No Bake Paleo Chocolate Tarte

So today I have for you a recipe that I modified from zestbakery.com… a no bake paleo chocolate tarte! This is one my absolute favorites, so much so that right after the baby was born – I was making these up a storm! I couldn’t get enough. I think you’ll feel the same way.

The key to this recipe is having space in your refrigerator to let this bad boy cool and let the coconut oil do its thing. So step one, make enough space in your fridge for your tarte or pie pan. I recommend using one with a removable bottom so you can pop it out. Got that all wrapped up? Alright, well let’s get straight to the recipe!

No Bake Paleo Chocolate Tarte

No Bake Paleo Chocolate Tarte

Ingredients

    For the crust
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour (I recommend Honeyville Grains.)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Pinch sea salt
  • For the filling
  • 1 4oz bar baking chocolate (I recommend Sunspire. It's Fair Trade & Organic!)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup (warmed)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs

Instructions

    For the crust
  1. Mix together almond flour, salt, and oil.
  2. After mixed, then add in maple syrup so that it doesn't solidify the coconut oil.
  3. Press crust into tarte pan and put in the freezer. While the crust solidifies in the freezer, it's time to get your filling prepped!
  4. For the filling
  5. In a small sauce pan, gently melt together the coconut oil and bar of baking chocolate.
  6. While that is melting, gently microwave your maple syrup in a glass bowl for just a few seconds to warm it so it doesn't solidify things.
  7. Mix together melted chocolate/oil with the maple syrup, add salt.
  8. Finishing it off
  9. Pour filling into pie crust.
  10. Sprinkle cacao nibs in.
  11. Return to fridge and let cool for at least 1 hour or until center has hardened. Pull out 5-10 minutes before eating to soften slightly for easier cutting.
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/04/no-bake-chocolate-tarte/

Warning, this recipe may cause a chocolate addiction. Be sure to start keeping coconut oil & maple syrup in your house at all times in order to make this recipe on a whim. 😉 I hope you enjoy!

Maple vanilla custard

MapleVanillaCustard

Well, since my introduction and first post was all about how much I love dairy and how to make wise dairy choices, I just had to put together a custard recipe for ya’ll. Custard is one of my favorite things to make – baked or frozen. For today’s recipe, you’re getting the baked kind with my absolute favorite sweetener – maple syrup. YUM!

Now, I’ve heard from friends and family that they believe custard is difficult to make with the right texture. What it really comes down to is tempering the eggs and using a water bath. Tempering is the process of bringing the eggs up to the same temperature as the heated cream slowly so that you do not curdle them. A water bath is when you put your ramekins in a pan surrounded by water so that all your dishes cook evenly and slowly. Water is an awesome conductor for heat. I highly recommend getting Chicago Metallic’s Creme Brulee ramekin set. It makes water baths and getting the ramekins in and out of the oven so easy. All you have to do is put the ramekins in their holders than fill up the pan around them. DONE!

Well enough technique chatting from me. Let’s get to the deliciousness, right?

Maple Vanilla Custard

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (I recommend Grade B or local.)
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks (already at room temperature if you can remember!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Heat up heavy cream gently in saucepan until steaming. Be sure to stir so that it doesn't get a film on top.
  3. While the cream is heating up, get your yolks ready. Whisk yolks with maple syrup & vanilla. Be sure to not leave maple syrup sitting in yolks unmixed. It'll actually "cook" the yolks. Ew! I usually wait to whisk this all together until the cream is almost ready.
  4. Now it's tempering time. Take the hot cream off the burner. Now, a 1/4 cup at a time, whisk it into the egg mixture. Be sure to be whisking while pouring. Keep going until it's all mixed together. The mixture should be a pretty yellow color now with no solid bits. If this is true, then you have successfully tempered. WAY TO GO!
  5. Pour into four small ramekins, distributing evenly. Place ramekins into water bath and put heavy pan in the oven. I fill my water bath just up to the middle holder or the trim of the ramekins.
  6. Now, a side note, if you'd rather have a smoother top texture, be sure to skim away any bubbles that formed from whisking. Personally, I love that texture on top. It's my favorite part!
  7. Bake for 45-65 minutes. You can tell when the custards are done by gently jiggling the pan. If the custards jiggle just a tiny bit in the middle, then they're done! Chill or eat warm. They will thicken as they cool.
http://coasttocoastpaleo.com/2013/04/maple-vanilla-custard/

Enjoy!

Michelle’s Intro & a discussion on dairy & paleo budgets

MichellePhoto

Howdy hi there folks. (Wow, did I seriously just type that?) My name is Michelle and I’m a foodie & voice actor out on the West Coast (currently in the LA area, but moving up the coast to the Seattle area soon). I’ll be one of your hostesses for “Coast to Coast Paleo”. I’m addicted to modifying recipes to fit my family’s dietary preferences and am so excited to be sharing my work on here along with Lindsay’s!

Now true Paleo types will probably scoff at me calling our family “paleo” or “semi-paleo” or “primal” or whatever. In all honesty, we’re not paleo/primal at all. At best, we could be called “lacto-paleo”, but again, there is a lot of debate amongst Paleo eaters if those who consume dairy can even be considered paleo. The reason I use the term is simple. Saying we eat “Paleo” or “Paleo-ish” is a heck of a lot easier than listing all the different things we avoid eating or eat sparingly. What you’ll find here on my recipes are grain free or very low grain recipes that use coconut sugar, maple syrup/sugar and honey as sweeteners. I try to keep the sweetener level low and the protein high so I use almond flour as my flour of choice.

I love dairy. I grew up in Wisconsin, okay? For me, it’s something I cannot live without, but like everything, moderation is key and it is important to buy the best you can find/afford. Characteristics that I look for when choosing dairy products.

  1. Is the dairy raw, pasteurized or ultra pasteurized? Avoid ultra pasteurized at all costs. That stuff is disgusting. It doesn’t even NEED to be in the cooler. They just put it there so you don’t get grossed out. It ruins the flavor & the creaminess of milk to the point that for things like ultra pasteurized heavy cream, producers are forced to add thickeners back into the cream in order for it to have the right texture. It also doesn’t behave the same way as pasteurized milk in baked goods, sauces, cheeses, etc. If you can find dairy that has been vat-pasteurized, even better. This is the most gentle (and unfortunately most expensive) pasteurization process.
  2. I love raw dairy, but again, not always available and honestly, if you’re baking with it, it kinda defeats the purpose. I primarily use raw dairy for things like the butter I’m putting on my veggies, etc.
  3. What was this cow fed? Is it grass fed (preferred) or at least organic? Look for local farms or co-ops like Organic Valley. If you can’t afford either, try to find out how the dairy treats its cows and avoid store brands which can be a hodge podge of factory farm milk. Look for things that were produced in your state or smaller brands.
  4. Here’s a list of my preferred dairy brands. Some of these are only available in Southern California.
  • St. Benoit Dairy – website. The flavor here is outstanding and their yogurt makes an awesome yogurt cheese. My toddler also loves it!
  • Kalona Organics – this one is available nationwide. This is my butter of choice. (And their cottage cheese is also delicious!)
  • Clover Dairy – Love their cream, half & half, pasteurized milk, and butter.
  • Organic Valley – My go to back up brand when the above three aren’t available. Watch their cream though. It’s ultra pasteurized and has carrageegan in it. (Click here for info on why to avoid carrageegan.)

So, to wrap things up, welcome and it’s nice to meet ya. I hope you’ll enjoy my contributions to this site whether you’re strictly paleo (just don’t yell at me when I post a recipe using butter!) or just someone who wants to try something new. There will be no preachy posts from me or Lindsay about why you should eat the way we do. I know that the way my family eats isn’t for everyone and can be a bit expensive, but before I sign off for today… I just have to tell you the way I see this whole food thing. Your body and health are your most precious possessions and should be treated as such.

Obviously, everyone has different budgets, but think about the way your money is distributed. Back in the 1950s, according to the US Dept of Labor’s statistics, almost 30% of the monthly budget went towards food. Nowadays? It’s down to 13%. Just think about that. Think about rearranging your budget, do some research on what’s available in your area, use Google to find great websites on how to go paleo, eat real food, etc on a budget. There is a TON of information out there and it IS doable. Will you be able to always afford grass fed organic dairy and organic produce? Probably not, but you can learn how to prioritize and at least find real, whole foods instead of a meal that comes in a box.

You can do it. You just have to want to make your health and your taste buds a priority.

And scene. Coming up very soon… my very first recipe on this new blog! Stay tuned.

Resources:
Vegetalion: America’s Grocery Spending Habits 

EWG’s Good Food on a Tight Budget 

Eating Real Food on a Tight Budget 

Paleo on a Budget Tips – 
Some good tips, but I don’t agree with his statement that it can be cheaper to eat paleo. These tips would make a stereotypical diet cheaper too!

Paleo on a Budget -an entire blog dedicated to the topic

Photo by AKeigan Photography