From Lauren: It’s my pleasure to host this beautiful recipe from Kari at Whole Life, Full Soul. I know you will fall in love with Kari’s creative autoimmune-friendly recipes and gorgeous pictures as quickly as I did! You’ve got to check out her site, especially if you are looking for grain, egg and nut/seed free recipes.
Growing up I was the child who when asked what I wanted to eat for a snack answered with “cucumbers and tomatoes”. Of course now, following the Autoimmune Protocol tomatoes are a no no. Truly, I had this love early on for these two foods that I can’t really describe. I just knew at the time that’s what my body wanted. I never enjoyed candy much, if at all. There were a few types that I liked, but mostly I was uninterested. My Halloween candy lasted until Valentines Day and by that time I had given most of it to my sister. My Valentines candy most often ended up in the trash or in the mouth of my sneaky and mischievous pup. Then when Easter came around my Mom would realize how much candy I already had and instead give me something fun or different like a movie! I know, this is not the normal for most kids, but it was for me. My palate wasn’t fond of the overly sweet, but instead of the salty sweet combination.
So here’s where I crack. Give me something that’s both satisfying my salt cravings and has a tinge of sweetness to linger on the tongue, you won’t see much of it saved, or shared for that matter! Some of my favorite combinations are foods like prosciutto and melon, apples and pate, and of course sea salt and caramel. Caramel is just one of those flavors that was created to be coupled with salt. Am I right? When I first created this recipe for caramel I used it as a dip for apples, plantain crackers with pate, by the spoonful (guilty). It’s SO good, you’ll want it at every party you’re attending and I highly suggest you be the one to bring it, your friends will think your “diet” is anything but restrictive.
Since beginning AIP I don’t have many baked goods or sweet treats. It’s not always convenient, economical, and certainly could defeat purpose if I chose to eat them all the time. But sometimes it’s just nice to have something around that’s not too sweet and satisfies the craving for a baked good, because it’s nice to be able to make the choice to eat something sweet without feeling burdened by the choice.
Salted Caramel Paleo Blondies
These Salted Caramel Paleo Blondie Brownies are perfect to bake and freeze. I’ve frozen them several times, and when I reheat them in the oven or toaster oven they thaw completely and taste just the same as they did after being first baked. This way I have individual portions and if the need arises, I can feel zero guilt in treating myself to one. This adds balance to equation as well by allowing yourself to know that you can have a treat if you want one, without having to bake a new batch every single time.
- 1 cup coconut flour, available here
- ½ cup arrowroot flour, available here
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin, available here (select the Collagen Protein, not Collagen Peptides)
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- ½ cup organic palm shortening, recommended brand available here
- 1 cup room temperature water
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon alcohol free vanilla
- Maldon sea salt flakes, available here
- 1½ cups pitted Medjool dates
- ⅓ cup full fat coconut milk (additive free), recommended brand available here
- ¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Cover dates in water and let soak for 2-3 hours. The skins will begin to shed from the tender inside.
- Remove skin and strain dates from the water.
- Add dates, coconut milk, and apple cider vinegar into a high-speed blender and cream until smooth. Save for later use.
- Preheat the oven to 325. Line a 9x9 square pan with parchment paper
- Measure all dry ingredients; in a bowl sift the coconut and arrowroot flour (sifting is important to get the clumps out and make for a smooth batter). Then add the cinnamon and cloves and stir to incorporate the dry ingredients. Reserve the baking soda.
- Next measure the wet ingredients and add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla to the mixture. Begin to stir together as the mixture comes together.
- Next, add the gelatin to the mixture stir it to combine, and then add a cup of water to the batter, the gelatin will begin to dissolve so stir together the batter. Then add the baking soda, continuing to stir and lastly add in the apple cider vinegar while you stir. The mixture should be coming together more at this point.
- Lastly, add the shortening in separate chunks at a time. Begin to mix until the batter has fully taken to the shortening and it becomes fluffy.
- Spoon the batter into the pan. You’ll want to take several spoonfuls and then spread the batter together in the pan. It may seem slightly sticky to handle but that’s okay. Level out the batter to be about a half inch thick. Then take the caramel and add dollops all over the top of the batter, swirling it in if you like, smoothing it out or just leaving it in different designs.
- Put in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on the top. Sprinkle Maldon Sea Salt over the top of the Blondie brownies and allow them to cool before removing from the pan, cut and enjoy!
About Kari at Whole Life, Full Soul
Kari is a writer, self-love advocator, nutritional coach in training and self-proclaimed health foodie who uses a nutrient dense lifestyle to counteract her autoimmune disease Ankylosing Spondylitis. Having lived with this disease for nearly a decade she’s determined to help other’s in their journey to restore their health who feel alone in their battles to find the strength and support they deserve. Through her blog Whole Life, Full Soul she shares delicious recipes following mostly the foundations of the Autoimmune Protocol, how you can listen to your body, how through the power of your mind you can connect with your own power to restore your health, and how these practices became her lifestyle!