Gluten free - grain free - dairy free - refined sugar free - additive free - vegetarian
Banana flour is a gluten free flour, but has a few advantages over other gluten free flours. Firstly, it's not only gluten free but also grain free- great for all you Paleo eaters out there! Secondly, it's not a nut-based gluten free flour- great for those with tree nut allergies). Thirdly, it's a Resistant Starch. My attempt to explain what this means is as follows: Resistant starch is resistant to the digestive enzymes in the stomach and small intestine, so it is not absorbed there like most other starches, and makes it all the way to the large intestine, acting like dietary fibre.
The benefits of this include:
-keeping your bowels 'regular'
-reducing the chance of colon cancer
-doesn't give your body an instant glucose hit like other starches, and then the associated sugar-low afterwards (ie it's very low G.I.)
-keeps you feeling full for longer
-reduces fat storage after a meal that it is consumed
-promotes increased mineral absorption compared to other starches, especially calcium and magnesium
-promotes good bacteria off the gut (they can feed off it)
No other food contains as much resistant starch per serve as bananas! Second in the running is rolled oats.
Unlike many other gluten free flours that require altering recipes drastically to achieve the non-gluten-free comparison, it's easy to replace regular flour in your favourite recipes. You use 3/4 cup of banana flour for every cup of wheat flour in the recipe, make sure you use baking powder or soda, and add one extra egg (or equivalent soaked chia seeds).
This recipe was a childhood favourite of mine. We called it Sultana Slice and it's in a hand-written in a book of recipes I transcribed from my Mum's when I left home. I've been wanting to give it a gluten/dairy/sugar-free make over for a long time and the banana flour has helped to keep it excitingly close to the original taste and texture.
And, by the way, it doesn't taste like banana! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Gluten free - grain free - dairy free - can be refined sugar free - egg free - vegetarian - (contains tree nuts)
"Hello. My name is Karen, and I'm a chocoholic. I've been a chocoholic since I was about 15, when I had my first job and the means with which to buy as much chocolate as I wanted. I have tried to make more desserts and treats without chocolate... really- I have! But it's no use. Dessert without chocolate is like rain without water, music without a melody, love without the spark." ....(an excerpt from my imaginary first meeting at C.A.: Chocoholics Anonymous. But of course, I'd never go, because I never want to give it up. I prefer the Chocoholics 12 Step plan to recovery : never be further than 12 steps away from chocolate!!)...
Anyway....here's another beauty for all you fellow Chocoholics. And better yet, for all of you that love that divinely inspired combination of orange and dark chocolate, together, in harmony, in one mouthful. The inspiration for this Cookie Cake came from the lovely Brittany at Real Sustinance, and I've really only changed a couple of quantities, and slightly messed with the ingredient list and turned it into Jaffa heaven. Cookie Cake is definitely an American invention- not something we really do here in Australia, but let me assure you it's well worth trying!
If this isn't enough chocolate love for you, check out my lists of sweets and snacks....you will find much more chocolately inspiration there too!
You can also turn this dough into individual cookies rather than a cake. Follow the method right down to the bit where you put it on a lined pizza tray. Instead, just flatten tablespoon-sized balls of the dough onto a lined cookie tray and bake for about 12 minutes, until lightly golden.
Gluten free - grain free - dairy free- refined sugar free - egg free - vegetarian
In my continuing quest to help inspire you all to make interesting, healthy, filling, ' Friendly' breakfasts, I suddenly had the inspiration to convert a cookie recipe that I make regularly make something more breakfast-like. The original recipe had egg in it and I decided I wanted to try and make it egg-free for those with egg allergies. Replacing the egg with Chia worked really well.
Of course, this doesn't have to be eaten for breakfast. It's pretty sweet (although only sweetened with honey) and these make a great lunch box snack too. When eating for breakfast, I cut the slice into 12 pieces, but if using for a snack, I'd make it into 24. It's really filling! I have it pictured above with some Chocolate Avocado Mousse.
For something more indulgent you could replace the dried fruit with 100g of dark chocolate (says the chocoholic!!)
Serves 12 for breakfast, or 24 as a snack.
For more snack ideas, scroll through my recipes here.