You’re less than ten minutes away from a scrumptious, grain-free matcha mug cake! It’s paleo friendly, dairy free, and sweetened with honey or maple syrup.
This pico de gallo de frutas is a spicy take on fruit salad that is paleo, gluten free, and vegan. It’s perfect for Cinco de mayo or anytime!
At the end of three years, I had learned a huge amount of Spanish (I had thought I was fluent before taking the job, but the Spanish spoken in Texas is so different from what I’d practiced while studying abroad in Argentina that I had to learn new words for much of what I wanted to say). Most of them had learned a huge amount of English, and had learned to read in both languages. I had also learned so much about teaching, about children and families, and about life. I know that sounds very expansive, but it was a foundational experience for me, and I think of those kids and their families almost everyday. Shockingly (to me, because it makes me feel so old), they’re in middle school now, and I’m happy to still be in touch with several of them.
The almond flour pancakes I made a few days ago were so good that I was eager to try another version of paleo pancakes. This time, I was inspired by a cinnamon banana pancake recipe in Easy Paleo Diet Recipes, and added a twist to make them even better.
Do you have a favorite diner? Mine is the Maugus, which is just down the street from my mom’s apartment in my hometown. It’s run by a big Greek family, and the hardest part of being a regular there is when they close for three weeks every summer to go to Greece. They are closed right now and I have to tell you, it has been rough. One of my favorite things to get there is pancakes–their pancakes are HUGE! I’m a big fan of both the strawberry and the banana pancakes. They have nice rounds of freshly sliced fruit cooked right in. They will even make you pancakes with both strawberries AND bananas if you can’t decide. And, if you are not into fruity pancakes (who are you and why are you still reading?) you can get chocolate chip pancakes or cinnamon walnut french toast.
Anyway, inspired by the Maugus, I put sliced strawberries into these banana pancakes. The banana is mashed up with the batter so the pancakes do not have a strong banana flavor, but they are pleasantly reminiscent of banana bread. And if you have never tried sliced strawberries in your pancakes, you HAVE to. They are cooked just to the point of being fabulously juicy, and it is much more exciting than just putting sliced strawberries on top of your pancakes. Trust me.
Since I am doing the Whole 30 for real now, I omitted the honey from the original recipe. However, with the bananas and the strawberries, I thought these pancakes were sweet enough. I ate mine with the extra banana and strawberry slices on top and a little butter, and my boyfriend enjoyed his with some syrup.
Ingredients (serves 2; makes 6-7 pancakes):
1 and 1/2 cups almond flour
1/3 cup mashed banana (about half a medium banana–slice the rest to serve with the pancakes)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut milk
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, thinly sliced, plus extra for serving
Butter or coconut oil for cooking
Combine all the ingredients except the strawberries in a food processor and process until smooth. Heat some oil or butter in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot (a drop of water will dance across the surface), add about 1/4 cup of batter. Place some strawberry slices on top. Cook until many bubbles have formed on the surface (the bottom should be browned). Carefully slide a large spatula under the pancake and flip it quickly. If you flip these pancakes too soon or use a small spatula, you may lose some of your strawberries during the turn. Cook for a minute or less on the second side, until browned and cooked through. Add more oil or butter before cooking a second pancake. Top with fresh fruit and butter if desired and serve hot.
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Okay guys, so technically when you go paleo, you are supposed to be really hard core for 30 days. You are not just supposed to jump into making a million and one paleo desserts. You are not supposed to have any desserts at all for that first month. But, BUT…I just had to make one last dessert. It’s what I do. And it’s really good. You’ll understand when you taste it!
This ice cream is made with coconut milk and sweetened with honey (or maple syrup or agave for a vegan version). The strawberry syrup has a little balsamic vinegar in it, just to deepen the flavor. Don’t worry, you won’t taste it. You can hardly even taste the honey and coconut–this is mainly just strawberries and cream flavored. It’s fabulous, and there’s nothing bad or unnatural in it.
Ingredients (makes about a quart):
For the strawberry syrup:
2 cups fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon honey, agave, or maple syrup
3 tablespoons water
1 scant tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt
For the ice cream base:
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
1/2 cup honey, agave, or maple syrup (or to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla
To make the strawberry syrup, hull and halve the strawberries. Place them in a saucepan over medium heat with the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring often, until the strawberries have softened and are starting to break up (about 10 minutes). Cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor. Blend until smooth, and strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds, pressing on the pulp to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard pulp and refrigerate syrup until cold.
To make the ice cream, whisk together all the ice cream base ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in the cold strawberry syrup, taste, and adjust the sweetness as desired. Refrigerate until chilled, and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for at least 3 hours before serving.
You may have noticed I am on a bit of a strawberry kick recently (see no-bake strawberry swirl cheesecake bars, strawberry shortcakes with balsamic chocolate glaze, strawberry & cream margaritas, and strawberry curd). Well, the strawberry love continues. This is partly because I still have a jar of strawberry curd in my fridge, and am tempted to add it to just about anything. However, if you don’t feel like making strawberry curd (but really, why wouldn’t you? twenty minutes and your strawberries will last for weeks in the fridge in a delicious, spreadable form) you can still make this ice cream. Just omit the strawberry curd for single strawberry ice cream, or replace it with an equal amount of fresh strawberry puree.
This ice cream is rich and creamy thanks to the vanilla bean, strawberry curd, and custard base. You have to try it! It’s also a wonderfully pastel shade of pink, my favorite color.
Ingredients (makes 1 1/2 quarts, adapted from Martha Stewart):
8 egg yolks (save the whites for breakfast or meringues)
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 cups milk (I used 2%, but Martha calls for skim)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 vanilla bean
1 pound strawberries, hulled and finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup strawberry curd or fresh strawberry puree
In a saucepan (off the heat for now), combine the egg yolks, 2/3 cup of sugar, and salt. Gradually whisk in the milk. Scrape the seeds of half a vanilla bean into the mix, and throw the bean in, too.
Heat the mixture over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
Prepare a bowl set oven an ice bath (a larger bowl filled with ice or ice water). Place a fine-meshed sieve on top. Pour the thickened custard through the sieve, discarding the vanilla bean. Stir in the cream and strawberry curd. Let the mixture chill, stirring occasionally. When the mixture is cold, I recommend you refrigerate it overnight to make sure it’s REALLY chilled.
Mix the chopped strawberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar and set aside.
When the custard mixture is completely chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker. A few minutes before the ice cream is ready, add in the strawberries.
Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
You can also sandwich some of this between two honey vanilla cookies for the world’s best ice cream sandwich!
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1/2 pound organic strawberries, hulled
Zest and juice of one organic orange
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), cubed
4 large eggs
In a food processor, puree the strawberries and orange zest until very smooth.
Heat water to a simmer in a double boiler or a saucepan. In the top of the double boiler or a heatproof bowl, combine the puree, juices, salt, sugar, and butter. Place the bowl on top of the pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t actually touching the water. Beat the eggs and add them to the bowl. Cook, whisking constantly, until the curd comes together and thickens, about ten minutes. When the curd is done, it will coat the back of a spoon.
(Full disclosure: my strawberry curd was that grayish-pink color that used to be trendy but was never appetizing. I added a few drops of red food coloring and one drop of yellow to perk it up.)
Store in sterilized jars in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.