Paleo

Paleo Cashew & Apricot Granola Bars

I have been playing “Paleo Granola Test Kitchen” for nearly a month now. I have made loose, baked granola as well as many bar recipes, all of which required different types of binders. This is my favorite recipe so far, mostly because it doesn’t require any kind of oil as an ingredient. I plan to make this same recipe this week, except with the addition of almonds and substituting cranberries as the fruit…possibly cashew butter instead of almond butter. I’ll let you know!

Paleo Cashew & Apricot Granola Bars
makes 10 bars

1/2 C honey
2 T almond butter
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
3/4 C cashews
1/4 C sunflower seeds & petipas
1/2 C diced, dried apricots
1 C shredded unsweetened coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8×8 glass baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. If you run the risk of any of the bar batter touching any bit of the glass pan, make sure to grease it very well.

In a small saucepan, melt honey. While honey is melting, spoon almond butter into a bowl and add the salt and cinnamon. Do not stir.

Using a food processor, or immersion blender like me, destroy your nuts and seeds. You want at least 2/3 of it to be ground down and mostly powdery; the rest should be medium sized pieces of cashew and some whole seeds. I really like a variety of textures. Add blended nuts and seeds to the bowl. Do not stir.

Dice your apricots small, into pieces about the size of peas. Add to the bowl. Do not stir.

Add coconut to the bowl. Do not stir.

Finally, drizzle your melted honey on top of all of the other ingredients in the bowl, and stir!!!

Pour, or a better word would be gloop, the batter into the prepared baking dish. You want to press the better down very well, making sure to pack all pieces and bits solidly into the dish. This will ensure that the bars pop easily out of the pan and cut cleanly.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bars are golden brown. Let them cool in the baking pan for at least an hour, and make sure they are cooled completely before cutting.

These were so good that I ate them for breakfast and dessert every day this past week!

Paleo Almond Pancakes

I’m not totally in love in bananas. I only eat them if they are so ripe they are brown, or I put them in smoothies. Sometimes, I bake with them because who doesn’t love a classic banana bread? But overall…I don’t love bananas.

As I scoured the web for a Paleo pancake recipe, I repeatedly found that a key ingredient is mashed banana. Disappointing, at best. After days of patience, I came across The Roasted Root’s Almond Flour Pancakes. They are SO good. I made them this morning and will probably make them every morning for the rest of my life. Trust me, add raspberries.

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Almond Flour Pancakes
recipe hardly adapted from The Roasted Root
yields 9 pancakes

1 3/4 C almond flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
3/4 C almond milk

In a medium sized bowl, combine almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a liquid measuring  cup, measure out almond milk, add extracts, then add the eggs. Whisk very well until all wet ingredients are well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, gently combine, then set aside while you warm up your skillet.

This is essential: use oil to cook your pancakes. Don’t use butter. I would assume that coconut oil is your most Paleo option; however, I use olive oil for everything because why not? I’m not hardcore Paleo. Cook these over medium, medium-low heat. You want the pan hot enough to give the cakes a crust, but not so hot that the cakes don’t cook all the way through. It’s a delicate balance that I’m still working to figure out. Careful flipping these cakes! They’re delicate.

Serve hot off the skillet with maple syrup and fresh raspberries.