Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

This recipe for banana pecan cake stemmed from a well-loved recipe on the New York Times.

Following recipes has never been my style—I’m guess many of you are the same way. I like to have an outline, but then I go from there: Frosting? Hmm, too much sugar for an afternoon snack for me. Will this work with a gluten-free flour blend? Let’s give it a shot. Ingredient by ingredient I swap in and swap out. This is how I like to navigate a kitchen, and I find, when I follow my gut, I like the output more.

Everyone has unique tastes and preferences. It’s for that reason that I hope everyone will do some tweaking and twisting while they prep their dinners. It’s for their own good! There have been countless times when I followed a recipe to a “T” and later regretted it, wishing I had swerved in a different direction.

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake
Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

Baking (more of a science) provides less wiggle room for adjustments, though you can still make changes if you know your ingredients well. An easy personalization here would be to swap pecans for walnuts, or leave out the nuts all together. I know that nuts are an extremely divisive ingredient in banana bread … the original NYTimes version does not call for them, however since I skipped the frosting, I wanted to add something that would give this cake a second dimension. No regrets.

The line between bread and cake is blurry, especially when it comes to sweet breads, like banana bread. It is really bread? You can call it what you want — I’m calling this one a cake, though, it’s a cake I would (and do) eat for breakfast.

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

Published April 16, 2019 by
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Serves: 9   |    Active Time: 50 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2-3 bananas) 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups measure for measure gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour (affiliatel ink))
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • Optional- 1/4 cup pecan pieces

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F and fit a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, banana, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract using an electric mixer.
    3. Add flour, salt, and baking soda and blend until a uniform batter forms.
    4. Spread batter in an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with pecan pieces.
    5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted into the middle, comes out clean.
    6. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then lift from baking dish and slice into squares. Serve.

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    Pineapple Chipotle Chicken Fajita Bowls

    Pineapple Chipotle Chicken Fajita Bowls
    Pineapple Chipotle Chicken Fajita Bowls

    Do you ever take a spring break, even though it’s not really built in to work-life?

    This last weekend we went climbing in New Mexico. I’ve been looking forward to the trip for weeks, partially because the weather locally hasn’t been ideal for climbing outside, and I was craving the sunshine. Also because time in the desert is just the right kind of unplugging: no screens, no desk chairs. Just dust, dirt and the moon.

    Last month, I started a Best Self Journal. Have you heard of it? It was recommended to me by co-workers as a journal that gets you into a journalling habit and also tracks you towards goals. The journal is a 13-week track, and one of my goals was to send three V6s outside. This trip was one of our first climbing trips this season, so was also a time for me to really dig my heels and focus. In the end, I did one V6 and even one V7 — two out of three checked off the list, far exceeding my own expectations for the weekend! Maybe I needed a more aggressive goal since there are still 10 weeks left in my journal. Mostly, I think I just needed to believe I could do it.

    This is where my mind has been: journalling, planning, climbing.

    Admittedly I’ve put less energy to cooking as of late, but that’s how life goes, ebbing and flowing. Between everything else going on, this chicken was a standout meal. The combination of pineapple and chipotle is sweet and spicy and grilling season is just starting to call (well-grilled chicken is SO juicy and satisfying).

    With the base of chicken, pineapple, and bell peppers you can make either taco bowls (like in these images) OR fajitas, with tortillas. Both are good — and heck, you can make one for dinner and then use the leftovers to make the other the next day.

    Pineapple Chipotle Chicken Fajita Bowls
    Pineapple Chipotle Chicken Fajita Bowls

    Pineapple Chipotle Chicken Fajita Bowls

    Published March 26, 2019 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 50 minutes



    Ingredients:

    For marinade:
  • 4 tablespoons adobo sauce from a from a can of chipotles in adobo 
  • 2 tablespoons maple
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice 

  • To serve: 
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into strips 
  • 3-4 slices of fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup black beans (cooked)
  • 1 cup corn (cooked)
  • 1-2 cups rice (cooked)
  • Garnish: cilantro, sliced avocado, sliced jalapeño

  • Directions:

    1. Marinate chicken: combine all ingredients for marinade in an air-tight container large enough to fit the chicken. Place chicken in marinade and turn to coat. Then, close container and marinate in refrigerator for 4-12 hours.
    2. When ready to cook: light a grill with a medium-high flame, and allow grill to heat to 450-500°F. Place chicken on grill and cook, with grill lid closed, for 5 minutes without moving. Then, using tongs and/or a metal spatula, flip chicken. Brush chicken with remaining marinade. Cook on second side for 5 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Move chicken to a clean plate, and set aside.
    3. Place pineapple and bell peppers on grill, turning after 3-4 minutes. Cook for 3-4 more minutes, and then remove from heat. Turn off grill.
    4. In serving bowls, divide rice, corn, and beans. Add bell peppers and pineapple. Slice chicken and divide among bowls.
    5. Garnish with cilantro, avocado, and sliced jalapeño to taste.

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    Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

    Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola
    Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

    “Hidden sugars,” I’m sure I’ve said, with sass loaded into my voice, about granola. When I have an opinion, I can get sassy about it — and I’ve been a bit down on granola before. In some ways, rightly so: the store bought kind is usually full of sugar, despite the “healthy” aura granola has compared to other cereals.

    But homemade granola deserves a second look. I admit it. There are no hidden sugars when you’re doing the cooking, and even better you can tweak and adjust and make a version that totally fits your tastes.

    Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola
    Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

    In this recipe, the only sweetener is maple syrup (the flavor of maple syrup is perfect with oats in the morning). Everything else in the bowl is simple, too: rolled oats, pecan pieces, butter, chia seeds, ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Add that all to a bowl, mix it up, and toast it — you’re on your way to a delicious morning bowl! Easy peasy lemon squeezey. 🍋

    The house and my clothes smelled like maple and cinnamon for a full day after pulling a big tray out of the oven. ✨

    Pictured here: Granola, blueberries and banana in my breakfast bowl, topped with milk. BUT we also enjoyed this granola with yogurt (adds great crunch!) and as a desk snack (still have a jar-full for next week!).

    Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

    Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

    Published February 5, 2019 by
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    Yields: 2.5 cups   |    Active Time: 40 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw pecan pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
    2. In the bottom of a large microwave-safe bowl, melt coconut/butter. Add: oats, pecan pieces, chia seeds, salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Use a spatula to stir until everything is evenly distributed.
    3. Spread oat mixture on prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
    4. Allow to cool and store in an air-tight contain. Serve with fruit and milk like cereal, eat plain as a snack, or sprinkle over yogurt for a parfait.
    5. Store in an air-tight container.

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