Harvest Casserole (AIP Friendly)

Harvest Casserole

I love the warm colors, and flavors, of fall. I’m always excited when I start to see a variety of winter squashes and crisp apples appear in the stores. Winter squashes are a great, safe starch- they are affordable, and there are an amazing array of tastes, textures, and colors available.

My Harvest Casserole has been a favorite in our family for years, and somehow I have never blogged about it! This is a great meal to make ahead, and just pop in the oven before dinner, so it is great for a busy family. It is also a wonderful meal to share with others, when a friend has a new baby or an illness in the house. It freezes well, too. It is a comforting mixture of butternut squash, crisp apples, raisin, and ground beef, a bit savory and a bit sweet- and just perfect for a chilly evening. Harvest Casserole is also a great food for a baby who is just starting to experience combined tastes and textures. It was my son’s favorite food when he was 10 months old. (Of course, now he won’t touch it because it is all mushed together- more for me!) I love eating the leftovers for breakfast, too.

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Plantain Pancakes- Version 2.0 (Paleo, Vegan, AIP, Grain, Egg, Dairy Free)

Plantain Pancakes

One of the first recipes I posted on Created To Be Paleo was our favorite Plantain Pancakes (here). Still a great recipe, but I have continued to tinker, and come up with what I am calling Version 2.0 (and knowing me, there will probably be a 3.0 someday.) They are just enough different that I thought a new post was called for.

I make up a few batches of these one or two mornings a week, and then keep them in the fridge or freezer for an easy breakfast. In fact, I make them so often, I don’t ever even have to reference my little scribbled Hello Kitty paper for the recipe to make them any more. Aurora likes to sit up on the counter and help me make them- she helps peel the plantains and runs the blender, then licks the yummy batter. My kids and husband love them with chocolate chips, but I prefer them with fruit, like strawberries, peaches, or cranberries. (They are pictured above with cranberries- a surprisingly fun combination of sweet and tart that I LOVE.) I love that they don’t require any added sweeteners, and that they are from our favorite ingredient, plantains, which makes them inexpensive, too. And because they don’t have any added sweeteners, they were a nice Whole Life Challenge compliant breakfast (or dinner) treat for me.

I’ve found that as long as you use approximately the same size plantains, it doesn’t really matter too much in terms of the final product- this recipe is very forgiving. And the riper the ripe plantain is, the sweeter the resulting pancakes will be.

 

Plantain Pancakes
Yields 12
A delicious breakfast staple in our house. Make extra to grab later in the week. Try them with chocolate chips or the seasonal fruit of your choice.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large ripe plantain (anywhere from solid yellow to black- the riper it is the sweeter the pancakes will be)
  2. 2 large green plantains
  3. 1/4 C oil
  4. 1 Tbsp vanilla
  5. 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
  6. 1/4 C chia seed meal (ground chia seeds)
  7. 1 tsp baking soda
  8. 1-2 Tbsp water may be needed to make a smooth batter
  9. Mix-in of choice: chocolate chips, blueberries, sliced strawberries or peaches, cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat a non-stick griddle or skillet to med-high (about 300)
  2. Peel the plantains and cut into chunks. Add to a high speed blender along with the oil, vanilla, and ACV. Puree until a smooth batter is formed.
  3. Add the chia seed meal and baking soda. Blend until well combined. If batter is too thick, you may need to add 1-2 Tbsp water.
  4. Stir in any mix-ins and spoon by generous spoonfuls onto the preheated griddle. Use the back of the spoon to spread out the batter a bit. (Not too much though, the thicker they are the better they seem to reheat.)
  5. Turn after a few minutes, when the edges start to look a bit dry. Cook until done, then enjoy!
  6. Makes 12-15, depending on how large the plantains were.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

 

 

 

Sweet Plantain Bread with Cinnamon and Raisins

Sweet Plantain Bread with Cinnamon and Raisins

We love our plantains, whether green or ripe, and we have eaten them in pretty much every way possible. A while ago I had some ripe plantains growing ever riper and sweeter by the moment, so I thought it would be time to experiment, and we are so glad we did! I have gotten rave reviews from everyone I have shared a taste of this simple, sweet quick bread with. Even Jonathan, who as much as he loves plantains has consistently balked at any plantain baked goods gobbled it up. I love that there is no added sweetener- it is only the sweet, ripe plantains and the raisins that make this delicious, moist quick bread a sweet treat. Someone who tasted it exclaimed “It tastes like Christmas!” and for me it is a reminder of some of my favorite quick breads from my childhood.

Sweet Plantain Bread with Cinnamon and Raisins- loaf

This recipe calls for plantain flour, which I make myself by dehydrating plantains and then grinding them to a very fine flour in the blender. But you can purchase it here (although it is pretty pricey!) You could also try experimenting with some other Paleo-friendly flours, like coconut.

For a delicious variation that is just right for a birthday celebration, try substituting chocolate chips for the raisins. A definite crowd pleaser!

Sweet Plantain cake with Chocolate chips

 

Sweet Plantain Bread with Cinnamon and Raisins
Serves 12
A simple, slightly sweet quick bread that is sure to please even the pickiest eater.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 extra large ripe plantains (yellow, with some black spots) - approx. 16-20 oz.
  2. 1/2 C plantain flour
  3. 3 Tbsp oil of choice (i.e. coconut, olive, lard)
  4. 1 Tbsp vanilla
  5. 1 tsp baking soda
  6. 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  7. 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  8. scant 1/2 tsp sea salt
  9. 1/2 C raisins, opt. (more or less to taste)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a loaf pan by lightly greasing bottom and sides with oil.
  2. Peel the plantains and cut into chunks. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  3. Add oil and vanilla, blending until well combined. Add remaining ingredients, except for raisins, and blend until well combined. Gently stir in raisins.
  4. Pour into prepared baking pan and smooth out the top.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 min until top is firm and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  6. Immediately turn out onto a cooling rack, and allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing and enjoying.
Notes
  1. For a delicious variation, try adding chocolate chips instead of raisins! Sooo good.
  2. I have toyed around with the idea of making little tea sandwiches, perhaps with a cashew cheese filling.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

Carrot Spice Plantain Muffins

Carrot Spice Muffins

One of our staples for a quick and easy breakfast has been my Apple-Cinnamon Almond Flour Muffins or Double-Chocolate Almond Flour Muffins. It is so nice to be able to grab a muffin from the freezer to satisfy an empty tummy on a busy morning. But with Aurora’s allergies to both tree nuts and coconut oil, I have been trying to come up with an easy breakfast alternative that would be safe and nourishing for her to eat as well.

As you know, I have been experimenting a lot with plantains (see here and here), which Aurora seems to do very well with. So I thought I would try my hand at coming up with a muffin recipe made from plantains that she, and the whole family, could enjoy without fear of an adverse reaction. I have been working on this recipe for quite a while- I believe that I went through at least a dozen versions before I came up with what I feel is a perfect balance. (It’s a good thing plantains are so inexpensive!)

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Blueberry-Banana Plantain Pancakes

Blueberry Banana PancakesBefore Aurora was born, Pumpkin Almond Flour Pancakes (recipe coming soon!) were a regular breakfast offering in our family. Since Aurora is allergic to tree nuts I don’t do as much with almond flour as I used to, so I have had to be a little more creative in coming up with a pancake recipe that everyone can eat.

Plantains have become a staple in our house. Green plantains are nice, safe starches- they are even FODMAP friendly! And plantains are so incredibly versatile. From green plantains you can make a savory side, like tostones or plantain chips, a delicious not-too-sweet breakfast or treat, or even crunchy crackers. Ripe plantains are a nice treat in the form of maduros. Although our plantains rarely last long enough to ever become ripe. And they are so inexpensive- they only cost $0.20 each at the grocery store, so it takes less than $2 to whip up a batch of these pancakes.

Aurora loves her pancakes!I recently found a great blog, called Purely Twins, and they have a major love affair with plantains. Their blog has already inspired a number of Plantain creations that I look forward to sharing with you soon. I originally found their recipe for Banana Bread Plantain Pancakes, and I present it now to you, with just a minimum of tinkering. They are quick and easy to throw together for a family breakfast. My husband says they smell like French Toast and taste absolutely delicious, and Aurora is obviously a huge fan. The only downside is that they are best fresh and lose a lot of their charm when reheated.

 

 

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Apple-Cinnamon Almond Flour Muffins

Apple-Cinnamon Almond Flour MuffinsAlmond flour has been a staple in our household for quite some time, although it doesn’t get used as much these days due to Aurora’s tree nut allergy and foraging habit. Add in our egg allergies, and it has been tricky to come up with a delicious muffin recipe that will both hold together and stay moist and delicious. This Apple-Cinnamon Muffin strikes the right balance between being a sweet treat and a safe and easy breakfast food. I hope you will enjoy them as much as Jonathan does!

(Note: Jonathan likes his “plain” so we leave out the apples for him, but they are so delicious with the apples in that I often make two batches- one without apples for Jonathan, and one with for the grown-ups.)

Apple-Cinnamon Almond Flour Muffins
Serves 12
A delicious breakfast treat with just the right amount of sweetness.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups blanched almond flour
  2. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1/4 C arrowroot powder
  5. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 C coconut oil (or oil of choice)
  7. 1/4 C raw honey
  8. 1 ripe banana
  9. 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 tsp baking powder mixed in 2 Tbsp water (helps replace the egg)
  11. 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1/4 inch cubes
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda, arrowroot and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, blend together the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Add the ripe banana and baking powder/water mixture and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined thoroughly. Fold in the apple pieces. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. These freeze really well! Make up a double batch and freeze half, then thaw for a few seconds in the microwave for a quick breakfast.
  2. Try different fruits, like diced pears, peaches, or blueberries.
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/

Double-Chocolate Almond Flour Muffins

Double Chocolate Almond Flour MuffinsI love chocolate! (Who doesn’t, really?) The richer and darker the better as far as I, and the rest of my family are concerned. And these Double-Chocolate Almond Flour Muffins certainly fit the bill! I love to eat them when they are warm, with the chocolate chips just a little bit melty and gooey.

This is a simple variation on my Apple-Cinnamon Muffin recipe and has been used for everything from breakfast treats to birthday cupcakes to potluck offerings. And it is one of those recipes that people can hardly believe is Paleo, much less egg-free and (mostly) refined sugar free.

Double-Chocolate Almond Flour Muffins
Serves 12
A sweet, rich and decadent chocolate treat.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups blanched almond flour
  2. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  3. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  4. 1/4 C arrowroot powder
  5. 1/4 C cocoa powder
  6. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  7. 1/4 C coconut oil (or oil of choice)
  8. 1/4 C raw honey
  9. 1 ripe banana
  10. 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  11. 1/2 tsp baking powder mixed in 2 Tbsp water (helps replace the egg)
  12. 1/2 C chocolate chips (more or less as preferred)
  13. 2-3 Tbsp water (if needed)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda, arrowroot and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, blend together the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Add the ripe banana and baking powder/water mixture and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined thoroughly. If necessary, add 2-3 Tbsp water to make a smooth batter. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the muffin tops are firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. These freeze well, and make a lovely presentation for a birthday or tea party.
Adapted from Apple-Cinnamon Almond Flour Muffins
Created To Be Paleo http://CreatedToBePaleo.com/
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