Summertime Shenanigans: GF Baking with a Twist!

Hello Y’all! Thank you for stopping by. I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. It’s been a whirlwind of sorts lately but well worth it. We’re officially in three-digit temperatures and it’s getting unbearable by the day, but this is Texas, and the desert heat does not play….at all. Summer is the best time for the outdoors. It’s a great time to hike, swim, attend crawfish boil parties, go salsa/bachata dancing, go to the beach, outdoor concerts, do touristy things in your city like checking out local restaurants in your area, visit historic sights, and have fun in the sun – while wearing floral prints and enjoying every minute of it.

It’s the weekend and one of my favorite times to try out new recipes but also doing my best to incorporate healthy ingredients when I can. Today I am trying out a GF Yellow Cake Mix but adding my own twist to it. Being one to skip breakfast on a regular basis, having a healthy-er snack late in the morning will tide me over until lunchtime. Instead of reaching for a sugar filled, calorie dense treat, I feel like this recipe is a much better option.

Update on Health Goals

Culled from my food diary

I’m still on track with eating healthy but also staying fit by being active every other day. One of the things I’ve done recently is trying out new and unknown veggies when I go to the shops. For some, this is the norm but those of us who have that ‘stick to what you know’ mindset, it’s a big step…in the right direction. Bok Choy has been my latest addition and I find it to be an interesting option but also very filling. I’m looking forward to what my next experiment will be. Now let’s get back to baking, shall we?

Typical Cake Mix Ingredients: 3/4 Cup of Water, 1/2 Stick of Butter, 2 tsp GF Vanilla and 2 Eggs. My Added Ingredients: 1/2 Cup of Roasted Salted Almonds, 1/2 Cup of GF Oats, 2 Scoops of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Monk Fruit GF Sweetener, 2-3 Scoops of GF Baking Flour. Utensils: Mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, 2 Baking Pans – To get flat square feel, and a spatula.

Let’s Go! Combine the cake mix ingredients together in a bowl. Add oats and mix. Add GF Flour. Keep mixing and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and sweetener and set aside. Chop the almonds and place to the side. Grease both pans and add a dash of GF flour. Pour in the batter into the pans and spread around. Sprinkle in the almonds and lightly mix without letting the spoon go all the way down to the bottom of the pan. Using a spoon drizzle 3 tablespoons or more per pan of the cocoa mix on top and with a plastic knife or chopstick, run through the batter to get that lush chocolate swirl design. Bake at 350F with constant checks until the cake separates from the edges of the pan and the top is golden. Toothpick checks every 15 minutes is great.

Tips: This turned out great, but it had a slight hint of dryness. I would add an extra tablespoon of butter to the batter in my next attempt. Folks I missed writing, but I sure am glad to be back. Feel free to share any healthy twists you are incorporating into your favorite recipes. Until I come your way again, I hope like me, you keep enjoying life and working on your health goals. Please like, comment and follow http://www.myeamba.com for more!! I remain,

Periwinkle Starr

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

Chocolate Brownies…The Other Way!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? Boy, I’m I glad that this month is over. It was A-L-O-T but here I am in zen mode watching reality TV and getting this post completed. It’s beginning to look more like Fall in North Texas…Thank God! But I still haven’t gotten around to changing out my closet yet…ha ha! I’m a fan of the 90 Day FiancĂ© franchise on TLC and recently, they branched out into 90 Day FiancĂ©e – The Other Way. Its literally the same show but now the partners go over to foreign countries to meet and marry their significant others within 90 days. Well this post is about making brownies but not the way you’ve always known. This post is about making brownies the other way, the gluten free way. Enjoy!

Ever since I began this journey, I have been on this path searching for food substitutes that I can enjoy eating…It has been a challenge! I would find items that were gluten free but had high sugar contents and vice versa. I don’t how people who have adopted this lifestyle have survived for years because ‘difficult’ is an understatement when trying to find foods that are as close to normal everyday items; items that are gluten free with low to no sugars – and still taste like food. Its like searching for a needle in a haystack…..with so much hay (literally lol). But not to whine too much, there are pluses of going gluten free.

These Are Some of Them.

I’m a better planner…when it comes to food. Before now, I just ate whatever was readily available and easy to get my hands on.

Clearer skin. I have a better understanding now that all skin issues aren’t necessarily hormonal although hormones play a huge part in it.

Being able to burn stubborn fatty areas and loose weight without doing anything different from what I have always done prior.

I stumbled on a website!!! My search led me to this brand named Lakanto (www.lakanto.com). They have a variety of sugar free and gluten free items which range from snacks, spreads, baking mixes, powdered drinks…need I say more. I was so excited, I decided to try their brownie mix which is keto friendly, sugar free and gluten free amongst other plus points. I didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised… given the fact that I thought I was going to eat bland foods moving forward.

Ingredients: Brownie Mix, 2/3 melted coconut oil and 2 eggs. I added almonds and chopped walnuts to the mix to give it some texture. How to bake: Turn your oven on to 325F. Pour the mix into a bowl, add the melted butter, eggs and mix. Fold in the almonds and walnuts. Grease your pan and pour in the mix. Bake for 20-25 minutes with constant toothpick checks.

It came out really good although being without gluten, it didn’t really rise as it baked. But it was good. I plan on continuing my search for brands that cater to those of us on this path. Until I come your way again, Happy New Month!!! I remain

Periwinkle Starr