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Banana Walnut Bread

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This bread came to be yesterday because I had a bunch of bananas that needed to be used, and the grocery store was out of hazelnut and almond meal, which are my favorite baking “flours” for muffins and shortbreads.

Using walnuts as “flour” showed me a couple things: (1) if you have a blender or a coffee grinder, you have your own “mill” and you can make nut flours or meals, and (2) cooking and baking is not always about precision, rather it is about having fun and experimenting!

This result of this preparation is a very moist bread that is almost like a bread pudding, so I ate my slice(s) with a fork! Here you go:

Ingredients

  • 4-5 ripe bananas mashed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of real salt or sea salt

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas
  • Add eggs and vanilla and stir gently
  • In your blender, coffee grinder or a food processor, pulse to grind walnuts into a meal
  • Combine all dry ingredients into a separate bowl with the walnut meal and then add to wet ingredients
  • Stir all ingredients until batter is smooth
  • Pour batter into a very well greased loaf pan
  • Bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  • Allow bread to sit for at least 30 minutes before slicing
  • Slice and serve, warm or refrigerate over night if you want to serve it the next morning
  • Enjoy!

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Mango Kale Smoothie

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This smoothie makes two servings and has some great nutrition, including 7g of fiber per serving and is rich in vitamins B2, B12, and E and the mineral calcium.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cashew milk, although you could use another nut milk like almond milk (I used Forager Project brand, and cashew milk is very easy to make at home too).
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 cup mango, peeled and cubed (you could also use frozen mango for this recipe)
  • 1 cup organic kale (about 4 leaves)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • *optional* 1 teaspoon of vitamin C powder (I use Dr. Ben Kim’s Vitamin C powder)

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to your high-speed blender.
  2. Blend thoroughly.
  3. Makes two 16-ounce smoothies.
recipes

Easy Avocado Toast

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Eating avocado toast is always a good idea.

This recipe is easy, flexible and vegan, and it gives me the opportunity to talk about bread…. There is no other food that outplays toast in the comfort department, and while many people are abstaining from glutenous foods and gluten-free grains as well, there are many who like toast and want to know: Is bread bad?

The answer is: Some bread is bad, and some is not. To the extent you can make your own bread, do it. Bread is a living food when made by human hands. If you can’t make your own, source from a baker who is doing it the right way using quality ingredients and techniques, even so far as grinding their own whole-grain flours onsite like Josey Baker is doing at The Mill in San Francisco.

When choosing high-quality bread, a great option is sourdough (either gluten-free or the original variety … you choose based on your dietary needs). It’s all in the name: SOUR. Sourdough bread is fermented and bacteria that proliferate in the bread’s starter pre-digest the proteins in whatever grain flour is being used, so sourdough can prove easier on the tummy when made the right way.

I am using SRSLY bread today, but with whatever bread you choose, this easy avocado toast is guaranteed to satisfy. And like I have said before: Avocado toast wins in all categories: for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and appetizers. Let me know how you like it!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted and masked with a fork
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt or real salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • dried crushed red chili peppers
  • 2 slices bread of choice

Directions

  1. Toast your bread to desired goldenness.
  2. While bread is toasting, mash your avocado with a fork and add lemon juice and salt.
  3. Drizzle toast with olive oil immediately after it comes out of the toaster.
  4. Top your toast with your avocado mixture.
  5. Top the avocado toast with dried crushed red chili peppers.
  6. Enjoy!
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Vitamin C and E Smoothie

circulation_vitE.jpgLast week, I wrote about how the air quality has been very poor in the Bay Area because of the wild fires to the north of us. Tens of thousands of acres of precious land and homes have been destroyed, and worse, lives have been shattered or taken in the midst of this unthinkable natural distaster.

I am in awe of all the helpers, especially the first responders who risk their own lives and health to save others.

As promised, below is a recipe for a very quick and easy smoothie which will give you an abundance of Vitamin E, especially the lung healing form if it: alpha-tocopherol.

Ingredients

  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon beetroot powder* (I like this one) *optional but great for circulation. you can also throw a small cooked beet into this smoothie.
  • 1/2 teaspoon vitamin c powder (I like this one)
  • 2 cups water

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into your blender and blend for 45 seconds.
  2. Makes 24 oz. one 12 ounce smoothie for now and one for later.
recipes

Homemade Vegetable Stock

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Exciting things are happening at Food and Hearth. I am going to be doing a lot of cooking and baking, and one of the upcoming recipes calls for vegetable stock.

Boxed stock works in a pinch, but the thing about homemade stock is that it is easy to make, it is vibrant and nutritious and will give your recipes a lot of depth and flavor. Handling organic vegetables and cooking them down to produce this liquid gold gives you and your cozy home a real lift.

I use vegetable stock for soups and to make rice, quinoa and lentils. My very favorite way to use broths and stocks however is to drink them straight from a mug. Just like herbal teas and raw vegetable juices, broths have their own special way of nourishing the body. Their main benefit is delivering minerals. If you are feeling under the weather — physically or emotionally — vegetable broth is good for the body and soul.

I don’t add salt to this stock on the front end, so be sure to salt your recipes when you’re using your broth. I like to use real salt which has flecks of color, versus the more processed version of table salt, which lacks mineral balance.

Ingredients

  • 2 organic yellow onions, keep papery peels on
  • 3 medium organic carrots
  • 4 organic celery stalks, keep leaves on
  • 2 organic leeks with dark green parts
  • 1 bunch organic parsley
  • 1 to 2 cups of organic mushrooms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • water

Directions

  1. Wash any visible dirt off the vegetables.
  2. Roughly chop veggies.
  3. Place vegetables in a pot big enough to hold them all easily.
  4. Fill your large pot with water, covering the vegetables by about one inch.
  5. Over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil (not a rolling boil).
  6. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover pot.
  7. Simmer for one hour, stirring the mixture periodically.
  8. Take the pot off the heat after about an hour.
  9. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon.
  10. Strain the broth with a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
  11. Transfer to large Ball jars.
  12. Allow the broth to cool completely.
  13. Refrigerate or freeze.
  14. If refrigerated, use within one week. If freezing, use within one month.

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recipes

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

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This chocolate zucchini bread is so delicious, it was almost gone between the time I took it out of the oven and the time I sat down to write the recipe. My kids gave it a big thumbs up.

If you are looking for a “veggies for breakfast” option, a healthy snack for after work or school, or even a dessert, this quick bread might do the trick.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (squeeze excess water out of the shredded zucchini)
  • 2 pasture-raised eggs, lightly beaten
  • 5 tbsp grade b maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the almond butter, maple syrup and cacao powder and combine well.
  3. Add eggs and fold them in as well.
  4. Next, add vanilla, baking soda and salt.
  5. Over another small bowl, shred your zucchini until you have one full cup.
  6. Put shredded zucchini into a clean towel and squeeze out excess water.
  7. Add zucchini pulp to the mixture and stir.
  8. Place mixture in a lined or greased 5×9″ loaf pan (I greased my pan with coconut oil).
  9. Bake for 40 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center, it is done.
  10. Let sit for about 20 minutes before serving.
  11. Enjoy!

 

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Gluten-Free and Nut-Free Granola Bars

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These granola bars are so tasty and easy to make! They are inspired by a recipe from Sally of Real Mom Nutrition, but I have omitted flour and honey, and made a couple small edits to rebalance the recipe after my changes. They are still so very yummy, and my kids love them for breakfast, snacks or to take with them to school. They are nut-free which means they’re a great option if your child is in a nut-free classroom! Enjoy!

Dry ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned gluten-free oats
  • ½ cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon real salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line an 8×8 baking dish or pan with parchment paper.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  4. Light beat eggs and then combine all wet ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. Then, combine dry and wet ingredients in the medium bowl and stir until fully combined.
  6. Pour batter into parchment-lined baking dish or pan and bake for 25-27 minutes.
  7. Gently lift bars out of dish/pan and move to a cooling rack. After cooling, slice into squares. It is great if you refrigerate them over night and cut into squares in the morning!
recipes

Blueberry Compote

 

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Are you looking for an alternative to maple syrup for your waffles and pancakes? This blueberry compote is easy, scrumptious and uses dates for a little extra sweetness.

Ingredients

  • 1 six-ounce container of organic blueberries, which is one regular small plastic container, rinsed and picked through to remove any broken or moldy ones
  • 2 medjool dates, soaked, peeled and pitted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons water

Directions

  • While you make your pancakes or waffles, soak dates in warm water to soften
  • Peel and pit the dates in order to use the soft flesh of the dates
  • Combine the blueberries, dates, vanilla and water in a small saucepan over medium heat
  • Use a wooden spoon to stir and gently break up the berries and dates as they soften and begin to pop.
  • Remove the pan from heat once the berries and dates turn into a thick sauce
  • Enjoy!

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recipes

Banana Cilantro Lime Smoothie

 

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Good morning! I have been missing my cilantro smoothies, so I made one this morning. Cilantro is such a hero … packed with vitamins A, C and E which are important antioxidants. Banana and avocado give this smoothie a boost of potassium, as well as the healthy fat in avocado which make this recipe a great addition to breakfast or a snack on its own.

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado peeled and pitted
  • 1 medjool date, pitted
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut water
  • 1 generous handful of fresh cilantro
  • the juice of half a lime

Thoroughly blend all ingredients and enjoy! Makes about 12 oz, 1 smoothie.

recipes

Grain-Free No-Added-Sugar Banana Bread

bananabreadI had a lot of bananas hanging around yesterday, from a long, busy, smoothieless week prior, and they needed to be used before they over ripened. Hence this banana bread, which is so moist and delicious, it’s as much a dessert as it is a wholesome breakfast.

This bread has no added sugar, but relies on the ripe bananas for its sweetness. It’s also gluten free.

Here you go!

Ingredients

  • 5 ripe bananas mashed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons grass-fed butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of real salt or sea salt

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas
  • Add eggs, almond butter and vanilla and stir gently
  • Melt butter and add it to the egg mixture and gently stir again, don’t over mix
  • In a separate bowl, combine hazelnut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt
  • Combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until batter is smooth
  • Pour batter into a very well greased loaf pan
  • Bake 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  • Allow bread to sit for about 30 minutes before slicing
  • Slice and serve, warm
  • Refrigerate over night if you want to serve it the next morning
  • Enjoy!