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?
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Smile, It’s WIAW (Amish Friendship Bread)

My butt is so cold right now.

Sorry, too much information you guys. I’m just so stinking happy. Seriously, I’m grinning from ear to ear. Hat-covered ears I may add.

If for some reason you are pinning my image, you are weird and awesome.

You see, on Friday I said that I was going to be stargazing for my astronomy class, but that ended up being cancelled due to bad weather. This week is the last chance for students to do it, and my teacher said that with the weather we’ve been having, the chances were just not very good that they would be able to hold anymore stargazes this semester. Since completing one was required for my class, you can just imagine the mental breakdown I had when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to do it. There were a lot of tears, a lot of talks with my mom, and finally at the end of it all… acceptance. I had to accept that it was my fault, nothing could be changed, and I would just be more proactive with my next class. (Edited to add: I still would have received credit for my class if I hadn’t been able to go the stargazing, but since it was mandatory my grade would have dropped significantly.) 

As my mom said in one of our Facebook conversations, “Remember all of these life experiences make us stronger.” To which my response was, “Ya. Ya.” 🙄 But I knew she was right.

Quick and Healthy Amish Friendship Bread (With Paleo and Non-Paleo Directions!)

Why may you ask am I smiling then? Because I didn’t give up. I kept on calling the planetarium, hoping each night that the automated voicemail would change, saying that the stargaze was on for that night. And finally it was.

All of the praying and hoping, and tonight I got to stand on the top of the astronomy building roof with a wind chill below 5 degrees and look at the stars with 19 other students who would rather have been anywhere but there. As I said, my butt is cold. Like so cold that I have been sitting inside for 30 minutes and it still hasn’t “defrosted” yet. But that’s okay. Because I’m happy.

Quick and Healthy Amish Friendship Bread (With Paleo and Non-Paleo Directions!)

Do you know what else makes me happy?

Seeing all of the bloggers who have signed up so far to help with my 12 Days of Allergy-Free Christmas Recipes. It is going to be amazing. If you haven’t already, check out what we are up to, and if there are still spots left when you read this, sign up! 🙂

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Another thing that makes me happy would be that it’s Wednesday. Aka the best day of the week (well, as far as the blogging week is concerned at least).

The recipe that I am sharing today is a quick version of the usually yeast-based Amish Friendship Bread. If you have never tried the original recipe, you are missing out. It requires a process of letting the bag of batter sit for 10 days, with you mixing new ingredients in every few days. Then when the 10 days are up you take 1/4 of the batter and add a whole bunch of other ingredients (like flour, sugar, pudding mix, etc.) and then bake it up into wonderful loaves. With the remaining batter you now have more bags to pass onto friends (hence the “friendship” part of the title) or to freeze and keep for yourself.

What do you do when you don’t have a batch of starter lying around though? Or what if you just don’t want to wait 10 days for loaves of deliciously sweet bread? Enter my solution:

Quick and Healthy Amish Friendship Bread (With Paleo and Non-Paleo Directions!)

Quick and Healthy Amish Friendship Bread

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Nut/Dairy-Free Options, Paleo

Makes 2 loaves, 8 thick slices each

Quick and Healthy Amish Friendship Bread (With Paleo and Non-Paleo Directions!)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup yogurt (I used cow but coconut would also work to make this dairy-free) + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil/butter/ghee
  • 1 cup granulated sweetener (I used Monk Fruit in the Raw, but coconut sugar, date sugar or baking stevia would work too)
  • 1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups flour*
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • milk (as needed— reference notes section below)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (or homemade carob chips)
  • granulated sweetener and cinnamon for topping

Quick and Healthy Amish Friendship Bread (With Paleo and Non-Paleo Directions!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two loaf pans with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the yogurt and vinegar; set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. After the yogurt has set, combine the eggs, oil, granulated sweetener, yogurt and vanilla together in a large bowl.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. (Add milk if using all purpose flour to consistency).
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Divide the batter equally among the two lined pans. Sprinkle some granulated sweetener and cinnamon.
  7. Bake for 60-120 minutes. (I give the large range here because you should be checking probably starting at 1 hour and then in frequent intervals thereafter. This bread took about 90 minutes for me to bake, but oven temperatures vary so much, as do ingredients, that it would be wise to check often. Also, I baked the two loaves together in the oven, so if you bake them separately you will need to cut the baking time). The bread will be done when there is a golden crust on top, it springs back to the touch, and a toothpick comes out clean. Check for all 3 to ensure a perfectly baked bread.
  8. Let cool for at least half an hour before slicing. Enjoy!

*Notes: To make this grain-free use almond flour (or another nut/seed flour). The grain-free version fell for me in the middle a bit and isn’t as pretty as these pictures, but  it was still equally delicious. You can also use all purpose flour as most of the pictures reflect, but you will probably have to add some milk to thin the batter out. I added about 1/2 cup milk to reach a good, pourable consistency. And though not tested, an all purpose gluten-free flour blend should also work well in here; add additional milk if needed.

Quick and Healthy Amish Friendship Bread (With Paleo and Non-Paleo Directions!)

Thanks again to Jenn for hosting this lovely weekly round-up where we all get together and share great food!


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Questions for you:

  • What is making you smile today?
  • Is there anything that you almost gave up hope on, but ultimately came through for you?
  • How cold is it where you live? 
  • Have you ever tried Amish Friendship Bread before?
  • What are you sharing for WIAW this week?

Paleo French Toast Sticks (WIAW)

It’s only 8:00pm and I already feel like taking a nice large nap. Preferably one that lasts throughout the night for eight blissful hours. Yes. That sounds good right now.

Paleo French Toast Sticks (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)

Before going to bed though I have a nice little list that I want to accomplish: Astronomy, send a few e-mails, hang up my laundry, start on a PowerPoint for class, and finish this blog post of course. I’ll probably get about half done. That’s alright with me though. Better than nothing.

Slowly but surely I am catching up on comments on my past posts, and trying to read the new posts in my Bloglovin. So if you receive a notification from months ago that will be why!

Paleo French Toast Sticks (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)

I’m also supposed to be catching up on all of my backlog of recipe waiting to be edited and shared. But then I make a new recipe that I get even more excited about and end up posting that one instead. *My bad…*

I should also note the reason that I have such a nice little to-do list that has been spanning a few days now. I’ve been reading. For the past two days I have spent basically every free moment reading The Crown of Embers, the sequel to The Girl of Fire and Thorns that I read back in November. Guys… It was so good! The ending was just a tad rushed, but even that is just a matter of opinion because the story line was basically stunning and now I want to be a queen with magical powers even more…

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

Ha. Yes. My impossible but ever so present daydreams of magical powers has not waned in the slightest since I first began my Harry Potter addiction (did I mention that I’m listening to part 3 of The Goblet of Fire right now on audiobook? I didn’t? How silly of me…). Really though, The Girl of Fire and Thorns is a great series, made only greater by the fact that I am going to be getting the third book this weekend.

Hmm… My mom is also under the impression that she is getting the third book this weekend as well too. I call first dibs. Obviously I win because I have documented proof 😉

Something else that I would totally call first dibs on? These french toast sticks. Because no one likes cold french toast. Although it would still be pretty darn delicious if you ask me.

Paleo French Toast Sticks

Wheat/Gluten/Grain-Free, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Paleo/GAPS-Friendly, No Sugar Added

12 French Toast Sticks – 1 or 2 servings

Paleo French Toast Sticks (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of my microwave paleo bread (shared below)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (or any other kind of milk)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • dash of salt (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat a griddle to 350 degrees or a skillet to medium-high heat (whatever temperature you use to make pancakes).
  2. Take the microwave paleo bread and divide each of the four pieces into three so that you have 12 bread sticks in total.
  3. Next in a shallow bowl mix together the eggs, coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Oil/spray the griddle to prevent sticking.
  5. Then dip each stick into the egg mixture and place on the griddle. Repeat with the remaining sticks.
  6. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the egg is crisp and thoroughly cooked. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Remove and serve with whatever additions you would like! I divided the french toast sticks to two plates and topped them with a sliced banana and warmed honey.

Paleo French Toast Sticks (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)

Microwave Coconut Flour Paleo Bread 

Wheat/Gluten/Grain-Free, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Paleo/GAPS-Friendly, No Sugar Added

Makes 4 slices of bread – 2 servings

Microwave Paleo Coconut Flour Bread

 Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Directions:

  1. Oil/Spray a glass loaf pan about 9×5 in size.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients first then add the wet and mix well.
  3. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and spread smooth.
  4. Cook in the microwave for approximately 6 minutes (check after 4 minutes to test). The bread is done when the center is no longer wet and springs back at the touch. Adjust as needed.
  5. Let cool. Then take the bread and slice it carefully horizontally so that you have two thin, loaf-size pieces of bread. Next cut each piece in two. This will give you four sandwich-sized piece slices for sandwiches. You can eat it as is, toast in the the toaster or in a pan, make a sandwich out of it, or make the french toast recipe above!

Paleo French Toast Sticks (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)

So now it’s 9:00pm and I suppose I should get a start on that list now… Blog post… Check!

And as always is the case for Wednesdays, I’m linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday. Make sure to head over to the WIAW party to see all of the other bloggers who shared their eats for the day.

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Questions for you:

Do you ever “bake” in the microwave?

How do you feel about cooking foods in the microwave?

If you were eating french toast right now, what would you top it with?

What books have you read lately?

Have you ever met any famous authors?

Three Things for Monday

I have just three quick things to share on this Monday morning. Then I’m off to classes!

First, one final call for any questions that you all would like to know about Lindsay Nixon and her new cookbook Happy Herbivore Light and Lean. I already have a list of interview question ideas to send but if anyone has suggestions they are welcomed!

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Second, a quick recipe to share 🙂

Pumpkin Bread Bake with Pumpkin Frosting (Grain-Free)

Pumpkin Bread Bake with Pumpkin Frosting

Adapted from my Banana Bread Bake – Makes 2 servings

Wheat/Gluten/Grain-Free, Vegetarian, Nut-Free, Paleo/GAPS-Friendly

Pumpkin Bread Bake with Pumpkin Frosting (Grain-Free)

Bread ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Frosting ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (use coconut yogurt to make dairy-free)
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour (more or less as needed)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil/grease two large ramekins (I used a Pyrex 4-cup round bowl like this one that is around 6 inches in diameter).
  2. Crack the eggs into a food processor and blend until it is one solid color. When the eggs are blended add the pumpkin puree and blend until smooth.
  3. Then add in the coconut flour, spices and salt. Blend again until fully incorporated.
  4. Now you should add the baking soda, but wait to do this until the oven is fully heated and right before you are ready to pour the batter and bake. You don’t want the baking soda to react and then the mixture to sit for too long. So, once the oven reaches 375 degrees, add the baking soda and blend again for a few seconds.
  5. Pour the batter into the ramekins and place them directly into the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes until golden brown. The top should spring back to the touch and the edges should begin to look barely darkened.
  6. Meanwhile mix up the frosting in a small bowl. Add coconut flour as necessary to thicken it up. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
  7. Let the breads cool for a few minutes when done, remove onto a plate and top with frosting to serve.

Recipe notes: I made this a two-serving recipe but it can easily be a single-serving. The bread would be 3 eggs, 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp coconut flour, 1 tbsp cinnamon, dash of nutmeg/ginger, dash of salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda. And the frosting would be 2 tbsp yogurt, 1 tbsp pumpkin puree, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tbsp honey, dash of salt, 1 1/2 tsp coconut flour. For half of the recipe you should check the bread at 30 minutes as it will probably take less time than the 40 minutes for two ramekins.

Pumpkin Bread Bake with Pumpkin Frosting (Grain-Free)

Third… the winner of The China Study Cookbook!

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Using the True Random Number Generator the winner of the giveaway is:

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Congratulations Sarah from Slices of Sarah Pie! Please e-mail me at alleyhays [dot] gmail [dot] com with your address so that BenBella Books can get you the cbook right away 🙂

Thank you for all who entered. If you didn’t win the cookbook and would still like a copy, you can purchase both the kindle and paperback editions on Amazon.

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I’d say all three of these things are pretty marvellous, wouldn’t you? That’s why I’m linking up to Katie at Healthy Diva Eat’s MIMM.