Finals + moving + classes = pooped.

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ONE MORE WEEEK!! ONE MORE WEEK!!!

Only one more week of summer session and then I can breathe again. Phew. Or at least, I can breathe for a week before fall term starts. Hooray! And to complicate things even further, I moved this weekend. So in between all the finals crazy, Elliott and I are attempting to turn our apartment into something resembling human habitation (the piles of boxes are getting smaller, I swear). Grad school finals + moving + classes on top of finals = pooped.

 

First new apartment breakfast! This is from last week, but that is my life. Anything I actually WANT to do takes place about a week after I actually decide I want to do it.

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None of my lectures are shorter than an hour and a half. The struggle is real:

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But hey! Our apartment is very cute and even though getting pots out of the cupboards is like playing pot Tetris (more posts on solutions for that later… I WILL have room for all my kitchen implements, ha), I think we chose a winner. Pictures to come when there aren’t boxes everywhere…

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In the meantime, I seized a free thirty seconds this weekend and made banana bread! This is tummy friendly banana bread too, since mine is still playing its little game. Fun. NOT. But this bread is low-fodmap, which is the strategy I’m currently trying (it limits the amount of fermentable mono/di/oliogo carbs and polyols in certain foods) and it seems to be at least helping a bit. I’ll take it! And besides, this is now one of my new favorite banana breads.

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Also, Jessie says hello and that she wants to be in another blog post. I can’t promise I’m not a crazy cat lady…

cat naps > med stats
cat naps > med stats

Spelt Banana Bread

This bread is lightly sweet and DELICIOUS. Disregard the low-fodmap biz if your tum plays nice with you — both my parents really like this one and they aren’t following the fodmap rules. Normally I’m skeptical of nuts in cookies and in most baked goods, but I definitely make an exception for banana bread. Walnuts + bananas = match made in heaven. Recipe adapted from FODMAP Fun, here!

Side note: low fodmap diets typically exclude gluten; however, I’ve tested my reactions to it and I am not currently sensitive to it. If you can’t do gluten, the flour blend in this is easily replaced by a gluten free all purpose blend. Yield: 1 loaf. Refined sugar free, low fodmap, healthy fats (walnuts + almond flour = omega 3s = happy brain!). Apologies for the mix of American and metric measurements, I’ve made this twice and this just seemed easiest. A scale is your friend!

  • 3/4 c whole or white spelt flour
  • 1/4 c white rice flour
  • 1/8 c quinoa flour
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • scant 1 tsp salt
  • 130 g almond flour
  • 30 g rolled oats
  • heaping 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • heaping 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ~1/4 c chopped walnuts
  • extra dark chocolate chips, optional

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease a bread pan (mine is 9 by 5 I believe).

In a smallish bowl, mash the bananas, then whisk in the vanilla, eggs, and maple syrup. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together spelt flour, rice flour, quinoa flour, baking powder, salt, almond flour, oats, and cinnamon. Stir in the banana bowl’s contents, followed by the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips, if using. Mix until there aren’t any dry spots left, but avoid overmixing with spelt flour because it can affect the texture of the final product. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan (it will be thick batter, and that’s okay), and bake for 35-40 minutes. A tester should come out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in the fridge.

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What to do with quite demanding vegetables

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I have very demanding, rampaging vegetables on my counter.

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Cue late summer, bountiful garden harvest booty sitting in the kitchen yelling at me. Sort of. As much as a vegetable can ever yell at you, which is actually very little… except when it isn’t. Which is what’s happening right now as two extremely spotty, very disgruntled looking bananas clamor for my attention [helloooo, can you SEE how spotty we are?! Obviously you should make us into banana bread] right next to several massive, rando summer squash things that sprung from the compost and are slightly less delicious than zucchini. Who of course want to be made into zucchini bread. Or I guess technically that would be ‘random green-squash-variety bread’, but don’t tell them that. They were giving me enough dirty looks for a vegetable as it is. And threatening to roll all over the place and off the counter. Rude little suckers, aren’t they?!

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So I did what any sensible person would do when confronted by mass amounts of demanding produce…

I made BANANA ZUCCHINI BREAD. So there, clamoring veggies and spotty bananas. You have a baked goods home now, please leave me alone?!

Except don’t because having an excess of produce is probably the best thing ever.

At least in my life, it is.

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I had a friend over the other day and as I opened up the fridge, she goes, “Oh my god you have the most produce in your fridge I’ve ever seen!!” bahahha. Best situation ever. You can NEVER have too much fresh stuff. Even when it starts haranguing you to make it into things. Homemade chicken stock does that too, there are several jars in there wanting to become soup but ick it’s a thousand degrees outside and I already ran the oven like an idiot so no.

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I’ve just realized the amount of grammatically (no autocorrect, not dramatically) incorrect things in this post… too bad!! Studying for the GRE means I don’t have to be coherent in my personal blog space.

I told you I was pretty much five years old on the inside, right?! Well yeah. Case in point. But hoooomg was it delicious.

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So anyway. It’s hot and if you have an abundance of late summer produce, bake away! regardless of the fact that it will make your kitchen nastily hot. Don’t sweat it, just have a dance party in there while you’re baking and it will be like you’re sweating on purpose. Clearly I’m a genius.

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Banana Summer Squash Bread

I baked this in an 8 by 8 pan just to be different, though a loaf pan is totes fine too. Yield is about 9 good sized squares from the square pan. Can easily be adapted to be gluten free with all oat flour. Refined sugar free, whole grain, and vegan. Hooray! Also you get sneaky veggies, and who would say no to that?! The recipe is adapted from Hummusapien, here!

  • 1 c oat flour [I grind my own in a food processor]
  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed+6 tbsp water
  • 1 c mashed, overripe bananas (the super spotty ones that are being annoying on your counter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp raw coconut nectar
  • 1 c grated summer squash variety, squeezed [I use a paper towel] after grating to remove moisture
  • 1/3 c extra dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease your pan of choice (I used coconut oil, as always).

In a smallish bowl, whisk together flax and water and set aside to gel for your flax egg. In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, whole wheat, almond flour, salt, baking powder and soda, and cinnamon. In a smaller bowl, mash bananas and stir in vanilla extract. Pour wet into dry, add flax egg, and stir until mostly incorporated. Fold in grated squash and chocolate chips. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean (the time will be closer to an hour for a standard loaf pan). I found that a tester came out clean in mine at 20 minutes, but it would have been way too gooey so I stuck it back in for another 10—your call if you like SUPER gooey bread. I turned mine out onto a cooling rack immediately, but watch for breakage. Store in the fridge for super freshness! I like mine cold anyway, preferably with a good smear of almond butter.

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A case of RUDE tonsils

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So guess what.

This is what happens when your tonsils rebel and you end up with…

TONSILLITIS.

So. RUDE.

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Look what it made me do? I was feeling sorry for myself and this happened.

And I kind of thought it was pretty so I took lots of iPhone photos while I was becoming one with the couch. Which is so not my mo, I’m getting twitchy and this is only my first full day of antibiotics (which I hate but in some cases are obviously necessary).

Ughghghhghghg.

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Thankfully things look a little better with a bowl of trashed up banana bread in front of you. I took a perfectly good-for-me loaf of grain free, refined sugar free banana bread and dumped a load of homemade chocolate hazelnut butter and vanilla ice cream on it. Because, obviously. I do not ever need to justify my ice cream but in this case I have tonsillitis and clearly everyone knows that tonsillitis=ice cream. There’s got to be an official rule written down somewhere that says that… right? Whatever. Just humor me, I’m sickly and cranky. And my banana bread is gone now so I can’t trash up any more of it.

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Good thing I still have ice cream. I’ll have to just make do with that…

IMG_0372 Simple Grain Free Banana Bread

This is one of my favorites—it comes out with a great crumb, it’s moist but not soggy (ew, no one wants that), and it bakes up cleanly in less than an hour. Grain free+gluten free, refined sugar free (in fact, it doesn’t have any sweetener added at all, except banana), and paleo. Yay! I adapted the recipe from Peanut Butter Runner, here! Makes one loaf.

  • 3/4 c almond flour
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp unrefined coconut oil (measured when completely liquid)
  • 3 medium-large, extremely ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • shredded unsweetened coconut for topping, optional

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 350.

Whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, trying to get all the lumps (sift coconut flour if it’s super lump-tastic). In a smaller bowl, whisk together melted coconut oil, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Pour wet into dry and stir until just combined—the batter is thick, and almost a little ‘dry’, but it spreads out easily into a loaf pan. Top with shredded coconut, if using, and bake for 45 minutes until a tester comes out clean.

Use the parchment to lift it out onto a cooling rack, and let cool completely before wrapping in foil. It does best stored in the fridge!

Trash it up with anything you feel like. Chocolate? Peanut Butter? Ice cream? (I mean, obvi)… This banana bread is your oyster.

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Kelp noodles are ridiculously distracting

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I really freaking love kelp noodles like WAY TOO MUCH.

I want to eat them all day, every day.

Which is weird, given that they pretty much taste like… nothing. It’s like eating noodley nothing.

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So maybe… I’m really obsessed with the almond butter sauce. Realistically that’s probably it, given my history of obsession with anything nut butter related. Sheesh. I’m so predictable.

Whatever. Kelp noodles+almond butter = AMAZING.

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But actually this post is about banana bread. Um. Non sequitur? Sorry, I was just really excited about my leftovers for lunch today… and I’ve been working too much and my I think I lost my brain somewhere between my last six days of work in a row and here. Has anyone seen it? It’s lumpy.. and grey…

Right. Anyway. Banana bread. Not just any banana bread though—this is grain free, refined sugar free, and has CHOCOLATE in it. So I mean, obviously. What are you doing still standing there?? Why aren’t you in your kitchen making this immediately?
Good. I see you trotting off towards your bowls. My pictures have apparently had their desired effect…

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Sorry if there’s drool on your keyboard, I take no personal responsibility for that.

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This went over quite well with its audience: dense with a  good crumb, equal parts chocolatey and bananay… not too sweet but just sweet enough. Excellent with ice cream, if I do say.

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Grain Free Swirled Chocolate Banana Bread

Recipe adapted from My little jar of spices, here! Yield: 1 loaf. Grain free, gluten free, refined sugar free.

  • 3 very ripe bananas (the blacker and more disgusting the better), about 2 cups mashed
  • 2 c almond flour
  • 1/3 c ground flaxseed
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp salted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 oz extra dark chocolate, 70% or above
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3/4 c pecans, chopped
  • 1 tsp raw honey

Grease a loaf pan (I use coconut oil), and preheat the oven to 350.

In a largeish bowl, whisk together almond flour, flaxseed, and baking soda. Set aside. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter and honey together until incorporated, stirring constantly until the mixture is a bit thickened. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas until you get most of the lumps out. Whisk in egg and vanilla, followed by the butter-honey mix. Whisk to combine. Pour all of this biz into the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt dark chocolate and coconut oil together, stirring occasionally. I usually do mine on 30 second bursts, stirring in between. Divide out half of the batter and stir in the chocolate.

Drop the batter into the loaf pan, alternating between chocolate and banana. I used heaping spoonfuls of each, swirling the tops sightly as I went (really, there is no wrong way to do this. Pretend it’s art!). In a small bowl, combine 1 tsp honey and chopped pecans until mixed. Toss this evenly on top of the batter, spreading it out so it’s all even and pretty. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. (Mine was perfect at 50) Let cool in the pan completely, and store in the refrigerator. I just left mine in the pan for 3 days, and it was totally fine.

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Wednesdays are BANANAS

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It’s Wednesday… time to go BUHHNAHHNUHHSS!!

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Or something like that.

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

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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:

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

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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.

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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!

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  • 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…)

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Enlightened cats and third-eye bliss

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HOMG I love arugula.

And yoga.

Thankfully I’ve had lots of both in my morning today, otherwise we might have a problem.

Maybe I just really like things that end in a?

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Banana. Kombucha.

Wait okay those are all I can currently think of… and almond butter and bread don’t end in ‘a’ so clearly we’ve run into a problem here.

Also, a few random notes.
I made quite possibly the weirdest sandwich, ever. Lentils, sautéed apples and carrots, and cardamom all smashed together and sandwiched between almond butter and the subsequently grilled. Yeah. Weird but shockingly delicious..?! I might actually be making it again here sometime soon. But it was ugly so I don’t have a very flattering picture of it…

Oh. And I know you’re all curious about my oatmeal that contains pretty much five servings of fruits and veg? Mostly veg? Yep. Here it is:

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Apparently that morning I went a little nuts with the nut butter, but hey. It was probably really early and I was just barely coming into proper human functionality. There is a half a zucchini, 2 c of spinach, 2 carrots, 1/4 c wild blueberries, and 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce in there. Wheeee!

But anyway. Remember when I made that  banana bread a little while ago? Well yes. It was delicious on its own. BUT THEN I trashed it up and it entered a realm that might have been close to transcendental. This is third-eye banana bread. Mmm. I highly recommend trashing up some of your own banana bread, for you own good.

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Nosh is a very wise, very blissed out cat. He knows what’s up, and what’s good for him… which is why he’s trying to swipe some of my banana bread. Hey now buddy, you’re already enlightened. My banana bread-third-eye-bliss!

Trashed Up Banana Bread

Recipe from my own semi-enlightened (ha) food brain. Because banana bread is always a winner. Serves… however many slices you have! So maybe just one (shhh, I won’t tell). This is so not even a recipe, but a suggestion of something mind-blowingly delicious. The ingredients below can be used up to the amount you want! Yaaayy!!

  • leftover banana bread, sliced thick
  • salted butter
  • almond butter (mine happened to be salted)
  • shredded unsweetened coconut
  • cinnamon
  • honey? If you want.

Telling you how to do this seems slightly patronizing….but whatever. You might need direction? Maybe? Here’s what I did:

Heat a small pan over medium heat. Butter both sides of the banana bread slices, and grill those babies in the pan!! I like mine a bit on the brown side, but that’s just me. Spread almond butter thickly all over the place, and then top with shredded coconut and cinnamon. And honey, if that’s your thing.

Eat (and fend off your cat. Who knew cats liked banana bread?!). With a fork, because this is a fork-type operation. Feel your third eye open a little wider on account of banana bread bliss.

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A snapshot of my random (and undeniably fab) life

Welcome to Random Friday! I have several nice lifeish photos hanging out on my phone and they need a home. And I figured I would accompany them with several hilarious anecdotes about my life, because… well, why not? My blog, my rules. And besides, I’ve heard y’all think I’m funny so I thought I’d brighten up your Friday. Ready… GO!

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Purple nails and letters from Avis deVoto and Julia Child. Because I’m awesome. And because this is the pile on my end table: reinforcing my own stereotype or something?!

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I love it when my chocolate loves me back!

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Somehow yesterday morning I managed to get roughly 1.5 cups of raw (which then became cooked) spinach, half a zucchini, a carrot, a quarter cup of wild blueberries, and a quarter cup of applesauce into my oatmeal. If that isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is… take that, five-a-day! I think this is a new record, even for me…

Of course there was also the obligatory chia seeds, almond butter, shredded unsweetened coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a teeny bit of maple. Maybe a little bee pollen. And yes. There were, in fact, oats in there too. Sadly it was too delicious and I ate it too fast for there to be a picture. Next time..

Mmmm. And it was DELICIOUS. Naturally. I don’t bother starting off my days with undelicious things. Why bother? Life is way too short for that.

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And then I added lentils to my go-to quinoa cakes. INSPIRED. Why has this never transpired before?!

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AND THEN. I’ve been replacing whole wheat flour with lots of other favorite alternatives lately… but my favorite is sprouted quinoa flour in this banana bread. It’s already my fave bbread recipe, but it gets that.much.better with quinoa flour. Besides, I get rave reviews from several of my gastronomically-inclined peeps so I know it’s not just in my head…

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Crystalized ginger is really pretty.

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And the obligatory cat-napping photo… Jessie doesn’t want you to disturb her napping human! Alternatively… the napping human is hogging too much of the pillow…

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Wise kitty of the forest.

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