Not only are these fiber-packed cookies a great source of potassium, they are low in sugar and a great source of natural energy. Plantains reap all the health benefits of bananas (high potassium and fiber content) but are lower in natural sugars. The plantains, in combination with the oats and oat flour, provide an excellent source of fiber, not to mention a burst of rich flavor.
I did not want these cookies to be as dense as nut butter cookies; however, I still wanted the soy nut butter to add a punch of flavor and a subtle density to these treats. The use of oat and spelt flour, agave nectar, soy nut butter and plantains makes these cookies a wholesome, energizing and fibrous breakfast or snack.
Plantain & Oat Soy Nut Butter Cookies
Makes about 20 medium cookies
1c Spelt flour
½ c Oat flour
½ c + 1/3 c Rolled oats (not instant)
½ c Soy nut butter
½ c Canola oil
½ c Agave nectar
1 c plantain puree
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
To make the plantain puree, peel 2 ripe plantains and process in a food processor until smooth.
In a medium bowl combine all wet ingredients: canola oil, soy nut butter, agave nectar, vanilla extract and plantain puree. Mix well until smooth.
In a larger bowl combine the dry ingredients: oat flour, spelt flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until there are no traces of dry flour (be sure not to over mix). Lastly, fold in the rolled oats.
Spoon out about 1 tsp of dough per cookie. Using your hands, roll the dough into a ball and then flatten slightly to shape each cookie.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Remove the cookies and let cool on a cooling rack.
These muffins are an excellent way to incorporate fiber, fruit and a vegetable to your day. They are perfect for breakfast or to satisfy that 4 o’clock hunger attack. The sweet potatoes, barley flour and oat flour are fiber and nutrient rich, while the banana’s potassium packed sweetness, make this a healthy decadent treat. Sweetened with agave nectar, these muffins have no sugar added and are glycemic friendly.
Sweet Potato Banana Muffins*
Makes about 15 muffins
Sweet Potato Banana Puree:
2 small sweet potatoes
1 ripe banana
1 c oat flour
1c barley flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves powder (optional but highly recommended)
½c unsweetened soymilk
1 egg, slightly beaten
½ c agave nectar
¼ c canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c sweet potato banana puree
First make the sweet potato banana puree. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into large chunks. Boil them in a large pot of water for 10 minutes or until pretty tender (but not too mushy). Drain the sweet potato chunks and let cool. Once cooled, peel a banana and combine along with the sweet potato chunks into a food processor. Process until smooth (I left a few very small chunks of sweet potato and banana; you can leave as many or as little chunks as you’d like). Set the puree aside and add to the wet ingredients when called for below.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a tray of 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Mix together the dry and wet ingredients separately. Stir in the puree into the wet ingredients and mix until a homogeneous mixture is formed. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until combined (be careful not to over mix). Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean
*Adapted from Baking with Agave Nectar’s “Spicy Pumpkin Muffins”.
Avocados are generally dismissed because of their higher fat content. What people fail to acknowledge is their high potassium content (60% higher than that of bananas!), their richness in B vitamins, vitamin E and vitamin K. In addition, they also boast the highest fiber content of any fruit.
These creamy green beauties are also a great source of fat and ‘bulk’ for vegetarians and organic eaters. From my own experience, I can attest that fat is easily forgotten when preparing a vegetarian meal. My typical quick meals include beans, a grain, and a steamed green vegetable. Just what is the problem with such a healthy meal? The problem, is the fact that I forgot to include a fat and will hear my stomach grumbling just an hour or two later. When consumed with caution, fat is an essential nutrient in our diets; yes that’s right, we need to eat fat! Avocados are also a calming food bringing serenity and peace to one’s mood.
I love eating a traditional tomato and avocado salad before a light meal. I find that I am satiated for a longer period of time, but without an overly-full feeling. I wanted to create a unique version of a tomato and avocado salad, taking advantage of the avocado’s creamy texture, yet maintaining the mild, smooth natural flavors of the traditional version. The result was a light, smooth and creamy dressing. The combination of basil and agave nectar brings out the natural sweet flavors of the tomatoes, while neutralizing their acidity.
Tomato Carpaccio with a Creamy Avocado and Basil Dressing
Makes enough dressing for 4 small salads
1 avocado (de-skinned and pitted)
¼ c extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp + ¼ tsp agave nectar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 handful of freshly picked basil leaves + a few for garnish
Salt (I found about 1/8 tsp worked well) and pepper according to your personal taste
3 thin slices of tomato / person
Combine all ingredients (except for the tomatoes, salt and pepper) into a food processor and process 2-3min or until smooth and creamy. Lastly, add enough salt and pepper to flavor the dressing according to your personal taste.
On each plate, lay out three slices of tomato/person. Top with the dressing and garnish with a few whole basil leaves. Serve immediately.
I wasn’t planning on posting this salad, for I had simply just thrown it together this morning. I returned to the States* three days ago and am still experiencing jetlag which is causing me to get out of bed earlier then I’d ever like to admit. A little less groggy after my large cup of green tea, I threw this salad together for breakfast. After a few spoonfuls, I realized that it was too pretty to let pass un-photographed.
There is nothing better than a vibrant fresh fruit salad. My favorite fruits to use in a fruit salad are strawberries, blueberries raspberries, peaches and plums. Even when cut or sliced, they maintain their individual flavors and none overpower the flavor of the salad. For example, have you ever had a fruit salad containing watermelon or oranges? Nothing worse. The salad becomes saturated with either orange or watermelon juice and the remaining fruit flavors are lost. Here the berries and white peaches pair nicely together maintaining their unique flavors until the very last spoonful. Cinnamon accentuates their flavors, while sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and pecans add a bit of crunch to this nutritional breakfast.
For variations try using different non-leaky fruits, pumpkin seeds, a splash of lemon juice, and even a teaspoon of agave nectar.
Simple Summer Berry Salad**
½ white peach chopped
3 strawberries chopped
2 tsp sunflower seeds
1/8c whole pecans
Pinch of cinnamon
Combine berries and peach slices into a bowl and top with sunflower seeds and hazelnuts. Break the pecans into small pieces and add to the salad. Sprinkle with cinnamon and mix well.
*This means I now have an oven, food processor and ALL of my other cooking utensils! Fun things are coming this way!
**As I was not planning to post this, I did not take exact measurements; all are approximate.