Saturday, September 4, 2010

Going Bananas!

We've all seen it -- over ripe, spotted bananas sitting on our counters. Good intentions at the produce market and then time gets away from us and the bananas get overly ripe.

Today there was a perfect storm between a space in the kitchen (remodeling drop clothes, tools, and construction crap have moved into the dining part of the kitchen), two overly ripe bananas, and time..............and voila! a delicious, vegan, healthy cookie was born.

Here is my recipe -- no photos because we ate 'em. (not true -- we ate a few and froze the rest, but as photos go, they just look like what they are -- cookies)

Into a mixing bowl I put:

2 peeled, ripe, mashed bananas
about 4 oz of applesauce
3 TBSP Agave nectar (you can add more for extra sweetness -- we don't like really sweet cookies)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups oatmeal or rolled oats (not instant)

And to this -- just get inspired and let the good times roll
I added about:
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup dried sweetened cherries
1/4 cup carob chips

and if I weren't sharing these cookies with my two legged beloved, I would have added some diced candied ginger.

Stir the mixture and place in the refrigerator for the short time it takes to preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Spray oil on two 9 x 13 cookie sheets and spoon out 24 cookies.
Bake about 10 minutes -- mine took an extra minute.
Let them stay on the cookie sheet to cool.

And then take some breaths to slow your excitement and begin enjoying them.
I like a cookie for breakfast with my, yes.....I have allowed ONE CUP of coffee back into my life each

Don't monkey around -- make em, bake em, and enjoy em, without guilt.

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The Story Behind the Garden of Eden Vegan Blog

For those of you who knew me prior to December 30, 2009, I was a veteran of the fast food culinary institute. My son, when he lived with me would ask if I had ordered the "Shabbat pizza" yet as the sun was setting Friday nights.

My idea of a good meal was a McFish sandwich, fries with extra salt, and a medium diet coke.

Everything was better covered in a rich creamy sauce and the idea of a naked baked potato was as foreign to me as walking naked in Manhattan.

In June of 2009 I decided to formally become a vegetarian. Although I had dabbled with this, it was not until I read Skinny Bitch that the gauntlet was thrown.

Now being a vegetarian does not sign you up for good health. I was proof of that. Chubby when I started, I indulged in pizza, french fries, cheese, cheese, butter, cheese, pizza......and became very over weight, tipping the Toledos at 200 pounds at 5'4". And taking an assortment of meds for cholesterol and GERD and who knows what else.

As the decade was waning, and with my 60th birthday approaching in the year 2010, there was a perfect storm that snapped my beak and got me in gear. The same friend who gave me Skinny Bitch, turned me on to the John McDougall website. At the same time, there was a Grand Round lecture at the hospital where I work on the book Eat to Live, and at the same time, I was tired of how I looked and felt and needed to make a change.

I regret that I did not start this blog when I changed my lifestyle, but it is better late than never.

My weight is down about 35 pounds, my size has gone from a tight 16 to a loose 12. And I am on no meds, although my vegetarian doctor and I will review my blood work within this month to see if I need anything (like b12) boosted.

I began as a Vegan Minus. Or what I call a Garden of Eden Vegan.

As you know, a Vegan eats no animals nor animal products - none. But then I subtracted oil, sugar, and processed foods.

That is a big subtraction -- but it is this subtraction that helped with weight loss, lack of cravings, increased energy, health, and vibrancy.

Now I am dabbling in raw foods and have signed up to learn with Russell James (google him).

I like the taste and health aspect of raw foods, but worry about the increased calories. So I will (hopefully) use the raw creations as a supplement to my Gan (Hebrew for Garden -- I am in a Hebrew mood today) Eden Vegan lifestyle.

My doctor said that I should write a book about this since most of her patients need it. I said, "Who, or how many, would want to do this?" We shall see. It has been easy (no cravings) and exciting as life and energy unfold before me, just as it was meant to be. (It didn't unfold over a fried fish sandwich, extra tarter sauce.)

Join me or not. Walk with me the whole journey, day trips, part of it, or not. This is my 60th year -- buckle up life, here I come.