Salted Coco(a) Banana Bites – Serves 2+

Basically Summer screams frozen everything.  I love salt and I love sugar aka I go nuts for combinations with hints of both – why not mix them together and get crazy?!  However, since I’m ‘adulting’ that means make some swaps for healthier ingredients…  Rather than adding traditional chocolate in the recipe I swapped for chocolate protein powder which allows for a bit more protein compared to a regular dessert.

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Methodology

  1. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the sliced bananas to the parchment paper and freeze for 10-20 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix protein powder with very little water, stir and/or add water until a pudding consistency is reached.  Set aside the chocolate protein pudding mixture.
  4. Heat up coconut oil under medium-high heat in a frying pan then add the oatmeal, coconut flakes, and sea salt.  Toss the coconut/oatmeal mixture until golden then remove from heat and set aside.
    1. SIDEBAR – the toasted mixture almost tastes like popcorn and it’s heavenly.  
  5. Remove the cooking sheet from the freezer.  Add a dollop of the protein pudding to each banana slice then top with a sprinkling of the coconut/oatmeal mix.
  6. Put the banana slices back into the freezer for minimum 20 minutes.
  7. Sandwich two banana slices together with a toothpick so that the chocolate pudding mixture is in the middle.  Return the cooking sheet to the freezer for 20 minutes or longer.
  8. Remove banana sandwiches from parchment paper and serve as a the perfect guilt-free dessert.
  9. Absolute H-E-A-V-E-N!!!

 

 

xxx – Sarah

Fudge Brownie Drops – Serves 5+

I had the whole weekend to work on my letter of intent for doctoral school but…  I had a craving for brownies which took over my Saturday.  Whoops, yet so worth it.  I had lots of fun creating this recipe using what I had at home and did lots of tasting during (too much).  Best part is that these brownies are gluten and dairy-free aka WINNING.  

Unsweetened cocoa powder packs a bitter but powerful taste and is a pure form of chocolate.  This powder is packed with antioxidants called polyphenols which are also found in another favorite item of mine — red wine.  Polyphenols are known to help reduce cancers as well as lower blood pressure and effects of aging.  Cocoa powder is a natural stimulant thus if you need an extra boost in the morning – sprinkle some into your coffee or oatmeal!  Lastly, cocoa powder contains a natural antidepressant called phenethylamine that mimics the natural ‘high’ experienced post exercise.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • 2 tbsp avocado, fresh
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (light)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 6 large medjool dates, mashed with the pits removed
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a blender combine the melted chocolate, eggs, coconut oil, and coconut milk, then pulse well.  
  2. Fold in the remainder of the ingredients – cocoa powder, coconut powder, almond butter, avocado, dates, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and salt.  Pulse well until all the ingredients are one uniform batter.  
  3. Try to refrain from tasting so you have enough to actually cook!
  4. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper and use a tablespoon to drop the chocolate batter.  Leave about a quarter sized space between each drop.
  5. Cook well for 20-25 minutes until you can insert a toothpick and remove it clean.
  6. Serve when trying to distract someone…  Works every time.  

xxx – Sarah

 

Berry Good Banana Bread – Serves 12

O-M-G.  I’m obsessed with this bread – I won’t lie but it’s almost finished and I made it like yesterday.  I’ve been playing around with flavors in my kitchen since the weather has been cold…  Then again, who am I kidding, it’s like 60-70 degrees in Texas.  My mom always made banana bread when I was a kid and frankly I needed a taste of home but sans the gluten and dairy.  Basically I changed my mother’s recipe and just kept the bananas.

Potassium.  It’s a very important mineral and bananas are loaded with it!  What does potassium even do?  Well, it’s a mineral that helps to keep your heart, nerves, and muscles working properly.  Thus when dehydrated many individuals chug energy drinks with potassium but sometimes its easier, healthier, and cheaper to opt for actual food sources.  Other good food sources of potassium include oranges, pomegrante, dates, tomato and tomato-based products, potatoes, winter squash, avocados, broccoli, dried/refried/baked beans, milk, nuts and seeds, and some salt substitutes.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 medium yellow bananas, ripe
  • 3 frozen bananas, defrosted
  • 2 tbsp light coconut milk
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil (+extra for greasing the pan)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 or more tbsp cinnamom or pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp (or 1-2 grinds) sea salt
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (or other berries)
  • 2 tbsp mini milk chocolate chips

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a loaf pan (or pan that is about 9×5 inches) with coconut oil OR you can line with parchment paper.
  3. In a blender combine the eggs, coconut oil, coconut milk, almond butter, 2 fresh bananas, and 2 frozen bananas.
  4. Fold in the coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and sea salt.  Blend all ingredients until mixture is homogeneous.
  5. In the greased pan pour half the mixture then set aside.
  6. Using a small bowl mash up the defrosted banana and berries.
  7. Evenly the mashed fruit over the mixture in the pan.
  8. With the remainder of the banana mixture, fold in the chocolate chips and mix, then pour over the berries.  Use a spatula to try and spread the mixture evenly.
  9. Cook for 60-70 minutes or until a knife/utensil can be inserted and removed clean.
  10. Allow to cool then serve with your finest tea, wine, or coffee.
  11. Bottom’s up!

 

xxx – Sarah

 

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chip Cookies – Makes 3 Dozen

November.  This is my favorite month because it represents Thanksgiving.  When I think of Thanksgiving I think of family, good eats, and wonderful conversations.  In my household, the meal is always the most poignant part since there is something for each person to munch on and no one is the odd man out.  We give thanks for our friends and family while reminiscing and looking ahead – I tend to look ahead at dessert.

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This is an awesome dessert because it is gluten-free and friendly for most sufferers of celiac disease.  If you are trying to reduce inflammation, a great way is to reduce your intake of gluten, or one of the other many inflammatory agents which include eggs, nuts, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and trans fats.  Start small by taking something out of your diet that has one of these inflammatory agents and then add it back to see how your body reacts.  Negative reactions include cramping, diarrhea, headaches, gargling of the stomach, vomiting, and nausea.

Remember – – – > > >  Desserts are loaded with inflammatory ingredients but remember they do not have to be 100% ‘bad‘ or ‘off limits.’  Just consume in moderation rather than the whole thing at once.  Keep something to be savored.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups margarine – melted
  • 1 cup dates – no pits
  • 1 cup sugar (or brown stevia)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (or stevia)
  • 2 cups oats (quick cooking – I always aim for the holy grail of oats aka Quakers 1-minute Oats)
  • 15 ounces Pumpkin (or 1 can) – pureed          FullSizeRender-8
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or regular salt)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • OPTIONAL: 1/3 cup pecans – crushed

METHODOLOGY

  1. With a mixer combine the margarine and sugars.
  2. Add in the dates and mix until pureed.
  3. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, fold in the pumpkin, egg, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.
  4. Add in the chocolate chips (and pecans if used) and mix well.
  5. On a parchment paper lined tray or non-stick tray drop 2 heaping spoonfuls (tbsp sized) of batter then slightly flatten with a fork.
  6. Cook under 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes until slightly browned on the edges or check for completion by inserting a butter knife in the center and if it is free of residue then you are ready to set them aside.
  7. Serve warm, at room temperature, or freeze with a scoop of ice-cream in the middle…
  8. Try to limit yourself to 3… Or 4.
  9. Got Milk?

xxx – Sarah