Happy New Year to you all! I’ve been in the kitchen quite a bit lately and have come up with a couple of new, easy snack type foods that meet my gluten, dairy and legume free requirements. One is a lettuce wrap that I fill with ham, turkey, salami, cucumber, onion and carrots mixed with homemade mayo & homemade Italian dressing. Yum! Quick, veggie rich and reminiscent of a drippy sub sandwich. The other a muffin recipe which I posted below.
I really want to go on a rant about eating real food and how overweight, unhealthy people could immensely improve their lives by making changes to the food they put in their pie-hole. However, I’ve decided to make my New Year’s resolution that I won’t talk about food. Hence the recipe and not the rant.
My blossoming interest for the year is learning more about how we can repair the land and environment through restoring grazing animals to the grasslands. I read a great article in Harper’s magazine a couple years ago that piqued my interest and after listening to a great podcast on Robbwolf.com I realized I need to know more. Alan Savory’s TED Talk on the subject is on my to-do list for the week. http://robbwolf.com/2014/12/06/episode-248-soil-carbon-cowboys-russ-conser-peter-byck/
I came across a gf banana bread recipe, made several modifications and it has become a great treat food at our house. They actually cook up like muffins! (If you are a seasoned paleo baker, you know how miraculous this is.) I’ve made them with and without the nuts and chocolate chips and they are tasty either way.
Plantain Chocolate Chip Nut Muffins
2 medium sized yellowish plantains cut into chunks
1/2 cup sunbutter
3 TBLS melted coconut oil
3 tsp lemon juice
1/3 cup tapioca flour (or gf flour substitute)
¼ maple syrup
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Put all but the walnuts and chocolate chips in a food processor and process well (1-2 minutes, scraping sides as needed). Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips. Scoop by the ¼ cup into a greased 12 muffin baking pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes a dozen muffins.
Sometimes you just want a little treat. My taste buds have changed considerably over the past few years as I’ve switched to real food and dessert for me is very different from it used to be. I’m a former sugar hound of the worst variety. I could make a batch of chocolate chip cookies during commercial breaks, down two or three old fashioned donuts in an afternoon and eat three pieces of pie at Thanksgiving. Now sugar just doesn’t do it for me. Like Pavlov’s dogs, my response to looking at dessert is physical. I actually can feel the heartburn I’ll get and it is so not worth it anymore. I’m sure knowing how toxic sugar is helps me stay away from it. If you want to completely ruin sugar and carbs for yourself, start researching the connection between sugar and cancer, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and let’s not forget, obesity and diabetes. And no, you can’t exercise away your high carb and sugary food choices. It just doesn’t work that way.
While I no longer devour any and all things sweet, I still occasionally have a “paleo” dessert. Which for the purposes of this post just means gluten, dairy and legume free. My daughter-in-law sent me a recipe she had tried and I modified it today to accommodate what I had in my kitchen. I love the texture of this treat as it feels crunchy and is creamy at the same time. I chilled it in the fridge and threw the rest in the freezer to save for later. Here’s what I did:
No-Bake Chocolate Nut Treats
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts
- 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
-Mix the above ingredients in a bowl and set aside
- 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
-Melt the above over in a pan over medium heat and when melted and mixed thoroughly pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until blended.
-Scoop mixture into cupcake papers in a muffin pan and put in the fridge or freezer to harden.
These make a nice, not too sugary alternative to try. Enjoy!
Sarah Ballantyne, PhD,thepaleomom.com, saved our holiday breakfasts with her Perfect Paleo Pancake recipe. Seems silly, but when our family transitioned to paleo (real food) we were stymied on what to do for special occasion breakfasts. I thought I’d never use my pancake grill again. They cook like, look like and almost feel like gluten bomb pancakes. We like a berry compote over sunflower seed butter as a topping. I use a little honey or real maple syrup in the berries to sweeten them, but you can leave that out if you are cutting out sugar.
I followed the recipe the first few times, but now I just toss the ingredients into the food processor and eyeball all the measurements and they turn out great. I’ve also used squash & bananas instead of plantains, but they need a little nut butter or sunflower seed butter to hold them together and they don’t cook as easily.
They can be stored in the fridge and reheated as well if you are looking to maximize the resistant starch available in green plantains.
Give them a try!