About my recipesAll of my recipes are grain free, refined sugar free, soy free, chemical free and dairy free with the exception of butter. See below.
Results of paleo recipes can vary very much based on the type or brand of the ingredients. Here are some notes about what I use in my recipes.
Coconut milk is not all created equal, and some are so poor in quality that they will not whip and may ruin your recipe entirely. You absolutely must use full fat unsweetened coconut milk. Coconut milk from a carton will not work in most recipes and it has added sugar and crap. I use Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk. I have tried others and nothing I have tried has compared in taste or texture. That's not saying there isn't something else out there, but this is what I use and love. I also love that it is in a BPA free can and organic. I buy it on amazon in cases and use subscribe and save for an additional discount. Coconut milk spoils very easily and must be refrigerated after the can is opened. Anything made with coconut milk must be refrigerated. I trust fresh coconut milk in the refrigerator for up to one week, tops. I have tasted spoiled coconut milk, and it is terrible.
When a recipe I use calls for full fat unsweetened coconut milk, I always blend my can and then measure, that way the fat and water emulsifies.
When I call for just the fat at the top of the can, I mean literally scoop the fat out and do not use any water. If a recipe calls for just the fat always save the water in a mason jar in the fridge. Use this for smoothies, pancakes, and in coffee creamer.
Butter and coconut oil
I am a huge butter believer. I love butter. Raw pasture butter. It is a great source of healthy saturated fat. Children especially need this fat in their diets. I know everyone wants to substitute coconut oil, but coconut oil is not a substitute for everything. I know coconut oil is really popular now, but I'm not 100% positive that it is something we should all be drinking by the tub. I use it when appropriate, but I think butter is just as important. I know, many people are dairy sensitive. My kids are extremely dairy sensitive and neither of them are bothered by butter. If you absolutely cannot have it, palm oil and ghee are good substitutes. But if you are not sensitive to butter and are not reacting to it physically- please use it! It is so delicious in crust and caramel, 2 examples of recipes that I can taste the coconut oil when substituted.
This bring me to frying. Some of my recipes like my spaghetti squash pancakes, sweet potato pancakes, zucchini, onion and bacon fritters, pickle chips and roasted garlic cream sauce call for bacon grease. You cannot substitute coconut oil! I mean, you can but the results will be very different and not crispy. You will also wind up cleaning your pan 7 times before the batch is done. Get good sourced organic pastured bacon. If you can't find it locally, order from US Wellness meats http://www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFront.bok I do not recommend frying food in commercial pig fat, but if it is well sourced this stuff is like liquid gold. I order from US Wellness and sometimes I buy Applegate Organic if I am out. Save your grease in a jar every time. Keep it in the fridge and before you know it you'll have a nice stash for when you need to fry. Lard is also good for frying.
I roast with melted ghee, coconut oil or avocado oil. Never cook with olive oil.
The best Almond Flour, in my opinion, is HoneyvilleIt is also cheaper than Bob's Red Mill on amazon. The grain in blanched almond flour is much finer than other brands like Bob's Red Mill. I haven't tried many brands like Trader Joe's, but I imagine the grain is even more coarse. I will update this page if and when I do try new brands. If you are using a more coarse grain almond flour, like Bob's Red Mill, I recommend pulsing it a few times in a food processor to grind it to a finer grain. It really helps.
I use coconut sugar, maple sugar, sucanat, raw honey and grade B maple syrup. Honey and maple syrup add a moisture to a baked good, so substitute them with each other only. Substitute granular sweeteners with granular sweeteners only. In other words don't sub honey for coconut sugar, it may effect the texture/moisture.
Cocoa and Cocao are not the same thing. Cocao is raw and unprocessed and a superfood while Cocoa is processed and lacks many of the benefits of Cocao. However, they are substitutable 1:1. I often call for cocoa because I know it is what is available and familiar to readers. But you can and should substitute cocao when you can.
Extra light olive oil and avocado oil
I use avocado oil exclusively in my homemade mayo, ranch, and mayo derived recipes. I list light olive oil as an option because it is all that is available to some. Both are mild tasting but avocado is definitely more healthy and the best choice, if possible.