I am a lifelong desert lover. And as of the last 10 or so years, I'm a healthy desert lover.
I'm also a huge fan of simple recipes, with whole, raw ingredients.
Over time, my approach to breakfast has evolved. I'll take you through the trenches, sharing my 2-minute recipes that literally even toddlers can make.
It started with a scoop of peanut butter; a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter made with one ingredient - organic peanuts (okay, maybe sea salt too) - into which I'd mash one banana. In high school I called this delicious combo "soup" (catchy, eh?).
Then I discovered cacao nibs - essentially the dried, fermented center of the cacao bean. It's bitter, but it's great paired with the sweetness of banana. I'd sprinkle some on top (about 1-2 tablespoons). Voila, soup and nibs. (recipe #1)
I started moving away from peanut butter - various reasons (rancidity, nutrition profile, etc.) and instead paired 1 tbs almond butter with a banana. Still wonderful. Still worked well with a heap of cacao nibs. To amp up the nutrients even more, I'd add 1-2 tbs of hemp seeds on top. I started calling my creation "banana mash". In case you're wondering, that's where the name still stands today. (recipe #2)
Over time I decided I wanted less nuts and more coconut oil in my diet. I'd mash up 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut oil in a banana. The best masher is the flat side of a fork, by the way. I like to mash mine until it's smooth. Then I added in some amazing spices to add some medicinal benefits, like cinnamon (1 tsp), coriander (1 tsp), nutmeg (1/2 tsp). These are approximate amounts and sometimes I'd double the coconut oil and double or triple the spices. With lots of cacao nibs and hemp seeds on top. When I got lazy (or productive - close call) I'd pre-mix the nibs and seeds and keep them in a mason jar for easy pouring. (recipe #3)
One vacation, I forgot to bring cacao nibs with me. The horror! But, given the way they were getting stuck in my teeth, forcing me to brush my teeth again after breakfast, I was relieved to try a new idea with ingredients on hand. I added 2 tbs of organic, raw cacao powder into my banana and coconut oil mash. Ah-mazing. With or without cinnamon. (recipe #4 - as shown in the pictures below)
Lately, I've been aiming to use less oils in my diet. The most recent, stripped down and simplest version yet is this: 1 banana, 2 tbs of cacao powder. I often repeat to fill my belly. (recipe #5)
It's worth noting that I don't drink caffeine in the morning, and the cacao has a subtle wake-up factor without the steamroller effect of coffee. One tablespoon contains 12mg of caffeine, 1/8 the content of a cup of coffee. As you dial it up, you're also dialing up a natural, nutrient-rich, and bliss-chemical laden source of caffeine.
I'm happy to answer questions and would love to learn about your favorite cacao recipes in the comments!
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