Filly’s blog – eatstrong – throwdown fare
Who had fun at the King of the Coast Throwdown last Saturday?
Twas a great day with loads of talent and guts. So many athletes giving it their best, fighting for the finals and the King and Queen of the Coast title. It was also great to see so many CrossFitters who perhaps weren’t the fittest, strongest or the most skilled, testing out their abilities during the comp. That is what CrossFit is all about. The average jo-bob working to become better than yesterday. Ability really is limitless! Perhaps little old me could give a Throwdown a crack one of these days 😉
But on this day, I was busy cooking up a storm to help fuel those bodies that were giving it their all. There were marinated steaks and buttery sweet potato and pumpkin mash and greens and olive oil and nuts and seeds and Paleo banana bread and some mouth-watering beef jerky (we have some left if any one wants some! – $5 for a 50g bag).
I find it so jarring that when you go to watch a sporting event, the food for sale varies from trans-fatty fried food, soft drinks, beer, lollies, chocolate…and the rest. As a kid my favourite thing about going to watch the basketball was that giant killer python snake that would keep me sucking, entertained for at least a quarter of the game (after which, I would nag mum for another one!). Even now I’m tempted with those party pies and sausage rolls oozing with sugary tomato sauce, which don’t even taste that great. How oxymoron is that, how hypocritical? That in a place such as a sporting arena that should advocate health, feeds its athletes and spectators with toxic things? What kind of mixed messages are they trying to send?
I didn’t want that at CrossFit Devonport. I didn’t want that, even if coke and lollies and snags in bread would be more popular and make more sales than water and nuts and beef and veggies. So many people are sick these days, not just because they don’t move their bodies, but also because they workout so excessively without fuelling their insides with the right kinds of food.
So I decided to get together some Primal fare for the Throwdown. Primal eating is about eating the way our ancestors did and is an excellent way of nourishing active bodies. A diet high in good fats. Grass-fed, free-range animal produce. Local fruit and vegetables free from chemicals. Some nuts and seeds. Seasonal fruit optional. Dairy if you can tolerate it – best is fermented, raw is also good. No additives. No preservatives. No grains. It is a way of eating and living that promotes optimal health. It is simple, fuss-free, and empowering. If you want to learn more about going Primal, Mark Sisson is the go to man. There is also an exciting Primal Living movement happening in Tasmania, with Jo Smith leading the cause.
I spent the few days leading up to the KOTC Throwdown chopping and baking and shopping and packing. I much prefer to make my own food. That way I know exactly what’s going inside it. I thought I’d share a few recipes from the day here with you. After which I shall be off to pack my house up. Yep, we’re finally moving in to our cottage on Monday! I just drove past for a sticky beak and the daffodils are blooming…
Primal Banana Bread
I modified this recipe from Civilised Caveman Cooking. I changed the title to Primal, because technically speaking it’s not Paleo as it does contain grass-fed butter. You can substitute the butter for coconut oil if you wish. If you’re new to Paleo/Primal or are trying to go grain-free and sugar-free, this banana bread will be your saviour! It’s a good replacement for regular store-bought bread or for cakes and slices and muffins. There is no sweetener in the bread, except for the bananas.
- 4 bananas, (2 1/2 cups mashed or 575 grams)(they can be yellow bananas)
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup almond butter (140 grams)(or coconut, sunflower seed, macadamia nut, etc butter)
- 4 tablespoons grass-fed butter, melted (can substitute coconut oil)
- 1/2 cup coconut flour (75 grams)(or almond flour, macadamia nut meal, etc)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free or homemade)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of Himalayan crystal salt
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius
- Combine your bananas, eggs, and nut butter, and grass-fed butter in a thermomix, blender, food processor, or mixing bowl and mix well (if using a mixing bowl you need a good hand-mixer)
- Once all of your ingredients are blended, add in your coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and sea salt and mix well
- Grease a 9×5 glass loaf pan with a fat of your choice (I used grass-fed butter). If you use a metal pan it will probably bake in 35-40 minutes so start checking at 35 to ensure the middle stays moist
- Pour in your batter and spread it evenly throughout
- Place in your preheated oven and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean
- Remove from oven and flip your bread out onto a cooling rack
- Slice and serve
Primal Beef Jerky
My mum gave me a dehydrator for my birthday this year, so I thought I’d give beef jerky a go. I liked the idea that I could have some good-quality protein on hand that I didn’t have to cook it up. I could have a snack throughout the day or take it on a road trip and not have to worry about dirty dishes or logistics.
This was my second time making beef jerky, and I must say, the seasoning was rather delicious! This recipe was modified from Leaf Parade. My awesome butcher on Williams Street, Devonport sliced the meat up for me as thin as she could, which made it a lot easier and quicker to prep. She would’ve marinated it for me for free as well, but I wasn’t too crash hot on their ingredients list (think lots of sugar and preservatives and soy and other nasty stuff).
- 1kg flank steak, as lean as possible (you want it lean as the fat doesn’t dehydrate)
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce (make your own!)
- 1 tablespoon pink Himalayan crystal salt
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Remove the steak from its package and unroll it so that it’s flat. Put in a large bag and lay it flat in the freezer for 3-4 hours, until almost frozen (this will make it easier to cut).
- With a sharp or serrated knife, cut the chilled steak against the grain into long strips about 1/4 of an inch thick. Make them as uniform in size and thickness in possible.
- In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together and stir well. Pour the applesauce-spice mixture on top of the cut steak, and chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Lay the pieces of steak flat in a dehydrator, making sure to space them far enough apart so that they dehydrate and do not steam. Cook in the dehydrator at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for about 4-5 hours, but keep an eye on the jerky along the way, testing it as needed.
Note: If you do not have a dehydrator, you can cook the jerky in your oven. In order to get the meat as crisp as possible, it is advisable to lay the pieces of meat on top of wire cooking racks so that the heat can hit it from all angles.
Sweet & Salty Primal Trail Mix
I love nuts and seeds. They’re my little pick-me-up afternoon snack. A handful of cashews and I’m good until dinner. I usually eat them raw (and preferably activated/soaked) and unflavoured, but I thought I’d do something a little more special for the Throwdown. I modified the recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple by taking out the dried fruit, as dried fruit is concentrated fructose and not all that great for you. It’s ok straight after a workout to replenish your sugar-levels, but not that fantastic anytime else.
The sweet and saltiness of this recipe is just smashing. I love the surprise of the salty flavour when you think you’re eating something sweet. Feel free to play around with the sweet and saltiness of the mix. The combo of nuts and seeds also offers plenty of healthy protein and fat, something we need a lot more of in our very Western high-carb diets.
- 1 cup each raw walnuts, almonds, cashews and pecans
- 1 cup each raw pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup or less raw honey
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Roughly chop nuts and mix with seeds, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread on a cookie sheet or rimmed baking pan lined with parchment paper, and sprinkle with half of the salt.
- Toast in the oven for 2-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to be sure the nuts and seeds are merely toasted, not burned (keep a watchful eye).
- Take pan out of the oven and let cool, then add the remaining salt and drizzle the honey over the top. Toast in oven for another 5 minutes, stirring often (I keep my oven cracked for this). Remove from oven and let cool. It will be clumpy and sticky like granola when done.
Happy cooking 🙂
* KOTC images by Anna Smith. More photos of the event can be found here.