baking primal


Must be something in the air — two posts in four days. I can’t remember the last time I pulled that off.

Maybe it’s that I’m making some really yummy stuff that I don’t have to feel guilty about. Or maybe I just miss blogging.

Whatever it is, herewith, scones.

But first, some background. Ben works at his former Sunday school, so every week from September to May Tim and I have two and a half hours to kill in Chestnut Hill. When the weather is good, or passable, we hike in the Wissahickon, which is a lovely and highly recommended way to spend a Sunday morning. However, the forecast for this morning was 30 degrees with 25-mph winds and a wind chill factor of 10.

So, no hike. Yes, I am a wimp.

When we don’t hike, we while away the hours at a coffee shop on Germantown Avenue. It’s a nice place, casual and unpretentious, with marvelous-looking pastries in the display case. Every time we go, I gaze longingly at those pastries.

Not this time, I decided last night. So I went looking for alternatives.

And I found these coconut scones on a blog called Frisky Lemon, where I do believe I will be spending more time in the future.

I haven’t loved most of the (non-paleo) scones I’ve made in the past; they tend to be dry, and often don’t have a whole lot of flavor. But, I figured, we’d be eating these with coffee. And hey, my expectations for paleo baked goods are pretty low, so how could I be disappointed?

I modified the original recipe a bit, because that’s what I do — but in this case, only a tiny bit: I used maple syrup in place of honey, and I let the food processor mix in the coconut milk too.

Before the coconut milk went in, the dough was exactly the right texture for scones, and it looked just the picture accompanying the original recipe. I very nearly just skipped the coconut milk completely. But I didn’t, and I’m so glad.

When they came out of the oven the scones looked delicious, and smelled even better. But they also looked crumbly, and I was worried about how dry they must be. But I cooled them and refrigerated them, as instructed.

This morning I packed up four to take along. And it’s lucky I did, because if I’d taken all eight, they’d be long gone by now.

These are by far the best scones I’ve ever had: moist and light and just sweet enough. They are perfect; there is nothing I would change about them.

This is one of those recipes I can recommend wholeheartedly even to those of you who aren’t eating paleo. They’re that good. Try them!

Coconut Scones
(courtesy of Allison Nichols of Frisky Lemon)

  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter (cold)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In your food processor, combine both flours, coconut, butter, honey, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Pulse until everything is crumbly. Add the coconut milk, and mix until well combined (the batter should be sticky and hold together, although mine did not form a ball).

Place the batter on your baking sheet, and press into a circle. Cut the circle into 8 wedges and sprinkle with shredded coconut (I went pretty heavy on the coconut).

Bake until browned; mine took 8 minutes. Caveat: My oven has only a passing familiarity with holding a set temperature; the original recipe says 10 to 12 minutes.

Pull the sheet of parchment onto a wire rack to let the scones cool. Like most coconut flour baked goods, these will be a little crumbly when they come out of the oven. Once they cool, refrigerate them, and serve chilled!

primal recipes


Anyone who’s ever read even one post on this blog knows I have a sweet tooth. No matter how long I avoid all traces of sugar (I’m looking at you, Whole30), I always welcome it back with open arms at the earliest opportunity.

I’ve been binging pretty heavily (for the new, marginally improved me, that is) in the week since we finished Whole30, but today, I had no sugar. None at all. No chocolate. No strawberry Fluff (God help me). Not even any stevia in my coffee (the only positive thing to come out of Whole30, as far as I’m concerned).

And tonight, after a dinner of shrimp sautéed in coconut oil on a bed of salad greens, I wanted dessert. But I also wanted to be good.

So I made pudding!

Avocados are one of those primal/paleo mainstays; Tim eats several per week, and it seems as if every other paleo recipe includes them. I don’t like avocados. I’ve tried; really I have. But I really wanted pudding.

The recipe I modified promised that this pudding wouldn’t taste like avocados. I was dubious, but did I mention I really wanted pudding?

So I made it, tweaking it a little along the way. And it was marvelous: dark and rich and smooth — and not a hint of avocado.

Chocolate Pudding
1 ripe avocado
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup full-fat coconut milk (although you could probably get away with light)
¼ cup agave (I think I’ll try coconut nectar next time)
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
dash of salt

In a blender (or probably a food processor; I’m going to try that next time), blend the avocado, cocoa, and coconut milk till smooth. Add the agave, vanilla, and salt and continue mixing until it’s pudding.

I’m already thinking of ways to play with this. You could put whipped cream (or berries, if you like that sort of thing) on top. You could use mint extract or almond extract in addition to the vanilla. You could freeze it and make pudding pops!

The world is your oyster. And almost no guilt!

(Sorry about the photo. I was too lazy to do it right.)