Rum Cake (Gluten Free, Mostly Paleo)

Is rum even Paleo? Technically if it’s made from raw sugar cane it should be mildy acceptable, right? Or you could just call this (already-treat) an exception, because you definitely don’t want to miss trying this one!

This year has brought a lot of new experiences and self discovery for me. I haven’t been posting much because I’ve been trying to.. we’ll say.. “figure things out”. I’ll save the long story for its own post but the inspiration for this recipe was a well-deserved vacation to Bermuda, which is apparently the land of Rum Cakes, but not so much gluten-free or paleo versions (insert meltdown).

A lot of rum cake recipes I looked up had things like instant pudding mix and dry milk… ingredients that I’ve never really baked with before and therefore swapping out some gluten free subs for these proved to be quite interesting. By some miracle my first attempt at this recipe yielded much positive feedback from a vast array of taste testers. With a few minor suggestions and my own creative tweaks, it only took two tries to get “spot on” from my most trusted and experienced Guinea pig, Alex Washut, head chef and co-owner of Jake’s.

Disclaimer: this recipe isn’t 100% Paleo, I used Gluten free flour mix and of course rum to make this cake.

Ingredients for the Cake:

  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup maple sugar
  • 1/8 cup toasted coconut flakes (shredded)
  • 1 1/8 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup gluten free flour (I used Bobs 1:1 GF flour mix, if you don’t use a GF flour mix with xanthum gum in it already, add 3/4 tsp xanthum gum to mix)
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 3 TB arrowroot
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 4 TB rum (I used coconut rum for this part)
  • 4 eggs (at room temp)
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk

Ingredients for the Glaze:

  • 6 TB grass-fed butter
  • 3 TB water
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 8 TB dark rum

Directions (Cake):

-Preheat oven to 300 degrees

-Chop and toast pecans(or walnuts) and shredded coconut on a large baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Check and stir frequently as these will go from golden to burnt very quickly. Once toasted, remove from oven and place in a small mixing bowl.


-Increase oven temp to 325 degrees

-In a small mixing bowl combine nuts, shredded coconut, maple sugar and vanilla extract. Add this mixture to the bottom of your bundt pan


-In a large mixing bowl combine the rest of the dry ingredients (coconut sugar, gluten free and almond flour, arrowroot, baking soda and cream of tartar.

-In another small mixing bowl whisk together the wet ingredients (melted coconut oil, rum, eggs and coconut milk).

-Mix wet ingredients into dry and stir until thoroughly combined. Add this mixture on top of the existing mixture in the bundt pan.


-Bake for 40 minutes if you’re using a dark pan, 45min if using a light colored pan.

Directions (Glaze):

-In a saucepan combine all ingredients except rum and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.

-Once mixture bubbles, remove it from heat and add rum, mix thoroughly.


-Add the rum mixture back to medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture has reduced to 1/4 of original.

-Once the cake is out of the oven, let it cool for 10min and loosen the sides (I use a knife to gently pull away the sides and then shake the pan to make sure the bottom is lose as well)


-Poke some small holes in the cake (you can use a toothpick, or something as large as a butter knife) while still in the bundt pan and using a turkey baster inject the glaze into and on top of the cake.


-Let the glaze sit for a few minutes so it can absorb (It won’t all absorb, I take the excess back up with the baster and move in back into the sauce pan to then apply to the top once the cake is out of the pan)

-Carefully remove the cake from the pan and serve warm! If you can’t eat it all at once it will still definitely be delicious another day, store in the fridge for up tand let it warm back up to room temperature the next time you’re in need of a sweet treat!

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Apple Pie Tarts (Paleo, Egg-Free)

This past weekend I had an Olympic Weightlifting competition up in Concord, NH. It was a pretty small meet and I’m lucky enough to train with most of the people that were there so it was even more fun to compete with a bunch of friends! Some of the highlights of the trip were getting to see my roommate, Chelsea, and good friend Ryan partake in their first ever Oly meet. They freaking killed it and I couldn’t be more proud of them! Flashback to when I had my first meet and I couldn’t feel my legs and hit only 1/6 lifts, HA! Another highlight was crushing some non-paleo (but still gluten-free) pizza afterwards. I think its a rule that after you almost kill yourself trying to cut weight you’re allowed to consume whatever you want that isn’t going to kill you further 🙂 After this meet my coach and I decided it was time to move up a weight class anyways… sooo ALL the baked goods are coming your way!


Oh… and I wore a poop singlet for shits and giggles 😂😂!

Apple picking is one of my favorite things to do this time of year. But then of course there is the task of trying to eat all of those apples before they go bad! So here is a pretty easy and delicious apple pie tart recipe that I hope you all enjoy!

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 5 TB coconut oil, melted
  • 3 TB maple syrup
  • 2 TB almond milk
  • 1 1/2 TB vanilla extract

Filling

  • 2 TB grass-fed butter
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 1 TB apple cider
  • 1 TB honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large mixing bowl combine all crust ingredients and mix until fully incorporated
  • Grease a mini-cupcake pan (or if you want to get fancy use these tart tins) with coconut oil
  • Take 1-2 TB sized scoops of the crust mixture and press them into the tins to create a pocket for the filling, try to keep the thickness of the dough the same on the bottom and the sides
  • Once the dough is set, heat the butter for the filling in a large pan over medium heat
  • After the butter has melted add the apples and apple cider, cook down for 8-10 minutes or until the apples are soft
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the honey, lemon, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir to combine
  • Add 1-2 TB scoops of the filling to each tart crust
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown (I accidentally over cooked mine.. oops!)
  • Make sure to let the tarts cool for about 3-5 minutes before removing them from the pan, using a toothpick to loosen the edges and wedge them out is very helpful!

You can enjoy these as bite sized snacks or make them into a decadent desert by adding this simple whipped cream:

Add all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whip using a hand (or stand) mixer.

Enjoy!!

Monkey Fuel Bars

Hey everyone! Long time no post, and a long explanation will be heading your way soon, but for now I wanted to pick up right where I left off with a recipe using one of my favorite substitute ingredients: Fuel For Fire.

If you haven’t heard of FFF before, you’re welcome! It’s simply a delicious packet of fruit and protein. I regularly use these packets as pre/inta/post-workout snacks but have come to find out that they are a great baking substitute as well! If you don’t believe me, here’s your chance to try it yourself 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 overripe banana
  • 1 Fuel For Fire Banana Cocoa
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 3 TB coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1-2oz dark chocolate, melted (topping)


    Instructions:

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    • Add banana, fuel for fire, almond butter, eggs and coconut oil in a large bowl and mash/mix until fully incorporated
    • In a separate bowl mix almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt
    • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until no chunks remain
    • Pour batter into greased (use coconut oil) 8×8 baking dish (I made a 1/2 recipe and used this amazing baking pan to make the mine)

    • Bake for 17-18 mins, let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack
    • Once cool, melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl or double boiler

    • Drizzle chocolate over each square (I use wilton decorating bags to help with this) and pop them in the fridge for about 10 minutes until the chocolate has cooled and solidified again

      Then enjoy!! These make a great “real food” pre or post workout snack containing a pretty balanced amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates! I’ve used FFF for a substitute for bananas, apple sauce, mashed potato, pumpkin puree, mostly anything that is used as a binder. The bananas add a bit more texture but the results are equally delicious either way. I made this recipe without bananas because… I didn’t have any! It pays to think outside the box sometimes, especially when you regularly stock up on things like Fuel For Fire! Check them out!

      Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (Paleo)

      Well I have some exciting news to share with you all today! I am now officially the nutrition coach for the North East Grid League Springfield Musketeers! If you aren’t familiar with the Grid League, it’s basically crossfit taken to the next level. Teams are drafted and combined to showcase some of the best athletes and their respective strengths. Similar to football in many ways, it gives athletes to really capitalize on what they are good at in a competitive setting. It’s fast paced and uber fun to watch! If you don’t believe me check it out for yourself!

        
      More info to come on that topic, but for now, if you are in the Weatern Mass area come down to Crossfit Swarm on Saturday, June 13th and come chat with me and try some of my delicious treats! I will have a booth at their 80’s themed competition. Should be a great day! 

      In other news this will be the third week of my local farm share delivery from Forty Acres Farm in Granby, MA. I have thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with some new veggies and cuts of meat! I highly reccomend investing in a local farm share. There is no better way to support local farms and receive the freshest meat and produce possible! Not to mention you can trust that you are getting a high quality product. I suggest visiting the farm and getting to know the farmer. Patrick Benson is the owner and farmer at Forty Acres Farm and be only does he do everything pretty much himself but he is super knowledgable, kind, welcoming, and hardworking. He gave me the tour of of farm even before seeds were really sprouting but was able to express his passion for organic, sustainable farming practices as well as pasture raised meats. His animals are also halal raised and humanely slaughtered. He takes great pride in his products, as he should, they have been outstanding! 

      The first week we got a bunch of rhubarb, which I have surprisingly never used before! I  was eager to make various rhubarb treats but unfortunately most of them needed some tweaking to be at my standards. This jam, however, came out great! I’m thinking it will be perfect to use as a filling or spread on cupcakes, cakes, muffins or maybe even some paleo bread if you have some lying atound! 😜

      ingredients:

      • 1.5 cups local rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
      • 1.5 cups organic strawberries, hulled and cut in half
      • 1/3 cup local raw honey 
      • Juice of 1 lemon

      Instructions:

      -Combine all ingredients over medium heat in a large, thick bottomed pot

        

        
      -Simmer for 15-25 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing fruit with fork until the jam starts to thicken to desired consistency

        
      -Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy! 

        
      Jam can be kept in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. It can also be frozen in an airtight container.

      Banana Bread Bars (Paleo, AIP, LowFODMAP, 21DSD)

      Often times its hard to stay on a “diet” when you don’t get to have things that you have grown accustomed to having on a daily basis. Although I believe that Paleo is a lifestyle and should be treated that way, I know a lot of people that use it more as a diet and thats okay, to each his own!

      As I have been on my super-strict AIP and Low FODMAP diet (I will call it a diet because I hope to be able to re-incorporate many paleo foods that are currently restricted once my gut has healed) I have missed having a treat now and again. So I set out on a mission to create something that I was able to eat that was egg-free, nut-free, sugar-free and etc. So I did some searching around and found this recipe for AIP banana bread on the “He won’t know its Paleo” blog and my problems were solved! I followed the recipe but left out the honey because I can’t have it, and in my opinion the banana is sweet enough!

      IMG_8687

      I also made the recipe using tapioca flour instead of arrowroot and it comes out pretty similar. I did recently read that tapioca can sometimes be mistaken for gluten in the gut, so if you are doing strict AIP like I am the arrowroot is likely a better option. Also if the dough seems to be too dry then you can add in a TB or two of unsweetened applesauce (if you aren’t worried about FODMAPs) or water. The dough will generally be on the thicker side but it should’t be stiff as a board 🙂

      Once I make a batch of these delicious non-sweet treats I usually cut them into squares and individually wrap them and throw them in the freezer. That way when I am on the run I can easily grab one as a snack or defrost one for a treat after dinner. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Check out http://hewontknowitspaleo.com/category/blog-news/ for more great AIP recipes!