Eggless Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Eggless Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Let’s be real.  Shall we?  I’m not a person that enjoys fake people, fake smiles (and hellos) and fake food most of all.  How these phony things in life make us feel insecure, bored and unhealthy.  Think about it.  When a person says, “how are you?”  The general response is “good.”  Why would we bother say in passing,” well, today, I want to kick a hole in the wall due to the level of frustration I have experienced today!”  Can you imagine how that would go over???  Then there needs to be a sit down conversation as to why you would want to injure yourself and be destructive all in one setting.  Truly, don’t kick a wall, it lands you nowhere good.  🙂

What’s my “real” statement for today?  I have a love/hate relationship with bananas.  Oh they look so beautiful in the grocery store… and as I select a group, I think, “I’m going to eat these each day and be good to my body – and make the kids eat them too.”  And after two days of sitting on the counter, all of the other choices of food overrule those once lovely bananas.  Now starting to slightly spot, not looking so beautiful… but still edible.  Maybe I’ll have one today.  But no.  It never happens and so I force one of my kids to eat one, so there’s that.  Great parenting! Less guilt, right?  And then the tragedy begins, the spots darken and the odd pungent smell begins – and you know.  It’s time to make a decision.  Feel incredible guilt over the loss of a couple of dollars, or bake with them.

Most of the time, the trash can is the place those bananas go.  This year while working, I found it weight on my shoulders to have to cook with the bananas.  Cooking dinner was enough to deal with.  Baking was put on hold for the most part.  At one point during the school year, I made an executive decision to not buy them.  The counter looked barren and that brief emptiness didn’t last too long.  So, here we are.  Back to bananas on the counter again.  And this time, I forced my daughter to use a recipe and bake instead of pitching them in the trash.  She selected a recipe well, and we now have a healthy homemade breakfast ready for tomorrow!

Want the recipe?

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats 
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup Oil (I used Grapeseed Oil)
  • 3 mashed medium ripe bananas

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a muffin pan with shortening (the recipe makes 12 muffins.)  In a large bowl, mix bananas and oil.  Add dry ingredients slowly to the wet mixture.  Add chocolate chips and mix.  Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way.  The original recipe calls for liners, I didn’t do this, and it seemed to work out well.  Bake for 18 minutes.  Enjoy!

Read More: http://www.egglesscooking.com/banana-chocolate-chip-muffins/

Light Banana Almond Smoothie

Happy New Year!  I hope that 2016 is starting off well and that you have a very fruitful year.  And speaking of fruit, I wanted to talk about bananas – which is a main ingredient in this quick and easy recipe.  They constantly get the bum rap on whether they are good for us or not.  I too fell into the trap a while back to ditch the bananas due to high carb load.  Well, that’s ridiculous, because there are too many other beneficial nutritional values that they offer, and I’m here to stand up for this fruit once again.  This smoothie is incredibly simple to make, and will do a nice job filling up the tummy all the while, giving heavy benefits on nutrients.  If you find it’s not sweet enough, you can always add a hit almond butter or peanut butter to give it more depth.  I left it out, as my husband prefers this variety of recipe!  Happy 2016!

 

For what it’s worth – BitStrips did not note that I created this cartoon.  I am the original creator of this strip. Thank you!

Banana Almond Smoothie

 

For those that like written recipes rather than the cartoon:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/3 cup of raw almonds
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Blend!! (I used a food processor but a good blender will work fine.)  If you like more depth or sweetness, hit it up with a little peanut butter or almond butter!

Paleo Parsnip Banana Muffins

Paleo Parsnip Banana Muffin

It was time.  It was time for a season of change, and a chance to do work for God.  I have poured myself into working at the kids’ school, and found it to be very rewarding!  I also discovered some things just in the past 2.5 months:

I am fulfilled.

I am blessed.  Being able to do God’s work and be near my kids at the same time… amazing!

I have fallen into eating routines I’m not proud of, and discipline is slowly slipping.  But I am not worried; as this is normal for people when change disrupts the routine.  Things will fall back into place accordingly.

I miss cooking and baking.  It is something I continue to do to feed our family, but experimenting with recipes has seemed like a burden… until now.

I’m thankful.  God has given me new vision on how hard it is to work, eat well, exercise, clean the home, be a parent, be a wife, and seek balance in life (and not in that order!) This insight has provided me a chance to see how I can help you even further to balance work and home and still eat well.

Paleo Parsnip Banana Muffins (Recipe slightly adapted from Paleo Newbie Recipes)

Personal thoughts:  This recipe below takes time. Prepare this on a Saturday or Sunday and freeze the muffins until ready to consume.  Muffins came out beautifully, and I was not disappointed! I completely recommend this recipe, and that it is sound.

Messy factor?  Medium Level. Lots of bowls, cups, measuring devices were used.  (But nothing out of the ordinary for me, and I can easily toss into the dishwasher.)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs – whisked
  • 2 bananas – mashed
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Fold In:

  • 1 cup grated parsnips
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

Yields:

  • Makes 12-14 muffins

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan or use a silicone muffin tray. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix together, and set aside. Using a food processor (grater attachment) grate up 2 parsnips (about 1 cup.) Fold in parsnips and walnuts. Pour batch into a large measuring cup to help with pouring into muffin tins. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Delightful!!

Paleo Parsnip Banana Muffin

French Toast Muffins – Paleo

Paleo French Toast Muffins

Lately, I have been viewing breakfast as the most difficult meal of the day eating Paleo. I’m not interested in eating eggs THAT much – no matter what the form. And egg whites are quite tasty, but again, it’s eggs. Paleo pancakes are a great change in flavor, but I know they are made primarily of eggs! And a smoothie on a chilly morning, as wonderful as they taste, makes me shiver  to even think of drinking it. Give me a cup of coffee or tea to start please!

Do you see where the problem is? I love love love baked goods in the morning and so much that if I don’t keep something like this in the house, I will cheat on forbidden foods. I attempted these delicious heavy muffins, just because the title alone made me crave french toast.

This recipe is not sweet, but it is sure wonderful in flavor and fills me up, (along with a piece of fruit to accompany it.) I tested it out on my kids and at first it was a no-go for them. Sure! They want sugar, but I am training their young minds to not have such a strong desire for sweets, so it’s a process. After day two, they did eventually decide that the muffins were tasty!

As this is not my recipe, I must pass the credit to a site – What I Gather.  Thank you Tarah for a great recipe!

Triple Berry Smoothie

Triple Berry Smoothie

Day 13 of Paleo.  I have faced a challenging weekend with this diet, as it’s not one you can catch a break with.  Mind you, I’m not 100% Paleo, but I am 90%.  I’m tired of cooking and cleaning what seems to feel like 85+ times a week, and the dishwasher is now run twice a day.  It’s wearing me down a bit, and this weekend I had a couple of cheating moments.  Not during the football game, of all opportunities, but moments that I cannot help but break the rules, like running errands too long that I need to eat, and didn’t bring something along to curb the appetite.   The kids put out Goldfish to nibble on, munch munch.  They had the Kraft mac n’ cheese this weekend… drool, ok, just one bite.  But my biggest complaint is:  I just want a freaking bagel for breakfast.

Alas, I am being strong through this, despite my constant craving for a bagel.  I have made this delicious smoothie a few times now, and have been asked this morning by my daughter to make it for her, again.  I take that as a good sign.

I don’t have to tell you about the benefits of this smoothie, just look at the ingredients!  Done, and done.  Have fun and enjoy!

Triple Berry Smoothie

  • 1 cup – or more if you wish – Frozen organic berries (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • big handful of organic spinach

Toss in a food processor and blend until smooth!

Paleo Pancakes

Paleo pancakes

I know what you’re thinking, “oh great, another food blogger on a diet. Get back to me in March!”  Right?  Actually, yes, and no.  My reasons are sound, and stem before the holidays began… so I have good reason. 🙂

Without going into major details, let’s just say if I do not eat healthy, my nearly 40 (gasp!) year old body protests in a very ugly way.  But age really has nothing to do with  it.  I had digestion problems back in my college years, and what a surprise; I had poor dietary habits at that time?!  At first, my body gets mad with spicy or acidic foods, which is enough to get me to stop and pause.  This time I had let the holidays and stress get in the way and I didn’t read the signs;  many of them.  It got past the acidic food problem and moved onto having issues with aged cheese, Miso soup (Tyramine rich foods) and so forth.  It was that “fine” day I was hit by a 2×4 (not really) to wake me up from the insanity of what I was doing to my stomach.  I had had enough of this.  I can eat dairy and gluten, however, I have done so much damage to my gut, it was time to take a break.  Hit the reset button.  What an ironic time like the new year to set the tone.

So today is day 7 of my Paleo way of life.  How is it going?  Fantastic with a side of frustrating.  Actually, today is much better.  Yesterday I was at my wits end and wanted to quit.  Mostly because I. LOVE. BREAD.  I miss bagels and toast, mac n’ cheese and oh need I go on?  I’m a baker for crying out loud!

Really the problem is that I have children, who are still eating traditional foods and I have to MAKE it for them.  Do you know how hard it is to make a batch of mashed potatoes and not eat them?  It takes serious discipline everyday.  But the payoff has been rewarding.  I no longer feel bloated from each meal, and I have gained quite a bit of energy.

But what about the sweets?  How have I fared without them?  I have managed with a couple of bits of dark chocolate chips here and there, but today I needed a sweet tooth kind of breakfast.  This morning, I found a recipe that has helped with that craving for a sweet breakfast without sacrificing my guidelines.  And it was fantastic!  This recipe is staying on the books!

Oh, and it’s oh SO simple to make.  Enjoy this recipe brought to you by:  Paleo Porn 

Easy Paleo Pancakes

Serves 1 (feel free to adjust to feed more!)

  • 2 eggs, whipped
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 heaping TBSP almond butter
  • dark chocolate chips (if desired)

Whisk ingredients WELL into a bowl.  Heat up griddle, and dab a little coconut oil on.  Pour batter onto a hot griddle or pan and let the batch cook on one side until bubbles form.  Flip.  EAT!!

I didn’t add any syrup to mine since they were great on their own, though I topped with a few slices of fresh bananas.

Enjoy!

Pudding Pop Pie!

In the south… it’s “puddin'” not pudding.  I like the way words are used here, that beautiful southern drawl.  Unfortunately, it’s not heard enough in Charlotte, NC.  You see, this area is quite transient and full of northerners relocating to get away from the cold temperatures.  When we moved back here to NC, I considered myself to finally “thaw out” and enjoy my summers in the southern sweltering heat.  I guess I love the south by nature, as I’m always cold when we lived up north, so living here comforts me.  No heavy sweaters, thick socks or ski coats needed most of the year.  Sign. Me. Up. 🙂

So speaking off thawing out, and hot summer days… It’s the perfect time to discuss what I’ve made yesterday.  It’s a quick simple recipe, most of you already have done this once or twice, but I love the variations that can be done to Puddin’ Pie.  The best part of this pie is that it’s frozen and then thawed slightly.  It reminds me of those childhood days, enjoying pudding pops while hanging out in the backyard with my sister. 

Ingredients:

  • Sugar-Free Fat Free Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
  • One ripe banana
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1.5 cups Heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 frozen pre-made pie crust
  • Hazelnut crunch topping (optional)
Directions:
Bake pie crust at 325 degrees until light brown.  Set aside to cool.  Whip chocolate pudding powder with milk as directed on box.  In a separate bowl, beat heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla together until heavy peaks form.  Slice banana and place into cooked pie crust.  Layer pudding on top of bananas, and layer whipped topping on top of pudding.  Sprinkle with hazelnut crunch or other topping (if desired.)
Freeze for at least an hour.  Now to get that pudding pop flavor, let the pie slightly thaw out and slice.  It should have that icy pudding pop texture but not too soft putting it back into full pudding creaminess (unless you just want pudding pie.)
 
Enjoy!

Simple Hawaiian Pie

Love banana splits?  Then you’ll love this very simple dessert!  It requires no baking, except of course, just baking a prepared crust.  Unless you are like me and are blind to the word BAKED.  Today, I left my brain at the curb when I was putting this pie together.  It seems that if it’s too easy, I am inclined to mess it up.  Hand me a more detailed and difficult recipe, apparently I’ll be fine with it.  It was a “duh!” moment, one I’m not proud of, but not too embarrassed to put up on my blog for the world to see.

What happened?

1. Sliced up the beautiful bananas, put them in a crust, took a picture.

2. Spooned on the pineapple over top of the bananas, and took a picture. (People like pictures!)

3. Glossed over the instructions and put it in the refrigerator to chill like it instructed.  (Simple enough)

4. Slapped myself in the forehead for being blind to the word, BAKED.

5. Took the filling and bananas out of the uncooked crust and then baked the crust.

6. Refilled the crust to make this too simple of a cake.

What is supposed to happen:

1. Bake the crust. (I bought frozen pre-made crust – huge timesaver)

2. Fill in with bananas and pineapple filling.

3. Chill in fridge.

See?  THAT simple.  Don’t pull the “Andrea” stunt, and you’ll see how ridiculously simple this can be.  What’s so nice about this recipe is that it can be prepared in advance and not really take up your time doing so either.  The topping was the fun part.  The recipe calls for cool whip (I used a low fat version) and the sprinkle coconut and some chopped pecans.  Voila!

NOW to kick it up a notch, I had a little fun with the toppings and had a pie tasting event to compare.  There were 3 items to compare for the top of the pie.  Hazelnut Mocha crunch. Cinnamon Crunch. Chopped Pecans.  Hands down everyone loved all three.  We were however partial to the Hazelnut Mocha crunch.  That topping is the miracle to all baked goods and you can buy it through Pampered Chef.  One person decided to take everything up to a new bar and put all three toppings on the pie.  Why not, right?  It actually was really well rounded.  Thumbs up!

Recipe courtesy of Lucky Leaf:

Ingredients

  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 can (21 oz.) LUCKY LEAF Pineapple Pie Filling
  • 1 baked pie shell
  • 2 c. lite whipped topping
  • 2 Tbsp. pecans, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut

Preparation
Slice bananas into bottom of pie shell. Top with pineapple pie filling and chill. Slightly thaw whipped topping and spread over pie filling. Sprinkle with pecans and coconut. Chill.

Servings: 8

Okole Maluna!

All 3 toppings on the pie

Banana Rum Bread

At the Copa… Copacbana! 

Plain ol’ banana bread?  Not happening!  I took a simple banana bread recipe and added some fun.  Whenever I come across a bread recipe, I think, what else can I add?  Being a chocoholic, I really wanted to add mini chocolate chips.  This time however, I relented and went with a tropical theme and added a dark rum to the recipe.  Delicious!

Basic recipe courtesy of Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

Ingredients:

  • 3 very ripe bananas, well mashed
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

My addition:

  • 1-3 TBSP dark rum (according to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a loaf pan.  Mix the bananas and eggs together in a bowl.  Stir flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.  Add dark rum, 1-3 TBSP according to taste.   If you start with one, you’ll be able to “smell” the batter to see the strength of the rum you are looking for.  Remember, it cooks off!  (I went with 1 TBSP, but I highly recommend at least 2!)  Add vanilla extract.  Stir in walnuts to the mix.  Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

SUCH a classic and yet wonderful bread or dessert!  Enjoy!