Happy New Year, friends! I hope that 2019 was good to you and that 2020 is even better yet. For me, 2019 was one of the most difficult years of my life. There was much positive growth, but it did not come without heartache and pain. If you are wondering where I have been or why I have been largely absent from this community, it is because I was rebuilding my life and, in turn, reinventing myself. It took a lot of soul searching and digging deep, and the journey was rewarding yet exhausting. I just couldn’t find the time to devote to my recipes and my writing in the midst of all that, but I am hoping that we can get back on track with a weekly recipe share.
I am starting this new year out continuing to focus on me and the things that make me happy, and this blog is undoubtedly something I would like to nurture and continue to grow as an extension of my own personal growth. I am also trying to focus on my physical health a little more this year and am trying to adhere to a (mostly) Paleo diet and a regular yoga routine. It seems to me that all elements of well-being are innately tied to one another, and so it only feels fitting to incorporate proper nutrition and exercise. This is something I have not done well over the past 6 months, but there is no point in dwelling on previous shortcomings when we can use that energy for positive goal-setting, right? Right. 🙂
I have just the perfect recipe to share with you as a good reminder that healthy eating can still be ridiculously delicious and full of flavor. We just made this on Sunday and I am already excited to make it again. This Paleo Coconut Shrimp is to die for… savory and sweet with a little bit of a crunch, paired with an incredible dipping sauce. Oh, SO GOOD! I will admit the dipping sauce is not truly Paleo because it incorporates apricot preserves and gluten-free soy sauce, but to me it’s all about balance in finding a diet you actually want to stick to. There are a ton of Paleo dipping sauce recipes out there if you are strictly adhering to those guidelines for your eating. For me, I’m mostly interested in avoiding dairy and refined sugar in addition to the gluten I absolutely cannot have.
We made this Paleo Coconut Shrimp in the air fryer. For me, having Celiac Disease, this is one of the single best kitchen gadgets I own. We can’t eat french fries, chicken strips, coconut shrimp or anything that is not cooked in a dedicated fryer when we go out to eat. The air fryer has brought a lot of my favorite restaurant foods back into my life with all the quality and flavor you miss by not being able to dine out often. If you are looking at a way to greatly improve some of your own gluten-free recreations of go-to restaurant dishes, I highly recommend investing in an air fryer. I would imagine this shrimp would do well in the oven- they did when we reheated them the next day for lunch- but I cannot promise the outcome will be quite the same.
All in all, the shrimp came together pretty quickly even though they require 3 levels of dipping… don’t be intimidated by the process. It is well worth the little bit of extra effort! This is honestly one of the BEST dishes I have made since going gluten-free a year and a half ago.
We start this off with peeled and deveined large shrimp, cleaned and ready to go. The base layer of coating is a well-balanced mixture of almond flour, coconut flour, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. The shrimp get coated in that, then dipped in egg, and finally rolled in unsweetened shredded coconut. From there, they go to the fridge to set up for 30 minutes. While the shrimp are chilling in the fridge, make your dipping sauce by combining 1 cup apricot preserves (the fewer ingredients, the better), 1 tablespoon of gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos if you’re trying to adhere more closely to full Paleo criteria, 3 tablespoons of pineapple juice, 1- 2 tablespoons of honey, and a quarter cup of finely diced pineapple. Put the sauce in the fridge to chill while you cook the shrimp in the air fryer.
Once the shrimp have done their 30 minutes in the fridge, remove them and get your air fryer ready to go. We cook them in batches at 360 degrees for 7 minutes. You will want to place the shrimp in the air fryer in a single layer on the rack, making sure not to crowd them too much. When all the shrimp have been air-fried, get your dipping sauce out and prepare to enjoy a truly delicious dinner.
Paleo Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Apricot Dipping Sauce
Paleo Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Apricot Dipping Sauce
For the Shrimp:
1/4 C coconut flour
1/4 C almond flour
1/4 tsp EACH paprika, pink Himalayan sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder
3 eggs, beaten
2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined if necessary
2 C unsweetened shredded coconut
For the Sauce:
1 C apricot preserves
1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
3 tbsp pineapple juice
1-2 tbsp honey, depending on your desired level of sweetness
1/4 C finely diced pineapple
- In a medium shallow dish, mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, paprika, sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- In a second medium shallow dish, beat your 3 eggs till smooth.
- Add your shredded coconut to a third medium shallow dish.
- Coat each shrimp in the flour mixture, dip in the egg mixture, and then roll in the shredded coconut to fully cover. Set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for easy cleanup and continue until all shrimp are coated.
- Refrigerate the shrimp for 30 minutes to allow them time to set up before air frying.
- Meanwhile, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate while the shrimp are cooking.
- After 30 minutes, cook the shrimp in batches in your air fryer. Set the temperature to 360 degrees and air fry each batch for 7 minutes.
- Remove to a clean baking sheet and cover with foil while you cook the remaining batches of shrimp.
- Enjoy immediately served with the Pineapple Apricot Dipping Sauce, and store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.
Coconut shrimp has always been one of my favorite dishes, and I am so ecstatic to have created a recipe which allows me to enjoy it again! I can’t stress enough how beneficial I have found the air fryer to be. If you like a little bit of heat, I think that you could sub the paprika for cayenne pepper, to taste, and have a nice sweet and spicy combination to enjoy. If you try that, please let me know how it turns out!
As mentioned earlier, these reheat beautifully in the oven set to 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. They maintain their crunch and texture well and are a great treat to look forward to for lunch the next day.
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