This recipe actually came from a mistake. Yes, sometimes mistakes make great discoveries! I messed up a recipe I was following for banana bread, and I accidentally left out the butter. I was sure it would taste gross or have some awful texture... but, no. It was still really good! So I made some other small changes and now I call this one my own. :-) Now I have no problem with using real butter in any recipe (I usually prefer butter from grass-fed cows), but if you're really looking to cut the calories and have something a bit lighter, yet still have a baked good that tastes great, this recipe is for you. It is 30 Day Reset approved, Paleo approved, wheat-free, no added sweeteners, and just plain yummy. :-)
Ingredients for this recipe:
-4 ripe bananas
-1/2 cup almond butter
-1/2 cup coconut flour
-1 Tablespoon cinammon
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
-pinch of sea salt
-Option - add in 1/3 cup Bob's Red Mill whey protein
powder for added protein! Although, this is considered
a dairy product, so this technically would make this recipe
not 30 Day Reset or Paleo approved - but that's only if you CARE
about being super technical... and I certainly don't all the time :-)
First, start out with your 4 ripe bananas. They don't have to be super ripe either - this still comes out good as long as they have no green left on the peel (although you may want to use a blender or some kind of mixer if the bananas are not easy to mash well by hand). Mash the four bananas in a bowl and mix in the 4 eggs with the bananas. Then add in the almond butter and mix well. I really love this Trader Joe's almond butter. I find it works better in recipes than the thicker ones out there. I don't mind mixing it up first before using it and I think it tastes great!
Next, slowly add the coconut flour, stirring well the entire time to prevent any clumping. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. I like using this ground flax seed right here.
Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. I hope you enjoy my mistake as much as I did! :-)
Life isn't easy... at all. In fact, some parts of it are a very serious struggle. All the way back to being a kid, there were difficult things to overcome. Friendship drama, figuring out what path to take with our lives, relationship difficulties, career choices, marriage, kids, jobs... and the list goes on the older we get. None of that is easy! But have you ever noticed that the things you have worked the hardest at are usually the things that have been the most fulfilling parts of your life?
Many of you are nurses like myself. Nursing school certainly was not a breeze, am I right? It was hard work. But we did it. Just think of the accomplishment you felt when you graduated and got that degree! All that hard work suddenly felt so worth it now that you were done. No matter what you studied in school... that hard work was a struggle at times... but it WAS worth it after all.
How about marriage? Wow, now that's tough. Ask any married couple who has survived married life for 50 plus years. I guarantee you that every single one of them would agree that it was HARD work to make it where they are. It's not all roses and candle light dinners. It's tough, exhausting, frustrating, and even painful at times! But is it worth it? Absolutely. The relationships we work the hardest at and invest our whole being into are the most rewarding relationships we can have. If there is no effort, it will not last. It takes WORK. It takes COMMITMENT. It takes DISCIPLINE.
Any parents out there? Need I say more. Parenting is the toughest job on earth. But is it worth it to see your child grow into an amazing human being right before you eyes? No doubt. There is no greater feeling than being part of that kind of miracle. It changes us so deeply from within. The love a parent has for their child is so unique and beautiful. But it's HARD work, for sure.
Putting in the effort to take the very best care of ourselves is hard too. Yet so many of us don't want to bother with that. Getting to the gym? That takes effort and discipline to get there. Making healthy meals rather than takeout, meal planning and thinking about what I put in my mouth? That takes too much time and a lot of effort! Taking the necessary steps to take care of your emotional health and decrease your stress level? That takes commitment to do what is necessary and get it done. Self care is hard. It takes effort, discipline, commitment and a whole lot of work. But guess what? Yes, just like all those amazing rewarding life situations listed above, it is so WORTH IT! :-)
So I'm seeing a pattern here. If it's hard, it's probably really worth it in life. Look back on your own life. What have been the most rewarding parts? Certainly not the things that came easy to you. Where is the reward in that? I can bet it was all those times that caused the blood sweat and tears that gave you the greatest satisfaction.... the times that really showed you what you are made of.... the times that helped you become more of who you were meant to be in this life.
We put aside exercise because it's hard. We don't want to make homemade food because that takes too much time. Yes, it is work. It is hard to commit to doing something that takes effort on our part. But that is where the gold is!!! Don't back down and lose out on what was meant for you because it's hard. Hard work paves the road to beautiful satisfaction and great reward. And the benefits that come from taking the best care of ourselves are amazing! There is no easy way out for success. Your marriage, your kids, your career, self-care.... all hard work. And all great rewards. Put in the work... commit... be disciplined.... it will be worth it!
I get asked pretty often why I take collagen powder on a daily basis and what the benefits truly are. So I figured it was time I write a quick blog post about this! Let's start from the beginning. What is collagen? Collagen makes up about 30-40% of the protein in our body, and about 70% of the protein in our skin alone! We've all seen beauty products claiming to be good for your skin because they contain collagen. Our body produces collagen on it's own, although as we age, production steadily declines. This is what is partly to blame for sagging skin and added wrinkles we see as we age.
When we consume collagen powder, our body breaks down these proteins into useful amino acids that are helpful in collagen production throughout the body. Collagen helps heal our body from within. I love to use this collagen powder every day. It mixes easily in hot or cold liquids and is tasteless. Not to mention, it is a protein source in and of itself, so it helps keep you full! There are many benefits and we will touch on the major ones so you can get an understanding of why collagen powder is a great choice for your health. You can also buy in bulk (6 or more) and save... click here!
Collagen powder is rich in the amino acid glycine. This amino acid is super beneficial for helping build muscle mass and also preventing muscle loss. Glycine also supports metabolic function, can help increase your metabolism, and also aids the body in detoxification. Arginine is another powerful amino acid present in collagen powder. This boosts the body's ability to make protein from other amino acids, thus helping assist in repairing muscle tissue and also healing wounds. Some research even suggests that arginie may help increase blood flow in the arteries of the heart.
Collagen also supports joint health. Since collagen is the major component of connective tissue, it makes sense that ingesting collagen would benefit the longevity and health of our joints. Ingesting collagen may even help decrease some of the discomfort caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This is great news for those who may have sore joints yet desire to continue exercising into their later years.
Healthy skin - here's a big one. Collagen is responsible for strengthening, plumping, smoothing and giving elasticity to our skin. This is why people like to buy face creams with collagen in them. But why not ingest it and get the benefits from the inside out? Some research argues that enzymes in the stomach break down collagen and prevent it from ever reaching the skin, but there is conflicting data on this. I personally find that ingesting collagen has had positive effects on my skin, and I am a fan. It can even help diminish cellulite and stretch marks. This is why collagen is one of the best natural skin care products you can invest in!
Collagen has also been said to help heal "leaky gut" - this is when toxins and large protein molecules are able to pass through the lining of the digestive tract causing unpleasant symptoms in some people. This can cause inflammatory reactions to occur. Collagen can help soothe the gut lining and heal the damaged cell walls from within, thus preventing further damage.
Some research claims that ingesting collagen can help thicken hair, give you better nails, boost immune system, help balance blood sugar, regulate sleep, assist in wound healing and even help decrease inflammation. That sounds like a whole lot of positives! What are the drawbacks? Not really much that I can see! A small amount of people do complain of some GI upset when taking collagen powder, but not many. To me, it is an easy way to get some great benefits from an all natural source. I put 2 Tablespoons in my coffee each morning, and some days add another dose to a smoothie later in the day. It is said that vitamin C works well together in the absorption and use of collagen in the body, so for best results you may want to ingest collagen with some form of vitamin C.
Terri Wentzell is a registered nurse with more than 20 years of experience. She is also a certified personal trainer, wellness coach, fitness nutrition coach, and sport yoga instructor.