Wherever I go, there’s always that one person who will say “well, so-and-so said that XYZ is not Paleo.”
And then I punch them in the face and run away. (And by “run” I mean “hobble rapidly” as I am still dealing with plantar issues so bad I could cry.)
Part of the reason I eschew the word “Paleo” or “Primal” so often (I do use it for SEO reasons in recipe titles) is because I believe the label is losing credibility as the “Paleo diet” becomes a fad. I mean I just saw an article in a magazine about the “new caveman diet” with a picture of a lady holding up a raw steak. I mean, RILLY PEEPS? Will it die down eventually? Sure. And those that will remain will be the same ones of us who eat this way for health, longevity, performance, etc. and not to be “skinny.”
Anyway, I have a point. I used blackstrap molasses in this recipe which I’m sure many people might argue is not Paleo which the only sweeteners people seem to accept are maple syrup or honey. However, I did my research and I’ve come to the conclusion that not only is it a better choice of sweetener for some Real Food recipes, it’s one of the only sweeteners that has some pretty incredible nutritional benefits.
What exactly is it? “Blackstrap molasses is just one type of molasses, the dark liquid that is the byproduct of the process of refining sugar cane into table sugar. Blackstrap molasses is made from the third boiling of the sugar syrup and is therefore the concentrated byproduct left over after the sugar’s sucrose has been crystallized. “
So in short molasses …”is concentrating the nutrients but not the sugars – providing a surplus of nutrients needed to metabolize sugar and ounce-for-ounce more minerals than perhaps any other food.”
Basically, it’s full of manganese, copper, iron, calcium, and potassium – things that are hard to find even in the most nutritious diets. Many people report crazy benefits when taking molasses as a supplement daily, including better sleep, less night time leg movements (jimmy legs) or cramping, hair regrowth where thinning, etc.
Look, I’m not saying you should go out and start chugging molasses but after reading everything I could find on it, I’m very very comfortable using it as a sweetener as well as recommending that you can and should as well. And if someone tells you it’s not Paleo, tell them they can’t have any of your gingerbread.
I decided to bake gingerbread because it was one of Mike’s favorite holiday treats from a neighbor growing up. She would bring it over and it was dark and moist and quite possibly the best gingerbread I’ve ever tasted in my life. After being diagnosed Celiac and now moving onto our cleaner-eating lifestyle, we haven’t been able to find a semi decent way to replicate it without tarnishing the memory of the original.
I tweaked and messed with the spices and batter until I got the correct sweetness and flavors and then I switched up the baking times and temps to get it to be chewy on the edges but super moist and delicious inside. Please make sure you follow the instructions properly – I know it seems like a lot of ingredients but it’s mostly just quite a few spices that are needed to get that accurate gingerbread taste.
My next goal is to figure out how to take this recipe from moist gingerbread to a firm hard cookie dough so we can have our little gingerbread men for the holidays!
I used a 13X9 glass Pyrex baking dish, greased with coconut oil, for this and cut them into squares and they came out perfectly with a spatula.
Recipe: Grain-Free Paleo Gingerbread
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2/3 c. blackstrap molasses
- 1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. maple extract
- 3 c. almond flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, molasses, coconut oil, vanilla and maple extracts and beat well.
- In another bowl, combine the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet slowly, combining well.
- Spread the batter in a 13X9 greased glass dish (I used coconut oil to grease the pan).
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes THEN reduce heat to 225 and bake an additional 20-30 minutes until edges are brown and center firmed up.
- Let cool completely before cutting.