Apple Pear Sauce

Some of the little treats Mom and I like are fruit spreads/sauces. They are so sweet and delicious and can be made perfectly Paleo instead of just “practically paleo.” Just like my Pumpkin Apple Butter, which you can find here, this sauce can be eaten on toast, over (shhhhh….) ice cream, on pancakes (Paleo, of course) or just in a dish. The recipe is simple if slightly time consuming with the prep, but the end game is totally worth it.

2 lbs. Gala apples, peeled and cubed
1 lb. ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and cubed
¼- ½ cup unsweetened Gala apple juice

1. Place apples, pears and juice in large sauce or soup pan.

2. Bring to a quick boil.

3. Cover and turn down to simmer. Check and stir occasionally until fruit is soft.

4. Using a potato masher, mash fruit to your desired consistency. If looking for that fine store-bought consistency, wait until fruit is cool and run it through a food processor in batches.

5. Place in jars or other containers and keep refrigerated. This can be served warm or cold.

6. Enjoy.

What’s really incredible about this sauce is that the pears are what provides the sweetening. There are no added sugars of any kind.

Paleo Banana Bread

Mom and I find a lot of good recipes, but  the ones we really love are those you could  serve to a non-Paleo person without warning them, and they wouldn’t know the difference between the Paleo and the non-Paleo.  It was really  incredible to find a banana bread that we could swap for grain-filled bread without being sad about it. To be frank, I didn’t think it was possible. I’ve had gluten-free banana bread before, vegan and therefore Paleo, and I’ve not liked it. The same goes for cookies and cakes. So, I’m always a little nervous when we try something from those categories.

Just like the chocolate cake and the chocolate chip cookies you’ll find among these recipes, this banana bread is fantastic. You’d never know anything was “alternative” in it. ​Mom found the recipe on a site called Paleo Running Mama, and you can find the original, un-tweaked recipe here.

4 small to medium overripe bananas, mashed well
4 large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled to almost room temperature
1 ¾ cups almond flour
½ cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup mini chocolate chips

1. Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a medium loaf pan with parchment

3. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs and mashed bananas. Add the vanilla and coconut oil and combine well.

4. Slowly stir in dry ingredients. Do not use an electric mixer. Mixing too well can cause the bread not to rise. Moisten until no flour is visible

5. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips

6. Transfer batter to parchment-lined loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in them middle of the loaf comes out clean. Place pan on cooling rack and leave bread in pan until it is almost completely cooled. While bread is still warm to the touch, tip it out upside down onto the rack and remove the parchment. Slice when cooled.

7. Enjoy.

This bread will be very moist, particularly toward the middle. These slices are wonderful pan-fried and served hot with toppings. The bread can be stored at room temperatures for twenty-four hours, but should be refrigerated if it lasts any longer than that.

Fluffy Paleo Pancakes

I usually keep my comments on these short because I absolutely hate going to a website looking for a recipe only to read pages of commentary before we actually get to the recipe itself.

BUT…

For this recipe, I’m giving some commentary, because I think it’s important to know just what pancakes mean to this family. Finding a good recipe was almost an emotional boost.

My Poppa Miller, my maternal grandfather, was a master pancake maker. Master, with a capital M. One of the things I and my sisters looked forward to when we went to visit our grandparents was Poppa Miller pancakes for breakfast. Fortunately, my mother came in a good second place on pancakes, but nothing got us excited like packing the car for the trip south (North Idaho to the Bay Area) because we knew there were going to be Poppa Miller pancakes in the morning.

I can honestly say that I don’t know what made them so good. Poppa’s love sounds so corny, but that just about had to be it, because his recipe was the one on the back of the box of Bisquick, and no one else’s Bisquick pancakes tasted so good. He fried them in about a quarter inch of Crisco. There is no manna from heaven that was every so precious as those pancakes were.

The pancakes were such a part of our lives that when I talked to my children of my childhood, I always mentioned Poppa Miller pancakes. They were important enough to all of us that they warranted mention when I wrote his eulogy and read it aloud at his memorial service because I knew every cousin in that room would understand how important having those pancakes on Saturday mornings was.

No other food has left such an emotional scar on my soul. I’m actually crying as I write this, so I need to get to the recipe. No, they aren’t Poppa Miller pancakes, but they are very, very good, and I know I’ll be happy eating them as pancakes are something I was avoiding due to my Paleo leanings.

Mom found the original recipe on Nicole Hunn’s “Gluten Free on a Shoestring” site and tweaked it to our liking. You can find the original recipe here.

The recipe:

1 ½ cup almond flour
¼ cup tapioca starch or arrowroot
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup almond milk, room temperature
2 Tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted then cooled
2 eggs, at room temperature, beaten
2 Tablespoons honey

1. In a large bowl, add the first four ingredients and combine well

2. Make well in dry ingredients and add remaining ingredients. Whisk to combine. Set aside to thicken.

3. Heat griddle or skillet over medium-low heat. Adjust to your stove as you cook. Grease griddle with coconut oil

4. Use a quarter-cup measure to pour batter onto griddle. Turn over when bubbles start popping. It should be in 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook 30-60 seconds longer.

5. Top with your favorite toppings.

6. Enjoy

We had a way of eating pancakes that was guaranteed to get us odd looks, particularly in restaurants. It was my dad’s recipe, if you will. Instead of butter, spread each layer with peanut butter throw and over easy-egg on top (or fried for those who don’t like runny egg yolk), then pour on the syrup. We were very pleased to find that these pancakes hold up to having peanut butter spread on them, and Dad doesn’t use the stuff from jars anymore. His peanut butter is the hearty, fresh ground stuff. Now that I’m Paleo, I’ve switched the peanut butter out for fresh ground almond butter, but, yeah, I still throw that over-easy egg on top.