Protein Packed Strawberry Banana Bread (Gluten Free!)

Strawberry Banana Protein Bread GF

As a kid, I had an obsession with strawberry banana smoothies, strawberry banana flavored candies, and strawberry banana yogurt. Honestly, strawberry banana flavored anything was heaven to me. The two flavors compliment each other so, so, SO well! Now as I’m older I try to stay away from almost all of my favorite childhood treats. The amount of sugar or artificial colors in all those strawberry banana flavored snacks and drinks is horrifying.

strawberries

A Healthier Alternative:

So sitting at home Friday morning with a couple of super ripe bananas and some strawberries, I got to thinking. What is something healthy but equally delicious, that feels naughty but isn’t, that I can make with these magical fruits. Then I opened the cupboard and saw our giant tub of Gold Standard strawberry protein powder. It was way too cold and rainy for a smoothie, buuut it was perfect weather for some baking! That’s when I decided to experiment and make some protein packed strawberry banana bread that is also gluten free and GUILT FREE!

Strawberry Banana Protein Bread GF

Honestly, I am so proud of myself for this recipe. I’ve NEVER made up my own baked goods recipe before because they seem so scary and intimidating to create. I never went to pastry or culinary school, I just have an imagination and a passion for cooking/baking. Taking a risk, I experimented anyways and feel so confident now. The recipe turned out AMAZING. It is the grown up version of all those artificial, sugar filled strawberry banana treats from childhood.

 

Strawberry Banana Protein Bread GF

How I did it:

I started off with one cup almond flour. Almond flour is life. I almost never use all purpose flour anymore. Almond flour not only adds nutrients but it has great texture and flavor! I get mine in bulk from Costco because of how often I use it.

Almond Flour

Then I added a scoop (about 1/4 C) of Gold Standard strawberry protein powder. There are no artificial flavors or colors in this protein. I’m also really excited about this recipe because I can actually use our protein powder in it without having to buy another flavor. Every time I look up protein powder baking recipes it calls for either vanilla or chocolate; never strawberry. So for all  my strawberry protein powder lovers out there: this one is for you.

Strawberry protein powder

Next, I added two super ripe bananas (mashed) to the mix. Honestly, three super ripe bananas would make this recipe taste even better! I just only had two when it was time to test out my vision.

Ripe Bananas

Then three eggs to hold it all together and as an additional protein source. I mixed the eggs up with a fork before adding it to my mixing bowl just so it was easier to combine all of the ingredients together.

eggs
To make the bread fluffy, I added a teaspoon of baking soda.

baking soda

I gave the bread a super-food boost and hint of chocolate flavor I added a teaspoon of raw cacao. Because honestly, chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered bananas are both amazing so why not add a little chocolate love to this bread?

cacao powder

To sweeten things up naturally, I added 1/4 C of raw, unfiltered, local honey. Then I mixed everything together before adding the final ingredient.

honey
mix

Finally! I diced 3 fresh strawberries and folded them into the batter. Make sure the strawberries are medium-small in size. Do not add more strawberries. Because they are so juicy, over-doing it on the strawberries will result in a soggy bread and cause you issues while baking. The same will occur if you use frozen strawberries! FRESH STRAWBERRIES ONLY!

diced strawberries

I sprayed a small bread pan with coconut oil (which I get at Trader Joe’s). Spray-able coconut oil makes life oh so easy. Finally, I placed it in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes (35-45 depending on your oven, bake until a tooth pick or knife comes out clean).

Strawberry Banana Protein Bread GF

Let it cool for 30 minutes. Then slice, and ENJOY the heck out of it. I baked this yesterday and had leftovers for breakfast this morning warmed in the microwave with grass-fed butter spread on top: YUMMY IN MY TUMMY!!! Comment below and let me know if you try this recipe and how it turned out or comment with any ideas or twists to make this recipe even better! I’d love to hear from you!

Strawberry Banana Protein Bread GF

 

Nourishing Super-Food Brownies (GF and Vegan!)

Lately I’ve been on a downhill spiral with my sugar addiction. I’ve been craving chocolate and sweets pretty much non-stop for about three weeks now. I even downloaded the Girl Scouts’ “Find Cookies!” app! I needed to do something to calm down these cravings before I completely reverse all of my progress. About twenty minutes before I had to leave for work yesterday, I had the craving BAD. I nibbled on a date, and then it came to me: nourishing super-food brownies. Boom.


I thought how dates are super sweet and  make a delicious ooey-gooey sugar replacement in desserts. So I placed 15 large, pitted dates into the food processor.


Then I thought to myself, “Reeses peanut butter cups sound BOMB diggity right now, I’m going to add some peanut butter up in this mix.” Not just any peanut butter, Trader Joe’s natural peanut butter that contains flax seeds and chia seeds. Mind blown: I just made it that much more nourishing (and easier to make).


I didn’t 1/4 of the pb container (which was all we had left) was enough so I added a spoonful of almond butter.


Chia seeds add delicious texture and fiber AND protein AND are like a fun glue that would help hold the brownies together. So I added about a tablespoon of those too. Ch-ch-chia yeah! (Fun fact: chia seeds soaked in water until they make a gel-like consistency are a GREAT substitute for eggs when making vegan versions of your favorite baked goods!)

Finally, I needed them to taste chocolatey. Non-chocolate brownies just don’t sound fun. So I added 1/3 C of raw, organic cacao. When making any brownie or chocolate cake recipe from scratch, you always add a little bit of vanilla extract so of course I topped it off with a dash of vanilla extract.

Blend it all up in a food processor until it is all combined. Next Press it into a baking dish. Chill for thirty minutes until it firms up. Then slice and enjoy!

I am really proud of myself for this recipe. Within twenty minutes I thought it up, whipped it up, and took fancy pics of the steps for this blog. *bows*

Comment below with your reviews of this recipe! Let me know if you try anything different, as I’m writing this I’m already imagining that adding shredded coconut to it would be DELISH!