This one is for all of you who’ve kept expressing your wish for me to
put de lime in de coconut, and mix ‘em bot’ up
I’ve always been fascinated by the myriad of dietary philosophies out there. Not weight loss diets. I have no time for that nonsense. What I’m talking about is lifestyle changes for reasons of health and fitness (which, if healthy, often lead to steady, permanent weight loss, if it’s an issue to begin with). Having a food intolerance myself, I have spent the last few years coming to terms with that and making some major changes to my diet. But I took it further, partly because I found myself feeling so much better (it took a while!) but also because I wanted to adopt a truly clean and healthy diet that would support my fitness goals as well. Plus, I like to experiment. You can take the girl out of science but …
So I find myself avidly reading about different dietary lifestyles, largely out of curiosity and to see if there is anything I can glean from the experience of those who have travelled the road before me, something that I can try to improve my diet. I don’t subscribe to any particular diet myself as I have to accommodate my food intolerances and I’m all about balance … good common sense and listen to your body.
Importantly, don’t forget dessert. Frankly, if your diet is pretty healthy 90% of the time, a little indulgence is good for the soul and probably does your body some good too. All things in moderation. Keeps us looking gorgeous. It would be hypocritical of me to suggest otherwise, given the nature of this blog, wouldn’t it?
So, for the record, I do not follow a paleo diet. But, I have experimented a bit with paleo style baking, just for something to do. I like it because it gives me a lot of scope to use coconut in all its myriad forms. I was never a big fan of coconut but I’ve grown to like it over the past twelve months as some of the recipes on this site show. One of the issues I have though, is the very high fat content of many of the dessert and baking recipes out there. Not that I have a problem with fats. On the contrary, we need fats of various kinds for our bodies to function properly, plus they keep us feeling full and they make food taste great. Again, it’s all about moderation.
Still, it was nice to try to lighten the load a little on a paleo style cupcake. You won’t find coconut butter in here, but you will find some coconut and almond flour supplying some good fats. I’ve also used egg whites to add extra lightness to the cupcakes, a tack that has worked beautifully.
A little burst of fresh lime juice and zest adds some zing to cut through the coconut … these cupcakes are very moist, have some great texture with the addition of shredded coconut and are extremely light. The frosting is entirely optional. They are fabulous without it. But, if you believe that more coconut and lime is better, then go for it.
Note that these are both dairy and gluten-free. If you do follow a paleo diet, well hello there
I made these for my mum so she can have a treat that she can enjoy without worrying about it being unhealthy and the coconut sugar won’t play havoc with her blood sugar either. Oh yeah, I also made them for me, so I can enjoy another healthy treat this Christmas. I really hate being left out when it’s time for dessert
I hope you enjoy them!
Makes 8 cupcakes (recipe can be scaled up proportionally)
2 x 400 millilitre cans of organic coconut milk
215 grams egg whites*
75 grams coconut sugar
45 grams coconut flour
125 grams almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
125 millilitres coconut “water”
2 limes – zest and juice
40 grams unsweetened shredded coconut
*you can substitute whole eggs for the egg whites. You will need about 4 x 59 gram eggs (52 grams shelled).
300 grams (about) coconut “cream”
40 grams coconut sugar
1 lime – zest and juice
slices of fresh lime, to decorate
Several hours (or the night) before you intend to make the cupcakes, place the two cans of coconut milk in the refrigerator. The coconut milk will separate out into a solid “cream” and “water”. You will need the cream for the frosting and some of the water for the cupcakes. Don’t discard the extra coconut water (you will have an extra 375 ml or 1 1/2 cups). It is great in smoothies, for making protein pancakes, anything. It’s really rehydrating and tastes good too.
Decided to make these on a whim? Don’t panic.
If you are pressed for time, you can substitute full-fat or lite coconut milk in the cupcakes and standard coconut cream for the frosting.
Preheat the oven to 175℃. Line eight muffin tin molds with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites (or whole eggs) and coconut sugar until frothy and the sugar has dissolved.
Sift together the coconut flour, almond meal, baking powder, and baking soda. Add half the mixture to the egg whites and beat until smooth. Add the coconut “water”, lime zest and juice. Beat on low-speed until incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and the shredded coconut, and beat until smooth.
Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners. Bake for about 20 minutes, until risen and golden. Remove from the oven and let cool while you prepare the frosting.
In a blender or food processor, blend or process the coconut “cream” until smooth, to make sure there are no hard coconut pieces left.
Place in a bowl with the coconut sugar, lime zest, and juice. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly. Refrigerate until ready to frost the cupcakes, if required.
Pipe a little frosting on each cupcake. Top with a slice of fresh lime to decorate.
If you are interested in learning more about the paleo diet and lifestyle, a simple google search will unearth a number of sites. I haven’t listed any here as my intention is not to promote any particular dietary lifestyle (je ne suis pas qualifié). We all need to work out what works best for ourselves.