banana

Molasses as a sweetener

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If you want to make 1 1/2 loaves of banana bread (one large, one small) here’s the recipe.  Alternatively, you could make one loaf and some muffins.  Not sure how the cooking time would vary for those but I’m just throwing it out there because I made this recipe and it had too much for one loaf but was still perfect and definitely worth sharing.

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Rather than applesauce as a sweetener, I used molasses.  It’s subtly sweet but the body treats it way different than sugar.  Almost everything I bake I make suitable for pacman and while I don’t mind giving him natural sugars, I’d like to keep his palate free from the sweet stuff as long as possible.  He eats HEAPS of fruit so I’m sure he’s getting enough glucose to run his engine all day long.  Best avoid him turning into his mama (I don’t know when the last time I decided to forgo dessert was, but it wasn’t in 2014).

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Anyway, the bananas are (obviously) sweet too, so there’s really no need to add any sugar to the recipe.  It’s delicious as is.

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Gluten Free Molasses Banana Bread [nut free, soy free, dairy free, gluten free, sugar free]

Ingredients:

  • 5 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (packed) coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose GF flour (I used TJ’s)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine wet ingredients (bananas, eggs, oil, molasses, vanilla), until uniformly mixed.  Then add in dry ingredients (cinnamon, coconut flour, GF flour, baking powder, salt).  Again, stir to combine.  Pour into greased baking dish (large loaf and small loaf/muffin tins).

Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).  Muffins may not take as long.

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Enjoy 🙂

Single serving waffle

Remember how I turned into an egg once I got pregnant?  Since then it’s been savory breakfasts 99% of the time.  Fried eggs with a side of fried eggs please.  Until last week when my body randomly decided waffles and banana bread were the only way to start the day.

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Well okay then!

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At first, waffles may seem a labor intensive breakfast choice.  But actually, they’re not!  Way easier than pancakes!  You pour it in and go about your business in the kitchen and it tells you once it’s done…sooo…winning!  I also should share the fact that I no longer clean my waffle iron.  I don’t know how to do it efficiently and effectively, and it seems an unnecessary thing to do if all you are going to do is use it for waffles.  Probably a bad call, but the last 3 times I’ve used it, I’ve just put it straight away (after letting it cool) and I haven’t noticed anything different in how it’s cooking.  Washing the waffle iron sucks, so I’m over it.  Too bad I can’t follow that same principle when it comes to paying taxes.

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The first time I made this recipe, I thought I just had dumb luck (gluten free baking with coconut flour is like so hit and miss).  I didn’t write the recipe down, but I knew roughly what I did.  So the next day I tried again.  Success!  And once more!  Then we ran out of bananas.  🙁  So this is officially the easiest way to make ONE GLUTEN FREE WAFFLE.  Holler for the single serving!

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Gluten Free Banana Waffle for One [nut free, dairy free, gluten free, oil free]

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, mashed and whipped
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp all purpose gluten free flour (I used TJ’s)
  • 5 tbsp water (or any liquid)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Mix egg and banana really well.  Add in the rest of the ingredients and pour onto a greased hot waffle iron.

Per your machine’s settings and your preference, cook until done.  I use the 3-4 setting on my cuisinart and once the light turns green it’s perfection.

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The inside is soft and fluffy and I top it with nut butter (or sunbutter) and maple syrup.

Tweaking it

My baby quick bread has been through the ringer in terms of testing and what I’ve decided is that the bananas’ ripeness (and how much I mash/whip them) is the variable that I can’t account for…and the one that can make or break the texture.

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I used 3 suuuuuuuper ripe bananas for this loaf and it was perfect.  Moist enough for P.  Sweet without added sugar.  Sturdy enough to be sliced and eaten by me or P (and come out of the pan in one piece!).  And, ummm, delicious, obviously.

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This version differs from the previous in that I used a bit of GF all purpose flour to assist the coconut flour.  I also bumped up the baking powder and ditched the applesauce.  I’m liking it a lot.

Coconut Banana Bread [gluten free, nut free, vegetarian, soy free, dairy free]

Ingredients:

  • ~1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed and well whipped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • ~1/3-1/2 cup coconut flour
  • ~1/4 cup GF all purpose flour (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine wet ingredients and whip them together.  Add in the dry ingredients and stir to combine.  Pour into a large greased loaf pan and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Slice for you, slice for me.  🙂

I might try this with pumpkin puree soon…I’ll let you know how it goes.

What I ate…a long time ago

Last week I took photos of my whole day of eats – something I rarely do anymore – and then I just forgot about it.

But they were good meals worth sharing so I’m posting them now because it’s food related and this is a food blog!

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It’s pretty atypical for me to have oats in the mornings nowadays, so this creation is more of an anomaly than the norm.  I was in the mood for peanut butter but I used sunbutter instead because I’m still nervous about eating nuts when I’m around P.  Even though I’m super careful it’s still scary.  It also had coconut and cinnamon for days.

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My lunch featured Quorn chik’n tenders which are easy to have in the freezer for random protein emergencies (because we all have those?!?! what??).  Anyway, I was in the mood for a salad with some oomph so I thawed some chunks and kinda worried they’d be weird.

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They looked like chicken with freezer burn, but tasted shockingly good!  The ingredients list isn’t short, but despite appearances, it’s all decent.  It’s actually mostly egg protein, and yet it doesn’t taste eggy at all.  I liked it more than gardein and many other mock meats.

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I tossed it with steamed kale, coconut chips, and tamari – a quickie take on this salad (again).

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My afternoon boost was green – thanks to the frozen spinach.  The rest of the smoothie had coconut milk, frozen banana, nutribiotic vanilla rice protein powder, and ice.

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Dinner was more kale (I can’t get enough lately) with salmon.

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I definitely phoned it in with this meal, but sometimes you need simple ones to balance out the more time consuming ones.  I know which days are going to be busier in advance so those days are the ones that I bust out the crock pot or turn to big salads.  Kyle loves kale salads too so it’s a win win.

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This one had kale (massaged with olive oil and avocado), quinoa, and white beans.  I used canned salmon from TJs so it was ready in minutes.

P still refuses to have anything to do with beans.  It’s breaking my hippie heart.  🙁  I’ll just keep trying…

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Kyle and I finished off his birthday cake while watching Girls.  We flew through all 3 seasons in a matter of days.  Now it’s on to the next season of Mad Men that I saw just popped onto our Netflix queue.  Woo hoo.

When do you clean the blender?

Here’s the real indicator that I’m type A…I literally clean the blender parts and put them away before I drink my smoothie.  Even when I’m a crazy hangrypants.  Please tell me there are others out there who do this too?  I know the OCD tendencies run deep in food bloggers, so I don’t think I’m going too out on a limb with this.  But I definitely do it every. single. time. I make a smoothie. 

Other dishes, not so much.  I’ll wait til after I eat breakfast to clean the frying pan (usually because I use it for both mine and P’s meals).  But I won’t ever pile multiple plates in a sink to soak.  If one is in there, I’ll clean it or put it in the dishwasher before I add another.  I also won’t start cooking a meal if the kitchen is still a mess from the previous one (although that situation is unlikely to arise).  I would definitely clean everything up before starting the new project. 

I’m sure this is a combo of my innate personality and how I was raised, but I don’t think I was always like this.  I know nursing made my hand washing and hygiene habits go through the roof, so it could be an occupational hazard as well. 

Anyone else with me?

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The vitamix has now secured a permanent spot in my heart thanks to the smoothie fest that is still going strong as my afternoon snack of choice.

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Vega sport chocolate + frozen banana + frozen squash + ice + coconut milk

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The chocolate tasted like pudding.  Mmmm.

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Vega choc-a-lot + frozen spinach + frozen banana + coconut milk +ice

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I added a little extra stevia to this one because it wasn’t as sweet. 

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Arbonne essentials vanilla protein powder + frozen squash + frozen spinach + coconut milk + ice

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Silky smooth.

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Arbonne essentials chocolate protein powder + frozen spinach + frozen banana + coconut milk + ice

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Another chocolate pudding like flavor.  Seriously so good I think the fact that it was green was playing tricks on me.

In terms of preference I’m kinda all over the place.  I don’t pay much attention to the claims for “recovery” purposes since I’m not an endurance athlete.  Since protein powders aren’t usually very prominent in my diet, I don’t put huge stock in whatever void they are claiming to fill, but I do look for the stats I mention in this post.  Low sugar, not dairy based, not a million dollars, etc.