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{Easy!} Banana Walnut Bread… Gluten-free, Grain-free and Dairy-free!

{Easy!} Banana Walnut Bread… Gluten-free, Grain-free and Dairy-free!
Grain-free Banana Walnut Bread, Warm from the oven!

Grain-free Banana Walnut Bread, Warm from the oven!

 

Banana bread is one of those traditional flour-based foods that offers a lot of homemade comfort; from the amazing smell of it baking to the wonderful banana nut flavor, it’s a favorite of many. Unfortunately, when it’s made with wheat flour, it has all the appetite stimulating and inflammatory effects of grains that we work to avoid. Lucky for us grain-free peeps, using a combination of almond flour and coconut flour, this was a pretty easy recipe to tweak πŸ˜‰ (If you are avoiding dairy, make this with the coconut oil, and obviously don’t spread with butter.) My son couldn’t get enough of this, and I’ve made it twice this past week! Everyone who’s tried it here thus far has given it a thumbs up, so it’s definitely a new staple in our house.

Bananas are one of those borderline forbidden fruits that are relatively high in carbs, and yet have a texture, flavor, aroma and nutrient profile that makes it appealing in small quantities. If you are watching your carb count, this banana bread can still fit into most diets… 16 slices in a loaf ends up being about 5g net carbs per slice. Not too shabby, as it’s pretty filling! We follow Wheat Belly, and though fruit is eaten in moderation, we find that this works for our personal limits. Note: in the pictures you may notice that I added a few chopped dried cranberries (1/4C). This raises the carb content by about 1-2g per piece, but since it was mainly my son eating this loaf, I wasn’t concerned about it.

I usually use dry sweeteners such as Swerve or Truvia, but in this case, I used Torani sugar-free caramel flavored syrup. I found it in the aisle with the coffee πŸ™‚ Caramel was a great flavor addition, but I’m sure that maple or hazelnut would be wonderful as well… I just used what I already had on hand. I will be honest, in that I don’t really care for the flavor of this syrup on its own or as a topping due to the sweetener, but mixed into the batter, it was wonderful! If you don’t have the syrup, you could use a dry sweetener and increase the water in the recipe.

Mashing bananas with my vintage dough blade. Love this tool!

Mashing bananas with my vintage dough blade. Love this tool!

Grain-free Banana Walnut Bread

  • 1 C almond flour
  • 1/3 C coconut flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 TB coconut oil, melted (or butter)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 C sugar-free syrup (I used Torani caramel flavored)
  • 1 TB vanilla
  • 2 TB water
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bread pan with butter or coconut oil. (I used a silicone bread pan, and rubbed it with butter.) Combine almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine completely. In a separate bowl, combine mashed bananas, eggs, coconut oil, syrup, vanilla, and water. Add to dry ingredients and mix until combined, mix in walnuts.

Batter, mixed and ready to go in the pan

Batter, mixed and ready to go in the pan

 

Pour into prepared pan and smooth out on top. Bake at 350 for a total of 40-45 minutes (or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out cleanly), rotating once halfway through baketime. Remove to wire rack to cool, removing from pan after cooling slightly. Serve with butter, whipped cream or cream cheese. (Total carbs about 80 for the loaf, 5g net carbs each for 16 slices.)

 

Grain-free Banana Walnut Bread, fresh from the oven, Mmmmm!

Grain-free Banana Walnut Bread, fresh from the oven, Mmmmm!

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Coconut Shrimp {Grain-free and Low Carb}

Coconut Shrimp, Gluten and Grain Free!

Coconut Shrimp, Gluten and Grain Free!

 

This is a super simple recipe that is great for coconut shrimp, but it’s also wonderful for chicken strips or anything else that you may want to pan fry without traditional grain flours. The main ingredients in the “breading” are almond flour, shredded coconut and grated Parmesan cheese, and while I will give you the proportions that I used, feel free to tinker with the ratios to your own liking! I added a little Old Bay seasoning to compliment the seafood flavor I was after, but many times I will use my own seasonings such as garlic powder, fresh cracked pepper, oregano, basil, cayenne pepper, or whatever you prefer. This is less sweet than many versions of coconut shrimp I’ve had in the past, but my palate prefers it that way. If you’d like it sweeter, just add a little sweetener (such as Swerve or Truvia)Β  to the dry ingredients.

I splurged a little on carbs when it comes to the marmalade dip, but it’s much lower than a traditional dip. Using the low sugar marmalade, and mixing in some butter and sriracha (hot sauce) will give you the flavor without the usual high carb content. If you want to stay Wheat Belly compliant, skip the sauce!

We love shrimp, and I much prefer to buy it raw than pre-cooked. We don’t have easy access to fresh seafood where we live, but frozen is great as well. When I peel the shrimp (after thawing), I like to leave the last tail section in place, but remove everything else. To devein, run a sharp knife along the backside of the shrimp, removing the dark vein. To butterfly, as I do for this recipe, remove the vein and then slide the knife a little deeper to open up the shrimp, but be careful not to cut all the way through. Here is a 25 second video demo in case you need a little visual to help!

Coconut Shrimp

Egg mixture and breading

Egg mixture and breading

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, butterflied and patted dry
  • 1/3 C grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 C almond flour
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning (or seasonings of your choice if altering)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 C mayonnaise
  • coconut oil for pan frying

Directions:
Combine the Parmesan cheese, almond flour, shredded coconut and seasonings; set aside.

Frying shrimp in batches

Frying shrimp in batches

Beat together eggs and mayonnaise. Heat coconut oil in a skillet (I used our new ceramic coated non-stick, which rocked!) over medium-high heat. Dredge each shrimp in the egg mixture, removing excess against the side of the dish, and then press into the almond flour mixture to coat. Place each shrimp into the hot oil, cooking about 3 minutes per side, turning once. Cook in batches, moving shrimp as needed to ensure even browning. Remove to plate to cool. Serve with marmalade dip if desired.

A plate of shrimpy goodness!!

A plate FULL of shrimpy goodness!!

Β 

Low-Carb Marmalade Dip

  • 1/4 C reduced sugar marmalade, melted
  • 1/4 C melted butter
  • dash of sriracha or other hot sauce

Combine all ingredients and serve with coconut shrimp.

Healthy fried food is possible!

We don’t have fried foods very often, but late on a Saturday night, using healthy coconut oil, this was perfect!!

 

 

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Grain-free Belgian Waffles {with dairy-free option}

Grain-free Belgian Waffles {with dairy-free option}
Grain-free Belgian waffles

Grain-free Belgian waffles with a little butter and frozen raspberries!

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, it’s a wonderful switch from eggs for breakfast, especially if you need to feed children or teens. Also great as a base for desserts, Belgian waffles are classic! But they are also usually full of wheat and high carb… We purchased a Belgian waffle maker for Christmas this year, and I have been experimenting with all sorts of alternative grain-free batters that will cook up into those wonderful waffley shapes!

I have used the MIM batters with mixed results, they tend to be a little softer overall and slightly dry, so need a little more tweaking before I can give you a very low-carb recipe that I am truly pleased with. That being said, this recipe is more moderate carb, and is a definite winner for taste and texture.

Freezing Belgian Waffles to reheat later!

Freezing Belgian Waffles to reheat later!

Many of us, as adults, are very conscious about eating grain-free and not eating sugar, but we still have children or teens who can tolerate a higher carbohydrate exposure without any ill effects. This recipe still has 40% fewer carbs than Eggo waffles, (27g in two Eggo waffles vs. 16g in 2 sections of this recipe), so I believe it does have a place in the healthy kitchen. My son isn’t crazy about the texture of flaxmeal, which makes some of the other lower carb waffle recipes unappealing to him, and we weren’t thrilled with the texture of the coconut flour waffles either, so in the meantime, this is a good solution! If you are abiding by Wheat Belly, and prefer to keep your carb exposure to 15g or less per meal, you may want to give this one a pass.

I have hesitated to post this recipe, not because it isn’t easy and delicious (it is!) but because it’s not quite as low carb as what we normally eat. It also uses some potato starch, which is an ingredient I generally steer away from because it’s more or less a junk carbohydrate…. If you are offended by using starches, don’t make it πŸ˜‰ I just happen to have a teenage son who is also a very picky eater, and this recipe strikes a balance for him as far as I am concerned. The convenience of making these ahead of time and being able to pop them in the microwave or toaster is a nice change too!

Grain-free Belgian Waffles

Combining Ingredients

Combining Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 C almond flour
  • 1/2 C potato starch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 TB sweetener (I used Truvia)
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 C sour cream (or canned coconut milk for non-dairy)
  • 1/4-1/3 C milk (or almond milk for non-dairy)
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
Into the pre-heated waffle maker

Into the pre-heated waffle maker

Directions:

Preheat waffle maker. Combine dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix completely. Spoon batter into waffle maker and cook to desired doneness. (How much batter you use will depend on the size and shape of your waffle maker. Mine is a round shape with 4 sections, and this recipe fills the waffle maker 3 times, giving me 12 waffle sections total.) Top as desired with sugar-free syrup, fruit, whipped cream, or whatever you prefer!

One full waffle has 4 sections, 8 carbs per piece.

One full waffle has 4 sections, 8g carbs per section.

 

 

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All-In-One Buns! {Grain-free, Nut-free}

Burger Bun, Pizza Crust & Breakfast Muffin?

All-In-One Buns

All-In-One Buns

This is a savory bun-style base recipe that is grain-free and also nut-free, which is a benefit for those who have a difficult time tolerating the nut flours. It started out as a recipe for pizza crust, but has evolved into one of the most versatile recipes I’ve been using as of late. Top as mini pizzas… ham and cheese melt… use as small sandwich buns, open-faced or sliced in half… burger buns… top with bruscetta mixture…Β  breakfast muffins with either ham or bacon added in… what about a little onion and broccoli? feta cheese? chili peppers? sausage?

I’ve had an ongoing health evolution since I changed to a grain-free, lower-carb diet in March of 2012, and I am still tweaking and figuring out which foods make my body feel the best, and which are causing some discomfort. I find that I can have nut flours in small amounts, but that I feel best when exposure is limited, so I love that this is based on eggs and cheese instead. Low-carb, Wheat Belly friendly.

All-In-One buns!

All-In-One buns… Cooling on a wire rack, these will be baby pizzas pretty soon!

These are sturdy, delicious and filling. This recipe makes 24 at a time (to keep on hand for a hungry teen),Β  but it can easily be halved or even cut to 1/3 if you don’t need as many. I will apologize in advance for not having pictures of everything we’ve made with this recipe so far, but they disappeared too quickly! I’ll try to add some in the future πŸ˜‰

All-In-One Buns

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 6 eggs
  • 3C mozzarella cheese, grated (I process it in my ninja to get a small crumble texture)
  • 3/4 C Parmesan cheese, also grated
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or preferred seasonings)
  • 1 TB oregano

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350′.
  • Blend cream cheese until smooth, either by hand or in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  • Blend in eggs, one at a time and mix until fairly smooth.
  • Mix in cheeses and seasonings, combine well.
  • If using add-ins such as ham, bacon, veggies etc, stir in last.
  • Spoon mixture into 2 muffin-top of bun pans (or bake one pan at a time, as I did!) making sure that the pans are oiled/sprayed well.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through bake time.
  • Cool slightly and remove from pans.
  • Store in bags or containers in fridge for up to a week, if they last that long!

IMG-20121226-03305

 

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Chocolate Cake for Breakfast?! Low-carb, Easy Variations on the MIM (muffin in a minute/microwave)

Chocolate Cake for Breakfast?! Low-carb, Easy Variations on the MIM (muffin in a minute/microwave)

 

Hot Chocolate MIM!

Hot Chocolate MIM!

It’s been FAR too long (again) since I’ve written, I KNOW! Life is busy, which is a huge part of it… and I’m sure that’s not surprising to anyone πŸ˜‰ What might be more surprising is that I just haven’t been cooking or baking very much at all! I have been off wheat since March, which is 9 months now, and I have to say that never in my life has my interest in food and appetite been lower! I still enjoy and focus on HEALTHY foods, but the urgency of meals has just sort of faded away… if it wasn’t for feeding a teenager, I doubt I would be in the kitchen at all these days. We eat plenty of salads, grab quick snacks of cheese, nuts or veggies and call it good quite often.

(Now you are wondering, WHO IS THIS WOMAN??)

I want to reassure you though, that I am still as enthusiastic as EVER about being free from wheat and its terrible inflammatory effects, weight issues and health consequences. My husband and I meet new people all the time who are interested in this way of eating (maybe some of our new friends are reading right NOW!), and we are more than happy to fill them in on our transformation! I kind of look at this blog as my pet charity, because it’s not something I do to create an income (unfortunately), but I do it because I am passionate about educating people and providing them with the resources to try this lifestyle on for size and see if it helps them with those stubborn weight issues as well as other chronic long term problems.

Today I am posting a favorite recipe for a MIM… muffin in a minute, or muffin in a microwave. If you google the term, you will likely find all sorts of variations on this theme. I didn’t invent this by any means, and it’s been around for awhile… it is one of the staples around here for hot breakfast, especially for my son, he LOVES these.

The great thing is that this breakfast sticks with him and fills him up because he is getting a whole egg, a handful of almonds and some healthy fat, all in one DELICIOUS piece of cake! WIN/WIN baby!!! Oh, and I have no problem whipping it up at 6:30 am when my eyes are still half-closed, before I’ve even had coffee πŸ˜‰ Pretty key for a staple weekday breakfast recipe!!Β 

You can fool around with the recipe and get all sorts of wonderful variety, it really is a very forgiving concoction. This particular version is a result of going back and forth with a friend of mine to tweak a chocolate MIM. I used some flax in mine, and she omitted it… and my son preferred it like this, all almond flour. She wins!

This one happens to be chocolate (oh believe me, it’s YUMMY!) I will give you the recipe that I am using right now, but after I will also give you some suggestions for tweaking this to your liking and mood!

 

HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE (MIM)

  • 1 large egg
  • 1-2 TB mayonnaise
  • 4 TB almond flour
  • 2 tsp sweetener (or to taste, I used Truvia)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 TB dark cocoa
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • optional add-ins: 1TB dark choc chips, 1TB chopped walnuts or pecans

Mix all ingredients together in a flat-bottomed cereal-sized bowl until well combined. (The ones I use are about 5-5.5″ in diameter) Microwave for 2-2.5 minutes (depending on your microwave.) Remove, loosen the edges with a knife, and flip out onto a plate. (Be sure to scroll down to the bottom, past the pictures, for some alternative ingredients!)

I usually top with a pat of butter and a little Truvia, and presto! You have warm, delicious (low carb) chocolate cake. If we are having this as a desert, I top with a little whipped heavy cream. For us, one is enough to split as a desert serving, but for breakfast my son easily polishes off a whole one.

MIM batter, ready for the microwave.

MIM batter, ready for the microwave.

After nuking for 2.5 minutes.

After nuking for 2.5 minutes.

Flipped onto a plate, with a pat of butter and a little sweetener... YUMMY!

Flipped onto a plate, with a pat of butter and a little sweetener… YUMMY!

NOW, if you want to change things up, here are some suggestions:

  • Use coconut oil in place of mayonnaise. I usually do this for mine.
  • Use half almond flour and half ground flax. It will be a bit softer, more like a baked pudding. I prefer golden flax over the brown flax, but you can experiment and use whichever you have or like.
  • Add a TB of heavy cream and/or softened cream cheese for a different consistency.
  • Omit cocoa and add a few blueberries and a dash of cinnamon, or sliced strawberries.
  • Add 1-2TB of pumpkin puree and a tsp of pumpkin pie spice! This is delicious. I’ve done it by omitting the cocoa, and with keeping the cocoa. Both are great. When adding pumpkin, I sometimes have to increase the cook time.
  • Add 1/4 mashed banana, a little vanilla and walnuts, omit cocoa or not.
  • Omit sweetener and cocoa, sub 1TB of the almond flour for flax or buckwheat flour, add any seasonings of your choice (such as a little garlic powder, salt, pepper, herbs) and once cooled, slice in half and use as sandwich bread.

You can see by now that this is an extremely versatile recipe, and I am sure than you can think of all sorts of ways to make this recipe your own by adding, omitting and tweaking! I hope you enjoy and that this addition to your recipe arsenal makes this way of eating a little easier for you, and gives you some more ideas for breakfast and dessert!

 

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Guilt-free Chocolate! Brownie Nut Energy Bars {Grain-free, Low-carb}

Grain-free Brownie Nut Bars

Grain-free Brownie Nut Bars layered between parchment

These bars are a happy combination of deep chocolate flavor, a touch of saltiness and a blend of nuts and seeds. Perfect for a small, filling snack or to sate your craving for chocolate on a low-carb diet! They are mildly sweet, so if you prefer a stronger dose of sweetness, you can adjust the recipe accordingly. The nuts, eggs and flax help by providing natural dietary fat and protein, while the chocolate, coconut and seeds make it a satisfying treat. If you are missing one of the seeds or nuts, feel free to substitute or omit as desired.

Grain-free Brownie Nut Bars

Grain-free Brownie Nut Bars

 

Brownie Nut Bars {Grain-free, Low-carb}

  • 1C raw cashews blended with 1Tb coconut oil to make smooth cashew butter
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4Tb Truvia (or preferred sweetener)
  • 1/4tsp kosher salt
  • 4Tb Coconut oil (I used Nutiva virgin)
  • 1Tb vanilla

    Chopped chocolate chips

    Chopped chocolate chips

  • 2C almond flour
  • 1/2C golden flax meal
  • 1C flaked coconut, processed slightly
  • 1/2C walnuts, chopped
  • 2Tb chia seeds
  • 2Tb sesame seeds (I used white and black seeds)
  • 2Tb cocao nibs
  • 4Tb dark cocoa powder
  • 2/3C chocolate chips, coarsely ground
  • 1/3C Swerve (or preferred sweetener)

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking dish (9″ by 13″) with parchment and butter lightly. Combine first 6 ingredients in a food processor until smooth. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix completely. Add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly until a sticky dough/batter is formed. Press into lined baking dish and distribute evenly. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips over top and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for a total of 20 minutes, turning once halfway through baking. Makes 32 brownie nut bars. Store in sealed container in refrigerator or wrap tightly and freeze.

Egg mixture and almond flour mixture

Egg mixture and almond flour mixture. The dry ingredients look a lot like DIRT! πŸ™‚Β 

 

Combining wet and dry ingredients

Combining wet and dry ingredients

 

Pressing batter into parchment-lined pan

Pressing batter into parchment-lined pan. You can see the great texture from the seeds, nuts and coconut.

 

Brownie Nut Bars pulled from the pan whole, to cool.

Brownie Nut Bars pulled from the pan whole, to cool. Cashew Sandies in the upper left!Β 

Brownie Nut Bars, cut and ready to be stored.

Brownie Nut Bars, cut and ready to be stored.

 

 

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Oopsie Daisy! Low-carb bread made of eggs and cream cheese…

Tuna Salad on an Oopsie roll!

Tuna Salad on an Oopsie roll!

Most people who consider going grain-free and low-carb shudder first at the thought of giving up sandwiches. Personally, I was never a big bread eater (wheat snuck into my food in other ways!) but there is no denying the convenience of being able to pick up a juicy burger layered with toppings! There are recipes out there that use almond flour, which are good… but some people don’t have easy access to specialty flours. Enter… the Oopsie Roll!

I will say straight away that this was NOT my invention. However, it’s such a great basic substitute for bread that I wanted to share it with you, just to make life easier for you! I was introduced to these by an online friend, and once I started googling, I found many recipes for them. The basics ingredients are eggs, cream cheese, cream of tartar, a little sweetener, pinch of salt, and some seasoning like garlic powder if you’d like them to be savory. The eggs need to separated and the whites beaten with cream of tartar until stiff… then beat the egg yolks, cream cheese, sweetener, salt and any seasoning you’re using… then fold whites into yolk mixture…

Large rectangluar Oopsie on parchment.

Large rectangular Oopsie on parchment. We’ll be cutting this into square burger buns for dinner tonight!

One of the best things about oopsies, is that you can shape them virtually any way that suits your needs. I have used bun pans for individual small buns; spread them into circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet for larger buns; spread a solid rectangle onto a parchment covered sheet and then cut them into square buns (my son uses them for peanut butter sandwiches) or larger pieces to use as wraps; baked them in large circles using a springform pan lined with parchment.

Whatever you decide to do, just make sure that you make them thick enough (about 1/’2″ or so) so that they are durable … and be careful of how long you cook them to preserve the flexibility. Many of the recipes I’ve found call for baking them about 30 minutes, mine usually come out after 20. I do have a convection oven, so that is likely a factor as well… so you will have to judge for yourself.

 

 

Enjoy your Oopsies!

 

Here are some Oopsie recipe links for you:

Large round Oopsie...

Large round Oopsie… why? I don’t know yet!Β 

From Your Lighter Side
On Food.com

I think this might be the original recipe link by Cleochatra… but I’m not quite sure! Apologies, as I like to give credit where credit is due πŸ™‚

 

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