Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Paleo Banana Nut Muffins and Dark Chocolate Chip Bread

Paleo Banana Nut Muffins

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c almond/coconut flour
  • 1/4 c water (may vary depending on the thickness of your batter)
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1 tbsp olive/coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 c walnut pieces
  1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a muffin pan with olive or coconut oil.
  3. Smash the banana in a mixing bowl. Use a little water to help soften the banana and make it easier to mash.
  4. Add the almond flour and eggs until you create a liquid mixture. This is where I will add some extra water if it is too thick, but usually the two eggs are enough.
  5. Next, add the cinnamon, agave, and walnut pieces.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes until the muffins are toasted on top.

          This is a very quick and easy recipe for a delicious dessert. These muffins taste identical to regular banana bread unfriendly to the Paleo diet.

Paleo Dark Chocolate Chip Bread         
          The ingredients for this bread is identical to the ingredients for the banana nut muffins above, with two exceptions.
  • Replace the walnuts with 1/3 c of Sunspire Fairtrade Organic 65% Cacao Chips. These can be found at Kroger in the healthy food section.
  • I do not always use the whole banana with this bread. I will only use 1/2 to 3/4 banana.
           The preparation is also the same as the preparation for the Banana Nut Muffins. I made the Paleo Dark Chocolate Chip Bread in a loaf shaped baking tin, but either of these recipes can be made any way you choose, as muffins or as bread.
          Both of these Paleo friendly recipes are great for a sweet tooth! I try to only make Paleo desserts one time a week. They are a perfect way to change up the diet, while keeping it healthy, but they are still not good to eat in excess.  

Why Not Have These Everyday?         
          I have had many conversations with Tiffany, one of the Dieticians who inspires the members at our Crossfit box, and my friend, Allison, about why one should eat Paleo treats in moderation. Allison showed me a link to the site, Humans Are Not Broken, which discusses the reasons why one should not make too many Paleo desserts. Here is a condensed excerpt from this site:
          "The major problem with elaborate Paleo foods and desserts is that they are calorie-rich and low on nutrition. This is exactly why SAD (Standard American Diet, such as pizza, processed foods, and junk food) doesn’t work. And here we have Paleo folks mimicking the SAD approach! Unless you are a growing, active child or you have trouble with putting on weight, these foods should not be on your everyday menus.
  • Avoid Paleo processed foods. Nut flours, oils, butters, etc. are processed foods. That doesn’t make them toxic, but it does make them easy to overeat. Do you think human beings have had a chance to evolve a mechanism for detecting when too much coconut oil, almond butter, or coconut flour has been consumed? I don’t.
  • Avoid snacking between meals. Admit it, before you learned how to make Paleo muffins, you rarely snacked between meals. And when you found out Larabars were Paleo? Fuhgeddaboudit. Even if you did snack a bit, the foods were less calorie dense and probably more nutritious."

          I still plan on using Paleo flours and nut butters in some of my recipes, but this is why you should not make them a main food group of your diet. Do not worry, there will be many more Paleo goodie recipes to come. Sticking to the main Paleo eating guidelines is the perfect way to go. Do not be afraid to add a little Paleo sweets in there every now and then, but try not to overdo it!

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