Paleo Baking

I've been experimenting a lot with paleo baking lately.Hi! I hope you’re all having a pleasant weekend. As for me, I officially have a new love. It’s called paleo baking. Ever since I was advised to cut out grains (all grains, not merely glutenous grains) from my diet, I’ve been fascinated with learning how to bake without them. Like I mentioned in this post, I don’t eat many sweets, but I love to make them. Regardless, I refuse to bake anything I wouldn’t eat myself. Since I’m no longer eating grains, I won’t be baking with them either.

When I first got into allergy-friendly baking, I relied on gluten-free oats and oat flour for most of my treats. Now that oats are out of the question, I’ve opened my kitchen doors to ingredients like almond meal, coconut flour, and arrowroot powder. I’m finally getting more familiar with almond meal, but coconut flour and arrowroot powder are still new to me.

I’ve had both hits and misses with coconut flour. I love the idea of it, but I’m not a fan of how many eggs are required to make it palatable in baked goods. I’ll keep experimenting, though. Next on my list for coconut flour is pancakes. Does anyone have a good recipe for coconut flour pancakes? If so, send it my way! Arrowroot is another tricky ingredient, but I’m proud to announce that I had major success with it this afternoon!

That, my friends, is homemade blueberry jam. Earlier today I came across this recipe for Blueberry Thumbprint Cookies, and I knew I had to make it. I’ve made thumbprint cookies in the past as well as paleo chocolate chip cookies, but never with homemade jam. Making my own was really fun! It made me feel super domestic. Arrowroot, though – that stuff is weird. My biggest tip for using it as a thickening agent in jam is to stir it in as soon as you add it to the pot, and to try sprinkling it in rather than dumping in a whole tablespoon at once. Otherwise it clumps into strange globs of goo. I had to pick out some of said globs. Arrowroot boogers aside, this was a win for my first time making jam. I’ll be looking up more recipes in the future, for sure.

In addition to using arrowroot in the jam, the recipe suggests using it in the dough for these cookies as well. I was skeptical at first, but they turned out fabulous. One thing I noticed both this time and the last time I used arrowroot in cookie dough is that it causes cookies not to spread. This is a good thing to remember, because spreadability can be both desirable and undesirable, depending on the type of cookie you’re going for.

These thumbprints are a total score for arrowroot. My mom and I both ate a cookie straight from the oven, while they were still warm. Delicious! Honestly. These are SO good. It never ceases to amaze me what can be created with such seemingly unlikely ingredients. I don’t see myself using arrowroot in baked goods very often, seeing as it’s not very impressive nutritionally, but it’s a neat ingredient to experiment with nonetheless. These cookies are actually mostly almond meal, which packs much more of a punch health-wise. Almond meal is my current favorite flour, if not my current favorite ingredient in general. I just can’t get enough almond meal these days.

Apparently a lot of people can’t get enough almond meal these days, because twice in the past couple of weeks it’s been out of stock at my favorite grocery store. Has anyone else experienced this shopping malady? I’m glad more and more people are giving up refined flour but I kind of need my almond meal. Although at twelve bucks a bag, maybe it’s time I start making my own. At the rate I’m baking, I’ll be spending a good chunk of my income on almond meal.

At least I’ll have cookies. If you’re yearning for some delicious paleo cookies (that are also vegan!), I highly recommend these.

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