Cashews are a fascinating food.
Botanically, they are a master of disguise.
They split in half like a legume, but they are not a legume.
They look sort of like a nut and grow on a tree, but they are not a tree nut.
And the red juicy pear looking thing that grows on the same tree as them looks like a fruit, but it’s not actually a fruit.
From a culinary standpoint, they are also fascinating.
Sure, you can grind them into a flour like other nuts. You can also use them whole in various dishes. But what’s most interesting is the fact you can grind them and mix them with water to form a cream cheese like substance that you can then put on top of pizzas or use as cake icing! It’s one of the foods loved by both vegans and Paleo-eaters!
I hope you’re also getting fascinated about this fake-nut…
Paleo baking (and gluten-free baking) can be confusing already, and the fact that most of the Paleo cookbooks and blogs are written by Americans means that you have to spend a ton of time doing Paleo baking conversions for all your ingredients.
I still remember first learning that a cup was a standard measurement in America (it confused me to no end as a child growing up in the UK).
So, to help everyone who wants to try their hand at Paleo baking (or gluten-free baking), here’s a handy and comprehensive list of US to Metric conversions for Paleo, grain-free, and gluten-free baking.
I’ve also included a few ingredients that are typically not found in Paleo baking, but I thought it’d be useful to have the conversions for them anyway.
If I’ve missed any ingredient that you think should be on this baking conversions list that would help you convert US recipes, then please send me a message and let me know.
You can stuff bacon into practically any food and end up with a more delicious version of that food. From chocolate to skewered chicken, bacon makes almost everything better (bacon jam, anyone?).
And yet, you’ve probably heard for most of your life that bacon is a heart attack waiting to happen. Luckily, we now know that’s just not true.
But the real question…
If food were a game of hide and seek, canola oil would be just about the worst player ever.
Canola oil is absolutely everywhere you look. From mayonnaise to nuts to cooked vegetables – canola oil is in just about every food you can imagine. [We found this new mayo that uses avocado oil instead of canola oil – it’s sold here.]
Canola oil is a bit of a unique substance. We know that sunflower oil comes from sunflower seeds and olive oil from olives, so naturally, canola oil comes from canola seeds, right? As it turns out, there is no such thing as a canola seed. Canola oil is made from rapeseed (a very bright, yellow flower), and its name comes from a hybrid of the phrase “Canada oil.” It used to be called LEAR (Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed).
Many mainstream scientists tout the benefits of canola oil for lowering the risk for heart disease. They often point to its 2:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which is a fairly good ratio.
However, that’s a bit misleading.
One comment I often get from people who are just starting to clean up their diets is that they miss crunchy foods.
And it’s true.
When you cut out all chips, crackers, cookies, and other grain-driven foods, the only crunch you’re generally left with is raw veggies and some fruits.
The answer to today’s Is it Paleo is going to be pretty obvious, but it’s worth talking about because it’s easy to forget just how many foods are made from processed ingredients that wreak havoc on our bodies.
A reader recently asked me whether cacao butter is good for cooking.
I didn’t really know the answer off the top of my head, because I’d never actually thought about using cacao butter to cook.
I love cacao, but I guess I thought my food would taste funny.
Anyway, I decided to do a bit of research…
Growing up, there were few foods I disliked more than broccoli. (Collard greens was one of them – I just couldn’t stand the smell when I was a kid.)
Fast-forward a couple decades, and I want to put broccoli and collard greens in everything. My mom would be proud, except that she doesn’t actually like broccoli. Oh well.
Your own mom might have tried to feed broccoli to you as a kid, and it turns out that she had good reason to do so—broccoli is a true superfood. This famous green has been linked to a variety of positive health effects in nearly all of the body’s systems, from the circulatory and immune systems to mental health.
Just what sort of healthful benefits is broccoli packing in those green bunches?
Cashew flour is a great gluten-free, grain-free flour that can be used in place of other nut flours when baking or cooking.
You can purchase cashew flour from Trader Joe’s (review of it here) or you can get it on Amazon here, but it’s also super easy (and often cheaper) to make your own at home, and this post will show you just how easy it is (plus there’s a list of Paleo recipes using cashew flour at the bottom of this post)!
One of my biggest weaknesses is chocolate. This probably started off during childhood…
I lived a few miles away from the Cadbury’s chocolate factory (which some claim is similar to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory), and ended up eating quite a lot of Cadbury’s chocolates. (The original story by Roald Dahl was partially inspired by Cadbury’s.)
But this post is not about me or my chocolates. This post is all about Devin Plaut and his drive to make delicious Paleo chocolate truffles.
I use chocolate and cocoa/cacao powder in many of my recipes, so this question of whether there’s any difference between them has come up several times. This post will explain the answer.
Sometimes you just need bread crumbs for a recipe, and that can be tough when you’re trying to stick to a Paleo diet.
That was the case when I was making meatloaf. If you don’t use bread crumbs in this meatloaf recipe, it’d just be this dense chunk of meat (not very tasty!).
So, how do you make Paleo bread crumbs fast?
I love cooking with a ton of spices – it makes the food flavorful, more varied, and just amazingly delicious! So, with the ton of spices I had in my cupboard already, it only made sense that I would start making my own blends. I made this Paleo Cajun Seasoning to go with the Popcorn Shrimp (recipe here).
I was at one of Nom Nom Paleo’s book signings recently, and an audience member asked what was the best way of preventing egg muffins from sticking to the muffin pan. Diane Rodgers and Melissa Joulwan were also there, and some interesting answers came up.
I had my own thoughts about what would work to prevent sticking, but I went ahead and did some experiments (i.e., I made some egg muffins under various conditions)! And since egg muffins are a fantastic pre-prepared Paleo breakfast/snack, I thought I’d share my findings here so no one has to scrub their muffin pan again.
Below are my 3 best methods for preventing egg muffins from sticking to the muffin pan:
I love cooking. It keeps me healthier, it means that pretty much everything I eat is delicious, and it’s fun.
But this wasn’t always the case. I didn’t always like cooking, and, in fact, it was only a few years ago when my most common cooking experience consisted of throwing some noodles into some water. (Not exactly healthy or delicious.)
That all changed when I decided to get serious about being Paleo. It wasn’t easy at first, especially since I had a busy job. But I’ve learned a lot, and I can now say that learning to cook well is totally worth it, both in terms of health and taste.
Here are my 3 secret steps to becoming a better Paleo cook:
A lot of Paleo recipes call for coconut products in them, and while coconut allergies are very rare, it does occur for some people. If you cannot eat coconut products, then here are some ways of modifying Paleo recipes to avoid coconut.
Except in cases where coconut is used just as a topping, coconut is often present in Paleo recipes as coconut flour. Coconut flour is a binding agent that holds foods – especially baked goods – together.
There are a number of alternatives like almond flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot powder, and chia flour. Most other “Paleo” flours will work as a substitute, although it may require some experimenting, because different flours cook at different temperatures, dry out at different rates, and bind either better or worse.