Up until last year, I thought the holidays were the one and only time a year I could truly “let loose” to allow myself to enjoy “forbidden” foods, and to not feel guilty about skipping fitness for time with family. Boy, did my food-focused mentality control my life. And while in my head everything was ok because “it’s the holidays,” I now know this was merely an excuse shielding a much deeper-rooted problem.
In 2019, I made it my mission to change this mentality — a mentality that I can now admit was toxic and unhealthy. Part of this mission was finding a lifestyle that did not make me feel deprived of food, fun, or time with family and friends for the sake of fitness. I’ll skip the long-winded story and just say that I was able to transform what ‘diet’ and ‘exercise’ mean to me. They have become ways for me to fuel my body and to stay healthy in order to accomplish my goals rather than for aesthetics. That freedom is…freeing to say the least.
So come this holiday season, I approached everything with a refreshed mind and perspective that I never had before. As opposed to getting excited about going off some strict diet, I was excited to bring Cutie Foodie contributions to the table. Instead of feeling like I was missing out because my mind was elsewhere, I was truly present with my family. The result: Christmas Eve and Day were stress- and stomach ache-free! While I have a plethora of people to thank for that, I also have to give credit to this paleo lemon blueberry loaf, which was the star of Christmas breakfast! As silly as it sounds to say that a baked food holds a special place in my heart, it’s not silly at all, because I feel it represents a huge step in the right direction for my health, in all aspects of the word. So here I am sharing the recipe with you, and I hope that you enjoy it just as much as my family and I did!*
2 cups blanched almond flour – Blanched almond flour means the skin of the almonds have been removed. I would highly recommend this over unbalanced almonds for a smoother, more bread-like texture.
1/4 cup arrowroot starch – Feel free to substitute another gluten-free binder, such as tapioca starch/flour.
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
zest of 2 lemons
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 ghee, melted – Can also use melted coconut or avocado oil.
1/4 cup honey
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp almond (or vanilla) extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
3/4 – 1 cup fresh blueberries
sliced almonds or coconut flakes for topping
- Preheat oven 350F & prepare an 8×4 loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, add almond flour, arrowroot starch, baking soda, salt, & lemon zest. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, honey, lemon juice, & extracts.
- Pour all of your dry ingredients into wet & use a spatula to mix until just combined.
- Fold in blueberries.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and top with sliced almonds, coconut flakes, or more blueberries.
- Bake for 25 minutes uncovered, then add foil for an additional 20-30 minutes. (I wanted my almonds very toasty on top, so I only added foil the last 5 minutes.)
- Check the middle with a toothpick, and allow bread to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before removing.
The Cutie Foodie
*Recipe inspired by Fit Mitten Kitchen!
Check out the original: https://www.fitmittenkitchen.com/paleo-almond-lemon-blueberry-bread/