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Chapter 8: Paleo Food Guide

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Shopping for foods that are Paleo friendly can be a daunting task when you’re first starting out. What’s allowed and what’s not? What are all of those mystery ingredients that are listed on food labels? For the most part, stocking your refrigerator and pantry is fairly simple, but there are going to be times when you don’t want to eat just steak and broccoli, and there will be other times when you need something fast and simple. Don’t worry—you’ll get the hang of it.

There are a few different versions of the Paleo diet, but for the sake of this discussion, we’re going to take the modern middle road so that it’s easier for you to make the transition to your new, healthier lifestyle. Throughout the following pages, we’re going to discuss what foods are okay and where you can find them. We’ll also discuss some alternate ingredients for baking bread and other goodies that won’t get you kicked out of the cave!

The first bit of good news is that you’re not going to be counting calories. Instead, you’re going to try to keep your portions in line with what your ancestors most likely ate. A diet that consists of 50 to 60 percent protein, 30 to 40 percent healthy carbs, and 5 to 10 percent healthy vegetable fats such as extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds is the general goal.

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Chapter 7: The Trouble with Gluten

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We’ve discussed many of the health benefits of switching to a Paleo diet, but one of the main benefits is that the foods enjoyed in the Paleo diet don’t have gluten in them. For millions of people worldwide, eating caveman-style is a relatively simple way to avoid digestive upset and even the cancers that are caused by an allergy to gluten.

Latin for “glue,” gluten is a protein found in wheat and grains that gives ground flours elasticity and helps them to rise. It’s also the binding component that gives bread its chewy texture and keeps it from crumbling apart after baking. Gluten can be removed from flour because it is insoluble in water. Typically when you remove the gluten, you also lose all of the good properties that make breads and cakes what they are.

Without gluten, your baked goods won’t rise and they’ll have a grainy, crumbly texture. They won’t taste anything like their gluten-laden cousins, and you probably won’t want to eat more than the first bite. Because of an increasing demand for gluten-free products, food corporations have dedicated a tremendous amount of time and money into creating tasty, effective, gluten-free products. Unfortunately, most commercially prepared gluten-free recipe mixes still fall short.

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Chapter 3: Sweet Breads

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Great banana bread is a valuable staple recipe because it can be a perfect gift, a satisfying snack, and an energy-packed way to start the day. Bananas contain potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure and help muscles to contract properly without cramping up. The warm spices in this recipe also have health benefits such as regulating healthy glucose levels in the blood and lowering blood pressure.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla until well combined. Whisk the banana and shredded coconut into the wet ingredients.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined. Do not overmix the batter or the bread will be too dense.

5. Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and dust it with the almond flour.

6. Spoon the batter in the loaf pan, and bake for about 55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Chapter 1: 10 Tips for Paleo Baking

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Chapter 4: Flatbreads, Rolls, Muffins, and Pizza Dough

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