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Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

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I am absolutely nuts about coconut (pun intended)! A few weeks ago we went for brunch at some friends of ours’ house. Since I’m such a fussy eater compared to most people, I thought it only polite that I take a dessert that we could all enjoy. That meant that it had to (obviously) be Paleo/Primal for me and suitable for not one but two nut allergy sufferers! I was flipping through “Make it Paleo” by Staley and Mason and came across a delicious sounding recipe for coconut cake. I tweaked it a little and my coconut cupcake recipe was born! These cupcakes were so moist and delicious and quite light for a grain free cake. I might even go so far as to say they were in the the top 5 cupcakes I have ever made! Yes even out of all the cupcakes I ever made before going Paleo/Primal! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did (I think I’m still trying to shift the damage they did to my waistline!)

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting (makes 13-14)
Ingredients
Cupcakes:
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup grass fed butter (substitute the same amount of coconut oil for a dairy free cake)
8 eggs
1 cup dedicated coconut
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
120 ml coconut cream
1 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 170 C
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
Gradually add in all wet ingredients to form a thick batter.
Line a cupcake tin with individual liners.
Fill 3/4 full with batter.
Bake in oven for 20-22 mins until lightly golden and pass the toothpick test.
Leave to cool in tin for 10 mins.
Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting

Frosting:
400g cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup maple syrup
40ml coconut cream
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer.
Gradually add in maple syrup, then vanilla and coconut cream.
Mix in desiccated coconut, and lastly the melted coconut oil (this will help to make the frosting set a little as it cools.
Cover each cupcake with frosting and place in the fridge to set slightly.

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Another Pumpkin Treat

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I know it’s not Fall anymore and I should get over the pumpkin recipes, but I just can’t get over my addiction to the orange stuff! Living in the UK, we don’t get bombarded with all the delicious, creative pumpkin recipes that you do in the States. Therefore I always feel hard-done-by on the pumpkin front. The only people who understand my obsession with pumpkin are my mum (who is American), my sister (I guess it runs in the family) and my man (who is Canadian), oh and a few other American and Canadian friends. My dad has grown to like pumpkin over the years, being force fed it by my mum, my sister and I. He really enjoyed this pumpkin loaf I made last week while I was staying at their house following my mum’s surgery. I really don’t care that it’s not Fall anymore! It still feels like winter here in Old Blighty (that means England, by the way), so the blend of warming spices still feels appropriate for the time of year. When it starts to feel like Spring, I might hold off on the pumpkin for a while…nah!

Pumpkin Loaf (makes a 24x13cm loaf)
Ingredients:

8 prunes, soaked in water or tea then boiled until really soft
4 eggs
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
A sprinkle of ground mace
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 can pumpkin purée
2 cups almond flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 170C
Blitz the prunes, eggs, pumpkin, banana, vanilla and coconut oil until well mixed.
Stir in the spices and flours, mixing well to form a thick batter.
Pour into a greased and parchment lined loaf tin.
Bake in the oven for 40 mins.
Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin (or it will crumble).
Serve sliced with a slab (or a small scraping) of grass-fed butter on the top! Delish!

Coconut Banana Cookies

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This week I have taken the week off work and moved in with my parents to cook for them while my mum recovers from surgery she had on Monday. This works nicely for me – spending most of the day cooking! Today I was really craving something slightly sweet, so I made these cookies which use only 1 mashed banana for sweetness.

Banana Coconut cookies
Ingredients:

1 banana, mashed
3 eggs, beaten
50g coconut cream concentrate, melted
1 cup dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp coconut flour
Pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 170C
Add vanilla and eggs, 1 at a time, to the mashed banana.
Add the melted coconut cream concentrate and mix well.
Mix in all other ingredients to form a batter.
Spoon 1tbsp dollops of the batter onto a baking tray lined with parchment. Press to flatten slightly.
Bake in oven for 15 mins or until slightly golden.

A Meal In Itself

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Today I did an intense chest and back workout comprising push-ups, pull-ups, kettlebells and TRX all in one super-intense circuit workout. I needed a quick post-workout meal which would keep me going until late afternoon as I had classes and clients over lunch and the following hours. This fruit, veg and nut smoothie did the job. I used half a scoop of 100% pure whey protein from grass-fed cows with no added ingredients (i.e. sugars, sweeteners or flavours) as I needed a good dose of protein following my workout, but hardcore Paleo people can omit this and it would taste just as good. If I had had any ice in my freezer, I would have added a few cubes, so feel free to do so (I don’t know abut you, but I like my smoothies really cold and thick).

Green Apple and Almond smoothie (serves 1)
Ingredients:

1 Granny Smith apple, frozen
1/2 scoop 100% pure whey protein (Pink Sun)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp almond butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 handful organic spinach leaves

Put all ingredients into a blender.
Whizz up for a minute or two, or until well blended.
Enjoy.

Best chocolate ice cream ever!

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I know it was only a couple of days ago that I posted a recipe for vanilla ice cream, but this chocolate one I made the weekend before last was too good not to share with you. It is not Paleo but you could easily substitute the milk and cream for coconut milk to make a strict Paleo version, and I’m sure it would be just as delicious.

Chocolate chocolate chip ice cream (serves 4)
Ingredients:

200ml double cream
200ml whole milk (substitute both milk and cream with full fat coconut milk for a Paleo version)
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
7 medjool dates microwaved in 3 tbsp water
2 heaped dessert spoons cocoa powder
100g dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids), chopped
1/8 tsp salt

Heat the milk and cream (or coconut milk) in a pan, but don’t let it boil.
Blend cooked dates and water into a purée.
Beat egg yolks, add in dates, vanilla, salt and cocoa powder.
Pour hot milk mixture onto eggs, mixing constantly.
Return custard to pan and cook on low heat, stirring all the while until custard starts to thicken. Do not let it boil as it will curdle.
Allow to cool completely then chill in the fridge or an ice bath.
Churn custard and chopped dark chocolate together in ice cream maker until it reaches desired consistency. Transfer to freezable container and freeze until needed.