Gluten Free Baking…With Bananas!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. We’re at the tail end of the weekend and it has been the most restful one in a long time. Oh, and by the way the temperature in North Texas dropped about 30-degrees yesterday all of a sudden so for a minute I was contemplating bringing out some of my layers back out…. but according to the weatherman, it’s going to heat back up over the next couple of days.

Pollen and rag weed were pretty intense this week and although I got to rest and enjoy my days off, I could feel it being out and about. I love weekends! They’re my best days to bake because I have the time to take stock of what I have and what I’m craving. Since going gluten free, I have been trying to find healthy alternatives with lower carbs to add to my go-to list of recipes and I have to say that I’m still working on it. So far, I’ve found a brownie mix that kinda works – with some additives, and a pancake mix that’s so good you couldn’t tell it was GF. If you’re like me, I shop bananas by the bunch and freeze them for smoothies, Yonanas or pancakes when I have the time. This recipe was a way to literally get rid of some of the bags I had laying around in the freezer.

Baking a Gluten Free Banana Loaf/Cake!

I got some inspiration for this recipe watching a short recipe on YouTube but switched up the ingredients and added a couple of my favorites to the mix. Ingredients include: 4 Frozen Banana’s, 2 Eggs, 2 Tbsp Butter, 2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract, 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds, 2 Tbsp Psyllium Husk, A good dash of Cinnamon, 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Shredded (dried) Coconut, 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Flour, about a 1/2 Cup Milk (I prefer powdered milk because its gentler on my digestion), Erythritol Monk Fruit Sweetener to taste, Baking Powder.

P.S.: I’ve recently started adding psyllium husk in small quantities to a lot of meals, cereal and baking. Its tasteless, odorless but a great source of fiber which is good for the gut, burns fat and aids digestion. I’d recommend you try it; you just might like it.

Now Let’s Go!

Place the frozen bananas in a bowl and let it thaw for a couple minutes. Using a fork, smash the bananas. Add the chia seeds, butter, shredded coconut and mix. Add both eggs and keep mixing. Add the vanilla extract, psyllium husk, Cinnamon, and milk. Keep mixing. Add Erythritol sweetener to taste. Add the Gluten Free Flour and using a whisk, keep stirring. Turn up your oven to 325F. Spray or oil your baking pan – I used my bread tin this time. Pour in the mix and then gently tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to settle the mix evenly before placing at the top rack of your oven. Bake for about 30-35 minutes with constant checks. Turn down the heat and let it sit in the oven for another 15 minutes until its done and it passes the knife or toothpick test. Reason: Ripe bananas tend to cook pretty fast without cooking evenly through. Lowering the heat will ensure the top does not burn while the rest of the loaf is still uncooked.

After removing the pan from the oven, I let it sit on the counter for a couple minutes to cool.

Folks, this turned out pretty good and for those on a diet, this recipe works great, has minimal carbs, a great source of protein, Omega 3’s and fiber. Until I come your way again, stay fit, active and have healthy recipes for when you crave something sweet. I remain,

Periwinkle Starr

Getting Back on the Wagon!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing great in your corner of the world! Its Mother’s Day in the States so I am wishing a happy celebration to all the Mums out there …most especially mine. The good Lord knows that many of us would not be alive today without our mums and it’s something we ought to be grateful for. It’s been a busy time but I’m glad to be back and writing again. We are in the month of May and it’s time to check in on my weight management plan.

Drum Roll!!! Drum Roll!!! Drum Roll!!!!

Let me just say that the scale was not very friendly to me when I stepped on it. I fell off the wagon with my diet even though I remained gluten free…. like that helps any. It started off slowly, skipping workouts, snacking a little later each night, not tracking my meals, not moving, not swimming…NOTHING! All I could do was scream…..NOOOOO!!!

Not today…..!

It’s funny that I didn’t notice the symptoms of weight gain…. Well, I take that back. I thought I could cheat, and my body would do what it has always done and bounce back from all those calories and bad habits, but this was not the case. This makes me think of all those people who get on those extreme diets and loose the weight but somehow the old habits slowly creep in and before you realize, it’s a downward spiral all the way down to the bottom and they are in some cases heavier than when they started off. Well, I felt exactly the same way. I knowingly did it to myself. These were some of my habits:

  • Excessive snacking – buying salty and sweet ‘gluten free’ snacks when busy, working or traveling. Come to think of it, gluten free snacks actually have more calories than a lot of regular snacks. I think this happens because manufacturers have to add ingredients that hold the condiment together which ends up with more calories in what appears to be the same quantity of food.
  • Heading to the couch and grabbing the remote after getting home – instead of heading out to the gym – even if for just an hour of cardio, Zumba or a couple of laps in the pool.
  • Late night meals, snacks, sweet treats. Guilty as charged.
  • Not being active…. ENOUGH!
  • Not getting enough sleep.
  • Poor stress management.

Getting Back on the Wagon Again!

Not a real wagon..lol!

Just like everything in life, when you get into a funk, its ok to be down, feel down and to just soak in it for a bit. The end goal is to not stay there forever. Get back up and get back into the fight to be and stay (in my case) healthy and at a healthy weight. Life happens folks and every now and again it’s easy to get out of sync when we are balancing so many spinning plates. But checking in on myself every now and again was very helpful. I find that there will always be something going on somewhere and our control as human beings is very limited. So, I had to re-strategize. Here’s what I came up with.

  • Take stock of where I’m at. How I arrived here. What I did right or didn’t do enough of; and how I prioritized my time on a daily basis.
  • Admitted failure especially in areas that need improvement. Admitting wrong is the first step of growth. Denial keeps us stuck.
  • Came up with a healthy plan – a positive and sustainable way forward.
  • Sticking to it – No more excuses.

I know this looks easier than it actually is but less is more. I’m off to the gym to do a couple of laps in the pool and get my body back in shape again. Until I come your way again, no matter where you’re at in your life or how long you’ve fallen or neglected vital components of your life, you can always make a determination to get back on the wagon again. Rome wasn’t built in a day and anything that is rushed is very rarely sustainable. Be happy, stay safe and healthy. I’ll be back before you know it. Please like, follow and comment.

Periwinkle Starr