Paleo Crack Donuts

Happy New Year! I know everyone is working hard away on those eat-less-exercise-more resolutions, but I wanted to take a brief intermission to share some things with you....

I'm pretty sure that almost all of us have heard about that study citing that oreos are more addicting than crack to rats. I cant even imagine the litigation that must be going on right now by Nabisco.  

Honestly, if you're reading this blog, you're probably more health conscious than most, and weren't even surprised. After all, there is a reason why you can easily inhale a whole row of oreos without flinching, while eating a whole tub of paleo cookies is actually a challenge. Why? Because paleo cookies are full of things like metabolism boosting fat (grass-fed butter, coconut oil) and proteins (almond flour, cashew flour, eggs).

Like I said, no one was surprised about the crackoreo discovery. However, what I was surprised about was that other foods weren't tested. Like fruit loops or cocoa pebbles or reese's or donuts

...Because let's be real, we all know that I especially have a donut addiction. Specifically to fried cake donuts. I absolutely love love love a great cup of coffee, but a donut topped with sprinkles WITH a cup of coffee? To me, that tastes like what heaven would taste like, if heaven had a taste. Are donuts paleo?  Nope, definitely not. Do I have them from time to time? Yep. And its pure pleasure for about 10 seconds (because I inhale them) and then I feel sick for 5 hours after. I hang onto this feeling long enough to keep myself away, or until I get tempted by those sprinkles again. Then I have another donuts and the vicious cycle continues.

Donuts. Just like crack.

I've made several paleo donut recipes, like the one here. I've also made others from likeminded paleo bloggers that are delicious, but not exactly the fried, flaky, frosting-toppped, sweet donuts that we are all so enamored with. I've found that all the paleo donuts I have tried are dense and cake-like, which makes sense because they're cake-donuts after all, but they just don't have the same texture as conventional donuts.

Until now.

Well, kind of. Since they are still paleo, they will not be quite the same as the traditional donut I have now so eloquently painted a picture of in your head, but they do have a lighter, springier, texture that is the closest I have come to an actual donut. They are indeed fried, so not the best option, in my opinion, but so much better than anything you could buy for a $1 morning special.

Paleo Sugar and Butter Glazed Mini Donuts

Makes 12 mini donuts (or 6 regular sized donuts)

For Donuts:

  • 3/4 Cup Tapioca Starch, divided
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour, plus extra for thickening
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • About 1 Cup coconut oil for frying

For Glaze:

  • 6 tbsp. unsalted, grass-fed, organic butter (I use Kerrygold)
  • 4 tbsp. coconut sugar

To make donuts:

  1. Heat 1/4 cup water to approximately 100 degrees. Add yeast and let sit for about 10 minutes until water is frothy.
  2. While yeast is activating, in a large bowl, beat egg. Add vanilla and stir.
  3. Add in 1/2 cup of the tapioca starch and coconut flour to the egg and vanilla mixture and stir thoroughly until incorporated.
  4. Add activated yeast and water to the batter and stir until well incorporated.
  5. Heat the raw honey until it has melted and add to the batter.
  6. Add in remaining 1/4 cup tapioca starch slowly, stirring after each addition.
  7. At this point, your batter should be slightly sticky but not runny. If it is runny, add additional coconut flour 1 tsp. at a time, stirring after each addition, until batter has thickened.
  8. Once batter is thick but sticky, place a towel over the large bowl with the batter and set aside for about 30 minutes in a warm place to let rise. Batter should rise, but not quite double.
  9. Once dough has risen, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll into a ball, then flatten and roll into long tubes about 1 1/2 inches thick. Connect the end of each donut tube by pressing the edges together and creating a circle. Set aside.
  10. Once all your donuts have been formed, pour coconut oil into a large frying pan on heat on medium heat. Oil should cover about 2/3 of each donuts. Fry donuts 3 at a time, for 3 minutes, until a light brown, and then flip over to brown other side.
  11. Place donuts on a paper towel lined plate to cool before glazing.
  12. Repeat steps 10-11 until you have fried all your donuts. Add more coconut oil if necessary for frying.

To make glaze:

  1. Melt Butter.
  2. Dip donuts into melted butter and set aside.
  3. Sprinkle each donut with about 1 tsp. of coconut sugar.

*These donuts are best when enjoyed immediately, while they are still warm, but not hot. I recommend eating them within 48 hours, as they start to harden after that.  

So we bought a cow...

Just before I made the big move to New Mexico, my boyfriend called me:

I have a surprise for you. I bought a deep freezer….

…and a cow to go in it.”

As creepy as this probably sounds, that was one of the best surprises I ever could have gotten. Consuming organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised beef is something that is important to the both of us: in addition to the health benefits such as ensuring that we do not ingest hormones, diseased tissue, or a sick animal (umm, gross), we also are doing our part to support the small farmers of the U.S., cutting costs, AND contributing to a more sustainable environment by having a lesser carbon footprint. I call that one a win-win-win-win-win.

Christopher found this farmer through a family connection, and discovered we had the options to choose a quarter, half, or a full cow. Seeing that a quarter of a cow takes up almost a full deep freezer, we decided that that would be enough for us, especially since it is just the two of us chipping away at all that red meat. The purchase of a cow came with some preferences for what cuts we would like processed (round shank, rump roast, strip steak, ground beef, t-bone, etc.), but we also had the option to receive the bones, which we took happily off their hands. (Beef stock for days!)

All in all, the half-cow cost approximately $500 for about 200 pounds of high-quality, grass-fed, organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised beef. Roughly, this comes out to $2.50 a pound, which is a stark, affordable contrast to previously paying upwards of $8-12/pound in D.C, and $7-11/pound in the southwest. If you’re serious about the quality of your meat while staying on a budget, buying in bulk is the way to go. I never thought that half of a cow would be one of the best ever gifts from a boyfriend. Cheers, cavemen and cavewomen, cheers.  Demand cows for gifts, not flowers and chocolate.

So now, I present with you with one of my newest creations, which evolved out of an attempt to eat our 50 pounds (yes, 50) of ground beef. This meatloaf is a great weeknight meal since it is incredibly easy to make, and reheats well. It is great packed as lunch, and serves as a delicious comfort food. Most meatloaf recipes use flour or breadcrumbs, but this one is safely grain-free, as it only uses eggs and almond flour to make the mixture stick together. When I first made this, I had some guests over for dinner, including a 6 year old and an 8 year old, and they happily ate this with gusto. (I can therefore say that this is kid-approved!) I really think that what makes this dish is the paleo Worcestershire sauce that I made specifically for this meatloaf, although I can imagine that natural and organic store-bought is fine, as long as it isn’t packed with chemicals. I also have made this recipe in mini bread loaf pans, which I think are whimsical, although there really doesn’t make a difference aside from baking time.

Paleo Meatloaf

Serves 6-8

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • ½ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 4 tbsp. tomato paste, divided
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. ground onion powder
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • Coconut oil spray for pans
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix ground beef and all ingredients except for 2 tbsp. of the tomato paste and ghee in a large bowl.
  3. Spray two bread loaf pans with coconut oil spray.
  4. Fill each bread pan with ground beef mixture, pat down into pan to make sure that the meat is even in the pan. If you are using mini pans, you will need 6. 
  5. Mix remaining 2 tbsp. tomato pasta and ghee in a bowl. Once mixed, spread the tomato paste and ghee mixture on top of the meatloaf.
  6. Place meatloaf on the center rack of the oven, and bake for approximately 90 minutes. If using a mini bread pan, bake for about 40 minutes. Meatloaf is done when loaf is a dark brown on top and the sides have pulled away.