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Tag Archive: bananas

Baby Frosted Banana Cakes

October 26, 2013 Print this page

The perfect marriage of nuttiness and bananas in an absolutely adorable package.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 35 min
Total Time 50 min
Yield 12 mini cupcakes

4 eggs, separated

1/4 cup of full-fat coconut milk (can be substituted with nut milk or good quality whole milk)

1 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla extract

1/3 cup of raw coconut nectar (can be substituted with honey or maple syrup)

1 teaspoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar

1 ripe banana

1/3 cup of coconut oil, melted

1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons of coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

A pinch of salt

2 teaspoons of cinnamon plus more for dusting

1 recipe of Sunbutter Frosting

Freeze-dried bananas (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a mini muffin pan with paper or parchment cups. You can make these full-sized, too, but I personally think smaller treats are way cuter.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg whites on high (for me, about setting 8) until soft but NOT stiff peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, blend together the egg yolks, coconut milk, vanilla extract (1 1/2 if using coconut milk), raw coconut nectar, and apple cider vinegar.  Add in the ripe banana and the coconut oil and process until completely smooth.

Pour the ingredients in the food processor into the egg whites and gently fold with a spatula to incorporate. Sift in the coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and continue folding until no clumps remain.

Scoop a little less than 2 tablespoons of batter into each liner, and bake until golden brown on top and firm, about 25 to 30 minutes.

This next step may seem a little weird, but it REALLY works for gluten-free baked goods. Gently remove the cupcakes from the tin, place on a baking sheet, and bake for an additional 10 minutes to help them firm up a bit.

Let cool completely before covering with Sunbutter Frosting, a piece of freeze-dried banana, and a dash of cinnamon.


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Banana Ice Cream

October 18, 2013 Print this page

Ingredients

Prep Time 5 min
Cooking Time
Total Time 12 hr
Yield 6 servings

6 bananas, very ripe

1/3 to 1/2 cup of sunflower seed butter (can be substituted with peanut butter)

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Directions

You can make this recipe as big or as small as you want, but figure about a banana per person. I froze 6 bananas, which made PLENTY of ice cream for myself, my parents, and my two friends.

The riper your fruit is, the sweeter your ice cream will be, so I suggest using bananas whose peels are speckled brown or darker. Make sure you peel your bananas and put them in a freezer bag AT LEAST twelve hours in advance, preferably overnight.

To make the ice cream, simply chop the bananas into chunks and throw them in the food processor. Let it run for a while and stop it every few minutes to scrape down the sides and help everything blend smoothly.

When only a few chunks remain, add in the sunflower seed butter and vanilla extract. Your ice cream will not be a pleasant color, but I promise it’ll taste good.

Keep the food processor going until the mixture is just smooth, about 2 or 3 minutes longer. It should be homogeneous and creamy, just like soft-serve ice cream that’s been in the sun for a bit.

Now, you can eat it as is, but your dessert will be much more like a cold soup than ice cream. I recommend scooping everything out into a big glass dish or plastic container, covering it well, and placing it in the freezer for 4 or 5 hours to harden up.

Let the ice cream sit out for 5 to 10 minutes before digging in or assembling into sundaes with your choice of toppings.


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Banana Ice Cream Sundaes (gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, paleo)

September 2, 2013 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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This year at my school, there’s a new addition in the cafeteria. It’s not a salad bar like I was hoping for, but an ice cream bin. I’m not talking about frozen fruit bars, here: I’m talking about giant ice cream bars and cups covered in chocolate and brightly colored sauces. I peeked at the ingredients one day out of curiosity, and it was DISGUSTING. I’m not even sure if there was milk or cream in these things—what really caught my eye was the high-fructose corn syrup and modified starch and bean powders. I’m all for real ice cream made with good-quality dairy (hey, I did eat five scoops of it for lunch when I was in France…), but this is just wrong

The irony? My school has also outlawed bake sales this year, because they’re “unhealthy.” Excuse me? This is the same institution that sells pizza for lunch daily, rarely offers any fresh produce, and keeps all kinds of candy and chips stocked up in the school store. How is ice cream a healthier choice?

In protest, I have created this healthy, delicious ice cream sundae, which I happily ate the entirety of. Aside from straight-up fruit, this is pretty much the most allergy-friendly dessert you can eat. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, ANDsoy-free, plus it has no added sugar. (If you are allergic to bananas, I am terribly sorry.) The ice cream itself only has three ingredients, and it’s all REAL. FOOD. I don’t want to feed you beaver anal gland. (An ingredient labeled as “castoreum,” found in many store-bought vanilla ice creams and fruit syrups.)

So, go bananas and get started!

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You can make this recipe as big or as small as you want, but figure about a banana per person. I froze 6 bananas, which made PLENTY of ice cream for myself, my parents, and my two friends. 

The riper your fruit is, the sweeter your ice cream will be, so I suggest using bananas whose peels are speckled brown or darker. Make sure you peel your bananas and put them in a freezer bag AT LEAST twelve hours in advance, preferably overnight. Be careful not to freeze your bananas for too long, either, or they’ll get super icy and tough to break up.

To make the ice cream, simply chop the bananas into chunks and throw them in the food processor. Let it run for a while and stop it every few minutes to scrape down the sides and help everything blend smoothly. 

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When only a few chunks remain, add in 1/3 to 1/2 cup of sunflower seed butter OR smooth peanut butter (salted or unsalted, it’s your preference) and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Your ice cream will not be a pleasant color, but I promise it’ll taste good.

Keep the food processor going until the mixture is just smooth, about 2 or 3 minutes longer. It should be homogeneous and creamy, just like soft-serve ice cream that’s been in the sun for a bit.

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Now, you can eat it as is, but your dessert will be much more like a cold soup than ice cream. I recommend scooping everything out into a big glass dish or plastic container, covering it well, and placing it in the freezer for 4 or 5 hours to harden up.

Let the ice cream sit out for 5 to 10 minutes before digging in or assembling into sundaes.

Looking for some other flavors? Here are a few to get you started.

  • Nutella: replace the sunflower seed/peanut butter with Patella (Paleo Nutella)
  • Autumn Apple: replace the sunflower seed/peanut butter with apple butter (NOT applesauce) and add in 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • Coconut: replace the sunflower seed/peanut butter with coconut butter (NOT coconut milk)
  • Fruit: reduce the bananas by half and add in frozen strawberries, cherries, raspberries, or even blueberries 
  • Tropical: reduce the bananas by half and add in frozen mango cubes, then replace the sunflower seed/peanut butter with coconut butter (NOT coconut milk)
  • Go Nuts: replace the sunflower seed/peanut butter with your favorite nut butter (I recommend almond, cashew, or even pecan)

Another great idea is to set up an ice cream bar, especially if you’ll be serving kids or teenagers or just want to impress your guests. That way, everyone can customize his or her ice cream! You can do just a few toppings, or go all out and have a dozen or so. Here’s what I had out:

  • Magic Chocolate Shell: simply melt together 2 parts refined coconut oil with 3 parts chocolate. (I used 50 grams of coconut oil and 80 grams of chocolate.) Cool and pour your desired amount over the ice cream, letting it sit for a minute or two to solidify.
  • Coconut Whipped Cream: place a can or two of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight, then open it up from the bottom and pour off the liquid-y stuff. Scrape the remaining coconut cream into the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until airy.
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Slivered almonds
  • Cacao nibs
  • Pink sea salt

INTENSE CLOSE-UP…

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You can also top the ice cream with…

  • Fruit: berries, pitted cherries, sliced kiwi, cubed mango, chopped apples, pomegranate seeds, sliced peaches, more bananas…
  • Dried fruit: apricots, figs, raisins, tart cherries, dates…
  • Chocolate chips
  • Toasted coconut
  • Roasted, salted nuts: almonds, pistachios, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans…
  • A swirl of maple syrup
  • Bacon (because hey, why not?)
  • A splash of strong coffee (to create an Italian-style affogato)

So, give one of these combos a try and enjoy your ice cream without any guilt. It’s always nice to feel good about eating a dessert.

What is your favorite ice cream combo? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!


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Baby Frosted Banana Cakes (gluten-free, dairy-free option, paleo, nut-free)

June 25, 2013 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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One of my favorite flavor combinations of ALL time is peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon. It’s creamy, sweet, and salty: what could be bad?

Since exploring a paleo-style eating template, I’ve discovered sunflower seed butter: a delicious alternative to my favorite spread. Actually, the two taste very similar: the only noticeable difference for me is that sunflower seed butter has a slightly smoky flavor, but other than that, the two are pretty much identical.

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So why sunflower seed butter over peanut butter or nut butters? First of all, peanuts are not a nut: they are legumes. Like grains, legumes have something called lectins that stick to the lining of our small intestines—and over time, they can prevent the absorption of nutrients and reek other digestive havoc. Basically, they don’t want to be eaten; that’s why beans give people a lot of “tummy troubles!”

They’re also not great sources of protein like popular media claims…legumes are mostly dense carbohydrates, and if you’re looking for protein, you’d really be better off eating a piece of meat or fish. Granted, neither nut butter nor sunflower seed butter is rich in protein, either, but they’re lower in carbohydrates than their beany counterpart. You can read more about legumes here.

For a simpler reason, sunflower seed butter is very allergy-friendly. One of my best friends is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, and when we were younger, she’d have to be extra cautious about what she was eating. If you’re cooking for children, or anyone for that matter, it makes everyone’s life so much easier when what you’re making is extra allergy-sensitive.

This is just my opinion based on what I’ve read—it’s subject to change, and you’re completely entitled to your own take! I still consider plain old peanut butter a much healthier choice than something like packaged chips or cookies…so if you get a peanut butter craving, indulging in a tablespoon or two certainly won’t be the end of the world.

Enough with this science! Let’s get into some food. 

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a mini muffin pan with paper or parchment cups. You can make these full-sized, too, but I personally think smaller treats are way cuter.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip 4 egg whites on high (for me, about setting 8) until soft but NOT stiff peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.

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In the bowl of a food processor, blend together 4 egg yolks, 1/4 cup of full-fat, grass-fed cow’s milk, nut milk, OR coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (1 1/2 if using coconut milk), 1/3 cup of raw coconut nectar, honey, OR maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. 

Add in 1 ripe banana and 1/3 cup of melted refined coconut oil and process until completely smooth.

Pour the ingredients in the food processor into the egg whites and gently fold with a spatula to incorporate. Sift in 1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons of coconut flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, a pinch of salt, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and continue folding until no clumps remain.

Scoop a little less than 2 tablespoons of batter into each liner, and bake until golden brown on top and firm, about 25 to 30 minutes.

This next step may seem a little weird, but it REALLY works for gluten-free baked goods. Gently remove the cupcakes from the tin, place on a baking sheet, and bake for an additional 10 minutes to help them firm up a bit.

Let cool completely before frosting.

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This frosting is a snap to make and turns out light and fluffy every time. My recipe is inspired by Tammy Credicott’s Paleo Indulgeneces; if you haven’t read the book, you should definitely check it out!

In the bowl of a stand mixer on high (for me, about setting 8), whip together 1/2 cup of palm shortening, 1/3 cup of raw coconut nectar, honey, OR maple syrup, 1/3 cup of sunflower seed butter OR almond butter OR peanut butter (if you say screw paleo), 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons of coconut flour, 2 heaping tablespoons of arrowroot powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. The frosting is done when it’s light, fluffy, and peaks slightly in the center, about 4 to 5 minutes later. In this case, the longer, the better!

With a spatula, scoop the frosting into a large resealable plastic bag. Zip it closed and push the frosting all the way down to one corner. Twist the top a couple times and snip off the corner about 1/2 inch from the edge.

Using a swirling motion, pipe the frosting onto each cupcake, continually twisting the bag’s top and pushing everything down towards the corner. Top each cake with a piece of freeze-dried banana and a dash of cinnamon, if you like.

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Go ahead and bake these for someone you love. Even if this person has allergies, he or she will still be able to enjoy a delicious, healthy treat.

What is your favorite flavor combination? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!


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Fudgy Chocolate Banana Brownies (gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo)

April 28, 2013 Leave your thoughts Print this page

Hi everyone! Wondering why nothing’s been posted in the past few days?

Well, I was on a trip with my school’s music ensembles to Six Flags. Fun? Yes. I went on the ride pictured below, Batwing, with my friends—it was pretty awesome. I think I screamed the entire time.

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So was healthy food available? Unless you consider a double bacon cheeseburger and fries nutritious, uh, no. I am unbelievably happy to be in contact with real food again.

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OK, I know what you’re thinking: that’s not real food! I wish. Although I don’t recommend eating brownies every day, these are about as close to nutritionally sound as you can get. Save a little room after dinner and allow yourself a moist, fudgy treat.

To ZipList this recipe, click here.

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 x 8 baking sheet with parchment paper, then grease with coconut oil. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. I have made brownies too many times to count, and I’ve learned the hard way that if you don’t effectively prepare the pan, you’re going to get a big crumbly mess. Please spare yourself from the extra cleanup. 

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In a small saucepan, melt 4 ounces of dark chocolate over low heat. I used about 3.5 ounces (one bar) of Green’s Organics 85% Dark Chocolate and .5 ounces (one square) of Ghiradelli 100% Baking Chocolate, but feel free to use any chocolate between the 70% and 100% cacao mass range.

While the chocolate melts, puree 2 ripe bananas in the food processor until smooth and the consistency of pancake batter, about 3 minutes. Set aside for later use.

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In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 3 eggs on medium (for me, about setting 6) until light and airy, about 4 minutes. Then, gently pour in 1/4 cup of palm shortening (I buy Spectrum—you can get it at Whole Foods), 1/4 cup of refined coconut oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of raw honey. Mix until combined, about 3 minutes. It may seem a little clumpy, but fear not!

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Scoop in the melted chocolate with a spatula, and mix for 1 or 2 minutes longer. Once combined, add in 1 cup of blanched almond flour, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and a pinch of salt. Mix until thick and homogeneous, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour your batter into the readied pan and smooth with a spatula to evenly distribute. Top with the pureed bananas and swirl with a toothpick, if you like.

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Bake until a toothpick comes out clean in the center, about 20 minutes. If you’re like me and you like crunchy corners and tops, broil on low for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t go overboard, or you will have desert-dry brownies.

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Immediately upon removing from the oven, dust the tops with about a tablespoon of raw cacao powder. Allow to rest in the pan for 30 minutes before flipping onto a cutting board, slicing, and serving.

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YUM. Nothing like a brownie, eh? 

What dessert should I try next? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!


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