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

 

 

Cashew Pesto – Serves 12

Whatcha know about pesto?  Well if you’re anything like me you know pine nuts are a staple in it…  Now again, if you’re anything like me, you know you want a lower cost ingredient.  This is an awesome twist to one of my favorite meal additions that is packed with powerful flavor.

Now instead, of pine nuts, opt for cashews.  Even raw, these nuts are packed with buttery flavor and are super chewy thus giving your mouth a mini workout.  Cashews are a great source of unsaturated fat which basically means they help to reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and instead help increase the good cholesterol (HDL).  Cashews also have other nutrients such as micronutrients and vitamins.  If you are taking blood thinners such as Coumadin/warfarin use discretion since these nuts are a great source of vitamin-K.

This recipe is officially a staple in my meals as of recent.  Not only does it taste good warmed up with a meal but it also tastes good cold served with crudités and or crackers.  Therefore make pesto for your family and friends during Thursday Night Football (TNF) – it is a crowd pleasure that shocks your taste buds!  So far, I have made this with shrimp, steak, and chicken as a garnish topping or I have mixed it into my vegetables for extra flavor.  My taste testers prefer the pesto warm and so I shall say that is the majority consensus currently.

pesto = heaven

pesto = green, edible version of heaven

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts (soaked overnight or for a least 1-2 hours prior to making the recipe)
  • Handful or 1/2 cup basil (preferably fresh)
  • Handful or 1/2 cup parsley (preferably fresh)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • To taste: black pepper and sea salt

Methodology:

  1. Remove cashew nuts from the refrigerator, drain from water, and add to a blender.
  2. Add the basil, parsley, lemon, lemon zest, cloves, and oil to the blender.
  3. Blend on low and increase the speed until the mixture is uniform but retain some texture.
  4. Taste and then add spices (salt and pepper) as desirable.
  5. Serve cold or serve hot as a garnish as shown above…  The recipe for the shrimp and vegetable side are to come – stay tuned.
  6. Happy chow down!

xxx – Sarah