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A Paleo Pilgrimage

November 30, 2013

This girl loves a challenge…especially when food is involved. So I have decided to take the primal plunge and hunt and gather the Paleo lifestyle. I have been hearing so many positive things about it, so I decided to it was time to cavewoman it up.

Here’s your Paleo 101 Breakdown:

What is Paleo: Paleo is short for Paleolithic, a way of eating inspired by the presumed ancient diet that our ancestors consumed during the Paleolithic era about 10,000 years ago.  It ended with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets.

The Menu: So basically, Paleo means no grains, no sugar, no processed foods. Fill your plate (or hands) with animals, plants, nuts, and seeds instead. This is honestly how I eat anyway….except the dessert part. I’m a massive sweet (saber) tooth. Hence the challenge.

The Challenge: Cooking/Baking is a major part of my life. I cook most of my meals and  especially love cooking for others. (My cafe will come at some point). I was so excited to make Paleo versions of my favorite desserts for Thanksgiving. I opted for pumpkin pie and macadamia nut brownies with maple filling. So this means using naturally sweet ingredients like dates, organic honey and maple syrup in place of refined sugar. This produces a  much earthier taste as opposed to that straight up saccharine sweet taste that sends me into a downward sugar spiral transforming me into the Tasmanian Devil of desserts!  When you consume refined sugar, the rapid rise in blood glucose leads to an insulin spike, initiating the absorption of the glucose as glycogen into the liver for metabolism or storage. The consequent fall in blood glucose is the reason for the sugar crash. My desserts did not cause this crash. In fact, I felt full steam ahead, completely energized after eating them. Unfortunately I felt so energized that I just kept eating them. Oh well. There are worse things.

The Ingredients:

Pumpkin Pie Crust: 1 cup ground pecans, 1 cup almond meal, 1 single egg white. Grind all together and mold it play-doh style into a 9 inch pie pan. Aerate all over with a fork and bake for about 20 min at 375deg or until it starts to brown. Let cool for about 10 min.

Pumpkin Pie Filling:  15oz can organic pumpkin, 3 eggs + 1 yolk, 2/3 cup walnuts, 1/3 cup cashews, 1/4 cup organic honey, 1/4 cup organic maple syrup, 1 cup water, spice to taste – I buy the pumpkin pie spice and go nuts with the spice AND the nuts. (Ok I’ll stop with the nuts for nuts jokes. I’m like my Great Uncle Mike with the puns, but without the plaid pants.) Blend all together, pour into crust, and bake for about 40 min at 350deg, and prepare yourself for heaven.

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Macadamia Nut Brownies: 1 cup of any nut butter combo you desire (not peanut if you’re sticking to Paleo. Technically they are a legume, not a nut). Perhaps for example, you do 1/2 cup almond butter and 1/2 cup sunbutter. 1/2 cup coconut milk, 2 eggs, vanilla, 1/4 cup pitted dates (tightly packed), optional 1/3 cup 70% or higher chocolate chips, macadamia nuts. Blend all together ,pour into pan, and bake at 350deg for ~18min.

Maple Filling: Coconut milk, dates, one egg, organic maple syrup, coconut flour, cinnamon. Stir all in a pot over a medium heat. Cut brownies in half when cooled and spread this ambrosia in between making a brownie sandwich of sorts.

Proudly presenting my paleo macadamia nut brownies and paleo pumpkin pie

Proudly presenting my paleo macadamia nut brownies and paleo pumpkin pie

Well I hope this taught you how to get started on your Paleo plan. Now if someone could teach me to actually stop eating these desserts, then we’d be golden.  I am a true cavewoman indeed.

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