When following a caveman diet, a.k.a. Paleo which stands for Paleolithic, so many people think of Dino burgers the size of Manhattan, hunting for berries or perhaps if you’re lucky and tall enough to reach them, a fist full of nuts.
There is a common misunderstanding that the diet does not include baking or that it is too difficult.
A good Paleo diet allows you to enjoy a terrific variety of flours, fruit, and nuts, natural sweeteners, and let’s not forget “oh so good” cocoa for use in a gazillion baked treats. You can bake an endless variety of delicious cookies, muffins, cakes, breads, bagels, and tortillas; the list goes on and on.
Here is what you need to know about Paleo baking basics.
The major baking challenge people face is finding suitable substitutes for all-purpose or wheat flour, a big Paleo no no. Try alternatives like garbanzo bean flour, almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot flour, and tapioca starch.
You’ll find a number of great products available online at amazon, in box stores or even at your local market, generally in their baking or gluten free section. Manufacturers are catching up with the Paleo baking and gluten free trend. Then again, you can always mill your own.
Paleo Baking Tips
One tip is to make sure that your flour is very finely ground and to break up any lumps so that you can measure accurately. If mixing more than one type of flour, or if the recipe calls for it, always sift it.
Remember that when measuring these flours they are not equally interchangeable with wheat or all-purpose flour. Your best bet is to find a good cookbook or two that specialize in Paleo baking to ensure yummy results.
Some recipes call for yummy coconut oil. It’s important to remember not to store your coconut oil in the refrigerator. It can become thickened which makes it hard to measure accurately. Instead, store the oil in a cool, dark area of your pantry. Just remember to keep track of its fresh date.
Bakers secret: when a recipe calls for coconut oil, be sure to melt it before adding it to your recipe, otherwise when it hits the cool ingredients, let’s just say that it can become a blob that just won’t incorporate into your batter and you don’t want that. Just place your jar or sealed package in a container of hot water till it melts.
If you don’t want to or can’t use eggs due to allergies, unsweetened applesauce will do the trick. It will give you the moistness of a wet ingredient and provides your batter with the necessary binder it requires.
Berries are a wonderful addition to your baking. If they happen to be out of season, head to your frozen section or consider dried fruit as an alternative. It’s an easy way to add flavor, color, texture, and natural sweetness to your goodies.
Sweeteners are somewhat of a taboo subject in the Paleo world, but let’s face it; most products you bake need a sweetener. Your best bet is to choose a sweetener like locally sourced honey, or real maple syrup. Stevia or agave are also good options so long as you choose one is free of toxic chemicals and offers as many nutrients as you can find.
For do ahead party fun, why not be the “hostess with the mostess” and try some time saving tricks? Go ahead and make your batter, shape your cookies or brownies, and freeze them on a sheet pan. Once hardened you can take them off and store them in zipper bags until you’re ready to bake.
Just take them out, however many you desire directly from the freezer and right onto your baking pan. Bake them in a preheated oven and your family and friends will think you are a baking wizard.
Keep in mind that many companies have fun ready-made flours and baking mixes on the market. Do some online research or search your market and you’ll find Paleo friendly baking mixes for pizza dough, pancakes, sandwich bread, cookies, and muffins.
Look for organic.
Not to say I don’t encourage you to get in there and scratch bake, but there are tons of terrific products for the busy baker.
Easy Paleo All Purpose Flour Recipe
What can I say? Great Paleo baking is a matter of taste, creativity and experimentation. My preference is to whip up a big batch of this Paleo (also gluten free) all-purpose flour and store it in clean coffee cans. That way I can use it for dredging, roux, or baking any time the urge strikes.
By using a combination of almond flour, coconut flour and tapioca starch, it allows for your baked goods to maintain a certain lightness that’s often lost in Paleo baking, get the golden brown color everyone desires and have a nice rounded flavor.
You determine the quantity each time you make it!
- 3 parts almond flour
- 2 parts tapioca starch
- 1 part coconut flour
Sift all the flours together to create a well-blended mixture. Store your flour an air tight container.
To get the most out of every mile in your baking routine, don’t skip out on these excellent baking tips and tricks!
About Marla Tetsuka
As a professional chef, author of multiple cookbooks, and graduate of the esteemed Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Marla brings a professional touch to the community that we call Foodal.