Delish Banana Bread Treat


Big ol scoop of Kerrygold butter. YUMMY

I love to bake.

This has been the hardest part of my Paleo/healthy food journey. Not gonna lie, I still tend to over do it with the treats. Gluten-free and paleo-friendly or not, moderation is key. Yeah, good luck with that on this one.

Here’s what you’ll need for this amazing bread:

8×8 cake pan

coconut oil  – put a big scoop in the bottom of the pan, put it in the oven for the last few minutes of preheating. This will evenly coat the pan when you pour in the batter.

  • 4 ripe bananas – pretty ripe.
  • 3 eggs (cage free organic, local if you can)
  • 1 c organic golden flaxseed flour (or almond flour if you don’t have flax. I really prefer the flax.)
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 1 1/2 -2 Tbsp Vanilla (I always go big on the vanilla. You may want to use less. I’m thinking not.)
  • 1/4 c  Organic pure maple syrup (optional)
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Kerrygold grass-fed butter

Preheat oven to 350°. Place a spoonful of coconut oil in the bottom of the pan. Place in the oven and let melt.  In a mixing bowl, smash the bananas until they are smooth. Add eggs, maple syrup and vanilla and mix on low or stir vigorously. Add the flax flour, coconut flour, baking powder and soda. throw in a dash of salt. Lightly mix the dry ingredients with a fork, then beat on low until well blended. The mixture will be thick. Pour mixture into the pan with the melted coconut oil and bake for 45 minutes, checking at 35 minutes by inserting a fork. Bread is done when fork comes out clean. Sprinkle a bunch of cinnamon and nutmeg on the bread as desired. You can add nuts to this if you want, I am not a fan of nuts in bread. When the bread has cooled a bit, cut into squares. Serve warm with a dollop of Kerrygold butter on top and some steaming hot black coffee. You’re welcome.

Love ya!! ~Cavemomma

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“The Bomb” Pork


                           

Having four children presents some challenges when it comes to meal time, specifically lack of agreement about what we like.  I made these one night, fully anticipating at least one “push and poke” kid straggling at the table looking like someone was asking them to eat mashed poop. To my surprise, they were asking for seconds. The best part? This took me about 5 minutes total prep, and 35 min cooking time. Score. The kids have named this one “The bomb” pork. Could be worse. I’ll take it.

You’ll need :

  • Pork loin, large enough to feed your family
  • a (preferably cast-iron) skillet
  • some kind of oil for the pan. I like bacon fat, grassfed butter, or unflavored coconut oil.
  • a baking dish
  • Spices. Specifically: Chili powder, Paprika, garlic, onion powder, sea salt and black pepper
  • A side dish. Sweet potatoes pair nicely. (3 out of 4 children agree)

Preheat oven to 350° . Cut pork loin into chops, about 1″ thick. In a sealable  bowl or baggie, put 2 tbsp Chili powder, 1 Tbsp Paprika, 1 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp onion powder, 2 tsp sea salt, black pepper to taste. I also like to add a pinch of cayenne. Shake it up, then spoon it over both sides of the pork slices. Get your fingers dirty and rub it in. The kids LOVE helping with this – just make sure they wash their hands with soap before AND after. Black pepper and Cayenne in the eyes is no bueno. Trust me.

Melt your oil-of-choice over medium high heat  in skillet. Once hot, add your Pork loins and sear all sides. This seals in the juices and spices.  Place them into the baking dish, and bake for 30 minutes, turning once.

You can slice up some sweet taters and add some cinnamon and add them to the baking pan. This is delish. Another great side is brussels sprouts. (only 1 of 4 kids agrees with that.)

That’s it. I know, right? You’re welcome.

BUT what do I feed my KIDS???


*Warning* I am not one to “sugar coat”. I will give you practical tips that WORK if you’re willing to do that – WORK. Still with me? Good…

SO, on the subject of “I can’t get my kids to eat *insert vegetable here*”  or  ” My little Joey won’t give up *insert processed junk food here*” – WHAT??  I am all for teaching children independence and how to make choices for themselves. I am not a big mean mom who runs around screaming at my kids like some crazy food nazi. Quite the contrary. We go outside and play.  We talk on the phone when they’re not here. We love each other very much. We spend time together in the kitchen and learning together… I just believe that it’s my JOB as a parent to shape them into whole, smart, good-choice-making adults. If they don’t learn from me, from whom will they learn? So, here we go…

If you have processed food in your house, it’s going to look like a better option to children (and adults) who haven’t switched their palates yet. Change is hard. But just like dealing with any addiction, you have to remove the temptation. In my house, you will NOT find a processed food. Not one. So, what DO we feed them? Well, I do give them choices. They help me meal plan for the week. We choose foods together. With 4 kids, they’re never going to like all the same things. So, we make concessions. They’re aware that they eat what’s on the table or they don’t eat- end of discussion. (NO, something isn’t always better than nothing. They won’t starve. They’ll eat when they’re hungry. The first time you give in, they’ll know the option is there if they wait long enough.) All that said, when they leave your home, they’ll have the choice to eat what’s available “out there”. The best thing we can do is remind them they have a choice, and to just take mental note of how they feel after eating junk food.

For Breakfast: We do scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, or we do Everyday Paleo’s egg muffins.If we have extra time (on the weekends) we throw some bacon in the mix. This is also a place to get creative. We are just about the only country that separates our “breakfast food fare” from the rest of the day. You’d eat pizza for breakfast in the past, right? So grab some leftovers from last night’s pork or steak. There are so many options out there. Google some Primal/Paleo friendly breakfast foods, or, civilizedcavemancooking.com  has a cereal and some pancake recipes that are amazing. Yes I COOK. That’s the WORK to which I was referring at the beginning. It takes about 5 more minutes than putting cereal on the table. Sometimes, my older 2 do it for/with me. It really isn’t too much extra. We have to be out the door by 6:30am, so, no excuses. Plus, If you boil the eggs, or make the “cereal’ or “pancakes” ahead of time, It’s grab and go.

 I pack their lunches every day. The kids do this with me the night before – and they choose what goes in (here’s another place where there are no bad choices.) Typical choices are: Rolled up Turkey or chicken (nitrate free, no fillers),baby carrots, broccoli slaw, celery and a side of almond butter and golden sugar-free raisins,or Romaine leaves with Chicken salad (see recipe on this blog). I also just found that for my son, who was obsessed with PBJ, if I make caveman pancakes, I can spread on some homemade almond butter and sliced or smashed strawberries and roll em up..lifesaver.  My oldest loves green bell peppers and avocados. I know this because we experiment with different things and decide which things they like. This will also save me money, because I’m not buying a whole bunch of stuff that they unanimously hate.  They really don’t miss the bread. It’s better when THEY choose because then it was their idea, not something I forced.  I don’t feel like I am depriving them. Actually, I feel that’s what I was doing before. Now, I think they’ll get through their day full and focused.  WIN!

 Dinner: Tacos on Romaine with homemade salsa; Crock pot pork tenderloin with Civilized Caveman BBQ sauce and sweet potatoes (My babies LOVE sweet ‘taters!), Spaghetti (made with ground turkey, or grass-fed ground beef, or bison) served over spaghetti squash, White chicken chili soup, (see my recipe!) the list goes on.   This food is cheap to make (see my previous blog), easy to pre-make and reuse for the week, and MUCH tastier than that flavorless processed junk .I have actually found that without all that extra bread/wraps/etc you can actually TASTE THE FOOD. Take all the money you’re saving by not buying bread, cereal, pasta, and the like, and use it toward upgrading your cuts of meat and organic produce.

Snacks are Fruits, cut up veggies, Paleo-treats like cinnamon apple bars and apple flowers with almond butter dip. Smoothies – you can throw in a handful of spinach and they’ll never know the difference, especially if you’re using coconut milk and fruit. Really, When I first heard that I was like “GROOOOSSSS!” but I tried it today post workout, and it was DELISH! This can also be used at breakfast if you’re going to put a protein with it.

I will be having the kiddos help me this week posting Kid-friendly recipes they come up with now that summer break is here. I would also suggest checking out EverydayPaleo.com (she is my HERO) and also fastpaleo.com and civilizedcavemancooking.com, which are some of the best recipe sites on the web.

 Please Subscribe to this blog, and post questions and comments. I promise to answer as many as I can. It’s my goal to help as many new Paleo families as I can reach! If you wish, please also share my blog with any other busy people who you think would benefit. Thanks so much for visiting!!

I don’t have TIME to eat healthy….


Here’s another hot-button issue I deal with all the time. I work, I have kids, the kids have sports, the dog has to go to the vet, the phone is ringing, the baby is crying….Ok, you get it. We’re busy. Who isn’t? That does not mean there’s no time. I would be willing to bet my house to your pocket change that if you stepped back and looked at your day, you could fit in an extra 20-30 minutes, and one day per week to do some planning and cooking ahead. Skip your “shows” perhaps? There is some good news for all of us: My friend George from Civilizedcavemancooking.com (genius) has offered to collaborate on some ideas that we can all use to make it a bit easier. Easy is good, right? (my comments in bold)

George:

Well after reading my awesome friend Nichole’s rebuttal to the most common reasoning regarding avoiding a Paleo diet or eating healthy in general, I got inspired to fight excuse number 2. Can anyone guess it? Wait for it….it really is epic: “I just don’t have TIME”. In the world we live in, everything is about convenience; worst part about that, it always seems more convenient to stick with what you are used to rather than making a change to benefit yourself. This is where I start to get angry; if your single or live alone, your choices and lack of interest in your own health (luckily) only affects you. If not, I do not have words to describe my disappointment. That 10 minutes everyday that you refuse to sacrifice to ensure you or your family have proper healthy nourishment and not overly processed or preservative ridden food can easily result in them or you losing 10 years off of your life. Personally, I would never want to be responsible for instilling bad habits or contributing to the health demise of anyone especially my family. (I get up about 15 minutes earlier- yes only 15- to make breakfast.)

Now, I understand that there are always going to be times when there really isn’t enough time or things come up, I understand and fully support that. For all the other times the biggest solution is to just plan ahead. I am such a huge fan of so many amazing people in the Paleo community that awe me with their dedication and drive to keep themselves and their families healthy and they manage to do it with a wide array of circumstances. Let’s start with the author of this blog post, Cavemomma. She is rocking out with a family of 6 and making it happen cheaper than she did with processed $H!T.(I would also interject: I own and operate a full-time business, go to Nursing school full-time in the evenings Aug-May, and work out 6 days.) My awesome pal Nom Nom Paleo who is a mother, wife, and works the graveyard shift and has time to blog every second of her meal journeys while getting her children to help her cook. Next one I am sure everyone knows is the awesome Sarah Fragoso from Everyday Paleo who is also a mother, wife, trainer, and Paleo goddess. I could continue to rock this list out until you are blogged out and your vision has deteriorated from the repetitive reading. Only reason I listed all these people is because, they all have 2 things in common: They wish there were 28 hours in the day to get everything done they need to everyday, and they all make a plan for their meals, shopping, cooking, etc. and stick to it. I am not saying you have to get all extreme couponers on it, but writing something down sub-consciously forces you to stick to it and helps you avoid those drive thrus and take out menus.

Here is my recipe for success whether you are single, married, or driving the Duggar bus to the grocery store with your 19 kids and counting.

  1. Look at your overly busy schedule and set a block of time to sit down and do a meal plan for the week, that’s right – you have to sit down and plan at least 27 delicious meals that you actually have to cook (this is my favorite part). In all actuality, this normally ends up being more like 15 meals with lots of leftovers and easy to go breakfasts so don’t let that number intimidate you.
  2. Cavmomma interjectionI sit down with the kids on Sunday afternoon and go over the options. We look at what we have in the fridge and what we want for the week, then make a plan. It works out well in that they learn how to plan and how to give and take (not everyone likes the same things)
  3. From your meal plan, make a grocery list and separate it from where you are going to get it, i.e. meat already in your freezer, farmers markets, etc. Making a list and forcing yourself to stick to it alone will save you TONS of money and time. You won’t waste those precious minutes aimlessly aisle wandering putting no good shelf shopping junk in your cart. Cavemomma int – if you have kids with you, they can hold your list and remind you as you remind them we have to stick to the list. In our budget, I only bring enough cash to cover what we have on the list. I’ve done this enough times to know how much I need. It takes some time, but budgeting is crucial.
  4. Now that you have established your meal plan and list, set a day aside for your food preparation.(Cavemomma does Sunday afternoon/evening and Weds night while kids are at youth group.) As you do this over and over again the day turns into a couple of hours but it saves you so much time and hassle. After you return home from your grocery trip once a week, prepare all your ingredients for your next 4 days of meals. Chop up fruit and vegetables and freeze them, portion everything out and that will make your normal 45-minute meals 20 minutes of just cook time. (I highly recommend reusable BPH free plastic or glass containers. genius.) After this all you have to do on a Wednesday or Thursday is prepare 2-3 more days of ingredients until you shop again. (I heart leftover days)
  5. BUY A CROCK-POT.(Seriously. Do it. It’s an investment you will not regret ) They will save your life and as I am learning as I use it more and more, you can make almost ANYTHING in a crock-pot. The one I use is 6 quarts and is a true set and forget it, when completed cooking it automatically goes to warm so even though my food finished 8 hours before I got home, it was still delicious and warm. Having a crock-pot will make your meal planning even simpler than it already is and it will cover more than one meal. You also don’t have to worry about cooking at 5 o’clock in the morning; I place my entire crock-pot meal in the pot minus whatever liquid ingredients and place in the fridge overnight covered. I wake up at 0430, take 5 seconds to pour liquid in, cover and hit on and I am out the door. (I’m out the door by 6:30 with 4 kids most days.)
  6. Always make leftovers, you don’t have to finish everything you cook since you are no longer giving in to insulin spikes or carb commas so utilize one meal cooking session to make 2 or 3 meals and that frees up even more of your precious time. And one thing I have learned on Paleo, dinner makes great breakfast too, especially in the absence of time. (Here, you have to change your perception of Breakfast. I also take the leftovers for mine and hubby’s lunch the next day)
  7. Keep it simple. One of the reasons everyone spends so much time coming up with all different crazy concoctions when cooking is cause they are using junk meat which tastes like crap and pesticide ridden produce. Source your food from a trustworthy and reliable source and enjoy the taste of it, you will be surprised how easy your meals will be when all you have to do to season anything is salt and pepper and it always tastes amazing

I hope someone is still reading at this point, you learned something or could take something out of this, and most of all that you will continue to strive to live a healthy lifestyle and spread that wealth to the world. It only takes 1 to make a difference and by staying positive and being supportive of anyone’s interests in a positive lifestyle change we can touch so many lives in such a positive way. Stay healthy, keep spreading Paleo love, and keep it simple. Your body (and your children’s bodies) will thank you.

-George at www.civilizedcavemancooking.com – Nichole the “Cavemomma”

Thank you as always for visiting. PLEASE ASK ME QUESTIONS. THAT’S WHY I’M HERE!!

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