By: Teresa Cruz Foley
When I first embarked on the wheat and dairy-free lifestyle, I was distraught by how complicated gluten-free baking is. You have to mix several different flours, and even if you buy an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix you still have to add something called xantham gum. That word scares me. It sounds so unnatural. I could not bring myself to purchase it. Sadly, I came to the decision that I would not bake anything from scratch. We would have to satisfy our bakery cravings with gluten-free brownie mixes and Immaculate Confection’s break and bake chocolate chip cookies.
Then, the Paleolithic Revival walked in the room. Also known as the Paleo or Caveman Diet, intake is limited to foods that existed prior to agriculture or animal husbandry (meat, eggs, nuts, berries, roots, etc.)
Paleodiet.com has lots more information for those interested.
So, these Paleo followers bake with almond flour and eggs. And in my humble opinion, these baked goods beat the socks off the taste and texture of the complicated gluten-free flour mixtures.
The cranberry has been the subject of much discussion here at the edible South Shore blog. It adds so much flavor and antioxidants to a dish. And, as if we need another reason to love the cranberry, it is paleo approved.
Your caveman friends will flip.
Cranberry Upside Down Cake, adapted from Whole Living Magazine. This recipe can make four 3×6 mini loaves or one impressive 7×11 cake. Preheat to 350 and grease your pans.
Start with these little beauties. (FYI I’m not a food stylist)
Cook them in a pot for about 6 minutes, with at least 3 tablespoons of sugar. I used brown.
Spread them in the bottom of the greased pan or pans you are using.
Set this gorgeous pile aside.
Whisk together: 2 cups almond flour, ½ tsp baking soda (probably not present in the Paleolithic Era), and ½ tsp salt.
In a separate bowl: combine ½ cup sugar with 4 Tbsp of softened coconut oil or butter. (I would like to add here that butter was used in the original recipe, but I substituted coconut oil, which at room temperature is thick and solidified like butter. Coconut oil is not locally grown to us, but is dairy-free and cool with the Paleos. But go ahead and use real butter if you want, it’s a healthy choice as well.)
Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time, to the sugar and fat mixture.
Add a generous tsp of vanilla, and combine with the almond flour mixture, whisk until smooth.
Pour it over the cranberries.
Bake for 30 minutes, let it cool for 10 minutes, cut around the sides with a spatula, (say a prayer that it comes out OK) then gently flip it onto a plate, cranberries up.
The mini-loaves make beautiful gifts, the larger cake makes an impressive presentation to any pot luck.
Teresa Cruz Foley is a warrior mom in Bridgewater, MA, who is always trying to put food in people’s mouths. She has two blogs going: personal www.honoringbrynn.blogspot.com and business www.mothersmedicinalmagic.blogspot.com.