PALEO COCONUT COFFEE CAKE
If you've been bookmarking my recipes (which I hope you have) but haven't had the time to make one yet, then drop everything, preheat your oven to 350, and make this Paleo Coconut Coffee Cake! It's rich. It's toasty. It demands to be eaten with a fork and a hot beverage. And it's probably the best recipe I've come up with so far. All you need is paleo-friendly cake mix (I used Simple Mills), coconut yogurt, and a few healthy ingredients you've likely got hanging out in your pantry. So grab the goods and let's get cooking!
The key to this confection's crumbly, coffee cake texture: coconut yogurt. Normally, I wouldn't think of baking with it: coconut yogurt is pricey, and therefore a precious commodity in our house. But I had a big jar of Living Culture Superfoods in my fridge that had somehow gone uneaten and was nearing its expiration date so rather than let it go to waste, I decided to make a Paleo version of a sour cream coffee cake.****
I think I'd be remiss if I did't acknowledge that almost every ingredient in this recipe -- from the aforementioned coconut yogurt to coconut sugar -- comes from the coconut palm. This enabled me to keep the recipe gluten-free, dairy-free, and lower on the glycemic index than if I'd used refined sugar and dairy. It also packs a yummy punch of plant-based fat, and makes for a rich, deep coconut flavor. That said, coconut isn't without controversy.
The growing international popularity of coconut products has prompted farmers to deforest vast areas of tropical forest to plant the new cash crop. So when I shop for coconut products, I always look for sustainably grown, fair trade foods. If I can't find them or if that version is out of budget, then I sub for another ingredient. In this case, you can try subbing 1/2c superfine almond flour for coconut, cashew milk instead of coconut, ghee instead of coconut oil, and brown sugar for coconut sugar. What you'll sacrifice in flavor you'll make up for in karma.
Secondly, there's the whole "coconuts are bad for you" flap that was reopened last year. Personally, I believe in everything in moderation. Coconut oil is high in HDL - aka "good" - cholesterol and also MCT's, which have been linked to benefits including brain health. On the flipside, last year's study that condemned coconut oil as bad for your heart was based on sound scientific methodology. So as much as I wish I could tell you the study is flawed because it funded by coconut oil 's competitors (in this case the canola and walnut oil industries), the bottom line is that it's always possible to have too much of a good thing. So I enjoy coconut oil in certain baked goods, and coconut fat in the tablespoon or so of coconut yogurt which I eat daily. Apparently, Harvard backs my approach so I feel pretty confident in it.
And now that I'm through with all the sciency stuff, here's the recipe!