Trick or Treat Tuesdays

Jeff and I have really been trying to eat better and start living a healthier lifestyle lately. We attempted a Whole30 last month, but I didn’t plan well enough and we fell off the wagon in the middle of the month, so we didn’t actually complete a true Whole30. However, we did stick to it long enough to experience a lot of the non-scale victories that Whole30 is famous for.

Both of us felt better when we were eating clean, and as we have reintroduced foods that were not allowed on the Whole30 back into our diets, we have really been making an effort to listen to our bodies and pay attention to how certain foods make us feel.

It didn’t take me long to discover that anything made with corn or cornmeal is not my friend (which really hurts my feelings, because cornbread and chicken dressing are pretty much my favorite foods). While I don’t know if I am ready to completely give up those foods, I have decided that I’m going to save them for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas and eat them sparingly on those occasions.

As we’ve been trying to figure out what to do post-Whole30, I’ve been reading a lot about the Paleo lifestyle. While I’m not sure that we want to go in 100% on the Paleo train yet, I am really interested in learning more about the lifestyle. One thing that I have noticed a lot of Paleo chefs do is recreate traditional recipes in a healthier way. While making “treats” is not permitted on the Whole30, it is a common thing in the Paleo world for people to use clean ingredients to make dupes of their favorite treats like cookies, pancakes, and even ice cream.

I’m very skeptical about being able to make tasty treats with no flour, butter, milk, or processed sugars, but I am willing to try it.

Thanks to Instagram, I found Vanessa Barajas, the author of Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind, which is a cookbook filled with 150 Paleo-inspired recipes. I immediately bought the cookbook with plans to choose some of our favorite treats to see if they can  trick our taste buds.

Each Tuesday of this month, I will be sharing a favorite treat of mine (with my traditional family recipe, for those of you who are not on a Paleo diet) AND the Paleo trick for recreating that sweet treat in a healthier way from this cookbook. I will be giving you my honest reviews of these recipes – what I like, what I don’t, and even Jeff’s (always brutally honest) comments.

Here are the recipes that I will be putting to the test this month:

  • Nestle Toll House Original Chocolate Chip Cookies vs. Clean Eating Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Traditional Pumpkin Bread Muffins vs. Clean Eating Pumpkin Bread Muffins
  • Peanut Butter Balls vs. Clean Eating Almond Butter Cups
  • 1001 Chocolate Chip Cake vs. Clean Eating Death By Chocolate Cake

I hope that you’ll join me for Trick or Treat Tuesdays this month!


Christina

Banana Bread

This banana bread recipe is the only one my family has ever used and it comes out perfect every single time. 


Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup self-rising flour

Instructions:

  • In a mixer, combine the butter and sugar.
  • Add the beaten egg. Mix well.
  • Add the mashed bananas and chopped nuts. Mix well.
  • Add the flour to the wet ingredients and mix until batter is well blended.
  • Pour into a greased loaf pan. I put a few extra nuts and a little sprinkle of sugar on top to make it look pretty.

  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, until bread is a nice, golden brown.

Recipe can be doubled, but if you double it you should only use three bananas. 

This recipe is also great for muffins, just adjust your cooking time. Cook muffins for about 30 minutes, until they are a nice, golden brown.