Monday, June 10, 2013

Nut & Grain-Free Berry Blondies

I received my copy of Primal Cravings in the mail last week, and was excited to give my thoughts on the book and test run another recipe (I previously shared my slightly mixed experience making the Gyro Taco Salad).

I realize the debate rages on about buying cookbooks vs. doing everything on e-devices and online, but I can heartily recommend adding this one to your shelf. It's a beautiful work from a visual standpoint, and is chock full of delicious recipes. Most are family-friendly and easy to make, as the gist of the cookbook is to satisfy cravings for non-paleo comfort foods.

In many ways, it's the antithesis of the Whole9/Whole30 program. There are a few recipes using white potatoes, and several of the baked goods call for tapioca starch. It's not the cookbook for you if you're a stringent paleo purist, but if the thought of "your favorite foods made paleo" appeals, I say grab it!

What grabbed me about today's recipe was its few ingredients, and the fact that I've been looking for a creative use for the coconut cream concentrate I picked up on a whim. I *love* that this recipe is completely nut-free, and we all loved the sweet, coconutty flavor of the end result. I chose to press some chopped strawberries into my batter, and thus reduced the amount of added sweetened I used.

I did find that these took longer to bake than the recipe suggested. Even after a solid 35 minutes in the oven, the bars in the center of my pan were still a bit soft and hard to cut. I've never noticed that my oven runs less hot than others, so I'd be curious to hear if anyone has a similar experience.
Nut & Grain-Free Berry Blondies

1 7 oz. package of creamed coconut (Let's Do Organic)
1/4 cup palm sugar
2 eggs
1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chopped strawberries or whole blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8 baking dish and set aside.

Put creamed coconut in a heat-safe bowl, and microwave at 30 second increments until it can be whisked into a smooth paste.

Add in sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and baking soda. Stir to blend well.

Pour batter into the baking dish, then press berries into it, scattered evenly across the top.

Bake for 25 minutes or until firm in the center. After allowing to cool, cut into squares.

Store in fridge or freezer for more sturdy bars.