Paleo may look like a food fad, and yet you could argue that it’s really just the reverse. Anatomically modern humans have, after all, been around for about two hundred thousand years. The genus Homo goes back another two million years or so. On the timescale of evolutionary history, it’s agriculture that’s the fad.
Challenge: Convert these to paleo, or at least to gluten-free!
CHUBBY TATES COOKIES
Adapted from Tate’s Bake Shop’s original recipe
- Makes about 3 dozen cookies
2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1. Position the oven racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat to 325°. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter with the brown sugar, granulated sugar and corn syrup using an electric mixer on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the flour mixture, just until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips.
3. Using 2 tablespoons per cookie, drop mounds of dough about three inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. The dough can be frozen on the baking sheets until hard, then transferred to a ziplock plastic bag and stored in the freezer for up to one month. Bake without thawing.
4. Bake, rotating the positions of the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges, about 18 minutes. (If using frozen cookie dough, bake about 20 minutes.) Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough, using cool baking sheets.
Or: “Learning to Love Our Bodies” — A dramedy in 82 parts.
It started well over a year ago. Specifically, it began with almond milk and its obvious expense at the grocery store, questionable ingredient list, and the “I’m not sure if this Tetra Pak is recyclable” packaging. After a quick internet search, making almond milk by hand is easy. Stupid easy. You soak some almonds overnight, strain the almonds and dump out the gross brown phytic acid–laden water the next morning, throw the almonds into a blender with some fresh water (and any desired flavorings like vanilla, cocoa powder, honey), and voilà! You have almond milk after you separate the pulp from the liquid. And don’t throw out that pulp, either. It’s essentially almond flour once you put it in a low oven to dry out, and we all know that almond flour is hella expensive as well.
I don’t actually make almond milk anymore because I gave up cereal, but it certainly sparked the DIY spirit in me, and I’ve been keeping our kitchen stocked ever since.
The reasons for making much of this stuff by hand are aplenty:
1) It’s cheaper. Exponentially so. For example, the ridiculous artisanal kimchi in the Bay Area is about $7–$8 a jar; I can make it for maybe $3 and get almost 4x the yield. Almond butter? There’s a brand out there that literally costs almost $20 a jar. I buy a four-pound bag of raw almonds at the farmers’ market for $20, and it lasts about four to six months, depending on how much butter I decide to churn out or if I need almonds for other recipes.
2) It’s simple. Sure, some of these things take time to ferment or culture or dry out. But 95% of that is simply waiting. The hands-on time is minimal. Today I had bone broth brewing in the crockpot, tea gummies setting up in the fridge, hot cocoa mix whisked up, and sauerkraut lacto-fermenting at room temperature—all under two hours.
3) I control the additives, thus ending up with a product containing as few ingredients as possible.
4) No packaging. This is a big one for me. I absolutely hate waste. But ever since I started my endeavor to make as much as possible, our single bag of trash gets taken out once every six to eight weeks. We do have compost and recycling that get disposed of more frequently, but I don’t have nearly as many pangs of guilt when I’m dumping out egg shells or glass bottles into their respective green and blue bins.
5) Above all, I enjoy it. I’ve always loved baking, more recently became a better cook, but keeping our pantry full of staple items that would otherwise be purchased from the shelves has become a passion, if not an obsession, of mine.
A list of our homemade items:
- Coconut butter, raw and toasted—two very distinct flavors, so we must have both on hand at all times
- Almond butter—almonds are soaked first, dried, then roasted
- Cashew butter—same process as almond butter
- Sunbutter—sunflower seeds, processed the same way
- Chocolate macadamia nut butter—not a staple since mac nuts are pricey, but it’s delicious
- Homemade Nutella—an extra step involved with removing the skins from hazelnuts, but better for you because you can control the sweetness (but let’s be honest, it’s still not a health food)
- Marmalades and jams
- Pesto—a giant bunch of fresh sweet basil is $1 at the market at the height of the season, and a batch of pesto freezes well and lasts a long time
- Naz’s BBQ sauce—he takes the drippings from various braised meats, throws in some mustard, vinegars, molasses, and whatever else, and cooks the mixture way down
- Naz’s mayonnaise—we’re lucky to get a 30-pack of pastured organic brown eggs for only $7
- Yogurt—just added this to the roster, so it’s a work in progress
- Banana soft serve
- Bone broth
- Chia pudding
- Chocolate—still working on perfecting this, but it’s damn fun
- Hot cocoa mix
- Imposter Larabars and other energy bars
- Tea gummies—beats the heck out of taking glucosamine tablets
- Naz’s cold brew coffee
I would love to get kombucha on this list since it’s a favorite of ours.
(This list doesn’t even include all the various baked treats I make.)
Yo, get back to me on the yogurt thing when you’ve worked it out. I’ve tried making my own, but I hated the texture.
Coconut oil AND eggs AND coffee AND chocolate AND salt AND whole milk … sounds like breakfast! (You can keep the popcorn, though.)
Fuckin’ sugar. What a dick.
I just read an article written by a mid-40s lady who is “tired and annoyed to death” of everyone in her circle of friends talking about what they will and won’t eat. Yes, milk; no, milk; organic, pasteurized, un-; whole; soy; almond; etc. Meat; no meat; etc.
While I understand her annoyance, and her friends do certainly sound like assholes, once she gets to the point that “only gluten intolerant people get sick after eating wheat” I just want her to shut the fuck up. Holy fucking shit, woman, you don’t know me. Actually, you don’t even know you, so please step off everyone’s nuts. Define “sick” for me. And don’t even tell me to rely on an allopathic doctor for the “correct” definition. You’re clearly a professional pedant, so please tell me about how I should accept having irregular periods and weird shits and feeling tired after I eat a bowl of pasta, because I’m not actually SICK from it.
1) If you are sleepy immediately after you eat, if you ever have go into a “food coma,” you are eating the wrong thing(s). You might not be puking up your ravioli or breaking out into hives, but that doesn’t mean what you’re eating isn’t making you sick. (See also: oily skin; dry skin; insomnia; rage attacks; etc.) If you were eating the right things for your body, you will feel energized after you eat, because you have just taken in fuel.
2) You keep telling me how much you love beer, and how you could “pretty much” live off of it. Here’s a question for you: Do you ever get beer shits? You do? Well guess what: Not everyone does. Only people who are having a reaction to something that they’ve eaten or drank get watery, explosive, gassy shits. Welcome to the conversation, so let’s move onto you figuring out what the fuck you should be eating, and me worrying about what the fuck I should be eating.
just because spaghetti squash has the word SPAGHETTI in its name? Does not mean that it is spaghetti. it is squash. it is mushy and gross. and very much not pasta.
if you want to eat some pasta, eat some pasta. if you cannot eat pasta because you have an adverse physical reaction that has been officially diagnosed by a medical PROFESSIONAL, then don’t eat pasta.
maybe that’s hard for you. so maybe you’re like “oh man! let me make spaghetti squash carbonanara! because i really miss it! its totally going to be the same thing!” no it is not. if i came up to you and i was like “oh man i really want a steak so i’m going to boil this italian leather boot” you would think “this bitch crazy,” right?
so fucking stop this spaghetti squash shit INSTANTLY. it makes you look desperate. and that doesn’t look good on anyone
Agreed, with less venom. Squash don’t lie, girl. It never promised you a rose garden. But yeah, although I can put pasta sauce on spaghetti squash (or any vegetables) and get some tangy tomato sauce satisfaction, it’s not the same thing.
HOWEVER, I bought this thing called a spiralizer, and it makes kinda spaghetti-thickness spirals of whatever you put in there (squash, zucchini, cucumber, etc). These DO actually hold up as pseudo-noodles a bit (well, not the cucumber), and can come relatively close to satisfying my unceasing desire for the white flour noodles that I miss so much.
For what it’s worth, I let myself have the flour noodles here and there, just to appease my desires and see if anything has changed, but every time I do, I regret it. Nothing tastes as good as (bad as) intense gut cramps and bloat and weird poops feel.