Peanut Butter Coconut Flour Banana Bread

Some blogkeeping- there is still one more day to enter the Cleveland Marathon race entry giveaway!

My friend Cuoghi is allergic to coconut. Can you imagine being allergic to coconut? I LOVE it so much and cant imagine not being able to experience all the gloriousness that is coconut. Coconut flakes. Special K cookies. Almond Joys. Coconut ice cream. Coconut oil. Fresh coconut right from the tree!

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You get the picture. BUT up until recently I had never tried coconut flour. It intrigued me but I was intimidated. I knew you couldn’t use it as a replacement for traditional flour in a 1:1 ratio, but was really eager to try it out. Thank goodness the first recipe I tried came out GREAT. Here is a recipe for peanut butter coconut flour banana bread. The texture of this bread reminds me of bread pudding or pastel de elote – it’s really moist (Favorite word!) and not really quick-bread like but still so so so good. I’ll definitely be making this again!

Peanut Butter Coconut Flour Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Coconut Flour Banana Bread

modified from Ambitious Kitchen’s paleo banana bread recipe. This is not paleo-sorry;)

Here’s what you need:

  • 3-4 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter*
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. Combine bananas, sugar, vanilla and peanut butter with an electric mixer and mix until smooth. Add in eggs and mix until combined.
  4. Add in coconut flour mixture; mix until just combined – do not over mix.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle peanut butter chips on top.
  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into middle of pan comes out clean.
  7. Cool completely before cutting. Texture will be somewhat mushy – not undercooked but more like a bread-pudding texture. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Coconut Flour Banana Bread-icrashedtheweb

*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but some of the product (nut butter, coconut flour) was provided to me by Swanson Health. My views and comments are solely my own and do not represent those of Swanson.

Some questions for you:

  • Now that I have all this coconut flour – what should I make with it?
  • Do you like coconut?

 

WIAW: Glucose Test Day

I am happy to share some good news on this What I Ate Wednesday – I passed my glucose test!! For those of you that know me, I had failed (:() the first time, which meant Monday morning I had to go back for a several blood test with blood taken once every four hours and an even more sugary drink! SO, this WIAW is dedicated to all the mamas out there and will showcase my day of eats during my glucose test day.

Breakfast was nothing. You have to fast before the test. Unless you count the super sugary orange drink as breakfast?

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I don’t know if you can see on there, but that 10 oz beverage contains 100 g. of sugar. 100 grams! You have to drink that within 5 minutes and then see what happens. Seriously. The nurses and people around me were waiting to see if I fainted, vomited, etc. and thankfully I didn’t. Oh, and then they take your blood every hour to see your glucose level rates.

Again, I passed! And as soon as the test was over – I had to grab lunch. It was past noon and I hadn’t eaten since 4 pm the day before. My stomach was off from the beverage, but I ordered some of my favorite Lebanese food, Aladdin’s! I ordered the vegetable soup, some pita and hummus and a baba ganoush vegetable wrap. I was only able to eat half the wrap and a few pieces of pita and half the soup – but it was good!

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I knew I’d be working late, so I grabbed a small snack to tide me over until dinner. Since I hadn’t had any Easter candy, I grabbed a few jelly beans and about 1/3 of a banana.

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By the evening, I was starving and feeling MUCH better after the test, so B made me dinner while /i was working. Friday I had gotten a package from Modern Table Meals of lentil pasta. B cooked some of that along with some pesto I had made and broccoli and chicken (not pictured) and that was our dinner.

 

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I REALLY liked the lentil pasta, as did B. His direct words were “This is way better than whole wheat pasta.” So they should take that as a compliment. Their mixed lentil penne is so good – higher in protein and lower in carbs than traditional pasta, too.

And for dessert? I have been loving just some ricotta cheese in a bowl. It tastes so good to me and since I’d already had a bazillion (Exaggeration) grams of sugar in that drink, I decided that a lower sugar dessert was probably safer 🙂

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Some questions for you:

  • Pregnant people/moms – have you had adverse results to the infamous glucose test?
  • Ricotta cheese – yay or nay?
  • Favorite easter candy?

Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Race Entry Giveaway

Guess what – it’s MY week! This week, I am the Ambassador of the Week for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. Woop woop!

AND that means I’m hosting a race giveaway! I get to give away FREE entry into any of the race distances the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is offering during race weekend.

How to enter: Simply leave a comment below telling me what distance you would choose to run AND one fun fact about you. Want an extra entry? Follow me and the Cleveland Marathon on Instagram (@koskim and @clevemarathon) and/or Twitter (@koskim and @clevemarathon) and leave another comment saying you’ve done so! The giveaway runs through 12 p.m. ET, Friday, April 1 (no, not an April Fools trick!) and will be notified via email.

In the meantime … for those of you finding me for the first time, here’s a TINY bit about me:

    • I love running the Cleveland race. The past several years, I’ve run the half marathon. As much as I hate the shoreway portion (and don’t we all?), I love the race. The people, the sites, the cheering and of course running through this city!
my awkward race photo from the Cleveland half last year

my awkward race photo from the Cleveland half last year

  • I’m not from Cleveland. I’m originally from New York but have lived in Cleveland for 8 years now. Despite doing indoor track (unsuccessfully) in high school and going on a few runs in college, I didn’t really get into running until after college – and now I’m hooked!
  • I’m not running the marathon or half this year- because I’m 7 months pregnant. That’s right – but I’m still running! I’ve signed up for the 5k 10k challenge series and hope to be able to complete those two races while 9-ish months pregnant on race day.
Yup - there's a baby in that belly (who is getting used to these runs!)

Yup – there’s a baby in that belly (who is getting used to these runs!)

And I’m still running. Here’s a little recap of last week’s runs:

Week of 3/20: 21.12 miles 

Sunday: 4.26 miles
I probably could/should’ve gone outside, but I wasn’t in the mood for another cold run after Saturday. So I opted for a run/walk on the treadmill while watching Bosch on my phone.

Monday: 0 miles!
Had to be at the dr office early so I decided to take the day off. I still managed to get my goal steps in, though- 12,000 is no easy feat when you aren’t working out!

Tuesday: 7 miles! Indoor walk and run.
Longest walk/run of the late! I probably got in about 5.5 or so running with a cool down and some walking along the way. I never used to count walking in my mileage but now when it’s part of my workout, I do!

Wednesday: elliptical day. 1.5 mile jog.
Legs feeling tired, opted to just shake them out in the elliptical.

Thursday: 5.1 m run/walk. Emphasis on the walk.
Legs still feeling a little heavy, so I opted to run/walk indoors. Planned on using the elliptical again, but the machines were in use when I wanted to go on and when they opened up again, I decided to just stay with the walk and run.

Friday: 0 miles running
Took it easy on the legs this morning and did the elliptical for 45 min and walked for 30. Didn’t want to quite take the day off but wanted to give the legs a little rest.

Saturday: 3.26 miles running OUTSIDE
I didn’t REALLY want to get outside, as it was 30 degrees and breezy, but I wanted to get in a few more miles to make sure I hit 20 for the week. I’m glad I did – I didn’t feel GREAT the whole time, but I averaged 9:26 min/mile for the run with the last mile being the fastest (maybe because the great feeling of having to pee went away around mile 2.25 … or maybe because I knew I was almost done).

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And that was it – 20+ miles and 5 days or runs. NTS!

No questions for you this week – just don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

  • Leave a comment below telling me what distance you would choose to run AND one fun fact about you!
  • Want an extra entry? Follow me and the Cleveland Marathon on Instagram (@koskim and @clevemarathon) and/or Twitter (@koskim and @clevemarathon) and leave another comment saying you’ve done so!  Giveaway runs through Friday at noon ET.

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More Coffee Shops and Easter!

Some blogkeeping: Stay tuned TOMORROW when I’ll be featuring a giveaway for free race entry to the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon! Because I’m this week’s Ambassador of the Week! (okay, I can’t completely wait until tomorrow – see the bottom of this post for how to enter early)

Easter came early this year! B and I celebrated with his family this year, which meant a big boozy brunch. But I’m getting ahead of myself. In addition to Easter, the weekend also included some more coffee shop hopping, runs and nice walks.

Friday night was super low key – just what I needed. Even though I had only stayed out late once, the week had tired me out. B and I caught up on old episodes of Veep and my meatless Friday dinner included plain yogurt, fruit and some peanut butter. Definitely hit the spot.

Saturday I was up early for a run, followed by work. I only had time for a short run, but I’m so glad B and I made it outside – it was seasonably cold in the morning, but it was my fastest run all week.

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After that, I spent most of the day at a few coffee shops catching up on work. We alternated between decaf lattes and smoothies.

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Saturday night, B and I prepped for Easter. This year, we were bringing additional drinks, and we B made some cocktails called The Long Faced Dove and The Great Gatsby. I’m obviously not drinking right now, but they sure looked pretty!

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I have a glucose test next week, so I decided to play it healthy for dinner. At least it was colorful, right?

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Sunday morning started early with a 5.25 mile run with B. It was a lot slower than Saturday, plus some hills. Still managed to squeak just under 10 min/miles so I was happy with that.

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And it was gorgeous out. Definitely overdressed, but we stopped for a few photos and I had to walk for a second on one hill, so it was okay.

After Easter Mass, it was time for Easter brunch with B’s family.

The feast included the aforementioned cocktails and mimosas, bloody marys and other cocktails plus:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Toast
  • Sausage
  • French toast casserole
  • Pickled hard boiled eggs
  • Beet relish
  • Fruit
  • Sticky buns: with and without nuts
  • Pull-apart apricot bread
  • Pull-apart raspberry bread
  • Of course, Easter candy (including jelly beans!)

I was trying to keep my sugar and carb count relatively low because of some blood work I’m having done, so I stayed away from the breads/buns/toast. Again, another colorful plate!

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After brunch, we opted to take a walk since it was finally in the 60s and so sunny. We walked around the park where B’s aunt and uncle live and also got in some great views of downtown from the lake.

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And a photo opp for us. Lakewood Park has some great views!

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I managed to stay away from all the candy somehow – but we did leave with a goodie bag.

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And that was about it. How was your Easter?

Some questions for you:

  • Did you get out and enjoy some nice weather this weekend? Yes, and it was great!
  • What’s your favorite Easter candy? JELLY BEANS! And anything white chocolate 🙂
  • Are you going to enter the giveaway? see below how!

I’m linking up today with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

AND as I said, I’m starting my giveaway early!  I get to give away FREE entry into any of the race distances the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is offering during race weekend. While the giveaway won’t officially launch until tomorrow’s post, you can earn an extra entry here. How? Follow me and the Cleveland Marathon Twitter (@koskim and @clevemarathon) and leave a comment saying you’ve done so! The giveaway runs through 12 p.m. ET, Friday, April 1 (no, not an April Fools trick!) and will be notified via email. Stay tuned tomorrow for 2 more ways to enter!

 

Announcing Playhouse Square’s 2016-17 Broadway Season!

Hooray! The time is here to announce NEXT year’s Broadway Season in Cleveland!

As you know, one of the things I love about living in Cleveland is the great access I have to the Arts – we have a great variety of museums (including FREE ones), a world class orchestra and amazing theaters and performances that I’m lucky enough to attend and are right outside my apartment. I know I’ve shared this before, but Playhouse Square is the country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York City – and it’s just a walk away from where I live!  This year, once again, I was lucky enough to be invited to the 2016-2017 Broadway Series Launch Party. I got to go with Mary for a mini girls night out.

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The event was GREAT. We were given early access to a preview of all the shows coming to the theater this coming season AND the post-show media party. Here is a sneak peek of what’s to come!

This year’s event was so much fun, with surprise visits along the way!

Allison, one of the child understudies from Fun Home, wowed us with her performance! (photo from Playhouse Square)

Allison, one of the child understudies from Fun Home, wowed us with her performance! (photo from Playhouse Square)

The Singing Angels got us in the mood for Into The Woods with their rendition of "Children Will Listen" (photo from Playhouse Square)

The Singing Angels got us in the mood for Into The Woods with their rendition of “Children Will Listen” (photo from Playhouse Square)

Trista Moldovan, a Broadway star from Northeast Ohio, did an emotional song from Finding Neverland (photo from Playhouse Square)

Trista Moldovan, a Broadway star from Northeast Ohio, did an emotional song from Finding Neverland (photo from Playhouse Square)

Such a cool event!

It’s hard to say which shows I’m most excited about. BUT If I had to pick THERE shows, which would I pick to see? (this is always a hard question for me…but here’s what I think and some of the music/background info]

  • Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Something Rotten!
  • Finding Neverland

Interested in seeing any of these shows? Get your tickets today by becoming a Season Ticket Holder.

Some questions for you:

  • Have you seen any of these shows? Any recommendations?
  • What’s the last musical you’ve seen? (movie or live)

Disclosure: I was given two complimentary tickets to Playhouse Square’s Broadway launch party, plus access to the post-party media event. All views on this post are my own.

WIAW: Friday Lenten Eats

Happy Wednesday!  You’ve made it – you’re halfway through the week. And some of you lucky dogs are more than halfway if you have Friday off … not me.

I may not have Friday off, but I’m celebrating – because it’s What I Ate Wednesday! The day for sharing a checking out a random day of eats (and spying on all of your food too…because I love seeing what everyone eats).

For breakfast, I had some fruit salad and nuts and a little yogurt on top of the fruit salad. I still can’t get enough fruit and Siggi’s. That’s probably the theme of this pregnancy – fruit, Siggi’s and dessert.

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For a snack before lunch, I had a handful of mixed nuts. Wow, look at all that salt!?20160318_115909

Lunch was a mishmash. I had some roasted veggies, tofu and a barley salad. And then some leftover black bean soup from Panera that I hadn’t finished for dinner the night before. I don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent and this was the perfect filling meatless meal!20160318_130533

A mid-afternoon snack included an apple.20160318_132502

AND of course some peanut M&Ms. 20160318_144723

For dinner, B and I had plans to have Dave and Anson over – they were going to help us with our baby registry and B was going to make fish for a Lenten Friday meal. While he cooked the meal, we snacked on some cheeses and bread (bread not pictured). 20160318_184831

And our dinner – SO delicious. Mashed cauliflower with some gruyere, asparagus and shallots and scallops. My apartment still smells fro the scallops but they were SO GOOD.20160318_194633

And dessert? Some of these Bailey’s St. Patrick’s Day themed cupcakes! And maybe a Samoa or two (unphotographed).

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That was a delicious Friday!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you go meatfree once a week? What’s your favorite meatless meal?
  • What’s your favorite afternoon snack? Sweet/salty combos – nuts and fruit or even peanut M&Ms!

Training Tuesday: Outside Again!

You GUYS – I ran outside 3.5 times last week!!! That is 3.5 more times than I’ve been running. And it makes me so happy!!!

ok this picture was from LAST week but it's me at the Malachi run and another outside run!

ok this picture was from LAST week but it’s me at the Malachi run and another outside run!

Anyway, here’s a little recap of how last week’s runs went:

Week of 3/13: 21.59 miles running/walking

Sunday: 0 miles

Took the day off after the Malachi Church Run.

Monday: 6.17 miles total – run in the AM AND PM.

I wasn’t planning on running in the AM that day, but for some reason I couldn’t sleep. I woke up at 3 a.m. and was unable to get back to bed, so after cleaning my closet and semi cleaning the kitchen, I opted to head outside in the 50 degree (near perfect running temps) and get in about 2 miles before hitting the gym. And then that night was the Cleveland Marathon Fleet Feet Pub Run – an event I had already planned on attending – so there were another 3.8 miles run outside with tons of other runners, including B and Mary, for free beer! (I obviously didn’t partake in the beer)

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pre-pub run with Mary. Look at all those people in the background!

Tuesday: no run, just elliptical. My feet were hurting and legs were tired.

Wednesday: 1.3 miles before the elliptical. Tired legs AGAIN.

Thursday: 4.62 miles. OUTSIDE before work!

It’s not often I get an outdoor run in, but I was happy to get in a run before St. Patrick’s Day. I was planning on running around downtown and seeing if people were out and about – and they already were!

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Had to stop and take a picture of the Terminal Tower all green for the day! (and a great excuse to stop mid-run)

Friday: 5 miles walk and run.

I decided to run for time and not for distance today. It’s something I’m not good at doing and I wanted to walk/run on the treadmill. So I focused on just keeping up the workout and varied on my speeds.

Saturday: 4.5 miles OUTSIDE again!

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And that was it! Another so-so week of running – but a great week of pregnancy runs in my book for this Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ambassador. Woop woop!

Some questions for you:

  • What Amazon Prime videos or TV shows are you digging that I should watch while running?
  • Do you prefer running in the a.m. or p.m.? AM. Always. I hate and hardly ever run after work unless I have an event (like the pub run).