Wednesdays are BANANAS

IMG_6201

It’s Wednesday… time to go BUHHNAHHNUHHSS!!

IMG_6200

Or something like that.

But first: a little throwback Wednesday to get things started off right. These were my shoes as a baby:

IMG_0090

And we wonder why I turned out like I did?! Ha. Evidence. I’m sure my current state of affairs also has quite a bit to do with the fact that as a baby, I looooved tofu and bananas mashed up together. Yeah. I’m not too sure about that combination these days either…

And then there’s this, which is a throwback to like.. yesterday. Or maybe breakfast. Because apparently quite a few of my meals start off looking like this:

IMG_0100

Huge pile o’greens. Are we surprised? No, not really. ANYway…

IMG_6202

Banana bread!! Only this time its grain free, for peeps who either don’t wanna or can’t have gluten or grains. I like grains and gluten (bread. obvi) but I also really like new things, so this happened. And I am sooo glad it did because it is also delicious, and as I’ve said many times I really don’t have time for things that aren’t delicious. It also happens to be refined sugar free, which I love. Actually… there aren’t ANY added sweeteners in this, period—all the sweetness comes from buhhnahhnuhss! Awesome. Just make sure you use some really dead bananas—mine were pretty nasty looking but they found bliss in their next incarnation as bread, so everybody wins.

IMG_6205

Grain Free Banana Bread

Makes one loaf. Grain free, gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free, paleo. It’s high in healthy fats and fiber (yay!), and very satisfying. I think that covers just about everything! Recipe only slightly tweaked from Heather’s French Press, here!

IMG_6203

  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/2 c coconut flour
  • 1/4 c ground flaxseed
  • heaping 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed (mine were smallish)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350, and thoroughly grease a loaf pan (Or use parchment— my bread stuck like WHAT so obviously I was lazy with greasing and should have used parchment. Whoops. Whatever, it created “crumbs” and then I got to eat them all).

In a bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour (sifted if chunky), flaxseed, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a larger bowl, mash bananas, then vigorously whisk them together with the eggs and vanilla. Pour wet into dry and stir until just combined. This batter (because of the coconut flour) is very thick—it won’t pour like typical banana bread. I smooth mine out with a spatula and then give it fork marks on top for fun. Smooth the batter out in the prepared pan, then pop it into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. A tester should come out clean when it’s done. Let it cool for a few in the pan, then turn it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Store in the fridge! I found that it got better and better the longer it lasted (which sadly wasn’t that long…)

IMG_6207

IMG_6208

Whiny ultrasonic phone calls and soothing cookies

IMG_6172

Scientific fact: rainy weather = tea + baking.

Obviously. Ask Stephen Hawking, I’m sure he would back me up.

Well… okay maybe not. But the fact that it’s actually FINALLY raining over here in droughty California meant that I obviously had to make cookies and drink tea. Not that those are things I don’t usually do… but I enjoy them so much more when it’s drizzly. Or pouring. Preferably pouring, actually.

IMG_6173

And then I can eat a cookie, go dance in the rain, and then come back in and drink tea. A perfect combination of fun things.

Which is a really nice thing after a day at work where apparently the theme of the day was me repeating myself over.and over.and over. and over: *cue really high octave, rather whiny voice*

IMG_6182

Caller: “Ummm, hiiiiiii, I was just wonderinggggg” (Seriousy. I’m not joking. For some reason, EVERY SINGLE PERSON that calls the store speaks in whiny-ultrasonic. WHY?!) “if you had this puffy jacket…”
Me: “Yes, actually we do, but I’m sorry, we can’t do holds (as per company policy)..”
Caller: “Okayyyyy so can you do a hold for me?”
Me: “Um, no, I’m sorry… we don’t do holds”
Caller: “But um, you could just hold it for me, riiiight?”
Me: “No. I can’t do holds, I’m sorry.”
Caller: “Buuuuut, you could do one for me, riiiiight? Like, you could just hide it somewhere?”
Me: “Um. No. That’s not really possible… Sorry.”
Caller: “But… I neeeeeed it! Like, can’t you just do one little hold?”
Me: “… “

Really?! The answer the first time is no…and the answer the thirty thousandth time is also no. The more you wheedle, the less likely I am to even consider making an exception… what don’t they understand about the first no?! And speaking in ultrasonic is in no way making me want to be helpful, also taking into consideration that the first “hiiiiiii” pretty much shattered my ear drum? Yeah. No.

IMG_6181

BUT! As annoying as these phone calls are, they make excellent stories. So there you have it, my retail annoyance of the day. Go soothe yourself with a cookie, I know it was traumatic…

Now I think I’m going to go locate my snuggle buddy (kitties make the best snuggle buds), my tea, and my novel and go park myself on the couch. It’s a mellow kind of day today… frankly that seems like the perfect activity. Snuggles, tea, and cookies? I’m in.

IMG_6180

Almond-Date Cookies

Gluten free, refined sugar free, and vegan! Yay! These little guys are also high in fiber, low in sugar, and filled with healthy fats and good carbs. They’re a little crumbly around the edges, and chewy-dense in the middle. Awesome snacky cookies, or dessert if you’re not into super sweet things. Yield: 15 cookies. Recipe lightly adapted from Running on Real Food, here!

  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/4 c raw almonds, finely chopped (or run through the food processor)
  • 1.5 c rolled oats, finely ground (I also used the food processor for this)
  • 2 tbsp buckwheat groats
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 c light coconut milk (canned variety)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp refined coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 c extra dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c dates, finely chopped* (Mine were hard as rocks so I soaked them in hot water for a bit first)
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar*

*I was a little short on dates and really only had between 1/3c and a scant 1/2 c, so I supplemented slightly with 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar. The cookies are lightly sweet.

IMG_6183

In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, chopped almonds, ground oats, buckwheat groats, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a slightly smaller bowl, stir together coconut milk, vanilla, and melted coconut oil. Mix wet into dry, then stir in dates, coconut sugar (if using) and chocolate chippies. Chill the dough for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or lightly grease). Roll the dough into balls, and flatten slightly. Bake for 13 minutes, until lightly browned on the top! Remove to a cooling rack after a few minutes to cool completely.

These do best if stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Happy rain and cookies!

IMG_6165

IMG_6169

Of course avocado belongs in cookies. What did you think?!

IMG_6160

AVO!

Obviously it belongs in cookies. I mean… I put spinach in oatmeal and tons of other places where normal people usually don’t (but what’s the fun in being normal, I ask you?). So clearly avocado in cookies was a logical next step for the girl who is borderline obsessed with green things.

Wait.

Maybe not even borderline obsessed. Let’s just go with obsessed? Good, I’m glad we got that one settled.

IMG_6157

Anyway. Happy Thursday-Almost-Friday! I have virtual cookies for your inbox, hooray! (Unless you are, of course, one of the lucky few who might be a recipient of these cookies… see what happens when you’re nice to me? I feed you!!). And not just any cookies, oh no. I would never ever just give you ordinary cookies, that goes against my principles.

IMG_6155

These little guys are nutrient-dense powerhouses, ready to smack down your afternoon slump. What slump? Not when you have these. Chewy and a little crunchy from the buckwheat groats, full of healthy fats (almond flour and avocado) and complex carbs (buckwheat groats and oats). Apparently buckwheat contains all eight amino acids! Bonus. And besides that, it’s an excellent source of manganese, copper, magnesium, and fiber. So that means I can eat these for dinner, right?? I mean, they have the requisite green things in them that apparently ALL of my food has to have…

Ps. How is it already February?? Can someone answer that? I’ll give you a cookie…

IMG_6162

Avo Chocolate Chippie Cookies!

Yield: 17 smallish cookies. Gluten free, refined sugar free, and dairy free (with appropriate dairy free chippies). Recipe only slightly adapted from Imma Eat That, here! Oh. And these took me about 15 minutes start to finish, so you have no excuses to not make them!

Rustle up:

  • 1/3 c raw buckwheat groats
  • 1/3 c almond flour
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 c coconut sugar
  • 1/3 c mashed ripe avocado
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda+1/2 tsp warm water
  • 1/3 c dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp raw buckwheat groats

IMG_6161

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

This part couldn’t be simpler. Muscle out your food processor (assuming it weighs a metric ton like mine), toss in 1/3 c buckwheat groats, almond flour, oats, flaxseed, salt, and coconut sugar. Whiz together until every thing is mostly finely ground. Pour all this goodness out into a large bowl and set aside. In a separate smaller bowl, vigorously whisk together the mashed avocado and egg until the whole thing is homogenous with only a few chunks. Whisk in vanilla. Combine baking soda and warm water in a small bowl, and once dissolved, whisk it into the avo-egg bowl. Pour liquid into dry, add chocolate chips and remaining buckwheat groats, and stir to combine.

Roll the dough into roughly ball-like shapes and pat them down flattish on the cookie sheet (they won’t really spread). Bake for 8-9 minutes, until the tops are just firm to the touch. Cool for a few minutes, then move to a cooling rack for immediate consumption…

I found I liked these cold, and have been storing them in the fridge. I would assume they keep better longer in the fridge anyway, but I doubt mine will last that long with all the vultures around here!

IMG_6163

My cats are here to show me the way to inner bliss

IMG_6132

Let’s talk about cats.

Mark Twain once said, “Of all God’s creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat” (Notebook, 1894)… and how true this is. Cats are such enlightened little furry beings—we discussed this in my last post because Nosh definitely stares at me with his third eye. Definitely. What cat likes banana bread, lentil-apple sandwiches, and butternut squash pancakes unless he’s a guru?! Right. See?

IMG_0088

My cats share tidbits of enlightened wisdom with me every day. For instance… Obviously, inner peace can be achieved easily by a five hour nap on the heater vent, followed by a massive stretch and a round of kibble hockey… and then the search for a warm human to nap on for the next hour. And… repeat. Ohmmm. Inner peace.

IMG_0036

They also are excellent reminders to live in the moment. Mine always do. Picture this: I am cooking. In the kitchen. There are two pairs of eyes staring at me incessantly. Those eyes are very clearly saying: “In this moment, I want snacks. My kibble is in the laundry room. Why aren’t you walking over there? Snacks are for this moment. And then for the moment a moment from now. And then you will let me outside, and I will eat some bugs in a very enlightened manner to illustrate the interconnectedness of the universe”. You see how wise they are? It’s mind boggling.

IMG_6129

In the next life I’m coming back as a cat. A real cat, not just as a really bendy human with cat friends. Because that way I can achieve inner peace by napping for the majority of the day, eating a few bugs, and then finding a human to sleep on. That sounds like a pretty fabulous proposition, doesn’t it?!

IMG_6135

My cats do yoga and have kitty chakras. It’s okay, you’re allowed to be jealous.

In the short term, feel free to make this pizza and achieve a small measure of enlightened gastronomical wisdom. In a pinch (and in your lack of wise cat friends), it’ll do.

IMG_6136

Vegan Pizza on a Pumpkin Crust

This pizza surprised me! It came together quite fast, with things I had lurking around in the pantry. It was perfect for lunch and leftovers. The crust is gluten free (and can be nut free), made with pumpkin puree. The sauce is veggietastic and delicious—and vibrantly green! Vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free (could be nut free with all cornmeal and no almond flour). Both crust and sauce loosely adapted from Wholehearted Eats, here!

IMG_6131

For the crust:

  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed+4 tbsp water
  • 3 c pumpkin puree (2 cans worth)
  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/2 c cornmeal
  • 3/4 c garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/8 c nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • a few good grinds of black pepper
  • 1.25 tsp dried oregano

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 c raw cashews, soaked for at least 10 minutes and drained
  • 2 c raw spinach, packed
  • 1.5 c frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • scant 1/4 tsp salt

IMG_6121

Preheat oven to 425, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In  a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp ground flaxseed and 4 tbsp water. Set aside for the time being. In a large bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, almond flour, cornmeal, garbanzo bean flour, nutritional yeast, 1 tbsp flaxseed, sea salt, pepper, and oregano. Stir in soaked flax. Spread the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, making a roughly oblong-type shape (or not, whatever floats your boat) with edges a bit thicker than the middle. Bake for just about 30 minutes, until the center is set and the edges are just beginning to brown (you should be able to peel it off the parchment paper).

While the crust is baking, make the sauce! In a food processor, whirl together soaked cashews , spinach, peas, nutritional yeast, olive oil, basil, and salt. I highly suggest tasting and adjusting as you go, it’s much more fun that way. Puree until the sauce is chunk-free and smooth.

When the crust is done, spread sauce around evenly, and top with veggies of choice. I used sautéed arugula, bell peppers, and zucchini, but use whatever you have on hand. Bake for another 5 minutes, then let cool for a minute or two before slicing and serving. I found that a sprinkle of salted, roasted cashews added just the right crunch and made a nice garnish.

Leftovers store well and taste equally delicious the next day! I stored mine in a glass continuer in the fridge.

IMG_6134

Happy Monday! You know you want cookies…

IMG_6102

Random thought of the day: I’m currently watching a very acrobatic squirrel do some amazing things on the eaves outside of my house. Go squirrel!! Show Monday whatcha got.

I showed Monday, that’s right: I’m post-Jazzercize! I maybe love it. A LOT. I really can’t think of a better way to start a Monday. Besides, my skin is sooooo dry, and getting my sweat on/fogging up the windows in the studio seemed like a fab idea. I feel better now, thank you…

IMG_6108

And these!! I made them to fill a post-yoga void in my stomach (funny how those always occur when I do mid-morning yoga). I loooove tea… as anyone who hangs out with me regularly knows… who else carries two bags of assorted and miscellaneous tea bags in their purse?! Right. I do. Just in case. You never know when you’re going to want tea.

IMG_6114

But then!!! You can put tea in COOKIES! Who knew?! That’s like two of my favorite things all smooshed up into one big ball of awesome. Or a little ball, as the case may be, but whatever. Beside the point. Smoosh that [variegated size] ball of awesome into a flatish thing, dollop a bit of naturally-sweetened jam in the middle, and you got yourself a winner! Tea. Tea in my cookies. Tea cookies with my tea. Yummm. Can’t go wrong (Unless you’re a coffee fan, in which case I apologize and will get back to you with some coffee type cookies if you ask me nicely).

IMG_6106

Happy Monday! Get your sweat on and then go eat some cookies, I promise it will make Monday better.

IMG_6109

Earl Grey Thumbprints with Wildberry Jam

I made a little teeny batch that was actually supposed to be bigger: I got six adorable cookies out of mine, which were adorable but I wanted more. I’ll post the bigger batch here, which would yield 12. The recipe is lightly adapted from 5’oclock A Tea Bag, here! Could probably be easily gluten free, though mine weren’t. They are free of refined sugar, however.

IMG_6100

  • 6 tbsp butter (I used salted)
  • 8 tsp coconut sugar
  • 3/4 c + 4 tsp whole wheat pastry flour
  • 6.5 tbsp almond flour
  • 4 tsp Earl Grey tea leaves (mine was decaffeinated; this would be about 4 tea bags)
  • large pinch of salt
  • enough jam to dollop each cookie (I used apple juice sweetened wild berry)

Cream together butter and coconut sugar until fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, almond flour, tea leaves, and salt. Combine wet and dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Refrigerate dough for about a half an hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Roll the dough into smallish balls, flatten each one, and with a thumb make an indentation in the top. Dollop your jam into the imprint, then place on a cookie sheet. Repeat until all cookies are done… then pop into the oven and bake for about 12 minutes! They should be lightly golden brown.
Enjoy them with tea! Obviously…

IMG_6103

Milk is most definitely a good choice

IMG_6092

So… I went to the movies on Thursday night.

IMG_6088

Which lead me to the realization that I basically carry my entire life in my purse on a regular basis. Purse doesn’t really cut it. Let’s try… BAG. Lip balm? Check. Wallet? Yes. Phone? Obviously. Keys. Gloves. Pen. Gum. Tea bags. Novel (clearly. What if I have a spare five minutes or something?! Better to read than to stare at a screen). Water bottle? Helloooo. And cookies. Duh. Who DOESN’T carry a tupperware of cookies in their purse?

IMG_6093

Besides, movie snacks are horrendously expensive and full of junk. I would rather make my own and save twenty bucks, you know? I’ve even been known to sneak in a sandwich. It was a lunchtime movie!! I was going to be hungry! And hungry=impatience and very little focus. I’m not paying over ten dollars to be hungry and distracted. And it’s way more fun to whip out your smuggled in snacks and watch the looks of jealousy from your neighbors than to eat the theater crap (Except for maybe the occasional popcorn, I might make an exception for that, but only if I have snacks with me to combat the saltiness).

IMG_6096

So anyway. My life comes with me on my shoulder on a regular basis and may even include cookies. Those lucky souls escorting me to the theater are no doubt grateful for this, unless they get asked to hold my bag…

Bicep workout, anyone?

IMG_6086

Almond Coconut Cookies

This recipe is only a teeny bit adapted from Making Thyme for Health, here! These are gluten free and dairy free, AND free of refined sugar! And possibly paleo? Though I’m not gluten free, I’m always looking for ways to switch up my snackies and desserty type things, and these totally fit the bill. Delicious, satisfying, and quick to come together. Besides all that, they’re full  of nutrients, which is how I like all of  my food to be. None of those empty calories for me, thanks!

I found that the coconut flavor is much more pronounced than the almond; if you’re really going for almond, I’m sure a splash of almond extract would be delicious.
Yield: 16 cookies

IMG_6094

Rustle up the following:

  • 3/4 c almond flour/almond meal
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 c almond butter (mine was salted, I like the extra bit of saltiness)
  • 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c raw honey
  • 1 whole egg+1 yolk
  • 3/4 c shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 c extra dark chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk together almond meal, coconut flour, sea salt, and baking soda. In a smaller bowl, whisk together almond butter, coconut oil, vanilla, honey, egg and egg yolk. Keep whisking vigorously for a few minutes, until the mixture is smooth and combined (alternatively, you could use a mixer but eehhhhhh I didn’t want to do extra dishes…). Stir in shredded coconut. Toss wet into dry, and stir slowly until combined (trying not to fling flour everywhere, no I obviously don’t speak from experience, what makes you say that?!). Stir in chocolate chips—the dough should be very thick. Refrigerate the dough for at least a half an hour.

Preheat oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Once dough is chilled, roll it into tablespoon sized balls and flatten them slightly onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for just about 10 minutes, until golden. Let cool for a few on the cookie sheet, then remove to a cooling rack! And don’t do this, unless you want cookies that have… character:

IMG_0014

Oops!

IMG_0013

The smashed ones were definitely my favorites…

I think you’ll find I’ve had a browniepiphany

unnamed

So you know how I’m always whining about how I’m soooo picky with brownies and that I never make them and blah blah blah?!

Yes, well…

I think that might have changed.

THESE.

IMG_0107

Gaahhhh… I can’t even.

Crackly crust. Fudgy, dense interior… IN. A. SKILLET. With ice cream. And date caramel. And two spoons.

Be jealous, it’s okay.

And yeah. They were so good I didn’t even really get proper pictures, but that should tell you just how good they really were. I think they might actually be too good for their own good…

IMG_6018

Everything I want in a brownie and then some. AND double bonus, they’re gluten free and dairy free! Not that I’m either (um, hello BUTTER) (and bread. obvs) but for all my little pallies out there who don’t do the gluten and dairy thing, these are for you. Because I love you and I want you to have fabulous brownies.

Time for second breakfast. I ate oatmeal for the first round, so obviously brownies make a logical second choice? Yes, I thought so too.

tis the season!
tis the season!

The Best Brownies

Gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free. Recipe adapted from Recreating Happiness, here! I made a 1/2 batch for a 5″ cast iron skillet, so I’ll post those measurements here. Double for a larger skillet, or an 8 by 8 pan. I highly recommend making them in cast iron, because eating them out of a warm skillet is magical.

  • 1.5 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 oz dark chocolate (I used 72%)
  • 1/2 c extra dark chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
  • 1/4 c coconut sugar
  • 1/3 c almond flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c extra dark chocolate chips (Guittard)

Preheat the oven to 325, and lightly grease pan of choice (I used a 5″ cast iron skillet and coconut oil).

In a microwave safe bowl, melt coconut oil, dark chocolate, and 1/2 c extra dark chocolate chips until completely melted. Set aside to cool slightly. In a small bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside to hang out with the cooling chocolate.

In yet another bowl, whisk together coconut sugar and melted chocolate until combined. Whisk in egg—longer whisking creates the crackly crust! (who knew). Whisk in vanilla, then stir in the contents of the almond flour bowl and the chocolate chips. Pour/spread batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the top is set. Make sure not to over bake! No one likes dry brownies… I checked mine at 17 minutes, and then let them bake for another 4ish minutes. Mine were fairly thin, so test according to thickness and how hot your oven runs.
Let cool… or not.

Eat out of the skillet, preferably with ice cream and some date caramel… and someone else. Sharing is caring ;)

IMG_6013