Category Archives: Treats

Paleo Macaroon Fail (sort of)

Disclaimer:  this isn’t really a “fail” – and I really like Civilized Caveman‘s website.  His ideas are so creative (rosemary fried lemon!), and his photos are really beautiful.  That’s all success!  But the recipes on the site include a lot of paleo treats, which tempt me but rarely work out the way I wish they would (with the exception of Blackberry Nut Clusters, which are the bomb.)

So, I didn’t have super-high expectations for these Raw Chocolate Pumpkin Pecan Macaroons.

coco pumpkin balls

I wanted to make a treat for a potluck, mostly so *I* wouldn’t eat a ton of the other treats I knew would be there.  This strategy worked – I successfully avoided the pie and brownies and ice cream – but the rest of the guests wouldn’t touch these.  And I understand that.  Whether or not I’m low-carbing it, the “healthy” sweet treats don’t usually cut it for me.  Let me eat cake!  Or just no treats at all.

The verdict?  These were easy to make and much better for you than traditional treats.  But not so appealing to me, personally.


Paleo Banana Carrot Muffins that don’t taste like you are eating a brick.

I am sick of eggs for breakfast – just sick of them.  I don’t care if I never see an egg again, well, at least for a week or so.  I saw this recipe, and at first I was a tad suspicious. I have never really baked with almond flour before, but I have to say that I am impressed.  These muffins are not beautiful, but they are very yummy.  Breakfast is saved!


I found this recipe at a cool website called Paleo Plan – it was posted on a Facebook Whole 30 Group page.



–         2 cups almond flour

–         2 tsp baking soda

–         1 tsp salt

–         1 Tbs cinnamon

–         1 cup dates, pitted

–         3 ripe bananas

–         3 eggs

–          1tsp apple cider vinegar

–         ¼ cup coconut oil, melted

–         1 ½ cups carrots, shredded

–         ¾ cup walnuts (or nuts of choice) finely chopped


–         Preheat oven to 350 degrees

–         Line muffin pan with paper liners

–         In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon

–         In a food processor, combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar, and oil

–         Add mixture from food processor to dry mixture in large bowl and combine thoroughly.

–         Fold in carrots and nuts

–         Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins (At this point, I was worried that the muffins might overflow and burn in the bottom of my oven – they didn’t, so feel free to go ahead and fill the muffin cups up to close to the top.  You don’t have to stop at 2/3s full like you would for regular muffins.)

–         Bake for 25 minutes

–         Try to let them cool before you eat one!

Fruit Cake! The good kind – not that heavy brick-like thing filled with green cherries they sell at the gas station each December.


Okay, so this one is more of a craft than a recipe.  It is a bit fiddly to make, but totally worth it!   My sister Rachel and I, with the help of a six year old chef, made this for our mom’s Mother’s Day dessert.  I am going to be making this all summer, so heads up if you invite me to a cook-out – you know what I’ll be bringing!




–         Watermelon – get a big one, not those little personal size ones.  You are going to need a lot of triangular slices for the cake foundation.

–         Any fruit that floats your boat.  We used cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, and blueberries.  It would be fabulous to use honeydew or kiwi fruit to get some green color too.  Raspberries, pineapple, mango… you get the idea.


–         Cut your watermelon into triangular slices and arrange in a circular fashion on a plate, staking up the layers as you go.  Take the time to fiddle with it a bit so that the cake layers are as even as you can get them.

–         Slice your fruit up how you like it.  We thinly cut the cantaloupe and then had the six year old cut out flower patters with a fondant cutter (so glad to have a use for those again.  Palo diets aren’t big on fondant).

–         Stick your fruit on toothpicks and decorate the cake any which way your little heart desires!

–         Enjoy!

Rhubarb-Berry Sauce

Good Wednesday morning!  Today I decided to work from home, and let me tell you how that is going.  So far, I have made Primal Thai Beef, Apple-Onion-Asparagus Frittata, and this awesome dessert sauce!  And I’m going to make some Sriracha burgers later.  No, I’m not on a paleo binge.  I cook for the freezer!

Back to the dessert sauce.   I probably could have eaten this sauce straight from the pot, it was so delicious.  So get ready to make this easy and yummy sauce for yourselves!

Sweet & Tart Rhubarb and Berry Dessert

Rhubarb is in full season here in the PNW.  (Want to know what’s in season where you live?  Try this map from

Anyhow, our farmer’s market was awash last weekend with asparagus and rhubarb, but our berries have not quite come in this year.  So I had to use frozen berries.   Luckily, I buy local wild blackberries whenever I can get them (I am a blackberry hoarder!) and keep them in the freezer, so I am always happy to cook with those.

Umm.  Sooooo good.  Here it is with full-fat whipped cream.  This would be just fine with some Greek yogurt, too.

OK, I actually do need to get to work!

Cookies! Apple Cinnamon Cookies!

I see my role on this blog as filling in the gaps for Ellen and Susan.  Since they have families, they can’t just announce they are having popcorn for dinner.  I, on the other hand, love to cook, and I like to share, but I become quickly overwhelmed with leftovers.  For example, breakfast Sunday morning was leftover chicken tikka masala, leftover butternut squash, and yes, leftover cauliflower rice.

And I still have meatloaf in the freezer!

So my recipe for today is . . .  cookies!

Civilized Caveman’s Cinnamon Apple Cookies

The Positive:

It is an easy recipe with just a few limited ingredients.

  • 2 Cups Raw Almonds
  • 2 Cups Chopped Red Apples, skin on
  • 1 Cup Shredded Coconut Unsweetened
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Tsp Coconut Oil
  • 3 Eggs

Combine all ingredients, in the order listed, in a food processor.  (Note to my younger self, in case I have mastered time-travel.  YOU NEED A FOOD PROCESSOR.  It is well-worth the money.)  Paleo recipe authors never seem to list salt, but I added salt, too.  Use a spoon to make little cookie-sized cookies, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Easy, and I liked the use of apple, because I see enough paleo cookie recipes which are just really almond cookies.

The Not-So-Positive:

*I* thought these were yummy and just sweet enough.  However, I took them to a kick-ass dinner party (lobster tandoori!) and they did not go over so well with the general population.  If you are used to primal / paleo eating though, you will not miss the sugar.


I’ll make these again!

Carrot Cake Pancakes – Get In My Belly!

The negative:  these pancakes contain almonds, walnuts, raisins, and lots of coconut oil.  Plus then I added butter and maple syrup.  I didn’t exactly work out the Weight Watchers points on these, but it can’t be good.  Luckily, I’m not afraid of a little fat!

Another negative:  These are not weekday morning pancakes.  While I was shredding the carrots by hand, I lost faith that these would be worth it at all.  Note:  one cup of shredded carrots doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is a PITA, so use the food processor.  These are worth a little trouble, though.

The recipe was easy to follow.  I made only one adjustment – I don’t like coconut flour, so I don’t have any.  I substituted a little extra almond meal.

The recipe is from PaleOMG, which is one of the sites I regularly read for food ideas.  You’ll probably see more from PaleOMG soon.  Here is the link:

The pancakes were cakey and tender.  They did not need syrup.  In truth, they didn’t use that much almond meal.  I regularly make blueberry pancakes with twice that much almond meal per serving.  I slightly burned two of them, because the carrots had a bit higher sugar content than I’m used to in a pancake, so watch out.

Loved this recipe!  Here it is before and after, served with nitrate-free chicken sausage.


Blackberry Balls

Well, the actual recipe name for this is “Blackberry Nut Clusters,” but I’ve been calling them “Blackberry Balls,” and now I can’t stop.

This recipe is from Coach Karen, who is one of the coaches at Crossfit Fort Vancouver (*my* Crossfit gym).  Joining Crossfit was one of the greatest transformational points in my life.  The coaches there showed me how to exercise.  I actually exercise less today than I did three years ago.  And my body composition has changed – I am much more muscle-y.  Karen rings the bell for nutrition, and no reasonable person can argue against her.  She is strong and awesome.  She has a blog with an extensive collection of real food recipes.

So here’s one of them:

This took literally 10 minutes to make and was very refreshing.  I did use a bit more coconut than she listed, and I added a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  I took this to a party, and it was a hit.  I liked this so much, I bought more almonds to make more Blackberry Balls for another party next weekend!

As for cost – blackberries are cheap (if not free!), so the real cost is the nuts.  Freezer-friendly?  Seems likely, but I doubt you would freeze these!