Get your just desserts…

In an ideal world we would all conform to a strict Primal diet of meats and vegetables with a little fruit and perhaps some raw, fermented dairy 100% of the time.

Realistically though, this isn’t going to happen, and it doesn’t really need to – You can still have the odd cheat meal here and there without compromising you health, fitness and physique.  The whole point of getting Primal fit is in order that you can enjoy life – What’s the point in looking and feeling great if you are living the stoic life of a monk!

All that said, however, there are still a few foods that I would recommend avoiding full stop, or at least consuming very infrequently, in favour of some more primalish alternatives.

The main culprits are desserts containing wheat (yes I know that’s 90% of commercially available desserts!), and desserts containing vegetable oil, particularly hydrogenated vegetable oil (again this rules out pretty much any factory produced dessert).

Do yourself a favour, and never have another doughnut – A mix of sugar and flour deep fried in vegetable oil!  A little ball of metabolic syndrome…

The good news is, that you can quite easily make your own quick and easy desserts using more Primal ingredients.

With a bit of imagination you can recreate most of your favourite desserts by just switching from wheat flour to coconut or almond flour, and ensuring you use grass fed butter rather than margarine.  If you want to stay dairy free you can use coconut oil instead of butter, and coconut milk in place of cow’s milk.

Any of the recipes can be made with either type of flour (I’ve tried others too but found these to be the best), what I’ve found is that the coconut flour is lighter and fluffier, with a more neutral taste, but tends to be more crumbly (its also lower in calories if you’re looking to lose weight), whereas the almond flour with produce desserts with a heavier texture, a bit more stable and a more distinct (but nice) flavour.

Another secret ingredient that is of great use in making Primal desserts is Primal Protein – Not only does it add the sweetness and flavour without the sugar, the high protein content makes the dessert extremely filling so you’re unlikely to binge on it, or eat more than you need.  Most of the desserts below, can actually be used as a very effective post workout meal!

Anyway, here are a few of my favourite dessert recipes (Cavemen don’t use scales, so all ingredients can just be eye-balled!):

Primal Ice Cream

Ingredients:

Bananas
Dried Figs
Raw Grass Fed Milk/Coconut Milk
Primal Protein or
Honey

Method:

Chop up a few bananas into 1″ chunks, put them in a Tupperware container and stick them in the freezer. You can leave them here until you need them.

When you fancy some ice-cream, get the banana chunks out of the freezer and stick them in a food processor with all the other ingredients except the milk. Start the blender, then add milk a dash at a time until the mixture forms the texture of ice-cream. Possibly the easiest dessert ever! (I’ve also found that if you’re out of milk, some slightly defrosted banana chunks, with a sprinkling of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey is also pretty damn tasty).

Primal Custard:

Ingredients:

Bananas
Raw Grass Fed Milk or Coconut Milk
Grass Fed Butter or Coconut Butter
Cinnamon
Vanilla Flavour Primal Protien

Method:

Slice up the bananas and pan fry them in the butter with the cinnamon until they have begun to soften and disintegrate.

Add the milk and allow to warm without coming to boil. Take the heated mixture and blend to a custard like consistency (If using protein add at this point).

Primal Crumble:

Ingredients:

Fruit – I’ve used apple and pear, rhubarb and strawberries and mixed berries all with great success.
Lemon
Honey
Desiccated Coconut
Pecan Nuts
Grass Fed Butter or Coconut Oil

Method:

Chop up the fruit and spread evenly along the bottom of an oven proof dish. Squeeze the juice of a lemon over it and drizzle honey over to taste.

Blend the pecans and coconut in 50/50 quantities in a food processor along with a generous portion of melted butter/oil and a little more honey.

Spread the crumble mixture over the fruit, and bake in the oven for around 45 mins to 1 hour on 175C, until the crumble goes a golden brown colour.

Best served with a generous helping of Primal Custard or Ice-Cream!

Primal Pancakes

Ingredients:

Organic Eggs
Raw Grass Fed Milk or Coconut Milk
Coconut Flour or Almond Flour
Grass Fed Butter or Coconut Oil
Vanilla Primal Protein

Method:

Crack the eggs into a cup, and notice how far up the side they come.

Pop them into a mixing bowl, then add equal quantities of the flour and milk (by filling the same cup to the same level the eggs came up to). Beat the mixture well with a whisk, while melting the butter/oil in a small frying pan. If using protein, substitute 1/3 of flour for Primal Protein.

Pour in just enough of the mixture to cover the base of the pan by about 1/2cm. I’ve found they are not quite are resilient as wheat flour pancakes (it is the sticky property of the gluten that is one of the factors which has made wheat so popular), so I wouldn’t advise attempting to flip it! They taste just as good, if not better though 🙂

I like mine with sliced banana, freshly squeezed lemon juice and a drizzle of honey (these three are stalwarts of my Primal dessert adventures!)

Primal Muffins/Cakes/Scones/Cakes

Ingredients:

Organic Eggs
Coconut or Almond Flour
Grass Fed Butter or Coconut Oil
Primal Protein

(Optional)
Dried Fruit
Nuts
85% Dark Chocolate Drops
Banana
Berries
etc

Separate your eggs – The easiest way to do this is to crack the eggs through your fingers letting the whites drain into a bowl below, then pop the yolks in a separate bowl.

Mix the egg yolks and flour – I find that for 6 large eggs you’ll need approximately 200g of flour, and a large knob of butter (this will need to be pretty warm, not straight from the fridge), plus any other ingredients you fancy.

Meanwhile, take the egg whites and beat them until they are a fluffy foamy consistency. If you are a Mum, you can do this by hand in about 30 seconds. If you are a mere mortal I would recommend using an electric whisk/egg beater attachment on food processor, the first time at least so you know what you’re aiming for (not very Primal I know – I shall keep practising!).

Take the beaten eggs and fold them into the other ingredients – It is the air bubbles trapped in the whites that will cause the mixture to rise.

This mixture can then be put into muffin cases to make muffins, a cake tin to make a cake, dolloped onto a baking tray to make scones – Just use your imagination. If you skip the egg separating/beating and just blend everything together, you can use the same ingredients to make cookies.

A few examples of things I’ve made in the past using this base:

Raisin Scones, served with Raw Cream and Home-made Strawberry Jam.

Chocolate and Cashew Nut Cookies

Banana and Cinnamon Bread-less Loaf

Strawberry Muffins (using dried strawberries)

The key to making your own Primal desserts is to use your imagination. Perhaps the first couple of times follow one of these recipes, but then start to experiment and come up with your own ideas.

Providing you use the same basic ingredients – Eggs, gluten free flour, a healthy fat source and some fruit/nuts/protein for flavour you can’t go too far wrong. Worst case scenario is that it won’t look pretty. Providing you don’t cremate it, it’ll taste great regardless of what it looks like.

There is also a lot to be said for producing something yourself, or for someone you care for – Home-made desserts are not only better for you nutritionally (they will inevitably contain less nasty ingredients and fewer calories), but their is something deeply satisfying and rewarding that comes with making your own food.

Primal Dessert Disclaimer 😉

All that said, please do still bear in mind that these are all primalish.  Remember, Hunter-Gatherer’s did/do not eat Primal Pancakes!  Though all the above options are considerably better than your typical desserts, they should still be used as treats, and should not form the basis of your diet.

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