Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Little Bit Foodie...

The trying to replace bad foods with healthier choices feels cumbersome from time to time.  Honestly, the trying ways to curb my sweet tooth has been most challenging.  Without sugar and gluten, the cookies, ice cream, and  candy bars are hard to incorporate.  Sure, Sure, they can be 'occasional treats,' but I didn't do anything today that warranted a treat - so I was just having sweet tooth cravings.

After spending the morning at one wrestling tournament, I arrived home to collapse on the sofa for five minutes before talking to the husband on the phone and determining that Tyler was going to have a long day at his wrestling tournament.  I swung by Chick-Fil-A and grabbed a salad and a fruit cup before heading out on the 30+ minute drive to the tournament.  We all ate lunch together and then waited (and waited...) for Tyler's match. 

Tyler lost his second match and we realized that it was going to be 45 matches between that match and his 3rd match.   I was feeling guilty that Nathaniel and Carter had been left to their own devices most of last night (Company Christmas Party) and today with wrestling, so I decided to go home and plan on going back to the tournament if Tyler made it to 3rd place round or better.

On the way home, I thought about something that we could all do together.  Cookies!   I had a recipe that I thought would be easy to convert to a more paleo-friendly recipe.  I went to Publix and perused the aisles trying to find the ingredients I needed to try the recipe I had in mind.

No such luck. 

But, then I found unsweetened shredded coconut, and a recipe for macaroons on the back of the package.  "Yummo!" I thought (in my best Rachel Ray voice).  Egg whites - easy, that's paleo.  Salt.  Hmm.  I'll use a little sea salt.  SUGAR!?!     No.  I thought, sugar won't do at all.  I contemplate honey, but remembered conflicting stories on whether or not honey falls into paleo. 

While I was looking at the honey, I saw the "Agave Nectar" sitting there.  I read the back of the package and couldn't remember seeing if it was/wasn't paleo-friendly, so I made the executive decision that it would be paleo-friendly.    

Almond extract, coconut and chocolate chips.  I couldn't find any chocolate chips made from just coca.  They all had sugar - milk - and some stuff I couldn't pronounce added.  I decided to try 100% cocoa powder.   Worse case scenario - we just threw them away.

I gathered the two boys home and we got to work.   We tried beating the eggs with a whisp. I gave each of the boys a chance to beat the eggs and then I tried myself.  Each time - Fail.  I'm sure would have made a nice omelet when we were done, but the eggs were not stiffening at all. 

Finally, I busted out my hand mixer (which is probably circa 1973 and definitely on it's last leg.) and whipped the eggs and salt.  Then the recipe called to add sugar and continue to beat the eggs until small peaks began to form.  I added the agave nectar at this point, but no peaks ever formed.  Hmmm.  I'm not sure how to adjust the recipe with the nectar yet. 

After adding the other ingredients, the boys helped teaspoon the batter onto a baking sheet and then we baked them in the oven on 325 for 15 minutes.  I was a little worried when they came out, well black.   Nathaniel, Carter and I joked that we'll just call these "Lumps of Coal," especially during the holiday season. 

After the chocolate ones were made, I tried some 'non-chocolate ones.'   Undoubtedly, the cocoa absorbed a good bit of liquid from the original batch, because the 'non-chocolate ones were way too liquid and didn't stay together.  Carter said these could be "SnowBalls" even if they didn't come out of the oven white.  He just kept trying for me to let him use the christmas tree shaped cookie cutter for the macaroons.

Suggestions on how to alter to make less liquidy would be appreciated.

The boys had a blast.  We spent an hour in the kitchen together laughing and talking.  It was nice to tear them away from the television and XBox (it was a cold, rainy afternoon) and do something fun. I can't wait to do it again!

Recipe:  Chocolate Macaroons or "Lumps of Coal"
1/3 cup egg whites or 2 egg whites
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/3 tsp pure almond extract
1 cup of shredded coconut (unsweetened)
3/4 cup cocoa (100%)

Preheat oven to 325.  Beat egg whites and salt to almost stiff.  Add agave nectar, slowly beating until egg whites stand into peaks.  Add flavoring.  Fold in coconut and stir until well mixed.  Add cocoa.  Drop in tsp fulls on baking sheet.   Bake for 15 minutes. 

1 comment:

  1. How about this recipe:

    Looks good. Baking cookies is always fun.