Oatmeal Banana Chip Muffins

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I love breakfast foods but when it comes time to actually prepare a real meal at o’dark thirty, I just don’t have it in me. I’ve never been accused of being a morning person and that being the case I stay in bed as long as humanly possible before dashing of to class or work. My breakfasts are either yogurt on the run or a gluten-free granola squished at the bottom of my bag… Not the most nutritious start to the day (but, all things considered, also not as bad as a McDonald’s drive-thru… so there!).

Anyway, I decided I really needed to remedy this situation and when we had some brown bananas wasting away on the counter I remembered a funny little muffin my roommate made once years ago. This “muffin” is naturally refined sugar-free and gluten-free and is super quick and easy to pull together. The recipe makes about 18 so you’ll have breakfast for over a week! (I usually eat 2 in the morning)

The original recipe is from this awesome blog, but I’ve also copied it below for convenience. Also, please ignore how ugly these little muffins are. Your taste buds won’t notice, don’t worry!

Ingredients:

  • 3 mashed bananas (browner the better for mashing and tastiness)
  • 1 cup milk (literally whatever kind ya got!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Baking powder
  • 3 cups Gluten-free Old Fashion or Rolled Oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and spray muffin tins or muffin liners – this is important! The first time I made these I used muffin liners but did not spray the inside and the paper was impossible to get all the way off. So I had that extra fiber in my breakfast I guess…..
  2. Mix together all the ingredients except the chocolate chips and let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Divide the batter evenly until 14-18 cups are almost full (they won’t rise much at all) and bake for 25 minutes  (checking and rotating halfway through) or until edges are starting to brown.
  4. Let cool before eating and store in fridge. Enjoy as you run out the door with coffee and healthy breakfast in hand!

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ugly little muffys, but pretty damn good!

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Barcelona Prep: Where and What Celiacs Eat (part 2)

I told you in my last post that the internet is my best friend, and while googling “Barcelona gluten free” throughout the past month or so I have come upon some real gems. Nothing is official in the sense that it came from Spain or Barcelona’s tourism department (unless you count a few yelp reviews… which I don’t) but the blogs I have found with just one or multiple posts related to eating gluten free while traveling or living in Barcelona have prepared me enough for my arrival that I no longer fear starving to death in the first week or imploding from gluten exposure. 

First I’d like to share a few of my favorite resources with you that I found extremely helpful, then below I will include a list of restaurants and grocery stores I plan on visiting as soon as the plane wheels hit that Spanish ground. 

1. Spain Gluten Free: I really like this blog even though it is focused on Spain rather than just Barcelona. In fact, there is little to no information about Barcelona aside from a very helpful list of gluten-free bakeries all over Spain (yay!) and a few other helpful lists. But the travel guide/travel research help and list of resources is very useful for those traveling to Spain on a gluten-free diet. You can search this site by city to find gluten-free meals wherever you are visiting! Here I come Madrid!

2. Guiri Girl in Barca: This one post is loaded with great information – namely the best gluten-free brunch, sandwiches, tapas, pizza, and grocery stores in Barcelona. Perfect!

3. Gluten Free Boston Girl: This link takes you directly to the archives and entire “Barcelona” category. At first, I saw only one post and it was so thorough that I was excited to go all the places mentioned. Then I discovered even MORE posts about what seems like a very gluten-free Barcelona. Tons of great recommendations and even a few trips further outside the city are covered. 

4. Gluten Free BCN: I haven’t even arrived in Barca and this site has already saved my life. This blog is dedicated to everything gluten free in Barcelona and will just rock you celiac socks right off. Post after post reviews places to eat, shop and more around the city.  I will be keeping up with this blog religiously and sampling many of the places mentioned!

5. Yelp: Okay so it’s not the most comprehensive or detailed, but at a glance yelp can help you find a safe place to eat that’s already been reviewed by others and provide all the necessary information to get you there. Phew!

Okay! Now on to the list I have been cultivating for myself with help from the resources listed above as well as a few others. As I visit them (I’ll be there in just eleven days – ah!) I will try to write regular posts and talk about what I’ve been doing (aka, eating) out and about in the city and beyond. 

  • Copasetic I’ve read about on multiple sites and it has been described as the best gluten-free brunch around. And what’s more, it’s a mere ten minute walk from where I’ll be staying. First stop in Barcelona? Probably.
  • Conesa is sounding kinda like gluten free sandwich and panini heaven to me for a tiny fraction of the cost of what one would pay in the states. The bread tastes real according to reviewers too…. which is something less widely available in the US, as much as it pains me to say it. With two locations in Barcelona and one located near my campus, I can’t wait to get my hands on those gluten free buns (haha).
  • Syngluten is a bakery also located conveniently near my future residence and just the website alone is making me drool from across the pond. When every bread and sweet my heart could dream of is followed by “sin gluten” I’m sure I will become a fixture here.
  • Gelatomania I may not be able to have my cake but you better your bottom dollar I will eat my gelato. Also located so near my residence it makes me swoon just to think of, this popular gelato shop will get lots of euros from my grubby little foreign hands. I can’t wait.
  • El Corte Ingles I’ve been told by multiple people that this is the department store/superstore/grocery store to frequent for amazing and edible gluten-free deals while in Barcelona. You don’t have to tell me twice!
  • La Boqueria is Barcelona world famous market full of fresh foods like fruit, meat, veg, etc. I will be wandering through it as much as possible and buying up all kinds of fresh produce to snack on when my granola bar supply runs out. Or maybe just instead of granola bars. Good thinking. 

That’s all for now! I’ve got to get there and do some of my own exploring before I get a longer, more detailed list going. Stick with me and I’ll include actual pictures of the deliciousness I’ll be feasting on in Barca. You’re welcome in advance!

Banana Berry Chocolate Smoothie

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Being new to this whole “you-can’t-eat-gluten-ever-again” thing, I sometimes find myself so frustrated that I just don’t want to make anything. Whenever that happens, (which is embarrassingly frequent depending on the week) I always make a smoothie. I add kefir and 2% milk for protein and calcium and then I throw in all the frozen fruit I can find in the freezer.

I like to freeze the bananas my mom and I forget about (nobody else in the house likes bananas for some reason!) as they start to become brown so I’ll always have a few on hand to put in the blender. And I don’t mean spotty – I mean dark scary brown like maybe you shouldn’t be eating that banana! But really, they’re fine. And they actually make for perfect smoothie additions because if you let them sit on the counter for a few minutes, they’re much easier to deal with than bananas that had thicker skins before they got tossed in the freezer.

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As for frozen fruit, I just buy whatevers on sale! Usually that means mango or a good berry blend. I don’t usually use pineapple in my smoothies because I don’t like how stringy the pieces become once they’re blended into oblivion. Same with blueberries… I’m weird about their skins being in my drank, but it’s really up to you! I’ve found frozen fruit is better not only texture and thickness, but frozen fruit is generally healthier because it is flash frozen on site (usually where it’s picked) meaning the antioxidants and other good shtuff is all preserved – unlike a lot of out-of-season fruits you may find at your grocery store.

And chocolate! Mmmm, who doesn’t want chocolate in their smoothie? Nobody, that’s who. I used to use Ovaltine malted chocolate powder, but I apparently can’t eat malt now (dangit! It’s one of those weird things I’ll genuinely miss that you wouldn’t even think about… I loved malted milkshakes). Chocolate syrup is usually fine (read the labels!) but in this instance I had fresh chocolate milk from a farm about 20 minutes from my house YUM. Enjoy your smoothies, y’all!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. of chocolate milk
  • 1/2 c. kefir (I used strawberry honey flavored kefir)
  • 3/4 c. almond milk (or regular milk, whatever is on hand!)
  • 1 c. frozen fruit
  • 2 medium frozen bananas, sliced and diced

Makes 2 snack-size smoothies (around 12 oz. each)

Directions:

1. I like to start with the milks, bananas, and kefir just to be sure the banana is blended really well.

2. Add frozen fruit, puree until smooth and pour into glasses. If you have fancy straws – even better!

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