Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Paleo Chocolate Orange Muffins

I'm back! It has been so long since I posted on here and I feel really slack but honestly, I dropped off from creating for a while! Being busy with work and other things, it is really hard to find the time to get in the kitchen and do what I love doing.. but I really missed it and in recent weeks, iv been creating some new recipes and have also had some wonderful successes : ).
Since my last post, I have found myself progressing towards an almost perfect paleo lifestyle with less and less effort being needed every day. It's amazing how sticking to paleo approved food seemed so hard in the beginning (when I already ate very well) but it has now just become the way I eat. I do admit that I loosen up on the weekends and I often have non-paleo meals and on a Sunday afternoon I might have something a little sweet :) but on weekdays, being 100% paleo is working!
The other new love that I have is Bikram yoga - a 90 minute yoga class performed in a HOT room which is also at about 40% humidity. Mentally and physically challenging to the point where it is not unusual to feel nauseous for the entire 90 minutes but once you become acclimatised the the heat and also more competent with the exercises, you are able to appreciate the amazing physical, mental and spiritual benefits this yoga practise provides. Highly recommended for anyone who is up for a challenge! Bikram Yoga is also wonderful for anyone with any musculoskeletal problems and is a known preventative tool for conditions such as arthritis in later life. Don't expect it to be easy, but I can guarantee that the feeling after your class is 100% rewarding.


Iv been on a mission lately to successfully create recipes using this wonderful flour. Unlike wheat and grain flours, it is very light, contains no gluten, no sugar, is low in carbohydrates and lower in energy. Baking with coconut flour requires the use of more eggs than you would usually use in a recipe using other flours as the eggs bind the mixture in the absence of gluten. Coconut flour is very dry and requires a lot of liquid and for this same reason, a lot less of the flour is usually used. Make sure you dont try to simply replace other flours directly with coconut flour as the recipe will not work. There is a lot of information on conversions if you simply do a google search. : )
I have had many unsuccessful attempts with coconut flour... much to the amusement of my family and my boyfriend. One particular attempt ended in a bite from everyone, some screwed up faces and me mashing the "muffins" with a fork while talking about the failre. Having ths recipe turn out the way it did excites me greatly : ) and I hope you guys have the same success with it as I did! Be sure to let me know : )
Side note: I am no longer watching the calories/kilojoules as closely due to believing that they're not the most important thing BUT these came out at only 115calories per muffin!

Paleo chocolate orange muffins
(Makes 5)
¼ cup cocoa
¼ cup coconut flour
2tsp baking powder
4 tbs Natvia (brand of stevia) – add more to taste if needed

¼ cup apple sauce + 2 tbs
Juice from 1 orange
5 dates pitted
2tsp vanilla
4 eggs

- Preheat oven to 190°C (my oven is fan forced- Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl – cocoa, coconut flour, baking powder and natvia- In a food processor combine pitted dates, juice from orange and the 2tbs apple sauce to make a paste – if there are a few chunks of date left in the paste that’s okay.
- In a separate bowl from the dry ingredients add eggs (whisked), ¼ cup apple sauce and vanilla as well as the above “date paste”. Combine well.
- Add wet to dry ingredients and beat with electric beaters until smooth (approximately 2 minutes)- Separate into paper muffin cups and place into pre heated oven
- As you place the muffins in the oven reduce the heat to 160°C. This will cause the muffins to rise quicker at the beginning of their time in the oven to create a muffin top – though it will not be huge due to the difficulty of perfecting a coconut flour recipe : ). Working on it!

-          If you don’t wish to use paper muffin cups feel free to coat muffin pan with oil of choice (olive or coconut) and bake without papers. I used papers however I’m sure the other way would work well too.
-          These would be great with a ganache icing which can be easily made by breaking up some dark chocolate (the darker the better) in a saucepan over very low heat and once melted, add a few tablespoons of coconut cream and about 2 tsp of natvia.
-          I made this into a cake a few weeks ago with a ganache icing as described above and after being placed in the fridge, the cake was amazing! I’d recommend trying these muffins cold : )

Happy baking guys! I hope you find them as delicious as I did : ).