BananaMuffins

 

Another batch of banana muffins….but this time using coconut flour.  I have made my fair share of banana muffins (see links at the bottom of this post) on the blog.  I blame it on the ripe bananas that sit on the counter that call my name.  I usually freeze them to make smoothies for the girls but lately I have been crazing a sweet treat at night and these helped solve that problem.  I have made them with and without the maple syrup and dark chocolate and both work to satisfy that sweet tooth.  Actually I made half the batch with maple syrup and dark chocolate and the other half without both so that is an option for you to try as well.  Another option is to use frozen (or fresh) blueberries.  I did that for a great option to pack in the girls lunch boxes.  Speaking of…yesterday I was lucky enough to write a guest post on The Little Green Pouch blog about how I feed my kiddos.  I get a lot of questions from readers on how to get the kids to start eating Paleo.  My girls eat more of a primal diet.  What’s the difference you ask?  Well, stop by my guest post and read a bit more about the differences between paleo and primal and also what my kiddos eat in a typical day.  The bottom line is I try to involve them in their choices as much as possible so it is fun for them.  They like knowing what they are eating…and where it comes from.  I was fortunate enough to have started my journey on Paleo when they were young so it has been a bit easier but as they get older there has been some tricky times…any tricky questions.  Like why do my friends eat “this” and we don’t.  Or the moments where they say anything that is on their minds and proceed to tell their friends (and mom’s) that what they are eating isn’t good for them.  We are working on them keeping their “concerns” to themselves…which again has been hard.

Also, stay tuned because I will be sharing more about the amazing Little Green Pouch product.  All you mom’s out there will love it!  I have fallen in love with them myself and I’m working on a post with some recipe ideas.  Oh AND….a GIVEAWAY!  I can’t wait to share.

A lot of fun things coming up in the next month so keep coming back and be sure to sign-up for my newsletter to get regular updates so you don’t miss out on all these new announcements and giveaways.

BananaMuffins3

 

Banana Muffins (with Coconut Flour)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 9 regular size muffins

Banana Muffins (with Coconut Flour)

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (or ghee), melted
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped (85% cacao and higher) - also optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 9 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl add bananas and blend using a hand mixer until completely mashed. Then add eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, and maple syrup and mix using hand mixer until everything is mixed together, about 1 minute.
  3. Add coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to the wet ingredients and mix again using hand mixer until everything is incorporated.
  4. Add dark chocolate if using and mix with a spoon.
  5. Scoop batter into even scoops into the prepared muffin tin. Makes about 9 muffins.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until tops are golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Allow muffins to cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.
  8. Store muffins in an airtight container for 2-3 days. They can keep longer in refrigerator or even longer in the freezer.

Notes

If batter is a bit dry you can add 1 tablespoon coconut milk to the batter. Instead of dark chocolate you can add fruit like blueberries or raspberries.

http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/2014/04/banana-muffins-with-coconut-flour/

BananaMuffins4

 

Here are some other banana muffins here on the blog.  All different but all alike that they use banana.

Almond Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Blueberry Muffins

Banana Cinnamon Bun Muffins

Banana Dark Chocolate Muffins

Coconut Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Favorite4-4-14

 

Friday Favorites is here!  This is the first of hopefully many Friday posts where I will include my favorite things around the web and elsewhere and hopefully introduce you to future favorites of your own.  Let’s dive into today’s favorites.

1.  First up is a new favorite blog:  Meet Caroline from Colorful Eats!  Her blog is beautiful!  Her photography is amazing and her recipes leave you drooling.  One recipe I have on my list to make soon is her Grain-Free take on the Girl Scout Cookie….Samoas.  Dive into her blog and like her facebook page for updates and more delicious recipes to make in your kitchen.

2.  Next up is a must read cookbook: Arsy from Rubies and Radishes has a new cookbook out called Paleo Foodie Cookbook.  A must add to your cookbook collection for sure!  Arsy’s delicious and nutritious recipes range from modern twists on traditional dishes to a wide range of ethnic influences from both her Armenian background and her culinary curiosity.

3. Next is my new favorite snack addiction!  Jackson’s Honest Chips are finally a healthy take on a potato chip.  Their Sweet Potato happen to be my favorite.  My kids even give them two thumbs up.  I’ve heard they are popping up in Whole Food’s but I still haven’t found them at mine.  I order directly from their site and got them in a few days.

4. With Easter around the corner I have been on the search for healthy options to fill my kids baskets.  The Natural Candy Store is my new favorite!!!  You’ll find find dye-free candy for your Easter egg hunt, treats to fill baskets, and gifts to send family and friends.  Browse their Easter Candy Collection.

5. Favorite recipes around the blog I’ve spotted and have added on my list to try soon!

Paleo Coffee Cake Muffins from Hollywood Homestead

Paleo Flatbread from Domestic Caveman

Grain-Free Mexican Rice from Deliciously Organic

I hope you enjoyed today’s top favorites!  I’ll be back soon with more….

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ChickenAppleBroccoli

Spring is here and warmer temperatures have started to move this way here in North Carolina.  It’s been a cold winter for this once South Florida girl so I am welcoming the warmer temps with open arms.  I’m only hoping it stays and doesn’t get cold again.  With the warmer temperatures and super busy schedule lately all I’ve wanted is something quick and easy to grab in the middle of the day.  I have found myself being hungry and with little time which sometimes results in many unpleasant things….like grabbing anything and stuffing it in my face or becoming the grumpy side of myself that is not so pleasant.  When I’m hungry I become a different person.  My husband jokes that I become the hulk.  Ha!  The sad part is I’m not aware this side of me is coming until it is out.  Which is why having something on hand to eat in a busy day is important.  Lately I have been making this chicken salad on the weekends so I can have throughout the week.  I’ve played around with it and added a few things here and there but for the most part it’s included broccoli, apple, and chicken.  I’ve thrown in some avocado slices on the side which was a great addition too.  It’s not a mayo based chicken salad either.  I have been loving the taste of mustard lately so it’s a mustard base instead with a slight touch of honey to add a sweetness.  That is totally your call on if you want to add that to your salad but highly recommend.  It’s a simple salad to throw together for the week again and especially if you have leftover chicken.  I happened to use frozen broccoli and quickly steamed before throwing into the salad which again equals easy….something I’m all about!

Now before jumping into the recipe a few things to expect in the next few weeks here on the blog:

1. I’m going to start incorporating a Friday post with all my favorite things around the Paleo world of things.  That may include: fellow blogger recipes, products, great nutritional based articles, fabulous Pins on Pinterest, and much more.  Maybe some giveaways thrown in there too.  I’m hoping to have the first post up this Friday (fingers crossed).  I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile now so I’m excited to start sharing.

2. I’ve received many questions about the upcoming cookbook, Powerful Paleo Superfoods, so I’m also going to be posting a look inside the new book within the next week.  I’m pumped about this book and can’t wait to share.  I received my first copy last week and it was amazing to see everything in book form and hold it in my hands.  This book was a lot of work in a short window of time but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome and I hope you will be too.

3. Giveaways!!  As we approach the new book launch I’m hoping to have some awesome giveaways for you guys!  Yay!!

I hope you enjoy this light and easy chicken salad!

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Chicken Apple Broccoli Salad

Yield: 3-4 servings

Chicken Apple Broccoli Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, steamed
  • 1/2 apple, cored and finely diced
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a bowl toss together chicken, broccoli, apple, and green onion. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together mustard, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Pour mixture into bowl with chicken and broccoli and stir to combine. Season with additional sea salt or pepper if desired.
  3. Salad is best stored in an airtight container in refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Great served alone, wrapped in a lettuce leaf, or on a Paleo Bun.
http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/2014/04/chicken-apple-broccoli-salad/

Looking for more chicken salad recipes to help in packing your lunch?

Here are some additional recipes here on the blog:

Chicken Salad with Roasted Bell Pepper in Avocado Cups 

Chicken Veggie Salad with Avocado Herb Dressing

Curried Apple Chicken Salad

Summer Chicken Salad

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SPSlices4

I have been asked a lot about sweet potatoes….are they on the yes or no list?  There has been much debate out there on if they are considered paleo.  In my paleo lifestyle, I include them regularly.  I love them!  So to answer the question above…my answer is yes and I will go into why a little bit more below.  I also thought with the upcoming release of my newest cookbook, Powerful Paleo Superfoods, it would be a good time to dig more into the “whys and benefits” of sweet potatoes to give you a glimpse into how the new book will read.  The food includes 50 paleo foods that I consider the superheros of foods for your paleo lifestyle.  Each food is broken down and discussed in depth and also includes recipes to help you incorporate them in your diet.  The book launches May 1st and between now and then I will give you glimpses into the book little by little so stay tuned.

Now, here is more on sweet potatoes and why I think they are essential in an active paleo lifestyle.

Sweet Potatoes are a wonderful naturally sweet root vegetable and are some of the most nutritious vegetables around.  Paleo proponents have long debated whether sweet potatoes and other starchy root vegetables are Paleo or not. At issue is their high carbohydrate content. Our modern diets are typically quite high in carbohydrates, especially refined flours and sugars, and that’s gotten us into a lot of trouble, health-wise. So many people, understandably, want to limit their carbohydrate intake to help improve conditions like diabetes and other blood sugar disorders, cardiovascular disease, and systemic inflammation.

But there is plenty of evidence that root vegetables were dietary staples for some hunter-gatherer groups, and as long as you’re active—like those hunter-gatherers were—you should be fine including sweet potatoes and other starchy vegetables as part of a Paleo lifestyle. The reason is that starch acts differently in your body than the simple sugars like fructose found in fruits and honey. Your digestive system breaks down starch into glucose, which all of your cells use for energy (and which makes sweet potatoes good fuel for high-powered workouts). Fructose, on the other hand, appears to change the way your brain responds to hunger cues, possibly leading to overeating. Sweet potatoes have the added benefit of being high in fiber (one medium sweet potato contains nearly 4 grams), which gives you a steady and sustained flow of energy instead of a sudden rush.

Carbohydrates aren’t the only thing sweet potatoes have to offer. Sweet potatoes also boast high levels of vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin B6, and smaller amounts of vitamins C and E.

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Spiced Sweet Potato Slices

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 1-2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 small sweet potatoes (or 1 medium), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 tablespoon spice mix, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • For Spice Mix:
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground allspice
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/8 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 tablespoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In small bowl add sweet potato slices, 1/4 tablespoon spice mix, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and toss to combine. Add melted coconut oil and toss again until sweet potato slices are well coated.
  3. Place slices on a baking sheet evenly spaced apart. Bake for 20-25 minutes stopping half way to flip the sweet potato slices.
  4. Remove sweet potato slices when golden. Sprinkle the tops of the sweet potato slices with the remaining spice mix and sea salt and toss to coat.
  5. Cool slightly and serve.

Notes

You will have left over spice mix which can be stored in an airtight container and used for later use. It is great used on fish or chicken as a rub.

http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/2014/03/spiced-sweet-potato-slices/

Shopping for Sweet Potatoes

Depending on the variety, the skin and flesh of this root vegetable may be almost white, cream, yellow, orange, or deep purple, although white/cream and yellow-orange flesh are the most common.  There is often much confusion between sweet potatoes and yams; the moist-fleshed orange-colored root vegetable that is often called a “yam” is actually a sweet potato. Sweet potatoes can be found in your local markets year-round; however, they are in season and abundant in November and December.

SPSlices2

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Nut_FreeCookies3

A few weeks ago I posted a picture in my Instagram feed mentioning I was testing out a recipe.  Well, it was tested and it didn’t work.  I hate that when it happens but it happens more than you think.  This recipe however took more tries than normal, but I think it’s finally right….again, I think.  Of course even though it took 5 batches to get these right we still ate the other 4 “bad” batches so I guess those weren’t too horrible either.  I’ve been wanting to create a nut-free cookie for awhile now.  There has been much debate lately on the use of nut flours or the over use of them in the Paleo world.

Here are a few great reads on the matter:

5 Reasons to Avoid Almond Flour – by

Why We Avoid Almond Flour – by Health Bent

The Pros and Cons of Almond Flour – by The Paleo Mom

Here is my take on nuts/nut-flour, specifically almonds:

Paleolithic hunters and gatherers consumed nuts and seeds—including almonds—as a regular part of their diets, and almonds continue to be a popular Paleo snack today. They are a superfood, after all, and it’s hard to beat their convenience. But don’t go overboard. For one thing, almonds are a concentrated source of calories. But even more importantly, they contain far more inflammation-promoting omega-6 fatty acids than the beneficial omega-3s that the Paleo diet emphasizes. In the context of a diet rich in wild-caught fish and grass-fed meat, which provide high amounts of omega-3s, most people can safely enjoy small quantities of almonds and all of the nutrients they provide. However, if inflammation is a significant problem for you (for instance, if you have an autoimmune condition), you may want to limit your intake. For me personally, I know I can’t overdue the consumption of nuts.  They just don’t sit well.  Don’t get me wrong I love almond butter and a good Paleo granola BUT I also know that I have to keep it to a minimum.  Which is why this recipe was developed and why I am trying to rely heavily on coconut flour these days when I bake.

Nut_FreeCookies4

I have also been trying to test around with tapioca starch/flour but haven’t mastered it yet.  Stay tune to future recipes hopefully that will explore the use of tapioca flour a little more.

Coconut flour is the flour of choice in these cookies and while I usually use coconut flour in paleo muffins and cupcakes I have rarely used it in cookies which is why I think it took a little longer to get this recipe just right.  You may want to play around some more on your end too.  I do want to warn you that they aren’t like almond flour paleo cookies BUT they are a delicious alternative if you are looking to reduce your nut intake.

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Nut-Free Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yield: 16-18 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or ghee, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate, chopped (80% cacao and higher)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut flour, baking soda, seat salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Add coconut oil (or ghee), maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla to the bowl and using a hand mixer mix until everything is incorporated. Stir in dark chocolate chunks. If batter is too wet add about 1/2 tablespoon coconut flour into the batter.
  4. Scoop batter using a 1-inch cookie scoop placing onto the prepared cookie sheet. Make sure the cookies are about 1-inch apart because the cookies will spread slightly. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden.
  5. Allow cookies to cool until trying to remove from the cookie sheet.
  6. Store cookies in an airtight container. I highly recommend serving these slightly warm.
http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/2014/03/nut-free-dark-chocolate-chunk-cookies/

 

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