge in some churros with our afternoon coffee when we go shopping; but as we all see less of each other, it only happens when we are together in Sevilla.

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However, and this is a big one for me, I always have gotten an upset stomach after eating them. I don’t know if it’s the dough (made with wheat flour) or possibly the oils in which they are fried. But it hardly ever fails. So when I eat them out now, I usually have only one (and yes, I admit dipped in white, refined sugar, or dipped in chocolate as pictured below).

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But as I’m on a quest to Paleolise many of my favourite Spanish indulgences, I finally tackled the churro.

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My first attempt was based on the recipe for buñuelos (a fried-dough pastry, similar to choux) that I found in a book I bought on our last visit, called “Come Sin Gluten y Disfruta” by Begoñia Naveira. Yet, the dough was raw and still quite sticky inside after frying and baking. And honestly, it was a slippery glob when handling.

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As the process is slightly labour-intensive, I thought of giving up and trying it another day. But then my ambition and determination got the better of me, and I tried again. The secret to my success is the addition of coconut flour and altering the amounts of the ingredients a bit.

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These truly taste and feel like the real churros from Spain. I tried two ways: frying and baking. And while frying is the authentic way to make them, especially in olive oil, using a different oil (with a healthier smoke point, such as lard or coconut oil) will make them a healthier treat. If you want the real taste, though, frying them in olive oil is the way to go. And after all, this is a treat, so just don’t over-indulge!

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As for the baking: I like the results, but it’s more of a choux pastry then, instead of a churro. So… this recipe lends itself to more experimentation and to making some “Neapolitans” filled with cream and some delightful choux!

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I also froze some of the fried churros to see how they would “work” the next day. I took them out of the freezer, and stuck a few directly into the oven at 180C (350F) and heated them up for about 5 minutes (probably effectively 3 once the oven reached the temperature). They were delicious! I would say they were even better the next day!

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I left the choux-like mounds (pictured above) at room temperature overnight and they were also very nice the next day. They held their shape and texture, and the inside was still perfect.

And one last word of praise to this recipe: they do not seep in the oil when frying. The inside stays nice and dry, which is a really good thing since the real churros actually sometimes get oily inside.

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So go ahead and give this a try! I can’t wait to hear your feedback. Personally, I’m ecstatic that this worked and I know I can create more things with this basic recipe. 😉

¡que aproveches!

Paleo Churros, the Real Deal
Recipe Type: Dessert, Breakfast
Cuisine: Spanish
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 100g (7 tablespoons) butter, measured when slightly softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea/himalayan salt
  • 33g (1/4 cup) coconut flour (scoop and scrape method)
  • 66g (1/2 cup) arrowroot powder (scoop and scrape method)
  • 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. Be prepared for some intense stirring and a bit of a workout. But these churros are worth it.
  2. NOTE: You will notice that the amounts are given in both metric and U.S. And although the amounts are not an exact conversion, they both work. I’ve tried it both ways to ensure both are foolproof. Don’t “mix and match”; either stick to metric or U.S. when making this recipe.
  3. I recommend preparing and measuring everything out before starting, as you will have to move rapidly and will not have time to measure once you’ve commenced the process.
  4. Also, crack the eggs in individual bowls before hand. (I always crack eggs separately when cooking/baking to ensure I don’t throw away a batch because of one bad egg.)
  5. Prepare your piping bag and tip as well. I used the Wilton 1M.
  6. Combine the coconut flour, arrowroot powder and salt together in one small bowl.
  7. Over low heat, in a medium pot, melt the butter in the water and when it starts to bubble, immediately, still over low heat, dump in the flours all at once.
  8. With a wooden spoon, stir vigorously until a ball is formed, which will be in about 30 seconds or less. (The dough will become a ball as you stir and will be sticky in itself but not stick to the pot. See photos attached.)
  9. Keep stirring for about 1 minute in total.
  10. Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes. (I actually timed this.)
  11. Add one egg at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition.
  12. The dough will slightly come apart when you first add each egg, but once you stir long enough, it comes back together, although never as dry as like in the beginning. (The dough starts to get noticeably stickier after egg number two.)
  13. Once all the eggs have been incorporated and the dough is well blended, spoon the dough into a piping bag.
  14. For Spanish looking churros, you’ll want to use a star or round tip. (Churros in Spain are typically either star shaped – pictured- or long round pieces.)
  15. Heat your oil of preference in a deep pot or a deep fryer (for an authentic Spanish taste, use olive oil).
  16. Once the oil is hot enough, carefully pipe the dough into the hot oil. You can use a pair of scissors to help you cut off the dough. (Be careful not to burn yourself or cause splatter.)
  17. Make either long or curled shapes.
  18. Fry turning over with a tong until golden brown on each side.
  19. Note: as the oil gets warmer, the dough will turn darker quicker, but still needs to be cooked through.
  20. Remove the churros from the oil with the tong and place on a plate prepared with paper towel (to absorb the extra oil).
  21. Serve immediately with thick, sweetened hot chocolate or dip in some coconut sugar.
  22. This dough also worked well in the oven, for a “healthier” version:
  23. Preheat oven to 200C (400F).
  24. Place a sheet of parchment on a cookie sheet.
  25. Pipe out desired shapes. Depending on what shape you choose, the baking time will have to be adjusted.
  26. For churro shaped rounds or “sticks”, bake about 8-10 minutes, turning over half way.
  27. For choux shaped mounds, bake 15 minutes. (These are also good the next day, stored at room temperature.)
  28. You can also freeze the fried/baked dough and reheat in the oven at 180C (350F) for about 5 minutes.

 

Chestnut-Flour Apricot Cacao Cake (Torta di Farina di Castagne e Cacao)

Chestnut flour is a lot of fun to bake with. It provides a nutty, yet sweet aromatic flavour to breads, tarts and cookies, which is very different from other nut flours. I use it a lot and have made the traditional Italian castagnaccio tart, pancakes, several breads, cookies, and even “peanut butter” cups. I also love to cook with the nuts themselves, making soups, adding them to dishes and purees.

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For a listing of all my chestnut recipes, please click here.

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Some weeks ago, I experimented with an eggless waffle made with chestnut flour and flax, whose flavour was really delicious. But the texture didn’t work out. I thought of recreating that for breakfast today, but I had added zucchini to the recipe and didn’t have any left. So, I’ll have to revisit that sometime soon…

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But today, I wanted to make something between a bread and a cake. My first experiment (of which I posted a picture on Instagram) has a nice flavour, but the texture is not quite what I was looking for. While I was on my walk, I kept thinking of how I could change the recipe and make it better.

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When I got home, I put out all the ingredients and then saw a recipe on the back of the chestnut flour bag that caught my eye: chestnut flour and cacao cake.

This is an adaptation of that recipe, making it gluten free, adding more eggs and fresh apricots instead of dried figs. I’ve kept it in grams, since it’s easier to adapt a recipe that way, but added cups for US conversion convenience. Therefore, some of the measurements seem odd, but are not really.

For me, it’s a keeper. I’m eager to know what you think!

Note: It’s better eaten the same day of baking or the day after. But after that, it tends to dry up a bit.

Chestnut-Flour Apricot Cacao Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert, Breakfast
Cuisine: Paleo
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 100g (1 cup + 1 heaping tablespoon) chestnut flour
  • 50g (1/2 cup) ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 3 eggs, separate
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 35g (1/2 cup) raw cacao powder
  • 50g (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) coconut sugar (more or honey, if you prefer sweeter)
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 25g (3 tablespoons) pine nuts (optional)
  • 3 ripe apricots, peeled and diced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C fan (350F).
  2. Grease a pie/tart pan.
  3. In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  4. In another mixing bowl, cream the egg yolks, chestnut flour, ground almonds, coconut sugar, raw cacao, baking soda and coconut milk.
  5. Fold in the egg whites and blend until the white is no longer showing.
  6. Fold in the apricot pieces.
  7. Pour into the pie/tart mold.
  8. Sprinkle with pine nuts, if desired.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes on the middle rack.

 

Banana Coconut-Flour Spice Bread (or Cake), Nut Free

My mother asked me some time ago if I had a Paleo banana bread recipe. You see, I’m slowly converting my parents to the Paleo diet. They are trying to eliminate bread, which they only eat in the morning, and avoid baking with sugar. Everything else, except for the drinking milk that my father will not let go of, they are already pretty much on board.

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Ironically, I didn’t have a plain banana bread Paleo version until now. Last week, I experimented with bananas, grated beetroot and an almond flour based cake.* While I like it and the flavour is very nice, I was struggling with the fact of having a high concentration of nuts in the bread.

I wanted to come up with something healthier that can be eaten daily, in fact so my mother can use it as a replacement for her breakfast bread. Additionally, although the beetroot is a great flavour, it’s not something everyone has on hand in a pinch.. so I’ve opted for a more simple version of bananas alone to create a coconut-flour based bread instead.

With this, I not only feel comfortable that my mother can have a healthy bread, which she can eat daily, and I feel no guilt in indulging either!

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The result of this recipe is a flavourful bread/cake, that is light and fluffy. The spices provide an aromatic flavour, making the banana less prominent, which I personally prefer. However, you can omit the spices or swap them for the beans of a vanilla pod or vanilla extract.

The first time I made this, I added desiccated coconut to add texture; the second time, I omitted it. Both ways are delicious and nothing needs to be altered when omitting it.

If you want to make it sweeter, add more honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar, but remember coconut sugar also adds a dark colour. Feel free to omit the little bit of honey in the recipe if you prefer.

*The banana-beetroot cake I’ll be sharing soon. I have to make it again and take proper pictures.. but I promise it will be up!

Banana Coconut-Flour Spice Bread (or Cake), Nut Free
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Paleo
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Makes one loaf.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup mashed bananas, make sure they are almost liquid (2-3 bananas)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey (more to taste, for a cake)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt or a pinch of fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 5 egg whites + 1/2 teaspoon creme of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • Add in: 1/2 cup cacao nibs or chocolate pieces/chips (optional)
  • 1/3 cup desiccated coconut (for added texture, but optional and not essential to the recipe)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  2. Grease your loaf or cake tin with some butter or coconut oil. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the mashed bananas, egg yolks, melted butter, honey, spices, and salt until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In another clean bowl, beat the egg whites and creme of tartar until very stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  5. Add the baking soda, desiccated coconut (if using) and coconut flour to the banana mixture and blend well. If you’re adding the cacao nibs or chocolate pieces, do so now as well, and mix well.
  6. Fold in the egg whites into the creamed mixture just until the egg whites are not visible. Do not over mix.
  7. Pour into the loaf or cake tin.
  8. Bake on the bottom rack for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

 

Sweet Frittata, Sweet Spanish Tortilla with Bacon!

A sweet tortilla or frittata, you ask? Yes, and it’s delicious and healthy! It’s the same basic concept of a pancake after all. In fact, the Dutch pannenkoeken and the German pfannkuchen are a flat version.

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I love Dutch pancakes and need to make a Paleo version to enjoy at home. But in the meantime, I came up with this recipe. You can add any fruit you have on hand, such as berries, apples, bananas, pineapple… the ideas are endless.

And if you have a sweeter tooth than I, you can add some coconut sugar to the mixture before cooking or sprinkle it over top before serving. Experiment with spices and bring it to a new dimension!

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Enjoy!

Sweet Frittata, Sweet Spanish Tortilla with Bacon!
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Spanish
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Makes one 8-inch tortilla/frittata.
Ingredients
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 egg whites, beaten until stiff peaks form
  • 1 heaping cup apples, diced
  • 2 bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 back rashers/bacon, crumbled/diced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • coconut oil
  • orange zest (for garnishing)
  • lemon zest (for garnishing)
Instructions
  1. Cook the back rashers or bacon and set aside. When they are cool enough to handle, dice with a pair of scissors or crumble, if using bacon.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, and set aside.
  3. In a large, beat the eggs and set aside. (I beat mine with the electric mixer to make them fluffier, but by hand is fine too).
  4. In an 8-inch frying pan over low heat, add a few teaspoons of coconut oil.
  5. Add the apple pieces, the cinnamon and nutmeg, and sauté about 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan.
  6. In the same pan, add a bit more coconut oil, and sauté the banana slices, just until they are starting to become golden and caramelise, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan.
  7. Add the prepared apples, prepared bananas, back rasher bits, desiccated coconut, and coconut flour to the whole egg mixture. With a few swirls of the spatula, blend well.
  8. Fold in the egg whites and mix until well blended.
  9. In the same frying pan as before, add about 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, and heat over low heat.
  10. Add the tortilla/frittata mixture and spread out across the pan, by swirling the pan or spreading with a spatula.
  11. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Then with the help of a flat plate or flat cover, cover the pan and flip the tortilla over and slide (uncooked side down) back into the frying pan.
  13. Cook for 2-3 minutes on this side.
  14. Flip again, if necessary to ensure it’s fully cooked.
  15. Slide onto a serving plate and garnish with some lemon and orange zest, if desired.
  16. Serve warm or cold.

 

Spicy Paleo Meatball Soup

It’s not exactly cold in London right now, but it’s also not warm. I guess one could call this a traditional English summer, where we have a warm day or two here or there amongst many other that are less than acceptable.

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However, I’m very excited, as tomorrow we are headed to the races at Royal Ascot for the second time since we’ve moved to the UK! Going to Ascot was very high on my list when we knew we were being sent to London. And we are hoping for sunny skies and warm temperatures…

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But today, the menacing clouds were calling out for soup. I saw this great recipe on Swiss Paleo and the thought of putting meatballs and cabbage in a soup somehow appealed to me. So, I just had to make it! I did adapt it a bit though giving it a Mexican flare with some spiciness and cilantro.

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For my usual recipe for meatballs, try this one, which I borrowed from my mother’s repertoire.

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Meatball Soup
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican Paleo
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • For the meatballs:
  • 750g ground beef (or a mixture of beef and pork)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • For the soup:
  • 3-4 tablespoons of lard
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 leeks, sliced (I used 3 because they were small)
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 can (400g) tomatoes
  • 1/2 head small red cabbage, chopped
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon pimenton (or paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • coarse sea salt (I used 2 teaspoons)
  • lime juice (optional)
  • extra cilantro, for garnishing
Instructions
  1. For the meatballs:
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl with your hands.
  3. Form small balls, about 1 1/2 inch in diameter. I made 28 balls.
  4. Set aside.
  5. For the soup:
  6. In a soup pot, place the lard, leeks, carrots and celery. Heat over low heat until the vegetables are slightly soft, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes and spices and cook about 1 minute.
  8. Add the water and cabbage.
  9. Cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Add the meatballs, placing them carefully into the sauce. Cover.
  11. Allow them to cook about 10 minutes, before stirring.
  12. Cook for a total of 35-40 minutes. Add the additional cup of water, if necessary.
  13. Cook the last 10 minutes uncovered.
  14. Garnish with cilantro and a drizzle of lime juice, if desired.

Paleo Pear Clafoutis or Flaugnarde

I keep eating the props… a very annoying and bad habit, when you’re a food blogger and haven’t yet taken the pictures for the blog post!  As with the case of the Paleo Sesame Wafer, I had to repeat this clafoutis in order to take pictures and create this post to share.

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Of course, repeating is not a bad thing, as we get to enjoy this delicious dessert twice, which by the way, is even better the day after it is made, when the flavours have a chance to blend into each other. I know clafoutis can be eaten lukewarm almost out of the oven. But if you can wait and eat this the next day, I think you’ll like it even better.

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Either way, give this a try! It’s really a treat for the palate.

Paleo Pear Clafoutis or Flaugnarde
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Makes one 7-in pie.
Ingredients
  • 4 small pears or about 3 cups of fruit
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
  2. In a mixing bowl, with a hand mixer beat the eggs until frothy.
  3. Dissolve the coconut sugar in a few tablespoons of the coconut milk. If needed, warm the milk to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Add the coconut sugar mixture and remaining coconut milk to the eggs. Beat well.
  5. Add the ground almonds and vanilla extract. Beat well.
  6. Finally, add the coconut flour and mix with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
  7. In a 7-in pie plate, place the fruit as you wish. (I used large chunks of pears; but if you’re using other fruit or mixed fruit, make sure it’s evenly distributed.)
  8. Pour the batter over the fruit.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  10. Serve lukewarm or when completely cool. The next day it’s also delicious.

Paleo Sesame Wafers

A word of caution: you will want to make these all the time! They are addictive and so easy to make, you can’t help yourself. At least, I couldn’t. I’ve made these four times since I created the recipe and I just cannot get enough.

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They make a perfect garnish element or can be devoured (yes devoured, although that’s not too elegant for a garnish) alone. I made them specifically for this Rhubarb Semifreddo, and I keep eating the  “props” every time! 😉

To make them curved: allow to cool about 1 minute out of the oven and then place over a glass or rolling pin. Press into shape and allow to cool completely.

They are best eaten the day they are made or the next day, after which they become chewy.

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Paleo Sesame Wafers
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-5
Makes about 4 or 5 wafers.
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or more if you prefer)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablepsoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flour
  • sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 150C (300F).
  2. Prepare a cookie tray for the oven with a sheet of parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, beat the butter and honey until smooth.
  4. Add the egg white and beat until fluffy.
  5. Add the arrowroot powder and coconut flour.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Pour onto the parchment paper into the desired shapes. I made 4 elongated wafers, but you can make them round or into another shape.
  8. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  9. Bake for 7-9 minutes.

 

Paleo Flan de Maracuya y Coco (Passion Fruit & Coconut Flan)

Do you have left over egg yolks from another recipe? Here’s a yummy and healthy solution… of course, you can always make this first, and then have leftover egg whites, which you can use in a number of other recipes, such as this or this or try your hand at French macarons!

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Flan is a traditional dessert of Spain. It’s typically made with three ingredients: eggs, milk and sugar. From there, the variations abound according to what is in season and the cook’s preference. You can add fruit puree, coffee, coconut, raisins…

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As I had passion fruit on hand, of course the choice was easy. The flan’s aroma is as delectable as the fragrance of the fruit itself; and the texture is intriguing with the desiccated coconut.

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To top it off, this version is Paleo, with no refined sugar and no dairy. Instead, I’ve used raw coconut sugar and coconut milk. If you have canned coconut, use that, as it’s creamier; but homemade coconut milk will also work.

Que aproveches!

Paleo Flan de Maracuya y Coco (Passion Fruit & Coconut Flan)
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Makes a 5×7 inch flan.
Ingredients
  • For the burnt sugar:
  • 5 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • For the flan:
  • 3 passion fruit
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 cups coconut milk, full fat
  • 1/2 desiccated coconut
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (390F).
  2. For the burnt sugar:
  3. Place the sugar and water in a small pot. Cook over low heat until caramelised.
  4. Pour into a glass flan mold(s) and make sure it is spread across the bottom evenly. Set aside.
  5. For the flan:
  6. Dissolve the coconut sugar in a tablespoon of coconut milk. (If necessary, heat it up a few seconds in the microwave or on the stovetop.)
  7. In a mixing bowl, beat the coconut sugar-coconut blend with the egg yolks and whole eggs until smooth.
  8. Take the pulp of the passion fruit and pass through a sieve to remove the seeds.
  9. Add the pulp of the passion fruit to the egg mixture and blend well.
  10. Add the remaining coconut milk and desiccated coconut and mix well.
  11. Pour into the prepared mold.
  12. Place the mold inside another glass dish, large enough to hold the flan mold and be filled with water.
  13. Fill the outside glass dish to about 1/2 of the side of the flan mold. Do not over-fill, or the water can boil over inside and ruin the flan.
  14. Bake au bain marie in the oven for 50 minutes or until done. To check if it is ready, insert a toothpick; and if it comes out dry, it is done. If not, bake a bit longer.
  15. Serve with passion fruit coulis, if desired.

 

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