Granola that’s Bananas

 I’m yearning for fall weather.

But Sunday, it was absolutely gorgeous here, sunny, with temps in the low 90’s and a light breeze.

Given there was a bit of humidity, but it felt good.

I think summer was trying to tell me goodbye.

Especially when I arrived at the grocery store and looked at all the pale yellow colored rinds on the watermelon.

I wish I could bottle summer in a jar.

It would probably smell like the beach, coconut, and malibu rum…ha!

No, but seriously…I’m ready for some fall baking.

It’s just not the same during the summer, scorching hot temps outside don’t make baking a fun experience.

I want it to be cold, I want leaves falling, I want orange and red colors, I was pumpkin everything.

I want cozy food.

Let’s start early.

Now, you know I tout the paleo lifestyle all day every day, but really, if you think I can live without peanut butter…you are dead wrong.

It’s really about what is right for your body.

My body does great living the paleo lifestyle.

Buuuuuuutttt…it’s all about moderation.

If I want that Reese’s, I’m going to have it.

It’s how I feel about granola. Sometimes I just want a big batch of granola full of hearty oats, given they are certified gluten-free, but still…oats.

I’m going to show you what granola looks like banana bread-ified.

It totally exists.

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It has actual bananas in it.

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I mean, that’s got to be healthy, right?

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Plus, I mean look at those clusters of cashews and pecans!

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I mean, c’mon…

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total

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health food.

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mhhhhhm 😉

Banana Bread Granola Clusters
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack, Breakfast, Granola
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Crunchy clusters of granola packed with oats, cashew butter, cashews, pecans, and sweetened with bananas for a banana bread spin on your favorite snack! Gluten-free, vegan.
Ingredients
  • 1 large, very ripe banana, mashed
  • ⅓ c. pure maple syrup
  • ¼ c. roasted, unsalted cashew butter
  • 2 T. melted coconut butter
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 c. certified gluten-free rolled oats
  • ½ c. cashews
  • ¼ c. pecans
  • ¼ t. ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the banana, maple syrup, cashew butter, coconut butter, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Stir in the oats, cashews, pecans, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Spread mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, rotate the pan halfway through the baking process at the 15 minute mark.
  6. Make sure that you don't over bake the granola, it will start to brown quickly at the end.
  7. Let the granola cool completely to crisp, then break into clusters.

MANGIA!!!

Outrageous Cake

Y’all…i’m in deep.

I mean, who am I?

I have just been creating stuff right and left here on the blog.

I’m pretty sure I pull these things out of nowhere.

On another note, let’s talk about fasting for a second.

On Monday, I had a client tell me that he couldn’t exercise because he was fasting for 6 weeks.

This is apart of his religious belief.

When I asked him what the “fasting” regulations were he told me that he could only eat and drink before sunrise, and after sunset…for the next 6 weeks.

My first thought was…I’d freaking die!

My second thought was…what? No water! I’d pass out!

ESPECIALLY in this Houston heat.

I then proceeded to tell him how my parents tried to get me to go to an overnight fasting social when I was in the fifth grade at my local Catholic church.

Ya, that didn’t happen…sweet talked my way out of that one.

How could I possibly not eat for 12 hours?

Are you kidding me?

No board game or sleepover with my friends would keep me out of the cookie jar.

I’m pretty much a model Catholic.

Anyway, I comend my clients effort in sticking to his religious rituals.

However, the only thing I could think about is what I would eat after the fast was completely over.

Oh, and maybe I just might make this for my client once his fast is over.

Y’all…my dad says this cake is outrageously delicious.

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Remember those Tahini Honey Roasted Cashews I made on Monday?

Ya…well, I pulverized them into a Tahini Honey Roasted CASHEW BUTTER!

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Then I added toasted coconut + sweet banana and made this crazy a** cake.

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This stuff is super gooey…almost like a gooey butter cake.

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But it’s completely butter-less & flour-less…say what?

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Oh, and it has additional chopped up tahini honey roasted cashews inside of it.

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Plus, since we are calling it a cake…I had to make a maple cashew butter glaze for it…duh.

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I win!

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🙂

Toasted Coconut Cashew Banana Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Cake
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
A melt in your mouth banana cake made with creamy homemade tahini roasted cashew butter, sweet, ripe bananas, and toasted coconut flakes. Chock full of extra roasted cashews and topped off w/ a maple cashew butter glaze.
Ingredients
  • For the cake:
  • 2 c. tahini honey roasted cashews (see my recipe index or the link in the text above)
  • 2 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 T. pure maple syrup
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • 1 t. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c. unsweetened, flaked coconut, toasted
  • ½ c. tahini honey roasted cashews
  • For the glaze:
  • ¼ c. tahini roasted cashew butter, see below
  • ¼ c. pure maple syrup
  • 2 T. coconut milk
Instructions
  1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 baking dish w/ cooking spray.
  2. In a large food processor, process the cashews until a creamy, smooth cashew butter forms, about 5-10 minutes, scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.
  3. Take 1 c. of that cashew butter (save the leftover for the glaze) and place it in a large mixing bowl along with the bananas, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar.
  4. Mix until smooth.
  5. Fold in the toasted coconut and cashews.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Let cool completely, cut into squares and drizzle with the glaze.
  8. For the glaze, place all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
  9. Drizzle over the cake squares.

MANGIA!!!

Out of my Mind

Sometimes i’m pretty sure that i have lost my mind.

Like when I’m in the midst of taking photos for the blog and then I delete some pretty important step-by-step recipe photos that I needed for today.

Yep, that’s me.

So, today all I have is the end product photos for you.

And I had some really mouth watering photos of me pouring tahini, maple syrup, and honey all over some cashews.

But, these pics will just have to suffice. 🙂

Because let me tell you….you need this recipe.

I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of using tahini before on roasted nuts.

Tahini…a.k.a. sesame seed butter is basically my life. I use it to make dressings, drizzle it over fresh vegetables, and I’ve even used it to make cookies and muffins.

HAAAAALP ME!

Now, I’ve figured out a way to incorporate it into these honey roasted cashews.

It’s like using oil, but instead, you’re using tahini.

Because you are awesome like that.

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Warning: this stuff is highly addicting.

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Sweet, nutty, crunchy,

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crispy, & salty.

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Pretty much the perfect combination of all things delicious. 🙂

 

Tahini Honey Roasted Cashews
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 cups
 
Cashews, roasted in creamy, tahini, tossed in maple syrup, honey, and finished off with sea salt, cinnamon, and coconut sugar. Gluten-free, paleo.
Ingredients
  • 2.5 c. raw, unsalted cashews
  • 2 T. pure honey
  • 1.5 T. pure maple syrup
  • 1.5 T. tahini
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ t. ground cinnamon
  • 2 T. coconut sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the cashews in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Place the honey, maple syrup, tahini, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon over the cashews and mix until all of the cashews are evenly coated.
  4. Spread the cashews evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 6 minutes, then remove, the pan, rotate, and bake for an additional 6 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, place in a clean mixing bowl, toss with the coconut sugar and let cool completely.
  7. Store in glass jars once completely cooled.

MANGIA!!!

Bacon Train.

Ahhhhhh. My entire low-back is in pain.

Let’s just say that a 6’3 chiropractor knows how to use a set of torture devices.

Damn car wreck.

On another note….I think wedding season is finally over for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good wedding, and Saturday’s wedding was top-notch, but after three weddings from April-now, I’m wedding worn-out.

My favorite part of any wedding is seeing my mom scarf a steak, salad, and plate loaded full of comfort carbs, down a glass of wine, and hit the dance floor.

Calories mean nothing.

I have training at work this week, and while my intention was to bake muffins for my co-workers and I…you know things don’t last long in my house.

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Especially muffins with chocolate bacon and homemade cashew butter.

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Yea, you read that correctly.

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Yes, Bacon Chocolate Cashew Banana Muffins.

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A little bit of sweet…

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a little bit of salty.

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Now,

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I’d say that’s a pretty well balanced muffin.

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Wouldn’t you?

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Verdict: Everything is better with bacon.

Chocolate Bacon Cashew Banana Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Muffins
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
Warmn, fluffy, muffins made flour-less with creamy, homemade cashew butter, slightly sweetened w/ maple syrup, balanced with a hint of chopped, salty bacon, dark chocolate. Gluten-free, paleo.
Ingredients
  • 1 large very ripe banana, mashed
  • ½ c. cashew butter, plus extra for topping
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 T. pure maple extract
  • ½ t. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ t. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ t. baking soda
  • 1 3 oz. dark chocolate bacon bar, chopped (I used Mo's)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a muffin cup pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the banana, cashew butter, egg, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda until smooth.
  3. Fold in the chocolate.
  4. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until slightly golden, or when a toothpick is inserted into the center of each muffin, it comes out clean.
  6. Let cool slightly, top with extra slightly melted cashew butter.

MANGIA!!!

Wreck It.

Thank goodness it’s Monday!

What!? I know, I rarely ever say that about Monday.

You will probably never say that about Monday either.

Let me tell you about last week.

It was freaking amazing.

Until Wednesday… at about 3:15 p.m.

I was on my way home from work and had just come to a standstill on the overpass because there was a stalled car somewhere on the freeway.

This is normal for Houston traffic.

Person on the side of the road…traffic, paper flying across the freeway…traffic, bright metallic green escalade with 24-inched rims…traffic.

You get the point.

Anyway, at that very moment, for some reason, I looked up in my rear view mirror only to see that a car was coming at me around 50-55 m.p.h.

In that very moment, I knew I was powerless, I shut my eyes and waited for the impact.

He hit me, and hard.

I pulled onto the shoulder, got out of the car in tears from the impact, and immediately called my dad, then 911.

Wrecks are no fun.

Especially when you get hit by an 18-year old boy who speaks very little English.

Or at least he pretended to speak very little English.

He was texting and driving…duh.

Oh, and not to mention…my car is totaled.

But I count my blessings…it could have been worse.

Then, there are days where I have epiphanies and think…did I really just create that?

Yesterday was one of those days.

IMG_0399Let’s pulverize some cashews while we blow off some car wreck steam.

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Then, that stuff up there…ya that…homemade coconut butter.

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Let’s blend those two together.

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What you get is a giant bowl of smooth, creamy, nutty, coconut, cashew heaven butter.

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Then we get extreme by adding: chopped cashew pieces AND toasted coconut.

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Mhhhhmmm…we like to do awesomely insane things around here.

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I mean, I’m not really sure how I did this.

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What car wreck?

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I’m on a crunchy tidal wave of coconut and cashew epic-ness.

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This is fully legal.

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It’s also fully loaded.

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Your Monday just can’t get any better.

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Oh, yes.

😉

Crunchy Toasted Coconut Cashew Butter
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack, Nut Butter
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
 
Creamy, slightly sweet coconut butter + nutty cashew butter come together w/ crisp toasted coconut and chopped cashews for the perfect crunch! Gluten-free, paleo, vegan.
Ingredients
  • 3 c. unsweetened, flaked coconut
  • 2 c. dry-roasted, unsalted cashews, plus 1c. roughly chopped cashews, for add-in
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread 1 c. of the coconut out evenly over the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes, tossing in between to prevent burning. Let cool completely on the baking sheet.
  5. Place the remaining 2 cups of coconut into a food processor and process on high until the coconut begins to break down and forms a smooth, silky butter. You want the end product to be a "drippy" consistency, very pourable. This takes about 3-5 minutes and you might need to stop the food processor and scrape the sides of the bowl down as you go. Set the coconut butter aside in a jar.
  6. Place the 2 cups of cashews into the food processor and process on high until a smooth and creamy nut butter forms.
  7. Pour in a ½ c. of the coconut butter and process until everything is combined. The nut butter should be extremely creamy and smooth with a semi-drippy like consistency, but thick.
  8. Fold in the toasted coconut, and the remaining 1 c. of chopped cashews.
  9. Serve on toast or spread on anything else that comes to your imagination. 🙂

MANGIA!!!