Pandemic Baking: Coconut Flour Banana Bread & Chocolate Chips

I’ve been cooking so much since this Pandemic started. Does that sound familiar? I’ve heard that from other people too. I haven’t baked this much in ages either. I decided though, after the first month, that I needed to focus on healthy treats and sweets.

The internet is a great source of recipes. And after having over-ripe bananas several times, I decided to bake banana bread. I’ve heard from other people that they’ve been baking a lot of banana bread too.  I wanted something gluten-free, though, because gluten can cause an inflammatory response. I know it does with me if I eat very much.

In my search for a good gluten free recipe, I came across one using coconut flour. I tried it and thought it was delicious. However, when I counted up the fat grams in the loaf, I thought WOW! That’s a lot of fat no matter how healthy the fat. So I tweaked the recipe and substituted 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce for 1/2 cup of the fat. It worked fine!

I kept tweaking the recipe. I wanted to increase the protein in it so it would be a complete breakfast in one large slice of banana bread. It already had three eggs but I upped it to four large eggs which made 24 grams of protein. I also added a scoop of organic whey protein powder, which added 20 grams of protein, plus a tablespoon of almond milk to add more moisture. The almond butter added protein as well.

So here’s my recipe. It’s gluten-free, high protein, lower fat, no added sugar if you don’t count the chocolate chips (ha ha), and has a good amount of fiber which makes it filling. You mix it up in one pan which is awesome for easy clean up. You don’t need a mixer. This is SO easy!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I line my loaf pan with parchment paper or you can grease the pan if you prefer. Put the bananas in a large bowl and mash them with a fork. Add the wet ingredients and mix together. It’s okay if there are a few small lumps. Add the dry ingredients and mix well but do not overmix. Then last, add the chocolate chips, saving some to put on top after you put the batter in the pan and smooth it out. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Enjoy!

WET INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup minimum of mashed ripe bananas (or two small-medium bananas)
  • 4 large eggs (I use organic, pasture raised)
  • 1/3 cup almond butter (original recipe called for 1/2)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (I keep the single serving, lunchbox sizes on hand. One of those is 1/2 cup applesauce. Perfect!  Again, I use organic.)
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil (I use organic. You can use butter if you don’t have coconut oil. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of this oil and no applesauce.)
  • 1 tablespoon Almond Milk (Leave this out if you don’t add whey protein powder to this recipe.  I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (Make sure you buy 100% vanilla. It’s so worth it! I don’t wash the measuring spoon until later that day because I keep smelling the vanilla scent left on the spoon. So relaxing!)

DRY INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 Coconut Flour (I use organic)
  • 1 scoop of Whey Protein Powder (Optional. I use organic – mine has a very light vanilla flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Store in an airtight container. It will last four days on the counter (unless eaten sooner than that).

Enjoy! ~ Charla

 

 

Finding Peace in Troubled Times

I cried this morning during my prayer time. I cried yesterday morning, too. This morning, the enormity of all the people suffering in the world right now was overwhelming to me. Yesterday, I read an article about a dad opening an empty refrigerator trying to find food for his hungry 11 year old. It made me think what if that was either of my grandsons who are around that age. There are way too many hungry people right now because of job loss. And there are other stories out there that bring tears to my eyes as well. It’s just. too. much.

I don’t have answers. I don’t know why. But I do know we live in a broken world. I know there are things in the heavenly realms we know nothing about. (If you’re not familiar with the Bible, there’s a book called Ephesians that has six chapters. The sixth chapter talks about the spiritual world.)

So, what do I do in all this mess? These are things that have helped me a lot:

  • Take one day at a time! (the Bible talks about doing that)
  • Count my blessings! Don’t take anything for granted! (the Bible talks about this)
  • Look for ways every week that I can help others! (the Bible talks about this)
  • Trust God and give him all my worries, problems, fears, concerns! (God tells me in the Bible over and over again to trust Him and not to fear. He’s never let me down!)
  • Trust that God is in the midst of all that’s going on, working and helping in ways that I don’t know about.

I do better some days than others, but overall, I’m doing so much better than the first few weeks of the pandemic. Faith over fear is what I tell myself.

I found a song on YouTube recently that I love. It’s one of the things that helps calm my soul if I’m feeling anxiety start to creep up. The name of the song is simple. Here’s the link for  “Peace.”  I feel peaceful every time after I listen to it.

~ Charla

 

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