A Health Foodie Craving Tale- Pumpkin and Banana Junkie with a Side of Chocolate Addiction

A Health Foodie Craving Tale- Pumpkin and Banana Junkie with a Side of Chocolate Addiction

As soon as Starbucks gives the pumpkin spice latte signal I am ready for soups, pumpkin, root veggies, and twice the banana.  Unfortunately, this summer held on with its fierce grip and autumn flavor had to wait.  Now oven is on and so are the baking experiments.  The start of this tale was a girl (me!) seriously craving some banana bread of the gluten free kind. Anything of the baking variety with me becomes an experiment.  Cooking is more my thing, but baking is becoming a necessary skill to acquire.  After emptying my cabinets and pulling a basic recipe, this deliciousness was created-   It’s mix of grains with protein, omegas, fiber. Good stuff.  But it taste bad.  Like you wanna be bad.

Gluten free Banana Bread

What you need:

Brown or white rice flour 1/2 cup

Flaxseed 1/4 cup

Oats   3/4 cup, ground (gluten free for GF challenged)

Large egg with 1/3 cup of melted butter OR   1 cup of applesauce (go Vegan!)

1/2 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 to 3 very ripe bananas

Prep and bake–

1. Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175℃ my metric friends), then coat with butter or baking spray a 4 x 8 loaf pan.

3. If your oats are not ground then do so. I use my blender because it makes it a fine powder which I prefer. Add the flaxseed, ground oats, and rice flour together and set aside. All components should equal 1 & 1/2 cup.

2. Mash the bananas in a bowl, then add the egg and melted butter or add the applesauce.   Do not do egg and butter with applesauce.  Apple sauce is a second option. One or the other. Applesauce is a great substitute for an egg allergy or staying on the vegan track.

3. Add baking soda, vanilla extract, sugar, and flour combination to the banana mix.  Stir until blended well.

4. Pour mixture in the coated loaf pan. You can add chocolate chips, nuts, dried cranberries, etc on top.

5. Place in the oven and bake for 45 – 50 minutes. If you are not sure as I often am, use tried and true stick a butter knife or toothpick in the middle and if it comes out pretty much clean, it is done.

It satisfied the sweet craving quickly and a slice was filling.  I did go for two.  I did extra elliptical minutes, I earned it.    I am not a natural baker and it’s more like learning a made up language most of time.  Pulling from my inner Frankenstein creator I made this next tastiness come alive. These cookies are anyone with a pumpkin craving that shares my banana obsession. The chia and flaxseed lend to omega and protein.  Pumpkin and bananas add great nutrition. Oats are a source of great fiber.   You can tamper with it (at your own risk) to make them to reduced sugar or add other nutrients for more punch. It follows a similar pattern to the banana bread but the consistency will be much different since it does not use flour.

Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies/Bars

What you need:

Chia 1/4 cup

Flaxseed 1/4 cup

Oats   1 cup, ground (gluten free for GF challenged)

Large egg with 1/4 cup of melted butter OR   1/2 cup of applesauce (go Vegan!)

1/2 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 very ripe bananas

1/2 can of pumpkin filling/puree

Prep and bake–

1. Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175℃ my metric friends), then coat with butter or baking spray a 4 x 8 loaf pan or a muffin tin

3. Ground the oats, flaxseed, and chia together.  I had to ground them in sections since my blender is small.  All components should equal 1 & 1/2 cup.

2. Mash the bananas in a bowl, then add pumpkin puree, egg/butter or applesauce.   One or the other. Applesauce is a great substitute for an egg allergy or if you are a vegan.

3. Add baking soda, vanilla extract, sugar, and oat/flax/ch- ch- ch- chia combination to the banana mix.  Stir until blended well.

4. Pour mixture in the coated loaf pan or 3/4 full of each muffin tin section. You can add chocolate chips, nuts, dried cranberries, etc on top.

5. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes for loaf pan and 30 for muffin tins. If you are not sure as I often am, use tried and true stick a butter knife or toothpick in the middle and if it comes out pretty much clean, it is done.  The loaf rises only a little and they can be cut into bars.

I did manage to willingly share my creation, which is a feat when chocolate is involved.  The recipe was doubled so I was able to do a loaf and twelve muffins.   It makes a great part of your morning with cottage cheese or yogurt.  If you are on the go, grab one or two with a protein shake. Having a nourishing breakfast item prepared is the best ending to this girls tale of cravings and wellness.

Enjoy and Namaste.

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Health foodie: Finding the (pH) Balance in Your Food Relationship

Health foodie: Finding the (pH) Balance in Your Food Relationship

Spicy foods and I have had a long time love affair in our food relationship.  It seems that now we are at least on a separation if not headed for limited contact relationship.  Our relationship literally burns my heart, among other things.  Heart burn, acid reflux, and bile reflux are serious conditions that do more than irritate.  Due to high acid production, it can erode your digestive system from mouth to intestines.  It can be painful and may even cause esophageal spasms.  Not being able to use your esophagus sucks at the very least and scary at times.  To find balance in your food relationship, you need pH balance- acid vs alkaline.  This doesn’t mean acidic food are bad all together, many have amazing nutritional value and for some people, acidity is needed.  For us fiery, acidic bellies- we need to tone it down and tailor our relationship.

It’s starts with “we’re on a break.” For some time or all the time or on a limited basis you need to quit these foods: caffeine, citrus fruits, cocoa beans (coffee/chocolate), tomatoes, spicy, hot temps, high fats, processed, fried foods.  A relationship with a medical professional may help you decide what that relationship will look like.  These foods are either high in acid or cause more stomach acid production.  If you are extra sensitive then avoiding most fruits, gluten, dairy, and onions may be of benefit.

So now what do I eat?  I truly did have a spicy food addiction.  In treating and making new relationship routines I have become a humongous fan of oats.  I like oats before, but it’s a whole new love now.  Oats are excellent for regulating blood sugar among many things but for the sake of stomach acid- it absorbs acid and helps regulate the guts.  Every morning I have oatmeal with raw honey and sliced bananas.  Every. Freaking. Morning.  Raw honey, it HAS to be raw, has amazing healing properties and bananas are on the helpful with the acid list.  Ginger in tea or added to a meal is another pH balancing friend.  Probiotics like yogurt, kefir, and kombucha will tip the pH scale in your favor.  And veggies.  Veggies are alkaline which is the yin to acid’s yang so to speak, especially those greens and carrots.  Avocados, herbal teas, nuts, seeds, tofu, amaranth, and legumes are other alkaline options for daily contacts in your food relationship.

Love red sauces.  Me too! What do I do with tomato based sauces to combat acidity? Carrots.  These handy veggies in a puree aid in leveling out tomato’s acidity.  Cooking time is important too.  It need to be limited and I do not cook my sauces over thirty minutes.  More cook time, more acid.  Spices and herbs can contribute to raising the pH level.  An example is enchilada sauce.  I either eliminate the chili powder completely or reduce it, the up the cumin by half more.  This can be applied to any enchilada sauce recipe or pin you see.  Below I have included how I make my carrot puree plus a recipe for a reduced acid pasta sauce.  The carrot thing really does work.

Carrot Puree

2 carrots peeled and diced in 1 cup of water.  Cook until soft and blend or food processor until smooth.  You can double to make extra to store or freeze for later use.

Reduced Acid Pasta Sauce

  • 2 ( 29 oz) can of Tomato Sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of carrot puree
  • 2 bay leaves (cue 90’s kid in school lunchroom memories)
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • 1 tablespoon oregano

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Cooking: measure it, dump it, stir it, and cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes.

You can cook longer if you can stand higher acidity.  TBH- I love longer cooked sauces; however, they are not loving me back at the moment.  Care for your gut as it cares for the rest of you.

Please like share or pass along!

Namaste