Sweet Nectar of the Gods… Sugar is the Enemy

14 Mar

I grew up a relatively poor kid. The community pool was my babysitter each summer. I’d spend early mornings carefully pouring pennies into little maroon sleeves and use the 50 cent rolls to buy skittles at the pool snack stand. They loved me there. I was the weird 5th grader who obviously made a run to the bank between the mushroom fountain and snack hut. Once I even bought a $10 gift basket from the drug store with coins. Unrolled coins. It was all I could scrounge up from home; foraging for my own allowance.

As you might expect, I have a fondness for super cheap candy and processed desserts.

I have a big soft spot in my heart for gummi orange slices. Just the notion of them takes me back to simpler times. Dad picked them because they had a good “pricepoint”.

Slow Pokes and Blow Pops were my back ups when I was on a budget.

Consuming popular 1950's candy in the 1990's... Hipster and I didn't even know it.

And if I needed a little enriched wheat with my sugar, I opted often for a Little Debby Snack. My favorites include Nutty Bars, Oatmeal Cream Pies, their after-midnight version Fudge Rounds, hell I even liked the brownies. Little Debby got me.

I wonder how many quarters I spent on these between the ages of 4 and 14.

If you can eat these, God help you, try out the recipe linked to the photo.

Fudge Rounds - the illegitimate cousin of the Oatmeal Cream Pie.

My all time favorite treat was the Hostess Pie. If you’ve ever done an Iron Man, this I think is a suitable reward. Filled with generic fruit pie filling, the crust is was makes these things great. It’s a super dense enriched-bleached-wheat haven covered with a light confectioners glaze. The ends are crimped sealed so that each corner is a trifecta of dough that gives you the densest, most delectable bite of anything I’d ever encountered. At least, that was my impression as an eight year old.

"Cherry" Pie

At 480 calories a pop and chocked full of sugar and saturated fat, these things are so unhealthy that even if I *could* eat one I would not. I’d be overwhelmed at the sweetness let alone the nutrition facts. But it does speak to our culture. Many kids, when left to their own devices, would choose a snack like this. Many still do. In their purest, most innocent form, kids will choose sensory pleasure, read: sugar high. We learn to masque this behavior later in life with refined $5 pints of gelato and the like, but the truth is still there. Many of us undeniably have a sweet tooth.

Nevermind the nation, it was literally killing my body. So I’ve opted to consume some less-terrible sugar. Ones in fruit, nuts and honey. Like my very own gluten free banana bread!

Pictured with carrots

Gluten Free Guilt Free Banana Bread
(SCD compliant, to have after ~2 mo on the diet)

2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup honey
3 large eggs*
slighty less than 3 cups almond meal*, **
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice (I usually don’t measure the spices, so this is a rough estimate)
1/2 tbsp butter or coconut oil to grease a bread loaf pan, or if making in a muffin tin omit butter and use liners.

optional: chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, whatever you fancy!

*if you want to make this recipe vegan, increase to 3 bananas and add 1/2 cup of applesauce. Haven’t tried this option yet but it should work fine.

**almond meal is sold at Trader Joe’s for relatively cheap.

***can sub 1 cup of almond meal with 1 cup of shredded carrots

Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease bread loaf pan with butter, I usually use a paper towel to smear it evenly on the surface, making sure to go all the way up both sides and get in the corners.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold everything – almond meal, salt, baking soda, and spices. Mix and adjust spices to taste if needed.
Whisk the eggs in another smaller bowl.
Mash the bananas with a fork in another small bowl.
Mix eggs, honey and bananas in with dry ingredients. Batter should be the consistency of cake batter, or slightly runnier – this is why I use less than 3 cups. The wetter the batter the moister the loaf.
Add any other saucy ingredients you’d like to add some chunk factor.
Pour batter into greased pan. If using a muffin tin, you can pour the batter relatively high (~3/4 of the way at least) with no worries of it overflowing as it bakes.
Bake at 350F
if using a loaf pan, bake for 50 minutes total. At 30 minutes, pull out and cover with aluminum foil for the remainder of the time. The top will brown pretty intensely but it ends up tasting awesome.
if using a muffin pan, bake at 350 for about 20 – 25 min total.


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