I will happily eat strawberries plain, but my second favorite way to enjoy these seasonal beauties is in a strawberry shortcake. But what if you are following the paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP)? This year I was determined to create a gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and egg-free version of this summer treat that still had a tender flaky shortcake and luscious cream. Sounds impossible, right? No way… it took a bit of tinkering but I am happy to report that my efforts were a success!
I knew I could easily replace the usual whipped cream topping with whipped coconut creme, but I struggled to create a biscuit-like base that would hold up to the fresh strawberries and provide a combination of tenderness and density so that your fork meets just the right amount of resistance and yet melts in your mouth. Flavor was important too as I wanted it to be mostly savory, with just a hint of sweetness.
I tried different combinations of flours (coconut, tapioca, arrowroot) and egg substitutes (gelatin, banana) and rejected all of them. I was just about to give up when inspiration struck!
Cassava flour!! No, it is not the same thing as tapioca flour, regardless of what Google seems to want you to believe. Cassava flour is made from the whole cassava root: peeled, dried, and ground. It makes a fantastic substitute for wheat flour in baked goods and is quickly becoming my favorite gluten-free flour alternative. So far, I’ve used it to make both sweet treats like gingersnaps and savory dishes like my AIP-friendly fried fish. Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to find cassava flour at your local grocery store. You can order online directly from the Otto’s Natural (that’s the brand I used to create and test this recipe – I have heard that the quality of other flours can vary widely so I only recommend this brand).
One of the things I like best about cassava flour when it comes to creating paleo autoimmune protocol recipes is that it seems to have qualities that help hold the baked good together without eggs or even an egg substitute. I ended up not using anything in this biscuit-like shortcake and was very happy with how well the cakes held together but still had a nice tender crumbliness to them.
Notes on healing diets:
- Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)/ The Paleo Approach: Compliant with the elimination protocol, as a treat. Remember that added sweeteners, even honey, should be limited.
- Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD): Not legal.
- Low-FODMAP: Use maple syrup in place of the honey.
Paleo Strawberry Shortcake Recipe (AIP):Print
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Shared on Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.