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Buckwheat Granola and a Banana Almond Breakfast Bowl

Dear lovelies,

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Hello! I’ve missed you, blog! It has been literally months since I’ve posted. A few crazy, weird (both amazingly good-weird and kinda funky/bad-weird), interesting months. Some quick updates before I get this post rollin’:

I am now 100% gluten free. Therefore, so is this blog! It seems silly to make this announcement in February since it’s been true since the beginning of November, but I’ve been missing from my bloggin’ since this whole ordeal sooo…surprise! Turns out I have some weird food allergies/intolerances/who-knows-whats that have been causing some health issues for a while. It got really bad this winter, so I cut out gluten and am still working on identifying the other meanie foods that are hurting me. It’s all a process.

Oh and for all you nonbelievers: Food intolerances are real and not just trendy. Believe me. When pizza and I broke up, I was beyond devastated. I wouldn’t wish this kind of heartbreak upon anyone.

AND: things can be just as yummy gluten free as their gluten-y counterparts. Let me prove it to you!

It’s 2014! (When on earth did that happen oh my god I graduate soon okay whoa ahh yep)

Anyways okay hi, the FOOD:

Buckwheat Granola

1 1/2 c. raw, hulled buckwheat groats
1/4 c. raw walnut pieces
1/4 c. raw sesame seeds
1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds
1/3 c. coconut flakes
1/4 c. coconut butter (oil would work here too)
3 tbsp. maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat your oven to 325° and grease a large sheet pan with coconut oil or line it with parchment paper. Set this aside and grab a big bowl. Mix all your dry ingredients together. In a small  bowl, melt down your coconut butter/oil in the microwave for 30ish seconds. Pour in your maple syrup/other sweetener, vanilla, and mix. Combine your wet and dry ingredients and spread evenly across your prepared pan. Stick it in the oven for about an hour, checking every 10-15 minutes to mix around and make sure nothing is burning (pay special attention to the coconut flakes! These little guys are needy–they burn easily). When I’m done, I usually turn off the oven and leave the granola inside as it cools so I can ensure crispiness without burning.

Banana Almond Chia Pudding

1 banana, preferably on the riper side
1 heaping tbsp. almond butter
3 tbsp. chia seeds
1 c. unsweetened almond milk (or whatever other milk/milk substitute you want)

The night (or a few hours) before you want to eat this yumminess, mash your banana and whisk it together with the almond milk. Add your chia seeds and almond butter and stir/shake/whatever your lil heart desires to make sure it’s well-combined. I put mine directly in my my roommate’s magic bullet and let it sit overnight in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat it, throw it in the blender for a little to combine. Or not. It’s not really necessary, but I like it better this way.

Serve over yogurt, topped with your new yummy granola! It’s the bomb. I could hardly sleep last night I was so excited for my breakfast-to-be.

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Isn’t it beautiful?

Happy weekend, lovely people. And happy 2014. It’s good to be back.

Love, Emily

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Banana Fudge Muffins

Ooooooh hi!

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Mkay yeah I know I’ve been missing for a while. These past couple weeks have been insanity. I moved into my new apartment at LAST (hallelujah) and I’ve been trying to get into a routine with my new classes and things. It’s been a challenge, but we’re gettin’ there. Slowly but surely.

CONFESSION: I actually made these muffins when I was still at home. As in, weeks ago. And I’m just posting about them now, I know I knoooow. But my ever-so-slightly adapted version of this recipe is worth it.

ANOTHER CONFESSION: I don’t even have real pictures of these muffins to share with you guys. And by “real” I mean liiike, nice pictures. I left my DSLR at my parents’ (WAHH) in all the packing madness aaaand therefore I only have my cell phone pictures accessible. So those will have to do! Sorry sorry–I am so discombobulated lately.

3 bananas, mashed
2/3 c. sugar
1 large egg
1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375° and line a muffin tin with liners. Set aside. Mix together your mashed bananas (try to get as many lumps out as possible, please!), sugar, egg and applesauce. Sift together all of your dry ingredients and add to the wet mixture, stirring gently to combine. Fold in your chocolate chips. Don’t overmix! If you’d like, drop a couple more chocolate chips on the top to make ’em extra chocolatey and cute. I recommend it. Divide your batter among the 12 muffin cups and bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean (but beware of mistaking chocolate-chip gooeyness for an underdone muffin). Let cool. Devour.

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These muffins are exceptional. And so easy. And they stay good for a while as long as you keep them in an airtight container, so you can enjoy them all week!

More to come. Stay tuned for baking/cooking adventures from my new home sweet tiny apartment.

Love,
Emily


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Banana Protein Smoothies (edit)

Hello there loves,

I probably got my love of smoothies from my dad. Every single day he makes one, sits outside to drink it, and puts the cup down for my dog Oliver to lick when he’s done. My dad has always put the oddest things in smoothies; from flax seed to raw eggs to other strange things, there are always some questionable ingredients involved. I usually keep my distance from these things and make my own smoothies (with a little bit of my dad’s influence of course) involving slightly more normal ingredients. Smoothies are so great. They’re meals you can drink or eat with a spoon! What’s better than that?

3/4 banana

2 tbsp. peanut butter

1 scoop whey protein (I used vanilla)

1 c. milk

A bit of ice (optional)

Throw all these things in a blender and blend until smooth! Yummy.

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Edit: Another recipe I use a lot for my breakfast/lunch smoothies (depending on when I wake up…heh heh) is my Green Banana Smoothie. And I do not mean “green banana” as in, underripe and literally green. I mean banana plus spinach! It makes the smoothie this lovely light green color–which happens to be my favorite–and it doesn’t even taste remotely “green”.

3/4 banana

1/4 c. or “small handful” of raw walnuts

1 scoop of vanilla whey protein

1-2 handfuls of fresh spinach (however much/little you want! It blends down to practically nothing)

1 c. milk

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

A bit of ice (again, optional)

Isn’t it pretty? The cinnamon and walnuts add a nice banana-bread-esque kind of taste, plus the nuts help keep your tummy full and happy. I do really love this smoothie.

I always keep some frozen bananas in my freezer so I can make these smoothies whenever. It makes them creamier and you don’t have to use too much ice (or any, if you don’t want to). I peel each banana and break it into 4 pieces, then stick them in a ziplock bag for my eventual smoothie-making. This way, they don’t get too ripe. I find that 1 whole banana is a liiittle bit too much in my opinion, which is why I usually use about 3/4 of one. And if you freeze some bananas, you can break 3 of them into fourths and you have a perfect amount for 4 smoothies (woooooo).

I saw a recipe online somewhere for a similar peanut butter banana protein smoothie, but it had TOFU in it. I kid you not. Tofu. First of all, tofu is creepy enough when it’s not blended into a smoothie. It’s white and squishy and has a texture reminiscent of porous jello (except it’s WARM ehhhhhhh). Second of all, soy protein is not even good for you. So if you’re really wanting some protein in your smoothie, stick to the whey protein instead, it’s yummy and not white and cubic…ewwy. This smoothie is better, I promise.

Happy weekend, guys! Have a smoothie to celebrate.

Love, Emily


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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Hi lovelies!

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Anyone who knows me knows that I am in love with this banana bread (and a fair number of you have probably made it with me). My family has been using this recipe for as long as I can remember–we used to leave out heart-shaped mini loaves of our banana bread for Santa every year when I was little instead of cookies. Santa definitely appreciated it. We always have tons of bananas in my house (don’t ask me why, I have no idea) so there are inevitably some that get overripe. I personally only really like to eat bananas when they are slightly underripe with just a teeeensy bit of green on them. So what better way to use the ones that I don’t want to eat than to bake them into a bread? Especially a bread that involves CHOCOLATE? Mkay yeah. Thought so.

Anyways, the story behind these little banana muffins today goes as follows: my wonderful friend Lexi had a bite of precious banana she had been saving (made by another friend Alex)–the most chocolate-chip-filled bite of course–sitting in her hand in its little foil wrapper. It looked so delicious. I could not resist. I launched myself at her and ate it right out of her hand. Those of you who know Lexi know that, like me, she is serious about her food, and was extremely unamused by my antics to say the least. As a peace offering, I baked her these! Recipe as follows (I used a half-recipe, but here’s the whole one):

1 stick of butter

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

2 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

3 mashed bananas

3/4 c. chocolate chips (or, quite honestly, however many you want. I never actually measure, shh)

First and foremost, preheat the oven to 350. Cream together the butter, sugar, and eggs until the mixture is smooth. This is SO MUCH EASIER when the butter is actually softened. I am usually never patient enough to wait, but I happened to have a stick of butter sitting out already today (again, don’t ask) and it was BEAUTIFUL how easy it was to combine those ingredients without having to mash the cold butter to oblivion. My arm didn’t nearly fall off like it usually does! Anyways. After that mixture is nice and smooth, add the flour, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Set this bowl aside.

Now for the fun part. Mash the bananas! I always do this by hand, always have (just make sure you wash them first, obviously). If you’re baking with a friend, make them do it! It’s fun to watch people get grossed out by the texture and the squelchy noises. I usually just break the bananas into pieces and mash them between my fingers into a separate. Fun stuff. Or maybe I’m just weird. If you’re squeamish (ahem, lame), you can put them in a gallon ziplock and do it that way. Regardless of how you go about it, make sure they’re pretty thoroughly mashed, otherwise you’ll have some pretty big banana chunks in your bread.

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Looks delightfully repulsive, huh? 🙂 Once properly smooshed, add the banana mush and chocolate chips. Pour into a greased loaf pan or muffin tin. (Obviously, I made muffins this time, but I prefer making a loaf. These are just easier to share.) If you’re making muffins, bake for about 25 minutes, for a loaf, bake for about 50. Keep an eye on it of course, all ovens are different. Enjoy, guys! I hope you love this recipe as much as I do.

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Yum.

Love, Emily