Yes I Have a Sweet Tooth

And quite frankly I don’t understand how people can’t!  I wish I could understand that.  When Aaron and I first started dating, I remember him telling me that he didn’t really like a lot of sweet things and I wondered at that point how this relationship was possibly going to work.

Of course I am always trying to find ways to curb it (impossible?) or satisfy more wholesomely, which you can see from this blog.  I have been sharing so many treats that I promise I will post some more real food soon.  In the meantime, I had to share a yummy recipe that I pinned forever ago and finally had the occasion to make.

The occasion was finding 70% dark chocolate Scharffen Berger bars for $3 each at Wal-Mart!!  Yum yum yum.  Apparently they are now owned by Hershey, but they thankfully don’t taste a thing like Hershey bars.  If you haven’t tried this chocolate before, you should definitely find your own occasion to do so.

If the thought of Wal-Mart is too much for you, I have also seen it at QFC.  Or I also love the Endangered Species dark chocolate they sell at Fred Meyer.  Anyone have other favorite kinds of chocolate I should try?  My mom said this one was the best part of the cookie…so she wasn’t a huge fan of the cookie…but don’t let that deter you from making it.

Unless you don’t like bananas.  That would probably deter you from it because these have a STRONG banana taste.  These are a vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free cookie that uses the banana to replace the sugar and the eggs, and some of the butter.  So you could play around if you have a banana hatred (which I know some of you do) and replace some of the banana with more coconut oil/applesauce/eggs.

Personally I thought they were delicious and can’t wait to try some more recipes from 101 Cookbooks.  I will say though that traditionally I lean toward an underdone gooey cookie, but these tasted better with a little crispy edge to them.  So if you are in doubt when deciding to take them out, go ahead and give them another minute.

Nikki’s Healthy Cookie Recipe

3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 – 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.

In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.

Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes.

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Protein Power

Ever since my dad became Vegan, Aaron and I have been paying a lot of attention to the amount of protein that is in everything we eat.  We all know that protein is important, but just how much do we need?  Here is a chart I stole from the CDC that gives a good guide.

Recommended Dietary Allowance for Protein
Grams of protein
needed each day
Children ages 1 – 3 13
Children ages 4 – 8 19
Children ages 9 – 13 34
Girls ages 14 – 18 46
Boys ages 14 – 18 52
Women ages 19 – 70+ 46
Men ages 19 – 70+ 56

This means that I could almost meet my daily requirements with a 6 oz steak!  I was excited to see in my inbox this morning that someone over at Spark People had nicely charted out different vegetarian sources of protein and how they stack up to each other and to meat.

Nuts, 1/4 cup Protein Calories Fat
Peanuts, raw 9 g 207 18 g
Almonds, dry roasted 8 g 206 18 g
Pistachios 6 g 171 14 g
Hazelnuts 5 g 212 21 g
Pine nuts 5 g 229 23 g
Cashews, raw 5 g 197 16 g
Walnuts 4 g 164 16 g
Seeds (1/4 cup) Protein Calories Fat
Hemp seeds 15 g 232 18 g
Pumpkin seeds, roasted 9 g 187 16 g
Flaxseed 8 g 191 13 g
Sunflower seeds, roasted 8 g 205 18 g
Sesame seeds, roasted 6 g 206 18 g
Legumes, 1 cup cooked Protein Calories Fiber
Soybeans 29 g 298 10 g
Lentils 18 g 230 16 g
Split peas 16 g 231 16 g
Navy beans 16 g 258 12 g
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) 15 g 269 12 g
Black beans 15 g 227 15 g
Kidney beans 15 g 225 11 g
Lima beans 15 g 216 13 g
Pinto beans 14 g 234 15 g
Soy Foods Protein Calories Fat
Soybeans, 1 cup cooked 29 g 298 10 g
Tempeh, 4 oz cooked 21 g 223 13 g
Edamame, 1 cup shelled 20 g 240 10 g
TVP, 1/4 cup dry 12 g 80 0 g
Soy nuts, 1/4 cup roasted 11 g 200 1 g
Tofu, 4 oz raw 9 g 86 5 g
Soy nut butter, 2 tablespoons 7 g 170 11 g
Soymilk, 1 cup sweetened 7 g 100 0.5 g
Soymilk, 1 cup unsweetened 7 g 80 0.5 g
Grains Protein Calories Fiber
Amaranth, 1 cup cooked 9 g 238 9 g
Quinoa, 1 cup cooked 9 g 254 4 g
Whole wheat pasta, 1 cup cooked 8 g 174 6 g
Barley, 1 cup cooked 7 g 270 14 g
Spelt, 4 oz cooked 6 g 144 4 g
Oats, 1 cup cooked 6 g 147 4 g
Bulgur, 1 cup cooked 6 g 151 8 g
Buckwheat, 1 cup cooked 6 g 155 5 g
Brown rice, 1 cup cooked 5 g 216 4 g
Whole wheat bread, 1 slice 4 g 128 3 g
Sprouted grain bread, 1 slice 4 g 80 3 g
Dairy Protein Calories Fat
Fat-free cottage cheese, 1 cup 31 g 160 1 g
2% cottage cheese, 1 cup 30 g 203 4 g
1% cottage cheese, 1 cup 28 g 163 2 g
Fat-free plain yogurt, 1 cup 14 g 137 0 g
Low-fat plain yogurt, 1 cup 13 g 155 4 g
Parmesan cheese, 1 oz grated 12 g 129 9 g
Whole milk yogurt, 1 cup 9 g 150 8 g
Goat’s milk, 1 cup 9 g 168 10 g
1% milk, 1 cup 8 g 102 2 g
Swiss cheese, 1 oz 8 g 106 8 g
2% milk, 1 cup 8 g 121 7 g
3.25% (whole) milk, 1 cup 8 g 146 8 g
Low-fat cheddar/Colby cheese, 1 oz 7 g 49 2 g
Part-skim mozzarella cheese, 1 oz 7 g 72 5 g
Provolone cheese, 1 oz 7 g 100 8 g
Cheddar cheese, 1 oz 7 g 114 9 g
Blue cheese, 1 oz 6 g 100 8 g
American cheese, 1 oz 6 g 106 9 g
Goat cheese, 1 oz 5 g 76 6 g
Feta cheese, 1 oz 4 g 75 6 g
Part-skim ricotta cheese, 1 oz 3 g 39 2 g
Eggs Protein Calories Fat
Egg, 1 boiled 6 g 68 5 g
Egg white, 1 cooked 5 g 17 0 g
Liquid egg substitute, 1.5 fl oz 5 g 23 0 g

They didn’t include vegetables on their list, which I can understand because they don’t have a LOT of protein, but I was curious about the comparison.  In case you are curious too, I’ll share a chart I found for that here:

Vegetable (100 grams) Protein (g)
Asparagus 3
Aubergine 1
Beetroot 2
Broccoli 3
Brussel Sprouts 3
Cabbage 1
Carrot 0.5
Cauliflower 3
Celery 0.5
Cucumber 0.5
Fennel 1
Leek 1.6
Lettuce 0.7
Mushrooms 2
Okra 2.4
Onion 0.7
Spring Onion 2
Parsnip 1.5
Peppers 1
Pumpkin 0.5
Radish 0.7
Spinach 2
Swede 0.5
Sweet Corn 2.5
Tomatoes 2
Turnip 0.8
Yam 2

I think you have probably seen enough charts for the day, but if you want to see how all of this info adds together to getting the RDA of protein without eating meat, check out the Vegetarian Resource Group.  My dad says he feels so much better since changing his diet.  Anyone curious enough to give it a try?

Life Without Cheese

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that food allergies seem to be taking over.  When I was in elementary school, we all ate peanut butter sandwiches pretty much everyday, but now many kids aren’t even allowed to take them to school because of the severe allergies of kids in their class.  Labels throughout the grocery stores boast of their gluten-free status, and almond, coconut, soy, and rice milk are taking over the “dairy” aisle.

What’s going on?!?!

Well it’s now going on in our home as well since Aaron, born and raised on a dairy farm, was diagnosed with both a dairy, and an egg allergy.

I know it’s very sad.

I’m no stranger to allergen-free cooking, with a sister & brother-in-law that eat gluten and dairy-free, and now a dad that has become vegan after someone suggested it would help his heart.  But that is still not to say that it’s been an easy transition.  A main concern he has is getting enough protein at breakfast and snack times (we try to eat 5 – 6 small meals throughout the day).  So I found a decent recipe for vegan protein bars that have helped fill in that void but I will say they are not definitely not as good as the milk-ridden kind!!

Any of you have favorite books/websites for cooking without dairy, eggs, or gluten?  What struggles and success have you had in allergen-free living?

VEGAN PROTEIN BARS

  • 1 cup dairy-free soy protein powder
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • ½ t. salt
  • 2 cups chopped dried fruit, such as raisins, apricots, berries
  • 1 cups plain, unsweetened soy yogurt
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 2/3 cups natural unsalted peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
  • 1/4 cup Egg Replacer mixed with 1/2 cup hot water

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a 9” x 13” baking dish.

2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the protein powder, oats, flour, wheat germ, baking powder and salt. Mix in the dried fruit until evenly distributed. Set aside.

3. In another mixing bowl, mix together the soy yogurt, maple syrup, apple juice, peanut butter and Egg Replacer mixture using an electric hand mixer until well combined. In 2-3 additions, add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined spread into the prepared dish and bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Allow to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before cutting into bars.

NUTRITION: Calories 254 / Fat 7g / Carbs 36g / Sugars 18 g / Protein 14 g / Fiber 4 g