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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Whiny ultrasonic phone calls and soothing cookies

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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.

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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*

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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

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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!

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Happy Monday! You know you want cookies…

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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…

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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.

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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).

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

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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.

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  • 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…

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Milk is most definitely a good choice

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So… I went to the movies on Thursday night.

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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?

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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).

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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?

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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

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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:

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Oops!

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The smashed ones were definitely my favorites…

Merry Christmas, I made you BUNS!!

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Merry Christmas to all my blogglet’s invisible internet friends!!! Joy, peace and laughter to all, and much love in cookie form from this quarter. And of course (obligatory): Merrrrrry Christmas, BEDFORD FALLSSSSS!!!

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Or perhaps I’m sending you love not in cookie form but…

in BUN form!

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Check out these buns.

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And this frosting. Hahahhahha. My drizzle skills (or lack there of) are atrocious soooo… I go for the strategic pouring method. As in… I completely obliterate whatever I’m eating under a waterfall of ‘frosting’. The more the merrier!

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Helloooo, breakfast. And also snack. And also… oh wait. They’re gone. How did that happen?!

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This was like the recipe of being a spaz. I kept having hand spazzes all over the place and accidentally adding much more than I needed to. Like, REPEATEDLY. This isn’t something that happens normally, mind you… I mean, I dance and cook at the same time like a BOSS but somehow I usually manage to avoid unmitigated disasters of unmeasured/spastic ingredient additions. Not so much today, but shockingly these actually turned out fine! Looook at that. Merry Christmas to me! Besides, I only had exactly the right amount of dates so I couldn’t eff things up too much.

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Besides being delicious, these are good for you too!! Naturally. I don’t do things by halves, you know that (reference frosting pictures in case you had any lingering doubts). Sprouted quinoa flour and whole wheat… sweet potato… naturally date sweetened… and coconut butter frosting! Good carbs and healthy fats: give your tummy some ecstatic eats and send it the tidings of the season, from me!

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Sprouted Quinoa Vegan Cinnamon Date Rolls

I got 9 rolls out of mine because I cut them to be nicely breakfast sized (obvi). The recipe is adapted (with big thanks, they’re delicioussss) from Katy’s Kitchen, here!
Vegan, refined sugar free/naturally sweetened, can be gluten free!

Rustle up the following for the filling:

  • 1.5 c pitted and chopped medjool dates
  • 3/4-1 c water, divided
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp salted almond butter
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Make this first: in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine dates and 1/2 c water. Stir frequently as the dates cook, breaking up the chunks as you go. Add more water as needed in 1/4 c increments—I started with 1/2 c, and added close to a cup by the time I was finished. Once the dates have formed a mostly-smooth paste (small chunks are acceptable and delicious), remove from the heat and stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, almond butter, and sea salt. Set aside to cool.

For the dough:

  • 1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 c sprouted quinoa flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • scant 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp refined coconut oil, slightly softened
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c sweet potato puree (about 1/2 a large sweet potato)
  • 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce

Preheat the oven to 375, and lightly grease your pan of choice (I used a 9″ cake pan, and stuffed some parchment paper in the empty spot to keep them from expanding).

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Work in the coconut oil with your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture turns a little crumbly, like sand. Add in vanilla, sweet potato puree and applesauce, and knead with your hands until a dough forms. Roll it out on a floured surface (and perhaps be smart and use wax paper, which I sadly didn’t do) into an approximate rectangle (mine was much longer than it was wide). Spread the date filling out evenly onto the dough, leaving a little margin around the edges. Start rolling from the long side, roll it up completely, and use a sharp knife to cut it into rolls. Place them into the prepared pan with edges touching, and bake for about 30-35 minutes. I checked mine at 25, and then in five minute increments after that. They should be gloriously golden brown.

For the drizzle (if you’re a drizzly type):

  • 3 tbsp coconut butter
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1.5 tbsp maple syrup

Soften the coconut butter in the microwave, and whisk together all ingredients. Drizzle (or pour with reckless abandon) over your buns of choice. Mmmm.

The buns are delicious straight out of the oven warm, but they also get a little crisper when they sit out for a bit and are equally delicious that way. I have no frame of reference as to whether or not they make good leftovers, as mine were made this morning and are now… gone.

Merry Christmas!

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

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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.

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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…

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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 ;)

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