“I’ve been trying to eat more paleo recipes, but everything I try is just bland and dry. ”
When I follow up to ask what recipes they’ve tried, they’ve tried baked goods that they saw on Pinterest.
Grain-free baking doesn’t taste AT ALL like wheat baking. Almond flour and coconut flour are both flours, but they lack the starch and carbohydrates in wheat or even gluten-free flour mixes. They make a more dense baked good, with a slightly different feel. To get our products as sweet as we’re used to eating, we have to use a LOT of honey, and that gets expensive. And when you’re starting, you’ll be much more accustomed to *very sweet* baked goods, and a lot of the paleo and GAPS baked good recipes are made with little sweetener, as we’ve lost most of our sweet tooth.
Don’t get me wrong, we do enjoy grain-free baking in our house, usually on Saturdays. I make coconut flour waffles to use as ‘bread’ for sandwiches, we love onion muffins with our soup in the winter, and I even make honey-sweetened chocolate chips to put in our grain-free cookies as a treat.
Black bean brownies can pass pretty well for real brownies, but other than that, paleo baked goods are hard to pass off as the ‘real thing’ when you’re not used to them.
Adjustment time is needed
But there’s good news! Once your body has taken a few days to a week to adjust and stop the intense cravings for sugar, the grain-free baked goods start tasting a lot better.
We use them more as a vehicle for healthy grass-fed butter, fresh blueberries or raspberries when they’re in season, cut up roasted chicken with spinach-artichoke ‘dip’ as a sandwich filling, or to be dipped in homemade soups.
But they do taste better once our gut flora has started to re-balance and isn’t sending chemicals to our brain saying ‘eat sugar! eat starch!’ any more.
I promise :)
We need to re-think our baking when we’re eating for health
When we’re eating for health, not just to ‘have it your way’ and use the 3-5 times each day that we eat to indulge our need for immediate gratification (yes, I’m a little fired up about the state of health in our culture lately).
We really shouldn’t be eating mostly baked goods at all, but rather focusing on healing fats, meat, and veggies. They’re okay as an occasional treat, or to be used alongside other healing food, but they never should be the focus.
I advocate using baked goods to prevent yourself or your children from eating food off the GAPS diet. I’d rather have you eat an orange-vanilla grain-free cupcake at a party than eat the gluten-and-sugar-filled cake that’s being served, or have a bowl of Superhero Gummies rather than Mike n Ike’s from the gas station during a sugar craving, but overall, we need to help our body to get used to running on healthy nutrient-dense foods.
Well, what do I start with then?
Eggs. Bacon. Meat. Vegetables. Stir Fry.
There are tons of Paleo and GAPS recipes that you can use when you want to start eating grain-free. But if you’re used to eating a muffin for breakfast, some cereal for a snack, a bagel with cream cheese for lunch, and then pizza for dinner, you won’t have success if you try to replicate those recipes with coconut flour right off the bat.
Some paleo recipes to start with that taste great and won’t leave you feeling disappointed:
- Scrambled eggs
- Tuna-stuffed avocado
- Sesame Chicken Stir Fry
- Curried Butternut Squash Soup
- Dried fruit
- Fruit Smoothies
- Bacon Cheeseburger Bowls
- Green Lemon-Chicken Soup