Heard of the “Paleo” or “Paleolithic” diet? While I don’t follow it or endorse following it, I find it interesting – as its name implies, this diet takes it back to basics…as in way back.. to the caveman days. This diet focuses on what our ancestors originally ate, excluding grains, processed foods, refined sugar, legumes and dairy…which leaves a list of foods that occur naturally, that looks like the following:
- Meat (grass friend, not grain-fed), Fowl & Fish
- Oils (Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil – think natural.)
So again, I’m not headed in this direction anytime soon, but one cannot argue that a focus, in general, on ones diet into the direction of these healthy, whole foods, and an exclusion of many of the foods dictated here (processed foods, refined sugars) can certainly do no harm. I came across a recipe for a baked bread that is just about “Paleo”, which intrigued me (original recipe found on the super-fun Paleo-focused yummy food blog “the frisky lemon“)! Take a look at the ingredients and you’ll see what I’m talking about – mostly whole, natural ingredients come together with just a touch of clearly non-Paleo ingredients by way of maple syrup and chocolate chips (those chips could totally be optional and swapped in for more paleo (and heart) friendly walnuts to be a little more proper!) to up the delicious factor.
This recipe brought coconut flour and coconut oil into my life for the first time – and since I happen to love coconut, the flavor that came through was absolutely incredible. The coconut oil keeps the bread impossibly moist, and adds some fabulously “healthy fat” benefits – think heart disease prevention, weight loss helper (in moderation! these calories still count), digestion aid and immunity upper. And the coconut flour? Yum! Not only is it gluten-free if you need or prefer that, but it’s got good protein and is PACKED with fiber! Coconut fiber actually has almost double the fiber of wheat bran.
Note that the calorie count is not too bad per serving, but this bread comes with a warning: it’s nearly impossible to stick to a single serving! But you can feel confident in looking at the ingredient list that these are the types of calories you want to be putting into your body, vs the baked goods from your coffee shop, these are healthy fats that are helping you – but the calories do still count.
Almost- “Paleo” Coconut Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- 6 pitted, dried dates
- 2 Tbsp light maple syrup
- 6 eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup mini dark chocolate chips (if you can’t find mini dark, focus on the dark and chop them up – as dark chocolate is more beneficial)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a bread pan with parchment paper.
- Place dates in microwave safe bowl along with 1 Tbsp of water. Heat on high for 30s and mash with a fork. Repeat once more – if not mashed enough, pop into a magic bullet to fully grind.
- Add the maple syrup to the date mixture to make a sweetened date paste.
- In a large bowl, mix the coconut flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon. Whisk to remove any chunks.
- In a small bowl, mix the pumpkin, eggs and vanilla. Add the date paste and whisk until well combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry.
- Add the melted coconut oil and chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the bread pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack and then enjoy! (note that this bread also freezes very well – and thaws easily in the microwave)
Nutrition Info per serving (10 servings total):
I made a few small swaps to this recipe – but to see the original and get lots of other healthy and Paleo-focused recipes, click here!