honey

Paleo Flan with Honey Caramel

paleo flan with honey caramel

Ah, how I adore flan! There is something amazing about the combination of something creamy and caramel! I remember staying up late one night in Mexico in one of the host homes I stayed in and chatting with the house cook, Lucina as she waited for the flan to be done in the oven. She took great care to prepare breakfasts, lunches and dinners that were first class! Every Sunday she would prepare lunch and dessert for more than 40 people! It was amazing. I will never forget her dedication in the kitchen, love of good ingredients and love of food! 

So, in honor of Lucina, I created this healthier version of flan using coconut milk and honey. I am so pleased at how it turned out! It is heavenly and can be enjoyed knowing that it doesn't have any refined sugars. I hope that you enjoy this special flan with your friends and family soon. 

Paleo Flan with Honey Caramel: 

Adapted from a recipe from The Art of Mexican Cooking by Diana Kennedy

Makes 4 small servings (You may double this recipe for a larger flan to serve 8) 

Caramel: 

1/4 cup honey + 2 tablespoons

1/4 cup full fat canned coconut milk (not light) 

Flan: 

2 cups canned full fat coconut milk (not light) 

pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup honey

1 cinnamon stick

2 eggs

3 egg yolks

 

rimmed baking sheet for a water bath

large bundt pan

1. To make the caramel, place the honey and coconut milk in a small frying pan over medium heat. Stir with a rubber spatula as it cooks. It will bubble and thicken. Thicken it to a light sauce texture and take it off the heat when it is caramel in color and thickened. If the caramel is too thin, add a bit more honey, if it is too thick, add a bit more coconut milk.  Pour the caramel into the large bundt pan and swirl it around so it covers the bottom and sides. 

2. Heat the oven to 325. Make sure there is a rack on the lowest rung of the oven. 

3. In a large, heavy saucepan add in the coconut milk, salt, and honey. Bring the mixture slowly to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and honey. Continue to boil slowly, making sure that the mixture doesn't boil over. You want to reduce the mixture by 1/3 cup. Once the mixture is reduced, take it off the heat and let it cool for 15 minutes. 

4. Meanwhile, beat the eggs and egg yolks together in a bowl. Once the coconut milk mixture is cooled, place a fine mesh strainer over the saucepan, pour the egg mixture into the strainer and let the eggs strain through into the coconut milk mixture. Use a rubber spatula to make sure all of the egg mixture strains in. Whisk the egg/milk mixture lightly before adding it to the bundt pan. 

5. Place the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack in the oven. Place the bundt pan on it with the flan mixture in it. Then, pour boiling water into the rimmed baking sheet to about 1/4-1/2 inch. 

6. Bake at 325 F for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. The flan will be set and will be browned on top. Refrigerate until cool, then unmold onto a plate. 

Banana Pecan Date Muffins

Banana Pecan Date Muffins

Do you ever have a recipe that comes together out of things that you just happen to have on your counter, in your pantry, in your fridge and freezer? This is exactly how these muffins came to life! I happened to have some ripe bananas I didn't want to go to waste, a few pecans in the freezer, dates and banana chips in my pantry! I love how this all came together. 

I started to think about flavor combinations that I liked, and I love the richness of the pecans and wanted to really flavor the muffin with lots of that nut flavor, so I decided to grind the nuts instead of just chopping them. I did however leave some bigger chunks of pecans for the topping. 

I imagine that these would be fabulous for a little tea party, or for a breakfast with friends. However, right now I will just enjoy mine, here on a regular Tuesday with my cup of coffee. :) 

I hope that you make these soon and let me know what you think! 

Banana Pecan Date Muffins: 

Makes 12 small muffins

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup honey

1 cup ripe, mashed bananas (about 3 bananas) 

1 cup gluten free flour mix (I used a new Ancient Grains one. It already contains xanthan gum, but if your mix does not, add 1 teaspoon xanthan gum to this recipe) 

1/2 cup ground pecans (Put pecans into a food processor and process until ground but not turned into nut butter) 

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

3/4 cup dates, chopped finely

1. Grease the cups of a muffin tin with coconut oil. Heat the oven to 350F. 

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the coconut oil for 1-2 minutes. 

3. Add in the coconut sugar and honey and mix well. Then, add in the mashed bananas and mix together. Add in the gluten free flour mix, mix together. Stir in the ground pecans, baking soda and cinnamon. Lastly, add in the chopped dates and mix. 

4.  Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. 

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool, and top with banana/pecan topping. (Recipe below) 

 

Topping: 

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup organic banana chips, broken into small pieces

1. In a small frying pan, add in the pecans, honey and cinnamon. Stir together the ingredients for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Make sure the nuts and honey are well combined.Take the pan off the heat. 

2. Mix together the nut/honey mixture with the broken banana chip pieces. Spoon a small amount of the topping onto each muffin. Enjoy! 

Paleo Strawberry Honey Frozen Custard

paleo strawberry honey frozen custard

Summer is officially almost here! And to me, summer means homemade frozen desserts. Growing up in the country, all summer long we would get out our old hand crank ice cream maker, make a batch of ice cream batter from scratch, get out some ice and salt and take turns cranking the ice cream maker until we had our frozen treat. My Dad did the best and fastest cranking of that old ice cream maker and it was so much fun to watch. We would always bring it out to the kitchen deck and anxiously await our ice cream! 

Today my Dad still makes ice cream often from scratch but he uses an updated electric ice cream maker. I have a similar electric ice cream maker and although there are more modern versions that don't involve ice and salt, I still love to use them because it brings back such fond memories and I feel like I am really involved in the process. 

The other day I decided to test out a paleo version of a frozen custard, one that really says "summer!!" I had picked a large amount of strawberries at a local farm, so I took some out that I had frozen and made a quick strawberry sauce with them that I added to a coconut milk custard base. It turned out so delicious! Now everyone is asking for more servings! 

I hope that you, your family and friends enjoy this frozen custard soon- and get out the ice and salt for old time's sake! 

 

Paleo Strawberry Honey Frozen Custard

Makes 6-8 servings

 

4 cups full fat coconut milk

1/3 cup tapioca flour

1/3 cup honey

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, beaten

+Paleo Strawberry Sauce

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Pour the coconut milk into a large saucepan. Heat over medium high heat until it reaches 175F. Stir in tapioca flour, honey and salt. Mix in well with a wire whisk. Mixture will thicken. Take a small amount (about 1/4 cup) of the milk mixture and whisk it into the egg mixture.Take off heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. 

2. After the coconut milk mixture has cooled, hold a fine mesh strainer over the saucepan and pour the beaten eggs into the strainer. Use a rubber spatula to stir the eggs around and strain them into the coconut milk mixture until all of the egg mixture is now in the saucepan. 

3. Place the saucepan back on the heat, whisk with a wire whisk constantly and bring to the temperature of 160F.  Take off the heat.

4. Mix in the paleo strawberry sauce and the cinnamon with a wire whisk. 

5. Place the mixture in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. 

6. Once the mixture has been chilled for several hours, place into an ice cream maker and freeze your frozen custard according to the manufacturer's instructions. Below is a video of me describing how I use my ice cream maker: 

 

 

Paleo Strawberry Sauce: 

1 cup fresh or frozen (defrosted) strawberries and their juice

1/4 cup honey

Place these two ingredients into a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until thickened. Take off heat to cool. 

I hope that you enjoy this delicious frozen custard recipe! Below are a few other desserts you might want to try making. 

 

Coconut Honey Tapioca Cream

Coconut Honey Tapioca Cream

Yummy, dreamy pudding oh my! This delicious pudding recipe idea is another one that came from adapting a recipe from my grandma Marion's old home economics/home science notebook. She wrote all of the recipes in pencil, in cursive with careful attention to detail. I love it! 

I adapted this recipe to be dairy free and also to use honey. I love the addition of the toasted coconut on top and the golden color of the pudding with the addition of honey as a sweetener. It was a great hit with my son too. 

I hope that you enjoy this recipe for your next party or celebration. It really is a very special treat! 

Coconut Honey Tapioca Cream

1/4 cup pearl tapioca or 2 tablespoons minute tapioca

cold water for soaking tapioca in

2 cups scalded full fat coconut milk

2 eggs, separated (slightly beat egg yolks in a medium bowl with a fork) 

1/3 cup honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping: Toasted large flakes of unsweetened coconut

1. Place tapioca in a small bowl. Cover with water. Soak for 1 hour before making pudding.

2. To scald the coconut milk, place the 2 cups of coconut milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil, take off the heat. 

3. Add the soaked tapioca to the coconut milk and cook in the top of a double boiler (place water in the bottom part of the double boiler over medium heat). Cook until tapioca is transparent. 

4. Add half the honey to the milk and the other half to the 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten. Add salt to the milk mixture and stir. 

5. Combine by pouring the tapioca mixture into the egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. 

6. Return this mixture to the top of the double boiler and cook until thickened. 

7. Remove from the heat. 

8. Beat the 2 egg whites until stiff. Fold the egg whites into the tapioca mixture. Place into bowls and top with toasted coconut. Enjoy!