First let me start by saying, we do not eat breakfast cookies very often for breakfast. However, there are moments when we will be in a hurry and I’ll make a batch the road. I also find myself grabbing for them throughout the day, meaning they are not just meant for breakfast. I think one big concept I had to grasp when I went Paleo is cookies, muffins, cakes, cupcakes and brownies are still ‘treats’ even if they are Paleo. For the first month or two, I thought I could get away with any sweet because it was Paleo, yet this wasn’t the case. My system is sensitive to sugar and carbohydrates now, so I do watch what/how much I consume.
The base to this recipe is a plantain. If the plantain is green, it is more like a potato when cooking it…hard and lacking taste. As it ripens and becomes brown, it takes on more of a sweet banana taste and texture. The key to this recipe is to have a ripe plantain, even thought the skin may be looking like a rotten banana, don’t let that fool you. The darker the peel, the sweeter the plantain will be. Plantains are a favorite in our house from chocolate chip cookies to pancakes.
Two things I want to make note on this recipe. First, this recipe is egg free because of the gelatin. However, it is very important the gelatin cools after cooking because this is part of the ‘set-up’ process. It’s very tempting to grab a hot cookie off the pan, but it will be very very soft without allowing it to cool. Second, you will noticed I have listen organic raisins. I pick and choose what I eat organic and there is a reason for everything. I pick organic raisins because they are sulfate free. That means they are the closest thing to ‘all natural’ and do not have anything to preserve them.
The blog has been a little quiet lately. I have enjoyed my summer vacation and unplugged for a bit. Let me bring you up to speed on what I have been up to and also share with you a Black Cherry Pie recipe (since a lot of my time in Michigan has been spent in the Northern area, I found this recipe fitting).
We packed up the dogs and headed over the Mighty Mac (my first time crossing it) and rented a very cute little cottage near Escanaba in northern Michigan. If you are looking for a simple, this place is it. We enjoyed swinging on the hammock, hikes, nightly bonfires and endless games of rumikube. One huge feature we enjoyed here is the ability to leave all items at ‘home’ and walk into a ‘home’ and start our vacation. That means no linens to take/wash, endless kitchen utensils and no cell phone service/internet. It felt rustic without the phone service, yet the cottage was just what we needed after wrapping up another school year. If you are interested in visiting the Upper Pennisula and crossing the Mighty Mac, I highly recommend renting the little cabin we visited. If you do, please tell James and Jules hello for us!
We then headed a little south to the Traverse City area to enjoy time with friends and family. Needless to say, time was consumed with water sports, the Blue Angels, hikes, conversations, TRX classes and relaxation. I need to give the instructors Liz and Stacy a shout out at Total Results Training…their classes are kick butt! When you think you are going to die…they start jumping around and talking louder allowing you to push deeper and accomplish the goal. Best part of my vacation is staying on track while enjoying endless fun!
Then we headed home for a week, celebrated the baptism of our God Daughter and packed the car up to head to the East Coast. We visited the Cape Cod area. Staying in a cute quiet B&B (fresh served cooked bacon daily) called SeaBreeze. From there we traveled up to Boston and boarded a cruise ship to sail to Bermuda. Bermuda has been on our bucket list, although we have crossed it off the list…we will be back soon! I’ll post about my food sailing experience in another post! All and all, we’ve had an amazing summer vacation which is slowly coming to an end. However, Black Cherry Pie will always have a special spot in my heart and remind me of summer and our trips to Northern Michigan! I hope you enjoy our favorite summer treat!
Place cherries and water in a large pot over medium heat. Cherries will begin to cook down after 10-15 minutes. As the cherries cook down, some will split and become soft and others will keep their shape. Once cherries are very soft, remove from heat.
Add remaining ingredients and mix together, creating the cherry pie filling.
Allow mixture to cool for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour cherry pie filling into the pie crust.
Bake the pie for 25-30 minutes, until pie crust edges are light brown.
This past weekend I visited the farmers market and found two amazing Michigan grown items, strawberries from Green Garden Farms and rhubarb from Scobey’s. Needless to say, as I’m browsing through the farmers market, I am thinking about how this pie was requested by my dad for his birthday. Well, either a strawberry rhubarb pie or a rhubarb custard pie. He never was the cake type, rather a pie/crisp treat type. Today would mark his 69th birthday. Although he may not be here to celebrate in person, his spirit and love for pie has lived on in me! Needless to say, I’ve taken his favorite pie and created a ‘clean’ Paleo version and am celebrating in his honor without him!
It’s starting to get warm around Michigan!! That said, I love cold fruit on a hot day. Now take some cold fruit and add chocolate you get me excited BUT add bacon to it too and I’m jumping over the moon! That’s how my dark chocolate pineapple bacon lollipops were created. As though I’m not getting enough exercise lately walking the dog daily and cross-fitting, I decided to start jumping over the moon too! This recipe needs to be refrigerated from when you assemble it until when you serve it. However, if you have a short drive to your destination and the humidity is not too high, they will survive and your friends will be jumping to the moon with you…nothing like a buddy system to hold you accountable for your daily exercise.
This recipe works best if the pineapple squares have been refrigerated. This helps the chocolate shell to form when rolling the bacon onto it and harden quicker. I’ve only done this recipe with cold pineapple because it comes out perfect and I have not wanted to mess with perfection!
Dark Chocolate Pineapple Bacon Lollipops
One pineapple cut into square pieces (refrigerate for one hour)
I’m slowly starting to introduce eggs back into my food. I thought when I made this batch of Freeze Dried Strawberry Banana Muffins, the two egg total was not a lot because it would take me a few days to eat through them…um…I’m already three deep into this dozen and it’s only been two hours. Needless to say, the rest are being stored away for the day because I think I could eat the whole dozen in a sitting. The bananas give it a great sweet taste and the strawberries kick it up another notch…like oh hot dang notch!
I always say nothing goes to waste in our house, right down to the brown bananas! I just can not throw away food because I see it as money down the drain. These muffins do freeze well if you have brown bananas but are not in the mood for muffins yet. I will freeze muffins and use them as ‘ice packs’ to aid in keeping my food cool until lunch and then when I’m hungry in the afternoon they are the perfect defrosted snack!
Freeze dried fruit is starting to become a common food on the shelves. I use to get mine at Trader Joe’s when we make a trip, but recently I’ve found it at Aldi and Costco. The freeze-dried strawberries in this recipe help to absorb the moisture and it is important you let the batter set for 10 minutes because it sets up differently and will help in the baking process…that said…don’t rush the setting process.
Today’s blog post comes from one of my amazing Alpha Chi Omega sorority sisters named Cressie Boggs. She has educated me on Trisomy 18 through her personal experience with her daughter, Caroline. If you don’t know what T18 is, please read her story below (feel free to share it too!) and check out the yummy cookie recipe she shares at the end!
My name is Cressie Boggs and I want to share my daughter Caroline’s story with you. Caroline is 10 months old and I am her voice. Let me start by sharing our story of how Caroline joined the world…
I am a very positive person. I know everything happens for a reason, although I may not understand it at the time. I was glowing from being pregnant with my third child. I was proud of my family and excited for my two children to have another sibling join them in our Bogg Family. Everything about my pregnancy was normal up until 23 weeks.
Here I am, a pregnant mother at 23 weeks pregnant, my husband and I were brought into our midwives office and asked to sit down. She informed us that our unborn child tested positive (via materniti21 blood test) for Trisomy 18. At that moment, I was confused and unsure what the future laid ahead for my family and I. Next thing I know, I found myself researching and learning about Trisomy 18.