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

 

 

Easy Salmon Chowder

What’s your view on salmon?  I really like to eat salmon several times a month.  It’s loaded with all sorts of good things to help strengthen our bones and to help reduce inflammation.  (Some researchers say inflammation is the root of all disease.  I do know it’s not good for our bodies.)

It’s been cold this week and I’ve been in the mood for salmon and for soup, so I threw some things in a pot and kept tweaking and adding things.  This is what I came up with, and I think it’s yummy.  I didn’t measure anything so the recipe is going to be estimations.  From start to finish was less than 30 minutes and it might could be made in 20 minutes, if necessary.

This is my go-to salmon in a can, Raincoast Wild Pink Salmon.  It’s not farm raised and it comes from the Pacific Northwest.  I’ve been buying it at Natural Grocers for a couple of years now because of its quality.  I would think that Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s might carry it too.

INGREDIENTS:

This recipe is for one serving.  Multiply ingredients by number of servings.  If you don’t use organics, then substitute with what you do use.

  • 1 cup Pacific Chicken Bone Broth, organic
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots from a bag, organic
  • 1 stalk of celery thinly sliced, organic (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Pacific Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup, organic
  • 1/3 – 1/2 can of Raincoast Wild Pink Salmon, 5.65 oz. can
  • 1/2 cup canned peas, organic (or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, organic
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, organic
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (Optional, if not used then use 1 cup of broth)
  • 1-2 cups fresh salad greens, organic
  • salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Pour broth into a saucepan and put on medium heat.  Add sliced carrots and sliced celery.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add cream of chicken soup, salmon, peas, corn, and rosemary.  Mix together. Then add salad greens on top.  Simmer for 5 minutes and stir salad greens into chowder as they wilt.
  • Add almond milk and heat for a couple of more minutes or until heated thoroughly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

You can tweak this recipe to make it creamier by adding more of the cream of chicken soup.  Leave out any veggies you don’t like.  Chopped onions would be good to add with the carrots and celery.

Hope you like this salmon chowder and feel good from eating all the healthy ingredients.  Enjoy!

I was not compensated in any way for this post. This is a recipe I really enjoyed on a cold day, and I just wanted to share it with y’all!

 

 

Pictures and text on this post are protected by copyright 2019

Taco Turkey Stew

This recipe satisfies my taste for a taco and for a warm stew simultaneously.  It’s a great dish for a cold day or just for a day when I want something spicy. There are a variety of ways to fix this.  It can be low-carb or carbs can be raised up a notch by adding beans.  Chips are optional, and that’s why I made this as a “stew” which could easily be low-carb or not if you want to add beans, chips, taco shells, or tortillas.

Here it is without the beans, red bell pepper, and with zucchini instead of yellow squash:

I use organic products as much as I can to limit the amount of GMO and pesticides in my food.  You can substitute whatever you normally use.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 organic red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 packet Bearitos Taco Seasoning (from Natural Grocers)
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon Simply Organic Smoked Paprika
  • 1 organic yellow squash or zucchini (or both), chopped
  • Salt & pepper
  • Avocado, chopped
  • Plain organic, pasture-raised yogurt or sour cream (Optional)

Directions:

    • Saute chopped onion in olive oil for 5-10 minutes in a large skillet
    • Add red bell pepper and saute for another 5-10 minutes
    • Add ground turkey and cook, breaking it apart until crumbly
    • After turkey is cooked, add taco seasoning packet and 1 1/2 cups of water and mix well
    • Add chopped squash and cover the skillet.  Cook for 5-10 minutes until squash is barely tender
    • For a creamer sauce, mix in plain yogurt or sour cream and serve
    • Top with salt & pepper to taste, more smoked paprika (I like lots), and chopped avocado

I was not compensated for this post in any way. Just a yummy, healthy recipe I wanted to share!

Hope you enjoy this recipe!

 

 

Pictures and text on this post are copyrighted, 2019

Yogurt Parfait “Dessert”

Does this dessert look good?  It’s very healthy, packed with protein, live and active yogurt cultures, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.  Kids would be turned off if they heard that and probably some adults as well.

Presentation is important for a “dessert” like this that’s not a traditional dessert. (too healthy).  I used one of my crystal stemmed glasses (that hasn’t been used in years) to make it seem like a fancy dessert.

I must admit that it’s probably going to taste different than it looks because it doesn’t have any added sugar, but you can add stevia for sweetness.  I think it’s good without any added sweetness, but not everyone will agree with me.  You can always substitute your favorite yogurt and/or add Stevia.

This dessert does have the natural sweetness of the organic strawberries, but the yogurt is tart and isn’t your typical sweet yogurt taste. It’s plain organic, 100% grassfed yogurt without any added sugar.  So this dessert has no added sugar.

Toppings can vary.  The pumpkin seeds are organic that have been roasted and lightly salted with sea salt (I like the salty taste that the seeds add to this).  You could substitute organic blueberries or raspberries instead of strawberries.  Both are yummy!  But most of the time, I prefer just the yogurt and pumpkin seeds.  There’s something about the tart and salty tastes together that I like.

I buy these products at Natural Grocers, which I frequent several times a month.  Pictured below are the brands I buy, but you could use your favorite brands.  The Maple Hill Yogurt also comes in flavors such as blueberry, maple, etc., that are sweetened.

Sometimes, I have a taste for something a little sweeter so I might add stevia.  But my favorite thing to add is a little bit of chocolate syrup.  Not just any chocolate syrup, though.  The brand below is organic.  I don’t think my grandchildren like it near as much as the regular name brand chocolate syrup, but I like it.

I’ve included the nutritional content of the organic chocolate syrup so you can check out the sugar content.  I usually just add one teaspoon to my yogurt.  The nutritional info is for two tablespoons.  Since one tablespoon equals three teaspoons, what’s listed on the label is for six teaspoons.  You can do the math and figure out how much sugar you want to add.  I plan to experiment sometime soon and make my own chocolate syrup using organic chocolate powder, vanilla, and organic stevia.

As you can see, this is a very simple non-traditional “dessert,” but it’s very healthy and loaded with nutrition.  You can use your favorite yogurt, and if you have some fancy glasses or bowls, simple yogurt can seem like something special!

Pumpkin Custard

This is delicious served warm on a cold, winter’s day!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 or 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I use 1/4 cup sugar & Stevia equivalent for nearly 1/2 cup sugar – 7 KAL spoonfuls)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix ingredients together.  Pour in a greased baking dish.  Bake in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes and then at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Let cool for 10-20 minutes and then eat while warm.

Good served with frozen vanilla yogurt or whipped cream.

Crock Pot Boneless Turkey Breast

Here’s an easy recipe that’s great when you’re short on time.  Cooking the turkey breast in the crock pot makes it so moist and tender, and I think maybe it’s the best we’ve ever had. And the great thing is that it’s so easy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-pound boneless turkey breast
  • Can of chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or minced garlic)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of minced onion flakes (or onion slices)
  • Optional:  your favorite herbs can be added such as fresh rosemary in place of the garlic

In the sink or a large dish, cut the plastic bag off the turkey breast with kitchen shears and also cut off the netting.   There will be a lot of juices in the bag that will make a mess, so be sure to have something to catch the juices.  Then place the turkey with the above ingredients in the crock pot.   Cook on high for 2 hours and then on low for 6-8 hours.

Chicken Vegetable Soup With Fresh Cilantro

There’s nothing like fresh, homemade soup.   The fresh cilantro in this soup makes it so good!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 – 2 cups of Rotisserie Chicken (or a 12-ounce can of chicken breast)
  • 1  can chicken broth
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 10-15 baby carrots, sliced
  • 1  can black beans, do not drain
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic (I keep a jar in the fridge)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, snip off whole leaves
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 

Banana Pancake for One

The mashed banana in this recipe makes it sound so good!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Syrup

Combine flour and baking powder.  Combine next three ingredients and stir into dry ingredients, just until moistened.  Cook on greased griddle.

 

Converting Ounces to Grams

Have you ever wanted to eat a certain number of ounces but the weight of the food was given in grams?  Just remember this:
 

  • 1 Ounce = 28.35 Grams

I round the grams to 28 to make it easier to remember.  So, if I want to eat three ounces of meat, then I multiply 3 x 28 which means I need approximately 84 grams of meat.  Sounds like a  lot when the meat is measured in grams!

Fresh Fruit Salad in a Basket

photo watermelon basket

I love fresh fruit and am so thankful that God created such delicious (and super-healthy) foods for us to enjoy!  The picture shows a fun way to serve a fresh fruit salad.

The fruit above was at a teacher’s meeting at the very beginning of the school year, but wouldn’t this be cute at a baby shower or a wedding shower.  It would look nice to have at a wedding reception.  I personally think fruit is great at any occasion.  I know so many people who love fresh fruit.

Recipe for No-bake Chocolate Island Cookies

This is a recipe that a friend of mine, Grace, posted on Facebook recently.  It was her mom’s recipe and sounds so good!

Mix in large bowl:

  • 3 cups oats
  • 6 tablesoons cocoa
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine in saucepan:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter

Bring to a hard-rolling boil. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and pour hot mixture over dry ingredients. Mix well, drop by teaspoons on wax paper & let cool.