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I’ve mentioned before how much I like using bananas in making espresso banana muffins or the cocoa banana loaf, but this one just might be my new favorite simply because it doesn’t use any sugar.  All the sweetness comes from the bananas and dates.  There isn’t any stevia, either.  So if you hesitate to use stevia because you don’t love how it tastes, this could be the banana bread for you.  I use two bananas that are pureed to help sweeten the batter and a third that’s chopped up and mixed in because I like to taste the chunky pieces.  The number of bananas or dates can be adjusted to suit your sweet tooth. 

Date Sweetened Banana Bread

Makes 1 loaf (7¾ × 4½ × 3)

3 ripe bananas

1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted (5 – 6 dates)

5 eggs

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted

1 /2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

1/2 cup of pecans or walnuts, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease a loaf pan.
  2. To a blender add two peeled bananas, pitted dates, eggs, and melted butter or coconut oil.  Puree until smooth.
  3. Sift all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until there are no lumps.
  5. Chop the remaining banana and add to batter along with the nuts. 
  6. Pour into loaf pan bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let cool completely on rack before serving.

If making these into muffins, bake for 22 to 25 minutes.  For even more sweetness and some melted gooeyness, mix in some dark chocolate (72%) chunks.  It’s all good.

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Happy April folks.  I am trying to catch up on posting my recipes as my photos are gathering digital dust.  I’ve embarked on a new workout program – Insanity – and it’s run me ragged.  I hate cardio and this is all cardio, dang it.  I’m in the first week of the second month and it’s absolute foolishness.  Insanity, or as I lovingly refer to it as “torture”, is hard.  It makes me tired.  And sweaty.  Hungry, too.  Need more carbs.  Less typing.

Just kidding.  Not about the crazy workouts though as they are, hands down, the toughest cardio exercise I’ve ever done.  But I am starting to see some results.  My abs are tighter and my core and back are stronger.  I’m hoping to be a tight little package of muscle and strength at the end of this.  I need to be.  We’re going on vacation in May and my bikinis are coming with us.  Enough said.

So all this working out makes me want to eat more and, I don’t know about you, but when I’m tired and hungry, I WANT CARBS.  Raw egg shooters a la Rocky Balboa, while perfectly acceptable forms of protein delivery, are not really my style.  So I’ve opted for a more palate pleasing dish.  Sweet potatoes are a great source of natural carbs and make a comforting meal after a workout.

Sweet Potato Hash

Serves 2 – 3

2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/2 of one onion, chopped

1/2 of one red bell pepper, chopped

6 – 8 slices of uncooked bacon, chopped

1 tablespoon of 21 Seasoning Salute (or your favorite herb blend)

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Par boil sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes. Do not overcook or potatoes will become mushy.
  2. Drain potatoes and set aside to cool.
  3. Fry bacon pieces in skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crispy and fat has rendered.
  4. Move bacon to side of skillet and cook onion and bell pepper in the bacon fat until softened.
  5. Add sweet potato to skillet and toss everything together.  Season with 21 Seasoning Salute, salt and pepper.
  6. Cook another 5 minutes or until potato is crispy.
  7. Serve with a fried egg on top.  Enjoy with a side of toasted coconut flax bread.

Mark Sisson offers his take on sweet potatoes and yams in a primal diet here.  The crispy starchiness is just enough to get me through the rest of the day and ready for another monstrous workout tomorrow.