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Banana Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Banana Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I found this recipe on www.101cookbooks.com, the original name is Nikki’s Healthy Cookies (click here to check it out, along other great recipes) and I was so excited to get this recipe and play with variations.  Although this is pretty close to the original, this is a good recipe to use when working with substitutions for food allergies.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm – so it isn’t solid (or alternately, olive oil)
  • 2 cups GF rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 – 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.

2. In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don’t worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes. I baked these as long as possible without burning.

Substitutions:

Substitute applesauce or other fruit purees for the bananas

Substitute raisins or other dried fruit for the chocolate chunks

 

Espresso Brownies

Espresso Brownies

Once again, the original recipe comes from Elana Amsterdam.  She is such a great resource for grain-free snacks.  Her books are great, and her website is such a valuable resource.  You can see the original recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons decaf espresso powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour

Directions:

1. Melt chocolate in a saucepan over very low heat

2. Add coconut oil and stir until completely dissolved

3. Stir in ground espresso and remove from heat

4. Blend in eggs, coconut sugar, vanilla and salt to mixture in pan using a handheld mixer

5. Blend in almond flour and coconut flour

6. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish

7. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes

8. Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour

9. Serve

Coconut Bars

Coconut Bars

This recipe was adapted from the Coconut Bars recipe from Elana Amsterdam.  Click here to find the original recipe, then check out the rest of her site.  She as great recipes, cookbooks, and all things yummy for people wanting to eat healthier.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup honey*
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt

Directions:

1. Mix eggs, coconut milk, oil, coconut nectar, and vanilla in a food processor

2. Pulse in almond flour, coconut flour, shredded coconut and salt

3. Transfer ingredients into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish

4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes

5. Cool for ½ hour, then place in refrigerator and serve when chilled,

* Note:  Original recipe calls for honey instead of the coconut nectar, and an added 1/8 tsp. stevia.

 

Roasted Veggie Dip


Roasted Veggie Dip/Spread

This has become one of our all-time favorites.  It is Ina Garten’s recipe (click here for original recipe) and it is great as a dip, to top chicken or fish, and wonderful used as a healthy spread on a wrap.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded
  • 1 red onion, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking.

Cool slightly.

Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper.

 

Fabulous Eggplant Dip


Eggplant Caviar

This is the original recipe for what we all refer to as the Fabulous Eggplant Dip.  This is one of the few recipes that I don’t mess with – I like it just the way it is.  It tastes great on sliced cucumbers!

By Nora Kogan, originally published in Real Simple

Makes 1 1/2 cups (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1  large eggplant (about 1 1⁄2 pounds)
  • 1/2  small onion, finely chopped (1⁄4 cup)
  • 1  clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for serving
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1  teaspoon  red wine vinegar
  • 1  tablespoon  mayonnaise (optional)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Cut-up vegetables, for serving

Directions

1. Heat oven to 400° F. Using a fork, prick the eggplant all over. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until very tender, 50 to 60 minutes.

2. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, halve it lengthwise and scrape out the flesh, discarding the skin. Finely chop the flesh and transfer it to a large bowl.

3. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, oil, vinegar, mayonnaise (if using), ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and mix to combine. Sprinkle with additional parsley and serve with the vegetables, if desired.

Southwest Chicken Soup

Southwest Chicken Soup

This recipe came about from a “once around the kitchen” dinner night.  I threw in everything I already had that I thought might work together.  I really like southwestern flavors, and you can easily add some chopped jalapeño and cayenne pepper if you want it spicy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery,chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • Rotisserie chicken, picked
  • 1 can pinto beans with just a bit of liquid
  • 1 sweet potato/garnet yam, chopped
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 4-5 big spoonfuls of your favorite salsa
  • Dried oregano (about 2 tbls. or more)
  • Ground cumin (start with 2 tsp. – I usually add a bit more)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of half a lime

Directions:

Sauté onion, carrots and celery until soft. Add rest of ingredients except for lime. Bring to boil, then simmer for awhile till combined. Swish in lime juice at the end and check seasonings.

Notes:

Try it with cilantro, avocado, and dairy free mozzarella-type cheese on top.

Chunky Tomato Soup

Chunky Tomato Soup

This recipe was inspired by the Potassium Balance Broth in the Hungry For Change cookbook.  I wanted more of a tomato soup, so this is my variation.  It’s a great, simple soup that is easy to digest and is super good for you.  I always seem to want more of this one!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups sping water
  • 4 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 15 ounces green string beans, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped (see note)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 26 ounces crushed tomatoes (see note)
  • Fresh herbs – Oregano, basil, or your favorite combination

Directions:

1. Put all ingredients, except crushed tomatoes, in a pot. Bring to a gentle boil, lower heat and then simmer very gently for 30 minutes, with lid on.

2. Strain and use as a broth. Alternatively, leave vegetables in, or even blend to create a thicker soup.

Notes:

The original recipe calls for the 3 tomatoes, but I found I wanted more tomato flavor (especially when tomatoes are out of season and not so yummy), so I added about 26 oz. crushed tomatoes (I use Pomi brand). I used one of those “boat motor” immersion blenders and blended it (didn’t strain it – I wanted all the fiber from all the good veggies!) until it was a little bit smooth, a little bit chunky.

Then I added some fresh herbs  and I ate several bowls of it! I thought it was good – really light and tasty and my body seemed to really love it as well!

 

What A Fun Evening!

Thank you to everyone who came for the special Healthy Priorities event on Thursday evening when we screened the movie, Hungry For Change.  It was great to see everyone, and especially fun to welcome some new faces.  Extra special thanks to Jean and Jim Benham for hosting us in their beautiful home.  I know…just a bit different than crowding around my little kitchen!

For more information about the movie, be sure to visit their website at www.hungryforchange.tv.  They have great information, as well as products such as the video you watched the other night, book, cookbook, etc.

If you would like to be included on my email list for future get-togethers, or if you have any suggestions for topics you’d like to learn about, please just send me an email at jamie@healthypriorities-charlotte.com.  We hope to see you all again soon, and yes….. the recipes I used for our snacks are coming next!

Ready To Make A Healthy Change?

Anyone interested in making some health-promoting changes?

Join us!

THURSDAY, JANUARY 24TH

Healthy Priorities cordially invites you to join us for a private screening of

 Hungry For Change

Created by the producers of Food Matters, Hungry For Change is a documentary film about lasting weight loss, abundant energy and vibrant health!

(For more information and to watch a trailer for the film, visit:  www.hungryforchange.tv).

 It will be a fun evening of information, conversation, and of course, a snack or two.  Please feel free to invite your families, friends, co-workers, and staff.  Let’s all get this new year started in a healthier and happier direction!

 CONTACT ME FOR DETAILS: jamie@healthypriorities-charlotte.com

EVERYONE WHO EATS IS INVITED!!

 

The Real Gifts of The Season

I wrote a guest blog on a great website – www.naturalintution.comabout what is really important during this holiday season.  Go take a look and let me know what you think!