The Skinny on Gluten-free

"Is there gluten in this?"

A question many of us are accustomed to hearing if not asking it ourselves. Especially in the part of the world I live (Colorado). Where allergy friendly markets and restaurants are becoming the majority. 

Because 'going gluten-free' has helped a small yet growing part of the population, there seems to be the thought that gluten-free is healthy or even that it is a weight-loss program. I've noticed these misconceptions flooding through social media (and other media) and polluting the mind's of otherwise health conscious eaters.

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First and foremost, gluten-free is NOT a weight-loss diet

In fact, I have known several people that started gaining weight after making the adjustment to gluten-free. As a way to transition going gluten-free, they began eating the replacement products such as baking flours, pancake mixes, breads, muffins, bagels, cereals, protein bars, and cookies. Simply substituting these products where they would have otherwise had something with gluten in it. Don't get me wrong, I think it's fabulous that these products exist for those that have a medical condition that prevent them from having gluten. These products can seem like a saving grace and comforting when they just want a sense of normalcy in their lives, especially for children. Though the problem with many (not all) of these products is that they can often contain starchy ingredients that add up to just as much carbohydrates and  if not MORE than their counterparts. Ingredients such as cornstarch, rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca (aka cassava) flour as well as added hard-to-digest sugars, binders, and thickening agents. Holy smokes folks, there are 26 grams of carbohydrates in 1/4 cup of tapioca flour. To ease your brain, that's 104 grams of carbs in ONE cup. Wheat flour has significantly less, about 87 grams in one cup.

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Many of the replacement flours contain very little nutrients. Using tapioca again as an example, there is virtually no protein or vitamins at all in the starch. I veer toward rice, chickpea, buckwheat, and oat flour for more nutritious gluten-free flours. 

Wheat, one of the gluten-containing grains (the others are barley and rye), in which a relatively small part of the population cannot eat due to an allergy, intolerance or sensitivity, at least contains 16 grams of protein in one cup. Wheat also contains several minerals and vitamins including zinc, copper, iron, B6, riboflavin, and folate.

Having little nutrients and a high carb count is one thing. Another negative factor to eating a lot of the gluten-free products is that many of the ingredients cause unpleasant side-effects such as gas, bloating, or diarrhea. This is especially true with the added binding agents like xanthan gumsorghum, and guar gum. Both xanthan gum and guar gum for example have been used in the early days to as a laxative to treat constipation.

Not to mention the prices of products that have a 'gluten-free' label (especially certified gluten-free) are outrageous. Expect to pay at about 242% more for something that is gluten-free versus buying the alternative.

To be clear, I am talking about products that use substitute ingredients to make the item 'gluten-free' many products are naturally gluten-free

Take the Larabar for example. It has 'gluten-free' listed on the label though the ingredients are naturally gluten-free anyway (often dates and almonds with another fruit and nut). These labels are posted for various reasons but mainly so that people who are very sensitive know that they can safely eat them without concern of cross-contamination. I eat Larabars on a regular basis and would recommend them to both those that need to be gluten-free and those that can eat gluten. 

Note that there are some out there that simply must live gluten-free lifestyle. Some of the conditions that may cause an individual to remove gluten from their diet include: food allergy, Celiac Disease (absolutely necessary to completely remove gluten), and Chron's Disease,  Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Endometriosis, Type 1 Diabetes, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and/or Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder (ADHD), and Lupus. You'll notice many of those conditions are autoimmune disorders where the primary reason for removing gluten is too help reduce inflammation as well as improve digestion. 

In addition, a reaction to gluten can manifest itself in several ways that are not gastrointestinal related such as eczema, headaches, acne, joint pain, behavior issues, and trouble breathing. That being said, if you do not need to be gluten-free then there really is no reason to buy a product on the sheer fact that it is gluten-free. I'll state again: gluten-free does not necessarily mean healthy. If you do buy gluten-containing grains, I recommend buying from local bakeries as they will normally not have preserves/additives and will be more nutrient-dense. 

So, I don't propose that you never eat products that are 'gluten-free.' These products are increasingly available and contrary to popular belief can be super tasty. Though for someone who has lived gluten-free for over a decade, I suggest reducing your consumption of anything that comes from a package whether it has gluten in it or not, use your best judgement, and eat fresh, whole real foods- you know, the ole' "shop the perimeter" (hint: you'll actually save money this way)!

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Instead of seeking out substitutions or replacements, I recommend adding in whole foods like additional vegetables, fruits, nuts, or herbs. 

Non-product based naturally gluten-free alternatives:

  • Starchy veggies like carrots or sweet potatoes (side/fries)

  • Organic rice (I love basmati)

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Eggs 

  • Kale (side/chips)

  • Kelp (noodles)

  • Plantains (side/thickening agent)

  • Roasted eggplant (side/noodles)

  • Spaghetti squash (side/noodles)

  • Zucchini (side/noodles)

  • The list goes on!  

Suggested naturally gluten-free flours and ingredients:

  • Arrowroot powder (in moderation)

  • Rice flour

  • Certified gluten-free oats/oat flour

  • Garbonzo bean flour 

  • Flax-seed meal

  • Nut flours/meals (almond is most common, use in moderation as they can cause digestive distress in large quantities)

  • Quinoa

  • Buckwheat

Avoid or use with caution gluten-free flours and ingredients:

  • Corn meal/flour/starch

  • Guar gum 

  • Pre-made flour mixes

  • Sorghum

  • Soy flour

  • Tapioca flour/starch

  • Xanthan Gum  

  • Nut flours (they can be hard on your tummy) 

  • Coconut flour (hello fiber! Just know that you may need use the loo if you use a lot of it)

Bottom line... 

Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. 

I believe the best alternative is to make your own meals, snacks, and treats with real unprocessed, un-packaged, whole foods.

With love,

-AEB

Updated April 5, 2018

Pesto Spaghetti Squash

I have been in the mood for simple vegetable dishes at night. This one hit the spot. Two nights in a row.

Short and Sweet ;)

Pesto Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
Serving of Clean Pesto  (I used the hazelnut variation)
~ 10 raisins

Method:

About an hour ahead of time, prepare the pesto and refrigerate (to allow the flavors to soak together). 

For the Squash, cut several slits (about a centimeter each) all around the squash and bake in a casserole dish at 325 degrees for 30 minutes - turn over and bake for about another 30 minutes. Carefully cut in half (longways) the squash as it will be hot.

Toss the spaghetti squash around with the pesto and top with the raisins.



This will serve 1-3 people (in which case you may want more raisins!)

Enjoy ;)

Watermelon Gazpacho

Note: this is still a work-in-progress but I simply had to share. The consistency needs to be a bit thicker but it is still amazingly refreshing.

Watermelon Gazpacho  

3 cups watermelon, chopped (white seeds are OK, toss the brown ones if they are in there)
1/2 cucumber (seeds removed)
4 mint leaves
1/3 cup basil
1/4 cup parsley
1 tsp shallot
Dash pepper
1 tbl olive oil
Splash lemon juice





Method:

Not much of one! Once you have prepped and washed everything above, place everything in a food processor and pulse, blend, viola.

Super easy. Super fresh. Super delicious.



I think next time I will add more cucumber and possibly another veggie to thicken it up. I still ate it with a spoon but you could drink it like a smoothie as well.

Stay tuned for the next version!

Enjoy ;)

Vegan Banana Bread (Grain-free)

If you would have asked me five years ago if I would ever make vegan bread, I would have told you that you were delusional. Not because I had anything against it, but rather the thought of not eating eggs or grains for that matter, would have just been preposterous. I likely would have said something like, "why on Earth would anyone want to eat vegan bread?" or perhaps... "what is vegan?" ;)


Well, here I am, in 2012 trying out vegan recipes to see how my body responds to being egg-free for a while. So far, my body is responding well. Maybe it's all the Vitamin D I've gotten. Or maybe it's the beautiful French music I've been listening to (songs like 'La noyee,' by Carla Bruni... beautiful). Or maybe it's the presence of love in my life. Whatever it is, has put my in a mighty fine mood.

Soaking up the rays...


So, without further adieu...

Vegan Banana Bread (Grain-free)

2 small bananas (ripe but not previously frozen)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 dates (about 5)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups almond flour (I used unblanched)
1/2 cup pecan flour
1 tbls tapioca flour
1 tbls baking  powder
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Method:

Add the bananas, water, olive oil, vanilla, dates and maple syrup in a good processor. Puree.


Meanwhile, combine the almond, pecan and tapioca flour with the baking powder.


Add the liquid puree to the dry ingredients and stir well. Lastly, add in the apple cider vinegar and mix well until all ingredients are incorporated.


Grease a bread pan (I used coconut oil) and bake at 325° for 45 minutes. Cover with foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Viola!



A proud moment for my first vegan bread ;)


Enjoy ;)

Chia Seed Banana Pudding

Egg-less breakfasts have put me up to quite a challenge. But, this pudding was surprisingly satisfying. I'm pretty sure I am going to have this every-which-way that I can think of having it.

Delicious.






Chia Seed Banana Pudding

2 tbls black (you can use white) chia seeds
6 tbls water
1/4 cup almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 1/2 tbls sunbutter
~ 8 raisins

Method:

Take the banana out of the freezer about 30 minutes prior.

Soak the chia seeds in the water for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator so that the chia seeds begin to expand and 'gel' up.

Pour the almond milk into the chia seed mixture and then mash in the thawing banana. Stir in the sunbutter and the raisins until well incorporated.

Yum, yum, yum.

The frozen banana, once mixed in, keeps the pudding nice and cool bordering an ice cream consistency. Mmmm. So good and no added sugar needed.

Enjoy ;)

Farmers' Market Apple Banana Bread

This recipe was another one born out of my baking spree night along with the Farmers' Market Banana Zucchini Muffins and Farmers' Market and Farmers' Market Peach Apple Bread

Baking with coconut flour can be tricky and I'm thinking this one could have used some tapioca flour and maybe more egg whites to make it 'fluff' up more but it tasted amazing...

Farmers' Market Apple Banana Bread

4 eggs
1 tbls 100% pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 unfrozen ripe bananas
3/4 coconut flour
Dash sea salt
1 cup diced skinned apple
2 tbls macadamia oil
1/4 tsp baking soda

Method:

Combine the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and bananas in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add in the coconut flour and salt and mix well. Fold in the apple and oil and top off with the baking soda. Mix all ingredients thoroughly.

Grease a bread pan (I used coconut oil) and bake at 350° for 40 minutes, then 300° for 20 minutes and shut the oven off. Leave in for ~ 5 more minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.




As always, I keep my breads refrigerated for freshness.

Enjoy ;)

Farmers' Market Banana Zucchini Muffins

Well, if you saw the post on the Farmers' Market Peach Apple Bread, you'd know that I was doing quite a bit of baking in one night.

My intention was to make three loaves of bread. I soon realized that I only had one bread pan. Muffins anyone? ;)

Farmers' Market Banana Zucchini Muffins

3 eggs
2 tbls honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 unfrozen/ripe banana, mashed
Dash of sea salt
1 1/2 cup almond flour (unblanched)
2 tbls tapioca flour
2 zucchini's, peeled & shredded
2 tbls olive oil 


Method:

Whip the eggs, honey and vanilla together and then incorporate in the banana. Add in the salt, almond and tapioca flour, combining into the wet ingredients.

Shred the zucchini in a food processor or blender and then fold in the zucchini and oil into the batter.




Bake for 25 min at 350°

Yields ~ 18 small muffins.

I had two of these the next morning before going out for my walk. Seriously delicious.



Enjoy ;)

Farmers' Market Peach Apple Bread

I went on a baking spree after my day at the Farmers' Market where I gathered up some awesome produce even though I knew that I was going to be out of town for a few days. There was also two dozen eggs sitting in my refrigerator with no place to go.

So, I decided why not bake a few loaves of different kinds of bread and freeze them to have on hand when I return?

Best idea I had all week.




Farmers' Market Peach Apple Bread

4 eggs, organic & cage-free
1 tbls honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 peach, skinned & mashed
1/4 cup tapioca flour
2 cups almond flour (unblanched)
1 1/2 cup diced apples 
2 tbls olive oil
Dash of sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Method:

Whip the eggs, honey and vanilla until well combined. Add in the peach and mash it into the egg mixture. Then add in the tapioca and almond flour, mixing well. Fold in the apples, pour in the olive oil, dash the salt and top off with baking soda and powder. Stir until all of the last ingredients are well incorporated into the batter.

Bake for 25 min at 350° cover with foil and then bake at 350° for another 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 




I did taste it before I froze it... and YUM.

Stay tuned for the other baked goods from the Farmers' Market...

Enjoy ;)


Flourless Zucchini & Spinach Waffle

 I'm not sure if there is ever a time when waffles don't sound good to me and as you all know, I love experimenting with my iron.

This would be great along side some more savory veggies or some lean protein like roasted chicken. Yum. But for tonight I really just wanted the waffle.

So, that's what I did ;)

Flourless Zucchini & Spinach Waffle:

2 eggs
1 zucchini, peeled
1 handful of fresh spinach
2 tbls flaxseed
1 tbls potato starch
1 tbls coconut flour
Dash of rosemary 

Method: 

Heat your waffle maker to desired baking temperature/level. Mine has 5 levels and I set mine to about 2.5).  Rub some coconut oil on the irons first if there isn't any remaining oil from the last use.


Throw everything except for the potato starch and coconut flour in a food processor and pulse a few times then blend. Add in the potato starch and coconut flour and hand blend into the batter until incorporated.





Heat in the iron for about 3 minutes.

I had this for dinner, though I suppose you could it for breakfast as well. Or any other meal for that matter. And... they turn out green ;)




Who knew veggies in your waffle could be so tasty?

Enjoy ;)

Blueberry & Walnut Chocolate Bars

These bars have very little ingredients and I think I especially like them for their walnut base instead of almond. A nice change of pace and the chocolate chips were a sweet addition ;)

As far as replicating the 'Larabar,' I think these are the closest that I've gotten. Let me know what you think.


Blueberry & Walnut Chocolate Bars: 

~17 medjool dates (pitted)
1 cup walnuts  
1/2 unsweetened dried blueberries
1/4 cup soy/dairy free chocolate chips
1 tsp honey
Dash of sea salt

Method:

Place the dates and walnuts in a food processor and blend until they become incorporated. Next, add in the blueberries and chocolate chips and pulse. Lastly, add in the honey and sea salt and pulse until all ingredients are incorporated enough to mold into bars/balls etc.


I wrap mine in cellophane and keep them refrigerated.





Other Bars on this site:
Enjoy ;)

Banana Hemp Smoothie

Believe it or not, I haven't eggs with my breakfast all week. I know. I know. But this smoothie is just too good...




Banana Hemp Smoothie

1 frozen banana
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
Handful of fresh spinach
1/4 coconut milk (the concentrated canned kind)
2 tbls hemp seeds


Method:

Throw all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse. Blend. Consume ;)




A Yummy Variation:

1 frozen banana
1 tsp cocoa powder (vs blueberries)
Handful of fresh spinach
1/4 coconut milk
2 tbls hemp seeds




From the looks of it, I didn't really have the patience to blend this one up very well...

Mmm... I'm thinkin' this one is good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or heck even dessert ;)

Sugar-Detox Variation: 

2 handfuls of fresh spinach
1 semi-frozen* green-tipped banana
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cold coconut milk (from a can, full fat, organic)
2 tbls hulled hemp seeds 




Enjoy ;)

Grain-free Flax Rosemary Bread

I can honestly say that on any given day,  I do not miss eating glutenous dense whole grain bread or even the sinful white bread. I'm not sure if I crossed over some imaginary line or what but I simply don't care that it's not a part of my life anymore.

Now, if you were to bring me to bakery where the scent of fresh bread is permeated throughout the premise, I may sing a bit of a different tune ;)

I've really been diggin' nut flour based breads before my runs in the morning. One slice is the perfect fuel.



So, without further adieu...

Grain-free Flax Rosemary Bread:  

4 eggs, organic & cage-free
1 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup pecan flour
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp honey
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced

Method:

Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl and proceed to add in all of the dry ingredients.  Mix the dry ingredients in with the eggs and blend thoroughly. Add in the honey and  apple cider vinegar and mix well. Lastly, fold in the rosemary.

Pour into a well greased bread pan (I used coconut oil). Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.



Yum, yum, yum. As with all my breads, I recommend storing this in the fridge.

Enjoy ;)

Grain-Free Cherry Zucchini Bread

I've likely said this before because I tend to become very enthusiastic about food and especially bread, but I'm pretty sure this is my best grain-free bread yet. Seriously, the consistency is awesome, it's not too sweet and it's perfectly moist.


So, last weekend during my lovely Sunday grocery shopping, I completely spaced the fact that I am going out of town for a few days and proceeded to buy groceries as normal for the week. Which meant a lot of fresh produce. Ooops. What to do? Freeze some, give away some and oooh bake some ;)

Baking and listening to music is one of my favorite things to do. So, I turned on some tunes (Warren Haynes and Slightly Stoopid are my current obsessions) and experimented... 

Grain-Free Cherry Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (I peeled mine first but you don't have to)
4 eggs
2 tbls honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
3 tbls arrowroot powder
2 tbls macadamia oil (or olive or coconut oil)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Dash of sea salt
1/4 cup fresh cherries, chopped

Method:

Place the shredded zucchini in a large mixing bowl and add the eggs. Whip up the eggs with the zucchini and then add in the honey and vanilla. Mix until all liquids are incorporated. Next, add in the almond flour, arrowroot powder and macadamia oi mix well until a batter forms. Add in the baking soda, baking powder, salt and mix thoroughly. Lastly, fold in the cherries and stir until they are spread throughout.

Grease a bread pan with coconut oil and bake at 350° for about 25 minutes, cover with foil and bake at 300° for about another 7 minutes.



Mmm... Love...

Enjoy ;)

-Sunshine Girl

Simple Walnut Flour Waffles

I'm lovin' using different nut flours. I still don't know why it took me so long to start using other nuts in flour form rather than sticking to almond.

Anyway, these were super easy, filling and delicious.




Simple Walnut Flour Waffles

3 eggs
1 1/4 cup walnut flour
1/4 cup water
1 tsp 100% pure maple syrup
1 tsp ground flaxseed
2 tbls potato starch
1/4 tsp baking soda

Method:

Heat your waffle maker to desired baking temperature/level. Mine has 5 levels and I set mine to about 2.5).  Rub some coconut oil on the irons first if there isn't any remaining oil from the last round, I find I need to do this about every third use to prevent sticking.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and then add in the syrup and water. Blend well and then add in the walnut flour, flaxseed, potato starch and baking soda. Stir until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

Heat in the iron for about 2.5 minutes or until your iron signals that they are done.

I saved two for the next morning as they are quite nutrient dense...

Enjoy ;)

Sweet Guacamole Salsa

I lovvvvved this salad. Perfectly fresh, light and clean.

Mmm.




Sweet Guacamole Salsa

1 avocado, mashed
1/4 cucumber (or 1/2 cup), diced
1 white peach, mashed
1 tsp chopped onion of your choice (I used yellow)
3 fresh mint leaves, chopped

Method

Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, give it a healthy stir and that's about it!

Simple and simply delicious.

Enjoy ;)

Bean-free Hummus

I am, in fact, pretty amazed with this hummus. No beans and super delicious. Not only that, it tastes like hummus.

Yeah.

I so wish that I came up with this recipe but I did not. I discovered this one on Damy Health.

Bean-free Hummus:

4 garlic cloves
2 zucchinis, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup raw tahini
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin 
Dash of sea salt








Method:

Add the garlic, zucchini and tahini in your food processor and pulse. Next, add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until the consistency is smooth and looks like that of hummus.

This was so good. I'm pretty sure you could fool average hummus-eater ;)  Spread atop some veggies, on some primal bread or just eat it plain. Awesome.

This will keep in your fridge for about 72 hours. 

Enjoy ;)

Variation 

1 garlic clove
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 zucchinis, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup raw tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin 
Dash of sea salt

This variation was quite lovely. If you are sensitive to garlic then I would recommend this recipe.

Peach Coconut Pancakes

I may have a pancake and waffle obsession. Maybe.Yeah, I think I do.

Anyway, these pancakes were inspired by my coconut flour waffle recipe though I didn't have a waffle iron nor did I have all the ingredients. Experimentation time ;)

Happy and in love with these pancakes...



Peach Coconut Pancakes:

3 eggs (organic, cage-free) 
1 tsp honey 
1 tbls water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract 
1 skinned and of a mashed peach
1 tbls almond flour 
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
 
Method: 
 
Heat a large pan lightly coated with coconut oil to medium. 
 
Skin, de-pit and mash a peach in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk together the eggs, water, vanilla and honey and then add in the peach and mix in thoroughly. Add in the almond flour, coconut flour and baking soda, mix well. 
 
Cook until you can see the bottoms hardening, flip and cook until they are done throughout - about 8 minutes total.


Yields ~5-6 small pancakes


 Enjoy ;)

-Sunshine Girl

Grain-free Pecan Herb Bread

I think my picture-taking abilities have only been going downhill. Lack of patience... I'll work on that.


Anyway, there is this phenomena that with grain-free baking, you are left with two main flours: coconut and almond.

It occurred to me in my efforts of trying to eat less almonds and more of a variety that any nut can be a flour. Right?

Right. But, they are not all created equal. I have been experimenting with pecan and walnut flour. To make the flour, you simply grind the nuts finely. If you don't mind the skins, leave them on so that you don't have worry about blanching.

Here is my post on making your almond flour. Follow the same logic but take into consideration that walnuts and pecans are softer than almonds. They also seem to be a bit more oily and thus don't grind quite as well. That being said, I had success in making bread with pecan flour ;)


Grain-free Pecan Herb Bread
4 eggs, organic cage-free
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 tsp ground flaxseed
1 1/2 cups unblanched pecan flour
2 tbls coconut flour
Dash of sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbls apple cider vinegar (I used Bragg's)
~ 1 tbls fresh oregano, minced
~ 1 tsp fresh dill, minced
1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Method:

Mix the eggs, water and flaxseed thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. Add in each of the ingredients in the order that they are listed above. Stir all the ingredients until the coconut oil is incorporated.

Grease a bread pan with coconut oil (could use olive oil or macadamia as well) and bake at 350 degrees for ~ 20 minutes  then cover with foil and bake for about another ~8 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


This is really good plain, along side a dish or with a spread on it. Each slice is super nutrient dense so I like to have it plain before or after a workout.

I am going to continue experimenting with different nut flours. Stay tuned...

Enjoy ;)

Grain-free Sunbutter Banana Muffins

I have definitely acquired a taste for sunbutter. Yum. So good. I'm perplexed as to why it's not more popular. Hm.


Anyway, I came upon this recipe on what other lovely social media platform, than Facebook itself. Don't you just love networking?

Thank you friends for posting this one from Simply Gluten Free ;) I changed the recipe a bit and used sunbutter rather than peanut butter.

Grain-free Sunbutter Banana Muffins:

4 eggs, separated
1 tbls honey
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sunbutter
2 ripe bananas, mashed
Dash of sea salt
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped (not blended)

Method:

Grease your muffin tins (with olive or coconut oil) or place muffin baking papers in the tin(s).

In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until they become  'frothy,' set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whip the yolks, honey and vanilla thoroughly. Add in the sunbutter and bananas and mix well. There can be small bits of bananas that aren't fully incorporated. Next, add in the salt and fold in the walnuts. Lastly, pour in the egg whites and stir until blended with the rest of the batter.

Add the batter into the tins, filling them each about 3/4 full. Bake at 325 for about 20-25 minutes. The toothpick should come out clean.



Yields ~ 14 small muffins

I may or may not have ate three in a row the next morning. But hey, my muffin tins are small AND it was my pre-run fuel ;)







Variation

Same ingredients and substituting natural peanut butter instead of the sunbutter. ALSO delicious ;)






Enjoy ;)

Creamy Strawberry Smoothie

For as much as I love smoothies, I've been thinking I should probably add some more green to mine. And while avocado is technically a fruit, I feel like I'm adding some awesome nutrition to my smoothie if I put one in there AND I was trying to come up with something that didn't have banana since I had already had one in the morning.

Avocados also contain much less sugar - actually zero and a very small amount of carbs (3) while contributing a healthy dose of good fat. You can read more about the nutritional breakdown of the lovely avocado here.


OK, enough of that rambling.

Creamy Strawberry Smoothie:

1 avocado
2 handfuls of spinach
5 frozen strawberries
1/4 cold water
1 tbls coconut flakes
Splash of lemon juice




Method:

Not much of one :) Slice the avocado, add in the spinach and strawberries and blend. Then add in the water, coconut and lemon juice.


Yeah... apologies for the not so great photo as I put this right into a to-go mug. Although, I must tell you, I kept this in the fridge in a to-go mug and ate a few hours later and the green stayed green even with the avocado. I was  pleasantly surprised.

Enjoy ;)