Happy Holiday season to all of you! By mid-december, everyone around here (at least in our neck of woods here in Connecticut ) seem to get into the holiday mood! Folks are taking days off from work just so that they can finish up their christmas shopping or just so they can hang out at home and take it easy. I feel so happy that I don’t need to take days off from work like other folks – you see I have been ‘off-work’ since when i quit my job earlier this year 🙂 . And what a wonderful and relaxing 11 months it has been! To tell you the truth, I have been in a ‘holiday’ mood through out the past year 🙂 I am loving every minute of it as well as am thankful to God for being able to enjoy this luxury.
Now ever since having gone paleo, warm oatmeal had gone out of my life too! I missed it a lot! Especially now in this cold, cold new england winter weather, I really started craving for something warm that I could slurp lazily in the mornings. And thus in desperation I created this recipe which I honestly didn’t need to try very hard.! Since I used to make tapioca coconut pudding regularly, this recipe was only a slight extension of that one where I decided to add tiger nut flour additionally. I was so glad I did. Addition of tiger nut flour tastes the texture of the pudding considerably. Before where it used to be a huge lumpy mass, now we have a coarse, gritty and more ‘porridge like’ texture! Plus the tiger nut flavor imparts it a delicious nutty flavor!
You may have the question ‘What is a tigernut?’. Well, it isn’t a nut, as the name implies. It is a small root vegetable that grows in Northern Africa and the Mediterranean. Tigernut flour is naturally gluten free and Paleo. And it offers those allergic to nuts an option for adding protein when baking and cooking. High in fiber, iron, potassium, protein, magnesium, zinc and vitamins E and C, tiger nuts were the primary food of our ancient ancestors who lived in East Africa between 2.4 million and 1.4 million years ago, according to a 2014 Oxford University study. One ounce of these crunchy root vegetables contains 40 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake1.
Ok enough jibber-jabber, here’s the recipe 🙂 Sharing this recipe at the Paleo AIP recipe Roundtable this week hosted by Phoenix Helix.
Tapioca pearl porridge (Paleo, AIP, Vegan, Gluten free)
A warm, delicious porridge made with tapioca pearls and tiger nut flour topped with blueberries and shredded coconut
1/2 cup tapioca pearls , soaked in water for 3-4 hours or overnight
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp tigernut flour
pinch sea salt
extra water as needed
1-2 tsp maple syrup (per taste)
fresh or frozen fruits
Wash the pre-soaked tapioca pearls thoroughly in water and drain the water. Repeat this 2-3 times until the water runs clear.
Add the washed tapioca pearls to a small cooking pot. Add the coconut milk and the water and the sea salt. Heat on medium heat until the mixture starts to boil. Then turn heat to low and cover and cook for 2-3 mins.
Open the pot and stir once.
Now add the tiger nut flour to the mixture and stir continuously on low heat until a porridge like consistency is obtained (about 1-2 mins). You may need to add some more water if the mixture gets too thick.
Turn heat off and add maple syrup per taste. Serve porridge warm topping with fresh or frozen berries/fruits and / shredded coconut.
After soaking the tapioca pearls should measure to almost 1 cup since they bloom/swell on soaking.
For toppings, you can use fresh or frozen berries or any other fruits!
‘Everything goes as long as it has chocolate in it’ ! And that’s very true about any thing (baked or otherwise) that comes out of my kitchen. Hardly surprising is it? I think I won’t be terribly way off if I stated that ‘Chocolate makes the world go around’ 🙂 While we are on this topic – here are some delectable quotes on chocolate:
“What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.”― Katharine Hepburn
If there’s no chocolate in Heaven, I’m not going.”― Jane Seabrook, Furry Logic Laugh at Life
“The greatest tragedies were written by the Greeks and Shakespeare…neither knew chocolate.”― Sandra Boynton
Now that I have convinced everyone about the goodness of chocolate (not that I needed to try ‘hard’! ) , I present you with my ‘Chocolatey Banana Bread’ ! I cannot take credit for coming up with this idea – Julie from ‘Julie’s family kitchen’ sometime back baked a chocolatey banana loaf which was my inspiration! Thanks Julie!. The moment I saw that I wondered why I had never thought of it myself considering my thoughts on chocolate above and the fact that I bake banana bread relentlessly – yes! almost every weekend!.. (in fact I would be making it every single weekend if my husband did not end up sometimes stealing and eating my left over ripe bananas 🙁 ). So anyways, as far as adding chocolate – better late than never, right!? So basically I just decided to stick to my original banana nut recipe (I have it by heart now, gosh! baking it so often!) and just made some changes – replaced part of the flour with cocoa and then also replaced some part of the flour with whole wheat and finally also decided to add dates last minute which also helped to cut down on the sugar! See the amazing impact of chocolate ? – It even makes you think healthier ! 🙂 I also added chocolate chips to make it ‘double chocolatey’ and also walnuts which we all love in our banana bread.
So as you might have guessed by now, this chocolatey banana bread will replace the banana bread in my house now ….and I made an additional loaf this weekend so I can bring it over to Angie’s for Fiesta Friday party! Cheers to Chocolate! I think it pairs well with Angie’s Latin Lovers 🙂
Chocolatey Banana and Date Bread
This recipe makes a 9 inch loaf pan
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 ripe medium size bananas
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp lime/lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup dates,chopped
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped finely(optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350 deg C. Grease the loaf pan with butter and also lightly dust with some flour and keep aside.
Take a bowl or a large plate and mix the dry ingredients flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda and salt well. Keep aside.
In a medium size mixing bowl, take the butter (that has already been softened) and add the sugar. With a hand mixer (or any other mixer) mix the butter and sugar well. Slowly add one egg at a time and again keep mixing. Then add the bananas and again mix till its nicely mashed and blended. Then add the milk and the lime juice. Now slowly add the cocoa-flour mix 1/2 a cup at a time and keep mixing. Add the vanilla essence and mix again.
Lastly, add the chopped dates, chocolate chips and the walnuts (if adding) and mix by hand slowly.
Now pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake in the oven at 350 deg C for about 38-40 minutes.
Keep checking after 35 minutes (since oven times vary depending on the type of pan used etc.) When a knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, then you know its done. at this point, even the sides and top of the cake should look nice dark brown.
After taking the cake out of the oven, let cool for about 5 minutes and then just scrape the sides of the pan with a knife and turn the pan upside down onto a plate to get it out. Cut into thick slices and enjoy with a nice warm cup of tea or coffee.! 🙂