paleo banana pecan muffins

banana pecan breakfast muffins

I have been away. From my computer, I mean. I miss sharing recipes and projects here, but I have just been so busy that I haven’t really had the time. I began working again outside the home back in October, and though I am thankful for the additional financial support and benefits the job offers, I am struggling to accept that I am being required to set aside the things I feel I am meant to be doing. I know that nothing is permanent, and this is a necessary phase in my life, but sadness and self-doubt have been frequent companions.

That said, all I can do right now is embrace the situation. I am doing my best to be fully present, not only when I get to be home with my kids or doing something else I enjoy, but also while I am working and would rather be someplace else. There is no benefit to feeling regretful, to doubting the validity of past decisions. There is only now.

I know there is a balance, and I will find it.

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I haven’t been doing breakfast very well lately. Before leaving for work I sometimes have enough time to make my usual smoothie, but that has been becoming less and less frequent. One of these will be perfect to grab as I go, and Lu helped make them, so there’s a little love in there (and probably a little spit from when he licked the spoon, but love kills germs, right?).

This recipe is Paleo; free of gluten, grains, dairy and sugar. Oh yeah, and they’re super yummy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ripe bananas, mashed, 2 1/2 cups (about 4)
  • organic, free-range eggs, 4
  • almond butter, 1/2 cup
  • coconut oil, 4 tablespoons
  • vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons
  • raw, local honey, 1 tablespoon
  • coconut flour, 2/3 cup
  • flax seed meal, 1 tablespoon
  • ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
  • fine sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon,
  • baking powder, 1 teaspoon
  • aluminum-free baking soda, 1 teaspoon
  • pecans, coarsely chopped, 1 cup

METHOD:

  1. Beat the eggs and place them in the bowl of a stand-mixer along with the bananas, almond butter, coconut oil, vanilla and honey. Mix well at medium-high speed.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the coconut flour, flax seed meal, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and soda.
  3. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the banana mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl until smooth.
  4. Stir in the pecans.
  5. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper muffin cups, and divide the batter evenly between them.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Allow the muffins to cool completely before serving.

paleo banana pecan muffins

Do you know what you are?
You are a manuscript oƒ a divine letter.
You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. 
This universe is not outside of you. 
Look inside yourself;
everything that you want, 
you are already that.
–Rumi

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delicious (no, really) gluten-free, sugar-free vegan brownies

It’s hard to believe, I know. But trust me, these brownies are REALLY good. It’s all I can do not to make them every day for breakfast. The hints of coconut flavor are quite complimentary to the cacao.

They are totally free of gluten, dairy, eggs, and sugar. I’m no expert on the diet’s rules, but I believe they are Paleo friendly, too.

INGREDIENTS

  • ground flax seed meal, 3 tablespoons
  • filtered water, 9 tablespoons
  • coconut milk {unsweetened}, 1/2 cup
  • coconut oil, 1/2 cup
  • local raw organic honey, 2/3 cup
  • vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon
  • coconut flour, 3/4 cup + 1/8 cup
  • tapioca flour, 1/8 cup
  • unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup
  • baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon
  • fine sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon
  • 100% cacao bar, about 1.5 ounces, chopped
chopped cacao bar

chopped cacao bar

brownie batter, ready to bake

brownie batter, ready to bake

METHOD

  1. As a replacement to eggs, combine the flax seed meal and water in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until very well combined. Set aside and allow the mixture to thicken for a few minutes. Stir with the fork again before adding to the batter.
  2. In a large bowl beat together the coconut milk, coconut oil (warmed), honey, vanilla and flax egg replacement.
  3. In a separate bowl sift together the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and stir until well combined and creamy, then stir in the cacao bits.
  5. Grease an 8″ x  8″ square baking dish and spread the batter evenly into it.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool in the dish set on a cooling rack. Once the brownies have cooled you can cut them into pieces and remove from them from the dish.

coconut carob cookies with apples and cinnamon

These two-bite sized cookies are a great gluten, sugar and dairy free treat. They are super quick and easy to make, too. My kids love these, and they are the perfect alternative to a sugary or otherwise unhealthy snack.

INGREDIENTS

  • applesauce {unsweetened, no additives}, 1 3/4 cup
  • shredded coconut {unsweetened}, 1/3 cup
  • rolled oats {gluten-free certified}, 2 cups
  • coconut flour, 1/3 cup
  • baking powder, 1 teaspoon
  • vegan carob chips, about 6 ounces
  • cinnamon, generous 1/2 teaspoon
  • coconut oil, 1/4 cup
  • salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the applesauce, vanilla and coconut oil. The coconut oil needs to be warmed just a bit so that it is liquid and will mix well. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl combine the oats, coconut, coconut flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir until well combined.
  5. Fold in the carob chips.
  6. Drop dollops of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. I use a one-inch scooper, and pack the dough into it a bit before placing on the sheet, so that the dough holds together well. You could use your hands for this, too.
  7. Bake until the tops of the cookies just start to turn golden in places, making sure not to burn the bottoms, about 15-20 minutes.
  8. Let these cool on the baking sheet for about a minute before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
coconut carob cookie

coconut carob cookie