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Gluten Free Banana Bread in Collaboration with Vida Salveo

A very dear friend of mine, Leila, just recently started her blog.  Vida Salveo is about health is wealth and living your best life free of stress and getting back to basics in our food and products. She writes from her soul and is just her being her so it’s beautiful and a joy to read.

I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Leila years ago on Amelia Island Florida. My first impression of Leila was that she was approachable, warm and welcoming. She never spoke ill of anyone and was never judgemental of anyone’s actions.

Leila said something when we first met that has stuck in my mind that I wished I had used and stuck too as she had. When asked why she never went out often with the crew after work and grab beers. Leila made the comment that as often as we went out to the bar you could have put that money away and traveled. And traveled she did.

Leila is one of the few I’ve kept in touch with and shared our lives and so happy that we did. I have learned as I’ve gotten older life really is about the people that you choose to surround yourself with and I am grateful and thankful to still be able to call Leila a friend.

Leila is in the process of raising two beautiful daughters, married to the nicest dude you’ll ever meet in your life Jeremy, manages so many houses she’s lost count, and she recently published a children’s book. I know, by all means you should hate her. But you can’t because she’s too damn nice, down to earth, humble, grateful and funny.

Leila inspires me and makes me want to work harder. The woman is raising two girls and wrote a children’s book. I can’t even put a post up a week? That’s just sad.

When you read Leila’s blog, the first thing you notice is when she tells you about herself. “Resident of the world, student of life”. How wonderful is that?

These are the types people you should surround yourself with and be thankful are in your circle. I’m thankful everyday for Leila.

The best thing about Leila is that the girl is never without a smile. And its infectious.

When Leila contacted me about making a dessert gluten free or at least a bit healthier than my usual round of desserts. I would never turn down a chance to work with Leila. I became the student and I had a blast working on this project.

The Gluten Free banana bread is sugar free as well. It gets plenty of sweetness from the bananas. The bread looks dense but is actually light and melts in your mouth thanks again to the sweetness of the bananas.

I am proud of this Gluten Free Banana Bread and hopefully it won’t be the last working with Leila. Even better, Leila was able to take the recipe and make it vegan. Isn’t she awesome?

To make this recipe:

Get over to Vida Salveo to find the recipe for the Gluten Free Banana Bread and thanks to Leila the vegan alternative. Stay for a while and check out her wonderful outlook on life and healthy living. I know she’ll inspire you as well. 

Caramel Baileys Rice Kripsies

You probably can’t tell by the picture but I took a food photography course. Dude, I just gave up. Setting up props, then worrying about the lighting and then the perfect angle. Am I fooling you that I have this great apartment and the perfect life with the perfect dishes? Read More

Peanut Butter & Beet Cookies

Before you dismiss these cookies. Bake them and give them to someone and ask them their opinion. 12 out of 10 people usually don’t identify the beets.

There is always that asshole with a superhuman palate that can identify the beet. I refer to these people as acquaintances.

The majority will think its raspberry or some kind of fruit. These people I refer to as clients.

I too was very skeptical when I heard of the peanut butter and beet being a good flavor combo. If you only knew how skeptical.

When someone eats their toe jam and tells you something is a good flavor combo. You’re bound to be hesitant.

But I’m always down for trying something new so here we are. Still not going to try toe jam. Call me crazy.

The first run through of these cookies was quite impressive. People loved them and of course there was that one annoying girl who knew the beet flavor immediately. The majority of the test occupants thought it was some kind of fruit of jam.

The thing I really love about these cookies is the visual aspect. They look all raspberry like and you know people eat with their eyes so maybe that’s why they think they taste raspberry.

You know like those jackasses that drink wine and you ask them if they taste the kiwi and they “totally do!”.

You can do the same here. When someone takes a bite ask them if they taste the raspberries.

I used to hate beets growing up. My mom used to buy these beets in a jar and nuke them for dinner. The whole house smelled like someone took a shit in a bucket of vinegar.

I hated those things. The crazy thing is now that I’m older. I’d try em.

When I got older and went out into the world and tried beets different ways. I find them quite delicious.

You can find beets in the produce section in a vacuum sealed package. Roasted, soft, peeled and ready to go. No flavors added or gross smells. Just good wholesome cooked beets. Perfect for the cookies here.

Something to keep in mind when cutting the beets for the recipe. The finer you dice the beets the less likely people will identify them. The larger the dice the more you’ll get a nice texture and soft piece of beet. I personally think if gives the cookie more depth and character. Try it both ways and see which suits you better.

“Risk is the only guarantee for being truly alive.”

Other Recipes you’ll Love 

Caramel Cookies (A fan favorite and most popular)

Lemon & Polenta Olive Oil Cookie 

Victoria Butter Cookies 



115g. Sugar
260g. Brown sugar
150g. Peanut butter
225g. Butter
375g. Flour
2ct. Eggs
4g. Baking soda
6g. Vanilla
250g. Whole Beets Cooked and diced medium

-cream together sugars, butter, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth and fluffy
-add eggs and mix until combined
-add flour and baking soda and mix until as dough forms
-add beets last on slow speed just until they are distributed throughout dough. You don’t want your dough red and the beets all broke up. Or maybe you do? I don’t know.
-portion out using a kitchen table spoon or ice cream scoop

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

11 Savvy Suggestions to Make Summer Eating Healthy and Fun

Just because it’s summertime doesn’t mean you should take a break from healthy eating! Summers mean more picnics, ballgames and festivals full of tempting (but less than healthful) foods. But you can have your ice cream, hot dogs and fried Oreos — in moderation — by following these suggestions.

Eat Sweets in Small Portions

Sweets and fried foods are fine, in small portions. Use this as an opportunity to show kids how to form a healthy relationship with food. Denying the “good stuff” can lead to poor, unhealthy food choices down the road. So a little treat here and there won’t do any harm.

Keep Them Active

If your kids indulge in a funnel cake or waffle and ice cream sundae once in a while, schedule more activities that help them burn off those extra calories. Also, encourage kids to share the treats so everyone gets a taste but no one overindulges.

Be a Good Role Model

Be a good role model. Eat healthier foods—and healthier versions of the foods everyone loves. For example, if your family loves enchiladas, swap out the tortillas for cabbage leaves for a healthier take or try this shareable recipe that serves six people.

Eat Nutritiously While Traveling

Driving to your vacation? Pack healthy snacks to eat along the way. Scope out restaurants on your route to check out their menu options. Download apps like Around Me, Feed, or Yelp to suggest alternatives to fast-food joints. Day-tripping? Pack a cooler and bags with healthy options like fresh veggies and fruits. Opt for trail mix, popcorn, single-serve fruit cups and applesauce, yogurt, low-fat cheese, and granola. Encourage your kids to pack their own snack bags.

Make It Fun

Create a game of I-Spy for healthy foods at the grocery store. Teach older kids how to read food labels, and show all the kids where to find the healthiest foods on the shelves.

Get Their Input

Get your kids involved with meal planning. When you go to the store, suggest they pick out a new type of produce (or one they love) to work into a recipe you can make together.

Drink Lots of Water

Go easy on high-calorie drinks such as fruit juices and sodas. Instead, encourage your kids to drink plenty of water. Add flavor to water by adding fresh fruits, cucumber or mint, or a little tart juice. Mix one-third fruit juice with two-thirds fizzy water. Check out these other suggestions to enliven water’s flavor.

Plan Ahead

Summertime often throws off the usual schedules, so meal planning may not run as smoothly as during the school year. These healthy summer survival guide recipes include healthy snacks and lunch ideas that kids love and tasty treats that won’t break the calorie bank.

Buy Fresh Produce

Add summer produce to your menu! Growing time means a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, farmers market and garden. Take advantage of this bounty by introducing new—and keeping tried-and-true favorites—tastes into your meals. Try these roasted veggie recipes for fabulous flavor.

Drink Smoothies

Have a kid who’s less than thrilled about vegetables or fruits? Try a smoothie instead. They’re perfect for hot days and make the best breakfasts before soccer camp. Different flavorful combos can cover some of your kiddo’s dairy, fruit, protein and fiber needs for the day.

Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand

Your kids might not love tomato soup, but pair a cold tomato (or avocado or carrot) soup with a salad for a light dinner on a hot, steamy summer night. Keep other easy snacks in your home like sliced or whole fresh fruits and veggies, cheese slices, string cheese, yogurt, turkey or chicken breast meat from the deli, hard-boiled eggs, pita wedges, graham crackers, granola bars and unsalted pretzels.

Summertime brings plenty of fun adventures and surprises. Incorporate summer flavors by choosing healthy, tasty foods rich in vitamins, protein and fiber. Pile plenty of color on everyone’s plates, stock up on healthy snacks that travel well, indulge occasionally in vacation treats and enjoy the season.

Photo Credit:

Article written by guest Dylan Foster for

Hennessy Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake was invented back in 1956 by Marge Gillicutty in Illinois. She was attempting to make a pineapple cake when all the pineapple sunk to the bottom. Oh was Marge pissed. Then it turned out everyone at the church social loved it. Boom! Pineapple Upside Down Cake was invented. I’m guessing. Read More