Brain Food: Healthy Gluten Free Banana Bread

Along comes the Winter semester and crunch time for university students everywhere. Brain food is very important to sustain yourself in the times of exams and essays. When I think of brain food, I automatically think of bananas! Bananas are high in fibre, potassium, and many other things. This banana bread is gluten free, low in sugar, and has lots of add-ins that creates a super banana bread! banana bread

You will need:

2-3 very ripe bananas, mashed

1/3 cup of butter, melted (I used vegan butter)

1/3 cup of sugar (I used coconut sugar)

1 egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup of flax seeds

1/3 cup of oats

2 tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum

1 1/2 cups of gluten free flour

*You can make this with regular all purpose flour and without the xanthan gum if gluten free isn't necessary.

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl mash your bananas, and add in your melted butter. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt, and mix thoroughly. Add in the flax seeds, oats, chia seeds, coconut, and mix together. Lastly add in the xanthan gum and gf flour. Mix thoroughly and pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the centre is no longer wet. banana bread2banana bread 1banana bread 3

This banana bread is super easy to make, takes no time at all, and is a healthy sweet treat! It's great for snacking on, or you can use it    as a breakfast or lunch with peanut butter or cream cheese on top. You can substitute any of "healthy" extras for chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit. I personally make this banana bread all the time, and especially when it is crunch time and I need a little healthy yet comforting boost in the snack department.

Follow me on instagram @melodyannep and bloglovin!

University Crunch Time: Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn

If you've seen my last post on the energy balls of brain food, you'll know I'm in crunch time. As there's so many exams coming up, I need some substance to keep me through it. And when I say substance, I mean yummy snacks. Popcorn tends to be my go-to since its so low in calories, high in fibre, and its also scientifically proven that popcorn makes you happy! That sounds like the perfect snack to me. For my birthday I received a popper which makes popping popcorn super easy and pretty fun. This cinnamon sugar popcorn recipe is so easy and will also satisfy all your sweet and savoury cravings. Cinnamon is also a great addition to any meal for your health. It is known to help out your heart, carries anti-oxidants, and also help with brain function (among many other benefits), plus it tastes amazing.

IMG_3636

You will need:

Corn kernels (I used 4 tablespoons as that's what my popper requires)

1 teaspoon of Truvia (It's a calorie-less sugar alternative)

1.5 teaspoons of Cinnamon

A pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of melted coconut oil (you can use butter, vegan butter, or anything of your preference)

To start, pop your corn kernels! While they're popping mix together the truvia, cinnamon and salt. Melt your butter or coconut oil. Once it's popped coat your popcorn with all of the ingredients. And you're done! IMG_3622IMG_3626IMG_3631

Enjoy this popcorn recipe! It's super easy, gluten free, and vegan. Plus its healthy! The possibilities are endless when it comes to popcorn so have some fun with it!

Happy Sunday!

Follow me on instagram @melodyannep and bloglovin!

University Crunch Time: Energy Balls of Brain Food

Its that time of year that happens before the most wonderful time of year - crunch time. I have so many essays to do and exams to study for, and quite frankly I need some brain food. Today I made these little energy balls of brain food within 5 minutes. They're delicious, nutritious, and make for a great snack, pick-me-up, or quick breakfast. IMG_3467 You will need:

1/2 cup of dried, pitted dates

1/2 cup of dried cherries (any type of dried fruit can work)

1/2 cup of pistachios (any type of nut)

1/4 cup of oats

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of chia seeds

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

1 tablespoon of nut butter (I used peanut butter)

IMG_3436IMG_3462IMG_3464

To start, prep all of your ingredients except the nut butter and place them inside your food processor. Whiz it up until everything becomes small bits. Add in the nut butter, and again, whiz it up! The mixture should become one big ball and when that happens, its done! Make smaller balls out of the mixture into whatever size you like. Put them into a container and pop them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to let them chill and come together. You can enjoy them for up to two weeks. IMG_3492

These little balls of nutrition are vegan, gluten free, and so healthy for you. They're all natural and make a great snack between all of the craziness of university crunch time. Try them out and let me know how you like them!

Ps. those lights in the background are from my cute little christmas tree. There will be holiday posts coming soon!

Follow me on instagram @melodyannep and bloglovin!