Friday, September 12, 2014

Zoatmeal: Perfect Paleo Oatmeal

Chilly mornings are upon us again and I find myself wishing for a warm, sticky bowl of oatmeal.  A few weeks ago I came across a recipe for paleo oatmeal that involved cauliflower and eggs.  It was good, but to me, it just didn't have the same qualities as traditional oatmeal.  I could still faintly taste the cauliflower, and the eggs made it creamy, but it was custard-like creamy - not the smooth sticky quality traditional oatmeal has.

As I thought about how to re-create oatmeal, my zucchini pile in the kitchen was steadily growing.   I'm always up for new ways to use zucchini, since it's so plentiful at this time of year! I thought, why not using the same recipe except use zucchini instead of cauliflower?  Then of course, while making it, decided to do things a bit differently and Zoatmeal was born.

This recipe is incredibly simple, and involves 3 main ingredients:  zucchini, coconut milk, and a pinch of salt.  It involves more utensils than dumping oatmeal and water into a pan, but it takes about the same amount of time to cook. Extra items: a food processer and a fork. 

Zoatmeal topped with honey, coconut milk, blueberries, and a crabapple sauce.


  • 1 very small zucchini, or half a medium zucchini, peeled
  • full fat coconut milk, about half the amount of the zucchini
  • pinch of salt
  • arrowroot for thickening

  • cinnamon
  • honey
  • additional coconut milk

Peel the zucchini and chop into small pieces.  If it's a larger zucchini, remove any large seeds.  Process the chopped zucchini in a food processor until very finely minced.  Add that to a pan with the coconut milk.  Ideally you want the ratio to be 2 parts zucchini to 1 part coconut milk, but I don't measure, I just eyeball it.  Add a pinch of salt, then cover and simmer.  The cover is there for 2 reasons: this will bubble and splatter - and it helps the zucchini cook faster.  I like to add about a teaspoon of cinnamon in there, not only because I love cinnamon, but it gives the Zoatmeal the traditional light brown color.

When the zucchini is tender, begin to sprinkle arrowroot into the Zoatmeal and quickly stir it in with a fork.  Just do a little bit of arrowroot at a time - it doesn't take a whole lot and you can easily over-thicken it.  The arrowroot gives the Zoatmeal the smooth stickiness that oatmeal has.

Pour into a serving bowl and top with whatever you like to top oatmeal with!  I like additional coconut milk, honey, and some fruit.  In the photo above, I made a crabapple sauce from crabapples off my tree.  Same recipe as my Spiced Cranberry Sauce in Cavemom's Cooking, except I used crabapples in place of the cranberries.

Delicious!  Now if your neighbors try to pawn off their excess zucchini on you, take it and make yourself a wonderfully warm, creamy, satisfying breakfast! :)
Editing to add, this recipe re-heats wonderfully!  Don't be afraid to make a large amount and have leftovers! :)

Want more recipes?  Purchase Cavemom's Cooking on Etsy.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pork Rinds: an alternative to breading

I first tried pork rinds when I was pregnant with Kaiden, looking for additional protein sources/snacks.  I wasn't paleo back then, but I did avoid HFCS and white bread.  Or at least I tried to!  After his pregnancy, I forgot about them.  Completely.  Until a couple weeks ago - that's 5 1/2 years with no pork rinds!

I've come to the realization that I need to do low-carb paleo.  Medium/high carb was working when Kaiden was less mobile, meaning I either carried him everywhere or pushed a heavy stroller.  With lots and lots of kid gear.  It was a workout!  Then when he started walking (finally, really walking, not just a few steps here and there), it meant less exercise for me, as we walked a lot slower, and couldn't go very far before he'd want to stop.  And slowly, my weight's been creeping back up - so now I'm not a happy camper!  I've been looking for a low-carb snack, since now nuts, dried fruit, and dried veggie chips are out.  (And I've got to stop the late-night snacking!!)  I was wandering the snack aisles in the grocery store to see if they had anything that wasn't either vegetable or wheat based . . . and there they were: pork rinds.  And pork cracklings! 

Pork rinds are sort of like Funyuns: light, crispy, crunchy, and salty but with less bold flavor.  Pork cracklings are pork rinds with some (dried) skin and fat attached.  No carbs, just protein and fat (and salt!).  It says on the package they are good for snacking and cooking.  I know they're good for snacking, but was wondering about the cooking part - how on earth someone would use them for cooking . . . until tonight, I made oven-baked chicken drumsticks.  The nut-based flours mixed with milk & egg always came out a little soggy, no matter how I did it.  Then the thought occurred to me . . . why not crush up some pork rinds and dust the drumsticks with it?  I didn't use any egg or additional oil - I just added salt, pepper, garlic powder, and sesame seeds (because my husband likes sesame seeds on roasted chicken) to the crushed pork rinds and rolled/dipped/dusted the drumsticks in the mixture.  Baked at 350F for 1 hour - and they were perfect!

I wish I had a picture for you . . .  but we ate most of them. :)  Maybe next time!

Want more recipes?  Purchase Cavemom's Cooking on Etsy.