Stay Healthy and Eat Cake

One of the things I love about healthy eating is guilt-free dessert. On an average day, I drink green juice when I wake up. Have two shots of ginger orange an hour later, and another shot of green juice before heading to the gym. Two hours later I come home and shower then sit down with a green juice smoothie and enjoy it on my back deck before my writing day begins. At around one in the afternoon I have a handful of nuts (usually cashews) and my last smoothie of the day comes at three. We eat dinner between five and six but the highlight of our evening is dessert.

Never skip dessert!

Our delicious tummy extravaganza is one of the following:

blueberry cheesecake

brownies w/frosting

chocolate chip cookies

lemon meringue pie

Homemade ice cream

and the newest edition… German chocolate cake

Eventually I’ll have the recipes listed for all of these delightful desserts but today it’s all about the cake. Snacking is one of the bad things we do in our daily life and if you think back to your childhood (if you’re over 50), you’ll remember a time when snacks had to be prepared. They didn’t come in small snack-size packages nor did they have harmful chemicals. You were also more likely to eat a piece of fruit for your snack because your mother slapped your fingers if they went near the cookie jar. Green juice fasting took away our need for snacking throughout the day so dessert is a favorite in our house.

Cake ingredients:

2 1/4 cups – almond flour (blanched is better in this recipe)

9 tablespoons – cocoa

9 tablespoons – flax seed plus 27 tablespoons water, mixed together and set aside (replaces 9 eggs)

1 1/2 cups – butter (unsalted)

3 teaspoons – vanilla extract (I make my own)

3 teaspoons – baking soda

1 pinch – salt

sweetener – 24 drops liquid Stevia or 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (found cheapest at Cosco or

1 cup – Enjoy Life chocolate chips (optional but super yummy when added)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350

Grease bottoms and sides of two cake pans with olive oil. Place parchment paper in the bottom by cutting to pan size

Prepare flax seed/water egg replacement and set aside

Mix dry cake ingredients

Mix wet ingredients with flax seed and water

Pour together and mix well by hand, add chocolate chips if you’re using them

Bake for 40 minutes (I bake at high altitude and you might want to check sooner) bake longer if needed. Cake might fall and that’s okay. Check center with fork or toothpick and it will come out dry when ready. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans.

Frosting Ingredients:

2 cans- coconut milk, full fat, refrigerated 24 hours before preparing (we always keep 2 to 4 cans in our fridge)

1/2 cup – pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons – vanilla extract

2 tablespoons – arrowroot starch or tapioca starch

2 tablespoons – shredded coconut

1/2 cup – finely chopped pecans

Instructions:

Turn cans of coconut upside down and open with can opener. Drain off clear liquid until the white coconut fat is left. Poor into medium size pan and turn on low to medium heat.

Mix in maple syrup, vanilla, starch and whisk together while heating. As frosting heats it will thicken. Add coconut and pecans once thickened and continue stirring for a few minutes, remove from heat.

Once cake is completely cooled add frosting and enjoy!

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Why no Grains?

I’m asked about my no-grain policy a lot.

Changing to a Paleo diet 5 years ago, cured me of my grain/carb cravings and I’ll never go back. We do however eat 2 grains: Quinoa & Teff. Both have nutrients we need and those nutrients have not been processed out. Quinoa and Teff are also minus gluten and since we live in a gluten free home, we love these.

The following Paleo blog post from Paleo Leap explains all the ins and outs and you really should read it.

Made simple: By the time wheat hits your grocery shelf as bread, cereal, and dessert mixes, there are no usable nutrients left and it’s a very unhealthy carb. Our food intake has dropped so much that there’s no way I’ll eat something that doesn’t provide the nutrients my body needs.

When we went off grain we noticed many health benefits right away.

  • say goodbye to bloating
  • say goodbye to belching
  • say goodbye to gas
  • decrease of inflammation within 7 days & we felt better overall
  • face breakouts (huge for me because even in my 40’s I suffered from skin breakouts and thought they would never go away)
  • mood (I think this one changed because we felt so much better)
  • weight loss

I lived for many years in a cattle town. Each year the grass fed beef were sent to fattening farms before the cows go to slaughter. Corn is fed to the cows for 3 months. What most people don’t know is the corn will eventually kill the cows but they’re only fed long enough to make them fat so the rancher makes more money. Did you see that word?

FAT

This is why I gave up corn. We spent the first few years of Paleo eliminating a major food type each year. Corn was one of the last to go. I would purchase organic corn meal and we would have a processing line in my kitchen in order to make batches of tortillas, 100 at a time and freeze them. We’ve always loved tacos and enchiladas. Giving up corn was hard those first few months but we learned to work around our no corn philosophy. Now we have taco bowls where we place all the ingredients into a bowl of lettuce and we love it. For enchiladas we use cauliflower in place of tortillas and make a casserole that tastes as good as the real thing. I can’t say how much we love this combo.

For our grandkids we offer peanut butter (we use almond butter) jelly, and banana sandwiches. The kids love them and they’re fast and easy to prepare just like a PB&J but so good for them. We also use lettuce to wrap lunch meat and it’s another winner for the grandkids. Remember to buy nitrate free lunch meat. I have a yucky story about store bought (very expensive) meat purchased from behind the deli counter. We’ll never make that mistake again but it’s a story for another post.

Bottom line, we’re so much healthier without grain in our lives.

Shaylee Cinnamon Rolls

Grain Free, gluten free, kid approved, yummy

These cinnamon rolls are named after my granddaughter because after her detox I asked her what the one food she missed the most after being diagnosed with Celiac at age 6. Her answer: Cinnamon rolls. I told her that was an easy one because I could make them. Even my husband didn’t believe I could make them taste like real cinnamon rolls. I proved him wrong and now they’re a family favorite!

We cook with no grains or eggs. This recipe is vegetarian and not vegan because of the honey. I think you could substitute maple syrup and make it vegan but I haven’t tried.

(I double this recipe and freeze batches for easy prep later)

1 ½ cup finely blanched almond flour

¾ cup potato starch

½ cup arrowroot starch

¼ cup tapioca starch

1 tablespoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 teaspoons yeast in ½ cup warm water prepare at the beginning and set aside

3 tablespoons flax seed & 9 tablespoons water mixed and set aside (replaces 3 eggs. You can use eggs if they don’t bother you). My husband can eat eggs with no problem but he prefers to bake with flax replacement too because he says it tastes better. Give it a try.

Directions: Mix dry ingredients well. Add wet ingredients (I add the honey to the warm yeast mixture so it pours easily into the batter. Mix thoroughly. Cover bowl with a thin cloth and set in a warm place for an hour. If you have rapid rise yeast follow the directions on the package. After one hour, punch down and allow to rise for 30 more minutes.

Cover your prep surface with a sprinkling of tapioca flour or arrowroot flour. Press out the dough (add more flour to the dough if it’s sticking. I’ve added as much as a ½ cup on the outside to get it dry enough for rolling). Once the dough is pressed out and you’re able to roll it, sprinkle cinnamon liberally over the top then roll up the dough so you have a log.

I cut the dough in 1-inch sections and place in our air fryer on 350 with foil lining the bottom for 15 minutes. You can also make in the oven on a cookie sheet after lining with a bit of olive oil. Cooking time may vary.

Icing:

¼ cup natural maple syrup

1 tablespoon butter

Directions: Warm on stove-top or in the microwave and pour lavishly over cooked cinnamon rolls. ENJOY!