Gluten-Free, grain-free banana bread

You guys!!!! I made a gluten-free, grain-free banana bread that actually tastes good!! (I tested it out on a friend and he liked it :)). I used this recipe from Slim Palate as inspiration and then modified it to use ingredients that I had on hand, and to make it a little lighter in calories and fat. My version didn’t rise as much as the original version, but it still tastes great. Since it doesn’t rise as much, I’m thinking it might be better to make it in a shallow, brownie pan and cut into squares or bars instead of slices. I made mine in a loaf pan and so the slices are pretty small – but they’re great as a quick pre-workout snack or a snack with some coffee.

If you cut the loaf into 12 slices, each slice is about 100 calories, 4 g fat, 14 g carbohydrate and 4 grams protein (So you could definitely have 2-3 slices for breakfast!).

Gluten-free, Grain-free Banana Bread (12 slices), based on this recipe from Slim Palate

banana bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cashew flour (can use almond flour instead)

1/2 cup coconut flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch salt

2 ripe, mashed bananas

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1 Tablespoon date syrup or honey

1/2  cup applesauce

2 eggs

1/2 cup eggbeaters or egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Process:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, and grease a loaf pan with coconut oil or cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon).

3. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas, then add in the other wet ingredients (oil, vanilla, date syrup or honey, eggs, egg whites (or egg beaters), applesauce) and mix until combined and there are no lumps in the batter.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until you have a smooth batter, without any lumps.

5. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 35-40 mins, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (Check the loaf after 35 minutes since cooking times may vary depending on your oven and material of the loaf pan).

6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the loaf pan; cool for another 20 minutes before slicing and devouring!

Nutrition Information per slice (for 12 slices): 101 calories, 4 g fat (1.5 g sat. fat), 14 g carbohydrate,  4 g protein

Pumpkin Coconut Flour Pancakes

Hello from the ridiculous polar vortex in the Northeast..I’m so over this horrific winter. I’ve had a lingering cold for over a month and am sick of sniffling all the time. Summer –  you can come on down anytime now. Anyway, here’s another recipe for you guys. Since I have cans of pumpkin hoarded from the Fall, it’s a past-due pumpkin recipe and also another coconut flour pancake recipe to add to the collection. I made these a while ago but am just posting the recipe. They turned out a lovely orange color  from the pumpkin and the egg yolk. Hope you like them!

Pumpkin Coconut Flour Pancakes (makes 6 small pancakes)

IMG_0778

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup pumpkin

1/3 medium (or 1/2 small) banana, mashed

1 egg + 1/4 cup egg whites

2 Tbsp coconut flour

1 – 2 tsp ground flaxseed

Method:

1. Preheat a griddle on medium heat. While the griddle is heating, combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.

2. Spoon  approx. 1/4 cup batter onto griddle for 1 pancake. Repeat with the remaining batter.

3. Allow pancakes to cook for approx. 1 minute before flipping. Cook for 30 seconds – 1 minute more

4. Top with sliced bananas, maple syrup, walnuts and/or your favorite nut butter and enjoy!

Nutrition: 240 calories, 25g carb, 15 g protein, 7 g fat for entire batter (approx. 60 calories, 4g carb, 2.5 g protein, 1 g fat per pancake if making 6).

What’s your workout style?

Hello guys, how has January been treating you? We’ve had some freezing days here in MA and other warmer days like today – though it poured most of the day. Recently, I signed up for a free trial of an on-line workout program that provides a daily workout to keep you motivated. It promises to be challenging and get you results – and so it seemed like a good idea/deal. I’ve been feeling less than motivated to push myself lately, and have also been less active in general (blame living in the suburbs, driving everywhere and spending too long commuting the last semester). I’ve also gained a few extra, unwanted pounds and become softer and more jiggly in various areas….and lets just say my butt seems to have expanded overnight. (That being said, my arms are a lot more defined, muscular and stronger so I’m happy about that for sure….but my legs, butt and thighs could definitely use some more toning). So that’s why I decided to try something new and see if the on-line workouts would motivate me to push myself more. I know I used to run a lot more in previous years but lately, due to various injuries and inclement weather, I’ve either done a different workout or battered my knees and shins up on the dreaded treadmill. Needless to say, I need to get my butt back outside (no pun intended).

Also -  lets face it – my love of eating peanut and almond butter straight out of the jar, and my age-related slow in metabolism have caught up with me. I’m no longer in my 20′s, no longer run as much as I used to and can no longer eat whatever I want without a thought. So to get rid of the jiggliness and lose some of the extra pudge and pounds I’ve put on I’m going to have to be

(i) More mindful of the amount of peanut and almond butter I routinely eat,

(ii) Start running outside again more regularly,

(iii) Try to incorporate more non-exercise activity in general (walking, biking), and

(iv) Push myself out of my comfort zone and done some more HIIT workouts.

Phew – that was a long intro/ explanation as to why I signed up for the on-line workout program. Anyway, after a few days of not using it and then watching one of the programs, I realized that I don’t really enjoy the idea or the process of working out in front of a commuter or device (Though I don’t mind a DVD workout so much). To me, a workout is more than exercise; it’s “my time,” my time to relax and do something I want and enjoy, my time to zone out, a time to de-stress as well as get an endorphin high. It’s something I enjoy, but I enjoy it more when I’m either outside, at a gym or in the pool. Working out in front of a computer or device feels more like a chore, a targeted approach to “lose weight” vs something I enjoy….and I know I won’t stick with it. I need to enjoy it to do and stick with it. And as much as I need/want to tone up and lose a few extra pounds, I don’t want exercise to become a chore or something that I don’t enjoy anymore. So I cancelled my subscription and I’m happy with that. Though I will not ‘cancel’ my commitment to keep working out, push myself more this year, run more and be more active in general…and to be more mindful of my peanut butter habit (Yeah – that one’s really got to go).

I also need to re-vamp my non-existent social life….part of the late night PB treats and “parking my butt on the couch” sessions are probably attributable to not having a social life right now (thanks to living in the ‘burbs and being in school full-time). But that shall change after this last (YES!!!) semester. Wow, this was a long post (but much-needed). All right…I’m done with the therapy for now….Hope you all are having a great weekend and I shall catch up with you again soon!

 

Lemon Mint Green Juice

Morning! It’s freezing here in MA. Woke up to – 6 F and thought it was a nightmare, and that I should go back to bed and wake up to warmer weather (wishful thinking). Two of my friends are in San Diego and Miami right now and oh, what I would give to trade places with either of them. Anyway, I busted out my juicer again today (I’m telling you I’m hooked!!) I even went to the grocery store to buy lemon and mint just to make some fresh juice – and this is in 2 degree weather (that’s Fahrenheit FYI). So here it is, a lemon, mint green juice and it totally hit the spot. As a note, I refrigerate my juice for a few minutes while I clean my juicer; this serves 2 purposes – cools the juice down a bit so I can enjoy it and gets the clean up done without leaving it till later. So here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it….Hope you’re all having a great (and warmer) weekend!

Lemon Mint Green Juice (serves 1)

Ingredients:

2 stalks celery, washed

1/2 apple

1/4 lemon, peeled

1/2 cucumber

handful spinach

a few sprigs mint (2 -3 branches from bundle)

Method:

1. Juice all ingredients in a juicer. Enjoy immediately with a few ice cubes or refrigerate for a few minutes to cool before drinking.

green juice

So far so good!

Woke up crazy early to a snow day today. Went to an awesome hot power yoga class at 8:45 am (yes, in the snow). This was my 3rd yoga class this week so I’m off to a great start for 2014 (does this give me 2 “free” weeks if/when I’m not able to make it to a yoga class in 2014?? ;) Doubt I’ll be able to do 3/week (or afford 3/week!!) once my rotations start next week but it felt GREAT this morning. Plus, something I always forget and that I’ll have to remind myself of this year is that – you never leave a yoga class in a bad mood or stressed out. Yoga always has a calming effect on me – whether it’s a super hard or an easy class – and makes me feel more relaxed for the rest of the day/several days. Must remember that when I’m stressing out about my graduate oral and RD exams this year, and trying to find a job post-graduation.

In light of it being a snow day, I also busted out and used my juicer!! I bought it off Craig’s List months ago but never got around to using it. I have this one – a centrifugal juicer and not one of the super-fancy masticating ones. After some checking of the manual, produce washing and fiddling, I made a glass of celery, carrot, apple, cucumber and ginger juice (lemon would have been a nice addition). Verdict: the color wasn’t very pretty but it tasted delicious!! And so, so, so refreshing. Totally see the hype about freshly pressed juices now :) I probably won’t juice more than once or twice a week but it was definitely worth getting the juicer (esp. on Craig’s List!) to try it out. Just wish I had a dishwasher to deal with the washing up part (tho honestly, clean-up is super-quick).

Now I’m off to do some studying and then enjoying my last few days of freedom before final semester of grad school & internships begins.

Have you tried juicing? Or had freshly pressed juice before? Thoughts?

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year everyone! Just a quick post to say thank you for reading, and that I hope 2014 brings you the very best!  :)

I didn’t do anything crazy exciting last night – stayed home due to a lingering chest cold and it being freezing here in the northeast. Today started off with a quick mini-yoga session at home (one of my resolutions for 2014 needs to be to try and go to yoga once a week), a lazy breakfast, talk with my parents, dog walk and then an inordinately large amount of time spent shopping for a wool coat, and clothes for my baby nephew. (Coat shopping took forever because I’m so indecisive). Ideally, I would rather live in South Florida and never have to wear a coat or jacket ever again. (Sigh). Anyway, I came away with a navy blue wool coat – it’s slightly big in the shoulders but I loved the style over the “more practical” basic black pea coat….Just don’t like buying clothes/shoes that I don’t love. I also wanted to buy a pair of Nike running capris for $30 – which I would totally wear, but I’m trying to be frugal since I have other capris that I can use at the moment, and I’m still in grad school (last semester!!!!).

Also made some cashew flour pancakes this afternoon (still need to tweak the recipe so will post it later) and managed a 4.0 mile treadmill run in the evening even though I didn’t feel like running. Since one of my resolutions for 2014 is to get back into the running groove, I felt compelled to start the year with a run :) How did you spend NYE and New Year’s Day? Do anything fun?

All the best for 2014!!

Baking Experiments and Home-made Pumpkin English Muffins

Once upon a time (NYC time), I had a social life. At the moment I do not (perhaps because I live in Framingham you say…true, true…). Anyhow, due to (i) having a crazy, busy semester, (ii) coming down with a cold on Xmas day…that is still kicking my butt, and (iii) me being a wimp in the cold, I have been spending an inordinately large amount of time (for me anyway), experimenting with various gluten free recipes I’ve found on the internet and on various blogs. Being gluten free myself, I often find that many commercial products either lack fiber, taste, texture …or all of the above. I do have a few favorites: TJ’s GF rice tortillas, Food For Life GF Rice tortillas, Udi’s breads etc… but I really wanted to try baking some of my own GF foods. Well,… the GF bread experiment failed – totally my fault because I didn’t have the Arrowroot Flour called for in this recipe by TGI Paleo (and no, I’m not going “Paleo”…just like to eat as unprocessed as possible 80-90% of the time). I used 2 extra tablespoons of coconut flour and 1 less egg white, but it turned out flat and “foccacia” like….will probably still eat it because I hate wasting food, but lesson learned. Arrowroot flour/starch gives GF breads a lightness that cannot be achieved with only using coconut flour.

Next up, I found this recipe for Beauty and the Foodie‘s Low Carb Pumpkin Bagels which seemed interesting. I wasn’t so interested in the “low-carb” part (hello…I eat mucho bananas, squash & tortillas everyday) but the GF and pumpkin part were right up my alley. Plus I haven’t had a bagel in AGES! (I don’t like any of the GF ones on the market). Well, I don’t have a donut/bagel pan (but am totally getting one now) so I  made english muffins instead, using 6 ramekins. I also used 1 egg plus 1/2 cup egg beaters and 2 Tbsp date syrup as the sweetener, plus added 1/2 tsp xanthan gum. The recipe says it makes 8 bagels (but the pictured donut pan only holds 6….?)…so I made 6 english muffins. Just saying…. the nutrition stats work out to be different with 6 vs. 8. Using my modifications, each english muffin comes out to be approx. 104 calories, 4 g fat & 9 g carb.

Here are what my beauties looked like:

muffin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ate the ugliest one for breakfast this morning with some eggs, farmer’s cheese, TJ’s pumpkin butter, some fruit (1/2 banana) and my Pumpkin Smoothie…plus coffee of course (yes I eat big breakfasts!).

Taste-wise: mildly pumpkin flavored, not sweet at all (which is good in my books) and a lovely change from my usual GF foods! Let me know if you try my or the original version!

Pumpkin Smoothie

Had a major craving for a smooth, cool and creamy pumpkin smoothie for lunch today. Had this with an egg white sandwich and half a banana with the obligatory peanut butter ;)

Pumpkin Smoothie (serves 1)

IMG_0699

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other milk)

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 frozen banana

1/2 Tbsp ground flax

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

3-4 ice cubes

Method:

1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Serve with sliced banana, more ground flaxseed, chopped walnuts or more pumpkin if desired!

Note: Double the ingredients for a larger portion or 2 servings.

Plans for 2014

Hi guys,

As promised, here is what I have in mind for 2014. Some of it is related to my career change (i.e pass my Graduate Oral Comprehensive Exam and the RD exam) and other stuff is personal.

1. As noted above, pass my Graduate Oral Comprehensive Exam and the RD exam, and earn my MS in Food & Nutrition. (tentative time frame: May – July 2014)

2. Move – either back to NYC or to Florida!!! (Warm weather calls to me….)

3. Get back into running shape. My running  really fell to the wayside in 2013 due to various injuries and being swamped with schoolwork. I did do 3 triathlons, but I’d really like to get back into running some road races – without getting injured. So the goal for 2014 re running is to train conservatively, increase mileage & intensity SLOWLY, and to do at least 1 (hopefully 2) half-marathons plus some shorter races. Currently, I’m eyeing a half at the end of April, and then another mid-May for the Spring. Any races for rest of the year will depend on where I move to over the summer (yikes!!)

4. Plan and cook more ‘meals’ rather than throw something together at the last minute (like stir-fries or omlettes). My schedule at school was so crazy this semester that I ate the same meals over and over again…never used my crockpot or my juicer…things I will be rectifying in 2014.

5. Juice! I bought a basic juicer off someone on craigslist, and have yet to use it. Fail. So come 2014, I WILL juice …. at least 4 times to justify the cost of the juicer ;)

6. Go see my nephew in Atlanta! Not sure when but this has to happen!

7. Get a job (Ahh!) Cannot believe I will be graduating and back in the working world again… (hopefully)…Wish me luck on this one!

What are your plans for 2014? Any specific goals or major life changes taking place?

Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes

Made this on a random whim on Christmas Day and they came out pretty good  - surprising for me ;) This version of coconut flour pancakes is fluffier than my last one, and  just as delicious. You can use regular eggs instead of egg whites (or 1 egg plus 2 egg whites); that might make the pancakes denser (and probably tastier!) so let me know if you do try the recipe that way.

Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes (makes 6 small pancakes)

IMG_0770

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1/2 coconut flour

3/4 cup egg whites

1 small or 3/4 large banana, mashed

1 tsp flax (can add more)

1/2 – 1tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

Method:

1. Spray a griddle with cooking spray (or use coconut oil) and heat on medium heat.

2. While griddle is heating, mix all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth.

3. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle (if using a large griddle, you can make a large batch of pancakes at once).

4. Allow to cook for approx. 1 minute until firm, then flip and cook for an additional minute until done.

5. Repeat with remaining batter.

Nutrition Info: 300 calories, 48 g carbohydrate, 24g protein for the entire batch (50 calories, 8 g carb, 4 g protein per pancake if making 6).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers

%d bloggers like this: