Whole30 Apple Pie – Maybe?

I’m a little squirmy about labeling this “recipe” Whole30 because of a little thing Dallas and Melissa Hartwig (co-creators of The Whole30) call “Sex with your Pants on (SWYPO).” Basically, the principle of the Whole30 is to reset your body by not eating any grains, legumes, dairy, alcohol, or sugar for 30 days. Most of these are pretty simple, with the exception of one: sugar. On the Whole30, you aren’t allowed any sugar at all – to include things like honey, agave nectar, etc. We all have that dreaded Sugar Dragon – you know the guy, that little sneak who may or may not send you down to the kitchen at 0200 for a couple spoonfuls of Ben and Jerry’s. “Slaying the Sugar Dragon” is one of the hardest things to do – whether you’re doing a Whole30 or not. I could go on and on about the negative effects of sugar – but I’ll spare you.

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For the full explanation of SWYPO, refer to this article. Essentially, it can be summed up like this. Eating something that resembles a junk food – even if it’s made with Whole30 approved or natural ingredients – can still sometimes serve as a junk food. For example, take a look at these recipes:

Raspberry Caramel Chocolate Cups

Paleo Nutella Mud Cake

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

It’s true that these recipes all include paleo approved ingredients, but it’s still junk food no matter how you slice it. And there’s nothing wrong with eating any of these treats as long as you realize that you’re still eating junk food, albeit a healthier version. If you eat something like this every night, chances are that you have not slayed your Sugar Dragon. You’re just being nicer to him.

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However, the line between what is or is not SWYPO is fairly blurred, which Melissa Hartwig explains in this Instagram post:

Is this “apple pie snack mix” #SWYPO? TL;DR: This is one of those grey areas in which I demand that you take some personal responsibility. The long version:

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Technically, this combination of foods is #Whole30 compliant. There may even be specific situations in which this snack mix is appropriate for your Whole30, like a kid’s birthday party or dessert for a special dinner. If you’ve done the Whole30 enough (and live Whole30-ish in between), you may find a conscious, deliberate choice like this during your program is actually fine, and won’t wake your Sugar Dragon.

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But this is not most people, and likely not your context. Remember the Whole30 is about changing your habits and your emotional relationship with food. Including technically-approved-but-not-at-all-encouraged foods to satisfy your Sugar or Snack Dragon or fill an emotional hole during your program is not helping your cause.

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So why am I not ruling this explicitly off-limits during the Whole30? Some of you think I’m just going soft, and that the “old Melissa” would have banned snacks like this outright. That may have been true. But I would have been wrong.

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It’s not my job to dictate every nuance of your Whole30. I can’t do it for you, and I wouldn’t want to. There are grey areas in everything, including the Whole30. And it’s your job to step in where the official rules leave off, and decide what kind of an experience you want to have.

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Do you want to feed your Sugar Dragon with technically compliant treats for 30 days because it makes the program easier? Then go do that… and own the consequences. Do you want me to tell you, “Don’t eat that, it’s not right for you, you know this?” If you tweet at me, I might… but you already know the answer. You’re all big boys and girls, and it’s not going soft to say, “Here are my recommendations; now it’s up to you as grown-up people to make the right decision.”

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In summary, it’s YOUR program. OWN IT. #melissarants #toughlove #heavyonthelove

This recipe is from @popular_paleo, who has an excellent handle on both the Whole30 and her Sugar Dragon, gets that “context matters,” and encourages you to eat responsibly.

 

Well, that’s how I feel about this Apple Pie “recipe”. I’ve completed several successful Whole30’s and I don’t tend to have a huge sweet tooth in general, and so for me this is perfectly acceptable as a snack – it doesn’t send me screaming down the aisles of the grocery store for a Snickers bar, but it does satisfy me when I want a little something sweet. Plus, there isn’t any added sugar to it and as far as fruit goes, a green apple is one of your better options. Really the only reason I’m calling it Apple Pie is because that’s what the smell reminds me of.

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Whole30 “Apple Pie”

Ingredients:

1 small green apple

1 lemon wedge

Cinnamon

Instructions:

Core and slice your apple. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with lemon juice. To really experience the Apple Pie smell, add your apple slices to a ziplock baggie, squirt in the lemon and add your cinnamon, and then shake like crazy.

Voila!

Paleo Pumpkin Cookies

Remember that interview I mentioned a few months back? Well, I got the position and recently relocated to begin my new job. Unfortunately with the new position comes a new – longer – commute, which means I’m now waking up at 0430 so I can have coffee and devotion time with Kevin and still leave the house in time to get to work.

These cookies have been a lifesaver.

paleo pumpkin cookies | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Leaving the house so much earlier means that I’m eating breakfast at 0530, and somewhere around 0830 I’m starving again. These cookies – packed with sunflower seeds, carrots, pecans, and pureed pumpkin are just what I need to pick me up and keep me satisfied until lunch.

I stumbled upon a similar recipe while searching for a way to use the can of pumpkin we had in the pantry, and making cookies seemed like a brilliant idea. Frankly though, you can’t even taste the pumpkin, so even if you aren’t a fan of the hearty orange autumn vegetable, I highly suggest you try these anyway!

paleo pumpkin cookies | eatwriterunrepeat.com

The beauty of these cookies is that you can easily substitute your favorite mix-ins. Don’t like sunflower seed butter? Use almond butter, or if you aren’t following a paleo diet, use peanut butter. If you aren’t a fan of carrot, use zucchini – or omit it entirely! (The first batch I made didn’t include carrot at all.) Experiment with what you like and see what happens!

Paleo Pumpkin Cookies

yields 16 cookies

INGREDIENTS

1/2 sunflower seed butter (or almond butter, or peanut butter…)

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin

1/4 cup raw honey

2 eggs

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup sunflower seeds*

1 cup grated carrot*

1 cup raisins*

*Feel free to experiment with your own mix-ins! Just be sure to use about 3 cups of mix-ins, or your “batter” will be too wet.

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake approximately 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

paleo pumpkin cookies | eatwriterunrepeat.com

* Please note that although you can’t tell in the pictures, the sunflower seeds started to give the cookies a greenish hue. Don’t worry – this is perfectly normal! According to the internet, this sometimes happens because of the chlorogenic acid content in sunflower seeds. However, when I handed my husband a slightly green cookie made with sunflower seeds, he immediately dubbed these, “Bear Poop Cookies”. You’re welcome.

Paleo Dark Chocolate Mousse Cups with a Honey Pecan Crust

Hmm. That’s a pretty lengthy title. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really figure out how to shorten it. I could have just left it at “Dark Chocolate Mousse Cups” but my favorite part about this decadent dessert is the pecan crust, so I couldn’t leave that out!

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Yes, I know this looks like a Valentines Day dessert and theoretically should have been posted before today. But tomorrow is Husband’s and my six month anniversary (gasp!) and so this is sort of a two-for-one dessert. Plus, Kevin had to work on Valentines Day, so I made these while he was at work to surprise him when he got home, so the recipe wasn’t exactly ready for Valentine’s Day. Work with me, here.

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So I have a confession to make. I’m not a huge sweets and dessert person. It’s true – I’d much rather dig into a plate of french fries or some cheese and crackers or some other salty snack than dive face first into a bowl of chocolate mousse. It doesn’t really help that I’ve recently figured out if I eat too much sugar too late at night (read: after 1900, which hardly qualifies as late for most people) I won’t sleep, so I’ve been avoiding sugar for the most part. But I am married to a man who could probably live off of steak and chocolate, so I decided I’d whip up a special something for him to celebrate our anniversary.

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These babies are incredibly easy to make, which is a bonus in my house! The hardest part is waiting for the chocolate to firm up in the refrigerator, but it’s so worth the wait. You could easily make these without the honey and pecan crust at the bottom of the and just go with chocolate mousse, but I needed something to go with the chocolate, and what better than blended honey and pecans? Total win.

I used a mix of 86% intense dark chocolate and a little bit of semi-sweet baking chocolate to sweeten it up a bit. I prefer my chocolate darker and more intense, so feel free to use whatever percentage you’d like! You could probably experiment with flavors as well…and now that I’m thinking about it I bet using a spicy maya chuao chocolate bar for this would be insanely good. The sky’s the limit with this!

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Paleo Dark Chocolate Mousse Cups with a Honey Pecan Crust

serves 8

active time: 10 minutes

inactive time: 2-3 hours

Crust Ingredients

2 cups pecans

4 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp honey

Mousse Ingredients

1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight (or coconut cream)

8 oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces

Instructions

Make the crust: Add the pecans to a blender and grind until coarsely chopped. Add cinnamon, coconut oil and honey and continue blending until crust forms a thick paste. Divide the crust evenly between eight serving cups and press down. Refrigerate while you make the mousse.

Make the mousse: In a small saucepan on low heat, combine the coconut milk and chocolate. Important note: your coconut milk must be solid in order for this to work. Refrigerating a can of full fat coconut milk overnight should solidify it but it doesn’t always work (I have no idea why), so if you’re worried, you can just use a can of coconut cream instead. Stir the coconut milk and chocolate mixture over low heat until a gorgeous dark chocolate sauce forms. Pour chocolate evenly between all eight cups and refrigerate for another 2-3 hours or until set. Garnish with unsweetened coconut flakes (or a strawberry, or a mint leaf, or any number of pretty garnishes) and dig in!

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Happy Belated Valentines Day!