Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Banana Pudding {Clean Eating}

I am so blessed! Truly, I am...I have salvation through Christ Jesus, I enjoy a loving family, good friends and my health. I'm not saying that I don't have struggles; I most definitely do! However, my struggles are nothing compared to what a lot of other people face on a daily basis. My husband, Kirk and I have been tested many times, but we have found that our bond has only grown stronger as we push through trials such as financial hardship, illness etc. together. I am so thankful for the life partner God chose for me!

Kirk & Becca - Together forever! :)
I am also very thankful for my parents...they are and have always been very supportive of my choices and goals. They raised me right and they have always encouraged me to be my very best! My mom chose to stay at home with my brother and I when we were young and worked diligently to find good alternative foods for us as we both suffered with a wheat allergy. She fed us in a very healthy way (sometimes at the expense of ridicule from family & friends) to give us a good start in life as well as curb our allergy symptoms. I strayed from this upbringing for quite awhile and have since come full circle. Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at my journey in the coming weeks!


Gardner Family - circa 1981
When I was a child there were many times when I was unhappy with how our Mom fed us even though it was necessary. As I got older I often felt deprived of what my friends were able to eat. I didn't understand why I had to eat this way...and in the 70's and 80's the choices were few and far between for delicious alternatives! Don't get me wrong, she made some delicious treats to help us NOT feel deprived!...She made Rye muffins, homemade peanut butter and these amazing doughnuts that I am still trying to replicate to this day. And, of course, there were always the fresh fruits and veggies! She accomplished what I am trying to do now with my family...feed them well, help them avoid issues that can be brought on by eating less-than-good-for-you foods, and give them the best start in life that I can!

I am choosing to feed my children in a nutritious way...my mom, however, did not have a choice! (as I'm sure many of you with Celiac Disease can relate) If she wasn't consistent then my brother and I were constantly sick. She had many people trying to "slip" us foods that we would react to. She had to do this in an era in which it was not accepted and certainly not encouraged so I'm sure there were many difficult days.  I now greatly appreciate what my Mom did in those formative years (even though as a child I couldn't fully understand) and we actually enjoy discussing ingredient alternatives together now as adults.

This is one of those recipes that I really enjoyed and still do to this day...Banana Pudding! It's so simple, with very few ingredients and it's a great treat for anytime of the year! It's great for anyone with food allergies (the only allergen is eggs) as well as diabetics. It's the ripe bananas that make it sweet so there are no refined sugars! Read on after the video for details on the nutritional benefits of the ingredients.

{This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free & refined sugar-free!}



Ingredients:
1 c water
1/2 c Vegetable Oil
1-2 Tbs Cinnamon
3 Bananas (the riper the better!)
3 Eggs (soft-scrambled)
(Optional Add-ins: 1/4 c cocoa or carob powder)


Directions:
Place 1/2 of the water in a small skillet, turn the burner on to med-med/high heat and add the eggs.
With a spoon, break the yolks and scramble into the water. Don't leave them for too long...we are just scrambling them long enough to absorb the water and so they're not raw.
Place 1/2 c water, all the oil & cinnamon (& optional ingredients) in a blender (I use a Vitamix and highly recommend investing in one!).
Turn blender on low and break up the bananas as you add them. Allow the blender to do the chopping and raise the speed a couple notches.
On the higher speed, spoon the eggs into the blender and turn the speed up further.
Once all ingredients are incorporated, turn blender to highest setting and blend for a couple minutes.

For Pudding Bowls:Pour into small containers and place in fridge to firm up! Should only take an hour or 2 to get to the right consistency.

For Pudding Pops! (a great summer treat!): Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for a couple hours till firm. Run mold under warm water to release.

Kaleb (always the silly boy) loves his Banana Pudding!

There are numerous health benefits to the clean and natural ingredients in this pudding! Let's take a look:

Vegetable Oil: This oil is full of the good-for-you monounsaturated fats and is also a great source of Vitamin E. Heating oils reduces their nutritional value so using it in the raw like this give you the full nutritional benefit. 
Cinnamon: Where to begin! Cinnamon is one of the best things you can add to your diet. It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron and calcium. It helps regulate blood sugar which makes it a great addition to a diabetic's diet. It has anti-inflammatory properties as well as antibacterial. I say this with all sincerity...I have no doubt that our family has remained healthy through this bad flu season because we ingest cinnamon and raw honey on a daily basis! Here's that little recipe: Put 1/4 tsp of cinnamon in a small container and add a tsp of raw honey. Stir it together until it becomes a paste and then just eat it right off the spoon!
Bananas: This fruit is a great source of potassium and fiber so it keeps you regular. Plus it has a variety of vitamins and minerals that help our bodies restore themselves after a good, hard workout! 
Eggs: Loaded with protein, healthy fats and a variety of vitamins and minerals...specifically, B12, D, E & A; they are also a good source of iron as well as Choline which is good for brain development. (When my boys were weaned as young children they refused to drink cow's milk. I made them this pudding and knew they were getting a great source of brain food without any added sugars and ingredients their developing bodies didn't need!) Once thought to raise cholesterol levels, eggs are slowly making their way back into our homes. Visit this source among others to find out why (unless allergy is a concern) you should incorporate eggs back into your diet!

This pudding is also delicious as a pie! Just use a crust of your choice (graham cracker crust is a favorite), spread the pudding as the filling and allow to set in the fridge. And don't worry if you notice the oil separate after a day or two...just drain it (Carefully! This pudding slips right out of the plastic containers!) or simply mix it back in. It is delicious either way! I should also mention that while I associate this recipe with my mom, she got it from a cookbook that, again, we still use today. "The Natural Foods Blender Cookbook" was published back in 1972, the year my brother was born and was a great resource for my mom.

had been wanting to share this recipe for such a long time. I have given the recipe to several people over the years, but it's one of those that you can sometimes put on the back-burner, but once you try it I guarantee it will become a staple in your home! I'm not very fond of bananas (must be a texture thing), but I love this pudding! Thank you, Mom for giving me a good start nutritionally. I really do appreciate it! I hope other families can benefit from this recipe as well.

hope this recipe will join your regular rotation of family treats! I remember even my Grandpa (who was diabetic) eating this many times and not once did he ever feel deprived! I miss him too. :)

Grandpa Meier with Grandma & Great-Grandson, Kaleb
As always, I love to hear from you so feel free to comment here on this blog, under the video on YouTube or on my Facebook page. And connect with me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. I hope you all have a good, healthy day!

Treat yourself well,