Despite the restrictions that come with a Paleo diet, you can still enjoy baked goods. The key to cooking up successful sweets is knowing how to make the right ingredients work for you. Here are five important tips all Paleo bakers need to know.
1. Full-fat dairy is your friend.
Dairy is a bit of a gray area when it comes to the Paleo diet, but if dairy is a part of your Paleo diet, go with full-fat items, like cream, whole milk, and butter (preferably grass-fed) in your baking.
2. Keep the butter and coconut oil close by.
When minding the Paleo diet, remember that not all fats are created equal. Even though olive oil gets big points, save this flavorful fat for uncooked dishes, like salad. Instead, the best fats for Paleo baking are butter (preferably grass-fed) and coconut oil.
3. Rely on natural sweeteners.
Even though processed sugar (like white and brown sugar) are off-limits, hope is not lost for sweet treats. Rely on widely available, versatile sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar to bring Paleo-friendly baked goods to life.
4. Lean on almond flour and coconut flour.
Wheat flour may be out of the picture, but there are a number of alternatives that can be used. The most versatile and easy-to-work-with substitutes to keep on your radar are almond flour and coconut flour. These flours can be used on their own, and are often combined together. As for swapping almond or coconut flour for wheat flour, it's not a one-to-one swap. Find a trusted recipe or consult a cookbook — here's our go-to — for the best results.
5. For chocolate, the darker the better.
As a rule of thumb, when it comes to using chocolate in Paleo baking, the darker the better. Your best bet is sticking with 100 percent natural cocoa powder and unsweetened baking chocolate. Dark chocolate isn't off the table, though — use it in moderation, and opt for a good-quality bar with a higher percentage of cacao.
Read more: What Is Baking Chocolate?
Are you a Paleo baker? What are some of your most important tips?