Paleo Banana Bread

I’m back!! A confession is an order right about now. I neglected my blog (sorry!)  for over a year to focus on cell biology and mechanical physics. Ugh gross. I know.  Anyhow, back to the blog.

Now that I’m back, I plan put it all out there; my whereabouts, rants, workouts, meals, cooking, experiments, gardening, things I love, things I hate, hikes, terrariums, food finds, pictures of puppies/kittens/goats/chickens, restaurant reviews, wine tastings, travels, love, hobbies, crafts, all this in no specific order 🙂

For this entry, I will tell you all about a recipe I recreated from PaleOMG. The Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread was just perfect for this lazy, sunny Sunday. I previously  hesitated on this recipe because of the baking component. These past few weeks here in Portland have been hotter than usual (scary, global warming kind of scary), so turning on the oven was just not an option. However, this past week, finally, the weather turned and there’s now a cooler breeze that waffles through the air making it possible to bake without the house being an inferno. For this one recipe I just happened to have ALL of the ingredients needed. Plus, the bananas I had were starting to brown, so I took that as a sign to start baking. This is definitely a treat since the macros are so high. But, nonetheless, since I know exactly what went into making this delicious treat, I would rather eat this all day long  vs a prepackaged alternative.

Here’s my review of this recipe.

The availability of ingredients: easy. If you eat mostly paleo and/or ‘healthy’ you will most likely have all the ingredients in hand. If by any chance you don’t have that specific brand of chocolate chips, I’m sure you can use any other dark chocolate chips brand. Heck, you can even break a dark chocolate bar into smaller pieces and use that instead.

Expense: $. The priciest ingredient in this recipe is the almond butter. You can, however, get a large jar at Costco for around 11.00. That jar will last you a good while. The only problem is that it isn’t organic, but what the hell, a little won’t hurt. The process: easy. I used a food processor for the mixing because I’m too lazy to mix it by hand. I also subbed the double-broiler for the microwave in  the chocolate melt part.

Technique: fairly easy. Unless, you like me, suck at swirling the chocolate. I also didn’t thoroughly read the instructions and only swirled the top of the bread, not the whole loaf pan. Another of ‘my bad’ was that I forgot to add the honey to the chocolate topping. Oops, it’s all good though.

Result: moist, rich, and delicious. I’m kind of glad I got overly excited and accidentally omitted the honey because the sweetness in it is just perfect. I’m thinking it’s because of the ripe bananas.

Macros: wait, before I tell you, I ask you not to judge; fit women (and men) need some good calories in their diets too.  Ladies don’t be afraid of high cals and fats! Oh and just FYI, I used MyFitnessPal to track the macros. This same recipe comes up on this app, but the macros are different than mine. This could be due to using different brands of ingredients and/or the serving size. I cut my loaf in 6. Serving size: 1 slice. Totals calories per slice: 218g, Protein: 13g, Carbs: 39g, Fat: 32g, Sugar: 19g, Fiber: 10g

Proof:

Gather all your ingredients

Gather all your ingredients before you start

The wet ingredients

The wet ingredients

my lame attempt at the swirl

my lame attempt at the swirl

beautiful

beautiful

 

Yum! Enjoyed my slice with Blue Lotus Star Anise Chai and cashew milk.

Yum! Enjoyed my slice with Blue Lotus Star Anise Chai and cashew milk.

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Bulletproof Coffee

Lately I’ve heard so much about “Bullet-proof coffee” around the Paleo-world, that I just had to try it for myself.

Here’s the breakdown; bulletproof coffee is black coffee with pasture butter and coconut oil (MCT oil) in it. Yes, you drink straight up liquid fat in your coffee. Now before you start to gag, let me say that’s actually quite delicious and nutritious (if done right).

You see, your body runs on of two sources of energy. These are either Fats (lipids) and/or Carbohydrates (Sugars). And believe it or not, human bodies are most efficient when they run off on fats; we actually NEED fats to be healthy!

Sure eating carbs is just fine if you are an athlete with low body fat, but let’s be honest, most of the population (over 70%) is not. If you happen to be overweight or borderline overweight, carbs are definitely not your friend. Carbohydrates are metabolized in your body as sugar, which don’t get me started; sugars create pure havoc on your body. Period.

But I digress; supplementing your diet with ‘good-fats’ is key for better body composition. Yes, you eat fats to lose fats. But before you grab that Snickers bar, I have to stress the word good fats. By good fats I mean, fats such as: pasture butter, ghee, lard, chicken fat, lamb fat, full fat dairy, coconut oil, olive oil, fish oil, grass-fed tallow, avocados, nuts, seeds. Keep in mind that the non-animal fats are to be organic, unrefined and the animal fats are from pasture-raised/grass fed and organic.

But back to the butter. Eating butter from grass-fed cows contains medium chain fatty acids, which surprisingly doesn’t enter the cholesterol cycle. In fact, even though butter is high in saturated fats, they won’t elevate the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.

Come to find out that when cows eat grasses that are alive, the vitamins that are eaten in the grasses contain more fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, E, K than grain-fed cows. Pasture butter also contains beta carotene, which gives its yellow color naturally (commercial butter makers add colors and dyes to make it yellow…toxic and eww!!) And then comes CLA -this is one is especially important if you want to lose weight. CLA is conjugated linoleic acid which is produced in the gut of the grass fed animal. CLA is an anti-carcinogen, decreases inflammation and greatly reduced stress by lowering cortisol levels in the body which in turn, trims your waistline.

Now on to the coconut oil. The original recipe for the bulletproof coffee calls for MCT oil which is straight up Medium-chain triglyceride oil. It is found naturally in coconut oil and palm oil. MCT is easily digestible since it requires fewer enzymes to break it down and it is quickly metabolized by the liver giving you tons of energy while decreasing fat storage. Unfortunately, I don’t have any at home, or even coconut oil (ran out), so I used coconut butter for my bulletproof coffee mix.  Coconut butter still has the essential fatty acids, enzymes and vitamins than coconut oil or MCT has, just less potent in a way.

Adding butter and coconut/MCT oil to your coffee is not a great leap if you already do a Paleo nut and meat breakfast. The idea of this is to fuel your body with the proper nutrients at the right time. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so giving it the fats it needs only sets you up for a great start to your morning.

Here’s my modified version of the Bullet-Proof Coffee, which is much more conservative than the original version. Blend it all together until frothy and drink up!

1 tablespoon of organic coconut butter

1tablespoon of unsalted pasture butter

12-14 oz black coffee

So here is my report after day 2 of drinking my bulletproof coffee (so far it’s a win in my book):

  • Coffee flavor is enhanced-it’s rich with a slight coconut flavor to it.
  • I feel full for much, much longer. I eat breakfast around 7:45am and I wasn’t hungry until after 1pm.
  • I was kept focused throughout tasks.
  • I wasn’t craving a second cup of coffee at work
  • I felt energized/sharp

My two cents to all of this:

Use common sense on how much fat is appropriate for you. Don’t be afraid of fats but do respect them. Follow a low-carb/high fat protein diet if you want better body composition. Here’s a rule of thumb; never combo fats and carbs by themselves. Only supplement with carbs if you are the long lost child of Lance Armstrong, and finally give the Bulletproof Coffee a try.

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