Monthly Archives: February 2014

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Microwave Banana Cake with Frosting

Microwave Banana Cake with Frosting (Paleo and Vegan)

Valentine Day’s – a day for the exchange of tokens of affection.

Most think that if you don’t have a significant other (aka: a boyfriend, husband, girlfriend, wife) then Valentine’s Day is not for you.

I’m here to prove you wrong. “Tokens of affection” aren’t just meant to be exchanged between couples. Showing love is something that we can do with anyone we care about. In high school our French club used to sell Carnations on Valentine’s Day for $1.25 apiece. It was all very exciting with filling out an order form, choosing the flower color, and including a message for the desired recipient.

I never had a boyfriend during February 14th, and yet every year I still always received at least one carnation. No, not from any secret admirer, but from my friends and from my mother. Not once did I feel embarrassed or like I was receiving a consolation prize. I felt just as happy to receive those as anyone else did. And seeing the smiles on my friends’ faces when they received a carnation from me? It just made the day that much better.

Now, I’ve never been one much for going the traditional route on holidays. I rarely give out boxes of expensive chocolate or those sugary sweet candy hearts. Instead, I show my love in much more common everyday activities. Take for instance this year. Knowing that I wouldn’t be home on Valentine’s Day, I decided to whip up this sweet snack cake for my mom and dad. My mom’s was actually much fancier with a double recipe of both the cakes and the creamy nut butter frosting spread in between, then drizzled with a coconut oil-based chocolate glazed over the top.

Microwave Banana Cake with Frosting (Paleo and Vegan)

Microwave Banana Cake with Frosting (Paleo and Vegan)

So while yes, I did include chocolate for this year’s gift, it was done with heart, not my wallet. And it was not between me and a boyfriend but between me and my family.

Because that’s what LOVE is to me.

Last week I was asked to join in on Brilliant Earth’s Create a Little Love Campaign. The mission was simple: Explain what love means to you.

LOVE

We were also tasked with sharing a picture spelling out the word… L-O-V-E. I chose to spell out the word with fruits and vegetables. Cliche? Maybe. However, like I said before, I think showing love can be done in common day things. I express my love by my recipes, whether they be making them for friends and family, or sharing them with you. Love is doing things for people you care about, not because you have to, but because you want to. I make and share allergy-friendly and unprocessed sweets like the one I have for you today because I care about the health of those that I love. Simple as that.

Just because something is ordinary doesn’t mean it can’t make someone feel extraordinary.

Microwave Banana Cake with Frosting (Paleo and Vegan)

Microwave Banana Cake with Frosting

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Egg/Dairy-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free, Paleo/GAPS-Friendly

Makes 1 serving

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • sweetener (optional*)
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1-2 tsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp honey (or maple syrup to make vegan)
  • 1 tsp nut butter (or seed butter to make nut-free)

Directions:

  1. In bowl combine the mashed banana, ground flaxseed and water. Add the remaining cake ingredients and stir until well combined. Let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the flaxseed and coconut flour to thicken the mixture.
  2. While you let that rest, mix up the frosting ingredients. Start first with adding your coconut milk to a small bowl/cup, then mixing the coconut flour into that. After you have mixed the milk and flour until all of the clumps are out and it is smooth, you can mix in the honey and nut butter. If the frosting appears too thin, add a little bit more coconut flour, and if it appears to thick, thin it out with a little coconut milk. When you get the frosting to your desired consistency place it in the fridge.
  3. Next take a small bowl or ramekin (I used a cereal bowl about 4-5 inches in diameter at the base) and put the 1/2 tsp of coconut oil in the bowl. Microwave the coconut oil for 10-15 seconds until melted, then using your fingers spread the melted oil over the inside of the bowl to prevent sticking.
  4. After greasing the bowl, scoop out the banana cake batter and distribute it evenly throughout the bowl. Microwave the batter for 5-8 minutes or until the edges start to pull away from the side of the bowl and the cake springs back at the touch.
  5. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, and then top with the frosting and any additional toppings as desired (I used banana slices).

*Substitution notes:

  • If you like naturally sweet recipes then make the recipe as-is without the added sweetener. You do have the option to make this sweeter though with 1 tbsp honey/maple syrup, a few drops of stevia, date paste, coconut sugar, etc.
  • The coconut flour here is essential to the texture. If you want to try replacing the coconut flour with another flour you will need to at least double it and then decrease the liquid ingredients (water). I have not tried any alternative methods and cannot guarantee the results.
  • I have not tried this recipe with anything other than flaxseed, but ground chia seeds are usually a suitable substitution (again, I have not tried this, but if anyone does, let me know!).

Microwave Banana Cake with Frosting (Paleo and Vegan)

Sometimes you also need to give yourself some self-love, which is why you haven’t seen me around the blogging world much in the past few days. I’m drained and tired as school has been getting tougher these past few weeks. Unfortunately it is not slowing down anytime soon and I have several exams right on my tail. I’ll still be posting, just not as frequently as I’d like. Commenting and updating my new self-hosted blog will also be taking a backseat. Hopefully after the exams are over I’ll have a little reprieve and can get some solid work done again. Until then, I’ll be commenting whenever I can…. spreading the love 😉

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Questions for you:

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? I will be going apartment hunting, and perhaps watch a good romantic comedy on Netflix… suggestions?

If you were to spell out the word LOVE, how would you do it?

What has been your most memorable February 14th? (It can be for whatever reason!)

And after you answer these questions, don’t forget to check out WIAW today with Jenn over at Peas and Crayons. I can guarantee that there will be a bazillion Valentine’s Day ideas from some fabulous bloggers.

Basic Paleo Waffles

Basic Paleo Waffles

“We can stay up late, swapping manly stories, and in the morning, I’m making waffles!”

I think that there is a good 50% chance that whenever I see the word waffles I remember Donkey’s quote from Shrek.

When I was in middle school I used to stay after school and hang out in the library (because that’s what all the cool kids did, right?). Usually my mom would come up an hour or two later and she was done with her lesson plans so that we could go home. Spending those hours in the library were some of my best memories from school. Aside from my love of reading, the librarian was super sweet… and there were plenty of computers for me to play on 🙂

The library is also where I met my best friend. She was the librarian’s granddaughter so she ended up staying after school everyday just like me. At first we were quite shy around each other, not talking much and playing Millsberry (did anyone else play that game?). But eventually we began talking more and more. We amused ourselves with the strangest things. Yahoo Answers. Celebrity gossip. Hilarious pictures gone horribly wrong.

And videos. Oh boy did we watch a boatload of videos in those few years. Donkey’s waffle line in particular.

Now this week I found out that very same friend is expecting a baby. To say I am flabbergasted would be no overstatement. We may not be as close as we once were in middle school and high school, but I can only hope the best for her and her new little one. She will make a great mother and if she ever needs anything I’m there for her.

Especially if it comes to decorating the nursery. Boy or girl, I’m suggesting green… And perhaps a cute little Puss in Boots pillow? 😉

Basic Paleo Waffles

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free Option, No Sugar Added

Makes 2 large Belgian waffles (or 4 smaller waffles)

Adapted from my Basic Paleo Pancakes

Basic Paleo Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk*
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tbsp melted butter/ghee/coconut oil (optional but recommended)*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Combine the milk and apple cider vinegar. Let rest for five minutes.
  2. Preheat your waffle iron.
  3. In a food processor crack the eggs and beat them for a few seconds until smooth. Add the soured milk and combine.
  4. Then add the remaining ingredients. The batter should be thin but not watery.
  5. Spray your waffle iron if necessary to prevent sticking. Pour the necessary amount of batter into the waffle maker (mine is quite large and requires 1 cup of batter per waffle— A good tip is to pour just to cover the bottom, then close).
  6. Let cook until the light goes off and check the waffle for being done. It should be a dark golden brown and somewhat crispy (my waffle maker at home took about 5 minutes, but again, size will cause the time to vary greatly).
  7. Remove the waffle and repeat with the remaining batter.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

*Substitution ideas:

  • To make this recipe dairy-free you can use coconut milk or almond milk. Another option would be to use 1/2 cup yogurt (dairy, goats, almond or coconut) + 1/2 cup water like I used in this pancake recipe.
  • The butter is optional but recommended for a richer flavor. If you don’t include it make sure that you oil the waffle maker very well to prevent sticking. As suggested above in the ingredients list, you can also use melted ghee or coconut oil.

Basic Paleo Waffles

Check out Jenn’s WIAW link-up for a great collection of food posts from other bloggers!

WIAWbutton

Before I go for today, I want to thank everyone for their comments and well wishes recently as I have made the move to self-hosted. I will write up a final post when everything is done, but needless to say there have been more than a few bumps in the road. The one that I am currently tackling? Adding back in every single to every single post that got left out during my blog transfer. Fun. I won’t be redirecting my old blog from wordpress.com to this one on wordpress.org until I have all of the pictures uploaded. I wouldn’t want anyone searching for a recipe to come upon a pictureless post!! 😛

Also, with all of the blog happenings I didn’t have time to put up a post on Monday morning to announce the winner for the Happy Herbivore cookbook giveaway. Using Random Number Generator I put in 1-75 and found the winner

giveaway-hhll-winner

Congratulations Taylor!

Please send me an e-mail to alleyhays [at] gmail [dot] com with your full name and address so we can get the book out in the mail.

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Questions for you:

  • Where was your hang out after school?
  • Which character from Shrek is your favorite?
  • What food always makes you think of a movie quote?