Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

Felt weird hitting the new post button!

I took time off from blogging because I was seriously sleep deprived during my third trimester. Since then I had a beautiful baby boy, Kaeden Alexander and switched to decaf coffee. I think giving up caffeine was almost as bad as giving birth without an epidural (Kaeden decided he wanted to arrive 30 minutes after they broke my water so no time for pain relief…little s$&t head, I tell you)! He sure is a cutie though. At least I think so.

Kaeden

Enough of my potty mouth! In my last three weeks of maternity leave I vowed to do something more stimulating than another Netflix series (I think I plowed through at least ten). So, I decided to actually add some new grub.

First things first, DESSERT or sweet breakfast. Priorities people!

To move away from the pumpkin protein dip I have been eating weekly, I made these muffins. I only had sweet potatoes in the house, but you can use pumpkin, sweet potato and butternut squash interchangeably.

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins
Serves 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Pumpkin (or 1 C cooked Sweet Potato)
  2. 3 Eggs
  3. 1/4 C Hazelnut Butter
  4. 3 tbsp Grassfed Butter
  5. 1 tbsp Vanilla
  6. 1/4 C Coconut Palm Sugar
  7. 1/4 C Maple Syrup
  8. 1 1/3 C Almond Flour
  9. 2 tbsp Coconut Flour
  10. 1/2 tsp Salt
  11. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  12. 1 tsp Baking Powder
  13. 1 C Dark Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together butter, hazelnut butter, sugar, maple syrup and pumpkin for a minute on medium speed. Mix in eggs, vanilla and salt for another minute. Add dry ingredients and chocolate and mix for another minute.
  3. Pour batter a muffin tin (3/4 up to the top).
  4. Bake for 25-28 minutes.
  5. Test with a fork. If the fork comes out clean (no batter sticks to it) than the muffins are done.
  6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chocolate Chip Scones

 

One of my favorite things to eat with coffee is scones! I remember the first one was over a late night study date with my college friend, Jill. Oh man was it yummy! Normally I am fruit scone connoisseur, but I decided to make these chocolate chip treats for our little man (fully knowing his little fingers would pick out the chocolate chips first). They turned out pretty darn tasty, so I wanted to share the recipe.

Aside from baking, my baby sister graduated from high school. We are 18 years apart and it seems like yesterday that she was just a little peanut at my graduation. Watching her group up has been so much fun and I am excited for her next journey. Here is a picture of her and her boyfriend, Zach after the ceremony.

Katie Graduation

Chocolate Chip Scones
Serves 8
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/3 C Gluten Free Flour Blend (I used Pamelas Baking & Pancake Mix)
  2. 1/4 C Honey
  3. 2 tsp Baking Powder
  4. 1/2 C Mini Chocolate Chips
  5. 4 tbsp Butter, softened (replace with coconut oil for dairy free alternative)
  6. 1 Egg
  7. 1/2 C Non-Dairy Milk
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add in the eggs, honey, milk, vanilla and butter to the bowl. Mix together with a hand mixer over medium speed for one minute. The batter will be thick.
  4. Pour the batter into the center of the cookie sheet. Evenly spread into a circle until the dough is about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.
  5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the scones start to turn golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife cut the scones into 8 wedges.
  7. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. Feel free to add nuts to the batter or frost with icing after pulling out of the oven.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Cherry Coconut Flax Cereal

Yesterday was sort of a pooh, pooh day. Okay it was good for the most part, but I got a little down thinking about how our family doesn’t eat normal. When I say normal I mean I cannot just grab a jar of pasta sauce and noodles and whip together spaghetti for dinner.

A, because tomatoes flare up Luke’s arthritis and B, because he can’t have any grains on his diet right now (not even rice because he had a slight flare up of inflammation after eating it). Nor after working 10 hours a day can I call Dominos to deliver a pizza. Again because it has pasta sauce and grains.

It is extremely difficult to coordinate meals around my husbands’ diet because I can’t use eggs, corn, rice, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, amaranth, wheat (Mason and I are gluten free so that doesn’t really matter), tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, dairy, soy, peppers (bell, jalapenos, cayenne pepper, chili powder), cumin/seed based spices, etc. It is by far one of the biggest challenges I have faced and lately I have been short on ideas!

So, I actually drummed up an idea for dinner….FINALLY! It is going to be stuffed artichoke and spinach chicken breasts wrapped in bacon with an egg-free/grain free flat bread. Stay tuned for this yummy goodness and sorry about my ranting. All I want to do is make food for my husband to feel better and it is a challenge that exhausts me many days, so I wanted to garner up some support :)

All right, now I predominantly eat Paleo (e.g. no grains). However, when training for a marathon I have found that I need grains to fuel this high endurance activity. I know, I know you could run marathons on a Paleo diet, but it doesn’t get me to my maximum performance. Trust me I have tried Paleo approved high carb goodies before runs and they do not work as well as a bowl of oatmeal or gluten-free cereal!

The hard part is finding a good gluten-free cereal that is loaded with protein, dried fruit and solid mix of grains. I seriously stared at the grocery aisle for 15 minutes trying to find the perfect multi-grain one. Finally I gave up! I bought almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, dried cherries, dried raisins, oats, coconut, nuts, seeds, Enjoy Life Crunchy Flax cereal, and Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise Flakes and made my own amazing protein packed multi-grain cereal. It came out as a cross between granola and cereal, but it is oh so delicious.

Cherry Coconut Flax Cereal
Serves 16
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Unsweetened Coconut
  2. 2 C Oats, Gluten Free Certified
  3. 1 C Dried Cherries, unsweetened
  4. 1/2 C Raisins, unsweetened
  5. 2 tsp Cinnamon
  6. 2 C Mixed Nuts, chopped
  7. 3/4 C Sunflower Seeds
  8. 1/2 C Maple Syrup
  9. 1 tsp Vanilla
  10. 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  11. 2/3 C Almond Butter
  12. 1 box Enjoy Life Flax Crunch Cereal
  13. 1 box Nature's Path Mesa Sunrise Cereal
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt together almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 60 seconds.
  3. Add oats, nuts, seeds, coconut and dried fruit (cereal will be added after roasting the oats and nuts in the oven) to a large mixing bowl. Pour the melted almond butter mixture over the oat/nut/dried fruit mixture and stir until even coated.
  4. Evenly space the almond butter and oat/dried fruit mixture onto a large cookie sheet.
  5. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely before stirring in the cereal.
Notes
  1. Store in an airtight container in the pantry for 3-4 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Enjoy with your favorite non-dairy milk or yogurt.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Apricot Cashew Cups

This recipe is the beginning of many energy bars, cups, balls and bites that I will be making over the next 22 weeks for Boston Marathon training.

I am fully aware that it would be a hell of a lot easier just to grab a box of Clif bars from the store. However, the protein blend in these bars typically contains soybeans, soy protein, soy flour, rice flour and barley malt and a grain blend of inulin, flaxseed, oat bran and psyllium! Soy, barley and oats are difficult for me to digest and give me intestinal distress, so this recipe is my attempt to make a more allergy friendly alternative for fueling my runs.

The star ingredients are cashews and apricots, but I tossed in Maca as an added bonus. Maca powder is a Peruvian nutritional supplement that is used to treat various conditions, ailments and diseases. The key benefit of Maca is it has been associated with enhanced athletic performance. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, examined “eight healthy cyclists were timed while completing a 40-kilometer bike ride before and after 14 days of taking maca. The study found that maca supplementation significantly improved the athletes’ cycling time, pointing to maca’s energizing effects.”

You will also notice I have included carob chips and are probably curious as to why I am classifying this recipe as Paleo when carob is a legume. Well, according to Mark’s Daily Apple, it is Paleo-friendly because we are actually consuming the carob pod and not the seed where harmful anti-nutrients reside. 

Apricot Cashew Cups
Serves 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Cashews, Raw
  2. 1/2 C Apricots
  3. 3 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp Salt
  5. 1 tsp Vanilla
  6. 2 tbsp Honey
  7. 1/2 C Carob Chips
  8. 1 C 65% Dark Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Put 2 cups of the cashews, apricots and coconut palm sugar in a food processor and process until broken down into fine pieces (2-3 minutes).
  2. Add salt, vanilla, carob chips, honey and remaining cashews. Pulse 10-15 times until cashews have been broken down into small pieces.
  3. Line muffin tin with paper cups. Press down the cashew mixture into cups about 3/4 of the way up. Make sure to firmly press into cups before adding chocolate.
  4. Pour chips in microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between. Repeat 3-4 times until chocolate is melted. Do not over do it or chocolate will become lumpy.
  5. Pour a thin layer of chocolate into each cup. I use a large soup spoon and then push it out to the edges.
  6. After cups are filled, you can smooth out the chocolate more by tapping the muffin tin lightly on the counter a couple of times.
  7. Place muffin pan in refrigerator for an hour before serving.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Peanut Coconut Bars

I just hired my first employee this week. Boy am I excited to get another research analyst on my team to work on the backlog that has been building up!

Aside from my new hire, I have been craving Reese’s because it is getting close to Halloween. After researching the harmful ingredients (see my coconut peanut butter cup recipe for more detail) in Reese’s I have been trying to make my own healthier alternatives.

My little guy loves breakfast bars with chocolate on them. In fact, this morning he woke up saying, “Mommy, I hungry. Beckfast baas peez.” Code for Mason lingo that means, “Can I have some breakfast bars please.” So, I whipped up these babies for him! Win, win because I totally wanted them too! 

Have to toot, toot my own horn, but Mason loved them and I thought they were pretty darn good too.   

I know chocolate bars are probably not the best way to start out little Mase-Man’s day, but I used dark chocolate and I think these bars are much better than giving him PopTarts, sugary cereals or donuts. So, no judging peeps :) 

Peanut Coconut Bars
Serves 16
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Creamy Peanut Butter
  2. 2 C 70% Cacao Chocolate Chips
  3. 1 C Unsweetened Coconut, shredded or flakes
  4. 3 tbsp Butter or Ghee, melted
  5. 1/2 C Sunflower Seeds
  6. 2 tbsp Flax Seeds or Meal
  7. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla
  9. 2 C Gluten Free Cereal Flakes
  10. 6 Medjool Dates, pits removed
  11. 2 tbsp Lucuma Powder
  12. 1/4 C Maple Syrup or Honey
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor except for the chocolate chips. Mix until all of the coconut, cereal flakes and dates have been broken down into tiny pieces. You may need to stop and stir the ingredients a few times during the process.
  2. Press down the peanut butter mixture evenly into a 8X8 cake pan.
  3. Pour chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and melt on high for 30 seconds at a time. Stir after each 30 second increment. Repeat this process up to three times or until chocolate is completely melted. Do not over do it or heat up the chocolate all at once or you will have a chunky mess. Trust me I know from experience.
  4. Spread the chocolate over the peanut butter mixture and cool in the refrigerator for one hour before serving.
Notes
  1. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Flax Chia Protein Balls

For the last 6 weeks I have been trying to follow the Autoimmune Diet Protocol with my husband. He is doing it to determine if eliminating certain foods will reduce his psoriatic arthritis symptoms and I am tagging along because I have a whole host of digestive issues from food (e.g. milk, wheat, potentially oats & nightshades as I am learning from the elimination diet).

Even though I have felt very good on the diet, I have found it very difficult to find sources of energy that keep me going for high endurance physical activities. It really hit me last Sunday when I trekked out for a 14 mile run. From the start, I felt off and my time showed it. On a normal training run I clock in at around 8 minute miles, but that day I was just under 9. This is not optimal when I am training for the Boston Marathon. Due to my general decline in running ability, I have started to reintroduce foods, such as flax seeds, chia seeds, oats, nuts/nut butters, and gluten free grains (oats primarily), that gave me energy for runs before. The kicker now is oats, unless I consumer them in small quantities they are really hard on my digestive system. I made these scrumptious little bites with oats and I have predominantly okay, but I am going to try other recipes using Quinoa flakes.

What I can say is I have been making my normal green smoothie and then grabbing two of these babies before my short runs this week and my times are back up. Whoop, whoop! These little treats have made a WORLD of a difference in my performance and I am sure they will help you too. Needless to say, I still like the overall feel of the autoimmune diet, but I really need to fuel my marathon training. To do that I am going to keep adding homemade energy bars and balls to my workout routine. Also, overall the next couple of months I plan to add a lot of different variations of these little guys, so stay tuned!

Oh, these are pretty easy to make too! All you have to do is add the ingredients to your food processor like this picture and hit buttons (well and maybe stir them a few times):

Flax Chia Protein Balls2

The chia and flax seeds make these energy balls slightly crunchy. If you do not like that texture then use flax or chia meal. Now on to the recipe!

Flax Chia Protein Balls
Yields 2
Protein packed energy balls that are perfect for workouts and snacking!
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Gluten Free Oats
  2. 1 C Ancient Grain Cereal Flakes
  3. 2 tbsp Flax Seeds or Meal
  4. 2 tbsp Chia Seeds or Meal
  5. 4 Medjool Dates, pits removed
  6. 1 1/4 C Almond Butter
  7. 1/4 C Coconut Palm Sugar
  8. 1/8 C Maple Syrup
  9. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to a food processor and pulse together until a thick dough forms. You may have to stir the mixture a couple of times mid-way through the process.
  2. Once the dough has come together, you can either press it into an 8x8 pan to make bars or take a heaping tablespoon and roll them into balls like I did in the picture.
Notes
  1. For the ancient grain flakes, I used Erewhon Quinoa and Chia cereal flakes.
  2. I store mine in the freezer (for up to three months) and take a couple out 10 minutes before I want to eat them.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Cucumber Lime Smoothie

So, as I was making this smoothie I realized that the ingredients are probably a show-stopper or outside of some people’s element. I kind of thought the same thing as I was tearing off leaves of cilantro and squeezing in fresh lime juice. It almost felt like I should grab a bag of tortilla chips for my guacamole smoothie :) However, I have to say this smoothie is fresh and delicious. It has hints of cilantro and lime, but it takes on more of a sweet flavor from the frozen tropical fruit. One of my favorites for sure!

Why cilantro? This herb has a higher concentration of antioxidants than common fruits and veggies, making it more effective at removing free radical that are running through your body. Cilantro cleanses and removes heavy metals like mercury from the body due to its ability to bind to heavy metals, loosen them from your tissues, and extract them out of your body through a process called as chelation. Aside from these key facts, cilantro also:

  • Is a good source of the minerals potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium
  • Contains healthy bone supporting vitamin K
  • Yields anti-inflammatory properties
  • Helps reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol
  • Helps improve sleep quality
  • Relieves anti-anxiety effects
  • Has antibacterial and anti-fungal actions

Source: http://www.healthysmoothiehq.com/cilantro-smoothie (I did not develop this smoothie recipe from here, just used the nutritional facts)

Oh and I have to admit I never liked cilantro for years. I could immediately taste in salsa, Mexican food and other dishes. As soon as I saw this little green nemesis it was game over for eating the food. However, after years of forcing myself to just eat it, I have grown to love this herb. Now, I am happy I stuck with it because the health benefits are great and it also tastes fantastic in smoothies!

Cucumber Lime Smoothie
Serves 2
Cilantro, lime, avocado, cucumbers ... are we making guacamole? No, but I had this exact same thought when I was tossing these ingredients into the blender. This smoothie is actually sweet and tastes fantastic with the fresh herbs and lime juice. Plus it has a powerful lineup of nutritional benefits from the cilantro.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Avocado
  2. 2 C Spinach
  3. 1 Cucumber, peeled and seed removed
  4. 3 Limes, juice
  5. 1 1/2 C Apple Juice
  6. 1 1/2 C Carrot Juice
  7. 4 C Pineapple, Mango, Peach Blend, frozen
  8. 1 C Cilantro Leaves
  9. 2 Bananas
  10. 2 tbsp Maple Syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Zucchini Chocolate Bread

We have zucchini coming out of our ears! Not wanting it to go to waste I made a yummy zucchini smoothie, tasty zucchini chicken noodle soup and now this delicious zucchini chocolate bread over the course of 24 hours. Despite this I still have 3 zucchinis in the fridge. Guess I will need to make my mom’s beef zucchini hot dish too.

Oh, good ol’Hotdishes. Some of you may be thinking what the heck is a hot dish. It is a midwest dinner item and I am a Minnesotan girl so hot dishes are true to my roots! Anyway before making the hot dish, I wanted to share my recipe for this zucchini chocolate bread!  

Zucchini Chocolate Bread
Serves 12
Delicious dessert bread that is perfect for breakfast or a pre-training meal. I love eating a slice with nut butter before a long run!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
55 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Zucchini, shredded
  2. 3 Bananas, ripe
  3. 4 Eggs
  4. 1/2 C Agave Nectar
  5. 1/2 tbsp Vanilla
  6. 1/4 C Almond Butter
  7. 1/4 C Coconut Oil, melted
  8. 1/2 C Coconut Flour
  9. 1 1/2 C Almond Flour
  10. 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  11. 2 tsp Cinnamon
  12. 1/2 tsp Salt
  13. 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  14. 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add zucchini, bananas, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, agave nectar and almond butter to a food processor. Pulse until combined.
  3. Add in coconut flour, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg. Pulse until smooth batter forms.
  4. Grease two 9X5 bread pans.
  5. Pour batter into pan & bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown. Bread will be done when a toothpick, inserted into the center of the loaf, comes out clean.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer to cooling rack.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Blueberry Banana Smoothie

This smoothie hit the spot on day four of me trying out a modified version of the “Conscious Cleanse.” As I said in a previous post, I am following the cleanse in principal, but am not using the book’s smoothie recipes. If you do not follow my blog in chronological order (which I am assuming most do not) you are probably thinking what the heck is this chick talking about. I would too and that is okay.

So, the the cleanse is about removing allergy prone or hard to digest foods from your diet for 14 days (e.g. eggs, corn, wheat, dairy, soy, etc.). This was a piece of cake for me considering I don’t eat wheat or soy and rarely have dairy. Okay, but the harder part is starting out the day with a quart of lemon water. 

Does that make me pee constantly in the morning? Like the Kool-Aid man says, “Oh yeah!” Not to mention I am mother effing hungry in the AM. However, after chugging down the water drinking a “delish” smoothie is worth it.

I put “delish” in quotes because the first smoothie I made from the book (recipe not on my blog), I had to force myself to drink. After every sip, I kept thinking do people actually enjoy 32 ounces of this and after one day do they continue on for another 13 days! It would be hard. So, instead of giving up, I started creating alternative smoothies to stick with the cleanse. This also helped me to enjoy every last drop! Hope you will too!

Blueberry Banana Smoothie
Serves 2
Green smoothies are the perfect way to add in leafy greens into your diet without even detecting them. Give this smoothie a whirl for breakfast and you will start out your day drinking a powerhouse of super foods!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Spinach
  2. 2 Bananas
  3. 2 C Almond milk
  4. 2 tbsp Almond Butter
  5. 5 Medjool Dates, pits removed
  6. 2 C Blueberries, frozen
  7. 1 C Strawberries, frozen
  8. 1 C Raspberries, frozen
  9. 2 C Ice
  10. 2 C Water
Instructions
  1. Add dates and water to blender. Soak for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes blend the dates until smooth.
  2. Put remaining ingredients into blender and mix together until smooth. Add an additional tablespoon of liquid (either water or almond milk) at a time if smoothie is too thick. If too thin add another 1/4 cup of fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created to be as a meal replacement, so the recipe creates two 32 ounce servings. With protein and veggies packed into one cup it was perfect for day two of my whole body cleanse. Cut the recipe in half if you want to have smaller servings.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Swiss Chard Smoothie

Boy oh boy, is having a toddler fun! I do not work on Mondays, so this week we went to the beach to build sand castles and play in the water. We also ate a little sand and by we I mean, Mason! After hearing, “Mommy Yucky” I am pretty sure he is not going to do that again. Here is a picture of my little guy growing up so fast:

IMG_0653[1]

After getting back from the beach, Mason helped make our snack, Swiss Chard smoothies with pineapple and bananas. This smoothie and my tropical green smoothie have been my favorite ones to date! Don’t get me wrong, I like them all though. With summer here and getting an overabundance of greens from our Crop Share Agreement (CSA) I am sure I will be making many more smoothies and salads, so stay tuned.

I have forgotten to provide health benefits as of late. I promise I will get better about it. With promises being promises, Swiss Chard is second to spinach in an analysis of the total nutrient-richness of the World’s Healthiest vegetables. To read more detail, here is a great link on the nutritional benefits of Swiss Chard and other vegetables (NOTE: According to this site and WebMD, if you have prone to kidney stones or gallbladder problems read the individual concerns section and/or talk to your physician before making this smoothie):

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=16

Swiss Chard Smoothie
Serves 2
Looking for a refreshing treat on a hot summer day? Why not give this green smoothie a whirl! It tastes fantastic & is loaded with nutrients from the Swiss Chard, banana, pineapple, grapefruit juice, avocado and carrot juice.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Swiss Chard, tough stems removed
  2. 1 Avocado
  3. 1 Banana, frozen
  4. 2 C Pineapple, frozen
  5. 1 Grapefruit, juice
  6. 1 C Carrot/Mango, juice
  7. 1/2 C Water
  8. 4 Dates, soaked in water for 15 minutes
Instructions
  1. Soak dates in 1/2 cup of water for 15 minutes (you can skip this step if you have a high powered blender).
  2. Add dates, water, Swiss Chard, grapefruit juice and carrot mango juice to blender. Mix for 1-2 minutes until a smooth juice forms.
  3. Scoop out the flesh of the avocado and add this to the blender in addition to the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth (will take another minute or two).
  4. If mixture is too thick add some additional water or juice. If too thin add some more frozen pineapple.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Pineapple Banana Lassi

Yesterday, I was on PTO and spent 8 hours reformatting this site. I swear I have carpel tunnel from having to use the mouse so much! I am pretty sure I am seeing-crossed too. Maybe this would be a good time to take an “about me” photo :)

Aside from the behind the scenes work of getting this site ready for prime time, I also did some brainstorming. Okay, every time I go to the India Palace (which is not often enough), I get a mango lassi. The last time we went, Mason ate chickpeas, cucumbers and all of my mango lassi. Well, of course he would. It is loaded with sugar and because he is my kid naturally he gravitates towards desserts!

My mission was to create a variation using pineapple instead of mango and get rid of as much sugar as possible by using dates and fruit as a natural sweetener. I made this for breakfast and it was fantastic! Mason doesn’t know that mommy didn’t share her pineapple lassi this time :) 

Pineapple Banana Lassi
Serves 2
Sweetened with dates, this pineapple banana lassi is out of this world delicious. Give it a whirl with some Indian food or make it for breakfast.
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Prep Time
24 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
24 hr 10 min
Prep Time
24 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
24 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Medjool Dates, Pitted
  2. 1 C Water
  3. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  4. 1 Banana
  5. 2 C Pineapple, frozen
  6. 1 1/2 C Carrot Juice
Instructions
  1. Soak the dates in water overnight.
  2. Add dates to blender with juice. Mix until dates are broken down.
  3. Put remaining ingredients into blender and mix until smooth. If it is too thick add additional juice. If too thin add more frozen pineapple.
Notes
  1. I use Fage 2% greek yogurt because it is creamiest and tastes better than the alternative plain yogurts on the market. For strict Paleo, give coconut milk a try instead of Greek Yogurt.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Peanut Butter Granola

We had family in town last weekend and my mother-in-law loved my homemade granola. Of course I didn’t write down the recipe, but I promised to make more to be able to share it here. You would think I would learn to use measuring cups and spoons, but I never do. I just throw stuff together until I get the right consistency or taste. It is fun never measuring because then I get a new recipe every time.

I tried my best to recreate the granola Sherry liked. I didn’t have the exact same ingredients, so this one turned out different (equally delicious though). Mason loved it if his opinion matters. It does in my world :)

Feel free to experiment with other nuts, dried fruit and nut butters.

Peanut Butter Granola
Serves 12
Crunchy peanut butter granola for yogurt parfaits, cereal or just snacking!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Apricots, unsweetened
  2. 1 C Medjool Dates
  3. 1 C Almonds
  4. 1 C Sunflower Seeds
  5. 1/4 C Coconut Oil
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla
  7. 1 C Peanut Butter
  8. 1/2 C Honey
  9. 3 C Oats, certified gluten free
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place almonds, dates, apricots, coconut oil and sunflower seeds in food processor. Mix until every thing is minced.
  3. Heat peanut butter and honey in large microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Stir in vanilla, oats and nut mixture.
  4. Pour granola on to cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes (stir midway through baking time to cook evenly).
  5. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before serving.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Banana Split Parfait

Banana splits are a popular dessert. Why? Good question and I could never come up with a good answer! In fact, when I worked at Dairy Queen I always wondered why any sane person would order a glorified Sundae with bananas & walnuts on it. Ewwww! Speaking of good old Dairy Queen, this was my second shortest job on record. The only one that can top it was my four hour stint at Chilis. Teenager jobs, so much fun! I will save my Burger King experience for another post. 

Anyway, now that I am older and a “little” wiser, I now like everything in a banana split. So, instead of making a dessert, I decided to give it a shot for breakfast. My verdict is that I am still not crazy about the bananas (even though I love bananas on their own), but the rest is fabulous. The bananas are not in the cards for me because of the texture, but for you banana split enthusiasts this is the perfect breakfast for you!

Banana Split Parfait
Serves 2
Hey, banana split enthusiasts, this is the perfect breakfast for you! Bananas, strawberries and pineapple blanketed in layers of walnut granola and chocolate chips. What a great treat to start the day.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Strawberries, chopped
  2. 2 Bananas, chopped
  3. 1 C Pineapple, chopped
  4. 1 C Granola (I used my homemade peanut butter granola)
  5. 2 tbsp Mini Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life)
  6. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  7. 1 tsp Maple Syrup
Instructions
  1. Mix chocolate chips and granola in a small bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir maple syrup into Greek Yogurt. I prefer to use plain so then I can control the amount of sugar, but you can skip this step if you prefer to buy vanilla yogurt.
  3. In two sundae cups, add ingredients in this order: Bananas, granola, yogurt, strawberries, granola, yogurt, pineapple and granola.
  4. Grab a spoon and eat it up!
Notes
  1. If you are not crazy about the bananas (aka....ME), replace bananas with another fruit.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Strawberry Cream Cakes

Having a toddler that is picky is quite the challenge. So, lately I have been on a quest to make a pancake that is not only loaded with wholesome ingredients, but is something that he will gobble up!

After whipping up these babies, my baby ate them like a champ! He even asked for seconds, “Mo (more), Momma, Mo (more), peas (please).” And so did my hubby. He said these were the best gluten free pancakse I have made yet. Doing, my Victory Dance!!!

Strawberry Cream Cakes
Serves 4
Fresh strawberries & cream make these pancakes moist & delicious!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
Pancakes
  1. 2 Eggs, scrambled lightly
  2. 1 C Almond Milk (or other non-dairy alternative)
  3. 2 tsp Vanilla
  4. 1 tbsp Flax Meal
  5. 1/3 C Coconut Flour
  6. 1/3 C Buckwheat Flour
  7. 1/3 C Millet Flour
  8. Salt, pinch
  9. 1 Lemon, juice
  10. 1/2 Banana, mashed
  11. 1/2 C Strawberries, mashed
Cream Topping
  1. 1 C Greek Yogurt, Plain
  2. 3 tbsp Maple Syrup
  3. 1/2 Lemon, juice
  4. 1 C Sliced Bananas & Strawberries, topping
Directions
Pancakes
  1. Beat two eggs until they resemble scrambled eggs in small bowl.
  2. Mash banana and strawberry in separate bowl (medium sized).
  3. Mix together eggs, milk, vanilla, juice from one lemon and strawberry/banana mash.
  4. Stir in dry ingredients of flax meal, buckwheat flour, millet flour, salt and coconut flour until a pancake batter is formed.
  5. If the mixture gets too thick add another tablespoon of almond milk. For thicker pancakes, add an additional teaspoon of coconut flour, but don't over do it on coconut flour. It absorbs liquid quickly & will get to thick if too much is added to the batter. After adding additional coconut flour let batter sit for five minutes before adding more coconut flour.
  6. Add ladle of batter to pan. Cook on each side until golden brown.
Cream Topping
  1. Stir together Greek Yogurt, maple syrup and 1/2 of freshly squeezed, lemon juice while the pancakes are cooking. If you like the taste of lemon squeeze in the other half for a stronger flavor.
  2. Layer pancake, cream topping, pancake and then more cream topping. Add sliced bananas and strawberries to the top.
Notes
  1. For Greek Yogurt, my favorite is Fage (plain & 2% version). This brand has one of the highest protein content (20 grams/serving), is irresistibly creamy & tastes the best for plain yogurt. I also like to buy plain because then I can control how much and the type of sweetener is added.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Coconut Cashew Parfait

Coconut and cashews … YUM! I love them both! Not to mention my favorite breakfast & lunch meals are parfaits. So, be prepared to see a lot of them as my blog progresses. I could really eat them for every meal.

At any rate, I have to say this was an absolutely delicious way to start the day! When my spoon hit the bottom of the cup, I was very disappointed!

Coconut Cashew Parfait
Serves 2
Coconut and cashews with blended frozen fruit layers make this a delightful breakfast parfait.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
Coconut Cashew Granola
  1. 1/2 C Shredded Coconut, unsweetened
  2. 1/2 C Cashews, raw
  3. 4-5 Medjool Dates
  4. 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
Peach Smoothie
  1. 1 C Peaches, frozen
  2. 1 C Pineapple, frozen
  3. 1 Banana, frozen
  4. 1/2 C Greek Yogurt (substitute with 1/4 C non-dairy milk if strict Paleo or for cleaning eating challenge)
  5. 1/2 C Water
  6. 1 tbsp Honey
Directions
Coconut Cashew Granola
  1. Pulse all ingredients in food processor until dates, coconut and cashews are finely chopped.
Peach Smoothie
  1. Blend all ingredients until mixed thoroughly. If mixture is too thick add an additional tablespoon of water at a time. You want to keep the mixture as thick as possible for making the parfait, so only add additional liquid if necessary to get the blender to mix everything together.
  2. Layer granola and smoothie into parfait layers.
  3. ENJOY!
Notes
  1. To add more crunch, you can also toss in some coconut between layers and even on top.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Blueberry Crunch Parfait

I tried a bite of leftover ribs and it was not hitting the spot for lunch. In my quest of something else I whipped together this parfait. This healthy dessert consists of a blueberry spinach smoothie layer and a peanut butter crunch layer.

This was the perfect post work out lunch, but would also be great for breakfast! My husband had this too and said it was very good!

Blueberry Crunch Parfait
Serves 3
This healthy dessert has a blueberry spinach smoothie layer and a peanut butter granola crunch layer. It also works great for a yummy breakfast or lunch!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
Blueberry Spinach Smoothie Layer
  1. 1 C Spinach
  2. 1 C Green Leaf Lettuce
  3. 1 C Almond Milk
  4. 3 C Blueberries, frozen
  5. 1 tbsp Honey
  6. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
Peanut Butter Crunch Layer
  1. 1/3 C Almonds
  2. 2 tbsp Peanut Butter
  3. 2 tbsp Sunflower Seeds
  4. 1/2 C Mangoes, dried
  5. 1/4 C Raisins
  6. 5-6 Medjool Dates, pits removed
  7. 1/2 C Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
Directions
Peanut Butter Crunch Layer
  1. Add ingredients to food processor and pulse 8-10 times until the ingredients are mixed together. Will form a crumbly mixture (make sure mango, raisins and almonds are broken down into small pieces).
Blueberry Spinach Smoothie Layer
  1. Place spinach, lettuce, Greek Yogurt and almond milk into blender. Mix until a smooth juice forms (e.g. break down the greens into very small pieces).
  2. Add in the blueberries and honey until smooth. Will take 1-2 minutes depending on blender.
  3. Layer the peanut butter crunch and blueberry spinach smoothie into a parfait.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Dried Blueberry Muffins

Another busy day over memorial weekend…13 mile bike ride, 4.5 mile run, playground shenanigans with Mason and dog park walk with our old pup. The highlight of the dog park was watching a Great Dane and Bull Mastiff battle it out in a small pond. I have never seen two dogs that big be so agile. Mason was giggling left & right.

To jump start this fun filled day, Mason and I made blueberry muffins. I am normally a meticulous cleaner of my kitchen, but wanted to make these muffins with the little guy, so let the cleanliness go for an hour. :) I put the bowl on floor, added the eggs…mixed…let Mason add some more ingredients….mixed. He was such a big help putting all of the muffin wrappers in the pan & dipping his fingers in the batter after I poured some into the muffin wrappers. He kept calling them “Masie’s BlueBlue Muffs”. Goodness kids are so cute!

To make these muffins a little healthier and when I say a little, it is not much, but I added Greek Yogurt and used evaporated cane sugar in place of processed white sugar. Normally, I would use honey, coconut palm sugar, maple syrup or agave nectar, but I didn’t have any of those in the house, so evaporated sugar came to the rescue. Normally, I would also replace some of the butter with nut butter, but I wanted to be able to send these with Mason to daycare.

These muffins rose nicely and tasted great! Remember to take the paper off before eating them. Mason wouldn’t let me! I have started to pick my battles wisely with my unruly toddler, so I let him eat part of the paper until he said, “MaMee, help” :)

Dried Blueberry Muffins
Serves 15
Fluffy and moist gluten free & Greek Yogurt rich blueberry muffins with a hint of cinnamon.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
18 min
Total Time
33 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
18 min
Total Time
33 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 C Butter, softened
  2. 2/3 C Evaporate Cane Sugar
  3. 2/3 C Greek Yogurt (Greek God's Honey Salted Caramel)
  4. 3 Eggs
  5. 1 tsp Vanilla
  6. 1 tsp Salt
  7. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  8. 1/4 tsp Xanthum Gum
  9. 1 tbsp Baking Soda
  10. 2 1/4 C Gluten Free Flour Blend (Pamela's)
  11. 1 C Blueberries, dried
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
  3. Place stick of butter in microwave for 15 seconds. If you melt it that is okay, but allow the butter to cool before adding remaining ingredients.
  4. Add butter and sugar to a medium bowl and mix together until creamy.
  5. Pour in the vanilla, eggs and Greek Yogurt. Combine until smooth.
  6. Add in the remaining dry ingredients (except for the blueberries) and mix until combined. Will take roughly 30 seconds.
  7. Hand stir in the blueberries.
  8. Spoon batter into muffin liners. Batter should fill up approximately 2/3 of the muffin liner. Anymore than that and the muffins will spill over the sides.
Notes
  1. For Greek Yogurt, you will want to use a whole milk version. I used Greek God's Honey Salted Caramel.
  2. I prefer to use Pamela’s or King Arthur's gluten free flour blends. I am not a fan of Bob's Red Mill flour blend because the garbanzo bean flour.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Currant Almond Bars

Day three of my wisdom teeth extraction and even though I cannot eat solid foods, I still wanted to make a breakfast bar for my husband and little guy. These could also be used as a healthy snack too!

​I typically buy a dried fruit crispy bar from our local health food store. However they are $3.95 a piece, so I thought why not try to save some money and make them myself. After looking at the ingredients on their package and substituting several items and this what I came up with! Don’t tell them that I think my bars are better!

Currant Almond Bars
Serves 10
A blend of sesame seeds, almonds, currants and nut butter make this a perfect pre-workout snack! This can also work as an on-the-go breakfast bar!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Brown Rice Crispies
  2. 1 C Unsweetened, Shredded Coconut
  3. 1 C Silvered Almonds, raw
  4. 1 C Currants, dried
  5. 1/4 C Sesame Seeds
  6. 1/2 C Sunflower Seeds
  7. 1 tsp Vanilla
  8. 1 C Sunbutter
  9. 1 C Brown Rice Syrup
Instructions
  1. In a medium sauce, mix sunbutter, vanilla and maple syrup over medium heat until a creamy mixture has formed. Will take roughly 5 minutes & is ready when a light boil occurs.
  2. Remove from heat and stir remaining ingredients into the saucepan.
  3. Line a 13x9 pan with parchment paper to make bars easier to remove.
  4. Pour mixture into pan. Press down tightly with additional parchment paper.
  5. Cool in refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Blueberry Millet Crisp

Millet, who? Yep, that was me before I started truly caring about what foods I put into my body. If you are heading into uncharted territory with this ancient grain then you should know when cooked it is creamy and super yummy. You will also notice I use millet flour in a lot of my gluten free pancake and baked good recipes.

Health benefits of millet (if you are curious):
– High in phosphorus (good for your cell structure and nervous system functioning)
– High in magnesium which helps lower blood sugars and incidence of type 2 diabetes
– High in fiber so helps prevent gallstones & breast cancer

So, why use millet instead of oatmeal for a crisp? To be honest I just wanted to try something different. Allowing myself to be different and just be me has helped me grow tremendously. This makes me worry less about what others think and be more comfortable in my own skin. I encourage you to try it as well.

Anyway…….this recipe also started because I was craving the sour cream and raisin bars my grandma used to make. They were to die for and I wanted to create a healthier version that I could devour over breakfast. All I can say is this brings back memories of eating the less healthy version my grandma used to make. I hope this rendition makes my grandma proud. She sure did put a lot of love into cooking/baking and it is these things I hope to pass along to my son! 

We had this for breakfast and I got rave reviews from my husband and toddler. The tougher crowd is my little guy, so if he gives his nod then I know it is good.

Blueberry Millet Crisp
Serves 10
Breakfast remake of my all-time favorite dessert, sour cream and raisin bars! I have fond memories of my grandma making them and wanted to create a healthier version that could be devoured for breakfast. The outcome was delicious!
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Ingredients
Millet Crust - Bottom Layer
  1. 3 C Almond Milk, vanilla flavored
  2. 1 C Millet, whole
  3. 1 C Dried Apricots, unsulfered & unsweetened
  4. 1/4 C Sunflower Seeds
  5. 1/2 C Almonds, raw
  6. 1/2 C Walnuts
  7. 1/2 C Dried Cranberries, unsweetened
  8. 2 tbsp Almond Butter
  9. 1 tsp Vanilla
  10. 1/2 tsp Salt
Greek Yogurt Raisin Pudding - Second Layer
  1. 2 1/2 C Greek Yogurt
  2. 1 tsp Vanilla
  3. 1/4 C Honey or Agave Nectar
  4. 2 tbsp Arrowroot Powder
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  7. 1 C Raisins
Oatmeal Top - Third Layer
  1. 1 1/2 C Oats, certified gluten free
Directions
Millet Crust - Bottom Layer
  1. Bring almond milk to a slow rolling boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add millet, cover & turn heat down to low. Simmer covered for 25-30 minutes until liquid is absorbed & millet is no longer chewy. Stir the mixture occasionally to avoid the millet from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  3. While millet is cooking add remaining ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped.
  4. After millet has cooled 15-20 minutes preheat oven to 350 degrees & add millet to food processor. Pulse until the mixture is combined.
  5. Reserve 1/3 of mixture for the top layer of bars. Firmly press 2/3 of the mixture into a 9 X 13 pan. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Keep oven on because these babies have to go back in the oven after adding two more layers.
Greek Yogurt Raisin Pudding - Second Layer
  1. Cook yogurt, honey, arrowroot powder, salt and cinnamon over medium high heat until the liquid starts to bowl.
  2. Turn down to medium. Cook for 8 minutes until mixture starts to thicken (will be about the consistency of pudding).
  3. Stir frequently to avoid the bottom of the pan from scalding. Remove from heat & stir in the raisins & vanilla.
  4. Spread this layer evenly over the millet crust.
Oatmeal Top - Third Layer
  1. Stir oats into remaining millet mixture.
  2. Crumble on top of the Greek Yogurt layer & bake for 30 minutes.
  3. When done top the crisp with fresh blueberries & Greek Yogurt.
  4. I made a lemon curd & cooked my blueberries for a couple of minutes in some lemon juice, cinnamon & maple syrup, but I wanted to cut down on the complexity of the recipe. Feel free to experiment & let me know the result.
Notes
  1. These store well in the freezer. When you want another piece heat it up in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes & top with fresh blueberries & Greek Yogurt.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Chocolate Banana Bread

My little bald dude is my heart & joy! Every recipe that I add to this site is to create a healthy & but yet tasty treat for him. Considering my picky eater ate 1 1/2 pieces for breakfast I know I hit a home run with this one. I even got the rare exclamation of “Mah-me, more Nani breah peeez!” Normally it is more fruit please and only fruit please.

This bread is super duper moist and yummy! I also have a Paleo rendition of it that is equally delicious! However, that version has almond butter & almond flour, so in order to send it along to daycare I had to create this gluten & nut free version.

Chocolate Banana Bread
Serves 8
Banana bread with mini chocolate chips is great for a breakfast treat or snack time. Top it with homemade jam or nut butter!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/3 C Millet Flour
  2. 1/3 C Buckwheat Flour
  3. 1/3 C Gluten Free Flour Blend
  4. 2 tbsp Grapeseed Oil
  5. 2 tbsp Sunbutter
  6. 1/2 tsp Salt
  7. 1 tsp Vanilla
  8. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  9. 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  10. 2 Bananas, ripe
  11. 1/4 C Agave Nectar
  12. 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  13. 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
  14. 1/2 C Chocolate Chips, mini
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9X5 bread pan.
  2. Mash bananas with potato masher in medium bowl.
  3. Add oil, sunbutter, vanilla, and agave nectar & mix with hand mixer on low until blended.
  4. Hand stir in dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour into pan & bake 25-30 minutes. Test with a toothpick (if it comes out clean then the bread is done). Cool for 10-15 minutes and then transfer to wire rack.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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