Paleo Preserves

This week I had a hankering for a jammy dodger! Actually I prefer the raspberry creams – pulling off the bottom layer of biscuit, scraping the cream filling off  with your teeth then nibbling on the jammy biscuit centre that remains… ok, I play with my food I’ll admit it! Of course jammy dodgers and raspberry creams are a total no go these days, the pain is totally not worth the pleasure, and I didn’t have the time or the inclination to try to come up with a paleoified version, but I did make these instead.

They were pretty damn good if I do say so myself.

Once the jam desire had abated I wanted something zesty and tart, ah for the days of lemon curd tarts! Instead I figured I’d lemonify the little cakes and fill them with lemon curd… My daughter saw them and came up with this piece of “art”…

Oh deary me! That’s teenagers for you. My more tasteful take is below.

I’m starting a whole30 tomorrow so I have had a complete paleo blow out this week – terrible really to still be stuck in the idea of filling up on naughty things before launching into a period of deprivation; it goes against the grain (oops paleo pun there…) of the ethos really I think, but old habits die hard.

Sunday brunch the day before whole30 had to be pancakes. I couldnt be bothered grinding up seeds for my usual pancake recipe so I decided to give the purple sweet potato flour I made the other week a go instead. Topped with lemon curd they were a deliciously decadent treat whilst still being good clean eating!

Recipes for the jam, lemon curd and cakes will be coming up on the website in the next week if I can get near a computer.  I’ll also be documenting my whole30, so if you’re interested in keeping up with how it’s going you might like to like creatively paleo on facebook or follow us on twitter or instagram or if pinterest is your thing we’re there too! Social media whores, much?!

 

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Primal Creative Urges

One of the reasons I chose Creatively Paleo for my website name is because I strongly believe that the creative act is a primal urge that we all feel throughout out lives; I wanted the website name to express the fact that creativity, as a primal desire, is as crucial to our health and wellbeing as the food we eat.

Ever since I can remember I have had moments where I been overcome with the desire to create. Often I wouldn’t have the first clue what I wanted to create, but I just HAD to make something. From around about the age of ten I called these my “creative urges” and I would not be able to rest until I had satisfied the intense yearning that would almost consume me when these urges struck.

I can see a similar need in my son which demonstrates, on a very immediate level, that the desire to create is not an inherently female experience. Obviously when looking at the wider world this is clearly demonstrated, not least by the countless numbers of men who have created great works of art, music, culinary delights etc; but I do think that the primal urge has perhaps most often been associated with the creation of new life in the womb.

I suspect this feminisation of creativity has been a leading factor in the demeaning of arts based studies – academia and cerebral studies are so much more highly prized once you leave the colourful, paint splattered days of kindergarten behind, whilst more obviously creative pursuits are sidelined, at best, but most often mocked and maligned.

It is my belief that this lack of understanding about our primal need to create, has helped to lead many of us into the depths of despair; but… the strength of this innate desire cannot be crushed completely as is testified to by the number of formerly “sensible” adults who suddenly develop a yearning to become yoga teachers, gardeners, artists, knitters, photographers etc etc etc, most often when they hit their late 30s and early 40s, when of course it is laughed off once more, this time as a midlife crisis.

We each have a creative spark within us, no matter how deeply buried we might think it is. How could it be otherwise? After all, don’t we originate from ancestors who were compelled, by something within, to mix up dirt and berry juices and apply them to the walls of their caves as decorative, seemingly purposeless, art? How would humanity have advanced to the extent we have without this need to take raw materials and transform them into something beautiful, useful, tasty or just plain whimsical?

photo credit: wikipedia

Creativity does not just have to be about the arts however, it is entirely possible to fulfil a creative desire in anything you do – a computer coder would probably not seem to be remotely creative to most people, but that strange language, in the right hands, can create a beautiful programme or website that those of us who don’t speak that language would find impossible to bring into being.

Creativity is the spark of passion that drives you; the medium you choose to bring it into existence through is almost besides the point.

I think by now you might be able to tell that I’m a little bit passionate about creativity…! I truly believe that “paleo” is so much more than a way of eating, it is an entire way of life; one that will fuel not just your body but your mind and soul too.

I’d love to hear how you’ve honoured your creativity this week. Here’s how it looked for me.

Recipes for the purple funky chicken and the apple cake will be added to the website this week. Be the first to know by liking our facebook page or by following us on twitter.

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Moving On And Moving In

The last week or so has been one hell of a bumpy ride. We are finally in our new house (I cant call it home yet) and beginning to start getting organised. We have moved into a smaller house which we get the privilege of paying more money for! Gotta love renting hey? In an attempt to soothe my somewhat fractured soul (we didnt want to move but the landlord sold the house unexpectedly) Ive been playing in the kitchen. Ive gone from a fabulous range cooker to a crappy little built in oven and hob and so you’ll excuse me whilst I indulge in a little pity party! 

Anyhoo… at the weekend we took a trip to Leeds as the teens were doing their grade 6 Rockschool exams, so we visited the Chinese supermarket to stock up on a few bits and pieces. They had some exotic (to us country bumpkins) ingredients which I found rather exciting and the rest of the family found worrying! So far I’ve made a not to be repeated desert with some taro root; served up, perfectly fine if unexciting taste wise, boiled purple sweet potato; and…. most thrilling of all…. made purple flour! 

 

This has made me very happy! It is such a lovely, vibrant purple and I can’t wait to create a cake with it! I really hope it holds its colour through the baking process – assuming I can get to grips with the new oven that is.

Here in Northern England it’s the summer solstice. It’s a bit cooler than it was when we moved in and we’ve had some rain, which the birds, in the trees at the bottom of the ski slope like garden, seem to have enjoyed. 

Hope that the turning of the year brings you everything you’re hoping for. 

 

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It’s No Yolk!

Today the weather in these ‘ere parts was noticeably cooler so a baking day was declared. Well,truth be told, whether the weather was fair or fowl, today was going to be a baking day, as I had made a promise that the recipe for my take on Jamaica Ginger Cake would be up by the end of the week.

I had the ingredients pretty much sussed, but it just needed a smidge of tweaking, plus I needed to work out accurate baking times. The children are always SO disappointed when I have to do this; they absolutely hate having a mass of cakes to scoff!

There was a lot of fun and excitement in the kitchen today, far more so than usual. Firstly I forgot to add in the bicarbonate of soda to the bowl but remembered just as I was about to put the tray into the oven. The whole lot, bar one for the sake of experimentation, was scooped out, the bicarb mixed in, spooned back into the tray, and then finally into the oven.

I had expected there to be some difference in the mini loaf that was sans bicarb, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so vastly different. See what I mean? Kitchen science ticked for today’s home ed (home schooling).

gluten_free_ginger_bread_bicarb_no_bicarb.JPG

The other ridiculously exciting thing was that I saw my first ever double yoke. And then my second. And third. And fourth. Oh, and…. fifth! I could not believe it, and the children were equally as impressed.

I’m not sure these double yokes are a good thing though… one of the loaves came out looking like the devil! I’m wondering if I can sell it on ebay and make my fortune… Hmm, too late, smallest child has eaten it!

Well, drum roll people…… Here’s the finished item for your delectation. Enjoy! I’d love to hear what you think if you give it a try.

TTFN – I’ve the washing up mountain to deal with.

Hazy, Lazy Days of Summer

The Paleo/Primal lifestyle isn’t just about the food you eat, It is an entire way of life, and reducing our stress loads plays an important part in that. Moving is a very stressful experience, even though I’ve moved countless times throughout my life so the physical aspects of it don’t feel too onerous to me, the associated admin really gives me the jitters. Taking ten minutes to unwind after the tedious task of dealing with utility companies and council departments is crucial self care in my opinion! The added bonus of course is knowing that I’m filling on up vital vitamin d without having to pay for supplements. What’s EVEN better is that there’s an app for that! Look, how cool is this? 

In just over ten minutes my clever body created more than three times the amount of vitamin d contained in one of these little capsules!

 

What a bargain. I can’t recommend this app enough; its called D Minder and there is a free and a paid version. At £1.49 for the paid one it’s a darn sight cheaper than supplements. I bought it because I found the free one was a bit glitchy, plus I liked that I could save history on the paid one. What’s great about the app is that it is completely customisable to your circumstances, right down to your skin tone; as my pale English skin burns pretty easily I love that it tells me when I need to get out of the sun to avoid burning. It is a fantastic tool in my opinion, because vitamin d is so enormously important for our general health and well being, and anything that increases our awareness of our needs is worth celebrating.

A good book and a cup of something good to drink also help with the unwinding – my dandelion coffee with a smidge of manuka honey is doing me the power of good, as well as being pretty delicious. Lots of paleo people drink the real thing, but my system is super sensitive to caffeine these days, so much as I love the aroma of freshly ground and brewed coffee, it doesn’t love me, but dandelion coffee and chicory aren’t bad substitutes.   

 That’s me ready to take on the next round of moving hassles. How did you de stress today?  

Puppies, Pottering, and Posh Parkin

This weekend the weather has been far too glorious to be stuck inside typing up recipes on the computer, so I haven’t!

Truth be told we’ve been very busy as we get the keys to our new house on Friday and, until today, only one box had been packed… hmmm! That situation has been rectified somewhat today, but you would definitely not think we were moving as soon as we are if you popped round for a cuppa!

Yesterday we visited my cousin whose dog has just birthed seven of the most ridiculously cute little puppies. Me and the children are using all means, foul and fair, to persuade the Mr to let us have one. See for yourself how unbearably awwwww worthy they are….

cuteness factor to the max


Today there’s not been so much cuteness, just lots of hard graft. The garden has to be tidied before we hand over the keys to this house, so weeding has been the order of the day. It’s a strangely enjoyable task, though not so much so when you’re not doing it for your own benefit (though plenty of vitamin was generated, win-win) , so to balance that little negative I gave my fruit trees and bushes a good feed and mulched them with some slate chippings, and they now await the transfer to their new home.

see my shiny new watering can in my favourite colour combo


After all the lifting of heavy things – how very primal! It was time for a tasty treat in the early evening sunshine, and what better than a slice of my Posh Parkin? It would have been all too easy to wolf down a slice or two without any ceremony, but when you’ve given something the posh moniker you’ve got to do the job properly haven’t you?

 

 it really hit the spot I can tell you, but shh… don’t let on that you know, because I snuck off away from the rest of the family and had that slice on the QT! Naughty? Oh hell yes, but very, very nice.

Now weather depending, I will get the recipe for my Oh Yeah Baby Jamaica Ginger Cake up in the next day or two. Try not to drool too much whilst you’re waiting.

TTFN