Monday, February 23, 2015

Chocolate Banana Bread *GF*

This month has brought through some good changes!! I started walking more with an accountability partner. I'm working out for a half hour 5 days a week and going to yoga once a week (usually). Next month, I hope to increase my working out to one hour a day five times a week. 

Isn't that what the wellness journey is all about? Incorporating some good-for-you changes and seeing how they work with your body and within the harmony of your family!? Such as my posts have suggested thus far in 2015, New Year Solutions and Diets Fail!, movement is a key component of your wellness journey but my heart and attention usually falls in the realm of nutrition. Find what you're good at and then slowly add in other elements. 

This brings me to my post: Recently I borrowed a bread machine. 

I've tried numerous breads in the oven and FAIL! In this bread maker, I'm baking gluten breads to start. You see, my family isn't gluten free but like gardening, I feel I've got to start somewhere. I'll draw back to the garden statement in a moment. So far I've made three loaves with gluten and they're getting better with each loaf! Now, I must caveat and mention that I've baked sweet (mini) breads in the oven - zucchini, chocolate, carrot, banana, etc., all without fail. The sandwich bread has been the tricky one in the oven. 

One afternoon while my gluten bread was baking in the machine, I saw my brown bananas sitting on the counter. About every other month or so I make my banana bread recipe and the last time I forgot about trying my hand at the gluten free mix. This time around, I made my favorite of all time banana bread with the gluten free mix flour (I had purchased it in the gourmet aisle at the local department store, Marshall's). So I cheated and used the mix but I did call them and ask the source of the xanthan gum - it is nonGMO! I wasn't sure if I was supposed to use baking soda like in my original recipe (link above) so I threw it in anyway. Sometimes when it doubt, leave it out, but I went with my gut on this one, and left it in. 

Even though my family isn't gluten free, I'm sharing this recipe for two reasons: 
1) I'm open to learning, growing (trying), and sharing; 
2) We all start somewhere.

So if you're strictly gluten-free, this recipe may not be well suited because I didn't evaluate every ingredient for gluten. In my research, using baking soda made in a dedicated 100% gluten free facility may be best. However, if you're wanting to try something new or want some shortcuts if not strictly gluten-free, this recipe may work. 

iCA | Chocolate Banana Bread *GF* using a nonGMO mix

Many of the gluten free flour mixes are usually chock full of GMOs - corn and other derivatives that are not clearly labeled. So when in doubt, you can leave it out, or you can call the company direct and inquire like I did with the brand I used, Sugar and Spice Market. They said that their packages in the future will say made with all non-GMO ingredients. So keep your look out for the updated labels. 

Before I share my recipe, let me address that garden comment above. I am volunteering my time at least once a week with our community garden. I've been a volunteer since May 2014 and I've learned a lot! My mom has a green thumb. I killed house plants. I couldn't even grow lavender. But that was then and this is now. (Remember: Be open to learning, growing, and sharing.)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Diets Fail! Or, do they?! Tools for Measuring Success

Them: What kind of diet are you on?
Me: Real Food.

This post has been moved to my new blog. You can find the health tips on Conveying Awareness.

Choose, eat, and live well! :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Double Apple Muffins

Double Apple Muffins 

iConveyAwareness | Double Apple Muffins - Gluten and Dairy Free

Yet another recipe inspiration following the gluten-free and dairy-free food regimen. I must admit that I'm thankful that my family does not have any food restrictions which allows me the freedom to choose almost any kind of ingredient (only real food ingredients). Quality and source matter!!

Today's inspirational recipe hails from Simple Foody. Click on her name for the full recipe. As always, I put my personal spin on the recipe. The reason for my modification today was I didn't have all the ingredients so I subbed hence creating my own version.

I made these muffins the same night I made the grain-free meatloaf as seen here. As soon as my husband came through the door from work he commented, "What ya cookin' good lookin'?" I smiled and said, "Something new!"