So, I share this with you for those moments when you just need a little something for a pick-me-up. Something to tide you over the mid afternoon slump. Something to sooth you through the evening grumpy hour (or hours) with your kids. Something to relax with over a cup of coffee (or Friendly Hot Chocolate) when you need some me-time. You can ditch the chocolate and just eat the date stuffed with the almond butter and it's really good. But trust me, take the time to dip them in chocolate and keep a batch in the freezer for those emergency moments when you need a little something that says 'you can do this...keep going'. I think you'll thank me for it.
Gluten free - grain free - dairy free - refined sugar free - vegetarian - contains egg and nuts
I'm excited about this one! I'm rather partial to a nice sugary coated nut! Here's a wonderfully Christmassy version of sugar coated nuts....made with Coconut Sugar rather than refined sugar.
Coconut Sugar is made by tapping the stems of the coconut palm, extracting the sap, and then dehydrating it at very low temperatures. This minimal amount of processing produces a nutrient and mineral-rich product with a great toffee-like taste. It has a low GI (about 35, compared with refined sugar's 68), providing a slow energy release for your body. It's also a very sustainable product- once a stem is tapped, it flows for the next 20 years. You can use it measure-for-measure to replace sugar in baking.
Coating the nuts with egg white produces a crispy-crunchy coating and the spices I've used just scream 'Christmas' to me...I hope you love them as much as I do!
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!