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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Spicy Asian Zucchini Cucumber Noodle Salad

Photo 2014-06-02, 7 46 16 AMLot’s of requests for this one on instagram! I had such a delicious raw pad thai at a fantastic vegan, gluten free raw restaurant here in Montreal and I knew I had to get my hands on a spiralizer. I chose the Gefu spiralizer (off Amazon) and I found it simple to use and gave great ‘zoodles’ aka zucchini noodles. I know there are some more hardcore spiralizers, but as a starter I highly recommend this one! It also takes up very little space in the cupboard which is a HUGE plus.

I really had no planned recipe for this device. I was so anxious to get that spiralizer out of the box that I put very little thought into what I wanted to make with it! So, I just went with flow of things and went for a light spicy asian salad which complimented the fish perfectly. My next time using it will probably involve some sweet potato and carrots. Some tahini or peanut based sauce would be delicious! Served warm or cold, veggie noodles are a perfect accompaniment to meat and fish or alone as a light vegetarian lunch.

For this meal in particular, I ate these zucchini and cucumber noodles with simply grilled salmon cooked in a bit of coconut oil, salt, pepper and lemon. Really my favourite way to eat fish. Simple is best. This is a perfect meal to enjoy this summer or as a side dish for BBQ. It is light and refreshing and as always gluten, dairy and refined sugar free! For those watching their carb intake these are a great alternative to italian pasta dishes. Hope you enjoy!

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Noodle Ingredients:

• 3 zucchini
• 3 mini cucumber
• 1 red pepper thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup buckwheat sprouted groats (optional)
• 1 tsp rice vinegar
• 1 tsp gluten free tamari
• 2-3 drops stevia or 1/2 tsp honey
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 1/2 tsp pepper
• 1/2 tsp sriracha
• few dashes fish sauce

Fish Ingredients:

• Wild caught salmon
• 1 tsp coconut oil
• good pinch salt
• good pinch pepper
• lemon wedges for serving

Directions:

1. Spiralize cucumber and zucchini and place in a bowl. Add finely chopped red pepper.

2. Whisk all dressing ingredients in a bowl. Taste (add some more oil if its too spicy, or add more sriracha for heat) and toss in noodles. Top with buckwheat or seeds for crunch!

3.For the salmon, coat in melted coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat on the pan or off the fire on BBQ.
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