Paleo Egg Custard

Thanks to my pal Deborah for the inspiration to make and post this. The original recipe had almond milk and sugar, but I’ve gone fully coconut and sugar free in order to make a Paleo version.
It’s delicious and uber simple.
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You Will Need:
4 eggs
A good 4 second squirt of agave nectar or honey
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
pinch of sea salt
1 can of coconut milk
1/4 cup carton coconut milk
Nutmeg, to sprinkle
Method:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Whisk together the eggs, sweetener, salt and vanilla.
Add coconut milks and combine well.
Take a large baking dish or meat roasting tin and pour about an inch of water in. Place the custard cooking dish (latter should be around 20 cm long at least) carefully into the water. The water should come about half way up the side of the dish and will act as a Bain Marie to help cook the custard.
Pour the mixture into the inner baking dish. Sprinkle the top with nutmeg.
Place the whole thing carefully into the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until custard is set (and a skewer comes out clean.)
Enjoy hot or serve cold. As you can see I couldn’t wait until the photo was ‘in the bag’…..  Whipped cream sets it off nicely, if you eat dairy (but then if you do you’d probably make a dairy egg custard too….I’m rambling now…)

20131016-135030.jpgI’m off for leftovers…

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(Paleo) Star Anise, Almond & Orange Cake

The general feedback for this cake was ‘Bloody yum’. Best Paleo recipe conversion effort yet. Get the oven on.

You’ll need:-

For the syrup topping –

80ml orange juice (or clementines)

50g light muscovado sugar

2 tbsps maple syrup

A few star anise (whole)

For the cake –

250g unsalted butter, softened

110g honey or agave nectar ( I used a mix of the two 50/50)

Zest of 1 orange or 4 clementines

4 eggs, lightly beaten

220g ground almonds

80g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

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Instructions:-

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

Butter a 20cm diameter springform tin (make it a deepish one), and line with paper.

First, make the syrup by placing everything in a small pan and gently bringing it to the boil. Allow it to reduce for a while to a syrup, but not too much (you will need enough to cover the top of the cake). Leave the star anise in to infuse until the cake is ready.

Cream the butter and sweeteners together with the orange zest until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs gradually and don’t worry if it looks a bit curdly.

Fold in the almonds gently, along with the flour and baking powder.

Get it in the tin, level the top and bake for around 45 minutes until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

As soon as it’s cooked, prick holes all over the top of the cake with the skewer and pour the syrup from the middle across the whole surface, letting it sink in to the cake. Leave the star anise to fall wherever.

Leave it to cool in the tin, then scoff your face off.

OK, so it’s not strict Paleo, but it was a birthday cake, so let’s live a little. If you want to miss out the syrup topping, or replace the sugar with maple syrup, knock yourself out. You can also leave out the very small quantity of flour if that’s your bag.

What came first, the Paleo or the Thyroid?

So I went to the Docs because I felt like my hormones were all over the place. Who the hell gets spots and weird menstruation patterns in their 40s, after all? Well, I suppose women approaching ‘The Change’ do, but I’m not old enough for…….shit. Maybe I am.

Bloods were taken and I sat back and relaxed. A lifetime of negative tests and a healthy body and mind can lull one into a reassuring sense of arrogance about these things. I’m as fit as I’ve been at any time in my life to this point, so what could possibly be wrong?

The blood results were in this morning, and a casual conversation with the Doctor’s office forced me to ask the Receptionist to actually repeat herself. An under-active thyroid? Whaaaa?!

My first thought, if I’m completely honest was, “Hell yeah”. I saw this as the vindication I need for the fact that I still carry excess body fat, in spite of the work I have put in with a radical diet and exercise regime. I had assumed up to this point that I find it so much harder to lose fat because I’m old, but maybe my thyroid was the culprit after all.

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I have been following a Paleo diet for around 18 months now, and whilst I do imbibe the occasional glass of wine, I rarely eat sugar and always eat a grain-free, low carb diet. Coupled with my healthy diet, I exercise a lot – Crossfit at least 3 or 4 times per week, and intense netball matches twice a week. There’s not much more I could do, and yet body fat lingers in certain places in spite of this hard work.

Whilst I’ve not yet had my Doc’s consultation about this matter, I wanted to post this to see whether the Paleo community can offer any advice. Paleo is good for auto-immune issues, right? Removing gluten from my diet must surely be helpful to my thyroid? I don’t eat polyunsaturated fats – also good, yes? Well, that’s what I thought until I read this. Now I am confused…..

Is it possible that my low carb regime is stifling hormone production? Could it be that I have Euthyroid Sick Syndrome? Is there a chance that my thyroid gland is perfectly healthy but the T3/T4 hormones are not being produced in adequate proportions, giving the impression of Hypothyroidism? In other words, that my Paleo diet has actually caused my Hypothyroidism?!

I am in a dilemma. I have always avoided telling my GP that I follow a Paleo diet. I have no intention of changing, but quite frankly could do without the ‘low fat diets are good for you’ spiel that I would undoubtedly get if I ‘fessed up. Perhaps now I need to come clean, but will a High Street GP be able to help me with such a complex matter?

According to the article above, if I am a victim of ESS, synthetic T4 medication is not going to be able to help me. Without the missing hormones required to convert it into the required T3 which can be absorbed into my body’s organs effectively, I might as well not bother.

Feeling a little lost and rather confused, I’ll keep you posted.

Paleo Ginger Cake

I am a massive fan of the Paleo breakfast bread recipes which abound, simply made from almond butter and a few extras and baked within about 12 minutes; I wanted to try and adapt it by spicing things up a bit, and this is the result.  I love it and hope you will too.

This is the kind of thing I like to keep hanging around the house for those moments when you need a tiny, sweet, guilt free mouthful.

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You’ll need:-

1 jar of almond butter (1/2 cup)

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract/paste

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tablespoon ground ginger

2 tbsp honey

1/4 tsp stevia (optional)

An 8inch silicone or metal cake tin, greased and lined.

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Instructions:-

Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees centigrade.

Whisk the almond butter in a bowl until light and creamy (ish).

Add the ginger, eggs, vanilla and honey.

Next add the salt, baking soda, stevia and stir in thoroughly.

Pour into the cake tin and spread evenly. Bake for about 12-15 minutes tops. Remove and allow to cool a little before removing it from its prison.

Cut in to squares and grab a slice when the cravings take you.

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