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Evening!

I promised you a recipe, and now I shall deliver on that promise.

First, a few notes about it, if you don’t mind.

Light and delicious!

This bread isn’t like a regular bread.

Due to the ingredients, it’s actually slightly spongy and doesn’t have much of a “crumb”.

It’s also low carb, high in protein, and has a nice amount of fat per slice.

I based this recipe loosely on a coconut flour recipe found on Mark’s Daily Apple, but based on the properties of coconut flour, I have found that I can easily substitute peanut flour in its place.

I use a higher fat peanut flour (from Byrd Mill) but a lower fat one would increase the protein levels but decrease the peanutty taste (and, of course, the calories).

Slices beautifully!

Oh, and it’s so flexible!  If you want to use apple sauce in the place of the bananas, go for it.

No added fruit?  Use an oil or fat of choice (I bet avocado would be incredible!  or peanut butter?), or go without.  The choice is yours.

This bread is delicious, m-word (rhymes with “hoist”), and very lightly sweetened.  Feel free to add a sugar of choice, if you wish.

Ready for it?

Here ya go!

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Bread:

3/4 cup peanut flour (3 oz)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbs cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

6 jumbo eggs

1-2 tbs honey (optional)

3 very ripe bananas, mashed (about a heaping cup worth)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Mix dry ingredients.  Puree (or mash) bananas.  Add wet ingredients into dry.  Pour into a 8-by-4 inch baking loaf pan.  (A 9-by-5 will create a more short, squat loaf.)  Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick poked in it comes out clean.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

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Good morning!

Today, I’m going to show you guys the proper way to enjoy a squash.

First, the improper ways.

Get your mind out of the gutter.

Bad squash: too much brown sugar and marshmallow.  Squished into an amorphous paste and offered to a child (or a stubborn grown up).  Sliced and offered plain.

There, we got the bad out of the way.  Now, what’s the right way to eat a (butternut, in this case) squash?

Here’s a fine example:

I gave the jar a second chance.

Yes, I said I wasn’t very impressed with “in a jar” concoctions.

However, you put an idea in my head, and I’m a stubborn old gal.  I’m not going to give up until I know for sure if it’s my fancy or not.

This time, not too shabby.  I had tons more peanut butter on this one, and the butternut squash was melty-yummy-good.

Looks ugly, but so very yum!

It didn’t hurt, either, that I drowned it in a ton more peanut butter and some Peanut Butter Panda Puffs.

I made a simple custard out of my squash with a half a cup of applesauce, a half a roasted squash, tons of cinnamon and vanilla, and one whole egg and enough almond milk to make it thick and creamy.

I poured it into my jar, topped it with peanut butter and peanut butter pandas, and died of happiness.

Another way to enjoy butternut squash?

Filling but not heavy. Perfect!

This would be another batch of butternut squash custard, but made without the applesauce (I was worried it would clash with the bananas).  I added a metric-ton of cinnamon and vanilla, then topped it with banana slices, two heaping tablespoons of peanut butter (2 tbs peanut butter, 2 tbs almond milk, nuke and stir) and Panda Puffs.

When I ate it yesterday, it kept me full for three and a half hours.  Not too shabby!

So, here’s hoping for another day of happy tummy-age.

Sorry for the awful lighting -- 7 am does not make for pretty pictures.

And, I thought you guys should know that my little fuzzy-butt Osito is one year old today.

On October 4, 2009, Amor and I adopted him, and I seriously doubt he was older than a month when we caved in to his plaintive squeaks and let him into our lives.  Hence, today is his tentative birthday.

I should also let you know that he decided to celebrate this venerated day by knocking over his water dish, then promptly began stalking his reflection and pouncing into the huge puddle he created.

Also, I should let you know that heck, it’s 7 a.m.  I’m not cleaning it.  I put a towel down.  For this early in the morning, I deserve a medal for doing that much.

And know you know.

Do you like squash?  What’s your favorite autumn dish to prepare?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good morning!

How is everyone?

School is insane.  Working and going to school at the same time?  Even more insane.  I’m a full time student, like I mentioned before, but I never knew it would be this crazy.  Every professor treats us like his class is the only class, and doesn’t hesitate to assign us 50+ pages of reading each night, plus homework atop of all of it.

Then there’s work, which is great, but exhausting.  I’m up way earlier than I ever thought I would be (around sevenish) and not making it to bed until almost midnight, or later, these days.  I don’t get home until 8 or later on worknights, and 7 pm on school nights, and that’s only with the mercy of Em taking me home after her last class.  If I waited for Amor to pick me up, I’d be getting home around 8-ish, as well.

In other words, I’m “working” twelve-plus hours a day (Fridays have me running around from 5 am until around 8 pm, so that’s a 15 hour  work day), every day, except Thursdays (the only time I can schedule doctors’ appointments, so they’re already spoken for) and Sundays, and my boss has already told me he plans for me to start working Sundays so I can start organizing the office.

Can you tell I’m a bit overwhelmed right now?

And I don’t even know when I’ll find time to study.  That’s not even accounted into my epic work days.  Yikes.

It’s not all bad, though.  My classes are promising, though don’t get me started on the arrogance and hypocrisy of my Environmental Ethics class.  However, the content seems interesting.  If only that racist woman in the back would shut up, and the smelly tattooed guy in the front would stop calling us parasites, I’d be fine.

Work is great, actually.  Like I’ve said before, I get along fairly well with my boss, and the workload, while constant and steady, is essentially routine and easy.  No complaints.  Plus, a bit extra pocket change never hurt anyone, ne?

Porridge makes those early wake-ups easier.

The only major issue I’m having right now, then, is my eats.

First, I tried a lighter breakfast, then planned on having a snack after my first class.  Hah!  My body let me know right away that was not acceptable.  (I’m a chronic bottomless pit, by the way — 2 whole grain rice cakes, 2-3 heaping tbs of peanut butter, and a large banana barely kept my tummy quiet for three hours.)  To keep it from overtalking my professor, I was stealthily stuffing my lunch into my mouth every time he turned away.

Then, I tried a heavier breakfast, and forced myself to eat every last bite to make sure I’d stay full.  Nope.  Was starving again mid-class.  Fortunately, I had planned ahead and packed almonds and raisins, and that definitely helped, but clearly my body is rebelling against this new eating schedule.

Breakfast, as messy as it is, always remains so photogenic, don't you agree?

Since my tummy clearly can’t distinguish between a lighter meal and a heavier meal, I’m going to go back to the lighter breakfast, and pack more snacks to eat in class.

Last night, at the grocery store, I picked up a few dried pineapple rings (doused in chili powder — omg, good!) and some dried mango, and I have tons of almonds (Amor picked up a huge tub at Costco, thinking his fantasy football buddies would eat them all, and no surprise, they didn’t) and tons of ziploc baggies to cram my dried fruit and nuts into.

Lunch has been boring and, sadly, not filling.  I think part of the problem is that I’m having to wait until around 4:30 to eat it, when I’ve been up since seven or eight that morning already and I’m running on breakfast and a handful of nuts and grapes until that point.  Eight hours without a real meal?  Oi, that’s a no-go if there every was one.

So, I’m half-starved, and at that point, my satiety signals are completely broken, and I’m ready to eat my entire arm.  Le sigh.

Melty, drippy almond butter with almond slices. Creamy crunchy good!

My other option is to make my breakfast extra fatty and protein-y.  I’ve been googling the dangers of eating more than one egg a day (me, the eternal paranoid) and can’t find any hard evidence that it’s not safe, so I may try it.  Plus, it’s only three days a week, so that still comes out to six eggs a week.

Anyone have any egg breakfast recipes they want to share?

My wonderful Em bought me some almond meal at TJ’s when she was out of town last week, too.  Do you have an almond meal recipe you’d be willing to share with me?

Ate all of it, then went back for another tablespoon of almond butter. Yummage!

Breakfast was a simple ordeal.  I got smart earlier this week and made a huge pot of quinoa.  All I have to do for breakfast now, then, is reconstitute it.

Basically, I dump a heaping cup of my cooked quinoa into a pot, add enough water to make it creamy, add cinnamon and vanilla, cook, add an egg, add almond milk, cook some more, and top it with whatever I so fancy.  Today, it was a banana and a cup of frozen blueberries, thawed, and two tbs of almond butter as well as a huge fistful of sliced almonds.

Next week, I’m going to cook a huge pot of kasha.  It seriously simplifies things.  Don’t know why I didn’t try it sooner, really.

What do you eat when you know you have to stay full for several hours?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Morning!

And thus the eternal battle rages onward: is it “yogurt” or “yoghurt”?

One can’t help but wonder the answer to that, as they spoon the creamy deliciousness onto their porridge.

However, if I’m calling my breakfast “porridge,” shouldn’t I just take the plunge and call the fermented non-dairy blobs atop of it “yoghurt”?

The world may never know.

Peanut butter, bananas, and yog(h)urt.

Despite the confusion as to what I’m really eating (yogurt?  yoghurt?), this meal was exceptionally delicious.

I prepared a bowl of kasha with 1/4 cup dry kasha, a cup of water, a bit of cinnamon and vanilla, about a third of a cup of slightly-sweetened almond milk, and one whole egg for texture and protein.

A few weeks back, I purchased some untoasted buckwheat groats — anyone try them?  Are they any good?

Delicious drippy dollops of peanut butter compete for space with the yog(h)urt.

I melted about a half a humongo banana into my kasha, and let it cook for a couple minutes to allow the banana-y awesomeness to integrate throughout my porridge.

Then I sliced the other half directly onto my kasha.

I made peanut butter sauce (around 1.5 tbs peanut butter with almond milk, nuke and stir) and drizzled it over my bananas, then topped the porridge with about a half a cup of coconut milk yog(h)urt.

Delish!

I’ve started taking probiotics, as per the recommendation of my doctor.

I’m kinda “meh” about it, since I’ve gotten to the point where I realize that anything I’ve been told to take as a supplement for my health has actually hurt me rather than helped me: soy, flax, calcium…the list goes on.

I’ve started taking Align, but since I don’t want any one bacteria to run a monopoly in my gut, I decided to add a probiotic yog(h)urt to my diet, as well.

I think it’s giving me false hunger, though.  I’m ready to eat my arm, even though I just finished breakfast.  The same thing happened yesterday, as well.  It’s the same sort of cold churning that I get when I eat things like apples.

Do you take any supplements? I also take a Flintstone’s multivitamin, but I’m ready to ditch the medicine and just start eating real food for my nutrients.  Have you ever done anything like that?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Morning!

How is everyone?

Yay for Wednesdays!  That means tomorrow is my doctor’s appointment (and, coincidentally, my birthday — feels so weird saying that, for some reason) then Friday is just around the corner!

Fact: weekends now have no meaning to me.  After being bored all summer, I now work Fridays and Saturdays.  My weekends went from being perpetual to non-existent.

I’m not complaining, though.  Despite being occasionally uber-stressful, I actually really like my job.

Mmm, my favorite cereal, ever.

I woke up hungry this morning, but delayed gratification for a few minutes while I dishwasher and brewed a pot of tea.  Amor, being the awesome fella that he is, unloaded (my least favorite chore, really) it while I slept, so when I woke up, I was more than eager to tackle the mess that had piled up since yesterday.

By the time my tea was done percolating, and the dishwasher was humming, my stomach joined the harmony with its own assortments of growls and rumbles.

Breakfast had to be fast — I mean, they don’t call it breakfast for nothin’, ya know.  It’s not breakslow.  And yes, I’m looking at you, amaranth, the ponderous cereal that takes a stinkin’ half hour to cook.

I digress.

Just looking at this picture makes me want more!

Fortunately, I woke up knowing exactly what I wanted for breakfast today.

Despite it being grey and overcast this morning, I was craving a huge bowl of cold cereal.

While at the grocery store the other night, I picked up these beauties:

An old friend meets with a new friend!

Dude, these cereals rock.

They taste downright amazing, made with real food, are organic to boot, plus Winco sells them for about 2.70$ a box, which is a total snipe.

To give my breakfast some staying power, I slathered two brown rice cakes with two heaping tablespoons of peanut butter.

Every bite was bliss! So. Dang. Good.

I piled my rice cakes with a serving each of Peanut Butter Panda Puffs and Koala Krisps, added a sliced banana, then poured almond milk all over it.

And when I say all over it, I really mean, all over my cereal, the counter, the table, the floor, the cat at my feet who started yammering when he saw me pull the jar of peanut butter out of the fridge…

Yeah, I can’t train Oso to jump through a hoop worth beans, but he knows the sight of the peanut butter jar from miles away.

Good job, Little Bear.  You can tell he takes after me, no?

Back to the point: this was the most delicious, filling, awesome, yummy bowl of cold cereal ever.  The rice cake got a bit soggy, but that just meant that each bite was filled with a spoonful of peanut butter mush, and crispy-sweet puffs and krisps.  And banana.  Can’t forget the banana.

Do you need coffee/tea/caffeine to wake up in the morning? I blame my spilling of the almond milk on the fact that I hadn’t had my tea yet.  Yep.  That’s my excuse and I’m not budging.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good morning!

I have to belt this out fast, since I have to work today.

Breakfast was quick and delicious, as usual.

Peanut butter, banana, and kasha.

I cooked up a pot of kasha (1/4 cup dry to 1 cup of water) and when it was ready, I added in cinnamon, vanilla, and egg.

I thinned it out with some slightly-sweetened almond milk (Pacific brand) until it was thick and creamy.

Then I topped it with two huge heaping tablespoonfuls of peanut butter and a banana.

So yummy!

So what did I learn today?

I learned that coconut milk makes excellent creamer for coffee.

I don’t rightly care for coffee — too bitter, just not my cuppa.

But, one tablespoon-ish of full-fat coconut milk turned my dark and bitter brew into a beige and fragrant drink.  I wasn’t sure it would work, but one tablespoon of the good stuff cut a 20 oz mug of coffee and turned it into something palatable.

Who knew?

What have you learned recently?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good morning!

How’s your Monday treating you so far?

Mine’s off to a pretty decent start, I think.  I slept until about a quarter ’til ten, which is always a good way to wake, in my book.

Since I’ve gotten sick, Amor has taken to letting me sleep in as late as possible.  Even though I never asked for those extra twenty minutes of sleep, he knows how valuable rest is, and wordlessly shifted into a later wake-up for me. ❤

Peanut-buttery kasha.

I woke up hungry, and since I’m out of almond milk, I decided to try to flavor my porridge with some peanut flour.

I cooked 1/4 cup of kasha on the stovetop with one cup of water, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Ten minutes of simmering later, I stirred in about 1/3 cup of high-fat peanut flour (the higher fat content, the stronger the peanut taste — 1/4 cup has about 120 calories and 9g of protein, but tastes so much better than the bland lower fat content flour).

You can't go wrong with bananas, like, ever.

When I removed it from the heat, I topped it with a packed heaping teaspoon of brown sugar.

I love melty brown sugar…little puddles and pockets of pure syrup, straight to the mouth.  Never fails me.

I sliced a whole banana on top of it, then added just less than two tablespoons of peanut butter to the top.

I love the little melted puddles of brown sugar. Yum!

Unfortunately, despite adding the sprinkling of sugar on the top to draw out the peanut flavor, it got lost in the smokiness of the kasha.

Maybe if I use a blander porridge, like quinoa, the taste might shine through better?  Or perhaps if I used less water, or maybe a pinch of salt?

It’s worth experimenting with, especially since this breakfast was so dang filling.

Delicious flavors!

I’m not sure what I’m going to do today.

I’m feeling sorta restless today.  Being cooped up in the house tends to make a Kaz a bit stir-crazy.

Hmm.  If I’m so stir-crazy, maybe I just should make a risotto?

Weak attempt at humor, do forgive me!  (Admit it, you love it.)

What does your week hold in store for you?  What are your plans?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Good afternoon!

I feel remarkably okay today, which is like, big.  I haven’t felt okay in ages.

I was so convinced that I would be in a bad mood today because of the stomach pain I had last night, but somehow I managed to wake up on the right side of the bed.

Sleeping for almost ten and a half hours last night didn’t hurt, either.  Yes, despite my two hour nap yesterday, as soon as my head hit the pillow last night, I was out.

Amor woke me up at noon, and I’ve been sipping my tea and feeling reasonably decent all morning.

All the warm and kind words from you guys probably didn’t hurt, either!  Thank you, each and every one of you, for your input on my “Thoughts” post.  I went ahead and replied to all of you directly on your comment, since each and every one of you had something to offer that I am completely grateful for.

A huge bowl of slivered almonds? What?

It’s slowly started to dawn on me that I’m getting much better at this “intuitive eating” business.

It’s still a journey, and I still have trouble stopping myself at night and listening to my tummy signals (as my bedtime tummy ache last night is a strong indicator), but my daytime eating?

Not too shabby.

For instance, this morning, I was craving both blueberries and bananas.  I had a strong hanerkin’ for the blues, but the bananas didn’t look too terribly unappealing, either.

Ah, I see. A bowl of almonds and some berry compote?

I went ahead and made it another two-banana morning, and threw in a cup and a half or so of frozen blueberries for good measure.

I tossed an entire banana in with my kasha, since I was out of almond milk.  I seasoned it with some vanilla and cinnamon, as well.

For my blueberry craving, I nuked something like a cup and a half or two cups (didn’t measure) of blueberries in bowl with another banana, then nuked it for two minutes.

Nope, there's porridge underneath all that! Sneaky sneaky!

I mashed it into a delicious sweet-tart compote, then dumped it onto my banana kasha.

I topped it with about a quarter cup-ish of slivered almonds.

Then I ate all the compote and almonds, and ate about 3/4 of my kasha and called it quits.

In other words, I eat like a child: I pick off the yummy stuff, then let the rest go to waste.  Who cares if it’s “healthy” or “I need it”, which was my old go-to excuse for finishing off my breakfast.  Oh, it’s full of protein!  I need every last bite!

Nope.  Don’t wanna.

I think that learning to throw away food is the biggest step somebody can take in learning how to eat intuitively.  Yes, I might get hungry soon, even though I just ate two hours ago.  No big deal.  I can just forage up something else yummy, and eat it until I run out of ketchup or grow bored of it, then throw the rest away.

It’s okay to throw food away.  Really!  And if that’s not cool with you?  Then cover it, put it in the fridge, and eat it later.  Leftovers are yummy, too.

Being sick, actually, has helped teach me that.  I couldn’t finish anything this past week due to awful stomach pains, and since I was sick, nobody else wanted to finish it, so into the rubbish it went.

See?  I’m the eternal optimist.  I can even find the good in food poisoning.  Hah!

Anyway, I’m rambling, which is oddly enough, a good sign.  I babble like a baby when I’m happy, so here’s to me being back to my old self soon!

Are you an intuitive eater?  Has intuitive eating ever been a struggle for you?  Do you have any insight or tips to help others who are learning how to eat? Sorry, so many questions for you today!

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Morning!

Miss me?

Sorry for being away so long — Thursday was probably the most stressful days at work, ever, in my entire time working there.  I came home exhausted and I can’t even tell you what I ate for dinner because I was totally on autopilot for the rest of the night.

Then yesterday was one of my doctor’s appointments, which kept me out of the house until well after 8 pm, since I had to leave early to catch the bus, then I had to catch the bus back to the mall, where I decided to wait for my ride, at which point Em bailed me out and took me out to dinner.

I went to bed super early last night, then didn’t sleep much at all.  I’m finally starting to shake off this flu (or whatever it was) but the past week has been completely sleepless because I’ve been curled up in a fetal-ball, clutching my tummy and praying for the pain to pass.

Anyway.  I feel a bit better today, but even after about nine hours of sleep, I’m on my second cup of coffee and don’t see myself waking up any time soon.

A blog trend that I've never really tried.

I went for my own version of OAIJ today.

I always avoided it before, since to me, it just feels…I dunno.  Messy.  Unhygienic?

There’s something sloppy about glopping a pile of goop into a jar then scraping it out with a spoon.

I know: it’s the OCD talking.  But, since I like to challenge myself, I decided to go for it.

Oh, what's in there?

The motivating factor for me today was that last night, while out, I sprung for a package of long-handled tea spoons.

I’m seriously adverse to having dirty hands, and with my normal spoons, I’d be up to my elbow in the jar, trying to scrape out every last morsel.

However, with these spoons, I could let it rest all the way onto the bottom of the jar and not worry about getting porridge or peanut butter on me.

And extra peanut butter on top.

This was the porridge to end all porridge.

I melted an entire banana into my kasha (plus cinnamon and vanilla and almond milk, of course) and when it was done, I remembered another half a banana was loitering in my fridge.

What does my fridge look like, hey, Mr. Banana?  A video store?  Scram, you ruffian!

Delish!

So another half of a banana went on top of my kasha.

Eh.

Not impressed.  Not enough peanut butter flavor in each bite, unfortunately — it felt lost in the mess.

Maybe my jar was too big?  Who knows.

I don’t think I’ll be trying KIAJ again any time soon.

Anyway — lots on my mind today.  I’m pretty sure with all my food intolerances, I’m being forced to go back to eating meat.  Oh, sure, look at every other successful vegetarian out there — but they can eat dairy, soy, gluten.  Or one of the above.  Or all of the above.

I feel like I’ve failed at being veggie, and I’ve been crying myself to sleep at night, gagging at the thought, but forcing myself to accept that my vegetarian diet may be making me extremely sick.  All last night, I dreamed I was eating meat, and woke up in a panic, reassuring myself that it was just a bad dream.

I don’t want to eat meat.  Over two years of veggie-dom, to me, meat isn’t even food.  The thought of eating it makes me want to gag.  But being able to eat dairy, gluten, or soy…and maybe reacting to eggs and/or legumes, I’m essentially out of food choices.  Plus, there might be other allergies I’m experiencing, which is limiting my diet even more.

I’m not going to eat it without first talking to my doctor (Thursday!) to see if I have any other choice, but I’m miserable and torn and angry at my body for making me do something I DO NOT WANT to do.  I can’t supplement — flax makes me sick, and eating vitamins when I should be eating food does not resonate well with me.

Anyway.

Typing this was very difficult, and feels like a cop-out, but I’ve been mulling it over for a couple months now.

I’m very unhappy right now, so any reassuring words are much appreciated.  I mean, I’m going from almost vegan to possibly omnivore — does. not. compute.  This isn’t me — I can’t even mow the lawn without worrying about killing bugs, snails, and what have you.  To eat meat is the antithesis of who I view myself to be.

What would you do?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz

Evening!

Still sick, but not as bad as I was yesterday.

For some reason, I was still hungry after lunch, but the moment I ate some fruit, not only did my hunger go away, but the nausea set in.

I didn’t get hungry again until almost 9:30 tonight.

Appetite-smashing pear.

Fruit sounded good to me.

Funny thing is, the thought of veggies was making me gag, whereas at lunch, the thought of fruit made me want to gag.

I nuked a huge peach for two minutes to cook it.

Bowl o' fruity deliciousness.

Topped it with frozen cherries, nuked another minute.

Nuked again at half power, another minute.

Topped with fresh blueberries.

Everything I wanted for dinner, right here.

Nuked again for another minute, then another on half.

By then, it was simmering in its own juices.

I added a half a banana, chopped, and tossed it all together.

Mmm, so yummy!

Poured almond milk on it, topped it with almonds.

Ate two bites, stomach clenched.

Every time the pain would subside, I took another bite.  I made about 90% through the bowl, but I feel so icky in my tummy right now that I don’t think I should push it.

I’m supposed to work tomorrow, too, by the way.  So, if I’m away all day, that’s why.

No, calling in sick isn’t an option.  One of the girls is spending quality time with her children and asked for this time off weeks in advance, and the other is the girl I covered for on Saturday because she was sick.

Do you follow any sports?  What kind?  Which team do you root for? Totally random, I know, but Amor is playing Madden and keeps calling my attention to his slow-mo replays.  He’s very passionate about his football, and it’s starting to rub off on me.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Kaz