This post comes from Camille Macres at Paleo Kitchen TV. Check out her free 3-day video course that will guide you in transitioning to paleo or simply eat paleo on a budget, when you’re busy or constantly on the go!
When I was growing up, pop tarts were one of those things like Hamburger Helper that my brother and I always begged for when we went to the supermarket. Mom resisted but often caved into our requests. I’m not exactly sure what I found so fantastic about them and I can tell you unequivocally that the recipe below kicks their butts!
The Problem With Conventional Pop Tarts
It’s not surprising that kids near and far crave things like pop tarts. They are loaded with sugar, refined flour and artificial colors and flavorings that have been carefully selected by food scientists to make hyper-palatable to your taste buds. Sugar and refined grains actually set off the dopamine receptors in your brain, similar to if you were taking drugs. When you say “my kid is addicted to sugar,” this is quite literally true!
Why These Are So Much Better!
They were surprisingly easy to make, especially since I did a very simple filling. You could get creative with fruit, nut and/or chocolate fillings, but I wanted to do something as similar to original pop tarts as possible.
Separating Fat From Fiction
I used something called leaf lard (the brand Fatworks makes one I like) that you may not have heard of before. Lard was actually a really common fat to use in baking back in the day but was then replaced with Crisco as the “better” alternative. We know how that hydrogenated fat trend worked out for our health…not well!
There has been lots of misinformation spread about saturated fat and cholesterol like butter and other animal fat over the years, but recently even mainstream health journals agree that there is no link between dietary cholesterol and cholesterol in your blood. Even better, saturated fat is now thought to be among the healthiest fats as it is reported to help balance hormones, improve liver health and boost immunity*.
A Grain-Free Alternative To Gluten That Actually Tastes Like It!
The other ingredient you may be unfamiliar with is cassava flour. Both cassava and tapioca come from yuca, but cassava uses the whole root with the fiber intact while tapioca is just the starch extracted from the root. This means that cassava root flour is the healthier option as the fiber helps blunt the blood sugar spike that comes with carbohydrates stripped of fiber.
As far as alternatives for gluten, cassava is the only one I have found that I can oftentimes swap in recipes without using several others as well. The brand Otto’s Natural has produced the best results for me.
Once you try this pop tart recipe, you just may decide to make leaf lard and cassava flour your new secret weapon in biscuits, pie crusts, and flaky paleo pastries.
Homemade Paleo Pop Tarts (Gluten and Grain-Free)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
- 1 cup Otto’s cassava flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pats
- 1/2 cup cold Fatworks leaf lard
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)
- 3/4 cup (8 ounces) jam
- 2 teaspoons tapioca
- Sweetened condensed coconut milk (optional, to drizzle)
- Blend the cassava flour, coconut sugar, and salt.
- Work in the butter and lard with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it.
- Whisk the first egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.
- Divide the dough in half (approximately 8 1/4 ounces each), shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. You can roll this out immediately (see Warm Kitchen note below) or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Assemble the tarts: If the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8? thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9? x 12?. [You can use a 9? x 13? pan, laid on top, as guidance.] Repeat with the second piece of dough. Set trimmings aside. Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3? x 4? rectangles.
- Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.
- Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Bake them for 20 to 25 minutes until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.
- Drizzle with sweetened condensed coconut milk, if desired.
Those pop tarts were delicious – you have these try these next!
- Chocolate Pomegranate Tarts
- Healthy Homemade Oreos
- 3 Healthy Chocolate Bar Recipes (Twix, Bounty & Snickers)
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