Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gluten Free Brown Sugar Banana Bread

I have a tendency to either not buy enough or way too many bananas.  Somehow we can't get into the groove with these delicious little fruits.  Personally, I like them when the tips are green, but the center is yellow.  Not a freckle to be seen.  My husband used to tease me, saying I was going to be poisoned.  He favors a "perfectly ripe banana," with abundant freckling and a sweet inner fruit.  (Blech!  Mush!)

Either way, we've missed the mark on both our preferences.  And, while the kids will eat bananas in any way, shape, or form, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to bake some banana bread.  If you wait until the next day to slice them, they become a bit easier to cut thin.  Add a smear of peanut butter and you have a great lunch sandwich.

2 cups all purpose gluten free flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a few grates of fresh nutmeg
2 eggs or egg replacer
about 4 large, ripe bananas
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of oil (or unsweetened apple sauce)

Mix it.  Do we need directions for this part?  My kids just dump it all in a bowl and turn on the kitchenaid.  It's that easy.  Nothing to sort or sift or any of that nonsense.  One bowl.  Mix.  Done.

I have two great loaf pans, probably from Target, that are wicked heavy.  I spray them with nonstick cooking spray ahead of time (Trader Joe's) and divide the batter in half.

Bake at 350° for around 40 minutes.

Flip them out onto a cooling rack and try to not eat the whole loaf before it cools, I dare you.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Getting Back to Basics

Like so many of you, I could stand to lose weight and have made it one of my resolutions.  In fact, I went to the doctor last week for this specific purpose.  With the all-clear from the doctor, I am beginning by watching my calories.

I highly, highly recommend Spark People.  First, it's free.  FREE.  Totally, entirely free.

You can set up your profile including height, weight, and track all of your measurements.  Tracking calories is not as tedious as it sounds because Spark does it all for you.  You simply search for the food you've eaten (or, more ideally, plan to eat), select a portion size, and add it to your day.  You can track fat, calories, carbs, nutrients, etc.  Did I mention that it's free?  And entirely the most eye-opening thing you can do for your diet.  (And by diet I mean the food we eat each day to survive.)

I did some searching for low-cal snacks because my doctor has suggested I eat every two hours.  "Something," she said.  I'm not much of an eater in the early hours of the day.  In fact, I tend to wait until I'm shaking from low blood sugar and then I eat a little lunch.  The bulk of what I eat in the day is dinner and it could be slowing my metabolism.  So, I'm giving this a shot.

Are you a visual person?  Check out this cool website I found with what 200 calories *looks* like.

As I work on my meal plans, I thought I'd share my lists with you all.  I'm fairly obsessive about health and nutrition (ah the irony, considering my weight).  But, my cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar were stellar.  So I'm doing something right.  Just maybe a little too much of it.

I like eating.  I like feeling full.  I can't sit down to a frozen diet meal and feel satisfied, which creates the temptation of snacking later.  So, it is my goal to come up with foods that are filling, high in fiber, and satisfying.  My goal over the next few days is to build a meal plan that is based in lots of fruits and veggies.  Just look at how much food you can get for so little calories when eating a diet filled with produce!  (Not to mention the crazy amounts of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants).  Here's the calorie count for a half cup of the following:

Fill 'er up! List


  • Apple - 33 cal
  • Avocado 120 cal
  • Banana 67 cal
  • Blueberries 42 cal
  • Cantaloupe 27 cal
  • Cherries 46 cal
  • Grapefruit 38 cal
  • Grapes 55 cal
  • Guava 56 cal
  • Honeydew 31 cal
  • Kiwifruit 54 cal
  • Mango 54 cal
  • Nectarine 31 cal
  • Orange 42 cal
  • Papaya 27 cal
  • Peach 30 cal
  • Pear 41 cal
  • Pineapple 39 cal
  • Plum 38 cal
  • Pomegranate 52 cal
  • Raspberries 32 cal
  • Strawberries 17 cal
  • Tangerine 52 cal
  • Watermelon 23 cal

  • Artichoke - 38 cal
  • Arugula - 3 cal
  • Asparagus - 13 cal
  • Beets - 29 cal
  • Bell peppers - 15 cal
  • Broccoli - 15 cal
  • Brussels Sprouts 19 cal
  • Butternut squash 32 cal
  • Carrots 25 cal
  • Cauliflower 13 cal
  • Celery 8 cal
  • Collards 5 cal
  • Cucumber 8 cal
  • Green Beans 17 cal
  • Green Cabbage 11 cal
  • Green Onions 11 cal
  • Iceberg lettuce 5 cal
  • Jicama 25 cal
  • Leaf lettuce 3 cal
  • Mushrooms 8 cal
  • Onion 32 cal
  • Potato 58 cal
  • Pumpkin 15 cal
  • Radishes 9 cal
  • Romaine 4 cal
  • Spinach 3 cal
  • Summer squash 9 cal
  • Sweet corn 66 cal
  • Sweet potato 57 cal
  • Swiss Chard 3 cal
  • Tomato 16 cal


  • Black beans 100 cal
  • Great Northern beans 104 cal
  • Lentils 115 cal
  • Lima beans 108 cal
  • Navy beans 127 cal
  • Pinto beans 122 cal
  • Red Kidney beans 112 cal