Friday, February 25, 2011

Banana Bread

Hello, Hello,

It is another chilly morning here in Eugene.  Yesterday, most things were closed down due to snow but, unfortunately, the snow melted by noon.  To me, snow days means baking days.  I had some extra bananas sitting around and figured it had been a long time since I had made banana bread.

The original recipe calls for xanthan gum.  There has been a lot of talk in the gluten free community about whether or not we really need this gum for baking, and if it is causing some of our intestinal issues.  I decided to be bold and leave it out.  The bread turned out great, maybe a little more crumbly than it would have been with xanthan gum added, but it was still banana bread.  So, if you feel gutsy, try it without the xanthan gum.

Banana Bread
Courtesy: Babycakes

2 Cups Bob's Red Mills gluten free all purpose baking flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
2 Teaspoons baking soda
1 Teaspoon xanthan gum
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon (I put in 2)
1/2 Cup coconut oil, plus more for the pan
2/3 Cup agave nectar
2/3 Cup Rice milk (I only had hemp milk on hand)
1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cup mashed bananas

Preheat oven to 325 and lightly grease a 7x4x3-inch loaf pan with coconut oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and cinnamon.  Add 1/2 cup oil and the agave nectar, rice milk and vanilla to the dry ingredients.  Stir until the batter is smooth.  Using a plastic spatula, gently fold in the bananas until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Fill the prepared pan halfway with batter.  Bake bread on the center rack for 35 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees after 20 minutes.  The finished loaf will bounce back slightly when pressed, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.

Let the banana bread stand in the pan for 20 minutes.  Remove bread from pan and either cut and serve warm or let cool completely before storing.  Should store at room temperature for 3 days.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hummus and Jacob's Cattle Dip

Good Morning!

Lately I have been trying to up my protein intake just a bit.  While training for this marathon I feel like I need a little bit more than what I had been getting.  I usual don't eat a protein heavy breakfast or lunch, but save it for dinner, so I am trying to find ways to incorporate more beans into my diet.  I am just not at the point where I will be eating greens and beans for breakfast.

So, I have two lovely bean dip recipes.  They are disgustingly easy to make and so very yummy.  I made the hummus dip two days ago and it is nearly gone.  Put these dips on bread, crackers, chips, veggies, apples, or straight out of the container with a spoon (yes, I did that).

Traditional Hummus
Courtesy: Clean Food

1 Clove garlic, peeled (I ended up putting about 4 large cloves in)
2 Cups cooked chickpeas
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons tahini
1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 Teaspoon salt

With food processor running, drop in garlic cloves and process until minced.  Turn off processor, scrape down sides and add chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, cumin, lemon juice and salt.  Restart processor and slowly add water, making hummus slightly thinner than desired, as it will thicken when refrigerated.  Chill to combine flavors before serving.

Feel free to add sun-dried tomatoes, fire roasted red peppers, pesto or any other flavor to your hummus.

All the ingredients needed for hummus!

Jacob's Cattle Bean Dip

2 1/2 Cups cooked jacob's cattle beans
1/2 Cup water
3 Garlic cloves, smashed
3 Tablespoons tahini
1 Teaspoon paprika
1 Teaspoon garam masala
1/2 Teaspoon cumin
1 Teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend together until smooth.  Taste and add more spices if needed.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Hello, Hello, Hello.

Sorry that it has been a while since I have written anything.  My life has been a little busier than I have wanted it to be.  About a month ago, I took the train up to Seattle to visit Bastry University and check out their masters program in nutrition.  Ever since then I have been trying to figure out what I need to do to get accepted there.  Bastyr is a very small private university.  They focus on the mind, body, spirit and whole foods.  There is just about 1,200 students in the whole school.  Their nutrition program sounds awesome and part of their curriculum includes cooking in their amazing kitchen.

Also, about a month ago I also signed up for the San Francisco marathon!  I figured, why not?  It was about 8 months away and I had never been to San Francisco.  If I didn't sign up for it I would never do it.  I needed something to look forward to, I needed something that I could work on and accomplish that didn't take 4 years.  So far training is going well and I am ahead of my own schedule.  Today I ran 9 miles.  I feel proud of myself.

Okay, but for now, this blog is really about food, so lets get to it!

A few weeks ago I saw a recipe on Choosing Raw for a hot breakfast cereal made of quinoa.  She basically just cooked the quinoa and then put it in a food processor to liquify it.  For a little bit now, I have been making quinoa for breakfast, but leaving it intact.  Yesterday I figured I would try something different.  I had some extra, plain, cooked quinoa in my fridge.  I added hemp milk, cinnamon, bananas and frozen blueberries to the quinoa and heated it up on the stove, hence the name of the blog.  Bananas, Blueberries and Quinoa.

After it was heated through I used my lovely immersion blender and blended until everything was smooth and creamy.

I then added some maple syrup to sweeten and topped with a mix of nuts (almond, cashew, hazelnut, walnut and pecans).

Quick, easy, delicious and very nutritious.  Try using other frozen fruits!

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