Tropical Flourless Cookies

WIN_20160210_155927I’ll admit it. I was a bit skeptical of flourless baking in the past. After finding success with Grandpa John’s Flourless Chocolate Cake, I was inspired! These Tropical Flourless Cookies, packed full of flavor from very ripe bananas, flaked coconut, and chocolate, are fabulous. In fact, they’re so fabulous that you’ll never even notice the lack of flour or added refined sugar! Give ’em a whirl and let me know what you think.

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WIN_20160210_151232Ingredients (Makes 24 cookies)

3 very ripe bananas (skins should be black)

1 cup flaked coconut

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips Continue reading

Amazing Oatmeals

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I can’t think of a breakfast more devoted to overall wellness than a bowl of properly dressed oatmeal.  I really can’t.  For only 150 calories, a single cup of oats contains about 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.  The soluble fiber in oats, called beta-glucan, is special.  This fiber has repeatedly been shown to lower cholesterol levels, which in turn lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.  Still not convinced?  What if I tell you that the beta-glucan in oats has also been linked to more stable blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes?  It’s true.

How much of this special fiber does it take to improve your health, you ask?  Only the amount found in a daily bowl of oatmeal.  So, let’s do ourselves a favor this morning.  Let’s both agree to say “No” to preservative-laden boxed cereals, skip the donuts with our coffee, and instead enjoy properly dressed bowls of oatmeal together.

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Directions

Stir together the ingredients for the blend of your choice, below, in a small mixing bowl.  Pack into a pint size mason jar.  For each serving, scoop out 1/2 cup of mixture from the mason jar and place in a microwave-safe bowl.  Add 1 cup of water and microwave for 2 minutes or until water is absorbed.  Enjoy!

Apple Walnut Blend (makes 4 servings)

1 1/3 cups rolled oats

1 tablespoon flax seed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/3 cup chopped dried apples

1/3 cup raw walnuts

Blueberry Quinoa Blend (makes 4 servings)

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup quinoa

1/4 cup dried blueberries

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Cherry Almond Blend (makes 4 servings)

1 1/3 cups rolled oats

1/3 cup raw almonds

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup dried tart cherries

Coconut Almond Blend (makes 4 servings)

1 1/3 cups rolled oats

1/3 cup raw almonds

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/3 cup dried, shaved coconut

I feel better already, don’t you?

Dark Chocolate Coconut Muffins

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These muffins manage to taste like they fall into the “may as well eat a jumbo chocolate éclair” category when, in reality, they are nutritionally superior to most pastries.  Cocoa powder and dark chocolate are high in antioxidants and plenty delicious without a lot of added sugar.   These muffins freeze well, and make awesome lunchbox treats.  Go ahead, indulge.

picture767Ingredients (makes 12 muffins)

1 cup white flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup skim milk

1/4 cup canola oil

Directions

Step 1) Line a dozen standard size muffin cups with foil liners (preferable), or grease the muffin cups well.  Do not use paper liners, as they will stick.  Set aside.

Step 2) Combine all dry ingredients and mix well.

Step 3) Combine egg, milk, and oil in a separate bowl and mix well.

Step 4) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until moistened.  Don’t get carried away… it’s OK if the batter is a little bit lumpy!

Step 5) Fill muffin liners or muffin cups 2/3 full.

Step 6) Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for a few minutes, and enjoy!