Double Chocolate Banana Muffins (Gluten & Dairy Free, Paleo)

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins (Gluten & Dairy Free, Paleo)

If you love my Chocolate Chunk Banana Muffins then I’m about to make your palate explode with this spin on one of my most popular recipes to date!

I’ve amped up the flavour on these muffins by adding more rich chocolate flavour plus some optional walnut crunch & crumble.

These muffins are a great breakfast option on days when you’re running out the door. They also make for a delicious healthy snack or treat.

They’re packed with all the good stuff including quality protein and healthy fats that will keep you feeling satisfied. Even better, they’re naturally sweetened with ripe bananas and only a tiny amount of extra sweetener, so they’ll keep you on track with your health and weight loss goals.

Let me know your thoughts on this new muffin recipe. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do ?

TIP: Make a batch and store them in the freezer. Simply grab one whenever you need quick fuel–they thaw out within 10-15 minutes. If you plan to eat the batch within a week, they can be stored in the fridge.

Do you have an allergy or intolerance to eggs? Use one of the egg substitutes below:
1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water (whisk until gelatinous and creamy) = 1 egg
1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water (Stir and allow to rest for 15 minutes) = 1 egg

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

INGREDIENTS: (12 medium sized muffins)
4 pastured eggs*
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted (I like Saisha from Rootalive)
1/2 cup almond flour, sifted
1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I like Camino 100%)
1/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped (optional)

Optional Crumble:
2 tbsp raw walnuts
2 tbsp coconut chips
2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

*Substitute with 4 flax eggs or 4 chia eggs for egg free version (see instructions above).

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Place liners in muffin tin.

2. Beat eggs in bowl, mash bananas with a fork on a plate, then add all wet ingredients together and mix thoroughly.

3. Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and continue to mix until a thick smooth batter is formed.

Note: Steps 2 & 3 can be done using a food processor to make things easier.

4. Add chocolate chips and chopped walnuts (optional) into the batter and mix.

5. Optional step for crumble: Add walnuts and coconut chips to food processor and pulse until a crumble is formed. If you don’t have a food processor, put ingredients in a bag and crush with the bottom of a mug or can. Mix in dark chocolate chips.

5. Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way with batter. Top with crumble (optional).

6. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool before removing from tin.

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Flourless Brownie Bites (Plant-Based, Gluten & Dairy Free)

Flourless Brownie Bites (Plant-Based, Gluten & Dairy Free)

If you’re on the hunt for healthy dessert and snack ideas, I highly recommend whipping up a batch of these delicious and decadent balls!

My flourless brownie bites contain pure and natural ingredients – but all you’ll taste is real brownie flavour.

You may never feel the need to have a high-carb, sugar loaded, processed brownie again after trying these little balls sent from heaven!

The perfect healthy treat or snack for those following a paleo, vegan, weight loss or IBS diet.

Flourless Brownie Bites

INGREDIENTS: (makes 25-30 balls)
1.5 cups dates (pitted and soaked)
1 cup raw almonds
4 tbsp. coconut flakes (unsweetened)
4 heaping tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Soak dates in water for 30-minutes and drain.

2. Add almonds and coconut flakes into food processor and process until nuts are chopped into small pieces.

3. Add dates, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and sea salt into the food processor with almonds and continue to process until ingredients starts to stick together. If mixture is too dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time until mixture becomes sticky when you press it together.

4. Scoop out mixture with a tablespoon and roll into balls.

5. Enjoy right away or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for later.

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Grain Free Oatmeal (Paleo, Low-Carb)

Grain Free Oatmeal (Paleo, Low-Carb)

If you’re looking for a warm and comforting breakfast with whole food ingredients, I highly recommend this grain free oatmeal (a.k.a. “NOatmeal).

It’s packed with healthy fats from raw nuts and contains whole eggs which gives your body the protein and fuel it needs to conquer the day! This nutrient-dense “NOatmeal” will leave you feeling satisfied and fueled for hours.

A great recipe for those following a paleo, low-carb, or IBS diet.

The BF and I usually save “NOatmeal” for the weekend since it takes a bit of time to prepare. BUT if you want to incorporate it into your work week, make a batch ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge. I suggest eating it within 4 days.

Want more recipes like this one? You’ve got to try my Nutty “NOatmeal” with Blueberries or Tiger Nut “NOatmeal”.

Grain Free Oatmeal

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)
1/4 cup raw pecans
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 pastured eggs
1/4 cup coconut or almond milk, unsweetened
1 banana (ripe)
1 tbsp almond butter
Pinch of sea salt

Toppings: (per serving)
1/2 banana, sliced
1 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Put nuts, cinnamon & sea salt into food processor and process until everything is finely ground.

2. In one bowl beat eggs and milk together.

3. In another bowl, mash banana and almond butter together with a fork.

4. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Turn heat to medium-low heat and begin mixing ingredients together using a spatula.

5. Cook for 5-minutes or longer, stirring regularly so “NOatmeal” doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook for less time if you want a more runny consistency or cook longer if you want a more dense consistency.

6. Top with sliced banana and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

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Healthy Cheese Board

Healthy Cheese Board

Let’s talk about dairy …

There’s no question that dairy doesn’t work for everyone. Some people are allergic to or intolerant of the proteins in dairy, while others are highly sensitive to lactose, the sugar in dairy.

According to Chris Kresser, Functional Medicine Doctor, why dairy benefits some people and causes problems for others boils down to the health of the gut.

“If someone has compromised intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut”, it’s more likely that their immune system will respond to potentially allergenic components in milk such as alpha- and beta-casein, casomorphin and butyrophillin.

This is especially true for people who are gluten intolerant, because it has been shown that milk proteins commonly cross-react with gluten. Put another way, if you react to gluten, it’s more likely that you’ll also react to milk.

Along these same lines, people with small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) – which is one of the major causes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – may be more likely to react to milk because the bacteria in their small intestine aggressively ferments lactose, the sugar in milk, causing gas, bloating and other G.I. symptoms.” Read more HERE.

If you’re not sure where you stand with dairy, the best approach is to remove it for 30 days and then reintroduce and see what happens. Elimination/reintroduction is still the gold-standard for determining sensitivity to a particular food.

If you are lactose intolerant, there’s good new … You may be able to enjoy some dairy since many types of cheese naturally have very low or non-measurable amounts of lactose.

Soft cheeses tend to have more lactose than hard cheeses. In addition, as cheese ages, it loses even more moisture, therefore the longer a cheese has been aged, the less lactose will remain in the final product.

Here’s a list of cheese types that are aged for long periods of time and are likely to have very small or non-measurable levels of lactose:

  • Cheddar (aged 12+ months)
  • Swiss (ages 14+ months
  • Gouda (aged 18+ months)
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano (aged 12 to 24 months)
  • Grana Padano (aged 12 to 20 months)
  • Mimolette (aged 22 months)
  • Romano (aged 3 to 4 years)

Give this fresh and delicious cheese board a try. Feel free to select cheeses that work well for your body.

Healthy Cheese Board

ITEMS:
3 cheeses of your choice
Grapes, green
Cucumber, sliced
Walnuts & almonds, raw
Olives, green
Bosc pear, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS:

Grab a glass of wine and let your inner artist have fun with laying out these foods on a wood board or large platter. Don’t forget to brag about your food art when company arrives ?

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Easy Dairy Free Pesto

Easy Dairy Free Pesto

Is your herb garden bursting with the amazing aroma of fresh basil? Or maybe you’re like me and just adore the smell and taste of this beautiful herb?

Summer is the perfect time to create fresh and flavourful pesto sauce since you can easily find fresh basil in the grocery stores, at farmer’s markets and in your own backyard if you’re the green thumb type!

From time to time I make a batch of pesto and store it in a small mason jar in my fridge. This makes it super easy to add fresh flavour to almost all my dishes throughout the week.

Pesto goes great with a variety of whole foods including;

  • Spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles
  • Seafood & fish (including canned fish) – try my Wild Salmon with Pesto
  • Chicken & pork
  • Eggs
  • Potatoes and other veggies

DID YOU KNOW? Traditionally, basil has been used to help reduce bloating and water retention, stomach cramps, acid reflux, and even to kill stomach worms or parasites. In addition, basil can help restore the body’s proper pH by balancing acid levels. Healthy bacteria can flourish in the gut when acid levels are balanced which leads to better digestion and a stronger immune system.

Give my Easy Dairy Free Pesto recipe a try. It’s great for those following a paleo, vegan, or dairy free diet.

Easy Dairy Free Pesto

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Pulse basil, pine nuts and garlic in food processor. Scrape sides if needed.

2. Slowly stream in olive oil as the food processor is running. Scrape sides occasionally.

3. Stir in sea salt and black pepper after processing.

4. Use right away or store in an air-tight jar in the fridge for use later. Use within 4 days or store in the freezer for up to a month.

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Nutty “NOatmeal” with Blueberries (Keto, Grain Free, Paleo)

Nutty “NOatmeal” with Blueberries (Keto, Grain Free, Paleo)

Relationship FAQ …

Q: “When did you know that your boyfriend was a keeper?”

A: “When he made me “NOatmeal” ?”

That’s right, my man makes me “NOatmeal” – and a mean latte to go with it!

I’m uncertain if it’s the act of him preparing ME breakfast (in his butt accentuating track pants ?) that melts my insides OR if it’s simply that his “NOatmeal” is so damn good. Whatever it is, I die and go to heaven almost every Sunday morning ?.

You might be wondering – “What the heck is “NOatmeal”?”

It’s basically oat free oatmeal. So if you’re following a paleo, low-carb, keto, or IBS diet, “NOatmeal” would be a great alternative for you.

Now it’s time to take the next step in your relationship by making your girlfriend or boyfriend some “NOatmeal”!

Nutty “NOatmeal” with Fresh Blueberries

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup walnuts
2 tbsp whole flaxseeds
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs (free-run, pastured)
1/4 cup coconut or almond milk, unsweetened
1 banana
1 tbsp almond butter
1/4 cup blueberries

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Put nuts, flaxseeds and spices into food processor and process until everything is finely ground.

2. In one bowl beat eggs and milk together

3. In another bowl, mash banana and almond butter together with a fork.

4. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Turn heat to medium-low heat and begin mixing ingredients together using a spatula.

5. Cook for 5-minutes or longer, stirring regularly so “NOatmeal” doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook for less time if you want a more runny consistency or cook longer if you want a more dense consistency.

6. Top with fresh blueberries and enjoy!

Note: The “NOatmeal” in these photos was made by my BF and not me (because I’m not allowed in his kitchen ?). I was granted permission to plate and photograph the “NOatmeal” though ?.

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