Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Healthy Banana Nut Muffins/Bread

I've been wanting some banana bread for a while, and have had several ready to use bananas in the freezer. I want to eat the whole loaf right now! It's delicious, nutritious, and very simple. The recipe is on Healthy Indulgences. Makes 10 muffins or 1 loaf.

4 tablespoons butter, room temp
1/2 cup erythritol
1 tsp vanilla
6 large eggs
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 tsp stevia extract
1/4 tsp sea salt (I used kosher salt, because that's what I had)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Beat butter with erythritol until fluffy, about 2 -3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Combine coconut flour with baking powder, cinnamon, stevia, and salt. Beat into batter until there are no more lumps. Beat in mashed banana. Fold in nuts, reserving a couple tablespoons for sprinkling on tops. Pour batter almost up to the top of greased muffin papers (the shiny tins work best). Top with nuts. Bake 35 minutes (45 minutes for loaf), covering with a sheet of foil after 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 5 - 10 minutes. Move muffins from pan onto a cooling rack. When completely cooled, transfer to an airtight container. Store at room temperature for 24 hours, then move to fridge.

The entire house will smell like banana bread for a while, but that makes it taste that much better. When I made this, I didn't beat the butter and erythritol long enough, so it didn't rise like it should. It still tasted good though.

Happy eating!

Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo

I'm finally posting this after a month, or so. I just made this again and remembered that I hadn't blogged about it yet. I found the recipe on Maria's Nutritious and Delicious Journal. It's an easy recipe that you don't have to stay in the kitchen for hours to make.

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 2 inch pieces
1 - 10 ounce package frozen okra, thawed
2 links andouille sausage, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup chopped onions
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt (I used kosher salt, because that's what I had)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp mustard powder (I used dried mustard, but I think it's the same thing)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ( I used ground red pepper)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups Contadina Thick and Zesty sauce
2 cups cauliflower rice

In a slow cooker, combine the raw chicken and all the remaining ingredients, except cauliflower rice. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours or on high for 3 - 4 hours. Serve over cauliflower rice.

I do my cauliflower rice a little differently than what I've read. I pulse some cauliflower in the food processor, until it looks like rice. I then saute it in a skillet with some butter and olive oil. I add some dried thyme and oregano about halfway through. It takes on a slightly nutty taste, but it tastes so good.

Happy eating!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chocolate (Coconut Milk) Shake

I was really wanting something chocolatey, but I've decided to crack down on my cheating. Here's what I ended up having for lunch today. It's pretty tasty and loaded with good fats, antioxidants and protein. Have it alongside a mixed greens salad with a vinaigrette dressing and you've got a great and filling lunch.

2 Tbsp dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 c cold coconut milk
1 scoop unflavored whey protein isolate (27g protein in mine!)
1/3 c frozen berries or more
1-2 tsp honey (optional)

Mix the cocoa and coconut oil together in a small bowl and set aside.
In blender, puree coconut milk with protein powder and berries.
With blender running, add chocolate mixture. This should thicken up really quickly.
Sweeten to taste with honey or more berries.

Super yummy, protein-packed, dairy-free shake. As it is, with 2 tsp honey, this shake is 657 cal, 30g carbs, 50g fat & 31g protein. So a pretty hefty calorie load, but super satisfying. To lighten it up a bit, you can certainly use lite coconut milk, cut out the honey and use only 1 Tbsp coconut oil. That will take the calorie load down to less than 400.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Something For Fall

It's September, school has started and even though fall hasn't officially started yet, the weather here has turned cooler. And cooler weather makes me want fall-type foods like pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. So I made something that turned out to be kind of a hybrid. The recipe I used called it bread, but the middle, even when fully baked, was still a bit creamy like pie filling. It was amazingly delicious. I've made it twice in the past couple weeks and it disappeared pretty quickly both times. The second time, I made some spiced maple cream cheese frosting to go on top and we sprinkled toasted pecans on the top as well.

Pumpkin Pie Bread

1/3 c coconut oil
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c honey
4 tsp xylitol

1 1/2 c pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla 
1/4 c coconut flour
1 c almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 pan.
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, cook down the pumpkin 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (This is to remove some of the liquid and concentrate the flavor.) Transfer pumpkin to large bowl to cool. Stir oil, maple syrup, honey and xylitol into pumpkin. Once pumpkin has cooled to just warm, whisk in eggs and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Dump over pumpkin mixture and stir together.
Pour into greased pan. Bake 45-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out fairly clean.
Allow to cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp maple syrup, or more to taste
1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Cream all ingredients together and dollop on top of pumpkin bread.