Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Banana Bread Tea Cake

When it's February in Michigan, the snow isn't as magical as it once was. It tends to feel very cold and possibly an inconvenience with the unending shovelling and driving slow and careful. And, you start to hear more and more complaining ;) and more and more cases of seasonal sadness taking over lives, begging for sunshine and warm to come just a bit early this year. I think maybe our dreams were dashed when that silly groundhog saw his shadow... I guess saying we have 6 more weeks of winter??  I could have told you that ;) Or at least here in Michigan we have [at least] another 6-10 weeks of winter conditions!

Or is it because we are trying to rush through to the next thing...ALWAYS! It is hard to sit and be in the place where you are. Just being means you have to slow down and pay attention. Being. Mindful. Take it all in. The smells, tastes, feelings, and sounds... And it doesn't hurt to have a few winter activities to find cozy comfort and stay grounded in the present.

Like, have you gone out on a winter hike? Yes you have to get bundled up, but I swear to you that it will change your whole heart when it comes to winter. It is quiet...sacred...simple.. and magical. It will remind you of the present beauty that is all around you and begging you to see and be.

Or the winter sunrises and sunsets. They are what get me up each day and keep me going. The pinks, reds and orangey-peach that fills the sky is breathtaking! Like witnessing a miracle each day!
Baking bread is another one of those activities that brings me warmth and joy in the winter months. I don't care as much about getting warm next to the oven in the summer months. In fact I would likely LOVE to not put the oven on and stay outside in the sun at the beach! But in the winter months you can truly enjoy and savor the space to enjoy baking. And that's why this bread came into creation. One of those days sitting and taking in all the winter-goodness and sacred space. If you are looking to bring a little more warmth and joy to your life these last few weeks [months!] of winter I suggest finding a few activities that bring you life, hope, joy and soaking in them. Happy baking, friends xoxo
 Banana Bread Tea Cake Recipe
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, seed, nut and refined-sugar-free}

3/4 cup of fresh ground buckwheat flour
3/4 cup of fresh ground GF oat flour
3/4 cup of rice flour
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of potato starch
1/4 cup of coconut flour
2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt

1/2 cup of oil [avocado, light olive, or softened coconut]
3 mashed bananas [1 cup]
2/3 cup of coconut milk beverage or other plant-milk
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 cup of applesauce
3/4 cup of date puree paste

In a large mixing bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together first. Then add in the wet and oil and mix together well.  Then oil a baking 9x13 pan or a cake pan or a bundt. Pour in the batter and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes for the bundt, or 30ish for the 9x13 sheet cake pan. Check with toothpick to see if middle is set and not gooey. Let cool and serve up with warm butter or jams of choice. 

I hope you find the sacred in the every day, everything is connected and spiritual and as it should be. Soak it in, enjoy it's season and the parts that are painful or challenging- hold onto them and move through them- they can be your teacher and make you who you need to be!

Sending much love and hope for you today, xoxo

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

LOVE Brownies

I had the joy and honor to cook for another Women's Wellness Retreat this past weekend. It was another group of fabulous women with such bravery to dig deeper into the inner self for healing, rest, nourishment and self-love. After these experiences, I again remember how I truly believe that women are the force of change and love in the world. They are the ones that are willing to go through the wounds, the pain, and the joys that make us who we are... and then somehow turn that power into superpowers to share with those around them. It's pure magic and amazement to see this beauty unfold!

I make many of my most favorite recipes...my Sweet Potato Lentil Chili, homemade bread, covered in honey butter and berry chia seed jam. And I had to share some of my newest favorite ways to start the day with the warm smoothie or immunity shots. And then there is cookies, and muffins, and so much more...(hot cocoa and marshmallows...) It is so fun...and exhausting in a good way. This time by the end of the retreat I wanted to use up some of the leftover ingredients and I whipped up a pan of brownies to send our guests home with. These brownies were born out of LOVE and leftovers :) And of course they were magic in a pan :)
Love 'Leftover' Brownie Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy and nut-free}

1/2 cup of GF oat flour
or a mix of a GF flour blend (millet, buckwheat, quinoa, rice)
1/3 cup of cocoa powder (or hot cocoa mix)
1 TB of coconut flour
1 TB of potato starch
1 TB of tapioca flour
1 ts. of baking soda
1/4 ts. of baking powder
1/2 ts. of sea salt

1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
1/4 cup of date puree
2 whipped-up fresh eggs
(you can omit eggs and add in more pumpkin puree or use chia 'eggs')
3/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup of maple syrup
drizzle of pure vanilla

In a saucepan, melt the following together to add to the batter...
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil

optional: sprinkle more chocolate chips in and on top before baking (another 1/3-1/2 cup)
OR if you are nut/seed person you could add some walnut or pecans to the batter here too

In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients and then the wet, finally folding in the melted oil and chocolate chips. Fold all together and then you can add more chocolate chips to the batter or to the top before baking. Spread in a parchment papered  9x9 tin or glass pan to make it easier to pull the brownies out to cut. Spread evenly in the pan and then you can bake in a 350 degree oven for 22-25 minutes. Pull out and let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting squares to help with less crumbles. 

This recipe will fit into a 9x9 baking pan, or double the recipe up and pour into a 12x15 baking sheet pan. I originally made this recipe doubled and then made it again halved for my own family.

After cutting out squares you can ENJOY just as they are with so much gratitude and LOVE for good deep rich brownies made with wholesome ingredients and ones that you can share :)

Much love as always xoxo