Summer is nearly upon us with full force. As if the last month of scorching days and ridiculous storms typical to Queensland were not enough warning, the looming first of December marks the official count down to Christmas (advent calendars at the ready) and months of not being able to walk down the street during the middle of the day without risking heat stroke.
Don’t get me wrong, I do actually enjoy the heat (especially when paired with swims with friends and air-conditioning). But the swimwear out in full force in shops is a not-so-friendly reminder that those months of sleep ins (well, sleep ins until the sun rises at 6.15am) and second helpings of warm comfort foods during those cold Winter months can no longer be hidden by bulky jumpers and elastic waisted patterned long pants.
Although a “health-kick” for me is more an addition to a permeant lifestyle choice, even I have noticed a slight softening around the edges over the past few months, which has motivated me to get my act together to lose the mini muffin before I have to don my swimsuit in public again.
That means up at sunrise to go for walks before work, squatting and planking more than once a week when forced to in Pilates and healthy treats to replace those extra pieces of chocolate that go so nicely with that cup of tea to keep me warm.
For those of you living in a climate where Christmas calories coincide nicely with layered clothing, count yourself blessed. However, without that luxury here, I’ve adopted a pre-emptive strategy of increased activity to counteract the enviable excess calorie consumption that goes hand in hand with the holiday season merriment. Because I still want baked ham. And plum pudding. With custard. And ice cream. And white Christmas. And Swedish Christmas cookies.
As if I didn’t have enough opportunity to have an excess amount of food in the house over the next few weeks, I decided to buy a 13kg box of bananas on my way from from work the other day. Charlie’s Fruit Market at Everton Hills (it’s open 24 hours!) were running a $9 special that I saw on their Instagram page. I was on the phone to my sister at the time who told me to buy them and freeze them for when she came home. How could I resist? Plus, having that many bananas in the house is a great reason to bake banana treats.
I am not bananas about the Paleo diet (see what I did there?). I like oats, bread, legumes, unactivated nuts and my sanity far too much for that. But I do tend to strictly follow eating whole foods and very limited refined sugar – so I often research Paleo recipes when baking for inspiration.
I ended up making two types of banana cookies. One Paleo, one not so Paleo. Both delicious and simple, and fantastic to have in the house to grab for morning tea or to take to end of year social gatherings. The second was an oatmeal/ peanut butter cookie, that I will save for later.
So although Paleo banana cookies may not be quite enough to reverse the effects of a long, cold Winter, I feel as though I’m on the right track. That is, until the aforementioned Christmas treats start appearing again. Then all bets are off just in time to start making New Years resolutions.
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 very ripe banana (large) or 1 1/2 small
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped dates
- In a medium bowl, mix the coconut oil, mashed banana, eggs, and vanilla. Add the coconut flour and baking soda. Mix thoroughly before adding the dates. Scoop the cookie dough into 3cm balls on a baking paper lined cookie sheet.
- Bake at 180 degrees Celcius for 12 minutes.
- Keep in an airtight container for up to a week. If they last that long.