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Make a Healthier (and easy!) Pancake

It’s been a while since I’ve eaten a pancake.  Ok, quite a while, actually.  Although gluten-free pancakes are pretty easy, grain-free is a different story, especially for those of us who find almond flour too tough too handle.  Then I saw something online (I think it was on Facebook) about making pancakes from eggs and a banana.  Seriously!  Well, I was so curious I just had to try it.  It works!  I’ve made them a few times now, and I have been pleasantly surprised.

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The recipe is easy – 2 eggs, beaten + 1 smushed banana.  That’s basically it, although I usually throw in a dash of cinnamon and a couple drops of vanilla, just because.  As you can see in the picture, they aren’t as thick as a “grainy” pancake, more like a thicker crepe. Still yummy, especially smeared with almond butter.  (Fair warning:  a pretty strong banana flavor so if you aren’t crazy about banana, this recipe might not be your favorite).

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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

 

Muffins!

Any of  you who have been attending the Healthy Priority get-togethers, or have just been hanging around with me lately, know that I’ve been really excited about making grain-free/sugar-free (and therefore low carb) baked goods that are really tasty.  Now, I am sure that people who are used to eating those small cakes that pass for muffins at your local grocery would be used to way more fat, sugar, and carbs.  But for the rest of us who try very hard to feed our bodies foods that help and not hurt, having these muffins are a real treat!

These two have been the favorite recipes so far.  Both come from Elana Amsterdam’s fabulous cookbook called The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.  It’s been mentioned on this site lots of time because it has become somewhat of the gold standard for baking with almond flour.  If you are interested in healthy, grain-free and low-carb baking, go buy her book!

Both of these recipes have been used and changed a number of times already.  These are the basic recipes, but try experimenting to make them your own.  One change is that I sometimes have used melted butter instead of the grapeseed oil just for a bit of richness.  I’ve used dried cranberries instead of blueberries in the Banana Blueberry recipe, and I’ve only tried the Cinnamon Apple Muffins using unsweetened apple butter in place of the agave nectar in the original recipe.  I might try applesauce next time, and maybe add some raisins?  You get the idea – be creative!  If you guys come up with some good variations, let me know in the comment section below so we can all share!  And don’t forget – these muffins taste fabulous with a spread of nut butter on them.  My favorite right now?  Homemade Macadamia Nut Butter.  Yum!

BANANA BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

  • 3 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbls. grapeseed oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups (4-5) mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.  In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil and eggs.  Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined.  Stir the bananas into the batter, then fold in the blueberries.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Let the muffins cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then serve.

CINNAMON APPLE MUFFINS

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (I used unsweetened apple butter)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbls. vanilla
  • 2 medium apples – peeled, cored, and diced into 1/4″ cubes

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line 10-12 muffin cups with paper liners.  In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda, arrowroot powder, and cinnamon.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, agave nectar, egg, and vanilla extract.  Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined, then fold in the apples.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Let the muffins cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then serve.