Spill It #3, Banana Nut Bread, and What to Make With Your Christmas Leftovers

Hello fellow Christmas-lovers! I am just soaking up the amazingness that is Winter break, which so far has just consisted of sleeping, cleaning, and baking. Not terrible.

Paleo Banana Bread

Actually, while I have been baking, this banana bread is not from recently but from this past summer. Somehow I’ve forgotten to post multiple recipes and hopefully I can catch up soon! Still, it’s banana bread and that never goes out of season.

First though we must do Spill It Sunday via Arman 🙂

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Photoshopped Christmas Selfie: 

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What is a traditional/cultural event you and your family/friends celebrate?

Everyone seems to have these super special traditions when it comes to the holidays, but we just really follow the basic customs, at least those here in the United States. For Christmas Eve we always go to one of my church’s many Christmas Eve services. Usually we pick one of the services where they turn off all of the lights and there is a candle lighting, which is my favorite.

On Christmas morning my brother and I get up super early around 5:30 or so and drag my parents out of bed to open presents. Then while my parents recoup with a nap in our living room, we get a chance to check out everything we got.

Around 12:00 we then head over to eat with my mom’s side of the family with the traditional Christmas lunch.

In the past couple of years I guess we actually have started the tradition of watching a movie on Christmas day at the theater. In the past we’ve seen both Sherlock Holmes. I’m not sure if we will do that this year though, as I don’t know if there are going to be any good movies coming out.

Do you have any traditions which you partake in on a consistent basis?/What is something special you and your family/friends do?

These questions reminds me of my recent Statistics exam where I ended up writing too much for the first question which then overlapped my would-be answer for the second. My bad. (See above!)

Most memorable event?

As kids, during trips to see my dad’s side of the family for Thanksgiving, on our way home my brother and I would beg our parents to go see the Christmas light set-up. It had moving parts and was one of the coolest things. It was a great way to start off the Christmas season and being so young I thought it was so magical.

Now we just drive around the rich neighborhoods in the closest town. Not quite as good, but some of the decorations are insane!

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For The Recipe Redux‘s December theme we were supposed to make something that you can enjoy for the New Year.

What will you be serving to get the New Year started with a little luck? Be it black eyed peas and greens, Chinese noodles or even a special family recipe you serve on New Year’s Eve or Day. Please share your good luck dish to start off 2014 in a healthy way.mimm-current-recipe-redux

I chose to remake my Great Grandma Sigler’s famous Banana Nut Bread. Growing up my great grandma was the best baker I knew. She printed a lot of those community cookbooks full of her favorite recipes, and at every family celebration you could be sure to find at least one of her creations.

She passed away a few years ago while I was in high school and I miss her dearly. When I first heard that she was gone I immediately went into the kitchen, knowing that I had to make up a loaf of her famous banana nut bread. It was her most popular recipe and we were never without a frozen loaf in the freezer.

This is my grain-free rendition of her recipe. I didn’t include nuts because I personally prefer my banana nut bread “nut” free. I don’t like that crunchiness that chopped nuts give. Still, I added them as optional because most of my family likes them added. Also, there is no cinnamon in here because my great grandma was allergic and thus never included it in her recipes. If you’d like to add cinnamon, I would go with 1-2 teaspoons. Again though, I prefer it without.

Paleo Banana Bread

Paleo Banana Nut Bread

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Dairy/Nut-Free Option, Paleo/GAPS-Friendly

Ingredients:

  • 2 large or 3 small ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup worth)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1 cup almond flour (any nut/seed flour will work)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of nuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all of the wet ingredients in a large bowl, then add the dry ingredients, mixing well. (Alternatively I put all of the ingredients in a large food processor and had it all mixed smooth within a minute or two).
  3. Pour the bread batter into the lined loaf pan and bake in the oven for approximately 70-80 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove and let cool completely before slicing. **Start checking the bread at 60 minutes your first time to make sure that it doesn’t cook faster than mine. All ovens differ and you should go by look/texture instead of time to see when your bread is done**

Paleo Banana Bread

To check out the other New Years recipes featured in this month’s Recipe Redux round-up, check out them below:

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Aside from a new recipe and Spill It Sunday, you are also going to be getting a belated Christmas Recipes Round-Up post. As I wasn’t able to get anyone to do the leftovers post, the task was left to me. And well… I kind of dropped the ball on that one. So here it is a few days late. I figured it wouldn’t be TOO big of a deal since you won’t be eating leftovers until after Christmas anyways, right? 😉

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So what I did was pick some of the common leftovers that people have after holiday dinners, and then found three unique ways to repurpose them for enjoyment later on. Unlike Day One where I included the dietary labels, for today’s post I did not. The main reason is that while I did link to recipes, they are more just to provide inspiration. Don’t feel limited if a recipe calls for eggs, dairy or gluten and you aren’t able to have those things. For example, with the Pecan Pie Brownies, the recipe linked isn’t really “allergy-free.” So just take the recipe as baseline and substitute with your own favorite pecan pie recipe and brownie batter recipe to fit your needs. If you can’t find any substitutions but want to make one of the recipes below, feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to help!

Turkey…

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Turkey Sweet Potato Dumplings // Greek Turkey Pita Sandwiches // Carmelized Onion, Cranberry and Kale Saute Wrap

Ham…

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Egg-Free Frittata // Ham and Apple Butter Panini // Baked Beans with Ham

Mashed Potatoes…

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Potato Cakes // Orange Drop Doughnuts // Mashed Potato Cheddar and Chive Waffles

Corn…

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Roasted Corn Chowder // Zucchini Corn Fritters // Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers

Rolls/Bread…

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Customizable Breakfast Bowls // Homemade Vegan Croutons // Vegan French Toast

Sweet Potato Casserole…

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Sweet Potato Casserole, Brie and Bacon Grilled Cheese // Sweet Potato Pancakes // Coffee Cake

Pie…

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Leftover Pumpkin Pie Milkshake // Pecan Pie Brownies // Pie Breakfast Casserole

Cookies…

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Pumpkin Gingerbread Cookie Trifle // Cookie Pie Crust // Cookie Butter

Candy Canes…

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Stained Glass Cookies // Candy Cane Popcorn // Body Scrub

Also posting today for the 12 Days of Allergy-Free Christmas Recipes is Cat from Cat Food is Good For You with a bunch of delicious desserts! And click here for the updated list on everyone who has gone so far!

And I’m also linking up today with Katie from Healthy Diva Eats for her Marvelous in my Monday. Because, let’s be real here- there is a whole bunch of deliciousness and marvelous-ness going on in today’s post 😉

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Questions for you:

  • What are your family’s holiday traditions?
  • Is there any recipe that you usually make for New Years?
  • Do you have any popular family recipes to share?
  • What is your favorite way to reuse leftovers?

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (Grain-Free and Vegan)

Three more classes then I am home-free. Accounting, Astronomy, and Statistics. Arguably this is my most difficult set of classes which I have for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have Business Communications and a World Cultures Music Class, which at least so far, seem to be easier.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (Grain-Free and Vegan)

After I get out of my Statistics class I’m going to pack up a bag (or two or three) of my things and head home for an extended weekend because of the Labor Day holiday. No worries about having nothing to do though because I already have plans (read: homework).

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (Grain-Free and Vegan)

Interspersed with the homework will probably be some baking/cooking, and maybe even swimming. We have a nice big pool at home and I have gotten to swim in it a total of… oh, zero times this summer. Maybe I shouldn’t even go this weekend because it will just make me remember how much I love swimming and then I’ll be mad that I missed out on it this season. It’s basically a no win situation.

Remind me to bring my bathing suit just in case though.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (Grain-Free and Vegan)

I already have a few posts in mind for the next few weeks, which is pretty rare for me. One or two being surveys/awards that I’ve been nominated for by some fellow bloggers, a few recipes (of course) probably for WIAWs, a few recaps that I’ve been meaning to write for WIR for awhile, and also perhaps a short little picture-heavy post of my dorm room? That last one is totally dependent on how clean the common area looks when it comes time to take a few snapshots. Right now it’s not too bad but like I said, I’m going to be gone all weekend and who knows what it will look like when I get back!

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (Grain-Free and Vegan)

With my plans fully out there, hopefully I will be more likely to actually fulfill them.

Now, let’s move on from the not-quite-as-exciting stuff and move onto the guaranteed-more-interesting topic of today’s recipe!

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (Grain-Free and Vegan)

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins 

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free Option, No Refined Sugar, GAPS/Paleo-Friendly

Makes 12 mini muffins and 2 ramekins

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (Grain-Free and Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup carob powder + 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted*
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed + 1/4 cup water (or 2 eggs)
  • 2 large  or 3 small ripe bananas, mashed (around 240 grams)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup to make vegan)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (use a seed flour to make nut-free)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (Grain-Free and Vegan)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the carob powder and coconut oil until smooth and then pour out into a thin layer (I used a Tupperware lid about 8×5 inches). Freeze for about 10-15 minutes or until solid.
  3. Combine the ground flax seed and water. Let sit for a few minutes to thicken (or microwave for 60 seconds to speed up the process).
  4. Add the mashed bananas, coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Mix until well blended.
  5. Measure out the remaining dry ingredients and combine with the wet ones.
  6. Take out the frozen carob slab, break into small pieces and mix into the banana bread batter.
  7. Oil/grease/spray/line the baking dishes of your choice (I used a mini muffin pan and two small ramekins). Distribute the batter evenly and bake the dishes for 15-35 minutes (it all depends on the size of your pan).

Note: I haven’t made an actual full-sized loaf of banana bread out of this recipe yet, but I plan to do so in the future. To make a full-sized loaf you would need to double this recipe and bake it for probably at least an hour. I can’t guarantee the results though with those alterations.

*You can also use your favorite type of chocolate or carob chips here. You would need about 1/2 cup to replace the homemade ones.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (Grain-Free and Vegan)

It was so hard to not eat this little guy when snapping a picture. But I resisted the urge and placed it back in the muffin tins! Thank goodness too because my family ate the whole batch within a day!

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Questions for you:

Have you had the opportunity to swim this summer?

What are your easiest/hardest classes so far this fall?

Do you plan out your posts in advance or just fly by the seat of your pants?

Books, Blogs, and Baking

Usually I would post some opening about being excited that it’s Friday and I’m so glad to be done for the weekend, but since I’m on break right now that wouldn’t be very applicable to me 😉 However, I will say that I’m excited for the weekend because I will finally be around REAL PEOPLE. It gets a little lonely staying at home all day without any friends or family around. Thankfully I have my pets to keep me company, but it would be nice if they could reply back with something other than barks or meows.

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The only things that have kept me sane are books, blogs and baking!

Books

I’ve read two books in the past four days: Divergent and its sequel Insurgent.

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The books are part of a dystopian trilogy by Veronica Roth. Set in Chicago these books depict a fictional society that is divided into five factions, one for every type of person- Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). The main character Beatrice has reached the point in her life where she is given the choice of which faction she wants to live in. Nothing is as it seems though, and soon Beatrice is discovering that what she thought she knew about her society is wrong, and what she learns may lead to the end of life as she knew it.

The final book is coming out October 22, 2013 and I am beyond thrilled to find out what happens.

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Blogs

Here are some new blogs that I’ve discovered recently, mixed in with a few of my favorite posts from blogs that I already read on a regular basis.

Road to RD’s And This is Why We Shouldn’t Compare Ourselves to Celebrities

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Clean Eats Fast Feets’ One Year Blogiversary Giveaway

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Jessie Loves to Run’s Thursday Thoughts

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Peace Love and Oats’ You Do You

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Eat Pray Tri’s Snap to It Photography Program

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Baking

Here are some of the recipes that I have made in the past week. Some I came up with myself and you may see on the blog soon!

Banana Nut Bread (with pecans)– Recipe adapted from my great-grandmother’s classic banana bread to be grain-free.

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Avocado Chocolate Mousse– My parents just raved about this chocolatey dessert (they said you couldn’t taste the avocado!).

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Lemon Poppy Seed Bread– Roughly based on a poppy seed cake in a cookbook at home.

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Homemade Applesauce– Only one ingredient and very smooth!

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Coconut Flour Biscuits– I altered this recipe slightly by whipping the egg whites and removing the baking soda.

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As you can see I’ve been keeping very busy 🙂 I’m hoping to respond to all of your comments sometime this weekend, but Friday morning I’m attending my brother National Honor’s Society induction ceremony at school, and I’m hanging out with some friends at the park tomorrow. Hope everyone has a great and productive weekend! 😀

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Share something in each of the categories: Books, blogs, and baking!

Final Exams + WIAW + My Favorite Christmas Movies

Two classes down. Three more to go!

I finished my Business Class last week with a presentation on Accounting. My last Critical Thinking class was today, and I received my final grade. All A’s so far!

On Wednesday I don’t have any classes or commitments, so it will be full of me studying, studying, studying. And oh, okay, maybe a few snacks and Netflix indulgences sprinkled in here and there.

On Thursday I have my two final exams in Ethnic Studies and Microeconomics. Spaced only 30 minutes apart… Ugh! Then right after my Microeconomics exam is scheduled to be over, I have to make a dash to the English building to pick up my graded Writing Portfolio.

Then right after that I have to get ready to head out to The Hobbit midnight premiere. I’m starting to have doubts about going though. It’s just so late, I’m afraid I’ll fall asleep. Plus, Thursday is my last day of exams, so I could actually go home that night!

As you may remember, watching The Hobbit midnight premiere was on my 13 Things to Do in the 13 Days Before the World Ends Bucket List. If I do end up skipping it though, I’ve already made plans to watch it with my friend from home on the following Saturday. We’ll see what happens!

Enough school talk. You probably don’t like reading about exams any more than I like taking them! Instead, let’s talk a little bit about food, and also I’ll share a (long) list of my favorite Christmas Movies.

Disclaimer: These posts do not reflect everything that I eat during a day. There are a lot of unpictured snacks like fruit and vegetables, as well as undocumented nibbles as I’m making my meals.

Breakfast

On the drive up to school last week with my parents, we stopped at our mall’s GNC to buy some probiotics because I was almost out. While there, my mom happened to notice that they sold my favorite brown rice protein powder, so of course I had to pick up some of that as well! A one pound jug on Amazon can sell for as much as $20.00, but GNC had them priced much lower, and one of the two jugs that we bought was actually 50% off!

My breakfast for most of the days last week was my banana protein bread of course! One day all my dining hall had was teeny tiny bananas, so I bought two instead of a large one like I usually do. One banana went into the bread, and the other one I sliced up on top.

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Lunch

The all-you-care-to-eat dining halls actually post their menus on Monday for the entire week, so I can always plan out when to go. For this lunch I took advantage of the fact that they already had some plain grilled chicken on the menu, so I didn’t have to special order it. On the side I had a salad of lettuce, carrots and cucumbers. I also sprinkled the chicken with just a little salt because my body just seemed to be craving the sodium!

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Snack #1

I love rice. I really really do.

That’s why I was so excited to see a box of Minute White rice on the shelf at one of my college’s convenience stores. I have over $170.00 left for this semester and only three more days to use it (the money does roll over, but being realistic, if I have money left over this semester, then I’m probably going to have money leftover next semester as well).

So I bought the super-overpriced box of rice and have since used it all up! I’ll be buying another box tomorrow for sure.

I’ve been eating it plain and also mixed with chicken. I also like to mash the rice and add a little extra water to make it into a porridge. Fruit seems to be another great addition to rice, and for my snacks on Monday and Tuesday I cooked up a cup of rice and topped it with a large sliced banana. Full of carbohydrates and the perfect energizing snack.

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Dinner

Nights lately have been getting so cold. Some it has even dropped as far as the low 30’s. This weather makes me hesitant to leave the nice, warm comfort of my room, so I’ve been finding myself going out for lunch, but staying in for supper.

This was one of those nights where I just heated up a few servings of chicken with a can of unsalted green beans.

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Snack #2

These pictures will be the last that you see for a while of my protein powder adventures (probably). I’m going to be visiting a new holistic practioner who can hopefully give me some aid in figuring out new things to try for my digestion, and I’m pretty positive that cutting out grains is going to be a big part of it. From my stint with Paleo I know that quinoa does not bode well with me. I also know that rice both in its “pure state” as well as in its protein powder, while not as bad as quinoa, isn’t too good for me.

So, enjoy this last recipe!

It’s pretty similar to my Microwave Protein Crisp, but in a much larger and more delicious form!

Apple Banana Microwave Protein Crumble

High protein, high fiber, no sugar added, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free

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Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/4-1/3 cup brown rice protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • splash of water
  • stevia (optional, but I didn’t use)
  • 1 apple, sliced

Directions:

  1. Slice the apple (peeled or unpeeled) and layer into a small microwaveable container.
  2. Mash the banana in a separate bowl. Add the protein powder and combine.
  3. Sprinkle the baking powder on top. Then, quickly pour a little water directly onto the baking powder until it starts to fizz.
  4. Stir it up fast as the baking powder will cause the mixture to expand. Take advantage of that volume and carefully pour the banana bread mixture over the apple slices and put the container in the microwave.
  5. Cook the crumble for 4-6 minutes until no longer gooey. Time will depend on size of banana, amount of water/protein powder used, and the strength of the microwave.
  6. Enjoy!

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So last week I posted my favorite Christmas music, but this week I’m going to share with you some of my favorite Christmas movies.

I know that Elf and The Grinch are common “favorites,” but I honestly don’t like them all that much… But here are the ones that I grew up watching, and also some recent additions!

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Not Your Typical Christmas Movies: Die Hard 1 and 2, Batman Returns

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TV Specials: Snowglobe, A Golden Christmas: The Second Tail, Christmas Cupid, Desperately Seeking Santa, Santa Baby, Christmas Caper

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Cartoons: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, A Year Without a Santa Claus, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, The Polar Express, Beauty and The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, Scooby Doo’s A Nutcracker Scoob

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Live Action: Home Alone 3, Santa Clause 2, To Grandmother’s House We Go, Twas the Night, The Ultimate Christmas Present, The Family StoneThe Nutcracker, Scrooged, The Holiday, Four Christmases

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I may not post again this week because of my exams, but I wish you all the best of luck on your challenges this week, whether it be in or out of the classroom.

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Do you like tests? I may be in the minority here, but I actually kind of like them!

What is one food that you’d hate to give up? Protein powder for me.

What Christmas movies would you have on your list? I’m probably forgetting some… Always do!