Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tanzania Safari and.... AIP Cinnamon Rolls

I grew up in Tanzania. Well, several of my most formative years were spent in Tanzania. Now, I'm sure that many (if not all) of you must think I'm insane starting a post about Ooey gooey cinnamon rolls by talking about my childhood in Tanzania.

Bear with me for a little story and it will all become clear. 

For the years we lived in Tanzania, we were in a small town on the western side of the country which happened to be about a 5 day drive from any major city. 

This meant frequent trips for supply shopping, visiting friends and a variety of other reasons. These 5 days of travel were on rough roads through the bush and adventure was around every corner. Like this one time where the bridge was washed out and we had to improvise. 

Plus, as you can see, the roads weren't dotted with rest areas and fast food places. So, preparing for a trip was an ordeal in itself. We would make bread and roast peanuts and make granola bars (they had a funny name that I can't remember), and boil eggs and fry meat really crispy and make cinnamon rolls. These packed foods would be one, two or sometimes three meals a day while on the road. The funny thing is that it took me about 20 years to enjoy eating cold boiled eggs again and cinnamon rolls have never since become a regular part of my life again....that is until this week.

On Tuesday, I was walking through the mall with a colleague and we walked past Cinnabon and got a whiff of the freshly backed cinnamon rolls and I just had to have one. Ok...I obviously didn't actually have one because that would have been insanity on my part, but I had to figure out how to make them. Cinnamon rolls needed to be in my life again and it needed to be soon.

Once home, sweet potatoes were peeled and boiled and the dough started to come together. It tasted good and felt right...but the question of the day was would it roll right? And how would they taste?
So, I spent the afternoon brainstorming about these rolls. How would I recreate the soft and chewy dough? What would be be like to use white fleshed sweet potatoes and banana and coconut flour. Hmmm. That just might work.

I patted the dough out onto a piece of wax paper, spread on the honey, coconut oil & cinnamon filling and sprinkled on some raisins...and they began to look like cinnamon rolls.

Rolling them and slicing them almost felt like gluten filled dough. This sweet potato dough may have more uses in the days and weeks to come....hmmmm....what else could I make.

OK, you've been patient long enough. Here's the recipe.

**A note about "AIP Treats": While it is true that these Cinnamon rolls and other treats on this blog are made with AIP friendly ingredients, it should be noted that the AIP diet is primarily about nutrient density and healing and with that in mind treats should be reserved for special occasions. This are occasional foods, not everyday food. Treat often are higher in sugar content (even fruit) and as sugar causes inflammation for many of us following AIP, we need to make treats an occasional part of our lives.

Ooey Gooey AIP Cinnamon Rolls

Serves: makes 10 rolls
Time: 25 minutes prep, 25 minutes baking



- 1 T coconut oil
- 1 cup mashed white fleshed sweet potatoes (simply peel, dice, boil til tender & mash)
- 1 ripe banana
- 3 T Coconut Flour
- 3 T Arrowroot starch
- 1/2 t sea salt
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t cinnamon

- 2 T honey
- 2 t cinnamon
- 2 T coconut oil
- 1/4 t sea salt
- 1/3 cup raisins (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes & drained)

- peel, dice and boil potatoes
  (go ahead and boil a few so that you have leftovers to eat or for other recipes)
- soak raisins in hot water
- preheat oven to 200C/ 400F
- mix wet ingredients - potatoes, banana (mashed well) and coconut oil
- mix dry ingredients - coconut flour, arrowroot, salt, baking soda & cinnamon
- mix dry ingredients into wet until they form a soft dough
- let dough chill in the fridge for 5-10 minutes
- mix filling ingredients - honey, cinnamon, coconut oil & salt
- press dough out to about a 8x10 inch rectangle on a piece of wax paper
- spread filling onto the dough using the back of a spoon and sprinkle raisins on top
- using the wax paper to help you, carefully roll up as tight as you can (the dough is soft)
- OPTIONAL - once rolled, place in fridge again for 5-10 minutes for dough to harden a bit before cooking. I've done it both ways. This makes for a cleaner cut and prettier rolls, but they taste the same either way.
- slice roll into 10 pieces. You may need to reshape them into rounds.
- Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and greased with some coconut oil with a little space between rolls
- bake at 200C/ 400F for 25 minutes
- rolls should be brown
- cool on a cooling rack by transferring the whole piece of wax paper
- let them sit until completely cooled, then peel off and ENJOY!
- they keep for several days in an airtight container on the counter