Cinnamon Bun Banana Loaf

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Ok so this recipe is insane. Cinnamon swirl, moist banana bread.. NO GUILT! I’ve made a lot of bananas bread in my day. Paleo, gluten free, whole wheat, chocolate chip, blueberry, coconut etc… but I have to say, this one might be my new favourite.

This recipe is made with coconut and almond flour (paleo friendly, grain free) so you get a good dose of healthy fats, fibre and protein and a lighter load of carbohydrates. The bananas are loaded with vitamins and good carbohydrates to give you loads of energy to get through your day! The ooey gooey filling is just like that of a cinnamon bun without the sticks of butter and heaps of brown sugar. The only added sugar you’ll find in this recipe is in that cinnamon swirl that is made up of natural coconut sugar. Coconut sugar comes from dried coconut sap that is then crystallized to create an amazing sugar alternative. It contains potassium, iron and vitamins. It has been said to even help prevent the blood sugar crashes that make you hungry. The rest of the bread is sweetened naturally with the ripe bananas and just a few drops of stevia!
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I realized recently that I share a lot of tips, tricks and information on my Instagram (@cleaneatinggoddess) account that does not always make it to my blog. So I have made a conscious effort to now include a lot of that information into my posts. A recent tip I posted was about bananas. I use a lot of bananas in my recipes because they are good for you, naturally sweet and give amazing dairy-like texture to non-dairy recipes. They are also an amazing replacement to cut down oil in recipes as they add so much moisture without any fat. They are a key ingredient in my smoothies, pancakes and breads. The problem with bananas seems that they are either too green, not brown enough or a mushy mess whenever we need them most. Heres my tip: Buy 2 bunches of bananas at the grocery store. When they get perfectly spotted, peel and cut the bananas in chunks then place them in a freezer safe bag. Keep them in the freezer to grab and go whenever you need! If you want to make banana bread, simply defrost the bananas for at least an hour and then use them as you would normally. Frozen ripe bananas also help make your smoothies insanely creamy and sweet without the need for any added sugar. Plus, you can also throw them in your food processor and have dairy and sugar free ‘ice cream’. Add in some almond or peanut butter and you have the most delicious snack!
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I know some people who are reading my blog are just beginning their journey for a cleaner lifestyle and I know every little bit of information counts. If you don’t have Instagram, I have made every effort to get CEG’s updates on all social media outlets. So, if you have Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, or Facebook you can find me on those outlets to keep yourself updated (click those buttons on the top right). You can also subscribe to my blog (just enter your email on the right sidebar) to get email updates of new posts. As some of you may know, I am an elementary school teacher and school is finally out! That gives me a lot more time to cook, bake and focus on my blog. I have so much exciting news, recipes and information coming and I can’t wait to share it with you all! Now for that cinnamon bun banana bread…
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Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup coconut flour
• 1/2 cup almond flour
• 3 very ripe medium bananas (mashed very well with fork or blended) + 1 extra banana sliced in half for topping (optional)
• 1/4 cup coconut oil melted + extra for greasing
• 3/4 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp liquid stevia or 1/4 cup honey/maple syrup/agave
• 4 eggs
• 1/3 cup coconut sugar
• 2 tbsp finely shredded unsweetened coconut (optional, for topping)
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line and grease a 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan with coconut oil. (Don’t forget to line with parchment paper, I did and it got stuck).

2.In a medium sized bowl whisk the coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda and salt until combined.

3. In a small bowl whisk eggs,, vanilla extract, stevia or other sweetener of choice. Then add mashed banana and melted coconut oil to the egg mixture and whisk more until well combined.

4. In a small bowl mix the coconut sugar and cinnamon until combined.

5. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and whisk until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain.

6. Pour only half of the batter in your greased loaf pan and spread it out evenly. Pour the coconut sugar/cinnamon mixture evenly to cover the batter.Then pour remaining batter on top of the cinnamon mixture. Spread evenly with spatula.Sprinkle with unsweetened coconut and sliced banana (optional).

7.Bake for 40-45 minutes or a toothpick comes out clean from a piercing in the center.

8. Let it cool for a few minutes then carefully run a knife along the edges to make sure nothing is sticking and invert into your hand and onto a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. (You also might want to slice a piece off while its piping hot because its almost impossible not to!)

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Protein Pancakes with Maple Blueberry Syrup

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There are all kinds of pancake recipes I have made. Buckwheat, almond flour, brown rice flour, protein powder etc.. Eventually I will get all those recipes up on the blog, but I have decided to share the recipe I go back to time after time. These super easy 4 ingredient pancakes are so incredibly filling without adding loads of unwanted ingredients. Plus, most of the ingredients are right in your pantry. You will get a good daily dose of omega 3s, protein (13g!), vitamins, healthy fats, fiber and carbs that will keep you full until lunch.

Although they aren’t always the most photogenic, these simple pancakes (you can even call them crepes) are so tasty. I don’t know about you, but I like A LOT of maple syrup on my pancakes. But like anything, moderation is key, so by adding some fresh blueberries I have found a way to extend the maple-y flavour. As the blueberries break down with the syrup in the saucepan, the mixture becomes thick and syrupy making that measly tablespoon of maple syrup last a lot longer! Plus it is an insanely delicious sweet topping that go great with the banana flavoured pancakes. Add a little crunchy coconut or walnuts to make a perfect breakfast! This recipe is free of refined sugar, gluten, dairy and is great for those watching their carb intake or who are following the paleo diet! Enjoy!

A little update on me:

If you have read my about section I talk about some of the digestive issues that I had been facing. Since cutting out gluten for good, I am happy to report that I have had NO heartburn, indigestion or acid reflux whatsoever and am off any medication. Although I am not back to my daily coffee routine (because I am no longer addicted) I do enjoy the occasional almond milk cappuccino! I also can enjoy a glass of wine without any discomfort which is amazing! From my own personal experience, it seems that wheat was the culprit of all my pain and discomfort. I have been feeling amazing since starting this new way of life and am constantly changing and adapting my diet based on how my stomach is feeling. Everyday is a new challenge and I am excited to share with you what I discover personally and through studying holistic nutrition. Stay tuned!

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Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

• 2 tbsp flax seed
• 1/2 cup egg whites
• 1 ripe banana (mashed)
• 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
• 2-3 drops stevia (optional)
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1/2 cup blueberries
• 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
• Optional toppings: coconut, walnuts, peanut butter, almond butter

Directions:

1. In a medium sized bowl, mash banana with a fork (or food process) until smooth.

2. Add egg whites, flax seed, cinnamon, stevia and whisk until combined.

3. For blueberry syrup: In a small sauce pan on medium heat add blueberries and maple syrup and stir. Cook until reduced and syrupy (about 5 minutes)

4. Heat coconut oil on medium high heat. Using a ladle, spoon pancakes batter and fry for about 3 minutes or until bubbles form on top. Then flip! Top with syrup and enjoy!
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Herbed Walnut Quinoa with Honey Balsamic Grilled Peaches

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Quinoa as we all know by now is super grain because of its unique characteristics. Quinoa is a complete protein and contains all eight essential amino acids. This makes it a great meal for vegans and vegetarians or as a substitute for rice or other grains and starches. I’ve seen this grain used in so many great ways. Like rice, it is versatile and can be used in savoury and sweet dishes. Plus, it is naturally gluten free! I like to cook my quinoa in vegetable or chicken stock to let the grain absorb all that flavour. This will reduce the amount of sauce, oil, dressing etc.. you will need to flavour the mild tasting grain. It is a must for this recipe! You can make your own veg stock or buy low sodium organic stock or broth in most grocery stores. The ingredients should only include vegetables, no funky chemicals or added salt.

Now that summer is here, everyone is craving those light refreshing flavours. Fresh herbs and citrus are always in my fridge for fresh teas and juices. They also add great light flavour to desserts and main dishes alike without adding unwanted oils, sauces etc… I really wanted to make a quinoa that was both sweet and savoury but really refreshing and light at the same time. By grilling the peaches with honey and balsamic they get a beautiful caramelization and smoky flavour that combines beautifully with the crunchy walnuts and savoury quinoa. Dressed in lightly acidic vinaigrette and fresh mint and parsley makes it a perfect merry of vibrant flavours! If you eat dairy it would go perfectly with some crumbled goat cheese or salty feta (yes, I do miss cheese sometimes). This is DELICIOUS with fish or a great light lunch on its own. I had on top of some raw kale for a protein packed lunch and it was so filling! Remember that for every cup of uncooked quinoa you will get about 3 cups cooked. So reduce or add more depending on how many this will serve! Make sure to adjust the seasonings if you change the amount of quinoa! Bon appetit!
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Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

• 2 cups quinoa
• 4 cups vegetable stock
• 1/2 tsp of salt (or to taste)
• 1 tsp of pepper
• 2 white peaches (or your favourite kind) (chopped 1/2 inch cubes)
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 tsp honey
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1/2 cup walnuts
• 2 sprigs mint (chopped)
• 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp red wine vinegar
• juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

1. Rinse quinoa well in a fine mesh sieve. Bring quinoa and vegetable stock to boil in saucepan; cover. Cook on medium-low heat 10 to 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the peaches. In a medium bowl whisk the balsamic vinegar and honey until combined. Toss the chopped peaches in the mixture until well coated.

3. Melt the coconut oil in grill pan or brush BBQ. Cook the peaches on mediium-high heat until caramelized. (3-4 minutes… you still want them to have bite!)

4. In a large serving bowl whisky together the chopped mint and parsley, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar and juice of one lemon, salt and pepper.

5. Take the cool cooked quinoa and toss in the dressing until combined. Add walnuts and peaches. Enjoy!
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