Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How Not to Make Paleo Banana Bread

                Now I don’t know about some of you, but I like to put my own spin on a lot of recipes. Lately I have been substituting many different ingredients for regular flour and regular sugar.  These include almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, agave, honey, maple syrup, etc.  Before doing the Whole30, I would try to make many recipes less awful for you by using stevia instead of refined sugar or spelt flour instead of white flour.  Well, some of these “healthier” ingredients are not as healthy as I had thought.  Now I’ve been sticking to almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, and honey as a sweetener.
                Well, you knew I had a point to make and here it is.  I’ve been in the kitchen for a decent part of the day prepping for our birthday road trip to Colorado.  Road trips can be the doom of any healthy eating and I have learned to avoid disaster, you must prepare.  Last night Kyle made chili and soup for our first day or so while we are in Denver and that way we don’t have to go out to eat because we don’t have any food.  My task today was to use up a lot of our extra produce lying around by preparing snacks, salmon cakes and banana bread.  Well, the salmon cakes I’ve done about four times now and I put my own spin on them every time with different herbs and spices.  We had fresh fennel and parsley lying around from this week’s bountiful basket and I threw some of those two in.  The nice thing about salmon cakes is that you can (at least we do) eat them cold in the car with an assortment of homemade dipping sauces.  They make great high protein healthy snacks for long car rides as long as you bring a cooler for storage. 
                Now the next task went as planned and was simply chopping celery and peppers to have for yet another snack.  It’s always nice to have something crunchy when you’re craving potato chips, pretzels and all those other “traditional” road trip goodies.  Well, like I said, this task took about five minutes.
                But then I just had to take extra bananas from the handball tournament this weekend and decided that I would make a bunch of banana bread and freeze the loaves or give them away.  Yeah, that was until I decided to double the recipe to make things go along faster.  Let me give you a little background about myself and doubling recipes…
                When I was in high school, I decided to double the pancake batter batch and I ended up putting four times the amount of butter in.  That made them beyond salty and guess who took the first bite to come to this realization? My poor mother!  I have so much more respect for mothers after realizing all of the crap they put up with.  I mean if a messed up batch of pancakes wasn’t bad enough, she had to teach me to drive too!
                Anyways, you get my point that this isn’t the first time I’ve tried to make more and ended up failing completely.  The sad part is I made the recipe a couple of days ago and the loaf turned out amazing!  So, let me tell you how not to make Paleo Banana Bread. 
                You definitely don’t want to put only two eggs in when it should have been four. You really shouldn’t try to substitute other flours (coconut) that you aren’t familiar with when doubling. And you definitely shouldn’t keep adding the flour when the batter looks like a good consistency.  On top of all of that, I realized that something was wrong (not the egg part until it was too late), and tried to compensate by adding melted coconut oil and almond butter to give the batch more liquid.  Sadly the batter was still as thick as cookie dough and I gave up on the first batch.  Well, not completely.  I decided that maybe I could salvage the mistake and make muffins or cookies.  The muffins were a little thick and didn’t cook all the way through before starting to get too crispy on the outside (even on 325 degrees), but the cookies are beauties! 

Slightly under cooked muffins.

AMAZING cookies!

I might also add that I followed everything correctly (NOT doubled) in the second attempt, but that one didn’t turn out either.  Many things could have gone wrong, but I’m guessing that the coconut flour is just drier than the almond. In the end, the universe must have meant me to create my own coconut-almond-huckleberry-banana bread cookie bites!  And that’s definitely something new!

The second batch. So thick and didn't rise!

The next week will be filled with adventure as Kyle and I head to Denver, Colorado for a birthday trip.  Our plans include the Colorado Avalanche v. Bruins hockey game, a tour of the Denver Mint, and definitely a trip to the Zoo.  The hard part will be eating healthily while we are away.  We have a good start with all of our prepping and good intentions to get groceries rather than eat out for every meal, but I’ll definitely keep you in the loop on our triumphs and failures.

Cheers to our bucket list and experiencing new things.  Until the next big adventure…

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