Monday, November 5, 2012

Paleo Pumpkin Banana Bread

This recipe follows Whole 30 Guidelines folks, so gobble up!  I made pumpkin bars from the recipe I posted a couple of years back.  At the time I thought they were God's gift to my taste buds, but my idea of clean eating was distorted at the time and still contained copious amounts of sugar in the form of honey.  Now...don't get me wrong. I still indulge with honey here and there, but not enough to categorize it with it's own food group any more.  Long story short, this time they tasted awful to me; way too sweet.  When I discovered it was the flavor of the pumpkin I was craving and not the sugar (said discovery came about once I realized I had consumed half a cup of pureed pumkin directly from the can with a large serving spoon, I decided to come up with a recipe sans sugar. 

If you're looking for sweet, you won't like this. So, have the expectation of a dense, robust, pumkin and spice loaf.  I would serve this warmed with a half gallon of honey over the top (ha, just kidding)your morning coffee tea or, if you're not doing your Whole 30, a spread of Kerrigold Grassfed Butter (super yum).  I made it just to go with my Perfect Paleo Chili and it was a magical combination.

I'm sorry this is such a grody picture.  It looked way better on my iPhone.  The loaf does not actually resemble excrement.
Paleo Pumkin Banana Bread

2 bananas, very ripe
1 c pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 c almond flour (I used almond meal, but I bet this would be better with blanched almond flour)
2 TBSP coconut flour
1 TBSP cinnamon
1/2 TBSP nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine all wet ingredients into food processor or blender.  Blend until there are no chunks.

Combine all dry ingredients medium bowl.  Slowly add dry ingredients to wet, mixing the whole time.

Grease 7.5 x 3.5 loaf pan.  Pour batter into pan evenly.  Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until you get a "bounce" not a "squish" when you press on the top center of the loaf.

Remove from oven and let cool 15+ minutes. 

Perfect Paleo Chili

I have been making chili for years and every time I make it, I change the recipe.  Why? Because I have yet to find the perfect recipe...until today.  I do believe this is the best chili I have ever made.  It is rich, hearty, and the most delicious combination of sweet and hot.

Warning: this is not a cheap batch of chili.  This recipe will cost you about $30 unless you have a super inexpensive lead on beef brisket.  It is, however, a large recipe; enough to feed the Linne family plus house guests (if you know them, that's a LOT).

Also, the recipe as written has a pretty good bite to it.  If you're averse to spicy hot things, I'd cut the cayenne pepper in half and work your way up to your desired spice.

But really...if you're going to make ANY of my recipes, make this one.  It's a keeper!

Perfect Paleo Chili

4-5 lbs beef brisket, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1/2" squares
1 lb thick cut bacon, diced
3 medium red onion, finely chopped [I threw them in the food processor bc I thought my arm was going to fall off after cutting up the brisket :-) ]
1 TBSP minced garlic
4 cups unfiltered apple juice (yes that's right, apple juice...just do it.)
3 - 4 oz cans diced green chilis (if you can't handle spice, reduce to 2 cans)
1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes with their juice
1 - 6 oz can tomato paste
1/3 cup chili powder
1 TBSP cayenne pepper (again, reduce if you're wimpy sensitive)
1 TBSP sea salt
1 TBSP ground black pepper
1 TBSP oregano
1 TBSP cumin
1/2 TBSP nutmeg
1 tsp coriander
1 oz bakers chocolate, unsweetend, finely grated (you know you want to...)

Heat large skillet over medium heat.  Fry bacon until about half done, then add onions and garlic.  Carmelize in bacon grease.  You may get some gooey, seemingly burnt schtuff; that's ok, just go with it.  Basically you want your onions to reduce down and your bacon to brown.  It took about 15-20 mins for me to accomplish this.

Place all other ingredients into a ginormous stock pot.  By "ginormous" I mean like a 12 quart, so really probably  not that huge, but I was feeling dramatic.  Anywho...after you have all the other ingredients in there, add the bacon mix and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 1.5-2 hours.

Reduce heat, yet again, to low for about the same amount of time.  Stir every 15 minutes or so if you can.  Your sauce should thicken and your chili should be a sultry red/brown color.  Oh...added bonus: your house will smell amazing.

*If you grew up eating chili served over corn bread, try serving this recipe over my Pumpkin Banana Bread (sounds weird, but I promise it's fantastic).