Two years ago I finally faced the topic of Paleo cooking head on. For years I’d heard about the Caveman diet and similar concepts related to the Paleo diet. When I bought a book focussed on high intensity training exercises, the diet that was recommended was essentially a Paleo diet. Eliminating or reducing grains and dairy from your diet is no easy task. (Saying good-bye to processed foods isn’t as difficult.) Some people follow the Paleo diet in a strict way. Other people make compromises. In my case, I didn’t fully eliminate dairy and I’ve certainly fallen off the Paleo track numerous times in the last two years. In general, though, it is a good way to rethink how you construct a meal menu.
The Super Paleo Snacks cookbook has been a welcome opportunity to look at how you can blend Paleo goals with sweet and savour snack options.
What you Receive
Landria Voigt, C.H.H.C, is a nutritional consultant and public speaker who focussed on making changes to her diet as a way to cope with an autoimmune disease. In this cookbook she presents 100 low-glycemic, gluten-free snacks recipes.
At the beginning of the cookbook there is a useful section about why and how we snack, along with shopping ideas. In her shopping section she discusses baking flours, nut and seed butters, super seeds, chocolate, natural sweeteners, snacks, Paleo milks and additional supplies. I found this section to be very informative and useful.
The recipes are divided into six sections:
- school and work snacks;
- at-home snacks;
- on-the-go snacks;
- energy replenishing snacks;
- nut-free snacks (without tree nuts or peanuts); and,
- sweet treats.
Many of the savoury snacks could be worked into a meal or eaten on their own.
The first recipes I tried were the Italian Meatballs and Bacon & Sweet Potato Hash recipes. I wanted to try the meatballs because I’m always on the hunt for a new, even better meatballs recipe. Meatballs are useful to have in your fridge as they are good for lunch or diner, can be tucked in a school lunch (eaten cold) and can even curb your child’s hunger if he/she wants a snack after school. This recipe calls for almond meal or flour. The interesting addition is that you mix ground sausage in with the ground meat. The author suggests that you make your meatballs 3 inches wide. Personally I found this size a little hard to handle and would prefer to make them smaller. Even though it’s not mentioned in the recipe, you can also oven bake your meatballs (turning them over half way) instead of pan frying them.
If you haven’t tried making sweet potato hash you really should. I’ve tried various recipes and I have to say that the Bacon & Sweet Potato Hash recipe was particularly flavourful. I think this is because I ended up putting more spices in this dish than I normally put in a sweet potato hash. The maple syrup and bacon pieces add an additional flavour kick. If your family members aren’t used to a lot of spices, you can always cut the amounts in half the first time you try the recipe. I didn’t find this dish to be too spicy. Neither did my children. Everyone in our family gave the recipe a thumbs up. (My two five year old children it was two thumbs up and nose up.)
If you’ve tried making pancakes with coconut flour, you’ll know that they’re a tricky business. Pancakes that only have coconut flour can be crumbly. The balance of ingredients in the Silver Dollar Banana Pancakes works. I also think the suggestion to make them small helps. If you try this recipe, it’s important to keep to the suggested size. This recipe doesn’t require a lot of ingredients but it is packed with flavour. You could use these pancakes for breakfast/brunch, for a snack or tucked into a school lunch. They would also be a convenient snack-on-the-go.
Coconut flour is available in many locations now, including in the natural food aisle of big box grocery stores. Once you start using it, you’ll find that it isn’t sitting unused on your pantry shelf.
The Cauliflower Pizza Bites were easy to make and I had high hopes that my children would like them. They didn’t like them. I suspect this is because they don’t eat cauliflower that much. Also, one of my children doesn’t eat a lot of cheese and isn’t very keen on dishes that have a lot of cheese in them. I would like to try this recipe again with broccoli because I think it’s a perfect snack for tucking into a school lunch. I like cauliflower and I liked this recipe.
I was really keen to try the Apple Crisp Chips recipe. I don’t tend to buy a lot of these types of food products in the store because they can be a bit pricey. So we just don’t end up eating this type of food product. I also feel that it is a bit wasteful to buy a bag of chips, eat a few chips and then throw the empty bag out.
For this recipe, it is very handy to have a mandolin of some type on hand. In fact, if you don’t have one I’m not sure that you could make this recipe. I happen to have one that I purchased in Japan – a country where this type of cooking tool is used a lot. I did notice that my traditional, stand up grater has a sharp edge that could produce a thinly cut apple slice.
This recipe wasn’t too hard to make. There was a bit of fussing around required to place the cut apples on the baking tray. I used a silicone mat so it was easy to flip them over. If you don’t have a silicone baking mat, they are easy to find these days and less expensive than they used to be. (Back in the days when they were imported solely from France!)
I would like to make these recipe more often. What I was left wondering is if it might be easier to have a fruit dehydrator rather than running the oven for a long period of time. It might also use less energy. My family members really liked the chips.
You can never have enough chocolatey cupcakey muffiny type recipes in your back pocket. Knowing that the recipe you’re trying is as healthy as it could possibly be is encouraging. The Chocolate Muffins recipe uses a combination of almond flour and coconut flour, raw cacao powder and raw honey. If you want to make them even more healthy, you can purchase chocolate chips in the health food aisle at your local grocery store. I liked how the chocolate chips melted on the top of the muffin; however, one of my children suggested that I keep the chips inside the muffin. This is probably because that is the way I have mixed in chocolate chips in the past. If you would like to make this recipe but can’t use almonds due to a nut allergy, you can substitute regular flour for almond flour 1 to 1. You can also find whole wheat flour that functions like all purpose flour in the regular flour section.
I would definitely recommend this cookbook. There are simply too many good tips and useful recipes to pass up. Most of the recipes are accompanied by photographs. This really helps the baker to know what to expect before trying out the recipe. The cookbook is also a useful resource for helping to make your diet more Paleo diet friendly.
Landria Voigt is a consultant at the Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine. Here is a useful video clip with her colleague in which the latter discusses how to curb your sugar cravings. Landria addresses the topic of how and why you snack at the beginning of this cookbook. Hopefully her ideas, along with the tips in this video, will help you to revamp your approach to snack foods.
Disclosure: I received a sample of a product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided and all views and opinions stated on this post are 100% my own.